Charles Masraff has been trying to import Armenian wines to sell
Police Halt March To Seized Office In Yerevan(UPDATED)
July 18, 2016
Armenia - Riot police detain a protester in Yerevan's Liberty Square,
Riot police stopped more than 100 people from marching to a police
station in Yerevan on Monday evening in support of armed opposition
activists that have seized it to demand the release of their jailed
The small crowd gathered in the city's Liberty Square amid a
continuing standoff between security forces and the gunmen holding
four police officers hostage at the police compound in the southern
Erebuni suburb since Sunday morning.
Davit Sanasarian, a well-known opposition activist, and several other
young men were detained on the spot moments after urging the
protesters to march to Erebuni. The protesters tried to do so even
after the detentions but were stopped by riot police just outside the
General Hunan Poghosian, the first deputy chief of the Armenian
police, arrived at the scene to urge the crowd to avoid "imprudent"
actions. "Please do not create unnecessary tension," he said.
Poghosian argued that security forces are continuing to negotiate with
the dozen or so members of the radical opposition group Founding
Parliament to try to resolve the hostage crisis.
He assured the protesters that the Armenian authorities have no plans
to use force against the hostage takers. The latter are demanding that
the authorities release Zhirayr Sefilian, the Founding Parliament
leader arrested last month on charges of illegal arms possession. They
also want President Serzh Sarkisian to resign.
The protesters reluctantly agreed to walk back into the square moments
later. Tension eased further after Poghosian ordered his officers to
immediately release two of the detained activists. He said all other
individuals taken into police custody will be set free later in the
More than a dozen other people were detained early in the afternoon
when they tried to demonstrate near the seized Erebuni compound
cordoned off by security forces. An RFE/RL reporter was hit by a
policeman in the chest while covering the proceedings.
The police allowed the evening march from Liberty Square only after
other activists promised to confine it to downtown Yerevan and steer
clear of Erebuni.
"They are not terrorists," one of those activists, Maxim Sargsian,
said of the Founding Parliament gunmen that killed one police officer
and wounded four others during Sunday's attack.
"The authorities must understand that they forced those people to take
such a step," Sargsian told the crowd before it marched through the
city center, chanting "Freedom!"
Sargsian and Avetik Ishkanian, a prominent human rights activist who
also addressed the protesters, demanded that law-enforcement
authorities avoid forcibly retaking the seized police building and
freeing the hostages.
Ishkhanian also condemned as illegal the brief detentions of more than
100 members and supporters of Founding Parliament carried out on
Monday and Sunday.
Several dozen protesters, most of them young men, managed to reach the
cordoned area in Erebuni at around midnight. They chanted "Sefilian!"
as they approached a row of policemen in full riot gear. The commander
of Armenian interior troops, General Levon Yeranosian, and other
senior security officials could be seen standing behind the policemen.
The protesters did not attempt to break through the police cordon.
Armenian community gathers for a Mass in memory of Nice victims
19 Jul 2016
Members of the Armenian community came together at St. Philip Church
in Nice, where the Primate of the Armenian Church of France and of
Europe, Bishop Vahan Hovhannisyan celebrated a Holy Mass in memory of
victims of the attack in Nice, Nouvelles d’Armenie reports.
He was accompanied by Father Krikor Khachatryan the parish priest and
the deacons and cantors.
The faithful then went to the Promenade des Anglais to pray. “We came
to honor the victims and show our solidarity, our compassion and share
the pain of Nice. To pray is an act of faith but also of resistance,
because there must be hope in life,” Bishop Vahan Hovhannisyan said.
Import of Turkish goods to Armenia may shrink by 20%
YERЕVAN, July 19. If Armenian government bans the import of 50
varieties of Turkish commodities, imports from Turkey may shrink 15-20
percent, Vazgen Safaryan, the head of the Union of Domestic Commodity
Producers, told journalists on Monday.
In recent days, Artsvik Minasyan, Armenian economy minister, unveiled
the government’s intention to put new requirements to the quality of
Turkish commodities imported into Armenia.
Today Armenia imports from Turkey some 700 varieties of goods, of
which 50 names have been chosen initially. There are not raw materials
or goods of social necessity.
“We import commodities worth $130-150 million, on average, from Turkey
every year, and in some years the amount reached $200 million,”
Safaryan said. “Along with that, our exports total only $1.5-1.8
Safaryan said that knitted fabric, washing powders and other chemical
products will be among the banned imports.
The economic entities which imported these products should be
attracted to appropriate local industries to prevent vacuum at market
and not to leave business people without profits, he said.
In his opinion, the government has created maximally beneficial
conditions for producing goods inside the country.
“Time has come to mobilize the economic policy and use domestic
resources more effectively,” he said.
According to the National Statistical Service, Armenia-Turkey trade
turnover amounted to about $50 million in Jan-May 2016 showing a 1%
18 Jul 2016
Armenians from all over the UK gathered in London Sunday for the the
6th Armenian Street Festival in London, Naira Hairapetyan reports from
The London Armenian Street Festival is an annual celebration of
Armenian culture and heritage that takes place at St. Sarkis Armenian
Church in Kensington/Chelsea. The family-friendly event features
Armenian cuisine, live street entertainment, special guests and
vendors, and a concert at the church.
Attending the events were a number of foreign guests, British
officials, clergymen, representatives of the Armenian Embassy in the
UK and guests from Armenia.
The Iverna Gardens in South Kensington had turned into a small
Armenian district with traditional songs and dances.
“The festival aims to bring together Armenians from different parts of
Great Britain at least for one day,” said Bishop Hovakim Manukyan,
Primate of the Armenian Diocese of Great Britain. He attached special
importance to the involvement of young people. “This year is special,
as we are celebrating the 25th anniversary of Armenia’s independence,”
The festival featured performances by violinist Levon Chilingaryan,
the Komitas choir, the Akhtamar folk ensemble and others. Duduk player
Gevorg Karapetyan and singer Iveta Mukuchyan were special guests at
Russia is taking efforts to maintain parity both in absolute terms and
in the quantity and quality of the basic weapons systems it supplies,
Russia is committed to maintaining parity in the supply of military
equipment to Armenia and Azerbaijan in the conditions of the
intensified Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, Director of the Russian Federal
Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSMTC) Alexander Fomin
said in an interview with Izvestia daily published on Monday.
“Conflicts begin regardless of the fact that one side may be armed
better than the other,” Fomin said. “However, it is necessary to seek
parity, so Russia is taking efforts to maintain parity both in
absolute terms and in the quantity and quality of the basic weapons
Fomin also said that the main purpose of military-technical
cooperation is to preserve peace and stability in a given country, in
a region and in the world in general. “Russia’s military-technical
cooperation system is organized in such a way as to cause no harm,
including to a particular region. We make all the decisions on the
delivery of arms to one or another country invariably with taking into
account such acute regional situations,” he added.
July 17, 2016 Sunday
Qara Kelisa Complex to hold Badarak religious ceremony
Qara Kelisa Complex in Chaldoran, West Azarbaijan Province, will host
annual religious ceremony of Armenians known as Badarak in late July.
5,000 Armenians from Iran and other nations including Armenia, Syria,
Lebanon, the Netherlands, France, Austria, Germany and Canada will
take part in the three-day event.
The ceremony will be held to mark the martyrdom anniversary
During the ceremony, the worshippers perform religious practices,
including sacrificing sheep, lighting candles, baptism of infants,
Various organizations such as West Azarbaijan Cultural Heritage,
Handicrafts and Tourism Department, Chaldoran Governor's Office, Law
Enforcement Forces and West Azarbaijan Red Crescent Society will
render services to the participants.
Director General of West Azarbaijan Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and
Tourism Department Jalil Jabbari said the province is ready to
implement the Armenian religious ceremony.
