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Monday, 28 February 2011

Nonviolent struggle !!

Tedla Asfaw

Yesterday I was on pro TPLF Paltalk room, Civility Room, in the morning where I heard views of the people who wanted to keep TPLF/EPRDF, the majority, and those of us who wanted change, close to two hundred people attended. A woman, Ogadeni/Ethiopian, with fluent Amharic, described her feeling like some of us why Meles has to go. She described the barbaric atrocity of Ogadenis suffer under Meles security forces. I challenged Meles Zenawi and his Western supporters to recognize before it is too late the right of Ethiopians to assemble freely and what we heard from Meles supporters is not at all encouraging. I also called for the army not to shoot protesters. Will President Obama be with the side of the Ethiopian people ? Time will tell that.

Any kind of gathering is illegal for Meles supporters because rallies in a "Developmental State" like Ethiopia will distract people from developmental path. Jawar Mohamed's piece today on non violent struggle articulated in detail how the non violent struggle should be coordinated and sustained to topple dictators. Meles Zenawi's regime surely is ready to lock up young non Tigreans in mass to preempt this non violent struggle and also to divide people, Tigrans VS others. I wish Jawar commented what we should do in such scenario. His analysis of non violent struggle and what we heard from Eyasu Alemayehu, EPRP leadership, in ECADF Room more than one thousand attendants, yesterday afternoon, is almost identical. Most of us who need change, the young and old, are now speaking in one voice that itself is a victory for our struggle.

The likes of Seye, Lidetu, both Hailus, Merara are hurdles for such struggle in fact will be used by Meles Zenawi. I totally agree with Eyasu Alemayehu the irrelevance of these people and their organizations for non violent struggle, Enough is Enough/Beka. AEUP, UDJP and MEDREK's past record on peaceful struggle to challenge the regime is None and has become even a joke in Western circles, to expect different now is not at all helpful. We have not heard different either rather than preparing for the coming fake election in 2015. I will appreciate in the future Jawar's view on the so called "Election Advocates " who are supported by the West to take the pressure from their ally Meles Zenawi. What Eyasu called them, Fire Brigades of TPLF, "Esate Adega".

My disagreement with Jawar on his recent DW short interview has now rested for good. It was not a personal attack rather questioning his tactic and strategy for a regime change based on a short interview he gave. I and many of us now clearly see the difference between Jawar and Lidetu Ayalew. Jawar is indeed for regime change while the so called legal oppositions in Ethiopia are for Election Business without any regime change. Meles will allow these "oppositions/leaders" to get few seats to bring back the parliament of 2005-2010. However, Ethiopia's problem will not be tackled from ten minutes speech in the name of our people by the very few. Those speeches fell on deaf ear and TPLF/EPRDF ruled as if they were not there. The current "opposition" leaders have also lost any legitimacy in the eye of our people. Leaders who are scared of bringing their supporters out for any cause are not to be called leaders at all. No one is waiting for 2015 fake election, we have to mobilize our people for Right to Assemble and Speak Now !!!!!

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Re: Open letter to Russian TV in USA

Dear RT USA producers,

I was watching RT USA news at 11am EST this morning. The RT journalist had discussion with a Libyan expatriate. The journalist was asking his guest about "black" mercenaries who are gunning down Libyans. His guest explained to him this is not black VS white but criminals who are supporting Gadaffi.

RT journalist is repeating what we heard from Al Jazeera English accusing "black mercenaries from Africa " killing for Gadaffi. Blacks from Sub Sahara Africa are paraded on live TV accused of being mercenaries. Such labelling of Blacks have now put all Black Africans in great danger in fact many are killed.

I heard family members who went out to buy food beaten up and dragged to be killed by Libyan mobs in Benghazi and Tripoli. To be black in Libya is a death sentence that is unacceptable. Responsible journalist should refrain from labelling "black" as mercenaries. Today on BBC Worldhaveyoursay program the Ghanaian foreign minster was asked by Ghanaians whose lives are endangered never come out to buy food for their families fearing beating and killing in Tripoli.

