Dirty Politics 101 – Boycott Neway Debebe By Yared Ayicheh

December 27th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Our political culture seems to only have a huge negative dimension to it. The advertisements to boycott Artist Neway Debebe’s New Years concert in Germany have disgusted and repulsed me entirely. I find it very upsetting to see negative and dirty political tactics dominate the Diaspora political activism. The reason for the boycott: some have suggested that the artist has complained about the opposition using his songs for campaigning during election 2010.

Here are some questions to ask before labeling Neway as a political opportunist: Does he not have property rights over his songs? Can he not object when his songs are used without his permission or consent? And if Neway is indeed pro EPRDF is that not his right to support which ever party he chooses? If we don’t agree that the artist has a right to do what is legal, then what is it that we are trying to achieve in Ethiopia’s politics? Are we trying to become more fascist, tyrant and doctorial like the EPRDF? Or is this not indicative that we are incapable of achieving what the EPRDF has not accomplished, which is the supremacy of the rule of law in Ethiopia?

The use of intimidation to induce political results is not new in Ethiopia. Coercion is the only political tactic that has dominated Ethiopia for many centuries. It is this same mentality that is behind the attacks on artists who are perceived to be pro-government, even though there is no evidence that these artists are political activists for the EPRDF.

In the 1970s, during the red terror campaign, many Ethiopians were arrested, tortured and murdered by the military junta based only on suspicions. And this same mob mentality is dominant today in the Diaspora political activism as well. Our dirty political culture has motivated or driven some to oppose anything and everything they think is related to the EPRDF dictatorship. The danger of blindly supporting or opposing any political party is that it makes the blind supporter or the blind opposition look like a fool, an intellectually bankrupt thug.

The other day I watched a video of protesters in Atlanta calling Ambassador Girma Biru “leba, leba, leba!” (‘leba’ means thief in Amharic.) I am not sure if the protestors knew why they were calling the ambassador “leba”, perhaps they were doing it out of frustration and anger. The frustration and anger is understandable, but when the frustration and anger drives us into insanity, we need to stop and ask our selves what our objective is. I am not suggesting being passive or cozy with the EPRDF, but we can put pressure with out coming across as idiots.

The more the Diaspora political activism looses its sanity, the less interested are people who want to see a constitutional democracy flourish in Ethiopia. When we become irrational and unfair, our image will be exactly that: irrational and unfair. And who wants to associate with that? Not me!

I do not live in Germany, but if I did, I would go to Neway’s New Year concert, and if I get the chance, may be even ask him if he supports the EPRDF and why he objected to the use of his songs by the opposition during the campaign for election 2010.

The writer may be reached at: yared_to_the_point@yahoo.com

  1. Garedaw
    | #1

    Bravo Yared!
    Finally, here is a sensible advice. Boycott, boycott…boycott? Where is it going to end? Please, let’s not always look at how we negatively affect someone or somebody’s thinking, but rather look in to how we positively affect some one or his choices.

    True, we have every right to spend our money where we want to. But, let us not politicize everything. Why expect an azmari to be in the forefront of our struggle? Why expect one azmari to lead the struggle for peace and democracy in Ethiopia? Be fair> An azmari is an azmari. He is a human being just like anyone of us. He has his own life. Unless you can show that he has committed crimes against the people and country of Ethiopia, you have no case to fight him.

    Like Yared said, if I have a chance, I will ask the singer if all that was said was true. If he said yes, then I will discuss with him why I disagree with him. That is all.

  2. Selamu
    | #2

    Dirty politics? Really? What a disillusiionment that is. Yared, do you know that you are talking about Ethiopia. Don’t you know that there is no a civilized political structure there. What we have there is much like aparthied and subjugation of the mass by one Ethinic junta. Torture, imprisonment and killing is the political game they know. So calling the man who sold his councious to the Ethnic Junta “Leba’ is disrespectful. You , idiot we are not playing “plitics’ we are struggling for our servival and freedom.

  3. Binyam
    | #3

    As far as I am concerned, Neway is the most reasonable musician I have ever met. He is a real Ethiopian no matter what other people say about him. I wonder, do we have to lalel people as EPRDF because they chose to move back to their country? I don’t think so.

