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Friday, 24 December 2010

Yes it is indeed Land Grab and illegal too !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

The TPLF/EPRDF Foreign Minster Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn on Indian TV, ITMN, with Vickram Bahi was asked serious question. What is the guarantee for foreign investors on long term land lease in years to come ? Mr. Bahi pressed the question when Mr. Hailemariam tried to evade it. As correctly put by the host, the Domestic Concern of giving land to foreigners will put investors in awkward positron who would like to make money on  long term. Who will guarantee their hold on the land ?

Mr. Hailemariam promised the rule of law and the democratic system to take care of this concern. However he rejected the domestic concern because according to him land is not a domestic issue in Ethiopia. He goes on to say that this is the issue of the Diaspora and foreign NGOs. Foreigners/Diasporas accusing the land lease as land grab is totally wrong because he said TPLF is giving uncultivated land, that  means no land is taken away from farmers to be given to foreigners and calling it land grab is inaccurate.

If you go to foreign country and take land whether it is unoccupied or under farm and make it yours for long term lease up to ninety years what do you call it ? It is indeed land grab because foreigners totally control it as theirs and those who leased it  might not be there tomorrow but according to Mr. Hailemariam foreigners hold will be defended by the rule of law  specifically he said by the court.

That is totally absurd. In a transparent system first of all this long term land lease would never have materialized. This transaction of land is carried out by a regime that is in power by force and where are no independent institutions the courts and free media are nonexistent. As far as Ethiopians are concerned whatever deal foreign land grabbers made with TPLF/EPRDF is null and void.

Though the concern of Mr. Bahi is valid he did not get satisfying answer from his guest. In fact if the host had good information he could have put the question of why farmers are now pushed from their holdings in Gambella, Beni Shanguel as was reported in VOA Amharic and BBC to clear the land for foreigners. What will Mr. Hailemariam answer for the people who were interviewed on BBC and VOA who were told to clear the land for those who leased/bought it. It is mine You have to Go !!!!

The truth is the regime in power is making fast cash for cheap land transaction. Foreigners are gambling on the cheap offer and take a risk like any investment.Here is where the sellers and buyers come together. But there is a huge discontent in Western part of Ethiopia currently silenced by army and militia. The Diaspora is just airing the voice of the voiceless Ethiopians for those who are on land bonanza to stop hurting our people. There is a great danger coming, when ? no one  knows but is coming.

The regime who sold land cheaply will for the time being can give protection for these foreign landlords but what happened in Madagascar few years ago is surely can happen in Ethiopia. The Madagascar people rose up on those who sold their land to Koreans and if Mr. Hailemariam thinks this will never happen he will be surprised like he was surprised by the fast Indian development.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Shabia and TPLF Western Sponsored New Alliance !!!!!

Tedla Asfaw

Who is giving order for the Eritrean Colonel Fitsum  to hand over EPPF without any fight to TPLF ? The only opposition groups I know who rejected taking orders from Asmara are the Somali opposition leaders of Somalia who fled to Asmara after the invasion of their country by USA contracted TPLF in Christmas 2005/6.

Asmara's ambition of creating another TPLF/EPRDF had been creating havoc in all opposition movements who got "shelter" in Asmara for some time. The likes of General Kemal Gelchu who defected after the killing of Ethiopians for rejecting TPLF in the 2005 stolen election  and now Colonel Tadesse of EPPF are few among many victims.

I strongly believe and which is now also confirmed by WikiLeak a plot to overthrow Isaias and put pro TPLF regime in Asmara is underway. Only a new alliance of Meles led TPLF and a regime replacing Asmara by another warlord will start the failed policy of looting Ethiopia  under the domination of Tigrayans in both side of the Mereb River.

Eritreans has already moving in large numbers to Ethiopia as refugees and are allowed to take the benefit of all that is in short supply for Ethiopians, food, work,education  and shelter.

Is this not the beginning of the new alliance designed by West to marginalize the Ethiopian masses by bringing the tyrants of Asmara and Ethiopia  together for long hold on power to "stabilize"the Horn of Africa for Westerns interest and foreign exploitation of their natural resources.

It still is not too late to understand the coming danger and for Ethiopian oppositions in Asmara do something before their movement is handed over to TPLF without any fight. Elias Kifle editor of the Ethiopian Review diagonalized the problem accurately on his latest piece Dec. !7. But his prescription will not save the patient/oppositions only gives them few months or year to survive.

It is time to attack the problem before it spreads beyond the Mereb River. It is only a united struggle free from Shabia and TPLF control that will give us our liberty. The  new Western made bridge between TPLF and Shabia is not a freedom bridge it is a bridge to slave the proud people of Ethiopia for years to come.














Monday, 8 November 2010

The Emperor Retired and the Prince is in Charge !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

The Forty First New York City Marathon on a chilly Sunday yesterday brought us warmness. The men's  marathon was packed with top athletes including Haile Gebreselassie running  for the first time and a rookie Ethiopian 26 year old Gebre Gebremariam who won many long distance running this year and who came to test the field of marathon for the first time, get experience and no one including himself  expects win yesterday.

The elite runners packed together among them Haile Gebreselassie and the defending champion Meb kilfegzie until Queens Borough Bridge the 16 mile mark. Haile was forced to back down because of a knee injury we all were informed at the beginning of the race. Haile told New Yorkers on starting lineup that he had "minor" inflammation on his knee and promised to do his best. It was at Queens Borough Bridge Haile Gebreselassie  and Gebre Gebremariam met, Haile said,  "Go Gebre you can not stay far behind"  and I am done, the call that motivated Gebre like the call of Abebe Bikila in the 1960s Mexico Olympic to keep Marathon for the third time in the Ethiopian hands. The late Mamo Wolde won and that victory is commemorated by the famous song "Maraton Leeltewha" "Marathon the Queen".

Gebre Gebremariam's  idol Halie Gebreselassie retired yesterday from his colorful career not matched by anyone so far. Haile Gebreselassie is indeed the greatest athlete of the world have ever known, ended his career on the bridge looking Manhattan from distance. The tall buildings of Manhattan once tall are now eclipsed by other tall buildings built in Asia nothing to stay the "best" forever. Aging is a natural process and we accepted Haile's  retirement with grace and big smile, Haile's Smile.

Gebre Gebremariam shadowed by two Kenyans battle in the pavement of Manhattan for the next ten miles. The elite pack  melted away and for the first time we saw an elegant young Ethiopian with hat and glove jogging in Manhattan. The Kenyans seem confused, there was no Haile the shortest we have a taller guy never saw him before. Is he serious ? The third Kenyan seem to fall behind and the battle for the gold was between Gebre Gebremariam and the other Kenyan.

Gebre throw his glove followed by his hat and he meant business today. The Ethiopian flags were everywhere and the cheers were deafening "Berta" Go !! Go !!. Gebre kept on hammering the hills of the park and the Kenyan was left behind and it is now Gebre with the clock. The handsome elegant young rookie stormed and won the  Forty First NYC Marathon in 2:08:14  with Haile Gebreselassie's smile and Abebe Bikila like style of running.

This is the beginning of Gebre Gebremariam Marathon career and there are many marathons to come. Surely he promised to come and defend his title next year. That time he will not be a rookie but a defender. The Emperor had retired here in New York City but he  the baton  was passed to the young Gebre Gebremariam and many other young Ethiopians.

Derartu Tulu my favorite athlete I call the "Haile of our women"  failed to defend her title but no one could take anything from her glorious career. She is a decorated Olympic Gold medalist and the London Marathon winner and age is catching up with her too like Haile. However, we are seeing  young Ethiopian women following on her footsteps.

The story of Haile Gebrselassie not running on difficult marathons as was alleged by NY Times corroborated  by our Kenyan rivals rest here in New York. Haile tried to win it in one knee yesterday but that was not meant to be. I say to our beloved Haile Gebreselassie and Derartu Tulu thank you for inspiring our young people and wish you the best.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Ethiopian Movement VS Amhara National

Tedla Asfaw

I followed two interviews by the members of Ethiopian People Democratic Movement(EPDM) later on changed to Amhara National Democratic Movement(ANDM) on two pro TPLF stations, Hagefiker and Selam Radios both from Washington D.C. area. The interview was billed as the 30th anniversary of ANDM and the guest on the Hagerfker Radio was a Major General Alemu Ayele working in New York for the regime and Weizero Genet Tadesse who has been a member of TPLF parliament for the last two decades.

Both interviews spent most of their time on their armed struggle against Derg that started 30 years ago which ended in "victory" in Ginbot 20 by establishing a TPLF led government which both guests described the happiest moment of their lives. One thing which was wisely avoided was the name change from "Ethiopian People" to Amhara National". Is the name Ethiopia left exclusively for TPLF controlled EPRDF ?

The name change which was ordered by TPLF is not by accident. The Ethiopian People Revolutionary Party (EPRP) which both guests mentioned several times on the interview was the movement that led the struggle of removing Derg more than 30 years ago and paid huge price for being "Ethiopian Popular movement". It was attacked by TPLF on one side and Derg on the other side. These brave EPRP fighters were accused by TPLF as "Abbay Ethiopia/Greater Ethiopia " and were forced to evacuate their base in Tigray/Asimba and retreat to south.

No surprise then the anti Ethiopia TPLF will not allow the name "Ethiopian Movement" to be carried even on the movement it controls. Simon Bereket and Addisu Legesse, EPDM leaders, took order from TPLF to change the name to Amhara National Movement. Those who conducted these interviews dodged this question because they know that the so called EPDM turned to ANDM was no longer an independent movement borne out of former EPRP fighters.

