Folk Vanguard in Live Performance

A1 Plus | 17:23:19 | 11-03-2004 | Culture |


On the initiative of Arto-Tunj Boyajyan Armenian Navy Band presents a music
club at Pushkin 3a on March 13. Journalists from European countries are

The Club will be closed on Mondays only. Eminent and worthy musicians will
play on the club stage. The prices for the tickets of concerts of foreign
and local musicians will be different. Music will sound in the club all day
long, and beginning from 8:00 PM groups will perform in live.

According to Arto-Tunj Boyajyan, they want to introduce the present sticking
to roots, so they have called their music folk vanguard.

An Attempt at Our Citizen

A1 Plus | 17:44:24 | 11-03-2004 | Social |


Last night at attempt upon life of Armenian MP Tatul Manaseryan who is in
San Bernardino cell of California was made. A black male prisoner of the
jail attempted Manaseryan’s life. {BR}

The relatives of Tatul Manaseryan held a protest action near the USA Embassy
in Armenia. Manaseryan’s aunt Kima Virabyan assured that Manaseryan had been
arrested baselessly and no accusation had yet been brought over the case.

It is to remind that Tatul Manaseryan was arrested on January 15 in one of
Washington airports. Mrs Virabyan said that the arrest played into the hands
of our Authorities. “They want Tatul to be abroad this period. The first
session was to take place today. But everything was done to drag it out”.

Virabyan said they had come to ask USA Ambassador to support to release
Manaseryan. She stated the reason for oppressing Manaseryan is his activity
in the opposition field.

USA Embassy didn’t receive Manaseryan’s relatives. Armenian Ministry of
Foreign Affairs promised to receive them tomorrow.

Covering Up Potholes Doesn’t Fix Corruption

The Moscow Times
Thursday, Mar. 11, 2004. Page 13

Covering Up Potholes Doesn’t Fix Corruption

By Kim Iskyan

Corrupt activities in the developing world — government ministers
controlling local industry cash cows, traffic cops shaking down random
motorists for a buck or two, tax inspectors squeezing small businesses until
they bleed — tend to be homegrown.

But abuse of power in Armenia is often exacerbated by the misguided and
naive efforts of foreign do-gooders, including wealthy outsiders with a few
teaspoons of Armenian blood.

Take the Lincy Foundation. Back in June 2000, Armenian President Robert
Kocharyan lobbied Las Vegas billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who is of Armenian
descent, for handouts.

Tell us what you want, Kerkorian’s Lincy Foundation said, as the candy
cupboard door swung open.

Three years and $165 million later downtown Yerevan has spanking new
sidewalks, bigger highways and fewer potholes. There’s better tourism
infrastructure, and people hit by a 1988 earthquake now have a permanent
roof over their heads.

One of the greatest beneficiaries was Kocharyan, who was happy to take
credit for the improvements during his re-election campaign last year.

Never mind that the money spent amounted to more than twice the total annual
health care budget for 2003. Fresh blacktop is nice, but so are doctors and

And many of the new roads were riddled with potholes in under a year, thanks
to shoddy workmanship by contractors handpicked by the government.

While the Lincy Foundation certainly helped the economy in the short term,
it missed a golden opportunity to try to bring about sustainable, long-term
growth by investing in the country’s economy.

Often, foreign investors in Armenia — usually diaspora Armenians — let
their feelings overrule business sense. They buy into ideas, sometimes sold
to them by selfish and arrogant government bureaucrats, that wouldn’t
warrant a moment’s consideration back home.

Other times, diaspora investors cut sweetheart deals with the government,
thereby destructively promulgating the culture of corruption. Instead of
being a force for change, they sometimes wind up propagating the same old
corrupt system.

Yes, it could be worse. Transparency International ranked Armenia 78th out
of 133 countries surveyed in its Corruption Perceptions Index. This compares
with, say, Russia (86th), or Azerbaijan and Georgia (tied at 124th).

But comparing yourself with some of the ugliest kids on the block doesn’t
make you pretty. And it could be so much better, if only the do-gooders
looked in the mirror once in a while.

Kim Iskyan, a freelance journalist and consultant based in Yerevan, Armenia,
contributed this comment to The Moscow Times.

UNDP and ROA Govmt Joint Effort to Fight AIDS in Uniformed Services

United Nations Development Programme Country Office in Armenia
14, Karl Liebknecht Street, Yerevan 375010, Armenia
Contact: Aramazd Ghalamkaryan
Tel: (374 1) 56 60 73
Fax: (374 1) 54 38 11
E-mail: [email protected]

Yerevan, Armenia
11 March, 2004


Today, the Government of Armenia and the United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP) launched the HIV/AIDS and Uniformed Services
project. Mr. Norair Davidyan, Minister of Health of the Republic of
Armenia and Ms. Lise Grande, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident
Representative, presented the initiative to the mass media and
colleagues, and then signed the Agreement.

