Arissian lectures at Haigazian University

PRESS RELEASE
Department of Armenian Studies, Haigazian University
Beirut, Lebanon
Contact: Ara Sanjian
Tel: 961-1-353011
Email: [email protected]
Web:

NORA ARISSIAN LECTURES AT HAIGAZIAN UNIVERSITY ON SYRIAN MEMOIRS ON THE
ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

BEIRUT, Wednesday, 14 April, 2004 (Haigazian University Department of
Armenian Studies Press Release) – On Friday, 19 March 2004, the
Department of Armenian Studies hosted Dr. Nora Arissian, who delivered a
public lecture entitled “The Armenian Genocide in the Memoirs of the
Syrians.”

Syrian-born Arissian is a graduate of Damascus University and received
her Ph.D. from the Institute of Oriental Studies at the Armenian
National Academy of Sciences in Yerevan. She currently works in the
Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Damascus and is the author of “The
Armenian Calamities in the Syrian Mind: The Position of Syrian
Intellectuals toward the Armenian Genocide,” published in Arabic in
Beirut in 2002. This book presents and analyzes the views and attitudes
of 43 contemporary Syrian thinkers on the Armenian Genocide (historians,
writers, journalists, political figures, etc.), almost all of whom
condemn what befell the Armenians during the First World War.

Arissian emphasized the importance of Syrian primary documents and
periodicals in analyzing the Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire
during the First World War. These sources, however, have not to date
been accorded by Armenian Genocide scholars the importance, she thinks,
they deserve, especially in comparison to data emanating from European
and American governments, organizations and individuals.

Syria was not an independent, sovereign entity at the beginning of the
twentieth century, said Arissian. It did not, therefore, have diplomatic
or official documents, through which we can analyze today an official
Syrian standpoint toward the ongoing Armenian Genocide of 1915. That is
why the memoirs and oral testimonies of individual Syrians are even more
important than usual to understand the popular attitude toward these
massacres and deportations. These sources can also help us explain the
causes behind and the events of the Genocide from an Arab viewpoint.

Arissian said that Syrian Arabs today are largely sympathetic to the
Armenian plight during the Genocide. This attitude is partly conditioned
by the pan-Turkist ideology prevalent in the Ottoman Empire at the time,
which also aimed at the forced Turkification of other non-Turkish
elements in the empire, including Arabs. Arab intellectuals explain the
Genocide committed by the Young Turks as the “logical conclusion” of
earlier anti-Armenian massacres and other instances of violence in the
Ottoman Empire.

Arissian classified the various Syrian sources on the Armenian Genocide
currently available into four broad categories:
a) Newspapers published by Syrians both inside the country and in exile.
Arissian’s research has uncovered 500 articles making extensive
reference to Armenians and their suffering in 33 different political
periodicals published between 1877 and 1930. (She is now compiling these
articles into a book which will be published in Lebanon soon.)
b) The oral testimonies of actual witnesses of the Armenian Genocide.
Arissian has recorded the testimonies of 25 Arab witnesses, all born
between 1880 and 1919, including some who were the children of Armenian
women deportees. The information they provided was useful as regards the
various regions from which the Armenians had been deported as well as
the relationship of the Syrians with the Armenian deportees.
c) The oral testimonies of the children of Arab tribesmen who witnessed
the Genocide. Arissian described her interviews with the sons of the
governor in 1915 of the region of Sabkha (40 km south-west of Rakka),
the chief of the Arab al-Jarba tribe, the leader of the Kurdish al-Malla
tribal confederation, and with the writer, Abd al-Salam al-Ujayli, whose
father was a village headman and a director of deportations in the Rakka
region in 1915.
d) The published memoirs of political, cultural and other public
figures. The discussion of the latter formed the last and most extensive
part of Arissian’s lecture.

