“The Dashnaks and members of the AZhM (a party led by Vazgen Manukian) reckon that they were right to do a revolution against [President Levon] Ter-Petrosian in the 1990s because they embodied all the virtues and the best aspirations of humanity,” writes “Aravot.” “Therefore, their cause was just. But now that Ter-Petrosian supporters are doing a revolution against them, the same people, notably the newly appointed Deputy Foreign Minister Shavarsh Kocharian and presidential adviser Garnik Isagulian, who had called for the hanging [of Ter-Petrosian and his entourage] in the past, are sure that revolution is unacceptable, dangerous and beneficial for dark foreign forces.”
“Aravot” sees a similar lack of consistency in the Ter-Petrosian camp as well. “Supporters of the first president are convinced that the movement organized against them in the 1990s was an adventure by a group of persons holding a grudge against them, whereas their current revolution is clean, crystal clear and aimed at national salvation,” explains the paper.
Interviewed by “Aravot,” opposition politician Gurgen Yeghiazarian, who had served as deputy head of Armenia’s National Security Service (NSS) in the 1990s, dismisses government claims that three of the eight civilian victims of the March 1 unrest in Yerevan were killed by tear gas grenades. “How can you believe in those fairy tales?” he says.
“Hraparak” quotes lawyer Artur Grigorian as condemning Armenian courts for rubber-stamping the arrest of every single opposition member targeted by the government crackdown. “They don’t care about Article 5 of the European Convention on Human Rights,” he says, adding that Armenian judges are only pretending to be adhering to the country’s laws and international conventions. “I think these actions will be strongly denounced in the European Court [of Human Rights,]” says Grigorian. “It is unfortunate that our judges are playing with the international standing of our country and state.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” continues to attack Ter-Petrosian’s newly formed Armenian National Congress (HAK), labeling it a “fifth column” of unspecified “external forces.” “The HAK declaration is a smokescreen for disguising its aim to exploit difficulties awaiting the country and to seize power,” comments the paper. It is worried that the HAK may seek to become a “second state within the state.”
“Hayk” counters government claims that the opposition is discrediting Armenia in the international arena. “The authors of this primitive thinking do not understand or do not want to understand that Armenia’s positions are weakened not by peaceful demonstrations but rigged elections,” says the opposition daily.
“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” cites Andranik Migranian, an Armenian-born Russian pundit, as saying in a Russian newspaper interview that President Serzh Sarkisian is finding himself in an increasingly difficult situation. “He can not fully blame the events of March 1 on Robert Kocharian and is dependent on the latter’s resources to a large extent,” says Migranian. “The situation is compounded by rising prices of consumer goods.”