Two To Dump

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian


It’s time for two holders of public office, one in the RoA and one in the USA, to exit the stage of public service.

First is Arayik Harutyunyan, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports, whom I had the displeasure of meeting when he was in the Los Angeles area some months ago. He has proposed “reforms” of the RoA’s educational system that include making the study of Armenian history, language, and literature elective at the college level. Currently, they are required.

So we are expected to believe that these topics being mandatory is a critical problem confronting Armenia’s educational system. It’s not the bribery-for-grades that has afflicted the system. It’s not rising costs. It’s not poorly paid teachers/professors.

For those of us living in the west, this may not seem like such a big deal. Many colleges/universities in the U.S. no longer require such classes of their students. As long ago as the early eighties, as an engineering student, I did not have to take such classes. I just had to fulfill a generic “humanities” requirement of a few courses (I’ve forgotten how many). Ironically, in the context of this article, I took six courses in Armenian history and language!

But the RoA is not the USA, nor any other north or South American country, it is not even France, Greece, Russia, or any European country. By this I mean that it is truly a (small) nation-state. The countries of the Americas are based on immigration from all over the word. They do not house nations in the proper sense of the word. The European countries, while housing nations in the proper sense of the word, are mostly much larger in population. Finally, none of them have been subjected to genocide. Our situation as a nation is far more precarious, requiring more TLC (tender loving care) towards that which makes us Armenian.

That’s why these reforms are wrong. If they are pursuing some agenda, I can’t even fathom what it is, since the proposal is just plain needless, pointless, and given the source, I would not be surprised if they were simply meant to irritate those who stand in opposition to this poorly chosen government minister.

Unsurprisingly, the proposals elicited protests. The ARF youth organization in Yerevan is leading these. Also unsurprisingly, Harutyunyan’s response has been dismissive and designed to distract attention from his flawed proposals. He has described them as “purely political actions” without substances. He has accused the ARF of “bad behavior” and tried to create rifts within the party by calling on its members outside of Armenia to, for lack of better terminology, “straighten out” their comrades in the RoA He is practicing extreme partisanship by accusing others of being partisan. It’s a clever, but pathetically transparent ploy. He really should pack his bags and go back to teaching. Perhaps he can dupe some of his students into accepting whatever ideology it is that motivates him, though I doubt many would be that dumb.

Prime Minister Pashinyan seemed to act appropriately regarding all this, at least initially, by meeting with the protesters and making comments quite becoming of his position. I was pleased. Subsequently, I learned that he had commented something to the effect that even if 10,000 people protested and called for Hatutyunyan’s removal, it would not happen. That’s unfortunate, since this minister is nothing but a political millstone around the prime minister’s neck.

Dump Harutyunyan, now, Mr. Prime Minister, it is best for the country.

Moving to the US, we have had the displeasure to make the acquaintance of Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. She is a Democrat representing the 30th Congressional District of Texas in the U.S. House of Representatives and serving her serving her 13th term. She is African-American, a non-practicing registered nurse, and according to her own website “has a reputation as a stateswoman who works with both parties to get things done” among other things. I chose these three aspects of her life to expose the vileness of her vote against the Genocide resolution two and a half weeks ago.

As an African-American, and very likely a descendant of slaves, she should know well the horrors of humans right abuses. As a nurse and someone involved in groupings and issues that care for people, she should understand human and humanitarian needs. As a bipartisanship-inclined “stateswoman”, she should value the cooperation demonstrated by votes as overwhelming as that which H.Res 296 elicited.

Her no vote on the bill, cast in solidarity with her Turkish staffer is a massive political mistake. She should be ousted. Perhaps firing that staffer and apologizing profusely and publicly would change my mind. Otherwise, she should be challenged at election, coming soon in 2020, and driven, nay, humiliated, out of office.

I do not know the politics of her district, but if there is any home grown opposition, the Armenian community should direct all available resources at making an example of her by supporting a viable opponent. Hopefully, she has made enough mistakes over the course of her four-plus decades in public office that people are ready to replace her.

Write to Pashinyan demanding Harotyunyan’s ouster (the latter is far too arrogant to have the decency to resign). Write to Johnson asking for her resignation, or watch her district for opposition to her and support the best candidate to knock her out of office.


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  1. Lorenz J Yacoubian said:

    What about THE SINGLE Democrat who voted “present.” Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar.
    The Armenian community should direct all available resources at making her an example as well.
    Here the viable opponent will be Danielle Stella.

  2. ardachece barseghian said:

    To hear again today and for these 28 years of residence in Armenia the permanent complaints of certain members of the teaching staff who complain of a lack of listening when necessary structural reforms, pedagogical in symbiosis or cooperation with the world of international education, UNESCO, our country as a new partner of the European Union, and therefore the countries that are members of the European Union’s high-performance education methods, nothing has changed since the Soviet era, showing a smugness, an arrogance, ready to give lessons to finish with this Minister who dares to reject the teaching of language and history at the subordinate rank, he reminds me in the same vein a certain Belayan of the “glorious epoque” Ter Bedrossian who recalled from peace by giving Artsakh back to the azerie. So, yes, Mr. Pachinyan should send him back to his studies, right away. Enough of these Ministers sleep in their offices.

  3. Nshan said:

    In my opinion the Armenian language and history taught in schools in Armenia should be of sufficiently high standard so that no further studying is required in these subjects by students pursuing higher education. Unfortunately the Armenian language used now in Armenia has been totally corrupted. There is hardly a sentence without a foreign word in it, words which have perfectly good equivalents in Armenian. I think Arayik Harutyunyan should concentrate his efforts in purifying the language of its foreign imports. A start can be made with the publication of new dictionaries and the usage of correct Armenian in official announcements and documents. Let us bear in mind that many Israelis feel that one of the supreme cultural achievements of the Zionist movement was the resurrection of the Hebrew language in its modern variant.

    • ardachece barseghian said:

      I totally adhere to your analysis and proposal to put this Minister to work usefully in the interest of the Armenian nation and not within the limits of Soviet Armenia …

  4. joe said:

    Rep Jackson’s actions are nothing compared to GOP Senator Lindsey Graham, who just a few days ago, at the request of Trump, the State Department and genocidal Turkey, stopped the Armenian genocide vote in the Senate and made statements such as ” we shouldn’t be rewriting history”..As if this ignorant corrupt political hack knows that the very word GENOCIDE was invented using the Armenian case as its example? By not voting he is rewriting history. Reminds me of GOP convicted pedophile, Speaker Hestert, who was bribed by Turks to thwart the AG vote as speaker.. I would call Senator Graham’s office (202) 224-5972 and politely tell him of your displeasure and how W$RONG HE IS and how unacceptable this is..ITS YOUR AMERICAN RIGHT because he works for the people. NOT SPECIAL INTEREST.

    • State of Emergency said:

      No amount of writing, calling, or complaining will make a difference. Those rights are simply formalities to pacify the masses in thinking they have a say in matters.