Rallies and Marches in Armenia to be Regulated by Law


05.05.2004 13:33

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The Armenian President signed the bill On Rallies,
Meetings, Marches and Demonstrations earlier adopted by the parliament. In
the words of the Armenian minister of Justice David Harutyunian, the
parliamentarians completed the bill on the basis of the OSCE proposals. In
part, the bill strictly limits the subjectivity of the power and court
bodies for sanctioning such measures. In case the representatives of the
state structures illegally hinder mass actions, administrative or criminal
proceedings can be initiated against them. The period of providing
permissions for the actions as well as for appeals against the court’s
decision have been shortened. Besides the plenipotentiary bodies should
provide alternative time or place for the actions planned. The bill taboos
to hold mass meetings at the distance of 150 meters from the constructions
of state and strategic importance as well as near community facilities. To
note, the Armenian opposition stated the project as “repressive” as the
adoption of it by the parliament became one of the reasons for breaking off
the dialogue with the authorities on normalization of the internal political

Armenian Church of America

Charlotte Observer , NC
May 5 2004

Armenian Church of America

A building of its own is on the way


Meets at: St. John’s Episcopal Church, 1623 Carmel Road. Phone: (704)
541-6952. Web site: Meets once each month,
consult Web site for schedule. Next worship service is May 16, 1:30
p.m. Average attendance: 120.


The church began meeting in 1996, holding worship services twice each
year. The church now holds a worship service each month, led by a
priest who travels from New York City.

Lena Kupelian Neau, chairman of the Parish Council and Building
Committee, said a recent donation will soon allow them to become a
full parish with a building of their own.

“On Thanksgiving Eve, we got the news from the Diocese that a
benefactor had agreed to fund our entire complex on our property at
Park Road and Park South. Construction is scheduled to start this
month and we hope to open our doors in January. Once we become a full
parish, we will have a full-time priest and can have weekly services.
We also hope to hold lectures and classes so that the public can come
and learn more about our country (Armenia) and our culture,” Neau


Neau said the Armenian Church dates back to A.D. 301. Orthodox
services incorporate ancient traditions. Hymns and liturgies are
conducted in Armenian and English. Sermons generally elaborate on the
day’s scripture reading.

On Saturday mornings, the church offers Armenian language classes at
9 a.m. and folk-dance classes at 11 a.m.

Outreach is directed toward Charlotte’s Armenian community, helping
them to assimilate into the city. The church will hold its annual
picnic at noon on June 6 at William Davies Park. Cost is $15 for
adults and $7 for children younger than 12. The public is invited.


European Economic Summit opens

Vietnam News Agency
April 29 2004

European Economic Summit opens

Warsaw, April 29 (VNA) – Almost 700 representatives from 45 countries
gathered in the Polish capital on Wednesday at the start of a
three-day European economic summit devoted to the economic impact of
the European Union’s May 1 enlargement.

Organised by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum, the summit, which
starts just three days from the historic expansion, was expected to
gather 20 presidents and prime ministers, along with 600 other
ministers, central bankers, representatives from the EU and other
international organisations, and 50 companies.

Delegates started out by holding working sessions on making Europe
more business-friendly, the private sector’s role in developing
eastern Europe’s transport infrastructure, reform of the EU’s Common
Agricultural Policy and the ins and outs of the euro currency.

The European Economic Summit has been held every year in Salzburg,
Austria, since 1996.

This year, as an exception, the meeting is being held in Poland, the
biggest of the 10 countries set to join the EU on May 1, along with
Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania,
Malta, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The summit is also expected to give the opportunity for bilateral
meetings, including only the second meeting between Azeri President
Ilham Aliyev and Armenian President Robert Kocharian.-Enditem

AAA: Assembly Thanks Sponsors and Supporters

Armenian Assembly of America
122 C Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]

April 30, 2004
CONTACT: David Zenian
E-mail: [email protected]


Potomac, MD -The Armenian Assembly has come a long way since its
establishment 32 years ago, vigorously expanding its power base and circle
of supporters and friends in the United States, including key members in the
Washington diplomatic, political and business communities.

The strength of these ties were evident April 17 when more than 125 Assembly
members and guests — many from as far away as Florida, Maine and California
– gathered in the grand suburban Washington home of Assembly Board of
Directors Vice Chair Annie Totah for the Sponsor and Supporter Recognition
and Appreciation Reception – an evening with the singular purpose of saying
thank you, especially to the Life Trustees, Endowment contributors, Board
Members, benefactors, patrons and corporate sponsors of the Assembly’s
National Conference and Banquet.

“All our activists are volunteers who contribute both in time and financial
resources to help the Assembly do its work … to advocate on behalf of all
issues, small and large, on behalf of the American Armenian community and of
course Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh. We cannot stop thanking them, but at
least once a year, we devote a special event just to honor them and say how
important their role is,” said Totah in her welcoming remarks to a house
full of guests that included Assembly Board of Trustees Chairman Hirair
Hovnanian, present and past Board of Directors Chairmen Anthony Barsamian
and Peter Vosbikian, other Trustee and Board Members, several ambassadors,
diplomats, state representatives, and community activists.

