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A United Commemoration for the Victims of Genocide

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A United Commemoration for the Victims of Genocide

Jul-25-2013 at 06:06 AM (UTC+3 Nineveh, Assyria)

Members and leaders of Greek, Armenian, Assyrian and Jewish communities at the united commemoration for the victims of genocide in NSW parliament.

A United Commemoration for the Victims of Genocide
by July 1, 2013.

“In the same way, education is the only answer to the problem of genocide in the 21st century world. In Australia, a key is the incorporation of the stories of the genocides of the Hellenes, Armenians and Assyrians within the Australian education system.”

— Dr Panayiotis Diamadis”

With great respect and humility, the memory of the victims of the genocide of the Hellenes of Pontos, Anatolia and eastern Thrace was honoured in the Parliament of New South Wales, on Wednesday 19 June.

The Pontian associations of NSW - Pontoxeniteas, Panayia Soumela and Diogenes (Wollongong) - combined their forces to honour the memory of their ancestors as well as those who moved the recent resolutions of recognition in the state parliament of New South Wales. The NSW Parliament passed two unanimous motions in May this year, recognising the Assyrian and Greek genocides, and reaffirming its 1997 motion recognising the Armenian genocide.

All political parties were represented at the commemoration evening in the parliament, while also present in great number were leaders of the Hellenic, Armenian, Assyrian and Jewish communities, as well as directors of the Australian Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies.

The Consul-General of the Hellenic Republic, Mr Vasileios Tolios and the Consul, Mrs Dora Toumanidou-Toliou were joined by representatives of the Central Pontian Community of Melbourne, the Panayia Soumela Foundation, the Euxeinos Pontos Association, the Pontian Society of Whittlesea Panayia Soumela, the Αkrites of Pontos and Return to Anatolia, as well as the Pontian Brotherhood of South Australia and the Pontian Brotherhood of Canberra.

Amongst the community organisations represented were the Pan-Macedonian Association of NSW, the Order of AHEPA, the Australian Hellenic Educators' Association of NSW, and the Organisation of Greek and Greek Cypriot Women.

In her political address, the parliament's sole indigenous Australian member the Hon Lynda Burney MP drew parallels between the experiences of indigenous Australians and the Hellenes of Anatolia. Ms Burney emphasised the significance of memory - both collective and individual.

In a small gesture of Australian Hellenism's gratitude towards the members of Parliament - who unanimously supported twin resolutions of recognition of the genocides of the Hellenes and Assyrians - plaques and icons of Our Lady of Mount Mela were presented to Premier Barry O'Farrell MP and to the Leader of the Opposition, John Robertson.

As the keynote speaker of the evening, Dr Panayiotis Diamadis, lecturer in Genocide Studies at the University of Technology, Sydney, said in his speech: "Genocides do not occur without education. An individual does not suddenly commit mass murder without having undergone some educational process."

"In the same way, education is the only answer to the problem of genocide in the 21st century world. In Australia, a key is the incorporation of the stories of the genocides of the Hellenes, Armenians and Assyrians within the Australian education system," Diamadis said.

A team of educators is currently developing programs for the Australian curriculum which specifically incorporate genocidal experiences.

The sponsor of the resolution in the Legislative Assembly, Rev. Fred Nile MLC was also presented with a plaque. Following the commemoration, Rev. Nile addressed the NSW Upper House, speaking about the commemoration and delivering a solemn tribute to Australian ANZAC soldiers who witnessed and provided relief efforts during the genocides of the Armenian, Greek and Assyrian population of the Ottoman Empire.

Nile's message comes after Turkey's Foreign Ministry has threatened to ban those Australian politicians who supported recent motions to recognise these genocides from attending Gallipoli commemorations of ANZAC Day in 2015. In his speech on the floor of the Legislative Council, Nile called upon Turkey to have respect for Australian history and to recognise the crime of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire.

"Modern Turkey and modern Australia must have a friendship that is based on mutual respect and understanding of historical differences. Turkey and Australia have overcome the legacy of the battles on Gallipoli, so we must overcome whatever difference of opinion we have about recent motions recognising the Assyrian and Hellenic genocides and reaffirming the Armenian genocide," Nile said.

A United Commemoration for the Victims of Genocide

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Assyria \ã-'sir-é-ä\ n (1998)   1:  an ancient empire of Ashur   2:  a democratic state in Bet-Nahren, Assyria (northern Iraq, northwestern Iran, southeastern Turkey and eastern Syria.)   3:  a democratic state that fosters the social and political rights to all of its inhabitants irrespective of their religion, race, or gender   4:  a democratic state that believes in the freedom of religion, conscience, language, education and culture in faithfulness to the principles of the United Nations Charter — Atour synonym

Ethnicity, Religion, Language
» Israeli, Jewish, Hebrew
» Assyrian, Christian, Aramaic
» Saudi Arabian, Muslim, Arabic
Assyrian \ã-'sir-é-an\ adj or n (1998)   1:  descendants of the ancient empire of Ashur   2:  the Assyrians, although representing but one single nation as the direct heirs of the ancient Assyrian Empire, are now doctrinally divided, inter sese, into five principle ecclesiastically designated religious sects with their corresponding hierarchies and distinct church governments, namely, Church of the East, Chaldean, Maronite, Syriac Orthodox and Syriac Catholic.  These formal divisions had their origin in the 5th century of the Christian Era.  No one can coherently understand the Assyrians as a whole until he can distinguish that which is religion or church from that which is nation -- a matter which is particularly difficult for the people from the western world to understand; for in the East, by force of circumstances beyond their control, religion has been made, from time immemorial, virtually into a criterion of nationality.   3:  the Assyrians have been referred to as Aramaean, Aramaye, Ashuraya, Ashureen, Ashuri, Ashuroyo, Assyrio-Chaldean, Aturaya, Chaldean, Chaldo, ChaldoAssyrian, ChaldoAssyrio, Jacobite, Kaldany, Kaldu, Kasdu, Malabar, Maronite, Maronaya, Nestorian, Nestornaye, Oromoye, Suraya, Syriac, Syrian, Syriani, Suryoye, Suryoyo and Telkeffee. — Assyrianism verb

Aramaic \ar-é-'máik\ n (1998)   1:  a Semitic language which became the lingua franca of the Middle East during the ancient Assyrian empire.   2:  has been referred to as Neo-Aramaic, Neo-Syriac, Classical Syriac, Syriac, Suryoyo, Swadaya and Turoyo.

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