Newsletter from Mediadialogue.org, date: 12-04-2004 to 20-04-2004

[15-04-2004 ‘Azerbaijan-Turkey’]
————————————————- ———————
TURKEY, AZERBAIJAN EMBRACE NEW FRIENDSHIP
Source : `Turkish Daily News’ newspaper (Turkey)
Author:

Turkey declares support for Azeri proposal to resolve disputes with
neighboring Armenia through a ‘phased’ process and reaffirm its
commitment to maintain strong ties with old ally Azerbaijan

Turkish officials have expressed support for an Azeri proposal for a
“phased solution process” to resolve a long-standing territorial
dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia and told the Azeri leadership
that it was ready to help the process.

Talks on the proposal came during an ongoing visit by Azerbaijan’s
President Ilham Aliyev to Ankara.

Officials said on Wednesday that the proposal was not a new issue but
Aliyev’s visit provided the opportunity to provide a “concrete
framework” for the idea.

Aliyev met with Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul and addressed the
Turkish Parliament on Wednesday, on the second day of his visit, the
first since he became president of the country last year. He held
talks with President Ahmet Necdet Sezer on Tuesday and the two
countries issued a joint declaration, which officials said set the
parameters of Turkish-Azeri relations in the new era.

For more than a decade, Azerbaijan’s Nagorno-Karabakh region has been
under Armenian invasion and international efforts to resolve the
dispute have failed to bring a solution. Turkey has severed its
diplomatic ties with Yerevan and closed its border gate with the
country in protest of its occupation in Nagorno-Karabakh and Yerevan’s
support for Armenian diaspora attempts to get international
recognition of alleged Armenian genocide at the hands of the late
Ottoman Empire.

According to Azerbaijan’s proposal on the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute
that was discussed during Aliyev’s talks in Ankara, negotiations
between Armenia and Azerbaijan could start after Armenia withdraws its
forces from most of the occupied region. The withdrawal will follow
Azerbaijan’s opening its border gate with Armenia and restoration of
economic relations.

In parallel to these steps, Turkey would also open its border gate
with Armenia, according to conclusions from Aliyev’s talks.

“We will display all efforts for a peaceful solution of the Nagorno
Karabakh dispute within the framework of a gradual approach,”
President Ahmet Necdet Sezer said on Tuesday after his meeting with
Aliyev.

The United States and the European Union have been pressuring Turkey
to lift its trade blockade of Armenia and open its borders to the
country.

As well as international pressure, Ankara has faced lobbying from
Turkish business interests keen to trade freely with Armenia.

About 35,000 people died in six years of fighting over Karabakh which
ended in a 1994 ceasefire. A decade of diplomatic efforts by the
United States, France and Russia to end the deadlock has failed.

BTC Project on the agenda

The issue of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline was also on the agenda
of the visit. Sezer said, “Our joint projects closely followed by the
whole world will further our bilateral ties and contribute to peace
and stability of our region. This project which was once a dream is
now coming true.”

Turkey and Azerbaijan will be linked in the near future by the oil
pipeline pumping crude from the Caspian Sea to the Turkish
Mediterranean port of Ceyhan.

The 1,760-kilometer Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, built by an international
consortium and strongly backed by the United States, is worth around
$3 billion.

“More than half of the oil pipeline has now been completed,” Aliyev
said, adding work was also progressing well on a natural gas pipeline
from the Caspian to Turkey and Greece. During Aliyev’s visit, the two
countries also signed five agreements concerning mainly cultural and
economic partnerships.

Aliyev also noted that his country would support Turkey’s candidacy at
elections for secretary-general of the Organization of Islamic
Conference (OIC). The elections will be held in this year’s June
summit of the OIC.

[14-04-2004 ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan’]
———————————————————————-
CHANGE OF POWER IN ARMENIA
Source : `Echo’ newspaper (Azerbaijan)
Author: R. Orujev

Political experts are at a äiscord îver its possible impact on the
process of Karabagh settlement

The political situation in Armenia remains tense. The outcome of the
events developing in Yerevan may be dual. The confrontation may result
in both power change in the neighboring country and victory of current
authorities, which after full suppression of resistance will
inevitably tackle (it seems to have done that already) repressions of
the oppositionists. It is also interesting which outcome may be
beneficial to Azerbaijan as regards prospects of settling Mountainous
Karabagh conflict.

According to political scientist Rasim Musabekov, the events underway
cannot be viewed only in the context of Karabagh conflict. “The impact
on the general democratic progress of the Caucasus is also to be
reckoned with. Namely, if power change in Armenia makes the society
more pluralistic, democratic and complying with human rights
standards, this process may certainly become positive”.

As for the impact of these phenomena on Karabagh settlement, “here
there are two aspects. If the situation in Armenia leads to chaos or
acute resistance in the country, Azerbaijan will get an opportunity
for forcefully liberating its territories. Similarly to Armenians’
taking advantage of civil resistance situation in Azerbaijan, induced
by the actions of Suret Huseynov, for taking control of the
territories around Mountainous Karabagh”. But most likely it will not
go that far, Musabekov states.

“But there is another possibility concerning the fact that Armenians
actively used all the means for reaching the most preferable
settlement option or to preserve the status quo for the past 10
years. Moreover, toppling the government for conserving the present
situation might also be used as a means. In this respect Kocharian’s
position is not more constructive or open for compromise in reaching
peaceful settlement on the level of international law. Any change
would lead to the fact that new people usually have high
demands. Settling down, exposure to external pressure will take
time. And I think no progress on peaceful settlement may be
expected. Such a change in Armenia may impede the settlement process
which is already at a standstill”, Musabekov concluded.

A controversial opinion was voiced by ex state adviser Vafa Guluzade,
“It is crystal clear that Kocharian’s resignation is favorable for
Azerbaijan because no shifts were made in conflict settlement during
his rule. Although former President Ter-Petrosian was willing to
accept stage-by-stage option, our former `old brothers’ dismissed him
through Kocharian. Kocharian’s resignation will put an end to Moscow’s
rule in Armenia. Armenian’s will try to establish pro-Western regime
in the country. But how will they achieve it; the situation in the
country has long been under the control of Moscow. In principle, it is
possible that Russia will allow the forces, striving for power, to
displace Kocharian”.

The political expert notes, “In any case, no matter what force comes
to power in Armenia, it will not be ready for immediately rejecting
results of aggression because many Armenians are dazed by the fact
that it is they who defeated Azerbaijan. Although it is clear for all
reasonable people in Armenia that this occupation is planned and
implemented by Moscow. I will be careful in assessments but in my
opinion the accession of the new authorities may nevertheless signify
certain shifts in Karabagh conflict settlement. Moreover, precise
forecasts may be given only inside Armenia”, the ex state adviser on
foreign issues added.

[13-04-2004 ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan’]
———————————————————————-
BORDERLESS FRIENDSHIP OF BORDER BUSINESSMEN
Source : `Novoye Vremya’ newspaper (Armenia)
Author: Asya Tsaturova

The relations between Azerbaijani entrepreneurs from Sadakhlo and
`merchants’ from Armenia are growing stronger and
closer. Notwithstanding the anti-Armenian hysteria instigated by
Azerbaijani authorities, Sadakhlo residents’ attitude towards
Armenians, coming to the wholesale border market for the goods,
remains balanced and friendly. Armineh Petrosian (interviewee’s name
is changed) cooperates with Azerbaijanis from this border village for
more than just a year. There was not a single occasion of her doubting
the honesty and decency of the Azerbaijani colleagues.

According to Armineh, neither her nor the rest of her Armenian
partners count the goods packed by the Azerbaijanis. The merchants
know – the stock is guaranteed. Many Azerbaijanis have a variety of
permanent customers from Armenia, and no one wants to lose fixed ties.
Armenians and Azerbaijanis, in their interaction on Armenian-Georgian
border, have long stepped over the line of intolerance and ethnic
strife; they have become such good friends that sharing bread and salt
became common. Indeed, when can a person be better known than at a
table? Only recently, Armineh once more experienced Azerbaijani
hospitality. She was not very fortunate with the transportation on her
way back and so she had to wait for the train from Tbilisi. The train
was to arrive only by evening, and there is not proper hotel in
Sadakhlo. Consequently, the woman had to stay for no less than 10
hours in the open. Armineh was not scared over the prospect – she
decided to wait through this period at the fair near the container of
her Azerbaijani partner, Mustafa. No way. First, the Azerbaijani
suggested accompanying her to the local snackbar for dinner. But it
turned out that Armineh already managed to pass by a number of
Azerbaijanis and to have a snack in the bar. Saying `well done’ with
respect, Mustafa kept insisting, `Let’s go to our place, you won’t sit
all day at the fair, will you?’ Finally, `Armenian resistance’ was
broken. As soon as Armineh entered the Azerbaijani’s house, she
became the center of attention. The women immediately put away all
their chores and after a while, despite categorical refusal from
dinner, brought her some pasta with `sokhorats’ and `matsun’. Not to
offend the housewives, Armineh nevertheless tasted the dish. Later,
they engaged in polite conversation but mostly talked business. Local
Azerbaijanis, according to Armineh, prefer not to talk politics. Even
when they do discuss such issues, they put all blame on the
politicians and not common people. In the confrontation between the
people, Mustafa and his partners do not have good prospects. The
present situation is a serious obstacle on the way of developing their
business. The traders want to enlarge the scope of supply, and they
even questioned Armineh about assortment of goods that might be
exported from Armenia. But there is no possibility for doing it. The
host responded to the proposal of coming and visiting Armenian fairs
with embarrassment, `I will not take the risk’.

