I just read a news article about a crazy, totally blatant form of government corruption in Armenia. Apparently, a state-run medical institution, named the Medical Genetics Center of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences, was privatized as soon as a new adviser to Prime Minister Antranik Markarian was appointed. The shock of this event, the nature of which itself is no surprise by now, is that it was sold to the adviser's daughter. Armenia Liberty reports the following:
The government decided on Thursday to sell the Medical Genetics Center of the Armenian National Academy of Sciences to the daughter of a newly appointed adviser to Prime Minister Andranik Markarian for 15.2 million drams ($34 million). No reasons were given for its failure to privatize the facility on a competitive basis and thus raise a less modest sum.
The director and now the owner of the Medical Genetics Center, Tamara Sargsian, is the daughter of Fadey Sargsian, who was forced to resign on April 6 as chairman of the National Academy of Sciences amid corruption allegations and calls for radical reform of the moribund Soviet-era institution.
Sargsian, 83, was promptly given a new job, becoming an adviser to the Armenian premier. His daughter insisted on Friday that he played no role in her takeover of the medical facility which has an expensive building in central Yerevan and modern equipment. "Believe me, my father has nothing to do with that," she told RFE/RL.
Yeah, right. I believe you lady.
Look, Armenian citizens are not that stupid to believe her statement. But they are ignorant in that they let this kind of corruption, which is rampant throughout the government, continue on a regular, I would argue weekly basis--I would say daily but don't want to sound too dramatic. Government corruption is by far the most detrimental form in Armenia, and I believe it has long taken away the decisive power from the people regarding how their society should be run. I am still waiting for people to wake up and start protesting actively, instead of waiting around for an opposition "leader" to tell them what to do and how to do it. A lot of opposition leaders are mentioned in the news, but none of them are really acting like true leaders thus far. Then again, that's my opinion.
So citizens need to field their own candidate, they need to mobilize and make decisions on their own. The protests by Indian students in the last two days show the kind of sudden, but highly effective activism that can take place at a moments notice. Armenians need to learn something from this. But it seems like we have a long wait for that to happen....
Labels: Politics, Thoughts and Musings