Sunday, March 08, 2009

A Moderate Perspective on Ethiopian Current Affairs

By Fikru Helebo

If there is one word that best characterizes a great majority of the views expressed on this blog, I think it is "moderate" as opposed to "extreme". This is not to suggest that extreme views on either flank of the political spectrum won't be entertained here -- as there are times taking what may be considered an extreme position is the most reasonable thing to do -- but, rather, it is to say that most of the views that you will encounter here advocate seeking the middle ground in Ethiopian politics, the realistic middle that is.

In post-1991 Ethiopia, where the Ethiopian state has been constitutionally subordinated to its constituent ethnic parts (please see Maimire Mennasemay recent superb article), the defining feature of Ethiopian politics has been politics based on ethnic identity. In this environment where ethnic politics reigns supreme, the alignment of the political forces in the country has been predominantly determined by their view on the role ethnic identity should play in the political life of the nation. On the one end of the political spectrum, there are those who advocate the disintegration of Ethiopia along ethnic lines, and on the other end are those who want ethnic identity to play no part in politics.

The Woyane, the incumbent ruling clique of Ethiopia, has politicized ethnicity for their own nefarious reasons. The trick is how to reconcile these two extreme positions by creating a political environment where those who have been marginalized because of their ethnicity can feel confident that their concerns can be satisfactorily addressed in a united Ethiopia. This is why I think a "moderate" point of view on the ethnic issue is the only realistic point of view that will thwart the Woyane hegemony and enable their opponents to replace the Woyane with a democratically elected government.

When I started blogging in October of 2005, I didn't expect I would be going at it for this long. I felt that I had some ideas that were worth sharing in those tense times and I thought views from the region of Ethiopia that I come from needed to be accentuated. That was the reason why I put the caption "A Southern Perspective on Ethiopian Current Affairs". But now I feel that the Ethiopian ideas market place has matured sufficiently enough for Enset blog to forgo advertising itself as merely "southern" and, so, I have changed the caption to "A Moderate Perspective on Ethiopian Current Affairs" to reflect this evolution. Mind you, this is not to say that the views expressed by me or others who happen to come from the Ethiopian south cease to be "southern" as I had attempted to explain here. It is just that the view I dubbed "southern" has been subsumed in the broader category of a "moderate" view.

As you can imagine blogging is a time consuming undertaking and I do not think I would still be doing this if it was not for the contribution by others, especially Ephrem. Now that the blog's identity is broadened, I would like to invite contributors who hail from all corners of Ethiopia to share their perspectives on this blog. But there is a catch, any one who wants to contribute must use his/her real name. The only exception to this rule is if you currently reside in Ethiopia. If you are interested in being a regular contributor, that is even better, and I will add you to Blogger as a team member. Please remember that I do not have the time to edit your contribution. At the risk of sounding redundant, I would like to reiterate that political moderation is the best antidote for Ethiopia's ills. If your views fall into this category (you know who you are), you are invited to contribute and make a difference.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

I did not read this article. In fact, I stopped readin Enset's articles for a long time. They are mostly commonplace, obvious and lack truth value. They are poorly researched gang outputs to confirm to one side or the other. I read "Racism in Ethiopia" anyway, to hate wasting my time again.

The last load that broke my back from visiting Enset was when Ephrem argued that the legal principle "equality of citizens before the law" to work , victims or those who seek justice have the responsibility for themselves to produce facts and witnesses to convict. According to him, the state and the public, with their huge resources, have no interest in the crime that may befall on an individual and the delivery of justice for the victimized member f its society. A new theory of doom and gloom, a product of dark mind which loves to sleep on crime. Ephrem got away without being criticized for his dangerous proposal and erroneous observation of how justice delivery works in human societies.

I noticed again, for some reason, Fikru and Ephrem, make grossly iaccurate observations and always go free without being commented on their outstanding and most visible mistakes. For example, no one had corrected them on their erroneous assumption that racism is false opinons held by stagers about inborn attributes of a person. They escaped from being corrected that racism is a social construct to inlict pain and jury on its victims. It has historical, politixcal, economic and cultural origins. It's not an ideology that describes inborn differences as these authors claimed.
I found the following link to have adequate information on racism: www.racismnoway.com.au/library/understanding/index-What.html

enset said...

