Sunday, July 30, 2006

Repent your sins and the Turks will be punished for their crimes…

Yesterday afternoon around 2:45, the people of Martuni had some unexpected visitors from Canada.

I got a call from my wife who said some guy from Canada was at the city center in front of the theater, asking people questions via his translator and everyone was laughing at him.

When I got to the theater, a crowd was gathered around two men standing on step-stools. One was speaking English and the other translating to Armenian.

The guy from Canada who I believe said his name was Garth, was telling the small crowd gathered that you must repent your sins and believe in the word of the bible.

I asked the question of what Church he is affiliated with and he said no Church, he has come to spread the word of Jesus Christ. He said that 20 years ago he learned that Jesus cleansed all our sins with his blood and if he didn’t spread the word of what he learned, he would be guilty of not sharing this with others.

He shouted out the standard lines of Jesus’s teachings of how he spoke to the poor and to kings after someone suggested to him that he go speak to our President. He said that if we could get him an appointment with out President he would go talk to him too. I was tempted to call and schedule him an appointment.

One person asked Garth where was God when the Azeri’s were bombing us and why does He not protect us from the attacks? Garth answered that if we repent our sins, God will punish the Turks.

When he finished his preaching, I pulled him aside to talk with my buddy Gamo, the head of the KGB of our region, who was in the process of checking their permit they obtained from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, which was in order and allowed our visitors to do what they were doing.

Gamo asked Garth a few questions which I translated.

Garth asked Gamo if believed in the bible and does he see himself and a good man and when he dies, what will happen to him. Gamo didn’t answer his question.

Garth asked me a few questions, most of which I answered with questions.

It seems that Garth and company is traveling all over Armenia and Artsakh to spread the word of the lord, passing out bibles and pamphlets, one of which looks like an American Passport. I asked him where the bibles are from and he said that they buy whatever bibles they can. The one I saw was the New Testament (573 pages) in Armenian, printed in Finland.

You always have to wonder what intentions such people have? Who finances them? Are they really here to spread the word of Jesus, or are they people who someone else is manipulating to undermine the stability we have.

Religion is a great thing, don't get me wrong. It can make peoples lives more peaceful. On the other hand, hardcore religion I’ve seen cause a great deal of hardship in families here for various reasons. I've even seen families break up because of it.

I guess we just have to have faith in God that when such people as Garth come rolling through town calling on us to repent for our sins, people will have it in them to take everything for what it’s worth and do what's right for them.

Friday, July 28, 2006

"Some Armenians feel embarrassed for aggression against Azerbaijan."

It was reported in that a member of the Russian Journalists Union Liana Kavsadze is visiting Azerbaijan at the invitation of the Caucasus Media Public Union.

According to, Mrs. Kavsedze has made a statement in a press conference held in Azerbiajan that "Some Armenians feel embarrassed for aggression against Azerbaijan."

I’ve just got to ask the question of who are these alleged Armenians, where are they from and how informed they are of past and current events?

I can tell you that I’ve never met an informed Armenia who is embarrassed for anything we have done to defend ourselves from the Azerbaijani aggression against Armenian. On the contrary, many Armenians are dissatisfied with the lack of asserting our rights to counter Azeri human rights violation against Armenians.

It’s clear that Mrs. Kavsedze has been mis-quoted or is a hired propagandist working for Azerbaijan.

Armenian Airbus crash in May caused by piloting errors - officials

AFX International Focus
July 26, 2006 Wednesday 11:07 AM GMT

The crash of an Armenian Airbus plane off Russia's Black Sea coast in May that killed all 113 people on board was caused by piloting errors, Russian Transport Minister Igor Levitin said.

'Weather conditions were difficult, the human factor played its role,' Levitin was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying at a press conference, held about the results of an inquiry into the crash of the A320 liner belonging to Armavia airlines.

Tatyana Anodina, head of the intergovernmental aviation committee that took part in the enquiry, said: 'The main pilot did not ensure control of the plane as far as angle and altitude were concerned.'

'The co-pilot did not ensure necessary control on the descent,' Anodina said, adding that an alarm system had gone off as the plane plunged but that it was too late to regain altitude.

The Airbus A320 plunged into the Black Sea on May 3 amid rainy weather as it was coming in to land in Sochi -- a popular coastal resort city in southwest Russia.

Crew responsible for Armenian A320 crash near Sochi - minister (Part 2)

Interfax News Agency
Russia & CIS Military Newswire
July 26, 2006 Wednesday 2:10 PM MSK

MOSCOW July 26

The crash of an Airbus A320 passenger jet belonging to the Armavia airline near Sochi on May 3 happened due to the fault of the crew, Transportation Minister and head of an ad hoc government commission investigating the crash Igor Levitin said at a press conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

"The human factor played its role in difficult weather conditions," Levitin said.

Tatyana Anodina, the head of the Interstate Aviation Committee, a CIS organization investigating air incidents, told journalists that "the plane was landing on autopilot and strictly following the glide slope in a landing configuration, when it received a report from air traffic control that the cloud base was lowering. The plane stopped descending at a speed of around 340 meters, and started a right climbing turn.

While performing this turn, the captain switched the autopilot off and made the plane to descend."

"These actions by the captain were not properly controlled by the second pilot, and the crew's following actions were uncoordinated and inadequate to roll the plane out," Anodina said.

As for suggestions that the crash could have been caused by a mechanical fault, the commission's conclusion reads, "There were no malfunctions in the aircraft's engines and systems, and the plane normally responded to both the autopilot's commands and the crew's actions. There was enough fuel on board to safely complete the flight."

The A320 crash near Sochi at 2:13 a.m. Moscow time on May 3 (2213 GMT on May 2) killed 105 passengers and eight crewmembers.

U.S. Preparing Azeri Airport for Incursion into Iran?

26.07.2006 16:11 GMT+04:00

The U.S. is going to reconstruct one the Azeri military airdromes in order to refuel NATO jets flying to Afghanistan. According to Jonathan Henick, the PR officer at the U.S. Embassy in Azerbaijan, negotiations are held with the Defense Minister of the republic on the issue. The American diplomat remarked that before the Azeri side chooses an appropriate airdrome the facilities of the international airport after Heydar Aliyev will be used for the purpose, reported

AFA-Supported High School Training Held in Stepanakert

Students Learn about International Affairs, Gain Conflict Management Skills

July 26, 2006

Contact: Hrant Jamgochian

Washington, DC — Seepan Parseghian of the Stanford University has just successfully completed a peace education course for Nagorno Karabakh (Artsakh) high school students. Based on an Armenian-language curriculum Parseghian himself designed, the training course held in Stepanakert built on a pilot project conducted in 2005 and supported by the Americans for Artsakh (AFA) organization.

The summer 2005 pilot program, created in collaboration with the Stanford University’s Haas Center of Public Service, School of Education, Institute of International Studies, and Center on International Conflict Negotiation, and organized through the Association of International Diplomacy in Artsakh (AIDA) established by Parseghian, involved thirty students from Stepanakert’s Eighth High School. The students learned international relations theory and gained conflict management and resolution skills. The program concluded with a simulation conference of the Karabakh peace talks.