Major General Alemu claim that his movement formed alliance independently with anyone including TPLF. That is a big lie. ANDM is made in TPLF and has no life without it. He and Weizero Genet failed even to mention the top leaders of the movement working on behalf of TPLF. You can not talk about TPLF without mentioning Meles and his inner circles and where are the names of ANDM leaders ? The face of ANDM is Bereket Simon/Adissu Legesse while the real boss of this movement is TPLF. ANDM is the Amharic wing of TPLF like OPDO is the Oromo wing of TPLF.

The 30th anniversary of ANDM is anniversary of serving TPLF loyally. However the Ethiopian people on May 2005 defeated TPLF including all its wings, ANDM, OPDO etc soundly by popular vote. The struggle which started 30 years ago finally culminated on May 15, 2005 without firing a single shots still unable to defeat tyranny.

Our people since then are ruled by brute force similar to Derg which both ANDM members claim replacing on Ginbot 20 two decade ago. Names here have changed indeed from Derg to TPLF but no freedom to our people. Our struggle to free our people will continue until we all live in a free and democratic Ethiopia.

Friday, 22 October 2010

Foreign aid sustaning tyranny in Ethiopia

Tedla Asfaw
Human Rights Watch (HRW) sixth month field survey result in Ethiopia  which came out on Oct. 19 was attacked by the TPLF Embassy in DC on Oct. 20. This damaging report which got wide coverage on major news outlet like BBC, VOA and others might be new for foreigners, however, Ethiopians in the diaspora have been demanding transparency of foreign Aid given to Meles Zenawi's regime and accusing the West of subsidizing tyranny. Who will forget the Blair invitation of Meles after he gunned down hundreds of people after he lost election in 2005. The West in fact rewarded him by giving him more aid and keep on doing that.

In a country where there is no free media, the works of the Human Right Watch and similar investigations by foreigners are the only means to expose Wasted Aid for tyranny which only profits the regime and its supporters. Such aid had made the regime and those who are working closely rich as a show case of their high rises in Addis Ababa   witnessed by all foreign visitors, Addis has indeed grown exponentially and is a home of many millionaires.
As it is clearly reported on the Human Rights Watch Report Ethiopians are now ruled at a local level by government cadres who make a life and death decision. If you are not a government supporter they will make sure that you go to bed empty belly. Your children will not be schooled. You will not have life without TPLF/EPRDF period.

The result of such control was seen recently on the so called election 2010. Five people are recruited at local level and each of them will recruit another five and it goes on like that. They  call it "Ternafi Asternafi" which gave birth to the  99.6 percent baby/win for the regime.
The Oct. 20 letter from the regime's office in DC was careful not to insult HRW and bring the Western countries to its defense for endorsing the development plan in Ethiopia which they work as a partner. The fact is that the West knows very well that they have no control of the Aid money. It  is like the 99.6 election win, all is cooked  to make sure that the people are happy with the result including those they gave the aid.
It is hard to imagine that such regime will  allow local independent media and investigation any time soon because this is about money not politics. As long as aid money flows to the country the recent one 3 billion, the regime controlling of the people is getting stronger and stronger. It will be also hard even for foreign organizations like HRW  to follow up on their study. If this is the model the west have for Ethiopia they are indeed succeeding doing that.
The hope is that  reports like HRW will alert the people in a democracy that their tax money is wasted in the name of Aid to foreign countries like Ethiopia and will force their government to bring transparency to the whole process. Let the Aid Money goes directly to the projects to benefit the people not to fatten the pocket of unelected rulers and subsidize the control  mechanism on our people.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Lesson for Columbia University Community

Tedla Asfaw
The Sept.22 rally in New York by Ethiopians remind me the rally in in the South Lawn of the White House during the first term of the Clinton Administration in 1990s. Back then Ethiopians in thousands denounced one of the "new breed "of African leaders, Meles Zenawi based on his anti-Ethiopia stand of the party he led, TPLF. Now after two decades of Meles Zenawi's led TPLF Ethiopians denounce him based on his record. Like then there were his supporters carrying his photos wishing their leader the best and calling many more years for him to stay on power. The difference this time however they carried the modified version of the Ethiopian flag and their number is far less about fifty of them.

For more than five hundred Ethiopians who hold on the Ethiopian flag the unadvertised pro Meles rally was a nuisance at the beginning. Starting 2PM the few pro Meles Orchestra members led by the conductor Solomon Tekalegne was having good time in ambushing the anti Meles rally. Things completely changed after the huge crowd of DC and Boston joined the rally around 3pm. The opposition voice completely obliterated Solomon Tekalegne led Orchestra and spectators rightly identified the two warring camps.

Question is coming from mostly young spectators most of them students of Columbia who were enjoying the festive atmosphere supported by warm weather.Serious question were asked by students and others. Who is this man ? Who is that woman ? The man is Meles Zenawi, the invited guest of Lee Bollinger, President of Columbia University , who is the keynote speaker on World Leaders Forum at Columbia who jailed many opposition leaders and the woman you see is the recent victim, Birtukan Mediksa a leader of UDJP party who has been in prison for almost two years for saying no to injustice like Rosa Park.

The placards that were carried demanded for Birtukan Mediksa and all jailed but not forgotten leaders like Debteraw, Aberashe and many Oromo and Somalis who are held in prison throughout Ethiopia for decades. There were young Somalis carrying the Ogaden flag and demanded the human right abuse and the killing to stop in Ogaden. These young women who wear their Burka are hardly to miss though few in numbers.

I had conversation with them, I informed them that I will stand with them until the killing stop in Ogaden. I also told them Ogaden is a land Italian fascist declared war on Ethiopia at Wolwel more than seven decade ago. Many patriots died fighting, Ogadenis and other Ethiopians. Ogaden Somalis should not fear of living in a Democratic Ethiopia. Mini Ogaden, Oromia etc which is encouraged by the article 39 constitution of TPLF had not produced any tangible benefit for the people it claimed freed.

It was amazing to see the brotherhood and sisterhood in this big crowd. Tolerance was not only preached but practiced. Many Ethiopians were interviewed by Journalism students of Columbia including myself. The pro Meles rally finally lost patience and started lobbying insult and accused us "Shabias". I do understand their frustration of being drowned in this battle. It was "Fall" for them and Fall has indeed come to New York, however, it was still Summer in our camp. The hope of freedom is still shining and I was confident that a United Diaspora action will be a force to be reckon with and will not be matched by the recent trend of pro Meles rally organized by those who benefited from the system and care less for millions of our people who survived by piece of bread daily while the ruling elite is now comparing itself with the rich and famous of the West.

The feedback we received from those who were in the conference hall was also encouraging. The No Show of Columbia President, Lee Bollinger who was represented by professor Joseph Stiglitz that Meles called Joe tells it all. Those who invited Meles Zenawi did not expect the one week sustained campaign by Ethiopians sending email and calling directly challenging them to judge Meles Zenawi on his two decade record. Sadly they failed to do so.

The no show by Columbia President is not due to any virus, it was because of public embarrassment, the least. Those who were there asked fifteen questions similar to Meles Zenawi 101 paper distributed to the public who showed up at our protest. The answer from Meles Zenawi was not followed by any question an embarrassment for Columbia community. The Chinese Communist Party did it the same way on recent Obama's appearance on one of Chinese universities. We hope that the video and audio of the the Sept. 22 Wold Leaders Forum organized by Columbia will be out for public shortly unlike the Chinese who kept it out of reach of anyone.

The four hour rally came to frantic moment when those who were part of the one hour conference came out. Shame on You, Shame on You. The noise was deafening and the huge crowd left peacefully at 6pm by the remark from Tamegne who urge everyone to remain united and be the voice for voiceless Ethiopians.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Re-writing TPLF’s history

By Eskinder Nega from Addis Ababa

The much anticipated biography about Meles Zenawi, ‘Meles Zenawi and the Voyage of the TPLF’ (Meles Zenawi ena YeHewat Yetegel Guzo), hit the main thoroughfares of Addis early Monday morning, with vendors confidently displaying dozens of copies for passersby to pickup. (Up to 5% of EPRDF’s 5.6 million “members” are Addis Ababans.) It was officially launched on Saturday, at a gala event in one of the upscale hotels in Addis, presided over by no less a figure than the nation’s almost centenarian President, Lt. Girma Welde-Giorgis. An assortment of Cabinet Ministers with sober expressions, and a who’s who list of Meles’ wide-eyed “admirers” sat throughout the ceremony mesmerized by the expectation of tales that will establish their Prime Minister’s god-like status. They left disappointed, though. Most were jaded rather than inspired. The culprit: unimaginative organizers, many said.

But this is not to say excitement was totally absent. In a deed worthy of the Guinness world book of records, for example, one of Meles’ “admirers” bought 40,000 thousand copies, according to media reports. At 60 birr apiece, that comes out to a cool 240,000 birr; a fortune, needless to say, not only to most of the nation’s citizens, but also to many Westerners teetering on the verge of a double-dip recession.

And thus the question: Is Meles really worth it?

Eyasu Mengesha, the author, an ex-colonel turned businessman, who tells us in the opening pages of the book, “(the TPLF) is everything I am,” indubitably thinks so: “Meles is a great and respected leader of our country,” he informs us with evident conviction. But he is mute as to exactly how great he is in relation to the more than 300 leaders of Ethiopia’s past; perhaps, saving it for one of his two upcoming books under the same title. (He has written more than a thousand pages, but will wisely release it in three parts. This is the first book.)