Hi Anon. of March 09, 2009 5:49:00 PM,

Glad to see you are back reading Enset. What I want to say about your comment about the quality of the articles is that the opinion that you read here are just a reflection of the author's take on a particular issue which is limited by time and experience. We write because we think we have a perspective worth sharing which could help to bridge some of our differences, but we do not claim originality of thought or think that we know better than the reader. We believe we must be accountable to what we write and that is why we use our real names and enter into a dialogue with our esteemed readers such as yourself. So, if a reader disagrees with anything that we write on this blog or find factual errors, we appreciate it very much when the reader brings it up for discussion just like you did.

Regarding your criticism of our take on Ethiopian racism, what I will say is that racism is a broad topic and it can have different definitions depending on the context you are talking about. Of course, racism is a "social construct to inlict pain and jury on its victims" and "has historical, politixcal, economic and cultural origins" as you correctly pointed out. But a social construct based on what? That is why we defined what we think racism in the Ethiopian context means in the third paragraph of the said article. We believe that social construct is based on our physical differences that are inborn. Some may want to include ethnic discrimination in this definition. We beg to differ since doing that water downs the definition of racism and allows some to hide behind their ethnic identity to absolve them of their culpability and unfairly stigmatize others because of their ethnic identity.

Fikru

Anonymous said...

Ethnicity-based politics would never have been the issue if the monarchy had prevailed. The monarchy did not prevail. If it did, all cultures and values of all others that didn’t belong - good and bad - would have been destroyed.

Ethnicity-based based politics would never have been an issue if Derg had prevailed. Derg didn’t.

Now we have weyane using ethnic differences as a way to stay in power. Then we have the none ethnic-based opposition groups as well as the ethnic based ones trying to topple weyane.

Here is the ultimate question. How none ethnic-based are the none ethnic-based opposition groups? They absolutely do not associate themselves with any opposition that is ethnic-based. That would have been ok, if they didn’t inherently give an unfair advantage to only one ethnic group by limiting the means of communication to just one language. That is not to say that some of them have very ethnic-based hidden agenda they are hiding form the unsuspecting and unassuming majority.

Here is what goes on behind the seen.

A group of people who are none-ethnicity based opposition to the current Ethiopian administration spent a day politicizing. At the end of the day some of them decided to stay a little longer together and went to Skyline Café in Falls Church Virginia. They continued discussing Ethiopian politics in a much more relaxed and informal manner. They continued discussing in the same manner for a while and every one was okay and the whole dining experience went well.

Throughout the dining they talked about anything and everything that was relevant to what they are about. One thing lead to other and they got to discussing why they actually detest ethnicity-based politics. In the middle of that one of them happened to say, “well, we are not going to let just any [Kitabo or Ansebo] assume leadership. That could be interpreted as saying we don’t like weyane but weyane is better than Kitabo or Ansebo.

No one at the table objected to that opinion. Let me say that again at the table who is there because he happened to opposed to ethnicity-based politics objected to that opinion. Let me say that once again, none of the people at that table who despised ethnicity-based politics and believe that all ethnic groups are equal and there should not be any ethnicity issue did not object to the idea that just any Kitabo or Ansebo of a particular ethnic group should be off limit when it comes to assuming leadership position.

Well, there was a problem. One of those gathered happened to be a Chalebo! In fact he wasn’t just a Chalebo, he was proud of being one. There you have it. He was dining with people who actually do not have his best interest at their hearts. In other words, that whole experience was irrefutable testimony to the fact that they actually were very ethnic minded albeit hatful to all ethnic groups other than their own. No wonder why they actually make no effort to use other languages to reach out the rest of Ethiopia while professing that they stand for all Ethiopia.

There is even a much bigger problem. A majority of their followers do not know this hidden agenda. It is a bigger problem in that their political strength depends on keeping their followers in the dark about this agenda and thus they are inherently not capable of holding any open discussion and are limited to double talks character assassination and all that ugly side of politics.

What makes the whole incident so saddening is that this are some of our wanna be leaders who would like to lead Ethiopia under one umbrella. What was even painful for me as an individual about the incident is that the Chalebo at the table was by far a better leader than anyone of them gathered and as long as they hold that hatful taught people like him do not have a meaningful role in the future of Ethiopia. *it remains to be seen how they evolve and how they will be responded to!

Do not believe for a second that they were not fully conscious of what they were doing. They were. They simply are more aware than they appear to be and that needs to be acknowledged. The problem with them is that they would rather risk the existence of the Ethiopia as we know her than let YEMANIM GAZALIZILAZA assume leadership.