I am asking RT like I asked Al Jazeera not to inflame the situation by accusing the black race as mercenaries. I challenge you to accuse the mercenaries from East Europe, Tunisia, Algeria and Egypt to label as "Whites". The fact of the matter is South Libya is inhabited by black people who are Libyans. Are you taking away their citizenship ? Are they considered as Libyans or only refereed as blacks ? This is indeed double tragedy for all black daily laborers from sub Sahara Africa who are treated as less than human. What a shame if this uprising  ended by dividing Libyans by ethnicity and color that Gadaffi used effectively to rule for 42 years.

I  wrote two days ago to  human right organizations pleading on behalf of fellow black Africans who are left on their own while the rest of the world is picking up their own people. African countries except Ghana are doing nothing. Shame on them too.


Tedla Asfaw

New York City

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Ugly racism in the Libya uprising live on TV !!!

Tedla Asfaw

The ugly face of racism once again show its face on world stage in the week long  uprising to topple Muammar Gadaffi. Reports are coming suggesting foreign "mercenaries" fighting for Muammar Gadaffi, most of them black Africans. We watched on Al Jazeera a black man beaten up and dragged to his death. On this confusion many countries, Europeans, Americans and Asians  are taking their own citizens out of Libya by air, sea and land. Where is the African Union ?

Most workers are seen crossing Libya to Egypt or Tunisia but we never saw anyone going to South, Niger, Chad or Sudan for that  matter to Algeria. Most of the  media coverage is on what is going on in the East which is now free from Gadaffi's control. Why not we see  black Africans running for their safety ? As we heard it from DW Amharic today most of them are hiding in their houses because it is dangerous for blacks to come out because they are considered by most Libyans as mercenaries.

This indeed is very tragic. Most of Ethiopians are refugees in Libya.Ethiopian women working as maids currently are under the care of the households they live seems they are safe for now. That as well is not guaranteed.Due to public pressure they might be pushed to face street justice including rape..

The passport displayed on Al Jazeera includes many passports carried by Ethiopians. From DW interview we heard most of them were dragged from their apartments beaten up and showed to the world as  mercenaries. We also heard many Ethiopians killed by angry mob in Benghazi.

Muammar Gadafi haters are taking revenge on black Africans for money Gadafi threw  for many African dictators. The mob attacked and killed many Africans including Ethiopians for being only black. This is not acceptable and we have to alert Human Right, and Amnesty International to investigate all  who are paraded as "mercenaries" on Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera should also tone  down unconfirmed report and endanger black Africans at this dangerous moment. Ethiopians have no representative government who cares for our refugees. If in fact Ethiopia sends mercenaries Meles Zenawi  will never admit it because it will accelerate his own downfall.

However, Ethiopians in Diaspora have responsibility to represent fellow Ethiopians at this deadly moment and rally behind them, they are crying for help. We know no one is in charge of Libya right now.It is street rule until all settled down I am afraid this uprising will take the lives of many black Africans including  many Ethiopians. If there are "mercenaries" it seems to me now they are only black Africans, that is absurd. Gadaffi's money can buy a lot of mercenaries, black,white, brown and yellow. Who is now flying Gadaffis plane and helicopters, are they also black Africans ?

Muammar Gadaffi is ready to take Libya down with him, unfortunately, many black Africans who are caught in this mess will go down with him. Their death is only because for being black in a wrong country. The tragedy is most of them left their country for safety and faced detention and racism in Libya.Most who were in detention their situation  might even be worst. We have obligation to speak on their behalf by sharing any information we got about them.

The lynching and killing that is going on against black Africans in Libya will sure further divide the Arabs from the rest of Africa. The Arab League should speak against racist killing and accusations.They should sanction and condemn not only Gadaffi but also all who are killing black Africans. President Obama who urged  African Union to play its role to  stop the killing in Libya should be informed  also that black Africans are  a target of racist killing in Libya by Libyans mob.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

Jawar Mohammed as a defender of Meles Zenawi ?

