Actress Arsinee Khanjian wrote an open letter to the Armenian Diaspora by calling to unite forces and monitor elections in 2017.
The letter starts with the fact of being detained by the Armenian police on July 27, 2016, after a group of armed men took over a police station in the center of Yerevan, killed one polieceman and (arguably) the second, and held other policemen and then doctors in that very police station by limiting their freedoms. I do not call them hostages, although this is what it is called in all other parts of the world. Nevertheless…
Arsinee calls this case “act of last resort after exhausted attempts at promoting change through political movements.” Well, I should say that this group of armed men never participated in any election and have been rejecting and still rejects elections as a method of gaining political power. Now Arsinee is calling Diaspora to unite and observe the elections…
This is very good, I do not mind observers. It is the way it should be and I salute that. Political power in Armenia should be gained only by gaining the votes of Armenian citizens. Period. But I will come back to this later.
Coming back to the letter. Arsinee asks: “So how can the Diaspora participate in a direct and impactful way toward positive social and political paradigm shifts in Armenia?”
Do you really want to know, Arsinee, how Diaspora can “participate in a direct and impactful way toward positive social and political paradigm shifts in Armenia”? I can tell you.
By becoming citizens of the Republic of Armenia first. By sharing our everyday thoughts and realities. By participating in communities’ lives and paying taxes. By demanding the citizens’ liberties and rights and applying rule of law in every aspect. By being an example, but not only an observer.
Arsinee, no local will treat you seriously, if you are not a fellow citizen. They know you will fly back home next week. If you want to be an active citizen, you will need to become a citizen first.
Enough treating Diaspora as some group that gives money. Armenia needs you more than your money. And when I say you, I mean you (Diaspora) as citizens of the Republic. Not citizens of Honduras, Uruguay, Canada or Australia, who do not have any rights to vote in Armenia.
You want to influence the elections? Come and vote first.
Do you really, seriously teach us how to live? Why should the citizens of Armenia listen to how Canadian or Russian citizens tell them how to build their future? Why is your open letter to Diaspora only? Do you think locals cannot work as observers? Why is this undermining, neglecting and ignoring Armenian citizens taking place?
Instead of preparing citizens of Armenia to protect their own rights, you call citizens of other countries to do it for them. What a nonsense…
You speak about 8 million Armenians abroad in your letter. Five percent of those 8 million makes 400,000, it is sufficient to change Armenia tomorrow. Literally. Only 5 % of you, Diaspora. So, how dare you speak about changes in Armenia, when even 5% of you does not want to become citizens and vote for those very changes?
Come and observe, what can I say? Welcome to my Armenia, dear citizens of other countries.