Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Another reason why the justice system in Armenia does not work

Here is another flaw in the justice system in Armenia. Amnesty is another tool to free criminals who paid bribes to get reduced sentences when they are tried, thus when “amnesty” rolls around, they are eligible and can pay a bribe to get put on the list of those freed. For the most part, all those in the past who were sentenced for trafficking of human beings have received sentences short enough so they qualify for amnesty. It would be interesting see who is on the list who go amnesty this go around.


Arka News Agency, Armenia
Aug. 28, 2006

YEREVAN, August 28. /ARKA/.
337 prisoners have been amnestied in Armenia on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the country's independence. Fifty prisoners' terms have been reduced.

Press Secretary of the RA Ministry of Justice Anahit Voskanyan reported that the amnesty applies to the people that committed crimes before June 1, 2006.

She also said that the information on the amnestied prisoners is as of August 18, 2006.

"However, the number of amnestied prisoners will not rise, because the amnestied groups are clearly determined. The process will last until September 30,"she said.

On July 7, 2006, the RA Parliament made a unanimous decision announcing amnesty.

Most of the prisoners included in the amnesty are persons sentenced to three years, persons subjected to punishment not involving imprisonment, as well as persons subjected to conditional punishment.

In certain cases, people sentenced to 5-10 years will be amnestied as well.

The perpetrators of serious and grave crimes will not be amnestied.

The last amnesty was announced in Armenia in 2001, on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the adoption of Christianity in Armenia.


RFE/RL Armenia Report - 08/29/2006

By Gayane Danielian

Thousands of people gathered near the Opera House in Yerevan on Tuesday to attend the funeral of famous poetess and outstanding public figure Silva Kaputikian.

Many of admirers of her poetry, among them thousands of ordinary people, Diaspora Armenians, as well as politicians, came to bid farewell to the women on the poetry of which generations of Armenians were raised both in Armenia and abroad.

The funeral was organized by a government-appointed commission led by Prime Minister Andranik Markarian.

`It is a great loss not only for our literature, but also for the people. An intellectual who left us precepts about our fatherland, language, about national values died,' Markarian said in his speech at the funeral.

The poetess, who died last Friday, at the age of 87, is known for her active civil position both in the communist times when she was in the forefront of the Karabakh movement and also in the post-independence years when, as her friends and colleagues say, she was not afraid to raise a voice of protest against what she considered to be unjust and unfair.

Kaputikian returned the Mesrop Mashtots Order she received from the state for her merits as a poetess and public figure after the authorities used violence against peaceful demonstrators in April 2004.

`When such people leave our lives, it is a loss for the entire nation. And today I want to express my condolences to the whole nation,' Culture Minister Hasmik Poghosian said about the poetess.

Head of the National Assembly's Standing Commission on Science, Education and Culture Affairs Hranush Hakobian said Kaputikian will stay in the memory of Armenians as their national poetess. `She lived a glorious life and the state and the nation is saying good-bye to her in a solemn way,' she said.

His Holiness Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II was also among those who came to bid farewell to Kaputikian.

When the coffin with Kaputikian's body was to be placed onto a catafalque on Abovian Street, a group of people volunteered to carry `the great daughter of the nation' to the cemetery on their shoulders, and they led the procession for about two kilometers to the Komitas Pantheon where Kaputikian was buried next to great Armenian composer Aram Khachatrian.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


By Hakob Badalyan
29 Aug 06

The Armenian government is a surprising thing. It never forgets what it needs, but it often forgets about things that the society needs.

Or it does not know what is necessary most of all for the society in Armenia. It is law, or as it is accepted to say, only say, the rule of law. It is when everyone is equal before what was written and accept what was written. But lo and behold, the government does everything to create inequality before the law. The purpose is clear.

By placing equal categories of people on different hands of the scales of the law the government insures itself. The point is that by dividing the society the government justifies, "legalizes" its separation from the law.

The examples are many and there is no need to look for them because these are offered to the public almost every day. So we have a fresh example, which is a month old but seems to have just become a subject of public debates. It is the government decision on deferment of military service in three universities in Yerevan, the Slavic University, the French University and the European Regional Academy.

The government did not forget what it needs and returns to the idea of drafting students. This idea, which is 2 years old, occurred to the head of the Ministry of Defense. At that time all the universities were affected, the graduate students, which gave rise to a surge of protest among students. The government had to give up the idea of drafting students in the middle of their studies, because in the same period the opposition was also very active, and there was danger that the students would spark a movement of the opposition.

This time they seem to have decided part by part, not the whole at once. But the problem is the phenomenon, which is unclear and simply unfair. The point is that the students of three universities, in fact, appear to have unequal rights compared with the students of the other universities. In other words, the suspension of the right to defer military service breaks the Constitution because the basic law obliges the government to provide for equal economic competition. The government may say that there are other universities where military service is not deferred. Of course there are, and this affirms that either military service should be deferred in all the universities or not deferred at all.

