Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Armenian News... A Topalian... 10 dead after van strikes pedestrians in Toronto, suspect identified

10 dead after van strikes pedestrians in Toronto, suspect identified as Alek Minassian | CTV News

Police in Toronto say they have arrested a male suspect after a white van mounted a curb in the city’s north end, killing 10 people and injuring 15 others.

Deputy Police Chief Peter Yuen told reporters Monday afternoon that police received multiple calls around 1:30 p.m. about a vehicle “driving on Yonge Street, striking a number of pedestrians between Finch Avenue and Sheppard Avenue.”

Yuen said one suspect was in custody, the van had been located and all available resources had been mobilized to investigate the situation.

Police Chief Mark Saunders later told reporters late Monday evening that the suspect is Alek Minassian, 25, of Richmond Hill, Ont.

Witness from Ireland visiting Yerevan

Wow the celebrations are everywhere ..every street,every window and the police are glad to be off duty
Resignation Statement
April 23 2018

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan has released a statement, the PM's office said.

Dear countrymen,
I am addressing all citizens of the Republic of Armenia
The elderly and my dearest youth,
Men and women,

I am addressing those who stood on the streets day and night with “Reject Serzh” calls and those who were reaching their offices with difficulty and carrying out their duty without complaining,

I am addressing those who were following live broadcast for days and those who were ensuring public order for day and night manly,

I am addressing our courageous soldiers and officers who are standing at the border, I am addressing my brothers in arms,

I am addressing my fellow party-men, all political forces and politicians,

I am addressing you for the last time as leader of the country.

Nikol Pashinyan was right. I was wrong. The situation has several solutions, but I will not take any of them. That is not mine. I am leaving office of the country’s leader, of Prime Minister.

The street movement is against my tenure. I am fulfilling your demand.

Peace, harmony and reasoning for our country.
Thank you.

TASS, Russia
April 23 2018
Karapetyan appointed Armenia’s acting PM after resignation of Serzh Sargsyan
© Ekaterina Shtukina/Russian government's press service
Armenia’s First Deputy Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan has been appointed acting Prime Minister following resignation of his predecessor, Serzh Sargsyan, who was head of government for less than a week, the press service of the Armenian government said on Monday.
"In accordance with the law on the structure and activities of the government and reckoning with Serzh Sargsyan’s letter of resignation, the cabinet agreed that Serzh Sargsyan cannot stay in office any longer," the press service told TASS, adding that in such cases the first deputy prime minister is appointed acting head of government.
Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan, who was elected to this post by the national parliament on April 17, stepped down on Monday amidst mass rallies that has been underway in Yerevan and other cities of Armenia since last Monday protesting against his nomination. Sargsyan met with opposition leader MP Nikol Pashinyan at Yerevan’s Marriott hotel on Sunday morning. The opposition leader demanded Sargsyan step down while the latter said it was inadmissible to try to intimidate the legitimate authorities. The talks were interrupted after that. Also on Sunday, the Armenian prosecutor general’s office confirmed the arrest of opposition lawmakers Nikol Pashinyan, Ararat Mirzoyan and Sasun Mikaelian on charges of holding unauthorized rallies. All the three were released on Monday.

The Moscow Times, Russia
April 23 2018
Moscow Reacts to Resignation of Armenian PM Sargsyan

Armenian Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigned on Monday after days of anti-government protests in the capital Yerevan and other cities.

Sargsyan, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, had served as Armenia's president for a decade until earlier this month and had faced accusations of clinging to power when parliament voted for him to take up the post of prime minister.

His resignation is unprecedented for a post-Soviet country, but Russian officials on Monday largely cheered on the protests, hailing them as an example of democracy.

Asked earlier on Monday whether Moscow was concerned about the unrest, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said it was Armenia’s “domestic affair.” “Why should Moscow interfere?” he asked.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova
“A people which is strong enough to stick together and be respectful towards one another, despite categorical differences even in the most difficult moments in its history is a great people.

"Armenia, Russia is with you always!”

Igor Lebedev, Liberal Democratic Party (LDPR)
“The Armenian people are sick of the situation, champions! No one wants to put up with the same person leading the government for decades. Change of leadership and parties is crucial!”

Leonid Kalashnikov, head of the State Duma's committee on CIS affairs
“I’m positive about Sargsyan’s resignation. It was a manly and wise decision [to resign.] He’s been in different situations, but he didn’t go for bloodshed or pitting the security services against the people, which could have ended very badly.”

