Calls for violent overthrow of authorities to be punished

Calls for violent overthrow of authorities to be punished – Armenian

Hayots Ashkarh, Yerevan
2 Apr 04

The Armenian prosecutor general has said that anyone found guilty of
calling for the authorities to be overthrown by force will be punished
within the framework of the law. Interviewed by Armenian newspaper
Hayots Ashkarh, Agvan Ovsepyan explained the recent criminal case
opened against members of the opposition Justice bloc. He said that at
unsanctioned rallies the opposition had been insulting the authorities
and calling for them to be overthrown. If the investigation finds any
MPs guilty, then parliament will be asked to lift their immunity from
prosecution. Ovsepyan said he had written to the chairman of
parliament and the prime minister, saying that some deputies were at
times engaged in criminal activity. The following is an excerpt from
Kima Yegiazaryan’s interview with Ovsepyan in Armenian newspaper
Hayots Ashkarh on 2 April headlined “Prosecutor’s Office will act
within framework of law”; subheadings inserted editorially:

An interview with Armenian Prosecutor General Agvan Ovsepyan.

[Hayots Ashkarh correspondent] Mr Ovsepyan, according to information
published recently by the Prosecutor General’s office, on 30 March an
action was brought against people who at unsanctioned meetings called
for the forcible seizure of state power and a change in the state’s
constitutional order. Against whom exactly in the Justice bloc has
this action been brought?

[Agvan Ovsepyan] The action was brought by the deputy prosecutor
general, [Zhirayr] Kharatyan, according to all the documents that the
prosecutor’s structures received in the regions and districts. All
these documents evidently fall under the second part of Articles 301
and 318 of the criminal code [public calls to change the authorities
and constitutional system by force and publicly insulting an
official], so the action was brought. We held a discussion before
bringing an action. The action was brought on the basis of the
facts. Since February representatives of the Justice bloc and their
supporters, organizing mainly unsanctioned mass-meetings in the
regions of Armenia and in Yerevan, have publicly insulted the
authorities and called for state power to be seized by force.

Parliament can lift deputies’ immunity

[Correspondent] Are there defendants or suspects? Specifically against
whom have actions been brought?

[Ovsepyan] An action has been brought over what happened and the names
of representatives of the bloc and their supporters are mentioned in
the decision. The investigation group has the objective of studying
all the evidence in detail, of interrogating participants in the
mass-meetings, those who made these calls and then to specify the
identity of each of them according to the facts.

[Correspondent] Some of those calling for the use of force are
representatives of the Justice bloc and National Assembly deputies who
have deputy immunity. In that case, how will the prosecutor’s office
settle the problem of making them responsible?

[Ovsepyan] If the criminal case substantiates that any MP committed a
crime, in that case we shall again act according to the law. The law
on the status of deputies says that before an action is brought
against them or they are arrested, the National Assembly should give
its accord.

[Correspondent] Stemming from the analysis you have already done of
the meetings, who has been arrested?

[Ovsepyan] Certainly we have the video tapes, but in order to avoid
damaging the presumption of innocence, let me speak only about the
evidence gained by the criminal case. Anyway I would like to say that
in the calls of opposition representatives there were expressions
which offended representatives of the authorities and their
dignity. There were calls to break their heads, their backs. I am not
a politician, but as prosecutor general I announce that the whole
prosecutor’s system should function within the framework of the law
and should ensure the necessary protection of the values enshrined in
law. And if we touch on the Criminal Code of Armenia, as it is
foreseen in the legislation of all other countries, there are also
relevant articles in our legislation, which foresee very strong
responsibility for encroachment on the state and public system. And in
this sense our legislation is no exception.

Democracy does not mean anarchy

[Correspondent] Recently they have talked much about sanctioned and
unsanctioned meetings. The mayor’s offices have function of giving or
not giving sanction. Can you explain, according to what law Yerevan’s
mayor has the right to sanction the holding of any meeting or not to
sanction it? Is there such a law?

[Ovsepyan] Certainly there is. But first I would like to refer to an
Armenian proverb that says: you are free but you are not free to
hamper the freedom of others. Certainly, there is a right to organize
meetings and demonstrations that stems from the principles of the
democratic system, but everything, including democratic principles,
has the obligation of a certain degree of law and order. Democracy
does not mean anarchy. There is an order according to which mayor’s
offices and local authorities should sanction meetings and
demonstrations. For this reason the organizers of meetings and
demonstrations should apply to the local authorities, in particular to
the local authorities of Yerevan and coordinate these events with

[Passage omitted: some points of the law on state management in

If you have noticed, these people who organized all these
mass-meetings are trying to present them as meetings with their
voters, they avoid calling them mass-meetings, but they are really
mass-meetings. As for the meetings with voters, they also have
regulations, before that a deputy should apply to the local government
body and this body must give a venue and even a free hall for the
meeting. But as I know, during meetings with voters they put questions
to deputies and the deputies answer these questions. But during these
mass-meetings voters listen to the calls, they are really

Moreover, I would like to say that I sent messages to the chairman of
the National Assembly and prime minister that say, “Considering the
criminal situation that has been created on the basis of the
aforementioned phenomenon, I think it should be mentioned that
deputies of the National Assembly, who have been voted in and given a
deputy’s immunity, instead of dealing with legislative activity,
commit criminal actions from time to time, accompanied with
unsanctioned meetings, demonstrations and other public events, during
which there are public calls for power to be seized by force, the
constitutional system of Armenia to be changed by force.”

Clash of views led to disorder at Gyumri rally

[Correspondent] Albert Bazeyan [leader of the Anrapetutyun (Republic)
party] says that they have some video tapes about the Gyumri events
[some people were injured during an opposition meeting in Gyumri]. Did
the government supporters really sling eggs at opposition supporters?
Do you have any information?

[Ovsepyan] Of course I have information. Just the same day an action
was brought. I think that if we talk about a group of people that can
have their own view concerning foreign and domestic policy as well as
the activity of the authorities, other groups of people may also have
their view and it is not at all necessary that their views should
coincide. In Gyumri some people appeared who were against the calls
made during the meeting and expressed their viewpoint. That time
there was a clash during which women suffered and a disabled
serviceman, who came forward with a statement that nobody has the
right to express the view on behalf of all servicemen that everybody
agrees that there should be a change of power. This disabled
serviceman was also beaten.

[Passage omitted: more details of the event]

We have a video tape of the Gyumri events, there is no secret,
everything is obvious.

Criminal case prepared before Ovsepyan’s appointment

[Correspondent] Did the impetus to bring an action against the Justice
bloc come from the president’s administration? Or was it your own

[Ovsepyan] The meetings were held before my appointment. So the
documents which have become grounds for bringing an action were
prepared before my appointment as prosecutor general. And as
prosecutor general, I must carry out the obligations given to me
according to the law.

