WHAT IS WRONG WITH US? By Msmaku Asrat

August 17th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The perceptive article by Ambassador Imru of a few days ago has prompted me to write this. I want to say that I have been thinking along similar lines for a long time now because I am increasingly frustrated by what I see and read. Occasionally such gems that lay bare the stark realities of our country appear, which replenishes my confidence. I also read recently a very important article by Yilma Kebede in Nazret.com. It relates his agony and frustration about Diaspora websites who had the mindless promotion of that nauseating regurgitation; verbal vomit; and self-righteousness of Mengistu Hailemariam, one of the most heinous mass murderers of the Twentieth Century. What were these websites thinking about when they posted his interview? Could they be serving as mouth-pieces of the Derg (as the TPLF/Weyane constantly reminds us) or could it be that they may be the die-hard Derg criminals who had fled to the Diaspora and have managed to be embedded in “opposition” politics? Probably the Weyane is correct. Otherwise what is wrong with us? How can the criminality of the Derg which killed over a million and was responsible for the flight of three million are so easily forgotten. A people who forget the past will forever be condemned in the future.

Recently an opposition journalist who has been in and out of TPLF prison penned an astonishing defense for the Derg criminals arguing that they should not have been imprisoned in the first place and sympathizing with the decision that their death penalty has been commuted to life imprisonment. This young person who may have been a toddler at the time of the Derg ignores their crimes against humanity probably because nothing has happened to him and his family during the time of the Derg and his selfish view is that ያልተነካ ግልግል ያውቃል or worse still it is a case of trying to appear to be reasonable and smart አወቅሽ አወቅሽ ሲሏት መጽሃፍ አጠበች I would like to direct him to the important article (in Amharic) by T.G.M, a prominent lawyer also based in Ethiopia ,who wrote about the crimes of the Derg and objected to their penalty being reduced, following an appeal by questionable religious leaders who have never complained about other crimes committed in their presence before. He argued that even if their sentence has been, albeit wrongly, commuted to life in prison, it means exactly that እድሜ ይፍታህ. (die in prison). There is news that TPLF is about to release the Derg criminals, if so that would be a sad day for Ethiopia. Mengistu may also return to Ethiopia with a pardon, who knows?

How could some amongst us in the Diaspora have the nerve to organize “a friendship conference” to bring together the Ethiopian and Eritrean people as though the people of the two countries have quarreled? Did they? When was that? Could these learned talking heads tell us about when that happened? Haven’t the Ethiopian people been ever graceful towards them to the last end? A number of such meetings have already been held in different venues, spearheaded by individuals, some of whom with checkered past histories. Have they consulted the Ethiopian or even the Eritrean people before conducting such a conference? Or are they working on behalf of Meles and Isayas, whose disagreement is only pro forma (for show), as both Tigrean dictators are fundamentally united in their undying opposition to non-Tigrean Ethiopians and above all to the Amara. Who is paying the piper to play their tune?

During Emperor Haile Selassie’s time there were TWO most pampered groups. One was the Hararis, those who come from Harar province, then known behind their back as “The Harare Mafia” (and who exploited their position from belonging to the birthplace of the Emperor) and who were dominating the upper echelons of the civil service and the military. The other group was the Eritreans. There was even a Ministry of Pen (i.e. the Emperor’s )directive ordering the Ethiopian Civil Service to give employment priority to Eritreans and that once they were employed they should never be fired. Can we forget the exalted status Eritreans enjoyed, in all fields, in Ethiopia under the full protection of the Emperor? Could we so easily forget how they kicked us in the tooth and left the “primitive Ethiopians” and went to their “Promised Land” and alas! ended up in what became the greatest prison of modern times – the totally isolated country of Eritrea. This country has no exports to speak of and relies mostly on the 2% poll tax remitted by Diaspora Eritreans, who sheepishly and unashamedly fund the tyrant. Meanwhile, Eritreans (most particularly Christian Eritreans) are now like the Somalis; or the Christian Lebanese or Christian Egyptians before them, are leaving their country in droves and have become, per capita, the largest refugee population in the World. Meanwhile, Meles has reversed his previous decision to deport them and has invited his Tigrean brothers back from Eritrea and assume their previous privilege. How can we be blinded about this fact? What is wrong with us? Who seriously thinks that there is a rift between the two cousins, Isayis and his vassal Meles, and their respective entourages? What do the thousands of Diaspora visitors see when they go back? Are the majority only sex tourists as is frequently assumed and had the existence of night owls while there? Do they only see roads and shoddy high rise buildings? What about the shortage of water and electricity. Do they know that Addis Ababa has been declaresd the dirtiest capital city in the world? Mainly because it virtually has no sewage system and that 73% of houses have no indoor toilet and that the majority of the city dwellers have no toilet facilities. Above all do they recognize how many people are starving in the city and how many die per day?

