I read an Amharic piece based on the written survey done to find out what Ethiopians think of the current political situation in their country. There were questions about the ruling regime TPLF/EPRDF, its leader Meles Zenawi and selected opposition groups, OLF Medrek, EPPF, Ginbot7 and surprisingly the biggest tested opposition party, AEUP is absent from the list of opposition parties on this survey.
The query should have to put the AEUP as one of the opposition groups and however it did not and this shows the bias nature of those who claim to be an independent survey. However, putting it might not make a difference as we see what the 281 people who gave their opinion on Eng. Hailu Shawel, the AEUP leader.
Two hundred twenty four consider him as a traitor while eight support him for his bold move to sign a Code of Conduct with the ruling regime while forty nine have no opinion. On the paper it was suggested that out of these, forty nine people, many are against him too. We might reach to same conclusion if we follow the opinion of many Ethiopians from Ethiopian opposition websites and paltalk rooms, the majority of whom are denouncing AEUP leader as a sale out.
On recent article in Amharic on www.ethiolion.com, Aemero Dagnechaew wrote something new without many not giving much attention to his piece. He claims that Eng. Hailu agreed with TPLF/EPRDF on list of campaign/election issues not to be raised during the election campaign or debates. The land deal Meles signed with Sudan, the investment deal Meles signed with foreigners to give our land on long lease and the government monopoly of all businesses under EFFORT are the untouchable issues for the coming election. This is the mother of all liesto isolate the biggest opposition party, AEUP, here in the diaspora. I want to tell the writer that not only the above issues are central rallying cry for our people, without them there is no AEUP different from TPLF/EPRDF.
AEUP leader Eng. Hailu's interview wth Andenet Raido host Yoseph last Sunday however could have changed the opinion of most of those who have negative opinion about him. I encourage those who made the survey to make a follow up interview if hey can. Opinion can be formed with misinformation and the Seattle might be such a case.
We have seen here in America on the health debate how twisted information can anger many people. The government is going to pick your doctor, there is a socialist system of health care, quality of health care is the things of past were some among many that confused the real issue behind the health crisis in America. After all this false propaganda,however, the real debate has now begun.
AEUP is peoples party and I can agree with Eng. Hailu Shawel that this is the biggest opposition party in Ethiopia which has wide popular support. Its supporters are reorganizing themselves using the window of opportunity opened with the signing of the Code of Conduct and the negotiation is still going on until all the hurdles are removed in the coming months to make our people voice once again heard like that of May 2005.
Eng. Hailu also said that participating on the coming election is conditional. AEUP's priority now is to open its zone offices and give support for locals who are taking the initiative using their scare resources to organize and recruit their representatives. AEUP has long experience of working with the people and those of us in diaspora who have close family members at least should ask our family members on what is going on in their communities.
Empowering our people in the coming months and put them in a strong position to be heard once again is another test AEUP willing to take. Yes, the outcome might be another killing and imprisonment, let it be as long as you believe in peaceful struggle that is a price they have to pay.
Here in diaspora many of us who are wishing good things for our people and country should stand with our people at their difficult time. We do not ask Ethiopians back home like Meles Zenawi said recently on his interview of "Keenkelfu Yeneka Hizeb" people who wake up from long hibernation, to do things from distance which we will not do if we were there, rather do their best to live in freedom and in a free country,to be able to choose their leaders and make them accountable. Above all there is no one above law and no one either will go to jail for expressing his or her views in any form.
Those in Seattle who gave their opinion are not our enemies even if some of us do not agree with them. We all will work together to make sure that we will have a strong and democratic Ethiopia to be developed using our huge natural and human resources rather than auction our country for foreign profiteers and foreign expertise under the cover of tyranny.