Serzh Sargsyan’s inauguration, 40 day observence and the baloon festival

‘”Many things happened yesterday. Among those probably the most important was Serzh Sargsyan’s inauguration. For a lot of people though the important was that 40 days have passed since the deaths of 1 March riots.” – Armenian Patchwork

While it depended on the political orintation of the bloggers, to decide which of the events taking place yesterday was the most important for them, with the area around Yerevan’s Opera in almost total lock down, prime minister Serge Sargsyan was inaugurated as president in a ceremony and military parade that few citizens could even remotely get close to – so many of them were only able to cover the protest actions, rather then the grand inauguration ceremony. Raffi N at “Life in Armenia” has more:

Today was the official swearing in of Mr. Serge Sarksian as the new President of the Republic of Armenia. It really felt like an important event because ALL the streets were blocked… lots of police escorts…

Photos: © Artur Papyan / The Armenian Observer blog 2008

Onnik Krikoryan, a British photojournalist, reports how he was prevented from photographing the inauguration ceremony, despite showing press passes and the fact, that the event was held in a public area.

Prevented from covering that event, as was the case for almost every other photographer in Yerevan, there was always the opposition memorial to the eight killed during post-election clashes on 1 March occurring adjacent to the French Embassy. Somewhat unfortunately for Sargsyan, not only did 9 April mark the day of the start of his presidency, but it was also the traditionally observed 40th day after the deaths.

Photo © Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2008

And while Ogostos (ru) is looking at the moral aspect of holding lavish inauguration ceremony while so many people are mourning the death of their relatives and the memory of March 1 riots is still so vivid, Ahousekeeper (am) is amazed at just how shortsighted the Armenian authorities are to hold the inauguration 1) on the 40th day of memory of March 1 deaths, which is traditionally observed as a day of mourning in Armenia, 2) to block the Republic Square, the opera and several other streets, as a result making eveyone, regardless of their political orientation to curse the authorities 3) to stage “stupid” events in the republic square, which the “Levon supporters will try to interfere with”

It is natural, that celebrations are held on the day of president’s inauguration.

It is also quite frequent, that the opposition uses that day to stage protest actions and bring to the attention of the international community the problems of the country.

All of this happened today in Armenia. News agencies are reporting, that protest actions took place also outside of Armenia.

The protests, however, are not likely to affect the situation anymore, Mark Grigoryan writes in this analytical piece(ru), Serzh Sargsyan has become the President of Armenia, and that is now a fact. Nevertheless, there were 8 simulteneous protest actions in Yerevan, Bekaisa(ru) reports, including actions in front of the 1) RA Constitutional Court 2) Central Electoral Commission 3) OSCE office in Yerevan 4) European Union 5) US Embassy 6) Russian Embassy 7) French Embassy 8) Prosecutor’s office. Protests took place also in Kapan, Syunic region, as well as Kiyev, Ukraine and Moscow, Russia – in front of the RA Embassies.

Ahousekeeper also reports, that opposition candidate Levon Ter-Petrossian supporters attempted to disrupt the baloon festival staged in the Republic square this evening, but were prevented from doing so by police forces, who quickly rounded them up. The blue sky festival did take place, and the Armenian Patchwork has photos to prove it.

Photo © Anush Babajanyan, Armenian Patchwork 2008

And while Akunamatata_ser(ru) is rejoicing and greeting everyone with the first day of Armenia’s new president’s coming to power and the start of the regime, built on fear, offences and blood, with an uncertain present and future, Nazarian(am) is paying tribute to those who died 40 days ago (Grigor Gevorgyan, Arman Farmanyan, Hamlet Tadevosyan, Gor Kloyan, Zaqar Hovhannisyan, Davit Petrossian, Tigran Khachatryan, Hovhannes Hovhannisyan). Notes From Hairenik on its turn is contemplating on Serzh Sargsyan’s chances to bring change to Armenia:

President Sargsyan has a lot to do in a short amount of time. He has to win over the confidence of the vast number of citizens who have no faith in him whatsoever and who regard him as being a petty oligarchic-tyrant.

[]

he has to prove that he can surpass in leaps and bounds everyone’s expectations and, most noteworthy, ensure that the downtrodden—namely those living in far-off rural parts of Armenia—start living better, fruitful lives. []Cracking down on corruption is something that is high on most everyone’s list of things for him to do. But seeing as the mayor of Yerevan—the one who has thrown the city into transportation mayhem with ludicrous, ill-planned road projects that are rumored to be money-laundering schemes—will apparently remain in office there is already cause for suspicion.

F5 blog(am) is even more sceptical – the new president won’t be able to change anything it speculates, while Unzipped is finding it even hard to beleive, that Serzh Sargsyan will be able to stay in power for long:

You just can’t stick to the power relying on a physical force. Well, you may for a while, but only for a while. No lasting solution could be based on force and violence. There is no alternative to democracy in Armenia.

Some bloggers are more pragmatic though – Martuni or Bust!!! is quite sure of the opposite:

Though there are still many unanswered questions regarding the legitimacy of the election which landed him the post of President and the events that followed that he was directly behind, I really believe that as usual and in a very short period of time, most will forget what happened and it will be business as usual.

The Podcast of this post, made by the Echannel.am team is available here.

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65 thoughts on “Serzh Sargsyan’s inauguration, 40 day observence and the baloon festival

  1. I forgot where I read this, perhaps in nazarian’s blog perhaps not, that there were plans to HARAM ANEL serzh’s party in the Republic Square. I cannot find any info on whether this actually happened or not. Any info?

  2. I tend to agree with Martuni or Bust, but I have reservations. Whether the public will forget what happened or not will depend only on how much resources the media and the opposition will invest in keeping the public aware of what is happening now.

    Levon’s example should terrify all. In those 10 years we never heard a single word on Levon, and look the wonders he did when he came back. I suspect that was because the public really forgot what he did and didn’t do, those who were 10-17 when he was a president, were completely unaware of what he did.

    If we treat Kocharian the way we treated Levon, then in 10 years time he can very easily come back and perhaps do some wonders of his own.

  3. bull shit! first kocharyan is not going to survive or at least be in freedom to be able to come back!

    second go chck out arminfo.am a1plus echannel news and videos about haram anel show and it did happen show had to be stoped and nobody have even seen the promised cake!

  4. Grigor you can watch it here:

    and here

    The videos are good enough facts that there were more people and yes it took place. It wasnt that successful if it comes to reversing teh whole thing upside down. But the aim was to ruin the party which happened. It ended before the scheduled time, demonstrated that there are people who have guts and the movement is active. So basically it achieved its objectives. And as it was the first such act it was new thing to do.

    The housekeeper , with Pigh and Uzogh are a fascist bunch supporting the current regime so don’t give much credit that what they write.
    If they disagree with the fascist alias they can read the definition of fascism and compare it with the current regime. I will not waste my time on fascists.

  5. HaikN thanks for the videos. Very much appreciated.

    For your information, I personally don’t like the usage of such adjectives as fascists in blogs. Neither you nor them are applying the adjective correctly and both of you do it only to agitate each other. It is disgusting at least, and it is better at least for me if you don’t bring your fight to such domains as Observer’s blog. I don’t frequent neither your blog nor their blog exactly for the reason that such adjectives are being used all the time. Karabx’s clan, fascists and et. All are disgusting and lead to only further distraction of the little we have. You have a blog and they have a blog, so you can keep calling each other fascists in each others blog as much as you want, just keep it away from us.

  6. I echo Grigor’s comments and concerns with the use of antagonizing words from both sides which only serve to fuel further conflict and continue the process of dividing the country when all of us regardless of political persuasion should be finding common ground where we can work together even if we disagree in other areas.

    It is precisely because of the continuation of rhetoric and words that contain so much animosity and hate in the comments section that I too rarely now visit this blog although from time to time I have to because of my Global Voices Online commitments. I am sure there are many others who don’t visit as a result as well or do so irregularly.

    Moreover, such an attitude prevents meaningful discussion, in my opinion, and also other readers from commenting for fear of accusations, intimidation and threats. Such a policy of allowing personal insults is not acceptable for most blogs and I once again urge this blog to implement standard blogging and commenting etiquette and practices.

    Of course, it’s up to Observer, but as a result of the present situation, I no longer visit it apart from once every few days and this comment actually is a rare breach of a promise I made to myself not to comment on it anymore. Rather than promote meaningful and relevant discussion, I think it actually prevents it.

    Of course, that’s my personal opinion, but I would like to point out that Unzipped (http://www.unzipped.blogspot.com) shows that enforcing standard practice of not allowing personal attacks and hate comments has resulted in a higher standard of discussion and debate.

    I hope that Observer will consider making it clear that personal attacks will not be tolerated and those who ignore the warning will be put on temporary moderation until they do. Freedom of speech is one thing, but when it is abused it violates the rights of others. Anyway.

  7. Look at the political situation in Armenia. How would you describe it?
    Isn’t it a dictatorship? Isn’t it a fascistic regime?
    Only yesterday’s inauguration is a good example of it.

    Neo-nazism , fascism exist in the world and it exists in Armenia as well. It gives me the impression that you are not aware of it or you avoid to.

  8. I wouldn’t describe it as fascism. For one thing in the heart of fascism lies the national identity and blind belief of national supremacy. I see this as something that Levon is supporting but again not as fascists do but rather more in the form of us being superior then them where them is loosely defined as karabaxci. I never heard overtly nationalistic comments from neither from Serz nor from Levon. Only comments of discriminatory nature and only from Levon.

    Dictatorship is far away from being fascism. And no Armenia doesn’t look like dictatorship. In a dictatorship what you guys are doing wouldn’t even be possible to do.

