Ukraine grants rights to deportees

Kazinform, Kazakhstan
March 24 2004

Ukraine grants rights to deportees

Astana. 24 March. KAZINFORM – The Ukrainian Parliament passed the
national rehabilitation draft law, Kazinform reports with reference
to ITAR-TASS.
The governmental document reads that `the state guarantees equal
Constitution rights and residential terms including housing,
employment, education, national, cultural and spiritual growth to
deportees who return to their native land.’ The draft law binds
authorities to establish terms for voluntary return, adaptation and
integration in the Ukrainian Deportees’ Community.

In 1944 nearly 200 thousand Crimean tatars were deported after Crimea
had been freed from fascist oppression. Local Bulgarians, Armenians,
Greeks, 38 people in total, shared the same fate. Earlier, in 1941
over 50 thousand Germans who lived for a century and a half were
deported. They were permitted only in the late 80-es. Since 1988 more
than 260 thousand Crimean tatars, 12 thousand Bulgarians, Armenians,
Greeks and Germans returned to Crimea.

International role appeals to retiring judge

Kingston Daily Freeman, NY
March 24 2004

International role appeals to retiring judge

By Hallie Arnold , Freeman staff 03/24/2004

KINGSTON – Ulster County Surrogate’s Court Judge Joseph J.
Traficanti Jr., who rose from his early days as a local attorney to
become a state deputy chief administrative judge and statewide
director of drug treatment court programs, says he will leave the
bench in May to help developing countries build judicial systems.

“When I took over management of drug courts in New York state, I
began to see how you can really see results when you help people at
that level,” Traficanti, 61, said Tuesday. “I thought I could help
make a contribution to people in the developing world, and help
modernize their judicial system. A judicial system is essential to
any democracy to survive.”

Early on, Traficanti worked for the town of Rochester, the Accord
Fire District, and the Ulster County District Attorney’s Office. He
was elected Surrogate’s Court judge in 1982. In 1991, he was
appointed deputy chief administrative judge for courts outside New
York City, overseeing operations in 57 counties. In 2000, he became
the state’s first director of drug treatment court programs.

“Judge Traficanti was entrusted with the critical responsibility of
providing centralized direction for the statewide rollout of New
York’s landmark court-mandated drug treatment initiative,” Judith
Kaye, chief judge of the state Court of Appeals, said in a prepared
statement. “He served admirably in this regard, overseeing the
implementation of a new protocol in which all criminal cases would be
screened for substance abuse, as well as the establishment of drug
courts in jurisdictions across the state.”

Traficanti plans to pursue a career as an independent international
legal consultant. He’ll first travel to Russia for 10 days, lecturing
on commercial courts, small claims, arbitration and mediation for the
U.S. Agency for International Development.

Shortly after that, he’ll set off on the first of several trips to
Armenia over the course of a year to analyze and recommend
improvements to court operations.

“It’s bittersweet, in a way,” Traficanti said of leaving the bench.
“I’ve worked for the best chief judge. It’s been a terrific job, and
a wonderful job. Some people would think I’m crazy to leave. But the
time comes in life when you need to climb another mountain.”

Traficanti’s two state posts will be filled by appointment by Chief
Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman. The post of Ulster County
Surrogate’s Court judge will be filled in the November election.

Russian bank gets controlling stake in Armenias Savings Bank

ITAR-TASS, Russia
March 24 2004

Russian bank gets controlling stake in Armenia’s Savings Bank

YEREVAN, March 24 (Itar-Tass) – Russia’s foreign trade Vneshtorgbank
(VTB) is expected to become the owner of a 70 percent stake in the
Armenian savings bank Armsberbank.

VTB Presiden, Andrei Kostin, is expected to sign documents on
finalizing the acquisition.

He will also meet with Armenian government officials to discuss the
prospects for bilateral economic ties.

Mikhail Bagdasarov, one of Armenia’s leading business people and
Armsberbank president, believes the deal with the VTB will unite
business in the two countries and will give it a solid financial
backing.

He said the VTB planned to boost Armsberbank’s registered capital
fourfold to fivefold, as well as to increase the list of its
services.

Bagdasarov believes that the arrival of a large Russian bank in
Armenia is essential for normal development of business relations
with Russia.

