Silent Protest Action in Yerevan

Via Nazarian, Via Marti21

An urgent call to support
the silent protest in Yerevan, Armenia
on Friday, March 21, 5pm-7pm

The announcement outlined below has been extended to the citizens of the republic of Armenia, the vast majority of which continue to live in a state of terror, violence, political persecution, intimidation and total information black-out. On Friday, March 21, 2008, many will form a silent, human chain from 5pm to 7pm to focus the attention of the international community, yet again, on their plight

As indicated in the guidelines below, the sole purpose of the Silent Protest is to mourn and to remember those who have fallen prey to a totalitarian and sick regime, and to do so with respect and dignity.It is the duty of all us to bow our heads before such courage and above all, to support their efforts to regain their human dignity. After all, none of us in Europe, the US and Canada would tolerate a life without dignity and civil liberties for a single moment.Time is of the essence. Express your views to the Foreign ministry, the Prime Minister’s Office and the President’s office of Armenia.

Invitation to participate in a human chain of silent protest

All the citizens of the Republic of Armenia willing to express their indignation against the brutalities and massacres organized by the authorities of Armenia in the morning and evening of March 1st, those who decry the unconscionable political persecutions, arrests and trials of peaceful demonstrators that continue to this day, and those who mourn the memory of all victims of the events of the March 1st, are invited to participate in a Silent Protest on Friday, March 21, from 5pm to7pm.

Protesters will stand in silence, in a single row. The line will extend from Liberty Square (where the carnage of March 1 against peaceful and unsuspecting demonstrators was launched) through Northern Avenue, Abovyan Street, Republic Square, Vazgen Sargsyan Street and Italy Street. In the latter section the line will be situated on the walkway facing the Prosecutor General’s Office.

Participants are urged to adhere to the following strict guidelines:

1. Participants will stand only and only on those parts of the path that are free of vehicular traffic, and on sidewalks, so as not to disrupt the normal flow of traffic in the city;
2. Participants will stand approximately 1meter apart from each other (approximately the span of extended arms);
3. Participants will stand in a single row;
4. If the number of participants exceeds the number of people that can be accommodated in a single row, the group surpassing that number will stand on the opposing sidewalk under the same guidelines to prevent traffic congestions and, to prevent the authorities from condemning it as a mass gathering;
5. In those areas where no opposite sidewalks exist, participants will not form a second row.

To express your protest, it is advised to have with you:

1. The photograph or photographs of any or some political prisoners (with their names and last names displayed) and hold them visibly in your hands or attached to your backs. If possible, print a few photographs of political prisoners and give them to the participant near you. Some photographs can be downloaded from the following website: http://marti21.blogspot.com/
2. You may tie black ribbons on your arms in memory of the victims of the March 1;
3. You may carry candles, placed in glasses (not to be blown out by the wind) in memory of the victims of March 1. And, you may simply wear a black outfit in memory of the victims of March 1.

ABOVE ALL,

1. Please maintain maximum and strict order;
2. Do not be swayed by any provocation;
3. If you feel impending danger and threat of the use of force, please leave your location in the row (you may return to your location when the threat is gone)
4. Answer questions posed by the police, the public, journalists and others without agitation and with calm.

For questions and suggestions please contact: marti.qsanmek@gmail.com

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78 thoughts on “Silent Protest Action in Yerevan

  1. Obviously the General Prosecutor’s Office knows about this by now. Anyone participating in this will be fined or jailed, no questions asked.

    Enough with the traitors and hate-spreaders among us! It’s time to wake up.

  2. Actually I’m planning to attend, because I support the idea, and because I’m planning to write a post about it.

  3. Good luck Observer, but please don’t say I did not warn you. Police will be there before the protesters.

    All in all this sounds to me like a “Silent Auction Of Souls”

  4. And besides I think the best analysis of the current situation, the truly “hayrenaser” analysis comes from Dr. Armen Ayvazyan.

    Please read the first 2 articles here.Observer read them and see if you still want to support a traitor by going to the “silent auction”.

    http://www.hayq.org/index.php?p=8&l=eng

    Dsav-d tanem Armen jan!

  5. Do you continue to give vodka to an alcoholic? All nations should cut off foreign aid to Armenia. Perhaps then will the oppressed people of Hayastan have enough motivation to stop being sheep and get rid of “Get More Soap” Serzh and this endless corruption by the thugs and scum who control Armenia.

    *********************************
    U.S. THREATENS TO FREEZE AID TO ARMENIA

    The United States has expressed concern about the Armenian government’s continuing post-election crackdown on the opposition and threatened to suspend its multimillion-dollar economic assistance to Armenia. “We continue to follow with concern the current situation in Armenia,” a spokesman for the White House, Tony Fratto, told reporters on Thursday. He pointed to the imposition of a state of emergency in Yerevan and mass arrests of opposition activists following the March 1 clashes between security forces and opposition supporters protesting against the official results of last month’s disputed presidential election. “The government of Armenia needs to uphold the rule of law, lift the state of emergency and restore press freedoms. We urge a political dialogue between the government and opposition to resolve the situation quickly,” Fratto said, according to AFP news agency. Reuters quoted the U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as telling a congressional hearing in Washington on Wednesday that the emergency rule made it necessary to freeze some of the U.S. aid programs in Armenia. She did not elaborate. Rice apparently referred to $235.6 million in aid which Washington has promised allocate to Armenia under its Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) program designed to promote political and economic reforms around the world. U.S. officials have repeatedly said that the sum’s disbursement is conditional on democratic reform and improved governance in Armenia. In a Tuesday letter to President Robert Kocharian, the head of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), John Danilovich, warned that the U.S. government agency managing the scheme could “suspend or terminate” the five-year aid package due to the dramatic post-election developments in Armenia. “MCC is reviewing operational aspects of its ongoing work in Armenia in light of these events, including the suspension of media freedoms and the imposition of a state of emergency, and is closely monitoring the situation with U.S. Government and donor colleagues,” Danilovich wrote. He said MCC needs to be certain that “our programs operate in a democratic environment.” Foreign Minister Vartan Oskanian acknowledged on Thursday that continued U.S. assistance to Armenia is now at serious risk. “It all depends on how the United States evaluates things, on how quickly we can get out of this situation,” he said. “Right now we are facing a dilemma: the country’s stability and the people’s security versus democratic values, liberties, civil rights,” Oskanian told a news conference. “The president of the republic is facing this dilemma.” “The situation is not clear-cut. He has to balance things, and that’s not an easy task. The longer this balancing act lasts, the more the public will suffer,” he said. Prime Minister and President-elect Serzh Sarkisian appears to be more sanguine in that regard, though. He chaired on Wednesday, the day after Danilovich’s letter to Kocharian, a meeting of the governing board of an Armenian government agency overseeing the use of MCA funds, which are due to be spent on upgrading the country’s battered irrigation networks and rural roads. A statement by Sarkisian’s press office said the government received about $11.3 million in MCA funding as of last December and expects to get the next installment of the promised aid, also worth $11.3 million, in the second quarter of this year. The aid package is essential for the success of the Sarkisian government’s efforts to reduce widespread rural poverty. According to Armenian and U.S. officials, the resulting infrastructure projects, if implemented, will benefit 75 percent of the country’s million-strong rural population.

