12 August 2008

13 August 2008 - Commemoration of the cluster bombing of southern Lebanon

Never again: 2 years since the cluster bombing of Lebanon13 August 2008 marked two years since the cluster bombing of southern Lebanon. Campaigners all over the world remembered the victims of cluster bombs in Lebanon and called on their governments to take action."I lost my five-year-old son to an unexploded cluster bomb on an ordinary day in the park. He was one of many children killed by cluster bombs every year" says Raed Mokaled."I say to governments, think of these children as your children. Sign the treaty before more innocent lives are lost".Cluster munitions were used intensively by Israeli forces in Lebanon, which resulted in more than 200 civilian casualties. Many more people have been affected by the use of cluster bombs causing extensive damage to Lebanon's agriculture, infrastructure and economy.Large numbers of the cluster munitions failed to explode and have contaminated large areas of agricultural land as well as populated areas leading to deaths and injuries after the conflict and hampering reconstruction and development efforts.Actions that took place to remember the cluster bomb victims in LebanonLebanon. Campaigners in Lebanon held events in 5 different areas affected by cluster munitions on 11, 12 and 13 August 2008. Candlelight vigils took place in the main square of Aley, in Bint Jbeil, Nabatiyeh, Tyre and Hasbayya/Rasbayya/West Bekaa. Participants included members of parliament, army representatives, religious figures, NGO representatives, mine and cluster bomb survivors and their families, as well as residents of the areas. Speeches reflected a positive position towards the Convention on Cluster Munitions and readiness to push forward for the signature and ratification. In Tyre a cluster bomb statue was unveiled and the work on a garden for the victims of mines and cluster bombs was initiated.Khaled Yamout, NPA - Lebanon Office, landmines@npalebanon.org Cambodia. Campaigners in Cambodia held a vigil in Siem Reap on 13 August 2008 to remember the victims of the cluster bombing of Lebanon. The event included a talk by Tun Channareth and Ms Sok Eng, and a Buddhist prayer for peace composed by the great peace monk Maha Ghosananda. Participants signed the People's Treaty and promised to make others aware of the Oslo Process and the Cluster Ban Treaty.Denise Coghlan, Jesuit Refugee Service, denisecoghlan@yahoo.com.auNy Nhar, Jesuit Refugee Service, nynhar@yahoo.com India. Campaigners in India held a candlelight vigil in front of the statue of Mahatama Gandhi on 13 August 2008. Members of the Indian Institute for Peace, Disarmament & Environmental Protection, the Indian CBL and the Indian CMC participated in the event and distributed information leaflets on the use of cluster munitions in Lebanon to the public.Balkrishna Kurvey, Indian CBL, bkurvey@yahoo.com Kosovo. Campaigners in Kosovo organised an open air film screening and a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of cluster bombs in Lebanon and other parts of the world.Burim Haxholli, Focus, burim.haxholli@gmail.com Nepal. The Nepalese Campaign to Ban Landmines (NCBL) organised a candlelight vigil to remember the victims of the cluster bombing of southern Lebanon.Purna Shova Chitrakar, NCBL, ncbl@mail.com.np New Zealand. On 13 August campaigners in New Zealand held candlelight vigils in Wellington and in Auckland to remember the victims of the 2006 cluster bombing of southern Lebanon. In Auckland, the commemoration was followed by a public talk by two visiting Pacific disarmament campaigners: Ema Tagicakibau (Fiji) and Andonia Piau-Lynch (Vanuatu). Campaigners in Wellington also held a parliamentary event.Mary Wareham, Aotearoa New Zealand Cluster Munition Coalition, wareham@hrw.org Pictures by Mary WarehamThailand. Handicap International in Thailand, in partnership with the Thailand Campaign to Ban Landmines (TCBL), the Jesuit Refugee Services and Nonviolence International, organised a candlelight vigil on 13 August 2008 to commemorate the victims of the 2006 cluster bombing in southern Lebanon.Shushira Chonhenchob, Handicap International Thailand, bkkdd@thailand-hi.org More informationHuman Rights Watch Report Flooding South LebanonLandmine Action Report Counting the CostCMC Press Release