Thursday, July 24, 2008

What's going on in Javakhq?

I thought the Sahakashvili administration was interested in improving the living conditions of the citizens in Javakhq. That would mean improving the economic opportunities for the people and also basic human rights like freedom of speech and thought.

Currently there seems to be a crackdown of an organization called 'United Javakhq'. One of the members, Vahagn Chakhalian, has been arrested. The offices of the organization were searched. There is also a large contingent of police, brought in from elsewhere in the country, in the area as well.

So, is this some kind of an anti-Armenian operation by the Georgian government? In the past we have seen a number of arbitrary arrests of the citizens of Armenian origin. There have been a few instances when the Georgian police shot and killed their own citizens whose only fault, it seems, was that they were ethnically Armenian. Needless to say, these police were never brought to justice.

It is important that the rights of the ethnic minorities in Georgia are respected. The successive governments there have not been known for their tolerance towards their minorities. I am hoping that Sahakashvili doesn't fall in the same trap.

We need to pressure him and help him stay on the right track for Georgia's development.


Ani said...

If considered in the larger context of the simultaneous Abkhazia and South Ossetia problems, there are a couple of narratives one can put together for this problem occurring right now. Either the Georgian government is taking a hard line, fearing yet another possible blossoming secession movement in Javakhq, or there are provocateurs trying to make life very hard for Georgia. Of course, it could be a bit of both too.

nazarian said...

Another factor could be the Kars-Baku railway that will be passing through Akhalqalak. Since the area is populated by ethnic Armenians, that would give leverage to them. The Georgians might be trying to nip any such thoughts in the bud by such seemingly bizarre crackdown and show of force.

Haik said...

It is not complex.
Sakashvili is a nationalist. His party is called United National Movement.
From the first day of the Rose revolution it was clear that after coming to power he will take a hard stance on national issues.
In the long term it will cost dearly to Georgia.