For now, he tells us what has for long troubled him. “I am alarmed by the belief of some of the youth which diminishes (the historical significance of) Meles to “a post-victory pseudo-hero,” confides Eyasu. Thus the need to redeem a misjudged leader; a crusade really, to absolve a messiah in his own time.

Meles’ story lies within the history of the TPLF, begins Eyasu reasonably. So be prepared for an elaborate account of TPLF’s history. But his undeclared intention, part of a complex scheme to create Meles’ personality cult, is also clear from the first pages: a classic revisionist re-interpretation of history.

This venture to re-write TPLF’s history, while droll for its cerebral and literary pretensions (but respectable for an Ethiopian Colonel), is a serious reminder of EPRDF’s slide towards the politics of personality cult; which had its initiation in the post 2005 election repressions, and is now gaining momentum in the aftermath of the 2010 elections.

And somehow, for reasons that are utterly incomprehensible, the re-invention of Meles starts with his ethnicity. The story starts in Adwa, northern Ethiopia, 20 kilometers from Ethiopia’s spiritual epicenter, Axum, where Meles was born, “some say in 1954, others in 1955, but according to the authoritative account of his father, 1953,’ writes Eyasu. And then he goes on to tell us of his grandfather, Mr Asres Tesema, a feudal lord, Dejazmatch, and a loyal functionary in Haile-Selassie’s government; and of his father, Mr Zenawi, “a noted progressive both in attire and outlook (in a small town.)” So far so good. His mother, Mrs Alemash Gebre-Leul, appears next. But not a word of her personal particulars, which is a page long for her husband. Nothing about where she was born, of her parents, her upbringing, her education, all things we learn about her husband in the preceding two pages. Her Eritrean ethnicity and origin is obviously taboo in the mythologized version of Meles. A “pure” Meles has apparently been reckoned necessary. Why not then create a new him by the power of collective amnesia? Eyasu, for one, has already dutifully expunged all thoughts about her ethnicity. Others need only follow his example.

Then follows the fairy-tale of Meles’ early years; the superb marriage of his dotting parents, and Meles as the ideal child growing up: incapable of doing wrong; lovable; innocently playful; intelligent, and (get ready for this) religiously devout. But no mention of the irrepressible rages his mother publicly spoke about. In short, as Eyasu describes him, Meles was the faultless child that every parent dreams about. Not even North Korea’s “Dear Leader” Kim Jond-il , a certified child prodigy in his early years, according to the nation’s Communist party, had a more perfect childhood and adolescence. But deprived of the eccentricities and shortcomings that are essential human attributes, the portrait of Meles that emerges is jarringly mechanical and unhuman. It is impossible to emotionally connect to this romanticized Meles. He has been stripped of his humanity.

TPLF’s genesis lies in the Tigrayan National Organiztion (Mahbere Gesgesti Behere Tigray, Magbet), established by Addis Ababa University students in 1974. Eyasu grudgingly acknowledges that Meles was not one of the broadly admired founders. Nor was he one of the renowned eleven, almost all of them members of the Tigrayan National Organiztion, who formally launched the TPLF and its armed struggle on 18 February 1975 (Yekatit 11, 1967 by the Ethiopian calendar) in Dedebit, 900 kilometers north of Addis, the seat of government. Accorded official recognition as the birth-date of the organization, Yekatit 11 (February 18) has been colorfully celebrated every year since 1976; and since 1991, for the past twenty years, is a regional holiday in Tigray.

“A SERIOUS MISTAKE!” shrieks Eyasu. This is no cry of an irrational man. He has a perfectly plausible reason. The idealized Meles must somehow be brought to center stage in the saga of TPLF’s genesis. His legacy — his myt — could not be complete otherwise. History must be re-written.

Eyasu concedes that the armed struggle had indeed begun on Yekatit 11 (February 18), “but the mere launching of an armed struggle does not make an organization,” he argues. TPLF was really established four months later, he contends, when Meles and Abay finally make it to Dedebit, and are entrusted with the task of formulating a program and rules and regulations, which were subsequently all adopted by the organization. “An organization without a program is an absurdity,” he insists. TPLF came into being the day it espoused a clearly defined program. History needs be revisited and revised, he advises thoughtfully. Not only was Meles a founding member, but, unbeknownst to the public, he was the one who had charted the original course. Of course, Meles and a select few others know how the true course of events had actually transpired, Eyasu implies, but are too modest to go against the convention. Someone needs to tell the truth! (“Students (in school) must read this book,” earnest commentators had said at the launching ceremony.)

How then do members reward the genius of Meles when the organization’s first leaders were elected? Inexplicably (for Eyasu), they ignore him and opt for the leadership of Gesese Ayele, who was one of the eleven; Seyoum Mesfin, who was also one of the eleven; and Mehari Tekle, who was not one of the eleven but had just left the EPLF (in Eritrea) to be one of the founders of the TPLF (He assumed the Chairmanship.) A year later, when the founding congress of the party elected the first batch of CC members, Meles was still absent. And Aregawi Berhe, Giday ZeraTsion, Seyoum Mesfin, Sebhat Nega and Abay Teshaye become his superiors.

Evidently, even thirty-five years ago people had problem recognizing the genius that is so palpable for Eyasu.

(To be continued next week.) THE END.

Brief news from Addis Ababa:
Printing press turns back popular magazine

Berana printing press, a holding of the Ministry of Defense, this week turned back a popular monthly magazine, Enku, for the “irredeemable crime” of carrying the New Year messages of two opposition politicians, Negaso Gidada and Seye Abraha. Both spoke of the imprisoned leader of UDJ, Birtukan Mideksa. Ironically, Ethiopia was hosting an international freedom of press conference as this was happening.

The EPRDF-led government still refuses to grant press licenses to independent journalists, despite the absence of a vibrant political press after the closure of the nation’s major newspapers after the 2005 elections.

Thursday, 26 August 2010

TPLF rejects food insecurity report

William Davison

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) — The Ethiopian government rejected a report that the country is at “extreme risk” of food shortages this year.

The Horn of Africa nation is sixth in a ranking of countries facing food shortages, according to report published yesterday on the website of Bath, U.K.-based risk consultant Maplecroft.

Ethiopian Communications Minister Bereket Simon said in a telephone interview from Addis Ababa today that Maplecroft’s Food Security Risk Index 2010 was “devoid of any understanding of the Ethiopian reality” and there “was no reason why we should worry.”

Ethiopia, Africa’s largest coffee producer, has suffered food shortages in the past and about a sixth of its population required food aid last year. The United Nations World Food Program in Ethiopia said today the outlook for the rest of the year was “rather good compared to the last two years.”

Bereket said rains this year have been good and Ethiopia is expecting a “bumper harvest” and will be seeking to export a surplus of cereals.

“We have not come out of the woods with regards to food insecurity, but it’s improving by the day,” the minister said, describing Maplecroft’s analysis as “hypothetical and wrong-footed.”

Bereket said he expects the number of Ethiopians needing food aid this year to go down from last year’s figure of 13.7 million given by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

‘Strong Indicators’

“Because of the good harvest here, we have to import less,” Judith Schuler, the WFP’s public information officer in Ethiopia, said in a phone interview from Addis Ababa. That meant there were “strong indicators” the number of people depending on food assistance would go down “a lot,” she said.

Maplecroft analyst Fiona Place said in a telephone interview today that Ethiopia faced a high chance of rising prices due to production shortages in heat-affected major cereal producers like Russia and Ukraine.

Transport infrastructure was still insufficient, though improving, she said, while “recurrent drought and inadequate environmental management” had led to a “continual cycle of degradation of natural resources.”

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Autocracy: China’s unsolicited export

Ephrem Madebo
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, signaled the reunification of Germany, brought the demise of the Soviet Union, initiated the birth of a single super power, and created a wave of new democracies in Eastern Europe ending the Cold War superpower conflict that had governed international relations and world politics for the good part of the second half of the 20th century. The end of the Cold War was a momentous event that changed world politics and minimized the fear of nuclear conformation. Today, most people in the world agree that the United States is the sole super power, but in the last two decades, economic and political power have clearly consolidated around China, making autocratic China the most favored super power candidate of the 21st century. I have no problem with China becoming the next super power. My worst nightmare is that China is helping the tyrant regime (ethnic dictatorship) in my country to consolidate power and build Chinese type oppressive power structure. Today, China is exporting its methods abuse and autocracy to Ethiopia at a much faster rate than the US and EU are promoting democracy.
For the last two decades, China has been demanding the West the respect that matches its economic strength and military might. On the other hand, the West, specially the United States has been pressing China to democratize and improve its domestic human rights conditions. But, the moral authority of the US to promote democracy in China is diluted by Washington’s huge appetite for Chinese lending and export while China’s business and political influence in Africa has been growing steadily. Therefore, it seems that the United States is either implicitly responding to the Chinese demand of respect, or it’s explicitly allowing China to build Chinese type autocratic regimes in Africa.
Today, most Ethiopians are at odds with the Chinese regime because China is wrecking the efforts of building democracy in Ethiopia by bankrolling the corrupt and repressive regime in Addis Ababa. More than anything that China does in my country, my concern is that – the economic success of China without electoral democracy and free press has offered an irresistible model of development for the ethnic dictators in Ethiopia. As the result, the ethno-centered regime in Addis Ababa is forcing itself into power every five year on the pretext of “economic development”.
The government of China blocks Web sites and jams radio and television broadcasts such as the BBC, Radio Free Asia, and the Voice of America. By doing so, it denies the Chinese people the freedoms of speech guaranteed to them in the Chinese Constitution. At the mean time, the West is pressing China to democratize and have respect for the human rights of its citizens. But China has not only neglected the West’s call for freedom and democracy, it is also building oppressive state machinery in countries like Ethiopia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. China has been providing small arms for Zimbabwe in exchange for ivory and is supplying President Robert Mugabe’s regime with internet surveillance technology and radio-jamming devices used to block opposition broadcasts.
In Ethiopia, thanks for the Chinese government, opposition blogs and websites are blocked, and any radio broadcast that disagrees with the Ethiopian regime is jammed. Recently, even the VOA was jammed until superior American technology made jamming very expensive for poor Ethiopia. With a total population of over eighty million people, arguably, Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that has no independent radio and TV stations. Hence, recently, as recently as this past May; benevolent Ethiopians pooled their resources and launched the first independent satellite television to Ethiopia (ESAT). The domestic response for ESAT was immeasurable. Within a week of the announcement of ESAT’s launching, the price of satellite signal receiver dishes quadrupled and by the time ESAT’s programming started; literally there was no dish in the market. However, a week after ESAT started broadcasting to Ethiopia, the Ethiopian regime that boasts to have been elected by unprecedented high percentage popular support, turned off the light of ESAT on the very people that it thanked a month earlier for “voting” it to power. Evidently, the Ethiopian regime does not have the resources or the knowhow to interfere high power satellite signals. The equipment and the technical assistance is coming from one of the most oppressive and brutal regimes on earth- China; while the financial resources come from everywhere including the gullible West. All in all, the combination of financial reward from the West and technical assistance from China has helped Addis Ababa’s brutal regime to block the flow of information and prohibitively limit freedom of speech in Ethiopia.
Obviously, China and the West pursue their own political and economic interest in Ethiopia; they have deep ideological differences and devise and implement different strategies. Sadly, as far as my native country Ethiopia is concerned, both China and the West are doing the same thing in Ethiopia- they help a genocidal minority regime in Ethiopia to trash the freedom of people. For the Chinese, this is business as usual, however, for the West; it is defeating the purpose. Many civic organizations, political activists and human rights groups promote democracy and the rule of law in Ethiopia using websites, blogs, and citizen journalism. These endeavors have offered the “enclaved” people of Ethiopia the opportunity to exercise and advocate their human rights under Zenawi’s adverse circumstances. But, this humble effort is crushed by the reactionary moves of the Chinese leaders who export the know-how for web censorship to the like-minded leader in Ethiopia.
Unlike China, I don’t think it is in the West’s interest to dine & dance with a coalition of tyrants and genocidaires such as Meles Zenawi. The West must undertake a sharp reassessment of its political interests and reconcile it economic and political interest with its fundamental values of freedom, justice and democracy. Otherwise, the West may not have the moral background to promote democracy in China and elsewhere while passively watching China mixing tyranny with its material export to developing countries.
In its confrontation with human rights organizations and the West, China has defended its right to censor the internet, TV, and radio broadcasts; saying the country has the right to govern the internet according to its own rules inside its borders. Yes, the Chinese government has the right to govern everything according to its own rules inside its borders. But this right does not include oppressing people and denying them access to information. No government has the right to take the right of people. Well, I do understand this may be quite strange to the Chinese leaders who have no accountability and electoral responsibility. The question is that – do the Chinese leaders know where the Chinese border starts and ends? Though I understand that I must stand to the right of the Chinese people as much as I stand to the right of fellow Ethiopians, this paper is not about what the Chinese are doing inside their boarders, its about what they are doing 8322 kilometers away in Ethiopia.
The Chinese leaders are reaching far outside their border and are helping the Ethiopian dictator block websites and monitor the Internet access of individuals. According to Amnesty International, China has the largest recorded number of imprisoned journalists and cyber-dissidents in the world, a bad lesson that the street ‘smart’ Ethiopian dictator learned in no time. The Chinese leaders must understand that, by offering technical assistance and financing the ethnic dictator in Ethiopia to censor the Internet, they have denied the Ethiopian people access to crystallized of human wisdom- the Internet. I hope the Chinese leaders understand that vibrant economy is accompanied by vibrant democracy; hence, they just can’t build economic infrastructure and oppressive machinery in Ethiopia at the same time. They should either build infrastructure, or get the hell out of Ethiopia.
The Ethiopian people understand that the push of China into Ethiopia is driven by China’s desperate need for raw materials and future market opportunities. On the other hand, the affinity of Zenawi’s regime to China is very apparent because unlike Western nations, China makes no value demands with its aid and investments. Besides, the Chinese are happy to quickly lend the regime in Addis Ababa dirty tricks and weapons to oppress people.
We love your export of technology, investment, and pharmaceuticals, but please keep your unsolicited export of autocracy within China. The Ethiopian people do welcome mutually beneficial Chinese investment in Ethiopia, and the Chinese are encouraged to build dams in Ethiopia, but they should better build dams that contain water, not the flow of information.

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Tell nothing but the whole truth

By Daniel Tesfaye

First of all, I would like to thank Addis Voice for posting Samuel Gebru’s piece, Media Jamming and the Constitution. While Samuel started by raising an important issue, i.e. the violation of the constitution in relation to freedom of expression, the writer fell off track in the last laps of his essay.

According to him, certain elements in the Diaspora including the VOA of America are guilty of instigating hatred toward ethnic Tigrians. I believe that this is outrageously distorted as the perception of being hated may only come from guilt trip on the part of those who are colluding with the tyrannical regime.

It is an open secret that the Meles regime has thrived by fanning ethnic animosity and division among the people of Ethiopia. As a consequence of its misguided policy, TPLF and its supporters have been exposed down to their bone marrow and the hatred they desire to spread have backfired on them. Being stung with their own poison, TPLF and its sympathisers may cry foul due to their self-inflicted injuries but that will never change the reality on the ground.

In today Ethiopia, there is a minority government that aspires to make every Ethiopian its servant and slave with no dignity and freedom. As a young man, Samuel Gebrue, who aspires to be Prime Minister of Ethiopia, should learn how to accept the reality no matter how unpalatable it could be. The Voice of America, at a time when all forms of media have been under attack and muffled, has been trying its level best to give a true voice that reflects the reality in Ethiopia. Some people may feel that the bitter truth is tantamount to genocide. That is their perception and problem, not that of VOA or ESAT.

Samuel must learn to stand for the truth without changing a horse in the middle of a river. Unfortunately, his piece, though appreciable for raising critical issues, lost its true message at the end. Alas! The conclusion of an essay is more important than the beginning. For that reason, Samuel failed a critical test by not telling the truth, the whole truth. Half the truth isn’t good enough.

The efforts of the Meles regime to jam radio broadcasts and more recently the Ethiopian Satellite Television are not only dictatorial but also illegal. Since Meles came to power, there is only one man who has guaranteed himself unfettered vulgarity even in his own rubber-stamping parliament. Because of his excessive paranoia, Meles wants to be the only person who controls what we read, write, speak and listen to. That "lucky man" who has full guaratee of freedom of vulgar speech is no one but himself and his life is a testimony to this fact

Fortunately, so many dictators have tried but most of them have fallen down one by one. It is quite inevitable that the regime of Meles Zenawi is only waiting for its turn. Sooner or later, he will fall down too. But whatever will happen history will never forget all the atrocities of an unbridled tyranny. In any case, let there come the end of tyranny that badly misrepresents humanity throughout the world.

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Why can't we be Ethiopian first?

Samuel Gebru
For the past months I have mentioned on my blog and other venues that the Ethiopian community in the diaspora is seemingly more divided than it is united. I also mentioned how our divisions are over superficial things that have over-occupied the lives of our self-appointed theorists and human rights activists, who, by the way, tend to do more damage than repair.

Lately, I have been following up on various Ethiopian organizations established in the diaspora that are led the youth and adults. What I have noticed is quite interesting—although not surprising. Ethiopian organizations in the diaspora that are led by youth are usually much freer from the disgusting and harmful divisions that apparently divide our diaspora community. The adult-led organizations tend to focus heavily on ethno-regional matters and refuse to look at the bigger picture.

To our diaspora youth community, being Ethiopian is something to be really proud of. Its no secret that a lot of us when asked to fill out our race check the “Other” box and write “Ethiopian” instead of check the “Black/African American” box. When asked in school if we are black, most of us respond: “I’m Ethiopian.” Regardless of whether I think this is a good thing or not, I don’t notice this attitude from adults and the adult-run Ethiopian organizations.

A lot of Ethiopian adults in our diaspora community associate more of a bond with their ethnicity than being Ethiopian. It is very good—and important—to know and celebrate one’s ethnic heritage. As a Tigrayan myself I have always encouraged other Tigrayan youth to learn about the open-air museum we come from. However, what I have not and will not encourage is the separation of a particular history or culture from the multicultural mosaic we call Ethiopia. The way most adults in our community have been using ethnicity is to enclose ourselves into small cabinets without realizing we live in a kitchen.

