MPs Attend Ceremony at Armenian Genocide Memorial

New sculpture commemorates community's persecution

Four MPs, the Mayor of Ealing and the Leader of Ealing Council at the memorial
Four MPs, the Mayor of Ealing and the Leader of Ealing Council at the memorial

April 30, 2024

A ceremony at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Ealing last Saturday (27 April) was joined by local MPs Rupa Huq, James Murray, Virendra Sharma and Ruth Cadbury as well as a number of other local dignitaries.

The memorial, a sculpture depicting an eternal flame, is a new installation which stands as a commemoration of the hundreds of thousands of lives lost in the early part of the twentieth century from the systematic persecution and execution of the Armenian People.

Others in attendance included the leader of Ealing Council Peter Mason and Mayor Hitesh Tailor, joined Armenian Ambassador to the UK Varuzhan Nersesyan to pay tribute to the resilient community’s culture and history. Other present included students from the Armenian Language Saturday School and members of the Homenetmen London Armenian scouts.

Despite the death toll estimated by many to be over a million, the UK government does not recognise what happened as a genocide although the EU Parliament, the Pope and the devolved governments of Wales and Scotland do.

Speaking at the event, the MP for Ealing Central and Acton said, “In Ealing we have a vibrant and sizeable Armenian community and many members are hyphenated Armenians—Iranian-Armenians, Syrian-Armenians or Turkish-Armenians—underscoring that this is a country that has had pogroms, massacres and genocides for many years. The Armenian community of Ealing and Acton reminds us of how wide the Armenian diaspora is: it is scattered throughout many countries, forced out by continuous persecution, genocide and displacement.

“Ealing has long commemorated the Armenian genocide of 1915 and I call for the Government, as I have done time and time before, let’s call this as it is. Our closest ally Joe Biden of the US has… let’s recognise 1915 as a genocide.”

She pointed out that the monument - upgraded last Autumn from the original apricot tree (national symbol) that had stood there - has already been vandalised allegedly by Turkish nationalists attempting to scratch out the word “genocide”.

Dr Huq has a long-standing interest in Armenia, highlighted by the considerable number of her constituents in Ealing Central and Acton of Armenian heritage. She says, “Although there are no up-to-date figures with the last census being back in 2021, we know that Ealing Central and Acton is one of the most Armenian and Armenian-origin Parliamentary constituencies in the UK evidenced in the fact that both Ealing and Acton each boast Armenian community centres. The Armenian Summer festival in Acton is an annual highlight.”

Rupa Huq MP addresses the crowd at the event
Rupa Huq MP addresses the crowd at the event

Local resident Annette Moskofian, chair of the Armenian National Committee (ANC) UK later thanked those present stating, “On behalf of the Armenian Community in Ealing I would like to express our appreciation for your attendance and words of solidarity… your support is much needed in the next Labour government’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”

Dr Huq spoke in the House of Commons at a debate on the subject only last month having previously laid a petition before it on the subject and in February 2024 visited Yerevan and Jermuk in Armenia as part of a cross-party parliamentary delegation with the Inter Parliamentary Union following attacks by Azerbaijan in the Nagorno Karabach region.


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