With a change of power in Georgia, the restrictions placed on the
Georgian businessmen, engaged in trade, became stricter. Merchants,
including those from Sadakhlo, are placed within even more rigid tax
frames. This presupposes further raising of prices. Azerbaijanis are
well aware that it may have a negative impact on selling price and on
the scope of the sold merchandise respectively for Armenian merchants
as well. Apparently, nowadays many Azerbaijanis try to improve the
conditions of cooperation with Armenians. Despite a couple of traders
from Armenia with `unclean hands’, whose ventures let down Sadakhlo
residents a few years ago, they keep giving the merchandise
`nisya’. That means the condition is paying for goods after sale. One
of Armineh’s colleagues, Sona, for instance, does her packaging by
`nisya’ system for no less than 20-25 thousand bucks. Azerbaijanis
have worked with her for many years and trust her completely. There
has not been a day for Sona not to talk with suppliers from
Sadakhlo. She has to pay considerable phone costs for conversations
with Azerbaijani colleagues, but there are no complaints so far.

Azerbaijanis prefer discussing all in full detail. As a result, the
goods are sold almost perfectly with practically no left over. In
Armineh’s assessment, the businessmen are doing well. But she keeps
wondering over the reticence of Azerbaijani colleagues. Despite the
incomes, they drive decrepit cars and live in mansions that can hardly
be called luxurious. Though, as the interviewee notes, these houses
are quite clean and comfortable. In general, the houses of Sadakhlo
Azerbaijanis cannot be called untidy. A few years back, Armineh and
her partner faced an emergency in a taxi on the route from Tbilisi to
Yerevan. By the time they approached the border, it turned out to be
closed, and the women were practically left on the road at night. The
compassionate Azerbaijani taxi driver did not hesitate to invite them
to his place. First, the Armenian women were well fed – chickens were
killed for them. Afterwards, they were settled for the night in a
guest room. Moreover, they were provided with magnificent snow-white
linen and soft mattresses, which Armineh remembers up to this day.

Our `merchants’ also demonstrate truly Caucasian hospitality. Some of
them even manage to invite Azerbaijani partners to their children’s
wedding. But arranging a guest’s visit from Sadakhlo is no easy
task. Our entrepreneurs visit Azerbaijani weddings quite easily. It is
safe in a village, as the compatriots became convinced after long
years of trade across the border. Therefore, our entrepreneurs are
particularly embarrassed. As for their Azerbaijani colleagues, they
cannot get rid of the sense of fear. Only some of them, trusting the
safety guaranteed by their Armenian friends, nevertheless visit us. In
particular, one of our `merchants’ brought the guests from Sadakhlo by
his car to Yerevan downtown for his son’s wedding. Azerbaijanis did
not regret – they ate barbecue, drank brandy. They reached mutual
understanding with the guests. They would – residents of the village
adjacent to Bagratashen, they were good in Armenian and understood
their friends at once.


Yerevan Press Club of Armenia, ‘Yeni Nesil’ Journalists’ Union of
Azerbaijan and Association of Diplomacy Correspondents of Turkey
present ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey: Journalist Initiative-2002’
Project. As a part of the project web site has
been designed, featuring the most interesting publications from the
press of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey on issues of mutual
concern. The latest updates on the site are weekly delivered to the
subscribers.

www.mediadialogue.org

Coalition Foiled Dialogue

A1 Plus | 17:33:27 | 20-04-2004 | Politics |

COALITION FOILED DIALOGUE

Coalition-Opposition-Intelligentsia meeting initiated by Raffi
Hovhannissyan, finished. Aram Sargssyan /Republic Party/, Smbat Ayvazyan
/Republic Party/, Stepan Zaqaryan /People’s Party of Armenia/, and Vazgen
Manukyan /National Democratic Union/ from Opposition were present.

Coalition calling for talks and dialogue was absent. Academicians Rafael
Ghazaryan, Lenser Aghalovyan, Vardan Sedrakyan, Khoren Palyan and Edward
Simonyantc of intellectuals partook in the meeting. Naturally, Raffi
Hovhannissyan took part in the meeting, too.

