Sarkisian Ally To Quit Armenian Government

The Orinats Yerkir Party of Artur Baghdasarian, a key political ally of President Serzh Sarkisian, announced on Wednesday its decision to pull out of Armenia’s government, adding a new twist to political uncertainty in the country.
 
Senior Orinats Yerkir figures announced the move, anticipated since Tuesday, as they met the press after a meeting of the party’s governing board. A board statement presented by them said that throughout its six-year involvement in the Sarkisian administration the party has lacked levers to have a “real role in the government” and to genuinely share power with the ruling Republican Party of Armenia (BHK). It also implicitly complained about the president’s failure to appoint Baghdasarian as prime minister.
 
Heghine Bisharian, the number two figure in the party hierarchy, made clear that Baghdasarian will resign as secretary of Armenia’s National Security Council. But she said all three members of the outgoing cabinet affiliated with Orinats Yerkir — Agriculture Minister Sergo Karapetian, Emergency Situations Minister Armen Yeritsian and Urban Development Minister Samvel Tadevosian — will resign from the party.
 

Fish Farms Concerned Over Tighter Regulation

Armenia – Grapes harvested at a vineyard in the Ararat Valley, 9Sep2013.

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Armenian Inflation Down In 2014

Armenia — Shoppers in a food supermarket in Yerevan.

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Opposition Forces Pledge Continued Cooperation

Armenia – Levon Ter-Petrosian (L), Gagik Tsarukian (C) and Raffi Hovannisian meet in Yerevan, 10Apr2014.

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Latest Armenian News:

The 100 Years, 100 Facts Project Launches April 24

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11:08, April 17, 2014

On the threshold of the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, The 100 Years, 100 Facts Project will commemorate the genocide by publishing facts about Armenians twice a week, starting April 24, 2014 and culminating on April 24, 2015. These facts will be published on 100years100facts.com – linked through its social media accounts on Facebook,Twitter,Instagram, andGoogle+.

“The idea of using social media and the internet as a means to commemorate the Armenian Genocide and connect a population scattered around the world was inspirational to me,” said Lena Adishian, project lead, based in Los Angeles. “While curating one hundred facts about Armenia and Armenians is no easy task, we hope that audiences find the content educational and engaging.”

Heritage Party VP on Rule of Law: “I can announce that I’m the Sultan of Brunei. So what?”

April 17, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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12:07, April 17, 2014

Heritage Party Vice President Armen Martirosyan dismissed the notion that the Rule of Law (Orinats Yerkir) party would garner supporters from the opposition electorate in Armenia just because it has announced that it is pulling out of the ruling government coalition.

Martirosyan argued that voters wouldn’t be so easily convinced that Rule of Law had changed its stripes over night and would now operate in opposition to the new government being formed under Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan.

“Fine, they left the coalition. But it’s not like anything has changed. I can come out and announce that I’m the Sultan of Brunei; so what?” Martirosyan said.

Prosperous Party MP: ‘Still Too Early to Express an Opinion on Rule of Law ‘

April 17, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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12:44, April 17, 2014

It seems that the Prosperous Armenia party, which has already announced that it will not be entering into a coalition with the new government now being formed, has yet to discuss its stance regarding the Rule of Law party, which announced yesterday that it would be pulling out of the coalition.

This was the answer given to this reporter by Prosperous Armenia MP Stepan Margaryan who added that things would become clearer once Rule of Law leader Artur Baghdasaryan explained why the party has decided to pull out of its coalition with the Republic Party of Armenia.

Nevertheless, Margaryan said he welcomed the possibility that opposition bills in the parliament might garner more votes now that Rule of Law has reversed direction.

Yerevan’s “Prisoners’ Hospital”

April 17, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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14:35, April 17, 2014

Yerevan’s “Prisoners’ Hospital” is the only medical correctional facility in Armenia.

It has eleven units and some are housed in a building that was built in 1828. The operating theater, renovated in 2004, is housed there. The newest unit is the drug and alcohol abuse ward opened in 2008.247 people work at the facility (76 of which are medical staff) designed to hold 415 patients.

When Hetq visited the hospital there were 200 patients and mostdidn’twant to be photographed.

Photos: Narek Aleksanyan

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Acting Minister of Urban Development announces resignation from Rule of Law party

April 17, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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Acting Minister of Urban Development Samvel Tadevosyan has announced his resignation from the Rule of Law party.
“For six years the Rule of Law party has been following the same course as the president and the ruling Republican ‘party of Armenia. As minister I have for two years been personally responsible for the economic policy implemented in the country. I do not think the appointment of a new premier has changed the policy, which would be the basis for declining the responsibility. No doubt, the country is facing numerous economic and social problems, and the authorities have always admitted the fact. But the problems have to be resolved due by consistent work,” Tadevosyan stated.
“I am grateful to the Rule of Law party for cooperation and my political career. I announce my resignation as I have nothing to do in this party any longer.”

