Assyrian Federation “Khayadta”: Armenia must take up role of leader of struggle against genocides

25/07/2015 10:38

Assyrian Federation “Khayadta”: Armenia must take up role of leader of struggle against genocides


2015 is a remarkable year for it marked the 100 years since the atrocious crime against humanity. The European Parliament declared April 24 as the Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire, an open letter from the press-service of the Federation of Assyrian organizations of Armenia “Khayadta”, published on the website of Xenophobia Prevention Initiative, reads.

According to the letter, special attention is paid to the occasion in 2015, and various events, like exhibitions, seminars, film screenings, performances and symposiums, will be held both in Armenia and all over the world throughout the whole year.

However, the main events took place in Yerevan in April 2015. On April 22-23, the State Commission Coordinating the Armenian Genocide Centennial Events, the National Assembly and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia held a Global Forum “Against the Crime of Genocide” in the frameworks of the events dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial. More than 600 parliamentarians, politicians, diplomats, scientists and prominent genocide scholars from 60 countries attended the Forum. The conference was dedicated not only to the Armenian Genocide but also to the fight against all the genocides in the world. For the first time on official invitation, the representative of the Assyrians and a member of Iraq Parliament, Yonadam Kanna, attended such a grandiose international forum with an Assyrian delegation, consisting of 12 members from different countries.

“The participation in the forum was crucial for us, given the need to preserve the Assyrian nation, as having suffered genocide at the beginning of the 20th century (1914-1923) our nation is still being eliminated in its historical homeland today. It is very important for us that the high representative members of the international forum ‘Against the Crime of Genocide’ at last heard our voice about the atrocious fact of elimination of the Assyrian people in the territory of Ottoman Turkey,” the letter reads.

The letter points that on 24 March 2015, the National Assembly of Armenia adopted a resolution condemning the genocide of the Assyrians and Greeks in the territory of Ottoman Turkey in 1915-1923.

“The Armenian Parliament’s recognition of the genocide of the Assyrians and the Assyrian delegation’s active participation in the international forum ‘Against the Crime of Genocide’, held in the Armenian capital on the Armenian Genocide Centennial is very important and timely for now the Assyrians are struggling for their existence on their native land. It is not a secret that the ISIS militants are eliminating the heritage of the ancient nation,” the article reads.

Yonadam Kanna, the representative of the Assyrians and member of Iraq Parliament, spoke about the plight of the Assyrian people and the systematic persecutions of that ancient nation. Irina Gasparyan, the President of Federation of Assyrian organizations of Armenia “Khayadta”, raised the issue of including a reference to the genocide against the Assyrians and Greeks into the final document. The participants of the Forum “Against the Crime of Genocide” approved the final version of Yerevan declaration, which was stated by the co-chair of the Forum, Baroness Caroline Cox at the end of the Forum. “We approve the proposed declaration,” she said.

At the end of the Forum, the parliamentarians from all countries condemned the Armenian Genocide and highlighted the importance of preventing such kind of crimes against humanity in the future. Especially remarkable was the call of the former Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court that Armenia must take up the role of the leader of the struggle against genocides, which was spoken about by many.

“The events held on April 24 on the Armenian Genocide centennial served the main purposes set: raising the international awareness of the Armenian Genocide, formation of public opinion and mobilization to condemn and fight against genocides as crimes against humanity,” the letter highlights.

The Armenian Genocide centennial commemoration is not over with April 24 events, Vigen Sargsyan, Presidential Chief of Staff of the Republic of Armenia and the coordinator of events, told a press conference, summing up the work done and speaking about the further action. He said the events held in many countries after April 24 came to prove that. “Political, sports, cultural events will be organized throughout the whole year,” he said and added that the website armeniangenocide100.org would go on operating with the same intensity, reporting about the many different events in all the corners of the world.

According the letter, the Assyrian delegation visited Assyrian villages, where events dedicated to the Armenian Genocide Centennial were also held. Events, exhibitions, literary and musical compositions «I Remember and Demand” dedicated to the tragic events that took place at the beginning of the 20th century in the territory of Ottoman Turkey were organized in the villages Upper Dvin, Arzni.
The Dimitrov village high school’s headmaster Mkrtchyan G.M’s final speech became the concluding chord of the events: “We will never forget the villainies the Turkish authorities committed. The Armenian and Assyrian people suffered. But we must live, we know how to live, and it is our obligation to live to prove that we are an immortal nation.”

The fact of the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 has been recognized by a number of states. The first country to do this was Uruguay in 1965, followed by the Republic of Cyprus (1975), Argentina (2004), Russia (1995), Canada (1996), Greece (1999), Lebanon (1997), Belgium (1998), Italy (2000), Vatican (2000), France (1998), Switzerland (2003), Slovakia (2004), The Netherlands (2004), Poland (2005), Venezuela (2005), Lithuania (2005), Chile (2007), Sweden (2010), Bolivia (2014), Austria (2015), Luxembourg (2015), and Brazil (2015). The European Parliament and the World Council of Churches have also recognized the Armenian Genocide. Forty-three of the 50 U.S. states have recognized and condemned the Armenian Genocide declaring April 24 as the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. Parliaments of several European countries have adopted laws criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide. Turkey, however, denies the mass killings of the Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire during World War I (on the eve of World War I around 2 million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire, about 1.5 million Armenians were eliminated during 1915-1923, the remaining half million spread all over the world). 


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