The August 4th Town Hall Meeting in Dallas: Report

August 6th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

The meeting was called by Kinijit Dallas. Former KIL members, Dr Moges and Ato Andargachew were guest speakers. Before reporting on the main meeting, this report mentions some of the side shows that took place before and during the main event: kinijitdallas2.jpg
  • The audience heard a very inspiring thank you message from two senior Kinijit leaders in Ethiopia: Judge Birtukan Mideksa and Dr. Hailu Araya
  • Informing our guests on the current state of Kinijit through the distribution of Kinijit press release from Ethiopia, Engineer Hailu’s letter regarding the termination Kinijit political leadership outside Ethiopia and KIL’s last press release after the group dissolves itself.
  • Conducting a drive for new DFW Kinijit chapter membership. Our chapter distributed power point literature urging every Ethiopian to discharge his/her civic duty by getting involved actively in the affairs of Ethiopia. For those who share the vision of Kinijit for Ethiopia, a call was made to join our chapter. The guests were offered to participate in our chapter in the way they see it fit: regular and associate members; as well as becoming a friend of Kinijit at large. Some of the guests have filled forms to join the chapter.
  • In memoriam of Ashanafi Mekonnen and Getnet Abate who were killed in a car accident in Boston last week, meeting participants were asked to make financial contribution for the families of the deceased. Kinijit Dallas will send the $777 dollars that was raised at the occasion to the family.
  • The film Betrayal of Democracy was screened to the audience before the beginning of the meeting.
kinijitdallas4.jpg
picture145.jpg
picture149.jpg

The main meeting was opened by introducing our guests. During the introduction, the chapter chairman Ato Dejene Assaye explained the goal of the meeting. Per its goal, the meeting was successful in informing our guests on the activities of Kinijit in Diaspora for the past year and half and in exploring the next steps for strengthening Kinijit support groups to help the struggle at home.

The first speaker Dr. Moges gave the major events that occurred in the past eighteen months. In the process of narrating the important events in his tenure as acting chairman of KIL, he described the in fighting with in Kinijit as an unfortunate waste of energy and resources. However, he said this negative picture does not represent our condition at all. To the contrary, he said the relationship with in the Kinijit family in Diaspora was mainly characterized by so many unpublicized instances of camaraderie and mutual support. He particularly admired the selfless help Kinijit received from so many ordinary Ethiopians as he traveled across continents. Other than the struggle to win the freedom of our leaders, he identified the establishment and restructuring of about 50 democratic Kinijit chapters world wide, including in USA, Canada, Europe, South African and Australia as the most important achievement of the past one-and-half years effort by everyone. According to him, these chapters are now ready to serve as foundations for Kinijit leaders in their work to channel the strength of the world-wide Ethiopian Diaspora in helping the struggle of the Ethiopian people at home.

Dr Moges also gave an account of the negotiation process that resulted in setting our leaders free. He told the audience that the release of our leaders was a result of a political process and not that of an outcome of the kangaroo court’s process. He recited some of the contents of the negotiation terms that were in stark contrast to the doctored document which was disseminated by the regime and its propagandists at home and abroad.

Finally he challenged the audience to learn from past mistakes and find appropriate mechanisms for keeping the unity of Kinijit supporters abroad.

The second speaker was Ato Andargachew. Ato Andargachew repeated with emphasis that he was more driven by the non-stop positive actions of the Diaspora to free its leaders than the internal problems of KIL. He mentioned several individual actions of generosity and camaraderie that was given to him during the struggle. He cautioned the audience to never underestimate the role the Diaspora played. Compared to other countries in similar situations, he said the concern and involvement of the Ethiopian Diaspora has won the admiration and respect of law makers and leaders in western capitals. Our freed leaders and even Meles’s regime have taken note of what the Diaspora is capable of achieving.

Reading from a document he mentioned as one of the founding tenets of Kinijit, in going forward, he said our goal should be to spread democracy, accountability and openness in all our chapters so that we can overcome unnecessary infighting and create mechanisms for conflict resolution. He called on the audience to create conducive and enabling environment to our leaders so that they can focus and work on the important and difficult task of leading the struggle. He cited the instant dissolution of KIL as one such act.

Talking about Kinijit’s relationship with other opposition groups, Ato Andargachew mentioned about the necessity of coalition building among all opposition forces. With Kinijit leaders free now, he said he can say with confidence that they will tackle this problem at the appropriate time. Kinijit’s principle in this matter is to work together with any group that aspires to create a condition in Ethiopia in which our people will be free to choose among competing political forces.

After the speakers finished their speech, several questions were fielded from the audience. These questions revolved around unity in Kinijit, the future of the struggle, AFD, western government’s stand on democracy in Ethiopia, peaceful struggle, etc. The speakers took turns and responded to all the questions. At night, the discussion continued at a dinner in the local Ethiopian Restaurant informally.

Dallas Kinijit chapter wants to thank our guests and audience who made the town hall meeting very successful.

