Genocide Prevention Organizations Call On Coca-Cola & Citigroup To Sever Ties With Denial Group

Coca Cola and Citigroup

WASHINGTON—America’s leading genocide prevention groups this week called upon Coca-Cola and Citigroup to suspend their participation in a conference hosted by an organization waging a public campaign that supports the Turkish government’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, the Ottoman Turkish Government’s centrally planned and systematically executed mass murder of Christian Armenians.

In letters sent yesterday to the boards of directors of Citigroup and Coca-Cola, United to End Genocide, Investors Against Genocide, Genocide Watch, Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur, Jewish World Watch, and the Armenian National Committee of America all called upon these two corporations to sever any ties with organizations, such as the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA), that actively deny the Armenian Genocide.  Citigroup and Coca-Cola are ranked by Fortune magazine as the 20th and 59th largest American corporations, respectively.

Both firms are scheduled to be represented at the ATAA’s convention, being held in Washington, DC starting on April 25, the day after the worldwide commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.  Speaking on behalf of Coca-Cola will be its Chairman, Muhtar Kent; representing Citigroup will be its Senior Vice President for International Government Affairs, Charles R. Johnston.  The signatories of the letter asked both corporations to withdraw their speakers from the conference, and, failing that, to publicly clarify that any participation by the officials is in a personal capacity.

Also scheduled to speak at the ATAA conference, over the publicly voiced objections of the ANCA, is the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, Francis Ricciardone.  The Obama Administration has yet to confirm that any of its representatives will participate in the annual Capitol Hill Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide, to be hosted by the Congressional Armenian Caucus on April 24th at the Hart Senate Office Building, Room 902.  The ANCA’s invitation to Secretary of State John Kerry and representatives of the State Department to attend the Congressional event is available at:
http://www.anca.org/assets/pdf/misc/ANCA_Kerry_Genocide_invite.pdf

Copies of the letters to Coca-Cola and Citigroup are available at:
Coca-Cola: http://www.anca.org/asset/pdf/misc/CocaCola_Genocide_denial.pdf
Citigroup: http://www.anca.org/asset/pdf/misc/Citi_Genocide_denial.pdf

The complete texts of the letters to Coca-Cola and Citigroup are provided below.

April 18, 2013

Members of the Board of Directors
The Coca-Cola Company
P.O. Box 1734
Atlanta, GA  30301

Dear Members of the Coca-Cola Company’s Board of Directors:

We are writing to express our profound concern regarding the Coca Cola Company’s association with an organization that has, for many years, orchestrated a hateful public campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide, a government sponsored campaign that killed over 1,000,000 men, women and children because of their Armenian ethnicity and Christian faith.

As you may know, the Chairman of your Board, Mr. Muhtar Kent, is scheduled to speak on April 27th, three days after the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, at a grassroots organizing conference hosted by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) – an organization that routinely denies the Armenian Genocide and urges its members to block its commemoration in the United States.

As the International Association of Genocide Scholars wrote in March 2007, “As crimes of genocide continue to plague the world, Turkey’s policy of denying the Armenian Genocide gives license to those who perpetrate genocide everywhere… Denial is the final stage of genocide, as it seeks to demonize the victims and rehabilitate the perpetrators.”

We respect the Coca Cola Company’s stated view, as outlined in your code of conduct, that: “integrity means doing what is right.”  It is in this spirit that we call upon you to sever any connection between the Coca-Cola Company and organizations, such as the ATAA, which actively deny the Armenian Genocide.

If, even after our efforts to alert your company to the ATAA’s public record of genocide denial, Mr. Kent chooses to still address their conference, we ask that the Coca Cola Company publicly clarify that he is supporting this organization on a personal basis, and that the denial of any genocide, past or present, reflects neither the views nor values of your company.

We look forward to your response to our concerns, and would, of course, be pleased to meet with your board to discuss this matter further.

Sincerely,

Aram Hamparian
Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of America

Tom Andrews
President and CEO, United to End Genocide

Eric Cohen
Chairperson, Investors Against Genocide

Gregory Stanton
President, Genocide Watch

Bill Rosenfeld
Director, Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur

Vaughan Meyer
Advocacy Committee Chair, Jewish World Watch

April 18, 2013

Members of the Board of Directors
Citigroup Inc.
399 Park Avenue
New York City, NY  10043

Dear Members of Citigroup’s Board of Directors:

We are writing to express our profound concern regarding Citi’s association with an organization that has, for many years, orchestrated a hateful public campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide, a government sponsored campaign that killed over 1,000,000 men, women and children because of their Armenian ethnicity and Christian faith.

As you may know, Citi’s Senior Vice President, International Government Affairs Charles R. Johnston is scheduled to speak on April 26th, two days after the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, at a grassroots organizing conference hosted by the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) – an organization that routinely denies the Armenian Genocide and urges its members to block its commemoration in the United States.

As the International Association of Genocide Scholars wrote in March 2007, “As crimes of genocide continue to plague the world, Turkey’s policy of denying the Armenian Genocide gives license to those who perpetrate genocide everywhere. . . .  Denial is the final stage of genocide, as it seeks to demonize the victims and rehabilitate the perpetrators.”

