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Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Greed behind the building of dams in Ethiopia !!!

Tedla Asfaw

I  worked on Awash River for five years from 1980-1985. As you well know the Awash River is regulated by the Koka Dam that is now silted up and is living day to day, producing little electrical power. The Awash River and the impact of the Koka Dam to the million or so Afar people who depend on it is well studied and we have also five decades of facts on the ground.

The Afar nomads use the river as a grazing and watering spot for their animals. In a dry season when the river is not flooding as is regularly done by those who operate the dam they have to take their herds to high lands looking for grass and water. Unlike the Oromo basin people the Afar people do not plant crops except in a very few cases.

The current dam in construction, Gibe 3, some advocates of river development said it did not take care of the downstream inhabitants and the environmental impact assessment is not done properly. From the government side we hear that all is done on a transparent manner and those who financed the project accept the project and construction is underway to be completed in few years if all goes well.

It seems there is politics behind all this. Meles Zenawi who has been in power by force since 1991 is a darling of the west. If this is a regime who is not favored by the west such project will be rotten on a  design stage let alone be financed. The goal of the Ethiopia regime is to get cash by selling all resources of the country, land, water etc.

Currently the regime is busy leasing agricultural lands for cash. It illegally handed over huge amount of land in the west which is about 30,000 sq km to the butcher of Darfur, Omar Al-Beshir. The Chinese, Koreans and the Arabs are leasing huge lands to produce their own crop and no wonder this regime ignores all costs including human lives to make money.

This is pure greed and has nothing to do with developing our country. Moreover, all these are happening with the help of American and European administrations. The Gibe 3 project symbolically is under Ethiopian Electric Power,however, the real people behind are those who controlled all businesses in Ethiopia, the Endowment Fund  For Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT).

EFFORT is everything when it comes to money. The greed to make money has turned also the Koka Lake in to green by way of selling flowers to European markets. Inhabitants are dying drinking poisoned lake as reported on recent Aljazera program.  If you tell me nobody knows this, you are kidding me, it is corruption unparalleled in Ethiopia's history with the help of west disguised as development strategy.
The question here is not why we are building dams but who is profiting from it ? Where political legitimacy is lacking or  legitimacy by buying votes on open market, in the name of election, is orchestrated our natural resources will be a curse on us similar to oil curse of oil exporting African countries.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Bulcha Demeksa, getting and thinking old !!!

Tedla Asfaw

 Obo Bulcha Demeksa the head of the Oromo Federal Democratic Movement (OFDM) who served the Imperial Regime of Ethiopia, has long experience working for international organizations, currently a member of the TPLF parliament is sharing his wisdom. For Obo Bulcha the future of Ethiopian politics has to revolve around "Kilil" and each kilil has to be represented by party or parties who represent their nationalities. Oromo for Oromo's , Amhara for Amhara's, Tigray for Tigreayans etc.

Multi ethnic parties are non existent for  Bulcha and  Kinijit who participated on the May election and won all the seat in Addis Ababa/Finfine according to  Bulcha is an "Amhara" party. He said, "The multi ethnic vote Kinijit got in Addis Ababa is a vote against TPLF". A man who worked in many African countries if his expertise has been incorporated by now the whole Africa's political map has to be redrawn according to the TPLF Kilil which  Bulcha has been supporting for the last eighteen years.

Ato Bulcha's problem with Meles is for non-Oromos coming to parliament representing Oromo. "The OPDO is not true Oromo". Yes OPDO is not supported by many Oromos because they are not standing to empower the Oromo people rather used by TPLF to ignite war among many ethnic groups who have been living together for centuries and for which Obo Bulcha accused  TPLF on its own parliament in the past for the loss of lives and properties.

The scary thing,however, is Obo Bulcha does not believe non-Oromos can stand for  Oromo cause. He does not believe that the millions who lived intermarried for centuries have a right to choose any party that can stand for their interest. Dividing people purely on  language basis disregarding the fact on the ground is going to bring disaster to our people.

I have no problem with ethnic organizations but if I have to live with their dictate that is a problem. The majority ethnic group dictating on minorities or others who do not buy to their ideology is not different than  TPLF minority and its local surrogates abusing our people in their kilil for the last eighteen years.

If one ethnic organization is not allowed to campaign on other Kilil because that is not his kilil is against the right of citizens which  Bulcha would like to build on "Federal Ethiopia". Labelling Kinijit as an Amhara organization is also an insult to other nationalities who worked and died carrying a banner of Kinijit, freedom, individual and groups rights.

