Jirayr Sefilyan Denied Armenian Citizenship

A1 Plus | 18:05:29 | 01-04-2004 | Social |


Armenian prominent intellectuals released a statement Thursday
protesting denial of Shushi battalion commander, Jirayr Sefilyan’s
request for granting him Armenian citizenship.

“We were surprised by Kocharyan’s refusal to give citizenship Jirayr
Sefilyan who has been fighting for independence of Artsakh”, the
intellectuals say in their statement.


Deno of Switzerland invests $3 mln in Armenian mine

March 31 2004

Deno invests $3 mln in Armenian mine

Yerevan. (Interfax) – Deno of Switzerland invested $3 million in the
first stage of an investment program for the Kapan Ore- Dressing
Plant or GOK in Armenia.

The money was spent on acquiring materials and on repairs, the
plantTs general director, Martun Akopyan, told Interfax.

The second stage of the program will need about $7.5 million and is
to take two years, during which a processing factory will be built.

After privatization, Kapan GOK tripled ore production and processing
to 30,000 tonnes a month.

Kapan GOK produced 300,000 tonnes of ore in 2003, and plans to
produce 450,000 tonnes in 2004. It exports concentrates to processing
companies in China and Belgium. Output totaled $4.5 million in 2003
and is planned at $12 million in 2004.

No breaking of cease-fire

Azat Artsakh – Repubic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)
March 25 2004


On March 23 the OSCE mission held a planned monitoring of the
borderline between the armed forces of Karabakh and Azerbaijan near
the village Talish, region of Martakert. On the Karabakh side the
monitoring was conducted by the field assistants of the personal
representative of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office Kenneth Pikles (Great
Britain) and Genady Korzh (Ukraine). During the monitoring no cases of
breaking the cease-fire were reported. The monitoring mission was
accompanied by the representatives of the NKR ministries of defence
and foreign affairs. After the monitoring the representatives of the
OSCE mission visited the soldier of the NKR armed forces who was
wounded by the Azerbaijani sniper on March 19.


Punishment in Georgian manner

Azat Artsakh – Repubic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 24, 2004


Bahatur Jobova will have to apologize to Azerbaijan; this is the
decision of the chess federation of Georgia for the participation of
the chess-player in the tournament held in Nagorni Karabakh. Besides,
according to the Baku newspapers, the chess federation of Azerbaijan
managed to compel the chess-player from Iran Haem Mahami to stop his
participation in the last rounds of the tournament. Recently the
meeting of the chairmanship of the chess federation of Georgia
discussed the question of participation of Jobova in the Karabakh
tournament. The latter arrived in Nagorni Karabakh in spite of the
instructions of the federation. The co-chairman of the federation
Azmayparashvili mentioned in his interview, `It is not easy for us to
handle the fate of this chess-player as he is one of the most talented
players of our country and our only hope.’ The father of the player
Alexander Jobova was also invited to the meeting of the chairmen of
the federation, who allegedly said that it was him `to sent the
chess-player to Stepanakert’ but at the same time behaved in a `non
correct’ manner. According to the vice-chairman of FIDE, the chairmen
had different opinions concerning the punishment of Jobova. They
consider either to deprive him of the state scholarship and forbid him
to participate in the Chess Olympiad or deprive his of the right to
participate in the local, as well as international tournaments for a
year. After long discussions the participants of the meeting came to
the conclusion to postpone the discussion of the problem to
Sunday. `Jobava must acknowledge his actions and officially apologize
to the chess federations of Georgia and Azerbaijan in press and by
television for by his actions he does not respect the territorial
integrity of Azerbaijan,’ said Azmayparashvili. If he does not
apologize, he will be deprived of the scholarship and will not have
the right to participate in the local and international competitions
for a year. An ultimatum was extended to the Georgian player. If he
apologizes, he will be deprived of only material supply and a
suspended disqualification for two years. Judging by such a reaction
of Georgia and the joy of Azerbaijan for this, if Jobava became a
prizewinner of the championship the inquisitors would make a fire for
him as a lesson for others.


BAKU: Azeri writers protest to Duma over Armenian claims to exclave

Azeri writers protest to Russian Duma over Armenian claims to exclave

Sarq, Baku
24 Mar 04

Text of Xalid Ilyaszada report by Azerbaijani newspaper Sarq on 24
March headlined “Armenian writers’ claims to Naxcivan are unfounded”,
subheaded “The Azerbaijani Union of Writers has sent an appeal to the
Russian State Duma”

The Armenian Union of Writers has recently demanded that parliament
recognize as invalid the 1921 Kars Treaty, which stipulates that the
Naxcivan Autonomous Republic is an integral part of Azerbaijan.

