Uruguayan Parliament Commemorates Genocide

MONTEVIDEO–The Uruguayan Parliament held an official commemoration of the 86th anniversary on April 24th of this year. The commemoration was a joint initiative of the ARF Armenian National Committee of Uruguay and the Diocese Central Executive.

The Parliament Hall was filled to capacity with over 1,000 community members–which is an unprecedented occurrence for the Armenia’s of Uruguay. Numerous Uruguayan officials from the Senate and House attended the commemoration–along with representatives of the American–French–Italian–Russian–Iranian–Argentinean–Romanian–and Armenian embassies in Montevideo.

Master of ceremonies was ANC representative Edgar Attarian–who presented key note speaker Dr. Goustavo Penades–president of the Uruguayan Parliament–who said "Turkey must assume responsibility by recognizing the Armenian Genocide–just as France–Italy–and the European Parliament did this past year. The reality of the Genocide cannot be doubted. Today’s struggle for international recognition of the Genocide does not belong only to the Armenian Diaspora–but also to the Armenian government which came about with the re-establishment of the Republic of Armenia in 1991."

Penades concluded his remarks by saying–"I assure our Armenian brothers in Uruguay that I will do all I can as the president of the Uruguayan Parliament to bring about recognition of the Genocide by all international organizations. We–in the name of the Uruguayan Parliament–once more extend our support to the Armenian Cause–a cause for the protection of human rights and freedom."

The following speaker was former president of the Uruguayan Parliament–Dr. Washington Abdallah–who mentioned how the act of genocide is incomprehensible and shameful. Abdallah said–"How can man inflict such barbaric acts against man? I am ashamed to eat a piece of bread when I think of such obscene episodes in history." He went on by saying how horrific–unbelievable and amazing it is that we still do not have an answer to such a tragedy. "I find appalling the Turkish boycott enacted against France–following French recognition of the Genocide. It is amazing to think that we should not be permitted to make our voices heard in recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The small country of Uruguay will continue to affirm the reality of the Armenian Genocide–just as it has since 1965."

Several other officials spoke in support of the Armenian Cause. ANC representative Avedis Badanian spoke of the efforts of the Armenian National Committee–and expressed appreciation on behalf of Armenia’s to the Uruguayan government. "Thank you Uruguay…since Armenia is no longer alone as it was in 1915," concluded Badanian.

Various other events were held in commemoration of the Genocide. The Gomidas Radio Hour of Uruguay dedicated its program to the Armenian Genocide. Armenian Ambassador to Uruguay Ara Ayvazian placed a wreath on the statue of General Artigas–in appreciation of the support shown by the Uruguayan people. Members of the Armenian Youth Federation of Uruguay held a rally at the Human Rights Square in Montevideo. The Uruguayan press had significant coverage of the Armenian Genocide and commemorative events dedicated to the Genocide.

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