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Your move proves de-facto independence of Karabakh – Armenian parliament official to Lithuanian MPs

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A deputy speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly has praised the members of the Lithuania-Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Parliamentary Friendship Group for the initiative to collaborate with legislators of the second Armenian republic.
Greeting the delegation led by Dalia Kuodite, the group’s chairperson, Eduard Sharmazanov said the move really testifies to Nagorno-Karabakh’s de-facto independence. Ruling out any alternative to the country’s recognition, the Armenian parliament official said he expects the parliamentary collaboration to raise the understanding of the real situation over Karabakh.
Sharmazanov noted that Lithuania was the first to recognize Armenia’s independence and the only Baltic state to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
Considering the initiative to create the group quite a natural process, Kuodite, for her part, stressed the importance of exercising the people’s right to self-determination.
The sides further considered measures of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the right to self-determination, and principles of territorial integrity and non-use of force.

Armenian POW Freed By Azerbaijan

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The Azerbaijani authorities have released an Armenian soldier from custody and immediately deported him to an unknown third country one year after he was taken prisoner near Nagorno-Karabakh, his family said on Friday.

The 23-year-old Hakob Injighulian crossed into Azerbaijani-controlled territory east of Karabakh in disputed circumstances in August 2013. Shortly afterwards he was paraded on Azerbaijani television saying that he surrendered to Azerbaijani forces after being ill-treated by one of his commanders. 

The Armenian military said that the soldier was forced to present a false version of events under duress. It insisted that he crossed the “line of contact” around Karabakh by accident.

Erdogan Handed Armenian Invitation

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Turkey’s new President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was formally invited to visit Armenia next April and commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire after being sworn in for a five-year term on Thursday.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian handed Erdogan a corresponding letter from President Serzh Sarkisian as the two men briefly spoke at a reception in Ankara that followed the presidential inauguration. Nalbandian’s press office reported no other details of the conversation.

Sarkisian first publicly extended the invitation in May, three months before the Turkish presidential election. In televised remarks, he urged the winner of the ballot to visit Yerevan on April 24, 2014 and “face up to telling testimonies of the history of the Armenian genocide.”

Baku Slams California Legislature Over Pro-Armenian Karabakh Bill

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Azerbaijan denounced the California State Legislature on Thursday for urging the U.S. government to recognize Nagorno-Karabakh as an independent republic.

The California Senate adopted a corresponding resolution on Wednesday, three months after its passage by the lower house of the U.S. state home to hundreds of thousands of ethnic Armenians.

The resolution says that Karabakh was “illegally severed from Armenia by the Soviet Union in 1921” and incorporated into Soviet Azerbaijan despite having “historically been Armenian territory.” “Since proclaiming independence [in 1991,] the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has registered significant progress in democracy building,” it says.

California State Senate Passes Bill Recognizing Artsakh as Sovereign State

August 28, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Karabakh No Comments
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11:38, August 28, 2014

The California State Senate has passed Assembly Joint Resolution 32 with a majority vote of 23-0, recognizing the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (Artsakh) as a sovereign state.

The Resolution, authored by Assemblymember Mike Gatto (D-Los Angeles), passed in the State Assembly in May.  State Senator Kevin De Leon (D-Los Angeles) spearheaded the resolution through the State Senate.

AJR 32 calls for the United States to recognize the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic as a sovereign state, invokes strong language from the United States’ own history regarding the rights of the people to “self-determination and democratic independence.”

Karabakh expects positive vote from California Senate

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Nagorno-Karabakh (Artsakh) is positively disposed to the California Senate’s upcoming voting on the resolution supporting its independence, a spokesperson for the country’s president has said.
The bill, which will be debated by Senate on Wednesday, had earlier passed the vote of the California State Assembly.
“We had been waiting for such a development, and we collaborate with both the Republic of Armenia and the Diaspora. We believe the result will be positive,” David Babayan told Tert.am, adding that the contrary scenario will not discourage the authorities of the second Armenian republic from continuing the campaign for independence.
Babayan said he sees the process developing rather dynamically. “Though we still face restrictions on the local and provincial level today, we will shortly [see the issue raised to] the level of states. This demonstrates that the world is gradually recognizing Artsakh as an accomplished, normal and democratic country. And the fact that the process continues proves that the processes here really develop based on the criteria acceptable to civilized states,” he noted. 

Kazakhstan ‘Supports’ Armenian Entry Into Eurasian Union

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Kazakhstan does not object to Armenia’s membership in the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), the Kazakh ambassador in Yerevan insisted on Wednesday.

“Kazakhstan has a very positive attitude to Armenia’s membership in the Eurasian Economic Union,” Ayimdos Bozjigitov told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in an interview. “The president of Kazakhstan signed a roadmap to that membership. So there is no opposition.”

Bozjigitov denied in that regard any political reasons for the apparent delay in Armenia’s accession to the Customs Union of Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus, which is currently transformed into the EEU. “This is a technical process that takes time,” he said.

Photo Story: Russia is Largest Market for Artsakh Fruit and Vegetables

August 27, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Karabakh No Comments
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12:55, August 27, 2014

Russia is the largest market for the goods produced by the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh’s Artsakh Fruit CJSC. Apart from the local, Artsakh market, since its founding in 2008, the company’s goods have been exported to France, Hungary, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Dubai.

Upon entering Artsakh Fruit’s Stepanakert factory, one doesn’t manage to recover from the outdoor August heat, as striking your face is the wave of hot air from ovens more scorching than the sun, leaving behind the sweet aroma of cooked, barbecued, and fried vegetables and fruit that whets your appetite.

The women in pink uniforms first sort then skillfully clean, cut, and process the vegetables and fruit, which results in the company manufacturing 28–30 types of products per year.

Hraparak: Hotel business thriving in Yerevan

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Hotel business continues thriving in Armenia’s capital despite the fact that the city seems to be overloaded with hotels as it is.
The paper says that several new hotels opened in Yerevan’’s Shiraki, Amiryan and Arami street in the past months. Citing its sources, it claims that the owner of the Hotel in Shriaki street is the brother-in-law of Bako Sahakyan, the Nagorno-Karabakh president. The other two hotels are said to be owned by Avetis Berberyan, an aide to Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan, and Arshak Mkhitaryan, a lawmaker of the Prosperous Armenia party.  

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

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.

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.