Ukraine parliament considering reinstituting deported peoples rights

RIA Novosti, Russia
March 23 2004


KIEV, March 23, 2004 (RIA Novosti) – On Tuesday, Ukraine’s parliament
passed a bill, in a first reading, re-instituting the rights of
people deported from Ukraine for ethnic reasons. The bill was
supported by 324 MPs, while 226 votes were necessary to pass the

This government-sponsored bill defines deported persons’ status.

“The state guarantees that the deported persons, who will return to
the places where they had lived before being deported, should enjoy
Ukrainian nationals’ rights stipulated in the Constitution. The state
shall also ensure conditions for settling down, i.e. housing,
employment, education, and conditions for ethnic, cultural and
religious development,” reads the document.

Moreover, the bill says that the authorities must promote deported
persons’ return, their adaptation and integration into Ukrainian

The bill is yet to be adopted in the second reading and signed into
law by the president.

More than 50,000 ethnic Germans were deported from the Crimea in
1941. Over 200,000 Tatars, some 38,000 Armenians, Bulgarians and
Greeks were ousted from the peninsula in 1944. They were deported to
Siberia, Central Asia or Kazakhstan. Around 260,000 Tatars and a few
thousand of people of a different ethnic origin have already returned
to the Crimea.

Armenia-Azerbaijan negotiations on NK will be continued

RIA Novosti, Russia
March 23 2004


YEREVAN, March 23, 2004. (RIA Novosti) – Since Azerbaijan has
recognised the fact of the agreements in Key West (USA), Armenia
hopes that in the near future the negotiations on the Nagorny
Karabakh problem will be continued from the point at which they
stopped, not from scratch, says the information of the Armenian
Foreign Minister’s press secretary Gamlet Gasparyan.

“We are glad that the Azerbaijan Foreign Minister, Vilayat Guliyev,
has recognised at last that there is a written document, though not
signed, on the agreements which were achieved at the negotiations in
Paris and Key West. We were constantly saying that there is such a
document and that it was prepared by the OSCE Minsk Group for
settling the Nagorny Karabakh conflict on the basis of negotiations
with the Presidents of Armenia and Azerbaijan,” the document says.

“As to Guliyev’s statements that if the document was not signed it
does not exist, I would like to say that if it was signed, the
Nagorny Karabakh conflict would be settled today,” the press
secretary’s information says.

Earlier the Azerbaijan Foreign Minister said that Baku considered it
possible to start negotiations with Yerevan on Nagorny Karabakh from
scratch, because up till now not a single agreement on this problem
has been reached.

Carnage in Kosovo: Wheres the Western resolve?

National Review Online
March 22 2004

Carnage in Kosovo
Where’s the Western resolve?

By Nikolas K. Gvosdev

The world should be watching Kosovo, but it probably isn’t. In the
United States, many believe that the dispatch of additional forces to
the troubled province of Kosovo “solved” the crisis. The problem is,
the damage to NATO’s credibility has already been done – and is
worsening by the day. The alliance that for 50 years was prepared to
spit in Joe Stalin’s eye is frightened to death by rampaging ethnic

The whole premise of the American-led intervention in 1999 was that
the Western Alliance could stop ethnic cleansing “at the heart of
Europe” and bring the conditions necessary for the creation of a
peaceful, multiethnic society. It was an embarrassment, of course,
that in the first weeks of NATO’s deployment nearly 100 Serbian
Orthodox holy sites were destroyed and some two-thirds of the
province’s Serb population (along with other non-Albanian ethnic
groups) were ethnically cleansed. But the line adopted in Washington,
London, Berlin, and Paris was that once NATO was firmly in control of
Kosovo these outrages would cease. The Serbs who remained in the
province took the West at its word.

The latest outbreak of violence, which in a three-day period has
already left 25 churches and monasteries – including UNESCO-protected
sites – in ruins and made nearly 4,000 people homeless took place
under the noses of 18,000 international peacekeepers and exposes the
hollowness of Western guarantees. No one should have been caught by
surprise. “It was planned in advance,” said Derek Chappell, the
U.N.’s Kosovo Mission spokesman. Another put it more forcefully:
“This is planned, coordinated, one-way violence from the Albanians
against the Serbs. It is spreading and has been brewing for the past
week…. Wherever there is a Serbian population there is Albanian
action against them.” International officials have used the terms
“pogrom” and “Kristallnacht” to describe the violence against the

And yet, even in the last few weeks, the NATO mission in Kosovo has
been touted as an example of successful peacekeeping. Over the last
year, proposals have been advanced for deploying NATO forces to keep
the peace in other sensitive areas in the Balkans and the Greater
Middle East such as Moldova and Georgia, among the two communities in
Cyprus, and between Israel and the Palestinians once a settlement is
reached. After the events of this past week, does anyone believe that
others will trust NATO promises?

