Sargsyan’s LA Visit Splits Tashnags

Emil Danielyan,,19 August 2011
In a rare manifestation of discord within its ranks, the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) criticized on Friday its largest branch in the United States for deciding to boycott an upcoming event in Los Angeles to be attended by President Serzh Sarkisian.

Emil Danielyan,,19 August 2011
In a rare manifestation of discord within its ranks, the opposition Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) criticized on Friday its largest branch in the United States for deciding to boycott an upcoming event in Los Angeles to be attended by President Serzh Sarkisian.

Sarkisian is expected to visit the U.S. in late September to address the UN General Assembly in New York and meet with representatives of the influential Armenian-American community. He will attend an official banquet organized by the Armenian Consulate in Los Angeles and dedicated to the 20th anniversary of Armenia’s independence.

Dashnaktsutyun’s organization in the western U.S. announced late on Thursday that its representatives will not take part in the celebration, in protest against Sarkisian’s track record in office. It said his presence there will “cast a shadow on the idea of independence and denigrate the struggle of our people for the restoration of justice.”

In an unusually strongly worded statement issued late on Thursday, the pan-Armenian party’s chapter described the Armenian president as a “discredited” individual who “tramples democracy and democratic values underfoot” in order to ensure “the reproduction of the criminal regime.”

The statement went on to accuse the Sarkisian government, of which Dashnaktsutyun was a part until April 2009, of committing “blatant human rights violations,” controlling the judiciary and sponsoring “oligarchs that continue to relentlessly plunder our people” in Armenia. It also condemned the government’s conciliatory policies towards Azerbaijan and Turkey.

Dashnaktsutyun’s supreme decision-making body based in Yerevan, the Bureau, made clear the next day that it disapproves of the boycott.

“Obviously, there are numerous unsolved problems accumulated in the Republic of Armenia,” Giro Manoyan, the Bureau’s foreign and pan-Armenian affairs spokesman, said in written comments to media. “But the 20-year [independence] anniversary testifies to our common victory and achievements.”

“We have no right to be guided by personalized relationships and emotional steps in this kind of events,” Manoyan said. “Instead, we must use this occasion to express our unity and consolidation with such events, while remaining faithful to our principles.”

Manoyan did not clarify whether the Bureau agrees with the harsh assessment of Sarkisian made by one of the party’s most important Diaspora branches. Dashnaktsutyun leaders in Armenia have been more cautious in criticizing the current authorities in Yerevan.

The verbal attacks from the Armenian-American political structure are more in tune with characterizations of Sarkisian regularly made by the Armenian National Congress (HAK), a more radical opposition force at odds with Dashnaktsutyun. They are the clearest indication yet that some Dashnaktsutyun structures and individual members disagree with the party leadership’s cautious stance.

Opening a Dashnaktsutyun congress in Yerevan in late June, Hrant Markarian, the de facto head of the Bureau, called for a “systemic regime change” in Armenia but avoided personal attacks on Sarkisian. He made clear that Dashnaktsutyun will not seek to topple the president with sustained street demonstrations and other radical actions.

A declaration adopted by the congress likewise stopped short of demanding Sarkisian’s resignation.

Dashnaktsutyun quit Armenia’s governing coalition in 2009 in protest against Sarkisian’s controversial policy of rapprochement with Turkey, rather than his human rights or socioeconomic records.

The nationalist party had joined the coalition after recognizing Sarkisian’s hotly disputed victory in the February 2008 presidential election and essentially endorsing the deadly suppression of post-election demonstrations organized by HAK leader Levon Ter-Petrosian. The crackdown was ordered by Sarkisian’s predecessor Robert Kocharian, whom Dashnaktsutyun supported throughout is decade-long rule.

Ter-Petrosian and his associates accuse Dashnaktsutyun of continuing to maintain close ties with Sarkisian. The Dashnaktsutyun leadership dismisses these claims, saying that the HAK itself exposed its readiness to cut secret deals with the Armenian authorities when it embarked on a dialogue with them last month.

  1. Կը կարծենք թէ ժամանակն է

    Կը կարծենք թէ ժամանակն է որ սփիւռքի մէջ գործող դաշնակցական անհատներ եւ կազմեր, դաս առնեն Միջին Արեւելքի մէջ բռնատերներէ ձերբազատուելու ժողովրդային ցոյցերէն:

    Կուսակցապետ Հ. Մարգարեանին պատեհապաշտ քաղաքական գիծը, կը ծառայէ իր անձնական շահերուն եւ ոչ մէկ ձեւով կը նպաստէ դաշնակցութիւն կուսակցութեան մէջ ժողորդավարութիւն եւ թափանցիկութիւն ներմուծելու:

    Իսկ Մարգարեան-Սարգիսեան «թանկո»ն, մեր սիրելի հայրենքին՝ Հայաստանին կը բերէ մի միայն յաւելեալ վնաս:


  2. Disagree, but no boycott

    There are as numerous parties as there are cheese in the market, there are also different tastes and different political ideas to disagree with and confront in the country.
    But, abroad, in LA, the President is to be respected with honours, to show to the world our union, under all circumstances. We have to keep in mind that the president is not on private visit. It is a state visit, he is the president of Armenia, represents Armenia, and defends the Armenian National Interests.
    It is not the Soviet era to neglect a Comunist President’s visit.
    I remember, around 55 years ago, the Turkish president Celal Bayar visited USA and the Armenians (in NY or LA) organized a dinner to honour him.
    And I remember, some intellectual, revolting, wrote in the Armenian newspaper:
    Ձերդ Մեծափառութիւն, այդ ճաշը մի ուտէք………..(Նահատակ Հայ Ժողովուրդին ).

