An “honest reporter” honoured

clipping(Canscene) — Prime Minister Harper’s recent acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 came more than 80 years after the facts of this dreadful act of inhumanity by Turkish forces became known.

Well documented evidence was ignored in the good old fashioned way of turning blind eyes and deaf ears to fact and it is only in recent years that a number of nations have officially recognized the act as genocide.

Similar short shrift was given to stories of the deliberate starving, on Stalin’s orders, of millions of Ukrainian peasants in spite of the pleas of Russian-speaking Welsh journalist Gareth Vaughan Jones. After travelling secretly in the USSR filed a number of stories about the horrific man-made famine in what had been the “breadbasket of Europe.”

The Soviets were aided and abetted by New York Times journalist and Pulitzer Prize winner Walter Duranty whose pro-Soviet slant has been debunked in recent years. The matter remained under wraps until the Cold War began in the 1940s.

Beginning realization of facts
In 1983 these words appeared in the Winnipeg Free Press: “Few events of such enormity have attracted so little public clamor or more press apathy than the government-programmed famine which led to the extermination in 1932-33 of eight million people in Ukraine. The Free Press was a party to this apathy — in the years immediately after the famine and in efforts this year to publicize its 50th anniversary. Editors took for granted it was a matter best left to history books and academics, ignoring much significant new research on the subject. Readers have noted the shortcomings. These pages acknowledge it.

The first-ever trilingual (Welsh-English-Ukrainian) plaque was unveiled recently at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, honouring Gareth Vaughan Jones.

Commenting on the unveiling, the director of research, for the Ukrainian Canadian Civil Liberties Association, Dr.Lubomyr Luciuk, said:

“Today we have hallowed the memory of the many millions of victims of a Stalinist crime against humanity…… We have also paid tribute to a brave and honest journalist, Gareth Jones, who tried to expose the truth, only to fall victim to Stalin’s men. He was, in some ways, the last victim of the Holodomor, the famine-genocide of 1932-33 in Soviet Ukraine. It is fitting that we could gather today in Wales, at the university where he studied, to honour a remarkable young man who paid such a heavy price for his commitment to being an honest reporter of the facts.”

Vaughan Jones died in 1935 while on an investigative trip, murdered under mysterious circumstances by bandits in Manchukuo.

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