Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Aram and Anna, Part 4

Aram: Hundred of police cars… transport trucks…buses…

Anna: … and they were not letting anyone in or out… it was really a horrible scene, as if there was a third world war going on, as if bombs were found there. It was obvious that people behind them did not want the truth out, or maybe later on, when the needles and syringes were found there… now that I think about it…

Aram: At 6:30 the cover up had started… when we reached the Northern Boulevard, there were several journalists with cameras

Anna: ... trying to take pictures of blood pools

Aram: There was a "Yerkir media" camera woman fighting with several police mean with batons, the policemen were with batons out. It wasn't just they were casually standing there protecting the perimeter.

continue reading

Saturday, December 27, 2008

No room for family...

The Trial of the Seven keeps getting postponed. They keep pushing out more and more supporters, press, family, and either filling the courtroom with strangers, who are potentially paid, or leaving it empty. I'm not sure who this is benefiting - sure its easier for the judge to put it off, giving him more time, but is there another motive, another deadline to meet? Or is the banditocracy trying to bring things to such a head that things implode, on a small scale, and they can use it against the Opposition, against the People, against the Seven.
There are many videos getting posted almost daily - see the YouTube channel for a1plus, especially.
All of the videos about the court hearings are worth watching, but this video caught my attention.

The woman whom you see upset in the very beginning is the sister of Alik Arzumanyan, one of the Seven. Here is a rough translation of what she is saying:
“I’m going to pass. Let me go, I’m going to pass… Let the whole world see that they are not letting through the only sister of the RoA’s first ambassador: Arzumanyan, Neta (?)”[The a1plus article has her as Nelli Arzumanyan]

The other individuals interviewed on the video, who also speak very well, are:
Melissa Brown – Activist, wife of Alexander Arzumanyan
Arshavir Bozinyan- Azatamart
Aram Sargsyan – President of the “Republic” party
Mikael Danielyan – Human Rights Defender

Jahangiryan's trial is continuing, and he continues to dominate the courtroom. In fact, after basically calling the case and the court a farce, telling the entire courtroom that everything is biased and it wouldn't matter if the judge and the policeman on the stand switched places, and citing article after article of law, he pulls out a prepared speech, and calls the entire thing unconstitutional. He continues in this manner, but then wishes everyone success in their endeavours.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Gor Kloyan's Father Speaks Out...

A1plus put out a short article and a video...

Watch this video. Gor Kloyan's father explains that he refuses to stand for a judge and prosecutor who refused to stand when there was a moment of silence for the victims of March 1-2.

There is so much to be said, so much to be applauded, in the actions of the Seven, and ALL of the political prisoners.

What strikes me so much is the Dignity with which these individuals carry themselves. They are Proud, and they bring pride to their families and the true Armenia in their actions. They risk everything in pursuing to the end the principles which they believe to be right.

What strikes me too is the refusal to be victimed. Armenians, at least in the Diaspora, have thrived on defining themselves through victimization. Jahangiryan, the Seven, beaten Journalists, those who continue to come out to demonstrations and speak out, and so many others have shown all of us what true belief in principles is.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Aram and Anna, Part 3

Aram: People were there with their families. And you'd see, someone would go get some bread and cheese, and ask around to see who wanted some, who was hungry. It was heart-warming.

Anna: … Serjik heracir, Hayastanu moracir.

Aram: … The rule of engagement was announced, when you meet the barricades. Smile, give them flowers. They are the workers, the people. That was the rules of engagement.

Anna: People would get off of the buses, off from work, tired, at the end of the day. They would join us.

continue reading

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Anyone want some Molybdenum, and don't forget the bananas...

Edik Baghdassaryan of Hetq recently wrote an article inquiring about the importation and exportation of Molybdenum in Armenia. It's quite a story, and made me very curious. And it reminded me of the Hetq story on the importation/exportation of Bananas in Armenia, with the follow up article.
Go ahead and google "molybdenum armenia." The third result shows that Karen Karapetian was the manager, and maybe still is. So I looked him up. The first google result for Karen Karapetian is this, telling us that,among other things, he was a member of the National Assembly and on the Standing Committee on Financial-Credit, Budgetary and Economic Affairs. But I couldn't confirm that he was still an NA member as his name does not show up on the NA website. And, I thought I remembered that he was politically affiliated, though that site says he is not. He is in fact a member of the Republican Party, and there is a info page about him, the most recent update of which says that "Since 2006 has been a member of Republican Party of Armenia. On 22 June 2006 was elected a member of RPA board and chairman of the economic commission of RPA."
But let's keep looking.
I put "Karen Karapetian" into search in RFE/RL/ArmeniaLiberty. There are alot of articles, including the Press Review, and tons of information, I've chosen a few key informative quotes - I've tried to put them from oldest to newest:

Aug 27, 2002 The paper also quotes the leader of the People's Deputy parliamentary group, Karen Karapetian, as saying that there will be less vote buying in the next elections. Many members of the non-partisan group have been accused of buying their way into the parliament. Speaking about that, Karapetian says: "After all, if the candidates are handing out something during elections, let them do that. I find it normal. They are stealing so much from the people. Let them give something back," says the parliamentarian who made a fortune in Russia.

May 19, 2006 ” According to the paper, the HHK is the largest and wealthiest of such tutelages. Interviewed by “Aravot,” Karen Karapetian confirms reports that his People’s Deputy parliamentary group has been offered senior posts in return for lending support to the coalition. “There are some proposals,” he says. “We are still discussing them.”

October 25, 2006 Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian, who has been actively involved in Russian-Armenian energy dealings, also strongly hinted at the pipeline’s imminent transfer under ARG control. He said he will ask the ARG chief executive, Karen Karapetian, to publicly “explain the situation in great detail.” The pipeline from Iran was supposed to end Armenia’s strong dependence on Russian gas and other energy resources. Critics say that by putting it under de facto Russian control the Armenian government would only deepen that dependence. [ARG=ArmRosGazprom]

December 5, 2006 In particular, claims the paper, a wealthy Russian-based brother of senior lawmaker Karen Karapetian told Republican leaders that he and many other Armenian businessmen working in Russia will contribute to the HHK’s victory in the polls with cash provided that Karapetian is appointed prime minister in 2008. It says Sarkisian’s and Prime Minister Andranik Markarian’s response to Samvel Karapetian was rather ambiguous.

February1, 2007 “Hayk” alleges that Karen Karapetian, the leader of the People’s Deputy parliamentary group and a senior member of the Republican Party (HHK), has already begun handing out vote bribes in several Armenian regions. “Of course, Mr. Karapetian is not personally going from house to house and giving cash. That is being done for him by the leaders of the HHK structures in those regions,” says the paper.

June 11, 2007 “Hayk” describes the situation of the Republican Party of Armenia (HHK) after the elections, arguing that “it has finally become [Prime Minister] Serzh Sarkisian’s personal property.” “Old Republican Party members have been pushed to the background… But the most interesting is whom they picked for the head of the HHK parliamentary faction – the Tashir department store owner Karen Karapetian, who is doing his business under Serzh Sarkisian’s patronage, and as long as Serzh Sarkisian has ambitions to become president, Karapetian will consider himself to be one of Serzh’s closest and most loyal deputies in parliament.”

September 30, 2008 President Serzh Sarkisian appointed on Tuesday a leading member of his Republican Party of Armenia (HHK), Karen Karapetian, as the new chief of his staff. A member of the Armenian parliament since 1995, Karapetian was until now the leader of the largest National Assembly faction representing the HHK. The previous head of the presidential administration, Hovik Abrahamian, was elected parliament speaker on Monday as part of a leadership reshuffle reportedly engineered by Sarkisian months ago.

[image is from an article on in 2006]

Friday, December 19, 2008

Today is December 19th...

And so starts the Trial of the Seven.
Here's the first video from A1plus, and a brief article by them as well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Phew... at least we have the tallest tree...

An article in the Lancet, a respected medical journal, has published a study revealing that Hayastan is among those countries who have varying levels of discrepancies between how many children they report immunizing, using Funding intended for that purpose, and how many were ACTUALLY immunized. That means there are numbers that are out of place, and some money that may have lost its place, too. And no extra children were immunized. And we all know that there are still underimmunized children in Armenia. We're in a group with Zimbabwe, Somalia, and Myanmar. Again, a similarity with Myanmar. Hmmm. FYI, this study looked at the administration of the Diptheria-Pertussis-Tetanus vaccine, which all kids in the US get three times.

Now, let's not be hasty - I'm being serious. There are a number of recognized potential flaws, including but not limited to how the numbers are calculated to begin with, which has been a criticism of international health programs in the past. And there is some concern that the Gates folks (who funded the study) are blowing things out of proportion. FYI - none of the countries are being accused of corruption. As one can imagine, its extremely difficult to get accurate numbers to begin with. So funds to the countries are being frozen pending further investigation and explanation.

