Ben of EthiopiaFirst’s Plea to the Government: Don’t let in The Diaspora Opposition in to the Country By Sisay.
Let me be the first to admit that I was an admirer of EthiopiaFirst Web site editor, Ben, not for his maturity on issues of democracy and civil rights but for his enthusiastic and passionate love for Ethiopia. That was especially true when the majority of Ethiopians in and outside of the country were duped to believe that the Ethio-Eritrea war was an honest desire and commitment of EPRDF to defend the territorial integrity of the country and; hence, a way to redeeming itself as a nationalist and pro unity party. Unfortunately, Weyane squandered the peoples’ sacrifice in life and money. During that period, there was a mini Cyber War between Ethiopians and Shabia supporters and Ben had tirelessly stood on the Ethiopian side. Even after that, although some of his comments sound too optimistic and childish at times, I followed him for his neutrality. Yes, more often than not, his optimism prevents him from not taking a firm stand on significant issues. He intentionally avoided confrontation and controversial subjects from his reporting.
But sometimes, he bumped into some hard truth which had popular support. For example, once in a while he decried ethnic federalism is not good for the country and he lamented Ethiopia’s lack of access to the Red Sea. These topics are music for Weyane supporters and they did not give him attention. Ben got the trust of many individuals and party representative right around the time the Kinjit came to the political scene. I think he was fervently passionate about the seemingly open political space in the country and started to fall in love with Weyane for allowing that sort of political participation. For Ben 2005 election was the best the country can get and the most generous gift EPRDF could give. But, whenever he posted issues which could even remotely touch the Weyane nerve, the Aigaforum Cadres and their likes would gang up on him. Spineless as he was that sort of swift and harsh rebuttal was too much for him to take. So in his little mind, Ben sensed that messing up with them is not an option. On the other hand, no body owns the Diaspora opposition and Ben felt that he could say anything against it and still be regarded as fair game player. He has never faced pointed criticism because most saw him as one who simply did not understand the intricacies of politics or as one who always wished that the road towards freedom and democracy was simple. So one would ask how Ben turned from a neutral and optimistic reporter to a sold out Weyane propagandist.
Signs of submission to the Weyanes came to light when Ben tended to blame the opposition for inciting violence in the 2005 disputed election. For him, Agazi has done no wrong; it was the hooligans’ fault. Kinijit leaders who refused to join the parliament became enemy number one. After the Kinijit party disintegrated he was out in the open supporting EPRDF and escorting the likes of Lidetu and Chamisso. That got him an accolade from pro-Weyane web pages and radio stations.
In my opinion, Ben’s total admission to the Weyane Camp was completed when he was adamantly opposing those HR (USA’s House of Representatives’) resolutions that aimed at making sure USA’s donation is used to promote democracy and preserve human rights. The donation was their money. All they wanted was to make sure that their donation was used for its intended use i.e., helping the Ethiopian public. His argument was the HR Resolution was like the Wichale Treaty between Italy and Ethiopia and therefore will compromise Ethiopia’s sovereignty. This view was shared by a certain self acclaimed philosopher who, I said, needed to take some logic classes from the bright minded professors, such as Professor Messay Kebede. How could any sane person think that the HR resolutions are like the Whichale Treaty? Do Americans have any ambition to annex Ethiopia and make it their colony? I know it is absurd and nonsense; therefore, before we cause ourselves a headache let me stop such ignorance right here.
As a fresh cadre his page started to be filled with praises and appreciation for the level of development the country is witnessing. Ethiopiafirst had become a place where we read postings about the great contributions of Sheik Mohamed Alamoudi. With the same level of intensity, he attacked the opposition block. He rebuked Dr. Berhanu Nega and; in every possible venue he was quick to scold and ridicule Mrs. Birtukane Midekissa. That has continued even after she was released from prison the second time.
The payback time from his masters has come down too quickly and even to the surprise of many in the Weyane block, any government office was wide open for him. The prime minister offered him an interview session. Sheikh Alamoudi assigned him as ‘’hit-man” to write anything negative about Amare Aregawi of Ethiopian Reporter who created sudden hostility against the Sheikh. Now, he told us that he moved to Addis for good to be on the center and become influential. Then he positioned himself as the mouth piece of the dictator’s propaganda. In one of his outrageous reports in the 2010 election he said he regretted the day he forfeited his Ethiopian citizenship to be a Canadian because he could no longer be part of ‘’ the most democratic ‘’ election in Ethiopian. Nevertheless, he said he was proud to see that day as an Ethiopian. Look what money can do to this supposedly sophisticated young man. Like a parrot he repeated the words of the dictators and chose to be their lackey.
Just few days ago, EthiopiaFirst came with an eye-popping headline. Ben begs the Ethiopian government to do something about the Diaspora opposition who went out to express their disagreement and disappointment with Ethiopian government policy during the recent visit by the EPRDF officials to North America and Europe. With the same tone as the other pro EPRDF news outlets, he is preaching that anyone who opposes the GTP is against Ethiopian interest. Wayne and Ben have long decided that if you are against the GTP, you don’t deserve to be an Ethiopian. What is most striking and saddening is that he wants the government not to let in those individuals in the country. He wants the Ethiopian Embassy in DC to work with him to identify the photos of the protesters he has posted on the web site. Fellow Ethiopians, do you see where we are going? The protesters are Ethiopians and Ethiopian origin, and they are simply voicing their dissent. And now they are going to be punished for that. We already know how abusive the Ethiopian Law enforcement officials are. Any cadre can kick the hell out of you with no damn reason anywhere and anytime.
So it does not need a genius to decode Ben’s plea. Is it not in their DNA for Weyane thugs to imprison torture and kill anyone with dissenting voice? True to their nature, they have even tried it here in North America. And I will leave it your imagination what they would do to the list of individuals Ben has posted on his Website. If it has not been already started, the Weyane thugs will unleash their brute force to hunt for a Diaspora returnee who might have been opposing their policy.
Ben, we now heard your plea loud and clear. May your wish came true, God forbade, you are equally responsible for the kind of atrocity that is about to happen to our fellow Diaspora opposition members going back home. Go ahead and publish more photos from every city and country. Go on our evil reporter, help your masters confiscate the houses the Diaspora is building and the business they are running. If that is not enough, throw them to Jail and torture them. But never forget that any harm that is waiting to happen to these people will be recorded in history and true justice will be served to the dictatorial regime. You, Ben will undoubtedly pay for your devilish provocation as well.
Peace to all
Reach me at Sisusmart@gmail.com