Civil Disobedience Only Solution

Jirayr Sefilian, Yerevan, 7 July 2015

One hundred years after the Armenian Genocide Armenians once again face existential challenges. Moreover, the main issue on the political agenda of Armenia is again the creation of the national state. However, the criminal regime of the Republic of Armenia (RA), which has usurped the power of the people, hampers the solution to the threat. Therefore, to achieve a definite and positive outcome, we primarily need to remove the regime. If this regime continues to govern for another few years, we shall not have a state because our resources will soon be exhausted causing loss of statehood. As well, the population of Armenia will face the threat of annihilation. 

That RA citizens massively accept Russian citizenship (according to official stats of spring 2014, about 10 percent of Armenia's citizens; in fact, a higher percentage) not only illustrates the loss of human potential but also the new and serious challenges, which the Armenian people are facing. Those challenges threaten the security of Armenia in the form of foreign interference in the internal affairs of the country.

Jirayr Sefilian, Yerevan, 7 July 2015

One hundred years after the Armenian Genocide Armenians once again face existential challenges. Moreover, the main issue on the political agenda of Armenia is again the creation of the national state. However, the criminal regime of the Republic of Armenia (RA), which has usurped the power of the people, hampers the solution to the threat. Therefore, to achieve a definite and positive outcome, we primarily need to remove the regime. If this regime continues to govern for another few years, we shall not have a state because our resources will soon be exhausted causing loss of statehood. As well, the population of Armenia will face the threat of annihilation. 

That RA citizens massively accept Russian citizenship (according to official stats of spring 2014, about 10 percent of Armenia's citizens; in fact, a higher percentage) not only illustrates the loss of human potential but also the new and serious challenges, which the Armenian people are facing. Those challenges threaten the security of Armenia in the form of foreign interference in the internal affairs of the country.

Theoretically, there exist two constitutional ways to remove the regime–through elections and through people’s peaceful protests in the form of civil disobedience.

So far, attempts to remove the regime through elections have failed because the regime has turned elections into an exercise in improving the mechanism of its reproduction.

Meanwhile, irreversible and ongoing processes are exhausting the people's resistance. Thus, we have to accept that at this moment, and especially in 2017, we should not expect that the regime’s removal through elections is possible.

The most significant of the negative processes Armenia faces are emigration, which has transformed into mass evacuation and other trends–regime’s dictatorship, the mass accumulation of the citizens in the public and criminal oligarchic-economic sectors controlled by the regime, which happens because of the super-monopolization of the economy and the catastrophic scale of poverty.

Moreover, there is an artificial inflation in the number of registered voters over the number of actual voters, which is already insurmountable.   

Due to these processes, as well as to others, the majority of voters (about 700,000 to 800,000) unwillingly and forcibly appear under the control of the regime. The controlled electorate consists of 250,000 employees in the public sector (according to official data, which is perhaps the only reliable official statistic) and their family members, about 40,000 military conscripts and part of their family members, 100,000 citizens employed in the criminal-oligarchic economic sector and their family members. There are also 100,000 citizens, which appear under the regime’s control because of their poor social/life conditions or for other reasons.

It is no secret that the regime has huge administrative, economic and social-cultural impact upon the controlled electorate due to the coalescence of state and oligarchic economic segments. Therefore, the figures given above will remain constant or can only increase. Meanwhile, the active opposition electorate, which is economically and politically independent, sharply declines in numbers.

In 2013, the number of real opposition electorate was barely the above-mentioned 700,000 to 800,000. Perhaps there is no need to prove that the fraudulent victory of the regime’s candidate in 2013 largely took place due to the artificially added votes and not through vote stealing. Consequently, the officially recorded figure of all opposition votes– 660,116–was not too far from reality. However, compared to 2013, in 2017 (due to emigration alone) we shall have lost almost 100,000 of the real opposition electorate. Hence, if not now, then in 2017, the regime will be able to win the majority of popular vote through the electoral mechanism and will not even need to artificially add votes.

When the potential of resistance critically decreases and the regime’s impact on the electorate increases, it becomes obvious that planning the mobilization of several thousand intelligent and principled supporters to achieve a significant result at polling stations through defending the votes of the opposition is not realistic. Even if we theoretically accept that we can succeed in doing so, we cannot achieve a positive result because the regime already controls the majority of real voters, and it no longer needs to falsify the votes of the opposition.