What was originally slated as a social event – on the eve of the Assembly’s
National Conference and Banquet which Ms. Totah also chaired — took a
serious turn in response to Hovnanian’s invitation for comments from two of
the special guests and key leaders of the American Jewish Committee (AJC):
AJC Washington Chapter President Ambassador Peter Rosenblatt and AJC
National Council Chair Ms. Dottie Bennett, who reiterated their deep
understanding of Armenian issues and support for affirmation of the Armenian

Bennett, who was recently appointed as a member of the governing body of the
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, spoke of the close moral ties between the
Armenian and Jewish communities based on their mutual respect for human
rights, ethics and justice.

“We have a lot in common and I am sure we will continue working together on
many issues, including the Armenian Genocide which must be recognized for
what it was — Genocide,” Bennett said.

“At the AJC, we will work to make the Armenian Genocide recognition happen –
this long overdue recognition. We have new opportunities to push the
Genocide recognition agenda forward,” she said.

On his part, Rosenblatt spoke of the existing cooperation between the AJC
and the Assembly on issues of mutual concern.

“Both our nations have suffered enormous tragedies and this has brought us
together. We have enormous similarities, and that should make us great
allies, despite some differences which we have,” Rosenblatt said.

As much as sentiments of support were a source of exhilaration, the guests
also had an opportunity to enjoy the camaraderie, the hospitality and
cultural program put together especially for the evening by event hosts,
Annie and Sami Totah.

One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of a plaque of
appreciation to the host of the memorable evening, Ms. Totah, by Assembly
Board of Directors Chairman Anthony Barsamian who thanked her for her
diligence, enthusiasm, decades of activism and effective support and
involvement in all Assembly endeavors.

Totah not only opened her home for the event, but also personally joined in
a special program to entertain the assembled guests with a rendition of new
Armenian songs by Marine Ales, followed by a dance by a member of the
Washington Arca Ballet Group performing Nargegatsi’s monologue, and a
classical music interlude by the talented Poochikian family – with concert
violinist Mrs. Nayiri Poochikian and her young and talented daughters Hourig
and Roubina.

The Armenian Assembly of America would like to thank the following Event
Benefactors and Sponsors for their support of the National Conference and

Corporate Sponsors

Mr. and Mrs. Gerard L. Cafesjian
Hovchild Partnership: Siran Sahakian, Edele Hovnanian, Tanya Hovnanian,
Leela Hovnanian, Armen Hovnanian Partners
Mr. and Mrs. Hirair Hovnanian
Physician’s Skin Care, PLLC, Dr. Levon and Elizabeth Kircik
Mrs. Carolyn Mugar
Made in Armenia Direct
Annie S. Totah Partnership for Brighter Tomorrows
Mr. and Mrs. Peter Vosbikian

Event Benefactor

Hovnanian International
Mr. & Mrs. Jack Kalaydjian
Hagop & Ica Kouyoumdjian
Ms. Anoush Mathevosian
K. George & Dr. Carolann Najarian
Stephen Philibosian Foundation
Mrs. Lucy Ishkanian-Tankian

Event Sponsors

Dr. & Mrs. Murat Acemoglu
Mr. & Mrs. Jim Batmasian
Ms. Ida Boodakian
Mr. & Mrs. Hrant Candan
Ms. Joan Demurjian
Hon. Aram Garabedian
Mr. & Mrs. Edgar Hagopian
Samuel & Barbara Hagopian
Stephen & Arda Haratunian
Mr. & Mrs. Jirair Hovnanian
Mr. Papken Janjigian
Mr. & Mrs. Harold Keshishian
Dr. Haroutune & Shake Mekhjian
Mr. & Mrs. Edward Norian
Ms. Janice Norian
Hon. & Mrs. Ken Norian
Mr. & Mrs. Bruce Ohanian
Sarkis and Mary Satian
Mr. Bob Semonian
Mr. Charles Talanian
Mr. & Mrs. Ralph Tufenkian
Mrs. Rita Walden

Photographs available on the Assembly’s Web site at the following link:

Caption: L to R: Tunisian Ambassador and Mrs. Hatem Atallah, National
Conference and Banquet Chair Annie Totah, HE Ambassador Armand Kirakossian
of Armenia, and HE Ambassador Kassahun Ayele of Ethiopia at the Sponsor and
Supporter Recognition and Appreciation Reception hosted by Totah.

Caption: L to R: Assembly Board of Directors Chairman Anthony Barsamian, AJC
National Council Chair Mrs. Dottie Bennett, Dr. Richard Morton, AJC
Washington Chapter President Ambassador Peter Rosenblatt, and Mrs. Naomi
Rosenblatt at the Sponsor and Supporter Recognition and Appreciation
reception hosted by National Conference and Banquet Chair Annie Totah.

Caption: L to R: Assembly Board of Directors Chairman Anthony Barsamian,
Assistant Surgeon General Dr. Suzan Blumenthal, Mrs. Annie Totah and Rep.
Edward Markey at the Sponsor and Supporter Recognition and Appreciation
reception hosted by National Conference and Banquet Chair Annie Totah.

The Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide
organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian
issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.