But, hey, don't worry! Armenia is going to have the biggest, tallest, brightest darn Christmas tree of all of the CIS countries!! Don't forget the really cool hot air balloons earlier this year...

What a beautiful sight for the children of Armenia to enjoy, while they lay in bed coughing from Pertussis, and infecting their Tatiks and Papiks! That tree'll cure 'em for sure!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Aram and Anna, Part 2

Transcriber: what about when he had said his life had been threatened earlier on – what was the reaction?

Anna: We never heard about that…

Aram: Let's say it like this… if that was the case, then the Kocharyan government had a responsibility to investigate that, it was never confirmed or re-affirmed…

Transcriber: What was the reaction to the fact that he had just said…

Aram: The announcement from the LTP campaign was to Artur Baghdassaryan to not fall to the trap of the government, do the right thing for his supporters and joint the opposition, and if not he would be a davajan, and end up in Armenian political life as an oblivious person…the people had mixed reactions… he thought he was going to win…

keep reading

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Now that's what I call a Telethon...

The Center of Civil Development is having a Telethon to raise money, this December 21. Please join me in watching and supporting this, and SPREAD THE NEWS that this is happening.

On a personal note, when the original Armenia Fund came out, years ago, and did the first Marathon Telethon, I was very excited. It was one of the first times I had seen an attempt to publicly unify all Armenians, scattered all around the world, for the betterment of Armenia and NK. And so, when early on, they used certain strategies, like pictures of Monte Melkonian, to help inspire and motivate people, and raise money, I was more than okay with it. More than okay because, unlike what is true today, those fighting for the country, literally and figuratively, were back then supported by and supporters of the government. But what that telethon has become is, well, quite intolerable to say the least.
I hope, and have reason to believe, that this Telethon will be a resurgence of that which once was. That is, a reminder to those who watch that at the center of the word Armenian, is Armenia, which is nothing if not composed of individuals. That to claim an Armenian heritage is not an end in itself, but a manifestation of a truth which requires that a person further Armenia as a country, a nation, a collection of unified individuals-- fundamental to which are the FUNDAMENTAL Human Rights which have been taken away as of recent.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

New Eyewitness reports March 1-2: Aram and Anna Part 1

I've received a verbatim (voluntary) transcription (including translation where necessary) of two people discussing what they experienced during the March 1-2 time. What I know about this transcription is that it is literal, the transcriber asks a couple of questions for clarification but otherwise it is a frank conversation between two people, and that it is long - I will publish it in many parts. Also, all names, and some parts of the city not key to the account have been changed. It is one of the most detailed accounts I've seen, especially in English.

Part 1

Aram: Before the elections, Levon Ter Petrosyan's last announcement was that on February 20th, we are going to gather, to celebrate our victory. And so, on the 20th, the meeting was going to be at 3pm. People started to gather…

Anna: The roads from the village were closed…

Aram: That day was a regular day, but it felt like a holiday. The meeting was at 3pm, but no one felt like going to work, no one was at work. So slowly everyone started to gather at the Madenataran. At 3 o'clock, people were there, the police were there, too. Among the people there was talk that the roads were closed…

Anna: The marshuts were stopped too…

Aram: At 3 o'clock people were gathered on the sidewalks on the way to the Madenataran...

click here to see all of Part 1

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vahan Shirkhanyan speaks out...

Vahan Shirkhanyan recently answered questions in Los Angeles, and was, one might say, motivational. Below is the video made available on Massis Weekly's online site. Here is the link. I've pulled out some of my favorite sections and done a rough translation below...
For those who don't know, Mr. Shirkhanyan was very active in the Movement in 1988. He had been with the government since Independence in 1991 and worked closely with LTP and Vazgen Sargsyan. He was very close, both personally and politically, with Vazgen Sargsyan, until he was killed. From 1995-1999, he was Deputy Defense Minister. From 1999-2000 he was Deputy Prime Minister under Aram Sargsyan. He joined the Hunchakyan party in 2008. He is highly decorated for his efforts in the NK war.

He said Armenians should demand that SS not be involved in the negotiations, and encouraged the Diaspora to hold demonstrations in Washington, Paris, etc...

“By official numbers, 800,000 have left the country under RK.” Those who left, he said, are those who are industrious workers, they leave children and elderly behind and care for them. As a result, there is a deformation in Armenian society. “There are children who don’t have the guidance of their fathers; there are the elderly, who have no one to care for them.”
“Now picture the voting process under these conditions. The elderly don’t take risks, if someone gives them 5000 drams they say ‘well, this is good, at least it provides me with one month’s nourishment.’ …And in the place of those absent workers, the government votes. It turns out that emigration has become an important method of winning the elections...”

“Everything should be done to stop this, but the biggest obstruction is the authorities. The authorities have to change. RK has caused so much damage that correcting them will take many years to change…and some damages will never be corrected...”

There was a question from the audience: “We understand the need for change in authority. How do you see the path that would lead to a change in the authorities?”

VS: “If you take classic text book examples, there are altogether a few paths. Political struggle, elections, change of government through elections; if that doesn’t work, meetings, demonstrations, protests asking for resignations; if that doesn’t work, pressure from big countries due to which the government resigns; if that doesn’t work, internal change as a result of which the government resigns; if that doesn’t work, revolution; and if that doesn’t work, the last resort assassinations. These are classic, textbook examples, not what I’m saying. These are the paths to pass from dictatorship to democracy... TerPetrosyan has chosen the most civilized path and that is the path of political struggle... and I’m sure it will yield results.”

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bjni, and who else....

According to a1plus, Bjni is due to go up for auction, but who will buy it is not yet known. This is interesting. Clearly there is a huge element of political persecution in the Bjni case. We know that. But it will very interesting to see who comes forth to buy it... who has the money, who will be allowed to purchase the factory?
Which reminds of another business that seems to be up for grabs, after another type of persecution... Hay Post... but more on that later....

Monday, December 8, 2008

Postanjyan on RFE/RL

Armenia Liberty posted the video of Anna Israelyan interviewing both Nayra Zohrabyan of Bargavaj Hayastan (Prosperous Armenia) Party, and Zaruhi Postanjyan of Jarangutyun (Heritage) Party. There are four parts to the video, if you only have a bit of time, watch the last two segments.
link to the interview
For those who haven't seen it, RFE/RL had done a profile of Postanjyan earlier this year: here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Hatspanyan, revisited...

Its now been several weeks since Hatspanyan's original imprisonment, after he publicized a plot to kill SS, of which he had been informed. I haven't seen or heard much heard about him since, except I do think I read something recently, that he is not receiving access to his family and/or lawyer, as he should be.
Below is a relevant piece that was in Haykakan Zhamanak on December 5, with a translation below.
նամակ Ղարաբաղից-2

Նոյեմբեր ամսվա սկիզբն էր, երեկոյան լսում էինք «Հայլուրը»: Հանկարծ կինս ապշած ինձ նայեց ` լսելով Սարգիս Հացպանյանի անունը, ով մեր բազմամարդ ընտանիքի բարերարն ու հոգաբարձուն է: Մի՞թե այդքան դաժան ու անմարդկային կարող է լինել Պարույր Հայրիկյանը, ով բացասական կերպար համարելով Սարգիսին` քննադատում է նրան ու դավաճան անվանում: Կառավարության լիդերնե՛ր, երբ 1996-ին իմ սոված ու մերկ 15 փոքրիկ մանուկներով Աշտարակ քաղաքից բռնեցի Լաչինի ճանապարհը, ձեզանից ո՞ր մեկը ասաց` ո՞ւր ես տանում այդ խղճուկներին: Մինչեւ 2000 թվականը ապրել ենք Քաշաթաղի կորած գյուղերից մեկում` օրվա մի բուռ ալյուրին կարոտ: Այդ պահին էր, որ եկավ Արա Մանուկյանը, եւ երկու անգամ օգնություն ցուցաբերեց ողջ գյուղին. նախկին վարչակազմը, սակայն, հալածելով նրան` արգելեց օգնել մեզ: Այնուհետեւ եկան Գուրգեն Մելիքյանն ու Սարգիս Հացպանյանը եւ Աստծո օրհնությամբ օգնեցին ու մինչեւ հիմա էլ օգնում են մեզ: Հենց Սարգիս Հացպանյանն է, որ իր հաշվին ինձ համար մեքենա է գնել, որպեսզի կարողանամ երկու կոպեկ աշխատեմ այս լեռներում եւ չընկճվեմ, որ 15 զավակ եմ ունեցել: Հացպանյանի շնորհիվ Քաշաթաղի հողը ինձ համար ծննդավայր դարձավ, եւ սկսեցի ապրել հանուն զավակներիս ու հայրենիքի: Դիմում եմ ՀՀ իշխանություններին` ես 50-ն անց մարդ եմ, 5 որդիս ծառայել են բանակում, 2-ն էլ դեռ պիտի ծառայեն, խնդրում եմ` ազատ արձակեք իմ սիրելի Սարգիս Հացպանյանին եւ փոխարենը ի՛նձ դատապարտեք, որ 15 երեխա եմ ունեցել:

Սերգեյ Պողոսյան
Քաշաթաղի շրջան
գյուղ Գողթանիկ

Letter from Kharabagh

It was in the beginning of November when we were listening to Haylur. All of a sudden my wife looked at me, astounded, having heard Sargis Hatspanyan’s name, who is the benefactor and overseer of our large family. Could Paruyr Hairikyan be so cruel and inhuman as to consider Sargis a harmful figure, criticize him and call him a traitor?
Leaders of government, when in 1996 I began my journey from the town of Ashtarak to Lachin with my 15 hungry and naked children, which one of you said “where are you taking those pitiful children?”
Until the year 2000 we lived in one of the forsaken villages of Kashatakh, in need of our daily handful of flour. It was at that moment that Aram Manukyan arrived and twice brought assistance to the entire village. The previous administration, however, persecuted him and forbade him to help us.
After that arrived Gurken Melikyan and Sargis Hatspanyan, and with the help of God, helped us and continue to help us to this day.

It was the same Sargis Hatspanyan who bought me a car at his own expense so that I could make a few kopeks in these mountains and not be overwhelmed by the fact that I had 15 children. Thanks to Hatspanyan, Kashatakh became my birthplace and I began to live in the name of my children and my fatherland.
I appeal to the authorities of the Republic of Armenia. I am a man of over 50 years of age. Five of my sons have served in the army, and two more will serve.
I beg of you, set my dear Sargis Hatspanyan free and in his place, condemn me, who has had 15 children.

Sergey Poghosyan
Kashatagh region
Gokhtanik Village

Friday, December 5, 2008

Where is Ohanyan going?

From the Dec 4 Haykakan Zhamanak...
հեռանում է

ՀՀ պաշտպանության նախարար Սեյրան Օհանյանը առաջիկայում պատրաստվում է բուժման նպատակով մեկնել Հայաստանից: Իշխանության վերնախավում առկա խոսակցությունների համաձայն` Օհանյանը արձակուրդից իր պաշտոնին էլ չի վերադառնա:
Իշխանության ամենաբարձր մակարդակներում քննարկվում է, որ Սեյրան Օհանյանին այդ պաշտոնում փոխարինելու է ՀՀ զինված ուժերի Գլխավոր շտաբի պետ, պաշտպանության նախարարի առաջին տեղակալ, գեներալ-գնդապետ Յուրի Խաչատուրովը: Ավելի լայն շրջանակներում, սակայն, վերջին շրջանում համառ լուրեր են պտտվում այն մասին, որ ՀՀ պաշտպանության նախարար է նշանակվելու Ռոբերտ Քոչարյանը: Չի բացառվում, որ այս լուրերը Քոչարյանի վերադարձին սպասող ինչ-ինչ շրջանակների ցանկությունների արտահայտման ձեւ են:

Briefly, HZH is reporting that Seyran Ohanyan, Defense Minister of Armenia, is leaving Armenia to seek medical treatment, and will not be coming back to his position. In the highest levels of the government, there is discussion that next in line is the first delegate Houri Khachaturov. However, there is talk amongst other circles that RK is going to come back to become Minister of Defense. The blurb also doesn't exclude the possibility that these rumors are just being put out there, by certain circles.

Now, that's interesting. For a number of reasons. He has been very active even up until recently in the discussions about NK. There is some word that he is on bad terms with Khatchaturov. If he truly has a medical condition, from one carbon based life form to another, I hope he recovers.

But let's talk about that. On November 28, I read an article, which I translated/summarized at the time, thinking I would want to keep it, because it was curious. Now, I'm pretty sure it was from Haykakan Zhamanak, but its not in their archive. Could this event, below, be tied to the event, above?

Haykakan Zhamanak ??? Friday, Nov. 28 issue.

Haykakan Zhamanak reports that in the early morning hours of Thursday, an ambulance came out of the Presidential building. According to eye witnesses, it was accompanied by police cars, and red berets surrounded the building.
When HZ reporter tried to find out more from the Emergency Center, they were told that they didn’t know anything about it, and that they did not receive any calls and therefore couldn’t tell who from the Presidential building needed emergency care.
The Press office of the Presidential building denied anything like that had ever happened.
A. Kushkyan, Minister of Health said that no such thing had happened. And, he added, had there been such an incident, he would certainly have known.

Wikipedia has a short bio of Seyran Ohanyan, for those interested.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Learning from Mexico, and Thailand...

NPR did a short story yesterday, which I was able to find online, about the massacre of innocent students heretofore little spoken of and researched, in Mexico in 1968. Read for yourselves - it is a very VERY familiar story, with shots fired into a demonstrators, beatings and imprisonments, special divisions of military, snipers, tanks, intentional provocation by government forces, hidden numbers of dead, official accounts drastically different from eyewitness ones,and so on...
Back to the present day, a similar situation...I offer my congratulations to the Thai people who have persisted for so many months...
BANGKOK, Thailand (CNN) -- Demonstrators said they would end their siege at Bangkok's major airport after Thailand's top court banned the prime minister from public office for five years and dissolved his ruling party after finding it committed electoral fraud.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The Mayor of Gyumri, the Church, and Politics

I’m not a big fan of organized religion, but this story caught my attention:

There has been an ongoing conflict between the mayor of Gyumri, Vardan Ghukasyan, and the primate of the Diocese of Shirak, Archbishop Michael Ajapahyan, that is now coming to a head. With the blessing of Serj Sargsyan and Arthur Baghdasaryan, the mayor has started a campaign to replace the independently minded prelate.

The issue at stake is the Mayor’s plan to appropriate church lands to build stores (as per one report). Lilit Aghekyan, head of the information department of Gyumri municipality said “regarding the territories belonging to the church, any territory in the town is under the authority of the municipality,” and Ghukasyan has stated on TV that he does not have to report to anyone about his plans, including the head of the diocese. Really? I don’t know the laws regarding this situation, but it seems that the city can’t just take land from the church, right?

But there’s more to it than that. According to Lragir, the prelate is the only obstacle in the mayor’s plan to turn Gyumri into his own “zone of influence.” The archbishop criticized the mayor just before his election, and openly criticized the mayor’s alleged illegal actions in the city. Not only that, the Archbishop has populist leanings, as he is known to sit with freedom-fighters on hunger strike.

Lragir also reports that according to a reliable source, Sargsyan’s staff is strongly pressuring Catholicos Garegin II to “solve” the problem of the prelate: pressuring in ways that Lragir doesn’t want to mention so as to “spare the readers.” I don’t want to be spared, I want to know what’s going on.

The citizens of Gyumri are supporting the Archbishop and on Sunday some of them met with the Catholicos, who said he would try to bring peace into the situation, but if that doesn’t work, he’ll have to replace the prelate. The delegates apparently warned the Catholicos not to take such a step.

As Lragir points out, the Catholicos has to make a choice, as the problem is now partly in his lap. But it’s not just a choice about this piece of land, it has become a political choice- not the first one. If you ask me, the Armenian Church made its choice when it blessed the inauguration of Serj Sargsyan, and that on the 40th day after the death of 11+ people on March 1.

Where was the church when there were victims to be mourned, and souls to be saved, prayed for? After all, isn’t that the role of the church, the saving of souls, protecting the people against both mortal and immortal dangers, leading the people towards salvation, toward God, the path of Divine Light and Good? As far as I’m concerned, they were busy making deals, selling their own souls. And when one of them in this institution of organized religion stands his ground, standing up for the people, he comes under political attack. We’ll see if the Church will stand up for one of their own, we know they didn’t stand up for the people of Hayastan.

Wondering who this mayor is? Below is a video on YouTube of an interview he gave a while back:

Azatutyun radio (Dec 1) via RFE/RL
Hetq Online

Friday, November 28, 2008

Let them eat cake....

The Civilitas Foundation has been sending out emails, introducing itself, its goals and principles, to all different sorts of people. This includes diasporan armenians, and non armenians. In fact, I know of a case of two business partners in Armenia, let's call them A and B, who use B's personal email for the business (with emails signed by B only). The email from Civilitas went to the business email, but addressed to A. A little odd...a foreign embassy (as one of the partner's has foreign citizenship), the PeaceCorps (which works under the US government), and ProjectHarmony, which has of recent been swallowed up into the Armenia Government.