[Correspondent] According to you, what kind of actions does the
opposition have the right to carry out? Let us suppose that the
opposition holds meetings for 10 days, or three or four persons are
holding a sit-down strike in front of the president’s administration,
how will the prosecutor’s office comment on this?

[Ovsepyan] To be honest, I am not going to offer a programme to the
opposition. They themselves know very well what they can and cannot
do. Being MPs they themselves adopted that law and know that better
than me. I can definitely say that the prosecutor’s office and
law-enforcement agencies will not allow any encroachment on or
breaking of the law. One may implement any action within the framework
of the law. I was very impressed by the statement of the Armenian
president that representatives of the opposition as well as of the
government, all of them are Armenian citizens, I am the president of
them all and I must guarantee the rights of all of them.

US Mil. official visits Armenia for bilateral military discussions

March 30 2004


YEREVAN, MARCH 30, ARMENPRESS: Major General Jeffrey Kohler, the
Director of Plans and Policy for US European Command, has arrived
today in Armenia for a two-day visit to discuss with Armenian
counterparts bilateral military issues.
During his visit General Kohler is scheduled to meet with defense
minister Serzh Sarkisian and chief of general staff, Colonel-General
Mikael Harutunian and visit also Armenian peacekeeping Battalion.
Major general Jeffrey Kohler, UN Air Force, assumed this position
in March 2002. The general is a 1973 graduate of the US Air Force
Academy. He commanded at the squadron, group and wing levels and
served in staff assignments at the major command level and in NATO.
Prior to assuming his current position, the General served director
of operational plans, deputy chief of staff for Air and Space
Operations, headquarters, US Air Force, Washington, DC.

Tuberculosis in Tumanyan Region

A1 Plus | 21:46:39 | 25-03-2004 | Regions |


265 consumptives are registered in Tumanyan region. 65 of them are
virus-carriers and dangerous for the surrounding.

According to “Alaverdi Polyclinics” CJSC tuberculosis cabinet doctor Mrs.
Meliqsetyan, in 2003 23 consumptive patients were found in the region and 15
of them were virus-carriers.

No problems in Turkey-Armenia air traffic – ambassador

ITAR-TASS News Agency
March 26, 2004 Friday 12:26 PM Eastern Time

No problems in Turkey-Armenia air traffic – ambassador

By Yelena Volkova, Yelena Starkova


There are no problems in air traffic between Turkey and Armenia, but
there are some in the definition of the land frontier, Turkish
Ambassador to Russia Kurtulus Taskent told Itar-Tass on Friday.

Armenian airlines make flights to Turkey, and some private Turkish
airlines make flights to Armenia, the ambassador said. There are no
diplomatic relations between Turkey and Armenia, but representatives
of the two foreign ministries meet from time to time, he remarked.

He hopes that Armenia will respect territorial integrity of
neighbors, and all problems will be solved.

Chess Piece; Who’s the youngest now?

BusinessWorld Publishing Corporation, The Phillippines
March 26, 2004, Friday

Chess Piece; Who’s the youngest now?

by Bobby Ang

We all know that Bobby Fischer became the youngest-ever
international grandmaster when he finished among the top in the 1958
Portoroz Interzonal, thus qualifying for the Candidates’ Tournament
which brings with it an automatic grandmaster title. At that time he
was 15 years, six months and one day old. His record was to stand for
33 years until broken by Judit Polgar during the 1991 Hungarian
Championship. But who was the youngest-ever GM before Fischer? And,
with the tidal wave of ever-younger talents, who holds the record

1. When the International Chess Federation (FIDE) created the title
in 1950 they also created the first batch of international
grandmasters, the youngest of whom was 26-year-old David Bronstein
(bet you didn’t know that).

2. This record lasted for two years, in 1952 the Armenian legend
Tigran Vartanovich Petrosian qualified for the Candidates’ Tournament
(as mentioned above all candidates are automatically awarded the
title) at the age of 23.

3. Boris Spassky set a new record at age 18 when he became a GM in
1955, also by qualifying for a Candidates Tournament.

4. The next record was set by Bobby Fischer via the same route of
qualifying for the Candidates’. Lest you think that qualifying for a
Candidates’ Tournament or match is easy, none of the other ones in
the list is to get the title in this manner.

So there you have it, the sequence leading up to Bobby Fischer. Now
we give you the all-time list of youngest-ever GMs:

1. Sergey Karjakin (Ukraine), 12 years, 7 months.

2. Bu Xiangzhi (China), 13 years, 10 months, 13 days

3. Teimour Radjabov (Azerbaijan), 14 years, 14 days

4. Ruslan Ponomariov (Ukraine), 14 years, 17 days

5. Etienne Bacrot (France), 14 years, 2 months

6. Peter Leko (Hungary), 14 years 4 months, 22 days

7. Koneru Humpy (India), 15 years, 1 month, 27 days

8. Hikaru Nakamura (USA), 15 years, 1 month, 28 days

9. Judit Polgar (Hungary), 15 years, 4 months, 28 days

10. Alejandro Ramirez (Costa Rica), 15 years, 5 months, 14 days

11. Bobby Fischer (USA), 15 years, 6 months, 1 day

12. Francisco Vallejo Pons (Spain), 16 years, 9 months

13. Garry Kasparov (Russia), 16 years, 11 months, 29 days

A few comments on the above list.

* * *

SERGEY KARJAKIN is currently the youngest on the list, but some
quarters have voiced their doubts on the legitimacy of his title, in
as much as all his GM results were obtained in obscure Ukrainian
tournaments with no publicity at all until after he got the three
norms. As to whether or not his norms will stand up to intense
international scrutiny I have no opinion on this, since Ponomariov
also obtained his GM norms in obscure Ukrainian events, but look at
him now – he is FIDE world chess champion! However, it is true that
Karjakin’s games have a certain quality in them which are not very
convincing – he went to Malaysia to represent his country in the
world Under-16 Olympiad, and was rather a big failure, losing to an
Indian player who was not even the top in his age group.

The same can be said about BU XIANGZHI, whose last two norms were
obtained in local Chinese events and his wins were against his
compatriots. But I don’t buy the vicious innuendos about Bu’s title
norm, since the 1999 Qingdao Cup where he obtained his final norm had
Mr. Ignatius Leong as Arbiter, and this guy, who ran for FIDE
President two years ago, is a stickler for propriety and would have
exposed any shenanigans had there been some.

Anyway, both Karjakin and Bu have subsequently showed that they are
of GM-class, not yet superstars but strong enough to belong. The same
is not true for GM TEIMOUR RADJABOV of Baku (same hometown as Garry
Kasparov). He is now 17 but his ELO rating had gone up to the high
2600s. Not only that but the quality of his games promise a bright
future for this teenager. Even Garry Kasparov has fallen for one of
his sacrificial attacks!