He recalled that Qara Kelisa Complex, which includes the three
churches of Qara Kelisa, Saint Stepanous and Zoorzoor, was registered
on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 2008.
It is highly respected by domestic and foreign tourists, he added.
Qara Kelisa (Black Church), or Thaddeus Church, which has been
registered as the ninth international work, is known among the
Armenians worldwide as Saint Thaddeus. The church is the oldest in the
Christian world and dates back to the seventh and 12th centuries.
Chaldoran is situated 220km north of Orumieh, capital of West
The Sunday Times (London)
July 17, 2016 Sunday
In Armenia, the hills are alive with butterflies, flowers and the
sound of music. Even the conservationists are dancing
At the bottom of the Cascade in Yerevan, Armenia, all 572 steps of it,
there is a generous square - oblong, rather - crowded with funky
sculptures and lined with cafes. At one of the tables, five glasses:
two of red wine, two of beer, one of Coke. Emptying them were Ruben,
Manuk and Eva from the Armenian NGO the Foundation for the
Preservation of Wildlife and Cultural Assets (FWPC), John from the
British-based World Land Trust, and me. We were all off our heads. Not
from the drink, but the beauty.
Yesterday, in the mountains, we had a gloriously overwhelming
encounter with the richness of life, and its vulnerability. This was
beauty expressed as place: a chunk of land, a sacred combe, an Eden.
So how could we make it safe for ever? The glasses clinked, for
Armenians are big on toasts."To the alpine meadows, and what we can do
Across the square, people were setting up an oversized loudspeaker. A
mutter of drums, the lowest deep enough to thump you in the gut. And
then a great cry: the double-reed Armenian wind instrument, the duduk,
was wailing skywards and the drums fell in behind it.
For me, plants are normally background. Furniture. But not in those
lofty meadows. Up there, the floral diversity confounded perceptions,
scrambled the wits, made you doubt your own sense and your own senses.
It looked as if a child with a first paint box had tried out every
Up there was everything that ever grew: immense rarities, local
specialities, banks of orchids, slopes and dips and hollows and rises
of colour and colour and colour. Often the colour took wing and flew:
an expert identified 65 species of butterfly in a single day; in
Britain we have 59 in total.
The mountains hold the endemic Armenian mouflon, the bezoar goat,
porcupines, wolves, bears and even the near-impossible Caucasian
leopard. But there are threats all around and preserving such a place
is hard, even though the FWPC has a magnificent track record in the
Caucasus Wildlife Refuge.
In the square, giant human circles were www.forming.No one was telling
anyone what to do, but within five minutes several hundred people were
linked shoulder to shoulder, all dancing the traditional dances of
I'm a wildlifer; I count stuff. So using hard-won field skills I
counted more than 1,000 dancers: leap, turn, hop, skip, clap and that
old Armenian double shuffle. Average age: early 20s. Here was
something real people really value, and are prepared to do something
about and for. Joy filled the square.
At the conservationists' table the talk turned to whether or not the
World Land Trust could raise the funds that would allow the Armenian
organisation to acquire this incomprehensibly lovely land and manage
it righteously with the local community. There are problems, but
goodwill has already been established It was now raining with some
intent, and yet the dancers danced on. Who cares about problems? The
joy of the dance is all that matters. The music at the Cascade stops
at 11pm, but as I left there was still one last great ring of
revellers, a hundred or more of them, dancing on and on in the pouring
rain, even though there was no music to measure their steps - slaves
to the dance as conservationists are slaves to the beauties and joys
of the wild.
Conservationists will dance for ever to save the last square inch of
the world's wilderness. But the music hasn't stopped yet. You can hear
it in the world's ubiquitous love for nonhuman life. It's part of the
human condition; something that real people really value and are
prepared to do something about and for. One more toast: to a land
worth saving ¦ ¦ @simonbarneswild; www.worldlandtrust.org