BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
The only thing missing was a single tear running down his cheek… or more likely a flood of crocodile tears as “Nemetz Roubo” (Rouben Hayrapetyan) announced his resignation from the Republic of Armenia’s parliament.
Unless you’ve been living under the rock of Gibraltar (a regular rock just wouldn’t do in this case), by now you know that Maj. Dr. Vahe Avetyan, a Defense Ministry employee, was beaten in that parliamentarian/oligarch/thug’s employees in his restaurant, Harsnakar (Bridestone), evidently a hangout for notables. Avetyan died two weeks later of his injuries. Protests have been organized throughout the Armenian world. These have ranged from quietly laying wreaths and lighting candles to the most recent nighttime rally in front of the Harsnakar was rousted by various law-enforcement agencies. In fact, before you read this, another gathering will have taken place in front of the Armenia’s Consulate General in Glendale.
Clearly, every decent Armenian human being has had it. The protests are calls for an end to the lawlessness and impunity enjoyed by Armenia’s economic elites.
As it is, law enforcement has reported that Hayrapetyan was not in the restaurant at the time of the incident. I don’t know how believable that is. The actual beaters are being investigated. Given the history of such situations (you might remember when a presidential protocol employee was severely beaten for asking former Yerevan Mayor Gagik Beglaryan to conform to the seating arrangements required; Beglaryan is now back in power as Minister of Transport and Communication and in a leadership position in Armenia’s ruling Republican Party of Armenia.
The cynicism driving Roubo’s actions becomes evident when we consider his refusal to heed the public calls to step down as President of Armenia’s Football Federation. Who knows what ill-gotten gains he’s accruing thanks to that post.
Further insight into this man comes from the obvious sanction he gives to the continued use of the moniker “nemetz.” I have gotten varied explanations as to what this word means. But, it’s clear that it is derogatory, and a way of saying “German” and/or “foreigner,” with a hint of being a disciplinarian, or even a Nazi. Watch some videos of this guy, and you’ll see his arrogance and threat-laden interaction.
It’s the same kind of presumptuous, unchecked, and societally destructive behavior that led Siunik’s regional governor Sooren Khachatryan to threaten eco-activist Mariam Sookhoodian last December.
Let your indignation show! Participate in the protests. Contact Armenia’s authorities and give them an earful.