Dr. Arshavir Gundjian

The Armenian People Have Serious Demands of Authority Holders in Armenia

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By Dr. Arshavir Gundjian

Our homeland of Armenia and Artsakh, the location of the heart and soul of our people, today faces an existential crisis. In such a critical situation, certain demands must be presented to the responsible authorities of these lands in the name of the entire Armenian people. It is clear that there is no lawful way for the majority of the Armenian population dispersed throughout the world to express its demands. Consequently, I am assuming that responsibility by attempting to voice the thoughts and concerns of the silent majority in this article, as well as the demands which are their logical conclusions.

This article is directed at all those in positions of authority in the homeland, starting with, but not limited to, the members of the current regime.  The other responsible parties include the current president of Armenia, members of the parliamentary opposition, members of the various public and political organizations outside of parliament – especially the countless political parties, the entire intellectual elite, and the senior clergy of the Church of Armenia, led by the Catholicos of All Armenians.

When we say that the current crisis is existential, that means that there is the danger of completely losing our ancient homeland, and the time to raise the alarm, if it is not already too late, is now. Afterwards, once the catastrophe does take place, it will be pointless to engage in recriminations and condemnation.

It is with such thoughts that our people demand objective steps in at least three directions from the aforementioned authorities, separately and collectively.

The first demand is directly addressed to the current regime. Those in power shortsightedly continue to restrict themselves to people they consider as loyal, for governmental work. These are evidently proven to be insufficient, and often inexperienced and incapable of meeting all the current political, diplomatic, defense and economic challenges facing Armenia and Artsakh. Instead, the regime should utilize all existing competent forces available to the Armenian nation.

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It has also become clear that the authorities, out of inability and desperation, have begun to resort to anti-democratic steps, such as using the police force to prevent a legally elected official from entering his place of work. The Armenian people find such behavior to be unacceptable and demand an immediate end to it.

The second demand is directed at the broader group of people with authority, outside of the actual government. While it is demanded that those in power in the government bring in all competent forces from outside their narrow circles, it is also demanded concurrently of the broader group to indicate their readiness to take constructive and practical measures to aid the authorities in power today.

In the current crisis, what is expected is the formation of an extraordinary governing body of accord, through which Armenia and Artsakh can in every field take advantage of the best forces of the land, without having to raise the prospect of new special elections. It is clear that in the current domestic political atmosphere, new elections can only have further divisive and destructive consequences.

In this vein, it is demanded that the intellectual and spiritual elite of the country through speeches, appeals and opinion pieces encourage, facilitate and finally openly and forcefully demand such an overarchingly constructive approach.

Finally, the third expectation and demand of the Armenian people concerns the great national and fundamental omission of the Armenian diaspora’s involvement in the current existential crisis. Its multifaceted potential has so far only been involved in the most minimal way in the work of salvation of the homeland, despite its huge financial, intellectual and human resources.

We readily accept that the diaspora today is not organized in a unified general manner. However, it does have many organizations which have demonstrated fruitful activities as well as individuals who have achieved extraordinary successes. The great majority of both are ready to help their homeland.

Certainly it will not be easy to organize and create a structure to put this great force to work in favor of the homeland. However, the state is obliged to realize this at least with some partial success. In this respect, the approaches of both past and present administrations in Armenia have been superficial, incomplete and unacceptable. We diasporan Armenians are at the ready to seriously assist in this organizational task.

In conclusion, I confidently repeat that the three aforementioned demands are the expression of the will of the silent majority of the Armenian people directed towards all those bearing responsibility for the homeland in the broadest sense of the word. I believe that history will judge all those forces and individuals who aid in their realization with high praise, and on the other hand, condemn those who prevent it with severe condemnation.

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