The residents of optimized Jermuk community have addressed a letter to the Armenian Government, RA Prime Minister and National Assembly expressing their viewpoint on Amulsar gold-bearing quartzite mining. In the letter they note that the fight of Jermuk community is not only for the environment but also for the protection of their violated rights. The letter says,
“Dear Prime Minister, Members of Parliament and Cabinet Members,
Metallic mining is not an alternative for us, the locals, any longer, as it’s not a hope for working place and a better future while we already have a sustainable and a successful economic system, which is proved by the fact that most of the young people having stopped mining operations was employed in the construction of the mine and received an incomparably higher salary than working in the service. Nevertheless, the youth had undertaken to protect Amulsar refusing from well-paid jobs. This is a value approach. Mining and the behavior and visions of futures it enforces upon us are incompatible with our vision.
We are conscious that the Master Plan developed by “Dev Swiss” Company for Jermuk Town in 2010 will remain on paper if Amulsar mining appears. Only after the revolution we were able to find out that the majority of the infrastructures are designed on the reliefs of Amulsar. According to the specialists of “Tiger Swiss” organizations, if the master plan submitted by them was implemented, it would create additional 4000 working places and the community would have annual flow of 100 million USD.
This is what Jermuk has been deprived of – we have been deprived of opportunities of attracting investments, development and further growth. The economic ecosystem we have established and currently have is more effective and sustainable, so the metallic mining for a term of 10 years is not an alternative for us.
We can’t help giving assessment to the statement made by PM Pashinyan that if the specialists of ELARD Company conclude that the environmental risks in Amulsar are controllable, the mine will be developed, if not – it won’t be operated.
Dear Prime Minister: the residents of Jermuk optimized community have come out to fight not only for the environment, but, first of all, to fights for their violated rights. These rights have been prescribed with 3000 signatures and approved by the Aldermen’s Council of the community to turn Jermuk community into an environmental and economic area and to ban metallic mining. We would like you to record that the Government, local government, the mining company and its shareholders are facing this situation as a result of neglecting the voice of the community and not taking it into consideration. We would like you to record that the voice of the community remains unheard and the laws which made us face this miserable situation continue remaining in force with the same provisions.
Dear Mr. Pashinyan, leading the process of giving solutions only in the sector of the environment and neglecting the need to give legal solutions we have arrived to the conclusion that as a result of delays in guidance with democratic values and the principles of direct democracy, on 19 April 2019 RA Appeal Court ruled to obligate the Police to initiate a criminal case against the protestors having blocked the roads leading to Amulsar. We do think and are conscious that such verdict of the court is the result of the uncertain position of the Government.
We are calling for MPs and listing the laws where the loopholes made the residents of Jermuk community face this situation:
1. “Impacted” term needs revision in RA Law “On Environmental Impact Assessment and Expertise” adding the competence to determine its definitions, cases and conditions.
2. The governmental resolution “On Determining Procedure of Notification and Public Discussions” №1325-Ն dated on 19 November 2014 has essential drawbacks in its content.
3. It is extremely necessary to put the drafts generating essential socio-economic, cultural, and behavioural changes in the lives of the community residents on referendum. Therefore, the institute of the referendum needs to be reviewed to essentially facilitate the process of organizing a referendum.
We do hope that the Government will proceed to the performance of publicly undertaken obligations on establishing direct democracy and will enable to have authorities arising from local self government for the issues having essential significance for the communities.
14:14 May 13, 2019