Armenian leader says devolution of power needed

Armenian leader says devolution of power needed

Mediamax news agency
19 Mar 04


The country leadership will continue the policy of devolution of
power, Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said in Yerevan today.

At a working session today with the leadership of Yerevan’s Kentron
(Centre) community, the Armenian president said: “It is obvious that
the government should not deal with day-to-day problems of the
people. But, the government should ensure the implementation of credit
programmes in the sphere of water supply, heating and so on. However,
self-government bodies should be responsible for their
implementation,” the head of state said.

Passage omitted: similar ideas are reiterated

BAKU: Azeri police disperse nationalist group’s picket, detain three

Azeri police disperse nationalist group’s picket, detain three

ANS TV, Baku
21 Mar 04

A group of people has gathered outside Qiz Qalasi Maiden Tower . But
this time they gathered for a different reason – for a protest
action. Young members of the Karabakh Liberation Organization staged
an unsanctioned action under the slogans “Well-done Ramil” Ramil
Safarov murdered an Armenian officer in Budapest and “We will avenge
the victims of Xocali” town in Karabakh whose Azeri residents were
massacred by Armenian troops in 1992 .

Five minutes into the action, police officers arrived and seized the
slogans from the protesters. They tried to disperse the protesters and
move them further away from the Maiden Tower.

The chairman of the organization, Akif Nagi, said that the policemen
took three of their members, Rovsan Fatiyev, Manaf Karimov and Mursal
Hasanov, to police station No 9.

Blackout in Georgia may linger on over parliamentary elections

Batumi News
March 20 2004

Blackout in Georgia may linger on over parliamentary elections

Din White, director general of the Georgian Unified Energy
Distributing Company fails to set the date for the power crisis
reduction. Meanwhile, he stressed on the measures taken to reach the
goal. Mr. White said the blackout results from the decrepit system,
mismanagement and absence of investments.

`The Caucasioni high voltage power transmission link has been
switched off since March, we have no dates for restoring it. We are
posed to the deficit of water supplies in the `Engurhes’ power
station, instead of 200 mgwt. it can aggregate 50 mgwt. power
presently’, – Din White said.

Mr. White said they are relying hopes the power deficit will slacken
in some regions after they reach negotiations with Armenia on power
import; however, most Georgian regions are going to remain blackout.

`We have no outlook yet for having better power supply by the
Parliamentary elections March 28, the crisis is in its critical phase
for the week on, we depend on better weather conditions and restoring
of the `Caucasioni’ transmission wire, – the director general quoted.

Risk equals reward

Edmonton Sun (Alberta, Canada)
March 21, 2004 Sunday Final Edition


Two Edmonton brothers, barely out of their teens, go to work as
furniture manufacturing reps.

Their parents, originally Armenians from Turkey, come to the city via
Venezuela with nary a dime in their pockets.

George and Jack Saroukian go on to open their own upper-end furniture
store. Finesse Furnishings opens as a small store on 51 Avenue.

Eighteen years and a detour through the west end later, they are in
their beautiful new $25-million digs in what was the old IKEA site
off Calgary Trail. The new store is almost three times bigger than
its west-end predecessor.

In just two months, Finesse Furnishings opens in Montreal. Three more
Canadian locations are planned. Headquarters, the Saroukians promise,
will always be Edmonton.

– Moving on from Redtail Landing is Jamie Driscoll. He is now “head
pro” at the new ReTee Golf Centre.

“We’re an indoor practice facility,” says Jamie, “with 20 swing
stations and a 15-metre gallery.” ReTee will offer golf instruction,
with a specialty in working with special- needs individuals. Jamie
and his wife, former figure-skating champ Lisa Sargeant-Driscoll, are
the parents of autistic four-year-old Tanner. “Our hope is to one day
start a foundation for autistic children,” says Jamie.

“A1+” TV Company Making an Announcement

A1 Plus | 21:01:30 | 19-03-2004 | Social |


2 years ago, on April 2, 2002, TV and Radio National Committee deprived
“A1+” TV Company of the broadcasting license.

During the 2 past years “A1+” partook in 8 tenders for frequency ranges and
disputed against TV and Radio National Committee decisions in all the Court
instances. Both tenders and Court decisions were made by breaking laws,
which aimed at blocking “A1+” return to broadcasting area. Making TV air
manageable Authorities conducted illegal elections, bereaving people of the
right and chance to receive unbiased and full information.

Fund for Speech Freedom Support is holding a protest action on April 2.

The initiative group protecting “A1+” TV Company calls upon everybody who
values speech freedom, to take part in the march and meeting for “A1+” on
April 2.

We demand:

1) to hold a tender for free frequencies

2) to involve the representatives of social organizations in rating
assessment of the tender proposals. We expect for quick satisfying of the
above demands or else we will keep protesting.

The march will start at 2:00 PM near “A1+” TV Company building /Grigor
Lusavoritch, 15/.

The meeting will take place on Freedom Square, at 3:00 PM.

Those who are concerned about speech freedom and interested in this action,
may phone 585427, 560716, 564299, or e-mail on [email protected].

