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Choking Embrace: ‘Mother’ Russia says won’t tolerate ‘outside interference’ in friendly countries

April 18, 2014 Armenia, Arts, Asia, Georgia, Sports No Comments
Armenian News

Russia will prevent any aggressive intervention in the internal affairs of friendly countries made “under the pretext of planting ideas alien to our minds and hearts”. This was stated by Russian Ambassador to Armenia Ivan Volynkin during the Seventh Forum of Russian compatriots in Armenia on April 12.

Armenia has still not officially protested against this statement by the Russian diplomat. But in the media there have been some articles describing it as “diplomatic nonsense” and a bid for total control of “hearts and minds” in Armenia.

The relations between Armenia and Russia increasingly appear to be contradictory: on the official level the two sides state about their fraternal friendship, loyalty for all times to come, about Armenia’s intentions to integrate into the pro-Russian Eurasian space. And on the “second level” the entire spectrum of conflict of interests and intentions of Armenia and Russia is manifested.

Risk of African Swine Flu Increases in Armenia, Says New Report

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13:35, April 14, 2014

According to a new brief that appeared in today’s Global Meat news.com, the endemic risk of African swine fever (ASF) has increased from a moderate to a high rating in Georgia, Armenia and Russia since 2010.

These findings were issued in a recent report by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) following a request by the European Commission to provide an update on the risk of endemicity of ASF in countries surrounding the EU.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Dirty Water Flows from Shamlugh Taps, but Mayor Gets Monetary Award for a Job Well Done

April 12, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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12:00, April 12, 2014

Residents of Shamlugh, a town close to the Georgian border in Armenia’s northern Lori Province, are complaining that the water flowing from their faucets during the past week has been muddy and undrinkable.

Arev Abelyan, who resides in building #10, said that she and her neighbors have been forced to get eater from a nearby village for drinking and cooking. The bathtub in Anoush Ghorkhmazyan’s apartment was filled with the brown water.

Shamlugh old-timer Zhorik waxed philosophical on the dirty water problem. “The water is bad and flows in a trickle. If we complain will anything change? This is the state of the community,” he said.

Allied Vote: Armenia says ‘nyet’ to anti-Russian resolution at PACE

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Armenian delegates to the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) have voted against a resolution stripping Russia of its vote at the Strasbourg-based body until the end of the year.

The Russian delegation itself did not show up for the vote that took place on April 10.

The PACE adopted the resolution by a vote of 145 to 21, with 22 abstentions (Armenia has four votes at the Assembly). It denounced the actions of Russia in Ukraine and demanded that Moscow withdraw its armed forces, including the Black Sea fleet, from Crimea.

Armenian Assembly Calls on U.S. to Allocate $40 Million to Armenia and to Safeguard Kesab Armenians

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13:15, April 10, 2014

Last week, the Armenian Assembly of America (Assembly) submitted testimony to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on State-Foreign Operations and Related Programs on the proposed Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 U.S. budget, reported the Assembly. Also last week, the Assembly reported that the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues, led by Co-Chairs Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-NJ) and Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), sent a letter to Subcommittee Chairwoman Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX) and Committee Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) highlighting U.S. foreign aid priorities for Armenia and Artsakh.

Crunchy Delicacy: Europe Loses its Taste for Armenian Crawfish

April 10, 2014 Armenia, Europe, Georgia No Comments
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18:53, April 8, 2014

While Armenian exporters have never received licenses to market fish to European Union countries, locally grown crawfish (both live and processed) was recently a big hit in Belgium, France, Germany and Austria.

Sales to Europe overall have been cut in half, of late, and crawfish exports to France have dropped threefold.

The U.S. and Europe have started to give preference to either cooked or frozen crawfish for hygienic reasons. Some countries, like Sweden, have banned imports of the live variety altogether.

Despite slumping sales to Europe, Armenian exports of fish and crawfish soared in 2013, mainly due to sales to Russia.

Family from Azerbaijan granted political asylum in Armenia

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Authorities in Yerevan have granted political asylum to an Azerbaijani family that crossed into Armenia through Georgia earlier this year.

Javid Orujev, his wife Roya Mirzoyeva and three children arrived in Armenia in late January, saying that they fled persecution in Azerbaijan.

According to Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS), Orujev claimed to have been forced to spy for Azerbaijani intelligence because of Mirzoyeva’s ethnic Armenian origin. The 38-year-old told the NSS that he had unsuccessfully sought political asylum in a European state for that reason.

Gagik Yeganyan, head of Armenia’s State Migration Service, was quoted by Armenian media as saying that the Azeri family’s request for political asylum had been granted.

Source: Armenia NowOriginial Article

Kobayr Monastery Bellfry and Mausoleum Restoration Nears Completion

April 8, 2014 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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13:05, April 7, 2014

Vahe Aghamyan

Work to restore the bell-tower/mausoleum at the Kobayr Monastery in Armenia’s northern Lori Province is nearing completion.

The name Kobayr derives from the Armenian ayr and the Georgian kob, both meaning cave.

The Kobayr cloister belongs to a number of remarkable architectural complexes of medieval times, whose history is closely connected with the famous medieval Armenian feudal houses- Kyurikid’s, Bagratid’s and Armenian representatives of Georgian religion from Zakharid’s kin (Shahnshah, Georgi, Mkhagrdze) and others.

According to the Georgian inscription on the southern wall, amirspasalar’s son Shahnshah Mkhargredzeli and his wife Vanen built it in 1279.

It was one of the most important seats of written language and cultural centers of Armenia.

Azeri Family Granted Asylum In Armenia

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The Armenian authorities have granted political asylum to an Azerbaijani family that crossed into Armenia via Georgia earlier this year.

Javid Orujev, his wife Roya Mirzoyeva and three children entered the country through the main Georgian-Armenian border crossing in late January, several months after being reportedly deported back to Azerbaijan from Norway.

According to Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS), Orujev claimed to have been harassed by and forced to spy for Azerbaijani intelligence because of Mirzoyeva’s ethnic Armenian origin. The 38-year-old told the NSS that he had unsuccessfully sought political asylum in a European state for that reason.
 
The family lodged a similar application with immigration authorities in Yerevan. News.am quoted the head of Armenia’s State Migration Service (SMS), Gagik Yeganian, as saying on Sunday that the request has been granted.
 
The five Azerbaijanis have been kept an undisclosed location in Yerevan. Orujev and Mirzoyeva have avoided any contact with the Armenian media so far.
 
Azerbaijani news services quoted Orujev’s mother as saying in February that the family was never harassed by the Azerbaijani authorities. She said her son is simply keen to again emigrate to Europe through Armenia.

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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

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.

Armenian Foreign Policies 2013: Customs Union, U-turn on EU accord, Karabakh, Turkey, regional developments

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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.

Heritage reshuffle: Postanjyan becomes new leader of parliamentary faction

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Zaruhi Postanjyan has been elected new head of the opposition Heritage faction in parliament. The change comes after Ruben Hakobyan announced his decision to resign as faction leader earlier today.

Talking to media in parliament Hakobyan said Heritage Party leader Raffi Hovannisian had been notified about his move well in advance. He left questions about reasons for his step without commentary, only saying that he had decided to step down as faction leader before the recent scandal around Postanjyan in the wake of her controversial question to President Serzh Sargsyan about his gambling habit at the PACE plenary session in Strasbourg on October 2.