Kasparov,G (2847) – Radjabov,T (2624) [C11]

Linares 20th (2), 23.02.2003

1.e4 e6 2.d4 d5 3.Nc3 Nf6 4.e5 Nfd7 5.f4 c5 6.Nf3 Nc6 7.Be3 a6 8.Qd2
b5 9.a3 Qb6 10.Ne2 c4 11.g4 h5 12.gxh5 Rxh5 13.Ng3 Rh8 14.f5!?

Naturally Kasparov plays for a win against the upstart from Baku.

14…exf5 15.Nxf5 Nf6! 16.Ng3

[16.exf6 Bxf5 17.fxg7 Bxg7 18.Rg1 Bf6 is OK for Black]

16…Ng4 17.Bf4 Be6 18.c3 Be7 19.Ng5 0-0-0 20.Nxe6 fxe6 21.Be2

Brave fellow, this Radjabov.


It was wise not to accept the sacrifice. A sample line is 22.dxe5 d4
23.cxd4 Rxd4 24.Qc1 Na5 25.Be3 Nb3 26.Bxd4 Qxd4 27.Qd1 Qe3 and wins.

22…Nd7 23.Qxe6 Bh4 24.Qg4 g5! 25.Bd2 Rde8 26.0-0-0 Na5 27.Rdf1?

A serious oversight. Simply 27.Kb1 is OK.

27…Nb3+ 28.Kd1 Bxg3! 29.Rf7

[29.hxg3 Qg6! 30.Bc1 Qb1 31.Qxg5 Nxc1 32.Qxc1 Qe4 wins]

29…Rd8 30.Bxg5 Qg6 31.Qf5 Qxf5 32.Rxf5 Rdf8

Now to cash in on Black’s extra piece.

33.Rxf8+ Nxf8 34.Bf3 Bh4 35.Be3 Nd7 36.Bxd5 Re8 37.Bh6 Ndc5! 38.Bf7
Re7 39.Bh5 Nd3 0-1

* * *

In Dortmund 2003 we were witness to a most fantastic display of
tactical fireworks with Viswanathan Anand (!) as the victim.

GM Viswanathan Anand,V (2774) – Radjabov,T (2648) [B32]

Dortmund Dortmund (2), 01.08.2003

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 e5

This is known as the Kalashnikov Variation, a departure from the more
popular Sveshnikov (1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 Nc6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nf6 5.Nc3 e5).
You might think the two are more-or-less similar, but the plans of
attack are different. Here in the Kalashnikov Black’s idea is to
play…Bf8-e7-g5 to exchange bishops, a plan which, for obvious
reasons, is not available in the Sveshnikov.

5.Nb5 d6 6.c4 Be7 7.b3!?

Apparently Anand got the idea of attacking Black’s d6 with Ba3.

7…f5 8.exf5 Bxf5 9.Bd3 e4!? 10.Be2 a6 11.N5c3 Bf6!

Black changes his original plan and, in view of White’s self-imposed
weakness on the long diagonal, positions itself on f6.

12.0-0 Nge7 13.a3!

Prevents…Nb4 as well as getting ready to move his rook to d2.

13…0-0 14.Ra2 Qa5 15.b4 Qe5 16.Re1 b5! 17.cxb5 axb5 18.Bxb5 Nd4!?

[19.Bc4+! was stronger. After 19…Kh8 20.f4! Black’s queen would be
in deep trouble. There only remains 19…d5 20.Nxd5 Nxd5 21.Bb2 and
the threat of exchanging on d4 and winning back the piece by Rd2
would ensure a big advantage for White]

19…d5 20.Rd2 Be6 21.f4 Qxf4 22.Rf2! <D>

[ 22.Rxd4?? Qf2+!]



23.Kxf2 Nb5!!

An even more fantastic follow-up. 24.Nxb5 is refuted by 24…Bd4
double-check 25.Kg3 Bf2 checkmate.


[24.Nxb5 Bd4+ 25.Kg3 Bf2#]

24…Nxc3 25.Nxc3 Bxc3 26.Bb5 Bxe1 27.Qxe1 Nf5 28.Bb2 Rac8!? 29.Ba4!

Preventing Black’s rook from coming to the second rank.

29…Rf7 30.h3 h5!

Preparing h5-h4 and Nf5-g3.

31.b5 h4 32.Be5 d4?

Throws away the win. There was no need to hurry. He could have played
32…Rb7! followed by…e3 and…d4.


It is Anand’s turn to slip. He should have played 33.Qxe4! Rc1+
34.Kh2 Ne3 35.Qxh4 Rff1 36.Qd8+ Rf8 37.Qxd4 forces the boy from Baku
to take the draw with 37…Nf1+ 38.Kg1 Ne3+ 39.Kh2 Nf1+ etc.

33…e3! 34.Kh2 d3 35.Qb4 e2 36.Bc3 Rxc3! 37.Qxc3 Ng3 38.b7 Rxb7
39.Qa5 Rb8! 0-1

* * *

HUMPY KONERU is now the youngest female in chess history to get the
male version of the international grandmaster title, beating out
Judit Polgar by around three months. I’ll try not to comment on this
too much, but there has been some skepticism as to what is Koneru’s
true age. Physically she looks much older than the 17 she is now.

Now, we go to the latest wunderkind to follow in Bobby Fischer’s
footsteps. Already controversial (he has been called the rudest GM in
the international circuit), HIKARU NAKAMURA started playing
tournament chess in 1995 at the age of seven. Whilst reading the
Guinness Book of World Records at nine, he made a chance discovery
that he had only three-months to beat a record by becoming America’s
youngest National Master – so he decided to do something about it.
History was achieved in the Marshall Chess Club a few months later
when he achieved an official USCF rating of 2203 at the age of l0
years and 2 months old. In the US the Master title is automatic when
you fit 2200.

Hikaru’s mother is Japanese while his stepfather is the famous Sri
Lankan (now US) chess coach Sunil Weeramantry, who has written a
best-selling book on Best Lessons from a Chess Coach.

Nakamura achieved his final GM norm by placing second in the 2003
Bermuda International Tournament, beating Bobby Fischer’s record by
four months. A creature of internet chess, he is one of the most
active GMs in the internet chess servers, playing blitz and bullet
(one-minute chess) from morning till night. This has affected his
tournament play somewhat, as in the opening and early middle game
Hikaru tends to play somewhat superficially. When the chips are down
though we see his enormous strength in tactics – he has squirmed out
of many bad or losing positions by toughing it out, finding hidden
resources and counterattacking hard.

