Happy New Year to you too, Professor Efraim Isaac – By Legesse Gizaw

January 1st, 2010 Print Print Email Email

I read your New Year 2010 Greetings in one of the Ethiopian Websites (http://tigraionline.com/prof_Efraim_Isaac_greets.html). (more…)

I read your New Year 2010 Greetings in one of the Ethiopian Websites (http://tigraionline.com/prof_Efraim_Isaac_greets.html). It is very thoughtful of you to write to us during these Holidays. You congratulate us for our successes. You decry the manifest ethnic and religious divisions amongst the few educated elites who trace their origins to Ethiopia. You call on us to critically look back to “forty years varieties of inter-group hate-badmouthing and quarrel, fighting and killing”. I commend you for challenging us to do better.

However, as I read you greetings and remembered your involvement over the last two yours, I decided to take you call for duty seriously but to also challenge you to live up to the moral and human values that are reflected in your greetings. I was in particular impressed when you “respectfully ask” us “for the sake of our poor, sick, and illiterate, each and every Ethiopian, especially our political and religious leaders, to set an example of mutual respect and love”.

Having read Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam’s article Birtukan, Invictus immediately before reading your piece and about the many tributes, vigils and campaigns to mark the first anniversary of Birtikan Midekssa’s imprisonment, I questioned the sincerity of your call.

You have tried, admirably, to bridge the divide between the governed and the rulers I gather to bring to an end the sufferings and the hate that are common in our politics and society. This being the case, I wondered why you chose only “our poor, sick and illiterate” as the reasons to establish respect and love between us. I asked, why did the professor leave out those whose life has been adversely impacted not as a result of but with his involvement? I thought you purposefully left out those who lost their liberty, those who were orphaned and widowed because of the political divide that is the source of your misgivings. You forgot those who were killed and tortured for no other reason but for speaking truth to power.

In spite of your good intentions and time and resources generosity, you have failed to live to the standards that bring respect and love – granted not out of malice or naivety. You have not spoken truth to power! You have not called for justice and reconciliation. When the rubber meets the road you and the likes of Haile GebreSellassie have without exception stood with power at a great cost to individuals, liberty and our national character. You have done this not through you actions, or writings, but through your silence. As Edmund Burk aptly put it, the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

I could not fathom why you chose to ignore Birtukan and the other political prisoners who are in prison not because they committed a crime but because they told the truth. In particular since you played a helpful role in the release of Birtukan and the other Kinijit leaders, the re-arrest of Birtukan would be an issue of conscience to you and your fellow Shimagles. You were part of the celebrations. You gave a number of interviews. You and Haile Gebre Selassie among others received prizes, and promised to do even more.

When the time came to speak the truth you vanished. When your very work was challenged you succumbed. At the very time your words and deeds could have marked a much desired moral and cultural renewal you, Haile and your fellow shimagles abandoned the high ground.

As it happens just a year to the date of your New Year greetings Birtukan was taken away from her three years old daughter and elderly mother. The government claims that Birtukan denied receiving a pardon. I am certain you know Birtukan has never denied receiving a pardon. The narration of the pardon was the point of contention. You among others know the history of the release process as well anybody. In fact your and Meles’s interviews with ETV (you can see it here: http://www.abugidainfo.com/?p=12834) clearly prove Birtukan’s narration was accurate.

Professor, I wonder how a religious leader like you and Pastor Daniel and Olympic Champion Haile GebreSelassie can stay quite when a thirty four years-old mother spends her life in prison? How can you in good conscience call on us to show our respect, and love when you our older brother, heroes, Shimagles do not show respect and love for the truth?

I strongly believe justice is the foundation for love and respect. Without justice there will not be love or respect or peace. As President Obama stated “peace is not merely the absence of visible conflict. Only a just peace based on the inherent rights and dignity of every individual can truly be lasting.” I call on you, Haile GebereSelassie and the other Shimagles to “to refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present condition makes you morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘oughtness’ that forever confront you.”

Today Birtukan is under the brutal conditions of the EPRDF. However she has defeated the most potent weapon of the EPRDF, not its army but fear. She will survive the TPLF; for she has nothing to fear.

With admiration and respect and for the sake of the imprisoned, the orphaned, widowed and yes for “our poor, sick and illiterate “, I call on you to speak the truth. And truth is the foundation for justice. The road to justice starts by speaking the truth. Happy New Year and I yield the floor!

