ASBAREZ Online [03-29-2004]


1) Canada ANC Steps-up Efforts Leading up to Genocide Resolution Vote
2) High-ranking American military officer set to visit Armenia
3) Congressional Support Grows for Bush to Properly Commemorate Armenian
4) Saakashvili Allies Victorious in Polls
5) Turkey’s Ruling Party Strengthens Its Position
6) Schiff Lauds Contributions and Service of Cesar Chavez

1) Canada ANC Steps-up Efforts Leading up to Genocide Resolution Vote

OTTAWA (ANCC)–The second reading of Motion M-380 that would recognize the
Armenian Genocide is expected to take place in late April in the Canadian
of Commons. Introduced by private member Madeleine Dalphond-Guiral, M-380 was
read and debated on February 25. According to House of Commons rules, motions
by a private member are subject to two readings of one hour each. The vote on
the motion will take place after the second reading.
Leading up to that vote, the Armenian National Committee of Canada (ANCC) has
not only been working within Canada’s parliament, but has also been
aggressively pursuing Members of Parliament (MP), as well as affiliated bodies
so as to ensure passage of the motion that states, “That this House
acknowledges the Armenian genocide of 1915 and condemns this act as a crime
against humanity.”
To date, of the more than 50 MPs approached, most have committed to
the motion.
Alongside these efforts, representatives of ANC regions have been meeting
respective MPs, while the ARF Youth of Canada have initiated a mass email and
letter writing campaign to garner support. Area Armenian organizations are
doing the same.
Representative of ARF Canada’s Central Committee and ANCC have met with
executive members of the Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) to outreach
and gain even wider support for the effort.
The CRRF’s mission is to build a national framework for the fight against
racism in Canadian society. Its mission is to bring about a more harmonious
Canada that acknowledges its racist past, recognizes the pervasiveness of
racism today, and is committed to creating a future in which all Canadians are
treated equitably and fairly.
Members of the CRRF executive promised to extend cooperation and practical
assistance–assuring they would discuss the matter with minister with that
cooperate with the CRRF.
Results of CRRF’s promises came through the following day during a conference
in Montreal, titled Hate and Racism: Seeking Solutions. In their speeches, UN
Special Envoy Stephen Lewis and Lieutenant General Romeo Dallaire introduced
Armenian efforts to the body, urging cooperation. The CRRF was a partner in
planning and implementation of this important and timely conference.

2) High-ranking American military officer set to visit Armenia

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–The US European Command Headquarters’ Director of Plans and
Policy, Major General Jeffrey Kohler, will be in Armenia on Tuesday. Over a
period of two days, the General will be meeting with Armenian Defense Minister
and Security Council Secretary Serzh Sargsian, and Chief of Staff General
Mikael Harutiunian. Kohler is also scheduled to visit the 12th peacekeeping
battalion of the Armenian Army.

