Friday, July 27, 2007

According to Jewish writings, Armenians are Amalekites

I received some feedback after my posting on the Doenmeh Jews of Turkey.

It seems that there is quite a bit of information out on the internet about this subject, the most interesting is a site called

For those of you interested in better understanding a possible motive the Young Turks had to exterminate the Armenians, you want to visit this site.

The site has a very interesting and enlightening document that if accurate (I have not checked the sources cited yet), makes me understand better what I’ve been hearing for most of my life of the Jewish connection to the Armenian Genocide.

If the document is accurate, then the Armenians are known to religiously educated Jews as the Amalekites, which they believe must be exterminated (see page 169).

According to one of the interviews on the site, it was Jews that convinced Sultan Hamid that the Armenians were a threat to Turkey and must be exterminated. Later on the Jews in the form of Talaat and company expelled the Sultan and tried to finish off what was started in 1895.

Of course this really changes nothing in terms of Turkey’s responsibility for the Genocide, but it should serve as a wake-up call to all of us that until the Jews come to terms with their long hatred towards the Amalekites, who they believe are the Armenians, we have to be very careful of what they are doing in Armenia and how they are supporting our enemies.

Just to remind you all that when the war in Artsakh was still going strong and there was an arms embargo in place against Armenia and Azerbaijan, according to the London-based Arabic-language weekly al-Wassat, both Turkey and Israel supplied Stinger missiles to Azerbaijani troops during the war.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The apple does not fall to far from the treee...


Lragir, Armenia
July 25 2007

The office of the district attorney of Malatia-Sebastia community is preparing materials concerning a recent violent incident involving the son of General Manvel Grigoryan, deputy minister of defense. The media reported a few days ago that General Manvel's son and his friend beat Carlen Armen Galstyan, 33, inspector of the State Rescue Service of Armenia, at the VIP lounge of Zvartnots Airport because they disliked the way how Carlen Galstyan glanced at General Manvel's daughter-in-law, Karen Grigoryan's wife.

"C. Galstyan's explanations and excuses were pointless. Perhaps he did not know who he dealt with. Karen Grigoryan and his friends first shouted abuse, then they started beating him until he fainted. In addition, along with the "educational lynching" the brigade of beaters took C. Galstyan's watch, wallet and the keys of his car. We have learned that the police were afraid of interfering and preventing this incident, although it lasted rather long. We have learned that after the incident General Manvel's son and his friends drove away in the Mercedes car of their victim," the Aravot Daily reported on July 24.

The reporters asked about the actions of the office of prosecutor general regarding this incident in a briefing of the prosecutor general and his deputies on July 25. "The prosecutor general instructed the prosecutor of Malatia community for oversight of revelation of all the circumstances of the case. The investigation has lasted for two or three days, and if you make additional requests, we will respond through our press secretary," said Mnatsakan Sargsyan, Assistant Prosecutor General.


Haik Aramyan

Lragir, Armenia
July 25 2007

117 years is a respectable age. Even in Karabakh. The people of Karabakh are believed to live long. They say the Japanese scientists have found out that if the people of Karabakh drink less mulberry vodka, they will live longer. Maybe some time in the future the people of Karabakh will start drinking less of this crude drink, and they will live longer. For the time being, 117 years is longevity even for the people of Karabakh.

It is notable that in its 117th year the ARF Dashnaktsutyun turned the last page of its political history in Karabakh, where unlike the Armenian and Diasporan organizations the local organization used to be an important and active organization at one time. The Karabakh organization of Dashnaktsutyun conducted a policy that was in the interests of the nation and people all through the Karabakh movement, the war and post-war developments. The first government of Karabakh proved that this kind of policy is also possible. When the first government in Karabakh was demolished, and the local Dashnaks were persecuted, unlike Armenia where the Dashnaks also underwent persecution and were sent to prison, the Karabakh organization of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun not only bore hardship with dignity but also upheld the honor of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun generally although it suffered more from the shortsighted policy of their party fellows in Armenia and the Diaspora.

The ARF Dashnaktsutyun of Karabakh had an important role in demolishing the regime of warlords in Karabakh and ensured investments in the ruined economy of Karabakh. In the Karabakh parliament of 2000-2005 Dashnaktsutyun was rather active, providing oversight of the activities of the government. However, the state of things changed in the course of time. The ARF Dashnaktsutyun adopted a policy of permanent deals with the government and started "attending" seriously to the organization of Karabakh. The Dashnaks of Karabakh had already started disturbing their fellows in Armenia, especially when the Karabakh organization sued the ARF Bureau Dashnaktsutyun has an "internal" court), accusing it of activities that do not stem from the interests of the country. The ARF leaders, particularly Hrant Margaryan, making another deal with NKR President Arkady Ghukasyan, arranged a shakeup inside the organization of Karabakh, removed the former leaders and replaced them by people who are unable to make independent moves and implement a policy.

It happened before the NKR presidential election. And with the new leadership of the Karabakh organization of the ARF, without having the consent of the party ranks, declined to put up its own candidate and became engaged in the "common candidate" project. Another representative of the ARF Bureau, the deputy leader of the National Assembly of Armenia, said in explaining this move of his fellows that it is not expedient to counteract to the steps of the government because it causes shocks. For instance, he recalled the period of Arthur Mkrtichyan and Georgy Petrosyan when the conflict between Levon Ter-Petrosyan - All Armenian Movement and the ARF Dashnaktsutyun led to grave consequences for both Armenia and Karabakh. Of course, Vahan Hovanisyan's explanation would arouse a smile in people who are aware of the state of things then if it were not so depressing. It is worthwhile to touch upon this issue.

The explanation of the party's stance by Kiro Manoyan, another ARF Bureau member, was much more abject. He explained their choice in answering the questions of reporters about the "common candidate" that it is not important who the "common candidate" is and whether he is able to conduct an effective foreign policy. It is important that the foreign minister is a Dashnak, and he will solve all the problems. In other words, Kiro Manoyan revealed another deal: hence, the Dashnaktsutyun leadership of Armenia and the Diaspora once again staked, we may say destroyed the Karabakh organization of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun.

Anyway, the 117-year-old party made its "choice" and actually turned the last page of its own political history as an independent political organization. And perhaps that was the good thing. At least, the people of Armenia and Karabakh did not suffer heavy losses. Just another party left the real political arena, which was not theirs anymore; what do the interests of "small shopkeepers" have to do with the aspirations of people, as a political scientist put it. All the rest that this party will do will be like a snowball rolling down the mountain side, the weight of which makes it move faster and faster towards fall, and it crushes at first blow.

Meanwhile, people are wise enough to avoid this blow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Doenmeh Jews of Turkey

I find the following story interesting for a couple of reasons.

First I remember my grandfather talking about the Young Turks who were responsible for the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and how many of them were Doenmeh Jews, including Talaat Pasha himself.

The other reason I find this article interesting is that Ataturk being a Doenmeh Jew now makes a little more sense as to what happened to his family following his death on November 10, 1938.

According to what I’ve heard, Ataturk had adopted five daughters. The one named Sabiha Gökçen is said to have been of Armenian decent. I’m not sure if she was the only Armenian of the daughters, but do know that one of them was married to an artist and ended up in Baghdad, Iraq, following his death.

This family lived in relative secrecy in terms of who they were related to, or at least from their Armenian neighbors (my uncle’s family). My cousin only discovered who they were in the late 1980’s, when a very depressed grandson of Ataturk invited in my cousin for tea as he needed someone to talk to.

When my cousin entered the house, he noticed a large picture of Ataturk hanging on the wall and knowing very well who he was, asked in a curious way to his neighbor who it was a picture of, to which the young man answered that it was his grandfather, his mother’s father.

