Home » Armenia »Azerbaijan » Currently Reading:

Corrupt Land Grab Forces Many to Leave Armenian Border Village of Koutakan

October 20, 2012 Armenia, Azerbaijan No Comments
Image 19706.jpg

12:45, October 20, 2012

The village of Koutakan lies 15 kilometres north-east of the town of Vardenis, not far from the Azerbaijani border.

Most local residents call the village by its old name – Gyunashli. It was once populated by Azeris and now by Armenians forced to flee Azerbaijan. The village, at 2,100 meters above sea level, has around 150 residents. It once had triple that number.

One of the main reasons for the decrease is the scarcity of land.

Koutakan Mayor Aharon Abrahamyan says that 500 hectares of the community’s 1,230 hectares was privatized back in the early 1990s. The land was divided up amongst 40 families. Another 700 hectares was leased to twelve individuals.

Local residents claim that the mayor at the time allocated the 700 hectares to friends and relatives.

Today, twenty Koutakan families, including young ones, have no land.

The MaxFruit Company had leased 156 hectares; 105 hectares was leased by Vladimir Khachatryan, brother of the former mayor; 65 went to Kajik Avetisyan, a friend of the former mayor. Former Mayor Mikayel Khachatryan himself has 100 hectares. They all have twenty five year leases.

“My husband was in the war and came here in 1996. All the land had been privatized without any advance notification. None of the rules were followed,” says Deputy Mayor Karmen Gevorgyan.

Her family only received one-third of a hectare. They grow potatoes on the land. Grains can’t be grown on such tiny plots.

Residents have complained about the illegal actions of the former mayor, but to no avail.

Max Fruit had for years been farming on the 156 hectares it had leased. Last year, however, it didn’t pay the rent nor did it return the land to the community. The new mayor voided the contract in order to allocate the land to the villagers.

An auction was conducted and 75 of the 156 hectares have been distributed to 23 families that had no land. The land has been leased to them. The privatization process is too expensive for the villagers to pay.

At about the same time a character names Mkoyi Samvel showed up and warned the villagers not to work the land, threatening to set it ablaze if they did.

Residents describe Mkoyi Samvel as a large-scale farmer who presented himself as a shareholder in MaxFruit.

Mayor Abrahamyan says he has no time to waste on Mkoyi Samvel because the contract with the company has been legally nullified.

The deputy mayor says that Mkoyi Samvel has been a thorn in the side of the community since the land was first leased to MaxFruit.

“There was a man from Vardenis who had ploughed and sown the land. Samvel shows up and tells the farmer to stop all planting or else he’ll run him over with a tractor. Samvel maintained the land was his but failed to show any documentation.”

None of the proper state agencies have bothered to study the land issue in Koutakan.  They don’t seem at all interested to get to the bottom of why the former mayor divvied up so much land to friends and relatives.

As a result, many ordinary village families have no land to grow food for consumption or sale. No wonder the village, on the border with Azerbaijan, has shrunk from 5000 to 150 residents.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

No related posts.

Comment on this Article:







Spam Protection by WP-SpamFree

RSS International News By CNN

CNN International Explores the Secrets of Armenia’s Stone Henge

AdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisementAdvertisement

Recent Comments

RSS Middle East News By BBC

RSS Sports News By The Huffington Post

  • Racecar Flies Straight At Flagman, But His Reflexes Save The Day
    Flagman Keith Trusso has one of the best spots in the house to watch racing -- unless something goes crazily wrong. Watch the video above as a wreck unfolds and a sprint car driven by Scott Hall comes flying at Trusso during a race Aug. 8 in Watsonville, Calif. The way Trusso narrowly evades the airborne vehicle almost looks like CGI from a blockbuster movie […]
  • The Open: My Season of Gain and Pain - A Tale of Tennis, Love and Loss
    The give and the take, the ebb and the flow. These were the macro concepts I learned as a student of history and literature. These are also in some ways the premises of the sport I love most, tennis: the back and forth of the ball, of opponents creating something together while at the same time seeking to destroy one another - all along building a relationsh […]
  • 7 Guides for Parents to Help Their Children through Competitive Youth Football
    For most American families, August marks the waning of summer... a last chance at backyard BBQs, road trips and beach days before kids go back to school. Yet, for those who have boys or girls in competitive football, August means TRAINING -- a physically and mentally challenging schedule of conditioning workouts and practice intended to prepare them for the […]
  • What You Need to Know About the New College Football Playoffs
    Back in 2008 when the then President-Elect Obama was asked about college football and how they determine a national champion, he explained that an eight-team championship would be the ideal playoff. College football has always been touted as having one of the most exciting and best regular seasons in sports as every game in the schedule counts. Unlike baseba […]
  • 8 Steps To Breathe New Life Into An Old Bicycle (PHOTOS)
    So you inherited your mom's bike from the 80s. It rides well enough, but it looks a little bit too much like, well, your mom's bike from the 80s. Or, you moved to a new neighborhood and scored a second-hand bicycle -- she's a dreamin' 10-speeder, but she doesn't look as good as she feels. Here are 8 fool-proof ways to give your bicyc […]
  • Mike Ditka Lashes Out At Redskins Name Critics: 'It's So Much Horse Sh-t'
    Football Hall of Famer Mike Ditka isn't on the sideline these days, but he is apparently on Dan Snyder's team. The 74-year-old former NFL coach and player lashed out at critics of the Washington NFL team's nickname in a recent interview with RedskinsHistorian.com. “What’s all the stink over the Redskin name? It’s so much horse shit it’s incred […]
  • Curt Schilling Blames Chewing Tobacco For Mouth Cancer
    BOSTON (AP) — Former major league pitcher Curt Schilling says he's battling mouth cancer and blames 30 years of chewing tobacco use. Schilling discussed details of his cancer on WEEI-FM in Boston on Wednesday. He announced he had cancer in February, but had not disclosed what kind. He says it's due to chewing tobacco. Schilling is being treated at […]
  • Bob Costas Didn't Like His First Pitch, So He Threw A Second One (VIDEO)
    The St. Louis Cardinals invited legendary broadcaster Bob Costas to throw out the ceremonial first pitch on Tuesday. And, like it so often happens when celebrities take the mound for these opportunities, things didn't go so well. Costas exhibited a pretty solid wind-up and some nice form, but he sailed his toss wide left. Then, to the amusement of all p […]
  • Swimming With the Old Goats
    On Sunday I got to swim with our lovingly-deemed Old Goats, a cabal of longtime members, holders of wisdom and, of course, swimmers of some renown, as part of the A Team in the Walt Schneebeli Over 60 Swim at San Francisco's Aquatic Park. On Monday morning I got to be part of celebrating the last row (from our Park to AT&T Park) of summer 2014 for o […]
  • Inspiring Transgender Golfer Helping Others Set Themselves Free
    Dr. Bobbi Lancaster is a successful and well-regarded physician in Arizona. She's also a transgender golfer trying to earn an LPGA tour card while playing on a couple minor league golf tours. Born Robert Lancaster, she underwent gender reassignment surgery in 2010. Lancaster grew up in Canada, participating in soccer, football, baseball, tennis, golf an […]

Poll

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.

-

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

12:45, October 20, 2012

The village of Koutakan lies 15 kilometres north-east of the town of Vardenis, not far from the Azerbaijani border.

Most local residents call the village by its old name – Gyunashli. It was once populated by Azeris and now by Armenians forced to flee Azerbaijan. The village, at 2,100 meters above sea level, has around 150 residents. It once had triple that number.

One of the main reasons for the decrease is the scarcity of land.

Koutakan Mayor Aharon Abrahamyan says that 500 hectares of the community’s 1,230 hectares was privatized back in the early 1990s. The land was divided up amongst 40 families. Another 700 hectares was leased to twelve individuals.

Local residents claim that the mayor at the time allocated the 700 hectares to friends and relatives.

Today, twenty Koutakan families, including young ones, have no land.

