Sri Lanka blocked several social media networks in the wake of terrorist attacks on Sunday, including Facebook and the messaging service WhatsApp. The extraordinary step reflects growing global concern, particularly among governments, about the capacity of American-owned networks to spin up violence.
An exit poll from Ukraine’s presidential election shows comedian Volodymyr Zelensky winning with 73% of the vote.
Zelensky was born in 1978 to Jewish parents in Krivyi Rih, a predominantly Russian-speaking industrial city in southern Ukraine. He left to pursue a career in show business; in 2003, he and two friends from his hometown founded the film studio Kvartal95 in the capital, Kiev.
The studio became enormously successful throughout the post-Soviet world, and several of Zelensky’s Kvartal95 colleagues now play key roles in his campaign team.
Six soldiers were also wounded during the operations, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said in a statement early on April 20.
The statement said the militants came under heavy fire from Turkish air operations and fire support.
TOBRUK – The Libyan Interim Government announced on Thursday that will commemorate the Armenian Genocide, committed by the Imperial Government of Turkey’s Ottoman Empire, on April 24th through its Foreign Ministry.
The Interim Government officially adopted a resolution in March recognizing the Armenian Genocide.
In 24 April 1915, Ottoman authorities rounded up, arrested, and deported from Constantinople (now Istanbul) to the region of Ankara, 235 to 270 Armenian intellectuals and community leaders, the majority of whom were eventually murdered.
This was followed by the deportation of women, children, the elderly, and the infirm on death marches leading to the Syrian Desert. Driven forward by military escorts, the deportees were deprived of food and water and subjected to periodic robbery, rape, and massacre.
The final death toll of the genocide is reported to be 1.5 million.
The government declared a curfew and said it had shut down access to major social media sites and messaging services.
By Yuliya Talmazan, Caroline Radnofsky, Reuters and Associated Press
At least 207 people were killed and hundreds more injured after a series of blasts shook Sri Lanka on Easter Sunday.
A wave of near-simultaneous explosions rocked three churches and three luxury hotels, officials said, leaving nearly 500 people hospitalized from injuries.
Police later reported two further explosions.
The government declared an island-wide curfew and said it had shut down access to major social media sites and messaging services, including Facebook and WhatsApp, to prevent misinformation and rumors.
Defense Minister Ruwan Wijewardena said seven suspects had been arrested and that the death toll included at least 27 foreign nationals.
He described the attacks as a terrorist incident, and blamed religious extremists.
Police conducted a search operation on the outskirts of Colombo, where the latest of eight blasts took place. After police moved in, at least two more blasts occurred, with the occupants of a safehouse apparently blasting explosives to prevent arrest.Three officers were killed.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said he feared the violence could trigger instability in the country and its economy.
He said his government would “vest all necessary powers with the defense forces” to take action against those responsible for the attacks, “regardless of their stature.”
A security official told The Associated Press that two of the blasts were suspected to have been carried out by suicide bombers. The official spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak with reporters.
There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the attacks.
The first blast ripped through St. Anthony’s Shrine in Colombo. The church and the three hotels in the country’s capital are frequented by foreign tourists.
A second explosion was reported at St. Sebastian’s Church in Negombo, a Catholic majority town north of Colombo.
More than 50 people were killed in that blast alone, a police official told Reuters, with pictures showing bodies on the ground, blood on the pews and a destroyed roof.
Father Edmond Tillekeratne, the social communications director of the Archdiocese of Colombo, was near St. Sebastian’s when the explosion happened.
“I was close by, so I ran there. I saw the aftermath with my own eyes,” he told NBC News.
“The rooftop is completely destroyed. The flesh of the people is on the walls and all over the place.”
The third church that was targeted is in the eastern town of Batticaloa.
On April 23, 2019, the temporary exhibitions hall of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute Foundation will host the new exhibition “150 year-old witnesses of the Armenian Genocide: Komitas Vardapet and Hovannes Tumanyan”.
As the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute website reports, the exhibition is dedicated to the 150th anniversaries of two great Armenian intellectuals – Komitas Vardapet and Hovannes Toumanyan. The aim of the exhibition is to publicize their ties with the history of the Armenian Genocide. The exhibition has two main directions: on one hand friendly and creative relationship of the two geniuses is illustrated, and on the other hand, the impact of the Armenian Genocide and its tragic consequences on them.
The bilingual (Armenian, English) exhibition consisting of eight panels includes original materials from the collections of the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute, as well as materials and photos from various archives and museums in Armenia. For the first time an excerpt from video testimony of Aghavni Mkrtchyan, a genocide survivor from Bitlis, on the relief work of Hovhannes Toumanyan in 1915 in Echmadzin among the Armenian refugees will be shown. A wead-beads of a unique importance made by Varteres Atanesyan, one of the Armenian intellectuals exiled to Chankere on April 11/24, 1915, is presented among the original materials.
The exhibition will be accompanied by Komitas’ unfinished opera music based on Toumanyan’s “Anoush” opera, performed by Araks Mansouryan. Several sketches of the Armenian renowned painter Sargis Mouradyan from his “Komitas” series will also be exhibited.
