ATP, US Amb., Jinishian Memorial Foundation to celebrate Earth Day

ARMENIA TREE PROJECT
Yerevan 375025, Aygestan 9th Str., #6
Tel./Fax (374 1) 569910
Internet:
E-mail: [email protected]

PRESS RELEASE
20.04.2004

US Ambassador, Armenia Tree Project and Jinishian Memorial Foundation to
Celebrate Earth Day in Mountainous Village of Dzoravank

On Friday, April 23, U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Ordway, and Mrs.
Maryjo Ordway will mark Earthday in a joint Armenia Tree Project/Jinishian
Memorial Foundation tree planting to establish a large (0.8 hectare) fruit
and nut orchard for the refugee community of Dzoravank in Gegharkounik Marz.

This joint endeavor is being made possible thanks to the organization and
outreach efforts of the Armenia Tree Project (ATP) and a donation by
Jinishian Memorial Foundation. In cooperation with the U.S. Embassy in
Armenia, IREX and ACTR/ACCELS, 20 alumni from U.S.government exchange
programs will travel as volunteers to Dzoravank to help with the tree
planting. The date of the event is chosen to coincide with the celebration
of Earth Day (celebrated globally on April 22 every year).

ATP Founder Carolyn Mugar, Executive Director Jeff Masarjian and Country
Director Susan Yacubian Klein will be in Dzoravank for this important event.
Other high ranked guests have also been invited.

This marks the second year Ambassador Ordway is celebrating Earth Day with
ATP in the Getik River valley. Dzoravank is the second village in the area
where ATP is implementing a combined long term reforestation-poverty
reduction program. The program was initiated in 2002 in the village of
Aygut, situated approximately 10 kilometers distance from Dzoravank. ATP
intends to expand to all 13 villages located in the picturesque Getik River
valley. In this program of sustainable mountainous development, ATP partners
with the villagers and with other international and local organizations to
combat the linked problems of poverty and natural resource degradation.
Among the contributors to date are USDA/MAP, World Food Program, Heifer
International,Project Harmony,ORRAN, Boghosian Education Center, and
Satsil..

For further information, please contact Karen Sarkavagyan at the Armenia
Tree Project, phone numbers 569910 and 553069, E-mail [email protected]

The Armenia Tree Project was founded in 1994 during Armenia’s darkest and
coldest years with the vision of securing Armenia’s future by protecting
Armenia’s environment. Funded by contributions from Diasporan Armenians,
ATP has planted and rejuvenated over 500,000 trees at more than 450 sites
ranging from Gumri to Goris.

www.armeniatree.org

ANCA-WR: US President’s Record Challenged on Armenian Genocide Issue

PRESS RELEASE
Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region
104 North Belmont Street, Suite 200
Glendale, California 91206
Contact: Armen Carapetian, Government Relations Director
Tel: 818-500-1918
Fax: 818-246-7353
Email: [email protected]
Web:

The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region (ANCA-WR)
moments ago learned that a record 170 US Senators and Congressmen are
to send President Bush a cosigned letter asking that he properly
characterize the Armenian Genocide in his April 24th commemorative
remarks.

The letter, which is attached below, represents an unprecedented
number of Members of Congress standing up to the President’s use of
euphemisms in describing the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians by
Ottoman Turks from 1915 through 1923. In his bid for the Presidency in
1999, George W. Bush wrote a strongly worded letter expressing
unequivocally that he would honor the memory of the victims of the
Armenian Genocide if elected President. However, while in office,
President Bush has failed time and again to reaffirm the United
States’ long record on the Armenian Genocide. ANCA-WR has been working
with Members of Congress representing constituents in western states
to show the President that there is broad support for historical
accuracy on this issue.

More details are to follow in an official press release.

April 21, 2004

The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

We are writing to urge you to join us in reaffirming the United States
record on the Armenian Genocide in your April 24 commemorative statement.

This date marks the anniversary of the systematic and deliberate campaign
of genocide perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire in 1915. Over the following
eight years, one and a half million Armenians were tortured and murdered,
and more than half a million were forced from their homeland into exile. In
the years since, descendents of Armenian immigrants have thrived in the
United States and in many other countries, bringing extraordinary vitality
and achievement to communities across this nation and throughout the world.

By properly recognizing the atrocities committed against the Armenian
people as “genocide” in your statement, you will honor the many Americans
who helped launch our first international human rights campaign to end the
carnage and protect the survivors. The official U.S. response mirrored the
overwhelming reaction by the American public to this crime against
humanity, and as such, constitutes a proud, irrefutable and groundbreaking
chapter in U.S. diplomatic history.

