Gibrahayer – 30 April 2004

ANNAN COLLECTS 76% “NO” AS THE REPUBLIC OF CYPRUS ENTERS THE EUROPEAN UNION

April 30, Nicosia (Gibrahayer). Amid bitter disappointment by U.N, E.U and
Anglo-American circles, Greek Cypriots shrugged certain political and
economic repercussions by sending a clear message to the architects of
the notorious Annan Plan that although Greek Cypriots remain committed
to peace and reconciliation with their Turkish Cypriot compatriots, it
cannot accept version five of the Annan Plan.

The modern-day Greek NO at 76% w as not celebrated in the Cyprus
Republic. Across the Green line Turkish Cypriots in the occupied
north threw a solo party for their 67% YES which in effect was not
politically translated either to a united Cyprus entering the EU, nor
did it mark the beginning of a united bizonal, bicommunal, federated
Cyprus.

Perhaps the most important question looming over Cypriots is the
following. Why was a Plan that was destined to collect a certain NO
vote from the Greek Cypriots, ever put to a referendum?

Although future moves by Cypriots and Greek governments remain
uncertain, they are hoping to find new solutions to old problems in
the new environment of the European Union which Cyprus joins midnight
today.

Whatever future prospects of a possible settlement may bring, no plan
will be voted and no plan will ever survive, if it does not address
key issues of security and guarantees by the international community.

——————————————————————

CYPRIOT SURVIVORS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE COMMEMORATE THE REASON THEY
ARRIVED TO CYPRUS

April 23, Nicosia (Gibrahayer) – With a solemn community gathering at
the Genocide Monument on Armenia street and Sourp Asdvadzadzin Church
the Armenian community of Cyprus commemorated in effect, the reason
they arrived in Cyprus as survivors of the first Genocide of the 20th
century nine decades ago.Â

Due to the Referendum on the Annan Plan scheduled for April 24, the
commemorative gatherings of the community took place on the evening on
April 23, 2004.

After the memorial service, Assadour Devletian took the floor and
delivered the message of the day on behalf of the Organising Commit
tee of the Armenian community of Cyprus.

Assadour Devletian’s speech can be read in its entirety by clicking
here.

The cultural highlight of the evening was the performance of the
Komitas Choir from Ainjar – Lebanon, that impressed with a selection
of Armenian classics of religious and popular songs by Yegmalian and
Komitas under maestro Barkev Taslakian.

This year, the community commemorated the victims of the Genocide
under the shadow of the nation-wide referendum which took place the
following day.

April 24 commemoration gatherings also took place on Sunday April 25,
2004. The students of the Melkonian held a school event, while the
Arme nian Clubof Larnaca held a gathering in the premises of the Club,
to which the Komitas Choir of Ainjar performed.

Due to the overwhelming coverage of local historical events, the
Cypriot media’s coverage of both the community’s commemoration and
efforts for international recognition of the Armenian Genocide, were
for the first timeminimal.

Images of the April 24 events can be viewed at:

Like every year, April 24 was commemorated throughout the
world. Yerevantsiz marched in thousands towards Dzidzernagapert, while
communities in the diaspora organised demonstrations, vigils and
gatherings. April 24 was alsomarked in Karabagh as well as Akhalkalak,
where a Khatchkar was placed in memory of the Armenian Genocide.

In California the demonstration organised by the AYF drew more than
5,000 while hun dreds marched on the Turkish consulate in Thesaloniki
to demand that Ankara recognises the genocide.

In Athens, government and parliamentary officials attended a political
gathering. Public Administration and Decentralisation Minister
Prokopis Pavlopoulos said that the international community should
exercise greater pressure on Turkey’s leaders to accept the genocide
while Greek Parliament speaker Anna Psarouda-Benaki said that
forgetfulness about the issue should be combated, regardless of
whether it stemmed from ignorance or expediency, in order to help
avert other instances.

——————————————————————

ARMENIANS AND AZERIS CLASH IN IRAN ON THE EVE OF APRIL 24

ANS TV Baku – April 25, 2004. On the eve of April 24 commemorations in
Teheran, fights were reported by Iranian media between Azeris and
Armeniansnear the Sourp Sarkis Church and at the intersection of
Kerimkhan and Weyla streets in northern Tehran.

Forty Azeris were arrested and 20 were seriously injured in the fights
which were sparked, on the eve of the April 24 commemorations in
Tehran after unknown provokateurs burned banners and emblems prepared
for April 24 events organised by the Armenian community of Iran.

The head of the Baku office of the National Revival Movement of
Southern Azerbaijan, Huseyn Turkel, said that the names of those
arrested and injured are known. Some of the injured are in hospital
and some in prison. He said that three of the injured were in a
critical condition. One of them was stabbed six times.

Huseyn Turkel said that the Armenians were chanting “Death to Turks!”
and “Damn the Turks!” when large scale fights broke out between
Armenians and Azeris when the latter tried to prevent the Armenians
from setting fire to a Turkish flag outside the Turkish embassy.

——————————————————————

HAY TAD ALERT CANADA RECOGNISES THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Armenian National Committee of Canada – April 21, 2004 – The House of
Commons adopted a motion recognising the Armenian Genocide by a
majority of 153 votes. The motion was presented by Madeleine
Dalphond-Guiral (M.P. Laval Center) and seconded by Sarkis Assadourian
(M.P. Brampton-Center), Jason Kenney (M.P. Calgary-South-East) and
Alexa McDonough (M.P. Halifax). The passing of this resolution was the
culmination of a 25 year process which encompassed similar resolutions
being passed by city councils, provinces, and t he Canadian Senate
(July 13, 2002).

“This is a victory for truth and justice.” stated Dr. Girair
Basmadjian, president of the Armenian National Committee of
Canada. “Implicated in thiscourse of action for over two decades, the
ANCC has constituted the driving force behind the process towards the
adoption of this motion,” commented Dr. G. B asmadjian. “The
accomplishment of this task was made possible through the mobilisation
as well as the implication of our grass roots members who madesure
that all Members of Parliament were aware of the importance of t his
issue for our community. ‘ Canada now joins a long list of nations
including France, Switzerland and Russia which have recognise the
Armenian Genocide of 1915.

For further information please visit the following web site:

——————————————————————

TURKEY SLAMS CANADA OVER ARMENIAN GENOCIDE VOTE

ANKARA (Reuters)–Turkey on Thursday condemned the Canadian
parliament’s decision to recognise the 1915 killing of Armenians by
Ottoman forces as genocide and warned of damage to bilateral ties.

“We strongly condemn the approval by Canada’s Federal Parliament of
this decision which follows (the pressure of) marginal groups despite
our objections,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“This decision will benefit neither Canadian Armenians nor Armenia.
Responsibility for all the negative consequences of this decision
belongs to the Canadian politicians,” it added.

The ministry did not say what these consequences might be, but Fazli
Corman, the Turkish embassy councilor in Ottawa, earlier cited the
example of Canadian companies seeking to sign contracts in
Turkey. Canadian Foreign Minister Bill Graham said the motion would
not alter Ottawa’s official policy, that while the events of 1915 were
a tragedy, they did not constitute genocide.

Canada’s embassy in Ankara issued a statement calling for
reconciliation between Turks and Armenians. It also urged their
governments to deal with the issue of the alleged genocide and to work
for greater stability in their “volatile region.”

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry accused “narrow-minded Canadian politicians”
of fomenting ethnic and religious hatred between “people of different
ethnic backgrounds who live in peace.”

DASHNAK WORLD WAR II HERO RETURNS MEDALS TO BRITAIN IN PROTEST

Yerevan April 23, (YERKIR) – Haroutiun Shilkarian, a former British
Air Force serviceman, held a news conference on Friday to announce he
was returning the two medals he was awarded by the British Government
in October of 2003 for his participation in World War II.

Dashnaktsoutiun member said he was returning the awards in protest of
the UK Ambas sador Thorda Abbott-Watt’s remark that the mass killings
of Armeniansin the Ottoman Empire were not a genocide. Shilkarian also
expressed his disappointment with the inadequate reaction the
Armenians showed after the British diplomat’s impertinent statement.

“I thought people would march in peaceful protest against the
embassy,” he complained, adding that Armenians would have done so, had
the incident happened anywhere else in the world.

