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03/13/2006
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1) Armenians in Georgia Rally against Attack on Armenian Youths
2) Pallone And Radanovich Rally Colleagues in Support of Pro-Armenian
Provisions in Foreign Aid Bill
3) ANCA Endowment Fund Purchases New Washington, DC Headquarters
4) ANC Endorses Leland Yee for State Senate
5) Levon Aronian Wins Linares Chess Tournament
6) Pallone Extremely Disappointed over Reports of Evans' Withdrawal

1) Armenians in Georgia Rally against Attack on Armenian Youths

YEREVAN (Yerkir/Armenpress)Thousands of Armenians attended a rally Saturday in
the Georgian town of Akhalkalak to protest an attack in the southern Georigan
town of Tsalka, in which 23 year old Gevorg Gevorgyan was stabbed to death and
two other Armenian men wounded.
Organized by the Javakhk Council of Armenian Public Organizations, the rally
denounced the crime, saying that it is a result of Georgia's policy toward
ethnic minorities.
Speakers discussed the security of the local Armenian population and urged
the
public to remain cautious and restrained in the face of Georgian provocation.
At the end of the rally, an appeal was presented to the Georgian authorities
which demanded that they guarantee the security of the local Armenian
population and stop aggravating ethnic tensions by repatriating non-Armenians
to Armenian regions of Georgia.
They also appealed for a democratic solution to Javakhk's problems and to
allow Armenian to be used as an official language in Javakhk.
The Human Rights Defender of Georgia, Sozar Subari, held a press conference
Saturday addressing the incident that took place on the evening of March 9.
Representatives from the Human Rights Defender's Office arrived in the
southern town of Tsalka to investigate the incident in which about 15 ethnic
Georgians attacked three Armenian men as they were getting into their car.
After studying the preliminary report, Subari denied widespread allegations
that this crime was ethnically motivated.
"Our representatives traveled there and probed into the case. We can say that
this dispute has nothing to do with ethnic confrontation," Subari said.
He called on the people to let government officials finish the investigation
of Tsalka events without any pressure or hindrance.
According to official data, five suspects have been detained by Georgian
police and the search for others continues.
Karen Elchyan, President of the Armenian Center of Cooperation of Georgia
(ACCG) said that victims believe the attack was motivated by ethnic hatred.
Representatives from the office of the Ombudsman and leaders of the ACCG
visited Karen Baloyan, one of the victims, in a Tbilisi hospital where he was
taken after the attack.
When asked about the incident, Baloyan said that neither he nor any of his
friends were previously acquainted with their attackers.
Clashes between Armenians and Georgians have occurred occasionally in recent
years in the predominantly Armenian populated Tsalka.

2) Pallone And Radanovich Rally Colleagues in Support of Pro-Armenian
Provisions in Foreign Aid Bill

WASHINGTON, DC--Congressmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and George Radanovich (R-CA)
called on their US House colleagues Saturday to join them in cosigning a
letter
calling on the leadership of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee to
support pro-Armenian provisions in the fiscal year 2007 foreign aid bill,
reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
This bipartisan expression of support, addressed to the panel's Chairman Jim
Kolbe (R-AZ) and Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY), strengthens the hand of
pro-Armenian members of the Subcommittee, most notably Armenian Caucus
Co-Chairman Joe Knollenberg, Steve Rothman (D-NJ), Mark Kirk (R-IL), and John
Sweeney (R-NY). Representative Sweeney, who joined the panel last year, is one
of only two Members of Congress of Armenian heritage.
The letter notes that members of Congress are "deeply troubled" that the
Administration's request for military aid for Azerbaijan is considerably
higher
than the request for Armenia. By signing the letter, legislators will add
their
voice to the effort to ensure that the agreement struck in 2001 between the
White House and Congress to keep aid levels to these two countries equal is
fully respected. In addition, the letter calls for a hard earmark of at least
$75 million for Armenia, a one-year $5 million allocation for Karabagh, and
the
preservation of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act.
"We want to thank Congressmen Radanovich and Pallone in urging the Foreign
Operations Subcommittee to support provisions in the fiscal year 2007 foreign
aid bill of special importance to Armenian Americans," said ANCA Executive
Director Aram Hamparian. "We also value the advocacy for pro-Armenian issues
from within this panel by Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Joe Knollenberg, the
leadership of Chairman Jim Kolbe and Ranking Democrat Nita Lowey, and the
support of Representatives Steve Rothman, John Sweeney, Mark Kirk, Jesse
Jackson, Jr., Carolyn Kilpatrick, Chaka Fattah, and our other friends."

