The following is the text of the speech delivered by Mher Karakachian in ottawa. Mher Karakachian is the chairman of The Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Canada.

Honorable minister Kenney,

You Excellency ambassador Armen Yeganian and distinguished members of diplomatic corps,

Esteemed members of parliament and representatives of Canadian political parties,

Dear guests and fellow Canadian-Armenians,


On behalf of the Armenian Genocide Centennial Committee of Canada, let me first thank all of the present dignitaries, especially the representatives of the Canadian government and the opposition parties for their messages of solidarity.

Let me salute our friends from the Assyrian, Pontian Greek, Dersimi, Kurdish and Lebanese communities, all descendants of people who have gone through the darkness of Ottoman massacres and genocidal atrocities. They have joined us today in remembrance and solidarity.



We are 8000 strong today and MORE!

We are 8000 strong today to remember our victims together and keep their memory alive.

We are 8000 strong today to demand justice in unison for the fallen and survivors alike!

As Canadian-Armenians, we stand on Parliament Hill today as the descendants of a people, who, a hundred years ago, was deported from its ancestral lands into the unforgiving Syrian deserts, where they were brutally drowned in their own blood.

Over 5000 years of history and culture established throughout the Armenian highlands were violently uprooted by the hands of the Ottoman Turk authorities, the Turkish military and jihad-frenzied mobs.

An entire civilization came to a standstill; an entire generation became orphaned and lost its homeland. And in the wake of it all, an entire people’s soul carried a traumatic and unspeakable wound: A wound that has been transmitted from generation to generation and still remains painfully open. Our children have also inherited this wound. This crime committed 100 years ago still holds each Armenian life captive with invisible strings.


We face this reality, because this horrendous crime that extinguished 1.5 million lives remains unpunished. It is because successive Turkish governments, following the guilt-ridden Young Turks government of 1915, until this day, continue to deny the truth, and in doing so, become contemporary accomplices to this endless death-march.

As the last stage of genocide, denial perpetuates the crime. It has been rightly said that “Genocide kills twice; the second time in silence”. A century later, every machination, malice and connivance is put into action to muffle the truth; The Turkish denial machine consistently spawns lies, distortions or half-truths to cast doubt on the veracity of the Armenian Genocide.

It is important to note that as an unpunished and unrepaired crime, the Armenian Genocide has been and remains that dark precedent for the Hitlers of this world to commit their mass murders. From Auschwitz to Rwanda and Darfur, the bloodstained chain of genocides has infiltrated the 21st century. However, it is time that this chain brakes and the cycle of genocide comes to a complete halt.


This Centennial year will be the year to reverse the tide. Armenians throughout the world have risen to the occasion, creating a wave of awareness and remembrance that resonates in every corner of the globe. Two Sundays ago, on the 12th of April, His Holiness Pope Francis, presiding over a solemn Mass in memory of the 1.5 million Armenian martyrs, proclaimed in the Vatican that “concealing or denying evil is like allowing a wound to keep bleeding without bandaging it”. He continued by calling on all heads of state and international organizations to recognize the truth and oppose such crimes “without ceding to ambiguity or compromise.”

Three days later, the European Parliament followed suit and called upon Turkey to recognize the Armenian genocide. Two days ago, on April 22, the Austrian Parliament echoed the call of the European Parliament and stated that “as a former ally of the Ottoman empire”, it had the duty to recognize and condemn this genocide. Finally, yesterday, the German president Joachim Gauck, condemned the Armenian genocide and in an unprecedented stance, admitted German complicity in the massacres committed by stating that “we Germans must still come to terms with the past, as to whether there is in fact a shared responsibility, possibly even complicity, in the genocide of the Armenians,” adding that German armed forces were involved in planning and even implementing deportations.

This comes from the heirs of the greatest ally of the Ottoman Empire during WWI.


Despite these calls for Turkey to come to terms with its past, nothing seems to change in the denialist policies of its government, no matter how absurd and farcical these attempts would look. On the one hand, in a tacit admission of guilt, its prime ministers express condolences to the descendants of the victims, on the other, they delegate the blame to the victim and speak about a fictitious ‘fair memory’. On the one hand, the number of voices from within Turkey that demand the establishment of the Truth, increases day by day , on the other, denialist brainwashing, which has poisoned the minds of four generations in Turkey, stretches its tentacles to breach the borders of Canada and spread its hateful hysterics and fabrications.


We are 8000 strong today and we proclaim:

Denial, meet the tidal wave of Truth and wash away your sins!

We are 8000 strong today and we proclaim:

Denial, see the Armenian phoenix rising and admit that you failed!

Denial, admit that you have committed not one but three genocides and in the annals of your history are engraved the numbers of 1.5 million Armenian victims, more than 300,000 Assyrians and almost a million of Pontian Greeks.

Nothing can hide or bury this reality!


In a short while, after we leave the Hill to start our March of Memory, the Canadian House of Commons will begin debating motion M-587 and most likely will put it to vote. We will all pray and hope that our Parliament will make the 100th April 24 after the Armenian Genocide, a historic day, by recognizing the month of April as Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation and Prevention Month and designating April 24 as Armenian Genocide Memorial Day.


In the meanwhile, we will march.

-We will march to remember and demand.

-We will march to remember our 1.5 million martyrs, who were all canonized yesterday by the Armenian Church.

-We will march for them and for the survivor generation, whose tenacity and faith shaped the today of our lives.

-We will march for our own grandparents and demand justice and reparations in their name.

-We will march for our children and for a future without the shadow of genocide in it.

-We will march for a just and peaceful world, where discrimination, hate and racism have no place at all.

-We will march for the innocent victims of the Holocaust, the Holodomor, the Cambodian killing fields, of Rwanda and Darfur!

-We will march to denounce denial and to say 100 times NO to the dark and monstrous minds who harbor genocidal tendencies.

-Finally, we will march and a million and a half saintly souls will march with us for the Day of Truth and Justice.

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