Sunday, July 20, 2003

Today was a very relaxing day.

I was invited to a picnic at a village 7 kilometers outside of Stepanagert, where a private lake is found. The lake is about 20 smaller than my lake, but what makes it such a nice place is that it is surrounded by a forest.

I guess what also made the picnic fun was it was with a family who I am very close with and had written about the other night, telling you about my friend being hauled down to the police station, being accused of defacing a wall in the mayor of Stepanagert's neighborhood.

So when we arrived to the lake, it was overcast and had started to sprinkle. Overcast or not, my friend, his brothers and I made our way out on a platform that has a water-gate at the end of it to see how deep the lake was.

Next thing I know, everyone was stripping down to their underwear and starting diving into the water.

When I dove in, the first meter of water was warm, but below that level was ice-cold.

I swam practically the length of the lake and one thing I noticed was I was floating on the face of the water, like you would in salt-water. It was great to swim, but from all the sporting activities I�ve done, this one takes the most energy.

We got out and joined the others at our resting area where a couple of rope-swings had been installed to keep us busy.

I won't drag this log out with telling you about the food, but all I know is I have to have put away few kilos, before I laid down under a tree for a nice long nap (this of course after spraying myself with deep woods off).

So it seems that my friend�s mom, Larisa Hayapetyan went to the police station the day following last Monday�s interrogation to find out what they wanted from her?

She said that they immediately started to apologize and telling her that it was all a mistake and they were looking for another Larisa Hayapetyan, who happened to be from the same village she was from, but lives near the shoe factory.

As far as Larisa knows, she is the only Larisa Hayapetyan in her village and we can only guess that someone defaced a wall near the mayor�s house and the mayor was probably asked who could have done this and he suggested the Thomasyan/Hayapetyan family, as when they dragged in my friend, they started to ask him about letters to officials and so on. If course of that other Larisa who we know does not exist was also on the list to get a house, then maybe that�s why they asked my friends all those questions.

So now my friends mother is preparing another letter to the president and the mayor to see why they didn't get a house since they were in first place on one of the lists and also to ask why her son was pulled down to the police station and they conducted an illegal search of their house.

I also what to know who that other Larisa is, as if she does not exist, you can be sure heads will roll. Does this mean I'm pissed? You bet and this time I'm going to make sure that someone ends up getting fired and someone does the right thing and resigns from his "elected" post. And to think, the mayor told me in our meeting that all he wants is law and order. Well now I'm going to make his wish come true.

The mayor should have done his homework as to who Larisa Hayapetyan is and knows before he pulled this latest stunt. Besides me being a close family friend, her daughter-in-law's mother is a former judge and now a legal expert for the government in the department that reviews complaints of illegalities in the legal system (and was present during the illegal search and pointed out to the police that they don't have a search order) and Larisa's first-cousin is Artsakh's minister of law (though they don't refer to this office as a ministry, he is the head of overseeing the legal system). Ouch!!!

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