2007: A Year of Decision By Yilma Bekele

September 11th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

Happy New Year Ethiopia (መልካም እንቁጣጣሽ) Meskerem is a special month. We love and honor Meskerem so much that we name our children by it signifying a new beginning for the long journey ahead. Meskerem is the end of the rainy season and our high mountains and valleys adorn themselves in bright yellow flowers as far as the eye can see, totally overwhelming our senses.For a Diaspora, Meskerem in a strange land, is another hard pill to swallow as an exile from a precious homeland.

The physical comfort, the sense of total security and a feeling of being free compensates for that deep longing emanating from the bottom of the heart. I am afraid it is all an illusion. How could one half survive without the other? How could part of oneself feel safe and secure while the other side is threatened and abused? It is a dilemma that unsettles a lot of us.

It is not particular to us to feel the need to give back to the place we left behind. The Diaspora has played a vital role in the economies of India, Israel and Turkey to mention a few. The fact that we Ethiopians are not free to work, invest and help our country has hindered our participation in sharing the wonderful knowledge and skill we have acquired. When they said good will emerge out of bad they must have been thinking about us.

The lack of real Democracy, the absence of the Rule of Law, the non-existence of transparency, the rampant corruption and most of all the favoritism of one ethnic group over the other (currently Tigrai) coupled with the fear factor permeating the society is too much a stress to bear when there is no earthly reason to. Thus the best and the brightest stay away. That does not mean there are not a lot that are daring and energetic and try to sail this stormy waters and add value to our home. All that we can do is wish them well.

It is not that our country does not need help. Nor is it that most of us have nothing of value to contribute. The only reason the majority of the Diaspora is not involved is due to the absence of Good Governance in Ethiopia. The country is still run like in the Feudal times using brute force and intimidation by the War Lord (TPLF this time around) and its subordinates. How could a person that accumulated capital by working for it invest in an enterprise that does not have any rules so to speak of?

This Enkutatash all is not well at home. Our young people are still fleeing their homes not knowing where they are going. They just travel any which way to try their luck some places they have heard of. The boys are going South by foot and the girls are going East by plane hoping to make it and be somebody. There are a lot that make it and there are some that somehow disappear without a trace never to be heard again. We are witnessing hell on earth. Here is what was reported by EMF (ethioforum.org)

Eighteen illegal immigrants from Ethiopia were Sunday arrested Kiutine, Igembe North, Meru County on their way to Nairobi. “The illegal aliens were nabbed at a road block at Kiutine at 8am, aboard 2 saloon cars. They were heading to Nairobi. We will take them to court, together with their two drivers, both Kenyans,” said Cornelius Sing’oei, the Igembe North OCPD. As reported by Phares Mutembei of Standardmedia.

Our people were most probably on their way to South Africa to be part of the ever growing Diaspora. When we are referred to as ‘illegal aliens’ in Kenya you know there is a problem in Habesha land.

How to help those that are being brutalized by the ethnic regime at home and also come to the rescue of those that are wondering in Southern Africa and the Middle East is a question that we should all ask ourselves as we celebrate the New Year with family and friends. What can I do to relieve the pain of my people should be in our mind as we sit down to give thanks to the good fortune that has saved us from servitude to tyrants.

If we really think about it there are plenty of ways we can make a difference and reap the benefits of doing the right thing. There might not be immediate satisfaction or something tangible to show in a short time. Like everything good in life it takes time for our best deeds to mature. Like one does not plant one day and expect to harvest the day after, our good deeds take time to develop and show results. One thing we do know for sure is the medicine we are prescribing is proven to work.

What exactly can the millions of us in the Diaspora do to help our people and country escape this vicious cycle of tyranny, famine, hopelessness and despair? We learn from those when faced with the same problem like us dealt with it and won. We are all familiar with the history of the struggle of African Americans, South Africans, Indians and millions of others that were in the same situation we are in today.

It is true they appealed to humanity to help them but they just did not sit and wait. They took matters into their own hands and started the process and sure enough plenty came to their aid. Those that could picked the gun fought back while others participated in isolating and weakening the enemy using different means. That is exactly where we the Diaspora Ethiopians can complement the struggle of our people by shunning all persons and enterprise connected to the minority regime. It is how we display our displeasure and help our country and people.

