THE LAUSANNE CONGRESS OF 1983
The Lausanne Congress had been preceded by a number of very important developments. Terrorist activities had attained very serious dimensions, and world public opinion was becoming aroused in condemnation of Armenian terrorism. Some of these terrorist activities, which were now taking the form of massacres, were beginning to constitute a matter of deep concern and anxiety, not only for impartial observers but even for friends and allies of the Armenians and, above all, for the Armenians themselves. The Lausanne Congress met against this background with the aim of uniting Armenian political views and of directing all action towards a common goal. ASALA did not participate in this congress and those in favour of violence found themselves in a minority. The Congress ended with splits and factions appearing in both ASALA and the Dashnak groups and with vain attempts by the terrorist teams and groups to form new organizations. Most of them were expelled from the organization, arrested and condemned.
The following were the most important of the proposals put forward and the topics discussed:
a. A constitutional council should be established to decide upon basic politics, to determine and formulate views with regard to territorial claims, and to establish such claims on a sound basis.
b. A national liberation movement should be established on the basis of nationalism and democracy.
c. These congresses should be similar to the International Jewish Congresses and display a strongly democratic, parliamentarian character.
The following decisions were taken:
a. Measures should be taken to ensure that the congresses should possess a democratic, parliamentarian character, and that a "Constitution" should be drawn up.
b. The Constitution should be drawn up by a constitutional council, which should also be responsible for the preparation of a text presenting a synthesis of the various political views held.
c. The work of the council should be published and distributed to the international public.
This congress ended in disagreement and great confusion. The moderates proved dominant but were unable to achieve any notable proved dominant but were unable to achieve any notable results. The conflict continued after the close of the congress, and the factions and splits referred to above began to make their appearance.