Better to Light a Candle than Curse the Darkness By Tecola W. Hagos

May 20th, 2013 Print Print Email Email

I. In General

Much is going on in Ethiopia if just one considers events taking place in these last two weeks. As usual I stay glued to my set watching Ethiopian news and documentation on ETV. Even with my built-in reservations on this state run TV, I still remain captivated by the ETV news and documentation portraying dramatic change that is taking place in the new Ethiopian administration, a reality that seems to elude the scrutiny of very many Diaspora Ethiopians. It is tragic to read essays of people who should know better still writing as if Meles Zenawi is alive and there is no change taking place in the new Hailemariam Desalegn’s administration. In saying thus, I am not blinded by may own overwhelming desire to see Ethiopia progress in all aspects of human endeavors and as a result only see pieces of my own imagination for the reality out there in Ethiopia.

The arrest of high officials and prominent businessmen, the visit of high level delegation from wealthy Arab States, the trade delegation from Egypt of industrialists, Hailemariam’s State visit to Kuwait, the business tours of World Bank and African Development Bank executives to Addis Ababa et cetera are very serious and quite impressive events. But more so for me, I observed very subtle but profound changes in the ETV presentation of the Kilil TV programs, where the national image is now foremost superseding Kilil identities. The national Ethiopian Flag is hoisted often by itself prominently without the irritating in your-face “State” Flags and symbols displayed in Kilil programs. These forms of promotion of the national image of Ethiopia are not small steps, but major displays of the consolidation of nationalist forces, which in a way validates and reinforces further Hailemariam Desalegn’s statements of a few weeks ago on the shift of policy on the Constitutional rights of Ethiopian Citizens’ freedom of movement and freedom of choice of abode and work place of settlement.

As far as I am concerned such events are excellent indicators of a solid starting point for a new government trying to have some traction on such slippery and volatile political and economic conditions left behind by Meles Zenawi. Nevertheless, my cup would have overflowed with joy and admiration if the new Ethiopian Administration had released Eskinder Nega, Andualem Aragie, and several other prominent Ethiopian journalists and political leaders. As long as these courageous Ethiopians continue to be in prison, their incarceration would continue to undermine all political and economic positive efforts of the new Hailemariam administration.

One must take into account the possibility that the Ethiopian Government is afraid of the impact of such courageous Ethiopians on the population if it frees them. However, there are other less inhumane solutions to such predicament than imprisonment on trumped-up charges. If such is the case, in my desperation I suggest to the new Ethiopian leaders a more humane way of solving the impasse by repudiating the criminal convictions of Eskinder and Andualem and by ostracizing them into exile to countries outside of Ethiopia. The ancient Greeks used to have a practice when an individual becomes too powerful for the society even though such individual has not committed any crime, they used to send such an individual in to exile to a foreign country. To a limited extent our past rulers had used similar process, for example, Emperor Haile Selassie exiled Yohannes Eyassu, the son of Lij Eyassu Mikael, for no reason except for fear of possible challenge to his Throne. Yohannes Eyassu was a patriot leader who fought the Italian occupiers for five years winning the admiration and respect of tens of thousands of Ethiopian Patriots and ordinary people while the Emperor went on exile to England. “A possible measure to protect democracy would be to exile the man who was too influential, but although a very common way to protect the city from rivalries, this was a harsh measure that was only taken by the community as a whole.”* My only interest is to get such good men out of Hellhole.

II. Haste Makes Waste

There is much truth to the idiomatic expression that haste makes waste. I witnessed two monumental changes taking place in Ethiopia in 1974 and in 1991. Sadly in each of those changes I also witnessed serious flaws that affected the course of the two regimes formed after each social convulsion. In both monumental changes, there was hastiness that blinded very many Ethiopians into supporting and enabling narcissistic individuals to climb up types of political structures that lead directly into the coming into form of tyrannical political strong men. How did such changes take place in a traditional social and political structure? I had argued for years that the problem started way back in time with the breakup of the traditional courtiers’ power to elect the kings and emperors of Ethiopia due to the infusion of massive slavery into the system and the courtiers losing their grip on power.

In our/my own time, Emperor Haile Selassie, despite the fact of his outstanding effort in the modernization of Ethiopia, contributed “inadvertently” to the political turmoil that caused his own downfall and the overthrow of the aristocracy and the atrocities that followed. By creating the modern school system he created a cocoon of elites who had no true connection with the society and thereby he destroyed the remnant of the traditional power structure. The prolific writer and astute observer of Ethiopian life, Professor Messay Kebede,** in books and articles has exhaustively expounded similar points. Emperor Haile Selassie, in addition to the modern education system, also created a national military undermining the traditional military structure of separate armies headed by Rases and provincial governors. Thus both the student movement of the 1960s and the military rebellion of the 1970s were anti-traditional forms of change. Especially the student leaders brought in untested alien concepts that are still creating havoc to our Ethiopian ethos even after forty years.

The artificial cocoon atmosphere created by the modern school system was a disaster. Parents that usually are responsible to guide the moral and social skill development of their children were afraid of their modern-school-attendee-children who were incased in the cocoon of artificial modern schools. There was no real connection between such students and society who grew up in no man’s land to be come Marxist/Leninist revolutionaries. The current dissonance in between Ethiopians is one clear result of such artificial cocoon mentality that persisted and is inherited by generations of students down to the current generation of Ethiopians. In fact such now old former students that we find currently in all kinds of political organizations are holding us all hostages with their pseudo Marxist/Leninist organizations and shallow rhetoric and manipulation. Because of such generational alienations, I believe a number of Ethiopians in the Diaspora are paralyzed with fear from working out their own individual political and economic reality. For Ethiopians in the Diaspora, the best way to help Ethiopia is to be successful in one’s own life any where in the World.

III. Better Light a Candle…

It is never late for any one of us to start out fresh in life fixing past misdeeds, wrongs that we made et cetera. The title of this article is a Chinese/Korean proverb on pragmatism. At times, I feel that it is not even age-appropriate to dive into the discussion of such obvious lack of practicality in living one’s own life successfully. For far too long it seems to me that a number of Ethiopians in the Diaspora have been entertaining unrealistic political ambition that they could effect political change by debating in hotel halls and demonstrating in major western capitals. At times I find positions of some of the leaders of such political organizations quite childish, for they aspire to overthrow the Ethiopian Government through mass organization conducted from foreign capitals. This type of thinking is absurd and stupid, for it has not worked at anytime in our recent history.

It is far better to think small and start helping out the many destitute Ethiopians right here in the West than to dream of becoming leaders of a new Ethiopian government in the distance. At any rate political alliance cannot be of much substance if it is just a result of meetings in hotel auditoriums. The way to build a solid political base anywhere is to run locally placed social institutions, such as clinics, schools, self help cooperatives et cetera for fellow Ethiopians. In my decades of exile here in the United States, I have not witnessed anyone (including myself) establishing scholarship fund for Ethiopian students here where we have our lives. It seems to me that we talk and write well, but when it comes to practical helpful work, we are no where to be found. True, the building and establishment of a good number of churches and civic centers for Ethiopians by Ethiopians is quite commendable activities, but it very limited taking into account how much more we are capable of doing..

It is important that Diaspora Ethiopians create first a strong network of interdependency before focusing on playing political power game against the current Government leadership in Ethiopia. Some individuals in the Diaspora have expressed in very strongly worded statements that they will not settle for any change in Ethiopia except a revolutionary one. There is tremendous risk of social breakdown and the disintegration of Ethiopia to gamble with revolutionary changes, for revolutions are unpredictable and the social upheaval can easily get out of control or reach critical mass that it becomes totally volatile and unstable. Compromise is an effective key to harmonious social life and the bedrock of the democratic process and its basic form of government.

IV. Why I am Optimistic

I have solid reasons for my optimism about the future of Ethiopia. I believe Hailemariam Desalign is moving cautiously and constructively shaping Ethiopia as a democratic country. Just two days ago the Auditor General of the Federal Government presented his Report and there was an open discussion in Parliament. In watching the House debates as reported on ETV, it is the first time I felt the presence of a real government wherein the executive is being put to task by parliamentary representatives. The House Representatives were confronting head long the many Ministries that have not properly accounted for budgetary millions of birr, which included such powerful Ministries such as the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs et cetera. The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aba Dula Gemeda, expressed that the outcome of such failure of proper accounting will result in none approval of budgetary allocations of funds to those Ministries that failed to make proper accounting. I was very much reminded of the yearly confrontations between Congress and President Obama on the American Government Budget. Such bold parliamentary activities were unthinkable a year ago.