The writer can be reached at legesse.gizaw@gmail.com

  1. selamta
    | #1

    Ethiopia is at a critical juncture of societal changes where character and integrity in the urban conglomerates are fading out and pure opportunism coupled with fear and intellect are taking over. The ideal situation would be to have them all, but unfortunately intellect and wealth grow unconditionally, even if the person is smug, ungenerous, or even crue. Understandably, the rogue regime promotes and stirs this phenomen to its own advantage since those handfull people in this category tend to control the economy and gradually shy away from politics. It is basically a two way road: they get a slice of the cake everytime they keep silent. The poor, on the other hand, that the Professor called “illiterate” have a better character and integrity than him or those that are crippled with fear of losing something. They persevered and persistently refused to bow to the Regime, testifying that they hold a higher moral ground in a sence that Einstein once said, “Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character”

    Abebe Bikila strove relentlessly to raise Ethiopia’s Flag. He meant that his country and his people come first when he once said,
    “I wanted the world to know that my country, Ethiopia, has always won with determination and heroism.” Similarily, Haile is our hero but he seems to be focused on his own reputation and consumed by his wealth and worries less about the liberty and well-being of his people.

    As Legesse puts it correctly, the Professor and Haile know the truth about Birtukan but they are silenced by fear. Confucius said, “To know what is right and not do it is the worst cowardice.”

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    በጽሁፉ ዉስጥ ስለ መሃይምነት የተጠቀሰ ነገር አለ። መልእክቱ ደግሞ መላው ኢትዮጵያዊያንን የሚመለከት ይመስለኛል። መልእክቱን ኢትዮጵያዊያን እንዳነቡት እና በትክክል እንዲረዱት ከፈለጋችሁ ለምን በቑንቑችን አልፃፋችሁትም። በእንግሊዝኛ የሚጻፍ ጽሁፍ ሁሉ አገልግሎቱ ለዉጭ ኣገር አንባቢያን ብቻ መሆኑን ትረዳላችሁ???????
    ስለዚህ የእናንተን ምሁርነት ወደ ጎን ተዉት እና ለህዝቡ በሚገባው እና በሚረዳው ቑንቑ መልእክታችሁን ለማስተላለፍ ሞክሩ። ኢትዮጵያ ምሁራን አላጣችም። ዱሮም ቢሆን ብዙ ምሁራን ነበሯት። ችግሩ ያለው ምሁራን ተብየዎች ከስልጣን ላይ ሲወጡ ከምሁራንነት ወደ ደደብ መሃይምነት የእድገት አሮንቃቸዉ የመዘፈቃቸዉ ትእይንት ላይ ነው። የኢትዮጵያ ዘመናዊ ምሁራኖች እስልጣን ላይ ካሉት ጀምሮ እንብላን እንጂ እናብላን አያዉቁም። እናም የኢትዮጵያ ድሃ ህዝብ የምግብ ረሃብተኛ ብቻም አይደለም፡ የእዉነተኛ ደሞክራሲ ረሃብተኛም ጭምር እንጂ!!!!!!!!!!!

    ኢትዮጵያን ከምሁር መሃይማን እግዚኣብሄር ያላቃት እላለሁ።

  3. True
    | #3

    Ato Legesse,

    It is people like you who are dividing us over and over again because you demand so much of an individual to do more but then you are sitting here demanding the professor to do more. When are people like you are realizing that the freedom of Ethiopia is not only Professor’s but yourself and other individuals? By insulting the professor, you are allowing more prisoners to stay in prison so that they can’t act against Weyane. Thank you for your demise! If it wasn’t for the professor, Dr. Berhanu and many others would not be free today. If it wasn’t fro the Professor, the recent prisoners would not be free today. You cannot, I repeat, you cannot make and demand the professor to do more when you are doing nothing except complain and down grade a great person such as Professor. It does not matter if the professor is peaceful with Meles or not. Each individual can contribute one way or the other for Ethiopia. Professor Ephrem, whether you like it or not have contributed in his own way to free imprisoned Ethiopians. So, leave him alone let him do his job and you do your job your own way if you truly love Ethiopia rather than condemning others to contribute in their own way weather you agree or not. By condemning the professor you are preventing Ethiopians to be free that are now doing a great job against Weyane. The professor can only do what he can even for Birtukan and if it is beyond his capability there is notthing he can do. Perhaps you can gos substittue Birtukan yourself and that is the type of sacrifice you can do. I bet you won’t. So stop being obstacle for Ethiopians who are imprisoned! IF you have done as much good as the professor you will be given credit. Apparently, you don’t seem popular obviously you haven’t contributed anything. Yes, you must be popular enough in supporting ethiopia’s cause like Berhanu and Professor, etc. to criticize the Professor, but you are nothing obviously instead sitting your butt and demanding others to do more. Not only that you are doing more harm by helping to prevent Ethiopians to be freed from prison and continue the struggle. Thanks for nothing! It is shameful and disrespect for the professor wearing that flag and you expect people like you can make a difference? Shame on you! It takes talent even to respect your enemy sometimes let alone your fellow Ethiopian who is more Ethiopian than you to accomplish his goals. Apparently you resort to insult, bashing, etc. Ethiopia is really unlucky to have people like you.

