The judicious Birtukan!- By Girum Geta
It is with a great sense of relief that I learned of the release of Birtukan Mideksa from the Kaliti prison. The source of my happiness; besides her reunion with her daughter, elderly mother, the rest of her loving family and her adoring supporters; is the manner with which she exposed the authoritarian regime in Ethiopia to the very last.
As everyone knows, the reason for her second incarceration was her resoluteness and commitment to the rule of law. In her public statements prior to her arrest and in her confrontations with the so called ‘Police Commissioner’, Birtukan has exposed the regime’s disregard for its own constitution and other legal instruments in the country. The decisive blow to the regime’s theatrics came when Birtukan defied the three day ultimatum given to her by the morally bankrupt despots.
True to its character, the arrogant regime proceeded to do what Birtukan wanted to expose to the whole wide world. Thus, the world including the regime’s supporters, misguided donors and more importantly the Ethiopian people once more witnessed that there is no rule of law in Ethiopia and the so called constitution has been abandoned by its authors a long time ago. While Birtukan paid a heavy price for exposing the corrupt Ethiopian regime in this way; the value of her deeds and her sacrifice to the liberation struggle in Ethiopia was and still is priceless!
In all honesty, if Birtukan was to sign a letter of apology two or three days or two or three months after her incarceration, she would have won the political battle for me. However, there is more to Birtukan than winning a political point. Her next installment for the barbaric regime in Addis Abeba was to expose its wickedness and brutality. Once again, Melese Zenawi and co. complied handily by subjecting their prized prisoner to worse conditions than a prisoner of war – solitary confinement and visitation restrictions included. Here again, Birtukan proved to any and all that Ethiopians are actually under a dictatorial rule as terrible as the one led by the Italian fascist viceroy Graziani!
After irrefutably exposing the TPLF regime in Ethiopia for what it is, Birtukan was free to make a deal that ensured her personal safety and paved the way for her family reunion (I am saying this because she only moved from the smaller prison to the bigger one, her release is no more than a family reunion). However, ever tenacious, Birtukan decided to send a clear message to the corrupt regime and the part-time politicians posing as its opponents. Her message was simple: fighting for one’s principles does require paying sacrifices and that as the leader of the opposition (and the Ethiopian people) she is prepared to make a principled stand and hold out for longer. This determination single-handedly obliterated TPLFs design to portray its true opponents as weak and unprincipled. The proof of her success shone through in the non-choreographed but amazing reception she obtained upon her release. Once more, Birtukan put TPLF and its stooges on notice that winning the love and respect of the people is not possible through forceful subjugation. True leaders earn the respect and love of their respect and that is exactly what Birtukan achieved during her lengthy incarceration.
The TPLFites admire and adore their leader for his ruthless and cynical political maneuverings. However, the humble and soft-spoken Birtukan has outsmarted and outfoxed their idol time and again. Melese Zenawi knows this and he is using the media he controls to take the shine off Birtukan’s achievements by desperately trying to paint her as a common criminal who tried to mislead the people. Let me just say this: this shall also badly backfire on the tyrant! The Ethiopian people and most of the world have come to know the true colors of this regime and its amateurish effort to wedge a rift between Birtukan and the Ethiopian people will not work.
I look forward to Birtukan’s return to the Ethiopian political scene after a well deserved R & R (rest and recuperation) following her release from Kaliti. I expect her inspirational and able leadership to galvanize the on-going liberation struggle in Ethiopia. In the mean time, I humbly request the forces of liberty and democracy to express their solidarity with Birtukan Mideksa and frustrate the latest psychological warfare being waged by the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia. No politician or other Ethiopian I know of has the moral right to try and judge Birtukan let alone conduct a poll (as Jimma Times seems to be doing) on the merits and de-merits of the fake or forced apology extracted by the corrupt regime in Ethiopia.
It is important for true Ethiopians to recognize the evil ways and methods of the dictatorial regime in Ethiopia and its lackeys. Their target is the destruction of Ethiopianess and the humiliation of all things Ethiopians are proud of. In recent times, their effort to create confusion about Teddy Afro has failed; they seem to have given Haile Gebreselassie the platform to inflict serious damage to himself but true Ethiopians should not be used to attack Birtukan Mideksa the judicious lioness!
Freedom for Ethiopia and all Ethiopians!
Genuine democracy shall prevail in Ethiopia!