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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.