What are the actions that we can take to make our feelings known? What the Diaspora has in abundance and the TPLF regime salivates for is our economic power. That is the potent weapon we can use to make the Woyane regime feel our resolve to fight back injustice. It is done not out of hate but as a matter of self-defense to survive.

We all can tell the current situation is not sustainable and we are aware when it implodes from inside the damage can deal a fatal blow to our very existence as a country. If you think that is an exaggeration just look at Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia that were imperfect unions but far from a waste land they are today. Our country is ripe for any power to exploit the weak foundation of ethnic division, abject poverty, millions of unemployed youth that our country is sitting on. We should use our economic and intellectual power at our disposal to stop such catastrophe.

Participating in the so called ‘condominium’ scam is giving free money to TPLF.

Building a home is not a job creation scheme. Most of the construction materials imported support the TPLF business enterprise. You are giving cash to TPLF.

Drinking ‘Ethiopian’ beer is not helping Ethiopia. All the major breweries belong to foreigners, the exporters are TPLF or junior associates. You are helping TPLF.

Buying Teff imported from Ethiopia is the ultimate betrayal of country and people. There is not enough harvested, our people do not have the economic power to purchase due to double digit inflation any and you have zillions of bread products to choose from, why would anyone with good conscience do that?

Buying injera flown here is a slap on the face of our people. Selling such product by an Ethiopian owned business is ____ use any adjective to describe such deed!

Flying Ethiopian airlines is putting money in Woyane’s pocket. They run it and they own it. You are lining the pocket of the criminal enterprise.
We are here because home is not such a good place to experience the full harvest of life like most other human beings. I am sure most of us would rather be working, living raising a family and contributing to our neighborhood in our own land. Due to the TPLF mafia in power that denies basic human dignity to our people we are forced to settle in strange places. Why would anyone that left his country because it is not such a hospitable place turn around and give money to those that are causing agony to his people?

This is not an exercise to put blame anyone or shame each other but a chance to use this celebration to start anew. Meskerem is a beginning. It is when adey abeba covers our land with bright yellow and white flowers signifying the coming of a New Year. That is what we should do today. Start fresh and stand up for our people. They are sacrificing the very essence of their existence is it too much to ask you to consider your actions and the consequences that follow? Is drinking Miller instead of Giorgis such a sacrifice?

I am glad most of us are safe where ever we have been exiled to but let us remember those that are languishing in Woyane jail, keep in mind those that are stranded in no man’s land, in confinement in some dirty jail, afraid and disoriented somewhere on this planet and use this Awdamet to resolve to do better next year.

Let us start the New Year with determination to right that what is wrong. We can do it. We will do it. Next new year we will celebrate our holidays in a free and democratic Ethiopia. As the Jews used to say during their Passover dinner in exile “L’shanah haba’ah biyerushalayim — Next Year in Jerusalem.” It is an expression of hope fulfilling their dream of being a free people in their own land. I say to you: የሚመጣው አመት አዲስ አበባ — መልካም አዲስ አመት ለሁላችን!

  1. aley
    | #1

    i realy wonder the letter but do you thing the scatered and poor living condition poeple do anything?

  2. Dire
    | #2

    Hopeful, optimistic and sobering…very well written. Thank you.

  3. Tadesse
    | #3

    Thank you,Yilma,happy new year and thank you for the mails you send me.

  4. Jacob
    | #4

    Yilma, be honest how much are you being paid to write up Ginbot 7′s editorials. It seems a lucrative business for a hypocrite like you. At least they must be exempting you from paying membership contribution.

  5. Light House
    | #5


    Unfortunately this new year will not be different for those negative spirited individuals, but it will be great year for those who are positive sprit. In todays fast changing world, it is not what you know or who you know, but how you motivate yourself to stay positive and TO capitalize on it. To be is to act, to act is to be motivated. our success and failure is based on how motivated we are, which to energize us within. Stay positive !! and Be the Bridge builder, be the hospital builder, be the hydro dam builder, be the college and university builder, be the anchor of society by being positive and motivating factor. Do not be afraid to dream big. Do not be foolish and discourage by the misdeeds of others, regardless do you share.

    As old Greek proverb says, I quote “PLANT TREE THAT YOU WILL NEVER SIT UNDER ITS SHADES.”