——————————————————————

LEVON KAZANDJIAN’S BOYS AND GIRLS, HONOUR NAREK COLOURS AT SCHOOL
GAMES

Wednesday 21 April 2004 – Nicosia (Gibrahayer)The boys and girls of
the Narek School honoured the colours of the Armenian elementary
school by winning most of the podium positions in a five-school
athletic meeting organised by the Ministry of Education of Cyprus,
that took place at The Makarion Stadium in Nicosia.

The hard work invested by athletic master Levon Kazandjian in
combination with the support of the Parent’s Association, parents of
the athletes, and the Principle Artin Ayvazian brought a well earned
victory that makes our little Armenian community proud of its young
generatio n, who have been practisingfor months, outside school hours
and holidays.

The results speak for themselves:

75 meters Girl’s Dash
2nd: Talar Torossian,
3rd: Raslyn Gorgorian

75 meters Boy’s Dash
2nd: Mher Mnoyian

Long Jump Girl’s
2nd: Gassia Kassparian
3rd: Natalie Sammonian
Long Jump Boy’s
2nd: Onnik Tatikian

To view the complete picture Gallery of the Makarion Athletic Meeting please
click on the following link:

High Jump Girl’s
1st: Taline Keshishian
2nd: Arda Aynedjian
3rd: Carla Mahdessian

High Jump Boy’s
1st: Arek Taslakian
2nd:Antony Kalfayian

Boy’s Relay 4 x 75 meters
2nd: Narek Elementary School
Mher Mnoyian
Andrew Toffarides
Hratch Hovhanessian
Carlo Genjelian

Girl’s Relay 4 x 75 meters
1st: Narek Elementary school
Talar Torossian
Natalie Gorgorian
Christine Shahbenderian
Alice Kazandjian

At a time when the methods and ethics by which we have administered
our institutions for decades are being challenged, we need to cling on
to everything that we hold dear in our community and nurture it with
love. We have to contribute generously and make them part of our life.

Rather than reacting to unfortunate consequences in the future, we
need to be proactive by making community affairs a priority.

Let us start with these kids. Let us give them our support. Let us en
courage them by telling them that we are watching the progress they
are making.

Let us try to be present at every step of the way. Let us demand their
very best for the very best of our community not only in sports but in
life.

——————————————————————

THE FOLLOWING DAY IS HERE

Phileleftheros – Vassos Lyssarides – 27 April 2004

The people have reached their verdict. And of course it is respected
by everybody. It is natural that the pre-referendum period would have
created disputes and conflicts. But, all this belongs to the past,
despite the fact that there were moves towards foreigners that should
have been avoided. It is unanimous that the accession does not
constitute the end of the efforts, but a step towards a solution
compatible with the acquis communautaire, which by May 1st will
constitute our own family law.

I will not try to analyse the mistakes that belong to the distant past
and that have created an image quite different as compared to the true
essence of the problem. At present, we should focus on:

1. Persuading everybody that our political will for a rapid solution
is more solid than ever.

2. Providing with the skeleton of the desired solution. In other words:
– A solution that will ensure and not jeopardise our state integrity, as it
could be the case with the Annan plan.
– A solution that will put a final end to all guarantor rights and to the
foreign military presence.
– A solution that will ensure human rights and political rights without
permanent derogations.

3. Due to the climate that prevailed, it is natural that there will be a
negative reaction at the rejection of the Annan plan. Thus:
– An immediate briefing campaign within the EU should be launched. All
parties should become involved, not only the government. The base of
the campaign should be the people. The people wants a solution that
ensures the rights of everybody, even the privileges that have been
granted provided that they donot collide with the human rights of all
citizens and they do not hinder the functional operation of the state.
– The campaign should be transferred to the USA as well, and especially the
Congress, with the Greeks abroad operating as the driving force.
– The Greek leadership, irrespective of the parties’ position on the Annan
plan, should support us in this effort. High-level contacts should begin
immediately.
– The contacts with the Turkish Cyp riot parties and organisations
should be intensified. We should show them that we all belong to the
EU together and that our interests do not turn against their
own. After a thorough study, practical measures should be taken
towards this direction.

