Development bank looks east to aid poor nations

International Herald Tribune

Development bank looks east to aid poor nations

Eric Pfanner IHT Tuesday, April 20, 2004

LONDON With the most advanced economies in the former Communist bloc set to
join the European Union next month, the multinational bank that was set up
to aid the transition to capitalism said Monday that it would pay greater
attention to poorer countries farther to the east.

The agency, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, will not
immediately cease operations in the eight Central and Eastern European
countries that, along with Malta and Cyprus, are set to join the EU on May
1. But in those countries, the bank’s “role should naturally fall away over
the years to come,” said Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain, who addressed
the agency’s annual meeting in London on Monday.

The development bank, which operates in 27 countries, said Monday that it
had created a new program aimed at increasing its lending in seven of the
poorest ones – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Kyrgyz Republic, Moldova,
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – where more than 50 percent of the population
lives below the poverty line.

In those countries, governments are too indebted to raise new financing, and
foreign investors are often unwilling to enter, given the myriad risks – not
least, in countries such as Uzbekistan, where George Soros and other
investors have complained of a woeful human rights record. Meanwhile, the
terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and the subsequent ouster of the Taliban
regime in Afghanistan – which borders on two of the seven countries,
Tajikistan and Uzbekistan – heightened the awareness in some Western
capitals of the strategic importance of former Soviet Central Asia, in

Jean Lemierre, the bank’s president, who was elected to a second four-year
term on Monday by the bank’s board, said the bank would step up its efforts
to finance small businesses, cross-border trade and small-scale
infrastructure projects, among other things.

“The bank is ready to take on the financial as well as reputational risk as
we seek to invest more in countries at the earlier stages of transition,”
Lemierre said.

The bank said it aimed to increase its combined investment in the seven
countries to about E150 million, or $181 million, a year from the current
E90 million. Because its investments typically result in additional
private-sector activity, the bank said it expected the overall effect to be
greater than that.

The bank will take on added risk in part by adhering to local law, rather
than international law, in some of its investments in the seven countries.
Bankers said that should not pose a threat to the bank’s financial health
because the activities in the seven poorest countries account for only a
fraction of the its overall investments; the bank made E3.7 billion worth of
new investments last year.

Yet new lending in the seven poorest countries had actually been dwindling.
By 2002, said Michael McCulloch, a consultant to the bank on its new
initiative, these countries were actually paying more to service previous
commitments to the bank than they were receiving in new investment flows.

In the relatively well-to-do Eastern and Central European countries that are
joining the EU, the agency has typically invested in large projects, often
in cooperation with private-sector lenders. With their financial markets
gained in depth and breadth, domestic and regional banks lend to smaller
borrowers. But the seven poorest countries have few lenders willing to
finance projects in the E500,000 to E2 million range, the bank said, yet
these will be crucial to the development of their economies.

As the bank shifts its emphasis a bit to the east, its horizon is growing.
Jean-Claude Juncker, the chairman of its board of governors and prime
minister of Luxembourg, urged other governors to complete the process of
accepting Mongolia as a country of operation for the bank. The United
States, among others, has already approved Mongolia as a country of

International Herald Tribune

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Remembering the holocaust

Boston Globe, MA
April 18 2004


Contemporary artist Apo Torosyan is among area artists participating
in an interfaith commemoration of the Holocaust at 3 p.m. today at
Peabody Veterans Memorial High School.

Torosyan, of Peabody, presents “My Story — Everybody’s Story,” his
display about the Armenian genocide and his family’s history.

Born and raised in Turkey, Torosyan is the son of an Armenian father
and Greek mother who lost many family members in the genocide of
1915. The calamity has greatly influenced his art.

In addition to an art exhibit, the event includes a talk by
Christopher Mauriello, professor of history at Salem State College,
titled “From Memory to Hope: Myths of the Holocaust in American
Public Life.”

Ceremonies for survivors and an interfaith memorial service follows
at 4 p.m. The Holocaust Center Service Award will be presented to
Sandy Weitz.

On Thursday, Torosyan presents his video “Discovering My Father’s
Village” at Peabody City Hall during ceremonies commemorating the
Armenian genocide. The 11 a.m. event will be hosted by Peter
Torigian, former mayor of Peabody. Call 978-532-3000.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

SFC: Our Editors Recommend

San Francisco Chronicle, CA
April 18 2004

Our Editors Recommend

[parts omitted]

The Daydreaming Boy by Micheline Aharonian Marcom (Riverhead; 224
pages; $23.95): Micheline Aharonian Marcom’s second novel focuses on
the aftermath of the Armenian genocide and revolves around the
experiences of one man: Vahé Tcheubjian, a middle-class Armenian
businessman in 1960s Beirut. Tcheubjian and his wife appear to have
an idyllic life, soaking up the sophisticated culture that marked the
pre-civil war city as the “Paris of the Middle East.” But inside,
Tcheubjian is an emotional train wreck, racked by memories of escape
from the genocide that killed his family and years endured in a
brutal Armenian orphanage. Marcom’s seamless, ethereal prose is
suffused with raw emotion; there is heartbreak on every page, but
also hope.

Clampdown on Dissent

April 18 2004

Clampdown on Dissent

ARMENIA Using batons and water cannons, police broke up a rally of
thousands of demonstrators in Yerevan calling for the resignation of
President Robert Kocharian, seriously injuring 30 people and
detaining 115. Opposition leaders, who claim Kocharian rigged his
re-election last year, launched another rally at the end of the week,
in defiance of a ban on further public protests.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

The Holocaust is Unique

Arutz Sheva, Israel
April 18 2004

The Holocaust is Unique
by Steven Plaut

Tomorrow is Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Commemoration Day. As usual, the
Jewish Left will strive to commemorate the Holocaust by trying to
promote a second one….

It has become fashionable in certain quarters, including among some
self-hating Jews, to challenge the uniqueness of the Holocaust, to
argue that it was just another in a long list of human savagery and
mass barbarism, no different from the deaths of Armenians in WWI or
of Cambodians or of Rwandans or of Gypsies. (It is worth noting that
the Cambodian genocide was made possible in part by Noam Chomsky,
serving as promoter and apologist for the Khmer Rouge and denying
throughout that the Khmer Rouse was annihilating millions of
Cambodians. Talk about “Holocaust Denial”!) According to this
“approach”, there was nothing unique about the Holocaust, no reason
why it should be regarded as sui generis, and hence, Jews should stop
all their “yapping” about it.

What is one to make of such people? It is certainly true that there
have been other cases of large-scale mass murder. But the comparisons
with the Holocaust are absurd.

There are many reasons why this is so. But I was struck by the fact
that in today’s Haaretz, one of the worst Oslo Leftists managed to
put his finger smack accurately on what may be the most important of
these reasons. The most important difference is very simple.

When Noam Chomsky’s friends were murdering millions of Cambodians,
the world (other than the doctrinaire Stalinists) was horrified,
demanded that something be done, and denounced the atrocities. When
the Rwandans were butchering one another, the civilized world was
horrified, tried to stop the murders, tried to intervene, and
denounced the atrocities.

When the Jews of Europe were being annihilated, the “civilized world”
was indifferent, and much of it was downright supportive of the
annihilation. Large segments of the “civilized world” collaborated
with the genocide. Very few in the “civilized world” demanded serious
military efforts to end it. The “civilized world” sat in silence in
the decade leading up to the Shoah, while Hitler expounded his plans
openly. Many in the anti-Semitic West sympathized with his program.

I mention all this, because I think that one of the best litmus tests
of the extent of re-Nazification of the planet is to observe the
reactions of the world to the assassination of the Gaza Nazi, Abd
Al-Aziz Rantisi. All those denouncing Israel’s hit on Rantisi as
“state terrorism”, as a crime, as a violation of “international law”,
as violating Palestinian “rights”, as aggression, as itself “Nazism”
– all such people are today’s most visible illustration of global
re-Nazification. All of these people are, in fact, in favor of the
random mass murder of Jewish children. All of these people oppose
every form of Jewish self-defense except capitulation to Nazism and
passive Jewish marching into the gas chambers. All of these people
would cheer if the Islamofascists ever succeeded in building
concentration camps for Jews.

Thus, the Leftist Jews who will no doubt now denounce the
assassination of Rantisi, with all the usual lame “reasons” (bad
timing, it will just bring forth worse extremists, it’s a violation
of Palestinian “sovereignty”, it creates more motivation for
terrorists, etc. etc.), should be formally dubbed the Jews for a
Second Holocaust.

