Monday, 13 August 2018

Armenian News... A Topalian... 'Armenia Uncovered' Documentary

“Armenia Uncovered” film teases amazing people, beautiful scenery (video)
 July 30, 2018 

“Armenia Uncovered” film teases amazing people, beautiful ...
In a feature-length documentary titled “Armenia Uncovered”, British-Armenian musician, comedian and actorKev Orkian takes a tour of Armenia.

 In a feature-length documentary titled “Armenia Uncovered”, British-Armenian musician, comedian and actor Kev Orkian takes a tour of Armenia, “one of the most amazing countries on Earth.”

“I am traveling Armenia from top to bottom, to check out as many people and places as I can, on the ground and in the air,” Orkian says in a teaser posted on Facebook.

The host is on a quest to find whether Armenians really are the most hospitable people on the planet.
Orkian is also fascinated by the beauty of Armenian women who are abundantly featured in the short video.

According to him, it’s compulsory in Armenia to do everything on a full stomach.

In the film, Orkian is expected to chat with the world-famous French-Armenian singer Charles Aznavour, Armenia’s greatest footballer, Arsenal’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan and “pop sensation” Sirusho.
Also, the video features the British-Armenian visiting Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh) too.

MediaMax, Armenia
Aug 8 2018
Putin will be out to get Pashinyan, says Saakashvili

“The Caucasus is rapidly changing. Just look at Armenia. The Kremlin does not have the complete control there, and the military control and propaganda are not enough to keep the people from expressing their will. I am afraid Putin will not let go of Armenia so simply. I think he will be out to get Pashinyan in the autumn. We all understand he does not like what is happening in Armenia. Pashinyan is trying to please him in any way possible, but you cannot please Putin,” Saakashvili said in the interview to Novaya Gazeta, timed to the 10th anniversary of Georgian-Russian war.

“What happened in Armenia is what Putin feared the most. No amount of money, no mechanisms were able to hold back the people’s will. Putin had to see that the Armenian youth is very pro-western, English speaking, and naturally distancing itself from Russia. Moreover, there is a widespread discontent in Armenia with the presence of Russian troops. Particularly, when they behave unlike a friendly force, not the way Americans conduct themselves in Western Europe, but as invaders, which angers people in the modern world.

Additionally, Pashinyan is going against CSTO Secretary General Khachaturov and Gazprom Armenia’s chief Kocharyan – the two key Russian pillars in Armenia.

The Kremlin will be trying to overthrow Pashinyan in any case, I have no doubt about that. Pashinyan will find himself in hot water. There will be protest actions, and the oligarchs from Moscow will invest huge money in these processes, and the organized crime in Armenia will be up in arms against Pashinyan.

He has little time to consolidate his power. I think he should have dissolved the parliament when he had the necessary levers and bring in new people. He did not disperse the judiciary and now he’s trying to arrest Kocharyan, but the old system will sabotage all his decisions. He does the right things, but he is not changing the system, and the old system will stop obeying him and start working against him,” said Saakashvili.

RFE/RL Report
Pashinian Downplays Russian Criticism
August 10, 2018
Sisak Gabrielian

Prime Minister Nikol Pashinian played down on Friday Russia’s strong criticism of serious accusations that were brought against former senior Armenian 
officials shortly after he came to power in May.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on July 31 that the high-profile criminal cases contradict the new Armenian government’s earlier assurances that 
it has “no intention to persecute its predecessors for political motives.” “In the last few days, we have repeatedly conveyed our concerns to the Armenian 
leadership,” he said in what was rare criticism of Yerevan publicly voiced by Moscow.

Lavrov referred to the prosecutions of former Armenian President Robert Kocharian, former Defense Minister Mikael Harutiunian and former Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Khachaturov, the current secretary general of the Russian-led 
Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO). The three men are facing coup charges stemming from the March 2008 post-election unrest in Yerevan.