  6. Geleta
    | #6

    Dear All,

    I wish all Ethiopians Happy and prosperous Ethiopian new year. I read Yilma’s wish for the coming new year with great deal of interest. But as I read deep, it looked to me the list to be incomplete. Why stop with Injera? Why not all the spices and commodities coming from there? That also includes Kolo! Why stop at beer? There are other drinks like Tej and
    Tela coming also. Let’s get away from them. Even the blessed water (ጠበል) from churches should be out of limits. Why stop with Ethiopian airlines. Let’s not use United since they have a code sharing agreement with them. Let’s stop the Alliance group all together. Don’t forget Boeing. Too many to mention here. Why stop at sending money. Let’s expand that at the companies and people bringing in hard currency as well. Let’s stop using GE products – the refrigerator should be the first to go – since GE is keen to invest at the Woyane country. Walmart, Heinken,Depont, H&M, Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Intercontinental, MCI, Hyundai, Toyota, caterpillar,just to mention few. But most importantly, the countries doing business with Woyane need to be avoided. Those are the US, UK, Germany, France, China, all Arab countries, India, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Italy, Korea, Canada, Brazil, all Africa except Eritrea – the list goes on. The World organizations like USAID, WTO, World bank, IMF and more also be on the list. Should the question arise where then should we go, Eritrea is the only option since all the other countries seem to like Woyane and their deeds. As long as we don’t call for all the things associated with the woyanes our list is incomplete. If you by chance found my argument ridiculous worst yet hilarious, then blame it on Yilma. By the way, I heard the GERD is being build on wheels – just if Ginbot7 succeeded – so they can roll it down the road to Tigrai. Those mean woyanes.

  7. Sirgut
    | #7

    @ Gelta,

    The call for sanctions are not new. It’s only what results out of it what is new. For example, the Ethiopian Airlines has joined the Alliance group and expanded its destinations to Toronto, Rio and soon LA and Seattle while the frequencies in which it travel to north America has more than doubled. The airlines has expanded its operations through out the world in such unbelievable pace it is becoming among the most profitable business in the industry – oh by the way – its so-called Tigrean CEO has been also recognized as top leader by many international organizations. Yilma’s argument is so ridiculous it reminded me of the Ethiopian saying in reverse: ሞኝ ጎረበት የሚገባውን እንጂ የሚወጣውን አያይም::
    Yilma is talking about the “Meru County” 18 which were trying to migrate to south Africa as an example of the oppression which exist in our country. First of all there are countless people who going back to Ethiopia free willing. Secondly, in today’s Ethiopia as long as you got a valid visa you are free to go in and out as you like. Unless Yilma is advocating that the government should also issue visa for the destination countries, that people wanting to migrate for any reason is not new or unique to Ethiopia. One more hypocrisy in Yilma’s argument is that he fails short in asking us to boycott the entertainers like Teddy Afro. Are they also go back with their dollars to the “woyane land”?

    In any case, thank you Geleta to bring humor to make a great point. Well done!

  8. John z Baptist
    | #8

    I agree with you, there are so many downer individuals and as well organization and mass media outlets who’s purpose and their existence in life is to see the world in the wrong end of the telescope in process they put down themselves and their surroundings.

  9. Ancient-Yeha.eu
    | #9


    “all Africa except Eritrea”really!? Ha…Ha…Ha… ጓድ, በምን ያህልነትዎ ነዎት ERነትዎ?

  10. Dawi
    | #10

    Yelma said:

    [[..The lack of real Democracy..........., the rampant corruption.....]]

    Compared to what?

    “The 2013 survey released by anti-graft body, Transparency International, ranked Ethiopia the least corrupt nation….out of 95 countries worldwide …corruption levels standing at 6 per cent..” is what I read the other day.

    BTW, those folks you mentioned who are fleeing are going to places with higher corruption such as “..South Africa is at 47, Nigeria 61, Libya 62, Senegal 57, Mozambique 62, Morroco 49, Zimbabwe 62, Ghana 54, Yemen 74, Kenya 70 and Madagascar 28 per cent..”

    May be opposition like you should start writing honest assessment of our country when they compare it to its neighbors or anybody else? How about making a real assessment so that folks make the right decision before they step foot out to another worst place?