On the basis of the successfully completed pilot program, Parseghian won the Donald A. Strauss Foundation Scholarship in Political Science, expanding the summer 2006 program with the objective of promoting leadership and understanding of international affairs among Armenian youth living both in the homeland and Diaspora.

“I wanted to express my appreciation for AFA’s encouragement and support for the AIDA project,” said Parseghian. “The program has already benefited dozens of bright young people in Artsakh, inspired their interest in international relations, and I hope will encourage them to pursue careers in public service and contribute to strengthening Artsakh’s civil society.”

This summer twenty students were selected on a competitive basis from all of Stepanakert’s high schools to participate in the program. From June 19 through July 17, the students practiced team cooperation and exercised individual initiative on case studies such as Rwanda, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Northern Ireland. They also had an opportunity to meet and communicate with senior government members, academics and civic activists. Parseghian is working with Artsakh educators to establish permanent student clubs focusing on international affairs that would organize discussions, simulation conferences and other similar activities.

“I had learned so much and Seepan presented the material in such an enjoyable way that made it easy for me to participate alongside my classmates,” said one of the program participants Tigran Grigoryan. “I am very happy that I chose to participate in the AIDA program with Seepan, and I will definitely be continuing these activities with my friends in the future.”

“With Seepan and the success of his AIDA program, Karabakh’s civil society has taken another promising step forward towards becoming more conscious of diplomacy and its power in defending the interests of our people through peaceful means,” commented the Nagorno Karabakh Republic (NKR)’s Deputy Foreign Minister Masis Mayilian.

The project is set to continue this year and into 2007, with a series of information sessions at university campuses throughout the United States and concluding with the AIDA Youth Conference to take place next spring.

“We are very excited about the AIDA project’s potential to contribute to Artsakh’s education system and, over long-term, to NKR’s civil society and diplomacy,” said the AFA President Zaven Khanjian. “We congratulate Seepan on his achievements and hope he continues his efforts while encouraging many more Armenian Americans to contribute to Artsakh’s development and continued success.”

Americans For Artsakh is a non-profit 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization established to preserve freedom, strengthen democracy, foster economic development, protect the cultural identity and promote the heritage of the people of Artsakh. The founding Board of Directors include: Zaven Khanjian, President; Dr. Hratch Abrahamian, Vice President; Savey Tufenkian, Treasurer; Rita Balian, Secretary; and Edward Chobanian.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Barbeeque Seasion

Since our first wedding anniversary which we celebrated in Stepanagert on July 23rd, everyday we have been invited to or hosted a barbeque.

As for the wedding anniversary, it was great!!! We invited 25 of our closest friends and also had a group of Armenians from California who were visiting Artsakh and eating dinner at the restaurant we were celebrating in, join us for dancing.

Yesterdays BBQ was at Saribek’s Spring in Jardar. The spring was constructed in the memory of my father-in-law Saribek Martirosyan by his father following his death in 1993.

The road to the spring was a bit challenging for the mini-van we rented to take us and our guests, so about a kilometer from the spring most of us got out of the van and walked.

The walk up was incredible. The road was lined with wild blackberry bushes. We all indulged!!!

Married life as been very good to me, but has taken its toll on the time I have to sit down a log. I want to apologize to those readers who visit this site for firsthand observations of life here, which I use to write more of before I got married. There are only so many hours in the day and I guess my priorities have changed quite a bit.

The BBQ season continues. Tonight we are invited and tomorrow we will host. I’m all porked out, but I guess I’ll just have to endure.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Azerbaijan Was Major Aggressor in Karabakh Conflict

26.07.2006 13:25 GMT+04:00

Armenians of Karabakh have the right to decide their future, Vice-speaker of the UK House of Lords, Baroness Caroline Cox stated in Yerevan. In her words, Azerbaijan was the major aggressor in the Karabakh conflict and committed serious crimes against human rights when perpetrating ethnic cleansings of Armenians in Karabakh.

"I cannot advise what to do, the people themselves should decide what the most important thing for them. I just support any action that could lead to the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict," she said, reported Novosti Armenia.

U.S. State Department Communicating Evans' Recall with Turkey

26.07.2006 15:00 GMT+04:00

In yet another troubling development concerning the controversial nomination of Richard Hoagland to serve as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Department of Justice records have revealed that the State Department has misled the U.S. Senate regarding its communications with the Turkish government concerning the February 2005 public affirmation of the Armenian Genocide by U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Marshall Evans, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In a letter, dated June 28, 2005 written on behalf of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Senator Joseph Biden (D-DE), the Ranking Democrat of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the State Department denied that the Turkish government had even approached the Administration on this issue. However, official Foreign Agent Registration filings by the Turkish government's registered foreign agent, the Livingston Group, document that, in the days following Ambassador Evans' February 19, 2005 remarks, one of Turkey's agents communicated on at least four different occasions with State Department officials concerning the envoy's statement and his subsequent retraction.

"With each new revelation, we see more clearly the corrosive impact that the Administration's complicity in Turkey's denial is having on our own core values as Americans," said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. "This latest failed attempt by the State Department to mislead the Senate adds to the many compelling reasons to block the confirmation of a new Ambassador to Armenia."

Consistent with the pattern of unresponsiveness that has come to characterize the Administration's actions on the Hoagland nomination, the only answer the State Department chose to provide in response to Senator Biden's four questions was a misleading one. His other inquiries - including an official request for an explanation of why Ambassador Evans was being replaced prematurely - remain unanswered.

On June 23rd, as part of Ambassador Richard Hoagland's confirmation process to replace Amb. Evans in Yerevan, Senator Biden wrote a letter asking Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice a series of questions including the following: "Has the State Department received any communication - written, electronic, or spoken - from the Turkish Government concerning Ambassador Evans?"

Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Jeffrey T. Bergner responded on behalf of Secretary Rice with the following assertion: "Please be assured that allegations that the U.S. is removing Ambassador Evans under pressure from the Government of Turkey are simply untrue. The Government of Turkey has not approached the Administration on this issue, and the United States and Turkey engaged in no diplomatic exchanges related to this matter."

However, Justice Department filings by the Livingston Group reveal that a day after Amb. Evans' statements on the Armenian Genocide were publicized in an ANCA-San Francisco press release dated February 24, 2005, a Turkish agent communicated with the State Department concerning his statements. On February 28, 2005, one business day after the agent's first phone call, Ambassador Evans issued his first public retraction - noting that his mention of the Armenian Genocide was made in a private capacity. Later that same day, the Livingston Group reported three additional calls between one of Turkey's agents and State Department officials including the Deputy Chief of Mission-designate at the U.S. Embassy in Ankara to discuss Ambassador Evans' retraction. The very next day on March 1, 2005, Ambassador Evans issued a public correction of his retraction - removing entirely any mention of the Armenian Genocide.

