Travelling to Bosnia to take part in Ceremonies Marking 16th Anniversary of Genocide against Bosniaks in Srebrenica

[WINDSOR, ON] After securing unanimous support for a motion in the House of Commons acknowledging the genocide in Srebrenica—Brian Masse and representatives from the local Bosniak community have accepted an invitation from the Organizational Committee to mark the 16th anniversary of the genocide against Bosniaks in ‘UN Safe Haven’ Srebrenica to participate in the ceremonies marking the atrocity. On October 19th 2010 Canada joined many others in the international community including the United States and European Parliament by passing Mr. Masse’s motion recognizing July 11th as Srebrenica Remembrance Day in Canada. This year will be Canada’s first opportunity to participate in the Remembrance Day ceremonies since Canada has officially acknowledged the atrocity as an act of genocide.

Masse discussed the significance of the motion and the importance of demonstrating support for it: “It will be an honour to participate in these ceremonies. It is important for Canada to show clearly that atrocities like the Bosnian genocide are condemned in no uncertain terms. The institutionalization of Srebrenica Remembrance Day sends the message to the international community that Canada will not tolerate acts of genocide and that we will stand with people impacted by these atrocities to inform future generations.”

The Organisational Committee has created a Programme that spans 10 days and includes victims and their families, dignitaries from the United Nations, the European Parliament, Academia, Religious Communities and Activist Organizations dedicated to peace promotion. There are a range of events scheduled including formal remembrance ceremonies both secular and religious in nature, discussion panels, athletic events, and a peace march. The ceremonies will capture international attention and many of the events will be broadcast live on national television.

Senad Alicehajic, a Member of the Bosnian Community of Windsor who will be attending the ceremonies with Masse talked about the support from the international community and the importance of continued vigilance: “The Bosnian Canadian Community appreciates Mr. Masse's efforts to keep the memory of victims of genocide alive. Genocide is the worst example of human intolerance and is still happening all over the world. Unfortunately, it happened in our Bosnia in the 1990's. Mr. Masse is fighting to ensure that the truth is known, and that victims are not forgotten. This trip is the follow through of the Srebrenica Remembrance Day motion and underscores the belief that much work still needs to be done in order to live up to the "Never Again" vow. Don't forget Srebrenica!”
Masse and Alicehajic will be travelling to Srebrenica July 9th returning on the 13th.

M – 416 introduced on August 29, 2009, by Honourable Brian Masse, Member of the Canadian Parliament and Member of the NDP, jointly seconded by: Mr. Siksay Douglas and Ms. Charlton Chris, on October 6, 2009.

Motion M – 416
Srebrenica Remembrance Day Motion
That, in the opinion of the House, the day of July 11 should be recognized as Srebrenica Remembrance Day in memorial of the Srebrenica Massacre of July of 1995, in which more than 8,000 Bosniak civilians were executed under the policy of ethnic cleansing, declared an act of genocide by the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, and 30,000 others were expelled from their homes by Serbian forces.
Que, de l'avis de la Chambre, le gouvernement devrait faire de la journée du 11 juillet la Journée commémorative du massacre de Srebrenica afin de perpétuer le souvenir du massacre auquel les forces serbes se sont livrées à Srebrenica en juillet 1995 et au cours duquel elles ont exécuté plus de 8 000 civils bosniaques en application de la politique de nettoyage ethnique – déclaré un acte de génocide par le Tribunal Pénal International pour l'ex-Yougoslavie - et en ont forcé 30 000 autres à abandonner leurs foyers.

Passed: Ocotober 19, 2010