Now more than ever as your administration seeks to bring an end to global
terrorism and to help establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, the
memory of the genocide underscores our responsibility to help convey our
cherished tradition of respect for fundamental human rights and opposition
to mass slaughters. The victims of the Genocide deserve our remembrance
and their rightful place in history. It is in the best interests of our
nation and the entire global community to remember the past and learn from
these crimes against humanity to ensure that they are never repeated.

We look forward to your April 24 statement and stand ready to assist you in
this endeavor and in the many other matters of importance to our nation
related to Armenia and the South Caucasus region.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

http://www.anca.org/

Armenia: Five Legged Calf Born

AP
Wednesday, 21 April 2004

Yerevan
20 April 2004

A five-footed calf has become the centre of attention for locals in a
small village in Armenia.

The calf – which has a fifth foot hanging from its left shoulder – was
born this week near the Armenian capital of Yerevan.

Locals said the abnormal foot is fully formed with a hoof.

The calf has become a beloved pet among locals.

It’s not known whether the apparent deformity will affect the life
expectancy of the calf.

APTN
APEX 04-21-04 0631EDT

Antelias: Television broadcast via satellite

PRESS RELEASE
Catholicosate of Cilicia
Communication and Information Department
Tel: (04) 410001, 410003
Fax: (04) 419724
E- mail: [email protected]
Web:

PO Box 70 317
Antelias-Lebanon

Television broadcast of the international conference on “Genocide, Impunity
and Justice” via satellite from the residential hall in Antelias – April
22nd, 2004

Antelias, Lebanon – Télé Liban television will broadcast via satellite the
international conference on “Genocide, Impunity and Justice”, from the
residential hall in Antelias, on Thursday 22 April 2004, beginning from 4:00
pm (local time).

Note: Simultaneous translation into Arabic, French and English.

View the schedule of the conference here:

Click here to view the satellite address / TELE LIBAN
ml

******

The Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia is one of the two Catholicosates of
the Armenian Orthodox Church. For detailed information about the history and
the mission of the Cilician Catholicosate, you may refer to the web page of
the Catholicosate, The Cilician Catholicosate, the
administrative center of the church is located in Antelias, Lebanon.

http://www.cathcil.org/
http://www.cathcil.org/v04/doc/news.htm#21
http://www.sat-address.com/tt/Tele-Liban.sht
http://www.cathcil.org/

Author Power to Keynote April 23 Commemoration of Rwandan Genocide

U.S. Newswire (press release), DC
April 20 2004

Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Samantha Power to Keynote April 23
Commemoration of Rwandan Genocide Anniversary

To: Assignment Desk, Daybook Editor

Contact: NCC Media, 212-870-2252 or [email protected]

News Advisory:

An April 23 event at the Fowler Museum, on the campus of the
University of California at Los Angeles, will commemorate the 10th
anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide, in which more than 800,000 died.

The National Council of Churches (NCC) is sponsoring the event,
“Remembering Rwanda – Ten Years After the Genocide.”

A 6 p.m. premiere screening of the film “God Sleeps in Rwanda” will
precede the 7 p.m. keynote address by Samantha Power, Lecturer in
Public Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She
won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for her book “A Problem from Hell:
America and the Age of Genocide.”

Also speaking: NCC General Secretary Robert Edgar; Dr. Richard Hrair
Dekmejian, Professor of Political Science at the University of
Southern California and an expert on the Armenian Genocide, and Rabbi
Allen I. Freehling, Executive Director of the Los Angeles City Human
Relations Commission.

The program will include testimonies by Rwandan Genocide survivors
and will close with a presentation of Rwandan music and dance.

Samantha Power is a leading authority on genocide. In “A Problem from
Hell,” she analyzes the genocides of the 20th century and the failure
of the international community, including the United States, to
prevent them.

She writes: “No U.S. president has ever made genocide prevention a
priority, and no U.S. president has ever suffered politically for his
indifference to its occurrence. It is thus no coincidence that
genocide rages on.”

In The New York Times April 6, Power warned, “On this anniversary,
Western and United Nations leaders are expressing their remorse and
pledging their resolve to prevent future humanitarian catastrophes.
But as they do so, the Sudanese government is teaming up with Arab
Muslim militias in a campaign of ethnic slaughter and deportation
that has already left nearly a million Africans displaced and more
than 30,000 dead. Again, the United States and its allies are
bystanders to slaughter, seemingly no more prepared to prevent
genocide than they were a decade ago.”

Dr. Antonios Kireopoulos, NCC associate general secretary for
international affairs and peace, said identifying proactive steps to
prevent such horrors “is crucial for all of us, especially at a time
when, in places like Sudan, the situation is looking alarmingly
familiar. Can we afford not to learn the lessons of Rwanda?”

-0-

http://www.usnewswire.com/

Azerbaijan: phone pranks raise terror concerns

Eurasianet Organization
April 21 2004

AZERBAIJAN: PHONE PRANKS RAISE TERROR CONCERNS
4/20/04

A recent string of anonymous bomb threats in Baku has set Azerbaijan
on edge. Though the threats proved to be hoaxes, they have prompted
officials to express concern that Azerbaijan could be at risk of a
terrorist attack because of Baku’s participation in the US-led
occupation of Iraq. Some independent analysts, however, are skeptical
of the government’s analysis.

The series of threats began April 1, when an anonymous caller told
Azerbaijani authorities that a bomb had been planted in the Turkish
Embassy. That call was followed by a threat against the Heidar Aliyev
Palace, a large concert hall, at the time of an April 10 performance
by the American rapper Coolio. [For background see the Eurasia
Insight archive]. Subsequent calls targeted the city’s subway system
and, finally, on April 13, the US embassy. Other calls have warned
about bomb explosions at Baku’s Opera and Ballet Theater and Space
TV, a privately owned television company. No explosives were found at
any of the locations, but the US embassy has issued a warning to
Americans in Baku to avoid using the city’s subway system.

The telephone threats in Baku began immediately after militant
attacks in Uzbekistan left at least 47 people dead. [For additional
information see the Eurasia Insight archive] Uzbek authorities insist
that an international radical Islamic terrorist network carried out
the attacks in Tashkent and Baku. [For additional information see the
Eurasia Insight archive].

So far, four people have been arrested in connection with the pranks.
No connection between suspected terrorist groups and the detainees
has been firmly established. But that hasn’t stopped Azerbaijani
officials and many analysts from playing up the radical Islamic
terrorist threat. They suggest that Islamic militants may be
targeting Azerbaijan in order to punish the country for its strategic
cooperation with the United States

Sitting on the border of Iran and the Caspian Sea, Azerbaijan has
developed into a key US ally in the Caspian Basin. [For background
see the Eurasia Insight archive]. The late president Heidar Aliyev
granted the US military over-flight rights following the September 11
terrorist attacks, and the country has since deployed about 150
troops to assist US operations in Iraq. Azerbaijani troops are also
deployed in Afghanistan and Kosovo in similar peacekeeping
capacities.

Security Minister Namig Abbasov suggested that the presence of
Azerbaijani troops in Iraq had played a role in the Baku terror
threats. One military analyst agreed. “Azerbaijan is face to face
with terror,” the expert, Khagani Huseinli, said. “The recent events
in Spain and Uzbekistan show that terrorists are targeting not only
the United States, but also its allies.”

Other analysts downplay the notion that Azerbaijan is in imminent
danger of a terrorist attack. Although concern is warranted about the
possibility of terrorist acts in the energy-rich state, political
analyst Rasim Musabeyov told EurasiaNet, it is unlikely that the
Azerbaijani troop deployment in Iraq alone would spur Islamic
radicals to target Baku. Madat Quliyev, head of Azerbaijan’s Interpol
National Central Bureau, also voiced doubts about radical Islamic
involvement. In an interview with the Ekho newspaper, he indicated
that if radical Islamic terrorists had been involved, they would not
have issued telephone warnings about the potential bombings.

Those detained in connection with the telephone threats don’t have
readily evident ties to each other, or to any known radical
organization. In connection with the April 13 threat against the US
embassy, police have taken into custody Cavansir Sadikhov, the Turan
news agency reported. Authorities suspect that Sadikhov was also
responsible for making a threat against the US embassy in January.

Others arrested include a 15-year-old high school student from Baku,
Nadir Aydinoglu Babayev, who is accused of threatening Space TV.
Madina Mehdiyeva, a reportedly mentally ill woman from Baku, is the
third alleged phone caller, while a fourth suspect, Ramiz Muradov, an
ex-convict, has been charged with prank calling the police in Imisli
District about an explosion in a railway hospital.

Authorities in Azerbaijan are taking no chances. The Baku subway
system, as well as strategic facilities such as oil pipelines, oil
refineries, water supply systems and Baku’s electricity grid have all
been placed under “special guard,” Interior Ministry Deputy Security
Chief Atas Masimov told Ekho. Reinforced police patrols have also
started to monitor Baku’s streets, the newspaper reported.

The possible terror connection appears to have resonated with many
Baku residents, who retain vivid memories of a 1994 bombing in the
Baku subway system. Rasmiyya Aliyeva, a secondary school teacher in
Baku, said that the latest warning of a bomb attack stopped her from
riding the subway altogether. “We don’t want to live under the threat
of terror again,” Aliyeva said.