Arissian argued that the published memoirs of the writer and politician
Fakhri al-Barudi (1889-1066), the revolutionary activists Fawzi
al-Qawuqji and Ahmad Qadri (1893-1958), as well as the Ottoman diplomat
Amin Arslan (1893-1958) make only passing references to the Armenians
when discussing the characteristics of the Young Turk regime in the last
years of Ottoman rule. The lecturer dealt in more depth, however, with
the works of the politician Fares al-Khuri (1877-1962), the lawyer and
political activist Fayez al-Ghusayn (1883-1968) and the cultural and
public figure Muhammad Kurd Ali (1876-1953). Al-Khuri dwelt at length on
the murder of his fellow Ottoman parliamentarians of Armenian descent,
Krikor Zohrab and Vartkes, and its repercussions in the Ottoman
Parliament. Al-Ghusayn was briefly imprisoned as a political opponent by
the Young Turk regime during the war years and finally escaped to join
the rebel forces of Sharif Husayn in Arabia. Al-Ghusayn has a number of
writings that describe the Armenian deportations and massacres, the most
significant of which is a series of articles entitled ‘The Massacres in
Armenia,’ which was first published in the Egyptian periodical
al-Muqattam and was then reissued as a 62-page booklet. In various books
that he compiled, Kurd Ali in turn described the Armenian Genocide, the
forced migration of Armenians to Syria and tried to analyze the
possibility of the acculturation of these Armenian migrants into their
new milieu. Finally, Arissian also mentioned in this last part of her
lecture that another Syrian author, Yusif al-Hakim (1879-1979),
described in his memoirs, ‘Syria and the Ottoman Period,’ the massacres
against the Armenians in Cilicia and the neighboring northern districts
of modern Syria during the failed counter-revolution of 1909, which
aimed to return Sultan Abdulhamid II to power as an absolute monarch.

During the question-and-answer session that followed, Arissian admitted
that young Syrian Arabs are not generally aware of the sources she has
researched and the information that they contain, but she expressed
commitment and some optimism that Armenians must strive to spread the
appropriate knowledge and help form a favorable public opinion.

Haigazian University is a liberal arts institution of higher learning,
established in Beirut in 1955. For more information about its activities
you are welcome to visit its web-site at <;.
For additional information on the activities of its Department of
Armenian Studies, contact Ara Sanjian at <[email protected]>.

http://www.haigazian.edu.lb/
http://www.haigazian.edu.lb&gt

Cruel Choices

April 14, 2004
OP-ED COLUMNIST
Cruel Choices
By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF

I can’t get the kaleidoscope of genocide out of my head since my trip
last month to the Sudan-Chad border: the fresh graves, especially the
extra-small mounds for children; the piles of branches on graves to
keep wild animals from digging up corpses; the tales of women being
first raped and then branded on the hand to stigmatize them forever;
the isolated peasants, unfamiliar with electricity, who suddenly
encounter the 21st century as helicopters machine-gun their children.

Then there were the choices faced by the Sudanese refugees I
interviewed. For example, who should fetch water from the wells?

The Arab Janjaweed militia, armed by Sudan’s government, shoots tribal
African men and teenage boys who show up at the wells, and rapes women
who go. So parents described an anguished choice: Should they risk
their 7- or 8-year-old children by sending them to wells a mile away,
knowing that the children have the best prospect of returning?

And what should parents do when the Janjaweed seize their children, or
gang-rape their daughters? Should they resist, knowing they will then
be shot at once in front of their children?

Or what about the parents described by Human Rights Watch who were
allowed by the militia to choose how their children would die: burned
alive or shot to death?

Some 1,000 people in Sudan’s Darfur region are still dying each
week. But at least the world has finally begun to pay attention – and
it’s striking how a hint of concern in the West has persuaded Sudan to
reach a cease-fire there.

President Bush finally found his voice last week, protesting the
“atrocities” in Darfur. More forcefully, Kofi Annan warned on the day
commemorating the Rwandan genocide that reports about brutalities in
Darfur “leave me with a deep sense of foreboding. . . . The
international community cannot stand idle.”

So far in Darfur, thousands have been killed, and about one million
black Africans have been driven from their homes by the
lighter-skinned Arabs in the Janjaweed. Vast sections of Darfur, a
region the size of France, have been burned and emptied. The Janjaweed
have also destroyed wells, or fouled them by dumping corpses into
them, to keep villagers from ever returning.

“You can drive for 100 kilometers and see nobody, no civilian,” said
Dr. Mercedes Tatay, a physician with Doctors Without Borders who has
just spent a month in Darfur. “You pass through large villages,
completely burned or still burning, and you see nobody.”

