SYDNEY: In statements released to the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC-AU) on the occasion of the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, The Australian Greens and Senator Nick Xenophon have issued powerful calls on the Australian federal government to recognise the Armenian Genocide.
The Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) are powerful cross-bench players in Federal Parliament, and these statements are expected to attract the attention of many in Canberra.
The Greens’ Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Senator Scott Ludlam said in a statement read out at the National Armenian Genocide Commemoration Evening in Sydney: “When the term ‘genocide’ was first coined to describe atrocities on such scale, the deaths of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire were cited as a defining example, yet to this day the Armenian Genocide is not recognised by parliaments across the world.”
“State parliaments in Australia have recognised it, it’s high time our Commonwealth parliament did too. Furthermore, we should be calling on the Turkish government to do the same.”
Ludlam added: “ANZAC prisoners of war bore witness to some these vicious acts, we owe it to them to challenge any attempts to distort or outright deny the truth of the Armenian Genocide.”
Senator Xenophon’s statement read: “To do this, Australia needs to stand up – stand up to genocide, and stand up and join those who have already recognised this brutality.
“We’ve seen Canada stand up again this year, reaffirming their commitment to Armenian genocide recognition. Prime Minister Trudeau said: ‘On this occasion, Canadians – regardless of faith or ethnic background – stand together in solemn remembrance and reaffirmed dedication to ensuring that we never stand indifferently in the face of hate or violence in any form’.”
“It’s now time, or actually well overdue, for our Government to also stand together in solemn remembrance, to listen to the hundreds who marched at Sydney’s Hyde Park yesterday calling for recognition, and to finally acknowledge these terrible wrongs,” Xenophon added. “We cannot change the past; we can only choose to accept or deny the lessons it has to teach us.”
ANC-AU Managing Director, Vache Kahramanian welcomed both statements.
“We thank the good Senators for continuing their support for Australian federal recognition of the Armenian Genocide, and we promise to work with them to ensure no Turkish-imposed gag rule stops our nation for standing on the correct side on issues of human rights,” Kahramanian said.