The meeting was called by Kinijit Dallas. Former KIL members, Dr Moges and Ato Andargachew were guest speakers. Before reporting on the main meeting, this report mentions some of the side shows that took place before and during the main event: kinijitdallas2.jpg
  • The audience heard a very inspiring thank you message from two senior Kinijit leaders in Ethiopia: Judge Birtukan Mideksa and Dr. Hailu Araya
  • Informing our guests on the current state of Kinijit through the distribution of Kinijit press release from Ethiopia, Engineer Hailu’s letter regarding the termination Kinijit political leadership outside Ethiopia and KIL’s last press release after the group dissolves itself.
  • Conducting a drive for new DFW Kinijit chapter membership. Our chapter distributed power point literature urging every Ethiopian to discharge his/her civic duty by getting involved actively in the affairs of Ethiopia. For those who share the vision of Kinijit for Ethiopia, a call was made to join our chapter. The guests were offered to participate in our chapter in the way they see it fit: regular and associate members; as well as becoming a friend of Kinijit at large. Some of the guests have filled forms to join the chapter.
  • In memoriam of Ashanafi Mekonnen and Getnet Abate who were killed in a car accident in Boston last week, meeting participants were asked to make financial contribution for the families of the deceased. Kinijit Dallas will send the $777 dollars that was raised at the occasion to the family.
  • The film Betrayal of Democracy was screened to the audience before the beginning of the meeting.
kinijitdallas4.jpg
picture145.jpg
picture149.jpg

The main meeting was opened by introducing our guests. During the introduction, the chapter chairman Ato Dejene Assaye explained the goal of the meeting. Per its goal, the meeting was successful in informing our guests on the activities of Kinijit in Diaspora for the past year and half and in exploring the next steps for strengthening Kinijit support groups to help the struggle at home.

The first speaker Dr. Moges gave the major events that occurred in the past eighteen months. In the process of narrating the important events in his tenure as acting chairman of KIL, he described the in fighting with in Kinijit as an unfortunate waste of energy and resources. However, he said this negative picture does not represent our condition at all. To the contrary, he said the relationship with in the Kinijit family in Diaspora was mainly characterized by so many unpublicized instances of camaraderie and mutual support. He particularly admired the selfless help Kinijit received from so many ordinary Ethiopians as he traveled across continents. Other than the struggle to win the freedom of our leaders, he identified the establishment and restructuring of about 50 democratic Kinijit chapters world wide, including in USA, Canada, Europe, South African and Australia as the most important achievement of the past one-and-half years effort by everyone. According to him, these chapters are now ready to serve as foundations for Kinijit leaders in their work to channel the strength of the world-wide Ethiopian Diaspora in helping the struggle of the Ethiopian people at home.

Dr Moges also gave an account of the negotiation process that resulted in setting our leaders free. He told the audience that the release of our leaders was a result of a political process and not that of an outcome of the kangaroo court’s process. He recited some of the contents of the negotiation terms that were in stark contrast to the doctored document which was disseminated by the regime and its propagandists at home and abroad.

Finally he challenged the audience to learn from past mistakes and find appropriate mechanisms for keeping the unity of Kinijit supporters abroad.

The second speaker was Ato Andargachew. Ato Andargachew repeated with emphasis that he was more driven by the non-stop positive actions of the Diaspora to free its leaders than the internal problems of KIL. He mentioned several individual actions of generosity and camaraderie that was given to him during the struggle. He cautioned the audience to never underestimate the role the Diaspora played. Compared to other countries in similar situations, he said the concern and involvement of the Ethiopian Diaspora has won the admiration and respect of law makers and leaders in western capitals. Our freed leaders and even Meles’s regime have taken note of what the Diaspora is capable of achieving.

Reading from a document he mentioned as one of the founding tenets of Kinijit, in going forward, he said our goal should be to spread democracy, accountability and openness in all our chapters so that we can overcome unnecessary infighting and create mechanisms for conflict resolution. He called on the audience to create conducive and enabling environment to our leaders so that they can focus and work on the important and difficult task of leading the struggle. He cited the instant dissolution of KIL as one such act.

Talking about Kinijit’s relationship with other opposition groups, Ato Andargachew mentioned about the necessity of coalition building among all opposition forces. With Kinijit leaders free now, he said he can say with confidence that they will tackle this problem at the appropriate time. Kinijit’s principle in this matter is to work together with any group that aspires to create a condition in Ethiopia in which our people will be free to choose among competing political forces.

After the speakers finished their speech, several questions were fielded from the audience. These questions revolved around unity in Kinijit, the future of the struggle, AFD, western government’s stand on democracy in Ethiopia, peaceful struggle, etc. The speakers took turns and responded to all the questions. At night, the discussion continued at a dinner in the local Ethiopian Restaurant informally.

Dallas Kinijit chapter wants to thank our guests and audience who made the town hall meeting very successful.

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