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Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Andargachew Tsige is telling the truth.

Tedla Asfaw
On the weekend I followed Ato Andaragachew's interview on and on other website  commenting on public on his controversial more than twenty pages paper he wrote in Amharic recently that  peaceful struggle  in TPLF's Ethiopia is impossible or dead.
I have similar view like him, however, Ato Abebe the host of addisdimts tried to corner his guest as if he is pursuing the armed struggle by giving up on peaceful struggle. Any struggle if it does not include the right to rally behind its parties or call for a  strike can not be considered a struggle and on this sense I agree with Professor  Messfin's  recent statement that we have not started peaceful struggle yet. But I disagree with Professor in that there is not or will not be any atmosphere in Ethiopia for that to happen.
Mass political action or"Hizbawe Ameste, Inbeta" is part of peaceful struggle and it has nothing to do with armed struggle and what Ato Andargatchew suggested on his interview or writing is that TPLFis not allowing any of those rights that were allowed in May 2005 to be opened again.
He commended Ato Bulcha Demekssa member of parliament who exposed TPLF/EPRDF's  brutality against Oromos accused as OLF supporters/members by Mlese Zenawi for not coming out and denouncing  OLF to prolong his life and credential in TPLF's parliament.
However, some recent comers who are claiming to wage  peaceful struggle are fast in denouncing the armed movements like OLF and ONLF to get  favor from the regime to enter parliament  are now also quick to denounce and distance themselves  from Andargatchew accusing him of as an armed struggle advocate.
Andargatchew did not advocate armed struggle like Ato Abebe the host of addisdimts  and his callers alluded and what he said is there are no fertile grounds to wage peaceful struggle and we need to explore all options  and we have to stop condemning the armed movements and do our part.
We need to mobilize our people for a peaceful struggle and I have not seen anything done by  so called "opposition parties" in Ethiopia because TPLF is not allowing any public rallies. Why then  Weizero Birtukan's "Andenet" party  is now the first to come out and condemn all the armed movements in Ethiopia and wants to be the mother of  "peaceful struggle"  which I call it a "begging struggle" to get a seat in Parliament.
The begging struggle is over and we have to mobilize our people by all means and those who are afraid of this path and accuse Ato Andargatchew as an advocate of an armed struggle are dead wrong and will not get any support from the Ethiopian masses whether they are in or out of TPLF's parliament.

Friday, 21 March 2008

Come join me on African Path Village...

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Joshua Wanyama

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Life under TPLF, an Ethiopian Somali Prerspective

Tedla Asfaw
Abdullahi Dahir Moge wrote a fascinating piece( dissecting  the claim by TPLF/EPRDF of "decentralization of power"  to regions in Ethiopia for the first time  based on the article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution that recognized  the right of self determination of nationalities.
We all know that was fake but what Abdullahhi did was that he put flesh on the story and tell us the day to day political gymnastics played by TPLF cadres in the name of governing regions by giving orders on spot and appointing unknowns in manyl regions of Ethiopia by people who are not at all respected by the people in those regions.
Such kind of governance was practiced much better in Ethiopia in the Imperial Ethiopia. The king appointed 'Dejazmaches" in regions like Afar, Oromo, Tigray etc who are accountable to him and collect taxes and make sure that they accept the King as their own and these regional appointees  had some respect on their regions. The case of "Betwodede Ali Mirahe" of Afar is one I know very well.
We are now replacing King Haile Selassie's feudal method of governing by Melese's style of ruling which is basically not different and in fact more arrogant because he does not even recruit those respected people in their regions rather unknowns and disliked individuals to continue his brute rule on his subjects.
Regions in Ethiopia are not at all free and they are the fiefdoms of TPLF like they were under King Haile Selassie and what changes is that this one is covered by the fake article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution which boasts  as the first for Ethiopian nations and nationalities given by the gallant fighters of TPLF for oppressed nationalities of Ethiopia.
The oppressed nationalities of Oromos, Somalis and others are now fighting to remove the TPLF tyranny imposed on their regions for the last sixteen years understandably not covered on Abudallihi's  piece and I hope in the near future he will inspire us by writing another piece how TPLF's war machinery is conducting its daily killing business in all regions of Ethiopia.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Failure of Ethiopia's monopolized economy !!!