    I think it is actually not so easy to classify what Armenia is. It is moving back and forth all the time. Government doesn’t tolerate much because there are big question that they cannot answer and that is one of the worst situations government could be in. But they do try. It would be sheer blindness to say that this government didn’t do a thing. It has been 10 years since I have been in Armenia, exactly those 10 years that Kocharian ruled, and I would say today the people look much much more happier than 10 years ago.

    What is missing in Armenia is exactly that independent movement that Onnik and (as it seems to me) Observer are advertising. You need a solid non-political human rights movements so that the people have a stronger say in all of this. I hope that whatever is happening in Armenia at the moment will actually turn into a solid human rights movement, which is completely non-political. It does look as something more like a human rights movement except that there are some opportunists who instigate hatred into it.

  9. grigor whom are you talking about by saying people are more happy/? did you ever go to villages and talked to the people there ??/ did you ever talked to the people who are in powerty and who are the majority?? do they look happy??

    probably people you see evryday indeed look happier…but please do not generalise and talk on behalf of the whole country that people are happier than 10 yrs ago… people left whoever wherever could..probably it was getting too happy for them to saty here!!!!!

    how how can i resist not saying to you that it is bull shit that youa re saying people are more happy than 10 years ago??!!!!!

  10. all opposition leaders are in jail….people can not do protests…wht else you need for the dictatorship.people are being detained from the streets for no reason…isn’t this enough for you to call it a dictatorship???

  11. no i have no more nerves for you guys!!!

    enogh is enough!!!!

    and go ahead and call us radical opposition!!!!!

    yes we are radical.there is no other way to fight against brutal power!!!!! exept radicalism!!!!

  12. I agree with Grigor’s assessments. “Democracy” movements are not just King-of-the-hill games, where the disgruntled should clamor for change because they didn’t steal enough when they had the chance. When there evolves an independent movement that stands for something, that isn’t so easily hijacked by the very ilk that the movement is supposedly trying to prevent, then it may gain traction. Until then, it is good to see most of the disgruntled and dissatisfied working to better society from within and not wasting their time in ineffective tempest-in-a-teapot temper tantrums.

    A question for anyone to ask is How effective are my actions? I would argue that in every work environment, in every apartment complex there are 1001 things that each citizen can do to make Armenia a better place. Nearly all aspects of Armenian society need improvement. Expecting government to change should be the last (sequentially) expectation, Especially when there is so much needed that has almost nothing to do with who is in power.

  13. AH – I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, we have been preaching this change of mentality to whoever we encounter, the need to change from asking “what is my government doing for me?” or “I am entitled to this or that” to saying “what can I do for my country?”. There is an urgent need for every single one of us to take individual responsibility and do the most and the best job we can, no matter how small or limited our sphere of influence. And you are so right – these concrete, positive steps have absolutely nothing to do with who is in power. Just thinking about the ripple effect makes giddy with hope at the endless possibilities….

  14. Haik N, I was referring to your statement directed against other bloggers, not the State. I mean, you could reword your comments, for example. i.e. “how can people seemingly support what is a fascist government” or “by supporting Sargsyan, you/they/whoever is supporting a fascist government.”

    However, you should accuse people commenting here of being fascists unless, of course, they start coming out with similar statements such as “death to all LTP supporters,” or whatever. As I said, I think Unzipped is a perfect example of a blog that does not allow personal attacks on other people commenting but still manages to discuss more.

    And yes, there is plenty to discuss.

    Anyway, there goes my promise again. Like I said, I don’t think allowing personal attacks on other people commenting or on blogs by any side is helping anyone. Indeed, it just makes it more likely Armenia becomes a banana republic. Standard blogging etiquette, in my opinion, is also part of a more democratic process.

    That means, allowing people to have different opinions without fear of hate, intimidation and threats, and pursuing dialogue and debate even if we disagree with each other. Of course, the other possibility is that there is no chance of any democratic thought which is why there is no reflection of that in comments. However, I think Unzipped shows that not to be the case.

  15. Onnik, you should come back more often. It has been a much better environment since when you got the death wishes. Clearly observer has been doing some editing.

    I like Unzipped’s blog as well, though I haven’t been commenting there.

  16. Grigor, maybe that’s good you haven’t been in Armenia for 10 years.

    I left Armenia at about the same time. I didn’t go back as often as I would like to, but every time I went there I had this bitter feeling that something was not right. You could see some cosmetic changes, new buildings, new restaurants, but yet, that was not what I was looking for. Armenia, as a society, didn’t evolve for the past 10 years. The system is pretty much the same as in the prison: either you f*k, or you being f*ked. As a corollary, the suppressed populace doesn’t object from the general fear of being f*ked even harder.

    A small example from my recent visit there. I sit in the embassy of a respected Western European country waiting for my turn to be interviewed. Walks in a prick and states that “voobschem, es stegh saghitsd araj pti @nknem, gorts’s vraz a”. Wow, I immediately object, that he has to respect the others and maybe if he asks politely he will be allowed to go first. To which replies that “do you have any idea whom I am?” and starts threating me there right in front of the embassy staff and the security officer, who doesn’t do a thing. What happens next? The prick walks towards the window and the embassy staff treats him as if nothing happened. And that’s exactly what is going on every level. You cannot feel safe crossing the street even when the light is green, as some jerk may run you over by his hummer and then force you to pay for the repair of his beloved car.

