[ed note: On the eve of the presidential election in Georgia–a group of non-governmental organizations of Javakhk appealed to the country’s acting president Nino Burjanadze–seeking a resolution to the desperate situation in the region. Although the appeal was sent on December 30–Asbarez received the content of the urgent appeal on Thursday from the A-INFO news agency.]
Appeal to Acting President of Georgia Mrs. Nino Burjanadze:
"At this fateful period for the Georgian state–we–the leaders of Armenian non-governmental organizations of the territory of Samtskhe-Javakhk–attaching great importance to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our country–appeal to the highest authorities of Georgia.
The deep national–political–and socio-economic crises of Georgia are the result of the following troubling–unresolved problems:
Fundamental human and ethnic minority rights guaranteed by the Georgian Constitution and international standards–necessary for establishing democratic and civil society–are being violated. In fact–the process of fulfilling the country’s commitmen’s before the Council of Europe has failed.
Rejection of the constitutionally guaranteed principle of self-governance has left many regions of the country to their fate–resulting in current dangerous developmen’s. The situation of the Samtskhe-Javakhk region is critical. Existing administrative and governance structures neither take into account the specifics of the region–nor do they correspond to the needs of the population. The system has long demonstrated that it is bankrupt and unproductive. The Samtskhe-Javakhk region has actually been pushed out of the governing process of the country.
The administrative governance of the region has been repressed. No short or long-term socio-economic programs to serve the interests of the population exist. Poverty and desperation have reached threatening levels. Educational and cultural institutions are unsatisfactory.
It is crucial to have the region fully integrated into the state–political–socio-economic–and cultural lives of the country.
We are sure that the civilized resolution to this deep crisis is to clarify the region’s administrative borders–and grant autonomy by way of the constitution.
Thus–we fully support certain constitutional reforms that ensure Georgia’s sovereignty and integrity–while establishing a federative or confederative structure.
We are sure that constitutional reforms that enhance democratic values will make it possible to find solutions to the problems of the entire people of Georgia–including the population of Samtskhe-Javakhk.
We are confident that resolving these issues would ensure the country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity–and would contribute to normal economic development of Georgia.
Charles Aznavour Charity Union–Akhaltsikha
Center for Democracy Development and Reforms–Akhalkalak
Areg Art Charity Union–Akhalkalak
War Veterans Union–Akhalkalak
Armenian Relief Society–Javakhk Chapter
Youth Sports and Culture Union of Javakhk
Writers Union of Javakhk
Armenian Sports General Union–Javakhk Chapter