Sunday, March 27, 2011

Week 21-27 March: Wisdom or Mourning

I entered Liberty Square as a proud citizen to fulfill my political, civil, and constitutional rights […]” So Raffi Hovannissian, the charismatic, pragmatic, experienced chairman of Heritage Party (HP) explained why he had started a hunger strike in Liberty Square, in Yerevan.
What happened: on the 13th March, in the midst of the international storm, when already voices were whispering about the “Mubarakization” of Armenia, the HP, parliamentary firm but not radical opposition, convened a plenary session. The resolution adopted enlist an ambitious plan of State building to end oligarcs’ crystallizing power over society that is creeping in both socio-economic and political spheres and that may eventually lead to a point of polarization where only a sharp break is foreseeable. A brave act of wisdom versus tardy crocodile mourning?
(Full text of the HP resolution/13 March,

After the adoption of the resolution, Raffi Hovannisian started his hunger strike. At his tenth day of “civil fasting” or “political fasting” he received the visits of Hovik Abrahamyan, speaker of the National Assembly, the vice speaker Samvel Balasanyan, the head of the Republican faction Galust Sahakyan and others MPs.
Years ago I had a long and in depth exchange with Raffi Hovannisian about democracy and Armenian needs and priorities. I was positively impressed by his intellectual honesty, realism and uncompromising civil firm belief. Plus his political skills which are, by the way, broadly recognized: it should be recalled that recently Grigory Karazin has paid him a visit, and it doesn’t happen so frequently to see the Russian Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs sitting with opposition leaders in a friendly country.
He’s definitely a resource for Armenia, and hopefully a fruitful one.

On the other side of the forever-closed border it’s again time for mourning a soldier. On the 23rd the deputy head of the press service of Azerbaijani Defense Ministry reported about a new cease fire violation which caused the death of Samir Agayev, born 1986, deployed near the village of Ashagi Abdulrahmanli, Fizuli region. There is indeed the need to replace the contact line between the two forces with a no-weapon zone. Otherwise there might be no way to prevent an escalation.

The Co-Chairs of the Minsk group released the “Executive Summary of the "Report of the OSCE Minsk Group Co-Chairs' Field Assessment Mission to the Occupied Territories of Azerbaijan surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh", urging a much necessary improvement of the situation on the ground (full text,
Again, wisdom vs mourning?

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