Pending a more comprehensive report, this is a brief report about the event which took place at the House of Commons earlier today, namely, Seyfo: The Assyrian Genocide, Ankara’s Denial and our Collective Responsibility.
The event was adorned with speakers around the world which have contributed significantly to the understanding of the Assyrian Genocide. Speakers included Sabri Atman from Sweden, reminding the Assyrians of his own personal experiences, and how they reflect the experiences of all Assyrians, i.e. the loss of our homeland, villages, cultural institutions, etc. Lina Yacubova also gave us a deep insight into behind the scenes work of her documentary ‘A Forgotten Page of a Nation’. She touched upon particularly important issues such as statistics of the Assyrian population in the Turkish Ottoman Empire. Unfortunately, Recep Marasli was not able to come to the event due to immigration problems, however he was intent on getting his message across, and as such, his speech was read on his behalf by Ninos Warda. His speech was particularly touching, as it touched upon the general lack of awareness of the Assyrian Genocide and plight in general and even apologized to the Assyrian people for only recently finding out about the plight of this oppressed people, which can now barely be called even a minority in its own homeland.
The final guest speaker at the event was Armenian historian and archivist Ara Sarafian. With the famous Blue Book with him, he was able to convincingly show why it is important for the British government particularly to take positive steps to recognize the Assyrian Genocide, and also encourage the state of Turkey to take similar action. For example, the Blue Book, a book compiled in 1916 and filled with parliamentary documents, provides ample proof of the British interest and knowledge of the genocide from very early on, and it is precisely why the British government should take a leading role in recognizing the Assyrian Genocide.
The event was aptly concluded by an inspiring speech by Stephen Pound MP for North Ealing. He was adamant that the Turkish policy of denial could not stand ground when compared with historical facts, and that no matter what happens, in this noble MP’s own words, the truth is like the sun which nobody can hide just like the occurrence of the Assyrian Genocide.
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24 January 2006
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