    On Fen 19, the populace was f*ked once again. You see, I don’t care about politics. In fact, I hate politics. But I do care about the freedom. Armenia has lost its chance for another 10 years. Any change in power would potentially trigger the change all across the spectrum. At least, it would increase the confidence of people that they can make a difference.

  17. For everyone,

    While it is against my policy to moderate everybody and thus limit everyones’ freedom of speech and experession, I have put certain words, IP addresses and persons in moderation for their misbehaviour. I hope, that you all understand, that this is unpleasant for me personally – but if people do keep attacking each other I will have to take appropriate action against the offenders.

    Still – I disapprove of totalitarian methods of putting everybody on moderation – as this is exactly what i criticize the Armenian government for. How else will I be able to speak about the measures the authorities are taking, when I can’t look after even a simple thing, as a blog?

    Thank you all for your understanding. Also please remember – this blog is my house, and you are all my guests and friends. How would you behave in a friend’s house if you were a guest? Please keep this in mind, when commenting here.

  18. aiiip – How do you expect to trigger culture-change? Your prick at the embassy may have been a prick in the line at the post office in 88 or 78, and will be 2018 unless people like you confront (if not the all-powerful prick) at least the embassy staff, reminding them that they shouldn’t be part of the problem.

    Anyway, what you described has little to do with elections.

    Moreover, I wouldn’t say that the population got f*ked on the 19th. Most realize that real change doesn’t take place on election day. Sorry, no quick fixes. And yes, I believe that things are better from an openness, activity and hope standpoint compared to 10 years ago. That this improvement is natural, because of, or despite the authorities is open to interpretation.

  19. AH, here is a solution for you: declare the almighty prick a king for life and hope that he will solve all your problems. If you don’t protest a prick on the very top, you won’t protest a prick at any level.

  20. Again I agree with AH. I wasn’t saying people live rich and healthy I was just saying they are happier. Look, for instance, the fact is that now we can have someone from Armenia getting into a very prestigious university in the US. I don’t want to give names but if you do Google search you can find a lot of Armenians with undergraduate degrees from Armenia who got into the US schools. It is a progress; it was close to being impossible to get into US schools with an Armenian education back in 90s. Only very few did it.

    I do agree that life is still harsh and difficult but there is the progress that you cannot not notice. And I agree with AH that it is hard to know who is responsible for the progress. Usually time itself brings progress.

  21. Just to say that moderation does not limit freedom of speech or expression. It limits the ability of people to undermine or abuse the privilege. Democracy and freedom of speech are natural rights for people, but there are limitations because in any democracy, uncontrolled hate, intimidation and threats results in the violation of the rights of many more people. This, in essence, is a concept that few here in Armenia unfortunately understand and it’s perhaps a sign of a society that has a long way to go before it can attain a culture of democracy, tolerance and freedom.

    It’s also why the blogs of all organizations and outlets working in the area of democracy, human rights, and freedom of speech do not allow such behavior on their sites. Prohibiting intolerance and hatred is not a limitation on personal freedoms, it is instead a means of protecting them.

  22. Onnik – pre-emptive moderation is censorship. It comes with the totalitarian assumption, that people are guilty, before they have even acted. I prefer to take action, only after someone has misbehaved. My approach is as valid, as any other, and I have no intention of changing my policy, just because others are doing so.

    Most of the people commenting here are very decent individuals. Why should they suffer just because someone is misbehaving? And after all – nobody is forcing anyone to read, comment or take part in a discussion here – everyone is free to go and comment somewhere with moderation, if they find it more suitable.

  23. Grigor, do you really believe that the education in Armenia is better now than it was during the Soviets? What you mention is a simple brain drain. Unless the conditions in Armenia improve drastically, nobody is going back. But even if they go back, they are probably doomed. I have a couple of brilliant friends who quit science because they had to feed their families.

  24. No I don’t think education in Armenia is better now than what it was in Soviet years. What I said was that in 90s (post-Soviet years) our universities couldn’t produce graduates who could compete with graduates coming from say Korea. Now there is a competition. I don’t know if the level of education went up or what, but it is a fact that this wasn’t true in 90s and it is true now.

    Most won’t go back for work. Honestly, I wont go back for work (if they let me that is). But there are so many other ways that those who left can contribute. Given the opportunity (this is actually big condition, because most of the time opportunity is never given) most will do whatever they can. I am sure that the last part is true about the bunch who are close to me. However, I am not sure if they will try to create the opportunity by themselves. I suspect no, because at least those who work in science, don’t have much resources to try something.

  25. Onnik and Observer,

    I agree with observer on this issue even though I sympathize with Onnik’s view as well.

    For one thing, it would be a lot of work for Observer to edit every message.

