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.