Hence, the only option through which we can remove the regime is the people's peaceful protest in the form of civil disobedience. Active citizens, who are ready to take part in non-violent resistance should gather in city squares and become an organized and united force able to use civil disobedience. Only then, a pole of opposition force can be formed and the regime’s administrative, economic, social and cultural impact can be significantly neutralized. That is when citizens will be able to display their will, and gradually join their compatriots. Only then, the people will turn into an insurmountable force and be able to remove the criminal regime.

25 comments
  1. Civil Disobedience Only Solution

    It's very painful to hear some people, who don't know much about politics, advise the Armenian people about disobedience and about achieving peace in Artsakh through land concessions to Azerbaijan. When I hear these warnings, I conclude there are people who see Artsakh and Armenia as their private property, as if they are the ones who are financing the war in Artsakh.

    Thanks to the intervention of certain foreign countries today the Armenian people control Artsakh.
     
    It seems that many Armenians are so blind that they can't even see that Armenia is a very poor country and can't feed a population of five million, neither three million and not even two million. Look to Greece and the Greek population.

    Some people have forgotten that Armenia is still at war with Azerbaijan. To maintain a strong army Armenia spends billions of dollars on weaponry. Then there are the military exercises, clothing and feeding the army. Who is financing all this?

    I find it disgusting to read about civil disobedience in Armenia. If you were a parent how would you feel if your children were disobedient to you?

    Did our enemy's friends recognize the Armenian Genocide a century after its occurrence? I am referring to the United States, Britain, Israel, etc. How can you call these imperialist enemies of the Armenians our friends? By giving such an impression is a lie and a betrayal of the Armenian people.

    Today many Armenians have dual nationality: Russian and Armenian, American and Armenian, etc.

    It's up to the Armenian people to decide that.

    Isn't it funny that today the 2,500,000 Armenia has more than ten opposition parties?

    Remember that the countries, which after a century haven't recognized the Genocide, are the most dangerous enemies of the Armenian people.

    Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

    1. Re: Avery, Harutic, Mesrob, Nicolai

      Jirair Sefilian summarizes his article advocating  "peaceful protest in the form of civil disobedience" and for  "Active citizens, who are ready to take part in non-violent resistance" to bring about change.

      What is so alarming about that? The Armenian Americans and its press have  and have had a moral obligation to see to the best interest of the country whose citizenship they voluntarily carry and yet they have never voiced against Dr. Martin Luther King's Civil Rights – We Shall Overcome – movement by civil disobedience.  Were they indifferent? Did they care the social welfare of their country any less than they care for a distant Armenia where they do not live to make a living nor plan to do so?

      Being a military commander himself, surely Jirair Sefilian uses the word "civil"  to make a distinction between a citizen's civic responsibilities vs. military  when serving the nation's armed forces.

      It is rather odd that especially some segments of ethnic Armenians who live on the American and European continents  vehemently voice against the right of the citizens of Armenia to assemble in peaceful, and non violent large scale protests to bring about change and  yet at the same time expect from the same to fight to death to protect anything else apparently, other than  such basic rights. 

      Should the citizens of Armenia not advocate such a call and not respond on a large scale but by a showing of 100 or so as noted above, then the citizens of Armenia need to shut their mouths once and for all and continue to go on with their lives because this is the regime they have consented for, although by silence or continue to leave the country as they are doing.

  2. Lieutenant Colonel Sefilian

    Lieutenant Colonel Jirair Sefilian, Sir:

    Armenians like you, and Monte Melkonian, and thousands of others who volunteered and faced death to save Artsakh from the Turks are a gift to our Armenian Nation. Those of us who were not so brave should bow our heads.
    What you did for Artsakh must never be forgotten by the Great Armenian Nation.

    The very capable Chechen commander Shamil Basayev admitted in a TV interview after the liberation of Shushi that the only battle defeat his battalion had ever suffered was at the hands of the heroic Dashnak battalion in Shushi.

    But, Sir, you are wrong when you call for civil disobedience. You were wrong to go uninvited to Artsakh (in an automobile convoy) even though you acknowledged that your friends in Artsakh had asked you many times not to go when you met them in Artsakh.

    You were wrong to call for protests in Yerevan on April 24, 2015. How could you do such a thing?

    I still admire you as a heroic Armenian warrior, and always will, but it is sad to see a great man such as you in the company of delusional individuals of the so-called Pre-Parliament.

    1. Not Being Disobedient

      Bringing about change while being a law-abiding citizen is a dream but does not seem to come true.

      Gandhi is accepted to be the architect of bringing about change without bloodshed, of accepting hurt but not inflicting hurt even to those who inflict hurt. I have watched  the movie "Gandhi", which I consider to be a true depiction of the person, a few times. He never advocated passivity. On the contrary, peaceful, non-violent disobedience is what he advocated.

      The situation in Armenia is a heart wrenching dilemma for all of us. There does not seem to be a way out without disobedience but non-violent, persistent disobedience.

      I am also hoping that the recent demonstrations would bring forth natural born leaders from the disfranchised Armenian masses who would be voted in at the upcoming elections. Otherwise I see no change of the status quo in Armenia.

      1. Citing Gandhi

        Citing the example of Gandhi as having anything to do with Armenia is as far removed from reality as the belief that the Earth is flat.
        During the time of Gandhi in the '30s and the '40s India had a population of about 320 million. As brutal as the British rule was, India never faced an existential threat from the British military. Not only the British didn't threaten India's existence, even if they tried it is not possible to murder 320 million people without nuclear weapons. Their only reason for being in India was commercial exploitation at the point of a bayonet. Gandhi was attempting to eject foreign invaders from India: are you comparing the democratically elected RPA (Armenian) leaders to foreign invaders? Yes or No.
        Everybody who was eligible to vote and wanted to vote voted in the last presidential election. President Serj Sargsyan won 58% to 37%. The losing side did not like the results: too bad.
        As to the "natural born leaders":  Listen to the public speeches of Maksim Sarkisian, Vaghinak Shushanian, and Davit Sanasarian, for example. Listen carefully to what they are saying and advocating. If those are the future of Armenia, God help RoA and NKR.
        Their protest calls attract no more than 100 people or so. People of Armenia are a lot smarter than they appear to the casual observer. The future leaders of Armenia and Artsakh are not making fiery speeches in safe Liberty Square.
        They are serving at the LOC, while the windbags bloviate at Liberty Square.
        Their love for Armenia and leadership character is being forged in the real life and death  furnace of the battlefield, fighting Turkic invaders. God bless the young men (and many women) of the Armenian military who are the true patriots and the real future leaders of Armenia and Artsakh.

        1. Civil Disobedience

          Avery,

          There was no need for you to cover Gandhi's period of history in haste. More recently, non-violent civil disobedience became the guiding strategy of the civil rights movement in the United States under the leadership of Rev. Martin Luther King. You also have no reason to be alarmed when the protest calls attract no more than 100 or so.

          In my view the existential threat of Armenia is from within not from without. I believe that the young men and women in the Armenian military are driven more to safeguard a way of life in their ancestral lands rather than mere geographical borders. They have not yet been tasted on the battlefield, and I pray they never will, the way the young men and women were during the Artsakh liberation struggle who were driven by the vision of living under a just governance within their ancestral land as Monte Melkonian amply articulated.

          Should the citizens of Armenia decide to resort to non-violent civil disobedience, I have no reason not to sympathize with their strategy.

          1. St. Gandhi

            I see several people have mentioned Mahatma Gandhi as a paragon of virtue.

            I wish righteous people, especially Armenians, would bring St. Gandhi down from his dais.

            Gandhi was a lying charlatan and an opportunist believer in real politik. There was nothing moral about the man.

            In the years immediately after the Armenian Genocide, to gain the backing of Muslim Indians to his agenda, Gandhi threatened the British that if they treated the Turkish genocidiers harshly, he would make sure Indian soldiers in the British Army, rebelled.

            Armenians don't know this important aspect of St. Gandhi's life.

            By the way, Gandhi often slept with his female followers (some of them less than half his age) because he said he needed nourishment and warmth. Right.