Right on schedule, the British government and the British
Israel-bashing press, especially the BBC, denounced Israel’s
verminating Rantisi as a “crime”. Now let me see if I have this
correct. It has been only days since the British, as part of the
Allied anti-Islamofascist coalition in Iraq, participated in the
killing of over a thousand Iraqis in Fallujah and elsewhere, many of
them innocent civilians. Now, the British declare that when Israel
recycles a Nazi mass-murdering Islamofascist – who has murdered
hundreds of Israeli civilians, many of then children – this
constitutes a crime and a violation of “international law”.

As of now, it appears that it is only a matter of days before the
chief Shi’ite terrorist in Najaf, Iraq, will be terminated by the
good guys, including the Brits. Will the BBC also regard that as a
crime? Probably, it will.

Don’t get me wrong, by the way. I endorse the Allied actions in Iraq.
But did you notice that the mowing down of a thousand Iraqis was the
Allied response to the murder of four Americans and the hanging of
their corpses on a bridge? And the greatest hush-hush secret the
media are refusing to report this week is that the killing of the
thousand resulted in near tranquility this week in most of Iraq.
Perhaps there are military solutions to the problems of terrorism,
after all?

Holocaust message: ‘We must never forget’

Summit Daily News, CO
April 18 2004

Holocaust message: ‘We must never forget’

April 18, 2004

DILLON – Jews and Christians alike were reminded never to forget the
tragedy that was the Holocaust during a Yom HaShoah observance at
Lord of the Mountains Lutheran Church in Dillon Sunday.

The observance was part of Synagogue of the Summit services to
remember, reflect and commemorate the worst genocidal event of the
20th century.

After six yahrzeit candles were lighted by members of the synagogue,
Rabbi Elliot Baskin of Beth Evergreen told a Christmas story of a
Jewish boy who agreed to help an elderly woman carry a bag of wooden
blocks home to heat her house. As he left her house, she wished him a
merry Christmas.

The side trip made him late, and his parents berated him for his
actions. His father then returned with the boy to the woman’s home,
and as his father shouted at the old woman, she yelled, “Don’t shoot!
Don’t shoot!” As she pleaded, her sleeve slipped back on her arm,
revealing blue numbers tattooed on her forearm.

The walk home was the only one in which the boy had ever seen his
father cry.

“For whom did he cry?” Baskin said. “His pain? Hers? Were his tears
his only expression? We still have yet to come to terms with the

The only way people will, he said, is to understand the facts, renew
one’s religious commitment and make sure such an event never happens
again. That will be difficult as Holocaust survivors die over time.

One such survivor shared his experiences at the services, outlining
the list of people within his family who had died and the
difficulties the rest had to overcome. The man, who lives part-time
in Summit County, declined to give his name, saying he wants to live
his life in peace.

His story was anything but peaceful.

The Hungary-born man was 14 years old when the hell of a systematic
elimination of Jews began in Budapest, he said.

His grandfather was pulled from his sick bed, but died in a railroad
car on the way to Auschwitz; his body was tossed on the side of the

Two uncles left in 1941 for Israel; other family members hid in

His sister was forced to build trenches, and his father survived two
years in a camp in Siberia. His parents were convicted of trumped-up
charges of capitalism because they owned a butcher shop, and served a
sentence in Dachau before his father was liberated. His mother was on
one of the last transports to Auschwitz, where she died.

The man himself shared a ghetto apartment with numerous other people,
and was the brunt of abuse – spitting, rock-throwing and fights – by
other kids.

He was able to overcome, however, going on to become an engineer and
moving to the United States 40 years ago.

Another challenge facing Jews is growing anti-Semitism in the world,
particularly by hate groups that try to convince people the genocide
never happened, Baskin said.

The list of lies is astonishing, Baskin said. The revisionists say
the ovens in which millions were killed were actually used to bake
bread, Anne Frank’s story was fabricated, testimony at the Nuremberg
trials was coerced and the toxic gases used to kill people was
actually being made to eradicate mice.

“We Jews have many frailties,” Baskin said. “Amnesia is not one of

The Jewish people, he said, are a nation of survivors, although there
are still fewer Jews in the world than there were before the
Holocaust. The ones killed in Auschwitz, Dachau and other places
would comprise a line from Denver to Durango.

“The Nazis tried to destroy every Jew, and they came very close to
success,” he said. “And the U.S. knew about the killings and chose to
do nothing. These facts need to be shared.”

He and others questioned why the U.S. and European nations ignored
the killing fields of Khmer Rouge in Cambodia in the 1980s, the
second Armenian massacre of 1.5 million in 1915-16 and, more
recently, the genocides in Bosnia and Rwanda.

