WATERTOWN, MA–The Armenian National Committee of America Eastern Region (ANCA ER) has released its year end review for 2003 (see below).
What follows is a brief chronological look at the wide range of activities that occurred in 2003 on the local, state, national, and international levels, through the efforts of ANCs and community volunteers.
For complete coverage of the ANCA ER 2003 year end roundup, individuals are encouraged to obtain a copy of the January 10, 2004 Armenian Weekly or visit the ANCA website at www.anca.org.
The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots political organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Armenian National Committee of America
2003 Year End Roundup
As you will read below, 2003 was a busy year. Armenian National Committees (ANC) worldwide worked to further the understanding of issues important to Armenians everywhere.
Most readers are more familiar with the work the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) does to promote important issues in and around Washington, DC. These include Congressional efforts to recognize the Armenian Genocide, efforts to increase US foreign assistance to Armenia and Karabagh, efforts to promote the self-determination of the people of Nagorno Karabagh, efforts to monitor US assistance to Azerbaijan and Turkey, and more. Below is a brief synopsis of those efforts as well as a look at Hai Tahd activities that occurred on the local, state, and international levels, through joint efforts of ANCs and community volunteers. Additionally some events occurred last year that affect Hai Tahd work, which have been included on this list in order to give a complete picture.
All of these activities promote the understanding of the diverse issues important to Armenians, help strengthen Armenia, and occur through the continued and generous moral and financial support of thousands of individuals and many organizations.
To learn more about the Armenian National Committee or the myriad activities that ANCs pursue, please contact your local ANC or visit www.anca.org.
Journalists in Armenia. Following the murder of Tigran Naghdalian, Chairman of Armenian Public Television, the ANCA ER joins with human rights organizations worldwide in condemning this crime and in urging government officials in Armenia to do everything in their power to bring the perpetrators to justice. January 11.
ANCA Opposes President’s Extension of Section 907 Waiver. The ANCA expresses disappointment over the Bush Administration’s decision to extend its waiver of the Section 907 restriction on US assistance to Azerbaijan. Armenian Americans contact their Members of Congress and urge them to include a provision in the fiscal year 2004 foreign aid bill which allows the President to extend the Section 907 waiver on a year-to-year basis only with explicit Congressional approval. January 17.
Torture in Turkey. The ANCA ER joins the Paris-based International Federation of Human Rights Leagues in urging Turkish authorities to wipe out torture by ensuring independent monitoring and quick investigations of torture allegations. January 18.
House Members Urge Conferees to Maintain $90 Million Earmark for Armenia. Armenian Caucus Co-Chair Frank Pallone (D-NJ) is joined by over 20 of his colleagues in urging the House Foreign Operations conferees to maintain a $90 million earmark for Armenia and additional humanitarian assistance for Nagorno Karabagh, in 2003 Omnibus Appropriations bill. January 28.
New Jersey Democratic Congressmen Robert Andrews and Frank Pallone Introduce Resolution (H.Res.39) Congratulating Armenia on World Trade Organization Entry.January 28.
“Pro-Armenia” Conference. Over 250 delegates and dignitaries from nearly 20 countries gather at the French Senate to participate in the “Pro-Armenia” International Conference in Paris, organized by the European Armenian Federation for Justice and Democracy in conjunction with ANC offices throughout the world, bringing together diverse voices from around the world committed to the advancement of Armenian concerns. Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN) and Warwick, Rhode Island Mayor Scott Avedisian are among the elected officials assembled. January 31-February 2.
White House Proposes $49.5 Million In Aid To Armenia; $41.5 Million In Assistance To Azerbaijan. The Bush Administration releases its fiscal year 2004 budget, which calls for $49.5 million in assistance to Armenia, a significant drop from last year’s Presidential request of $70 million. Comparatively, the Administration request for Azerbaijan saw a smaller reduction, from a $46 million request in 2003 to $41.5 million for 2004. February 3.
Reps. Knollenberg and Pallone Introduce Legislation to Grant PNTR Status to Armenia.Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) introduce legislation (H.R.528) that would provide permanent normal trade relations status to the Republic of Armenia. The ANCA encourages Armenian Americans to support this effort by urging their Representative to cosponsor H.R.528. February 4.
Torture Continues in Turkey. Several human rights organizations report that torture remains widespread in the Republic of Turkey. The ANCA ER joins with the international community in urging the Republic of Turkey to grant detainees immediate access to lawyers, ensure that prisons and police stations are monitored independently, and allegations of torture are quickly investigated. February 8.
House of Representatives Adopts $90 Million Aid Package for Armenia for Fiscal Year 2003. February 13.
Museum of Tolerance Fails to Adequately Respond to Absence of Armenian Genocide Exhibit. Despite calls from thousands of Armenian Americans nationwide, a major story in the Los Angeles Times, and growing interest on the part of local, state, and federal lawmakers, the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles fails to take demonstrable steps to establish an exhibit on the Armenian Genocide. The ANCA WR asks Armenian Americans to contact Museum of Tolerance Director, Mrs. Liebe Geft, urging that the Museum include a major exhibit on the Armenian Genocide. February 14.
Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI) Joins Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues.February 14.
