ANC of Australia Condemns Vandalism of Armenian Genocide Plaque

RYDE–The Armenian National Committee of Australia joined the Armenian-Australian Community in condemning the deliberate removal by vandals of the Commemorative plaque in Meadowbank Memorial Park marking the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

The plaque was dedicated on April 24–2005–on the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian genocide–during a solemn ceremony presided by Archbishop Aghan Baliozian–Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church of Australia and New Zealand–along with the Mayor and Councilors of Ryde City Council–and the State Member for Ryde–Hon. John Watkins–as well as hundreds of members of the Armenian-Australian Community.

Two weeks earlier–Ryde City Council unanimously passed a resolution recognizing and condemning the Armenian genocide–as well as condemning all attempts to deny it.

"This criminal act of vandalism is a shameless example of the extent to which certain denialist of the Armenian Genocide will go to eradicate the memory of the 1.5 million men–women and children who fell victim to the first genocide of the 20th Century. Such people forget; however–that they live in a democracy where public officials will not be intimidated or deterred by such criminal behavior," said Armenian National Committee of Australia President Dr. Tro Kortian. He added–"We are confident that the law enforcement authorities will bring these criminals to justice."

The New South Wales Government also condemned this crime–as Justice Minister John Hatzistergos called it a "disgraceful and cowardly act."

The Ryde City Council and the New South Wales Parliament (which in 1997 also unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Armenian genocide and all attempts to deny it) have added their unequivocal voice to the growing international call that the memory of the Armenian genocide must never be allowed to be erased.

The text of ANC Australia’s letter to Ryde City Council is provided below. For more information Email: info@anc.net.au or visit www.anc.net.au.

Dear Mayor Perram and Councilors,

We assume that by now you have received the standard genocide denial diatribe from the Turkish Embassy/Consulates and their cohorts. We regret that you have had to witness first-hand the ugly sight of genocide denial.

Whilst we find such views repugnant–it is the price we are prepared to pay for the democratic rights and freedoms we have in Australia–which we must all cherish and up-hold.

The criminal actions of the hitherto unknown individual(s) who vandalized the Armenian Genocide Memorial Plaque at Memorial Park–Meadowbank–however–strikes at the very heart of our democratic society. In particular–it can only be seen as a direct attack on the democratic expression of Ryde City Council embodied in its recent unanimous Motion to recognize and condemn the Armenian Genocide.

Having witnessed the passage of that historic Motion and the spirit in which it was passed–we are confident that Ryde City Council would never allow itself to be intimidated or swayed by the cowardly actions of criminals.

We call upon the Council unequivocally to condemn this disgraceful attempt of denying the Armenian Genocide–and to re-instate the Plaque as soon as possible–with appropriate measures to prevent a similar occurrence.

We again convey our sincere appreciation and gratitude to the Mayor–Councilors and Officers of Ryde City Council for the passage of the Armenian Genocide Memorial Motion and the dedication of the Memorial Garden and Plaque on the occasion of the 90th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The Armenian-Australian Community–in particular those residing in Ryde–will never forget those historic events.

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