Why the Diaspora Should Join Armenia’s ‘Barevolution’

Raffi Hovannisian was asked by a reporter recently, “What would you like to say to the diaspora?” His response, “You’re asking me the wrong question. You should ask the diaspora what they want to say, and I will listen. Do they want to be part of building a more democratic Armenia? If so, I will listen.”

The diaspora should join Barevolution, argues Tania Sahakian. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)
The diaspora should join Barevolution, argues Tania Sahakian. (Photo by Khatchig Mouradian, The Armenian Weekly)

During previous elections, the diaspora has, for the most part, remained silent. Today, with the internet, social media, and live coverage of the election and its aftermath, information has become more widely available, allowing the diaspora to not only be more informed and connected, but more involved. However, in the current state and projected future of the country, the diaspora must utilize this critical opportunity to get involved in a deeper way if it cares about the survival and prosperity of Armenia.

What role can the diaspora play? Do they have any power? Does it matter to the locals if the diaspora gets involved? The diaspora already does its part in other spheres; do they have any business getting involved in daily politics if they don’t live in Armenia? To answer some of these questions, I turned to local activists who were at the time writing letters to Serj Tankian asking him to come to Armenia. When asked why they wanted him to come, they responded with confidence that if Tankian were to come to Liberty Square, he would have a vital role to play in Barevolution. After all, in his written exchange with Tankian, Sarkisian replied to more questions posed by a diasporan expressing concerns about the election than he has to the thousands of citizens protesting outside the presidential palace. One might argue that Tankian may have no business in Armenia’s local politics, but he is still able to make an impact.

Why is it vital that the diaspora join the movement? Since the last presidential election, roughly 180,000-250,000 people have left Armenia, mostly right after the election. Political instability, loss of hope in the system, monopolization of the country’s resources, poverty, and unemployment are all to blame. Studies on population and emigration trends show that at the current high rate of emigration and low birth rate, there will only be one person left in Armenia by 2048. The diaspora has been fighting for years for the survival of the Armenian state, carrying out the mission of Hai Tahd (Armenian Cause). Surely, Armenia’s depopulation and domestic plight should become part of this mission.

Since regaining independence two decades ago, Armenia has faced no shortage of regional and internal challenges. It has endured a devastating earthquake, a war with neighboring Azerbaijan for Nagorno-Karabagh, and a blockade from two of its four neighboring countries. This prompted the diaspora to focus on aid to Armenia—and rightly so. Armenia needed first-responders such as charities. Diasporans sent food and clothing, or wrote a check to a trusted charity, and felt good about doing their part. Now, more than 20 years later, the diaspora’s approach towards Armenia must shift, as Armenia has reached another phase in the effort to build a stable republic.

Today’s ailments and key threats to the nation’s survival include widespread emigration, human rights injustices, environmental degradation, regional hostility, and the suppression of pluralism and diversity of opinion in the private and public sectors. Oligarchs and mafia, all of whom are widely believed to have ties to the sitting president, currently monopolize the country’s thin resources, neglecting investment in economic development and in a viable middle class. Therefore, today’s Armenia needs partners, activists, and human-rights defenders. The Gyumretsi of yesterday needed emergency earthquake relief, but today she needs a partner in justice, making sure her voice is heard and her rights and resources are protected.

One does not need to be a rock star in order to play a role in changing Armenia’s future. Diasporan efforts can play a major role in providing moral support, resources, or pressuring both the Armenian and foreign governments to not legitimize fraudulent elections. To sustain claims of legitimacy, the Sarkisian camp has relied on congratulations from not only foreign heads of state but Armenian Diasporan organizations. The initial OSCE assessment of the presidential election was favorable, which most foreign leaders then echoed. After local activists intensely protested the OSCE’s findings, the latter altered their final report to state, “The analysis of official results shows a correlation between very high turnout and the number of votes for the incumbent. This raises concerns regarding the confidence over the integrity of the electoral process.” Unfortunately, the damage was done, as the preliminary report had already informed the decisions of several foreign governments to congratulate Sarkisian. The local effort by activists could have been bolstered by diasporan efforts abroad to pressure foreign governments to follow suit and reassess their conclusions about the election. American-Armenians certainly have the power to write to their congressional leaders in such issues, as do their European counterparts.

There are many examples of diasporans who have physically joined the effort. Inspiring stories are being told around town of people quitting their prestigious jobs to fly to Yerevan to support the wave of change. Although this kind of commitment is not possible for everyone, drastic measures are not necessary; moral support can also go a long way. When local activists were asked what value diasporan support would offer them, and what kind of support they would like to see, they stated, “The homeland is not only for the locals. It is the homeland of all Armenians. In the last 20 years we have reached out to the diaspora asking for aid through charities. we cannot tell them now to not get involved. We shouldn’t have two agendas and split our resources. The diaspora should be involved in this process bringing its resources and connections towards concrete actions for Armenia.” Recently, the board of the Armenian Law Student’s Association at Southwestern Law School wrote a letter to Amnesty International, urging the launch of a supporter mobilization campaign to assist in collective efforts towards a more democratic Armenia.

Barevolution is a nationwide movement joined by different groups working towards the goal of a more democratic, citizen-driven republic. Like every movement in history, change will not come overnight.  It will require a committed group united in the struggle willing to defy the status quo fighting for the mission of a better tomorrow. The involvement of the diaspora in Armenia has always been a controversial topic, but I decided to address it in this article because the alarm is ringing loud. Armenians in foreign lands needs to hear it before it is too late, because today the diaspora needs Armenia as much as Armenia needs the diaspora. The injustices in Armenia are making our nation ill, and they call for an emergency departure from the status quo. The diaspora has the resources, the far-reaching network, and the ability to organize and lobby a cause. Armenia is looking for partners, investors, and activists to make the average citizen’s voice heard. Our parents’ generation fought to see an independent Armenia. This generation will be tested to see if they are able to create a stable, democratic republic for all—including the diaspora.

Tania Sahakian has worked with numerous Armenian organizations over the last decade. She moved to Armenia from Los Angeles two years ago. Sahakian served as a monitor during the 2012 parliamentary elections and the 2013 presidential election in Armenia. She has experience working in elections in the U.S. and Europe, including the U.S. presidential campaign in 2008 and several senatorial and local elections. This is her first opinion piece for the Armenian Weekly.

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Tania Sahakian

Tania Sahakian grew up in Spain and Glendale, Calif. She is a graduate of UCLA and has worked with numerous Armenian organizations over the last decade. She repatriated to Armenia in 2011 and has been a manager at the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies since its opening.

90 Comments

  1. Thank you for this great comprehensive powerful article. In Los Angeles, EVERY SUNDAY, diasporans can actively protest the Armenian government’s criminal fraud of the election. For details: http://www.facebook.com/events/536592976363717/ But please remember, this is NOT a political issue; this is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue. People are protesting about election fraud. They voted, but their votes were thrown away like a piece of garbage. Voting in a democratic election is a human right – especially in a country with a constitution that guarantees it! So, one must agree that Serj Tankian, and even I, have the right to fight for human rights in Armenia – the legitimate homeland to where all diaspora Armenians might move someday soon. :)

    • A person who lives outside of a country can not and must not be allowed to dictate or even participate in the choosing of who will run said country. So until you or Tankian move to Armenia, don’t expect a political voice. Talk is cheap, sitting in LA or wherever you may be and criticizing the Armenian government is easy, but won’t get you far, nor will it bring about progress.

    • “A person who lives outside of a country can not and must not be allowed to dictate or even participate in the choosing of who will run said country”

      If you are talking about non-Armenians, I agree.

      If you are talking about diaspora Armenians, I couldn’t disagree with you more, because you haven’t the slightest clue about what Armenians are or our history.

    • AR,

      Yes, talk is cheap, but It’s hard to watch, even from a distance, all the corruption and oligarchy that’s hurting the country. This is Armenia we’re talking about. The last little but of our historical lands. We have a stake in it’s existence and corruption is holding the country back. It can be more than what it is today, look at the developing IT industry. When it comes to major issues, voicing criticism is absolutely essential in order to improve a country.

      Criticism comes with the territory of being president.

