As­sad sit­u­a­tion for uni loonies

‘Geno­cide’ slur sparks probe into tu­tor

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - News - MILES GOD­FREY

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.

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