The next unfair thing is a connotation of the decision of the government, which allows making a number of suggestions. In the Slavic University, the French University and the European Academy the right to defer military service was not taken away fully. The Slavic University is given 200 places, the French University 70 and the European Academy 30. In other words, even in this case there is no equality. Why? Is that because the Slavic University is a Russian university and the other two are European? But our relation with France is no less "strategic" than with Russia. Consequently, we deal with another motive.

The government gives one reason - the army. And it could not give another reason. It is beyond doubt that the army needs soldiers. But it appears that especially the soldiers of the abovementioned three universities are appreciated highly by the defense ministry. In fact, it is rather pleasing for the students of these universities that the defense ministry appreciates them as future soldiers, but these students will also ask why only them. Or for instance why the defense ministry does not appreciate the sons of public officials, generals and other officials of the Command as future soldiers. Aren't their sons for military service, or does the defense ministry consider military service a "low mission", not worthwhile for sons of generals? The government should answer these questions, otherwise many other questions occur. It is necessary to explain why the legal demand for military service is distributed unevenly to everyone, including the students of Yerevan State University, the University of Economics and other universities. Is this an effort to justify the unequal state of their sons?

Monday, August 28, 2006

When will justice prevail?

It seems that attempts to get Artur Khanzadyan extradited to the United States from Armenia for the murder of his girlfriend Odet Tsaturyan failed.

According to the story below, he was sentenced to 10 years in an Armenia prison instead of being extradited to stand trial where the crime was committed.

What this equates to is that he will probably serve 3 years and then be let out. And the 3 years in jail is also a bit questionable, since Armenia prisons are known to let people pay bribes to serve their sentence while leading a normal life away from prison at home.

If you ask me, justice was not served in this case and there is a very good chance that the government who in the past have extradited criminals back to the U.S. were most probably paid some big bribes and/or Khanzadyan’s family have connections with people in high places.

Once again we have an example of Armenian corruption at work and this time it’s not the death of an Indian student, but 23-year-old Armenian girl who lost her life and the criminal responsible was protected by Robert Kocharian’s government.

Bad move Robert. Another strike against you and one step back for Armenia to normal international relations.

Glendale News Press, CA
Aug. 26, 2006

Man found guilty of killing girl

Judge in Armenia takes 30 minutes to render his decision, sentencing Glendale man to 10 years.

By Tania Chatila

GLENDALE - A judge in Armenia found 25-year-old Artur Khanzadyan of Glendale guilty on Friday of murdering his girlfriend nearly a year ago, then hiding her body in the trunk of his car, police said.

Judge Mushegh Harutunyan sentenced Khanzadyan - whose trial in Vanadzor, Armenia lasted two days - was to 10 years in an Armenian prison for the murder of 24-year-old Odet Tsaturyan with the act of jealousy, Glendale Police Officer John Balian said.

"I'm glad justice was done, he was sentenced and he will serve time, but I just think it would have been better if it was here.... He probably deserved much more than that. It was a heinous crime," said Amanda Ryan Romo, a former teacher of Tsaturyan's.

Tsaturyan, also of Glendale, left her family's home at about 5 p.m. on Sept. 6 for a party she never arrived at.

That same night, Khanzadyan, left his home at 6:30 p.m. and did not return.

Police believe Tsaturyan got into an argument with Khanzadyan before leaving her house that day, then agreed to meet him in Southwest Glendale, where her abandoned car was found on Sept. 13.

She was likely strangled to death that night, but her body was found three days later in the trunk of Khanzadyan's 2005 Audi, which was parked on a residential street in Azusa, Glendale Police Det. Craig Tweedy said.

Khanzadyan fled to Armenia where he was arrested by Armenian authorities in late November.

Three Glendale detectives - including Tweedy - traveled to Armenia to try to get Khanzadyan to voluntarily return to the United States, where he was charged with second-degree murder. But Khanzadyan - a citizen of Armenia - would not return on his own will and Armenian officials were not willing to denaturalize him to have him brought back, Tweedy said.

The U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with Armenia.

Glendale Police enlisted the help of Rep. Adam Schiff in trying to get Khanzadyan returned, but to no avail.

"I would have strongly preferred to have him brought back here for trial, where he would have faced life in prison or even death," Schiff said. "But I am glad he was found guilty and will serve time in Armenia. And I hope he serves the full sentence.... This is something we'll be watching."

Tweedy and Glendale Police Det. Tigran Topadzhikyan flew to Armenia on Sunday night to help the prosecution in the trial.

The Glendale Police Officers Assn. and Glendale's St. Peter Armenian Church Youth Ministries' Center raised $1,500 to also send Tsaturyan's father, Shagen Tsaturyan, to the trial.

