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Medical Malpractice: Six Year-Old Hasmik Goes In for Tonsil Removal, Discharged with Brain Damage

February 17, 2015 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

00:06, February 17, 2015

Three months ago six year-old Hasmik could be seen playing with her friends in Bayandour, the Shirak village in which she lives.

Today, she isn’t allowed to leave the house due to a simple tonsil operation that went terribly wrong. The young girl is too weak and frail to play with her friends.

Last November 28, Hasmik was taken to the Mother and Child Austrian Hospital in Gyumri to have her tonsils removed. The little girl remained in the operating theater for several hours and the doctors didn’t tell Hasmik’s relatives what had happened.

Armenian Opposition Party Claims More Government Pressure

February 17, 2015 Armenia, Business, Top News No Comments

An embattled Armenian opposition party reported late on Monday that several of its members had been detained amid what it described as a continuing crackdown ordered by President Serzh Sarkisian last week.

Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) lawmaker Elinar Vartanian told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun) that Artur Mamoyan, the leader of the party’s chapter in Yerevan’s Nor-Nork district, had been taken to a police station on unspecified grounds earlier yesterday. She said they also had information about detentions of BHK activists elsewhere in the city.

Later the police reported that Mamoyan was detained on suspicion of illegally keeping weapons and said that his detention was not politically motivated.

Kocharian to Sargsyan: Back Off on Moves Against Tsarukyan

February 16, 2015 Armenia No Comments
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17:05, February 16, 2015

Commenting on the recent attack by Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan on Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) leader Gagik Tsarukyan,  Armenia’s second president Robert Kocharian, in an interview with 2rd .am, noted that he couldn’t understand why Sargsyan publicly slandered Tsarukyan and, in any event, if Sargsyan’s goal was to weaken the BHK, his attempt backfired.

“On the contrary, there are signs of the opposition uniting. Any moves against the leader of the BHK will now be seen as a political witch-hunt that lacks any justification,” Kocharian said in the interview.

Kocharian said that given the social tension in Armenia and the widespread support enjoyed by Tsarukyan and his party, further attempts by the current government to cleanse the political field will only increase unity against the regime and prospects for civic upheavels in the country.

Amenian President Recalls Armenia-Turkey Protocols

February 16, 2015 Armenia, Europe, Turkey No Comments
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17:24, February 16, 2015

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan has today petitioned the Speaker of the National Assembly Galust Sahakyan, about his decision to recall the Armenian-Turkish Protocols from the National Assembly, this according to Public Radio Armenia. The letter reads, in part:

“Respected Mr. Sahakyan,

When launching the process of normalization of the Armenian-Turkish relations without preconditions, we were fully aware of all possible scenarios of future development. We were ready for both comprehensive normalization of relations through ratification of the protocols and their failure. We had nothing to conceal, as it would become clear to the world which party was guilty of missing the chance to open the last closed border in Europe.

Foreign Minister of Armenia met Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia

February 16, 2015 Armenia, Georgia, Karabakh No Comments
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18:18, February 16, 2015

On February 16, Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian met the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia Davit Usupashvili, who pays an official visit to Yerevan. 

Welcoming the guest, Minister Nalbandian commended the positive dynamic of the friendly Armenian-Georgian relations, stressing that active inter-parliamentary contacts play an important role in the strengthening of strong inter-state ties. Edward Nalbandian expressed confidence that Davit Usupashvili’s visit will give a new impetus to bilateral cooperation.

Foreign Minister of Armenia stated that it is symbolic that Armenian parliamentarians are included in the delegation, headed by the Speaker of Parliament of Georgia.

Expressing gratitude for the reception, the Speaker of the Parliament of Georgia highlighted, that Georgia attaches great importance to the further expansion of cooperation with Armenia, based on centuries-old friendship between two peoples.

Armenian Opposition Lawmakers Consider Sit-Ins, Hunger Strikes

February 16, 2015 Armenia, Top News No Comments

Several lawmakers representing the opposition Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) may start sit-ins and hunger strikes in a central Yerevan square if their leader Gagik Tsarukian is stripped of his parliamentary seat, a senior BHK member said on Monday.