Our reliable sources informed that ARF had informed the meeting organizers
Robert Kocharyan had invited ARF representatives. The fact gives cause to
conclude that Robert Kocharyan had forbidden Coalition to meet Opposition
and Intelligentsia.

The meeting organizers are preparing a statement and it will probably be
released today.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

US Teacher Exchange to Armenia

PRESS RELEASE
PROJECT HARMONY
Contact: [email protected]
Phone: (802) 310-4596

US Teacher Exchange to Armenia
(July 17 -28, 2004)

Project Harmony is looking for a few (dozen!) good teachers to participate
in our fully expense paid teaching delegation to travel to Armenia this
July. Travel to the Caucasus and learn methods of bringing international
interactive elements to your classroom. Apply today to join this delegation
funded by the State Department Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs!

The exchange is to provide select US educators administrators with an
opportunity to experience first hand Armenian culture and society, as well
as participate in online curriculum development and facilitation training
sessions in Armenia. With support from Project Harmony staff in the US and
Armenia, teachers will learn methods to better incorporate field experiences
into their classrooms in the US.

In addition to the online educational component, planned activities in
Armenia include cultural events and outings in Yerevan and the surrounding
regions. A portion of the trip is dedicated to home stays for US teaching
teams in the regions of Armenia, where they will have a unique opportunity
to experience life in some of the most ruggedly beautiful settings of the
former Soviet Union.

Participants will be selected upon, but not limited to the following
criteria:
. General letter of interest
. Essay explaining the anticipated educational benefits of the trip
. Resume (indicating a demonstrated commitment to teaching and innovative
methodology)
. Two letters of reference
. Telephone interview
. Willingness to commit to follow-up expectations including participating in
online events with partner schools in the Caucasus and expense-paid
follow-up teaching conference to be held in January 2005 in Burlington, VT.

Online applications will be accepted starting the week of April 19, 2004.
Applications will not be accepted after June 1, 2004.

For more information on the US Teacher Exchange to Armenia, please contact
Project Harmony SCP Program Coordinator Bryan Wockley
([email protected]) and SCP Exchanges Coordinator Jennifer Daly
([email protected]).

CENN Daily Digest – 04/20/2004

CENN – APRIL 20, 2004 DAILY DIGEST
Table of Contents:
1. Armenia Sells its Gold Reserves
2. Yerevan Municipality to Crack Down on Illegal Construction
3. All Go For International Railway Corridor
4. Environmental NGOs Call for Closure of World Bank Climate Change Fund

5. The European Commission Delegation to Georgia
6. The first International Healthcare Congress — CleanMed Europe
7. EIA Report on the Project `the Oil Products reservoir on the
Territory of Isani fair, Tbilisi ” by the `Georgian-Caspian Oil and Gas
Company’ Ltd

1. ARMENIA SELLS ITS GOLD RESERVES

Source: Interfax, April 19, 2004

The Central Bank of Armenia has sold the country’sgold reserves of about
1.4 tonnes, the Bank told Interfax.

Details of the deal, which took place and the end of last year, are not
being disclosed.

The Central Bank of Armenia’s board decided to sell the reserves because
ofthe high liquidity on the gold market over the past few years, the
Bank’s press service reported. “The high correlation between gold and
the euro means that even without gold in international reserves the
necessary level of diversification can be maintained and at the same
time the yield of international reserves can be raised,” the Bank said.

In recent years, gold reserves have remained unchanged at around 1,396
kg, which on October 1 2003 was estimated at $17.1 million (3.65% of
Armenia’s international reserves of $468.7 million). International
reserves, already without gold, totaled $512 million on April 1 2004.
Yerevan Municipality to Crack Down on Illegal Construction
From: “Onnik Krikorian” <[email protected]>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 22:07:34 PDT

2. YEREVAN MUNICIPALITY TO CRACK DOWN ON ILLEGAL CONSTRUCTION

Source: A1 Plus, April 19, 2004

On April 19, 2004 Yerevan’s Architect General Narek Sargssyan, speaking
at a news conference, said Ancient Rome, the restaurant complex built in
the center of Armenian capital, was illegal construction.

He said Yerevan’s municipality intended to impose fines on all illegal
constructions or destroy them.

Sargssyan says the government’s second building and House of Artists’
Union and Sevan hotel construction is under way now.

He also said pedestrian subways would be built in Baghramyan Avenue
soon.

3. ALL GO FOR INTERNATIONAL RAILWAY CORRIDOR

Source: Global News Wire – Asia Africa Intelligence Wire, Africa
Analysis, April 16, 2004

Russia will supply expertise and investment for a major railway network
that should link eastern and northern Europe with India through Iran.
This North-South international transport corridor has been on the
drawing board for some time and will be formally launched next year.

