Disabled in Armenia Have Fallen Into Neglect

A1 Plus | 21:44:42 | 24-03-2004 | Social |


Commission on Culture, Education and Social affairs of the Black Sea
Economic Cooperation’s Parliamentary Assembly started Wednesday its 22nd
session presided by Dumitru Buzatu, the Vice-Chair of the Commission and the
head of Romanian delegation.

Parliamentary delegations from Turkey, Moldova, Bulgaria, Albania, Ukraine,
Russia and Georgia arrived in Yerevan to attend the session. Azeri
delegation didn’t come because of technical problems.

The subject of the discussion was social, economic and civil rights of the

Russian representative Adam Tleuz spoke on physical and social obstacles the
disabled face.

It was pointed out at the session, that rights of the disabled are being
infringed in Armenia and the republic’s medical centers are far from
international standards.

The session participants urged the BSEC governments and parliaments to take
steps to bring their countries’ laws on the disabled in correspondence with
international standards paying special attention to disabled children and

The commission’s 23th session will be convened on September 29, 30 in
Kishinev, Moldova.


ANKARA: Sahin: Bans And Restrictions Are Threats Against Regime

Anadolu Agency
March 24 2004

Turkish State Minister Sahin: Bans And Restrictions Are In Fact
Threats Against Regime

ISTANBUL – Turkish State Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet
Ali Sahin said on Wednesday that bans and restrictions were in fact
threats against the regime.

Speaking in a ceremony held as about 200 people joined the Justice
and Development Party (AK Party), including members of Jewish and
Armenian societies in Istanbul, Sahin noted that the government tried
to comply with the democratic standards of the civilized world.

Therefore, Sahin said, the government made many new arrangements to
meet Copenhagen criteria.

Sahin said, ”we know problems that foundations of societies are
facing for years. Every citizen of Turkish Republic is a first class
citizen. Nobody can make any discrimination among Turkish citizens
whatever their religion, race or culture are.”

They had made some changes related with foundations as a part of
European Union (EU) adjustment laws, Sahin stated.

But, Sahin noted, there were still some problems in implementation of
new laws.

Sahin said, ”why should there be a difference between foundations
formed by citizens who believe in Islam and citizens who believe in
other religions? Why shouldn’t they be subject to the same
regulation? Naturally, they should be subject to the same

Legal works and arrangements on foundations still continued, Sahin
pointed out.

Sahin stressed that Turkish citizens living abroad could freely
perform their religious duties and noted that it should be the same
for Turkish citizens of foreign origin.

”We want full democracy, freedom of belief and worship in Turkey.
And, we are exerting efforts to prevent our citizens from facing any
problems. We don’t think that this will weaken democracy or threaten
the regime. Because, bans and restrictions are in fact threats
against the regime. If citizens of this country say how fair the
state is and how freely they can perform their religious duties,
then, this will strengthen the regime and democracy,” Sahin added.

The law on amendment to several laws which is publicly known as the
seventh EU adjustment package also includes arrangements regarding

The bill amends additional third article of the decree with the force
of law on establishment and duties of the Directorate General of

In accordance with this amendment, foundations formed in Turkey can
be a member of foundations and organizations formed outside Turkey
under the permission of the Interior Ministry and positive opinion of
the Foreign Ministry in case cooperation of the foundations are
considered beneficial.

Foundations formed in foreign countries can hold activities, open
branches and cooperate with some other foundations in Turkey with the
consent of the Interior Ministry and opinion of the Foreign Ministry.

White’s fund-raising effort heads to Austin

Houston Chronicle, TX
March 25 2004

White’s fund-raising effort heads to Austin
Out-of-town money won’t exceed self-imposed 5 percent cap, campaign


During his campaign for mayor, Bill White made an issue of his
opponents collecting money from outside Houston.

He challenged them to sign his pledge to limit out-of-town influences
by taking no more than 5 percent of their campaign contributions from

But four months after winning, White traveled to Austin on Wednesday
expecting to raise $25,000 at a fund-raiser there, the second time
this year he has left the city to raise money. He went to Washington,
D.C., in January for the same reason.

The out-of-town events are not expected to bust the 5 percent cap,
White fund-raiser Herb Butrum said Tuesday.

In winning, White spent a record $9.7 million, including $2.5 million
of his own money. Fund-raising efforts since then, including the ones
out of town, may add as much as $900,000 to White’s war chest by
April 4, the city-imposed deadline for raising campaign money until
the next campaign cycle begins in spring of 2005, Butrum said.

