ASBAREZ Online [04-09-2004]


1) Opposition Rally in Yerevan
2) Minister Quits After Son’s Arrest
3) Announcement
4) Congresswoman Napolitano to Speak at April 23 Genocide Vigil-Rally
5) Prelate’s Easter Message
6) Primate’s Easter Message:

1) Opposition Rally in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Noyan Tapan/RFE/RL)–The April 9 rally organized by the Artarutyun
alliance and the National Unity Party, calling for Armenia’s president Robert
Kocharian to step down or a referendum on his legitimacy, began with a
delay and ended without major incident.
Reported attendance at the rally varied, with police estimates at 6,500;
Tapan estimated that 25,000-30,000 people were present, while Radio Liberty
the number at 10,000. Witnesses, meanwhile, told Asbarez that 10,000, at most,
people were present.
Rally organizers decided against marching towards Kocharian’s official
residence. Hundreds of riot police and interior troops backed by water cannons
were on standby near the street leading to the presidential palace.
While there was no visible police presence, opposition sources said at least
eight demonstrators were arrested by plainclothes police immediately after the
rally. The head of the Yerevan central Kentron district police department
Hovannes Tamamian, confirmed that “several” opposition supporters were
at Freedom Square and would be charged with administrative offenses.
Midway through the rally, almost half of the participants disbanded. More
a hundred people remained at the square late in the evening, singing songs and
listening to folk music.

2) Minister Quits After Son’s Arrest

YEREVAN (RFE/RL)–Urban Development Minister Ara Aramian stepped down on
following the arrest of his son accused of involvement in a high-profile
gunfight in a Yerevan café earlier this month.
“Given the artificial uproar [over the incident] that could damage the
reputation of the country’s leadership, my party, and me, I find it ethical to
resign,” he told RFE/RL.
Aramian denied that the decision was taken under pressure from his Orinats
Yerkir Party, which has been coping with the political fallout from the
shooting. The party’s leader, parliament speaker Artur Baghdasarian, promised
to announce plans to replace him on Wednesday.
The arrest of 24-year-old Hayk Aramian was announced by prosecutors on
He was charged with an attempted murder and illegal arms possession. Aramian
was among at least five men wounded in the apparent settling of score.
His father effectively denied the charges. “My son never carried weapons,
drank, or smoked in his life. He has always been a benchmark for his friends,”
he said.
According to media reports, relatives of other senior government officials
also took part in the gunfight, which broke out while the presidents of
and Georgia dined at a next-door jazz club.

3) Announcement

April 24 Commemorations

We would like to inform the public that the following events have been
organized in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide:

Public Gathering at Montebello Monument
Saturday, April 25, 1 PM

Keynote speaker from Armenia, National Assembly member Levon Mkrtchian by
special invitation
Program will begin with a requiem service.
Transportation will be provided from various locations (please see ad on page
10 of Asbarez Armenian section).

Rally Against Denial
April 23 at 8 PM
Homenetmen Ararat Center
3347 San Fernando Road, Los Angeles, CA

Demonstration at Turkish Consulate
Saturday, April 24, 4 PM
4801 Wilshire Blvd. (corner of Wilshire & June), Los Angeles, CA

Let us participate in vast numbers to convey our protests effectively and

Armenian Genocide 89th Anniversary
Commemorative Committee

4) Congresswoman Napolitano to Speak at April 23 Genocide Vigil-Rally

MONTEBELLO–Congresswoman Grace F. Napolitano (D-CA) will be one of the
guest speakers at the Genocide Remembrance Vigil/Rally on the evening of April
23, announced the Armenian National Committee San Gabriel Valley spokesperson.
Napolitano, who represents the 38th District, is a strong advocate of Armenian
American issues on Capitol Hill.
Organized by the ANC, this year’s Genocide Remembrance Vigil/Rally will be
start at 8:00 p.m., on Friday, April 23, at the Armenian Martyrs Monuments in
Biknell Park, Montebello. The official program will begin at 8:30 p.m.; it
will include video presentation and speeches. Along with Congresswoman
Napolitano, guest speakers will include other local and state dignitaries. The
event will conclude with the traditional vigil and prayer.