Diaspora's Aid to Armenia Should Be Address

26.07.2006 15:18 GMT+04:00

The Diaspora's aid to Armenia should be address, Rutgers University student Raffi Harutyunian, who is in Armenia on an AAA student project, told a PanARMENIAN.Net reporter. In his words, the investments in Armenia should be made in the sectors that need them. "Diaspora's psychology should be changed. It's not a hard job just to give money. We should know how the funds are spent and why we assign them. I think Armenia should follow Israel's example on the matter," Harutyunian remarked. At the same time he stressed that some Disaporan Armenians consider that they perform their duty to the homeland by establishing a hotel or a museum in Armenia. "We should know exactly what Armenia needs and what fields need investments and development. But sometimes we face discrepancies. We offer to improve the whole infrastructure while the Armenian government says to develop one village and then the other," said Raffi Harutyunian mastering in political sciences.

To note, 14 students from U.S. universities have arrived in Armenia to work in the Armenian ministries and NGOs as well as various international organizations. The purpose of the AAA program launched in 1999 is familiarization with Armenia and clarification of AAA priority projects.

Friday, July 21, 2006

No gas will go undetected in our home…

Khachig, the security device installer just left after installing our natural gas detector. The whole bill came out to $90 and took about an hour.

The natural gas detector is made here in Armenia and the majority of the components are Philips and the actual detector is made in Japan by Figaro.

The unit is hardwired and has three indicator LEDs that tell you all you need to know. One of them flashes green when the power is on, the center LED lights up red when tripped by a gas leak and the one on top is Yellow and lights up if the unit malfunctions.

Khachig also left us a cigarette lighter to test the unit. He said that we should check it every 6 months.

This unit also has an output for a telephone dialer, so if were not home, we will get a call to let us know of a gas leak.

I asked Khachig about adding smell to natural gas and he echoed what others have said and that is during the Soviet gas had an horrible smell to warn you, but today it is “too expensive” to add any smell.

I also enquired as to how many of these units he has installed and he said that sadly this year he has only installed 3 such units. It seems that other installers also report low numbers in natural gas detectors. He said that many don’t know about them and those that do many times can not afford them.

Anyway, again for those of you living in Yerevan, if you are interested in protecting yourself and your family, drop me an e-mail and I’ll put you in touch with Khachig.

15:03 19/07/06

Armenian Republican Party vice chairman Razmik Zohrabyan refuted rumors that Serz Sargsyan is going to take up the post of ARP chairmanship upon teaming up with the party. Zohrabyan said he has no such plans but also said that Sargsyan will think about nominating himself for presidential elections after the parliamentary elections./

Open letter to the Armenian people of Artsakh from large group of Azerbaijani "Intellecturals"

`168 Zham' carries an open letter to the Armenian people by a large group of Azerbaijani intellectuals which warns that the war in Nagorno-Karabakh will resume next year if Armenian-Azerbaijani peace talks remain deadlocked. `We do not insist that we will certainly win in case of a war, even though the population of Azerbaijan is deeply convinced in that,' they write. `But even in case of defeat, the moral spirit of the [Azerbaijani] people will remain the same and another victory will not give Armenia anything. We are appealing to you to initiate the holding of a referendum on the return of at least five [occupied Azerbaijani] districts: Aghdam, Fizuli, Zangelan, Jebrail and Ghubatli.'

`A positive outcome of the referendum would boost the image of the Armenian people in the eyes of the international community and Azerbaijan,' says the letter signed by 101 people. `And this goodwill would give the Armenian authorities the blank check in reaching a peace accord.'


I’ve got a few questions for the “intellectuals” of Azerbaijan:

1. Since when was Zangelan part of Azerbiajan?
2. If you know that you wont win a war with us next year, why don’t you wait until you can build up your arms using the proceeds from oil sales and then wage war on us when your chances of losing less are present?
3. When in all of Azerbaijani history as the Azeri people shown any goodwill towards Armenians in time of conflict? The last time our leaders showed goodwill towards the Azeri people in 1918, the Azeris showed their appreciation by slaughtering 30,000 of us. History will not repeat itself in the 21st century.
4. What were you smoking when you wrote this open letter?

RIPping up the Rail – Final Chapter

It seems that with the skyrocketing price of fossil fuel, the Armenian government has decided to finish their evil deed of ripping out the final stretches of our electrical above ground transportation system. Yes, the days of electric trolley busses are over.

As I write, the rail is be uprooted on Dirckran the Great Street, near Gregory the Illuminator Cathedral and at the start of Gomidas Boulevard.

I guess I should no longer be bothered by these acts of rape to our infrastructure, especially those that make us more dependent on the outside world, but I just can’t get it out of my head that President Robert Kocharian, who is one of those in Armenia that have much to financially gain from fuel sales, is one of those that is also accountable for this CRIME.

I wonder how much it will cost to reinstall the rail system in the future? I only ask as this will be the price those criminals responsible for this crime will have to pay as part of their punishment when our courts or an international court finds them GUILTY.

Robert Kocharian, et al., you are treading on very thin ice and don’t say in the future that you were not warned (though you will not say this I'm sure as you really have no future). Sooner rather than later, the ice will break, you all will fall and there will be no one to save you.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Did you pass gas?

Tonight Khachig, a man that was recommended to me by my cousin Dickran is coming by to install a natural gas detector in our home.

I certainly will sleep soundly knowing that me and my loved one will be protected from being gassed to death while we sleep, or worse, while we are sitting around in the winter with the windows closed, not understanding why we are passing out.

It seems that the natural gas being pumped into our homes in Armenia and Artsakh has no smell. Yes, this is about as natural as you can get, but you can also get killed because of this.

In the states when gas was leaking, we knew it, as natural gas there has the smell of garlic mixed into it.

I asked a couple of people here why there is no smell and was told that in the days of the Soviet, gas had an horrible smell, but why today it has no smell is a mystery. Maybe it’s suppose to have a smell added, but the profits are better without.

Anyway, for those of you living in Armenia and are interested in having a natural gas detector install, please drop me an e-mail and I’ll put you in touch with Khachig. Oh and the price for the detector including installation is under $100.

I’ll write more on this subject and see what Khachig the professional has to say about it and let you know how the installation went.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

U.S. unwilling to help put a stop to the conflicts...

It looks as if the U.S. is trying to use the Israel/Lebanon soon to be war, to drag Syria and Iran into the conflict so the U.S. can have a reason to attack them.

Today Associated Press Writer Edith M. Lederer reported: "Lebanon accused the United States on Saturday of blocking a U.N. Security Council statement calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Hezbollah, saying the impotence of the United Nations' most powerful body sent the wrong signal to small countries and the Arab world."

If this statement is accurate, then it looks like the U.S. is looking for a showdown with Syria and possibly Iran, the two nations that the West has had their eyes on for many years and are just looking for an excuse to "liberate."

This whole Israel/Lebanon conflict has me very concerned, as it should have everyone concerned. This is nothing more than some very evil powers in the world manipulating us all into another war. This one could be the biggest one we have seen yet and regardless of what happens next, much blood will spill from unfortunate civilians.

