ASBAREZ Online [03-10-2004]


1) US Addresses Turkish Worries about Iraq Constitution
2) Chamlian School’s Banquet a Night of Success and Hope
3) Kocharian Comes Face-to-face with University Students
4) US Ambassador Meets With ARF Representatives
5) Police Identify Armenian Cemetery Vandals

1) US Addresses Turkish Worries about Iraq Constitution

ANKARA (AFP)–A senior US envoy will meet with Turkish officials to discuss
Ankara’s concerns over the new interim constitution of Iraq, reported Turkish
and US sources.
Ronald Newmann, a member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in
was asked by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to go to Ankara after Turkey
publicly criticized the interim constitution, signed in Baghdad on Monday, a
Turkish diplomat told AFP.
Turkey has warned that it would pave the way for more instability in the
neighboring country. “The interim law does not satisfy us; it increases our
concerns,” said Turkish government spokesman, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek.
Turkey has repeatedly warned against moves in postwar Iraq that could help
Iraqi Kurds enhance self-rule in the north of the country.
Under the interim constitution, Iraqi Kurdistan will retain federal status
the rest of Iraq will be given the right to begin forming states.
Turkey fears that increased political influence of Iraqi Kurds could set an
example for their restive cousins in southeast Turkey where a bloody Kurdish
rebellion has only recently been quelled.

2) Chamlian School’s Banquet a Night of Success and Hope

GLENDALE–Over 500 parents, alumni, teachers, and friends of Chamlian Armenian
School gathered on February 28, at the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter center to
fundraise for the school, and mark its many accomplishments. Western Prelate
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, and Glendale Mayor Frank Quintero were among
the guests of honor.
Emcees Nova Hindoyan and Aida Yeghiazarian, kicked off the night with a
auction that raised over $8,000.
In his remarks, Archbiship Mardirossian urged the audience to “complete the
cafeteria project and move on to bigger projects such as establishing a high
The climax of the evening came, however, as Chamlian principal Vazken
Madenlian announced that a special committee dedicated to the Chamlian High
School project has been formed, and that $250,000 has already been collected
towards the goal.
Guest welcomed the joyous news, and enthusiastically donated $106,000 for the
renovation of the school cafeteria.
Guests danced and celebrated to the music of popular singer Ashod and his
band. “This was a great evening,” one guest said, “not only did we have a lot
of fun, but it was for a great cause.”

3) Kocharian Comes Face-to-face with University Students

YEREVAN (RFE/RL, Yerkir)–University students from throughout Armenia gathered
at Yerevan State University on Wednesday to meet President Robert Kocharian,
and pose questions on issues of concern.
Asked about the process of settling the Karabagh conflict, Kocharian said
during his term in office, Armenia has accepted several proposals put forth by
mediators, while Azerbaijan has rejected them. “I have dedicated 15 years
of my
life to the Karabagh issue, and I will pursue it all the way through,”
Kocharian said.
Referring to Azerbaijan’s unapologetic and even defensive position on the
murder of an Armenian officer by an Azeri counterpart, the president said it
reinforces the fact that Armenophobia has reached its peak in that country.
are, once again, convinced that Karabagh cannot–under any condition–be a
of Azerbaijan.”
Asked about opposition claims that Armenia remains gripped by a political
crisis, Kocharian explained that in 2003, Armenia registered record economic
growth, accompanied by improving public services. He cited a 13.9 increase in
GDP, which was the highest in the Commonwealth of Independent States. “To
describe as crisis the situation in a country where economic growth has
13.9 percent and where all the indicators testify to quite interesting
developments, is at least, tantamount to not understanding what a crisis
It was the Armenian leader’s first visit to the country’s largest university
since last month’s student protests against a controversial government bill on
military service. The bill, which would have allowed the military to draft
graduate and doctoral students, was eventually withdrawn from parliament.
Kocharian acknowledged that the proposed legislation should have undergone a
detailed public debate before being submitted to the National Assembly, and
revealed his support for compulsory military service for all young men,
including his two sons.

4) US Ambassador Meets With ARF Representatives

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–US Ambassador to Armenia John Ordway met with
of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation at the ARF Simon Vratsian center on
Wednesday, in an effort to understand the party’s position on national and
regional issues, and engage in a two-way exchange.
ARF Armenia Supreme Body representative Armen Rustamian, ARF Bureau member
National Assembly vice-speaker Vahan Hovhannisian, and ARF faction leader in
the National Assembly Levon Mkrtchian, met with Ordway, where political and
regional developments in Armenia, as well as the National Assembly and the
opposition dominated discussions.
The ambassador remarked that the meeting was fruitful in understanding the
party’s stance on these issues.
Ambassador Ordway frequently meets with the ARF and other political
parties to
better grasp the positions of political forces, and to also present the US
position on democracy, the market economy, as well as regional security.

5) Police Identify Armenian Cemetery Vandals

KRASNODAR (Armenpress)–Local police have identified the group of youth who
desecrated Armenian gravestones at the Krasnodar Slavonic cemetery on March 2,
reported Yerkramas, a weekly paper published by the Armenian community of the
southern Russian province.
The culprits are eight youth between the ages of 13 and 16. Police said their
parents will have to pay for restoring the damaged tombs.
A similar act of vandalism in 2002 sparked strong condemnation by the
government and leading politicians concerned with the escalating ethnic
tensions in the southern Russia.
In April 2002, approximately 50 youths ravaged gravestones and monuments at
the Armenian cemetery in Krasnodar. Though the local police at the time
announced the arrest of three Russian youngsters between the ages of 14 and 17
on suspicion of involvement, all managed to avoid punishment.

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