In the refugee camps in Darfur, malnutrition and measles are claiming
the survivors, especially young children. Roger Winter, assistant
administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development,
estimates that even if the fighting stops today, at least 100,000 are
still likely to die in coming months – of disease, malnutrition and
other ailments. Yet Sudan is still curbing access to Darfur by the
U.N. and aid groups.

I’m not suggesting an invasion of Sudan. But it’s a fallacy to think
that just because we can’t do everything to stop genocide, we
shouldn’t do anything. One of the lessons of the last week is how
little it took – from Washington, the U.N. and the African Union – to
nudge Sudan into accepting a cease-fire and pledging access for
humanitarian workers.

Now we need more arm-twisting to get Sudan to comply with the
cease-fire (it marked the first day, Monday, by bombing the town of
Anka). The Sudanese government is testing us, but so far the State
Department has shown a commendable willingness to stand up to it.

We can save many tens of thousands of lives in the coming weeks – but
only if Mr. Bush and Mr. Annan speak out more boldly, if the
U.N. Security Council insists on humanitarian access to Darfur and if
the aid community mounts a huge effort before the rainy season makes
roads impassible beginning in late May.

In the last 100 years, the United States has reacted to one genocide
after another – Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Bosnians – by making
excuses at the time, and then saying, too late, “Oh, if only we had
known!” Well, this time we know what is happening in Darfur: 110,000
refugees have escaped into Chad and testify to the atrocities.

How many more parents will be forced to choose whether their children
are shot or burned to death before we get serious?

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Armenia’s Opposition Has a Bloody Baptism

The Moscow Times
Thursday, Apr. 15, 2004. Page 7

Armenia’s Opposition Has a Bloody Baptism

By Kim Iskyan

Until a few weeks ago, Armenia was a bedrock of stability compared to its
neighbors Georgia and Azerbaijan. But now Armenia is trying to join Georgia
in throwing off a corrupt and repressive regime.

A bit more than a year ago, Armenian President Robert Kocharyan followed up
a fraudulent presidential election victory with a correspondingly
counterfeit parliamentary poll a few weeks later. Subsequent opposition
protests sputtered, but a call by the country’s otherwise pro-presidential
Constitutional Court for a “referendum of confidence” within a year provided
a shred of hope.

Twelve months later, with no referendum in sight, and naively inspired by
last autumn’s “Rose Revolution” in Georgia, the Armenian opposition dusted
off its placards and focused on forcing Kocharyan and Co. to move forward
with the referendum or else just quit.

But Armenia isn’t Georgia. Demonstrations in Yerevan were initially
postponed in part due to a chill in the air. Many of the 15,000 people
ostensibly attending an opposition rally last week were more intent on
chomping on sunflower seeds in the sunshine than on change. Subsequent
protests intimated a deep revolutionary spirit in a hardened core, but the
sentiment was not widespread.

Part of the problem is that Armenia’s opposition hasn’t convinced the
cynical electorate that it is more interested in bringing about real change
than in having a turn at the feeding trough. And for all his government’s
incompetence and corruption, Kocharyan has kept most Armenians supplied with
heat, electricity and water most of the time.

Kocharyan, though, took no chances. Vehicles trying to enter Yerevan over
the past few days have been forced to turn around for fear that their
occupants were potential protesters. In the brutally bloody climax to recent
protests, government troops blasted a few thousand demonstrators with water
cannons and stun grenades at 2 a.m. in front of the country’s parliamentary
building. The next day, opposition offices were seized by police, and
opposition leaders went into hiding to avoid arrest. Now that constitutional
and peaceful means of bringing about change have been met with barbed wire
and a kick in the head, watch for the opposition to explore other means.

Meanwhile, much of the head-in-the-sand Armenian diaspora theorizes aloud
that foreign governments must be behind the unrest, since things really
aren’t that bad in the homeland — the 50 percent poverty rate
notwithstanding. So don’t look to them to argue with Kocharyan’s message of
power through fear, as Armenia slides down the slippery former-Soviet slope
toward dictatorship, and not even a benign one at that.

Kim Iskyan, a freelance journalist and consultant in Yerevan, contributed
this comment to The Moscow Times.

