Armenians From India to Urge Obama to Recognize 1915 Genocide

ARMENIANS FROM INDIA TO URGE OBAMA TO RECOGNIZE 1915 GENOCIDE

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KOLKATA: Armenians of the city are going to write to US President
Barack Obama, urging him to recognize the massacre of Armenians in
Turkey on April 24, 1915, as genocide’.

11:47:03 – 10/04/2009
LRAGIR.AM

Students of city’s Armenian College have collected photographs and
historical data about the genocide after a year-long research. The
data they have gathered has been collated in the form of a film, which
too will be presented for President Obama’s consideration. Senior
members of the city’s Armenian community, like Peter Hyrapiet, Suzanne
Reuben and Gulnaar Gilhooly have worked alongside the students to help
them with data collection and film-making.

Outside Armenia, the US has the largest concentration of
Armenians. While the country has offered refuge to the community in
its hour of crisis, it has never accepted the mass killings of
Armenians on that fateful day as genocide. There are about a 100
countries that have pledged acceptance of the term in the United
Nations.

About a fortnight ago, even Australia accepted the massacre as
genocide. We just hope that the US also follows suit. Recent comments
by President Obama have encouraged the community across the world. We
hope that this year on April 24, he actually declares his country’s
acceptance of the darkest episode in the history of the community as
genocide,’ said head of the Armenian Church in India, Oshagan
Gulgulian, who has also spent a sizable part of his clerical life in
the US.

While every year, a part of the community in some part of the world
takes upon itself to take up the cause of the genocide forward, this
year it is the turn of Armenians based in India. The 200-strong
community in the city has tied up with the German consulate for a
public programme. ‘Since the largest concentration of Armenians in
this country is in Kolkata, we have taken the initiative here. We want
the people of Kolkata, who have always been very receptive to our
community, to share our pain. On that fateful day, 250 of our
intellectuals were murdered by the Ottoman empire in
Constantinople. Throughout that year, there were more than a million
murders. The genocide can be compared to the Jewish holocaust,’
Gulgulian said.

The Armenian community wants that Turkey must cease to be the only
major country in the world to deny the Armenian Genocide. Turkey must
allow American aid to present-day Armenia to pass through unhindered
and that it must cease to train Azerbaijani soldiers for the purpose
of attacking Armenia. These issues will also be raised in the charter.

Jean Eckian / Paris

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