Saturday, April 29, 2006

Once again President George W. Bush rewards human traffickers

You really have to ask yourself what is the deal between George W. Bush and Dubai?

This is the third time in less than 8 months that I can document that Bush is trying to cozy up with the people of the United Arab Emirates.

To begin with, Bush knows good and well that Dubai is a hotbed of the lucrative and very illegal activity of human trafficking of women and children for the sex slave business.

When the U.S. Department of State was pushing for sanctions after the UAE was placed on the human trafficking black-list (Tier 3), Bush waived the sanctions they had coming to them.

Then we have the Dubai Ports deal, which Bush approved, but was later reversed.

Now we have Bush approving a $1.24 billion takeover of Doncasters, a British engineering company with U.S. plants that supply the Pentagon.

You have to ask where all this money is coming from and why is Bush allowing human traffickers to launder their illegal proceeds?

John P. Torres, Deputy Assistant Director of Smuggling & Public Safety, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security, stated before the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Border Security and Claims Committee on the Judiciary "Alien Smuggling: New Tools and Intelligence Initiatives," May 18, 2004, 2 p.m., Room 2141, Rayburn House Office Building, "This international criminal market is extraordinarily lucrative, generating an estimated $9.5 billion in profit for criminal organizations worldwide. In many cases, these profits fuel additional criminal enterprises, such as the trafficking of drugs, weapons, or other contraband, or the funds are laundered and invested in legitimate business enterprises. These untraced profits feed organized crime activities, undermining governmental action and the rule of law, while allowing these criminal networks to grow stronger, more resilient, and more dangerous."

You got to ask, how much of this estimated $9.5 billion is going to Dubai and of their share how much is being invested in legitimate business enterprises that Bush allowing them to invest in?

It really seems that Bush is in bed with the UAE and I’m wondering how much he is getting from them to be so cooperative?

War on terror starts by cutting off any kind of economic advances, which clearly in this case Bush is not doing.

Bush approves Dubai buying defense supplier

By Caren Bohan and Susan Cornwell

WASHINGTON (Reuters)
- President Bush approved on Friday a Dubai-owned company's $1.24 billion takeover of Doncasters, a British engineering company with U.S. plants that supply the Pentagon.

Hoping to avert the sort of controversy that erupted over another Dubai state-owned company's plan to acquire operations at U.S. ports, Bush signed off on the deal after getting company assurances that the military supply chain would not be broken, the White House said.

Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record) of New York, a leading opponent of the failed deal that would have given Dubai Ports World control of major U.S. port operations, said he would not oppose the purchase of Doncasters by Dubai International Capital. But another lawmaker, Democratic Rep. John Barrow of Georgia, said he wanted more details.

"Congressional oversight means accountability and accountability will help make sure that we don't sell off a piece of our military industrial complex today that we wish we had back tomorrow," Barrow said in a statement.

Doncasters is an international group that operates nine U.S. plants. It makes precision parts for the aerospace and specialist automotive markets, including parts for defense contractors for use in military tanks and aircraft.

Among the Doncasters' holdings is a plant in Barrow's district in Georgia that is the sole supplier of turbine fan parts for the U.S. Abrams main battle tank.

Doncasters also makes engine parts for one variant of the Joint Strike Fighter, a Pentagon spokeswoman said. The program, co-developed by the United States and eight other countries, is building a next-generation radar-evading jet fighter.

Dubai International Capital wanted its Doncasters takeover done in March, but had to wait for a 45-day U.S. review of national security concerns by the inter-agency Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States (CFIUS). It made its recommendation to Bush two weeks ago, and Bush said he approved the deal on Friday after it was "looked at very carefully."

"It's a sale that should go through," he told reporters.

ARMY APPROVED

The White House said CFIUS checked "issues ranging from counterterrorism to counterproliferation to counterintelligence, among others." It said the Dubai buyer "made contractual commitments to DOD ( Department of Defense) to assure reliability of supply."

U.S. Army Secretary Francis Harvey said the Army had recommended approval of the deal even though it normally preferred to have more than one source for the parts it buys.

"We have British firms, we have French firms, we have Japanese firms" as suppliers, he said. "I don't have concern."

In the ports dispute, Bush was at odds with members of his Republican party as well as Democrats who were angry they were not consulted about a deal with clear security implications.

This time, the administration briefed some lawmakers, and the White House also sent a classified report about its decision on the deal to House and Senate leaders on Friday.

Schumer said Friday that the Doncasters' deal was different from the ports saga because it was carefully considered and involved products -- not services possibly easier to sabotage.

But Barrow was not satisfied, saying Bush should provide a full report with specifics of any assurances in the deal.

House Armed Services Committee Duncan Hunter, a California Republican, said his own staff review indicated the Doncasters deal was okay. "Numerous American companies" could make the tank components that Doncasters makes, Hunter said.

Dubai International Capital's purchases include Britain's Tussauds Group, owner of Madame Tussauds waxworks, and a stake in car maker DaimlerChrysler. The company is one of several Gulf Arab government-linked investors looking to use record oil revenues to diversify holdings.

(Additional reporting by Jim Wolf)

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Our Turkish readers want to debate the Genocide

After the airing of the PBS program about the Armenian Genocide last week, one of our Turkish readers in Rode Island attempted to justify how such a program could have been aired.

Here is his log which is found at: http://americanturk.blogspot.com/2006/04/political-bullshit-sell-out-i-mean-pbs.html

Keep in mind while reading this that this was written by a Turk who clearly hates Armenians (at least from the tone of his writings I get that feeling). It should also give you a good understanding why you don't debate with such people. The time you spend to change their way of thinking could be better spent on talking to people who have a better sense of logic and can draw conclusions from reading facts and not looking for something that is not or ever has been.

Where you see notations in brackets "[...]" these are my comments.

Political Bullshit Sell-out... I Mean PBS: "Armenian Genocide" Airs in RI

We petitioned, we faxed, we e-mailed and we telephoned PBS, albeit fruitlessly, but (judging from the closing credits) the Armenian community is wealthy beyond belief [yes we are]. Hey money talks and bullshit walks, as the saying goes... The number of financial contributors who made this program possible, is staggering. But the truth cannot be purchased, it's not for sale [very true, though Turkey has disproved this many times in the past], unless you're PBS... The "panel discussion" [notice the quotes, which to me means that it’s not really a panel discussion, but a propaganda ploy] which Turks feverishly petitioned PBS to air immediately following "Armenian Genocide", was not broadcast in Rhode Island [or the most densely populated Armenian community in America, Los Angeles, nor was the actual program] . I can't speak for other cities [it was in Florida and according to a non-Armenian friend who didn't know much of the Genocide, he said that the person taking Turkey's side made a fool of himself. It helped convince him that what was shown in the program was probably accurate], and would appreciate feedback from other Amerikan Turks.

Personally, speaking only for myself and for no other Turks, I don't give a squirt of piss about Armenians... UNTIL someone.. ANYONE outside of Turkey.. sheds a single tear or lights a single candle for the many millions of Turks who lost their lives during World War One [I wonder how many people outside of America shed a tear for a single American who died during World War One. I can tell you that there were many Turks who shed tears during and after their Armenian neighbored were butchered by those ordered to carry out Turkey’s leaders orchestrated slaughter of the Armenian population]. Apparently, when an Empire is destroyed and when those who still draw breath in it's aftermath, FIGHT for their survival, for their existence, for their future, it's called genocide by those who were complicit in the initial destruction [yes it is, when you attempt to wipe out an ethnic group from your population]. How trite.

Ironically, when the world's biggest super-power invades and destroys a relatively defenseless country which was never proven to be a threat, it's called liberation [I'm with you on this one]. Where were said liberators during World War One? Too pre-occupied with land-grabbing in Anatolia, I suppose, to notice or even care about how many inhabitants of Asia Minor were dying, be they Turk or Armenian [yup and then after, in hopes of grabbing more land, they jumpped in bed with Turkey so they could use them to have a hold in the region, thus the price to pay their prostitues (Turkey) is to not recognize reality (the Armenian Genocide)].

Who in the world mourns or commemorates the deaths of the millions of Turks who fell during WWI? during the Wars of Independence? I'll tell you: Only Turks, and they're not in the habit of projecting their loss upon others or demanding apologies or propagating myths or sticking any of it up anyones ass or down anyones throat [because all those deaths were a direct result to their governments own actions, so no one owes them an apology but their govenrment].

April 24th... May it pass quickly [yea, for your type, it's nothing but a bad dream that you just want to wake up from].

Here's an "Action Alert" for my Turkish readers. Vote "YES" and please copy this to as many like-minded people as possible: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12412125/ [and for those who don’t want to see a debate over a crime that was proven in two courts of law, one in Turkey and the other in Germany, vote NO]

Just so this is not too long a read, here are some samples of comments to this post:

Gulay said...
"Blame who you want but primarily blame our Govt as they never seem to want to open the records and allow what really happened to be brought to light. I do agree with you though but hope that eventually the Armenian influence in the US will reduce like the IRA did for the Brits…. I know that Mustafa Kemal wanted National Unity but should that include elimination of minority culture, I believe that's not what he wanted and to me the problem is intolerance and too much focus on religion and ethnicity since 1938!! There were/are faults on both sides but once again the Turkish Govt is losing the PR war. Armenians have a country but they seem to want more, like the Greek Cypriots, that is MONEY. Open the vaults, let the historians in and lets get the real story of what happened…"
4/25/2006 1:00 AM

metin said...

