Lisbon Operation Was A Blood Scattered For Justice: Estimates Brother Of Died Simon Yahniyan
GYUMRI, JULY 25, ARMENPRESS: In order to capture the world’s attention to Armenian genocide thirty years ago on July 27, 1983 five members of Armenian Revolutionary Army Vache Taghlyan, Sedrak Ajemyan, Simon Yahniyan, Ara Krjyan and Sargis Abrahamyan entered Turkish embassy in Lebanon. From the shot Turkish soldier 21 years old Simon Yahniyan was killed and the other four managed to enter the territory of the embassy and implement two blasts. Though many countries began speaking about genocide after this event but after several years many people still distort the details of martyrdom of Armenian young people. “Armenpress” spoke about the operation with the brother Simon Yahniyan Sareh Yahniyan who lives in Gyumri for already ten years.
*- Today you live in Gyumri though you were born in Beirut. Why you did you decide to move to Armenia?* . . .
- in 2003 I came to Armenia for the first time though since 3 years old Armenia is in my mind and heart. We accept Lebanon as a birthplace but Armenia is our motherland. In 1983 took place Lisbon operation headed by my brother. At that time I was 19 years old and Simon 21. It were the days of civil war in Lebanon. It was an operation without precedent: in peaceful conditions young people dedicated their life to their nation. Simon’s martyrdom was the reason that I came and stayed here and found the woman of my life. I named my son after Simon.
Simon dedicated himself to Armenia in his own way and I decided to dedicate myself to Armenia in my own way by coming staying here. Naturally I could not choose Simon’s way. It is not easy.
*- After 30 years what kind of estimation will you give to Lisbon operation?*
- Valuing that martyrdom after 30 years I think that something essential has not changed but as propaganda action is reached its aim: more than 20 countries recognized Armenian genocide after that operation. But I call it “Lisbon failed” operation. Unfortunately, it should waken also Armenians but it was not managed. I simply fell myself bad that up to now many people or do not know about this operation or have a wrong opinion. It is connected with ASALA. Many people call it terroristic act but it is not so. How can we call an operation a terroristic act when 5 young men killed themselves not demanding any other victims. Portuguese President Suarez a year later announced that he knew about fair demand of Armenians only after the operation. He did not call it as a terroristic act, but a blood scattered for fair case
*- What kind of remembrance events are planned this year?*
- In Lebanon as every year where the guys are buried will be held remembrance event. Events will be held also in many other countries. In Armenia it has never been celebrated officially but this year has been formed a committee which will be involved in it. I think the boys do not need to be glorified, simply the reality must be spoken about.
On July 26, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Lisbon Five operation, hundreds marched in Lebanon in commemoration of the legacy of the five young Armenians who gave their lives for the Armenian cause.
A scene from the march in Lebanon
The march, as well as the dozens of commemoration events scheduled today around the world—including in Chicago and New York here on the East Coast—honored the memory of the Lisbon 5, and the legacy of struggle they inherited, embodied, and passed on.
There is a line that connects Lisbon Five to Tehlirian, to the commemoration of the Armenian genocide, the celebration of Armenia’s independence, and Artsakh’s freedom.
There is a part of Setrag, Vatche, Sarkis, Simon, and Ara beating under the chest of Armenians struggling anywhere around the world for freedom and justice—including, yes, social justice.
Three decades after the Lisbon Five operation, as the fronts, and the forms of struggle, have changed and multiplied, July 27 stands—first and foremost—as a day of celebrating the connection between the past and present, and between the different geographies and realities of our diasporic existence.
But most importantly, July 27 calls upon us to realize that our commitment to struggle ought to be beyond a particular day, beyond the ceremonious, the routine, and the pro-forma.
After all, there was nothing ceremonious and routine in their sacrifices.
1980s-styled hysteria of the Dashnak newspaper "Asbarez"
EDITORIAL: Remembering the Heroes of Lisbon 5Source
It has been 30 years since that fateful day in July (27) of 1983 when five young Armenians set out to advance the Armenian Cause and through their ultimate sacrifice emboldened the entire Armenian Nation, but more important, elevated the demand for justice for the Armenian Genocide to new heights.
Vatche Daghlian. Sarkis Aprahamian. Ara Kerdjelian. Setrak Adjemian. Simon Yahneian. In an insta-second these five names were seared in our national psyche and consciousness and they became symbols of a national liberation struggle.
At the time, the international community had turned a deaf ear to the Armenian Cause. Many needed to be reminded of the atrocities of the Armenian Genocide and for many, it just did not matter. The world superpowers were courting Turkey and bolstering it into the whore that it has become. Matters needed to be handled differently—more forcefully.
