Wednesday, 10 September 2008

12th September opposition rally moved (again) to 15th Yerevan municipality formally authorised the rally in front of Matenadaran for 15th September but not for 12th September (for unexplainable reasons, it’s became like a game for them).

This is the second time that the opposition rescheduled the rally. First time it was for 5th September when the rally was postponed and moved to the 12th due to Turkish president visit to Armenia. This time opposition decided to follow the authorised rally. In a statement, Ter-Petrosyan led oppposition Armenian National Congress expressed hopes that there would be no obstacles for people from the regions to attend the authorised rally as if this did not happen in past.

Moving dates is not a problem. The problem is that the opposition has to change its tactics and breathe in a fresh air to the movement. When things take too long and are of repetitive nature, things may die away... It’s not there yet but momentum is not there either. Consider this as a warning to the opposition to take up new ideas and re-launch the movement. Organised and strong opposition is essential for our country.

So far, under the pressures of opposition movement, government is trying at least to make an ‘appearance of changes’ which are mainly an imitation and insufficient for people who stood up for the movement. The only real and positive change I can see is Turkey-related policy which is effectively the policy advocated by Armenia’s first president and leader of the opposition movement Levon Ter-Petrosyan who was accused in betrayal of national interests in past by some in current administration.

Unfortunately, as the rally moved to 15th, I won’t be able to live blog from there as promised, as I won’t be in Yerevan on 15th.


Anonymous said...

For some reason Saturday the 13th has been declared an official working day instead of Monday the 15th (As an aside: I hate it when they do that and as an act of defiance I tend to ignore these changes. More practically, I ignore them because I usually already have plans to go out of town for the weekend and don't care to change those.). I haven't figured out the connection yet, but the change of date for the demo might have something to do with it.

artmika said...

Tell me about it. It became a 'tradition' for our government to change normal weekend to Monday to please Armenian church as on coming Monday (like in some previous similar Mondays) it's a religious remembrance day for deceased. It really pisses me off when they do it.

Not in terms of opposition moving dates, but related to municipality decision there might be an indirect connection, as probably they did hope that by authorising the rally on that particular date, it would become a kind of ‘sacrilege’ to actually hold it.

nazarian said...

Isn't Armenia supposed to be a secular state?

Article 8.1 of the constitution says so:

Հոդված 8.1. Հայաստանի Հանրապետությունում եկեղեցին անջատ է պետությունից:

Հայաստանի Հանրապետությունը ճանաչում է Հայաստանյայց առաքելական սուրբ եկեղեցու՝ որպես ազգային եկեղեցու բացառիկ առաքելությունը հայ ժողովրդի հոգեւոր կյանքում, նրա ազգային մշակույթի զարգացման եւ ազգային ինքնության պահպանման գործում:

Հայաստանի Հանրապետությունում երաշխավորվում է օրենքով սահմանված կարգով գործող բոլոր կրոնական կազմակերպությունների գործունեության ազատությունը:

Հայաստանի Հանրապետության եւ Հայաստանյայց առաքելական սուրբ եկեղեցու հարաբերությունները կարող են կարգավորվել օրենքով:

spm said...

Guys, don't politicize everything.
Remembrance day has very strong roots in Armenian society and is not directly related to church. This tradition was preserved during Soviet times. Although church had little say and officials never declared it free day a lot of people used to skip work or shorten it in order to attend family unions.
As to me I never liked that overly exaggerated, sometimes show off attitude to death in Armenia (funeral processions and cemetery "art") .

Haik said...

The "government" tried this before but in the opposite manner, changing a demo day to a working day.
It didn't work because despite the work people still went to the demo.
Now they are trying the opposite thinking that people will prefer to stay at home and relax rather than to go to demo.
The government will fail again.

me said...

"The only real and positive change I can see is Turkey-related policy which is effectively the policy advocated by Armenia’s first president and leader of the opposition movement Levon Ter-Petrosyan who was accused in betrayal of national interests in past by some in current administration."

Even more hilariously (tragically?), it was officially confirmed today that Armenia will be selling 2.5 billion kw/h of electricity a year to Turkey, which is what people accused LTP of during the war (claims that remain unsubstantiated). In case you were wondering, yes, there are still parts of Yerevan that don't have 24 hour electricity and parts of Armenia that don't have any at all. Forward, Turkey!

