Thursday, 26 September 2019

Armenian News... A Topalian...9 editorials

New Travel Video 'Visit Armenia' from the USA

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BBC Radio 3
The  Forty days of Musa Dagh
at 9.30pm 
Wednesday 14th August 

Franz Werfel was a well known author and the new husband of Alma Mahler when their encounter with Armenian refugee  children sparked his meticulous and vast novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh. The book was viewed not just as a tribute to Armenian resistance and survival but as a warning to German and Austrian Jews of the Nazis. 

Maria Margaronis tells the extraordinary story of an extraordinary book.
8 August, 2019
“Every Armenian around the world can confidently say – Armenia is my home” - PM

 In New Armenia the concepts of family and home should have new relationships with the homeland, with the society and the statehood, where the interest  of the family shouldn’t oppose the society’s interest and where the interest of home shouldn’t oppose the homeland’s interest, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan wrote in a Facebook post.

“You all know how important the concepts of Home and family are for each Armenian. These are concepts which develop the identity, dignity and origin of each of us.  But unfortunately, for many years a reality was developed where with the values of providing for family and having a home numerous erosive occurrences were frequently legitimized.
Sometimes bribery, corruption, cronyism and injustices, numerous types of criminal activities were explained and legitimized with the understandable need of providing for families, earning money for bread and supplying material means for the home. The concepts of home and family have even survived political mutations, developing under the logic of clan and gang structure.

 As a result we have a reality when corruption systems have put the interest of the family opposing to the interest of society, when the home transformed into a territory with high  walls acting against the homeland and separated from the homeland.

I am convinced that in New Armenia the concepts of family and home must have new relationships with the fatherland, the society and statehood, where the family’s interest must not oppose the society’s interest, where the home’s interest must not oppose the fatherland’s interest, where home and family must not be small areas enclosed with walls and gates, but rather a statehood enclosed with state borders, nation engaging with constitution  and laws.

Armenia is my home, the people are my family.
This must be the motto pushing us forward, where the interest of the families of us all is harmonious with the society’s interest, where the interest of the homes of us all is harmonious with the fatherland’s interest, where the personal dignity and liberty of each of us are harmonious with the ideas of the society’s dignity and fatherland’s liberty.
This is one of the most important agendas of New Armenia’s value transformation, and it was this very change in perception that led to the Pan-Armenian revolution in spring of 2018, where people were perceiving each other as family, where the nation was perceiving itself as a big, happy and solidary family.

This is the reason that each of us, each Armenian around the world can surely say – Armenia is my home, the people are my family. And the Armenian people soaked in this kind of unity are unyielding and undefeatable,” he said.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

dpa-AFX International ProFeed
August 9, 2019 Friday 8:16 PM GMT
Criminal case against Armenia's ex-president lands in European court
PARIS (dpa-AFX) - Armenia's Constitutional Court is seeking advice from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) about a law under which former president Robert Kocharyan is facing trial. The Strasbourg court announced on Friday that it had received a  request from the Armenian court for an advisory opinion about a criminal code article dealing with the overthrow of the constitutional order. Kocharyan is accused of overthrowing the constitutional order by authorizing a violent 2008 crackdown on protests  against his protege Serzh Sargsyan's disputed victory in presidential polls. The ECHR said the Armenian Constitutional Court was considering two cases about the constitutionality of the article, one brought by Kocharyan himself and the other by a court in  the capital Yerevan. The former president surrendered himself to a Yerevan jail in June after a court ordered him remanded pending trial. Armenia's current Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan rose to power in April last year as he led protests in opposition to  the appointment of Sargsyan to the prime ministerial post at the time. Sargsyan, who had just reached his term limit as president after serving a decade, was prime minister for only a week before he decided to resign amid the protests. The case is the second  where a national court has requested an advisory opinion from the ECHR under a protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights that came into effect last year. In the first such case, the court ruled in April that French authorities did not have to register  the intended mother of a child born abroad to a surrogate mother as the child's mother on its birth certificate, as long as it was possible to establish the legal parental relationship of the intended mother by other means.
7 August, 2019
Major-General Samvel Karapetyan, Artsakh's former PM comment on BBC article about March 1 events

Major-General Samvel Karapetyan (Oganovski) and former PM of Artsakh, President of ‘'Free motherland'' party Arayik Harutyunyan have reacted to the  article published by BBC Russian service. ARMENPRESS reports Oganovski told that  the information published by BBC does not correspond to the reality.

''They can write anything, but it's a fairy tale and does not correspond to the reality. There is nothing like that. I do not know what the reason is to write such a thing, particularly in a period when Pan-Armenian games take place in Stepanakert. By the way, I have to hurry to an event. I have nothing to comment on the publication. There is nothing like that'', Samvel Karapetyan said.

Former PM of Artsakh Arayik Harutyunyan wrote on his Facebook page that the information cannot be reliable.
''The law enforcement bodies of the Republic of Armenia carries out a clear investigation over this case and we can trust only their assessments. Definitely, all the guilty have to be brought to responsibility, irrespective of their status and position, no one should be forgiven. But the media should have the sense of social responsibility and not to be subjected to destructive propaganda activities orchestrated by foreign agents and power centers pursuing various interests, particularly, when they target our national heroes and legendary commanders’’, Harutyunyan wrote.

BBC Russian service published an article today about the March 1 tragic events, insisting that the shooting in the direction of the protestors was carried out under the commandment of Major-General Samvel Karapetyan.

Edited and translated by Tigran Sirekanyan

7 August 2019
Armenia’s Security Chief ‘Concerned’ About Information Leak
BBC Russian Service

Armenia’s National Security Council chief, Armen Grigoryan, on Thursday expressed concern over apparent leaks of confidential documents to a BBC Russian Service reporter, who in an article published Wednesday, revealed new information about the ongoing March  1, 2008 probe.

The BBC article claimed that order to shoot protesters during the March 1, 2008 standoff between protesters and security forces was given by Major-General Samvel Karapetyan of the Artsakh Armed forces, who had led a battalion to Yerevan at the time. The BBC also reported that the then president Robert Kocharian and president-elect Serzh Sarkisian visited the unit stationed in the basement of the Presidential Residence at 26 Baghramyan, according to the leaked documents.

“Of course, we are concerned,” said Grigoryan, Armenia’s security chief. “It’s important for us that there is no leak of calssified information because confidentiality means security and safety. It’s necessary to investigate and understand how those documents  appeared in the hands of the media.”

Grigoryan cited numerous incidents of leaks around the world saying that there is no country that has not encountered unwanted publication of classified government documents, citing WikiLeaks as an example.

“Everybody has problems with confidentiality. WikiLeaks is a good example. The entire cache of secret documents of one of the most powerful countries—the United States—appeared in the media. We are not immune [from this] but we are making all efforts to minimize the risks,” Grigoryan said.

On Thursday, Armenia’s Special Investigation Service told that it did not provided any information to the BBC on the case concerning the 2008 post-election violence.

The SIS, on Thursday, confirmed to that on July 4 the BBC sent an inquiry seeking clarifications on the ‘March 1’ case. “But on July 9, the SIS told them that no information on their questions could be provided in the interest of the investigation,” the SIS stressed.

Talking to RFE/RL’s Armenian Service ( on Wednesday, the author of the BBC story, Grigor Atanesian, stressed that they would not publish the information if they had any doubts about the veracity or the origin of the document. He, however, refused to disclose the source of information.

Panorama, Armenia
Aug 10 2019
Paylan to treasure hunters: If only you knew the real treasure is the church itself

Istanbul-Armenian MP Garo Paylan, representing the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), took to Twitter to comment on the attack against the historic Armenian church in Germush District of Urfa, Turkey by treasure hunters.
The MP shared the photos of the damaged church where treasure seekers have dug deep holes for gold and jewels, Ermenihaber reports.

“If only you knew that the real treasure is the church itself ... Thousands of churches in the country have been destroyed and continue to be destroyed by thieves and vandals,” Paylan said.
7 August, 2019
Amulsar audit conclusion to be ready August 12-13 after proof reading translation

 Prior to starting today’s Cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan asked Investigative Committee President Artur Grigoryan to brief on the Amulsar mine case.

The PM asked whether or not the international audit conclusion is ready, in order for the government to be able to decide its future actions. Grigoryan said the 188-sheet final conclusion of the audit has been provided to them on July 22.

He said the entire conclusion has already been translated into Armenian. It is currently being proofread and will be ready August 12-13.

Since 2018, authorities are conducting a criminal investigation into suspected misconduct committed by government officials to cover-up information on environmental hazards regarding the operations of the mine.  Authorities then ordered an independent international expert team to conduct an audit to determine the potential environmental impacts of the mine.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan

Panorama, Armenia
Aug 8 2019
Akhtamar's Armenian church to offer liturgy in September

The historic Armenian Church of the Holy Cross on Akhtamar (Akdamar) Island in Lake Van in eastern Turkey is preparing to host an annual Divine Liurgy for the seventh time since  its renovation, according to Arevelk newspaper.

The liturgy offered every year since 2010 is set to be celebrated at the church on 8 September this year, reported, citing a Turkish source.

According to the newspaper, the Turkish source fails to mention that the church built by King Gagik I Artsruni of Vaspurakan is Armenian, only noting that the church is of great importance to Armenians.
8  August, 2019
First time in 10 years, Armenian government raises stipends of conscripts

The Armenian Government has increased the monthly stipend of conscripted members of the Armenian Armed Forces.
The stipend of servicemen who are on combat duty at military bases in direct contact conditions with the adversary has been increased by 2000 drams, while those serving in the remaining bases by 1000 drams.  

The monthly stipends of conscripted soldiers varies by rank. For example, a sergeant serving near a combat zone will receive a monthly stipend of 6500 drams, and 5500 in a non-combat zone base. Privates will receive from 4400-5400 drams. 

“These sums are very symbolic, but we have to rely on the base which we have,” PM Nikol Pashinyan said at the August 8 Cabinet meeting. He expressed hope that soon the government will be able to make the kind of decisions which will be satisfying.

This is the first time that stipends for conscripts are being increased since 2009.
The estimated additional 228,9 million drams of spending for six months of 2019 will be funded from the budget’s defense ministry allocations.

Edited and translated by Stepan Kocharyan