Lebanon 50000 Livres polymer Commemorative banknote 2013 70th anniversary of the Lebanese Independence
Bank of Lebanon - Banque du Liban
This polymer note commemorating 70 years of independence for Lebanon was issued on 22 November 2013 (the anniversary of the end of French colonial rule in 1943), despite the fact that the French-language back spells “independence” as it is written in English, rather than the French “independance.” The Central Bank of Lebanon said it regretted the mistake, which it blamed on the printing company (De La Rue). 50,000 pieces will enter circulation.
Obverse: Citadel of Independence in Rashaya at left and stylized flag of Lebanon at right.
Reverse: Map and flag of Lebanon with cedar tree; 70th Anniversary logo.
Printer: Banknote Produced on De La Rue’s Safeguard™.
Dimensions: 140 x 77 mm.
The Rashaya Citadel or Citadel of Independence is a national monument, in Lebanon. It was built as a palace by the Shihab family in the 18th century, was used by the French Mandate, and is now stationed by the Lebanese Armed Forces. It is a tourist site that can be visited while under the army's surveillance. The castle includes vaulted rooms and overlooks the historic mountain town.
The town of Rashaya overlooks the Taim Valley, a strategic position for fortress construction, and the present fort occupies an area where there are remains from more ancient fortifications including: Canaanite, Greco-Roman, Arab, Crusader and Ottoman rulers. The Shehab family refurbished the so-called Feather Tower on the site.
In November and December 1925, the Great Druze Revolt rocked the area as 3,000 Druze under the command of Zayd Beg surrounded the fort and its French legionnaires under Captain Granger until French reinforcements arrived.
Under the French Mandate, on 11 November 1943, the arrest and imprisonment of Lebanese national leaders in the citadel was ordered by Commissioner Jean Helleu, delegate general of the Free French authorities, and carried out by Free French troops. The prisoners included (Bechara El Khoury (later the first post-independence President of Lebanon), Riad El-Solh (later the Prime Minister), Pierre Gemayel, Camille Chamoun, Adel Osseiran. This led to national and international pressure for their release and France soon relented. On November 22, 1943, the prisoners were released. That day was declared the Lebanese Independence Day.
Independence from France
Lebanon gained a measure of independence while France was occupied by Germany. General Henri Dentz, the Vichy High Commissioner for Syria and Lebanon, played a major role in the independence of the nation. The Vichy authorities in 1941 allowed Germany to move aircraft and supplies through Syria to Iraq where they were used against British forces. The United Kingdom, fearing that Nazi Germany would gain full control of Lebanon and Syria by pressure on the weak Vichy government, sent its army into Syria and Lebanon.
After the fighting ended in Lebanon, General Charles de Gaulle visited the area. Under political pressure from both inside and outside Lebanon, de Gaulle recognized the independence of Lebanon. On 26 November 1941 General Georges Catroux announced that Lebanon would become independent under the authority of the Free French government. Elections were held in 1943 and on 8 November 1943 the new Lebanese government unilaterally abolished the mandate. The French reacted by imprisoning the new government. In the face of international pressure, the French released the government officials on 22 November 1943.The allies occupied the region until the end of World War II.
Following the end of World War II in Europe the French mandate may be said to have been terminated without any formal action on the part of the League of Nations or its successor the United Nations. The mandate was ended by the declaration of the mandatory power, and of the new states themselves, of their independence, followed by a process of piecemeal unconditional recognition by other powers, culminating in formal admission to the United Nations. Article 78 of the UN Charter ended the status of tutelage for any member state: "The trusteeship system shall not apply to territories which have become Members of the United Nations, relationship among which shall be based on respect for the principle of sovereign equality." So when the UN officially came into existence on 24 October 1945, after ratification of the United Nations Charter by the five permanent members, as both Syria and Lebanon were founding member states, the French mandate for both was legally terminated on that date and full independence attained. The last French troops withdrew in December 1946.