California legislature honors Armenian Genocide with fresh resolution

California legislature honors Armenian Genocide with fresh resolution

PanARMENIAN.Net - A delegation of the Armenian Council of America (ACA) participated in the annual Armenian Genocide Advocacy Day sponsored by the California Armenian Legislative Caucus on April 18 at the State Capitol, marking the 101st year of commemorating the Armenian Genocide.

Following a press conference in the morning with members of the Armenian Caucus, Hovnan Derderian, Primate of the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America conducted a requiem prayer ceremony on the State Assembly floor. He payed homage to the 1.5 million Armenians who perished during the Genocide and discussed the situation in Nagorno Karabagh condemning the acts of violence against the peaceful Armenian people in Artsakh by the Azeri dictatorship. He proclaimed that one day, Artsakh will be a free and sovereign state.

Assembly member Adrin Nazarian (D-Sherman Oaks) invited Assembly member Katcho Achajian (R-San Luis Obispo) to introduce a resolution which designates the year of 2016 as “State of California Year of Commemoration of the Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1923” and April 24, 2016, as “State of California Day of Commemoration of the 101st Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1915–1923.”

The resolution calls upon the President of the United States and Congress to formally and consistently reaffirm the historical truth that the atrocities committed against the Armenian people constituted genocide.

The resolution passed unanimously 76-0 on the State Assembly floor and went on to pass the California Senate floor with a vote of 37-0.

The Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide (1915-23) was the deliberate and systematic destruction of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I. It was characterized by massacres and deportations, involving forced marches under conditions designed to lead to the death of the deportees, with the total number of deaths reaching 1.5 million.

The majority of Armenian Diaspora communities were formed by the Genocide survivors.

Present-day Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide, justifying the atrocities as “deportation to secure Armenians”. Only a few Turkish intellectuals, including Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk and scholar Taner Akcam, speak openly about the necessity to recognize this crime against humanity.

The Armenian Genocide was recognized by Uruguay, Russia, France, Lithuania, Italy, 45 U.S. states, Greece, Cyprus, Lebanon, Argentina, Belgium, Austria, Wales, Switzerland, Canada, Poland, Venezuela, Chile, Bolivia, the Vatican, Luxembourg, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Sweden, Venezuela, Slovakia, Syria, Vatican, as well as the European Parliament and the World Council of Churches.

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