ANCA Eastern Region Responds to Boston Herald Editorial. The Boston Herald prints a Letter to the Editor written by ANCA ER Director Arin Gregorian, in response to the newspaper’s February 11 editorial, “An alliance on the line.” February 19.
Stop Multi-Billion Dollar US Taxpayer Payoff to Turkey. In response to Turkey’s demands that the US provide a $32 billion economic package in return for its cooperation in Iraq, the ANCA encourages Armenian Americans to contact their Members of Congress and register opposition to the proposed multi-billion dollar payoff to Turkey. February 20.
Rep. Pallone Speaks Out Against Proposed Aid Package for Turkey. Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) speaks out against an impending US multi-billion dollar assistance package to Turkey, designed to secure support for the US war effort against Iraq. February 24.
Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL) Joins Armenian Caucus. February 24.
Protect Women in Turkey. The ANCA ER informs the Armenian American community of Amnesty International USA’s Human Rights Action Center alert titled, “Turkey: Justice delayed and denied for victims of sexual torture.” Individuals are encouraged to visit the Amnesty International USA’s Human Rights Action Center website and voice their concerns about the use of torture and sexual assault against women by prison guards and policemen with Turkey’s Minister of Justice. March 1.
Support Grows for H.R.528 with Over 25 US Representatives Sponsoring the US/Armenia PNTR Legislation. March 3.
US Representatives Call for Armenia’s Participation in Millennium Challenge Account Program. Speaking during a House International Relations Committee hearing on the Millennium Challenge Account, Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA), Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Joseph Crowley (D-NY), encourage Administration officials to support Armenia’s inclusion in this new multi-billion dollar foreign aid program proposed by President’s Bush.March 6.
ANCA Welcomes Introduction of Legislation (H.Con.Res.83) Honoring Victims of Cambodian Genocide. March 10.
Reps. Doggett and Emanuel Protest Diversion of Billions of Dollars from Domestic Programs to Turkey. Speaking on the floor of the US House of Representatives, Congressmen Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) and Rahm Emanuel (D-IL) protest the Administration’s diversion of billions of dollars from domestic programs in order to secure Turkey’s cooperation in a war on Iraq. March 11.
ANCA Joins Call for US Commission to Study the Injustice of African American Slavery.The ANCA joins with a broad-based coalition of civil rights and ethnic organizations in supporting legislation in the US House of Representatives (H.R.40) to establish a commission to review slavery and its impact on today’s African American community. March 13.
BBC Documentary on Armenian Genocide Shown to Capitol Hill Audience. Legislative aides from over 50 Congressional offices attend a Capitol Hill showing of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) documentary on the Turkish government lobbying campaign to deny the Armenian Genocide. The event is hosted by Representatives James Saxton (R-NJ) and Adam Schiff (D-CA) and sponsored by the ANCA. March 14.
ANCA Submits “Public Comment” to House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Trade in Support of Extending PNTR Status to Armenia. March 18.
Prof. Melson Gives Lecture to Central Massachusetts Armenian American community.The ANC of Central Massachusetts sponsors a lecture by Purdue University Professor Robert Melson titled “Total Genocide: The Armenian Genocide and the Holocaust in Comparative Perspective.” March 25.
Rep. Pallone Speaks Out Against Proposed Aid Package to Turkey. Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) speaks out against the President’s request of $1 billion in assistance to Turkey as part of a supplemental aid package to be considered by Congress. March 27.
120 Seconds . . . For US Genocide Recognition. The ANCA urges Armenian Americans to give two minutes of their time to secure official US recognition of the Armenian Genocide by urging their Representative to support the upcoming House Genocide resolution. March 28.
ANCA Chairman Testifies Before Congressional Foreign Aid Panel. In testimony presented before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations, the ANCA calls for continued assistance to Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh, the defense of Section 907, and a halt to controversial US arms sales to the Turkish military. April 2.
Over 50 Members Of Congress Attend ANCA Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance. Over 50 Members of Congress join several hundred Armenian Americans from across the country in honoring the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide at the ninth annual ANCA Observance on Capitol Hill. The highlight of the Observance was a tribute by the ANCA to former Wisconsin Senator Bill Proxmire, who led a tireless 20-year campaign to attain US adoption of the UN Genocide Convention. April 10.
House Genocide Resolution Introduced. A bipartisan group of 65 US Representatives, led by Congressmen George Radanovich (R-CA), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ), introduces H.Res.193 commemorating the 15th anniversary of the US implementation of the UN Genocide Convention. This legislation cites the Armenian Genocide and calls upon the United States to learn from the lessons of past catastrophes to prevent future genocides. April 10.
Help Provide Public Schools with Armenian Genocide Resources. The ANCA ER launches a Sponsor A Book program to provide middle and high schools with materials to help students learn about the first Genocide of the 20th Century. April 12.
Over 165 Representatives Urge President Bush to Properly Characterize Armenian Genocide. Following an extensive nationwide grassroots campaign, 168 Representatives sign a Congressional letter to President George Bush urging him to properly commemorate the Armenians Genocide as “genocide,” in his April 24th statement. April 15.
