Cable Car Crashes

The Scotsman, UK
April 2 2004

Cable Car Crashes

A cable car crashed to the ground in the Armenian capital Yerevan
today, killing three passengers and injuring six others, officials

The aerial cable car was carrying nine passengers when it plummeted
from a height of some 65 feet after the cable broke, Emergency
Situations Department spokesman Araik Movseyan said.

One of the dead and two of the injured were Armenian citizens, he
said. Prosecutors have opened a criminal case and an investigation.

BAKU: Renewed war might enforce sanctions on Azerbaijan

Baku Today
April 1 2004

Renewed war might enforce sanctions on Azerbaijan

Baku Today 01/04/2004 12:24

Armenian -Azerbaijani conflict over Karabakh might grow into war as
long as Azeri lands are under Armenian occupation, said Azeri defense
minister Safar Abiyev yesterday.
“Azerbaijan is in a state of war, our lands are under occupation. The
danger of the restoration of war exists as long as Armenian armed
forces in our lands, ” said Abiyev.
Azeri political science experts have said, meanwhile, Armenia is
deliberately trying to attract Azerbaijan into the war, as the
renewed military operations can bring economic sanctions upon
Azerbaijan. Not only might the United States impose economic
sanctions on Azerbaijan, but also European countries may enforce
economic restrictions if war restarts , they said.

Peace process unpredictable under new Azeri leader, says Karabakh FM

Peace process unpredictable under new Azeri leader, says Karabakh minister

Azg, Yerevan
31 Mar 04

No significant progress has been made in the Karabakh talks since
Ilham Aliyev became Azerbaijani president, the foreign minister of the
self-declared Nagornyy Karabakh Republic (NKR) has said. Ashot Gulyan
told Armenian newspaper Azg that remarks by Aliyev, such as that the
talks should start from zero, made the negotiating process less
predictable. He said that Ilham Aliyev had chosen to concentrate on
domestic issues during his first few months in power. The following is
the text of Tatul Akopyan’s interview with Gulyan in Azg on 31 March,
headlined “Factor of unpredictability has grown in negotiating
process”; subheadings inserted editorially:

Baku refused to take in part in the meeting between the Armenian and
Azerbaijani foreign ministers, with the participation of the OSCE
Minsk Group co-chairmen, due to have taken place in Prague on 29
March. President Ilham Aliyev criticized the OSCE Minsk Group once
again and said that the mediators has “achieved nothing positive in 12
years”. The Azerbaijani authorities are refusing to continue the
negotiating process on Karabakh and continuing to make bellicose
statements and threatening to settle the Karabakh issue by war.

What do the authorities of Nagornyy Karabakh [NKR] think of this? The
NKR foreign minister, Ashot Gulyan, answered this and other questions.

Negotiating process more unpredictable under Ilham Aliyev

[Correspondent] Mr Gulyan, has anything changed in the Karabakh
negotiations since Ilham Aliyev’s accession to power?

[Ashot Gulyan] There is no progress. The negotiating process has
become less predictable. The first several months of Ilham Aliyev’s
presidency show that there is no significant progress and the future
of the negotiating process is very unclear. Azerbaijan’s refusal to
take part in the Prague meeting shows that it has nothing to say. It
seems that Baku decided to put the Karabakh issue on the back burner,
accompanied by unclear statements. I am talking about bellicose
statements, references to zero levels and displeasure with the Minsk
Group’s work. In comparison with Heydar Aliyev’s tenure, the
negotiating process has become more unpredictable.

[Correspondent] Ilham Aliyev recently said that in 12 years the OSCE
Minsk Group did not achieve any progress in the negotiating
process. What is Stepanakert’s position? Was there any progress in the
negotiating process?

[Gulyan] The OSCE Minsk Group is an international organization that
has dealt with the Karabakh issue really professionally and it is
illogical to assess its activity for these 12 years as in vain. But I
would like to draw your attention to another problem. Ilham Aliyev
says in his statements that all the suggestions of the Minsk Group,
for a stage-by-stage or package solution, have become zero. That is,
what seemed acceptable for the former authorities of Azerbaijan is not
acceptable for today’s. This means that Azerbaijan is not approaching
the international mission seriously. I think all this has the aim of
hiding Azerbaijan’s inaction.

Ilham Aliyev concentrating on domestic issues

[Correspondent] Mr Gulyan, a view is being circulated in the Armenian
press and political circles that the essence of the Karabakh issue has
been misrepresented. How did the Karabakh party participate in the
negotiating process in recent years?

