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Friday, 22 May 2009

A good man !!!

Tedla Asfaw

My father, Asfaw Feleke Woldetekle ,  was a man who never speaks loud and never blamed someone for anything. Serving under the Imperial regime of Haile Selasse, he worked at various levels and was in the treasury department, had a chance to travel with King Haileselasse to the Dallol potash mine in Afar region. He retired few years before the 1966 Yekatit Revolution. His father died tragically to separate feast fight when he was a child . As the eldest man  of his family among   three sisters and one brother he learnt responsibility at a young age and helped his late mother Emayohe Desta Ayele who died two decades ago "one hundred years".  Currently he survived by his youngest ailing sister and large extended family members.

His trip to Tigray to collect taxes in the 1940 E.C is my favorite  story among many others he shared with us here in New York after the fall of Derg. As a simple clerk he was sent to Tigray to collect taxes. People not only refused to pay taxes but also felt sorry for the "poor" clerk travelling with empty hands in a rebellion area asking for money for  the Imperial Treasury.

He has to convince people that without money there can not be school, road and other developmental activities and the choice is theirs to pay or not pay taxes. The people understand very well this "poor man" was sent by big shots from distance and treat him very well as their own.

My father gives credit where it is due. He admired King Haile Selasse for educating poor children from all corners of Ethiopia and visiting them at schools, giving encouraging words. The first family member picture receiving diploma from the  king was proudly hang on our home in Addis Ababa as an inspiration for our family.

Education for him was the stepping stone to improve ones life or  country's future. No wonder on his stay here in New York he was asking himself, "what were we doing ? " when these people built all these bridges and roads ?. He himself got an informal education in the five year resistance during the Italy invasion.

Working with British ally forces he learnt English and was a translator in the refugee camp in Kenya. Some former students call him as "Gashe" Asfaw and I attended a school, Asfaw Wossen, in Ethiopia under the principal Fanose Tekeleseelase who was one of my father students

As a fighter in the resistance army he lost one eye to save the fallen soldier and capture guns and ammunition from the  enemy and for that he received a medal of the King George the Sixth. That  story was published on the then British colony of Kenya's news paper. Over all he received seven  medals for his service to his country. His late wife, Ejigayehu Yalew, also received two medals.

My father was also a man of justice. I saw it fist hand as an elementary school child  when we travelled with him to Nazret to see his few hectares of land. We met the tenant family with two children and there was no Bekele to help us visit the harvest. Harvest was very bad and Bekele had nothing to give and if he gives it was only at the expense of his own family.

Not only my father refused any harvest that time, he asked Bekele's family to adopt the two girls, Belaynesh and Zenebich, to raise them as part of his family. I and my brothers grew up with these girls,sisters, in all legal definition and I am indebted to them for helping our family after the passing away of our mother  two decades ago.

My father lived through war, feudalism, communism and dictatorship and  also witnessed the historical election of 2005. He was a man who follows the news of the world. He  loves radios and I still remember as a child the radio opened to bring German Amharic in the afternoon, "Yehe Ke Igale Rwanda Yemetelalefew Ye German Dimtse Newe". The man who loves information,however,  was getting older at the age of Internet and when the Hubble Telescope got additional life thanks to the  USA Astronauts successful mission this week, my father has to leave earth maybe to" hear" from the Hubble Telescope closely. He is still alive in our mind as always listening.


Mine Sertewe Taweku

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: hsiang chen <>
Date: Fri, May 22, 2009 at 8:13 AM

Hi Tedla: here is two attach

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Mine Sertewe Taweku

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Thursday, 21 May 2009

Zoro Zoro Kebete, Noro Noro Wede Merete (Hidar 7, 1907- Ginbot 13, 2001)

Dear friends,

I received the sad news of the passing away of my ninety four year old father, Asfaw Feleke Woldetekle, this morning and he will be buried (see the attachment) tomorrow along my mother. I will  post the interview he made with Addis Zemen, eighteen years ago soon after my mother passed away. I thank everybody who supported us during his illness that I disclosed on "Root for Father" piece last November.

The last six month indeed was hard for him  and thanks to the big support of family members and your encouraging words he hold on but the end has come.