The bomb threats have come at a time when Azerbaijan is looking to
secure strategic assistance from the United States. Baku is slotted
to receive $12 million in security aid from the United States for
fiscal year 2005, the highest amount for any country in the Caucasus.
Georgia will receive approximately $8 million and Armenia $2 million
in security assistance. The intended security funding for Azerbaijan
is part of an overall $38 million US assistance package. That amount
is second only to Georgia’s overall aid total of $90 million.

As with Uzbekistan, human rights groups have long criticized the Bush
administration for pursuing close strategic ties with Azerbaijan
while overlooking political repression, media restrictions and
routine human rights abuses. [For background see the Eurasia Insight
archive]. Last October, some 300 Azerbaijanis were injured and more
than 1,000 opposition members arrested following a crackdown on a
protest against the controversial election of President Ilham Aliyev.
His political opponents contend that Aliyev rigged the vote. [For
background see the Eurasia Insight archive].

Editor’s Note: Konul Khalilova is a freelance journalist based in
Baku.

Armenia, Iran negotiating gas pipeline construction

Interfax
April 21 2004

Armenia, Iran negotiating gas pipeline construction

Yerevan. (Interfax) – Yerevan is holding talks with Tehran on
constructing a gas pipeline between Iran and Armenia to fully satisfy
Armenia’s internal demand for gas, President Robert Kocharian said at
a Tuesday press conference.

No other options are being discussed, because they could be
problematic for Armenia, Kocharian said. “We are discussing this
project only with the purpose to improve Armenia’s energy security,”
the president said.

The construction of the second power transmission line is continuing.
The line will make it possible to supply electricity to Iran in
exchange for gas, while “other options are quite problematic,”
Kocharian said.

The signing of a final agreement on constructing a gas pipeline
between Iran and Armenia is expected when Iranian Petroleum and Gas
Minister Bijan Namdar-Zanganeh visits Yerevan in late May.

The construction of the gas pipeline should begin in late 2004 and be
finished in 2006.

In line with agreements signed earlier, the Iran-Armenia gas pipeline
is expected to be 141-kilometer long, and 100 kilometers of it will
be located in Iran and 41 in Armenia. The project has been estimated
at $120 million.

‘Daydream’ a visceral ride through loss

Daily Trojan Online
University of Southern California
April 21 2004

‘Daydream’ a visceral ride through loss
By Olga Shemyakina

Media Credit: Photo courtesy of Penguin Group
Deep daydreams. Micheline Marcom writes about the dark fantasies in
the mind of Vahe Tcheubjian, an orphaned survivor of the Armenian
genocide.

If after a difficult day you would like to relax on a couch with some
easy reading, do not pick up “The Daydreaming Boy,” the latest novel
by Micheline Aharonian Marcom, the author of the highly acclaimed
“Three Apples Fell From Heaven.” “The Daydreaming Boy” is about a
survivor of Armenian genocide in Turkey who, as a 7-year-old boy,
lost his father, who was bludgeoned to death. In order to save her
son, his mother gave him to an orphanage, and it was the last time he
saw her.

The novel opens with the boy, Vahe Tcheubjian, as a 40-something,
middle-class resident of Beirut. From the outside his life is going
smoothly – he is married and in a good trade and has a satisfactory
social life.

The book starts slowly, drawing the reader into Vahe’s world. His
life is not as much in the present as it is in the past. His thoughts
quickly transition and it is difficult to disentangle the past and
the present in his mind. He lives his life in a fantasy, he dreams
about his past, his youth spent in an orphanage, his cruel peers and
women he encountered.

The main characters in his dreams and real life are his wife Juliana,
his lost mother, Vostanig, a severely abused kid from the orphanage,
Jumba (the chimpanzee from the zoo) and Beatrice, a neighbor’s young
servant girl whom Vahe desires.

Some readers might feel as though they lived through the events
described and might want to distance themselves from them. The
narrator’s detachment from his own world conveys the cruelty he had
experienced as a child in the orphanage, Nest: “All we could do in
that place was to survive and to survive one had to be strong and
clever.”

Marcom’s writing builds a wall between the boy in the story and the
grown-up man he has become. The boy had wanted to find love and
affection, and he was ready to offer his love for a good lunch and
some entertainment offered by a Samaritan family who takes him out
for a day. In his adult life, it seems as if Vahe’s only passion is
lust and memories.

The book’s style is highly mannered, with long sentences that never
end, repeating memories and flashbacks. It is masterfully written,
although Marcom’s focus on the style is distracting and makes the
novel hard to absorb.

