Gibrahayer – 04/04/2004

GIBRAHAYER

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I CALL ON YOU TO SAY A STRONG ‘NO’ President Papadopoulos rejects
Annan Plan

PRESIDENT Tassos Papadopoulos urged Greek Cypriots to reject the Annan
plan outright in the referendum on April 24, saying a â=80=98yes’
votewould lead to permanent partition, and that efforts for a solution
would not stop when Cyprus joined the EU on May 1.

“After judging all the facts and with a full realisation of the
historic moment we live through and my heavy responsibility, I am
sincerely sorry that I cannot sign acceptance of the Annan plan,”
Papadopoulos said at the end of an hour-long speech to the nation.

“I call on you to reject the Annan plan. I call on you to say a strong
‘no’, I am asking you to defend what is right, your dignity and
history,’he added with tears in his eyes. He also said the plan
effectively wrote off the 1974 Turkish invasion and legitimised the
presence of thousands of Turkish troops and settlers on the island.

The President’s 55 minute televised historic speech can be read in its
entirety at

KALAYDJIAN FINDS ANNAN PLAN UNFAIR

Nicosia – Gibrahayer- April 4, 2004. Armenian representative in the
Cyprus Parliament Bedros Kalaydjian finds the fifth version of the
Annan plan unfair. He told Cyprus Weekly that although more
information was required before taking a final position, overall the
Armenians considered the Annan Plan unfair.

Initially, the general consensus among the Armenian community for the
Annan Plan was that we were so close to a solution and we should take
advantage of it. The Armenians believed that a united Cyprus would
mean a vibrant economy and therefore many of us were in favour of the
Plan. We realised that the first ten years after reunification would
be tough but we were prepared to take the burden for it, so that our
children can inherit a better future.

But now we deem – from what we hear and without seeing it – the fifth
version of the Annan plan as an unfair distribution of interests, to
the disadvantage of the Greek Cypriot side and the benefit of the
Turkish Cypriot side, ” Kalaydjian told The Cyprus Weekly.

After EU accession, Cypriot Armenians, expected the island to abide to
European laws but with with the derogation in the plan they found this
is not the case, especially with armies remaining to protect one side
from the other, Kalaydjian said.

For the Armenians of Cyprus, he said, the security issue was a main
concern and the stay of the Turkish army and its right to intervene in
the Greek constituent state is not positive.

Although minority groups, gained a number of advantages with the Annan
plan, and the Armenian community would have full members of parliament
rather than group representatives, Armenians in Cyprus would like to
see a more European and more fairer solution, said Kalaydjian.

Former Attorney General Addresses community gathering

Former Attorney General Alecos Markides was the guest speaker of a
community gathering which took place at the Utudjian Hall of the
Armenian Prelature on March 24, 2004 at 7:00 p.m.

There was a good community turnout at the invitation of Archbishop
Hergelian and Armenian representative Bedros Kalaydjian. The topic of
discussion was the future state of affairs in Cyprus as presented BY
the Annan Plan and in particular the rights and the obligations of
Armenian community of Cyprus.

The many questions put forward by members of our community was
evidence that there are still many aspects of the peace deal that are
still unclear and that the community.Ă‚ Attendants of the gathering
were very concerned about the security issues related to the Plan as
well as ownership rights both as a community and as individuals
counting its losses from Turkish occupation for the second or third
time.

TURKEY NOT READY FOR EU MEMBERSHIP

02.04.2004 YEREVAN. (YERKIR). – The European Parliament on Thursday,
April 1 voted with an overwhelming majority in favor of a report
saying that Turkeyis not yet ready to start EU membership talks. With
211 votes in favor and 84 against, MEPs said while Turkey has made
many important reforms since last year in order to meet the political
criteria for EU membership, it still needs to implement the reforms in
many areas. The Euro-deputies had a range of criticisms against the
country – including the continued influence of the army in politics,
the continuing torture practices and the discrimination of religious
minorities. They also raised the question of whether the European
Union can absorb sucha large and relatively poor country. Although
the European Parliament’s report is not legally binding, it will send
a negative political signal to Ankara which lately has become much
more optimistic about its chances of getting the go-ahead from member
states this year. However, the country still has some strong backing
from influential member states – particularly Germany and the UK. The
key question is likely to be whether France will support Turkish
membership.

Yerevan residents for Armenia’s joining EU 02.04.2004
YEREVAN. (YERKIR). – A poll conducted in March among the residents of
Armenian capital Yerevan revealed that 75.2 percent of the residents
of Yerevan favor the idea of Armenia joining the European Union, 17.4
percent are against it, and 7.4 percent are undecided. The poll was
conducted by the European Integration, a non-governmental
organization, in assistance with Germany’s Ebert Fund, in March among
500 individuals over the age 18. Most respondents have said that
Armenia has problems with Turkey and Azerbaijan, and also have
mentioned the non-recognition of the Armenian Genocide by some
European countries – pointing out Great Britain in particular — as a
key issue. The European Integration is planning to hold other polls
too, the next being one on corruption.

