February 20, 2004

LOS ANGELES, CA — The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR) discussed the New York Life Insurance case dealing with the return of Armenian Genocide-era assets, with major media outlets this week,when interviewed for a national wire story issued by the Associated Press, a news segment aired by Fox News, and a radio program produced by National Public Radio, among others.

“The media attention surrounding the proposed settlement of the New York Life Insurance case has provided a venue to educate the general public about the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA-WR Chairman Raffi Hamparian. “The more the general public knows about the Armenian Genocide and Turkey’s genocide denial, the more likely they are to support our drive for justice,” he added.

In a statement issued earlier this week, the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), “applauded the efforts of Martin Marootian and the plaintiffs for leading the campaign to hold New York Life accountable—even if only in small measure—for failing to meet its obligations toward the policyholders who perished in the Armenian Genocide. This case and its outcome mark a significant milestone for the Armenian nation in that the lawsuit was the first of its kind to seek the return of Genocide-era assets long thought lost, denied or forgotten.”

The ANCA statement emphasized that, “to place this settlement in its proper context, it is important to note that, while the heirs and grandchildren of Genocide-era policy holders will now receive some portion of those funds, we should remember that those moneys were not available when these orphans of Genocide needed them the most. Instead, they were collecting interest in New York Life’s coffers and remained there for some 89 years until this action was taken. It is truly unfortunate that a company that Armenian policyholders trusted in 1914 was only compelled to do the right thing after special laws were enacted in California and a group of tenacious Armenians were able to wrestle those funds free.”

The ANCA-WR will continue to monitor media coverage of the New York Life Insurance case dealing with the return of Armenian Genocide-era assets to ensure fair and accurate reporting.

Individuals who read, watch, or listen to a media report on the case that includes erroneous facts on the Armenian Genocide are encouraged to contact the ANCA-WR offices at (818) 500-1918.


For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Ardashes Kassakhian
Email / Tel: (818) 500-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
Western Region
104 N. Belmont, Suite 200, Glendale, CA 91206 * Tel. (818) 500-1918
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