2020 August 10
- 1 Daily news and anti-corruption report
- 2 Sunday news, in case you missed it:
- 3 Ex-oligarch's sugar monopoly penalized for predatory practices
- 4 COVID / Armenian test kits / Schools to reopen
- 5 The law about monitoring COVID suspects' phone/location
- 6 NSS busts a large-scale illegal fishing campaign / Lake Sevan
- 7 Cholaqar municipality officials are busted...
- 8 Anti-corruption in Lori province
- 9 Amulsar
- 10 Elevator replacement project in Yerevan / 500 vs 35
- 11 Iraqi-Armenian community...
- 12 Alejandro Kuklashenko
- 13 Road repairs in Gegharquniq
- 14 How did the banks do in 1H20? / Statistics / Dram vs Dollar
- 15 Heno is doing pretty good
- 16 New hole-y stones are confirmed in Qarahunj archaeological site
- 17 Archaeologists find more dragon-stones
- 18 Treaty of Sevres / Western Armenia / 100 years later
- 19 Education reforms / Ministry denies former regime's claims about "Anatolia" replacing "Armenian Highlands" / No true scandal without George Soros
Daily news and anti-corruption report
Aug/10/2020 news: / Bolola: Anatolia vs Armenian Highlands / Archaeology: new Qarahunj & Dragon-stones found / Huge illegal fishing campaign busted / Sugar monopoly penalized / Yerevan's new elevators / COVID: phone metadata monitoring law / Banking in Armenia / Treaty of Sevres & Western Armenia
Sunday news, in case you missed it:
Ex-oligarch's sugar monopoly penalized for predatory practices
Lfik Samo's Alex Holding will pay a $53K fine for abusing the dominant market share, says the Competition Committee.
Report: between 2018-2020, the company intentionally lowered its sugar prices to the point that they began losing money, to push competitors out of business, and to preserve dominant market share. Other instances of abuse of power were recorded.
COVID / Armenian test kits / Schools to reopen
No COVID stats on Mondays because they refresh facilities over the weekend.
Molecular Institute has so far produced 47,000 test kits (2k/day) after receiving a govt subsidy to import components from China. The kits are 98% accurate.
Schools will resume on September 15th. No decision yet about universities.
The law about monitoring COVID suspects' phone/location
On March 31st the govt passed a law to automatically scan COVID infected persons' location/phone metadata, to identify potential carriers who socialized with the infected.
57K residents were reached out by authorities, after scanning 6K phone calls (not the content of the call but the metadata).
1.5K people were placed in the high-risk group. 174 were confirmed with COVID.
NSS busts a large-scale illegal fishing campaign / Lake Sevan
The report says: // 127 tons of fish were illegally caught from Lake Sevan. 20 raids reveal multiple suspects.
In 2019-2020 suspects caught 12 tons of whitefish (sig) and used a govt-funded refrigeration facility for storage. Another 47 tons were stolen by unknown pouches and stored in the same facility.
NSS raided Zvartnots airport and Bagratashen border checkpoint and confiscated tons of illegal fish before they were exported. The fish were intentionally incorrectly labeled as Abumbria [Mackerel] canned fish. \\
Cholaqar municipality officials are busted...
... with allegedly embezzling a kindergarten land and leasing it to a telecom provider in 2014, as well as registering fake employees to steal their salaries.
Anti-corruption in Lori province
33 felony corruption cases in 1H20. The total number of felonies sent to court rose +108%.
A small group of environmental activists held a protest in front of Parliament building. They don't want Amulsar mining to proceed. The police issued a "COVID" warning then detained some of them.
"The police received a warning not to touch high profile lawyers. They only detained ordinary activists," said one activist-lawyer.
"We understand that jobs and money are necessary, but we believe the losses will outweigh the benefits," said the activist.
Amulsar miner Lydian said the local government broke the law by removing their trailers near the Amulsar road. "We'll proceed with our work". They examined the items inside the trailers that were damaged during the moving process.
