ARKA News Agency – 03/10/2004

ARKA News Agency
March 10 2004

RA Foreign Minister to take part in 60th session of UN Commission on
Human Rights in Geneva on March 15-16

Armenian Agency of Tourism Development to take part in the exhibition
`International Tourist Bourse’ in Berlin on March 12-16

The Azerbaijani chess federation expresses its anxiety about holding
the International Chess Tournament in Nagorno-Karabakh

The RA President receives the Georgian Ambassador Extraordinary and
Plenipotentiary in Armenia

Online weekly `Parliament’ to be placed on web since 9 March



YEREVAN, March 10. /ARKA/. RA Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanian will
take part in 60th session of UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva
on March 15-16, RA MFA told ARKA. The session includes bilateral
meetings with Foreign Ministers of Switzerland, Italy, Luxembourg,
and Estonia. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, March 10. /ARKA/. Armenian Agency of Tourism Development
will take part in the exhibition `International Tourist Bourse’ in
Berlin on March 12-16, 2004, AATD told ARKA. AATD will represent the
program and marketing strategy of tourism development to represent
Armenia as an attractive center of year-round tourism at
international arena. `Participation of Armenia in similar activities
has fundamental importance for maximal protection and economic
efficiency of developing tourism industry’, press release notes.
ITB exhibition will include 10 thousand participants from 180
countries and regions that will represent tourism services of all
levels. The participants are all structures of world tourism
industry. L.D. –0–



YEREVAN, March 10. /ARKA/. The Azerbaijani chess federation expressed
its anxiety about holding the International Chess Tournament in
Nagorno-Karabakh, as the President of the Armenian Chess Association,
Grand Master Smbat Lputyan stated in Stepanakert. `It is very pity
that the Azerbaijani party so badly reacted at holding the
International Chess Tournament in Nagorno-Karabakh. It shouldn’t’ be
so, since such arrangement is the basis for chess development’, he
According to the Academy’s President, `there is a great basis for
chess developing in Nagorno-Karabakh, and it would be good if such
competitions became traditional’.
The idea of holding the International Chess Tournament in
Nagorno-Karabakh occurred to the Armenian Chess Academy and the NKR
Government five months ago.
The International Chess Tournament is devoted to the 75th anniversary
since the birth of the 9th World Chess Champion Tigran Petrosyan.
A.H. -0–



YEREVAN, March 10. /ARKA/. The RA President Robert Kocharian received
the Georgian Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary in Armenia
Nikoloz Nikolozishvili , whose term of office expires. According to
the RA President’s Press Service, Nikoloz Nikolozishvili is assigned
as plenipotentiary of the Georgian President in Samtskhe-Dzhavakhetii
region. The RA President highly estimated the 6-year work of the
Georgian Ambassador in Armenia and noted that significant progress in
the relations between two countries is observed.
In the course of the meeting the parties attached great importance to
the coming visit of the Georgian President Michael Saakashvili to
Armenia. At their estimates, it will be an additional push for
developing Armenia-Georgian relations. During the meeting the parties
discussed the situation in Dzhavakhq. The Ambassador noted that he
happened to be in Samtskhe-Dzhavakhetii , and his primary duty he
considers settling social and economic problems in the region. The RA
President attached great importance to improving the road connecting
Dzhavakhq with Armenia. A.H.–0–



YEREVAN. March 10. /ARKA/. Online weekly `Parliament’ will be placed
on the Armenian Parliament’s web (), as
ARKA News Agency was told in the Armenian Parliament Public Relations
Department. The weekly will include the following headings: main
topic, official reference, legislation, politics, and international
activity of the Armenian Parliament for the next week.
It should be reminded that the first number of print monthly
reference `National Assembly’ was printed on 16 December 2003. As
reported by the Head of Public Relations Department of the Armenian
Parliament Anahit Adamyan, the reference is not for sale and will be
distributed free of charge as inside of the Parliament as well as for
outer use. The circulation of the first number of the reference is
500 copies. T.M. -0–

Armenian IT sector develops at slower paces than expected

ARKA News Agency – Interview
March 10 2004


Exclusive interview with Andranik Aleksanian, Director General of
Arminco Global Telecommunications to ARKA News Agency.

