Sunday, 11 June 2017

Armenian News...A Topalian... Medieval Monasteries... And much more

Explore Armenia’s Medieval Monasteries in Interactive 360-Degree Panoramas 

The Pagan Roots of Armenian Folk Music 
Folk musical traditions across the world are rich with songs of play and ritual. In this video, members of the musical powerhouse Zulal explore the pagan roots in Armenian folk music. The stories and customs that pre-date Christianity still remain close to the hearts of the people and continue to be celebrated today, imbued with new meaning and bestowed a new place in the Christian calendar and tradition. , Armenia
June 9 2017
jan opens fire towards Armenia villages
The Azerbaijan armed forces on Thursday fired shots toward Baghanis, Voskepar, and Koti border villages in Tavush Province of Armenia, from 9pm to 10pm.

Artsrun Hovhannisyan, spokesperson of the minister of defense of Armenia, told Armenian that the Armenian armed forces suffered no losses as a result of this shooting.

“We have no type of loss at specific positions, in connection with the troops,” he said.

Hovhannisyan added that the adversary fired several times in the direction of various communities of Tavush, primarily towards military positions, and also used large-caliber rifles.

To note, however, the roofs of several houses in the aforesaid villages sustained minor damages in the shooting.

Tert, Armenia
June 8 2017
World Bank's Doing Business 2017 report highlights progress in Armenia

Armenia has improved its ranking on the World Bank's annual Doing
Business 2017 report, climbing from the 43rd position in 2016 to the
38th position this year.

A plan of actions proposing steps towards making the atmosphere more
business-friendly received the cabinet's approval on Thursday

The report evaluates the regulations directly impacting the business
environment through a comparative analysis in 11 major areas: starting
a business, dealing with construction permits, getting electricity,
registering property, getting credit, protecting minority investors,
paying taxes, trading across borders, enforcing contracts, resolving
insolvency and labor market regulation.

Armenia's essential progress, observed over the past years (thanks to
different measures), has found its reflection in the evaluations by
the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation, reports the
Ministry of Economic Development and Investments. The findings
highlight particularly progress in the procedures of “getting credits”
(7 points) and “getting electricity” (9 points).

The program has a comprehensive content and proposes reforms in all
the areas under evaluation. The Ministry expresses its commitment to
ensure ongoing processes by relying upon the international best

RFE/RL Report 
More Armenian Companies To Be Privatized
June 09, 2017
Astghik Bedevian

Armenia's parliament allowed the government on Friday to privatize the
national postal service and dozens of other state-run enterprises,
hospitals and recreation facilities.

The National Assembly approved a list of 47 entities subject to
privatization over strong objections voiced by its opposition
minority. Prime Minister Karen Karapetian's cabinet says that they are
in need of serious capital investments which can only be raised from
private sources.

Previous Armenian governments had tried unsuccessfully to sell off
some of these entities. "We hope that we will finally find buyers for
them," Arman Sahakian, head of Armenia's Department of State Property
Management, told lawmakers.

Opposition deputies were particularly critical of the inclusion on the
list of about a dozen medical centers, including the country's main
oncology clinic and a children's hospital in Yerevan. They said
private ownership would only increase the cost of medical services
provided by them.

The children's hospital called the Arabkir Medical Center was for many
years managed by Ara Babloyan, a veteran pediatrician who was elected
parliament speaker last month. Its current director is his son.

Gevorg Gorgisian of the opposition Yelk alliance expressed concern
that Babloyan or his family could benefit from the hospital's
privatization. The speaker affiliated with the governing Republican
Party of Armenia ruled out any conflicts of interest.

The most important business enterprises on the privatization list are
the Haypost postal service and a jewelry factory based in
Yerevan.Haypost has been managed for the past decade by a company
controlled by Eduardo Eurnekian, an Argentinian billionaire of
Armenian descent who has extensive business interests in Armenia. With
some 900 offices across the country, it not only provides traditional
postal services but also collects utility payments and some taxes and
duties, handles wire transfers of cash and even distributes travel

Most state-owned Armenian companies were privatized in the 1990s and
early 2000s. The private sector now accounts for more than 80 percent
of the country's Gross Domestic Product. 

RFE/RL Report Procurement Fraud `Minimized' By Government
June 09, 2017
Artak Hambardzumian

The Armenian government has sharply cut corruption risks in the
administration of state procurements criticized by anti-graft
watchdogs, a senior Finance Ministry official claimed on Friday.

"We have enacted the kind of legislation that would preclude or at
least minimize such practices," said Sergey Shahnazarian, the head of
a ministry division overseeing procurements by various government

"For that purpose a new system was designed and introduced," he told a
news conference. "In my view, it seriously complicates, if not
prevents, the manifestations mentioned by you."

Shahnazarian cited a government-drafted law that came in force in
April. It is meant to make the procurement process much more
transparent and prevent conflicts of interests among officials dealing
with such purchases. If those officials have relatives among private
supplies bidding for government contracts they must formally
acknowledge that fact.

"We now also publicize data on the real owners [of government
contractors,]" said Shahnazarian. "The information is public. You can
see who holds more than 10 percent stakes in which companies."

Prime Minister Karen Karapetian publicly questioned the integrity of
the process just days after taking office in September. He
specifically decried "primitive theft" of budgetary funds set aside
for government officials' travel expenses.

Varuzhan Hoktanian, the program director at the Anti-Corruption Center
(ACC), the Armenian affiliate of Transparency International,
acknowledged that the new law provides for greater transparency in
procurement administration. But he said that it alone will not solve
the problem.

