Commentary: A Timely Reorganization


By Edmond Y. Azadian

Armenia is at a crossroad politically. That state of affairs is reflected also on the community life in the diaspora. Armenians need to harness their resources to meet the worldwide challenges. Yet we are divided more than ever to focus on the burning issues.

The radical opposition in Armenia has toned down its rhetoric, finally realizing the external threats the homeland faces in these trying times. That may be a welcome development, although a little late.

The protocols signed with Turkey have been confusing everybody, allowing some opportunists to score selfish political gains. Many people had been wondering how long life can be sustained in Armenia under the Turkish blockade, and they believed to have discovered some relief in the prospect of open borders with Turkey. Others detect inherent traps in the protocols, that many damage Armenia’s long-term prospects. Very few realize that major powers have come to an accommodation to create stability in the region to tap and apportion its resources and weaker countries, like Armenia, are but mere pawns in their chess game.

The Armenian political parties have been operating under these conditions in the homeland and in the diaspora.

Since the years of the Cold War some balance was established in the diaspora so that no one group could strive for hegemony nor claim undisputed representation. The ADL, admittedly less regimented, played a balancing role, along with the Hunchak party, the AGBU, the churches and the patriotic masses allied spiritually with people in Armenia. The ADL commanded more respect and influence than its resources warranted because of its prudent leadership, its unconditional support of Armenia and the Mother Church.

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Some quarters in the Diaspora believed that the balancing power of the ADL needed to be disrupted, so that the way could be paved for their hegemony in the Diaspora. These forces were able to enlist the support of a few collaborators within the party ranks, some of them motivated by vanity, greed or vendetta. That is how the internecine quarrels began within the ranks of the organization in the mid-1990s. They indeed paralyzed the organization for some time in Armenia and in the diaspora.

But finally the rank and file had a rude awakening in the deteriorating situation and through a worldwide call a reorganization drive was launched and it culminated in the convocation, which took place during the first week of October in Yerevan.

The Aremanagan ADL Party was reorganized in record time, reviving more than 16 chapters in Armenia, which were dormant because of an inept and corrupt leadership, which had purged its deserving intellectuals.

That reorganization inspired and attracted all the healthy elements of the party in the Diaspora. More than 50 participants converged in Yerevan from around the world.

It was no coincidence that the ADL party headquarters in Yerevan, which was sold by some unscrupulous people, was partially recovered, and today once again 19 Koryun St. in Yerevan became the ADL world headquarters.

The ADL World Council was formed in Yerevan to oversee and coordinate the activities of the Armenagan ADL party in Armenia and the traditional districts and chapters in the diaspora.

Certainly all the participants contributed to this massive reorganization effort. A pivotal role was destined to the ADL District Committee of Eastern United States and Canada, which had kept its structure intact through the turmoil befell on the party as a whole. The District, true to its bylaws and the ADL traditional principals, had met all the destructive challenges successfully and kept its legal entity safe.

All the veteran leaders contributed to the Yerevan convention through their wisdom, experience and inspiring and encouraging words.

Armenia’s president, the prime minister, the speaker of the parliament as well as the Supreme spiritual leader HH Catholicos of all Armenians Karekin II welcomed this rejuvenation endeavor and wished well to the new leadership of the ADL.

Of course, panic has gripped some people who still pose falsely as “ADL Central Committee Chairman” or “vice chairman.”

Their whereabouts and addresses are unknown. They have certainly found cozy corners under the coattails of the traditional opponents of the ADL and have been trying to sell their fake ADL credentials to the highest bidder.

Ever since they assumed they had taken over the leadership of the organization they have not been able to contribute anything positive. Instead they have launched a campaign against the traditional leadership of the organization who had brought dignity and respect to the ADL. To this day, they have been hurling insults through the Internet to the respected leaders, because they have nothing better to offer.

Another fortunate turn of events was the awakening of some regional leaders, who were duped into believing that they were allying themselves with the “legal central committee.” Those people were also awakened one by one and they have been joining this new movement of reorganization, to the chagrin of the diehard dissidents. One positive contribution that this group has made, it has purged itself from the rank and file of the ADL organization and is experiencing its frustration in its isolation.

As the official communiqué amply clarifies, the ADL is moving ahead in leaps and bounds in Armenia and in the diaspora.

The new and rejuvenated ADL reorganization is posed to resume its traditional role to exercise its political philosophy and to serve the Armenian people around the world.

The new ADL means positive action. It is unstoppable.

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