This is my favorite Nakamura game:

GM Gennady Sagalchik (2491) – Nakamura,H (2568) [C15]

American Continental 2nd Buenos Aires (9), 27.08.2003

Played during the 2003 Pan-American Continental Championships, this
game was instrumental in qualifying Nakamura for the FIDE World

1.d4 Nf6 2.Nc3 d5 3.Bg5 e6 4.e4 Bb4 5.Nge2 dxe4 6.a3 Be7 7.Bxf6 gxf6
8.Nxe4 f5 9.N4c3 c6 10.g3 b6 11.Bg2 Bb7 12.Qd3?!

Some people would call this an error. White’s e2-N is not doing
anything and he should transfer it to its optimum square on d3, which
White had just carelessly occupied with his queen.

12…Nd7 13.Nd1 Qc7 14.c4 0-0-0 15.Ne3 Kb8 16.Qc2 Bd6 17.f4 h5 18.h4

Black is obviously standing quite well here.

19.0-0-0 c5 20.d5 Rhe8 21.Nc3 a6 22.Rhe1 Rg8 23.Nf1?

White, a well-known GM, has obviously underestimated his young
opponent and overlooked Black’s fine reply. It was imperative that he
play 23.dxe6 fxe6 24.Bxb7 Kxb7 25.Nf1 with an unclear position.

23…Rxg3! 24.Nxg3 Bxf4+ 25.Kb1 Bxg3 26.Re2 Bc8 27.Rd3 Be5 28.Na4 Ka7
29.Rb3 Nd7 30.Bf3 Rg8 31.Bxh5 exd5 32.cxd5 b5 33.Nc3 c4 34.Rxb5?

A blunder. White had to tough it out with 34.Rb4 Bd6 35.Rxb5 Rg1+
36.Ka2 Rg3 37.Bxf7 Rxc3 38.Qxc3 axb5 39.Be6 when he still had chances
to save the game.

34…Bxc3 35.d6 Qxd6 36.Rxf5

And now we come to a sensational finish.

36…Rg1+ 37.Ka2 Qxa3+!!


38.bxa3 Ra1# 0-1

* * *

The first time we heard of the name ALEJANDRO RAMIREZ was at the Bled
2002 Olympiad. In the first round a 14-year-old kid from Costa Rica,
not exactly a renowned chess nation, held Russia’s Alexander
Morozevich to a draw. At the age of four he had asked his father to
teach him how to play chess after he had seen the moving “Searching
for Bobby Fischer” and this was what that sample request had led to.
Delighted with the fantastic result in his first-ever game against a
grandmaster, Ramirez told the press that his ambition was to be a
grandmaster himself before his 18th birthday. The GM norms soon
followed and, at the Los Immortales Tournament in Santo Domingo,
Ramirez achieved his third GM norm at the age of 15 years, five
months and 14 days to become the first Central American grandmaster
ever and, currently, the second youngest grandmaster in the world.

The avalanche of young chess geniuses has not yet stopped. Whereas
before a grandmaster expects to reach his peak at 35 years of age
nowadays that is the retiring age. It is no longer a rarity to have
grandmasters who are still in their teens. Among our top players now
I can immediately name Radjabov, Shakhriyar Mamedyarov (Azerbaijan
19), Evgeny Alekseev (Russia 18), Ernesto Inarkiev (Russia 18), David
Navara (Czech 19), and Ferenc Berkes (Hungary 18), and I have limited
the choice down to those GMs whose ratings are in the super-GM level
(ELO 2600).

And the advances are not confined to the youngsters winning chess
tournaments – they have also made it imperative for all professional
players to inspect the youth tournaments for opening and theoretical

The following game was played in the Russian Under-14 Championship,
won by the player of the White pieces below. He refutes the opening
setup of Black quite convincingly.

FM Nikolay Pokazaniev – Yakov Khosroev [B49]

RUS U14-Ch Dagomys, 2002

1.e4 c5 2.Nf3 e6 3.d4 cxd4 4.Nxd4 Nc6 5.Nc3 Qc7 6.Be2 a6 7.0-0 Nf6
8.Be3 Bb4

The principal continuations here are either 8…d6 or 8…Be7, going
into the Scheveningen. However, this move, transposing into the
Taimanov, also has a lot of followers here among Filipino National

9.Na4 Bd6 10.g3!

Stopping the threat to his h2 and dangling the e4-pawn to the Black


Judit Polgar got the same position after White’s 10th move against
Garry Kasparov in 1997 Linares, and played more prudently with
10…Be7 but then Garry proved that after 11.c4! d6 (11…Nxe4 12.Bf3
Nf6 13.c5) 12.f3 Bd7 13.Rc1 0-0 14.Nxc6 Bxc6 15.Nb6 Rad8 16.b4!
Black’s problems are not so easy to solve. Kasparov,G-Polgar,J/
Linares 1997 1-0 (41).

11.Bf3 f5

Now GM Ftacnik recommends that White play 12.Nb6 Qxb6 13.Nxf5! with
an attack. Czech great Jan Smejkal had met this position against
Luben Spassov in Oerebro 1966, and obtained a winning attack after
12.Bxe4 fxe4 13.Nxc6 Qxc6 14.Nb6 Rb8 15.Qh5+ g6 16.Qh6 Be5 17.Bf4
Bxf4 18.Qxf4 d6 19.Nxc8 Rxc8 20.Qf6, but Pokazaniev’s method is even
more forceful.

12.Nxf5! exf5 13.Bxe4 fxe4 14.Nb6 Rb8

[14…Ra7 15.Nxc8 Qxc8 16.Qxd6 Ra8 17.f3 does not give grounds for
optimism either]

15.Nc4 1-0

If the bishop moves away then Bb6 will win the queen. 10…Nxe4 seems
to have been refuted.

Younger and younger they get. There was a time when the only youth
championship we had was the Under-20. Nowadays we have Under-18,
Under-16, Under-14, Under-12 and even Under-10. In Southeast Asia
Ignatius Leong is experimenting with Under-8!

Pretty soon we will have kindergarten championships. Believe me.

Reader comments/suggestions are urgently solicited. E-mail address is
[email protected]

Backing pluralism and diversity in the media

Malta Independent, Malta
March 26 2004

Backing pluralism and diversity in the media

Staff Reporter

Pluralism and diversity of media are a basic element of democracy.
That is why the European Bishops Media committee, CEEM , meeting in
Rome on 12 and 13 March, was happy to endorse the Recommendation
adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe,
concerning public radio and television broadcasting.

We need `a strong and vibrant independent public broadcasting
service’ in Europe, at the service of cultural diversity, social
cohesion and citizenship. This public radio and television service is
`typically universal in terms of content and access’. It responds to
the needs of the various social groups, including religious

While hoping for coexistence and complementarity of the public sector
with commercial media, we should like to reaffirm that the media
should not have a merely commercial logic: public broadcasting and
associative media need to be given the place they deserve.

