It Is Important To Keep An Uninterrupted Circle of Tension
Interview with Arsen Kharatyan, specialist in eastern studies and
conflict management, on recent act of civil disobedience against rise
in fare which ended in victory of citizens, and the fare was reduced
Arsen, do you agree that civil movements win and political movements
lose in Armenia?
First, it should be noted that the City Hall said the decision has
been suspended temporarily, so it is early to define the latest
success of this civil movement as victory. It is important to clarify
one thing: this is a sector, a specific issue which affected the
majority of Yerevan people, and I think this is the reason why the
movement grew so quickly. In other words, a citizen, even a person who
is not related to civic activities, made up his mind to resolve a
problem relating to him, went out to the street, resolved the issue
right away and got back home. The activities that followed, the sit-in
and so on did not get such wide public support. I mean the initiative
`We’ll not pay 150 drams’ and the movement. Now the civic activists
are trying to continue the fight but the past experience shows that
activity in such a scale will be difficult unless there is an issue
that affects the interests or budget of many people.
However, the activists are determined, they say they will protest
until the two officials of the city hall resign.
The guys are doing a fair job, they continue to demand the dismissal
of two criminal public officials and I wish they succeeded. I don’t
want to guess how the sit-in will end but it is important to keep an
uninterrupted circle of tension.
Do you think the government achieved a victory by meeting the public
demand? They said the international community appreciated it. They
also say that Serzh Sargsyan may be using this to punish Taron
Margaryan for the election result.
Unfortunately, the international community was not aware of what was
happening in Yerevan. I did not spot a single article in the
international media. As to Serzh-Taron relations, I find the
controversies you implied or their discussion absolutely groundless.
Taron Margaryan is one of the operators of Serzh Sargsyan’s orders and
I do not see any conjuncture between 26 Baghramyan and the City Hall.
If someone else was the mayor, the issue would be resolved similarly.
I would like to refer to Edgar Arakelyan’s post make sure that you do
not say everything is planned at 26 Baghramyan if this time the
movement wins again.
This action was preceded by Hrachya Harutiunyan’s case which also had
a mobilizing effect. Was it an expression of Russian chauvinism?
Since independence Russia’s reputation has not been this low in
Armenia. I think the reason is the overlap of several processes. The
news on rise in gas price and sale of weapon to Azerbaijan coincided
with humiliating treatment of our compatriot in the Russian court
seasoned with anti-Armenian coverage by the Russian journalist.
Political, civic activists and networks formed over Hrachya
Harutiunyan’s case because it was perceived as something that hurt the
dignity of Armenians. However, it is necessary to keep in mind that
anyone’s right can be and is violated in Russia, whether on ethnic,
religious, sexual, political or other grounds.
Is the killing of the Turkish shepherd also viewed from the political
point of view?
It is not easy to make a full picture of the incident from the press
reports and official statements. There were judgments that it could
have been a provocation but for me personally the issue is that the
Turkish citizen was killed on the Armenian-Turkish border but Russians
made explanations. Official Yerevan only dispatched a condolatory
cable to Ankara in answer to the request of the Turkish foreign
ministry for clarifications.
Story from Lragir.am News:
From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress