Birtukan is dearly missed by true supporters in the larger prison. – By Robele Ababya

January 23rd, 2009 Print Print Email Email

I start with this quotation by Winston Churchill: “Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry”

Costly consequence of parochialism


I start with this quotation by Winston Churchill: “Dictators ride to and fro upon tigers which they dare not dismount. And the tigers are getting hungry”

Costly consequence of parochialism

The old adage that “A stitch in time saves nine” is evident in the atrocities unleashed and perpetrated unchecked by the TPLF regime ever since it invaded Addis Ababa in May 1991. The dismemberment of Ethiopia at the behest of traitor Meles denied our country access to its natural sea frontier; it was the first bad omen of impending betrayals and repressions. There is no need to enumerate the well-documented ignominious crimes the regime has inflicted on the human rights of the Ethiopian people and their vital national interests. Suffice it to say that the incalculable damage to our dignity, human capital, and natural resources took place under our watch. Narrow interests of opposition forces are to blame for the failure to unite, organize and act in the defense of the wider and crucial interests of Ethiopia. We failed to take corrective action at the first mutilation of our Motherland; giveaway of Ethiopian land continued because we failed to stand up at the first instance in unison with legitimate justification to raise arms. We gave the TPLF regime time to ride roughshod on our interests. There are now so many stitches to do at exorbitant cost. Undeniably, the consequence of parochial views of the elites got us into the abyss of political upheaval in which we find ourselves today.

Prisoner of conscience once again

Judge Birtukan is back again in the infamous Kaliti dungeon. The TPLF regime has gone too far this time in playing the divide-and-rule game; it has once again demonstrated its subversive character of betraying everything that is precious to Ethiopia. This time it is nipping democracy in the bud so that Stalinism can take a firm root in our Motherland. Meles is doing so in a desperate effort to extend his hold on power. He is desperate because the quest for freedom and democracy is unstoppable in our global village. He now knows that his attempt to drive a wedge between Tigreans and the rest of their fellow Ethiopians is as good as dead. So he took Birtukan as a hostage on the lame excuse that she broke the terms of her so-called ‘pardon’. But the Ethiopian people are not going to be fooled for they know well that it was Meles who stole the election of 15 May 2005 who should have gone to jail instead of the victors of that election. He is now the illegitimate absolute ruler of Ethiopia, thanks to the support of George Bush and Tony Blair. Meles now holds complete control over all pillars of democracy in Ethiopia and arbitrarily shuns accountability for shortcomings in his government. Any excuse is good for him to throw a charismatic opposition leader like Birtukan to jail. As Aesop put it, “Any excuse will serve a tyrant”.

The rascals in the brutal TPLF regime calculated on humiliating Judge Birtukan to avert the rising tide of popular resolve to see the triumph of justice over tyranny; the supremacy of the rule of law over dictatorship; the superiority of unity in diversity of a larger whole over ethnic-based mini-states that are vulnerable to subjugation; The iron lady stood her ground and adamantly refused to recant her statement. Her principle infuriated her jailers.

In spite of the atrocious record of the Meles regime, there are individuals who regardless of the bare truth told by Birtukan are vilifying her by posting unsubstantiated articles on some subservient websites in order to please their masters in the TPLF higher echelon. Judge Birtukan told the truth which we all knew. We also know that Meles mutilated Ethiopia, oversaw genocide being committed by forces under his direct command, and declared state of emergency in order to steal election, secretly ceded land to the Sudan as we all know. Yet, Meles holds power illegitimately and Judge Birtukan is in jail for the second time as prisoner of conscience. This is a conspicuous case of injustice deserving categorical condemnation by democratic forces in our global village.

Symbol of liberty to women and the young generation

This young and dynamic lady, Judge Birtukan, encapsulates the aspirations of her generation; the pursuit of members of her gender for unbiased equality of opportunity; the desire of young Ethiopians to create a peaceful and stable environment characterized by prosperity and justice for all; the sacrifice of our forebears in the defence of the independence of our ancient Motherland, Ethiopia. So, it is incumbent upon all Ethiopians irrespective of their gender or ethnic origin to rise to the occasion in unison to defend fundamental human rights so grossly and contemptuously abused in their homeland by TPLF.