Houston political consultant Craig Varoga said the post-election
fund-raising is a good way to prevent a candidate from running
against White next year.

“Money like that is called the invisible primary because it kills
opponents before they can even get out of the cradle,” Varoga said.

If White can avoid major opposition in 2005, Varoga said, “he can
concentrate on city issues for four years rather than worry about
political ones after two years.”

White was as blunt. “I’m hoping not to have an opponent next year,”
he said.

During the campaign, White made three ethics pledges. In addition to
limiting his contributions from outside Houston to 5 percent of the
total, he promised not to take more than 10 percent from those who do
a majority of their business with the city and not to hire campaign
staffers who lobby City Hall or other local governments.

White said this week that he placed the cap on contributions from
those outside Houston to create “a balance so we don’t have to rely
disproportionately on any particular interest groups.”

The campaign pledge to limit money from outside of Houston was partly
a dig at mayoral candidate Sylvester Turner, a state representative
who transferred his legislator’s campaign account to his mayoral
race. Much of that money came from interests outside of Houston that
do business in the Texas Capitol.

Turner said this week he had no problem with White soliciting money
in Austin and Washington.

“A lot of things are said during campaigns,” Turner said. “The race
is over. He can raise money where he needs to.”

Wednesday’s fund-raiser in Austin was at the home of investor Bo
Baskin, an investment banker who helped establish a private equity
firm last year called Blue Sage Capital LP.

Limited partners in the firm include state pension funds, financial
institutions and the federal government.

Baskin said the company has no investment with the city of Houston or
any of the city employee pension funds.

Also hosting the event at Baskin’s home were Austin Mayor Will Wynn
and former Austin Mayor Kirk Watson, both Democrats.

Baskin, a Republican and former Houston resident who is related to
White through marriage, said he is hosting the fund-raiser partly
because he believes White “de-partisanized politics in Houston.”

In January, White was beneficiary of a Washington fund-raiser hosted
by energy consultant Kyle Simpson, a former Coastal Corp. official
who served as staff director for White when he was deputy secretary
in the Department of Energy under President Clinton.

In 1992, White and Simpson coordinated fund-raising efforts in the
Houston area for Clinton’s first presidential campaign.

In 1997, Simpson was called to testify before a Senate investigating
committee that was looking into international businessman Roger

Tamraz had testified that he gave $300,000 to the Democratic Party in
1996 to “open the doors to the White House” so he could promote his
overseas oil pipeline venture from the Caspian Sea to Turkey through
Azerbaijan and Armenia.

During the investigation, Simpson was questioned about his role in
helping Tamraz gain access in the White House because of his
contributions to the Democratic Party. Simpson repeatedly denied
introducing campaign donations into policy discussions.

Tuesday, White said the investigation “vindicated Mr. Simpson, who is
very well regarded.”

He said that Tamraz had no connection with the company he created
after leaving the Department of Energy in 1995 to develop oil fields
in the Caspian Sea region. Investors in that company, Frontera
Resources, included former U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and Houston
businessman J. Livingston Kosberg.

World Bank Survey Highlights Shrinkage Of Armenian Forests

Radio Free Europe, Czech republic
March 25 2004

World Bank Survey Highlights Shrinkage Of Armenian Forests

By Gevorg Stamboltsian

Armenians’ continuing use of firewood as a source of heating remains
a serious threat to the country’s endangered mountainous forests, new
research funded by the World Bank concludes.
The study conducted recently by a team of British and Swedish experts
found that 73 percent of people living near the Armenian forests
still resort to logging for keeping their homes warm in the winter.
`It’s a hard situation,’ said Andrew Mitchell, a British forestry
consultant involved in the effort.
`The total volume [of wood] that’s removed each year is approximately
750,000 cubic meters,’ he told RFE/RL. `And this is a very large
volume if you compare it with the officially planned volumes. So it
is likely to have an environmental impact.’

The total area of lands covered by woods in Armenia has already
shrunk considerably since the severe energy crisis in the early 1990s
which left the population without electricity and central heating.
Although the power shortages were eliminated by 1996 many people,
especially in rural areas, still prefer firewood to the more
expensive electricity, and the authorities have still not restored
natural gas supplies to the majority of households.