ARKA- What can you say about the Armenian IT market of the previous
year? What is the position of Armenia in the region?

A. Aleksanian- In 2003, the IT sector could have grown by 20%, though
the actual growth was within 5-10%. This testifies to the fact that
the IT-sector develops parallel to the economy, but at slower paces
than may be. We are behind the world tendencies. In the regions, the
problem of the IT development is even more urgent, because of poor
transport and electronic communications, plus lack of specialists and
high cost of installation of communication lines. For example, the
cost of a 2 Mbit line from Yerevan to Gyumri is some $1600 per month.
This impedes business development in the regions, though there is
some growth, and `the frozen state’ has been overcome.

As to the state of the IT in the South Caucasian region, then the our
neighbors are doing principally better than we are . We are behind
Georgia and Azerbaijan as to the infrastructure and communications,
though we are in a better position, as regards the professional
level. That is, we have a good potential to occupy a solid place in
the IT sector of the region. But, we need a model of development,
especially since the IT industry has been declared a priority by the
RA Government.

ARKA- What is your evaluation of the IT-sector strategy (as to the
development model), recently submitted to the Armenian President?

A. Aleksanian- I am aware of the strategy. On the whole, it is
comprised of good and correct provisions. To develop the sector, the
President has set the task to integrate it into the global system.
There are rules of the game, and respective infrastructure and
specialists are needed to ensure the integration. All this brings to
the necessity of a law that will determine the tasks and goals, as
well as legislatively-fixed guarantees for an investor. The IT is not
just an Internet or software development . It assumes an entire
industry with specialists, developed infrastructures and
communications. In particular, the availability of the normal
infrastructure will resolve a lot of problems and will prevent
emigration. At least 5 years are required to attain the goal, and the
generation should change, I think. The technological process we have
now will be out-of-date the next year. In this respect, a `polygon’
should be created for specialists to introduce new technologies. The
period of 5 years is a normal term for training specialists. This is
the period, when the potential will be created. I think that any
problem may be resolved, if the task is set correctly. And in the
long run, nothing can prevent us from developing software in Armenia,
the way India does.

ARKA- What expectation do you have from the law on e-communications?

A. Aleksanian- We need a law that will serve the interests of both
investors, consumers and the country, as a whole. We need not `invent
a wheel’ in this regard. If Singapore and Taiwan managed to grow with
certain arrangements, we may make use of them and achieve success if
not at 100% level, then at least for 50%.. I think it is not that
important to draft a new law, it will be more significant to adopt
someone’s experience and put it into practice correctly. I am for the
above-mentioned, as I am not aware of positive or negative sides of
the law on e-communications.
I do not think it is correct to provide the IT-sector with greater
privileges, as compared to other economic branches. Once we decided
to make the sector a priority, we should organize the process in such
a way, as to enable specialists of other professions to make use of
IT-technologies. Provision of benefits or privileges to the Armenian
IT industry is an incorrect policy, which will ruin the economy.
ARKA- What are the financial results, reported by your company for
2003. Is there any growth as compared to the previous year? What new
services do you plan to provide in 2004?

A. Aleksanian- Theoretically, we have had some growth, though this
growth has been achieved at a high cost. Outside Armenia, it is very
easy to make the business and gain profits. In Armenia, this is not
the growth we could have achieved. We had planned to create 50 new
jobs, cut expenses, expand the infrastructure and introduce new
technologies, though we failed because of the problems with ArmenTel.
We did not manage to expand our clientele in the regions of Armenia.
I will not specify the turnover, though I can state that we report a
10% growth annually. We could have had a better growth, though 10% is
a good index under the conditions of stagnation. In other countries,
the growth index reaches 50-60%.