It seems to me that the Ethiopian Government is heading in the right direction at this point in time. I do not expect the current Ethiopian Government to remedy or fix all of the errors of the last twenty years all at once. It is important that the new Ethiopian government need be taking baby-steps to gain some foothold in the complex structure of the government and its functionaries left behind by Meles Zenawi. Take for instance the Constitution, we all know that it is seriously flawed. However, one cannot start fixing the several errors by throwing out that Constitution right away, to do so would be to lose the minimum base of law and order and minimal rights. I have read in essays and chats people urging the people in leadership to abrogate the Constitution. I too have written repeatedly on such topic, but I prefer now the establishment of a commission first to pinpoint the many flaws of the Constitution and open a forum to the public for debate and discourse. It will be an astute political move by Hailemariam to start such political ball rolling.

This open criticism and identification of lack of proper accounting by the Auditor General, and where the Ethiopian public is fully informed has the added advantage of raising the expectations of the population for much higher standard of governance. Such development in itself is the manifest softening of the political stranglehold of the EPRDF. All good social, political, and economic changes require changes in the mental strength of the Ethiopian people. I just hope that such ray of light of democracy will not be short lived and that the Ethiopian Government will not plunge back into byzantine labyrinth of intrigues and arbitrary arrests and detentions and lawlessness in general.

Conclusion

Recently a very successful and very generous friend of mine told me that I have wasted my life in the West, meaning that I should have stayed back in Ethiopia where I could have contributed greatly to the success of our beloved nation. I can imagine how much pain it must have caused him to tell me to my face how far I have failed in my primary duty. I know that comment comes from a person who has great expectations of my “talent” and who otherwise heaps accolades on me and yet burning with positive concern for a brother that seems not to make much headway in wealth or in political life. True, my fifteen years of academic fellowship and teaching of college students, or writing numerous articles et cetera would not tilt the scale against a single year of serving in Ethiopia. Thus, I swear to myself that I will always be truthful to my Ethiopia/people and not carry any other hidden agenda than the single agenda to see Ethiopia realize its true potential in great glory, and no matter how unpopular my views may be at any particular time. I apologize to all of my close friends and in general to all who knew of me for not living up to their expectations.

Individuals of the young Ethiopian generation, such as Aman who asked of me to write a book after reading my recent article that he identified as “tebta mar,” are cause enough for me to continue my writing and sharing my ideas. “I read your piece with great interest and calm. I think you need to be congratulated on this watershed piece that put our current predicament into its proper context. I call it ‘tebta mar.’ I recommend you expand this writing of yours into a book, so we the current generation and the future ones have something concrete to refer to.” [emphasis mine]

In my earlier essay I invited fellow Ethiopians to enter into some form of discourse on the subject of the current political situation in Ethiopia. From some of the postings and also responses, I am able to gleam that there are some who are willing to enter into constructive discourse, while there are others who seem to be trapped in the past unable to see changes and new possibilities in the current Ethiopian Leader Hailemariam Desalegn. I do not see why we have to be hasty in condemning this leader or dismissive in our judgment at a time like this where caution is most appropriate. I am open to changing my mined, but would like to keep a positive and open mind in trying to convince my fellow Ethiopians in the Diaspora and those at home that we need to engage the current Ethiopian Leaders positively. Let us continue our discourse. God Bless Us All.

Tecola W. Hagos

Endnotes:
* http://www.livius.org/on-oz/ostracism/ostracism.html. It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on May 7, 2013.
**Messay Kebede, IDEOLOGY AND ELITE CONFLICTS: AUTOPSY OF THE ETHIOPIAN REVOLUTION, Lexington Books, 2011; – RADICALISM AND CULTURAL DISLOCATION IN ETHIOPIA, 1960 – 1974, Rochester, NY: Rochester University Press, 2008.

  1. aha!
    | #1

    Professor Tecola! You do not have to write another essay to elaborate about your ideas in the previous article as regards your attitude towards the Prime Minister Haile Mariam Desalegn and the direction he is taking the country, instead of responding to the commentaries based on logics, which you consider as “curse the darkness instead of better “light the candles” on the current political situation in Ethiopia. The former alludes to having to having us stop criticizing the the TPLF/eprdf regime, and the latter suggests that “… think small and start helping destitute Ethiopians here in the West (not the Ethiopians at Home) than to dream of becoming new Ethiopian government leaders in the distance”, where in both cases is the function of the western democracies and the Ethiopian government, which massive aids, grants, budget support and humanitarian aid and individuals sending money to their families. While the groups in the Diaspora are voicing their concerns about the plight of the Ethiopians under the current regime whose ideologies are are that of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism built into the constitution are one of few causative factors as a function of several dependent variables that define the function of the TPLF/eprdf regime, the factions in the diaspora do not co-ordinate over the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over ethnic and secessionist rights to create a constitution with individual rights as the center piece of the constitution, rather than ethnic and secessionist rights to establish democracy, a rule by the people of the people and for the people as in the United States with original provinces as federated States along with strategies to achieve those goals. Your criticism of the Diaspora is misplaced and your suggestion does not hold water with respect to resolving the current political situation in Ethiopia as logical problem solving formula.

  2. Teodros Kiros
    | #2

    Once again, I am impressed by the depth of the analyses and the trajectory of hope. Indeed, one’s will must always be optimisitic and the mind pessimistic. I feel exactly this way, after I read Professor Teocola’s masterful observation of the Ethiopian present, otherwise marred by hopeelssness and malaise.

    I thank you for the mood you have put my writerly hands, to do the same.

  3. Abegaz
    | #3

    Another provocative and well thought essay by Prof. Tecola. I appreciate again. We need to have deeper understanding of the Ethiopian situation as a multi-ethic society considering the last 20 years destructive path of EPRDF.

    Obviously the Ethiopian state functioning has changed a lot to what we saw during the evil Meles. Now parliamentarians are asking ministers and challenging them where they do see fault line. This was never done in the past. I also challenge this rapid revolution mentality we have. If we go that line, we will go into unchartered territories. HD will fail if he takes revolutionary path. He has to do it in slow firm steps. For the change to happen he my even need another 5 years of premiership. I would not mind if a change comes from within EPRDF for the county’s integrity. Change by Opposition parties to PRDF is not necessarily the path for Ethiopia at this time in point.

  4. margda
    | #4

    Mr Tecola Hagos, please do not swear in the name of the sky and the earth that you have no hidden agenda playing dirty politics. Every Ethiopian knows we have an ethnic minority rule, with Tigrean nuovo rich aspirants controlling key business and political spaces in the country. Haile Mariam Desalegn is only a powerless, clueless, political dwarf who does what his Tigrean tutors instruct him to do from behind the screen. He can never act boldly or independently. The day he tries to take independent stance on a controversial issue, that will be the end of his money-making political career or perhaps the end of his life. But given his self-serving, opportunist track record, we can really be very sure that Haile Mariam and independent thinking are two exotic things and that he will never say anything that defies or contradicts his mentors’ instructions. Haile Mariam is a guy who changed his religion to get the favour of his protestant teachers while he was attending a missionary school. The guy is actually worthless. He even reiterated the late Meles Zenawi word for word when he described Eskinder Nega and others as terrorists who unsuccessfully attempted to overthrow the government through violence. I really cringe when some people try to hint about his spiritual values and religious devotion.

    Mr. Tecola , the recent crack down on customs authority officials has nothing to do with fighting corruption nor supporting development in Ethiopia. If your government were serious about combating corruption, the operation would have started from Azeb Mesfin who is known as the first lady of corruption and EFFORT which is the official channel for stealing and amassing the country’s wealth in the name of Tigray. Tigrean generals have built commercial complexes worth millions of dollars in addis ababa and regional cities. We all know that TPLF is on adventurous manhunt against key Amhara nationalists who tried to challenge TPLF’s political and economic hegemony in the wake of Meles Zenawi’s death.

    Mr. Tecola Hagos, living and working in a free country, you have every right and freedom to say whichever idea comes to your mind. But you should know that Ethiopians will never settle for anything less than the total destruction of the current politico-economic pyramid in which Tigreans sit comfortably at the top with the majority of Ethiopians being displaced as mere bystanders. No one would believe your ‘bed time stories’ about changes emerging in Ethiopia. In fact, if we have to judge from recent trend of events, Ethiopians are finally awaking from their long-time dormancy and the ‘real change’ is looming over the horizon. And that is what makes you sleepless and restive as real change would make your cousins overnight losers.

  5. Kumssa
    | #5

    Say nothing bad of the dead. I need a Valium to read for the third time the bizzare inconsistancies of this fatous essay. It sounds like a PR for the mourning Queen Azib Mesfin. Do not abuse massively my intelligence. Ethiopians are fighting ferociously Meles’baleful influence since May 1991.As for Hailemariam,he is a creation of Meles at best, or a carbon copy of Azeb Mesfin in drag at the worst. Now one can understand fully the inverted logic of how things stand in Ethiopia and the lopsided development of Tigray at the expense of the rest of country.What is the big deal having a Wolyata as a PM? Did not Mengistou Haile Mariam and the late Colonel Tesfaye Waldselassie,chief of our national security sold us down the drain to the barbarians? Where is the real ethos of essentially a fair minded Ethiopian. I guess I should read next time aiga forum and tigray on line to get my sanity.