The Armenian Genocide, the Local Media, and You. The ANCA ER encourages Armenian Americans to monitor their local press, identifying attempts to distort or deny the facts of the Armenian Genocide and urges community members to voice their concerns with a letter to the editor. April 19.
Despite AYF Hunger Strike and Attempts at Dialogue, Museum of Tolerance Fails to Create Permanent Exhibit on Armenian Genocide. April 21.
Democratic Presidential Candidate Rep. Richard Gephardt Cosponsors Genocide Resolution (H.Res.193). April 22.
President Bush Again Fails to Honor Pledge to Recognize Armenian Genocide. President George W. Bush, in his third April 24th statement as President, once again breaks his campaign pledge to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide. April 24.
Commemoration of the 88th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Held at the Wisconsin State Capitol. The ANC of Wisconsin, State Representatives Bonnie Ladwig, Jeff Plale and Jeff Stone, and State Senators Mary Lazich and Cathy Stepp host an event to commemorate the 88th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The program features remarks from Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton, Rep. Plale, Sen. Stepp, and Mayor John Antaramian from the City of Kenosha. April 24.
Armenian Genocide Commemorated at Georgia State Capitol. Over 100 Armenian Americans from the greater Atlanta area join with a host of state and city officials to commemorate the 88th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide at the Georgia State Capitol.April 24.
New Jersey Armenian American Community Commemorates Armenian Genocide. The ARF Dro Gomideh of New Jersey organizes a commemoration program marking the 88th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Speakers include His Excellency Movses Abelian, Ambassador of the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Armenia to the United Nations; Professor Simon Payaslian, Chair of Armenian Genocide Studies and Modern Armenian History at Clark University; and, Khajag Mgrdichian, editor of the Hairenik weekly. April 24.
South Carolina Capital City Commemorates Armenian Genocide. The city of Columbia, SC honors the victims and survivors of the Armenian Genocide by issuing a mayoral proclamation declaring April 24, 2003, “A Day of Remembrance of the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923.” April 24.
88th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide Marked at New York City Hall. The ANC of New York and the Friends of the ANC organize a program commemorating the 88th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in the City Council Chambers at New York City Hall. Sponsors for this year’s event include: New York City Council Members Melinda Katz, Peter Vallone, Jr. and Speaker A. Gifford Miller. Professor Israel Charny, Executive Director of the Institute on Holocaust and Genocide in Jerusalem, delivers keynote address. April 26.
ANC of Illinois Sponsors Armenian Genocide Commemoration Event. The ANC of Illinois hosts event commemorating the anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Keynote speaker for the evening is Professor Yair Auron, Senior Lecturer in the field of contemporary Judaism and Genocide at the Open University of Israel and the Kibbutzim College of Education. April 26.
Governor Pataki Honors Armenian Genocide Survivors. During an April 24th ceremony at his Manhattan Executive offices, New York Governor George E. Pataki presents his annual Armenian Genocide proclamation to survivors of this great crime against humanity. April 30.
Senate and House Members Commemorate Armenian Genocide in Floor Speeches. A bipartisan group of Senators and Representatives join Armenians around the world in commemorating the 88th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide during “Special Order” remarks on the House floor and Congressional statements made in the weeks surrounding April 24th.
ANCA Launches Capitol Hill Internship And Job Banking Program. ANCA launches a program to help promote increased civic participation by young Armenian Americans and strengthen the role they will play in shaping public policy. The “Capital Gateway Program” places special emphasis in assisting qualified university and college students in securing internships on Capitol Hill and helps professionals seeking full-time positions on Capitol Hill or at Washington-based think tanks by offering networking and job banking resources. May 5.
ANC Convenes World Summit in Armenia. ANCA activists and leaders join with over 130 delegates from 20 countries, at a two-day Hai Tahd conference in Yerevan, to discuss the political and economic challenges facing the Armenian nation and share regional strategies to promote Armenian issues worldwide. May 6-7.
Protest Unsolved Acts of Violence Against Armenians in Turkey. The ANCA ER urges Armenian Americans to contact the Turkish Minister of Justice following reports that Turkey continues to place restrictions on its Armenian minorities and that crimes against Armenians living in Turkey have not been justly resolved. May 10.
The Lowell Sunday Sun Prints Editorial by Merrimack Valley ANC Chairman Titled “Armenians Don’t Forget Atrocity Their People Suffered.” May 11.
ANC of New York Hosts Workshop and Public Forum. The ANC of New York hosts a workshop and public forum to increase involvement amongst Armenian American activists.May 17.
House Judiciary Committee Passes Genocide Resolution. The House Judiciary Committee approves legislation marking the 15th anniversary of the US implementation of the UN Genocide Convention, opening the door to a full House consideration of H.Res.193. Armenian Americans from across the country engaged in a phone campaign to key Committee members, urging them to support H.Res.193 without amendments. May 21.
Turkish Education Minister Mandates Teaching of Armenian Genocide Denial in all Schools. The Turkish Government dramatically escalates its official campaign of genocide denial, requiring, at the direction of its Education Minister Huseyin Celik, that all students in Turkish schools be taught to deny the Armenian Genocide. Local community activists immediately begin registering their views to Secretary of State Colin Powell by sending ANCA WebMail urging him to protest Turkey’s extension of its denial campaign to its public schools. May 22.