Pashinian seemed unfazed by the Russian reaction when he spoke to reporters during a visit to Armenia’s northern Tavush province. “I think that this is a different situation,” he said when asked to comment on Lavrov’s statement. “All of us, including our Russian partners, need to adapt to this situation. So everything is normal.”

In that context, Pashinian denied any connection between the diplomatic dispute with Moscow and his decision to hold a rally in Yerevan on August 17. He said the rally is timed to coincide with his first 100 days in office.

Pashinian, 43, was elected prime minister by the Armenian parliament on May 8 after weeks of mass protests that brought down the country’s previous 

An Armenian law-enforcement agency moved to arrest both Kocharian and  Khachaturov on July 27. A court in Yerevan remanded the ex-president in 
pre-trial custody but granted bail to Khachaturov.

The separate rulings were handed down several hours after a phone conversation between Lavrov and Armenian Foreign Minister Zohrab Mnatsakanian. Khachaturov not only remained free was also allowed to return to Moscow and resume his duties as CSTO secretary general on August 4.

ARKA, Armenia
Aug 8 2018
Some 28,000 trees logged illegally in Armenia in less than two years

Some 28,000 trees have been logged illegally in Armenia in 2017 and 2018, causing damage estimated at 2.2 billion drams. These figures were announced today at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan. 

Pashinyan admitted that part of the trees were logged by insecure families who live near forests. "I think that over time the situation has changed for the worse as many continue to think that if they live near forests they can log trees and sell them to receive some kind of income," Pashinyan said.

According to him, for such people it is unimportant what strategic consequences their activity will have and sometimes they are not even considered.

"The time has come for us to find serious and fundamental solutions to all these issues, because the environmental situation in our country is bad. We have been talking about it for a long time, and nothing changes. Of course, we must be able to establish a dialogue with our citizens. The problem lies not only in administrative decisions, but in creating a common content that would be acceptable to all," the prime minister said.

Pashinyan was also informed that several grant programs are being implemented in the communities located near the forests to build greenhouse farms, provide citizens with sources of income and develop ecotourism. ($ 1 - 481.78 drams). 

ARKA, Armenia
Aug 9 2018
Economic growth in Armenia expected to stand at 6.5% in 2018

Economic growth in Armenia is expected to stand at 6.5% in 2018, Hrant Mikaelyan, an economist at the Caucasus Institute, said in an interview with Civil Net.

“The country faced certain economic downfall in Apr-May 5-6% - figures every month were 5-6% lower than projected,” he said. “In June, the difference was slight – 1-1.5% and the total loss in GDP growth in 2018 is believed to be 2%.”

Mikaelyan said that always when substantial political charges are implemented, economy reacts to them by slowdown, for example, because citizens freeze their long-term spending. 

«Entrepreneurs can suspend their investments, and this means that economic activity becomes sluggish,» he said. «But if political things stabilize later, the economy starts rallying.»

Mikaelyan finds it very important that both old and new authorities have managed to come to some accord to make the process more or less painless - every time, when a new minister was appointed, his predecessor and the prime minister sat next to him.  

«This means symbolic handover of responsibilities took place,» he said. 

Mikaelyan also finds this year successful in terms of agriculture. 

«Weather is good, it was rain in the beginning of the summer and hail was scant – it means everything is OK,» he said. 

Armenia's economic activity index rose 8.9% in Jan-June 2018, compared with the same period a year before.

In the government budget for 2018, economic growth is projected at 4.5%. 

Stockholm Center for Freedom
Aug 8 2018
Survey shows Armenians, Jews most targeted groups in Turkish media
A new report on hate speech in the Turkish media has found that Armenians, Jews and Greeks were the most frequently targeted with hate speech in the Turkish media, according to a report by Jewish-community newspaper Şalom.

The Hrant Dink Foundation identified 2,265 articles containing hate speech published in the Turkish media between January and April 2018, including 105 pieces targeting more than one group. In total, there were articles targeting 76 different groups, with 671 targeting Armenians and 427 targeting Jews. Next most targeted were Greeks, Syrians, Anatolian Greeks and Christians.

