Saturday, 19 November 2016

Armenian News...A Topalian... Launch of Armenian Online Bookstore

The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia 

Announces the Launching of New Online Bookstore 
Antelias – On the occasion of its 40 th anniversary, the bookstore of the Catholicosate of Cilicia has established a new online store. Over 1000 titles, 60 different souvenirs and around 40 DVDs and CDs are now available for sale online.

The procedures to select and order online, payment, packaging and mailing are based on secured international procedures and standards.

To visit the site and order 
Stamp Unveiled Marking 350th Anniversary of First Bible in Armenian
November 15, 2016

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands (ArmRadio)—A souvenir sheet with 1 postage stamp dedicated to the “350th Anniversary of the First Bible in Armenian Printed by Voskan Yerevantsi” has been unveiled (in philatelic terms, cancelled) on November 13 in the hall of the Special Collections of the University of Amsterdam.

The stamp depicts the first printed Bible in the Armenian language and the souvenir sheet depicts the illustration from the Genesis Book of the Bible picturing the Creation of the World.

The official cancellation of the souvenir sheet was attended by the Ambassador of Armenia in the Netherlands Dzyunik Aghajanyan, Member of the Christian Party in the Dutch Parliament Joel Voordewind, president of the board of the University of Amsterdam, Professor Geert ten Dam, the Vicar of the Patriarchal Delegate of Western Europe in the Netherlands, Hayr Aren Shahinian, the director of Saint Grigor Narekatsi School Vahan Avagyan (Surp Hoki Armenian Apostolic Church Amsterdam) and the Acting Chief Executive Officer of “HayPost” CJSC.
Official cancellation at the University of Amsterdam

Date of issue: November 13, 2016
Designer: David Dovlatyan
Printing house: Cartor, France
Print run: 20 000 pcs.

Genocide Denial Goes Viral: 'The Promise' And The IMD 
Anti-Armenian Graffiti Found on Armenian School in Istanbul

ISTANBUL—The walls of Bononti Mkhitarian Armenian school in Istanbul were vandalized with anti-Armenian graffiti sometime during the few days, reported Turkish-Armenian newspaper Agos. The graffiti in Turkish translates to “We will one day be in Karabakh.”

Former Republic People’s Party (CHP) MP Aykan Erdemir shared on Twitter his thoughts on the vandalism. “Hate graffiti on the walls of #Istanbul’s Bomonti Mıhitaryan chool. Third #Armenian school targeted within the last three months,” Erdemir wrote. 

Surp Khach Seminary in the Üsküdar district and the Kalfayan school in Istanbul were also vandalized with anti-Armenian graffiti in earlier in 2016,

Bomonti Mihitaryan is not the first Armenian school in 2016 to be vandalized in Turkey, as the Surp Khach Seminary in the Üsküdar district was defaced with anti-Armenian graffiti in August.

The graffiti reads “I brought you the revenge of the ‘Turkish moon,'” as well a “May the Turkish race live!”

According to Agos, on January 19, the 9th anniversary of Hrant Dink’s murder, the Kalfayan School in Istanbul was defaced with the words “Azap Ermeni’ye,” which translates to “Torment Armenians.”

The suspect(s) responsible for all three acts of vandalism have not yet been identified.

“We are seeing that a systematic hatred for Armenia is getting worse and worse every day,” Nor Zartonk, an Istanbul-based human rights group wrote on Facebook. “But we’re not afraid…and we’re not going anywhere.”

Report Armenian Army Chief Downplays Karabakh Truce Violations
November 15, 2016
Karlen Aslanian
Armenia's top army general on Tuesday downplayed the significance of
increased ceasefire violations around Nagorno-Karabakh that have been
reported in recent days.

Karabakh's Armenian-backed Defense Army said on Friday that the
Azerbaijani army has fired mortar shells at its positions for the
first time in months. It has alleged Azerbaijani mortar fire on a
daily basis since then.

The Azerbaijani military has claimed the opposite.

The authorities in Stepanakert have accused Baku of increasingly
breaching the ceasefire regime along the Karabakh "line of contact"
after several months of relative calm that followed last April's heavy
fighting between the two warring sides.

Lieutenant General Movses Hakobian, the chief of the Armenian army's
General Staff, seemed less concerned about these incidents when he
spoke to reporters in Yerevan.

"Most of the tension is on the Artsakh (Karabakh) frontlines and that
is natural," he said. "The situation there has been the same in recent
years. There is nothing extraordinary happening there right now."

Hakobian also played down large-scale military exercises launched by
the Azerbaijani army at the weekend. "The exercises are a pre-planned
activity carried out by them," he said. "We are following the
exercises and drawing appropriate conclusions. The situation remains
under our control."

The drills are reportedly involving tens of thousands of troops and
hundreds of tanks, artillery systems, helicopter and
warplanes. Addressing some of the participating troops on Saturday,
Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev threatened the Armenian side with
renewed military action. He did not speak about prospects for a
peaceful resolution of the Karabakh conflict.