          2. Reply to Garabed

            Garabed,

            I would like to address four points which you raised.

            1. "There was no need for you to cover Gandhi's period of history in haste." You are the one who brought up Gandhi. I didn't.

            2. "You also have no reason to be alarmed when the protest calls attract no more than 100 or so." Who? Me? Are we on the same page here?

            3. Your comment that Armenia's voters are disenfranchised is proven false by the indisputable fact that fewer than 100 people answer the call of the people who call for massive protest.

            4. "In my view the existential threat to Armenia is from within, not from without." In my view, your view is as far removed from reality as the belief that the Earth is flat. 

             

             

  3. Realizing or Not

    Whether he realizes or not, Jirayr Sefilian is serving a Turkish-Western political agenda inside Armenia. Fighting in the war of liberation in Artsakh over twenty years ago does not give one the freedom today to pursue political policies that are foolish at best, suicidal at worst. I don't care for Sefilian's war record; there are many, many other Artsakh War veterans who stayed faithful to the nation and its geopolitical interests. Jirayr forfeited any respect he deserved for his war record when he decided to take his Western-funded traveling circus to Artsakh. Jirayr forfeited any honor he deserved for his war record when he attempted to start unrest in Armenia on April 24. As far as I'm concerned, politically ignorant Russophobes like Jirayr and the rest of the lunatics in the Western-funded subversive group known as "Founding Parliament" need to be expelled from the country. We, Armenians, have learned from the grave mistakes made by Libyans, Syrians, Egyptians, Serbians, Georgians, Greeks, and Ukrainians. We won't allow our Western operatives destroy Armenia in their blind pursuit of Western fairy tales.

  4. Sacred Grounds

    I am inclined to believe the real estate that is the Republic of Armenia is secure. Other than across the border skirmishes, its neighbors will never entertain the notion violating it much like no one in his right mind would ever think of violating the Mafia boss’s mistress. Surely the ruling class of Armenia knows this.

    The concern is not the security of that real estate but of having it governed justly so that many Armenians may continue to live there having the means to secure for themselves  and their children, under the rule of the law for all,  a decent standard of living and enjoy the benefits of living on that portion of their ancestral land.

    What is at risk here is that Armenia seems destined to be a secure Sacred Ground under the watch of the ruling class turned into a powerful cartel who draws immense financial benefit from its visitors. Consequently the cartel remains unalarmed with the massive exodus from this Sacred Ground because enough people will continue to live  there catering to the visitors much like the entertainers, the service providers do in the Disney World, which incidentally with its sprawling 40 square miles is half the size of Yerevan and is efficiently run by work force totaling 62,000.

    1. Geopolitical Situation

      Your post is proof that you have no clue about the geopolitical situation of Caucasus, Armenia, or  Artsakh. You are just writing sentences that have no connection to the reality in Caucasus.

  5. “It is rather odd …”

    Garabed,

    I would like to reply to your below quote.

    “It is rather odd that especially some segments of ethnic Armenians who live on the American and European continents  vehemently voice against the right of the citizens of Armenia to assemble in peaceful, and non violent large scale protests to bring about change and  yet at the same time expect from the same to fight to death to protect anything else apparently, other than  such basic rights."

    Show me in which one of my posts did  I say citizens of Armenia have no right to peacefully assemble and protest on any subject.

    Those of us who live on the American and European continents know this for a fact: no government would allow any number of people, whether 100,  1,000 or 10,000 to block a public street, much less a major thoroughfare, without a prior permit for more than a few minutes, before those who are blocking it would be forcefully removed. The police in Yerevan showed a level of tolerance that is unknown and unprecedented  in the rest of the world.

    Yerevan police pleaded with those who were–illegally–blockading Bagramian Ave for nine hours to leave peacefully. They didn't. Only then did the police bring out the water trucks.

    I live in US, so can tell from observation of actual events. Try to bock any major street in any city of US. A few B&Ws will show up in a few minutes and order you to get up and move in 10 seconds. You will be given one last warning by cops before being handcuffed and forcibly removed. By this time riot police and SWAT teams have shown up with all their combat gear. If you are not off the street in less than a minute, you will be swarmed by cops, hogtied, and thrown into a paddy wagon. If you resist being arrested, you will be beaten by batons (..to enforce compliance with lawful police orders). Also possibly tased and pepper sprayed. If you hit a  police officer, you will savagely be beaten. You will be charged with: resisting arrest, civil disobedience, assault on a police officer,…and whole lot of other felonies and misdemeanors.

