Skip to main content

tv   HAR Dtalk  BBC News  July 24, 2017 12:30am-1:01am BST

12:30 am
this is bbc world news. our top story: president duterte prepares to set out his vision for the philippines, in his state of the nation address. he is expected to talk about the ongoing and controversial war on drugs, the conflict in marawi against islamist militants and economic policy. nine people have been found dead including two children inside a truck in the us state of texas. police say they were the victims of human trafficking. thirty others were suffering from severe dehydration. and this story is trending on british cyclist chris froome has won the tour de france. he kept his composure putting in a near perfect performance as he secured his fourth tour de france title on paris‘ champs—elysee. congratulations to him. now on bbc news it's time for hardttalk. i'm shaun ley.
12:31 am
this is hardtalk. a quarter of lebanon's population are syrian refugees, which is putting the country's infrastructure and resources under increasing strain. the party of my guests, ghassan hasbani says he wants to send them home. some leading politicalfigures there are calling for the refugees to be sent home. but since some in the government have ruled out talking directly to president assad, how can they be sure any returning refugees would be safe? ghassan hasbani, welcome and thank
12:32 am
you for being with us. after one and a half million syrians have sought refuge in your country. about a quarter of your population. how big a threat those that represent?m quarter of your population. how big a threat those that represent? it is a threat those that represent? it is a huge economic and social burden. lebanon welcomed all these syrians at the beginning, given the humanitarian situation as they were in. after a while, several years on, the numbers have increased significantly and they have placed a huge burden on infrastructure, on the health—care system, on electricity, on everything. the united nations and other countries have been able to support them on a humanitarian basis... you do not allow them to work and they cannot put down roots in your country...m
12:33 am
is almost impossible to integrate them with the scale. imagine them landing in the uk. it is virtually impossible to integrate them on any level. on the humanitarian level, the crisis is actually turning into a more permanent situation with is causing house community the tic, donor community tiredness. —— tiredness. how can they return home without causing more potential tension. your party leader has said a few days ago, after several years, some refugees have started to act like they own the place. patience is running out. it is natural when you have such a large number of people,
12:34 am
in the north the ratio has reverse, a quarter of the people hardly be needs. you can imagine the social tensions at that could cause. 50% of the youth are totally unemployed and this number is increasing and that is causing significant tension. part of that, you could argue is because you will not let them work and contribute to the community productively and that creates social problems. the youth unemployment among the lebanese is 30%. it is about the lack of availability.” noticed a colleague of yours saying, a fellow lebanese forces and pete saying unfortunately they are not taking job opportunities away from
12:35 am
the lebanese. how is that happening? —— they are taking. the lebanese. how is that happening? -- they are taking. illegally, there are some mundane works... some lebanese are exploiting them...m general, the syrians have always worked in lebanon in specificjobs but now we see them in more specialised jobs, in the healthcare sector, for example which becomes more troubling. policy decisions and to these problems. refugees of all nationalities enjoyed right. in a sense, a policy tightening the risk of exploitation is the human rights watch has pointed out, heightens the
12:36 am
risk of expectation and abuse. you create a situation where people are they and you cannot do much about it but it kind of institutionalised as the then a sense of uselessness and for your people resentment. here they are, they are not doing anything, who is paying for them? the situation is much worse than that. it is not about the lebanese are presenting, the syrian refugees receiving financial aid per family, hospitalisation, medicalsupport, receiving food rations and food support as well as using lebanese electricity and infrastructure so it is not about job electricity and infrastructure so it is not aboutjob creation but about lebanese wanted to go to hospital and finding that this hospital is more than 50% induced by syrian refugees, paid for by someone while his services are less provided than
12:37 am
the refugees. we have not reached the refugees. we have not reached the point where there is resentment causing tension at the extreme level, however this could lead to a situation where both sides, both are refugees and the lebanese, start getting tired. you would seem similar report on social media a little bit before we recorded a group of men physically assaulting a refugee. they were arrested by your security forces are now. the video which spread like wildfire shot the man from eastern province in syria being kicked on the ground as he begs this group of men to stop. they demand he praises of the syrian army and its people. there was subtly going around urging lebanese to beat
12:38 am
syria. it is already there. we have a lot of syrians are cursing at the lebanese army, attacking them verbally. tensions are rising on both sides. your suggested solution, that they should go home. and you are going to put proposals to the cabinet of ways you think that can be achieved. what sort of thing that you suggesting? the safer areas in syria exceed in scale and size and surface area, the surface area of lebanon by about 60 times so there are several safe areas in syria right now. were these people come from, they are from different parts of syria said the areas where they can go back to home, they can. some
12:39 am
