First declaration from the newly formed Committee in California.
Investigate and determine the claimed rights by the AGBU regarding the Melkonian Institute by a law firm
A group of Melkonian alumni have formed a new non-profit organization, independent of the AGBU California Alumni, which will undertake the task of investigating and determining the claimed rights by the AGBU regarding the Melkonian Institute. The investigation will be conducted by a law firm (to be announced next week), which will be given free rein to do as they see fit, without any reservations. We are excited by the amount and the speed with which the alumni responded to our unofficial pledge drive and we are able, ready and definitely willing to proceed at full force and immediately.
We have a lot of support from non-Melkoniantsis, which only confirms our conviction that this is not just a sentimental matter of the MEI. There is enormous support within many communities and various organizations. We are also very pleased and appreciative of the media's response to our cause. Many of the articles were from the AGBU rank and file or from members of the supporting political party, namely Ramgavars. It is encouraging to know that people are responding to the cause in spite of their former loyalties to the AGBU.
Formerly we have pleaded with the AGBU, we have begged, we have reasoned, we have written, we have dissented, we have warned, we have protested, we have been misled, we have been lied to, we have been tricked and now we have been cornered. We have exploited all civil, courteous and friendly avenues. We will now stop at nothing. All bets are off and everything is fair game. If it gets ugly it will only be so because the AGBU insisted on it. We have done our part and no one should blame us for the methods we use.
The areas of investigation will encompass, but will not be limited to, all of the following: How has the AGBU managed or mismanaged the Melkonian Institute and the Melkonian funds throughout its stewardship? Is AGBU beyond reproach? Were trust funds handled in the proper manner? What was the initial intent of the Melkonian brothers? From Alexandria where the founders lived, to Cyprus, to Constantinople, to Lausanne, France and then to New York, the paper trails and the transfers of Melkonian funds shall be investigated and scrutinized in detail. No stone shall be left unturned.
From Argentina to Arabia, from Los Angeles to Limassol we stand united. We are not wavering. We're going all the way and let the chips fall where they may: we are ready. Let every community get organized, let every community speak in unison behind their leadership, let's all contribute as much as we can, in any way we can. We shall prevail. The odds are all in our favor. They HAVE underestimated what we are all about!
Melkonian Alumni & Friends
Dear Fellow Melkoniantsis
The decision to shut down our beloved Melkonian Educational Institute has saddened and upset Melkoniantsis around the globe. A dozen or so people have decided behind closed doors to turn the best Armenian boarding school into dust. This decision was made without consultation with any of the many world-wide MEI Alumni organizations. We the alumni face a great challenge. Not only are they illegally closing down our school, but in the process, they are also hurling insults at us by proclaiming that in the past five decades, no MEI Alumni has really amounted to anything.
We feel that they have greatly misjudged us. Instead of sitting sadly and doing nothing, a sizeable number of us, alumni, in Los Angeles, have come together and formed a not-for-profit organization, "Melkonian Alumni & Friends". Our purpose is to roll back AGBU's misguided decision, and to keep the Melkonian gates open for all future generations.
The AGBU may already be in advanced stages of selling the Melkonian properties; it is therefore urgent that we immediately take steps to stop them. The Cyprus government has already taken certain strong measures, but it is not enough. We must seek legal remedy in the USA. We have no other choice. How can we, Melkoniantsi alumni allow this demolition to go ahead in silence, and without any fight! We owe it to Melkonian brothers to keep the torch of their vision alive.
We Melkoniantsis have a special bond with one another. We feel and think alike. That is why we are optimistic that with your support, we will be able to keep Melkonian open. We urge you to get involved and contribute to our campaign of building a legal defense fund.
Melkonian Alumni & Friends