Also distracting is the author’s excessive use of the f-word, which
she used too much. Her depiction of the sexual scenes and violence is
also too graphic, which makes the book hard not to detest.

In the second half of the book, the reader will find haunting images
of Armenian genocide. They are fleeting as they come and go, but are
very memorable. Marcom presents images of displaced families and
children, people with no homeland who had to learn new languages to
survive and children who had Turkish beaten out of them because the
language reminded others of the past.

Marcom takes the reader through Vahe’s life as he learned to deal
with his losses and his past and as he questions his present: “I
became more than lonely in our marriage … that our marriage has
become a container that held the lonely like a boy holds an empty
soup cup and wants just a small amount.”

Marcom crafts a story about growing up in a world that suddenly turns
upside down – a world in which one learns to live without a family
and love. This story is about the memories that would never let you
go.

BAKU: WAN concerned over attack on journalists

Central Asian and Southern Caucasus Freedom of Expression Network
(CASCFEN), Azerbaijan
April 21 2004

WAN concerned over attack on journalists

CASCFEN – In a joint letter of protest sent on April 19, 2004 to the
President Robert Kocharian of Armenia Seok Hyun Hong, President of
the World Association of Newspapers and Gloria Brown Anderson,
President of the World Editors Forum based in Paris have expressed
concern by the attack on journalists. Following is the text of the
letter:

“We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and
the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications in 100
countries, to express our serious concern at an attack on four
journalists.

According to reports, on 13 April Avetis Babajanian and Ayk
Gevorgian, reporters with the opposition daily Aykakan Zhamanak,
Levon Grigorian, a cameraman with the Russian television channel ORT,
and Mher Ghalechian, a journalist with the opposition weekly Chorrord
Ishkhanutyun, were beaten while covering an opposition rally in
Yerevan. Mr Grigorian was knocked unconscious during the attack and
Mr Ghalechian was taken to a police station after photographing
security officers outside the ransacked office of the opposition
Hanrapetutyun party.

The protest rally began on the evening of 12 April when about 15,000
demonstrators marched towards the presidential residence calling for
a referendum on presidential rule. In the early hours of 13 April,
violence erupted and police used batons, stun grenades and water jets
to disperse the crowd.

This is the second assault on journalists covering an opposition
rally this month. On 5 April police reportedly stood by while some
two dozen assailants smashed journalists’ cameras, assaulted
reporters and destroyed film footage of the events.

We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to
provide an environment in which journalists are able to carry out
their professional duties without fear of intimidation. Such
incidents foster a climate of fear that inhibits journalistic
investigation and can promote self-censorship.

We respectfully call on you to ensure that a thorough investigation
into the attack is conducted and that those responsible are swiftly
brought to justice. We urge you to do everything possible to provide
an environment in which journalists are able to carry out their
profession without fear of violence.”

Iraq’s neighbors to meet on Iraq reconstruction

Xinhua, China
April 21 2004

Iraq’s neighbors to meet on Iraq reconstruction

MEXICO CITY, April 20 (Xinhuanet) — The parliamentary presidents
of Iraq’s neighboring countries are to hold meetings next month in
Amman, Jordan, to move forward the reconstruction of democratic
institutions in Iraq after the United States transfers power to a
local government.

Parliamentary presidents of Iran, Syria, Kuwait, Jordan,
Turkeyand Saudi Arabia would attend the meeting, Chilean Senator and
President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Sergio Paez Verdugo
said Tuesday during the 110th IPU assembly.

A representative of the United Nations (UN) and a member of the
Iraqi Governing Council will also participate in the meeting,
Paezadded.

About 1,500 people, 700 of them being legislators from 138
nations, are taking part in the 110th IPU assembly in Mexico, which
started Sunday and will end next Friday.

During the assembly, the lawmakers expressed their concerns over
the situation in Iraq and the worsening Israeli-Palestinian conflict
after the assassination of Hamas leaders. They also called for unity
of all nations in the fight against terrorism.

The parliamentary presidents of Iraq’s neighboring nations met
Monday to discuss the situation in Iraq. During the meeting,
lawmakers from Poland, Armenia, Palestine and the European Parliament
demanded that the United Sates transfer power to the Iraqi people as
soon as possible.

At the 110th assembly, the legislators will also discuss
post-conflict reconstruction, parliamentary contribution to fair
trade and the importance of parliamentary democracy in protecting
human rights.

On Monday night, the assembly passed an additional proposal to
include Israel’s construction of separation wall into conference
agenda, saying the separation wall is an obstacle to realizing peace
between Israel and Palestine. Enditem