“It is clear that 15 years ago Armenia’s future was perceived in a totally different fashion and expectations were greater,” writes “168 Zham.” “But the main value of independence is that you yourself are responsible for the existing situation, and if something is wrong you should look for reasons inside yourself. True, it takes maturity. But you will agree that 15 years is a lot of time.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says that for the first time in many centuries Armenia has been an independent state for over a decade and is on a path of development. “The Armenian people, who have been through and overcome many upheavals, will face new challenges as well and will create a prosperous life for their children in the near future and will never retreat from the difficult but honorable path of independence and sovereignty,” writes the paper.
“We have been the masters of our coveted independence for 15 years, but is this really the independence we had expected?” asks “Azg.” The paper says most ordinary Armenians have watched the preparations for the celebration of the independence anniversary from the sidelines. “This independence is not yet the independence desired by them,” it claims. “Their coveted independence has yet to come. But they know that this country is theirs in any case.”
“Until May 1994 the challenge [facing newly independent Armenia] was the war [in Karabakh] and we dealt with that challenge with honor,” editorializes “Aravot.” “That was followed by a very natural stagnation, fatigue, disillusionment.” The key challenge now, says the paper, is to turn Armenia into a “modern democratic state.”
“168 Zham” says that during the third Armenia-Diaspora conference, which finished its work in Yerevan on Wednesday, the Armenian government sought a “much more concrete thing” than it did in the past: money for developing rural regions of the country. The paper claims that many of the Diaspora participants were disappointed with that, saying that the conference was pointless and that they would have rather donated the cash they have spent on travel and accommodation to the government’s rural development plan.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” reports that President Robert Kocharian on Wednesday visited the Yerablur military cemetery in Yerevan and laid a wreath at the grave of the slain Prime Minister Vazgen Sarkisian for the first time in several years. In a separate report, the paper also says that after the September 6 murder of senior taxman Shahen Hovasapian the drivers of Armenian ministers and other senior government officials have a new duty: to keep an eye on their cars parked outside government buildings and make sure that nobody plants bombs under them.