April 13th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

(This is an article I wrote on April 4 2007. I have amended it to reflect the current situation )

Enkuwan Le Berhane Tensayewu Adderesachu!” (Happy Easter)

How the word “Easter” came into being has its own history. Eastern is also known as “Passover” (Fassika in Amharic).

Fassika is a holiday that commemorates the day the Israelites were freed from the bondage of Egypt. For more than 400 years they were oppressed and afflicted by Egyptians. It is with the leadership of Moses and the Power of the Almighty God that they got their freedom.

Ten plagues were sent by God on Pharaoh and the Egyptians. In the last plague the angel of death came into the land of Egypt and killed the entire first born of each household except those who put a stain of blood on their door. Those with blood on their door were passed over. Hence the word “Passover” or “Fassika”.

Since then, for generations, the Israelites kept celebrating “Fassika” every year. It was during such celebration, two thousand years ago, that our Lord Jesus Christ laid down his life for all humanity on the cross.

Therefore we are celebrating two precious holidays at one time: The freedom of the people of God from bondage of Egypt and the victory of our Lord Jesus Christ over death. (His resurrection)

As we celebrate Fassika and Tensae let not the holidays be only rituals. Let us explore the meaning of “Fassika” and “Tensae” in our life.


Fassika is a historic illustration of the wrath of God against injustice. For Fassika to happen Moses, Joshua, Miriam, Aaron and many more brave and god-fearing Israelites were needed. God does not want to give freedom without the involvement of men. One of the attributes of the Almighty God is that He works in us and with us.

I believe Ethiopia has a new “Moses” – Birtukan Mideksa. She is currently and unjustly incarcerated in Kaliti Prison. She is guided by spiritual values and believes Ethiopia’s problems are spiritual ones (hate racism, selfishness, bitterness, despair…) that can be solved only by spiritual solutions (Love, unity, peace, tolerance, dialogue, non-violence…). She believes in Peaceful struggle and the power of the people, and is showing us the way of peace by sacrificing her life and leading by example. She is not only talking the talk but she is also walking the walk.

Dr Golto Aila eloquently expressed the courage and bravery of Birtukan Mideksa and asked “where everybody else is” this way:

“This is a young mother, who put her life on the line for Ethiopia, after experiencing the insults hurled at innocent Ethiopians by a lawless regime, while she was a judge. She fought along side men (who have since abandoned her) for justice and freedom in her country and landed in jail for nearly two years! After coming out, and following the destruction of her party abroad, she returned home, picked up the pieces and re-built a formidable instrument for democracy in Ethiopia! Sensing the danger, the power in Ethiopia (he meant the EPRDF), grabbed her from the street and hurled her back into a hole they call prison for no apparent reason! My question is – Where is the Ethiopia for which this lady has offered herself to be humiliated and tortured? In our culture, we are known to fight and die for our women and our children. Women and children die in Ethiopia more than most places on this planet, on the watch of a dictator whose single purpose in life appears to be the destruction of our Motherland and our people!”

I believe Ethiopians need to be proud of this “Aung San Suu Kyi” of Ethiopia. They need to thank God for He has given them such outstanding and visionary leader. I believe God has already started the journey of freedom in Ethiopia. The fact Ethiopia has Birtukan Mideksa, is by itself a sign of God’s touch.

As we celebrate Fassika, let us remember that the freedom we need to get is not necessarily from dictatorial and ethnocentric policies of the EPRDF. What we need is to be free from ourselves, for we are our also our own enemies.

If we clean up our mess and come together as one force, and if we take off the clothes of fear, forcing dictators to respect the will of the people would have been a cakewalk. We were not able to guarantee the rule of law and the respect of human right, and establish a democratic system in our land, not because dictators are strong. It is because we are divided and imprisoned by FEAR.

It is time to get our deliverance from our own bondage. Making fun dictators and cursing them day and night is not solution. It is time to declare “FASSIKA” in our life, in our thinking and in our strategies. It is time to be free from FEAR, DIVISION, HATE, and BITTERNESS AND RIGIDITY.


