Int’l chess tournament opened in Stepanakert

Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 10 2004

INTERNATIONAL CHESS TOURNAMENT OPENED

FIDE has announced 2004 the year of the ninth champion of the world
Tigran Petrossian. On this occasion the NKR authorities and the RA
Academy of Chess organized the international chess tournament devoted
to the 75th anniversary of Tigran Petrossian. The tournament was
opened on March 8 in Stepanakert. The participants met with the NKR
president Arkady Ghukassian, prime minister Anoushavan Danielian,
members of government, members of the National Assembly and others.
The participants of the tournament are headed by the tenth champion
of the world Boris Spassky. In the name of the NKR authorities the
NKR minister of education, culture and sport greeted the participants
and wished them success. The minister characterized the tournament of
this level as an unprecedented event in the sport life of Artsakh.
“This is the case when we prove that Artsakh tries to achieve new
successes in sport, whereas the problem that the country is not
recognized hinders the development of sport. However, the tournament
filled us with the hope that Artsakh is able to achieve heights and
organize new and other similar tournaments.” The participants of the
ceremony watched the film about Tigran Petrossian. Then the message
of the chairman of FIDE Kirsan Ilyumzhinov was read. The tenth
champion of the world greeted the guests and thanked the organizers
of the tournament characterizing it as a truly big event in the world
of chess. “This championship woke joyful memories in my mind
connected with the events of 1966, 1969 in the world of chess. Today
the spirit of Tigran Petrossian is felt in this hall…” Once the rival
of Tigran Petrossian, today speaks with great enthusiasm about him,
telling about their games for the chess crown. The grand masters
participating in the tournament represent seven countries.

LAURA GRIGORIAN

Unprecedented storm in NK

Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 10 2004

UNPRECEDENTED STORM

Recently the heavy storm in the territory of the republic damaged
settlements in the southern and central part of the country, as well
as in Stepanakert and especially in Shoushi. The roofs of houses were
damaged, old trees were broken. Electric power supply and telephone
were disrupted. According to the NKR meteorological service, the
speed of the wind was in average 30-35 m/s and during strong gusts it
reached 40-45 m/s.

NIKOLAY BAGHDASSARIAN

Grandmaster expects Karabakh tournament to become “tradition”

Mediamax news agency, Yerevan, in English
11 Mar 04

Grandmaster expects Karabakh tournament to become “tradition”

YEREVAN

Ex-world chess champion Boris Spasskiy has refrained from commenting
on the negative reaction by Azerbaijan to the holding of an
international chess tournament in Nagornyy Karabakh.

Boris Spasskiy said in an interview with Mediamax: “I still do not
have any clarity concerning this issue.” “Theoretically, I think that
sports must be beyond politics but still this is not so in real
life,” the grandmaster said.

Boris Spasskiy expressed confidence that the international chess
tournament held in Stepanakert Xankandi will become a tradition,
noting that “the president of the Nagornyy Karabakh Republic has also
said this”.

Passage omitted: Spasskiy expected to attend the Karabakh tournament
and Azerbaijan

Written questions to NL Parliament about murder on Armenian officer

Inquiry in Dutch Parliament

Armenian Cultural Association Abovian
Contact: Inge Drost
Weesperstraat 91
2574 VS The Hague
The Netherlands
Phone: +310704490209 or +31624272574
Email: [email protected]

Written questions to Parliament about murder on Armenian officer

The Hague ­ March 8, 2004 – MP Mrs. Huizinga-Heringa (ChristenUnie) has
submitted written questions to the Minister of Foreign Affairs concerning
the Armenian officer, who was gruesomely murdered by an Azeri officer during
a NATO-training in Budapest. In these written questions she asks minister
Bot whether this murder is related to the anti-Armenia mood — that
according to some reports — seems to be growing in Azerbaijan. She also
asks whether similar incidents occur more frequently.

Finally she asks the minister whether he is prepared to follow developments
within the framework of de Dutch Presidency of the European Union and within
the NATO and if necessary take action. The Dutch Presidency of EU will be in
the second half of 2004.

The ‘hinge’ generation

Jerusalem Post
March 12 2004

The ‘hinge’ generation
By MICHAEL BERENBAUM

After Such Knowledge: Where Memory of the Holocaust Ends and History
Begins
by Eva Hoffman
Public Affairs
247 pp. $25

The generation of Holocaust survivors is quickly vanishing. Death
diminishes their numbers daily. Age has robbed some of their memories
and others of their vitality. All too soon, the last eyewitnesses
will be no longer, and the Holocaust will be an event of history and
no longer one of living experience.