  4. ይቻላል
    | #4

    Thanks Legesse and Abugida.

    We didn’t know the professor wrote for the new year.

    Wonderful paper Legesse, with you yes we ask to the professor:

    “….How can you in good conscience call on us to show our respect, and love when you our older brother, heroes, Shimagles do not show respect and love for the truth?”

    | #5

    TO LEGESSE GIZAW: Thank you for yielding the floor!!

    I have reviewed your article about professor Efrem Isaac’s New Year congratluation to the Ethiopian people as a whole and his wish for the needy (the poor, the sick and illiterates) as well as the accusation you presented on his person. It seems that your article resembles an earlier article written by one with a name Aie Zu Gue on November 24, 2009 under the title ” A Harvard Schoolar who champaign evil ..” which later took everyone into dialoge both on his person and religion. The present article you have advanced is no different than the former because its tone, merit and manner of dictation of the language share one common objective – tarnish his reputation – whether that means his intellectual standing as non-Islamic/Christian believr or his political nutrality. I wonder how you and your crony determined to go in such depth and orchasterate nasty business of character assasination and expected him to solve Ethiopia’s problem that should not be his business.

    As a simple example of your meritless accusation, you had said (or alleged) that the professor “forget those who were tourtured” and only expressed his wish for the well beingness of the poor, sick and iliterate” rather than for not calling justice and reconcilation on Birtukan Medeksa’s arrets. What a stero-type grievence????. If the professor was asking God or calling mercy by an earthly dictators for the poor, the sick and the iliterate, then he would have been praised for repeating your god’s (Jesus) word because only the poor and the destitutes are preferred for such spiritual reward to liberate them from misery. As a Jew, the professor should have been better off in avoiding
    the word of Jesus because he could deprive you any base to accuse him and denied his “reconcilation” effort of the past. Having said that, it should be said that the professors’ effort in reconciling disputed parties in the past (which you have denied) and his alleged failure in requesting authorities for Birtukan’s release is not possible without involving the Oromo majority who are cuontless in our homeland as well as in Germany. But they are enemies among themselves. Let me share with you one case in point.

    It was a week befor on December 26, 2009 where a friend had given me tickets for selling to other friends to raise fund for Birtukan’s release and in turn, I asked two OROMO co-workers to buy the tickets and join the 1st year anniversary of Birtukan’s imprisinment at the cerimony’s hall of the event where it was held in one of the New England States of America. My co-workers without shame told me that they won’t buy the ticket not because of short of cash or time to attend the event but because “Birtukan is Weyane Ethiopian”. I ask my co-worked in a calm and diplomactic manner to explain to me what they meant “Weyane Ethiopian” because one is a prisioner and the other is authority who ordered her imprisonment. The two explained to me in that “when they said she is “Weyane” it was to say that if she got a chance to hold state power, she will not allow Oromos to secure their independance and this action makes her another Weyane and Ethiopian. Their conclusion was that since they belong to the Oromo Liberation Front, which Birtukan is not the part of it, they declined to extended their hand for the $20 fare.

    MR. LEGESSE: If you are concerned for the integirity of our country, re-direct your finger against those who determined to divide or distroy our country, and not on one man who is not a politician.

    And finally, let me correct you about your definition of “justice”. As you said, “justice is the foundation of love and respect”. Justic is not only the foundation of love and respect but it means “fairness distributed” or “truth in action”. Assume a man killed another man for no reason. The killed was arrested and appeared in court. In the trial the Judge find out the truth and sentenced the killed to die. The judge, however, has no “love” or “respect” either for the victim or the victimizer, but the penality “death” was fairly distributed or proportionally applied.

    Do you believe that your assessments on professor Eferem Issac was “just” or “proportional” because he did not have said what you expected him to say about Birtukan??.

    Adjourn, and wait for your reply and my rebuttal. Thanks.

