Dr. Arshavir Gundjian

Inappropriate Toronto Demonstration Directed Against Wrong Targets


By Dr. Arshavir Gundjian, C. M.

Special to the Mirror-Spectator

During this period, our homeland and the Armenian people, both in the homeland and in the diaspora, are living through one of the roughest periods in our modern history. In this period of severe physical and psychological crises, it is inevitable and even expected that our people, facing irreversible losses to the entire territory of the homeland, express its anger with righteous revulsion under the pressure of successive profound disappointments.

In the diaspora, in our turn, as responsible Armenians, many of us have considered that one of the main duties of our lives, within the limits of our abilities, is to devote an important part of our time and material and intellectual resources, to serve our nation.

As a result of this situation, in such an electrified atmosphere of justified anger, it would be difficult to find any Armenian in the entire diaspora who would not feel the need to participate in protest or aid efforts in one way or another in favor of our people.

Our complaint and anger is in the first place directed at our age-old opponents, the Azerbaijanis and the Turks. Our protest is successively addressed to the other nations of the world, especially the so-called great nations, which are supposedly committed to implementing justice according to international standards. The latter also deserted us today. Shame on them, a thousand times over.

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Finally, in the ranks of those responsible are inevitably, in Armenia and Artsakh, the so-called political forces of the day who have assumed the responsibility of the political leadership of the country, which are divided into groups called the government and the opposition. Among all the abovementioned guilty ones, the latter in particular are responsible for the heinous crime of bringing the homeland to the edge of the existential abyss.

Facing this deplorable and unbelievable national situation, it is our profound duty, especially in the diaspora, to realize that today there is one supreme sanctity, the Armenians’ independent statehood, that is, the Republic of Armenia with all its symbols, and to disseminate that knowledge. The statehood of Armenia and its symbols are superior to and more sacred than any political movement, party or leader. In the diaspora in particular, those symbols are our national flag, the embassy of the Republic of Armenia and the ambassador of the Republic of Armenia who heads the latter. These three are our supreme sanctities as Armenians and we must stand up for them.

That is why, last weekend in Toronto, on the occasion of an important event of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund, the demonstration that was made against the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Armenia to Canada Anahit Harutyunyan, preventing her to be present at that initiative for the benefit of the Armenian nation, was completely inappropriate, and even more seriously, fundamentally wrong and reprehensible. This ambassador is known throughout our community for her exceptional characteristics as a skilled diplomat, as a result of her influential interventions in Canadian diplomatic circles, as well as a wholehearted encourager of all important initiatives of our community, without exception.

Undoubtedly, we all have justified serious criticisms about the political circles and authorities who have assumed responsibility today in our homeland of Armenia-Artsakh. We also have comments regarding some of the ways the Hayastan All Armenian Fund operates.

However, there are right and wrong ways of expressing all this.

The demonstration which took place in Toronto was completely inappropriate and wrong. The time and energy wasted there should have been directed against the Azerbaijani and Turkish ambassadors, and even, as Canadians, to the leadership of this country.

On my part, as a Canadian Armenian, recipient of the Order of Canada medal and one of the founding members of the Hayastan All Armenian Fund in 1992, I would like to apologize to Ambassador Anahit Harutyunyan, the representative of the Republic of Armenia to Canada.

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