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Eva Hoffman is aware of her unique status as part of “the hinge
generation, in which received, transferred knowledge of events is
transmuted into history, or into myth.”

Hoffman’s impressive meditation on her life as the daughter of
survivors reveals how one sensitive and skilled writer has grappled
with the burden of memory. But this is not a work of scholarship. She
has read some of the professional literature and she touches on
psychology, sociology, literature, and cinema, but the insights she
offers are not academic. Her wisdom was acquired through personal
struggle, dialogue, and self-reflection. “Only now,” she writes, “am
I contemplating what had been inchoate, obscure knowledge…”

Hoffman’s parents were forced to hide in the Ukraine, spirited away
by ordinary peasants – and lucky enough to avoid the brutal life of
the camps. Accompanied by her sister, Hoffman travels on a mission to
reunite with her parents’ saviors – a pilgrimage of gratitude that
her parents themselves never undertook.

HOFFMAN HAS taken the requisite journey and, like Abraham as
interpreted by Hassidic lore, the journey outward was also a journey
inward.

Late in the book she has an epiphany – “the Holocaust cannot be the
norm that defines the world.” There must be something outside of it.
But the more she grapples with the Holocaust, the more her insights
defy her understanding. It is the norm that defines her world.

Her insights are intense, wise, and brilliantly expressed. Writing of
her father’s silence, Hoffman notes “the fragmentariness of speech
under the pressure of pain.” She writes of the “chaos of emotions
from their words rather than any coherent narration,” “sounds of
nightmares,” “idioms of sighs and illness, tears and acute aches.” Of
her contact with the Germans (not with the perpetrator generation,
but with their children and grandchildren) she writes: “We were
looking at the same horror from a similar point of view – if from
opposite ends of the telescope.”

She has much in common with those Germans who are wrestling with
their past. In them, she finds kindred souls; the encounter is
cathartic and instructive.

“Tragic struggle may entail moral agony, but it leaves the sense of
identity and dignity intact.”

Hoffman’s comments, however interesting, are unconvincing. The major
distinction is not between tragedy and trauma, but between tragedy
and atrocity. In tragedy what is learned roughly or even remotely
balances the price paid for such knowledge. Atrocity offers no such
possibility of balance, and thus no inner space in which to bury the
event. At most, it leaves those left behind searching amidst the
ashes to find some meaning to an event of such magnitude that it
defies our understanding. That is why we cannot find closure for the
Holocaust, as Hoffman’s work so amply demonstrates.

However impressed I was with Hoffman and her writing, I came away
from this book with an uneasy feeling. Her knowledge base is not
equal to her talent. There are a few factual mistakes that challenge
the credibility of a book I was so ready to find convincing. Hitler’s
statement “Who remembers the Armenians?” was made on the eve of World
War II regarding the Poles, not the Jews.

This statement for instance, is one of fact, not interpretation.

Hoffman can also be a bit too sure of herself.

“The uniqueness debate,” she writes, “was not very useful except in
the competitive politics of trauma, and somehow the very notion of
comparison when it comes to events of such horror and scale begins to
seem indecent.”

And yet the uniqueness debate – how the Holocaust was similar to and
differed from other genocides, and how the fate of the Jews was
distinct from and comparable with the fate of other victims of the
Nazis- did yield significant new research on all the Nazis’ victims,
resulting in the creation of museums that include the totality of
Nazi victims without diminishing the centrality of the Jewish
experience. Whether in Jerusalem or Washington, London or Montreal,
all persecuted minorities are presented as victims – something that
could not have happened before this debate emerged.

Hoffman’s words not only convey passion and power; they bestow
authority. She has taught us well how to grapple with such knowledge
– but perhaps not well enough.

The writer is director of the Sigi Ziering Institute. His latest book
is A Promise to Remember: The Holocaust in the Words and Voices of
Its Survivors.

Cyprus: Melkonian sale still on the table

CYPRUS: Melkonian sale still on the table

The Cyprus Weekly
Nicosia (March 12, 2004)

DESPITE assurances given at the close of last year, the sale of the
Melkonian Armenian school in Nicosia is still on the table, school
committee member Vahak Atamyan said in a written statement this week.

“How ironic, then, that the school is threatened with closure, just as
Cyprus itself is on the threshold of full European Union membership;
the country may be entering Europe, but will it take the Melkonian
school with it?” Atamyan wondered.

The Melkonian Institute, dating back to 1926, is funded by the
US-based Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) along with another
20 or so Armenian schools world-wide. The AGBU has been considering a
general overhaul of its finances for some time, involving the possible
sale of the Melkonian, which is situated in a prime real estate
location and could fetch many millions of pounds.

“The more cynical view the matter as purely financial. Melkonian
occupies a prime site close to the centre of Nicosia and realisation
of capital rather than realisation of academic skills and potential is
held by some to be the current motivating principle,” Atamyan surmised
bitterly.

White House Personnel Announcement

Whitehouse.gov Press release
March 11 2004

Personnel Announcement

President George W. Bush today announced his intention to nominate
seven individuals to serve in his administration:

The President intends to nominate Romolo A. Bernardi, of New York, to
be Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. Bernardi
currently serves as Assistant Secretary of Community Planning and
Development for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Previously, he served as Mayor of the city of Syracuse, New York. Mr.
Bernardi earned his bachelor’s degree from The University of the
Americas and his master’s degree from Syracuse University.

The President intends to nominate Thomas Hill Moore, of Florida, to
be a Member of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, for the
remainder of a seven-year term expiring October 2, 2009. Mr. Moore
has served as a member of the Commission since 1995. Earlier in his
career, he served as Legislative Counsel to Senator John Breaux.
Previously, Mr. Moore served as an executive vice president at the
National Medical Association. He earned his bachelor’s degree from
Jacksonville University and his Juris Doctors from the University of
Florida.

The President intends to nominate Edwin D. Williamson, of South
Carolina, to be Director of the Office of Government Ethics for a
five-year term. Mr. Williamson currently serves as a partner with the
law firm of Sullivan & Cromwell. He previously served as Legal
Advisor to the State Department. He earned his bachelor’s degree from
the University of the South and his Juris Doctors from New York
University School of Law.

The President intends to nominate Lewis W. Lucke, of Texas, to be
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of
America to the Kingdom of Swaziland. Mr. Lucke currently serves as
Mission Director and Reconstruction Coordinator for the United States
Agency for International Development, under the supervision of the
Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad, Iraq. He previously
served as the Vice President for Global Communications for the CARANA
Corporation. Earlier in his career, Mr. Lucke served as Mission
Director for the United States Agency for International Development
in Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Amman, Jordan. He earned his bachelor’s
degree from the University of North Carolina and his master’s degree
from the American Graduate School of International Management.

The President intends to nominate Earle I. Mack, of New York, to be
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of
America to the Republic of Finland. Mr. Mack has worked for The Mack
Company in Fort Lee, New Jersey for forty years and currently serves
as the company’s senior partner. He earned his bachelor’s degree from
Drexel University.

The President intends to nominate Jackson McDonald, of Florida, to be
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of
America to the Republic of Guinea. A career member of the Senior
Foreign Service, Mr. McDonald currently serves as the United States
Ambassador to the Republic of The Gambia. Previously, he served as
Deputy Chief of Mission in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire. Mr. McDonald
earned his bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University.

The President intends to nominate John M. Ordway, of California, to
be Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States
of American to the Republic of Kazakhstan. A career member of the
Senior Foreign Service, Mr. Ordway currently serves as United States
Ambassador to the Republic of Armenia. Prior to this position, he
served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the United States Embassy in
Moscow, Russia. Mr. Ordway earned his bachelor’s degree from Stanford
University and his Juris Doctors from the Hastings College of Law.

Georgian leader goes to Yerevan for talks on cooperation

ITAR-TASS, Russia
March 12 2004

Georgian leader goes to Yerevan for talks on cooperation

YEREVAN, March 12 (Itar-Tass) – Georgian President Mikhail
Saakashvili arrives on Friday in Yerevan for a two-day official visit
aimed at discussing bilateral cooperation.

That is Saakashvili’s first visit to the Armenian capital after he
was elected president. The main agenda of his talks with Armenian
President Robert Kocharyan is cooperation in the sphere of transport
and the energy sector, as well as cultural cooperation, the press
secretary of the Armenian leader told Itar-Tass.