  6. Altegebtom
    | #6

    professor Tekola, I do not understand your position. You start to play a game or what. Do you think is that the basics of politics what the new PM took for the people. He tries to use as political tool to contain the problem in them not to bring justice for the people. If the new PM wants to be supported by the people let him bring first justice and equality he and his follower parties cries like Amora for the last twenty years in their power. According to my opinion, this is not a major measures which indicate the improvement of the Woyane politics. I do not why you well known critic of the government become like a KETEMA( atype of grass in Amharic words)at the end of the Woyane season.

  7. Dawi
    | #7

    [[..It is important that the new Ethiopian government need be taking baby-steps to gain some foothold in the complex structure of the government and its functionaries left behind by Meles Zenawi...]]

    “..Even if a developmental state was to be solely concerned about accelerating growth, it would have to build the high social capital that is vital for its endeavors. It would have to stamp out patronage and rent-seeking. These are the very same things that create the basis for democratic politics that is relatively free from patronage. A successful developmental state would thus be very well placed to be both developmental and democratic……..”
    *African Development: Dead Ends and New Beginnings’* Zenawi.

    I think the progress we see is a continuation of Meles’s vision. HD is well placed to do a major contribution in accelerating not only the economic growth but the developmental State’s Democratic side.

    I hope the professor won’t forget HD was selected by Meles to continue the vision and that is what we are seeing today; so IMO,overplaying a “rejection” of the past to appease the hell bent detractors shall be considered same as undermining HD.

  8. Molla
    | #8

    I am speechless. It is hard to even think that the author of this article is working as a faculty member in one of the top universities in USA. In his attempt to paint the Emperor as a culprit for his own down fall since he introduced modern education that helped to topple him is out right ridiculous. He must have fallen from the sky not to know why the feudal system was over thrown. It is universal knowledge that modern education is the bed rock of development of the society. If we fail to achieve that goal, the reason should be sought in other causes than blaming the modern education. It would be better to lie openly as his keens are doing in the palace than providing arguments that do not hold water. We are aware that Tigreans have lost their humanity are now guided by the concept of “Hitlerian eugenics”. It would be hard to dialogue with people who have blocked their thinking processes. In their mind the Tigrean government is doing an excellent job even if 95% of the Ethiopian population is discriminated against. A mind that can support such a system is difficult to contemplate. The Ethiopia people across all ethnic, religious groups are doing an excellent job. Many are challenging the status quo in several ways and we will eventually be free of the Ethiopian version of Apartheid system.

  9. asmelash
    | #9

    Once again loyal, eh? “Thanks for making me think.”
    @Teodros Kiros

  10. Gragn Ahmed
    | #10

    I totally oppose this professor. He told us not to remain locked in our past history or failures depending on what you call it. Fear is the worst enemy of man. Professor always injects fear into our minds. People thought that Arabs were undemocratic people. They told us to fear that this or that will happen. I honestly would like to debate with this professor. This professor is locked up in our past history and yet claims we are the ones who oppose him who are locked up in the past. If I may you misplaced the true meaning of Haielselasies 1974 down fall with Mengestu’s. At any rate the down fall of those regimes or leaders was a consequence of circumstances. No one can stop revolution. No one cares about your misguided philosophies. As one Professor put it, Al Mariam, the regime is struggling to save itself from the many challenges it created one of which is corruption. This corruption campaign will alienate a lot of its cadres who support the regime for their own daily bread. Many of the die hard fighters will definitely fight for their own survival as they lose some of their outspoken supporters on a daily basis. Sending the brave fighters abroad is a very ridiculous idea. The fighters that are in jail such as Eskinder, and Andualem or Abu Bakir are very much unmoved by any offer least of freedom like Mandela. They think and act like Mandela. They are determined to die for their cause. They did not start the fight for just getting visa as all others did like Bertukan or Dr Birhanu or all other Journalists who were either jail or fled jail time. These are people who are very disciplined and who love their country. For me exiled politicians are not upto the level that these prisoned activists are. Wayane has no choice and that is the most challenging time for this regime.

    If there is a revolution, we will be like Egypt, we will be like Kenya or Ghana. The fear of the unknown shall not be a cause for trying the bold. We waited for Meles, and now we are told another appointee of Meles will somehow give us our hope, I differ. If we believe the professor many of you will and that is the message of the Professor, then Ethiopia will remain in darkness where people will feel more insecure and Obamas promise will be broken. Time for bold action. The people of Ethiopia have found the problem, it is Wayane. They are more than ready to be better than Ghana.

    We just need people like Professor to get out of the way. There are many people who think like Eskinder Nega or Andualem or Abu Bakir.

    We will give Wayane to reform itself and be credible and stop laughing at us by preaching “baby steps”, we know how Wayane acts, and walks. It acts like a tortoise and will remain “tortoise”. Wayane is tried time and again, it is a chameleon, and it will remain a ‘chamelon’. Wayane acts like a wolf and it will remain a wolf. I am ready to hear any doubts about my assertions. Go back and read the survival skills of Wayane. It is just that simple. Do not be outsmarted by people who love their ethnicity so much they will sacrifice to make them look better in the eyes of Ethiopia and yet act the same way days later. It is a duck and will remain a duck. I am pessimistic of Wayane as credible force in Ethiopian politics. Adious. he choice is for your or ours. But I have mine, so the choice is yours.

  11. Abegaz
    | #11

    The masses are not necessarily right in reflecting what is right step. We have seen that from Kinijit’s history. When all diaspora emotional activists pushed Kinijit not to take seat in parliament, few people saw that line as destructive. That is exactly what happened. So many emotional critics here disagree with Prof Tecola’s analysis. That is immaterial to right minded people. What the professor did indicate is not to fanfare HD but to give him the benefit of the doubt. We are tired of emotional speeches and essays by emotional diaspora

  12. yilma b
    | #12

    You wrote “It is far better to think small and start helping out the many destitute Ethiopians right here in the West than to dream of becoming leaders of a new Ethiopian government in the distance. At any rate political alliance cannot be of much substance if it is just a result of meetings in hotel auditoriums.” Makes a person pause especially the since the Website you are using to try to fit your version of change is founded by those Ethiopians in the Diaspora that meet in “hotel auditoriums’ and are working hard to level the playing field. With all due respect sir your article is based on wishes and feel good ideas instead of sold facts and reality. The death of Meles has not changed anything we know of. The Military is still a Tigrean enclave, the Security is still under TPLF the Judiciary is the play ground of TPLF, the Media is still under the clutch of the Party then where is all this euphoria coming from. I am sure you are not naive nor clueless the question becomes what in the world compels you to mislead your own people with such fiction. Remember if it was not for those in the Diaspora that meet in ‘hotel auditoriums’ the cry of our people for justice would have gone unnoticed. Make up your mind sir, either you are for justice or you are not because there is no such thing as half justice.

  13. Yohannes Ke Dallas
    | #13

    Dr Tecola Hagos’s recent consecutive articles entertain the idea of change and elaborate those “changes” that has been perceived by some after Haile Mariam Desalegn took office. And Dr Tecola is trying hard to persuade “detractors” of woyane that Haile Mariam Desalegn is all for change and demanded the noisy diaspora to keep quiet, seat back and watch. One of his recommendations to the HD government was that to let Eskindir Nega, Andualem Arage, and all other courageous leaders to be exiled and by doing so the govt. could avoid embarrassing itself.
    quote ” If such is the case, in my desperation I suggest to the new Ethiopian leaders a more humane way of solving the impasse by repudiating the criminal convictions of Eskinder and Andualem and by ostracizing them into exile to countries outside of Ethiopia. The ancient Greeks used to have a practice when an individual becomes too powerful for the society even though such individual has not committed any crime, they used to send such an individual in to exile to a foreign country. To a limited extent our past rulers had used similar process, for example, Emperor Haile Selassie exiled Yohannes Eyassu, the son of Lij Eyassu Mikael, for no reason except for fear of possible challenge to his Throne. Yohannes Eyassu was a patriot leader who fought the Italian occupiers for five years winning the admiration and respect of tens of thousands of Ethiopian Patriots and ordinary people while the Emperor went on exile to England. End quote.
    Dr Tecola went on giving us example from the Greece early history to Hileselassie era that they use such extortion to exile opponents. The principle of one’s liberty, God given right of freedom of expression should be for all human beings regardless of where they born and live. Such universally accepted principle is the honor for all human beings, integrity, truthfulness uprightness and fighting for this principle is trashed and compromised by Dr. Tecola’s recommendation. What I would like to ask Dr Tecola is what if there are thousands of Eskindir thousands of Reyot, thousands of Andualem thousands of all prisoners of conscience who are languished in woyane dungeons, are you still advising HD to let them go abroad where he cannot bothered by their voices and any dissent?
    ”For far too long it seems to me that a number of Ethiopians in the Diaspora have been entertaining unrealistic political ambition that they could effect political change by debating in hotel halls and demonstrating in major western capitals. At times I find positions of some of the leaders of such political organizations quite childish, for they aspire to overthrow the Ethiopian Government through mass organization conducted from foreign capitals. This type of thinking is absurd and stupid, for it has not worked at anytime in our recent history.”
    What is your take on the Arab Spring? Was that also absurd and stupid? If citizens of any country see their respective government abuses power they will revolt and overthrow the tyranny.
    I am so perplexed by your intent doctor! , You are suggesting in one hand Eskindir and other vocal opponents of the regime to be exiled and you do not want to hear any dissent from the Diaspora on the other. You might be comfortable by what you see in Ethiopia and you don’t want anyone to disturb the “calm water”. Who knows the water that seems calm to you sir, looks ferociously turbulent underneath for many thousands of Ethiopians and the time is approaching fast that the raging undercurrent would surface one day and cleanse all the dirt from the face of Ethiopia.
    All Ethiopians are demanding immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Bekele Gerba, Wubshet Taye, Reeyot Alemu, Abubeker Ahmed and Ahmedin Jebel and all political prisoners !