  6. Observer,
    thank you for your honest stand. I regret I am not in Armenia to join all the others. I know your criticism of LTP and partially share it. But again I salut your stand as a true citizen and a true hayrenaser, unlike the ones who just declare them as such. If people like “hayrenaser” or his beloved Armen (it’s a disgrace for our nation) could come to power and could dictate their principles, Armenia would soon become very similar to Nazi Germany. I think striking similarities of their thinking is obvious. We should not tolerate limitations of our rights. I care much less for who is the president than how they will (or will be allowed) to treat us.
    Also I’d like to comment on the artificial claim by officials that there is a dillema between stability and human rights. There is absolutely no controversy among those notions. I am personally both for stabiltiy and for protection of human rights. And the countries that protect human rights are more stabile.
    If opposition were allowed to have access to TV there would not be so many people participating in meetings, if people are not attacked and beaten by police they do not take stones and sticks to fight back, if people are able to change the governement by election they do not start rioting and call for violence, if officals provide honest and trustworthy information people do not believe every gossip, if officials know that they are accountable to people they try not violating the law and if I am not limited in my writes I will not desperately fight for overthrowing the regime!
    I will return to Yerevan in summer and I hope that it will not remind me Berlin of 1933.

  7. hayrenaser, 2 questions for you:
    1. will your opinion on Armen Ayvazyan change, if I tell you that ARmen Ayvazyan has been receiving grants from the US government to travel to US within the US government programs, that he is teaching at American University in Armenia, and that most of his books were funded by US citizens.
    I personally don’t have a problem with foreign funding, but for someone who accuses opposition of being foreign agents, Armen Ayvazyan has been receiving suspiciously too much money from foreign sources, don’t you think?
    2. what is yuor opinion on Jirayr Sefilyan, do you think he is not “hayrenaser”?

  8. I can’t speak for hayrenaser, but:

    1) No it would not. I would guess that the level of funding he has received in his lifetime from the US is less than the amount received by Raffi Hovannisian or LTP in an average month over the past decade.

    2) I respect all of the individuals who fought for Artsakh’s liberation: those who fought for Kelbajar against LTP’s will, those who freed Lachin, those who liberated Shushi, and most particularly those who have been demonized by LTP or ignored the current authorities. Sadly many of those are later used as pawns, ready to be sacrificed for the cause of the day.

  9. tell me Observer,
    What idea is it your supporting?

    The idea that it doesnt matter what the election results were but who can win a street fight.

    or are you supporting the idea of an international team to review our countries elections by violating our sovereignty and pretend to help our intrests and futher their own.

    or maybe your supporting the idea of further dividing the country and finally getting rid of the filthy “karabagh clan” they need to go back to karabagh their so diffrent from us we are the true armenians.

    These are the ideas promoted by petrosyan. I for one dont think any are ones that need to be supported.

    These elections were to be a diplomatic victory for armenia they are the best presedential elections conducted by any country in the region. but try proving that now. Trying proving this fact not an idea that doesnt exist.

    avik,
    petrosyan was offer a debate by sarkisyan and also was offered air time on the public airways. he rufed it seemes that this was beneath him. i do wish he did get on than maybe the whole country would relize what he is just like they did with karen demirchyan (during his debate with kocharyan) one of his close allies now.

    petrosyan knew just like every other follower of politics he was going to loss so he annonced his victory before any vote was counted just like in 1996. his staff was also threatening protest even if the international community endorsed the elections. which they did. He is now protesting europe and the U.S. but neither of his portest will work because the majority knows petrosyan was too busy jailing dashnaks, closing down news papers, selling natural resorces, begging enemies to take land and firing his own staff for mentioning the armenian genocide in turkey to do anything about progressing democracy in armenia. So the end result is the majority in armenia ( or internationally) will not change the regime (as bad as it is) for someone who has already proven to be worse. these election werent perfect but they were democratic.

    and here is a pole conducted by populas ( a leading polster in england ) the proves that the majority of armenian support sarkisyan and belive that the counrty is moving in the right direction. if the majority belives this why would they want to change the regime?

    http://www.populuslimited.com/armenia-public-tv-radio-armenia-presidential-election-postelection-poll-240208.html

  10. why cannot you just protest against everyone? The people should just cry “Levon Heracir”, “Serjik Heracir”, and etc. Of course no one will go away after this, but at least maybe they will realize that people treat them as equally bad (for me Serj is just a tiny bit better).

    I do support the silent protest as long as Levon&CO isn’t behind it. If this is something organized by the bloggers and journalists then it is worth attending to show the government that we don’t like the situation. If Levon is behind it, then honestly I am sick of it. People already said what they had to say to the government through his mouth, and it is just not worth going through that again. Especially because the government interpreted it as Levon talking and not the people.

    Who is behind this silent protest?

  11. Tigran,

    Do you honestly believe that those numbers are correct?

    How about one of you take a poll from those 10-12 people who posted in this site? How about we just do it now? Who did you vote for? Here are the names of people who should respond.

    grigor- I didn’t vote as I am a student in US, and we weren’t allowed to vote. But I wouldn’t vote for any of the top three.
    Tigran
    AH
    ok
    Avik
    mathisking
    Kirovakanci
    Hajrenaser
    Observer
    Onik

    So we got 10 people.

  12. the funny thing is the same peolpe that say serj heraci are the same peolpe who said kocharyan heracir and are the same people who used to say levon heracir and were going to be same people who were going to say levon heracir if he were to win. I dont think it really matters who is behind the silent protest levon will take credit for it.

  13. These polls are absolutlly correct they were conducted by populus this is a company that conducts polling for leading magazines around the world i for one dont think that they would schwander away their credibility so they can fix an election in Armenia. The polls are also featured on their site in their political section. i cant understand way a company would post anything on their site that day would not consider accurate.
    I have researched the company many times and used them for documentation many times and i invite anyone to the same. Is there a reason why you dont think these numbers are correct?

    As much as i dont think its scientific to conduct a poll on a blog i think it would be intresting

    i vote sarkissyan

  14. There is also something to be said that our votes are now skewed one way or another for example It would be very difficult for bush (w) to win an election now but he did do it twice before.

  15. 1/ Armen Ayvazyan is one of the most brilliant intellectuals of today’s Armenia. I truly don’t care where Armen Ayvazyan gets his funding from for his research. Each and every article/work by that man, each and every word is for the good of Armenia, for the betterment of our nation. You’d be blind if you don’t see that crystal clear.

    Meanwhile so-called intellectual Levon srika’s vocabulary which seems rich with words like “destroy”,” ruin”, “you will answer for this”, “mongol-tatars” etc etc. makes him not only a lkti lakot but not worthy of being funded by anyone except the fascist circles of Turks/Azeris whose only dream is the Pan-Turanic dream, a world without Armenia. Ter Petrosyan hasn’t been an intellectual for the last at least 20 years.

    Jirayr Sefilyan is a Karabagh war hero, nothing will change that. But that doesn’t deny him the right to threaten to kill Robert Kocharian or Serge Sargsyan. Samvel Babayan is a war hero. But that didn’t give him the right to kill Arkady Ghukasyan. The list goes on for those war heroes who didn’t quite make the adjustment in times of peace…
    Too bad for Jirayr that he supported LTP out of desperation. He should have had more dignity and at least stayed neutral.

