By Suzanne Simonyan, Yerevan, 16 August 2013

How to describe today's Armenia? An Armenian tourist would describe it
as a complex of shining skyscrapers, fashionable hotels, cars (many
Mercedes, BMW), high-end restaurants, cozy cafes and the indifferent
people shuffling through Yerevan's centre.

Yes, most of our brothers and sisters who come to Armenia for vacation
admire this veneer and don't see the real Armenia. They mostly see
only the centre of Yerevan, and some places of tourist interest not
too far from the capital. Travel agencies never take visitors on
tours which would show them the reality of Armenia. They don't take
them to places where one can see the miserable life of the people,
stooped by the burdens of a harsh life.

Missing from the postcard are soldiers killed in the army at peacetime
and their mourning mothers, the military doctor killed in broad
daylight in the restaurant and his orphaned children, the suicides
because people can't cope with a cruel reality anymore. The abandoned
villages and towns, the unprotected and vulnerable senior citizens,
the lacerated forests and mountains, mineral waste dumps, the ruined
agriculture, the insecure life of the fearful, those in despair,
the emigration, the crime statistics, the absence of justice and the
rule of law...all are covered or erased.

The above lack of security in our lives runs parallel to the
cooperation of the new colonialists and the domestic criminal
oligarchic system.

Our society has traditionally believed that the state should dictate
the lives of its citizens. For most Armenians the state is an invisible
body, with supreme authority, to govern any way it wants. In fact,
a state is just a mechanism through which people are guaranteed
security and development. States are established and formed to serve
their citizens and to give an adequate response to the challenges
faced by its people.

What's going on in our country? Does our state take care of its
people? Has it established an honorable or respectable life for
its citizens?

The state should guarantee the security of its people, starting with
military security, security of culture, financial-economic security,
and security in foreign affairs, etc. But every day we witness how
the fake balloons of those securities keep exploding around us.

What are the conclusions to be drawn from this state of affairs? Of
course, it's the absence of the state. Actually, we haven't had a
state for a long time. The current state serves and protects only
the oligarchic clans. It serves the elite and the foreign political
power centres. And in response, those centres protect today's fake
and subservient statesmen and politicians. This is the primitive
mechanism through which the management of our country has been
handed to the new colonialists. The management levers are no longer
in Armenia. They are in the hands of the new colonialists who have
become the decision-makers of our country.

Worried with the above-mentioned, 33 citizens united and established
a political-civil action group called Nakhakhorhrdaran. The group
initiated new political process aimed at changing of the management
system in Armenia.

Nakhakhorhrdaran aims to establish a new system capable to set and
to pursue national goals and tasks. We call on Republic of Armenia
citizens and all Armenians living in the Diaspora to stand up for
the human, national and state dignity, freedom and justice in our
Homeland. We call on all Diaspora Armenians to participate in the
necessary process with Armenians living in Motherland, because the
current management system has created a crisis of moral-psychological,
socio-economic and demographic character which is threatening the
existence of our Motherland.

The deepening crisis is reflected in the enforcement of the criminal
oligarchic value system on society, by the social polarization
incompatible with a vibrant social life, by the legal system which is
a satellite of the political powers, by the predatory exploitation
of natural resources, the destruction of the natural systems and
biodiversity, by the pulverization of the cultural heritage, by
Armenia's increasing dependence on foreign powers.

Today's systemic crisis has caused widespread despair toward the
future resulting in colossal emigration which threatens not only the
statehood, but also the physical existence of the Armenians living
in the Homeland.

We believe it is possible to overcome the systemic crisis through
radical reconsideration and through the transformation of the current
political and management systems. In such a situation the mobilization
of the capable forces of society and the support and mobilization
of Diaspora Armenians is a must. We are in active struggle now,
organizing demonstrations, public actions, etc. We are also working
to establish an alternative court of justice. New Armenia's Strategic
Concept, prepared by Nakhakhorhrdaran, shall start its hearings in
September. Many Armenians from Diaspora visit our office in Armenia
and take part in the discussions of the concept and our activities
in general. Their suggestions are always taken into consideration.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, it is high time to be active in these
processes and to show that you are not indifferent to what is happening
to Armenia, to our Motherland. The desire for change is well planted
in the country, and many youth groups have stood up and made their
demands for a just society. The Diaspora should take active part in
these processes. The Diaspora should join the processes in any way
they prefer. Diaspora should make its voice heard. Tomorrow might be
too late.

Suzanne Simonyan is the deputy coordinator of Nakhakhorhrdaran
in Armenia.