Canadian Lebanese Human Rights Federation (CLHRF)

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March 8/2005

For Immediate Release

A Syrian demonstration & a challenge for the free world

Many observers in Canada and other countries might have been deceived by the phenomenon of seeing only Lebanese flags in today's Syrian - Hizbollah orchestrated demonstration in Beirut. The plain truth is that the Syrians and Hizbollah have never raised a Lebanese flag in any rally before. How could they when neither of them recognizes Lebanon as an independent
entity. Syria considers Lebanon a Syrian province, while Hizbollah struggles to turn it into a replicate of the Iranian Mullas' despotic regime.

They viciously hijacked the Lebanese flag today in a camouflaging maneuver aiming at overshadowing the noble endeavor of the majority of the Lebanese people who have been carrying out an ongoing peaceful sit-in since the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafic Hariri on Feb 14, 2005, calling for an end to the Syrian occupation.

Most of today's pro-Syrian demonstrators were either Syrian citizens brought from Damascus in tens of buses and trucks or from among the one million Syrian workers who have illegally swamped Lebanon's labor market since 1990. Meanwhile, many of the Lebanese who participated in the rally were rounded up by Hizbollah and the Syrian-Lebanese Secret Intelligence Services and forced to demonstrate against their will. International and local reporters have interviewed tens of Syrians in today's Syrian rally in Beirut.

Baathist Syria and Iranian Hizbollah today did not only challenge the free will of the peace-loving Lebanese people, but they also challenged the entire international community, the UN and all those who honor human rights, freedom and democracy. The
demonstrators vowed to keep Syrian hegemony over Lebanon, oppose the peace process in the Middle East, continue the terrorist wars and reject UN Resolution 1559 endorsed by the whole world.

By any criterion, today's demonstration was not Lebanese, neither in its slogans nor in its participants. It was a Syrian Baathist-Hizbollah- Iranian schism against a free, sovereign and independent Lebanon and a clear declaration of war on the free world and the peace process in the Middle East.

CLHRF calls on Canada and the rest of the free world countries to take with the utmost seriousness what has happened in Beirut today and act accordingly and maintain their strong unambiguous support for the implementation of UN Resolution 1559.

Long Live Freedom
Elias Bejjani
CLHRF spokesman, LCCC Media Chairman