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Old 28.02.2007, 05:36   #1
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Default Corruption in Armenia and Trees

Actions of some high level Armenian government officials jeopardizing the Fast Growing Tree Project in Armenia. This project which, was started in 1994 by the Armenian Engineers and Scientists of America (AESA) and the Institute of Botany of Armenia have planted 130,000 fast growing trees in various regions of Armenia and have established two plantations in Armavier. Unfortunately one of the ministers in the Armenian government has illegally privatized approximately 9 hectares of the 52 hectares of the plantations under his mother in law’s name and then he has sold it to a friend of his. This action was taken despite the government’s decree that these 52 hectares should be kept as an untouchable research area.

After numerous e-mails, faxes, and letters, the Prime Minister of Armenia established a commission to evaluate the situation and resolve this illegal land take over. Based on the findings of this commission, governor of Armavier Marz was discharged and a new governor was appointed. This commission has been telling AESA for the last three months that they are in process of reviewing the situation to find a just solution. However, it seems that they are just wasting time with the hope that protests from Diaspora and Armenia will disappear as time goes by. This commission has offered to give AESA and the Institute of Botany useless land or land belonging to nearby farmers instead of the 9 hectares that were illegally occupied. Of course this offer was flatly rejected.

We are asking for your assistance one more time to let the Prime Minister of Armenia know that you are demanding a just solution for this situation and the land that was illegally taken by the government officials shall be returned to AESA and the Institute of Botany. The following is a text of a sample letter that you may want to send to the Prime Minister or you can write your own personalized letter objecting this illegal act. We have attached a letter in Armenian that also can be used. The mailing and e-mail addresses of the Prime Minister is: Mr. Andranik Margaryan, Prime Minister, Government Building 1, Republic Square, Yerevan, Armenia, e-mail: [email protected]. You can visit AESA’s web site for additional information

We will greatly appreciate your assistance in this matter. Let us make our voice to be loud and clear that Armenian people from Diaspora and Armenia, are strongly against such illegal actions taken by government officials.

Sample e-mail to Prime Minister

Honorable Mr. Margaryan,

I would like to express my concern and dismay regarding the situation with the Fast Growing Tree Project in Armenia. This project which has been organized and financed by the Armenian Diaspora and the US Government, is in jeopardy due to the actions of some government officials. It is absolutely unacceptable for a minister to take over part of the land almost free and then sell it. The fast growing trees were planted 10 years ago and have been maintained with hard work and a large financial investment.

It has been my understanding that after several months of investigations by the government officials, this illegal land take over has not yet been rectified. It is my demand that you take swift action resolving this issue and return the land to the project operators. The Armenians consider the Government of Armenia to be the protector of the projects sponsored by the Diaspora and not their occupier.

Very truly yours
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