    God Bless Ethiopia!!

  14. Meshal
    | #14

    I really don’t see anything wrong with this article. In fact, there’s a great deal of good in it. His point about the weakness and ineffectiveness of the Ethiopian diaspora is true and everybody has been saying it for many years. If Ethiopians in America were even half as good as Cuban-Americans in Florida, US policy towards Ethiopia would be much different than it is now. And we all know the Ethiopan diaspora is weak because it’s not very good at building institutions together, it doesn’t live together, doesn’t build and strengthen networks, etc. We just have to compare ourselves to other immigrants. Easy to see. (I should add that improvements are happening with time.)

    He’s also right about ‘haste makes waste’, but it’s entirely theoretical. First, there is no movement in Ethiopia today that is capable of haste. As Ato Tecola says, the opposition, all the way from grassroots to the top, is weak. There’s little chance of it initiating a revolution. In fact, the previous ‘hastes’ – the collapse of the previous two regimes – were mostly the result of a regime collapse than a strong revolution! But if we in and outside Ethiopia were all to ‘light candles’, meaning if the grassroots becomes strong, then we will have a bottom-up revolution/evolution, which by definition will not be ‘haste’. A true grassroots initiated change will have few problems.

    Finally, I’m glad to see Ato Tecola’s optimism on the new Prime Minister. Pessimism can be seen as a judgement of God, as only God knows the future! But as for the present, we see some good signs, but all the bad signs that were there before are still there. It’s still a dictatorship, after all. But we acknowledge the good, fight against the bad and hope for the best. What’s wrong with that. The passing of Meles has led to a devolution of power within the EPRDF and TPLF, and that’s a good thing. We’ll see what happens.

  15. mohammed
    | #15

    correction, he =The choice….

    As to diaspora, what we need is allies who can give us many to do our revolution. We need allies like Sudan or Egypt that is what Wayane did before it turned against them.

  16. dodo
    | #16

    Please forger about this fellow being a Dr. or a Professor. He is neither and it is easy to prove if one lives in DC. But that really is not that importand except as a reflection of his shady character What is important is that his ideas hold no water, and never had. Follow his verbose writings and they all are one and the same. I do not want to go into it again. Now he wants us to believe in PM Hailemariam? How bizzare a suggestion for any one who says that he knows at least something about Ethiopia. Or is he trying to hide in broad daylight? Fortunately we can all see!

  17. Melaku
    | #17

    Tecola Hagos has always being an ardent TPLF. He left the organization because of he couldn’t get along with Zenawi, but his love and support for TPLF is still there. That is why he is exaggerating the poppet HD’s power to legitimize TPLF. Fact is, Tecola Hagos is just a hateful little arrogant and anti Amhara individual.

  18. ኢዮቤል
    | #18

    በንጽጽር ለማስቀመጥ ያህል ፕሮፌሰር ተኮላ ከልቡ በሚያጥላላው በአንድ የዳያስፖራ ሆቴል አዳራሽ ስብሰባ ላይ ውዱ የኢትዮጵያ ልጅ ታማኝ ጭቆናን ምዝበራን በደልና ኢፍትሃዊ የሆኑ የመንግስት አሰራሮችን አዲስ በወጡ ቁጥር ለመልመድ ራሳችንን አናመቻች እንቢ ማለት እንወቅ ብሎ ነበር:: ፕሮፌሰር ግን ልመዱ ግዜ ስጡ እድል ለሃይለማርያም ስጡት አብዮታዊ ለውጥ አይበጀንም ችግርና ትርምስ ይፈጥራል በማለት የሁሉም ዲክታተሮች መለያ የሆነውን እኔ ከወረድኩ እልቂት ይፈጠራል አይነት ሰበካ ያካሂዳል:: እንደፕሮፌሰሩ ኧይነት ማስፈራሪያማ ከመለስም ተስምቷል ጋዳፊም ሆስኒ ሙባረክም ሳዳም ሁሴንም ይህንኑ ብለው ነበር በአሜሪካ የሚኖር አንድ ፕሮፌሰር ግን እንደ ዲክታተር ለመናገር ለምን እንደፈለገ አላውቅም: ለእውነት ለፍትህ ለእኩልነት ድምጻችሁን አሰሙ ቢል ነበር የሚያምረው እንጂ በሃያ አመት የተበላሸን ነገር ለማስተካከል ዝም ብላችሁ ሃይለማሪያምን ደግፉ ያውም በመለስ የተቀመጠና እስክንድርን ኧንዱአለምን ቴረሪስት ናቸው የመለስን ራእይ አሳካለሁ ለሚል አሻንጉሊት ግዜ ስጡት ማለት የሚያስተዛዝብ ይሆናል:: በምእራቡ ዓለምም ያለውን ዳያስፖራ ህዝብን ለማነሳሳት በሪሞት የሚከጅለው ስልጣን ፍለጋ ነው ይልና የተሰባጠረና ያልተደራጀውን የዳያስፖራ የጋለ እንቢተኝነት ላይም ውሃ ለማርከፍከፍ ደፋ ቀና ይላል
    ለኢትዮጵያ አዲሱ መንግስት ለሚለው የወያኔ ስብስብም እስክንድርና አንዱዓለምን ወደዳያስፖራው እንዲሰዳቸውም ይማጸናል እንደመፍትሄ ያቀረበውንም ይህንኑ ደካማ ሃሳብ በታሪክ የተለመደ ነው በማለት ጥንታዊ ግሪክንና ሃይለስላሴን እንደዋቢ ያቀርባል:: ሃይለስላሴ የልጅ እያሱን ልጅ ዮሃንስ እያሱን ለስልጣናቸው በመፍራት እንዲሰደድ አድርገው ዮሃንስ ግን በጣልያን ወረራ ግዜ ለሀገሩ ነጻነት በጀግንነት ሲዋጋ ንጉሱ ተሰደዱ በማለት ዮሃንስ እያሱ ተወዳጅና የተከበረ ጀግና ነበር ብሎ ሲያሞግስ የንጉሱን ስደት ሲያጣጥል የተጣረዘና አብሮ ሊሄድ የማይችል ብስለት የጎደለው ሃሳብ አምጥቶ እስክንድርን ለግዞትና ለስደት ሊዳርገው ያስማማል:: በጠቅላላው የፕሮፌሰሩ ሃሳብ በራሱ ተጠላልፎ ሊወድቅ የደረሰውን ወያኔ ደጋግፎ
    ለማቆየት የከጀለ ነው ያስመሰለው::
    በግፍ ለታሰሩት በወያኔ እስር ቤት ላሉት የኢትዮጵያ ማንዴላዎች ለእስክንድር ነጋ ለአንዱዓለም አራጌ ለውብሸት ታዬ ለርእዮት አለሙ ለበቀለ ገርባ ለአቡበከር አህመድና ለሁሉም የፖለቲካ እስረኞች መፈታት ድምጻችንን እናሰማ!!! ኢትዮጵያ ለዘለዓለም በልጆቿ ታፍራና ተከብራ ትኑር::

  19. Sam
    | #19

    I read Techola’s essay with interest. I have no access to ETV as Techola does. My understanding of the Ethiopian day-to-day politics might be lacking. I, however, share Techola’s idea that If Hailemariam shows more nationalist tendency than the former prime minster, who argued by the way I am a Tigrean before I am an Ethiopian, whatever that means, it is a welcome move. I , however, again do not expect — Tecola implies here democracy might be in work under the Hailemariam adminstration– a fundamental change to occur as long as a one party government operates. If Hailemariam wants to instigate a change within EPDRF, he must start talking to the opposition parties which operate in Ethiopia. They should be free to organize, register members, and express their vision without the security and federal police breath on their face. As for the opposition parties fuctioning outside Ethiopia, I have no an optimistic outlook. I knew they were cornered long time ago by the diaspora new mushroomed so-called revolutionaries who equate politics with hate with satisfaction. I think, and certainly believe, the opposition parties here are captive of this know-nothing, slogan-loving, and the “Ethiopiawenet” title givers and takers. The opposition parties here should free themselvese if they want to lead. They are in the business of appeasing the angry crowd now. I do not think the opposition party leaders in the diaspora are that young. Well, in the next two decades most of us will be busy burying each other anyway. Well, again I do not think time matters here. Even if the leaders leave for a millenium as long as the angry crowd dictate the politics ther will be no hope.