As we celebrate “Tensae” let us also remember what happened to our Lord Jesus Christ at the Calgary. Our Lord Jesus understands pain and suffering for He has seen it himself.

There used to be thousands following him when he was doing miracles. However, on that Friday of Seqlet (crucifixion) no one was by him. Jesus understands the feeling of being betrayed and being accused with false and fabricated charges. He preached the message of love and peace. He preached the good news that leads people to eternal life. However, He was accused of “treason” and “Inciting violence” against Cesar.

Aren’t these accusations familiar, these days in Ethiopia? Isn’t Birtukan Mideksa being accused of inciting violence when she launched a peaceful and non-violent struggle? Isn’t she jailed, shamefully accused of treason, when in fact she stood for justice and called for all Ethiopians to come together and build a United, prosperous and democratic Ethiopia?

Yes, there was a Friday. On that Friday there were storms and heavy rains. There were thunders and everybody was crying. All followers of our Lord Jesus were desperate and scattered all over the places. They were all frightened. They thought our Lord Jesus, with all his power, would deliver them from the Romans. They were expecting big phenomena. Unfortunately, to their surprises, the Lord Jesus was taken away from them. He was crucified on the cross. He died .

Similarly, after the May 2005 election, many thought peace and democracy would be established in Ethiopia for always. When the CUD leaders were released after an 18 month mediation efforts by elders, many thought the regime would undo its mistakes and clear up the path of democracy again. Many thought Ethiopia would not be drained downward towards self destruction and blood would no longer be shed like sacrificial lamb. Many thought the law would rule and citizens’ right would be respected. Many thought there would be a new beginning.

Unfortunately what we see in Ethiopia is not what was hoped for. What was seen is a revolutionary democracy that is based on the “us versus them” politics. What was seen is the constitution being grossly defied by authorities. What were seen are complete disregard of humanity and the rule of law. What was seen is a 78 years father being beaten up by animalistic security forces. What was seen is a bright, visionary, patriotic woman being dragged down like a serial killer by 10 officers to the notorious prison and locked up in solitary confinement in a two meter by two meter cell, and treated worse than murderders and rapists. What was seen is a politics of lies and arrogance.

Yes today it is “Friday” in Ethiopia. Today the light is not seen. Today only thunders and bad news are heard and only see storms and images of dead civilians are seen. Yes, today it is Friday.

However, I have good news. As our Lord Jesus has risen from the dead, there will be resurrection of Ethiopia. There will be “Tensae” of Ethiopia. All the discouraging events that are seen now are temporary. God has remembered Ethiopia. The great and courageous, selfless leader, Birtukan Mideksa will be released. Sunday, the day of freedom, happiness and a new beginning will surely come.

It is not time to give room for despair. Let there be hope and let the focus be on the struggle in a united front. Let all be in their own term the second and third Birtukan Mideksas. If all do their part with all diligence and courage, Sunday will come very soon.

The current leaders of EPRDF have been repeatedly asked to come to their senses and do the right thing. They have been asked to open the door for peace and reconciliation. Unfortunately, so far they have chosen to rule with arrogance and empty pride.

Let us send a clear message to the dictators of Arat Kilo and their cadres that there are millions of Birtukan Mideksas. Let the world hears that Ethiopians will not let the destiny of their country be determined by none other than themselves.

Are you ready? Would you want to be one of the millions? Please come forth and say:” NO” to silence.

Birtukan Mideksa understands very well that it is Friday today. She knew it was Friday two years ago. However, in faith, she saw Sunday ahead of us and took herself into the future. “Sunlight has come to Ethiopia. Darkness is no more” she said.

Yes indeed, Sunday is coming. Yes indeed, Darkness is no more!

May you have a Happy Tensae!

  1. Giffiti
    | #1

    What is it about us that we cannot have our own hero’s that we have to at all times use references of others. Mandela – of south Africa, and now Aung San Suu of Burma. Why can’t Birtukan be an Ethiopian Hero based on her achievements and not compared to.