  6. አንበሴ
    | #6

    Anonymous በሚል ስም ለጻፉት አስተያየት ተጨማሪ አስተያየት አለኝ:: ከጥቂት ኢትዮጵያውያን ምሁራን በስተቀር: አብዛኛቹ በውጭ ሃገራት የተማሩትን ሁሉ ያምናሉ: የተጻፈ ነገር ሁሉ እውነት አድርገው ሲታለሉና ሲያታልሉ: ማየትና መስማት ያስደነግጣል ያናድዳል:: በተለይም ታሪክን በተመለከተ::
    አብዛኛዎቹ የሰለጠኑ ሃገራት የኢትዮጵያን ታሪክ አዛብተው ሲጽፉ ምሁር ነኝ የሚሉት ኢትዮጵያውያን አብረው ሽር ጉድ ሲሉና አዲሱን ትውልድ ሃገሩን ረስቶ በጥበብና በቴክኖሎጂ ያደጉት ሃገራት የሚፈበርኩት ታሪክ ሁሉ እውነት ይመስላቸዋል:: የሃገራችን የታሪክ ጠበብት: ቀደምቶችን ማለቴ ነው: እነ ፕሮፌሰር ታደሰ ታምራት ያስተማሩንን ማለትም በአይን የሚታይና ቀደም ብሎ በራሳችን ፊደል በተጻፈው መሰረታችን ያስተማሩንን እንድንተውና የ100 አመቱን እንድንቀበል በጠመንጃ ጫካ ውስጥ ሆነው የፈጠሩትን በግድ ተቀበሉ የሚሉን ዘረኞች በኢትዮጵያ ታሪክ ውስጥ የሌለና ከ20 እና 30 አመታት በፊት እንኳን ሰምተን የማናውቀው አዲስ ስያሜ እየሰጡን ስናይ ስንሰማ ያናድዳል ያስገርማል:: ፋሽስት ጣሊያን ከኢትዮጵያውያን አርበኞች ጋር ለ5 አመታት ውጊያ ሲያደርግ ከፋፍለህ ግዛ ብሎ ካርታ አውጥቶ ስያሜ ሰጥቶ የነደፈውን ተከታዩ ወያኔ ሲያደርገው ስናይ :- አማሪያ ኦሮሚያ ጉራጊያ ወላይቲያ….ወዘተርፈ ሲሉን እያዳመጥን ኢትዮጵያዊ አንድነታችንን እያጠናከርን ነው: ወያኔንም ከምድረ ኢትዮጵያ ለማስወገድ እየተረባረብን ነው:: እራሳቸው ፈረንጆች የጻፉት አባባል አለ:- DO NOT BELEIEVE ANY THING YOU READ ብለው::
    እግዚአብሔር የተመሰገነ ይሁን! ለማመዛዘን የሰጠንን አእምሮ በተረጋጋ ሁኔታ በመገንዘብ የቀደምት ታሪካችንን እና ሉአላዊነታችንን በማንኛውም መንገድ መብታችንን እናስከብራለን:: ምሁር ነን ብለው የሚቀሉትንና ሃገራቸውንና እራሳቸውን የሚያዋርዱትን ዘግተን(Ignore) አድርገን ለዘለአለም ሃገራችንን እንጠብቃለን እናስከብራለን::

    ድል ለኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ!!!

  7. ኮንጎ
    | #7

    ጥቁር ተፈጥሮ በሚሊዮን ዘመን ያደረግቺለት ተፈጥሯዊ እድገት በባርነት
    በ racism ተቋርጧል ወይም ጠፍቷል ተፍጥሮ ሌላ ባርነት
    rascim መቋቕም የሚቺል ራሱን ለሚልዮን አመት እድገቱን
    ሳያስነካ ጥብቅ መክላከያ ያለው ዘር እያበቀለች ነው አለምም ትበለጽጋልች
    ሰላም የአም ነዋሪዎች አብቡ በልጽጉ አፍሪካ

  8. True
    | #8

    Ato Legesse,

    As we Ethiopians are unlucky to have such people like you because they think they know better than the rest of us, because they criticize the ones who are doing the action, I have questions for you. If Shawel shares power with Meles rather than the usual Meles rule, which one would you choose. What you are looking for is to get 100% result, even such result comes either by death for freedom, which you should be included to by the way, or one’s choice will be gradual change. For me, I will take both because both brings change from Meles rule. Your short-sighted indulgence to get things done through demand, just divides people as what you are doing right now because you caused the division of both you and I when our aim should be for democratic Ethiopia.