Obo Bulcha Demeksa concern for the Oromos is understandable and commendable,however, he failed to learn  from eighteen years of experience working with TPLF tribal Federalism. The elites of Ethiopia underestimate the masses and do not learn from their futile mistakes ignoring common bondage that hold Ethiopians together and keep on calling for Rwanda type division. Understandably if Obama asked Ato Bulcha expertise on how to be effective as "opposition" in Ethiopia the answer might be donation of many buses to bus nationalities to their  own "kilil" and return some of them representing their Kilil to form a "Federal Ethiopia". No one will pay for such adventure.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Reaction to Obama's speech in Accra, Ghana

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tedla Asfaw <>
Date: Wed, Jul 15, 2009 at 3:26 PM
Subject: Reaction to Obama's speech
To:,, EMF Media <>,,,,, EthioSun <>, Addisu Abebe <>,, Gmail <>

Dear AV Readers,

Today July 15 on Straight Talk Africa I had an opportunity to call and comment. After I applaud Obama for his speech I added we should have to find a mechanism to retrieve Africa's loot accumulated on foreign banks. We have to set up a mechanism on how to retrieve the loot. I mentioned Ethiopia under Meles' TPLF where millions of dollars  have been looted for the last eighteen years. You can go to My call was on the second half of the program around the forty five minutes.


                                                                                                             Tedla Asfaw


Thursday, 9 July 2009

Crisis in Ethiopian Orthodox Church

Tedla Asfaw

I followed Adissu Abebe of VOA Amharic(July 9 ) program few minutes ago which shed me some light on the current crisis in Ethiopian Orthodox church. The problem in our church since TPLF has come to power is not new in fact it will be enough just to look around here in North America. Churches are built every other month according to their loyalty to this Bishop or that Bishop or this Priest or that Priest.

Otherwise how can poor community like Ethiopia afford many churches way higher than other well established communities in North America. I have stopped going to our church here in New York because I do not want to identify myself as a follower of this or that. Why should I spend my time when I know deep in my heart that we are gathering while holding anger and hate towards someone who is standing there to "pray".

The crisis in the church is identical to the crisis we faced in May 2005 during and after election. Our people demand unity, "Tebaberu woyeme Tesebaberu" to forge Kinijit to challenge TPLF. The Orthodox Christians get along very well with other Christians and Muslims while the Abuna paulose led church is poisoning the atmosphere and has brought tension between religious groups.

Back home our people stayed together, however, here in the Diaspora we are part of the problem by financing number of churches associated with corrupt bishops and priests.

Ethiopia has good people but not good leaders in  politics, economics and social activities. I hope the next generation of leaders will be good to their people.




Friday, 3 July 2009

Medal for genocide organizer !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

Paul Kagame of Rwanda is giving a medal for Meles Zenawi this weekend. Other recipients of the National Liberation Medal of Rwanda for  fighting "Against Genocide" are the late Julius Nyerere  of Tanzania and Museveni of Uganda. Mixing Meles Zenawi with the late Julius Nyerere is an insult for whole Africa. The likes of Yoweri Museveni's nomination for this award is questionable too but what I vehemently object is the association of Melese Zenawi with"fight against genocide".

Does Paul Kagame follows the ongoing genocide in Africa ? Did he follow the Genocide Watch recent report to bring Meles Zenawi for crimes he committed against the Anuak and the Ogaden Somalis in Ethiopia ? What is the medal of Paul Kagame says to the victims of the genocidal crime of Meles Zenawi ?

How can a person who himself was the victim of the genocide insult others ? Paul Kagame can give any medal for Meles Zenawi but giving him a medal for fighting "against genocide" is a direct insult to the Ethiopian genocide victim families who are  residing in foreign lands including some here in North America.

I can say straight to Paul Kagame on his face that yours genocide is not different than ours. You lost million of innocents for being from wrong ethnic group and in Ethiopia we lost thousands for not confirming to Meles' tribal philosophy. The difference is only in the quantity of victims and for some like Kagame who was on the receiving end of  genocide to come and  dishonor our losses is indeed  a tragedy.

Ethiopians cried for the victims of the Rwanda genocide. We could not believe our eyes when neighbors killed their neighbors. The dictator Melese Zenawi who is to be awarded the National Liberation Medal of Rwanda similarly called for one neighbor to rise against the other when he was defeated in 2005 election even in the capital city of Ethiopia. He officially agitated for "interhawe" which ashamed all including his western supporters.

Genocide is a big crime which has international repercussion and that is why many who participated on the Rwanda genocide are charged for their crimes. Dictators like Al-Beshir of Sudan have been recently indicted on International Criminal Court for genocide in Darfur. The day Meles Zenawi faces this international court is not far. Giving a medal for Meles Zenawi as a "fighter against genocide" will not help him from being indicted for genocide.