The mother came into the room to serve them tea and apparently overheard the conversation and when she left, called her son to the other room to have him help her with something. When the grandson of Ataturk returned, he was very quiet and reserved.

So it seems that this family had arrived in Iraq right after the death of Ataturk. It may have just happened at that time, or it is also possible that they had to move due to fear or danger. I’m also not sure which adopted daughter this was or of what ethnicity she was. I understood from my cousin that husband of Ataturk's daughter as an artist was close with members of the Hashemite royal family, who ruled over Iraq until 1958 and had many drawings of the king.


By Hillel Halkin, a contributing editor of The New York Sun.

New York Sun, NY -
July 24 2007

Some 12 or 13 years ago, when I was reporting from Israel for the New York weekly, the Forward, I wrote a piece on Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern secular Turkey, that I submitted to the newspaper with some trepidation.

In it, I presented evidence for the likelihood of Ataturk's having had a Jewish - or more precisely, a Doenmeh - father.

The Doenmeh were a heretical Jewish sect formed, after the conversion to Islam in the 17th century of the Turkish-Jewish messianic pretender Sabbetai Zevi, by those of his followers who continued to believe in him.

Conducting themselves outwardly as Muslims in imitation of him, they lived secretly as Jews and continued to exist as a distinct, if shadowy, group well into the 20th century.

In the many biographies of Ataturk there were three or four different versions of his father's background, and although none identified him as a Jew, their very multiplicity suggested that he had been covering up his family origins.

This evidence, though limited, was intriguing. Its strongest item was a chapter in a long-forgotten autobiography of the Hebrew journalist, Itamar Ben-Avi, who described in his book a chance meeting on a rainy night in the late winter of 1911 in the bar of a Jerusalem hotel with a young Turkish captain.

Tipsy from too much arak, the captain confided to Ben-Avi that he was Jewish and recited the opening Hebrew words of the Shema Yisra'el or "Hear O Israel" prayer, which almost any Jew or Doenmeh - but no Turkish Muslim - would have known. Ten years later, Ben-Avi wrote, he opened a newspaper, saw a headline about a military coup in Turkey, and in a photograph recognized the leader that the young officer he had met the other night.

At the time, Islamic political opposition to Ataturk-style secularism was gaining strength in Turkey. What would happen, I wondered, when a Jewish newspaper in New York broke the news that the revered founder of modern Turkey was half-Jewish? I pictured riots, statues of Ataturk toppling to the ground, the secular state he had created tottering with them.

I could have spared myself the anxiety. The piece was run in the Forward, there was hardly any reaction to it anywhere, and life in Turkey went on as before. As far as I knew, not a single Turk even read what I wrote. And then, a few months ago, I received an e-mail from someone who had. I won't mention his name. He lives in a European country, is well-educated, works in the financial industry, is a staunchly secular Kemalist, and was writing to tell me that he had come across my article in the Forward and had decided to do some historical research in regard to it.

One thing he discovered, he wrote, was that Ataturk indeed traveled in the late winter of 1911 to Egypt from Damascus on his way to join the Turkish forces fighting an Italian army in Libya, a route that would have taken him through Jerusalem just when Ben-Avi claimed to have met him there.

Moreover, in 1911 he was indeed a captain, and his fondness of alcohol, which Ben-Avi could not have known about when he wrote his autobiography, is well-documented.

And here's something else that was turned up by my Turkish e-mail correspondent: Ataturk, who was born and raised in Thessaloniki, a heavily Jewish city in his day that had a large Doenmeh population, attended a grade school, known as the " Semsi Effendi School," that was run by a religious leader of the Doenmeh community named Simon Zvi. The email concluded with the sentence: "I now know - know (and I haven't a shred of doubt) - that Ataturk's father's family was indeed of Jewish stock."

I haven't a shred of doubt either. I just have, this time, less trepidation, not only because I no longer suffer from delusions of grandeur regarding the possible effects of my columns, but because there's no need to fear toppling the secular establishment of Kemalist Turkey.

It toppled for good in the Turkish elections two days ago when the Islamic Justice and Development Party was returned to power with so overwhelming a victory over its rivals that it seems safe to say that secular Turkey, at least as Ataturk envisioned it, is a thing of the past.

Actually, Ataturk's Jewishness, which he systematically sought to conceal, explains a great deal about him, above all, his fierce hostility toward Islam, the religion in which nearly every Turk of his day had been raised, and his iron-willed determination to create a strictly secular Turkish nationalism from which the Islamic component
would be banished.

Who but a member of a religious minority would want so badly to eliminate religion from the identity of a Muslim majority that, after the genocide of Turkey's Christian Armenians in World War I and the expulsion of nearly all of its Christian Greeks in the early 1920s, was 99% of Turkey's population? The same motivation caused the banner of secular Arab nationalism to be first raised in the Arab world by
Christian intellectuals.

Ataturk seems never to have been ashamed of his Jewish background. He hid it because it would have been political suicide not to, and the secular Turkish state that was his legacy hid it too, and with it, his personal diary, which was never published and has for all intents and purposes been kept a state secret all these years. There's no need to hide it any longer. The Islamic counterrevolution has won the day in Turkey even without its exposure.


By Anna Saghabalian

Radio Liberty, Czech Rep.
July 24 2007

Police reported on Tuesday a major increase in the number of caraccidents in Armenia, blaming it on increasingly heavy traffic in the country.

Colonel Ishkhan Ishkhanian, chief of the Armenian traffic police, put the death from the nearly 800 accidents registered during the first half of this year at 139, up by 23 percent from the same period last year. He said the number of people injured as a result jumped by nearly 40 percent to 1,140.

The police had registered just over 600 accidents across the country in January-June 2006.

Ishkhanian said they believe the main cause of the almost 31 percent surge in accidents is a rapidly growing number of cars and trucks on Armenian roads. According to official statistics cited by him, some 25,000 vehicles were imported to Armenia in the course of 2006 and another 16,000 in the first half of 2007, raising their total
number to roughly 350,000.

Increased car sales are particularly visible in Yerevan where traffic jams are becoming an increasingly serious problem. Many motorists feel that the reputedly corrupt traffic police are also to blame for the traffic jams.

The recently restructured traffic police have always denied that bribery and other corrupt practices among their officers are widespread. In Ishkhanian's words, only one officer has been prosecuted and three others fired for bribery this year.


2007-07-23 15:15:00

Another anti-Armenian PR campaign is starting up in Azerbaijan. A certain "mass burial in Gouba", which the Azerbaijani propaganda machine actively attaches to the range of "Armenians' doings", became the center of the campaign.

According to Azerbaijani mass media, on Tuesday about 300 young representatives of 6 provincial organizations of the North region of Party Yeni Azerbaijan (PEA) will start a march to the burial place with the purpose "of attracting attention to the given barbarous act of Armenians".

Azerbaijani authorities did not bother to clarify what a burial it was, who was buried there and who was to blame for the mass deaths. No investigation and no expertise was conducted, there are no factual data at all.

Nevertheless, despite the absence of any facts at all, Azerbaijan continues addressing unfounded accusations of "brutality" and "vandalism" against Armenians. It's obvious that "the burial in Gouba" is meant to replenish the range of other feigned "crimes of Armenians".

All-Armenian Hayastan Fund pays $767,000 for construction of windsurfing center in Armenia


ARKA News Agency, Armenia
July 23 2007

YEREVAN, July 23. /ARKA/.
The opening of a windsurfing on the Armenian Lake Sevan will encourage tourism development in the country, Armenian President Robert Kocharian told reporters Saturday after the opening ceremony.

"Opening of a windsurfing center will make Sevan more alluring from the viewpoint of tourism and will encourage this sector's development," the president reported.