3) ANCA Endowment Fund Purchases New Washington, DC Headquarters

WASHINGTON, DC--The ANCA Endowment Fund announced Friday the purchase of a new
national headquarters, cementing the grassroots organization's presence in the
nation's capital and creating a platform for the continued growth of the
political power and influence of the Armenian American community.
"At its heart, this purchase speaks to our respect for our roots--our
enduring
historic roots as a people, our grassroots communities around the country, and
the deep roots that we have planted here in the nation's capital," said ANCA
Endowment Fund President Ken Hachikian. "Roots represent our identity--and our
strength. Grassroots advocacy is in our very soul. Our roots have been the
wellspring that has nourished us from our fledgling days, through decades of
struggle, and to our status today as a world-class organization, recognized
internationally as the principled, forceful, and effective voice of the
Armenian American community."
The four-story building, formerly owned by AOL founder Steve Case, is located
near prestigious Embassy Row, blocks from the White House and the nation's
leading think tanks, including the Carnegie Foundation and the Brookings
Institution. The newly renovated structure features the latest in computer,
communications, and networking technology.
"Now is the time to build on our successes," added Hachikian. "We look
confidently to the future--forging new paths and embracing new
technologies--to
generate the political power, influence and respect that the Armenian American
community deserves--and that the Armenian homeland needs."
With a proven track record of results and a rock-solid base of support to
build on, the leadership of the ANCA Endowment is currently in the planning
stages of a campaign to cover the full cost of this state-of-the-art building,
expand a variety of advocacy programs, and enlarge the organization's life
sustaining endowment fund. These efforts will cement the long-term stability
and continuing success of Armenian American advocacy, substantially reinforce
the Armenian presence in Washington DC, and create an even more powerful voice
for Armenian Americans--in short, provide a sound footing for the future and a
permanent home for the Armenian Cause in the United States.

4) ANC Endorses Leland Yee for State Senate

SAN FRANCISCO--The Armenian National Committee - Political Action Committee
(ANC-PAC) urged all Armenian Americans to support Leland Yee for State Senate
and those living in District 8 to vote for him in the June Democratic Party
Primary. Senate District 8 includes San Francisco and San Mateo County.
"Assemblymember Yee has been a long-time friend and advocate for the Armenian
American community," said ANC-PAC Chairman Leonard Manoukian. "Whether it is
authoring legislation to add the Armenian genocide into the school curriculum
or casting a critical vote to establish a California trade office in Yerevan,
Leland Yee has always fought to protect and preserve our culture and
interests."
"It is an honor to be endorsed by the Armenian National Committee," said Yee.
"I take great pride in representing such a strong and active Armenian American
community, and with the support of the ANC, I look forward to continuing my
public service in the State Senate."
In addition to Yee's advocacy in the State Legislature, he supported the sale
of Mt. Davidson Cross to the Armenian community and stood firm as the Turkish
lobby tried to disrupt the process. He hosted a reception in San Francisco for
the President of Mountainous Karabagh Republic, Arkady Ghoukasian, and his
delegation. Yee has always been a vocal proponent of the recognition of the
Armenian genocide, regularly attending rallies and community memorial
events to
show his support. Sevag Sarkissian, Yee's Senior Field Representative and
native San Franciscan, has also been continuously involved in Armenian
community life.
Leland Yee is seeking the 8th District State Senate seat, which will be
vacated by Senator Jackie Speier as she seeks the position of Lieutenant
Governor. The hotly-contested Democratic Primary will be held on Tuesday, June
6.