Armenian Genocide commemoration in Sweden

Assembly of Armenians of Europe
Rue de Treves 10, 1050 Brussels
Tel: +32 2 647 08 01
Fax: +32 2 647 02 00

The Armenian Community in Sweden paid homage to the memory of victims of
the Armenian Genocide of 1915

Stockholm, 02/05/04 – On April 24, 2004 in Uppsala, Sweden the Armenian
Community of Sweden and many foreign representatives paid homage to the
memory of the victims of Armenian Genocide. Many came to Uppsala from
far cities to take part in the commemoration soiree, organized by the
Union of Armenian Associations in Sweden, Swedish Armenian organizations
and the Swedish Church. The commemoration ceremony took place in the
main church of Uppsala.

The bells of this wonderful church rang to the memory of the victims of
the Armenian genocide and the Armenian flag fluttered over Uppsala from
the eminent highness of the church. The anthem of the Republic of
Armenia was performed and the service was given to the repose of
victims. The service was followed by a concert. The public admired the
recitals of Arpine Zakhinian with the piano accompaniment of Lilit
Soukiassian, the performances of Karine Sedrakian, Karine Gevrogyan,
Swedish singer Annette Taranton and the duduk of Hayk Hakobian. Sting
Lundstrom the Swedish poet recited his poems dedicated to Armenian
people, and Jan Gustavson performed the Armenian traditional song
“Krunk” on his trumpet.

Goran Gunner, professor at Faculty of Baptist Theology in Stockholm and
honored worker at the research department of the Swedish Church, author
of the book “Nostalgia for Ararat” reminded the public of the bitter
historical truth and the wishes of the Armenian people aspiring to

Garo Hakopian the chairman of the Union of Armenian Associations in
Sweden and Assembly of Armenians of Europe made a speech on the subject
“the present and the past”. He noted “to forget the past means not to
see the present, not to see the present means not to have future. We
believe that our people, in spite of all difficulties will create
brighter future. ”

Union of Armenian Associations in Sweden

‘I had no heart. We were animals’

Trinidad & Tobago Express, Trinidad and Tobago
April 20 2004

‘I had no heart. We were animals’

The quotation above is from a Hutu peasant recounting the day ten
years ago when he actively participated in the killings. At interview
he was probably about 45 or so had somewhat bloodshot eyes, and a
saddened countenance. He went on to explain that the Government had
decided to kill the Tutsis and they had been handed over to the gangs
of killers who had been transported to the killing fields-a Roman
Catholic church! Apparently there were also similar slaughters in the
Seventh Day Adventist church. The skulls and bones now adorn these
churches. He admitted to killing a ten-year-old child and when
questioned by the interviewer about killing a child when he himself
had a child of the same age, he simply shook his head-I had no heart.
We were animals. After watching the BBC account of then and now I
still found it impossible to determine from physical appearances who
was Hutu and who was Tutsi, any more than I could tell Catholic Irish
from Protestant Irish, or a Muslim from a Hindu in India, or Jew from

There are two things that struck me about this brief exchange. We
were animals and the government handed them over for killing. Poor
maligned animals. All life on the planet of course competes for the
resources necessary for continued existence and all animal life is
dependent on plant life. There are few plants that can kill animals
when eaten. This is simply the self-defence mechanism of production
of toxins in their tissues. Some may also trap animals to obtain
essential nutrients in nutrient poor conditions. Few animals kill
members of their own species although it is known in some cases,
especially where there may be severe overcrowding or deprivation.
Rats in overcrowded cages often develop aberrant behaviour and kill
cage mates, including their young.

In contrast, the human species currently kills, has killed and will
continue to kill, not only at the one-on-one killing level, where
states at least try to regulate and punish individual killers, but
also in group or state interactions. To the innocent who has had her
head bashed in with a club in a church in Rwanda, or to a mother and
child being torn apart by shrapnel from an American smart bomb in
Iraq, or to a group of Jews being marched into the gas chambers, or
to Armenian families being marched into the desert, or to West
Africans being enslaved and killed by both Arabs and Europeans, or
Hindus and Muslims mutually slaughtering each other in 1947, it is
all the same-the behaviour of an aberrant species. If the species has
been indeed “created” as many believe, the design was obviously poor.
Animals do not really behave in this way.

But there is a possible explanation. We have only to look at our
nearest relative, the chimpanzee, an animal with whom we share the
bulk of our genes, some 99 per cent. Jane Goodall, the primatologist,
has spent decades studying the behaviour of chimpanzees in the wild.
Much of what had hitherto recorded of the behaviour of chimpanzees
and other apes had been based on observations of the animals in
artificial environments of zoos. Much of the general behaviour of
chimpanzees is described in her book, Reason for Hope-A Spiritual
Journey. Although very much a personal narrative, she does toward the
end describe what the account is really about. It is about her
personal journey, as she states, from evil to love, drawing on
childhood perception of the architects of the Holocaust, the German
slaughter of millions of Jews. But the science is there in the book
and may also be seen in countless other field studies on chimpanzees
in Africa.