According to him, the center's location is very favorable. It is not far from Yerevan. In addition, there are almost no windless days on Lake Sevan.

Being a big amateur of windsurfing and sailing sports, President Kocharian called everyone to do windsurfing.

"To have a beautiful lake and not to develop water sports would just be a crime. I am sure that in two years one windsurfing center will not be enough, and will have to open two-three more similar centers," the president said.

The All-Armenian Hayastan Fund provided AMD 257mln ($767,000) for construction and technical equipment of the windsurfing center. The construction began in November 2006. To date, 60 children at the age of 7 to 18 are taking courses at the center. R.O. -0--

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Turkey desires to become OSCE MG Co-Chair and to isolate Armenia once and for all

21.07.2007 14:28 GMT+04:00

The United States and European Union demand from Turkey to unblock his borders with Armenia, normalize relations with this country and open a diplomatic mission in Yerevan, retired ambassador, analyst for Radikal and Turkish Daily News Gündüz Oktan stated, who is running for a parliamentarian mandate in the list of National Movement Party, widely known as “Gray Wolves”. “We support the approach not to initiate any steps towards establishing relations with Armenia till the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. We will provide larger assistance to Azerbaijan, we shall increase the number of Azeri-Georgian-Turkish projects. It is necessary to isolate Armenia in the region till the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. It’s a pity that Turkey does not participate in works of the OSCE Minsk Group. If Azerbaijan demands, Turkey can play much more active role in favor of Baku,” Oktan underscored, APA reports.

Monday, July 23, 2007

I’m sorry things have got to this level…

Though I don’t really want to escalate things between Raffi and I, it seems that Raffi is very interested in doing just this. It appears that on July 13th, he has created a new blog titled “BEST OF ARA MANOOGIAN”

The first entry reads:

Friday, July 13, 2007


This is a new blog about Ara Manoogian, inspired of course by his blog about me. I will post some of his choicest writings here for all to enjoy - and unlike him, I won't pretend I have nothing to do with this fan site...

So sit back, put on your reading glasses, and remember, reality can be much sicker than fiction, so don't let the kids read this! (and for that matter, you may want to keep your kids away from Ara in case his second marriage does not work out)


The posting and labels tell me that Raffi is far from finishing this conflict we have. From the recent google search, it seems that he is also working hard to make sure that his sites about me dominate the top 10 hits.

I guess we have to ask why he is investing so much of his time on trying to soil my name and by doing so sacrificing the legitimacy of his own sites? He has so much hate towards me, a level beyond that of anyone I know. I don’t think the intensity of his hate towards me is normal, nor does it correspond to his claims of why he is doing what he is doing. There has to be more to this and though I think I know what it is, it’s not my fault that things in his personal life changed soon after I was asked to no longer write on He made his bed and has to sleep in it alone.

Anyway, this latest public site of his with “freak, pervert, psycho, sicko and keep your kids away from Ara,” is a clear cut case of slander and defamation of character.

I would like to just ignore this issue, but can’t since in the future it could be misinterpreted, thus I have to put an end to this now.

I want to apologize to all those I said I would not get involved in this issue, but if we end up in court, you may be called in as witnesses. I only am thinking court right now as I honestly don’t see it ending without Raffi hearing it from a judge that things must stop and the misleading information and lies must be removed from the internet.

I know the energy, time and money involved in legal actions, but from the time I’ve so far invested and the time I will have to invest in the future to put and end to this issue without legal actions may cost me less in the long run if I just let a judge put an end to it all now.

I’m sure if I sue Raffi he will counter-sue me for all the things I’ve documented about him, which I am ready to present evidence and witnesses to verify the accuracy of my claims in a court of law.

BTW, I will not be approving any of the comments on this posting since this issue is a violation of the law in the country where the sites are hosted and not an issue that needs to be debated. I have until July 12, 2008 to exercise my legal right.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Karabakh Frontrunner Sweeps Presidential Vote

RFE/RL Armenia Report - 07/20/2007
By Karine Kalantarian in Stepanakert

The candidate backed by the leadership and main political parties of Nagorno-Karabakh scored a resounding victory in Thursday's presidential election, local election officials said on Friday.

According to the preliminary vote results released by the Central Election Commission (NSS), Bako Sahakian, the former head of Karabakh's National Security Service, won 85 percent of the vote. They showed his main challenger, Masis Mayilian, coming in a distant second with only 12 percent.

The CEC put the voter turnout at just over 77 percent.

Mayilian quickly conceded defeat, saying that he will congratulate Sahakian after the publication of the final vote results. `I consider Bako Sahakian a legitimately elected president and respect the choice of our people,' he told a news conference in Stepanakert.

Mayilian, who was the unrecognized republic's deputy foreign minister until recently, described the election as a further boost to Karabakh's `democratic image.' `Our team has done everything in its power to give our citizens a real choice and to hold the elections within the bounds of law,' he said.

The Mayilian campaign lodged more than 20 written complaints to the CEC alleging ballot box stuffing and other irregularities. Most of those complaints were rejected by the CEC. The commission chairman, Sergey Nasibian, told RFE/RL that election officials confirmed and prevented some of the attempted violations reported by the opposition candidate.

Mayilian agreed that the alleged fraud was not serious enough to affect the election outcome. `Even if there were falsifications, most votes were properly counted,' he said.

The nearly one hundred observers from Armenia, Russia, Europe and the United States, most of them monitoring the vote in their private capacity, also described it as largely democratic in separate statements on Friday.

Leading international organizations and Western governments have joined Azerbaijan in denouncing the election, saying that it can not be deemed legitimate in the absence of the disputed region's former Azerbaijani minority.

`The European Union underlines that it does not recognize the independence of Nagorno-Karabakh,' the EU's Portuguese presidency said in a statement on Thursday. `Neither does it recognize the legitimacy of these `presidential elections,' which should not have any impact on the peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.'

The authorities in Stepanakert and Yerevan have dismissed the criticism, arguing that the Karabakh Armenians should be represented in the ongoing peace talks by their elected leaders.

`These elections testify to the success of a statehood anchored in democratic values,' President Robert Kocharian said in a congratulatory message to Sahakian. `They once again demonstrated the irreversibility of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic's existence.'

Friday, July 20, 2007


Lragir, Armenia
July 19 2007

NKR President Arkady Ghukasyan believes that the political forces must honor the choice of people. In speaking about the complaints regarding the voting, Arkady Ghukasyan agreed there are complaints but he does not think they all are grounded. These must be checked, there is an authorized body which will attend to it but it will not influence the democratic image of the country, Ghukasyan thinks. He regrets to say that black PR has penetrated from Armenia to Karabakh.

According to Arkady Ghukasyan, the statements that there was pressure from the security agencies are not true either. "When people see they will be defeated, they start inventing tales."

The reporters asked the president to comment on the opinion of the Armenian pollster Aaron Adibekyan who said Bako Sahakyan is "daddy", Masis Mayilyan is "glamour", and that in Karabakh they prefer a "daddy". Personally I am not acquainted with Mr. Adibekyan, and for me it is difficult to comment. I think it is an insult for the people of Karabakh. As to Igor Muradyan, he is a sick person. Certainly, he has made a great contribution to the nation. But such statements regarding this country are immoral," Arkady Ghukasyan said.

Arkady Ghukasyan thinks his statement on endorsing Bako Sahakyan will influence the people for whom Arkady Ghukasyan is an authority. The others will not. At the same time, Arkady Ghukasyan said if usually the political forces are first elected then form a coalition, in Karabakh it is the contrary, the political forces have united before the election. "I think it is determined by the personality of Bako Sahakyan. As well as the peculiarities of Karabakh. We are at war, and we must mobilize people for the solution of these problems."