The openness in which these and similar issues can be intelligently discussed is what's missing in Turkish politics. There are many taboo subjects yet in this day and age. Until freedom and democracy is truly exercised in Turkey, Armenians and others will have an excuse for whatever they wish to highlight. We need to eliminate these objections so the issues can be dealt with objectively.
4/25/2006 3:15 AM

Oguz said...

"I enjoyed reading this. However, I would like to quote law #36 from the '48 laws of power': "By acknowledging a petty problem you give it existence and credibility. The more attention you pay an enemy, the stronger you make him."

I realize that this a problem with no simple solution, but the moment we Turks mention past atrocities of other countries as a response to the Armenians, we are in effect giving them credibility, and unfortunately helping their cause.

Having said that, I did vote on the poll, and will tell my friends about it too. :)"
4/25/2006 5:21 AM

Celal said...

"…What is unfortunate is that perhaps some form of national recognition of the catastrophic dimensions surrounding the events of 1915 could have be acknowledged by the Turkish state had the Armenians not continued to play big power politics with this issue."
4/25/2006 6:03 AM

PJB said...

"…I believe the genocide happened. Sure, Turks were killed, too, but not a million of them, and not by the Armenians. It was almost a hundred years ago when Turkey was the Ottoman Empire. They need to live up to their past and live up to their history.

Turkey is poised to play a huge role on the world stage, if only they have the confidence to be as big as they are, with all the warts and skeleton-filled closets that every other major nation has.

No more censorship laws and no more stubborn denial."
4/25/2006 10:35 AM

Murat Altinbasak said...

"I've received a lot of e-mails on top of these comments already...Man... One thing is certain: Everyone marches to a different drum beat on this issue. No two PsOV are exactly compatible. It's not black and white, by any measure... Certainty number two: I agree with all of those who support the open and unfettered dialogue, namely in Turkey. As Pete points out, laws against "insulting Turkishness" need to go. "
4/25/2006 11:46 AM

Anonymous said...

"What would you do to Fatma Muge Gocek, Halil Berktay, Fikret Adanir, Taner Akcam, Elif Shafak and Orhan Pamuk for speaking if not on behalf of Armenians at least for democracy in Turkey? Are they bought by Armenians too? Or do they have Armenian blood in them? You guys can't even handle a fact that Ataturk's daughter may have been an orphaned Armenian, and want to make the rest of the world believe that Turks don't have hatred towards Armenians? Yeah right. "
4/26/2006 3:14 PM

Light Sentences for Trafficking Ring

www.hetq.am
[April 10, 2006]


“I didn't tell my parents I was going to Dubai—they wouldn't have let me go—even though I thought I was going to have a normal job there. I couldn't ask them for help once I was here [Dubai], since I was always watched when I talked to my parents on the phone. I talked to my brother, but he is too young to tell about this kind of thing. I lied to my family. I had no other choice. We were in a bad situation and I wanted to help. And I said that I was going to Moscow, to my husband, but… I never imagined what was going to happen, what kind of things Armenian girls were doing in Dubai,” said Marine (not her real name), a resident of the village of Aragats, and yet another victim of trafficking.

Marine was tricked into going to Dubai and forced into sexual exploitation. She wasn't afraid to testify against the gang that forced her into prostitution.

In 2005 the Office of the Prosecutor General discovered a ring of human traffickers who were recruiting girls from Armenia and sending them, via Moscow, to Dubai. On August 24, prosecutors charged four members of the gang, Patvakan Malkhasyan, Nanasil Arakelyan, Simon Nersisyan, and Tamara Makarova, with violating Article 132, Part 2 (human trafficking) of the Armenian Criminal Code.

In November 2005, the four were convicted and sentenced in Armavir's Court of First Instance. Tamara Makarova, Simon Nersisyan, and Patvakan Malkhasyan received two years each, and Nanasil Arakelyan was sentenced to five years and four months (See also The Court is Soft on Human Trafficking).

The Office of the Prosecutor General, deeming the sentences too light, appealed the verdict.

“The court did not take into account the danger that the crime posed to society, it did not take into account the character of the defendants, and the sentences it issued were clearly too lenient,” said Armen Boshnagyan, senior prosecutor with the department responsible for trafficking and illegal immigration department.

In 2000, Tamara Makarova, a 44-year-old resident of Abovyan visited Dubai, staying at the home of Anahit Malkhasyan (aka Dbr Ano), who had previously been convicted of pimping and other crimes. Under Dbr Ano's supervision, Tamara began to work as a prostitute, but after some time she was caught and deported to Armenia.

Later, Dbr Ano suggested to Tamara that she recruit girls by promising them jobs as maids or babysitters, and send them to Dubai. Ano offered to pay her $300 per girl. Tamara then told her neighbor Ruzana about high paying work as a babysitter or maid in Dubai. Two days later Ruzana gave her passport to Tamara in order to receive an entry visa to United Arab Emirates. Dbr Ano instructed Tamara to send Ruzana to Simon Nersisyan, who would then transport her to Dubai.

Around the same time, Dbr Ano's friend Nanasil Arakelyan, convicted in November 2004 for organizing prostitution, sent Marine to Ano's brother Patvakan Malkhasyan (who was living in the village of Voskehat village at the time), in order to transport her to Dubai.

Afterwards, the two women were sent to Moscow, where they were met by a man named Vazrik “They kept us in an apartment for one day, and then they gave us new passports and we flew to Dubai,” Marine said.

In Dubai, the girls were met by Anahit Malkhasyan, who took their passports and forced them to work as prostitutes or return the money that had been spent on their transportation, approximately $15,000 dollars. Ruzana explained that during her time in Dubai she turned over more than $20,000 to her boss Anahit.

“I called home once, but I didn't say anything, because Anahit was listening. I was afraid to call in secret. One time, a girl got really badly beaten up for doing that. Only she [Anahit] recharged our mobile phones. We would get at least $500 from each client, but we never had any money ourselves—she would collect it all. We couldn't even lie, since a lot of the girls who were working with us would tell Anahit everything,” Marine explained.

In appellate court, the trial went pretty much the same way it had in the first instance. The victims testified and the defendants continued to insist that they were not guilty, that the girls had gone to Dubai of their own free will, and that they [the defendants] had not known what type of work the girls were headed for in Dubai.

On March 2, 2006 the court of Appeals, Judge Mher Adamyan presiding, issued a verdict. The court had reclassified the charges, replacing Article 132(Human Trafficking) with Article 262 (Organization of Prostitution). The court sentenced Patvakan Malkhasyan, Tamara Makarava, and Simon Nersisyan to two years in prison. Nanasil Arakelyan received three years and ten months.

The prosecution believes that there was no reason for the reclassification, and that once again, the sentences are too lenient. Prosecutor Armen Boshangyan said that they have appealed the sentence.

Varduhi Zakaryan

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Talks with Indian Students at Yerevan State Medical University Break Down

Onnik over at Oneworld Multimedia has been doing a fantastic job in covering the problems the student body is facing at Yerevan State Medical University.

I am saddened to say that very few media outlets are covering this story and would guess this is the case as the rector Gohar Khalyan is the wife of the main owner of the H2 TV station and President Kocharian’s Head of Staff, Armen Gevorgyan, is also one of H2 majority shareholders. For this reason Mrs. Gohar probably believes that she does not have to answer to involuntary man slaughter charges, which is what I think she should be at very least charged with.

Out of fairness to humanity and with us all being informed with what is going on, it would be responsible to write to President Kocharian, encouraging him to do the right thing.

The following is my letter. I invite you to do the same.

From: "Ara Manoogian"
To: "President Robert Kocharian" hasmik@president.am
CC: "Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanyan" info@armeniaforeignministry.com, "Justice Minister Davit Harutyunyan" justice@justice.am, "National Assembly Speaker Artur Baghdasaryan" speaker@parliament.am, "Defense Minister Serge Sarkisyan" shahsuvaryan@mail.ru, "Anti-Corruption strategy advisor Bagrat Yesayan" adv_yesayan@president.am
Subject: Death at Yerevan State Medical University
Date: Wed, 26 Apr 2006 21:23:52 +0500


Dear President Kocharian,

My name is Ara Manoogian. I am an Armenian-American who has been living the city of Martuni, NKR since 1998.

I am writing you in regards to the recent death of a medical student from India, Prashant Anchalia, as reported in The Statesman newspaper on Arpil 23, 2006 (see: http://www.thestatesman.net/page.arcview.php?clid=10&id=141870&usrsess=1.)

As a member of the Diaspora community who is interested in Armenia’s overall well being, I am bothered by the way our guests from India are being treated by Yerevan State Medical University (YSMU).

If Armenia is a free and fair country as your administration have been claiming it is to the Diaspora, it would be fitting that the justice prevails and those responsible for contributing to the untimely death of Prashant Anchalia are punished according to Armenia laws.

From what I have read, there have been some unfair deals with the Indian student body in regards to this matter by YSMU, which I’m sure you would agree is not acceptable. Such tactics only add insult to injury and make Armenia look to be less democratic than we claim it to be.

I ask on behalf of those concerned, that you intervene and make sure the criminal investigation, which the students were informed of on April 26th by the YSMU administration has been initiated, is conducted without error.

Also it would be advantageous that rector Gohar Khalyan be suspended from her duties until the conclusion of the investigation. This is a normal practice in most democratic countries.

Respectfully yours,

Ara Manoogian

THE PARENTS OF THE DEAD INDIAN STUDENT ADDRESSED THE AUTHORITIES TO FIND OUT THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE LETHAL ACCIDENT

Yerevan, April 24. ArmInfo. The parents of Prashant Anchalia, Indian student who died falling out of the window of a dormitory in Yerevan, addressed the President, Speaker and Prime Minister of India to find out the circumstances of the lethal accident.

Through the Indian Embassy in Armenia the parents also intend to address the Yerevan Medical University with a similar request.

'Telegraph' newspaper, India, reports that the parents of young Anchalia, as well as his university-fellows, do not trust the version of suicide. The body was delivered to India on April 23.

The death of Prashant Anchalia roused the protest of numerous Indian students in Armenia who were irritated by the indifference of the police, University administration and the ineffective work of the ambulance. Most of all the Indian students were offended of the actions of Gohar Kialian, rector of the Medical University who vulgarly expressed disrespect for all the Indian nation.

A criminal case has been roused on this fact. The General Prosecutor's office has published the evidence of eyewitness Prabhat Kumar, neighbor of Anchalia. Kumar confessed he had a quarrel with Anchalia on the day of his death. Anchalia was accusing Kumar for stealing $120.
Date: Tue, 25 Apr 2006 16:45:03 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Ara Manoogian"
Subject: Should PBS have commissioned a panel discussion on its documentary about Turkish-Armenian history?
To: joshbelzman@msnbc.com

Dear Mr. Belzman,

I am sorry to see that you feel the Armenian Genocide of 1915 could be a matter of debate. The Armenian Genocide is a well documented fact that should not be debated.

I would suggest that you read up on the subject prior to considering if a vote should be taken to decide if "scholars" should debate the subject.

I invite you to take a look at the archives of the Los Angeles Examiner. The August 1, 1926 issue had a story titled "Kemal Promises More Hangings of Political Antagonists in Turkey." It was written by a man named Emile Hilderbrand. This is an interview with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk founder of the modern Turkey.

The ninth paragraph of the story reads: "These leftovers from the former Young Turk Party, who should have been made to account for the lives of millions of our Christian subjects who were ruthlessly driven en masse, from their homes and massacred, have been restive under the republican rule. They have hitherto lived on plunder, robbery and bribery and become inimical to any idea, or suggestion to enlist in useful labor and earn their living by the honest sweat of their brow."

From the description of the founder of modern Turkey in the above story, all I can see is that in today’s terms what he describes is Genocide.

Though I have seen this same situation played out over the last few decades, that is with some uniformed individual making a bold statement that should not have been made, as they were misled by Turkey’s propaganda machine and then coming around and setting things straight. I’m sure this is what will happen in your case too, but you know Josh, it gets tiring to have to sit down and write to people like you. This too is a reason why the Armenian Genocide should not be an issue of debate, as such debates are a waste of many persons time which could be spent doing more productive things.


Regards,

Ara Manoogian

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

CALL TO ACTION

Dear Friends,

MSNBC has started a new survey on the PBS panel on the Armenian Genocide.

Please click below and vote NO.

The Assembly of Turkish American Associations (ATAA) has sent e-mails to thousands of Turks asking them vote for the panel. As of now, 66% of the voters have voted for the panel.

Please vote NO and forward this message to everyone on your e-mail list.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/12412125/

Body arrives from Armenia

Statesman News Service

SILIGURI, April 23:
Shell-shocked family members received the body of Prashant Anchalia, who died on Thursday after apparently falling from the sixth floor of the Yerevan State Medical University’s hostel in Armenia, at Bagdogra airport around 1.30 pm today.

A pall of gloom descended on the town as Prashant’s body reached his residence at Church Road here from Bagdogra airport. A large number of people had gathered outside the residence of the Anchalias to bid adieu to Prashant, whom they used to know as a brilliant student, who he died in mysterious circumstances in Armenia.

Puja Goel, who too hails from Siliguri and studies at YSMU in Armenia, and Abhishek, Prashant’s friend, accompanied the body as it reached Siliguri from Armenia, via New Delhi.

The duo was so shocked with the death of their friend that they could not even speak to the media. Later in the evening, they narrated the entire incident, and the lackadaisical attitude of the YSMU authorities, to the victim’s family members. The grief-stricken family members of Prashant, after hearing the duo, alleged that Prashant was murdered.

“We demand a high-level inquiry into the circumstances that led to Prashant’s death,” Mr Pankaj Anchalia, the victim’s elder brother, said.

Puja and Abhishek, eyewitnesses of the incident, alleged that they wanted to give their friend first aid but policemen and the medical department dean of YSMU, Ms Anna Sargsayn, didn’t allow them, saying that they must wait for an ambulance.

The ambulance arrived in 50 minutes without any doctor, the necessary medicine and oxygen. The Indian students approached the YSMU’s newly appointed rector, Mr Gohar Kjalyan, but the latter insulted them, instead of offering help.

Mr Pankaj Anchalia said what they heard from Puja and Abhishek was unfortunate. “Either the CBI or the Interpol should probe the incident,” he demanded. Mr Anchalia also lashed out at the Prime Minister’s Office for not responding to their fax message.

“The Government of India should have helped us bring the body from Armenia. But they did not. Had the Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr Somnath Chatterjee, not intervened, the body would not have reached Siliguri today,” he said. “Mr Somnath Chatterjee had contacted the Indian amabassador in Armenia, Mrs Reena Pandey, and instructed her to extend all possible help to us. He also sent his condolences to us,” Mr Anchalia added.

One step closer to justice for victim of medical negligence

For those of you who have been following the recent death of an Indian medical student in Yerevan, this sad story is one step closer to justice prevailing for the victim’s family and friends.

One of the Indian students named Nanyaar has a log and recently posted “Fear, Drama and hopefully not lies” which is the most up-to-date information on what is happening.

Reading this gives me great hope that in fact some common people in Armenia will get what they deserve for a crime the authorities once again tired to cover up.

I am confident that in the end, the leadership of the Indian students in Armenia, with the support of the Syrian students will get some very big results.

If they play their cards right and push the issue a bit, we should see criminal charges filed against those responsible for the senseless death of Prashant Anchalia.

I encourage all our responsible readers to post a comment of support on Nanyaar’s log so he knows that we are in support of the efforts being made for justice.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Letter to U.S. Secretary of State...John Evans recall

Dear Secretary of State Rice,

I am writing you on this day of April 24, 2006, the day marking the 91st anniversary of the Armenian Genocide of 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish government.

The reason for my writing comes as there is talk in the Armenian community of the recall of our beloved American Ambassador John Evans. It is said his recall was triggered from his personal recognition of the Armenian Genocide of 1915, though there has not yet been an official statement from your office to confirm this.

If in fact our dear Ambassador is being recalled for this reason, I am saddened and object to such a move from your office.

Since the opening of the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan, Ambassador Evans is the person that I feel has best represented America in Armenia.

On the ground in Armenia, I am witness that the common people who know of Ambassador Evans recognize him as being a decent human being, the kind of human being that we should want the international community to perceive Americans as being. True, trusting and strong.

As an American citizen who lives and works in Armenia, I have to tell you that Ambassador Evans is doing a fine job in representing America the way I think America should be represented.

If you do have intentions to recall him, I would reconsider this decision. Rest assured that you have the right person in the right place, creating strong bridges of understanding between the United States and the Republic of Armenia. These same bridges would undoubtedly crumble by recalling him for expressing the courage of his convictions.

Today, we commemorate the 91st anniversary of the Genocide of 1.5 million Christian Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turkish government. Yet the leaders of Turkey today continue to deny that this heinous crime against humanity was genocide. By recalling Ambassador Evans, the United States sends a message to the international community of their tolerance of genocide and their complicity with the perpetrators.

I pray that Ambassador Evans will not be added to our list of martyrs of 1915. Enough damage has been done. Let’s not perpetuate matters by making the Ambassador pay the ultimate penalty.

Very truly yours,

Ara Manoogian
United States Citizen

Kemal Promises More Hangings of Political Antagonists in Turkey

Los Angeles Examiner
August 1, 1926

By Emile Hilderbrand


I shall not stop until every guilty person, no matter how high his rank, has been hung from the gallows as a grim warning to all incipient plotters against the security of the Turkish Republic. Since the very hour of its reincarnation in the rejuvenated body of the Republic, our nation has endured travails no other nation has ever experienced.

