Opposition Leaders Meet Ahead Of Key Rally

Opposition leaders Levon Ter-Petrosian, Gagik Tsarukian and Raffi Hovannisian met again late on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the next anti-government rally that will held by their political parties in Yerevan on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Tsarukian, Iveta Tonoyan, declined to give details of the meeting. She said only that the three leaders discussed “organizational issues” related to the rally.

Tsarukian, who leads the influential Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), held separate talks with Ter-Petrosian on Tuesday.

The talks appear to be part of efforts by the BHK, Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) and Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun (Heritage) party to work out a plan of further joint actions aimed at achieving “regime change.” They hope to do so in time for Friday’s demonstration in Yerevan’s Liberty Square.

France Looks Forward To Armenian-Azeri Summit

France’s President Francois Hollande will try to revive the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process when he hosts fresh talks between his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Paris early next week, the French ambassador in Yerevan said on Wednesday.

Henri Reynaud said the French government expects the upcoming summit to “give new impetus in the substantive sense” to the long-running search for a compromise solution to the Karabakh conflict. It also hopes that Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev will agree on confidence-building measures that will boost “stability on the frontline” around Karabakh and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, he told a news conference.

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Armenian Ruling Party Slams Opposition ‘Traitors’

The parliamentary leader of President Serzh Sarkisian’s Republican Party (HHK) sparked a bitter verbal exchange with outspoken opposition lawmakers on Tuesday after accusing them of accepting money from the West and Azerbaijan to betray Armenia.

“We witnessed yesterday a classical example of high treason,” charged Vahram Baghdasarian. “The Armenian parliament’s rostrum was used for spreading Azerbaijan’s and Turkey’s disinformation. False information was made public here ahead of a meeting between the president of our country and the president of an unfriendly country (Azerbaijan).”

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Opposition Parties Still Debating ‘Regime Change’ Plan

Armenia’s three leading opposition parties campaigning against President Serzh Sarkisian have not yet worked out a plan of joint actions aimed at achieving “regime change” sought by them, a senior opposition figure said on Tuesday.

Ruben Hakobian, the parliamentary leader of the Zharangutyun (Heritage) party, said it is still not clear whether Zharangutyun, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Armenian National Congress (HAK) will draw up such a “roadmap” in time for their next joint rally slated for Friday.

At their last rally held on October 10 the three parties warned Sarkisian to agree to leave power or face what a top HAK representative described as a “wave of civil disobedience.” Their leaders did not clarify, though, just what they will do if the president rejects their demand. It also remained unclear whether they want him to go now or after the next national elections due in 2017 and 2018.

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Romania: Forest Agency, Officials Investigated For Corruption

October 22, 2014 Armenia, Business, Culture No Comments
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21:21, October 22, 2014

The Romanian Anti-Corruption Office (DNA) raided offices and businesses connected to the Romanian state forest authority, Romsilva, on Oct. 15 over allegations of bribery and corruption.

Those under investigation include Adam Craciunescu, the head of Romsilva, and Ilie Sarbu, the former Minister of Agriculture and father-in-law to Prime Minister Victor Ponta.

At issue are allegations that the accused helped sell forest lands fraudulently re-appropriated after the fall of Communism. Romanian law states individuals can reclaim ownership to forest if they can provide certain inheritance documents, but the system has been plagued with large-scale fraud.

Prosperous Armenia party leader meets with ANC leader, to meet with Heritage party chairman

October 22, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Iveta Tonoyan, Spokesperson for Chairman of the Prosperous Armenia party Gagik Tsarukyan, told Tert.am that Mr Tsarukyan had a meeting on Tuesday with Chairman of the Armenian National Congress (ANC), Armenia’s first president Levon Ter-Petrosyan.He plans a meeting with Heritage party Chairman Raffi Hovannisian on Wednesday, which will be followed by a meeting with the leaders of the three non-coalition political forces.“They are going to discuss the agenda of the upcoming rally and a number of domestic political issues,” she said. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenia-Iran railway project remains on agenda – premier

October 22, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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Cross-bencher Khachtur Kokobelyan, during a question hour in Armenia’s Parliament, asked Armenia’s Premier Hovik Abrahamyan about his latest visits to the United States and Iran.He particularly asked about progress in the Armenia-Iran railway project.The premier said that an organization showed interest in the project.“They are in search of investment to implement the project. It is most important for our economy, but we have no specific decision.As soon as we have a specific decision made in cooperation with an organization or international financial structures, we will discuss the issue with Iran’s authorities,” Mr Abrahamyan said. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Opposition Leaders Meet Ahead Of Key Rally

October 22, 2014 Armenia, Business, Top News 1 Comment
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Opposition leaders Levon Ter-Petrosian, Gagik Tsarukian and Raffi Hovannisian met again late on Wednesday to discuss preparations for the next anti-government rally that will held by their political parties in Yerevan on Friday.

A spokeswoman for Tsarukian, Iveta Tonoyan, declined to give details of the meeting. She said only that the three leaders discussed “organizational issues” related to the rally.

Tsarukian, who leads the influential Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), held separate talks with Ter-Petrosian on Tuesday.

The talks appear to be part of efforts by the BHK, Ter-Petrosian’s Armenian National Congress (HAK) and Hovannisian’s Zharangutyun (Heritage) party to work out a plan of further joint actions aimed at achieving “regime change.” They hope to do so in time for Friday’s demonstration in Yerevan’s Liberty Square.

“The country is a country”: The Strength of Armenian Resolution

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15:36, October 22, 2014

By Vrej Haroutounian

As I sit to write this article in my office in Yerevan, my mind wanders away a few hundred kilometers to the desert lands encompassing Syria, Iraq and Turkey.

Seemingly, I am dumbfounded at the lack of change over the span of a century and atcertain patterns thathave adapted themselves into the regionalebb and flow.

This brings to light the question of the purported advancement that mankind has experienced in the 21st century and our tendency to constantly boast of it.

Walking down the streets of Yerevan, I am witness to people conducting their everyday lives. My mind once again drifts to an image of Yerevan a century ago.

France Looks Forward To Armenian-Azeri Summit

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France’s President Francois Hollande will try to revive the Nagorno-Karabakh peace process when he hosts fresh talks between his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts in Paris early next week, the French ambassador in Yerevan said on Wednesday.

Henri Reynaud said the French government expects the upcoming summit to “give new impetus in the substantive sense” to the long-running search for a compromise solution to the Karabakh conflict. It also hopes that Presidents Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev will agree on confidence-building measures that will boost “stability on the frontline” around Karabakh and along the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, he told a news conference.

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Russia communications satellite placed into orbit

October 22, 2014 Diaspora No Comments
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The Russian Express-AM6 communications satellite has separated from the Briz-M booster and was deployed into the calculated orbit, the news agency TASS reports, citing the Roscosmos Federal Space Agency.
“The space vehicle separated at the estimated time”, the press service said.
The Proton-M carrier rocket with the Express-AM6 communications satellite lifted off from Baikonur, Kazakhstan, at 19:09 Moscow time on Tuesday, and ten minutes later the satellite with the Briz-M booster separated from the rocket, the press service said.
This is the sixth Proton launch this year and the second after the accident in May this year. The previous successful launch took place on September 28 when the Russian satellite Lutch was orbited.
In an accident on May 16, a Proton-M rocket with the satellite Express-AM4R aboard launched from the Baikonur launch pad that Russia leases from Kazakhstan burst into flames in midair.
The Express-AM6 is a satellite that provides communications and broadcasting services in Russia. The lifetime of the spacecraft is 15 years.
The director general at Russian Satellite Communications Company, Yuri Prokhorov, said earlier the enterprise plans to add nine advanced communications satellites to its orbital grouping by 2020. Thus, the number of satellites will reach 20. 

