Rafik Atayan, mayor of Kajaran, a southern Armenian community that has been in the news of late due to a controversial government decision to hand over large swaths of communal land to a commercial mining operation, has charged the mine’s management with threatening residents with dismissal if they continue to protest the impending land swap.
Atayan, in an open letter to the press, says that Alik Davtyan, assistant to Zangezour Copper and Molybdenum Combine
General Manager Maksim Hakobyan, has been making the threats along with Hakob Hakobyan, Maxim’s brother and a mine administrator.
Mayor Atayan, in his statement, calls on Maksim Hakobyan “to pull his dirty hands away from the village of Kajaran” before it is too late.
Atayan then assures Maxim Hakobyan that he and his descendants will face the inevitable wrath of village residents for revenge if Kajaran is destroyed by their actions fueled by greed and profit.
The Kajaran mayor states that President Sargsyan has yet to respond to his letter of March 5 and that Prime Minister Tigran Sargsyan seems intent to go ahead with plans to destroy the village and support mining interests.
Atayan and the prime minister discussed the matter on March 3.
The mayor says that Kajaran residents are determined to battle on in the defense of principles for which there can be no amount of financial compensation.