Saturday, May 24, 2008


[03:19 pm] 23 May, 2008

Russian advocates voiced concern over the recent assault on a leading human rights defender, the chairman of the Armenian Helsinki Association Mikael Danielian.

"We are confident that the leadership of any country must secure conditions for normal and safe activities of human rights advocates, political activists and organisations. Authorities must guarantee their security from any sudden assault and threat," holds the statement signed by 32 Russian advocates. /See the Russian version/

Russian advocates urge the Armenian leadership to take drastic measures and launch an independent investigation to uncover the wrongdoer.

"As part of their investigation into yesterday's assault of a leading human rights defender, the Armenian authorities should investigate the extent to which the victim's human rights work was a motive for the attack," Human Rights Watch said today.

Reminder: as a result of a May 21 incident on Terian-Moskovioan streets the leader of the Armenian Progressive Party Tigran Urikhanian shot at the chairman of the Armenian Helsinki Association Mikael Danielian from a pneumatic gun.


[05:44 pm] 23 May, 2008

Professor of California, historian Richard Hovannissian is concerned over Armenia's political scene. He expressed his concern to A1+ saying that "he is first of all concerned as an ordinary human being."

"March 1 was a great tragedy. I cannot name those guilty or innocent. I think we are all guilty as we couldn't avert the occurrences. The Armenian Diaspora is shocked as blood was shed in the capital," he says.

As a solution to mutual antagonism Richard Hovannissian offers to forgive each other. "We must forgive each other. We must treat each other with endurance. Both policemen and people died. Sorrow and hatred will deepen even more if they don't free the jailed people."

Mr. Hovannissian is also concerned over ongoing migration from Armenia. Asked whether he might take his son's model and settle in Armenia, he said, "I am not so patriotic and patient as my Raffi is."

While summing up Armenia's background over the past 90 years Richard Hovannissian said, "The creation of this small country was unexpected as the whole revolution and the Armenian Cause were concentrated in Western Armenia. No matter where the representatives of our intelligentsia were they never thought of Western Armenia. They never thought that they might come together and Yerevan might become the country's capital. Sometimes history plays tricks on us.

The country once occupying 10 000 square kilometers expanded to the slopes of Ararat covering 50 000 square kilometers. We hoped to unite Western and Eastern Armenians but our dream didn't come true.

Mr. Hovannissian is surprised at the fact that Yerevan shops are open on April 24, the day of the Great Armenian Genocide. He thinks that people are absorbed in everyday problems and thoughts even on that day.

"People are not given equal footing in Armenia. While walking in the streets one has the impression that nobody cares for the vulnerable. The authorities should constantly take care of them. Though I am in Armenia for a short period I am seriously concerned about the country's state."

Hovannissian says he had more respect towards the authorities of the first Republic than the acting ones. "The authorities of 1918 came to suffer with their people. No official or prime minister abused his powers or pursued personal interests. Neither did they enrich their relatives and acquaintances. They suffered with their people. For instance, Aram Manukian died of typhus."

Friday, May 23, 2008


Noyan Tapan
May 23, 2008

YEREVAN, MAY 23, NOYAN TAPAN. The Armenian police made a decision to start the process of deporting Lebanese citizen, coordinator of the civil initiative "In defence of Liberated Territories" Zhirayr Sefilian from Armenia. The police filed a suit to the Administrative Court with the request to take a decision on deportation of Z. Sefilian, NT correspondent was informed by Sefilian's lawyer Vahe Grigorian. According to him, the process is illegal because Z. Sefilian has under-age children in his care, and the ban is stipulated in Article 32 of the RA Law on Foreigners.

To recap, Zhirayr Sefilian was found guilty of carrying illegal arms. His imprisonment term ends on June 9.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New buildings to be erected at demolished Christian cemetery in Baku

17.05.2008 13:41 GMT+04:00

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Complete demolition of the cemetery in the Narimanov district in Baku made no sense, a human rights activist said.

