Ethiopians in Japan: The Burdens They Face are Ours to Share – Obang’s Report from Japan

May 21st, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopians are living all over the world and Japan is no exception. (more…)

Ethiopians are living all over the world and Japan is no exception. Going back to the summer of 2008, I have been speaking with Ato Tewodros Alemu and a number of Ethiopians living in Japan. Some of the key people were interested in the principles of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) and wanted to know how to become involved. This started us talking, but since that time I have become aware of how hostile the Japanese system is to the refugees. Conditions have been unbearable for many; creating great hardship. Some refugees have been in jail for a long time. As I tried to advocate for them from a distance, it became more apparent that more could be accomplished by coming to Japan. Since the beginning of the year, I have been urged to come due to the desperate situation and finally agreed, arriving in Tokyo just two days ago.

Japanese immigration policies prohibit refugees—and their children—from ever becoming permanent resident or citizens, from getting a job or from enjoying some of the basic privileges of native born Japanese. Refugees were required to renew their visa status every month, until last month into every six months. I am told; often face resistance from Japanese government officials who do not want to give them extensions.

Over the last year, the SMNE tried to help from a distance by writing some twenty or more letters to the Japanese immigration authorities regarding their refugee status and why they should not be deported. In some cases, Ethiopians who had “overstayed their time,” according to these policies, ended up in detention centers; some for over two years with no hope for resolution.

I intend to meet with the Japanese government officials about finding better solutions to this extremely difficult situation for the over 300 Ethiopians, including children, who now live in this country. The problem is made more difficult because the Ethiopian Embassy informs immigration officials that that there is no reason for granting political refugee status to these Ethiopians because they are instead “economic refugees.” They deny that there are any problems in Ethiopia.

When I arrived in Tokyo international airport on Thursday, after a 20 hour flight, I was met by two great Ethiopians, Ato Abebe Zewge, the Chairman of AdeyAbeba Ethiopia Association in Japan and Ato Tewodros Alemu, none of whom I had ever met in person, but yet I felt I already knew through the strong relationships we had made by phone! These are hard workers for the community of Ethiopians in Japan; succeeding in creating AdeyAbeba Ethiopia Association, an official Ethiopian association—the first and only African association ever started in Japan! They had just received approval for the association on May 18, 2010.

As we arrived at my hotel, we were joined by two brothers, Ato Aahlesilassie Amare and Ato Angagaw Mengistu. We talked about Ethiopia and found we had much in common as well as our shared hope of going back to Ethiopia some day. These men were like some of the other great Ethiopians I have met all over the world and we talked for hours. We discussed the seventeen Ethiopians in detention, who had committed no crime other than having expired documents. I wanted to see the detainees. We were able to make arrangements to visit six Ethiopian men in Mho-Shi Ushiku Immigration Detention Center the next day. I was told that there were also some girls in different detention center.

At 6:00Am in the morning, we all met together with Ato Tesfa Haile and Ato Kiflu Egi and Ato Tewodros Alemu to travel by train, one and a half hours, one way, to the Mho-Shi Ushiku Immigration Detention Center where these Ethiopians were being held. It was in the middle of nowhere, far from Tokyo city. The cost of transportation was nearly $100; making it hard for most to visit. We had to fill out forms to explain the purpose of our visit. I explained that I was from North America, that I was a human rights activist and that I wanted to know the condition of the Ethiopians being held in their facility.

We met with six men namely Tilahun Bekele, Michael Mulugeta, Dereje Demeke, Johny and Mahmude Kemal. Most were under 30 years of age and had been told someone was coming to visit. We could not shake hands because we were divided by glass. We could only put the palms of our hands up to the glass as they held up their hands to us. It was heart-wrenching. I asked each of the men to tell us about themselves and how long they had been there.

The first was Tilahun Bekele, a young man who was very articulate. He explained that no Ethiopians or human rights advocates had come to see them before this. He said it was a “terrible place” and that all nine of them stayed in one small room. He said, “The conditions are unbelievable.” He told us of three detainees (non-Ethiopians) who had committed suicide last month.

He talked with great passion about Ethiopia before explaining why he had been detained. He said, “I did not commit any crimes. He said he left Ethiopia after 2005 election because there was no peace, but said that the officials kept postponing the signing of his required document, which would have extended his stay there, believing that they did not really like refugees in the country. He had already been in detention for one year and six months. He was so emotional as he talked about being separated from his family and about the hardship they faced in Ethiopia due to the injustice, lack of peace and good government. As he talked, it almost made me cry but I tried to hold back. He said that since he had been there, he had never seen green grass or trees; explaining, “We never even go outside!”

The second person was Michael Mulugeta, he told us he had been detained since November of 2009 when the government wanted to deport him. He said he had wanted to renew his visa, but that they would not renew it. Shortly thereafter he had been arrested. He talked about his future, not knowing what was going to happen with his life. The third person was 43 years old Ato Dereje Demeke. He had been there the longest—two years and eight months. During all of that time, he had never been outside. He said, “If they want, they should deport me because my life is so bad here. He told us how he had lost his hearing in his right ear from not receiving medical treatment when he had had severe ear pain in the past.

Another young man, Johny, had been detained for one year and eight months and the sixth man said he had been there since 2009. The last person was Mahmud Kemal, he has been there since October 2009. Every minute I was there, I had to hold back my emotions as I saw their own emotion and heard how difficult it had been for them. I told them that I would try to do whatever I could and explained some of my intentions to meet with the Japanese government officials.

I told them I intended to ask why they were being detained for so long with no charges and why if the Japanese government did not want them there, it was not possible to go to another country rather than being deported back to Ethiopia or staying indefinitely in detention. I told them I and the leaders of AdeyAbeba Ethiopia Association would be meeting with the Japanese Minister of Immigration, the Minister of Justice and the United Nations in order to get answers to these questions. I would also be meeting with the Canadian officials to ask how they help Ethiopian refugees in Japan. I explained what the SMNE was; that it was a voice of the people, meant to speak up for Ethiopians wherever they are facing injustice and hardship and that this included them.