have been going back home and coming back because the controls have not been 100% airtight. it is about having the right structures for them to go back safely — this is an important point— it is not about forcing them to go back to safely returned with the international community support. you do not have that, the un special co—ordinator, whether or not it will be possible to have in syria areas where refugees will be able to go back is farfrom happening. refugees will be able to go back is far from happening. the refugees will be able to go back is farfrom happening. the conflict continues in a very dramatic way. she is the expert. you would accept that. it is something to be discussed. it depends. the group of refugees, they are not all from one colour or one side. what is safe four someone is not safe for
12:40 am
another. this is interesting, you say they can decide. let me point out an example, an innocent, forgive me, it's slightly undermines people ‘s confidence in way that you are really that bothered. in january 2016, in violation of international obligations, they will refugees were sent back to sea without assessing risk of harm upon return. you are disputing that? people passed through the lebanese epoch because people cannot fly directly to syria. millions of syrians do that, they are not refugees. they drive through, they fly out of beirut airport because many lines could not fly out of syria. there are areas
12:41 am
for people to safely go back and forth. well, the human rights watch says they were forced back without consideration. nobody forced anybody. you are not signatories to the refugee convention say you have not formally committed to the international standards and that is another reason why people are sceptical about whether people can ta ke sceptical about whether people can take your word on that. more than 100 million people coming from syria 01’ 100 million people coming from syria or anywhere in the world, imagine the scale, coming to europe. this is the scale, coming to europe. this is the largest refugees per population situation in the world so norms, as the world applies, cannot be applied there. the world has to work first
12:42 am
on making sure that the right secure areas in syria for them to go back. it is notjulie a lebanese problem it isa it is notjulie a lebanese problem it is a european and international problem. presumably you are not wildly happy that donald trump decided syrians are nationality it is not what allowed in the us. what we're saying here is it is important for the international community to ta ke for the international community to take this step and make sure there are safe areas in syria, because we have seen evidence of people going back to syria safely and in the refugee convention will tell you that any individual that can go safely back home is not considered a refugee any more in the country where they are plied refugee status from. let's also talk about that, there is no guarantee that these groups of people in lebanon and feel
12:43 am
safe in the assad regime area. these areas may be outside of that. if you go and do it without the ultimate of the government and let's face it, you have relations with the syrian government for security reasons. allowing for that, why not say, we will deal with that, we may not like you but if you want to reduce this burden sometimes it you have to deal with people you wouldn't normally. just to show you, about how we are concerned about safe return, it requires that they return to areas where they feel safe. the opposition has started a long time ago, long before terrorist groups moved in syria, this is a legitimate opposition, if those people do not
12:44 am
feel safe going back to the regime area, hacking talk to the regime about sending them back, they might be persecuted. they are not even willing to share their name with the syrian regime. if the aca cannot do that, why should we do that. there are safe areas, they can choose to go back... they can choose, no one will be forced out? that is a yes or no question. lebanon has agreed to the principle that people will not be forced out... there is always a part... if you are incentivising them... you are going to bribe them? the international community is putting a major incentive for them to stay in lebanon. they getting unemployment benefits effectively. better to give them nothing so they
12:45 am
get so desperate they go home. no, being illogical about it, starting to build the infrastructure for them where they can go back. it is a humanitarian think.. so the honest message you are sending to people in lebanon, it might not be individuals, it might just be the volume they are finding too difficult to deal with, because sometimes syrians are welcome, sometimes syrians are welcome, sometimes not. we won't talk about the military. is that you will send them home, but it is going to take time. it is not going to happen over the next month, the next year. and plainly put together is not something that happens overnight. but we need to start working on it from now, because we have like 30,000 new berths in lebanon, a lot of them are not registered. so basically how are they going to be recognised as syrian citizens later on? i understand. we are dealing
12:46 am
with that situation right now, to make sure they get recognised. your party leader, it is ridiculous to ask you to work with president assad, yet at the same time in government with hezbollah, who are fighting with president assad's side. this must be straining relations, not least when your political system is so finely balanced. look, we have formed a coalition government that includes all constituents of the lebanese society, and we have made sure that the government manifest and the plan, which we call the return to confidence, and we have made sure that any point we do not believe in are actually either opposed to or not included in that programme. including the situation that hezbollah has actually put the country. we do not agree, although we are in government, it is a coalition government, but we reserve the right not to agree for anyone to carry arms in lebanon except the
12:47 am