3) Congressional Support Grows for Bush to Properly Commemorate Armenian

WASHINGTON, DC– (ANCA)–Bipartisan support for a Congressional letter urging
President Bush to keep his campaign pledge and properly characterize the
Armenian Genocide as `genocide’ continued to expand this week, with over 80
House Members having added their name to the list of signatories, reported the
Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). The grassroots effort to
additional supporters will be expanding in the upcoming week.
Initiated by House Genocide Resolution lead sponsors George Radanovich
Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank
(D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), the letter calls on President Bush to
reaffirm the United States record on the Armenian Genocide in his April 24
commemorative statement. It argues that, `by properly recognizing the
atrocities committed against the Armenian people as ‘genocide’ in your
statement, you will honor the many Americans who helped launch our first
international human rights campaign to end the carnage and protect the
survivors.’ It continues, noting that `Now more than ever as your
administration seeks to bring an end to global terrorism and to help establish
democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, the memory of the genocide underscores
responsibility to help convey our cherished tradition of respect for
fundamental human rights and opposition to mass slaughters.’
Congressional colleagues joining Representatives Radanovich, Schiff, Pallone,
and Knollenberg pledging to co-sign the letter as of Friday, March 26,
Tom Allen (D-ME), Robert Andrews (D-NJ), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Xavier Becerra
(D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Tim Bishop (D-NY),
Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ken Calvert (R-CA), William Clay (D-MO), Jerry Costello
(D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), Duke Cunningham (R-CA), Danny Davis (D-IL),
Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), John Dingell (D-MI), Vernon Ehlers
(R-MI), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Lane Evans (D-IL), Bob Filner (D-CA), Vito Fossella
(R-NY), Barney Frank (D-MA), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ),
Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Tim Holden (D-PA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Jesse Jackson
(D-IL), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Sue Kelly (R-NY), Patrick Kennedy (D-RI), Dale
Kildee (D-MI), Mark Kirk (R-IL), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Nick Lampson (D-TX),
John Larson (D-CT), Steven LaTourette (R-OH), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin
(D-MI), John Lewis (D-GA), William Lipinski (D-IL), Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ),
Lowey (D-NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edward Markey
(D-MA), Jim Matheson (D-UT), Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY), Betty McCollum (D-MN),
Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), James McGovern (D-MA), John McHugh (R-NY), Buck
McKeon (R-CA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), John Olver (D-MA), C. L. `Butch’ Otter
(R-ID), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA), Edward Royce
Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), Christopher Shays (R-CT), Brad Sherman (D-CA), John
Shimkus (R-IL), Christopher Smith (R-NJ), Mark Souder (R-IN), Pete Stark
(D-CA), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), Stephanie Tubbs-Jones (D-OH), Christopher Van
Hollen (D-MD), Peter Visclosky (D-IN), Henry Waxman (D-CA), Anthony Weiner
(D-NY), Curt Weldon (R-PA), and Frank Wolf (R-VA).
Support for the letter is expected to grow considerably, as the Armenian
American community continues its grassroots campaign to urge legislators to
become signatories. The ANCA launched a WebFax campaign last week, which
on House Members to speak out on a number of Genocide reaffirmation
including this letter, as well as urging Speaker Hastert to schedule a vote on
the Genocide resolution, H.Res. 193. That legislation was unanimously adopted
by the House Judiciary Committee and currently has 110 cosponsors. Activists
are also asking their Representatives to co-host the 10th Annual Armenian
Genocide Observance on Capitol Hill, which currently has the support of
over 85
Senators and Representatives.

4) Saakashvili Allies Victorious in Polls

TBILISI (Reuters)–Georgians have handed President Mikhail Saakashvili’s
a big victory in a parliamentary election, bolstering his mandate to press
ahead with reforms but leaving little opposition to scrutinize him.
Despite tension in a wayward province, the election–a rerun of a November
poll seen as rigged–proceeded peacefully on Sunday in the volatile Caucasus
nation that is set to become a key transport corridor for Caspian oil.
An exit poll for Rustavi-2 television forecast that Saakashvili’s National
Movement-Democrats bloc had won 78.6 percent of the vote and no opposition
party would clear a seven percent hurdle needed to win seats in parliament.
“The message is Georgia will take the route of dramatic economic and liberal
democratic reforms,” Saakashvili told reporters. “I’d rather have a bigger
opposition representation but it’s not up to me; that’s the will of the
A rival exit poll suggested one right-wing pro-business party might have
cleared the hurdle. Preliminary official results were due on Monday.
Saakashvili, elected president by a landslide in January after leading a
bloodless revolution that ousted veteran leader Eduard Shevardnadze, has
pledged to unite the divided country and stamp out rampant corruption.
The United States, which backs Saakashvili, is keen to see a stable
Georgia as
the former Soviet republic lies on the route of a Western oil pipeline due to
start pumping Caspian oil to the Mediterranean next year without the need to
cross Russia.