According to Arkady Ghukasyan, the union of forces endorsing Bako Sahakyan is not artificial. Arkady Ghukasyan said opposition forces also united for Bako Sahakyan. "The opposition is perceived to be resentful. The opposition are the people whom we dismissed at one time because they do not deserve these posts. This is called opposition. But I think the opposition must have an idea, and in that case the classic formula will work," Ghukasyan said.

Arkady Ghukasyan said he leaves with the feeling that he fulfilled his duty, and is hopeful that the new president will rule the country better than him.

20.07.2007 12:33

According to preliminary results, former Chief of the National Security service Bako Sahakyan won the presidential elections in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

President of the NKR Central Electoral Commission Segey Nasibyan informed that 57,798 citizens voted in favor of Bako Sahakyan, which makes 85.36% of the total number of enfranchised voters. Masis Mailyan received 12.21% or 8,270 votes, Armen Abgaryan - 1.16 or 856 votes, Vanya Avanesyan - 0.3% or 202 votes and Hrant Melkumyan received 0.79 or 539 votes.

76% of the 91,793 enfranchised voters participated in the presidential elections in the Nagorno Karabakh Republic.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


19.07.2007 12:57 GMT+04:00

Today the Nagorno Karabakh Republic holds presidential elections. Five candidates are running for the presidential post. Ex-Director of the NKR National Security Service Bako Sahakyan, former Deputy Foreign Minister Masis Mailyan, NKR NA member Armen Abgaryan, lecturer at the Artsakh State University professor Vanya Avanesyan and leader of Artsakhi Communist Party, head of the Control Service of the NKR Government's Administration are running for the post.

Over 100 international observers have arrived in Stepanakert to observe the presidential elections. As a PanARMENIAN.Net came to know from the NKR CEC, 53 foreign journalists and 47 observers (40 representing international organizations and 7 representing local ones) have been already registered. Observers have arrived from Armenia, US, Italy, Greece, Germany, Serbia, Czech Republic, Ukraine, Macedonia, France and CIS member states.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

THE FOX is now guarding the henhouse

Armenian Tax Chief Sacked

RFE/RL Armenia Report - 07/16/2007
By Emil Danielyan

President Robert Kocharian dismissed the head of the Armenian government's main tax collection agency and replaced him by one of his senior aides on Monday.

A statement by Kocharian's office did not explain why Felix Tsolakian, head of the State Tax Service (STS), was relieved of his duties. It said only that he will now serve as a presidential adviser.

Tsolakian's replacement, Vahram Barseghian, has until now run Kocharian's Oversight Service tasked with combating financial irregularities and other corrupt practices within various-level government bodies.

Incidentally, Tsolakian headed the service before being appointed as STS chief four years ago. The 55-year-old had previously held senior positions in the Soviet KGB and its Armenian successor agency, the National Security Service.

Armenia's tax revenues have grown substantially since 2003, even if they still account for a very modest share of Gross Domestic Product. They rose by 24 percent to 162 billion drams ($480 million) during the first five months of this year, helping the government post a rare budget surplus.

It is not clear if Tsolakian's dismissal has any connection with the recent launch of a government plan of legislative and administrative measures aimed at significantly raising the tax revenues in the next few years. The three-year plan calls for the abolition of controversial tax breaks enjoyed by local and foreign firms, improved tax administration, and a tougher crackdown on widespread tax evasion.


My goodness. Things really are not changing, nor do I see much chance of them changing for quite some time.

Vahram, one of the more corrupt people in Armenia is just making his way around.

This guy is really good at collecting money for Kocharian and I will guarantee you this. The reason he was moved to this position is that Kocharian has very little time in office and before he leaves office, he is going to royally rape the country of a very large quantity of hard CASH so he can live high on the hog until his untimely death.

For those of you who don’t know about Vahram, you can revisit some very significant posting I have on MOB which you can find here, here, here, here, here and here.

Monday, July 16, 2007


14.07.2007 14:25 GMT+04:00

"Marjan is an unusual place to work because in some cases we are working within 1 000 meters of the Nakhichevan border, and Azeri soldiers are observing our work, and there have been no security incidents during this time," chairman and CEO of Global Gold Company (GGC) Van Krikorian stated to the PanARMENIAN.Net journalist. He said, the Pentagon did not attend or vote at last month's annual shareholders meeting, and is not even on the registry.

"A review of our contracts shows that we do no work for the Pentagon, but if there is information that the company has been working for the Pentagon, we would ask that it be shared with us immediately and especially any information on how much we are owed, as our accountants do not have any record of payments," Krikorian underlined.

The Chief Executive of GGC stressed that the company takes pride in emphasizing best practices in mining and investment areas. "Of course, we would pay all taxes on whatever we receive as well. We'd also like to know where the spy facility is on our license area, as I visited Marjan along with the Hankavan, Getik, and Tukhmanuk properties where we are working the week before last and didn't see them. As we have in the past, we would be pleased to have journalists visit themselves to see exactly what we are doing in terms of mining and exploration, and if they find anything else, we might offer them positions in our exploration staff. Perhaps the report has confused the posting date of Friday July 13th with April 1," Van Krikorian said.

"Quoting Armenian press" Baku based APA agency reported "GGC closely cooperates with Armenian Defense Ministry and has invested $2.2 million in "Marjan" deposit, which is 3000 meters above the sea level".

"Unnamed source in Armenian Environmental Protection Ministry said it is not informed of the Corporation's activity, as it is not allowed for that. Armenian Defense Ministry sources said the American company is working for the Pentagon and fulfilling errands on Iran in the territory. Local residents say they have also seen some English-speaking military-like persons besides geologists, who are installing unknown big facility in the territory," APA reports.

US deploys intelligence facility in Armenia to spy on Iran

by APA

Bay Area Indymedia, CA
Saturday Jul 14th, 2007 10:56 AM

The US Global Gold Corporation (GGC) will complete the gold exploration in Arevis village of Sisyan region, Armenia by the end of 2007, APA reports quoting Armenian press. The gold deposit is situated on the border with Nakhchivan province of Azerbaijan.

Henrich Mkrtchyan, general geologist of GGC office in Armenia said the Corporation that operates in close cooperation with Armenian defense ministry has invested $2.2 million in `Marjan' deposit which is 3000 meters above the sea level.

Unnamed source in Armenian environmental protection ministry said it is not informed of the Corporation's activity as it is not allowed for that.

Armenian defense ministry sources said the American company is working for the Pentagon and fulfilling errands on Iran in the territory. Chairman and CEO is Armenian Van Krikorian, president on operational works Michael T.Mason and vice-president Hrayr Agnerian.

Local residents say the GGC supports the restoration of the infrastructure of Arevis village which is compose dof 24 houses. They say there are also some English-speaking military-like persons besides geologists, who are installing unknown big facility in the territory.

Armenian-born American analyst Richard Kirakosyan has recently announced that Washington and Moscow has reached an agreement on Serj Sarkisyan's presidency after Robert Kocharian. Armenia is reported to have undertaken certain commitment on providing opportunity for the Us to use its territory against Iran. /APA/

Saturday, July 14, 2007


Noyan Tapan
Jul 13 2007

Last year 1438 RA citizens were deported from abroad, including 846 from Russia, 103 from Germany, 130 from Turkey, and 90 from the Czech Republic. This information was provided to Noyan Tapan by Irina Davtian, the Chief of the Department for Migration Policy of Management of Migration of the RA Ministry of Territorial Administration.

She mentioned that this data does not reflect the total picture, as they were provided only by Russian border-guards.

