Antelias: Pan Armenian Conference on Armenian education in Antelias

Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]

PO Box 70 317

Armenian version:


ANTELIAS, LEBANON – With the initiative of the Armenian Catholicosate of
Cilicia a major conference will take place on Armenian education from 5-7
August 2004 in Antelias, Lebanon. The conference will deal with a number of
issues and challenges, pertaining to Armenian education in the Diaspora.

The main subject of discussion will be the Armenian School and the way the
Armenian education is organized and provided in the daily schools. This will
include textbooks, Armenian courses, the curriculum, the status of teacher,
pedagogical methodologies, extra-curriculum activities, etc.

The conference will also attempt to look at the Armenian formation in a
broader context by dealing with the ways the new generation is formed
through the church, the family, clubs, organizations, etc. What does it mean
to be Armenian in a Diaspora situation? What kind of Armenian should we form
to confront the new challenges, risks and hopes of new times, and how such
an Armenian must be prepared? These and related questions will be seriously
addressed by the conference which will bring together about 70 selected and
experienced educators and intellectuals from different parts of the Armenian

His Holiness Aram I will address the conference and will personally attend
all its sessions. The Armenian Department of the Gulbenkian Foundation will
take part in this conference and contribute financially. The minister of
Education of Armenia will also address the conference and a delegation from
Armenia will be invited to attend the conference.

All those who want to get more information about the conference can get in
touch with the Information and Communication Department of the

e-mail: [email protected]
fax: +961 4- 419724
tel: + 961 4- 410001


The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the history and
the mission of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
the Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

What masons share with the mafia

Daily Telegraph, UK
March 21 2004

What masons share with the mafia

Why is it that some groups seem to do well in business while others
fail to make economic progress? In many parts of the world,
particular minorities dominate commerce, and often form a political
elite too. Is it culture, religion or history that gives them the
upper hand? Or simply a supreme self-confidence bred from past

In many cases, capital, education and connections are sufficient to
give certain ethnic minorities the necessary advantages. In Brazil,
which has the worst distribution of wealth in the world, less than
0.01 per cent of the population owns the vast majority of the land
and controls the levers of power.

These whites effectively operate economic rule over a peasant
population – most of whom are descendants of slaves. A strong sense
of inferiority and lack of resources prevent the common masses in
Brazil from making real progress.

Similarly, in the Philippines the ethnic Chinese make up less than 1
per cent of the population but control a large proportion of the
country’s assets. They have worked hard, helped each other, learned
how to borrow and raise investment, and how to influence political
decisions. They intermarry and have retained a somewhat separate

There is a similar concentration of wealth among the Chinese in
Indonesia, and the pattern is repeated to a lesser extent in
Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.

The same phenomenon of an economically dominant minority occurs in
other countries: Indians in Kenya, Lebanese in Sierra Leone and
Gambia, and whites in South Africa. In some cases, immigrant
entrepreneurs have settled, developed successful enterprises and
gradually overwhelmed local competition.

In others, certain tribes have inherited the fruits of colonialism
and racist political systems. Such profoundly imbalanced societies
are fundamentally unstable and can suffer damaging class warfare.

The rapid spread of democracy and globalisation has only exaggerated
the discrepancies between such ethnic groups. The rule of Winner
Takes All tends to apply in such developing economies. This can lead
to a backlash from the disenfranchised majority, as has happened in
Zimbabwe against the white farmers, and against the Chinese minority
in Indonesia.

In both cases the ethnic violence and destruction of property have
dramatically increased poverty and failed to solve the problem of

Of course there are networks that try to use their advantages in
every society – be they masons, old Etonians or the mafia. Such is
human nature. But in a democracy the most successful elites do not
form a closed organisation: they integrate with the majority and
share the fruits of progress.

Such policies can be imposed, as with the black economic empowerment
rules in South Africa. Or the “weaker” majority can be
institutionally protected, as they are in Malaysia.

