Armenian opposition leader vows to respond in kind to force

Armenian opposition leader vows to respond in kind to force

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6 Apr 04

At a press conference given by the National Unity Party today,
Artashes Gegamyan answered questions from reporters.

[Unspecified journalist] What kind of assistance do you expect from
the Council of Europe, the USA and Russia?

[Gegamyan] Armenia is a member of the Council of Europe and the
OSCE. These organizations have adopted the Geneva Convention on Human
Rights and Basic Freedoms which has been signed by Armenian President
Robert Kocharyan. We hope those countries will tell us and urge us to
honour what we have signed.

[Journalist] What will the National Unity Party do, if all the roads
leading to the city and the Freedom Square are blocked on 9 April?

[Gegamyan] The same as yesterday, I can only see a geometric
progression of things. At least 11 political parties, nine of which
are members of the Justice bloc, will join us.

[Journalist] However, what will you do if the rally does not take

[Gegamyan] Don’t worry, they simply don’t not know that we knew about
everything well in advance. I don’t know why but I think Robert
Kocharyan will tender his resignation within the next few days.

[Journalist] Have you discussed the question of giving guarantees to

[Gegamyan] Your question is rather tricky. We give guarantees to any
citizen provided he has not committed any crimes. The law will prevail
in the country.

[Journalist] What do you mean when you say that the authorities rely
on criminal elements?

[Gegamyan] Open the second page of Aravot [Tomorrow] newspaper, look
at the picture of Gro from Artashat, who is not an academician but a
criminal element.

[Journalist] It is expected that more people will turn up [for rally]
on 9 April. Do you think, eggs will again be thrown?

[Gegamyan] Certainly, they will without fail try to stir up mass
disorder. We shall do everything we can to avoid that. By doing so
they will further incite the situation. If people before were more or
less apathetic and indifferent, since yesterday they have been feeling
quite angry. Students, for example, were not at all allowed to attend

[Journalist] Have the authorities taken any steps to meet you?

[Gegamyan] No, there was no such initiative. Only what you already
know. I mean yesterday’s statement by the Armenian Revolutionary
Federation – Dashnaktsutyun.

[Journalist] Does that mean that you are planning to avoid
disturbances on 9 April?

[Gegamyan] We will respond in kind. We shall use words in response to
words, but if they resort to force, we shall respond in kind.

[Journalist] This is what they want.

[Gegamyan] That is right, but [Defence Minister] Serzh Sarkisyan and
[President] Robert Kocharyan see only blood, although hardly anybody
saw them in battlefields.

[Journalist] Do you have any statements from embassies? Do you know
their reaction?

[Gegamyan] Yes, do not worry, justice will prevail.

[Journalist] What will you do, if suddenly someone opens fire in the
air and panic starts. Have you drawn up any mechanisms as it is
difficult to guide panic-stricken people?

[Gegamyan] Yesterday standing in between blocked roads, I told people
that loathsome persons might fire. Naturally, I will go first.

[Journalist] Will Robert Kocharyan not fire on people?

[Gegamyan] He will do worse. He will rouse the feeling of fear in
people. This is more dangerous than firing in the sky. Do you think a
man from Dilizhan was injured incidentally in the rally? By this, they
plant fear in parents so as they do not let their children out of home
in the future.

[Journalist] It was broadcast yesterday that the opposition had
destroyed cameras. Why did you do that?

[Gegamyan] This despicable lie was circulated by Aylur [TV]. If
someone dares to “sneeze” at Public TV’s camera, a criminal case would
be brought against him. Aylur is guided by the principle of Goebbels’
propaganda: one should circulate mean lies to be believable.

[Journalist] Will there be a procession on 9 April?

[Gegamyan] The Justice bloc and the National Unity Party are currently
planning to hold a meeting on 9 April.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS