For instance, the latest visitor to Seattle was Yilkal Getnet, chairperson of Semayawi Party, the newest and youngest opposition sensation that has raised the hopes of the Ethiopian people for change.
Semayawi Party has also sparked questions like will it succeed in the place where others failed? Will it endure, and eventually remove the hopelessly corrupt and ruthless TPLF/EPRDF regime?
Answers may be mixed but one glaring credit to Semayawi Party is that its defiant actions have helped wake up the opposition party Medrek from its deep sleep. It was Semayawi Party that held an opposition rally in Addis Ababa, despite ruling party threats of arrests and beatings. It was also Semayawi Party that travelled to Benishangul Gumuz to show support to those who were being uprooted from their homes because of their Amhara ethnicity. It was a wake-up call for others.
There are marked differences between Semayawi Party and the other leading opposition party known closely to the Diaspora, and that is Medrek.
One difference is while Medrek is led by veterans of the non-violent form of struggle during EPRDF’s 23 years of rule, Semayawi is a new comer that was born out of the womb of Andinet, which until recently was a Medrek founding member. And Semayawi is almost exclusively a youth organization, a major asset given that 70 percent of the Ethiopian population is under 35 years of age.
The toddling Semayawi Party has already won the endorsement of Alemayehu Gebremariam, a prominent political science professor at University of California in St. Bernadino. “I’ve thrown my trust behind Semayawi Party because I believe that they are capable to bring about the desired political change in Ethiopia,” Almariam said, when he addressed Seattle on January 12.
For the young Semayawi Party, it was an accolade that came at the right time and was rare among other opposition parties.
To the Ethiopian Diaspora, specially to Seattle, Semayawi Party was embraced as a force promising to effect change. This is felt, among others, when the fearless Yilkal wisely addressed some thorny issues such as Emperor Menelik as well as the merits of a non-violent form of struggle as opposed to the destructive armed struggle which, even if won, favors the coming to power of an armed group, and hence the vicious cycle of dictatorship.
The Seattle audience rewarded Semayawi Party by raising $14,500 right away, and this was a generous amount given that it was Semayawi’s first-ever visit to North America, and yet the outcome has been better than what Medrek had experienced in Seattle.
Medrek’s last delegation consisting of veterans Seeye Abraha and Merera Gudina didn’t leave a good taste in the mouth of the Diaspora opposition. The time coincided with the death of the tyrant Meles Zenawi. So, Medrek’s delegate Seeye seized the moment and lectured about how Meles was respected by the Ethiopian people.
“When the body of Meles arrived at Bole Airport at night,” Seeye said, “the residents of Addis Ababa came out en masse, wailed in public, and despite a heavy downpour, escorted the coffin. By the time they got to the palace, it was 2:00AM.”
Seeye’s remarks raised the eyebrows of the audience. He didn’t stop there either, and continued to pour lavish words of praise over the ruthless tyrant who reduced Ethiopia to a landlocked nation that he successfully tormented along ethnic lines.
“The Ethiopian people have relatively prospered during EPRDF’s peace-time rule of over 20 years,” Seeye said, without blinking his eyes.
Is this really Seeye Abraha or Shimelis Kemal? The audience was confused. He said much more but what’s already mentioned is suffice to give the reader a clue.
Merera Gudina, long known for his incisive remarks against the EPRDF regime, also joined the Seeye chorus, and looked timid and subdued.
“We don’t go by the interest of the Ethiopian Diaspora,” Merera said. He told the audience in Amharic: “Benante Wuha Lik anihedim; Ager Bet Balew Wuha Lik Enjee!” (በእናንተ ውሃ ልክ እንሄድም፣ አገር ቤት ባለው ውሃ ልክ እንጂ!)
The message was clear. It is ‘We don’t listen to you.’ If so, why the trouble of coming to the Diaspora?
It was very clear Medrek, or in Seeye’s case Andinet, was in big trouble. Seeye was much more sounding like EPRDF I wonder how his former comrades in the ruling party failed to roll out a Red Carpet upon his arrival at Bole Airport.
But wait? Hasn’t he already quit Andinet for a high-paying job with the UN Peacekeeping force? [The Americans had reportedly asked Meles if there was a problem hiring Seeye for the job. Meles said he had no problem. Some say Seeye’s eulogy, despite his suffering in prison for years, was a tribute for Meles].
Medrek had sent two delegations to America. Seeye and Merera to the West Coast, which was a disaster. Medrek’s image was saved thanks to the accomplishments by the charismatic Temesgen Zewde of Andinet and Gebru Asrat of Arena as Medrek’s East Coast delegates. This writer was in Washington, DC as well when the two veterans addressed the audience which was very much appreciative of the way how Temesgen and Gebru addressed key national issues as ‘opposition leaders.’
Today Andinet has pulled itself out of Medrek, and with the return of Engineer Gizachew Shiferaw as chairperson of the party, one new question everyone asking is “Again?”. Well, will Gizachew be a comformist to the decadent EPRDF rule, or a born-again defiant figure in the face of EPRDF ruthlessness? Time will tell.For now, it looks like Semayawi Party has had an auspicious moment in North America. Kudos to the youth!
Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA).
“Despite a strong constitutional basis for press freedom and freedom of information, the Ethiopian government has systematically used the anti-terrorism law to prosecute and frighten journalists, which has put a straight-jacket on the media,” IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said. “Our joint mission also found a disturbing pattern of using other measures to control the press and restrict independent journalism, including restrictions on foreign media ownership and the absence of an independent public broadcaster.”
The report urges the Ethiopian government to free journalists convicted under the sedition provisions of the 2009 measure. These journalists include Solomon Kebede, Wubset Taye, Reyot Alemu, Eskinder Nega andYusuf Getachew. Mission delegates were barred access to the journalists, who are being held at Kaliti Prison near the capital Addis Ababa.
The report urges the 547-member lower house of parliament to revamp the anti-terror law to ensure that it does not trample on the rights of freedom of speech and assembly provided under Article 29 of the Ethiopian Constitution and further guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the U.N. Human Rights Covenant, which Ethiopia has ratified.
In addition, the report:
- Recommends that Ethiopian lawmakers review laws that bar foreign investment in media, measures that inhibit the development of an economically viable and diversified market.
- Urges the courts to ensure that rulings restrict press freedom only in cases of intentional incitement or clear participation in acts of terrorism, and that judges act independently to protect the public’s right to be informed about political dissent and acts of terrorism.
- Urges Ethiopia’s journalists and media owners to step up cooperation to improve professionalism and independence, and to form a unified front to defend press freedom.
The joint IPI/WAN-IFRA mission was carried from Nov. 3 to 6, just ahead of the African Media Leaders Forum (AMLF) in Addis Ababa. The organisations’ representatives met with more than 30 editors, journalists, lawyers, politicians and bloggers, as well as associates of the imprisoned journalists. The delegation also held meetings with the ambassadors of Austria and the United States, a senior African Union official, an Ethiopian lawmaker and government spokesman Redwan Hussien.
The organisations urged Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn to free the imprisoned journalists, some of whom are suffering from deteriorating health. In a joint statement issued immediately following the mission, IPI and WAN-IFRA also expressed their commitment to helping improve the professionalism, quality and independence of journalism in Ethiopia.
While the report highlights a long history of press freedom violations in Ethiopia, including a crackdown on journalists and opposition politicians following the country’s 2005 national elections, it notes that the 2009 anti-terrorism law has given the government expansive powers.
“The 2009 anti-terrorism law gave new powers to the government to arrest those deemed seditious, including journalists who step beyond the bounds of politically acceptable reporting or commentary,” the report says. “Armed with statutory authority, the government has not shied from using the laws to bludgeon opposition figures and journalists. Dozens of journalists have been imprisoned or accused of sedition or fomenting unrest, forcing many to flee the country.”
The report notes other forms of pressure by the government. Independent journalists recalled being the target of smear campaigns by state-run media, while editors recounted that managers of the government-run printing press refused to print editions of newspapers containing controversial articles.