Haik said...

There were 100s of articles and comments but so far I didnt come across to one that analysis the interests of Turkey. Assuming that they really want to start a relationship with Armenia it is a legitimate question to ask Why?
It is a a huge subject but I will cover the obvious that is to develop their eastern regions ( Western Armenia). Istanbul has no full control over most of this area, if some activity starts happening between Armenia and Turkey these regions can start breathing and become controllable. There were many development projects in the past but without much success. This is a cheaper project. It is not much about trade because the volumes are low, It is mostly about getting the expertise and getting a good share of diaspora visitors. In short it is not beneficial for us because we will not gain much from it. Instead we might loose more that is the Western Armenia (I prefer to see those lands underdeveloped), labour and expertise export, sharing tourism revenues with Turkey.
Boarders should open but only if there are substantial commitments such as, contraction of modern railway between Istanbul and Gyumri, as a start a railway consortium should be created.

Ani said...

Weirdly, regarding the "electricity deal" the Turks are denying it:

No electricity deal with Armenia
Friday, September 12, 2008

Energy Minister Hilmi Güler said yesterday no agreement had been signed with neighboring Armenia about electricity supplies to Turkey. His remarks followed news reports quoting his Armenian counterpart as saying that Armenia had signed a deal to supply Turkey with electricity from the beginning of 2009.

“An agreement on this was reached during the recent visit of Turkish President Abdullah Gül,” Armenian Energy Minister Armen Movsisian said Wednesday. “Turkey is a new market for Armenia, as Armenia last supplied electricity to this country during the Soviet period,” he said. But Turkey's Güler clarified that only some private companies were negotiating with Armenia for the time being. “No agreement has been signed,” he said. [...]

Anonymous said...

Regarding the electricity deal:

I think these are the three main reaosns:

It is primarily meant as gesture of goodwill as electricity import from Armenia using existing infrastructure can be done quick and without opening borders for the time being. This gesture is meant to provide a token to Armenia and support the Armenian president. It takes courage on the side of Armenia and Turkey to try to mend ties with each other.

The second reason (based on importance) is that the nuclear reactor Armenia is using at the moment to generate a large part (over 40%) of its electricity is outdated and considered dangerous. The businesscase for building a safer, larger and more economical generator depends on the projected demand. If Turkey can contribute to that demand, chances are better that this new nuclear reactor will proceed and the safety of both Armenia and Turkey is better warded and the capacity of electricitygeneration within Armenia is enlarged, which is a win-win for both Turkey and Armenia.

The third reason (and least important) is that it contributes to Turkey's policy of diversifying it energy-imports and enlarging its energypotential and thus supporting its industry.

The contract is signed with a private Turkish energyfirm named UNIT:

Maintenance and preparation in Kars (including the building of a new modern powerstation) has started.

I think this electricitydeal is positive news for both parties.

Ani said...

So why is Turkey denying it if there's a signed contract? I don't get it... (sorry for hijacking this post!)

spm said...

Turkey has apparent interest and it is not developing of its eastern parts... What happens now is a new re-distributions of the globe. Two previous ones ended up in World Wars. The faith of this one is still uncertain. During both previous occasions Turkey was aligned with Germany. But in WW II Turkey was careful and wise enough to keep low profile in order not to provoke Russian attack. They barely avoided it actually thanks to nuclear bomb Americans drop on Japanese. Since then they were staunch members of NATO, however managed to maintain polite if contacts with Russia. However since American invasion to Iraq and Russian invasion to Georgia they sensed change in distribution of forces. Two things emerge as a result of the recent conflicts, certain power vacuum, which Turkey inspires to occupy by aligning closer to Russia, and understanding that without Russian nod non of the western build pipelines are going to bring so desired carbohydrates to Turkey from Caspian basin. Also Georgia proved to be unreliable partner. So by approaching Armenia, Turkey facilitates its relations with Russia and creates back-up access route to Caspian treasures.

Another factor I think that emerged just a few days ago, Turkey never imagined that talking to Armenia could be so easy....