Tedla Asfaw
Dr. Merara Gudina's(MP) comment on the parliament has touched raw nerve. He said people who have nothing to eat will in the long run will eat those of us in power. He ridiculed the ten percent economic growth as fantasy that is out of touch. He compared it by quoting Ethiopian proverb, "Lame Alegne Besemaye Wotetewanem Alaye", "Waiting milk from my  cow in the heaven".
Parliamentarians representing Ato Melese's party, EPRDF, also brought  serious questions and doubt on the prime minster semi-annual report. The question of the stolen gold, the sources of illegally circulated money which widely contributed for inflation was not covered by the prime minister speech according to three of them. 
One parliamentarian mocked the unfulfilled promise of the prime minister feeding our people three times a day by highlighting the current difficult situation of most  Ethiopians who have limited income who can not eat one times a day because of high food prices.
Ato Temesgen  asked for the prime minister to resign because of his abdication of his responsibilities by blaming  the current economic crisis on the fast economic growth of China and India in addition to the  oil price increase by five times than his own party that controlled this failed economy.
The price control and locking up of merchants according to Ato Bulcha Demekssa will not bring any solution and free competition without monopoly should be pursued.
EPRDF/TPLF might have succeeded in suppressing political dissent and we are now witnessing dissent in the parliament  including his own members unheard before that the economy is in big trouble and the prime minister solution to keep on going by subsidizing wheat and now oil with the help of America might not even be possible.
Our economy can not be addressed in separate from our politics,however, the prime minister is not ready to change course while many have doubt in his leadership and the institutions led by his buddies who failed to differentiate gold from steel.
The prime minster and his close allies are leaving luxurious lives that reflect the ten percent economic growth and if the worst comes they will run for their lives to enjoy the wealth they accumulated in foreign banks and various investments by exploiting Ethiopia for the  last sixteen years by monopolizing the country's economy.
The economic policy of TPLF/EPRDF has failed and it is time for our people openly  debate on radios and newspapers and find solution and for that to happen our peoples democratic right to speak and assemble must be reinstated to a time similar to that of the May 2005.

Friday, 14 March 2008

The Mother of All Fakes!!!

Tedla Asfaw
We are hearing including foreign medias recently that the gold deposit under Ethiopian "National" Bank is found to be fake gold or "fools gold". The value of gold is now $1,000 per ounce and the thieves indeed make good fortune at the expense of poor Ethiopia.
Foreigners who bought gold from Ethiopian bank are now checking their gold if it is really gold and we are hearing that more fake golds are discovered in Ethiopia's deposit. As usual the regime in Ethiopia will find escapegoats to lock them up and focus on our "development".
Ethiopians  know who the culprits are. Nobody believes  that except TPLF/EPRDF big shots no one will touch gold and responsibility is on Melese Zenawi and his inner circles. If we had real democracy and real parliament we would never have been on the situation we are now.
A guy who is deafening our ears on development is surely in charge of the capital which drives development and is hard to believe low level officials who are now interrogated and jailed are responsible for this day light robbery.
TPLF/EPRDF in the last sixteen years has given us a lot of fakes. Fake History, Fake Democracy, Fake Election, Fake Parliament and now Fake Gold. And what is next ? Another "Fake War" with Eritrea to take our mind from these serious problems as if it did not exist.
Ethiopia will never recover this lost gold because there will not be an independent investigation and free media to pursue this big robbery story and  few individuals will be thrown into jail and case will be closed.
World bank and others who give loan to poor Ethiopia will try to believe that this is an action of few bad guys and has nothing to do with their trusted regime in Ethiopia that is delivering good "economic growth" in Ethiopia.
Moreover, we will never get foreign assistance to crack this case because TPLF/EPRDF is a trusted ally that is now supported with generous aid multiplied by seven times in the near future from USA's Pentagon.
No doubt we Ethiopians  are treated as fools like the "fools gold"  by the regime and its backers and it is up to us to convince them otherwise by standing together avoiding fake opposition groups to remove this regime before we all are sold for higher bidders..

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

The down fall of New York's 54th Governor

Tedla Asfaw

Governor of New York Eliot Spitzer read a brief letter of resignation, ninety seconds, from his midtown Manhattan office this morning(March 12). His motorcade was followed by the media and was televised live in New York City resembling the infamous OJ chase in Los Angeles more than ten years ago.

The tough prosecutor turned Governor was caught this week on soliciting sex that is now reported paying $ 80,000 for prostitutes which goes on for years transferring money from his back account to a known men's club for rich and powerful.

Our 54th governor and client number 9 on FBI's list is gone for good from politics. New York effective this coming Monday will have a new governor. David Paterson is going to be the first African American and legally blind governor and we will be fine.

We have seen two governors in our tri-state region resign because of scandal and President Clinton's impeachment trial for his sex adventure by lowering the office is still fresh in our mind. In fact his wife is now running for presidency of the country. Time will tell us if this well educated lawyer,Mrs. Spitzer, will have a desire for politics like her disgraced husband and if he will be on her side.