"The father said that he was thankful for the detectives going out there," Balian said. "It was in his hometown."

During the trial, Khanzadyan's defense attorney, Karine Gasparyan, argued that he accidentally killed Odet Tsaturyan by placing his hand over her mouth, Tweedy said.

Gasparyan said Khanzadyan tried to resuscitate her, but was unable to, Tweedy said. Gasparyan also argued that the injuries to Odet Tsaturyan's neck were from Khanzadyan's efforts to administer CPR, and not from him strangling her, Tweedy said.

She also argued that a head injury Khanzadyan suffered as a child causes him to think irrationally, and that if Odet Tsaturyan was alive, she would have never accused him of intentionally trying to harm her, Tweedy said.

The judge took about 30 minutes before rendering a verdict and a sentence on Friday, Tweedy said.

But before the verdict was read, Khanzadyan had a chance to speak before the court, Tweedy said.

He apologized to those affected by incident, but denied intentionally killing Odet Tsaturyan, Tweedy said.

"I hope in the future when we have people who commit murder in our community flee to Armenia, we have more success in bringing the back to face charges here," Schiff said.

Still, the sentencing offers some kind of closure, Romo said.

"[Odet Tsaturyan] was bright, intelligent, dedicated to school work, dedicated to making something better of herself .... She was really driven," Romo said.

"I saw somebody dedicated to her job, coming to school and making something better of herself."

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Arka News Agency, Armenia
Aug. 25, 2006

YEREVAN, August 25. /ARKA/.
Talks about possible return of liberated territories to Azerbaijan are insulting, stated the political scientist Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan.

According to him, inadmissible is the justification of return of these territories by the fact that Armenians have not resided there for the last few decades.

"This means giving up the Armenian people's territorial claims, including the ones involving western Armenia, as a bad job, because Armenians have not resided there for the last few decades either," he said. P.T. -0--


Arka News Agency, Armenia
Aug. 25, 2006

YEREVAN, August 25. /ARKA/. Azerbaijani military budget buildup is nothing more than a mere bluff, an independent political analyst, Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan told journalists on Friday.

In his words, allotted money fails to reach destination and come back to the pockets of those allotted it.

The expert pointed out that the military equipment Azerbaijan bought recently from Ukraine and Belarus for $900mln is "scrap metal". He said the tanks bought for $1.2mln each were produced in 1941 and there is no ammunition for them.

"Azerbaijan's armament doesn't outstrip that of Karabakh. More than that - Nagorno Karabakh must be armed 5 times better than Azerbaijan.

"We must do it without looking at international agreements and quotas. First of all, we have to think about own security", Melik-Shahnazaryan said.

Speaking about Azerbaijani army, he said 5 thousand soldiers have died since 1994 of diseases and hunger.

However, the political analyst thinks that the situation can change.

That's why he views it necessary to remain vigilant always. M.V.-0---

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Georgia taking steps to undermine US foreign policy

It seems that Georgia has taken a step forward to undermine the United States policy goal of promoting a stable and cooperative environment in the region.

As part of Turkey’s good neighbor policy, the Turkish and Azeri governments are ready to loan Georgia interest-free funds to build their share of the Kars-Akhalkalak-Baku railway, which bypasses Armenia and further threatens Armenian national security.

Effectively the Kars-Akhalkalak-Baku railway would link Turkey with Azerbaijan and give Azerbaijan access to arms and other strategic resources so they can attack Armenia.

I would hope that the Armenian Assembly and the ANCA will bring all these facts to Washington's attention and recommend that sanctions and cut of U.S. aid be adopted against Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, since they obviously have no respect for the United States policies in the region, thus should not be rewarded for their lack of respect to Washington with U.S. taxpayers money.

Azerbaijan, Turkey to Fund Georgia Leg of Railway

BAKU (Armenpress)-- Azerbaijan and Turkey will provide interest-free loans to Georgia to finance the construction of the Georgian leg of the proposed Kars-Akhalkalak-Baku railway, a high-level official at the Azeri transportation ministry Sadreddin Mamedov told Interfax-Azerbaijan news agency.

"We made this decision last week during a meeting of the three transpiration ministers. Georgia asked for a long-term interest-free loan and Turkey and Azerbaijan agreed," said Mamedov, adding, however, that it was premature to discuss the exact amount of the loan.

The official added that Georgia accepted plans drawn by a Turkish firm commissioned to design the railway.

The US House of Representatives voted last month to block US taxpayer funding for an unnecessary and costly proposed railroad between Turkey and Georgia that would, if built, circumvent Armenia and, in the process, undermine the economic viability of the existing Caucasus railroad route through Armenia.