AZERI RADICAL GROUP PLANS MARCHING ON TO KARABAGH

AzerNews, Azerbaijan, April 1 2004 – The Garabagh Liberation
Organization (GLO) plans to march to Garabagh on May 8 – the day of
the occupation of Azerbaijan’s historic city, Shusha GLO chairman Akif
Naghi told AssA-Irada that members of the radical group planned to
march from Baku to Afatli village in Aghdam District and further carry
on the protest action in the Armenia-occupied lands of Azerbaijan.
GLO intends to involve representatives from international
organizations in the march which is expected to bring together
hundreds of thousands of people. In December 2003, the GLO demanded
that the government of Azerbaijan take drastic measures against
Armenia by May 8 this year. “If no measures are taken before the
deadline, the GLO has the right to take urgent steps in this respect,”
Akif Naghi stressed.

AZERBAIJAN MARKS GENOCIDE DAY. In a 31 March address to mark
Azerbaijani Genocide Day, President Ilham Aliyev accused Armenians of
pursuing a policyof genocide against Azerbaijanis for the past two
centuries with the aim of driving Azerbaijanis from their territory
and incorporating it into a “Greater Armenia,” Interfax reported.

He said Azerbaijan is working to eliminate the consequences of
“Armenian aggression,” and that he is certain the Karabakh conflict
will be resolved “in keeping with international legal norms.” Genocide
Day was first observed in1998 at the behest of Ilham Aliyev’s father
and predecessor Heidar Aliyev, marking the date in 1918 when
predominantly Armenian Bolshevik forces killed some 50,000 people in
Baku.

DASHNAKTSOUTIUNĂ‚ CALLĂ‚ ARMENIANĂ‚ AUTHORITIESĂ‚ ANDĂ‚ OPPOSITIONĂ‚ FORĂ‚
DIALOGUE

Yerkir web site, Yerevan, 5 Apr 04 – One of the parties in the
Armenian coalition government has called on the authorities and
opposition to begin dialogue. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation –
Dashnaktsoutiun said in astatement on 5 April that the country was on
the verge of open conflict. It blamed the situation on “the
opposition’s intolerant and extreme position of political disobedience
through non-recognition of the authorities’ legitimacy, on onehand,
and the authorities’ reluctance to fully engage the opposition in the
key issues of the country on the other”.

The Dashnaks said that dialogue should lead to agreement on real
reforms, primarily on an election system that meets international
standards, constitutional reform to enhance democracy and a
comprehensive fight against corruption, the black economy and the clan
system.

The following is the text of the report in English, as published by
Armenian newspaper Yerkir web site on 5 April; subheadings inserted
editorially:

Authorities and opposition to blame for current tension

The Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsoutiun held a news
conference on Monday [5 April] and issued a statement over the
political developments in Armenia. The following is the full text of
the statement.

The political tension in the republic approaches to the dangerous line
of open confrontation. The further escalation of the situation may
result in destabilization of the country, distort the image of the
state and stop thenormal pace of the country’s development. Public
resentment resulting from socio-economic problems are politically
exploited with an aim to reach a political crisis and swift change of
power.

The tactics of creating political turmoil and environment of
intolerance produces unacceptable internal political relations. The
opposition’s intolerant and extreme position of political disobedience
through non-recognition of the authorities’ legitimacy on one hand,
and the authorities’ reluctance to fully engage the opposition in the
key issues of the country on the other hand, lie in the heart of the
current political tension.

The real reasons for the existing resentment are low efficiency of
solving the problems and hard social conditions. The Armenian
Revolutionary Federation (ARF) completely recognizes and acknowledges
its share of responsibility in this issue.

Political agreement needed

Today, we are in front of the imperative to prevent possible
confrontation, and the best way is to reach a political agreement. The
agreement should be based on awareness and readiness to jointly solve
the fundamental issues ofthe people. Any agreement will be possible if
only there is a will to ensure the opposition’s engagement in solving
the issues and meeting each other halfway. Taking into account the
complexity of the relations in the internal political life, as well as
the degree of the divergence of positions, we are offeringa mechanism
of reaching an agreement.

To discuss the possibility of reaching such an agreement, there should
be a dialogue without pursuing demands that are unacceptable for the
other side. Steps that would divide the society into friends and
enemies, and actions leading to clashes should be avoided.

A dialogue would be fruitful if the following principles are kept;

– the dialogue should be legally based on the Armenian Constitution
and laws;

– the actions of the sides should be strictly within the laws and
constitutional order;

– both sides should moderate their positions;

There should be no winners and losers in the dialogue: either we all
win and ensure rapid and stable development of the country, or we all
lose and face devastating consequences of civil clash.

The intention to ensure real and guaranteed reforms in the country and
in people’s life should be the subject of the agreement. Following
priority issues should be included in the agreement:

– an election system entirely meeting international standards should
be formed;

– constitutional reforms to enhance democratic mechanisms should be
implemented;

– a comprehensive fight against corruption, black economy and clan
system should be carried out.

To guarantee the efficiency of implementing the agreement, the
opposition’s participation should be ensured. It can be in form of the
opposition’s inclusion in the Security Council, in fight against
corruption, as well as making it possible to adopt constitutional and
election reforms through consensus, and other options and solutions
depending on the degree of the agreement.