4. The unity and cooperation of everybody without exception is
necessary for the success of this effort. All Greek Cypriot parties
stated before the referendum that whatever the outcome might be, they
would be a joint actionthe following day. The following day has come
and now, we must live up to the expectations of the people.

—————————————————————–

NEWS IN BRIEF
– The Communist Party of Armenia has marked the 134th birthday of the
Russian Bolshevik Revolution leader Vladimir Lenin (b. April 22, 1870)
by restoringa monument in the southeast Armenian town of Vajk.

– Deputy Federal Chancellor, Foreign Minister of Germany Joschka
Fischer is arriving in Yerevan on Thursday for a one-day official
visit within the framework of his tour of the region.

– More than 10,000 demonstrators marched to demand the resignation of
Armenian President Robert Kocharyan, whom they accuse of rigging his
re-election last year, and to seek a national referendum on his
administration.

– Student of Yerevan Engineering University have initiated an e-mail
campaign dedicated to the victims of Armenian Genocide directed to
90,000 organisations including UNESCO, EU Parliament, Embassies,
foreign press services and NGOs

– Police in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport detained a 39 year old
Armenian citizen who was trying to smuggle over 2.6 kg of uncut
diamonds into Russia.

– Together with about 130 weightlifters from 32 European countries
seven Armenian athletes competed at the 83rd Me n’s and 17th
Womenâ=80=99s European Weightlifting Championships that took place in
Kiev that ended on April 26.

——————————————————————

DECLARATION
    It is with profound indignation that we have read the 16 March 2004
press release of the Central Board of the AGBU in New York regarding the closure
of the Melkonian Educational Institute [MEI] and the sale of its huge estate.Â
The reason given for this decision, based on the argument of the Central Board
that `The MEI no longer justifies its basic mission in the present realities
of Armenian life’, does not convince and remains incomprehensible.
    This irresponsible, short sighted and nationally-harmful decision is a
body blow to our struggle for survival and, by wiping from the face of the
earth a centre of forging Armenian identity, it undermines every hope and prospect
of developing and maintaining the Armenian language in the Diaspora.

We condemn this decision for the following reasons:Â
A – If the Melkonian Educational Institute were not fulfilling its basic
mission, it was up to the Central Board of the AGBU to redefine it instead of
taking a decision to close the MEI.
B – If, by `basic mission’, the Central Board of the AGBU had in mind the
question of providing education to large number of orphans that existed in 1926,
it is true that these do not exist in our days. It remains a fact, however,
that there exist numerous children of needy parents in our days who need an
education and an Armenian upbringing. And, in providing for them, Melkonian has
fulfilled its `mission’ marvellously.
C – If the Melkonian Educational Institute were not fulfilling its mission in
educational terms, it would have been incumbent on the Central Board of the
AGBU to raise its educational level by introducing changes in the staff of the
school instead of thinking about closing down the school.
D – If the Melkonian Educational Institute were facing financia l
difficulties, it would have been incumbent on the Central Board of the AGBUto exploit
the material potential offered by the extensive Melkonian estate and use itto
ensure that Melkonian itself thrived. If necessary, in case the Central Board
of the AGBU considered itself incompetent in the sense of material management,
it could have applied to Diaspora businesspersons outside the AGBU circles or
confer with responsible members of the Melkonian Alumni Associations, instead
of taking a decision all by itself to close down the school. All this,
without mentioning the fact that the AGBU is the wealthiest Union in the Armenian
World and has various and numerous wills and resources at its disposal. In
fact, what on Earth is its `mission’ if not to help those in need and to provide
needy children with an education? The announcement, however, is mute about
the financial reasons for its decision.
    For us, the Melkonian is the education al institute that not only
provides education at a European level but, thanks to being a boarding school, is
the only one in the world that bonds together students from 16 European
countries through the teaching of the Armenian language and culture and forges a solid
Armenian identity in them.
    It is a fact of life in education that all schoolshave their ups and
downs. We have before us the example of the Tbrotsaser school in Paris which,
only a few years ago, appeared to have no way out other than closure; yet,
today, it is a prosperous school with an ever-increasing enrolment. We also have
the case of some Armenian schools in Istanbul which at one time faced the
danger of closure because of the difficulties created by the state; but, thanks to
the capable measures taken by community organisations, they were saved from
closure by merging with other schools. Where there is a will, there will
always be a way.
     That will does exist, not with the Armenian leadership of the Central
Board of the AGBU in New York unfortunately, but with the Greek Government of
Cyprus. The latter has for long provided financial support to the MEI and now
wishes to assist by a sum three times larger than before, assuring that it will
be possible to receive large sums in the future from the European Community
thanks to the imminent accession of Cyprus to Europe. Parallel with these
prospects, and in order to thwart any prospect of selling off Melkonian, the
Government of Cyprus has declared the MEI a `national heritage site’.
    Therefore, with no prospect of the building being sold at present, we
hope that the AGBU revises its decision to close down Melkonian without delay
and announces this very shortly, and the Melkonian Educational Institute gets on
with its historic mission with renewed vigour. If the AGBU considers itself
incapable or incompetent to contin ue its patronage, it can pass it on to a
Board composed of capable persons which can undertake the financial management
of the MEI. This can save both Melkonian and the standing of the Armenian
General Benevolent Union, freeing the latter of charges of making arbitraryuse of
a deed entrusted to it. The Melkonian Educational Institute, with its78
years of magnificent record, has become the symbol of our will to survive.Â
Nobody has the right to destroy it.Â

