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Armenians of Georgia: Ask More, Then We’ll See2009-06-19 23:02
Do the Armenians of the Georgian District Samtkhe-Djavakheti have the right to demand self-government and provision of a state status to the Armenian language? Georgians believe this is contrary to the Constitution. Armenians seem to be acting according to the principle: ask much, take what you're given.
The Djavakhke issue will hardly be discussed by the leaders of Georgia and Armenia at their meeting in Erevan: «as the government of our country does not interfere with the internal affairs of Armenia, so the Armenian government will not interfere with the Georgian internal business». In this way a Georgian deputy Paata Davitaya commented on the appeal of the Djavakhke Armenians to the Armenian President Serge Sargsyan. They asked him to solicit the head of the neighbouring state for them. A good moment will come on 24 June, when Mikhail Saakashvili will make a visit to Armenia.
The appeal appeared on several Armenian sites in Armenia, Russia and Georgia, and even in comments to a GeorgiaTimes article. Armenians who emigrated from Djavakhetia are worried about the growing aggravation of the social and political situation in their home country. «We cannot but see the imminent threats related to apparently unlawful actions of the Georgian authorities with regard to the native Armenian residents of the region», the diaspora stresses its right to demand the treatment deserved by the natives.
Among their wishes that Sargsyan should express to Saakashvili there are such «courageous» questions as that of providing the region with a self-government status and Armenian with the status of an additional state language; the question of returning historical monuments and sacred objects to the Armenian community of Georgia. In addition, in the list of the unsolved issues made by the diaspora there is no less than «immediate liberation of the political prisoner Vagan Tchakhalyan, the opening of the road block «Upper Lars», the creation of a subsidiary of the Tbilisi University in Djavakhke and the permission of double citizenship for the Armenians of Djavakhke».
However the Vice Speaker of the Georgian Parliament Paata Davitaya considers inappropriate even the raising of all these issues. «The Georgian Constitution does not allow double citizenship, - he noted in his interview to Day.Az. - This is all to frivolous. Unfortunately I have to state that such declarations are not made for the first time. But they will remain mere declarations».