(Sydney, Australia): The Young Liberals of New South Wales (NSW) Council Meeting unanimously passed a motion last week, recognising the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides of 1915-1923 and calling on the Commonwealth government of Australia to condemn the genocides perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire. The motion, moved by Armenian-Australian Young Liberal Movement member, Armen Arakelian was greeted with full support from all attending the Council meeting.
President of the Young Liberals Fairfield Branch, Assyrian-Australian Matthew Hana, seconded this motion, speaking of the importance of recognising this important part of history and the links to contemporary events that are taking place in Iraq and Syria today, as a result of a lack of condemnation of the past.
Members were invited to speak in favour of the motion, to which Rory Amon, President of the Young Liberals Pittwater Branch, spoke of the importance in recognising the past as to not repeat it again, and acknowledged the active role that the Armenian community of Australia continues to demonstrate throughout today’s society and the contributions they have made to this country.
Invited as observers for the passing of this motion, in attendance were ANC Australia Executive Administrator, Arin Markarian, and the Executive Assistant to the Permanent Representative of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic to Australia, Alex Galitsky.
Markarian commented on the passing of the motion stating: “I thank the members of the Young Liberal Movement of NSW who invited us to attend and witness such their dedication to seeking a change in Australia’s foreign policy towards the current position regarding the Armenian Genocide."
"With their senior Federal Parliamentary party currently in power in the Federal government, we welcome this stance as a message upstream to the Turnbull government."
Markarian added: "It is reassuring to know that the potential future leaders of this state and country are willing to seek truth and justice prevail over foreign ‘gag order’ bullying, in relation to today’s tactics used by the Republic of Turkey to dictate Australia’s position on the Armenian Genocide. I congratulate and thank the Young Liberal Movement of NSW for their unanimous decision in passing this motion.”
The motion reads as follows:
That the NSW Young Liberal Movement:
1. Condemns the genocides of 1.5 million Armenians, 750,000 Greeks and 400,000 Assyrians by the Ottoman Empire during 1915 to 1923;
2. Notes the link between the Armenian Genocide and the ANZACs who rescued thousands of fleeing orphans from the hands of the Ottoman Turks;
3. Pays tribute to Sir Thomas Walter White (the Australian prisoner of war who witnessed and documented the Armenian Genocide) who later became a cabinet minister for the first Liberal Party;
4. Notes the first ever Australian humanitarian charity campaign 'The Near East Relief Fund';
5. Reaffirms the NSW Government's position on the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian Genocide;
6. Calls on the Commonwealth Government to officially condemn the genocide of the Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians and any attempt to deny such crimes against humanity.