    […] Democracy and freedom of speech are natural rights for people, but there are limitations because in any democracy, uncontrolled hate, intimidation and threats results in the violation of the rights of many more people.[…]

    I agree with this but on a practical note, you cannot teach people to speak their mind without insulting others if you don’t let them speak. They say something then get bad response then they go back and change what they said unless they decide to give up.

    I think ignorance is a way around the problem. if you don’t let them speak at all unless they say something that fits the bill then they just will give up trying. If you let them speak but ignore them if they say nonsense then if they are rational people then they will eventually change, and as a result you would of done something good.

    What I think would be nice is if Observer could moderate the hateful fights between Serz supporters and Levon supporters. Those get really nowhere and are usually continuation of something that started elsewhere.

  26. Moderation is not censorship in the same way as a publication does not print every letter it receives. Censorship only occurs when a decision is made NOT to publish something for reasons that are not reasonable or in the public’s interest.

    Again, this displays a fundamental lack of understanding in Armenia about democracy and freedom of speech. It’s also why the media is at such a low level — mainly because journalists think they can print gossip as well as accuse people without facts.

    As a result, both the governmental and opposition press has no credibility in the eyes of the population. Of course, you’re right, if people don’t like the hatred, intolerance and accusations on this blog they can go somewhere else. However, my personal opinion is that by allowing it you have made a decision to allow such hatred to continue.

    Which is fine, well almost. Firstly, this blog should abide by standard blogging practices and etiquette and not promote hatred and intolerance. Secondly, it is still subject to libel laws as well as other legal codes which prohibit certain speech. Thirdly, the blog is not your property but that of WordPress and is subject to their TOC and complaints procedure.

    But your choice. And yes, you’ve lost a reader because of what I consider to be a total lack of understanding of what democracy and freedom of speech is all about. Actually, this has nothing to do with censorship. It has everything to do with not wanting to properly maintain a blog and shows no respect for the rights of its readers.

  27. For one thing, it would be a lot of work for Observer to edit every message.

    The point is that you don’t need to edit every message because in order to prevent moderation, those people commenting instead choose their words more carefully and do not erupt into accusations, intimidation and abuse. Actually, they probably make more poignant and worthwhile comments as a result.

    As it is, when you get the situation as you do on this blog, I fail to see anything constructive at all and all we get is a free-for-all without much political thought involved between Levon and Serge’s people. Still, like I said, I’m going elsewhere. Much better to leave it to the Serge and Levon supporters to battle it out while the majority look for something more worthwhile in other places.

  28. What I think would be nice is if Observer could moderate the hateful fights between Serz supporters and Levon supporters. Those get really nowhere and are usually continuation of something that started elsewhere.

    And that’s PRECISELY what I’ve suggested. Warning people that any hateful accusations and intimidation will result in TEMPORARY moderation. Please, read my words from before:

    I hope that Observer will consider making it clear that personal attacks will not be tolerated and those who ignore the warning will be put on temporary moderation until they do. Freedom of speech is one thing, but when it is abused it violates the rights of others. Anyway.

    Surely a simple yes or no would suffice to a standard blogging practice in play rather than some misguided crap about censorship.

  29. I hope that Observer will consider making it clear that personal attacks will not be tolerated and those who ignore the warning will be put on temporary moderation until they do.

    Onnik – that is what i’ve been doing. On all the occasions (when I’ve had Internet access and time), i’ve warned people, moderated comments, put them on moderation, etc. I think what I’ve done is more then enough, considering my busy schedule and limited Internet access at home.

    As to the content of this blog – I am usually very careful about what I write – and I’m always ready to discuss what i could do to improve my writing and my words. However – I disclaim any responsibility for comments of other people. I will do as much as I can and wish, and that is my free will. We’re all grown ups here, and if someone prefers to come here and comment in a way, which makes them look like a total idiot, then, so be it. When it become offensive or hateful or racist or violent – I will take action, as I’ve done in the past to the best of my abilities.

    And by the way, there is nothing about my responsibility as a blog owner towards WordPress, to moderate comments, etc: http://wordpress.com/tos/. Moreover, the default setting for the web-logs here is without moderation, and I think that is the right approach. You think otherwise – fine!

  30. Onnik – don’t get me wrong. I see your point very well, and I agree to most of it. I just don’t like that approach of putting “everyone” on moderation. I see it as a simple, but bad solution. I have asked your help before – and I do so again. Help me find a solution, to exclude hate-speech, while maintaining the right for decent commenters to speak. Like I’ve said, i have some IPs and persons on moderation on this blog even as we speak now. What more do you guys want from me?

  31. My reading of your passage seems to include people who want to speak their mind but cannot not express it without calling their opponent an idiot. There are such people and there are many among Armenians. We as a nation haven’t had much practice of speaking our mind without insulting others. For one thing, we don’t have debates in schools for instance. I don’t know if Brits have but Americans do. Such things help you know. These are people that slowly and slowly realize that you can actually talk besides swearing, destroying, cursing, calling each fascists and ets. It will take time before a large portion of the population will embrace this way of communicating.

    I think there are two categories. There are those who seem to represent either Levon or Serz and there are those who support one of them. The later ones are ok with me, because they usually try to speak their mind and as a result might insult someone. But if you don’t let these guys speak up, they will never be able to convey their thoughts in a meaningful way. I don’t see how moderating them will help. It will only discourage them.

    But I completely agree with you on the first set of people. That is really disgusting.

  32. [..] What more do you guys want from me? [..]]

    You haven’t been serving cold beer. That would of been nice.

  33. BTW, Onnik, he is moderating, try to use idiot in your comment and you’ll see that your comment will be awaiting moderation.

  34. the bottom line is that the February 19 elections were hugely falsified. i think everybody agrees in that. I hope everybody also agrees that Serje couldn’t not possibly win in one go. Therefore any functionality of the current government is illegal.
    To protect that illegality brute force has been exerted on people in multiple times. The people is psychologically harassed every day. I am from a semi-soviet generation so I am used to all of these, what really bothers me is the state of the new generation the 20 years old and below. If all of this doesn’t get democratic resolution we will have another mainly sick generation.

    The freedom of mind is being raped everyday, people are afraid to talk, to move, they are in constant fear, they are confused, they are still under shock and I call this situation fascism. I said in multiple times that this has nothing to do with Levon. This is a struggle for freedom. Therefore to me any person who supports this state is a supporter of the fascism. Maybe some of them are still confused, some are brainwashed, some are in shock and don’t want to accept any more information, all of these are possibilities.

    So I apologies if I had insulted any person unnecessarily. I still have the hope that they will revise, reanalyse the situation. Even if Serj comes out, apologies and calls for new presidential election after all of these I am ready to help and protect him to safely flee from Armenia.
    The situation cant go on like this. We need new elections and whoever truely wins will have my support.

  35. Հայաստանի մարքսիստական կուսակցության նախագահ Դավիթ Հակոբյանը Ֆիրդուսու հայտնի ու անմահ խոսքերով է պատասխանում բոլորին, ովքեր հարցնում են՝ «մարտի 1-ին ժողովո՞ւրդ էր, թե՞ խառնամբոխ»:
    «Ի՞նչ է ժողովուրդը, Թուլատ»,- հարցնում է Ռուստամ-զալը ու ստանում պատասխան. «Խառնամբոխ եւ լկտի տականք, եթե ենթարկվում է բռնապետին՝ հլու-հնազանդ»: Ռուստամ-զալը նորից է հարցնում. «Էլ ի՞նչ է ժողովուրդը, Թուլատ»: Ու իբրեւ պատասխան ստանում է. «Եվ փարոս խավարի միջին, եթե արժանապատվության համար մարտնչել գիտե»:
    From: http://new.aravot.am/am/articles/politics/38897/view

  36. I saw a word about fascism up there in the comments, and remembered these words I just read somewhere on the Web: //Fascism: an economic system in which the power elite, variously termed oligarchy, plutocracy, cabal, or ruling class, employ the police power of the State to enforce the economic domination of privately owned cartels and corporations, industrial and financial; a militaristic regime that exalts nation above the individual, the rich above the poor, uses violence and modern techniques of propaganda and censorship to forcibly suppress political opposition, and stands for a totalitarian government headed by a dictatorial leader.//

    As for this, //Though there are still many unanswered questions regarding the legitimacy of the election which landed him the post of President and the events that followed that he was directly behind, I really believe that as usual and in a very short period of time, most will forget what happened and it will be business as usual.//; another quote comes to mind: “The struggle of man against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” — Milan Kundera.

  37. People you are so funny here.
    Whith such kind of supporters and such kind of leader like you and Levon Serzh will rule as long as he wishes.
    Do you still think that you are the only oppozition to Serzh? Monkey-shows on Northern Avenue and brave hundred people crying Levon-this all what you can do? No ,sorry,also steal shoes.
    Or sitting abroad organize here super-puper stupid flashmobs? Have you seen reaction of thousands gathered in the Republic Square?
    Haxtelu enq! Um eq haxtelu? Inqnerd dzez? Paran trnelov? 10 hogov despanatan mot miting anelov u alam ashxarhov trezvonit anelov. Mexk eq. Stpaveq. Nujnisk dzer Levone tqac uni dzer vra.
    Mtaceq,vor inqners mez xajtarak enq anum… Mi petutyun vortex sax darel en kapik. U ishxanutyune u oppozician…

  38. aiip — I have to agree with AH and Grigor —

    When we talk about changing attitudes and mentality to effect changes that are within our own limited sphere, your experience at the embassy is the perfect example. Why would a powerful western embassy, as you say, tolerate such behaviour on its territory? And why would you and all the others who were there do so? That just perpetuates and compounds the problem.

    As for the ‘brain drain’ you mention — yes there has been a terrible brain drain that began 17 years ago during the dark years. However what Grigor says is also true. I personally know at least three young adults who are getting their PhDs at very prestigious universities (in Economics, International Finance and International Relations) in the US for the express purpose of returning to Armenia in order to contribute to the future of their beloved homeland. And I also know people who are seriously considering returning now or in the near future because they feel that things have changed sufficiently that they can actually start to make a productive contribution now.

    I just can’t fathom all this constant, hateful, unproductive negativity and criticism and the radicalism of thought and commentary on the part of the so-called ‘democratizers and human rights defenders’. It won’t get us anywhere. Yes, there is a lot that is terribly wrong, but what are YOU personally actually doing to improve matters? Just pick something small you can affect and get on with it. My personal pet peeves and mini-battles are: petty (and usually unnecessary) bribery, pedestrian rights, littering and smoking. I know that these are not earth-shattering major issues, but this is what I can handle now. I may not influence everyone, but I know that I will influence a few and they in turn will influence others. Oh, I should add that I also try to hold myself and others to a high standard — difficult, but possible. And so it begins. As for improvements — I personally know a few people who have managed to run quite successful businesses for many years now without resorting to either giving or receiving bribes. It’s painfully difficult at times, but it’s doable and as a matter of principle they are doing it. On the other hand, I also know other businessmen — ‘lav gerads, khmads dghek’ — who despite their evident success and wealth constantly complain about EVERYTHING, but don’t do a thing to try to improve conditions because they’re too busy getting rich.

    I honestly believe we have to pick our battles and work towards incremental improvements. Educating people about civilized and rational debate and the role of the media, as Grigor mentions is crucial. As for ‘democracy and freedom’, Armenia needs to develop its own model that will work within our very unique geo-political, national and cultural reality. As someone said in an earlier post, let’s all start working FOR something rather only AGAINST something. I personally now know more people on the realistic yet also optimistic and hopeful side of the equation than I do destructive, radical nay-sayers. To me that is already clear evidence of improvement.

    And just to be clear — none of what I say means that I condone manipulated elections or corruption or blatant human rights violations — I don’t. Nor do I support this or that individual — I don’t. I support Armenia and I will try to work on my personal circle and within the structures and institutions to fix things in a rational manner. That’s just my personal belief of how I can best contribute to positive change and to strengthening this nation for the long-term.

  39. does someone trying to invent new democracy and unique democracy model for armenia?? in his opinion??!!

    democracy and democratic values are same and the one for all the world!

    and number one condition is to have free elections!!!

    NO FREE ELECTIONS, NO DEMOCRACY POSSIBLE!!!!

    NO FIGHT FOR FREE ELECTIONS , NO FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY!

    Anything else in this circumstances is useless! ANY SUGGESTIONS ANY other ways of establishing democracy ARE BULL SHIT!

    NO ONE PRESIDENT NOT ELCTED BY FAIR AND FREE ELECTIONS WILL BE DOING ANYTHING FOR THE PEOPLE!!!!!

    democracy and its principles are as simple as evrything else in this life:

    president knows he depends on peoples free will, he does everything to imrove life of those people on whos will he depends!

    president knows he depends on criminals and oligarchs, and doesn not dependt on people, he does everything to serve the criminals and oligarchs who mad him president, and he screws people, cause he kneows he does not depend on their will!

    ISN’t this simple enough to understand?!!!!!

  40. where you ALL (pighs, elephants and other animals) were during the elections??!!! why you were not fighting for free elections??!!!!! why you were not foghting and condemning the terror performed by serz qocharyan do and co during elections!!???

  41. ALL people supporting levon and all freedom loving people were fighting for freedom on that day and for free elections!!!! the fight was against fraud and falsifications, while all supporters of ttodays regime were conducting the biggest crime against democracy – falsifiing the elctions!!!!!!!!!!

    and now after all this you are still have enough courage to be so bareface to talk about democracy??!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Yervand – Most people “fighting for free elections” have been doing it in more productive ways than taunting police into clashes so they can later feel good about having their human rights violated. Anyway, equating Levon’s struggle to anything associated with freedom is a bit farcical.

  43. Incremental politics…my arse. Those who are enamored with the so-called comfortable and correct “politicals of evolution rather than revolution” have no gounding in reality. There is no evolutionary change in a vacuum.

  44. If by a few more March 1’s you mean brutal police assaults on unarmed protestors in Freedom Square then of course not. But, even this question of yours is revealing in that this is the lens by which you and other “conformists” view the events of the recent past. You speak of evolution and the politics of accomodation but fail to grasp the fact that none of the so-called “reforms” called by the ruling status-quo govt would have even been contemplated before the rallies and marchers of tens of thousands of average Armenian citizens who felt empowered to protest what they and many other viewed as another fraudulent election imposed by the regime on a passive citizenry. Funny but the reaction of the regime to this awakened empowerment of the people was to coopt the conformist ARF and Orinats Yerkir parties into their fold and to present the semblance that it had finally awakened to the fact that a sizeable minority of the populace wanted real and radical change to the way things had been governed for the past ten years. None of these steps would have been realized without the events both preceeding March 1st and its bloody aftermath. None of this, which many of you now point to as hopeful signs that the regime is serious about reform, would have been realized without the vocal and empowered opposition that broached no willingness to cooperate with a prsident -elect that it viewed as illegitimate. Sadly, had we silently given in to these injustices and passively followed the path of evolution we’d have wound up with just more of the same. Thus my answer can only be more challenging of authority and more demands to hold it accountable to the people.

  45. HaykN thanks for promoting Soap Action once again. It was incredible.
    You seem to be clever guy,explain me why people should support one falsifier agains another one? Which kind of freedom is bringing Levon’s movement? Who is the godfather of all criminal system created in 90-ties? Who was the falsifier N1? Who brought tanks in Yerevan at 1996? Who is ready to return deliberated territories leavin Karabakh under rule of Azeris?
    Why after all of this you still support evil named after Levon?

  46. That is one interpretation. I think that many – both supporters or detractors – of the current powers are fed up with the way things are run in Armenia…and not just for 10 years. What worked so well 11 years ago? 16? 21? 101?

    You may call it confirmism; I see it as effective. I still want to know what would have constituted a good result had the coup actually taken place? What would have improved? I do not believe in quick fixes, and I am doubly suspicious of anything led by LTP, who has already has a track record (ie we do not need to hypothesize).

    As far as challenging the authorities for greater accountability. I am fully in favor of this. Parliamentary elections are a mere 3 years away. Time for the opposition to cultivate leaders.

  47. Absolutely! We all must challenge the authorities for greater accountability and reform! However, that does not mean a bloody revolution led by a traitorous ‘affairist’! In order to succeed and be effective, we need a popular movement that is not associated with a previous illegitimate and divisive wannabe leader. Again, that will take time and AH is absolutely right – we have three years, or perhaps less, to get organized.

  48. Tigran
    there was an additional video which explained the usage of the soap which was removed. I clearly understand that why and I think it was good that it was removed.

    To make the story short, it seem you are an expert in the using of a soap ( your video demonstrates it).
    You can further your knowledge in that area if you youtube for ” HAY ELI – Sapon “.
    good luck.

  49. I could never understand why you guys use Observer’s blog for your fights. For your information, both of you have blogs, so you can freely insult each in each others blogs. Why do we have to witness your fight?

    To Observer, even though I disagree with Onnik’s views as he usually states them in the most general form, but I understand why he couldn’t stand such comments as the ones above. It doesn’t do much good to your blog, and perhaps you can just not let these guys comment on your blog. Look there is no reason why they had to start fighting about the soap, and as your reader I have no interest in the soap business whatsoever. Maybe you can create a separate section just for them where they can damp their garbage. I also understand that this might not be easy to do.

  50. Tigran
    If there was / is anybody else other than Levon’s team who could guarantee freedoms and autonomy to an individual I would support that team.
    I strongly believe if he was given the 3 years time we could have a clean parliamentary followed by clean presidential elections. If not, believe me I would be the first person to criticise him.

    I still wonder how can you deny all the achievments during Levon’s presidency?
    Coming to 96 we still dont know if Vazgen actually won. 3 years ago I heard him saying on TV that he has doubts that he collected enough votes. He attacked a parliament which was not guarded (a sign of democracy).
    Coming to Karabakh, as a supporter of Serj maybe you prefer giving Meghri. In 98 Levon resigned to give a chance to his opponents, 10 years passed with nothing positive. Instead we are loosing ground every day.

    He answers all of your questions in his speaches. They are just texts, they won’t bite.
    http://www.levonforpresident.com/am/38/

  51. Grigor
    I dont read Russian that well and surprisingly pigh and his buddies post in Russian. I thought that they were the nationalist bunch. Otherwise I would go and comment there, if I found it necessary. ‘
    They are welcome to comment in “my” blog but I doubt I would publish those comments , simple because there is no point. Whoever wants to read them can instead watch Haylur. If they comment something meaningful it would be published.

    Grigor maybe you dont know these people were in joy after the 1st of March. This is their moral standing.

  52. This will be my last comment re these people. I think I already paid too much attention on them. Never the less I still have the hope that they will gain the ability to look at the things from different angles.

  53. Mnas barov Hayk jan.Hujsov em mi pajtcar or xavarvac hogud mej lujs kbacvi ev du kzxjas vor ajsqan tarvac es exel Levonov.
    Inch uzum es im masin mtaci,Serzhakan em es,dzeners aryan mej en,saponi kombinati tnorenem,fashist dashnak em,hayluri producern em ev ajln…
    Es ardaranalu kariq chem zgum,qani vor amerikanerum chem,ajl im hajreniqum em ev ajstexic qez xorhurdner chem uxarqum,vonc shches ev vonc apres.
    Harganqnerov
    Mardaspan,rusofil,azgajnakan,serzhakan,karabaxci,avazak Tigran

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