One hundred and thirty-nine articles targeted Westerners in general, while 137 targeted British, 65 Russians, 63 French and 61 Americans.

The most hate speech was published in pro-government Islamist newspaper Yeni Akit, followed by critical Islamist newspaper Milli Gazete and opposition nationalist newspaper Yeniçağ. (SCF with Ahval)

ARKA, Armenia
Aug 8 2018
Armenia is fourth in the world for frequency of harmful software attacks 

In Apr-June 2018, 29.98% of users’ devices in Armenia have attacked by harmful software through internet, the office of Kaspersky Lab in Armenia reported on Wednesday.   

According to the report based on the figures received by using Kaspersky Security Network (KSN), Armenia came fourth among the world countries in the ranking that embraces the mentioned period of time. 

In the first quarter of this year, this indicator stood at 36.78% (the 7th rank), and in the second quarter 2017 21.58% (the 15th rank). 

In the 2nd Q 2018, 19.59% computers in the world have been attacked by Malware at least once, and 17.26% before.  

Armen Karapetyan, a cyber security specialist and the territorial representative of Kaspersky Lab in Armenia and Georgia, said that Armenia is consistently moving up in the list of the countries where users are targeted by harmful software frequently. 

”This shows the growing attention of cyber criminals to the country and the intensifying visits of Armenian users to websites with harmful content,” he said. “Only cautiousness and reliable antivirus solutions with web protection function shield users from web threats.”

Belarus (3349%), Albania (30.27), Algeria (30.08) and Ukraine (29.68) are along Armenia in the list’s top five, and Latvia (24.03), Vietnam (24.03), Georgia (23.87), Philippines (23.85) and Romania (23.55) are in the tail of the list. 

Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso, Italy
Aug 8 2018
Armenia: there is no workplace in the village
 Armine AvetisyanYerevan 

According to the State Employment Agency, more than 82,000 people are currently looking for jobs in Armenia. The number of unemployed in rural areas is 18.3% of the total, which increased by 26.6% compared to the same period last year

The work of Gayane Sargsyan, a resident of Aygek village, Armavir region, has been running for 10 years early spring and ends in mid-autumn. She works in the field of agriculture, is engaged in seasonal work. 

“As soon as the agricultural season begins, I already have a job: I am engaged in collecting various crops, beans, strawberries, apricots... My working year begins with the harvest of beans, and then I collect different vegetables, fruits and berries in turn. Well, my job is not easy, but I have no alternative, it’s difficult to find a job in the village. If I didn’t have these seasonal jobs, I would be completely unemployed”, says Gayane.

Gayane works on a daily fee. The working day lasts 8 hours, but during it she also has the right to rest. She earns a salary of 5,000 drams (about 9 euros) for a day's work.

“My employer and I mainly work on the basis of a verbal agreement, we don’t sign a labor contract, but there hasn’t been any problem so far. I have been working for the same person for many years; he has always paid my salary regularly, and I do my job responsibly”, says Gayane, adding that she is the only employee of her household and that she feeds a family of 5 people.

“It is very difficult to find another job except a seasonal one in the villages. Most rural population goes to work abroad, and mostly the men go. That is, if you're a woman and you've lived in the village, you have to sit at home, or do seasonal work, or think and start your business, which is very difficult. I know very few successful businesswomen”, says Gayane.

From shy girl to tractor driver
30-year-old Hripsime Petrosyan lives in Krashen village of Shirak region. Just three years ago she was known as a shy and timid girl in the village. Today she has found a stable job not only for herself, but she also thinks about her fellow villagers.

“About 6 years ago a training course was organized in our village by 'Women for Development' NGO. I took part in it, and then I took part in another training course; I began to go out of the village and participate in various projects. Gradually my life and worldview changed”, says Hripsime. Thanks to the participation in such projects, she received 2 million drams by means of the grant program announced by the “Kasa” foundation, by which she bought a tractor.