‘World-class’ UW violinist Vartan Manoogian dies

July 13, 2007

by Richard Mumford

Vartan Manoogian, professor of violin at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, died on Thursday, July 12, in Spain. He was 71.

Manoogian was born in Baghdad to Armenian parents and studied at the Paris Conservatory beginning at the age of 16. He earned a master's degree from the Juilliard School, where he studied violin with Ivan Galamian and chamber music with members of the Juilliard String Quartet.

Manoogian served as associate concertmaster of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra and later as concertmaster of L'Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, directed by Ernest Ansermet. He was artist in residence at the North Carolina School of the Arts and a member of the Claremont String Quartet before joining the UW-Madison faculty in 1980.

Manoogian's interests covered a broad spectrum of repertoire, artistic collaboration and pedagogy. His studio at the School of Music encompassed freshmen through doctoral students, many of whom became successful teachers, chamber musicians and members of professional orchestras. He was the artistic director of the Madeline Island Music Camp in northern Wisconsin, responsible for hiring the faculty and planning each season, and had performed there with cellist Christopher French and UW faculty pianist Christopher Taylor on June 27.

He was the author of the four-volume Foundations of Violin Technique, published in both English and Spanish. In 2004, he recorded the complete sonatas and partitas for solo violin by J. S. Bach, a two-disc set sold through the School of Music's online CD store. And he maintained active associations in Spain, where he traveled most summers to teach and perform.

Tyrone Greive, professor of violin and concertmaster of the Madison Symphony Orchestra, joined the school's faculty in 1979 and served on the search committee that culminated with the appointment of Manoogian in 1980. Greive says of his colleague: "His artistry and personality touched many students, colleagues, audiences and others through his teaching and performing at the university, as well as locally, statewide, nationally and internationally. He will be greatly missed by many."

Janet Jensen, professor of string pedagogy and a member of the school's faculty since 1992, says "Professor Manoogian brought international stature and world-class artistry to our campus. His passion for excellence in teaching and performance attracted many wonderful students, to whom he was totally committed-not just while they were in school, but through their continuing study and careers as well. He was the consummate artist-teacher, and his influence will be measured internationally and generationally. We have lost a treasured colleague and friend, and the world has lost one of its most beautiful voices."

Friday, July 13, 2007


Jul 12 2007

The government appointed today Lida Nanian as governor of northwestern province of Shirak. Ms. Nanian is the first woman to head an Armenian province. The government press office said she was proposed to the post by the ruling Republican party.

Ms. Nanian was born in 1948 in Azerbaijan. In 1968 she graduated from the economy department of Yerevan State University.

Before the new appointment she was head of the Gyumri tax department. She is married and has two children.


Noyan Tapan
Jul 11 2007

The legal successors of the Armenians, who invested insurance deposits or other credits in the French AXA company, which operated in the territory of the Ottoman Empire, can file their cases against AXA by internet site until October 1, 2007. The case will be upholded on the basis of the agreement signed within the framework of the group trial of the U.S. Regional Court of the Central region of California. This statement was made by Parsegh Kartalian, the Head of the AXA Settlement Claim Fund at the July 10 press conference. The fund unites three law offices , which are engaged in the defence of the interests of the legal successors of the victims of the Armenian Genocide: "VARTKES YEGHIAYAN AND YEGHIAYAN & ASSOCIATES," "BRIAN S. KABATECH & KABATECK BROWN KELLINER", and "MARK GERAGOS & GERAGOS & GERAGOS."

According to Parsegh Kartalian, 17.6 million U.S. dollars are liable to payment by the AXA Insurance Company with the above-mentioned agreement, according to approximately 7 thousand insurance policies. However, the legal successors of those insured will be given 11 million dollars, and the rest of the sum will be given to
Armenian charitable organizations and lawyers.

In his opinion, at least 10 thousand people will apply in order to get the repayment sums.

The head of the fund mentioned that after the trial won by the "Vartkes Yeghiayan and Yeghiayan & Associates" lawyers' company against the "New York Life" insurance company the latter paid 7.2 million dollars to the legal successors of the depositors, who are victims of the Armenian Genocide, and 3 million dollars to lawyers and charitable companies.


My mother told me that she has filed 3 claims for persons from her mother's family.

Next will be the banks and then the houses, factory and land my grandmother's family owned.


Jul 12 2007

Yerevan, July 12 /Mediamax/.
General Director of VivaCell mobile operator Ralph Yirikian refuted today the statements on the possible sale of the company.

Mediamax reports that, speaking at a news conference in Yerevan today, which was dedicated to the second anniversary of the company's work on the market, Ralph Yirikian compared VivaCell "to an 18-year-old young lady, who has many worshippers, who want to tie their lives with hers".

However, he noted, "the young lady does not want to get married, but she wants to realize her plans".

Recently, representatives of Russian mobile operators MTS and "Megafon" in this or that form stated their interest towards the purchase of the shares of VivaCell.

Member of the Board of Directors of VivaCell Hussein Rifai noted that in 2008 the company will place its shares on the Armenian Stock Exchange.

Ralph Yirikian expressed hope that "many of the 1mln subscribers of VivaCell will become our share-holders". The number of shares, which will be placed on the Exchange, is not yet determined.


[ 12 Jul 2007 16:35 ]

"The cause of unsuccessful negotiations on the settlement of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict is the fact that Azerbaijan is unwilling to accept the reality and mistakenly thinks that the opposite process is possible, whereas it is senseless to turn back the wheel of history. The people who gained independence, will not refuse from that," Armenian President Robert Kocharian stated in an interview to SPIEGEL ONLINE.

Drawing a parallel between Kosovo and the Nagorno Karabakh conflicts said, "We do not want to attach to analogues, but undoubtedly the Karabakh people have the same right to independence as Albanians of Kosovo, moreover if they protected their right alone without interference by the international community. As to the assistance from Armenia ... Armenian people fought during the war. Do you really think that Albania has not provided assistance to Albanians of Kosovo? There are a lot of correlations here and I see Armenia and Karabakh's future as an asymmetric confederation.," Kocharian said.

He did not rule out a new war with Azerbaijan.

"Though I doubt that Azerbaijan's military budget is bigger of our state budget. I would warn against judging about the correlation of forces from both sides only by figures. You must take into account and the fact that the soldier who defends his homeland has another motivation, than the one who acts on a foreign territory. We do not have any intention to launch military operations. But in case of a prepared aggression we will make decisions, to which we will be obliged by the military situation of the time and which will meet our security interests. Our offers on the settlement of the conflict are connected with recognition of the republic and security guarantees. They suppose presence of peacekeepers. It must be an international peacekeeping contingent," Armenian President underscored.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007


10.07.2007 15:32 GMT+04:00

The visit of Armenian and Azeri intellectuals to Stepanakert, Yerevan and Baku is a "well-directed surprise," political scientist Levon Melik Shahnazaryan told a news conference in Yerevan.

It can be assessed as a positive move, according to him. However, he said that it's not a novelty and reminded of similar visits in 1904, 1918 and 1988, in the years of collisions between Armenians and Azeris that resulted in a war waged by Azerbaijan with the assistance from the outside.

"The visit is pregnant with danger. "Kiss the enemy's hand but keep an axe in your bosom" - this is peculiar to Turkish mentality," the Armenian political scientist considers.

"Armenians should always keep this in mind. Azeris will not be able to conduct war. World powers will not allow this. The problem is theAzeri army itself," he said.

July 28, 2007, the Azeri delegation led by Polad Bul-Bul-ogly, Azerbaijani Ambassador to Russia, crossed the mine-free sector of the contact line between the Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijani armed forced, on Mardakert-Terter (Mir Bashir) road. The delegation was accompanied to Stepanakert by representatives of the Karabakhi side. A delegation of Armenian intellectuals led by Armen Smbatian, the RA Ambassador to Russia also arrived in the NKR capital.

