Political Situation in Armenia Put on PACE Floor

A1 Plus | 14:33:57 | 27-04-2004 | Politics |


The issue related to political situation Armenia was put at the PACE session
agenda yet before it began.

The Bureau submitted the issue to the PACE for consideration. There were
those opposed to the idea of the issue discussion. The head of Armenian PACE
delegation Tigran Torosyan, who is Armenian National Vice-Speaker, was among

Political confrontation between the ruling coalition and the opposition in
Armenia will be discussed on Wednesday night.

The PACE members are given 24 hours for submitting their proposals.

Authorities’ Bid to Bar People from Attending Opposition-Staged Rall

A1 Plus | 14:55:54 | 27-04-2004 | Politics |


As it became known, a section of highway between Armenia’s town of
Echmiadzin and Armenian capital Yerevan was blocked from very dawn on

Reliable sources say all buses that usually carry students to Yerevan for
their university lessons were stopped and sent back.

It should be reminded that the opposition will convene a rally on Tuesday at
16:00 local time.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

BAKU: Iran police arrests Azerbaijanis in clashes with Armenians

Baku Today, Azerbaijan
April 27 2004

Iran police arrests Azerbaijanis in clashes with Armenians

Baku Today 27/04/2004 01:07

Ten ethnic Azerbaijanis were injured in the clashes with ethnic
Armenians in Iran according to Turan News Agency. The incident came
after Azerbaijanis tried to prevent Armenians from burning Turkish
flag in front of the Turkish Embassy in Tehran.
At the time Armenians were protesting against mass killings of
Armenians in 1915 by the Ottoman Empire.
Iranian police have arrested about forty Azerbaijanis who are the
activists of South Azerbaijani Revival Movement.

Meanwhile many Azerbaijani organizations in Iran have condemned
Iranian authorities for supporting Armenians and called Iranian
police to arrest those Armenians who wounded Azerbaijanis during the

Iran boosts exports of natural gas to neighbor states

The Daily Star, Lebanon
April 27 2004

Iran boosts exports of natural gas to neighbor states
Islamic Republic hopes to expand future sales to Asia, Europe

TEHRAN: Iran, which holds some 15 percent of the world’s natural gas
reserves, is boosting exports of gas to its neighbors in the hope of
picking up sales to Asia and Europe in the future.

“In the short term, we are looking to export our gas to neighboring
countries, but we are also working on exports of liquefied natural
gas (LNG) to Asia and Europe,” said Rokneddin Javadi, director of
Iran’s National Gas Export Company. “The issue is that the projects
to export to neighbors, such as those across the Persian Gulf, can be
completed in two years. But an LNG export project needs five years.”

He said Iran to sign within the next two weeks a contract to supply
15 million cubic meters a day by pipeline to the UAE.

Javadi said Iran was also in talks with Kuwait and the UAE for two
other similar contracts, hoping to export 1.5 billion cubic meters to
the two countries each year. Also expected later this year are
contracts with Armenia and other former Soviet republics in the
Caucasus, covering the sale of 3 billion cubic meters annually.

A 25-year contract with Turkey allowed Iran to sell 3.5 billion cubic
meters there in 2003. That figure is expected to rise to 5 billion
cubic meters in 2004, if a contractual dispute can be worked out.
Iran is counting on this figure to jump dramatically if it can get
LNG exports by tanker moving further afield, notably to the
potentially huge markets of the Indian subcontinent, China and

Key statistics

Iran’s natural gas reserves of 26.6 trillion cubic meters are the
second largest in the world after Russia’s. The country’s reserves
are located in onshore and offshore structures, with South Pars
attracting most of foreign investment into the sector. Geologically
related to Qatar’s 380 North Field, South Pars has been divided into
25 development phases and is estimated to hold 8-10 percent of world
reserves. The Iranian government plans to use South Pars to jumpstart
a market in natural gas exports to Europe and Asia that can rival

Tehran would like to double production to around 190 billion cubic
meters per year by 2005. But the ambitious target will require
building five liquefied natural gas plants with annual capacity of at
least 30 million tons per year. Companies interested in Iranian gas
include BG, BP, Reliance Industries of India, TotalFinaElf and
Petronas of Malaysia. Other uses for natural gas include reinjection
into ageing oil fields that have been damaged after years of
overproduction and damage from the Iran-Iraq war of 1980-88.

By Siavosh Ghazi, Agence France Presse

Remembering the Armenian genocide

Capital News 9, NY
April 27 2004

Remembering the Armenian genocide
4/26/2004 4:38 PM
By: Edward Muir

Starting in 1915, about 1.5 million Armenians were killed at the
hands of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. It was the first genocide of the
20th century, but not the last. Local Armenian-Americans want to make
sure it’s not forgotten.