Restrictions on Freedom of the Press Continue in Azerbaijan. According to Reporters Without Borders, Azerbaijan’s state prosecutor’s office warns four opposition newspapers that they have violated press laws by printing “‘ unprofessional’ articles about President Heidar Aliev.” Additionally, Azerbaijani police refuse to investigate a recent attack on the Yeni Musavat staff. The ANCA ER encourages Armenian Americans to urge the Azerbaijani Ambassador to the United States to help stop human rights violations in Azerbaijan. May 24.
“The Time is Right to Recognize the Armenian Genocide” Says Presidential Candidate John Edwards. Following a briefing from leaders of the ANCA Western Region, Democratic Presidential hopeful Senator John Edwards (D-NC), speaks publicly and forcefully about recognition of the Armenian Genocide explaining that it is in America’s interest to recognize the Armenian Genocide. May 26.
House Judiciary Committee Report on Genocide Resolution Calls for Adoption of Measure by Full House. May 28.
ANC of WI Meets with Chairman Sensenbrenner. The ANC of Wisconsin meets with House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) to thank him for his leadership in support of H.Res.193. May 28.
ANC of New Jersey Hosts Event for Representative Steven Rothman. The ANC of New Jersey hosts a fundraiser for Congressman Steven Rothman (D-NJ). The event takes place at the residence of ANC activists Richard and Maral Krikorian in Old Tappan. June 2.
ANCA Warns of Renewed Turkish Gov’t Attempts to Manipulate Armenian American Community, Derail Progress Toward Genocide Recognition. In a letter to community leaders, ANCA Chairman Kenneth V. Hachikian, reports that, “the Turkish Embassy and Turkish Consulates in the United States are seeking to arrange meetings with Armenian American leadership organizations for a senior Turkish government official-by the name of Ecvet Tezcan-representing Turkey’s foreign policy and intelligence gathering agencies.” “The purpose of this effort,” Hachikian explains, “is to deceive the US political community into believing that a ‘direct dialogue with Armenians’ is currently in process. The specific intent of this effort is to derail our community’s most recent progress in the US Congress toward recognition of the Armenian Genocide.” June 6.
US Taxpayers and the Baku-Tblisi-Cehyan (BTC) Pipeline. The ANCA ER raises concerns about US funding of the BTC pipeline and asks community activists to contact members of the House and Senate Appropriations Subcommittees on Foreign Operations, Export Financing and Related Agencies urging them to oppose US funding of the pipeline due to serious environmental and political costs. June 7.
Turkish Government Sends Ecvet Tezcan to America to Derail Progress Toward US Genocide Recognition. In a second communication with Armenian American organizations, the ANCA articulates its opposition to recent efforts by the Turkish Embassy and Consulates in the US to arrange meetings for Armenian American groups with Ecvet Tezcan, a senior Turkish Foreign Ministry official-from the Directorate of Intelligence and Research-whose record includes aggressive Genocide denial. June 8.
Rep. Schakowsky Pledges Support for Genocide Legislation. ANC of Illinois activists meet with Representative Janice Schakowsky (D-IL) to discuss issues of concern to the Armenian American community. During the meeting, the Congresswoman pledges to vote for H.Res.193. June 9.
Resolution Marking Anniversary of Genocide Convention Introduced in US Senate.Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) are joined by 16 of their Senate colleagues in introducing S.Res.164 marking the 15th anniversary of the US implementation of the Genocide Convention. Armenian Americans are encouraged to contact their Senators urging them to cosponsor the measure. June 10.
Senate Genocide Resolution Gains Momentum. Less then a week after its introduction, seven new Senators cosponsor S.Res.164 bringing the total number of cosponsors to 25.June 12.
2003 ANCA Leo Sarkisian Summer Internship begins. Nine young Armenian Americans arrive in Washington, DC, to begin the 2003 ANCA Leo Sarkisian Summer internship program. June 16.
Turkish Foreign Ministry Official Rejects Idea that Dialogue Will Lead to Turkish Recognition of Genocide. Speaking at a Washington, DC press conference, the Undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Ambassador Ugur Ziyal, dismisses the idea that dialogue between the Turkish government and Armenians would ever lead to Turkish acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide. June 18.
Armenian American Activists Discuss Key Community Concerns with Rep. Kirk.Armenian American activists meet with Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) to discuss Turkey’s continued denial of the Armenian Genocide and efforts to educate Illinois residents about this crime against humanity. June 24.
ANCA Calls Upon Administration to Begin Negotiating a Social Security Agreement with Armenia. The ANCA calls on the Social Security Administration to undertake negotiations with the Republic of Armenia toward the implementation of a Social Security Totalization Agreement that would clarify the obligations and entitlements of workers who divide their careers between the United States and Armenia. July 3.
Voter Registration Campaign. The ANCA ER launches a voter registration campaign encouraging Armenian Americans to make their vote count. July 5.
UN Genocide Convention Applies to Armenian Genocide. International law expert and former Secretary of the United Nations Human Rights Committee, Dr. Alfred de Zayas, publishes an in-depth report on the applicability of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide to the Armenian Genocide concluding that the UN Convention clearly applies to the Armenian Genocide. July 7.
