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Friday, 19 March 2010

Voice of America as a voice for voiceless Ethiopians !!

Tedla Asfaw

This month has been the best for listeners back home and the rest of us in the diaspora thanks to VOA Amharic programs that covered issues that is critical to the future of Ethiopia and the well being of Ethiopians. The issue of the land grab by foreigners was the best of VOA Amharic by Tizita Belachew. This land grab documentary by VOA exposed the Ethiopian regime for  leasing Ethiopian land for up to ninety nine years that attracted almost  five thousands foreign landlords due to its cheap land deal promised by round o clock security protection by by the ruling regime. This is the program that certainly angered Meles Zenaw to start  new business called Jamming Radio Enterprise.

This new company has the start up capital from EFFORT, a company that was born twenty five years ago from food aid that was again confirmed by Ato Seye Abraha this month. The jamming industry did start business five years ago around the 2005 election and draw its first "profit" the same year. It went out of business the same year.

Before it went out of business,however,VOA Amharic journalists were accused of genocide and due to pressure from USA the charge was dropped and this same charge has now come to the VOA Amharic. Meles Zenawi accused of VOA Amharic as hate messengers like that of Radio Mille Collines of Rwanda that organized and led the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

Meles Zenawi is telling VOA English that his Jamming Enterprise after it went out of business for the last five years is now back to business and is going to sale its stocks for public soon. Providing the pubic with Chinese made radios that are allergic to short waves will be the strategic goal but in the short term the Jamming Enterprise might be forced to shut off power until it perfects its new technology of jamming for emergency when VOA Amharic is on air around 9PM. Battery business will be booming like the generator. We know who makes the money.

"I declare for the coming two months until my coronation, to finish the job I started two decades ago,  VOA Amharic the number one enemy of my administration". VOA Afan Oromo and Tigrena according to Meles Zenawi are not as bad as the Amharic.

This is identical to  Hutus VS Tutsis scare he declared on last election in 2005 after our people voted for Kinijit on landslide. Divide Ethiopians wherever they are as Amharas/Amharic VS all others shamefully. How comes VOA Amharic is bad to be compared to Radio Mille Collines that gave  the address of Tutsis to be killed live on radio.

What VOA Amharic did is  read on air the  names of poor farmers whose land was given to new foreign landlords. This is journalism at its best telling the truth. I wonder where those poor farmers by now are. Not only lost their land they now will be charged for telling their stories that angered Meles Zenawi, his March madness.

Yes we are mad too. Our anger is not as one ethnic group VS others as Meles quotes whenever he is threatened, Hutus VS Tutsis every five years, but to his regime and all foreign landlords who are taking poor farmers land. This is not only anger I can assure you, no foreign landlords will harvest sack of crop without any challenge. Give order to your  Interahamwee/Agazi and let the fight begins.

Meles Zenawi's Interahamwee has already started its job. Aregawi Gebremedhin the father of six children a candidate for Mederk was killed in Tigray and this is not a one man job  will not be over by locking one man for fifteen years. Killing in Eastern part of Ethiopia is going on. Warning to students from elementary to universities is given by Meles Zenawi. The next two months plan to jam  VOA Amharic is not surprising.

It is the fear that victims and their families will come on air and expose these crimes in a language which is widely spoken, Amharic, made VOA Amharic a target. We expose TPLF's crimes for foreigners in their language but TPLF did not jam BBC for that matter for exposing food aid for gun this month.

VOA Amharic did a good service by inviting former and current TPLF bosses like Aregawi Berhe, Gebremedhin Araya and in fact the famous interview of Aboy Sibhat Nega, my favorite a year ago. "We did not know each other before the TPLF infrastructure development,  people start coming together". "EFFORT is the richest company and it is only Tigrean". These were the words of Aboy Sibaht Nega and no one cry Hutus VS Tutssi  as Meles Zenawi wished then. In fact Seye Abraha told us this week that EFFORT is now a few selected TPLF family members property.

On recent program on the food aid loot and the massacre in Hawzen more than two decades ago we heard Aregawi Berhe and Gebremedhin Araya though they have the same stand when it comes to food aid for gun by TPLF they differ on what happened in Hawezene. VOA Amharic put the opinion of Aregawi who accused Derg for the crime and Gebremedhin Araya  accuseing TPLF for orchestrating the crime to get the support of Tigrayans. That is journalism as we know it in a civilized society.

Today we will have Aregash Adane  an opposition candidate to challenge Meles in Adwa and Aregawi Berhe are debating the issue of food aid for gun and many including Meles Zenawi are listening. VOA Amharic is giving an alternative for our people. Let TPLF talk about its development proudly and if this development changed peoples lives why to worry about the Hutus VS Tutsis. As Aboy Sibhat Nega said thanks to TPLF Ethiopians have come closer.