LEBANON: Wreath laying at Sayfo Monument by Syriac Union Party in sober commemoration of Genocide of 1915

ACHRAFIEH, Beirut, Lebanon – To mark and commemorate the 105th anniversary of the “Sayfo” Genocide in 1915 in the Ottoman Empire against Syriacs, Armenians and Pontus Greeks and against Syriac Maronites in Mount Lebanon, the President of the Syriac Union Party Ibrahim Mrad and his party leadership along with Syriac Orthodox parish priest Father Charbel laid a wreath of roses at the Syriac Sayfo monument. The Sayfo monument is located in the courtyard of St. Ephrem’s Cathedral in Achrafieh, Beirut. After laying of wreath, Fr Charbel, representing the archbishop of Beirut Mor Clemis Daniel Kourieh, prayed for the souls of the martyrs of the genocide and said:

“On this blessed day we and the Syriac Union Party have gathered to pray and remember the painful massacres that have afflicted our Syriac people and all Christian peoples in the lands of the Ottoman Empire. And we have gathered to assure the martyrs of our Syriac people that we continue to work with the will of the Lord, the Apostles and the saints for the establishment of love and peace for all of humanity, especially now that we live through the harsh conditions of the Coronavirus pandemic.”

SUP President Ibrahim Mrad spoke on the occasion:

“Like every year we have gathered here at the cathedral to, respectfully, lay down a wreath of roses at the monument of the martyrs of the Sayfo massacres. And we apologize to our martyrs for not being able to commemorate this anniversary in full respect as we are used to on April 24th together with Armenian parties and Maronite organizations.”

“We, the Syriac political parties and forces working under the national flag of the Bethnahrin National Council, were able to make the peoples of the world aware of the horrors of the massacres committed against us by the Turkish Ottomans. However, the Turkish Ottomans remain obstinate despite the overwhelming evidence and the recognition of these massacres by a large number of countries” he said.

And: “We will always stay faithful to our martyrs and our cause. We continue to fight for freedom and human justice as those massacres have been repeated in other ways in Iraq, Syria and other countries because of the mentality of ruling regimes who reject pluralism and seek to annihilate the other.”

Ibrahim Mrad stressed the necessity of unity in finding legitimate means to restore the usurped Syriac rights, lands and properties. “We will not forgive nor will we reconcile with Turkey before there is full recognition and full compensation.”