Another Armenian Civilian Detained In Azerbaijan

Authorities in Azerbaijan have arrested another resident of Armenia who crossed the Armenian-Azerbaijani border in unclear circumstances.

The Azerbaijani Defense Ministry announced the arrest of Sargis Ananian, a resident of the Armenian border town of Noyemberian, on Monday evening, almost one week after his disappearance. A ministry statement claimed that Ananian deliberately entered Azerbaijan because of poor living conditions at home. It said the 53-year-old man also has a long history of ill-health.

Hovik Abovian, the governor of Armenia’s northern Tavush province encompassing Noyemberian, suggested on Tuesday that Ananian wandered into Azerbaijani territory by accident. He said that the Noyemberian resident never had serious health problems or complained of his socioeconomic situation to local authorities.

Karabakh’s Independence ‘Irreversible,’ Says Sarkisian

President Serzh Sarkisian described Nagorno-Karabakh’s de facto secession from Azerbaijan as “irreversible” as he marked the 23rd anniversary of the establishment of the self-proclaimed republic in Stepanakert on Tuesday.

Sarkisian joined Karabakh’s ethnic Armenian leaders and hundreds of ordinary residents in marching through the town on the occasion. The government-organized procession ended with a wreath-laying ceremony at a memorial to thousands of Karabakh Armenians killed during the successful 1991-1994 war with Azerbaijan.

“The historic choice of the people of Artsakh is an irreversible reality now,” Sarkisian said in a written address to the territory’s population issued earlier in the day.

Opposition Parties Downplay Talk Of Kocharian Comeback

Two leading opposition parties made clear on Tuesday that they will continue to cooperate with Gagik Tsarukian’s Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) despite renewed speculation about his close ties to former President Robert Kocharian.

Tsarukian gave more weight to those suggestions when he publicized a warm congratulatory message on Kocharian’s 60th birthday anniversary marked on Sunday. The tycoon praised the ex-president’s decade-long rule during which he became one of Armenia’s richest men. An Armenian TV controlled by Tsarukian went on to air a very sympathetic documentary on Kocharian’s track record.

In an interview with a Russian-Armenian newspaper published on Friday, Kocharian again did not rule out his return to active politics. Observers have long regarded the BHK, which has the second largest parliamentary faction, has his main power base.

Iraqi Yazidis ‘Willing To Settle In Armenia’

At least 150 Iraqi Yazidis who have taken refuge in Turkey are ready to relocate to Armenia on a permanent basis, a leader of the Armenian Yazidi community said on Tuesday.

Boris Murazi, the head of the Yerevan-based Sanjar Union, said the community can provide them with accommodation and work in rural areas of Armenia mostly populated by fellow Yazidis. He urged the Armenian government to allow those refugees to enter the country.

Murazi spoke to RFE/RL’s Armenian service (Azatutyun.am) two days after returning from southeastern Turkey where he and other Sanjar Union activists visited Yazidi refugee camps and heard harrowing accounts of atrocities committed by Islamic State militants in Iraq. In his words, as many as 22,000 of his co-ethnics fled to Turkey after being displaced by the radical Sunni Islamists.

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Armenian youth to hold peace march in Yerevan

August 30, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Armenian youth organizations are organizing a march in Yerevan on Tuesday to make calls for peace, solidarity and unity.
The participants will head from Liberty Square to St Sargis church, accompanied by the Defense Ministry’s orchestra and peacekeepers, said Gevorg Mkrtchyan, the director of the Youth Asssociation’s Central Headquarters and the president of the local NGO Youth.
“The march will be held under the accompaniment of the Defense Ministry’s orchestra, as well as peacemaking group,” he told reporters.
Priest Petros Malyan, a clergyman of the St Sargis church and a coordinator of the Ararat Patriarchal Diocese, said for his part that they are thus seeking to consolidate the youth, the military and the church. “The youth has been very frequently collaborating with the military over the past period. The moment has arrived for us to act as a single nation and a single church,” he noted.
Gurgen Simonyan, a youth organization activist also attending the news conference, compared spiritual potential with the degree of the nation’s satisfaction, stressing the importance of emphasizing the Armenian society’s consolidation and unanimity.“That’s a matter that has to do with all of us. We have a goal which is the struggle for our future and the establishment of peace,” he added.  

Your move proves de-facto independence of Karabakh – Armenian parliament official to Lithuanian MPs

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A deputy speaker of Armenia’s National Assembly has praised the members of the Lithuania-Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) Parliamentary Friendship Group for the initiative to collaborate with legislators of the second Armenian republic.
Greeting the delegation led by Dalia Kuodite, the group’s chairperson, Eduard Sharmazanov said the move really testifies to Nagorno-Karabakh’s de-facto independence. Ruling out any alternative to the country’s recognition, the Armenian parliament official said he expects the parliamentary collaboration to raise the understanding of the real situation over Karabakh.
Sharmazanov noted that Lithuania was the first to recognize Armenia’s independence and the only Baltic state to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
Considering the initiative to create the group quite a natural process, Kuodite, for her part, stressed the importance of exercising the people’s right to self-determination.
The sides further considered measures of settling the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict based on the right to self-determination, and principles of territorial integrity and non-use of force.

Argentina leader mulls moving capital from Buenos Aires

August 30, 2014 Diaspora No Comments
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Argentina’s president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner has said that the country should consider moving its capital from Buenos Aires to Santiago del Estero, a city 600 miles to the north west, The Telegraph reports.

Mrs Kirchner raised the idea on a visit to the historic town, which was founded 455 years ago and is the oldest in the country.

“We should start rethinking where to place our federal capital, perhaps more in the centre of the country – and even here, in Santiago del Estero, the Mother of Argentine cities,” she said on Tuesday.

The idea of relocating the capital from Buenos Aires – which is seen as being geographically remote from much of the rest of the country – has been floated throughout Argentina’s history.

Armenia interested in developing ties with India – PM

August 30, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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Armenia’s prime minister expressed the country’s interest in developing and deepening relations with India, as he hosted the Indian ambassador in his office on Friday.
Greeting Suresh Babu Thadipaneni, Hovik Abrahamyan praised the current level of the bilateral inter-state ties and the potential of developing fruitful cooperation in future. “Armenia is interested in deepening and expanding its friendly relations with India. The big potential which our countries have in different sectors will help develop and strengthen the cooperation,” he told the guest.
Highlighting the importance of mutual visits, the premier said he hopes that they will impart an new stimulus to the developing partnership.
The sides further discussed a broad framework of issues regarding the development of trade-economic relations. The told unveiled a plan of Armenian IT companies’ visit to India for participating in a big exhibition.
At the end, PM Abrahamyan extended his gratitude to the Indian government for the implementation of educational programs in the regions of Tavush and Lori.
A memorandum of understanding aimed at computerizing the secondary schools of Vayots Dzor was later signed between Hayastan All-Armenian Fund and the Indian Embassy to Armenia. The deal also envisages the development of an internal network among educational institutions.  

Adult film industry shuts down in LA after porn star tests positive for HIV

August 30, 2014 Armenia, Film No Comments
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The adult film industry in Los Angeles was shut down on Thursday after another porn performer’s HIV test came back positive, the Daily Mail reports.
The moratorium will last until “all performers who the positive performer worked with or had sexual contact with test negative” according to guidelines set by the adult film industry trade group.
This is reported to be the third such moratorium imposed in the last year.
“We take the health of our performers very seriously and felt that it was better to err on the side of caution while we determine whether anyone else may have been exposed,” Diane Duke of the Freedom of Speech Coalition wrote in a release.
The last moratorium ended last September, at which point performers became required to test for HIV and other STIs every 14 days instead of every 28.
Prior to that, a performer who goes by the name Cameron Bay made national headlines when she tested positive for HIV followed by her adult film actor boyfriend.
The moratorium ended after one week. 

Armenian church facing threat of collapse in Turkey’s Mush

August 29, 2014 Armenia, Turkey No Comments
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Continuing development activities in the Armenian district of Mush (Turkey) threaten collapse to an Armenian church, Demokrat Haber reports.
The local authorities are said to be considering a plan for leveling down St Astvatsatsin which no longer functions as a place of warship. The church, which was formerly a public property, went under the ownership of a private family in 1958.
Left without the Armenian community’s attention and care for decades, it partially collapsed over the course of time. Only four walls of the historical monument are remain standing today. The area where the church is situated was declared as a re-development zone in 2012. Construction activities began last year.
Despite the media outcry, the development in the Armenian district continued, leading up to the demolition of Armenian houses.  

Camera captures incredible moment of lightning hitting plane

August 29, 2014 Armenia No Comments
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German photographer Birk Mobius has caught a stunning image at an Aerodrome in Taucha in East Germany, as he captured the moment of lightning hitting a plane, Metro reports.
Being metal and passing through clouds (and rainbows) naturally makes planes vulnerable to lightning strike.However, when a plane gets hit passengers are unlikely to even notice, according to research.According to the Scientific American, these events are very common with each plane in the US commercial fleet experiencing a lightning strike at least once a year.

Source: TertOriginial Article

Armenian POW Freed By Azerbaijan

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The Azerbaijani authorities have released an Armenian soldier from custody and immediately deported him to an unknown third country one year after he was taken prisoner near Nagorno-Karabakh, his family said on Friday.

The 23-year-old Hakob Injighulian crossed into Azerbaijani-controlled territory east of Karabakh in disputed circumstances in August 2013. Shortly afterwards he was paraded on Azerbaijani television saying that he surrendered to Azerbaijani forces after being ill-treated by one of his commanders. 

The Armenian military said that the soldier was forced to present a false version of events under duress. It insisted that he crossed the “line of contact” around Karabakh by accident.

Kocharian Calls For Rule Of Law

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Former President Robert Kocharian has called for a radical improvement of Armenia’s business environment, saying that the authorities must break up economic monopolies, create a level playing field for all firms and tackle corruption.

In an interview with the Russian-Armenian newspaper “Noev Kovcheg” published on Friday, Kocharian also offered a grim outlook for the Armenian economy.

“Unfortunately, I see no internal and external causes for positive evaluations of the state and prospects of our economy. Furthermore, there have emerged new threats of global character, and the extent of their impact needs to be evaluated,” he said, pointing to Western economic sanctions against Russia which may well have knock-on effects on Armenia.

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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

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.