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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 !!!!