We respect Citi’s stated view, as outlined in your Citizenship Report, that: “Our common purpose is to always conduct business with integrity….”  It is in this spirit that we call upon you to sever any connection between Citi and organizations, such as the ATAA, which actively deny the Armenian Genocide.

If, even after our efforts to alert your company to the ATAA’s public record of genocide denial, Mr. Johnston chooses to still address their conference, we ask that Citi publicly clarify that he is supporting this organization on a personal basis, and that the denial of any genocide, past or present, reflects neither the views nor values of your company.

We look forward to your response to our concerns, and would, of course, be pleased to meet with your board to discuss this matter further.

Sincerely,

Aram Hamparian
Executive Director, Armenian National Committee of America

Tom Andrews
President and CEO, United to End Genocide

Eric Cohen
Chairperson, Investors Against Genocide

Gregory Stanton
President, Genocide Watch

Bill Rosenfeld
Director, Massachusetts Coalition to Save Darfur

Vaughan Meyer
Advocacy Committee Chair, Jewish World Watch

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9 Comments

  1. Barkev Bardizbanian said:

    Simple but effective:
    After reading your article and the appeals of the Armenians, this is what I plan to do in person,if appeals are rejected.
    I always buy Diet Coke for my familly. We will permanently swith to Diet Pepsi if our appeals are not acted on.
    We have Master Card from Citibank (Citigroup). We all shall swith to Viza from Bank of America, Discover Card and American Express, for ever of course
    These corporations understand only if their revenues decline, money, money, money. If all Armenians (or most)
    of us follow above, believe me next year at this same occasion, they will hear us

    • Patrick Bilezikjian said:

      Parev Barkev,

      It has been a long time we didn’t see each other, last time was in Maryland as I remember, I will be happy to hear from you.

      I have a little comment about Diet sodas, you know that they contain Aspartam sweetener that is bad for health, I thing sugar is less harmful then aspartam, For diet drinks Stevia is best, it’s a natural sweetener versus aspartam chemical that was not even destined as food aditive, but they accidentally discovered it’s sweet taste and started using as sweetener without testing it’s dangers for health.

      I will be happy to hear from you.

      Cheers

      Your Marashtsi classmate and friend Patrick

  2. George said:

    ARMENIANS SHOULD HIT BACK, by expilaining people that Coke is venom to the haelth: When somebody drinks a Coke, watch what happens. In The First 10 minutes: 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. (100% of your recommended daily intake.) You don’t immediately vomit from the overwhelming sweetness because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor allowing you to keep it down.
    20 minutes: Your blood sugar spikes, causing an insulin burst. Your liver responds to this by turning any sugar it can get its hands on into fat. (There’s plenty of that at this particular moment)
    40 minutes: Caffeine absorption is complete. Your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, as a response your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream. The adenosine receptors in your brain are now blocked preventing drowsiness.
    45 minutes: Your body ups your dopamine production stimulating the pleasure centers of your brain. This is physically the same way heroin works, by the way.
    In just over 60 minutes: The phosphoric acid binds calcium, magnesium and zinc in your lower intestine, providing a further boost in metabolism. This is compounded by high doses of sugar and artificial sweeteners also increasing the urinary excretion of calcium.
    In just over 60 Minutes: The caffeine’s diuretic properties come into play. (It makes you have to pee.) It is now assured that you’ll evacuate the bonded calcium, magnesium and zinc that was headed to your bones as well as sodium, electrolyte and water.
    In just over 60 minutes: As the rave inside of you dies down you’ll start to have a sugar crash. You may become irritable and/or sluggish. You’ve also now, literally, pissed away all the water that was in the Coke. But not before infusing it with valuable nutrients your body could have used for things like even having the ability to hydrate your system or build strong bones and teeth.
    So there you have it, an avalanche of destruction in a single can. Imagine drinking this day after day, week after week. Stick to water, real juice from fresh squeezed fruit, and tea without sweetener.

  3. George said:

    These days Image is everything, the power of Armenians is in the 10 million Armenians spread all over the world, and their best weapon is to attack the image of those who refuse the truth of the Armenian Genocide, need NO money to invest, all it is needed is the resolve to destroy the image of those who use Armenian Genocide for their interest

  4. George said:

    ARMENIANS SHOULD HIT BACK: by explaining, Citigroup while taking American jobs to India and China, it is cutting 11,000 jobs, many in IT, as part of a restructuring, and to save about $900 million through a variety of actions,

  5. a said:

    And yet Armenian churches continue to serve Coca Cola products at their functions and look at you like you have 2 heads if you suggest they do otherwise.

  6. GB said:

    Dear Coca cola CEO, making money out of Armenian Genocide victims is not “the real thing”, You must be high with supply of Turkish made coke these days!!

  7. Maria said:

    In protest to Coca Cola and Citigroup, I would suggest boycotting purchase of Coca Cola products and banking at Citigroup. Armenian Power should prevail.

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