The MaxFruit Company had leased 156 hectares; 105 hectares was leased by Vladimir Khachatryan, brother of the former mayor; 65 went to Kajik Avetisyan, a friend of the former mayor. Former Mayor Mikayel Khachatryan himself has 100 hectares. They all have twenty five year leases.

“My husband was in the war and came here in 1996. All the land had been privatized without any advance notification. None of the rules were followed,” says Deputy Mayor Karmen Gevorgyan.

Her family only received one-third of a hectare. They grow potatoes on the land. Grains can’t be grown on such tiny plots.

Residents have complained about the illegal actions of the former mayor, but to no avail.

Max Fruit had for years been farming on the 156 hectares it had leased. Last year, however, it didn’t pay the rent nor did it return the land to the community. The new mayor voided the contract in order to allocate the land to the villagers.

An auction was conducted and 75 of the 156 hectares have been distributed to 23 families that had no land. The land has been leased to them. The privatization process is too expensive for the villagers to pay.

At about the same time a character names Mkoyi Samvel showed up and warned the villagers not to work the land, threatening to set it ablaze if they did.

Residents describe Mkoyi Samvel as a large-scale farmer who presented himself as a shareholder in MaxFruit.

Mayor Abrahamyan says he has no time to waste on Mkoyi Samvel because the contract with the company has been legally nullified.

The deputy mayor says that Mkoyi Samvel has been a thorn in the side of the community since the land was first leased to MaxFruit.

“There was a man from Vardenis who had ploughed and sown the land. Samvel shows up and tells the farmer to stop all planting or else he’ll run him over with a tractor. Samvel maintained the land was his but failed to show any documentation.”

None of the proper state agencies have bothered to study the land issue in Koutakan.  They don’t seem at all interested to get to the bottom of why the former mayor divvied up so much land to friends and relatives.

As a result, many ordinary village families have no land to grow food for consumption or sale. No wonder the village, on the border with Azerbaijan, has shrunk from 5000 to 150 residents.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

No related posts.

New Children’s Picture Book From Armenian Folklore

12:45, October 20, 2012

The village of Koutakan lies 15 kilometres north-east of the town of Vardenis, not far from the Azerbaijani border.

Most local residents call the village by its old name – Gyunashli. It was once populated by Azeris and now by Armenians forced to flee Azerbaijan. The village, at 2,100 meters above sea level, has around 150 residents. It once had triple that number.

One of the main reasons for the decrease is the scarcity of land.

Koutakan Mayor Aharon Abrahamyan says that 500 hectares of the community’s 1,230 hectares was privatized back in the early 1990s. The land was divided up amongst 40 families. Another 700 hectares was leased to twelve individuals.

Local residents claim that the mayor at the time allocated the 700 hectares to friends and relatives.

Today, twenty Koutakan families, including young ones, have no land.

The MaxFruit Company had leased 156 hectares; 105 hectares was leased by Vladimir Khachatryan, brother of the former mayor; 65 went to Kajik Avetisyan, a friend of the former mayor. Former Mayor Mikayel Khachatryan himself has 100 hectares. They all have twenty five year leases.

“My husband was in the war and came here in 1996. All the land had been privatized without any advance notification. None of the rules were followed,” says Deputy Mayor Karmen Gevorgyan.

Her family only received one-third of a hectare. They grow potatoes on the land. Grains can’t be grown on such tiny plots.

Residents have complained about the illegal actions of the former mayor, but to no avail.

Max Fruit had for years been farming on the 156 hectares it had leased. Last year, however, it didn’t pay the rent nor did it return the land to the community. The new mayor voided the contract in order to allocate the land to the villagers.

An auction was conducted and 75 of the 156 hectares have been distributed to 23 families that had no land. The land has been leased to them. The privatization process is too expensive for the villagers to pay.

At about the same time a character names Mkoyi Samvel showed up and warned the villagers not to work the land, threatening to set it ablaze if they did.

Residents describe Mkoyi Samvel as a large-scale farmer who presented himself as a shareholder in MaxFruit.