It is necessary to use the remaining time efficiently for voluntary
concessions. Otherwise, the entire responsibility for future
confrontation will be laid on the side that missed the chance of
agreement. Further developments will force the political forces to
make concessions, anyway.

The political coalition should become the one in charge and the
guarantor of the dialogue and agreement. The ARF strictly condemns any
actions that might push the country to unpredictable external and
internal consequences, and firmly stands in the positions of
maintaining the law and constitutional order; it is ready to back any
constructive initiatives in favour of guaranteed political reforms and
political reconciliation.

THOUSANDS PROTEST IN ARMENIAN CAPITAL AND CALL FOR BIGGER RALLY ON
FRIDAY

AP Worldstream Apr 05, 2004 – An estimated 8,000 opposition
demonstrators gathered for a rally in the center of the Armenian
capital on Monday, and one of the protest’s leaders said an even
larger demonstration to take place Friday.

“A change of power is unavoidable,” Artashes Gegamian, leader of the
National Unity bloc, told the gathering. “Massive acts of protest will
begin April 9.”

Armenia is gripped by an array of dissatisfactions – from poverty to
the unresolved status of the ethnic Armenian enclave of
Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan – which were aggravated by widespread
complaints that last year’s presidential and parliamentary elections
were fraudulent.

Unidentified youths smashed video and still cameras of several
journalists at the rally.

Some women at the rally circulated among police, giving them
carnations in an apparent echo of the roses given by protesters to
police in neighboring Georgia during last year’s massive
demonstrations that forced President Eduard Shevardnadze to resign.

– Armenia and Iran will sign a final contract in Yerevan in late
April on the construction of a gas pipeline linking the two
countries. Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh will arrive in
Armenia to sign the document.

– President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev will travel to Turkey on April
13 for his first visit here since becoming president last year and
will meet leaders in Ankara and have discussions with business circles
in Istanbul.

– Armenians in the diaspora intend to demonstrate outside British
embassies on 24 April, because of comments by British ambassador to
Armenia who said that the 1915 mass killings of Armenians in the
Ottoman Empire were not genocide.

– Foreign investment in the Armenian economy stood at 230m US dollars
in 2003. Direct investment was 153m, an 8.9 per cent increase on
2002. Privatization of state enterprises accounted for 43.8 per cent
of direct investment, or 67m dollars.

HAPPY EASTER TO YOU ALL

To all subscribers of Gibrahayer, I would like to wish Happy Easter
and thank you all for your substantial moral and constructive
contribution to our weekly e-newsletter.

I would specially like to thank Dr.Nazaret Armenakian of Limassol –
webmaster of – for his continued technical support.

Pari Zadig polorin – Simon Aynedjian – 9 April 2004 – Gibros

g i b r a h a y   c a l e n d a r

– Dzaghgazart was celebrated in all Armenian Churches in Cyprus on
Sunday. Click on the following link to view pictures from the Mass at
Sourp Kevork Church in LimassolÂ

– The Armenian Prelature of Cyprus announces that the next permit
for the Armenian Cemetery visitation at Ayios Dhometios on the Green
line, is scheduled for Sunday April 18, 2004.

– Armenian Easter – which coincides with Greek Orthodox Easter
thisyear – will be celebrated in all Armenian Churches in Nicosia,
Limassol and Larnaca on Sunday April 11, 2004.

– English Day in Limassol Nareg School was organised last
week. Click on the following link to view pictures from the event.

– AYMA wrapped up its obligations in the Cyprus Amateur Soccer
League for 2003 – 2004 season with a 2-2 draw against Ikaroi. Scorers
for the Armenianteam, were Vako Shekherdemian and Chris Eudjourian who
scored from a corner kick.

– The 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide which coincides
with the Annan Plan Referendum of April 24, will be commemorated in
Cyprus, possiblyon the evening of Friday April 23 at the 1915 Genocide
Memorial on Armenia street.Ă‚ Light a candle in memory for the martyrs
of the Armenian Genocide on

– The Larnaca Armenian Club organised a Luncheon on March 7 at
Leonidas Restaurant. Plenty of food, wine, Armenian live music &
kochari. Images of the event can be viewed at

– Former Cyprus Davis Cup star Haig Ashdjian was runner up in an
International over 45 Veteran’s Tournament that took place in
Larnaca. Tennis players from the occupied north, many European
countries and Greece participated.

– Six year old Edmond Aynedjian was a finalist in a Pancyprian
under eight tennis tournament at the Cyprus National Tennis Centre in
Makedonitissa. More than 100 players from all towns and ten tennis
clubs in Cyprus participatedin the three-day event. Pictures from the
tournament at

– A Tour to Armenia is being organised by the Central Executive of
Hamazkayin from August 20-September 3, 2004 with the participation of
members and friends from Armenian diaspora communities. Trips to
Karabagh are also scheduled. To receive more info and to apply for the
trip please contact the Cyprus Hamazkayin committee members until
April 31, 2004.

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