One of the men asked me to question the head of the detention center about why they are being detained for so long. I said I would. As we ended, we again put the palms of our hands on the glass against our sides of the glass as we looked at each other; inches away but worlds apart. The emotions of all of us were so strong as we struggled to contain them. As we parted, we told them, “Take care, we at the SMNE will try to do whatever we can do to help.”

I then asked to talk to head of the detention center and were able to meet with him. I asked why when international law required detainees to be charged or released, they were being held for so long in detention. He admitted that he did not know and told us to ask the Minister of Immigration and Minister of Justice.

As we made the hour or more train ride Tokyo city, there was time for much reflection. As I looked out the window, we passed Japanese farmers working peacefully in the fields. As I thought about what we had just experienced, I kept asking why we Ethiopians have to suffer the way we are suffering; not only in Ethiopia, but in many places throughout the world—like the Anuak and others still in refugee camps in Southern Sudan or Kenya, the Ogadeni, the Oromo, the Afar and Ethiopian people from most every part of the country. Why so much suffering and for how long? Who will free us?

As I was so deeply saddened by these thoughts, I was then encouraged by thinking about the presence of many compassionate and wonderful Ethiopian people who we can trust to care about all Ethiopians because of their shared humanity rather than discarding others if of another ethnicity or religion. I did not even know ethnicity of those Ethiopians I had just met Immigration Detention Center. I only asked their names because their ethnicity or religion did not matter in terms of feeling their pain and longing for their freedom. They were the future of Ethiopia, but their young lives were being held up in jail where they could not do anything for the country. They might be someone else’s children, but the truth is, they are also the future of all of us. These are our people, my people. If every Ethiopian and I do not speak for them and care for them, who will? This is the meaning of “No one is free until we all are free.”

Officials from the Ethiopian embassy never went to see these detainees even though they are Ethiopians being detained for no crime but seeking freedom, justice and opportunity. Those Ethiopians who believe in the humanity of every Ethiopia, who believe until all free, none are free and who believe we are part of a family of Ethiopians—these are the people who will make up the foundation that will bring a better future so our grandchildren will not run away from Ethiopia only to be locked up in jails in a foreign land.

The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia is about putting people first. We want to advance this idea of respecting the humanity of every one of us. What is lacking in Ethiopia is solidarity of the people around these life-giving principles. When I meet with Ethiopians of Japan this Sunday, I will tell them about being one family who care about each other. My theme will be to break the cycle of the apartheid system of the TPLF/EPRDF and we do not have to wait for a change of government to start this change within ourselves.

We Ethiopians should care about each other as all nations have special roles in protecting their citizens from harm. The Japanese care for the Japanese, the British for the British, Americans for Americans and Ethiopians should care about all Ethiopians. Those in prison are us—as are those in difficult situations throughout the world. They are our people. Their pain is our pain; their sorrow is our sorrow; their hardship our hardship. All should reach out to love each other; creating the New Ethiopia in Japan or wherever you are. Our suffering is too great. To end it will require us to change the way we think and do things.

As you know the election is Sunday and we all know what the result will be in Ethiopia. But we do not have to wait for another election to be part of a moral transformation that could revive our country. We must contribute to making Ethiopia a place not to run away from but a place to thrive and plant our roots. I have hope, but not in Western countries or rich countries, but in God because God will never give up on Ethiopia and we should trust His ways that call us to love and respect one another. May God help us become a people who put our humanity above our differences. These Ethiopians in Japan who are suffering are not alone, but there are so many more in dark places in Africa, Middle East and throughout the world. As they sought freedom and a better life, they found new difficulties outside as well. Had their country given them freedom, security, justice and opportunity; most would never have left.

In two days, I will be meeting with the Japanese authorities. This will be followed by asking Ethiopians to write letters to urge countries to abide by international laws and for the UN to hold violators accountable. Do not be bystanders while our Ethiopian women exploited in Middle East, while our country is near the top for human export, and while our people suffer for lack of justice. We cannot sit back and do nothing. It is our responsibility. It is every Ethiopian responsibility. Be part of bringing change. Complaining, accusing, sabotaging and blaming others will not bring change. This is no time to turn away from the misery of our Ethiopian people. Let us become the solution. Will you?

For further information, please contact me, mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE at:

  1. tewbel
    | #1

    Selam Obang

    May God bless you. You are doing a fantastic job.

  2. Yonas
    | #2

    Good job Mr Obang! I am Ethiopian student at one of Japan’s universities. I never imagined though that there would be an Ethiopian detained in Japan. Hope you will get positive reaction from the authorities. Thanks!


  3. biniam tolessa
    | #3

    good news 4 ethiopian peoples who were out of their home town

  4. Assta B. Gettu
    | #4

    Mr. Obang,

    Thank you for visiting the Ethiopian prisoners in one of the Islands of Japan and giving them hope and comfort when they have never thought they will ever see again a caring Ethiopian like you as they have never seen even a green grass while in the Japanese jail.

    As I read the article you wrote, I fought hard with my emotions not to cry but I gave up and let my tears go down freely and wet my chest. I asked God for how long Ethiopians have to suffer in foreign countries and in their homeland!

    God may have his own reason why he deliberately scattered us all over the world and gave our land to a merciless dictator who cares nothing about the humiliation, the disgrace, and the sufferings of his own people. I don’t know why but I believe the Almighty God is able to bring us home as he brought the Jews to Jerusalem, but it took him almost 2,000 years to gather the scattered Jews and return them to their homeland. He sent the Jews far away from their homeland because they disobeyed him, but how did we Ethiopians disrespect God and worship other gods beside him? I don’t think so we have committed such evil acts against our creator – Jesus Christ. Then why are we in the Japanese jail, in the Yemenis jail, in the Libyan jail, in the Saudis jail, in the Sudanese jail, and many of us in our country’s jail? The sinners are our leaders, not us the common people. Our leaders are the ones to be in jail, not us the ordinary and innocent citizens.