The authors of the World Bank study believe that poverty is the main
driving force of the continuing deforestation. But Armenian
environmentalists say there are also powerful commercial interests
involved, pointing to the fact that wood is heavily used by local
firms producing construction materials and furniture. They warn that
the deforestation is causing soil
erosion and having other negative effects on the country’s ecological

`It’s a devastating business,’ admitted Ruben Petrosian, the recently
appointed head of Hayantar, the government’s main forestry agency.

Petrosian complained that the state now spends less than $300,000 a
year on forest protection and restoration — a far cry from Soviet
times when an equivalent of $4 million was annually budgeted for that
purpose. `In 1985, for example, new trees were planted on 3,500
hectares of land, creating new forests,’ he said.

However, Hayantar itself is viewed by many as a major cause of the
problem. Its employees are thought to routinely sanction illegal
logging in exchange for kickbacks. Their modest salaries only
contribute to the corruption.

`The temptation for corruption must be very large,’ Mitchell said.
`If I was in that position and my family was sick and I needed to
send them to hospital, I would take a bribe.’

Mitchell added that tougher penalties alone would not remedy the
situation. Besides, he continued, the government’s existing logging
regulations are not clear enough. `It is difficult to say what is
legal and what is illegal,’ he said.

Hayantar, which was previously controlled by the Armenian Ministry of
Environment, was transferred to the Agriculture Ministry in January
amid protests from 14 environmental protection groups. In a joint
letter to President Robert Kocharian, they warned that the move could
have `dangerous consequences’ for the country’s shrinking green
areas. They claimed that the Agriculture Ministry lacks the expertise
and commitment to protect them.

Not worthy theatre, sad to relate: “Rogues Of Urfa”

Toronto Star, Canada
March 25 2004

Not worthy theatre, sad to relate


Rogues Of Urfa
Written and performed by Araxi Arslanian. Directed by Rebecca Brown.
Until April 4 at Artword Alternative Theatre, 75 Portland St.

Where does therapy end and theatre begin?

That’s the most provocative question raised by Rogues Of Urfa, which
opened last night at the Artword Alternative Theatre.

Araxi Arslanian has suffered all her life from arterio-venous
malformation, a vascular condition that in her case produces massive
seizures. This has caused her both tremendous physical and
psychological pain, and greatly impeded her efforts to establish
herself as an actress.

As the personal story she told colleague Robert Crew in last week’s
Star indicates, her efforts to overcome her difficulties are gripping
and worthy of our attention.

But that doesn’t make them a piece of theatre. Especially not in the
format she has chosen for this initially perplexing and ultimately
infuriating work.

Arslanian has – in effect – written two monologues that are
intertwined during the show’s 70 minutes. They come together at the
last instant in a way you can either call satisfying or contrived,
depending on your state of mind.

The first is Arslanian’s autobiography, from age 5 onward. “I have a
sandbox inside my head” is the initial sentence we hear and it sets
the tone for what is to follow. Pseudo-poetic verbiage alternates
with undigested chunks of personal history.

We experience her humiliation at the National Theatre School, among
other places, and listen while she recreates the horror of having
cast members from a show discuss her seizures in a most scathing

But these sequences wind up being chilling in quite the wrong way. We
are embarrassed not by the woman’s plight, but by the obstinate way
she insists in pursuing her grudges. Everyone who treated her badly
is pilloried; no one is spared (except her father, briefly, at the

There is a sense of scores being settled that is acutely unpleasant.
The phrase “letting go” has obviously never occurred to Arslanian.
What makes this even worse is her use of the story of the Armenian
holocaust (1915-18) as a counterpoint. Besides being impossible to
follow most of the time (her characterizations all sound the same),
this episode tells us nothing new or insightful about that horrible
period of history.

Her writing here is also full of dime-store lyricism (“cinnamon
sands” and “emerald lakes” abound) and failed attempts at pathos.
Unless you’re one of those people who believe that simply saying
“genocide” makes for worthy drama, you will probably feel the same.

Matters are not helped by the direction of Rebecca Brown. The shifts
between time are indicated by Arslanian moving convulsively to the
ersatz Middle Eastern music of Iain Miller. And Brown has not
assisted Arslanian in defining characters, shaping a performance or
showing any finesse.

The assumption throughout seems to have been: “This is the truth;
that is enough.”