The tough former prosecutor fall from grace is a story that will initiate books and movies, however, for those of us who live in New York we would like the current budget crisis in the state to be dealt with with the new spirit of cooperation which was not the case by the bulling nature of the 54th governor.

Freedom forces should match the challenge!!

Tedla Asfaw
I followed the March 11, 2008  one hour hearing on Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee in Washington D.C. thanks to live cast. The testimony of Theresa Whelan the Secretary of Defense summarized the USA close alliance and unconditional support for Melese Zenawi's TPLF  which is to be increased on the coming 2009 budget by seven times.
Seven Times of What? Mind you few months before TPLF's soldiers crossed the Somali boarder on that infamous invasion of Christmas 2006 there was an American high military official who gave the blessing and now surely the first down payment for that war.
Melese Zenawi was boasting in his parliament that no one pays for this war and we know his sleepy parliament has no power to see the book of this war unless they come to Pentagon and now they are surprised to find out that the budget for the war will be multiplied by seven times for the next year budget after Bush leaves office.
This is an incentive for the Ethiopian regime to kill more Somalis in the name of fighting Islamic terrorism and also to conscript young unemployed youths to join the Ethiopian National Defense Force(ENDF) that will be paying good thanks to the promised budget increase.
Ms. Theresa Whelan told the Ethiopian people the best kept secret of the ENDF's number that is 200,000 and she did  not tell us how many of those are now engaged in the occupation of Somalia. VOA Amharic yesterday concetrates on this increased budget and disclose that it is for the first time USA gave military information about Ethiopian army.
The so called capacity building to reorganize the army is a very dangerous militarization which in the long run our people and the African Continent tol be ruled by military strongmen financed and trained by USA. That indeed the core objective of Africom which is rejected by many African countries.
Democracy for Africa is now turned to capacity building to train soldiers to rule Africa by force and for that you do not need to put a Musharraf like General who recently took off his clothes rather put stooges like Melese Zenawi with no military training and built a strong army to protect him.
We have known this all along but it is good to come out straight from USA defense force. The USA policy makers wrongly believed that USA army is doing a good job in Africa. I heard one congressman who recently visited Djibouti said on yesterday's hearing that local people support the army because the army is building projects that benefits the community.
The French armed forces who has been there in Djibouti since Independence should be ashamed of themselves for not drilling wells for the inhabitants while the USA army in less than three years did the job right. But one thing is sure. French went there to protect their former colony  while USA went  to find new real state to fight its war on terror and no free countries will like to see foreign armies in their land no matter what good do to them.
The irony is that Ethiopia the symbol of independence that  repelled colonialists in her long history is now ruled by collaboration of home grown tyrants and Pentagon. Those who are fighting for freedom and democracy should not be discouraged when the money for the tyranny in Ethiopia is increased by seven times rather energized and coordinate their struggle to match the challenge.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Addis Dimts wasted airtime!!

Tedla Asfaw
I heard this past Sat. and Sund. Addis Dimts Radio show on the recent NPR's Kojo show regarding the political situation in Ethiopia. Ato Abebe the host of Addis Dimts was angered by Eng. Hailu's decline on the Kojo'show and the callers on his radio shared his anger and used the airtime for bashing Eng. Hailu.
Ato Abebe was heard also saying that we missed a good opportunity to educate the American public about the current political crisis in our country. In fact the American public knows very well on what is going on in Ethiopia and many programs including NPR exposed the dictatorial regime of Ethiopia and I do not believe the thirty minutes program of Kojo will make much difference either.
In any case Dr. Birhanu, Professor Terrence and before the end of the program Dr. Taye gave their accounts of the Ethiopian politics which is critical of the regime.Unfotunately Ato Abebe's  effort to link with the Kojo's archive was not successful for those who did not hear the show. The bottom line is the American audience and others who followed the Kojo's show heard once again tyranny is well alive n Ethiopia  thanks to the financial support of the Bush administration.
However, Ato Abebe Belew's airtime was wasted to bash Eng. Hailu for not being on the program and that is an indirect service for the regime in power in Ethiopia and I will not be surprised the pro TPLF websites that declined to post the Kojo's show  if they post  Ato Abebe's attack on Eng. Hailu on their cites.
I wonder if Ato Abebe Belew had given any credit for Eng. Hailu for his appearance on the Straight Talk Africa program, live VOA TV, few weeks ago consistent to his  view of educating Americans and others. Or he might not not like the appearance of Eng. Hailu on the program maybe expecting other "capable" persons to articulate our causes on the show.
This is wasting airtime at best and I advice Ato Abebe Belew who is trying to increase his audience base to include Ethiopia to correct his mistakes and try to use his precious time to expose the tyranny in Ethiopia.
Otherwise airtime wasted without exposing the regime in power will be  equivalent  if not dangerous to  those pro TPLF/EPRDF medias in Diaspora  that are bombarding us about "high economic growth in Ethiopia" while millions of our people go to bed empty stomach.