  4. tibebu assefa
    | #4

    dear yared
    you are arogant weyane supporter.you are telling us about the right of neway to support weyane,forgetting that we have a right to boycott neway.secondly you are telling us girma biru isnot leba. can you tell me how can girma posses fast 200 000 000 dollar,is this money not stolen from poor ethiopans.
    shame on you.

  5. sami
    | #5

    What is wrong with this guy. As much as Neway has the right to sing where ever he wants to sing, we have every right to boycott his concerts.Not only should we boycott his songs, We should tell others not attend his concerts what ever way we can That is a real Democracy my friend.

  6. Development without freedom
    | #6

    It is new to me. Has Neway become weyane?

  7. Development without freedom
    | #7

    To Weyene mob
    Ethiopians in diaspora are not controlled by weyanes. They have choices to boycott or not. You have no right to call them Derg mob.

  8. ziydgorf
    | #8

    The reality is,Ethiopians are praising for their togetherness on crucial and important issues and matters,including the political,social,and economical life of our people.We’ve many donations to do in order to help our struggling fellow Ethiopians,we have a lot more places and communities to go and visit and lend our kind heart and hands.You see,Solomon Tekaligne is living a bat’s life;only when he is not seen he goes out and do what he is recruited to do;completely disconnected and rejected by nearly all Ethiopians,Solomon Tekaligne is living in his own world prepared by his shappers and molders.What Neway is doing is a baby walk,which is normal for those who are fresh in Zinawi’s camp.Once,Neway finish the full traning that he is now on,he will come out hot-blooded and come on the trhoat of Ethiopians in the open.Well,we will not wait see what he is going to do against us,who are on the people’s side,we will begin the fight by boycottin everything he peresents to us to fool us this way or that way.

  9. Dirty Politics 101 and Dirty Article 101
    | #9

    I think the writer forgets what freedom of expression means……who cares about an Azmari called Neway Debebe or Dedebe?

    Get Milk and try to write another article that can be catgorized as Dirty Article 102!

  10. Bekalu
    | #10


    Yes, Neway has all the rights you mentioned and he can support TPLF, not only support, but he can be a member. But, what about someone from the opposition telling us to boycott Neway’s concert because Neway is a supporter of what we staunchly oppose. Don’t we in the opposition have the same right that you said Neway has? You think you have produced a wonderful article and you seem to be happy because a handful of the TPLF mouth pieces have applauded you. But, your scribble is full of contradiction form “A” to “Z” People in the opposition have the right to say don’t give your money for someone who opposes what you stand for- This is not negative politics- don’t forget that politics is confrontational by its nature.

  11. Bekalu
    | #11


    You said: “I am not sure if the protestors knew why they were calling the ambassador “leba”, perhaps they were doing it out of frustration and anger”
    I think the protestors knew exactly why they called Girma Biru “Leba”. Even Girma Biru himself knows why he was received with the word “Leba”. The only person who didn’t understand is you. Girma is two things, a public figure and a thief. So people who believe Girma is thief have the right to call him leba which is what he is. During the Derg time Girma used to live in a rented place. Now he his net worth is estimated close to $200 million. Unless this guy stole in bulk, where do you think he got this amount of money? The man is government worker, not import exporter. Come on Yared get back to your senses be tuned like St Yared

  12. sol
    | #12

    Shame on you Yared!!, it is ovious you are pro woyane. whay you want to defend Girma Biru? anybody who works for woyane is Thief. maybe you are undercover working for woyane. if they want to boycot Neway, that is upto the poeple you can not criticize them they have the right to do whatever they want. we live in democratic country don’t forget that.

  13. Zena
    | #13

    I am pretty sure the writer is one of the Aratkillo woyane officials who distribute freedom to selected people. Man… wake up, Germany does not operate that way. In a free world, everybody has equal freedom.

  14. It is not complicated!
    | #14

    Newyae Debebe has exercised his rights and his conscience to do what he wanted to do, AND WE HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXERCISE OUR RIGHTS NOT TO SUPPORT AN ARTIST THAT SUPPORTS A DICTATOR AND HIS THUGS, PERIOD!