“Why do these destructions evoke so little response in an age when we
know?” Baskin said. “Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat

Those who perished

Poland/Soviet Union 4,830,000

Hungary 400,000

Czechoslovakia 280,000

Germany 125,000

Netherlands 106,000

France 83,000

Austria 65,000

Greece 65,000

Yugoslavia 60,000

Rumania 40,000

Belgium 24,000

Italy 7,500

Norway 760

Luxembourg 700

A brief history

March 20, 1933: The first concentration camp at Dachau is

June 15, 1938: 1,500 German Jews are sent to concentration camps.

November 9-10, 1938: “Night of the Broken Glass,” or Kristallnacht,
destroys Jewish synagogues and businesses; 30,000 Jews interned in

January 30, 1939: Hitler declares that world war will mean the
“annihilation of the Jewish race in Europe.”

May 15, 1939: Ravensbruck, the first women’s camp, is established.

September 9, 1939: World War II begins.

January 1940: First experimental gassing of Jews and other
“undesirables” occurs.

April 27: Heinrich Himmler orders the establishment of Auschwitz in
Oswiecim, Poland.

March 1, 1941: Himmler travels to Auschwitz and orders additional
facilities and the construction of Birkenau (Auschwitz II).

December 11, 1941: United States declares war on Germany.

February 15, 1941: First people are killed with Zyklon B in

March 20, 1941: Farmhouse renovated as gas chambers in

July 19, 1941: Heinrich Himmler orders complete extermination of
Polish Jews by the end of the year.

MarchÐJune, 1943: Four gas chambers and crematoria are operational in

December 1943: First transport of Austrian Jews to Auschwitz takes

May 1944: First transport of Hungarian Jews to Auschwitz takes place.

August 2 1944: A Gypsy family camp in Auschwitz is liquidated (2,897

May 7Ð8, 1945: V-E Day; Germany surrenders.


BAKU: Steven Mann takes over post

Baku Today, Azerbaijan
April 19 2004

Steven Mann takes over post

US State Secretary’s senior adviser for the Caspian basin issues
Steven Mann started chairing OSCE’ s Minsk group on behalf of the
United States Saturday on April 17,2004.
Mann has succeeded other senior US diplomat Rudolf Perina.

Mann is the fourth US envoy for Minsk group.
Minsk group has been working for a peaceful settlement of
Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan since 1992.

Alongside with the United States Russia and France are presiding over
the Minsk group.

Back to baking in Glendale

Glendale News Press
April 19 2004

Back to baking in Glendale

Glendale family returns to city where bakery business started, with a
new business on Central Avenue.

By Ryan Carter, News-Press

NORTHWEST GLENDALE – When Shakeh Mgerdichians had to move her small
bakery from Glendale to Reseda five years ago, she and her customers
hoped that one day she would come back. And now, they have returned.

Mignon Bakery & Café recently opened at 205 N. Central Ave. with an
expanded menu and hopes of doing healthy business with the nearby
office working population and residential neighborhoods just to the
west of the business.

“I always had in my mind to find a location in Glendale,” she said.
“I never gave up on this city. I am so happy to be back with my old

Mgerdichians and her husband Garoush, both immigrants from Iran and
of Armenian descent, started their bakery in 1990 out of an
800-square-foot space on Stocker Street. Mgerdichians, who did not
have a background in baking, took classes to learn how to prepare
pastries. Eventually, sales began to increase to the point that the
couple could cater to Middle Eastern, European and traditional
American tastes in baked goods. They needed to expand. By the late
1990s, they found a larger location in Glendale, but Mgerdichians
said their landlord on Stocker was demanding they renew their lease
or leave, and the new spot was still being constructed. An option
opened up in Reseda on Vanowen Street, so they moved their business
there. It is still there.

Inside the new business, wall murals carry a French theme, and
everything from raspberry mousse to petit fruit tarts await customers
like works of art in a museum.

In contrast to the bakery in Reseda, which is a more traditional
bakery, offering mainly breads, the new bakery also offers an
expanded menu of sandwiches, smoothies, espressos, teas and coffees.
She also designs wedding cakes.

She acknowledged her bakery is not the only one in Glendale. “I never
think of these bakeries as competition because I’m too busy doing
everything I can to bring in my own customers,” she said.

Armenian industrial production up 10.5% in Q1

April 19 2004

Armenian industrial production up 10.5% in Q1

Yerevan. (Interfax) – Industrial production in Armenia in the first
quarter 2004 increased 10.5% year-on-year to 69.5 million dram, not
including industrial production in the electricity sector, Economic
Development and Trade Minister Ashot Shakhnazarian told journalists.