*if you do not insist on seeing your surrounding thru your own eyes there is no shortage of others who would love to do the seeing for you. The problem with that is some of those people would not tell you some of what they see and they could even tell you that they see what actually is not even there. With this approach you could be taking their lies and building your principles around it and base your decisions on it. Heck you could even die for that lie. Why? You may ask, why would I die for a lie? Because you absolutely do not know that it is a lie. Because you have allowed others to see your surrounding for you and they have ingrained in your brain a lie in ways you may never ever bring yourself up to seeing it for what it is. Think about it and as you do put no limit whatsoever to get to the intended message. Remember, any limit, any limit whatsoever you put on yourself is going to be what stops you from seeing the fullness of the message conveyed.

enset said...

Hi Anon. of March 10, 2009 12:10:00 AM,

Thanks for your comment and I appreciate your candor. You make a good point about "insist[ing] on seeing your surrounding thru your own eyes". That is why we engage in a discussion like this -- to learn from the experiences of others.

But I am not clear about one critical part of the story you related to us. Did "Chalebo" challenge these wannabe leaders of Ethiopia or did he not? If he did not, why do you think he did not. How about you? Why did you choose not to challenge these fraudsters, or have you? Could you please clarify?

Fikru

Anonymous said...

Fikru

First thing, the issue I raised regarding hidden agenda and unintentionally appeared as if I was making a sweeping accusation because I forgot to mention that not everyone has the aforementioned hidden agenda. I would like to correct that.

To answer your question, I think your guess is better than mine as to how the person may have responded. That said, I would rather you stick to the topic and not personalize it any further. If we do, it would all sound like he-said-she-said and I know you wouldn’t want that.

I would still like to ask if there is such hidden agenda, and how such the agenda is affecting the progress toward the New Ethiopia where there would be mutual respect, and weyane would be stopped from looting.

enset said...

The reason I asked the question was because I wanted to get to the bottom of the story you related. If you were not willing to entertain questions like the one I posed, then you should not have brought up the story or you could have chosen to make the story totally anonymous just like you chose to comment anonymously. It is difficult for me to believe that there could be a politically aware person, let alone one who has a leadership potential, who would allow the sort of insult that you reported to go unanswered. But it may happen. On the other hand, I would not be surprised if there are some people out there who would tolerate the comments made by your friends. I hope you are not one of them (I have to say this since you did not answer my question).

Yes, actually, there are quite a lot of people like you mentioned who have a hidden agenda and it is not too difficult to tell who these types of people are. The recent incident of ignoring Obang Metho's article is a good example of this. There were people who exhibited similar attitude towards the leadership of Beyene Petros in the 90s. These types of people made Beyene a recalcitrant politician that he would not have necessarily become. What did they get in return? Nothing. I still see this type of stuff going on today. These people are Woyane's best friends.

Fikru

Ephrem Madebo said...

Anonymous,

Ephrem and Fikru make mistakes and they will make mistakes in the future. The contribution of these two individuals is to create social and political awareness in our society and learn from the process. Look - no social or political finding is mistake free, and mistakes will always be undetected if individuals are not wiling to read the findings. You decided not to read Enset (which is your right), but exercising this right comes with responsibility. If you are not reading our articles then you practically cannot correct us, whenever this is the case, you can not blame any one for not doing something that you are not willing to do. Can you imagine how far I could have progressed had you corrected my mistake the first time you read my article? There is a saying that states: “People who do no mistake are people who do nothing”. To me this is an understatement. In action or indecisiveness is the biggest mistake of all! If you want to help Ephrem and Fikru produce better articles, please read what they write and give them a constructive criticism, this is not an order, just a call for help! This is the only way to collectively correct our mistake and to grow collectively.

I do not remember writing anything on “equality of citizens before the law". Which article is that? All of my articles are archived here at Enset; please let readers know which article you were referring. As to me, I have not written any article on the topic you mentioned in your comment. Please prove me wrong, otherwise, you are wrong!

Fayyis said...

Nice discussion!!

Fayyis said...

Hi Fikru and Ephrem,
it is nice that you came up with this "moderate perspective". It is cristal clear that the main conflict area in the empire is related to the question of nations and nationalities. All other poletical virtues like democracy, justice, freedom, human right, equality....etc are on which every poletical group in the empire do agree at least in principle. The main conflict area, the position on the right of nations to self-determination, needs still on going discussion.

Now a days different groups discuss this issue based on different motives. Weyane cadres started to inflame this issue now just to use it again for devide and conquer. They usually take the extreme two poles! They present them selves either as a far right "unitarist Amhara" and accuse "separatist Oromo" or as a far left "separatist Oromo" to blame "centeralist Amhara. Of course some fo*ol Amharas and st*upid Oromos also dance to this tune!

I know that most Southerners have got the moderate position of building National liberty with Regional unity (to be concrete e.g Oromian liberty with in Ethiopian unity). Dr. Beyene seems to be an example! I doubt the position of you two! You Fikru has posted an article on "separatist Oromos" and purged your curse on them. You Ephrem explicetly said you are for region based federation, which we Oromos take as an euphemy to dismantle Oromia. Are you two really moderates? Or are you just the Southern version of Northern Amharas who struggle to abolish "ethnic" federalism (region based federation)? If this is your position, then you are no more moderate, but you are far right extremists. As far as I am concerned, moderates are those who do believe in genuine region based federation in which national liberty of all nations and nationalities with in the region called Ethiopia (regional unity) is respected.

enset said...

Welcome back Fayyis!

I understand the word "moderate" in politics is a relative term whose meaning can vary from one country to another and even from one person to the next. On the ethnic issue, in the Ethiopian context, what I consiser a moderate view is not one single position, but rather, it is shades of views that gravitate towards the political middle. I would consider the view you stated at the end of your comment a moderate view. Beyene's view on this issue is certainly a moderate one. So, is Berhanu's. So, is Merera's. So, is Birtukan's, So is Bulcha's, etc...

I would consider my view to be moderate. I do not want to see a break up of Ethiopia. I do not want Ethiopia's regions to be divided purely along ethnic or linguistic lines, but I am not opposed to creating some regions which fall largely along ethnic lines. I want all ethnic groups within Ethiopia to make a realistic use of their languages for business, govenment, education, etc and their cultures to be respected, but I do not want to see an imposition of this on them by any one. Etc, etc...

Fikru

Fayyis said...

Hi Fikru,
just be concrete and let's discuss also about Oromia et al, not only about Ethiopia. For your info, OLF's priotity is Ethiopian unity as far as Abyssinians are not against Oromian liberty. Independent Oromia is the second option, if we are compelled to live as a second level citizen, as it was up to now!! What is your take here? Are you for Oromia to exist or do you want to get rid of Oromia with pretext "I do not want to see a break up of Ethiopia. I do not want Ethiopia's regions to be divided purely along ethnic or linguistic lines...". This is a very hidden agenda of some right extremist Abyssinians, knowingly or unkowingly also advocated by Southerners!!

enset said...

Fayyis,

We have talked about this before. I know what I want and I know what my interests are. So do not give me this "knowingly or unkowingly also advocated by Southerners" line any more.

Now to your question. I thought the answer I gave you was a complete one. As far as I am concerned, as long as Ethiopian unity does not come into question, I can live with any regional arrangements. But these regional arrangements must have the consent of the people concerned.

In the case of the Oromo people, if the people of the various Oromo inhabited regions want one big region called Oromia and give their consent thru some means of election, then that is fine with me. If some Oromo regions do not wish to be a part of this bigger Oromo region and express their wishes thru an election, then their wishes should also be respected. Same goes for the Amhara region.

What is most important is that the people are given a say in how the regions are created. I am sure the so-called Southern region will cease to exit the minute the people are given a say in the process.

Fikru

Fayyis said...

If this "let the people decide and we live according to the public verdict" is also the position of all people you mentioned as moderates (Dr Berihanu, Birtukan...etc), then there is no problem as far as we Oromos are concerned! What Oromos decide for per verdict is crystal clear: Oromia including Finfinne, Diredhawa, Harari, part of Wallo including Dase, Raya, Yejju, Jijigaa, Walqixe, Butajira, Assosa...etc which are now taken away from Oromia regional state and given to others. Can you also live with this?? Or you will burst of anger as most pro unity Abyssinians seem to be??

Anonymous said...

I was following the discussion and wanted to say what I think about Fayyis's last question.
I am from Gondar. If the people of gondar decide to be in Oromia regional administration, I will accept the people’s verdict and live. If people in Assosa , Wollo , Finfinne want to be in a different region, we should also respect the verdict. Let’s give the chance to the people to be what they want to be and where they want to be.In Ethiopian history provinces and regions have never been delimited with peoples participation.

Fayyis said...

Anonym,
if this mantra of living "according public verdict" is genuine, what about the public verdict on the possibility of Oromia to have a separated Gadaa Republic of Oromia? We do have only two options for future poletical arrangement: either to find a compromising consense with a win-win possibility such as to agee on National Liberty with Regional Unity (e.g Oromian Liberty with Ethiopian Unity) or to allow peaople to decide on: Region based Federation vs Nation based Federation vs Independence of nations. If we choose the firtst, then all staske holder should sit together and agree on the compromise END. If we choose the second, then we need to make two referendums:
1) on Ethiopian Unity vs national Independence (e.g Independent Gadaa Republic of Oromia)
2) if Unity wins in the first referendum, then we decide on the type of administrative organization we want to have in a united Ethiopia aka Nation-based-Federation vs Region-based-Federation. Then we do live according to the verdict as you also suggested.

Anonymous said...

I think what is often overlooked is the fact that the younger generation of Ethiopians [Oromo or Amhara, etc] are largely disinterested in talk of little "republics." The concern for many is jobs and opportunities. Separatism and bitter complaints mainly come from the older generation that has experienced injustices as a result of belonging to a particular tribe. The problem with Oromo group[s] is that the leadership is more interested in power than the longterm wellbeing of the people. Leaders continue to fail to be practical. Focus on development and let people have enough to eat and find access to health education and jobs most of the gripe will disappear.

Anonymous said...

Oromia region is created by TPLF & OLF! The people living in this region should be allowed to vote village by village to decide where they want to belong! After visiting some of the big cities in the region, I've come to the conclusion that there are probably more enlightened people than the OLF thinks. I am sure that the people living in Addis Ababa, Debrezeite, Nazareth, etc will decide to get rid off the regional structure! We should not allow some brainwashed expatriates & disoriented groups decide the fate of the enlightened people living in the region!

Fayyis said...

The last two Anonyms,
no need of blabbering all what you imagine! If what you think is true, then go for Referndum! Let Oromo public including the young generation show you how against OLF'S principle they are. Other wise crying about development...bla bla like OPDO cadres can't take away the attention of Oromos from struggling for Oromian Liberty with in or with out Ethiopian Unity!

Anonymous said...

I think the last two Anonyms are Weyane cadres who desperately want to see both Amharas and Oromos on the two respective extreme poles, reserving the MIDDLE for them selves. They are notorious in accusing Amharas as "chauvinist centeralists" and Oromos as "narrowist separatists", so that they would be seen as the only force to garantee both the right of nations and unity of Ethiopia!!

Anonymous said...

I think Fayyis and the last anon after him are threatened by facts. So they continue to sow fear and hate. All you need to do is [if you have the time and patience] read some demographic date or do your own sampling. Yours is a tiny minority voice. Don't forget a significant Oromo minority not caring much about your fear agenda. Just look at how you reacted to a simple response by anons above. I don't think that kind of talk is helpful.

Anonymous said...

Fikru,

Your opinion on the matter is one I agree with completely. However, I would be less than honest if I do not point out that I detect a reluctance where there should be none. I have, as I am sure you have, put an end to the hidden agenda issue for it is obvious, to at least anyone who has been following. I would like to pick up on what I say I agree with you and see if we can take it further. Your not having a problem with people being mindful of their ethnicity and/or the ethnic diversity and its implications is a good start as to how healthy your identification is to where you belong. Your not having a problem, I say, is not enough. You can and you should do more. Allow me, if you will, to tell the rest of it in the best way I know how.

A little more than a dozen years ago about ten or so young men who grew up in the same circle of about twenty five kilometres radius were chatting on what was then the biggest thing - the internet chat room. They were at different corners of the globe and they were reminiscing their commonly sheared past and enjoying the exchange on their situation at the time.

As I said their common past circle was the centrepiece of the discussion; YARADA LIG, one love, Jah, Rastafari etc. In the middle of it all an idea entered the mind of one of the young men who should have known better. He was being taken away by a deadly flood due to the same act he was about to commit and he didn’t even know it. If he did, what he should have said was, “risqué me.” He didn’t know and went ahead with the idea.

He said, “we are not one. We are not even eight. But that doesn’t mean we can’t live together…….” Before he could explain what he meant, he was bombarded with all kinds of insults which can’t be repeated. That incident must have added strength to the flood because he continued to get drown into the middle of the river. He shivered due to the coldness of the water, he got banged up with the rocks along the way, kept gasping for breath whenever the water pushed him up in the air and finally near his death the water got to be too much for the river to handle and when it over flew he got thrown out and survived.

Now surviving and after more than a dozen years he still has the same question with a much better understanding, of course. This has been a dramatized account of what actually took place in the mid nineties on ethio.com chat room. Lots changed since. Some of those young men have started to see their hairs turning gray, some are seeing their hair thinning, some now are two or three of themselves and so on and so forth. But the question still remains. What really are we saying when we say we are one?

It can be said without a doubt now that the “one” that the young men envisioned at the time had a winner-take-all attitude to it with them being the winner and anything else conforming to what they valued. In other more straightforward words, they categorically denied our diversity and what they referred to as “one” was just themselves. We have come a long way since and we actually have heard from those who would have been likely to stay that course such things like our diversity is our strength (HIBRBEHALCHIN TINIKAREYACHIN NEW).

Riding oneself from the denial is wonderful. Being indifferent as in saying, “I have no problem with it” however is a half way journey. It wouldn’t take us to where we need to get to. Seeing that for everyone who acknowledges and celebrates our diversity there are many others who still are stuck in that backward gear, to say that you have no problem with it is not sufficient of a stand. The need for acknowledging and celebrating of our diversity should be acknowledged with no equivocation and indifference. Given the current situation, do you or do you not see the need for acknowledgement of ethnic differences!? By current situation I meant to get you to focus your attention on the so termed hidden agenda that we, or should I say I, have come to find out that is not so hidden after all.

I hope by now you have abandoned the need for finding out how the person responded to the accidentally exposed hidden agenda. Just in case you haven’t, I have more to say. It happened many years ago and I purposely altered the actual story to vanish the trace of it. I did so because I only wanted for the message to get across and nothing more. As far as the names are concerned, knowing that you are from the south, I choose to humour you with a southern name like Dilebo. That’s all. If it makes you feel better hit me back with Aniberbir, Ashebir or Agonafir; or if you choose to, go with Angesa, Gegebsa, Tolosa.

The story was meant to tell other countless stories of that sort. Speaking of the story and the names you mentioned an interesting name Obang Metho. I have seen his documentary at the Unification Church - it is heart wrenching! His name and the colour of his skin actually makes your need for getting to the bottom of the story I told needless. I sat on the same row with him on one meeting and know how he looks like. Tell him the story, if you could ever get a chance to, and I am pretty sure he will tell you more than one story of that sort. By the way, considering what I have just said, it would be an injustice if I leave out mentioning that he has an admirable patriotism. He didn’t just believe in a unified Ethiopia, he is at the forefront making moves to make that a reality.

You should know by now that you do not need to play a detective with me. I think I agree with what you stand for and I am only asking, albeit challenging you to move further and faster. In other words, I think I know about you enough to go on discussing and I happened to know more about your partner/major contributor Ephrem Madebo. To say the least, your partner/major contributor Ephrem has one of the best heads Ethiopia has ever produced on his shoulder. I and others who care about unified Ethiopia have been hard at work to try to find the best way to use it. I believe I can drive this point better if I stop looking just right ahead of the hood and look straight ahead!!!
You also dropped another big name Dr. (Dr., I think he is but I am not sure) Beyene Petros. I know of him but I can’t safely say I know about him. I must tell you I have close to none public instruction when it comes to Ethiopian politics. In fact, what I wrote as Anon, believe it or not, is the first since the incident with ethio.com. That incident planted a distrust in those who wouldn’t even want to have a second with anyone who mentioned ethnicity, and a succession events that took place only gave more reason to staying out - staying out but focussing intently.

It was my calling, if you will, to bring out the deeply rooted ethnicity which planted itself in the middle of the unsuspecting. I do not know or don’t care to tell you why but I am more interested in not what is seen but what is hidden behind what is seen. With that, it is safe to say I did some good. I helped myself in bringing the invisible hand out in the visible open. There really is ethnicity in the none ethnic move and the masking of it is only going to be setback to what we are trying to achieve - the bring down of weyane to accepting that the rest of us have equal rights.

Do me a favour. Make a list in your mind of nations that are divers starting from the most diverse and stop when you get to Ethiopia. How many nations have you counted? What does that tell you!?

Look, we do not have time to entertain what is known to us all. We indeed are divers and how we dealt with it is clearly being reflected by how well we are today. Ethnic diversity and the denial of it is not our only problem. We have other differences that are just as concerning that we never even got to bring forward because we are caught up with the denial and the exposing of the denial of ethnic inequality.

Before I get to the pressing issues I would like to run thru how the current administration is effectively using the denial to perpetuate its existence with the backing of the intelligence that is being gathered for it. First of all, the weyane administration knows the none ethnic based opposition groups more than they know themselves. They know that their claim of having the majority on their side is a false perception but weyane never tells them. In fact they secretly encourage that illusion to be perceived as reality because they know that when it matters the belief would bare no fruit!

While I am at it, I should tell you that there is unbelievable amount of intelligence exchange that lead to getting them lulled in to thinking that there actually were going to be a free and fair election, that got the most popular among them imprisoned, and that got them released after planting the seed that would grow into disintegrating them. In other words they were being programmed. In yet other words they were being programmed as in one would be programmed while being subjected to mind control techniques!!! Having said that, I have to tell you that I didn’t follow them around because I didn’t like them. No. I was waiting and wondering when, if ever, they would abandonee their denial.

Pay attention. We don’t only have ethnic differences. We have much more important issues that we haven’t even began to address. There are those who see no wrong with weyane other that the unquestionable bias. That is to say they are repressing all tribes other than their own. Then there are those who say that what they are doing with the economy is a recipe for disaster. What they mean by that is the so called development is only developing building of concrete buildings and that such a thing does not contribute to the wellbeing of the society at large. That only creates a bubble-based economy that inflates and bursts repeatedly to the devastation of the lower bottom of the society as it bursts. They mean that such lottery-like bubble-based economy can only creates a handful disgustingly rich at the cost of impoverishing the overwhelming majority. They mean that the so called development is just a mare building of concrete on the shoulder albeit grave of the impoverished. They mean that the Babylonians had such idea of a building and they yet governed one of the most chaotically troubled people. They mean that if the situation of the Babylonians were to exist in our time they would have the highest percentage of population taking antidepressant drugs!!! They men that building the economy by making the nation full of people who compulsively consume is a cause for doom.

There is more. There are those who accuse of the Orthodox religion for where we are claiming that it controlled the spread of the gospel as a way of controlling albeit repressing the unaware majority and there is some truth to their claim. If there isn’t, we simply wouldn’t be where we are now. It is one thing to say that we possessed the tools for enlightenment and quite another to see that we are far behind on the quest for enlightenment. However, it is not easy nor is it acceptable to claim that we originated the idea that helped the invention of TV and computer knowing that we, even today, are not even close to manufacturing TV or computer. In fact, we only manufacture things that are physically impossible to import and that should be something of highest importance!!!!!!!!! Weak up. Think!

And then there are those who are distressed by the recent reintroduction of Christianity. They are the oldest among us who have unparalleled knowledge of the history of Ethiopia as it relates to religion. Their distress is very understandable.

They claim that the recent reintroduction is a front for the economic globalization which would ultimately leave Ethiopians as consumers to their won destruction!!!

They understand that it is all a tried-and-failed idea that refuses to accept its failure. They understand that such an idea, instead of producing goods that people need would produce goods and creates the need for the produced goods with a barrage of advertisement to the eventual impoverishment of the unsuspecting poor. If you ever doubt as to how troubled they are and as to how right they are look at what is going on in Ethiopia right now. In places where people do not necessarily eat three times a day, not to mention that the child mortality rate due just lack of uncontaminated water is unbelievably high, there are people who find it necessary to have cell phones and some in rural Ethiopia do have cell phones today. Talk about Consumerization (another word that should have been there years ago, hey even word processors are controlled by consumerizng (???) entities).

There is more to what they are distressed about than just Consumerization. What they are witnessing going underway quite disturbingly is what they have done or watched as it was being done in the past. Control the minds of the people then they will handover the control of their possession (???) to you. That was exactly what they did or witnessed happen and that is exactly what they see happening and their distress is understandable and needs addressing.

Once again, the reason why they see the reintroduction as a front for making a consumer nation out of Ethiopia while looting and trashing is very much understandable. They did it themselves or witnessed it done. The Pagans of the south, soon after Christianization, soon after hearing the “good news of the gospel” lost ownership of their and were subjected to the rulers as second class citizens. They were lined up and told form here to here your names from now on is Hailemariam. Then from here to here Gebremariam and so on. They are now witnessing the same thing being done with the reintroduction of Christianity. That exactly is where their distress comes from.

There is just so much I can say about these group of people that I do not think one night of writing doesn’t even begin to tell it. Sure there are more “Christians’ today but how is that phenomenon positively affecting the Ethiopian society? I visited Ethiopia and Ethiopians were more fearful of authority than when I left in the early nineties. I meat people who recently came from Ethiopia and I have noticed from the numerous conversations I have had that the level of fear has gone to a troubling high. Bluntly speaking those who are engaged in the reintroduction of Christianity in Ethiopia today are using intimidation to just merely increase the number of followers and once that is secured they spread the defeatist thinking in the society. Materialism is at its highest. Divorce rate hasn’t gone dawn. Never questioning the authorities is being pitched out in the open. Even more troubling, the so called the reintroduction is systematically teaching people to turn a blind eye to the inhumanity weyane is perpetrating on citizens of Ethiopia!

There is one thing I would like to address that I think is at the heart of all of this failure. ANDIM HULETIM HONACHIU BESIME BITSEBESEBU KEMEHALCHIU EIGENGALEHU. I am quoting from the bible, I hope you don’t mind. That seems to be the message all those who are not happy about what is going on Ethiopia need to hear right about now.

Unity doesn’t necessarily mean oneness. It means uniting behind that which is common while differences get put aside. That seems to be what we need to hear until we get it. We do meet. We meet a lot. What we seem to have trouble with so far is putting aside our differences and focusing on what is common. That is bump we keep hitting and haven’t yet got past. That is a hoop we need to jump.

It said, “if one or two of you gather…..” We do gather. In fact we held way more meetings than we actually need. We have meetings, candlelight vigils and demonstrations worldwide now. But notice there is more to what was said. “If one or two of you gather AND be in my spirit then I will be there.” It is the second part that our winner-take-all mentality is not allowing us do get to. It is the second part that is keeping us away from the blessing we desperately need.

We have repeatedly failed to showup with the spirit that is asked of us! We do! Remember, when you show up wanting a unified Ethiopia, anything whatsoever you put before it is what keeps you from receiving the blessing. You do not receive the blessing not because God is not there but God is not there to grant your wishes because you have not gathered in God’s spirit! You have other priorities.

You show up at meetings where there should be compromises with intent to not compromise on this or that. You show up as “evangelical born-again” while the wisest among us have detected the presence of a front for the tried-and-failed Consumerization that even the originators do not know what to do with. You show up as uncompromising Orthodox when half the population recognizes it as a symbol of repression. There, I said it. Showing up is necessary but not sufficient for the unified Ethiopia that we are trying to build where all are equal. There needs to be a way to rid us off our fear and bigotry. If we are to build a unified Ethiopia, there need not be anything that we are that we need to put forward before we put being Ethiopian. Remember you chose to be “evangelical” and you chose to remain Orthodox but you did not choose to be born in the land we recognize as Ethiopia. Just the same way you chose to be “evangelical,” you could have chosen to remain Orthodox. Just the same way you chose to remain Orthodox you could have chosen to be “evangelical.” But, here is the big but, you didn’t choose to be born in that land we know as Ethiopia. Am I making any scenes at all?

You can butcher me all you want but I am telling the truth. The so called “evangelical” movement is one that ignored the pressing need of the society and failed it only because it obeyed. The failure is only observed in those who care for the collective wellbeing of the nation. From their perspective frustrating citizens into submission by creating financial crisis is a success (hence, we are going global as soon as we go national). Recognize filth when you see one and have the courage to call it that. I can go on and on but I would rather see what happens based on what we have been exposed to so far.

By the way, Fikru, the very reason I do not throw myself at whatever appears to be exiting is right in the middle of the discussion on “moderate approach.” No sooner than I posted my comment the haters popped up on your blog. The message the haters tried to get across which I spit on is to show “others” who you and your partner/major contributor have wronged the “public” and how the recent responder did such and such. I am not that stupid and I know you and your partner/major contributor are not either. Peace.

enset said...

Thanks for the reply. I just wish your reply was to the point and short. This is the comments section after all. I lost you after you asked for a list of nations... In any case, you may can find what my thinking is on the ethnic issue by doing a search on this blog for the word 'ethnic'. Here is one that may be of help: the Battleground Region. If you want to write an article with your real name on this topic or another, you are welcome to do it. I see that you have a talent for writing.

Fikru