“There was a point in the program saying that the money was given to relieve the burden of the community. And I bought a tractor. Many people rejoiced, because they were doing field work by hand, and with my tractor I was a real savior for the peasants. I was also happy because I was providing myself with work. True, at first it was unusual for me to be a tractor driver in our traditional country of Armenia where they say that the place of a woman is the kitchen, but now I cannot imagine myself without a tractor”, says Hripsime.

The fact that Hripsime became a tractor driver was easily accepted by the villagers, because she had already started driving an UAZ car before that.

“I was driving my dad's car. Many people looked at me in the village, as it was very unusual. Gradually they got used to my image; after I sat down on the steering wheel of the tractor, they just smiled”, recalls the girl.

Hripsime provides agricultural services also to neighboring communities with her tractor. She says she is satisfied with the current life; she already has a stable income, and in the past she could only dream about such work.

“I collected money and set up a children's playground in our village. It was still a childish dream. My fellow villagers also dreamed about that playground. Now the children of our village play there, and tomorrow my child will play”, says Hripsime, who is still unmarried, but dreams of building a strong family and having a baby boy.

Hripsime does not only drive a tractor but is also actively engaged in social activities. “Our women are very passive. I try to involve them in various projects, also bring projects to our village through which we can create a workplace, live an active life. The life in villages is very sad, we must add colors in our lives; we must also create a workplace for us”, says 

Hripsime, noting that if you live in the village, it does not mean you should stay at home and only deal with your household.

Unemployment, a reason of migration
The lack of jobs in rural areas has led to the migration. A part of young men is currently looking for a job abroad. Although there is no clear data on how many people go abroad, in some rural areas of Armenia it is difficult to find a young man in the middle of the year.

“There is nothing to do in our village; every year in January, my husband goes to work abroad and returns in December. It turns out that I see my husband only a month during the year”, says Rima, a resident of Gegharkunik region. The regions of Shirak, Lori, Gegharkunik and Kotayk are the most affected by migration processes.

“I have always dreamed that I wake up in the morning, take my children to school, go to work, and then at home they tell me about their lessons at dinner, and I share my impressions of the working day. It has remained only a dream. There is not even a small factory near our village where I could work”, mentions Rima.

Rima has decided to move to the capital Yerevan next year, saying that she has already spoken to her husband and he agrees.

“Instead of working in Moscow, capital of Russia, my husband will work in Yerevan, capital of Armenia. Before it was difficult, you had to pay a bribe or have a good acquaintance to find a job, but now there has been a change of power in our country, I think at least we can find a job in Yerevan”, says Rima.
The issue of unemployment, in the spotlight of the state

The problem of unemployment is of concern to the Armenian government, which has been implementing a number of programs in the past several years to solve it – for example, the project: “Providing agricultural economic assistance through seasonal employment promotion”.

Also, together with international organizations, steps are being undertaken aimed at developing small businesses in different settlements of Armenia. This should contribute to alleviate the unemployment problem.

Also, after the change of power in the spring of 2018, the issue of unemployment was touched upon in a new government program, which says: "The non-violent, velvet, people's revolution in Armenia in April-May 2018 resulted in economic and investment positive expectations. The government intends to direct investments to the regions and encourage the investments which are aimed at creating the largest number of new vacancies”.

Arminfo, Armenia
Aug 8 2018
Armenia won 86 medals at the Europe World Championships

Satenik Sargsyan. In 2018, Armenia won 86 medals at the EuropeWorld Championship: 30 gold medals, 24 silver ones and 32 bronze medals and all of them in youth and youth competitions alone, Deputy Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Gabriel Ghazaryan stated. "Every year the number of athletes-medalists representing Armenia increases,"
Ghazaryan said. "We are implementing large-scale projects for the development of mass sports, involving citizens of different age groups, paying much attention to draft age as well, implementing relevant projects, and we see qualitative growth," he said.