-The cemetery was demolished to use the territory as a ground for new buildings,- said Taisia Gordeyeva, the deputy chair of the committee of soldiers' mothers.

-They tried to justify the barbarism by construction of roads but, as a matter of fact, roads will take a minor part of the graveyard. Everything prompts that the territory is meant for construction of new buildings. But it will be a construction on human bones, for the remnants were not reburied properly,she said, adding that a park should be laid out at the site, reports.

In September 2007, Baku authorities decided to build a motorway through the Narimanov cemetery, where Armenians, Russians and Ukrainians were buried.

Valerie Gortzounian - “I am sad in Armenia”
[May 19, 2008]

Today I am sad. Thirteen years ago I decided to leave France, my third homeland, and relocate to Armenia, with the intention to invest in the fatherland, which I did by creating the Le Cafe de Paris. I invested my time, energy, health and resources, so that our little Parisian cafe could illuminate Abovyan Street.

Over time the Cafe has become a favorite place to do business, meet friends and just relax. However my little dream has turned into an unending nightmare. Not wishing to delve into my personal problems, I’d just like to simple note that due to my faith, perhaps misplaced, in my fellow man I gave a loan to a person. This person claimed that he couldn’t repay the loan while actually he just refused to do so. When I took this person into my business, out of a sense of charity, I realized that he was periodically stealing from me along with other employees he had won the loyalty of. These employees, like their patron, had become corrupted, one more than the other. I could say that this is a fairly commonplace occurrence that can happen anywhere. But everywhere else there is a system of justice that serves as strong defender of one’s rights and interests. The justice system is there to grab the hand of the thief...This is the reality everywhere except in my beloved Armenia where the practice of justice is corrupt to the very core, where compromises are made with the guilty party, where the weak are preyed upon for all they have, the spoils to be split with the powerful, and where money is valued more than the truth. This is the reason for my grief. I am sad that our beloved Armenia, so dear to our hearts, has ceased to function normally. I am sad because in the event that things continue in this way I will be forced to close the Cafe and return to France.

Valerie Gortzounian

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Hurant Dadayan 1931-2008

Yesterday morning after a week of being uncomfortable, Rosa Myrig's husband Hrant passed away from a heart condition.

For those of you who don't know, Hurant and Rosa Dadayan had lost their 3 son's during the war we had with Azerbaijan.

The Dadayan family had returned to Martuni from Baku when the Azeri's started their killings of Armenians.

You can read a little bit of their history and my visits to their house here, here and here.

Hurant was a kind of my father figure to me in Martuni and has shared with me some very solid and sound advice over the years.

Rosa Myrig asked me if I really believed that he was gone? I of course could not and still can't believe he is no longer among the living. I was really expecting him to outlive Rosa Myrig, who was in much worse shape that Hurant.

I'm not sure now what will happen to Rosa Myrig. She was so in love with Hurant and though she is holding herself together well, dealing with what needs to be done to bury Hurant tomorrow, I know she is not well at all.

One thing she told me is that she is really now all alone. Her sons were taken from her and now her husband. She said she feels very empty and alone.

May Hurant rest in peace. We love you Hurant and I can say will never forget you and all you have done for the people who have stood by.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Leader of ANC, Levon Ter-Pertosian speaks at first congress

Yesterday in Yerevan the Armenian National Congress (ANC) had their first meeting to discuss the situation in Armenia.

It seems that ANC is the newest movement initiated by LTP to continue what he started after the flawed elections in Armenia.

I personally am not sure what Levon is up to or if he is being backed by outside powers. I can say that anyone who made claims that they received 65% of the votes, accuses the present government of being murderers and whatever other allegations he has made until now, but is not presenting evidence to back his claims, can not be taken seriously.

It looks as if things have not really settled down since the fraudulent elections and the killing of March 1st. The noticeable unrest is going longer than I was expecting and who knows, maybe this time around the truth really will come out and those who need to be put in their place will finally get what they have coming.