Karabakh Defense Assembly Held in Yerevan

YEREVAN (Yerevan News Agency)–An assembly dedicated to the recent developmen’s surrounding the resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict took place at the Yerevan Cinema House Friday. The meeting which was organized and attended by various political–social and intellectual organizations was open to the public.

The opening remarks were made by Democratic Party leader Aram Sargssian. In his address Sargssian said that by his assertions during the press conference last month–Levon Ter-Petrosyan has placed Karabakh under Azeri oppression again–and the purpose of this meetings is to let the entire world know that Ter-Petrosyan does not represent the Armenian nation.

Then Sargssian suggested that those members of the more-than-capacity audience who agree with the direction of the Armenian government stand–and expectedly not one individual rose. Yet the entire hall rose to its feet when supporters of the Karabakh movement were invited to do so.

Sargssian also announced that none of the government official–including the prime minister–defense minister and National Assembly speaker–who had been invited were present.

Following Sargssian–beloved national poetess Silva Kaputikian addressed the crowd recounting Ter-Petrosyan’s many mistakes and guilt. She went on to say that an individual with no dignity–such as Ter-Petrosyan–could not possibly comprehend the plight of the Armenian people. Kaputikian then turned the assembly’s attention to the efforts of the west in regards to the Karabakh issue. She noted that during the 70-year Soviet empire–the West relentlessly criticized the policies of the communists–however now–out of nowhere–that same West is defending the decisions of a bunch of Bolsheviks of the 1920’s.

The poetess read the announcement of the Los Angeles Armenian community in which it is clearly stated that any decision on Karabakh must be presented and approved by the entire Armenian nation–and if Ter-Petrosyan denies this inherent right–she added–then the Armenian people have the right to demand his resignation.

Academician Lendroush Khourshoudyan during his speech stressed the link between the national liberation struggle and the intellectual community. Speaking about Jirair Libaridian’s tenure in Armenia–the intellectual said–"That diplomat–who carried through the west’s plans–has now abandoned Armenia. That program is now being carried through by Levon Ter-Petrosyan."

Raphael Ghazarian during his speech described an open letter by Zori Balayan to Ter-Petrosyan–asking him to resign as naive–for in Ghazarian’s opinion–it is only "a saw which can cut Levon Ter-Petrosyan and remove him. He is guilty."

Ghazarian went on to say that he saw a little hope when he saw Vazgen Sarkissian. He said–"We have Serj Sargsian and Robert Kocharian. Let those three demand Ter-Petrosyan’s removal–and should he not comply–then Vazgen Sarkissian will be forced to overthrow him. Let them show their manhood. If they won’t–then we–as a people–will do the same to them."

In her address–Svetana Paskaleva stressed that whoever says that there is no national liberation will and ideology is wrong. She pointed out that thousand of freedom fighter went to the fields to defend that same spirit. She condemned passivity in a time when Karabakh’s fate is to be decided.

Davit Vartanian announced that the Karabakh movement veered off its original direction since 1991–and in order to return to the initial spirit of the liberation struggle three principles must be upheld. According to him they are–national ideology–democracy–and national morality. Vartanian went on to say that the most imminent danger in the Karabakh conflict is Ter-Petrosyan. Karabakh is the Armenian nation’s symbol–and all must choose which side of the fence they stand–declared Vartanian.

Self-Determination Union Paruir Hayrikian–upon calming down his opponents in the crowd–focused his attention on the question of democracy.

He declared that if the Armenian people are not able to created a democratic–lawful and representative government–then they will not be able to accomplish any of their goals.

The assembly included the speeches of a slew of other intellectuals and public representatives.

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