[Gulyan] If we take the last five or six years, we can say there was
no active negotiating process, and the Karabakh party participated as
much as possible. In the last five or six years the OSCE Minsk Group
co-chairmen visited Stepanakert in the framework of their visits to
the region and met the NKR authorities. During all those meetings the
mediators noted that, irrespective of the negotiations being stepped
up, Karabakh continues to remain a negotiating party. That is,
Karabakh is a negotiating party and nobody denies that except

If we take the essence of the negotiating process into account, which
was at the level of meetings of the Armenian and Azerbaijani
presidents for several years, and if we compare them with the
negotiations before 1996, we may say that these meetings were directed
more to taking the process out of deadlock.

Ilham Aliyev’s statements show that today the Karabakh issue is not so
urgent for Azerbaijan. I have the impression that for the new
president of Azerbaijan the first stage of his presidency will be the
settlement of domestic problems. In this way he is trying to avoid
those domestic political upheavals, which may appear at different
levels of discussion of the Karabakh issue.

Europe taking more interest in Karabakh settlement

[Correspondent] Recently Europe has shown more interest in a Karabakh
settlement. How can you comment on this?

[Gulyan] This may be explained, first of all, by the fact that the
countries of the region have turned towards Europe and today their
involvement in European structures means feedback. The same European
structures (the European Union and Council of Europe) in the framework
of their interests are trying to clarify, by means of monitoring or
supervising the situation in the region, to what extent the
obligations are being carried out in the countries of the region.
There is an evident reality that the European structures have started
to be also interested in the unsettled problems or conflict situations
of the region. Here there is a big gap which seems not to be
corrected by the Council of Europe and European Union with the help of
necessary work. European structures, except the OSCE Minsk Group, do
not know the problem of the conflict, they do not know the pre-history
of the conflict and today’s positions of the parties to the
conflict. An impression has been created that Azerbaijan is trying to
make use of the situation and to make accusations from the European
rostrum. Our objective is to give, as much as possible, independent
information to the European structures, to make them understand the
truth about the Karabakh conflict. Naturally, the NKR does not have
such key levers and we are expecting Armenia’s support.

Bright perspectives of becoming a regional hub of RFID technologies

Center of Excellence: Bright perspectives of becoming a regional hub of RFID
SiliconArmenia Mar 31, 2004 8:43 AM

Today, the State Engineering University of Armenia honored the renowned
guest Mike Ohanian at the dedicated session of the Scientific Council headed
by Yuri Sarkissyan, the President of SEUA.

This is not the first time when Mike Ohanian visits Armenia. His mission of
introducing Bar Coding and Radio Frequency Identification Technology (RFID)
is challenging and aligned with the long-term development of Armenian

“My dream is to establish a regional Center of Excellence for RFID
Technology. And the major goal of mine is to introduce this innovative
technology to the Armenian students and academics who will be the first to
gain knowledge on this subject in the entire region, including CIS
countries.” – says Mike Ohanian.

In fact, this initiative started years ago when Mr.Ohanian met Artashes
Toumanian, the Chief of Staff to the President of Armenia who assisted in
getting the message to the Government. Moreover, Mike Ohanian received a
letter with words of support from Andranik Markaryan, the Prime Minister of
Armenia, encouraging him to continue working with universities on the
initiative. “We worked very diligently on this matter and as a result the
Government expressed its interest in supporting this idea. We want to go
further by establishing also manufacturing of RFID products/services.” –
noted Mike Ohanian. According to him, there will be a huge potential for
RFID products and services in Russia, Caucasus region and other CIS states,
the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

Mike Ohanian also told about the background of Bar Coding and Automatic
Identification Technologies (AIT). Originally started in the United States,
they then spread to the Europe and other countries of the world. Universal
standards for RFID have been elaborated and put into place to ensure the
smooth development and application and wider adoption by businesses.

“What is unique about RFID is that it can be used virtually by all
industries. And quite naturally, the bright prospects of RFID are backed
with the fact that this technology is used virtually throughout the entire
supply chain i.e. starting from the design and manufacturing of the products
and ending with the final delivery of the goods to consumers.” – says Mike

“My vision is to empower Armenian students with the knowledge as we have a
unique chance to join those few countries where Universities deliver courses
on RFID. The forerunner is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
and then followed by UK’s Cambridge University and leading universities in
Switzerland, China, Australia and Japan.

