Australian Intervention Needed to support the Assyrian demands in Iraq

for-immediate-release-april-2011-1.jpgSydney – 18 April, 2011
On Thursday 14 April 2011, a delegation representing the Assyrian Universal Alliance and the Assyrian Australian National Federation met with Mr. Chris Hayes MP, Federal Member for Fowler, Australian Labor Party.
During the meeting which lasted an hour, Mr. Hermiz Shahen , the Regional Secretary of the Assyrian Universal Alliance in Australia and New Zealand presented Mr. Hayes a large number of petitions signed by the Australian Assyrians drawn to the attention of the Honorable the speaker and members of the House of Representatives to develop an Australian foreign policy that calls on the Iraqi government to take swift and definitive action to stop the vicious attacks against Iraq’s indigenous Christian Assyrians, instituting immediate measures to address the humanitarian crisis threatening their future in their homeland; to urge the Iraqi government to agree to the critical demand for an Assyrian Autonomous Region in the historical and ancestral Assyrian lands in Northern Iraq, as part of the modern day Federal Republic of Iraq. This newly formalized region shall be administrated and protected by Assyrians under the jurisdiction of the central government of Iraq. The establishment of this region is crucial to the security and survival of Christians in Iraq, allowing them control within the bounds of their sovereign state, as an integral part of Iraq. This action will also
encourage the Assyrian refugees, whether those internally displaced in the homeland or those scattered in Diaspora, to return to Iraq.
Mr. Hayes promised to table the Assyrian petition once the parliament resumed sitting on 23rd of May 2011.
The current political map in Iraq shows just a few political/religious parties holding absolute power and playing the major role in deciding the future of Iraq. These parties are the Islamic religious coalition and Kurds who seem to have established an agreement on a fragile governing coalition.
Assyrians have been left out of the Iraq equation. This follows the neglect of the Assyrian question in Iraq by the International Community after the genocide of two-thirds of our people by the Ottoman Empire following WW1, after the broken promise of the British to give the Assyrians their autonomy in the land of their forefathers, and after the failure of the League of Nations to provide protection to the Assyrians following the lifting of the British mandate in 1932 (which led to their biggest massacre in recent history). However, Mr. Shahen hoped that this time the international community including Australian Government will support the Assyrian existence in Iraq. Assyrians wish to contribute to the development of greater tolerance and diversity in a sovereign, democratic and secular Iraq. They hope for a society which provides full equality and mutual respect from their Arab, Kurdish and Turkoman partners.
PO Box 34, Fairfield NSW 1860 Australia
E-mail: auaaustralia@optusnet.com.au