  2. Your comment that “The Gyumretsi of yesterday needed emergency earthquake relief, but today she needs a partner in justice,” is, of course, accurate, but needs to be taken further. While those “Gyumretsi of yesterday” today do need a partner in justice, they also continue to be in desperate need of daily living assistance. I have seen for myself that many are still living in tin cargo crates. Not all of our people have firewood for the winter. Not all of our children have warm clothing or good nutrition. Many women are living in mountain villages that have no men left in them. We cannot stop addressing their need, or they too will soon leave, and there will be no voice left to protest the overwhelming wealth of the oligarchs in the face of their desperate poverty.

    My reply to your comment that “The involvement of the diaspora in Armenia has always been a controversial topic…” is that it is the responsibility and the right of the diaspora to always be involved in what happens in our country. Our fathers laid their lives on the front lines against turks and Bolsheviks, and it belongs to all of us no matter where we now live. Let those who question our right to be concerned about the affairs of our country remember why it is that we now live in every corner of the world. Ours was not a voluntary exodus, but today, it is. Our people are now leaving in protest. They have voted with their feet.

    We need to start with transparent, legal, elections, not the kind of thing that has recently been reported in Asbarez.

    Asbarezhttp://asbarez.com/108909/heffern-meets-with-us-citizen-who-reported-election-fraud-2/

  3. Sorry, as a diaspora Armenian, I will NEVER support a CIA/Soros-backed colour revolution in Armenia and I will NEVER support a Zionist/Western puppet regime taking power in Armenia. We saw how well that turned out in the 90s. Also, Serj Tankian knows absolutely nothing about politics, let alone Armenian politics. We should listen to him just because he’s a celebrity figure? That’s typical Western sheeple behaviour. By the way, since Raffi’s supporters are playing the celebrity card, there are celebrities who support Serge Sargsyan: like Charles Aznavour, Sirusho, Shushan Petrosyan, Nune Yesayan, Forsh, etc… not that I care about what celebrities think.

    • Do you support illegal corruption? This is not a political issue at all. It has nothing to do with celebrities, east or west. It is a simple human rights issue. Armenian rights guaranteed in the Armenian constitution were criminally broken when the government falsified the election. They can easily resolve any questions by releasing the voter lists. They refuse. WHY? Because they illegally and fraudulently added names of people living abroad who magically “voted” only for Serzh. It was the only way Serzh could “win”. And he knows that. Everybody does!

    • Do you support a populist with no known political platform other than bombastic declarations of telling Russia off, recognizing Artsakh’s independence, subservience to the West, and with the wave of a magic wand getting rid of an ingrained culture of corruption?

      For the record I don’t support illegal or legal (institutionalized) corruption, the later of which is quite prevalent in the USA. Mr. Davidyan, are you also fighting against corruption in the States?

    • I support whoever my dear friends in Armenia voted for. That means free + fair elections which were taken away from them. There is nothing wrong with anyone anywhere fighting for human rights of anyone anywhere. Yes, I am against corruption everywhere! Also, I’m glad to hear you are against corruption and election fraud in Armenia. We agree.

    • your dear friends voted for President Sargsyan.

      860,000 thousand of them.

      re-elected President Sargsyan crushed BarevaMessiah 58% vs 37%.
      (btw: about 30% of that 37% was not a vote FOR Barevamessiah, but against the incumbant. In the 2012 Parliamentary election Heritage Party got 5 seats, 2 less than previous RoA Parliamentary election).

      God bless the electorate of RoA who were mature enough to elect a seasoned war veteran by a 21 point landslide. A mature, cool headed man who will lead our Armenia for another 5 years, God willing.

    • So Tro, if your claims have any basis in reality, I’m with you. But what is the proof? I would like to see how Raffi is a western interest agent. In fact Raffi himself has said that the western countries immediately congratulated Serjh because he serves all their interests. Don’t you think if the west wanted their agent Raffi to be at the helm they would have made a big hoopla about the elections and demanded another election themselves instead of Raffi?

      And let’s also say that Raffi is in fact a western agent. Then again by the same token, Serjh is a Russian agent as well. So what does this solve? I as an Armenian want an Armenian agent, neither Russian nor western to represent the interests of ALL Armenians and unify our nation. Serjh has not done this. I am waiting for someone to come along and put us all together, and make us a strong country.

      And also, let’s say in the beginning Raffi was sent by the west to be a their agent and make it to the presidency. Did he sign his soul over to the devil with his own blood? Meaning is he not allowed to change his opinion and actually become a patriotic Armenian, interested only in the interests of Armenia rather than foreign powers? I’m not saying I’m totally on Raffi’s side and we need a revolution, but I am of the opinion that as Armenians working for the interests of all of us, both if these candidates can come together and build our country to make it an inviting place for all Armenians.

    • Don’t forget the massive “implausible” election fraud. IF the government wanted to be transparent, they would release the voter lists. They never will, because there is so much fraud, duplicate names, people “voting” in multiple places, “votes” from people not even in Armenia, ALL “voting” 100% for Sargsyan. The areas Sargsyan “won”, magically had 90-100% “voter turnout” (stuffed ballot boxes). The areas Raffi won, accurately had 40% voter turnout. OSCE noticed this and reported about it – at this link: http://www.armenialiberty.org/content/article/24917621.html All we want is an accurate recount, or a re-do of the election, or a fair second round vote.

    • we can play with conspiracy theories all we want, but we can’t deny that serj tankian getting involved brings awareness. what’s the harm in him addressing the issue?

  4. Dro, you sound like a Republican. Take your choice either a U.S. or an
    hayastanian version. Please, change your name.

    • Aram, you sound like a communist. That is, everyone may have his opinion as long as it conforms to the Party line. Ironic thing is that you and your ilk are the ones claiming this barevolution is about human rights yet you are trying to silence differing opinions. Perhaps this IS the true face of the barevolution…

    • It’s very rich of you to label people as communists, AR, as if Mr. Sargsyan and Kocharian were not members of their local Komsomol during their youth. Silencing differing opinions? That seems to be the specialty of Armenia’s state-owned print newspapers and television stations.

  5. Just to say I do approve all what wrote AR.

    You make changes when you are in place and do something and not just write or speak, unfortunately in our Armenian case ,always much talk and little act.

    I always have been of this simple opinion,make sense and teach only with your acts,there are plenty of very good opinions eveywhere ,they can have value only when you put them in action.

  6. Diversity in political discourse has never been in short supply in our nation… Be it in the diaspora or in the homeland. Unfortunately, we have a tendency to lose our sight of the boundaries and our diversity tends to produce negative results. In our community life, we have too many examples of where our own views are more important than the nation. We simply have not demonstrated the ability to subordinate ourselves when bigger things are at risk. Of course, we are not unique. Political dysfunction is common in emerging or even “mature” democracies. The problem we have is that our dysfunction is effecting our own national security. We have an incredibly successful diaspora where the Armenian entrepreneurial spirit is abundant; yet their are too many stories of faxed foreign Armenian investment or reluctance based on the current economic structure. These are failures or opportunities lost that are costing the citizens of Armenia jobs and security and as a
    result losing hope. This is a national tragedy and must be resolved. There must be a productive and friendly,relationship between the diaspora and the homeland; especially in the job producing investment domain.
    In order for this to,happen Armenia must legally separate business from politics; at least to,the point where there is recourse for dealing with conflicts of interests. Of course , it is much more complicated than that, but let’s start by leveling the playing field. I am referring to patriotic individuals from the diaspora who,will invest and create jobs and tax revenue; not individuals merely looking to make a quicker fit. Nothing wrong with that , but it has to,be about the impact to the people.
    Individuals from the diaspora must be willing to stay out of the political domain and do it to help,Armenia and yes make a profit. Naive? Perhaps, but the goal must be nation building not bi-lateral opportunism.
    It will change in Armenia. It is inevitable. We, in the diaspora, can serve as catylists if we focus helping the plight of people. We have spent 90+ years as a diaspora dreaming about a free Armenia. Maybe our mistake was this,romantic notion blinded to the challenges of nation building. It’s a marathon and we must commit ourselves to that longer term view as we engage in the short term.
    Of course, we all have a variety of opinions on Barevolution , but who can not be happy with the engagement and energizing of local citizens. We pray that this will all lead,to a better Armenia, but the participation of people is,good. Democracies need their citizenry to remain vibrant.

    • {“n our community life, we have too many examples of where our own views are more important than the nation. We simply have not demonstrated the ability to subordinate ourselves when bigger things are at risk. “}

      {“The problem we have is that our dysfunction is effecting our own national security.”}

      well said Stepan.

  7. In my view, primarily Diaspora Should support Barevolution and continue to work with democracy groups such as Sardarabad and Nakhakhorkrdaran.

  8. How can Diaspora join in any political movement in armenia when there is no representation of the Diaspora in -at the very least in the Ministry of Diaspora???
    one would think that before any steps can be taken from Diaspora(like I have advocated many times over here in otheer threads, without any one seconding me BTW…) that there ought to be 5 permanent Delegatres from the 5 main Areas of the Diaspora IN THE MINISTRY OF DIASPORA..
    To name again..one each from N.America,S.America, EU, RF and the Middles east.These would cooperate amongs t themsselves and our Haireni(Homeland) brothers and sisters and quite a bit more results would be obtained thus.
    On another issue,indeed the Diasporas ought to re organzie themselves to become a Super Structure with its own Supreme Council. This I have explained many tiems over hiow can be obtained/achieved..
    Anyone interested in debating above issues???
    For without direct Representation (authorized indeed by said Supreme Council and in direct daily contact with the I T technology….much could be accomplished ande a lot easier than just criticizing from far away—
    Let´s hope you `people here promote above ¨suggestions¨´ for I never advise Armenians.with all due respect….take it or leave it that is what suggesting implies——-more or less.

  9. It’s funny how Mr Hovannissian’s supporters are preaching about ‘democracy’ while vilifying and putting down anyone supporting Mr Sarkissian…

    I agree wholeheartedly with Dro and AR.

    • It’s funny how none of this is about any of the 8 official candidates at all. It’s only about counting only the legal votes and arresting those who falsified the votes.

      I wholeheartedly agree with every Armenian who protests against election fraud.

    • Have you lived there at all? May be, we would react the same way, if votes were stolen for 20 years or so…

  10. Robert Davidian, saw your facebook page, great job, keep it up. One suggestion, I think we should gather not only in front of an Armenian church, but the Armenian consulate as well. That will make our message louder and clearer. We all need to do whatever we can to support the revolution.

    God bless our people. We always rise to the challenge when the need arises.

  11. Till now the Diaspora was indeed silent. And this did not do any good both to Diaspora and Armenia (Artsakh). Now it is time to get involved.

    There are many ways to get involved: financially, morally and politically. For example:

    a) create a barev.com.

    b) go and join in Armenia if you can. You can take your annual holiday now.

    c) there is already BAREV fund in making or is already made.

    d) set up a committee in LA for example, to coordinate support to Barevolution in Armenia.

    e) write letters and make public statements to Armenian (and foreign) government members and key politicians.

    f) just do something what you can: be creative. It is also YOUR barevolution.

    This ALL helps.

    And always remember: without strong Armenia no Genocide justice.

  12. Mr Davidian,

    Your stance here doesn’t say much that ‘it’s about the 8 candidates’…. you seem to have jumped on the Serj bashing wagon… please re-read what you’ve said…

    Armenia has made remarkable progress under Mr Sarkissian’s presidency on different levels… he has basically managed to maintain a balanced relations with the West as well as the East (namely Russia and Iran)… he has played the game like a real chess grandmaster…

    Taking a close look at Mr Hovannissian political discourse, anyone can notice that not a single word uttered by Mr Hovanissian is inspired by real politics but only pure emotional rants…

    Nobody denies the existing problems/concerns (even Mr President has pointed to them numerous times) but the damage cannot vanish instantly… we cannot expect drastic changes in drastic measures and in no time…

    • Lus, The election is over. It’s doesn’t matter who you like better. I want Sargsyan to win IF he legally got more than 50% of the legal votes. All we are saying is legally count the legal votes. Sargsyan can easily do that by releasing the voter lists. They never will, because there is so much fraud, duplicate names, people “voting” in multiple places, “votes” from people not even in Armenia, ALL “voting” 100% for Sargsyan. The areas Sargsyan “won”, magically had 90-100% “voter turnout” (stuffed ballot boxes). The areas Raffi won, accurately had 40% voter turnout. OSCE noticed this and reported about it – at this link: http://www.armenialiberty.org/content/article/24917621.html Strangely, you say everybody knows there are these “problems” but you then say we just have to WAIT before changing them. No, Sargsyan knows he can correct the fraudulent election now by simply releasing the voter list! Nobody can deny that. THIS is why angry Armenians have gone into the streets.

  13. I´m rather surprized that so far neither in Armenia nor in the Diaspora has grasped the necessity ofr having the Diaspora 5 important areas Reps. pjhysically in Yerevan,Armenia and at the Ministry of diaspora that it helped create.After all it was upon many manyu requests and prompts that the Govt. in RA agreed to have this Ministry established.
    Then logic dictates that the Diaspora take part ,collaborating with latter on spot.
    Not the sporadic visits of the Ministre to this that Communitu country and that for formalities to exchange greetigns and thank each other for ¨achieved¨successes.
    Or you guys understand that such formal RELATIONS ARE NOT MUCH for accomplishing any wirthwhile project.Comes to mind….
    A well organized admittance of the Diaspora Young visiting Armenia, with Armenian (Special residency passports) which will also include a stay of a month at a family when attending Armenian culture,language history sessions also ¨Undergo Military cadet training¨.
    Then again, on a more important mission TRY TO COOPERATE FOR A repatriation that is not the formal one of a few families but an organizesd WELL FUNDED one with the Diaspora´s INVESTMENT TRUST FUND(to be CREATED AT GENEVA,HC,NOT IN YEREVAN…..for the Diaspora as well that is there to stsay .I mean the old very old Diaspora.let´s stop being careless and understand that latter is there to stay.If we can do something at all ,it would be to stop the outflow of our brethren for a piece of bread from RA…

  14. The time has come when the following views must be discussed and strongly worked on. First the government must work to end corruption within the government, second over one million Armenians have left to other countries for work to feed their families, the Government must work with the wealthy within the country and also with the diaspora to take over the factories that were closed when the Soviet Union collapsed to give the people jobs. Thirdly, the government after 25 years has not recognized & incorporated Artsakh within the Republic of Armenia. Other Nations around the world will not recognize its independence until Armenia does. On the fourth issue, the Armenian Embassy in Washington, DC has done nothing to get the U.S. Government to recognize our long delayed & well documented Armenian Genocide. I don’t see any contact from the Embassy to work with the ANCA on this issue. These are only a few of the issues that the Armenian Government should be dealing with.

    • Can somebody explain what would change if Armenia recognized Artsakh or US recognized the Armenian Genocide?

      Armenia does recognize Artsakh by providing subsidies, contributing to its defense and advocating for it internationally. The official act of recognition could be done in a matter of hours if need be. But what is the need, what would change after the recognition?

      Recognition itself would not protect Artsakh from a new aggression. Would Mr. Dulgarian volunteer to stand with Artsakh and Armenian soldiers on the border with Axerbaijan on that day or any day for that matter?

      And about “the Government must work with the wealthy within the country and also with the diaspora to take over the factories that were closed when the Soviet Union collapsed to give the people jobs.”

      I doubt that there has been any analysis done on these factories by such advisers. Armenia’s economy and industry was an integral part of the Soviet system, defense industry in particular. There was almost no complete product done in any factory alone. Parts were manufactured all over the Soviet Union and shipped to assemble final products elsewhere. This was highly dispersed and integrated process designed this way on purpose.

      Armenia used to have the highest per capita concentration of high tech R&D jobs in the entire USSR. And they were not designing chewing gum flavors and home popcorn machines. This is why Armenian and Russian presidents recently signed agreements to restore Armenian defense industry and reintegrate it into Russian military industrial complex.

      These are real jobs coming to Armenia. Do you think they would stay there if the barevolutionistas junta succeeded?