The overall objective of the project is to support the implementation
of the National Programme on HIV/AIDS Prevention in the Republic of
Armenia by: a) providing technical support to the National
Inter-Ministerial Council on HIV/AIDS Prevention; b) strengthening the
capacity of the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Justice and the
Police in prevention activities; c) developing national strategies to
address HIV/AIDS in penitentiaries, police units and the military; d)
raising awareness on HIV/AIDS and related issues, particularly among
recruits and demobilised soldiers.

According to Ms. Grande: `UNDP has been assisting the national
authorities to advocate and fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS in
the country since 1998. This project is supported by the UNAIDS
Programme, a very unique UN body, which was established to combat
HIV/AIDS globally. Capacity building of the key ministries, as well as
raising the public awareness of HIV/AIDS are the most important
components of this project, and we are confident that under the
leadership of the Ministry of Health, we will make this initiative a

Mr. Davidyan noted: `Although Armenia is not considered to be such a
high risk country in terms of HIV/AIDS as some other countries in our
region, we clearly perceive that if proper and timely preventive
measures are not undertaken, our Republic will soon face a dangerously
high rate of HIV/AIDS. In this respect, this unique project, which
will target very specific groups of population, has special importance
for the present and the future of Armenia.’

Country Background: As of February 1, 2004, 254 HIV carriers were
registered in Armenia including 198 cases among men, 51 cases among
women and three cases of HIV infection among children. The majority of
HIV carriers, 80 percent, are between 20-39 years old and approximately
half of all registered cases are reported in Yerevan. The most
prevalent two modes of HIV transmission are intravenous drug use and
heterosexual practices. An estimated 2,500-2,600 people are possibly
living with HIV/AIDS in the country. In April 2002, the Government
adopted a National Programme on HIV/AIDS Prevention.

UNDP is the UN’s global development network. It advocates for change
and connects countries to knowledge, experience and resources to help
people build a better life. We are on the ground in 166 countries,
working with them on their own solutions to global and national
development challenges. As they develop local capacity, they draw on
the people of UNDP and our wide range of partners.

For further information, please contact Mr. Aramazd Ghalamkaryan, UNDP
Armenia, at [email protected]

Zoryan Lecture by Harutyun Marutyan

Zoryan USA
Tel: 617-669-7639
[email protected]
Zor [email protected]

Northeastern University Armenian Students Association an Zoryan
Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research & Documentation present:
The Genocide and Armenian National Identity Changes During the
Karabagh Movement (1988-1990) A lecture by Prof. Harutyun Marutyan

In his presentation, Dr. Harutyun Marutyan describes how, in the case
of the Karabagh Movement, historical memory played an instrumental and
positive role, particularly in the process of the liberation of
Armenia from the Soviet regime, and in the building of an independent
state aspiring to democratic values and the creation of a civil

Through the examination of posters and banners of the Karabagh
Movement, Dr. Marutyan explains how the mechanism of historical
memory functioned in the Movement. These posters represented “images
of identity” and serve as an index of the collective understanding of
the Movement by its participants. Changes in these images directly
echoed changes in the situation.

Dr. Harutyun Marutyan is a Social/Cultural Anthropologist, Senior
Researcher at the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnography in the
National Academy of Sciences of Armenia and is also Visiting Professor
of Anthropology at Yerevan State University. Currently, Dr. Marutyan
is Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the Anthropology Program, MIT.

Lecture will take place Tuesday, March 30, 2004 at 6:00 p.m.
Dodge Hall, room 173
Northeastern University
324 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA
Free Admission

Corruption Godfathers

A1 Plus | 20:38:00 | 11-03-2004 | Politics |


“The non-elected president and defense minister fond of card playing are at
the head of corruption in Armenia, in other words, Karabakhi clan chiefs who
in fact keep all the profitable spheres under their control.

It’s ridiculous when Robert Kocharyan speaks about the misuses of Lincy Fund
activity in Gyumri. Why doesn’t he find by what means his son drinks
champagne at $1000? And those absorbed in corruption create an imitation of
preventing corruption”, Viktor Dallakyan says.

Greeks may give control over ArmenTel

Pan Armenian News
March 11 2004


The new Greek Government may sell its share of the OTE Company
possessing the 90% of ArmenTel.