Armenia supplies the neighboring republic with electricity.
Meanwhile, the Armenian economy almost fully depends on the transit
or cargoes via Georgia, and Yerevan puts much emphasis on the issue
concerning the organization of and payment for those shipping
operations.

Kocharyan hails the level of relations with Georgia. Good personal
relations between the leaders of the two countries give an impetus to
a better development of good-neighborly relations, he stressed.

The programme of the visit includes tete-a-tete talks of the two
presidents, talks in an extended format, Saakashvili’s talks with the
parliament speaker, with the prime minister, as well as with
representatives of the Georgian diaspora in Armenia.

Catholicos Garegin II will also receive the new Georgian leader.

The Role of Russian Increasing

Times of Central Asia , Kyrgyzstan
March 12 2004

The Role of Russian Increasing

BISHKEK (TCA). Between March 4 and 6 Bishkek hosted the international
congress, “Russian language in the community of the CIS peoples.”
Organized at the initiative of Kyrgyz President Askar Akayev, the
forum gathered more than 400 specialists in Russian philology,
scholars, educators and public figures from Armenia, Azerbaijan,
Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania, Russia, Tajikistan, and
Ukraine. For the first time, a forum of this kind took place in a
Central Asian country. In the past, similar congresses were held in
Moscow, Warsaw, Berlin, and Prague.

“Each language is unique and thirsts for recognition,” Kyrgyz writer
Chingiz Aitmatov said in his welcome speech to the congress
participants. “But, following our traditions and developing our
language, we must never forget about the people and language that
have helped us to come out of medieval darkness. For this reason we
will save, protect, use, and cultivate Russian language as one of the
greatest values of the Kyrgyz nation.”

The development of the Russian language is not only an economic
priority, but also an important political task for Kyrgyzstan,
President Askar Akayev said at the opening ceremony for the congress.
In his words, the Russian language has never lost its position in
Kyrgyzstan and is protected by the Kyrgyz Constitution as an official
language. The President said that Kyrgyzstan lives in the information
space of the Russian language. Russian is the language of about 100
newspapers and several large television and radio channels in
Kyrgyzstan.

“I wish to destroy the myths concerning the passing of the law on the
state language of the Kyrgyz Republic,” the head of state said. “The
role of Russian language is increasing in all spheres of cooperation
in the entire Eurasian space, and refusal from its use would be a
mistake and irreplaceable loss. We will never choose this way.”

Russian is the means of communication and preservation of close
spiritual relationships. Unfortunately, many people today have to
protect their natural right for the native language. This was stated
in the address of Alexy II, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, to
the congress participants. The Patriarch thanked the Kyrgyz
government for the fact that the country “supports Russian language
at the highest level” and that Russian “has been given the status of
the official language while Kyrgyz is the state language.”

The Russian education minister announced an almost two-fold increase
of budget-paid quotas for students from the CIS countries wishing to
study in Russian high schools this year. For Kyrgyzstan the quota is
300, which is six times higher than before.

In 2004 the Russian budget has allocated US $6 million for the
program titled, “The support of integration processes in the sphere
of education and Russian language in the CIS countries.” This amount
significantly exceeds budget allocations in previous years.

The congress participants were unanimous in their opinions that
integration in the post-Soviet domain has become a reality.
Therefore, there is the increasing need for Russian as the
international communication language, which is regaining its role as
the linking, cementing component for the integration process.
“Russian language is one of our strategic, pivotal properties,”
Chingiz Aitmatov said.

BAKU: Permission rejected

Baku Sun
March 12 2004

>From the local media

ECHO
Permission rejected

The Baku Mayor’s Office turned down a request by the Karabakh
Liberation Organization (QAT) to give permission to hold three
pickets in front of several government buildings in Baku on 12 March.

The pickets that were set to be held in front of the Ministry of
Foreign Affairs, the President’s Apparatus and the Ministry of
Defense, were to demand that the government take more effective
measures to defend Ramil Safarov, the Azerbaijani officer who killed
his Armenian counterpart in Budapest in February.

The Mayor’s office related its refusal to give the QAT a go ahead
with the pickets with the organization’s belated appeal. It said that
while appeals to conduct actions should be submitted at least five
days beforehand, the QAT’s request came only on 9 March.

But Akif Naghi, head of the QAT, said his organization will discuss
going to the pickets without authorization.