Monday, 30 December 2013

USA Armenian Life #1396 -- Armenian prodigy becomes world chess champion‏

Issue #1396 | December 30, 2013

Switzerland Must Appeal European Court's Verdict on the Armenian Genocide Read More
Armenian prodigy Aram Hakobyan becomes world chess champion
Read More

The Creed of the Svazlian Extended Family, a TV program aired on Veratarts TV about Verjine Svazlian Watch Here

Distinguished Scholars Speak on Survivor Meaning Read More
Searching for 1915: Press coverage of the Genocide Read More
Museum of Printing to be opened in Armenia Read More

Michel Platini names Armenia's best footballer Read More
Baku opposed to Armenia’s accession to Customs Union Read More
Armenian descendants take steps toward the homeland Read More

Armenian killed in Beirut explosion Read More

Fresh starts for the New Year by Tom Vartabedian
Read More

Davutoglu receives “The Armenian Genocide: Eye-Witness Testimonies of Survivors” book Read More
Statue honors Armenian women who survived  genocide Read More

Elderly Armenian woman dies in Aleppo bombing Read More

China to provide military aid to ArmeniaRead More
Turkish Colonel’s retrial on Dink murder resumes Read More

Iran's President Rouhani pays Christmas visits to Armenian families Read More

E-NEWSLETTER...............Է-ԹԵՐԹԻԿ 6 The official online publication of the Primate’s Office of the Diocese of the Armenian Church of Great Britain and Ireland Issue 52..(Volume 4), 29 December. 2013

A procession of altar servers from the main entrance of St Yeghiche Church, escorting the Primate into the beautiful cathedral, signaled the beginning of the fourth annual Christmas Carol Service in London. As soon as the members of the procession assumed their place in the church chancel, all joined in by singing “O Come All Ye Faithful.” This was followed by the Lord’s prayer in Armenian which ushered Armenian the Armenian section of the service commemorating St Stephen the first deacon and martyr, whose Feast Armenians celebrate on 25 December. A special hymn was sung for St Stephen while altar servers, crowned with traditional crowns recalling the biblical symbol for martyrdom, incensed the church. This section of the evening was followed by an anthology of traditional English and Armenian Christmas Carols sung by the congregation with Deacon Artur accompanying on the organ. Biblical readings about the birth of Jesus were inserted in between the carols. The evening included musical interludes and performances by Deacon Artur Bobikyan on the organ, Alek and Andre Yeghiazarian on the violin and Mezzo Soprano Anais Heghoyan. At the end of the beautiful evening, HG Bp Vahan offered a brief reflection on Advent and the anticipation of Theophany. God bless you ACYF London for a beautiful and inspiring evening.
HG Bp Vahan Hovhanessian, Primate, lead a pastoral visit to the Holy Trinity Armenian Church and the Armenian community in Manchester, 18-20 December 2013. On Thursday evening, 18 December, Srpazan Hayr attended a Christmas Piano Recital at St Ann’s Church by Deacon Artur Bobikyan. The Recital was followed by a wine reception courtesy of the Pastor and Parish Council of the St Ann’s Church. Friday morning was the opportunity to visit Armenian families in the Area. Around noontime Bp Vahan visited John and Margaret Ekserjian,lifelong members of the Holy Trinity Armenian Church in Manchester.Following a lively discussion on Mr Ekserjian’s service on the Trust of the Church, Bp Vahan offered the traditional Armenian house blessing service. The same afternoon the Bishop visited Souren Arutunyan’shousehold, meeting the family members and blessing their house. In the evening it was the much anticipated annual “Christmas Carol Service” in Holy Trinity Church, which included singing along of Christmas carols in English and Armenian, chanting of psalmodies and scripture readings as well as solos by Mezzo Soprano Anais Heghoyan and an impressive Christmas programme by the Sunday School. A reception was followed in the church hall. Present at the event were members of the Church Trust and Wardens, as well as London and Manchester ACYF members.
HR Orthodox Diocese in London
Bp Vahan Hovhanessian, Fr Garegin Hambardzumyan Mr VIkenHaladjian, Chairman Parish Council Reception For Choir members and Altar Servers
ACYF in Armenian Monastery San Lazzaro. Venice
The Last Supper Painted by Stefano di Giovanni
Sunday Morning Service – No Badarak
St Yeghiche Church: 5 January at 11:30am - Morning Service/No Badarak St Sarkis Church: 5 January at 11:30am - Morning Service/ No Badarak Holy Trinity: 5 January at 11:30am - Morning Service/ No Badarak
Eve of Nativity Service and Badarak
St Yeghiche Church: 5 January at 5:00pm - Revd Fr ShnorkBaghdasarian St Sarkis Church: 5 January at 5:00pm - HG Bp Vahan Hovhanessian Holy Trinity: 5 January at 4:00pm, V Revd Fr Garegin Hambartsumyan
Feast of Nativity – Morning Service, Badarak and blessing of water
St Yeghiche Church: 6 January at 10:30pm - HG Bp Vahan Hovhanessian
St Sarkis Church: 6 January at 10:30pm - Revd Fr ShnorkBaghdasarian
Blessing of Water – Morning Service
Dublin Parish, Ireland: 12 January at 12:30pm - HG Bp Vahan Hovhanessian
Click here for more
The Parish Council of the St Yeghiche Church in London had organized a reception in the Church on Sunday, 22 December. Following Badarak celebration which was celebrated by V Revd Fr Garegin Hambatzumyan, Visiting Pastor, and presided over by the Primate, HG Bp Vahan Hovhanessian, members of the choir, altar servers and volunteers were invited to the glass room for a short programme. Mr VikenHaladjian, on behalf of the Pastor and the Parish Council members, first welcomed all and expressed his thanks to all volunteers including altar servers and members of the choir for their dedication to serve the Armenian Church in St Yeghiche. This was followed by the distribution of Christmas gifts, by the Parish Council as well as by Mr and Mrs Rafi Manoukian, which were handed over to each of the volunteers, altar servers and choir members present by the Primate. A wine reception followed which gave those present an opportunity to mingle and exchange greetings for the New Year and the Feast of Theophany. At the end of the reception, HG Bp Vahan thanked the volunteers as well as the Parish Council and Pastor for their challenging task in establishing a growing and vibrant community in the newly formed Parish and for recognizing the importance of the volunteer work done by the choir members and the altar servers.
