MP to Australia - 'Speak the tragedy's name' on Armenian Genocide

MP to Australia - 'Speak the tragedy's name' on Armenian Genocide

PanARMENIAN.Net - The Member for the Federal electorate of Goldstein, Tim Wilson rose in the House of Representatives to deliver a powerful message in support of the Motion debated on Tuesday, June 26, supporting Australia's recognition of the Armenian Genocide through the prism of the country's first major international humanitarian relief effort.

Wilson, who is of Armenian heritage, became the seventh speaker in one day on the Armenian Genocide. Significantly, he used his speech to remove the ambiguity around the word "genocide" when referring to the Armenian case.

Referring to the speakers during the debate on the motion recognising Australia's international humanitarian relief effort, Wilson drew attention to the fact that three of the six speakers used the opportunity to call the genocide by name, and called on all of his colleagues to do the same when talking about the Armenian Genocide.

Wilson said: "I particularly welcome this motion moved by the member for North Sydney. I also welcome the contributions, in a bipartisan way, from the members for Bennelong and Hunter, who particularly acknowledged the full extent of the genocide that occurred."

"There were other speakers to the motion, and I don't want to dispute their motivations or intent. We welcome their empathy, but we also must acknowledge that a word was missing from their remarks."

He added: "They rightly spoke of a humanitarian tragedy befalling the Armenian people. They are right; there was a humanitarian tragedy. Another member spoke of the need for Armenians to be rescued, but didn't properly articulate from what."

"They spoke of events from 100 years ago befalling the Armenian people—the loss of life, the marches through the desert and the need for relief funds to support people in dire and desperate need—but did not dare to speak the tragedy's name: genocide."

Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) Executive Director, Haig Kayserian, who was with colleagues witnessing Wilson's adjournment speech in the House of Representatives, echoed the need for accuracy when discussing genocide.

"We thank Mr. Wilson for his powerful statement last night," Kayserian said. "His words have helped ensure that the Australian Parliament's debate on Australia's first major international humanitarian relief effort has led to a maturing of discourse surrounding the Armenian Genocide."

Kayserian added: "For a Member of Parliament to call on his colleagues to use every conversation surrounding the Armenian Genocide to accurately refer to the Armenian Genocide is a welcomed readjustment of the standards to what Australians of Armenian, Greek and Assyrian heritage expect from this debate."

Kayserian extended another word of gratitude to all seven speakers on the Motion recognising Australia's first major international humanitarian relief effort on 25th June, 2018.

"It was a historic day for the Armenian Cause, and for the Cause of Assyrians and Greeks, in Australia," he said. "We thank all Members of Parliament who spoke on the motion, and particularly thank the mover of the motion, Mr. Trent Zimmerman, and seconders Mr. Joel Fitzgibbon and Mr. John Alexander for what is an important step towards Australia's eventual recognition of the Armenian Genocide."

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