March 16, 2010

Commemorating the 16th of March (Halabja Day) - By Baqi Barzani

With the advent of every 16th of March, the staggering memories of "Halabja" are once again revivified in the minds and hearts of every Kurdish compatriot. Once again, it is reminiscent of those gloomy days that our innocent people became the victims of artful global politics. The muteness and hypocrisy of global philanthropist community against such horrendous, inexpressible crimes in that era is even more agonizing to imagine.

Time has changed. From deception to extinction, Halabja has now gained legitimate, universal genocide recognition status; its memorial ceremony is held all over the world and special monuments have been constructed in its honor. After 22 years, most of the senior Baath officials involved in committing this crime have been brought to justice and prosecuted. Kurds have made more allies than ever and the terms such as "Halabja, Kurdistan, and Kurdish chronicle" are almost made acquainted to every citizen in every corner of this vast sphere.

In previous years, the masses of Halabja voiced their discontent about the living conditions, infrastructure and poor basic services through protest marches.

Up to date, the heroic people of Halabja are still offering sacrifices and tolerating the deficiency of water and electricity supplies,destitution, unpaved roads, unemployment and the crippling inflation. Just commemorating Halabja event every year does not suffice. The most deserving Halabja citizens of Kurdistan must be treated with special status and dignity and their demands must be met to ensure their welfare and well-being, especially after what they have been through for decades. Kurdistan owes to the valor, heroism and bravery of Halabja people.

Following are some propositions to further raise public awareness about Halabja genocide both nationally and internationally:

1- Establish more monuments in its honor both in Kurdistan and abroad and produce more documentary evidence in major foreign languages to propagate Halabja cause and inform others about the precise magnitude of this peerless tragedy, especially from the survivors.

2- Set up an independent monitory commission to oversea the plight of Halbja residents.

3- Seek UN assistance in prompting Bagdad to implement the recompense plan.

4- Organize fund-raising campaigns for Halabja victims both in a national and international level.

5- Urge different foreign institutions to invite Halabja victims to speak on this subject and broadcast on national TV.

6- Find art galleries, museums or any other such centers to host Halabja photo exhibition.

7- Make the government in Bagdad and international donors aware of the needs of Halabja citizens.

8- Write in foreign press in an attempt to internationalize its commemoration resembling other major world events.

9- Come up with ideas of your own and how we can be of more assistance to them.

Thank you for your consistent patronage and sympathies with the citizens of Halabja.



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