Before Lisbon 5, there were others who advanced the Armenian Cause through the Armed Struggle of the 70’s and 80’s. Together these freedom fighters and the heroes of Lisbon elevated the just demands of the Armenian people and brought to the forefront the demands of an entire nation, which vowed for justice after reeling from the impact of the Genocide.
While we remember our heroes and reflect of their selfless act, we must, 30 years later, assess their legacy and recalibrate our efforts in the continuous pursuit of the Armenian Cause.
The dedication and sacrifice of the Lisbon 5 would come alive five years later on the battlefields of Artsakh when Armenians once again took up arms to defend the homeland against the blood-thirsty enemy.
The discussion and subsequent recognition by some countries of the Armenian Genocide can also be deemed as the direct result of the heroic acts of those who made the sacrifices so our national aspirations may advance.
It is undeniable that the events of 30 years ago and the selfless sacrifice by the Lisbon 5 instilled in us the drive to redouble our efforts to advance our cause and to sacrifice our time, resources and energy toward our goals and ideals.
The Lisbon 5 took ownership of the cause and by paying the ultimate price with their lives, proved to the Armenian Nation and the world that there is no limit on sacrifice when it comes to your beliefs and ideals—to liberating your Nation.
A generation later and in an evolving socio-political landscape with enormous challenges facing our nation, we need to recalibrate our approaches and apply the lessons of sacrifice embodied by the Lisbon 5 and ask ourselves—individually and collectively—whether we are doing our utmost for the advancement of the Armenian Cause.
The new generation, especially, must heed the call and embody the lessons of the Lisbon 5 legacy since it is they who will be leading our nation into the future. Their commitment, dedication and sacrifice will be the gauge by which our nation will advance.
“I will die without having seen the motherland. I don’t care. Others will see it…” So said Setrak Adjemian before he and his four friends headed to Lisbon in July of 1983. Others did…
July 26, 2013
WOW great article. we need those young tashnags again for our struggles against turkey, azerbaijan and the corrupt Armenian government
Let’s start with the corrupt Armenian government and then on to bigger things……
Not withstanding the deep held beliefs of the Lisbon 5 which one would hope were of pure intention, the idea of defending terrorism, is I think not ethical, nor smart. Lets not forget that the dead from that incident included a Turkish diplomat’s wife and a Portuguese policeman. To defend such actions and/or make heroes of it, is in my mind not very different than the Azeris making a hero of the axe-murder Ramil Safarov. Do we really want to be of the same mindset?
This of course is not to say that the Armenian Cause, Hye Tad, should not be advanced. On the contrary, we should look for constructive ways to do this, i.e. the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and ensuing reparations, and the building up of the Armenian nation economically, politically, militarily and otherwise. I don’t see how supporting terrorism in any way helps that effort.
Thinking back some 30 years ago, times have certainly changed for the Armenian people, that is a free Armenia and a liberated Artsakh (Karabakh). So I think it better not to judge the Lisbon 5 for their actions of a different time than today, either in a positive or negative light. Rather, it seems more fitting to consider how unfortunate that those young men of the Lisbon 5, that met their death some 30 years ago, were not able to see the dream of a free Armenia for themselves.
July 28, 2013
were way past the opinions of others. the world did nothing while we were being massacred during Abdul hamids, talaats and ataturks reign. they did nothing when Azerbaijan tried to do the same in artsakh. your comparison is not right. this Turkish government is no different than the one that massacred our grandparents. they were never made to pay for their crimes or prevented from continuing their policies. its as if the Nazi regime was never toppled and brought to justice. if some jewish militant took matters into their own hands the world would understand that, and they have done that. mossad has killed Nazi war criminals in foreign countries before. the target of jcag/ara attacks were only Turkish diplomats, embassadors or military attaches, who are a representative of the same Turkish republic that tried to wipe out Armenia and who continue denying their atrocities thereby committing the final act of genocide. we never ever committed genocide, we fought in artsakh to prevent one. those boys sacrificed themselves for justice and to boost Armenian morale which was in a victims mindset for 100 years.
Alex Postallian says:
July 26, 2013
Don’t forget Calouste Sarkis Gulbenian,lived in Lisbon for years……..He did very much for the Armenians.He bribed the turks for 52%,of the Turkish petroleum co. bardered that,was nucleus of the oil companies in the world.He got 5% of all the oil out of Iraq.He was the richest man in the world..donating a lot of money to the Armenians.
Stephen T. Dulgarian says:
July 26, 2013
We will not forget the sacrifice of our brothers in arms of the Lisbon 5. The world powers never backed up the Armenian Nation after the 1st World War and because of that numerous Armenians have sacrificed their lives for their nation. God Bless the Lisbon 5.
July 27, 2013
Whover denies the Armenian Genocide is a partner in the crime
Raffi Bairamian says:
July 27, 2013
God Bless Your Souls our beloved national heros.