Public service broadcasting

1. Public service broadcasting, a vital element of democracy in
Europe, is under threat. It is challenged by political and economic
interests, by increasing competition from commercial media, by media
concentrations and by financial difficulties. It is also faced with
the challenge of adapting to globalisation and the new technologies.

2. Public service broadcasting, whether run by public organisations
or privately-owned companies, differs from broadcasting for purely
commercial or political reasons because of its specific remit, which
is essentially to operate independently of those holding economic and
political power. It provides the whole of society with information,
culture, education and entertainment; it enhances social, political
and cultural citizenship and promotes social cohesion. To that end,
it is typically universal in terms of content and access; it
guarantees editorial independence and impartiality; it provides a
benchmark of quality; it offers a variety of programmes and services
catering for the needs of all groups in society and it is publicly
accountable. These principles apply, whatever changes may have to be
introduced to meet the requirements of the twenty-first century.

3. It is a matter of concern that many European countries have so far
failed to meet the commitment that their governments undertook, at
the 4th European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy held in
Prague in 1994, to maintain and develop a strong public broadcasting
system. It is also worrying that the fundamental principle of the
independence of public service broadcasting contained in
Recommendation No. R (96) 10 of the Committee of Ministers is still
not firmly established in a number of member states. Moreover,
governments across the continent are in the process of reorienting
their media policies in the light of the development of digital
technology and are in danger of leaving public service broadcasting
without enough support.

4. Public service broadcasting was born in western Europe and has
evolved by adapting itself naturally to the needs of a mature
democracy. In central and eastern Europe it is not yet socially
embedded, since it was `transplanted’ into an environment that lacked
the necessary political and management culture, and in which civil
society is still weak, has inadequate resources and little dedication
to public service values.

5. The situation varies across Europe. At one extreme national
broadcasting continues to be under strict governmental control and
there is little prospect of introducing public service broadcasting
by legislation in the foreseeable future. In the Russian Federation,
for instance, the lack of independent public service broadcasting was
a major contributing factor to the absence of balanced political
debate in the lead-up to the recent parliamentary elections, as
mentioned by the international election observation mission. Hardly
any progress has been made in adopting the necessary public service
broadcasting legislation that might meet Council of Europe standards
in Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine.

6. In Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Kosovo public service
broadcasting still only operates under regulations imposed from
outside by the international community. Adoption of a proper law has
been delayed in Bosnia and Herzegovina as a result of internal
resistance to structural change and in Kosovo because of attempts to
undermine the funding of public service broadcasting.

7. In other countries laws on public service broadcasting have been
adopted, but certain provisions and practices contradict European
standards. In Armenia all the members of the Council for Public Radio
and Television are appointed by the President. It remains to be seen
whether the day-to-day operation of TeleRadio Moldova will be able to
be independent after two changes made to the law in 2003. The
appointment of a Serbian broadcasting agency has been marred by
scandals that have yet to be resolved.

8. More substantial progress has been made in other countries,
although problems still remain. Changes to broadcasting laws, making
broadcasting corporations more politically independent and
financially viable, have been recommended by the Council of Europe in
Bulgaria and `the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’. There are
still attempts to change laws in order to make them more suitable for
a ruling majority, as with the new Croatian Law on Radio and
Television. Severe financial difficulties are experienced with public
service broadcasting in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Slovakia.

9. There is political pressure on public service broadcasting in
western Europe too. The BBC was attacked by the British Government
over its coverage of the war in Iraq. In Greece, Italy, Portugal and
Spain, situations variously defined as `political clientelism’,
`state paternalism’ and `partitocrazia’ have prevented the full
emancipation of public service broadcasters from direct, `hands-on’
political control. Manipulation of information under political
influence led to the unprecedented sentencing of TVE for its coverage
of the general strike in Spain in June 2002. The politicisation of
RAI caused by a unique division of the three Italian channels between
the main political parties has been further aggravated by the current

10. There is a growing tendency to go beyond hitherto existing forms
of public service broadcasting regulation and define its obligations
more precisely, often by contracts backed up by accountability
reports to the parliament, the government and/or a regulatory agency.
Increasing attention is paid to the financial aspects of the
operation of the public service broadcaster. While such moves are to
be welcomed in so far as they give public service broadcasting
organisations greater stability, it should be ensured that they are
not used by governments to undermine the financial and statutory
situation of these organisations. Recent government decisions in the
Netherlands and France have seriously affected the funding of their
public service broadcasters.

11. Governments have been examining possible structural changes that
would affect the very nature of public service broadcasting.
Privatisation plans have been discussed in Denmark and Portugal, and
in Italy with the recently proposed broadcasting legislation (the
`Gasparri Law’), which has since then been referred back to
Parliament by the President. In the United Kingdom, there is growing
concern at the government’s attitude to the renewal of the charter of
the BBC, fuelled by the very public row between the corporation and
the government.

12. In a large majority of countries, digital channels have not yet
been defined in broadcasting legislation. There is also a clear
absence of legal provisions concerning Internet activities by public
service broadcasters in most countries. This might affect their
ability to expand to new platforms.

13. The coexistence of public and commercial media has largely
contributed to innovating and diversifying the supply of content and
has had a positive impact on quality. However, commercial interests
are trying to reduce competition from the public sector to a minimum.
European Union competition law is often used to attack the funding
systems for public service broadcasting. In this respect, the
Assembly welcomes the judgment of the European Court of Justice in
the Altmark case, regarding compensation for discharging public
service obligations, and urges that the situation concerning public
service broadcasting be further clarified on the basis of this
judgment. Commercial broadcasters also challenge the possibility of
public service broadcasting expanding into new areas and new
services. Recent examples include the BBC’s Internet activities and
the plans of the German ARD to turn the Internet into its `third
pillar’, which had to be abandoned under commercial pressure.

14. Commercial broadcasters also claim that the shift to the
multi-channel, on-demand broadcasting offered by digitalisation will
enable the market to cater for all needs and therefore also fulfil
the public service obligations currently assigned to public
broadcasting institutions. However, there is no guarantee about the
quality and independence of such provision, or that it would be
free-to-air, universally accessible and constant over time.

15. It is recognised that there can be an overlap with commercial
broadcasting in popular genres. However, the growing
commercialisation and concentration of the media sector with the
resulting `dumbing-down’ of general quality vindicates, when this
concerns public service broadcasters, those who criticise the use of
public money for such purposes. Public service broadcasting is
suffering an identity crisis, as it is in many instances striving to
combine its public service obligations with chasing ratings and the
need to secure an audience to justify its `public’ character or
simply to attract advertising revenue.

16. European countries and the international community in general
must become more actively involved in efforts to develop general
standards and good practice as guidelines for national policies in
this area.