Mayor Abrahamyan says he has no time to waste on Mkoyi Samvel because the contract with the company has been legally nullified.

The deputy mayor says that Mkoyi Samvel has been a thorn in the side of the community since the land was first leased to MaxFruit.

“There was a man from Vardenis who had ploughed and sown the land. Samvel shows up and tells the farmer to stop all planting or else he’ll run him over with a tractor. Samvel maintained the land was his but failed to show any documentation.”

None of the proper state agencies have bothered to study the land issue in Koutakan.  They don’t seem at all interested to get to the bottom of why the former mayor divvied up so much land to friends and relatives.

As a result, many ordinary village families have no land to grow food for consumption or sale. No wonder the village, on the border with Azerbaijan, has shrunk from 5000 to 150 residents.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

No related posts.

“We Need To Lift The Armenian Taboo”

12:45, October 20, 2012

The village of Koutakan lies 15 kilometres north-east of the town of Vardenis, not far from the Azerbaijani border.

Most local residents call the village by its old name – Gyunashli. It was once populated by Azeris and now by Armenians forced to flee Azerbaijan. The village, at 2,100 meters above sea level, has around 150 residents. It once had triple that number.

One of the main reasons for the decrease is the scarcity of land.

Koutakan Mayor Aharon Abrahamyan says that 500 hectares of the community’s 1,230 hectares was privatized back in the early 1990s. The land was divided up amongst 40 families. Another 700 hectares was leased to twelve individuals.

Local residents claim that the mayor at the time allocated the 700 hectares to friends and relatives.

Today, twenty Koutakan families, including young ones, have no land.

The MaxFruit Company had leased 156 hectares; 105 hectares was leased by Vladimir Khachatryan, brother of the former mayor; 65 went to Kajik Avetisyan, a friend of the former mayor. Former Mayor Mikayel Khachatryan himself has 100 hectares. They all have twenty five year leases.

“My husband was in the war and came here in 1996. All the land had been privatized without any advance notification. None of the rules were followed,” says Deputy Mayor Karmen Gevorgyan.

Her family only received one-third of a hectare. They grow potatoes on the land. Grains can’t be grown on such tiny plots.

Residents have complained about the illegal actions of the former mayor, but to no avail.

Max Fruit had for years been farming on the 156 hectares it had leased. Last year, however, it didn’t pay the rent nor did it return the land to the community. The new mayor voided the contract in order to allocate the land to the villagers.

An auction was conducted and 75 of the 156 hectares have been distributed to 23 families that had no land. The land has been leased to them. The privatization process is too expensive for the villagers to pay.

At about the same time a character names Mkoyi Samvel showed up and warned the villagers not to work the land, threatening to set it ablaze if they did.

Residents describe Mkoyi Samvel as a large-scale farmer who presented himself as a shareholder in MaxFruit.

Mayor Abrahamyan says he has no time to waste on Mkoyi Samvel because the contract with the company has been legally nullified.

The deputy mayor says that Mkoyi Samvel has been a thorn in the side of the community since the land was first leased to MaxFruit.

“There was a man from Vardenis who had ploughed and sown the land. Samvel shows up and tells the farmer to stop all planting or else he’ll run him over with a tractor. Samvel maintained the land was his but failed to show any documentation.”

None of the proper state agencies have bothered to study the land issue in Koutakan.  They don’t seem at all interested to get to the bottom of why the former mayor divvied up so much land to friends and relatives.

As a result, many ordinary village families have no land to grow food for consumption or sale. No wonder the village, on the border with Azerbaijan, has shrunk from 5000 to 150 residents.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

No related posts.

US Media Discusses The Armenian Genocide

12:45, October 20, 2012

The village of Koutakan lies 15 kilometres north-east of the town of Vardenis, not far from the Azerbaijani border.

Most local residents call the village by its old name – Gyunashli. It was once populated by Azeris and now by Armenians forced to flee Azerbaijan. The village, at 2,100 meters above sea level, has around 150 residents. It once had triple that number.