    On the other hand, your analysis and suggestions are the inverse of what the Chinese diaspora is doing and they come from the mother of a developmental state based on Economic freedom plus political Repression? How about that?

    The latest news for them is “Alibaba” that taps Chinese diaspora as it goes global; the E-commerce Company is counting on Chinese emigrants everywhere to build its base.

    This is what Chairman Jack Ma is looking beyond his base, betting that Chinese abroad will help him reach a wider array of customers in Asia, Europe and the home turf of Amazon.com Inc. and EBay Inc.

    And you & friends want us to boycott Ethiopian Airlines???
    It is laughable.

  11. Dawi
    | #11

    Here is something for Yelma & others to note:

    After Deng Xiaoping established the policy of reforms in the 1970’s China had difficulty of attracting investments. That is when the Chinese Diaspora played a huge role in the rise of China. Their relationship is based in on Business cooperation and does not have a political component. It is well known that Chinese Diaspora is opposed to CPC’s politics.

    Poor folks need economic development to eat and make a living; they don’t have the luxury to boycott businesses that pays their bills and provides them with needed services.

    As business is a straight line don’t mix it with your narrow politics.

  12. yilmab
    | #12

    I believe it is a waste to try to respond to Jacob above, for some one displaying Andulaem’s pic he is attacking me for writing against those that are holding his hero in Kaliti, get a life idiot. I yilma Bekele that resides in the Bay area of California and a dedicated foe of Woyane have no qualms advertising my name or my address. On the other hand our friend Dawi who is a fixture on Abugida to respond any time his TPLF party that is in power is exposed for what it is he does not seem to have a real name nor address. Dear Dawi your friends are in power and you keep telling us they are doing miracles in our country why are you hiding behind a fake name and no address? Tell us where you live so we can be assured that we are responding to a real person not some cadre sitting in Addis or anywhere and is not an employee of the regime. As for your attempt to sound intelliegent and reasonable I am afraid it is garbage presented as fact with the sole purpose of creating confussion. If our country is growing double digits do tell us why all those folks are risking their life and migrating out? I do not see Kenyans Ugandans or or Rwandans being labeled ‘illegal aliens’ and arrested by the Woyane regime because no one comes to Ethiopia to escape. Why are you try to bring the Chinese and others to this conversation is not clear to me. What does it prove? It is typical Woyane logic to quote out of context, justify their crimes by comparing apples and oranges and always hopeing creating confusion will make the issue disappear. If you go to Addis today you will find every two bit Woyane owning a high rise building and involved in import export business. What ever happened to the other Ethiopians? You will find that the head of the National Bank, the Military, the Security service, and major institutions like Ethiopian Airlines under Tigrean leadership, does it mean the rest of us are so stupid and not worthy of being in charge? My friend it is called Apartheid. Having a wound up toy like Hailemariam does not count. He can not even go to the bathroom with out the TPLF cadre that is directing him. Let me tell you what we are going to do my friend-we are going to continue organizing boycotts, we are going to help those that are raising arms to neutralize your friends and we are going to win because we have the people on our side and our cause is just. What your friends are afraid of is that they are going to lose all this stolen wealth and a few are going to face justice. I assure you when the time comes you are going to revert back to your real name and I have the feeling you will be the first to testify against your friends. it is not about China, it is not about Deng Xiaoping but about Ethiopia and our misery under your Woyane friends. By the way editors of Abugida can go back and look up the ip address where your email is coming from, I urge them to follow the protocol of only allowing comment with verifiable registration not some fake BS.

  13. Densa
    | #13

    Mr. Yelma Bekele,

    I thank you for this encouraging advice ,and we as community of citizens must do to free our citizens, respecting our oppressed Ethiopians. The statement below is shared by millions of Ethiopians who watched the abuse of our people for the last 23 years.

    “..we Ethiopians are not free to work, invest and help our country has hindered our participation in sharing the wonderful knowledge and skill we have acquired.
    The lack of real Democracy, the absence of the Rule of Law, the non-existence of transparency, the rampant corruption ..with the fear factor permeating the society is too much a stress to bear.”

    There fore there is no need to be concerned about the paid bands such as JACOB above.