New PM promises to actively cooperate with IT sector

April 17, 2014 Armenia, Technology No Comments
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Armenia’s newly appointed Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan promised to actively cooperate with the country’s information technologies (IT) sector as he met with its leading representatives on Wednesday.

According to the government press service, during his meeting with representatives of the Union of Information Technology Enterprises, Abrahamyan said: “I am sure that it is important for our country, economy and civil society. Today is my third working day since the appointment and, as I attach importance to this sector’s future and its cooperation with the government, I intend to intensify our meetings and discussions and I am ready to hear your proposals and recommendations.”

Coalition’s demise: Orinats Yerkir no longer wants to share power with Republicans

April 17, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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The ruling Republican Party’s only political ally, Orinats Yerkir, on Wednesday announced its decision to pull out of the coalition after six years of cooperation with its senior partner. The Orinats Yerkir political board held a meeting that day, unanimously deciding that party’s continued presence in the coalition was “problematic” and “inexpedient”. At the same time, the party accepted the applications from its three members who currently hold ministerial positions – Armen Yeritsyan, Sergo Karapetyan and Samvel Tadevosyan – on quitting the party.

Orinats Yerkir said that in reality the coalition format has not been effective as a result of which the notion of the “ruling coalition” has been supplanted by the notion of the “ruling political force”.

Armenians in Ukraine want “adequate reaction” from government to Ruben Avanesyan’s death

April 17, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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The government must provide an adequate reaction to the deaths of people regardless of their political preferences, said head of the Union of Armenians of Ukraine (UAU) Vilen Shatvoryan on Wednesday during a special meeting held in connection with the tragic death of Ruben Avanesyan in Slavyansk.

The town in the eastern Donetsk region of Ukraine is one of the recent flashpoints of confrontation between local protesters seeking federalization and Ukrainian security forces. Avanesyan was allegedly killed by members of the ultranationalist Right Sector group. He is said to have helped protesters oppose the government forces.

“People who get killed in the confrontation are first of all citizens of Ukraine, ordinary people whose rights are protected by the Constitution,” Shatvoryan said at the UAU meeting, as quoted by Analitikaua.net.

Car Crazy: Armenian MP Buys $198,000 Mercedes

April 17, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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09:48, April 17, 2014

Republican Party MP Artur Gevorgyan, who represents portions of Yerevan in the Armenian National Assembly, is the son-in-law of RA Police Chief Vladimir Gasparyan.

Since being elected in 2012, Gevoryan hasn’t made much of a presence in the legislature. He’s better known for his taste of expensive cars.

That year Gevorgyan declared 1.9 million AMD in revenue (all salary). His financial assets, however, were astronomically greater – 65 million AMD, US$935,000, and 235,000 Euros.

No wonder he was able to afford the 25 million AMD purchase of a BMW X5-4.8.

In 2013, Gevorgyan went the full hog and purchased a Mercedes-Benz G55 AMG for a whopping $198,000.

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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

Want to Write for Hetq?

Image 33145.jpg

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.

2013 in Civil Society: Protests and more protests

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The struggle of civil movements this year has been comprehensive and diverse with limited success in certain fields due to unified efforts and active involvement of the civil society.

Despite the rather passive start of the year in terms of civil movements, the second half of 2013 turned out to be tense with active developments.

Some analysts believe that especially after the February 18 presidential ballot, when current president Serzh Sargsyan won a decisive victory over his opponents and was re-elected for a second term, despite the widespread poverty and atmosphere of injustice in the country, people became even more aware of the fact that is it impossible to achieve changes via elections and started practicing their constitutional rights to civil protest and disobedience more frequently.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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2013 became a milestone year for Armenia not only in its foreign, but also domestic politics. After nearly four years of negotiations with the European Union over the signing of an association agreement on September 3 Armenia unexpectedly announced its intention to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

This decision has had its influence not only on Armenia proper, but also on the processes elsewhere in Eastern Europe. Inspired by Armenia’s decision, Russia stepped up its pressure on Ukraine, which suspended the process of signing of the Association Agreement with the EU one week before the Vilnius summit of Eastern Partnership. As a result, on November 29 such agreements were initialed only by Moldova and Georgia.

Heritage reshuffle: Postanjyan becomes new leader of parliamentary faction

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Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.

Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.