Beirut: Hariri in Yerevan: Constructive Role of Lebanon’s Armenians

Monday Morning Weekly Magazine
April 5 2004

Hariri in Yerevan:`The constructive role of Lebanon’s Armenians’

Arriving in Yerevan last week for an official visit to Armenia,
Premier Hariri was welcomed by his Armenian counterpart, Andranki
After a short pause in the VIP salon, the two men went to the prime
minister’s office for a private discussion, after which they were
joined by other officials, including ministers Fuad Saniora, Elias
Skaff, Ghazi Aridi, Marwan Hamadé and Samir Jisr.
Hariri then drove to the Parliament House for an address in which he
commended Lebanon’s Armenian community which, he said, `always
rejected participation in the civil war. On the contrary, they have
since the conflict contributed to the reconstruction of the country’.
He went on: `The Lebanese and Armenian parliaments have ratified
several agreements from which the private sector should benefit’.
On the regional situation, Hariri said, `The situation is certainly
complicated: it is explosive in Iraq and Israel’s occupation of the
Palestinian territories can degenerate at any moment. We call for
peace between the Arabs and Israel, and we believe this peace is
possible, on condition that Israel agrees to apply UN resolutions’.
On another subject, the prime minister stressed the importance of
Lebanon’s association agreement with the European Union, to the
extent that `it will highlight democratic practice and human rights
in Lebanon and will reinforce the independence of the judiciary in
such a way as to adapt our system to that of European countries’.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Campaign of donations for literature

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
March 29, 2004


On November 12 the Writer’s Union of Armenia and the All-Armenian
Literary Foundation undertook a marathon to raise funds for
literature. The Armenians of Artsakh also joined to this action. In
Stepanakert the marathon started on March 20 in the hall of the NKR
Writer’s Union. It was opened by the chairman of the Writerâ=80=99s
Union of Armenia, writer and publicist Levon Ananian. He informed that
the marathon started and is successfully going on in the Republic of
Armenia and the communities of the Armenian Diaspora. Then the head of
the Diocese of Artsakh Parghev archbishop Martirossian addressed the
meeting. The first donations were made by the rector of the university
“Narekatsi” Vardan Hakobian, Parghev archbishop Martirossian, NKR
minister of education and culture Armen Sarghissian, writer and
director of the publishing house “Sona” Maxim Hovhannissian, professor
of Artsakh State University, doctor, professor Sokrat Khanian, the
editor-in-chief of the periodical “Ple Pughi” Hrachia Beglarian,
businessmen, others. The list of the people who participated in the
marathon will be published in the upcoming issues of “AA”. The
all-Armenian marathon for literature is going on. The results will be
known on April 10-15.


Works of Artsakh composers

Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
March 29, 2004


For the first time in 2002 the Music Conference of Armenia undertook
the publication in three books of the vocal, instrumental and piano
works of the composers of Artsakh in Armenian and English. The
selection was compiled by professor of the State Conservatoire after
Komitas Nelly Avetissian and edited by the professor of the State
Conservatoire Mikhail Kogzhaev. The publication was sponsored by
Armenian benefactor Gevorg Janik Oskanian from Belgium. In the book
“The Vocal Works of Artsakh Composers” are placed the works by Milas
Manassian, Edward Ghazarian, Sergey Markossian, Armen Nasibian and
Simon Sarghissian written on the poems by Vahan Terian, G. Pozhenian,
V. Ovian, D. Mikaelian and K. Danielian. The book “The Instrumental
Works of Artsakh Composers” includes the works of Milas Manassian,
Sergey Markossian, Armen Nasibian and Simon Sarghissian. And the third
book “The Piano Works of Artsakh Composers” includes the works by
Milas Manassian “You are Immortal” (in the memory of azatamartik
Vladimir Balayan), “Dream” (in the memory of azatamartik Ashot
Ghulian), “Reflections N 2”, “Bombing”, “Reveries N 1”, “Four
Aphorisms” by Sergey Markossian and “The Fate of the Young Man” by
Armen Nasibian. Expressing their gratitude to the Music Conference of
Armenia, particularly to its chairman, professor of the State
Conservatoire after Komitas Levon Chaushian for this undertaking, the
composers of Artsakh view this publication as an unprecedented
phenomenon in the sphere of Armenian and world music. Therefore they
want to draw the attention of the government of Karabakh to this,
calling them to undertake similar actions in our republic. The
mentioned selections include mainly small works, whereas the composers
of Artsakh have also big works, ballets and symphonies to be
published. These works should be presented to the foreign audience.


An average MP; Oliver Baldwin: a life of dissent Christopher J Walke

New Statesman
March 29, 2004

An average MP; Oliver Baldwin: a life of dissent Christopher J Walker

Arcadia Books, 355pp, GBP12.99 ISBN 1900850869

by Andrew Lycett

Photographed in flowing Coronation robes in 1953, Oliver Baldwin
looked like a portly grandee in one of his favourite Gilbert and
Sullivan operettas. His Ruritanian features masked the sad, decent,
homosexual son of the inter-war Conservative prime minister.