Ethnic community organizations and community centers have sprouted all over the United States, Canada and Europe doing more harm than good. Many youth wonder why we don’t see each other on regular occasions and why it is that Ethiopians only get together when someone dies or is married. For instance, recently I went to a wonderful wedding that saw a cross-section of Ethiopians—politically, religiously and ethnically. It was an amazing occasion, far better than any exclusive ethnic event.

Surely there is no straightforward answer to solving this problem of building ethnic enclaves in the diaspora. Nonetheless, just like a government has different departments and agencies all working in coordination with a same statement of being (i.e. Constitution), Ethiopians in the diaspora should work to simply create ethnically, politically and religiously inclusive Ethiopian Community Associations that service the direct needs of people. As for charitable activities in the homeland, these Ethiopian Community Associations could be able to create concurrent projects in different regions of Ethiopia based off the demographics and interests of their members.

Ethiopian youth in the diaspora have bypassed waiting for the adults to act. Organizations and student campus groups are popping up regularly all over the world with Ethiopian students eagerly ready to help any region. You even have Ethiopian students fundraising in collaboration with Eritrean students for each other’s homeland—ironic? There’s a joke that Ethiopian and Eritrean youth create “Habesha” student clubs in their schools so their parents wouldn’t object working with “the enemy.”

Saturday, 24 July 2010

ESAT: What is in Name ?

Tedla Asfaw

I read a piece by Wondem Hindessa Abdu, "ESAT: What is in Name ? , July 24 " posted on Ethiopian websites about the "Baby" called ESAT that was struggling to be born in last May and after few days of its "birth" it ended in "hospital". Early June when I heard its serious "illness" I wrote a piece and posted on many websites, "Meles Zenawis' Information Terror". On that piece I coined "fire", "esat" for ESAT. I am not surprised according to your finding that back home Ethiopians called it "esat", fire too.

Our people are forward looking people and they want to get their information other than TPLF 24/7 propaganda. The challenge for ESAT is huge as you said. I wish you provided us with the cost of running such program. I wonder why Eri-TV Amharic and Oromoffia were allowed to run smoothly for almost ix years while the baby ESAT was attacked at its young age ? If ESAT is Esaias Afeworki Television according to TPLF wise men what do they call Eri-TV ?

Is Esaias a boggy man TPLF would like to have to keep its Tribal supporters on line ? Long Live Eri-TV and Death for ESAT, it seems. We know what is good for us !!!

Friday, 23 July 2010

Blessing or curse?

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Tewdros Andhanom, Minister of Health, told Awramba Times that it is a blessing to work with Meles. Of course it is! If you are one of his hand-picked lieutenants expected to heap accolade on one of Africa's most reviled tyrants, no doubt it is a blessing. Ask the ordinary people in Ethiopia. They can tell you the curse that has befallen on the poor nation since the tyrant came to power. They know the curse as they live it everyday.

Tewdros also says that he has neither the qualities nor the talent to replace his boss. In fact, that is the very reason he was selected to be a minister. Tyrants always employ negative selection to make sure that they are surrounded by incompetent and talentless people who will say yes to anything to please their boss.

That is a blessing...being a butler to a ruthless tyrant. After all, Tewdros can't have his own opinion as long as he lives in the pocket of a dictator.
Dictators favour those who come out and say they are nowhere near the talents of the boss. In other words, serving the boss is the very pupose of their existence How pathetic is the life of talentless people like the servants of the despot!

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Failure is not an option

The Ethiopian Satellite Service is back again with its rallying call: Failure is not option. That is exactly what the heroine leader Birtukan Mideksa had said.

Despite the fact that transmissions to Ethiopia have been off air for nearly a month due to unidentified electronic interference beamed on the frequencies of ESAT, the management and the international advisory board have been looking into ways of bypassing the jamming. Now the effort has been successful.

It may be an understatement to claim that we are living in an information age. One of the measures of development has now been access to information. Unfortunately, in countries like Ethiopia where tyrants make every effort to block the free flow of information, and thereby muffle some inconvenient truth, is making progress more difficult.

No matter how hard tyrants try to stop Ethiopians from accessing, sharing and communicating information, there are innovative solutions for almost every kind of man-made problems. Unlike the dark ages, one of the manifestations of the information age is enlightenment. Ethiopians will have to catch up with the rest of the world.

As any efforts to hinder our unfettered access to information is illegal, evil, backward and antithesis to human progress, the Meles regime has to desist from jamming radio broadcasts, blocking websites, closing newspapers and jailing the journalists. All of these crimes are being well registered with local and international human rights groups that will continue to expose the stupidity, criminality and backwardness of the tyrannical regime, which doesn’t still accept the rights of citizens to live in freedom without any fear of being the victims of all sorts of bandits and tyrants in power.

Those of us who have been making efforts to facilitate and promote the free flow of information should take our motto more seriously. Addis Voice also believes that FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION…

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Meles Zenawi's Information Terror !!!

Tedla Asfaw

At this age of communication, information is powerful if we want to empower our people. That is why I backed the Ethiopian Satellite, Esat which is known also by its Ethiopian "equivalent" "Fire" meaning "Esat" which launched its program on May 23 this year financed by Ethiopians in the diaspora. However, Esat has been knocked off air since last week as I have been hearing calls from viewers in the region by their disappointment of the only alternative TV to be knocked off air.

By now Arabsat knows the technical problem that crippled Esat and should inform the public on its findings. I am pretty sure that this is a rare situation and Arabsat must have a solution for such technical "glitch". However, if this is an information terror by the Ethiopian regime using the service of China to knock the TV off air they have to come out and tell us their findings without any delay. This should not be a BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico which has to continue for months for lacking of an engineering solution.

This is a war on information by Meles Zenawi's brutal regime which is busy sending its propaganda to Ethiopian diaspora in Washington D.C. at the expense of poor Ethiopians. The Obama Administration knows very well that VOA Amharic service has been jammed for sometimes and are using Arabsat to inform Ethiopians. It is appropriate for Obama to speak out against information terror and take a stand. A regime that is subsidized annually by more than 2 billion foreign aid should not allow to use this same money to deny Ethiopians free flow of information.

Meles Zenawi is now declaring war on information with the help of its foreign master possibly China. The similarity between the two regimes is now clear after the rigged election of May 23 which ashamed the Western backers of the regime that Ethiopia is indeed the China of Horn of Africa and to forget about pluralism . If we find that China is behind this jamming we will take it as declaring war on our people and we will respond in kind. We also ask Obama to come out and condemn the Meles regime who has been escorted as an ally on war on terror since 9/11 to stop jamming of airwaves or face the consequence.

Friday, 28 May 2010

EPRP press release of Ginbot 18

Tedla Asfaw

I just read EPRP press release of Ginbot 18 on the rigged election of May 23. EPRP is claiming that the Ethiopian people boycotted the election and thanked the Ethiopian people for "boycotting" the election.

Where is the proof for the boycotting ? What in fact we all saw on May 23 is a large turnout of Ethiopians lined up peacefully to vote. Their faces however clearly show that they were not in a festive mode to give their vote to TPLF, "vote is secret" , "Mircha Belebenew".

It seems that voting is mandatory for anyone to survive another day in TPLF controlled Ethiopia. The EPRP claim of boycott is absurd and only legitimatize ones  previous call for boycotting the election, I told you so !!

Boycotting was not what we saw in May 23, it was a large turnout estimated 30 million of our people who voted in the 43,000 polling stations which was observed by TPLF security, controlled by ground and air cover that ended as one of the biggest victory recorded in our election  history if not in the world, 99.9 percent taking full control of the TPLF parliament with one Medrek candidate from Addis Ababa as "observer".

It is appropriate to thank the Ethiopian people like EPRP did in its press release but not for their boycotting the election rather go out and vote for the oppositions, AEUP, Medrek overwhelmingly on a difficult circumstance.

I take my hat off for the Ethiopian people and the oppositions that exposed the regime for the western financiers of TPLF. Yes I agreed with EPRP there is no time to waste by going to TPLF court for recount. What I support is the rerun of this election which I called on my piece on May 24, "Ethiopians vote Meles Counts ".

AEUP and Medrek are calling for rerun of this election under the presence of large numbers of international observes and opposition party observers. Let us give credit where it is due, the work of the oppositions as well the Ethiopian people should be congratulated. May 23 will be recorded as watershed in our people struggle like May 15 five years ago.

Monday, 24 May 2010

Ethiopians vote Meles Zenawi Counts !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

By now you all must have heard that the  so called Election in Ethiopia this past Sunday was peaceful. What you have not heard is why this one is in fact is breaking the record not only on voters turnout but also in rigging election. We heard about ethnic cleansing in the 1990s in former Yugoslavia, the Meles led party pioneered Cleansing Election Observers before voting starts. This is carried out in the cover of darkness throughout Ethiopia.

VOA and German Amharic reported from all over Ethiopia that people went out in large number to vote. Their vote however is left for government cadres and security forces in most of the areas cleansed from assigned election observes by the opposition. Breaking the agreement the names of the observers were handed to government officials who went in dark from door to door buying and intimidating election observers.

The VOA report from Mekele University polling stations is a good example which is true for other areas. There was no single election observer from the opposition side in the college campus according to the young woman. Who is going to believe the allegations that this is the failure of the opposition party ?  I heard also in west Ethiopia, Welega opposition observers  from Medrek who escaped the cleansing that had not reported back. Who knows where they are ?

After cleansing the voting booths from opposition observes the rest was a home run for ruling regime. The people vote hoping their votes to be counted but the result has already been tabulated way before the polls close. This is a disgrace by all measurement, we can call it clearly an ELECTION RAPE !!!!