    • {Can somebody explain what would change if Armenia recognized Artsakh}

      Yes:

      -Every other UN Country will ignore it.
      -OSCE Minsk Group will turn on Armenia and NKR.
      -Both will be blamed for thwarting the ‘Peace Process’.
      -Even Russia might blame Armenia for upsetting the apple cart.
      -Azerbaijan will score a huge PR coup, with zero effort on their part.
      -Armenia and NKR will be successfully painted by Azerbaijan’s Western allies as ‘aggressors’.
      -Western Neocon enemies of RoA and NKR will start baying for war.
      -Azerbaijan will use the opportunity to launch a massive attack.
      -NKR population centers will be bombarded, destroying much of the new infrastructure.
      -Fizuli District might get overrun.
      -Hundreds of Armenian young men will be KIA.

      So what is the situation now that some people find disagreeable ?

      -Artsakhtsi live in compete safety and security.
      -Infrastructure upgrades are ongoing nonstop.
      -Lots of interesting things are happening in the liberated areas between RoA and NKR.
      -NKR residents can travel all over the world on RoA passports.
      -NKR dignitaries, including President Bako Sahakyan, travel to USA and Europe regularly.
      -RoA and NKR Militaries are fully integrated.
      -RoA military leadership is present at every parade and military maneuvers in NKR: unambiguous warning to Azerbaijan.
      -President Sargsyan has openly, publicly and several times warned Azerbaijan that any preemptive attack on NKR by Azerbaijan will be regarded as an attack on RoA, and RoA will come to NKRs assistance with everything she has.
      -Something like 40% of NKR budget is covered by RoA.
      -For all practical purposes RoA and NKR are united.

    • Until Armenia recognizes NKR, NKR is just a separatist region of Azerbaijan that is internationally recognized to be part of that country.

      Revolution does not mean that democratic Armenia will cut ties with Russia. In fact, democratic Armenia will continue being Russia’s ally because that is what the people want. The difference is that a legitimate president will not bend over to foreign powers.

    • the term “separatist” is a term routinely spewed by invader AzeriTatarTurks and Turks to denigrate and delegitimize NKR.
      The real separatists are the invaders and their Ottoman and Bolshevik allies who artificially separated Artsakh from Armenia.

      It is not possible for the indigenous people of a land who have lived there for thousands of years to be, quote, “separatists”.

      And it is interesting that someone posting under an Armenian name is spewing the same Turcophile Anti -Armenian bile routinely spewed by enemies of our Armenian brothers and sisters of Artsakh.

      And President Sargsyan is as legitimate and genuine as Mr. Hovannisian is not. President Sargsyan was in the thick of the NKR war in the Fall of 1992: ask your Barevamessiah what he was doing in the Fall of 1992, after he got fired in October 1992 by President LTP. I don’t recall him volunteering to fight. The Barevaphony makes grandiose declarations about recognizing NKR, while his 4 sons are safely away from the LOC. I am sure all 4 will rush to enlist as soon as Azerbaijan mounts a massive attack on NKR. Yeah, and on that same day pigs will start flying.

    • NKR is a separatist entity because it is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. It’s the reality, and the fact that Azeris and Turks happen to agree with it is not my problem. And the reason that NKR is a separatist entity is precisely because it is not even recognized by the Armenian government. Direct your objections to your idol, and don’t expect the average Armenian to give greater recognition to Artskah than Serzh’s regime does.

      And it is interesting that you pretend to be offended by the term “separatist,” when you spit at the memory of our Genocide victims by calling them “sheep” (paraphrasing Avery: “Armenians were slaughtered like sheep because they worship their brats”). As I have said before, those who blindly support the authoritarian regime in Armenia necessarily have low respect for our people.
      Serzh’s service during the war does not make him a legitimate president. Hitler fought for Germany and destroyed it later. By the way, Avery, given that you have stated that you are a U.S. citizen, where were you during the war?

      Which brings me to another point. Unless you were born in the United States, isn’t there a line in the U.S. citizenship application where you give an oath to give up loyalty to any foreign ruler? Given your clear loyalty to the president of another country, wouldn’t it be the honest, the manly thing to have your U.S. citizenship revoked? What are you doing being a citizen of my country and violating your oath to it?

    • “NKR is a separatist entity because it is internationally recognized as part of Azerbaijan. ”

      I think Vahagn just proved my worst suspicions so I will start responding to his posts as I would respond to any Azeri Turk propagandist.

      There is no such thing as “international recognition” of Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan. Axerbaijan is recognized as a country that controls a certain territory. International borders are not subject to “international recognition.”

      The borders of any state are a bilateral matter subject to negotiations between the two bordering countries.

      Artsakh’s Northern and Eastern borders were negotiated directly with Axerbaijan after it begged for a cease fire at the end of the Artsakh Liberation War. Armenia recognizes Artsakh’s Western border. Iran recognizes its Southern border.

      That’s it – all Artsakh’s borders are recognized – to cross the border citizens of these countries as well as all others obtain a visa in their passports and check in and out.

    • “The borders of any state are a bilateral matter subject to negotiations between the two bordering countries.”

      Right. But legally speaking, the Nagorno Karbakh Republic is not a country- and is not recognized (legally) by any country. So it has no borders, legally. I highly doubt you’d make the same argument for Northern Cyprus, which is in a similar situation.

    • Actually, Northern Cyprus is in a better situation than NKR–at least it is recognized by one country, Turkey.

      As for Voskanapat, you can certainly respond to my posts under whatever absurd assumptions you want, but someone already raised the idea of “Azeris hiding among Armenians” and received his due response. When you choose to label Armenians as “Azeris” just because they say the word “separatist,” it is the surest way to sound like a Nazi-like fanatic. When you have that kind of a knee-jerk reaction to a word instead of focusing on the issues, it is the type of simplistic thinking that is harmful for our people.

      The U.N. General assembly has recognized Nagorno Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, due to Azerbaijan’s diplomatic efforts. That pretty much sounds like international recognition to me. Armenians did not negotiate the NKR borders with Azerbaijan, they negotiated the ceasefire line.

    • Wow! Look whom we got here: “But legally speaking, the Nagorno Karbakh Republic is not a country…” an International lawyer?

      Yes, this is correct – Armenia is the country, Republic of Armenia and Republic of Artsakh are sates. They control their territory, have functioning governments, defense, and stable population.

      There are many “internationally recognized” states that do not do any of that. Somalia, Azerbaijan, “Norther Cyprus” come to mind.

      The parallels between the illegitimate states of Turkish Occupied Cyprus and Axerbaijan Sultanate are very strong. Both were created as a result of direct aggression by Turkish Army, both used ethnic cleansing of native populations and settlement of Turkic speaking nomads to create these artificial bastard states.

    • Want a tissue bro, or are you done crying?

      Unfortunately for you, the “illegitimate bastard state of Northern Cyprus” is just as legitimate as Artsakh- neither are recognized, neither are actual states in the eyes of the international community.

      ” Turkish Occupied Cyprus and Axerbaijan Sultanate are very strong”

      Not at all. Azerbaijan is a real country. Northern Cyprus is not. Pretty simple, even for you I assume.

    • {“When you choose to label Armenians as “Azeris” just because they say the word “separatist,” }

      Armenians ? they ? As in plural ?
      How about you find another ‘Armenian’ that refers to our indigenous Armenian brothers and sisters of NKR as “separatists”.

      Not _say_ the word “separatist” in a vacuum, but proactively label indigenous Armenians of historic Armenian Artsakh as, quote, “separatists”. A term regularly used by AzeriTatarTurk invaders and their Turcophile allies to denigrate and delegitimize the Armenian natives of the land.

    • “The U.N. General assembly has recognized Nagorno Karabakh as part of Azerbaijan, due to Azerbaijan’s diplomatic efforts. That pretty much sounds like international recognition to me.”

      Sorry, but this does not sound like anything other than the success of the Axerbaijan’s “caviar diplomacy” to me. And “Vahagn” sounds more and more like an Azeri Turk mouthpiece.

      Well, maybe he can tell us some more details about that vote… How many countries voted for this resolution? Out of how many countries represented in the General Assembly? How did the Security Council member states voted? How did the United States vote? What was the most common characteristic of the relatively few countries who voted for that resolution? Their predominant religion? How did Turkey vote?

      What are the exact words of the so-called “recognition”? Were there any specifics on the borders?

      Keep in mind that Artsakh was NEVER part of Axerbaijan. During the Turkish occupation in 1918 when this artificial entity with a name stolen from the neighboring province of Iran was first created, Artsakh was a “disputed territory”.