Speaking about the summer Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020, he said that Armenia will send more athletes than to the Olympics in Rio-2016. Armenia was represented by 32 sportsmen in 8 sports at the summer Olympic Games in 2016. "Moreover, we will be represented in new disciplines in which we have not participated in previous years," Ghazaryan said.

Dr Dikran Abrahamian

Զօրավիգ Կանգնինք Հայրենի Պետութեան - Solidarity
Public Gathering


Մեծ Հաւատաքննիչները (Inquisitors)

Դոկտ. Աբէլ Քհնյ. Մանուկեան

Vote for Amara Possian

TDSB Candidate

Petition to Release Kocharian?

Asbarez, Պարոյր Յ. Աղպաշեան,  Սիլվա Կապուտիկյան 


Beware of the Two-headed Typhon

Ֆրանսահայ երիտասարդի զգուշացումը (Video)


Օգոստոս 7-ի Պատմաքաղաքական Նշանակութիւնը 

Հայկական Ժողովրդային Շարժում


Յարգանք՝ «Մանկութիւն Չունեցող .....» Բարերարներուն

Տիգրան Աբրահամեան

Ս. Աթոռին Բազմածը՝ Անպայմանօրէն Կաթողիկոս Մը Չէ...

Մեթր Գ. Տէրտէրեան


MPP Aris Babikian's Inaugural Speech at Queen's Park

Ցաւեցնող Նոթեր - Բաց Նամակ

Ռուբէն Յովակիմեան և Արմենակ Եղիայեան


Եկեղեցին ու Պետությունը

Սամվել Հովասափյան

“Armenia to One mandatory, the Armenians to Another“

Colonialist, spy, hero, author, and soldier T. E. Lawrence, also known as Lawrence of Arabia, was a contradictory and controversial figure. In this 1919 Paris interview with Lincoln Steffens, one of the top US foreign correspondents of the day, Lawrence stays in characterby expressing outrageous and outlandish opinions, especially about the fate of Armenians.

Մասնակցենք Օգոստոսի 17-ի Հանրահավաքին

Կոչ Սփյուռքահայության

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Dr. Dikran Abrahamian · 15 Bridle Rd. · Penetanguishene, On L9M 1J5 · Canada

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Wednesday, 8 August 2018

** FATHER FRANK’S RANTS Rant Number 781 8 August 2018 ANOTHER HIROSHIMA?


A tree grows in Tavistock Square. The heart of London’s literary Bloomsbury.  A sombre shrub, remembering victims of man’s inhumanity to man. The Japanese civilians – over 200.000 – who perished in and after the 1945 nuclear massacre unleashed by mighty America on moribund Japan. Yes, there was a rationale for it. Shortening the war, saving lives…A consolation for the innocent men, women and children transformed into fiery shadows? And, could it happen again? I shall discuss this at King’s College, London, on Saturday 11, 6 PM.

‘Why don’t you mention the Allied POW’s in Jap hands? Their skeletal bodies, their atrocious sufferings inflicted by their cruel guards? The beatings, the tortures, the starvations… The bloody, sadistic children of the Samurai got paid back in their own coin. Don’t ask me to feel sorry for human fiends. Serves them right!’ emoted a certain chap. Perhaps channelling President Truman who, on 9^th of August 45, justified himself in similar fashion, implying that America had dropped the bomb in revenge for Pearl Harbour. Also on Japanese who ‘have starved, beaten and executed American prisoners of war’, Truman added. Understandable feelings - human, all too human. A Christian could never share them, however. (Besides, why should babes at arms and non-combatant women suffer for the crimes of their rulers and soldiers?)