Russia, Iran and India established the concept of the transport corridor
and have so far been joined officially by Kazakhstan and Belarus. There
are ongoing talks with Oman, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Syria,
Sweden, Finland and Bulgaria, all of which are already known to have
shown an interest.

Several other countries are also keen to link into, and support, what
promises to be one of the major freight corridors anywhere. Official
estimates put north-south freight at up to 50m tones a year by 2010.

The latest commitment by Russia comes after a meeting in Iran between
Iranian transport minister Ahmad Khorram and Russian Railways company
president Gennady Fadeyev. Russian Railways is also involved in
bilateral discussions with the Iranian government about the building of
several rail lines in Iran.

Rail traffic between the two countries has increased dramatically over
the past year and, once the international corridor is formed, should
double in 2005. The 4m tones of freight estimated to be carried between
Iran and Russia this year should raise to 8m tones.

Iran, which is spending large sums on the development of its ports, sees
itself as a hub for North-South traffic, providing port facilities to
service the Asia-Pacific region.

4. ENVIRONMENTAL NGOS CALL FOR CLOSURE OF WORLD BANK CLIMATE CHANGE FUND

MEDIA RELEASE

ENGLAND, UK, April 19, 2004. Today, over fifty environmental and social
justice NGOs and other groups sent a letter of protest to the World Bank
calling for the closure of its new emissions trading fund, The Prototype
Carbon Fund.

In the year of the World Bank’s 60th anniversary and in the run-up to
intense protests in Washington D.C. at their annual meeting this month,
the groups state that the Bank’s new fund is destructive green wash and
has in fact created extra problems for communities and the environment.
The fund was set up in 1999 to facilitate the new trade in greenhouse
gases created under the Kyoto Protocol. The NGOs state that so far the
fund has exacerbated existing human rights violations and furthered
environmental destruction.

One of the fund’s model projects is located in Brazil and involves the
expansion of monoculture eucalyptus plantations owned by the Plantar
corporation. The plantations were originally established by forcibly
evicting geraiszeiros peoples from the land and since then the
plantation’s owners have been accused of creating “slave-like
conditions” 1. Furthermore, the plantations have heavily polluted
surrounding water sources, thus devastating the livelihoods of local
farmers and fisher folk.

The World Bank will fund the expansion of these plantations in order to
generate ‘carbon credits’ for the international trade in greenhouse
gases.

2 However, on top of the impacts upon the local environment and peoples,
the verifiers of the carbon credit scheme, the Norwegian company Det
Norske Veritas, have stated that there is no guarantee that the project
will actually have a permanent positive effect on the climate. Marcelo
Calazans from local Brazilian NGO FASE-ES states:

“This and many other projects have terrible negative impacts on local
people and environments and it is still unclear if there is any real
benefits for the climate. We believe that the Prototype Carbon Fund
should cease operations and close down immediately.”

Attached is a full copy of the letter sent to the World Bank and the
signatories. For more information please contact Larry Lohmann (The
Corner House) on 01258 473795/821218 or Heidi Bachram (Carbon Trade
Watch) on 01865 240644. For background, see also and

1. The Montes Claros (MG) Pastoral Land Commission (CPT), an
organization originating in the Catholic Church, which is very much
respected due to the fact that it defends the peoples’ right to the
land. It followed closely the first Parliamentary Investigation
Commission (CPI) set up in 1994 against the forestation companies,
including V&M (which was Mannesman at that time) and Plantar, verifying
the practice of slave labor on the companies property.
()

2. The Plantar project in Minas Gerais, Brazil is the first carbon sink
project seeking credit through the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development
Mechanism. It involves planting 23,100 ha of Eucalyptus plantations to
produce wood for charcoal, which will then be used in pig iron
production instead of coal. In addition to this so-called avoided
fuel-switch component, the project also claims carbon sequestration
credits for the trees planted. ()

5. THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION DELEGATION TO GEORGIA

On 19 March the European Commission Delegation to Georgia launched a
Call for Proposals for microprojects under the European Initiative for
Democracy and Human Rights. For more information about the Call for
Proposals, please consult the EC Delegation website (see below).

In order to explain the procedural issues involved in submitting a
proposal under this Call, representatives from the Delegation will hold
public information meetings in Tbilisi and the regions of Georgia.
Please find below a schedule of meetings.

Representatives of interested NGOs are welcome to attend meetings in any
of these locations. NGOs are requested to send not more than two
representatives each.

The schedule of the information meetings is enclosed.