The Ethiopiafirst Editor from Addis Ababa yesterday was denouncing the presence of hundred observers from Europe as an insult to our pride. He said this should have been an Ethiopian affair. This was an Ethiopian affair in 43,000 election booths Ben.  Election Observing is the God given right to Meles Zenawi  Leku Sewe/wise man  and his company. The presence of one hundred or so foreigners is not insulting our pride at all. The TPLF/EPRDF bees have stung  opposition observers and the game was over before it starts. Winning marathon by turning off the clock.

What Ben the Editor hide is the fact that the names of opposition observers was handed to TPLF on the night before election to harass, buy and intimidate them. That is the reason why this election should be registered as an election our people vote peacefully without their vote being counted. A big insult to all who lined up to vote hoping their vote will count.

AEUP and Medrek leaders will stand with the information they got from the field and call this election a fraud and most of all by its true name, an Election Rape !!! The TPLF/EPRDF has declared official war on peaceful struggle on May 23 and gave legitimacy for armed movements like OLF and ONLF. New one are going to follow soon with huge support from the public.

The division that started in the diaspora following the signing of the Code of Conduct is now history. As of yesterday we are all AEUP and Medrek. We should stand with them and call for rerun of this election or leave the political field to those who will challenge the regime in a language it knows. A sad day for peaceful struggle !!!

Thursday, 13 May 2010

No Partying with Meles Zenawi and Isaias Afeworki !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

I heard an invitation by Meles Zenawi on his recent interview on Ethiopian TV for a "Democratic Fiesta" after the culmination of the coming May 23 election / coronation. I wanted to be  there on this democratic fiesta like thousands of Ethiopian exiles for celebration with our people. The problem of joining such  festival are many,here are the major ones.First, the festival does not include the opposition leader Birtukan Mediksa who has been incarcerated by Meles Zenawi for more than one and half year  for leading her people by example to bring a real "Democratic Fiesta". Second, the pending charges on other oppositions leaders for participating in this "election" and calling  the regime change by popular vote  does not encourage  buying  two way tickets for the coming festival.

Meles Zenawi on this interview  reminded us also that South Africans took them a century to get a right to vote. How about our own Ethiopian experience  five years ago ? Who will forget the spirit of our people, the million people march of Miazia 30 before the Ginbot 7/May 15 election millions that voted for change and its aftermath ? The respect our people show to each other without single life  lost and the hundreds who lost their lives for voting for change is our recent  memory that should be celebrated every five year when election comes. Such  Democratic Fiesta however  has to wait, unfortunately !!

Meles Zenawi quoted the late Bealu Girma the author of "Oromai" and  Zewde Reta the author of "Ye Eritrea Gudai" to "educate" the public on our recent history. For the first time I heard Meles Zenawi mentioning the thousand years of Ethiopian history, of "Egenan Miselu" literally translated "One Country One People"  the rallying cry of Ethiopian kings and the military junta, Derg which led to the eventual independent  Eritrea almost two decades ago.

After the fall of Derg however Free Eritrea and TPLF/EPRDF ruled Ethiopia went again to costly war that took more than one hundred  thousand  lives in the 1998-2000 Badme war on both sides. Such number of lives were not even lost in the war of liberation of Eritrea Meles is proud and supported. Meles did not entertain on his history 101  the idea of Eritrea  joining "Federal" Ethiopia which seems the best option for Eritreans and Ethiopians.

 Ethiopians and Eritreans know from their two decades of experience nether of them are free and prosperous.  After the fall of Mengistu Hailemariam led Derg both are living under dictatorship, one which is organizing a calculated election and call for a democratic fiesta Meles Zenawi, and the other one which is not organizing any kind of election and put its leader Isaias as a leader for  life.

These two tyrants built an imaginary wall between the two people and both TPLF and Shabia are using this wall to keep their hold on power for a long time. The economy of our people is destroyed by this human made wall. Farmers and traders are told not to cross this wall and function normally. Why should a trader from Zela Ambesa, Tigai is not free to sale his or her product in Asmara and why is Ethiopia's eighty million of people  denied the use of the Aseb port and paying millions in foreign currency for  port fees that profited TPLF and foreign countries ?

The two decades of experiment by Meles and Isaias has failed. Meles' call for "Democratic Fiesta" and Isaias call to remove TPLF/EPRDF and establish "one" Ethiopia side by side with Eritrea should be rejected. Both are our problems. The people of Ethiopia and Eritrea, the victims of this experiment need visionary leaders, the young generation of Ethiopia and Eritrea. They have a big role to play in bringing  down the imaginary wall between Ethiopia and Eritrea and start a new experiment.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

President Obama, Say Something When You See Something !!!

Tedla Asfaw

New York City was saved last Saturday because of ordinary citizens response to the slogan of the city after 9/11, "Say Something When You See Something". These individuals saved the lives of many tourists and New Yorkers who happened to be in Times Square that day and that moment.

I am one of the persons who subscribe to "say something when you see something"  long before it became a slogan of New York City. I made it part of my life. I speak for my family, neighbor, city  and my home country in my blog, local radios, national and international medias. But I am not brave enough to take it to a higher level like the film producer Chris  Flaherty who has been on hunger strike since May 3 in Washington D.C across the White House. Chris is Staging a hunger strike in front of White House to get the attention of President Obama on behalf of  the famous opposition leader of Ethiopia, Birtukan Mediksa who has been jailed for more than one and half year by Meles Zenawi.

Today Chris is on his third day of a hunger strike . Chris will stay on hunger strike until President Obama publicly recognizes Ms. Birtukan Mediksa as a prisoner of conscience and put pressure for her immediate release. Obama is "seeing" something across his residence and he should "say something". Otherwise the life of Birtukan and even Chris is in danger. Their suffering is for standing for freedom and justice.

I talked to Chris yesterday and today, his spirit is good and I cheered him by saying  President Obama will "say something" this coming"Friday" because he can not say that he is not aware of what is going on across the street for the last three days. The rest is pure politics, how to say it,  ignore it is not an option. The earlier is the better and "Friday" is my deadline Mr. President.

President Obama  promised on his speech in the Ghanaian Parliament that  empowering Africans is his goal. When it comes to Ethiopia nothing has changed so far, it is the well known policy of American "national" interest in the Horn of Africa. Ethiopians are forced to go to an "election" the result of which is well known and Obama has not said "something" on the pre election intimidation by the Ethiopian regime and has not called for the release of Birtukan Mediksa and all political prisoners before any election.

Chris Flaherty is on hunger strike and Obama knows that. We challenge President Obama to "Say something When He sees Something" and save millions of Ethiopians who are under a brutal regime that has been on power for almost two decades using guns, intimidation and fake elections. If the hunger strike continues for days and the life of Chris Flaherty who is championing the cause of millions of Ethiopians is in danger we hold Mr. President accountable. Say Something Mr. President !!!!

Friday, 30 April 2010

Solidarity with Chris Flaherty !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

Chris Flaherty, the producer of Migration of Beauty is challenging the Ethiopian diaspora to join him on his hunger strike to start on Monday May 3 in front of the White House to urge President Obama, recognize Birtukan Mediksa as a prisoner of conscience and call for her immediate release. The nine minutes video of Chris Flaherty is posted on oppositions websites and worth listening it.

The timing of his hunger strike unfortunately with the oil leak disaster in USA Gulf Coast might not get enough media attention but we can counter that if the thousands of Ethiopians who are residing in DC area join Chris 24/7 on his hunger strike. Let the young Ethiopians discuss this hunger strike on the weekend and present effective way of participating in it.

The strategy here is to get enough media coverage and for that to happen we need many people to participate. The most important thing is to join Chris twenty four hours. As days go by Chris' energy will dwindle and make sure to be with him for any emergency situation. Ethiopians in the taxi businesses have great role to play by spreading the news to all including many tourists  of this brave man on their normal routine.

We can also mobilize our business communities especially Ethiopian Restaurants for the first day of the hunger strike. Let all Ethiopian Restaurants show their solidarity by closing their doors for the first day of the hunger strike that is May 3. Yes they will lose business and that is a simple sacrifice to pay as an Ethiopian compared to putting yourself in great danger of hunger strike for honorable cause.

Ethiopian religious establishments, Christians of a all denominations and Ethiopian Muslims to pray for Almighty to give strength for Chris Flaherty's honorable cause each day  in front of the White House. All these actions will draw media attentions no doubt. I sincerely hope  brave Ethiopians will join  Chris Flaherty by directly participating on the hunger strike.

President Obama though distracted by emergency situation of the oil leak disaster can not ignore this hunger strike because it is in front of his residence. Michelle Obama will also be educated that another mother in a distant place is suffering for standing for freedom isolated from her five year old daughter for more than one and half year in jail in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

We admire and love Chris Flaherty for standing with Birtukan Mediksa while the USA policy makers are only giving lip service for freedom in our country. We are calling the Ethiopian regime critics in the Congress to come out and show their solidarity with the hunger strike. Birtukan Mediksa has to be freed without any precondition to be with her daughter and mother. Above all with millions of Ethiopians for whom she is their symbol of resistance, Ethiopian Mandela.

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Election Rape !!!