The amendment, spearheaded by Representatives Joe Crowley (D-NY), Ed Royce (R-CA), and Brad Sherman (D-CA), and adopted as part of the Export-Import Bank Reauthorization Act of 2006, prohibits the Export-Import Bank from providing any assistance "to develop or promote any rail connections or railway-related connections that traverse or connect Baku, Azerbaijan; Tbilisi, Georgia; and Kars, Turkey, and that specifically exclude cities in Armenia." The measure was adopted unanimously by the House Financial Services Committee in June of this year.

The Crowley Amendment is similar to the South Caucasus Integration and Open Railroads Act of 2006. This measure was introduced in both the House (H.R.3361), by Representative Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), and in the Senate (S2461) by Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA). The House version has 85 cosponsors; the Senate version has been cosponsored by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and Paul Sarbanes (D-MD). Both measures stress that US policy should oppose the "The exclusion of Armenia from regional economic and commercial undertakings in the South Caucasus," noting that such actions "undermine the United States policy goal of promoting a stable and cooperative environment in the region."

Friday, August 25, 2006

25 Aug 06

On August 25, around 6 o'clock in the morning the poetess Silva Kaputikyan passed away. Silva Kaputikyan had health problems for a long time. Besides her own works, Silva Kaputikyan was known for her critical attitude to this government and its representatives, and refused the award of the president of Armenia.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I wonder what this is all about?

This reminds me of the Jackson family and their interest in opening up something in Armenia. What ever happened to that?


Aug 23 2006

Armenian President Robert Kocharian met today with the US famous businessman, president of "Huntsman" corporation John Huntsman and the delegation headed by him.

Presidential press service informed Armenpress that Huntsman has arrived in Armenia with serious programs which will be carried out in education and health spheres. The president welcomed the ideas of the businessman and said "Everything which is being done by John Huntsman is done with love, devotion and belief."

The US businessman wants to establish a modern oncology center in Armenia. The president said that he is ready to support the implementation of the program which he described as interesting and prospective.

During the meeting the Kocharian also expressed assurance that the effective cooperation established with the businessman will continue in future and his ideas will be brought to life.

The interlocutors also referred to the Armenian-USA relations and with the request of the guest the president also talked about the economic situation in Armenia, its priorities and development prospects.


Yerevan, August 23. ArmInfo. Head of the Armenian national airline Armavia, Mikhail Baghdasarov, categorically disagrees with the conclusions of the International Aviation Committee (IAC) on the results of the investigation of A- 320 crash near Sochi on May 3. To recap, under IAC made a conclusion that the reason of the crash was human factor, i.e. the faults of the crew.

In an interview to Haykakan Zhamanak, M. Baghdasarov says: "What was shown to us was not right." He says none of the Armenian party representatives participating in the investigation have signed any document so far. In such conditions, no final resolution is possible, he says. The fact that IAC published its version of the resolution is a gross violation of international aviation rules. Under these rules, a resolution on the results of a crash investigation is made subject to the fact that the resolution is final. While, it requires signatures of all the parties of the investigation, Baghdasarov says.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The homophobic Armenian community join in…

19:53 08/21/2006

The Armenian Aryan Order has expressed its protest against attempts to appoint Richard Hoagland new US Ambassador to Armenia. The Order has issued a statement concerning the issue. REGNUM publishes the statement translated from Russian.

"The excuse for recalling current US Ambassador John Evans looks rather strange. It has caused great disappointment in the whole Armenian community, as the main reason for recalling John Evans was the word 'genocide' pronounced by him, when he meant the Armenian Genocide during which over 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered. It is a serious signal for us, Armenians, so, deriving form the reason to exchange the ambassador we change our attitude towards the US policy as well.

'The fact that the US administration is going to replace John Evans with Richard Hoagland, who, according to Armenian and Tajik media, is a homosexual, is a humiliation, disrespect for the Armenian nation that holds traditions sacred. Thus, the US administration is trying to strike two purposeful blows, both political and moral ones. If they manage to do it, Armenian society will be left nothing but boycotting activities of the US embassy in order at least by this to disgrace those who are trying to disgrace us.

'We call upon the Armenian authorities, the whole Armenian community to raise a protest wave by all possible means against possible nomination of the homosexual ambassador. Armenia is not a training ground for those ill and demented. Messrs Americans, stop immoral games!"

A good man lost to the Armenian Genocide...

22.08.2006 16:51

US Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Armenia John Evans is completing his mission in Armenia and will return to motherland early September, the Ambassador told Arminfo Agency in response to the concrete terms of completion of his tenure in office.

At the same time Mr. Evans rejected the request to comment upon the US Senate postponement of the appointment of the new Ambassador to Armenia.

To remind, the Congress discussions of the issue are scheduled September 7. " I do not comment on the activity of the Congress," John Evans underlined.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Another scam hits Armenia...

It sounds to me like the U.S. Department of State is running another scam to put Armenia in debt.