  20. Habib
    | #20

    @Yilma

    “The death of Meles has not changed anything we know of”, disregarding your poor English, you seem to be one confused helpless bastard. I hope the head count does not include your backward and twisted little head. You need a check-up between your ears before it’s too late. Wow – what a useless bastard you are.

  21. Abegaz
    | #21

    Prof Tecolas recommendation on exiling opposition and critics of EPRDF is compeletely unacceptable. I forgot to mention this in my positings support his opinions.

  22. Samre-tay
    | #22

    Tecola Hagos (ma’ man)
    Your article can overall be summarized with just a singular catchphrase of “optimism” which I’m leaning toward taking it positively however, a couple of bothersome statements which Hailemariam had made barely a month or two into the inaugural of his new portfolio as a PM may help us dissect whether or not he maintains a totally new vision in terms of domestic policies dealing with freedom of expression and so forth, than that of his tyrannical predecessor. Beforehand, let me just make a quick note that I have reservation if these cosmetic changes that mean nothing would warrant your admiration especially at such an early stage of his career for the following reasons.

    During his recent trip to the USA for the UN general assembly in NY, he was questioned by a journalist on press freedom in Ethiopia surrounding the blanket blockade of diaspora-based websites. His answer was quiet unsettling “do you think the US would allow Alqaeda’s blog in its soil?” was his answer. Upon hearing that, my optimism for free and democratic Ethiopia was ruined.

    Again, in one of his parliamentary sessions, in which he addressed issues relating to political prisoners, he was heard as saying that “there are no political prisoners in Ethiopia” given these type of irrational unimaginative rhetorics, you would’ve come to a conclusion that this man is just there to carry on Meles Zenawi’s undemocratic agenda and if this could not repudiate all the optimism that you bestowed upon him, what would? Simply put, (to borrow your favorite phrase) this man is nothing but “mahal sefari”

    Part of the paragraph in which you talked about forced exile was completely flawed. One of the detainees such as Eskendeer Nega who has spent part of his childhood in the United States for instance, is fiercely patriotic and more Ethiopian than the rest of us in the sense that he chose to stay put in his country given the constant threat and harassment that he undergone by Meles Zenawi’s “securatitates” and to suggest that the regime should banish those fine citizens in to a third party is nothing short of a medieval mindset. Why playing “queen Victoria” Tecola Hagos? but I’m not gonna judge you for I know that I know that you are incorruptible and genuine Ethiopian who can not trade the cause of Ethiopianity for anything this world has to offer.

  23. Dawi
    | #23

    Democracy is realized when our country is independent of the so called “foreign aid” the West uses to dictate the African governments to capitulate to their policy prescriptions, and we start walking on our own feet. If we are honest with our selves it is not the lack of democracy our people are presently suffering from but from an abject poverty.

    To deal with absolute poverty then economic growth needs to be realized. That can only be possible when people create wealth rather than folks uprising and destroying/ripping away what little exists as Brother Yelma or other advocates of “clinical” World Bank prescribers would like us to believe.

    In order to tackle poverty HD/government priority today is steering citizens toward wealth creation by giving all kind of incentives.

    Yes, democracies encourage individual creativity and entrepreneurship in the long-run which are good for stable growth; but the hypothesis that authoritarianism (without arguing in the parliament to pass a bill) offer better economic growth prospects than democracies in low income countries where governments make swift decisions on investments in education, public goods, infrastructure and state-guided industrial incubations is valid. Ethiopia has proven that.

    Those who want to destabilize the present economic progress are then wrong. So if Prof. Tecola is advising of taking baby steps to democracy then is a wise approach including allowing some intolerants /detractors to go to exile instead of putting them in the slammer is humane.

  24. Hailu
    | #24

    Dr Tecola,

    Don’t try to insult our intelligence. We can’t be deceived this easily. Not while your ethnofascist party is displacing our people from their birth places. Not that easily should we forget the pain of so many people who were maimed, imprisoned, tortured, exiled by the mafia TPLF. How on earth a person who lives in the USA and claimed to be a professor proposes to ostracize and exile innocent citizens just to face save dictatorial regime. What a devilish so called professorship is this?Why would you not advocate for the unconditional freedom of these innocent people instead of proposing for the government to exile them?
    As far as your H Mariam Desalegn joke, I wish you enjoyment with your self serving illusion . I won’t take him seriously as he is just TPLF’s pupet incapable of doing anything on his own other than what’ his masters want him to do. If you really are talking about dealing corruption, your puppet PM shall try to investigate the mother of corruption ,Azeb Mesfin, and EFFORT, and then we shall take him as a real PM if he survives the blow back.

    As to blaming the diaspora, blame yourself the worst. Sure we need to organize better;however, we are by far better than some regime apologists, for we are marching and demonstrating for justice, freedome and democracy.

    For the record, Prof Tecola, I am a successful professional writing you this.

  25. Mulat
    | #25

    Professor Tecola hagos represents the usual mosaic personality of the past. He demonises the forgone revoluton of the 1974 against a primitive feudual empire which was the comfort of the few like his family and himself but the vice of poverty, opression, inequality for the larger ethiopian masses. Sorry to say the enemies of the 1974 revolution were the usual few belly-blinded feudal remnants who were well taken care of by “the voucher”. The revolution was brewing for years, it was the unifying agenda of the university student movement of the 60s and 70s. It has brought the masses of all walks of life into the front before it was hijacked by opportunist soldiers. Concerning the idea of ‘miseducation” of the Tecola and Mesay assertion, i think this is a huge exaggeration. Education is good and it was even whole heartedly supported by the imperial regime. It is meant to bring about change and development and will remain so.

  26. Meshal
    | #26

    A couple of points addressed to various commentators…

    First, ‘better to light a candle than curse the darkness’ does not mean we should not ‘meet in auditoriums’. It simply means we have to do much more than that. We have to put our money and time where our mouth is. And as I said above everyone knows we are very poor at that. At the same time we have to expand our base beyond politics. The Israel lobby is powerful not because all it does is lobby on Israel but because its people are active in all sorts of organizations – community associations, students groups, business associations, …, everywhere. I think it’s quite straightforward.

    Second, on the problems with education during the Imperial era… There are many who like Messay Kebede, Donald Levine, etc., see a problem with the educational system then, essentially because it was too much of an import without consideration to Ethiopian values, history, and culture. It brought an abrupt change, rather than a gradual one, and too many paid with their lives and wounds exist to this day. We are still paying for it in many ways, including because many of today’s leaders are stuck in that communist/’us’ vs ‘them’/'killing is necessary to achieve utopia’ mentality. And there are certainly many who were part of the ‘Ethiopian students’ movement’ who today regret what happened. I don’t think Ato Tecola is bringing up anything new or controversial here.

  27. Treaty
    | #27

    The author of this article said. It is tragic to read essays of people who should know better still writing as if Melese is alive and …and there is no change.” He went on to cite evidence he has seen on ETV such as the arrest of government officials. To me the evidence he gave does not speak about Haile Mariam’s strength in defining his political direction. Instead I see it as ongoing TPLF inter party squabble that has been taking place since early August last year. Besides, the problem with the statement above is it attempts to convey the notion that the death of Melese is also the end of TPLF rule.
    What evidence can you give me that the Army, Air force, security and the other institutions who are led by TPLF officials are subordinate to the new head of state?

    On the contrary,infact, it can be said some of the ongoing human right offences in Harare between the Somalia militias against Oromos and Afars,some of the massive arrests in Awi Dangla area, the murder in Bahir dar,the sinking of the fairy Fasiledes, leads me to believe TPLF forces and not Haile Mariam are in full control. If the speech of Haile Mariam has any weight of evidence at all why do we continue to hear about the killings in Guraferda?
    The question now is who is in control? My replay to that is: the deputy P/M Debretsion Gebremichael TPLF polite burro member, and Information Technology Minister who is instrumental for jamming the airwaves and responsible for keeping Ethiopia the least connected nation South of Sahara is infirm control than Haile Mariam.

    Current condition in the country calls for an exercise of tender conscious to call evil design that emanates from TPLF officials by its proper name evil. On your part, for lack of clarity, in this regard you have attempted to handle essay through philosophical maxim of pragmatism and Chinese proverb. I am not sure how far you have been effective to convince audience with your hopeful wishes.

