Ukraine marks 30th anniversary of Chernobyl disaster

Photo: Reuters


Ukraine is holding commemorations to mark the 30th anniversary of the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, the BBC reports.

Sirens were sounded at the same moment as the first explosion at the reactor, in the early hours of 26 April 1986.

The meltdown at the plant remains the worst nuclear disaster in history.

An uncontrolled reaction blew the roof off, spewing out a cloud of radioactive material which drifted across Ukraine’s borders, into Russia, Belarus and across a swathe of northern Europe.

The relatives of those who died attended candle-lit vigils at several churches, including in the capital Kiev and in Slavutych, a town built to re-house workers who lived near the nuclear plant.

All hostilities to be ceased along Karabakh line of contact to recover the bodies

All hostilities will be ceased along the line of contact between the armed forces of Nagorno Karabakh and Azerbaijan between 3 to 8 p.m. Yerevan time, Spokesman for the NKR Defense Army Senor Hasratyan told Public Radio of Armenia.

The silence will allow the parties to recover the bodies of the killed soldiers.

The search for the bodies will be carried out with the assistance of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

JCRC speaks out on the Armenian Genocide

The Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston (JCRC), representing the organized Jewish community in Boston, agrees with the message of the editorial by Andrew Tarsy (“,” Journal, March 17) that “American Jews have a wrong of our own to right” when it comes to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

“The time has come, 101 years after the extermination of over one million Armenian citizens, for the United States to acknowledge the massacre by the Ottoman Turks in 1915 as genocide,” Jeremy Burton, JCRC Executive Director writes in the .

“Armenians and Jews share a tragic historical bond. It was only thirty years after the Armenian Genocide that six million Jews were killed by the Nazi regime.”

Last October, the JCRC of Greater Boston and the JCRC of Greater Rhode Island led the efforts of the Jewish Council of Public Affairs (JCPA) – the consensus body of the American Jewish community – to issue a resolution that urges our Congress and the President to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
As Tarsy stated so powerfully: “When we participate in the blurring of historical memory, we dishonor the dead and endanger the living.”

Pope Francis sends letter to Armenian Archbishop Kissag Mouradian for 25 years of his Episcopate

A celebration was held on March 22 in Buenos Aires for the 25 years of Episcopate of Archbishop Kissag Mouradian, Primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church for Argentina and Chile, reports.

Pope Francis, an of the Armenian Archbishop, sent him a letter for the occasion.

“Dear brother,” said the letter of the Pope. “On March 22 the Armenian community celebrate your 25 years of episcopate. From here I join this celebration and prayer of thanksgiving. May the Lord reward all the good you did and keep doing. I thank God for your ministry and pray that it remains fruitful. And please, I ask that you do not forget to pray for me.Please give my greetings to the beloved members of the Armenian community.”

The celebration was attended by national government authorities, representatives of other Armenian churches, representatives of the Armenian Embassy in Argentina and members of the Armenian community.

Alberto Djeredjian, member of the Administrative Institution of the Armenian Church, said that Mouradian is “the backbone of our community.” In turn, the Archbishop said: “I was sent to Argentina for five years, but after I fulfilled that period and having full mutual agreement, I decided to stay. I hope we continue to work together for the welfare of the Armenian Nation and the Armenian Church.”

Armenian President attends EPP summit in Brussels

Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan is attending the summit of the European People’s Party (EPP) in Brussels today. Chaired by EPP President Joseph Dole, European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean Claude Juncker, the heads of state and government of EU Eastern Partnership countries represented in the EPP.

Participants of the summit are expected to discuss the settlement of the existing economic issues and perspectives of development, the current global challenges, including the Syria crisis, migrant issues, the political conjuncture in EU member states and issues related to the European Neighborhood Policy.

NATO and Armenia committed to partnership

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian and Armenian Defence Minister Seyran Ohanyan on Wednesday (9 March 2016) for talks on the partnership between the Alliance and Yerevan. The Secretary General thanked Armenia for its contributions to NATO’s missions in Afghanistan and Kosovo.

