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Nagorno-Karabakh president thanks Defense Army for efficient border protection

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President of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic (NKR) Bako Sahakyan convoked a working consultation on Monday dedicated to a range of domestic and foreign policy issues.President Sahakyan expressed his gratitude to the defense ministry, the command staff and all the personnel of the NKR Defense Army and to the relevant units of other structures for keeping steadfast the state’s border, averting the enemy’s intrusion attempts, maintaining stability and peace in the region, noting that their work was among the best manifestations of self-devotion, high professionalism and patriotism, which inspires pride to all the Armenians.Special attention was paid to the situation along the borderline, increasing the army’s fighting efficiency, the process of the Artsakh Republic’s international recognition, the activities carried out in various sectors of the economy.Bako Sahakyan gave concrete instructions to the responsible representatives of the concerned structures on the discussed issues and their efficient implementation.Primate of the Artsakh Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church Archbishop Pargev Martrosyan, National Assembly chairman Ashot Ghoulyan, prime-minister Ara Haroutyunyan, other officials were present at the consultation. 

Azerbaijani Incursion Repulsed, Says Artsakh Defense Ministry

August 9, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan No Comments
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11:07, August 9, 2014

The Artsakh Ministry of Defense reports that its forces repulsed an attempted Azerbaijani incursion across the line of contact in the Hadrout and Martouni region yesterday night.

The ministry says that the Azerbaijanis suffered losses in the ensuing clash, but that no Armenian casualties were reported.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Armenian Deputy Defense Minister in Washington D.C. for Talks

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12:47, August 8, 2014

Armenian Deputy Defense Minister Davit Tonoyan yesterday met with Evelyn N. Farkas, U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia/Ukraine/Eurasia, and deputy assistant secretaries Gregory M. Kausner and Eric Rubin in Washington D.C.

At the meeting, the Armenian and American officials discussed matters of mutual interest regarding Armenia-U.S. defense cooperation.

They also discussed recent developments on the Artsakh line of contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan border.

The parties stressed the need to stabilize the situation and reiterated their stance that the Karabakh conflict can only be resolved through peaceful negotiations via the OSCE Minsk Group.

The Yin and Yang of War and Peace

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15:09, August 8, 2014

By Marineh Khachadour

Here is a disclaimer: I want peace, and I want it now! Gaza, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Ukraine…I don’t want another country added to this list, especially the place of my birth, which I think of as my homeland.

Commission for POWs, Hostages and Missing Persons demands independent expert examination over Armenian citizen’s death

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The Commission for POWs, Hostages and Missing Persons demands an independent expert examination overt the death of Armenian citizen Karen Petrosyan, Spokesman for Armenia’s Ministry of Defense Artsrun Hovhannisyan told Tert.am.
Armen Kaprielyan of the Commission for POWs, Hostages and Missing Persons told Tert.am that the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) confirmed the death of Armenian citizen Karen Petrosyan, who was taken captive in Azerbaijan on Thursday.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Former Combatants Voluntarily Return to the Artsakh Front-Line

August 8, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Azerbaijan No Comments
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22:29, August 7, 2014

Hetq editor-in-chief Edik Baghdasaryan sent the following report from Artsakhfront-line.

Recent developments along the Artsakh-Azerbaijan border have mobilized the entire population of Artsakh.

Upon hearing news of clashes on the border, hundreds of former combatants rushed to the front-line to stand shoulder to shoulder with Armenian soldiers.

I met three brothers on the northeastern front-line – Davit, Mher, and Souren Abrahamyan (photo; from left)

At another front-line section I met Erik Balasanyan, who had joined his son Aram now serving in the army.

Photos: Armen Yeramishyan

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Hraparak: South Caucasus Railway in illegal sales deal with Iran

August 8, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Georgia No Comments
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The paper says it has learned from sources that the South Caucasus Railway has agreed to sell train wheels to an Iranian company in a deal widely perceived as illegal.
Under an agreement, reportedly signed on July 1, the company’s leadership has agreed to export 700 wheels (each weighing 1 ton) to the Islamic Republic for sale. The purchasing company is Tir Koran International Transport, according to the paper.
The paper notes that transactions of the kind require permission by the Ministry of Defense, as well as corresponding payments. To avoid that, the company reportedly formulated the wheels as used spare parts (not just as iron scrap).
“Specialists give assurances that the wheels are made of a special steel that contains precious color metals, such as vanadium. They have agreed with the Iranian side to sell one wheel for 470 [US] Dollars. But the Iranian price is 350. In 2010, Georgia proposed selling them for 600-700 Dollars, but Armenia rejected them, confident that they would function after light repairs,” writes the paper.

U.S. Hails Russian Initiative On Karabakh

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The United States welcomed on Thursday Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming talks with his Armenian and Azerbaijani counterparts that are meant to defuse increased tensions in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict zone.

“We welcome Putin’s initiative to meet with the presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan,” James Warlick, the U.S. co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, wrote on his Twitter page. “We urge strict respect for the ceasefire.”

The separate talks scheduled to take place in Sochi on Saturday were announced by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday following an upsurge in deadly fighting between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces. Lavrov did not rule out the possibility of a trilateral meeting between Putin, Armenia’s Serzh Sarkisian and Azerbaijan’s Ilham Aliyev.

Armenia’s Defense Minister: ‘The Turk remains a Turk and we will act accordingly’

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14:40, August 7, 2014

Armenia’s Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan addressed a government cabinet session today in Yerevan, reflecting on what has transpired on the Artsakh line of contact and the Armenia-Azerbaijan during the past ten days. Here are some translated quotes excerpted from his address.

“In general, 2014 has been a tense time for Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Army. Violations of the ceasefire, the actions of saboteurs/reconnaissance groups, and the arms race, resulting in 18,000 ceasefire violations so far this year as opposed to 13,000 last year, are all a result of the war rhetoric launched by the military strategists of Azerbaijan.”

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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.