Friday, 25 May 2007

Please, do not burn the flag!

AFP confirmed (23 May 2007) that Greek prosecutor has pressed charges against unidentified persons who burned a Turkish flag during Greek-Armenian April 24 demonstration in Salonika to mark the anniversary of 1915 Armenian Genocide.

Again… I felt angry and disappointed, not with the Greek prosecutor, but with the fact of flag burning - the way I felt right after the demonstrations in Yerevan on the eve of April 24, when during the candlelight march some people burned a Turkish flag. Back then, Zarchka was one of the first to voice her dismay about these facts. I supported her, leaving the following comment:

I am glad that more and more Armenians are expressing their disappointment about facts of flag burning. I was looking at the pictures of the [Yerevan] march (I support the idea of candlelight march per se, I think it has nice symbolism in it), but felt extremely uncomfortable and distressed when came across the flag burning… Violence should have no place in civilised world; it’s against the very essence of THE DAY. I wish there is a widespread condemnations of these facts (vain hopes?) so that Dashnaks (and not only) will get lessons for future…

After the news on possible charges, I wanted to repeat these comments and ask all political parties in Armenia and Diaspora, and ordinary people, to refrain from flag burning. I assume that these actions are on the edge or outside the law in Armenia too, and Armenian authorities need to make sure that this ‘tradition’ will no longer be tolerated. On the other hand, inaction from the authorities so far may imply that they turn a blind eye to the whole situation.

I understand that emotions are very high in relation to the Genocide issue, especially on April 24… I know that Armenian flag also gets burnt by Turkish nationalists in Turkey or elsewhere… But it does not mean that we should ‘revenge’… by flag burning. We need to keep THE DAY clean!

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