After this, some foreign media reported that the Armenian writers had
raised the issue with the Russian State Duma as well. The Armenians
also wanted Russia, a signatory to the Kars Treaty, to recognize it as

The Azerbaijani Union of Writers has sharply reacted to this and sent
an appeal to the Russian State Duma. The appeal recalled separate
articles from the treaty. It noted that the treaty accepts Naxcivan as
an integral part of Azerbaijan. Under the treaty, the territory of the
autonomous republic cannot be given to any state. Russia, Turkey,
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia signed the treaty, which casts light
on many issues.

The Armenian claims to Naxcivan run counter to any norms when
everything is absolutely clear. Such efforts should be described only
as Armenia’s interference in other states’ internal affairs. Armenia
should remember that it has undertaken certain commitments to the
treaty and any effort aimed at breaking them is inadmissible. The
Azerbaijani Union of Writers thinks that the position of the Armenian
Union of Writers, which violates legal norms, testifies to this
county’s expansionist policy. This policy caused Azerbaijan heavy
casualties, genocide and horrors over the decades, the appeal says.

The appeal sent to the Russian State Duma also stressed the current
difficult situation in Armenia.

“We understand that time is going against Armenia and the Armenians
want to divert the people’s attention from numerous problems. The
ideologists of Armenian separatism are kicking up a new racket of
provocation just for this reason and want to raise the Naxcivan
question. We state in full responsibility that there is no problem
giving rise to this question. Naxcivan has always been within
Azerbaijan, this is the case today and it will continue to be the
case. We tell the Armenians that such attempts will not prevent the
Nagornyy Karabakh conflict from being resolved peacefully in line with
international legal norms,” the appeal said.

“A1+” Claim Refused

A1 Plus | 20:03:59 | 23-03-2004 | Social |


Armenian Economic Court has today rejected “Meltex” LTD claim against
inactivity of TV and Radio National Committee. It is to remind that “A1+”
demanded to allow the bases that TV and Radio National Committee didn’t
grant the TV Company the broadcasting license.

It took Judge Robert Sargssyan only 15 minutes to make such a decision. The
whole trial lasted for 1,5 hours.

By the way, it’s the first trial Sargssyan presided over. He substituted
Judge Chilingaryan after TV and Radio Committee representative demurred him.

Let’s remind that TV and Radio Committee representative Varser Karapetyan
challenged the Judge after he had ignored her solicitation over hearing the
claim on the 25th frequency (“Armenia – TV”) separately.


Russia to buy blocking stake in Armenian bank

YEREVAN, March 22 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s foreign trade bank Vneshtorgbank (VTB) will buy a blocking stake in Armenia’s savings bank Armsberbank.

The parties are expected to sign a correspondent agreement in Yerevan on Wednesday, March 24, chairman of the Armsberbank Board Mikhail Bagdasarov told Itar-Tass on Monday.

The deal between the two banks will become the most advantageous for Armenia since the collapse of the Soviet Union, he said. “This is a mechanism that unites the Russian and Armenian banks that are supported by solid financial sources,” Bagdasarov said.

The deal is necessary for the development of bilateral economic relations with Russia, he said. Armenian businessmen will have an opportunity to enter the Russian market, while Russian businessmen – Armenian.

Russia’s largest companies that work in Armenia will take out loans from Armsberbank, a future VTB affiliate. “As a shareholder VTB intends to increase Armsberbank’s charter capital four or five-fold and expand its service sector,” he said.

Armsberbank will retain thirty percent of the shares and have the right to have a say in important deals. Bagdasarov expressed confidence that this formula will allow Armenia to attract large investments from Russia through VTB.

Three civilians killed in latest mine explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh

Associated Press Worldstream
March 19, 2004 Friday 12:08 PM Eastern Time

Three civilians killed in latest mine explosion in Nagorno-Karabakh

YEREVAN, Armenia

A jeep of hunters driving in the contested Nagorno-Karabakh enclave
hit an anti-tank mine that killed three civilians and wounded another
six, a demining organization said Friday.

The explosion happened Sunday evening, the office of London-based
HALO trust in Nagorno-Karabakh’s regional capital Stepanakert said.

Nagorno-Karabakh remains laced with mines from the war that left
ethnic Armenian forces in control of the enclave within Azerbaijan. A
cease-fire between the two former Soviet republics was signed in
1994, but the enclave’s political status is unresolved and Armenian
and Azeri forces face off across a demilitarized zone.

Inlcuding the latest explosion, HALO said seven civilians have died
in Nagorno-Karabakh this year. Nine people died in 2003.