                                                                                   Rest in Peace

                                                                                       Tedla Asfaw


Monday, 18 May 2009

Crying Shabia for more than a decade

Tedla Asfaw

Since the Badme war more than ten years ago the TPLF regime and its supporters  have accused the armed opposition movements inside Ethiopia as Shabia agents. OLF, ONLF and EPPF are the major movements "armed and financed" by Isaias to "destroy Ethiopia" according to the TPLF propaganda. The TPLF invasion of Somalia two years ago was also sold as an exercise to neutralize the gathering threat of Shabia supported ICU.

This accusation if it is true Shabia must be strong militarily and financially to launch all these operations in Ethiopia and Somalia. Isaias is also accused by the Obama administration recently in supporting the Islamic extremists in Somalia and some die hard TPLF supporters are renewing their regime change call in Asmara with the help of Obama.

The truth, however, is that Isaias' Eritrea was saved  by Meles Zenawi in the Badme war.  Meles has its own reason not to overthrow Isaias because there was no stooge prepared to replace him on the eventual "capture" of Asmara then. Meles also did not want to be outshone by the victorious army to challenge him in the future. No wonder Meles was spending his time far from the war front that took the lives of  more than seventy thousands Ethiopians writing his own version of "Bonapartism", that has nothing to do with the defense of Ethiopia or the huge sacrifices paid.

During the Badme war Meles was plotting a coup with the help of Adissu Legesse's led Amhara wing  of TPLF to lock up those who accused him of being "soft" on "Shabia". Meles' coup succeeded and became the "Supreme Commander" of TPLF and those who led the Badme war the likes of  Seye Abraha were sent to jail by false accusations. Many Generals have also fled to Asmara after the stolen 2005 election and this month General Tefera Mamo who was a leader on Tsorena front during the Badme war along with many officers have been jailed for plotting to "kill" Meles and other TPLF leaders.

Meles Zenawi who gave second life for Shabia had accused General Kemal Gelchu and high officers for  joining  OLF and EPPF. This accusation is mainly designed to satisfy the Tigrean nationalists who hate Shabia for looking down on them. Unlike OLF and EPPF, the diaspora opposition movements have no tactics and strategy when it comes to Isaias and Shabia. They are just bystanders on this game. Many soldiers and civilians who escape the TPLF regime,however, have made Eritrea  their home, the "safe" heaven, in hostile Sudan and Djibouti who handed back political opponents to TPLF.

The defeat of TPLF on election in 2005, however, is the only loss for the regime that was not blamed on Shabia by TPLF supporters. The rallying cry for this apartheid regime supporters is Shabia in order to avoid the freedom,democracy and  a one man one person vote, the burning issue in Ethiopia, and  the rallying cry for our people back home and here in the diaspora. They failed miserably to recruit new supporters to fight the boggy man, Shabia. "Talk" with Isaias becomes a litmus test for being "Ethiopian".

The Ethiopian Review (ER) Editor Elias Kifle  has been accused  as a "Shabia" agent for his clear stand of fighting TPLF with the collaboration of Isaias is now elevated to "one hundred percent Shabia" for conducting an interview with Isaias in Asmara this past week. The video has not yet been aired but Elias Kifle is now  the number one "enemy of Ethiopia" for TPLF and its one hundred percent loyalists.

We all know the  TPLF boss is busy  giving "lectures" on foreign medias like BBC and others. If Meles is free to spit his venom on foreign medias, why is this not "allowed" for  an independent Eritrea dictator Isaias Afeworki to talk to whomever he chooses ? Do Meles supporters  really know what free media means ? Or do they have to think always in terms of "Shabia" to protect their untouchable "supreme' leader from embarrassment ?

There is no one on this planet who knows TPLF than Shabia's boss, Isaias Afeworki, the man who raise it as a "baby", feed it to build muscle and bone to fight Shabia's war on the mountains of Eritrea. If Al Jazera has the right to interview Isaias, so does Elias Kifle.


Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Ginbot7, from "coup plot to member of Medrek"

Tedla Asfaw

Ato Zeru Hagos of Aiga came with disastrous propaganda , on "Catch22 politics played by Dr. Birhanu Nega",  May 12 . He said, "USA formed  Medrek to replace Kinijit on which UDJ and Ginbot7 are represented among others" . Zeru warned too that "if Ginbot7 do not correct its mistake it might be expelled from Medrek".