”New Democrats” won the Parliamentary elections in Greece. After 10
years of governing the socialists became opposition. Change of the
government will not lead to serious changes in the foreign policy of
the official Athens, according to political observers. However, the
neighbors of Greece will feel those changes. Armenia as well.

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ It’s evident that despite the informal alliance
between the socialists and the communists (which form the third
biggest faction in the parliament), the conservatives will form the
Cabinet of Ministers independently. Greece is suffering a serious
economic crisis and the new democrats believe its solution is the
”total privatization”. Leaders of the conservative party have
always stated their intention to sell the state share of OTE Company
holding the 90% of the shares of the Armenian telecommunications’
monopolist ”ArmenTel”. OTE used to be a state enterprise once but
then the 65% of its shares were sold. However, the government
continues to be the biggest shareholder of the company.

The shares of OTE hold by the state probably may be sold this year.
It is supposed that he privatization of the company will take 8-10
moths. So, next year ArmenTel may have a new shareholder. ”France
Telecom”, ”Telecom Italia”, the British `Cable & Wireless’ and
even the Turkish ”Turk Cell”, which is the biggest operator in
Azerbaijan and works also in Georgia, have shown interest towards the
privatization of the company.

The new holder of the biggest share of OTE will have to decide
whether to remain in the Armenian market of telecommunications or
not. The nowadays administrators of OTE has already started the
process of sale of ArmenTel’s shares. They started to negotiate with
Russian Rostelecom in autumn 2003. The negotiations were delayed
because of the elections but the privatization process may continue.
It is natural that in order to have a full control over the process
of privatization the Minister of Communication of Greece may change
the OTE administration. This will lead to change of ArmenTel’s
administration. So, the terms of depriving the monopoly on mobile
communication will be probably discussed with other people. While the
Executive Director of the company, Georgios Vasilakis, will evidently
have to leave the country.

Obiang ‘will eat my testicles’

News24, South Africa
March 11 2004

Obiang ‘will eat my testicles’

Malabo – A plot to abduct the president of the small, oil-rich west
African nation of Equatorial Guinea was unveiled on national
television on Wednesday by the alleged leader of a group of
mercenaries, apparently a 48-year-old South African.

“It wasn’t a question of taking the life of the head of state, but of
spiriting him away, taking him to Spain and forcing him into exile
and then of immediately installing the government in exile of Severo
Moto Nsa,” said the man, introduced as Nick du Toit.

Malabo called on Wednesday for the extradition of Moto, who tried to
mount a coup against Obiang in 1997 from Angola and recently set up a
government in exile in Spain.

“The leader of this mercenary operation whose aim was to topple the
current government had been recruited by the “escapee” from
Equatorial Guinean justice Severo Moto Nsa for a sum of $10m,” the
state radio said.

But Moto denied any involvement in the alleged plot. Severo Moto “has
at no time left Spain,” said a statement issued by his government in

Moto also went on the offensive, telling Spanish radio station Onda
Cero that Obiang was an “authentic cannibal” who “systematically eats
his political rivals.

“A while back he paid millions to those they call marabou (sorcerers)
to tell him if his power base was safe. They told him that to keep
his grip on power he had to kill people close to him.

Wants to eat my testicles

“Obiang wants me to go back to Guinea and eat my testicles. That’s
clear,” he told Onda Cero.

An earlier radio report had described du Toit as a “trafficker in
arms and diamonds”. It added that the rest of the 15 were from
Angola, Armenia, Sao Tome and Principe and South Africa, as well as
one German citizen.

But a South African diplomat based in neighbouring Libreville said he
had no knowledge of Du Toit’s background.

Du Toit said on television: “The group was supposed to start by
identifying strategic targets such as the presidency, the military
barracks, police posts and the residences of government members.”

“Then it was supposed to have vehicles at Malabo airport to transport
other mercenaries who were due to arrive from South Africa.

“But at the last minute, I got a call to say that the other group of
mercenaries had been arrested in South Africa as they were preparing
to leave the country.”

An Equatorial Guinean envoy was dispatched to Nigeria on Wednesday
for talks with President Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria’s junior foreign
minister Saidu Balarabe Samaila said on Wednesday.

Samaila also confirmed that Nigeria’s embassy in Malabo had been
surrounded by Equatorial Guinean soldiers with the consent of
Nigerian officials, and that around 150 Nigerian citizens had taken
shelter there.

Last year when the leader of another oil-rich Gulf of Guinea island
nation – President Fradique de Menezes of Sao Tome – was overthrown
in a coup, Nigeria took a leading role in returning him to power.

