“Zhamanak” claims that the arrest of the controversial police General Hovannes Tamamian has little to do with charges leveled against him. “Was it the first time that a police official blamed a crime on an innocent person?” argues the paper. “Was it the first time that an innocent person in Armenia was held accountable for others’ crime? If somebody claims so, he will probably be laughed at. Therefore, it is evident that Tamamian’s arrest has nothing to do with a determination to strengthen the rule of law in the country or change the police behavior. Tamamian was arrested for violating government, rather than state, laws.” The paper claims that he stands accused of doing things that remain the norm in the Armenian security apparatus.
Aram Sarkisian, a leading member of the opposition Armenian National Congress (HAK), tells “Aravot” that the opposition alliance did not tell supporters to march to the presidential palace in Yerevan last week because “the Congress is not an adventurer.” “The Congress wants to take calculated and correct steps,” he says. “The Congress will get into a real process of regime change when it is 100 percent confident in its victory, when it has clear support not only from the public but the international community.”
“Haykakan Zhamanak” claims the Armenian government’s stated efforts to support agriculture could actually lead to the sector’s “complete destruction.” The paper points to government plans to create 700 hectares of orchards in three Armenian regions with a new $52 million external loan. They will be managed by a state-owned company to be set up for that purpose. The paper alleges that the company will drive thousands of fruit farmers into bankruptcy.
“Hayots Ashkhar” comments on a controversy over a luxury car recently acquired by Archbishop Navasard Kchoyan, head of the largest Ararat Diocese of the Armenian Apostolic Church. The paper dismisses as “ludicrous and demagogic” Kchoyan supporters’ claims that by highlighting the car ownership, the Armenian media plays into the hands of religious “sects” at odds with the church. “Even a single clergyman’s hedonistic weakness for Bentleys contributes ten times more to the spread of subversive sects than a hundred proselytizing and fanatic sect members,” it says. “That is, if there are such self-indulgent priests, no sect members will be needed to repel people from the Armenian Apostolic Church.”