How did Civilitas get a hold of that email address, and that name?

Nice office by the way. Beautiful view, and decor! Great taste. I suppose the art-deco provides an environment that helps drown out the memories of what truly happened in that city, that view in particular.

I downloaded these pictures from the Civilitas Foundation website. There are many more to be viewed, if you're interested.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Pay raises for judges

There's not doubt that many in Armenia need raises. Many who work hard, and struggle, even if they have money coming in from the outside, to make ends meet, should be being paid so much more than they are now. The old woman, bent over, sweeping the street with a hand held broom head for so many hours, who leaves that job to then have another job cleaning bathrooms at some bar or restaurant, and still can't pay the admission fee for her kid to go to school. That woman need a raise, or five.
But guess who is going to get a nice fat raise? Definitely not that woman, or so many like her. Nope.

Among others, judges are getting raises... Below are a few excerpts from Noyan Tapan...
It was additionally stipulated in the bill passed in the first reading that the salaries of the chairman and members of the Constitutional Court will make: in 2009 the salary of the CC chairman will make 680 thousand drams instead of the current 340 thousand drams, and that of a member of the CC will make 600 thousand drams instead of 300 thousand drams. This changes will be in force from January 1 to December 31 of 2009.

...That's the same constitutional court, by the way, that we saw in action earlier this year, soon after the so-called democratic election in February.

The minimum is going up too, but not proportionately...
By the last two bills, starting from January 1, 2009, the minimum monthly salary and the personal deduction from the gross income will make 30 thousand drams (about 100 dollars) instead of current 25 thousand drams

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

They said what??? It just keeps on coming...

An article on worth reading (among many) - here's the excerpt:

...Դա Հայաստանի ներկայիս իշխանությունն է, ովքեր ասում են միջնորդներին, որ կարող են ղարաբաղցիներին համոզել ընդունել ցանկացած որոշում: Եւ այս ամենը համանախագահներն ասում էին բաց, չամաչելով իրենց արտահայտություններից, բնական է պայմանով, որ դա չդառնա հանրության սեփականությունը:

...It is the government of Armenia who tell the mediators they can have the people of Karabakh accept any settlement. And the mediators stated this openly and straightforwardly, though on the condition that it would not be published....

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Myasnikyan statue events ...

Pashinyan wrote a piece about a week ago now, addressing Afyan's focus on a certain set of Pashinyan's word..."We are not moving away from the Myasnikyan statue, we're staying here." The original is on, below is my translation...

Of all the announcements I made on March 1st, the one that Sashik Afyan, Deputy Chief of Police of the Republic of Armenia dislikes the most is the one where I said: we are not moving away from the Myasnikyan statue, we're staying here. This may sound strange to the reader, since, among all the things I said that day, there were much better, more dislikeable, statements – but Afyan is talks about that one. Why?

The answer is very simple: this announcement disappointed not only him, but his criminal bosses, too. When I arrived near the Myasnikyan statue on March 1, there already were no police there. Only about 50 helmeted [individuals] were left at the entrance to Yerevan's City Hall. And, as Vahagn Hovakimyan (1) has uncovered, these were the "Yepremyan unit" of the police force, and they were waiting for the "other Yepremyan unit" also of the police, but dressed in civilian clothing. This other unit was supposed to come and stage a fight with the police standing in front of City Hall. Their fight, however, was not at all impressive, since those doing the beating and those being "beaten," all knew that they were putting on a show, as did we. And, just between us, there were people who were naïve enough to try to separate Yepremyanite from Yepremyanite, that is, the staged fight, and who are now sitting in jail. So, Yepremyan’s police similarly very quickly vanished through the back door of City Hall, leaving the building defenseless.
Naturally, Yepremyan's second unit, those in civilian clothing, tried to attack the building, but the opposition leaders took control of the situation, and so the provocative Yepremyan's group's short-lived experience was over. But the absence of any police in the areas around the Myasnikyan statue was strange. Maybe they were nearby? No, there were no police, not by the fish market, not by "Metropol" hotel, not by the Circus, not by the Shahumyan statue. In short, there were no police—anywhere. And when it was announced that we were staying there, a strange thing took place: a movement of forces was noticed from the direction of Baghramyan Boulevard, via Proshyan and Mashtots Streets. They were moving towards roads accessing the Myasnikyan statue.

Now, let's try to figure out the situation. Hundreds of thousands of people have gathered near the Myasnikyan statue. Not only the police leave the area where people are gathering, all the while using every possible means to increase the tension, but they leave all visible areas. In effect, they free up all the roads before the demonstrators, giving them the impression that there is no longer any force resisting them. Why? To make it seem obvious that the only logical move would be to continue towards the "Hrazdan-1" complex and the presidential building, where by now, not only Internal and military forces, but more than one thousand [individuals] carrying automatic machine guns are waiting for a valid and justifiable opportunity to open fire; who lust for blood; and so that their criminal chief can declare a state of emergency.

Both the presidential building and the "Hrazdan-1" complex appeared unchanged from the outside since the forces that were concentrated there were not visible from the outside. But the Opposition was not going to play along the government's scenario. The government until this point was suggesting that the demonstrators move to the square near Yerevan's railway station. It is understandable that this suggestion was not going to be accepted, and the suggestion to go to the station via the Matenadaran had to seem like manna from the sky. The government needed the Matenadaran for another reason: during the march, stores needed to be looted and destroyed. And more, "Yepremyan's units" had to try to veer the march past opera toward Bagramyan boulevard. But, as you know, the decision was clear; we were staying by the Myasnikyan statue, and that was final.
And then, when it became obvious that this decision was not subject to change, the armed gangs and forces started to move toward the Myasnikyan statue. Now, many may ask, in that case, how was the Opposition going to win, if they were not going to attack the presidential building, or the government, or the "Hrazdan-1" complex? The Opposition was going to win the way it had been up until March 1: by dancing, by holding demonstrations. And on March 1, our right to protest, our rights as citizens, should have been upheld—and that’s all. If anyone doubted that it was possible to win in this way, the ‘kocharyanaserjakan’ regime did not; that regime could already see its defeat.
The government hyenas needed blood, because it was obvious even to a child, that the regime's situation could only be maintained by the use of tanks, that is, by the announcement of a State of Emergency. And a State of Emergency could not be proclaimed without blood. If on that day the opposition had acted according to the government’s plan, Afyan would have no reason to blush now; no questions would arise in public circles now; everything would be simple and clear now.

Now, too, everything is simple and clear—but from the other side.

(1) Pashinyan is referring to an article written by Vahagn Hovakimyan in HZH newpaper, the last paragraph of which describes a videotape by two people of the some of these events around the statue.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Jahangiryan in the courtroom...

Gagik Jahangiryan, former deputy Prosecutor-General, was fired when he openly supported the opposition on Feb 22, claimed the presidential election was fraudulent, and to top it off, supported LTP's viewpoint regarding the fateful events of October 27, 1999. After those statements he and his brother were basically kidnapped, his brother shot during the event.
Jahangiryan has a defense lawyer, but has been doing alot of his own talking, as can be heard on excerpts that are often played on rfe/rl broadcasts. He is an extremely powerful entity in the courtroom, as the combination of his knowledge of law, and unwavering insistence on the Truth make it very difficult for those trying to bend the truth. At one point he is arguing with the Judge, outright - and in one of the later segments he is has gone past questioning those on the stand to questioning the entire substrate of corrupt politics and law in present Armenia. But, its been a while since I'd seen any new videos or photos, so I was glad when a1plus posted one.

On another note, for those wondering where all this sniper business came from, listen to it on YouTube here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

A sniper in the midst...

"Nikoyan effectively acknowledged the authenticity of the tape as he admitted that the police did have one sniper at their disposal.

“They officially replied to my inquiry – ‘the presence of one sniper’. There was one such sniper.” "(from rfe/rl)

If your purpose is to quiet the masses, to prevent mass unrest and violence, to secure the safety of a city, then why would you work on targeting individuals via a sniper?

Why not use smoke bombs? Why not just fire into the air? Why not try to negotiate?
[Which, by the by, is what LTP did when the mob tried to take down the gates of the Presidential building in 1996, and that was after he found out members of Parliament had been kidnapped.]

That's not to mention the real way to deal with the situation, the unspeakable way, that is, to deal with the underlying cause.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Journalist attacked, again...

It seemed, at least to me, that the attacks on journalists and human rights workers was, maybe, hopefully, decreasing... I was obviousy wrong. I guess it was hopeful thinking. Edik Baghdasaryan, editor in chief of Hetq online, was attacked after coming out of his workplace tonight.

