Bible study series to take place at First Armenian Presbyterian

The Porterville Recorder, CA
March 20 2004

Bible study series to take place at First Armenian Presbyterian

By The Porterville Recorder staff

“The Last Journey,” an exploration of the Gospel of Luke, is the
theme of the 2004 Lenten Bible Study Series at the First Armenian
Presbyterian Church of Fresno.

The series will take place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 1
and April 8. on April 8. Lent is the 40-day period of prayer and
preparation preceding the celebration of Easter.

Study leaders Kenneth Bedrosian, Larry Shapazian, Arpi Keledjian,
Carolyn Halajian and Robert and Arevig Adjemian will cover the topics
as “Following Jesus is Being on the Same Journey” (Luke 9:51-62),
“How Can I Join the Journey” (Luke 10:25-37, “Carrying the Weakness”
(Luke 17:1-6), and “His Journey, His Standards” (Luke 22:24-27).

Studies will be held in a variety of locations, including Southeast
Fresno with hosts Jack and Grace Chavoor (453-0403); Central Fresno
with hosts Mardiros and Maral Afarian (237-6638); Northwest Fresno
with hostess Lucille Paul (432-3592); Northeast Fresno in the English
Language with hosts Jerry and Nelda Baker (434-6194); and Northeast
Fresno and Clovis in the Armenian Language with hosts Nerses and
Kenarig Kalayjian (323-5095).

The Study Series will culminate at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 8,
with a Moundy Thursday meal and special program to commemorate
Christ’s institution of Holy Communion at the Last Supper. The Maundy
Thursday observance will take place in the church Fellowship Hall,
located at 430 S. First St., midway between Huntington Boulevard and
the Kings Canyon Road Promenade. Childcare and special meals for
children age 8 and younger will be provided and parents are
encouraged to call the church offices at 237-6638 to make

The church will observe Holy Week with an 11 a.m. Praise Service on
Palm Sunday, April 4, and Easter Sunday, April 11. The services will
mark the triumphal entry of Jesus of Nazareth into Jerusalem, His
Passion and Crucifixion and His Resurrection.

The public is warmly invited to participate in the Lenten season
studies and services. More details are available by calling 237-6638.

Chartered on July 25, 1897, FAPC is a multi-generational congregation
drawn from the New and Old Worlds. The Reverence Mgrdich Melkonian is
the Senior Pastor and the Reverend Samuel Albarian is the Associate
Pastor for Mission and Outreach.

FAPC is a member congregation of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and
the Armenian Evangelical Union of North America.

Armenian Citizens Detained in Equatorial Guinea

A1 Plus | 19:38:15 | 18-03-2004 | Official |


On the 8th of March 2004, in the evening, 6 citizens of the Republic of
Armenia were detained in Equatorial Guinea. They have been charged with
participating in a coup d’etat attempt. There are a number of civilian
pilots of Armenian citizenship who work in the countries of Equatorial
Africa, on contracts with private aircraft companies.{BR}

In this matter, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia
has made all possible efforts to obtain more specific information on this
situation as well as in providing the necessary legal assistance to those
Armenian citizens. Armenia’s ambassadors in New York and Moscow have met
with their counterparts from Equatorial Guinea.

At the same time, taking into consideration the fact, that the Republic of
Armenia has no diplomatic representation in the region, the Ministry has
applied to third country friendly states with certain influence in that
country for possible assistance.

Potential Caspian oil production cannot free US from OPEC by 2008

Oil And Gas Journal
March 17 2004

Analyst: Potential Caspian oil production cannot free US from OPEC by

By OGJ editors

HOUSTON, Mar. 17 — Caspian Sea region oil reserves will not free the
US from its dependence on the Organization of Petroleum Exporting
Countries by 2008, said Wayne Andrews, analyst with Raymond James &
Associates Inc.

