For immediate release:
18th June 2018

The United Australian Lebanese Movement (UALM) has observed with both bemusement and shock at the hypocrisy displayed by certain individuals and groups at the recent citizenship decree issued by Lebanese President Michel Aoun.

The decree granted 450 individuals (many of whom are of Lebanese descent) citizenship on the basis of either reclaiming their heritage or on a humanitarian basis.

The media tantrums started almost immediately with false accusations that the decree granted citizenship to only wealthy individuals. These claims however were prior to the release of the list of names and these accusations were completely without basis.

Lebanon’s Prime Minister, Interior and Justice Ministers and Head of the Internal Security Forces (who perform background checks on these individuals) stated that this process was above board and transparent. The President himself encouraged those making noise to refer the matter to the Judiciary and has gone as far as to freeze the decree to ascertain that the proper legal and constitutional guidelines are adhered to.

This however did not stop the relentless campaign by the very people who kept silent when previous President Michel Sulieman granted citizenship to many more people and past President Elias Hrawi granted citizenship to hundreds of thousands of people in 1994. These decrees were legally questionable yet those making noise now were mysteriously silent then, only choosing to attack recent decrees conducted in a legal and transparent manner.

The largest issue facing Lebanon (a country of 4 million) at this moment is the presence of over 1 million refugees from neighbouring Syria. Most of these refugees are living in sub human conditions and yearn to return to their country. They are also a drain on Lebanon’s resources, economy and people. They are safe to return to live a dignified life as the Syrian government has taken control of 90% of its territory.

Lebanon’s President and Foreign Minister have been unrelenting in their pursuit of returning these refugees to Syria in a safe and dignified manner. Yet the voices attacking the President for this minor decree are also the same people opposing every initiative to return the Syrians home; which is contrary to their accusations regarding citizenship.

It should be noted that many of these rabble rousers are subservient to the corrupt ruling class that suffered a setback in the recent parliamentary elections. This mysteriously well-funded corrupt ruling class is in turn subservient to foreign forces and will do anything to protect their positions of power and greed at the expense of their nation and people.

This coordinated campaign against this Presidential tenure (that has done more in the last 2 years to ensure the country operates cleanly and without corruption, than any of the corrupt ruling class and their cronies have done in decades) is timed just as the government is being formed in an attempt to carve out a greater share of ministries than they deserve.

It is clear to the majority of the Lebanese people (living both in Lebanon and abroad), that the corrupt ruling class is in a stage of demise; that the Lebanese people will get 24-hour electricity, clean water, they will receive world class social services and the Syrian refugees will return with dignity to their country. All those fake political voices, all the petty and small groups who were unheard of just weeks ago will be swept aside as no one believes their methods of distraction and obstruction anymore.


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