Tedla Asfaw

I heard Jawar Mohammed with Lidetu Ayalew and Dr. Hailu Araya discussing on DW, Feb 20, the role of opposition parties in TPLF ruled Ethiopia.I totally disagree with Jawar accusing the oppositions for not using the "narrow opening" given by TPLF. Where is the right of our people for free assembly, speech ? Is Jawar blaming Ethiopians for shutting their mouth too ? It is really sad defending TPLF at this moment of popular uprising in North Africa, East Africa and Middle East, when the masses rise up breaking decades of fear to topple tyrants and be in charge of their own destiny.

It is too little too late to beg Meles Zenawi as Jawar did. The mass uprising is the only option. We are not waiting for the next fake election in 2015 as suggested by Jawar. He is trying to defend the dying regime of Meles Zenawi that will soon be dumped to the dustbin of history like Ben Ali, Mubarak soon Muammar Gadaffi the butcher of Benghazi who is now on the genocide mission to take down Libya with him. Only few cry for the demise of Meles Zenawi. Jawar is on this camp unfortunately. Muammar Gadaffi will have also some who cry for him,however, the Libyans liberation is not far and Ethiopians are not far too. We can and we will !!!!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Tahrir Square spirit turns to Bahrain's Death Square !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

The Bahrain Sunni minority tribal regime sent its tribal killers last night to shoot and kill protesters at Pearl Square which is in fact nothing like its name but a Death Square. The youth of Bahrain who are calling for freedom and end of  discrimination for a majority of Shias by a minority Sunni Monarchy were  motivated by the Tahrir Square uprising. They peacefully gathered,children, women, young and old for another peaceful night.

Bahrain sent  its security forces which are recruited from foreign nationals to keep the two hundred years Monarchy alive into deadly rampage similar to the Tiananmen Square killing in China in the 1980s. These were not peoples army like Egypt or Tunisia who hold on their guns and never fired to the people. Bahrain security forces are hired killers loyal to the King and the king who is billed as a reformer by the West is now naked for all to see that he  is just another oil crazed tyrant who care less for human life.

Bahrain is the home of US navy that  controls the flow of oil in that region. The  wider Arab public once again learnt that USA cares less for freedom than cheap oil and base to secure its own national interest. The American Journalist from ABC who was beaten up last night at the Pearl Square described the brutality of the security forces and we will soon  be hearing from USA the usual call for peaceful rally,protecting journalists  but not a call for accountability. We would like to hear from now on for Obama condemning the Bahrain security forces and call not to shoot again like he demanded from Egyptian army.

The doctor from the hospital was describing the ammunition that were used to kill four of the people and injured hundreds of them on BBC. The bullets once entered body will be broken into tiny pieces to cause maximum damages. We would like to know who gave the order to use such ammunition on peaceful innocents ?

The barbaric nature of the minority tribal regime use of force in Pearl/Death Square in Bahrain is similar to the minority regime of Meles Zenawi atrocity in 2005 after it lost election in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The ammunition then was given by USA and more than 200 of our people lost their lives by close range shooting. We saw the pictures of those killed and the pictures are still fresh in our mind.

The Bahrain Monarchy has lost whatever legitimacy it claims from now on. The  popular revolt by the  masses will continue until the people get freedom. The Popular Tsunami that started in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria, Libya  crossing  Bahrain and will go to Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Monarchy across the border might be behind the brutal tactic used by Bahrain because of fear of similar uprising by the Shias in its own country.

The freedom train will not stop until it reaches its goal. Arabs deserve to live in dignity. Clinging to power claiming divinity, fake election will be the thing of the past. Freedom is not an American or European value it is human value. We all would like to choose our own leaders and decide to choose our own friends.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Ethiopia's Ethnic Prison will be destroyed by popular multi ethnic uprising !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

I read an article on Daily Nation, Wednesday Feb.16, 2011 titled "Ethiopia's bold ethnic-based policies ended decades of bitter conflicts". For those who closely follow Ethiopia, ethnic conflicts in Eastern and Southern Ethiopia of Ogaden and Oromia region in fact have increased since TPLF/EPRDF consolidated its power in mid 1990s.