One of the many beautiful traditions that our people have maintained through the centuries is the priest’s visits to the houses of Armenian families within his parish to pray with the family and bless the house. This is coordinated by the family’s request. However, during major feast days such as Christmas and Easter, it was expected that the priest visits the homes of Armenians in his parish, blessing them and sharing the good-news of the birth or resurrection of Christ. Here at the Primate’s Office we have been emphasising the importance of maintaining and resurrecting these beautiful traditions. If you, or someone you know, would like to coordinate a house blessing on the occasion of the New Year and Theophany, please contact the Primate’s Office or the offices or Parish Council members of any of our churches in the UK. For communities in Mission Parishes please contact the Parish Council chairman. Meanwhile, pastoral visitations are not limited to major feast days. Our clergy visit families regularly or whenever the need may arise. Recently, for example, Reverend Fr ShnorkBagdasarian, Pastor of St Sarkis Church, London, visited Mrs. HasmikAidiniantz for a blessing service on the occasion of MrsAidiniantz 102nd birthday!Click here to read Fr Shnork’s reflection.Happy Birthday MrsHasmikAidiniantz and many happy returns!
As part of the ongoing Continuing Education Ministry of the Primate’s Office HG Bp Vahan Hovhanessian will be offering a course on the theology and spirituality of our Divine Liturgy, Badarak, on Monday evenings in February-March. The course will offer an introduction to the biblical foundations of the Badarak and how this beautiful liturgy started from the pages of the Bible. Participants will then be guided through a page by page explanation of what is said and why as well as what we do and why. The exact time and location of the course will be announced. Those interested to sign up for the course are requested to contact the Primate’s Office via e-mail:, or telephone: 0208 127 8364. The course will be offered free of charge and all are welcome to join in. Registered members will receive handouts of the notes discussed during each session. This will be a great opportunity to explore this central liturgical celebration of our people and ask all the questions you always wanted to ask such as why go to Badarak every Sunday why is the Badarak one-and-a-half hour long, or do we have to receive communion every Sunday?
.FINAL DAYS OF THE ANNUAL ADVENT APPEAL: PARTNERSHIP WITH THE CHURCH The 2nd Annual Advent Appeal was launched in November of this year to raise funds for the various ministries of the Armenian Church in the UK, which are directly under the supervision of the Primate. This is the only annual fundraising that the Primate’s Office conducts to support the Armenian Church. The Advent season of the Armenian Church ends with the Eve of Theophany (Armenian Christmas) Badarak on the 5th of January. We appeal to our faithful to be partners in the Armenian Church mission by raising funds for church projects including the Armenian Street Festival, Armenian Church Youth Fellowship (ACYF), Continuing Educational Programmes, lectures and the weekly Bible Study sessions, pilgrimages, Mission Parish Outreach, pastoral visitations, the publication of the E-Newsletter and the weekly Sunday Bulletin and many other ministries. Please make your donation payable to the “Armenian Church Trust UK” and post it to The Primate’s Office, c/o Hye Doon, 25 Cheniston Gardens, London W8 6TG. Gift Aid forms are available online or from the Primate’s Office. You can also make your donation online by clicking here. For more info please contact the Primate’s Office at: 0208 127 8364. Thank you in advance for your generosity and partnership with the Armenian Church. .
St Yeghiche Armenian Church Parish Council is in the process of setting up a Women’s Guild in support of church activities and programmes, including the organisation of social events, receptions, bazaar (Donavajar) and other church events including fundraiser. Those interested in take part and be members of the newly to be formed Women’s Guild please contact Parish Council member MrsArshalouysBabayan by calling 020 85792129
The charity website: allows us to shop online while a percentage of what we spend is donated to The Armenian Church Trust. Purchase anything you like for the same price, while the shop donates a percentage of the cost of your purchase to the Armenian Church of UK. Many major online retailers are accessible via the site. Please go to the website: before shopping and click on “support us now.”
NATIVITY: By a directive of the Primate, there will be no celebration of Badarak on the morning of the 5 January. That day in the evening there will be the Eve-of-Nativity Badarak celebration in the Armenian Churches in London and Manchester. Instead, on Sunday morning Armenian churches will conduct the traditional morning service, according to the Armenian Church canons.
WEEKLY BIBLE STUDY: The Bible Study session will resume after the Feast of Theophany, 6 January. The date will be announced. VOLUNTEERS are needed for the “2014 Reunion Committee” of the K. Tahta Armenian Community Sunday School. Those
interested are requested to e-mail:
The Primate’s Office c/oHyeDoon, 25 Cheniston Gardens, London W8 6TG