17. Therefore the Parliamentary Assembly recommends that the
Committee of Ministers:

i. adopt a new major policy document on public service broadcasting,
taking stock of developments since the Prague ministerial conference
and defining standards and mechanisms of accountability for future
public service broadcasting. The forthcoming Ministerial Conference
on Mass Media Policy in Kyiv could include the preparation of such a
document in its plan of action;

ii. mobilise the relevant structures of the Council of Europe to
ensure proper and transparent monitoring, assistance and, where
necessary, pressure, so that member states undertake the appropriate
legislative, political and practical measures in support of public
service broadcasting;

iii. consider specific measures to ensure that a legislation in this
area in line with European standards is adopted as soon as possible
in Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Russian Federation and Ukraine;

iv. ensure close co-operation with other international organisations
in maintaining its standards regarding freedom of expression;

v. continue to press for audiovisual services to be regarded as more
than simply a commodity in the negotiations of the World Trade
Organization (WTO) and the General Agreement on Trade in Services

vi. endeavour to ensure that the World Summit on the Information
Society gives proper recognition to public service broadcasting as an
important element in developing the information society and at the
same time easing the shock of the rapid changes this development will

vii. call on the governments of member states to:

a. reaffirm their commitment to maintaining a strong and vibrant
independent public broadcasting service, whilst adapting it to the
requirements of the digital age, for instance, on the occasion of the
next European Ministerial Conference on Mass Media Policy in 2004,
taking concrete steps to implement this policy objective and refrain
from any interference with the editorial independence and
institutional autonomy of public service broadcasters;

b. define an appropriate legal, institutional and financial framework
for the functioning of public service broadcasting and its adaptation
and modernisation to suit the needs of the audience and the
requirements of the digital era;

c. design education and training programmes, adapted to the digital
media environment, for journalists.

The power of faith

The Journal News, NY
March 21 2004

The power of faith

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Byzantium: Faith and Power
(1261-1557),” which opens Tuesday and runs through July 4, is nothing
short of magnificent – more than 350 golden icons, embroidered
textiles, filigree metal works, jeweled mosaics, illuminated
manuscripts and liturgical objects that convey the majesty of the
Greek Orthodox religion and the Byzantine world. They conjure an age
when empire was resurgent and faith, imperial in its expressivity.

Faith – and its ability to inspire the most soaring of visions, the
most rarified of craftsmanship – is the underpinning of this exhibit.
But there is a distinctly secular aspect as well. Like the Met’s
recent, brilliant “Manet/Velaquez” show, “Byzantium” is about the
tumult of history and the way it can lead to an astonishing artistic

Located where the Bosporus strait joins Europe and Asia in what is
now Istanbul, Turkey, Byzantium was destined to be a cultural melting
pot. In 330, Constantine the Great, the first Roman emperor to
embrace Christianity, shifted the empire’s capital (and focus) to the
site, establishing the new city of Constantinople. This empire of the
east – called the “empire of the Romans” and perhaps known more
commonly today as the Byzantine Empire – fell to the knights of the
Fourth Crusade, and the authority of the West, in 1204; was restored
in 1261; and then fell again in 1453, this time to the Islamic
Ottoman Turks. (In 1557, the German scholar Hieronymus Wolf
identified the conquered state as “Byzantium,” after Byzantion, an
ancient-Greek town near Constantinople.)

The exhibit’s story begins with the restoration in 1261, under
Byzantine general Michael VIII Palaiologos.

“The people who lived between 1261 and 1557 in Constantinople in the
Byzantine world called themselves Romans and saw themselves as heirs
of the Rome ruled by Augustus and Caesar,” exhibit organizer Helen C.
Evans says on the accompanying audio guide. “And so while Byzantium
is what we are celebrating, if you had gone to Constantinople in
1300, 1400, they would have told you they were Romans.”

And like the ancient Romans, they spoke Greek and considered
ancient-Greek culture to be part of their own.

“Byzantium,” then, is also the tale of a cultural revival that
embraced ancient Greece and Western Europe’s Renaissance in a visual
style that was physically muscular, emotionally accessible and
poignantly human.

When we think of Byzantine art, especially the early work, we may
think of formal, almost stiff, icons of Jesus, his mother, Mary, and
the saints and angels, painted in gold and jewel-like colors.

But the icons here – some 40 of which are from the Holy Monastery of
St. Catherine in Sinai, Egypt, considered to be the world’s greatest
repository of icons – are anything but stilted. This is evident in
one of the first works you encounter, a two-sided icon from the
second half of the 14th century that depicts a Madonna and Child
surrounded by scenes from the life of Jesus on one side and from the
Crucifixion on the other. The scenes are cleverly arranged to
juxtapose Jesus’ humanity with his divinity, so that his baptism in
the Jordan is situated above his raising Lazarus from the dead.

But concentrate on the central image and note the unusual way in
which the artist has portrayed the baby Jesus – with his head thrown
back at an almost-impossible angle so that he can nuzzle his mother’s
face while adjusting her veil with his chubby arms.

On the audio guide, Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek
Orthodox Church in America, explains the theological import: “He’s a
baby, yet he’s the one who places the top of this special vestment on
the head of his mother, because he is God.”

“But,” Met director Philippe de Montebello continues, “the tilting
can also be read in human, emotional terms, as the infant swooning
with love for his mother.”

The exquisiteness of this two-sided icon reminds us that for all the
influence of Michelangelo, Caravaggio and other Western artists, our
image of Jesus has also been informed by the East. You could draw a
straight line from the sixth-century icon “Christ Pantokrator” –
perhaps the most famous work at St. Catherine’s Monastery – through
the many later reinterpretations in the exhibit to recent movie
Christs. In each case, there is the same lean, dark, ascetic look,
punctuated by large, haunted eyes.

Christ as Pantokrator – the left hand clasping the Gospels in
authority, the right raised in blessing – is an unbroken tradition,
says exhibit organizer Evans, the Met’s curator for Byzantine art.
One of the great strengths of her show is the way she traces other
such motifs. These include the Mandylion, or holy cloth, imprinted
with the face of Jesus.

According to legend, the sickly Armenian king Abgar of Edessa asked
the painter Ananias to go to Jesus and create a portrait, which would
cure the king of his illness. Though Ananias was unable to capture
the divine image, Jesus wiped his face on a towel (“mandyl” in
Arabic) that left a miraculous imprint for the distraught Abgar.
(This is strikingly similar to the Roman Catholic tale of Veronica
wiping Jesus’ face on the way to Calvary with her veil, which
retained the impression of his suffering features.)

