1) Akhalkalak Armenians Rally against Russian Base Pullout, Demand Genocide
2) ARS Takes to the Seas to Assist Javakhk Armenians
3) ARF Bureau Representative Margarian Meets with Bulgarian Socialists
4) Aliyev Says No Room for Karabagh Compromise
5) Earthquake Damage Assessed in Vardenis Region

1) Akhalkalak Armenians Rally against Russian Base Pullout, Demand Genocide

--Armenian Members of Georgian Parliament Ignore Key Parliament Session

AKHALKALAK/TBILISI (Armenpress)--Around 4,000 local residents of Akhalkalak in
Georgia's south-western region of Javakhk, which is predominantly populated by
ethnic Armenians, rallied on March 13 to protest the withdrawal of the Russian
military base stationed there. Rally organizers said they are seeking to
protect the local Armenian population of Javakhk, and are guided by security
concerns and joblessness, as many locals are employed by the base.
The demonstrators also demanded that Georgia's Parliament officially recognize
the 1915 genocide of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks, and end the ban on
teaching Armenian history in Armenian schools.
Meanwhile, the majority of five Armenian members of Georgian parliament
the March 9 and 10 parliament debates and a subsequent vote on Russian
bases in Akhalkalak and Batumi.
With a 158-0 vote, parliament passed a resolution instructing the
government to
take measures against the existence of Russian military bases in Georgia if a
timeframe for their withdrawal is not reached with Russia before May 15.
Armenian members Hamlet Movsisian, Henzel Mkoyan, and Van Bayburdian missed
vote, while Melik Rayisian walked out of the hall before the vote. Hayk
Melitonian was the sole Armenian member of the parliament to endorse the

2) ARS Takes to the Seas to Assist Javakhk Armenians

NEWPORT BEACH--In an effort to help alleviate the dire humanitarian conditions
in Javakhk, the Armenian Relief Society of Western US (ARS-WR) Regional
Executive's Javakhk Fund Committee organized a dinner reception onboard the
Majestic" on March 6, raising $50,000 during the event.
Western United State Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian, ARF Bureau
member Viken Hovsepian, ARF Central Committee representatives, ARS Central,
Regional, and Chapter Executive members were among the 250 individuals who
boarded the Majestic harboring at Lido Marina Village. The participants, who
came as far away as San Francisco, enjoyed the tour around Newport Harbor in a
friendly and relaxed atmosphere on the three floors and decks of the Majestic.
His Eminence Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian urged all the attendees to
respond to calls for help from Javakhk with their moral and financial support.
Javakhk Fund Committee Chair Haigoush Kohler said that during the past five
years, the committee has provided desperately needed humanitarian
assistance to
Javakhk's native Armenian population, adding that the conditions have
deteriorated in the region and pose serious threats to the future existence of
the indigenous population.
Committee member and ARS-WR General Accountant/Auditor Jasik Jarahian
eyewitness accounts of the desperate conditions of health facilities, schools,
and poverty in Javakhk. As she announced donations, Jarahian urged all to not
spare assistance to Javakhk and keep the donations flowing.
The accounts of unavailable beds in hospitals, children writing on the floors
in schools, leaking school roofs, treacherous roadways, and poverty provided
powerful incentives to those who were generous with their donations.
ARS-WR Regional Executive Chair, Angela Savoian welcomed everyone and noted,
"All the work that we do, whether it is for Javakhk, Artsakh, Armenia or for
any of the western region areas, can't be done without your support and help."
Savoian recognized some of the volunteers for their work and dedication
including, Houri Melkonian, for donating and giving from the heart; and
Haigoush Kohler, whom she knew for over 40 years, "for mentoring so many of
working night and day focused on serving the Armenian people." The Regional
Executive Chair reiterated her appreciation of everyone, and added, "I hope
that when we come for other projects, you won't be tired of us."
Armenian National Committee of Glendale Executive Director Alina Azizian
was on
hand to introduce the ANC-endorsed candidates who were also present--Armineh
Hacopian, for Glendale College Board of Trustees, and Anahid Oshagan, for
Glendale City Council.
The ARS Javakhk Fund Committee has various fundraising projects underway.
Armenian day schools and ARS Saturday schools distributed piggy banks to
students to help raise funds and awareness among the young about Javakhk. The
committee also issued a 2005 wall calendar with beautiful pictures of

3) ARF Bureau Representative Margarian Meets with Bulgarian Socialists

YEREVAN (Yerkir)--Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Bureau
Hrant Margarian met on March 14 with Bulgarian Socialist Party Chairman Sergey
The Armenian delegation also included ARF Bureau member Albert Ajemian and ARF
Bulgaria organization representative Sahak Chalikian.
The parties spoke of the centuries-old relations between the Armenians and
Bulgarians, as well as relations between the two political parties.
Underscoring the importance of cooperation in Socialist International--to
both parties are full-fledged members--they also discussed issues related to
the international recognition of the Armenian genocide and peaceful settlement
of the Karabagh conflict.

4) Aliyev Says No Room for Karabagh Compromise

(AP)--President Ilham Aliyev emphasized Saturday that Azerbaijan is not ready
for any compromise with Armenia over Karabagh, saying that land held by ethnic
Armenian forces is occupied Azeri territory and cannot be the subject of
Aliyev said Azerbaijan will not change its position on the enclave. "There can
be no talk of mutual compromises. That was a mistaken thesis," Aliyev told
journalists, apparently referring to statements by international mediators who
have said compromise is necessary to settle the dispute between Armenia and
Azeri officials fear that a settlement plan could call on their country to
territory. In addition to Karabagh, ethnic Armenian forces hold a swath of
Azeri territory outside the enclave.
Aliyev said Azerbaijan is not willing to cede territory he called occupied.
"The only thing we can do" is discuss security guarantees for ethnic Armenians
who would be allowed to live in Karabagh if it were placed under Azeri
he said.
No settlement has been reached over Karabagh and tension remains high, keeping
the threat of a new war alive.
Aliyev said he would not oppose a new meeting with President Robert Kocharian
to discuss the dispute, but said that the countries' foreign ministers would
have to make progress toward a potential solution before a meeting can be
Progress is contingent on Armenia taking a "constructive position," he said.

5) Earthquake Damage Assessed in Vardenis Region

VARDENIS (Armenpress)--An earthquake with a magnitude of 4, was registered on
Monday morning by Armenian seismic stations 25 km south of the town of
on the Armenian-Azeri border. It shook the Armenian settlements of Sodk,
Tretuk, Azat, and Norabak.
Preliminary reports revealed there was structural damage, but no casualties.
Three cows were killed in village of Azat after the roof of a stable made of
earth collapsed. Dozens of houses, also made of earth, sustained damage.
A strong earthquake also shook eastern Turkey on Monday, damaging buildings
injuring at least 11 people, two days after another quake in the region.
The earthquake had a preliminary magnitude of 5.9 with an epicenter in rural
Bingol province. It toppled several buildings that had been badly damaged in
Saturday's tremor that registered at 5.7, according to officials.

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