Member of the Legislative Assembly Peter Katsambanis has risen in the Western Australian Parliament to state that “we should never forget the atrocities and horror of the Armenian Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide and the Pontian Greek Genocide”, reported the Armenian National Committee of Australia - Perth Branch (ANC-AU - Perth Branch).
Katsambanis, who is of Greek origin and formerly a Member of Victoria's Parliament, delivered an accurate historical on the events of 1915 after expressing his commendation of the recent resolution of the United States House of Representatives, recognising the Armenian Genocide as fact.
“I commend the House of Representatives of the United States of America for recently passing a resolution recognising one of the greatest human rights atrocities of the twentieth century—that is, the Armenian Genocide. History records that from around 1914 to 1923, as the Ottoman Empire was collapsing, there was a systematic targeting for death or deportation of Armenian people living in the area of Asia Minor now known as Turkey,” said the Member for Hillarys.
“At the same time there were other ethnic groups that were similarly targeted, including the Assyrian community and the Greeks, especially those from the Pontos region. It is estimated that around 1.5 million Armenians, 300,000 Assyrians and 750,000 Greeks were systematically murdered over the decade. Millions more were displaced, which created one of the biggest refugee crises of all time,” he added.
Katsambanis revealed the heroic efforts of George Devine Treloar in helping victims of the Genocide.
“One of the people who dealt with the aftermath of this refugee crisis was George Devine Treloar, DSO, MC, who was the Commissioner for Refugees for the League of Nations. Treloar was a decorated Australian war hero who worked tirelessly across northern Greece to help resettle the fleeing refugees," he said.
“Following his great work in Europe, Treloar and his family settled in Western Australia. He became a well-known radio commentator inPerth and stood as a candidate for the Liberal Party in the Legislative Council seat of West Province in 1950.”
Katsambanis concluded by stating: “Like Treloar’s wonderful work, we should never forget the atrocities and horror of the Armenian Genocide, the Assyrian Genocide and the Pontian Greek Genocide. Lest we forget.”
The Chair of the ANC-AU - Perth Branch, Zaven Boyadjian praised the speech by Katsambanis.
“Mr. Katsambanis's speech follows a similar recount by Mr. Tony Buti on the undeniability of the Armenian Genocide, and the genocides of Greeks and Assyrians by the Ottoman Empire,” Boyadjian said.
“The Armenian community of Western Australia thanks Mr. Katsambanis and those of his colleagues who are promoting the historical reality of one of the greatest crimes every committed against humanity, a crime still unpunished,” he added.