“Politically, the stakes may be high, but from a pure energy supply
standpoint, the region is only a minnow in the vast ocean of Middle
Eastern oil,” Andrews said in a research note last month.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline will accommodate further development
by Azerbaijan International Operating Co. of the
Azeri-Chirag-Gunashli (ACG) complex off Baku. The pipeline will bring
oil from Caspian fields to Turkey where it will be exported to world

“While we see no inherent problem in the construction of the pipeline
itself, everyone should be clear that the amount of oil in question
is so modest as to be almost immaterial for the market,” Andrews

Best case scenario
Currently, the ACG Phase 1 produces less than 150,000 b/d. A BP
PLC-led consortium plans to ramp up production to 1 million b/d by
2008 in three phases, starting with 350,000 b/d in 2005 (OGJ Online,
Sept. 18, 2002).

But assuming that production does increase sevenfold in 4 years, the
growth only represents an extra 850,000 b/d.

“To put this in context, we project that global oil demand in 2004
will average 80.5 million b/d. Even assuming a very conservative 1.2%
annual demand growth for the next 4 years, 2008 demand would reach
84.4 million b/d, 3.9 million higher than currently,” Andrews said.

That means that Caspian oil would provide slightly more than 1% of
global demand in 2008, he concluded, noting that amount “will not
come even remotely close to replacing the West’s dependent on Persian
Gulf oil.” Meanwhile, OPEC is expected to supply 35-45% of world oil
supplies in 2008.

Obstacles to Caspian development
Andrews does not expect Caspian oil production to proceed as quickly
as project sponsors have forecast.

“If fact, there are several significant obstacles that may serve to
slow down development of the Caspian fields over the intermediate
term. While it is difficult to quantify their impact, it seems clear
to us that their overall influence will be negative,” he said.

The three biggest obstacles are corruption, political instability,
and the threat of violence.

The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is slated to run through Azerbaijan,
Georgia, and Turkey. Andrews noted that corruption “has reached
enormous proportions since 1991” in Azerbaijan and Georgia.

“Despite the institutional safeguards insisted upon by the
multilateral lenders who provided project finance for the pipeline,
it is probable that at least some of the funds will not be spent
according to Western ‘best practices.’ This has the potential to
materially slow the pace of construction,” Andrews said.

After pipeline construction is finished, the system will face the
threat of violence from a potential conflict between Armenia and
Azerbaijan (OGJ Online, Jan. 30, 2003).

“Where there is a durable ceasefire in place, it is important to
recall that this conflict had escalated into nearly full-scale war in
the early 1990s. Other ethnic tensions in the Caucasus may lead to
strikes on the pipeline and other oil infrastructure,” Andrews said.

In addition, the Caspian region presents the logistical problems of
operating in remote terrain and the technical challenges of handling
highly sour crude oil.

RJA outlined “a mid-range scenario” in which the Caspian supplies
0.5% of world oil demand by 2008.

“In short, the Caspian’s output potential is simply too low to be of
any real significance for the oil market, so there is every reason to
believe that OPEC will be at least as firmly in control of the market
in 2008 as it is today,” Andrews said.

Kazakh foreign minister condemns Armenian officer’s killing

Kazakh foreign minister condemns Armenian officer’s killing

Mediamax news agency
12 Mar 04


Kazakh Foreign Minister Kasymzhomart Tokayev has sent a letter to his
Armenian counterpart Vardan Oskanyan where he condemns the brutal
killing of Armenian officer Gurgen Markaryan by an Azerbaijani
serviceman in Budapest.

The press service of the Armenian Foreign Ministry told Mediamax news
agency today that Tokayev says in the letter that “we condemn the
inhumanity and savageness of this incident and believe that similar
actions cannot be justified”.

At 0500 [0100] on 19 February, Sr Lt Ramil Safarov of the Azerbaijani
armed forces, who was attending English language courses as part of
NATO’s Partnership for Peace programme, brutally killed Lt Gurgen
Markaryan (born in 1978) of the Armenian armed forces while he was

Despite laws, artists have little control over piracy, use of work, 12 March 2004

Cultural Theft: Despite laws, artists have little control over piracy and
use of their work

By Gayane Abrahamyan
ArmeniaNow arts reporter

Singers Aramo and Emma Petrosyan sold their apartment to produce their first
compact disc recording.