ANCA Intern Sparks Interest Among Social Studies Teachers for Armenian Genocide Education in Public Schools. In an effort to promote genocide education in public school curriculums across the United States, ANCA intern Karine Birazian participates in an educators’ conference, raising awareness of the Armenian Genocide among high school teachers. July 7.
Boston Globe Reverses Long-Standing Policy Against Use of the Term ‘Armenian Genocide.’ After almost a quarter of a century of using evasive terminology and qualifiers to describe one of the most horrific events of the 20th Century and following a decades long campaign by the ANC of Eastern Massachusetts, The Boston Globe suspends its policy against the use of the term “genocide” when referring to the Armenian Genocide. July 8.
Leading Turkish Business Group Lobbies Against Genocide Resolution. The Turkish Industrialists’ and Businessmen’s Association calls on Members of Congress to oppose legislation commemorating US adoption of the Genocide Convention. July 10.
House Foreign Aid Panel Allocates $70 Million for Armenia; $5 Million for Nagorno Karabagh. A key House Appropriations Subcommittee votes to allocate at least $70 million in assistance to Armenia for 2004 and $5 million for humanitarian aid projects in Nagorno Karabagh, $20 million more than the $49.5 million proposed by the Bush Administration. July 10.
Broad-Based Coalition Expands Support for Congressional Genocide Resolution.Support for the Congressional Genocide resolution continued to grow with the addition of over 40 religious, ethnic and human and civil rights groups to the coalition seeking passage of this measure. July 15.
Senate Appropriations Committee Approves $75 Million for Armenia; $5 Million for Nagorno Karabagh as Part of the 2004 Foreign Aid Package. July 18.
Protest World Bank Financing of Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan Pipeline. British Petroleum (BP) formally asks for funding from the World Bank and other international financial institutions for its controversial new Caspian oil pipeline. In response to BP’s funding request, the ANCA ER asks individuals to send a letter to US Treasury Secretary John Snow urging him to instruct the US representative on the Board of Executives of the World Bank to register US opposition to the BTC pipeline. July 19.
National Council of Churches (NCC) Joins Genocide Resolution Coalition. July 21.
Armenian Community Groups ask President Bush to Include Assistance to Armenian Community in Post-War Aid Package for Iraq. Leading Armenian American groups write to President Bush to alert him to the crisis facing Armenians in Iraq, and call on him to provide meaningful assistance to alleviate the crisis, as part of the current emergency phase of the US aid package. July 23.
Armenian Caucus Members Urge Secretary Powell to Press Turkey to Lift Blockade of Armenia. As Secretary of State Colin Powell prepares to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul, Members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues urge him to place Turkey’s blockade of Armenia on the agenda of their talks. July 24.
Over 100 US Representatives Support PNTR Legislation (H.R.528). July 25.
‘Friends Of ANC’ Program Launched. The ANC of Illinois hosts the introduction of a new regional fundraising program in support of ANC activities on the national, regional, and local levels. July 26.
Senators Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Mark Dayton (D-MN), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Pledge Support for Genocide Resolution (S.Res.164). July 28.
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) Protests Turkish Decree Mandating Teaching of Armenian Genocide Denial in all Turkish Schools. July 28.
ANC of NY Meets with Rep. Crowley to Discuss Trip to Armenia. ANC of New York Chairperson Tony Vartanian meets with Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY) to discuss the Congressman’s upcoming ANC-sponsored trip to Armenia and to thank him for his continued leadership and support of Armenian American issues. July 31.
Senators McConnell and Sarbanes Introduce Legislation to Grant Permanent Normal Trade Relations Status to Armenia. Senate Foreign Operations Subcommittee Chairman Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Banking Committee Ranking Member Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) introduce legislation (S.1557) that would provide PNTR status to the Republic of Armenia. The ANCA encourages Armenian Americans to contact their Senators to urge them to cosponsor S.1557. August 1.
Turkey: Christian Minorities not Given Basic Rights. According to an Agence France Presse article, Turkey continues to delay reforms which would ensure its Christian minority basic rights, such as “forming their own clergy or providing an independent religious education.” ANCA ER encourages individuals to contact Turkey’s Minister of Justice to urge him to address the lack of reforms for Turkey’s Christian minority. August 2.
State Department Responds to Congressional Letter on Turkish-Armenia Relations. In a letter from Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs Paul Kelly to Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone, Kelly reports that “Secretary Powell did indeed raise with Minister Gul the need for reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia during the Secretary’s July 24 working lunch with Foreign Minister Gul.” Kelly went on to mention that “progress on Turkish-Armenian reconciliation is a top priority for us, and we will continue to press the issue with the highest levels of the Turkish and Armenian governments at every opportunity.” August 4.
Leading Latino Group Supports Genocide Resolution. The ANCA welcomes the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund to the coalition supporting legislation before Congress to commemorate the 15th anniversary of US implementation of the Genocide Convention. August 7.
State Rep. Koutoujian Briefs Community on Elections in Armenia. The ANC of Eastern Massachusetts sponsors a briefing by State Representative Peter Koutoujian on his thoughts regarding the parliamentary election in Armenia. Representative Koutoujian, along with his father, Peter Koutoujian, Sr., were selected by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to observe the May elections in Armenia. August 7.
