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Dashnaktsutyun ‘Not Offered’ To Rejoin Government


The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) is ready, in principle, to eventually rejoin Armenia’s government but has not yet received such an offer from President Serzh Sarkisian, a leader of the opposition party said on Friday.

Artsvik Minasian acknowledged that Dashnaktsutyun maintains regular contacts with Sarkisian on a range of pressing issues, including the economy, national security and constitutional reform. “We periodically hold discussions with the head of state, the prime minister and some ministers,” he told RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am).

Asked whether the influential party is now prepared to take up ministerial posts in Sarkisian’s government as a junior coalition partner, Minasian said, “Let’s just forget about the word coalition in this case because we are talking about joint efforts. If there is a situation where we see, as a result of discussions, that we can be of use and solve issues with joint responsibility, we won’t exclude that option.”

2015 Telethon to Provide Housing to Artsakh Families with 5 Children

May 28, 2015 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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13:21, May 27, 2015

At a meeting today in Yerevan of the board of trustees of the Hayastan All Armenia Fund, Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan proposed that a portion of the funds collected during this year’s Telethon in November be allocated to providing housing to families with five or more adolescent children.

Sahakyan’s proposal was adopted by the board.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

New postage stamp dedicated to Missak Manouchian

May 26, 2015 Armenia, Culture No Comments
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18:55, May 26, 2015

On May 26th, 2015 Haypost CJSC cancelled and put into circulation a new stamp dedicated to the Armenian poet, French Resistance fighter and a national hero of France Missak Manouchian.

The stamp’s official cancellation ceremony took place at the newly built new technologies development and training center of Haypost CJSC.  The cancellation was carried out by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France to Armenia His Excellency Jean-François Charpentier, the Deputy Minister of the RA Ministry of Transport and Communication Mr. Gagik Tadevosyan, the Deputy Minister of the RA Ministry of Foreign Affrairs Mr. Karen Nazaryan, the Chairman of the Union of Philatelists of Armenia Mr. Hovik Musayelyan and “Haypost Trust Management” BV Managing Director Mr. Juan Pablo Gechidjian.

OCCRP Reporter Detained in Moscow, Banned from Russia until 2020

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22:35, May 26, 2015

OCCRP journalist Stevan Dojčinović has been detained for 20 hours in a Moscow airport without explanation, deported, and banned from entering Russia until 2020.

Dojčinović was due to give a lecture at the Faculty of Journalism in the Russian city of Voronezh.

But as his passport was scanned at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport on May 13, an alert appeared in the computer system and the border guard told Dojčinović to sit down. After an hour’s wait, police arrived and took him to a room for questioning.

Dojčinović said that in the interrogation room a portrait of President Vladimir Putin bearing the words “Our Commander in Chief” hung alongside a long table. Officers presented Dojčinović with a document in Russian which he was asked to sign, while another police officer filmed the proceedings.

Dsegh Seas: This Fabled Lake is Gradually Losing Water

May 26, 2015 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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15:56, May 26, 2015

Dsegh Tzover (Dsegh Seas) is the name of lake much fabled in the writings of such literary notables as Hovhannes Tumanyan, Avetik Isahakyan, Vahan Deryan, Leo, and others.

Sadly today, the lake located three kilometers southeast of Dsegh village in the north of Armenia, is losing water.

It was a group of Dsegh residents that wrote to Hetq regarding the threat. The lake has no inflow and is mostly fed by underground aquifers and rainwater.

The lake measures 250 meters in length and 200 meters wide at its widest point. Its deepest point measures 4.5 meters.

The water loss, in large part, is being caused by Dsegh resident Shavarsh Shekoyan who has been transporting water out of the lake by a pipe to his stone production facility.

The Farmer…All the Way from Los Angeles

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18:08, May 26, 2015

Edik Baghdasaryan, David Banuchyan

Pedro Zorikian, who moved to Armenia from Los Angeles, never thought he’d be working with the earth in the homeland. At first, he wanted to start a small enterprise and he brought some experimental materials with him. After dealing with Armenian customs officials Pedro changed his mind.

Artsakh Security Council Discusses Harvest Season Issues

May 25, 2015 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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12:50, May 25, 2015

Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan presided over a session of the country’s Security Council yesterday in Stepanakert which discussed ways of organizing effective measures to combat fires during the grain harvest.

Sahakyan instructed the government to form a command structure by June 1 to deal with the issue.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenia Police Sign $314K Contract for Promotional Films and Videos

May 23, 2015 Armenia, Film, Video No Comments
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11:50, May 23, 2015

Armenia’s Police Department has placed an order with Armenia Public TV to produce fourteen 26 minute films in a series entitled “My Army”.

The TV station will also be producing a 16 part series for the police on Yerevan detective stories.

The Police signed a 150 million AMD (US$314,260) contract with Armenia Public TV last March to produce the videos and films.

The contract states that the “My Army” series is tasked with “Depicting the powerful reality of Armenia’s armed forces and to show the Armenian and international public the technical and physical resources of our army and the fighting spirit of the Armenian soldier.”

Artsakh President in France; Signs Cooperation Agreement with Drôme

May 20, 2015 Armenia, Arts No Comments
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11:24, May 20, 2015

Jean Eckian

PARIS – On May 19, Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan laid a wreath of flowers in memory of the victms of the Armenian Genocide at the foot of the Komitas statue in Paris’ Yerevan Park.

President Sahakyan, accompanied on his official visit to France by Artsakh Foreign Minister Karen Mirzoyan, was welcomed to Paris by the co-chairs of CCAF, Ara Toranian and Mourad Papazian. Also in attendance were Ambassador of Armenia to France Vigen Chitechian, the representative of Artskah to France Hovhannes Gevorgyan, and representatives of the Armenian community in France.

On the same day, President Sahakyan also signed a Charter of Friendship with Mayor François Pupponi of Sarcelles (a commune in the northern suburbs of Paris) thus linking the French community and Martakert.  

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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.


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.