Armenian MPs undecided about EEU deal as ratification vote nears

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The Treaty on Armenia’s accession to the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is to be submitted to the National Assembly for ratification within 1.5 months after its signing (under the Law on International Treaties). Though he parliamentary factions have repeatedly stated their opinions on the deal since President Serzh Sargsyan’s landmark statement (made in September last year), Tert.am has tried to once again clarify positions from different political forces ahead of the voting.
Prosperous Armenia
This political faction’s secretary, Naira Zohrabyan, says they cannot have a position on a document they haven’t ever seen. “When it comes to the National Assembly for a debate and we see to what extent that document reflects our concerns, the faction will express its position. I don’t think any faction or political force can express an objective opinion on a document it hasn’t seen.”
Zohrabyan referred to the concerns over the problematic issue of a customs checkpoint between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and the risks stemming from the increased customs duties on over 800 categories of goods. She said they are hopeful to hear exhaustive answers at the parliamentary debates.
Zohrabyan added that the 36-member faction has not yet reached consensus, adding that they are planning a new discussion ahead of the voting to develop common approaches.
Asked what their party’s leader thinks about the deal, the Prosperous Armenia secretary simply replied, “Mr [Gagik] Tsarukyan will express his position.”
Armenian National Congress (ANC)
The faction’s leader, Levon Zurabyan, refrained from expressing any opinion when contacted by our correspondent for comments. Former Military Prosecutor Gagik Jhangiryan, who also represents this political force at the National Assembly, said they will decide on their position after the document is on the parliament’s agenda.
At the opposition’s rally earlier this month, first President and current ANC leader Levon Ter-Petrosyan described the EEU accession process as an irreversible development.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaksutyun (ARF-D)
This faction’s leader, Armen Rustamyan, gave a somewhat welcoming remark when asked about the deal. “Dashnaksutyun always has its decisions, which are not of conceptual importance; they aren’t easily changed or reconsidered unlike those of [other individuals] and some political forces.”
As for the concerns over a possible customs checkpoint with Nagorno-Karabakh, Rustamyan said he thinks that the party would really feel embarrassed if that scenario were realistic. “That document will be brought [to parliament]. And you will see it says nothing of the kind,” he told our correspondent.
Heritage
The faction’s secretary, Tevan Poghosyan, said he expect their lawmakers to reach a consensus before the voting.
“I have several times heard [Heritage faction leader Ruben] Hakobyan say that Armenia should not be a member in any union, considering the conflict situations,” he said.
The remark suggests that the other Heritage members support an association deal with the EU, with the faction’s leader being against both the Eurasian and European integration processes.
Alexander Arzumanyan, a former foreign minister who is formally affiliated with this faction, says he has no other choice but to vote against.
Speaking to Tert.am, the politician said he doesn’t expect members of the ruling Republican faction to vote against the deal in a surprise move. “I can only guess that Heritage will vote against; as for the othera, judging by the rally, both the ANC and Prosperous Armenia are proponents. But it still remains to be seen,” he told our correspondent.
Rule of Law
Heghine Bisharyan, who heads this political faction, said she thinks they first need to see the treaty before saying anything for or against.
“As you see, the press is flooded with different negative opinions forecasting market surges. The major difficulty is, of course, the fact that we do not share borders with the EEU member states and have no idea as to our possible advantages. I am optimistic about it even though the negative is highlighted more. So let us simply try to listen to the opinions,” she added.
Republican
Koryun Nahapetyan, who represents the ruling political faction in parliament, says he expects their lawmakers to develop their common positions after talks with a government representative.
“The document hasn’t been submitted yet; once it is, the corresponding committee and the Republican faction will organize debates,” he told Tert.am.

European Boxing Championship: Two Armenians named winners

October 22, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora, Europe, Sports No Comments
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Two of the four Armenian sportsmen participating in the 2014 European Boxing Championship in Zagreb (Croatia) celebrated a victory in the Tuesday duels.
Ararat Gyulbangyan (64kg) gained advantage over Serbia’s Florian Sabo; heavyweight Gnel Muradyan beat Poland’s Milos Wodeski.
The two other Armenian representatives, Spartak Tamaryan (56 kg) and Tigran Melkonyan (69 kg) lost the battle to rivals. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

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Featured Books

Book Reviews

John Balian’s “Novel Approach” Brings the Armenian Saga to the Masses – An interview with John Balian by Lucine Kasbarian

Gray Wolves and White Doves cover art

Armenians often wish for a tale about the Armenian Genocide and its aftermath that would make a blockbuster film and draw attention to their cause. John Balian’s new book, Gray Wolves and White Doves (CreateSpace/Amazon.com), may be that tale.

 Largely autobiographical, this atmospheric novel is presented through the eyes of an innocent young boy trying to make sense of the world as he grows up amid repressive conditions in Western Armenia/Eastern Turkey during the 1960s and 70s.

 This fast-paced, multi-layered narrative takes readers from Hanna Ibelin’s (a.k.a. Jonah Ibelinian’s) close-knit family life in the perilous Asia Minor region of Palu to terror and tragedy while en route to Syria’s Kamishli, to a bleak existence on the mean streets of Istanbul.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

Teaneck, N.J. and Belmont, Mass. –  An Armenian folktale retold by Armenian-American writer Lucine Kasbarian and illustrated by Moscow-based artist Maria Zaikina debuts with Marshall Cavendish Children’s Publishers in April 2011.

The Greedy Sparrow: An Armenian Tale is from the ancient Armenian oral tradition and culture, which was nearly obliterated during the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks in 1915. The author learned the tale from her father, editor and columnist C.K. Garabed, who would recite it to her at bedtime. He had learned it from his own grandmother, a celebrated storyteller from the Old Country.  The tale was first put to paper by Armenian poet Hovhannes Toumanian at the turn of the 20th century.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

Turkish writer and publicist Ahmet Insel labels the initiative of the Turkish Nationalist Movement Party to pray namaz on the ruins of Ani as provocation.

In an interview with “A1+,” the publicist said the initiative was supported only by a small percentage of Turks.

“They offered namaz in Ani in protest against Christian rites carried out in Trabzon and Akhtamar. The leader of the Nationalist Movement Party, Devlet Bahceli said if Christians are allowed to pray inside museums, similarly he can pray namaz in Armenian churches,” said Ahmet Insel.

The Turkish writer arrived in Armenia to participate in a book festival. Presentation of Armenian version of Dialogue sur le tabou arménien (Dialogue about the Armenian Tabou) co-authored by Ahmet Insel and Michel Marian was held during the festival.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

BURBANK, CALIFORNIA –  KFI 640, a popular news/talk radio station hosted by Bill Handel on September 23 aired a live interview with Michael Bobelian, the writer of a new book titled  Children of Armenia: A Forgotten Genocide and the Century-long Struggle for Justice

The book chronicles the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and recounts a people’s struggle for justice in the face of a century of silence and denial.

During the interview, which was aired during the prime morning time slot, Bill Handel addressed both the efforts within the United States to ensure that the US government appropriately acknowledges the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s ongoing denial.

Handel, a well known and nationally syndicated radio talk show host, has discussed the Armenian Genocide during past shows.

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Commentary

Yerevan Calling: A Weekly Roundup of Random Musings from Armenia

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13:05, October 3, 2014

Here it is dear readers, the debut of a weekly column I hope to maintain on a regular basis.

It’s sort of a catch-all of news snippets, irreverent commentary, and personal observations on what’s happened during the week here in Yerevan, and throughout Armenia.. Hopefully, you’ll find it interesting, if not slightly diverting.

Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.

Regards – Hrant

Oct. 2 – Protests Throughout Armenia: A Game of Numbers & Solidarity

Three separate protest rallies took place in Armenia today.

As Hetq reported earlier, business owners in the town of Sevan kept their stores and factories shut to protest changes to the so-called volume (sales) tax. Local residents flocked to the bread factory to wait on line for a loaf or two.

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

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21:31, July 30, 2014

Zhou Yongkang, one of China’s most powerful former leaders, is under investigation in the highest-level corruption inquiry since the Communist Party came into power in 1949.

Under current president Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, the party’s Central Commission for Discipline Inspection is investigating Zhou for “serious disciplinary violations,” as the officialXinhua news agency reports. Media has not yet, however, specified the allegations against him.

The probe is an attempt to show the length to which Xi and the party will go in order to combat abuse of power reportsThe Wall Street Journal. 

A commentary published in the officialPeoples Daily makes the point that regardless of  an official’s rank or supporters, punishment will result for violating laws or the party’s discipline. 

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

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19:15, July 12, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

“The whole thing started with a scene straight out of a mobster movie. It was around 6 p.m. when more than a dozen men from two organized crime groups opened fire on each other in a North Hollywood parking lot. Witnesses say nearly everyone was armed, and the shootout quickly went mobile. The men took off in cars, exchanging fire as they weaved through the Whitsett Avenue traffic.”

Stories such as this are not unique to Armenians in the American press, but this investigative report recently published in the LA Weekly is about Armenian Power, the Los Angeles based Armenian gang that operates in the heavily Armenian populated communities of Glendale, Burbank, and North Hollywood.

Want to Write for Hetq?

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10:24, March 14, 2014

I’m looking for freelancers who can broaden the scope of Hetq’s English edition

Arts & Culture, Commentary, Politics, Civil Society, Interviews…

Anything interesting happening in your local community you’d like to share?

Write to me with your ideas and story suggestions.

Hrant at hg.hetq@gmail.com

Source: HetqOriginial Article

For Better or For Worse: Nature Protection Ministry Proposes Amendments to Water Use Laws

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16:44, February 14, 2014

With the goal of providing a systematic solution to issues of effective use of water resources in Ararat valley, the Ministry of Nature Protection of the Republic of Armenia (RA) is proposing amendments and additions to the RA Water Code, and the RA laws on the Republic of Armenia’s National Water Program, on Licensing, and on State Tax.

The proposed legislative package has been sent to the relevant state agencies for their input.

Head of the Ministry of Nature Protection’s Water Resources Management Agency Volodya Narimanyan told Hetq, said that with this amendment package his ministry is attempting to clarify the ideas and the ambiguous commentary, as well as introduce new requirements. For example, one of the main points of the proposed amendments is if water use permit conditions are not met, the water use permit might be annulled.