“Of course these developments would not happen by themselves and I am very
happy that we have got many cohorts backing our efforts. I am a member of
the Armenian High-Tech Council of America, which is a Boston based
membership organization of Armenian High-Tech executives in the US (AHTCA).
This organization has started ICT series of seminars and workshops through
cooperative agreement with SETA/USAID, jointly run with Enterprise Incubator
Foundation, AHTCA and others. One of the seminars was dedicated to
introduction of RFID technologies. I greatly acknowledge the assistance and
encouragement provided by Berge Ayvazian, the President of AHTCA and Bagrat
Yengibaryan, the Director of EIF.” – said Mike Ohanian.

“Some members of AHTCA maintain close ties with MIT, and if we manage to
take the lead in developing and delivering academic courses in the region it
is much more likely that MIT will allow us to use their information
technology and resources, which will be very beneficial considering the vast
experience of MIT in teaching and research of this discipline.

I strongly hope that our students will take an interactive and proactive
approach to our initiative proposing their own ideas and innovations. I look
forward to more regular visits to my motherland Armenia, contributing to the
overall process, involving the industry and reaping together the fruits of
our joint work.” – said Mike Ohanian concluding his speech.

The session of the Scientific Council culminated by the honorable award of
Mike Ohanian with the Golden Commemorable Medal in recognition of his
contribution of the Automatic Identification Technologies laboratory to

About Mike Ohanian:
Michael Ohanian is the Retired President of Intermec Technologies, Everett,
Washington, the largest bar code company in the global industrial market. He
is Electrical Engineer by profession and is a leading expert in
microelectronics and AIT technologies. He holds numerous patents.
Mike Ohanian is knowledgeable in the Russian AIT marketplace and serves as a
member on the Board of Trustees of Merrimack College, North Andover, MA. He
is also the RFID Technology Advisor to several US and Canadian companies.

RFID Development Timeline:
1940s – Radar refined and used major World War II effort

1948 – Harry Stockman invents RFID, with the publication of his paper
“Communication by Means of Reflected Power.”
1950s – Early explorations of RFID technology
1950s – D.B. Harris patents “Radio transmission systems with modulatable
passive responder”
1959 – Friend or Foe (IFF) long-range transponder system reaches breadboard
demonstration stage

1960s – Development of the theory of RFID. Start of applications field

1963 -1964 – R.F. Harrington advances theory with “Field measurements using
active scatterers” and “Theory of loaded scatterers”
1966 – Commercialization of EAS, 1-bit Electronic Article Surveillance
technology: Checkpoint, Sersormatic

1970s – Explosion of RFID development. Tests of RFID accelerate. Early
adopter implementations of RFID.

1973 – Transponder system and apparatus
1975 – Los Alamos Scientific Laboratories (LASL) releases its RFID research
to public sector, publishes “Short-range radio-telemetry for electronic
identification using modulated backscatter”
1975-1978 – Large companies, e.g. Raytheon, RCA, and Fairchild, develop
electronic identification systems
1977 – Electronic license plate for motor vehicles
1978 – Electronic detection and identification system
1979 – First implantable RFID tags.

1980s – Commercial applications of RFID enter mainstream.

1982 – molded-neck collar EID
1984 – Radar apparatus for detecting and/or classifying an agitated
reflective target. Batteryless, portable, frequency divider useful as a
transponder of electromagnetic radiation. Animal feeding and monitoring
1985 – Electronic proximity identification system. Electronic tag
identification system. Remote passive identification system. Implant
telemetry system.
1986 – Glass-encased injectible EID.
* First RFID toll collection system implemented in Norway

1990s Emergence of standards. RFID widely deployed. RFID becomes a part of
everyday life.

1991 – TI establishes TIRIS, the first multinational semiconductor company
to develop and market RFID.
1991 – AAR adopts RFID standard.
1993 – ISO EID standard developed.
1992-1995 – Multi-protocol traffic control and toll collection systems
implemented in Texas, Oklahoma, and Georgia.
1994 – All USA railcars equipped with RFID.
1996 – City of L.A. adopts pet tagging.

2000s – Over 350 direct reference patents, vast number of companies enter
RFID marketplace.