      In fact, the very reason that the Turkish bastard state was not accepted into the League of Nations was that it laid claims on too many lands it did not control including Artsakh, Nakhjevan, Iranian and Georgian territories.

      They later managed to convince the Bolsheviks to place Artsakh and Nakhjevan WITHIN the Soviet Socialist Republic of Azerbaijan. The key word is WITHIN, meaning they were inside its territory but not part of it. Moscow ruled over Artsakh (NKAO) and Nakhjevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic directly without Axerbaijan’s interference during these years.

      When Azeri Turk separatists declared their “independence” from the Soviet Union (despite the referendum where people voted against this) Artsakh was already not part of that artificial entity. The newly created Axerbaijan started a war of aggression against the free and independent Artsakh and lost it big time.

      Now, would these Tuvalus who voted for that UN resolution defend the “territorial integrity” on the artificially created Azerbaijan? I don’t think so.

    • ” How many countries voted for this resolution? Out of how many countries represented in the General Assembly? How did the Security Council member states voted? How did the United States vote? What was the most common characteristic of the relatively few countries who voted for that resolution? Their predominant religion? How did Turkey vote?”

      None of that matters. Not even a little. This matters:

      http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2008/ga10693.doc.htm

      This matters:
      ” the representative of the United States noted that the Minsk Group co-chairs had jointly proposed to the two sides last November a set of basic principles for the peaceful settlement of the conflict. The proposal comprised a balanced package of principles currently under negotiation. Today’s resolution did not consider the proposal in its balanced entirety. Because of that selective approach, the three co-chairs must oppose that unilateral text, which threatened to undermine the peace process.

      However, he [US representative] reaffirmed the negotiators’ support for the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, and thus did not recognize the independence of Nagorny Karabakh.”

      Read the last sentence again.

      “Now, would these Tuvalus who voted for that UN resolution defend the “territorial integrity” on the artificially created Azerbaijan? ”

      Well Vanuatu voted in favor of Armenia, so let’s call it even shall we?

  15. Ani, on these pages there are other “pure bred Hayastantsis” like yourself who have an underlying disapproval of the traditional Armenian diaspora, but are sophisticated enough to hide their tracks well. Your post is too crude to be taken seriously, you are actually harming your own cause. I suggest reading their posts carefully to learn how to do it and “get away with it”.

    As for your post, there is something very funny about a “pure bred Hayastantsi” who willingly leaves Armenia seeking greener pastures instead of building it, then preaches to the diaspora Armenians who have been forced into exile for the past century that they are diaspora “for a reason”. Thank you so much for teaching me my history which I had no clue about, I regret that I never got a proper Soviet education.

    I don’t know if no one ever told you, but there is something called “The Armenian Genocide” – I suggest you search it on the internet and read a little about it. Yes Ani, the diaspora is definitely a diaspora for a reason: but not the same reason that you are.

    “As an Armenian born in Yerevan, raised in Moscow, and living in Canada”…

    “If you were so concerned about Arrmenia’s situation, you would live there.”

    I see, so seeing that you are utterly not concerned about Armenia’s situation, why bother posting here?

  16. Ani, you were born in Yerevan and live in Canada, and you are talking about Diaspora not caring about Armenia? By that definition, you don’t care about Armenia, so you should not commenting as to who should rule Armenia.

    The idea that any democratic president will be like Saakashvili is precisely the kind of absurd notion that is advanced by Serzh’s regime. Saakashvilli actually turned into a dictator. The diaspora will not let Raffi do the kind of short-sighted acts that Saakashvili did (like turning away form Russia), because the Diaspora understands that that is not in Armenia’s interests. And certainly a Harvard-educated Armenian should be able to do a better job than a provincial cheburashka-look-alike Serzh (for those who don’t know, cheburashka was a Soviet era cartoon character resembling the non-elected president of Armenia).

  17. Barevacadres are besides themselves that their anointed Barevamessiah was crushed in an electoral landslide by 21 points, so have lost all connection to reality.

    Here is a good one: {“ The diaspora will not let Raffi do the kind of short-sighted acts that Saakashvili did (like turning away form Russia)”}.
    If Diaspora had any real influence on internal politics of RoA, they would have illegally installed unelected Barevamessiah as Dear Democratic Leader for Life already.

    Unfortunately for the minority Barevacadres, the crushing majority of RoA’s electorate wisely elected experienced war veteran President Sargsyan, who btw was participating in the bloody war that was raging in the Fall of 1992, the most desperate year for Armenians, while Mr. Hovannisian was doing what ?
    Maybe he was on a hunger strike to force Azerbaijani invaders to withdraw from Armenian lands.

  18. Sarkissian is a thief, thug and promotes the oligarch system. Its horrible for most Armenians and great for a hanful of politically connected..Thats what the disapora is against. Its amazing that these facts are completely ignored by the pro sarkissian posts..The US Ambassador recently said that the main obsticle to growth was the corrupt bribe system currently in place.

    No one here really cares for Hovanessian. We all care about Armenia and its people. We want Sarkissian, or any President, to stop stealing from his own people. THATS ALL!

    • John,

      I do not think that people who are against RH are necessarily pro SS. I, for sure, I am not pro SS, but I am against RH. Why? Because simply I do not think he is good enough of a leader and a diplomat for a president, and eventually it will do more harm to Armenia than good should he succeed in power garbing. To me RH is the Armenian version of Saakashvili. Am I happy with SS? No. Have you heard of the famous Armenian saying “Մրից ելավ մրջուրը ընկավ:”? I do not want that happen to us. That is all.

    • As has been discussed before, thinking that Raffi or any U.S.-born Armenian will necessarily become a Saakashvili is overly simplistic thinking, and an idea aggressively pushed by the Armenian authorities. One important difference is that Saakashvili was born and lived most of his life in Georgia and only studied in the U.S., whereas Raffi grew up in a democratic society. As a result, Raffi has far greater personal experience and knowledge about key democratic concepts such as due process than Saakashvili, who was essentially a product of the Soviet system briefly educated in the U.S. This was evident during Saakashvili’s rule, when he (even according to his Western supporters) disregarded due process and jailed people left and right with extremely harsh sentences. Had Saakashvili made Georgia truly democratic, a democratic Georgia would not let him make the kind of reckless decisions that he did (including attacking Ossetia).

      As stated before, the Armenian people, including the Diaspora, will not let Raffi make those kinds of reckless steps, such as cutting ties with Russia. When Raffi becomes president, his most important contribution will be making Armenia democratic and pushing for rule of law, something that Armenia urgently needs, and something that Serzh does not seem to be committed to. That makes Raffi far more useful for Armenia than Serzh.

  19. The reason that the Diaspora has little voice in current Armenia is because Armenians in general, whether inside or outside Armenia, have little voice in the country. It is a semi-authoritarian regime. Because of Serzh’s illegitimacy, the only forces that have significant influence on the government are foreign governments and organizations.

    When Raffi becomes president, he will draw legitimacy from the Armenia people, both inside and the Diaspora. If he tries to do something clearly contrary to Armenia’s interests, such as cutting ties with Russia, he will lose the support of the primary sources of his legitimacy–the Diaspora and the citizenry of Armenia–something that he will not be able to survive (as should be in a democratic country).

    You keep repeating the “21-point victory” by Serzh as if you are trying convince yourself while knowing that it is not true. Your bolshevik-style praise of Serzh aside (“our glorious leader bravely fought during the bloody war”–did you work as Kim Jong Il’s speech writer by any chance?), Serzh did not win by 21 points, he did not win at all. The “58 percent win” was manufactured by stuffing ballot boxes and using the names of Armenians who no longer live there, something that is not only widely believed by the people in Armenia, but also implicitly suggested by the OSCE Final report.

    Raffi has devoted his life to Armenia and the Armenian cause, even when he was a law student in the United States. His thesis on the legal aspects of the Armenian Genocide and the Diplomacy of the First Armenian Republic are reflections of an articulate and an erudite mind, something that you need to lead a country. One can barely keep a straight face when listening Serzh talk.

    Serzh was not the only one serving in the war, many Armenians did, and many of them, experienced and still able-bodied veterans, left the country to avoid the the corrupt regime. That is how one destroys Armenia from inside.

    • {“When Raffi becomes president,”}

      Not when, IF.

