The Armenian Revolutionary Federation Supreme Council of Armenia on Thursday held a rally at Yerevan’s Freedom Square that gave a stern warning—yellow card—to Armenia’s authorities to “Get Serious in the Name of the Country” and carry out the promises articulate during last year’s popular movement that toppled the previous regime.
People from all walks of life, and from as far away as Artsakh, had gathered to echo the sentiments of the speakers, who one by one took to the stage to proclaim that the time had come for the people of Armenia to reclaim their rights and demand from the authorities, who they claimed were still under the euphoric state of the early days of the movement, to roll up their sleeves and work toward advancing the platforms on which they the “Velvet Revolution” took place.
“A year later, we must attest that the anticipation and expectations of the people have not be justified, and the promises of the authorities are still up in the air,” said ARF Supreme Council of Armenia chairman Ishkhan Saghatelyan in his remarks at the rally, which was held under the motto of “We are Going to Advance Without Concessions. Get Serious.”
WATCH THE ENTIRE RALLY
“The government of Armenia does not have a plan or vision to develop the country, nor do they have a professional team to resolve the challenges facing our country,” added Saghatelyan who announced that the parties numerous calls for cooperation in order to assist the government with its outlook have remained unanswered.
“We say it again: we are ready to help. We have nothing to gain. We don’t want positions, payments or honors. We have one wish: to spare the country from dangerous situation,” added Saghatelyan.
He explained that the rally was not aimed against any one individual or group, but rather it is a rally against national schism.
“This rally is for the sake of our statehood, for the sake of Artsakh, for the sake of the Republic of Armenia and the entire Armenian Nation,” said Saghatelyan.
Also speaking at the rally was ARF Bureau member Benyamin Bjakdjian from Lebanon who also highlighted the need for the Diaspora’s participation in the advancement of an Armenian Republic based on the aspirations of the Armenian people.
He pledged that Diaspora Armenians were ready and willing to work hand-in-hand with the Armenian people to improve and advance the socio-economic and political life of Armenia, and fight to the end for Artsakh and the sacred cause that the Artsakh Liberation Movement sparked within the Armenian Nation.
Lilit Galstyan, a member of the ARF Supreme Council of Armenia and former member of parliament’s ARF bloc, said that “love and harmony,” the slogan of last year’s popular movement, has manifested itself into divisiveness with some in Armenia’s leadership are labeling people “blacks” and “whites.” She said as time has gone by, this dangerous attitude has become a guiding principle, whereby the authorities are trying to find so-called enemies among the people.
She specifically called on the young officials to put an end to such divisiveness and stop minimizing the threat of war that our nation is facing. “The people had other expectations from you,” said Galstyan.
ARF Bureau president Armen Rustamyan also touched similar themes adding that he did not see guarantees that the leadership of Armenia is treating the threats to the nation seriously.
“The truth is we [our country] at war and are blockaded. It is also very evident that we must develop under the threat of war and blockade without conceding our national interests and achievements,” said Rustamyan.
“To achieve this, we need radical and multi-faceted changes and reforms. There are no alternatives to such planned reforms,” added Rustamyan.
Other speakers at the rally also echoed the same sentiments and the crowd left the square with the conviction that the ARF will continue to advance these issues and extend a hand to help the country to move forward based on its national interests and “get serious” about defending Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Nation.