Afterwards, the delegations made for Yerevan to meet Armenian President Robert Kocharian. The same evening they departed for Baku and met with Azeri President Ilham Aliyev.


10.07.2007 18:28 GMT+04:00

No one violated the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The NKR military liberated their lands, political scientist Levon Melik-Shahnazaryan told a news conference in Yerevan.

"The world doesn't fancy the situation that emerged after the USSR decline," he said.

"The Armenian diplomacy doesn't carry out a sufficient amount of work. We constantly have to explain to the international community the line of borders of modern Azerbaijan, which is not the assignee of the Azeri SSR," he said.

"The OSCE PA resolution on 'frozen conflicts' in Moldova and Georgia reads that these conflicts should be settled basing on the principles of territorial integrity of these states. However, it doesn't refer to Nagorno Karabakh," he said

Monday, July 09, 2007

More than 5 000 Azeris adopted Christianity recently

07.07.2007 13:41 GMT+04:00

Recently more than 5 000 Azeris adopted Christianity reports `Olaylar', a group that is busy with propagating Christianity in Azerbaijan. According to the report, not only residents of regions, but also people living in surroundings of Baku are adopting Christianity. `Olaylar' informs that in the majority of cases people, who `had bad habits and encountered injustice at their work place' change religion, reports

5 Jul 07

Academician Kamal Abdulla has called for the promotion of contacts between Azerbaijanis and Armenians to finally resolve the Karabakh conflict. In an interview with news agency, Abdulla shared his impressions of the visits to Azerbaijani separatist region of Karabakh, and Armenia by a group of intelligentsia representatives where they had discussions on how to resolve the conflict. Abdulla believes that we are "doomed to coexistence by God and history" and therefore, everything should be done to settle the conflict by peace means to avoid war. The following is the text of his interview with C. Ali entitled "Kamal Abdulla: 'Azerbaijanis and Armenians are doomed to coexistence by God and history. This is our mission and we should be ready for it'"; published on the website on 5 July; subheadings have been inserted editorially:

A interview with Prof Kamal Abdulla, the rector of the Baku Slavonic University (BSU), corresponding member of the Azerbaijani Academy of National Sciences and honoured worker of science.

[Correspondent] Kamal muallim [mode of address], after your visits to Nagornyy Karabakh and Armenia, there are again many talk about a big role of people's diplomacy in settling the Karabakh problem. What can you say on its potential in settling the conflict in the wake of your latest mission?

[Abdulla] I think that any alternative form of diplomacy in the long run serves to our main line based on the will of the Azerbaijani people and the political leadership of the country. Any step in this direction should be welcomed since every single man should work within his or her powers.

Politicians should do their job, leaders their own and intellectuals should also seek ways out of this situation. In the end, all these will be part of our common search and opportunities.

Positive mood

[Correspondent] Although the trip was brief, nevertheless, you felt the mood of the Armenians. Do you consider that the Armenian community of Nagornyy Karabakh is ready for open dialogue?

[Abdulla] I can say that those people we met are completely ready. Because the war, the actual state of affairs have already bored everyone and everybody is looking for ways of breaking this deadlock. Undoubtedly, I cannot speak on behalf of all but those whom I saw and contacted are ready.

Above all, this contact was established without any intermediaries. It is also important that this contact contemplated our crossing to Nagornyy Karabakh exactly through the Azerbaijani soil, in other words, we went from one part of our land to another part, and it was not from Tbilisi, Moscow or from somewhere else but from Barda, from where we went directly to Xankandi [Stepanakert]. If someone else can, let them also go.

[Correspondent] Other members of the trip speak about the possibility of continuing cooperation between Azerbaijanis and Armenians even they suggest specific forms. As the rector of the BSI, do you assume the possibility of adjusting such contacts, say, in the sphere of education?

[Abdulla] Any further effective contacts should take place once all the problems are tackled. We did not discuss any political moments, the possibility of adopting any declaration there. We simply communicated with them. We pursued the purpose of understanding whether we can speak the same language and if we can ever understand one another.

My understanding of "some time ever" means a complete solution to the problem: after the liberation of the seven [occupied Azerbaijani] districts and the establishment of Azerbaijan's political and state control over Nagornyy Karabakh. It is essential to know if there are forces with whom we can later start speak about life, construction and restoration. This was the kernel of the trip.

[Correspondent] Are there such forces?

[Abdulla] I think there are.

Armenian leader backs coexistence with Azerbaijanis

[Correspondent] Armenian President Robert Kocharyan once said from a high tribune that the peoples of Azerbaijan and Armenia cannot coexist in principle. What would your reaction be to that statement of the Armenian president after the visit?

[Abdulla] He spoke absolutely the opposite at the meeting with us that our peoples should finally coexist. After all, none of them will go to another planet or another part of the globe. We are doomed to coexistence by God and history. This is our mission and we have to be ready for it. By saying "we", I mean the Azerbaijani citizens of Armenian origin living in Nagornyy Karabakh and we saw that in principle they can be ready for it, and the citizens of Azerbaijan - the Azerbaijani population of Nagornyy Karabakh.

Therefore, by any means - naturally, it is important that this means is peaceful - we will liberate our lands.

So, what shall we do once Azerbaijan fully restores its authority there? How shall we communicate each other? Will the communication take place at all?

Will there be people understanding everything what will take place? After all we cannot tell the Armenians that you have to leave as we have restored our authority here. Can we say this?! Can any political leader ever say this?! Certainly, not. We have to return to the system which existed before the confrontation. Therefore, it is necessary to find out the degree of our readiness to talk with one another.

I do not even want to answer those sharp but at the same time irrational remarks on inadmissibility of such contacts and so on. What is to be done?

To avoid dialogue in order to make this problem exist further so that those "gentlmen" continue to get their grants?

Many ready for contacts with Armenians

[Correspondent] You said the Armenian side is ready for dialogue. Now I would like to learn your opinion about the readiness of the Azerbaijani public. At a news conference in Baku on the results of the visits to Karabakh and Armenia, you yourself witnessed that so far not all representatives of the Azerbaijani public view such contacts positively. Do you think the Azerbaijani society is ready for this?

[Abdulla] As a whole, it is ready. This is obvious for those people who call me, send telegrams and give their views in support of the mission. The vast majority is ready and supports this mission.

Naturally, there are those who disagree but disagreement should, in my view, be expressed within the limits of certain ethic norms. Regrettably, there are people who like to go beyond those limits without thinking that they might be asked: Who are the judges then? You have no right to judge others.

One should do better. I think that this communication, which we managed with the representatives of the Armenian intelligentsia, should be developed.

Maybe, others will go in future. Incidentally, there are already many people who express such a will.

You know so many people call me and tell me about their desire to visit Karabakh and propose that such a trip be arranged. They are residents of Susa, in general, representatives of Karabakh and refugees from Armenia, Baku residents, friends, acquaintances and even those who do not know me at all. To put it differently, there are many people who support us. However, unfortunately they are often inert and unresponsive. Those who are active and responsive are few. An Azerbaijani saying goes: that's his guilty conscience speaking. Regrettably, this happens sometimes.

I believe in wisdom of my people and both in wisdom of our earnest and genuine journalists and analysts. We were told there that we will have a bad time when going back home, they said that "your folk will attack you, blame you for all faults". I told them this would not happen as our people would understand everything and support us.

I think that we did it right and my belief in this is based on the support I am receiving.