When we were fighting external enemies, or enemies whom we were certain were sympathetic with foreign intriguers, nearly all of the rank and file of our population were enthusiastically, even fanatically, united to deliver the nation from the multiple foreign yokes. But no sooner had the nation proved its worth to its foreign detractors than certain elements, bred in the old school of political intrigue, began to show their claws. We were face to face with a menace to the life of the republic from two elements.

One was the group who combined religious fanaticism and ignorance with political imbecility and who, in the past, under different Sultans had come to believe that the state was an organism to be exploited through debauchery, corruption and brazen bribery for personal ends. I put the ax in the dual root of this sinister and reprehensible theory of government by destroying the Khalif and the Sultan. I sent into exile the persons in whom this theory was personified. Large numbers, adherents of this school of politics, attempted to interpret any act as atheistic, and, under the aegis of religion, began to intrigue against the life of the republic.


Sixty Leaders Hang at Dawn

In several instances in the past when, in Kurdistan and other interior regions of Anatolia, they showed a disposition to challenge the will of the republic, I crushed them with an iron hand, and for example, had over sixty of their leaders hanged at dawn.

That element had its lesson and will not again attempt to measure swords with 'me.

The second element, I am now about to deal with ruthlessly, is the group of men who in the pre_republic days were known in the world as the Committee of the Union of the Young Turks. The ranks of this element were recruited from a questionable assortment of political adventurers, half_educated progressives and men of dissolute habits. In the days when we were battling against foes from within and without, this element joined us and fought in our ranks. Yet from the early days I had misgivings as to their motives. But I wished, hoped and then prayed that once our country was redeemed from the foreign yoke, this element would mend its methods and become infused with the seal of patriotism. I soon began to realize that my hopes were doomed to be disillusioned and my prayers were [not] to be answered. I patiently waited, keeping a sharp eye on their movements.


Seditious Movements Cloaked

They formed themselves into a political opposition. I do not pretend to be a dictator, bent to suppress sincere and honest political opposition, because a republic is a misnomer when it ceases to brook criticism. But when a group of dissolute, corrupt and unscrupulous political adventurers begin to organize seditious movements under the cloak of political opposition, it becomes the sacred duty of those who are in charge of the machinery of the government to suppress it and suppress it with an exemplary ruthlessness that will prevent the eventual shedding of rivers of blood.

I am about to show these plotters that the Republic of Turkey cannot be overthrown by murderers or through their murderous designs...

These left_overs from the former Young Turk Party, who should have been made to account for the lives of millions of our Christian [Armenians] subjects who were ruthlessly driven en masse, from their homes and massacred [Genocide], have been restive under the republican rule. They have hitherto lived on plunder, robbery and bribery and become inimical to any idea, or suggestion to enlist in useful labor and earn their living by the honest sweat of their brow.

Under the cloak of the opposition party, this element, who forced our country into the Great War against the will of the people, who caused the shedding of rivers of blood of the Turkish youth to satisfy the criminal ambition of Enver Pasha, has, in a cowardly fashion, intrigued against my life, as well as the lives of the members of my cabinet.

I would have more respect for them had they planned an armed revolution, taking the field in a manly fashion, to overthrow my government. But being conscious of the fact that they could not muster out even one regiment to give battle to the zealous adherents to, and upholders of, the glorious republic, they have resorted to beastial methods of assassination. They have hired murderers and even debauched women to commit their murderous acts.

In the middle of June last I had planned to make a tour of the country. My itinerary was published. A group of these assassins, placed on the route of procession, were to "rain" hand grenades at the automobiles which were to carry me and my staff.

They went even further and seduced a woman who had been for years identified with my cause and who had been my loyal political friend and on occasion, even adviser. They induced this woman to accept the reprehensible assignment to present me with a bouquet which concealed a bomb that would, on my receiving it, explode and obliterate everyone in sight. This ill_advised woman deserves pity, for she was made to believe that she would thus sacrifice her own life for the good of the fatherland. I was the enemy of the nation. She will be forgiven for her part in the plot, for she conscience_stricken, confessed to the proper authorities in time for me to cancel my intended tour.

Police block Armenian pilgrims from attending Easter ceremony in Jerusalem

HAARETZ.com
Apr 22, 2006

By Haaretz Correspondent and AP, By Amiram Barkat


Police prevented hundreds of Armenian worshipers from taking part in a sacred pre-Easter ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre yesterday. Armenian church officials said the police behaved rudely to church members and senior clergy and arrested four Armenians near the Old City police station, releasing them only after the Armenians stopped the festive procession to the church in protest.

Armenian Archbishop Nourhan Manougian told Haaretz that the police only allowed 400 of 700 Armenian pilgrims to enter the church for the Ceremony of the Holy Fire, despite the fact that all had entry permits, as required by police, he said. "Israel always declares that it allows free access to the holy places but in fact the police acted like a despot to the pilgrims. There were some who had come especially for the ceremony from the U.S., from Canada and from Australia who were not allowed in."

During the ceremony, a flame, believed by some faithful to be miraculously ignited, illuminated thousands of worshipers' torches and candles at the church, as tense hours of waiting and shoving culminated in the celebration of the rite.

Believers see the passage of the flame among worshipers as connecting many of the 200 million Orthodox Christians worldwide to their spiritual roots.

The ritual dates back at least 1,200 years. The precise details of the flame's source are a closely guarded secret, but some believe it appears spontaneously from the burial area, as a message from Jesus on the eve of the Orthodox Easter that he has not forgotten his followers.

Some 3,000 police were involved in security at the ceremony, which was attended by approximately 15,000 pilgrims.

Manougian met on the eve of the ceremony with the commander of the Jerusalem district of the police, Major General Ilan Franko, and asked him to treat the pilgrims politely. However he said Franko "spoke to me as if I were a student of his, and hinted all the time that if we did not abide by the agreements..."

The Jerusalem police responded that officers had detained a number of intoxicated individuals who had joined the Armenian procession and were behaving wildly. They were released when they calmed down, police said.

With regard to complaints that Armenian worshipers were pushed, police said it was Armenian clergy who had pushed Russian pilgrims trying to join the procession, and that officers had intervened only to separate the two sides.

Police also said Franko had conducted talks in recent weeks with all sides involved in the ceremony, and had reached an agreement acceptable to all. "The meeting ended with embraces and kisses, and so Archbishop Manougian's claims are surprising," police said.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Does it concern you??

This was posted on nanyaar.wordpress.com

To Whomsoever It May Concern

This is to hereby inform that a tragic incidence of an Indian national’s death has taken place on April 20, 2006 at 1:00 pm in Yerevan Armenia .Which to eyewitnesses appears to be due to medical negligence. There were 4 eyewitnesses of Indian nationality and six witnesses of Armenian nationality and three witnesses of Syrian nationality. According to all Indian and Syrian national witnesses, the demised was alive and communicating, requesting help for at least 45 minutes and breathing his last. All the witnesses affirm that the ambulatory service arrived too late to help him in any form whatsoever. Following this unfortunate incident all Indian students demanded clarification for the Rector (equivalent to Vice Chancellor) but were given no satisfactory explanation. Students who were agitated by this act decided to go to Armenian parliament. During the protest March, when all Indians were moving towards the parliament there was no Indian official present from the Indian embassy in Armenia. It is more than 48 hours now as this application is being written and there is no official statement from the Indian embassy in Armenia yet on the sad incidence. We nationals of India studying in Armenia demand from the Indian embassy to give an official statement on the incidence and the results of the investigations which have taken place , who is in charge of the investigations and what are the requests which the embassy has made to the government of the republic to Armenia to avoid occurrence of such incidences in future . We Indian students in Yerevan state medical university, Yerevan, Armenia request the authorities to protect our civil rights as Indian nationals and enlighten us .Being the largest Indian population living on the Armenian land we hope that our pleas would be considered. Oblige us bye acting, we all are Son’s and Daughters of India.