Armenian President blames extremists for disturbances in Yerevan

The Moscow Times
Hot News

Armenian President blames extremists for disturbances in Yerevan

RosBusinessConsulting. Wednesday, Apr. 14, 2004, 7:28 PM Moscow Time

Forces that propagate political extremism should bear full responsibility
for the recent incidents in Yerevan, Armenian President Robert Kocharian
declared at a meeting with members of the Board of the United Communist
Party. During the meeting the President underlined the necessity of a
dialogue between the opposition and the ruling coalition. However, he
pointed out, “It is impossible to begin a dialogue when the opposition uses
the language of ultimatums,” the press service of the Armenian President
reported. As for the events that took place early in the morning on April
13, Kocharian remarked that the police had used exclusively legal methods
for restoring public order. He stated that the work of both the opposition
and the ruling party should be aimed at increasing the people’s well-being
and controlling some aspects of the government’s work. “At present, the
opposition has every chance to return to its normal activity, but if it
chooses a different policy, the government, using every legal method
available, will make efforts to prevent any illegal actions and to protect
the people,” Kocharian underscored, the ARMINFO news agency reported.

Armenian Opposition Declared Holding Recurrent Rally

ARMENIAN OPPOSITION DECLARED HOLDING RECURRENT RALLY

14.04.2004 18:13

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The recurrent rally of the united Armenian opposition will
take place on April 16 at 6 p.m. local time, deputies representing
opposition Justice bloc in the Armenian National Assembly Shavarsh Kocharian
and Albert Bazeian told journalists today. In their words, the decision was
taken at today’s sitting of the political council of the bloc.

Unity Leader States Determination to Press For Change of Leadership

NATIONAL UNITY LEADER STATES OF OPPOSITION’S DETERMINATION TO PRESS FOR
CHANGE OF LEADERSHIP IN ARMENIA

14.04.2004 19:14

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The will of the opposition to change leadership in Armenia
was not subdued, moreover opposition intends to take more drastic measures
from now on, leader of National Unity opposition party Artashes Geghamian
stated today during the press conference in the parliament. In his words
“the struggle will not conflict with the Constitution and the tactics will
be worked out due to the development of the events”. At the same time
Geghamian did not specify what exactly opposition is going to undertake for
the achievement of the goal. According to him, the strategy of the further
struggle against the incumbent leadership will be defined during the
consultations between the representatives of the opposition. National Unity
leader stated that opposition is ready for the dialogue with the leadership
in the person of President Robert Kocharian and defense minister Serge
Sargsian, as, in his words, “the situation in Armenia depends on them but
not on the ruling political coalition”.

Russia Revising Great Game Rule Book

The Moscow Times
Thursday, Apr. 15, 2004. Page 201

Russia Revising Great Game Rule Book

By Catherine Belton
Staff Writer

To hear President Vladimir Putin tell it, the great game of the 21st century
is economic in nature and Russia intends to change the way it’s played.

Putin made the rules of this new game clear in December, when he told the
nation that the greatest danger facing Russia is a weak economy.

“Our biggest threat is falling behind in the economic field,” Putin told the
country in his annual teleconference. “There is a tough, competitive battle
going on in the world. But unlike previously, this battle has moved from the
realm of military conflict to economic competition.”

In this chess game, like those of the past, energy is king. But this time
Russia is exploiting its prowess like never before.

On the eastern front, it has Japan and China locked in a bidding war for
Siberian oil, while in the west it has Europe struggling to deal with its
dependency on Gazprom’s gas, and in the south it is slowly extending its
electric tentacles through state power monopoly Unified Energy Systems.

But what is emerging as a sort of “Putin Doctrine” doesn’t stop there. It
seems to envision Russia as the pivot around which the global oil market
revolves, the power broker that can tip the balance between OPEC and the
United States. And it seems to call for the rapid international expansion of
patriotic companies — both state-owned and private, energy and nonenergy.

In this quest, Putin appears to have the backing of big business.

“If you don’t compete globally, then you are definitely going to lose,” said
Kakha Bendukidze, board chairman of United Heavy Machinery, the nation’s
largest machine-building concern and one of its leading multinationals.