The Government of Emperor Hileselassie was overthrown due to the Wello famine. During the time of the Derg the famine expanded a thousand fold and close to a million died. Now there are 12 million suffering during the TPLF regime. Are we watching and responding. The current famine is found in Eritrea, Djibouti, Somaliland, Punt, Somalia and Kenya. The Eritrean tyrant says there is no drought or famine in his country. His vassal the Ethiopian Tyrant is launching all sorts of pet projects in order to divert attention from this most devastating and painful fact. Is his perennial concern only for Tigre and what about our Ogaden Ethiopians who are dying in the hundreds each day? Where is the sense of outrage by Diaspora Ethiopians?

Recently a person who is hailed as a “public intellectual” gave a speech in which he boldly declared that OLF represents the entire Oromo people. How did he arrive at that occlusion? What empirical evidence does he have? Is OLF his source? Has he heard about other Oromo political organization? What does the TPLF ascribed Oromo Kilil mean? Does he know that an estimated 50% of the people living in that area are not Oromos, or do not consider themselves as Oromos. Who decides what ethnicity one belongs? Is it by language? Or domicile? Or is by edict like what TPLF did? Ethnicity should be based in self –identification, if one wants to do so. Everyone has four grandparents and every one can choose the ethnicity of any of them, if they are different, or none of them. This is purely personal and NOT imposed by dictat. Individual right is the corner stone of democracy. We should not allow “ethnic entrepreneurs” to define us in order to promote their utterly selfish agenda. Has he heard that in 2005 TWENTY SIX MILLION EHTIOPIANS VOTED FOR ETHIOPIAWINET? Has he heard that three million Ethiopians held a public demonstration in Addis Ababa against the ethnic separation policy of the TPLF/Weyane (incidentally Amb. Imru was there and has raised this matter in his article) so peaceful has the demonstration been that not a twig from a tree was cut. So overwhelming was the solidarity of the people that poor taxi drivers were transporting people to Meskel Square for free, a bakery was handing our bread for free, etc. etc. Were all the inhabitants of Addis Ababa Amaras or were there Tigreans Oromos, Gurages. Wolayitas, etc as well? Were they only the youth but men and women of all ages who demonstrated? What happened in a space of six years? What type of ethnic enlightenment does he have today? Does his revelation come from the party he wants to promote or to secession elements he desires to embrace?

Another professor has come up with an astonishing proposal. He said that for 20 years nobody has been able to defeat the EPRDF (i.e.TPLF) In fact during the last election TPLF has received 99.6% of the vote. So the best option we have now is to join them. Of course he has gone through twists and turns to justify his argument, or make it appear academic. However, the simple remedy he proposes is similar to the adage that says“if you can’t beat them; join them”. Others are also coming out from the wood works. It is good they come out and say so now. And as it has been said in the past, ‘the horses are bridled, the swords are drawn’ it is time for combat.