International human rights organization Freedom House 
Extracts from the Net 2016 report

The report assessed internet freedom in 65 countries of the world. Azerbaijan is among the countries with partly free internet, while Armenia is in the list of countries with free internet. 

On a 100-points scale, Azerbaijan got 57 points and was named partly free. Reportedly, internet freedom declined significantly in Azerbaijan in 2015-2016, and active netizens and their families face arrest and intimidation in the country.

Most harassment in Azerbaijan against online activists manifests in the form of arrests, detentions, and interrogations. The government of Azerbaijan also uses travel bans against activists and human rights defenders. Physical attacks and threats of violence against internet users have also become increasingly common in Azerbaijan.

Armenia got 30 points and is among the countries with free internet access. The authors particularly highlight that internet freedom remained largely uninhibited in the past year, and the government does not typically restrict internet access. The population in Armenia freely uses internet and social media outlets.

As for other countries, Estonia, Island, Canada, the SUA, Germany, Great Britain, and Franceare also considered free, while Turkey and Russia are among the countries with not free internet.
Armenia among 13 easy countries for English speakers to travel
15 Nov 2016 

The Thrillist , an essential resource that advises how to spend your time and money, ranks Armenia among the 13 easy countries for English speakers to travel. Excerpts from the article are provided below:

How many people speak English: 40%

What it’s like as an English speaker: Although bordered by Turkey and Iran, this cradle of Christianity on the western edge of Asia remains Europe’s final frontier and a blessing to English-only speakers. Armenians get languages: The country enjoys a 98% literacy rate, and most Armenians under 30 speak English with flair — often with a British accent (many attend schools there and it percolates).

Although Americans rarely visit Armenia, Europeans do, so instead of translating a dozen languages for them, road signage, menus, and venues are also in English. Chances are high you’ll meet someone who knows where you’re from (they all have relatives living in the States), and you probably already know someone with Armenian roots. Eighty percent of Armenian surnames end in either -ian or -yan — think Washingtonian, Smithsonian, or OK, sure, Kardashian.

What Armenia has to offer: Picture ancient Europe but cooler and way cheaper. This Connecticut-sized country has thousands of mind-boggling monasteries and churches, several of which are uncrowded UNESCO World Heritage Sites. High living is low-cost; you can go to a world-class opera for the price of a movie ticket, while cabs, cafés, wine, beer, and groceries are enjoyed at 1960s US prices. It’s also on the legendary Silk Road, with one still-standing Armenian motel, Orbelian’s Caravanserai, built in 1331, where road-warrior merchants and their caravan-pulling animals rocked medieval happy hours, and so should you.

Other countries in the list include: Tanzania, Germany, the Philippines, Slovenia, Nepal, Cuba, Japan, India, Belize, Pakistan, Singapore and Malta.

RFE/RL Report
Karapetian Vows `European' Reforms In Armenia
November 14, 2016

Prime Minister Karapetian has called for the spread of a "European"
political and business culture in Armenia and reaffirmed his newly
formed cabinet's pledges to combat corruption and embark on sweeping
economic reforms.

Karapetian met with the head of the EU Delegation in Armenia, Piotr
Switalski, and the Yerevan-based ambassadors of EU member states late
last week to discuss his ambitious reform agenda that has met with
skepticism from the Armenian opposition.

"The Prime Minister stressed the need to # inculcate European culture
and practices in our country in the fields of business management,
fight against corruption, protection of human rights and judicial
reform," read a statement on the meeting released by his press office.

Karapetian told the European diplomats that he sees "no other way to
develop the country but to combat corruption and the shadow economy in
all directions."

"In this regard, the Premier advised that the Government of Armenia
will come up with specific legislative initiatives aimed at fighting
against corruption. The composition of the [government's]
Anti-Corruption Council will be changed to involve civil society
representatives," added the statement.

Karapetian, who worked and lived in Russia for almost five years
preceding his appointment as prime minister in September, was also
reported to say that his government's key goal is to create a level
playing field for all entrepreneurs doing business in Armenia.

His cabinet's policy program, approved by parliament last month,
similarly pledges to help speed up economic growth through a tougher
fight against corruption, better tax administration and "equal
conditions" for all businesses. It commits the government to improving
Armenia's business environment in a way that will be recognized next
year in annual survey conducted by the World Bank.

Opposition lawmakers dismissed these reform pledges as a publicity
stunt during a heated parliamentary debate on the 33-page
program. They said that the government reshuffle is only aimed at
mitigating public discontent with President Serzh Sarkisian's
administration ahead of the April 2017 parliamentary elections.

According to the government statement, Switalski praised the declared
objectives of Karapetian's cabinet. "The Ambassador [Switalski]
stressed that, as Armenia's partner, the European Union is prepared to
help develop our country's economy through a better business
environment, tax and customs administration," it said.

Switalski said earlier that Armenia needs "deep and comprehensive"
reforms and expressed the EU's readiness to assist in their

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