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EIB Lends 10 Million Euros to Construct High Voltage Connection Between Armenia and Georgia

March 16, 2015 Armenia, Asia, Europe, Georgia No Comments
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17:34, March 16, 2015

The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending EUR 10 million to finance the construction of an electricity transmission line and a high voltage direct current station to develop a link between Armenia and Georgia. The new electricity infrastructure will deepen regional integration by facilitating energy trade between the two countries and provide Armenia and Georgia with better access to European electricity markets. 

The project consists of the construction of a new back-to-back station in Ayrum (Armenia) close to the Georgian border and a power transmission line linking the two countries. It is designed to providesecure and economically efficient coverage of the growing electricity demand. 

Javakhk ‘Deserters’ Call on the Youth to Return and Enrich the Region

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09:01, March 16, 2015

Students enrolled in Armenian private schools in Los Angeles have been dropping 20cents every day into little collection boxes.

The coins, collected on a weekly basis, are then sent to a Javakhk assistance committee launched by the Armenian Relief Society. The student donations are finally forwarded to Javakhk.

Ashot Melkonyan, Director of the Institute of History of the Armenian Academy of Sciences, recently visited Los Angeles and spoke to students and faculty at twelve Los Angeles Armenian schools. He saw what was taking place regarding Javakhk.

Melkonyan was overjoyed to hear that 6th-12th grade students were learning about Javakhk and especially about those villages that, over the ages, have produced prominent Armenian thinkers and activists.  

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.

Poland Considers EU Political Accord With Armenia Possible

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Poland hopes that Armenia will specify its position on relations with the European Union at the next Eastern Partnership summit, outlining the limits of its possible cooperation with the 28-nation bloc, the country’s ambassador in Yerevan said on Wednesday.

The Eastern Partnership is an EU initiative launched in 2009 for a relationship with the post-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine. Poland was one of the EU members that initiated the program.

Armenia was on track to sign an Association Agreement and form a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with the EU until September 2003 when the South Caucasus country’s leadership decided to abandon the process and switch to another economic integration project led by Russia.

Javakh News Launches Armenian Edition

March 6, 2015 Armenia, Georgia No Comments
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12:12, March 6, 2015

Yesterday saw the launch of an Armenian edition of Javakhk News.

The site is run by the Open Borders, an NGO created last year by reporters in Javakhk.

The aim of the site was to offer a news service, in Armenian and Georgian to the area. Instead the site offers news in Armenian and Russian.  

Open Borders says the site, financed and technically assisted by the United States National Endowment for Democracy and the Czech social and ecological NGO NESEHNUTÍ .

Javakhk News currently has an editor, manager, three reporters, and a correspondent in Ninotzminda.

Source: HetqOriginial Article

Europe’s Center-Right Urges Turkish Recognition Of Armenian Genocide

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An alliance of Europe’s leading center-right parties has urged Turkey to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide in the Ottoman Empire and “make restitution” to descendants of its 1.5 million victims.

The European People’s Party (EPP) also called on the European Union to “officially commemorate April 24 as a day to remember and condemn the Armenian Genocide.”

“The European People’s Party reaffirms its recognition and condemnation of the Genocide and Great National Dispossession of the Armenian people on the eve of its 100th Anniversary on 24 April 2015,” reads a resolution adopted by the EPP’s governing Political Assembly on Tuesday.

“We commemorate one-and-a-half million innocent victims of the Armenian Genocide in 1915 and bow in gratitude to those martyred and surviving heroes who struggled for their lives and human dignity,” it says.

From Lake to Table: Armenian MP Builds Fish Market in Tbilisi

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09:35, March 3, 2015

Vardan Ayvazyan, a Republican Party MP in Armenia’s parliament who heads the Standing Committee on Economic Affairs, is building a huge fish market in Tbilisi.

The plant, located not far from the center of the Georgian capital, is known as a restaurant hub.

In September 2011, Ayvazyan founded a company called Unicom of which he was the sole shareholder. According to the Georgian State Registry, Vardan Ayvazyan registered his company shares in the name of his son Souren Ayvazyan. This was after the 2012 Georgian parliamentary elections, and it appears that he was concerned that his assets would be at risk with the change of power. His friend, onetime Minister of Internal Affairs Ivane Merabishvili, had been jailed, and Ayvazyan was afraid that he too might be persecuted as a result.

Sex Ed a Taboo in Armenia: If Taught at All, It’s by Phys Ed Teachers, Some 80 Years Old

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15:45, February 27, 2015

By Karine Aghajanyan 

Sex Ed is the process of educating people about sex, but in Armenia it is not as simple as that.

There is a lack of sex education structure. Both society and government do not think it is an essential part of civilized society. Thus, I wanted to understand where the shame and silence surrounding it comes from.

Traditionally, adolescents in many cultures were not given any information on sexual matters since discussions of these issues have been considered taboo. Given that Armenian culture and society are very conservative, this is a huge taboo surrounded by fear and misconceptions.

Russian Senator Slams Pro-EU NGOs in Armenia

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A senior member of the Russian legislature has reminded Armenia of the Ukrainian experience, stressing that having a large number of non-governmental organizations advocating integration with the European Union is “unacceptable”. 

At a press conference in Moscow on Thursday, Konstantin Kosachev, who heads the International Affairs Committee at the Federation Council, the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, at the same time expressed a hope that Armenia will “manage to avoid Ukraine’s experience of facing a choice” between Eurasian and European integrations.

Two years ago Armenia was on track to sign an association agreement with the European Union as part of the Eastern Partnership Program that also involved Ukraine and four other former Soviet nations. But in September 2013 under apparent pressure from Moscow authorities in Yerevan made a U-turn opting instead for integration with the Russian-led customs union.

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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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Commentary

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.