Chimpanzees are not the clownish creatures they are often made out to
be. Their basic social unit is essentially an extended family
grouping that may be as large as 50 or so individuals more or less
male-dominated, with one top male and several sub-dominants, females
organised in some sort of hierarchy, juveniles and infants, more or
less occupying a measurable expanse of territory supporting the
group. But there is much more to the science of the behaviour of
chimpanzees. Chimpanzees can be murderous as a group when they raid
other territories in a primitive sort of warfare, killing other
chimpanzees. Internally, in a group, individuals may be bullied,
ostracised, expelled or even killed. Infanticide has also been
recorded. Leadership of a group is under constant threat from
sub-dominants. There is even the behaviour of male bonding when the
males go of together on a hunt, even at times when their normal food
supply is abundant. There are even different regional “languages”. It
is not difficult to make comparisons with human behaviour.

The other thing that struck me was the excuse given by the Hutu
interviewee-it was a Government decision to kill the Tutsis,
reminiscent of the attitudes seen with all genocide. The individual
justifies killing simply as being caught up in the process. The fact
that murder is known in all societies, some being more murderous than
other, and that genocide, deliberate or incidental, is the norm in
human society, suggests that human social organisation is not
genetically ordered as is seen in highly social species such as ants,
bees and wasps, and termites. In the science of ethology or animal
behaviour the term behavioural plasticity refers to the degree of
variability of behaviour of a species in response to external
stimulus. Social insects demonstrate no plasticity. Anyone who has
kept dogs will demonstrate considerable behavioural plasticity, even
within a litter. Certainly chimpanzees demonstrate plasticity of
behaviour, both in the wild and in captivity. The range of human
behaviour suggests the greatest degree of plasticity of behaviour of
any species known to science.

There is nevertheless one aspect of social behaviour in vertebrate
animals that warrants some comment. This is schooling, flocking or
herding, seem amongst many fishes, birds and mammals. Social grouping
of animals as they go about their individual lives does offer some
advantage mainly against predation. In primates, however, this type
of behaviour is the exception rather than the rule. Primate grouping
is generally the family grouping. This raises the question of group
leadership. Certainly in chimpanzees leadership is by the dominant
male, until his displacement and the size of groupings is regulated
by natural processes.

Humans, however, have conquered disease and starvation (they think),
the natural population regulators and numbers exceed six billion,
unprecedented for a mammal. It should therefore not surprise anyone
that given genetic programming, plasticity of behaviour, inheritance
of learned behaviour and numbers, herding, a product of conditioning
and culture, becomes the norm of human behaviour, not rationality.
This behaviour can lead to exploitation of the herd. Simply follow
Martin Daly’s Sunday Express commentaries over the past few weeks to
understand the phenomenon. In conflict for power by the dominant male
or males, individual members of the herd suffer. Millions are
sometimes massacred by the herd. Jane Goodall and others suggests
hope in “spiritual and moral values”. Rationality, however, might
save the species. Some hope indeed.

CSUN: Lawn display commemorates Armenian Genocide

“Lawn Display Commemorates Armenian Genocide”

CSUN Daily Sundial
Thursday, April 23, 2004

By Ani Asatryan
Contributing Writer

More than 500 red carnations and two piles of bloody bones have been
placed on display in the middle of the Oviatt Lawn this week as part
of an event organized by the Alpha Omega Alpha Armenian sorority to
commemorate the 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

`We wanted to promote awareness in the CSUN community regarding
thetragic events that took place in 1915, which has been continually
denied by the Turkish government,’ said Armine Asatryan, director of
cultural affairs forthe sorority.

The flowers scattered across the quad each represent approximately
2,700 men, women and children who were massacred by the Ottoman Empire
during World War I.

The bones, one pile slightly smaller than the other, symbolically
represent two mountains in Armenia’s history: Mount Ararat and Mount

`The mountains have been twin pillars of hope and strength for the
Armenian people all throughout history,’ said Sylvia Barsegian,
treasurer for the sorority. `Even though the Ottoman Empire tried to
exterminate us, those mountains, just a few feet from our border,
still stand, just like the Armenian people still exist and will
continue to exist.’

The display has been attracting the attention of people passing by who
can’t help but notice the pile of bloody bones in the middle of

`When I first saw it I got goose bumps,’ said Jerry Avetisyan, junior
business major. `I’m not very involved in the Armenian community or
educated about the history. Being an Armenian myself, … if there’s
one thing every Armenian knows about, it’s the Genocide, and this pile
of bones actually puts that history into reality and you really get a
sense of what happened.’

Others didn’t react the same way toward the display and thought it was

`Some people are disturbed by it because they think it’s too harsh;
imagine the suffering of the people who had to go through it,’ said
Christina Malyan, vice president of the sorority. `If you find it
disturbing, you canalways walk away, but 1.5 million Armenians
couldn’t and the generations to follow can’ t walk away from their

Jon Pinnere, graduate senator for Associated Students, was impressed
with the display and said he was delighted to see the organization was
getting the word out.

`When I first saw it, I thought there was a funeral going on and then
I read the signs and realized it was for the Armenian Genocide,’ said
Pinnere. `I think something like this is very effective.’

`We wanted to do something to catch someone’s attention, something
unusual to entice a person to stop and look at it,’ said
Asatryan. `CMen, women and children were massacred without any
mercy and we wanted to honor their memory with our display and show
the world we have not forgotten and we never will.’

News of the display quickly spread among the Armenian community, which
reacted with support and encouragement for the organization.

