Genocides: The Before and After
Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m.
43 Lancaster Gate
W2 3NA, London
6 p.m. Registration and Light Refreshments
6:30 to 8 p.m. Program
Including the Armenian Genocide, the Jewish and Roma Holocaust, Kurdish Genocide at the University of Sulaymaniyah in Qaladze, the Rohingya in Myanmar, and the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo.
Opening remarks: Margaret Keverian-Ali: director, UPF-United Kingdom
Dr. Garen Arevian: Campaign for the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide (CRAG)
Khalid Asinger from Nawandi Qaladze
Gabor Boros: The Roma Holocaust
Charlotte Simon: Democratic Republic of Congo (TBC)
Ruth Barnett: Kindertransport Child and Holocaust/Genocide Educator
Sheikh Dr Hojjat Ramzy: The Rohingya people (TBC)
In the last year or so we have seen images of ethnic cleansing. There have been black-clad ISIS fighters executing orange-clad prisoners symbolizing the tragic mistreatment of the Azidi people, Christians and other groups after ISIS conquered their homelands. We also have seen the Rohingya people being massacred in Myanmar highlighted by aerial photographs and Rohingya refugee boat people.
These eruptions of hatred and violence from a dominant community to a weaker group do not happen without a buildup of tensions and a justification for violence toward the minority group. These are sometimes exploited by unscrupulous politicians. We have to consider if Christian communities in Iraq were made more vulnerable after the 2003 invasion of Iraq by the United States, the United Kingdom and other members of the coalition?
The consequences of those tragic incidents last beyond the generations living at the time. The desire for revenge and the inherited hatred take considerable effort to resolve. Heartfelt reconciliation efforts over many years are required to overcome the bitterness created in relatively short periods of inhuman brutality. The denial of responsibility can delay this reconciliation progress considerably.
This year is the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide. This has always been denied by Turkey. It has been an unresolved hurt that is thought by some to have inspired other dictators to believe they can oppress minority communities and others with impunity.
On December 9, 2015, the United Nations marked the first International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of This Crime. The purpose of this day is to remember the victims of the “crime of crimes” and to counter the rise of intolerance across the world. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said in his message that we must pay more attention to the warning signs and be prepared to take immediate action to address them.
“After all, genocide does not just happen; it unfolds over time,” Mr. Ban said. “It is not part of the accidental ‘fallout’ of conflict; most often it is systematic, planned, with precise targets, and it can also take place outside of conflict situations,” he said.