    Indeed, our condition is Job’s condition. Job was tormented with disease because he was found righteous and sinless in the eyes of God. I believe we Ethiopians, but our leaders, are also innocent in the eyes of the Almighty God, who is chastising us day and night “because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes everyone he accepts as a son.” (Romans 12:6)

    Is there any Ethiopian leader who takes responsibility for the injustices perpetrated by the Ethiopian leaders, and have not the consequences of the wicked Ethiopian leaders fallen upon us the common citizens?

    The answer for the above question is simply we do not have a good leader like the biblical David who takes care of his people. “When David saw the angel who was striking down the people, he said to the Lord, ‘I am the one who has sinned and done wrong. These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall upon me and my family.’” (2nd Samuel 24:17)

    What wrong have those innocent Ethiopians in the Japanese jail, those sisters of ours in the Arab world’s jail, and many of our brothers, mothers, fathers, sons and daughters in the Qaliti jail have done? Can Meles Seitanawi come forward like King David and say: “I am the one who has sinned and done wrong’? These are but sheep. What have they done? Let your hand fall upon me and my family.’ If Meles is too afraid to say these words in front of God, who knows every thing, he can write to the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr. Yukio Hatoyama that he is sorry his people (the Ethiopians) in Japan are in jail for the crime they have not committed but they are in jail for the crime Meles has committed by offering jobs only to the Tegarues but not to the other Ethiopian tribes.

    The saddest thing in Ethiopian history is that Meles Seitanawi, forgetting that blood is in his hand and in the hands of his wife Jezebel (Azeb), in the hands of Aba Paulos, in the hands of Al Amoudi, and in the hands of the Woyanne cadres, is going to win the election, and when that happens, Ethiopian girls, Ethiopian boys, Ethiopian farmers, merchants, factory workers, taxi drivers, priests, Imams and rabbis must wear mourning dresses to express their unhappiness to be under an oppressive dictator for another five years.

    May God help Ethiopia!

  5. Anonymous
    | #5

    Shame on you Mr. Obang and Adey Abeba Ethiopia Association in japan three
    excutive commitee members
    You, two bodies better not to make yourown bussiness in the name of Ethiopian Refugees in Japan.
    Dear Obang- As you mentioned above in your article ofcourse there are more than three hundred Ethiopians in Japan.But, how many of them you met ? Less than or around 10.Why ? We prefer to leave the answer for you. Since you are here in japan with Ethiopian community atleast you have to meet half of the people.But, The fact is that we wouldn’t allow you to meet us. Because we belive that your tour in Japnan is non-directional.(it seems private tour). Even we heared about your tour 4 days before.
    Mr. Obang- Remember!!! majority of this community members contributed money to your movement (SMNE) so far and helped is not a white gave us the letter of evidence and i think you remember that too.

    Even in the so called “meeting” which held tomorrow will attend the same number of people what you have now. We promise for the readers and the society that we will provide the “meeting” attendants numbers with pictures.

  6. Anonymous
    | #6

    Dear Obang- we have also another question. Since adey abeba is established less than 1 year, how come you allow to invite one of the excutive commitee member in the name of “leadership conference” since you dont know him
    Is that because he invited you in Japan.

    better to be with majority and with the truth man

  7. Fekade
    | #7

    Dear Mr Obang
    So nice of you to go all the way to Japan and Ethiopians in miserable conditions. It is very sad that so many Ethiopians end up in such terrible situation abroad when trying to escape the terrible situatioins at home.
    I am glad to see SMNE, which puts HUMANITT BEFORE ANY OF OUR DIFFERENCES and which underlines that NO ONE IS FREE UNTILL ALL OF US ARE FREE, trying to do something to help Ethiopins stranded in various parts of the world. I hope that with the help of God something better will happen.
    Goog Job Obang

  8. Tazabiw
    | #8

    Dear Mr. Anonymous, I understand how much you scared by the fact that Obang’s coming to Japan will bring to light your double-dating – one as a would be refugee in disgusie and the other as a mole implanted for mission you obviously know. You know that, because Obang do not succumb to your divisive theory you went on full force to blackmail his humanitarian mission. You believe it or not, the game is over. Ethiopians in Japan will do what ever it takes to root out those who are masquerading in the name of refugee, but working against it by exposing such double dealings with matterial evidence to concerned authorities and the Ethiopian people at large. Thank God, the wolf under the sheep skin is uncovered.
    Any one with a right mind will never obstruct a humanitarian mission that benefits needy people incarcerated in far away country without justice. Come on, what if you had been in that same shoes? If Obang is not dectated under your terms then you venture to throw all the issues of Ethiopians in Japan in to cold water?! This is ridiculous and unethical. If you only put your own benifit first, then we are in problem.
    My suggestion is you better learn from your past irresponsible mistakes, otherwise, we will blow the whistle and the world will judge who you are.
    Peace be with you

  9. ABEBE
    | #9


  10. selam
    | #10

    To Ato Obang
    it is nice to hear from you, you are in Tokyo but i saw this last two comments ,,, are you sure you met the real Ethiopian who struggle for our freedom unity peace….. please see around and try to solve the problem.. I saw on the comment board that you make the problem so difficult and neglect the real one…

    I am sure we will see who is the real for his struggle to creat a new Ethiopia by the short period of time among these guys

  11. Dereje
    | #11

    Dear Obang, How are you? I am very well.

    I saw your report from my asylum country. It was good. But, I have some questions, I will mention later.

    I just want to know that I think you are an incredible person. You have brought happiness to many Ethiopians who are living in Diasporas including mine. You have given much hope and inspiration.

    Keep your dreams close to your strength and never stop having faith in you. Never let doubt stand in the way of your journey. SPREAD YOUR WINGS AND FLY. You never know how high you can soar until you try to catch the stars.

