“It can be said that April 24 is not a day of national unity,” editorializes “Aravot.” “The reason for that is that it is not possible to unite only around the past. Especially given that this particular event of the past was disastrous for our nation with its course and consequences. ‘They slaughtered us, they massacred us, they took away our lands.’ Can one build national unity solely upon this foundation? If this how is our Armenian structures in the Diaspora do the job of preserving Armenianness, then that is unfortunate. Sooner or later our grandchildren, especially in Europe and America, will ask, ‘What kind of a nation are we, if the basis for our identity is a memory of being slaughtered and massacred?’ The unity of a nation must be built not only on the correct and sober evaluation of the past but, more importantly, a common vision for the future.”
“Zhamanak Yerevan” carries in this regards the following excerpts from a past article written by the fugitive former Interior Minister Vano Siradeghian: “The Armenian prefers the historical homeland to the real homeland. He does so because the historical homeland does not require care. That homeland doesn’t require duties, doesn’t require hard work, has no need for defense. And the good thing about that homeland is that you don’t have to live there. For many centuries we have been turning parts of our homeland into a historical homeland and attaching ourselves to it with a collective, non-binding and emotional love. The Armenian places collective love for nothing above collective existence.”
“Azg” condemns opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrosian and his allies for urging supporters to gather in Liberty Square on Thursday to march to the genocide memorial in Yerevan and “inject a new meaning and symbolism” into the annual commemoration. “Every person considering himself an Armenia must ask today, on April 24, ‘Why didn’t you find another day for coming to power? Why are you trying to turn our mourning procession, the longing for the homeland stolen from us, our fury against the inhumanness of the mankind, our determination to assert our national rights into a struggle for power? Before speaking on behalf of the people did you ask for our opinion?’” writes the paper. April 24 is “not the right day” to protest against the government, it says.
“As far as democracy is concerned, Armenia is at the crossroads today,” the human rights ombudsman, Armen Harutiunian, tells “168 Zham.” “We will now follow either the path of democracy or the path of authoritarianism. It is up to us to decide. Nobody -- neither the U.S., nor the Council of Europe -- can force us. In this sense we are now in a fateful situation. We were not quite democratic. That is why all this happened.”