Edgar Arakelyan Case Sent To Appeal Court

EDGAR ARAKELYAN CASE SENT TO APPEAL COURT

A1 Plus | 22:00:27 | 08-06-2004 | Politics |

The lawyer of Edgar Arakelyan, who was sentenced to a year and six
months for hitting a policeman with an empty plastic bottle, filed
a motion to the Court of Appeal on Tuesday.

He is asking to reconsider the case and, taking into account his
client’s repentance, to replace the punishment with a not so severe
one: to fine him or give him a suspended sentence.

Congressional Record: June 7, 2004 (Extensions)]

[Congressional Record: June 7, 2004 (Extensions)]
[
SENATE COMMITTEE MEETINGS
MEETINGS SCHEDULED

JUNE 16
2 p.m.
Foreign Relations

To hold hearings to examine the nominations of Charles P.
Ries, of the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador to
Greece, Tom C. Korologos, of the District of Columbia,
to be Ambassador to Belgium, and John Marshall Evans, of
the District of Columbia, to be Ambassador to the Republic
of Armenia.

Azerbaijan not to cede land to Nagorno-Karabakh – president

Azerbaijan not to cede land to Nagorno-Karabakh – president

08.06.2004, 15.20

YEVLAKH (Azerbaijan), June 8 (Itar-Tass) – Azerbaijan will not cede
a sod of its land, President Ilham Aliyev said, addressing a meeting
in the city of Yevlakh devoted to the opening a street and a square
named after his father Geidar Aliyev on Tuesday.

He stressed that Azerbaijan would seek to solve the Nagorno-Karabakh
conflict peacefully.

“But if this fails, we will free the occupied territories by any
means. We must be ready for such situation,” Aliyev said, referring
to chunks of land that remained in Azerbaijan’s breakaway Armenian
enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh after a six-year war.

Aliyev said he was optimistic about the future of his country that
has an important place in the region.

He stressed that the focus of the Azerbaijani leadership’s policy
was on “economic and social development, attention to people and care
for them”.

Aliyev said authorities must develop their regions, create new jobs,
favourable conditions for businesses, and attend to youth problems
and needs of people.

During his stay in Yevlakh, a city of 125,000 people, Aliyev inspected
the progress of the construction of a Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline
and visited several social facilities.

He is expected to visit on Tuesday a nearby city of Mingechaur,
one of industrial centres of Azerbaijan

Armed incident happens on Azerbaijani-Armenian border

Armed incident happens on Azerbaijani-Armenian border

Itar Tass
08.06.2004, 19.32

BAKU, June 8 (Itar-Tass) — One serviceman was killed and another was
wounded in Armenian shooting at Azerbaijani positions in the Fizuli
district of Southwest Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani Defense Ministry
reported on Tuesday.

The ministry said that Azerbaijani positions came under large-caliber
machinegun fire in the Kazakh district in the country’s west as
well. The shooting stopped only after Azerbaijani servicemen opened
fire, the ministry said.

The ministry bluntly denied Armenian claims of alleged movement of
Azerbaijani units in the conflict zone.

Meanwhile, press secretary of the Armenian defense minister Col. Seiran
Shakhsuvaryan told Itar-Tass that Azerbaijani units tried to take
more advantageous positions on the border near Berkaber village of
Armenia’s Tavush district in the small hours of Monday.

He said Armenian units tried to stop Azerbaijani soldiers from
moving towards a local pump station and the soldiers opened fire at
the village. “Armenian units had to suppress the Azerbaijani fire,”
he said. Shakhsuvaryan said that none of the Armenian servicemen was
killed or wounded.

Northern Iraq – calm like a bomb

The Asia Times
June 9, 2004

Middle East

SPEAKING FREELY
Northern Iraq – calm like a bomb
By W Joseph Stroupe

Speaking Freely is an Asia Times Online feature that allows guest
writers to have their say. Please click here if you are interested
in contributing.

