Assad situation for uni loonies
‘Genocide’ slur sparks probe into tutor
A SYDNEY University tutor is under investigation after unleashing a raciallycharged social media attack on an Australian of Armenian descent who he labelled “traitorous scum” that “desperately” wanted a second genocide of his own people.
University of Sydney casual tutor Jay Tharappel launched the attack on Daily Telegraph political reporter Kylar Loussikian for exposing close links between academic Dr Tim Anderson and Syrian dictator Bashar alAssad.
The report also detailed how Dr Anderson believes last week’s sarin gas attack on the Syrian town of Khan Sheikhoun, which left 87 dead, was a “false flag” and not the work of Dr Assad.
Dr Anderson, who visited Dr Assad last year, cast doubt on the mounting evidence that his regime ordered the massacre, which in turn led to retaliatory US airstrikes. He suggests al-Qaeda was responsible.
Mr Tharappel, who describes Dr Anderson as his mentor, yesterday aimed a barrage of abuse at Mr Loussikian following his report.
“Devastating intellectual critique by Kylary Loussikian, , the traitorous scum who desperately wants a second Armenian genocide,” he wrote on Facebook. “How much did they pay you traitor? I guess stabbing SYRIA in the back with that surname is the best of telling the world you’re for sale, right?”
Mr Loussikian has Armenian heritage and there is a large Armenian population in Syria, which Tharappel claims will be in danger of genocide should Assad’s regime topple.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, whose grandparents survived the Armenian genocide between 1915 and 1923, is understood to be concerned by Mr Tharappel’s comments. But she would not comment, in a bid to avoid drawing further attention to his words.
A university spokesman said: “The University of Sydney has commenced an investigation into the behaviour of a casual staff member who is alleged to have made offensive comments to a journalist on social media today. The university takes the allegations very seriously and is examining whether any breaches of its code of conduct have occurred.
“This code clearly sets out the university’s expectations for our staff and affiliates in respect of their professional and personal conduct.
“In particular the code requires that members of staff “act fairly and reasonably, and treat (people) with respect, impartiality, courtesy and sensitivity.
“The university is committed to upholding the value of respect in all discourse.”
Mr Tharappel described his comments on Facebook as “spur of the moment” but refused to say sorry.
“Maybe I could have been more diplomatic but I’m not going to apologise,” he told the Daily Telegraph.
The Turnbull government, as well as President Trump, France and Germany, have blamed Dr Assad’s regime for the sarin gas attack.
Jay Tharappel, who tutors human rights at Sydney University, and (left) his attack on Facebook yesterday.