Calls Tehlirian’s Actions an ‘Act of Justice’
WASHINGTON (A.W.)—While speaking on the House floor in commemoration of the 101st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 27, Congressman James Manuel “Jim” Costa, U.S. Representative for California’s 16th congressional district, paid honor to Soghomon Tehlirian, who assassinated Talaat Pasha—the mastermind of the Armenian Genocide—in Berlin on March 15, 1921.
Costa said that he had the honor of participating in a wreath-laying ceremony with leaders of the Armenian community and the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and its national Chair Raffi Hamparian, honoring Tehlirian, who he called “someone who brought a sense of justice to those who perished during that time” and a “true Armenian hero.”
“As a part of Operation Nemesis, planned by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, Soghomon Tehlirian assassinated Talaat Pasha, who was the last prime minister of the Ottoman Empire and the orchestrator of the Armenian Genocide. This was an act of justice served on behalf of the Armenian people,” said Costa, who also criticized President Barack Obama’s failure to properly recognize the genocide and Turkey’s policy of Armenian Genocide denial.
“I hope my colleagues will join me and the Armenians throughout the nation and throughout the world in honoring Mr. Tehlirian and to also pay tribute to the 1.5 million lives lost in the genocide—the first genocide in the 20th century—as well as their descendants who live today, for we must never ever forget the history. As Santayana once said: Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it,” Costa said in his address.
“This morning, I spoke on the House floor to recognize the 101st anniversary of the Armenian genocide and to pay tribute to the lives of 1.5 million Armenians who were killed from 1915 to 1923 by the Ottoman Empire. Recognizing the Armenian genocide is not something to be debated. Today and every day, I join with Armenians throughout the nation and world in honoring the 1.5 million lives lost in the genocide,” he wrote in a Facebook message on April 27.
Costa has served in Congress since his initial election in 2004. He is a member of the Democratic Party. He has been a long-time friend of the Armenian-American community and was awarded an A+ grade in the ANCA’s biannual Congressional Report Card in 2010, 2012, and 2014.
Below is a video of Costa’s address.