Rep. Joseph Crowley Visits Armenia. After three days of participating in various meetings and visiting cultural and historic sites, Representative Joseph Crowley (D-NY) concludes his ANC sponsored trip to the Republic of Armenia. August 8-11.
Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) Joins Genocide Resolution Coalition. August 14.
Act Now for Press Freedoms in Azerbaijan. With Azerbaijani citizens gearing up for Presidential elections, Reporters Without Borders reports the arrest of several opposition journalists and media officials. ANCA ER encourages those concerned about human rights to contact Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the US to protest the harassment of media in Azerbaijan. August 16.
ANCA Burning Tigris Education Campaign. With Peter Balakian’s new landmark book, The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, set to be released on September 30, the ANCA launches the Burning Tigris Education Campaign, a multi-faceted program to share the history of the Armenian Genocide and to celebrate the American humanitarian spirit. The program works to help inform elected officials, the media ,and the American public about the Armenian Genocide, and ensure enough “pre-order” sales by September 30 to catapult “The Burning Tigris” onto best-sellers lists. August 30.
2003 ANCA Capital Gateway Fellows Arrive in Washington, DC. Recent university graduates from Michigan, California, and Pennsylvania arrive in Washington, DC to embark on careers in the public policy sector as part of the ANCA Capital Gateway program. August 31.
ANCA ER Hosts Table at AYF Olympics in Providence, RI. The ANCA ER sponsors its annual table at AYF-YOARF Senior Summer Olympics. Interested individuals get information on current activities and Armenian American issues. Computers are set up for people to send WebMail and letters to their elected officials. August 29-September 1.
Congressional Genocide Resolution Continues to Attract Diverse Support. The American Values Coalition, the National Council of La Raza, and the International Human Rights Law Group are the latest to add their names to the coalition supporting the anti-genocide resolutions before the House and Senate. September 6.
Armenia Emerging as Strong Candidate for MCA. A preliminary analysis by the ANCA of the soon-to-be launched Millennium Challenge Account (MCA), a major new foreign policy initiative, reveals that Armenia is among the most eligible candidates for President Bush’s multi-billion dollar foreign aid program for low-income countries. September 6.
ANC of Illinois Activist Discusses Genocide Education with Facing History and Ourselves. The Armenian Genocide and its inclusion in classroom curricula are the key topics of discussion during a meeting between ANC of Illinois activist Karine Birazian and representatives of Facing History and Ourselves. September 12.
Religious Freedoms Restricted in Azerbaijan. A report by journalist Felix Corley of Forum 18 News Service states that Azerbaijani authorities have used “Soviet, KGB methods” to close a Sunday school attached to the Greater Grace Protestant Church in Baku. The ANCA ER encourages those concerned with religious freedoms to address their concerns with Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the US. September 13.
Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Charles Schumer (D-NY), and John Sununu (R-NH) Join as Cosponsors of Legislation Extending PNTR Status to Armenia (S.1557).September 16-17.
ANCA Western Region Discusses Armenian Genocide, Human Rights with Presidential Hopeful Senator John Kerry (D-MA) at Beverly Hills Reception. September 19.
Nationwide Organization Representing Muslims in America Endorses Genocide Resolution. The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), the leading grassroots membership organization representing Muslims in America, joins the growing coalition supporting the Congressional Genocide resolutions. September 19.
ANC Activist Attends Rep. Pallone Fundraiser, Discusses Issues with Presidential Candidate Howard Dean. ANC of New Jersey representative Haroutune Misserlian, along with over 100 people, attend a fundraiser for Representatives Frank Pallone (D-NJ) in Asbury Park, New Jersey. At the event, Misserlian discusses key Armenian American issues with Democratic Presidential Candidate Howard Dean. September 21.
Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Norm Coleman (R-MN); Rep. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) Cosponsor Legislation to Normalize Trade Relations Between the United States and Armenia. September 24.
Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Eric Cantor (R-VA), and Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) Commemorate 12th Anniversary of Armenian Independence with Remarks Before Congressional Colleagues. September 25.
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairman Frank Pallone Sharply Critical of Aliyev Efforts to Establish Dynasty of Corruption in Azerbaijan. September 25.
Turkish Parliamentarians Still in Prison. A Turkish court denies an appeal to release four former Kurdish parliamentarians from prison. The ANCA ER encourages activists to contact the Turkish Minster of Justice to urge him to grant the incarcerated parliamentarians an immediate and unconditional release from prison. September 27.
Representatives Urge Key Aid Panel to Earmark US Assistance for Armenian Community in Iraq. Over 20 House Members urge the leadership of the House Foreign Operations Subcommittee to earmark a $20 million aid package to help the struggling Armenian community in Iraq. September 29.
Armenian Health Minister Participates in MA State House Forum: First Step for MA/Armenia Healthcare Cooperation. In an effort to initiate cooperation between healthcare administrators and professionals in Massachusetts and Armenia, State Rep. Peter J. Koutoujian (D-Waltham) hosts a reception and discussion at the Massachusetts State House. In attendance are Armenian Health Minister Dr. Norayr Davidian, Massachusetts Department of Public Health Commissioner Christine Ferguson, and Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Health Care Richard T. Moore. September 29.