    Obviously, every one of us is different. Take for example some of the current heros.Gebremedihin Array, Dr.Yacob Haile Mariam, Ato Assegid, and off course the heroes of kelati Eskinder Nega, Andualme Arage, Reyot Alemu etc.My personal hero is Ato Geberemedihin. How exemplary is the deeds of Dr.Yacob! We need more people like these exceptional citizens.

    Finally, the patient of endurance of Ethiopians in the end paid off. How refreshing it is to see Ethiopians coming together to do something about the events of our country? TPLF hubris have glued the unity the people. Who is to blame the people for this? Have we not been an independent nation? How dare TPLF demands public allegiance in matters of faith to the party instead of to GOD? This is being done to both Christian Orthodox and Islam faith. The people have spoken clearly. They said give me my freedom, religion, my country. At last, the sleeping gaint Ethiopians are awakening. The people’s struggle is showing vigor and life. After all when the last count is made only few of those diehards will stand ;the rest is joining the peoples rank.

  28. Zerayakob Yared
    | #28

    ” Your article can overall be summarized with just a singular catchphrase of “optimism” “ Samre-tay

    Summarized? Summarized,the whole thing is, እንታይ እንተበልኩ’ኾን የጥዕመለይ ይኸውን!

  29. ግሩም
    | #29

    ለዶ/ር ተኮላ ሀጎስ ለፕሮፌሰር መሳይ ከበደ ለDawi ለaha እና ለሌሎችም ኢትዮጵያውያን ምሁራንና ፖለቲከኞች ልሂቃን ሁሉ፡፡

    የሚከተለውን የመረጃ ምንጭ በጥሞና ብታነቡት የአፍሪካ አንድነትና የፓን አፍሪካኒዝም መስራች አባቶች እነ ክዋሜ ንክሩማንና ሌሎችም የሀገራቸውን የአፍሪካንና የ3ኛውን ታዳጊ አለምና እንደዚሁም የመላውን ዓለም አጠቃላይ ታሪካዊ ተጨባጭና መፃኢ ሁኔታ እንደሚከተለው ባለው ሁኔታ በጥልቀትና በስፋት ለመረዳት ችለው ነበር፡፡
    http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2013/05/africa-us-imperialism-post-colonial.html

    ነገር ግን ቀደምት ብዙ ሺህ ዓመታት ታሪክ ያለን እኛ ኢትዮጵያውያን ግን ትንሽ እያንቀላፋን ያለን መሰለኝ፡፡ነገሮችን የምናየው ባብዛኛው ዲሞክራሲ አምባገነን እያልን እጅግ በጠበበ ሁኔታ ነው የምናየው፡፡በሀገር ውስጥም ሆነ በውጪው በምእራቡ አለም ያሉት ያውቃሉ የሚባሉት ዲያስፖራዊ ምሁራን ጭምር ከፍርሃት ይሁን ወይንም አውቀው ከአድርባይነት ስሜት የሚፅፉት ነገር ባብዛኛው ነገሮችን አጥብቦ በማየት ነው፡፡አሁን የአፍሪካ ህብረትን 50ኛ ዓመት ምስረታ ለማክበር ሽር ጉድ እያልን ነው፡፡ነገር ግን ስለ አጠቃላዩ አፍሪካና ታዳጊው ዓለም ያለፉትን 60 ዓመታት ታሪክ ብናይ እንኳን በዚህ ዘመን ውስጥ ስላለው የምናውቀው በአብዛኛው አምባገነን ዲሞክራሲ ከሚል ጋር በተያያዘ ብቻ ነው፡፡ስለዚህ የሚከተለው የመረጃ ምንጭ ለዚህ የአፍሪካ ህብረት 50ኛ ዓመት ምስረታ ለማስታወስ በቅጡ በጥሞና ቢነበብ እጅግ ይጠቅማል፡፡
    http://panafricannews.blogspot.com/2013/05/africa-us-imperialism-post-colonial.html

    ከምስጋና ጋር፡፡

  30. Mulat
    | #30

    Meshale

    The revolution was not preventable. The parasitic old feudal empire has run its course. Those who thought otherwise could not chage the tide of history. Those who tried were overwhelmed. Could it be replaced by a peaceful more accomodating political system? To me the answer is no because the cultural vice of the past did not allow it. The revolution that was largely centered around getting rid of the feudal empire got easily hijacked by military thugs who disguised themselves as “chikun wotader” and closed the political sphere and started running the show as vanguards of the revolution. Regarding modern education, If you do not have some thing and you still need it, you have to import it. much of the education had to be imported. It replaced ignorance. I do not see how education replaced some thing that did not exist in the first place. It is not the modern education that was/is havoking ethiopia. It is rather the century old “profound individualism” of the amahara-tigre culture, as Donald Levine once called it that curbed a civil discussion, consensus, humility and unity building and instead allowed the usual confrontotaion, mutual despise, revenge to take center stage in the poltical discourse.

  31. Beware!
    | #31

    “Food me once shame on you, if you fool me once shame on me”
    Beware Ethiopians! No Ethiopian should be influenced by a former close adviser to the late brutal dictator that hated Ethiopia and Ethiopians and ruled Ethiopians with so much hate and hot-burning-iron fist for 22 miserable years… No Ethiopian should be persuaded by close confidants of the late brutal dictator that left Ethiopia landlocked… Ethiopians need to question the motives of former advisers of dictator Meles who failed to see the brutality of tyrant Meles’s deep rooted hate that kicked out Ethiopians in Gondar and gave their land to Sudan…, slaughtered four hundred innocent Gambelans and sold their land to foreigners…, Be alarmed before you start to listen to the former advisers of the late subhuman that divided Ethiopians by ethnic groups and religions…, Don’t be fooled by former advisers of the merciless tyrant who gave orders for tens of thousands law abiding Ethiopians to be locked up in cold and rat infested prisons and unknown number of peaceful Ethiopians to be gunned down and slaughtered in the streets of every Ethiopian provinces…. Question the motives of the former advisers and friends of that heartless, hateful racist, master manipulator, coldblooded-murderer and looter that robbed Ethiopia blind in ways that we cannot even imagine… Ethiopians need to be careful not to listen to the former advisers of Meles that chose to look the other way and failed to recognize the unimaginable cruelty and heartlessness of the late tyrant Meles.

  32. Meshal
    | #32

    Mulat,

    There is no question that there were parts of Ethiopian culture – not only Amhara/Tigray – that worked against political freedom, justice, and democracy. I don’t think anyone would disagree with this.

    But you can change in two ways – gradually and peacefully, keeping good parts of the past and getting rid of bad ones, or abruptly and violently, dispensing with your past entirely. Donald Levine and most anybody I can think of would say that the former is preferred and the latter is the cause of Ethiopia’s misery today.

    The revolution was a Communist revolution and took a path remarkably similar to all Communist revolutions. That is, by Communist definition, whoever is more powerful should rise to the top, because having violent power means you have the support of the masses! Those who do not have enough power – those who lose the power struggle – by definition do not have the support of the masses! If they did, they wouldn’t have been eliminated. That’s Communism – in revolution, might is right.

    So the Ethiopian revolution was not ‘hijacked’ by the military – they just happened to be the most powerful. The military was simply following the same violent theory as those whom it eliminated. The eliminated victims would have violently eliminated their opponents if they could!

    This is what happened in Russia, China, Cambodia, etc. Secondary revolutions and purges. The powerful rose to the top, eliminated their competitors all the way, and then declared themselves to be the purest Communist.

    Finally, on education… The Japanese took ‘Western’ education and technology and made it Japanese, not the other way around. They, for example, kept Japanese as the language of education through university, when it would have ‘made more sense’ to use English. Whereas take a place like Albania, which tried to eliminate anything Albanian and replace it with Communism… See the difference.