Those who have no clear agenda always fall back on Emperor Menelik, their boogey man. The illustrious Menelik is said to be responsible for a litany of things that went wrong in Ethiopia. Either he did too little or too much, or too late, or not at all. Recently even Meles was lambasting Emperors Theodros and Menelik (this little mind conveniently forgot Yohannes) and accused them, of all things, for introducing Western modernization to Ethiopia! A few months ago I wrote an article Nations and Nation Builders explaining that Menelik was among the titans of his generation, who have been credited with building their nations (Bismarck, Garibaldi Simon de Bolívar, and others) Now Menelik is gone and he belongs to the ages. His position in history is secure forever, whatever the chatter of weak and inordinately jealous individuals say or do. What we have to deal with is with the here and now. It is said that if you can’t stand the heat get out of the kitchen. Let us deal with the reality on the ground. Who speaks for the Ethiopian people? Obviously it must be the Ethiopian people living on the real estate in Ethiopia and not the talking heads and the wise guys in the Diaspora. Their citizenship has been taken away by confiscating their land. Ownership of land and property has always been the hallmark of Ethiopiawinet. They are muzzled now but they will be able to speak again drive the TPLF tribalists out and assert their freedom.

At this late stage one has to stand up and be counted. There is no place for vacillation, double talk or grand standing. Nor can we be sitting on both sides of a fence and wait for an opportunistic outcome. During the Russian Revolution one woman who has three grown up boys is immortalized by saying “Vladimir is with the Bolsheviks, Antonov is with White Russians and Georgio is in exile in France. If the Bolsheviks win I will be with Vladimir; if the White Russians win I will be with Antonov; if both sides lose I will go to exile to be with Georgio.”

Lastly we must be able to confront the ethnic supremacy of TPLF. They are operating with the motto “Tigreans above all else” That arch enemy of all non-Tigrean Ethiopians, the indefatigable and degenerate “Tigrean warrior”, Sibhat Negga, has repeatedly told us that the primary and sole mission of TPLF is to pillage the rest of Ethiopia for the benefit of Tigreans. “For this purpose” Sebhat said “we have established a supra enterprise called EFFORT. It is the property of the Tigrean people and its money will exclusively be used for the benefit of Tigreans” That is told from the horse’s mouth. There is no masking his brute and crude statement. Of course all the rest of us know or have known about EFFORT and the role it plays for the excusive benefit of the Tigrean people. EFFORT controls the commanding heights of the economy, and practically every Tigrean has benefitted by its largesse. Now some damn non-Tigrean fools would like to tell us that Tigre is equally deprived as Gamu Gofa, in fact even more so (mark this: the Tigreans themselves will not dare tell us that.) The old Tigrean chauvinist Sebhat even goes further. He says if non-Tigreans dare to attack our Tigrean brothers in Eritrea, we will beat them into a pulp “mark my words” he has said.

Hundreds of Tigrean millionaires have been created since the days when TPLF controlled state power. It has never happened in this fashion anywhere else in the world. It is a total pillage of the wealth of the Ethiopian people. Even their Tigrean ambassadors have millions in their banks on the day they assume their post. They are a conduit for the pillage of Ethiopia. Hundreds of Tigreans are sent all over the world with millions of dollars in order to open businesses. Where did their money come from? Did it grow on Mekele trees? The Tigrean oligarchy has separated themselves from other Ethiopians both at home and abroad. Those in the Diaspora have their own separate community centers, their own churches and are engaged in tribal social activities which are renown more for their primitive bravado excessive consumption than anything else. Those of us in the Diaspora are aware of this. Those in Ethiopia are suffering in silence under Tigrean robbery and tyranny. When are we going to feel the heat and the total humiliation?

