Assyrians Push for Autonmous Assyrian Province in North Iraq

Assyrian Universal Alliance – 2.11.2012 – The Assyrian Universal Alliance-Australia Chapter (AUA) met with Australian Government Officials and presented detailed letters and submissions expressing concerns about the slow genocide of the indigenous Assyrians, also known as Chaldeans and Syriacs, in Iraq leading to ethnic extinction.

Six hundred thousand Christian Assyrians, approximately half of Iraq’s pre-war population, has fled the country. The current political climate in Iraq has not offered the Assyrians even the most basic political privileges. Furthermore, the Iraqi government’s security apparatus is unable to prevent intimidation and killings perpetrated against the Assyrians in Iraq.

The Assyrian Universal Alliance (AUA) led by the Deputy Secretary General of the (AUA) Mr Hermiz Shahen together with the President of the Assyrian Australian National Federation(AANF) Mr. David M. David and member of the AUA from USA Mr. Yosep Betkolia conducted a number of meetings in Federal Parliament on Tuesday 30 November 2012. This meeting was organised to coincide with the anniversary of the barbaric attack on the Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Catholic Church in Baghdad. The attack happened during worship services on October 31, 2010 and claimed the lives of numerous innocent Assyrian parishioners, priests and Iraqi security forces.

The Delegation met with the Opposition Leader The Hon Tony Abbott MP, in the presence of the Hon. Philip Ruddock MP, and briefed them about the important meeting that the AUA delegate had earlier with the Australian Foreign Affairs Minister, Senator the Hon. Bob Carr together with the Hon. Minister For Immigration and Citizenship Chris Bowen MP. The Opposition Leader was informed about the latest development in Iraq, the neglect of the Assyrian question and the discriminatory behaviour against Assyrians by illegally occupying and transferring Assyrian owned lands to the Kurdish squatters.

In their campaign pushing for the development of a self-governed Assyrian province in the Nineveh Plain, the AUA delegation also met with Senator Marise Payne, and Mr. Greg Kelly MP.

The Assyrian community in Australia and abroad are encouraged to lobby their local Member of Parliament to ensure their support for this worthy cause. The AUA is cautiously optimistic and hopeful that both sides of Australian politics (Liberal and Labor Members) will put aside their differences and unite to protect the indigenous Assyrian Christian in Iraq. Mr. Shahen said . Mr. Shahen thanked all members of parliament and Senators who despite their very busy schedule granted the AUA delegates the opportunity to meet with them. He also thanked member of the Liberal Party and AUA advisor Mr. Paul Azzo for his assistance in organising the above meetings. The Assyrian Universal Alliance wishes to extend its deepest sympathy to the families who have lost their loved ones in the attack on the “Our Lady of Salvation Church”. May God rest victim’s souls in peace and reward them with eternal paradise.