    The jury of your peers will convict you, assuming you are not smart enough to plead to lesser charges and avoid  jail time.

    Nobody bothered protesters in Yerevan while they were on Liberty Square, even though that protest was also without permit. Only when protesters blockaded a major avenue in Yerevan, an illegal act, did police use a very reasonable amount of force to remove them.

    What, you think anyone who has a grievance in Yerevan can just get up and block a street  for however long they want? In what country  of  North America or Europe is that allowed ?

    People who insist that Yerevan protesters had the “right” to blockade a street in Yerevan without a prior permit or for more than eight hours (with permit) are so disconnected from the real world that it is almost impossible to reason with them.

    1. Re Avery Capping my Comments

      I cap my comments.

      It is estimated that 250,000 congregated at the Great March on Washington where Rev.Matin Luther King delivered his historic “I have a dream” speech. More recently (1995), an  estimated 400,000 people assembled in Washington at the Million Man March called  by Louis Farakhan. In both of these instances the state, for simplicity, worked hand in hand with the organizers of these marches to have their voices heard in an orderly manner and without fear of repercussions. I am sure that the police barricaded some roads, directed traffic, had  latrines in place; and many policemen were on duty to keep law and order while allowing the marchers the most visibility they could attain to have their grievances heard. In short, the state cooperated with the marchers and worked with its leadership.

      I know that my understanding and grasp of what is going on in Armenia is far from complete and the opinions I structure are not gospel-truths for careful scrutiny sentence by sentence. Could it be that the state in Armenia has shown no willingness to cooperate in such manner? Why on Earth do reasonable men and women hit the dirt roads of Artsakh in the manner they did?

      Maybe the best thing I can say is "Asvadz Okne’-and move on.

  6. Garabed Wrote

    Garabed wrote: “…yet at the same time expect from the same to fight to death to protect anything else apparently, other than  such basic rights”, implying that Mr. Jirair Sefilian’s basic rights were violated.

    Mr. Sefilian has been publicly protesting for years in Armenia and nobody in the RoA authorities had/has bothered  him for protesting. Mr. Sefilian (and others) were detained prior to April 24, 2015, because the group publicly announced their intention to disrupt the April 24 commemorations in Yerevan. The entire Armenian nation had  been preparing for that event for several years. Thousands of foreign VIPs invited to attend; tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. Does anybody rational think any government would allow a group of disgruntled citizens to disrupt such a once-in-a-century (!) event ?

    Here is what one RoAit is unacceptable to link any domestic political ambitions to the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey. "It will be the best gift for Turkey on the threshold of the Armenian Genocide centennial. It can be prevented. Delegations from almost all countries will arrive in Armenia on those days and the Founding Parliament's protest actions will simply defame our country," he said and also stressed that __ will by no means cooperate with the Founding Parliament because the ___ has nothing to do with the political force whose steps aim to split the national unity of Armenian people. He urged the political forces to prevent the Founding Parliament from carrying out its programs and also urged the Armenian authorities to take all measures to prevent undesirable developments. "The criminal legislations throughout the world contain relevant articles for such cases," said ___yan.

    Can you guess which RoA  MP said that?

    MP Armen Rustamyan, member of  the ARF Dashnaktsutyun Party, RoA. Yes, the same ARF that Mr. Sefilian belonged to.

    I have no idea what has gotten into Mr. Sefilian’s head, but for an Armenian to attempt to disrupt the 100th of April 24 is just so bizarre that it defies rational explanation.

    1. Civil Disobedience Only Solution

      Bravo, Mr. Garabed.

      Only aware Armenians know about the backgrounds of the founders of the Armenian political parties, their goals and the damage they caused to the Armenian nation. Their most important goal is to serve the enemies of the Armenian people who until today haven't recognized the Armenian Genocide. What I find so strange is that they have so many followers who are brainwashed. Please try to analyze this: "Quality is more important than quantity". In reality, we know it's not quality but the quantity which destroyed the Armenian people, spiritually and physically.
       