In 2003, we had to reduce our tariffs, because of ArmenTel’s policy.
We acquire a certain services from the ArmenTel, though we get fewer
discounts than smaller clients. Some of the ArmenTel’s employees have
no idea of the business they are in, and the shortcomings in our work
are on their conscience.
As to the new services, then we plan to introduce some of those in
2004. The first service is the radio-modem communications (enabling
to work from any place). This year, we are going to resolve the
problem in Yerevan. We are going to install the first 5,000
radio-modems in various parts of Yerevan in summer and get rid of
ArmenTel, in this regard. The second service will enable our clients
to access Internet and check mail through a cellular phone. We also
plan to expand our services in the regions of Armenia and we are
negotiating with ArCa and some commercial banks to launch the payment
for our services with plastic cards in ATMs.

ARKA- What about the development e-trade, as a form of

A. Aleksanian- E-commerce may not develop here because of the lack of
the corresponding law and infrastructure. The system may work,
provided that there is one of the attributes present. There is no
bank-shop-client relationship. We need a law on e-trade, which would
enable to make trade transactions through ArCa plastic cards. In
other countries, the problem is resolved easily. Soon, the Armenian
Chamber of Commerce and Industry plans to make a legislative
initiative, to prevent further complication of the problem. I think
that the e-trade will develop only after the adoption of the law.

ARKA- Was there any progress in the Internet advertisement in 2003?

A. Aleksanian- The advertisement business in the Internet is designed
for regular Internet users. However, this type of advertisement is
not in demand in Armenia, because of the restricted number of the
users. On the whole, Internet advertisement has its own place – it
neither grows nor decreases. The Internet advertisement’s share is
1-3% of the Armenian advertisement market.

ARKA- You mentioned above that there were some problems due to
ArmenTel Company’s activities. What is your policy in respect to
ArmenTel and what do you think on possible appearance of the second
cellular communications operator in Armenia?

A. Aleksanian – I have been in this business for 10 years and have
invested all my funds and health. The thing is that the business
generally results in profit in the world, unlike Armenia where it
brings in losses. We have to struggle for our share all the time –
and not just seek investment, but demand definite services from
ArmenTel. This is not an organization, this is a `mistake’. Here are
two examples. Two years ago I applied in writing to ArmenTel with a
request to provide me with a communication line in the regions. I
even allocated the funds immediately, and they (ArmenTel) provided
that line to others. But, this is not the point, the point is that
you have to wait for 2 years to get the long expected line.
It is impossible to collaborate with the organization. I used to try
to settle the issue peacefully, and now I have decided to go to court
directly, with all the problems relating to the ArmenTel. Any small
issue, impeding my activities will be settled in the Court from now
on. I shall apply to the Court, in case if they fail to reply my
inquiry in the set terms. At the moment, I have got two replies to
100 letters, sent to ArmenTel. I see no other technology of dealing
with this Company. On the whole, I am going to sue ArmenTel at a few
million dollars. In February, I plan to bring the first sue.
The organization with all its officials (no matter who they are
-Armenians or Greeks) is destroying the country premeditatedly. I can
state that they do not want Armenia to develop.
I think that the arrival of the second operator will not resolve the
problems, as the organization will be entitled to provide cellular
communications’ services only, and the cable network will remain at
the disposal of the ArmenTel Company.

ASBAREZ Online [03-10-2004]


1) US Addresses Turkish Worries about Iraq Constitution
2) Chamlian School’s Banquet a Night of Success and Hope
3) Kocharian Comes Face-to-face with University Students
4) US Ambassador Meets With ARF Representatives
5) Police Identify Armenian Cemetery Vandals

1) US Addresses Turkish Worries about Iraq Constitution

ANKARA (AFP)–A senior US envoy will meet with Turkish officials to discuss
Ankara’s concerns over the new interim constitution of Iraq, reported Turkish
and US sources.
Ronald Newmann, a member of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) in
was asked by US Secretary of State Colin Powell to go to Ankara after Turkey
publicly criticized the interim constitution, signed in Baghdad on Monday, a
Turkish diplomat told AFP.
Turkey has warned that it would pave the way for more instability in the
neighboring country. “The interim law does not satisfy us; it increases our
concerns,” said Turkish government spokesman, Justice Minister Cemil Cicek.
Turkey has repeatedly warned against moves in postwar Iraq that could help
Iraqi Kurds enhance self-rule in the north of the country.
Under the interim constitution, Iraqi Kurdistan will retain federal status
the rest of Iraq will be given the right to begin forming states.
Turkey fears that increased political influence of Iraqi Kurds could set an
example for their restive cousins in southeast Turkey where a bloody Kurdish
rebellion has only recently been quelled.