But such solutions only work properly with huge investment in
education for the poor. And some analysts maintain that
entrepreneurial instincts cannot be taught – they are simply
ingrained in some civilisations and not others.

Moreover, the track record of affirmative action programmes is mixed
at best – rather like punitive taxation on the rich.

Perhaps intensive research into what makes ruling elites rise to the
top would yield useful lessons in trying to help the disadvantaged.

Why, for example, have Lebanese, Jewish and Armenian diasporas spread
all over the capitalist world and done so well? Hard work, good
credit and a strong family structure have helped – but there must be

And why did the Ugandan Asians who arrived in Britain after Idi Amin
ejected them in the 1970s prosper, when some other immigrants have
not? These are difficult but important questions, which need answers
if dangerous inequalities are to be addressed.

Of course each winning culture will have its own formulas, but there
must be common features across these groups. Why do Koreans – around
0.1 per cent of New York’s population – dominate the neighbourhood
retail trade there? It cannot just be luck.

More serious work needs to be done to discover the secrets of
entrepreneurial groups, so that their techniques can be copied among
the less well off. Such efforts might go some way towards rebalancing
the odds between the winners and losers in the game of global

– Luke Johnson is chairman of Channel 4 and Signature Restaurants

Tehran: EP praises reforms in Turkey, but says not enough

IRNA, Iran
March 17 2004

EP praises reforms in Turkey, but says not enough

Brussels, March 17, IRNA — Turkey has made many important reforms
since last year in order to meet the political criteria to join the
but still needs to go considerably further, said the European
Parliament`s Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday when it adopted a

report on Turkey`s progress towards EU accession.
The report asked the Commission, as part of the Pre-Accession
Strategy, to systematically address the shortcomings in the rule of
law and the democratic deficit in Turkey, according to an EP press
The Committee stressed that settlement of the Cyprus conflict was
an essential condition for progress on Turkey`s EU membership
MEPs praised the strong motivation and political will demonstrated
by the AKP government in favor of making reforms that are
revolutionary for Turkey, but they said that such reforms can only be

judged on the basis of how they are put into practice at all levels
the judicial and security system and the civil and military
MEPs criticized the continuing influence of the army in politics,
business, culture and education, continuing torture practices and
mistreatment, the intimidation and harassment of human rights
defenders, the discrimination of religious minorities and the fact
that trade union freedom is not fully guaranteed.
Turkey should also speed up the implementation of certain cultural
rights that allow the education in and use of languages other than
Turkish in the media, especially Kurdish, said the report.
The EU itself must also be prepared for Turkey`s possible
accession and the consequent new geo-political situation for the EU,
MEPs said.
They said Turkey would significantly enhance European security and
give EU policy in the region greater authority and effectiveness.
MEPs said it will be up to Turkey to decide whether it wants, or
will be able, to accept the political principles and values of the EU

as appropriate for Turkey`s state and society.
The EP report also called on Turkey to reopen its borders with
armenia and promote good neighborly relations with that country.

Armenian ministers told to make their relatives behave, says PM

Armenian ministers told to make their relatives behave, says PM

Hayastani Hanrapetutyun, Yerevan
18 Mar 04

Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan says he has told ministers
to “influence” their relatives to keep them out of criminal
incidents. Interviewed by the Armenian government newspaper, the PM
condemned the recent gunfight near a restaurant where the Armenian and
Georgian presidents were dining. (The son of the minister for town
planning is accused of involvement in the gunfight.) Dismissing the
opposition’s claims that they will overthrow the authorities in April,
Markaryan said that the government had tackled the tariff problems
raised by the opposition. The following is an excerpt from Gayane
Gasparyan’s interview with Markaryan published in Hayastani
Hanrapetutyun on 18 March and headlined “`Republican Party of Armenia
alongside law and state,’ Andranik Markaryan says”; subheadings
inserted editorially:

Ministers told to make their relatives behave

[Hayastani Hanrapetutyun correspondent] Rumours are circulating that the
police chief has been dismissed because of the recent incident not far
from the Aragast restaurant [the town planning minister’s son is
accused of firing a gun nearby when the Georgian and Armenian
presidents were in the restaurant].