Requesting help
All Indian students
Yerevan State Medical University
Yerevan, Armenia


22 April2006 copy





Know this

- An Indian student Prashant Anchalia falls from 6th floor of 7th corpus
- Immediately ambulance service is called for Ambulance arrived 40 min late
- A doctor our dean does nothing to take measures to help the injured boy & students were also prevented to help
- Ambulance without 1st aid equipments arrives after 40 min
- Boy is not taken to the nearest hospital
- He dies due to medical negligence
- Attending doctor at the hospital mentions he could be saved if he was brought 15 mins earlier
- Embassy was immediately informed about the incidence
- No representative arrives at the hospital for the next 2hrs
- In the hospital Pro-Rector asks the students to come to university
- All Indian students gathered at university
- Rector ( chancellor) arrives
- Students demand explanation
- Rector showing no situational discretion pours out provocative remarks against Indians
- This provocates students to go out on streets
- There is a protest march towards the Armenian parliament
- No embassy staff arrives yet to safeguard the students & to curb them
- Protest in front of parliament continues for more that 3 hrs yet no response from the embassy
- 4 Indian students permitted to go to the parliament in absence of an official representative from the embassy
- After 1 hr students come out of the parliament stating that they have informed the parliament about the current situation, course of events which had occurred before
- After 1 hr with Pro-rector, representative of Indian embassy arrives
- For ½ hr Pro-rector & representative talk with Indian students
- Ambassador finally arrives after 8 hrs of the sad incidence
- Ambassador goes to parliament
- After an hour ambassador comes out asking students to come to the university
- At 11 pm students turned back towards the university
- There is a meeting with the deputy speaker, educational minister & Indian ambassador
- After along discussion no assurance is given & the students come out afraid & unsatisfied at the early hours of morning


Request to the concerned authorities :-

- All explanations and clarifications should be given in written form
- Satisfactory action to be taken against the responsible people
- Apology by rector in written form for her misconduct
- Explanations by embassy in written form for their misconduct
- Provision for a medical store, dispensary with a qualified doctor & well equipped ambulatory service for 24hrs

Concerned students of
Yerevan state medical university

This Week We Added......

the Armenian Weekly to our growing list of Armenian news links. M.O.B. appreciates this 73-year-old Armenian-American institution’s wisdom in hiring a vibrant and gutsy editor who believes in keeping alive the Armenian culture by passionately promoting understanding and justice among Armenians and all peoples. Why so? Well, just listen to this phone-interview pod cast (taped 11/2005) featuring Kiljian's thoughts about writing genocide denial into history books. Very inspiring. I wonder if she would ever cover an anti-trafficking or corruption story on the ground here in Armenia?

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Murder cloud over fatal fall

The Telegraph
Saturday, April 22, 2006

SUBHENDU RAY


Siliguri, April 21: A 22-year-old youth from Siliguri, who was studying in Yerevan State Medical University in Armenia, died after a fall from the sixth floor of a building.

Prashant Anchali reportedly committed suicide by jumping off a building of the university at 1.30 pm Armenian time yesterday. The Anchalis, however, suspect that Prashant had been murdered.

The Indian embassy in Armenia had called up the family on Church Road here last evening to give them the news, said Pankaj, Prashant’s elder brother. “They said it was suicide, but we don’t believe it. We suspect he was murdered.”

“No official intimation has as yet come from the university even 24 hours after the incident,” he added.

An Armenian news website that had covered the incident stated: “...Indian student of the Yerevan State Medical University, Sandi (his nickname) Anchali, fell down from the 6th floor. He died 5 minutes later after being taken to hospital.”

Pankaj and his family suspect that Prashant’s roommate in Armenia could have had a hand in his death.

“He (the roommate) had borrowed a few hundred dollars from my brother and did not return it. It’s quite likely that Prashant had an altercation with him over this. My brother was not the type to commit suicide,” Pankaj said.

The news site, too, seemed to agree. “Many of the students claim that he (Sandi) was a psychologically balanced boy and couldn’t have committed suicide. Others say that it could be a murder as Indians are disliked in Armenia,” the site stated.

Last Wednesday, an Indian woman medical student at St Petersburg in Russia was the victim of a racist attack.

Prashant’s father Parasmal said his family has written to the President, the Prime Minister and the Lok Sabha Speaker asking them to intervene.

“Prashant had called us up the previous day and said he wanted to go to Canada to explore opportunities as a doctor there,” the weeping father said.

Prashant’s death has given rise to a discord between the Indian students and the university administration.

According to the website, police had not allowed the students to give first aid to Prashant. Besides, the ambulance, that arrived 50 minutes later, was without a doctor, necessary medicine and oxygen.

The students had also approached the rector of the university, Gohar Kjalyan, but the latter allegedly insulted them instead of offering help.

The site said 800-odd Indian students of the university had launched an agitation in front of the Republic of Armenia Parliament with posters demanding the immediate resignation of the rector.

Indian Students Seek Justice in Vain

I happened upon a huge crowd of Indian students walking up the Baghramyan Street. I thought it was one of their national holidays; they are always accompanied by processions and music. Well, I thought, the procession would be a great part of a new project, Indians in Armenia, that Hetq photographer Onnik Krikorian and I have launched recently.

But as soon as I approached, it became clear that the crowd gathering at the National Assembly building was not celebrating a festival at all; it looked more like a demonstration.

“What's the gathering about?” I asked one of the students, expecting to hear some common Armenian university problem.

His answer was beyond all my expectations. It was something horrible. Later in the several hours that I spent with them at the National Assembly others added their stories to his tale, and gradually the whole picture emerged.

Today (April 20, 2006) at around 13:00 pm, a third year student at the Medical University, 21- year-old Prashant Anchalia fell out of a sixth floor window in Building #7 of the Zeytun Student Dormitory. How and why he fell are not yet clear. The students who rushed to him found him lying on the ground covered with blood, screaming in pain. They called an ambulance and their dean's office.

Dean Anna Sarkisyan arrived fifteen minutes later. Although she is a doctor, she made no attempt to provide emergency aid to the student, and even forbade the other students to touch him or take him to hospital in a taxi, rather than wait for the ambulance, which was slow to arrive. Instead, she ordered them to wait for the police to get there.

The Police arrived and took some witnesses to the Kanaker Police Station for questioning.

The ambulance arrived some 45-50 minutes after the call. According to the students, it was in very poor condition and had no medical equipment, not even an oxygen mask.

On the way to the hospital, Prashant Anchalia died.

The students went to the Medical University and asked to meet with the rector, seeking an explanation for why their friend had been treated so negligently. The response of the newly- appointed rector, Gohar Kialyan, came as a shock. Out of the blue, she referred to Indian girls as prostitutes, and showed the students the middle fingers of both her hands, a gesture whose meaning is well known to even five-year old kids.

Astonished by her behavior, the students decided to seek help in higher places.

[more]...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Grab all you can while still in power...

This is another story of a medical center being sold off to someone who has government ties.

This time it's the daughter of an advisor to the Prime Minister, an advisor who was forced to resign on April 6 as chairman of the National Academy of Sciences amid corruption allegations.

I guess the more corrupt you are, the better your chances at becoming an advisor to the Prime Minister, one of the MOST corrupt people in the Armenian govenment today.

What really is hard for me to understand is that don't all these people who are taking all they can have a clue as to the final outcome of their actions? I mean let's face it, we all have to answer one day for what we have done in our lives, some while they are still alive and the rest of us when we meet our maker.


Government Approves Another Discount Sale

armenialiberty.org
Friday 21, April 2006

By Astghik Bedevian


The Armenian government has ignored strong criticism of its privatization policies to approve the sale of yet another state-owned entity without a tender and at a clearly knockdown price.

The government decided on Thursday to sell the Medical Genetics Center of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences to the daughter of a newly appointed adviser to Prime Minister Andranik Markarian for 15.2 million drams ($34 million). No reasons were given for its failure to privatize the facility on a competitive basis and thus raise a less modest sum.

The Department on State Property Management, headed by a Markarian loyalist, declined a comment on the issue. A spokeswoman said only that it “can not dispute government decisions.”

The deal was approved one week after heated parliament debates on the privatization of state-run enterprises and other assets from 2001 through 2004. Parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian and his Orinats Yerkir Party denounced the process, saying that it lacked transparency and was riddled with corruption.

Armenia’s Office of the Prosecutor-General gave weight to the allegations, concluding in a report that the government’s privatization policies inflicted “considerable damage” on the state. Markarian and his allies, however, deny any wrongdoing.

The director and now the owner of the Medical Genetics Center, Tamara Sargsian, is the daughter of Fadey Sargsian, who was forced to resign on April 6 as chairman of the National Academy of Sciences amid corruption allegations and calls for radical reform of the moribund Soviet-era institution.

Sargsian, 83, was promptly given a new job, becoming an adviser to the Armenian premier. His daughter insisted on Friday that he played no role in her takeover of the medical facility which has an expensive building in central Yerevan and modern equipment. “Believe me, my father has nothing to do with that,” she told RFE/RL.

But Henri Nersisian, a member of the Academy of Sciences who has long accused Fadey Sargsian of large-scale corruption, thought otherwise. “They were waiting until he becomes an adviser [to the prime minister] to privatize the center,” he said.

Nersisian insisted that Tamara Sargsian enjoyed privileged treatment by her father largesse throughout his decade-long leadership of the academy, which runs virtually all scientific institutions in Armenia. “There is an institute of organic chemistry in Armenia which employs 285 people,” he said. “Their annual budget is 53.5 million drams. Tamara Sargsian’s center employs 16 people and receives 36.3 million drams, or ten times more on the per-capita basis.”

“The government doesn’t give so much money for nothing. All the funding requests were signed by her dad,” he added. “This is a classical example of corruption.”

AZERI GOVERNMENT NOT INTERESTED IN PEACE

ARMENIAN CHURCH IN BAKU TO BE TURN INTO A BARN

In the days of the Soviet Union, it was common practice to convert Armenian Churches into barns.

Today the Azeri Minister of "Culture" in the name of "cultural preservation" is proposing to convert the Armenian Church is Baku to a "library." How culturally sensitive!

These are the same Azeris who distroyed the stone crosses in the medieval cemetery in Nakhichevan. Was that also in the name of cultural preservation?

Turning the Church into library is no better than turning it into a barn since no doubt the only people entering it will be a bunch of animals, though animals are not a savage as Azeris.