Tedla Asfaw

Last Saturday in Los Angeles gathering to welcome Ato Seye a leader of Medrek an interesting mathematical theory was developed which disprove that 4 million times 5 is not 20 million. The four million members of TPLF/EPRDF have been on mission to recruit five more people in their areas throughout Ethiopia to give a landslide victory for the Meles regime to continue on five more years so called "development'  and economic"growth" to feed our people three times  a day. So far the three time eaters most probably are the 4 million members of TPLF/EPRDF and another five millions to be recruited to fill their bellies three times a day, twenty  million of them, farmers,students, teachers, government employees, merchants etc.

Ato Seye Abraha believes that let alone the new to be recruited five million the four million so called TPLF/EPRDF members most of them will not vote for TPLF/EPRDF. He also said that more than one hundred thousands administrators of the election have also been selected by Meles to administer the election. Thousands of so called independent observes are also nominated by TPLF.

If we believe the diehard 4 million supporters and their five million recruits most of them will note vote for their bread maker, TPLF/EPRDF, the so called election administrators and observers who are to lose big time if TPLF/EPRDF is beaten on the voting booth can cheat in the vote counting. However, Ato Seye Abraha brought the experience of Addis Ababeans who stood and defended their vote in May 2005 election, acting as voters, administrators and observers to beat TPLF/EPRDF in a knock out blow.

Are the political opponents of TPLF/EPRDF ready to defend their votes as Seye believes ? If yes, how ? TPLF/EPRDF has already prepared its security forces in all voting areas to intimidate voters. These security forces will clear the voting stations from all opponents and are we ready to confront the Agazi forces once again ?

The troubling thing for me is the major opponents of TPLF/EPRDF AEUP and Medrek are not even allowed to have their election rallies until now. We will not forget the one million march of Miazia 30 five years ago which shows the unpopularity of Western pampered regime of Meles Zenawi. The regime does not want to expose itself by allowing such big rallies by opposition forces this time.

We have less than a month to call our supporters to go and vote against TPLF/EPRDF. If we can not call our supporters to rally and give its support publicly why we should call them to vote for our parties in one hundred percent administered and observed election ? Let us show the strength of the opposition for friends and foes alike before any election.

TPLF/EPRDF may call its twenty million "supporters" for rallies and  many of these will vote or not vote for TPLF, most likely they will be influenced if the opposition staged  huge rallies. Rallies by oppositions will encourage the TPLF/EPRDF so called supporters to join the masses for real change like they did five years ago..

The subdued atmosphere where we find our people now is only helping the regime to steal/rape the election. Going election without energizing  supporters and have a plan to defend their votes is as good as participating in an election rape.

Friday, 23 April 2010

Save Araya Tesfamariam !!!!

Dear UNHCR representative in New Delhi,

I was shocked to hear the sad news of Journalist Araya Tesfamariam on an update piece (April 22) by Solidarity Committee For Ethiopian Political Refuges (SOCEPR) who is now on the bed side of his sick daughter in New Delhi hospital where his fourteen year old is going treatment for life saving situation. The worst thing for a father is to be attacked severely at this moment by the Ethiopian government send thugs and left to die. This is beyond cruelty, killing father and daughter !!!!

The Ethiopian regime thugs are now following  Araya Tesfamariam even in New Delhi hospital basement to harass and threaten him to be deported to  finish him off. Where is UNHCR which is established to save political refugees like Araya Tesfamariam who is now the number one enemy of the Ethiopian regime marked for death for using his paper to educate the  Ethiopian public before he went to exile ?

I myself  a parent of three young children can not keep quiet when another Ethiopian parent is suffering in New Delhi. This is an extraordinary parent who stood for justice beyond his immediate concern of his family like most of us. He could have served the regime and lead a comfortable life like many others.

Such brave Ethiopian journalists are many in exile and they deserve protection. I ask your office to save Journalist Araya Tesfamariam  from being deported to Ethiopia with the help of the new Delhi Administration where he will surely face torture and death.


                                                             Tedla Asfaw


Sunday, 11 April 2010

TPLF, from Open House to Open Scandal !!!!

Tedla Asfaw
I read " The Author Memoir" by Tesfaye Gebrab, 422 pages book, I pre ordered . First I read it at fast speed one time and reread it again on this weekend. This is a book about our rulers life from their Open House fake degrees, open looting, open insult to their "Secret" night life which is no longer a secret thanks to Tesfaye. Once the TPLF/EPRDF leaders reached Addis Ababa almost two decades ago their main focus was enjoying life they missed in their seventeen years in a forest. Drinking and sleeping with young women was their priority after they put down the student revolt in Addis. I wonder how many of them were infected by HIV virus but no doubt many of them are now on drug even though Tesfaye did not give any detail.

Our rulers threw their old ladies and refresh themselves with young. Sibhat Nega the "old" brain of TPLF regenerated himself with eighteen year old girl. Foreign Minster of TPLF/EPRDF changed his old wife with Eritrean Madonna to dump her after the Ethio-Eritrean war in 1999-2000 to marry another business/thief woman from Tigray. Tefera Walwa and Abate Kisho jailed their old wives for new young wives. Samora Yunus, Kuma Demeksia, Bacha Debelle divorced and married multiple times.

Recently I read that TPLF/EPRDF has many women candidates running for the coming fake election. If there was a free media in our country such degrading character of our rulers towards our women would have put the majority of the ruling clique out of office keeping their other crimes aside. The new so called opponents of TPLF/EPRDF leaders character would have also been scrutinized.

Gebru Asrat a leader of ARENA who locked his paralyzed wife for new lady would have faced a serious question from our women and all people who read this book of Tesfaye. How could such man be trusted to stand for freedom and equality which himself fail to practice in his own home.

Seye Abraha and Bereket Simon who were mentioned as family men on Tesfaye's book have other issues which the public want to know. Berekit Simon the forged Amhara is responsible for giving away all the fertile land of Gonder by imprisoning and killing all the Amharas in the Amhara movement he chaired by force to Tigray Kilil.

Seye Abraha's problem is only Meles Zenawi and their power struggle has victimized many people. Seye and Meles have a same strategic goal, power has to remain under Tigrayan control for years to come. Their difference is at tactical level. Meles is using the fake federalism as a divide and rule to exploit regions in Open Robbery while Seye knows that this tactic is not working after the May 2005 election.

Whatever difference Meles and Seye had during the 1999-2000 Ethio-Eritrea war that divided TPLF in to two camps and the reason for Seye to go to six years in jail is no more on issue for both Meles and Seye. The issue now is how to keep power under TPLF in organizing and participating in fake elections for years to come, 2010, 2015 etc.

Thanks to Sibhat Nega a year ago Ethiopians were told in VOA Amharic that TPLF owned EFFORT is the richest company controlling more than ninety percent of the wealth of Ethiopia. The environmental damage TPLF brought to our country is monumental. The Jimma, Awasa and other forests have been cut and sold for fast money by TPLF.

Sadly the tyrant Meles Zenawi who supervised such environmental crime is seating as spokesperson for environmental affair on international stage, what a shame ? The anger of Abebe Geresu, a high military officer, who is now in exile is understandable. "Why do they do to us ? "Is Jimma an enemy land ?". The five hundred years forests are now cut and he will not be surprised if Jimma turns in to another desert.

Abebe Geresu also telling us in Tesfaye's book that our looters what they do not know is destroying the forestry of Jimma and Hawasa has direct impact on the rain in other parts of Ethiopia. The funny thing is by only putting forest in your Kilil you will not change the hydrology of the vast region. Only if you think in country level you will make difference. Does Meles Zenawi know that inaugurating dams after dams is not a solution to our water and energy problem. If there is no water what is dam for ? The last eighteen years under TPLF is destruction of our forests, building many dams is a mockery or a show case.

Ethiopia is not only under racist cliques but also under enemy who is planning for our long destruction after they left the scene in peoples uprising one day. The division and hate he witnessed even on those who are now leaving selling their bodies out of country in Dubai is sad and worrisome. A young Tigray woman is seen as enemy by others while she like themselves are the victims of TPLF that forced them to lead such shameful life in far place..

The love and respect our people showed to each other back home should be an example for those who are far from home.. Ethiopians are now under small group of people who are swearing in the mane of Tigray not to repeat "King Yohanese mistake" ,they never respected him in first place, not to give power for Amharas in the name of any election.

The story of Anebele Amare who was one of the Agazi leaders that killed more than two hundred people in Addis following the May 2005 election and the Oromo officers humiliation by TPLF cadres have shown us things have changed for the worst. What remained the same is TPLF did not face serious challenges from oppositions.

Our leaders are now millionaires who will spill whatever blood it takes to keep their wealth. Election or not TPLF/EPRDF will not give power to non-Tigreans. Here is the similarity of Meles and Seye who are now seem on opposite sides but working to the same goal, "keep power for those who lost thousands of lives fighting Derg, under Tigrayan control".

When it comes to more than eighty thousand lives lost in Badme under Meles and Seye leadership in Badme war they do not deserve any power to share. Their death is more valued than ours to keep them in power for long time. This reminded me of Rwanda's Paul Kigame and his party who are now on mission to rule forever Rwanda for the crime the Hutus committed against Tutsis. What is the crime the majority of Ethiopians committed to be ruled by few Tigrayans who are swearing in the name of the dead Tigrayans fighting Derg ?

Tesfaye who "failed" on his elementary and high school days did not get his diploma from Open House, the fake diploma of masters like our TPLF rulers. He got Ethiopian Diploma by reading, writing', mentored by respected authors like the late Hadis Alemayehu, Birhanu Zeihune, Tsegaye Gebremedhin and many others. More than that his childhood time full of love, with his mom , sisters, his friends likeNebiu Abebe and his family and all whom he met at a young age has made him who he is now.