Yes, truth is where theatre begins, but unless you also apply
thought, craft and art, what you wind up with is … well, Rogues Of

BAKU: President Aliyev in Uzbekistan for official visit

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
March 25 2004

President Aliyev in Uzbekistan for official visit

President Ilham Aliyev started a two-day official visit to Uzbekistan
on Tuesday. Aliyev held a private meeting with his Uzbek counterpart
Islam Karimov later in the day. The two presidents exchanged views on
prospects for the development of bilateral relations, security in the
South Caucasus and Central Asia, as well as on cooperation within

regional and international organizations. The development of economic
cooperation; including on increase in mutual turnover of goods and on
expansion of humanitarian and cultural relations were also centered
during the meeting. The private meeting was followed by a large
meeting of the Azerbaijani and Uzbek delegations.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov said that President Aliyev’s visit to
Uzbekistan would open a new stage in the development of bilateral
relations. He also expressed his pleasure with the continuation of
the political course set by Heydar Aliyev. “Thanks to Heydar Aliyev’s
efforts, relations between Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan have reached the
highest level,” Karimov noted. Recalling that relations within
bilateral economic cooperation have been strengthened, the Uzbek
President said that the turnover of goods has reached $18 million
over the first two months of this year. Touching upon the Upper
Garabagh conflict, Karimov said Armenia should withdraw from the
occupied lands of Azerbaijan and Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity
should be restored. Stating that Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan possess
common historical traditions and cultural values, Karimov said,
“These values will lay the groundwork for the development of
relations between our states and peoples.” President Aliyev, in turn,
said the Tashkent visit was of great importance for him. Aliyev
stressed that he would do his utmost to develop the bilateral
relations established by Heydar Aliyev and Islam Karimov. Recalling
the successful cooperation of the two countries within the framework
of several international projects, Aliyev set the Great Silk Way and
TRACECA projects as examples, noting that much work will be done in
this respect. The Azerbaijani President voiced his confidence that
Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan would acquire more achievements through
economic cooperation in the future.

Azeri-Uzbek relations
Recalling that Azerbaijan has recently purchased two IL-76 airplanes
manufactured in Tashkent, Aliyev characterized this deal as the start
of the strengthening of bilateral economic cooperation. He stated
that Azerbaijan was ready to work on larger projects in the future.
The large meeting was followed by signing of bilateral documents. The
two Presidents issued a statement after the signing ceremony. Later
Aliyev and Karimov unveiled a monument to great Azerbaijani poet
Nizami Ganjavi in the Uzbek capital. Later in the day, the
Azerbaijani President toured the Chkalov Aviation Production
Association and attended the opening ceremony of the new building of
the Azerbaijani embassy in Tashkent. During the visit the Azerbaijani
President is also scheduled to tour the historic city of Samargand.

Glendale: From ‘silent’ to savvy

Glendale News Press
March 25 2004

>From ‘silent’ to savvy

Immigrant students must absorb a lot of new language quickly in order
to beat the graduation clock.

By Gary Moskowitz, News-Press

GLENDALE – After living most of her life in Iran, Larisa Malek
Aghakhan moved to Glendale about six months ago with exceptional
language skills in Armenian and Persian but little knowledge of

With just six months to prepare, the Hoover High School sophomore
recently took the California High School Exit Exam, because by state
law, she had to. She doesn’t know how she did.

Although the California Department of Education recently agreed to
postpone the exam as a graduation requirement for high school
students, the test will be reinstated as a graduation requirement
beginning with the Class of 2006 – Larisa’s graduation year.

“The test is scary,” said Larisa, 16. “I know I need it to graduate,
so I’m hoping next year I can pass it, because I don’t think I had
enough time this year. I’ve learned many words and have a vocabulary
now. I know if I keep trying, I will make the test. I know it’s good
for my future, because I want to go to college.”


Throughout the year, the school district admits students like Larisa,
who, for various reasons, have moved to the country in the middle of
a school year.

The district by law must provide each of those students with a fair
shot at a high school diploma. The district’s Intercultural Education
Department operates the district’s English Language Development
program, which helps students like Larisa become proficient in

Larisa spends about two hours a day in her English Language
Development class at Hoover High School, during which she and other
English-language learners speak, write, read, draw, watch television
shows and films, and even sing songs to improve their English skills.

Larisa takes notes in her daily journal while watching movies like
“Gone with the Wind” and “The Wizard of Oz,” describing what she sees
and what people are saying.

She often exchanges notes with hand-drawn pictures about prepositions
like “inside,” “around” and “near” with classmate Juan Herrera, who
moved to Glendale six months ago from Mexico.

