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Armenian Genocide Monument to be Unveiled in Wales

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  • Yegoyan
    started a topic Armenian Genocide Monument to be Unveiled in Wales

    Armenian Genocide Monument to be Unveiled in Wales

    Several hundred Armenians from across the United Kingdom will gather at the Temple of Peace, Cardiff at 1.00 p.m. on Saturday for the unveiling of the first public monument to the Armenian Genocide in the UK.

    Permission has been granted by the United Nations Association Wales and the monument will stand on land owned by the National Assembly of Wales. The monument will be unveiled by the presiding officer of the National Assembly, Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas and the Armenian Ambassador, Dr Vahe Gabrielyan.

    Welsh and Armenian choirs as well as Armenian dancers will take part in the unveiling. Canon Patrick Thomas, a well-known Welsh writer, will speak on the topic of "Armenia and Wales" and Mike Joseph, a highly respected Welsh-Jewish historian and academic will speak about Member of Parliament Aneurin Williams, the Welsh lobbyist for Armenia in Parliament during the time of the Genocide. Prayers will be said in Welsh, Armenian and Aramean.

    The Monument is a "thank you" to the people of Wales for the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the political cultural and religious representatives of the nation.

    Wales has distinguished itself by being the first country within the UK to recognize the Armenian Genocide at both national and regional levels.
    This event is unique for a number of reasons. This is the first time a plot of land has been allocated in a public area within the UK for a memorial to the victims of the Armenian Genocide.

    The stone is Welsh, the design is Armenian, the stonemason is Welsh and the inscription is by the hand of a Bishop of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The commemorative words are in Welsh, Armenian and English.

  • Joseph
    replied
    Morning Star, UK
    January 28, 2008 Monday

    Britain - Armenians heckled at memorial event


    Turkish nationalist protesters heckled Armenians attending the
    Holocaust Memorial Day event in Cardiff on Sunday.

    The wreath-laying event, held outside the Temple of Peace in Cathays
    Park, attracted the displeasure of the self-styled Committee for the
    Protection of Turkish Rights, which previously sent 100 protesters to
    disrupt a requiem service organised to consecrate the Welsh National
    Armenian genocide monument outside the temple on November 3.

    Some Turkish nationalists are furious at attempts to remember the
    Turkish government's attempt to wipe out its Armenian population in
    1915.

    A spokesman for the Welsh Armenian group at Sunday's event explained
    why they were attending Holocaust Memorial Day.

    "This is the only public genocide monument in Wales, even in the UK,"
    he said.

    "We hope that it will become a focus for every other group which has
    suffered or has been persecuted.

    "Also we hope that Armenian-Jewish friendship will be promoted by
    this."

    Leave a comment:


  • Joseph
    replied
    http://accc.org.uk/

    Leave a comment:


  • Joseph
    replied
    http://www.religiousintelligence.co....s/?NewsID=1516

    Armenian monument desecrated
    Monday, 28th January 2008. 5:09pm

    By: .

    THE WELSH Armenian community has been left reeling after a monument to commemorate the 1915 genocide was desecrated in the early hours of Holocaust Memorial Day.

    The monument, which is situated at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff, had its ornate Armenian Cross smashed by a hammer which was found at the scene. Eilian Williams of Wales Armenia Solidarity condemned the attack, which happened just hours before a memorial service in remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenians killed in the genocide of 1915.

    He said: “I call on Armenians and other sympathisers throughout the world to send messages of support to Wales Armenia Solidarity which we can send to the Prime Minister of the National Assembly of Wales.

    “We shall repair the cross again and again, no matter how often it is desecrated. “We also challange the UK government and the Turkish Embassy to condemn this racist attack.”

    Leave a comment:


  • Joseph
    replied
    FEATURE - 20TH CENTURY'S FIRST GENOCIDE
    by Ray Davies

    Morning Star, UK
    November 7, 2007 Wednesday

    Despite pressure from the Foreign Office, enormous efforts from
    official Turkish delegations and the day-long attempt by 150 Turkish
    pro-government demonstrators to break up the event, Cardiff played
    host to the successful unveiling of a monument to the 1915 Armenian
    Genocide on Saturday.

    The Welsh capital has become the first city in Britain to dedicate
    a public space to a memorial to the estimated 1.5 million victims of
    this, the first modern genocide.

    Two-thirds of the Armenian population were killed or exiled and the
    surviving diaspora was scattered across the world.