    I believe you have what it takes to make your dreams come true. And I just want to know that some real Ethiopians will there beside you through both good and bad times. You will be our light and warmth when the road gets rough. I personally know you can make it. Never stop trying; you never know what you can achieve or where your dreams will take you. Generally I respect you, your vision aims of Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia

    Honest is the best policy. As you know I am Public relation director of Adeyababa Association and asylum seeker here in Japan. Still I am feeling loyal. I have to work something for my and others freedom. Frankly speaking, I want to spend my life for truth, freedom, loyalty, integrity and dignity.

    *whatever is now covered up will be uncovered and every secret will be made known* (Mathew 10-26). So I would have to bring the hidden truth to light. I personally wanted to talk you about the mess. However, we I can not get your exact address. Of course I am not the one who wanted to talk with you but more than 25 asylum seekers.

    Dear Obang, if you are willing for the discussion more than 25 real asylum seekers are ready to talk with you. One thing what you have to know the real life situations of Asylum seekers and other immigrants are quite different.

    Dear obang, * who were severely beaten?* Asylum seekers or other immigrants?

    Who are victims from education, job, insurance or legal resident permit? Asylum seekers or others?

    Who have been spent in fear of arrest, detention and deportation with all human rights denied?. Asylum seekers or others?

    Who are challenged the so called Ambassador during his propaganda? Asylum seekers or others

    Who looked like criminal and treated like criminal? Asylum seekers or others

    Who are leading life-or-death situations? Asylum seekers or others

    Who wrote different articles about the psycological, mental and physical tourtue of Ethiopian asylum seekers here in Japan on different websites. Asylum seekers or other ?

    Who are always being watched by a surveillance camera? Asylum seekers or others

    Dear are you really trying to help real asylum seekers, we are 100% willing discuss with you. In my opinion what are most in need of today, is the courage and humanity to face up the truth. * You will know the truth and the truth will set you free* (John 8; 32) As long as we close our eyes to the truth, we will remain SLAVES OF SIN* (John 8; 34)

    With Kind regards,

    The Spirit of Ethiopians will prevail!!

  12. melkam
    | #12

    dear obang pleas don’t listen weyane cadres be strong we will pray to you GOD help you.

  13. Anonymous
    | #13

    እነ እምለው : የ አደይ አበባ ማህበር ፕሬዝዳንት ተብየው አውሮፕላን ማረፊያ ድረስ ምን ወሰዳቸው ???ወይ ጥቅም !!!አባላቱን እንዲህ ቢያከብሩ ይሻልዎታል:: ለመሆኑ ማንን ወክለው ነው የሂዱት ? በማንስ ተወክለው ? በአብዛኛው አባላት ኅጋዊ ጥያቀ ወይስ በ ስራ አስኪያጅ ኮሚተው ውሳነ??? አደይ አበባ ከፖለቲካ ነጻ መሆኑን አያውቁም ? ደንቡን ያንብቡት!!
    የሰብአዊ መብትና የፖለቲካን የጠብቀ ግንኙነት እንዲያጤኑት እመክርዎታለሁ:: እናም ሰብአዊ መብት ወዘተ በማለት ጊዜዎን እንዳያባክኑ
    . እንደ ፕረዝዳንትነትዎ እንዲህ አይነት ነገር ውስጥ በፍጹም ይገባሉ ብለን አልጠበቅንም ነበር::ያውም ያ ሁሉ ተቃውሞ ባለበት: ያሳፍራል:: በተጨማሪም አንድ ጥያቄ አንስቼ ላብቃ …የማህበሩ ጸሃፊ ትብለው የተመረጡት አቶ ሳህለስላሴ ማህበሩን ወክለው ሻኦባንግ መጋበዝ ከምን የመነጨ ነው??? እርስዎ እንደሚሉት ጥሩ መሪ መባልዎን ኦባንግ በስልክ ስለሰሙ ብቻ ?? አደይ አበባ እኮ ከተመሰረተ 1 አመት እንካ አልሞላውም እኮ!!

    አጃአኢብ ነው:: ብቻ መመረጥ እንዳለ……ም እንዳለ አትርሱ!!!!!

  14. Ethiopia
    | #14

    Dear Mr Obang .
    This is the critical moment for refugees in Japan. Of course,there are wolfs that always target and misguide the Ethiopian Diaspora every where. We have been cheated by persons that still believe and pretend well educated ,always selected and want to be seen here and there.And more than any thing playing with the life of refugees for personal benefits.

    Why we left our beloved Ethiopia?. Is that not because we want to be free from any BILTABILT(wolfs)? ,but in Japan by the name of being a journalist or because he has mutual friends somewhere to take and print his dreams on the web sites one person always want to put refugees under his narrow hole.This is another country no one can not say I am your leader with out every ones willingness.
    Life is not something that is given from one selfish the so called journalist(Dereje).We have our own way to lead our life to ask our right, to go the way we need and to meet Obang or Obama?Who are you that to protect us from meeting OBang?Is he your robot?…..Please don’t bull shit us.Every one already knows that the game is over.You wont have a place to sell the name of the refugee in japan like Birtukan Mideksa for your benefit.
    Dereje am sorry i didn’t know that you are the PR of Adey Abeba Ethiopian Association in Japan. You start saying that you are PR in the association after this confusion happen. Come on… man try to learn from your mistakes. Let me remind you that what you did before. You told us that you invited Birtukan Mideksa and when almost all the refugee attend the meeting you want to inject your own agenda and all the refugee take you out of their heart. Is that not true? what about that you and your little narrow minded friends write a letter that all the refugees in Japan are living like life is like heaven here. Shame on you and shame on your friends. Do you forget those who are living the big Ibaraki wall. What about the case of one poor sister crashed by a car and denied to be hospitalized.
    When I write this to you and your so called group puppets the pain of all refugees are in every ones mind.don’t forget these refugees forgive you for what you did before and let you have a place where they thought you will serve them.But you again betray them and still want to be free alone or want to use their name.Do you remember what yo and your friends asked for help from Obang ? so what happened today? have you got something different or you are excited by six month visa ………
    Many people tired of you and your friends way of threatening refugees.By the way those of you who attend the meeting on 23rd of may have already seen the truth. please don’t pretend that you are feeling sensible. Since when is that you sell the name of your profession for your personal benefit.
    I have great respect for any profession. I respect journalists and also like them .They sue their life for the benefits of others ,not for their own agenda and I know there are journalist who are in exile in Japan living life like us feeling our pain and share what they have they never threaten us that they will write bad story on us they are really good journalist opposing Woyane .But Dereje ,please be your self and go back to Ethiopia and serve Woyane .That is nice job for you.Your friends?We don’t really rely on them we rely on almighty God for any thing .We have Ethiopians brothers and sisters all around the world.We rely on those who are real fighters for our right and truth.

