South Australia's Lower House recognizes Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - South Australia's Lower House has followed the Upper House by passing a motion officially recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia) from Parliament House in Adelaide.

South Australia's Legislative Assembly passed the motion officially joining "members of the Armenian-Australian, Pontian Greek-Australian and Assyrian-Australian communities in honoring the memory of the innocent men, women and children who fell victim to the first modern genocide".

The motion was introduced by Attorney General, the Hon. Michael Atkinson MP (ALP), and seconded by Opposition Leader, Mr. Martin Hamilton-Smith MP (LIB). Eight other members of parliament spoke in support and it passed unanimously.

This action comes one month after South Australia's Legislative Council passed a similar motion.

ANC Australia President, Mr. Varant Meguerditchian praised the "historic" motion, which recognized the genocides committed by Ottoman Turkey in Anatolia against its Christian population and called upon "the Commonwealth Parliament to officially condemn the genocide".

"The one million Australians of Armenian, Greek and Assyrian heritage are proud that both houses of South Australia's Parliament have recognized the events of 1915 as genocide," said Mr. Meguerditchian.

Mr. Meguerditchian further praised the resolve of Mr. Atkinson and the supporters of this motion, as it was passed despite much-publicized pressure from the Turkish government via its Ambassador to Australia. Click here for more info.

He said: "The unanimous passage of this motion, in spite of direct pressure from the Turkish government, and in spite of US President Obama's failure to use the term 'genocide', demonstrates the will of South Australia to stand firm in the fight against denial."

He added: "The call for the government of Australia to follow NSW and South Australia in recognizing the Armenian Genocide is one we will take directly to Canberra on behalf of our communities."

The Motion In Full

That, whereas the genocide by the Ottoman state between 1915-1923 of Armenians, Hellenes, Syrian and other minorities in Asia Minor is one of the greatest crimes against humanity, the people of South Australia and this House -

(a) join the members of the Armenian-Australian, Pontian Greek-Australian and Syrian-Australian communities in honoring the memory of the innocent men, women and children who fell victim to the first modern genocide;

(b) condemns the genocide of the Armenians, Pontian Greeks, Syrian Orthodox and other Christian minorities, and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of racial, religious and cultural intolerance;

(c) recognizes the importance of remembering and learning from such dark chapters in human history to ensure that such crimes against humanity are not allowed to be repeated;

(d) condemns and prevents all attempts to use the passage of time to deny or distort the historical truth of the genocide of the Armenians and other acts of genocide committed during this century;

(e) acknowledges the significant humanitarian contribution made by the people of South Australia to the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide and the Pontian Genocide; and

(f) calls on the Commonwealth Parliament officially to condemn the genocide.
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