    Hundreds of Armenians made the journey from across Britain and as
    far afield as Australia to come together on this historic occasion,
    to remember, mourn and celebrate their survival.

    Welsh Assembly presiding officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas joined the
    Armenian ambassador to Britain to unveil the monument in the Temple
    of Peace gardens.

    The Armenian bishop, backed by the Armenian church choir, consecrated
    the carved stone or khatchkar, an ancient symbol of Armenia.

    The unveiling was the culmination of years of dedicated campaigning led
    by Eilian Williams, supported by the Welsh Centre for International
    Affairs and the Cardiff branch of the United Nations Association to
    achieve recognition for the Armenian tragedy.

    Speeches and dedications were interspersed with music, dance and
    poetry.

    The vociferous Turkish demonstration stood in the gardens below
    the meeting chanting slogans and holding large banners denying the
    Armenian genocide.

    But the police contained them and songs of peace inside the hall
    drowned out their shouting.

    It was an emotional and humbling experience to see the effect on the
    Armenian audience as they joined in singing the civil rights song We
    Shall Overcome.

    They listened to Cor Cochion's rendition of Gehat Hob Ikh A Haym,
    written in 1944 in the Polish ghetto, and Mae Gen I Freuddwyd -
    Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech in Welsh.

    Other entertainment was provided by the 50 members of Cor Aelwyd
    Hamdden from north Wales, a group of young Armenian dancers and
    traditional duduk players.

    The Armenian ambassador spoke passionately about the shared historical
    links between Wales and Armenia, from the father of the Eisteddfod
    Iolo Morgannwg to his grandson Aneurin Williams MP, who helped build
    the League of Nations, the organisation which brought the Temple of
    Peace into being.

    Williams was also the most passionate defender of the Armenian cause
    in the House of Commons.

    The angry Turkish protest has only succeeded in drawing the world's
    attention to this wrong and begun to reverse the global historic
    amnesia about Armenia among those who need to maintain Turkey as an
    ally in NATO wars.

    There is no doubt that the unveiling of this Celtic/Armenian cross
    will bring forward the day when the world accepts the reality of the
    tragedy of the first genocide of the 20th century and, in remembering,
    help to heal the century-old injustice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Yegoyan
    replied
    I'm sure these memorials will be vandalized soon enough...

    Leave a comment:


  • Joseph
    replied
    PRESS RELEASE
    Wales-Armenia Solidarity
    Contact: E. Williams
    Cardiff, Wales
    Tel: 07870267447
    Email: eilian@nant.wanadoo.co.uk

    WALES AND ARMENIA


    Address at the Unveiling of the Memorial to the Victims of the Armenian
    Genocide 1915

    Temple of Peace, Cardiff, 3rd November 2007



    [The passages in italics were delivered in Welsh and have been translated]

    It is a special privilege to be part of this historic occasion to pay
    tribute to those who suffered in the Armenian genocide during the First
    World War.

    In Wales we are familiar with the idea of being air-brushed out of history.
    The old encyclopaedias used to have the advice 'for Wales, see England'.
    School text-books jump straight from the Romans to the Saxons, forgetting
    the native British, who became Welsh. Cultural historians ignore poets and
    novelists who wrote and write in Welsh. Church historians right as though
    Christianity first came to Britain with Augustine in 597, at a time when our
    glorious 'Age of Saints' in Wales was in fact drawing to a close.

    That may be painful and irritating at times, but there is nothing in our
    experience that is as appalling as the genocide that systematically
    destroyed a million and a half Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during the
    First World War and the years immediately afterwards. And whatever
    historical air-brushing we have on occasion suffered from in Wales, it is
    quite trivial in comparison with the repeated denial of the Armenian
    genocide and the attempt to discount or relativize such unspeakable
    suffering.

    One of our familiar sayings in Wales is 'Y Gwir yn erbyn y Byd' ('The Truth
    against the World'), and it's fitting and appropriate that our small nation
    stands side by side with our Armenian brothers and sisters to acknowledge
    the hideous suffering of the past and to deny the lies that seek to hide the
    uncomfortable truth of the genocide.

    When we are faced with the statistics of genocide - with numbers of deaths
    running into six or seven figures - it's often easy for those of us who are
    outside the tragedy to forget its intense human dimension.