This allegation of Ginbot7 , accused of terror and assassination weeks ago, as a "member of Medrek" by Zeru is similar to some opposition groups here in the Diaspora who accused Ginbot7 as a "secret organization formed a year ago by Bereket Simon to divide the real opposition that got momentum four years ago" under the banner of Kinijit.

Both Zeru and some opponents in the Diaspora seem scared by the increasing support Ginbot7 got especially from the Diaspora Ethiopians after the TPLF concocted plot which in a less than a week downgraded to "assassination". For both of them Ginbot7 is the real enemy and it has to be stopped before it makes the real coup, get huge popular support.

Indeed, Ginbot7 was given a propaganda coup on a  silver plate last week by TPLF. It got name recognition in all the world medias and the VOA and German Amharic, the only independent sources of information for millions of Ethiopians, brought Ginbot7 to every home in Ethiopia, a real force to challenge TPLF, and Ato Zeru,however, insisted that this was a PR made by Ginbot7  for its first anniversary.

"The USA made Medrek "replacing  Kinijt is another disastrous propaganda by TPLF. How does then Zeru explain the recent accusation and insult by TPLF on USA administration for not denouncing Dr. Birhanu for "terrorism" ? Why then the Amhara wing of TPLF became a target not leaders of Medrek like Seye and Gebru for "conspiring" with Ginbot7?

 Ginbot7 has nothing to do with Medrek. The Medrek people are pro-TPLF while Ginbot7 had made it clear that TPLF has to be removed by all means and new constitution has to be written with the full participation of all Ethiopian Nationalities. Medrek is not  a replacement of Kinijit as Zeru wanted us to believe, it is to replace Meles with Seye , Aba Dula with Negasso and Beyene with Yacob. We can say without shred of doubt that Medrek is made by TPLF to replace the dying "EPRDF" and extend the rule of TPLF by orchestrating fake election in June 2010 and give legitimacy to the regime that was rejected by Ethiopians in 2005.

Monday, 11 May 2009

Long Live Ginbot 7

Tedla Asfaw

I am not endorsing the Ginbot7 party led by D.r Birhanu on its first anniversary here rather congratulate the Ethiopian masses who went out in millions in all corners of Ethiopia and voted TPLF out of office four years ago on May 15, 2005 or Ginbot 7 on Ethiopian Calender. I am also remembering the fallen heroes gunned down by Agazi commandos on broad day light displayed for all to see.

Here is my big difference with Ato Seye Abraha, one of the founders of TPLF,  who wanted to accuse both the victims and crime perpetrator as "unprepared for peaceful election". Wait a minute, how did he forgot the Miazia 30 rally of more than  two million people in Addis Ababa who went out on pre election rally without a single incident ? The only reason our people were left alone on that day was because of the arrogance of  TPLF cadres who believed that the paid rally in support of TPLF could beat any opposition by the Kinijit/CUD.

The May 15 however proved that TPLF arrogance was unparalleled and it lost overwhelmingly in Addis Ababa and to avoid defeat it massacred our peaceful people. That is the fact and any attempt to paint our people as "violent" is just to cover the crime of TPLF.

The theory of participating on peaceful election in Ethiopia has been dead since May 16, 2005, Ginbot 8 after our peoples aspiration for democracy was stopped by the brutal forces of TPLF leaving more than two hundred dead and thousands sent to jails on many  locations run by TPLF prison enterprise. Now TPLF is preparing to control power and get legitimacy it never got on the last eighteen years in power by preparing a fake election and recruiting new comers on Mederk platform run by Gebru and Seye.

Accusing our people for violent behavior and "opposition organizations" unprepared to challenge the "strong and powerful TPLF" they are working to get a seat with their former brothers until " the unorganized oppositions" are ready in 2015 to challenge TPLF. We haven't heard from them either on the ongoing ethnic cleansing in the army   Bulcha Demeksa accurately characterized it as pre election terror .