As negotiations at the United Nations on a new resolution for Iraq
apparently near a close, developments with respect to the Kurds and
north Iraq, where there has been relative calm until now, are looking
more and more ominous. Recently, the People’s Congress of Kurdistan
(the former Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK), announced an abrupt
end to its five-year ceasefire with Turkish forces, warning that it
would soon resort to violent means to achieve its ends.

Within a few days of the announcement, Kurdish forces in
southern Turkey did attack Turkish forces, prompting a violent
response. Additionally, according to a recent Radio Free Europe/Radio
Liberty report, “Kamis Djabrailov, chairman of the International
Union of Kurdish Public Organizations that represents the Kurdish
minorities in Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and other CIS [Commonwealth
of Independent States], told Interfax on 31 May that his organization
approves the announcement three days earlier by the People’s Congress
of Kurdistan that it will end on 1 June its five-year ceasefire in
hostilities with the Turkish armed forces.”

Hence, the regional political, diplomatic and even military
mobilization of Kurdish forces, in an attempt to secure its own
interests as the June 30 date for the handover of sovereignty to
Iraq nears, appears to be under way. In verification of that fact,
on June 7, Masoud Barzani of the Kurdistan Democratic Party and Jalal
Talabani of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan threatened to pull out of
the interim government unless the new United Nations Security Council
resolution guarantees Kurdish autonomy and a veto over the direction of
the interim government as promised in the draft interim constitution,
which was very reluctantly signed by the Shi’ite representatives,
but which is something the Shi’ite majority refuses to accept under
any circumstances.

The Kurdish representatives also expressed their bitter disappointment
over the fact that no Kurd was chosen to fill the positions of
either prime minister or president. Hence, in the Kurdish view,
their interests are being severely slighted as the June 30 date
nears. Whether a political and diplomatic compromise can be reached
that satisfies all the parties is not at all assured. The Sunnis and
Shi’ites appear to be mostly content with the look of the new interim
council and with Iraq’s direction, but the Kurds are certainly not
content. They have been marginalized before, by the United States
itself, and intend to take care of their own interests, by violence
if need be. This is indeed ominous.

The pointed Kurdish demands threaten to disrupt the relative
contentment with the transition process, which now exists among the
Sunni and Shi’ite populations, among Iraq’s neighbors and within
the international community at large. In actuality, there is little
sympathy for the cause of the Kurds in Iraq and the surrounding region.

That is especially so in Turkey, Syria and Iran, where Kurdish
groups are viewed as nothing more than destabilizing terrorists,
threatening the national security of the three nations, which have
recently deepened their cooperation in the effort to subdue such
groups. And in Armenia and Azerbaijan, the last thing that is wanted
is for such Kurdish groups to push the region toward violence and
instability in the pursuit of Kurdish autonomy.

An independent Kurdistan is, therefore, anathema to all but the Kurds
themselves. It is the United States which has greatly exacerbated the
current situation by raising Kurdish hopes for an independent Kurdistan
in northern Iraq. Months ago, in the atmosphere of violent insurgency
in Iraq and the approaching handover of sovereignty, the US-drafted
interim constitution significantly raised such Kurdish hopes, giving
them a veto over the direction of any Iraqi interim government,
as well as over the final Iraqi government to be seated in 2005.

Fearful of the influence of Shi’ite religious fundamentalism as the
transition to sovereignty progressed, the administration of President
George W Bush evidently saw the Kurds as an entity it could use to
keep such Shi’ite influence in check, to limit its power in any new
Iraqi regime, so as to prevent the formation of an Iranian-style
theocracy in Iraq. However, as matters are turning out, the most
powerful positions being filled in the interim government are occupied
by mostly secular Sunnis and Shi’ites.