He said that the mining and diamond cutting industries accounted for
the largest share in industrial production in the reporting period.

The minister said that exports of industrial products from Armenia
increased 27% year-on-year to amount to 43.2 million dram in the
first quarter this year.
The official exchange rate on April 16 was 558.16 dram to the dollar.

BAKU: Conference of congress of Euro-Azerbaijanis held in Berlin

Azer Tag, Azerbaijan State Info Agency
April 19 2004

[April 19, 2004, 16:34:08]

As correspondent of AzerTAj reported, on April 17, constituent
conference of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of Europe (CAE) was held
in well-known Berlin hotel “Hilton”.

The Conference was attended by representatives of the Azerbaijan
communities and Diaspora organizations of Ukraine, the Russian
Federation, Belarus, Sweden, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Finland,
Belgium, Austria, Netherlands, France, Spain, Czech, Poland, Romania,
Hungary, Bulgaria, Germany, heads of the Azerbaijan societies
functioning in the US, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrghyzstan, head
of socio-political department of Administration of the President of
Azerbaijan Ali Hasanov, delegation of the State Committee on work
with the Azerbaijanis living in foreign countries, led by chairman of
committee Nazim Ibrahimov, the ambassador of our country in Germany
Huseynaga Sadigov, members of Great National Assembly of Turkey.

In the beginning, the national anthem of the Azerbaijan Republic was

Memory of the national leader Heydar Aliyev was revered with a moment
of silence.

Opening the conference by opening address, chairman of the State
Committee on Work with the Azerbaijanis living in foreign countries,
Nazim Ibrahimov, named creation of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of
Europe as an important event for association of Diaspora
organizations of this continent. He expressed confidence that the new
structure would carry out purposeful activity in strengthening of
connections of our compatriots living in Europe with their historical
Motherland – Azerbaijan, maintenance of political, spiritual unity
and solidarity between Azerbaijanis of the world.

Mr. Ali Hasanov has read congratulatory message of the President of
Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev to the participants of Conference.

In the first part of the conference, passed under the motto `Modern
Azerbaijan realities – the new stage of development and cooperation’,
have been heard reports of Ali Hasanov, on the topic `Azerbaijan on
the European space – the European states: democracy, secularity,
supremacy of law becomes norm of civil society’, ambassador Huseynaga
Sadigov – `Azerbaijani-German relations at the present stage’,
representative of the Ministry of Economic Development Samad Bashirov
– `Updating and dynamics in the Azerbaijan economy’, the adviser of
vice-president of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Eldar Shahbazov
– `Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan – the bridge between the countries of the
Caspian region and Mediterranean’, the leading expert of the Ministry
of Youth, Sports and Tourism Farid Akhundov – `Opportunities of
tourist potential in Azerbaijan’.

In second half, discussed were issues of `Modern state and prospects
of development of the Azerbaijan Diaspora’. The speakers touched the
prospects of development of the Azerbaijan Diaspora, its
participation in the political life of the countries of residing, the
role in settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan, Nagorny Karabakh
conflict, relations of the Azerbaijan communities with local state
structures at the decision of problems and cares of our compatriots,
of problems and cares in the field of protection of the rights of
Azerbaijanis in the countries of Europe.

The Conference has discussed the project of the Charter of the
Congress of Azerbaijanis of Europe and elected the directing bodies
of structure – the Central Council and Executive Committee. The
president of Association of Turkish-German businessmen Bahyaddin Gaya
was elected Chairman of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of Europe, and
executive director of All-Russia Azerbaijan congress Natig Agamirov
and chairman of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of Ukraine Ogtay
Efendiyev – vice-chairmen.

After statement of the Congress of Azerbaijanis of Europe, heads of
more than 50 communities and associations have signed the Protocol of
the official consent, and have called societies, associations and
national structures in other countries for cooperation in the name of
our national interests.

The Headquarters and Coordination Secretary of the Congress will
locate in Berlin. After official registration in Germany, the
Congress will receive the right to put before the international
organizations the questions connected to problems of Azerbaijan and

Chairman of the State Committee on Work with the Azerbaijanis Living
Abroad Nazim Ibrahimov has held a news conference devoted to results
of the Conference.

After the Conference, was organized a concert program of masters of
the art of Azerbaijan.