Modern successful commercial applications include:
Supply Chain Management
Security and Access Control
Animal Identification
Automated Library Systems
Checkpoint Systems
Toll Road Control
Digital Card Mail
Wide-scale electronic toll collection in US.
2003 – WalMart and the Department of Defense of the United States issued an
edict requiring their suppliers to incorporate RFID technologies in the
supply chain commencing in 2005.

by Armen Asryan
Content Manager of SiliconArmenia
Âż SiliconArmenia 2001 – 2004

»Vodka lemon» : une comédie bien frappée

Tageblatt, Zeitung fur Letzebuerg (Luxembourg)
Lundi, 29 Mars 2004

»Vodka lemon» : une comédie bien frappée

Le cinéaste kurde irakien Hiner Saleem signe avec »Vodka lemon» une
comĂ©die noire et givrĂ©e, oĂą l’humour surrĂ©aliste et grinçant se
teinte de tendresse et de poésie. Le film sort quelques jours après
le Nowrouz, le jour de l’an kurde.
»Vodka lemon», tourné dans des villages kurdes en Arménie, en kurde,
en russe et en arménien, a reçu le Prix Saint-Marc du meilleur film à
la dernière Mostra de Venise qu’il a dĂ©diĂ© aux Kurdes et au
»Kurdistan, dont c’est l’annĂ©e zĂ©ro». »Le 9 avril 2003, j’ai appris
la nouvelle que j’attendais depuis mon enfance, la chute de Saddam
Hussein», a déclaré le cinéaste, né en 1964 au Kurdistan irakien.

Le film s’ouvre sur une scène saisissante: un vieillard sur un lit
métallique glisse rapidement dans un paysage de neige. Lorsque cet
Ă©trange traĂ®neau s’arrĂŞte, le vieillard retire son dentier et se met
Ă  jouer de la flĂ»te. Ce sont les funĂ©railles de l’Ă©pouse d’Hamo, un
beau sexagénaire à la chevelure blanche.

Avec une retraite de moins de dix dollars par mois, il vit avec l’un
de ses fils, sans emploi, et sa petite fille. L’autre fils vit Ă 
Alfortville, un mot magique, synonyme d’Eldorado, dans ce minuscule
village kurde d’ArmĂ©nie, privĂ© de tout. Lorsqu’une lettre arrive de
France, tous espèrent que l’enveloppe est pleine d’argent.

Mais ce n’est pas le cas et certains regrettent le temps d’avant (de
l’Union soviĂ©tique) oĂą »on n’avait pas la libertĂ© mais on avait tout
le reste».

Hamo, lui, en est réduit à vendre son uniforme et son armoire, ce qui
donne lieu à des scènes surréalistes et picaresques avec les
pĂ©rĂ©grinations du vieil homme trimballant l’encombrant objet dans un
désert blanc qui semble ne mener nulle part, où circule pourtant un
bus coloré, presque vide.

»Tombe la neige», la rengaine d’Adamo accompagne Hamo, qui croise
régulièrement dans le bus et au cimetière une belle veuve qui va
s’incliner devant la tombe de son dĂ©funt mari…

L’univers de »Vodka lemon», avec ses personnages attachants, son
mariage, ses musiciens et son banquet en plein air, rappelle un peu
celui de Kusturica. Le tragique y côtoie la gaieté et il ne faut
surtout pas penser aux lendemains.

»Je suis un homme pudique, dit Hiner Saleem. Même dans les moments
vraiment très difficiles, tragiques, il y a toujours un petit truc
qui nous fait éclater de rire.»

Le cinéaste a tourné dans des conditions très rudes, au pied de la
plus haute montagne d’ArmĂ©nie, dans des villages isolĂ©s en hiver, par
-25 degrés. Il rêve de réaliser le prochain au Kurdistan. »Mais il
faut acheminer le matériel, par où passer? Qui va vouloir nous
assurer? Mais c’est sĂ»r je ferai ce film. L’histoire se passe au

RĂ©fugiĂ© politique dès l’âge de 17 ans, il a vĂ©cu dix ans Ă  Paris oĂą
il a rĂ©alisĂ© »Vive la mariĂ©e… et la libĂ©ration du Kurdistan», puis
»Passeur de rĂŞves» dans les villages kurdes d’ArmĂ©nie. »Avec ces
films, dit-il, je me réinventais un pays».

En même temps que »Vodka lemon», Hiner Saleem publie »Le fusil de mon
père», un récit (Editions du Seuil) où il raconte son enfance et
l’histoire des siens, depuis l’arrivĂ©e au pouvoir de Saddam Hussein
jusqu’au jour oĂą il a dĂ» fuir l’Irak.

Il aime citer cette phrase de son grand-père: »notre passé est
triste, notre présent est catastrophique, mais heureusement nous
n’avons pas d’avenir».

