President of the “Independence Movement”, MP Michel Moawad, ensured that “the Lebanese government cannot continue with the same strategy, without managing any problem. Now, it is time to question, investigate with transparency about the responsibilities and the dereliction in the wildfires issue”. He said “one should acknowledge that our entire state’s structure should change”.
MP Moawad held a common press conference with MP Farid Boustany in the Parliament regarding the fires raging Lebanon’s forests and announced a series of initiatives presented by Rene Moawad Foundation and Farid Boustany Foundation to compensate losses caused by fires.
“It is time to acknowledge that our entire state’s structure should change. Citizens are paying every day the cost of this cracked system and losing their time, their temper and their dignity in every detail of their life.” Moawad explained.
MP Moawad expressed his deep condolences to the family of the martyr Salim Abu Moujahed who passed away while helping the Civil Defense members in extinguishing fires. He also wished a soon recovery to the injured citizens, reporters as well as firefighters who resisted fire to protect our land and our beloved country. He added: “I deeply appreciate their sacrifices and I express my consolidation with the Lebanese families who were obliged to leave their houses and lost their properties.”
He noted: “while the fires were raging our forests, every one of us was burning deep down; however, we did not give up and we were proud to be Lebanese. Therefore, allow me to thank the Civil Defense, the Lebanese Army and the Security Forces for always protecting our land and our country. I also thank Cyprus, Jordan and Greece and all the countries who were ready to help Lebanon in this crisis; as well as the Palestinian Civil Defense and every citizen who risked his life to put fire out. Moreover, I thank the civil campaigns launched to help the displaced families”. He highlighted “this is Lebanon that we know; this is the Lebanese citizen who threw away all the differences and stood next to his brother in this country to help him and to give us hope in a bright future. It is also notable that the assistance of the neighbor countries ensures the importance of maintaining good relationships with them and keeping Lebanon in the international community.”
MP Moawad said: “now we hope that all fires are extinguished and thank God the rain interfered to help the firefighters. Lebanon can be injured but will never die. Together we will replant our forests and green lands.”
He announced that “as the Executive President of Rene Moawad Foundation, in partnership with Dr. Farid Boustany Foundation, we started communicating with our friends and donor institutions to launch an initiative based on transforming ash into trees to keep Lebanese human rooted in his land.”
MP Moawad confirmed that today it is time for a national cooperation and that “the government cannot continue like this, without managing any problem. It is the right time to question, investigate with transparency about the responsibilities and the dereliction in the wildfires issue”. He said “one should acknowledge that our entire state’s structure should change” and also, “Citizens are paying every day the cost of this cracked system and losing their time, their temper and their dignity in every detail of their life. And the government is not dealing seriously with the problems. In fact, it is a regime issue and its capacity to conciliate consensual regime and productivity.”
He highlighted “in front of the flagrant dereliction, as MPs, we should assume our responsibilities and the responsible persons should be held liable too.” He also asked MPs who really want the change and support the investigations, to cooperate all together.
Regarding the political, administrative& judicial levels, MP Moawad explained “Ministers have declared that the wildfires may be intentionally set, and mafias can benefit from the wood. We should see criminals in prison. We should see a serious decision for a transparent investigation and prosecute the criminals. We will not give up; we will keep on asking for transparent investigations. He said “it is not acceptable to talk about an intentional crime and not see the criminals.”
On the equipment level, regarding the Sikorsky helicopters, MP Moawad declared “we heard a lot about this issue, but based on our information, these helicopters are very effective for firefighting. However, a parliamentary investigation committee is needed to judge the choice of these helicopters. Lebanese should know who decided to economize 450 thousand dollars and skip the maintenance of the helicopters, while millions are being wasted.
Regarding the regularization of Civil Defense members, MP Moawad asked: “how 5000 persons were employed against the law, while the Civil Defense members cannot be employed? It is necessary to give them their rights and take into consideration the capacities of the government.” He also called for a complete emergency plan to deal with these issues, including the central authority, the municipalities and the social community.”
He concluded “we will keep on fighting to ensure for every citizen a dignified life.”
MP Boustany declared “Farid Boustany Foundation in collaboration with Rene Moawad Foundation will work on planting trees and distributing seeds in the burned lands.” He added “I will donate my salary for three months to Farid Boustany Foundation to buy equipments for the Civil Defense. Unfortunately, the Civil Defense budget was reduced 20% in 2019.
He said “Farid Boustany Foundation will offer an academic scholarship for the children of the martyr Salim Abu Moujahed. Moreover, to thank the Civil Defense in Al Chouf, our Foundation will donate remuneration to the members.” Also, he declared “it is important to activate the civil path, the role of the municipalities and the local authorities because the government is not aware of the danger resulting from these incidents and catastrophes.”