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Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Bitweded Sultan Ali Mirah, the Voice of Ethiopian Unity !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

I would like to extend my condolence to the Afar community in the diaspora and to the people of Afar from Red Sea port of Asab to the highland of Desse and to the plains of Awash valley for the passing away of Bitweded Sultan Ali Mirah, the beloved leader of the Afar people and the Unity Voice of Ethiopia. I happen to learn about this wise and generous leader during the Imperial regime of Haile Selassie when Sultan Ali Mirah comes to his guest house in Addis Ababa  where I grew up.

Our local community/Eder sent its elderly representatives to talk to Sultan about his community where he has a guest house. Their journey saved our "Eder" thanks to the generous gift of Sultan. He donated them 10,000 Bir at that time the equivalent of $5,000 dollar. In a current rate more than 200,000 Bir, a lot of money.

Why I brought this story of kindness more than two decades ago is because I still remember it as if it is today. This generous man came into my heart when I was a high school boy where One Bir was precious, can buy you a lot of things. For our "Eder" it is like winning a Lotto. I have admired this man since then and I was sad to hear Derg try to kill him. Sultan was exiled by Derg for almost two decades. I was one of the luckiest to live and work in Dubti, Lower Awash Valley of Ethiopia,  in 1980s where I learned a lot and know  about the proud people of Afar.

Unless you live with the Afar people it  is not possible to know them. Afars are proud and gentle people. No wonder such people produced a giant like Bitweded Sultan Ali Mirah. I heard about him in Logia, Dubti, Serdo, Banda, Assaita, Afambo Bati, Desse and Asab that he was a kind man who lived his people life and worked his best to bring health and education to them.

Most of all he and the late professor Asrat Woldeyse commitment to United Ethiopia is unparalleled. They warned Ethiopians early on during  TPLF/Shabia rule of Ethiopia, Ethiopia should  remain united.  TPLF and Shabia waged war on the Afar people before Eritrean Referendum in 1990s to make sure that the people of Afar will not stand on their way. Many Afars were killed but the struggle of the people of Afar for united Ethiopia by Afars continued. The sold out like Mohamada Gas who was exiled in London and many others from America are now profiting from the blood of the Afar people by joining the Divide and Loot wing of TPLF in the name of the Afar people.

TPLF propagandists without any shame are sending their condolence on the passing away of Sultan Ali Mirah. We know that the vision of TPLF and Sultan Ali Mirah remains incompatible. Sultan was for Unity with Dignity, for tolerance, did not target any ethnic group for revenge. Two decades of Ethiopia under TPLF did a lot of damage on the people of Afar and the struggle to remain Ethiopian is a gift Bitweded Sultan Ali Mirah passed to the young generation of the proud people of Afar. Ethiopian Flag will always fly high on the Afar Desert.

A man I learned about his kindness as a teenager passed away but my admiration for him still intact. Whenever I see the Ethiopian flag waves high, Bitweded Sulatn Ali Mirah and the people of Afar comes to my mind. Let him rest in peace.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Open Letter to Howard University Administration !!!!

Dear The Howard University Administration,

I was saddened to hear the mistreatment of peaceful Ethiopian protesters by your security officers  on April 9 afternoon meeting on your campus. University Securities illegally removed Ethiopians who were asking questions in the hall. The officers do not understand the language of the meeting and surprised by their active role to identify who is who if that was indeed their role and take action on those peacefully standing to ask questions.

Is the role of the University Security  to side with one group in the meeting hall ? This is totally against freedom of speech and assembly. The security was following orders from the Ethiopian regime propagandists to take the illegal action. By allowing the meeting to continue while the fire alarm was blaring proves that the security is buying to the propagandists claim that this was not "fire" rather oppositions attempt to disrupt the meeting and on the way broke also the fire code of Washington D.C. That needs further investigation.

The Howard Security serving the interests of few while criminalizing the majority both inside and outside peaceful protest has tarnished the image of  the university. The late action to disperse the meeting by the University though commendable I say is too little too late. The Ethiopian Diaspora surrounding D.C. needs explanation for the bias role the Howard Security Officers played on the handling of the crisis they faced on April 9.


Tedla Asfaw

New York City

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia

Tedla Asfaw

I read a comment on USA Ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald E. Booth, interview by Ethiopian Journalist, Eskinder Nega, in Amharic, posted on websites. Ambassador Booth said that the  2010 so called election is accepted by the people of Ethiopia, the 99.6 percent win maybe the highest recorded in Africa. Can we call it  "Election Development", "Ye Limate Mircha " ? Is the Ambassador suggesting that  " popular " endorsement of the election by the rally Meles Zenawi organized in Addis Ababa following the fake election to condemn Human Right Watch  report  ? I hope not.

USA policy makers followed similar election endorsement after Mubarak's 80 percent win of the recent fake election. I do not want to waste the Ambassador's  time on what happened in 2011 in Egypt. If he is  trying to be a spokesman for Meles Zenawi he will be proven wrong soon. Ethiopians rejected Meles' regime in 2005 and no miracle is performed in the last five years for Meles and his mafia party to win the hearts and minds of Ethiopians by 99.6 percent like the Ambassador alleged on his interview.

USA Ambassadors in Ethiopia, some of them, are known for telling the truth when they retire from that position. I questioned former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Yamamoto on  Straight Talk Africa during the Tunisian uprising and told him how he sabotaged the Ethiopian popular uprising in 2005 following the stolen election. He told us that he was working very hard for opposition leaders to be released behind the scene. USA Ambassadors in Ethiopia are representing their country interest not the interest of Ethiopians. Their interest is to keep their puppets as long  as it takes.

Ambassador Booth can only stay in Addis Ababa if he is acting like TPLF spokesman in public and behind the scene begging Meles Zenawi to take it easy not to embarrass USA. Obama is indeed not different from Bush when it comes to Ethiopia and so did their Ambassadors. For USA, Mubarak was an ally so did Saleh of Yemen and Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia.

Meles Zenawi and Saleh of Yemen are treated as poor allies while Saudi is American rich ally that can pay the masses to shut their mouth. America is not demanding   freedom in Saudi for not upsetting the Wahhabi rulers who are exporting many of their people to fight around the Muslim world " American injustice"  and their corrupt rule. Saleh of Yemen is killing American enemies so why should America care if he gunned down Yemenis demanding freedom like Tunisians and Egyptians..

Mr. Ambassador,  Meles Zenawi two decades  rule has never been by popular mandate but by brute force  until we Ethiopians rise up and overthrow him like Egyptians and Tunisians did, he will remain in power. I hope you witnessed the glimpse of what to come in Ethiopia on weekend. Thousands of Ethiopians this past weekend in D.C. and major cities in USA and Canada started popular Tsunami. The Tsunami that started in North America will vibrate across Atlantic and energize Ethiopians to start their overdue Revolution to sweep Meles and his mafia gangs from power.

Mr. Ambassador, by the way  Do you know that VOA is jammed in Ethiopia ? Why is tax payers money is wasted on the program that is jammed at this  time of budget austerity in USA  ?  Please do not waste tax payer money.If you have courage follow the German government example and demand answer publicly.

As I told  Ambassador Yamamoto,  Ethiopians will not be part of any fake elections sponsored by America no more. Freedom in Ethiopia comes only by popular uprising. Are you going to be with the people or Meles' security ? Please do not arm and finance our killers.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Boycotting the " Art Show" in Harlem, New York City !!!!

Tedla Asfaw

The Ethiopian  Rally on Saturday April 9 in front of the Adam Clayton Plaza in Harlem  is mainly to educate New Yorkers on what is going on the second floor, "Art Show".The letter we received from Ethiopian Mission in New York is not about "Art", it is a political gathering by the dictatorial regime of Ethiopia. Many things have been said about this regime by human right organizations and I am not going to waste time here. This is a continuation of the Art of Cheating, "election", "Growth" and " Investment"  in Ethiopia for the last two decades, now on its  high gear after TPLF was defeated by popular vote in 2005.

Ethiopia under the current regime for the last two decades is a country that drove many educated people to exile because if you are not joining their "Art Show " you have no Right to Live in your own country. These same people are following the Ethiopian Diaspora they chase to "invest" his or her money to keep the ruling tribal elite for "infinity". On a recent interview TPLF/EPRDF Ambassador to United Nations,Tekeda Alemu, clearly told us politics is now a domain of the few elites and the masses have just to harvest the fruit of Meles Zenawi "Growth and Transformation".

Therefore booking the meeting as "Art Show" is not by accident it is how the regime operates, cheating all the way, call it Tomahawk cheating across Atlantic. The "Growth" and Transformation" in the next five years "contract" under TPLF/EPRDF is not new. There has been growth and transformation for the very few and  millions of Ethiopian lives,however, is getting worst day to day. Egyptians and Tunisians revolted not for piece of bread but for liberty. But, Ethiopian revolution first and foremost is going to be for  the right to feed oneself by putting all resources to our people. You can not build any democracy with empty belly or by food aid from West. Thirty years of subsidy by the West did not stop the Egypt revolution and it will not stop the coming Ethiopian revolution.

This "Growth and Transformation" has been going on for the very few and why it has now become a Diaspora Project is clear for all Ethiopians. Our people back home are living in empty belly and  fear. Ethiopians are forbidden to come out on street to show their grievances, a right to feed themselves and their children, live without fear.The West so called Aid to Ethiopia is to feed our people so that they will not revolt. Make no mistake Ethiopians have no less aspiration to  that of  Egyptians, Tunisians, Yemenis, Libyans and Bahrain for freedom. Poverty does not mean we have no aspiration for liberty. We showed to the whole world more than five years ago that our poverty is mainly a result of  unaccountable rulers  and real Growth and Transformation can only be achieved by empowering the Ethiopian people.

The supporters of this regime are now on mission to "empower" the Diaspora. Living  in a democracy we know what freedom is, without political freedom there is no economic freedom. First and foremost the right to freely express yourself, the right of free assembly and the right to vote for your representatives on all stages of government.

Ethiopia is now Saudi Arabia without oil. The rulers are for life unchallenged and even cross borders to squash any protest that will undermine their hold on power, Saudi did it this month by going to Bahrain destroying the popular uprising. The Ethiopian regime crossed to Somalia on Christmas 2006 and kill a  lot of Somalis on its two year occupation. The drum war against Eritrea at present is a continuation of that, destroy anything which threaten their hold to power. "Destroying" Diaspora, the voice of the voiceless Ethiopians, is the main agenda of the "Art Show".

Both these regimes are supported by USA previous and current administration. The West claims "national interest" in Persian Gulf and in Ethiopia they have a regime that contracted itself to the USA war to fight "Islamic Extremism" in Somalia . Eighty millions of Ethiopians do not deserve the freedom the Tunisians and Egyptians got by their popular uprising. The reason is Meles Zenawi is good for America even if it is bad for 80 million Ethiopians.

Like the Yemen people who are now more than a month on revolt they have to be slaughtered to keep the West backed Saleh on power as is called by Secretary of Defense, Bob Gates, in many occasions. West has national interest in Yemen and if that interest collides with the freedom of millions let it be. The value of freedom we dearly hold here in America is traded for  tyranny, fighting few  fringe "fanatics' who are flourishing under tyranny itself.

Make no mistake it is Saudi Arabia and Libya who exported fighters to fight USA in Iraq than any other country.Tyranny is not helping fighting  any extremism, it is a breeding ground for many fanatics. September 11 is a good example for that, Saudi extremists attacked the wrong target. We have been saying that the West siding with the totalitarian regime of Ethiopia for two decades is a bad investment like it was exposed in Egypt.

Ethiopians are demanding freedom like Egyptians, Tunisians, Yemenis,  Bahrain and Libyans. We have been calling on many times through writings and rallies. Our recent rally in New York last September at Columbia University denouncing  the presence of Meles Zenawi was a success and we reached to the Colombian Community that giving platform for human right abusers in this age is shameful and should be condemned by all.

The April 9 rally in Harlem will educate the the Harlem community why we should not give platform to  human right abusers. Had our people had such liberty no need for such rally.However, those who shut our people mouth in Ethiopia can not shut our mouth here because we are not afraid or intimidate by them.

The thousands who will come out this coming Saturday  in Harlem and throughout America cities including Canada each of us is carrying the voice of  hundred thousand of our people.We are proud of doing it. We will expose the "Growth and Transformation" fiasco in its true nature,  "Greed and Transaction", selling the land of our country and Ethiopians, cheap "Transaction" driven by total Greed by very few tribal elites. We will not be part of such "Art Show" !!!!!!