March 1st Riots in Yerevan, Armenia sign now

We, the undersigned citizens of Armenia not affiliated with any government bodies or with the marginal opposition groups, state the following:

The events of March 1, 2008 in Yerevan, Armenia are an attempt of a rebellion, which had nothing to do with peaceful opposition actions. Witnesses confirm that the police and the authorities in general refrained from resorting to force as long as possible. The state authorities patiently waited for 9 days for the unauthorized demonstration to end, but the marginalized part of the opposition led by Levon Ter-Petrosyan continued illegal activities with calls to overthrow government with revolutionary means. This was a Gandhi on surface, Bolshevist in essence "singing and dancing revolution" to quote Ter-Petrosyan himself. The actions of Levon Ter-Petrosyans supporters ended in deaths (both among the protesters and police forces), burning and looting something unseen even during the protests of 1988, when hundreds of thousands of Armenians were taking part in the demonstrations for the freedom of Nagorno Karabakh.

We strongly believe that now Levon Ter-Petrosyan is a direct threat to the statehood of Armenia.

The feeling of revenge, personal business interests and affiliations are the motives behind Levon Ter-Petrosyans scandalous comeback. While we criticize our government for many weaknesses and faults we strongly believe that Levon Ter-Petrosyan is the last person in the world to be interested in strengthening democracy in Armenia. The reasons for us to think so are:

1. Ter-Petrosyan was the first leader of the Republic of Armenia to practice large scale electoral fraud (elections of 1996, Vazgen Manukian being the real winner).

2. Ter-Petrosyan was the first one to use army against the protesters (after falsifying the results of presidential elections in 1996).

3. Ter-Petrosyan was the first to suppress free speech, by closing newspapers (some of us remember quite well policemen throwing computers out of the office windows of the Yerkir daily).

4. Ter-Petrosyan was the first leader in the Republic of Armenia to shut down a political party and throw its members into jail (the infamous Dro case).

5. Ter-Petrosyan was the very person under whose wing the oligarchic families were born. Actually all the current Armenian oligarchs became rich during Ter-Petrosyans rule. Moreover, while his supporters criticize oligarchs, the major donor for the Ter-Petrosyans campaign is another oligarch.

6. Ter-Petrosyan was the person who brought to power current Armenian authorities who are now being called criminals and bandits by the supporters of the ex-president.

7. Yet the most important... Ter-Petrosyan is the very person who killed Armenians belief in justice, law and freedom of speech.

With everything said above, we urge our compatriots to stay sober and do not fall for the disinformation and PR-campaign started by Levon Ter-Petrosyans supporters.

We call on the government of Armenia to conduct thorough investigation and bring to fair trial all instigators of disturbances and civil unrest. With enough evidence of complicity immunity should be lifted from Ter Petrosyan himself. In true democracy no one can be above the law.

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Erma HannaBy:
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