  9. Teye
    | #9

    I think Legesse is just being himself, negative.

  10. Nedo
    | #10

    I commend Ato Legesse for challenging the hidden truth about the terms of Shimgilina that gave excuse to re-arrest Birtukan. Say atleast one word about the hard fact instead of preacing us with empty words about peace How can the good professor expect peace while there is injustice ?

  11. Btrx
    | #11

    thank u legesse for your rigjt and perfect comment.Please ignor the comment of the writer by the name TRUe.He didn’t underestand what u writeand the comment he gave is rubbish.

    Legesse as u said i am ashemede of the so called Shemagelewoch ,because they bagging opposition leader for the pardon and makes things good for weyane.As of my underestanding Proffesor Efrem,Haile and Pastor Daniel done their best for the pardon for the sake of their own hidden agenda not for the truth. I said this because when the pardon vaiolated they must do something or they must tell the truth to Ethipian people hawever they keep silent as they didn’t hear of it.

    Legesse as an ethiopian we must looks the background of the people who participated in the current government connection,

    Let us evaluate the following.

    Professor Efrem is widely known in the diaspora but most of ethiopian like me know little about him. After EPRDF took powe he satrt to apear in different places and conferences why wher is he befor it drows something in my mind because if someone stands for the truth must say the truth all the time.And also as far as i am conserned Professor is a JEW.Everybody underestabd what i mean. This reason makes me to watch this person carefully.

    We know that Hayle G/selassie is a famous person who is the best figure to the country.Hawever, he is alwayse looking for his advantage not a trustworthy guy. I said this because he knows the alarming condition of the country and must influnce the current leaders and also must tel the truth for forigners to put the burdon on the Government. He keep silnt and doing his business.What type of Ethiopian he is.
    Pastor Daniel,as a relegious figure he played a key role for the release of the opposition leaders.After that he disapeared from the news and the problem of the country rise he hid himself. What type of leader he is. Is Jesus teach us like this. As of my underestanding he plays a role for the forgiveness of the opposition leader is that to appeoach the EPRDF leader or as a hiden messenger of EPRDF like Professor.

    So we Ethiopians mus watch who says what.when ,haw and wher.

    We must not give admiration for sertain people with a limited accomplishemnt.

    God bless Ethiopia

    Dawn with EPRDF

    Thank u legesse, God bless u and my comment for u is that keep up


  12. True
    | #12


    If you know little about him, how can you criticize him because someone else did so? Apparently, you haven’t done your job instead goes along because someone has vandetta against the Professor and Haile G/ Selassie. Your insecure mind like Legesse tells you, that the Professor has agenda but you are not stating what agenda the professor and Haile G/Selassie has for freeing the prisoners. Perhaps you may seem to forget these 2 people have limited power. Yet you demand he does more and I would like to really see “proof” what you guys have done for Ethiopia.

  13. Btrx
    | #13

    True, first why simply stand aginst other idea. Tell us if you are a messenger or mouth for them. I gave a comment because i was in addis at that time and I am the one knows things better than you,because you simply appritiate. As I said if someone stands for truth once will never back whenever truth is vaiolated.

    As an example due to these persons effort and good will for the country makes the prisenors free through agreement with the Woyane.Hawever repetedly Melese gave interview by contradicting the reality of the agreement to misleading the people. And also he ignored the agreement or broke the promise and put Bertukan in jail. At this time for the sake of their effort and truth and also their standings why they keep silent.Rather the professor message is seems a derama because not only the opposition leader in jail but also there is a death penality is decided on the former General and prisnors who become free. Is this case not need the truth. This is one of the reason why i critisize them and also possible to bring so many evidence.
    And other things weather he is a professor or doctor it will bring nothing for other. Every person makes his own good initialy forhimself. So don’t give a weight or measure people only by his acadamic standing,age and other means but with his action and “real fruit”
    Remember “Pawlos No-ño ” he is not acadamicaly strong but the best writer and honest person and sacrifies for the sake of truth and his country. And also so many Ethiopians without age differnce and acadamic bacground performs great things.

    Finallt befor defending other try to find out detail about the persons and for the sake of your pen name tell the truth


  14. Degu
    | #14

    True and Ethiopian Jew,
    I agree with you guys to the most part.
    I can not say that the Professor and Haile are perfect but let me ask the destructive people how would they think things would have been changed because of what the professors would say? EPRDF would have freed Birtukan?? no never! I think a lot of people particularly in the diaspora lack the ability to think critically about Ehtiopian politics. Spending resources on attacking those people will only discourage the role of Shemaglena to solve our problems. The worst thing is that this is happening when we really need them.