The ANC-PAC (a non-partisan organization) seeks to elevate the level of
political participation of Armenian American voters. Working in coordination
with a network of supporters throughout the State of California, the ANC-PAC
actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad
range of issues.

5) Levon Aronian Wins Linares Chess Tournament

(Combined Sources)--Armenian grandmaster Levon Aronian won the 23rd Linares
Super Grandmaster chess tournament in Spain on Saturday, after Hungary's Peter
Leko faltered and lost the last two games.
The final standings in Linares were: Aronian 8 1/2 points in 14 games;
Veselin
Topalov and Teimur Radjabov 8 points; Leko 7 1/2 points; Peter Svidler and
Vassily Ivanchuk 6 1/2 points; Etienne Bacrot 6 points; Francisco Vallejo Pons
5 points.
Aronian will now travel to Monaco to participate in the 5th Amber Rapid and
Blindfold Chess Tournament at the Fairmont Monte Carlo Hotel from March 18-30.
The 23-year-old Aronian, winner of the world cup, is ranked fifth in the
world.

6) Pallone Extremely Disappointed over Reports of Evans' Withdrawal

WASHINGTON, DC--Congressman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Co-Chairman of the Armenian
Issues Caucus, expressed his extreme disappointment to Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice over reports that the US Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall
Evans, is being forced from office based on truthful and forthright statements
last year about the Armenian genocide.
In a March 10 letter, Pallone shared with the Secretary that he is "outraged
that the State Department is recalling Ambassador Evans as retaliation for
statements he made in recognition of the Armenian genocide." He added that,
"it
is simply wrong for the State Department to punish Ambassador Evans for
statements he made that are factually correct. Accordingly, I am asking you
for
an explanation as to why Ambassador Evans was removed from his post. This is
the wrong message to send to the world. I look forward to a timely response
from your office."
Speaking last year to an Armenian American gathering at the University of
California at Berkeley, Ambassador Evans said, "I will today call it the
Armenian genocide... I informed myself in depth about it. I think we, the US
government, owe you, our fellow citizens, a more frank and honest way of
discussing this problem. Today, as someone who has studied it... there's no
doubt
in my mind [as to] what happened . . . I think it is unbecoming of us, as
Americans, to play word games here. I believe in calling things by their
name."
Referring to the Armenian genocide as "the first genocide of the 20th
century," he said: "I pledge to you, we are going to do a better job at
addressing this issue." Evans also disclosed that he had consulted with a
legal
advisor at the State Department who had confirmed that the events of 1915 were
"genocide by definition."
Within days after his remarks and the conclusion of a speaking tour of
Armenian American communities, Ambassador Evans was apparently forced to issue
a statement clarifying that his references to the Armenian genocide were his
personal views and did not represent a change in US policy. He subsequently
issued a correction to this statement, replacing a reference to the Genocide
with the word "tragedy."
Later last year, the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), in
recognition of his honesty and commitment to principle, decided to honor
Ambassador Evans with the "Christian A. Herter Award," recognizing creative
thinking and intellectual courage within the Foreign Service. Sadly, as
Washington Post staff writer Glenn
Kessler revealed on June 9, AFSA withdrew its award following pressure from
"very serious people from the State Department."
ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian, in a letter sent to Secretary Rice earlier this
week, wrote that, "the prospect that a US envoy's posting--and possibly his
career--has been cut short due to his honest and accurate description of a
genocide is profoundly offensive to American values and US standing
abroad--particularly in light of President Bush's call for moral clarity in
the
conduct of our international affairs."
The ANCA letter also urged Secretary Rice to respond in a timely manner to
the
series of written questions on this matter submitted on February 16 by
Congressman Adam Schiff during her testimony before the House International
Relations Committee. Among these questions was a specific request that the
Secretary assure the Committee that the Department of State has not taken--and
will not take--any punitive action against Ambassador Evans for speaking out
about the Armenian genocide.

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