Although Juan is much more comfortable speaking in Spanish, he can
have lengthy conversations with Larisa about topics discussed in
class, like American currency, freedom of religion and what the
lyrics of songs like “God Bless America” mean.

Juan’s English Language Development journal has fictional written
passages based on pictures he has cut out of magazines. His teacher,
Cynthia Oei, reviews all journal entries.

“I feel good because I’ve learned so much in so little time,” said
Juan, 17. “My first week, I understood nothing, but a month later I
started to understand more words. I’ll have to take finals soon, and
I think I will make the [final exam].”


Oei’s favorite part of teaching English-language learners is finding
common things that a group of students from different countries can
share a laugh over.

Oei, whose grandfather was Chinese, was raised in a household where
Dutch was the primary language. She teaches English-language
learners, ninth-grade English and creative writing at Hoover.

Colleagues often ask Oei if she misses teaching more “intellectual”
classes like Advanced Placement courses, but her response is always a
resounding no.

“ELD is my favorite thing to do,” Oei said. “To me, it’s exciting and
really fulfilling to help people who have left everything they know
behind. They’ve lost physical things like pets and their favorite
objects they couldn’t fit in a suitcase. We give them a new home and
begin to create a situation where they belong.

“I spoke Dutch before I spoke English. When I see them, I see me,
over and over again. I was born in the States, but spoke Dutch at
home and spoke English with friends, and my clothes were not like
other kids’. Our school is bigger than some of the villages these
kids came from,” Oei said.

The long-term effects of removing an English learner from the
English-language learner program is difficult to assess early on, but
research shows that removing students can be detrimental to their
long-term learning, said Mary Mason, principal at Keppel Elementary
School. Mason is a former ELD teacher.

“Some of what happens by pulling them out [of ELD] doesn’t play out
for several years,” Mason said. “You’d have to track them and see
three years down the road how they are doing. But what we know from
research is that it takes [English learners] five to seven years to
catch up to their peers. The regular curriculum doesn’t stop for
them, and grade-level standards don’t change. The kids have to
accelerate as fast as possible to catch up. That’s why we have the
ELD program, to try to give them access to the core curriculum.”

Jennifer Romeo teaches kindergarten classes at Columbus Elementary
School, where 68% of the students are English-language learners. Many
of Romeo’s students come to her with little or no English skills.

“Many of them go through a silent stage at first,” Romeo said. “We
know they are taking it all in, but they don’t say much. Luckily, we
have educational assistants who help translate, and the students’
peers help out a lot. They are like little sponges, and it’s amazing
what they pick up.

“Our major goal is to provide them with their first learning
experience and make it fun, and to let them know school is a fun
place to come. I definitely believe in that. Start them off on a
positive note. The most challenging part is that we have kids of
multiple levels of learning in every class. Everyone is not on the
same level,” Romeo said.


Columbus Principal Kelly King said the greatest gift immigrant
parents can give their child is a solid foundation in their primary
language. The second best thing they can do is get involved and stay

“With 68% of our kids in ELD, I would be happier if all of those
parents actually knew what ELD means,” King said. “We have very few
who take the next step by getting involved.

“It’s hard, because many parents are not familiar with the school
system. We have parents come in and say, ‘My son is in ELD and I want
him out.’ But that is an educational opportunity for us, really, to
explain everything to them so they can make an educated decision.

“There is a fear that the ELD kid is missing out on something
instructionally, but actually, it’s the opposite. We have an
obligation to help them meet state standards, so it wouldn’t do us
any good as a school not to do everything we can to meet that goal,”
King said.

Daily High School Principal Gail Rosental and her staff started a
two-week orientation program for incoming students and parents in
2000, because they had noticed that students and their parents – many
of them not fluent English speakers – did not how the school or the
district operated.

The orientation process begins with a three-hour student and parent
meeting that explains how students earn class credit; the school’s
tardiness, dress code and discipline policies; and how parents can be
involved and contact the school.

During the remaining time, students come to campus for four hours a
day to discuss goal-setting, anger management, reading and writing
assessments, how to assess their learning styles and learn their
teacher’s teaching styles, career assessments and alcohol awareness,
Rosental said. All of the information is translated into Armenian,
Korean, Spanish and other requested languages.

Rosental said the orientation program has yielded “amazing” results.

