Bad News Beginning

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian


Here we are in a brand new year and the bad news from the end of last year is hounding Armenians already.

The Republic of Armenia has decided to dissolve its Diaspora ministry as part of a reorganization of the ministries. Go figure! It’s the most important ministry from a pan-Armenian perspective. It manifests, by its very existence the commitment to and need for an integral approach to our nation. Don’t forget that roughly 75% of our nation is scattered all over the world and not on living on Armenian soil. This ministry’s mission was to implement programs to maintain our cohesion. It seems there’s a possibility its functions may be transferred to the vice-premier’s office. On top of everything, this was done without much, if any, in the way of consultations. How many people or groups in the Diaspora were asked their opinions?

Workers are going unpaid in the Republic of Armenia. It’s gotten so bad that those working on the north-South highway blocked the road to demand their wages, hoping to get paid before the holidays. The employer claims wages are delayed because the government is late in paying them for the work they do. It sounds like a lot of excuse-making to me. People work, people should get paid- period. What’s next- legislation like that just passed in Hungary allowing employers to FORCE their employees to work up to 400 hours of overtime per year?

The cost of natural gas coming from Russia is going up for the RoA. However, Prime Minister Pashinian has said people will not pay more for the stuff. Who’s going to make up the difference? Where’s the money coming from?

It’s being reported that as of November 10, 39 soldiers of the Atzakh and RoA armies have died in 2018. The really bad news is that only 7 of those were casualties of Azeri fire. The other 32 occurred internally!

Moving from the internal front southward, we also have the potential secondary impact on the RoA of the U.S. sanctions against Iran. These were the topic of discussions between the two countries recently.

Moving westward, we find our favorite megalomaniac is on the hunt for more scalps. Turkey’s wanna-be-sultan-but-only-a-prez Erdoğan is now seeking to strip Garo Paylan of his parliamentary immunity. Next would come trumped up charges of some ridiculous sort followed by lengthy jail time.

But that’s not all Erdoğan has been busy with. As of December 26 Turkish tanks were reported to be moving towards the border in Kilis, aimed for Manbij, a key town currently held by Syria’s Kurds who are targeted for extermination by Turkey’s army. The LATimes published (contested) reports that the Syrian Army is moving into Manbij. This could get ugly, or prevent a bloodbath. We’ll soon find out.

Meanwhile, Trump is being rewarded by one of his new besties, Erdoğan, and has been invited to Turkey after effectively green-lighting the demolition of Syria’s Kurdish forces that Erdoğan had been salaciously lusting for. Let’s see what new headaches that visit will bring for Armenians and everyone else in the region!

But just so I don’t become a total Sad Srpoohee, Moping Maneh, or… Grumpy Garen, I’ll end with a snippet of good news. It seems the net population flow has been INWARDS in 2018 (through December 25) for a net PLUS of 20,713 people. I just hope that this won’t drop to zero or less when holiday vacationers return to wherever they came from…

Let’s work to make this a better Armenian year than it has started out as. Shnorhavor nor daree.


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  1. Sergej Ovsepjan said:

    Garo, is it all you have noticed? Nothing else? Or are you trying to convey some hidden massage?
    I have never read so many critical articles on Armenia as in the past one to two months.
    Is it possible, you are offended ARF Armenia is not in the parliament for the first time? If yes, you shouldn’t be. After all it was the result of the first free and transparent elections in the Armenia since over 20 years. And of course, the revolution euphoria made also it’s part. But we all from the diaspora should understand that.
    It is disturbing for me to read this kind of articles. Critical view is very essential and necessary in every democracy. But it must well founded. If there is something wrong, not only stating it is wrong, And also it is essential to provide an alternate solution, which as well must be well founded.
    For the ministry of the Diaspora. I in my personal view it was absolutely unnecessary. It is absolutely not present in the diaspora and abroad. Did it support any Armenian school in the diaspora? Did it support business contacts? Did it done any positive impact? I am not aware of anything from this ministry, but if I am wrong please give me examples. What has the ministry of the Diaspora done, that couldn’t be done without it?
    And don’t be miss leaded. This is the first government of the Armenia with very strong and true mandate to govern. They are not obliged to ask anybody before doing some decision. Of course there will be people ho will be unhappy with those decisions. But, once again, it’s them ho has the mandate, not you, not anybody else. It is not different with any other democratic country. And you can’t make every body to agree with you.
    The only existence of the Diaspora is not sufficient to have also Ministry called as such. We in the diaspora must be so seamlessly integrated in the Armenian society that there will be no necessity for an extra ministry. In past decades there were plenty of artificial obstacles for Diaspora to be truly part of Armenia. And instead to underlay that now we have chance to remove all those obstacles to get engaged and involved in the all aspect of the life in Armenia, you are only speaking about “bad news”. I was expecting calls from diaspora leaders to get Armenian passport, to support Armenia. Instead I am reading very strange articles and I am feeling kind of disappointment, but only from the “top” of the diaspora. The people from diaspora, with whom I am in touch and in contact, are also very optimistic and euphoric. But I am missing support from the responsible persons. There are no active steps, no proposals, no analysis what has happened. Only strange reluctance.
    Once again, criticism is vital. But come up with analysis and proposals not only with “bad new”.
    Make you aware, Armenia needs our help as never before. At last we have been given a chance to build the Armenia of our dreams. Let’s do it.
    I am thing every day how can I get involved in Armenia, what kind of business or activity can I get in to. Instead to start providing people with support and contacts, helping to get involved in Armenia, helping to move to Armenia you are wasting time with this kind of articles.
    Do we need also a revolution in Diaspora to get awaken?

  2. Aram Avakian said:

    “Bad News Beginning” is the title of the article. It starts with commenting on the plan to close the ministry of diaspora by the new Armenian government and it is followed by some “wise” analysis. Dear Garen, was that ministry the sole source of our nation’s cohesion around the world, and was it a source at all? I strongly disagree with you that it was the most important ministry from a pan-Armenian perspective, especially taking into account the fact that I know, personally, its long time head from her comsomol days. If that is the bad beginning, I do not mind at all. Let the worst beginning for the Armenian nation be as bad as this, not any worse.

    Aram Avakian

  3. Armen. said:

    By closing any of ministries are creating jobless people ? If not then it is okay, otherwise don’t do it, no need for more jobless people in Armenia.

  4. Ari said:

    Why can’t Armenia follow Israel’s model where ….

    The formal link diaspora communities and the Israeli government are handled through an Inter- Ministerial Diaspora Committee, generally chaired by the Prime Minister. On a ministerial level, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs features a unit entrusted with handling diaspora affairs and the deployment of Israel’s consulates is determined, at least in part, by the presence of large Jewish communities. The Ministry of Tourism actively promotes tourism among diaspora communities. Similarly, the Ministry of Science, Culture and Sport coordinates cultural and sports exchanges with diaspora communities. Finally the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor targets the diaspora to promote trade and investment in Israel through its commercial attaches at key diplomatic missions. A degree of cooperation between diaspora communities and Israeli governmental agencies, particularly in the area of social service development, has been facilitated by another NGO, the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC).”

    Read the rest at:

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