“If you don’t move into foreign territory, global competitors are only going
to come to your market and try to compete with you there,” he said in a
recent interview.

Business leaders, however, are divided over how best to get there — whether
Putin’s way, which emphasizes the might of the state, or a freer market
approach might be better.

But at this stage the debate is meaningless. Thanks to a new and pliant
parliament, and the October jailing of Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Putin, unlike a
year ago, holds all the cards.

Indeed, some see the arrest of Khodorkovsky as part of Putin’s wider
development strategy.

Although the charges against the billionaire were fraud and tax evasion,
some say it was his attempts to challenge the authority of the state that
got him in trouble, particularly his efforts to break the government’s
pipeline monopoly.

By pushing for the building of privately owned pipelines — one directly to
China and another to Murmansk to better supply America — “Khodorkovsky was
pursuing a set of interests … that was a threat to Putin’s state policy,”
a senior U.S. administration official said in an interview in Washington
earlier this year.

In addition, the official said, Khodorkovsky’s attempts to merge his oil
company Yukos with smaller rival Sibneft and then sell a chunk of that
company to a U.S. supermajor like ExxonMobil would have made him
“untouchable.”

“Fundamentally, this was a question about power,” he said. “What
Khodorkovsky was proposing presented problems for both foreign and domestic
policy. … State control over pipelines was both a domestic and foreign
policy lever.”

Now, however, all talk of building private pipelines — or even of selling
an equity stake in a major Russian oil producer to a U.S. company — is
taboo.

“This is not the scheme the United States wants to see,” said Julia Nanay, a
senior energy analyst at Petroleum Finance Corp. in Washington. “It would
like to see lots of private companies, private pipelines and more exports.”

It is worth noting, she said, that since Khodorkovsky’s arrest conditions
have gotten worse for U.S. oil majors that already had a foothold in Russia
— especially ExxonMobil, which lost its license to the giant Sakhalin-3
field late last year.

“All this sees to be eroding the U.S.-Russia energy dialog,” Nanay said.

While these developments may be bad news for Washington, which is anxious to
reduce supplies from OPEC, they have increased Russia’s clout on the world
stage, analysts said.

Playing Both Sides

Strengthening ties with the Arab world while not completely alienating the
United States is a tough task, but it’s one that Putin appears to be
attempting.

In the past, much to the satisfaction of the United States, Russia and OPEC
have been at odds. While Russia has been cranking up exports at breakneck
speed, OPEC has been doing just the opposite, arguing that it needs higher
oil prices to compensate for the United States’ decision to depreciate the
dollar.

But now, in what may turn out to be a pivotal policy shift, Russia appears
to be winding down its export drive. Last month Economic Development and
Trade Minister, German Gref, boldly stated that 2004 would be the last year
of major export growth for the foreseeable future.

Gref said exports will likely surge 14 percent this year to 266 million
tons, but after that growth will be minimal, around 2 percent per year for
several years to come.

Such a move would endear Russia to OPEC and the entire Arab world, analysts
said.

Many analysts expect OPEC to come under increasing pressure over the next
few years as instability in the Middle East grows and individual members
such as Venezuela and Nigeria are pressured into leaving.

So, by reducing export growth, Russia could help the cartel survive, said
Alfa Bank chief strategist Chris Weafer, a former adviser to OPEC who
retains close ties to the organization.

What’s more, Weafer said, by deliberately slowing down exports over the next
few years, “the entire Arab world will see Russia as a significant ally and
Russia’s political influence in the Arab world will increase.”

Russian oil majors are already capitalizing on the warming ties. LUKoil in
January became one of a handful of foreign firms to gain the rights to
develop a potentially huge gas field in Saudi Arabia. Notably, no U.S. firms
were awarded the same rights, as they are reportedly finding it increasingly
difficult to gain a foothold in the kingdom.

Oil Is Not Enough

At the same time Russia is attempting to maximize its oil clout, it is
making an aggressive attempt to grow other sectors of the economy and help
its captains of industry gain strategic positions on global markets.

“I think there is a gradual revolution taking place in foreign economic
relations,” said Bendukidze. “There is a growing recognition in the Foreign
Ministry and in the Economic Development and Trade Ministry that they need
to support Russian businesses abroad, including attempts to make investments
outside Russia.”

