Lebanon finally celebrates its independence day

Lebanese soldiers marched in formation in a military parade in central Beirut to make Lebanon’s 73rd independence day

Lebanese soldiers marched in formation and helicopters flew overheard in a military parade in central Beirut Tuesday headed by the newly elected president, the first such celebration in two years, to mark the country’s Independence Day.

Armored vehicles and tanks rolled down a major thoroughfare in downtown Beirut, soldiers on horseback marched to military tunes, and a choir performed national songs while organizers released balloons in the colors of the Lebanese flag.

President Michel Aoun watched from a grandstand, sitting between his new prime minister designate, parliament speaker and head of the caretaker government.

The Lebanese parliament elected 83-year-old Aoun, a former general, as president last month, ending a two-and-half-year deadlock that left Lebanon without a president. The breakthrough, which ended months of a government paralysis, enabled the Tuesday celebrations and raised hopes that a new Cabinet can also be assembled by Tuesday.

But Premier-designate Saad Hariri said he is still facing obstacles bringing together a line-up that balances Lebanon’s delicate sectarian-based political system. “The one obstructing is known. Ask him,” Hariri told reporters as he left the presidential palace Monday.

From left : President Michel Aoun , parliament speaker Nabih Berri , caretaker prime minister Tammam Salam and new prime minister designate Saad Hariri are shown at Baabda palace after the downtown celebration

Hariri didn’t name names, but local media has reported the struggle between Hariri and Aoun on one side and powerful Shiite parliament speaker Nabih Berri over the government line-up. At stake is the distribution of so-called sovereign ministries, including the Defense Ministry. The political parties are also bickering over amending the current election law which divides seats among the different religious sects. The current parliament has failed to amend the law, and has extended its mandate twice amid criticism. New elections are scheduled for May 2017.

According to the agreement that brought an end to the 15-year civil war in 1990, Lebanon’s president must be a Maronite Christian, the premier a Sunni Muslim and the parliament speaker a Shiite. The government must reflect each sects’ respective power, an often daunting task that is worked out mostly in backdoor bargaining among the country’s traditionally fragmented politicians.

Meanwhile, the civil war raging in neighboring Syria for nearly six years has highlighted the fault lines in Lebanon, as different groups have allied with rival sides in the conflict. Many fear the spillover from Syria would undo years of relative stability in this country of 4.5 million.

A Christian leader and strong ally of the Shiite Hezbollah group, Aoun was elected by parliament as president on Oct.31, after Hariri endorsed him, ending the longstanding deadlock between the old-time foes. Hariri is a longtime critic of Syria and of Hezbollah’s support, with hundreds of fighters, for the Syrian government in that country’s ongoing war.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia, a close ally of Hariri and opponent of Syria’s government, recently halted a $3 billion arms deal with Lebanon, a decision linked to the kingdom’s tensions with Iran. Iran and Hezbollah support Syrian President Bashar Assad.

In an Independence Day speech Monday evening, Aoun urged Lebanese to protect their unity against the region’s instability.

“The tension in the region caused fissures in national unity, and the Lebanese started to feel that their stability is endangered, particularly given the limitation of the armed forces capabilities in the face of imminent dangers,” Aoun said. “In this situation, reinforcing national unity becomes of extreme necessity and a priority.”

The Associated Press



23 responses to “Lebanon finally celebrates its independence day”

  1. The only “independence” Lebanon can celebrate at the moment is from common sense. Independene from the armed-to-the-teeth gang of thugs that’s been holding it hostage for 30-plus years, however, would merit a celebration, if it’s ever achieved.

      1. How about you actually commented on something related to Lebanon for once? With this being “Lebanese site” and you – supposedly – coming from Lebanon?

        That’s the second-best option, of course. The first would be for you to drive your car (if you have one) off a cliff.

        1. Not going to please your retarded naive Zionist propaganda BS on YaLibnan like it or not

          1. Not as good as flour and fake blood like this one.


          2. Y K likes good you post it for him.. ;))

          3. Look no further than Syria for countless numbers of children murdered by Russia and Iran to keep dictator Assad in power.

        2. O'Matrix Avatar

          Indeed Hebalbana doesn’t comment much about Lebanon as
          5thDrawer do.
          Her comments are related with Israel and Palestinians, and I’m reflecting that she speak the Jewish language as Jews do.
          She claims to be Christian, I doubt it strongly – her heart beats strong for Muslims, Shia Muslims – not for Christians.
          “Lebanese site” and she is probably a Palestinian – coming from Lebanon…..
          Just for the fun, I attached the same kind of propaganda fotos she love so much in order to espouse al-Qaida member in Syria…

          1. Why would -Alqassem Brigades- post this:
            “Picture Posted from Gaza by Hamas 14-NOV-2012”

        3. Him/her/it, is just another Iranian troll with a hard-on for Israel. Very much a carbon copy of the other party of god minions. They all toot the same horn and play the same diversion mind-games. Taqiyya anyone.

          1. Ratscal emboldened by Y K vulgarity..take an IQ test please Rats.

          2. You are text book copy. Right down to the typical desperate insults.

      2. 5thDrawer Avatar

        WOW, That guy on upper left HAS to be out of some ‘Peter-Pan’ remake with some modern weapon – or an advert for a ‘new war-game’, like ‘Fairies & Crocks’. HAHAHAHAHAAHA – funniest costume seen yet. Talk about a ‘cultural divide’. I’d assume the pirate-ship ragamuffins. :-)))))

  2. 5thDrawer Avatar

    The only one with half a smile in the pic is Hariri … or is that a grimmace. Independent thinkers.
    Aoun – for all his flowery words – still tries to run down the army. Great ‘morale’ booster, that he is.

    1. PatienceTew Avatar

      Everything’s O.K. as long as Aoun doesn’t open his mouth.

  3. An “Independence Day” present from the Lebanese to their Palestinian brothers-and-sisters – an “isolation wall!”:


    Happy Independence Day, suckers! 🙂

      1. “We don’t read ‘elderofziyon’ or younger ziyon”

        It wasn’t meant for you, you dried-up-turd. You only deserve a flush – and like a gallon of desinfectant afterwards. :-).

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          (words from a similar dictionary, of course…)

          1. All words are from the same dictionary, mate. And we all come from the same ape. 🙂

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar

            a “divine commandment” …. indeed, in deeds done.

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