Lebanon's right wing Falangist Party is planning to set up a port authority to manage harbours in the country's Christian sectors.
GV PAN Dbaieh Harbour
GV Small boats in Dbaieh Harbour PAN TO harbour jetty AND PULL OUT FROM flag TO SHOW VIEW OF harbour. LS harbour (3 shots)
GV Harbour reclamation area with building operations underway (3 shots)
GV Containers on harbour jetty PAN TO storage sheds
GV Boats in dry dock, pleasure craft moored and man fishing
GVs Aquamarine Harbour (2 shots)
LV Dbaieh Harbour
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Background: Lebanon's right wing Falangist Party is planning to set up a port authority to manage harbours in the country's Christian sectors. The party's leaders say the authority will collect a form of taxes to finance a joint rightist militia.
SYNOPSIS: Dbaieh is one of about eight unofficial ports which exist in Christian-controlled sectors.
But the prot, like the others, has been closed since a Falangist military strike earlier in July. The action was against fellow-Christians in the rival National Liberal Party (NLP), which left the Falangists in almost total control of rightist zones in East Beirut and to the north of the capital. The port may be closed, but that's not stopping the Falangists continuing reclamation and building work for the day when facilities re-open. The military command of the unified militia says a commission of party representatives, businessmen and trade unionists has been appointed to examine how the port authority will operate.
The only boats that use the ports legally are high-speed craft used to chase smugglers' vessels. Both the left and right factions operate smuggling rackets through the unofficial ports. The Falangists expect that to stop when the ports open again. They also expect the planned new authority to pose a formal challenge to the state, which collects customs dues through Beirut Harbour.
The Falangist plan for this harbour, known as Aquamarine, along with Dbaieh and half a dozen others, is yet another indication that forces of the right are taking on the factions of government in Lebanon. Moves to control the ports coincide with discussions on forming a cabinet of national unity -- another step to end Lebanon's five years of sectarian violence.