Reuters contributed reporting

RFE/RL Report
Armenia Warns Against New Azeri ‘Adventure’ In Karabakh
April 23, 2018

Official Yerevan warned Azerbaijan on Monday against trying to exploit the political turmoil in Armenia to launch offensive military operations around Nagorno-Karabakh.

“Amid the internal political developments happening in Armenia these days, Azerbaijan is massing manpower, artillery and military equipment along the Line 
of Contact with Artsakh (Karabakh), which gives us grounds to assume that Baku is preparing for a new adventure,” Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said in a statement.

“Azerbaijan should not have any illusions that in the light of internal political developments in Armenia it could embark on any actions against Artsakh and realize its aggressive intentions,” he said. “When it comes to 
defending Nagorno-Karabakh, the people of Armenia stand united and will never allow any encroachments towards Artsakh.”

Nalbandian urged the United States, Russia and France, the three world powers spearheading the Karabakh peace process, to tell Baku to “withdraw its military 
equipment, artillery and manpower from the frontline” and respect ceasefire agreements.

In recent days, Karabakh’s Armenian-backed army has released purported video footage of Azerbaijani troop movements at various sections of the frontline. It 
said it is prepared to repel Azerbaijani attacks on its positions.

The Azerbaijani military has denied those claims, saying Yerevan is thus trying to distract Armenians demonstrating against their government.

Nalbandian’s statement came shortly after Prime Minister Serzh Sarkisian stepped down as a result of the protests.

April 22 2018
Serj Tankian Addresses Armenia’s Peaceful Resistance, Previews New Song ‘Electric Yerevan’
Chad Childers

Is the tide starting to turn in Armenia? Serj Tankian is hopeful after witnessing peaceful protests breaking out. Tankian has recorded a new video of support addressing those taking part in "one of the most successful civil disobedience campaigns in all Armenian history."

Speaking first to the people of Armenia in their native tongue, then also offering a response in English, he offered, "I want to congratulate you for so far holding one of the most successful civil disobedience campaigns in all Armenian history. The movement is authentic and completely yours and should remain so untainted by politics or any other concerns. You should know that everyone in the Diaspora is behind you, even those that are in organizations that oppose your efforts."

"We are taken aback by your peacefulness, eloquence and inclusiveness," beams the singer. "I can see the love in your eyes and in your hearts and smiles on your faces, like I did in 2015 when we played with System of a Down from the stage, I see those in the protests. This is a unique thing for Armenia. This is a new cultural revolution. And that is the true revolution in Armenia today. Your culture, you’ve changed it, already. And because of that, you’ve won already."

Tankian continued, "You’ve realized that this cultural change, this cultural awakening and this decision to pursue justice is a basic human right," before offering three bits of advice moving forward.

They were:
1. Stay clear of the color revolution terminology as that is generally associated with East/West struggles. Our struggle is not for nor with East nor West, but for justice and progressive change. We don’t want to be any empire’s client state and need good relations with all.

2. Make your demands concrete. My suggestion would be to insist on Serj Sarkisyan leaving not only as prime minister but also resigning as the leader of his party. I would then insist on a package of reforms to handle all of the injustices we’ve observed from corruption to environmental degradation and everything in between with a timeline for the new government to enact and execute them. If the reforms are not met, I would set a date for a strike, another strike this time for the resignation of all of parliament and new parliamentary elections.

3. Continue your path of peaceful resistance and don’t fall into the traps of provocateurs. They will get their justices when their bosses are fired one day and they have to come to you to ask for a job. Continue to be flexible, just, forthright, loving. Continue to treat the police as your brothers and sisters because they are. They’re one of you.

Tankian concluded his video message by sharing a portion of the new song "Electric Yerevan," which was initially inspired by the protests taking place in 2015. While the proper release of the song will be coming soon, Tankian turns back to the board and computer behind him, sharing a bit of the demo of the song, which he dedicated to the people of Armenia.

