PROUD ASSYRIAN

 
Hundreds to Attend Vote on Proposed Assyrian Genocide Monument

 Anticipating that hundreds of members of the Assyrian and Turkish communities will attend tomorrow night's Council meeting at Wakeley, Fairfield Council is asking residents to call ahead and let the council know they are coming.

Councillors will be voting on the controversial proposal for an Assyrian genocide memorial in Bonnyrigg Park.

Eight hundred locals have signed a petition calling for Fairfield council to abandon the proposal.

Fairfield Council has issued the following information for attendees:

"As Council is expecting more visitors than normal, visitors wishing to attend the December Council Meeting should contact Council's Administration Services on 9725 0226 for more information.

"As there is limited seating for the public in the Council Chamber there may not be seating available for everyone who wishes to attend. Council appreciates the patience and cooperation of everyone who has an interest in the Council Meeting.

Each Council Meeting is subject to a Code of Meeting Practice. As such, visitors are reminded that appropriate behaviour for a public meeting should be considered and directions from the Meeting Chairman should be followed at all times."

Residents with Turkish background are concerned that the proposed monument could be divisive for the community, and possibly trigger racial tension between the Assyrian and Turkish communities of Fairfield, and Greater Sydney.

One concerned resident has told local media that it's not council's role to enter the genocide debate, and that without official recognition of the genocide, which occurred in World War I, the monument was more likely to promote debate and "disunity rather than harmony".

A leading Assyrian community leader, Hermiz Shahen, has written to the local newspaper, the Fairfield Champion, to state the Assyrian community's viewpoint:

"... we are creating a historical monument dedicated to the average person, just like you and us, fallen as innocent victims to a devastating mass genocide of Assyrians, Armenians and Hellenic people.

"History is to be taught, not carried forward and to be lived in. We want understanding of our historical facts and shall continue to do so as long as we remain Assyrians united in promoting peace, love and harmony to the rest of the world."




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