Antelias: Mid-Lent

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

PO Box 70 317

Mid-Lent ceremony at Sourp Neshan
Mother church in Beirut, Lebanon

Antelias, Lebanon – On the occasion of mid-Lent (Michink), His Holiness
Aram I, invited by the primate of the Armenian Diocese of Lebanon Bishop
Kegham Khacherian, presided over a Sunrise ceremony (Arevakal) in Sourp
Neshan Mother church in Beirut, Lebanon, 17 March 2004, with the presence of
Seminary students, who performed Armenian Church hymns.

Mid-Lent coincides with the 20th day of Lent, a 40-day period of penitence
and fasting observed from Ash Wednesday to Easter by many churches.

Present for the Sunrise service were members of the Cilician Brotherhood,
prelates of the Canadian, Eastern, and Western Prelacies, and also
representatives of their Lay Councils, and faithful.

Following the church service and the welcoming remarks of the Primate of
Lebanon, His Holiness delivered a speech. His Holiness said: “The Light of
our Christian faith must be reflected in the life of every Armenian
faithful”, taking his theme from one of the hymns of the Sunrise service
which praises Christ, the source of Light with the words “Let your rational
Light dawn within us”. His Holiness went on to say, that “this rational
Light must shine forth within the Armenian Church, within the Armenian
family and within our Armenian fatherland”.

Following the church service, the Board of Trustees and the Ladies’
Auxiliary hosted a traditional luncheon in honor of His Holiness Aram I.


View printable pictures here:

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.

The Problem Cannot Be Distorted


Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)

On March 16 at the NKR Permanent Representation in Armenia the speaker
of the NKR National Assembly Oleg Yessayan and foreign minister Ashot
Ghulian met with the members of the European Union-Armenia
parliamentary cooperation commission Ursula Schleicher (co-chairman of
the commission), Dmitry Volchich and Bashir Khanba. During the meeting
the head of the Europarliament delegationMs. Irsula Schleicher,
pointing out that the meeting is unofficial, enquired about the
approach of Nagorni Karabakh toward the current situation in the
regulation of the conflict as well as the possible status of NK and
the problem of refugees. Answering the questions of the members of the
delegation the speaker of the NK National Assembly said the Karabakh
party does not separate these problems from the context of the package
settlement of the conflict. Duringthe talk O. Yessayan mentioned that
he could understand the growing interest ofthe European Union in the
countries of the South Caucasus and in this referencethe settlement of
the Karabakh conflict. The NA speaker said the fact that NK is not
recognized internationally does not change the essence of the
conflict. The problem between Nagorni Karabakh and the Republic of
Azerbaijan should not be changed into a problem to be settled by the
Republic of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The speaker of the parliament of
Nagorni Karabakh mentioned that the starting point of the peaceful
settlement of the conflict is the participation of Nagorni Karabakh in
the process of negotiations; the people of Nagorni Karabakh cannot
accept a resolution in the adoption of which they had no
participation. The speaker of the NKR National Assembly hopes that the
approach of Nagorni Karabakh will be backed by the European Union.


The Winner Karen Asrian


Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)

On March 17 took place the closing ceremony of the international chess
tournament devoted to the 75th anniversary of the ninth champion of
the world Tigran Petrossian. The first place of the tournament was won
by grand master of chess Karen Asrian who had 6 points of the 9
possible. The second place was taken by the representative of Poland,
grand master Bartlome Macheya with 5.5 points. The representative of
Armenia, grand master Gabriel Sarghissian took the third place (5
points). The prize winners received money prizes and presents. The
other participants and guests also received presents. By the decree of
the NKR president the Medal of Gratitude was conferred on the guest of
honour of the tournament, the tenth champion of the world Boris
Spassky. The medal was delivered by NKR prime minister Anoushavan


We Can Be Good Neighbours But…


Azat Artsakh – Republic of Nagorno Karabakh (NKR)