      Raffi Hovannisian got 36.75%.
      President Sargsyan got 58.64%.

      Only delusional Barvecardres think RH ‘won’.
      If RH runs in 2018, he will get less than 5%, about what Heritage got in the Parliamentary election in 2012.
      RH got 36.75% because LPT and Dodi Gago sat out the election.
      If RH was that popular, there would be a lot more than the 10 to 20 people that gather near his hunger strike bench.
      People have moved on: the show is over; he is no more than a fading curiosity now.

      And yes, President Sargsyan did win and won by a 21.89 point margin.
      Suck it up: your Barevamessiah was crushed in an open, fair, democratic election. Every major world leader has congratulated reelected President Sargsyan. How many Galactic leaders from BarevaUniverse have congratulated Dear Leader Hovannisian ?

      btw: how many of the Barevcardres showed up on March 24th in Glendale with their balloons ? Was it 10, 20, 50 ? (Out of an Armenian population of about 90,000 in Glendale.)

      See, the majority of ordinary people in both Western Diaspora and Armenia want nothing to do with the Barevabaloney.
      We want safety, security, and stability for RoA and NKR: so we can continue building our Armenia and NKR.
      We don’t want unstable personalities to wreck it by their juvenile, impulsive actions.

      And yes: thousands of Armenians fought during the NKR war. As did President Sargsyan, DM Colonel General Seyran Ohanyan, and many others in the current government.
      But Mr. Hovannisian did not.
      Wrapping oneself in the Armenian flag does not make one a patriot.
      Putting your life on the line certainly does.
      And that is a fact.

    • vahan,

      you should stick to commenting about the US. That’s your country and where you live, and by your standards, all the matters. Please let Armenians discuss issues related to their nation without throwing in your cockamamie ideas.

    • Sorry, AR, but we Armenian Americans (and in general Diasporans) will keep making our ideas heard regarding Armenia. Issues pertaining to Armenians concern all Armenians, including those in the United States. And by virtue of being part of democratic societies, we have vast experience and knowledge as to how successful democracies operate, knowledge that our compatriots in Armenia need.

  20. I mean, anyone who has been to Armenia knows what the reality is like over there (and knows exactly what the “brilliant” Serzh Sargsyan and his army of oligarchs are like). Comments by Avery and his ilk are just hot air, meant to distract from the very real and very serious issues Armenia faces and those who would like to make a difference.

  21. Vahagn, you bring up an interesting point when you say that Raffi cannot ignore Russia, because the Armenian people will not support that. I agree with that completely. I think people here are assuming that just because Raffi was born in the US, he does not know that Russia cannot be factored out. That is an overly simplistic view. The best would be to keep the same foreign policy with Russia but change the business and poltical environment and economy to be more like the US.

    If any Armenian is against Raffi becoming president, it does not mean you have to blindly defend the stranglehold successive regimes since independence. If you are a patriotic Armenian, the first order of business would have been to admit that there are some things that are simply not right in Armenia and needs to be changed asap. If everything was rosy, all those people would not be rallying behind Raffi. And if they are supporting Raffi because they are opposed to Serjh, that actually makes the situation in Armenia even worse, since that would mean the people have become so frustrated that they will “vote in anybody else that comes along”.

    I am also tired of seeing these silly posts polarizing this situation as if the interests of the western Armenian diaspora are not in line with the public of Armenia. Says who? Even if there are differences, there is no rule that our interests cannot complement each other rather than oppose.

    The system Armenia is running on must be changed where all Armenians can go there and practice their freedom in their own way and contribute to building the country rather than go through all the left-over Soviet bureaucratic red tape. This is what “regime change” is all about, it is not about kicking out Serjh so that Raffi can show off as president.

    For one thing, the politicians must not have business interests, especially where the free enterprise of the public is encroached on. This is were abuse of power comes in. I don’t know if Raffi will be successful or not, but it is clear that if he wants success he must deal with Russia the same way as Armenia has been so far, except that the Armenian system in place today is likely modeled after the Russian one, and that is where the dilemma is.

  22. No NKR is not a “separatist entity”: NKR declared its independence after the dissolution of the USSR: all legal.
    Here, you can educate yourself:
    http://www.nkr.am/en/referendum/42/

    AzeriTatarTurks and Turks use the term “separatist” when referring to Artsakhtis to denigrate and delegitimize the indigenous Armenians: I know of no Armenian in Armenia or Armenian Diaspora that uses that term.
    And I can see that you now know you slipped up badly using the Turcophile term “separatist” (….did you inadvertently reveal who you really are, buddy boy ?). You got stung, and in desperation manufactured something I did not write: show me where I wrote {“ Armenians were slaughtered like sheep because they worship their brats”}. And is “worship their brats” like “habergating” ?
    Did I write “slaughtered like sheep” ? You bet: many times. I learned it from the Bible, homes.
    [Romans 8:36 (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)]
    You consider the expression “slaughtered like sheep” the same as calling our Genocide victims “sheep” ? Are you that uneducated, Professor ? Or that desperate.

    {” By the way, Avery, given that you have stated that you are a U.S. citizen, where were you during the war?”}
    I was safely in United States: And ?
    btw: Vahagn, where were _you_ during the war ? You were at the front with your Barevemessiah: Yes ?

    {“ Given your clear loyalty to the president of another country, wouldn’t it be the honest, the manly thing to have your U.S. citizenship revoked? What are you doing being a citizen of my country and violating your oath to it?”}
    You know as little about Armenia as you do about “my country” United States: go educate yourself, Professor Habergate; US Law allows dual citizenship, or didn’t you know that ? Would you like me to list the dual citizens serving in US Federal Government ?

    And you are too confused after gulping down copious amounts of Hovannissian Kool-Aid to see the absurdity of your statement: let me habergate it for you; “given your clear loyalty to a presidential candidate of another country”, RoA, who btw renounced his US Citizenship and became RoA citizen, “wouldn’t it be…..etc, etc, etc.”. Like I said, buddy boy: when one believes 37 is a larger number than 58, everything goes haywire in one’s brain.

    One more thing: this is a story I have heard more than once, but have not research it, so do not know if it is true or false.
    If others know more about it, would like to know.
    It is no secret that there were about 170,000 Azerbaijanis who were living in Armenia for many generations, before most were forced out after the Sumgait, Kirovaband, and Baku massacres.
    Many of these Azerbaijanis had Armenian names, were fluent in Armenian and were virtually indistinguishable from native Armenians.
    Apparently not all of them moved to Azerbaijan. A lot of them supposedly moved to Armenian communities in the Western Diaspora.
    Their motives for doing so are unknown.
    But it would be unnatural for them not to be sympathetic to Azerbaijan and be hostile to Artsakhtsi Armenians. No ?

    • Avery, buddy boy, I hope you realize that you are progressively acting like a raving maniac. Most of your ranting is barely comprehensible. It’s entertaining, but you might want to think of the way it might poorly reflect on Armenians.

      So, let me get this straight. You were “safely in the United States” during the Karabagh war, and you are accusing Raffi of not fighting during the war? The sheer hypocrisy of pro-Serzh apologists the gift that keeps giving. If you have noticed, almost all such apologists here turn out to be Armenians who have left Armenia.

      At any rate, as I have said before, Serzh’s service during the war does not make him a legitimate or a worthy leader of Armenia. Hitler fought for Germany and destroyed it later. In fact, almost every self-destructive dictator started his career “fighting for his country.” The fact that Raffi left the comforts of America and devoted his life to the U.S. speaks volumes of his patriotism. Serzh’s war service may at best qualify him to be a defense minister, if when he steps down and is forgiven by the next administration.

      I like how you request me to debunk you. Per your request, here it is. Quoting Avery: “no wonder we were slaughtered like sheep by Turks. Turks glorify their military, while we glorify our spoiled brats.” https://armenianweekly.com/2013/02/23/a-story-of-defiance-activists-reject-international-observers-assessment-of-election/

      Not only you basically called our Genocide victims “sheep,” you blamed them for the Genocide. Don’t hide behind the Bible to justify your disrespectful attitude against our Genocide victims. The Bible was written long time ago, and phrases in it have a wholly different context. Just because a phrase appears in a Bible does not make it appropriate to use it against our martyrs.

