ASBAREZ Online [04-06-2004]


1) ARF Western Region Announcement on Recent Political Developments in Armenia
2) AADLC Launches
3) Media Outcry as Journalist Attackers Stay Unpunished
4) Yedelian First Elected Armenian Councilor in Australia

1) ARF Western Region Announcement on Recent Political Developments in Armenia

Recent internal political developments in the Republic of Armenia are
approaching the brink of outright confrontation between the opposition and the
authorities, and threaten the independence of the country, its security, and
stability. This tense political environment causes serious concern not only
citizens of Armenia, but also Armenians in the Diaspora, including those in
Western United States.
Gravely concerned over these developments, the Central Committee of the
Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Western Region announces the
of engaging in political dialogue in order to immediately diffuse the tense
situation that threatens our homeland.
In its April 5 announcement, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation’s Supreme
Body of Armenia, characterized the political formula for mutual concessions in
order to bring the country out of the current impasse.
In turn, we appeal to Armenians of Western USA to practice vigilance–to
reject deceptive provocations, insulting expressions, and extremist
announcements that serve to fuel the already tense situation both in Armenia
and the Diaspora, including our region.
American Armenians have a historic mission to always stand by and support
Armenia. We can uphold this sacred mission only by way of a healthy national
outlook. Thus, American Armenians must serve as an example to political forces
inside Armenia to be able to overcome this difficult phase that threatens our
On this issue, the Central Committee of the ARF Western region, places total
faith in the sound judgment of our public.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western Region
Central Committee
Glendale, April 6, 2004

2) AADLC Launches


ARLINGTON, VA–The Armenian American Democratic Leadership Council (AADLC)
launched <;, a
powerful, full-featured website providing the growing number of Armenian
American supporters of John Kerry with activism tools to support the
presumptive Democratic nominee’s campaign for the Presidency of the United
“We are pleased, through, to provide Armenian
Americans–Democrats, Independents, and cross-over Republicans–with solid
information and practical tools they need to help elect John Kerry as
President,” said AADLC spokesperson Tsoghig Margossian. “We look forward to
working with the growing number of Armenian Americans supporting the Kerry
campaign in educating voters, generating campaign support and financial
contributions, and mobilizing grassroots pro-Kerry get-out-the-vote efforts
leading up to Election Day on November 2.”
The welcome message on the website notes: “On the issues Armenian Americans
care about–as Armenians and as Americans–John Kerry is the clear choice. He
is a candidate that our nation’s more than one and a half million citizens of
Armenian heritage can be proud of, for his record of service to our nation,
for personal involvement in all the vital issues of special concern to
Americans–genocide recognition, a strong Armenia, increased aid, expanded
trade, and an end to the blockades.” The website continues: “In sharp
contrast, George W. Bush has broken his promises and repeatedly betrayed the
trust of the Armenian American community, opposed the issues they care about,
and presided over the most anti-Armenian administration in modern history.
Almost immediately after taking office in 2001, he abandoned his campaign
pledge to properly recognize Armenian Genocide.”
Among the main features of are the following:
* documents Senator Kerry’s 20-year pro-Armenian record
in the US Senate and includes direct links to his key speeches on a range of
issues of concern to Armenian American voters.
* has an easy-to-use sign-up page for volunteers, for
e-list updates, and for individuals who want to have their name listed on the
website as supporters of John Kerry for President.
* features an on-line donation feature that
automatically tracks campaign donations made by Armenian Americans.
* features a photo gallery, including a front-page
of Senator Kerry speaking in front of an Armenians for Kerry sign during his
victory speech on the day of the Virginia Democratic primary. Video
footage of
the AADLC campaign volunteers holding these signs was broadcast
on the CNN cable network.
* “press room” provides, in one place, coverage of
Armenians for Kerry that has appeared in the Armenian American media.
* includes extensive links to the main
website, including background information, press information, videos,
outreach, volunteering, events, an on-line forum, photos, meet-ups, and voter

The AADLC has an extensive, nation-wide record of activism in support of
Democratic Presidential candidates spanning the past several elections. For
more information about the AADLC:
Email: [email protected].

3) Media Outcry as Journalist Attackers Stay Unpunished

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Armenia’s leadership showed no signs on Tuesday of impending
punishment for violent youths that attacked journalists at an opposition rally
in Yerevan, leading to the indiscriminate smashing of TV and still cameras.
“All of this is incompatible with democratic principles and civilization in
general,” said Astghik Gevorgian, chairwoman of the Armenian Union of
The Armenian Press Club issued a more strongly-worded statement accusing
law-enforcement agencies of “neglecting their professional duty.”
President Robert Kocharian’s spokesman Ashot Kocharian said, “We condemn any
illegal act, especially one directed against journalists and
representatives of
mass media.” He would not say whether any orders were issued by the president
in connection with the incident.
“It is incomprehensible why law-enforcement bodies did not intervene in those
actions,” said deputy speaker of Armenia’s parliament Tigran Torosian,
“Regardless of who the perpetrators of that violence are, they must be
unconditionally identified and punished.”
Eyewitnesses say scores of police officers looked on as about two dozen thugs
beat journalists and smashed cameras that documented their violent attempts to
disrupt Sunday’s rally. The officers, among them the deputy chief of the
national Police Service, ignored pleas to stop the rampage. The trouble-makers
left the scene unimpeded.
The chief of the Yerevan police department, Nerses Nazarian, sought to
the police inactivity with claims that his subordinates had been issued with
orders to intervene in the proceedings only “in extreme cases.” Risking a
further media outcry, he portrayed the attack as a mere “dispute of
with opposite views.”
Several of the attackers were videotaped by a cameraman who managed to escape
Kentron was the sole Armenian TV channel to provide detailed coverage of the
attack. Other stations which also lost cameras, chose to cover-up the matter
up–an act strongly criticized by Boris Navasardian, chairman of the Yerevan
Press Club, who said that pro-Kocharian channels are acting against
“journalistic solidarity.”

4) Yedelian First Elected Armenian Councilor in Australia

SYDNEY–Newly elected Councilor for Central Ward, Ryde City Council, Sarkis
Yedelian became first Councilor elected in Australia of Armenian ancestry.
“I am deeply humbled and grateful to the people of Ryde for their support and
trust,” Yedelian said on Monday.
Yedelian was elected on a platform which offered a fresh approach to dealing
with Council issues, and bringing accountability.
“Ryde city is a great place to live, and I’ll be doing everything I can to
ensure it remains so,” Yedelian said.
Yedelian, who has lived in the area for over 20 years, operates a camera and
video production business in Gladesville.
He is a founding and current board member of Community TV Sydney Ltd., CH31,
and is also the president of Armenian TV Sydney Incorporated. Established in
1994, it is the first and remains the only Armenian TV broadcast service in
Australia run entirely by volunteers and producing 3 hours of broadcasting
He is married with two children.

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