UDJP European Tour kicked-off to a good start in London – Andnet Party
The first leg of European tour of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party, led by the charismatic leader W/t Birtukan Midekssa , started in London at a public meeting held in Acton Town Hall on November 9, 2008. (more…)
The first leg of European tour of Unity for Democracy and Justice Party, led by the charismatic leader W/t Birtukan Midekssa , started in London at a public meeting held in Acton Town Hall on November 9, 2008.
Ethiopians in London keen to meet the charismatic party leader and hear from the leaders what UDJ stands for, its objectives and aspirations and why it needs to be taken as credible opposition in Ethiopia; gave a warm reception to W/t Bitukan Midekssa and her team mate Ato Aaku Girgre.
Ato Abebe Tolessa, Chairman of the support organisation opened the meeting with a minute silence to pay tribute to those who lost their life, thrown to concentration camps, left their home to never come back, lost their livelihood, and left their country and loved ones to save their life. Ato Abebe Tollessa referring to the significance of the recent election of Barak Obama as the President elect of the United States of America which sparks new hopes for democratic governance in Ethiopia, he called up on the pubic gathered in the hall to renew their commitments to bring political change in their country too.
|W/t Bitukan Midekssa gave a moving speech on the personal and organisational responsibility owed by her and the party to promote the dreams of Kinijit and lift the freedom flag carried by those who paid different forms of scarifies in different to see free Ethiopia.|
|Ato Aklu Girgre, Executive Committee member and Head of Planning and Strategy of the UDJ, gave a detailed presentation on the values and mission of the party and its short and long-term objectives along with requirements of the task of building the organisation as a formidable alternative opposition in Ethiopia. He emphasised the role of Ethiopians mainly living outside their home country in supporting the Party financially and in political and diplomatic spheres.|
Following the presentations by the delegation there were a lively discussion on what UDJ stands for and the possibility that it could operate as an effective party where the political space has narrowed more than ever and the repressive regime of Meles Zenawi is intent to introduce bills at a whim to slam the windows on the basics conditions for a meaningful political opposition.
Question and comments forwarded from attendants at the meeting and more than 450 punters in the Current Affairs Discussion Forum Room include:
• Why did UDJ chose to engage in a peaceful and legal political opposition in a country where the government does not respect its own constitution?
• How does UDJ deal with the law prohibiting financial support to a party from supporters living outside Ethiopia?
• What has the party done to make the repressive regime of Meles Zenawi accountable in the face of a catalogue of gross violations of human rights and sell Ethiopian land and interests for temporary political benefit?
• What kind of help will you be asking European state governments and the Union, who are major players in political and economic life in Ethiopia? and
• It is immensely uplifting to see, after the disappointing division within kinjit last year, the birth of a viable political opposition, which inherited the values and aspirations of kinijit and is led by the young and charismatic W/t Birtukan Midekssa.
The delegation members replied to the above question by emphasising that they believe that there is a window, which allows peaceful political struggle in Ethiopia, which has not been attempted to date in any robust fashion. They also underlined the record of this young party to date in exposing the ugly face of the regime in power and urged to respect rights of citizens. In their meetings with European states and the EU the delegates will be pressing for them to highlight the erosion rights of citizens and opening the political space will be in its interest too.
They also explained that it is the objective of this mission to lay down the basis for the formation of a strong and effective Europe wide UDJ support organisation.
In conclusion; the assembly re-affirmed its commitment for the cause of freedom and democracy in Ethiopia and in light of the worsening political situation and the attendants vowed to sharpen their resolve against the repressive regime of Meles Zenawi extensively engaged in handing over Ethiopian territory for a political favour and using famine as a political instrument.
The delegates will be travelling to Brussels on 10/11/2008 for a meeting with the European Commission and the European Parliament.