police, army, and no one to defend lebanese borders except police and army. and i suppose some of these combo misers risk undermining the state itself. this is what david at the washington institute wrote earlier this year. the president continues to defend hezbollah‘s possession of weapons outside state control, and its resistance of pressure against israel. again, all these outside influences compromise what you can do as an independent sovereign country. our main objective is to keep the country's sovereign, independent and safe. that is the problem, with all of these people outside pulling the strings. there has been a lot of influence in the past, but we managed to agree on an election rule, we managed to agree on a budget, we managed to actually lot of things through the system without external influence in the last six months, at least. six months, well, it isa months, at least. six months, well, it is a start, isn't it? i was going
12:48 am
to ask you about the election, because it has taken years. we have had the situation where they should have been a general election back in 2014 and there is now going to be one in 20 2017. there will be to macros, one of a party candidate and one ofan macros, one of a party candidate and one of an individual candidate but they can still only vote for an individual from that same party list. so in a sense haven't you missed an opportunity to slowly we sectarianism? missed an opportunity to slowly we sectarianism ? if they missed an opportunity to slowly we sectarianism? if they could have used that individual vote for any candidate and any lest they might have said i am a supporter of the needs front, i am a christian, but actually i quite like that guy over there. he is a socialist, he is from a different list, he might even be a muslim, but i think as an individual he is good for government and parliament in lebanon. but you don't have that opportunity. well, you have that opportunity. well, you have the opportunity within the list. the lists are sectarian. no, lists can be indefinite. you can have as many lists, as long as they pass a certain threshold. this law
12:49 am
has exley created a better representation, because in lebanon it isa representation, because in lebanon it is a matrix. so without getting involved in too many details, it is allowing actually, now, people who have minorities but who have a presence, and are quite popular in their regional area, to be selected from the list with a preferential vote, or allowing people to form independent lists, and actually get through the system, if they have... if they can pass the hurdle. so your hope is that the independent lists will actually broaden that kind of... will actually slowly create... break some of that sectarianism up. exactly, and it will create opportunities for new faces in parliament, as well as it will supplement and also the party politics that we aim to get to outside the sectarian structure.” mean, lebanon's political system kind of innocence seems frozen in time. it is based on a sectarian division dating from 1943, which used population figures from the census conducted in 1932, so that is
12:50 am
getting on for 90 years ago. i guess some of the population figures might have changed a bit in that time. i wonder if you think that that sectarianism embedded into the political structure is white, internationally, lebanon is viewed as so corrupt? it is not about sectarianism. so sectarianism as pa rt sectarianism. so sectarianism as part of the structure because it has been defined this way, and it continues to be defined this way, because it represents the various cultural structures of lebanon, which is a good mosaic. and this is a positivity about lebanon, not a negativity. sectarian is unfortunate lee was used in the civil war to divide people up. but today it is quite different. patrick reed create more value in creating multiple cultures, multiple different religious background and religious groups, who live together, co—habit this country, and work together. and thenit this country, and work together. and then it protects minorities, and divides them 50— 50, so it creates this partnership between muslims and christians. and this is a unique experience in the middle east. you say it is not dividing up, but the
12:51 am
lebanon transparency association says corruption in lebanon exists in its forms, including patronage, embezzlement, kickbacks. vote buying. the causes include the postwar structure which has led to a power—sharing formula among political and compartmentalised groups. that means they are competing for resources. that was a situation created by the civil war, u nfortu nately, situation created by the civil war, unfortunately, which we have been working towards getting rid of as much as possible. it is already 27 yea rs much as possible. it is already 27 years ago. indeed, and our party is in government to actually curb that and fight it and all the things we are doing are focused with a single—minded approach to curb corruption. i guess... i am single—minded approach to curb corruption. iguess... iam sure thatis corruption. iguess... iam sure that is your intention, but you will be aware that transparency international, for instance, demoted lebanon and other 13 places on its list of corrupt countries. it is now 136 out of 176 countries. that was done... the research was done last year, i think they should keep it updated with time. we look forward to seeing what dramatic change there
12:52 am
has been. it takes time to actually reverse that trend. see, the classic example of this, and we will deal with this relatively briefly, but it is important, is the inability to provide a reliable electricity supply 24 hours a day, seven days a week. on one of the consequences of thatis week. on one of the consequences of that is that the state electricity utility can't supply the electricity, so people have set up their own generators. in some of that has inevitably committed to the corruption. the leader of the progressive socialist party tweeted earlier this year, stop dividing electricity spoils. save lebanon's electricity spoils. save lebanon's electricity centre from shabbiness, corruption, and those avaricious politicians. what is happening is a crime, would you agree to crime? exactly, and might cry and the government is to actually demand that we cut down any wastage that we still keep paying for electricity through our budget, which has put a huge burden on the government budget. 2 billion a year. about 1.5