Elevator replacement project in Yerevan / 500 vs 35
Mayor Marutyan: // Erebuni district is getting new elevators. 123 ongoing replacements across the city.
We'll finish 2020 by having replaced 500 units. Compared that to 35 that was done before 2018.
All elevators will have a voice system in Armenian, wheelchair access, buttons for visually impaired. Lots of jobs are created. \\
... donated $91K to Armenian soldiers post-Tavush battles.
Belarus president Alejandro fell shot 4% from Pashinyan's 85% popularity, despite drawing the election result numbers for himself.
Pashinyan called to congratulate bat'ka for not accidentally exceeding the 100% mark.
Road repairs in Gegharquniq
A section of Sevan-Martuni-Getap road is being renovated for $2M. It's an important one because it's a hub between Artsakh-Iran-Armenia.
How did the banks do in 1H20? / Statistics / Dram vs Dollar
17 commercial banks. 550 branches.
12,100 employees. 3.1m customers. 6.1m accounts.
80% of the population does banking.
Profits +5.7% or $4.6M.
Total capital +5.6% or $97.6M. Total assets +3.3% or $396.6M.
Total deposits -3.1% or $232M, however, deposits by resident customers +0.8% or $39M.
While loaning reduced around the world due to COVID, it increased by 0.7% ($58M) in Armenia. 42% went to individuals and 45% to help the economy.
For the first time in a decade, the volume of loans issued in Drams exceeds the Dollar.
Heno is doing pretty good
Roman legionnaire Henrikh Mkhitaryan is his team's 3rd player with the highest number of ball strikes (35), 9 of which ended with a goal.
He is the 6th when it comes to setting up the team for a successful goal: 22 goal setups in 22 matches.
New hole-y stones are confirmed in Qarahunj archaeological site
The "Armenian Stonehenge" Qarahunj is confirmed to have 30 more stones with holes in them. It is believed they were used for astronomy by ancient people. The 30 stones join the existing 84.
The archaeologists were joined by Byurakan observatory experts.
Archaeologists find more dragon-stones
Ancient stones with dragon drawings are a thing in Armenia because dragons were affiliated with water. Some people viewed dragons as providers of water, while others wanted the dragons killed to free the water stolen by them. (I'll take any Bill Gates theory over this thank you)
Hundreds of dragon stones have been found across Armenia in recent years.
The Education Ministry is restoring some of them in original locations. One will be placed in Yerevan's Circular Park.
Treaty of Sevres / Western Armenia / 100 years later
Turkey lost WW1 and had to sign the treaty of Sevres. It envisioned a 160,000 m2 Armenia. Avetis Aharonyan even ordered a gold pen to sign it.
President Sarkissian: // The Treaty of Sevr is an important document for achieving a just solution to the Armenian question. It was about Turkey recognizing Armenia and allowing the U.S. to draw the borders through Erzrum, Trapizon, Van, Bitlis. Armenia would have access to the Black Sea.
The document remained unperfected due to geopolitical changes, but it remains a valid document, and many middle eastern countries got independence with it.
Later in 1920 Kemalists attacked Armenia and the latter became Soviet. Nonetheless, Armenians remain the true heirs of their history no matter how many Armenian monuments are destroyed and whether Turkey denies history.
Armenia never canceled Sevres. Lozan agreement did not revoke it because Armenia wasn't part of it. Res inter alios acta. \\
Historian Ashot Mikaelyan: // Sevres wasn't enforced because by late 1920 Soviet Russia came out of civil war and had bad relations with Antant, so it established closer ties with Turkey, who was enemies with Antant.
As a result, after the 1920 Eastern Muslim nation's conference, Russia allowed Turkey to attack the Republic of Armenia which led to its Sovietization.
Turkey was required to accept the Sevres treaty. De Jure those lands belong to Armenia. \\
Pashinyan: // We need to keep reminding Armenians and the world about this important treaty.
1) It envisioned a peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims in the region.
2) It recognized Armenia and allowed it to sign an important agreement independently for the first time in centuries.
3) It strengthened Armenians' undeniable connection with the Armenian Highlands, where Armenians lived and prospered for millenniums. \\
Education reforms / Ministry denies former regime's claims about "Anatolia" replacing "Armenian Highlands" / No true scandal without George Soros
Location: Armenian Highlands (disputed by Anatolia)
Belligerents: Education Ministry vs Former Government
Hired Mercenaries: Գյուլնազ տատի, Pashinyan's sheep, concerned® victims of Roboserj media outlets, George Soros.
Result: Decisive Armenian Highland victory. Anatolia sustains heavy casualties and retreats to pre-2020 borders.
Background: Education Ministry is accused of omitting parts of Armenian history and altering geographical names in school history books to make it more pro-Turkey, after [secret] meetings with Turks.
First you need some context about what has been happening in Armenia:
After being rejected by the public, political parties HHK and ARF, and their media outlets such as Yerkir, antifake. etc, began acting "extra patriotic" with a hope to gain public sympathy. They portrayed Pashinyan administration as pro-Azeri and pro-gay (a big insult in Armenia).
Part of ARF's plan (ARF the party based within Armenia and not the international Dashnaks) was to launch a crusade against Education Minister Arayik Harutyunyan in 2019, by claiming he was "ruining the Armenian Language".
What happened was the Ministry allowed universities to choose whether the Armenian Language would be required for all students.
Ministry believes that since every student had already studied Armenian for 12 years in schools, it may not be strictly necessary for a university student, who chose to be an electrician, to study language again. Instead of language, the student can spend more time on their major.
ARF incorrectly claimed that Ministry was removing Armenian Language from universities. They present that as "betrayal of traditional values" and held unsuccessful protests to have Minister Arayik Harutyunyan fired.
It all backfired spectacularly and several ARF activists publicly quit and criticized ARF leadership for "turning the party into a tool that serves Serj Sargsyan's interests".
And now we have a brand new scandal, which the Ministry says is also manufactured.
As part of the ongoing education reforms, which envisions the removal of grading for <5 classes, reduced reliance on remembering and more emphasis on logic and analytics, the Ministry is also reforming how the history is taught between 5-12 classes.
A Group was created tasked with meeting with experts. One of the Group members is historian Lilith Mkrtchyan, who is the main subject of this attack by ARF.
Backstory: In 2016-2018, historian Mkrtchyan met a group of Turkish scholars who, as stated by her, had recognized the Armenian Genocide and laid flowers in Tsitsernakaberd memorial. Together, they published an international historical book in 2017 in which the word "Anatolia" was used to describe the region. In Armenia, people don't like the word "Anatolia" because the correct historical term is "Armenian Highlands".
Now the Roboserj (former regime) media outlets criticize Mkrtchyan for her past meetings with Turkish colleagues. Outlets portrayed her as a traitor, reminding that Turkey wants to destroy Armenia.
By judging from Roboserj articles, however, one of the main motives of the criticism appears to be Mkrtchyan's past anti-Serj activities and her alleged ties with various human rights NGOs, which the former regime despises.
Historian Mkrtchyan responded: // I participated in a 2016 initiative also attended by Turks. Since it was an international gathering, we had to use terminology used by international scientific bodies and museums. They all use the word "Anatolia".
Perhaps we Armenians have some work to do to convince the international community to use the term "Armenian Highlands", but until then, I can't change that by myself.
That 2016-2017 event is unrelated to the education reforms in Armenia. The word "Anatolia" will not replace "Armenian Highlands" in Armenian schools. \\
Former regime's outlets also criticized Mkrtchyan for being a member of anti-Roboserj student initiative "restart", and accused her of collaborating with LGBT and George Soros-related groups.
Q: your critics call you a Turkish agent.
Mkrtchyan: // Sad and defamatory. My colleagues from Turkey visited the Genocide Memorial and laid flowers. They're persecuted within Turkey. Turkish govt confiscated their passports and jailed some of them.
