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2008 Aug
19

A week campaign has started

A week campaign has started

Concerned over ecological danger, dozens of civil society representatives from August 19 to 21, 2008, held protest actions in front of the parliament building against the Government's legislative initiative to increase the volume of water release from Lake Sevan up to 360 million cubic meters. The government-drafted Bill on Amendments to the Republic of Armenia Law on Approval of Annual and Complex Program for the Lake Sevan Ecosystem Restoration, Conservation, Reproduction and Use was debated and eventually adopted during the National Assembly's special session.

According to the government standpoint, the measure is aimed at fending off effects of a drought. Environmentalists claim, however, that the government simply wants to salvage the illegal properties of a group of oligarchs located along Sevan's coastline, which have been at growing risk of being submerged by Sevan's rising waters. In the opinion of TIAC executive director it is one of the reasons, another reason may be illegal use of water. The environmentalists' concerns were shared by opposition parliamentarians and some of their colleagues of the governing Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun). Nonetheless, members of the Dashnaktsutyun faction in the National Assembly voted for the bill.