How does SS dare to speak of democracy, when there is no freedom of speech?
a1plus article
Click here for the video.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Religion, Altruism and Evolution

I had tried to avoid watching the most recent scuffle in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher between the Greeks and the Armenians. I had to watch it though, when a friend pointed out how the church battle just goes to show that, as Biologist E.O. Wilson points out, Religion follows the laws of Evolution, too:

"There is a principle in ecology, Gause's law, which states that maximum competition is to be found between those species with identical needs. In a similar manner, the one form of altruism that religions seldom display is tolerance of other religions."
Wilson, 1978

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Update on Mr. Manukyan

Mr. Manukyan's trial has been scheduled and then delayed in the
courtroom for the last month. You can follow the time-line of the
charade below. This is how oppressive regimes keep their power:
by totally exhausting all hope and crushing the spirit of those that
are brave enough to fight for a decent country.

• November 13: Trial delayed until November 20th

• November 7: Trial delayed until November 13th

• November 3: Trial delayed until November 7th.

• October 29: Attorney calls in sick, trial postponed until November 3rd.

• October 23: Trial postponed until October 29th.

• October 15: Mr. Manukyan is charged with organizing an unauthorized
illegal public demonstration. The court heard testimony from one
witness, an individual who had previously pled guilty to a crime
relating to the March 1 incident. He had received a suspended sentence
for his own conviction. In a series of investigation statements
(before trial) the witness stated that he had received approximately
$60 from the defendant and that the witness had used the money to bus
people into Yerevan for the unauthorized demonstrations at the
direction of the defendant. At the trial the witness stated that he
had received money from the defendant as part of the opposition
campaign, but that the defendant never directed him to use the money
for the demonstrations. Unfortunately, the judges in Armenia often
base guilty verdicts on pre-trial investigation statements even where
the witness comes into court and recants on his prior statement. The
court was to hear from two other witnesses. One failed to show up and
the other is incarcerated. The court is attempting to bring the
incarcerated witness to the trial. The defense counsel made a motion
to release Mr. Manukyan but the court denied the motion. The trial to
resume Oct. 23.

• October 6: Trial postponed at the last minute due to lack of
prosecution witnesses.

• September 17: Two witnesses testified – both police officers. One
testified as the "victim" and the other as a "witness". Per a US
official who attended the trial: "The bad news is that this case
clearly demonstrates, even assuming that the defendant is completely
guilty, that the authorities are out to get him. He took part in the
demonstration and he (allegedly) threw a rock that hit a cop in the
foot. Minimal injury at worst. This is really no big deal".

• September 9: The defense attorney made a motion to disqualify the
two prosecutors working on the case. That motion was denied by the
judge. The case is moved to the higher felony and adjourned to Sept.
17 to hear from the victim / police officer.

• July 29: The prosecutor seeks an adjournment to upgrade the charges
to more serious felonies, punishable by 5 to 10 years imprisonment.
At the prosecutor's request the court adjourned the case for four

• July 15: After 4 months in 'pre-detention', a trial date is finally
scheduled. The court date is later cancelled at the last minute due
to lack of witnesses.

• March 1: Ashot Manukyan is beaten and arrested at dawn after 11 days
of peaceful protest of a corrupt election. He is taken to Nubereshen
detention center and not allowed to see his family for over a month –
until his wounds heal.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Letter by Penelope Morrison to Oskanyan

Armenian is below:
Civilitas…or Humanitas and Civilitas?
An Open Letter to Mr. Vartan Oskanian

Dear Mr. Oskanian,

Two interviews I saw recently—yours and Mr. Hatspanyan’s—focused my attention on you and the Civilitas Foundation.

As you can imagine, Mr. Hatspanyan’s revelations have alarmed many Armenians. But I refused to believe that a man like you, a paragon of absolute dedication to our country, could be involved in such a dastardly plot. Until, that is, you explained the reason you established Civilitas: to build a civil society in Armenia.

Have you not noticed a civil society developing right before your very eyes, Mr. Oskanian? Not even on Northern Avenue, under your office window? It is no wonder you have taken the path you have, as you have chosen to blind yourself to the commitment to Truth, Justice and Equality, which has and is pouring forth from the citizens of Armenia.

You have yet to tell us what you mean by ‘civil society.’ What should the hundreds of thousands of citizens have done to have qualified for membership in your ‘civil society?’

Rather then the pictures of their imprisoned fathers, should the boats made by children have carried the pictures of Tigran Torosyan, Eduard Sharmazanov, Aghvan Hovsepyan, Hovik Abrahamyan, Robert Kocharyan and Vartan Oskanian?

Should the women peacefully demonstrating on Northern Avenue have politely thanked the policemen for abusing them?

Should the citizens of Armenia have sent Thank You cards to then President Kocharyan for the calculated slaughter of Armenian citizens?

You may also want to reconsider the use of the term Civilitas, for grammatical and contextual reasons. It may sound good for PR purposes, Mr. Oskanian, but it does not mean, in your own words, ‘to be a citizen,’ Roman or otherwise. Nor does the Roman usage accommodate your foundation’s epic blueprint for the ‘salvation’ of Armenian society.

The ambitious undertaking you have set for your Civilitas may come close to Dante’s view of rebuilding human society, but, alas, without Dante’s Humanitas and Civilitas. I would strongly suggest a second reading of Dante to understand what true Civilitas means, Mr. Oskanian. Pay special attention to the part about the right of citizens to make their own choices, and their right to exist for their own sake and not for the sake of someone else. Stated differently, to be members of a civil society, human beings don’t need to have a blueprint of civil society imposed on them. After all, that would only pave the way to totalitarianism, would it not, Mr. Oskanian?

By far the most famous of Dante’s works is The Divine Comedy, where he journeys through Hell, Purgatory and finally Paradise.

The Roman poet Virgil guides Dante through Hell and Purgatory.

Who will be your guide as you try to find a way out of your Hell and Purgatory, Mr. Oskanian? Muk? Lefik Samo? Nemetz Rubo? Dodi Gago? Or, will it be Rob?


Penelope Morrison
San Francisco, California

Սիվիլիտաս... թե՞ հումանիտաս և սիվիլիտաս
Բաց նամակ Պրն. Վարդան Օսկանյանին

Մեծարգո Պրն. Օսկանյան,

Վերջերս իմ ընթերցած երկու հարցազրույցները՝ Ձերն ու Պրն. Հացպանյանինը, ուշադրությունս բևեռեցին Ձեր և Սիվիլիտաս Հիմնադրամի վրա:

Ինչպես կարող եք պատկերացնել, Պրն. Հացպանյանի բացահայտումները շատերին մտահոգության մեջ գցեցին: Սակայն ես մերժում էի հավատալ, թե մեր երկրին կատարյալ նվիրվածության մարմնացում հանդիսացող Ձեզ նման մեկը կարող է նման ստոր դավադրության մեջ ներքաշված լինել: Դա՝ մինչև Ձեր բացատրելը, թե որն է Սիվիլիտասը հիմնելու Ձեր դրդապատճառը. Հայաստանում քաղաքացիական հասարակության հիմնադրումը:

Պարոն Օսկանյան, Դուք չե՞ք նկատել հենց Ձեր աչքերի առջև ծավալվող քաղաքացիական հասարակությունը: ոչ նույնիսկ Հյուսիսային Պողոտայո՞ւմ՝ Ձեր գրասենյակի պատուհանի տա՞կ: Զարմանալի չէ, որ այն ուղին եք ընտրել, որն ընտրել եք, քանի որ որոշել եք կույր լինել Ճշմարտության, Արդարության ու Հավասարության հանդեպ Հայաստանի քաղաքացիներից հորդացած և հորդացող նվիրվածության նկատմամբ:

Դուք դեռ մեզ պետք է բացատրեք, թե ինչ նկատի ունեք "քաղաքացիական հասարակություն" ասելով: Հարյուր-հազարավոր քաղաքացիներն այդ ի՞նչ պետք է անեին՝ Ձեր "քաղաքացիական հասարակության" անդամակցությանն արժանանալու համար:

Երեխաների պատրաստած նավակները իրենց ձերբակալված հայրերի նկարների փոխարեն Տիգրան Թորոսյանի, Եդուարդ Շարմազանովի, Աղվան Հովսեփյանի, Հովիկ Աբրահամյանի, Ռոբերտ Քոչարյանի ու Վարդան Օսկանյանի նկարնե՞րը պետք է կրեին արդյոք:

Հյուսիսային Պողոտայում խաղաղ ցույց անող կանայք իրենց ծեծող ոստիկաններին քաղաքավարի կերպով շնորհակալությու՞ն պետք է հայտնեին արդյոք:

Հայաստանի քաղաքացիներին հաշվարկված կերպով սպանդի ենթարկելու համար քաղաքացիները նախկին նախագահ Ռոբերտ Քոչարյանին շնորհակալական բացի՞կ պետք է ուղարկեին արդյոք:
Թերևս վերանայեք Սիվիլիտաս տերմինի գործածությունը՝ քերականական ու բովանդակային պատճառներով: Այն PR-ի նպատակով թերևս բարեհունչ է, Պրն. Օսկանյան, սակայն բառը չի նշանակում, ինչպես Դուք եք ասում, "լինել քաղաքացի"՝ հռոմեացի թե այլ: Եվ ոչ էլ դրա հռոմեական կիրառությունն է հարմարվում հայ հասարակության "փրկության" Ձեր հիմնադրամի դյուցազներգական նախագծին:

Սիվիլիտասի համար Ձեր սահմանած ամբիցիոզ նախաձեռնությունը կարող է մերձենալ մարդկային հասարակությունը վերակառուցելու Դանթեի տեսակետին, սակայն, ավա՜ղ` առանց Դանթեի Հումանիտաս և Սիվիլիտասի: Ես լրջորեն խորհուրդ կտայի վերընթերցել Դանթեին՝ հասկանալու համար, թե իրական սիվիլիտասն ինչ է նշանակում, Պրն. Օսկանյան: Հատուկ ուշադրություն դարձրեք իրենց սեփական ընտրանքները կատարելու քաղաքացիների իրավունքի և հանուն իրենց, այլ ոչ թե ուրիշ մեկի համար գոյություն ունենալու նրանց իրավունքի մասերին: Այլ կերպ ասած՝ քաղաքացիական հասարակության անդամ լինելու համար մարդկային արարածները կարիք չունեն իրենց պարտադրված քաղաքացիական հասարակության նախագիծ ունենալու: Ի վերջո, դա միայն տոտալիտարիզմի համար է հող հարթելու, այնպես չէ՞, Պրն. Օսկանյան:

Դանթեի գործերից անհամեմատ ավելի հանրաճանաչը "Աստվածային կատակերգությունն" է, ուր հեղինակը ճամփորդում է Դժոխքի, Քավարանի և վերջապես Դրախտի միջով:

Դանթեին Դժոխքում ու Քավարանում առաջնորդում է hռոմեացի բանաստեղծ Վերգիլիոսը:

Իսկ Ձե՞զ ով է առաջնորդելու, երբ փորձեք Դժոխքից ու Քավարանից Ձեր ճամփան գտնել, Պարոն Օսկանյան: Մու՞կը: Լֆիկ Սամո՞ն: Նեմեց Ռուբո՞ն: Դոդի Գագո՞ն: Իսկ գուցե` Ռո՞բը:


Պենելոպե Մորիսոն
Սան Ֆրանցիսկո

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hatspanyan Arrested!!!???

Both Lragir and A1plus and RFE/RL are reporting in their Armenian language sections that Sarkis Hatspanyan has been arrested.
It was also in Armenian on Azatutyun Radio (via RFE/RL), and there were more details there. They report that around 9 o'clock on Nov 7 he was invited to the National Security Service for questioning, after which he was arrested for suspicion of «Սուտ մատնություն», which literally translated means false fingerpointing, but in legalese is probably closer to making false allegations. His lawyer reports that he is being held in isolation. His lawyer also says that Hatspanyan told him that he is being treated with great politeness.
What does this mean about the validity of Hatspanyan's statements, and his arrest. There are tons of possible explanations. The most interesting question is who ordered the arrest - was it SS, or RK? Who has true control? - which has been the question all along.
In his interview, Hatspanyan absolved SS of guilt around the events of March 1, and to some extent gave the impression that SS was forced into a difficult situation, and that the violence was all RK's doing. So why would SS then imprison this man? For more information? For his "own safety"?
On the other hand, maybe the absolution in the interview doesn't mean much of anything to SS, and this is an excellent opportunity to arrest a strong, outspoken critic of the government.
Or could RK be running this arrest show, and Hatspanyan was blowing the whistle?
Regardless, it would have to be with SS's knowledge.

There's obviously much more going on than the few tidbits that have been thrown to us - hopefully there will be more information soon.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Lachin, Lachin, Lachin

One of the main reasons we went to war over Karabagh was to assure the security of the people of Karabagh. And to assure that, we needed to secure Lachin, and more specifically, the Lachin Corridor. It was a sticking point back then, and it is now - here's an excerpt from yesterday's RFE/RL article:
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov singled out late last month the future of the so-called Lachin corridor, which provides for the shortest overland link between Karabakh and Armenia proper, as the main stumbling block in the negotiating process. He did not elaborate, though.

“Everybody knows that that issue has to be resolved,” Bryza said, referring to Lachin. “It’s an important one. We’re working on that and getting closer to that.”

From what I recall, with the 1994 ceasefire, not only the Lachin corridor, but the entire Lachin Region, would be and still is controlled by Armenians. Take a look at these maps and see just how important this region is.

I sure hope these guys know what they're doing.
Whether they're trying to save their own faces, their asses, their political offices, or their political parties, on all sides (Russian, American, Armenian to name a few), I hope they know what they're doing.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Guess what???

Guess who is next in line for office of President of the Republic of Armenia IF SS is removed... The Chair of the National Assembly, aka, Hovik Abrahamyan, aka, Muk...Yes, he is a member of the nickname club.

A known thug, a man who was quite close to RK. In fact, when he started rising through the ranks of the National Assembly after March, 2008, it was hypothesized by many that he was part of the mechanism to bring RK back into the visible limelight. See Muk's official biography on the National Assembly Website. Of course, his true accomplishments are not on the official Biography - we'll have to wait for the uncensored version for what he's really done.

Keep in mind that Hatspanyan has revealed news of a plot to kill SS. According to the laws of Armenia, Muk would become the temporary President. How interesting.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Threat to SS???

Over the past couple of days a news story is breaking out re: an interview Hatspanyan gave stating that he has information about a plot against SS's life - the English of which is now available on khosq
The original Armenian interview can be found on Haykakan Zhamanak.
Lragir reports today that :

The National Security Service has launched legal proceedings on the basis of the report of the Haykakan Zhamanak Newspaper, the NSS reports. The Haykakan Zhamanak had reported that Sargis Hatspanyan had stated referring to reliable and serious sources that an attempt against Serge Sargsyan is being plotted. In this connection, the NSS has launched legal proceedings under Article 35-305 of the Crime Code, plotting attempt against a statesman.

A1plus has a similar follow-up report.
As per Hatspanyan's source, Kocharyan driven forces are responsible for the possible attempt against SS's life. Including Oskanyan's new Civilitas Foundation. Curious who they are? Go to their website, where you will find some information, and many pictures of Oskanyan:

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Principles? What Principles?

The ARF is threatening to pull out of the coalition due to SS's plan regarding NK.

“If the actions of the supreme authorities run contrary to our principles -- and by that we mean what we consider our national interests in the first instance -- … then of course we will have no common course to follow with those authorities,” warned deputy parliament speaker Hrayr Karapetian . (from the article on RFE/RL)

Wow. I applaud the ARF for standing by their principles.
I guess defense of the Armenian people is not one of their principles, as demonstrated by the fact that they joined the ruling coalition after the events of March 1.

Friday, October 31, 2008


“The Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutyun is convinced that if the war resumes Armenia will not only preserve the liberated territories but also establish land and water borders with its northern neighbour Russia,” ARFD member and Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Hrair Karapetyan told a press conference today.
[from a1plus]
ՀՅԴ-ն վստահ է, որ պատերազմի վերսկսման դեպքում հայերը ոչ միայն չեն կորցնի ազատագրված տարածքները, այլեւ սահման ձեռք կբերեն իրենց հյուսիսային հարեւանի հետ, ընդ որում՝ ոչ միայն ցամաքային, այլեւ ծովային: Այս մասին այսօր ԱԺ-ում հրավիրած ասուլիսի ժամանակ հայտարարեց ՀՅԴ ԳՄ անդամ, ԱԺ փոխնախագահ Հրայր Կարապետյանը:

What...? where...? He can't be serious... Black Sea? Caspian Sea?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

"I demand to be charged..."

(a1plusnews via YouTube)

I'm pretty sure that this action, from October 30, is related to the new action by the Armenian National Congress. As a1+ and echannel news reported, members of the ANC, as well as other citizens (it seems by the video above), are signing a letter demanding that the government be consistent in their accusations and charges of those they suspect to have been involved in the "provocative and illegal actions" of March 1.