  15. Anonymous
    | #15

    የእቶቢኢያ ችግር መፍቲሀው በታም አስችጋሪ ነው ምክኒያቱም ሰዉ ከራሱ ለላ ስለማሲብ ነው.መንጊስቱ ቶርነት ከወያንና ከችህቢአ ሲያደርግ አንድ ነገር ተናግሮ ነበር ዪሁን እንጊ የሰማው አልነበረም እሱም ዪህ ቶርነት ባትደግፉ ለናንተ የመችሀርስሃ ውድከት ነው ሲል ተኢትይፒአ ምህሮችህ ጊን ችሂግሩ የፖለቲቻ እያሉ ለታላት አሳልፈው ሰትን እና ሰዎችህ ነን ካወፈው ስህተታችሂን እንማር አንሁ ዝራየ ደግሞ ሙሁሮችህ ሰላሚ ተግል, ሚሪችሃ እያሉ ጊዘ ይፍጉልናል

  16. True
    | #16


    That is what is so sad about us. You keep talking about truth, what truth do you want him to tell you except his good gesture as a Shimglina and mediator to free prisoners that stand for freedom. Why do you and Legesse assign people to tell them what to do in disrespect way when we have no idea what you have accomplished regarding Ethiopia so far? I am not talking about because of his title, I am talking about his good gesture and effort to support the release of prisoners. Apparently you guys don’t know what mediation means. You have to understand this, there are many people who do various things based on their choices, obligations, etc. You can’t find exact copy of person’s actions as you desire them to be. In fact that kind of mentality is selfish, self centered and not credible and it is in fact isolating one self because of rigidity. We break our rigidity and approach moderation, flexibility and negotiation to get what we want when sometimes there is absolutely no option. You then work on strengthening from that gradually. If rigidity was possible, in some cases it is true, everyone would have chosen that to get what they want. You and Legesse by criticism of fellow Ethiopians who at least walking the walk, are damaging rather than benefiting. For example, the creation of Ginbot 7 would not have existed if it wasn’t the effort of the Shimagles who freed opposition leaders. As I said, I would like to know what you guys have done proof before criticizing and damaging Ethiopia’s cause.

  17. selamta
    | #17

    What is wrong with criticizing those people whose voice can make a difference? You are probably right. Legesse, Brx, me and the like are just whistle-blowers and contributed nothing to the release of the prisoners other than carrying posters and chanting slogans around the colds of temperate America. Likewise, citizens of Addis did nothing after the massacre of 2005 as they were silenced by the power of gun. So, are you saying that we should all shut up and believe the politician’s rhetoric and lies. No, I disagree. Constructive criticism should be encouraged as far as it is offers valid and well-reasoned opinions about works of others. Unfortunately, criticism is sometimes a bitter pill for many to swallow and may occasionaly convey and fuel hatred by few. Yet, we have to keep on criticizing each other since that is the only way one can express his/her position so that those in question will benefit or improve. So far, the Shimagles and Meles are on the same page in regards to Birtukan. If they don’t oppose her imprisonment that means they are endorsing it. They never, however, lied they are just not courageous enough to come out and Straighten up facts. The good Professor, the Pastor and the Athlet had a stake in the negotation process and no one else can better explain the disparity between what has been negotiated what is being executed. Everyone has the right to question until they speak about it. Happy New year!

  18. Btrx
    | #18

    Selamta you critsize me first and when i read the whole you support me at last. You know selamt what i said Shemegelena is not one time duty it has a continuation.I belive is that Melese and Shemagelewoch is on the same page in regard to bertukan,those people sentenced to death and etc…if they do not oppose the mistreatment of citizens. specially on Bertukan case Meles said she vaiolated the pardon but is it true ,i dont thinkso. Now it is a year the shemagele group said nothing. Hawever in his new year speeach to Ethiopian people the professor said something as an advice. In one side they igenor the truth and in the other they tried to show us they stand for the treut. This is a shame.

    As of Hayle he is consumed by his wealth. Means he invest in the country a lot of money and if i said something the government will take action on my wealth of thinking. In the contrary i said he is internationaly known by UN and different countris,he has the ability to influence the governement look Gorge weha an asimilan football player he did a lot for his country during dictator charles tailer era and even he lost his house and wealth but his support of the couse of his country makes Laiberia free and he become a presedential runner. So Does haile has more power than weha or not?