      Your “sheep” comment is just one example of your self-hating low regard for the average Armenian person. Your other comments have reflected your attitude that the common Armenians are somehow “sheep.” You recently provided a metaphor of how Armenians need a ferocious “gampr” dog (a name for a dog used by shepherds in Armenia to guard their flock). Your poor “metaphor” necessarily implies that you view Armenians as helpless clueless sheep. This is important, because contempt for the common people is a sure sign for pro-government apologists. I don’t view my people that way, I believe our common people are perfectly capable of defending themselves and electing capable authorities to lead that defense. They don’t need Serzh’s clan to impose themselves on the people.

      I dont’ use the “separatist” term regularly, but when it’s necessary to debunk someone (like someone defending Serzh’s policy of not recognizing NKR), it’s fair game to point out that a result of that policy is the fact that NKR is merely a separatist entity. The term is also used in European reports on NKR. Perhaps you would like to call them “Azeris in hiding” and sound like a nutjob.

      And NKR’s declaration of independence does not mean that it is not a separatist entity. In fact, separatist entities become such by declaring independence. So, congratulations on debunking yourself. I will tell you this though. Given your excitement over the term “separatist,” and if you do have conclusive arguments that NKR is not separatist, instead of jumping up and down like a monkey, why don’t you go to the following wikipedia article and remove NKR from the list of separatist entities?

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_active_separatist_movements_in_Europe

      If you can manage to do it on a permanent basis, I will admit that you were right.

      By the way, calling Armenians who disagree with you “virtually indistinguishable Azeris among us” is a sure way to sound like a raging Nazi-like maniac. Using your logic, since you support a corrupt regime that is harmful for Armenia, one could say that you are harmful for Armenians and therefore you are an Azeri hiding among us. Especially when your “patriotic” posts are filled with a level of hysteria that is certainly harmful for Armenians’ reputation.

    • Vahan,

      you are doing more ranting than anyone else. Your continued insults toward anyone who does not agree with you, coupled with your false analogies of Hitler and Sargsyan, leave one wondering how much thought you’ve given to the issue.

      Also, since you are not an azerbaijani, please tell us what you have done for Armenia? Based on your posts you sound like a thoroughly Americanized individual, and I write that with no disrespect, however, why are you interested in Armenia and Armenians?

      Armenians may be good at many things, but sober political analysis is not one of them.

  23. Avery’s an anti-everything-western troll who loves to distract with hot air. The real issue has nothing to do with Raffi or Serzh or the war. The election is OVER! The issue is releasing the voter lists so we can see all the duplicate and other illegally added names. ( http://www.armenialiberty.org/content/article/24917621.html ) Of course, the guilty Serzh doesn’t want to release the inflated lists, so the people have to hit the streets to force him. It doesn’t matter what Avery say’s about Serzh, Raffi or the war. The people already voted and rightfully want their vote to count! They will win in the end and Serzh and anyone else who’s guilty of any crime will go to jail. And the point of the article was that the diaspora should get involved because Armenia belongs to all of us. Many of us will, or already HAVE, moved there and want democracy (not Thugracy). In LA, HUNDREDS of us will SCREAM in front of the Armenian Consulate @ 5PM @ 346 N. Central in Glendale. JOIN US!

  24. That should say: On April 7th, in LA, HUNDREDS of us will SCREAM in front of the Armenian Consulate @ 5PM @ 346 N. Central in Glendale. JOIN US!

  25. Hagop,
    The ones blowing hot air are blind supporters of Mr Raffi Hovannissian…..
    You guys seem to be discarding the exact same thing you are preaching over and over, aka; ‘democracy’ and ‘fairness’… Like it or not, there is a silent majority supporting President Sarkissian, you just see a little portion of that on this very site…

    Numerous european/foreign observers recorded major improvement in the latest presidential elections, praising Armenia for holding a more democratic elections compared to the last one… Go Armenia!

    • Where is this “silent pro-Serzh majority,” Lus? And why are they in the Diaspora if they support the government of Armenia? Whether you admit it or not, you and other pro-Serzh Armenians in the Diaspora have actually voted against the Armenian government with your feet (or tickets) by moving out of Armenia.

      Just because the last elections were more “democratic” than the last one (in 2008, when the government killed its own people) does not mean that the last elections were actually democratic. The last elections set such a low standard, that any fraudulent election without violence would be considered “more democratic.” The Europeans praise Serzh because he is serving foreign interests (both Russian and Western) despite the interests of his people. Even so, the final OSCE report stated that the pro-Serzh districts reported unusually high turnout, suggesting massive ballot-stuffing. The only opinion that matters is the opinion of the Armenian people, the legitimate owners of the country, not the foreigners.

    • Where is this silent pro-Serzh majority in Diaspora? If this “majority” is in favor of the Armenian government, why is it not in Armenia? Like it or not, you and other pro-Serzh Diasporans in effect voted against the Armenian government by your feet (or tickets) by leaving Armenia.

      “More democratic” does not mean “actually democratic.” The 2008 elections (which saw the killings of Armenians by their own government) set such a low standard that any rigged elections without violence would be considered “more democratic.” The foreign entities praise Serzh because he is serving foreign interests (both Russia and Western) despite the interests of the Armenian people. The only opinion that matters is the opinion of the Armenian people, who actually own the country, not the foreigners.

    • {“Where is this silent pro-Serzh majority in Diaspora?”}

      the simple concept of “silent” is not registering with Barevarevolutionaries: when the noisemaking Barevacadres call for a March 24th ‘March of Solidarity’ in Glendale and nobody but their cadres show up – out of Glendale Armenian population of about 90,000 – there is your silent majority.
      So how many Barevacadres with their barevaballoons showed up: 10, 20, 50 ?

      When AYF calls a public meeting to discuss the RoA Presidential elections at St Mary’s Church hall, how many people showed up: 100, 150, 200 ?
      In the center of Glendale: 90,000 Armenians.
      When the same AYF called for a protest last September in front of the Azerbaijan consulate, 1,500 people showed up.
      And people had to drive quite a distance from Glendale and nearby cities.

      There is your silent majority: cold, hard facts and figures.
      Of course when some people believe 37 > 58, not much you can do with them when it comes to numbers.

      {“If this “majority” is in favor of the Armenian government, why is it not in Armenia?”}

      What about you: why are you still living in USA.
      If you support the Barevarevolution so much, why are you not in Armenia barevarevolutionizing with your BarevaMessiah ?

  26. Robert Davidian, do you think sometimes the protests should be held during the work week? On Sundays, the consulate is closed. If the protest is held while there are people in the consulate, it could have more impact.

    For example, after Vahe Avetyan was killed by Nemets Rubo’s thugs, Armenians in Glendale protested against the consulate on July 5, 2013. However, it turned out that the consulate was closed on that day. They were closed on the previous day due to the July 4 U.S. independence day (as if the Armenian government cares about U.S. independence), but they extended their “holiday” to July 5 when they learned that there would be protest. Which was an act of cowardice typical of the Armenian authorities.

  27. I live in LA and have many friends, relatives, neighbors and coworkers, but I never met anybody who are pro for this government. Everybody is sick and tired of this corrupt government. I am sure it is the same thing in Armenia. I can not understand how some people can shut their eyes and mind in order to live in denial. We can not do this for the sake of our country and the people who has the ultimate right to live in a democratic country. It is a shame to steel the votes and then give false impression that they won the 58 percent. Only the naive people can believe this.

    • Only the naive and ignorant people can deny the obvious – this same old scenario was played so many times on other nations: Serbia, Ukraine, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, etc, etc.

      They will never agree with the results of elections that are not a win for their candidate. They will organize color revolutions and attempt to overthrow legitimately elected governments to install themselves and their corrupt clans.

      At the end, a country could lose 8-10 years of stability and progress on this political technology theater.

    • So because your neighbours, relatives and coworkers in your dearest LA are not ‘pro-government’, then no one is… hilarous indeed!

    • Art did not say “no one” in the Diaspora is pro-government. There are some hypocrites who live outside Armenia (including probably you) while praising conditions in Armenia. Los Angeles is a major center of the Diaspora, and if someone does not see a lot of pro-government hypocrites, that tells volumes about the existence of this “silent majority.”

    • He said ‘I have NEVER met anyone…’ Read carefully.

