Public discussion of Javakhk’s problems

  • by Western Armenia, May 25, 2023 in Society
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On May 23, at 17:00 the non-governmental organization "Center for Social Justice" held a public discussion in Akhalkalak on the topic "Dominant views and voices of Javakheti from below".

The purpose of the meeting was to critically reflect on the prevailing discourses and policies related to Javakheti in recent history, as well as to discuss the social changes that have begun on the ground in recent years.

Researchers Ketevan Epadze, Anna Tivadze, and Alisa Bakradze conducted two studies on the identity of Javakheti Armenians.

"Tens of thousands have lost their citizenship without being able to restore it, for this they have to pass the appropriate exam, spend the appropriate amount of money.

The second issue is the land issue, we have 25 sot of land for each of us."

Tigran Tarzyan from the Center for Social Justice pointed out.

One of the experts, Keti Epadze, who is also a lecturer at TSU, said that a too narrow approach to citizenship prevails on the part of the central authorities, which is not enough to achieve the goal of full integration of minorities into society.

"Young people believe that knowing the state language is not enough to perceive citizenship.

They want to be able to get higher education, to have more resources to learn the Georgian language, to be able to live in an equal environment.

They are very uncomfortable because of the stereotypes that exist about Javakheti Armenians," she commented.

According to Katie Upadze the stereotypes concerning Javakheti Armenians are conditioned by the tense years in Georgia in the 90s and the ethnic nationalism emerged against the background of territorial conflicts.

The Government of Western Armenia has repeatedly addressed the problems of Javakhk, which is a historical territory of Western Armenia, being a part of it.

Let us remind you that Javakhkis are not a national minority in Javakhk, they are an indigenous people, who have all the rights of an indigenous people, including the right to receive citizenship, as natives of Javakhk.

The nationalism established in Georgia in the 1990s cannot play a decisive role in the fate of Javakhkis.

According to all international norms, they have the right to restore their rights to live in an equal legal environment.

The Government of Western Armenia is ready to take on the role of an advocate of their rights in international instances in the event of a complaint from the Javakheti.