March 4, 2009

28th of February 2009 Paris – France

Mr. President, We, the Pro Edvcatio* worldwide International movement,
read the three press releases – namely that of an AGBU (Armenian
General Benevolent Union) based in New York, USA, issued on the 6th of
February 2009, and those of the Melkonian Alumni Association of Cyprus
and the Melkonian Alumni & Friends of Los Angeles CA, USA. Issued
respectively the 10th and 11th of February 2009 and published in
the Gibrahayer e-magazine all of the three press releases being on
the subject of the MEI (the Melkonian Educational Institute based in
Nicosia -Cyprus) crisis.

The president of the above-mentioned AGBU Mr Berj Setrakian and one
of his fellow members Mr Benon Sevan of Nicosia met with you in your
office on the 22nd of January, as well as with the President of the
House of Representatives of the Republic of Cyprus Mr Marios Garoyian,
the same day, and the Minister of Education and Culture Dr Andreas
Demetrios, the House Representative Mr Takis Hadjigeorghiou and the
Executive Dean of the University of Nicosia Dr Nicos Peristianis,
the 23rd of January. The agenda of these meetings was about the
MEI property as well as the past, present and future projects of
their AGBU.

Our20analyses, of the contents of those three press releases engender
the following questions and remarks:

Do you think that an AGBU has the legitimacy to deal with such matters
and projects that involve the complete alteration and the dismantlement
of MEI?

Did your office make the necessary inquiries to ascertain the limits
of your visitors’ legal rights and their legitimacy?

Do you think that, in an "Etat de Droit", the legality could prevail
over legitimacy for the above mentioned topics?

Do you think that Cultural Communities of Western Armenians – citizens
of several sovereign countries, amongst which the Republic of Cyprus –
could be considered the colonies of the Republic of Armenia or might
be represented by a philanthropic organisation such as an AGBU?

Do you think that friendly – even excellent – relations between the
Republic of Cyprus and the Republic of Armenia could override the
protection and the development of the Western Armenian Language and
its cultural identity, for which the Republic of Cyprus has signed
an International treaty (EU, No.148) Do you think that a library and
/or a cultural centre alone without a school such as MEI providing
the necessary level of language skills suffice for the development
of the Western Armenian in Cyprus and in other countries?

Should the answer to the preceding question be yes, then the subsequent
question is: when will all the schools of different cultural identities
in Cyprus be annihilated, for the sake of a library and a cultural
or research center?

Western Armenian values are different from eastern ones and that
according to the Constitution of Cyprus Mr Vartkes Mahdessian is the
consultative member of the House of Representatives of the Republic
of Cyprus charged at state level with issues related to the Armenians
in Cyprus. How can then the absence of the Armenian Representative be
explained when aforementioned visitors of AGBU met with you and with
other high ranking officials of Cyprus trying to discuss projects
that concern MEI and All Armenians’ worldwide Diaspora?

Does the absence of the Official Representative of Armenian Cypriots
imply that his competency is restricted to the taking care of the
reparation of Ledra Palace Armenian Cemetery and he can be kept away
from meetings where MEI and issues of concern to all Armenians are
discussed with the representatives of an AGBU?

Shouldn’t MEI be reopened to carry out its vital educational mission
as a Western Armenian International Boarding High School, given that
education is above all a Human Rights issue and it is not a negotiable
matter for financial considerations, whoever the negotiators are and
whatever their past or present qualifications or competencies may be?

Mr. President, we would be obliged to receive your answers to the
above questions, before drawing our conclu sions.

Sincerely Yours, Dr. Art Maranci – MA-USA Dr Vartan Ozinian – Secretary
General Spokesman for Pro Edvcatio

*P R O E D V C A T I O is a Worldwide International movement which
deals with educational matters – taking into consideration social,
economic and political dimensions of the cultural dynamics – together
with geopolitical realities and related strategies for the development
of human resources, respectful to legitimacy and legal conditions. The
Pro Edvcatio’s G R T A S S E R E is a panel – constituted by ad hoc
Armenians of Diaspora and non-Armenians – which deals with Armenian
educational issues.

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