March 14 rally in Tripoli urges STL support, condemns non-state arms

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Supporters of Lebanon's former PM Saad Hariri's Future Movement hold anti-Syrian regime placards reading: "Freedom for the Syrian heroes," right, and "Syria wants freedom," left, during a rally to mark Lebanon's Independence Day, in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Sunday 27 Nov. 2011. (Photo: AP - Hussein Malla)

Published Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Lebanese Future Movement held an Independence Day rally on Sunday drawing a crowd of thousands to the Rashid Karame arena in the northern city of Tripoli.

Under the banner of “Autumn of Arms, Spring of Independence” March 14 MPs, including former PM Fouad Siniora, addressed the cheering crowd.

The speakers reiterated their commitment to the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL) and criticized Hezbollah and its allies.

Siniora said that the STL is the country's duty and Lebanon must not shirk international commitments.

Lebanon must cover 49 percent of the STL's funding, but the divisive issue threatens to collapse the government. PM Najib Mikati recently said he would resign if the cabinet does not agree to fund the STL.

March 14 MP Boutros Harb said that a collapse of Mikati's government would signal the “end of a nightmare.” He also said that arm bearers in Lebanon, in a reference to Hezbollah, should heed the lessons of “oppressive regimes on their way out,” according to the Lebanese National News Agency.

MP Marwan Hamadeh called on President Michel Suleiman, PM Mikati, and Speaker Nabih Berri "to not imprison Lebanon.”

MP Samir al-Jisr said that political parties “should be loyal to the Lebanese state only” and that non-state arms "should be put to an end."



looks like they attracted all of 20 people.

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