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Bako Sahakyan hosts Armenian philantropist

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President of the Nagorno-Karabakh (NKR) Republic Bako Sahakyan received on Saturday Michael Haroutyunyan, an Armenian philanthropist and public figure.
According to a press release by the NKR Presidential Office, issues related to the implementation of different projects in the country were discussed at the meeting.
The president praised the philanthropist’s contribution to the development of Artsakh, highlighting its significance from economic, political and moral viewpoints. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Sarkisian Again Defends Turkish-Armenian Accords


Armenia – President Serzh Sarkisian examines an Armenian-made rifle during a visit to the Defense Ministry in Yerevan, 18Apr2014.

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President Serzh Sarkisian on Friday again defended his administration’s 2009 normalization agreements with Turkey against strong criticism voiced in Armenia and especially its worldwide Diaspora.

NKR president visits construction site for new secondary school

April 18, 2014 Diaspora, Karabakh No Comments
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President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) President Bako Sahakyan together with philanthropist Nikolai Sarkisov visited construction site of secondary school’s new building being built in capital Stepanakert.The Head of the State expressed gratitude to Nikolai Sarkisov for financing such an important project. The President noted that the sphere of education and science was among the key directions of the republic’s development and within this context considered important the existence of educational institutions corresponding to international standards.The President was accompanied by minister of education and science Slava Asryan, minister of municipal engineering Karen Shahramanyan and other officials. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Russia-West conflict fight between evil and good – debate

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A round-table debate devoted to the Ukrainian crisis was held in Yerevan on Friday to address the geopolitical and ideological tools’ impact on the situation in the country.
The public and political figures and experts attending the event focused particularly on the Russian positions which they said are indirectly linked to Armenia’s interests. They characterized the Russia-West conflict as a fight between the good and evil, considering Russia’s victory (in the referendum to make Crimea part of its country) an inevitable success in the turmoil.
Arman Boshyan, the Yerevan Geopolitical Club’s president who organized the debate, said he feels Russia is facing a war pole, the processes against the country being similar to those in Syria.
The club’s vice president, Ruben Barents, described the developments as the international mafia’s attempt to celebrate an eventual victory against Russia.
Addressing the situation in Ukraine, Vagharshak Harutyunyan, a former minister of defense, said the expects the outcome of the Crimea-Ukraine crisis to be decisive for Armenia. He stressed the importance of remembering the Turkish factor’s role in the Ukraine crisis, noting that the country’s Tatar population will be most likely involved in future fights for returning Crimea to Ukraine. Harutyunyan said he already knows who will eventually win Ukraine’s former autonomous region. “Turkey’s role is the strongest there,” he said, adding that the Turkish navy is more powerful than the Russian.
The former minister noted that Ukraine never backed Armenia’s position in international tribunals, always voting in favor of Azerbaijan in debates on resolutions on Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh).
Speaking further, the Democratic Party’s leader, Aram Sargsyan, said he doesn’t agree that the tension in Ukraine is a neo-Nazi movement. “Ukraine is an unaccomplished state at the movement, so Armenia has to guide itself by its political and geopolitical interests,” the politician noted.
Vardan Khachatryan, a theologist also attending the meeting, said he thinks Armenia’s future largely depends on Russia’s potentials of job-creation in the country. “It is important to produce human resources who will not be forced to leave the country to be exploited in the West,” he noted. 

Armenian politician blames ruling party for migration

April 16, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Karabakh No Comments
Armenian News

An Armenian public-political figure on Wednesday described the ruling Republican Party as a major driving force of deportation.
Ashot Manucharyan, a former member of the Karabakh committee, blamed the governing political force for the deterioration of the country’s living standards, which he said often causes people to migrate.
“When the Artsakh [Karabakh] movement was launched in 1988, and the Sumgait events [pogroms] followed, the central government blamed the movement’s activists for extremism, and they enforced different sanctions. And what happened was that we received a letter from the criminal authorities. They promised that no law would be breached in the country which was in an extremely hard situation then. We are again in a hard situation now, and again receiving a letter, but the message’s content is now different – the looting will go on,” he added.
Addressing the cabinet change that follows the prime minister’s replacement, the politician said he doesn’t think it will increase the society’s trust in the government or lead to any positive development at all.

Top Job Vacancy: Parliament speaker’s appointment as PM triggers search for successor

April 16, 2014 Armenia, Asia, Europe, Karabakh No Comments

Analysts think that a lawmaker “loyal” to the government will eventually be elected to the post of parliament speaker that remains vacant since its holder, Hovik Abrahamyan, was appointed prime minister earlier this week.

Abrahamyan’s powers as lawmaker and chairman of the National Assembly were terminated as he assumed the post of prime minister on Monday. Before the election of the new chairman, first Deputy Speaker Eduard Sharmazanov will act as speaker according to the National Assembly regulations.

Abrahamyan, who was first elected to parliament from a single-mandate constituency in 2008 and shortly became its speaker was returned to the legislature on the Republican Party of Armenia (RPA) list in 2012. According to the Electoral Code, within a week the seat will become available to the next candidate on the RPA list, which is RPA Council member Lernik Alexanyan in this case. Alexanyan said he will pick up the mandate.

Aliyev Blasts Armenia, West Over Karabakh


Azerbaijan – President Ilham Aliyev speaks at a cabinet meeting in Baku, 13Apr2014.

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Nagorno-Karabakh PM congratulates Hovik Abrahamyan

April 14, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Karabakh No Comments
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The prime minister of Nagorno-Karabakh has congratulated his new Armenian counterpart on taking office.
In an official address to Hovik Abrahamyan, Ara Harutyunyan has expressed hope that his rich experience and reputation of a politician will contribute to the further development and strengthening of cooperation between the two Armenian republics.
“Dear Mr Abrahamyan,
“I cordially congratulate you on being appointed the Republic of Armenia prime minister. The high level of trust by Armenia’s president and the governing Republican Party demonstrate that you can make great the experience and good reputation of a politician offer the best solutions to the vital problems facing Armenia.
“I am sure that your activities as a prime minister will be effective and fruitful and have one of their key pointers directed to the prosperity-building of Artsakh. Since the beginning of our independence, the Armenian authorities have been maintaining close practical and friendly relations with the second Armenian republic, offering their best assistance to its development and strengthening. I am hopeful that you will deepen that tradition to make your dialogue and cooperation with the cabinet and the other branches of Artsakh’s government more expanded and multi-faceted.
“I wish you the best success in the new position,” reads the address. 

Sarkisian Demands Armenian Neutrality On Syria


Syria — Cars burn after two car bombs at Karm al-Louz neighbourhood in Homs city, April 9, 2014, in this handout released by Syria’s national news agency SANA.

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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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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


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


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


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.