Saturday, July 07, 2007


This contender for president of Artsakh will not win, thus he will use the next 10 days to speak in public to say what needs to really be done and at the same time knows it will not happen since he knows good and well that he will not be elected. Yes, pensions and minimum salary must go up, but we all know there is very little chance it will with the president that does win since to make this happen, those in control of our economic resources must be put on trial and I don't see this happening anytime soon. The plan being presented by professor Avanesyan really is big talk since he knows he will not have to make good on what he is saying. The only good from all this talk is maybe some people will start to think about working towards professor Avanesyan's goals.

2007-07-06 12:46:00

The election campaign of presidential contenders in Nagorno Karabakh goes on.

As ArmInfo's special correspondent in Stepanakert reports, the presidential contender, professor of the Artsakh State University Vanyan Avanesyan reminded the voters of the basic provisions of his election programme. "Establishment of justice, fight against the official abuse, corruption and bribery. The Law must work equally for all.

The complaints and applications of citizens should be considered quickly and responded. The guilty must be brought to trial", the candidate said. He said that the minimum pension should be raised from 10-15 thsd drams to 40-50 thsd drams, and the lowest salary - from 20,000 drams to 50-60 thsd drams started January 1. In case V. Avanesyan is elected the president, provision of the population with housing will be in the center of his attention.

To recall, the stage of the election campaign of the presidential contenders in NKR will last till July 17, the participants in which are Vanya Avanesyan, Armen Abgaryan, Masis Mailyan, Hrant Melkumyan and Baki Sahakyan. All the contenders, except the Karabakh communists' leader, have been nominated on the basis of civil initiative.


Naira Hayrumyan

06-07-2007 11:18:33

The situation regarding the Karabakh settlement is so serious that it must become an issue of public debates, especially in the pre-election period.

The settlement has undergone important changes over the past few months.

First, the issues discussed in the talks were revealed. The mediators propose that we return all the seven territories surrounding Karabakh, return the Azerbaijani refugees, deploy international force at the border to provide security, and hold a referendum among Karabakh Armenians and Azerbaijanis on the status of Karabakh after an indefinite period.

First Baku criticized this plan because they said it means losing Karabakh.

Azerbaijan rejected relations with Karabakhis for a long time, with both government officials and reporters. An anti-Armenian hysteria was raging there, and the Armenian government built its policy on this: co-existence is impossible since they are reluctant to even talk to us.

Suddenly, however, something changed. A group of Azerbaijani activists led by a notorious armenophobe Polad Byul-Byul oghli arrived in Karabakh. In addition, they did not arrive via Yerevan but crossed the Karabakh-Azerbaijani border, part of which was specially demined for this purpose. Statements by the public and political activists of Azerbaijan followed, including the minister of foreign affairs. Everyone who has access to the Internet knows what they are now talking. They say the visit to Karabakh was highly useful and the people of Karabakh are their citizens and they need to be friendly. At the same time, President Aliyev states that the liberation of Karabakh is close.

The visit of the Azerbaijani delegation to Karabakh was somehow unnoticed in Karabakh. Either everyone is preoccupied with the election or it was so unexpected that nobody knew how to react. Some people say they are Azerbaijans, they arrived, so what? They are not the first. It is true that they are not the first but it is a special visit, it indicates a change in the political stance of Baku. And it should be evaluated how favorable this new stance is for us.

It is obvious that the new tendencies in the settlement are not in our interests. They offer us to exchange real sovereignty with recognition of the indefinite status of Karabakh. What is Karabakh, the former Autonomous Region of Nagorno-Karabakh plus Shahumyan or NKR with its present borders?

It is a very important issue. If we mean the recognition of independence of the former NKAR, it is not in our interests. And it is not a matter of pseudo-patriotism or nation's honor. It is a matter of basic conditions for life. How do the people of Karabakh imagine life in the conditions they are offered?

We should not reassure ourselves that someone "over there" thinks for us. The people are "over there" are also humans, they can be good and they can be bad. And they surely do not know the people's thoughts. I am not fond of demonization of government and I do not think all the leaders are bad. But a leader must fulfill the will of the people who elected him. He is not a lord but organizer of public life. Therefore, it is necessary to ask both the government and the presidential candidates about their stance on the proposals for the settlement.

Settlement is not an end in itself. If the settlement is worse than our present state, we need no settlement. We do not want war and we understand that the status quo and blockade affect our life. But if the change of the status quo makes our life worse and threatens our physical security, we need to think in what direction the talks should be carried on.

It is not a shame to defend one's interests. On the contrary, it is how the things should be. Especially if our interests match the interests of the society. Therefore, we need to work out a distinct policy on settlement. All the other issues derive from it. Pensions, demography, building may become meaningless in case the talks are not favorable for us.

Friday, July 06, 2007

The National Security Service Petitions To Extend Arzoumanian’s Term of Detention
[July 2, 2007]

On June 27, the Investigative Board of the National Security Service (NSS) presented a motion to the Court of First Instance of the Kentron and Nork-Marash Municipalities to extend by two months the pre-trial detention of Alexander Arzoumanian, the former Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia who was arrested on May 7, 2007 on charges of money laundering. The courts will review the motion, which calls for detaining Arzoumanian till September 7, today, July 2, 2007.

On June 29, during the review proceedings, Hovik Arsenyan, a lawyer representing the former Foreign Minister, repeated his statement that, “the ongoing criminal case against Alexander Arzoumanian is baseless and illegal.”

Arsenyan asserts that in the proceedings regarding case 58205607 initiated by the NSS Investigative Board under which Arzoumanian is charged with money laundering, no corpus delicti has ever been presented.

According to Arsenyan, the defense has been forced to petition the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Armenia, since the body responsible for investigating the case has either failed to do so, or concealed its findings. And concurrent with Paragraph 18 of the Armenian Criminal Code, regarding the presumption of innocence, it is not the defense that must prove the innocence of the individual charged.

“ I have petitioned the Chief Prosecutor of the Republic of Armenia not only to remove this case from the criminal court docket but especially to investigate the basis on which this case was instituted in the first place. Why was Alexander Arzoumanian charged and why was it considered expedient or necessary to have him so detained and thus impede his freedom of movement?” Arsenyan asked. “If, for arguments sake, we accept that the funds were sent, as the NSS claims, by Russian citizen Levon Markos, a businessman under investigation in Armenia, the first step to take would have been to certify whether these funds were ‘suspicious' in nature. If that indeed was the case, then the financial transgression occurred in the jurisdiction of Russia and not Armenia. Given this, there hasn't been any violation of any branch of Armenian law by Arzoumanian. Furthermore, according to the law, a receiver of funds would have to know beforehand of their ‘suspicious' nature and it would be that person's responsibility to declare them as such. In this criminal case these two elements of the corpus delicti are absent.”

Attached to the petition presented by the defense to the Chief Prosecutor is a letter of recommendation on behalf of the Heritage Party in the National Assembly requesting that means other than jail detention be substituted in Arzoumanian's pre-trial period.

Lawyer Hovhannes Arsenyan notes that today, according to the Criminal Code, a person arrested on any sort of charge, can forego pre-trial detention by paying a security pledge. During the pre-trial proceedings Arsenyan presented a letter signed by 19 Parliament members petitioning the substitution of Arzoumanian's jail detention by other means. (A partial list of signatories: Khachadur Soukiasyan, Viktor Dallakyan and Grigori Margaryan (all independents); Raffi Hovannisyan, Larisa Alaverdyan, Anahit Bakhshyan (Heritage Party); Artur Baghdasaryan, Mher Shahgeldyan, Heghineh Bisharyan, Hovhannes Margaryan (Rule of Law); Murad Guloyan (Prosperous Armenia); Alvard Petrosyan (ARF). This petition will be brought to the attention of the Kentron and Nork-Marash Courts of First Instance.