Ed Kebabjian of Loudonville said, “Both my grandfathers were killed
by the Ottoman Turks.”

Kebabjian was one of more than 30 local Armenian residents who came
to the steps of the Capitol to remember the 89th anniversary of the
start of the massacre. Almost everyone there had some family
connection to the genocide. Troy Mayor Harry Tutunjian heard
first-hand accounts about it from his grandmother who escaped.

He said, “I heard stories about how they hid under bridges as the
soldiers came in trying to capture them, how her parents were killed
and tortured.”

Congressman John Sweeney is one of just two Armenian-Americans in
Congress. He said the Armenian massacre was a precursor to genocides
later in the 20th century.

Sweeney said, “The Holocaust, Cambodia, Rwanda are all the unwanted
stepchildren of the Turkish massacre of the Armenians.”

And because history repeats itself, people at the commemoration said
it’s important to remember the massacre, no matter what nationality
you are.

Kebabjian said, “It seems as though we never learn, so it’s very
important that we continue to remind Armenians and non-Armenians that
genocide is not to be tolerated.”

It’s a statement that holds true for any century.



Armenian Genocide Recognition in NL a step closer

Federation of Armenian Organisations in Netherlands (FAON)
24 April Committee
Contact: Mrs. I. Drost
Tel: +31- 6 242 725 74
Email: a[email protected]

April 22, 2004

Recognition Armenian genocide in The Netherlands a step closer

THE HAGUE – On April 21, 2004, several hundred protesters urged for
recognition of the genocide of 1915 on Armenians in Turkey and expressed
necessity for Turkey to recognize the genocide before a date is set for
negotiations regarding accession of Turkey to the EU.

The Chairman of the Fixed Comission for European Affairs of the parliament,
Mrs. S. Dijksma, received the petition given by a survivor of the Armenian
genocide in the presence of MPs Van Bommel (Socialist Party), Huizinga
(Christian Union) and Van Der Staay (Reformed Party). Next a petition was
offered to the Dutch government at the Ministry of General Affairs. The
door and mailbox remained closed at the Turkish embassy. The demonstrators
had no other choice but to leave the letter on the doorknob.

During the demonstration on Plein square in The Hague MPs of the CDA
(Christian Democrats, PvdA (Labor Party), GroenLinks (Green Left) and SP
(Socialist Party) spoke to the demonstrators. In their speeches the MPs
underlined the importance of recognition of the Armenian genocide. Moreover
it became clear that the fraction of these parties, who together form the
majority in parliament, factually recognize the genocide. With this the
recognition in the Netherlands of the genocide on 1.5 million Armenians in
the latter years of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire has come a step closer.

Although the views of the parties and that of the 24 April Committee
concerning the recognition of the Armenian genocide are closely related,
there is a difference in the role recognition should play in the
decision-making of a date for negotiations with Turkey on the potential
accession of this country to the EU. In the next few weeks thoughts will
continue to be exchanged betwwen the 24 April Committee and the MPs.

The demonstration was the first in a series of activities that the 24 April
Comitte of the Armenian Federation has organized with the aim for
recogntion by Turkey of the Armenian genocide of 1915.

The yearly solemn commemoration of the Armenian genocide will be held this
April 24 from 1pm onwards at cemetery De Boskamp in Assen at the Armenian
memorial. After laying a wreath, a ceremony will be held in the auditorium
of the cemetery. Among others, Freek de Jonge, Paul Scheffer and Leen van
Dijke will speak, as well as the ambassador to Armenia in the Benelux,
Vigen Chitechian.

24 april Comité
voor erkenning en herdenking van de Armeense genocide 1915
Het 24 april Comité is een orgaan van de Federatie van Armeense
Organisaties in Nederland (FAON)

Contactpersoon: mr. I. Drost, Tel. 06 24 27 25 74
E-mail: [email protected]

Den Haag, 22 april 2004


Erkenning Armeense genocide in Nederlands Parlement stap dichterbij

Den Haag – Enkele honderden demonstranten hebben op 21 april 2004 met een
petitie aan de Tweede Kamer, aan de regering en aan de Turkse ambassade
erkenning geëist van de genocide op Armeniërs van 1915 in Turkije en de
noodzaak benadrukt dat Turkije deze genocide erkent, voordat er sprake kan
zijn van een datum voor onderhandelingen inzake toetreding tot de EU.

De Voorzitter van de Vaste Commissie voor Europese Zaken van de Tweede
Kamer, Mw. S. Dijksma, nam in aanwezigheid van de kamerleden Van Bommel
(SP), Huizinga (CU) en van der Staay (SGP) de petitie in ontvangst uit
handen van een overlevende van de Armeense genocide. Vervolgens werd een
petitie aangeboden aan de Nederlandse regering op het ministerie van
Algemene Zaken. Op de Turkse ambassade bleven de deur en de brievenbus
dicht. De demonstranten konden niet anders dan de brief op de deurknop

Tijdens de demonstratie op het Plein spraken kamerleden van CDA, PvdA,
ChristenUnie, GroenLinks en SP de demonstranten toe. In hun toespraken
onderstreepten de kamerleden het belang van erkenning van de Armeense
genocide. Tevens werd duidelijk dat de fracties van deze partijen, die
samen een meerderheid vormen in de Tweede Kamer, de Armeense genocide
feitelijk erkennen. Hiermee is de erkenning in Nederland van de genocide op
1,5 miljoen Armeniërs in het najaren van het Turks-Ottomaanse Rijk een stap
dichterbij gekomen.

Lagen de opvattingen van de partijen en die van het 24 april Comité wat
betreft erkenning van de Armeense genocide dicht bij elkaar, meer verschil
was er wat betreft de rol die erkenning al dan niet moet spelen bij de
beslissing over een datum voor onderhandelingen met Turkije voor evantuele
toetreding van dit land tot EU. Hierover zal de komende tijd nog nader van
gedachten worden gewisseld.

De demonstratie was de eerste in een reeks activiteiten, die het 24 april
comité van de Armeense Federatie de komende tijd organiseert met het oog op
erkenning door Turkije van de Armeense genocide van 1915.

De jaarlijkse plechtige herdenking van de Armeense genocide vindt op 24
april a.s. vanaf 13.00 uur plaats op begraafplaats de Boskamp in Assen bij
de Armeense gedenksteen. Na een kranslegging en plechtigheid, wordt een
bijeenkomst gehouden in de aula van de begraafplaats. Hierbij zullen o.a.
Freek de Jonge en Paul Scheffer , alsmede de ambassadeur van Armenië in de
Benelux, het woord voeren.


Armenians, Jews mark genocide in Jerusalem

The Daily Star, Lebanon
April 26 2004

Armenians, Jews mark genocide in Jerusalem
‘the world must recognize that this took place. That is the first

Historian says political pressure has prevented 2 key countries – the
United States and Israel – from recognizing the crime

By Omar Karmi
Special to The Daily Star

JERUSALEM: It was, according to most, a good turnout. Nearly 1,000
people came to commemorate the Armenian genocide on April 24; a
pleasant, sunny day that belied the solemnity of the occasion.

Armenians, mostly from Jerusalem, but also from Jaffa, Haifa,
Nazareth and as far away as North America, congregated at the
Armenian Convent in the Old City of Jerusalem where mass was held.
Prayers were recited, hymns from the Armenian liturgy were sung and
amidst the incense and candle smoke, some were moved to tears.

“Today we are remembering the diabolical scheme that started the
murder of almost the entire Armenian nation,” said Elie Dickranian,
70, headmaster of the Armenian Secondary School in Jerusalem.

On April 24, 1915, some 250 Armenian intellectuals and community
leaders were arrested and later killed by the Ottoman authorities in
Constantinople (Istanbul) accused of cooperating with Russia, then at
war with the Ottoman Empire.

This day has come to mark the beginning of the “diabolical scheme,”
when Armenians say Ottoman Turks slaughtered some 1.5 million people
in massacres that carried on until 1923. Turkey denies the charges of
genocide, acknowledging only that Armenians were among the many
victims of war as the Ottoman Empire collapsed.

It is because of this denial – by Turkey and many other countries –
that the events of those years came to be known as the “forgotten
genocide,” something Armenians worldwide are trying to change.

“At least the world must recognize that there was a genocide,” said
Angela Dikbkian, 24, who works in a local travel agency. “That is the
first step. Maybe my great-grandchildren will be able to return to
their land and get restitution. That remains a dream for the future.”

There have been some successes along the way. On April 21 the
Canadian Parliament voted 153-68 to support a motion declaring the
events of 89 years ago as genocide. France and Switzerland have done
the same, angering Turkey so much that in 2001 the country canceled a
large defense contract from France.

But two countries other than Turkey matter more to the Armenians in
Jerusalem: the US and Israel, both of whom consider Turkey a
strategic ally, and are loath to alienate the country.

“I can understand the US feels Turkey is a great ally,” said
Dickranian, “but the truth is a greater ally to America.”

The United States came close in 2000 to doing what Canada did in
2004. Yair Auron, a Israeli historian and specialist on the Armenian
genocide, claims that not only Turkish but Israeli pressure played a
part in the motion not being adopted then.

Auron, a professor at Tel Aviv’s Open University and author of two
books on the Armenian genocide, The Banality of Indifference: Zionism
and the Armenian Genocide, and The Banality of Denial: Israel and the
Armenian Genocide, was among the crowd at Saturday’s commemoration

“I feel it is my duty as a human being and … a Jew to protest my
government’s attitude,” he said. “Most Israelis don’t know about the
genocide and I can feel from Armenians that they are very hurt by
this because they feel Jews especially should understand.”

Auron, who said he was almost successful in lobbying the Israeli
Education Ministry to include the genocide as part of its holocaust
curriculum in 1994 – only to see the project deemed too pro-Armenian
and subsequently dropped – believes there are two reasons for the
Israeli position.

“One is political; Israel considers Turkey its most important
regional ally. And another has to do with the concept of the
uniqueness of the (Jewish) holocaust. Some people feel that if
something like the Armenian genocide is studied it would detract from
the uniqueness of the holocaust.”

In fact, the Armenian commemoration fell only a week after Israelis
commemorated their Holocaust, while on May 15 Palestinians will mark
the nakba, or catastrophe, of 1948 that left several thousands of
unarmed Palestinians dead at the hands of Jewish militias, and some
800,000 homeless and destitute.

The similarity between the three peoples’ histories is not lost on

“Of course there is an analogy between the three people. They have
all suffered the same trauma. The only difference is that Israel and
Armenia exists, while Palestinians are still striving (for their own

The Armenian community does its best to stay out of the
Palestinian-Israeli conflict, even though their links to the
Palestinians are longer and deeper. The Armenian presence in
Jerusalem predates Muslim rule, and the community always enjoyed
protected status from their Muslim rulers in Jerusalem.

Many Armenians lost property in West Jerusalem in 1948, and Armenians
fought against the Jewish militias to defend the Old City. Since the
occupation in 1967, the Armenian Patriarchate has also lost land to
Israeli confiscations, and suffers from the same difficulties that
other non-Jewish institutions have in obtaining building permits.
Armenians have been killed and imprisoned alongside Palestinians in
both intifadas.

Nevertheless, Armenians are, in the words of Dickranian, a
“negligible” ethnic minority and, while he hopes an eventual
political solution to the conflict will also address the property
they have lost, “we try not to interfere.”

The commemoration ended at the Armenian graveyard in the Old City.
There, around a monument to Armenian soldiers who fought with the
British against the Ottomans, a final hymn was sung and children held
aloft a banner driving home the message: “World Silence: Complicity
to the Crime.”

“In,” said Dickranian, unable to hide his headmasterly instincts. “It
should be ‘Complicity in the Crime.'”

Consecration of stones, lives

Pasadena Star-News, CA
April 26 2004

Consecration of stones, lives
Armenian church officials bless sanctuary foundation

By Emanuel Parker , Staff Writer

PASADENA — Sixteen foundation stones were blessed Sunday in
preparation for their inclusion in the new sanctuary at St. Gregory
the Illuminator Armenian Apostolic Church, 2215 E. Colorado Blvd.

Archbishop Hovnan Derderian and Pastor Zaven Arzoumanian presided
over the 30-minute ceremony, which featured singing and chanting as
each stone was consecrated.

The $2.2 million sanctuary is scheduled for completion in November,
said Nicholas Lambajian, sanctuary building chairman. It will be the
largest Armenian church in Southern California and, at 85 feet, the
tallest church on E. Colorado Boulevard, Lambajian said.

“It will be in traditional Armenia style, covered with traditional
Armenian materials imported from Armenia, and built by Armenia
craftsmen,’ he said.

Besides the sanctuary seating 550, the building will house meeting
rooms and a full commercial kitchen. If the building is finished by
November, its consecration will coincide with the 40th anniversary of
the church at the E. Colorado Boulevard location, Lambajian said.

“The consecration of the cornerstones for the new church is also the
consecration of our spiritual lives … a rebirth in our spiritual
lives,’ Derderian said. “We were strengthened once again in our
commitment, in our calling to serve God, our community and this
beloved country, America, which has blessed us in many ways.’

Arzoumanian said the church is the foundation upon which Armenians
base their faith “and our foundation is the indestructible armor
against all kinds of enemies.’

Shoghig Giragosian, parish council vice chair, said the Armenian
Church is 1,700 years old and has survived several periods of

“The rebuilding of this church shows that at this day and age not
only has our nation and people survived, but so has our church and it
came back stronger and better.’