    Friday’s “silent auction of souls” is organized by Levonakans. This is their last hope. Why do I know this? just look at who is truly promoting it: Nazarian,levonforpresident and even worse, [edited out by Administrator for insulting wording], Isabella Sarkissian (relative of Levon), whose hatred of a stable Armenia transcends all boundaries. And all this will happen on the holiest day of the religious calendar , Good Friday.

    Say No to traitors. Do Not Support Levon! I suggest you go to church instead to cleanse your souls and not sell them to Levon.

    Let me also clarify that I proudly voted for Vahan Hovannisyan and not Serge Sargsyan. I am not a great fan of Serge or Artur, but at this critical stage I rally behind the President-elect and I wish him the best in eradicating the cancer called Levon and HHSh once and for all. Clean our country of that evil.

  16. I’m too worried and sorry for our small country. Stability and unity is what we need and Levon is going exactly in the opposite direction. Things are going in a very very worrisome direction.

    Observer, I’m sure you love your country (the very fact that you put this much of effort on this blog and want to attend the protest proves that) and want to do something for your country. But please, before taking any steps think about the consequences and possible outcoming scenarios. Don’t act emotionally and hastily, maybe this is not a right time for action (protesting). You’ll have years of time to get into politics of Armenia and fix whatever you think should be fixed, the correct way, the patient way, the harder way, the better way. As the simple English proverb says ‘Rome was not built in a day’. The values you desire can not be achieved in one day and by protesting, it will take time and patience and calculated moves. Now the situation is very sensitive, don’t add fuel to the fire. There are other means of change other than what Levon is advising you, better ones, and unfortunately more difficult ones. Patience is easy to preach but difficult to practice, but please try your best and be patient. If you think Serj is not doing enough for the country, instability won’t help him do better, he will just do worse.

    It’s painful to see our people, the ones who care for the people making mistakes. I really hope, for the sake of Armenia, I’m wrong.

    And by the way, I’ve been busy for a couple of days, so I’m not updated, is it only Levon from the list of candidates asking for protest?

    Observer, and please remember even though silent, what you are asking in that silent protest is the same you were asking during the rallies in Opera square and that is complete change of government, calling elections outcome invalid and redoing it. That’s neither practical nor healthy for Armenia right now so “pntel@ et bani vra karogha jisht kail chi, hatkapes hima, es zgayoon vijakoom, oozes choozes, mert en, joghovoort@, militian, dzernerits doors ga me ban da catastroph klini hayastani hamar”.

    Armen

  17. Tigran,

    The Poll was commissioned by Armenian Public TV&Radio and fieldwork was carried out by the Armenian Sociological Association. Populus only designed the poll. This is in the pdf.

    If Armenian Public TV is behind anything then you should as a matter of principle just not trust it. Plus this doesn’t heart Populus at all. They were probably charging tons of money from APTV for this and sure they will publish whatever the outcome is. Why not, I don’t understand? You think they might lose their image? Who cares about Armenia in the first place? So if the polls are fake then it is not Populus that will get discredited but rather Armenia. Polls usually come out as fake not because of the way they are worded but by the way the sample is chosen, and surely you won’t convince anyone in this place that Armenian side couldn’t choose the sample carefully.

  18. Tigran, just one thing from your comments
    You say this was teh ebst election?
    how about this – the OSCE monitroing mission, whose statement wsa quoted
    by the authorities, stated that the vote count was bad or very bad in 16 % of the polling stations.
    As we know SS was declared winner with 53 % of the vote, which means if he had received 3 % less, there would be a run-off.
    Now bakc to the OSCE declaration about abd vote count in 16 % of precincts:
    do you reeally think that in this light the 3 % margin victory is realistic,
    even if we leave aside all the other opposition and human rights’ NGOs cocnerns.
    Clearly no!
    Declaring SS winner in the 1st round was illegal, and it is absolutely the same thing that Levon has done in 1996.
    And therefore yes, all the discent people were in 1996 crying “Levon heracir”, now they are crying “Serzhik heracir”, and if Levon in the end comes to power and tryies to go back to his old ways they will be crying “Levon heracir” again.
    So instead of mocking those people who actually care for their country and do something for it, you better join them

    p.s. just for your information, KAren Demirchyan is DEAD, for almost 10 years, so there’s no way he can be an ally of Levon today.

  19. Found a great new Armenia video…it’s all about the Viasphere TechnoPark in Armenia.

  20. the funny thing is the same peolpe that say serj heraci are the same peolpe who said kocharyan heracir and are the same people who used to say levon heracir and were going to be same people who were going to say levon heracir if he were to win. I dont think it really matters who is behind the silent protest levon will take credit for it.

    Well, I agree with the point about who is behind the protest and I’m sure it won’t be neutral although dressed up to be. Still, on this I hope I’m wrong and can attract those who consider Ter-Petrossian to be as much responsible for the situation in Armenia today as anyone else.

    Regarding those against Serge Sargsyan today what has amazed me most is that some of them were the same people who rationalized and swept over the 2003 presidential election. This isn’t just locals, incidentally, but it’s also many of the same Diaspora as well as heads of international organizations and local media outlets who have changed their positions today.

    Personally speaking, I just wish they had supported the concept of “democracy” always rather than when it suited them or was based on the political opinions of those in the immediate surrounds. The other issue is that some of those formerly critical of Ter-Petrossian in the past forgot all that — even if as some are journalists they should have been seen to be neutral.

    Still, regarding this protest, this is on Friday? Couldn’t they have waited until the weekend? Still, I’ll try to go to photograph. Ultimately, such an event needs to take place, but I am under no illusions that it is an attempt to continue the pro-Ter-Petrossian, anti-Sargsyan demonstrations. As I’ve said, I’ll be glad if it isn’t and the event not hijacked for partisan political purposes.

    Yes, I’d like to see a neutral “we’re tired of everyone” approach, but I suspect that Armenia isn’t so evolved for that. The vast majority that are sick and tired of it all instead remain at home. Like I said, I’ll be glad if I’m wrong because I would like to see a genuine pro-democracy movement led and supported by a wide range of people with differing political beliefs or none at all. I think we sorely need that, in fact.

  21. Question to Onik:
    When you tell about genuine pro-democracy movement, what direction you expect it to go? Movement for movement leads to nowhere. When i was on rallies, i was against rigged elections. To me any democracy starts from election process. It is obvious that Serje doesnt win elections. And yes, people should be able to have any opinion they wish, and change their opinion as well.
    Hayrenaser: When you say ”stability’ – what do you mean? I am trying to understand what LTP was about to destroy.