Let us all pray for the victims of this and other unjust conflicts on Earth and for a safe ending for those in the area that the bombs are falling.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Visitor detained over fake passport

Published: 07/13/2006 12:00 AM (UAE)

By Nasouh Nazzal, Staff Reporter

Ras Al Khaimah: The immigration prosecution ordered the detention of a Russian woman for seven days for entering the country on an Armenian passport and illegal stay.

Abdul Nasser Mohammad, the emirate's public prosecutor, said the 19-year-old woman, identified as M.Z., was spotted in Ajman by police who asked her to show her documents.

He added that the woman presented a copy of her Armenian passport.

On checking, the police found that all the information shown in the passport matched the computer data available with them except that she was officially registered as holding Russian citizenship.

Mohammad explained that the woman entered the UAE on a tourist visa issued from Ras Al Khaimah with a Russian passport in 2003.

RAK police confirmed that the woman held a Russian passport when she first entered the UAE but later got an Armenian passport.

The woman confessed that she was given the Armenian passport by a woman for free in the UAE after she entered the country on a tourist visa.

Foreign Minister Oskanyan May Avert Resignation By Heeding His People’s Advice

July 14, 2006

Executive Publisher & Managing Editor
USA Armenian Life Magazine
Hye Kiank Armenian Weekly

According to, recently, Armenia's Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan stated that he would give Karvachar in Northern Artsakh (Karabagh) to Azerbaijan after the OSCE Minsk Group-proposed referendum. also reported: "People in Karabakh have a very negative attitude towards proposals involving return of territories. They were deeply shocked to hear the foreign minister of Armenia Vardan Oskanyan's (proposal)."

Apparently Mr. Oskanyan has forgotten that Mr. Elchibey, the former President of Azerbaijan, had boasted during the initial stages (late 1980's-early 1990's) of the Artsakh Liberation War, that he would "soon bathe in Lake Sevan" (Armenia proper). Politically speaking, to his dismay, Mr. Elchibey couldn't even cross the Kura River. He "drowned" in military-political chaos.

Mr. Oskanyan has also forgotten that his former chief, Mr. Levon Ter Petrossyan, the first President of Armenia, lost his job in early 1998 for his eagerness to return Artsakh. Mr. Ter Petrossyan had authored an infamous article titled "War or Peace?" in September of 1997. He had also declared that the national ideology is a false category.

Is Mr. Oskanyan receiving advice from the same elements that misguided Mr. Ter Petrossyan? It would be wise if Mr. Oskanyan heeded the advice emanating from the only legitimate source of advice on Armenian state affairs: the Armenian people. He could also do a major service to himself and his people by comprehending that advice coming from the very Armenian citizens of Artsakh as reported by correspondent:

- G. Sahakyan, 73: Apparently, the minister did not study the map properly. How does he imagine life in Karabakh without Karvachar? Would he live in Karabakh without Karvachar?

- Svetlana, 43: Perhaps they are hopeful that Baku will reject the idea of referendum and Karvachar will remain ours. But what if they agree?

- Andrey Ghulyan, pensioner: Most inhabitants of Shahumyan, who remained in Karabakh, live in Karvachar. What will their fate be? Frankly speaking, I am surprised at Oskanyan. Who gave him the right to speak on our behalf? He has never lived and will never live in Karabakh, will he?

By heeding his people’s advice, Mr. Oskanyan may avert the same fate that befell his former boss, Mr. Ter Petrossyan: resignation. He may avoid facing widespread demands for his resignation.

God help us...

Oskanian Hints At Presidential Ambitions

By Anna Saghabalian

Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian on Friday did not rule out the possibility of his participation in Armenia's next presidential election, effectively adding his name to the list of President Robert Kocharian's potential successors.

Asked by a reporter whether he plans to contest the ballot due in 2008, Oskanian said, `I think I may still participate in the processes of state building and development in Armenia. But I can't say at this point which manifestations that participation could have. I haven't even thought about that.'

`I have until now focused on my work,' he added. `I have some really serious tasks: the Armenia-Diaspora conference [slated for September], the Nagorno-Karabakh issue, issues relating to foreign policy.

"One thing is clear to me. I want to be involved and make my contribution. But time will tell how that will manifest itself.'

The remarks are bound to fuel speculation that Oskanian, 51, is harboring presidential ambitions and may therefore become actively involved in Armenian politics. The Syrian-born minister, though one of the longest serving members of Armenia's government, has until now steered clear of domestic political battles, dealing with foreign affairs and being accountable only to Kocharian.

Oskanian, who had moved with his family to Armenia from California in 1992, was a U.S. citizen until being chosen by Kocharian to run the Armenian diplomacy in April 1998. He had until then held senior positions in the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

Oskanian's possible presidential run would be seriously hampered by his current lack of a political support base both inside and outside the government, which is essential for making a strong showing in the presidential election. In that regard he would find it extremely hard to compete with Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, Kocharian's most likely successor who is poised to enlist the backing of the governing Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) as well as a host of other government factions.

Oskanian refused to comment on Sarkisian's impending pre-election alliance with the HHK and said he has no plans yet to team up with any political party. In an indication that he is not fully satisfied with the current Armenian leadership's track record, he stressed the need for carrying out urgent `second-generation reforms' in Armenia which he said would `hit the economic and political interests of the [ruling] elite.' `Which political force will have that courage?' he said. `This is the key question.'

Oskanian had warned earlier that Armenia will pay a serious `economic cost' if it again fails to hold elections recognized as free and fair by the international community. `I am optimistic in the sense that our people are determined to make sure that our elections are normal this time around,' he noted on Friday.

Oskanian is not the first former Diaspora Armenian to consider running for president. Raffi Hovannisian, Armenia's U.S.-born first foreign minister, was controversially barred by from contesting the last presidential election in 2003 on the grounds that he had not been an Armenian citizen for the previous ten years -- something which is required by the country's constitution.

Hovannisian, who insists that he had been illegally denied Armenian citizenship by Kocharian and his predecessor Levon Ter-Petrosian for nearly a decade, obtained an Armenian passport only in 2001. The increasingly outspoken opposition politician is therefore unlikely to be deemed eligible for running in the next presidential ballot as well.


I don't think Vartan is president material since he has been serving the Armenian government for too and those who are really in power are bound to have dirt on him which means that they can control him like they control Kocharian. This type of person will not be of help to building the Armenian nation. We need new people with a real working plan and I don't see that in Vartan.

The other thing I don't care about is the stance he has taken on the Artsakh issue, as documented in my posting of a couple of days ago. He is willing to give some of our land to the Azeris without asking if we will allow such a deal to take place is not the person I want to see as the head of Armenia.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Has Israel gone insane with Bush's approval?

I'm not sure what the heck is going on, but the news Israeli warships on the move, you have to just shake your head and ask what is the real reason behind all of this.

I came across a very sad story and one that shows how unfair life is. For those of you who are interested in what the U.S. backed Israeli army is doing, click here.

May this conflict end quick, though I get the feeling that a full war is going to break out very soon and the U.S. will again jump in with both feet, as Bush has Syria in his sights.

3 July 2006

People in Karabakh have a very negative attitude towards proposals involving return of territories. They were deeply shocked to hear the foreign minister of Armenia Vardan Oskanyan say that “we will give” Karvachar after the referendum.

The reporter of the asked the opinion of citizens on this announcement in Stepanakert.

G. Sahakyan, 73: “Apparently, the minister did not study the map properly. How does he imagine life in Karabakh without Karvachar? Would he live in Karabakh without Karvachar?”

Svetlana, 43: “Perhaps they are hopeful that Baku will reject the idea of referendum and Karvachar will remain ours. But what if they agree?”

Andrey Ghulyan, pensioner: “Most inhabitants of Shahumyan, who remained in Karabakh, live in Karvachar. What will their fate be?”

“Frankly speaking, I am surprised at Oskanyan. Who gave him the right to speak on our behalf? He has never lived and will never live in Karabakh, will he?”

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


Yerevan, Julky 11. ArmInfo. Forty-four children from Armenia were adopted by foreign citizens in 2005, Armenian Justice Minister David Haroutiunyan told ArmInfo.

He said foreign citizens adopt about 40-50 Armenian children yearly in average. 75% of foreign citizens adopting children from Armenia are Armenians residing in the USA, France, Italy, Russia and other countries. Of course, tragic cases cannot be overseen, however, the government carefully studies the financial and social state of parents. Psychologists work with them for a long time to find out how the new family will perceive a new child, the minister said.

Presenting an International Convention on protection of children's rights when adopted by foreign citizens at the Constitutional Court of Armenia, Minister Haroutiunyan said the document, which was signed on 29 May 1993 in Hague, aims to create mechanisms guaranteeing protection of children in case of their adoption by foreign citizens.

Among the commitments Armenia undertook when signing the document is establishment of a consultative body regulating the adoption process.

To note, Armenia joined the Convention with a reservation related Article 22: adoption of children by foreign citizens must meet the Armenian legislation and not the provisions of the Convention. To come into effect, the document requires ratification by the Armenian National Assembly.

Azerbaijan able to defend itself - minister

ANS TV, Baku
26 Jun 06

[Presenter] Azerbaijan is an independent state and can defend its territorial integrity, Defence Minister Safar Abiyev has said in a statement on the occasion of Armed Forces Day.

[Abiyev] I have a dream. The occupied lands must be liberated and the tasks of the armed forces are to make preparations and liberate those lands by force if necessary. Everything takes time.

Azerbaijan gained its independence in 1991. The key issue is to preserve our independence. Not only Armenia but major states too were against Azerbaijan. They wanted to keep it under control and even nowadays they want to achieve this. Time will come and major states, which are exerting pressure on Azerbaijan, will understand that Azerbaijan is an independent state and can defend its lands and
territorial integrity.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hetq Receives Threats

[July 10, 2006]

In the last week, the Investigative Journalists has received a number of e-mail messages containing threats and vulgar invective sent to the mailbox of Hetq Online. The authors warn the staff of Hetq not to publish articles about Gagik Tsarukyan and threaten violence against us if we do.

On July 7, 2006 Edik Baghdasaryan, chairman of the Investigative Journalists and editor-in-chief of Hetq Online, submitted a request to Head of the National Security Service of Armenia Gorik Hakobyan to locate the authors of the threatening messages and apply any penalties prescribed by law.


Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy to see the people of the UAE are getting the news

Today Martuni or Bust (MOB) had a large number of visits and what I noticed was that the majority of them came from the UAE, Saudi Arabia and there was one caught my eye from Bahrain. Though we do get visits from these countries, today we seem to have had more than the norm.

All these hits came after I posted the news about the new possible trafficking law this morning. I'm guessing that persons in those countries are getting the news from MOB, as for the most part, such news is not reported in those countries and those that do report over the internet such as are blocked so they can't be viewed by persons in said countries.

Here is the list of visits for those interested:

1. 10 July 17:56 ETC, United Arab Emirates
2. 10 July 18:06 VGC, Nigeria
3. 10 July 18:07 ETC, United Arab Emirates
4. 10 July 18:16 ETC, United Arab Emirates
5. 10 July 18:17 ETC, United Arab Emirates
6. 10 July 18:21 Saudi Arabia Backbone, Saudi Arabia
7. 10 July 18:28 Credit Suisse Group, New York, United States
8. 10 July 18:32 ETC, United Arab Emirates
9. 10 July 18:36 Internet Egypt, Cairo, Egypt
10. 10 July 18:39 ETC, United Arab Emirates
11. 10 July 18:43 ETC, United Arab Emirates
12. 10 July 18:44 Saudi Arabia Backbone, Saudi Arabia
13. 10 July 18:49 Rustavi 2 Broadcasting Company, Georgia
14. 10 July 18:50 Saudi Arabia Backbone, Saudi Arabia
15. 10 July 18:51 Internet Egypt, Cairo, Egypt
16. 10 July 19:00 ETC, United Arab Emirates
17. 10 July 19:04 ETC, United Arab Emirates
18. 10 July 19:04 Road Runner, Kansas City, United States
19. 10 July 19:07 Harvard University, Cambridge, United States
20. 10 July 19:11 Ireland (
21. 10 July 19:13 Salomon Smith Barney Inc., United States
22. 10 July 19:17 Geganet, Egypt
23. 10 July 19:18 Salomon Smith Barney Inc., United States
24. 10 July 19:19 AT&T, United States
25. 10 July 19:20 Canada (
26. 10 July 19:21 ETC, United Arab Emirates
27. 10 July 19:21 Salomon Smith Barney Inc., United States
28. 10 July 19:23 SunGard, United Kingdom
29. 10 July 19:24 Salomon Smith Barney Inc., United States
30. 10 July 19:26 Saudi Arabia Backbone, Saudi Arabia
31. 10 July 19:26 Gaoland, France
32. 10 July 19:26 ETC, United Arab Emirates
33. 10 July 19:28 Saudi Arabia Backbone, Saudi Arabia
34. 10 July 19:28 Cavalier Telephone Company, United States
35. 10 July 19:29 Saudi Arabia Backbone, Saudi Arabia
36. 10 July 19:30 Cavalier Telephone Company, United States
37. 10 July 19:31 Salomon Smith Barney Inc., United States
38. 10 July 19:33 Salomon Smith Barney Inc., United States
39. 10 July 19:34 Cavalier Telephone Company, United States
40. 10 July 19:39 Salomon Smith Barney Inc., United States
41. 10 July 19:46 Bahrain Telecommunication Company, Bahrain
42. 10 July 19:46 Saudi Arabia Backbone, Saudi Arabia
43. 10 July 19:48 Cavalier Telephone Company, United States
44. 10 July 20:12 ETC, United Arab Emirates
45. 10 July 20:13 XO Communications, United States
46. 10 July 20:15 ETC, United Arab Emirates
47. 10 July 20:16 XO Communications, United States
48. 10 July 20:16 87.248.240.x
49. 10 July 20:20 United States (
50. 10 July 20:22 Charter Communications, United States

Gul Thanks Rice "for Preventing Genocide Bill Adoption"

08.07.2006 14:58 GMT+04:00

During a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul thanked his American counterpart for her efforts to impede the passage of an Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress. At a press conference following the meeting in Washington, Gul told the attendees that the passage of a Genocide recognition resolution by Congress would greatly hinder Turkish-American relations. "Turkey urges the US government to continue its efforts to deter the Congress from recognizing the Armenian Genocide and should take all steps to not allow such a development," Gul said, reports AsbarezOnline.


