OTTAWA / Toronto – Several Canadian parliamentarians issued statements on February 26 commemorating the 30th anniversary of Armenian pogroms in Baku, as well as massacres of Armenians in the town of Sumgayit in 1988. Considering that Canada, particularly its Quebec province is bilingual, the representatives from Quebec area delivered their speeches both in the English and French languages. MP Emmanuella Lambropoulos representing the Saint-Laurent region stated that hundreds of Armenians were beaten, killed and expelled from the city of Baku.
“Nearly 500 thousand Armenians were deported and sought refuge in different countries including in Canada,” Lambropoulos stated.
Bob Saroya, the legislator from Markham-Unionville, highlighted that the massacres in Sumgayit and Baku set a precedent for xenophobia and discrimination towards Armenians in Azerbaijan “which continues to impede the peace process in Artsakh.”
Fayçal El-Khoury, a liberal politician of Lebanese descent, referred to the massacres as heinous crimes against humanity. “While commemorating this tragedy remember how lucky we are to live in a country like Canada where fundamental human rights are respected and where we share common values, such as respect, tolerance and justice”, El-Khoury said, concluding his remarks.
Aris Babikian, ethnic Armenian member of Ontario’s regional parliament, took the floor stating that to silence the voice and the will of the people of Artsakh Azerbaijan escalated the crisis into a war.
“The impunity only served as a fertile soil for new even more horrible crimes. Sustainable peace and development in the South Caucasus are impossible without facing the past and resorting justice based on the principles of international law.”