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Press Review


(Saturday, April 30)

“Haykakan Zhamanak” quotes David Phillips, the former chairman of the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC), as saying that there is a “crisis of democracy” and serious problems with human rights protection in Armenia. “The authorities must make sure that their policies promote real democracy so that the people can elect the leaders of their country facing very serious challenges,” Phillips is quoted as saying in an interview.

“Aravot” says the Armenian authorities only leave the impression of trying to stave off a “revolution” promised by opposition politician Aram Karapetian. “In reality, they support Aram Karapetian, even if they use rough methods of dealing with the opposition,” writes the paper. “As a result, someone who was little known, has an unserious reputation and emerged on the political arena from nowhere can instantly become a political heavyweight.” Still, the paper believes the authorities should have punished those who disrupted Karapetian’s rally in Sevan.

Interviewed by “Haykakan Zhamanak,” Karapetian says that even if the three parties making up Armenia’s governing coalition were sincere in their condemnation of the Sevan violence they lack the levers to prevent more such incidents in the future. “Robert Kocharian does not even take into account the concerns of the coalition which is considered his support base because he knows that his most reliable base is criminals,” comments the paper.

“The Americans have a strange habit,” Ashot Manucharian, another prominent politician, tells Haykakan Zhamanak.” “When they come across criminals they take the maximum out of them only to bring those criminals to justice in the end,” he says. “We are now taking part in that process. The criminals and their entourage also understand what’s going on, as a result of which they have begun taking nonsensical steps. Right now we are witnessing the uncontrolled behavior by a criminal regime.”

“Azg” reports that a former senior officer of Russia’s Federal Security Service, the former KGB, has accused Moscow of organizing the October 1999 terrorist attack on the Armenian parliament. Oleg Litvinenko, who was granted political asylum in Britain, said in a recent newspaper interview that the parliament killings were planned and carried out by the Russian military intelligence. “That special action allowed Russia’s political leadership to prevent the signing of a Karabakh peace accord,” he said. “The pace process was developing beyond Russia’s control.”

“Armenia’s archives are open,” writes “Hayots Ashkhar.” “Turkey’s claims about their being closed are a lie.” The direct of the Armenian National Archive, Amatuni Virabian, says not a single Turkish scholar or journalist has until now asked for a permission to see any documents kept there. “Only yesterday did we receive the first ever request from a Turkish citizen willing to work with the archives,” says Virabian.

(Vache Sarkisian)
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