For those Azeris that don't agree with the above statements, if in fact you are not a savage, then you need to appose such non-culturally correct moves by the people who represent YOU, your government and take a stance that we, the people outside of Azerbaijan can see. Being silent, makes you a accomplice and just as gulity.

ARMENIAN CHURCH IN BAKU TO BE USED AS LIBRARY

PanARMENIAN.Net
20.04.2006 20:49 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/
"I think that turning of the Armenian church situated in Baku into a library is expedient," stated Azeri Minister of Culture and Tourism Abulfaz Garayev. In his words, as there is "a very small number of believers of that region, turning the Armenian church into a library is an expedient move. I believe the church should remain in the capital as an architectural monument. Using the building for a scientific center is very expedient."

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Prime minister of Canada recognizes Armenian Genocide

20.04.2006

YEREVAN (YERKIR) - Ottawa -
The Prime Minister of Canada, the Right Honourable Stephen Harper, made a clear statement recognizing the historical fact of the Armenian Genocide.

In response to a reporter's question regarding the Armenian Genocide, the Prime Minister said: “That was a vote held in the last Parliament [Motion M-380 - April 21, 2004]. As you recall, Parliament passed that resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Our party supported that resolution and we continue to recognize that parliamentary resolution”.

Dr. Vagharch Ehramdjian, Chairman of the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC), thanked the Prime Minister Harper, on behalf of the Canadian Armenian Community, for his historic statement.

Intellectuals Urge Popular Revolt Against `Criminal Regime'

RFE/RL Armenia Report - 04/18/2006
By Emil Danielyan


A group of prominent intellectuals highly critical of Armenia's leadership on Tuesday strongly condemned its latest controversial energy deal with Russia, urging Armenians to topple their government by `all possible means.'

In a joint statement, they said the transfer of more Armenian energy facilities to Russia's Gazprom gas monopoly has dealt a `severe blow from behind' to Armenian statehood and is aimed at enabling the administration of President Robert Kocharian to `retain and reproduce its power.' `With the sale of the Fifth Unit of the Hrazdan thermal power plant, our country has not only lost the final pillar of its national security and statehood, energy security, but also driven a wedge into the friendly and mutually beneficial Armenian-Iranian relationship,' said the statement.

Under the deal announced early this month, Gazprom will gain control over the Hrazdan power plant and reportedly an Armenian-Iranian gas pipeline currently under construction in return for scaling back a surge in the price of Russian gas for Armenia until the end of 2008. The Russian energy giant will also significantly boost its stake in Armenia's gas infrastructure.

The deal is expected to give Moscow a near total control over the Armenian energy sector. Implications of this fact have been downplayed by Armenian officials, with President Robert Kocharian noting that `energy security and energy independence are different things.'

But Kocharian's political opponents claim the opposite, saying that Armenia will pay dearly for its increasing economic dependence on Russia. The six signatories of the statement, who lead the pro-opposition Armenian Intellectual Forum, are of the same opinion. Among them are renowned poetess Silva Kaputikian, actor Yervand Manarian and Rafael Ghazarian, a veteran member of the National Academy of Sciences and one of the leaders of the 1988 popular movement for Nagorno-Karabakh's reunification with Armenia.

`The Intellectual Forum ¦ is calling on the country's entire population to return power, usurped by the criminal regime, to the people by all possible means,' reads their statement.

The Intellectual Forum has for months been pressing for a nationwide campaign of street protests against the government. Its efforts to rally Armenia's divided opposition groups around the idea have not been successful so far.

High Court Declares Yerevan House Demolitions Illegal

RFE/RL Armenia Report - 04/18/2006
By Ruzanna Stepanian


Armenia's highest court on Tuesday declared unconstitutional the government-sanctioned demolition of hundreds of old houses in downtown Yerevan but stopped short of obligating municipal authorities to give the properties back to their forcibly evicted owners.

The Constitutional Court ruled that a 2002 government decision that paved the way for the ongoing massive redevelopment in the city center violated several articles of Armenia's constitution.

One of those articles stipulates that private property can be confiscated by the state `only in exceptional cases involving overriding public interests, in a manner defined by law, and with a prior commensurate compensation.' The extremely controversial process, marred allegations of high-level corruption, has only been regulated by the government directive, however.

Government officials say it is based on provisions of Armenia's civil and land codes that give the state greater freedom to confiscate land against the will of its owners. The Constitutional Court said that those provisions are also unconstitutional and must be amended accordingly.

The verdict deals a serious blow to the credibility of the Armenian government which has insisted all along that large-scale construction which is rapidly changing central Yerevan is legal and fair.

Hundreds of local residents have been forced to vacate their mostly decrepit houses over the past two years. Many of them are unhappy with the amount of compensation paid to them by the state, saying that it was set well below the market value of their properties as a result of government corruption. Some have resisted eviction orders with hunger strikes and other extreme methods of struggle.

Their demands have been backed by human rights activities, opposition politicians and prominent public figures. Armenia's former human rights ombudsperson, Larisa Alaverdian, was also vocal in her support for their cause, filing an appeal to the Constitutional Court shortly before her resignation last January. Alaverdian's pro-government successor, Armen Harutiunian, unexpectedly decided to stand by the appeal in February.

The court decision seems to be a largely moral victory for the disgruntled evicted residents as it is unlikely to entail any practical consequences. The court only ordered the Armenian government and parliament to bring the relevant legislation into conformity with the constitution and said nothing about property restitution or compensation.

The ruling was read out by Constitutional Court Chairman Gagik Harutiunian after five hours of deliberations by the panel of nine judges appointed by President Robert Kocharian and the National Assembly. It followed the final court hearing which saw Armen Harutiunian and Justice Minister David Harutiunian (no relation), who fought the government's corner, make their concluding remarks.

The justice minister, whose close relatives are reportedly involved in the redevelopment project, claimed that forcible house demolitions are a normal practice around the world. `How do cities and towns around the world develop?' he said. `In accordance with architectural master plans which can serve as the basis for alienating property.'

The human rights ombudsman, for his part, reiterated his view that the government has no legal right to single-handedly deprive Armenian citizens of their property. `Such matters are regulated by law,' he said. `Therefore they are the prerogative of the parliament, not the government.'

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

CALL TO ACTION!!!

"We Will Remember not the Words of our Enemies, but the Silence of our Friends’"

April 20, 2006

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier


As Armenians are commemorating the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide this week, they should keep in mind that 91 years after the fact, a distinguished U.S. diplomat has become its latest victim!

John Evans, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, fortunately has not lost his life, but has sacrificed his diplomatic career for speaking out on the Armenian Genocide. He is being recalled by the State Department for publicly acknowledging the facts of the Genocide during his tour of the United States last year.

As Martin Luther King said: "At the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends." This famous statement aptly describes the regrettable situation Amb. Evans and Armenians find themselves in. The U.S. Ambassador is a true friend of Armenia and Armenians. But, more importantly, he is a defender of the truth. His friends should not remain silent about his predicament.

By speaking out, Armenians would be defending not so much the Ambassador -- who deserves their full support -- but their own cause. They cannot remain silent when the State Department is indirectly trying to bury the truth about the Armenian Genocide. A noble messenger is being eliminated in order to silence his message!

The upcoming commemorative events of the Armenian Genocide are the perfect opportunity for Armenians to raise their voices in defense of the acknowledgment of the Armenian Genocide, in solidarity with Amb. Evans. As Armenians gather in various cities throughout the world during the week of April 24, the keynote speakers at commemorative events in every city should condemn the shameful action of the State Department against one of its finest diplomats! They should urge their audiences to write to the State Department expressing their outrage about its inexcusable treatment of Amb. Evans.

A group of Armenian Americans and their friends in Yerevan are launching this week a "Yellow Ribbon” campaign in order to shatter the wall of silence surrounding this affair. As more than a million Armenians will be marching in a solemn procession to the Genocide Memorial Monument in Yerevan on April 24, volunteers will be asking each individual to tie a yellow ribbon on a rope along the path leading toward the Monument. The organizers have chosen the “Yellow Ribbon” campaign as a mode of silent and respectful protest that is so familiar to Americans. This activity will be publicized throughout Armenia as well as the Diaspora.

These actions and the ensuing publicity would add to the extensive media coverage in recent weeks of the State Department’s shocking recall of Amb. Evans. As the Los Angeles Times wrote in an editorial published on March 22: "Punishing an ambassador for speaking honestly about a 90-year-old crime befits a cynical, double-dealing monarchy, not the leader of the free world." In a similar harshly worded editorial published on March 24, the Fresno Bee wrote: "Shame on the State Department" for recalling Amb. Evans.

Prominent British journalist Robert Fisk wrote a scathing article in The Independent on April 8. He castigated the State Department for recalling Amb. Evans and took Pres. Bush to task for reneging on his campaign promise of acknowledging the Armenian Genocide. Fisk said that after getting elected, Pres. Bush "caved in, gutlessly calling it [the Armenian Genocide] a ‘tragedy’ so that he wouldn’t get his fingers burned by that wonderful democratic NATO ally – and would-be EU member – called Turkey."