Contact Information
38, Nino Chkheidze Street, Tbilisi 0102
+995 (32) 943763
+995 (32) 943768 (fax)
[email protected]

For the more detailed information please visit:
7

6. THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL HEALTHCARE CONGRESS — CLEANMED EUROPE

Join us for CleanMed Europe, the first international healthcare congress
on sustainable products and practices in Europe.

CleanMed Europe will be held 6-8 October 2004 at the new exhibition and
congress centre in Vienna, Austria.

First: Do no Harm!

The operation of healthcare facilities has significant environmental
impacts that are contributing to the damage of our natural ecosystems.
And a sick nature endangers the health of people.

As health care professionals pledge an oath of “First: do no harm” all
other aspects of health care should also be carried out in a way, which
cause no harm to public health and the environment.

Forward thinking healthcare systems must therefore be ecologically
sustainable.

CleanMed Europe will show you how to achieve this.

The agenda for 2004

Environmental improvement options for cleaning and disinfection, laundry
medical product use, energy and water use,

§ Waste management
§ Replacement of toxic materials
§ Organic food
§ Pharmaceuticals in the environment
§ PVC Alternatives
§ Alternatives to Waste Incineration
§ Green and healthy buildings
§ Reuse of medical devices
§ Environmental management systems
§ Expected Participants

§ Senior health care managers
§ Environmental managers
§ Purchasing and facility managers
§ Nursing, doctors and multidisciplinary health professionals engaged in
environmental activities
§ Political decision makers
§ Researchers and experts
§ Innovative companies

7. EIA REPORT ON THE PROJECT `THE OIL PRODUCTS RESERVOIR ON THE
TERRITORY OF ISANI FAIR, TBILISI ” BY THE `GEORGIAN-CASPIAN OIL AND GAS
COMPANY’ LTD

Source: `Sakartvelos Respublica’ (`Republic of Georgia’), April 19, 2004

In accordance with the Georgian legislation, Ltd `Georgian-Caspian Oil
and Gas Company’ submitted EIA report to the Ministry of Environment of
Georgia to obtain an environmental permit for the activity of first
category – Project on the Oil Products Reservoir on the Territory of
Isani Fair, Tbilisi.

EIA report is available at the press-centre of the Ministry of
Environment (68, Kostava str., VI floor) and at the Department of
Environmental Permits and State Ecological Expertise (87, Paliashvili
Str., Tel: 25 02 19). Interested stakeholders can analyze the document
and present their comments and considerations until June 3, 2004.

Public hearing will be held on June 3, 2004 at 12:00, at the conference
hall of the Ministry of Environment.


*******************************************
CENN INFO
Caucasus Environmental NGO Network (CENN)

Tel: ++995 32 92 39 46
Fax: ++995 32 92 39 47
E-mail: [email protected]
URL:

http://www.wrm.org.uy/countries/Brazil/fsc1.html
http://www.sinkswatch.org
http://advocacy.ge/news_http/desc.php?id=19
www.tni.org/ctw
www.thecornerhouse.org.uk.
www.cenn.org

MP Assadourian to Canadian House of Commons

PRESS RELEASE
Office of Sarkis Assadourian M.P.
120 Confederation
House of Commons, Ottawa, Canada
Contact: Daniel Kennedy
Tel: 613 995 4843

Re: M-380 Armenian Genocide
89 Years later…
“Justice Delayed is Justice Denied”

Dear Colleague: April 20, 2004

As a Member of Parliament who’s ancestors were victims of the Armenian
Genocide I urge you to support and vote for M-380, calling on the House
of Commons to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and condemn this
act as a crime against humanity.

The recognition of the Genocide of 1915 perpetrated by the Ottoman
Empire in pre Ata Turk Turkey, will serve to bring the Canadian-Armenian
and the Canadian-Turkish communities together rather than serve to push
them apart. Denial does not lead to healing, recognition and
co-operation does.

Recognition of the historical events after 89 years will show how the
two communities have adjusted to the realities of history and have
co-operated to move beyond. “Justice delayed is justice denied.”

The argument that recognition of M-380 will have a detrimental effect on
trade between Canada and Turkey is false. Many nations including France
and Switzerland have already recognized the Genocide with no detrimental
economic effects. In Canada, the Ontario and Quebec legislatures have
already granted official recognition to the reality of the Armenian
Genocide. (The Province of Quebec has officially declared April 24 as
Armenian Genocide Day)

Although my family were victims of Genocide and deportation my belief in
this issue lies with the importance of recognizing historical fact and
taking the steps for the healing process to take hold. Genocide, the
ultimate act of inhumanity is one of mankind’s most terrible legacies,
only by recognizing and remembering this most horrible crime can we
build a better future for Armenians, Turks and all humanity.