Among the variations on this theme in the exhibit are “The Holy Face
of Laon,” a 13th-century painting of the Mandylion that is a
cherished icon of the Cathedral of Laon in France, and El Greco’s
“Escutcheon With the Veil of Saint Veronica” (circa 1579-late 1590s).
While the El Greco painting – originally part of the high altar of
Santo Domingo el Antiguo in Toledo, Spain – is clearly a Baroque
work, right down to the flourish of Jesus’ handlebar mustache, it is
a reminder that El Greco first trained as an icon painter in his
native Crete.

If “Byzantium” illustrates how the East influenced the West, it also
demonstrates how ancient Greece inspired the late-Byzantine empire.
This is never more touchingly revealed than in the motif of the “Man
of Sorrows,” in which the wounds of Jesus’ Crucifixion are displayed
on his hands and nude torso. In a stunningly elaborate
late-13th/early-14th-century mosaic icon, Jesus’ body crumples in
anguish. The furrowed features and bowed head give way to hunched
shoulders supported by a broad but skeletal chest.

This “sense of a physical presence…of plasticity, of
three-dimensional modeling,” exhibit organizer Evans says, “was a
continuous inheritance of the Byzantine world from its classical

As the exhibit illustrates, the Byzantine world would in turn inspire
such Renaissance artists as Colyn de Coter and Jean Colombe to depict
the Man of Sorrows in all his rippling, blood-stained agony –
although these paintings seem almost sedate compared to “The Passion
of the Christ’s” visceral verisimilitude.

The sheer physicality and weighty pathos of the Man of Sorrows is
echoed in the epitaphios, an innovative textile portraying Jesus’
body laid out for burial that is used in Orthodox churches on Good
Friday and Holy Saturday. There are several examples of the
epitaphios in “Byzantium.” The contrast between the textured
embroidery and the pallid nudity of the dead Jesus is uniquely

These are must-sees, along with two examples of the sakkos, a
sumptuous vestment, on loan from the Kremlin and the Vatican.

Not every work in “Byzantium” is specifically religious in theme.
Tucked into one corner in a display case is a
mid-to-late-14th-century illuminated manuscript of “The Alexander
Romance,” the legendary story of Alexander the Great, which was the
secular best seller in the Byzantine world. The page on view – as
bold in its jeweled colors as the Macedonian king was in his conquest
of the Persian Empire – recounts how the admiring Queen Kondake
commissioned an artist to make a secret portrait of Alexander,
perhaps in the hope of giving it to the famously mercurial conqueror,
whom she also feared. The Byzantine world, it seems, knew a thing or
two about celebrity-gazing and currying favor.

But even Alexander, that purveyor of classical culture and its
pantheon of gods, must yield here to a world of tender Madonnas,
androgynous archangels and martyred saints – rendered in glorious
reds and greens. And at the center of it all, the Man of Sorrows
turned triumphant Pantokrator.

At a time when religion is once again an impassioned issue in our
culture, “Byzantium: Faith and Power” holds up a gilded,
not-so-distant mirror.

FM Oskanian Participates in Conference on Wider Europe Initiative

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Armenia
Contact: Information Desk
Tel: (374-1) 52-35-31
Email: [email protected]

Armenia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Vartan Oskanian, participated in a
conference on Wider Europe – The New Agenda, in Bratislava, Slovakian, on
March 19. The conference, attended by presidents, prime ministers and
foreign ministers from Europe, North America and the CIS, focused on
Europe’s Wider Europe Initiative. In a panel on Europe’s Black Sea and
Caucasus Neighborhood, the Prime Minister of Romania and the Foreign
Minister of Bulgaria joined the presidents of Azerbaijan and Georgia, and
Armenian’s Foreign Minister Oskanian to speak about the prospects for the
Caucasus in a future, wider Europe. Following statements by President
Saakashvili, who recounted recent events in Georgia and their implications
for Georgia’s European future, and by President Aliyev on Azerbaijan’s
economic and political prospects, Minister Oskanian spoke about Armenia’s
expectations of Europe, and responded to Azerbaijan’s standard accusations
which were repeated by President Aliyev in his statement.

In the margins of the meeting, Minister Oskanian met with NATO Secretary
General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and they discussed the recent murder of an
Armenian officer at a NATO Language Training program, in Budapest, Hungary,
by an Azeri officer. They also discussed Armenia-NATO relations.

Minister Oskanian also met with the co-chair of the Minsk Group who were in
Bratislava to attend the conference. The Minister will meet with them in
Prague later this month.

Minister Oskanian was interviewed by Azerbaijani, Slovak and Armenian
journalists, about the Conference.

Below is the entire text of Minister Oskanian¹s extemporaneous comments on a
panel on Europe¹s Black Sea and Caucasus Neighborhood
At a Conference on
Wider Europe: The New Agenda
Bratislava, Slovakia Friday March 19, 2004

First let me say that I¹m honored to be present here, in this distinguished
gathering, and let me also say that the government and the people of Armenia
appreciate this initiative. The Wider Europe initiative, and the Caucasus
inclusion in it, is an important initiative. It is a clear signal from
Europe to our region, to the 3 Caucasus republics, that indeed there are
prospects for these three countries to be integrated in European structures
and especially to become part of the European family. And the fact that two
presidents of Caucasus republics and I (representing my own president who
could not attend for reasons beyond his control) are here is testimony of
the fact that the European direction is high on the agenda of all three

I recall in the early 90s, there was a debate within the Council of Europe
about whether the Caucasus belonged to Europe and to that organization. The
debate ended with a resolution that indeed the three Caucasus republics do
belong to Europe. And the membership accession process began at that time.
That was 1992. Before 10 years were over, Georgia first, then Armenia and
Azerbaijan also joined as members of the Council of Europe. But those years
of the accession process were extremely useful in advancing democracy, human
rights and rule of law in each of our three countries. In other words,
Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia became the beneficiaries ­ not just of
membership itself, but of the process.

A month ago, in Brussels, the Council of Ministers asked the Commission to
make a recommendation before the end of the term of the Irish presidency
back to the Council of Ministers on the issue of including the Caucasus in
the Wider Europe ­ New Neighborhood Initiative. I want to draw a parallel
between this and the 1992 decision by the Council of Europe to consider the
Caucasus as part of Europe. We ourselves as leaders, and historians, will
look back at that date as marking the beginning of the process of accession
of the three Caucasus republics into the European Union. I have no doubt
that this road, too, will be difficult and tortuous, but I also have no
doubt that we will get there. Because we got the signal from the European
Union that yes, indeed,, the three Caucasus republics, if they meet the
criteria, someday, down the road, can be considered for membership in that

This is extremely important. It gives new hope, new prospects to the
Caucasus and the three republics. But we have to make a clear distinction,
so we do not have any false illusions. The European Union offers us the
prospect, not the promise. We have to make a clear distinction. What we are
getting today, and what we will hopefully get before the Irish presidency is
concluded, is a prospect, but not the promise. This is clearly understood by
Armenia, and I have no doubt that it is understood by our neighbors. But it
is we in the Caucasus who will turn that prospect into a promise. The sooner
we do that, the better it will be for the region and for the countries that
comprise that region. That¹s why putting not just our own houses, but the
whole region in order, is extremely important. President Saakashvili was in
Yerevan and in Baku recently. He was visiting the two neighbors. Both in
Azerbaijan and in Armenia, he spoke about the common Caucasus, a free trade
zone, deeper integration. We share that vision President Saakashvili, and we
would like to work towards that end. We would like to see Azerbaijan also
join in, not just through Georgia, but to accept that the three of us must
move in that direction.