For six decades Baldwin fils laboured at soldiering, journalism and
politics, and for a short, hilarious time he became governor general
of the Leeward Islands. But his troubled, rebellious temperament
ensured that he never enjoyed the glittering prizes for which he
seemed destined.

His difficulties surfaced at Eton, which he loathed for its cruel
snobberies. He could not wait to leave school and sign up for the
First World War. But his experience of the trenches confirmed his
independent streak. He returned with the belief that humanity should
live in harmony. Perhaps suffering from shell shock, he dropped out,
joining the Comrades of the Great War (a forerunner of the British
Legion) in the forlorn hope that the group might initiate social

He found liberation in the sunshine and Arab culture of North Africa.
A chance meeting in Alexandria inspired him to accept a job as an
infantry instructor in beleaguered Armenia, which had gained
independence from the Turks in May 1918. No sooner had he arrived in
Yerevan in late 1920 than the weak social democrat government
crumpled and Baldwin was imprisoned by pro-Bolshevik putschists.

He was freed in a counter-revolution a few months later, but while
travelling home he was arrested again by the Turks who, angry at his
espousal of the Armenian cause, accused him of spying for the
Soviets. The jail conditions were, if anything, worse, and execution
a daily threat.

Despite a brief, unconvincing engagement, he opted after his release
to live with Johnnie Boyle, a charming ne’er-do-well who had run a
tea shop. The couple set up home in Oxfordshire, where they raised
turkeys, welcomed guests such as Beverley Nichols, and referred
devotedly to each other as ‘koot’ – apparently after the phrase
‘queer as a coot’. Walker describes their domestic life as ‘one of
gentle, amicable, animal-loving primitive homosexual socialism’.

Baldwin began taking socialism seriously. He joined the Labour Party
and, after a false start, won seats at Dudley and later Paisley. An
average MP, he was better known for his journalism, incongruously
using the Rothermere press to propagate an anti-fascist message. He
also wrote books about Armenia, politics and a curious novel called
The Coming of Aissa, which emphasised the socialistic leanings of
Jesus within an agnostic, Asian, neoplatonic context.

Baldwin’s service in the Second World War is best skimmed over. He
found a berth in the Middle East in a propaganda job that Walker
insists had intelligence links. His claim to fame was (shades of the
Americans in Panama) to run a loudspeaker unit that tried to win over
enemy waverers by blasting out broadcasts on the battlefield in

Returning to politics, he was made a peer – for no better reason, one
suspects, than that the Labour Party needed bodies in the Lords. But
before he could take his seat (uniquely, he would have sat opposite
his father in both houses of parliament), the old man died and Oliver
was elevated as the 2nd Earl Baldwin.

When he went to the Leeward Islands in 1948 he took two male friends
(one as private secretary, the other as butler) and ran an
egregiously camp governor’s household. The plantocracy was soon
complaining about foibles such as skinny-dipping with visiting
sailors. One woman alerted the Colonial Office to his enthusiasm for
steel bands with such butch-sounding names as Brute Force. She feared
that Baldwin might turn these into paramilitary units to overthrow
the constitution.

But Baldwin’s real sin, epitomised in a speech in which he quoted
from the Mahabharata, was to foster a sense of multiracial
inclusiveness. After a politi- cal storm, he was recalled to London
to explain. The colonial secretary decided to defuse matters by
sending the governor back. But his career was finished.

Walker is alert to the comedy and pathos of this intriguing slice of
alternative history. He writes crisply and sympathetically, although
a sense of his ennui occasionally intrudes. He has access to good
primary material, including letters that show his father and mother
affectionately and rather nobly coping with his ‘dissidence’ (the
author’s own word). Walker might however have made more effort to
flesh out his account from other sources, such as Turkish archives.

Ultimately, one must weigh up whether this biography of a lightweight
is worth reading as a political or even as a human-interest tale. It
scores on both counts.

Andrew Lycett’s most recent book is Dylan Thomas: a new life
(Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

Melkonian School will be closed in June 2005

Azat Artsakh – Repubic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 24, 2004


By the decision of the office of the Armenian General Benevolent Union
the Melkonian school in Cyprus will be closed in June 2005. The basis
for this decision was the belief of the AGBU that this educational
institution failed its essential task to increase the knowledge of the
students and instill moral values in them. The school founded in 1926
had a humanitarian mission in the beginning, sheltering the Armenian
children who had lost their parents during the genocide of the
Armenians. Instead of the school the AGBU plans establishing a
secondary school for the Armenian children of Cyprus, as well as
founding youth complex Melkonian in Armenia to enable the young
representatives of the Armenian Diaspora to visit their historical


Armenian women chess players among leaders of Europe championship

March 24 2004


DRESDEN, MARCH 24, ARMENPRESS: Armenian chess women players, Lilit
Mkrtchian, Elina Danielian and Nelly Aghinian have overcome their
rivals in the third round of Europe’s individual championship in
Germany’s Dresden. Lilit Mkrtchian overcame Antoinette Stefanova of
Bulgaria, Elina Danielian snatched the victory from Papadopulo from
Greece and Nelly Aghinian beat Zimina from Russia.
Lilit Mkrtchian with three points is among the leaders, Danielian
and Aghinian won each 2.5 and 2 points.