“Yerkir” slams the work of the special parliamentary commission set up in May to oversee the investigation into the October 1999 shootings in the parliament. It says the National Assembly at last understood on Tuesday that the commission “has nothing essential to say” and is instead “executing political orders in the judicial sphere.” Those who wanted the commission’s creation are driven by a desire to “substantiate their biased views at any cost.”
“Aravot” and “Haykakan Zhamanak” discuss another “political order,” Wednesday’s debates in the parliament on stripping the fugitive deputy Vano Siradeghian of his parliamentary mandate. Both papers are convinced the initiative came from the authorities.
Public reaction to the September 25 murder in a Yerevan café of an Armenian man from Georgia draws pessimistic judgements about the current state of civil society from Hranush Kharatian, a leading Armenian sociologist. Interviewed by “Hayots Ashkhar,” she deplores the perceived lack of popular indignation with the crime reportedly committed by Robert Kocharian’s bodyguards. “Our entire society…is turning into a group of people who condone murder in one way or another, and, consequently, themselves become murderers.” Those who don’t want to put up with injustice choose to leave the country, according to Kharatian. Most Armenians no longer identify with their state. This, in Kharatian’s words, is a “psychological emigration.”
“Hayots Ashkhar,” on the other hand, maintains that Armenia has found itself in a better geopolitical position than neighboring Azerbaijan and Georgia in the wake of the September 11 terrorist hijackings in the United States. The authorities, it says, have again confounded critics’ predictions about Armenia’s looming international isolation. The paper looks forward to the improvement in Russia-West relationship, saying that Armenia stands to gain from it.
But a commentary in “Haykakan Zhamanak” points to Georgia as a “fresh field of Russian-American tensions.” Armenia should be concerned about the latest outbreak of fighting in Georgia’s breakaway region of Abkhazia not only because ethnic Armenian civilians were among its victims. Those forces that are behind the tension in Abkhazia pursue the far-reaching hidden aim: “to provoke a Georgian-Armenian conflict.”
The head of the Turkish-Armenian Business Association tells “Azg” that the private group has launched a “wide-ranging popular diplomacy” aimed at improving relations between the two nations. Kahan Soyak, who is currently in Armenia, claims that had it not been for activities of the association Turkey would have reacted much more harshly to the recognitions of the Armenian genocide. Soyak also calls for an “unconditional” support for the recently formed Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC). He thinks that the commission should expand its membership to include nationalist politicians from both sides, including “Armenia’s Dashnaks.” But even if the TARC fails to achieve its objectives it “will not mean the end of the world,” Soyak says.