“We noticed that when kids came here, they didn’t feel connected, and
parents didn’t know how we operated, what they could expect from us
and what we expected from them,” Rosental said. “We have found that
parents are more than willing to come and really eager to support
their kids, if we just reach out to them.

“Many come to us with a preconceived notion that Daily is a dangerous
place, so what we want to communicate is that we know what we’re
doing, we are safe and we are happy to be here every day. If they
trust us and believe in what we’re telling them, they are going to
come out successful,” Rosental said.

Burbank Library getting hundreds of donated Armenian books

Los Angeles Daily News, CA
March 25 2004

Burbank Library getting hundreds of donated Armenian books

By Alex Dobuzinskis , Staff Writer

BURBANK — Burbank libraries will soon have more than 200 donated
books either about Armenia or written in Armenian for their
international collection, a community organizer said Wednesday.

The library’s acquisition of Armenian books comes at a time when the
number of Armenians moving into Burbank is on the rise.

Pharmacist Tamar Kekorian, the wife of Burbank school board member
Paul Kekorian, said about 100 books were collected at a book fair
earlier this month and other books have been collected in the
meantime to bring the total to more than 200. The goal is to collect
400 to 500 books.

“It’s such a tremendous project that we decided to stretch it over
nine to 10 months so that we can actually accomplish it,” Kekorian

The books already collected are valued at more than $5,000, she said.
The books were donated by local residents, and some provided money to
buy new books.

The first phase of the book collection focuses on books about
Armenian history and the Armenian genocide of 1915.

The next phase of the collection will involve the donation of
children’s books, some of them written in Armenian.

One of the books ready to be donated is by poet Hovhannes Toumanian,
who was born in 1869 and wrote a number of short, fablelike stories
such as “Nazar the Brave.”

Nazan Armenian, a member of the Armenian National Committee of
Burbank, said the book donation program is good for the libraries.

“It will drive more Armenian patrons to use the library,” she said.

Kekorian said she got involved in collecting books for the city after
head librarian Sharon Cohen approached her husband and asked for help
in obtaining more books about Armenia.

“I would like to encourage others to be involved in projects like
this. Because due to budget cuts, it’s very difficult for libraries
to have the kinds of collections that they would ideally like to
have,” Kekorian said.

Azerbaijani president critical of OSCE Minsk Group

March 25 2004

Azerbaijani president critical of OSCE Minsk Group

Baku. (Interfax-Azerbaijan) – Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev has
criticized the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and
Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) for its role in trying to settle the
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict over the past 12 years.

“I cannot give a positive assessment since the OSCE Minsk Group has
not taken any really effective steps over this period,” Aliyev told
journalists on Wednesday.

“The Minsk Group’s current approach and its position on settling this
conflict cannot play a positive role since the group has restricted
itself to merely monitoring the situation in Nagorno-Karabakh,” he

The Azerbaijani president also denied statements from the Armenian
authorities that Baku and Yerevan had allegedly reached certain
agreements on the conflict’s settlement.

“There have never been any such agreements. This is another lie from
Armenia,” he said.

BAKU: Georgia Chess Fed & GM Jobava apologize to Azerb. Chess Fed.

AzerTag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
March 25 2004

[March 25, 2004, 12:32:22]

As AzerTAj reported before, a chess tournament in memory of the ninth
world champion T. Petrossian was conducted in the so-called
`Nagorno-Karabakh Republic’.

After the Chess Federation of Azerbaijan /CFA/ sent a protest-letter
to the FIDE and CFA President, Milli Majlis deputy, international
grand master Aynur Sofiyeva telephoned to FIDE president K.
Ilumjinov, he notified Armenians that the tournament would not be
recognized by the FIDE and suggested that the tournament be stopped.

However, the Chess Federation of Armenia found a hypocritical excuse
by saying that the fax was allegedly out of order and the e-mail
opened after the tournament already began and finally announced that
the tournament was not organized by the federation at all.

Georgian grand master B. Jobava was included into the early list of
participants. However, after CFA sent a protest-letter to the Chess
Federation of Georgia /CFG/ it forbad B. Jobava to participate in the
tournament. In spite of this, he, however, went to Khankendi. Having
condemned his act CFG imposed a suspended sentence for two years and
deprived him of his state scholarship for 6 months. Besides, CFG
presented its apologies to the Chess Federation of Azerbaijan. Grand
B. Jobava sent a letter to CFA in which he asked to consider his
young age, lack of interest for the politics, admitted his guilt and