  22. PLEASE
    CAN YOU ENTER IN MY BLOG IN ORDER TO TAKE THE FLAG OF YOUR COUNTRY AND IT IS WRITTEN IN MY MAP OF VISITORS?
    THANK YOY
    lefobserver.blogspot.com

  23. populus is a very respected polling organization just like every other organization it is in its best intrest to present accurate information on its website or any other documents. if populus had any indication that this pole was wrong they would never post it on their site.

    http://www.populuslimited.com/politics-category.html

    this link shows armenias poll listed with other polls which were published by the bbc abd the times.

    armenian sociological association has no ties to the goverment it is the only organization that can handle such a project (without any ties to the goverment). its president Gevorg A. Poghosyan has been recognized around the world for his scientific reasearch. I personally dont see anything wrong with them but again if you can provide documantation that proves otherwise please do its true that the commision was paid by armenina television and radio but they had noting to do with gathering the information and analysing it.

    ok
    its amazing to me how you misrepresented what i wrote i mean its right there i wrote BEST ELECTION IN THE REGION (caucuses) and the is a irrefutable fact. I absolutlly agree with the osce assesment the negatives and the positives this was a clear progress made from our last presedential election. You cannot compare the elections of 1996 to the current one because those elections wre proven fraudulent by the european bodies not mostly in line like the current ones. As I said the majority of the country will never agree to change sarkisyan with petrosyan because petrosyan has been proven worse. I also cant undersand how you can lecture me about democracy and than in the same breath demand that i join a certain group while questioning my patriotism. I care enoght not to attack anyone personally for their belifies or question their patriotism. I present fact i didnt mock anyone its a fact the same jouranists wh critizes petrosyan now critisize kocharyan and so on and so on

    oh and my deepest apologizes for the demirchyan mixup i meant karen demrchyans son stepan ( as if that wasnt obvious)

  24. About Isabella Sargsyan – she is a very descent girl as well as most of the people in Sksela movement. This is one of the few genuinely free-thinking parts of LTP campaign and probably the only healthy organisation within it.
    Now, I think they’re wrong. I do not support Levon. This, though, doesn’t make them bad people. Let them do the silent protest. Let this movement, with its 8 martyrs, achieve something. That’s what democracy and pluralism is all about.
    If I was in Armenia I’d be there as well. The government has to realise that apart from taking into consideration the opinions of oligarchs, they have take notice of the opinions of their citizens. If they didn’t want Levon but, let’s say, Cheburashka in power, that would be their democratic right to do so.

  25. mathisking Says:
    March 19, 2008 at 10:55 am

    Question to Onik:
    When you tell about genuine pro-democracy movement, what direction you expect it to go? Movement for movement leads to nowhere. When i was on rallies, i was against rigged elections. To me any democracy starts from election process. It is obvious that Serje doesnt win elections.

    Well, agreed, but the problem was that Levon and his team claimed victory. Not only did he claim victory in the week before the pre-election campaign began, but he also did so before any vote results were announced. At the rallies he claimed a victory of over 65 percent.

    So, we find ourselves in the very unfortunate situation of two undemocratic figures with a thirst for power slugging it out against each other. That makes any movement based around them undemocratic although I’m sure “democracy” and “human rights” will be used to cover their ambitions despite track records for both which give cause for some concern.

    I am not against the idea of a pro-democracy movement. Indeed, I think it’s necessary. However, it cannot be based around the personality and ego of one formerly disgraced president who not only falsified votes, closed down media and political parties as well as abused human rights, but who also showed remarkable cynicism and disdain for the democratic process this time.

    So, in short, I’d like to see a movement based around the principles of democracy and human rights, but when it seen as a means to an end by undemocratic leaders who represent only themselves rather than a real broad section of society, it loses its worth instantly. Let’s face it, the protests were not against rigged elections which Serge “won.” Those guys thought Levon “won” even if they didn’t.

    Another test for democracy is accepting you didn’t get as many votes as you hoped and that’s a lesson that both Ter-Petrossian and Sargsyan need to learn. Otherwise, I don’t consider this a democratic process, but more a struggle for power taking place on the streets.

  26. Although, actually, how the government and opposition deal with this situation is part of the democratic process. Unfortunately, I don’t consider that either Ter-Petrossian or Sargsyan understand what democracy means. I would have had more respect for the opposition if they said it how it was — that is, a second round should probably have been called.

    Instead, they claimed victory for Ter-Petrossian (and even his security pushed his supporters aside at rallies saying “the president is coming, move…”) even though that is also far from the truth. It’s why for me, whether Ter-Petrossian or Sargsyan comes to power makes no difference. Although I would like to see a Karabakh resolution and open borders with Turkey (something only LTP can deliver, I think), the two sides were pretty much the same.

    They ARE the system in place.

  27. Onnik, agree with you. Although I have a few remarks. I do believe that even in most democratic countries, whoever candidates are, they are seeking to come to power. Thats a general rule, and its hard to find an exception in any country, much harder here in Armenia. Only question is procedure. 100% agree with you that 2 round will help to normalize this situation. And as far as i understand LTP was calling for new elections at least to get an option for 2nd round from Serje, you ask for more to get at least something. Isn’t it a standard strategy during negotiations? Although for authorities 2nd tour is not an option.

  28. So, Mathisking, are you providing a very good argument in your above post as to how and why Artut Baghdasaryan did what he did?? ;)

  29. […] you ask for more to get at least something. Isn’t it a standard strategy during negotiations?

    Well, dunno. I mean, by doing so he effectively alienates himself from other candidates who might have joined in and put greater weight and momentum behind the demands. Of course, it’s all too late now and we’ll never know.

  30. AH: Regarding Baghdassarian: Well, may be :) In short run he got what he got, who knows what will happen in a near future, cause obviously he lost most of his supporters:)

  31. Grigor – re the poll you’re saying about. I was and still am a sympathizer of ARF-D – because I believe, this country needs a Foreign Policy with a spine, a healthy market economy and socialist policies in internal economic and social affairs – to make sure markets are kept in check and economic results are distributed farely – which is yet another guarantee of stability. Saying that, however – I’ve been very disappointed by lack of leadership displayed by ARF-D at these dark days for our country. I think they should have been more vocal and should have assumed the role of bringing conflicting sides together and reaching a compromise, which would have allowed the country to evade all this disgrace.

    I also think – that LTP and RK have done all the damage they could for the country, and SS is behaving rather decently so far.

    One more important thing – I think, that no limitations to democracy are acceptable – especially if they are being made in the name of stability, because the only way to reach stability under market economy, is via democracy, free flow of information, rule of law and non-repressive government. And if the authorities are aiming for something other then Market Economy – they should make their plans known – so we – the citizens of Armenia can make our choice by emigrating away, and leaving the 5-10 oligarchs to sell their fuel and sugar to each other and enjoy.

    As to strong government and limited democracy – thank you so much! I don’t need a new Soviet Union, nor a Burma here. I’ll fight against it – and if I loose – I’m out of here!

  32. Observer, as centrist and free market I do not sympathize with the ARF-D ideology but I agree with you. It is important for ARF-D to exist to balance other ideologies out there. Heck, I have even taken part in ARF-D protests against the government foreign policies in the early 90-s.

  33. Tigran,

    So far among four who participated to the poll, which is as you said is unscientific, only one voted for Sargsyan, and two voted for ARF-D, and one didn’t vote. So far the poll numbers by Populus are not confirmed.

    Which country do you live in ? USA? Armenia? Russia? Here is a little bit of American political life. Here you might have Fox News, a very respectable organization, claim that their polls show that something will happen, and then you might have NY-Times claim that their polls show that exactly the opposite will happen. I don’t have documents to show that Populus lies, and if I had I would never show it to you or anybody else. People should be so sophisticated that they see a lie when there is a lie. If you are trusting something like this then you are just being too naive, which is fine with me.

    But what is strange to me is that now you claim that ASA has nothing to do with the government. I forgot the name of the prosecutor that sided with Levon, but remember what they did with him. I think there was nothing wrong in firing him, but they arrested him. ARRESTED, not just fired. Doesn’t this alone enough for you to realize that the policy of this government is that you are either my friend or you just don’t exist? So do you think that ASA would exist if their activities somehow hinted that people didn’t want Serj?

  34. Onnik and Observer,

    I generally agree with your philosophies but on the practical note I seem to disagree. If, as I had the impression from your posts, the silent rally is a Levon thingy, then it should be avoided. By going to the rally you will empower someone, by mere being there, that you don’t want. If you succeed in bringing him in, which would be an inevitable consequence of a revolution, how do you plan to get rid of him then?

    I am still kind of confused though, are you saying that the rally is organized by Levon, or you are saying that he will be there as well, but people will not follow him. This whole thingy seems rather confused, spontaneous and not well-thought.

    As I am far away from the country, it is hard for me to really know what is happening, so I wish you good luck and I hope you know what you are doing.

  35. Observer,

    As I said in my earlier comment I have been busy for a while and didn’t catch up with the news so I don’t know when the “silent protest” was suggested and when they started to spread the word. But I got to know the website via your blog.

    Situation is so unstable that any single drop can overflow this container, and this is not about drops of water, it’s about people, lives, and our country. I have a suggestion that if you find this “silent protest” move as dangerous to the situation as I feel it is, specially that Levon is behind it*, you can remove your links to their website. Every single person plays a role in these situations and you can, of course if you agree that this protest will spell more trouble than do any good, remove the links to their websites, even keeping the news entry intact. As I said take me as an example I went there through your website. What they say on their websites is very provocative and “grgrich” and this is not censorship this is people expressing their disapproval of Levon’s tactics (at least in this particularly dangerous situation by just not supporting this particular move). We still have some time. We might have even enough time to spread the ‘remove the links’ idea to other non-Levon-backed websites and let them decide for themselves if they want to spread Levon’s provocative and “grgrich” words or not. This can be a kind of protest against Levon’s actions. Because web is his new tool and we can show our disapproval of his selfish tactics by easily removing (and siting the reason of deliberate removal) of the links.

    Armen

    * He just seems to be very willing to gamble with people’s lives for his own achievements. Because obviously after a certain point if he cared for people he’d ask them to stop protesting, instead of pushing them to “fight till the end” *by protesting*. And I guess the reason is obvious he has nothing to loose, he’s already lost the chance to grab the top position peacefully. So in his desperation he seems willing to sacrifice innocent people if their wellbeing (or lives) being in danger can offer him a little last minute chance.

  36. Onnik, sometimes you are concisely nailing it! Your comments from 1:23 and 1:30 p.m. are excellent! With the exception of one sentence, I couldn’t have said it better. With your permission, I will post them in my blog.

  37. In a given year i spent 80% in U.S. another 20%in Armenia.

    You are wrong there has never been a instance where polls taken in a similar time and place by two different polling oraganizations were the exect opposite or even dramatically different. They wouldnt be exact duplicates they would be different but they would more or less tell the same story. which is the case with the two polls i presented and the exit poll that was presented on election day. i challenge you to show me a pole were there was an execpt oppisitie outcome with the same sampling.

    FOR EXAMPLE There are many poles in the U.S. right now as we speak all of the nationwide pole show Obama with a slight lead or tied with clinton. all poll however all show clinton gaining and will probablly be ahead in the next few weeks with the fall out from Obamas latest church problem which he made worse by his latest speech.

    You have called me naive and have called populus a respectable organization which has provided numerious polls for numerious respectable media outlets a liar. if poulus is a liar so is bbc so is times and so is news corp.

    I admit it im not as sophisticated as your are but it workes for me because i base my unsophisticated ideas on fact. Being so unsophisticated requires me where your facts are? Oh i forgot even if you had them you wouldnt show me. i know the reason why you wouldnt because there are none you have no fact to base any one of your arguments on but lets drag everyone in the dirt so you can prove that populus is a liar and a pole that doesnt agree wth your theory is a liar. sorry the world doesnt work like way. Oh wait you did mention the arrest of a prosecutor.

    Gagik Jahangirian is the name of the prosecutor you mention and he was fired for being affiliated with a political party and was arrested for illegal arms possession. but i know thats not true either and im very naive (Hey look at at me a recognized a lie i feel so sopisticated)

  38. My dear friends, the problem with your approach (Onnik and Archuk in particular)
    that you think you refuse to see that whatever Levon has done when he was the president (I was among the protestants on September 25, 1996), he is NOT IN POWER now.
    So it is not him who giving orders to shoot at the people, arrest oppositionists, close down newspapers, block internet and so on and so forth.
    All this is happening NOW, and we have to STOP IT NOW, even if it means being on the same side with such bad people as Levon or the Erkrapah-s.
    Besides today after the const. court verdict, you can be sure that Levon is not going to be the president, the question is whether SS will be able to rule as Lukashenko, or he will have a strong opposition which will force him to make some concessions.

  39. yes and Tigran, may be you should spend more time in Armenia.
    you have absolutely no idea of what is happening there (or may be some of your relatives is in good position, I don’t know)
    to say that this was the best election, you have either to be a naive diaspora armenian, a total idiot or a KGB agent. I hope you are not the last too, but may be you should also stop being naive diasporan, and realize that the reality in Armenia is different from what the CNN commercial says

  40. vart,
    I will spend my time where ever i want to and you don’t have to be in armenia to know whats going on in armenia. i take time from my life to read research and investigate. somthing you should have done before posting what i wrote incorrectly

    AGAIN BEST ELECTIONS IN THE REGION the only election that was better was the Armenia parliment election but that was also protested which goes back to the people that always protest may be you can read that post while your up there checking on you mistake.

    i Never saw a commercial for Armenia on CNN in the United States but i do know they play the Armenian tourism commercial in Europe. wow how did i know that i don’t live in Europe may be.

  41. > STOP IT NOW, even if it means being on the same side with such
    > bad people as Levon or the Erkrapah-s

    To me seems typical Levonakan mentality, “let’s abuse people’s depair for our gain”.

    If you are on the same side with “bad people” do you think you’ve chosen sides wisely? Or maybe the timing for action is not right?

    > > STOP IT NOW, even if it means

    Dear Vart considering the sensitive period that’s a very dangerous thing for our country you’re inviting people to. Calling for peace among brothers has at least one obvious advantage over calling for war, there is always plenty of time to go to war, but if you call for war and things get out of hand you can not resurrect the dead. Or maybe this is exactly what you’re hoping for so things will again get out of hand and some people will suffer and you’ll have an excuse to continue the protests for your gains. Or maybe even Levon was hoping that things would get out of hand during the protests and he’d have more excuse and proof to “grgri” and to continue?

  42. Tigran,

    there is no need to get angry at me. I do admire your trust of established organizations. I just wish I was like you. Don’t be angry, being non-cynical is one of the characteristics that I have admired all my life. I am cynical, and when I meet someone who is as non-cynical as you, I just get really surprised. That is all. There is nothing wrong in being naive, that is a virtue in some sense.

    Like for instance, I will never in my life believe that Jahangirian was carrying illegal weapons. I cannot, and if you can then it is something of a magic for me. I am not really looking for a cyber fight, so really if I touched you sensitivity in any way than I am sorry.

  43. Onnik,

    From your post I had a feeling that you agree with Levon’s position on Karabakh. Can you elaborate?

    Ever since he resigned, the official story has been that he was about to give Karabakh away. Is this true? If yes, then I don’t see how you can agree with this, can you explain?. Moreover, do you really think we have a lot to achieve from the open borders with Turkey? It seems to me that they might profit more as those regions of Turkey that are close to us are all in a devastating state.

    One thing I agree with Levon’s position is the Army thing. He thinks we don’t need an enormous Army, and I agree. We need a defensive Army, which in general doesn’t have to be enormous. Having smaller Army will help the economy as well, and moreover, will weaken the government. But we are in a war, so perhaps one should give more thought to this idea. Perhaps there are ways of having small Army but a large reserve, like for instance if we had Vayeni Kafedra of SSSR we could probably achieve this.

  44. can somebody write few words on how the people are doing these days? Are they sad, angry, tired, hopeless, ashamed,…? Is TV advertising Serj all the time? Is life back to normal? Is Operayi Bak as active as it used to be (in the sense of entertainment or it is coled anyway)?

  45. Grigor
    I am not angry with you at all. I greatly appreciate every point of view I don’t believe that mistrusting a poll makes you stupid or a traitor.

    I am however frustrated with you cause once again you have failed to provide any proof for your arguments.

    As for being naive I have said what i have said in a public forum and i have also provided you with the materials that i have based my statements on if your opinion of me is that i m naive than so be I still stand by what i have said.

    Mistrust is a huge problem in our culture most Armenians don’t trust one another more than most don’t trust our government this of course isn’t entirely the publics fault the government does have A LOT to answer for.

    It is however astounding to me that Armenian don’t even trust modern society with out any proof or any evidence most Armenians still to this day believe that they are controlled by a unforeseen force (not god). For example Most Armenian in the United States believe that Bush was chosen by a secret organizations some say masons others say jews.

  46. Armen,
    which side is going to war?
    the side which bans newspapers, arrests people, beats them up in jail, employs aggressive and one-sided propaganda on TV, fires people from their jobs because of their political beliefs or their perceived disloyalty.
    I am not talking about the shooting on MArch 1, I suppose you believe in the official version, even though it is hard to believe that the police and the army didn’t shoot, but 7 of the protesters and only one of the policemen died.
    Up to March 1, all that the protesters were doing was dancing and shouting on the Opera square. Ok, that’s annoying, but that’s NOT WAR. If it had been true that 53 % voted for SS, then the authorities would simply have to wait untill these 25 % that voted for Levon would get tired and stop coming to the Opera square.
    No, they had to forcefull disperse the protestants.
    Why? – because they knew the real number of people who voted for SS was much less than 53 %, and also because the head of the OSCE mission criticized them for “misusing the OSCE statement by highlighting only the positive sides”, which was a sign of changing international opinion.
    So what they did – they provoked violence, they started beating up people, they arrested the organizers (which started even before MArch 1).
    So, I ask you again, who is the one that is breaking the internal peace – those who dance and sing, or those who order troops to disperse the peaceful protests?

  47. vart, his point is not “which side is going to war.” The point is that there have been many times in our history that there has been dissatisfaction with authorities (I would argue about 600 years’ worth, but that is a different discussion). But a call to arms against our government has to be responded to with something. How ideal is the response of the authorities? Arguable. I would say that the dispersal of protesters should have been done more carefully. But this is not the main point now.

    The main point is, what do the frustrated want? A war? OK. that is a possible approach, happens all the time, all over the world. It is called a coup,a civil war, pick your favorite term. If they want change through the system (yes, the system, the flawed, uneven, battered system), there are ways of doing that. This one requires more hard work.

    It is not about who ordered dancing and singing (LTP in the Opera, Karapetyan on ALM or the authorities “two stars” etc) vs who ordered violence (again, LTP minions calling people to arm themselves, break the law, exhorting troops and police to violate their state duties vs authorities deciding to break up an overnight vigil or clean our barricaded followers of leaders who were demanding a confrontation.)

    Nation: it is time to talk, discuss, and determine how do we improve the situation. Flying a kamikaze plane into the side of the state battleship will damage “our enemy” but will do little to improve the future. This is not China which can absorb a few dozen civil wars. Lots were disgusted at the rule of LTP’s time, with Vano, Vazgen, et al. This doesn’t mean that commissioning a foreign army to destroy Armenia’s army would have solved Armenia’s problems then. Clearly many are frustrated now, some more, some less, than in the 90s. All sides should think carefully about the consequences of their actions, not just whether we have the rights to act or not.

  48. Dear Vart,

    Before answering your mentioned points. Let me ask you if you are a Levon supporter or not? Please make this clear because it makes a huge difference. My opinion is that Levon is not a good politician, maybe his political ambitions are higher in priority for him than people, maybe other reasons I don’t know, but I know something that what he has been able to achieve so far is being able to divide us and initiate unrest. So following this man will only harm all sides. If you are not satisfied with the way things are handled in the current government I’m sure there are ways other than following Levon to achieve them. So this is very important issue, you support Levon because of him, because you believe in with what he says, and believe that he’s a capable politician and leader, or you invite people to support Levon and go to the streets for him because you are not satisfied with how things are done by the current government. So please tell us your stand on this.

    In brief, Levon spells trouble, and the situation is too dangerous now, I think we should calm the situation by not supporting him, prevent more unrest and instability. You’ll all have time to change things by better means than by supporting Levon now.

    Answers to points made by you:
    The side which causes (bzbzooma) the other side to take your mentioned steps is as much involved and is as much initiator and responsible.

    > I suppose you believe in the official version,
    > even though it is hard to believe that the police and
    > the army didn’t shoot,

    To be honest no I don’t believe the official version. Things might have very well gone out of control. I also think that it’s logical to assume that there were some protesters armed with pistols who shot at the police and things got out of control. We Armenians are new to freedom so we’re not experienced enough to use it or control it. Both sides made mistakes. Now the question that if the officials did the right thing to totally deny that any shooting happened that’s a completely different issue. Whatever officials do is to regain stability, how they do it is a different story. Maybe they would have done better if they admitted that things had gone out of control and some officers as well as the thugs who shot at the officers were responsible for the incident. We’re new to this much of freedom and it seems we’re unexperienced (both sides, all in fact).

    > Up to March 1, all that the protesters were doing was dancing
    > and shouting on the Opera square.

    I don’t know how legal it is to occupy a central square for 10 consecutive days even if it’s used for dancing. ** That’s a very sly (srika) method of initiating unrest **. Actually this was what Levon thought “We’ll invite people to dance, from observers point of view it’s really peaceful and lovely. But how long are authorities going to stand it, they will eventually take steps and we will make that an excuse for more gatherings, and the cycle blame and unrest will begin which suits us. Or maybe they’ll give up at the end and I (Levon) will become president!”

    Yeresoom lav bana asoom vor hasarakootioonn oo ditort@ k-havani baits irakanoom khist bzbzooma shat el srika metodov.

    > then the authorities would simply have to wait untill these
    > 25 % that voted for Levon would get tired and stop coming to
    > the Opera square.

    That would be another solution to the situation, and actually they did that for ten days. Which one would be better for the country, the one authorities chose or the one you suggest, I really don’t know. But that’s a completely different issue from should we support Levon from now on or not. Current government’s problems is a different issue. There should be better and more effective ways to deal with the problems that supporting Levon and protesting all the time.

  49. Tigran,

    Do you really think that asking for a proof is a reasonable activity? The last thing I want to do is to prove that the elections were forged. I would then put myself into a ridiculous situation that I wouldn’t get over for a quite some time. It is a triviality and needs no proof. It is like asking for a proof that yougurt is white or that milk comes from cows, or that the elections were forged and etc. They can put any kind of show on the internet in whoever’s site they want, when you have what you had in Armenia, when ordinary people, university professors, students and etc, are protesting and throwing Molotov Cocktails at the police, when police attacks the people and 9 people die the last thing you need to be convinced that the elections were forged is a proof from grigor in the internet. Open your eyes instead of asking for a proof. Read about Gala TV, maybe that will do the explaining. If Gala TV doesn’t help then try some Omar Khajam.

    The region is so far behind from the rest of the world that the elections cannot not be forged. It is a place where no government will have people’s trust for a long long time, so if anyone wants to retain power, then they should forge. Which is actually not so bad after all, as otherwise we would have Levon winning (probably).

    Look no one is claiming that ballot stuffing and other forms of violations were done by Serj only. Of course everyone did. Which is actually the whole drama. We don’t know who really was people’s choice. From one end you have an idiot claiming he won by 65% and this is even before the election day, and from the other end you have another idiot claiming that he won by 53% and Populus agrees with him. And what are we, the people, supposed to do? Ajspes asca pti nstenq taxtin spasenq baxtin te erb sranq mi nenc ban kanen or zoxovrdi srtov lini.

    On your last comment about Bush. Are you going to also claim that Bush is the best person in the world or you agree with the rest of the world that there is a rat in the white house?

  50. And by the way, I used the word ‘war’ inappropriately in that example of brothers. So Vart jan please don’t take it literally. My English is poor for this type of discussion. So I apologize for not being able to express myself better.

  51. Grigor, I don’t think anyone is planning to give Karabakh away. In fact, I agree with the position of the current government as well on that. i.e. Karabakh will not be under control of Azerbaijan and either independent or part of Armenia, there will be international security guarantees and a land link between the two. I’m just not sure how genuine Kocharian was in all of this. I will however admit that it would appear few people agree with my desire to see a country with normalized relations with all its neighbors. Then again, some of the progressive types supporting Azerbaijan did tell me that they see no problem in Karabakh being part of Azerbaijan with a high level of autonomy. That’s not what I’m referring to, however. Anyway, it’s off topic on Observer’s post so perhaps we should leave this conversation for another time.

  52. Then again, some of the progressive types supporting Azerbaijan did tell me that they see no problem in Karabakh being part of Azerbaijan

    CORRECTION: Then again, some of the progressive types supporting LEVON TER-PETROSSIAN did tell me that they see no problem in Karabakh being part of Azerbaijan

  53. I have to admit I didn’t accept this point ov view before myself, but this is not about Levon anymore. Now, this is a matter of Armenians knowing they can make decisions about what happens in their country, the feeling that they can change something. If this movement doesn’t get anywhere the moral of the nation will be very low. Even if SS is a hero and LTP is a traitor, if the traitor gets society’s vote of confidence, he should be given power. If only Vazgen Manukyan, a person ,I think without great leadership skills, got the power in 1996, Armenia would be a different place to live in now. The great disappoinment of every election kills the patriotism in regular citizens and they are the backbone of the nation. Now,with only half the backbone left, this movement is a chnce to revitalize the nation, give them belief that they can make a difference and noone is untouchable. The disappointments will follow,I’m sure, but unless we do this, we’re going to join a club of backwards Middle Eastern and Central Asian countries that are not going anywhere,

  54. To follow this line, there is a way to get the people’s confidence: elections. If elections are not run to perfection (they haven’t been in 17 years, though there has been a general improvement since the low point in 96, according to the aggregate opinion of observers), then you:

    1) fight within the system (long, tedious, unfair struggle)

    2) revolt

    I would argue that a call to arms a la 2) above would now be destructive.

    As far as the great disappointment that many may feel if LTP doesn’t successfully conduct a coup d-etat, I can only say that at best they (ie the most well-intentioned among them) are naive, at worst they (ie the least well-intentioned) would like to see the Armenian state weakened irrevocably.

    I think there is nothing particularly surprising about what has happened (not surprising, but very sad), and it is unfortunate that some people will always try to extract personal gain from an easy-to-manipulate situation.

    I hope cooler heads prevail in the next few days.

  55. Then again, some of the progressive types supporting LEVON TER-PETROSSIAN did tell me that they see no problem in Karabakh being part of Azerbaijan

    I think this is a central issue that Onnik has brought up. Nobody has a right to gamble with the fate of Armenian Lands and people leaving there. In light of Levon’s recent political activity, I became absolutely convinced that for him, Karabakh was only a mean of coming to power in 90s. He did not really care about the fate of hundreds of thousands refugees, thousands that lost lives, and millions of sufferers. That is why they see no problem in Karabakh being part of Azerbaijan. And now LTP and his supporters only reinforced my believe by making anti-Karabakh remarks just because RK and SS were born there. Unfortunately some Armenians mix the concept of “&nundavayr” (birth place) and “hayreniq” (fatherland), but LTP knowingly deplores that.

  56. Mike,

    I don’t think that even if those among Ter-Petrossian’s team wanted to give up Karabakh albeit with a high level of autonomy and cultural/linguistic/religious rights protected that they would get away with it. Instead, I think that Azerbaijan might see in Ter-Petrossian a leader they believe to be genuine in wanting to promote peace and reconciliation between Armenian and Azerbaijani.

    However, I do believe Ter-Petrossian would drop Genocide recognition in favor of normalized relations with Turkey. That said, I don’t see too much wrong with that in so much that the Diaspora — and more recently the EU — is more effective in calling for Genocide recognition than Armenia itself. Anyway, while I would favor a more moderate foreign policy from Ter-Petrossian as president, if I were a citizen here I wouldn’t vote for him for many other reasons. I wouldn’t vote for Serge either, but I think again we’re going off the point of this post.

    To bring it back on-topic, I’ve been thinking about this silent protest and have decided I couldn’t be part of it although if I can I will photograph it time permitting. My reason for this is that the text is too politicized and doesn’t reflect the real situation, in my opinion. The blame for 1 March does not lie solely with the authorities. It lies with Ter-Petrossian as well who did all he could to divide Armenians and prepare those assembled in Liberty Square as “ground troops” for an eventual confrontation.

    Doesn’t mean I condone what happened from the government side on 1 March either, but basically, I do not view many of those who took to rioting and looting on the streets as “peaceful protesters.” Indeed, both sides were guilty for escalation and violence and I expect to see prosecution of those responsible for 1 March (on both LTP and government side) as a result.

    This IS what would and should happen in a country hoping to establish democracy and the rule of law. And while I dislike Serge immensely, I also think that Ter-Petrossian was planning a coup d’etat and his campaign had NOTHING to do with democratic elections whatsoever.

  57. oh right, a diaspora yerevan world – a flat near the square. occasional dinners at marriot. a flight back to england when you needed a break. the people despite LTP have reached a breaking point. it had 0 to do with LTP. the slave mentality is breaking.