Two sad lessons have been communicated. The first is that NATO
countries have placed such a high value on “no-casualty” missions
that aggressive and effective peacekeeping – including disarming
militias, hunting down war criminals and combating organized crime
and terrorist groups – takes a back seat to “not stirring things up.”
Even if the deployment of additional U.S. and British forces this
week to Kosovo calms things down, we simply return to the pre-March
2004 status quo.

The second is that ethnic cleansing still works as a strategy,
despite all the West’s moralizing. Throughout the region, there has
been a clear logic at work: When an ethnic community that forms an
overall minority in a country wants to purse self-determination, it
finds it useful to establish itself as the absolute majority in the
territory in question. The Armenians of Nagorno-Karabakh, the Abkhaz,
and the Turkish Cypriots all found it politically expedient to push
out residents of the titular majority (Azeris, Georgians, Greek
Cypriots, respectively) to bolster their case for separation.

Kosovo was supposed to be different. Then-president Clinton and Prime
Minister Blair stated that the West had to draw the line and stop
this cycle of violence. The immense power of the Western Alliance was
to be deployed to first reverse the expulsion of the Kosovo Albanians
by Slobodan Milosevic, and then to make members of all Kosovo
communities feel safe and secure, so as to construct civil society
and lay the foundations for democracy. The whole justification for
ending actual Serbian jurisdiction over Kosovo and placing it in the
hands of an international authority backed by NATO firepower was to
prevent any further ethnic cleansing.

And now you find that many of the same people who pushed for
intervention in 1999 are arguing that, regretfully, the only solution
is to push for an independent Kosovo. Yet the attempt to advance a
political agenda through the use of violence and terror tactics
should be of particular concern to the West. Apparently NATO, the
grand alliance prepared to stop the forces of the Soviet Union from
overwhelming Western Europe, is unable to prevent mobs from
frustrating the West’s stated desire to ensure that ethnic cleansing
will not be legitimized.

The Bush administration can throw up its hands and do nothing – and,
in so doing, kiss goodbye to any hope of solving the area’s other
protracted conflicts. Or, it can take action to make a reality the
declaration made on Friday by Deputy Secretary of State Richard
Armitage and Foreign Minister of Serbia and Montenegro Goran
Svilanovic that “no party can be allowed to profit or advance a
political agenda through violence.”

And it is essential that the West not abandon its commitment to
“standards before status” with regard to Kosovo. Aid and assistance
must be made conditional upon a fundamental improvement of the
security of the non-Albanian population. As far as the reality on the
ground is concerned, we are back to June 1999: We need to start from
scratch in how we approach the province’s governance. The failures of
the past five years do not provide a workable foundation for further

It may be that the ultimate solution to Kosovo is cantonization
between an Albanian and a Serbian entity (with extraterritorial
supervision for Orthodox sites in an Albanian zone). But that should
come about through negotiation and compromise, not murder and arson.

In Iraq and in Kosovo and elsewhere, the United States has made
promises about providing peace and security. Extremists and
terrorists everywhere are challenging America’s commitment to seeing
its promises through. And others are watching to see how our resolve
holds up.

– Nikolas K. Gvosdev is a senior fellow for strategic studies at the
Nixon Center

BAKU: Aliyev met NATO secretary general

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
March 20 2004

[March 19, 2004, 22:16:49]

On 19 March, in the frame of Slovakia visit, President of Azerbaijan
Ilham Aliyev met the NATO Secretary General Yaap de Hoop Scheffer,
AzerTAj correspondent reports from Bratislava.

During the meeting of friendly and warm atmosphere, discussed were
the existing links between Azerbaijan and NATO, focused the issues of
integration of Azerbaijan to the Euro-Atlantic structures, as well as
exchanged views on preparation works for the June 2004 Summit of NATO
due in Istanbul.

Noting that he attaches great significance to the cooperation with
NATO, President of Azerbaijan said that cooperation with this
Organization is of progressive character. He once again stressed the
necessity of integration to the Euro-Atlantic structures, saying,
`Azerbaijan will further continue its policy in this direction’.

NATO pays much attention to the South Caucasus and considers
Azerbaijan as an important partner of this Organization, Mr. Yaap de
Hoop Scheffer emphasized.

The parties exchanged views on a number of other issues on
cooperation between Azerbaijan and NATO, especially was focused the
plan of activity on cooperation that is under preparation.

In the course of talk, the parties also discussed the situation in
the South Caucasus, settlement prospects of the Armenian-Azerbaijani
Nagorny Karabakh conflict. The North Atlantic Alliance wishes quick
and peaceful resolution to the conflict and it is important for NATO,
Mr. Yaap de Hoop Scheffer said.