Armenian environmentalists protest against “illegal” construction

Armenian environmentalists protest against “illegal” construction

27 Mar 04


The mayor’s office has called on the police to ban a picket to protest
against illegal construction in Yerevan’s green areas. The picket,
however, took place on 27 March despite the presence of more than 20
policemen in uniform and in civilian clothes who avoided being filmed.

The organizer of the picket and leader of the Armenian social and
ecological party, Armen Dovlatyan, said that Yerevan would become a
desert if the illegal construction were to go on.

Representatives of NGOs, the faculty of botany of the Yerevan State
University, the institute of zoology and the institute of botany of
the Armenian botanical society, the academy of ecology and other
organizations took part in the picket.

Passage omitted: background details

Turkish MP urges Armenians to develop ties

Turkish MP urges Armenians to develop ties

25 Mar 04


The Turkish people have no bias towards the Armenians and historical
problems should be frozen. We should do our best to develop bilateral
relations, Turkish Republican People’s Party Deputy Yasar Nuri Ozturk,
has told Armenian Kentron TV.

He said that if the Russian military base is on Armenian territory to
avert a danger from the Turkish side, then this is a mistaken view as
Turkey is a peaceloving country which respects both its own and other
countries’ territorial integrity. It is wrong to build neighbourly
relations on the basis of fear and on ways of eliminating it,
especially in modern times when nothing can be achieved in a military

I would like to stress that Turkey is a country which lay no claim to
other countries’ territory, the Turkish MP said, adding that the
principle of Turkey’s foreign policy is peace. By signing many
international treaties, Turkey assumed certain commitments.

Ozturk noted that Turkish Foreign Ministry officials are making
efforts to normalize relations between Turkey and Armenia and
following the last elections, the country entered the new stage of
intensive reforms. He said that Turkey’s foreign policy was based on
sincerity and top officials had visited over 60 countries after the

“I think they will visit Armenia as well and we should do our best to
make it happen,” he said.

Trappist monk chosen for Good Friday meditations

Catholic World News
March 27 2004

Trappist monk chosen for Good Friday meditations

Vatican, Mar. 26 ( – A Belgian Trappist monk, Father Andre
Louf, has been chosen by Pope John Paul II to write the meditations
for the Stations of the Cross this year.

Each year the Pope presides at the Stations of the Cross on Good
Friday in the Roman Coliseum. Pope John Paul II has made it his
practice to ask a different writer to compose meditations for that
event. In 1986 the Pope called on the French writer Andre Frossard to
provide the text; in 1994 it was the Orthodox Patriarch of
Constantinople, Bartholomew I; in 1997, the Armenian Apostolic
leader, Karekin I; in 2002 the Pope took another unusual step by
asking journalists who cover the Vatican to offer their meditations.

Andre Louf is a major figure in the post-conciliar renewal of the
Trappist order. Born in 1929, he entered the Cistercian monastery in
1949, taking the name of Andre (he was baptized as Jacque). He is the
author of many works on theology and prayer.

BAKU: Jones: “Relations b/w Armitage & Aliyev good ground for talks”

AzerTag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
March 25 2004

[March 25, 2004, 17:12:02]

At the briefing for the media representatives, Ms. Elizabeth Jones,
Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia has disclosed the
details of Richard Armitage’s visit to Ukraine, Armenia ands
Azerbaijan on 24 March, AzerTAj correspondent reported from
Washington. She said: `Mr. Armitage has been for a long time
preparing for this visit. The goal of the visit is to largely focus
bilateral relations and discus of ways of developing them with the
high officials of each of the three countries’.

Touching upon the Baku meetings, Elizabeth Jones, in particular,
stated that the visit’s program includes issues of cooperation in the
anti-terror combat, issues of policy, economic reforms, energy,
situation in the region and others.

Ms. Jones drew attention to the fact that after Ilham Aliyev was
elected President, it is the first meeting of the US officials in
such high level to Azerbaijan. From this standpoint, the priorities
of the head of Azerbaijan state and his government are of interest of
the official Washington. The relations between Richrad Armitage and
Ilham Aliyev set good ground for talks. Mr. Armitage is also expected
to meet leaders of the opposition and NGO structures.

Ms. Elizabeth Jones said that the ways of settlement of the Nagorny
Karabakh conflict would be at the focus both in Azerbaijan and
Armenia. `We, being familiarized with the opinion in the region,
wanted to ascertain how should the international community support
the activity of the Minsk Group’.