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Loussapatz - The Dawn - 32-ՐԴ ՏԱՐԻ, ԹԻՒ 1014 ՇԱԲԱԹ, 28 ԴԵԿՏԵՄԲԵՐ 2013

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PanARMENIAN.Net - The ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) suggesting the Armenian Genocide denial is not a crime is nothing but shameful. At the time when in some states the Genocide denial is punishable by law, the ECHR is pretending to care about human rights.
Turkish Workers’ Party (İP) Chairman Dogu Perincek, whose com- plaint has been satisfied, already remarked that the Armenian Cause is ba- sically resolved in Turkey. However it’s unclear why the whole Turkey should be associated with a single politician, accused of complicity with Ergenekon, on top of things.
Perincek seems to be reveling in the ECHR ruling. “When we planned to refer the issue to ECHR, Turkish authorities and main oppositionists were trying to persuade us against the step, lest it creates additional problems. But we promised our people to solve the Armenian Cause and it’s been
done - thanks to the power of the Turkish nation and skillful policy-making,” Aydinlik quoted Perincek as saying. However, what came as the biggest surprise here was Yerevan’s position, expressed by Justice Minister Hrayr
Tovmasyan: “ECHR’s ruling doesn’t cover acknowledgement or denial of the Armenian Genocide, but rather previous in-
stances of Turkey-related decisions. The fact that 2 out of 7 judges voted against the ruling suggests the decision was unequivocal, drawing parallels between the Genocide and Holocaust,” the official said promising to instruct his deputy to further study the details of the ruling.
The Minister’s statement needs no comments, yet it’s quite possible for a number of Perinceks to apply to in- ternational human rights organizations before 2015. The key point here is not the fact that Perincek was justified by the court, but rather, that a precedent was created. "Freedom of speech" comes in handy in showing off the impar- tiality of a ruling. Armenia needs to brace up for such "processes" and show a timely and adequate response instead of "instructing deputies."
Much as it may wish, ECHR can’t replace the 1921 Berlin trial or Raphael Lemkin’s testimony in 1944. So let’s hope that Perincek’s joy about the victory over Armenians was premature.
PARIS -- French parliamentarian, PACE Vice-President, Chairman of the Armenia-France friendship group Rene Rouquet expressed his concerns over the verdict of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on Dogu Perinçek’s case. Rene Rouquet stated that this verdict is a blow to all those people, who are working for the restoration of the just memory of the Arme- nian people.
The PACE Vice-President raised a number of questions. First of all he emphasized that Switzerland can appeal the verdict within three months in the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights. Among other things Rene Rouquet underscored: “In this respect the verdict is not final and the Grand Chamber can fulfill its function of protecting the human rights and fundamental freedoms in accordance with the article 44 of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
In addition the PACE Vice-President emphasized: “After this verdict I am more than convinced that the denialism has no place at least on the Euro- pean level. We must struggle till the final triumph on the international level. This is our sacred duty before the
memory of the victims of the first Genocide of the 20th century.” Previously it was reported that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) announced an ambiguous verdict
on Dogu Perinçek’s case, particularly taking into consideration the fact that two of the seven judges cast their vote against the verdict. The Minister of Justice of the Republic of Armenia Hrayr Tovmasyan underscored that while announcing the verdict ECHR laid a heavy emphasis on the fact that Dogu Perinçek is a historian and scientist.
MOSCOW -- The presidents of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan approved on Tuesday a “roadmap” to Armenia’s accession to their Cus- toms Union which a senior Russian official said should be completed by next May.
Speaking at the Supreme Eurasian Econom- ic Council summit held in Moscow, Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev at the same time expressed reservations about Armenian member- ship related to the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
“The question of the Custom Union’s bor- der, where it will pass in Armenia, remains open. Therefore, we will sign the roadmap with the colleagues but with a special opinion that will be
reported [to the Armenian side],” Nazarbayev said. Nazarbayev referred to Armenia’s border with the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic and the absence of any Arme-
nian customs posts there. Armenian leaders have assured the domestic public that they will not tax goods coming from Karabakh even after joining the Russian-led trade bloc. Some of them have implied that Moscow has prom- ised to turn a blind eye to what would be a breach of the union’s common trade rules.
Nazarbayev clearly feels more strongly about Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity. As recently as on August 16, he backed a Karabakh settlement “within Azerbaijan’s internationally recognized borders” in a joint declaration adopt- ed at a summit of Turkic-speaking states in Azerbaijan.
The Kazakh leader did not clarify whether putting customs checkpoints on Armenian roads leading to Karabakh is a necessary condition for Armenian entry into the Customs Union.
The heads of the union’s three member states were joined by President Serzh Sarkisian, his Kyrgyz counter- part Almazbek Atambayev and Ukraine’s Prime Minister Mykola Azarov at a separate session held later in the day. Putin did not comment on the sensitive Karabakh issue as he spoke at that meeting. He praised instead “the high degree of preparedness of our Armenian partners for the adoption of obligations within the framework of our inte- gration project.”
“The presidents signed the roadmap to Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union and determined time frames,” Russia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov told reporters afterwards. “Armenia stated that it will be seeking to shorten those time frames.”
“We believe we will need half a year to conduct all inspections and see how prepared Armenia’s institutions are for this reorganization and receive a guarantee that they are adequate Customs Union institutions,” Shuvalov said.
Dozens of Armenian economic laws and regulations are due to be amended and brought into conformity with the union’s legislation as a result. This process should be complete in time for the trade bloc’s transformation into a Eurasian Economic Union of ex-Soviet states seen by Kremlin critics as an attempt to recreate the Soviet Union. Sarkisian plans to make Armenia part of that union as well.
Putin announced on Tuesday that he, Nazarbayev and Lukashenko worked out “the key principles” of the Eur- asian Union’s founding treaty and plan to sign it by May 1, 2014. “The treaty will then be submitted to the parlia- ments of our countries for ratification so that the Eurasian Economic Union can start functioning in full from Janu- ary 1, 2015,” he said.
YEREV AN (RFE/RL) -- The pro- government majority in the Armenian par- liament ratified on Monday a highly con- troversial gas agreement with Russia in a vote which was denounced as invalid by Armenia’s leading opposition forces and sparked fresh street protests.
The deal, which critics consider a se- rious blow to Armenia’s sovereignty, was backed by 77 members of the 131-seat National Assembly mainly representing President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party of Armenia (HHK). Just before the vote deputies from the three opposition parties represented in the assembly as well
as the opposition-leaning Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) walked out of the main parliament auditorium in pro- test.
The pro-government lawmakers decided to vote by hand, instead of using the customary electronic voting sys- tem, after it emerged that some of them had their plastic magnetic cards taken away by one of their outspoken op- position colleagues, Zaruhi Postanjian of the Zharangutyun (Heritage).
The parliament minority leaders seized upon this fact to declare the vote null and void. In a joint statement, they cited the National Assembly’s statutes stipulating that if the electronic system is not used votes should be counted by a special parliamentary commission. They argued that the vote count was done instead by parliament speaker Hovik Abrahamian and his two deputies.
“The treaty has not been ratified,” read the statement signed by Postanjian, BHK’s Naira Zohrabian, Levon Zurabian, the parliamentary leader of the Armenian National Congress (HAK), and Armen Rustamian of the Arme- nian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun).
