“Yerkir” comments on one of Armenia’s two independence holidays with a string of philosophical questions. Those include, “Who needs independence: the individual, the public or the people? Is independence more of a freedom than an obligation? Is it possible for a human being to feel unfree in an independence country or, on the contrary, for a people to be almost happy under foreign rule? Why is it that having obtained the coveted independent statehood the Armenians treat it like foreigners? Why doe we perceive the current Republic of Armenia perceived to be a state with reservations?”
“There is now an almost established impression that we just don’t know how to live independently,” “Yerkir” adds. “We have long exhausted time given for the transition period. One is only left to govern the Armenian country with conscience, ideas and devotion.”
Another weekly, “Ayb-Fe,” notes that the leaders of the short-lived independent Armenian republic that existed from 1918-1920 were far more modest and honest than the current Armenian rulers. “The [first republic] rulers were conscious that a government post is an opportunity to serve the nation and not a source of enrichment,” the paper says.
“Haykakan Zhamanak” says there is now a “crisis of trust” not only in the Armenian government but the opposition as well. The paper says it has conducted a random opinion poll on the streets of Yerevan which indicates a decrease in popular expectations from the opposition. It says Armenians are now “confused and in search for something new.”
“I do realize that many want regime change to be achieved as soon as possible and put stricter demands to the opposition,” one of the opposition leaders, Aram Sarkisian, tells “Aravot.” Sarkisian compares the opposition campaign to sporting games played by teams. “So the most important thing is to organize a common game and the fact that the rallies continue to build up,” he says.
“Hayots Ashkhar” publishes documents purporting to show that two senior members of Sarkisian’s Hanrapetutyun, Aramazd Zakarian and Zhora Sapeyan, admitted to criminal charges leveled against them before being released by jail earlier this week. The paper says Zakarian signed a written statement in which he apologized for his “inappropriate” attacks on President Robert Kocharian at a Hanrapetutyun rally last February.
“The international isolation of Kocharian’s regime is gradually deepening,” writes “Iravunk,” pointing to recent statements by Western governments and human rights organizations criticizing Yerevan. “All of that suggests that the issue of regime change will have more serious justifications in the autumn. This fact means that there is growing competition in Armenia over the division of the skin of the dying bear.”