So, the United States now has little use for the Kurds, who see clearly
that once again they are being abandoned by the US. All the parties see
the Kurds, therefore, as possible spoilers of the solution currently
being put together under UN auspices. Hence, little sympathy exists
for them. Realizing this fact, the Kurds are already resorting to
threats and violence in an effort to get a satisfactory hearing. By
its short-sighted, ad hoc approach to Iraq’s complicated situation,
first using the Kurds and then casting them aside, the United States
may have sealed both its own and Iraq’s fate.

There appears little hope that the Kurdish demands can be sufficiently
taken into consideration without at the same time losing the already
cautious and tentative support of the Sunnis and Shi’ites. And
there also appears little hope that the Kurds will suddenly satisfy
themselves with what the other two factions are comfortable in giving
them. Hence, whether the Kurds might temporarily tone down their
demands for the time being, or whether they more likely will ratchet
up their demands as the UN negotiations proceed and the June 30 date
nears, one thing that appears certain is that they will hold a major
key to how events proceed in Iraq.

The United States has let loose a Kurdish “monster”, not only on
Iraq itself, but also on the region at large, a “monster” which
cannot easily be put back into the box. If a diplomatic solution
cannot be crafted that satisfies all of Iraq’s three factions, and
it is doubtful that one can, then a great deal of military muscle
will be needed in the entire region to keep the disenfranchised Kurds
“in check”. And that muscle will have to come increasingly into play
in northern Iraq, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

In the end, the handover of sovereignty on June 30 may not change
anything, except that it may well accelerate Iraq’s descent into
sectarian violence, with Turkey and Syria cooperating militarily
to secure their interests in northern Iraq by taking control of
that region, and the southern regions of Iraq moving significantly
closer into cooperation with Iran, with the US military caught in
the middle. The relative calmness of northern Iraq is very likely
to be much like the calmness of a large bomb – its calmness very
deceptively masks the huge explosion which is likely imminent.

Pyunic Sponsors Educational Seminar For Families With Disabled Membe

PRESS RELEASE

Pyunic – Armenian Association for the Disabled
6606 Cantaloupe Avenue
Van Nuys, CA 91405

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 4, 2004
Contact: Sarkis Ghazarian
818-785-3468

PYUNIC SPONSORS EDUCATIONAL SEMINAR FOR FAMILIES WITH DISABLED MEMBERS
IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

GLENDALE, CA (June 4) – The Los Angeles chapter of Pyunic, the
Armenian Association for the Disabled, will sponsor an educational
seminar for Armenian families with disabled members on Saturday,
June 19 at Glendale Community College from 10 am – 1 pm.

The educational seminar will provide information about the programs and
services that are available to individuals with disabilities in the
Southern California region. Representatives from public and private
agencies will provide information about their particular programs,
services and eligibility requirements.

Agencies participating in the seminar include: the Lanterman Regional
Center, Department of Rehabilitation, Pasadena Unified School District,
Glendale Community College, LA Regional Protection and Advocacy,
Exceptional Children’s Foundation, Modern Support Services and others.

Founded in 1989 to help the disabled children of the devastating
1988 earthquake in the Republic of Armenia, Pyunic has become the
leading non-governmental organization assisting individuals with
physical and psychological challenges, as well as promoting welfare
and assisting in shaping public awareness for the disabled. Pyunic
provides humanitarian aid, social services, career training and annual
summer and winter teaching camps for children with disabilities.

With the growing Armenian-American community, Pyunic has become aware
of the increasing numbers of individuals with disabilities in the
region. “We organized this seminar to inform the community about the
large numbers of public and private agencies that provide programs
and services to individuals with disabilities,” said Sarkis Ghazarian,
President of Pyunic.

Ghazarian stated, “Pyunic’s efforts in Armenia include the creation of
various public and provide agencies to provide programs and services to
the disabled community. Here in the USA, these programs have been in
existence for decades and we need to make sure our community members
are aware of them and are able to utilize them to help them become
productive members of the southern California society.”

