We are a group of long-time political activists, media operatives, and avid human rights advocates. Throughout the 1980s onwards, we were in the forefront of opposition to Gaddafi’s dictatorship. Through leading positions in the National Front for the Salvation of Libya, and the Libya Human and Political Development Forum, and the websites: AkhbarLibya, the Forum, TransparencyLibya and JusticeforLibya, we pursued the fight against the vile dictatorship and despicable one-man rule, and for democracy and human rights, up to February 2011. Since then, we have diligently played our proper role in the struggle and made our contribution in the best, mature, way possible, through various positions.
In view of the tectonic events that have overtaken the country, and the difficult transformation it is going through, we have been persuaded to return to basic principles. We, like many Libyans, are now urged to review, criticise, and reassess our experiences, in opposition and in government, our message, our ways and means, and ends which we have developed and cherished all these years. Connecting with the Libyan people after decades spent away from home, we are witness to a ‘paradigm shift’ that has undermined the values, ethics, ideals and standards, which we had assumed existed in Libyan society.
Over the last year, we have formed a civil society NGO with the name: Patriots Without Borders, which is independent, non-partisan, and non-aligned. It represents a balanced, objective, impartial, and pan-Libyan view that has, sadly, been absent in Libya since the tumultuous events of February 2011.
Patriots Without Borders is an expression of our national Libyan identity. It breaks the barriers, walls and artificial divides, tribal, regional, cultures, ethnic and others, that have played havoc with our very existence. These means that the out-going totalitarian regime had engrained deep in our psyche, for years, have been translated into various manifestations of extremism, intolerance, injustice, hatred and vengeance. The result is the most appalling abuse of human rights seen in Libya sine the Italian colonisation in the first half of the 20th century. This has not affected the ruling elites alone, but the ruled masses as well.
A cursory look at how the Libyan mass-media and social media are bombarded by flooded of lies, misinformation, twisting of the facts, deliberate scandalising, and destructive ideas, and in the absence of transparency, accountability and self-control, among the ‘educated’ elites and society as a whole, we have opted, yet again, for the cyber world and the Internet, through this website.
Libya Tribune is not a news website. It is informative, enlightening, and free-thinking, dedicated to debate, pluralism, and freedom of expression. We invite all who uphold these values to joins with us in enriching the website with their views and ideas.
The website is the window though which writers and contributor can highlight the current and the vital issues that be-dogged our country and the whole world. We strive to connect with the rest of the world to learn from the democratic experiences in various part of the globe, and see how they fought against tyranny and oppression and were able to avoid cataclysmic and bloody transformations, and proceed towards state building, harmony, and social and economic development.
We look forward, with hope and optimism, to a situation where the Libya Tribune can exercise peaceful and positive pressure in many directions and join with others to achieve more consensus, understanding and common sense,
We are committed to present the issues and the arguments as they are, free from ideology, partisanship, and extremism. Free from all agenda or preconditioned mind-set. By dialogue and discussion alone can the most intricate issues be solved.
Libya Tribune is not a political platform and does not represent nor favour any political philosophy or tendency. It is not part of the political conflict that is going in the country today. It is, rather, a break-away from the negative, destructive and senseless squabbling we are witnessing. It provides a space for calm, sober and rational thinking that seeks to arrive at the truth and take the democratic process forward in an attempt to rebuild a democratic, egalitarian and equitable Libya.
In this challenging time, we can identify five immediate priority, as follows:
First: to take Libya out of the security, political, social, economic and psychological quagmire it finds itself in.
Second: give precedence to those issues that contribute to speeding up the country’s transformation to democratic rule and building its democratic and constitutional institutions.
Third: encourage open dialogue in order to retrieve social peace and curb the adverse fall-out of the armed conflict that caused serious human and material destruction in the country.
Fourth: look out to, indeed dream of even, a future free of the insidious culture of suppression, isolationism, vengeance, and mistrust and uphold a sincere belief in the principles of human and constitutional rights, social justice, and political accord.
Fifth: join with other national voices in reinforcing constitutional legitimacy, political pluralism, transitional justice and the protection of human rights.
For further details, please contact:
Ashur Shamis, Editor-in-Chief
Dr Abdumajid Buik, Editor and Technical Manager