“The Russian Federation, the outside world must be aware that the agreement has not been ratified,” Nikol Pashinian, another opposition deputy not affiliated with any of these four parties, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (
“If anybody transfers any assets of the Republic of Armenia to somebody else on the basis of this non-ratified agreement, we will deal with that somebody in a proper manner,” warned Pashinian.
The deal in question, which was signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent visit to Armenia, formalizes the sale of the Armenian government’s 20 percent share in the domestic gas distribution network to Rus- sia’s Gazprom monopoly. In return, Gazprom will write off a $300 million which the government has incurred as a result of secretly subsidizing the price of Russian natural gas supplied to Armenia since 2011.
More importantly, the deal stipulates that the current and future Armenian governments cannot raise taxes or make any other changes in the regulatory environment for the Gazprom-owned network until January 2044. The Armenian side is also obliged to ensure that domestic gas tariffs in the country are high enough for Gazprom to re- coup 9 percent of its capital investments in the network annually.
These unprecedented privileges have prompted vehement objections from opposition members and anti- government activists opposed to Armenia’s planned accession to a Russian-led customs union. Hundreds of them demonstrated outside the parliament building in Yerevan on Monday.
YEREVAN/ – Russia itself must decide what to do with the position of Kazakhstan, Caucasus Institute Deputy Director, political analyst Sergey Minasyan told Armenian
Minasyan commented on Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s statements on the obstacles standing before Armenia’s accession to the Russian-led Customs Union (CU), and in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
In his words, if the Kazakh president’s statement is for note, Ka- zakhstan should have its own view, which will be recorded and not reflect on the process of Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union.
“But if this has some serious importance, all of Kazakhstan’s complaints should not be addressed to Armenia, but rather to Russia, which insisted a lot that Armenia become a CU member,” Minasyan noted.
Nazarbayev on Tuesday stated that Kazakhstan stands ready to sign the “road map” on Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union, but with a special position, since it asks for a clarification on the matter of the borders of the Customs Union, in connection with the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.
ARMENIA’S JOINING CUSTOMS UNION WILL NOT AFFECT KARABAKH PEACE PROCESS -- Armenia’s accession to Customs Union (CU) and Common Economic Space will not affect the process of the settlement of Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
This was stated by Tatyana Valovaya, the Eurasian Economic Commission Board Member and Minister for Macroeconomics and Principal Directions of Integration.
“As you know, the president of Kazakhstan in his opening speech spoke about Armenia’s preparedness to join the CU and Common Economic Space and mentioned Nagorno-Karabakh con- flict. As a result of debates, president of Kazakhstan together with other participants of Supreme Economic Council signed a decision approving the roadmap. No other documents have been received from Kazakhstan,” Valovaya said in an interview.
She stressed that CU and Common Economic Space are economic structures. The member states have no plans to create a political union, so Armenia’s accession to Customs Union will not in any way affect the Karabakh peace process.
Armenia is getting closer to the Customs Union very fast, she said. It took less than four months from the first statement of intention to the moment of roadmap signing. For instance, the roadmap with Kyrgyzstan has been dis- cussed for two years, Tatyana Valovaya added.
“I hope that the interaction between the states, members of the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, and Armenia will be very active,” the Minister noted.
Tatyana Valovaya said the roadmap of Armenia’s accession consists of 20 sections and includes 262 events out of which 150 should be carried out by the time of joining the Customs Union. Over 30 seminars and consulta- tions have been held while the roadmap was being drafted.
WASHINGTON, DC, – Members of the US Congress continue to express alarm at Azerbaijan's most recent military attack across the Armenian border, which have made Armenian soldier Hrant Poghosyan Azerbaijan’s latest casualty.
In a statement issued, Congressman Jim Costa noted that he was “appalled to learn of yet another murder of an Armenian soldier in an unprovoked attack by Azerbaijani troops against Armenian forces.
“This tragic bloodshed follows the Azerbaijani government’s heroic treat- ment of Ramil Safarov – the Azerbaijani military officer who savagely killed an Armenian solider. Azerbaijan, its military, and the perpetrator of this heinous crime must be held accountable for their actions and brought to justice,” Con- gressman Costa said.
Costa’s comments follow statements issued earlier by Congressmen Adam Schiff and Brad Sherman con- demning the attack.
Rep. Schiff echoed those concerns and called attention to Azerbaijan's ongoing use of violence to resolve the Karabakh conflict. “One need only look at the sick display of adulation that greeted Ramil Safarov -- the Azerbai- jani military officer who beheaded an Armenian colleague during a NATO Partnership for Peace exercise -- to see how the Azeri government has glorified this violence. Rather than prison, Safarov was paraded through the streets and given a new house and a promotion. Baku’s newest murderer will not be brought to justice until the interna- tional community insists on an end to these atrocities,” Schiff stated.
“Azerbaijan has yet again shown that it is not serious about establishing peaceful relations with Armenia and Artsakh [i.e., Nagorno-Karabakh]. Despite the request for a ceasefire during the Organization for Security and Co- operation in Europe (OSCE) Minsk Group negotiations between Armenia and Azerbaijan, Azeri forces have killed an Armenian solider, Hrant Poghosyan. The shooting was unprovoked and Armenian forces have respected the re- quest for a ceasefire,” explained Rep. Brad Sherman
As Armenian informed earlier, Hrant Poghosyan died, on December 15 at around 5pm, at the defensive positions of Movses village nearby the City of Berd in Armenia. Poghosyan was a resident of Berd, he was 26 years old, married, and he had one child.
YEREVAN — Armenia will deepen its mili- tary ties with the United States despite planning to join new Russian-led alliances of former Soviet republics, First Deputy Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan said on Thursday after two-day U.S.- Armenian “defense consultations.”
“Our president, defense minister and foreign minister have repeatedly stated that there are no obstacles, no changes in our military and security cooperation,” he said. “Joining one or another eco- nomic bloc does not inhibit Armenia. On the con- trary, our defense cooperation with the United States will develop and deepen further.”
Tonoyan argued that that cooperation is re- garded by the Armenian leadership as “one of the important factors” of national security. He insisted that Russia, which has a close military alliance with Armenia, does not object to it.
Tonoyan spoke at a joint news conference with Evelyn Farkas, the U.S. deputy assistant secretary of defense for Russia and Eurasia who headed a delegation of U.S. military officials during the consultations. Farkas held sep- arate talks with Defense Minister Seyran Ohanian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on Wednesday.
“Armenia is a significant partner to the United States in many ways,” Farkas told reporters. “As a partner in the Caucasus region, as a partner with NATO in the Partnership for Peace [program,] as a partner with the U.S. Eu- ropean Command in promoting regional stability, and as a partner with the Kansas National Guard.”
Armenia has become a partner country in the U.S. Government-funded Global Peace Operations Initiative. Under this initiative, the U.S. expects to provide approximately $1.5 million over two years to support the devel- opment of Armenia’s peacekeeping capabilities. The initiative aims to improve the capabilities of partner countries like Armenia to contribute to UN and regional peace operations. This new partnership is a strong signal of the close cooperation between the U.S. and Armenia, and is recognition of Armenia’s commitment to international peace operations such as those in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Lebanon.
“These bilateral defense consultations are an opportunity for us to talk about how we can continue to expand and deepen our defense relationship,” the Pentagon official said. She added that the two sides concentrated on con- tinued U.S. assistance to an Armenian army unit providing troops to ongoing NATO-led missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