MASHDOTZ, The Committee of the Union for the Defence of the Armenian
Language, Paris – France.

—————————————————————-

JOURNEY TO ANATOLIA 2004 13th. August 2004Â – 28th. August 2004
– Flights
                 Istanbul -Kayseri (2004-08-13)
                 Kars    - Istanbul (2004-08-28)
Airport Transfers*Boat Transfers*Package of Excursions*All Entrances for
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(only double rooms)
Price: EUROÂ 1150 – Inquiry: < BR>Alfrant Bedros Tel.: 0049-173 90 26 590
Email: [email protected]
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RECOMMENDED SITES

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g i b r a h a y   c a l e n d a r

â=80¢ Sourp Magara Vanki oukhdi orva donagadaroutiun – Sourp Badarak,
Karoz yev Madaghorhnoutiun. Sunday 2 May, 2004. Badrasdoutiun
avantakan Herisayi, dohmik mtnolordi mech, Sourp asdvadzadzin Mayr
Yegeghetsvo [email protected], Saturday May 1, 2004 at 4:00 p.m. – Hsgoum at 7:00
p.m.

â=80¢ “Timag” drama group of Hamazkayin Oshagan chapter proudly
presents its 5th annual production on Saturday 8th May 2004 at the
PASIDY auditorium in Nicosia. A hilarious comedy by the Fr ench author
Francis Webber, titled “Entrik Himari Hed” (Dinner With an Idiot) will
be presented under the direction ofMs. Janna Tahmizian. Taking part
are Nazaret Adourian, Harout Tahmazian, Aram Tavitian, Natasha
Tavoukdjian, Alidz Sarkissian, Arto Tavitian, Ardash Der
Bedrossian. Tickets on sale as from next week at 6.00 (3.00 for
minors)

â=80¢ 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.

â=80¢ HAMAZKAYIN FORUM 2004 The 10th Forum, Lebanon:From July 12-18
(Opti onal) Armenia:From July 19-31, 2004.
Thought provoking lectures, trips to historic and amazing destinations, and
nights of dancing and entertainment are only some of the Forum highlights. For
many Armenian students across the globe, the Hamazkayin Summer Forum is oneof
the most anticipated events of the year.
Those interested should visit the website for more details on how to apply.

â=80¢ AGBU – Ararat became champions for the fourth year running in
Futsal for the 2003-2004 season scoring a decisive win over Parnassos
6-1, six games before the end of the season. Their win gains increased
importance as it was achieved without Ararat’s star players Yi annos
Kammouyaros and Costas Polyviou who were punished with red cards.

â=80¢ Invitation to AGBU Nicosia Chapter’s 70th General Meeting on
Wednesday May 12, 2004 at 6:00 p.m. at the club premises.

â=80¢ 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 May 16, 2004.

———————————————————————–

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