Voices of the Visionaries By Ewnetu Sime.
This article is mainly to acknowledge a lesson learnt from recent Political Forum held at Columbia University. After attending the forum I posed to myself several questions, what did we learn from the forum and what action we should do to advance it?, and decided to write the following:. (The summary of the event entitled “Ethiopians hold Historic Panel Discussion “at Columbia University posted on 29/01/12 in some websites.)
As we all know, the Ethno-centric TPLF’s leaders are incompetent, repressive, corrupt, and theirs values driven by money, and their party controlled the country’s economy through endowments enterprises such as EFFORT and GUNA. With this scheme the regime looted and stashed billions dollars into foreign banks, and placed a policy that forces indigenous farmers to be driven out of their land by government leasing the land for 99 years. As a result, the farmers became homeless in their own birth place, and the precious natural resources like forests destroyed by new foreigner’s investors more rapidly than nature can replenish. This land grab drive in Ethiopia by foreigners is accelerating fueled by the TPLF’s corrupt leaders by making secret deals and putting billions into their own pockets as our people continue live in extreme poverty.
It is unimaginable how they are doing this free handout of national land to foreigners without any guilt. The landless feeling of rural household are now reflecting to urban dwellers through a new expanded lease policy that shows the regime continues it reckless policy to enrich itself. Their claim in growth economy talk often rings hollow. It is known fact the basic commodity prices increase has put the overwhelming majority of citizens to extreme poverty, while the regime and its cronies become extremely rich.
The TPLF Leaders have no ability or willingness to draft a road map or a vision for a better way of good economy can build for Ethiopia society. They are not seeking to the well-being of society. They are merely implementing mercenary work. They are committed in self-serving desire to win at all costs. They continue to rule through sheer terror. Their campaigns in name of terror/Akeldama to arrest, torture, killing of the democratic forces or the propaganda on ethnic federalism etc. on regime controlled media do not cut it anymore. The diaspora are continuing exposing the regime corrupt practice, human rights violation, etc. until Ethiopians achieves freedom.
Thanks to the internet, now we have more power than ever before to expose mis- guided policy and others bad deeds. The voice of the visionaries reject the regime’s mockery of democracy, abuse the rule of law, and Justice, suppresses the media, tortures, jails and kills the decedents. Furthermore, it rejects the notion of exploitation of the country’s wealth to continue in its present form. Our children’s children should not expect to inherit these conditions. Dr. Aklog Birara, a known scholar in economics field, refereeing to his seminal work on land grab, “The Great Land Giveaway (2011) book “, and other of his commentaries in several free media outlets argue with concrete facts and supported by other think tank studies that the regime claim the lease land is vacant, create better opportunities, or provided compensation for the farmers, etc. are not true. The Human Rights Watch, video clips by Guardian Co., UK newspaper, Aljazeera etc. all showed through facts on the ground the Ethiopia regime is forcing tens of thousands of people to leave their homes as part of this farmland lease policy. During this NY forum, we listened to what Dr.Aklog had to say regarding on this subject. One of the many heart-wrenching stories includes the following: The Indian commercial manager at a site in Gambella says the Ethiopia government “Gave it to us, and we took it. Seriously, we did not even see the land. They offered it. That all”. Dr. Aklog calls it “farmland colonization by invitation”. Baffling indeed.
As opposition group continue to have friction and too little collaborations among them, the major concerns of the people are getting lost. Make no mistake to varying degrees all opposition groups are imperfect and have some major concerns that makes to some extent destructive, as result TPLF regime keep benefiting.
Unfortunately, opposition appears to be unwilling to acknowledge this problem and always hasn’t lived up to their rhetoric in forming United Front on the commonality they have. We clearly understand that the opposition political point of view is not one size fits all but at least should be focused on common causes and shared values. Therefore, the voices of visionaries call relentlessly to build a highly interactive community opposition group.
The opposition group shall associate on Ethiopia Unity, exchange ideas, critique as idea presented out of place, adapt to willing to cozy up and to overlook past disagreement, and keep conversation going on common causes and shared values. The visionary agenda of the intellectuals shall be to continue to engage in a struggle for people economic and political empowerment, even though it will be long and protracted. We understand that it is neither smooth nor simple too. The United front is not always in harmonies, but badly needed to save the country from continuation of ethno-centric TPLF regime that runs a toxic single ethnic-based rule.
The recent successful political forum held in New York on 1/28/12 is one of the pathways to connect and collaborate with concerned diaspora citizen in the search for a viable solution to the problems facing Ethiopia. The forum also provided an outlet to voice our visions for the future and work with people around a mutual goal in freeing up the country from TPLF’s regime. One hopes that similar forum to be established in other states.
We need to recognize all of us may have our own opinions about politics. Some of us are more involved and interested in the political process than others are. While the more involved group actively participate in organizing mass rally or exposing crimes on internet news media against TPLF regime, the less involved group need to help and support in whatever way they can. At a minimum they need to stay informed. This New York forum demonstrated the usefulness of dialog, discussions of idea to minimize and finally eliminate existing opposition groups’ differences.
If you care about Ethiopia do not remain idle, get involved and make your voice be heard. It will take a massive effort, discourse, dialogue, and to get Ethiopia back on its feet and to make it home again for all Ethiopians.