BY 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.