      The brainwashed and sick Diaspora political party leaders still continue to destroy the last of the handful of Armenian people. These "Pan Chunees" divided the Armenian communities in the United States, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and will continue until not one Armenian person is left. They don't need the Turks or the Azeris to do the job.

      If "unity is equal to strength", how come in 1890s there was one Armenian political party, then it was followed by another and then another? You see, 'if you want to rule, you have to divide the people, even if it leads to the destruction of the Armenian race.
       
      This is so shameful. This curse that I mentioned above is older than the Armenian Genocide.

      Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

  7. To Garabed

    wide there are price hikes, salary increases, oil price hikes and even increases in basic product prices. If a laborergets a raise some of the money must come from a resource. Living in Europe, I often witness price hikes of the most basic product… shoes, clothing, bread, etc.
     
    Armenia is not an exception. Every person in the world understands that if in his country the harvest is damaged, there will be an automatic rise in produce prices.
     
    I have noticed that even with such simple examples, it's almost impossible to explain these to the ordinary inhabitant of Armenia. These examples are good reason for the opposition parties to find an excuse for revolution which would end up in disaster for the whole Armenian race.
     
    An old Armenian man, with huge life experience, was complaining that in his neighborhood there was a poor man who owned a one-man kiosk (area of 2×2 sq. meters) that the municipality had taken away and now in its place stood a big supermarket. I asked the old man for the number of the employees working in the supermarket. He said about 15 employees. I said that the change was good for Armenia's employment. Instead of one, now 15 people are working in the supermarket, which means support for 15 families. My explanation was unacceptable to him.
     
    Now that the Americans have bought the Vorodan electricity power plant, they are planning to modernize it. Who do you will finance it? The answer is the inhabitants of Armenia. That means that more price hikes will follow in the near future, because these American companies are not welfare organizations.
     
    What I am trying to say to this Americans is that "Please take your hands off Armenia. The Armenian people don't need your help at all. Give the Armenian people that one thing which for a century they've been asking for: "Just Recognize the Armenian Genocide. Stop cheating the Armenian people".The friend of the enemy of the Armenian people is the enemy of the Armenian people. Together with your courtiers, please stay away from Armenia and the Armenian people."

    Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

    1. Not Just the Irrational

      It is not just the irrational opposition (e.g. Heritage which act like spoiled children). The population of Armenia is under a massive misinformation, disinformation, and propaganda assault from various foreign organizations.

      There are several times more foreign NGOs in Armenia than either in Georgia or Azerbaijan, even though Armenia has the smallest population of the three Caucasus republics.

      Some NGOs, like Armenian Tree Project, do good work. But most are up to no good.

      A lot of the media in Armenia with Armenian names are owned by foreign anti-Armenian entities. For example,  Lragir.am is owned and operated by Open Society (Soros). Azatutyun.am is a denialist-owned and -operated propaganda outlet: they consistently refuse to write about the Genocide. All these outfits constantly accentuate the few negatives in Armenia and deliberately conceal the many more positives. Their purpose is to poison the minds of the people and cause demoralization, to sow suspicion and distrust of all civic institutions of  the RoA.

      Our enemies could not militarily or economically snuff out or enslave either of our two republics after 1991 independence, so they have switched to psychological attacks.

      Unfortunately, as can be seen by the behavior of some people in Armenia, and in comments by Armenians at various websites, who blindly repeat the disinformation, the constant drumbeat of doom and gloom is having its intended  effect.

      I believe it is the responsibility of every Armenian who cares about Armenia and Artsakh to do his/her best to counter the anti-Armenian propaganda in the blogosphere.

      1. Civil Disobedience

        Yes, exactly. I agree with Avery 100%. Today there are more betrayers than heroes in Armenia. The real heroes were assassinated by the Hunanians–the so-called Armenians–just to have a couple of seats in parliament. The real heroes were Vazken Sarkissyan, Garen Demirjyan and others who are not with the Armenian people today.

        What a shame. What a devilish betrayal of the Armenian race.

        Bloody gangsters.

        Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian

  8. Jirayr Danger to Armenia

    Jirayr Sefilian and friends are serving a foreign political agenda in Armenia. Being a war hero twenty-plus years ago does not give Sefilyan the freedom to pursue suicidal political agenda today. If Sefilyan truly cared for Armenia or Artsakh he would have stayed in the military. If he wanted respect from us, he should have listened to Ohanyan and not taken his traveling circus to Artsakh or attempted a revolution on April 24. Sefilyan was once an asset for Armenia. Today, he is a danger. Armenian authorities need to hang a medal around Sefilyan's neck, thank him for his service to Artsakh twenty-plus years ago and place him on a one-way flight to Lebanon.

  9. “From the War-Horse’s mouth”

    Like Avery wrote, we will always treat Jirayr Sefilian with respect, because of his heroic exploits in Artsakh.

    I also bow to him (if he really wrote this article himself) for his arithmetic skills. This is because he has produced in this article a simple but excellent analysis of the "Armenian electorate". He gives us ball-park figures that clearly explain why a good part of this electorate has been re-electing the present administration. Sefilian concludes this analysis: "Hence, if not now, then in 2017, the regime will be able to win the majority of popular vote through the electoral mechanism and will not even need to artificially add votes." Sefilian candidly and honestly contradicts what his group and several so-called opposition pundits have been screaming about: "stuffed ballot boxes" in Armenia's presidential, parliamentary and municipal elections. For this, we must give "thanks for small mercies".

    Armenia is in pain. I do not doubt that. Like Nicolai Romashuk Hairabedian correctly stated, this is because we are "a very poor country" coupled with the fact that we are at war. Our war effort sucks away most of our resources. In "Economics 101" we learn that if a country wants to produce more guns, it cuts down its butter production, and vice-versa.


    Yes, some Armenians managed to succeed, while large numbers could not. Some made "big money", perhaps cheating, like most still do around here. Do we really need to demonize those who succeeded financially? Do we need to start another "coloured revolution" and end-up spilling Armenian blood, ourselves, …. over money!!!
    1. Of “coloured revolution” and “Spilling Blood”

      Antoine

      First and foremost Jirair Sefilian is not advocating spilling Armenian blood to bring about change. There is no justification for such a rhetorical question meant to be a statement, we all agree.

      What belonged to the people of Armenia during Soviet era was privatized by a handful few denying the populace from even becoming token shareholders. The issue that propels Jirari Sefilian is not remedying the wrong done, but remedying the consequences of this centralized wealth that benefits only those who are on the payroll of Oligharchs turned into State and their cohorts, assuring the perpetuation of the status quo.

      It appears that this status quo is robbing the citizens of Armenia of hope that somehow, sometime in the future they will be able to improve their economic lot even though they may not be a State employee or a protégé of an oligarch, hence the massive exodus from Armenia.

      What bothers Jiair Sefilian is that the citizens of Armenia, especially those who make their living there,  – either accept the ‘legitimization’ of the current status quo or bring about change by non-violent peaceful resistance or disobedience.  The choice is for the citizens of Armenia to make. I see no reason to raise alarm from afar.

      1. “The choice is for the citizens of Armenia to make”

        Vahe,

        “The choice is for the citizens of Armenia to make”

        Exactly: voters in Armenia have made their choice.
        Multiple times.
        In the Presidential election of 2013, City of Yerevan municipal elections of 2013 (about 30% or RoA electorate), regional elections: citizens of RoA have chosen RPA overwhelmingly.
        Certain people  may not like the results, but  too bad.
        RoA voters have spoken: live with it.

        Mr. Sefilian and his followers attract no more than about 50-100 people to their “rallies”.
        In a city of 1+ million.
        Super majority of people in Armenia reject what the group advocates.
        They cannot win at the ballot box, so resort to theatrics, like trying to force their way into Artsakh in an automobile convoy, even though Mr. Sefilian himself acknowledged that  he was asked by his friends in Artsakh not to go though with the event. (“ …. Այո, խնդրեցին … խնդրեցին….” (his words)).

        Mr. Sefilian and his group attempted to disrupt and sabotage the once-in-a-century commemoration of April 24th, 2015.
        For that act alone, Mr. Sefilian should ask forgiveness from the Armenian Nation, and retire to a private life of contemplation.
        Lieutenant Colonel Jirair Sefilian has earned a immense credit for his selfless service to the Nation.
        But no person, no group, no political party stands above the Armenian Nation, no matter how noble one thinks his or her actions are.
        The road to Hell is paved with good intentions.