`The most important thing is that students are taking a stance on this
very important issue, because students are the ones that affect social
and political change,’ said Ardashes Kassakhian, Armenian National
Committee government relations director for the Western region. `This
generation didn’t suffer the Genocide or its aftereffects and
it’s very encouraging to see them carrying the torch of justice.’

The Turkish government actively continues to deny the Armenian
Genocide. According to the Web site , Turkey
blames wartime traditions on the death of so many Armenians.

Levon Marashlian, a history professor at Glendale Community College,
believes there are two reasons why the genocide is being denied.

One of the reasons for denial is based on human nature. According to
Marashlian, it is human nature to deny faults because the Turkish
government knows they did something wrong and they are embarrassed by

Another reason for the denial is the consequences Turkey will face if
it admits to the genocide.

`Admitting guilt is harmful to their national image, and Turkey is
afraid that admittance will lead to consequences and to justice,’ said
Marashlian. `It’ s like getting a speeding ticket. There are
consequences: you have to pay a fine, attend traffic school and your
insurance might go up.’

The AOA sorority is a fairly new organization on campus, having been
officially recognized as a club since November 2003.

`Our main goal with anything we do on campus is to educate the
CSUNcommunity about the Armenian culture and Armenian causes,’ said
Angineh Abed,president of the sorority. `We work toward the
advancement of our culture notonly within ourselves but with other
cultures as well.’

In its short time of existence the sorority has hosted and
participated in a series of community events, including toy drives for
Northridge Hospital and Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, a `Feed
the Homeless’ program, and a college fair.

At the display, Abed stood silent for a moment and then sighed deeply
as she rearranged a carnation that had fallen to the ground.

`We put a lot of hard work into this project, and our main goal wasto
educate the CSUN community about the first genocide of the twentieth
century,’ said Abed. `It needs to be recognized and it still hasn’t
and even if just one person learns something new from this and knows
about our history, then we’re one step closer to justice.’


New report provides ethnic data for churches

April 21 2004

New report provides ethnic data for churches

ATLANTA — A new demographic report introduced by Visions Decisions
of Atlanta offers churches full data on specific ethnic populations
in their area.

According to a press release from the demographics provider, the
Ethnic Profile supplies all basic data on groups that until now were
difficult to profile. The profile shows hard data on Armenians,
Brazilians, Filipinos, Haitians, Jamaicans, Nigerians, Salvadorans,
and many other specific populations in the United States.

The six-page report covers statistics on numbers, ages, family types,
schooling, jobs, income and housing, as well as on place of birth and
time of entry into the U.S. A two-page narrative summary with graphs,
a full page of data, a map showing locations, and a page of suggested
ethnic ministries is included.

“Finally churches can enhance their ministries by getting the facts
they need to do effective ministry in their local area, whether it is
for evangelism, community mission or social concerns,” said Anthony
E. Healy, president of Visions Decisions, Inc.

“You can get specific data on Haitians in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., for
example, or Armenians in Burbank, Calif.,” he said.

Data are available for most places of origins for Hispanics,
including Mexico, Nicaragua or Peru, and for most places of origin
for Asians, including China, Korea and Vietnam. Data are also
available for places of origin that include countries in Africa, the
Middle East and Europe. All the data are from the 2000 Census.

Visions Decisions is a source of demographic and congregational
studies for churches, regional bodies and denominations. Based in
Atlanta, Ga., the company has served religious bodies across the
United States for nearly 14 years.

Street Protests Are Now a Craze in the Caucasus

The Moscow Times
Tuesday, Apr. 20, 2004. Page 11

Street Protests Are Now a Craze in the Caucasus

By Chloe Arnold

BAKU, Azerbaijan — Georgians do it outside parliament. Azeris do it along
the Caspian Sea coast. And last week, Armenians were doing it in Freedom
Square in their thousands, until the police sent them home.

I’m talking, of course, about demonstrations — the latest craze to take
hold in this neck of the woods, from Lenkaran to Yerevan, and most places in

The Azeris started it last fall after a presidential election, the rigging
of which astounded even the world-weariest of observers. At the age of 80
and with a quadruple bypass operation under his belt, Heidar Aliyev decided
to relinquish the helm after 30 years and hand the country over to his son.

There was the minor issue of an election to be held, but officials up and
down the country made sure the vote came out overwhelmingly in favor of
Aliyev’s son, Ilham.

Outraged at the result, opposition groups took the streets of Baku,
demanding a revote. But the government was having none of it. The protesters
were beaten soundly and sent to prison, where many of them are still holed
up to this day.

The Georgians fared better. Their parliamentary vote a month later saw the
same cunning tricks used to ensure a victory for the ruling party.
Opposition supporters camped outside parliament for three weeks in protest
before storming the building and forcing the president, Eduard Shevardnadze,
to throw in the towel.

Then last week, it was Armenia’s turn. Not to be outdone by their neighbors,
the Armenian opposition marched in the center of Yerevan, demanding the
resignation of their president, Robert Kocharyan.

Police let them have their say for a few hours before rounding up the
ringleaders and sending everyone else home. The rally came a year after a
presidential election that — wait for it — saw massive violations and a
landslide victory for Kocharyan.

Opposition groups say they will continue their protests until Kocharyan
resigns, but I can’t help feeling the wind is out of their sails.