Despite extensive critical media attention and several letters of inquiry by members of Congress to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, the State Department continues to stonewall and remain officially silent on the Evans affair.

If Armenians worldwide react strongly on this occasion, maybe in the future the State Department and the White House would carefully weigh the repercussions of their actions, before contemplating important decisions on Armenian issues. Silence and inaction are not valuable commodities in the pursuit of any cause, let alone a noble one!

Monday, April 17, 2006

A Message to All Azerbeјdžan

We are ready!Thanks to your shortsighted and evil minded leadership in Baku we're steadfastly improving the combat readiness of ALL Armenians in Nagorno Karabagh

Photo: Military Excersizes, Nagorno Karabagh 2006





Saturday, April 15, 2006

Educating Turkey’s Next Generation of Deniers

TURKEY’S FOREIGN MINISTRY PROVIDES INTERNET SERVICE ON GENOCIDE ALLEGATIONS

TDN, Monday, April 10, 2006

Diplomacy


Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul said his ministry's efforts to provide accurate information refuting Armenian genocide allegations via the Internet were attracting much attention.

In response to a written inquiry from opposition Motherland Party (ANAVATAN) Malatya deputy Mirac Akdogan, Gul said the goal of the information campaign was to counter "baseless genocide allegations" and provide the world with factual historical information.

Gul said the parliaments of 18 countries had passed resolutions recognizing the alleged genocide and added that those countries were informed of Ankara's negative reaction via diplomatic channels.

Several parliaments, including those of France, Canada and Poland, have passed resolutions backing Armenian genocide claims. There has been strong pressure from Armenians worldwide for the U.S. Congress to recognize their allegations as well. None of the governments of European Union countries -- except France -- have endorsed any decision recognizing allegations of genocide against Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

Gul said Turkey reviewed its relations with the countries that passed resolutions recognizing genocide allegations and, as a result of Ankara's negative reaction, certain planned joint activities with those countries were suspended.

The foreign minister also said the ministry was following any publications supporting the Armenian theses.

"There are more than 1 million Web sites in languages other than Turkish with regard to the Armenian question. If one takes into account the Armenian diaspora's efforts to broadcast in almost every language for propaganda purposes, it will take a long time to determine the exact number of publications in languages other than Turkish," he added.

"There are approximately 450,000 Web sites that support the Armenian theses and transmit in foreign languages, especially English, French, German, Italian and Spanish," Gul said.

Turkey categorically denies Armenian allegations that some 1.5 million Armenians were killed as part of a genocide campaign in eastern Anatolia during World War I and is calling for an objective scientific study of the issue to refute the claims.

Facing a mounting Armenian campaign to get international recognition for the alleged genocide, Turkey called for a joint committee of Turkish and Armenian experts last year to study the allegations. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan sent a letter to
Armenian President Robert Kocharian proposing the establishment of such a committee. Erdogan's proposal was turned down by Kocharian, who instead offered an intergovernmental commission to study ways to resolve problems between the two neighboring countries.

Azeri people showing their true colors again

It should really concern everyone (even those in Azerbaijan) and give the international powers a better idea who Armenia has been dealing with for the last couple hundred years.

When "normal" Azeri citizens protest the punishment of a person who murdered a sleeping man with an ax, who they consider a national hero, it should tell us all what the Azeris have and will do if they get the chance.

Take a look at the faces of the people in this log and ask yourself if they look like people you would want your children to have as neighbors?

I can tell you right now, there will be no peace deal signed in the near future where we open the boarders with Azerbaijan. Not because we don't want it, but it seems from what the people and governemnt has been doing over the last 10+ years will put us in harms way if the boarders were open.


Meeting to protest Ramil Safarov's sentence dispersed by police

14 April 2006 [17:32] - Today.Az

Meeting was held near the Huseyn Javid monument in Baku to protest the court sentence to the Azerbaijani officer, Ramil Safarov sentenced to life.

Activists of Karabakh liberation organization and students organized meeting, Trend reports. However, it was soon dispersed by the police.

The meeting's leader, Akif Nagy have been detained and other demonstrators dispersed.

The rally participants have been protesting against the harsh sentence demanding to review the case.

The similar actions are expected in the regions.


URL: http://www.today.az/news/society/25164.html

Azeribaijan showing their true colors #2

Political parties and associations protest Ramil Safarov's sentence

14 April 2006 [22:20] - Today.Az

Alongside the injustice shown at issuing the life sentence on Azeri military officer Ramil Safarov charged with killing Armenian officer in Hungary, the sentence itself is issued by the order of Armenian lobby, Mamed Alizadeh, Chairman of Deliberative Council and leader of Azerbaijan Democratic World Party, stated.

As Trend reports, he said that R. Safarov was sentenced to life, as Azerbaijan's society was not eager to protect his rights. "Armenian lobby in Hungary did much for issuing such a sentence on our compatriot. In this regard we should do our best to have the Appeal Court of Hungary change the penalty",- he outlined.

On this matter Umud party has disseminated a statement saying Hungarian court has shown its injustice on the case of Azeri officer.

"The last words said by R.Safarov show that he had killed Ramenian officer not in revenge, he was provoked to commit the crime. This fact should have promoted the penalty softening. However, 5eh court didn't mind his words."

Umud party officials also suggest the influence of Armenian lobby on the judge.

Azerbaijan Way movement also regarded the verdict issued by Judge Andrash Vashkuti as biased. The movement officials said fair judge should have thoroughly analyzed the case, but the judge did not take R.Safarov's feelings into consideration.

Vurgun Eyyub, Deputy Chairman, Mussavat, says it had been very unfortunate to present him as national hero as such position had a bad influence on the judge. Mr Eyyub says that official Baku should persuade Hungarian Appeal Court to change the penalty.

Vahdat, Islamic, Social-Democratic, Great Creation, Civil unity and Ana Vatan parties also protested R.Safarov's unfair sentence.


URL: http://www.today.az/news/society/25172.html

Friday, April 14, 2006

Azeri Officer Given Life Sentence For Brutal Killing Of Armenian

AFP, Associated Press

An Azerbaijani military officer who hacked to death an Armenian lieutenant while attending a NATO-sponsored training course in Budapest was convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment on Thursday.

Judge Andras Vaskuti of the Budapest district court ruled that Ramil Safarov, now 29 and an Azerbaijani army lieutenant, killed Armenian Lieutenant Gurgen Markarian, 26, in "premeditated, malicious and an unusually cruel" way by nearly decapitating him with axe in February 2004 while the victim slept in a dormitory used by participants in a NATO Partnership for Peace English language course.

Safarov was also found guilty of planning the murder of another Armenian, which he did not carry out. He will be eligible for parole in 30 years, according to the ruling.

"Compassion and remorse were completely missing from (Safarov's) testimony," Judge Vaskuti said upon announcing the verdict. "During the whole case we waited for him to be at least a bit sorry for the Armenian soldier he killed brutally and for (Markarian's) family."

Safarov's lawyer, Gyorgy Magyar, said they would immediately appeal the verdict, adding that it was yet unclear whether his client would serve his sentence in Hungary or be extradited to Azerbaijan.

A lawyer representing Markarian's family said she was satisfied with the court's decision. "We're happy that the court honestly evaluated all the materials of this case and the brutal intentions ... of the murderer," said Nazeli Vartanian. "This is a good decision for the Hungarian court and for (Armenian) society."

Making his final statement to the court earlier Thursday, Safarov said the conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia was at the root of his act, and that the Armenian officer had repeatedly provoked and ridiculed him. He said he was unable to suppress his feelings and his wartime memories due to Markarian's behavior.

"My conscience was clouded as a result of the insults and humiliating and provoking behavior, and I lost all control," Safarov told the court. "It would not be correct to consider it as merely a premeditated act caused by the awakening of revenge and hate upon seeing the Armenians." Safarov denied trying to kill a second Armenian officer.

Armenian-backed forces drove Azerbaijan's army out of the ethnic Armenian enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh in the early 1990s. A 1994 cease-fire ended the six-year war that killed 30,000 people and left about 1 million homeless and the enclave is now under the control of ethnic Armenians.

(AP-Photolur photo: Safarov Making his final statement to the court.)

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Azerbaijan showing their true colors again

Anyone who thinks that we can live with the Azeris in peace side by side is just dreaming.

The only peace we will have will come with a strong national defense force to defend our boarders and a viable economy. Anything short of this is dangerous.

As long as influential persons such as the leader of the Popular Front in Azerbaijan can propose to have a statue erected of internationally recognized murderer such as Enver has to tell us who the Azeris really are. If the general population does not appose such proposals, it means that they all agree with Enver’s past deeds and are capable of committing the same acts.


ENVER'S MONUMENT IN BAKU
By Hakob Chakrian

AZG Armenian Daily
13/04/2006

The Azerbaijani opposition has embarked on pulling down the statues of Soviet leaders in the country.

Popular Front leader Ghudrat Hasankuliev appealed to the parliament demanding to erect the statue of Enver Pasha. He elaborated that the latter saved the Azerbaijani people from a genocide at the hands of Armenians. Writing about this, Milliet Turkish newspaper informs that the parliament speaker sent the proposal to an ad hoc commission for discussion.