I'll consider suing [Roboserj circles] for defamation. If anyone has disagreements about the curriculum, they can submit their ideas. It's an open process. We've met 6,000 teachers. \\
Q: were your 2016-2017 meetings with Turkish colleagues secret?
Mkrtchyan: No. It was publicized.
Roboserj outlet 5th Channel accused Mkrtchayan of being pro-Turk. The outlet says the curriculum about Armenia's anti-Turkish struggles and other historical episodes are omitted and not all kingdoms are mentioned.
Ministry member: // it's pure disinformation. They're trying to shout "we're more patriotic than you". That outlet is trying to serve sensational materials to "this is the end of Armenia" crowd. Anatolia does not replace the Armenian Highlands in the books.
Pre-Urartu period isn't omitted. It's taught as part of "My homeland and I" subject beginning 5th class. Their criticism is political and not scientific or historical. \\
Along came the Education Minister Harutyunyan himself and decided to blow everything up with a canister of kerosene. He began messing with ARF.
Minister: // ARF is the one accusing us of carrying out Turkish orders? That's the party that was against Armenia's independence and wanted to hand over [hero and fighter] Andranik Ozanyan to Turkey. The reforms will proceed regardless of their noises. \\
This wasn't accepted lightly by ARF.
What did the Minister mean by "ARF handing over Andranik to Turkey?". A former Armenian historian circulated a disputed document claiming that ARF secretly wrote to Ottoman leader and asked him get rid of Andranik Ozanyan, who wasn't obeying to ARF.
Very basically speaking, it is known that Andranik and ARF had bad relations, and at the time, ARF was supposed to prevent groups of unruly "bandits" from roaming around Armenia.
Still, some historians denied the truthfulness of this document.
More about the actual curriculum reforms (you tired yet? have a snack 🍿 now take a sip 🥤)
We're talking about 4 subjects: My Homeland and I, Armenian History, World History, Sociology.
The new system's structure is as follows: curriculum -> action -> grading ->end results. Curriculum repetition will be reduced throughout 5-10 classes.
Experts complain that the old system is too vague, non-gradable, and doesn't deliver end results.
Historian Mkrtchyan: // The new subject, which starts from 5th grade, is "My homeland and I". It places the student at the forefront and teaches about their surroundings, community, country, history, Artsakh, etc. It envisions interaction. They'll dance folklore dances, etc.
6th graders learn both Armenian History and World History; the two will be closely integrated. It's important for kids to understand what's happening around the world while certain events happen in Armenia.
Between 7-9th grades it gets more specific and branches out between Armenian History, World History, Sociology.
Nothing is left out of Armenian History curriculum for middle schools.
As for high school, they'll no longer be taught the same thing they learned in earlier classes, because teachers complain that kids lose interest when the subject repeats.
10th grade will focus on the formation/collapse of states, foreign/internal affairs, politics, society, etc. It also applies to Urartu and Kilikia.
11th grade focuses on national identify, Armenia's fight for independence, historical struggle.
12th grade is more about creating a future and focusing on various scenarios. Lots of essays and research.
How many times have you heard a child ask "Why do I learn this stuff if I'm never going to use it in real life?". We want to fix that by establishing a tie between real life and what they learn. \\
This is a developing story.
Interview with historian Mkrtchyan https://medialab.am/85319/
Discussion with Mkrtchyan and others https://youtu.be/0pnSu0uy4_Y
ARF outlet https://www.yerkir.am/news/view/209112.html
Kocharyan outlet https://antifake.am/am/news/2818
Tags: #ArmenianHighlands #Anatolia #FakeNews #ArmenianHistory #ARF #Andranik
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Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/i7bigt/aug102020_news_bolola_anatolia_vs_armenian/
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise. Helpful overview of Armenia's media ownership and leanings.
|2018 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2019 Daily Armenia Reports|
|2020 Daily Armenia Reports|