UNIFIL Irish soldiers celebrate last Saint Patrick’s Day in Lebanon

The Daily Star, Lebanon
March 19 2004

Unifil Irish soldiers celebrate their last Saint Patrick’s Day in
Sprigs of shamrock had been flown in from Ireland

By Paul Cochrane
Special to The Daily Star

Saint Patrick’s Day is an event celebrated with a great deal of
gusto wherever the Irish, descendants or citizens, congregate. In New
York the river is dyed green, and in Dublin it is the biggest social
event in between New Year and Easter.
In Beirut, dozens of Irish came together at the palatial Daouk
residence in Ain al-Mreisseh, the home of Ireland’s Consul General
Khaled Daouk, to celebrate the patron saint of Ireland.
Although St. Patrick was born in Wales, the saint first arrived in
Ireland as a slave, where he turned to religion and began his mission
in life to convert Ireland to Christianity. Among the myths
surrounding Patrick’s life, one is that he could raise people from
the dead, and the more widely known is that he drove all the snakes
from the Emerald Isle.
With the death of St. Patrick on March 17, 461 AD, the event has been
commemorated as a Catholic holiday ever since.
Amid numerous Lebanese socialites at the event, the Irish were
conspicuous by the green shamrocks attached to their suit lapels. The
shamrock, which along with the harp are Ireland’s national symbols,
is a small three leafed plant
that is significant in that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain
the Christian trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.
The shamrocks on display were the real McCoy, with over a 100 sprigs
having been flown in from Ireland with the fiancŽ of an Irish UN
Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil) officer. There were seven Irish
officers, currently based in the South, at the event. Commandant
Timmy Daly said, “It is fantastic to be here as a guest, especially
as it is the last St. Patrick’s Day for Irish soldiers in Lebanon.”
The Irish contingent has been with Unifil in Southern Lebanon for the
past 26 years, but has been gradually phased out since the Israeli
withdrawal in 2000.
“When the Irish Army was here in force, I used to go down to Naqoura
every year as there was a big parade by the soldiers, a bagpipe band,
musicians from Ireland and a great banquet,” said Sister Mary
Delourdes, a teacher at Sagesse school. With fewer Irish in Lebanon,
St. Patrick’s Day has become a much smaller event.
Although whiskey and black stout beer are the traditional drinks of
Ireland, the black stuff was very much absent from the function, and
it was rather surprising to be served up Scotch rather than some of
Ireland’s best malts.
The event was celebrated with a buffet, a cake with the Irish
tricolors and an Armenian pianist tickling the ivories in the

Cyprus: Time for Govm’t to pay the Armenians back for their loyalty

OPINION – Time for government to pay the Armenians back for their loyalty

Cyprus Mail
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

SO THE rumours were true: the Melkonian School is set to close at the
end of the next school year — June 2005 — after a proud history of
almost 80 years, serving Armenians on the island, as well as the wider

The Armenian community in Cyprus has for years served as a role model
for community relations, maintaining a remarkable balance between
integration and identity. The Melkonian School has been a key element
in that balance, providing the children of Armenian families with an
education that nurtured that identity in a foreign land.

For a diaspora community, a full secondary education is the key to
survival, a role that cannot be filled with Sunday school lessons
nurturing an identity as living as the sepia photographs on our
grandparents’ walls. Until now, the existence in Cyprus of a full
Armenian curriculum taking children all the way through to adulthood
has been a recognition of the status of the community on the island.

The AGBU – the American-based foundation that runs Armenian schools
worldwide – defends its decision to close the school: it points out
the Melkonian’s dwindling attendance and financial deficit, but
focuses its criticism mainly on its recent educational performance.
If, the foundation argues, the Melkonian had “provided exceptional
opportunities to its students as it had done in the past, substantial
subsidisation would be warranted. Unfortunately, this is not the

The AGBU also points out that about 90 per cent of children in the
diaspora are not educated in Armenian schools and the money may be
better spent in other educational programmes.

Fair enough. But Cyprus is different: the Armenians are a recognised
community according to the constitution. So if the AGBU is not willing
to maintain the school, the Cyprus government should step in. Already,
the building has been declared a listed site, while moves are under
way to have the grounds declared as protected forest, preventing the
developers from barging in.

These are steps in the right direction, but more still needs to be
done. The AGBU clearly paints a picture of financial crisis at the
Melkonian, and saving the school from sale is only part of the
equation, which needs to be accompanied by a cash commitment and
substantial reform of the institution.

The government must show its willingness to help the school
financially if it is to survive. Surely one of the main rights of a
recognised community is the right to their own education. The
Armenians in Cyprus have shown extraordinary loyalty to the Greek
Cypriots. It is time to pay them back.

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2004