Recently the regular round of the Dortmund consultation on the
settlement of the Karabakh conflict took place in Moscow. A special
group on the settlement of the regional conflicts was formed within
the framework of the consultation, the co-chairmen to which are Harold
Sonders (USA) and Vitaly Naumkin (Russia). The representatives of the
non-governmental organizations of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Nagorni
Karabakh take part in them. Member of parliament of Karabakh Maxim
Mirzoyan participated in the last, as well as the previous three
meetings. M. Mirzoyan told during the interview that the aim of the
consultation is survey of the public opinion in the conflict
countries. The data are processed and passed to the OSCE Minsk Group
on Karabakh settlement. According to Maxim Mirzoyan, this is already
the sixth round of meeting between the representatives of Armenia,
Azerbaijan and Nagorni Karabakh. The parties had a common opinion
concerning the peaceful settlement of the conflict and with the
participation of Karabakh. But now, he mentioned, no attempts were
made to touch upon the main problems: the causes of the conflict and
expertise of the legal package. Although, he said, during the third
meeting the Karabakh delegation passed the legal package of the
conflict to the organizers of the meeting. The parties were offered to
work out a definite outline of the peaceful process before the next
meeting, including two obligatory points: establishment of effective
levers with the participation of all the interested parties and means
for maintenance of mutual trust by the official bodies of the
authorities and the local citizens. According to the authors of the
document, the parties must assume responsibility to achieve such an
agreement that would not ignore the rights of neither of the
parties. The temporary maintenance of the status of Nagorni Karabakh
should be sought for. As to the technical means, these include the
gradual withdrawal of forces from the area of military actions,
stationing of the international peacemaking forces, providing of
conditions for the return ofthe refugees, agreement on maintaining the
borders of the new formation according to the borders of the former
autonomous region. In this reference we asked a number of questions to
Maxim MIRZOYAN. – Mr. Mirzoyan, recently much is said about the change
of the format of negotiations for the settlement of the Karabakh
conflict and in this reference about the coordination of the relations
between Armenia and Karabakh. Don’t you think that such considerations
lack ground? – It should be noted that Armenia was involved in the
conflict artificially. That idea was brought into being under the
pressure of the parties interested in the aggravation of the
conflict. Soon, as the consequence of this logic, Karabakh was
relieved from the `responsibility’ for the conflict and the
responsibility was cast on Armenia. This format is in effect up today
because for many it is favourable to describe the conflict as
Armenian-Azerbaijani. The permanent delay of the conflict settlement
resulted in the fact that nobodydeals with the essence of the
problem. Moreover, the international organizations use the problem for
the settlement of their own problems in the region; the settlement of
the Karabakh problem seemed to have become an obstruction to the
solution of other problems. The invisible confrontation between the
West and Russia has become quite open recently. Azerbaijan does not
miss the chance to use its own and others’ forces for aggression
against Armenia. And Armenia has nothing else to do but to become the
guarantor of the security of Karabakh and defend its
independence. Thus, the approach of Armenia is a precaution for
defence of its own security in case of aggression on the part of
Azerbaijanagainst it. – And nevertheless, the question of
participation of Karabakh in the negotiations has been more frequently
touched upon – Without doubt.During 12 years the Minsk Group
co-chairmen became convinced that the talks have come to a deadlock
because the real conflict party, Karabakh, does not take part in them.
You may not hide a needle in the sack. And the reason for this is the
weak position of the Armenian diplomacy and the inert behaviour of the
Minsk Group. – Mr. Mirzoyan, in the interview to the agency `De Facto’
thesecretary of the NKR Security Council Karen Baburian stated that
connected with the offer of reporteur of the Council of Europe Pierre
Garton to recede the five regions liberated by the Karabakh army in
return for opening the railway suggestions were made in the corridor
talks of the Karabakh parliament about passing the regions under the
authority of NKR. What is your attitude towards such offers? – I agree
to this opinion. It is necessary to grant a status of factor of
peaceand military balance to these territories providing our
security. It is necessary to clarify the demarcation line and explain
the adequacy of this step.` Is this possible in our
parliament? – This is very important. Currently there is a situation
when the members of parliament are not interested in a question of
such importance for the country. During 12 years the parliament has
not adequately discussed the problem of Karabakh and the approach of
the Karabakh party. This is also the evidence to the fact that the
process is directed from the outside. The high officials of the
European organizations (they try to holdthe initiative of the Karabakh
settlement) make statements showing that in the approaches of the
mediators the humanitarian aspect prevails over the political and
legal aspects. In particular, the special reporteur of the European
Union Terry Davis announced during his visit to Stepanakert that the
most important task is the solution of the problem of refugees. In
this situation isn’t the essence of the Karabakh problem distorted? –
The conflict in Karabakh occurred from the desire of Azerbaijan to
force out the Armenian element out of its borders. Thus, the main
constituents of the conflict are the territorial and ethnic-demographic
factors. The restoration of the former status of these territories
would mean returning to the causes of the conflict, and hence the
war. We may be good neighbours but not members of the same family.


BAKU: Visit of Aliyev to Slovakia

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
March 20 2004


[March 19, 2004, 22:15:56]

President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev met the European Union
commissioner Gunter Verhogen in Bratislava, 19 March, AzerTAj
correspondent reports.

The EU commissioner congratulated President Ilham Aliyev on election
as the head of state and wished success in his responsible activity.

President Ilham Aliyev spoke in detail on the reforms Azerbaijan
conducted especially last years after regaining its state
independence, noting that these accomplishments in the path of
development of democracy and market relations were possible thanks to
stability established in the Country.

Head of the Azerbaijani state noted that the relations with the
European Union are high level, and the Organization renders to the
Country assistance, makes efforts for settlement of the
Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorny Karabakh conflict, and assessed the
appointment of EU special representative for South Caucasus as
strengthening of its activity in the region.

Noting the developing relations between Azerbaijan and European
Union, Mr. Gunter Verhoen underlined that the work of the Commission
set up in connection with the strategic document on joining the
initiative `Enlarged Europe: New Agenda’ by the South Caucasus
countries would finalize shortly.

He also stressed that the European Union has intensified its efforts
for peaceful settlement of the Armenian -Azerbaijani Nagorny Karabakh
conflict and he would recently visit Baku.