Another major election campaign was orchestrated by Meles in the Amhara region a month ago. A poem was read to congratulate "Talaku Mereyachenen" Meles Zenawi and said like this . "Do not worry, all of them will come back to you, Meles", "Hulume Meles Belew Yematalu". The person who wrote this poem accurately captured the so called participants of the the 2010 peaceful election led by Mederek.

Our people readiness to elect their leaders  peacefully  was well documented even by those who financed and armed TPLF and what our people demand right now is their right to organize, speak and print freely not another Lidetu Ayalew type Democracy Talk. Without basic rights of democracy, the new formation like "Mederek  challenging TPLF/EPRDF" on the June 2010 election is just betrayal of our people much worst than the Lidetu Ayalew's betrayal four years ago.

TPLF is running a one party state until our people economy reached to that of Communist China. It transferred itself to a "development party" and can now be called also Tigray People Development Party  (TPDP). Do not worry about the name Tigray they  mean business and is all clear for all doubters. TPLF/TPDP Oromo's wing was dealt with before and the Amhara wing of TPDP is seriously done by imprisoning  Amhara officers in the army who were "conspiring" with Ginbot7 party weeks ago.

Does any one still doubt that TPLF does not mean EPRDF. I hope the Mederek people will tell us if there is anybody  in EPRDF except TPLF. I hope they will not mention Tefera Walewa who will soon be accused of eating the left over "sugar" from Pastor Tamerat Layne who went more than  a decade in jail for "sugar crime".

Our generation have the same choice our fathers and mothers had seventy five years ago, either to live in dignity or die fighting. I choose the latter one and support all real oppositions including Ginbot7 for the common struggle to remove TPLF and empower our people.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Ayalenesh recent piece V. EPRP's May Surprise !!!

Tedla Asfaw

Change will only come through active participation to attain a goal. Politics is a game of winning public vote to implement our vision to lead a country at local, state and Federal level. The recent call by EPRP(May 2009) posted on EPRP site and other sites like,, are encouraging timely debates in our community. Supporters and haters of one party are debating  currently  and will be the debate of the week, month and years to come until we answered this legitimate question which has been unanswered for the last eighteen years, a question of united front to remove TPLF.

Our people back home have no platform to agree and disagree peacefully and be part of this process. Such basics, freedom of speech and print denied home,however, should not be repeated here by default. We have to debate here to answer the big call of our country and people which was also the rallying cry four years ago in the historical defeat of TPLF, "Tebaberu Weyeme Tesebaberu", unite or perish raised by EPRP, "May Surprise".

However, I disagree  with recent piece by Ehete Ayalenesh,my favorite commentator on Debteraw website,  "Weyanene Tebeke, Ehapan Lekeke", because her tactic of going it alone has been tried for almost two decades without removing TPLF from power. I wish her piece helped us to reach her genuine desire of removing TPLF, but how could it be by fighting  Ginbot7 and others who are trying their part to  remove TPLF ?  It is time for cease fire among ourselves, we will have plenty of time to debate and convince our people for the good and the bad of each other.

I would like to read another piece from Ayalenesh on what we should do to answer the EPRP's May call not coup for united front to remove, real coup,  TPLF which I support without any reservation.

Thursday, 7 May 2009

Bulcha Demeksa, the "criminal" ???

Tedla Asfaw

Bulcha Demeksa is the leader of Oromo Federal Democratic Movement (OFDM) who has been known for speaking his mind. On VOA Amharic May 6, he spoke with Surafel for which the TPLF cadre, Ermias gave a short reply and accused Ato Bulcha as a "criminal".

 Bulcha said the regime in power has been known for locking up Oromos on fabricated charges of being  OLF fighters to overthrow the regime and what is happening now on non-Oromo army officers and civilians, accused of terror and assassination plot is the trademark of the regime and "without independent investigation he would not accept the charges labelled by TPLF/EPRDF".

By independent commission he meant foreign organizations since there are not any functioning independent organizations of any kind in present day Ethiopia. He said, those like him who are in parliament are just listeners . "There is not free press and organizations", he said and in such situation, "we are unable to do anything for our constituencies". He said, " we cannot even visit our constituency without risking our and other lives".

