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Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Who benefited from "'development" or "Limate" in Ethiopia?

Tedla Asfaw
I read a piece by Nestanet B. on the Jan. 19 Seye's gathering in Seattle, posted on , with the Ethiopian community and this one was not different than the  last D.C's meeting and I can say reading Nestanet's report, Seye encountered or was engaged  with many opposition groups in Ethiopian politics from the armed rebels of OLF and others who fought with and against  Seye in the past.
This time there was no gun. Seye and his opponents know very well that Ethiopia is in big trouble and those who are angry at Seye that he is not talking about "development" in Ethiopia got simple answer. Development which can not alleviate the poverty of millions of our people is not going to stop the anger and frustration of many and we all saw that in a voting booth in May 2005.
You can not convince me the so called development comes after May 2005 and in fact learning from its dismal failure to win the hearts and minds of voters, TPLF/EPRDF is now trying to buy votes and to continue to rule the country claiming winning the majority of the people in the coming spring local and the 2010 general election.
I remember meeting the Somali Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Farah, when we had a demonstration in front of UN building in New York against the human right violation and killing of innocents after the May 2005 election. Ambassador Farah after he received politely a note from me he told me that  he has been travelling to Ethiopia in the last ten years and the infrastructure development is amazing.
I did not disagree with him and ask him, can we not say the same to Saddam's Iraq or other dictators infrastructure development in their own country and I mind him that USA claimed that it invaded Iraq not to build  infrastructure but to "build democracy". We now know that is not true and it is also not true that a regime which can "build infrastructure" like TPLF/EPRDF should not be questioned  or held  accountable to the rule of law.
The TPLF supporters should learn from what is going on in Kenya too. Kenya the strongest country economically in the Horn is now in big trouble not for the lack of infrastructure development but the corruption and the inequality of its people.
We saw the Kenyan slum which is now turned in to the "killing fields" following last month's election and at a distance the rich are living in their comfort not worrying  about the killings in slums and today's Addis and other cities have large slums that voted against TPLF/EPRDF because they have not seen any development that changed their lives.
I heard professor Mesfin last week on Radio saying how it becomes hard for him to survive with the retirement money of Ethiopian 900 birr. Mind you how many Ethiopians are now living with a fraction of that money with their families while we see big hotels and recreation centers are built in Ethiopia which supporters of TPLF want us to recognize ignoring the deep poverty few yards from such development.
Where is the job for our young people? A regime which can not create jobs for its huge young population talking about development  monopolized by its own big companies is not different than feudal landlords who owned the land and make huge profit from it.
Yes, for TPLF/EPRDF supporters life is much better no doubt but for millions of our people life in any way is much worst than it was before TPLF/EPRDF and that is fact.
Ato Seye knows this very well and this economic hardship and the ongoing wars in Oromia and Ogaden and all political problems need to be addressed if we want to save our people including the infrastructure.
I can say that Ato Seye who came quietly in North America is doing much better Job in Diaspora than the Kinijit delegates that were received with jubilation and left us divided and hapless and I commend him for that.