  33. ህሊና
    | #33

    ይህን ሰው ተኮላ ከማለት ይልቅ ተኩላ ብንለውስ እንደስራው? :: ቢያንስበት እንጂ አይበዛበትም:: እንደሚለውም ተምሮ ከሆነ ቢማር የማያምርበት እንደተኩላ: ቢያረጅና ቢሸብት እያደረ የሚቀል እንደ አቦይ ስብሃት እስከዛሬ አልታየም። አይ ትምህርት እቴ! ትምህርትማ ድሮ ቀረ ብለናል:: እርሱ ደግሞ የድሮ ትምህርት ንጉሱን አስገለበጠ እንጂ ምን አመጣ ይላል:: የሚመጻደቅበትና ለስድስት ወር በሃርቫርድ ለቀድሞ ፖለቲከኞች የሚሰጠው የነስዬ ዓይነት አጭር ኮርስ አሳብጦት ሁሉንም ከግራ ወደ ቀኝ ከላይ ወደታች እየተወናጨፈ ዳያስፖራውን በጥቅሉ የሚያወግዝበት የአጻጻፍ ለዛ የሌለው ከኔም በላይ እውቀት ላሳር የሚል ማፈሪያ ዘረኛ አድርጎታል:: በባለፉት ጽሁፎቹ ከነገስታት ዘር እንደተወለደና የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ባልተገራ የወሲብ ግንኙነት እየተዋለደ ለበሽታ ለህዝብ ቁጥር ማሻቀብና ለልመና ራሱን እንደዳረገ ሳይማር ያስተማረውን ህዝብ ያለእፍረት ተጠያቂ ለማድረግ የተነሳበትን ሁኔታ ስናይ ይህ ፕሮፌሰር ነኝ የሚል ሰው አፉን በከፈተ ቁጥር ክዓእምሮው ጓዳ የሚታየው ብዙ አስቀያሚ በዘር የተለከፈ አስተሳሰብ ነው:: ዛሬም የወያኔ መንግስት በኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ላይ ባለፉት 22 ዓመታት ያደረሰውን ህዝብንና ሀገርን የመግደል ሴራ በማበረታት እንዳለ እንዲቆይ በእስር የሚማቅቁትን የኢትዮጵያ ውድ ልጆች እነእስክንድር ነጋን ከሀገር እንዲወጡ ሃ/ማርያም ደሳለኝን ይማጸናል:: መጻፍ ስለሚቻል ብቻ እኮ ዝም ብሎ አይጻፍም የሚተላለፈው ቁምነገር እውነትነቱ ለጠቅላላው ህዝብ የሚሰጠው ጠቀሜታ ግምት ያስገባ መሆን ያለበት ይመስለኛል::
    የዚህ ሰው ጽሁፍ ግን አንድም ሆነ ተብሎ በጥቅል ህዝብን መስደብና ቁልቁል ማየት ወይም ከብዙሃኑ የተለየ ሀሳብ በማመንጨት ማራኮትና ለግዜውም ቢሆን መነጋገሪያና ማሳሳቻ መፍጠር ወይም ከልቡ የሚወደውና የሚሳሳለት ወያኔ ሲነካበት ስሜቱን ስለሚጎዳበት ወደ አንድ አግጣጫ የሚተመውን የዳያስፖራ ተቃውሞ ለመበተን ነው የጽሁፎቹ ዓላማ የሚመስለው:: ተኩላ የለየለት ወያኔ ነው:: የራሱን የሚያምንበትን ሃሳብ ይዞ ለመቀመጥ መብቱ ቢሆንም እዚህ በነጻው ሀገር ተቀምጦ እኔ የምለውን ብቻ ስሙ አለዚያ ስቲዩፒድ ናችሁ ማለት አውቆ በንቀት ካልሆነ በስተቀር እንደርሱ ተምሬያለሁ የሚል ሰው የሚያጣው አይመስለኝም::
    በግፍ ለታሰሩትና በወያኔ እስር ቤቶች ለሚማቅቁት ሁሉም የፖለቲካ እስረኞች ነጻ መውጣት እንታገል::

  34. wase
    | #34

    Dr. Tekola’s basic theme is to give a slack to the new Ethiopian Prime Minister, Ato Hailemariam. However, since the PM has publicly stated that he was there to implement Meles’ policy, on what basis Dr. Tekola offers such advice is unclear. Is he trying to get a job offer from Addis to obtain his old job at the PM’s office?!

    A related issue is with regard to reactions by various people to Dr. Tekola, Seye Abraha, etc, i.e. former Woyane cadres kicked out by Meles and are now desperately looking for some recognition by the opposition. It’s true that such former cadres are virtual criminals as they took part in the Woyane dismemberment of Ethiopia, especially Eritrea’s cessation, the huge corruption, the prevalence of the shameful system of tribalism, the hatred for the Amhara, and the abuse of human rights. Nevertheless, once such people recognize the wickedness of their previous action and sincerely apologize to the Ethiopian people, they should be welcomed back with open arms.

  35. Truth
    | #35

    I understand the problems surrounding any compromise, especially the one in the Ethiopian political situation. The first problem is the fact that there is no functional opposition political organization in the Diaspora and/or back home in Ethiopia, but an assortment of poorly organized fragments pretentious ad hoc structures controlled by individuals who do not seem to understand a real political game or their own appalling limitations. Baby-steps are necessary in our Ethiopian situation to bring about lasting democratic changes and economic development. Why would it be wrong to give HD a chance to sort out his policies and improve the difficult human rights conditions he inherited from the past.

    Individuals like #32 ህሊና are remnants of Mengistu Hailemariam’s former executioners and terrorists hiding in the West and writing garbage. Such are sub-human creatures that should be hauled back where they come from, for they undermine our Ethiopian identity and are also dirty stains on humanity. What Prof Tecola wrote is respectful of Ethiopians and those who are suffering like Eskinder Nega and others. He just wanted them freed even if pushed into exile. If Prof Tecola wrote in the past about the evil of prostitution, the breaking up of Ethiopian family values, uncontrolled population explosion et cetera in straight direct manner, he should be praised and not be insulted by Mengistu’s barbaric hitmen. Whether we admit it or not prostitution in Ethiopia is overwhelming; population explosion is a reality; alarming breaking down of family values is a serious problem. These are very serious social problems one cannot overcome by simply insulting the messenger.

  36. Desalegn Motuma
    | #36

    What do you mean? Any one who with reason opposes Tecola is pro mengistu? This sounds very very familiar because Tecola Hagos often asserts in the same way. He even pleads indirectly with the Weyane regime to label those who oppose him as terrorists. Hilarious. Tecola Hagos is an extremely unstable person. One time when the so called the greater Tigray group, Seye etal, were ditched by Meles, Tecola was weeping that Meles was dilly dallying with Addisu Legese and other amharas. He was very angry that Amharas were given ambassadorial post and wrote against it. Tecola assumed that Ethiopia is only for togreans to roost. He was trying to incite Tigreans against Amharas more than Meles actually did. His blanket and adhominum attack on Amharas, his attempt to divide the northern amhara region from the central regions by demonizing the Shoan amahars as mehal sefaris and slave descendants, his demonising of the greatest king of all Atse Tewodros, demonisng of minilik, is nothing but the work of a a psychologically unstable person. One bad morning, he very strangely goes over the border and insults Eritreans as nothing banda descendants for no good reason. His contempt for the southern region is unparalleled and it is strange how he can befriend Hailemariam. Tecola Hagos when he was working as Meles’s advisor was a sheer embarassment to meles himself with his crude, unadultrated, sickened attitude. With his anti amhara diatribe which meles emotionally shared with, Tecola of course managed to hype up the genocide agenda together with tamrat layne and meles that resulted in the death of so many innocent Amharas. Tecola is a number one criminal besides being a very very unstable person.

  37. Anonymous
    | #37

    Professer Tekola, This is the name of one of my beloved social science study teacher when I was in elementary school in the early 1960s EC. I respect that teacher until the end of my life. I wish if I get a chance to visit him again if he is alive. I say this because of the name tekola in my heart is a big name. But, unfortunately you spoil your name. Now I recommend for you to work with Aba Mela just to work with woyane to advise the woyanes when they make a mistake to serve as just like an advisor.

  38. Anonymous
    | #38

    Tecola,
    From the get go, why didn’t you oppose when your own ethnic group, TPLF started to control the entire Ethiopian government and start to abuse, torture, incarcerated, and mass murder law-abiding Ethiopians? Could that be one of the advices you’ve given to TPLF and tyrant Meles? You failed miserably when you didn’t distance yourself from TPLF that have divided Ethiopians by ethnicity and religions… Is that also one of the advices you’ve given to TPLF? You failed miserably, when you chose to be quiet when TPLF gave every centimeter of Ethiopia’s only seaport and left the country landlocked, you stand and and kept silent when TPLF chased Ethiopians in Gondar and gave their land to Sudan… Is that as well one of your advices to TPLF and to the Hitler of Ethiopia called Meles?
    “Show me your friends and I’ll show you who you are” You are one of the few people, the peace loving Ethiopians should keep their eyes on. I wonder what you are up to and your motives are… Ethiopians always watch out for the few poisonous snakes in the grass!

  39. Anonymous
    | #39

    Tecola,
    Are you proud that you were one of the closest advisers to the most looters and mass murderers of Ethiopia and Ethiopians?
    There is no doubt that more disgusting news keep on to come out as times goes on about TPLF that TPLF is indeed a mafia group that took power to loot, kill and destroy the country.

    http://www.therichest.org/celebnetworth/politician/minister/meles-zenawi-net-worth/

  40. ALMAZ MEQUANINT
    | #40

    Well DONE! Dr. Tecola you always inspire me by your open & sincere articles. Nothing to apologize for the past for expressing you opinion freely whether it’s right/wrong…that’s what democracy is after all!KEEP WRITING:)

  41. The Ethiopian
    | #41

    Anonymous, Desalegn Motuma etc, we know who you are, Mengistu’s Red Terror Cadres. Do not change the subject and the main issue by writing all kinds of falsehood. I know Prof Tecola quite well, and have read his enormous volume of writing including his books. He has nothing to do with any of your allegations. He left Ethiopia in 1993 and has repeatdly written his disagreements with the policy of Meles Zenawi and EPRDF.

