By Tedla Asfaw
I heard on the Nestanet Radio interview with Ato Elias Kifle (April 22, 2007) that Ato Negusse Woldemariam of the Hagerfiker radio accused Ato Elias Kifle as a member of Al Qaida and an agent of Shabia on the payroll of Isayas Afeworki.
Ato Elias informed listeners that he wrote a letter to Ato Negusse stating that he will press charges against him for falsely defaming him on his radio program. The clip was aired during the interview and Ato Elias said that he had followed the entire program previously which initiated the letter and his case is now with his attorney.Ato Negusse has to support his charges with evidence otherwise face the consequence of his words and this case will be a milestone to the Diaspora mushrooming radio stations in many formats.
Diaspora Ethiopians are functioning under the law of the country they are living and we do not act that we are living in our own planet, saying whatever we want from our comfortable radio stations.We have seen such limits recently from long time radio host in New York City who said sexist and racist remarks about Rutgers women basket ball team and he later fired from his job.
Ato Negusse himself posted last week a note on his site and a radio clip from the "opposition" and accusing the participants and those who owned the site that they were promoting hate and racism against Tigrayans.
After I heard the allegation I listened to the clip and found it disturbing and I agreed with him that the people on the clip should be responsible for their words but the charge he made that this is the view of "Kinijit" for which millions of Ethiopians voted was not at all true and he posted my email and his response on his website.
Ato Elias Kifle who published Ethiopian review in the 1990s and currently owns an Ethiopian review website where many intellectuals, Ethiopians and foreigners published their work face serious accusations and it will not go without serious consequences in a country everyone is equal before the law as a result of which the politics of back home has no place. Ato Elias Kifle has many enemies including the Ethiopian regime and some Diaspora Ethiopians and at this time many in the Diaspora who admired him for his invaluable contribution as a leader in printed media in the Diaspora will surely rally and support him on his legal battle with Ato Negusse Woldemariam.
Ato Negusse has a right to support the regime in Ethiopia and prepare a program and sale it to its supporters. However he has no right to accuse others without evidence and if he is found guilty he will be off the air and living in the West beside a better life and free speech comes also responsibility usingthe Public Radio's air time for the common good.