YEREVAN — Armenia’s leaders laid flowers at the Tsitsernakabert memorial in Yerevan on Friday during official commemorations of the 105th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman Turkey which were scaled back due to the coronavirus pandemic.

President Armen Sarkissian, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan, parliament speaker Ararat Mirzoyan and Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II, visited the hilltop memorial separately, observing social distancing rules aimed at stopping the spread of the virus in the country.

Catholicos Karekin II and several other senior clergymen prayed by its eternal fire for some 1.5 million Armenians who were massacred or starved to death by the Ottoman Turks during the First World War.

For the first time ever, ordinary Armenians were not allowed to walk to Tsitsernakabert because of a coronavirus-related nationwide lockdown imposed by the Armenian government last month. Heading a government appeal, many of them turned off the lights in their homes and lit mobile phone flashlights or candles by their windows for three minutes in memory of the dead on Thursday evening. Churches across the country tolled their bells in the meantime.

“The Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire was a crime not only against our ethnic identity but also against human civilization,” Pashinyan declared in a televised address to the nation broadcast live from Tsitsernakabert.

“More than a century has passed but the consequences of the Genocide have not been eliminated,” he said. “Turkey has not yet apologized for what it did. That is why we declare that we remember and demand.”

Both Pashinyan and Sarkissian thanked the three dozen countries, including the United States, France, Germany and Russia, whose parliaments and/or governments have recognized the Armenian genocide. Sarkissian urged more states to do the same.

“We cannot on one hand declare that we are going to fight together against xenophobia, discrimination, intolerance, anti-Semitism, denial and other all-human vices, and on the other hand ‘play diplomacy’ with Turkey on the Armenian Genocide,” the president said in a statement released on Thursday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters

Get notified of the latest updates from MassisPost.

You May Also Like

Turkey and Azerbaijan to Hold Joint Military Exercises

BAKU — The armed forces of Turkey and Azerbaijan are set to…

LA County Public Health Dept. COVID-19 Armenian Update- 4/17/2020

LOS ANGELES – With 40 new deaths in the past 24 hours,…

Two Armenian Wrestlers Win Gold at World Junior Championships

SOFIA — Armenian Greco-Roman wrestlers won two gold medals on the first…

Vardan Minasyan Quits as Head Coach of the Armenian National Team

YEREVAN — Vardan Minasyan will not head the Armenian national team in…