Reps. Robert Andrews (D-NJ) and Michael Bilirakis (R-FL) Urge House Leadership to Schedule Vote on Genocide Resolution (H.Res.193). September 30.
Rep. McCotter Presses Congressional Committee Hearing Witnesses on Armenia-Turkey Relations. Michigan Republican Thaddeus McCotter questions a pro-Turkish panel testifying before a key House Subcommittee about Turkey’s ongoing obstruction of Armenia-Turkey relations. The House International Relations Subcommittee on Europe held the hearing on “Turkey’s Future Direction and US-Turkey Relations.” October 1.
Armenian Americans Meet With Governor McGreevey. At the request of the governor, the ANC of New Jersey and members of the New Jersey Armenian American community meet with Governor James E. McGreevey at the State Capitol to discuss issues of importance to New Jersey’s Armenian-American community. October 1.
Armenia’s Media under Attack, Again. The manager and editor of Or (The Day) newspaper in Armenia are attacked by unidentified assailants. The ANCA ER encourages individuals to contact Armenia’s Minister of Justice to ask that the government bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice and guarantee freedom of press in Armenia. October 4.
Azerbaijan Election Update: Election Trainers Expelled; Rights Workers Beaten. Human Rights Watch (HRW) reports that just two weeks before Azerbaijan’s presidential elections, Azerbaijani authorities expelled an international election-training team from Nakhchivan and four women’s rights advocates were beaten. HRW calls on the Azerbaijani authorities to “act now to stop intimidation and interference in the presidential election process” and further demands that “these abuses must be investigated.” October 11.
Balakian Book Tour Makes Stop in Chicago. Promoting his new book, The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response, Colgate University Professor Peter Balakian speaks to a capacity crowd at North Park University in Chicago. The event is cosponsored by the ANC of Illinois and several other Chicago-area Armenian organizations and churches. October 14.
Museum of the City of New York Exhibit Documents American Philanthropy in Aftermath of Armenian Genocide. Over 200 supporters of the Near East Foundation (NEF) and its decades of relief work around the world gather at the Museum of the City of New York for the opening of their latest exhibit “Near East/New York: The Near East Foundation and American Philanthropy,” documenting the American humanitarian response to the Armenian Genocide.October 15.
Reps. Schiff and Radanovich Introduce “Armenian Victims Insurance Fairness Act.”Reps. Adam Schiff (D-CA) and George Radanovich (R-CA) introduce legislation that would allow states to assist Armenian Genocide survivors and descendents in pursuing personal insurance claims. October 16.
The International Criminal Court (ICC). The ANCA ER explains the role of the ICC and encourages Armenian Americans to call their Congressman and Senators and urge them to ratify the Rome Statute making the US a member of the ICC; and write to Armenia’s Ambassador to the US urging him to do everything in his power to help Armenia become a leading example of and for the promotion of justice. October 18.
Balakian’s Burning Tigris #4 on New York Times Best Seller List. October 19.
ANCA Discusses Armenian American Concerns with Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham. ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian and Michigan community activist Chuck Yessaian meet with Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham at the Arab American Institute National Leadership Conference. During the three-day conference, Hamparian was joined by representatives of the National Council of La Raza and the South Asian Leaders of Tomorrow in a panel discussion on “Shaping the Ethnic Agenda in 2004.” October 17-19.
International Association of Conservative Rabbis Joins Coalition in Support of Genocide Resolution. October 20.
ANCA Discusses Armenian American Issues with Senator Lugar. ANCA Government Affairs Director Abraham Niziblian discusses pressing Armenian American concerns including US recognition of the Armenian Genocide and efforts to boost US-Armenia trade relations with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar (R-IN) during a function in the Senator’s home state of Indiana. October 20.
Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Jon Corzine (D-NJ), and Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) Cosponsor Armenia Trade Legislation (S.1557). October 21.
ANCA Opposes Deployment of Turkish Troops in Iraq. The ANCA joins the American Hellenic Institute, American Kurdish Information Network, Order of AHEPA, Hellenic American National Council, and Hellenic American Women’s Council in cosigning a letter to President Bush outlining why it is not in the best interests of the US to support Turkish armed forces in Iraq. October 21.
ANCA-WR Urges US Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) To Back Genocide Resolution (S.Res.164). October 23.
Turkish Police and Military Continue Abusing Women. Tara McKelvey of Marie Claire magazine reports on the sexual abuse women face when detained by Turkish police and military officers and urges individuals to visit the Amnesty International’s website to join the campaign to protect women in Turkey. October 25.
Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Jack Reed (D-RI); Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) Join as Cosponsors of Armenia PNTR Bill. October 31.
Gov. Pataki Welcomes Near East Foundation Exhibit at City Museum. In a letter to the members of the Near East Foundation (NEF), New York Governor George E. Pataki commends the NEF for its decades long humanitarian work and its current exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York documenting the Foundation’s relief efforts during the Armenian Genocide. November 4.