    So please stop confusing the people try to do good things for the future forget about the past and think of tomorrow pls pls pls be nice.

  15. Anbesaw agesa
    | #15

    Dear Ethiopia,
    I think you are not a member of adey Abeba Ethiopian association. Even i have a doubt that you live in Asia.
    I can tell you that you live alone in your own planet. Remember information is power.
    Dear Ethiopia, ARE YOU READY TO SWALLOW THE BITTER FACT. here it is..
    Mr. Dereje is public relation of the association since the association established. Just click the following website and proove it.
    then click one more under the leader ship column. you got it ? ya he is.
    so, dont lie.

    He is our icon in japan, he sacrifies even his life for other brothers and sisters refugees in japan as well as his country.
    We respect him.

    Dear Ethiopia, Dont take the issue to one side, the core point touches majority of refugees in japan.
    DEAR ETHIOPIA, DONT LIE AGAIN PLZZ ..BRO dont lie…if u want lie its okay, but be smart
    good time

  16. me
    | #16

    Good job Mr. Obang
    uhnfortunately I was not able to attend the meeting but I heard about it (I was a little sick)
    I wish to meet you before you leave

    God Bless you my countryman


  17. Yesheger Liji
    | #17

    I think Dereje and company are living in fantasy world. The truth on the ground is clearly different. I personally attend the meeting and 64 attendants were there. As far as I know those who do not attend are Dereje and his 4 friends and few Ethiopians who couldn’t get permission from work.
    Indeed it was an emotional day. Two ladies who had had personal experience of the Japanese prison (one just released 2 days before) testified their tribulations with tears flowing like a stream. I personally couldn’t hold my own. Another lady who has been denied treatment after having car accident told as her sad story and everyone cried. There were a couple of guys who had been journalists back in Ethiopia graphically illustrated the the ordeal Ethiopian refugees facing in Japan. The meeting was so emotional and heart wrenching that I never witness in Japan so far. We shared everyones pains and grief most of them bursted into tears. This was the truth we witnessed and the truth we wanted the world to know.
    If we do not subscribe to Dereje’s partisan ideology should we be dissmissed with one brush stroke? I am sorry to say that, Dereje’s stance of “hollier than thou” is preposterous and offensive. So far I know, Dereje is not yet freed himself from his past frame of mind as TPLF propaganda machine mouth piece. Since he is in Japan he always find execuse to divide and profile people instead of bringing Ethiopians for a unity of purpose. I can claim he is one of self-centered former cadres that sow mistrust and confusion in Diaspora resistance around the world.
    I am taken aback by his claim as Adeyabeba PR. Have he ever made any PR work or any piece of work regarding Adeyabeba? Where is the beef? The truth is, he is a sellout and an accomplice with a group accussing Adeyabeba association. In doing so, he is gratifying Woyane in one way or another.

  18. Dereje
    | #18

    Dear Ethiopia, Am I like that hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
    first of all who wrote the suffering of Ethiopian Asylum Seekers in Japan to different Medias? is that you. click it who helped so many Ethiopians here in Japan? ask at least the first 40 Ethiopian refugees including your self.Who brought you from Osaka with out any expeseses? Bro I know you, if you are loyal why don`t you come with your real name.
    About judge Birtkuan Mideksa see, she was invited via telephone and I did it that what`s wrong with you? For you information click the following link or directly you can call to Mr Aklog Limeneh, He will explain you about the whoe contant of the event. Yes of course I am PR what is the problem? Have you heared when I critisazed Adey Ababa? you know I am struglling before its stablishment.The mission and Vision of the adeyababa has been imprinted in the core of my heart. Who is challenged the so called Ambassador infornt of the public? is that you? hey guy come on with you real name.Don`t run to make gap between me and Mr. Obang, We have good relationships since 2006/ even before you/ and we are brothers. Insulting is a good manner. bye

  19. ተግባሩ
    | #19

    ኩነኔ ማለት “በስሙ መዋሸት፤አለ ኣግባብ መጠቀም፤አታድርግ ተብሎ በሃይማኖት የተደነገገ”በሕግም በሞራልም የተወገዘ ማለት” ነዉ።

    ጋዜጠኛ ማለት ማንም ይሁን ማንም፤ የትም ቦታ ይሁን-አንድ ዜጋ ከሕግ ዉጭ በደል ሲደርስበት፤ ያንን በደል ሕዝብ እንዲያዉቀዉ በማድረግ ሙያ ላይ የተሰማራ ማለት ነዉ። ቀዳሚ ተግባሩ የሕብረተሰቡን ሰባዊ መብት በስልጣን እና በገንዘብ የተደላደሉ ክፍሎች እንዳይበድሉት መከላከል ማስተማር መሟገት ማጋለጥ ማለት ነዉ። እነኚህ ሰዎች ግን ወደ ዉጭ አገር ከመጡ በሗላ የሰርዋቸዉ ስራዎች ሲመዘኑ ፤ ለድሃዉ እና መናገር “ላልቻለ ልሳን”-የቆሙ ሳይሆኑ ፡ ለስልጣን የቋመጡ ግለሰቦችን ወደ ሚዲያዉ አዉድማ በማዉጣት አጉልተዉ እያሳዩ እንደበሬ ወደ ሳቡት የሚሳበዉ ህብረተሰብ ዓይን ዉስጥ በመለኮትነት እንዲታዩ ምቹ ጉዝጓዝ በመሆን ቡድናዊ የጋዜጠኛነት ስራ እየሰሩ ነዉ።