Armenia fell for the IMF and World Bank scam, so why not the "Millennium Challenge Account - Armenia" scam?

From what I understood, the Millennium Challenge was to be a grant (according to their website they are), but according to the story below, it is a "LOAN" not some grant that would not have to be repaid.

As I said before on this subject: "It’s quite clear from Armenia’s proposals to Washington, they are presenting programs that will allow them once again to have an opportunity to enrich their own personal wealth by misusing, and/or misappropriating funds by overcharging by a few times for roads and water systems, inevitably pay starvation wages to the common workers and stuffing the difference in their pockets."

Mark my words, the Millennium Challenge Scam will only cause Armenia harm and make some very bad people more powerful, thus taking us further from becoming a fair and free nation.

Of course this is what Washington has and is working towards.


Arka News Agency, Armenia
Aug. 17, 2006

YEREVAN, August 17 /ARKA/.
Ara Hovsepyan was assigned Executive Director of Millennium Challenge Account - Armenia Foundation, Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy David Avetisyan told journalists today.

He said that Hovsepyan's nomination was approved at a sitting of the Millennium Challenge Account administrative board.

Avetisyan reported that 48 nominations were put forward for this post; however, more than half of them did not meet the official requirements.

"Ara Hovsepyan is really a strong contender and fitted most for this post," Avetisyan said.

In his turn, Hovsepyan expressed gratitude for the trust in him, and pointed out that he realizes the whole responsibility that this post imposes on him.

"The program of the Millennium Challenge Account Corporation in Armenia is a unique opportunity to improve the infrastructure in the Armenian regions," he said.

Ara Hovsepyan holds a Master's Degree of the Oxford University and the American University of Armenia. He worked as a representative of the British Ministry of Development in Armenia, and also at the Department of International Organizations of the Armenian Foreign Ministry.

On March 27, 2006, Armenian Minister of Finance and Economy Vardan Khachatryan and Executive Director of the American Millennium Challenge Account Corporation John Danilovich signed an agreement in Washington, DC.

According to the agreement, the corporation will give Armenia $235.65mln loan for five years for implementation of projects on restoration of irrigation systems and regional roads.

The Millennium Challenge Account Corporation was founded at the beginning of 2004 under the U.S. State Department program, aimed at developing economy and poverty reduction in the world.

Saturday, August 19, 2006


Interfax, Russia
Aug. 17, 2006

YEREVAN. Aug 17 (Interfax)
- Armenia might leave negotiations on Nagorno-Karabakh if Azerbaijan initiates a discussion of the issue at the UN, Armenia's representative in the UN Armen Martirosyan told the Svododa radio.

Martirosyan reminded reporters that last year Armenia and Azerbaijan reached an agreement that the Nagorno-Karabakh problem will be solved exclusively in the format of the Minsk group of the OSCE, whose co-chairmen are Russia, France and the U.S., and that Baku will not try to take the Karabakh issue to the UN.

Azerbaijan, however, recently sent a letter to UN, he said.

He said that Azerbaijan in its letter tried to initiate a discussion of the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh at the UN, and, in particular, was calling on the UN to "help in recovering the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan."

"If Azerbaijan persists in calling for a discussion of Nagorno-Karabakh at the UN, and attempts to push for a vote on issues related to Nagorno-Karabakh at the UN, Armenia may leave negotiations," he stressed.

Another factory privatized for pennies again...

It looks like the state-owned Nairit chemical plant had once again been privatized. This time the deal sounds as if someone was almost given the plant.

You will note in the story below that the price was $40 million, but the state will buy back one part of the plant for $34 million. I'm not sure if I'm reading this right, but if the meeting was chaired by Robert Kocharian, then I'm probably right about this and he has some share in this deal.

Will something good come of this deal? I would guess that a few people will get very rich and the rest of us will once again get the short end of the stick.

Armenian Chemical Giant Privatized
RFE/RL Armenia Report - 08/18/2006

By Emil Danielyan

The government approved and unveiled on Friday a complex deal that will lead to the sale of Armenia's largest chemical enterprise, which has been struggling to remain afloat since the Soviet collapse, to an obscure British-registered company.

A government statement issued after a weekly cabinet session chaired by President Robert Kocharian said the core production facilities of the state-owned Nairit plant will be sold to Rhinoville Property Limited for $40 million. It said the Armenian Energy Ministry, which owns 90 percent of the plant through a state-run gas company, will retain control over one of Nairit's debt-ridden divisions and will pay the new owner $34 million for that.

The statement did not explain why the government decided to keep Nairit-2 and thereby nullified the bulk of the revenues resulting from the privatization. Nairit-2 had been set up and structurally separated from the plant to assume its huge debts that totaled $54 million as December 2002. The restructuring was meant to make the aging facility more attractive to foreign investors.

The statement said the deal was approved after an acquisition offer and `investment program' submitted by Rhinoville. It did not specify any details of that program.

