In the evening of April 18, U.S.-American rock singer, System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian has posted a link to the live stream of the rally organized by Nikol Pashinyan at Republic Square. He has added, “Something incredible is happening in Armenia, finally.”
Serj Tankian has also addressed Serzh Sargsyan in the post, “Serge, no disrespect meant, but you are not our father and we are not your children. You have served the people of Armenia and are no longer a viable, respected leader.”
Since this isn’t the first time Tankian addresses Sargsyan, we have decided to recall their correspondence starting from the 2013 presidential election in Armenia.
On 26 February 2013, Serj Tankian has published the following letter to Serzh Sargsyan:
“Dear Mr. President,
Congratulations on your victory.
Victory means getting the most votes, of course, in a democracy.
Based on the overwhelming reported fraud from many NGOs, irrespective of the OSCE report, it seems like it would be scientifically impossible for even you, Mr. President, to know whether you actually won the majority of votes.
That’s quite funny isn’t it? That you, the President of Armenia are not really sure, deep inside, whether you are the true chosen leader of your people or not.
That would really bother me personally. If I wanted to lead my people, I would really want them to make that decision for themselves, because I respect my people and that is their decision to make. Otherwise, I would take over Armenia and call myself the Governor General of Armenia or Dictator du jour or whatever moniker I felt like sporting that day. Maybe your party is out of control and the oligarchs are running out of caviar or something and they want to make sure that the flow of the good times doesn't stop. Whether you've won fairly or not, somehow you are now President, again,” reads the letter.
“Those who steal elections from my people are domestic enemies that need to be punished. It should be your duty to enforce that, even if some think it hypocritical. You should also consider dissolving Parliament and being the first Armenian reformist President who goes out of his way to make sure that future elections are fair and representational,” the singer wrote.
Surprisingly, Sargsyan replied to Tankian’s letter and even did it quite quickly, publishing the response mere hours later on the same day, 26 February 2013.
Serzh Sargsyan began thus:
My younger grandson is also our namesake. He is too young to know that he was born to descend a proud nation, small, overburdened with issues but still a citizen of a victorious and forward-looking country. He still has a lot to learn.
Serj, you and me, all of us, shall report to him and his generation on what we have done, on what kind of a new homeland under Holy Mountain we convey them. Can you imagine questioning eyes of those to whom we shall report? You and me, Serj, all of us. Those eyes are childish and playful but tomorrow they are going to be serious and investigating.”
The president also noted in his lengthy letter:
“This is a State, Serj. We have dreamt about it extremely long. This State is yours and mine; it is the State of all of us. It is the State of little Serzh and of wonderful children of the Hovannisian family. It is the State of all our children and grandchildren. We have a paradise homeland, and our duty is to build a strong State. We have to build it together, Serj. The mines planted today will be threatening our children tomorrow, they will become Bellum omnium contra omnes, or the “the war of all against all”. And growing child will ask you, “Where do you expect us to go when the bombs fall, Serj?”
Sargsyan remarked as well:
“One needs to feel Armenia, Serj, and it is not possible to feel it sitting in an expensive office in downtown Yerevan, even if one sits there for too long. Armenia can be felt standing on the rocky land of a hamlet that struggles to continue its eternal path and the green of flowers planted at a cemetery of our freedom fighters.”
Most likely, Serzh Sargsyan was referring to Vardan Oskanyan’s Civilitas Foundation as the “expensive office in downtown Yerevan”, hinting at the ties between Tankian and the former Foreign Minister of Armenia.
On the following day, 27 February 2013, Serj Tankian posted the second letter to Sargsyan, which reads in particular:
“I am honored that you have responded to my letter. I actually wasn't expecting a response, given the harsh criticism I conveyed. The fact that you have done so is encouraging. But with respect, you have not answered any of my questions nor addressed any of the issues I brought up in my letter directly.
I think you have done a great job at securing Armenia's borders and dealing with the extremely sensitive and difficult situation presented by the realities after the Karabakh war. If you remember, I told you that in person and commended your efforts in that regard.
That said, security cannot be the scapegoat to diffuse attention from the inequities and injustices in our homeland.”
Serzh Sargsyan again responded on the same day, but much more briefly and through his Spokesperson Armen Arzumanyan.
In particular, Arzumanyan told in the interview to News.am:
“Serzh Sargsyan has read the second letter from Serj Tankian. As the head of the state has already observed, he agrees with Mr Tankian on the vast majority of the issues that have been raised, which he has often stated publicly. The President believes that everything or almost everything has been said during the election campaign and now it is time to act. The answers to all questions should be found in the changing reality.”