So why did demonstrations work in Georgia and not Azerbaijan or Armenia?
Mostly, I think, because the Georgians had television on their side. In
Azerbaijan and Armenia there are no opposition stations to call on the
nation to come out and demonstrate — although Armenia is so small, you
could practically do the job just by shouting.

Georgia now has a young, vibrant government with grand ideas. People have
high hopes for their new leader, Mikheil Saakashvili. But if he doesn’t live
up to his promises, I guarantee the Georgians, like the Azeris and the
Armenians next door, will be out on the streets again with another excuse to
hold a demonstration.

Chloe Arnold is a freelance journalist based in Baku, Azerbaijan.

California Courier Online, April 22, 2004

California Courier Online, April 22, 2004

1 – Commentary
N.Y. Times Acknowledges
The Armenian Genocide
By Harut Sassounian
California Courier Publisher
2 – Carl R. Terzian to be
Honored By ECF Foundation
3 – Cal State L.A.’s Simonian
Crowned National Champion
4 – Diocese Will Host Several
Events at Burbank Complex
5 – Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Samantha
Power to Keynote April 23 Event in L.A.
1 – Commentary
N.Y. Times Acknowledges
The Armenian Genocide

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier

The editors of the New York Times adopted last week a new guideline
instructing all of their reporters to henceforth use the term “genocide”
when referring to the Armenian Genocide.
The internal memo outlining this policy states: “After careful study of
scholarly definitions of ‘genocide,’ we have decided to accept the term in
references to the Turks’ mass destruction of Armenians in and around 1915.”
The guideline states that “the expression ‘Armenian Genocide’ may be used
freely and should not be qualified with phrasing like ‘what Armenians
call,’ etc.”
The New York Times thus abandons its shameful refusal in recent years to
refer to the Armenian Genocide as “genocide” and reaffirms the integrity of
the 145 articles it published in 1915, as the genocide was unfolding. More
than 20 years ago, Karl E. Meyer, one of the editors of The Times,
published two powerful editorial notes on the Armenian Genocide. The first
was dated April 23, 1983, and titled, “Armenian Memory, Turkish Amnesia.”
In that note, Meyer referred to the Armenian Genocide as “the century’s
first official genocide.” When a Turkish official objected to his choice of
words, Meyer wrote a second editorial note on May 14, 1983, simply titled,
“Turkish Amnesia.” He urged the Turks to acknowledge the truth about the
Armenian Genocide, “instead of blaming the victims.”
Under the new policy guidelines, the editors of the New York Times suggest
that when referring to the Armenian Genocide, their reporters “should
normally add a few phrases of explanation for the many readers who have
forgotten what they were taught about the Ottoman Empire (or who were
perhaps never taught): By most historical accounts, the Ottoman empire
killed more than one million Armenians in a campaign of death and mass
deportation aimed at eliminating the Armenian population throughout what is
now Turkey.”
The shift in The Times’ long-standing policy of not using the term Armenian
Genocide is partly the result of the dedicated efforts by several renowned
scholars as well as many Armenian-American individuals and organizations.
Over the years, they collectively provided to the ever-changing staff of
The Times a vast amount of information and documentation on the basis of
which the editors were able to arrive at this new guideline.
Another factor that probably contributed to the reconsideration of The
Times’ policy is the expanding circle in recent years of international
organizations, legislatures of several countries, as well as some Turkish
scholars who have acknowledged the Armenian Genocide. Due to these same
factors, the Boston Globe last year adopted a similar policy on the
“Armenian Genocide.”
Given the fact that the New York Times is one of the leading newspapers in
the United States, its editorial policies and positions have a great
influence on the coverage of issues by the media nationwide and even
worldwide. The Times also helps shape the opinions of policy makers as well
as the public at large. Consequently, its acknowledgment of the Armenian
Genocide will have a devastating effect on the Turkish efforts of denial
and reaffirm the historical facts. To amplify this effect, the news of the
New York Times acknowledging the Armenian Genocide should be disseminated
worldwide to all members of the media, government officials, and
international organizations.
In this effort, Armenians can count on valuable assistance from an
unexpected source — the Turkish government and its lobbyists. They will
probably embark on a massive muckraking campaign against The Times. As part
of their standard bullying tactics, the Turks will threaten to boycott the
newspaper and shut down its bureau in Turkey.
There is very little chance, however, that the Turks will succeed in
forcing a newspaper with the stature of The Times to back down. Such rude
attacks would only serve to offend and antagonize the newspaper’s editors,
and help further publicize the fact that the New York Times has decided to
acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.
In order to counter and balance the expected deluge of negative e-mails
from Turkish denialists, whose sinister aim is getting more and more
hopeless every day, we urge all readers to send e-mails to the editors of
The Times ([email protected]), commending their acknowledgment of the
Armenian Genocide.

