Armenia Politics

Opposition Meeting Announcement Video on YouTube

I found this announcement today on the YouTube – a user called romamerda1 who seems to have joined the YouTube especially for the purpose of uploading this video has entitled it:”26 October 07 – the meeting for the future of Armenia” and has concluded the video description with the words: “FOR THE LIBERTY OF ARMENIA !!!”


Miss Armenia 2007 Crowned!

Ringing the fresh bell as usual, Rhyne says with all the due sarcasm, that there are far more important things in life then the passing of genocide bill. Things like Miss Armenia 2007 Contest. I could add to that the splendid show that Nor Radio had organized in the Republic Square today.
Quoting the blogger notes, that “Margarita Sarukhanyan, the “Miss Armenia 2007,” was handed the crown by Marina Vardanyan who was announced the best during Miss Armenia – 2006 contest. The crown costs $7,000. It has 425 diamond stones, 14 ruby and carbuncle. It is made of white gold. Thus, Margarita Sarukhanyan was awarded the right to represent Armenia during “Miss Europe.””
Of course the crown should cost more Rhyne says, but hey, here in Armenia $7000 is more then a family of two hard working school teachers will earn for a year, so that additional zero you’re talking about, can be easily traced down to the overall economic situation. Wait till we get that 2.5 billion dollar budget, and I’m sure things will improve for Miss Armenia too 🙂
For now, let me readily agree with Rhyne that beauty will save this world, but of course the Genocide bill is the TOP priority!
Photos: via and 168 Hours.

Armenia Diaspora

106 Resolution Support Vanes While The Times Report of Armenian Genocide from Friday October 8, 1915 is Getting into Circulation

Several days ago JLiving Notes was speculating, that the 106 resolution on Armenian Genocide adopted by the House Committee, will remain the focal point of many blog discussions for the days to come, saying he wants to believe, that for once historical justice will win (asking sceptically – if there is such thing at all). The British Times have been digging their archives and come up with more “hard” facts to support the Congress decision – the full text of this report from October 8, 1995 has already circulated through a large number of Armenian blogs, with the HayBlog and Kornelij Glas among the first to come up with the story.

To one who remembers the rejoicings which welcomed the bloodless Turkish Revolution of 1908, the fraternization of Moslem and Christian, the confidence in a better future for the Armenians which survived even the Adana massacre of 1909, the story of the systematic persecution of the Armenians of Turkey is a bitter tale to tell. Talaat Bey and his extremist allies have out-Hamided Abdul Hamid. They have even shocked their German friends, thus attaining eminence in “frightfulness” to which the “Red Sultan” never soared.

Meanwhile, Blogian says “Democrats Prostituting Under Turkish Sword“, and quotes the report by the New York Times, saying that “Over a dozen democrats have dropped their support for the Armenian Genocide resolution in the last 24 hours”.

Uzogh is not impressed though, this is “democracy in action” he says, pointing to this list of Congressmen supporting the resolution at the moment, and noting, that while the number has dropped from 226 to 218, there is still enough support to pass the resolution in the 435 seat Congresss.


Armenia Improved its Rating in Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007

Mark Grigoryan reports, that the “Reporters sans frontiers” annual Worldwide Press Freedom Index has been released, and brings the places occupied by the countries of post-soviet space, contesting them with the ratings of UK and USA:

Estonia – 3-4
Latvia – 12
Lithuenia – 23
UK – 24
USA – 48
Georgia – 66
Armenia – 77
Moldova – 81
Ukraine – 92-93
Kyrgyzstan – 110
Tajikistan – 115
Kazakhstan – 125
Azerbaijan – 139
Russia – 144
Belarus – 151
Uzbekistan – 160
Turkmenistan – 167

There is a total of 169 countries in the list. The full list can be found here (on the organization’s site).

Uzogh has done some research on the subject and come up with an interesting question: “With Azerbaijan everything is clear – they just like to put journalists to jail. With Georgia everything is clear too. What I don’t understand is our rating – we have jumped from 101st place to 77th. How did that happen?” There are some really interesting speculations in the comments section of Uzogh’s blog around the subject, but I suggest you go take a look at them there (if you know Russian of course).
Here are also a couple of links for your convenience:
Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007, Questionnaire for compiling a 2007 world press freedom index, Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2006, Questionnaire for compiling a 2006 world press freedom index


Beta Rating of Armenian Live Journals

Uzogh has been working on creating an Armenian rating system for blogs, making use of the already existing rating system for LiveJournal. The table I am publishing below has been derived from Uzogh‘s second beta test of the service. Although this rating system does not include any Armenian blogs outside the LiveJournal blogging community, the results are already very intersting, especially if we concider the fact, that the most active Armenian blogosphere is undoubtedly currently based in LiveJournal, where we do have very many interesting blogs which attract the highest number of readers. I have only added links to the top 10 blogs. For the rest, just use the name you see and add For example, if you want to see angry-root’s livejournal (which is my LiveJournal blog) , use to see the blog it represents. Good job so far, Uzogh, waiting for further improvements.