DEMOCRACY WAS ABOLISHED TWO YEARS AGO

A1+
[08:49 pm] 12 April, 2006


At night of April 13, 2004 the authorities used all the forces of the police, water-spraying cars, batons and explosives to fight against they own people. They even blocked several parts of the streets. And all this because the people used their Constitutional right to organize peaceful demonstrations to demand a confidence referendum against the President.

The unprecedented violations resulted in tens of injured. Two years ago the rights of the journalists were violated harshly: representatives of several Mass Media - journalist of the newspaper "Armenian Times" Hayk Gevorgyan and cameraman of the TV Company ORT Levon Grigoryan were beaten severely, and their cameras were broken.

In the picture the policeman is trying to forbid the representative of "A1+" to take photos of what is going on in the Baghramyan avenue. It is noteworthy that there were no representatives of the Armenian "free and fair" TV Companies. Being closed down by the authorities "A1+" still tried to do its professional duty representing unbiased information about the incidents to people. The "A1+" website worked online, and the "A1+" staff provided NTV, ORT, Rossia, Reuters and other foreign TV Companies with impartial information and photos.

After April 13, 2004 many international organizations made condemning statements. But that changed nothing in Armenia. The fact is that the common citizens felt on their skin that one fair word in Armenia is equal to one hit with a baton.

FACTS OF "OUTRAGEOUS" PRIVATIZATION TO BE EXTENDED TO PUBLIC PROSECUTOR

Lragir.am
13 april 06


The Report on the Program of Privatization of State Property 2001-2003 took two and a half working days from the National Assembly. Yet it is not clear if the report will be adopted or not.

On the last day of debates on April 12 the leaders of parliament factions addressed the parliament. Five factions addressed the parliament. The United Labor Party, Orinats Yerkir and Ardarutiun were against the adoption of the report for the same reason, which was, however, formulated differently. The ULP and Orinats Yerkir announced that privatization was not transparent, and the proceeds were several times lower. Victor Dallakyan from Ardarutiun was much tougher, "an outrageous privatization took place," and people who are responsible for what happened must accept liability. If the program is not adopted, "the government deserves a red card."

Hence Victor Dallakyan offers four options to the political forces: approve the program and accept liability, reject the program and withdraw from the coalition, reject the program and stay in the coalition, reject the program and give a vote of no confidence to the government. The words of the ARF member Levon Mkrtichyan gave no idea about the stance of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation; the speaker offered to hold debates on the problem. There is nothing left to do but to wait for the vote of the ARF. Only the Republican Party approves the report. By the way, the Republicans were eager to persuade that the outcome of privatization in 2004 is discussed, probably to place the responsibility on the coalition, born in 2003.

Speaker Arthur Baghdasaryan kept his promise he had made on the eve, and brought specific examples. 33 Moscovyan Street - one square meter was sold at 40 dollars, the market price is 1000-1200 dollars.

Baghramyan Street - one square meter was sold at 30 dollars, the market price is 900-100 dollars. In Arabkir and Zeytun districts state property was sold at 10-20 dollars per square meter, the market price is 300-500 dollars. 4600 square meters of Arabkir Water Sports School was sold at 4 dollars per square meter, "100 times less than the market price." Of course, this does not concern all the cases of privatization. However, Arthur Baghdasaryan says those people must be stopped. "The monitoring of about 200 companies revealed that only 27 companies committed to investments, the rest were alienated without fixing any commitments to invest," stated the speaker of the National Assembly. And the monitoring of 100 companies that had committed to invest revealed that 37 million was invested instead of 140 million dollars. The result is that investments are less by 100 million, and "several thousands of jobs were not created and no one accepted liability." The majority of sold companies were privatized by direct sale to the buyer, known beforehand. In the past ten years 535 nursery schools and 250 libraries were sold. "Sooner or later all the officials will have to account for their actions," said Arthur Baghdasaryan.

Therefore, Arthur Baghdasaryan emphasizes the importance of enhancing government control, and as the first step he will send the report of the Audit Chamber of the National Assembly to the Office of Public Prosecutor. "They have appropriated millions and have to account for it. We must build a country of law by actions, not words. An unpunished offense will reoccur." Arthur Baghdasaryan instructs the executive, namely the Department for Management of State Property, to be more consistent, pursue the enforcement of the law.

The law bars privatization of nursery schools, educational and health care institutions.

"I wish all the best to my country, and no one can criticize me for that," said Arthur Baghdasaryan, calling for not republicanizing the issue. It is not against the Republican or any other party. "It is concern about the problem."

WHOSE FACTS ARE TRUE?

Lragir.am
13 april 06


The idea that was most often repeated during the parliamentary debates on the report on performance of the 2001-2003 program of privatization was the great difference between the value of the company and the price at which it was sold. For instance, Orbita Factory was assessed at 3 billion but sold for 116 million. Hours after the debates on this issue the minister of trade and economy Karen Chshmarityan replied to similar accusations made during the debates on April 10-12.

The minister, as well as the head of the Department for Management of State Property Karineh Kirakosyan delivered a small lecture on the topic of value and price, then said, "Orbita was assessed at 3 million drams and sold at 750 million." Plus, the company owed debts of 320 million, 220 million other liabilities, salary debt, and products of 550 million produced for the Near East, which, however, the company had been unable to sell due to the embargo.

Before the privatization 30 people were employed in Orbita who were paid 15 thousand drams monthly, after the privatization 150 people work here and get 60 thousand drams, says Karen Chshmarityan. And such allegations may have a negative impact on the investment environment in Armenia, he believes. It should be noted that the allegations of the members of parliament are based on the facts that another representative of the Executive, the head of the Department for Management of State Property Karineh Kirakosyan had provided. The latter characterized Victor Dallakyan's allegation that the minister of trade and economic development Karen Chshmarityan owns several buildings in the center of Yerevan as "irresponsible."

Monday, April 10, 2006

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Armenia Summer Trip - JULY 2006: Your Recipe for Entertainment

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Monday, April 03, 2006

Is the Assistant Prosecutor a Pimp’s Protector?

Written by Edik Baghdasaryan / HETQ.am , April 3, 2006

A file sent to the Office of the Prosecutor General from the Police Service of Armenia in March 2006 contains allegations from sisters G. and S. that Yerevan resident Gayane Darbinyan took them to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where they were subjected to sexual exploitation. But when the young women subsequently testified, they made no complaint against Darbinyan. We were informed by a source that the sisters testified at the Prosecutor's Office that they had been illegally detained for three days at the Sixth Department of the Police Service and had been forced to give evidence. In their complaint they stated that investigators at the Prosecutor's Office had also forced them to give evidence. Our source in the Prosecutor's Office told us that the sisters were prompted to write the complaint by the Assistant Prosecutor of the Malatia-Sebastia district Artur Manukyan. He is a patron of madam Gayane Darbinyan.

In response to our inquiry, the press service of the Prosecutor's Office told us that based on the materials received from the Police Service, criminal proceedings were instituted against Gayane Darbinyan. She is charged with violating Article 262 of the Criminal Code of Armenia (Maintaining Dens of Prostitution or Pimping). An investigation is under way. Our question regarding ties between Gayane Darbinyan and the assistant prosecutor was left unanswered.

The investigation ascertained that the two sisters left for Dubai from Yerevan. And assistant prosecutor Artur Manukyan in his official capacity is responsible for Zvartnots airport. According to our information, Artur Manukyan petitioned unsuccessfully to have the charges against Gayane Darbinyan dropped.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Monitoring Hate in the Azeri Media

Read this interesting blog-post this morning on iArarat. As we all know, media hate fans the flames of readership fears and unfortunately crack-head reporters like Elchin Gasanov do much more social harm than good. Elchin is practically out of his mind in this article. No sane reporter would declare such a pro-war stance. It's obvious, Elchin has not experienced what the real horrors of war can produce.


In an article published in the Azeri internet daily Echo (Russian language), one Elchin Gasanov, a writer by trade sad to say, calls his compatriots to start a new war against Armenia thus echoing the leaders of the country in more ways than one. Here is the original paragraph in Russian:

Армяне не понимают слов, не надо писать книги, приводить исторические ссылки, аргументы, статьи, все это бесполезно. Этого всего не нужно делать. Сотни томов написано на тему Карабаха, а смысл? Надо давить и душить армян как инфицированных и прокаженных. Отсюда вывод: железо и кровь! Война неизбежна!

Which for those of you who can not read Russian translates into the creative lines that even would raise the envy of the Nazis:

Armenian, they don't understand words, there is no need to write books, bring up historical evidence, arguments, articles, all of it is useless. There have been hundreds of volumes written on the issue of Karabakh, and was there ever a meaning to it? What needs to be done is to trample upon and strangle the Armenians just like one would do the infected people and the lepers. And here is the conclusion: iron and blood! War is inevitable!

Peaceful words indeed. Warning to the travelers to Azerbaijan, check first in your local clinic for infectious diseases and for leprosy. You heard the threats.