Parliament of NSW Recognizes Assyrian, Greek, Armenian Genocide

Today, Wednesday 1st May 2013, in a historically unprecedented move at the request of the Assyrian Universal Alliance, the Australian Hellenic Council and the Armenian National Committee, the Parliament of NSW Legislative Council passed unanimously a motion recognizing the Assyrian, Greek and Armenian genocide, the Assyrian International News Agency reports.

Mr. Hermiz Shahen, the Deputy secretary General of the Assyrian Universal Alliance said; “this constitutes an extraordinary moment in the history of the Assyrian nation. The Assyrian nation is struggling for years to gain the International recognition of the genocide perpetrated against them by the Ottoman government under the leadership of a chauvinistic party, the Young Turk between1914 — 1923. This recognition will act as a powerful counter to those, especially in present-day Turkey, who still ignore or deny outright the genocides of the Ottoman Christian minorities. Assyrians in Iraq, Syria and Turkey are continuously paying the price as a consequence of the denial of their genocide.”

“The bitter genocide committed against us by the Ottoman Turks during WWI has left deep marks in the heart and mind of every Assyrian. The cold-hearted murder of hundreds of thousands of defenceless Assyrian souls in South East Turkey reduced our mass, impacting our viability in the region dramatically”, Mr Shahen said.

On behalf of the Assyrian community in Australia and worldwide, Mr Shahen thanked Rev the Hon. Fred Nile MLC, President of the Australian Christian Party for moving the motion on 30 April 2013 and for his courageous stand and strong believe in the rectification of this historical injustice, and his demand that the State of Turkey recognises and apologises for the Genocide. He also thanked all the members who supported this motion.

The motion read as follows:

Whereas the NSW Parliament passed a motion in 1997 recognising and condemning the Genocide of the Armenians, this House recognises that Assyrians and Greeks were subjected to qualitatively similar genocides by the then Ottoman Government between 1914 — 1923: and

(a) joins the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks communities of New South Wales in honouring the memory of the innocent men, women and children who fell victim to the first modern genocides;

(b) condemns the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of intolerance;

(c) recognises the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to be repeated;

(d) condemns and prevents all attempts to use the passage of time to deny or distort the historical truth of the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks, and other acts of genocide;

(e) recalls the testimonies of ANZAC prisoners-of-war and other servicemen who were witness to the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks;

(f) recalls the testimonies of ANZAC servicemen who rescued Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks genocide survivors;

(g) acknowledges the significant humanitarian relief contribution made by the people of New South Wales to the victims and survivors of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks; and

(h) calls on the Commonwealth Government to condemn the genocides of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks.