Monday, September 21, 2020 | ePaper

Lebanese call for an uprising after protests rocked Beirut

  • Print


Thousands gather in central Beirut on Saturday to vent their anger at a political elite they blame for the deadly explosion.

Reuters, Beirut :
Some Lebanese called on Sunday for a sustained uprising to topple their leaders amid public fury over this week's devastating explosion in Beirut, and the country's top Christian Maronite cleric said the cabinet should resign.
Protesters have called on the government to quit over what they say was negligence that led to Tuesday's explosion. Anger boiled over into violence scenes in central Beirut on Saturday.
Christian Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rai said the cabinet should resign if it cannot "change the way it governs".
"The resignation of an MP or a minister is not enough (..) the whole government should resign if it is unable to help the country recover," he said in his Sunday sermon.
Information Minister Manal Abdel Samad said she was resigning on Sunday, citing the explosion and the failure of the government to carry out reforms.
Dozens of people were injured in Saturday's protests, the biggest since October when thousands of people took to the streets in protests against corruption, bad governance and mismanagement.
About 10,000 people gathered at Martyrs' Square, which was transformed into a battle zone in the evening between police and protesters who tried to break down a barrier along a road leading to parliament. Some demonstrators stormed government ministries and the Association of Lebanese Banks.
Demonstrators defied dozens of teargas canisters fired at them and hurled stones and firecrackers at riot police, some of whom were carried away to ambulances. One policeman was killed.
The Red Cross said it had treated 117 people for injuries on the scene on Saturday while another 55 were taken to hospital.
Soldiers in vehicles mounted with machineguns were stationed beside Martyrs' Square on Sunday.
"People should sleep in the streets and demonstrate against the government until it falls," said lawyer Maya Habli, as she surveyed the demolished port where the blast erupted.
The explosion killed 158 people and injured more than 6,000, destroying parts of the city and compounding months of political and economic meltdown. Twenty-one people were still reported as missing.
The prime minister and presidency have said 2,750 tonnes of highly explosive ammonium nitrate, which is used in making fertilisers and bombs, had been stored for six years without safety measures at the port warehouse.
The government has said it will hold those responsible to account.
French President Emmanuel Macron was hosting U.S. President Donald Trump and other political leaders on Sunday for a UN-endorsed donors' conference by video to raise emergency relief for Lebanon.
The explosion hit a city reeling from economic crisis and the coronavirus pandemic. For many it was a dreadful reminder of the 1975-1990 civil war that tore the nation apart and destroyed swathes of Beirut, much of which has since been rebuilt.
"I worked in Kuwait for 15 years in sanitation to save money and build a gift shop in Lebanon and it was destroyed by the explosion," said Maroun Shehadi.
"Nothing will change until our leaders just leave."
The explosion gutted entire neighbourhoods.

"Look at this," said Eli Yazbak, the manager of a fashion company whose 10-story headquarters was destroyed in the blast.
"This has set us back 50 years. We face crisis after crisis in Lebanon. It's time for the government to step down and let capable people run the country."

More News For this Category

Pedestrians have to use the dilapidated foot over-bridge at Babubazar in the capital taking risk of accident as road adjacent to the bridge dug up by civic bodies for development works. This photo was taken on Sunday.

Pedestrians have to use the dilapidated foot over-bridge at Babubazar in the capital taking risk of accident as road adjacent to the bridge dug up by civic bodies for development works. This photo was taken on Sunday.

DGHS driver Malek owns luxury houses, cars, businesses

DGHS driver Malek owns luxury houses, cars, businesses

Staff Reporter :Though he is a third class employee, Abdul Malek alias Driver Malek (63), a driver of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), owns several houses, cars and

Bangladesh records 26 new virus deaths, caseload nears 350,000

Bangladesh has registered 26 more deaths from the novel coronavirus infection in a day, taking the body count to 4,939.The caseload surged to 348,916 after 1,544 people tested positive for

India sends air travel bubble proposal to Bangladesh

Staff Reporter :India's Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has proposed the operation of five airlines on 16 routes a week under the air travel bubble agreement between Bangladesh and India,

Document forgery to get bail HC asks registrar to file criminal case against 3, including 2 policemen

Staff Reporter :The High Court found two police constables and one other person to have committed forgery by making false, manipulated documents and submitting them to secure bail of a

Onion import stops once again at Hili port

Staff Reporter :India on Sunday again stopped onion export to Bangladesh just after one day of the temporary release of the stranded onions at land ports.. Importers said, about 300

If US election winds up in Supreme Court, Ginsburg's death will loom large

Reuters :The death of liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Friday could spell bad news for Democrats if a legal battle over the results of the November 3

Amassing wealth illegally Court rejects Pradeep's bail prayer

Our Correspondent  :A Chattogram court on Sunday rejected the bail prayer of former Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Teknaf Police Station Pradeep Kumar Das, accused in Major (retd) Sinha Md Rashed Khan

Coronavirus: WHO sets rules for testing African herbal remedies

The World Health Organization (WHO) has agreed rules for the testing of African herbal remedies to fight Covid-19.Sound science would be the sole basis for safe and effective traditional therapies

Activists challenge monarchy by laying 'People's Plaque'

BBC News :Anti-government protesters have installed a plaque declaring Thailand "belongs to the people", in a bold show of opposition to the monarchy.The plaque was laid near Bangkok's Grand Palace