‘Is it always a sin to engage in war?’ asks St Thomas Aquinas in the Summa Theologiae. Note how the question is phrased. The assumption is that war is generally evil. A grave sin. In a fallen world, to be permissible, for war three conditions are required, St Thomas spells them out: right authority, just cause and right intention. Concerning the latter, the Saint invokes another Saint, Augustine. He stated that: ‘The passion for causing harm, the cruel thirst for vengeance…the lust for power’ result in a wrong intention – i.e. evil. Hence America and Britain, nations which still back then claimed the title of ‘Christian’, stand condemned by the criterion of right intention. No war fought for revenge can be underwritten by the Church. Significantly, despite the horrible sufferings visited on the priests and lay martyrs of Japan crucified at Nagasaki in 1597, Christians never called for revenge. Rightly so. The name of Christ, the blood of the innocent should never be sullied by bloody,
vengeful reprisals.

In the light of Christian ethics, the atom bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is a great crime. Because non-combatant immunity – also sanctioned in international law – states that civilians should not be directly targeted. Natural Law theologians Francisco De Vitoria and Francisco Suarez completed Aquinas’ discussion by adding two conditions. They pertain to how a war should be fought to be termed ‘just’. Such are proportionality and non-combatant immunity. The latter is grounded on the moral category of innocence. Not a subjective concept but an objective one. Civilians do not bear arms so they are innocent – the etymology of the word is ‘pose no harm’. A critic might object: ‘What about women working in ammunition factories and the like? Aren’t they causing harm to the Allied cause?’ American Jesuit Father John Ford SJ in a celebrated article written during WWII about the Allied policy of obliteration bombing carried out on German cities, gave a whole list of people whose age and activ
ity could not be described as a contribution to war effort. Those folks were innocent and should not have been targeted. Their killing was a war crime.

All right, nuclear weapons today are much more varied and sophisticated than the ones used in 1945. Already in 1985 David Fisher observed the existence of ‘a bewildering multiplicity of types of NW whose destructive power can range from a fraction of a kiloton, a Hiroshima-size bomb – some 13 kilotons – up to weapons of  a multimegaton variety: a hundred and even a thousand times the size of the Hiroshima bomb.’ You can even conceive of uses of NW causing no non-combatants casualties, for example in anti-submarine strikes. (And don’t forget that the March 1945 non-nuclear fire-bombing of Tokyo killed 100.000 human beings. You don’t need nuclear weapons to do mass murder.) But could you really have confidence in rational restraints, once nuclear exchanges started?

Could Hiroshima be repeated? Years ago Michael Nazir-Ali, Anglican Bishop of Rochester, praised Trident, Britain’s nuclear arsenal, and lambasted a resolution of the General Synod of the C of E advocating nuclear disarmament. Nukes were needed, he claimed, to deter countries like…Iran! Iran threatened ‘the stability of the Middle East’. Tricky to see how Iran could be deterred from using weapons it doesn’t have – unlike another ‘Middle East’ country whose name you can guess… But what if Iran did have them? A major uranium conversion facility is located in beautiful Isfahan. (I know. I have been there.) A city of four and half million people. Overwhelmingly innocent civilians. To deter a putatively suicidal Iran, the Brits would have to target Isfahan – and really mean to fire off their lethal warheads. How many harmless Isfahanis would the Bishop have been willing to incinerate, I wonder?

Biblical terms like ‘Armageddon’ and ‘apocalypse’ are often blabbed out when discussing a possible nuclear war. All too handy words in this context but deeply misleading. Because the end-of-the-world battles prophesied in Scripture are not triggered off by petty human creatures but by divine agencies. St Michael and his angels are not synonymous with America’s or Russia’s big battalions, nuclear or not. It is the Almighty who decides when the final conflict will be fought, not man. Don’t blame God for the folly, the idiocy and irresponsibility of his creatures.

So, what is to be done? Working for peace, that’s it! A God-mandated task that shall be well rewarded. The Gospel promise of Christ, the Prince of Peace, is bold and bracing: ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall see God’.

Revd Frank Julian Gelli


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