Nor is it clear who owns Rhinoville. An online catalogue of British companies contains scant information about the company, saying only that it was registered in Tiverton, a small town in England, in December 2002. Rhinoville apparently has no website.

Another British-based company, Ransat Group, already tried to revitalize Nairit when it signed a management contract with the Armenian government in early 2002, pledging to invest $25 million in the chemical giant within the next five years. However, the deal collapsed several months later, with each other side accusing the other of failing to honor its contractual obligations.

Nairit was then taken over by an Armenian commercial bank in payment for its $14 million debt to the latter. However, the bank itself went bankrupt in 2003, leading the Armenian authorities to effectively nationalize the sprawling factory located on the southern outskirts of Yerevan. A Russian industrial group briefly managed it in 2004 before deciding to pull out.

Nairit, which mainly produces synthetic rubber and employed thousands of people in Soviet times, has largely stood idle since then. Trade and Economic Karen Chshmaritian announced recently that it will be reactivated in the second half of this year.

Friday, August 18, 2006


AZG Armenian Daily

August 10, The expedition "Tigranakert" of the institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Academy of Sciences of Republic of Armenia with the initiative and financing of "France-Karabagh" and "Yerkir" Union of NGOs for Repatriation and Settlement has made astounding discoveries. The expedition, led by the Doctor of Historical Sciences Hamlet Petrosian, managed to find the citadel constructed by Tigran The Great. The structure was built by huge plain stone blocks tied to each other with the so-called "swallow-tail bounds" - an advanced Hellenic technique. Such a complicated and advanced technique is used here for the first time and serves as evidence for the hypothesis of the research group, in particular that Tigranakert of Artsakh is located at the same place as the current archaeological excavation. One of the fenced terraces of the city, which is also constructed from plain blocks, is also under excavation. The excavations of the urban district and adjacent burial mounds have also been initiated.

These excavations have come to prove that Armenian identity has been present in the lower stream of Khachenaget (former region of Aghdam) at least since the first century B.C.

Friday, August 11, 2006

9 Aug 06

The Lragir has learned that certain NGOs and political forces in Armenia seek for revealing the foreign connections of the criminal elite of the government. In particular, the problem of revealing the real attitude of great powers is put forward. The authors of the initiative are especially interested in the standpoint of the United States. Namely, the United States keeps on talking about democracy, rule of law, fair governance, whereas in reality it supports part of the government that denies all these things. Considering this, the initiators of investigation on the criminal-outer world relation are going to study the activities of the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans to find out his relations with some public officials of the Armenian government, and whether these relations proceed from the U.S. policies.

Another innocent bystander killed

I’m always saddened to hear when criminals are shot dead and innocent bystanders are killed. What is wrong with hit-men these days? What happened to professionalism? I guess this is another indicator of corruption reaching all areas of life in Armenia. I wonder how much of a bribe the suspected hit-man paid to get into hit-man school? Probably never attended a day of class, got his diploma and secured himself employment. They need to track this guy down and take his license to kill away until he learns how to conduct himself professionally. The same is true for doctors and law enforcement. If we can’t re-establish professionalism among those who need to act professionally, many innocent people are facing the possible loss of life.

Anyway, my condolences to Gyulnara Karapetyan's family. I truly am sorry for the loss of the life of another Armenian mother.


Yerevan, August 8. ArmInfo. A well-known underworld leader, one of the leaders of the Armenian organized criminal gang of Moscow Alexander Givoyev by nickname "Hay-Hooy" was killed on highway Ashtarak-Gyumri at 1:30p, today.

Armenian Prosecutor General's Office official web-site says A. Givoyev was driving from Yerevan to Gyumri with his family. When he stopped his "Grand Cherokee" to make purchases in a nearby shop, a red VAZ32109 with unknown state number plate approached the Jeep and fired at A. Givoyev with a machine gun. Givoyev died in the place.

Accidentally, the seller Gyulnara Karapetyan was also killed.

Investigation is underway. A criminal case on the articles 104.2 and 235.1 was initiated.

To be noted, in 2002 A. Givoyev presented his candidature for the office of Yerevan's 'Center' community. In his pre-election program he promised to solve all the social problems of the community and later, of Armenia in general, due to organizing donations of Russian Armenian businessmen. Alexander Givoyev was born in Yerevan, 1954, and in the middle 1990's was one of the renowned leaders of the Russian organized criminal underworld. He had close relations with certain Armenian underworld leaders, particularly ex-president of the so-called 'Armenian Assembly' Serge Jilavian, opponent to the first President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosian.

9 Aug 06

We have learned that the establishment of the anti-criminal pact in Armenia is underway, and the initiators are likely to conduct a highly systematized survey of the structure and activities of the criminal contingent of the Armenian government. We have learned that the anti-criminal pact will have different task forces, which will study the past and the present of the criminal. In particular, the university diplomas and the ways they were acquired will be investigated.