  20. true
    | #20

    Dear ethiopia We know who you are you are anteneh u are also journalist but u are misleading others are u are as bad as snake ,self centered arrogant pls leave the innocent guy he is not like u he is a great guy you so are rude pl be good

  21. oh
    | #21

    Obang you made a mistake the real guys are still waiting for you
    if u want to know the truth pls go and talk to them

  22. Observer
    | #22

    Dear Obang,

    Thank you very much for coming to Tokyo. I would have been superb if all of us were united as we welcome you but still you did exceedingly fruitful visit with little precedence of its kind. If quite obvious to most of us that you are one person working very hard on the limited resource and power you have. Now it is all of us to render our responsibility and try to bring the change we aspire for. As they say “we are the one we are waiting for”. You help all Ethiopians all over the world to reflect on that and act. It might take years or decades. But if we start with vision and determination in the end we shall overcome what divide us and cease to be the poster boy of poverty and backwardness. To all friends in Japan let us not blow up silly differences and distract from the bigger picture. While we fight, many of our country men and women are suffering in the closed and open jails. Once again with no name calling let us come together and make Japan the second home of Ethiopians next to USA as it is economically.
    Ogenki de.

  23. Kawaguchi
    | #23

    AY “Mr. Ethiopia” nick mekeyayer tawukebetaleh “Anteneh” Mohoneh tenektobihaal ene eskemawukew Journalist Dereje Le Ethiopiawiyaan Bizu leftuaal. ewuneten new yemileh esu betam le Ethiopiawiyaan Yetagele new gen ende ante aynetu koda min adergolenal esti nigeregna Koda nen zim beleh Kodahen Sera. Anten kerebe alawukihem gen berkatoch endemilut ante gelegna sheregna tikimegna tenkolegna neh. Yilik teru sew lemehon Mokir. Mikire Yihe new.

  24. selam
    | #24

    ወይ ሀገር ኢትዮጵያ
    ኦባንግ መቶ ከፋፈለው አዲስዋ ኢትዮጵያን አይቻት ወይ አደይ አበባ (አደይ እሾክ ቢሉት ይሻላል

  25. kalehubet
    | #25

    እናንተ ኦባንግ ክርስቶስ መሰላቸኡ እንዴ ; ትግላቹን አትርሱ አተዘናጉ በተረፈ ተበዱ ኢሚገሪስን ከታችሁን ይብዳው

  26. Woynedo
    | #26

    I ask Adeyabeba Ethiopia Association to release the video of the meeting then this self-centered arrogants will lick their wounds. According to a reliable information, Dereje and his friends were invited to join the meeting from the outset. Nevertheless, they refused because one unlikely guy managed to convince Obang to come and help Ethiopians in Japan and they felt their royal staus in exile challenged. What a silly poor guys! Do they dreamt without their blessing Obang must not set his foot in Japan? It is purely laughing stock to think to control the affairs of hundredes of refugees by just five silly guys. How sad to contemplate this little dictators are after us. Who the hell in the first place mandated them to represent us? They ought to know that this is not Woyane’s turf. Better they act civil in a civilized world.
    For us we are starving to have some one compassionate like Obang to hear our grievance, to sooth our pain and share our dreams. We are very thankful to this gentleman for his unreserved kindness, sacrificing his precious time, money and energy and travelled thousands miles to stand on behalf of us – the miserable. May God bless him; Mr. Obang Metho.

  27. God bless you
    | #27

    In the first place there is no need for such controversy as long as the dispute has no relevant issue to tackle with. Well, both groups never show any significant difference regarding the person in question, Mr. Obang. It looks like the argument is dwelt on “why I or we are not consulted when Obang is invited.” In my view this should not be taken as a point of contention and name calling. Whether who brought Obang to Japan the most important point is what is his objective. So long as there is no disagreement in the objectives, then it is a waste of time and energy to bring this issue to this forum.
    Let’s say, someone or a group of people invited one of top TPLF henchmen. This time it makes sense if refugees in Japan brought this issue and make a point. What I mean is Obang should not be an issue for refugees in Japan so long as he is speeking for them. In reverse, his coming could be a burning issue for TPLF supporters. In fact we heard that the Ethiopian Embassy was at UNHCR office when Obang showed up. This is we have to be concerned instead.
    As to my information, the meeting is open to everyone and the group arguing against it had been already informed (it is understandable from their letters distributed to all Ethiopians in Japan before the arrival of Obang). I personally attended in just 3 days notice. Therefore, all this argument is inappropriate and unjustified. Let’s look at the big picture before time is running out in this hostile environment.
    Thank you

  28. ቀጀላ ከቶኪዮ
    | #28

    አደይ አበባ እኮ የደረጀን ሚስት ኮሌጅ ያስገባ ግሩም ማህበር ነው:: ለምን እዚህ ላይ ስሙ ይነሳል? እኔ እስከማውቀው ድረስ አደይ አበባን የማይወድ ቢኖር ወያኔና ቡችላዎቹ ናቸው::

  29. ቀጀላ ከቶኪዮ
    | #29

    የበላችሁበትን ድስት ሰባሪዎች አምላክም ይቅር አይላችሁ::

