Despite Pledge of Reforms, Protesters Continue to Paralyze Lebanon
Lebanese protesters are not going home despite a pledge made late Monday by Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri to implement reforms aimed at reducing government debt and improving quality of life. The anti-government demonstrations, which began last week, have been mostly peaceful, yet people remained in the streets on Tuesday, and a security source told the Reuters news agency that despite the intention to reopen main thoroughfares, force will not be used. “If they are convinced [to disperse], so be it. If they are not, the roads will remain closed,” the source was quoted as saying. “We will not clash with the protesters and make a problem on the ground.” Officials have been treading very lightly with the demonstrators, noting not only their determination, but also the fact that they encompass most sectors of what is ordinarily a deeply divided society.