    Հոս, մեր նախագահը չենք կրնար լքել. Քաղաքական Պայքարը երկրէն ներս, իսկ երկրէն դուրս՝ Միութիւն. Այլապէս, Չարենց պիտի այպաներ նման ընթացք մը.

  3. It’s an affront to Armenia

    Not just to Serzh Sarkisian. This organization despises Armenia’s religious and political leaders.  

  4.  It is Easy

    It is easy for some ARF members to talk big when they sit comfortably in LA. If they are so nationalistic, why not be the first to make the move to Armenia?

    1. So that you can rob them

      So that you can rob them faster?

      You have a culture where  bribery , theft and coercion are respectable traits.

      other than understanding your language, WE  HAVE NOTHING IN COMMON.


      1.  It’s sad cause I think you

        It’s sad cause I think you are Armenian (used loosely), but too many of your ilk exist within the Armenian nation and are far more dangerious to the survival of Armenia and Armenians than are the Turks.

        1. Normal if you are concerned

          If you are concerned about the survival of the Armenian nation, then you should be primarily concerned of the internal operating system that we function with. How can we ever get to operate anything when your values are corrupt to  the bone. Bribery is the other side of beggary. I have to be one to survive in Armenia today. As an Armenian I am willing to give a lot for Armenia; but even for Armenia, I will not lose my integrity and become a beggar.

          You should see within your families how peoples’ faces light up when they talk about how they suckered somebody. It’s incredible how low culture is the accepted norm in your families. It’s incredible when you think integrity has to do with flying high. Look at  your parents’ faces and you will see where that low culture is coming from.

          My advice would be to stop drinking "dznoghats genatz" for like 50 years, or like two generations and watch how Armenia will become a strong nation. How we will ever grow and have a competent operational system, when corruption is something you all tolerate and practice. I have never been a dashnagtzagan, but with this stance of theirs, I feel a very strong connection with them. A nation like ours which has passed through hell, like it or not –which i am sure you don’t–MORALITY counts for a lot, a lot.

          Think about it, 25 years later, we have a xxx as a president, a thief as a judge,  a xxx as a Catholicos and a whole drunk group of people calling themselves writers. And I am supposed to stand up with this people and imagine that I have a state.

          Don’t you see, after 1000 years of slavery I have [had] enough of [it], I WANT A REAL STATE.


          1.  You are further gone than I

            You are further gone than I thought.  I agree Armenians need a catharsis, however what you are saying is divisive, untrue, and full of bile.  Please assimilate in Canada as soon as possible because with your attitude and poisoned beliefs you are not part of the Armenian nation and will certainly not be accepted by the state either.

  5. Celebrating Independence of Armenia

    I believe that the ARF on the West Coast is withholding its representation to the 20th Anniversary celebration of the independence of Armenia because the event is being planned and presented in honor of President Serzh Sargsyan. It would be expected that the visiting President of Armenia preside over the event, however, the honor of celebrating the Independence of Armenia extends to Armenians of all ranks and files and to no particular person.
    I doubt that the same celebration in Armenia will be held in honor of the current President to the exclusion of the past Presidents.

    Both the President of Armenia and The Armenian Consulate in LA are committing an unwarranted public relations blunder. 

  6. Vahe and Dedeyan are Correct

    Dirty clothes are no longer exposed on strings, as they did in the old days, for everyone to see.

    A president  of a country such as ours–a tiny republic, regained by bloodshed– cannot be so easily dealt with. I respect all political parties, such as the one mentioned. In RoA  there were about 60 parties a few years ago; now they are fewer in number. They all must be respected, even though we do not adhere to any.

    I only insist on being tolerant and admit or accept good suggestion which will benefit the nation and the state. Parties, political that  is, are not the people. Some have elected their reps and chieftains by themselves, not through majority votes. I opt for a nation-state that will have a government.elected by the people, from the people and  for the people.

    Nonetheless,  we must be "miapan," if  not "miasin". I am against the last one. How can a Tashnag work miasin with a Bolshevik or a Ramgavar? But they can be miapan, work together for the good of the nation.This  is what we must begin to learn. This is democracy.

    Hasgcoghin BAREV

  7. Balderdash!

    The more the ARF cackles, the more it is despised. These people don’t like anything about Armenia. Rather childish when you think about it. Is there a bizarro Armenia for them? These people will never get with the program. Their position is somewhat provincial.  

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