  30. Ytsugi
    | #30

    ሰላም ወገኖቼ እንደምን አላቹ መቼም ኢትዮጲያዊ መሆን አስቸጋሪ እየሆነ መጣ ከቅንነት ምቀኝነት ማዘውተር ልምዳችን ሆነ
    መልካምን ስራ የሰሩትን ማበረታታት ያጠፉትን መምከር ታላላቆቻችንን ማክበር ሲገባን ከኛበቀር ማን አለ እኛ እናውቃለን አልን
    ግን አላወቅንም አዋቂዎች ሲመክሩን ብንሰማ ጥሩ ነው ቅንም መሆን ጥሩ ነው ነገሮችን ሁሉ በመልካም እንድናይ ያደርገናል ቅን ለመሆን እንሞክር አደይ አበባ ማህበሩንና አመራሮችን መዝለፍ ና መንቀፍ ለምን አስፈለግ???ሰውን መርዳት ሀጢያት ነው???????
    ጊዜቸውኝ ገንዘባቸውን ጉልበታቸውን ሁሉ ተጠቅመው ሰዎችን ከመርዳት ውጪ ምን አጠፉ??እስቲ አስቡት የአደይ አበባ
    አመራሮች ጃፓን ለመኖር የቪዛ ነው የቋንቋ የምን ችግር ነው ያለባቸው???? ቢገባን ከኛ የተሻለ መብት አላቸው ጃፓን
    ለመኖር ዋሽቼ ይሆን? ታዲያ እኛን ለመርዳት ከጎናችን መሆናቸው መንድነው ክፋቱ? በእድሜም በእውቀትም በመብትም
    ጃፓን ብዙ በመኖር ከኛ ይበልጣሉ እሄ የማይካድ ሃቅ ነው እንደኛ እታሰር ይሆን ወደሀገሬ ይልኩኝ ይሆን እያሉ በስጋት አይኖሩም
    ታዲያ ወንድሞቼ መስመራችንን የሳትን አልመሰላችሁም (በእጅ ያለወርቅ እንደመዳብ ይቆጠራል)ከሆነ አላዋቂነት ነው
    ሌላው ነገር ዶሞ የተከበረው ኦባንግ የመጣው የአደይ አበባ አመራሮች ስለተቸገሩ የጃፓን ኢሚግሬሺን ስለአሰቃያቸው ነው??????
    እረ እግዚአብሔርን እንፍራ ነውር ነው በእስር ላይ የሚሰቃዩትን ወንድሞቻችንን እናስባቸው የተከበረው ኦባንግ ማንም ይጋብዘው
    የሚፈለገው መምጣቱ አይደለም እናተንስ ማን ወከላችሁ በኛ ሂወት እንድታዙበት እኛ አሁን አይመጣ አልናቹህ??ነው ኦባንግን
    የፈለጋችሁት ለናተብቻ ነው?ለኛ ካሰባቹ ከዚበፊት የ17ሰው በቻ ስም ዝርዝር ለካቹ የድጋፍ ደብዳቤ ስታጽፉ መነው ሌላውን ሰው
    እረሳችሁት? የተላከውንስ ደበዳቤ ስንት ሰው ተጠቀመበት? እሱ አለበቃብሎ ሌላ ጥፋት ሰዎች በቅንነት ተነስተው መልካም ስራ
    ሲሰሩ እንቅፋት መሆን ተገቢ ነው የጋበዘው ሰው ለራሱ ጥቅም ብቻ አይደለም ለሁላችንም ጥቅም ጭምር እንጂ እድሜ ለ ቴዲ ና
    መለካም ስራውን ለደገፉ ሁሉ ብሶታችንን ተነፈስን ተመስገን ኦባንግ እኮ የጥቂት ሰዎች አይደለም የብዙዎች እንጂ ለነገሩ እውነት
    እውነት ነው አይደል ለናተ የተጻፈው የድጋፍ ደብዳቤ ለኛም ከተጻፈ ችግር ነው እኩል ልንሆን ነው ሌላማ ምንምክኒያት አልችሁ
    እድሜ ቅን ለሚያስቡ ለኛም ሊጻፍልን ነው አምላክ መቼም ሁሉን ያያል እንደስራችን ሳይሆን እንደ ቸርነቱ ነው የሚባለው ስራችንማ
    አንድ ቀንም አያሳድረንም ለማንኛውም አንድ ነገር ብየ ላበቃ ወንድሞቼ ለይቅርታ እራሳችሁን አዘጋጁና ሰላም ፍጠሩ ታላላቆቻችሁንም
    አክብሩ በእስር ላይ ያሉትንም ወንድሞቻችሁን አስቡ መቼም የተግባባን መሰለኝ ኦባንግ በመንገድህ ሁሉ እግዚአብሔር ይከተልህ
    ከብዙ ኢትዮጵያዊያን የተወሰደ ሀሳብ ቸር እንሰንበት::

  31. Ygermal
    | #31

    I goes through all of the comments and i came to surprise why guys are so stupid like this. I live in Japan and i personally heard a lot of things.I was asking my self why the guy called Dereje is acting weird. I know a lot of good stuffs about this guy in the past. He was doing a significant role in mobilizing Ethiopian asylum seekers in Japan. But now i cant understand what he really wants. I want to hear it from you. what is wrong with obang invitation? whoever did it so long as it serves the majority of Ethiopian asylum seeker in japan? what is your reason for not cooperating with adeyabeba ass. tell us the truth.

  32. zamm
    | #32

    Obang,ty ty ty,

    May God bless u with more power and kindness,

    U are an Ethiopia devoted to helping
    your ppl and country

    Bless u ,brother

  33. Amare— Yahiro
    | #33

    Dear Yesheger lij, If I am not mistaken I know you who you are. You are Sahilesilase. An an Ethiopian.I also attended the meeting. The number of the pariticipants was not that much, and also the majority of the participants were not Asylum Seekers.In fact I know Human right isue is not only for Refugees.
    But one thing what I belive is Mr. Obang did his best job. Thanks to Mr. Obang.
    Sahle, don`t lie, writting here is not my business, but let me say some thing about Dereje. Dear if you are not lying do you think Dereje is not good guy? Absoultely wrong!! As far as I knew him for the past 3 year he spent his whole life for Ethiopians refugees. After the meeting I discussed with others peoples said that they are not well informed about others but Dereje`s name and his efort was not forgotten. let me give you one example. When I came here in Japan every thing was new for me, some peoples were not interested to help me but the only guy who helped me is Dereje. I spent at his home at least more than 7 days .