One recent development that could ease the way for global expansion is a new
law that simplifies rules for transferring cash out of the country for
investment purposes. The law, which Bendukidze helped draft, will come into
force this summer.

The move could help speed up the global expansion of companies like
Severstal, which recently snapped up Michigan-based steelmaker Rouge
Industries for $286 million, and Norilsk Nickel, which at the end of last
month made the biggest foreign acquisition of any Russian company to date —
its $1.16 billion purchase of 20 percent of South African gold miner, Gold
Fields. But with currency laws still tight, most of the money that Norilsk
used for the purchase had to come from U.S. Citigroup.

But Russian companies still face many disadvantages when they compete for
contracts abroad, one of which, according to Bendukidze, is the cost of
capital.

Russian corporates still face higher borrowing costs than their competitors,
partly because Russia has no analog to the huge export-financing schemes run
by government agencies such as Eximbank in the United States or Hermes in
Germany.

“A significant part of world business is built on export financing,”
Bendukidze said.

“The state gives money and ensures against political risks … But in Russia
there are practically no accessible cheap export financing credits,” he
said. “How can we get projects in such conditions?”

Back to the Future

One region where Russian companies do have the upper hand, however, is in
the republics of the former Soviet Union — and several are moving
aggressively to take advantage of it.

“Russian companies have a lot of capital and a competitive advantage, so it
is hardly surprising that many of them are starting to try to join up the
dots in the former Soviet Union,” said Roland Nash, chief strategist at
Renaissance Capital.

Leading the way are state-controlled giants like Gazprom and UES. Gazprom is
seeking to use its influence as a major supplier and payer of transit fees
to Ukraine and Belarus to gain major equity stakes in each of the two
countries’ pipeline networks. And UES, under CEO Anatoly Chubais’ “liberal
imperialism” slogan, has been seeking to recreate Russia’s monopoly on
electricity production and distribution in former Soviet space.

UES has already bought stakes in electricity assets in Armenia, Kazakhstan
and Georgia, and Chubais has said he wants to move into Bulgaria, Latvia,
Lithuania and Slovakia. The power monopoly is also in talks to rent an
international power grid that connects Armenia, Georgia, Iran and Turkey.

With U.S.-dominated NATO moving troops to Russia’s borders, Moscow is
countering by taking control of key infrastructure assets.

“Former Soviet states can’t afford to ignore Russia’s wishes,” Weafer said.
“At the end of the day, Russia can just turn the lights off. You can’t run
an electricity cable from Washington.”

But it’s not just state-owned companies that are active in the former Soviet
Union. Private companies like Russian Aluminum, the world’s second-largest
aluminum producer, have been active in the region for years and are looking
to expand.

“This is the return that Putin is getting from helping grow a stronger
economy,” Nash said. “The greater the economic clout of Russian companies
there, the more political clout.”

Russian companies seem to be having a rougher ride in former Soviet
satellite countries, however, as both NATO and the European Union creep
closer.

LUKoil, for example, was recently barred from participating in the
privatization of major Polish refinery because of fears such a strategic
acquisition would revive Russia’s influence in the former Warsaw Pact
nation.

Poland is one of eight former Warsaw Pact countries that will join the
European Union on May 1, making it harder for Russian companies to do
business with their former Cold War allies, analysts say.

In the meantime, Russia is seeking compensation for the expansion. In a
recent letter to the EU, Russia forwarded a list of 14 demands, including
one to raise quotas on Russian steel imports.

The EU may be Russia’s biggest trading partner, but Russia certainly has a
trump card to play. For the foreseeable future, Russia’s greatest tool for
making the West listen to its concerns is its vast energy reserves.

“There’s no doubt about it,” Weafer said. “In the old days of the former
Soviet Union, Russia’s political clout was measured by the 14,000 nuclear
missiles it had pointing west. Now it’s measured by the pipelines it has
pointing west.”

OSCE Alarmed at Recent Developments in Armenia

A1 Plus | 13:29:00 | 15-04-2004 | Politics |

OSCE PRESS RELEASE

On Wednesday the OSCE Office expressed concern about violence in Armenia.

