We want to tear down the walls that divide us: FPM leader Gebran Bassil
16 Oct 2020
(See Translation in Arabic section)
(Translated and Edited by the M E Times Int'l): Excerpts from the speech by Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Gebran Bassil on the October 13 anniversary
Thirty years have passed, but we do not forget and we cannot forget, because for us, the 13th of October was the beginning, while many wanted it to be the end!
As we said and warned last year, we are coming to a new October 13, but this time it will be on the economic level! They thought that they would get rid of us too. They are still thinking this way and let them think so!
Everyone thinks that we are coming to an end; however, we are renewing. It’s a new start for the FPM!
At that time, we were alone and we survived! Today we are not alone!
The equation which protects Lebanon today smashed the plane while we were inside!
Your planes, your threats and your penalties are useless!
A hundred years in which Lebanon lived through destructive external pressures and divisions within the country but we haven’t witnessed distress like the one we are going through now!
The crisis is economic-financial, bringing the country and people to its knees, and its weapon is the dollar and the dollar is not in our hands; the dollar is with those who prints it!
We are not weak! All we care about is our people and how to protect them from being broken more; however, their concern is how they will break us!
This is the equation! We are still in the same equation from 1990! We are concerned about saving the country and they are concerned about getting rid of us! They have nothing in the country but us! They do not understand the equation that without us they are losers even if they win!!!
The hardest thing in life is for a person to repeat the same experiences without learning ... When a person hurt himself, this is something you can understand but you cannot understand when a person kills an entire society without learning!
What could you call this human being?! A criminal!
The problem is not democracy! The problem is security because we noticed aspects of security chaos after October 17 in suspicious forms; sometimes in the form of operation rooms and systematic cutting of roads; sometimes as deployment operations, dismemberment plans and checkpoints, and some other times as paramilitary demonstrations, parades and threatening messages ... all the way to "Mirna Al-Shalouhi"!
I just want to say two words: Putting a hand on our society by force is forbidden! With persuasion, media, and democracy, you can try as much as you want; no problem! But force is forbidden!
There is a second worse and more dangerous phenomenon in society than the militia, which is a chaotic movement because it sows chaos, and that is intellect! Of course, I am not talking about the sincere movement that we support and want to continue but unfortunately, this movement didn’t help itself nor helped us in our war on corruption!
We always called on civil society before October 17; we are calling it again in the one-year anniversary to revive itself and let us participate in mobilizing the judiciary and files and approving pending laws.
We are desperate to restart the movement on sincere and purposeful foundations and to put in place an executive program to pressure the House of Representatives to approve reform laws, not amnesty laws, to pressure government to support individuals and not materials, to put pressure on the Central Bank to return money smuggled abroad, to pressure the judiciary to issue judgments on pending files, to pressure the political forces to be part of the reform and not ignore it and protect it.
Anyway, who heads a government of specialists must be the first specialist, or step down to a specialist. Who heads a government of politicians has the right to consider whether he is the premier politician: obliging the President of the Republic to a maximum deadline not exceeding one month to set a date for parliamentary consultations and obliging the premier-designate of a maximum period of one month to form the government and obtaining the President’s approval.
Of course, in both cases, the parliament must give confidence or withhold it one month after the deadline for the government’s formation and the issuance of its decree.
I announce that the “Strong Lebanon bloc” has submitted a constitutional amendment in this regard.
With reform and corruption, it also became known what it was necessary to be approved. All laws are great but there is one law and one action that we are taking, which is that everyone involved in public domain shall reveal his accounts and properties to the public! This is how people will be filtered, to separate who is wealthy and who is not, to separate between a good man who made his money from his labour and the corrupt who made his money from public money! Everything less than the account and property disclosure law, will be considered as an escape from fighting corruption!
This is the challenge to the false media, this is the challenge to the false movement, this is the challenge to the false intelligence services; this challenge that we raised in your face is a failure for all of you! It is a failure of political, financial, information, intelligence, and governing organisations!
This is your system that is actually ruling the country, not us! It is our job to break it, and save the country of political, financial, and media corruption! Our job is to break it, and its job is to break us; and this is the real battle.
Solutions exist and there is no need to wait for the outside; they stem from the inside, from our national will and the will of our youth! We need to renew our lives, in loyalty to our martyrs and our youth. Our youth want a new system that resembles them, similar to their diversity! We are diverse and managing diversity is the most difficult type of management; we have to confront people with facts but our sectarian system has become the reason for the state’s failure!
Innovation is by finding a creative formula that separates our differences and brings together what we agree on! In both cases, each component reconciles with the idea of the state, by liberating from its obsolete legacies, preserving its entity gains and by merging the two, legacies and acquisitions, with the state.
At the Senate, we put all our differences and distinctions aside, and establish a council on the basis of our sectarian affiliation, so that Orthodox law will be the basis for its formation without complicity and shame.
In the House of Representatives, we put everything that brings us together, get out of the basements of our sects and go to an electoral system that broadens our circle of belonging and reduces the differences between us.
The most important thing is that we express our citizenship and our belonging to a nation and an entity through belonging to a state, institutions, system, constitution and laws; and the combination of these matters will be a modern civil state. A civil state through a new social contract that will be on two levels: regional and services.
So, the self-obsessions that have always driven the individual to seek refuge in the nerve of belonging shall be precluded. This is called expanded administrative and financial decentralisation and it differs from federalism for those who are afraid of it.
We do not want federalism but the continued blindness to decentralisation will take us beyond federalism.
We do not want partition and we do not accept it; we consider it to be the elimination of Lebanon, the message, the entity, the country, and the state.
But we want decentralisation in its broadest sense. Continuing to turn a blind eye to it will only take us to more strict formulas about it! We must have the courage to go for it with mutual understanding without trying to limit it, for it is not the disintegration of the state, but rather the fragmentation of society and the consecration of proper administration to pluralism! The state was originally disintegrated by the sectarian system; we want this social contract to restore meaning to citizen belonging and to reassure sectarian groups they belong to the modern state that protects it with its differences and particularities and preserves its distinctions without deviating from the concept of law and justice.
Our mission remains, to work for a modern civil Lebanon. Our mission remains to prevent the small country, the great Lebanon, from being swallowed up, digested, disintegrated or divided. And our mission remains to preserve freedom in the country in the face of unilateralism and terrorism,
I wish to renew Lebanon a hundred years of distinguished life so that we may remain the title of dignity in the East!
I wish to preserve the wealth and rights of the country and to know how to distribute them to future generations and how to share them under the international law and rights and to create a culture of peace based on the strength of Lebanon.