The two Ministers also met with the North Atlantic Council for an exchange of views on Armenia’s cooperation with the Alliance and regional security. The Secretary General welcomed Armenia’s commitment to the NATO Building Integrity Programme and the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

Mr. Stoltenberg also highlighted Armenia’s sustained cooperation with NATO in the areas of defence reform, enhanced interoperability, defence education reform and civil emergency planning. Armenia has been a NATO partner for over 20 years, developing political dialogue with Allies and cooperating on democratic, institutional, and defence reforms.



Istanbul Governor meets Armenian Patriarch, other minority leaders

Istanbul Governor Vasip Sahin has met with leading figures from the three main religions in the metropolis to obtain information on the activities of Turkey’s Jewish, Christian and Muslim communities, the state-run Anadolu Agency has reported.

The meeting was held in the Istanbul Governor’s Office late March 1 as part of a series of meetings Şahin has been holding to engage more in the activities of civil society organizations and advocate groups.

Attending the meeting were Armenian Patriarch and Archbishop Aram Atesyan, Fener Rum Patriarch Dimitri Bartholomeos, Keldani Catholic Community Spiritual Leader Francois Yakan, Turkish Assyrian Orthodox Metropolitan Bishop Yusuf Cetin, Turkish Jewish Community Chief Rabbi İshak Haleva, Syrian Catholic Church Patriarchal Vicar Yusuf Sağ and Istanbul Mufti Rahmi Yaran.

Underscoring that he had been very glad for the meeting, Sahin told the leaders that Istanbul had always been an archaic city embracing different religions and also that all religious communities were living in peace in what he described as a city of harmony and fellowship.

The governor had previously held a meeting with museum administration officials, theology experts and representatives from non-governmental organizations in Istanbul.

Hayastan All-Armenian Fund turns 24

The Hayastan All-Armenian Fund is celebrating the 24th anniversary of its establishment today.

Ever since 1992, the organization has mobilized the worldwide Armenian community. By functioning as a catalyst for the Armenian people’s inexhaustible dedication to the strengthening of its homeland, it has built roads, water networks, schools, and hospitals, thereby reasserting our nation’s inalienable right to thrive and create on its own land.

“Today the magnificent achievements of the Hayastan All-Armenian Fund continue to be a testament to national unity. The breathtaking tapestry of revitalized villages and cities throughout Armenia and Artsakh is our shared accomplishment, one which we will pass on to our children,” Hayastan Fund said in a statement.

Nepal passenger plane crashes with 23 on board

Photo: EPA


Rescuers in western Nepal have found the wreckage of a passenger plane which went missing with 23 people on board, the BBC reports.

The Twin Otter aircraft, operated by Tara Air, was travelling from Pokhara to Jomsom and lost contact with the control tower shortly after taking off.

Officials say the chances of finding survivors are slim.

The plane was carrying three crew and 20 passengers, one of them Chinese and one Kuwaiti. Nepal’s aviation industry has a poor safety record.

According to Sanjiv Gautam, director general of the Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal, the plane’s wreckage was found near the village of Dana in Myagdi district.

The identities of those on board have yet to be released. Two of those on board were children.

Three helicopters were searching for the missing plane, Tara Air said earlier on its website, adding that “the weather at both origin and destination airports was favourable” for the 20-minute flight.

Nepal’s army said, however, that fog had been hampering the search for the Twin Otter.

European Court refuses to consider the case of Azeri saboteurs serving sentence in Karabakh

The European Court of Human Rights has refused to consider the case of Dilham Askerov and Shahbaz Guliyev, citizens of Azerbaijan serving sentence in Nagorno Karabakh, authorized representative of the Government of Azerbaijan in the European Court of Human Rights Chingiz Askerov has said, Trend reports.

Askerov added that the government of Azerbaijan has sent an inquiry to the European Court for further clarification.  He said their families had applied to the Court back in 2014.

The Azeri saboteurs crossed the NKR border in July, 2014. The third commando, Hasan Hasanov, was killed, and his body was handed over to Baku.

The actions of the subversive group left an underage resident of Karvachar region and a soldier killed and a woman wounded.

The First Instance Court of General Jurisdiction of Nagorno Karabakh  sentenced Dilham Askerov to life imprisonment, and Shahbaz Guliyev to 22 years in jail.