But, Arsenyan said, “I'm certain that the courts will not take the Parliament Members' petition into consideration since the courts are not independent and do not defend the rule of law.”

In an open letter addressed to the Armenian authorities, Sashik Aghazaryan, a citizen of Russia and friend of Arzoumanian, declared that the money transferred to Arzoumanian was absolutely “clean”. Soon after, Arzoumanian's defense team petitioned and won the right to question Aghazaryan regarding the source and transfer of these funds.

Arsenyan mentions that, “The NSS Investigative Board has circulated a memorandum stating that investigators have been sent to Russia to uncover the source of the funds, the purpose of the transfer, and other related matters. This goes to show how fabricated the charges really are and that the whole affair is founded solely on assumptions. Had the NSS obtained the evidence necessary to prove Levon Markos sent the funds, then they wouldn't have sent their investigators out nor would they have accepted our petitions. This further attests to the veracity of our claims.”

When again asked if he wanted to offer testimony in court regarding the charges brought against him, Arzoumanian responded that he had heard of Sashik Agazaryan's statement regarding the funds through the media and that his defense team had petitioned the court to have Aghazaryan brought in for questioning. Arzoumanian concluded by saying that if the NSS interrogated Aghazaryan the groundless nature of the case would be revealed.

On July 19, Melissa Brown, Arzoumanian's wife, was granted a private meeting with Armenia's Prime Minister Serzh Sargsyan. Brown noted that she attended the meeting without any prior expectations. “ I didn't go to ask for anything. I merely handed over the open letter that people had signed. I had two questions: what was the Prime Minister's explanation for the case and what was his advice? I accepted neither. His advice to me was not to have any contact with journalists, members of parliament or political parties. Why, I cannot say...”

The day after this meeting, June 20, the NSS prohibited Arzoumanian from seeing anyone but his lawyer. Arsenyan says that the law allows such visits once every 15 days but that the examining court doesn't feel obliged to reverse this decision.

While Melissa Brown received the news prohibiting visits with her husband with surprise and anguish, she remains hopeful that this situation won't last long. “Nelson Mandela spent 27 years behind bars and his wife only saw him three times. If they were able to endure, so shall we.”

Neither Hovik Arsenyan nor Melissa Brown has any hopes that the court will reject the petition of the National Security Service.

P.S. Today, the Courts of the First Instance of the Kentron and Nork-Marash municipalites sustained the motion of the Natioanl Security Service to extend the detention of Alexander Arzoumanian until September 7th.

Vahe Sarukhanyan

Help Me Find My Father
[July 2, 2007]

“My greatest dream is to find my parents and live in one family, “ said 21-year-old Karine. But she is a bit confused, and doesn't know how to go about finding her parents, because she lived for 11 years in the Zatik Orphanage, and knows very little about them. She says she says that she started thinking about it recently. That confuses her, too, and as if to justify not thinking about it in the past, she says that the carefree years spent at Zatik made her forget her loneliness and suffering.

Anna Mnatsakanyan of the Armenian Benevolent Union has worked for years with children from orphanages and notes that all children, regardless of why and how they ended up in the orphanage, want to find their mothers, defend them from rumors, and protect their dreams of seeing them again. “No charity, care or nurturing is more important to them than being with their mother. They defend and justify their mothers, without even knowing anything about them. They love them to the point of worship, and they wait for them.”

“Usually, at my age young girls and boys want to live on their own, without their parents, but I want so much to live with my parents, maybe I'll succeed in finding them and rejoin them, “ Karine said. When she talks about her dream, she starts to smile. And then it makes no sense to ask if it's really possible to find them, to try to get them back together, because her dream finding her mother and father starts to infect you as well.

Karine's mother lives in Lachin now. Karine has no information about her father; she hasn't even seen a picture of him. She only knows the name—Samvel Abeli Zakharyan. “Several months ago my father called the Lachin police and asked about my mother, hairdresser Anahit Harutyunyan. That's how she is known in Lachin. But he was unable to speak with my mother. I know he asked about us, said that wanted to see us, but he is ashamed. We haven't heard from him for many years. I don't know where he called from. I don't know where to get details about the phone call, either, so I can find out where he is. I am ready to go to him myself, just so I know, just help me find my father, “ said Karine.

The Zakharyan family split up in the1990s. Karine remembers little from her past. “Before Zatik, we didn't live well. It seems we didn't own a place to live; I lived in my mother's friend's house. I remember that we were forced to leave our house, but was it ours? We lived in Charbakh. My little brother and sister were taken to Zatik, and then I was, too, “ Karine recounted. For seven months now, Karine has been living in Tziatzan House, which is intended for grown-up girls, but she visits her brother and sister every day. Tziatzan and Zatik are not far from each other.

“My sister and brother were always closer to each other because they were sent to Zatik together. When I came, they didn't know me. I was asked in Zatik whether I wanted to meet my sister and brother. But I already knew which of the children playing in the yard was my sister; I sensed it right away. Then, when we met, it was hard for my brother to accept me, but I managed to win his heart. Now we have very a good relationship and are very close, but I haven't yet told them that I want to find my mother and father, “ Karine said.

Soon Karine will be given an apartment as a part of the State Support to Orphanage Graduates Program. “I will miss Zatik a lot, the years spent year were unbelievably trouble free, I can't believe now that eleven years passed so quickly. Maybe in other orphanages the situation is different, since when people hear that I'm from Zatik they pity me, but now when I think about it I was more carefree then many children from many difficult families. But of course I regret that because I was so carefree, I didn't worry much about studying other languages, or adjusting to an independent lifestyle.

In the orphanage conflicts arise just like in families where there are many children and one TV set. “There are conflicts, but we don't get angry at each other. That's how we were brought up. We would go to school together. In the nearby school I went to, 80 of the 200 students were from Zatik. Can you imagine, every morning 80 of us with the same clothes, girls in red socks and boys in blue suits, would go to school. I remember that everyone would wear the same clothes and shoes. Instead of calling the parents they would call the warden. One of the wardens at Zatik became Karine's godmother. “Many said that I wouldn't get accepted to university, but she said that I could, and I did.” Now Karine is a freshman in the Pedagogy and Psychology Department at he Khachatur Abovyan' Pedagogical University.

Karine lives in Tziatzan along with ten other young women. Every month she receives 15,000 drams from a charity organization. She also sews cards which sell for 500-1000 drams. “Many people think that life is cruel in an orphanage, but it wasn't like that, at least at Zatik. I don't know how it is in other places, but I'm very happy that during the hard times for my parents I came here, where they helped me a lot. But now I am an adult, and I want to see my mother, but I don't know how to go about it, how to meet them...”

Lena Nazaryan

06-07-2007 15:30:23

Aram Manukyan, member of the All-Armenian Movement, thinks in the political sphere of Armenia the ARF Dashnaktsutyun and Tigran Karapetyan are doing the same thing and explained his words with an example on the ARF Dashnaktsutyun. "Always at the feeding trough of the government, they say they are opposition to win over opposition's votes. They get ministerial posts, head certain sectors, but they say they are not responsible for the activities of the government."

Aram Manukyan reminds about the days when they were government. Prime Minister Khosrov Harutiunyan was dismissed because he did not endorse the government program. "How does the ARF disagree with Serge Sargsyan when Serge Sargsyan fulfills the strategy and the tactics of the government?"

Aram Manukyan thinks thereby the ARF Dashnaktsutyun deals with 30 percent of the state budget of Armenia. Aram Manukyan reminded that when the All-Armenian Movement was government, the members of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun were sentenced for illegal drug business, some of them are still in prison, the charges against the released were not changed. And if there is another problem, "now they have both the hammer and the nail. Let them take these people out of prison."