One of the main reasons for the decrease is the scarcity of land.

Koutakan Mayor Aharon Abrahamyan says that 500 hectares of the community’s 1,230 hectares was privatized back in the early 1990s. The land was divided up amongst 40 families. Another 700 hectares was leased to twelve individuals.

Local residents claim that the mayor at the time allocated the 700 hectares to friends and relatives.

Today, twenty Koutakan families, including young ones, have no land.

The MaxFruit Company had leased 156 hectares; 105 hectares was leased by Vladimir Khachatryan, brother of the former mayor; 65 went to Kajik Avetisyan, a friend of the former mayor. Former Mayor Mikayel Khachatryan himself has 100 hectares. They all have twenty five year leases.

“My husband was in the war and came here in 1996. All the land had been privatized without any advance notification. None of the rules were followed,” says Deputy Mayor Karmen Gevorgyan.

Her family only received one-third of a hectare. They grow potatoes on the land. Grains can’t be grown on such tiny plots.

Residents have complained about the illegal actions of the former mayor, but to no avail.

Max Fruit had for years been farming on the 156 hectares it had leased. Last year, however, it didn’t pay the rent nor did it return the land to the community. The new mayor voided the contract in order to allocate the land to the villagers.

An auction was conducted and 75 of the 156 hectares have been distributed to 23 families that had no land. The land has been leased to them. The privatization process is too expensive for the villagers to pay.

At about the same time a character names Mkoyi Samvel showed up and warned the villagers not to work the land, threatening to set it ablaze if they did.

Residents describe Mkoyi Samvel as a large-scale farmer who presented himself as a shareholder in MaxFruit.

Mayor Abrahamyan says he has no time to waste on Mkoyi Samvel because the contract with the company has been legally nullified.

The deputy mayor says that Mkoyi Samvel has been a thorn in the side of the community since the land was first leased to MaxFruit.

“There was a man from Vardenis who had ploughed and sown the land. Samvel shows up and tells the farmer to stop all planting or else he’ll run him over with a tractor. Samvel maintained the land was his but failed to show any documentation.”

None of the proper state agencies have bothered to study the land issue in Koutakan.  They don’t seem at all interested to get to the bottom of why the former mayor divvied up so much land to friends and relatives.

As a result, many ordinary village families have no land to grow food for consumption or sale. No wonder the village, on the border with Azerbaijan, has shrunk from 5000 to 150 residents.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

No related posts.

Our Sponsors

Commentary

China: President Takes Action Against High Ranking Corrupt Officials

Image 55858.jpg

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. 

In recent years an agreement has been in place  ensuring that for the sake of party unity,  most senior figures would not be investigated. Zhou’s case has been the first to break the agreement and is aimed at party purity instead. Communists are hoping to stay legitimate and to win more supporters. 

The anti-corruption campaign has realized its vow of no off-limit targets, says political scientist Zhang Ming in The Guardian.

reportingproject.net

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Related posts:

  1. China: Anti-Corruption Probe Targets Top Officials
  2. Over 182,000 officials punished in China graft crackdown
  3. China: Victims Claim Anti-Corruption Probe Employs Torture
  4. Civic Activists Demand Action Against ‘Corrupt’ Ex-Minister
  5. Jailed Former High Ranking Armenian Officials Deny Bribery Charges

Armenian Gangs: Caught between an Archetype and a Cliché

Image 55647.jpg

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.

The writer describes the members of the group as “gun-toting defendants” driving flashy cars “and connected to elaborate schemes in bank fraud, identity theft and other highly sophisticated white-collar crimes.”

Armenian Power originated in the 1980s by young Armenians, mainly from Soviet Armenia, to protect themselves from Mexican gangs in Los Angeles high schools. In time the organization developed working relations with the latter and shifted focus from fighting for territory to fighting for money and power.

My initial reaction to the report, like to all things Armenian, is visceral. Besides the fact that the horrific nature of the group’s actions turns my stomach, I feel angry. There are many positive contributions Armenians make to the communities they live in, so why point out the negative?

I think and catch myself in doing something very typically Armenian: reacting defensively when a non-Armenian criticizes my people. I immediately want to blame someone, mainly the person who is pointing a finger in my direction. This is a natural reaction for those of us who take pride in belonging to a lineage older than Noah’s Ark.

Ancient is the Armenian archetype – our intuitive behavior that has proven to withstand the test of time. We’ve been around so long, we consider ourselves to be wise and flawless. It is in our ethnic genome to revere the old and be doubtful of the new, to respect the elder as authority and dismiss the young as naive and inexperienced, to move in time and space, but not leave the past and the home we left behind. Any divergence from what has history and is the norm, we perceive as deficient, abnormal, lacking.

Young Armenians in American public schools faced with anything but the norm, as they know it, are caught by surprise like objects uprooted by cyclonic winds.

When life throws us into the realm of the unexpected or takes us out of our element, when it forces us to question our truths and face our shortcomings that make us seem not so perfect, we feel ashamed and become unforgiving. This quickly leads us on to the path of self-loathing. Our genesis, the very thing that is the source of our pride and the reason for our being, becomes our handicap in the youth-crazed, ever changing culture of the new world. We feel betrayed.

Additionally, we have been conditioned to put on our best face in public, regardless of what is going on inside. This archetype was reinforced during the Soviet era. We do not air our dirty laundry in public, but proudly display our clean, shiny load in front of our balconies and windows literally and figuratively. We even pride ourselves in the way we pin the pieces next to each other on the clothesline!

So, regardless of our circumstances, we find ways to put on a front like the well choreographed parades of the Soviet government. For God’s sake, we were the first people to adopt Christianity as our state religion! Never mind that our church is void of spirituality and our God cares more about the dead than the living.

Then we boast, and when others dare to not appreciate our genius with expected enthusiasm, we resort to demeaning, deprecating commentary and are not shy about projecting our negative feelings. No one is good enough, smart enough, deserving enough as Armenians. We’re the oldest and the wisest, and therefore most deserving of respect and appreciation.

More than once I have had to counsel a distraught Armenian parent complaining about how people make fun of their perfect child because he/she does not look or act like them.

When our expectations are not met, we are wounded and insulted. This is when the daredevil gene kicks in, and we don’t hesitate to give our perceived enemy a piece of our mind, or show off a flexed muscle.

We call this taseeb (honor): a sentiment that forces an Armenian to pick up a rifle and defend his physical and psychological turf. It is the same sentiment that drives a young Armenian to defend himself from insults and aggression, real or perceived, from a person of a different ethnicity in an American high school.

These archetypes are some of the underlying factors that lead Armenian youth into conflicting situations outside their circles.

In a new and changing world, old archetypes no longer serve the needs of the people, while the new ones are constantly elusive. Coupled with the desire to belong and to fit in, this drives people to adopt clichés that are readily available in a world congested with material, ideas and attitudes. Thus, to be accepted by the out-groups, to measure up and to be competitive, they quickly adopt what is more accessible to them for putting on the “perfect face.”

Designer clothing and accessories, Mercedes, BMW, Porches, attitudes and gestures we don’t quite grasp but admire, just about anything that we perceive as distinguishing and defining the out-group we are so eager to be a part of and be appreciated by, we collect. Clichés are easy to launder, polish, and pin on one’s life’s “clothes line”. Life in the new world becomes a long string of clichés.

In the absence of archetypes, reality is re-imagined, improvised like life on a theater stage, Marshall McLuhan explains. On this stage, young people are the characters of their own show, and there is nothing in the world more important than that until new archetypes take form.

The mafia or its modern day version – gangs that are a common occurrence in societies constantly in flux – is the stage where young people play out their roles. There have been Irish,   Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, and Mexican gangs in America prior to the Armenians.

Every wave of new arrivals, every wave of change, brings with it a new set of expectations and challenges. While families try to decipher the laws, rules, and traditions of their new environment, the young tend to gravitate towards groups that fill the need for belonging and provide a security network.

Some, more than others, in every group are willing to break rules often to their own detriment while caught between archetypes of the old world and the clichés of the new.

Marineh Khachadour is an educator, writer, researcher working in a public school in Pasadena, California.  She lived in Armenia from 1992-1998. During that time she provided educational services and resources for Armenian women and children including refugees and served as Gender in Development Expert with UNDP, Armenia from 1995-1998.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

No related posts.

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

No related posts.

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

Image 32562.jpg

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.

“In the past, if water use conditions weren’t met, we couldn’t void the permit, but now we’re making that clear. If the state gives you a water use permit with this condition, be kind and meet this condition; otherwise, we will make the permit null and void,” he explained.

A new requirement in the proposed package concerning the execution of drilling operations stipulates that a drilling company or individual must obtain a license so that the state can supervise its activities. “Those companies that execute drilling must have a license for drilling. That is, we are proposing to license activities,” he added.

After the relevant state bodies discuss and submit their opinions regarding the amendments, Narimanyan says, the package will be sent to the RA Ministry of Justice, the government, then finally to parliament.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

No related posts.

2013 in Civil Society: Protests and more protests

Thumbnail

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.

Karabakh war veterans’ civil standoff has been unprecedented. Although, every now and then on different occasions they had complained of their social conditions and of being neglected by the state , however never before had they come out to hold systematic rallies and sitting strikes. Retired army colonel Volodya Avetisyan initiated the civil standoff in May and in October found himself behind the bars, with charges of “swindling …in large amounts”. Avetisyan’s and his comrades-in-arms claim that by bringing charges the authorities are trying to silence him. The war vets demanding increase of their pensions and various privileges have now focused their struggle on various acts of protest in Avetisyan’s support. There is another group of Karabakh war veterans presenting political demands to the government. Every Thursday they hold small rallies in Liberty Square and demand that the government resign.

Yerevan mayor Taron Margaryan’s decision to raise public bus fare by 50 percent made the hot Yerevan summer even hotter.

The decision was immediately followed by a civil movement when numerous young activists held a variety of acts of protest during five consecutive days relentlessly struggling, rebelling against the bus fare increase and made the municipal government in the Armenian capital heed the people’s voice, forcing them to understand they would not pay more for using the overloaded, worn-out and hardly functioning minibuses.

The unified effort yielded results and on July 26 the mayor suspended the application of his decision temporarily, meaning that the buses and minibuses continued operating for the same 100 dram fare (around 24 cents). The mayor, however, stated that if residents of Yerevan wanted to have decent public transport services, they have to be ready to pay more. Municipal officials and transport companies running the routes have repeatedly stated after the summer civil standoff that the rise of bus fare is unavoidable, grounding it by the fact that everything else has become more expensive except for public transport services, hence their expenses have grown and they are operating at a loss.

The departing year has turned out to be rather active also in terms of public protests against controversial construction projects. In August, residents of 10 and 12 Sayat-Nova Avenue and 5 Komitas streets, in Yerevan, rebelled against construction in their neighborhoods. These people claim that the construction licenses in densely populated zones of the city are illegal, violate the seismic resistance norms, and block their light. Despite the variety of measures the residents have resorted to, even lying down in front of construction machines to block their way, no tangible results have been achieved; their struggle is ongoing (h).

Despite a drawn-out battle to preserve unchanged Yerevan’s Pak Shuka (“Covered Market”), on the list of historical-cultural heritage and belonging to businessman MP Samvel Alexanyan, opened its doors after two years of repairs, but now as a fashionable supermarket, rather than the produce market it used to be. Although ruling Republican MP Alexanyan kept the fa

Related posts:

  1. Boris Navasardyan resigns as EaP Civil Society Forum co-chair
  2. U.S., French mediators meet civil society in Karabakh, advocate people-to-people contacts
  3. Ethnic Issue: Armenia’s largest minority lacks civil society representation
  4. New funding to support economic development, civil society and institution building in Armenia
  5. Citizen’s central role in civil campaign makes struggle stronger – Armenian oppositionist