Please allow me to convey the warmest of regards and the sincerest of congratulations on behalf of the North American Committee of the Komala Party of Iranian Kurdistan and the East-Canada Committee of the Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan to the people of Kurdistan in general, the families of martyrs, political prisoners and all freedom fighters in particular, and even more specifically to all of the distinguished guests here tonight.
This year marks the 68th year of the establishment of the Kurdistan Republic. On the 22nd of January, 1946, an assembly of thousands of people in Chwarchira Square, in Mahabad, Iran, led by the legendary Kurdish leader Qazi Muhammad, or as he has famously been touted, Peshawa, resulted in the first ever Kurdish Republic in modern history. The foundation realized one of the most fundamental aspirations of the Kurds’. The Kurds could now be the sole determinants of their own destiny, through their representatives, by establishing a republic form of governance, in a small part of their homeland. Indeed, the establishment of the Kurdistan Republic was a turning point in the history of the Kurdish nation.
The founding fathers of the Republic, chief among them Peshawa, the President of the Republic and the leader of Kurdistan Democratic Party, embarked on such a mission with a clear understanding of the situation then. In another words, the establishment of the Republic was the fruit of burgeoning national sentiment and national and political unity within Kurdish society. Even more, the Kurdistan Republic paved the way for the creation of modern democratic society for the Kurdish people to enjoy the fundamental right to democracy and freedom and above all to develop a high sense of solidarity.
In the brief but potent 11-month existence of the Republic, the Kurdish people were able to secure major milestones. Among them, the proclamation of the Kurdish flag, the establishment of a national army, the creation of civil society groups for youth and women, declaring Kurdish as the official language in schools, the erection of publishing houses that published journals, books, and so on, on a daily basis. And, among many other milestones was the protection of minority rights.
Unfortunately, the Kurdistan Republic was short-lived. Human rights, democracy and justice took a back to the repressive interests of totalitarian states and colonial powers. Jointly, they resisted the democratic embodiment and forward-leaning stature of the Kurdistan Republic, and saw to its downfall. In that same light, they assumed that with the demise of the Republic, so too would go its values and principles. To the dismay of those very oppressors, the Republic, even after its collapse, fortified the will of the Kurdish people to fight harder for their inalienable right to be free from oppression and determine their own destiny.
Today, that same unyielding will has led to the creation of a self-ruling political entity in a small part of Kurdistan. In other parts of Kurdistan, Kurds are no longer considered mountain Turks, as Turkish rulers have long abandoned this fabricated history and acknowledge the existence and importance of the Kurdish nation to their own Republic and talk about the peaceful resolution on route to the recognition of the minority rights of its Kurdish population. In Western Kurdistan, a regime that has long denied the existence of Kurds within its own borders has not only lost grip on Syria’s Kurdistan, but has also clung to power on the rest of the country with a brutal force that humanity has ever witnessed.
On this occasion, we celebrate the Kurdistan Republic’s establishment when Eastern Kurdistan, where the Republic was proclaimed, is under immense repression. While adopting the policy of denying the existence of nations within Iran and their virtuous rights, the regime of the Islamic Republic of Iran continues to cling to power through coercive and repressive measures. In addition to the regime’s contentious international policies, that have not only isola