After the exhibition opening tree planting ceremony will take place in the Memory Alley, in memory of the 150th anniversaries of Hovhannes Toumanyan and Komitas Vardapet.
The exhibition will be open until August 30, 2019, entrance is free.
Prime Minister of France Edouard Philippe will attend the ceremony dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Paris on April 24 which will take place at 18:00 local time near the monument of Komitas, ARMENPRESS reports Nouvelles d`Armenie informs, adding that the ceremony is of historical importance this year, given its official nature. By the decree of French President Emmanuel Macron April 24 has been declared national day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.
Initiated by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organizations in France, commemoration events will be held also in other cities of France, including Lyon and in Marseille.
President Emmanuel Macron said France will make April 24 “a national day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide” on February 5. Speaking to the Armenian community at a dinner organized by the Coordinating Council of Armenian Organisations of France (CCAF), Macron said: “France is, first and foremost, the country that knows how to look history in the face, which was among the first to denounce the killing of the Armenian people, which in 1915 named genocide for what it was, which in 2001 after a long struggle recognised it in law”, he said, adding that France will in the next weeks make April 24 a national day of commemoration of the Armenian genocide.
On April 25, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will announce its verdict in the case of Ter-Petrosyan v. Republic of Armenia.
The ECHR website states that the case refers to concerns by First President of Armenia Levon Ter-Petrosyan about the interference with his freedom of assembly, the lack of an effective remedy, and his alleged placement under house arrest following the dispersal of a protest rally in March 2008 during the post-presidential-electoral developments in capital city Yerevan.
The case description reminds that the Armenian government rejects the applicant’s submissions, in particular, it states that after the hearing he asked to be taken home and did not want to leave his house until the state of emergency was lifted on March 20, 2008.
Relying on Article 5 § 1 (right to liberty and security), Article 2 of Protocol No. 4 (freedom of movement), Article 11 (freedom of assembly and association), and Article 13 (right to an effective remedy) of the European Convention on Human Rights, Ter-Petrosyan complains that he was removed forcibly from Liberty Square in capital city Yerevan, while peacefully assembling, and then placed under house arrest on 1 March 2008 and that he did not have at his disposal an effective remedy in respect of this complaint. Relying on Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination), he complains that he was discriminated against on the grounds of his political view.
On March 1 and 2, 2008 the then authorities of Armenia used force against the opposition members who were rallying in downtown Yerevan, and against the results of the presidential election on February 19, 2008. Eight demonstrators as well as two servicemen of the internal troops were killed in the clashes. But no one had been brought to account for these deaths, to this day.
By Liz Ohanesian,
In the spring of 1915, college student Hagop Abadjian left school to escape conscription into the Ottoman military and embarked on a journey that led him back to Musa Dagh, the mountain in Turkey that was his home. A half-century later, Hagop recounted this trek over seven pages typewritten in English. There’s much more to the story, of course, and a fuller account of his journey is recounted in his memoir, which was written in Armenian and posthumously published in 1986.
Eleen Abadjian Bedrosian was just a child when her paternal grandfather died, but she remembers the big stacks of paper in his Toronto home and the typewriter from Egypt with the Armenian letters on the keys. Bedrosian, a graphic designer and artist based in Glendale, has tried reading the memoir in Armenian, but progress is slow. Much of what’s in the book was related to her by Vehanosh Abadjian, her mother and Hagop’s daughter-in-law, who has read it multiple times.
The Young Turk regime launched a systematic campaign to purge the Ottoman Empire of its Armenian citizens in 1915. In all, an estimated 1.5 million lives were lost. After the catastrophe, some survivors, as well as their descendants, wrote down the stories, the results forming its own genre of literature: survivor memoirs. These books are part of the overwhelming evidence that the Armenian genocide, which Turkey continues to deny responsibility, happened. But, for descendants of the survivors like Bedrosian, memoirs can also be a link to family histories. In the diasporan community in the U.S., Armenian-to-English translations are a way of sharing that history with those who can’t read them in the original language.
In the diasporan community in the U.S., Armenian-to-English translations are a way of sharing … history with those who can’t read … the original language.
Outside a Glendale coffee house, Bedrosian and her mother show a copy of the memoir, its cover depicting blood falling from a mountain. Bedrosian translates the title, which is written in Armenian, to “Pages From My Life Book.” The two look through an album of photos as well. Hagop was a photographer who eventually opened his own studio in Venezuela before moving to Canada in his retirement. There are pictures in here from the time of the genocide and the years following it, from Hagop’s wedding to Bedrosian’s grandmother in Egypt, of his young family in Lebanon and of an Armenian community’s later return to Musa Dagh.
Musa Dagh (also known as Musa Ler) was the site of a resistance against Ottoman forces set on annihilating the empire’s Armenian population. That event informed Franz Werfel’s 1933 novel, “The Forty Days of Musa Dagh,” and more recently the 2016 film “The Promise.” It’s part of Bedrosian’s family history and she wants to preserve it. Now she would like to have the memoir published in English, not just for herself, but for her children, ages 11 and 7. Sometimes they ask her about the genocide. She says, “When they ask me, I tell them about Grandpa.”