2) Chamlian School’s Banquet a Night of Success and Hope

GLENDALE–Over 500 parents, alumni, teachers, and friends of Chamlian Armenian
School gathered on February 28, at the Homenetmen Ararat Chapter center to
fundraise for the school, and mark its many accomplishments. Western Prelate
Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, and Glendale Mayor Frank Quintero were among
the guests of honor.
Emcees Nova Hindoyan and Aida Yeghiazarian, kicked off the night with a
auction that raised over $8,000.
In his remarks, Archbiship Mardirossian urged the audience to “complete the
cafeteria project and move on to bigger projects such as establishing a high
The climax of the evening came, however, as Chamlian principal Vazken
Madenlian announced that a special committee dedicated to the Chamlian High
School project has been formed, and that $250,000 has already been collected
towards the goal.
Guest welcomed the joyous news, and enthusiastically donated $106,000 for the
renovation of the school cafeteria.
Guests danced and celebrated to the music of popular singer Ashod and his
band. “This was a great evening,” one guest said, “not only did we have a lot
of fun, but it was for a great cause.”

3) Kocharian Comes Face-to-face with University Students

YEREVAN (RFE/RL, Yerkir)–University students from throughout Armenia gathered
at Yerevan State University on Wednesday to meet President Robert Kocharian,
and pose questions on issues of concern.
Asked about the process of settling the Karabagh conflict, Kocharian said
during his term in office, Armenia has accepted several proposals put forth by
mediators, while Azerbaijan has rejected them. “I have dedicated 15 years
of my
life to the Karabagh issue, and I will pursue it all the way through,”
Kocharian said.
Referring to Azerbaijan’s unapologetic and even defensive position on the
murder of an Armenian officer by an Azeri counterpart, the president said it
reinforces the fact that Armenophobia has reached its peak in that country.
are, once again, convinced that Karabagh cannot–under any condition–be a
of Azerbaijan.”
Asked about opposition claims that Armenia remains gripped by a political
crisis, Kocharian explained that in 2003, Armenia registered record economic
growth, accompanied by improving public services. He cited a 13.9 increase in
GDP, which was the highest in the Commonwealth of Independent States. “To
describe as crisis the situation in a country where economic growth has
13.9 percent and where all the indicators testify to quite interesting
developments, is at least, tantamount to not understanding what a crisis
It was the Armenian leader’s first visit to the country’s largest university
since last month’s student protests against a controversial government bill on
military service. The bill, which would have allowed the military to draft
graduate and doctoral students, was eventually withdrawn from parliament.
Kocharian acknowledged that the proposed legislation should have undergone a
detailed public debate before being submitted to the National Assembly, and
revealed his support for compulsory military service for all young men,
including his two sons.

4) US Ambassador Meets With ARF Representatives

YEREVAN (Yerkir)–US Ambassador to Armenia John Ordway met with
of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation at the ARF Simon Vratsian center on
Wednesday, in an effort to understand the party’s position on national and
regional issues, and engage in a two-way exchange.
ARF Armenia Supreme Body representative Armen Rustamian, ARF Bureau member
National Assembly vice-speaker Vahan Hovhannisian, and ARF faction leader in
the National Assembly Levon Mkrtchian, met with Ordway, where political and
regional developments in Armenia, as well as the National Assembly and the
opposition dominated discussions.
The ambassador remarked that the meeting was fruitful in understanding the
party’s stance on these issues.
Ambassador Ordway frequently meets with the ARF and other political
parties to
better grasp the positions of political forces, and to also present the US
position on democracy, the market economy, as well as regional security.