    About Pastor daniel as a relegioua figure even during this hard time when peoples who serve their country put int death sentence and truth vaiolated he must speak up. Hawever,even their pardon vaiolated and Beretukan put in jail he kept sailent haw we can trus these peoples.

    selameta do u underestand me why i wrote this. Please give me a comment.
    Finaly i would like to tell for all people we write our idea as an Ethiopian we must share what we belive and being optimistic to our motherland

    God bless Ethiopia


  19. selamta
    | #19

    It was actually an honest comment addressed to the writer by the acronym TRUE, not to you. Thanks for responding, though. Other than that, we seem to be on the same page. I am not surprised by Pastor Daniel’s position to be honest with you. He has publicly supported Woyane long time before he took part in the negotiation process.

  20. Abebe Tessema
    | #20

    A lot of people are writing to support or oppose Professor Epraim’s New Year Message. To oppose or even condem a person because he could not do what he could not do is is unfair. I know Professor Ephraim and he desires every Ethiopian to live in peace and freedom if it were up to him. He helped in all he could throughout his life, and he should be thanked for continuing to do so at old age. The problem we have is not his fault but ours.

    As I see it we are quick and always ready to tear down someone for trying to do the right thing. Most of us do nothing but attack those few who try to do something. When we review what has done ans said over the years, we have spent more time and e energy in tearing down the leaders of the Opposition parties than attacking the party in power. I think there is something wrong in how we view our problems. I THINK THERE IS A NEED TO CHANGE OUR PERSPECTIVE IN TALKING ABOUT THE ILLS OF THE COUNTRY, AND WE HAVE TO RESOLVE TO DO SO AT THE BEGINNING OF THE NEW YEAR. THERE IS SUCH A THING AS PARADIGM SHIFT IN VIEWING, ACTING AND THINKING, AND WE NEED THAT.
    It is not sincere to sit thousands of miles from ground zero and pontificate about the actions of the few who try to do something real and beneficial. I know some of those who are trying to be holier than the Pope: they are nothing but talking heads and pretentious. They do not really know what is at stake, let alone how to solve it. They are unwitting victims of their own ignorance and infantile actions and empty talk.

  21. Anonymous
    | #21

    tezibt says:
    I admire you Prof. Emphrem. If Jesus is to be here today and preach peace, there may be some who will crucify him again. Politics has become very crude. The complexity is beyond understanding. Still you manage to sail and I applaud your effort trying to make peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, opposition and government etc… What some may want you to do is not Shimgilia, but kunena or blame tplf. There are enough people to do that. Those who wish to see the country turn into blood bath do have no interest for peace and no respect for the respectful elders like you. This is a volatile and dangerous time. We have to try to patiently sail through the tides.

  22. True
    | #22

    Selamta,BTRX, Legesse,

    Who said constructive criticism is bad? Nobody said for you to be silent. Apparently your criticism is distructive that has no beneficial. Why are you picking on one or two people in that case. Why not other people to make a difference? Do you thing the writer’s criticism with sarcastic posting of Professor Ephrem with Weyane’s flag is constructive? To me, it is being unprofessional and hooligan especially insulting an elder person like that. What do you expect to gain if you don’t have respect for your own people? Even you have to have respect for your enemy sometimes that is why we have negotiations and mediation in conflict resolution. Yes, I am convinced you don’t do a thing except disrespect people in your Negative Criticism. It is not even an advice.

    Let me also say that I have read Professor’s article and it was a wish of goodwill. It is a shame your return his good will with insult not by as you called “Positive Criticism”. Typical my way or the high way attitude. Btw, you have not answered to my question if Ginbot 7 would have been formed if it wasn’t for the Professor’s help to free the opposition groups. Hailu Shawel would not have a position today if it wasn’t for Professor, UDJ would not have formed if it wasn’t for the Professor. Think outside of the box. Whether you support the above parties or not. They are all striving for democracy of Ethiopia. Sometimes I worry how we are going to achieve peace and democracy in our country with such characters.

    Abebe Tessema,

    Thank you, you seem to understand very well and in fact explained it better than me whereas, I was more emotional.

  23. Belai
    | #23

    it is people like you, who creating creating problem in my country, you never had any thing postive to say, do you have the ball to forgive and forget ? can you you see the postive side of life. it is always gloom and doom. we do not need any negative thought and energy we already got it from many people like you. please move on have something good to say about people and your country. this old man is advising us to unite and think postive and respect eachother. why do like to politicixe every thing? it is easy to critically criticize people but it is not easy to get a solution to all the problems. if you do not have any thing good to say or any good idea why can’t you atleast shut up!