Edited by Trisha Shannon

BAKU: US happy with relations with Azerbaijan

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
March 11 2004

US happy with relations with Azerbaijan

On Tuesday, President Ilham Aliyev received Lynn Paskoe, U.S. Deputy
Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
Appreciating the high-level cooperation between Azerbaijan and the
United States, Aliyev said, “The large projects implemented in
Azerbaijan and in the region are directly supported by the United

If there had been no support from the United States, it would have
been impossible to realize these projects.” Noting that Azerbaijan is
an ally of the United States in the anti-terror coalition, President
Aliyev said that Azerbaijan itself had been repeatedly exposed to

Stressing the need to solve the most outstanding problems, including
the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict over Upper Garabagh to achieve
long-term and firm peace in the region, Aliyev expressed his hope
that the United States’ stepping up its efforts as a co-chair of the
OSCE Minsk Group would result in a peaceful resolution of the
conflict soon. Updating the guest on the grave consequences of the
conflict, President Aliyev said that more than one million people had
become refugees and internally displaced persons as a result of the

US-Azeri relations
Expressing his adherence to President Aliyev’s opinions on the
Azerbaijani-U.S. high-level cooperation, Paskoe voiced his confidence
that bilateral relations would continue to develop. Underlining that
Azerbaijan is the United States’ close partner in combating
terrorism, the U.S. official said cooperation in this direction would
develop in the future. Highly appreciating the positive changes in
the South Caucasus region, particularly in Azerbaijan, Paskoe noted
that these changes are watched with great interest in Washington and
Europe. Paskoe also stressed that his country intended to cooperate
closely with Azerbaijan’s leadership on political and economic
issues. Reno Harnish, the U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, and his
deputy Nancy McEldowney were also present in the meeting.
From: Baghdasarian

BAKU: Saakashvili, Aliyev reaffirm two nations commitments

AzerNews, Azerbaijan
March 11 2004

Saakashvili, Aliyev reaffirm two nation’s commitments

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili’s March 4-5 official visit to
Azerbaijan, after only Russia and the United States, as well as
signing of a joint Declaration by the two presidents and the
settlement of the problems impeding

the development of bilateral relations, confirmed the continuation of
the relations established between the two governments by former
Azerbaijani and Georgian presidents Heydar Aliyev and Eduard
Shevardnadze in 1993. The Georgian President was welcomed at Bina
Airport by Prime Minister Artur Rasizada, Foreign Minister Vilayat
Guliyev and other state officials.

Talking to journalists at the airport, Saakashvili said that his
visit to Azerbaijan, after only Russia and the United States, proved
that he attached great importance to this country. He noted that he
would discuss a number of important issues with President Ilham
Aliyev. The Georgian President left Bina Airport for the Cemetery of
Honors to pay tribute at the graves of Heydar Aliyev and his wife
Zarifa Aliyeva. The Georgian President was accompanied by Mayor of
Baku Hajibala Abutalibov. Then, visiting the Cemetery of Martyrs,
Saakashvili put a wreath in front of the memorial complex for victims
of the 20 January tragedy and Garabagh war. He made notes in the Book
of Memory.

Presidential meeting
The same day Saakashvili held a private meeting with President Ilham
Aliyev. The two presidents focused on the development of bilateral
cooperation and the continuation of economic relations. The private
meeting was followed by a large meeting with the participation of
government delegations of the two countries. At the end of the
meeting, a number of bilateral agreements were signed. Aliyev and
Saakashvili signed a joint Declaration between Azerbaijan and
Georgia. Then the two countries’ ministers for education and foreign
affairs signed agreements on educational cooperation, as well as on
cooperation between the Azerbaijani and Georgian governments in the
sphere of information. Following the sighing of the agreements, the
two presidents held a joint news conference. President Aliyev said
that it was important to maintain and expand traditional friendly and
fraternal relations between the two neighboring countries. “Our
countries are strategic partners,” said Aliyev. Touching upon
bilateral economic cooperation including the implementation of huge
energy projects, President Aliyev noted that the constructions of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan (BTC) oil pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum
gas pipeline would be completed on schedule. He expressed his hope
that the economic projects would give impetus to the expansion of
bilateral cooperation. Saakashvili, in turn, said that the goal of
his Baku visit was to discuss with Azerbaijani state officials the
opportunities for expanding bilateral cooperation, the construction
of the BTC pipeline as well as the pre-parliamentary election
situation in Georgia. Noting that this was his first official visit
to Baku as Georgia’s President, Saakashvili underlined that
Azerbaijan remained as an exclusive partner for Georgia.

