Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi is Tuesday celebrating forty years of his ascension to power.
But despite western boycott
to show displeasure with the recent heroic welcome given Lockerbie bomber Abdel Baset al-Megrahi,
all is reportedly set for the week-long celebration.
The main streets of the capital,
Tripoli have reportedly been cleaned up and decorated with green
flags and giant posters of Gaddafi dressed in flamboyant uniforms.
celebration comes a day after Gaddafi hosted an extraordinary meeting of
African heads of state and government to tackle conflicts across the continent.
Sami Zaptia, an economist and a Libyan newspaper columnist said that the ceremonies begin early Tuesday at the city's town
is a very big celebration today (Tuesday). Dancers from all over the world, the
big stages, big military tattoo bands representing every continent of the world
and definitely a big party at the town center today," Zaptia said.
He said the
government speaks about Libya emerging political and economic strength.
"Libya has come a
long way and as the regime will put it, Libya is now fully sovereign fully
independent nation politically financially… so the newly independent Libya then
is now matured fully independent and a leading African state," he said.
Libya's economy is experiencing growth after Western sanctions were recently
"Definitely it has
made a big difference and I mean sanctions here are one thing, but
post-sanctions are another thing... As you drive to downtown Tripoli from
Tripoli International Airport, you cannot but notice the huge construction boom
that is going on. So there is a difference in post sanctions Libya," Zaptia
Libya came under
intense criticism after the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing
returned home to a hero's welcome following his release from a Scottish prison.
Obama said the Scottish government's decision to free terminally ill Abdel
Baset al-Megrahi on compassionate grounds was a mistake, adding that he should
have been placed under house arrest.
But Zaptia said
Libyans want to forget about the controversy.
"For most Libyans
they would be glad that this chapter is over with. They see the coming home of
this gentleman as really drawing a line over that long, long dark chapter," he
Gaddafi generated another controversy when he accused Israel being behind
Africa's conflicts, including Darfur and the escalating violence in Somalia.