The May 3, All Ethiopian Unity Party (AEUP) news release which is also  posted on Aiga Website for propaganda propose,however, declared the expansion of AEUP offices throughout Ethiopia. The divide and rule of TPLF is now at full speed. All potential enemies are rooted paving the way for June 2010 election. Bulcha said also that the regime is now recruiting people throughout Ethiopia to vote for EPRDF. "Conferences and workshops are everywhere  while others so called oppositions including his party are just seating and waiting for the landslide victory of TPLF/EPRDF".

Persons like Bulcha Demeksa who has been a partner with  TPLF/EPRDF for many years know very well that they haven't served their constituencies except giving legitimacy for the regime. His courage as an individual for speaking the truth on TPLF's parliament and on foreign  platforms,however, is commendable.

The sad thing is that party like AEUP, UDJP  still believe that they will pull the kind of the Kinijit's victory of May 15, 2005 by just being nice and do organizational work to defeat TPLF. It is only one year before the so called election of 2010 and the recent arrest and the intimidation campaign is part of the TPLF election campaign as Bulcha accurately put it together recruiting millions of hostages,  workers and peasants, under the cover of workshops and conferences.

The choice for Bulcha and his party is now clear. For more than a decade he tried to empower his people peacefully and that has not produced any tangible result. Now it is time to save himself before he faces similar fate like the thousands of Oroms who have been locked up for years as members of an outlawed OLF.

What Bulcha Demeksa tried for a decade is now discovered  as something new by AEUP, UDJP  and others believing that there is no other alternative. I wish they were right.


Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Voice for the voiceless

Wondem Abebe Gellaw,

I heard your voice, the voice of the millions of voiceless Ethiopians, on May 6 on Western media and thank you for educating many of the journalists on that conference and the wider audience that followed you on TV or Internet. I am positive that your stay at Stanford University as Yahoo fellow have already produced fruits and  friendship to document and expose the total monopoly of information by the TPLF regime of Ethiopia. This could not have been possible without hard work and I commend you for that.


                                                                                    Tedla Asfaw

Silence under terror !!!

Tedla Asfaw

Eng. Hailu Shawel is the leader of All Ethiopia Union Party (AEUP), the party formed after Kinijit/ CUD split into Judge Birtukan Medeksa led UDJP and Dr. Birhanu Nega's led Ginbot7 a year ago. Birtukan has been jailed for more than three months for not submitting to the blackmail of Meles Zenawi, and the last we heard from her was on her now  famous letter, "Kale", moments before she went to jail.

The fabricated TPLF coup by Ginbot7 this past week is now downgraded to terror and assassination. Many former TPLF army officers mainly Amharas of alleged Ginbot7 members including an eighty year old man Ato  Tsege  the father of Andargatchew Tsege and others are locked up.

The recent news from AEUP that was posted on websites informed us also that AEUP offices were opened for political activities in all corners of Ethiopia and the peaceful struggle is in full swing.  Are these "organized people" capable of protecting and defending themselves from TPLF terror we are witnessing now ?  Where is the  stand of AEUP on the ongoing terror on peaceful people? Is it maybe because all the accused, UDJP or Ginbot7 alleged members and the former TPLF officers are not AEUP members ?

Such stand is only helping TPLF. It is also self defeating because the Ethiopian people will not win by such failed tactic of divided struggle. The call for unite or else, "Tebaberu or Tesebeaberu" was true in 2005 and still true now to defeat TPLF terrorism.

TPLF has been killing and jailing Oromos in the name of fighting OLF "terror" and now is jailing mainly Amharas in the name of the "terror plot" by Ginbot 7. Does AEUP still believe by organizing the masses in all corners of Ethiopia can defeat TPLF by going it alone ?

Silence while Birtukan Medeksa of UDJP was  thrown  to jail and now Birhanu's led Ginbot7 alleged members  accused of "terror plot" and cleanse Amharas from the army is not defensible. If AEUP thinks it is not the enemy of TPLF we need clarification on that.

Soon Birtukan will be free from jail, but not free to run her organization. Her UDJP will be run by others who are known for accepting TPLF's supremacy and its boss Meles Zenawi and I am afraid yours AEUP is going on that track under your leadership.