5) Police Identify Armenian Cemetery Vandals

KRASNODAR (Armenpress)–Local police have identified the group of youth who
desecrated Armenian gravestones at the Krasnodar Slavonic cemetery on March 2,
reported Yerkramas, a weekly paper published by the Armenian community of the
southern Russian province.
The culprits are eight youth between the ages of 13 and 16. Police said their
parents will have to pay for restoring the damaged tombs.
A similar act of vandalism in 2002 sparked strong condemnation by the
government and leading politicians concerned with the escalating ethnic
tensions in the southern Russia.
In April 2002, approximately 50 youths ravaged gravestones and monuments at
the Armenian cemetery in Krasnodar. Though the local police at the time
announced the arrest of three Russian youngsters between the ages of 14 and 17
on suspicion of involvement, all managed to avoid punishment.

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Armenian leader decisive to solve Karabakh problem

Mediamax news agency, Yerevan, in Russian
10 Mar 04

Armenian leader decisive to solve Karabakh problem


Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said in Yerevan today that “we
shall bring the settlement of the Nagornyy Karabakh problem to an
end”, the Armenian president said at a meeting with Yerevan students,
Mediamax reports.

Kocharyan said that “at least the last 15 years of my life” have been
devoted to solving the Karabakh problem.

According to the president, at least the fact that “during my term in
office, the mediator countries put forward proposals on a solution to
the conflict, which were accepted as a basis for the talks by Armenia
and rejected by Azerbaijan” could serve as an appraisal of the
current Armenian authorities’ policy on the Karabakh issue.

“I think only this fact speaks for itself,” Robert Kocharyan said.

Canadian Diocese: Primate of Javakheti in Montreal

Diocese of the Armenian Church of Canada
Contact; Deacon Hagop Arslanian, Assistant to the Primate
615 Stuart Avenue, Outremont-Quebec H2V 3H2
Tel; 514-276-9479, Fax; 514-276-9960
Email; [email protected], Website;

Primate of Javakheti in Montreal

On Tuesday, 2 March 2004, Very Reverend Father Babgen Salbyan, Primate
of Javakheti met with the representatives of the Montreal Armenian
Community in the Diocesan Dikran Garibian Hall. Father Babgen Salbyan
talked about the current situation in Javakheti and the expectations
of the Armenian Community from both Armenia and Diaspora.

Afterwards, at St Gregory the Illuminator’s Marie Manoogian Hall, Very
Reverend Father Babgen Salbyan made a presentation on the current
situationin Javakheti, the needs and expectations of Javakheti
Armenians; discussions focused on the policy of the Georgian
government towards Javakheti and matters related to the role and
mission of the Armenian Holy Apostolic Church. Donations, for a total
of $12.000 were made to Javakheti Armenians by the faithful of the
Canadian Armenian community. On this occasion, Bishop Bagrat
Galstanian, Diocesan Council members and the Clergy extend their
sincere thanks and gratitude for the donors.

The following day, Bishop Bagrat Galstanian accompanied by Very
Reverend Father Babgen Salbyan and Mr. Hagop Amirianpaid a short visit
to the Embassy of the Republic of Armenia in Ottawa and met with the
Ambassador, His Excellency Ara Papian and the staff of Armenian
Embassy. Discussions focused on the issues related to Javakheti
Armenian community, Armenian Apostolic Church and Motherland Armenia.

Feast of Saint Vartan and His companions in the Canadian Diocese

On Sunday February 29 2004, the feast of St Vartan the Warrior and his
companions was marked at St Gregory the Illuminator Armenian Cathedral
organized by cultural unions and political parties of the Armenian
community of Montreal. His Eminence Bishop Bagrat Galstanian presided
over the ceremony. The Divine Liturgy was celebrated by the Primate of
Javakheti, the Very Reverend Father Babgen Salpyan.

This year, the Diocesan Primate suggested that each of our church’s
feast days will be given an appropriate meaning and
content. Accordingly, St Vartanank was declared as the BLESSING DAY OF
since his first day as Primate, Serpazan has paid special attention to
the rejuvenation of the spiritual life in our Diocese.

Over 800 faithful attended the ceremony. Representatives of the unions
and parties who were escorted to the altar by the AGBU Armenian Scouts
renewed their vow to serve the Armenian people and the Armenian
Church. In his sermon, Bishop Galstanian said “Today, we are called to
serve the Armenian Church, Motherland Armenia and our beloved
people. Today my heart is full of joy witnessing the unity of our
people as it was in the Battle of Avarayr”. Serpazan thanked and
expressed his appreciation to the members of the organizing committee
and the faithful; he then introduced the Primate of Javakheti Very
Reverend Father Babgen Salpyan, who in turn thanked Bishop Bagrat for
inviting him to visit the Canadian Diocese.

Following the service, the guests attended a special cultural program
designed by the organizing committee with the participation of the
studentsof Alex Manougian Armen-Quebec School, Bolsahay Cultural
Association and Diocesan Youth Council members.

Divan of the Diocese

‘There’s daggers in men’s smiles’

The Toronto Globe and Mail

‘There’s daggers in men’s smiles’

Wednesday, March 10, 2004 – Page A21

Peter Donolo, who used to be Jean Chrétien’s director of
communications, was at a birthday party, when he came across Karl
Littler, Paul Martin’s chief organizer in Ontario.

“Karl, what are you doing here?” Mr. Donolo kibitzed, “aren’t you
supposed to be out there destroying the Liberal Party?”

Everyone laughed and Mr. Donolo, when contacted, says the two ended up
having “a very friendly, sociable chat.”

No doubt. But the incident tells a tale. The civil war between Paul
Martin and Jean Chrétien is corroding the foundations of the Liberal
Party, threatening its hopes for a majority government in the federal

We all know about Sheila Copps’s allegations of chicanery by the
Martin-dominated party machine in Hamilton East-Stoney
Creek. (Yesterday, she complained to the RCMP.) But Hamilton
East-Stoney Creek is hardly unique. In recent days, campaign workers
in ridings across the country have phoned or e-mailed with
hair-raising complaints.

Here’s one of the best examples: The new riding of Brampton-Springdale
takes in most of the old riding of Brampton Centre, held by Liberal MP
Sarkis Assadourian. He is being challenged by, among others, Andrew
Kania, a Brampton lawyer who was Ontario co-chairman of John Manley’s
aborted leadership campaign.

Mr. Kania’s forces control the riding executive, and are reportedly
well ahead in signing up members. For more than a month, the executive
has been pleading with Mr. Littler, who is the Ontario campaign
chairman, to call a nomination meeting. Not only will Mr. Littler not
call the meeting, Mr. Assadourian reportedly pleaded with Mr. Martin
last week in caucus to offer him protection from challenges in his
riding. (Mr. Assadourian’s office did not respond to a request for an

Mr. Kania is guarded with his language — he professes loyalty to the
party and the Prime Minister — but when asked whether he felt the
nomination meeting was being delayed to give Mr. Assadourian more time
to counter Mr. Kania’s challenge, he replied: “Yes, I do.” Regardless,
he says, “No matter when the meeting is called, I will win the

Mr. Littler insists there are no conspiracies; the Brampton-Springdale
nomination meeting promises to be contentious, and he is short of
staff to manage it.

Mr. Kania at least has had his application to run as a Liberal
candidate approved. In the riding of Vancouver Centre, Taleeb
Noormohamed can’t even get that far. Mr. Noormohamed is one of two
candidates challenging incumbent Hedy Fry. The other is Lynne Kennedy,
a former city councillor.

Mr. Noormohamed is young and, to be blunt about it, ethnically
correct, but he is also male and Ms. Fry and Ms. Kennedy are female,
and the party is anxious to bolster the number of women in the
House. So while Ms. Fry and Ms. Kennedy have had no difficulty in
getting their candidate applications approved, Mr. Noormohamed can’t
get the green light to save his life. He’s been interviewed (the
others haven’t), his education credentials have been questioned
(Princeton and Oxford, by the way), and the committee responsible for
vetting his application never seems to be able to meet.

“We’ve built up very strong support from a lot of people who have
never been involved in politics before, at a time when the Liberal
Party is facing challenges,” Mr. Noormohamed said in an interview. “My
concern is that if something is seen to be amiss, a lot of people are
going to get turned off, not just from politics, but from the Liberal

Mark Marissen, B.C. campaign chairman, said that the party is hoping
to have an answer soon to Mr. Noormohamed’s application.

