- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
 August 8, 2003 



The Week: Another hotel for Yerevan; the President goes to camp; Conscripts murdered in Vanadzor; Death sentences commuted . . .

A new "four-star" hotel, Europe, was inaugurated on August 1 in Yerevan.
Built by French businessman Levon Baghdasaryan the hotel is located just off Republic Square on Hanrapetutyan Street. The hotel has 47 rooms at a price range of $75-80. The three-year construction of Europe hotel cost about $2 million.

Another Diaspora Armenian joined the list of the most powerful Russian politicians. Hovanes Ohanian, chairman of the commission on economic policy, enterprise and property of the Russian Council of Federation, took the 98th place in the list of top 100 most influential politicians of Russia. The research was conducted by the Russian center for public opinion research "Voice of the People" who published the report on August 1.

At a press conference on August 2, the leader of the National Democratic Union Vazgen Manukyan said that a country like Armenia should make every effort to open its communications. He said that the possible opening of the Armenian-Turkish border did not mean that Armenia should give up on further lobbying for international recognition of the Armenian genocide in Turkey.

"Official Yerevan should conduct a parallel policy on the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border and on the international recognition of the Armenian genocide." he said.

Also on August 2 the Council of Europe welcomed Armenian President Robert Kocharian's decision to commute the sentences of 42 prisoners on death row to life imprisonment.

"The death penalty is an affront to all notions of dignity and human rights, and has no place in the Europe of today. This decision is a clear sign that Armenia wants to become fully integrated within the European family," said the organization's secretary general, Walter Schwimmer.

According to PanARMENIAN.NET (August 3), a Memorial Complex to commemorate over 25,000 victims of the devastating earthquake of 1988 will be built in Gyumri. The memorial opening is dated for the 20th anniversary of the earthquake in 2008. The complex (costing about $7-8 million) will be built exclusively owing to people's donations and means collected via charitable actions.

President Robert Kocharyan traveled on Sunday, August 3, to the north-eastern Armenian resort town of Dilijan, where he visited the second pan-Armenian youth jamboree. Several hundred youth from around the world are participating in the games. Armenpress reported that the President received as a present a globe as a symbol of Armenians spread all over the world.

Another group of young Diaspora Armenians arrived in Armenia on August 4 to participate in the eighth gathering of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutyun. Over 350 youth-student unions from 15 countries will stay in Armenia for two weeks and will meet the political leaders in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabagh.

Armenpress reported on August 5 that the hearing of a case over the murder of Tigran Naghdalyan, the former chief of Public TV and Radio Council, last December has again been adjourned. Court officials said the session was put off because of unavailability of an appropriate courtroom. The first session was held at the premises of Armenian Court of Appeals, where another high-profile case, connected with 1999 parliamentary killings, is being heard now.

The next session of Naghdalyan case is set for August 12.

On August 6, at 5.30 a.m. three conscripts were shot to death inside a warehouse where they were sleeping nearby their post in Vanadzor. A criminal investigation has been initiated.

PanARMENIAN.NET reported that Armenia's "E-Visa" program has issued its 1,000th online visa. Sosi Mazmanian, from the US State of Connecticut is the 1000th recipient and was expected to arrive this week.

In October of last year, Armenia became the second country in the world to have enabled the system of providing electronic visas.

On Tuesday, Azerbaijan President Heidar Aliev left Ankara for Clevelend, Ohio where he will continue treatment for heart ailments. Aliev's poor health has raised speculation that he will be succeeded by his son, Ilham, whom the President named Prime Minister on Monday. The appointment of the younger Aliev was opposed by only one member of the Azeri Parliament.



According to Agnes
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Click on the photo above to enlarge.



Clean-up: New center hopes to assist the fight against corruption

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Karabakh/Azerbaijan Relations: Negotiations will continue despite potential political change

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Hope and Housing: Project gives shelter, encouragement to vulnerable families

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The Week in seven days


  Photo of the week
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Click on the photo above to enlarge.


Dancing Prez

President Robert Kocharyan attended closing ceremonies of the second Pan Armenian Youth gathering "Baze" at Lake Sevan on Wednesday. The Chief of State put away Presidential Pomp in favor of boogieing with the kids.



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