        “ First and foremost Jirair Sefilian is not advocating spilling Armenian blood to bring about change.”
        The leaders of this group have publicly threatened to use force and violence to overthrow, in their fertile imagination, the democratically elected Government of Armenia.
        Although there is no record of Mr. Sefilian himself advocating violence,  sadly there is no record either of Mr. Sefilian publicly repudiating  his group members advocating bloodshed.
        During a press conference  “The Centennial without this regime” on December 3, 2014, a leader of PreParliament, Gevorg Safaryan, speaking about Armenia’s government, said that “they are worthy of elimination.”
        Safaryan continued to say that, “If we see that we are unable to achieve our goals by peaceful means, we will then turn to force,”
        And the leaders of this group have publicly threatened to Սատկացնել public figures in  RoA.
        What else do you call that other than spilling Armenian blood ?

        Finally:
        About your unfortunate remark directed at Mr.  Antoine S. Terjanian:  “I see no reason to raise alarm from afar.”
        Emphasis on “afar”.
        So please go to Youtube and search Անտուան Ստեփան Թերջանյան
        It is a video about Antoine S. Terjanian  and his wife moving to live in Armenia (by ShoghakatTVcompany): about 20 minutes.

        Mr. Terjanian is not as “afar” as you might think.
        After  you have watched the video, you might consider apologizing to Mr. Terjanian.

        btw: can I ask how do you know what “bothers” Mr. Sefilian: do you talk to him regularly in person ?

        1. Avery Capping Comments

          Avery,

          I am answering out of cordiality. I am afraid that otherwise I may sound inconsiderate and ignoring your comments directed at me.

          Specifically:
          – I have not spoken to and have not met Jirair Sefilian.
          – My choice of word was made at the spur of the moment and hence the sentence “What bothers Jirair…” is not appropriate. You may substitute it with “I surmise that what concerns Jirair…..” and read my comment again. You may find that you need not respond as vehemently.
          – There is no video linked to Jirair Sefilian’s article titled “Civil Disobedience Only Solution” for me to have watched.
          – It would not be proper for me to apologize to Antoine or to anyone at the request of others. In fact, it may even be demeaning to the person. Antoine has not asked for an apology. I have assumed that he lives in Canada because that is what his comment indicates.
          Avery, you should have no reason to be alarmed and disturbed since you claim that the movement Jirair represents attracts a handful of demonstrators and that the people of Armenia have made their choice to continue with the status quo. On the contrary, you have all the reasons to be optimistic and confident that life and living in Armenia continue, as it should.

  10. Went there to get the facts straight

    Thank you Avery for standing-up for me (for everyone's info: Avery and I have never met in person, but I am honoured to share in his patriotism and many of his views and ideas).

    Even if Mr. Vahe (sorry, I could not guess your last name) meant to belittle me in his comment, he is forgiven. I do not hold grudges, no need to apologize.

    I had heard so much exaggerations on Armenian media (mainly fueled by a "not so faithful" opposition struggling for political power) about the terrible state of affairs in Armenia, that I was totally disgusted, never wanting to set foot there. I finally decided to volunteer there for a year and get the facts straight and be able to make informed comments from close-by, so that if others had been disgusted and chosen not to set a foot there, are no longer deprived of enjoying our Hayreniq.

    Consequently, my comment on this forum was meant to emphasize that when one candidly gets the opposing view straight "from the horse's mouth" one needs no further proof.

    Mr. Vahe is correct in stating that, in this particular article, Mr. Sefilyan has made it very clear that he was advocating "peaceful protests". I am very grateful for Sefilyan's unequivocal declaration, and hope that this indicates a change of direction for his movement.
     
    Antoine S. Terjanian

    Dear Canadian Friends:

    Please sign and comment on the petition for a Canadian Embassy Office in Yerevan by clicking on Canadian Embassy in Yerevan

    Also, please encourage your Canadian family & friends to join you in signing it. Let me know if you have any questions/ suggestions. Thank you for your support!

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