Glendale: Key to English success: parents

Glendale News Press
LATimes.com
March 24 2004

THE LANGUAGE OF LEARNING
Key to English success: parents

Not all parents agree with the English Language Development program,
and some take their children out of it. Officials say that’s not the
best decision for the child.

By Gary Moskowitz, News-Press

GLENDALE – Olga Sargsyan removed her son, Naenarek, from an English
Language Development program recently, saying she saw no progress in
his reading skills after several months in the program.

The Glendale Unified School District’s English Language Development
program is designed to help students whose primary language is not
English meet state proficiency standards in reading, writing and
speaking the English language.

Under state law, the district must provide the program. Parents can
remove their child from it at any time.

Sargsyan’s son was born in the United States, and speaks and writes
English, but his reading skills needed improvement, Sargsyan said.

After a few months in the English program, Sargsyan was unhappy
because she saw no improvement in Naenarek’s reading skills. She was
also unhappy with district officials, who she felt did not answer all
of her questions and did not adequately explain aspects of the
program.

Since pulling her son from the program this fall, Sargsyan spends
about three hours a day reading and writing English with him, and she
thinks his work has improved.

Her dissatisfaction with the district’s English language program
prompted Sargsyan to keep her daughter, Anni, out of the program
altogether. She recently told school site officials that her daughter
speaks only English, even though all family members at home speak
Armenian.

“I can tell you [the program] was awful for my son,” Sargsyan said.
“I know if I put my daughter in ELD, it will be a problem for me
again and again. This might be a good program for kids who don’t know
any [English] words, but for kids who were born here, they learn
fast. I pulled him out, but I work with him every day, and he is now
in very good condition. His reading skills have improved.”

Mary Mason, principal at Keppel Elementary School and a former ELD
teacher, said that specific information on students’ academic
performance is confidential, so she could not discuss Naenarek’s
progress.

Mason did say teachers are able to make general academic assessments
about students who are removed from the ELD program early.

“It wouldn’t be unusual for a child like him to see his grades drop
after being removed from the program,” Mason said. “Since you have
dropped those ELD standards, the child is now seen as an English-only
child, and will not be given the extra support and time to learn
English and learn grade-level curriculum. The ELD students go through
a different grading process that actually separates their ELD grades
from the standard grades, which helps us and the parents see their
progress more clearly.

“I can only imagine how difficult it must be to be bombarded with a
new language all day. It takes a lot of mental energy for the student
to keep up.

“We know parents care about their children, and sometimes schools can
be an imposing place, with all of our acronyms and our procedures,”
Mason continued. “But parents are free to come in and talk to us
about their child’s progress. That’s what we’re here for. This is
their child, and we want them to know what’s going on and how we can
support their children.

“They have done research into the sink-or-swim method, where you get
thrown in and you either make it or you don’t,” Mason added.
“Research shows that ELD learning helps them access the curriculum as
it’s coming at them. They have found that kids with ELD support
performed better rather than with no support.”

‘WE RELY ON PARENTS TO TELL THE TRUTH’

The district’s Intercultural Education Department operates the
English Language Development program at district headquarters.

Immigrant parents who want to enroll their children at a Glendale
school are first asked to set up an appointment at the Welcome
Center, where students’ English speaking, writing and reading skills
are assessed through state-mandated testing.

Officials ask all students and parents a series of questions about
languages, including: “Which language did your son or daughter learn
when he or she first began to talk?” “What language does your son or
daughter most frequently use at home?” “What language do you use most
frequently to speak to your son or daughter?” and “Name the language
most often spoken by adults at home.”

Based on the answers to those questions and the results of student
language tests, the results are explained to parents, and students
are placed in the appropriate English language classes, officials
said.

Students who remain in the English Language Development program must
eventually pass a state standardized test to be moved out of the
program and into standard English classes.

Parents like Sargsyan are not uncommon at district schools, but they
are the minority, said Joanna Junge, coordinator of the English
Language Development program and the district’s Welcome Center.

The Welcome Center serves English language learners through testing
and translation services, and also provides a counseling program for
refugees and families seeking asylum.