# The Place in Yandex Rating
1 irukan 389
2 kornelij 562
3 ahousekeeper 575
4 pigh 1845
5 comte-de-varand 2067
6 ogostos 2205
7 apmeh 2717
8 lesgustoy 2720
9 markgrigorian 3644
10 saramarabu 4045

The Destruction of Garni "Symphony of Stones" Triggers Protest Action Online and Offline

A protest action took place today, October 15, at 13:00 in front of the Government Building on Republi Square aiming to stop the destruction of the unique natural rock formation, called “Symphony of Stones” in Garni, near the beautiful pagan temple which is a prime tourism destination for Armenia. According to Bekaisa the protest-action attracted around 50 people, mostly LJ bloggers, which according to her is a very small number for such a important environmental action. The protesters signed a petition calling to action and handed it to the Prosecutor, who will respond in the course of 10 days, according to RA law.

The important specifics of this action lies in the fact, that it was advocated, organized and coordinated fully on-line, demonstrating once again the potential of Internet technologies for exercising democracy in Armenia. Alas, the opportunities are generally not used.

On October 6, 2007 ArmInfo released information about destruction of the unique quadras known as “Symphony of stones” in Garni. As it became clear to ArmInfo correspondent, it is already two days that destruction of unique and picturesque monument of the nature is taking place not far from the pagan temple of the I century Garni, in the Azat river gorge. Two years ago ArmInfo managed to signal in time about a similar fact and to prevent destruction of the unique quadras. That time Ecology Minister Vardan Ayvazyan promised to involve the stones zone in the administrative territory of Khosrof park, but local authorities prevented that stemming from their own ideas and benefit. Today several local residents supported by the village administration continue doing vandalism, “cutting” beautiful basalt quadras created by the nature and being a subject of vital interest of numerous tourists, and use them like construction material. The head of Garni village administration is responsible for this, but he did not want to have contacts with the press.

ArmInfo | 2007-10-06 15:53:00 ‘

Symphony of stones’ to be destroyed again

The case was further actively advocated by a number of Armenian blogs, a special blog was set up to pursue the case and help stop vandalism at Some of the other blogs to proactively cover the issue were: Life around me, Kornelij Glas, Bekaisa, Aerial-Vortex, Freedom Fighter, Ahousekeeper and others. The problem was also on the center of attention also on a number of Armenian forums, including: OpenArmenia and Armkb, although I daresay, most of the forum users and moderators are also LiveJournal bloggers.

At any rate, todays action has attracted a lot of media attention according to Bekaisa, so feedback of the authorities is guaranteed. Interestingly the Public TV of Armenia had a very thorough and highly professional investigative piece on Sunday’s informational-analytical program “360 degrees”, which definitely attracted a lot of attention, if not the protest action today.


Posts on Genocide Resolution 106 Flood the Armenian Blogosphere

There were so many posts about the Resolution 106 passed by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, that I find it impossible to translate it, and have just provided links to some of them with extracts of the most intersting or relevant sections from their posts. If and when I have time this mess may turn into a more coherent post. Before then – go, read, comment!
Armenia Blog – By the way, this story is the top story on BBC right now. Obviously Bush knows how close it is to getting passed and is doing everything he can to prevent that from happening.
Oneworld Multimedia – President George W. Bush has urged the House Foreign Affairs Committee not to pass a resolution that would recognize the mass killing and deportation of Armenians living in Ottoman Turkey…
JLiving Notes – Интересно, все же, работает в США законодательная власть. Но, аргументы все больше “Турция нужна нам как союзник в борьбе с терроризмом”, “можем ли мы ставить под угрозу безопасность наших солдат в Турции и Ираке”. Что бы делала администрация Буша и республиканцы не будь терроризма? Наверное придумали бы его. А может это они и придумали?
Хорошие аргументы сторонников. Один ссылается на то, что признание геноцида армян Россией никак не повлияло на отношения между странами, чему подтверждение рост товарооборота, а ЕС практически ставит перед потенциальным, хоть и в далекой перспективе, членом Евросоюза задачу о признании геноцида. Подкованный мужик, конгрессмен этот из Калифорнии 🙂
BlogianHouse Resolution 106, formally recognizing the Armenian Genocide as such, passed a minute ago in the House Committee on Foreign Affairs in the U.S. Congress. [] The Chairman, who voted yes on the resolution, also said the next markup would be a resolution introduced by him reaffirming Turkey’s and America’s friendship.


Genocide Resolution in U.S. Congress in Center of Armenian Media Attention

“Despite warnings from Turkey and the White House, the BBC reports that House Resolution 106 which would recognize the massacre and deportation of Armenians living in Ottoman Turkey as Genocide has been passed by the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.” Onnik Krikoryan reports on his blog. With 27 pro, 21 against co-relation, the US House of Representatives foreign affairs committee adopted a “pro-Armenian” resolution, Yerkir-Media reports, so does A1plus, noting, that after 3 hour-long discussions the house representatives adopted the 106 resolution calling to describe the “mass killings of Armenians more than eight decades ago” with its real name – Genocide.