[Andranik Markaryan] The dismissal of the police chief is ruled out,
as a change of job or dismissal in this system is not connected with
this incident.

[Correspondent] How do you assess the incident? What really took

[Markaryan] Naturally, I assess the incident negatively. The judicial
structures are dealing with this case and I do not want to interfere
in their business.

[Correspondent] How do you assess the fact that the children of some
top officials and members of the government find themselves in such
situations from time to time?

[Markaryan] I assess it negatively. I told the ministers during
government sessions to influence their relatives in order to rule out
such incidents.

[Correspondent] Did the sons of other members of the government
participate in the incident?

[Markaryan] No, they did not.

[Correspondent] Recently during one of the news conferences about
ArmenTel, Justice Minister David Arutyunyan said a government
reshuffle cannot be ruled out.

[Markaryan] I have always said this is a dynamic process. You will
know when a change takes place.

Proposed bill on return of deposits not a victory for Orinats Yerkir

[Correspondent] In a recent TV broadcast of “Khorirdanakan zham”
[Parliamentary Hour] the chairman of the National Assembly said that
the committee on deposits will submit a draft law to the National
Assembly and deposits will be returned. Does it mean that agreement
has been reached within the coalition on the deposits?

[Markaryan] There is agreement that a draft law will be made. There is
no other agreement yet.

[Correspondent] Do you think that the agreement on submitting the
draft law on the return of deposits was a victory for Orinats Yerkir
[Law-Governed Country Party]?

[Markaryan] No, I do not think so. Orinats Yerkir with its 20 deputies
could not force us take such a decision.

[Correspondent] There is a view that the term for submission of the
decision has been delayed in order to close down the problem.

[Markaryan] Time will tell.

Impossible for opposition to overthrow authorities today

[Correspondent] How do you assess the results of the ministers’ visits
to the regions? May programmes be changed as a result of these visits?

[Markaryan] Naturally they may. If there are urgent problems and sums
have been allocated to tackle them in the budget, but the process is
not managed well, changes may take place.

[Passage omitted: funds allocated to flood clear-up]

[Correspondent] The opposition is confidently announcing that in April
it will overthrow the “regime”. Will they manage to do this?

[Markaryan] This is their business. I do not know the techniques used
by them, but I think that it is impossible today.

[Correspondent] When will it be possible?

[Markaryan] In 2008.

[Correspondent] When members of the government visited the regions,
the people were very tense. Do you predict social revolt?

[Markaryan] I do not think that this year the living conditions of the
people are worse than in previous years. I also visited the
regions. The main discontent concerned the consequences of the
floods. The government responded to the problem immediately. I hope
that in future after floods we shall have definite compensation

Social revolt is impossible. The government has resolved the problems
raised by the opposition: the increase in tariffs for electricity,
water and gas. In particular, the government did not allow the
increase in the tariffs to lead to the worsening of people’s standard
of living, we gave compensation in the form of subsidies.

[Correspondent] Was it planned that the visits of government members
to the regions should coincide with the dates announced for opposition

[Markaryan] No, it was not. We visit the regions from time to time. A
group visit will be by the end of the year. We have adopted the
following policy: ministers should undoubtedly have contacts,
especially with the population of those regions where programmes are
being implemented.

[Correspondent] If the opposition acts according to the constitution
and their rallies are well-attended, in that case where will the RPA
[Republican Party of Armenia] be?

[Markaryan] We shall be alongside the law and the state.