    You need to read his masterpiece defence of the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ethiopia against the judgement of the Border Commission. He wrote lengthy serious articles on the Sudan anexetion of Ethiopian Territory and criticized Meles Zenawi. Yoe seem to be hiding under rocks all these years, evading prosecution for your barbaric crimes just like your bloody master Mengistu hailemariam. Do not show your ignorance and narrow ethnicism by labling people. We Amhara relations from Wello Shoa, Gonder and Gojam are appalled by your labling a true Ethiopian with such insulting idiotic statements. Go take a look at his masterpiece painting the “The Ethiopian” which he painted as Law School young student. You will see the true measure of an Ethiopian then, not some johnny-come-lately like you.

  42. Anonymous
    | #42

    The Ethiopian One, why go back over two decades and change the subject?
    It is obvious that only members of TPLF and their families that lack conscience, moral value and who have no fear of God ignore the gruesome crimes that have being committed on the country and Ethiopians for the last three decades try to put all the blames on the other bloodthirsty Mengestu and the Derg. No one in their right mind defend tyrant Mengestu for the despicable crimes he had committed. But, as coldblooded as Mengestu Hailemariam was, comparing dictator Mengestu and the Derg to dictator Meles and TPLf, is like comparing apples and oranges. It’s not tyrant Mengestu that looted the country, left Ethiopia landlocked and kicked out Amharas in Gondar and Gambelans and decided to give the most fertile land of Ethiopia to Sudan and to other foreign billionaires to grow flowers and other goods. Besides TPLF dividing Ethiopians by ethnic groups and religion, leaving the country landlocked and selling the country’s fertile land, TPLF have also keep on committing shocking crimes against poor Ethiopian women and children by using them as many making slaves. In the last two decades, countless number of Ethiopians keep on to be locked up, tortured and killed in the daily basis. The poorest country in the world where people die for a lack of cup of water and a piece of bread a day, still being looted by TPLF and a few soulless Ethiopians and the stolen billions of dollars are being stashed in various foreign banks. The shocking TPLF power abuse and crimes on Ethiopia and Ethiopians are not hidden. The proof is right there in the open that the organized criminal group came to loot and get rich and lock up and kill whoever question them or put it in the newspapers. Sadly, the looting, the selling of the land, the selling of Ethiopian women, the countless innocent Ethiopians who get thrown in prisons, the overall human miseries, the genocide, etc in Ethiopia continues as we speak.

  43. Anonymous
    | #43

    The Ethiopian One, why go back over two decades and change the subject?
    It is obvious that only members of TPLF and their families that lack conscience, moral value and who have no fear of God ignore the gruesome crimes that have being committed on the country and Ethiopians for the last three decades try to put all the blames on the other bloodthirsty Mengestu and the Derg. No one in their right mind defend tyrant Mengestu for the despicable crimes he had committed. But, as coldblooded as Mengestu Hailemariam was, comparing dictator Mengestu and the Derg to dictator Meles and TPLf, is like comparing apples and oranges. It’s not tyrant Mengestu that looted the country, left Ethiopia landlocked and kicked out Amharas in Gondar and Gambelans and decided to give the most fertile land of Ethiopia to Sudan and to other foreign billionaires to grow flowers and other goods. Besides TPLF dividing Ethiopians by ethnic groups and religions, leaving the country landlocked and selling the country’s fertile land, TPLF have also keep on committing shocking crimes against poor Ethiopian women and children by using them as money making slaves. In the last two decades, countless number of Ethiopians keep on to be locked up, tortured and killed in the daily basis. The poorest country in the world where people die for a lack of cup of water and a piece of bread a day, still being looted by TPLF and a few soulless Ethiopians and the stolen billions of dollars are being stashed in various foreign banks. The shocking TPLF power abuse and crimes on Ethiopia and Ethiopians are not hidden. The proof is right there in the open that the organized criminal group came to loot and get rich and lock up and kill whoever question them or put it in the newspapers. Sadly, the looting, the selling of the land, the selling of Ethiopian women, the countless innocent Ethiopians who get thrown in prisons, the overall human miseries, the genocide, etc in Ethiopia continues as we speak.

  44. Desalegn Motuma
    | #44

    Anonymuous:

    You have pulled a chair and put this woyane dummy ethiopian (the interhamwe man tecola hagos) like a child and gave him the ABCD of woyane robbery. Telling him the truth a is medicine for his sickness. I loughed to death when he mentioned about his painting, Lol, one day he will rise up and compare himself with the enemy Afework tekle. Of course because Afework s an amhara and his mortal enemy. But why even bother to reply to this truly anti-Ethiopian Psychopath. Afterall his style of writing suggestes very much it is tecola hagos himself who writes this non sense. He is so paranoid that any one who opposes him is a derg agent. Look Tecola is a wolf, a tplf stalwart, a gutter minded narrow nationalist and ethnicist. His mediocre poor sophomoric english, his psychopath behaviour, his lack of respect for people outside his gutter domain of ethnicity, his lack of objectivity, his lack of respect for the muslim religion, his attention seeking behaviour, his political opportunism, his power mongering attitude all in a single head of a person point to none other than a personality disorder. This woyane should be completely ignored. He does not deserve out attention.

  45. Yohannes Ke Dallas
    | #45

    To Tecola (The Ethiopian),
    Why are you so furious about people who got different opinion than the “respected” writer? If many of them are against Tecola’s idea, you could simply point out your argument that establishes his virtue without insulting and labeling. You are against labeling when it is directed to Tecola and you label people by saying “Mengistu red terror cadres” So may ask who gave you that power to use it as you see fit, it is ok for you to brand others and not ok for others to speak what they think is right about this person that you are so desperate to defend? Besides your unfairness, what you miserably failed to understand is that you cannot bring people to buy your idea by insulting them like Tecola does every time he wrote an article. It is a big mistake from the get go failing to recognize the freedom that everyone has enjoyed. The right to form an opinion about anything based on “ the beholder’s perceived facts” and the right to hold that opinion without interference. The only way that you could win your arguments is by politely providing your facts to the jury or the judges (in our case the readers) not by insulting and labeling left and right like what Tecola is always doing. For example, I have never been near Mengistu, late alone being his red terror cadre but I disagree with some of Tecola’s opinions. On your analysis, if you say all who are opposing Tecola are Mengistu red terror cadres, this equates to, if you are not with me you are against me.
    1)You started by asserting untruthful analogy and consequently that will diminish the trust and your credibility by any reader that knows well that he is not what you are tagging him with. 2) You lack evidences and want to impose your idea by demonizing people using coercion. 3) You could be seen as unfair, illogical and crude person who lacks civility in this modern era and 4) People could start questioning your ability and motive to present your case and this eventually affect the outcome of their judgment. So my friend, my little advice to you is that you start thinking about detaching yourself from such authoritarian approaches like:’ If you could not see what I saw, believe what I believed, speak what I spoke, I will crush you, hate you, insult you and send you to jail or kill you type attitude. It is not acceptable anymore in this civilized world. You do not have to be rude and insult the Diaspora in general because most of them think different than you in a given subject. That is where Tecola made mistakes time and time again. If you want to educate me, convince me on an idea you don’t have to insult me or label me first. By doing so you created antagonism and drift between us. If you follow that approach you may not get what you want.
    If it is difficult for you to change your stance however, old habits die hard thing, it will look like a miniature form of dictatorship at personal level is in the making inside you. Who does want to be called a feared and loathed dictator on these days? Come on, we already have enough tyrants and before we deal with them we do not want others flourish at every corner every day.
    So, remember that there are many people around us with many different points of views in a certain subject. If we could agree in a given topic at a time it would be a blessing, if not things are not always black and white. There are numerous colors and something called consensus on these days. We have to develop a culture to live by respecting other’s perspectives without taking it personal, being irritated and imposing our ideas or shove it down to their throat as all these kinds of approaches are obstacles to bring us together to work on our greater causes.
    All Ethiopians are demanding immediate and unconditional release of all prisoners of conscience including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Bekele Gerba, Wubshet Taye, Reeyot Alemu, Abubeker Ahmed and Ahmedin Jebel and all political prisoners !

  46. Anonymous
    | #46

    Hard to believe to read Tecola’s article witch is based on watching the government control TV station and how much is influenced by it. The biggest surprise for me is to read Tecola’s advice to TPLF on what to do when it comes to Eskinder Nega, Reeyot alemu, Andualem Aragie and the likes: “JUST SIMPLY KICK THE INNOCENT JOURNALISTS OUT OF THEIR OWN MOTHERLAND”. It’s incredible! This way they won’t witness what TPLF are doing to the country’s land, to the people and to the Ethiopian natural resources and Treasury. Tecola has exposed himself unknowingly the kinds of advice he had given to the late bloodsucker, merciless mass murderer and looter dictator Meles.
    Abugida, is it really worth posting this man’s article that gets influenced by watching hours of ETV?

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