The gallantry of Ethiopian women in the battle field and their acumen as leaders at the helm of government is well recorded in our ancient history. Women took the guns of their fallen husbands and engaged the ruthless enemy soldiers in the battle field during the Italian Fascist invasion. Unfortunately, men allocated a lion’s portion of political positions and lucrative jobs to themselves. This was before the emergence of nascent political parties. For the first time so recent in our history a political party in the names of UDJP emerged on our home soil with a charismatic young lady as its President. She stole the hearts of millions and garnered their trust and support. That was why I congratulated the women of Ethiopia in one of my previous articles entitled “Amen to UDJP” written in support of its formation. Oh! Women of Ethiopia stand up and fight for your rights in this world of young generations craving for equality, peace and prosperity. Work relentlessly for the immediate and unconditional release of Birtukan.

Lesson from Presidential Inauguration

Two episodes struck me in particular while I was watching the awe-inspiring event of President Obama’s Inauguration with my eyes glued on my TV. One is the opening prayer by the conservative Pastor and the other is the benediction by a Reverend. The former in effect underlined that the one and only one singular glue that binds together the diverse cultures and racial mix of the American people is their common quest for liberty (my emphasis). The latter prayed for end to violence and war for the sake of the young generation who want peace; he said that tanks must be converted to ploughshares. The message of these two men of God is no doubt pertinent to our troubled Ethiopia where its rulers officially perpetuate ethnic conflict; squander meager resources on the military; and are quick to silence dissent by all means at their disposal.

The glamorous Inaugural occasion in a vast sea of humanity, the orderly and civil manner with which it was conducted, the enthusiasm of the mammoth crowd reflecting the diverse and complex make up of the American society was simply amazing. Above all the smooth and cordial transition of power was a remarkable example to emulate. The incoming President accompanied the outgoing President to his helicopter and the two parted with a hug. I hope Meles saw it too.

The Inaugural occasion reminded me of the more than two and half million mammoth crowed that inundated the streets and squares of Addis Ababa in a commendably peaceful demonstration of support to Kinijit. It further reminded me of the more than 25 million Ethiopians who dealt a humiliating defeat to the TPLF by casting their votes at the historic election of 15 May 2005. That was our moment of pride where we showed to the rest of the world that Ethiopians were mature, cultured and ready for democratic change.

I have always said that Ethiopia can be a strong and reliable friend of the western world, especially the USA where millions of Ethiopians reside. This is to give a hint to the Obama Administration to reverse the policy of its predecessor which was supporting the Meles regime known for its grave violation of human rights including terrorizing its own citizens.

Doing it on our own

There is a ray of hope that the world will change as the USA takes the reign of moral leadership once again as promised by President Obama in his inaugural address. Lack of moral leadership, I contend, on the part of George Bush and Tony Blair was the reason the Ethiopian people lost their hard earned victory in the history election of 15 May 2005.

Nonetheless, no earthly power can give us liberty, freedom, and democracy on a silver platter. We Ethiopians must claim these God-given rights and pay the ultimate sacrifice to secure them. Tyranny endures in our homeland thriving on our lack of united resolve to uproot it. We Ethiopians must stand up in unison to vanquish dictatorial rule. We have legitimate right as well as moral obligation to do so.

Questions to those in the larger prison

The last time Judge Birtukan was locked up in the infamous prison, she kept our hopes alive by her famous “Letter from Kalti”. I wonder what she is now doing and thinking in her congested cell. Does she know that millions of her supporters in the larger prison, Ethiopia, dearly miss her disarming smile, dignity, charisma, courage and intelligence that she had decided to sacrifice for freedom? Does she know of the outpouring support and demand for her immediate and unconditional release by the international community?

Money cannot buy any of these priceless attributes of Judge Birtukan; she resolutely and generously decided to sacrifice them for the freedom of her fellow citizens who have suffered incalculable loss in the nearly two decades that the TPLF regime has been in power.

The question is what the rest of us, her supporters, are doing to effectively reciprocate to her sacrifice. What are we going to do to comfort her in her congested prison cruelly separated from her three-year old daughter and elderly mother?


  1. wedi tigray
    | #1

    weyane only understand gun. That is the only way we will change government.

    VIDEO: Tigray Fighters (TPDM) put out of action 294 Woyane Soldiers
    We support our troops fighting weyane meles, seya, and adawa gangs.
    we are ethiopian. We are against weyane agazzzi ethnic based government
    victory to our people

  2. hager
    | #2



    ISN’T it their OBLIGATION to serve the NATION?


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