  15. kalebo
    | #15

    i wanna say something.when somebody become weyane ,he accept weyane’s low.one of the terrorist low says don’t eat,drink and spend time with who oppose weyane even if that person is ur family.so why we gonna atend his show

  16. ET_hagere
    | #16

    The writer forgot that it is our right to oppose too. For your information, there are many ways to protest. One of them is boycott.

    Secondly, the writer mentioned Military Junta, yes the Derg regime is a brutal dicatator. I think the writer has short memory problem. If you remember, the 20 years ago killing of Derg, how come you forgot the ongoing killing by TPLF? Shame on you. Keep the lecture to yourself.

  17. Bruke
    | #17

    I’m so disgusted by this article because we have the right to protest against all collaborators with the MELES/TPLFITES ethnic aparthied system! The writer, Newai & Girma Biru are all low lifes with no moral value that sold their sole for the Ethnic facist aprthied system for few changes. So we this is the minimum we can do to fight against the ethnic aparthied system that oppressing and degrading our people. So those guys who organized the boycott and the protest against Girma the opportunist pig keep up the good work and ethiop shall be free soon!

  18. Anonymous
    | #18

    Yared, you must be Newaye Debebeit’s producer who advised him to entertain the looters and killers of Ethiopians for that mighty dollar. You sold your souls to the devil, now live with it! Try to tell that to the countless number of Ethiopian mothers and fathers who lost their children by the hands of Agazi Army ordered by Meles to gun down their children. Tell that to the countless number of Ethiopian children who lost their parents by the hands of Agazi Army. Try to tell that to the millions who are starving to death while Azeb Gola and the TPLF scumbags spends millions on material things. You have a nerve to try to blame Ethiopian people! Where is your conscience man? Yes Mengestu was another mad dog that slaughtered unknown number of Ethiopians, possibly in a millions, and currently, Ethiopia is in a much worse condition than ever before under dictator Meles that has sold the Ethiopians land, loot the country’s treasure and the lives of tens of thousands of innocent Ethiopians. Yared, shame on you, man!

  19. Addisboy
    | #19

    Dear Mr. Yared.

    Oh Dear, thank you for writing a sensable paper. But I believe ignorance, unseasoned language and being volgare is the way forward with most diaspora. It is understandable that many are cornered in many parts of the world doing menial jobs with little or no prospect of going back home. Moreover, for many reasons many has little or no knowledge of politial process. Everyone became a self proclaimed politician when they logged their asylum claim. For many engaging oneself in political process or to show the love for your country you have to shout, insult, use profine words and all sorts of volgarism. Nobody taught us how to engage ourselves in the political process to change or contribute to the development of a nation. We don’t know how to challenge an existing political system. We never learned from our Atse leaders, kings and Mengistu and so on. We don’t know how to set our political agenda.The days of going to the jungle with a gun is gone. But many still in the diaspora has got that old mentality. We don’t know how to agree to disagree on certain points.I have seen so many lost opportunites with EPRDF officals in many parts of the world this year. If I don’t like you have got to die…. that is the mentality. See our opposition parties. We don’t know how to lobby policy makers and important international and doner organisations. To make it worse many in the diaspora as we know, with no fault of their own never had a chance to persue formal education. Remember knowldege is power. At least it makes you focused and helps you to set the agenda. So, what are we left with? We are big time armed with heavy insults, gang up around cafe houses beeching mostly unfounded and unsubstantiated claims. Did you not see how some people dreamatise about the constant killings and the on going harsh aparthied in Ethiopia. For a stranger it feels like the country is in a state of emergency and the prison camps are far worse than the WWII Auschwitz, the nazi concentration camps.

    To put my idea in context, I am totally against some of the policies of the EPRDF. I live in Ethiopia and things are getting better by the day. We are not living in state of emergency. Come and see for yourselves. The sad part is some are against EPRDF regardless, for they seek to be in power. But for many they have not been in Ethiopia for the last 20 years and feed only with second hand and lame information. And last but not least Mr. Yared, good job. It will take a while for people to come to that maturity but never give up and don’t stop talking sense. Thanx

  20. Leba Woyane!
    | #20

    Please read comment #19 by Anonymous. You are one typical Woyane, period!