If you in good conscience cannot support M-380, I humbly ask you in a
non-partisan manner to abstain from the vote.

Sincerely,
Sarkis Assadourian, M.P.

“After all, who today remembers the Armenians”
( Adolph Hitler, Germany, August 1939)

Kocharian Not Going to Dissolve Parliament or Replace Prime Minister

ARMENIAN PRESIDENT NOT GOING TO DISSOLVE PARLIAMENT OR REPLACE PRIME
MINISTER

20.04.2004 18:41

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian President Robert Kocharian has denied the hearsay
on his intention to dissolve the Parliament or replace the Prime Minister.
“If the Government fulfills the budget for 100% and secures the economic
growth, replacing the Prime Minister or dissolving the Parliament does not
make sense,” R. Kocharian told journalists today. “Moreover, the steps of
the opposition promote more active and consolidated work of the ruling
coalition,” the Armenian leader noted. R. Kocharian also stated that “in
case the opposition tries to overstep the constitutional limits, the
response will again be adequate.”

Street Protests Are Now a Craze in the Caucasus

The Moscow Times
Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2004. Page 11

Street Protests Are Now a Craze in the Caucasus

By Chloe Arnold

BAKU, Azerbaijan — Georgians do it outside parliament. Azeris do it along
the Caspian Sea coast. And last week, Armenians were doing it in Freedom
Square in their thousands, until the police sent them home.

I’m talking, of course, about demonstrations — the latest craze to take
hold in this neck of the woods, from Lenkaran to Yerevan, and most places in
between.

The Azeris started it last fall after a presidential election, the rigging
of which astounded even the world-weariest of observers. At the age of 80
and with a quadruple bypass operation under his belt, Heidar Aliyev decided
to relinquish the helm after 30 years and hand the country over to his son.

There was the minor issue of an election to be held, but officials up and
down the country made sure the vote came out overwhelmingly in favor of
Aliyev’s son, Ilham.

Outraged at the result, opposition groups took the streets of Baku,
demanding a revote. But the government was having none of it. The protesters
were beaten soundly and sent to prison, where many of them are still holed
up to this day.

The Georgians fared better. Their parliamentary vote a month later saw the
same cunning tricks used to ensure a victory for the ruling party.
Opposition supporters camped outside parliament for three weeks in protest
before storming the building and forcing the president, Eduard Shevardnadze,
to throw in the towel.

Then last week, it was Armenia’s turn. Not to be outdone by their neighbors,
the Armenian opposition marched in the center of Yerevan, demanding the
resignation of their president, Robert Kocharyan.

Police let them have their say for a few hours before rounding up the
ringleaders and sending everyone else home. The rally came a year after a
presidential election that — wait for it — saw massive violations and a
landslide victory for Kocharyan.

Opposition groups say they will continue their protests until Kocharyan
resigns, but I can’t help feeling the wind is out of their sails.

So why did demonstrations work in Georgia and not Azerbaijan or Armenia?
Mostly, I think, because the Georgians had television on their side. In
Azerbaijan and Armenia there are no opposition stations to call on the
nation to come out and demonstrate — although Armenia is so small, you
could practically do the job just by shouting.

Georgia now has a young, vibrant government with grand ideas. People have
high hopes for their new leader, Mikheil Saakashvili. But if he doesn’t live
up to his promises, I guarantee the Georgians, like the Azeris and the
Armenians next door, will be out on the streets again with another excuse to
hold a demonstration.

Chloe Arnold is a freelance journalist based in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Saying Farewell To The City

Saying Farewell To The City
By S. MUTHIAH

The Hindu
April 19, 2004

WITH THE departure of Michael Stephanian, or Stephen, if you wish, the
Armenian Church in George Town will be without an Armenian caretaker
for the first time since it was consecrated in 1772. A local caretaker,
Alexander, succeeds Michael who goes to Calcutta on a significant
promotion after seven years in Madras where he had succeeded that
legend, George Gregorian, who put in 33 years in making the church
the cleanest place in the city.

Michael moves to Calcutta to take charge of the Armenian College
(school) there, one of the leading educational institutions in the
city when it was home to a few thousand Armenians, almost all of whom
have migrated to Australia or parts westwards since the 1970s. The few
hundred Armenians left in Calcutta keep service going in the city’s
three churches of the Armenian Orthodoxy and the one in Chandernagar,
service being held in each by turn on Sundays. These numbers, have,
however, not been enough to sustain the school, which in its heyday –
and when the Armenian Club was as lively – produced some of the best
rugby teams in India.