In the end the corner stone of democracy is one person one vote. Consensus will and could be reached by the strength of the better argument. The era of dictators has to end in Ethiopia, like it is ending in the rest of the world. The idea of “the strength of the better argument” is the post modern adage and its practical results are immediate and wonderful. There is no tribal or Kilil mandate; there is no concoction of group rights which has perennially been exploited by weaklings’ hiding behind the tribal skirt. Each person is allowed and exposed to air his or opinion freely. In Ethiopia we had such could found in the ancient practice of አደባባይ culture and the concept of a free and full participation of the public to arrive at a consensus decision. Relying on the strength of the better argument leads to a higher state of consciousness and promotes deep understanding. Among people. It is high time that we retire the age old tradition of ይሉኝታ since it could easily be confused with excessive fear or used as pretext for sitting on the fence or on the sidelines.

  1. sf
    | #1

    you are bitter and angry person with no love in your heart. yes, there is something wrong with you. look in to yourself.

  2. Kiros
    | #2

    I think over 20 years in prison and they already lost power and the focus should be on the current government who are repeating the same mistakes that the Derge did, even worst in my opinion.
    Our fight should focus on the people who are imprisoned by the TPLF/EPRDF mob to be released. We should work for democratic, rule of law, and respected human rights for all to flourish in our country.
    We should also take a lesson from South Africa reconciliation. Non-stop pay-back will not take us anywhere.

  3. ayakha
    | #3

    1- Butcher Haile Selassie employed Eritreans in his government in an effort to erode the then budding Eritrean middle class. The main reasons were to dilute any political opposition to the illegal annexation and to bolster the civil service of fuedalist Ethiopia…
    2- The squabble between Meles and Isaias is real. True they don’t have personal hatred for one another- but their movements (governments) do.

  4. Barnabas
    | #4

    You are a very sad person.And wrong to say Eritreans left “primitive Ethiopia” They just won their Independe.What’s wrong with that.And you claimed Eritrea depends mainly on foreign remmitance.I advice you to check Nevsun Canada mining group report.You will learn the booming mining industry in Eritrea fetched 180 m dollar in the past 3 months.just check it now.and stop teaching hate.We don’t hate Ethiopia.We just want to be a free nation.Get over it.

  5. Samuel
    | #5

    Desperate bitter Amhara elites have come out in force to persuade us that the only way Ethiopia can be saved is through them as if they are Jesus Christs of Ethiopia-They think they are the road to salvation. They want us to cast aside their historical role for the emergence of all ethnic liberation fronts in the last 40 years and beyond. They want us to believe that their management of the so-called Ethiopian government was a clean government that all people should have lived under with out any voice. The cry of the 1970′s largely by the children of the elites of the feudal lords is now to be relegated to a dust bin. They want to retrace the Monarchy as the savior of the country.

    Thos of us who have gone through the timulteous time of deserved change are demanding the current liberation fronts to either move forward and liberate the people you claim to stand for or leave the leadership so that the young generation can finish the job. You must sick and tired of these die-hards and stone heads who do not learn any thing from history.

  6. Tekle
    | #6

    “The Government of Emperor Hileselassie was overthrown due to the Wello famine.” Is that right? Your clumsy assertion adds nothing to the concept of democracy at all. Politics of revenge and ‘tifozo’ rules our thinking.

  7. Daniel
    | #7

    There is a psychologist near my home. You can visit him.

  8. Nebula
    | #8

    I am very sorry for spending my time to a very long writing full of hatred which invites to another mass killings as if what we have lost so far is not enough. I am Eritrean and I am so sad for what we have lost from both sides because people like you were able to install hatred among the brotherly people, and I am sure our hardened hearts will be softened to one another and return to the basic truth which is we are not different one from the other.

    You are a ticking bomb it is just a matter of time for you to explode. And one thing, you are not different from Issayas or Meles

  9. Sahle
    | #9

    Dear Ato Mismaku Asrat,

    Weren’t you a Councillor of the Derg regime for many years at Ethiopian Embassy in London who once was exposed by Dr G Bekele of London on same Internet? Please enlighten us so that we don’t consider you as another Mismaku Asrat and misjudge you for what you write. I thank you.