When Mr. Martin refused to protect incumbent MPs, in the interest of
democratizing the party, he doubtless felt his overwhelming control
over riding associations and the provincial wings of the federal party
would allow him to ensure political friends were promoted and enemies
frustrated. It hasn’t worked that way. Instead, the riding fights
have turned into yet another front in the epic contest between
Mr. Martin and Mr. Chrétien, left and right, legacy and agenda.

For Liberals, the tragedy could be that the ridings are left so
weakened and divided that they fall to the opposition. The
Conservatives, for example, have high hopes for Brampton-Springdale,
and Vancouver Centre isn’t immune to challenge.

We may need to disinter Shakespeare: Only he could do justice to a
conflict so epic. Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin claw at each other
without surcease, while the sands dissolve beneath them, swallowing
both, each still clutching the other’s throat.

[email protected]

Tehran Municipality Buys War Photos

Mehr News Agency, Iran
March 8 2004

Tehran Municipality Buys War Photos

TEHRAN March 8 (Mehr News Agency) — In an unprecedented move the Art
and Cultural Organization of Tehran Municipality purchased the photos
taken by Iranian photographer Reza Borji at a cost of Rls2b during
the opening ceremony held on Sunday evening for his exhibition in
Paidari Cultural Center at Behesht Gallery.
About 15,000 photos, taken from the contemporary wars in Iraq,
Bosnia, Afghanistan, Karabakh, and Ghana were submitted to the head
of the cultural center Seyyed Yasser Hashtrudi.

Borji had received many bids from abroad offering higher price for
the works.

`I preferred my works to remain in my country. so I refrained from
selling them to foreigners,’ said Borji.

Borji took many outstanding photos from the Iraqi imposed war against
Iran during the years 1980-1988. He has been hospitalized owing to
injuries caused by the chemical weapons in this war.

In order to train young photographers, the organization plans to
establish a venue dubbed `Tasvir-e No Foundation’ (New Picture
Foundation) for Reza Borji.

`I hope the organization will soon establish the foundation for Borji
where he can impart his experiences to young photographers,’ said

The exhibition, which is underway at Behesht Gallery, will continue
until March 16th.

Atmosphere of mutual trust is necessary

Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 8 2004


On March 5 the NKR minister of foreign affairs met with the director
of the Stepanakert office of the International Committee of the Red
Cross Charlotte Hardford whose term of duties in NKR has expired.
Charlotte Hardford introduced to the minister Mireille Benare who
will take up the duties of the director of the ICRC representation in
Nagorni Karabakh, and expressed hope that the cooperation between the
international mission and the Karabakh authorities will go on under
the new director. Ms. Hardford thanked the NKR government for
providing favourable working conditions and for the assistance to the
ICRC for effective implementation of its mission. The NKR minister of
foreign affairs thanked Charlotte Hardford for fruitful activities
and also expressed hope that the tradition of cooperation of the NKR
government and especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the
ICRC will have further development. Ashot Ghulian emphasized that it
will be possible to settle all the problems of the conflict parties
only if an atmosphere of mutual trust is maintained, efforts are
united and the humanitarian issues are not politicized, which greatly
hinders their solution. The participants of the meeting discussed a
number of humanitarian problems and the far-reaching programs of the
ICRC in Nagorni Karabakh concerning health care, aid to the citizens
suffered in the conflict, foundation of children’s safe playgrounds.


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.


A glance at Karabakh from inside and outside

Azat Artsakh, Republic of Nagorno Karabakh
March 8 2004


On March 3 at the Stepanakert Press Club took place the presentation
of the web site of Sergey Ogoltsov The web
site presents the author’s opinion on the military actions,
“provincial” life in Karabakh and the journey of S. Ogoltsov from
Kiev to Stepanakert and back. Taking into account the deficit of
necessary facts and information in the web sites on Karabakh the web
site of Sergey Ogoltsov will be of use to those who are interested in