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Press Review


“Haykakan Zhamanak” ridicules government claims that Levon Ter-Petrosian managed to pull big crowds in Yerevan because of a mass hypnosis and psychosis of the population. The paper says the Armenian government and law-enforcement officials have too primitive a mindset to understand that people may take to the streets and fight for their rights.

“Hayots Ashkhar” editorializes that Armenia’s ruling elite has so far excelled only in oppressing opponents and using government positions for personal gain. “One can force the business elite to share [their wealth] with the society and meet its basic demands only at the gunpoint,” says the paper. “In essence, the state is supposed to limit personal and factional interests and play the role of such a ‘gun.’” But it is not performing that role because political and economic interests are becoming increasingly intertwined in Armenia. “Without pressure, the national elite will not change for the better,” continues the paper. Such pressure, it says, can only result from “serious external and internal threats” that are present at the moment.

“What has been happening in Armenia since March 1 -- killings, massive repressions, arrests, persecutions, intimidations, limitations of civil rights, a witch-hunt, punitive actions -- had been perpetrated in the same style and with the same cynicism in Italy, Germany and other countries infected by the poison of fascism during 1920-1940s,” alleges “Hayk.” “And if European observer missions do not note the similarities, then we have the right to cast doubt on their ability to observe. We Armenians note those similarities and are bewildered that civilized Europe is not seeing or turning a blind eye to them.”

Interviewed by “Iravunk,” opposition politician and analyst Hmayak Hovannisian makes a case for an independent international investigation into the March 1 clashes in Yerevan. “I think that only such an investigation can pacify the public,” he says. “We must not allow the history to repeat itself.”

(Atom Markarian)
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