Sunday, February 24, 2008

Eternal Woyane with NO Apology! In Memory of Lekatit 11

By A.G. Michael, Canada
Feb. 21 2008

“Civility is not a sign of weakness”, asserted J.F. Kennedy sometime during the Cold War Era, when the USA and the USSR were vying for global hegemony. Civility, and respecting democratic rights of others were enshrined in the strategic institutional arrangements of Woyane II. This was done long before the armed struggle was declared 33 years ago on Lekatit 11 at Dedebit. The unique social values, norms, tradition, and history that characterize the Tigraian culture were essential building blocks of the social, economic, political, and military institutions of Woyane II. That is why Dergue, with its largest military machine in Africa, which was sustained by sophisticated spy system and military hardware of the USSR, was humiliated and annihilated in the hands of the heroes and heroines of Woyane II.

Unfortunately, the present day chauvinists do not appear to get it. Their stupidity is always revealed through their behavior of interpreting the Tigraian civility as a sign of weakness and fear. They should have read the history of Woyane I, the first Tigaian revolution that humiliated and forced Emperor Haile Selassie to seek help from a foreign power. In 1943, when Tigrai was nearly to be administered fully by its sons and daughters, Haile Selassie begged for help of the British Empire. Authorized by him (Haile Selassie), the British Air Force mercilessly bombed towns, villages, and marketplaces to force Tigrai into submission. Those savage acts were during Woyane I. Yes, the British got involved in the internal affairs of Ethiopia to defend the Aristocratic Monarchy of Haile Selassie. The Tigraian heroes and heroines did not have the military means to stand against the British Imperial Air Force. Consequently, Woyane I was suppressed temporarily until 1975, when Woyane II was born on Lekatit 11.

Dergue repeated Haile Selassie’s brutal savagery during the bitter-armed struggle (1975-1991). It bombed churches, schools, towns, villages, and marketplaces (e.g., the Hawzien market day massacre). Similarly, during the 2005 elections, as the Ethiopian High Court found out, the Inthra Hamwee of Addis Ababa, a collection of remnant elements of Dergue and some shortsighted intellectuals, conspired to commit genocide against Tigraians. It was amazing to discover that the so-called intellectuals were indoctrinated in Western universities to manufacture havoc in Addis Ababa and elsewhere in Ethiopia, using poor, unemployed, and uneducated hooligans. The conspiracy was to do exactly what the Inthrra Hamwee (barbaric militia) of the Rewandan Hutssies did against their fellow Rewandese, the Tutssies. For that, the High Court found all leaders of the Addis Ababa Inthra Hamwee conspiracy guilty as charged beyond any reasonable doubt; and sentenced them for life imprisonment. The developments after the High Court passed its verdict are for next time to be told in detail.

But, there are two fundamental questions that are not answered yet: (1) Why does one ethnic group, which was part of all the evil deeds of Haile Selassie and Dergue, exhibit so deeply seated hatred against Tigraians? Why do the chauvinists from that ethnic group interpret cool headedness, calculative patience, civility, and farsightedness as timidity and fearfulness? The answer is simple. They are so ignorant, arrogant, and ethnocentrically foolish. They keep refusing to learn the lessons of Woyane Tigrai. The lessons of equality, justice, peace, and development for all Ethiopians within the framework of a true democratic constitution are not and never will be palatable for foolishly arrogant chauvinists and for the self-serving opportunists.

The self-serving opportunists, who claim to be Tigraians, are the worst of them all. Their treachery is beyond words can explain. They do not seem to get it. Not only that they are colluding with the enemies of Tigrai, they are also roaming around the world to trade the Rights and Freedoms of their own people for their individual selfish ambitions to grab political “fame” and power. There are also cyber space and radio wave stooges who write and talk on behalf of these opportunists. Shame on them all!

In closing, a few final words are in order. It must be clear to the chauvinists, the opportunists, and the stooges that the Tigraian masses, along with the masses of other nations, nationalities, and peoples, are and will always be on guard to defend their hard won democratic rights. Particularly the people of Tigrai will never be complacent, because they realize that they have been and are the lead players in defending the Ethiopian revolution, which has ushered in a total socioeconomic and political transformation. To that end, as Asghedom (2000) put it, “Today, the people of Tigrai highly value the achievements of their bitter struggle. They are determined to stand steadfastly on guard of their Woyane for eternity. The founding fathers and all the rest of us will die. But, Woyane is eternal. Its torch will be passed on to generation from generation to generation... continue!”. By Asghedom Ghebremicael In the present day Ethiopia, therefore, the people understand pretty well that defending the ongoing democratic social revolution is the only strategic approach to reaping the benefits of peace, justice, unity, and equality. Then, the war against the pervasive and abject poverty will be won. That is why we all should say eternal Woyane with no apology!

THE REASONS THAT LEAD TO DEDBIT

By Solomon
Feb. 20 2008


During his speech honoring 33rd anniversary of TPLF founding, Mr. Meles pleaded for the younger generation to carry the torch of the struggle to its final conclusion, which is to defeat poverty. In fact for those who do not know the history of Ethiopia in general, and Tigray in particular poverty was the source that lead to the founding of TPLF. Many of you who have no history of the problems that were facing Tigray.

In those days Tigray was the heart of illiteracy, and poverty. Like all the other Ethiopians provinces, the Derge did not helped economically, and it did not give its native a chance to help themselves as well. In fact the primary duty of the fat generals of Derge at that time was to hinder the Ethiopian people from helping themselves economically. That been the case the children of Ethiopia rose to fight poverty. Many clever politicians who are anti-TPLF argue that Tigreans were persuaded by EPLF and Ethiopia’s enemy to fight the Derge. Therefore, TPLF could not be considered a nation wide struggle. This is a cleverly manipulation of true history, or maybe those who write history now were not in Ethiopia at that time.
Some politicians and historians had no clue what was taking place in Ethiopia Thirty three years ago. How can they do? Most of the well educated elites do not know the life of an average Ethiopian. Many of these Ethiopians were the sons and daughters of Addis Abba elite. These Addis Ababa elite could not identify with the average Ethiopian who lives in the provinces. They equate the whole Ethiopia with Addis Ababa.

Well my friends who see Ethiopia through the lens of Addis Ababa, perhaps maybe you should interview people who lived in the provinces thirty three years ago. Perhaps I can volunteer to be interviewed for you guys, because I lived the hellish life of those days. I was fortunate enough to survive, but I have very close relative who were not fortunate to survive. I have family who died of hunger, family who died in neighboring country while searching for food. I remember the days when I slept with empty stomach for many days. Unfortunately my story is not unique. My life was a typical life of a Tigrean during that time. It was during those terrible conditions that TPLF was born. TPLF was born to tackle the dire poverty that was grinding the Ethiopian people. However, in order for TPLF to tackle poverty, it had to destroy the Derge.

It’s been seventeen years since the Derge has been destroyed. Since then TPLF’s policy has been to entice Ethiopians to build their nation. In fact the current government goes the extra mile to attract investors to Ethiopia. Its whole commitment is to wipe out poverty from Ethiopia. No opposition political group wills every say that EPRDF ever hindered them from developing their country. In fact there have not been any groups or individuals who have complied about EPRDF hindering their attempt to build their neighborhood, city, and nation. These facts attest to the true nature of EPRDF, which is to wipe out poverty from Ethiopia.

Therefore, Mr. Meles the message that you passed during the 33rd anniversary of TPLF is well taken. Yes, all Ethiopians must recognize the opportunity that has been opened for them to build their nation. Instead of digging reasons and trouble to hinder progress of the nation, the main reason and purpose should be to develop our country economically. We should fight poverty individually and collectively. Then if we run out of challenges we can discuss Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Prime minister Meles Zenawi is a mortal human being like me

By Gezaee Hailemichael
Feb. 11 2008


Response to Solomon

Thank you Solomon for the response. Solomon, I have told the truth. I am not afraid of prime minister Meles Zenawi. He is a mortal human being like me who live under the sun like me. I do not think I can make the mistakes he has been doing again and again in his era of reign.
About Melaku, I did not side with Melaku; writing about his grievances does not mean I sided with him. I know his story only. I have no means to know the other story. However I know many people have been asking the prime minister to do something about Mekele University since 7 years ago. I have heard many people asking why Prime Minister Meles Zenawi skipped Mekele University when he was arresting people for corruption when he was rounding people who challenge him by corruption charge. I may not have the other sides story, but I have many stories about Mekele University. I have heard many stories about this University for the past 7 years.

You said he has no time to address every problem, he must have efficient and clean system then he can address every problem. Where I live I can even talk to my prime minister if I wish why not Meles? What is he? He cannot address a problem in one University for 7 years? When will he then have time to address any of the problems?

If you know the case which caused Melaku to be stripped off his citizenship, why do not tell us? We need to know we have rights to know.

In further, I did not use aggressive language, I am not in Ethiopia, I am free to speak the truth. There is no repression where I live I am free. Mentioning the wrong things he has done is not aggressive. Where I live whether it is the prime minister or any citizen does not go away everything one does. Every one is responsible for ones action whether it is the prime minister or someone else.

If the prime minister cannot address one problem in 7 years, he must resign, and give to some body who can the job?

The problem is that Prime Minister does everything in Ethiopia. He is the lawyer. He is the doctor. He is the education Minister. He is Defense Minister. He is the Universities Chancelor. He is the Health Minister. He is everything. That is why he cannot address all the problems because there is no labour division. He does not work with people. he works alone. That is the main problem. Otherwise, he could have delegated other people or the ministers and higher education commissioners could have done their job.

The other thing, in democracy no one go away with ones ill-deeds. In democracy everyone is responsible for ones own misdeeds. No one is immune to the question of ones misdeeds.
Solomon, if you are close to prime minister Meles Zenawi, please tell him: The maxim that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s mission that Ethiopia’s enemy number one is poverty. Tell him poverty has a cause because every problem has a cause. Poverty is the effect of a cause. Ethiopia’s enemy number one is the cause of poverty. What is the cause of poverty? The cause of poverty is injustice, oppression, repression, corruption, ignorance, Arrogance. Ethiopia’s enemy number main enemies are indescribable internalized oppression which has been implanted in all of us from our early stage. It is not easy to be free from the repression which is born with us from unjust rulers of the past. That is why Meles never see all the injustice and further repression he has been committing on our people. The fact that he thinks he is better than the rest of Ethiopians. The fact the strip off Ethiopians their citizenship and their humanity because he was born repressed like all Ethiopians.

The solution for this must be Siye Abraha’s new thinking platform. Prime Minister Meles is stuck with an inborn repressiveness. That is why he strip off his own people their rights and dignity. Ethiopians have been dying because of him? He depriving their right to live on this earth? He is a person who loves to live in conflict and bloodletting, that is why he did not want to finish the war with Eritrea because he loves to rule in constant conflict. ? That is why he ignited an endless new war in Somalia which will keep Ethiopians bleeding and he keep on reigning.
I thought he could end up a wise person, but he has been getting worse all the time. Meles is an Ethiopian who believe Ethiopia must be landlocked. Prime Minister is some one who believe he cannot do development work without war.

Solomon, I have a right to critize Prime Minister for all the wrong things he does . It is my inborn right to say wrong is wrong and right is right. I know that right does not exist in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the most repressed country that is why it is the poorest country on the planet. The root of that poverty is we are conditioned to live repressed and whoever come to power is repressed and repressive. That is why no one is solving Ethiopia’s problems. Every repressed is coming and make it all worse. Mengistu came with his repression and repressed Ethiopia. Meles came with his repression saying Ethiopia must be landlocked and must live in war. And even after he won the war he said he finished the war. Meles is a big part of the Ethiopian problem than a solution of Ethiopian problem. A man who chase his citizen and who invite even Satans who have money. That is why Ethiopian commercial bank was buying stones instead of gold? In the 21 century buying fake stone gold?

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Democracy and fairness should be applied to all members of society.

By Solomon
Feb. 09 2008


Response To Gezaee Hailemichael
Democracy and fairness should be applied to all members of society. Therefore, as a memember of society Meles also deserves freedom and justice from those who accuse him of been a despot. Now, I am not implying that Meles is a democrat, or a tyrant, what I am suggesting is that we should not convict Meles of all the crime that takes place in Ethiopia. Meles does not have time to evaluate the daily routine of all the institution of Ethiopia. Therefore, what I want to plead to you Gezaee and other Ethiopians is that when we see the system we have to work hard to solve that system. In my opinion shifting the blame on one individual will not bring solutions to the ills of many Ethiopian institutions.

I do not have one absolute answer how those ills can be corrected. However, I know for sure blamingMeles without weighing facts does not seem a wise choice. For example, Gezaee you posted an email or a letter of Melaku, but all the facts and accusations are coming from Melaku? How do you take sides without listening to the other part of the story? As they say there is two sides to every story. Therefore, immediately jumping on Melaku’s side does not make sense. It’s good to first analyze both sides of the story. Then finally you can make a decision as to who made the mistake. However, when you quickly jump to Melaku’s side, you are also practicing favoritism? Therefore, Gezaee I want to remind you for the need to practice what we preach.

Finally, I would like to advice all the participant of this great discourse of the uselessness of aggressive language when we try to make a point . In my opinion aggressive language can not provoke democracy. In fact aggressive language provokes confrontation. Therefore, my fellow county men and women it’s important for us to learn to disagree in a very constructive manner. I believe this is the best way to build a solid democracy.