It was announced that the Pentagon will allocate $1.5 million in fresh aid designed to expand Armenia’s “peacekeeping capabilities” in 2014-2015. Tonoyan clarified that it will be spent on exercises and training pro- grams that will facilitate Armenians deployments in other trouble spots.
In particular, Yerevan plans to contribute 60 troops to a United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon next year. Around 200 Armenian soldiers currently serve in Afghanistan and Kosovo.
Farkas lavished praise on those servicemen, saying that they have turned Armenia into a “net exporter of secu- rity.” “That allows Armenia to continue to elevate its stature internationally,” she said.
“This visit [by Farkas] highlights the strong and expanding cooperation between the United States and Arme- nia in the area of defense,” the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan said in a statement issued earlier this week.
YEREVAN ( Abdel Halim Fadlullah, director of Lebanon’s Institute of Strategic Studies, thinks South Caucasus countries should try to strengthen regional cooperation instead of seeking support from the biggest international players.
“Arab region’s experience proves that development can’t be ensured individually by outside support,” he is quoted by Novosti-Armenia as saying today at an international conference focused on security and cooperation in the South Caucasus region. “Relations with the West should be based on collective interests, not on individual con- cessions and sacrifices which have adverse impacts on South Caucasus.”
The expert pointed out some similarities between the South Caucasus and the Middle East, particularly the lack of a stable regional system for settling conflicts ensuring security and mobilizing resources, rich natural and human resources and important geopolitical location. He also said that both regions are stages for collision of su- perpowers' ambitions to establish dominance here.
“Cooperation in both regions has always been based on short-term interests, and few countries had been in- volved in it. This led to conflicts and separation. An additional destabilizing factor is the importance of the regions in terms of energy security and transit of energy resources to the West and international markets.”
Abdel Halim Fadlull stressed that some influential countries are present on the international arena now, but there are no regional unions and nongovernmental players.
“If our countries want to participate in world developments, they should take the road of regional solidarity, and this needs a regional system with common rules of cooperation,” he added.
YEREVAN/ – Prime Minister of Armenia, Tigran Sargsyan, commissioned to conduct a study, from the legal point of view, Turkey’s unilateral decision to build reservoirs on rivers.
Sargsyan attended the official presentation of the inaugural Armenian yearbook on International Comparative Law, the launch of the information site, and the annual conference on the legal matters of the foreign policy of Armenia.
Sargsyan underscored the studies, from the viewpoint of international law, on the matters concerning Armenia.
“Today, not solely the Nagorno-Karabakh issue should be at the focus from the viewpoint of comparative law. Today, the effective use of water resources is important, too, considering that a significant portion of these resources is formed in the territory of modern-day Turkey.
“The government of that country has unilaterally made a decision and allocated $20 billion for the construction of reservoirs on the rivers which greatly impact the water resources that form in [Armenia’s] Ararat Valley.
“[As a result,] according to experts, we will have a serious problem years later, in connection with the irriga- tions systems in the Ararat Valley,” the PM said.
In Sargsyan’s words, however, there are certain legal grounds that should enable Armenia to protect its nation- al interests.
“The second matter, which likewise is in the domain of legal research, is the construction of a new nuclear power plant. Considerable legal services are needed so that we would not face future obstacles in the construction of the new plant,” the premier noted.
In the Armenian PM’s view, Azerbaijan’s breach of its international commitments in the domain of arms like- wise should be the subject of a serious study.
YEREVAN/ – The new master plan, which is de- signed for Armenia’s Zvartnots International Airport of capital city Yerevan, was approved during Thursday’s Cabinet meeting.
Within the framework of this master plan, a $102-million in- vestment will be made to improve the usage conditions of the airport and for a new building, Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan noted at the meeting.
“This is a priority for us, and we cannot underestimate the im- portance of the airport,” Sargsyan added.
Reflecting on the fate of the old building of the Zvartnots air- port, the PM specifically said:
“The issue is about the proposal to demolish the round build- ing. It is clear that it envisions a $15-20-million investment. [But] it is a building of Soviet modernist architecture; that is why our architects offer new solutions.”
In turn, Government-Affiliated General Department of Civil Aviation Head Artyom Movsisyan stated that the primary investments will be used for the enlargement of Zvartnots’ sitting area, whose overall costs will total $40 million.
In addition, a new building is planned to be constructed for the state agencies, and a free economic zone is ex- pected to be set up at the airport.
YEREVAN/ – It is impossible for the Armenian state to pay the debts of Armavia Airline Company; there is no such law.
Levon Janibekyan, Head of Legal Department of the Armenian Government-Affiliated General Department of Civil Aviation (GDCA), told the aforesaid to Armenian
Janibekyan noted that these are regulated relations between two business entities, and there are different ways of solving their dis- putes.
“These are civil and legal relations. The two subjects have to decide on how it [i.e., the debt] will be paid. If the matter is not resolved on verbal agreement, the law provides the option of going to court and charging the amount. [But] here the state has no obligation,” Levon Janibekyan said
As Armenian informed earlier, apparently, the debt of Armavia Airline Company, which be- longs to businessman Mikhail Baghdasarov, will be paid from the state budget of Armenia; that is, from the pockets of the Armenian citizens, 168 Zham reported. “We have learned that Armavia owes approximately $120 million to the airports, the aeronautical services of a variety of countries. And why should a private company’s debt be paid from the state budget? The problem is that the Armenian Government-Affiliated General Department of Civil Avia- tion had granted permission to Armavia to conduct flights; the sector was a monopoly, and the GDCA shares the responsibility. In such cases, the creditors apply to the relevant authority (the one that permits the flights), and if the problem is not resolved, the liabilities are passed to the state. When the state issues a license to any [airline] com- pany, it must be informed whether or not it can conduct flights,” 168 Zham wrote.
Armavia Airline Company, which was Armenia’s national air carrier, suspended its flights as of April 1 and declared about starting a process of bankruptcy. The company had financial difficulties in recent times, due to which many of its flights were being canceled.
Hayastan-All Armenian Fund has signed contracts for procurement of Vardenis–Martakert road construction with firms having won the tender carried out on December 9 and 10.
According to the contracts, firms undertaking the construction projects, will start the road earthwork and engi- neering works /first stage/ in January 2014.
Contracts specify the same time period for implementation of the works on the road with a total length of about 116km, Press Service of the Hayastan Fund reports.
The Vardenis-Martakert Highway will be of key economic and humanitarian importance. By functioning as a direct road link, the highway will become a second lifeline between northern Armenia and northern Artsakh, signif- icantly cutting down travel times, boosting the economies of scores of Artsakh communities along its path, stimu- lating inter-community ties, and vastly improving geographic access for implementing local development initia- tives.
Currently the only land-travel link between Artsakh and Armenia is the Berdzor community, through which passes the Goris-Stepanakert Highway.
The Vardenis-Martakert Highway will bring economic benefits to communities located within up to 20 kilo- meters on either side of the route.
CHILDREN OF ARMENIA FUND RAISES $2.9 MILLION FOR VILLAGE CHILDREN -- The Children of Armenia Fund (COAF), a non-profit organization working to improve the living conditions for village children in Armenia, hosted its Tenth Annual Holiday Gala in New York.