Let me not underestimate the true problem that we face. There are indeed
obstacles which stand in the way of Armenia and Azerbaijan fully engaging in
regional cooperation and integration.

That problem is the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. But we have to be realistic.
We have to look at this conflict from the perspective of the future, not
from the perspective of what we have on the ground at this moment. That¹s
not to say we can ignore the past or ignore history. Nor can we ignore what
we have now, but we must look to the future. That¹s why the European
prospect gives us a better context not only to advance democracy, human
rights and rule of law in our countries, but also to try to put regional
conflicts, ethnic conflicts within that global process. If we can do that,
we can succeed in resolving even the most problematic, the most contentious
problems, and among them, the Nagorno Karabakh conflict.

I must say frankly, I was disappointed to hear President Aliyev¹s statement
today and the way he approached the Nagorno Karabakh conflict. At least in
this forum, he should have put a different light on this issue and should
have looked to the future.

President Aliyev, Armenia is not an aggressor. Armenians are not aggressors.
You¹re not the vanquished, we¹re not the victors. At this moment, we are
both victims. We have to work so that in the future, we both become victors.
This phase of the conflict is only one frame in a much longer sequence of
frames. We can not just look at this one frame and make a judgement. This is
not the end. The conflict is not over, and we¹ve never claimed anything
beyond what we think we deserve — that the international community look at
this from the point of view of the rights of the people who live on those

Yes, there are refugees. But on both sides. We¹re tired of hearing the
number one million. Yes, there are one million refugees ­ but that¹s a
cumulative number. There were 400,000 Armenians living in Azerbaijan before
this conflict began. President Aliyev, where are those people? Aren¹t they
refugees? If they are not living under tents as a showcase to the world,
that does not mean that they do not exist. They do exist. There are refugees
from both sides just as there is suffering on both sides. Both sides have
certain rights that need to be addressed. I understand that you want to
recover the territorial integrity of your state, but we want to see the
people of Nagorno Karabakh and their right to self-determination respected.
They don¹t want anything beyond a normal, peaceful life. They want to join
their brothers and sisters in Armenia, as people throughout the world have
done throughout history. They want to belong where they do belong. That¹s
what they want and what Armenians want in the region.

Let me tell you this: we have no claim to anything beyond the right of the
people of Nagorno Karabakh to self-determination to be recognized. We have
to look to the future, put this conflict within the context of integration
into the European Union. We still think that we can begin cooperating in our
region. We can work together on a second track, parallel to the Nagorno
Karabakh conflict negotiations and try to make the two complementary. We can
work to create a better environment within which we can address and resolve
the Nagorno Karabakh conflict for the betterment of our two countries and
our two peoples.

Assadourian Nomination Committee Sucessful event held in Brampton

Office of Sarkis Assadourian M.P.
120 Confederation
House of Commons, Ottawa, Canada
Contact: Daniel Kennedy
Tel: 613 995 4843

Press Release

For Immediate Release Ottawa March 15, 2004

M.P. Sarkis Assadourian Holds Fundraiser
For New Riding of Brampton Springdale

The Sarkis Assadourian Nomination Committee held a successful
fundraising event Sunday March 14th at the Minar Indian Restaurant,
Dixie Orenda Plaza for M.P. Sarkis Assadourian (Brampton Centre,
Lib.): Chairman of the Citizenship and Immigration Committee and
Candidate For Nomination in the new riding of Brampton Springdale.

Assadourian was welcomed by over 100 guests (at $150 per person) and
in turn welcomed special Guest at the event The Honourable Joe Volpe,
P.C., M.P. Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development and
Political Minister for Ontario.

Following his introduction by Mrs. Tonk, the M.P. thanked the Minister
for visiting the new riding of Brampton-Springdale to meet with
Assadourian’s campaign team. Assadourian thanked the Minister for his
generous support of the Member’s candidacy and invited him to address
the guests.

The Minister spoke on the importance of human resources to the
development of the Canadian economy and stressed the need for a
re-thinking on the recognition of foreign professional credentials to
allow for skilled Immigrants to Canada to contribute fully to Canada’s

Minister Volpe congratulated Assadourian on his work over the past ten
years as a Member of Parliament and emphasized his successful career
being appointed as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of
Citizenship and Immigration and most recently being elected as Chair
of the Standing Committee on Citizenship and Immigration.

The Minister stressed the fact that Assadourian has focused his
energies on representing the needs of his constituents in Parliament
and has been an important and valued member of the Paul Martin
team. Volpe urged the volunteers to continue to work to ensure that a
Liberal majority government is achieved by building on the strength,
success and experience of the sitting Member.

Also present at the function were Wajid Khan, Liberal Candidate for
Streetsville-Mississauga, Navdeep Bains, Candidate for Nomination,
Brampton South Mississagua and Paul Dahliwal Candidate for Nomination,

Commenting on the successful event Assadourian said:
“I am overwhelmed by the enormous support that I have received from
residents of Brampton- Springdale. I am confident that with continued
co-operation and the positive engagement of the citizens of Brampton-
Springdale that we will see that this new riding is firmly positioned
to be part of a new Liberal government under the leadership of Prime
Minister Paul Martin.”

The event was concluded by the uplifting remarks of Bob Mand thanking
the Minister for his kind words and expressing the desire of the
campaign team to see Minister Volpe return to Brampton -Springdale to
assist the team in building a winning campaign for the new riding.


For further information contact: Daniel Kennedy 613-995-4843

Sambo sportsman from Artsakh winner

Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 8 2004


On February 22-27 the third round of the world championship of
extreme fights of the international organization “Octagon” was held
in the city Odessa. For the first time two representatives of our
republic also participated in the championship. Artem Abrahamian, 65
kg, defeated the representative of Latvia and took the first place.
Graduate of the sport association “Dinamo”, champion of sambo
(unarmed self-defence) NKR and RA Ashot Danielian, 74 kg, defeated
Azerbaijani sportsman Ghurbanov living in Odessa and won the first
prize. The sportsmen from Artsakh were awarded medals and prize
money. Artem Abrahamian and Ashot Danielian gained the right to
participate in the fourth round of the championship.