The report does note positive developments, such as the growth in advertising and readership for some of the country’s leading independent newspapers. Journalists and newspaper publishers also expressed a desire to improve professionalism, quality and solidarity; although they added that government pressure and laws continue to create hurdles to self-regulation and cooperation.
“We came away from Ethiopia recognising the tremendous potential for a highly competitive, professional and successful media market in Ethiopia,” Bethel McKenzie said. “But to make this happen, the Ethiopian government must remove the roadblocks, starting with the release of imprisoned journalists and then conduct a thorough review of the laws to ensure that reporting on legitimate criticism or dissent is not grounds for prosecution.”
ዘረኛዉ የወያኔ አገዛዝ የአገራችንን በትረ ሥልጣን ከተቆጣጠረበት ጊዜ ጀምሮ ህዝባችን ስለራሱና ሰለአገሩ ምንም አይነት መረጃ ከአማራጭ የመገናኛ ብዙሃን ምንጮች እንዳያገኝ ያሉትን ዕድሎች በሙሉ ድርግም አድርጎ ዘግቶ ኖሮአል።
የወያኔ መሪዎችና ተሿሚዎች በየግላቸው ምንም ቁብ በማይሰጡትና ተቃዋሚዎች እንዲያከብሩት ነጋ ጠባ በሚወተውቱት የአገሪቱ ህገመንግሥት አንቀጽ 29 ዕውቅና ካገኙ የዜግች መብቶች አንዱ ሃሳብን በነጻነት የመግለጽ ተፈጥሮአዊ መብት ሆኖ ሳለ እየተካሄደ ያለውን የሥልጣን ብልግናና አገሪቱን እያራቆተ ያለውን ዘረፋ በመተቸታቸው ብቻ በአንድ ወቅት እንደ አሸን ፈልተው የነበሩ የነጻ ጋዜጣ አዘጋጆችና አሳታሚዎች በሽብርተኝነት ተወንጅለው ከፊሉ ከአገር እንዲሸሽ ሌላው አፉን ዘግቶ እንዲቀመጥ አለያም የፈጠራ ክስ እየተመሰረተባቸው እስር ቤት እንዲማቅቁ ተደርገዋል። አሁንም በመደረግ ላይ ናቸው። በወያኔ ሃሳብን በነጻነት የመግለጽና የዜጎች መረጃ የማግኘት መብት አፈና የአሜሪካና የጀርመን መንግሥታት በየግላቸው የሚያስተዳድሩዋቸው የአሜሪካና የጀርመን ድምጽ ሬዲዮኖች እንኳ ከጥቃቱ ማምለጥ ስላልቻሉ እነሆ እስከዛሬ ያልተቋረጠ የማጥላላት ዘመቻ ይካሄድባቸዋል።