The educational seminar will take place at the Glendale Community
College’s Student Center. Free parking will be available off the
Mountain Street entrance near the tennis courts. The Student Center
and parking areas are accessible to the handicapped. Admission is free.

For further information, please call Pyunic at 818-785-3468.

Pyunic, the Armenian Association for the Disabled, is a 501(c)(3)
non-profit organization dedicated to assisting, supporting and shaping
public awareness for the disabled in the Republic of Armenia.

###

China, India find higher profile at biotech expo

China, India find higher profile at biotech expo
By Leonard Anderson

Reuters
06/08/04 19:51 ET

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – The fledgling biotechnology industry is
already reinventing itself — as an economic booster in emerging
countries.

To this end research scientist Kiran Sharma expects India will develop
an edible vaccine against cholera within five years.

And Weiping Yang is working on “biochip” technology at a new company in
China to wed molecules with computers in systems to detect infectious
viruses like SARS.

India and China are among 59 foreign countries and 16,000 scientists,
executives and government officials crowding into three big meeting
halls for the BIO 2004 Annual International Convention in San
Francisco. The forum, which first began in 1993, ends Wednesday.

“We always had strong international representation from Canada, Great
Britain, France and Germany, but nothing like we have now,” said Dan
Eramian, a spokesman for the Biotechnology Industry Association,
which organizes the conference. The number of countries attending
has doubled since 1999.

“More countries now see building biotech industries as a way to
strengthen their economies.” Eramian added.

The global biotechnology industry posted about $47 billion in revenues
last year, according to a study by the Ernst & Young accounting firm.

“We have two goals here,” said B.P. Acharya, secretary of Industries
and Commerce in the Andhra Pradesh government in India: “Showcase what
is happening in biotechnology in India to change the view that the
industry is all U.S. and Europe. And take advantage of the networking
opportunities for new business.”

Acharya, who is promoting “Genome Valley” in southeast India as the
nation’s biotech hub, attended the 2001 convention in San Diego
alone. At this week’s conference, however, he has 30 colleagues
to help him scout for new business and take part in scientific
presentations. India’s total delegation numbers 89.

VACCINE IN A PEANUT

Indian scientists with the International Crops Research Institute
are linking life sciences and agriculture to develop edible vaccines
against polio, cholera and other diseases that could be delivered in
peanuts or other plants at greatly reduced costs, said Sharma.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta has expressed interest in
the work, said Acharya.

Yang said four biotech companies from China attended the San Francisco
meeting and “visa problems” prevented four more from showing up. This
was the first year that China had its own “pavilion” on the convention
floor to present technologies.

Beijing-based three-year-old Capital Biochip Corp., part of China’s
National Engineering Research Center, is developing a range of medical
detection systems founded on biochips — electronic devices that use
organic molecules and form a semiconductor.

The technology can examine tens of thousands of genes in a scanning
system in 10 minutes versus years in conventional detection systems,
Yang said.

“We have developed some interesting leads from companies in the
U.S. and Europe who are interested in our overall technology,” he said.

This year’s conference also signed up 11 new member nations — Algeria,
Armenia, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Peru, Romania, Slovenia,
Uganda, Ukraine and Yemen.

Wales also had nine biotech companies and research organizations
represented at its pavilion.

Bioscience in Wales is developing healthcare diagnostic systems,
clinical trials for cancer drugs and chronic wound treatments,
medical devices and instruments, and doing research in grassland-based
livestock agriculture, said Bob Wallis, research manager for the
Welsh Development Agency.

Closer to home, 28 U.S. states set up pavilions to vie for business
leads, contracts and jobs.

A study issued on Tuesday by the Los Angeles-based Milken Institute
think tank said San Diego is the top U.S. city for biotech business,
with Boston second and the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill triangle third.

Armenia undecided on closure of nuclear plant – minister

Armenia undecided on closure of nuclear plant – minister

Mediamax news agency
8 Jun 04

Yerevan, 8 June: Armenia will not name the precise date for the
closure of the Armenian Nuclear Power Station until all technical
and financial issues are clarified, Armenian Minister of Trade and
Economic Development Karen Chshmarityan said in Yerevan today.

