- Independent Journalism From Today's Armenia
March 12, 2004


Disaster Help: Government rises to assist flood victims

By Atom Markarian

The government allocated on Thursday 507 million drams ($900,000) in “preliminary” urgent assistance to residents of the mainly rural areas across Armenia hit hard by last week's spring floods which officials described as the worst in decades.

Nearly one third of the money is to be used for repairing schools and providing new housing to some 50 families left homeless by the disaster. The Agriculture Ministry will receive some 200 million drams to ease substantial damages suffered by largely low-income farmers in the areas flooded by swollen mountain rivers.

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Free for a Fee: New law provides amnesty for draft dodgers

By Zhanna Alexanyan

As of March 1, men who went abroad to avoid military service can return to Armenia, pay a fine, and have their rights restored.

Since 1992, males of age 18 or older who left the country and did not return for military conscription have been on a “wanted” list and liable to prosecution. The new law stipulates that amnesty will be granted to those age 27 or older who, according to their situations, pay from about $50 to $180 for each semi-annual call up he has missed.

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Home Assistance: Program aims to help emigrants stay in Armenia

The State Committee on Refugees and Migration of Armenia and the Swiss Field Office on Refugees have started (on March 1) a trial program for encouraging illegal emigrants to return and stay in Armenia.

According to statistics, some 800,000 to 1 million citizens have left Armenia since independence. The majority have entered and stayed in countries illegally.

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According to Agnes


Free for a Fee: New law provides amnesty for draft dodgers

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The Big Man of Mijnavan: The lives and wives of resettlement

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The Week in seven days


The Arts in seven days


  Photo of the week
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Flying High

In anticipation of this weekend's visit by Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, workers put up flags on Mashtots Avenue in Yerevan. At first, Armenian and Georgian flags were placed, but the Georgian ones had to come down when it was discovered that the design was wrong.


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