BAKU: Visit of Aliyev to Slovakia

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
March 20 2004


[March 19, 2004, 22:15:56]

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met the European Union
commissioner Gunter Verhogen in Bratislava, 19 March, AzerTAj
correspondent reports.

The EU commissioner congratulated President Ilham Aliyev on election
as the head of state and wished success in his responsible activity.

President Ilham Aliyev spoke in detail on the reforms Azerbaijan
conducted especially last years after regaining its state
independence, noting that these accomplishments in the path of
development of democracy and market relations were possible thanks to
stability established in the Country.

Head of the Azerbaijani state noted that the relations with the
European Union are high level, and the Organization renders to the
Country assistance, makes efforts for settlement of the
Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorny Karabakh conflict, and assessed the
appointment of EU special representative for South Caucasus as
strengthening of its activity in the region.

Noting the developing relations between Azerbaijan and European
Union, Mr. Gunter Verhoen underlined that the work of the Commission
set up in connection with the strategic document on joining the
initiative `Enlarged Europe: New Agenda’ by the South Caucasus
countries would finalize shortly.

He also stressed that the European Union has intensified its efforts
for peaceful settlement of the Armenian -Azerbaijani Nagorny Karabakh
conflict and he would recently visit Baku.

ARKA News Agency – 03/19/2004

ARKA News Agency
March 19 2004

RA President receives administration of RA Police

Mass media did not become business in Armenia – trustee of National
Press Club

Goal of European Commission in Armenia is to assist the development
of democracy

Armenia places 107th in the list of 121 states on representation of
women in the Parliament



YEREVAN, March 19. /ARKA/. RA President Robert Kocharian received
administration of RA police, President’s Press Office told ARKA. The
parties discussed activity of the system. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, March 19. /ARKA/. Mass media did not become business in
Armenia, Trustee of National Press Club of Armenia Narine Dilbarian
stated at the forum dedicated to international women month. According
to her, it is the biggest obstacle on the way of provision of
independence of Armenian press. She said that due to this reason many
mass media look for shadow resources of financing and lose their
independence. At this, according to Dilbarian, most difficult is
provision of independence of electronic mass media, as they need
large financial spendings. In accordance to that she offered to
change grant policy of European and American organizations, by
directing grants to separate mass media.
She also mentioned the adoption of RA Government’s decision on
accreditation of journalists in state bodies.
Forum dedicated to international women month organized by US Embassy
to Armenia PR Department. The goal of the forum in discussion of role
of women in external policy, business, press and law-enforcement
bodies. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, March 19. /ARKA/. Goal of European Commission in Armenia is
to assist the development of democracy in the frames of agreement on
partnership and cooperation between RA and EU, the Head of
Operational Section of EC Delegation for Georgia and Armenia Office
in Yerevan Adriana Longoni stated today. She said that European
institute of human rights and democracy is an instrument of support
of local public organizations for development of programs and
projects on human rights protection and democracy. In the view,
according to Longoni, several Armenia public organizations already
turned to EC Yerevan Office. She expressed hope that soon Armenian
NGOs will receive financing and conclude a contract on realization of
programs contributing to democracy development in Armenia. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, March 19. /ARKA/. Armenia places 107th in the list of 121
states on representation of women in the Parliament, Professor of
Political Science at American University of Armenia Lusik Danielian
stated today at the forum dedicated to international women month.
According to her, USA takes 54th place in this list. She said that
today only 14 countries have Parliaments with the number of people
over 30%. At this she added that Armenia enters the list of 77
countries, which legally set the quotes for inclusion of women in
election lists of political parties. Danielian said that the
experience shows that the quotes are the only mechanism for inclusion
of women in parliament work. She also said that not only
participation of women in political parties is important, but their
representation in decision making bodies. She stressed dominating
role of Armenian women in public organizations and added that it is
time to switch from those organizations to political parties and
state structures.
Forum dedicated to international women month organized by US Embassy
to Armenia PR Department. The goal of the forum in discussion of role
of women in external policy, business, press and law-enforcement
bodies. L.D. –0–

Humor Consultants Teach Workplaces How to Laugh Without Offending

Miami Herald, FL
March 18 2004

Humor Consultants Teach Workplaces How to Laugh Without Offending

By Diwata Fonte, The Fresno Bee, Calif. Knight Ridder/Tribune
Business News

Mar. 17–VISALIA, Calif. – Within minutes, Amy Shuklian is telling
you about Armenians, turning 40, and the fad diets that lasted longer
than her five-month marriage.

“People would say things [to me] like, ‘Gosh you had so much in
common it seems like you wanted the same things out of life.’ And we
did. Unfortunately, the same thing we both wanted was a husband.”

