2019 October 9
Anti-Corruption & News Oct/9/2019 :: "Pashinyan the Terrorist" :: Former regime stoking divide between Artsakh and Armenia :: Former official arrested for stealing 2016-April war aid :: Shadowy economy fight :: Armenian bomb :: Competitiveness :: Job title stigma & education :: Serj Tankian & WCIT
Disclaimer: All the accused are innocent until proven guilty by the court of law, even if they may sound as being guilty. Currency in Armenian Drams ֏ unless specified otherwise.
Update: Kocharyan had his surgery and is feeling well. It isn't disclosed what surgery it was.
Serj's ally and a candidate for Artsakh presidential elections Vitaliy Balasanyan earlier called Pashinyan a terrorist for committing a "terror" by invading a govt-protected radio building area during the 2018 revolution, and for "illegal appropriation of power".
Recently Balasanyan gave another interview in which he accused Pashinyan of usurpation of power. He then cited theories he heard from somewhere about Aliyev and Pashinyan secretly colluding away from the public eye. He said the Roboserj govt was better at negotiating with Azerbaijan.
He said Pashinyan has invaded the govt position and must resign.
He then commented a meeting which Sasna Tsrer political party organized with Pashinyan. Says "Pashinyan is trying to terrorize everyone by threatening to use Tsrer to commit physical violence against us". "I want to warn them not to try otherwise they'll answer for it promptly." Balasanyan then bragged about having an experience and the physical capabilities for "answering back".
Balasanyan during interview: Nikol Pashinyan and Sasna Tsrer are part of the same terror circle. We forgave Sasna Tsrer in 2016 but we won't forgive again; now we'll physically destroy anyone who tries to attack my country, people, Artsakh government or myself.
Note: Sasna Tsrer is one of the biggest critics of Pashinyan administration, but they oppose the Roboserj regime.
The interview received a condemnation by various politicians in Artsakh and Armenia.
Abu Nikol Al Farook Pasha's spokesman: Not us, but the law enforcement should assess Balasanyan's remarks.
Artsakh President's aide Davit Babayan: Everything Balasanyan said is his personal opinion, and not the opinion of Artsakh Republic. Every politician should remain balanced. No one, regardless of their past, has the right to create a division between Armenia and Artsakh. We support constructive criticism but are against threats.
Aatsakh former MP and vet Vahan Badasyan: Serj is in Artsakh and recently met his mafia circles there. Balasanyan joined Serj's mafia in 2016. Serj is preparing his team for the 2020 Artsakh elections.
Artsakh MP Khanumyan: Balasanyan's case should be added to Political Studies books as an example of how a well respected person loses all credibility in a split of a second, for the sake of pleasing some circles. Balasanyan used to be critical of Serj. Then he became part of president Bako Sahakyan's cabinet, and it changed him, he begun to support Serj.
The Security Council chief Armen Grigoryan: Balasanyan is behaving like a hooligan. Every time he meets Serj, he goes through flares. It's a disorder. Balasanyan tied himself to Serj beginning 2016 and will end up in the garbage bin of the history, just like his leader Serj.
Sasna Tsrer: Balasanyan is making threats of a coup. The threats should be neutralized. We don't understand why the law enforcement isn't assessing the threat and examining his capabilities of being able to carry it out.
MP Yengibaryan: the hero has turned into an anti-hero right on front of my eyes. He is trying to create division between Artsakh and Armenia.
MP Konjoyan: these are terror threats
Not everyone agrees that Balasanyan said something wrong
The prosecutors and NSS are examining it
Ibn Al Nikol Saad Mutallib Pasha spoke during a "WHAT TO DO" conference meeting with businesses:
We need to change our attitudes towards job positions. I respect any worker regardless of what they do for a living. I used to work as a laborer too, and many people in this room have done as well.
There are people who would rather go to Russia and live in humiliating conditions, rather than stay in their Armenian village and apply to work on agriculture. (Talking about the general stigma associated with jobs such as taxi driver, garbage collector, etc)
"Every time I talk to business owners, they complain about shortage of workforce."
WHAT TO DO https://youtu.be/vwFZeP4zunc
Abu Nikol Al Armeni:
We gotta do something about the education. Everyone you approach these days has a fake dissertation paper. Some teachers aren't qualified to be in schools. We can't have a good education until we address this issue.
No one should hide behind their position and claim immunity just because they are a teacher or a war veteran or a churchman. What's next? I'm a minister so I should have a mansion?
Salahaddin bin Salsman Nikol:
The IMF (International Monetary Fund) said if we achieve a 0.3% change in the taxes-GDP index, it'll be an indication of the best anti shadowy-economy fight in Armenia. Today we have a 1.2% change, 4x better than the recommended.
15,000 people went to Gyumri to celebrate the Independence Day. Despite the increased trade, for some reason, the businesses printed the same number of sales receipts. This means they aren't doing their part in helping to reform the economy. Shadow economy is aided by those who don't print receipts, and those who don't demand receipts.
Overall, 85mln more receipts were printed in Armenia YoY.
No redistribution of businesses took place after the revolution. We know instances of former politicians owning embezzled houses registered under their wives names. It'll be politically justified to take the property away, but we aren't doing it. Doing so would send the wrong message to potential investors. This could make it seem that the government is weak.
Another temptation we aren't giving to is fake news. Many people tell us to regulate the misinformation, but we realize that it is yet another trap. We can't go down that route.
Deputy PM Grigoryan:
the idea of ending railways cooperation between Armenia and Russia isn't even on the table. We're discussing future cooperation with the Russian govt.
Gas price negotiations are around the price at the border, Gazprom's investments in Armenia, Gazprom's expenditures during delivery of gas.
