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Artsakh to Conduct Trial Census This Week

March 16, 2015 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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12:39, March 16, 2015

Artsakh will hold a trial census this week to prepare for an official population count scheduled to take place this October.

Yesterday, a meeting of the census organization commission took place in Stepanakert, the capital of Artsakh. 

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Personal Finances: Winners in Yesterday’s Mayoral Elections in Armavir Province

March 16, 2015 Armenia, Culture No Comments
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10:55, March 16, 2015

Armavir – Khlghatyan Reelected

By a vote of 9,246 to 810, Ruben Khlghatyan was reelected as mayor of Armavir yesterday. 810 votes were nullified as invalid in the local election in which the number of eligible voters was 28,421.

According to the financial disclosure filed by Khlghatyan, during the period February 2, 2014 to February 2, 2015, his income amounted to 5.783 million AMD, of which 3.471 was derived from wages. The remainder was derived from interest income from a loan to Legenda Ltd.

Khlghatyan also owns 100% of Armavir-Shin Ltd., a construction company, that has been given the right to extract and process a salt mine adjacent to the community of Getashen.

New Web Site Assesses Armenian Genocide Losses

March 14, 2015 Armenia, Arts, Turkey No Comments
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10:48, March 14, 2015

Yerevan – Armenian Genocide Losses 1915, http://armeniangenocidelosses.am/, is a new web site created by an independent research group in Armenia. “The goal is to provide a framework for informed discussion on the extent of the harm resulting from this genocide.”

It presents a formula based on international norms and precedents, which call for reversible harm to be reversed and irreversible harm to be compensated. Reversible harm includes land, property and rights that can be restored. Irreversible harm includes lost lives, destroyed property, and other intangible harm caused and benefit gained by delay and denial of the Armenian Genocide. The total harm caused and benefit gained from the Armenian Genocide is estimated to be in excess of $3 trillion.

Fishing Rights at Stake: Tabatzghour Residents Take Company Owned by MP Ayvazyan to Court

March 13, 2015 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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12:40, March 13, 2015

Residents of Tabatzghour, in Georgia’s Samtskhe-Javakhk region, have taken a company owned by native son Vardan Ayvazyan, a member of the Armenian parliament to court.

Tabatzghour residents want to stop Ayvazyan from building a fish farming enterprise on a lake in the village. They also want to be granted first fishing rights on the lake.

Ayvazyan’s company Ldjer Ltd. leased the lake for fishing. Some of the fish are supposed to wind up at huge fish market and restaurant that Ayvazyan  is building in Tbilisi.

15 village residents showed up at a preliminary hearing at the Tbilisi Municipal Court on March 11 according to our colleagues in the Georgian capital. The court indefinitely postponed the hearing until it decides whether or not to accept the injunction petition.

Montenegro: Reporters Call on Tax Authority to Investigate Former President

March 13, 2015 Armenia, Business No Comments
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15:58, March 13, 2015

Montenegro’s leading anti-corruption group, MANS, has demanded that tax authorities investigate the finances of the former president of Serbia and Montenegro and his wife.

According to leaked documents obtained by OCCRP, the wife of former president Svetozar Marovic stashed US$3.8 million in an account held with Swiss Bank HSBC in 2006 – 2007. Although Marovic had access to the account, he did not declare the asset.

Svetozar Marovic’s 2006 assets declaration lists his wife as unemployed, and shows that he earned about US$2250 a month serving as a parliamentarian and chairman of the board of a public company. According to the business registry, the Marovic’s did not own any private businesses in Montenegro before that year.

Lithuania Still ‘Very Supportive’ Of Closer EU-Armenia Ties


Lithuania supports the idea of a new accord that would deepen Armenia’s relations the European Union after the South Caucasus state’s recent accession to a Russian-led alliance, according to a senior Lithuanian official.

Deputy Foreign Minister Rolandas Krisciunas said his country is ready, in principle, to back an Armenian proposal to incorporate some political and economic provisions of an abandoned Association Agreement between the EU and Armenia into such a deal.

“Lithuania will be very supportive of any positive steps towards a deeper and broader [EU-Armenia] relationship, and of course we are looking at that,” Krisciunas told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) in Lithuania’s capital Vilnius. “We know that there was an incentive to have certain elements which were in the Association Agreement in a possible new type of agreement with Armenia. So we are open to these ideas and are discussing them.”

Repressive actions against journalists in Crimea, Ukraine; OSCE Representative calls for immediate release of journalist

March 13, 2015 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

18:12, March 13, 2015

OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović condemned the intimidation of independent journalists in Crimea following the detention today of Natalya Kokorina, a journalist and editor with the news portal Crimean Centre for Investigative Journalism.

“This detention is a reminder of the ongoing practice of the de facto authorities in Crimea to intimidate and persecute independent media representatives for their work,” Mijatović said.

According to reports, Kokorina was detained by Federal Security Service agents that were searching her parents’ apartment in Simferopol. Kokorina was not allowed legal help during the search and detention, nor given reasons for these restrictive measures.

“I call on the de facto authorities in Crimea to immediately release Kokorina,” Mijatović said.

Hardline Opposition Group To Pursue ‘Own’ Constitutional Amendments

March 13, 2015 Armenia, Top News No Comments

A radical opposition group in Armenia has signaled its intention to seek public approval of its own amendments to the Constitution after rejecting the concept of a constitutional reform endorsed by President Serzh Sarkisian.

Garegin Chukaszian, the leader of the Founding Parliament, a movement of political and civil activists seeking regime change in Armenia, told RFE/RL’s Armenian Service (Azatutyun) on Friday that they have drafted a so-called Civil Contract with which they are going to secure public consent to drafting the country’s new Constitution.

The group leader’s statement came against the background of the endorsement by President Sarkisian of a concept of constitutional amendments under which Armenia will become a parliamentary republic.

Canadian Prime Minister Meets with Armenian Conservatives

March 13, 2015 Armenia No Comments
Armenian News

17:36, March 13, 2015

On March 4, members of the Armenian Canadian Conservative Association (ACCA) met with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper shortly after he announced upcoming changes to legislation affecting Canada’s justice system.

The Prime Minister was accompanied by the Honorable Peter MacKay, Minister of Justice, and Ms. Roxanne James, the Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness.

Approximately twenty ACCA members were present, led by their Chair Vatche Demirdjian and Vice-Chair Sevan Hajinian, who reiterated to the Prime Minister the organization’s support for Canada’s Conservative Government and its governing principles.

After Prime Minister Harper congratulated ACCA members for the founding of their organization, Ms. Hajinian provided the Prime Minister with a copy of her book,The Armenian Genocide Denied.

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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.