    Frankly speaking,no one did valuable job for Ethiopian Asylum seekes in Japan except DEREJE and DEREJE for the past three years. But after the establisment of Adeyababa Some people are following Dereje`s step. Like The Presidant of Adeyababa Mr.Abebe. I never talked Mr. Abebe but as I heared from many people he is doing very well for Ethiopians.

    As I belive no one 100% perfect including my self, because we are human beings. Every body has his or her own problem. beside this Dereje is very dicent guy and he is free from any adiction,he is very spritual person.He is very kind for Every Asylum seekers.He will be our model.

    Dear Ethiopia, If your real Name is * Anteneh* please come down. Hope you know him better than me ,and I know you very well who are…. personal disagreement is another thing.

    Guys truth is always truth. God also loves this truth. One Advice for Dereje * Keep it up you nice job as usual.

    EGZIABHER Ethiopian Yibark.

  34. Anonymous
    | #34

    አባካችሁ ሠላም ሰላም

  35. Yigermal
    | #35

    I was reading the comments and want to write something on my side too.
    Ato Dereje first of all you have to have a respect for every one,you are selective of doing so with the person that you think supporting your ideology.By the way who gave you the mandate to divide as the “real asylum seekers” and “others”?Are you working as an Immigration officer or what?
    We know that you were fabricating so many “names” in order to bombard us with your junk mails, you are also repeating the same thing now.When do you learn from your mistakes and stop doing this?You were saying on one side that you are a PR of Adey Abeba and on the other side you opened your mouth on your co-workers by using different names.You said also you were the one to struggle for the establishment of Adey Abeba,but since you understand that they can’t be your instrument to poison so many Ethiopians with your hater ideology of bringing different ideas in different times to divide us into pieces,who want peace,love and unity.Please don’t say things for the sake of saying.My advice for you is try to use your brain and profession in order to bring uniting ideas for us and for our country.
    Cher yigtemh.

  36. tekola
    | #36

    It looks like the same bully is back in business with different names. Now the game begins.

  37. Judge
    | #37

    Those stupid guys especially YESHEGER LIJ ,Ethiopia , WEYNEDO , QEJELA , YTSUGI ,YIGREMAL , OTHER ,including radio fana woyane journalist ANTENE everybody we know you same of you let alone to criticize japans government you mix your blood to marred japans women for the rice it is not for the love so don’t interfering the real asylums sicker in Japan ,don’t try to use by the name of refugee in Japan leave them they knows how to pass their problem but you guys to say adey abeba association (N .P. O ) none profit organization to get donate from donates organization and to make many by the name of Ethiopian people “BELEJE AMEKAGNETO YEBELALE ENKUTO” know all Ethiopian seeing yours very wisely !!!
    In fact Obang divided the people it is ok here there is no infant expect I put in the top

  38. Judge
    | #38

    Previous comment correction line 8 to make (many—money)

  39. መይሳው ካሳ
    | #39

    ጎበዝ ምንድነው ነገሩ?እስኪ እንረጋጋ …አላስፈላጊ መዘላለፍ አይበጅም እና እንደ እድሜያችን እናስብ!!እንብሰል…

  40. ዶማ
    | #40

    የማታፍር ድስት ምጣድን ጥቁር አለች ይባላል:: ሁሉም የወያኔ ጋዜጠኛ መሆኑ ቀረና የሬዲዮ ፋና ጋዜጠኛ ብሎ መመጻደቁ ዶማነት ነው:: የሚሉሽን በሰማሽ ገበያ ባልወጣሽ እንደተባለው ሁሉ እናንተ ማፈሪያዎች አፋችሁን ብትዘጉ ይጠቅማችሁአል:: ጆሮ ለባለቤቱ እንግዳ ነው ሰው ምን እንደሚላችሁ ብታዳምጡ ደብቁን ደብቁን እንደምትሉ አልጠራጠርም:: ኬንግዲህ ከናንተ ጋር እንደጅብ ከጎን ለጎን እየተጠራጠርን ለመሄድ አልተዘጋጄንም:: እኛን ይቅርና ራሳችሁን ለመምራት ገና ክፍለ ዘመን ይጠይቃችሁዋል:: በድንጋይ ዘመን ከሚያስቡ ራሳቸውን የሾሙ ቁማርተኞች ጋር ጉዳይ የለንም:: ቁርጣችሁን እወቁት ከአሁን በሁዋላ ከኦባንግ ጋር እንጅ ከናንተ ጋር ጉዳይ የለንም:: በማን ምጣድ እንጄራችሁን ልታበስሉ ትከጅላላችሁ? ሳታፍሩ ጃፓን ችግር የለብንም ብላችሁዋል ታዲያ አሁን ምን ይጠበስ ነው የምትሉ? ዝም ብሎ ሰውን መዘርጠጥ መዘዙ ብዙ ነው:: ባዶ ትንቢት ከመሰላችሁ ቀጥሉበት::

  41. ቀሪን ገረመው
    | #41

    እንኩዋን ደስ አላችሁ የአደይ አበባ ኢትዮፕያ ማህበር በጃፓን መንግስት እውቅና በማግኘታችሁ አሁን የሚያፍሩት እነማን እንደሆኑ እናያለን ካልደፈረሰ አይጠራም ተብላል የጀመራችሁትን ለኢትዮፕያውያን የሚበጅ በጎ ስራ ቀጥሉበት በጣም እንኮራባችሁአለን ስለትንንሾቹ ሰዎች አትጨነቁ ያለመብሰላቸው ምልክት ነውና መልስ አለመስጠታችሁ የብስለታችሁን ደረጃ ያሳያል ከወሬ ይልቅ ብዙ ቁምነገር እንዳላችሁ እንገነዘባለን በርቱ ከጎናችሁ ነን

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