US Ambassador to Armenia Briefs Armenian Caucus. US Ambassador to Armenia John Ordway briefs Members of Congress and staff about the current situation in Armenia, ongoing US assistance programs, and the recently concluded US-Armenia Task Force meetings. November 5.
Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and John Sweeney (R-NY) Lead Congressional Call for “Maintaining Significant Assistance” to Armenia and Karabagh. November 6.
Armenian Monuments in Turkey. According to Research on Armenian Architecture (RAA) and other first hand accounts, Turkey has engaged in a policy of willful neglect and direct destruction of thousands of Armenian cultural monuments. RAA properly identifies Turkey’s crime: Cultural Genocide. The ANCA ER encourages Armenian Americans to contact UNESCO to ask them to help stop the Turkish Ministry of Culture from completely destroying Armenian monuments in Turkey, beginning with those in the city of Ani. November 8.
Rep. Kirk Staffer Addresses Community on Trip to Armenia and Karabagh. Jeannette Windon, Congressman Mark Kirk’s (R-IL 10) Legislative Director, discusses her August 2003 trip to Armenia and Nagorno Karabagh with Illinois’ Armenian-American communityNovember 9.
Greater Washington ANC Chapter Supports Center for the Prevention of Genocide. ANC activists attend a Washington, DC benefit for the Center for the Prevention of Genocide in support of the group’s ongoing campaign to monitor and help prevent genocides around the world. November 9.
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) Cosponsors Genocide Resolution. Patrick Leahy, the senior Democrat on the influential Senate Committee tasked to review the Genocide Resolution, pledges his support for S.Res.164, bringing the list of cosponsors to 35. November 12.
AYF/ANC Educate Teachers about Armenian Genocide at NCSS Conference. Illinois ANC and Armenian Youth Federation activists speak with over a thousand social studies teachers and hand out hundreds of educational packets about the Armenian Genocide at the 83rd National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) annual conference held in Chicago.November 14-15.
Attacks Continue on Azerbaijani Press. Reporters Without Borders reports that the editor of the main opposition daily newspaper in Azerbaijan is arrested and placed under custody for three months. The ANCA ER, once again, encourages individuals to voice their concerns about this incident with Azerbaijan’s Ambassador to the US. November 15.
Congressman Joseph Crowley Addresses Community on Trip to Armenia. Over 125 people attend a public forum hosted by the ANC of New York featuring Rep. Joseph Crowley (D-NY). The event gives the Congressman an opportunity to share his views on his recent visit to Armenia. November 16.
ANCA Joins with Ethnic Community Leaders at Interethnic Breakfast Celebrating America’s Diversity. The ANCA joins with the American Jewish Committee and more than 30 national ethnic community leaders at the Interethnic Thanksgiving Breakfast at the Cosmos Club on Embassy Row in Washington. November 20.
House Adopts Key Armenia Trade Measure; Urge Senators to Finalize PNTR Bill. The House of Representatives approves legislation, which would open the door to increased trade between the US and Armenia by providing permanent normal trade relations status to the Republic of Armenia. The ANCA encourages Armenian Americans to contact their Senators and ask them to work for the adoption of Armenia-PNTR legislation at their earliest opportunity. November 20.
ANCA Welcomes Adoption of the Cambodian Genocide Resolution by the US House.November 26.
ANCA Launches Postcard Campaign to “Help End the Cycle of Genocide.” The ANCA launches a nationwide postcard campaign urging Congressional leaders to take action on legislation marking the 15th anniversary of the US implementation of the Genocide Convention. The postcards call on House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) to schedule a vote on the measures. November 26.
Urge Your Representative to Call for Release of Jailed Kurdish Parliamentarians. The ANCA ER asks individuals concerned with human rights to contact their US Representative to urge him or her to cosponsor H.Res.302, which calls “for the immediate and unconditional release from prison of certain Kurdish members of the Parliament of the Republic of Turkey.”November 29.
House Approves $75 Million For Armenia; $5 Million For Nagorno Karabagh. The House finalizes its foreign aid figures for 2004, voting to appropriate “not less than $75 million” in assistance to Armenia, with an additional $3.4 million in military assistance and a $5 million allocation of humanitarian assistance to Nagorno Karabagh. December 9.
ANCA Launches Voter Education Campaign. The ANCA launches its 2004 Voter Education Campaign with the distribution of its Presidential and Congressional candidate questionnaires, marking the beginning of an effort to help Armenian American voters make informed choices at the ballot box next November. December 9.
Clark Issues Statement Recognizing the Armenian Genocide. In an open letter to the Armenian American community, Democratic Presidential Candidate General Wesley Clark recognizes the Armenian Genocide and calls for strengthened US resolve to prevent future atrocities. December 15.
Swiss Parliament Overwhelmingly Recognizes Armenian Genocide. The Swiss National Council adopts a resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide. December 16.
“System Of A Down” Launches Campaign for Adoption of Genocide Resolution. “System Of A Down,” the alternative-metal band, launches a nation-wide campaign calling on their fans and supporters to ask Congress to pass legislation (H.Res.193 and S.Res.164) recognizing the Armenian Genocide and reaffirming America’s resolve to prevent future genocides. December 17.
President Bush Extends Waiver of Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act. December 30.