  10. BIYE
    | #10

    Truth,

    I think you should change your name to ‘False’, because you are not telling the truth at all. what does to be free mean to you? that is my first question. Issaya Afeworki is flogging you non stop, driving the people out of the country and putting you in slavery the world has never seen.

    it is true also that there is no freedom to do anything you care to mention without getting yourself into trouble. You cannot say or write anything against shabia, starvation, unemployment.repression is the method of rule used by the regime, and you call this freedom!! God help you.

    Let me tell you something useful , and that is unless you know you have problem you can not get a solution. you have a cancer sticking in your belly, dont sit there and say everything is ok.

  11. Birtu/can
    | #11

    MSMAKU,

    MY goodness! All these woyane paid agents are working hard for their money. Don’t they? You must have hit a nerve!! I applaud your comments.

  12. Anonymous
    | #12

    DR. msmaku,

    Great article which tells the truth boldly. You are a well-informed intellegent person. Please keep on writing and do not be discourged by those who write craps about you and your article. As you can see they have nothing useful to say but some silly things. They are paid by Woyanne for doing that and they will continue to do- just ignore them.

    Good job and thank you, Sir.

  13. Sheger
    | #13

    It might sound funny or not tru but it is wright. But the thing is it is just not Tigiray people, I think there are some especial Tigiray what ever the requirement. And it is not just Tigray people it is Eritirianse too if you can tell the difference infect
    This whole mobbestery is ran by Eritirianse mainly and Arab and musilim and other AFRICAN ORIENTED People rather than Ethiopians.

  14. Sheger
    | #14

    So what is wrong this us? Well the gun is pointed at your head bu some body you don’t know your enemy. And your countey is under their sag. Finito, end of story. How do we get out of it? By exposing them. By telling the world not to work with them by throwing them out of power by restoring our national pride and dignity territory and nationality and by giving back the power to the Ethiopian people and retern law and order in the country and the land to it’s people.

    Thank you very much. That is what we got to do.

    Ethiopia yeleboch Hager mehon BEKAT, sewu maleku newu. Cheresun yikelal. Minale at least le Ethiopia yemiasebu
    Sewoch Behonu? Minalebet? Min newur?

  15. Tizibt
    | #15

    Dr. Msmaku,

    You article is open clear and truthful. Based on some of the response
    that I see, your article frustrated woyane and shabia foot soldiers as
    well as their well entrenched web sites in the diaspora. Please keep on
    writing and educating us. We need people like you with rich experience
    and fair judgement.

  16. Anonymous
    | #16

    Well said. GBU

  17. The time to act is now!
    | #17

    Thank you for this well written article. Of course, only woyanes find something wrong with all the facts you pointed out. It took one mentally disturbed person to slaughter over six million Jews and now we are witnessing our own mentally unstable Hitler in our country dividing and slaughtering innocent people.
    Meles is in Ethiopia to loot and destroy our country. The tyrant has demonstrated his hate towards Ethiopians in so many ways than we can count, besides locking up hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and killing them, he has spitted on the original Ethiopian flag and called it a piece of rug–the flag our families died for. There is no doubt that the dictator is in the process of building that GREATER TIGREA on the backs of eighty million Ethiopians. I won’t be surprised to hear if Meles gets his own cousin assassinated in the near future and combine the two province and call it Greater Tigrea. One of the most hateful midget in the world will make sure that Ethiopians left demoralized and their country dismantled. ETHIOPIA HAS BEEN ON LIFE SUPPORT FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS UNDER THE BRUTAL TPLF REGIME! THE TIME TO SAVE HER LIFE IS NOW! let’s DO IT BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

  18. chanyalew
    | #18

    i happen to read the article and the comments made – all that the author presented is the hard facts and the truth – tplf and eplf are known parasites and enemies of the ethiopian people – this is not to say that all tigreans from eritrea and tigraye think and support the two monisters melese and esayas – Asrat’s article is to the point and supported by facts – whether we like it on not – instead of atttacking the person one should present their criticism and show where he is wrong with facts

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