Ato Meles and his interviews – reading between the lines. – By Yilma Bekele

July 16th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Dear Ato Meles I have been following your interviews with the foreign media the last few months. (more…)

Dear Ato Meles I have been following your interviews with the foreign media the last few months. I have no idea why you prefer to discuss matters regarding our country with the foreign press. One would think that it would be better to discuss your plans, dreams and musings with the Ethiopian people rather than blabber with foreign journalists who a) are not well informed about the country b) do not give a figs leaf what you a Prime Minister of one of the poorest country have to say and bury the story on page ten beside the obituaries forcing us to dig deep so we the concerned can publish it on page one.

To say I am always baffled after reading or listening to your interviews is putting it mildly. You always seem to have a different take on the situation in the country. The facts on the ground do not seem to support the conclusions you reach. Have you thought of any reason why that is so?

I know it is presumptuous of me to comment on the matter and I humbly ask your Excellency to indulge me in this little exercise to set the record straight. First and foremost I want you to know that I wholly understand that when one is isolated from normal everyday human contact one develops certain ideas and beliefs not grounded in fact or truth. From what I understand you have been residing at your current address since 1991. Shall we just say Arat Kilo is an awe-inspiring location?

I did not have the privilege of visiting the inside but I am sure it is very luxurious. It must have beautiful hardwood floors in the dining rooms, Italian tiles in bath bathrooms, thick Persian or Afghan rugs and carpets in the bed rooms, long Mahogany dining room tables with beautiful chandlers and real crystal lights everywhere, oh let us just say opulent. I hope the previous tenant did not remove some of the expensive items. He left in a little bit of a hurry so may be he did not have time to loot. I know for a fact that you have turned the place into a modern fortress since you moved in. It is highly possible the so-called Green Zone in Iraq was a copy of Arat Kilo.

The move from ‘meda’ to palace must have been most jarring to say the least. Unless handled carefully such a move can cause a lot of anxiety and delusion. Believe me it is normal. Here in the US we witness that all the time. Most athletes from the inner cities are prone to that. The idea of jumping from public housing one bedroom apartment to signing a multi million-dollar contract has been blamed for plenty of meltdowns.

It is fair to say it has been over eighteen years since you have found yourself in the company of ordinary people discussing ordinary issues as an equal. You have managed to get rid of a majority of the people who know you as Legesse. Some have died under peculiar circumstances, you have jailed quite a few, some have been exiled to far away places and some have resigned before you got to them. That leaves the few that have accepted their location on the bottom of the totem pole. Those are the sycophants. The yes men, the flatters. There is no one in the vicinity that is able to correct you when you are wrong, advise you when you err or set you straight when you digress.

I believe that explains the many false statements you seem to utter to the complete disbelief of your country’s people. As I said before this little note is to help you see the other side of the story. It is an attempt to show you a different perspective so you know that there is another reality outside of Arat Kilo.

I will start with your recent interview with the Financial Times of London on June 23. A lot of UN true stuff was said. I will not bother with most of your answers except the one dealing with the free press.

FT: All these events have contributed to an atmosphere where people do not feel free to speak.

MZ: Have you read the local newspapers? Do they mince their words about government …

You see my problem here? What local newspaper are you talking about? Isn’t it true that after the 2005 elections you have managed to destroy the free press? Didn’t your government enact new legislation to strangle the press? For your information you own the single television transmitter, you won the single short wave radio transmitter and you own the telecommunication department. There is no free press in Ethiopia. There are a few that are struggling with a loaded gun held to their temple. Somehow they manage to publish. You really do not think that we consider ‘The Ethiopian Reporter’ as an example of free press does you? We know it is there to give legitimacy to your regime. Nothing more.

In August of 2008 you told your Parliament “In general, we don’t expect drastic effects on our economy, our financial structure is not as liberalized as those of affected countries and the economy is not intertwined to Western economies to face a crisis” Do you want to revise that assertion? Do you see now that our country is not an island? Why were you unable to see that the single crop Ethiopia has been peddling before you were born is going to be affected by world economy slow down? How come you did not know the double digit economic growth you have been shouting about is the result of misguided and selfish Ethiopians in the Diaspora investing in your real estate ponzi scheme and remittances are going to dry up?

Since the debacle of the 2005 election your National Bank has been printing Bir as if it is going out of style. What made you think this kind of irresponsible economic scheme will not result in inflation? I know you have to increase the money supply to keep up with the ever-increasing demand of the military, Kebele officials, public security personnel and various Kilil dogs you have to appease. Your government is the number one employer in the country. So now we are faced with both devaluation and inflation. Are you aware that you have to devalue the Bir by another 20%? Are we going to do five percent here nine percent there or are we going to swallow the bitter medicine all at once and get it over with? Inflation dipping to single digit…when pigs fly.

You have been titillating us with this talk of quitting why is that? This is what you told Financial Times:

FT: Why is it that Ethiopians don’t really believe you could go?

MZ: Because it has not been done in the past in Ethiopia.

FT: But this is a precedent you would like to set?

MZ: This is a precedent that I would almost kill to set.

Very dramatic indeed. Believe me you can purchase a ticket from your local TPLF kiosk and fly away and no one will care. Killing, beating and maiming is an obsession with you TPLF folks. There is no need to kill anybody, but if you have to kill, may we suggest one of your comrades. On the other hand there are a few unsettled businesses between the Ethiopian people in general and you and your TPLF cadres in particular. The massacre in the aftermath of the 2005 elections is in the forefront. I believe Judge Wolde Michael Meshesha would like to interview you about that without the presence of your armed goons. There are also a lot of families that want closure and justice done. There is also the murder of Professor Asrat, Assefa Maru and god knows how many more to be dealt with. You really do not think all will be swept under the rug do you? We don’t care what Ledetu have promised you but it will not work.

When you say your party has to agree what exactly does that mean? Are they asking for blanket forgiveness for all crimes committed the last eighteen years? Are they demanding Parliamentary resolution to that effect? Are they threatening you in anyway, something like we all go together or we stay put? Most of you in the politburo are exposed to criminal charges whereas the rank and file is afraid of economic meltdown. It must be difficult to explain how one becomes a multi millionaire in a mere fifteen years. Is this the discussion inside the TPLF? We know for a fact that those ‘teletafis’ or pretend party’s are unsettled about this talk of you leaving them high and dry to face the music. They never thought the end was coming. Do you stay awake all night thinking about all these unpleasant matters? Do you think you are clever and you will manage to squeeze out of this predicament you find yourself in?

They say hindsight is one hundred percent, do you look back and think may be you should have exited peacefully in 2005? What did all that killing bring you except a few million more and universal condemnations? Are you improvising as you go along or do you really have a plan for what is about to happen tomorrow?

The world has changed a lot since 2005. The hate level of the Ethiopian people against your TPLF cadres has skyrocketed, the economy has tanked and there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Creating ethnic tension has become too obvious, terrorism is so yesterday it has been devalued more than your Bir and your loyal dogs are lined up by the exit door (check out your Communications Minister who is getting ready to spill his guts on Addis Voice, VOA or DW radio) If I were you I will assign loyal cadres to watch Addisu, Dula, Kumsa, Azeb and Kasu Ilala. Betrayal is second nature in your sorry outfit.

So you said you want to retire in peace and rest. Well let me tell you what the opposition has in store for the future of our country upon your departure to Kaliti. Here are the top ten:

• Truth and reconciliation committee will be set up. Citizens will be encouraged to file grievances.

• New Constitution will be written after extensive discussion and debate.

• Kilils will be abolished.

• Land belongs to the individual not the government will be the law.

• All confiscated property will be returned to the lawful owners.

• Television, radio, newspaper, Internet and telephone service will be in private hands.

• All bank account, property and assets of former officials will be frozen awaiting certification of how it was amassed.

• All international agreements and deals made by the TPLF government will be subject to review.

• The millions of Ethiopians in the Diaspora will be encouraged to return home and participate in building the motherland. When we say contribute it is not bars or nightclubs but farming, industry and other productive enterprises.

• That ugly symbol you affixed will be removed from our flag never ever to be seen again.

I know all the foreign press has been asking you about the increasing repression, your hasty departure from Somalia, the drying up of foreign reserve and now the lack of electricity in 2009. No one seems to have any thing good to say about your regime. Judge Bertukan’s star is shining bright from behind bars. Your feeble attempts to rub shoulders with democratically elected leaders have only brought you further humiliation. Brave leaders face the consequences of their actions head on and either apologize to their people or take the Japanese way out you know what I mean. Which one would it be? Riding peacefully into the sunset is out of the question!

    | #1


  2. ተምሳሌት
    | #2

    መለስ በፈቃዱ ሥልጣን ከሚለቅ የሚወዳትና ጥሮ-ግሮ ያስገነጠላት ኤርትራ ብትጠፋ ይሻለዋል:ሞኞች የፖለቲካ ሺርሙጥና አታውቁም እንዴ:: እንደሱዳን መሪ ለመሆን እራሱን ገና ይበልጥ እያዘጋጀ ነው::

  3. Sami
    | #3

    Great job Yilma, to the point and very clear on the issues.
    Thank you

  4. mateos
    | #4

    In life, dearest god gives all of us a chance to be whatever we want to be and he will always guide us to be the best at whatever we want accomplish! and here was a guy that was awarded a leadership position to lead and uplift the poorest people of Africa to better themselves and become the proudest people in Africa! HOWEVER, in my humble opinion not only is this person a lier, deceiter, killer, hater, irresponsible, begger, pretender, betrayer, untrustworthy, but he is the most dangerous person African’s have ever witnessed. His primary care is for his entourage that keeps him safe from all the crimes he committed against innocent people. He operates uder, “you watch my back and I will reward you with millions of dollars”, from the donor countries. He has to talk smart to foreing journalist because according to them and him he is a “special” person that they have met since Africa’s inception. He talks street smart of the west but casualties in his backyard and that’s why we can safely conclude HE IS THE MODERN SLAVE OF AFRICA. Sooner than later he must be brought to the court of law of Ethiopia so Ethiopians can live peacefully with out being tormented by the few weyane mafia family.

  5. babu
    | #5

    Interesting reading!!! I think Meles should be viewed in total and with the prevailing conditions he inherited and he created. Without such analysis, I am afraid, one would end up reaching to an unpalatable conclusion. This writer has just done that by inserting his jaundiced views and personal ideology to the seemingly fact based analysis. Eighteen years is a generation and during these years a new generations of Ethiopians emerged with multiple identities. This is undeniable fact and there to see for all with clear vision. In his top ten slogan the writer clearly showed his political ambitions disregarding the prevailing and on the ground facts. What he calls Kilil or federal regions, no matter how ineffective and poorly designed, would not disappear for reasons I have mentioned above. I would urge the writer to revisit his “top Ten” slogans and come up with a better version of it that brings people together and make people work for common good and interest.
    Old fuedal and derge socialist Ethiopia is done and never to emerge…BURIED for EVER……Hale luya…

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    ብናድግ ትሩ ነበረ “

  7. Boss
    | #7

    Hell no!!! There is only one option for him; pay for his crimes. He has missed a golden opportunity to get pardon from the Ethiopian people on May 15, 2005! Khalas!


  8. BBX
    | #8

    Zenawi is a vicious criminal of all time. He has to be proscuted in the international court for crimes aganist the Ethiopian People.

  9. elis
    | #9

    Yilma Bekele thank you for this superb work.

  10. yikerbelen
    | #10

    Such an ugly aap has led ethiopia for 18 years .what SHAME!!!!!!!!!!

  11. ዳቆን ሀይለማርያም
    | #11

    ጥሩ ጥያቂ ማቅረብ ምሳሊ የመድሀኒታችን መስዋዕትነት ቅዱስ ቁርባን ለኛ ጠቃሚ ነው ለክርስቲያኖች የሚሰጠው ምክር ጥቅም ምንድን ነው ብለን በአንክሮ በመቻቻል ልንጠይቅ ይገባናል መልሳችን ም ካለውቀት በስተት ላደረግነው ከሀጢት ያነጻናል መድሀኒት ስጋ ወገናችን መድሀኒተ ነፍስ ይሆናል ብለን አምነን የተማርነው ዕብ, 9, 14, 28, እንመልከት የዘለአለም ህይወት ን ያስገኛል ከመንግስት ካርም ያለው ም እምነት እግዚአብሂር ን ያወርሰዋል እግዚአብሂር እቀማዋል ለዘለዓለም ክርስቶስ ጋር አዋህዶ ያኖራል ያዋርዳል ያም ለመስዋዕትነት ብዙ ይጠይቃል በመስቀል ላይ ስለ እኛ የስው ልጆችን ማዳን የተቀበለውን መከራ ያሳስባል ይህ ማለት መጀመሪያ ምስጋን በሩ ሰለተከፈተ ጨለማ ነበር በንጉስነገስት ጊዚ ና ዘመን በወቅቱ ቀጥሎም በመንግስቱ ጊዚ ቀይሽብር ቅይደም ንጽህ ደም ፈሶአን ቀጥሎም በወያኒ ም ይሁን በግባር ቀደም የብርሃን ምስክር በሆነ በመለሰ ዚናዊይ ጋር አዋህዶ ያኖርን ለመስዋዕት በመቀበል ላይ መከራ ያሳስባል አንድ ተመልሰን እንዳንወርቅ አስቡት ሁልተኛ አትርሱት ታርኩን ብሉ ናልና ለዚህም ቢተክርስቲያናችን ትግስት ን ትፈልግ አለች ምስክር ለጥላቶች ዮሀንስ ወንጊል 6, 4, 57, 1ኛ ቆሮ , 1, 22, 29 , 1ኛ ዮሀ , 1. 7, ዕብ, 10, 10, ለቁርባን የሚለው ስም ብቻ አይደለም ታረቁ ነው ታዲያ በርቱ ጥንቃቂ ያሻዋል ይህደም አፍ ይጸው ለሞት ይላን የኦርቶደክ እምነት የዘላለም ህይወት ያስገኛል ሺ መንግስት ቢለዋወጥ ጉልቻ አያቆም ወጡም አይጣፍጥም ባሁኑ ሳት ጊዚ ወርህ አመታት ተፈላጊው መቀራረብ ሀሳብ መለዋወጥ ለሹመት ከመሮጥ አንድ ምሰሶ አንድቃል አንዲት አገር አንድ መባ በአንድነት መብላት መጠጣት ባንድ ሞሰብ ስሙ መሶበወርቅ ኢትዮጵያ ዘወረድ ህብስት ለዓለም የሚበቃ በገቢር በመሰራት ከፈጸሙት ኅጢአት ተጸጽቶ ማረኝ ይቅር በለኝ በማለት ጸልዮ አልቅሶ ለወደፊቱ በ እግዚአብሂር ቸርነት ሀጢአት ላለመስራት ቆርጦ መመለስ ንስሀ መግባት ለካህን መናዘዝ ነው የክርስቶስ ን መቸንከር መሰቀል መሞት መቀብር ከልብ ማሰብ ማስታወስ ነው 1ኛው ፍቺ ሰላም ለገን ሰላም ለአግር ለበሽታ ለ እስረኛ ለስደተኛ ለሰራተኛ ወዘተ በሙሉ ነው ጥቆማው 1ኛ ቆሮ 11, 27, ? ዳቆን ኃ/ማርያም

  12. Meseker
    | #12

    Thank you Yilma justice is overdue on this matter.

  13. Anonymous
    | #13

    That was completely an outstanding job. You told him good if he understands; however, I have a doubt he doesn’t. Thank you to Yilma Bekele for writing this article.

  14. Anonymous
    | #14

    Meseker :Thank you Yilma justice is overdue on this matter.



    Meseker :Thank you Yilma justice is overdue on this matter.

  15. game plan!
    | #15

    i think their is a similarity b\n G.Bush and Meles
    ‘Psychologically speaking, Mr. George W. Bush is what is called a ‘malignant narcissist.’ A narcissist is someone who has become hypnotized and entranced by their own inflated self-image. They have become so self-absorbed that not only are they not in genuine relation with others, but they relate to others (including the environment) as objects to satisfy their own need for self-aggrandizement. A ‘malignant’ narcissist, however, is a narcissist who reacts sadistically to others who don’t support and enable their narcissism.”

  16. alex
    | #16

    Meanwhile, private Alemeshet disclosed that the regime’s attempt to muffle the Eritrean mass media by expending millions of dollars has proven to be a futile effort and that the Ethiopian people in general and the Army in particular are able to follow the Eritrean media with clear frequency.

  17. Feee Bertukan
    | #17

    The Ethiopian people deserve a peaceful and smooth transfer of power if/when TPLF abandons office and flees to Sudan before the “election” comotion. For any evetualities, it is absolutely indespendable to free Bertukan Midaksa, a moderate democrat to organize a transitional government. Ato Meles should give priority to her release unconditionally.

    Mr. Yilma, Kilil should be replaced by kefle-hager (province) and unmanageably larger kilils like the current Oromia should be divded into Eastern Oromia, Western Oromia and Central Oromia, as Addis Ababa should be a provice per se. Addis is now the political, may be even the administrative capital of the United/Federated States of Africa. Ogadenia could also emerge as full fledged province as part of federated Ethiopia. Including Eritrea in the mix may be dangerous now that the Eritreans have developed their own identity and despise unity with the “backward” Ethiopia. Hopefully, a united, prosperous and democratic Ethiopia could be a centrifugal force and hub of African unity. Let us not be too narrow and bitter.

  18. selam
    | #18

    Ugly monkey TPLF leader. He make me sick

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