New South Wales Parliament Condemns Genocide

SYDNEY–The New South Wales Parliament Thursday unanimously passed a Motion commemorating and condemning the 1915 Genocide of the Armenia’s by the Ottoman Turkish Government–which began in earnest on 24 April–the eve of the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps landings in Gallipoli.

The Motion was moved by the Opposition Leader–the Peter Collins Member of Parliament and Queens Council–who is the Member for Willoughby. The electorate of Willoughby contains the largest concentration of Australians of Armenian ancestry. In support of the Motion Collins said–"The genocide of 1.5 million Armenia’s at the hands of the Young Turk government from 1915 was a purposeful attempt to eradicate the Armenian people." Member of Parliament Bob Carr–speaking at a Parliament session in support of the Motion said that–like present day Germany–Turkey ought to acknowledge the Genocide of the Armenia’s. The Member will be delivering the keynote address at this year’s Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide organized by the Armenian Community of Sydney on 24 April 1997.

Member of Parliament John Watkins Australian Labor Party–Gladesville–who has a large and growing constituency of Armenia’s–and parliamentarian Michael Photios Liberal Party–Ermington–also spoke in support of the motion.

The motion condemns the Genocide of the Armenia’s and all other acts of genocide this century–as well as all attempts to deny or distort the historical truth of the Armenian Genocide.

The Government of Turkey continues to deny the Armenian Genocide and spends millions of dollars annually on public relations campaigns and lobbying to this end. The full text of the motion follows.

The President of the Armenian National Committee of Australia–Dr. Tro Kortian explained–"We are very grateful for–and welcome–the Opposition Leader’s initiative in moving this motion–and for the Premier’s support of the motion." Kortian added–"It has been said that the final victim of genocide is the truth."

The Parliament’s condemnation of the Armenian Genocide–and all attempts to deny it–sends another unequivocal message that genocide is a crime against all humanity which must never be tolerated nor allowed to be forgotten." Kortian added–"We trust that the Commonwealth Parliament will pass a similar motion in the near future."

New South Wales is the largest and most populace State in Australia. The estimated 30,000 Armenian immigran’s in Australia are concentrated largely in Sydney.

Full Text of the Motion

Whereas 24 April 1997 marks the occasion of the 82nd anniversary of the commemoration of the Genocide of the Armenia’s by the then Ottoman Turkish Government between 1915-1922; This House:-

1. join the members of the New South Wales Armenian Community in honoring the memory of the 1.5 million men–women and children who fell victim of the first genocide of the 20th century;

2. condemn the Genocide of the Armenia’s and all other acts of genocide committed during our century as the ultimate act of racial–religious and cultural intolerance;

3. recognize the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to repeated;

4. condemn and prevent all attempts to use the passage of time to deny or distort the historical truth of the Genocide of the Armenia’s and other acts of genocide committed during this century;

5. designate 24 April in every year hereafter throughout New South Wales as a day of remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenia’s who fell victim to the first genocide of this century;

6. call on the Commonwealth Government officially to condemn the Genocide of the Armenia’s and any attempts to deny such crimes against humanity.

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