Georgia determined to realize Caspian oil, gas projects
Stressing that his country intends to develop bilateral relations in
all spheres, the Georgian President said, “This visit is a rare
opportunity for me to closely get to know the new leader of
Azerbaijan. I have a great respect for him and I’m ready to learn
from him.” Touching upon large energy projects, the Georgian
President stressed that the BTC pipeline was a “vitally important
issue” for his country. “A generation of new presidents, as well as
new energy and new force has come to Azerbaijan and Georgia,” he
emphasized. Saakashvili went on to say that Azerbaijan was not only a
neighboring and friendly country but also a fraternal one for
Georgia. He stated that during his meeting with President Aliyev the
further improvement of relations, the establishment of a unified
tariff system, the removal of a number of economic, customs and legal
impediments and the synchronization of the tax systems were in focus.
“Both countries have an opportunities to become the countries of a
common market and we will achieve our goals,” Saakashvili stressed.
According to the Georgian President, the establishment of a common
economic area between the two countries may lay the groundwork for
integration into Europe. Underlining that the Georgian government is
interested in developing relations with the United States, Russia and
Turkey, Saakashvili stated that the relations with Azerbaijan
shouldn’t be limited to oil pipelines. Touching upon joint energy
projects, the Georgian President said that his country would do
everything to complete the realization of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil
pipeline and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline projects, which
are issues of energy security for Georgia. Saakashvili noted that he
had information on the attempts by certain forces active outside
Georgia and Azerbaijan to hinder the construction of the BTC pipeline
under the pretext of ecological problems. “However, Georgia’s new
leadership won’t allow these forces to achieve their goals and the
project will be completed on schedule,” he stressed. Asked what kind
of measures will be taken in order to improve the living standards of
the Azerbaijani population of Georgia, the Georgian President said,
“The Azerbaijani population is ‘the most faithful’ to the Georgian
state. Their integration into all socio-political processes should be
ensured. If Azerbaijanis, by maintaining their own language and
culture as well as by learning Georgian, take an active role in the
country’s life, they can be represented in the governmental
structures. Commenting on the issue of granting Armenians living in
Javakhetiya province of Georgia autonomy, Saakashvili stated that
such demands originate not from the local population but from
‘foreign centers’. The Georgian President returned home in the
afternoon on March 5. Prior to leaving Baku the Georgian President
visited the Sangachal terminal and Deepwater Jacket Factory. Briefing
journalists at Bina Airport, Saakashvili said his talks with
President Ilham Aliyev were fruitful for the two countries. Stressing
that the Azerbaijani-Georgian relations would continue to develop,
the Georgian President called the two friendly countries ‘a unified
organ’. Expressing satisfaction with his visit, the Georgian
President voiced his confidence that the construction of the
Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline would be completed on schedule. “No
one should doubt it. We will take measures against those who oppose
the project,” he emphasized.

Saakashvili was born the son of an educated man in Tbilisi on
December 21, 1967. His father Nikolos Saakashvili is a doctor and his
mother – a historian. After leaving secondary school in Tbilisi with
a golden medal in 1984, Mikhail Saakashvili went to the faculty of
international law of Kiev University. He worked as the head of the
office for the Committee on Human Rights and International Relations
in Georgia in 1993. Then he continued his education at the Strasbourg
University on Human Rights and Columbia University getting a master’s
degree. Saakashvili also graduated from George Washington University
with a PhD. He also attended Florence Law Academy and Hague Academy
of International Law, worked for the Norwegian Institute of Human
Rights and then acted as an advocate at a legal company in New York.
He is married to Sandra Roelofs, who is Dutch. Returning to Tbilisi
in 1995, Saakashvili was elected an MP from the bloc of the ruling
Union of Georgian Citizens, became chairman of the committee on
constitution and legal issues and then the leader of “The Union of
Georgian Citizens” faction in 1998. He represented Georgia at the
Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in 1999 and worked as
the Georgian Minister for Justice in 2000. Resigning from this post
in 2001, Saakashvili took the side of opposition and sharing the
majority of votes with the Labor Party during the municipal elections
the same year, he was elected a chairman of Tbilisi Sagrebulos
(council). Together with his supporters Saakashvili, founder of the
National Movement political union, managed to invalidate the results
of the parliamentary elections held on November 20, 2003 and forced
former Georgian President Shevardnadze to resign. Saakashvili was
elected President on January 4. This is his first official visit to
Baku as Georgia’s President, but he visited Baku to attend the
funeral of Heydar Aliyev before presidential elections in Georgia.

By Azernews Staff