Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Armenian News... A Topalian ... Armenians sends condolences to UK...

Public Radio of Armenia
June 5 2017
Catholicos of All Armenians sends condolences to UK Prime Minister 

On June 5, His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians; sent a letter of condolence to Prime Minister Theresa May of the United Kingdom for the recent terrorist attack in London, which killed innocent people and injured dozens of civilians. 

On behalf of the Armenian Church and her faithful, His Holiness conveyed sympathy and support to the Prime Minister and citizens of the United Kingdom. 

“Terrorism is against God’s will. There is no religion, doctrine, or system of values which justifies hatred, hostility or violence towards others, or encourages the cessation of a human life. We strongly condemn the incident and are hopeful that the civilized world, in the face of this horrible event, will join efforts to restore peace and a secure life”, the letter stated in part. 

The Catholicos of All Armenians offered his prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured, and the comfort of the Holy Spirit to the families of the victims and people of Great Britain. His Holiness prayed for God’s support and protection of the authorities of the UK, to overcome the tragedy and provide a creative and peaceful life for her faithful citizens. 

RFE/RL Report
Karabakh Army Chief Expects More Truce Violations
June 05, 2017
Hovannes Movsisian

Azerbaijan will likely ratchet up tensions along "the line of contact"
around Nagorno-Karabakh in the months ahead, the commander of
Karabakh's Armenian-backed army claimed over the weekend.

"Azerbaijan will certainly do everything keep up tensions on the
frontline," Lieutenant General Levon Mnatsakanian told reporters in
Stepanakert. "It will increasingly seek to inflict damage on us, while
we will do everything to respond accordingly and, if need be, if we
find it expedient, deal a final blow."

Mnatsakanian said that in the past several months truce violations
around Karabakh have been much less serious than they were last year,
which saw heavy fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces in
April known as "the four-day war."

Over the past year the Karabakh Armenian army has reinforced its
frontline positions with new defense fortifications, more weapons as
well as special equipment such as night-vision surveillance
devices. The latter helped it fight back in late February two
Azerbaijani commando raids that left at least five Azerbaijani
soldiers dead.

In Mnatsakanian's words, Azerbaijani special forces have not attempted
more such incursions since then. "As regards gunshots fired from
various weapons, they have decreased sharply since 2016," added the

Truce violations on the Karabakh frontlines have periodically
intensified this year. In the most recent escalation, Azerbaijani
forces fired guided missiles at an air-defense system of Karabakh's
Defense Army on May 16. The latter retaliated with mortar fire
targeting Azerbaijani military facilities.

The U.S., Russian and French mediators co-heading the OSCE Minsk Group
condemned the "significant violations of the ceasefire." In a May 18
statement, they urged the parties to "take all necessary measures to
prevent any further escalation in the conflict zone."

A senior official in Stepanakert insisted on Friday that continuing
armed incidents are unlikely to escalate into a full-scale war. 

Panorama, Armenia
June 5 2017
Armenian airports see 30.5 increase in passenger flow for first five months of 2017 

Yerevan Zvartnots International Airport and Shirak Airport in Gyumri welcomed increased number of passengers in January-May 2017 to compare with the data of the indicated period of the previous year. As Panorama.am learnt from the General Department of Civil Aviation, the both airports served 875,011 passengers for the three months of the current year, which is 30.5 % increase compared with January-May 2016 data. 

In May 2017, the passenger flow at Zvartnots Airport accounted for 198,182 passengers, which is 34,5% increase over the data of the previous year. 

The published data also show that 9,341tons of cargo has been transported through Zvartnots Airport during the first five months of 2017, which is 81.5 percent increase over the volume transported in January-May 2016. 

Meanwhile, the total number of flights and landings of the both airports in January-May 2017 has also registered increase accounting for 23,7% to compare with the numbers of the previous year. 

Panorama, Armenia
June 5 2017
515 babies born in Karabakh in Jan-March 2017 

In January-March 2017 515 babies were born in Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (Artsakh/NKR), 263 of whom were boys and 252 – girls. As the NKR Ministry of Health told Panorama.am, 400 of the babies were born at Stepanakert's Maternal and Child Health Center. 55 babies were born in Martakert, 30 – in Martuni, 21 – in Hadrut and 3 – in Shushi and 3 babies in Shaumyan. 

Within the three months, 6 twins were born at Maternal and Child Health Center in Artsakh. 

RFE/RL Report
Sarkisian Confronted By Protesters In Yerevan
June 05, 2017
Narine Ghalechian

President Serzh Sarkisian was confronted on Monday by about a dozen
angry people dispossessed by a government-backed private construction
company that demolished their homes in Yerevan years ago.

The protesters are former residents of an old neighborhood in the city
center that was due to be redeveloped by the now bankrupt company,
Glendale Hills. The latter signed in 2007 contracts with over 100
owners of local houses who agreed to cede their land and properties in
return for its formal pledge to give them new homes in apartment
buildings which were due to be constructed in the area. The
redeveloped project was never implemented.

Around half of those families have still not received apartments or
financial compensation. Some of those people gathered outside
Sarkisian's residence early in the morning in the hope of speaking to
the president and asking him to intervene. They waited for more than
two hours before the presidential motorcade emerged from the secluded
compound and stopped just outside it.

"Mr. President, we have been homeless for ten years," one woman told
Sarkisian after he got out of his limousine and approached the small
crowd. "We have been badly mistreated, just like street dogs."

"Mr. President, I had personally appealed to you," complained another
woman. "You said you will see to it that my problem is urgently
solved. We have still not received an answer."

