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Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Protest while supporting our Athletes!!

Tedla Asfaw
This week African athletes are gathering in Addis for the sixteenth African Athletic Championship and it will be seen as a preparation also for Olympics and expected big fierce competition between rival Kenyan and Ethiopian athletes.
This competition also will bring Ethiopia on the spot light beyond sport competton. Life in Addis and most parts of Ethiopia is unbearable and the ruling minority regime is feeding our people  false hope and such false hope however is the least our people pay attention and are calling for economic and political justice today.
As we saw on The Great Run  in last November in Addis Ababa, dubbed in Amharic, "Talaku Rucha Besote Megeletcha" meaning opportunity to vent peoples anger that called for a change and  show people disgust with ruling TPLF. It is expected that  similar action will take place without disrupting the game in the coming days by the huge crowd that comes to support Ethiopian athletes.
Moreover, the illegal detention of Teddy Afro has angered many Ethiopians and on April 28 many Ethiopians protested in front of the TPLF embassy in Washington D.C. and called for the immediate release of Teddy Afro. Similar call is going to come on this week athletic competition in Addis Ababa.
Ethiopians also should call for the immediate withdrawal of TPLF forces from Somalia currently engaged in illegal war and destabilizing our region for the foreseeable future. We can not be quite while gross human right violation is going on in Somalia including killing religious leaders in Mosque and detaining children as reported by international media.
In a country like Ethiopia where it has been illegal to demonstrate since May 2005  the only option our people have is to use other opportunities like  the one we have this week to expose the regime without interfering  in the competition.
We can do it  and let the spirit of our people that we saw three years ago came alive and shake those who rule us by gun without any mandate. Let Melese Zenawi know that his dream of continue to rule beyond 2010 as was suggested by his advisor Bereket Simon on interview  is futile.
I wish Melese Zenawi learns from our athletes and run not to win gold but rather for his own life before it is too late. There are many countries who wanted to give him job and shelter and we will be grateful for that.