“A culture of making counterarguments is almost totally absent in Armenia,” laments “Aravot.” “The first thought that occurs to an accused person in case of an accusation is this, ‘Who is plotting against me?’ The second thought is, ‘What should I do to make sure nobody is talking about my sins?’” The paper says this is especially true for government officials facing corruption allegations or other attacks from media. It says the same mindset was behind opposition deputy Zaruhi Postanjian’s removal from the Armenian delegation in the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly (PACE).
“Hraparak” says Armenia’s Army Day marked on Thursday is one of those occasions that see an upsurge in grandiose and hypocritical statements made by various government officials, politicians and other public figures. “Various ‘fedayeen’ and nationalists, lost and forgotten heroes and patriots overwhelmed by the nation’s woes come to the fore on such days,” the paper says in an editorial. “They visit the Yerablur [cemetery,] put a few flowers at the graves of prematurely fallen guys, eulogize about [war victims] with sad faces and end up in a restaurant.”
“Hayots Ashkhar” says the planned expansion of Armenia’s transport links with Iran will create new economic opportunities that will make the opening of the Turkish-Armenian border secondary to Armenia. “This doesn’t mean, of course, that Armenia is refusing to make use of such an opportunity,” contends the paper. “But with this, our country will deprive Turkey of a possibility to set preconditions for lifting the blockade.” It says the planned construction of an Iran-Armenia railway therefore has a more geopolitical than economic significance. Finding sources of funding for the massive project must be “an issue of pan-national importance” for the Armenians, it concludes.
In an interview with “Chorrord Inknishkhanutyun,” General Manvel Grigorian, a former deputy defense minister and the chairman of the Yerkrapah Union, says Armenia must not normalize relations with Turkey at the expense of genocide recognition. Grigorian also comments on the fact that many of the opposition members imprisoned after the February 2008 presidential elections are affiliated with Yerkrapah. “Clever people should get in and out of prison,” he opines. “That is also an experience.”
“Kapital” reports that the Armenian government has decided to get tougher on the widespread audiovisual, music and software piracy in the country. “According to estimates made by various international structures and companies, the rate of piracy in Armenia makes up 92 percent,” says the paper. “In terms of software piracy, Armenia is only behind Georgia, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka.”