Shuklian is warming up the crowd of about two dozen businesspeople at
a meeting Tuesday of the Visalia Chamber of Commerce. She’s breaking
the ice, but also talking about humor in the workplace, tying in some
of the best-known staples of joke-telling: ethnic and gender
stereotypes and self-deprecation.

These days, it seems like workplace humor is as dangerous on the job
as exposed wiring or dirty air. While many employees are taught to
tie their tongues and save the jokes for outside the office, humor
consultants like Shuklian of Visalia work with companies to show that
there is still room for laughter on the job.

Workplace experts say a light-hearted work atmosphere is essential to
reducing stress and improving employee morale and productivity.

But — and there’s always a but when talking about humor — it must
also be appropriate, tasteful and sensitive.

Jokes invoking ethnic or religious stereotypes, as well as those old
standbys — the priest, the minister and the rabbi who go golfing,
for example — can be landmines. Desk toys, situational comedy and
“life’s set-ups” — those perfectly timed moments when a witty
observation can crack up the room — can easily fit into a
professional workplace, Shuklian said.

Alicia Sundstrom, owner of the Financial Credit Network collection
agency in Visalia, took more than a dozen of her managers to listen
to Shuklian’s presentation.

Sundstrom, who keeps a toy leprechaun and an oversized smile mask at
her office, said: “Bill-collecting is not a happy environment. We
work really hard to create an environment that the staff wants to
come to daily.”

Humor consultants help to bridge the gray areas, by reminding
employees that the right kind of humor is both acceptable and
beneficial to their jobs.

In fact, most employers list a good sense of humor as a desirable
trait in a new employee; for example, it improves employee
relationships, said Steven M. Sultanoff of Irvine, a consultant who
holds a doctorate in clinical psychology. It also helps employees
manage stress and crisis, he said.

“The first thing is to look at the target of the humor,” Sultanoff
said. Situations, self and other people are the basic targets of
humor, he said.

“In general, the least threatening humor is when you target the
situation,” Sultanoff said.

For example, poking fun at a company policy or an event is relatively
safe. Another safe target is making fun at yourself, like pointing
out your messy desk.

The most dangerous area is targeting other people, even if you think
they can take a little good-natured ribbing.

“Not only because some people can’t tell jokes, there’s a fine line
between what can draw people together, and an even finer line of what
can draw people apart,” Shuklian said.

For that reason, Shuklian advises avoiding all jokes in the “Did you
hear the one about…?” genre, no matter how benign they might seem.

When the fine line gets crossed, human resources professionals
usually get called.

“You’re trying to create an enjoyable work place. Humor can help
improve the morale; however, when done inappropriately, it can lower
morale, or worse,” said Ward Scheitrum, the president of the Human
Resource Association of Central California.

As a result, some businesses create broad zero-tolerance policies on
top of the state’s Fair Employment and Housing Act, which protects
certain groups from discrimination, said Charles Taylor, a Fresno
employment lawyer.

Those policies, while not specifically forbidding any attempts at
humor, make it clear that the employer takes a dim view of humor that
may involve ethnic, religious or gender stereotypes.

A Staff For Coordinating Actions For Power Change Set Up

A1 Plus | 16:20:20 | 09-03-2004 | Politics |


“Justice” Bloc sitting took place. The expectations that the sitting would
be decisive failed. Only a coordinating council was established, which will
work under staff system – a plan will be elaborated and “Justice” actions
will be controlled.

Viktor Dallakyan was elected the head of the Coordinating Council or Staff.
“Justice” news service head Ruzan Khachatryan informed that “during the
Saturday discussion Vazgen Manukyan suggested to elect a temporary president
for 2 years who will guarantee conduct of just elections”.

All the parties in the bloc refused the above version.

As to “Republic” Party, which was to introduce own strategy for actions on
power change, the issue was discussed at none of sittings.

Kocharyan Doesn’t Grant Citizenship To A War Hero

A1 Plus | 16:51:16 | 09-03-2004 | Social |


Robert Kocharyan has recently ignored the application by Jirayr Sefilyan on
citizenship. Sefilyan was the Commander of Shushi special battalion during
Artsakh War. {BR}

Later he was the Commander of NKR Defense Army brigade. He is a knight of
“Battle Cross” Order. During the recent years Sefilyan coordinates
“Protection of Liberated Territories” social initiative.

Intelligentsia Forum focused its attention on the fact president’s staff
didn’t grant citizenship to Jirayr Sefilyan. Intelligentsia Forum
established on the initiative of Silva Kaputikyan, Rafael Ghazaryan, Khoren
Palyan, Lenser Aghalovyan, Sargis Muradyan and other intellectuals approved
a statement condemning refusal by Kocharyan at its March 6 conference.