"When there is no will to expedite clean processes, including in the
area of procurements, primitive theft will be placed by more
sophisticated theft," Hoktanian told RFE/RL's Armenian service

The ACC has repeatedly charged in recent years that various government
agencies purchased many goods and services at disproportionately high
prices from a handful of companies usually owned by government-linked
individuals. According to it, the government awarded 70 percent of its
procurement contracts without any competitive tenders in 2015.

Public Radio of Armenia
June 11 2017
FIFA World Cup qualifier: Montenegro 4-1 Armenia
11 Jun 2017 

Montenegro captain Stevan Jovovic scored a hat trick and set up another goal to steer his side to a 4-1 win over Armenia in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier, AP reports.

Jovovic set up Fatos Beciraj in the second minute, then made it 2-0 with low shot from edge of box and struck his second after the break.

Jovovic completed his hat trick with a  scissors kick late on, before Ruslan Koryan scored a consolation  for Armenia.

Montenegro, which needed Danijel Petkovic to deny Marcos Pizzelli an equalizer after Beciraj scored, avenged its 3-2 defeat to Armenia in Yerevan last November.

Montenegro moved back ahead of Denmark on goal difference, while Armenia stayed fifth on six points, level with Romania in fourth on goal difference.

Aleteia EN
June 11 2017
And today we celebrate...
with Magnificat Sunday, June 11
Blessed Ignatius Maloyan
A martyr of the Armenian Genocide
Bishop and Martyr: 1869-1915 

His life

+ Shokr Allah Maloyan was born in Mardin, Turkey, and baptized in the Armenian Catholic Church. A gifted student, he was trained for the priesthood by the local bishop.

+ Ordained a priest in 1896, he took the name “Ignatius” at the time of his ordination in honor of Saint Ignatius of Antioch. A short time later, he was assigned to serve as an assistant to the Armenian Patriarch. He was a popular speaker and was actively involved in dialogue with the Coptic Orthodox Church.

+ In 1911, Ignatius was consecrated as Bishop of Mardin. He faced a shortage of priests, lack of financial resources, and political pressure from the Turkish government. These challenges grew more acute with the outbreak of World War I.

+ As part of a plan to destroy “internal enemies,” the Turkish government arrested Ignatius and 1,600 other Armenian Christians and sent them on a forced march during which Ignatius was able to offer absolution and even improvise a final Mass. On June 10, those Christians who managed to survive were executed. Bishop Maloyan was shot and stabbed to death after refusing to accept Islam.

+ Blessed Ignatius Maloyan was beatified in 2001 along with 416 other martyrs of the Apostolic Armenian Church. These represent only a small number of the 1.5 million Armenians killed during what has come to be known as the Armenian Genocide, the “first holocaust” of the 20th century.

Worth knowing

On Divine Mercy Sunday, April 15, 2015, Pope Francis celebrated a special Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to honor the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. During that celebration he declared Saint Gregory of Narek, an Armenian monk and writer, as a Doctor of the Church. He was joined by the leaders of the Armenian Catholic and Orthodox Churches.


“Humanity’s evil can appear in the world like an abyss, a great void: empty of love, empty of goodness, empty of life. And so we ask: how can we fill this abyss? For us it is impossible; only God can fill this emptiness that evil brings to our hearts and to human history. It is Jesus, God made man, who died on the Cross and who fills the abyss of sin with the depth of his mercy.”—Pope Francis


May the sight of the great number of your holy Martyrs gladden us, O Lord, making our faith stronger and bringing us consolation by the prayers of them all. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Roman Missal : Common of Martyrs—For Several Martyrs)

Armenpress News Agency , Armenia
June 10, 2017 Saturday
Over 2000 people attend sheep shearing festival in Syunik, Armenia
On June 10 2017, the Syunik Animal Market hosted the 3rd Sheep 
 Shearing Festival in Tatev community,

The Festival was organized by the Strategic Development Agency NGO
with co-funding from the Initiatives for Development of Armenia (IDeA)

The goal of the Festival is to make people aware, and expand their
knowledge, of the traditions, culture and local products of the Vayots
Dzor and Syunik regions as well as foster the development of tourism
in the region.

In total, some 2,000 people took part in the festival. “The Sheep
Shearing Festival is becoming something of a tradition. It provides a
chance to revitalize community life, recalls forgotten traditions and
presents local products to tourists. It is great that more and more
travel agencies are including the Festival in their offers. This shows
how interest in the event is growing each year,” said Edgar Manukyan,
CEO of IDeA Foundation.

This year, the Festival featured a sheep shearing contest, live folk
music, dancing, tightrope walking, sports, and a fair allowing
producers from the Vayots Dzor and Syunik regions to sell their
products. The on-site food booths offered the Festival’s visitors the
chance to taste traditional Armenian dishes. “Since 2008, the
Strategic Development Agency, with the financial support of the
Government of Switzerland, has been implementing a livestock
development program in Syunik, and since 2014 in the Vayots Dzor
regions. The programme contains a number of events and activities
aimed at developing the farmers’ knowledge and capabilities as well as
improving the efficiency of pasture management. In this context, the
Sheep Shearing Festival is important as it allows our beneficiary
communities to present their products, communicate with each other and
increase tourism in the region,” said Karina Harutyunyan, who heads
the cattle breeding development programme at the Agency for Strategic

The 2nd Sheep Shearing Festival was near the Halidzor Station of the
“Wings of Tatev” cableway in 2015. Over 3,000 people, including
tourists and guests from the U.S., Russia, Spain and Belgium attended
the event.

No comments: