Saturday, 25 October 2008

Obama-Biden the Right Choice for Armenian Americans

October 24, 2008

Obama-Biden the Right Choice for
Armenian Americans

ANCA Reaffirms Earlier Primary Endorsement in January

Expands on Nine Months of Nationwide Voter Mobilization to Secure Obama-Biden Win on November 4th

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) has formalized its longstanding support for Barack Obama with an official endorsement of the Obama-Biden campaign for the Presidency of the United States.

"The Armenian National Committee of America is proud today to formally announce our support for Barack Obama - whom we endorsed this January in the Democratic Primary and have energetically backed with sustained, grassroots voter mobilization for the past nine months," said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. "Based on Senator Obama's strong record in office, his bold statements as a candidate, and our judgment as to the types of policies he will pursue as President, we believe that an Obama-Biden Administration would be far better positioned than a McCain-Palin one to reflect the views and values of the Armenian American community."

Barack Obama: The Choice for Change

Sen. Barack Obama with Assemblyman Paul Krekorian, Glendale City Clerk Ardashes Kassakhian and ANC WR Board member Aida DimejianIn a powerful statement, issued on January 20th, Senator Obama voiced his strong support for passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution and pledged that, as President, he would recognize the Armenian Genocide. The Presidential hopeful also reaffirmed his support for a strong "U.S.-Armenian relationship that advances our common security and strengthens Armenian democracy." Unlike other Democratic candidates, he also pledged to "promote Armenian security by seeking an end to the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades, and by working for a lasting and durable settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict that is agreeable to all parties, and based upon America's founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination."

The key elements of the Obama record that led to the ANCA endorsement include the following:

* Public criticism of the Bush Administration for firing former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans over his truthful remarks recognizing the Armenian Genocide. He has publicly asserted that, "An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy."

* Strong support for the passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution currently before Congress, in his capacity as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs.

* A written pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide as President, clearly spelling out his "firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable."

* A commitment to ending the cycle of genocide. He has said, on the record, that, "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President."

* Letters to Pres. Bush urging him to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide and a record of defending that position, when challenged. While visiting Azerbaijan in August 2005, in response to media inquiries about why he signed these letters, Senator Obama publicly defended his decision by stating that the Armenian Genocide was a historical fact.

* Commitment to promoting Armenia's security "by seeking an end to the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades."

* Support for "a lasting and durable settlement of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict that is agreeable to all parties, and based upon America's founding commitment to the principles of democracy and self determination."

READ MORE. . . Sen. Biden's Record | The McCain-Palin Record

Urge Congressional Candidates in your area to submit an ANCA Questionnaire Send a Free ANCA WebMail

Published by the Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036
Tel: (202) 775-1918, Fax: (202) 775-5648, E-mail:, Web:


Thursday, 23 October 2008

FATHER FRANK’S RANTS - Gospel of Atheism


Rant Number 234 23 October 2008

Gospel of Atheism

And so London bus adverts will soon spread a new gospel: there is probably no God.

Hurrah! The priest likes that. The good cause stands a chance, after all. When our atheists start getting bellicose about religion…that’s great. God isn’t dead yet.

You might ask who needs that kind of proclamation. Most advertising already does a pretty good job at plugging practical atheism: Eros, Mammon and Mindlessness – that unholy trinity of our time – hold sway across the board. But the priest is no fanatic – once upon a time he was himself an atheist (folies de jeunesse) - so he feels strongly that the ‘no God’ brigade should be heard. Even if they take people for a ride.

Atheism comes in umpteen shapes and sizes. First, there is political atheism. Of the State or party variety. One powered by violent ideologies. Exemplified by the Bolsheviks or the Spanish anarchists. That aggressive variety often burns or shuts down churches, murders priests and nuns, sends believers to concentration camps and sets up a bogus, collaborationist KGB-style church instead of the true one. In Russia that kind of atheism raged for more than 60 years but eventually ended up in the gutter. Al Hamdulillah!

Of course, less virulent forms of political atheism exist. The British government and Parliament to all intents and purposes pursue a thinly veiled legislative atheism. As the priest sees it, only a military coup can save England. Maybe our Army generals will take the hint…

Second, there is theoretical or logical atheism. It would put most bus passengers (and maybe you, o reader) to sleep yet it is intellectually important. Professor Anthony Flew, an academic philosopher, was a typical exponent. Basically, it consists in finding fault with the traditional proofs for God’s existence. For example, the argument from design looks at our world and sees evidence of design, of a plan in it. Like your watch naturally makes you infer the existence of the watchmaker. From design to designer: God. Flew and many others pointed out how the world at most exhibits evidence of order, not of design. Design implies a designer, yes, order does not. Hence the argument sucks.

Surprisingly, Professor Flew recently changed his mind. He now says he believes in God. (Maybe he is getting old.) As to the argument from design, Professor Richard Swinburne has patched it up. Interesting arguments die hard.

A subset is ‘science’ atheism. Of the type Professor Dawkins – a donor to the godless bus adverts - assiduously propounds. Actually, Dawkins’ approach is not really science but ‘scientism’. Still, his arguments must be met. Rowan Williams for example rejects creationism as the answer. Instead, he claims that science must take the existence of God as a necessary presupposition. Scientists assume the world is amenable to rational investigation. Only a Creator can guarantee that assumption, so to speak. Do you buy it? Hmmm…bit dodgy.

Third is ethical atheism. The world contains evil. A good God would never have engendered such a world, hence either the creator of the world is evil or there is no God. Bleak.

Some idiots, like Mrs Baker Eddy, the inventor of ‘Christian Science’, deny evil exists. Evidently, they never had toothache. But Leibniz, the German genius, logician and mathematician, one of my heroes, dealt seriously with the problem of evil. He even coined the word theodicy to counter it. I invite you to read him. There are good reasons why God allows evil to happen – that is the gist of Leibniz’s treatment. An admirable solution.

One tiny problem. You might feel theodicy logically satisfies you, yet it still leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. The sufferings of the innocent, for example, are too awful for mere logic to explain away. Leibniz’s way is perhaps a fraction too pat, or even smug.

In Brothers Karamazov Dostoyevsky has Ivan dramatically embody this objection. Ivan accepts, rationally, that there is a God. The torture of a single child, however, impels Ivan to want to have nothing to do with him. He returns God the ticket.

Sigh…me, a puny, marginal priest – can I disagree with a giant like Dostoyevsky? Nonetheless, I don’t like emotional blackmail. Ivan Karamazov is too sentimental. Innocence is all very well but since Dr Freud we are perhaps a less starry-eyed about child psychology. Besides, innocence has nothing to do with age, it is a moral quality. All may share in it, from the very young to the very old. By the way, the sufferings of the young did not particularly exercise ancient ethics. Plotinus in the Enneads laughs at some kids who have been beaten up –he advises them to take up physical training, so they can learn to defend themselves. Callous? Discuss.

The last type of atheism is not very profound. But it is lethal. It is the chilling unbelief of those vast multitudes in many sprawling Western cities which now live as if there were no God. They go from the cradle to the grave behaving as if God’s existence mattered to them less than what is on TV Channel 4 tonight. It is not that they don’t give a damn whether God exists or otherwise. In fact, they no longer even comprehend what the word ‘God’ means. That terrible old story – man walks into a jeweller’s, points out in the window to a crucifix he wants to buy it, so the shop-assistant asks: ‘Do you mean the one with the little man on?’ – is now all too plausible.

‘There is probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life’ the bus ads will run. That betrays our home atheists for what they are: a hopelessly out of date bunch of faddy-daddies. They are fighting yesterday’s battles. They assume people are still sufficiently concerned about God, judgment and the afterlife to feel liberated when told that there probably isn’t an old man with a beard up in the sky. But you cannot free someone from chains whose weight he does not feel. Telling hedonists to enjoy life is like advising Russian billionaires to make money. They are both redundant as reminders.

Yet, this latter kind empty atheism frightens me. Because I don’t see how we can beat it. Not that I lose heart. Because I know that, in the end, God.

Revd Frank Julian Gelli


700 couples in mass wedding in Artsakh - GIBRAHAYER e-magazine


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GIBRAHAYER e-magazineSTEPANAKERT (Combined Sources) - Some 700 couples tied the knot Thursday in a mass ceremony, through an event organised by benefactor Levon Hayrapetyan, in an effort to encourage an increase in Karabakh's population.
The couples headed to Stepanakert's Renaissance Square, where the wedding ceremony took place. Then the couples headed for the Stepan Shahumian Sports Complex and Stadium for a large reception, at which time their official marriage licenses were issued. Some of the couples headed for Gandzasar for their honeymoon.
Each couple was issued a gift card from Unibank as a wedding gift. The couples are also in for several surprises, as it was announced that for each child they bear, a monetary reward will be provided in the following manner: 1st child: $2000; 2nd $3000; 3rd $5000; 5th $20,000; 6th $50,000 and 7th $100,000.
Earlier this summer, Haryrapetyan told reporters that his aim was to increase the Karabakh population to 300,000 and this was an incentive for couples to marry and raise families in Karabakh.


PanARMENIAN.Net - 13.10.2008 - On invitation of Slovak Justice Minister Stefan Harabin, Armenian delegation, led by Justice Minister, Gevorg Danielyan, visited Bratislava October 6-7 to discuss implementation of agreements signed by Armenia and Slovakia, the RA Justice Ministry's press office reported.
Minister Harabin informed that a bill penalising the Armenian Genocide denial is being discussed by the government, adding that he will press for adoption of the bill.
The Armenian delegation laid a wreath to the khachkar inaugurated in Bratislava on occasion of the resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide passed by the Slovak parliament on November 30, 2004.


GENEVA, Oct 21, 2008 (AFP) - A Swiss court on Tuesday ruled that three Turks were guilty of racial discrimination after having claimed that the Armenian genocide was an "international lie".
Ali Mercan, the Europe-based representative of the Party of Turkish Workers, was sentenced to pay a fine of 4,500 Swiss francs (3,900 dollars, 2,950 euros) by the district tribunal of Winterthur.
Two others were ordered to pay 3,600 Swiss francs each for complicity in the racial discrimination.
During a demonstration in June last year, Mercan had denied that the Armenian genocide had taken place. The other two Turks were co-organisers of the demonstration.
All three said during the court case that they were ready "at any time" to organise a new demonstration and to take the same line.
In April, Armenia's president vowed to redouble efforts to have mass killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire recognised as genocide, a label staunchly rejected by Turkey.


YEREVAN - Tuesday, October 21, 2008 - The Armenian Relief Society's 69th International General Assembly convened Saturday with the participation of delegates representing the various chapters of the organisation, including Karabakh and Javakhk.
The opening ceremony, which was open to the public, was attended by Armenia's Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan, Diaspora Minister Hranoush Hakobian, ARF Dashnaktsoutiun Bureau chairman Hrant Markarian, and Bureau members Aghvan Vartanian and Hagop Der-Khachadourian, who served as the Bureau's representative to the convention. Joining other government officials and members of the diplomatic corps stationed in Armenia were Director of the Armenian National Archives Virap Amatouni, Armenia's former first lady, Bella Kocharian, chairman of the ARF Supreme Council of Armenia, Armen Rustamian, representative of the Hamazkayin Cultural and Educational Association Massis Baghdasarian, AGBU representative Ashot Ghazarian, as well as representatives of the His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia and His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians.
Mistress of Ceremonies and chairwoman of the ARS Armenia Regional Executive Alvart Petrosian welcomed the delegates and guests and, following the singing of the Armenian and ARS anthems, read the encyclical by Catholicos Aram I. She also read welcoming remarks from Nagorno-Karabakh Republic Prime Minister Ara Harutunian and the president of the Heritage Party of Armenia Raffi Hovannesian.
In his remarks, Prime Minister Sargsyan praised the ARS and its activities and pledged the government's support for ARS initiatives. Diaspora Minister Hakobian also commended the ARS and praised its efforts both in Armenia and the Diaspora.
Outgoing ARS Central Executive chairperson Hasmig Derderian presented an overview of the organization's international activities and highlighted plans for the celebration of the organization's centennial in 2010.
During a special ceremony, the ARS was presented a plaque by the chairperson of the Mothers of Karabakh Freedom Fighters Association Galia Mayrig, who also detailed the ARS Kindergarten Fund activities in Karabakh and presented moving accounts about the impact the ARS has had in touching the lives of children.
The opening ceremonies were covered by all Armenian media and were a highlight of the nightly newscasts there.

Also participating is a delegation of The Armenian Relief Society of Sosse Cyprus Chapter, who have pioneered in the humanitarian assistance to Armenia and war-torn Karabagh. The Chapter in Cyprus keeps 350 orphans that are supported largely by non-Armenians, it has funded numerous projects in Armenia and Karabagh in the last two decades, and funds on an annual basis a Kindergarten in Stepanakert, named after the Chapter in Cyprus.
The Cyprus delegation headed by Chairwoman Lily Hovsepian, comprises of Maggy Mahdessian, Vera Tavitian, Mayda Nishanian, Rosemary Jamgotchian, Sirvart Kouyoumdjian, Alice Tavitian, Vart Mahdessian, and Linda Tellalian.


What do you need to know about the Armenian food e-Bazaar?

  • It is being organised throughout the weekend of November 1, 2008
  • All orders must come in by Tuesday October 28.
  • It does not have a venue. It is being conducted online, over the Internet
  • You can order through email and sms
  • Items available are: Lahmajoun, Koubes, Spinach Pie - (Spanakhli), Olive Pie - (Elioti)
    Cheese Pie - (Peynirli), Spring Rolls - (Chinese), Pizza - Half size
  • All items are 1.20 euros per piece
  • You can view the complete menu by clicking here
  • All orders will be processed and delivered to your door.
  • Payment on delivery.
  • ALL proceeds will be given to the Armenian Educational Trivia Game, which begins in December.


Sunday, 12 October 2008 - At around 12 o’ clock noon, my good friend Rosita Efstathiou and I cross the Ledra street roadblock and we enter the Turkish-occupied areas. The last time we had done this was in June 2008, where we covered about two thirds of occupied Nicosia within the walls. Back then, amidst the hot Cyprus summer, we toured everything to the east of Kyrenia Street, including GIBRAHAYER e-magazinethe majestic cathedral of Santa Sophia, and we were shocked by the simultaneous preservation of the historical monuments and the ruining negligence for the private residences.
This time we entered the occupied areas with a swarm of clouds right above us. About an hour and a half before, I had felt the clouds covering our blue sky while I was at the Sourp Asdvadzadzin church in Nicosia for the Sunday Badarak. At any rate, we saw and photographed the monuments to the west of Kyrenia Street, and then we reached the old Armenian Evangelical church, to the west of Mahmout Pasha str. The church is hard to find for someone is not familiar with the place, as it is located behind a house and it is now an illegal Handicraft Centre, right next to a mechanic’s lot. Indeed, the only indication of this building's past is an Armenian inscription on the north side. This church has its own significance, as it was the only Armenian Evangelical church in Cyprus.
Between the Armenian Evangelical and the Armenian Orthodox church, a distance of less than 300 m, rain starts to pour from the sky. We find shelter in front of a deserted building, until a kind Turkish (-Cypriot?) lady with four children takes us into her minute and half-ruined home. After a brief period of rain, we head to the Armenian Orthodox church on Victoria str. Although the street’s name has been illegally changed to Şht. Salahi Şevket, it seems as if time has stopped at 1963.
The Armenian Complex comprised of the Melikian-Ouzounian School, the Prelature, the Monument for the Armenian Genocide and, of course, the medieval church of Sourp Asdvadzadzin. The beautiful entrance gate, dated 1913, is still closed, despite the promises of the UNDP to restore the complex. It is bizarre seeing these buildings – once the centre of life for the Armenian community of Nicosia – in decay, in silence and in deterioration. As the gate did not give us a good view, and the south part of the complex looked as if a fort, we used the north part to see and photograph the complex. The wild vegetation in it contrasts the cement parking lot next to it, and is perhaps one of the best examples showing the true and ugly face of the Turkish regime.
Soon after photographing the complex, we take a few pictures of what used to be the Armenian Club, now the “Arab Ahmed Municipal Cultural Centre”, and we head back in the government-controlled areas, with a lovely Sunday afternoon ahead of us. The memory of that Sunday will dwell in me for ever.
Seeing all these, and many other monuments, let us always and constantly remember that they are being illegally occupied by Turkey and its army. We should not feel like tourists in our own place, but we must visit them, know them and love them, so as to never forget that they belong to us.

Alexander-Michael Hadjilyra - katoomba at cytanet dot com dot cy

Click here to view Alexander-Michael Hadjilyra's promenade



Let’s first show respect
to each other’s pain
Hasan Cemal
Hasan Cemal, a journalist for Turkey's Milliyet newspaper, and the grandson of Jemal Pasha (one of the masterminds of the Armenian Genocide), recently visited the Genocide Memorial in Yerevan and placed a wreath in memory of the Armenian victims!

Gibrahayer e-magazine would like to thank Hagop Dikranian for sending the translated article to us.

You can read it on , under Article of the week.

News in brief by Sevag Devletian
  • President of Armenia, Serzh Sargsyan met with US Deputy Secretary of State, Daniel Fried. Sargsyan and Fried discussed the prospects of Armenian-US cooperation and exchanged views concerning regional stability, Armenian-Turkish relations, the Nagorno- Karabakh peace process. They said that the OSCE Minsk Group was the most efficient format. They also said that the conflict had to be resolved in compliance with the basic principles of the international law.
  • Azerbaijan President, Ilham Aliyev, set for a second term after Wednesday's election, will make his first official visit to turkey, a sign that shows he has no bitter feelings for the visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gul to Armenia.
  • Russia will provide 10 million USD for implementing security works of the second energy block of Armenian Atomic Electro Station (AES). The planned works within the financing will start in 2009 the sizes and the direction of which is still to be approved: at present technical discussions are being carried out.
  • A Federal Member for North Sydney, Joe Hockey, Monday spoke openly about the Armenian Genocide in the Federal Parliament of Australia, calling for recognition of the heinous crime. In response to appeals by the Armenian National Committee of Australia (ANC Australia), Hockey raised in Parliament the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's (ABC) recent use of the qualifier 'alleged' when making reference to the Armenian Genocide in a documentary entitled 'Family Footsteps - Armenia' broadcast in September.
  • ARF Dashnaktsoutiun parliamentary bloc member, Artsvik Minasyan, told the National Assembly Thursday that in his assessment Armenia's state budget was weak since the appropriations were not enough to meet the challenges facing Armenia.
  • A Khachkar dedicated to the memory of the victims of the Armenian genocide opened October 11 in the central park of the town Nikopol, Dnepropetrovsk province, Ukraine.
  • In March 2009, Armavia's air park will be replenished with a new A-319 airbus produced in France.
THE MOUFFLON BOOKSHOP will be celebrating its 4th annual book fair at the Holiday Inn, in Nicosia
  • IF YOU LOVE discovering old books, 'the must-have' item, or the 'once in a life time' buy, then the out-of-print book fair is the place for you.
  • At the fair you will find FIRST EDITIONS, author signatures, beautifully designed dust-jackets, bookmarks, pictorial calendars and diaries.
  • THERE WILL BE a selection of books FOR ALL AGES in a number of languages and covering a wide range of subjects.

GIBRAHAYER e-magazine

  • VERNON ASKEW, an established bookseller from the United Kingdom, will be making his annual appearance, and will be more than happy to answer questions on all aspects of old books and to make suggestions on how to start collecting.
  • A representative from LELLOS BOOK BINDERS will also be present to give advice on how to restore your own books.
  • ORDERS MAY BE PLACED for your personal book plates.
  • THE HOLIDAY INN is situated on the ramparts of the old Venetian walls. It is a few minutes stroll into the busy streets of the old city, with its cafes and restaurants, as well as several interesting museums that remain open during the weekend.
  • Keep the weekend of November 1 & 2 free and let your friends and family know of the event.

Champions League October 22, at: 9:45

After throwing Greek Champions Olympiakos out of the Champions League, Cyprus Champions Anorthosis defeated Panathinaikos 3-1, in the Champions League on Cyprus Independence Day at GSP Stadium. Anorthosis now top the table with Italian Champions Inter Milan with four points and face Jose Mourinho's boys in Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on the 22nd of October at 9:45 pm.
"A Journey of Cultural Rediscovery:Armenian Heritage in Turkey"

On November 13 from 9.30am to 1.00pm AGBU Europe will host a conference in the European Parliament entitled «A Journey of Cultural Rediscovery: Armenian Heritage in Turkey ».
The conference, which is part of the official European Year for Intercultural Dialogue, will review the recent public debate in Turkey on the country's forgotten Armenian Heritage in the light of recent groundbreaking artistic and intellectual contributions on the subject and will examine the significance of Armenian cultural heritage in Turkey from a European perspective.
Speakers at the conference will include Fethiye Cetin, author of the book "My Grandmother", Osman Köker, creator of the groundbreaking exhibition "My Dear Brother", art historian Professor Patrick Donabedian as well as historians Vahe Tachjian and Ara Sarafian.
The conference will be opened by Michael Leigh, Director General at the European Commission in charge of enlargement. The conference will conclude with a panel debate. A reception will follow the conference.
This events is organised under the Aegis of Bernard Lehideux MEP, with the support of the Heinrich Böll Foundation's Brussels office.
The conference is open to all but prior registration is indispensable to access the European Parliament's building.

Registration deadline: 4 November 2008
The conference brochure and registration form can be downloaded at:
Conference location:
EU Parliament, Room ASP 3G3 - Rue Wiertz / Wiertzstraat 60 B-1047 Brussels


Thank you for your support


Gibrahayer - Nicosia - As part of its plans to expand its online activities, Gibrahayer e-magazine will be launching an Educational online Trivia Game, that parallel to providing prizes to its winners, will provide an educational forum on important historical and political happenings of Armenian reality.
A team across Armenia and the Diaspora has already started working on the project and the Game will be officially launched this autumn.
More than 100 major prizes have been donated and will be given out to our winning subscribers.
We urge our subscribers to support our new online activities by financially contributing to the team that will be working on the project.


Thank you for extending Gibrahayer e-magazine's lifeline and providing us with the opportunity to constantly bring innovation to our online services.
Call 909-35037. Every call costs 7.86 euros for Cypriot subscribers.

International subscribers can make contributions to: Marfin Popular Bank Public Company Ltd, Bank Address: Strovolos Industrial Area sub-Branch Stavrou Avenue 96-I, 2034 Nicosia - Cyprus, A/C Name: Aynedjian Simon, Account No: 101 1100 3412, Swift Code: LIKI CY 2N, IBAN: CY13 0030 0101 0000 0101 1100 3421

All names of contributors will be announced, unless requested otherwise.

Letters to the Editor

Dear Simon,
We do enjoy our weekly read of Gibrahayer, very informative and up-to-date. Similarly, we were interested to see last month’s Politis supplement on the Armenians in Cyprus. One can appreciate that naming individuals is a difficult task and omissions are inevitable, but we feel our father Luther Salakian MBE of English School fame merited inclusion.
Luther Salakian’s passion for education and sports started very early on, first as a student, then as a teacher – a long association and a career of devoted service spanning 50 years – at the English School in Nicosia. He was honoured with the MBE by HM Queen Elizabeth for “Services to Education in Cyprus” having guided and taught thousands of Cypriot youth, including countless Armenians. Another of his greatest contributions to the English School was in establishing a Contingent of the St John Ambulance Brigade of which he was a Founder-Officer. An outstanding sportsman, he played cricket and football for his University (Bristol), and football for the Trust Club of Cyprus. In memory of this veteran hockey player and dedicated coach, the English School has been holding an annual hockey event for “The Salakian Trophy” for almost 30 years.
He took an active interest in Armenian Community affairs, sitting on various committees and School Boards.
Greek Cypriots, the majority of readers of this Politis publication, would recognise Luther Salakian as a prominent and highly respected Armenian.
Yours sincerely,
Azniv and Sylvia Salakian

Dear Simon,
"The Armenian vote in America" is a highly interesting article that so well describes the two United States presidential candidates' contrasting positions on the Armenian Genocide recognition as well as on other Armenia-related issues. A "must read" for all Armenians and especially for Armenian-Americans!
In the circumstances, supporting Barack Obama should be a wise decision.
Thanks for posting this article on your e-magazine.
With warmest regards,
Arto Avedissian - Los Angeles


  • Article of the week - Cemal Hasan - grandson of Cemal Pasha - one of the organisers of the Armenian Genocide
  • New Opinion Column
  • New article at Barak Obama's blog by Professor Pilikian
  • Cyprus this week -
  • Our online family - Omphalos Tis Gis
  • Our online family - on Western Armenian Language by Prof. Vartan Ozinian
  • Sports on

    Read all the important news related to Cyprus and Armenian sports-world by visiting the section entitled Sports on

    • Anorthosis face Inter Milan on the 22nd of October
    • Latest news on community sports
    • Latest Sports from Armenia and Cyprus
    • complete schedule of fixtures of Cyprus Champions Anorthosis Famagusta, until December 2008
    • With four defeats out of four games and a goal difference of 1-12, Armenia ended the year as the bottom side in Group Five behind Estonia that will be their next rival at the restart of the qualifying tournament in spring (on March 28 in Yerevan and on April 1 in Tallinn).
    • Two Armenian judoists, Artyom Baghdasarian 73 kg and Gor Khorozian 100 kg, will take part in the World Judo Youth Cup which will be held October 23-26 in Bangkok, Thailand.
    • Armenia's Women's U-17 is taking part in the European Women's Under-17 championship. During the first qualifying round in Slovenia, Sweden defeated Armenia 16-0.
    • Former Cyprus Davis Cup tennis star, Haig Ashdjian, won the seniors over 45 Open Singles Championship by dropping just ten games, not only in the finals, but throughout the entire championship, defeating seeded number two Marios Petrou in the finals 6-2, 6-0.
    • Nor Serount's Homenmen lost to Engomi 4-2 in the 3rd Division of the Cyprus Futsal Championships at the Melkonian closed Stadium.
    • Six time Cyprus Champions Ararat FC defeated, Livadia 3-2 after trailing 2-1 for the First Division of the Cyprus Futsal Championship. Homenmen coach Armen Danielyan, was the star player of Ararat, who scored both the equaliser and the winning goal.
    • Back from long injuries, Marcos Baghdatis faces Marcel Granollers ranked 58 in the world, for the first round of the Tennis Tournament of Basel. Roger Federer and David Nalbandian won their first round matches yesterday.

    Gibrahayer Calendar

  • Every Wednesday at 7:00 pm - Community gathering at The Armenian Club of Larnaca, followed by dinner.
  • Every Saturday from 7:00 pm - midnight - Marie Louise (vocals) and Armen (guitar and vocals) perform at The Golden Bay Hotel Bar in Larnaca.
  • Every Friday at 11:00pm - Hovig sings at Red Club, in down town Nicosia.
  • GIBRAHAYER e-magazine

    • Wednesday October 15 - The Pharos is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a major event at the old Powerhouse which will be inaugurated by President of the Cyprus Parliament Marios Garoyian. The exhibition, with 40 international artists will include many from Armenia. Every evening until Nov 9 there will be events, concerts, lectures and performances. Open to the public – free of charge. Visit the website of the Pharos Trust at www dot thepharostrust dot org
    • Saturday, October 25, at 05:00 pm - Armenian Evangelical Church service in Greek Evangelical Church, 20 Gladstonos street, Nicosia. Message: "God Called the Armenian Nation".(Asdvadtz Gantchetz Hay Joghovourte). The service will be dedicated for the Cultural Month - TARKMANCHATZ. Speaker: Hrayr Jebejian. All are welcome.
    • Saturday, 8 November at 8:00 pm - AYF Cyprus celebrates its 30th anniversary with a Slide-Show presentation at AYMA. More than 100 images of AYF's work in Cyprus over the past three decades will be shown. All are welcome to attend the Kebab Party that will follow. Reservations with Jijo Sarkissian on 99445018 and Haig Costanian on 96350050.
    • Friday 14 November at 8:30 pm - Celebrations for the 20th Anniversary of the Armenian Relief Society of Sosse Cyprus Chapter at The Cleopatra Hotel in Nicosia. Details to follow.
    • Friday 28th November - The Office of the Armenian Representative has invited the world famous «Cadence» Ensemble of Armenia to perform only for one night at Latsia Municipal Theatre. «Cadence» Ensemble’s repertoire includes masterpieces of classical and contemporary music of European, American, Russian and Armenian composers as well as the works of Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.
    • Saturday 20 December - Nor Serount Ball - details to follow.

    Obituary - Enger Souren Aprahamian

    RAG Mamoul

    Tuesday, 21 October 2008

    Armenian News...Last news until 3rd week in November

    21.10.2008 10:16

    Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in Armenia on a two-day
    official visit. At "Zvartnots" airport the high guest was welcomed
    by the President of Armenia Serzh Sargsyan.

    Following the welcome ceremony the two Presidents headed for RA
    President's Office, where an official dinner was served in honor of
    Dmitry Medvedev.

    Today the Presidents of the two countries will meet tête-a-tête,
    following which the negotiations will continue in an enlarged
    format. At the end of the talks the leaders of Armenia and Russia
    will give a joint press conference.

    The two presidents will participate in the solemn ceremony of opening
    of the Russian Square in Yerevan.

    This morning the Russian President visited Tsitsernakaberd, where he
    will laid a wreath at the memorial to the Armenian Genocide victims,
    left a note in the Guest Book and planted a fire tree at the Memory

    By Damien McElroy, Foreign Affairs Correspondent
    Daily Telegraph
    9:43PM BST 20 Oct 2008

    Dozens of opposition activists accused of seeking to bring about the
    collapse of the Turkish state went on trial in Istanbul yesterday as
    their supporters massed in the streets in protest.

    Chaotic scenes surrounded the opening of the trial of 86 people
    including high-ranking officials alleged to be involved in a
    conspiracy designed to create social turmoil. Prosecutors unveiled
    a 2,500-page indictment that detailed activities that ranged from
    murder and terrorist plots to schemes to plant black propaganda in
    popular newspapers.

    However the trial was quickly adjourned as the court was overwhelmed
    by sympathisers who sought to disrupt the proceedings.

    The alleged conspirators include a retired general, the leader of a
    small Leftist and nationalist party, a newspaper editor, a best-selling
    author and a former university dean. Two more retired senior generals
    have been questioned in connection with the plot.

    Prosecutors said that the ultimate aim was to depose the Islamic AK
    party, which has ruled Turkey since 2003. The conspirators were said
    to believe the party was bent on destroying Turkey's secular state
    system, which replaced the theocratic Ottoman empire in 1923.

    One defendant spoke out against the charges as a politically inspired
    charade. "An imaginary group has been invented," Muzaffer Tekin,
    a retired army captain, told the judges. "I see this as a political

    The existence of the so-called "deep state" underground plot has held
    the public in thrall for months and judges were forced to suspend the
    opening session after the courtroom on the outskirts of Istanbul was
    mobbed. The plotters are alleged to have adopted the name, Ergenekon,
    from a legend of a lone wolf of the Central Asian steppe and the
    leitmotif of Turkish nationalism.