Armenian media also pay a lot of attention to the violent attempts by Turkey to influence the decision. Public TV of Armenia featured live broadcasts from US Congress most of last evening. Yerkir-Media also had, quite predictably – excellent coverage, and also has put up a number of articles and videos on their website, describing the news as the “loss of Turkish diplomacy”.  A1plus is a little more cautious, bringing in the results of street inquiries and emphasizing the words of fellow-citizens, who think, that its still too early to celebrate, as George W. Bush has veto power, and reminding, that the House of Representatives has yet to adopt the resolution. PanArmenian net also responds pro-actively to the news, covering it almost on an hourly bases here, here, here, here, here and here, and quoting Armenian Assembly Country Director for Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh, Arpi Vartanian as saying “Adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution by U.S. House Committee on Foreign Affairs is a big victory of the Armenian community of U.S.,” and also warning about the difficulties that lie ahead:

[PanARMENIAN.Net:11.10.2007] The AAA Country Director assumed the possibility of failure of the resolution in the full House. “Pressure on the Representatives is too strong. All kinds of tools are enabled. But Turkey’s blackmail will yield no fruit. Just remember the Turkish government’s fulmination against France and other states, which recognized the Armenian Genocide. But time has passed and Turkey forgot its threats, since they would have damaged its own interests. We carried out an investigation in 10 U.S. states which recognized the Armenian Genocide but have trade relations with Turkey. It turned out that the commodity turnover increased after recognition. Indeed, it doesn’t mean that Turkey will settle down and quit lobbying in the Congress. I should mention that it was the Armenian lobby from whom Turks learned how to work with Congressmen. But, naturally, they have more opportunities and more funds,” she said. also covers the developments in a number of articles, and marks about the Prayer of the Armenian Catholicos in U.S. Congress:

[] Catholicos of All Armenians Garegin B made a speech and read prayers yesterday while the Foreign Relations Commission was discussing Resolution 106 in U.S. Congress. Before leaving for Washington, on October 9, the Catholicos noted during a meeting of Armenian Revolutionary Federation Central Committee: “The Genocide is a fact and denying it or opposing its recognition, no matter from what side, is unacceptable.” In the course of his visit to USA, the Armenian religious head visited the Memorial of Sacrifice in Boston and paid respect. The Catholicos mentioned that, as a nation that has undergone genocide, we share the suffering of other nations that have gone victim to acts of genocide. He appreciated the attitudes that recognize the Genocide committed against the Armenian nation.

Most of the “big” newspapers are as usual, too slaw to respond, evidently the resolution was adopted after most newspapers were sent to print and they all have small bits and pieces on their websites, as was done by Azg. Haykakan Zhamanak seems to have totally ignored the news, while Aravot has a cover photo/story saying George Bush and Condoleezza Rice have assumed their “traditional posture” of warning against the resolution.


Human Qualities Are The Priority for Armenian Voters When Electing President

A1plus has concluded the online poll of voter opinions to the question: “What do you consider the most important when electing president?”, which has ensured the participation of 441 people. 43% of those taking part in the poll have answered, that they find Human Qualities of the future president the most important. Another large section, 32% of the responses are for the “proposed programmatic points”, 6% have emphasized the importance of the political party where the candidate comes from, 13% have found it important to consider the president’s team, while 6% have found it to find any concrete answer.

I assume, that most of the A1plus readers are pro-opposition, and the number of those taking part in the poll is too small to be representative anyway. However, I find the results quite interesting. The fact, that only 6% are looking at the political party that the president represents also leaves a lot of room for consideration and speculation. When ARF-Dashnaktsutyun announces, that their candidate will most definitely win or at least make it to round two (which I personally find a very interesting and desirable development), I wonder how much attention do they pay to surveys and polls of this kind?


I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.

Sksela rocked for freedom on October 7. I liked it. There were a lot of shortcomings, etc., but it was fun, and I enjoyed myself. The concert happened despite numerous refusals from the Yerevan City Hall to allow it. The concert happened to prove the authorities, that they can’t stop freedom, and they can’t stop rock, and they can’t stop Sksela from rocking for freedom. I guess the original idea of the concert was long lost way back in May, after continuous refusals of the City Hall to allow it to take place. And I guess it really didn’t matter anymore who sings, and how well it is organized, and what messages are written on the wall, and why Bambir couldn’t make it, and why was there so much tight security (which I personally disapprove).
As with all the previous Sksela events, this one was also covered intensively by bloggers. Among the reactions, there was also this one, by a friend and a man who in many many issues thinks so much like me.
Onnik – while I might readily agree with all you have said on the post, you and I know well enough, that it is easy to manipulate facts and the writing mood in a way, that even the worst event can seem quite OK and vice versa. Onnik – I think you were not objective when covering that event and you were manipulating facts and moods. Onnik – I disapprove of what you said, or rather, I disapprove the manner in which you said it, but I will defend to the death your right to say it. Onnik – Sksela is all about giving you that right, and making sure, that I on my turn have my right and freedom to respond.