  21. Samson
    | #21

    Addisboy, do’t you have a spell checker? that is the basics of writing. Before you commence to preach us about how life is difficult here, how miserable we are and the vice vers for you guys do first thing first. Very sorry I got no time to read your mumbo jumbo. I wish you all the best in your heavenly ethiopia. By the way if Ethiopia is as what you mention it what are you doing here? why do not you enjoy it to the full?

  22. Samson
    | #22

    Dear Yared,

    Very thank you for taking your precious time to write this article whatever the content is. However, I have some reservations on most of the issues you raised. Let me clarify my points. Firstly, as most of the above commentators said while appreciating Neway’s rights you seem to ignore the rights of the campaigners. The other day I was walking in to KFC and there were bunch of campaigners who stood outside calling customers to boycott KFC because of its current stance to use ‘halal’ meat. So by your analogy the English guys who were doing that were insane eh? Secondly, when it comes to public figuers one should not forget their public engagment is a matter of public interest bc they are there claiming one or another constitunecy be it a music audience or a political support group. Therefore, the public has every right to condemn their actions when there is a consensus on that. Let me give you another example. As you may aware Tony Blair was the most popular politician in recent English/British history. However, last year he could not conduct his book signing ceremony in London because of a massive campaign against his decscion of taking the country to Iraq war and the consequences thereof. The security cost for that given day was in millions of pounds. So if the English guys have that right why Ethiopians should be denied to call Girma Biru leba? Why do not you ask the activists thier reasons for labeling him so? To my understanding he deserves more than that. A man/woman who stood against the trust and responsiblity of his country ppl should be called leba ! To conclude, as you said we might be emotional or sentimental in many instances. If you see all that in context with what is happening in Ethiopia you will conclude our passion as a legitimate one. Thanks

  23. Anonymous
    | #23

    shame. this trash should be posted in weyanes forum not here. boycott is appropriate. every banda and anything that benefits bandas and weyanes should be boycotted.

  24. Yohannes Ke Dallas
    | #24

    Come on Yared, what happened to you man? why are you lecturing us to be nice to those who collaborate with a tyrant back home? If you are not saying Girma Biru Leba who elese could be leba? Girma Biru before he was appointed as ambassador he sent his daughter to one of US colleges and paying 10,000 USD every three months for college tution fee while his salary was not exceeding 700 usd / month. Are you insane? This guy is the most notorious leba who snatches everyhting from the starved millions and you want us to address him as “honorable ambassador”. Dear Yared, do not be afraid to call a spade spade especially when you are in a free world. If you are so polite and timid to the people who does not deserve to be respected, be it but do not try to impose your weakness on others. If your girma biru is leba, there is no other way to address him unless you want to call him saint, clean hard worker civil serevant. It is the way of the top Mafia to drag them in to play and let them steal and then they will be loyal to him or else he will throw them to jail. That is how the system works.

  25. Anonymous
    | #25

    My fellow Ethiopians: if you cannot fight Woyanes in person, do everything you can in your power to boycott everything that belongs to Woyanes. If these shameless entertainers like Newye Dedebit and that fat fool Solomon Tengarew choose to dine, wine and dance with Woyanes that have thrown tens of thousands of Ethiopians in jail, torture, rob, kill, taken Gondar’s land, Wollo’s land and Gambela’s land for themselves and to give to their foreign billionaire—Ethiopians have the right to exercise their rights to boycott whatever they wish.

  26. Addisboy
    | #26

    Apologies if I offend you. But as I said we need to learn what “A political process is all about…”. That needs knowledge….as you spell it ‘do’t’ you think so? ‘vice vers’ ha ha haaa. Go to school and then you will have the capacity to digest what I have written…. no offence again. By the way, I am enjoying Ethiopia to the full and I love it…. But my joy comes for I am participating in the development of my country. I am not building no bodies nation…. with respect.

