Armenian ambassador to Lithuania Ara Ayvazyan, Lithuanian MPs, deputy head of Lithuania-Armenia inter-parliamentary group Algis Kašėta and others came up with reports.
PanARMENIAN.Net – A liturgy was held in Aleppo’s Church of the Holy Mother of God in commemoration of the Armenian Genocide 98th anniversary, followed by a solemn event, with Syria’s Armenian Apostolic, Catholic and Evangelical community heads present.
Upon completion of the event, Consul General Karen Grigoryan delivered a speech on the Genocide international recognition campaign, as well as efforts aimed at genocide prevention and condemnation.
Thousands walked from Dora to Downtown Beirut as part of the annual commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
Draped in the colors of the Armenian flag – red, blue and orange – over 10,000 people marched across east Beirut to Martyrs’ Square in Downtown. Families sang the Armenian national anthem and carried banners condemning the Turkish government, occasionally pausing to stomp on Turkish flags spread along the route.
“Turkey should recognize the genocide and take action for restitution,” goldsmith Paul Halebian said at the rally. “It’s our right, our land, our dignity.”
Armenian groups claim they are owed large swaths of land in Turkey after their ancestors were forcibly displaced during the partition of the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and 1916 at the end of World War I.
Many Armenian families took refuge in what is now Lebanon as a result of Ottoman attacks on their community. There are currently some 100,000 Lebanese of Armenian origins who are represented in Parliament by five MPs.
“Erdogan Don’t Forget: Eastern Turkey is Western Armenia,” read one banner directed at Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The day was both solemn and festive as both young and old rallied to commemorate their ancestors who died while reaffirming their identity and nationhood.
Armenian political parties Henchag Tashnag and Ramgavar are divided between Lebanon’s two major coalitions – March 14 and March 8 – but they come together for the yearly genocide commemoration. Party scout troops marched and played music together while banners paid for by the parties were draped along the walking route.
“All the associations are here; there is no dispute over the Armenian Genocide,” said Sossy Manoukian, a teacher and school coordinator. “There isn’t a person here who is not directly connected to the genocide.”
A number of non-Armenian Lebanese also joined parts of the rally. After several hours of marching, people rallied in Downtown Beirut, where political and religious speakers delivered speeches about the importance of recognizing the genocide and what is owed to the Armenians.
Leaders decried what they saw as a “conspiracy” aimed against the Armenians to displace them from their lands, and called for the Turkish government to fully compensate them.
“We will not forget our martyrs and our civilization and the cultural heritage in Armenia and … our possessions that were looted by killers,” said the Tashnag Party’s Secretary-General Hovig Mekhitarian.
At a Mass earlier in the day at the Catholicosate in Antelias, Catholicos Aram I Keshishian of Cilicia called for Armenian churches, endowments and heritage in Turkey to be restored as the “first stage of our national struggle.”
Representatives from the families of the nine abducted pilgrims in Syria also marched with the rally alongside several other political figures. But despite the occasional promotion of signs of the conflict in Syria and other political agendas, the rally remained largely focused on Armenia and its history.
Generations have passed since the genocide, but the event and its official recognition by foreign governments still colors politics around the world.
Some 21 countries and most states in the U.S. have officially recognized the genocide, while many other countries have not, partially due to their relationship with Turkey. Ankara maintains the death of some 500,000 people at the time did not constitute genocide.
The rally that began in Armenian areas of greater Beirut attracted many young people who see the yearly commemoration as an important part of their identity, marking an event largely ignored by the rest of the world.
“After two years it will be a century and the world will forget,” said 15-year-old Bedig Alexanian. “We do this to keep the world from being silent.”
All 14 Armenian communities of Kazakhstan, a number of big Kazakh cities hosted Armenian Genocide commemoration events on April 22-24.
Commemoration events dedicated to the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide were also held in Bishkek with the participation of the Armenian community of Kyrgyzstan, Armenian Foreign Ministry press service reported.
The Armenian Genocide has been recognized and condemned by Uruguay (1965), the Republic of Cyprus (1982), Argentina (1993), Russia (1995), Canada (1996), Greece (1996), Lebanon (1997), Belgium (1998), Italy (2000), Vatican (2000), France (2001), Switzerland (2003), Slovakia (2004), The Netherlands (2004), Poland (2005), Germany (2005), Venezuela (2005), Lithuania (2005), Chile (2007), Sweden (2010). The Armenian Genocide has been recognized by Vatican, the Council of Europe and the World Council of Churches.