    A memory comes back to me of a visit to the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan.
    What left an indelible impression on me there was the single skull of one of
    the martyrs of the genocide, brought back to Armenia from the sands of the
    Syrian desert where so many died in such agony. It was a reminder that each
    one of those who died was an individual - a precious person made in the
    image and likeness of God, with a family and loved ones and a potential for
    life that was brutally and cruelly snuffed out.

    And another memory - of a party of schoolchildren, laughing and smiling on
    the steps of the Matenadaran, as they visited that wonderful shrine to
    Armenia's astonishingly rich culture. Seeing them, I thought, 'Children like
    these were those who were murdered, brutalized, enslaved, starved or
    orphaned during those horrendous years between 1915 and 1923.' Again I was
    reminded of the need for a respectful acknowledgment of all that pain.

    The idea of 'parch' ('respect') is something else that is important to us in
    Wales: respect for those who deserve respect. And who is more worthy of
    respect than these sufferers who have been scorned and swept away by those
    who want to forget or deny the terrible reality of their suffering?

    One of those small children spotted an ancient cross-stone by the entrance
    to the Matenadaran and shouted excitedly "Khatchkar! Khatchkar!" - and today
    we have unveiled and dedicated Wales' first khatchkar, with its Armenian
    cross that is such a powerful sign of suffering and hope.

    In Wales we are used to our Celtic cross which is a symbol of the world made
    whole and redeemed through the sacrificial suffering of Christ. The Armenian
    cross also represents Christ's suffering and its four corners embrace the
    four corners of the world. In the version of it on many ancient khatchkars
    the branches of the Tree of Life grow from the cross - that tree whose
    leaves, the Bible tells us, are 'for the healing of the nations'. So the
    Armenian cross is not only a sign of the suffering of a Christian nation
    which has known more than any other what it is to be crucified with Christ.
    It is also a sign of hope for the future of all humanity.

    So the khatchkar can teach us in Wales to rediscover the true meaning of our
    Celtic cross as a sign that offers hope to our world. It also reminds us of
    the way in which the Christian gospel has shaped the history and culture and
    identity of our two nations across the centuries.

    The monastery of Geghard in the mountains of Armenia, with its extraordinary
    churches carved out of the living rock, is one of the most remarkable and
    powerful architectural and spiritual masterpieces in the world. And in one
    of those churches, right in the heart of the rock, there is a unique and
    very moving khatchkar. Instead of leafy branches growing out from the foot
    of the cross, there are two doves: signs of the Holy Spirit and of peace,
    recalling that dove which Noah released from the Ark.

    They reminded me of the dove that I held between my hands outside the church
    of Saint Gayané in Holy Etchmiadzin, sensing its vulnerability and its
    beating heart. There is a tradition that goes back to the teaching of St.
    Grigor himself, and which seems to surface again and again in Armenian
    thought and writings, which describes the souls of the faithful departed,
    winging like doves towards heaven. And in his final article that courageous
    journalist Hrant Dink, murdered at the beginning of this year, wrote 'I feel
    like a dove'.

    The dove is vulnerable - a reminder of the innocent defenceless martyred
    dead - and yet it also stands for freedom and hope. The dove which I
    released with a prayer on that Sunday morning outside Saint Gayané flew
    towards Mount Ararat - Masis.

    Think for a moment how we Welsh people would feel if Yr Wyddfa (Snowdon),
    our special symbolic mountain, was controlled by foreigners and we were
    prevented from going there by watchtowers, high fences, minefields and armed
    soldiers. That is what it is like for the Armenians. They can see the beauty
    and wonder of Ararat - but they cannot get close to it.

    My prayer today, remembering that dove and the beauty of the snows on Ararat
    shining in the sun, is that a time may come not only when the government of
    Turkey will admit the truth of the genocide of 1915, but also when Armenians
    will once again walk freely on that holy mountain Ararat, Masis - as a salve
    to help to heal a wound that has been open for far too long.


    Patrick Thomas
    (The Reverend Canon Dr) Patrick Thomas
    The Church in Wales / Yr Eglwys yng Nghymru
    Vicar of Christ Church, Carmarthen and Canon Librarian of St Davids
    Cathedral, Pembrokeshire

    Leave a comment:


  • Joseph
    replied
    Originally posted by Hovik View Post
    Protest as memorial is unveiled
    Members of the Turkish community protested at the unveiling of a plaque to a genocide they say never happened.
    The Armenian genocide of 1915 at the time of the Ottoman Empire has been a source of deep division between Turkish and Armenian communities worldwide.

    Armenians say 1.5m were killed, through systematic massacres or starvation, a claim denied by the Turkish community.

    Saturday's unveiling at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff events saw feelings running high on both sides.

    Welsh assembly Presiding Officer Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas was at the unveiling of the plaque which has been paid for by donations from the Wales Armenia Society.

    'Slandered'

    Members of the Turkish community insist that erecting the memorial amounted to racism.

    Protestor Levent Hassan said: "It's a question of our ancestors being accused of genocide."

    "If such a genocide took place, then let's prove it and let all concerned commemorate those horrible events," he added.

    "But if there isn't - why should we allow our ancestors to be slandered in such a way."

    The monument stands in the gardens of the Temple of Peace on what is said to be the UK's first piece of public land donated for an Armenian memorial.

    Ahead of the ceremony, Welsh assembly Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas said Wales's relationship with Armenia "went back centuries".

    He receive a marble cross, or khatchkar, on behalf of Wales at the unveiling ceremony.

    Welsh interest

    Lord Elis-Thomas joined members of the Armenian and Christian communities on Saturday.

    "The fact that the funds for this fine memorial have been raised entirely by the Armenians who live in Wales and that it will occupy a special place here in the Temple of Peace, reflects the vibrant Welsh interest in the history of Armenia," he said.

    The Welsh Centre for International Affairs, which is located at the Temple of Peace, is a forum which seeks to promote human rights and international understanding.

    Steven Thomas, its director, sad: "We've held events at the Temple of Peace over the past seven years to note the Armenian genocide, including parts of ceremonies we've held for National Holocaust Remembrance Day in January each year. "

    However, he said there had been a "much bigger response" to the monument because the commemoration to the Armenians would literally be set in stone.

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...es/7075899.stm

    Published: 2007/11/03 15:50:14 GMT

    © BBC MMVII
    The more the denialists protest the unveiling of monuments, the worse they look in the eyes of the general public. They are doing themselves a disservice and doing our work for for us as far as making denialists look foolish.

    Leave a comment:


  • Hovik
    replied
    Protest as memorial is unveiled

    Protest as memorial is unveiled
    Members of the Turkish community protested at the unveiling of a plaque to a genocide they say never happened.
    The Armenian genocide of 1915 at the time of the Ottoman Empire has been a source of deep division between Turkish and Armenian communities worldwide.

    Armenians say 1.5m were killed, through systematic massacres or starvation, a claim denied by the Turkish community.

    Saturday's unveiling at the Temple of Peace in Cardiff events saw feelings running high on both sides.

    Welsh assembly Presiding Officer Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas was at the unveiling of the plaque which has been paid for by donations from the Wales Armenia Society.

    'Slandered'

    Members of the Turkish community insist that erecting the memorial amounted to racism.

    Protestor Levent Hassan said: "It's a question of our ancestors being accused of genocide."

    "If such a genocide took place, then let's prove it and let all concerned commemorate those horrible events," he added.

    "But if there isn't - why should we allow our ancestors to be slandered in such a way."

    The monument stands in the gardens of the Temple of Peace on what is said to be the UK's first piece of public land donated for an Armenian memorial.

    Ahead of the ceremony, Welsh assembly Presiding Officer Dafydd Elis-Thomas said Wales's relationship with Armenia "went back centuries".

    He receive a marble cross, or khatchkar, on behalf of Wales at the unveiling ceremony.

    Welsh interest

    Lord Elis-Thomas joined members of the Armenian and Christian communities on Saturday.

    "The fact that the funds for this fine memorial have been raised entirely by the Armenians who live in Wales and that it will occupy a special place here in the Temple of Peace, reflects the vibrant Welsh interest in the history of Armenia," he said.

    The Welsh Centre for International Affairs, which is located at the Temple of Peace, is a forum which seeks to promote human rights and international understanding.

    Steven Thomas, its director, sad: "We've held events at the Temple of Peace over the past seven years to note the Armenian genocide, including parts of ceremonies we've held for National Holocaust Remembrance Day in January each year. "

    However, he said there had been a "much bigger response" to the monument because the commemoration to the Armenians would literally be set in stone.

    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...es/7075899.stm

    Published: 2007/11/03 15:50:14 GMT

    © BBC MMVII

    Leave a comment:

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