  58. the LTP camp is only a few national figures. the 1000s in the square never sat and talked strategy with LTP. so his ‘campaign’ is irrelevant, his motives are irrelevant, his smoking of t&ms with a wooden filter is irrelevant. what is relevant is that the country is an embarrasment to itself and people can only take so much.

  59. tm, if you’re addressing your loaded and aggressive question to me then understand that you’re wrong. Firstly, I don’t live in the center, second, I was covering poverty, democracy, human rights issues before hetq online and armenia now (the latter of which took a totally different line to what they do now). I also don’t get out of the country as much as I should and have spent more time covering the kind of stuff you refer to than most others.

    That you don’t agree with my viewpoint is one thing, That I’ve been covering Armenia on and off since 1994 and issues that other journalists didn’t since 2000 even though I instead got loaded questions like yours but from government supporters and the Diaspora is quite another. Again, a knee jerk reaction to an opinion you don’t like. When the Sksela guys did nothing — and when some of those now supporting Ter-Petrossian and “democracy” were attacking me for talking about such issues, I covered it.

    Now, however, based on EIGHT years of covering opposition rallies, democracy, poverty etc when most of those journalists now supporting Ter-Petrossian were doing nothing, I say again. Ter-Petrossian divided Armenians, used the language of hate to get pawns to satisfy his ego, and did all he could to prepare the environment for clashes. That there are many outstanding issues to resolve is one thing, that Ter-Petrossian and those around him manipulated the situation to suit their own personal ambitions is another.

    I’d also add that while there was a sizeable number of people who supported Ter-Petrossian either out of ideology or mainly out of frustration it did not exceed 20-30 percent of the population. Instead, his supporters in media outlets such as A1 Plus, Hetq Online, RFE/RL etc instead were part of the propaganda machine to invent the myth of a leader with the country behind him. In reality, his rallies never exceeded 50,000 (normal for post-election protests) perhaps once, and otherwise averaged 20-30,000.

    This is not a critical mass and contrary to rumor spread, public transport was not stopped in order to prevent people from traveling to Liberty Square in Yerevan nor was anyone arrested for attending a protest demonstration as they were in 2003 until the 1 March events which Ter-Petrossian prepared for as did the government. We all knew it was coming, and how dare you — typically for someone who has no other valid arguments to give — make this personal.

    Like I said, since 2000 I did more speaking out about the situation in Armenia than the lot of you combined — and that includes many of those who know preach “democracy” but in 2003 were actually attacking me and saying it was the last thing Armenia needed. The same is true for many heads of international organizations still here too or in absentia.

    Fact is, Ter-Petrossian lied and cheated and spread gossip and did all he could to destabilize the situation playing on the weakness of the same people that were out in 2003, 2004 and 2007. He prepared for these clashes as did his team, but contrary to his assurances to those gathered in Liberty Square, the military (as well as the larger mass of the population) was not with him. As someone told me just yesterday, his team hoped they could gain massive support in Yerevan.

    They failed.

  60. And Tm, identify yourself if you have the audacity to make groundless accusations because you actually have nothing else substantial to offer. It’s a sign of weakness when it has to get personal and this has typified the Ter-Petrossian campaign since day one.

    That people are frustrated and unhappy with the situation is true. However, the majority did not see the solution in Ter-Petrossian who is actually as responsible for the situation in Armenia today as anybody else. The man is a hypocrite and a demagogue.

    I also consider that any silent protest to mark the 1 March events should identify him as one of those responsible for the deaths as the government. Actually, I’d consider he’s more to blame.

  61. Onnik,

    I agree with you. Don’t pay too much attention to those comments. There are idiots everywhere, as you well know.

  62. Onnik,

    I absolutely agree with you that Levon is a hypocrite and demagogue just like many of his supporters.

  63. Onnik,

    You are a bloody fool to hold LTP more resonsible for innocent deaths than the regime. In the same vein would you hold the Dali Lama ultimately responsible for the deaths in the Tibetan capital or the Chines troops sent in to crush the demonstrations. Take the blinders off and open your eyes to the reality of what’s going on here. What did you do with the 5,000 drams Serzh’s goons paid you to become their media consultant??

  64. Hi all – having considered all the pro’s and con’s, I have decided to refrain from participating in this protest action. I will, however, attend it in the capacity of journalist – to cover it as an event of great interest to me and many readers of this blog.

  65. Ramik – These analogies get worse and worse. The mere fact that not a single member of the LTP-clan/cult has acknowledged even SOME responsibility for the deaths of the Armenians that night is enough for me to treat their supporters comments with doubt, and that is being optimistic about the intentions. BTW, I would say the same of the government, though for weeks now, at least Serj (not sure of each and every govt member) has acknowledged some responsibility in the events of that night.

    It is typical of a cult leader to speak in extremes, and Levon is true to his type.

  66. To AH,

    The only thing Serzhhas said, by way of guilt, is that they should have crushed the demonstrations much earlier than they did. So in fact Bloody Saturday, March 1st, could have been Bloody Friday of Thursday.. Take your pick!!!!! And of couurse it was LTP who fired on the protestors after he drugged them all!!!! You seem to know alot about the workings of cults????

  67. As far as I recall, Serj stated on public TV that he felt guilty and acknowledged guilt in the process (not one day but several weeks) that led up to the fateful night. You may believe him, you may not. You can interpret any way you want. But, I repeat:

    “not a single member of the LTP-clan/cult has acknowledged even SOME responsibility for the deaths of the Armenians that night…”

    To me this is an untenable, divisive, incorrect, and (sadly) consistent position of LTP since his “rebirth.”

  68. Ramik, as far as I am aware the Dali Lama is not a discredited dictator-type figure responsible for high levles of corruption, attacks on political and media freedoms as well as human rights, and using a language of hate to achieve his own personal corrupt and egotistical goals.

    Levon Ter-Petrossian, on the other hand, is.

    What did you do with the 5,000 drams Serzh’s goons paid you to become their media consultant??

    And Ramik, the fact you have to resort to such infantile and retarded statements says a lot about who and what you are. All you people can do is attack, accuse and spread lies when you can’t actually argue your case.

    That’s usually more often than not.

    Let me say it again. I do not support Serge and I do not support Levon. However, the fact that Levon did attempt to destabilize the country and sow hatred among a minority of the population leading up to the 1 March clashes is reason enough to see him prosecuted and if found guilty of organizing a coup d’etat, locked away.

    In any country, even evolved democracies, that is the only course of action to take. Meanwhile, I can only hope that many outstanding issues and problems are resolved and a proper, mature and responsible opposition can emerge rather than one which has nothing to offer the country other than internal conflict.

  69. Onnik,

    As an Armenian and as a a normal citizen all I can say is:

    I am so proud of your highly professional journalism, and the truly neutral yet informative coverage and analysis you have provided, before, during, and after the election period. Brilliant, in one word.

    On Good Friday a day of sadness for all christians, I wish to all Armenians peace and forgiveness in the example of Jesus Christ.

  70. Pingback: Լուռ բողոքի ակցիան կայացավ « Հայկական լրատվական բլոգ

  71. Onnik, once again I note my principled agreement with your analysis (entry of 12:45 a.m., March 21) and join the people who saluted it!

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