Friday, February 08, 2008

An Open Letter to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi

By Gezaee Hailemichael
Feb. 08 2008


Honorable Prime Minister,

Nowadays I have evolved to be the roxysm of Ethiopian politics. Today while I was reading about development stories in Ethiopia, I bumped into an article which says eight million Ethiopians are in need of food aid. The story of Ethiopian famine, misery, backwardness, … appears not to come to an end. Ethiopian problems seem to be deep-rooted. The root of our problem is deep internalized oppression, repression. Repression normality conformed by our society. I think it is time to walk the talk. I am taking the liberty to voice my concern about the University called Mekele University.

I have heard many stories about Mekele University. These include Nepotism in the University’s administration and services, corruption, repression or the absence of Academic freedom. Very recently I have read an article written by an American Professor from Mekele University. The American writer stated clearly the awfulness of Mekele University. From all my readings, it seems Mekele University appears to be different from the rest of Ethiopian Universities. Mekele University has become the center of repression.

Basically an education institution is supposed to be center of new ideas, innovation, creativity, justice, impartiality, tolerance, high virtues… and a boiler plate of freedom. One will anticipate Mekele University to have satellite freedom and justice clinics everywhere at community levels at least in the nearby communities. However, Mekele University leave alone to be a beacon of freedom, justice, impartiality, equality,… for the society at large, we have heard many stories about this University of embarrassment, administrated by repression.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, is this story true? Hereunder is the story of the victim of Mekele University:

Dear Tslal Tegaru,

My name is Melaku Tefera Gebreyesus. I was teaching at Mekelle University. I was full-fledged Associate professor. I was the first research and publication officer of the university. I established the faculty of veterinary science at Mekelle university and elsewhere in Ethiopia, several laboratories, farms etc. Before I joined Mekelle University I was teaching at Addis Ababa University, I was assistant professor, I have studied in France and Japan I could have lived abroad or stay in Addis, despite I was in comparative disadvantage joining young university with little resource, I was happy as I was contributing something to the region. During 17 years after I returned from France, I have never taken sabbatical leave even annual vacation. I was given no land or duty free cars .While even my recent students had chance to import cars. Despite I have teaching and research experience of 25 years. My slogan was quality education, productive and skilled citizens, innovation and diversification of field of study, rather than repetition of biology chemistry... through out Ethiopia! In addition I was contributing to my ability to other regional offices in Tigray. But Mekelle University administration is corrupt there is no academic freedom, they always plagarise my contribution. The region administration knows only few people others like me are silenced. I have been rejected several times scholarships and study leaves by the university. While other staff were enjoying such rights. Tigray is for all of us!!

In brief I worked hard and I fulfilled the criteria for promotion to full professor which was assessed abroad by international professors and Ethiopian professors and approved by the faculty. I was denied this promotion. The criteria which was used by the Ministry of education, Addi's Ababa University, Awassa University, Alemaya University states to be a professor one needs "four solo authored publications in reputable journal" or "two publications and a text book". However, the Mekelle University legislation (I was involved as core team in drafting it) "four solo authored publications and two publications and text book!!!!!!"? ???? which is grammatically wrong either it should have been 6 Publication and text book it is an orthograph (Typing) error instead of and it should have been or. And I should have been promoted just like any other Ethiopian in Other universities. Finally they cut my salary for an act I did not committed, which clearly shows the autocratic dictatorial administration. I am forced to run from injustice. Now why do you cry for help??? What kind of person are you looking? It appears your plead is for naive Tigrians.I do not think that there is good ground for some one to go and serve.

Tell me if the situation improved, if any of the Mekelle Administration could discuss face to face with me and you and the public to judge. Any way, if the university could admit and write me a letter an official excuse for the act they committed particularly suppressing my promotion and cutting my salary. I might compromise my present Job and return back to try once again. Your Sincerely Melaku

Honorable Prime Minister, when people do not agree with your ideology, you strip off their citizenship, dignity, integrity. This is exactly what you did to Siye Abraha. You stripped him his dignity, integrity, humanity and you enacted and drafted a new law overnight and you incarcerated him for six years for no good reasons and or the corruption charges you have failed to provide evidence. To take you back, when you first set your foot in the addis palace, you chased 40 University professors because they objected to your ideology. You also ejected your party members because they opposed your ideology. You also incarcerated Professor Asrat Woldeyesus and died in prison because he openly opposed your ideology. All these victims are because of your policy about Eritrea. Time has proved your ideology has been wrong and misguided. It did cost Ethiopians countless precious lives. Ethiopians are still dying everyday in Somalia and in Ethiopia as a result of your misguided philosophy and ideology. It sounds that as long as you are on power talking about development, the abnormality of dying Ethiopian has been conformed by our society as normality. The normality of the abnormality in our society.

Honorable prime minister, if you really believe in democracy, you do not have any right to strip off the citizenship of our people. You have had now a long experience in all facets of life and work. If you are really a democrat, the Universities you are instituting like Mekele University should have not stripped off the right of our citizen. The above person stated that he had been committed for 17 years helping his citizen, but you or your colleagues threw him out and now he is France forced to leave his country.

Honorable Prime Minister, when will your administration stop stripping off our people their dignity, integrity, and humanity? I can assure you, a repressed society can never develop. Believe me, the repressed explodes and blow apart. You talk about poverty being Ethiopia’s one main enemy. Let me tell you one thing, when one addresses a problem to solve the problem, one has to study the cause of the problem before starting to solve the problem. Cause and effect analysis has to be done. Then one can solve the problem by attacking the root cause of the problem to eradicate the problem. Even if one collect zillions of money and accumulates exaion tones of grains or food, one cannot solve the problem.

Neither the buildings in Addis Ababa or somewhere nor Almouldi ‘s new hotel development or cement factories will not solve our problem. If you are talking about building, I think South Africa has the best buildings, I have seen many part of the world, and I have not seen fascinating buildings like In South Africa. South Africa has 10 multibillion multinational companies. The per capita of South Africa is the top in Africa by counting the few richest people’s money in the bank of the country and dividing to the people who never use that money. But the truth is that 90 % black South Africans who are about 95 % of the South African population are still homeless and do not have a proper house to live. The oligarchy in South Africa live the most luxurious life on earth, above any standard on the planet. The most affluent life style, their earthly paradise secured by high tech cutting edge electronic security and communication system. The majority of South Africans are treated like zombies. This is the story of the richest country in Africa.

If you and your colleagues are chasing and throwing away the educated citizen who wanted to do a difference in their country whereas People like Mr Almouldi are having hundreds of companies, this type of development paradigm appears to be phony and you are only creating few riches and the majority poor.

To wrap my message, I suggest you root out repression from out society so that you we can eradicate poverty, otherwise, rubbing out of the surface of the our problem without addressing our main problem will not solve our problem. In order to solve our problem, our society need to enjoy freedom, fairness, justice,… without any prejudices. I suggest the professor who is being kicked out of job must be returned to his work in due respect. Neither you nor your colleagues have any right to chase anyone or kick out citizens like this. You say there is a law, but you breach the law yourself before anyone else and you accuse other people breaching the law. You or your colleagues need to obey the law. Every citizen has an equal right with you. Neither you nor your colleagues have any entitlement to infringe the right of citizens arbitrarily as you or they wish. Everyone must respect the law. I suggest you deal with Mekele university so that we do not read all these repression stories.

God bless Ethiopia

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Top terrorist leader killed in Eritrea

Tigri Online
Feb. 07 2008


According to different news websites, Fiseha Haile Mariam Tedla a former high ranking security chief has been killed in western Eritrea about two weeks ago. Fiseha defected to Eritrea around November 2000 and was working with shabiya for the past seven years. Reports indicate he was one of the leaders who were coordinating military activities for the traitors, terrorists and the messengers of destruction in Asmara against the Ethiopian people. So far no one for sure knows who could have killed him.

There are so many speculations flying around about this traitors demise. Some are saying he had a fall out with his masters at the Eritrean government, and since he was a leader of four different rebel groups, he knew too much and shabiya eliminated him.

The other theory is that he was killed by the Ethiopian government.
according to Awate.com his killer might have been a TPLF spy or member of the Eritrean opposition.”Some explain that the perpetrator, an EDF member enlisted in the second round of Sawa, was a renegade or a member of the Eritrean opposition organizations or even a TPLF spy, because he crossed the border since the operation.”awate.com says.

One way or the other this shameful traitor who betrayed his people and defected to our arch enemies met his fate in the wrong land. No matter how angry he was how could he go to Eritrea? Why not going to the Sudan, Kenya or other neighboring countries? It is a shame for a former TPLF fighter to end his life this way.

Shaebiya's bold hypocracy,Siweldu Ayehu Bila Betetwan Talech

By Henok Gamlak
Feb. 05 2008



The rogue government of Shaebya that is ruling its people with an iron fist has released a cautionary message to Eritreans who, due to the repressive nature of shaebya itself, are forced to reside in Kenya. This message simply reveals the hypocrite nature of the ruling junta. These people are living there escaping the totalitarian regime in Eritrea. Many of the Eritrean refugees in Kenya are ex-shaebya soldiers who boycotted the regime and other opposition members living in a relatively peaceful and democratic government. I am sure if the regime happens to apprehend these people, it will throw them in jail incommunicado for 'treason' and 'betrayal'.

Sjaebya is rather doing this to soften the hardened heart of Eritreans who are turning their buck against Isayas and his cychophants.
It is common for democratic countries such as America and others caring much about the welbeing of their countries in times of natural and man-made calamities.Shaebya is simply doing this to pretend that it also cares for the lives of Eritreans in Kenya and other parts of the world. It is a bold hypocracy. What is really happening to the people of Eritrea in the current Eritrea does not attest what shaebya is claiming in its www.shabait.com.

It simply reminds one of what is said to the young of a goat (mahsiE): Siweldu Ayehu Bila Betetwan Talech.
Shabya does not have the moral efficiecny to claim that it cares for the security of these same people who are persecuted for their belief, ethnicity and refusal of forced conscription.

Peace to all

Important Notice to Eritrean nationals in KenyaBy Ministry of Foreign AffairsFeb 5, 2008, 13:14
All Eritrean nationals residing in Kenya are hereby advised to limit their movement and be cautious of possible damage that might be inflicted on their life and property as a result of the escalating crisis in that country.
Ministry of Foreign AffairsAsmara

Seeye Abraha: The Transformative Personality in Ethiopian Politics

By Bereket Kiros
Jan. 24 2008

Introduction
Siye Abraha in Denver
Like many of my compatriots, I had the privilege to attend the meeting organized to have Ato Seeye Abraha address Ethiopians from the Seattle area on January 19, 2008. Thus, my report is that of an eyewitness. The first item that impressed me the most was the fact that there seems to be tremendous interest to listen to the presentation of Seeye. Indeed, it was obvious from his speech that Seeye feels deeply about Ethiopia and Ethiopians. I found him to be a humble and caring person, unlike the propaganda smear by his detractors. Seeye is a person who has been tested and has proven himself as a politician of substance worth listening to, and uniquely qualified to bring together opposing groups and individuals in the singular interest of the unity of Ethiopia. Thus, his one-man mission to meet with fellow Ethiopians in his travels had attracted many thousands in North America, in particularly Washington DC, Denver, and Seattle.

Seeye Abraha captured in his energetic articulation of the inner reality of the diverse political views (lives) of the many feuding Ethiopians and their organizations. Chinua Achebe in his novel ¡§A Man of the People¡¨ narrates about two contrasting groups of people in West Africa. In that novel he describes two characters representing the old and the new generations of politicians. The conflict between the old and the new political systems is portrayed through the two characters as they disagree and quarrel over political views. Seeye likewise captured in his articulation the essence of the ever present conflict between Ethiopian politicians, the new against the old, the leftist against the rightist, the Derg against the democratic et cetera that paralleled the main theme of Achebe's novel.

The most fundamental thing that a leader must do is to construct a compelling and winning vision. Seeye is reexamining the present and past effort of the democratization of Ethiopian politics. His idea, he explained, was aimed at the very foundation of structuring a democratic culture first by getting rid of unnecessary squabbles, by tearing down al walls built between individuals due to personal animosity, and by eliminating boundaries of narrow political aggregations in order for all Ethiopians to march down a truly democratic path. In his address, Seeye focused on contemporary Ethiopian politics in a thoughtful and logical manner. He urged Ethiopians to find a common ground. It was indeed an inspiring vision. (Yechallel). It takes a very disciplined person and tough-minded optimist to champion this noble cause of the unity of Ethiopia and at the same time envision a democratic society. His undaunted hopefulness is simply an extension of his resilience, determination, and faith that kept him going and survive the unbelievable human tragedy that he had to endure.

Seeye appreciated the audience and the organizing committee for having such a decent and engaging platform. He explained the challenges he faced as a person, as an ordinary Ethiopian, coming from the ruling party that he had struggled with most of his adult life. Seeye, as a founder and a member of the Central Committee of TPLF and now as an ordinary person outside that organization, was able to reflect and deduce that the apparatus of the EPRDF to be a repressive and divisive regime. He underscored the unity of all Ethiopians by urging all of us to demolish the barriers that is disfranchising and polarizing the Ethiopian community, in particular the Diaspora community. He emphasized that it is impossible to talk about our country¡¦s future in the context or presence of a highly emotional politics of hate. He expressed his concern that in such practice of raw politics and divisive confrontations, our country can slide into crisis. A divided house cannot produce results. He called upon all Ethiopians to put aside their differences and work together on the issues where it matters most to Ethiopia and Ethiopians. The Diaspora community has a great role to play to help Ethiopia's political development. With the help of the Internet and short wave radio, Seeye underscored the possibility of raising the political consciousness of most Ethiopians at home in Ethiopia and elsewhere. He also pointed out the fact that Ethiopians like to concentrate too much on tiny differences rather than focusing on what binds and units us. He also argued that bargaining and flexibility especially in a political process is a sign of maturity and a sure way to avoid frication.

Ethiopia's Constitution: Law and Order

Ethiopia has a constitution and parliament like other countries, however the ruling party is not abiding by the law it has created. It is a law that punishes people because of their beliefs and political stand. The parliament remains a rubber stamp to the ruling party. It detains first and then drafts a law to charge people. Just as Seeye was imprisoned first without any evidence, many fellow innocent Ethiopians are also behind bars; in particular, Oromo dissidents have been imprisoned without any tangible evidence as to their association with OLF. In the Federal Democratic Ethiopia, it seems the authority of the PM above or supersedes the law of the country. Most of the party establishment, by design and default, serve the ruling party, not their constituency. As we are all aware, establishing a party in Ethiopia is just like opening a kiosk. Such unchecked political power of the PM and the EPRDF has weakened the social fabric of our unity. This environment of partisan and destructive politics must be changed and challenged. If left unchallenged, it will create more division and fragmentation of our country.

Many people may argue that the present development of a few economic sectors is a sign of progress; Seeye pointed out, and further asked a rhetorical question on how it is possible to sustain economic development without solid political foundation. Many nations mainly in Africa fall because of political crisis. Look what is happening in Somalia, in particular Mogadishu, and Kenya now. The Ethiopian political landscape is very treacherous and dangerous to operate, but as a concerned Ethiopian I am optimistic with leaders such as Seeye, we may be entering an era where you and me and all of us together can change the volatile situation in our country before it reaches the point of no return. Seeye stated that he is not a jaded idealist but an individual who is pragmatic and hopeful about the future of Ethiopia. He stated modestly that he has the experience to balance war and peace. He asked the audience to focus on his message and not his person.

Political Stability: Ethiopia and Eritrea

We all are aware of the fact that the Eritrean referendum has not addressed many important issues of border demarcation, citizenship, outlet to the sea, the economy such as the exchange of currency and several very important issues that should have been addressed. Seeye stated, without making excuses, that he was part of the EPRDF leadership and takes full responsibility for such failure. Seeye seems to suggest that the war with Eritrea did not start just because of one single attack, rather there was a long running and festering political and economic wound that has not healed even after the 1993 declaration of independence by Eritrea. Because of such unresolved issues, Ethiopians were finally forced to go to war because of the unprovoked attack of Eritrea.

Seeye agonized over formulating his answer on such long-lasting crucial errors of judgment dealing with Eritrea. He said that it was an eye opening experience for him. Regrettably, EPRDF has again committed another costly mistake because the war was stopped half way. The Algiers Agreement was signed without concrete base and not in the best national interest of Ethiopia. The ruling party EPRDF made a strong case that poverty as a number one enemy. However, the problem of poverty will not be solved if there is political instability. This continuation of hostilities between the Ethiopian and Eritrean governments will not help anyone. Seeye emphatically asserted that Eritreans are our close cousins, and that we are destined to live and work together. Thus, he recommended that the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea forget about the two ruling parties and just work together for the benefit of both brotherly people. EPRDF and EPLF could not bring a lasting peace in this volatile region, but the people could.

Question and answer session

During the vigorous question and answer session, both Seeye and the audience displayed great propriety that would put to shame the cantankerous often-recriminatory debate of the Democratic Party nomination Candidates. Some questions asked at that session were tough, but were asked without any agenda except to learn the answer from such a worth political personality or adversary to some. There were indeed some very serious questions as follows: Why it took you so long to understand the TPLF repressive political structure? And why did the PM consolidate so much power? What went wrong? You and your colleagues invented a ticking bomb, now how do we overcome our differences? Such questions are extremely important and must be answered honestly and clearly. Here is where EPRDF leaders failed, for they mostly respond by glossing over such important questions and hiding behind all sorts of rationalization. To this day the error of the Algiers Agreement is at the very center of our problems which the Leadership is toying with.

Seeye reflected on his detention in his speech. Although he suffered greatly, he was able to transform that injustice as a positive point in his life, for it helped him to reflect and contemplate many of those issues raised in such questions. He said that members of his generation mainly are the byproducts of the Ethiopian students¡¦ movement whose political outlook was shaped by such monumental movement in Ethiopia¡¦s political life.

In case of the TPLF, the trend was leftist ideology based on teaching of Mao and Lenin--the communist ideology based on strict military type of hierarchy. Seeye explained that the TPLF has (had) two branches of programs namely the army section and the ideology branch. The army and the political program both implemented tight rules and rigid political structure among its fighters. Democracy was to be established within the boundaries of democratic centralism. "Peaceful and non-violent method of struggle was not the path we embarked on. All the great people like Mahatma Gandhi and others stood firm on their belief against colonizers to emancipate their people from the yoke of servitude." Seeye stated that he was rebellious and never backed to express his dissenting views that got him in trouble.

The Ethiopian Military Forces

According to Seeye, Ethiopian politics is dangerous and risky. It is extremely difficult to navigate. The only solution is to create conditions where we are able to talk and listen. We have to create inclusive atmosphere where all actors play in a level political field. Politics is a contiguous. It is important to recognize our Ethiopian social and cultural reality, such as our ethnic diversity usually portrayed as ¡§nations and nationalities¡¨ that ought to be seen as our strength rather than be used as a divisive tool. Recognizing and embracing our Ethiopianness must be the order of the day. Seeye pointed out further that political struggle is not only taking power, but has very many other important dimensions. The issue of empowerment of the people of Ethiopia is the only legitimate reason for assuming power. Wisely, Seeye brought up the issue of the role of the military in the political life of Ethiopia. Too often, Ethiopian politicians seem not to be aware of the decisive role that can be played by the Ethiopian military. It seems that our politicians are oblivious of such vital organization that does have the means and power to effect change in whatever form in Ethiopia¡Xour recent history provides clear examples.

Seeye was at his best when he brought up the issue of the great sacrifices Ethiopia¡¦s military forces have paid through out our long history. He said that many individuals have expressed doubts about the role of our military forces in the new democratic Ethiopia. As a former military commander, Seeye emphasized the fact that undermining our defense forces will not help our Ethiopia, and to disband such a great army and start from scratch will be costly. He pointed out that Ethiopia has highly skilled and strong military forces. He emphasized that the few weaknesses we might have, can be rectified easily. He argued that we must build on our strength. "I cherish the commanders of our forces. They are all dedicated, patriotic, and brave soldiers. I have special emotional attachment to our fallen gallant fighters. After I was released, the first thing I did was visit the family of the martyrs."

It is extremely disconcerting and incomprehensible to read in widely read websites and chat group¡¦s vilification of Ethiopia¡¦s heroic military forces. The euphoric writings about the death of Ethiopian soldiers (e.g. the degrading dragging of fallen Ethiopian heroes in Somalia) that are identified as ¡§Woyane soldiers¡¨ in such websites and chat groups are no less than treasonous. How is it impossible for such Ethiopians to appreciate that our military forces are deployed whether in Somalia or elsewhere serving Ethiopia? No matter who is ¡§King¡¨ in Ethiopia, we must support our military forces when engaged even in unpopular conflicts. Especially people living here in the United States have all the opportunity to witness how Americans respect and appreciate the sacrifices of their sons and daughters deployed in a very unpopular war in Iraq. We all must learn to appreciate our fellow Ethiopians serving the nation, and not judge them with our narrow political ambition or perspective. Ethiopia¡¦s Military Forces are precisely that¡XEthiopia¡¦s Military Forces!

Conclusion

In his final remark, Seeye reminded the audience that our Ethiopian political skirmish has become divisive. He emphasized that he does not wish to see Ethiopia sliding to civil war, and he prefers to struggle before anything of the sort would happen. He concluded by saying: "Let us work together to our beloved country where each of you have great roles to play. I care deeply about my people and country, if that produces unnecessary resentment towards me that is fine. I am not running to get sympathy and popularity. I am not a member of any organization for now, because I believe a party must be created through a process and leadership has to be tasted."

No political journey is easy; Seeye¡¦s journey is no exception either. He is giving us alternative views and approaches: a challenge to opposition parties and the EPRDF on how to achieve a democratic Ethiopia through peaceful political processes. He introduced a set of analytical tools and frameworks that show how to navigate on the unchartered and risky political sea of our Ethiopia. He laid the basis of a modern political process through reconciliation and understanding of our political and cultural diversity.