February 2005 Newsletter includes the following items:
1. Former Prime Minister
Lebanese Government accepts to cooperate with UN into Hariri
International pressure mounts on Syrian presence in Lebanon
Prime Minister Paul Martin defies international community
RCPL sends delegation to Lebanon with DFAIT support
1. Former Prime Minister Hariri assassinated
On February 14, a huge explosion killed the former Prime Minister of
Lebanon, Rafik Hariri. The self-made billionaire joined Lebanese
politics after the end of the war, and led the largest reconstruction
effort of the country. Hariri resigned in October 2004 following the
constitutional amendment to extend the mandate President Emile Lahoud,
which is backed by Syria. Authorities have yet to identify the culprits
of this brutal murder.
2. Lebanese Government accepts to cooperate with UN
into Hariri assassination
Following strong international pressure and a United Nation Security
Council request, the Lebanese authorities have accepted to cooperate
with the UN into the assassination of the former prime minister, Rafik
Hariri. UN representatives arrived in Beirut and are participating into
the inquiry, which shocked the Lebanese and the international community.
3. International pressure mounts on Syrian presence
Following the assassination of former prime minister, the international
community has intensified its calls for Syria to withdraw from Lebanon.
Additionally, unprecedented mass demonstrations in Lebanon from across
communities in Lebanon toke place to commemorate the slain former prime
minister, and to request the withdrawal of Syrian forces.
4. Prime Minister Paul Martin defies international
The Prime Minister of Canada has defied the international community and
called the Syrian presence in Lebanon as legitimate and necessary to
maintain peace. The comments of the prime minister was insulting for the
Lebanese community, which is impatiently waiting for their ancestral
country to become free and independent following the end of the war in
5. RCPL sends delegation to Lebanon with DFAIT
RCPL is sending a delegation to Lebanon to follow-up on the conference
that was held on September 18, 2004. The delegation will meet with key
civil society representative to identify cross functional theme that
will mobilize and unite the Lebanese population to a common cause. This
trip is supported by the John Holmes Fund of the Department of Foreign
Affairs of Canada.