    Although senior military figures were said to be central to the plot,
    the group also allegedly planned the assassination of the chief of
    the Turkish general staff. But it was Turkish minorities that are
    said to have suffered most. Posing as radical Islamists, the group
    was said to have carried out the murders of prominent Christians,
    including the ethnic Armenian writer Hrant Dink, a Roman Catholic
    priest and a group of missionaries.

    The prosecution also alleges the suspects planned to kill the prime
    minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Nobel literature laureate Orhan
    Pamuk and prominent Kurdish politicians.

    Human rights campaigners welcomed the trial as an opportunity to expose
    the powerful position of groups with military links and strengthen
    the country's democracy, which has been interrupted by four coups
    since the country was established.

    "This case gives Turkey a chance to make clear that it will hold
    security forces accountable for abuse," said Benjamin Ward of Human
    Rights Watch.

    "But that can only happen if the investigation follows the evidence
    wherever and to whomever it leads."

    Tuesday, October 21, 2008

    GENEVA - A Swiss court on Tuesday ruled that three Turks were guilty of
    racial discrimination after having claimed that the Armenian genocide
    was an "international lie."

    Ali Mercan, the Europe-based representative of the Party of Turkish
    Workers, was sentenced to pay a fine of 4,500 Swiss francs ($3,900)
    by the district tribunal of Winterthur.

    Two others were ordered to pay 3,600 Swiss francs each for complicity
    in the racial discrimination.

    During a demonstration in June last year, Mercan had denied that
    the Armenian genocide had taken place. The other two Turks were
    co-organizers of the demonstration.

    All three said during the court case that they were ready "at any time"
    to organize a new demonstration and to take the same line.

    In April, Armenia's president vowed to redouble efforts to have mass
    killings of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire recognized as genocide,
    a label staunchly rejected by Turkey.

    Armenians say up to 1.5 million of their kinsmen died in orchestrated
    killings during the final years of the Ottoman Empire.

    Turkey says 300,000 Armenians and at least an equal number of Turks
    were killed in civil strife when the Christian Armenians, backed by
    Russia, rose up against the Ottomans.

    Armenian News Network / Groong
    October 20, 2008
    By Eddie Arnavoudian

    `Daredevils of Sasun: Poetics of an epic' (263pp, 2008, Mazda,
    translated into English by Peter Cowe) is a timely and erudite study
    of the Armenian epic born of the 7/8th century resistance to Arab
    occupation. On Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 October its English
    edition was launched first in London and then in Oxford by its author
    Professor Azat Yeghiazaryan Director of the Manuk Abeghyan Institute
    of Literature of the National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.

    With reference to European, Russian and Eastern epics Azat
    Yeghiazaryan set an international context for appreciating the
    singularity of the Armenian epic. A tale of solidarity, patriotism,
    courage and honour `Daredevils of Sasun' was, uniquely, created,
    developed and preserved as an oral tale and survived for a thousand
    years with no connection to official Armenian literature. It was
    written down only in the 19th century. In this aspect `Daredevils of
    Sasun' is a genuine people's epic, a reality evident the epic's
    history, its art, democratic sensibility and its moral compass.

    The Daredevils of Sasun are like the heroes of other epics are indeed
    kings, princes and knights. But they are so only formally. Their
    palaces are cottages little different from those of the common people.
    They live their daily lives among the people. They are extraordinary
    individuals but they are simultaneously from and of the common
    people. They do not regard themselves different from or opposed to the
    common people and they put their extraordinarytalents to the
    collective interest, primarily the battle against foreign oppression.
    In their epic fights for freedom there is no glorification of violence
    that one finds elsewhere. They slay, but only in self defence and
    readily spare ordinary Arab soldiers sent to war against their will.

    Discussing these and numerous other ways in which the `Daredevils of
    Sasun' differs from other international epics, Azat Yeghiazaryan
    revealed how this epic preserves a mode of human existence which has a
    great deal to say to us today.

    To obtain copies please contact Abril Bookstore (
    in the USA or the Armenian Institute in London


