Some in Sulaimani extinguish 100 torches as they bury Sykes–Picot
By Sartip Othman
SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Some people created a “graveyard” for the Sykes–Picot Agreement that drew the current borders in the Middle East and denied the Kurds the right to have their own state, just days before the people in Kurdistan head to the polls to vote on independence.
They had 101 torches in their hands as they climbed down the city’s Goizha Mountain, extinguishing 100 of them as they reached the foothold of the mountains, marking the end of 100 years of being forced to live with the rest of Iraq. The remaining torch remained lit to symbolize the creation of an independent state for Kurdistan.
Some who attended the event were the followers of the Zoroastrian faith. They consider fire, a source of light, as holy and an integral part of their religion.
A Zoroastrian religious leader told Rudaw that it is often the case that they take torches up to the mountains to let the fire provide light and enlighten the people. But this time they chose to climb down the mountain to say that the notorious agreement ignited a fire that burned the people of Kurdistan.
Adham Barzani, a member of the Kurdistan Democratic Party, said the event wanted to tell the world that they have created a “graveyard” for the agreement, the end of the long history with Iraq that is no longer wanted.
A large rally is expected in Sulaimani on Wednesday afternoon when President Masoud Barzani will deliver a speech. Barzani has already arrived in Sulaimani.
The “No for Now” campaign that opposes the vote originated in Sulaimani, and their largest rally drew about 2,500 people, much smaller when compared to an estimated 30,000 people who attended a rally in Duhok in support of independence.
The yes-vote organizers are expecting at least 10,000 people to attend the event later today.