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Armenians not revolutionary-minded nation – sociologist

July 10, 2014 Armenia, Diaspora No Comments
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Director of the Sociometer center Aharon Adibekyan believes Armenians are not a revolutionary-minded nation.“Armenians are not a revolutionary-minded nation, every sixth is capable of doing something, while five others are wingside spectators,” Adibekyan told reporters on Thursday.According to him, some active people protest against funded pensions or planned increase in transport fares, while others just watch the developments.Adibekyan presented the result of a survey.In response to a question as to what citizens are ready for to accomplish tasks of vital importance, 20% (23.5% in Yerevan) said they would resort to rallies and drives for signatures. Five percent (7.5% in Yerevan) of the respondents would resort to non-violent resistance.Only 15% (16% in Yerevan) are ready are ready for violent riots and revolutionary actions. And 60% (53% in Yerevan) found it difficult to answer. 

Armenian troops capture Azerbaijani raiding party members

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An Azerbaijani raiding party attempted an incursion into the Armenian territory in the Karvachar section of the Armenian and Nagorno-Karabakh border.The front line troops of the Nagorno-Karabakh Defense Army retaliated. Some of the raiding party members were captures, while others fled.The Armenian side did not suffer any losses. 

Source: TertOriginial Article

Rule of Law Prez: ‘We Had No Connection to the Bloodshed of March 1, 2008′

July 10, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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14:46, July 9, 2014

Rule of Law Party President Artur Baghdasaryan went out of his way today to stress to reporters that his party should also been seen as an opposition force in Armenia.

To this end, Baghdasaryan told reporters that his party was periodically cooperating with the so-called opposition quartet (HAK, Heritage, ARF, and Prosperous Armenia) in the parliament.

“We have declared that we are ready to collaborate with all on specific issues and problems. We have no hang-ups and are cooperation is visible. There are issues that are of concern for us all; the quartet and Rule of Law. Thus, we are ready to coordinate our energies. In a way, the quartet is in fact a quintet,” Baghdasaryan told reporters, but confessed that neither his party nor the quartet had discussed expanding the four party opposition bloc to five.

Cuba: Canadian Businessman Charged On Multiple Accounts By Cuban Government

July 10, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Business No Comments
Armenian News

17:08, July 9, 2014

TheCuban Government has allegedly falsely charged Canadian businessman after he spoke out against the corruption that plagues Cuba.

Cy Tokmakjian, president and founder of the Tokmakjian Group, one of Canada’s largest transportation companies, has been in business with Cuba for 22 years selling busses, other vehicles, and parts to public and private companies. However, after recently criticizing corruption in Cuba, Tokmakjian is likely to be sent to prison, reportsReuters.

In 2011 Tokmakjian, 74, was arrested and held without charge for two and half years. Earlier in 2014, he was subsequently charged with bribery, fraud, currency trafficking, forgery, tax evasion, and crimes against the Cuban economy. However, those closest to Tokmakjian continue to maintain that the charges against him are entirely baseless. Lee Hacker, vice president of finance for the Tokmakjian Group, calls this a situation in which truth and logic are not part of the equation, reportsCTV News.

Vatican: Scandal-Plagued Vatican Bank Says It Will Clean Up Its Image

July 10, 2014 Armenia, Business No Comments
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21:34, July 9, 2014

The Vatican Bank, according to its 2013 financial statement, has blocked the accounts of more than 2,000 clients and ended 3,000 “customer relationships” since last April. This is an effort to clean up an image tarnished by numerous financial scandals in recent years.

Dormant accounts with small balances and no activity for a long time were closed as were those that do not meet the bank’s new criteria for doing business with them.

Since Pope Francis was elected, he has prioritized rebuilding the smeared image of the bank. In recent years, the bank has come under international pressure from anti-money-laundering and antiterrorist financing regulators, who suspected its history of secret financial operations allowed it to be used as a tax haven, reports the Financial Times.

Ex-Coalition Partner To Hold Rally In Yerevan

July 10, 2014 Armenia, Top News No Comments

The Orinats Yerkir party of Artur Baghdasarian will hold a rally in Yerevan next week three months after pulling out of President Serzh Sarkisian’s government.

Baghdasarian made clear on Wednesday that the party, which holds 5 seats in Armenia’s 131-member parliament, will not demand Sarkisian’s or the recently reshuffled government’s resignation when it rallies supporters on July 18. He said Orinats Yerkir leaders will only present what they believe are viable alternatives to the Armenian authorities’ socioeconomic policies.

“Serzh Sarkisian himself has announced his departure from active politics [in 2018,]” Baghdasarian told reporters when asked about his unwillingness to call for regime change in the country. “First of all, under the constitution he cannot run for president anymore,” he told a news conference. “He has also stated that he does not aspire to being Armenia’s prime minister.”

Abrahamian Vows To End Distrust Of Government

July 10, 2014 Armenia, Top News No Comments

Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamian acknowledged widespread popular distrust in Armenia’s government and pledged to address it during a visit to the northwestern Shirak province on Wednesday.

“The distrust that exists today between the authorities and the population must be eliminated,” Abrahamian said at a meeting with students and the faculty of a state university in the provincial capital Gyumri.

“We have been to many places where people had visited, given promises but not made good on them,” he added. “There seems to be a lack of faith and trust. We are going to overcome it.”

Abrahamian, who was appointed as prime minister in April following the unexpected resignation of his predecessor Tigran Sarkisian, did not specify what he and his government will do to address the problem.

Georgia ‘In Dark’ About New Armenian Trade Tariffs


Georgia does not know yet the extent of new barriers to its trade with neighboring Armenia that are expected to emerge after Yerevan joins Russia’s Customs Union with Belarus and Kazakhstan, a senior Georgian diplomat said on Wednesday.

“We don’t know what the Customs Union will be requiring from Armenia with regard to us,” Tengiz Sharmanashvili, the Georgian ambassador in Yerevan, told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in an interview.


Georgia — Georgian Ambassador to Armenia Tengiz Sharmanashvili.

“A free-trade regime between us is still functioning,” Sharmanashvili said. “We will try to ensure that this does not change. In essence, we don’t plan to change that regime. As for what changes the Customs Union will demand, we don’t know that yet.”

U.S. Envoy Concerned About Armenian-Azeri Fighting


A senior U.S. diplomat expressed serious concern on Tuesday over increased ceasefire violations in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone, warning that they are heightening the risk of another Armenian-Azerbaijani war.

“The status quo is increasingly dangerous,” James Warlick, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, wrote on his Twitter page.

He said he is leaving Washington to meet with fellow co-chairs from Russia and France and “discuss next steps on Karabakh peace.” Warlick did not specify the venue of the mediators’ meeting.

The troika most recently visited Baku, Yerevan and Stepanakert in mid-May. It urged the conflicting parties to honor the ceasefire regime. Deadly truce violations around Karabakh and on the Armenian-Azerbaijani border have since continued unabated, however.

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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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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


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.