    [Jacob] If you really believe in what TPLF is doing why then defend her in your real name, as Y3elma indicated. the fact of the matter is these people are shallow and low life bandits. Jacob The determination to fight weyane is not left only for G-7.The entire Ethiopians up to show the low life bandits their way out. This determination is so threatening to weyane they have no answer for the tsunami to come. That is why bought ER to disseminate their poisonous agenda about Ethiopian organizations that are operating in Eretria. Privately, TPLF leaders know there is a major threat coming from the North. This condition is so alarming TPLF is forced to have a military packet with the Sudan. This is precisely the reason why they dispatched their convoy to the Nnorthern part of the country. Our for fathers said ‘YEWENDMUN BUDANET WENDMU YAWKEWAL’. The fact of the matter is TPLF knows she is faced with insurmountable problems. Ethiopians across the political spectrum have said enough to the goons. When Ethiopians say no that must be it. The ER report is not going to make any difference. To begin with he is an outlier he is not part of the mainstream media. Specially now he has shown the real color, and we spew him. Jacob it is not Yelma but ER editor Elias that is writing Agia forum’s Editor. I wonder how much TPLF or HER FRIENDS IN HIGH PLACES PAID ER EDITOR? Jacob do you have any answer?

  14. Tesfalem
    | #14

    @ Yilmab

    I, Tesfalem from the suburb of Denver Colorado, find your argument silly and immature. First of all, I hope to satisfy your protocol of “verifiable registration” by giving my geographical location, is this the silliest point ever or what? I don’t know what makes you think that people are afraid of you? Stop being full of yourself. In the history of all things you are nobody let alone to be feared of. Second, before scolding the good Jacob, you better know that the avatar of Andualem is a must pick on Abugidainfo. Not knowing that tells me how little you know about everything else besides what you are told by your bosses at Ginbot7 and ESAT. I don’t know how to explain to you that double digit growth and the migration of people have nothing in common. China undoubtedly was showing a steady double digit growth for a long time, but that doesn’t stop people from trying to migrate. The same can be said about any country at any period of their growth. Americans go to Arab countries, Canadians come over to America, the Germans flow to North America …….. to find a better opportunity not because they necessary live on poverty. Yes, we still have a long way to go. True, we still have roads to construct, dams to build, electricity to transmit, institutions to establish, the rule of law to teach, schools to construct, diseases to cure and, yes , people to feed. But this is the process each and every developed country went through. This all can only happen if each of us contribute towards it not by being a destructive force like you seem to be intent on doing day in day out. So, you still owe Jacob a response, otherwise his conclusion is spot on and by your silence you are seconding it.

  15. Dawi
    | #15

    Yelma said:

    [[..By the way editors of Abugida can go back and look up the ip address where your email is coming from, I urge them to follow the protocol of only allowing comment with verifiable registration not some fake BS...]]

    Here we go again!

    It seems to me every time you and our friend Prof. Tecola feel cornered in a discussion on some topic you go to your usual self-adulation [Shelela..Kererto.. :-)] of using your own names and addresses on the Internet. Good for you! if that is what you like to do however, in general there are good reasons for those who do not use real names that we won’t get into here. The bottom line is a lot of folks contribute to conversations and should be judged on their positive contributions. Abugida have my profile for your information, regardless, my point here is, unless one uses pseudonomity to post hateful comments or just misbehaves I don’t understand why you are getting out of shape about it.

    [[..If you go to Addis today you will find every two bit Woyane owning a high rise building and involved in import export business. What ever happened to the other Ethiopians? You will find that the head of the National Bank, the Military, the Security service, and major institutions like Ethiopian Airlines under Tigrean leadership, does it mean the rest of us are so stupid and not worthy of being in charge? My friend it is called Apartheid...]]

    Being a minority has its own disadvantages; in Rwanda for instance, a Hutu prime minster, interior minister, president and other Hutus in many positions were appointed in the past to show ethnic inclusiveness yet, those Hutu faces didn’t share the Tutsi power holders vision. Whether you like it or not Tutsi’s RPF had a vision; in the same talking TPLF/EPRDF have a vision.

    Hutu faces of the regime had their own way and Tutsi leaders in RPF had their own vision therefore, they ended up in a stalemate. Kagame was unwilling to accept corruption and wanted to take Rwanda to a better path. What happened after was a lot of resignations and many Hutu officials ended up running into exile.

    Now how an ethnic minority of Tutsi rule over the majority Hutu became the issue of the day. Well RPF victory was a military conquest so it became a non issue.