British Ambassador Escapes from Armenia on April 24

The Armenian Community and Church Council of Great Britain through its
Sub-Committee for the Campaign for the Recognition of the Armenian Genocide
is planning a protest march on April 24 against the denial of the Armenian
Genocide by the British government and the British Ambassador in Armenia,
Thorda Abbott-Watt. The demonstrators will deliver a petition to Prime
Minister Tony Blair at 10 Downing Street in London. Earlier this month,
French Armenians held a similar demonstration in front of the British
Consulate in Paris.
Meanwhile, Armenians and non-Armenians alike from around the world are
continuing to send protest e-mails to Amb. Abbott-Watt, the British Foreign
Secretary and Prime Minister Blair. Last week, the Armenian Community and
Parish Council of Houston, Texas, issued a statement condemning the British
denial of the Armenian Genocide. Interestingly, Amb. Abbott-Watt sent on
April 17 the following pre-programmed response: “Sorry – I am away! If your
e-mail is urgent please send it to Roy Wilson, our Deputy Head of Mission.
Otherwise, I look forward to reading it on my return to the office on
Monday 26 March.”
Amb. Abbott-Watt must be so confused and rattled by this whole controversy
that she probably meant to say she is returning on Monday, April 26 rather
than March 26, which falls on a Friday and has already passed. Obviously,
she must be too embarrassed to be in Yerevan while the whole Armenian
nation is commemorating the 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. She
wanted to avoid joining the group of ambassadors who place a wreath at the
Genocide Memorial Monument in Yerevan every year on April 24.
Amb. Abbott-Watt should seriously consider staying in London for good
rather than returning to Armenia!
2 – Carl R. Terzian
To Be Honored
By ECF Foundation
LOS ANGELES – Prominent public relations consultant and former president of
the Los Angeles Fire Commission, Carl R. Terzian, will be honored for his
distinguished business and community leadership by the Exceptional
Children’s Foundation at wine tasting and dinner on May 6 at Le Meridien in
Beverly Hills.
Invitations are being extended by L.A. Mayor James K. Hahn and Federal
Judge Dickran M. Tevrizian.
Proceeds from the evening will help the Foundation continue to develop and
provide life-span programs for individuals with mental retardation,
epilepsy, cerebral palsy, autism, and acquired brain injuries. Founded in
1946 by parents of children with mental retardation, ECF now serves nearly
2,000 children and adults from 12 sites throughout Los Angeles County.
3 – Cal State L.A.’s
Simonian Crowned
National Champion
LOS ANGELES – Cal State L.A. student Tatiana Simonian was recently crowned
national champion of dramatic interpretation at the American Forensic
Association’s National Individual Events Tournament in Long Beach, Calif.
Simonian, of Long Beach, and a communications studies major, swept past
more than 150 competitors from colleges and universities across the nation
in seizing the top honor. This marks Cal State L.A.’s fifth national
championship in individual events over the last 11 years. Simonian also
advanced to the semi-final rounds in the category of program oral
Along with Prof. Stephanie Hood, the coaching staff included Michael
Kalustian, Josh Fleming, Javon Johnson, and Richie Hao.
“Tatiana’s outstanding achievement is truly noteworthy,” said Kevin Baaske,
Cal State L.A.’s Director of forensics. “Keep in mind that these
competitors represent many of the best institutions in the country, and
that frequently, other competing students have received scholarships to
compete in forensics.”
4 – Diocese Will Host Several
Events at Burbank Complex
BURBANK, Calif. – Several events will be held in the coming weeks at the
Western Diocese complex in Burbank, the Diocese announced last week.
On May 5 a welcoming reception will be held in honor of Very Rev. Fr. Dajad
Yardemian, who serves at the Diocesan Headquarters.
Fr. Dajad’s main responsibilities include the preparation of candidates for
the priesthood, the Director of publication and the newly established
library, director of religion seminars throughout the year, officer
lecturer on behalf of the diocese and special tasks, as assigned by the
On May 6, at 7 p.m., a dedication of a book authored by Jirair Libaridian,
a former advisor to Armenian President Levon Ter-Petrossian, will be held
at the Diocesan complex.
On May 12, a reception will honor the 50th anniversary of the services of
Mother Deacon Hripsime Sassounian.
On June 13, at 7 p.m., a reception will honor the 90th birthday and 70th
anniversary of the literary and educational service of Yervant Babayan.
Admission to all of these events are free.
5 – Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Samantha
Power to Keynote April 23 Event in L.A.
LOS ANGELES – The National Council of Churches USA will commemorate the
10th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide with an April 23 event in Los
Angeles. “Remembering Rwanda – Ten Years After the Genocide ” will feature
Samantha Power, who won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for her book “A Problem
from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide.”
Also appearing will be Dr. Richard Hrair R. Dekmejian, Professor of
Political Science at USC, an expert on the history of the Armenian
Genocide, and Rabbi Allen I. Freehling, Executive Director of the Los
Angeles City Human Relations Commission.
Free and open to the public, the 7 p.m. event will be held in Fowler
Museum’s Lenart Auditorium, at UCLA. Preceding the program, at 6 p.m.,
Kimberlee Acquaro’s short film, Journey to Kigali, will have its premiere
The event also will include remarks by Rev. Dr. Robert W. Edgar, General
Secretary of the National Council of Churches;.
The program also will include testimonies by Rwandan Genocide survivors.
The evening will close with a presentation of Rwandan music and dance.
6 – Historical Perspective on British Policy on Armenians