If no crime has been committed, then amnesty cannot be granted.
If the "government" is not legitimate, it cannot negotiate on behalf of the People.
If the stated charges are the sole and true reasons for imprisonment, then many many more should be charged and imprisoned.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Hatspanyan and Manoyan

In a recent radio interview, Kiro Manoyan explained why the ARF is (still) part of the coalition government - that is, to change it from the inside (see bottom of this post for a brief translation).

I suppose I shouldn't be surprised at this reasoning. I've heard it from ARF members who, when all logical explanations and defenses have crumbled, say they are part of this organizations because they want to change it, to better it, from the inside out. Of course, those who maintain their independent thinking, ie, those who continue to want to change it, are kicked out, either before or after they resign from the ARF. Which may in part be why those still in the ARF don't realize, or don't want to realize, that this strategy doesn't work. Imagine the consequences of accepting how much needs to changed inside the belly of the beast, for those those individuals, for the party, and for Armenians in general.

RFE/RL has posted an interview with one of its reporters, Kiro Manoyan and Sarkis Hatspanyan. Watch Cognitive Dissonance and Insecure Identity try to prove itself against Logic and Consistency. Its about 15 minutes long, watch the last half especially, it speaks for itself.
Video (scroll down on the linked page to see).

Here is the brief translation of an interview on RFE/RL from Oct 20:

Interview with Kiro Manoyan (KM) with RFL reporter Karine Kalantaryan (KK).

the topic is NK and what concessions are being made on the part of Armenia. Arthur Baghdasaryan (Orinats Yergir, member of the coalition) said that neither the authorities in Armenia nor the president have any intention of making concessions.

The reporter, Karine Kalantaryan says that in Kiro Manoyan’s (member of ARF bureau and head of the Hye Tad office in Yerevan) interpretation the position of Azerbaijan on the NK issue depends on Ilham Aliev:

KM: If Aliev wants, he can impose his position, or convince those around him.

KK: Can you say exactly on whom the position of the Armenian side depends? On just Serjh Sargsyan or political forces? And what responsibility does the ARF bear in this case?

KM: Not everything depends on Armenia and in the case of Armenia not everything should depend on the position of the president because this is not a matter— like many other matters—where the president can make a decision on his own. It is imperative that all political forces clarify their positions. We have so far made our position clear, that we fundamentally oppose the current alternative under consideration fundamentally because there is the issue of returning the lands and because the return of those lands doesn’t guarantee any essential step in return. Whether or not it guarantees any essential steps in return, we are against the return of the lands.

[Reporter’s words] To the question of which part the ARF bears responsibility for, Kiro Manoyan did not answer. But he said that in the settlement of the NK issue, and not only in that, there are differences of opinion:

KM: Yes, there are differences of opinion on this issue, there always have been…..

[Reporter’s words]: There have been, and there are still, differences of opinion, not only on this issue, Kiro Manoyan stated. Then what keeps the ARF in the coalition?

KM: The opportunity we have to convince our colleagues to change their viewpoints. If we see that we no longer have that opportunity by being in the coalition, not just with respect to this issue, but there are many issues where we have a different position.....if we see that we can no longer influence, it would be clear that we have nothing more to do, not just on these issues, but any others as well where we see that is has gone over the limit, and our presence has no meaning anymore, it’s clear that we won’t stay [in the coalition]. So far we think we have an influence.

[Reporter’s words]: Life has shown that the coalition party has made public announcements about ‘going over the limit’ only during elections, during the last four years during the parliamentary and presidential elections by criticizing the authorities.

[Reporter’s words]: to the question of what influence the ARF has had on the position of government specifically with respect to NK and the return of territories in the last 4 years, and the issue of returning or not returning the lands, Kiro Manoyan again avoided the question, stressing that in the last four years and now,

KM: they are different presidents, different people, they’re different politically. Yes, we have had an influence, we have had an influence in many issues, not only concerning NK..

Somebody [not the reporter] in the background asked: specifically about NK issue?

KM: It makes no sense to say specifically, there is no need to open our internal kitchen here. But we have seen that we have hadinfluence and have kept our membership in the coalition.

In closing, the reporter quotes Kiro Manoyan as saying,

“Today, everything depends on the negotiations on NK and the position of Armenia to surrender or not surrender the territories”.

Friday, October 24, 2008

On the Occasion of October 27...


1999թ. հոկտեմբերի 27-ին, գնդակահարվեցին Հայաստանի Հանրապետության Ազգային ժողովը եւ Կառավարությունը: Սպանվեցին Ազգային ժողովի նախագահ Կարեն Դեմիրճյանը, վարչապետ Վազգեն Սարգսյանը, պատգամավորներ, կառավարության անդամներ: Հայկական պետականության վրա ձեռք էին բարձրացրել հինգ ստահակներ, սակայն դա այդ պահի իշխանության, մասնավորապես գործող նախագահ Ռ. Քոչարյանի եւ Ազգային անվտանգության ղեկավար Սերժ Սարգսյանի մեծագույն խայտառակությունն էր եւ ամոթը, ինչից հետո, քաղաքական ու մարդկային նվազագույն արժանապատվություն ունենալու պարագայում, նրանք երկուսն էլ պետք է հրաժարական տային: Նրանք ոչ միայն այդ չարեցին, այլեւ, մասնավորապես Ռ. Քոչարյանը, իրենց հետագա վարքագծով խորացրեցին առաջին իսկ պահից լայնորեն տարածված կասկածը՝ այդ ոճրագործությանը նրանց մեղսակից լինելու մասին: Հենց հոկտեմբերի 27-ի այս ոճրագործությունից հետո, մի քանի ամսում դուրս գալով իրենց համար ստեղծված ծանր իրավիճակից, այս երկյակը հիմնադրեց եւ ժամանակի ընթացքում կատարելության հասցրեց ավազակապետական այն հանցավոր համակարգը, որն այսօր շարունակում է կործանել հայկական պետությունն ու նրա ժողովրդին: Հոկտեմբերի 27-ը շարունակելու է մնալ Հայոց պետականության ճակատին խարան, իր կործանարար հետեւանքներով շարունակելու է գործել այնքան ժամանակ, քանի դեռ չի քողազերծվել ժամանակին կատարված դատական ֆարսը, քանի դեռ չեն բացահայտվել ու պատժվել դրա կազմակերպիչները եւ մյուս մեղսակիցները:

October 27, 1999 Parliament Video on YouTube

Thursday, October 23, 2008

An article on Aravot...

This is an excerpt from an article that was published in Aravot's October 19 issue, front page, which tells about an anonymous witness. They keep his name out for obvious reasons, the paper says. The anonymous source says that while people had built barricades to protect themselves, and real battles were being waged at the intersection of Paronyan and Mashtots streets against citizens, the army recruits were ordered to open fire on civilians.

[This part is a verbatim translation from the paper]
"The army recruits, who had refused to execute the order and had been fired at by their own commander, realized that the situation was becoming unpredictable and gradually left their positions; they escaped toward Hotel Metropol using the bridge adjacent to St. Sargis Church and entered the Zangu gorge by the side of Haghtanak Bridge hoping to find a safe place. Some of them were already wounded, but a few were able to reach the Kilikia district. Here the residents, seeing them and understanding what was happening in the center of the city, took some of the wounded into their houses and gave them safe haven.

The solders called their families, who came and took their sons home or to the hospital. Our source, who knows some of the individuals who protected the soldiers, assured us that are still many things related to March 1 which immediate eyewitnesses cannot yet divulge, for understandable reasons. Indeed there are many living eyewitnesses to the tragedy of “March 1” who witnessed the military operations undertaken on Mahstots Boulevard and Paronian and Leo streets, the actual firing on people; some day they will certainly talk and tell what they saw."

Aravot then continues to comment on the events of March 1.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Pashinyan's English

The MP3 of Pashinyan's interview can be found on the Payqar site, and the full armenian text of the interview is at RFE/RL on Oct 16.
Here is the translation of his interview, for those interested:

Aghasi Yenokyan: Mr. Pashinyan, you have been underground yet it is clear from your articles that you are familiar with political developments in Armenia. You had announced a revolution. What happened to that revolution? Was it postponed? Was it silenced? Or, is it continuing now?

Nikol Pashinyan: In my opinion, nothing awful has happened to the revolution. On the contrary, the past nine months have shown that all non-revolutionary avenues of restoring legitimacy, constitutional order and rule by the people in Armenia have been exhausted.

Let’s take the recent elections in local self-government. The conclusion that can be drawn from those is the same: the people, to who belongs the exclusive constitutional right to constitute its rule, is denied the freedom and possibility to exercise that right.