    The moral of the story is the answer for such issue in not just putting other Ethiopians in power & end up with Rwanda like em-passe [Meles may have learned from that] but as TPLF/EPRDF came to power by military conquest as well, Meles was in a position to ask first if individuals are developmental state junkies for a job? HD was one and that why he got the job instead of you. :-)

    In my understanding Meles’s criteria for a job is for one to follow the developmental state vision. In the mean time the loyal “horses that brought him to power” remain. The way I see it, as you and friends continue to be little Meles’s disciples HD and others, you will continue to prolong the life of those “corrupt” loyalists to stay in power.

  16. avagula gula
    | #16

    Yes, today, everything and anything that is available above and below the lands that the fascist woyanae took from Ethiopians via invasion is owned, run, and controlled by these the same descendants of banda, the askaris.

    This new year and the following years are the years where the enemy, fascist woyanae would be buried in the same grave where the dead robber, zenawi is buried; it could be one by one or collectively that the enemy is perished and burry.

    Yes, the fate of the remaining the living-dead robbers is the same as the fate of the already dead robber, Zeawi. Upon the complete removal the enemy, fascist woyanae, there will be new order in our country; the order includes the appearance of the criminals before the people’s court; of course, death shall not exempt the dead robber, zenawi from standing trial. As per the rest of askaris, the robbers, all shall be received punishment tantamount to the weird crimes that they committed.

  17. Zelalem
    | #17

    Hi, you all

    The rest of Ethiopians probably are willing to admit our faults if proven wrong. However, when it comes with TPLF supporters it is a different matter. Thy don’t reason and think as individuals. That is the crux of the matter. They use group think to remain in power. That is why they think & speak, similarly just as we all breath the same air.It appears this is the only way they can conveniently escape reality at least for now.

    As far as Dawi, he is probably T.H.

  18. enkika
    | #18

    Hope for all. Now Ethiopians have been most preparing for all consequences and eventualities that may happen while, or, and after the entire removal of the lethal dictators from power and, who illegally and brutally ruled millions under the barrel of the gun. Everyday is a renewal day, we shall say it and speak of our power in unison, we shall retake our country from clutch of the enemy’s jaw, we shall kill the enemy and let it be died horribly, we shall our struggle winning over the dictators, and we shall stand on the podium victorious while witnessing the enemy crawling on its knees towards its eternal death.

  19. Tango
    | #19

    I do not support boycotting Ethiopian Airlines it seems ,ETHIOPIA KEGNA GAR TEKIDEM KALEGNA TEWEDEM.

  20. jayjj
    | #20

    Remember all. Right now, at this moment, Hiwhat-Woyane is committing atrocities all over Ethiopia. It is only Ethiopians who can stop this enemy of the all from its reckless criminal activities and finish off its poisonous life forever.

  21. Alemu
    | #21

    I completely agree with the Jayjj’s statement that ‘Hiwhat wayne is committing atrocities all over Ethiopia every day. With this in mind, the Ethiopian people are frustrated with the way weyane is running the country. The people are openly stating that they are tired of the rampant incompetence within the weyane bureaucracy. The grievance of the citizens make it clear that no one knows why things are the way they are being run in the country. The local officials are unable to do any simple thing the people are asking for. Check this answer and question session between the people and the government officials.


  22. Ewunetu
    | #22

    Regrettably, I am least surprised to read such ill motived scribbles from some of our die hard diaspora. Well what a new year wish for a people and a country they swear they love. What a patroitism. Pls stop preaching water and drinking wine. What amuses me is that how bankrupt these fellows are in their thoutghts.How come they cannot see and hear the miracles happening in Ethiopia which are the fruits of hard work of our people and government. If they do not trust the government, why not trust WB, IMF, USA, EU, Un ….You can boycott anything but it won’t make any difference. Because you are such a small self marginalized and isolated ones. Do not think that all others doing business with Ethiopia are as irrational as ill motived as you are. They are working because they have interest and there is mutual benefit. Pls try to understand why people do business. It is not a charity work. Your stay in USA could not mould and shape your outlooks. Ethiopia’s march to reach great heights of democracy and development will not be hindered by the likes of Yilma. If you have nothing good to do to your country of origin, then please don’t do it.

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