ዜጎች ሃሳባቸውን በነጻነት መግለጽ ከቻሉና ከየትኛውም መዲያ መረጃ የማግኘት መብታቸው ከተረጋገጠ ሥልጣን ላይ ውሎ እንደማያድር ጠንቅቆ የተረዳው የወያኔ አገዛዝ በዚህ የሚዲያ አፈና ተግባሩ በመቀጠል ከሰሞኑ የኢትዮጵያ ሳታላይት ቴለቪዥንና ሬዲዮን እንዲሁም ህዝብ አልፎ አልፎ ሃሳቡን ለመግለጽ በሚገለገልባቸው ጥቂት የአገር ውስጥ ህትመቶች ላይ የተለመደውን የጥቃት ጅራፉን ለማሳረፍ ታጥቆ ተነስቶአል። ባለፈው ሳምንት መጨረሻ ላይ በመረጃና ደህንነት መሥሪያ ቤቱ ተዘጋጅቶ የህወሃት ቀድሞ ታጋዳላዮች በሚቆጣጠሩትና እንደግል ንብረታቸው በሚፈነጩባቸው የኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቪዥንና ሬዲዮ የተሰራጨው ዘገባ እንደሚያመለክተው ከአሁን ቦኋላ ማንኛዉም የመንግስት ባለስልጣን፤ የገዢዉ ፓርቲ አባላትና የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲ መሪዎች ምንም አይነት ቃለመጠይቅ ለኢትዮጵያ ሳተላይት ቴለቪዥንና ሬዲዮ እንዳይሰጡ ማስጠንቀቂያ ተሰጥቶአል። ማስጠንቀቂያውን ተላልፎ በተገኘ ማንም ሰው ወይም ድርጅት ላይ የአሸባሪነት ወንጀል ክስ እንደሚመሰረትበትም ዛቻና ማስፈራሪያ በተለመደው የቃላት ጋጋታ ተገልጾአል።
ይህ ከሰሞኑ የወያኔ ብሄራዊ መረጃ ደህንነትና ኮሚኒኬሽን መስሪያቤት ያወጣዉ ማስጠንቀቂያ አዘል መግለጫ የሚያሳየን ነገር ቢኖር ወያኔ ኢትዮጵያ ዉስጥ ዜጎች የሚናገሩትን ፤ የሚጽፉትን፤ የሚያነቡትንና የሚሰሙትን ብቻ ሳይሆን የሚያስቡትንና ሊደግፉት ወይም ሊቃወሙት ይችላል ተብሎ የሚጠረጠረውን ሁሉ አስቀድሞ ለመቆጣጠር ፍላጎቱ ያለው መሆኑን ነው።
ከሰሞኑ መግለጫ የተለየ ነገር ቢኖር ህዝባችንን በፍርሃት አንገት ለማስደፋት ሲባል የወያኔ ፓርላማ በሽብርተኝነት የፈረጀውን ንቅናቄያችንን ግንቦት 7ንና የኢትዮጵያ ሳተላይት ቴለቪዥንን በአንድነት የመፈረጅ ስልት ይፋ መደረግ መቻሉ ብቻ ነው።
የወያኔን ቁንጮዎች ጨምሮ ማንኛውም ኢትዮጵያዊ ይገነዘበዋል ብለን እንደምናምነው የኢትዮጵያ ሳተላይት ቴለቪዥን ኢሳት የተቋቋመው የአገራቸው ጉዳይ የሚያንገበግባቸው ቅን ዜጎች ባዋጡት የገንዘብ መዋጮና በሚሰጡት ያልተቋረጠ የእውቀትና የፋይናንስ ድጋፍ ነው። ተቋሙ ከተመሠረተበት ጊዜ ጀምሮ ላለፉት 22 አመታት በወያኔ የሚዲያ ሞኖፖሊ ተይዞ የኖረውን የአገራችንን አየር ክልል ሰንጥቆ በመግባት ህዝባችን ስለ አገሩና ስለራሱ ጉዳይ በቂ መረጃ እንዲያገኝ በመጣር ላይ ያለ ብቸኛ መገናኛ ብዙሃን ሆኖ በማገልገል ላይ የሚገኝ ነው።
ሃቁ ይሄ ሆኖ ሳለ ለምንድነዉ ታዲያ ላለፉት ሁለት አመታት ስብሀት ነጋን ጨምሮ የተለያዩ የገዢዉ ፓርቲ ቱባ ቱባ ባለስልጣናት ሳይቀሩ በተደጋጋሚ ቀርበዉ በስነ ስርኣት የተስተናገዱበትን ይህንን ሚዲያ የወያኔ ፓርላማ ቀደም ሲል በአሸባሪነት ከፈረጀው ንቅናቄያችን ግንቦት 7 ጋር መወንጀሉ ለምን ይሆን ? መልሱ ቀላል ነው። ከአገዛዙ ያልወገኑ ማናቸውም ሚዲያዎች እንደሚያደርጉት ኢሳት ስርጭቱን ከጀመረበት ጊዜ ጀምሮ ነጋ ጠባ በኢትዮጵያ ቴለቪዥንና ሬዲዮ የሚደሰኮረው ልማትና ዕድገት ተጠቃሚው ሥልጣንን የሙጥኝ ያሉ የቀድሞ ታጋዳላዮችና የቅርብ ዘመዶቻቸው እንጂ ህብረተሰቡ አለመሆኑን በግልጽ ከማጋለጥ ባለመቆጠቡ ጥርስ ውስጥ ገብቶአል። ከዚህም በተጨማር ለምዕራባዊያን ፍጆታና ድጋፍ ማግኛ በየአምስት አመቱ የሚደረገው የምርጫ ተውኔት ወቅት ስለተቃረበ ተቃዋሚዎች አጋጣሚውን ተጠቅመው በዚህ ሚዲያ ያብጠለጥሉኛል፤ የስልጣን ብልግናውንና የሙስናውን ጉዳይ ይዘከዝኩታል የሚል ፍርሃትና ስጋትም አለው። በእርግጥ ዝክዘካው በይስሙላ ምርጫው ላይ ምንም ለውጥ እንደማያመጣ እኛ የጉዳዩ ባለቤቶች ቀርተን ምዕራባዊያን ለጋሾችም አያጡትም። ሆኖም ግን ወያኔ ፈርቶአል ተረብሾአል። ስለዚህም ኢሳትና አሁን በአክራሪ ድርጅቶች ልሳንነት የተፈረጁት የአገር ውስጥ ህትመቶች ከምርጫው በፊት መጥፋት ይኖርባቸዋል። ያ ካልሆነ በመላው አገሪቱ የሰፈነው የሥልጣን ብልግናና የሃብት ዘረፋ የፈጠረው የኑሮ ውድነት ያስመረራቸው ሚሊዮኖች የመጪውን ምርጫ ውጤት አስታከው ሆ ብለው አደባባይ ሊወጡና የአገዛዙን የሥልጣን እድሜ ለማሳጠር ተቃዋሚዎች ለሚያካሄዱት ትግል መሳሪያ ሊሆኑ ይችላሉ ተብሎ ተፈርቶአል። ግንቦት 7 የፍትህ የነጻነትና የዲሞክራሲ ንቅናቄ ከብዙ የወያኔ ጥቃትና አፈና ተርፈው አገር ውስጥ በመታተም ላይ በሚገኙ 8 መጽሄቶች እና ለኢትዮጵያዊያን ብቸኛ የመረጃ ምንጭ ሆኖ በማገልገል ላይ በሚገኘው የኢትዮጵያ ሳተላይት ቴለቪዥንና ሬዲዮ ላይ የተጀመረውን አዲሱን ዘመቻ በቸልታ አይመለከተውም።
መረጃ ሃይል ነውና አገራችን ውስጥ ፍትህ እንዲሰፍን፡ በመልካም አስተዳደር እጦት ሥር እየሰደደ የመጣው ድህነት እንዲቀረፍና ሰላምና መረጋጋት እንዲፈጠር የሚሻ ዜጋ ሁሉ ወያኔ በሚዲያ ላይ የጀመረውን ጥቃት ለማስቆም ከጎናችን እንዲሰለፍ ግንቦት 7 የትግል ጥሪውን ያቀርባል።
ወያኔ በመረጃና ደህንነት መሥሪያቤቱ አማካይነት ያስተላለፈው የሰሞኑ ማስፈራሪያና ማስጠንቀቂያ በተለይም በሰላማዊና ህጋዊ ትግል ወያኔን መቀየር ይቻላል በማለት አገር ውስጥ የሚንቀሳቀሱትን የፖለቲካና የስቪክ ድርጅቶች መተንፈሻ ለማሳጣት ሆን ተብሎ የተቀነባበረ መሆኑን ህዝባችን እንዲረዳና በህዝባዊ እምቢተኝነት ሴራውን ለማክሸፍ መነሳት ጊዜው ግድ የሚል የወቅቱ አንገብጋቢ የትግል ጥሪ መሆኑን ግንቦት 7 የፍትህና የነጻነትና የዲሞክራሲ ንቅናቄ ያስገነዝባል።
ድል ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ!!!
posted by Alemayehu Tibebu