Vahagn Chakhalyan, the Javakhk-based Armenian political and public figures, arrived in Armenia on Tuesday to visit the Memorial to Armenian Genocide victims (Tsitsernakaberd) on Wednesday.
“Our NGOs applied to Georgia’s Parliament for recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Interestingly, Georgian governmental organizations applied even earlier, which means certain progress,” Chakhalyan told journalists.
“Georgia’s new authorities are well aware that it is difficult for them to recognize the Armenian Genocide, with Georgia located between Turkey and Azerbaijan. However, refusing recognition would be a crime as well, what the Saakashvili regime calls it,” Chakhalyan said.
“More than 300,000 Georgians were massacred in the Ottoman Empire, but very few people dare to mention the fact. This is the reason why we cannot accuse Georgians of not dealing with the Armenian Genocide,” Chakhalyan said.
Still, leading Georgian intellectuals are publicly speaking of the Armenian Genocide and Georgian massacres, which is progress.
Four suspects, including a woman, were taken into custody today after allegedly beating 37-year-old Dilek Duyuş to death late last night in Istanbul’s Beyoğlu district, Doğan news agency reported.
The female suspect was the ex-wife of Duyuş’s current boyfriend, Celal Demir, and was accompanied by three other men when she barged into Duyuş’s home in the district’s Kulaksız neighborhood. The suspects allegedly attacked the couple with bats, and one of the suspects, identified as H.M., allegedly stabbed the woman three times.
The woman was discovered dead in the apartment by neighbors after the suspects left the crime scene. Demir, wounded at the time, was taken to a nearby hospital immediately.
All suspects were soon caught by police officers and taken into custody. H.M. reportedly confessed to stabbing Dilek, claiming that he was “defending his honor.”
Duyuş’s body was sent for an autopsy at the Istanbul Forensic Medicine Institute.
Iranian Armenians expect the Islamic Republic of Iran to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Armenian MP in the Iranian Majlis Karen Khanlarian is quoted as saying by Isna.ir.
Referring to the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide in his remarks in Majlis, the Armenian MP said, in part, “In the course of the history, the Armenians, together with their Muslim, Assyrian, Jewish and Zoroastrian brothers, protected Iran, sparing no effort for its development and progress and therefore I expect the Islamic Republic of Iran to recognize the Armenian Genocide, in which 1.5 million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire in 1915.”
Recently the Deputy Speaker of Iranian Majlis mentioned the Armenians and Assyrians killed during the Genocide, saying, in part, “If military and political strength and wealth do not unite with high human and divine values, they will lead to such horrible crimes as the genocide of our Christian sisters and brothers. The hand which was yesterday covered with the blood of the Armenians is now covered with the blood of our sisters and brothers in Syria.”
The Armenian Genocide has been recognized and condemned by Uruguay (1965), the Republic of Cyprus (1982), Argentina (1993), Russia (1995), Canada (1996), Greece (1996), Lebanon (1997), Belgium (1998), Italy (2000), Vatican (2000), France (2001), Switzerland (2003), Slovakia (2004), The Netherlands (2004), Poland (2005), Germany (2005), Venezuela (2005), Lithuania (2005), Chile (2007), Sweden (2010). The Armenian Genocide has also been recognized and condemned by Vatican, the Council of Europe and the World Council of Churches. Turkey denies the fact of the Armenian Genocide.
The Iranian authorities have allowed Iranian Armenians to hold a protest near the Turkish embassy in Tehran, Hayeli.com reported.
The protesters were carrying placards reading: “The Armenian Genocide is the first genocide in the 20th century.”
Thousands of Armenians called on Turkey to recognize the Genocide in Beirut on Tuesday, The Daily Star reports.
During a mass rally in Martyrs’ Square commemorating the 98th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Lebanese of Armenian origin and supporters held signs and chanted slogans against Ankara which maintains that the deaths of some 500,000 were not a result of genocide.
“Turkey should recognize the genocide and take action for restitution,” Paul Halebian, one of the protesters, said. “It’s our right, our land, our dignity.”
“Turkey: It’s time for recognition and repatriation,” one of the signs read. “Justice and restitution for the Armenian Genocide,” another said.
There are around 200,000 Lebanese of Armenian origin represented by five ministers in the Cabinet.
