Interview with Raffi Hovannisian

My interview with Heritage leader Raffi Hovannisian was published on the Armenian Weekly web site yesterday. I recorded the interview while he was on his hunger strike in Yerevan’s Liberty Square on Saturday.

Here’s an excerpt from one of his responses:

Raffi Hovannisian at Liberty Square, March 17, 2011. Karen Minasyan photo.
Raffi Hovannisian at Liberty Square, March 17, 2011. Karen Minasyan photo.

If we postpone to the next cycle of elections the resolution of the issues that face us today, we’ll find ourselves in front of a predetermined election, in other words the people will become more fatalistic than they are today. We talk about what is real in Armenia, which means do nothing or there’s a great danger of renewed violence because there’s a lot of pent-up frustration based on the injustice, inequality, and unlawfulness that reigns in the country today. So my one expectation is from the authorities, and the second expectation is from civil society, from the Armenian public, to find itself the master of the public agenda and not to wait for anybody, whether it’s the incumbent president or opposition parties, to tell it from rostrums and podiums and elsewhere what to do, to empower the Armenian public with the message that their rights are in their hands, that this square, the symbol of liberty, democracy, and liberation for Artsakh, belongs to all Armenians, and there’s no reason for Armenians to be displaced from this square, from their expression of their free will and different views. And I’m happy to report that thousands of people entered the square for the rally on Thursday [March 17] to express solidarity, to take back the square, and to exercise their constitutional rights to be the masters of the square. The important thing now is for the Armenian people to be the master of their own destiny and their own political agenda.

You can read the interview in its entirety on the Armenian Weekly’s web site.