In the  honeymoon years of early 1990s OLF the Oromo Liberation Front and ONLF the Ogaden National Liberation Front were part of the transition process in writing the constitution without popular participation that legalized ethnic federalism including cessation the first of its kind in Africa. The ruling TPLF which claims to represent the Tigray region knows very well that power only comes by controlling  the rich natural resources of South Ethiopia. It has exclusively exploited these resources by organizing the TPLF ethnic wings like OPDO, ANDM, etc. These clients of TPLF have no popular support as it was proven on the stolen election of 2005 and 2010.

When OLF and ONLF challenged the TPLF regime in mid 1990s what they got was not ethnic empowerment the piece on this article claimed but ethnic total war on them and the people they claim represent. The  Oromos and Somalis who do not subscribe to the TPLF ethnic domination were killed and imprisoned. The testimony for this ethnic barbarism can be found by visiting the largest Oromo and Somali's refugees all over the world.

TPLF/EPRDF ethnic based federalism is a way of ruling diverse countries like Ethiopia by building suspicion walls among people while the new rulers who are above any region/Kilil can exploit the rich natural resources of our country to enrich themselves. Fascist Italy tried it on its five year occupation of Ethiopia in the 1930s.Moreover, the two decades of such ethnic federalism brought us the few connected TPLFites  who claim to represent the people of Tigray  from Zero to tons of Wealth.

Foreign aid which is pumped to Ethiopia  around two billion a year did not make any miracle for our people. More than ten million people are still on food aid. Hunger is the only thing which has no ethnic component in present day Ethiopia. It is an equalizer in all ethnic regions. The multi ethnic capital of Ethiopia Addis Ababa's population is now tripling because of hunger,rural poverty and displacement of farmers whose land is sold to foreign landlords as a source of fast cash for TPLF, The  Lord of Ethnic Federalism. Addis which is  a show case for our rich and famous ethnic rulers and those who come for false hope are living side by side. The homeless and beggars who are in hundreds of thousands hardly to miss for any visitor including the writer. They are multi ethnic casualties of  ethnic federalism partly.

Make no mistake on the early years of ethnic federalism many poor Amharas were killed by TPLF ethnic wings and forced to leave the land their ancestors lived for centuries. TPLF/EPRDF had ignited its Hutu VS  Tutsis war way before the Rwanda genocide. However, the Ethiopian people were not part of this war and ethnic cleansing on the level of Yugoslavia  had failed to materialize.

This article rosy picture of ethnic federalism under TPLF/EPRDF has  wisely avoided who the real power holder on the present day so called Federal Ethiopia. Power is on the hands of few people, TPLF who claim to represent the people of Tigray. The  rest is pure ethnic cosmetics. The May 2005 election had given its verdict on this  failed policy of ethnic federalism because it is neither ethnic nor federalism. It is power and resources for the very few and the people they claim representing are not even a beneficiary of this accumulation of power and wealth.

Ethiopia is a home of nations and nationalities and their aspiration to empower themselves in united Ethiopia has been hijacked since 1991. The million people march in May 2005 in Addis Ababa  had made it clear for all that fifteen years of ethnic federalism experiment was rejected. Since then however Ethiopia is a prison for all those who want to rule themselves and empower their people in a free and transparent election. It is only in a country where people are free to assemble, speak and write can empower themselves by voting for accountable regime. Ethnic based federalism will be put for referendum in a democracy and what we have to do first,however, is remove the ethnic warlords from Ethiopia by multi ethnic mass uprising. Yes we can and we will !!!!

Friday, 11 February 2011

Egypt uprising is our model to bring down Ethiopia's Mubarak !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

This is another number 11 for most of the world but it is Feb. 11, 2011 that brought the Western financed 30 year dictatorship of Hoseni Mubarak to its knee. At this moment I am joining Egyptians in celebration and I tell them that I am proud of them. The mass uprising that started eighteen days ago and the determination of the youth of Egypt spending day and night at Tahrir Square not  giving  its number one demand the resignation of Hoseni  Mubarak is realized today after it was dashed last night by Hoseni Mubarak empty pride that drove many Egyptians angry to come back for another day of protest and defiance.

However, the 20 second statement more than one hour ago by the Vice President about the resignation of Hoseni Mubarak  and hand over power to  the army sent millions throughout Egypt in huge celebration. Not only Egyptians many Africans and Middle Eastern countries which are now suffering under Western financed tyranny celebrate with them. They are learning from Egypt youth experience  and will bring popular revolt to their own countries.

My country Ethiopia is a good candidate for that. We have twenty years of Western financed tyranny run by Meles Zenawi and Ethiopians who match in number with Egyptians but far behind in their developmental stage by any measurement can topple Ethiopia's Mubarak, Meles Zenawi  in short order. The time we spent  lobbying  on Western streets and embassies have brought us only contempt.

Egyptians did it by breaking their fear and fortunately they have an army that did not stand on their way. Ethiopians have no national army comparable to Egypt. The top army officers are standing for their tribal loyalty and they are not going to help us topple Meles Zenawi brutal regime the worst form of Mubarak.

My hope is we can get huge faction of the army which are more than ninety percent of the army  to stand with millions of our people when the uprising started any day and time. The poor soldiers have no interest defending this regime and we should work with them at all levels. These are poor young people who took the job for a living.

The armed nationalist groups like OLF and ONLF have responsibility not to exploit such uprising for their own narrow goals. The good thing is we are hearing from OLF high officials that what they want is to be part of a transition to prepare our people for free and fair election. Free United Ethiopia will not be anti nations and nationalities like TPLF is preaching.

As I write this piece Egyptians are celebrating for the first time without any fear and they know that there is a long way to go until they establish a government which is accountable to them not to foreign interests. One thing is true they will never be silenced again by brute force like they were for the last 30 years.

The next battle is the battle of ideas and I am sure that Egypt with seven thousand years civilization can overcome their recent fifty years or more dictatorship which retarded their growth and shine like their ancestors. Ethiopia which has more than three thousand years of civilization which failed to join the modern age under tyrannical regimes will learn from Egypt and get their freedom in the year of freedom, 2011. Ethiopia's Mubarak has to go by mass uprising !!!!

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Ethiopian Asylum Seekers in Oslo, Norway !!!

Prime Minster of Norway,

Dear Prime Minster,

I grew up in Addis Ababa and had contact with the Norwegian missionary in my neighborhood. I still remember the service the Norwegian missionaries  gave to our neighborhood in the 1970s before the 1974 Ethiopian revolution.However, I had not a chance  to visit Norway when I was a student in Belgium, 1985-1987 to see how Norwegians live and what made them kind to fellow human beings.

I have been granted political asylum in United States since 1989 but never went back to Ethiopia after the fall of the military dictatorship of Mengistu Hailemariam. Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi in fact break a record for sending the young educated people out of Ethiopia for the lack of basic freedom, right to assemble, write and speak. We can say without any exaggeration that Ethiopia is a country not to return to but to run away from for  most of the young educated people.

The news of Ethiopian asylum seekers who fled the Meles Zenawi regime threatened by your government to be sent back to Ethiopia is incomprehensible to most of us who are following it closely. Ethiopians have staged a hunger strike on harsh weather condition in Oslo and I am afraid lives might be lost unless you intervene kindly. Norway is an old friend of Ethiopia and I want you to give the asylum seekers legal protection.

I want to assure you that the estimated one million refugees in the diaspora will go back to Ethiopia when our people get back their dignity after they remove Meles Zenawi 's led ethnofascist dictatorial regime that has been financed by the West including Norway for the last two decades.

Regimes  come and go what will remain is the historical relationship between the good people of Norway and the Ethiopian people. Ethiopians love their country and have never stopped worrying about their people and try to help our people struggle by informing the people of the Western countries. The last week Munich Ethiopians protest  estimated to be more than one thousand is one of the recent effort by the Ethiopian diaspora

The sad reality is the Western leaders took our shyness as a sign of endorsement of their failed policy towards our country. If it takes our personal sacrifice to get your policy review we will be doing it and Ethiopians in Oslo are doing it right now, lives will be lost on the process. Liberty and freedom demand that unfortunately.


Tedla Asfaw


Sunday, 6 February 2011

Is Tahrir Square closer to Munich for German Amharic ?

Tedla Asfaw

I followed today's German and VOA Amharic both did not mention about the huge rally organized in Munich by Ethiopians more than one thousand of them to denounce Meles Zenawi. Was it not news worthy for the DW people ? Or is it censored by the German government.

Both German and VOA covered widely the huge rally in Cairo as it should be but ignored the rally especially  DW in its own backyard. VOA Amharic correspondent in Germany also failed to ignore one of the biggest demo in Europe on Saturday Feb. 5. Is it for lack of information about the rally ?

Can VOA do the same for the coming rally in D.C. this coming Monday  and just ignore it due to pressure from the State Department ?

German government if it is indeed in business of controlling the news it did not like then we should organize a rally to denounce its  undemocratic behavior with the tax payers money.

I hope VOA will cover the coming rally and give some explanation why it ignored the Munich huge rally. The good news is this news is covered by ESAT and now has become a motivation force for our young to repeat the Tahrir Square in Addis Ababa.

I congratulate all who came out as one waving different flags but united to remove Meles Zenawi to take back Ethiopia our common motherland. This rally has much in a common with a rally in New York City in September 2010. Joint rally by all is a way forward. The issue is one and the same get our country back to debate our future freely without anyone acting like a police. The days of Meles Zenawi is numbered we have to remain united in action.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Mubarak unleash his thugs and supporters to take over Tahrir Square !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

As I am writing this piece I am Watching Al Jazerra English on line and what I am witnessing right now is sadly will be remembered as a time and day Egyptians popular revolt was sabotaged by Mubarak's  thugs and supporters. The huge million people rally we witnessed yesterday that was peaceful Tsunami of People who said no to Mubarak's three decades of tyranny was not at all satisfied by his last night speech, not going for another election , set up in motion for "orderly transfer" and "free and fair " election in next fall in September.

Mubarak's "patriotic" words, "I am a soldier and I fought for this country and I will only die in Egypt "seems a line that mobilized his supporters. Some even say they are only just patriotic not even Mubarak supporters. I am not sure about that. The peaceful mass uprising participants were attacked by Mubarak's supporters, stone were flying even we saw people with camels charging and knocking down people children, women and the elderly.

Is this stability the West was calling for ? It is indeed a sad morning for all of us who were following the week long uprising throughout Egypt and especially the huge crowd of at Tahrir Square day and night, women, children, young and old. There was no single incident and those who happened to be out today to say that they are not at all going until Mubarak step down were  attacked.

As of now we have not heard from President Obama. One retired Egyptian General was begging Al Jazzera English to contact the Obama office and to let the president condemn this escalation and possible bloodbath. The army up to now is trying to separate the pro Mubarak from anti-Mubarak. It failed to defend the defenseless people like it did defend the Mubarak palace from angry crowd who were to march to his palace yesterday.

The Pro Mubarak groups are knocking everyone on the way to take over the Tahrir Square. Rocks are flying and I wonder how many people are going to be injured and even killed. The peaceful uprising is now turned into bloodshed by Mubarak thugs. If the West has any credibility left it is this time to call for Mubarak to step down because he has divided Egypt and responsible for the coming Instability in Egypt. Egypt is now under military rule who swear not to fire to people but witnessing innocent people knocked down close to their tanks by thugs.

The fact of the matter is among the pro Mubarak supporters there were polices joining the rally to punish the anti-Mubarak supporters. The battle to takeover the Tahrir Square is still underway as of this moment. One thing which will remain for all pro democracy supporters of the Egyptian uprising all over the world is Mubarak has survived this uprising because of the West standing with him.

America will go to war to topple a dictator like  Saddam Hussein but it also stands with their man like Mubarak who worked for their interest at the expense of their people. it is sad but a reality. I wonder how many people in Egypt for that matter in the Arab world turns into  anti-America by President Obama inaction. His flowery words about  freedom and democracy will be known for what it is but the spirit of Tahrir Square will energize all of us who are struggling to topple western supported tyranny in our own country.