EALING, London–The Borough of Ealing officially recognized the Armenian Genocide on Tuesday in an absolute majority vote by its city council, the Armenian National Committee of the United Kingdom reported.
The motion, moved by Ara Iskandarian a Labour Councilor of Armenian descent, stated, in part: “Holocaust Memorial Day on January 27, 2011 is recognition of not only the suffering of those who died in the holocaust but also recognition of all the people who have suffered as a result of genocide.
The London Borough of Ealing is home to an Armenian community of some several thousand and has hosted an Armenian population since shortly after the First World War. The borough has subsequently been seen as the center of Armenian community life within the United Kingdom.
Many of the Borough’s Armenian residents are the second and third generation descendants of survivors of the 1915 Armenian genocide in which one and half million innocent victims were murdered by the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.
Last April, the Armenian community of Ealing planted an apricot tree, by way of a simple memorial to the victims. Their intention was to place alongside the apricot tree an explanatory plaque reading: “This Apricot Tree (Prunus Armeniaca) serves as a memorial to the one and half million victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide” The plaque has yet to be put up.
Below is the text of the motion:
To again observe Holocaust Memorial Day as an acknowledgement of all the victims of genocide.
To categorically acknowledge and recognize the events of 1915 perpetrated against the Armenians as constituting genocide.
To include the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide in subsequent Holocaust Memorial Days and related events within the borough.
To reconfirm this Council’s commitment to cohesion between communities, both locally and nationally, and its ongoing support for dialogue and reconciliation between the Turkish and Armenian communities.
To allow the unveiling of a commemorative plaque containing the above text and for it to be placed in the closest possible proximity to the apricot tree on Ealing Green.”
Labour Party Councillors Julian Bell, the leader of the Council, Bassam Mahfouz and Ara Iskandarian, were instrumental in securing the vote.
The Chairman of Armenian Community and Church Council of Great Britain, Ara Palamoudian and the head of The ANC-UK, Sevan Artin were present at the chamber during the meeting.
Stephen Pound MP for Ealing North has been closely cooperating with ANC UK and the Armenian Community and Church Council of Great Britain to secure the passage of the resolution.