12:53 am
billion—a—year, dollars, yes, dollars. and this is a cumulative more than $20 billion over several yea rs. more than $20 billion over several years. now is the time to go back and is of that problem. and i have been making this as my key agenda item in this government. we have succeeded in pushing this agenda forward. there is no plan that is being implemented by the energy minister, and we are making sure that we are observing this plan very closely, so it could implement it quickly, at the lowest possible cost, to get back electricity. because we are the last country in the world in terms of quality of electricity supply, and we need to reverse that situation very, very quickly. in five years it should be done. i hope so. you have got a 50 year plan, i think. at the moment the electricity company apparently can't get the sign on at night outside its headquarters, according to the reuters agency. it doesn't sound great. let me put to you what a world bank representative based in beirut told reuters. he was talking in 2015. he said in about five yea rs' in 2015. he said in about five years' time, come 2020, instead of
12:54 am
having an average supply of 16 to 18 hours a day probably will have gone down to 12 hours. the technical solutions are all proven and tested. you can build the plant but the money, but he says what is needed is political will to make a decision. and that is what we are doing in this government. you know, the electricity file pops up on the government agenda every couple of weeks. so it is that frequent. we meet every week, and we are pushing this agenda very, very quickly. so when will the lights stay on any time of day or night? well, today it is 20 hours. we are actually pushing for this to happen. there are debris solutions which will bring electricity quickly, but we need to make sure that these temporary solutions are not passed a corrupt system, they are passed through the
12:55 am
official systems with transparency, and all contracts are signed properly. and this is what we are pushing for, as well as making sure that the longer term solutions are unlocked very quickly without any further delays, and we just had recently, a few days ago, a big discussion about the time lapse required to actually get these off the ground very quickly. so we are trying to do this within months, not yea rs. trying to do this within months, not years. ghassan hasbani, a promise of power to the people. thank you very much for being with us on hardtalk. thank you. hello. that was an up—and—down weekend. many of us saw rain at some stage of the weekend. for some of us, it came from big clouds, threatening skies, and some intense downpours, but i think most of us saw some sunshine at some stage of the weekend, as well, in the sunshine, it wasn't too bad. but it is still up and down as we go through this week. that means we could see changeable weather on the way.
12:56 am
we're going to try to turn things drier and warmer in the next couple of days. not going to last, mind you. unsettled from wednesday. we'll all see some rain on wednesday, and the wind will be picking up, as well, during the second half of the week. now, the area of low pressure that produced the downpours over the weekend still close by for monday, affecting parts of central and eastern england. then we've got a bit of a gap, and we're looking do developments in the atlantic to bring more of that unsettled weather from midweek. but from monday, cloudy, with outbreaks of rain affecting some central and eastern parts of the uk as we go through the day, from that area of low pressure, and a cool breeze, as well. whereas the western side of the uk — going to be a lovely day across south—west england and wales. long, sunny spells to be found here. but, through much of the midlands, south—east england, east anglia, up through yorkshire into north—east england, plenty of cloud around. the further east you are, into east anglia and the far south—east, a few sunny spells among the clouds. parts of yorkshire, outbreaks of rain. north—east england bearing up quite well.
12:57 am
northern ireland, a few fog patches around to begin the day. plenty of sunshine in western scotland. rather cloudy, and low cloud at that, into the far north—east of scotland, northern isles, hanging around during the day. and it is an east—west split for monday's weather. if you're underneath this cloud, it will feel quite cool, though it may brighten up. the odd shower in parts of east anglia and the far south—east of england. but for wales, for western england, for northern ireland, and for northern scotland, in the sunshine it will be very pleasant. 25 celsius in glasgow, though a late—day shower somewhere in western scotland can't be ruled out. as we go through monday evening, still some of those outbreaks of rain in the east of england, gradually beginning to pull away as we say goodbye to that area of low pressure. still some cloud around, though, from it, as we begin the day on tuesday. should start to break up, some sunny spells coming through again, and a gap between weather systems on tuesday. so take advantage of that, and enjoy the warmth in that sunshine, though still on the cool side for some along north sea coasts, with an onshore breeze. but here is that wet and windy
12:58 am
weather system coming in for wednesday. well, it is the summer holidays. doesn't look like that, though, on the chart here, and there will be rain spreading right across the uk, strengthening wind to near—gale in the north—west. onto thursday and friday, with some cooler and fresher air, sunny spells and showers. i'm sharanjit leyl in singapore, the headlines. president duterte prepares to set out his vision for the philippines, in his state of the nation address. nine people, including two children, are found dead in the back of a truck in texas — police say they were victims of people trafficking. i'm babita sharma in london. also in the programme. six months into his presidency and donald trump's strategy in afghanistan still isn't clear — we take a look at his options. and, the new film offering a rare insight into the culture of china's hui people.
12:59 am
1:00 am


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on