LOS ANGELES–Presidential Advisor and chair of the Constitutional Amendmen’s Committee–Paruir Hairikian made an appearance in Los Angeles Friday in the hall of the Van Nuys St. Peter’s Church.
The program began with an introduction of Hairikian’s biography by Armenia’s Consul in Los Angeles Armen Melkonian. Hairikian spoke about "Constitutional Changes and Dual Citizenship Issues in Armenia."
The second speaker for the night was historian–Prof. Levon Marashlian–who while discussing the establishment of dual-citizenship in Armenia–said that although the majority of people living in the Diaspora want dual citizenship to exist in Armenia–there are many differing opinions in Armenia about the matter. According to Marashlian–dual-citizenship is a necessity for Armenia and the Diaspora in order to ensure prosperity in Armenia and the continued flourishing of a strong Diaspora.
With the establishment of dual-citizenship–the Diaspora would help Armenia financially–the Diaspora would feel a close and immediate bond with the homeland–and the population of Armenia’s living in Armenia would increase significantly. Marashlian stated that the Armenian Cause and the Genocide are things pertaining mostly to the Armenia’s of the Diaspora–and with the establishment of dual-citizenship they will have a stronger foundation. At the beginning of his speech–Hairikian first briefly talked about the current situation in Armenia–praising the new government as more liberal serving the national interests of the entire Armenian people.
Hairikian–in his capacity as presidential advisor–said that President Kocharian has thus far worked very hard toward the realization of his campaign promises. This–according to him–applies especially to the realm of human rights–as the president is committed to constitutional changes ensuring and preserving universal human rights in the country.
Turning to Marashlian’s commen’s–Hairikian assured that dual citizenship will be instituted through constitutional amendmen’s. Hairikian continued saying that dual citizenship–although not always healthy–is a necessity for countries with large diasporas–adding that through the constitutional institutionalization of dual citizenship–national interest will be protected–because the population of Armenia will grow–a sense of responsibility will also be felt by citizens toward their country–and the Diaspora will be saved.
Kocharian–once again–declared Kocharian’s commitment to this issues–pointing out–however–that dual citizenship was only supported by some 50 percent of the National Assembly delegates. He did say that the forthcoming parliamentary elections will change many things–though.
At the end of his talk–Hairikian responded to several questions on various issues–including the return of the Diaspora to the homeland in an organized manner–changes in the internal situation of Armenia–both socially and economically–as well as questions in regards to the recent murder of Prosecutor General Henrik Khachatrian.
Hairikian noted that the murdered official had undertaken a campaign against past and present corruption in the country–and he had achieved an admirable level of success.
In fact–said the advisor–before his death Khachatrian had confided in Hairikian (and the advisor quoted to the audience)–"it is now being said about V[ano] Siradeghian that he himself had order murders in the name of the nation and the homeland."