The event was a resounding success as more than 400 longtime friends and supporters gathered together for an unforgettable evening, and raised nearly $3 million to support COAF’s community-led programs.
Special guests in attendance included Michael Aram, Patricia Field, Kerry Butler, and Benjamin McKenzie.
For the seventh year in a row, Emmy and Tony Award winning actress Andrea Martin entertained guests throughout the evening as the Master of Ceremonies. Of Armenian descent herself, Ms. Martin is a long-time advo- cate of COAF’s work.
YEREVAN/ – Armenia registered a double growth in fruit and vegetable exports in 2013 as com- pared with the previous year, Agricultural Minister Sergo Karapetyan told reporters.
According to preliminary results, the exports of agricultural products grew by 36%, while fruit and vegetable exports registered a double growth.
“In 2012 Armenia exported 31,280 tons of fruits, grapes, vegetables and potatoes. This year the exports reached 63,000,” Karapetyan said, adding that the volume may increase during the last days of the passing year.
YEREVAN/ – There will be no commercials on the Armenian Public Television starting from 2014. The decision was approved by the government during the meeting on Thursday.
Minister of Justice Hrayr Tovamsyan noted that state-funded television must first of all meet the information needs of the population instead of sparing advertising airtime.
The only exception is social advertising and announcements about sponsors of cultural shows and sports pro- grams, but not more than one sponsor per show.
Any advertisement (social or indication of sponsors) should not exceed 90 seconds per hour of broadcasting.
Restrictions do not apply to satellite broadcasting, as well as to overseas advertising during retransmission of foreign broadcasters.
ARMENIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS’ OFFICIAL-RELATIVES -- Arman Babloyan, son of Ara Babloyan, Chairman of the Stand- ing Committee on Health Care, Maternity and Childhood. Parliament of Arme- nia, has been appointed deputy minister of health.
Armenian officials’ relatives holding different government posts are not rare occurrences. Based on news reports, has drawn up a list of the sons, daughters, wives and other relatives of Armenian government officials and MPs holding government posts.
Chairman of the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) parliamentary group Galust Sahakyan’s sons, Tigran Sahakyan and Arman Sahakyan (an ex-MP), are respectively holding the posts of Deputy Minister of Health and Head of the State Property Management De- partment, Government of Armenia.
Arzuman Harutyunyan, brother of the President of the Constitutional Court of ArmeniaGagik Harutyunyan, was appointed vice-chief of the National Security Service of Armenia about three years ago.
On December 7, 2012, Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan appointed Gagik Harutyunyan’s sister Shamam Harutyunyan deputy minister of labor and social affairs. Before the appointment, she was head of the State Employment Service.
Gagik Harutyunyan’s daughter, Armine Harutyunyan, is chief physician of Outpatient Clinic #8.
His son Artak Harutyunyan is Head of the Department for Corruption and Organized Crime Control, Prosecu- tor General’s Office of Armenia. Earlier, he was Vice-Chief of the Cybercrime Department, National Security Ser- vice of Armenia.
Even earlier, he was put on the judge promotion list, but, together with the son of Armenia’s former prosecutor general, refused to work as a judge.
Artak Zakharyan, son of Chairman of the State Committee of Real Estate Cadastre Ervand Zakharyan, is judge of the minor court of Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia community.
First Vice-Chief of the National Security Service of Armenia Hrachya Harutyunyan’s son is judge of the minor court of Yerevan’s Avan and Nor-Nork communities.
Erik Sharmazanov, brother of Vice-Speaker of Armenia’s Parliament Eduard Sharmazanov, is Chief of the Taron division of Vanadzor city police.
Artak Alexanyan, nephew of Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) parliamentary group member Samvel Alexanyan, head of the Malatia-Sebastia community.
Armen Sargsyan, brother of Armenian Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, is Armenian Ambassador to China. His cousin Hrayr Sargsyan was director of the school construction program of the Lincy Foundation.
Gayane Soghomonyan, wife of Control Chamber Chairman Ishkhan Zakaryan, is Head of the Education De- partment, Yerevan Municipality.
Gurgen Dumanyan, son of Armenia’s Minister of Health Derenik Dumanyan, Head of Staff, Parliament of Armenia.
AZERBAIJAN ARMY TO HAVE NEW ISRAELI UAVs -- The arsenal of the Azerbaijani army will be complemented with Israeli-made new unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), announced Yavar Jamalov, Minister of Defense Industry of Azerbaijan.
In his words, ten “Orbiter-2M” UAVs were manufac- tured this year in Israel, the Israeli media report.
After having passed the required tests, these UAVs will complement the arsenal of the Azerbaijani army.
They also report that Azerbaijan has not had this type of UAVs before.
It is known that, from 2012 to 2013, the total amount of the contracts signed between Azerbaijan and Israel makes up over $1.6 billion.
FRENCH FUND PROVIDES €50,000 TO SYRIAN ARMENIANS -- The Armenian fund of France allocated the first part of the €50,000-assistance to be provided to the Syrian Armenians who are in a difficult situation, Nouvelles d’Arménie reports.
Just like the previous remittances (€100,000), this amount will help pay the salaries of the teachers of the Ar- menian schools in Syria.
The €50,000 were collected through the donations that were made during the Phonethon which was held in France in November.
Owing to these donations, several projects also will be funded next year in Armenia and in Nagorno-Karabakh.
The situation in Syria and the hard condition of Syrian Armenians remain in the focus of attention of His Holi- ness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians, and the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin.
The Dioceses of the Armenian Apostolic Church permanently provide assistance to Syrian Armenians through the Mother See.
On the occasion of Christmas, the Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin has transferred $100 thousand to the Ar- menian Diocese in Damascus in aid to Armenian schools in Syria.
YEREVAN/ – The Armenian government on Thursday approved procedures for allocating apart- ments to Syrian Armenians in “New Aleppo” district in the town of Ashtarak.
The draft decision was presented by the Minister of Urban Development Samvel Tadevosyan. “New Aleppo” is built for Syrian Armenians wishing to settle in Armenia.
Allocation of accommodation will be entrusted to NGO dealing with the problems of Syrian Armenians “Centrе for the Coordination of Syrian-Armenian Issues”.
The Ministry of Diaspora and Urban Development will assist NGO in drafting the order of allocation of hous- ing. The apartments will be allocated with the agreements that will contain conditions for obtaining and use of liv- ing space.
As previously reported by the Diaspora Ministry, 600 families have applied for the apartments. They are ready to pay 50 % of the cost. The project will be implemented with the participation of government and philanthropists.
NEW YORK -- Turkey has been named the world’s number one jailer of journalists for the second consecu- tive year, followed closely by Iran and China, a U.S.-based watchdog said Dec. 18.
The number of journalists behind bars in Turkey is 40; down from the 61 recorded in October 2012, and less than the 49 on Dec. 1, 2012, according to the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), reports the Hurriyet Daily News.
The number of journalists killed and imprisoned fell in 2013 but despite this decrease it was still the second worst year on record for reporters in prison, and Turkey still had the world record in number of jailed journalists, holding more in custody than Iran, China, or Eritrea.
“As a NATO member and a regional leader, Turkey should not belong in the list of top press jailers. But from the failure to reform its legislation in a meaningful way to the crackdown on its journalists in the aftermath of the Gezi Park protests, Turkey has grown increasingly repressive despite the modest decline in the number of media workers behind bars,” said the CPJ in a statement on its website.
“Jailing journalists for their work is the hallmark of an intolerant, repressive society,” said CPJ executive di- rector Joel Simon.
The CPJ said it had contacted Turkish officials over the issue in September and was informed by the Justice Ministry that there were 54 journalists jailed on different charges. The CPJ found, however, that out of 54 jailed journalists, 40 of them were jailed for their work, and further concluded that there was not sufficient information to determine that the imprisonments in the other 14 cases were work-related and continued its investigation over these cases.
