Saturday, January 27, 2007

Yacob's Open Letter from Prison

I just read Dr. Yacob Hailemariam's open letter to the Ethiopian people and the judges adjudicating on the spurious charges of sedition and genocide made against him and his Kinijit colleagues by the Ethiopian regime. It's an inspiring as well as educational message that every single Ethiopian needs to read. I can't imagine how depressing and helpless Yacob and his colleagues feel by their unjust incarceration, but it's quite heartening to read their commitment to the cause that put them in jail. I had the privilege of meeting Yacob in a couple of meetings in the late 90's. It pains me greatly that such a gentle person who is of immense intellectual capacity is treated by his fellow countrymen like this. I hope and pray that truth and justice will soon prevail in their case as well as the cases of the thousands of other political prisoners in Ethiopia. If you have not yet read Yacob's open letter, I urge you to read it now. Here is the English translation of the letter.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Justice, Revenge, Forgiveness

Carpe Diem Ethiopia has a brilliant posting titled "Revenge: A Dish Best Served with Civility" that is worth your time to read. He discusses the opportunity missed by the Iraqi government to show civility with their bungling of the hanging of Saddam Hussein and compares that with the sentencing of Mengistu Hailemariam and the other Red Terror defendants. He lauds the Ethiopian High Court for the life sentence decision it handed out to the defendants last week, but wonders out loud whether the decision was made for them in the palace for political purposes. Carpe Diem Ethiopia reminds Ethiopians that forgiveness is more powerful than revenge and that the cycle of violence that started with Mengistu must come to an end.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

America's Role in Somalia

In an opinion piece in today's Christian Science Monitor, Russ Feingold, the Wisconsin Democratic Senator concedes "Ethiopia may have won a tactical success in Somalia," but he contends that Ethiopia has "failed to deliver a strategic victory because no one – not the international community, or Ethiopia itself – was prepared for the consequences." He talks about his recent meeting with Meles Zenawi and suggests three concrete steps the US Government needs to take to bring stability to Somalia and the Horn of Africa region. I endorse his assessment and recommendations. Please find the article here.

Monday, January 08, 2007

This Music is Really Good for You!

I am in the mood for some respite from the crazy world of Ethiopian politics. I suspect some of you are, too. So please sit back, relax and enjoy these two videos from YouTube. The first one is an amazing guitar rendition of Johann Pachelbel's Canon in D Major by a South Korean who goes by the name FunTwo. The second one is from an equally impressive spoon sliding guitar virtuoso, the South African Hannes Coetzee. Enjoy!