5) Prelate’s Easter Message

Today Angels descending from heaven the give tidings of great joy to mankind:
“He who was crucified is risen and has resurrected you with Him.” Let us then
renew our lives with renewal as a new people today through the Resurrection of
Christ. (from the Patrum Chant of Easter Morning)
Being obedient to the Will of His Father, the Son of God stretched His
immaculate arms upon the Cross, thereby perfectly fulfilling His earthly
mission. He was buried in a new tomb, and then rose from the dead on the
day as the immortal and heavenly groom. By His death He trampled upon Death,
and He granted new life to all those who believed in Him, and who followed His
Way, His Truth, and His Life.
With the glorious Resurrection our Lord Jesus Christ completed the mission of
the revelation of God, and as the Lamb of God, He took away the sin of the
Behold once again the supreme meaning of our Faith and the foundation of its
victory are celebrated with the joyous tidings of the Resurrection which fill
our hearts and enkindle our souls with new breath.
“Today Angels descending from Heaven give tidings of great joy to mankind: He
who was crucified is risen and has resurrected you with Him.”
Such encouraging words! Such a hopeful testimony! Such inspiring good
The Apostle Paul, the famous preacher of the Resurrection, conveys to us the
great message with the same inspiration and emphasis:
“If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above,
Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.” (Colossians 3:1)
The Oil-bearing Women who discovered the empty tomb early on the first day of
the week and told the Disciples were indeed the first witnesses of the
Resurrection. They saw the risen Lord, they received His peaceful greeting,
and as He commanded them, they went out to the entire world, baptized all who
believed, preached salvation, and by giving testimony of the hope of the
Resurrection, turned the eyes and attention of the faithful to the glorious
Second Coming of the Lord.
From the earliest days following the Pentecost, the lives of our people have
been miraculously transformed through the miracle of the Resurrection because
our fathers and mothers not only understood the mystery of the Resurrection
in fact effected the very mystery of renewal in the life of the Armenian
Today, more than ever, the Feast of the Resurrection invites us to accept the
responsibility of renewal by abiding in the way of truth.
Dear faithful,
As children of the Armenian nation and as members of the same Church, let us
go forth in the spirit of the message of the Holy Resurrection, remembering
words of the Apostle Paul:
“For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly
we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection: knowing this, that our
old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with,
that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” (Romans 6:5-6)
Our Lord Jesus Christ comforted His disciples, saying:
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the
world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the
world.” (John 16:33)
With these same words of encouragement, as children of God and children of
Armenian nation, let us strive to overcome our own tribulations, weaknesses,
and doubts. Let us flee from all those conditions and lifestyles which
and indeed which thwart the manifestation of the risen Lord in our life. Let
us be mindful of the message of Apostle Paul not to follow in the ways of
who choose not to be obedient to God, and enhanced with the spirit of the
Resurrection in our personal, family, national, and church lives, let us “Do
not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and
have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of
Him who created him” (Colossians 3:9-10).
Dear faithful,
Let us comprehend the mystery of the Resurrection according to the encyclical
of His Holiness Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, by which he
has declared 2004 to be the “Year of the Armenian Family.”
Let us renew and restore our family life by strengthening our Apostolic
by rediscovering our traditions and customs, and by reconnecting the youth of
the community with our ancestral virtues.
May the presence of the resurrected Saviour within every Armenian family
bestow a new life therein and transform us into a family of Paradise so that
our attention and focus may be directed heavenward.
By the Resurrection of Christ may every Armenian family be cleansed of
transgressions, and being rejuvenated, and every Armenian family resume the
to Truth and Eternal Life.
Renewed by the message of the glorious and holy Resurrection, we convey our
love and Easter Greetings and Blessings to the Reverend Clergy, the Central
Executive, the parishes and parochial institutions, educational and cultural
organizations, charitable foundations, and all of the faithful who serve and
are served within the Prelacy. We pray that our Lord who renews all may grace
us likewise, and through His Resurrection may He grant newness of life in
Armenia, in Artsakh, and throughout the Diaspora.

Christ is risen from the dead!
Blessed is the Resurrection of Christ!