The song is a more upbeat track for Tankian, driving forward with some electronic elements added in to the chaotic rocker. A sampling of the lyrics can be viewed below:

We don't want to be the bitch of any superpowers
Color revolutions fade
We want cheap power
Electric, electric, electric Electric Yerevan
We say no to corruption
and no to plunder
Billionaire playgrounds are going under
Electric, electric, electric Electric Yerevan
Brutal police crackdown
With water cannons
Serve to irrigate the seeds of discontent and malcontent
Civil disobedience
Working like a charm
We don't want to be the bitch of any superpowers
Color revolutions fade
We want cheap power
Electric, electric, electric
Electric Yerevan

Public Radio of Armenia
April 20 2018
Garo Paylan submits Armenian Genocide bill to Turkish Parliament

Armenian Member of Turkish Parliament Garo Paylan representing the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) has submitted a draft law to the Turkish Grand National Assembly on “Recognition of Armenian Genocide”, “Removal of the Names of Genocide Perpetrators from Public Places” and “Amendment to Turkish Citizenship Law.”

In the general preamble of the law draft, it is stated: “According to a census conducted in 1914, approximately two million Armenians lived in the Ottoman Empire. At the night of April 24, 1915, around 250 Armenian intellectuals, including MPs and writers were arrested in Istanbul.”

“After these people were sent into exile in Ayas and Cankiri, the vast majority of them were killed. Among the ones sent into exile and killed were Dr. Nazaret Dagavaryan (MP of Ottoman Empire), Armen Doryan (poet and journalist), Shavarsh Krisyan (editor of the sports magazine Marmnamarz), Levon Larents (poet), Rupen Sevag (poet), Yenovk Sahen (theater artist), Siamanto [Atom Yarcanyan] (poet), Hagop Terziyan (pharmacist and writer), Taniel Varujan (poet), Krikor Yesayan (teacher and translator), Rupen Zartaryan (writer and poet), Diran Kelekyan (writer and Professor of Turkish language) and Krikor Zohrab (MP of Ottoman Empire and writer),” the draft reads.

The bill notes that Ottoman Turkey tried to describe the genocide as a “natural war measure” and states that the denial has led to a lot of hate crimes against minorities throughout the history of the Turkish Republic.

April 23 2018
Armenia 2025 dollar bond drops to one-year low on PM resigning
Reuters Staff
Armenia’s 2025 dollar-denominated bond fell 0.83 cents on Monday after the country’s newly-appointed prime minister Serzh Sarksyan said he would resign following protests.
The issue fell to 107.656 cents - its lowest level since April last year, according to Thomson Reuters data.
The country’s external bonds had already come under pressure in early trading after police detained three opposition leaders and nearly 200 protesters following demonstrations on Sunday. (Reporting by Karin Strohecker, editing by Claire Milhench)

Links to PM Serge Sargsyan's Resignation
April 23 2018
Armenia's Prime Minister Resigns After More Than A Week Of Protests
Armenian prime minister quits after mass protests against him
Armenian PM Sarkisian Resigns, Thousands Celebrate In Yerevan
Armenian leader resigns unexpectedly amid anti-government protests
Armenian PM Sarksyan quits after 11 days of street protests
Armenia’s Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigns after week-long protests
'I got it wrong': Celebrations in Armenia as prime minister resigns after days of protests
Armenian PM Serzh Sarksyan resigns after street protests
Armenia's prime minister resigns amid large-scale protests
Armenian PM Sarksyan quits after 11 days of street protests
Armenia PM Serzh Sarkisian resigns after mass protests, Russia says it is 'carefully watching' events
Armenia PM Serzh Sarkisian resigns after mass protests, Russia says it is 'carefully watching' events
Armenia's prime minister — a close Putin ally — resigns after days of street protests
Armenian Prime Minister resigns after protests
Armenia’s Prime Minister Sargsyan Resigns Amid Opposition Protests
Armenia PM bows to days of protests and resigns after power grab
Armenian leader Serzh Sargsyan resigns after 11 days of protests
The Latest: Armenia opposition to demand snap election
 Prime Minister of Armenia says will resign after protests against him: statement
Armenia Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan resigns after anti-government protests
Armenian prime minister quits after street protests
Armenian PM resigns in face of protests
Sargsyan resigns as Armenian PM
Armenian Premier Resigns Under Pressure of Mass Protests
Serzh Sargsyan: Armenian PM resigns after days of protests
Armenian PM resigns; here's what led to the surprise move
Serzh Sargsyan Resigns as Armenia's PM After Protests
Armenian prime minster — who is also the country's former president — resigns after protests
'I was wrong': Armenia PM quits after mass protests

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