Shengavit district's former leader has been charged with embezzlement and fraud in a 2016 case. The suspect has recovered the stolen properly.
Police: the admin collected 4.8mln from donors during the 2016 April battles. Instead of sending the aid to Artsakh, he purchased cars for his friends.
Masood Nikol Al Pasha met Reddit's Alexis Ohanyan. Spoke tech.
Nikol Aliyev then met Kim Kardashian. Took a Selfie. PM thanked her for the contributions and the visit. Kim spoke about women's role in the economy and politics, praised business programs that help female entrepreneurs.
Kardashyan also got baptized. She took the Armenian name of "Heghine", while Courtney's name is "Gayane".
Earlier their kids got baptized and got the names Վարդան, Աշխեն և Գրիգոր.
Mahmood Nikolzadeh met US congresswomen Jackie Spears and Judy Chu. Both had visited Artsakh Republic earlier.
Spears was already added to Azerbaijan's border-entry blacklist for not asking sultan Aliyev for permission before visiting Artsakh. Chu has just been added to the blacklist.
WCIT Conference ended.
What the participants think
Представитель «Яндекс Такси» о перспективах появления беспилотных такси в Армении
Հայաստանում սելֆի-հայելիներ կարտադրեն
A forest protection official at Lori province is charged with felony for illegally cutting 75 trees in August 2019.
Serj Tankian about the Amulsar issue:
The problem with whats going on with Amulsar is the fact that it's being politicized. We not only have a possible ecological disaster, a possible lawsuit disaster, but we also have counter-revolutionary groups who want to abuse the issue politically to use it against the government. That seems to be a problem.
As someone who has worked in ecological matters for a long time, I don't like it when people politicize the issue. For example, people who have never been interested in ecology in Armenia, and are business people, are now saying the mine should not open. They never gave a sh*t, why do they care now. That's a big problem for me.
I don't believe that any mine is good for nature. What's going on in Armenia today is that they are looking at every possible factor from environmental prospects to also legal prospects because of the liability of the business arbitration.
I think they've done more research on this issue in the last year, than I've seen any government done in the world for any mining issue. So give respect for that, and I hope the right solution can be made.
Serj Tankian says his 5 year old son is learning the Armenian and English alphabets. He limits the tablet use because he believes excessive use at an early age can cause attention deficiencies. "Some parents maybe aren't informed about this."
SOAD will give a concert in Armenia in June 2020. It'll be part of a European tour.
Karen Vardanyan, the founder of ArmAt education program and DigiTech conference, becomes the first Armenian to receive the Eminent Persons Award for his 30-year contributions. Other notable recipients are Internet's daddy Vint Cerf and Nelson Mandela. The award can be given to non techies if they help change human lives.
A BHK bill is circulating in the Parliament. If passed, it'll significantly toughen the penalty for animal cruelty. Torture and death will be a felony and in per-meditated cases involving children as witnesses, the perpetrator can expect 3 years of prison time. In other cases it'll be between a few hundred dollar fine to a few months in jail.
Yesterday a video circulated on Facebook showing a man dragging a dog tied behind the car. When the dog could no longer run, they released the rope. The rope shocked the animal, but it survived. The perpetrator wasn't punished. Although the law envisions a ~$80 fine, it doesn't mention by whom, who or how it should be collected.
Video is graphic https://armtimes.com/hy/article/171210
Breavis SURVEY among Yerevanites.
51% prefer to use bus to travel. 46% says they'll use them even if the buses are old and unsafe.
Only 14% prefer Metro. 9% prefer trolley.
38% prefer taxi due to cheap prices. They use it daily or few times a week.
About 44% drive a personal car.
Defense Ministry will expand the aid program that uses special funds collected for soldiers, to cover soldiers who suffered as back as in 1998. The program has been extended 1-2 times in the past year. It used to cover incidents that happened after 2017.
During today's military exercises, Su-25 fighter jets used 500KG bombs Made in Armenia.
Ministry of Finances met Transparency International and other NGOs to discuss making the budget more transparent for public to understand how their money is spent. NGOs also suggested changes to the official website to make certain info available on the front page. Ministry will work on it.
Armenia moves up 1 position to 69th in the 2019 Global Competitiveness Index.
The score is 61.3. It measures the institutions, policies and productivity. GDP Per capita is $4,149 with unemployment being 17.7%. Here are the index points...
INSTITUTIONS – 56.2
INFRASTRUCTURE – 69.4
ICT ADOPTION – 62.0
MACROECONOMIC STABILITY – 75.0
HEALTH – 80.7
SKILLS – 66.8
PRODUCT MARKET – 59.1
LABOR MARKET – 66.4
FINANCIAL SYSTEM – 60.2
MARKET SIZE – 37.5
BUSINESS DYNAMISM – 62.5
INNOVATION CAPABILITY – 39.4
Singapore 1, Russia 43, Kazakh 55, Caucasian Albania 58, Armenia 69, Georgia 74, Ukraine 85, Moldova 86,
More details on what was improved is here https://armenpress.am/arm/news/991024.html
Georgian church has sent a complaint letter to the Islamic leader of Caucasus. It's about the Georgian David Gareja monastry complex at the border with Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan recently shut it down and rpevented people from visiting it, causing anger in Goergia. Azeris build a military base near the church. Azerbaijan thinks its their cultural sight because "Caucasian ALbanians built it".
The Goergian church says the AZ-GEO borders are regualted with 1930s resolution which envisioned the church within Goergia's territory.
Link to original report and comments: https://www.reddit.com/r/armenia/comments/dflw5k/anticorruption_news_oct92019_pashinyan_the/
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