Lebanese are not asleep (Updated)
Tonight, Wednesday 30 May 2007, the Lebanese people are waiting at their homes. With a curfew set by the government for motorcycles and small vehicles between 8 pm and 5 am, the roads are not only empty of the latter, but also from cars and people. The reason behind this semi-curfew is the International Tribunal investigating in Rafic Hariri’s Assassination. 800 days later, the truth behind who the criminals and executioners are, is going to appear.
During the last 10 days, several explosions occurred, as well as attacks and gun-fire between an Islamic militant group in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />North Lebanon hiding in a Palestinian refugee camp and the Lebanese army. These attacks resumed yesterday night and have been described as the strongest and most severe hour and a half of fights since a week. All this adds to tonight's tension.
On the social level, those last 10 days were not busy at night as it is usually. Malls, movie theaters and restaurants had no waiting lines, empty parkings and innocent traffic jams. Lebanese are not afraid as much as they are sick of the situation. Delivery and DVDs are the Lebanese’s best friend those last few days. There are always exceptions of those who go out and party whatever the situation is, but these people are rare.
In 2 to 3 hours, a decision by the International Tribunal will be announced. Lebanese are waiting and will not go to sleep before they know. Over many decades, dozens of assassinations happened, and in the past 2 years and since Hariri’s assassination there has been 5 others that have targeted politicians as well as journalists and media persons. In Lebanon, people have become accustomed to not knowing who did what. Is tonight the turning point in Lebanese History?
Security Council has adopted the draft resolution 1757 which declares the decision in forming an international tribunal under the 7th chapter to investigate in late prime minister Rafic Hariri's assassination, to bring justice to Lebanon and punishment to the criminals. 10 countries in the council voted for the resolution, none voted against and 5 abstentiated and none voted against. Among those who abstentiated were South Africa, Russia and Indonesia, who claimed that the council should try and fix the solution instead of imposing an international tribunal on a country that is divided in 2 sections, those who are for and those who are against. They said this could create more problems and that it is an internal affair, which Lebanon should deal with on its own.
A statement for Saad Hariri, a member of the parliament, and the son of Rafic Hariri, was immediately broadcasted after the adoption of the resolution, saying that this is not for revenge but only for accounting the responsibles and criminals, and to bring justice and peace to Lebanon.
Despite what everyone outside Lebanon might think, celebrations were not held when the Security Council adopted the draft resolution 1757, as the government had already set a curfew for small vehicles and motorcycles from 8pm to 5am of the next day, as well as forbidding people to set fireworks or gun-fires tonight, as they will be held accountable for breaking this rule. While I am sure that deep inside, many people are celebrating.
A new chapter is going to be written and its first words started tonight. Will more explosions, assassinations and perhaps a civil erupt in those up-coming weeks? Or will the Lebanese finally agree.