The National Assembly leadership on Monday considered kicking the embattled opposition figure out of parliament on the grounds of “chronic absenteeism” following an appeal from President Serzh Sarkisian made late last week.

At a February 12 meeting of senior members of his ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Sarkisian lashed out at his former coalition partner in a speech full of derogatory descriptions of Tsarukian. He, in particular, described the leader of the second largest parliamentary party as an ignorant and illiterate man and effectively called for his exclusion from the political process.

Ex-Leader Warns Government Against Political Reprisals

February 16, 2015 Armenia, Karabakh, Top News No Comments

Former Armenian President Robert Kocharian believes the government still has the option of reconsidering its crackdown against the opposition and returning to the “political dimension” of dealing with its critics.

In an interview with his unofficial website, 2rd.am, published on Monday, Kocharian, who led the country in 1998-2008, commented on the internal political developments of recent days triggered by his successor Serzh Sarkisian’s blistering attack on Gagik Tsarukian, a tycoon and politician who has emerged as a key opposition figure in recent months.

At a February 12 meeting of senior members of his ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Sarkisian lashed out at his former coalition partner in a speech full of derogatory descriptions of Tsarukian. He, in particular, described the leader of the second largest parliamentary party, Prosperous Armenia (BHK), as an ignorant and illiterate man and effectively called for his exclusion from the political process.

Armenian President Withdraws Protocols On Relations With Turkey

February 16, 2015 Armenia, Top News, Turkey No Comments

Armenian President Serzh Sarkisian has recalled from parliament protocols on the normalization of ties and the establishment of diplomatic relations with neighboring Turkey.

In a statement issued on Monday, Sarkisian said he had asked Parliament Speaker Galust Sahakian to return the protocol to him since “the Turkish government has no political will, distorts the spirit and letter of the protocols, and continues its policy of setting preconditions.”

Sarkisian also said that on the eve of commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey during World War I, “the policy of denial and rewriting history” is getting a renewed impulse in Ankara.

Relations between Turkey and Armenia have been strained for years over their differing accounts of mass killings of Armenians.

Yerevan Municipality Refuses To ‘Authorize’ Opposition Rally

February 16, 2015 Armenia, Top News No Comments

Authorities in the Armenian capital have not approved at short notice the opposition bid to hold a rally in a central Yerevan square later this week, explaining that the request submitted by three political parties is short of necessary grounds.

The leaders of the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK), the Armenian National Congress (HAK) and Heritage met late on Sunday to discuss their joint response to a crackdown launched by President Serzh Sarkisian and his ruling Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) against Gagik Tsarukian, who heads the BHK.

Invoking Armenia’s law on freedom of assembly, the three parties known as the trio said they would call their joint “urgent all-national rally” for February 20. Under Armenia’s law, holding ‘urgent’ rallies does not require notification of local authorities well in advance of the event.

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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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Capitalism Run Amok Is Just Plain Capitalism

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16:37, January 17, 2015

By Markar Melkonian

The source of Armenia’s misery and humiliation, we often hear, is not capitalism per se, but rather “gangster capitalism,” “a broken system,” “capitalism run amok.”

The goal for the future, then, is to “fix the system,” to reform capitalism, to make it more like regular, pure, genuine Free Enterprise, the kind of capitalism that works. But what if Armenia’s actually existing capitalism already is genuine capitalism?

An economist once observed that the only existential meaning of “enterprise” in the term free enterprise is “whatever capitalists happen to be doing at the time”–and “free” is the accompanying demand that they be allowed to do it.

Ukraine: Cops Go After Casinos, Suggest Yanukovych Connection

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21:45, December 15, 2014

Ukraine’s ministry of internal affairs has launched a campaign against illegal casinos amid fears that a large network of underground gambling dens could be providing an income source for the son of the country’s disgraced former president Viktor Yanukovych.

The new crackdown on unlawful casinos – an ongoing scourge for law enforcement agencies in Ukraine since regulation was made stiffer with a 2009 law – was launched on Dec. 8 after an announcement on Minister of Internal Affairs Arsen Avakov’s official Facebook page.

Avakov, who keeps a lively and occasionally angry Facebook commentary on current affairs, pledged to put a complete stop to the establishments within ten days; first in the capital of Kyiv, then the rest of the nation.

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.