Sunday 24 March 2013

Moaz al-Khatib quits Syrian opposition coalition!

My quick translation of the statement in Arabic by Moaz al-Khatib announcing his resignation from the Syrian National Coalition of Revolutionary and Opposition Forces he has been heading since its formation last November:
O Syria’s beleaguered and resilient people, Peace be upon you!
We are being slaughtered by a savage regime while the world is all eyes and ears.
Many are those who lent us a purely humanitarian helping hand. We thank them all.
But there is the bitter irony of those trying to tame the Syrian people, lay siege to their revolution and attempt to control it.
All that befell the Syrian people -- including devastation of their infrastructure, the arrest of tens of thousands of their lot, the uprooting of hundreds of thousands more and other outrages – seems not to have justified an international resolve allowing the people to defend themselves.
They will support whoever is willing to be compliant. But anyone who is unwilling faces starvation and blockade. We won’t beseech anyone’s endorsement. If the Syrian people have been sentenced to death, we wish to choose the way we die. The door to freedom has been forced open. And it won’t be forced shut -- neither in the face of Syrians nor in other peoples’ faces.
The regime, by its arrogance, squandered the most valuable opportunity of a comprehensive national reconciliation. Many international and regional players tried pulling the Syrian ship to their side.
Our message to all concerned is that Syrians, and Syrians only, shall take the Syrian decision.
I had promised the sons and daughters of the great Syrian people, and pledged before the Almighty, to resign if matters reached certain red lines.
I am fulfilling my promise today and announcing my resignation from the National Coalition in order to work independently of the constraints of official institutions.
We take official positions to mean a quest for noble objectives rather than goals to be sought and kept.
We will forge ahead together with those brethren seeking freedom for our people. There will be messages and understandings with all the parties sharing our pains and aspirations.
People, a bit of patience as dawn is near! Peace and God’s mercy be upon you.