It seems to me that the anti-Armenian Genocide issue via the U.S. Government is more these days than during the Clinton administration. Could I be wrong, or is the U.S. kissing up to Turkey more than ever? US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is really carving out a place in history for herself, not to mention getting on many peoples bad side.

UAE moves to crack down on human traffickers

Sun Jul 9, 2:46 PM ET

ABU DHABI (AFP) - A government committee in the United Arab Emirates approved a draft law that provides for stiff penalties reaching life imprisonment for human trafficking, the state WAM news agency reported.

The draft legislation on combating human trafficking, which now goes to the full cabinet, was approved at a meeting of the ministerial legislative panel chaired by Justice Minister Mohammad bin Nakhira al-Dhaheri, WAM said.

Justice ministry assistant undersecretary Ali al-Housni said the draft law describes "all forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor, practices akin to servitude or slavery, and removal of limbs as a human trafficking crime."

The proposed legislation criminalizes groups engaged in human trafficking and provides for harsh penalties extending to life imprisonment, he said.

Accomplices in human trafficking and people who try to influence witnesses to the crime would also be penalized, as would companies and institutions through which human trafficking is practiced and anyone who conceals offenders or victims.

Housni said the draft law also stipulates the creation of a national committee for combating human trafficking.

The proposed legislation will go to the cabinet for endorsement or amendment at an unspecified date.

Its approval by the ministerial committee comes as part of efforts by the UAE to improve its human rights record, which has been criticized by the US State Department and some international rights watchdogs over alleged abusive labor practices and human trafficking.

In its annual 2006 "Trafficking in Persons Report" released last month, the State Department recognized that the UAE government is "making significant efforts" to eliminate human trafficking.

It upgraded the Gulf country from the "Tier 3" of worst offenders in which it was placed last year to the "Tier 2 Watch List" comprising countries which are making "significant" efforts to deal with the problem.

But it described the UAE as "a destination country for men, women and children trafficked from South and East Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East for involuntary servitude and for sexual exploitation," saying the government was not doing enough to combat either.

The UAE took a major step to improve its rights record last year by banning the use of children as camel jockeys and funding the repatriation of child jockeys to their home countries in Asia and Africa as well as their rehabilitation.

It has also started introducing measures to improve the lot of mostly Asian construction and other blue-collar workers, whose working and living conditions have drawn criticism from groups such as New York-based Human Rights Watch.

Most recently, Abu Dhabi ordered a compulsory midday break during the extremely hot months of July and August for laborers working in the open air.

Labor rights have reportedly been a bone of contention in ongoing US-UAE talks on a free trade agreement.

08 July 06

Sedrak Baghdasaryan, resident of Buzand Street, the chair of Protection for Victims of State Needs, Democracy NGO, said in an interview with our news reporter that they wrote over 10 letters to Robert Kocharyan telling him about the destructive consequences of the development of the Center of Yerevan. Robert Kocharyan did not answer any of these letters, however. Moreover, even the Kocharyan administration did not answer. Sedrak Baghdasaryan says the letter was sent to the government, from the government to the City Hall, from the City Hall to the Office of Program Implementation. "My impression is that the best-educated, the smartest person in our country is the head of the OPI."

However, it is at least strange that the OPI answers the last letter. The letter was written May 26, 2006, in other words, after the decision of the Constitutional Court recognizing it unconstitutional. The victims of the state needs reminded Robert Kocharyan that the head of state must guarantee observation of the Constitution and punish its violation. The victims of state want to know why the president signed an unconstitutional decision. Robert Kocharyan declined to answer, which means that either he does not consider him president of people, or he thinks it is not worthwhile to answer people.

R. Harutiunyan, the head of the OPI who answered the letter, informed the victims of state needs that the president signed the decision of the government in 2002, whereas the Constitutional Court defined it as unconstitutional in 2006. "The person who signed the decision could not foresee that these would be considered as against the unconstitution." This is not a misprint. Either R. Harutiunyan has discovered a new legal, though not so logical category, or he is a little careless. Both are bad for R. Harutiunyan, who was charged with the important task of writing a letter on behalf of the president.

And if R. Harutiunyan wants to say that the person who ratified the decision could not predict that these decisions would be considered unconstitutional, which is the same as incompliant with the constitution, not knowing the law does not free from punishment. After this decision of the Constitutional Court the chamber of civilian cases of the Court of Appeal led by Arman Mkrtumyan did not try the case of the victims of public needs, in other words, it neglected the decision of the Constitutional Court.

Azeri official rules out Karabakh's involvement in peace talks

Azadliq, Baku
8 Jul 06

A spokesman for the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry has said that Nagornyy Karabakh cannot be a party to the Azerbaijani-Armenian talks, the Azerbaijani newspaper Azadliq has said.

In response to Karabakh speaker Ashot Gulyan's remark that Azerbaijan's agreement to hold a direct dialogue with Nagornyy Karabakh would demonstrate Azerbaijan's desire to resolve the conflict, Tahir Tagizada, press secretary of the Azerbaijani Foreign Ministry, said that "at present Nagornyy Karabakh cannot be a party to the talks. The international community knows very well who the parties to the conflict and to the talks are", Azadliq reported.

Tagizada said that Baku could work with the Azerbaijani and Armenian communities of Nagornyy Karabakh after the restoration of the ethnic composition of the region that existed before the conflict.

"As for the proposal to involve Nagornyy Karabakh in the talks and [the programme director of the International Crisis Group] Sabina Freizer's words that 'if the co-chairs do not want to do anything, the parties themselves should resolve the issue', they come from internal political needs and are not constructive," Azadliq quoted Tagizada as saying.

Karabakh's recognition basis for conflict settlement - NKR minister

Mediamax news agency
7 Jul 06

Yerevan, 7 July:
The defence minister of the Nagornyy Karabakh republic [NKR], Lt-Gen Seyran Oganyan, said in Stepanakert today that "as long as the NKR has not been recognized, we do not intend to return the territories that serve as a security belt for us".

Speaking at a news conference in Stepanakert today, Seyran Oganyan said that Karabakh is in favour of only a peaceful settlement of the conflict, "but Azerbaijan thrust a war upon us and we had to resolve the problem in a military way," Mediamax reports.

The minister said that "the territories under the control of Nagornyy Karabakh are not an end in itself, but serve as a security zone for the quiet life of the republic".

