ARF Australia Protests Armenian Government Policies During Meeting with Sinanyan

By ARF AU | Saturday, 10 February 2024

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation of Australia’s Central Committee, along with representatives of the Armenian Relief Society, Hamazkaine, Homentment, the Armenian National Committee of Australia, the Armenian Youth Federation of Australia, and Armenia Media met with Armenia’s High Commissioner for Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan during his visit to Sydney on 10 February.

The representatives of ARF Australia and sister organisations handed a letter to Sinanyan protesting the policies and positions of the Armenian Government in regards to several critical issues.

In the letter, ARF Australia and its sister organisations:

●       Condemned, in the strongest terms, the policies of the Government of Armenia which imperiled Artsakh’s independent statehood and the basic human rights of the people of Artsakh to live safely on their ancestral homeland.

●       Reiterated that Nikol Pashinyan and his government have utterly failed in their most critical duty to protect and safeguard the territorial integrity of Armenia and the inviolability of its borders. Despite this and Azerbaijan’s continued aggression towards Armenia and the Armenian nation, they continue to cling to power and push the agenda for a “peace treaty”.

●       Decried the Armenian government’s failure to advocate for the release and return of Armenian Prisoners of War detained by Azerbaijan.

●       Condemned the Armenian government’s ongoing efforts to undermine and obstruct the function of Artsakh authorities in Armenia.

●       Affirmed that the Pashinyan Government’s continuous attacks on the Armenian Church and Army, two critical institutions that safeguard our identity and culture in Armenia, undermine Armenia’s national institutions and infrastructure during a time of war, and ultimately endanger Armenia’s statehood.

●       Emphasised that our historic and cultural symbols, such as the Republic of Armenia’s Coat of Arms, our national anthem and Mount Ararat form the essence of our Armenian identity, in Armenia and globally and renounced all attempts to erase these symbols from our culture and identity.

●       Condemned the Armenian Government’s decision to ban the entry, to Armenia, of several ARF leaders and youth activists. They stressed that there is a critical difference between a ruling government and Armenian statehood and maintained that ARF will continue to exercise our right and duty to criticise Armenian government actions that run counter to our national interests and jeopradise our statehood.

●       Denounced the excessive use of force and police brutality against Armenian protestors exercising their democratic right to voice their opposition to the Armenian Government’s policies regarding Artsakh during protest movements over the past three years.

●       Reaffirmed, on behalf of Armenian Australians who, during the 2020 Artsakh war, donated to the Hayastan All Armenian Fund in good faith, their demands that all funds misappropriated by the Pashinyan Government must be returned in full to the Hayastan All Armenian Fund and be used for their original purpose, for the Armenians of Armenia and Artsakh.

These points were reinforced during the meeting with the High Commissioner.

The meeting participants also reaffirmed that Armenian statehood, Armenia’s territorial integrity and Artsakh’s Armenian identity remain non-negotiable for ARF Australia, its sister organisations and Australian Armenians, who as always, stand ready to support Armenia, Artsakh and our people.