Initial reports of disruptions to voting in Ajaria, an autonomous province
whose leader has been at odds with Saakashvili, were denied by local election
Saakashvili’s success in tapping deep-seated frustration with a post-Soviet
history marked by civil wars, corruption and Russian efforts to wield
has left many opponents discredited and in disarray.
US ambassador Richard Miles had hoped opposition parties would win some
“Any democracy needs an opposition in the parliament,” he said.
Sunday’s poll was for 150 seats in the 235-seat chamber; the other 85 seats
were not nullified after the November vote. If the Rustavi-2 exit poll proves
correct, only some deputies elected first time round will provide
Saakashvili’s attempts to bring to heel Aslan Abashidze, leader in Ajaria,
raised tensions in the Black Sea region.
Kalashnikov-toting supporters and military units loyal to Abashidze have
increased the danger of armed conflict in a country that has two openly
separatist regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which did not participate in
the vote.
“For the first time in 10 years the local powers in Ajaria have lost an
election,” Saakashvili said. “The age of feudalism has ended in Georgia.”
For his part, Abashidze accused the government of planning to falsify results
in Ajaria to prevent his Revival party returning to parliament. Ajaria has
jealously guarded its autonomy and control of the oil-exporting sea port at

5) Turkey’s Ruling Party Strengthens Its Position

(–Turkey’s ruling conservative party won a strong mandate in
local elections on Sunday that could strengthen its hand in taking the largely
Muslim country into the European Union and in pushing for reunification of the
divided island of Cyprus.
The Justice and Development Party (AKP) retained control of key
municipalities, including the capital, Ankara, and the country’s largest city,
Istanbul, with gains in regions long dominated by left-wing groups.
“Turkey has voted once again for stability and progress,” said Prime Minister
Recep Tayyip Erdogan after claiming victory.
Erdogan assured Turks that “this victory will not cause us to lose our heads.
To the contrary, it will increase our sense of responsibility.”
He has backed the latest UN plan to reunite Cyprus. He was expected to fly to
Switzerland this week to join four-way reunification talks between Turkey,
Greece and the Turkish and Greek Cypriots.
Western diplomats say Sunday’s result is likely to strengthen his position
against hawks within Turkey’s powerful armed forces, who oppose the UN plan.
At the national level, Erdogan has already pushed through many social reforms
aimed at opening membership talks with the EU. These include easing bans on
Kurdish language and stiffening penalties for torture.

6) Schiff Lauds Contributions and Service of Cesar Chavez


WASHINGTON, DC–In honor of his many contributions to the farm labor movement
and for his leadership on behalf of working families, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA)
issued the following statement on this day set aside for remembering Cesar
“Today we remember Cesar Chavez–one of our nation’s greatest advocates for
working families. Cesar Chavez is best known as the founder of the United Farm
Workers of America, AFL-CIO (UFW) and for his work on behalf of the farm labor
movement. That, however, was only the tip of the iceberg. Throughout his
entire life, Cesar Chavez championed non-violent social change, dedicated
himself to public service, and petitioned for improved workers’ rights.
“Cesar Chavez led the first successful farm workers union in American
achieving dignity, respect, fair wages, medical coverage, pension benefits,
humane living conditions, as well as countless other rights and protections
hundreds of thousands of farm workers. His union’s efforts brought about the
passage of the groundbreaking 1975 California Agricultural Labor Relations Act
to protect farm workers. Today, it remains the only law in the nation that
protects the farm workers’ right to unionize.
“In California, we have Cesar Chavez Day to remember and honor his
contributions, but we must work together to bring national attention to the
work of this great leader. The significance and impact of Chavez’s work
transcends any one cause or boundaries and that is why I support
legislation to
establish a national Cesar Chavez Day (H. Res. 112, introduced by Rep. Joe
Baca) and protect historic sites associated with his life and the farm labor
movement (H.R. 1034 introduced by Rep. Hilda Solis).
“Today, we honor Cesar Chavez, an inimitable leader and great humanitarian
influenced and inspired millions of Americans to seek social justice and fight
for civil rights.”
Rep. Schiff represents California’s 29th Congressional District, including
communities of Alhambra, Altadena, Burbank, East Pasadena, East San Gabriel,
Glendale, Monterey Park, Pasadena, San Gabriel, South Pasadena, and Temple

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