Tuesday, January 29, 2008


Armenians and Welsh came together on January 27 to pray for victims of all genocides on the United Kingdom's Holocaust Memorial Day and to remember the first anniversary of the assassination of Hrant Dink, the journalist killed for raising the issue of the Armenian Genocide in the Turkish press.

As they gathered they discovered the ornate slate cross on the Armenian genocide monument (pictured here) smashed into pieces with a hammer left at the scene. The Armenian Genocide Monument was desecrated on a symbolic day designated to recall the events, consequences and lessons of the darkest days of human history in a deliberate and premeditated act of vandalism.

Kind of sick, don't you think?

The monument in Cardiff is to remember 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred in 1915. IC Wales reports it caused controversy at the time, with members of the Turkish community denying the killings amounted to genocide.

Caerphilly Councillor Ray Davies, who campaigned for the Armenian monument to be erected, said many people at the service were close to tears when they saw what had happened.

“The desecration of the monument reminds us that we must always be vigilant against racism and hatred which is never far from the surface,” he said.

Director of the Welsh Centre for International Affairs Stephen Thomas said: “It was particularly saddening for the Armenians present that this happened on the day of the Holocaust Memorial Day. This service wasn’t specific to the Armenians. We were trying to be all-inclusive about all those historical events where people have been massacred. It wasn’t very helpful in terms of trying to create a bridge and links between Turkey and Armenia that this was carried out. People were upset when they turned up and saw what had happened.”

Hal Savas, a member of the five-man delegation from the Committee for the Protection of Turkish Rights, was present at the service.

“Whoever has done it should be ashamed of themselves,” he said. “We would condemn any damage done to any religious monument.”

The following is from AZG Armenian Daily.


The tiny Welsh Armenian community of Cardiff were targeted with a despicable racist attack on Holocaust Memorial Day (January 27). The new Armenian Genocide Monument (which was erected by the community under the leadership of John Torosyan in November ) was desecrated in the early hours of the morning before important ceremonies were held today to Commemorate the Holocaust,and to remember Hrant Dink. The ornate Armenian Cross on the monument was smashed to bits by persons unknown using a hammer, which was left at the scene of the crime.

Turkish protesters disrupt Holocaust and Hrant Dink Commemorations

One of the Welsh Armenians said: "This is our holiest shrine. Our grandparents who perished in the Genocide do not have marked graves. This is where we remember them" Eilian Williams of Wales Armenia Solidarity said that he blamed the so-called "Committee for the Protection of Turkish Rights", under the leadership of Hal Savas for the crime. We shall repair the cross again and again no matter how often it is desecrated. We also challenge the UK government and the Turkish Embassy to condemn this racist attack.

The Holocaust commemoration was a gesture of friendship by Welsh Armenians towards the Jewish and Roma communities During the Prayers for the Holocaust victims, the said Turkish Committee used a loud-speaker to disrupt proceedings. Finally Martin Shipton, chief reporter for the "Western Mail" the national newspaper of Wales gave his tribute to Hrant Dink (also representing the National Union of Journalists). The Turkish protesters also disrupted his speech.

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