“The OSCE Office in Yerevan is alarmed at recent developments in Armenia and
calls on all the parties involved to resolve their differences through a
political dialogue to ease tensions in the country.

“The police action in the very early morning of 13 April aimed to forcefully
disperse the citizens and journalists gathered in front of the National
Assembly is of serious concern to us,” said Ambassador Vladimir Pryakhin,
Head of the OSCE Office in Yerevan, in a statement he gave to Radio Liberty
and Armenian newspaper Golos Armenii.

The OSCE Office is paying particular attention to the fate of those detained
and the condition of those who suffered injuries during the police
operation, and to the question of the searches of the headquarters of the
main opposition parties, conducted by the police during the same night.

The OSCE Office in Yerevan welcomes the release of three members of the
Armenian Parliament — Mr. Shavarsh Kocharian, Mr. Arshak Sadoyan and Mr.
Alexan Karapetyan — who were also detained during the police operation. At
the same time, it expresses concern with regard to the alleged use of force
during their detention and reports on difficulties they experienced in
receiving legal assistance, while in detention.

The OSCE Office will continue to monitor the implementation by Armenia of
human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in OSCE principles and
commitments accepted by Armenia as a participant in the Organization, said
Ambassador Pryakhin.

Putin Confident Armenian Leadership Can Sustain Stability and Law

VLADIMIR PUTIN CONFIDENT ARMENIAN LEADERSHIP WILL MANAGE TO SUSTAIN
STABILITY AND LAW

15.04.2004 12:06

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian and Russian Presidents Robert Kocharian and
Vladimir Putin had a telephone conversation April 14 in the evening. As the
press service of the Russian leader told Mediamax news agency, at the
instance of V. Putin R. Kocharian presented “evaluation of the events, taken
place in Yerevan due to domestic political tension.” “The Russian president
expressed confidence that the leadership of friendly Armenia will manage to
use the considerable potential of democratic reforms, accumulated in the
country, to sustain stability and law,” reported the press service of the
Russian leader.

Pasadena ANC To Commemorate 89th Anniversary of Armenian Genocide

PRESS RELEASE
Armenian National Committee of Pasadena
740 East Washington Blvd.
Pasadena, CA 91104-5007
Telephone: 626.798-0751
Fax: 626.798-7872

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Contact: Peter Tashjian
Telephone: (626) 255-4658

PASADENA ARMENIANS TO COMMEMORATE 89th ANNIVERSARY OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Congressman Adam Schiff to be the Keynote Speaker at April 16th Event

PASADENA, CA (April 15, 2004) – The Armenian National Committee of
Pasadena (ANC-Pasadena) and its affiliated organizations will
commemorate the 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide with keynote
speaker Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA 29) on Friday, April 16 at 7:30
p.m. at the Pasadena Armenian Center,740 East Washington Boulevard.

Congressman Adam Schiff will give attendees an update on the status of
House Resolution 193, which would commemorate the 15th Anniversary of
the U.S. ratification the U.N. Convention on the Punishment and
Prevention of Genocides. H.Res. 193 which was co-authored by
Congressman Adam Schiff, specifically mentions the Armenian Genocide
as an example of genocide in the 20th century.

The honorable Consul General of the Republic of Armenia, Gagig
Giragossyan, will also speak at the event. Hundreds of Armenian
Americans, along with community leaders and public officials are
expected to be present to attendthis special event and show solidarity
in the quest for justice for the victims of the Armenian Genocide.
Although historians and eyewitnesses have unequivocally described the
events of 1915-1923 as a state sponsored genocide, the Republic of
Turkey continues to deny the claims through public relations campaigns
and paid lobbyists.

`Congressman Schiff has always been a strong advocate of issues of
concern to our community since his days in the California State
Senate. As one of the principal co-authors of House Resolution 193,
he is the ideal person to provide insight on the status of the
resolution. We are very grateful that he accepted our invitation,’
stated Shahan Stepanian, ANC-Pasadena Chair. `This will be a unique
evening with all federal, state and city officials paying respect to
the martyrs of the Armenian Genocide,’ added Stepanian.

The ANC-Pasadena works to raise awareness and educate the general
public about issues of concern to the Armenian-American community.

To find out more about this event, call (626) 798-7872.