    Appeal to help the Armenians of Iraq - Wales-Armenia Solidarity

    Wales-Armenia Solidarity Appeal to Help the Armenians of Iraq
    Dear Friend
    Today we launch a world-wide appeal to give financial and other help to the Armenians of Mosul and Baghdad who have had to flee for their lives (this last week following the killing of 15 Christians in Mosul and previously) . This follows my visit to the Armenian community of Havrest and Zeikho on Friday of last week and the Chaldean Church in Dohuk on Saturday.
    On Thursday, I had visited the Municipality of Ankawa, an entirely Christian town just outside Erebil. It was there that the Head of the Municipality informed me of what had happened to Christians in Mosul the previous week. I met the KRG Foreign Minister and thanked him for the assistance given to fleeing Christians of the Arab-controlled Mosul city, and asked him to ensure their protection .
    On Friday, in Zako, Father Miran Yousif Murad showed me around the Armenian Church, built in 1923 by Genocide Survivors and introduced me to several who had previously fled to Zakho from Mosul. He agreed to accept any money collected in Europe and America to help the local refugees from Mosul and from Baghdad.
    He took me to a village called Havrest, built for the Armenians by the Kurdish Regional Government. With me was Jwan Taher Ahmed a journalist who represents the Dohuk Governate. About 60 local people came to meet us and we sat outside the school. When I asked what are the main problems, their spokesman replied that they are helping the refugees arriving this week by sharing them around people's homes. The refugees receive nothing, only the help of themselves for several weeks or months. Later they are given about 40 dollars per month by the Kurdish government, as well as enough diesel to run generators to provide electricity for 3 hours per day
    Financial help for the new refugees would be most welcome, as well as help for two other problems. There are presently 9 children who need to travel to the High School in Dohuk. They would like 12,000 dollars to buy a van to carry them to school. I was impressed by their willingness to help others even though their own situation was not flourishing. Surely throughout the world we can raise
    12, 000 dollars for the vehicle, and some more to help the newly arrived refugees? When I asked them do you receive help from Europe or America they said that they had no contacts there.
    I was afterwards taken to the home of a family who showed us her two-year old daughter (more details, names etc will follow about them) She has two holes in her heart and when they lived in Baghdad, a German doctor was going to take her to Germany with a humanitarian organisation to have the required heart operation. Unfortunately the doctor fled Baghdad because of the terrorism and then they also fled, loosing the chance of this operation.
    Can anyone please help by persuading the US, UK , French or Armenian government to provide a 6 month visa for the mother and daughter? Does anyone know of Humanitarian organisations who could help them? Can you put us in touch with every Armenian heart specialist that you know of? Father Miran will provide more details very soon.
    On Saturday in Dohuk,I was taken by translator Kamal Hussain Mawlood to met the members of the Chaldean Syriac Assyrian Assembly, including Jameel Zaito, the chairman.They include all but one of the Christian political parties, and they confirmed the truth of the news of killings and flight of Christians from Mosul. I met a brave lady, Ms Basima Issa Salman, a Christian Member on the Niniveh Council, who had been threatened with assassination 13 times. She gave me copies of the letters which had been posted into the houses of Christians, ordering them to leave, and threatening to kill them in the name of Islam.
    In the Dohuk Chaldean Catholic Church, over 60 people were given shelter. They came into a church room to recount their experiences.
    Professor Samir Rahim began.. "The 6th of October passed quietly but on the 7th what hit us was like a volcano or a flood. Terrorists asked the people for their IDs and if they were found to be Christian they were killed. Assassinations had began on the streets. Two were ordinary building workers. A group of terrorists came and killed them . One of the victims was named Amjad. Assassinations were sporadic to start with and grew more intense . By Thursday the 9th, 14 had been killed. They attacked three families, kicked them out of their homes, stole their belongings and blasted their houses. In one house they came through the roof and slaughtered the whole family.People were now living in panic and terror. The terrorists said "We do not want Christians living amongst us. If you stay here we are going to kill you" The municipality for 10 days was as if it did not exist. On the 8th we fled for our lives to Kurdistan. The events happened in front of the local police with the assistance of the by police. The army did not interfere with the situation for 10 days. A total of over 2,000 families have fled. "
    Ablahad Khoshaba Zaiya, a floor tile layer showed me where they were sleeping in the Church and said "I know nothing about my future . All I know is that now I live in the house of God We have no future at all here. I just want a safe place to raise my children". .There were 7 in his family .Gorgis Shamon Esho , Haitha Petros and Faleel Eskandar Istefo agreed with him.
    An Armenian woman Mariam Sepan Sarkismeherian said that her family was originally from Dehe in Armenia, and had fled to Mosul after the 1915 genocide.Only her father survived from his whole family. They all said that they were too afraid to go back to Mosul. Even if things improve, the terrorists will always come back, because they want the "Christian infidels" to leave. Many of the people said that they would be willing to go to Europe if they were accepted.
    I ask you to e-mail if you can help in a financial or other way.
    Details of the Wales-Armenia Solidarity bank account are as follows:Direct transfers could be made
    HSBC Bank plc
    Sort Code : 40-16-02
    Account Number: 11578922
    Account Number for international transfers : GB64MIDL40160211568922
    For anyone sending cheques the address is
    Eilian Williams
    Wales-Armenia Solidarity
    7 Nant Ffynnon,
    Nant Peris,
    LL55 4UG
    United Kingdom
    Cheques should be made out to Wales Armenia Solidarity. I will send all the money to father Miran. He will provide details of what vehicle is bought and will also give details of a spokesman for the village of Havrest.


    Armenian News

    Oct 20, 2008

    YEREVAN, October 20. /ARKA/. The reason for gloomy forecasts of
    Armenia's economy is financial flows from the country's main trade
    partners, RA Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan said last week.

    "Since the European Union has 60% share in Armenia's trade, we
    depend much on the financial situation in the European trade zone
    the premier said, summing up the Armenian delegation's visit to
    Washington on October 9-15.

    Armenia-EU trade turnover totaled $1,219.3mln in January-August 2008 -
    20.5% year-on-year increase. The share of EU in Armenia's trade was
    36.8% in the reporting period. European exports to Armenia rose 9.6%
    to $392mln.

    Armenian imports to EU increased by 26.4% to $827.3mln.

    "Inflation risks remain high in EU, and the European Central Bank
    has to lower the interest rate to avoid further economic downturn,"
    Sargsyan said, stressing the importance of overhauling European and
    U.S. economies.

    "However, the record-low fuel prices in stock markets have no influence
    on consumer prices due to considerable economic lags," the premier
    was quoted saying.

    He underlined the Washington debates and talks over 2009 fuel price

    Sargsyan urged Armenia to keep a vigilant watch over economic
    developments in Europe, adding setback of import prices will be
    beneficial for Armenia's economic programs, as the main reason for
    this year's record-high inflation was the hike in import prices.

    "If import prices plummet, Armenia's harsh monetary and credit policy
    will help curb inflation and the Central Bank will be able to lower
    interest rates, covering liquidity needs and boosting economy,"
    the premier said.

    Azerbaijan's military expenses to make $7 bln for 2003-2009
    18 October 2008 [10:46] - Today.Az

    Day.Az reports with reference to AzerTac that in 2003 the overall
    military expenses of Azerbaijan made $163,000,000, while in 2008 this
    figure makes $1,850,000,000.

    In 2003-2008 $4,500,000,000 was allocated for military purposes.

    In the future Azerbaijan will raise its military expenses over this
    year. Thus, about $7 bln will be used for military expenses in

    Armenia To Cut Visa Fees In Bid To Boost Tourism
    By Emil Danielyan

    The government will ask parliament to approve a fivefold reduction in
    visa fees for foreign citizens making short trips to Armenia as part of
    its efforts to boost the national tourism industry.

    Foreigners traveling to Armenia currently have to pay a fixed fee of
    15,000 drams ($50) for a visa valid for up to 120 days. Under a draft
    legal amendment approved by the government on Thursday, those of
    them who plan to stay in the country for up to 21 days would be
    charged only 3,000 drams. The fee for those planning longer stays
    would remain unchanged.

    A government statement said the measure is designed to attract more
    tourists to Armenia. It argued that such travelers typically spend no
    more than three weeks in a particular country.

    Obtaining an Armenian visa is already quite easy. Foreigners can get it
    not only at Armenian consulates abroad but at Yerevan airport and the
    country's land border crossings. Also, in 2003 Armenia became the second
    country in the world to issue visas online

    Armenia's tourism sector has expanded significantly over the past decade
    parallel to its economic growth and improving services infrastructure.
    Successive governments in Yerevan have declared its development a top
    economic priority.