The general stressed that the issue of territories and the deployment of an international peacekeeping contingent can be considered only at the last stage of the settlement after the resolution of the main problem - the determination of the legal status of Nagornyy Karabakh.

"If the main issue of the settlement process is not solved, there can be no talk about returning the territories," the NKR defence minister said.

Speaking about a possible resumption of hostilities in the light of Azerbaijan's militarist statements, Seyran Oganyan expressed the opinion that "Azerbaijan does not wish to start a war".

In the minister's opinion, Baku's militarist rhetoric pursues only domestic political goals. At the same time, the Nagornyy Karabakh defence army has a plan of effective countermeasures to defend the republic, Seyran Oganyan said.

Sunday, July 09, 2006


AZG Armenian Daily #127, 08/07/2006

Home Politics

"I believe there should be no non-party ministers in Armenia," David Haroutiunian, RA Justice Minister, said this at today's press conference. He added that the is going to get involved in the political activities, as the new Constitution allows to combine the functions of executive and legislative powers. He said that both a deputy and the Justice Minister are engaged in active political developments in Armenia and this is required by the Constitution.

In this connection he emphasized that he is likely to participate in the coming parliamentary elections in 2007. He added he may join a party, without specifying exactly which one. At the same time he said he is not going to run for the presidential elections in 2008. As for the accusations that Judiciary system is flooded with corruption, he didn't agree with that and added that the anti-corruption struggle should begin by implementation of the reforms in the court-judiciary system.

By Nana Petrosian

Monte "Avo" Melkonian talk about the Artsakh liberation movement - part 5

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Can you say MONOPOLY?

07.07.2006 10:58

In the recent days some flights from "Zvartnots" airport are either not executed, or the planes refuel at reserve airports, Press Secretary of the Chief Department of Civil Aviation of Armenia Gayane Davtyan told "Noyyan Tapan."

According to her, the problem with the avian fuel is connected with its sole importer "Mika Armenia Limited," which has not imported a sufficient quantity of fuel. It is hard to say when the issue will be regulated.

For executing direct Yerevan-Moscow flight, the planes have to land at Sochi airport for refueling.

The price of avian kerosene at "Zvartnots" airport currently makes US$843 per one ton. It is expected that in 10-15 days "Mika Limited" Company will supply kerosene at a higher price.

It should be noted that recently the price of tickets of the traditional Russian flights rose with 10-15 percent and it is not clear so far whether the rise of fuel prices will lead to new rice in ticket prices.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Google Earth in Artsakh

I’ve discovered Google Earth and wow, what an adventure it is to fly from one end of Earth to the other.

I found it interesting that there are some areas in Artsakh that have high-resilution (not as high as they have of Los Angeles, but still high enough to make out what is on the ground).

The area of Stepanagert (which on the map is referred to as Xankandi) is a much lower resolution than Shushi (referred to as Shusha).

Mardakert and Aghdam are both in a low resolution where you really can’t make out anything, but low a behold, Martuni had been photographed at the same resolution as Shushi.

I wonder what is so special about Martuni and who ordered it to be photographed so well? Our military bases in our region sure are detailed.

I’m kind of glad that we have the high-res pictures as it was fun to see what my neighbors have in their back yard and to better understand where things are and all the little hidden roads I didn’t even know about or those I do, where they lead to.

The picture I’ve posted is of our government square where between the three big buildings is Monte Melkonian’s statue.

I’m guessing these picture were recent or taken last year around this time, as in some of the areas on Artsakh territory you can see fires burning in the recently harvested fields.

Thanks Google Earth, you’re the best!!!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

What really happened on 9/11?

For those of you who doubt the official story of what happened on 9/11, I recomend that you watch a documentary titled Loose Change 911. It's a bit long, but worth watching. One warning is that once you finish watching it, your going to start to think what the hell is really going on in this world and what games are our govenment playing with us. Not just the U.S. government, but all governments.

Also, here is a 7:29 long documentary I found on YouTube to give you a taste of what the longer and more detailed Loose Change 911 has:

and this one:

18:24 03/07/06

A protest action was held today in Yerevan at the residential house of president. The protestors were the residents of Biuzand, Arami and Lalayants streets who were demanding their ownership rights on land and adequate money compensation for houses destroyed for "state needs."

In the words of the protestors, their houses were estimated in a very low sum on which they cannot buy new houses. "We received only $300 per one sq. meter in case when Yerevan municipality paid $900 per sq. meter," they say.

Police officers regulating the demonstration advised to write another letter to the head of the state. The protestors do not see any more point to apply to Yerevan municipality.

Losing one's fear

At the beginning of June 1993, a friend of mine (who reads these logs from time to time) arranged for me a trip to Karabagh. I convinced another Armenian-American who was working in Yerevan at the time as part of his studies at Stanford University in Northern California to join me.

The trip was awesome and I saw things in those 3 days that changed my life, most notably our last 2 hours on the road out via Kelbajar.

Along our trip we had visited the Gandzasar monastery, where everyone in our party, believers and non-believers, purchased crosses that we wore. One of the crosses our driver Vartan hung on his rearview mirror of our jeep.

The last Church we visited was Dadivank, a place where for some reason I had the urge to put my whole body up against the outside wall of the main Church, as if taking on some type of energy from it as I said a prayer.

As we were exiting Artsakh via Kelbajar, it had been raining on and off the whole day and the roads were very muddy and slow going.

We came to a place where there was a very steep hill and trucks were waiting at the bottom of this hill to be pulled up by a very large tractor.

Part of our party had exited the jeep to show our driver the road and as we climbed the hill, our jeep had some mechanical problem and slipped out of gear.

As we descended back down the kill, all I knew was that the end of my road in life was coming and I would be meeting my maker in a matter of moments. There was no need to fight it, so I figured that I better do a good job of taping the last seconds of my life so if by chance the video camera was recovered, my family and friends would know what had happened.

I knew the end was inevitable, as along our journey, the people who were now on foot watching us speed down the hill backwards had been collecting samples of enemy munitions. One which was stuffed under my seat was an projectile used in a shoulder launched device to take out tanks. All it needed was to bump into something hard enough and it would explode, give off enough heat to fry all of us in the jeep to a crisp.

Obviously we didn’t die and were saved for some reason to continue living to do what He had intended us to do.

For those of you who do not get squeamish at the sight of blood, I invite you to take a look at the following video clip from that experience. It may also give you a better idea as to why I fear very little and am a true believer that when it is your time to go, there is nothing you can do to change it, so don’t fight it and by all means don’t live your life in fear. Of course that does not mean you don’t look before you step, but when you do step, you should never be fearful of moving forward.

One thing that you should notice is that during that mishap, there was no rain coming down. The minute and I mean in a matter of seconds of me making my way up the hill and into our jeep, the rain started coming down harder than we had ever seen on that whole trip with lightning and thunder.

