"Lebanon still enjoys democracy... your voting determines the course of Lebanon’s future policy"- Geagea
“We have not yet been able to reach the homeland we dream of ... but we will not rest until we get there,” said MP Joseph Ishak from Sydney.
14 May 2019
(Translation appears in Arabic section)
Sydney - M E Times Int'l: Member of the "Strong Republic" Parliamentary bloc, MP Joseph Ishak, representing the Head of the Lebanese Forces Party Dr. Samir Geagea, participated at the annual celebration held in Sydney in the presence of political, diplomatic and spiritual figures, including Lebanon Consul General Mr. Charbel Macaron and his wife, Archbishop Antoine Charbel Tarabay the patron of the Maronite diocese, MP Jihad Dib representing the Federal opposition leader Bill Shorten, The President of NSW Legislative Council representing Premier of NSW Gladys Berjiklian, Penny Sharpe the state opposition leader, as well as representatives of political parties and movements, institutions and associations, also representatives of the Middle East Times Int'l. The MC of the event was Vanessa Abboud.
Jihad Dagher the head of the Lebanese Forces Centre in Sydney delivered a speech in which he stressed that "the Lebanese Forces Diaspora bear Lebanon in the heart, will not forget him and will not forget the innocent martyrs."
He called for "the expatriates right to participate in the vote for 128 deputies and not to limit the representation in only 6 MPs in the deployment."
He urged "everyone to collect their Lebanese identity cards so they can exercise their right to vote." He hailed the Australian martyrs in their memory which coincided two weeks ago.
"Today we meet as friends on the land of Australia, this dear country, which welcomed happily our immigrants people and opened them all fields. Thus, a small Lebanese community was established in Australia living and interacting with the environment openly for the benefit of the Lebanese and Australians. We therefore, convey our Thanks, appreciation, respect and love to the State of Australia. By the way, we congratulate our friend John Ajaka on his election for the second time as President of New South Wales Legislative Council," said MP Joseph Ishak, representing the head of the Lebanese Forces Party, Dr.Samir Geagea,
"We are still struggling in Lebanon today. It is true that we have not yet been able to reach the homeland we dream of and for which we fight and for which we are martyred, but we will not rest until we get it”, he added.
“We, as Lebanese Forces, are facing two fundamental challenges, both strategic and decisive, and both resulting from the absence of an effective State that is doing its job properly. The first challenge is to preserve the remaining elements of the State and work hard to strengthen it by fighting corruption, strengthening its security forces, and improving its administration by reforms in order to restore its credibility and not lose the confidence of donors and creditors. The second challenge is to remain steadfast in defending Lebanon's historic role and to remain the guardians of sovereignty, freedom and independence. The Lebanese Forces are working on both levels, as it has always done with all strength and effort,” he further said.
"We know that there is no mindful people in its entirety, but a people is distinguished by the presence of those few who are active in leading the people to reach the safety beach. While the majority is not directly involved in this struggle, but most of it may just support it and without any doubt will benefit from it. We are those few - the yeast that bears the responsibility of all”, He continued.
"History has a clear line showing that in the end rightness shall prevail and we will attain our objective in Lebanon. Steadfast in our positions, believing in ourselves, knowing our goals and continuing to struggle no matter how difficult the challenges," Ishak ended.
Geagea began his speech by recalling his visit to Australia. He thanked all those who contributed to the success of this visit and then welcomes and saluted the participating representatives from the Australian Government and Lebanese parties. He thanked especially Bishop Tarabay, hoping that "this second Lebanon will continue quiet safe and well."
He referred to the previous parliamentary elections, noting that about five thousand people voted for them, hoping that the number of voters in the next election will exceed ten thousand or fifteen thousand.
He pointed out that "Lebanon still enjoys democracy. However your voting determines the course of Lebanon’s future policy. Criticism from afar and regret do not help. Determining the course of things is set by those who work properly and cleanly. Everyone knows who is corrupt and who is non-corrupt, who steals and who is clean, so we have to take responsibility to determine our fate."
“Therefore, I ask you to be prepared psychologically and administratively and overcome personal considerations for the upcoming elections. Even if it is still far away let us vote for those who seek to save the country. Each one of us who has incomplete papers shall not wait for the last months in order to complete them. Because your vote for those who work for the salvation of Lebanon will lead them to the parliament and sets the Policy in Lebanon for four consecutive years".
"You are all preoccupied with the general situation in Lebanon, but make sure that the ground is shaking, but will not fall. We are certainly going through a very difficult phase, but God will, Lebanon will never fall,” he said about the general situation in Lebanon.
"The economic situation today is difficult. This is the result of mismanagement and corruption. So we need a real reform process, and this is what the Lebanese Forces are doing in the current government and the parliament ... We believe that many people are feeling the seriousness of the stage. If we have courage to continue working against corruption and to take the necessary steps to get the country out of the situation we are living in, especially if the political parties have the intention to do so, we can overcome the stage. But if the populist policy continues, it will be difficult to get up and the situation will be worse," He added.
Banks are able to assist in economic growth and regulate the State budget. However, they will only provide such assistance if the state carries out necessary reforms.
“Our continuing presence is because of your support for us. We will continue to reach The Lebanon which we aspire to. No matter how hard we will be tougher and whatever effort is required, we will work harder,” Geagea concluded.