(Saturday, September 9)
Giro Manoyan, a spokesman for the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun), tells “Hayots Ashkhar” that Armenian-American groups have scored more points in Washington despite a Senate committee’s confirmation of the new U.S. ambassador-designate to Armenia. He says their vocal support for the outgoing envoy, John Evans, was a further step towards U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide. Manoyan says Richard Hoagland’s anticipated confirmation by the full Senate will not mean “the end of the world.”
Meanwhile, “168 Zham” quotes Evans’s wife Dana as saying that he was recalled for “telling the truth” about the genocide. “This has really been a very emotional period for us because,” she says. “My husband was recalled because he had told the truth about the events that took place in 1915. Unfortunately, he is being punished for saying the right things. I think the punishment for his statements was extremely harsh.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” notes that Arman Babajanian, editor of “Zhamanak Yerevan,” was sentenced on Friday to four years in prison for draft evasion by the same judge who had given a suspended jail term to a bodyguard of President Robert Kocharian convicted of beating to death an innocent man. The paper says the judge, Mnatsakan Martirosian, is also the one who handed “ridiculously short prison sentences” to participants of a 2005 deadly gunfight in Yerevan.
“Golos Armenii” discusses the widely held belief that parliament deputies Victor Dallakian and Tatul Manaserian have left the opposition Artarutyun (Justice) alliance fore less than ideological reasons. The paper says that while Dallakian may argue that he was elected to parliament from a single-mandate constituency, Manaserian won his seat on the party list basis and owes it to Artarutyun. “Had it not been for that alliance and Stepan Demirchian’s good will, Manaserian would have shared, with all his academic degrees and titles, the fate of those educated and competent people who could benefit the country but are deprived of such possibility.”
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” accuses the Armenian authorities of methodically whipping up popular anger at ArmenTel in order to force the company’s Greek owners to sell it at a knock-down price. “According to reliable information, the area of mobile phone connection has been granted to [former prime minister] Armen Sarkisian’s Vtel, while the fixed-line phone network to some Russian company,” says the paper. It claims that London-based ex-premier is backed by Defense Minister Serzh Sarkisian.