“We have to rely on parents to tell the truth when they fill out
surveys about their children,” Junge said. “If we don’t have accurate
information, we’re not focusing in on the right needs, and you’re
risking making things miserable for the child and the teacher.”

Some parents and students attach a stigma to the English Language
Development program, saying they feel like it’s a “label” they would
prefer to avoid, said Alice Petrossian, GUSD’s assistant
superintendent for educational services.

“Sometimes kids feel like they’re wearing a scarlet letter, but they
are getting information that is critical to their learning,”
Petrossian said. “They need to be fluent in English to succeed at all
other levels. And, if their primary language skills are lacking, they
will have additional problems with learning English and other
subjects like math.”

PARENTS CAN OVERSEE THE PROCESS

Local parents have the opportunity to attend regular meetings of each
school’s English Learner Advisory Committee and of the District
English Learner Advisory Committee.

District officials, administrators, educators and parents who
participate in the committees meet throughout the year to discuss
ways to improve the program and evaluate the district’s master plan
for providing education services to the immigrant student population.

The school site committees meet about four times each year, and the
district committee meets monthly at district headquarters. All
meetings are open to the public.

Valentine Oanessian, the district committee’s chairwoman,
Parent-Teacher Assn. president at Marshall Elementary School and a
member of Marshall’s school site council, was born in Iran and moved
to the United States in 1979. She speaks Armenian, English, Italian,
Persian and some Spanish. Her 8-year-old daughter, Athena, has been
enrolled in the English Language Development program at Marshall
Elementary School for two years.

“I have seen improvement with my daughter, and her English is quite
good,” Oanessian said. “I think her writing has improved the most.
She started writing poems a few weeks ago, and I was amazed. Now, she
wants to talk only in English, which is great, but I don’t want her
to lose her Armenian completely. Now she’s more fluent in English
than Armenian.”

Parent involvement with English learner students is crucial to
students’ success, Oanessian said.

“I think when it comes to parents, the best thing they can do is
first get the knowledge about the [ELD] program first, from the
roots, and then ask questions,” Oanessian said. “Mainly, I have
always said if you want your child to be successful, you have to be
there working with them. I want to know what my child is learning, so
I can help her more, and also teach other parents whose English
language is their barrier.

“We have to make sure we make it easy for them. If every parent tried
to show up, we would all learn so many things.”

First Group of Repats to Arrive in Armenia from Russia Late Summer

FIRST GROUP OF REPATRIATES TO ARRIVE IN ARMENIA FROM RUSSIA IN LATE SUMMER

23.03.2004 17:18

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ The first group of repatriates from Russia will arrive in
Armenia from Russia in late summer, said Chief of the Department of
Migration and Refugees under the Armenian Government Gagik Yeganian. It
should be noted that he is in Moscow at present to acquaint Armenian
citizens living in Russia with the details of the Armenian-Russian agreement
on voluntary resettlement. It should be noted that the document, signed
already in 1998, remained idle due to absence of mechanisms for its
realization. In the course of the visit to Moscow members of the Armenian
delegation met with the Consul of Armenia in Russia, representatives of
Armenian non-governmental organizations, head of the New Nakhichevan Diocese
of the Armenian Apostolic Church Bishop Yezras and local Armenians. “These
meetings are called to contribute to our compatriots getting to know about
benefits being granted in case of their return to the fatherland. For
example, many people do not know that in case of moving, the Armenian party
will assume all property transportation expenses,” G. Yeganian said, noting
that repatriates are generally preoccupied with issues referring to paper
work.

BAKU: Azeri writers protest to Duma over Armenian claims to exclave

Azeri writers protest to Russian Duma over Armenian claims to exclave

Sarq, Baku
24 Mar 04

Text of Xalid Ilyaszada report by Azerbaijani newspaper Sarq on 24
March headlined “Armenian writers’ claims to Naxcivan are unfounded”,
subheaded “The Azerbaijani Union of Writers has sent an appeal to the
Russian State Duma”

The Armenian Union of Writers has recently demanded that parliament
recognize as invalid the 1921 Kars Treaty, which stipulates that the
Naxcivan Autonomous Republic is an integral part of Azerbaijan.

After this, some foreign media reported that the Armenian writers had
raised the issue with the Russian State Duma as well. The Armenians
also wanted Russia, a signatory to the Kars Treaty, to recognize it as
invalid.

The Azerbaijani Union of Writers has sharply reacted to this and sent
an appeal to the Russian State Duma. The appeal recalled separate
articles from the treaty. It noted that the treaty accepts Naxcivan as
an integral part of Azerbaijan. Under the treaty, the territory of the
autonomous republic cannot be given to any state. Russia, Turkey,
Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia signed the treaty, which casts light
on many issues.

The Armenian claims to Naxcivan run counter to any norms when
everything is absolutely clear. Such efforts should be described only
as Armenia’s interference in other states’ internal affairs. Armenia
should remember that it has undertaken certain commitments to the
treaty and any effort aimed at breaking them is inadmissible. The
Azerbaijani Union of Writers thinks that the position of the Armenian
Union of Writers, which violates legal norms, testifies to this
county’s expansionist policy. This policy caused Azerbaijan heavy
casualties, genocide and horrors over the decades, the appeal says.

The appeal sent to the Russian State Duma also stressed the current
difficult situation in Armenia.

“We understand that time is going against Armenia and the Armenians
want to divert the people’s attention from numerous problems. The
ideologists of Armenian separatism are kicking up a new racket of
provocation just for this reason and want to raise the Naxcivan
question. We state in full responsibility that there is no problem
giving rise to this question. Naxcivan has always been within
Azerbaijan, this is the case today and it will continue to be the
case. We tell the Armenians that such attempts will not prevent the
Nagornyy Karabakh conflict from being resolved peacefully in line with
international legal norms,” the appeal said.

Minor reshuffle in Armenian government

Minor reshuffle in Armenian government

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
23 Mar 04

Staff changes have been made in the government.

By decision of Armenian Prime Minister Andranik Markaryan Amayak
Garoyan has been relieved of the post of head of the State Emergencies
Department.

The former chairman of the Central Electoral Commission (CEC) of
Armenia, Artak Sagradyan, has been appointed deputy minister of
education and science.

The head of the cultural department of the Yerevan mayor’s office,
Arman Saakyan, has been appointed deputy mayor.

Gagik Martirosyan has been relieved of the post of head of the State
Committee for Water Resources and appointed the prime minister’s
councillor.

Andranik Andreasyan has been appointed head of the State Committee for
Water Resources. He has been relieved of his the post as deputy
minister for coordinating territorial administration and production
infrastructures.

Armenia calls for help in securing release of suspected mercenaries

Armenia calls for help in securing release of suspected mercenaries

Arminfo
23 Mar 04

YEREVAN

The accusations against Armenian pilots of plotting to overthrow the
government of Equatorial Guinea are rather contradictory and are in no
way related to their work, the press secretary of the Foreign
Ministry, Gamlet Gasparyan, has told a press conference.

He said that the Guinean authorities are trying to present the
Armenian pilots as mercenaries which they are not. They are
professional pilots with many years of experience. The authorities of
Equatorial Guinea claim that the Armenian citizens arrived in the
country by boat whereas they arrived in the Guanine capital Malabo on
their plane.

The charges against the Armenian pilots of gathering intelligence do
not hold up as without the knowledge of local traditions, language and
location they could not have been used in the espionage activities
during their two months of work in Malabo.

Gamlet Gasparyan noted that, through the mediation of the diplomatic
representative offices in Moscow and New York, they are working with
the authorities of New Guinea to clarify the situation and secure the
release of the pilots. The Armenian Foreign Ministry also appealed to
other friendly countries, in particular, to Russia and France, which
through their diplomatic missions in Malabo could help the detained
pilots. Diplomats of the French embassy have already visited the
Armenian prisoners and noted that their state of health is
satisfactory.

Armenian Foreign Minister Vardan Oskanyan sent a letter to the Kongo
Foreign Ministry calling for its help in securing the release of the
Armenian pilots. The Armenian Foreign Ministry also appealed to the
International Red Cross Committee and the International Amnesty
Organization.

If need be, the Armenian Foreign Ministry is prepared to send its
diplomats to Equatorial Guinea so as to resolve the issue on the spot.

Armenian president says civil service best way to fight gangs

Armenian president says civil service best way to fight gangs

Public Television of Armenia, Yerevan
23 Mar 04

[Presenter] The law on the civil service is the best tool to fight
gangs, President Robert Kocharyan said today during a working meeting
which discussed the civil service system. According to the president’s
assessment, a civil service staff has already been formed in the
country and is performing a serious service. But the president’s
control service carried out studies of the civil service sphere for
two months and disclosed instances of abuse and breach of law.

Robert Kocharyan said that during the competitions for senior posts in
the civil service, the commissions were objective, but the
participants in the competition submitted false documents.

[Correspondent over video of session] The session chaired by the
president today discussed issues regarding the civil service system.

[Robert Kocharyan, captioned] Great work has been done in this
sphere. We have formed a serious system which is carrying out public
service and which is accepted today in all the world. We did not have
this system in our country for many years.

[Correspondent] The president’s control service studied more than 500
competitions for posts in 13 state bodies. Robert Kocharyan said that
these checks disclosed instances of abuse and breach of law.

[Robert Kocharyan] I think that this law is the best tool to fight
gangs and we shall not allow anybody to break the law. These instances
are sufficient and we have to discuss them seriously and not to allow
such instances to be repeated. We have already included changes to the
law. We have to discuss and complete this system, so that it can be
formed correctly as we planned.

[Correspondent] The chairman of the Council of the State Service,
Manvel Badalyan, presented the study results and announced that 1,022
competitions for posts had already been organized and 2,000 civil
service employees have already been certified, of whom 125 were
dismissed.

The ministers and heads of department made their observations and
suggestions for improvement of the system.

Lilit Setrakyan, “Aylur”.

ANCA ER: Maine State Legislature Commemorates Armenian Genocide

Armenian National Committee of America
Eastern Region
80 Bigelow Avenue
Watertown, MA 02472
Tel: 617-923-1918
Fax: 617-926-5525
[email protected]

PRESS RELEASE
March 24, 2004

Contact: Arin Gregorian
617-923-1918; [email protected]

MAINE STATE LEGISLATURE COMMEMORATES ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

— In a Joint Order, State Senators and Representatives Join Armenian
American Community of Maine in Marking 89th Anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide

AUGUSTA, ME–On Tuesday, March 23, the Maine State Legislature passed a
joint order recognizing the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian
National Committee of America (ANCA) Eastern Region.

“The Maine Armenian American community thanks the Legislature for
commemorating this great crime against humanity,” stated ANC activist Kathy
Durgerian. “Over the course of the past couple of years, our great state has
been a leading example in honoring the victims and survivors of the Armenian
Genocide. We owe a great deal of gratitude to our elected officials on a
local, state, and federal level,” concluded Durgerian.

The order, cosponsored by Portland’s entire legislative delegation, reads
“Expressions of Legislative Sentiment recognizing: the 89th Anniversary of
the Armenian Genocide. On April 24, 1915, a campaign was launched by the
Turkish regime of the Ottoman Empire against the Armenian people, resulting
in the death of more than 1.5 million Armenians. Some of the survivors
settled in the State of Maine and their heirs have made significant
contributions to the State. We join our citizens of Armenian heritage on
April 24th in remembering this event, and we express our deepest sympathy
for the families of those who perished.”

In 2000, Maine’s Senate and House of Representatives concurrently adopted an
Official Expression of Sentiment recognizing “the 85th Anniversary of the
Armenian Genocide” noting that “on April 24, 1915, a campaign was launched
against the Armenian people that resulted in the death of over 1.5 million
Armenians.”

In addition, in June 2001, the Legislature passed a joint resolution
“Honoring Armenian Americans and Commemorating the Armenian Genocide of 1915
to 1923.”

On the federal level, Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and Susan Collins (R-ME)
as well as US Representative Thomas Allen (D-ME 1) are currently cosponsors
of the Senate and House Genocide Resolutions, which commemorate the 15th
anniversary of the US implementation of the UN Genocide Convention.
H.Res.193 and S.Res.164 cite the importance of remembering past crimes
against humanity, including the Armenian Genocide, Holocaust, Cambodian and
Rwandan genocides, in an effort to stop future atrocities.

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www.anca.org