"Is it you who brought the journalists here?" replied a visibly
irritated Sarkisian. "Why are they hindering us?" "They are not,"
retorted one of the women.

"Alright, [officials] will come and look into the matter in the next
two days," the president said before leaving the scene.

The protesters argue that the Armenian government was a party to their
2007 contracts with Glendale Hills and must therefore help make sure
that they are implemented. As one of them put it: "If the company is
now liquidated, it means that the state must address the issue."
Either they must pay us or give us apartments."

Some displaced residents fear that they will only be offered rundown
apartments in the city outskirts in breach of the developer's
contractual obligations.

Hundreds of Yerevan families were displaced in the 2000s during a
massive redevelopment of parts of the city center. Many of them were
forced out of their mostly old homes after refusing financial
compensation which they believe was set well below the market value of
their properties because of government corruption.

Some appealed to the European Court of Human Rights after having their
lawsuits against the government rejected by Armenian courts. The
Strasbourg-based court has ordered the Armenian authorities to pay
additional compensations to dozens of such families. 

news.am , Armenia
June 5 2017
Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival kicks off 

YEREVAN. - One of the most remarkable events of the year, the Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival (IFF), will breathe a new life into the cultural life of capital city Yerevan from July 9 to 16. 

The representatives of Golden Apricot Yerevan IFF, the Ministry of Culture of Armenia and general partner of the festival, VivaCell-MTS, on Monday announced the launch of the 14th edition of the festival. 

The press conference started with the presentation of the official poster—an apricot-shaped geometric figure symbolizing the 14th edition of the festival. 

The speakers of the press conference, Minister of Culture of Armenia Armen Amiryan, VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian, Golden Apricot IFF Founding Director Harutyun Khachatryan, Programs Director Mikayel Stamboltsyan, and Artistic Director Susanna Harutyunyan underscored the importance of the year-long cooperation, presenting some of the programs to be implemented within the framework of the 14th edition. In particular, they announced the names of international jury members of four main competition programs, as well as the titles of the opening and closing films. 

The film Khasphush (1927), from director Hamo Beknazaryan will be screened during the opening. The screening will be accompanied by Vahagn Hayrapetyan and his band’s live music composed specially for this film. 

The film, which marks its 90th anniversary, follows the Persian revolutionary movement of the peasants, being the first Armenian historical-revolutionary film. 

Intent to Destroy (2017) from director Joe Berlinger was chosen as the closing film. The Armenian Genocide documentary premiered at Tribeca Film Fest. The director meets with historians and scholars to discuss the Armenian Genocide and the continuing denial by the Turkish government. 

This year the festival received about 1100 film submissions from 96 countries. 

More than hundred films were included in the competition and non-competition programs. 

“There are events, which leave an invaluable mark on the public life: they shape minds, create opportunities to bolster the country’s reputation, and to educate generation. I won’t be mistaken if I say the ‘Golden Apricot’ Film Festival is one of those events in Armenia. It shapes a system of values, uses the language of the art to raise problems, and to sow seeds of beauty and vigor. It has been the visit card of Armenia for 14 years in a row. I am proud of our cooperation and of the festival’s achievements for all these years,” said VivaCell-MTS General Manager Ralph Yirikian. 

Armenian Weekly
June 5 2017
Australian Novelist Creates an Armenian Private Eye
in 'Cairo Mon Amour' 

Why would an Australian author of Anglo-Scottish extraction create a fictional Armenian private eye? For novelist Stuart Campbell, former university Pro-Vice Chancellor and Professor of Linguistics, the answer is two-pronged.

Firstly, Campbell’s wife Sara is half-Armenian and half-British. Over the years, Campbell has met many of her diaspora family in Australia, France and the U.S., including at least one genocide survivor. “I vividly recall a family reunion in France trying to untangle who was whose cousin,” he says.

Secondly, the author made the unorthodox choice in 1971 of taking a degree in Arabic and Russian languages, which provoked an interest in the diaspora community in Egypt as well as the Armenian presence in the USSR.

In 1973, the couple travelled to Egypt where Stuart would study Arabic at Cairo University and Sara was reunited with her Armenian grandmother. Within weeks of their arrival, the Yom Kippur War broke out and the seeds of Stuart’s novel Cairo Mon Amour were planted.

However, it was not until four decades later that the concept took shape. “I wanted to write an espionage thriller built around the Egyptian plan to launch a surprise invasion of Sinai,” he says. “At the same time, I wanted to pay homage to the plight of the Armenians, who had been a deep and enduring interest for me since the seventies.”

Hence, Pierre Farag was born: Armenian mother, Coptic father, a man who lives in the shadows, working as a private eye and translator. Most of his relatives have left for Glendale or Sydney. He’s Butrous in Arabic and Bedros in Armenian, but goes by the name Pierre for reasons that he never reveals. Pierre’s Armenian identity acts as a vehicle for the Egyptian noir style Campbell has tried to create: “I drew on themes of themes of dislocation and loss to achieve this.”

In fact, Pierre has some basis in reality: “There was an Armenian man who visited my wife’s relative in Cairo. He wore a beret and dark glasses, and was said to have been in prison under Nasser. He never said much. Nobody in the family can remember him, and I wonder whether I imagined him. But he lives on in my novel.”

Coincidentally, the mid-point of writing the Cairo Mon Amour came in April 2015. “I happened to visit the Armenian Genocide Centenary Exhibition in Paris at the time,” Campbell says. “I was very much spurred on to complete the novel by the outpouring of international support for the centenary.”

Cairo Mon Amour will be published in London by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd. in late June 2017
More information at www.cairomonamour.com .

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