Voice to the voiceless By Andent Tesfaye

October 12th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

As posted in several Ethiopian websites in the past few months, the ethno-centric TPLF regime continue its repression by in acting the so called anti-Terrorist Law which is designed to suppress free speech and fundamental democracy rights of the Ethiopian people. (more…)

As posted in several Ethiopian websites in the past few months, the ethno-centric TPLF regime continue its repression by in acting the so called anti-Terrorist Law which is designed to suppress free speech and fundamental democracy rights of the Ethiopian people. Using this law the regime detained local and International journalists, legally established opposition leaders, human rights activist, closed down independent new papers, blocked access to the internet and international Radio service. The government

Repressions list goes on. All of the detain individuals we’re operating within the legal frame work established by the constitution. The purpose of the detentions of these journalists is to deny the Ethiopian people at home and in the diaspora the information they need to expose the government misdeed and repression.

The Journalist always maintained allegiance to the core journalistic principle and to their own citizens without fear of the government repression. One can clearly understand that they are doing their job with honesty and loyalty to our citizen.

When the cost of living become unbearable to the people they reported it, when a disastrous blend of corruption and incompetence festered in the government they exposed it, when famine struck and millions of people were in verge of dying they exposed it, when Citizens demonstrated for justice and equalities, and were arrested and jailed without due process law they exposed it. They have played a role of being watchdog and voice to the voiceless.

During the past twenty years ethno-centric TPLF has demonstrated again and again that it is willing to rule with iron fist by undertaking violent retribution against any democratic opposition and critics. It has not learned from its mistake and is unwilling to reconcile with its critics. They continue to arrest journalist, political leaders and plunder the country’s wealth.

As result, the Ethiopians living in Diaspora have been expressing their frustration on organizing Mass rallies in several major cities such as New York, Washington, DC and London. They demanded that the international community put diplomatic pressure on the ethno-centric TPLF regime by denouncing the regime’s lack of respect for human rights and justice, and they also demanded that the international community cut the financial aid given to the regime which is used to strengthen its repressive government machinery and prolong its dictatorial rule.

In the absence of freely expressing political oppositions and free presses the role of Ethiopians in the Diaspora is to continue to hold demonstration and candle light vigils in front of international and diplomatic offices and expose the atrocities and repression committed by the ethno-centric TPLF government. However, when mobilizing people to demonstrate and participate in candle light vigil we should be cognizant of the fact that everyone in the Diaspora may not be able join us. They may be sympathetic and supportive of the causes and rallies we are undertaking. We should not antagonize them by lumping them in the enemy camp. This includes people who do not have sufficient time off from work or family obligations to participate in the demonstration. It also includes Ethiopians international civil servants or diplomatic staff who may also be sympatatic to the cause we are undertaking, but not able to overtly participate in the demonstration, others may be people who are afraid that government may take retribution against their families back home. These people may be contributing to struggle in other avenues. However, in attacking or calling them names we might be pushing them to be self-defensive and work against us. At this point in time, the struggle to create a democratic Ethiopia and undermine tyranny benefits by being all inclusive as opposed to alienating potential friends who might take time to join the opposition camp.

This opinion is just a precautionary remark for achieving a win-win strategy when and how to behave as responsible protestor. Allowing a room for any observer to questions the credibility of the protestor by rude expressions is a concern. We have to remain steadfast on our protest to build momentum, and no doubt we will succeed. No one knows when things will change but if we unite and continue expressing our outrage there is potential shake things for change. After all who would have imagined a year ago that the Arab spring would oust their dictators? This can happen in Ethiopia too.

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