11:55, 24 April, 2013
YEREVAN, APRIL 24, ARMENRPESS. The Publisher and Editor of The California Courier newspaper Harut Sassounian claims on condemnation of the false accusation put forward by the uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers linking the Armenians to the Boston bombings. “Armenpress” introduces Harur Sassounian’s article in its entirety.
Many unanswered questions remain in the wake of the barbaric Boston Marathon bombings last week.
In the absence of established facts, it is difficult to reach an informed conclusion and find a motive for the murderous actions of the Tsarnaev brothers — Tamerlan, 26, and Dzhokhar, 19. It is interesting to note that Tamerlan carries the name of a vicious 14th century Turkic warlord who razed entire cities to the ground and butchered millions of innocent people.
Instead of jumping to unwarranted conclusions and making generalizations about Chechens, Muslims, and the Tsarnaev family, some probing questions are in order:
— Back in 2011, when the Russian intelligence services asked the FBI to investigate Tamerlan’s radical Islamist ties and plans to join underground groups, how thoroughly did the FBI carry out this task? If the FBI agents did a thorough job and found nothing sinister, why did they not follow up a few months later when Tamerlan returned to the US in 2012, having spent six months in the troubled Russian republics of Chechnya and Dagestan? And why did US law enforcement agencies fail to investigate the Jihadist videos and links to radical Islamist websites found on Tamerlan’s computer?
— If the Russian tip was not seriously pursued by US officials, was their decision based on political considerations or a proper assessment of the risk of terrorism? Since Chechen insurgents were fighting Russia for independence, did US officials prefer not to meddle in an internal Russian conflict? Did the US view Chechen “terrorists” as “freedom fighters,” concluding that they represented no threat to the United States? More significantly, what role did the anti-Russian stance of influentialneo-conservative American circles play in assessing the warnings on Tamerlan?
— Did the Russian intelligence services thoroughly investigate Tamerlan when he fell in their lap while visiting Dagestan and Chechnya for six months, particularly if they were dissatisfied with the FBI’s lukewarm response to their earlier request?
— Would this terrorist act killing four Americans and injuring close to 200 now prompt US intelligence agencies to cooperate more fully with their Russian counterparts to jointly combat terrorism regardless of international political concerns?
— Will the US investigate the 10-day visit to Turkey in July 2003 by Tamerlan and three of his family members, as disclosed by Turkish Interior Minister Muammer Guler? What was the purpose of Tsarnaevs’ visit to Turkey and who were their contacts?
Turning to Ruslan Tsarni, the talkative uncle of the Tsarnaev brothers, who made controversial and contradictory comments disseminated worldwide by CNN, NBC, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, and Time magazine, among others. Uncle Tsarni accused an unnamed Armenian convert to Islam in Cambridge, Mass., for radicalizing Tamerlan!
Tsarni, a Maryland resident, told the NBC Today show that one of his Armenian acquaintances informed him about an “outside influence” on Tamerlan: “He [the acquaintance] said, there is someone who brainwashed him [Tamerlan], some newly convert to Islam. I would like to stress [the acquaintance] was of Armenian descent.”
However, Uncle Tsarni, gave CNN a completely different explanation for the despicable actions of his nephews. He had accused them of being “losers,” claiming that they had brought shame on their family and the Chechen people. But, he later told NBC Today that he had called his nephews “losers” out of anger, and that he was now sure their crime had nothing to do with Russia or Chechnya. Tsarni also contradicted himself on CNN by claiming that the person who had “brainwashed” Tamerlan was the “new convert to Islam of Armenian descent,” not the acquaintance!
The question is, who is Tsarni and why is he accusing an Armenian? A cursory internet search reveals that he has had direct ties to western energy companies involved in the Caspian region. He has worked for Big Sky Energy, Golden Eagle Partners, and Nelson Resources Ltd., all three with direct investments in Caspian Sea energy projects. Could Tsarni’s ties to these energy companies explain his accusation against an Armenian?
Finally, why hasn’t a single Armenian organization or official complained to the news media about their dissemination of Tsarni’s baseless and libelous statements, accusing an Armenian for radicalizing Tamerlan? A similar situation occurred years ago, when an Australian newspaper, The Canberra Times, reported: “Pope Shot by Armenian Gunman.” In reality, Pope John Paul II was shot by Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turk!
It is high time that Armenians organize an anti-defamation organization that would vigorously pursue all those who libel and defame them around the world.
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