Tuesday, November 27, 2007


By James Hakobyan

Lragir, Armenia
Nov 24 2007

We may state that the remote villages of Armenia and the region of Martuni of Karabakh will be saved. The annual telethon of Armenia Fund raised over 15 million dollars or dollars of pledges which is an unprecedented sum for the telethons. They will be saved just like the region of Hadrut, the region of Martakert, as well as North-South motorway were saved for which the previous telethons have raised money. As to how Hadrut, Martakert or North-South were saved, those who wish can visit Karabakh and have a look at them. The manifestation of this salvation is not merely the footages which are shown on the responsible TV channels how the Supreme Commander-in-Chief dedicates the fresh section of North-South and a smooth and clean road is shown. In reality, perhaps it would be better to show footages of those sections of the new road which are ruined after only a year. Or the sections which were not built although three or four years ago they stated to have raised the money necessary for the construction of the road. If these sections were televised as well, the picture would be full.

The same is about the reconstruction of Martakert and Hadrut which were launched with considerable delay and at a slow pace. For a Diasporan who donates money for these programs, the questions about what has been done should be as important as the questions about what has not been done. Why are these programs delayed or slowed down?

Isn't the reason that sums are pledged but are not transferred in the course of the year because the goal is not to raise money but to imitate donations to turn this pan-Armenian action into a means of propaganda for the governments of Armenia and Karabakh? Or isn't the reason for delaying or curtailing programs the steep depreciation of the dollar due to which the money becomes less hour by hour before it is spent? For instance, the value of 15 million dollars raised on November 22 decreased by 10-15 percent between November 22 and November 26. Meanwhile, the money is still on the way, it is just about to "leave" the house to serve the homeland. In other words, over this period the skillful money and loan experts of the homeland will manage to convert 15 million to 10 million at best.

It is clear that in this case it is impossible to maintain the schedule of programs because when money raised for Martakert is not enough, it is necessary to wait for the money raised for Hadrut, which means that Hadrut should wait for the money raised for Martuni, and all the three need to wait until North-South is finished.

Certainly, a possible way is that some people in Armenia wait for a while and let the exchange rate of the dollar remain in the state they have left it. They could do this self-sacrifice for the sake of the reconstruction of Karabakh or the remote villages of Armenia.

Especially that it takes them so little - they need to maintain the exchange rate of the money that others give. However, this self-sacrifice seems unlikely, and the more pan-Armenian money is collected, the greater the intra-Armenian appetite becomes.

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