The pact will also deal with the property of the administrative criminal resource, the history of its formation, its activities in the past, facts of cooperation with the police in relations with criminal authorities, nicknames. We have learned that the anti-criminal pact will also study the army-criminal and criminal-universities relations.

Our source informs that the anti-criminal actions are not confined to a single pact. We have learned that similar organizations are set up inside different political parties. Almost all the anti-criminal movements consider their prime problem to clarify the list of the criminals to reach a nominal and clear investigation. The initial list of the criminal in the government is ready. It is interesting that the lists of all these anti-criminal lists basically overlap.

Our source also informs that certain circles of the Republican Party support the idea of joining the anti-criminal, though not openly but practically, because they have also started to dislike that the Republican Party is becoming a shelter for the administrative-criminal resource.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


YEREVAN, AUGUST 8, NOYAN TAPAN. "I came to the conviction that there is no international terrorism: who did not like a national-liberation movement, he called it "terrorism." Vladimir Petrosian, Doctor of History, Professor made such a statement at the August 7 presentation of his "Let's not Forget..."

("Chmoranank...") book. According to him, "the main author and organizer of terrorism is the United States of America which, to mask their own terrorism, ascribe it to others just at the beginning." According to V.Petrosian, when writing the "Let's not Forget" book, he made an attempt to find out if the Armenian Secret Army, ASALA (Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia), is a terrorist organization. Studying the ASALA activity of the last three years, the author came to conviction that one may not qualify this organization as a terrorist structure as the Armenian Secret Army was created based on patriotic ideology and led a national-liberating struggle. Even more, according to V.Petrosian, the ASALA ideology may be put in the basis of today's state foreign policy.

Stands Devoted to Khojalu to Be Set at Holocaust Museums

08.08.2006 18:02 GMT+04:00

Stands devoted to the so-called "Azeri genocide" in Khojalu will be established worldwide, Head of the Department of Propaganda, Information and Analysis of the State Committee for Work with Azeris Living Abroad Javanshir Veliyev said.

In his words, certain work is done to that end. "After working out the final project of actions of Azeri and Jewish Diaspora, the process of establishment of stands will begin. This meets the interests of not only Azeri, but also Jewish Diaspora organizations," Veliyev stated, reports Trend.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Genocide warning

The Washington Times
August 4, 2006 Friday



A Republican member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is angered that President Bush's nominee to serve as ambassador to Armenia refuses to recognize the killing of 1.5 million Armenians during World War I as genocide.

Sen. Norm Coleman of Minnesota told the Associated Press this week that he plans to vote against confirming Richard E. Hoagland, a career Foreign Service officer who recently served as ambassador to Tajikistan.

In a committee hearing, Mr. Hoagland followed administration policy by declining to use the word, "genocide," to describe the killings between 1915 and 1917 by troops of the old Ottoman Turkish Empire.

Mr. Coleman told the AP, "I continue to be troubled by our policy that refuses to recognize what was a historical reality."

Like previous administrations, the Bush White House declines to call the killings genocide to avoid angering officials of the modern Turkish republic who insist the Armenians died in an uprising.

John Evans, the former U.S. ambassador to Armenia, was forced to resign after he publicly referred to the Armenia genocide.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Baptized in Shushi

Yesterday we baptized Arsen. Arsen is 6 years old and though only now being baptized, has been accompanying his mother and older sister to Church for many years.

When we returned from the Church, we found Lavrent’s brother in front of their house tending to the fire we barbequed the pork we purchased in Stepanagert earlier that day.

Lavrent’s brother asked Arsen a few questions about the baptism, one asking him if he was now Armenian? Arsen looked to his uncle and said in a sarcastic tone, “did you think I was a Turk before I was baptized? I’ve always been Armenian, I’m now a Christian.”

A discussion about religion and what is means to be a Christian went on as we barbequed. The issue of our recent visitors to Martuni and learning that the same people had stopped in Shushi, preaching to those that would listen while they passed out bibles, one boy saying they also passed out natural juices. One man commenting that the Armenians of Artsakh are like children when it comes to religion and if someone from the outside comes and preaches, they suck up what is being said.

We took our barbeque pork and made our way to Lavrent’s house where we had a feast to celebrate Arsen’s re-birth. One of our guests asked Arsen who was that person affixed to the cross he wore? Arsen looked at the cross and said it was Jesus babig. Babig in Armenian is grandfather and in the day of the Soviet, Lenin was known as “Lenin babig.”

After our meal with many toasts to Arsen, his family, friends and all those who are a part of his life, I departed for Martuni, leaving Arsen with a few words of wisdom as to how he should live his life as a good Christian. Everything good he does adds points to my record with God and anything bad he accidentally might do, God punishes me since I’m the one responsible for guiding him in being a good person. He assured me he would do his best.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The heat is on...