He said this issue was discussed during the fifth session of the
Armenia-EU cooperation committee in Brussels on 4 June. The minister
stressed that representatives of the European Union expressed their
readiness again to allocate 100m euros to Armenia if a decision is
made to close down the Nuclear Power Station.

Karen Chshmarityan stated that the closure of the Nuclear Power Station
is a complicated process linked to technical difficulties. The minister
pointed out that according to preliminary estimations, 1bn dollars will
be required for providing Armenia with alternative sources of energy.

Armenian official denies government to take drastic steps to easeten

Armenian official denies government to take drastic steps to ease tension

Aykakan Zhamanak, Yerevan
8 Jun 04

Text of Vaagn Ovakimyan’s report by Armenian newspaper Aykakan Zhamanak
on 8 June headlined “Only consistent political processes”

An interview with the head of the Armenian president’s administration,
Artashes Tumanyan.

Aykakan Zhamanak correspondent Mr Tumanyan, how do you assess today’s
domestic political situation in Armenia?

Artashes Tumanyan I do not want to analyse it deeply because time will
give the assessment. The situation in authorities-opposition relations
worries me most of all. But it is not the whole domestic political
situation. When speaking about the domestic political situation,
I do not understand only authorities-opposition relations. It is
a more complex layer: public mood is important, tendencies in the
public opinion. But these relations, which are at the surface, are
the matter of the biggest concern.

Correspondent About two weeks ago, Chairman of the National Assembly
Artur Bagdasaryan announced from the rostrum of the Council of Europe
that anti-democratic forces should go. Do you not worry that by means
of this kind of statement, he is trying to introduce himself to the
world as the next possible power?

Tumanyan I do not know. First, parliamentarians are freer to express
their views than representatives of the executive power. All of
us are aware of shortcomings, everybody can point at problems, but
parliamentarians feel themselves freer.

Now I do not want to give another deeper assessment. I can also say
that there is no fully-fledged democracy in Armenia. Democratic
processes are going through a transition period. Assessments may
differ. Of course, there are often manifestations of authoritarianism,
they can also be explained. It is no secret that Armenia is not a
fully-fledged democratic country.

Correspondent How realistic are the rumours that the parliament will
be dissolved and a new government will be formed by the autumn?

Tumanyan I am not aware of a decision made at the top power level which
may lead to dissolving the parliament or replacing the prime minister.

Correspondent Do you not think that if the parliament is dissolved,
the current domestic political tension could be relieved and society
could achieve the expected changes?

Tumanyan I cannot say if we need such drastic changes. Even if
the president of the republic and the ruling political forces
think that they should be radical in their constructive work and
non-personnel-related policy, and even if they are strong enough
to do so, they would not resort to such drastic steps. I do not
think that such radical measures will be planned or implemented this
year. As far as I know, the political leadership of the republic is
more inclined to pursue consistent political processes over the next
years. Efforts are being made in this direction. Time will show what
will really take place.

Armenian leader, entrepreneurs discuss business problems

Armenian leader, entrepreneurs discuss business problems

Mediamax news agency
8 Jun 04

Yerevan, 8 June: Armenian President Robert Kocharyan received about
30 representatives of small and medium-sized businesses in Yerevan
today, the presidential press service has told Mediamax.

Robert Kocharyan said at the meeting that in 2003, the share of
products manufactured by small and medium-sized businesses in
Armenia accounted for 38 per cent. According to the president,
“this is quite a serious indicator which testifies that small and
medium-sized businesses are gradually getting off the ground”.

At the same time, the head of state said that “there are still a lot
of problems and unresolved tasks that I am ready to discuss with you”.

During the meeting, the Armenian president and the businessmen
discussed issues of improving tax and customs legislation and problems
of ensuring equal competition.