  27. Shameless Woyane
    | #27

    It is obvious that you’re one immature, selfish, narrow minded who care less what happens to the rest of Ethiopians as long as you collect your material wealth on the back of 80 million Ethiopians. You cannot deny or you don’t care at all that Ethiopia is being controlled by one ethnic group…Ethiopians have been denied their God given rights to freedom of speech, press and the rights to organize and protest…Tens of thousands of Ethiopians have been locked in prison as we speak and some have been severely tortured…Countless number of Ethiopians have been gunned down on the streets of all over Ethiopia for speaking out the truth and the rest of them have been kicked out from everything they know and love in Gondar, Wollo, and Gambela and their land have been given to Tigrea province, to Sudan and to foreign investors. Life is so unbearable in Ethiopia even people have started to set themselves in fire than living under the current TPLF tyrant Meles who is ruling the country with iron fist. What goes around, will come around. Yours also will come as it did in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia. God works in his timetable and He is watching you, that time will come! The blood and tears of Ethiopian mothers and fathers won’t go in vain. Thugs like you think you are bigger than God, but in time, you will get what you deserve!

  28. A must listen!!!!
    | #28


    A must listen, here is the truth right from the former TPLF member, how Meles and Isayas brainwashed young Ethiopians from Tigrea to hate and destroy the Amhara race. It is unfortunate that Newaye Debebe and Yared go against their own Amhara people and chose to wine, dine and dance with members of TPLF who are out to destroy their own ethnic group and Ethiopia.

  29. Addisboy
    | #29

    Shameless Woyane :
    It is obvious that you’re one immature,(Yes I am immature but I am trying my best to mature myself and all around me in a positive way) selfish (As much as possible I try not to put my self interest infront of my committment and love I have for the people of Ethiopia. I have every opportunity to work else where for better money and working condition but I decided to make a difference for I believe serving others is my moto) narrow minded who care less what happens to the rest of Ethiopians as long as you collect your material wealth (I am not collecting anything. I am a normal Ethiopian earning a monthly salary) You cannot deny or you don’t care at all that Ethiopia is being controlled by one ethnic group…(that is what I am fighting against. At the moment it is hard to justify that Eth. is controlled by one ethnic group. Not now not in the future that I stand representing any ethnic group including mine, by the way I am not Tigre, if that helps) Ethiopians have been denied their God given rights to freedom of speech, press and the rights to organize and protest…Tens of thousands of Ethiopians have been locked in prison as we speak and some have been severely tortured…( that is what I am talking about, political process is important. We need to work towards a “perfect democracy” if there is one. But remeber what used to happen during the previous regime. Are we much better? Yes of course, is it good enough, not even close. Shall we work together towards better Ethiopia? That is my choise and that is what I am doing.. What goes around, will come around ( I do strongly believe in that). The blood and tears of Ethiopian mothers and fathers won’t go in vain.( That is why many are still in prison, remember the previous regime killed more than a million people. Thugs like you think you are bigger than God,( I won’t go that far, I simply have a strong work ethics, speak the truth, try not to disrespect anyone regardless of our political differences or affiliation. but in time, you will get what you deserve!( It is my prayer that, God blesses the effort of some Ethiopians I know who are toiling and selflessly trying to better the lives of many in Ethiopia. Dear,I am part of the 80 million, living like a normal Ethiopian and am trying my best for the betterment of Ethiopia. Do I see results, yes, slowly but surely…Do I insult you as you have done… No, not in a million years….Happy new year, stay blessed.

  30. Shameless Woyane
    | #30

    Well, Addisboy, I expected this from an arrogant boy like you, even Hitler rationalized and justified what he was doing.
    Happy New Year to all God fearing and peaceful people around the world! May 2012 be the end of Dictator Meles and his thugs.

  31. Anonymous
    | #31

    What this intellectual Addisboy telling us is: Everything is so great in Ethiopia as long as you do Keep your mouths and your eyes shut when injustice done to you and others by TPLF government…Do not say a word when unqualified people and one ethnic group control the entire Ethiopian government, Banks, businesses…Do not say a word when TPLF rob the country and hide the money in foreign banks…Do not organize a political party…Do not dare to have Free Speech, Free Press and Peaceful gatherings…Do not speak if you don’t have business permit, a job, enough to eat or don’t have basic Medical Care…Do not speak when you see Ethiopian children look for food in germs filled trash dumps and millions of children die of hunger…Do not speak at all when TPLF kick you out of your home, property and throw you out and give your land to foreign investors…Do not complain when TPLF lock your children indefinitely, or sentence them for life or kill them…Do not complain when TPLF Agazi Army gunned down innocent people in the streets, etc…

  32. tedla
    | #32

    When you get fed up of eating pasta every day you will go back home to find the real organic food. It means change every one has the right to do so. HAPPY NEW YEAR.