The husband and wife duo are among the most popular contemporary singers in
Armenia and there is demand for their art. But:

“Up to now, we have made only small profits from sales,” Aramo says.

The reason is not a lack of sales. It is, rather, a loss of control over
their product, due mostly to unenforced copyright laws.

Even though the singers hold copyright to their material, counterfeit copies
of the cds are pirated and sold at a fraction of the cost of the original

“People buy these poor-quality cds without even paying attention to the fact
that the cover is just a piece of black-and-white paper copied from the
original cover,” Emma Petrosyan says. “Meanwhile, Aramo spent several nights
with a designer sitting in front of a computer takings pains and troubles,
thinking and selecting between different colors, shades and hues.

“We dedicate our lives to every cd while thieves earn more than we by doing

Aramo and Emma are not alone in their disgust over the lack of protection of
intellectual property in Armenia and throughout the former Soviet Republics.
Research shows their anger is justified.

Foreign experts estimate that in 2002, piracy of recordings in Armenia
amounted to about $5 million.

Armen Azizyan, president of the Agency for Intellectual Property of Armenia
says 85 to 90 percent of audio, video and computer recordings sold in
Armenia are counterfeit copies.

Producer Grigor Nazaryan says a performer can expect to lose $15,000-20,000
from having a recording pirated. For that reason, local artists rely on
foreign sales to supplement the loses.

“Within recent years ‘pirates’ have become so strong and powerful that they
even begun printing high-quality covers and only producers can differentiate
the fake production from the original by the quality of the cd,” says

And the pirating network is well connected.

Rock band “Oascen Ham” produced a cd in France . But before it was even on
the market there, band leader Vahagn Papayan found a pirated copy for sale
in Yerevan .

Papayan asked the seller where he got the cd. “He said to me ‘Do you think
I’m so stupid to tell you where I got it from? Take it or leave it’.”

Artists are convinced their work is victimized by mafia-controlled sources,
who are so powerful to avoid prosecution.

Yerevan lawyer Artur Varderesyan says the Ministry of Internal Affairs will
soon create a special project for dealing with the piracy problem. (For a
few years the government has been promising such intervention, however,
little has been done to realize anti-piracy enforcement.)

A London-based organization combats piracy in Russia, however, “Armenia is
not a threat to the outer world since Armenian pirate production, as a rule,
is not exported and is sold in the inside market. That proves the fact that
mostly it is the Armenian performers and authors who suffer from piracy,”
Azizyan says.

It is not, though, just the copyright thieves who profit from current
conditions. Television and radio companies and concert promoters use
artists’ material at will and typically without paying royalties.

The Constitution of Armenia includes a law ” On Copyright and Related
Rights”. During Soviet times, Moscow ‘s All-Union organization enforced
copyright laws. In 1994 the task was undertaken by the National Agency on
Copyright. Since 2001, the non governmental organization, Hayheghinak, has
monitored copyright matters in cooperation with the Agency for Intellectual

Senior specialist at Hayheghinak, Sona Vardanyan, says Armenian authors and
singers are unaware of their rights and acting laws.

“If they were aware, then before recording a song they would sign a contract
with the recording studio so that later they don’t illegally collect their
works in bad quality collections,” she says. “In many cases their songs are
used in commercials and they don’t demand a fee either because of not
knowing the law or because of acting on a ‘friendly’ relationship.”

Composer and singer Ruben Hakhverdyan is aware of artists’ rights, but is
disillusioned with hopes of seeing any enforcement.

“How can I protect my copyrights? Whoever opens his eyes starts singing my
songs and I don’t get a penny from it. I don’t give a damn about such
copyrights and such a country,” says Hakhverdyan angrily.

Unlike Hakhverdyan, songwriter Vahan Andreasyan is trying to protect his
rights through law, but according to him the laws of the jungle apply more
than laws of justice.

“It’s been three times that I tired to protect my rights in court but what’s
the good of it? The weaker one is always guilty,” says Andreasyan.

Many artists working in Armenian pop music genre, in particular Andreasyan,
the author of lyrics for Artur Grigoryan’s songs, tried to get his fee
through the legal system. According to him during 10 to 15 concerts a month
at the State Theatre of Song there are at least three or four songs with his
lyrics, but it’s been 15 years and Andreasyan hasn’t received any payment.

“Before, there was no law, so we didn’t demand anything. But now that we
have these market relations, others started making money on my work, so I
demanded my share since I don’t know how to feed my family,” Andreasyan

Andreasyan’s claim against the Theatre of Song ended in a decision in favor
of the Theatre. Its director, Artur Grigoryan, presented a letter from the
Minister of Culture, Youth Issues and Sport stating that most of the monthly
concerts at State Theatre of Song were charitable.

“Without checking, the judge trusted and believed that no concert tickets
have been sold and for my works that have been heard there for eight years I
was paid 6000 drams (about $10),” says Andreasyan shrugging his shoulders.

Hayheghinak director Susanna Nersisyan says its not easy, even with a law in
place, to convince TV and radio companies to pay royalties.

By law, TV and radio stations are obliged to pay two percent of their
monthly profit as royalties for material used.

According to the head of Radio Van company Shushanik Arevshatyan, two
percent is too much for the company to pay.

“We have agreement with Hayheghinak to pay 30,000 drams (about $50) monthly
within several months with presenting a list of songs and authors played
during a month,” says Arevshatyan.

TV companies are also not paying the required amount; paying instead about
$90 a month for materials.

“However, next year we’re planning to increase that sum and to take the
legal two percent with the help of which we’ll be able to pay the authors
fairly,” says Nersisyan.

Hayheghinak divides the money taken from different TV/radio companies
according to the presented list. They also take into account frequency and
length of songs. Also, due to some mathematical actions approved by law, the
sum gets divided among the authors.

“If some refuse to present a list of songs broadcasted by them, then we have
no choice but to follow TV or radio broadcasts in order to write down the
names of songs and authors,” adds Nersisyan.

Tired of copyright violations composer Hasmik Manaseryan complains that she
gets nothing in return for so many of her songs played. She recalled that
only once “three years ago I was called and told that as composer I have to
receive 800 drams ($1.5) while during Soviet years I would make a lot of

Composer Hasmik Manaseryan says she gets nothing for her work. However, she
is not so upset with the fact that she does not get her fees as with the
fact that her works are played in a distorted way.

“So often I hear my songs performed by this or that ungifted singer, who
doesn’t even know what and whose song he or she is singing,” says
Manaseryan. “For instance, one singer performs the song ‘Who Do I Give My
Flowers To?’ in a terribly changed manner, let alone the fact that in the
video, for some unknown reason someone gets killed, somebody else calls
ambulance” In a word the song is spoiled and the video does not correspond
to it.”

Besides singers, film producers are also unhappy with current conditons.

Movie director Albert Lazarian points out with anger that on December 7
last year his movies were shown eight times on Armenian TV channels, and he
cannot tell the number during other days.

“My movie ‘Merry Bus’ is right now being sold in Germany , the US , Greece ,
without any right on that. But I am the owner of that movie. You trouble
yourself over it, shoot a movie and then someone you don’t know makes money
on it. It’s impossible to prevent that piracy,” says director Albert

The same displeasure is expressed by movie director Ruben Gevorgyan
according to whom an artist gets terribly discouraged and desperate when
something created from his blood, his life and his soul is being negligently
shown, no matter if it’s appropriate or not. “And we find out about it not
in case of a fee, but in case when there isn’t any.”