“Anti-NATO” expansion

Agency WPS
What the Papers Say. Part B (Russia)
March 17, 2004, Wednesday


SOURCE: Vremya Novostei, March 17, 2004, p. 2

by Nikolai Poroskov

Anatoly Kvashnin, chairman of the CIS committee of chiefs of general
staff, announced that the Commonwealth Southern Shield 2004 staff
command exercises, scheduled for April, will not take place then.
This doesn’t mean the exercises have been canceled due to funding
shortages, as often occurred in the 1990s, or armies of CIS countries
have bogged down in disputes and cannot coordinate the plan and aims
of the exercises. The situation is quite the reverse. According to
Anatoly Kvashnin’s statement at the first assembly of the Joint Staff
of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO, which unites
Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia and Tajikistan),
Boundary 2004 – a tactical exercise – will be held in second half of
2004 instead of the staff command exercise scheduled for April.
Besides forces of the CIS and the CSTO (meant are the units of the
Collective Rapid Deployment Forces and the Russian aviation stationed
at the Kant airfield in Kyrgyzstan), the exercise will involve units
and military observers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization
(SCO). In other words, the list of participants will be extended at
the expense of Uzbek and Chinese military (the SCO includes Russia,
China, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan).

Military experts say that attempts to expand and enhance the
Euro-Asian military-political alliance are evident. In fact, CSTO
Secretary General Nikolai Bordyuzha announced that over a month ago.
He admitted that some CIS states are involved in the talks on their
potential joining the CSTO. Quite possibly, we may soon evidence
expansion of an “anti-NATO.”

The speed with which the military component of the CIS is gaining
strength allow for that assumption. The CSTO Joint Staff started
functioning on January 1, 2004, but has already managed to merit
praises from chief of the Russian General Staff. “My assessment is
positive. The Joint Staff started working actively; what’s important,
since its first moves are practical,” Anatoly Kvashnin said
yesterday. In his words, establishing close cooperation between the
Armed Forces of Russia, CIS states and the CSTO structures has been a
success. In particular, over past six months the strength of the
Collective Rapid Deployment Forces doubled; in addition to general
troops it is planned to form the Special Forces in its structure.

One of the main tasks of the meeting, which will finish tomorrow, is
to develop a system of operations control for the Rapid Deployment

Also under discussion are plans of joint operational and combat
training, an algorithm of actions of the collective forces for
maintenance of peace in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, an opportunity of
unifying the legislation in the sphere of defense and security,
Lieutenant General Vasily Zavgorodny, senior deputy chief of the CSTO
Joint Staff.

Translated by Andrei Ryabochkin

Bush taps ambassadors to Swaziland, Finland, Guinea, Kazakhstan

Agence France Presse
March 12, 2004 Friday

Bush taps ambassadors to Swaziland, Finland, Guinea, Kazakhstan


US President George W. Bush has picked nominees for ambassadorial
postings to Swaziland, Finland, Guinea and Kazakhstan, the White
House announced Thursday.

Bush wants Lewis Lucke, mission director and reconstruction
coordinator for the United States Agency for International
Development (USAID) in Iraq, as ambassador to Swaziland. Lucke has
worked for USAID in Haiti and Jordan.

Bush has picked businessman Earle Mack as ambassador to Finland, and
career diplomat Jackson McDonald, currently US ambassador to Gambia,
as ambassador to Guinea.

The president has chosen career diplomat John M. Ordway, currently US
ambassador to Armenia, as US ambassador to Kazakhstan.

US ambassadorial nominations must win Senate approval.

Armenia, Georgia adherent to European integration

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 12, 2004 Friday

Armenia, Georgia adherent to European integration

By Tigran Liloyan


Armenia and Georgia emphasize their striving for integration with
European organizations. They want closer interaction with the
European Union and cooperation in the United Nations, the Council of
Europe, the OSCE, the CIS and other international and regional
organizations, says a joint statement adopted after Friday
negotiations between Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili and
Armenian leaders.

The Armenian and Georgian presidents said they were ready for more
active cooperation in the Black Sea Economic Cooperation
Organization. They noted the importance of cooperation in TRACECA and
INOGATE initiatives of the European Union.

Bearing in mind the need to respond to new challenges and threats,
primarily terrorism, organized crime, illegal arms trade and drug
trafficking, Armenia and Georgia call for better efficiency and
coordination of the bilateral and multilateral cooperation, the
statement says.