  33. Anonymous
    | #33

    Well yared thank you and I feel the same way. If you talk something good about Ethiopia you are called weyane. What I know for sure is that this people will not change despite what you say to them. Just agree to disagree. People who doesn’t know about freedom they can’t practice one.

  34. Anonymous
    | #34

    ante clueless, What organic food are you talking about? Ethiopian farmers have been forced to use strong fertilizers and pesticide by TPLF regime. You might have chosen to forget, but Ethiopians won’t forget that the Norway fertilizer company has given dictator Meles an award for giving them billions of dollar business. These days many Ethiopians are being diagnosed with brain cancer, breast cancer and other kinds of cancer more than ever before. TPLF do anything for a mighty dollar. The Godless, undisciplined and Lawless TPLF have turned our country upside down. If you haven’t seen yet, here is one of your own uncle talking about the crimes of Meles and the rest of TPLF:


  35. Tedla
    | #35

    Anonymous Please don’t be angry just because i said nice thing about Ethiopia. Clueless is you. Go and get your anger back home if you are a real man i hope you are abugida master talk talk and talk Eteye wore becha. You will stay anonymous forever.

  36. Tedla
    | #36

    By the way the person who is on ESAT is not Ethiopian he is Eritrian/Shabia don’t fool your self.

  37. You cannot fool us!
    | #37

    Anonymous #33,
    Yes, there are a few uninformed, gullible, greedy and selfish non-Woyane Ethiopians out there who cannot think and judge for themselves. But you, in the other hand, definitely one of those typical soulless woyane who acts as non-woyane Ethiopian. TPLF use the few gullible and selfish hodam Ethiopians to make their regime look like a multinational Ethiopian government, when we know darn well that, the entire Ethiopian government is being controlled and govern only by members of TPLF who do not have love for the country and its people.

  38. Anonymous
    | #38

    Tedla #36,
    Clueless, See, I knew that you are typical Woyane. Only woyanes like you go around and put the blames on others and point a finger on Eritrians, Amharas, Oromos, and others for the mess, for the looting, for selling the land of Ethiopia, for selling young Ethiopian women and children for profit, for incarcerating and slaughtering Ethiopians for the last 20 plus years. Here is a clue for you: Yes, like Hitler, your Eritrian hateful racist cousin Isayas started the whole thing and trained your cold-blooded tyrant Meles and a few of his puppets to be the most inhumane, shameless, bloodsuckers, robbers and organized criminals. It is your evil master Meles and his TPLF puppets that helped the cousin you hate, to separate from Ethiopia with the gift of a billion dollar Ethiopians tax payers money and every inch of Ethiopian sea port, which left Ethiopia landlocked. And yet, Eritrians are not the ones who have been looting and abusing 80 million Ethiopians for the last twenty years. Tedla my friend, you should direct your anger at Meles and his TPLF thugs for killing many God fearing, patriotic Tigrians, not at people like ato Gebremedehne Araye for telling the truth, because he chose to live with guilt free conscience. I’m pretty sure, many former TPLF members will come out and tell more horrific stories of how TPLF plan was/is to kill Amharas, dismantle Ethiopia and build GREATER TIGREA at the backs of Ethiopian Tax Payers…WOW! incredible isn’t it? Tedla, Stand up for justice, stand up for your Ethiopian brothers who are falsely being accused of terrorism and sentenced for life, Stand up for the patriotic Tigran young men and women have been mascaraed by Meles and his TPLF puppets for minor things. STAND UP FOR JUSTICE, FOR HUMAN RIGHTS, STAND UP MY FRIEND, FOR KINDNESS, COMPASSION. Even one murder is too many let alone tens of thousands. Try to stand up in the shoes of parents who lost their children and feel their agony. Try to Speak for those who cannot speak for themselves. No one should be thrown in jail, let alone tortured and killed for expressing what they witnessed. Remember TEDLA: the source of HATE is SATAN and the source of LOVE is GOD! Stand on the right side. Pray to have clear conscience to feel the suffering of others, so you can be the voice for the voiceless, for those who suffer needlessly. May God give you good conscience for the sake of Humanity. Good luck and Good day!

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