By Mariette Minassian-Okhanes
On Sunday, March 16, 2014 at 6:00 pm, OIA organized and hosted a meeting with the three Armenian political parties. The representative of the Social Democratic Hunchakian Party was Mr. Krikor Khodanian, Armenian Revolutionary Federation Bureau of Western American delegation was led by Dr. Vicken Hovsepian, the Democratic chairman of the Liberal Party ‘s Central Committee delegation was led by Dr. Minas Kojayan.
In his opening remarks, Dr. Ohannes Kulak Avedikyan MC of the event and the Chair of Cultural Committee and OIA Trustee welcomed the attendees Fr. Dajad Dz.V. Yardemian, Archpriest Rev. Fr. Vicken Vassilian, three parties Representatives, Representatives of Press and Cultural Sister Organizations, United Armenian Council for the Commemoration of the April 24 Armenian Genocide in Los Angeles as well as OIA members and friends.
Dr. Avedikyan explained the purpose of this very significant event and expressed his thanks to the Board of Trustees Chairman Edvin Minassian Esq., Vice Chairman of the Board and President of Executive Committee Mr. Raffi Marukian, Vice Treasurer of the Board, Vice President of Executive Committee and Chairman of Mekhitharian Alumni Committee Mr. Edi Sarafoglu, Executive Committee members Mrs. Talin Sarafoglu and Mrs. Erlin Marukian, for undertaking the reception of the event, to the Cultural Committee Vice Chairman Mr. Garbis Sarafian and to Mr. Sarkis Salgin who manages the OIA building affairs. He also expressed his gratitude to the Representatives of the three Political Parties and to the Press of “Massis”, “Asbarez” and “Nor Or” for announcing the advertisements of the event.
Dr. Avedikyan read OIA’s brief history and made remarks about the brief history of the three political parties.
Dr. Avedikyan read also a brief biography of Mr. Krikor Khodanian who was invited to make his remarks about the history and origin of Social Democrat Hunchakian Party. Mr. Khodanian stated that the Party was formed in Geneva in 1887 being affected by the so-called its official, publication “Hunchak”. The Hunchakian founders and leaders were Nazarpekyan, Rupen Khan-Azad, and others.
After reading his brief biography, the MC invited Dr. Vicken Hovsepian Chairman of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Western United States.
Dr. Hovsepian talked about the origin of the party, throwing a historical overview over the Federation’s founding, portrait, worldview, the idea of independence, the main and general concern regarding the youth, as well as about the several other centers of the ARF in various countries.
After reading his brief biography, Dr. Avedikyan invited the Democratic Liberal Party Representative, Dr. Minas Kojayan.
Dr. Kojayan talked about the foundation of Democratic Liberal Party being an important part of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, especially in the establishment of orphanages and having a role in the region of forming Armenian newspapers as well as its presence in the homeland under the name of “HRAG”:
Then the following three individuals were invited as panelists Edvin Minassian, Esq., Chairman of Board of Trustees, Former President of OIA and current Chairman of General Assembly Architect Mr. Simon Acilacoglu, and Mrs. Jibit Cepkinian-Cinar, Esq., Chairlady of OIA Scholarship Committee, to pose questions to the 3 Party Representatives.
Dr. Avedikyan also read their brief biographies.
Queries were initially directed at the problems faced in the Republic of Armenia; specifically emigration out of the country; human rights; public corruption , Artsakh’s independence and related existential concerns posed by foreign threats .
Also, if they are ever at odds with Armenia’s parliament, if not, then what kind of policy issues do they pursue concerning this matter.
Questions were directed about Artsakh (Nagorno Karabagh), the Azerbaijani government’s accusation against Refuge provided for distressed Syrian Armenians. About the present activities of the Armenian community of Istanbul and if under the current conditions they will be able to maintain their identity towards improvement programs for the benefit of Armenia and the attitudes of the parties. Also, about the existing foreign companies’ governance in Armenia for depositing metal remnants in the rivers, which cause environmental disasters and human loss. Questions were also posed about the present day activities of the Armenian community of Istanbul.
The three parties gave very satisfactory answers about the matters that motivate the Armenians and challenges facing Armenia and focusing all their power and forces on the interest of the documents, immigration motives, financial supports, returning the land to Artsakh without bargaining, for Azerbaijan not having the military power to stage a coup and the assertion of the authorities of the Republic of Armenia to return to the negotiating table.
The audience was given a chance for question and answer.
In closing, Dr. Avedikyan thanked the representatives for their presentations.
Following that a photograph that is certain to be historic and memorable was taken and guests were treated to a reception.
Honorary guests were hosted in the special protocol room of the organization in an intimate and close atmosphere and had discussions and mutual opinions and ideas.
It was a really an impressive and informative event. Our sincere thanks go to the three political party Leaders for their enriching, educational and uplifting presentation.