It was clear to all of us that someone was watching over us that day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The Azeri Triangle

In The Jerusalem Report July 10, 2006 issue they have an article titled "The Azeri Triangle" which is about a delegation from Israel who visited Azerbaijan. The article is quite long and caught my eye as it talks of Israel helping Azerbaijan with its problems in Washington.

What comes to mind is a few things that I've always been wondering and that is, what does Israel have against us?

During the Artsakh liberation war when their was a ban on weapon sales to Armenia and Azerbaijan, Israel was active in selling Azerbaijan missiles/rockets (weapons of this nature).

Dr. Brenda Shaffer, director of research of the Caspian Studies Project at Harvard University who lives in Israel was quoted quite a bit in this article. This same Brenda Shaffer I had a chance to attend a lecture she gave in Israel in 1999, which she spoke of Azerbaijan and its neighbors.

I was ready to videotape her talk, the same talk she claimed at the time I could video at the time when she gave it in the states to the Armenian community a few months later (which she never gave). In short she didn't allow me to video and I would say for good reason, as what she had to say was all crap and her arguments were full of holes. Fortunately, my video camera that I put on my lap was running and I got the audio of her attempt to spread misinformation.

In short, Shaffer, the Azeri propagandist went on to talk about Black January, the day the Azeris were stopped by Russians forces from continuing their bloodbath of Armenians (though she never mentioned why the Russian forces were brought in and just that they went in an killed a bunch of people for no reason). According to her, that's when the conflict began in the region.

I'll get around one day to post the audio so you can hear what she said for yourself.

So what does Israel have to gain from helping Azerbaijan? Could a strong Armenia be a threat to the well being of Israel? Could a conflict in Armenia prevent us from moving forward, thus less of a threat to Israel?

I'm not sure, but according to the article, Mark Levin, the executive director of the National Conference on Soviet Jewry, a Washington-based advocacy organization and member of the coalition of Jewish groups that have worked on behalf of Azerbaijan's interests on Capitol Hill, has "worked closely with the administration to implement the presidential waiver of 907 in 2002, and the coalition "continues to express support on a regular basis for the waiver," which is subject to annual review.

For those of you who don't know what 907 is, it is a U.S. congressional amendment to the 1992 Soviet Freedom Support Act, aimed at boosting economic and humanitarian aid to all of the 15 emerging former Soviet republics except Azerbaijan. Passed at the urging of the Armenian-American lobby in 1993, when the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict was flaring, 907 barred the U.S. from military or other cooperation with Azerbaijan.

For those of you interested, you can read the whole article at:

Armenians in America

There seems to be a show called Reno 911, which is a cop reality show. This clip shows what happens to an Armenian on drugs in Reno. Note that his last name is the same as mine, but as far as I know he is not related, though he looks a little bit like a cousin who I have not seen in years who goes by a different first name.

Saturday, July 01, 2006


Yerevan, June 26. ArmInfo. A citizen of Yerevan, certain Stepan Hakobyan (1978) was arrested on June 24 charged with the murder of Sedrak Zatikyan, the son of Vahan Zatikyan, the former prefect of Malatia-Sebastia community, Sona Trouzyan, RA Prosecutor General's Press Secretary, told ArmInfo.

S. Hakobyan is charged with Article 235 of RA Criminal Code (illegal possession of weapons). In his turn, a reliable source reports that the detainee is a relative of Armenian MP representing Malatia-Sebastia community Hakob Hakobyan (nickname "Lady Hakob"). To note, bloody quarrels with participation of Hakobyan and Zatikyan clans are not a news.

Sedrak Zatikyan, born in 1980, was murdered on June 22 in daytime on Sebastia- Tichinin crossroad. The unknown fired at Zatikyan's car "Jeep." Wounded, S. Zatikyan lost control and crashed into a lorry. A resident of the nearby houses karine sarksyan - born in1969 fell victim to the incident. 24 shells of the same gun were found on the spot.


Shots were taken in the so called «Banki krug» place of Malatia-Sebastia community at 14:40 and the son of the former died district mayor of Malatia-Sebastia community Vahan Zatikian, Sedrak /born in 1980, father of two children/. One of the citizens said that shot were taken from a “Jeep”. A passer-by, Karine Sargsian born in 1969 was also killed. Sedrak Zatikian was the president of Erkrapah Voluntary Union branch in Malatia-Sebastia community. According to Sedrak’s friends, two shots were taken at his head, 3 shots were taken at his chest. There was the following version yesterday; “He wanted to find out the reasons of his father’s death, that’s why he was killed”. There were also gossips that there had been a quarrel two days before with General Manvel Grigorian’s participation and yesterday shots were the continuation of that quarrel.

Ex-Karabakh Strongman Eyes Seats In Armenian Parliament

RFE/RL Armenia Report - 06/30/2006
By Ruzanna Stepanian

Samvel Babayan, the once powerful ex-commander of Nagorno-Karabakh's army, said on Friday he is confident that his Dashink (Alliance) party will win seats in Armenia's parliament in next year's elections. Babayan also warned that he and his loyalists would not hesitate to use force against those who would try to steal votes from Dashink.

`That our party will be represented [in parliament] is beyond doubt,' he told RFE/RL, attributing his confidence to Dashink's platform and the `young and sound team' surrounding him. He would not be drawn on the number of parliament seats Dashink plans to have in the next National Assembly.

Babayan insisted that he will not form electoral alliances with any other political group, despite claims to the contrary made in the Armenian press over the past year. He also claimed that the Armenian authorities will find it much harder to rig the next elections not least because they will have to deal with Dashink. `There won't be falsifications. There will be a bitter fight,' he said.

`We will resort to all legitimate and illegitimate steps if illegal actions are carried out against us by the government or the opposition,' he added without going into details.

Babayan, who commanded the Karabakh army from 1993-1999, held the founding congress of his party last November just over a year after his unexpected release prison. The 39-year-old retired general was serving a 14-year prison sentence in Karabakh for allegedly masterminding a botched March 2000 attempt on the life of the disputed region's president, Arkady Ghukasian. He never pleaded guilty to the charges.

Political observers have suggested differing explanations for his liberation. Some have speculated that Babayan was set free in return for agreeing to secretly cooperate with President Robert Kocharian and his likely successor, Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian. All three men come from Karabakh and led the Armenian-controlled territory during its successful war with Azerbaijan.

Babayan has repeatedly denied such speculation and insists that his party has a neutral stance on the Armenian authorities. He predicted on Friday that the country's main pro-government factions will likely join forces to contest the 2007 elections. `The authorities need to act in a single team because for them divisions will be tantamount to defeat,' he said.

Babayan confirmed the widely held belief that one of the most ambitious pro-government forces, the Prosperous Armenia party of tycoon Gagik Tsarukian, was set up earlier this year to serve as Kocharian's new support base. `The thing is that Gagik Tsarukian and Robert Kocharian's team as a whole are setting up a structure to secure their future,' he said. `This is a fact.'

Babayan further disagreed with those who believe that the Armenian opposition stands no chance of unseating the country's current leadership. `They have that power,' he said. `The results of the 2003 elections show that about 70 percent of the public do not vote for government forces.'