Let’s play fair
In the past year or two, many Armenians around the globe--Ramgavar and non-Ramgavar--have been receiving scurrilous emails from an anonymous electronic publication beating the drums for the "new" Ramgavar Democratic Liberal Party (ADLP) leadership and denouncing the "establishment" Ramgavars and their long-time leader Edmond Azadian of Detroit.
Back in 2006 the then sitting ADLP, under the leadership of Azadian, convened in Athens and elected Mike Kharabian of Toronto as leader with a new set of members of the Central Committee. In the spring of 2009 a subsequent convention was held in Amman, Jordan and re-elected Kharabian with minor changes to the leadership. Like the people responsible for the anonymous emails mentioned above, the “new” Ramgavars make no bones that they would like to see Azadian neutralized, along with his colleagues.
The anonymous emails (AE) have accused Azadian and Co. of mishandling RAG finances, of nepotism, lack of transparency and accountability. Azadian has established a one-man rule, uses Boston's Mirror-Spectator weekly as his propaganda organ, and is accountable to no one, alleges AE. Some AE emails also pillory Azadian's ally Hagop Avedikian, the editor of Azg daily newspaper in Armenia.
The hostility of the Kharabian group and AE against the Azadian Ramgavars intensified when the latter gave its blessing to the ratification of Armenia/Turkey Protocols, while Kharabian’s group and AE denounced the proposal. So it was no surprise that Serzh Sargsyan, the president of the Republic of Armenia, welcomed Azadian and Avedikian, and was pleased with the formation of the new political entity, Armenakan Democratic Liberal Party. The two other Armenian parties in the Diaspora, namely the Tashnags and Hunchaks recognize Kharabian's group as the successor of the traditional Ramgavar party.
The public has no comprehensive knowledge of Azadian’s regime, other than that he has been in charge of Ramgavars for a great many years. There is no informed opinion whether the accusations against him and his political party are based on fact.
Succession battles, internecine struggles are common among political groups, and they often take the tincture of a rivalry between the “establishment” versus the “reformed” or "new" generation. For all we know, the “new” Ramgavars might have a point in their critique of Azadian, although so far they have not provided to the Armenian public "smoking gun" documentation of Azadian's alleged misdeeds.
The people behind AE--overt or covert allies of the Kharabian group--are also not helping their cause, Ramagavars in general or the Armenian people when they use undignified language—“Esh” and “Kesh”—or employ graphic references to obscene acts in describing the behaviour of Azadian and Co. How can they or their message be taken seriously by serious people when the language they use is often vulgar, contemptible and execrable?
The Kharabian's group has the democratic right to challenge Azadian. However, to earn the attention of the Armenian public it should provide solid proof of its allegations and has to elevate the tone of the conversation. Ramgavars—old or new—deserve no less.
Finally, in the absence of information about the identity of the mysterious AE people, it would be understandable if many readers of the AE screeds assume that the Kharabian group or their friends are behind the loutish emails. After all, AE and the Kharabian group have the same goal but use different language. As patriots genuinely interested in the welfare of the Armenian people, it behooves the Kharabian group to disassociate themselves from the authors of the disreputable AE emails. Someone should remind Kharabian and Co. that "you can't have your cake and eat it, too."
Source: "Keghart", 29 December 2009