Wednesday, 5 March 2008

Starting from Zero?

Tedla Asfaw
Ato Lidetu(MP) on his interview with "Ande Ethiopia Radio" posted on pro TPLF sites said that he and his party has to start from zero and accuse Kinijit for putting the Ethiopian peoples struggle way  back it were  fifteen years ago. Regarding the slim chance of winning local elections coming soon  he said that is beyond reach because of 4.5 million candidates fielded by TPLF/EPRDF  and there is no way of winning local elections in Ethiopia ever again.
Ato Lidetu instead focuses to win the general election in 2010 for parliament because of limited number of seats. However, the strategy of losing local election to win the general election is impossible. How could you leave all the local administrations under TPLF/EPRDF and expected to win the general election for parliament?
Nobody is to be convinced by this Ato Lidetu and in fact there is a good chance person like you and the other loyal opposition MP's will be forced out of the Parliament in the coming 2010 general election by the millions who now voted forcibly for the regime.
Ato Lidetu can not field candidates in Addis because he is against "new election in Addis" which ignored sixty of the seat he claimed won in the 2005 election. I am not sure about that. What we know is Kinijit won all the seats in Addis and your claim now it is your party not Kinijit is not defensible and the regime turns your loyalty upside down and  call new election to control Addis Ababa one hundred percent.
There was one truth in this interview. Ato Lidetu said that the Ethiopian people, most of Addis Ababeans, are against his party and he can not see the face of the crowd and  prefer to quietly fight maybe changing his residency to keep his seat in the 2010 general election.
However, his fall from grace is not because of hate propaganda against him by Kinijit he alleged but rather because of his betrayal of his comrades in 2005 and his deeds after election. The current split in Kinijit leadership can not help him either because some are ready to repeat his mistakes and try to convince us everything will be OK. in  Ethiopia's politics if their party is registered legally.
"The mother of all registrations", Ato Lidetu, has saved his seat until 2010 general election,however, the promised  win can only be possible if he runs under the TPLF/EPRDF's ticket. This is also true to the few leaders who run away from Kinijit currently engaged in "legalization" of their faction by avoiding the masses who voted for them.
The regime had made it clear that there will not be a repetition of May 2005. "Fair and Free Election" will be a pipe dream for Ethiopians and this time Melese Zenawi does not need loyal oppositions like Lidetu or new comers who are now busy knocking his office where Lidetu once entered and soon will be forced out because he like the new comers have no constituencies. 

Monday, 3 March 2008

BBC's Elizabeth Blunt untold election story in Ethiopia

Tedla Asfaw
I read Elizabeth Blunt piece today (BBC March 3) on the absence of the recently released Kinijit/CUDP leaders from the local election set for spring in Ethiopia. I wonder why she ignored those who were not jailed and have good time in the so called parliament still considered to be as opposition by west and could not be able to go to their constituencies for this so called by-election she is reporting by blatant intimidation and harassment of their supporters by the regime armed thugs.
Elizabeth Blunt should have also mention the fraudulent registration of candidates close to 4.5 million registered as TPLF/EPRDF candidates which shut the so called opposition automatically. How could Elizabeth Blunt cover the coming election without highlighting all these fraudulent preparation of election?
Forget about the media which is the main propaganda tool of the regime deafening our people about the "development" of our country and pray for the regime to rule for infinity because "Ethiopians should focus on their development goal to be a middle income country in the next decade" under the wise leadership of Melese Zenawi's TPLF/EPRDF.
This local election is nothing but preparation to control our people by intimidation and blackmail and Melese Zenawi recently declared that he has more than hundred thousands student members with close to five million farmer members and surely all the members of the Ethiopian army who are now "defending democracy" home and able to export to neighboring Somalia.
It is inappropriate for the British journalist to ignore all these and concentrate on the recently released opposition leaders while the regime show its contempt for the loyal opposition which is now reduced to nothing.
Ethiopians have to organize  and challenge this regime by demonstrating for their rights to gather and for free media and without that Ethiopia's election,here incorrectly reported by Elizabeth Blunt, is "China's type of democracy" financed by the west  with the help of of reporters like Elizabeth Blunt.