It’s been quite hot here in Martuni. Last Saturday we had some unexpected rain which helped cool things and settle the dust. I’m hoping for more rain, but it really does not look like there will be any in the near future.

BBQ season for me is coming to an end as I’m sick of pork and know that consuming the quantities I’ve been putting away can’t be healthy at all. For this reason as of this coming Saturday, I’ll give up pork all together and stick to chicken and fish.

So why should I wait until Saturday to give it up? Well on Friday I will become the Godfather to Lavrent’s son Arsen. The baptism will take place in Shushi and following will be a feast of BBQ pork. For those of you who don’t know who Lavrent is, he is one of my Godchildren who was baptized 2 years ago and is a war veteran who had 30 encounters with landmines.

For the last year I’ve been documenting my father-in-law’s life. Yesterday I video interviewed his mother and today after much convincing his mother-in-law agreed to a video interview.

My father-in-law, Saribek had a very interesting life that was cut short on June 12, 1993 in Mersulu, Azerbaijan after an operation to connect Askern and the Martuni region. The operation didn’t go well and in the end Saribek, along with Monte Melkonian lost their lives.

I plan to prepare a documentary about him, which with the materials I have paints a very colorful life of a man who seemed to have no fears and was ready to and did give his life for what he believed in. He was a singer who traveled all over the former Soviet Union to perform at weddings, a human-rights activist and a freedom-fighter.

The music for the documentary I plan on using a recording of nationalist songs sung by Saribek himself.

I’m hoping to have the documentary ready before our first child is born so when it is old enough and want to know about his/her family history it will have the documentary to learn about who it’s grandfather was, told by those who knew him.

Anyway, I have to get going. My wife went to her mother’s house where they are preparing lunch. From there I will go to my grandmother-in-law’s house to interview her for the documentary.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

01 Aug 06

The society in Nagorno Karabakh is worried why Armenia Foundation (All-Armenia Fund, Inc.) does not hurry to start the reconstruction of Martakert, for which 7 million dollars were raised during the November 2005 telethon. The Lragir has wrote about this for several times, pointing to the controversies between the NKR government and the leadership of Armenia Foundation. We have written that the Karabakh government does not want Naira Melkumyan to continue to be the chief executive of the foundation. The prime minister of Karabakh announced two months ago that the foundation is to blame for postponing the project of reconstruction of Martakert. Afterwards the foundation made an official release on the reconstruction of the project of Martakert.

The published an article by Murad Petrosyan, the editor of the Chto Delat Newspaper in Stepanakert where the author says the reason of the slow pace of the foundation is that in the Armenian reality moral reputation, sense of duty and organizational abilities are overlooked in appointing key officials.

"If Ms. Melkumyan, the executive director of Armenia Foundation possessed the abovementioned traits, would she sit on 5 million dollars, which have a definite addressee, for 8 months?" asks Murad Petrosyan.

He says the later construction of infrastructure in Martakert is put out to tender and the longer the money for construction remains in the bank, the more income the money will bring. "And if now Ms. Melkumyan pays herself a salary of 2000 U.S. dollars, soon she will be able to increase this sum up to 3-4 thousand. If presently she has three managers and three assistants, soon she will be able to increase their number up to 6," writes Murad Petrosyan. However, he says, it would be wrong to blame only Naira Melkumyan for the slow reconstruction of Martakert.

"First of all, the one who appointed her is to blame. Second, the NKR government and NKR President Ghukasyan are to blame for this situation, as well as the government of Armenia, and especially Robert Kocharyan, who is the president of the board of trustees of Armenia Foundation," thinks Murad Petrosyan.

According to him, the laziness of the president of the board of trustees would be explicable if only Artsakh were dissatisfied with the activities of the foundation. Murad Petrosyan says, however, that complaints were heard on the airwaves of Radio Liberty, which is broadcast in the large Armenian Diasporan communities. Murad Petrosyan writes that this is the reason why he cannot understand the calm attitude of Robert Kocharyan towards all this, especially that soon there will be another telethon for Shushi and Hadrut.

This Friday on PBS...

This is for the L.A. area. Those of you that have access to PBS, check your listings...

At 6:30 p.m. (repeated at 1a.m.)

How do you preserve the culture of people when they have migrated across the globe? It isn't easy. But one man is doing it through dance. Armenian folk dance wouldn't be the same without Tom Bozigian, a dancer, choreographer, linguist, scholar, and musician. Vicki Curry goes to Glendale, CA to meet him.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sign This Petition

Dear Friend,

I just signed this petition to tell President Bush that only diplomacy can bring about a resolution to the serious and deadly problems in the region..

With your help, we can make real change. Please join me by signing this petition: