Armenians Mark Genocide Centennial, March for Recognition

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  • W460
  • W460

Lebanon's Armenians held a protest on Friday to mark the 100th anniversary of when some 250 Armenian intellectuals were rounded up by Ottoman Turks as the first step of the genocide against them.

The protesters marched from the Armenian Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia to the town of Bourj Hammoud to demand the recognition of the genocide that was committed around the time of World War I.

Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks, in the first genocide of the 20th century.

The protesters, some hoisting Armenia's flags, held banners calling for recognition and justice.

“We will not forget and we will not forgive,” one protester told Naharnet by telephone. “We will keep fighting until Turkey recognizes the genocide.”

Speaking at a mass rally commemorating the occasion in Bourj Hammoud, MP Hagop Pakradonian of the Tashnag Party called on the Arab states to “acknowledge Turkey's responsibility for the Armenian Genocide.”

“We refuse to give this issue a religious dimension, because it is not related to religion,” he added.

“We are the victims of international silence and the interests of the nations that speak of democracy and justice as they continue their occupation and killing,” Pakradonian went on to say.

He also urged Turkey to “recognize its responsibility” in order to “fulfill justice,” demanding “moral, political, financial and geographic compensations.”

Ahead of the protest, Prime Minister Tammam Salam telephoned the head of the Catholicosate of the Great House of Cilicia, Aram I, to express sympathy with Armenians.

Salam appreciated the role that Armenian confessions have played in Lebanon to consolidate the country's unity.

Aram told the protesters gathering at the Catholicosate that Armenians don't ask for “condolences” from Turkey.

“We want recognition … and justice,” he said.

“We tell the world that we emerged victorious in the genocide because our people lived,” he stated.

Aram urged the Arab world to support the Armenian people for the sake of justice. “What are the nations that haven't yet recognized the Armenian genocide waiting for?” he asked.

Aram asked the young generation to continue its fight until it achieves justice and a “new dawn.”

The main commemoration of the genocide was held in Yerevan where world leaders, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and French President Francois Hollande, attended the ceremony at the memorial complex on a hill that looms over Armenia's capital.

Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil, Energy Minister Arthur Nazarian and Education Minister Elias Bou Saab represented Lebanon at the commemoration.

Maronite Patriarch Beshara al-Rahi was also in attendance.

Bassil met with his Armenian counterpart Edward Nalbandian on the sidelines of the ceremony, the state-run National News Agency reported.

Nalbandyan thanked Bassil and the Lebanese government for their “support to Armenia,” it said.

Other commemorations marking the genocide centennial are expected to draw millions in Paris, Los Angeles and beyond. They will come a day after a service near the Armenian capital, which conferred sainthood on those massacred by Ottoman forces between 1915 and 1917.

The event outside Armenia's main cathedral, Echmiadzin, was believed to be the biggest canonization service in history.

But Turkey has long held that the death estimate is inflated and says that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest, not genocide.

More than 20 nations, including France and Russia, have recognized the genocide against the Armenians despite fierce lobbying by Turkey to prevent the recognitions.

G.K./Y.R.

Comments 12
Thumb eagledawn 24 April 2015, 12:21

no sectarian hatred detected in flamethrower's ( abbas jaafar tleis) posts, whatsoever (:

Default-user-icon moto (Guest) 24 April 2015, 13:20

every lebanese tv network celebrated the memorial of the armenian genocide, every one exept al manar that is.. al manar's slogan should be always apart.

Default-user-icon moto (Guest) 24 April 2015, 14:21

al manar's slogan always apart, that's fact and you know it

Default-user-icon Jean Azziz (Guest) 24 April 2015, 14:35

FT spare yourself the embarrassment by not going off script and commenting on something specific happening in Lebanon without prompt. As you recall your handlers have told you this many times. You don't live here so your ignorance is understandable.

Default-user-icon Jean Azziz (Guest) 24 April 2015, 17:13

You took my advice and waited until your handlers gave you a proper script before you replied. Kudos to them, aclever job. Let me explain in case you missed it. Paying bills where you live is not something anyone brags about, almost everybody does it. Here in Lebanon, especially in your former community unlike mine, it's so rare the two or three percent that do it on a regular basis are bragging about it ad nauseam.
As for the "Jewish ancestors" I just don't know. The maternal side of my family can trace it's history here in Mount Lebanon back at least six hundred years, with roots going back to the Canaanites and Phoenicians like many Lebanese or like yourself, former ones. So who knows, maybe one of those a couple of thousand years ago met a pretty Jewish girl, married her and made babies one of whom is an ancestor of mine or even yours. Think about it we might be related you and I. Flamethrower, tomorrow morning get yourself a bagel for breakfast, and toast your Jewish ancestors.

Default-user-icon 5080 (Guest) 24 April 2015, 14:11

When and where was this photo of Riffi taken or does it not matter as long as you get your bull rhetoric mileage in. Aounists need those to live, Aoun's giving them nothing else to believe in as he keeps changing his stances..

Thumb tric.portugal 24 April 2015, 15:33

S.O.S....Save the Cristhians in Levant ...S.O.S.... in year 2015...S.O.S...Lebanon fall in the hands of Meca...S.O.S...

Thumb Al-Ba3th 24 April 2015, 15:40

Are you having a stroke?

Missing bigjohn 24 April 2015, 16:05

Lebanon is the Only country other than Armenia to close the schools today. M14 Muslim political leaders could not argue against it because they would lose many Christian support and M8 Muslim political leaders do not have good relations with the Turkish government.

Missing Ghazanfar 24 April 2015, 17:47

M8 Muslim political leaders do not have good relations with the Turkish government.

it depends
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4yhQczxLtxM

Missing bigjohn 24 April 2015, 16:09

Historically and ethically, if you do not believe there was GENOCIDE against the Turks than you can not call what happened to the Jews in WWII as "genocide". It ALL comes to money and power. The Armenians do not have the billionaires the Jews have, and they have the Turkish state fighting it where the Germans were forced to recognize the Jewish Genocide by the victorious Allies who occupied Germany.

Default-user-icon Gareth bail (Guest) 25 April 2015, 20:20

rifi does not disagree he was just in turkey officially representing the lebanese government, as for a tripolitan thug is that the same one lovingly saved from jail by nawwar al sahily sent personally by his fellow jihadi hassan nasrallah's