Together, Turkey, Iran and China accounted for more than half of the 211 journalists imprisoned around the world in 2013, making it the second worst year since records began in 1990, Agence France-Presse reported. In 2012, there were 232 jailed journalists.
Meanwhile, so far this year, 52 journalists have been killed around the world as a direct result of their work, down from 73 last year, the CPJ said.
Syria, due to its civil war which has killed more than 126,000 people and created 2.4 million refugees, was the deadliest country for journalists for a second year running.
CPJ said 21 reporters were killed in Syria, six in Egypt, five in Pakistan, four in Somalia, three in Brazil and another three in Iraq. In Mali and Russia, two were killed.
One journalist was killed each in Turkey, Bangladesh, Colombia, Philippines, India and Libya
Muslim–Christian relationship in danger of being ‘destroyed’, says Prince
By: World Watch Monitor
The Prince of Wales, heir to the British throne, has added his voice to those calling for an end to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East.
After a visit to the London cathedral of the Syriac Orthodox Church, Prince Charles said he was “deeply troubled” by the “growing difficulties” faced by Christians in the region.
“It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Is- lamist militants,” he said.
Noting Christianity’s roots in the region, the Prince observed that today the Middle East and
North Africa have the lowest concentration of Christians in the world – just four per cent – and that this has “dropped dramatically over the last
century and is falling still further”. He said that the effect of this was that “we all lose something immensely and irreplaceably precious when such
a rich tradition dating back 2,000 years begins to disappear”. Echoing the recent words of Louis Raphael I Sako, the Archbishop of Baghdad, the Prince added that the de-
cline of Christians in the region represents a “major blow to peace, as Christians are part of the fabric of society, often acting as bridge-builders between other communities”.
“For 20 years, I have tried to build bridges between Islam and Christianity and to dispel ignorance and misun- derstanding. The point though, surely, is that we have now reached a crisis where the bridges are rapidly being de- liberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so – and this is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution – including to Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time,” he said.
David Yakoub, from the beleaguered and once Christian-dominated Syrian town of Sadad, was reported to be close to tears as he pleaded with the Prince to “do something”.
Earlier in the day at the UK Coptic Orthodox Church Centre, Prince Charles spoke to Huda Nassar, Middle East director for the Awareness Foundation.
“[Prince Charles] said it was heart-breaking what was going on in Syria, and that he’s praying for peace,” Hu- da told World Watch Monitor.
Last week Huda’s brother, Nadim Nassar, the only Syrian Anglican priest, handed in to the UK Prime Minister a petition signed by over 300,000 people from 99 countries, on behalf of Syria’s Christians.
The petition, co-ordinated by Open Doors International (which works through partner churches in Syria and Egypt, amongst other countries, to bring aid relief and development) was one of a number submitted around the world on Dec. 10, including to the UN Secretary-General and the Missions of the five Permanent Members of the Security Council.
Left to Right: Prince Charles, Abba Seraphim and Bishop Angaelos at the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre. (Coptic Orthodox Church UK)
HAMBURG -- On December 19, 2013, Armenian Council of Europe (ACE) representative Mr. Toros Sarian, participated in a peace and democ- racy conference in Hamburg, Germany along with several Turkish and Kurdish organizations and parties, including; DIDIF (Federation of Demo- cratic Worker Societies), the ATIF (Federation of Workers from Turkey in Europe), Yekkom (Kurdish Workers Organization), ÖDP (Party for Free- dom and Solidarity Party in Turkey), KKP (Communist Party of Kurdistan), ADHK (Confederation of Democratic People’s Organizations in Europe), Hevkar Kurdistan Workers' Association in Hamburg, and Alevi organiza- tions.
The participants agreed on the common efforts and to continue organ- izing conferences and seminars throughout Europe.
In his address to the conference, Mr. Toros Sarian congratulated the conference organizers and expressed the Armenian Council of Europe’s gratitude and support of every initiative and effort for the establishment of peace and democracy. He outlined the importance of the implementation of human and minority rights in Turkey.
TURKEY FM MEETS WITH ARMENIAN PATRIARCHAL VICAR OF CONSTANTINOPLE -- Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met with Archbishop Aram Atesyan, General Vicar of the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The Davutoglu-Atesyan talk was held at the Turkish MFA, reports IHA news agency of Turkey.
At the start of the meeting, Archbishop Atesyan presented a book to Davutoglu while the Turkey FM present- ed a tulip-shape plate to the Armenian patriarchal vicar of Constantinople.
The subsequent talk was held without the presence of journalists.
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
The European Court of Human Rights issued last week a critical Armenian Genocide-related ruling in the case
of Dogu Perincek vs. Switzerland.
Perincek, the leader of a minor Turkish political party, had traveled to Switzerland in 2005 with the intention
of daring the Swiss authorities to punish him for denying the Armenian Genocide. He brazenly called the Armenian
Genocide an “international lie.”
In response to a criminal complaint filed by the Switzerland-Armenia Association, Perincek was tried and
fined for racial discrimination by the Lausanne Police Court in March 2007. A Swiss Appeals Court confirmed his
sentence, ruling that he had violated Article 261bis of the Criminal Code. The National Council (parliament) of
Switzerland had already recognized the Armenian Genocide in 2003. Perincek then appealed his case to the Federal
Tribunal, the highest court in Switzerland, which reconfirmed his sentence.
On June 10, 2008, Perincek appealed his sentence to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg,
claiming that many of his rights, including freedom of expression, were violated by the Swiss courts. He demanded
a compensation of 140,000 euros for moral and financial damages, and court expenses.
On Dec. 17, 2013, the European Court dismissed most of Perincek’s claims (Articles 6, 7, 14, 17, 18 of the Eu-
ropean Convention) and rejected his demand for compensation. However, five out of the seven Judges ruled that
Switzerland had violated Perincek’s right to free expression (Article 10).
This was a highly unusual ruling since freedom of expression is not an absolute right in European jurispru-
dence. Many European states impose restrictions on free speech, including imprisonment for denying the Holo-
caust. Punishing Holocaust denial, while condoning rejection of the Armenian Genocide, is an unacceptable double
standard. Either denial of both genocides should be outlawed or neither.
The European Court’s 80-page ruling was not easy to read, not only because it was in French, but more im-
portantly, the five Judges who ruled in Perincek’s favor misinterpreted almost all issues. A whole book could be
written to rebut their countless factual mistakes. The Judges misrepresented Perincek’s allegations, Swiss laws and
court rulings, facts of the Armenian Genocide and its international recognition, while repeatedly contradicting
themselves. To make matters worse, the four-page press release issued by the Registrar of the Court last week fur-
ther distorted the Court’s verdict, thereby completely confusing the international media about the details of case.
The five Judges who endorsed Perincek’s false accusations were: Guido Raimondi (Italy), Peer Lorenzen
(Denmark), Dragoljub Popovic (Serbia), Andras Sajo (Hungary), and Helen Keller (Switzerland). The opposing
Judges were: Nebojsa Vucinic (Montenegro) and Paulo Pinto de Albuquerque (Portugal). In a seven-page adden-
dum to the verdict, Judges Raimondi and Sajo contradicted themselves again, while making excuses for ruling in
Perincek’s favor. Having raised questions about the veracity of “the Armenian massacres,” after claiming that their
task is not to assess the facts of the genocide, the two concurring Judges assert that the destruction of the Armenian
people was government-sponsored, thereby acknowledging its genocidal nature. Yet they insisted on referring to
the Armenian Genocide as “Mets Yegherrn” (sic) which they translate as “the Grand Crime.” Dissenting Judges
Vucinic and Pinto de Albuquerque, on the other hand, attached to the verdict their 19-page well-researched com-
prehensive report on the Armenian Genocide. This valuable study should be translated into several major languages
and disseminated worldwide.
More urgently, Armenian government officials and major diaspora organizations have asked the Swiss gov-
ernment to appeal the European Court’s fallacious verdict to its 17-judge Grand Chamber before the 90-day dead-
line. Armenia’s Diaspora Minister Hranush Hakobyan has called on Armenians worldwide to protest the Court’s
verdict by contacting their governments and sending letters of complaint to the Court. The Armenian National
Committee in Europe pledged to take all necessary measures to object to the Court’s ruling, urging Switzerland to
file an appeal.
If left unchallenged, the European Court’s ruling would have a chilling effect not only on efforts to criminalize
denial of the Armenian Genocide in other European countries, particularly France, but more importantly, on the
forthcoming Centennial of the Genocide. The Court’s verdict, as it stands, is an endorsement of the denialist stance
of both Turkey and Perincek, who is currently serving a life sentence in a Turkish jail for engaging in criminal ac-
tivity! Turkey had directly intervened in this case by submitting extensive testimony to the European Court. The
Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a bold statement shamelessly applauding the Court’s verdict and boasting about its
support for freedom of expression! Under Article 301 of Turkish Penal Code, telling the truth about the Armenian
Genocide is a crime, while in Switzerland lying about the Genocide is an offense!
For the sake of truth and justice, it is imperative that the Swiss government appeal the Court’s verdict and not
succumb to Turkish political and economic pressures.
YEREVAN -- The “Armenophobia in Azerbaijan” book by Head of the “Initiative for Prevention of Xeno- phobia” NGO Armine Adibekyan and PhD in Political Science Anzhela Elibegova was presented to the public in Yerevan. In the course of five years the authors have studied the Azerbaijani websites, the children’s and educa- tional literature. The book has been released with the support of the Department of Public Relations and Mass Me- dia of the Office to the President of the Republic of Armenia.
The authors try to prove that sooner or later peace between the two peoples will be established. “We think it’s unacceptable that pieces of children’s and educational literature present Armenians as monsters, offend Armenians,
thus shaping an attitude among the children. Even if a peace treaty is signed by miracle, we’ll face a society filled with deep hatred,” co-author of the book Armine Adibekyan said.
The Azerbaijani propaganda often asserts there are 30 thousand Armenians living in Azerbaijan today, whose rights are not violated. However, one of the chapters of the book titled “Armenians in Baku” provides facts to refute this, Anzhela Elibegova said.
The English edition of the book is expected to be released next year.
YEREVAN ( -- Aram Khachaturian’s legacy has been digitized thanks to joint efforts of VivaCEll MTS, the Armenian Ministry of Culture, the Public Radio of Armenia and the “Prolighting” Company. The collection of 9 CDs, 1 DVD and a booklet has been created on the basis of the records kept in the archive of the Public Radio and the materials provided by Aram Khachatiruan House-Museum.
The Public Radio of Armenia in cooperation with the Ministry of Culture has been digitizing the records of the “Golden Fund” since 2009. As a result, 65 CDs including invaluable cultural values have been created.
Speaking to reporters today, Executive Director of Public Radio of Armenia Armen Amiryan stressed the im- portance of this cooperation.
“These records are the product of our everyday work. When the Ministry of Culture shows interest and when the other organizations combine efforts, they become the property of the whole art-loving community,” he said.
“Time moves forward... technologies develop, suggesting new solutions to the new generations, while the en- during values continue to shine irrespective of times. Aram Khachaturian’s legacy is one one of those values. We are proud to have contributed to this initiative,” VivaCell MTS Director General Ralph Yirikian said.
The events dedicated to Aram Khachaturian’s 110th birthday were among the most significant cultural events in 2013.
A symposium on survivor meaning, which featured reputable leaders in the field of study, including Peter Balakian, Jay Lifton and Marianne Hirsch, was held at Columbia University on Wednesday evening, December 4, in an event hosted by the Armenian Center at Columbia University.
Titled “Survivor Meaning: After the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, and Hiroshima,” the panel delved into the af- termath of the survivors of these human catastrophes as they searched for an un- derstanding of their tragic experiences.
Acclaimed poet and prize winning author, Balakian was introduced by Mari- anne Hirsch, the William Peterfield Trent Professor of English and Comparative
Literature at Columbia University, who served as the moderator of the panel and who has written several important books on trauma and memory and the Holocaust.
Balakian presented a personal and inherited familial narrative, which was the case of his grandmother Nafina, a survivor of the Armenian Genocide as a “way of engaging conversation in survivor experience.”
A resident of Diyarbekir during the time of the Armenian Genocide, her family’s homes and properties were looted and confiscated and she was witness to the massacre of her family and community. Nafina survived a forced march, in which everyone in her family was killed.
Having arrived in Aleppo in the Fall of 1915, she began to compile affidavits for what would be a human rights suit of the Turkish government for all the losses endured by her family. Balakian read his grandmother’s in- surance claim from his New York Times bestselling memoir, Black Dog of Fate. He said the claim, which she filed when she arrived in the United States, “contributed to the understanding of a survivor in the immediate aftermath of an enormous encounter with mass killing, rape, starvation, famine and death.”
“She was witness to the truth,” said Balakian, who is the Donald M. and Constance H. Rebar Professor of the Humanities at Colgate University and the Ordjanian Visiting Professor in Armenian Studies at Columbia Universi- ty.
Scholar, psychiatrist and historian, Robert Jay Lifton, who has written over 20 books on trauma, survival and violence, defined a survivor as someone who has in some way encountered death, witnessed it, and at the same time remained alive.
“There’s a triumph in surviving because one stays alive,” said Lifton, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at CUNY/Graduate Center and John Jay College for Criminal Justice. “It’s necessary to give meaning to that catastro- phe if one is to find meaning in the rest of one’s life.”
He said survivors of the bombing in Hiroshima, Japan after World War II experienced a lifetime of “death haunted imagery” from the encounter itself to the effects of the tragedy that carried over to the next generation.
“From survivor meaning comes a survivor mission which one carries out in order to assert that meaning,” said Lifton, who concluded his presentation by returning to Nefina’s story. “There was a heroic struggle by this woman who sought to oppose the forces of destruction in her life. I don’t think there could be a better moral principle in which to base our world.”
Following Balakian’s and Lifton’s presentations, Hirsch posed follow up questions, including why Nafina “chose a legal claim, not to seek repair but to voice the wrong and to commemorate the dead.”
”It’s a stay against being expunged or annihilated,” said Balakian, who remarked that nothing came of the claim and that the document remained in a dresser drawer for 60 years until he himself found it. “In cases of mass killings and genocides, the survivors end up taking the ethical role and family is essential. This claim has a grave- yard dimension to it.”
Lifton observed that it was a series of bearing witness since Nafina experienced the catastrophe and retold the story through the means of her legal claim. “What is unsuccessful in a legal sense, starts legal ramifications of the witness, and there’s something moving about that. “
Lifton noted that calamities like the Holocaust, Hiroshima and the Armenian Genocide annihilate meaning along with human beings and structures.
“As human beings, we are meaning hungry creatures,” said Lifton. “That’s why the struggle for meaning is so difficult and poignant and painful – but it always goes on because that’s how we function mentally. We must recre- ate all that we perceive.”
The presentation was followed by lively audience questions and the aftermath conversations went on well into the evening in what was the conclusion to a memorable semester of events hosted by the Armenian Center at Co- lumbia.
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