  24. selamta
    | #24

    I have no word to say about Ato Hailu Shawul; history will judge him. But please don’t misunderstand me and take my comments personal. Let me rephrase my position. I highly value the Athlet as well as the Professor for bringing the then Kaliti-Quagmire to some sort of end. They employed all the means at their disposal, and all Ethiopians were utterly thrilled about the release of the opposition group. But that joy was short lived as the young devoted-mother and tirless advocate of freedom was sent back to the crammed and rat-infested dungeon. This is a clear testimony to the fact that Meles was not serious in problem-solving negotiation in the first place. Instead, he was just manipulating the situation and in a way using the influential elders. So, it is naive to believe that the release of Berhanu, Hailu, etc was solely because of the mediators. While I appreciate their effort and dedication, I also believe that Meles was using the opportunity to free the kinijit leaders because he knew that their release was inevitable. Well, that was yesterday. The question is where do we go from here? Demonizing the negotiators and attaching them to Woyane is a dishonest and non-constructive comment, I agree. However, denying their potential role to expose the deception and doule-standard of woyane and rejecting their charm to bring about an end to Birtukan’s incarceration is equally insincere. Regardless of Woyane intention, they have already put their good reputation for this stake and this last commandable step would please many at home and abroad, especially Birtukan and her Family. Their silence, on the other hand, will benefit only few and tarnish their honor and accomplishment.

  25. Nahom
    | #25

    You guys, what’s up. Let’s have a room for diffrences. Any one of us may have difference ideas about the so called ” shimiglina”. But one thing is imperative to accept. “Shimiglina” is and must be for the truth not for the elite who grasp power b/c of the gun. What so ever the measurment, the so called shimagleoch must ensure they are standing for the truth by showing and telling us the fact. Look the infulence of “Kes Desmond Tutu” in South Africa.
    Any way They/Shimagleoch” must do something for the peace and to brings all catastrophe to the end in our country.

    ” Melkam Genna” lehulachin. PLS don’t fight

  26. selamta
    | #26

    What do you mean “fight” Nahom? It is a healthy discussion as far as we respect each other. It is quite normal to have differences and we should all be ready to learn from one another. Don’t worry about those who are not old enough to govern their mouth. We have too many preachers and of course bad mouthes, what we need is listeners and negotiators.
    In fact, negotiation is the buzzword that many political foes use all the time despite dishonesty of one or the other party.

  27. Binyam
    | #27

    My fellow brothers and sisters, we have the right to demand more from our professor. He happens to be the leader of the mediator group. He managed to get Kinjit leaders out of prison. Blame the leaders not the professor for the disintegration of Kinijit. Now, we want him to work hard to get Birtukan released. To do that he has to deal with the devil, Meles. A tough job! Tell me who else but the professor.

    | #28

    Binyam: you are right.

  29. Assta B. Gettu
    | #29

    Though I have never heard of him before, I have read Professor Isaac’s Christmas and New Year message of love, reconciliation, and forgiveness to all Ethiopians regardless of their religious and linguistic differences. He believes we have the same DNA; we are one family, and we are all spirituals. It is indeed a blessing to have an educated elderly professor, condescending himself and sending us a godly message to live in peace.

    Instead of accusing such a godly man, we must encourage him to teach us more about reconciliation, peace, forgiveness, and respect for our culture, tradition, and custom, and one of our Ethiopian traditions is ሺምግልና and he had demonstrated himself on the business of reconciliation in the past, and if he is asked, he would do it again. We better demand more from him before he lives us and goes to heaven. It seems he is very concerned about the bad conditions in Ethiopia, and he doesn’t want to leave Ethiopia in turmoil; a country that has produced such a great scholar like him, he is not going to ignore but fight for her until he dies.

    The professor is trying to eradicate hatred from the minds of those of us who hate people with or without reasons. Some people oppose the professor’s message for political or religious reasons; however, the professor is one of us who is very dedicated to do many good things for his country.

    “Teacher,” said John, “we saw a man driving out demons in your name and we told him to stop, because he was not one of us.” Some people who may be jealous of the professor’s remarkable accomplishments are saying that he is not one of us. “Do not stop him,” Jesus said. “…..for whoever is not against us is for us.” (Mark 9:38-40)

    Therefore, let us leave him alone to continue his fatherly advice and appreciate his work for the unity of Ethiopia, our country, and we need more educated, humble, and religious people like him. Blessed are those students who get their educations under the guidance of Professor Isaac.

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