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Assyrian, Armenian Genocide Monument Erected in Wales

Cardiff, Wales -- On Saturday 3rd November 2007, Seyfo Center UK took part in the consecration of a monument in the Temple of Peace in Cardiff, Wales commemorating the victims of the genocide of 1915. This historical step came as a result of the UK team of Seyfo Centre's long strive to foster fraternal relations with the Armenian community, and it crystallised at Mr. Sabri Atman's lecture on the Assyrian genocide on 21st October in London, UK, where Seyfo Center was officially invited by the Armenian coalition, who were present at the lecture, to join them in this momentous occasion. Seyfo Center UK welcomed the invitation and both parties pledged to work together on the recognition of the 1915 genocide.

On arrival at the Temple of Peace the Assyrian and Armenian guests were greeted by some Turkish protesters. Moving calmly and with no hindrance the 300 or so guests made their way into the Temple.

The event started with the a Welsh choir group called, The Red Choir, singing hymns and songs of peace after which Welsh and Armenian speakers welcomed the guests and introduced Mr. Stephan Thomas, the director of the Temple of Peace, as the host. Mr. Thomas also welcomed the guests saying:

"The warm welcome is not only from us but also from some protesters outside". This was followed by laughter and a round of applause.

Mr. Thomas then invited the guests to make their way to the Garden of Peace, located behind the Temple, to unveil the monument.

With the guests surrounding the monument in the Garden of Peace, the Armenian Ambassador to the UK, Dr. Vahe Gabrielyan, and Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas, the Presiding Officer of the National Assembly of Wales, unveiled the monument. A strong round of applause and cheering followed.

The ceremony continued with the blessing of the monument by the Bishop of the Armenian Church, Bishop Nathan Hovhannisian. His Grace presented Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas with a gift sent from the Patriarch of the Armenian Church. The guests were then asked to return to the Temple where speeches and light entertainment were prepared.

In the Temple Mr. Thomas then recited a speech given by Lord Dafydd Elis-Thomas. The speech spoke of the friendship between Wales and Armenia that dated back to more than a century when the Wales-Armenia friendship society was formed. It called for the rest of the world to recognise the suffering of the people, for Turkey to end its economical blockade on Armenia and for the UK parliament to also recognise the genocide of 1915.

His Excellency Dr. Vahe Gabrielyan also gave a speech thanking the Welsh for providing a unique opportunity to raise a monument in recognition of the 1915 genocide.

The Assyrian archbishop of the Ancient Church of the East, Dr. Khoshaba Georges, was invited to speak on the Assyrian genocide, where he thanked and welcomed the joint effort made by the Assyrians and Armenians to campaign for the recognition of the genocide, and said, "Hitler once remarked who now remembers the Armenians, well, I want to say that we are all here today, as Assyrians and Armenians not only to remember those Assyrian and Armenian victims but to demonstrate to the world that we shall never forget them and the only process of healing is through full recognition". He then ended his speech with a prayer in the Assyrian language.

Further speeches and poems were read and light entertainment was performed by the Aghramar Dance Group.

The event ended with the Armenian bishop's closing words of thanks who said, "we must work together to have the Armenian, Assyrian and Pontiac Greek's genocide recognised". And he closed the! event w ith a final prayer in the Armenian language.

Seyfo Centre UK met with the directors of the Temple of Peace to discuss future plans, and Mr. Nineb Lamassu conducted a short interview with Mr. Stephen Thomas highlighting the main outcomes of their meeting.

Seyfo Center, United Kingdom


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