Revolution is the only option left to restore that freedom and establish legitimacy in Armenia. It is in this context that I view the tactics of the opposition in the last 8 months. The people’s movement has refrained from taking rough steps, in a way giving the authorities a chance to demonstrate that it is possible to establish legitimacy, to reinstate civil rights, freedom of speech and free economic competition without a revolution, that is, without removing the current authorities. But the authorities have shown through their actions that the revolution is the only option left to establish legitimacy.

Beyond that, I want to stress that the revolution is the only option to restore the unification of the public because the citizens of Armenia can be unified only when the same body of laws apply to everyone, when those laws work to the same extent for everyone.

It goes without saying that our revolution should be velvety, bloodless, and peaceful; but that depends not as much on the opposition as it does on the authorities.

Aghasi Yenokyan: It is known that you are accused of the main crimes of March 1—of murders and other crimes. How do you answer to those accusations? Are you preparing to appear in court?

Nikol Pashinyan: I consider that those who were killed on March 1 are my brothers; their loss is a personal grief and tragedy for me and I feel obligated to their memory.

Yes, the authorities accuse us of murders coupled with mass unrest, meaning that they accuse us of organizing the murders of March 1. This is an unprecedented legal absurdity because that accusation assumes that not only the perpetrators of the murders have been revealed, but that it has been proven that they acted on the orders of the opposition. Yet not only have the authors of the murders not been revealed to date, but they are being carefully concealed by the prosecutors.

That which concerns my being in freedom, underground or in prison, frankly speaking those are not social situations for me, but different forms of struggle. I’ve been underground during this time because I think that at some point my appearance on the stage of a rally might be necessary for the popular movement—very necessary. If I see that the possibility of such a necessity is exhausted, I will choose prison without hesitation as a normal phase of the struggle.

Numerous famous activists have spent long years in prison in the name of the victory of the people. But neither prison nor the underground, nor freedom, can be en end in itself for the political activist.

By being underground for this long I also wanted to show that the national security services and police of the Republic of Armenia are sterile structures and are incapable of intellectual contest or struggle.

And, if one day people hear that they have arrested me, let them know that I have wished to be arrested, that I have opted to continue my struggle in prison.

Aghasi Yenokyan: There is the opinion that by letting the political prisoners free, it is possible to remove the current tension in the public. Do you agree? If yes, then why do you think the authorities have not opted for the easing of tensions?

Nikol Pashinyan: Candidly speaking, I am surprised by all those views that consider the freeing of political prisoners something that the authorities should do. We should understand that the authorities will free the political prisoners if they have no other options left, meaning that they have no other choice left. Denying choice to the authorities is the task of the Armenian National Congress, the task of the people’s movement.

If the authorities have the capability of keeping our comrades in prison, then it is we who have given them that capability. I call on all the participants of our movement and our sympathizers to look at the problem of our political prisoners from this perspective.

That which concerns the international community and the European Council, it is not principles that they protect; they react to power relations. If the movement is strong and systematic, the international community will help; it will defend the standards of international human rights. If the movement shows fear and is accommodating, the international community will forget its pronouncements on human rights and international conventions. This is a simple truth, and I think we should all consider this our point of departure.

The Rally is on...

The rally has started and the pictures sure seem packed full of people.
LTP's speech is already available in Armenian and English.

A timely interview...

Spread the Word!

Pashinyan has given an exclusive interview to RFE/RL.
RFE/RL has an article with a short summary of the interview, here.
Listen to it by going to HIMA's posting of the interview.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Straight to the point...

This is direct from lragir


I heard yesterday that the ad hoc committee to study the events of March 1 has testimonies about burnt cars but no testimonies of witnesses of blood.I would like to tell Samvel Nikoyan that on that day when the police had already retreated I saw blood on the tunnel near the Fish Shop. At that moment it was already known that two people were killed by gunshot at the head.The puddle of blood I saw was not as big as the one in the footage of A1+ and there no piece of jaw in it. But it should be taken into account that I appeared there when the water cannons had already finished washing away the blood. Besides, I did not study the entire territory.Someone said I cannot prove that it was blood, and human blood, “I did not carry out an examination”. But I would like to ask Samvel Nikoyan: how about the blood of 8 killed on the spot and dozens of injured people? After all, if you admit there were victims and injured people, you cannot deny that there was blood. The water cannons could not wash away the whole because the demonstrators made them retreat as well.What does it mean “we have no testimonies”? I do not hesitate to help you fill in that gap. After my statement you already have such a testimony, and I believe that the number of such testimonies will increase. One more clue. Why don’t you suggest that the American experts study the footage where there is a big hole from gunshot in the cheek of the young man who was saved by miracle? Maybe it will answer the question about the piece of jaw.



Երեկ լսեցի, որ մարտի 1-ի դեպքերն ուսումնասիրող ժամանակավոր հանձնաժողովը վկայություններ ունի մեքենաներ այրելու մասին, բայց արյուն տեսնողների վկայություններ չունի: Սամվել Նիկոյանին ուզում եմ հայտնել, որ այդ օրը, երբ ոստիկանական ուժերն արդեն նահանջել էին, կեսգիշերի կողմերը ես տեսել եմ արյուն Ձկան խանութին հարող թունելի վրա: Այդ պահին արդեն հայտնի էր, որ երկու հոգի վախճանվել են գլխին ստացած հրազենային կրակոցից: Իմ տեսած արյան լճակն այն մեծը չէր, որ պատկերված է Ա1+-ի տեսանյութում, եւ դրանում ծնոտի կտոր չկար: Բայց պետք է հաշվի առնել, որ ես դեպքի վայրում հայտնվել եմ, երբ արդեն ջրցան մեքենաներն արել էին իրենց գործը` լվացել էին արյունը: Հետո, ես չեմ զննել ամբողջ տարածքը: Ինչ-որ մեկն ինձ հուշեց, որ ես չեմ կարող ապացուցել, որ դա արյուն էր, այն էլ` մարդու արյուն` «փորձաքննություն չեմ արել»: Բայց ուզում եմ հարցնել Սամվել Նիկոյանին` տեղում սպանված 8 հոգու եւ տասնյակ վիրավորների արյունն ինչ եղավ: Ի վերջո, եթե ընդունում եք, որ եղել են զոհեր ու վիրավորներ, չեք կարող չընդունել, որ արյուն էլ է եղել: Ջրցան մեքենաները չէին կարող ամբողջը լվանալ, որովհետեւ դրանք էլ են ստիպված եղել նահանջել ցուցարարների առաջ: Ինչ է նշանակում` «վկայություններ չունենք»: Չեմ հապաղում օգնել ձեզ` լրացնելու այդ բացը: Իմ այս հայտարարությունից հետո, արդեն ունեք համապատասխան վկայություն, եւ վստահ եմ, որ այդ վկայությունների թիվը կավելանա: Մի հուշում էլ, ամերիկացի փորձագետներին առաջարկեք ուսումնասիրել նաեւ այն տեսանյութը, որում հրաշքով փրկված երիտասարդի այտի վրա հրազենով խոշոր անցք է բացված: Հնարավոր է, որ դա պատասխանի ծնոտի կտորի մասին հարցերին:


Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tippy Toeing Towards Independent Thought?

Former Foreign Minister Oskanian has made some interesting comments in a Press Conference. Very gentle, very cautious comments that maybe, maybe, he's not fully in line with everything this present government is doing, of course it could be just a show.
There wasn't too much information available about the conditions of his resignation, or if they were in any way peculiar or eyebrow raising, which they very well may not have been. In his farewell speech on April 11, 2008, made the following statement:

The weeks after March 1 were the most difficult of my entire career. On the one hand, I am part of an admininstration which, at the end of the day, is responsible for what happens in this country. On the other hand, from the beginning of their campaign, I disagreed, publicly and privately, with the tactics, methods and goals of the opposition.

Not surprising, given that he played a key role in the firing of numerous Armenian Diplomats who had publicly stated that they believed the February elections to be fraudulent.

Now, in this press conference, he is expressing his opinion that amnesty be given to the political prisoners. I didn't realize he thought there were political prisoners in Armenia.

[UPDATE - as was pointed out in the comment, he doesn't call them political prisoners, just prisoners. Of course not. Yet another way of working around the issue without actually addressing any of the fundamental problems. Maybe deep, deep down he really thinks they are guilty of crimes against the government, against the republic of Armenia, and its just for the safety (?) or stability (?) or image (?) of Armenia that he thinks they should get amnesty (this term is a whole separate issue). Not so unlike the ARF's difficult positionin February and since, no?]

He also talked about the recent attitude change towards relations with Turkey. He said alot, and very little at the same time. Which may mean he's a good diplomat, but doesn't mean he necessarily said anything... or maybe he said everything there was to say.

His new foundation, Civilitas, was inaugurated yesterday. Who funds this Foundation?