The NSW Labor Opposition has officially recognised and condemned the genocide of the Assyrian people by the Ottoman Government between 1914 and 1922.
Opposition Leader John Robertson spoke in support of the motion which was moved in State Parliament on Wednesday.The motion, in part, reads:
“This House reaffirms its condemnation of the genocide of the Assyrians, Armenians and Greeks and all other acts of genocide as the ultimate act of intolerance … [and] recognises 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.”
Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Communities Guy Zangari said: “The genocide of the Assyrian people in the early 20th century is a matter of historical record. It must be recognised and condemned. Labor has long acknowledged the tragic suffering of the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek people during World War 1 and its aftermath. Our resolve to support this motion was unyielding. It is our duty as parliamentarians to speak the truth and place these events on the record for all time.”
Mr Zangari expressed regret that Premier Barry O’Farrell brought the motion before the Parliament with only three hours’ notice.
“I do not doubt the Government’s sincerity – but it would have been more respectful to give the public more notice,” he said.
“This would have allowed greater input from the Assyrian community – and many more to attend such a momentous event.”