      And we know what kind of diasporans that ‘major centre’ called LA has produced…
      There can be found some quality Armenians in LA without a doubt but the general population is unfortunately too self-absorbed, genocide-obsessed, materialistic and empty…

    • Art said he never *met* anyone pro-government, and you (Lus) automatically inferred that he meant “noone *is* pro-government.” And I kindly explained to you that you were wrong. Are you even thinking before you type?

      Los Angeles has the kind of Diasporans who for years have devoted their time, effort, and hard-earned money to help our brethren in Armenia. Your generalized contempt for a large segment of our nation, whether it’s the LA community, the U.S. Diaspora, or the Diaspora in general is the perfect example of what I have said over and over about our pro-government apologists. One thing that is common about them is the self-hating bigotry against the Armenian people in general or at least against large segments of our people.

  28. By chance, I was born in New York. I have met so many of our struggling brothers and sisters in my 12 trips to Armenia. It is by chance that they were born there. I CANNOT sit comfortably in the US while they are suffering under the corrupt thumbs of their criminal government. These criminals are stealing their money, their justice and their hopes for a better future. Finally, on February 18th they saw these hopes and voted for Raffi Hovanissian and true democracy. WE CANNOT just sit back while this is stolen from them, too! Every Armenian in LA must join us next Sunday, April 7, 2013 at 5pm in front of the Armenian Consulate at 346 N. Central Ave. in Glendale, California. Make your voice heard! Please share this and see you there!

  29. Vahagn,
    First of all, read carefully what’s been said then try to comment… nobody talked about the diaspora… if anything, I believe diasporans (especially the ones residing in the States) should completely stay away from politics in Armenia… most are irrational, emotional, unpolitical and thus destructive despite their good will…

    The whole world is undergoing some deep recession and for what it’s worth the current administration in Armenia has been able to counter that in a very intelligent and astute way by expanding ties with Russia on one hand and Europe and America on the other hand… it suffices to open your eyes to see the progress… as I said we cannot have drastic changes in drastic measures in no time!

    • Lus, everyone on this page is talking about the Diaspora and its role in Armenia, in fact, that is the topic of this page, as clearly appearing in the title. Next time before you post on a page, read carefully where you are posting and think about what you are going to post before making a fool of yourself.

      The global recession is a favorite excuse used by the ruling thugs in Armenia and their hypocrite apologists like you. People have been leaving Armenia whether there was recession or not. Most of those who escape Armenia and come here to the U.S. talk about the absence of hope, the impunity of the thugs, and the lack of possibility of change as their reasons for leaving, now how the “global recession” affected Armenia. Serzh’s “success in expanding ties” with Russia and the West is not a progress, it is actually an example of a petty dictator bending over and selling out his country’s interests to foreign powers. That is why they can push him around and force their terms on him, like the protocols.

      Your hatred against the Diasporans, “especially the ones residing in the States,” only shows your ignorance. I highly doubt you are defending Serzh and his thugs while living under the dire conditions in Armenia. Please be honest and tell us in what country you are hiding safely while praising “progress” in Armenia.

      Armenia needs drastic changes, it needs systematic democratic changes now, before bleeding demographically till its final destruction. And we the Diasporans are going to do everything in our power to bring such change and prevent Armenia’s demise.

    • Correction: “Most of those who escape Armenia and come here to the U.S. talk about the absence of hope, the impunity of the thugs, and the lack of possibility of change as their reasons for leaving, NOT how the “global recession” affected Armenia.”

    • {“And we the Diasporans are going to do everything in our power to bring such change and prevent Armenia’s demise.”}

      We too, the silent majority Diasporans, are going to do everything in _our_ power to disrupt – legally, peacefully, intellectually – the disruptive and damaging activities of the noisy minority and their cohort whose irrational and impulsive actions may inadvertently bring about the demise of RoA and NKR.

    • To Avery. That is fine, that is how the democratic process works. Free exchange of ideas, until the best ideas prevail.

      But how does this “majority” intend to do it while being silent?

  30. Lus jan, I think you don’t want to accept the biggest truth that diasporan are building our country and you are escaping from your responsibilities by going to other countries. you don’t care about our homeland, you are searching other places to live and forget about it. Even my Hayastansi friend say this and praise our devotion to our land. Next time just think a little bit deeper before writing your comments.

  31. Vahagn
    You need to grow the hell up and start reading carefully
    I’m talking about Armenians generally… you indeed lack some basic background on History, politics and sociology…
    Considering the recession, as I said I believe it has not affected Armenia as badly… maybe due the wise leadership of President Sarkissian :)

    Considering me ‘hiding safely’ in my country… unlike you I am not hiding safely in America nor have I ‘immigrated’ anywhere…. I do not see the need to tell you where I live, but the country where I live is going through a much much deeper recession with a currency more devalued than the Armenian dram…
    But this is just typical of your confused kind, when you hear anyone making sense, you resort to emotional rants like the above one..

  32. THE TITLTE OF THIS THREAD IS:-Why the Diaspora should join Barevolution!!!!!
    I posted twice on same thread above 23rd and 25th March,that the Diaspora should first of all BE REPRESENTED in Armenia, in order to participate not only in this Barevolution but a score of other important issues…
    Without proper representation-at least in the Mionistry of DiasporaI wrote from our 5 main area Armenian community coutnries as permanent delegates therein,nothing could be done by INDIVIUAL or even groups going and shouting Hayastan to support Raffi´s Barevolutioon ….
    Nobody seems to like the idea.I suspect very much that it is the Armenian One person on his her own agian.if X says something then y must come up wioth another oidea…so on so forth ,No coordination no compromise on any important issue.i .m really tired of this..so I think I shall take a recess,not post here for while just go over yours now and then every few days just once or once a week. For nothing can be mutiuallya greed up amongst Armenians.
    I intend to go back to writing long lenght Articles and email them to Armenian(press,who BTW rarely publish myu non partisan articles. and ideed to many individuals.At least these latter may be abreast that the REMEDY does exist.It is another thing, we cannot c o pertate and realize ……almost nothing in harmoney and in unison.Thjat´s wehre we are real WEAK and turks know that and are laughing at us all the while….
    Right THIS ARATICLE ARF aw invites us to write under above Title…right????
    How come their Bureau and members in yerevan do not everyday support RAFFI is -like they have dubbed-Barevolution??pray tell me Avery and/or other

  33. Vahagn
    You need to grow the hell up and start reading carefully
    I’m talking about Armenians generally… you indeed lack some basic background on History, politics and sociology…
    Considering the recession, as I said I believe it has not affected Armenia as badly… maybe due the wise leadership of President Sarkissian

    Considering me ‘hiding safely’ in my country… unlike you I am not hiding safely in America nor have I ‘immigrated’ anywhere…. I do not see the need to tell you where I live, but the country where I live is going through a much much deeper recession with a currency more devalued than the Armenian dram…
    But this is just typical of your confused kind, when you hear anyone making sense, you resort to emotional rants like the above one..

    • Lus, you need to calm down before making a bigger fool of yourself. You are calling the Diasporans all sorts of names (“irrational,” “genocide-obsessed,” “empty”), and you are accusing others of being emotional? Really, how old are you, twelve? And when you post on a page clearly titled “Why the Diaspora should join Armenia’s Barevolution,” while insisting that “no one is talking about the Diaspora,” you need to either think before you type or stay away from this site before embarrassing yourself any further. But if you insist on commenting among adults, I don’t mind giving an immature brat some slapping around.

      According to official results, the recession caused a 15% decline in Armenia’s economy. And we should remember that there was not much economy to start with. When you say that “the recession did not affect Armenia as badly,” you are showing your ignorance on the subject. Yes, I am sure the recession was not that bad for Armenia. That is why the country is hemorrhaging with people. All due to the “wise” leadership of Serzh and his fellow thugs.

      So you are not hiding in the U.S. but are hiding somewhere else. If this country that you are living in is in such a horrible state compared to Armenia, why don’t you move to Armenia? You see how hypocritical you sound when you don’t think before you type?

  34. How can I contact Tania Sahakian!??! I need to contact her to find out about how I can participate and help my homeland Armenia. I visited Armenia for the first time last week and got the Armenian passport.
    I’m Armenian born and raised in Amman-Jordan.
    It would be great if someone would help me and tell me how I can get involved and help my people and country.

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