    The cabinet of Prime Minister Tigran Sarkisian also approved on Thursday
    a separate four-year plan of measures which it hopes will spur further
    growth in tourism. The government statement said they are specifically
    aimed at `improving the legal framework regulating the sector and
    developing the tourism infrastructure.' It did not elaborate.

    According to government estimates, a record-high 500,000 foreigners,
    most of them ethnic Armenians from Europe, the United States and Russia,
    visited Armenia last year. Tourism officials at the Armenian Ministry of
    Economy say their number will likely rise to 600,000 this year despite
    the recent war in neighboring Georgia.

    Opposition says evidence of police violence against protesters in
    Yerevan on March 1 being suppressed.
    By Gegham Vardanian in Yerevan

    Fierce debate is continuing in Armenia over the bloody events that took place
    in Yerevan following the disputed parliamentary elections in February.

    The focus of attention is a parliamentary commission set up in June to
    investigate the violence. Although the main opposition is boycotting the
    commission saying it is too biased towards the government, it has become
    the main focus for agonised discussions about the events in the Armenian
    capital on March 1-2, in which at least ten people died after police broke up
    opposition demonstrations.

    The opposition said the government was trying to break up peaceful protests,
    after what they say was a rigged election on February 19 that saw Serzh
    Sarkisian declared president of Armenia. The authorities say they were
    acting to prevent an attempt by the opposition, led by former president Levon
    Ter-Petrosian, to seize power.

    More than 100 opposition activists were arrested after the night of violence
    and many are still in jail.

    Last week, the monitoring commission of the Parliamentary Assembly of the
    Council of Europe, PACE, said it was still deeply concerned about the detentions.

    A statement on October 2 read, "Serious questions remain regarding the nature
    of the charges brought against people arrested in relation to the events on 1 and
    2 March, as well as regarding the court proceedings of several cases, including
    with regard to the principle of a fair trial. In addition, and contrary to assembly
    demands, 19 persons have been convicted on the basis of police testimony only."

    The parliamentary commission was due to present its findings this month, but has
    asked for another two months to finish its enquiries.

    The commission contains representatives from the main pro-government parties
    as well as other smaller political groups outside parliament. But neither the main
    opposition grouping in parliament, the Heritage Party, nor the new opposition,
    Armenian National Congress alliance, are taking part in the commission.

    The commission has set up a fact-finding group and is considering evidence
    from journalists and independent activists.

    The opposition has said it may take part in the fact-finding group if it is given
    proper representation in the new body along with independent experts.

    In recent sessions of the commission, there has been heated debate about
    footage shot by a cameraman from the A1+ company, which is generally critical
    of the government, that shows blood on a Yerevan street and what look like
    fragments of a jaw-bone and brains lying on the ground.

    If confirmed to be human remains, they indicate that there was a further victim
    of the bloodshed, who was not officially listed among the casualties.

    Shota Vardanian, an expert with the Armenian ministry of health, told the
    commission that the footage was a fabrication and that the body parts actually
    belonged to a piglet. He promised to provide written documents supporting
    his case, although he has not yet done so.

    Human rights ombudsman Armen Harutiunian was not convinced, saying,
    "Shota Vardanian's conclusions about the jaw-bone of a piglet reassured no
    one. This episode has confirmed my opinion that the video-footage needs to
    be assessed by an international expert."

    Viktoria Abrahamian, a correspondent with A1+, said that she was working
    in the studio on the night of March 1 and that three cameramen brought in
    terrible pictures of what they had filmed.

    "They were young inexperienced cameramen," she said. "They came back
    from their filming in a state of shock. They saw a lot of blood. They brought
    back the terrible pictures showing the jaw-bone and human brains. They
    said they saw the dead man. They felt sick."

    Abrahamian said she had no doubt that the pictures were genuine, having
    seen some of the street scenes herself.

    "On March 1 I came into the studio and my trousers and shows were covered
    in blood," she said. "I was wearing long trousers and they were stained by
    the blood as I walked along."

    The head of the commission, Samvel Nikoyan, has complained that not
    enough witnesses are making themselves available to the enquiry.

    "There are both policemen and demonstrators who are eye-witnesses,"
    he said. "Unfortunately, there are no neutral eye-witnesses who have come
    forward and publicly given their point of view."

    Opposition activist Armen Khachatrian responded, "Someone has to be
    sure that if they go to the commission his words will be used properly. But
    up till now, the testimony of our witnesses in the courts and also the video
    materials we've supplied have had absolutely no effect."

    The opposition is angry about the trial next month of seven of its supporters,
    amongst them three members of parliament, who are facing charges of
    trying to seize power.

    The man leading the investigation into what has been called "the case
    of the seven", Vahagn Harutiunian, said that people with information and
    eyewitnesses were not coming forward to help his enquiries.

    Anna Israelian, a journalist with the newspaper Aravot, has published a
    number of articles on the case and says it is a clear instance of a politically
    motivated prosecution.

    "The enquiry has been conducted with the clear goal of collecting the
    maximum possible amount of material and trying to confirm the allegation
    that the opposition is exclusively responsible for what happened," she said.

    "The testimony of people who were hurt and who bore witness to the use
    of police violence has been made deliberately vague. For example, the
    testimony of one man about how he was on his way home amidst a crowd
    of demonstrators and was wounded ended up as follows: 'well, I am not
    sure who wounded me, a policeman or a demonstrator'.

    "There were definitely cases of throwing of stones; of barricades; of
    resistance - that's a fact. But it is just not true that the opposition was
    trying to seize power."

    Human rights ombudsman Armen Harutiunian said that his office has
    received around 15 complaints that their evidence is being twisted by

    "People say that they were beaten so as to give voluntary confessions
    or testimony about others," said Harutiunian. "But when we ask the
    prosecutor's office about this, we are told that these complaints have
    no basis in reality."

    PACE is insisting it wants to see an impartial investigation into what
    happened on March 1-2 in Yerevan. Thomas Hammarberg, PACE's
    commissioner for human rights, said last month, "The situation with
    respect to the persons deprived of their liberty in connection with the
    1-2 March events continues to be a source of serious concern."

    Gegham Vardanian is a correspondent with Internews in Yerevan.