Lawrence of Arabia and the Armenians
By Vartkes Sinanian
Once again the world’s attention is focused on the Middle East. The west’s
policy has been a series of blatant interventions and confrontations as
well as blindness to the political aspirations of the region’s peoples.
It is evident that the basic ethical doctrine of Immanuel Kant that
“unless the principle upon which we act is one that is appropriate for all
the others that principle is false” sounds so true to that region of the
world. As a result there has always been a widespread instability and
ruinous cycle of events which has paralyzed the region for so long.
Lawrence of Arabia was one of the British Empire’s most prominent yet
mysterious figures in the early part of the 20th century. Born in Wales in
1888, he studied at Oxford University before heading to the Middle East on
an assignment. He joined the British Secret Service because of his
extensive knowledge of the Middle East and its people. His main task was
to organize the different Arab tribes against the Turks. He spoke Arabic
fluently and won the confidence of the Arab leaders. He later fought with
them and stories
of his exploits were spread all over the world. He was considered a
champion of Arab rights for he felt that the British government had not
treated the Arabs fairly.
His only book “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” is still popular with scholars
and others who are interested in the history of that region. When he
finished writing, the manuscript was mysteriously lost so Lawrence had to
write it all over again from memory. He was reluctant to talk about his
role and requests for interviews were unanswered probably because he feared
repudiation by the British Foreign Office. One of the rare interviews that
he granted was with Lincoln Steffens a well-known American writer, magazine
editor and author, who had achieved fame as an interviewer. Steffens
described his interview with Lawrence as the “queerest I ever had in all my
interviewing life. English humor consists, in part, at least in what it is
said; the British in what a Britisher doesn’t say.”
In his interview titled “Armenians are Impossible” he writes of Lawrence “I
offer the curiosity as I wrote it at the time (in Paris during the Peace
Conference in 1919) and I’ll have to leave it to those who read it to guess
what it’s all about, if anything.” 1919 was a fateful year in Armenia’s
history. It was the aftermath of the Armenian Genocide with its
disastrous consequences and our people were still licking their wounds.
However, there was a renewed hope because of the creation of the Armenian
Most important of all, the Paris Peace Conference was in session which
would eventually culminate in the signing of the Sevres Treaty with
Armenia’s participation.
In his interview Lawrence made some startling statements such as
“Armenians were the last word in human impossibility. They correspond as a
race, to ‘ the last man’ in academic debate.” As a Briton he was
irritated that the Americans came half way around the world to take charge
of Armenia. Britain as the greatest imperial power at the time could not
be sympathetic to the hopes and aspirations of a small but proud nation
whose emergence as an independent country could spell peril to the evil
designs of the Empire.
American mandate of Armenia meant the penetration of American influence in
the Middle East and the oilfields. Lawrence thought that the Americans
were too idealistic while the Armenians too practical. He was in
agreement with the policies of Czarist Russia which believed in an
Armenia with no Armenians.
Political principles and methods of expediency, craftiness and duplicity
characterized his philosophy which was enforced by the vast British
Empire where for centuries the sun never set. It was exactly the political
philosophy of Machiavelli which was “the end justified the means.”
Lawrence says that the “Armenians are the most intelligent, the most
perfectly selected, the most highly developed race in the world – from the
civilized point of view.” But he contends, “They must not have Armenia.
They would not work them themselves, not even for themselves. They want
them, yes, but only to own. They would not even do the work of organizing
the work of development. They would let them out as concessions to others
to manage. They want to live on the coast, in cities, on rent, interest,
dividends and the profits of trading in the shares and the actual money
earned by capital and labor.”
Lawrence now becomes more specific when he speaks of his country’s fears. ”
I tell you, if ever the Armenians are given a fair start in the world, if
they get a free hold on any corner of the earth, they will own the whole
planet and work all the rest of mankind. That’s what the Turks know and
dread and the Greeks and all of us who know them. And somebody has to solve
the Armenian problem. It seems to me to be poetic justice, good politics
and sound business to let the most idealistic people (he refers to the
Americans V.S.) in the world to take over the most practical people in the
world . ”
He thought America was young and inexperienced to take over the affairs of
emerging countries and therefore too prone to judge harshly the conduct of
the British. He makes some queer judgments such as ” We must divide them
up, Armenia to one mandate, the Armenians to another. The policy for the
Indians is the one for the Armenians. After trying everything else we
would end by doing that and doing it well, too: leaving no Adam and Eve to
go on raising Cain.”
We should never have doubted the evil designs of the British Empire and
the other allies as the facts speak for themselves. Lawrence was not alone
in these sentiments. Ugly voices were heard everywhere at that time but in
the end common sense prevailed.
Despite all these, the “Little Ally” proved a valuable asset for the allied
cause in preventing the occupation of the oilfields in the Caucasus and
Armenians distinguished themselves on the battlefronts with their valor
and sacrifice. The Sevres Treaty was the vindication of our rights which
we cherished since the fall of the Kingdom of Cilicia. President Wilson
took a personal interest in Armenia by championing the establishment of an
American protectorate but was overriden by the U.S. Congress.
After a short-lived period of hope and optimism, the years of despair and
peril were back . The dream of Greater Armenia was never realized due to
the behind the scenes intrigues of the Great Powers which had once again
abandoned their “Little Ally.” Lawrence was one of his country’s
representatives at the time and he directly or indirectly played a role in
shaping the British policy with regard to the Middle East. In
retrospect, this historic interview makes it all the more interesting.
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