There has, in the last few years, been an attempt to revive the school
by bringing in from strife-riven Armenia and Iran, Armenian children
who have lost at least one parent. To the dozen or so Armenians with
Indian connections there have now been added about 100 boys and 40
girls from Armenia and Iraq. Michael hopes that, in the next year or
so, he can get that strength up to 300, with about 50 more children
from Armenia and 100 from war-torn Iraq where over 25,000 Armenians
live. These children in the 6-16 age group will be trained to take
the ICSE exam, but their workload will always be increased by three
subjects: the Armenian language, history and faith.

Michael, while in Madras, has done a splendid job in keeping the
Armenian Church alive by organising the occasional service in it. He
has also ensured that the Armenian Cemetery on the Island and the
Armenian tombs and other relics in and around the city have been cared
for. He may not have always been successful in preserving the symbols
of Armenian heritage in the city, but he was always trying. I’m sure
he’ll be trying even harder to bring the Armenian College back to
its old glory. This column wishes him all the best.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Simon Panek, a Czech who loves freedom

Simon Panek, a Czech who loves freedom
By JAN MARCHAL

Agence France Presse
April 20, 2004

PRAGUE, April 20 — A dissident student under communism, Czech Simon
Panek has remained an unconditional militant for liberty, running
the largest humanitarian organization in central Europe.

“For me, freedom is essential. It is the right of the individual to
feel part of the state. This is in my view the most important European
value,” Panek told AFP in a recent interview.

Panek is an example of the sort of “new Europeans” in the 10 countries
set to join the European Union on May 1.

The 37-year-old sees himself as an inheritor of the values
the dissident playwright Vaclav Havel fought for in freeing
then-Czechoslovakia from the yoke of Soviet domination.

Panek worked with Havel in the heady days before the Iron Curtain
fell in 1989, organizing strikes in Prague universities.

“We have traveled a long road. We freed ourselves from an extremely
dangerous ideology and now this is irreversible. In short, we won,”
he said.

Panek is still fighting however against other dictatorships, such as
in Cuba.

In March, he put on a striped prisoners uniform and sat for an hour
in a symbolic cell in the middle of Prague in a demonstration with
74 other people, including the president of the Czech senate Petr
Pithart, to alert public opinion to the fate of opponents of Cuban
leader Fidel Castro.

Panek’s main work is heading the humanitarian organization People in
Need, which he and several friends founded in 1992.

The organization was a follow-up on work he had done under communism
in order to help people in Armenia who were by the 1988 earthquake.

People in Need has grown into “the largest non-governmental
organization in the region,” Panek said.

It has been involved in some 30 countries, including Afghanistan,
Albania, Armenia, Belarus, Myanmar and Bosnia, and has an annual
budget of over 15 million euros (18.6 million dollars).

“Our action in crisis areas is not only for classic humanitarian aid
but also to get testimony and give information in order to defend
human rights,” Panek said.

Panek said his father showed him the way to fight for human rights.

“Expelled from his school shortly after the communist putsch in 1948,
my father helped Czechs to emigrate to the West, across the border
with Germany,” Panek said.

His father was arrested while doing this and then in 1953 escaped
from a uranium mine where he was doing forced labor.

He was caught and finally left prison in 1960, in an amnesty.

Panek said his family read clandestine political tracts in the 1970s
and 1980s. “I knew why it was necessary to be a militant,” he said.

Panek was named European of the Year in 2002 by the Reader’s Digest
magazine but he said he does not see himself as a hero of democracy.

“Quite the opposite, since I tend to be authoritarian. I am too blunt
with people and lack patience. I like to give orders and that’s why
I’m a manager,” he said.

jma/msa/rl

EU-enlarge-May1-Czech-profile

ANKARA: Turkey-Armenia Border to Remain Closed

Zaman, Turkey
April 20 2004

Turkey-Armenia Border to Remain Closed

Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Gul on Sunday
dispelled rumors that Turkey would reopen its border with Armenia
without first ensuring that the Nargorno-Karabag (Karabakh) conflict
was resolved. “Such a thing is not the issue. For some reason, this
is spoken about a great deal in Azerbaijan. Whenever we come across
Azeri reporters they ask us this question,” defended Gul. The
Karabakh issue remains deeply divisive for the countries of Armenia
and Azerbaijan. Gul disclosed that in the upcoming months a
tripartite meeting between Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey would be
held to discuss the issue. Gul said that this meeting would happen
prior to the June North Atlantic Treat Organization (NATO) summit in
Istanbul. He added that Armenia would participate in the Summit
within the context of Caucasian countries that have relations with
NATO.

04.20.2004
Foreign News Services
Istanbul