House debates

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Statements by Members

Petition: Kurdish People

1:42 pm

Photo of Andrew WilkieAndrew Wilkie (Clark, Independent) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise on behalf of the Kurdish Society of Tasmania to table a petition that has been considered by the Petitions Committee and found to be in order. The petition calls on the Australian government to support the self-determination of the Kurdish people and to embrace the establishment of an independent Kurdistan, which is critical for the economic and social aspirations of the Kurdish people and the preservation of Kurdish national identity. The Kurds have been fighting for statehood for over a century, and their collective struggle for sovereignty has been marked by persecution, suffering and violence. Any move towards independence has been destroyed time and time again. This petition asks the House to recognise that the Kurdish people deserve the homeland they were promised by the colonial powers after World War I. The right to exercise self-determination is enshrined within international law. Indeed, it's a fundamental principle of the international system and one that ensures that people have the right to form a sovereign government and freely decide their fate without interference. The Kurdish people should have this right. I present this petition to the House and call on the Australian government to publicly support the Kurdish people's right to self-determination.

The petition read as follows—

Many people know the history of the Kurds - an indigenous people of the Middle East dating back as far as historical records go. Borders were drawn in the 20th century, divided Kurds, and have been disputed ever since. Kurdistan has suffered countless tragedies. The independence of Kurdistan is, hence, not only crucial for economic and cultural aspirations of the Kurds, but also a way to preserve and protect her people, language, art, and music.

We therefore ask the House to, as leaders of a pro-democratic country, take responsibility and embrace Kurdistan's right to self-determination, which is a right guaranteed by the charter of the United Nations, by declaring support for the Kurdish Independence and their right to self determination.

from 80 citizens (Petition No. EN1760)