Today marks the 30th anniversary of the uprising of the people of Kurdistan, where thirty years ago today, the people of Kurdistan stood up against the oppression, injustice, and tyranny of the dictator Saddam Hussein and former Iraqi Baath regime.
On this historical day, the Co-Leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), Lahur Sheikh Jangi, made a statement, which reads as follows:
The relatives of our esteemed martyrs,
People of Kurdistan,
I extend my congratulations to you on the 30th anniversary of the Uprising. Thirty years ago, on this sacred day, and from the green gate of Rapareen, decades of Arabization and discrimination by the blood thirsty Baath regime came to an end. In the Uprising, so much prevailed; light over darkness, freedom over yielding, neck over the nose, martyrs’ mothers over grief, and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan’s (PUK) followers over the enemy. The Uprising was the result of the blood of thousands of martyrs, the product of the new revolution and the crucial participation and support of the people, and the peaceful way of Mam Jalal for the people of Kurdistan. On this anniversary, we remain loyal to our remembrance but most importantly we must acknowledge that the people of Kurdistan’s livelihood do not depend solely on these remembrances, but rather that they need a more free and worthy life and better future. In these uncertain days, in which an oppressive opportunist and reckless minority is threatening our experience, the people want to know where the freedom, peace, democracy, human rights, and self-determination that the PUK is built upon, ends up.
What happens to the high political and social values of the PUK, the hopes of national liberation, the achievements of the Uprising that thousands sacrificed their life for? Who will protect and free our Kurdistan from occupation, greed, and monopoly of an unwanted authority? Today, thirty years after the Uprising, the people of Kurdistan want to be assured that the rule of law, freedom, job security, salaries and their livelihood are protected from a monopolist minority. The people of Kurdistan have the right to demand that our region not be sacrificed for personal conflicts, that the revival of our area not be given a veto because of political plans, that the government not be run by family interests or politically consume the power of the people. Understanding these rightful demands, encourages us to be more honest with our people, that’s why I announce, on this occasion, that the Kurdistan Region has a fundamental problem, and that throughout these years after the Uprising, the path taken has been against our national expectations, and this has to be altered, otherwise, our Uprising will consume its slogans.
My colleagues and I, in the PUK, understand these issues, problems and essential needs, we understand our people’s rightful demands and proudly represent them, therefore, on this historic day, and through this open platform, I announce in the framework of political and national coordination with other political factions of Kurdistan, depending on the relatives of our martyr, and the people of Kurdistan, we will try to amend this wrong model of governance and will not allow a minority’s wrongdoing to damage our glorious Uprising, and our people’s sacrifices or that river of blood to have been shed in vain. Hand in hand to protect the values of the Uprising. Glory for our martyrs that lost their lives on the path to Kurdistan’s freedom.