Prayerfully yours,
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian
Prelate, Western United States

6) Primate’s Easter Message:

“To me, living is Christ and dying is gain” (Philippians 1:21)

Inspired and enriched by the mystery of the Holy Resurrection of Christ the
words of St. Paul are as powerful as a prayer. The same words not only come as
powerful prayer echoing in our hearts, but as a way of life, because we
the truth that “Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant
and sacrifice to God.” (Eph. 5:2)
The mystery of the Holy Resurrection of Christ becomes the essence of our
spiritual life only when the old person in us is reborn and we fearlessly
inaugurate the new man, ” to put away your former way of life, your old self,
corrupt and deluded by its lusts, and to be renewed in the spirit of your
minds, and to clothe yourselves with the new self, created according to the
likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-25)
The entire spiritual journey of Lent leas us to the glorious mystery of the
Resurrection of Christ, which ushered in for mankind a new life and the
Christian believer discovered within himself the divine power that enables one
to constantly renew his life to the extent that he feels in his soul the
miracle of the new life.
Dear faithful, with a joyous heart we send you our Easter Message and call
upon all of you to rededicate you lives to Christ, to enter the depths of the
mystery of the Holy Resurrection through the most noble life of prayer, and to
discover in your souls the divine grace which makes it possible for us to
our God-given lives. Undoubtedly each one of us needs the power of
regeneration. Life may often be influenced by the manifold temptations of the
world, but when a life is established on the cornerstone of the life-giving
Resurrection of Christ it can repel the perils that it encounters every day.
The glorious Resurrection of Christ opens before us the dawn of a new life.
The Giver of life opens before us a new way in Christ, the Son of God, so that
through the sacrifice of His life becomes the spiritual light of a new life
the entire human race.
Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ! The
foundation of our Christian faith is the Holy Resurrection of Christ. Without
the Resurrection of Christ Christianity would become for us a set of moral
principles for life and a guiding doctrine. But Christianity is life itself,
the source of salvation, because it is anchored in the personal sacrifice of
Christ. Christianity is the movement from the mind to the heart that is dawned
first in our own thoughts and then becomes the moving energy of our entire
being. It is not possible to explain in words alone our faith in the Holy
Resurrection. The Resurrection of Christ is ever spreading force that is
kneaded in our essence and separates us from the foreign thoughts that have no
root in God. In the words of St. Nerses the Graceful we subject our souls
entirely to God and we take refuge in His power. “To you I surrender my soul.
You provide and satisfy the needs of my soul and body.”
Dear faithful, the resurrection of Christ casts the roots of new life also in
our Holy Church when we awaken in us the vision of a new Church, a revitalized
Church. The Armenian Apostolic Church has reached such a critical moment when
the mission of our Holy Church must echo the new circumstances of life. And to
revitalize the Church means to lead the very same Church to a spiritual
in the mystery of the Resurrection. To revitalize does not mean to reject the
traditions that have reached us through the centuries, but to connect the
people to those traditions, and to reunite as one reality the Church and the
people who are drawing apart from one another. For when the Church does not
reflect our life today she remains merely a concept, a lifeless doctrine. We
are living in times when Christianity remains disconnected to man, when one
turns to other sources to satisfy one’s spiritual thirst, sources that provide
only temporary satisfaction to one’s spiritual needs. Today this is the
in Armenia and in the Diaspora. The reality is no different for the
faithful of
the Western Diocese of the Armenian Church of North America. In order to
satisfy their spiritual thirst children of our Church leave the Mother Church
and lead their lives on the paths of uncertainty. The situation dictates that
we stay in our home and rejuvenate, renew and enrich the traditions of the
Armenian Church that have reached us through the centuries. The Church is
not a
reality detached from us, and it is necessary to make the active life the very
aim and purpose of the Church through visible actions. Anything else would
suggest weakness, which we reject.
The glorious Holy Resurrection of Christ today is an invitation to all the
children of the Armenian Apostolic Church without exception to return home.
mystery of the glorious Resurrection of Christ becomes real when through Holy
Etchmiadzin a new unity is established in our community, a unity whose
will enable us to see more brightly the eternal truths.
Christ is risen from the dead! Blessed is the resurrection of Christ!

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian, Primate
Easter 2004

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