The days he spent as TPLF cadre though regrettable made him know well who our rulers are. Without his close personal observation we would have missed the next Michael Jackson, Bacha Debelle, Go Bacha Go !!!!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Father of Ethiopia, Ababa Janhoye !!!

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Tedla Asfaw <>
Date: Tue, Apr 6, 2010 at 4:46 PM
Subject: Father of Ethiopia, Ababa Janhoye !!!

Tedla Asfaw

I read Dr. Abebe Ambatchew one hundred thirty pages book titled, " A Glimpse of Greatness, Emperor Haile Selassie First:The Person " on this Easter weekend. From the start I was in hurry attracted by a title "The Person" " Ababa Janhoye " from a people who know him, working closely.

Ababa Janhoye, the closest I came to him was as a teenager  in my elementary school days when his  entourage passes through Aware in Addis Ababa. We run to greet him and get a reward, brand new one Ethiopian Birr handed to us by him through his  car window. The lucky one got directly money from him and those who were not strong watched from distance. We all enjoyed his affectionate smile from distance.

His picture hanging giving a diploma for our fist family member in our home was a pride for all of us. During Derg early time when the campaign to discredit him was in full swing we brought it  down from our wall. However, the terror under Derg did not save many I know and many young lives of loved ones were damped on our door steps.

The Derg campaign accusing Emperor Haile Selassie as a "thief" for owning  St George Beer Factory, "Ye Negus Tela Metmekia " propaganda brought many young people to shout at him "thief", "Leba" when he was driven from his palace and seen for the last time in an old Volks Wagen. This factory,however, was a legal property of Janhoye bought from foreign owners on Dr. Abebe Ambatchew book.

The personal story I read on this book is also going very well with similar stories I heard from my late father. My father accompanied "Janhoye" to  potash mine in the Dahilak  desert. Many dignitaries accompany the king and the Afar Balabits brought large number of local Afars to greet the king.

Temperature on that part of Ethiopia is unbearable for all of the highlanders. As soon as they camp in the site all were fighting for drink, the mineral water called "Ambo Wha". In the middle of the fight for the bottle "Janhoye's" glass of water was untouched. My father told me he believed many including himself drunk more than one bottle of water without break.

The sweat which was pouring on many faces and the calm comfortable Janhoye in his seat was the story my father shared with all he knows. Dignified man under extreme temperature handed clothes for the Afar locals one by one. The story on Abebe's book a visit to Tibila farm in the upper Awash did not surprise me because temperature wise Tibila is much comfortable and there is an average a temperature difference of twenty degrees or more.

When it comes to being the "Emperor of Education" that is not only true but was also the basis for Janhoye development policy, on how to exploit the natural resources of our country by our own. "Let our children learn "science" , will look for our natural resources themselves". That was why Janhoye gathered bright kids from all over  Ethiopia, educate, feed and cloth them to learn and develop their  country.

Dr. Abebe Ambatchew figures on the education status of our country after the five years occupation of Ethiopia by fascist Italy with the resources available to him was extraordinary. The current TPLF regime supporters count of the number of schools and colleges and comparing it with Janhoye's time is non sense.

Compare the time of Janhoye with other countries of his time. Compare our students of his time with other countries and you will reach to conclusion that Ethiopia was progressing in education and development. The most important thing is that many who completed their education in foreign countries were quick to come home which is not true now. A country which is losing its human capital like our country will not develop only by foreign experts and foreign loan.

Ethiopia under Derg was run by Russians, Cubans and North Koreans and TPLF Ethiopia is proud to open Ethiopia for all who have money. The major player in our country is now Chinese  professionals and daily laborers in thousands. Ethiopia is not a country Janhoye has envisioned to be developed by its children rather foreigners are now on driver seat exploiting  our resources.

Ethiopians are now spectators or working mainly on menial job for foreigners. Those who accused and murdered Janhoye are now locked up in jail while their jailers are millionaires who owned the majority of business in Ethiopia. Tell me who is the thief or "Leba" There is no one,however, who is accountable more than  Mengistu Hailemariam and Derg for the situation our country is now.

The killing that started on the government high officials, sixty of them, most of them well educated Ethiopians from poor back ground was the beginning of the end of Ethiopia Janhoye built from scratch. The master of this crime, Mengistu Hailemariam, is now living in comfort.

The elderly Janhoye trusted his people more than his close associates. He was begged to go to exile, begged to give a go ahead for his loyal forces to use force to keep his throne. His last word before he went to prison indeed should be how Janhoye seen in history, " if my deposition is for the unity and integrity of Ethiopia I will go, but keep Ethiopia united".

Ethiopia after seventeen years under Derg and eighteen years under TPLF is still in war. Neither Mengistu Hailemariam nor Meles Zenawi have  conviction for our people and country. Mengistu run to save himself while leaving his associates to death and jail. Meles Zenawi is working hard to be respected internationally using  his fluent English while hiding from his people back home. He will in the end will follow Mengistu running for his life. However, Ethiopians one day will  give a proper place he deserves for their beloved father, Janhoye, and will held accountable rulers who run away from justice.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Who is afraid of the D.C. conference and Why ?

Tedla Asfaw

I followed  this past Saturday, Andnet Radio hosted by Ato Yoseph. This was by accident but worth listening it. The debate between two Ethiopians about the coming three day conference in D.C., April 9-11. Dr. Kasa one of the organizers and Dr. Kefyalew /washera a regular writer on TPLF Aiga website who characterized the conference as "Awde Tifat" ,"conference of evil".

Last week Aiga Editor, Zeru Hagos,wrote a  piece, "conference of Hodgepodges", why the Horn of Africa Conference should be rejected. It went further and accused the co-sponsors of the conference, Trans Africa Forum and Africa Action. I  read also a piece posted on ethiolion  from anti-TPLF quarter  calling for  boycott this conference. The main reason is the use of "Horn of Africa" than the name Ethiopia  to appease the OLF and ONLF secessionist movements.

The debate between the two Doctors, however,was evolving around the substance of the conference. Is it "Awde Tinat"/Educational or "Awde Tifat" /evil . Dr. Kasa argued that in Ethiopia under TPLF where democratic rights are non existent, organizing such conference one time in two decades is  not we should be proud of in fact such conferences should have been frequent to charter the future of our country by analyzing all the developments in the Horn of Africa that is evolving as we speak.

Dr. Kefyalew however accused the organizers as fringes whose goal is to destroy the "legal" government in Ethiopia. He argued, it is only conference that is organized on what has been achieved under TPLF/EPRDF is a  conference he will support and participate.

The host Ato Yoseph tried to moderate the debate which sometimes looked like a high school debate. Name calling and insulting remind us our revolutionary days back home. Both knowledgeable people hammered their position and no one gave ground on his position.

I did not read Dr. Kefyalew/Washera piece posted on his objection of the conference. His whole argument, however, here is that the only way to be heard or influence Ethiopian politics is by working like the opposition parities who are now running for May 23 "election". He challenged Dr. Kasa how could they organize anti-TPLF conference and at the same time support some group in Ethiopia for the coming election ? This however was not answered.

This conference is not about the coming election, it is about Ethiopia under TPLF in particular and the messy region  which is known as Horn of Africa in  general. As I learned on other programs from organizers, speakers were invited to present their paper on this conference and Dr. Kefyalew was invited on the spot  to participate on the conference by paying $15 which is an entrance fee for three days conference. Dr. Kefylewa was surprised to learn that and declined the invitation.

This is the first conference organized in a long time that included many Ethiopians from North America, Europe, Africa including some from Ethiopia, foreign experts and NGOs. Dr. Kefyalew reminded us also there is one person from Eritrea.

I am the believer in debate. I do not support those who are calling to boycott this conference like Dr. Kefyalew for  not including TPLF officials and their supporters and others who denounce the conference by its title.Yes it is the Horn of Africa, home of Ethiopians, Eritreans, Sudanese, Kenyans and Ugandans. True, most if  not all of the debate is about Ethiopia. Until and otherwise there is stable Ethiopia which is run by the will of the people there will not be peace in the Horn of Africa.

Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Ethiopians confront Gordon Brown !!!

Tedla Asfaw

Hundreds of Ethiopians are protesting against the presence of Meles Zenawi to co-chair the environmental finance conference with Gordon Brown in London right now. Meles Zenawi has come to London after it launched its pre election terror and sadly the European Union promised to send observers to give legitimacy for this crime. EU is sending its delegates to participate on the coronation of Meles Zenawi  for five more years. Opposition leaders and candidates are jailed and killed and it is shame Gordon Brown is seating with a known human right abuser.

Will Gordon Brown seat with Osama Bin Laden to find a solution for terrorism ? That is what he did by seating with the known human right abuser, unelected leader to find a solution for global environmental problem. If the eighty million Ethiopians are from other planet then Gordon  Brown  is right to worry for the coming death and destruction from the global warming. Ethiopians are currently dying from terror organized by Meles Zenawi while Gordon Brown is worried for future loss of lives due to global warming.

Our people struggle will go on with or without freedom loving people support and no force and terror will stop Ethiopians march towards freedom. Meles Zenawi might be a darling of Gordon Brown but he is not an elected leader of Ethiopia. The least we ask  Gordon Brown and other western leaders is not to give money in the name of poverty alleviation that is used to terrorize our people.