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Montreal groups call for objective look at Lebanon

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Section: Canadian News Geography: Quebec Montreal Topics: Hezbollah, Tadamon!

December 19, 2006

Montreal groups call for objective look at Lebanon

by Dmitri Marine

MONTREAL, QUEBEC -- On Wednesday December 13, three Montreal organizations called on Canadian media and the Canadian government to look at the situation in Lebanon objectively. Tadamon! Montreal, Al Hidaya Association and the Council of Lebanese Canadian Organizations (COLCO) held a joint press conference explaining the situation in Beirut.

Speakers for the groups stressed that contrary to most media coverage, the popular uprising is not a coup, but is an attempt to form a national unity government, which would accommodate different factions of Lebanese politics. Moreover, the protest is not a Hezbollah-only enterprise, with Hezbollah representing approximately a third of protesters.

"We hear about Hezbollah demonstrations, but Hezbollah makes up only a fraction of opposition forces. One of the major forces in the opposition coalition is the CPL which is a secular group largely supported by Christians," said Ziad Najjar of COLCO.

The groups denounced Canada's unambiguous support of the Siniora government, saying Canada should stay out of Lebanon's internal politics and let Lebanon decide its own fate. May Hayder of Al Hidaya spoke of a double standard vis-à-vis Lebanon, comparing the movement in Lebanon to the Rose Revolution and the Orange Revolution of recent years. "On Sunday the 10th... 2 million people clogged central Beirut and all the roads and bridges that lead to it," said Hayder. "Over 40 percent of the population was on the streets -- much larger than the ones which toppled their governments in Georgia and Ukraine."

Finally, Tadamon! Montreal made available a poll commissioned by Lebanese daily Al-Akhbar, which indicated that 73.1% of the Lebanese population desire a national unity government.

Dmitri Marine

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The Dominion is a monthly paper published by an incipient network of independent journalists in Canada. It aims to provide accurate, critical coverage that is accountable to its readers and the subjects it tackles. Taking its name from Canada's official status as both a colony and a colonial force, the Dominion examines politics, culture and daily life with a view to understanding the exercise of power.

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