Bishop Boutros Khalil lashed out on Tuesday at Lebanese politicians as he joined a group of protesters who gathered in Batroun and blocked roads with burning tires to protest the dire living conditions the country is grappling with.
“We are holding protests to show responsiveness with Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros Al-Rai’s calls which urged us not to remain silent over theft and in the face of the rising U.S. dollar exchange rate and the stolen [public] funds,” Bishop Khalil told Sawt Beirut International as he stood with a group of demonstrators.
“We will not sit idly by as our dignity is being undermined. Unfortunately, we no longer have a dignity; one must work now any kind of jobs in order to give his children some thyme,” he said in reference to the prices of commodities and foodstuffs that have been spiraling.
“The officials are sleeping and don’t care about what’s going on. They don’t feel the people’s suffering because they have billions [of dollars],” he added.
“We stand here to raise the voice and to convey the people’s suffering in case the officials still had any conscience left but I don’t expect that. If they had any conscience, they wouldn’t have allowed themselves to stay in office. What a shame!”
“An official is the one who sacrifices in order to secure a decent life for his children, not someone who would plunder their money and make them starve,” Bishop Khalil said in a rebuke to the ruling class.
“It is no longer permitted. Where are the people? Aren’t they all hungry? Has the Lebanese pound hit 10,000 against the U.S. dollar here only while in the south it’s 1,500? All of us are hungry. We are conveying the suffering of all people without any exception.”