    To the Author, never make someone so Holy and righteous, that when she no longer can sustain the image the fall down would bbe herendous. Please let us stay with in reason of the people that we idiolize. Birtukane has a long way to really prove herself and what she is all about, but I wish her all the best.

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    I was also kind of intrigued by this nonesense. Mandela,etc. It is that Ethiopians have not learned to respect their own culture. Or perhaps have all sense of self-respect. @Giffiti

  3. ትእግስት
    | #3

    Ethiopians are really too superficial. Mandella is nothing compared to Tewedros. Clinton or Obama now are noniety compared to our leaders in the past. In terms of dedication and heroism, ethiopia’s youth shines the most in the world. I mean we have so many heros and heroines in our history – a history made by blood and steel. Empress Taitu from our
    women and Emperor Menelik from our men are the heroineand hero who saved the world from european savagery. Time that we take our own heros and heroines as examples.

    Birtukan should be released and it is a joke on humanity and on any law. Birtukan can even reject the fake pardon given to her( she has a right to). Knjit was the victim and Zenawi gave the orders to shoot. Zenawi and co. may buy time by cheating and deceiving the world that Birtukan and the other Knijit leaders were trying to take power by unconstutional means. But the fact is Knijit was not armed and they were protesting
    against the rigged elections and they should. Nothing justifies the execution of innocent civilians. The ethiopian people once again have written history with their blood. Ethiopia will rise again. We should honour our fallen heros and heroines.

  4. Yelekal Egzeabher
    | #4

    Please lets’s try to think twice before we write any thing and lets’s not mixe up religion with politics.

  5. ዳዉድ
    | #5

    ብርቱካንን ልቀቁልን
    እስዋ የመሰለ መሪ ለማግኘት ምን ያህል አመታትይፈጃል? ይህንን ለትግራይ ልጆች እተወዋለሁ::
    ኦሮሚያ ነጻ ትሆናለች::

  6. Eden Haile
    | #6

    Meles Zenawi has his own calculations and purposes in putting w/t Birtukan under arrest. The moderate and compromising political lines
    she and her party follows are essential to the future survival of Meles Zenawi and his thugs. We should not forget that Meles Zenawi has British and western advisors who are training him to play the political games well with the opposition. Thus, Meles Zenawi is promoting and popularizing Birtukan and her party as part of the game to secure his future. For example the UDJP will settle for reconciliation and not press for genocide or war crimes trials against Meles Zenawi. Meles Zenawi and his thugs have ammassed enormous ill-gotten wealth and one way of securing their future is through having a strong loyal party like the UDJP:

  7. Jungle Boy
    | #7

    Oh yeah, what a big crime to praise a woman suffering in solitary confinement for taking a stand that you, me, and everybody else should have taken a long time ago. Yes, relativity is in everything we do and experience. For Mandela came to symbolize the endurance to brutality and a triumph thereafter, comparing those who show extraordinary bravery to Mandela is only appropriate. Birtukan is a unique case in our history. My respect for her began not just today but when she showed the courage to refuse to make her court room a Kangaroo courtroom for woyanes. This is an outstanding example of pure integrity. I believe, given the opportunity, she will install a working democracy in Ethiopia. I am grateful to see such a leader in my life time, because I was about to give up.But right now, I call on all Ethiopians to rise up and let her be free.

  8. Mulu Waqjira
    | #8

    The ethnic supremacist Meles Zenawi will continue to arrest and kill all who threaten his power in the country. There are many thousands of political prisoners especially Oromos in the prisons of Meles Zenawi.
    The west know all about his crimes and are decided to support him. Meles Zenawi has begun his atrocities with the Amharas and is now arresting and killing the Oromos. The Oromos are now leading the resistance against the regime and other Ethiopians should join them. As an Oromo Ethiopian, W/T Birtukan symbolizes the peaceful Oromo spirit of resistance and values of freedom and justice.

  9. Taglo
    | #9

    First of all I would like to give my great appreciation to the writer.
    As he put the many facts about Ethiopia`s political game and the very
    essential meanses to do. The tangeble problems and how to solve them.
    He has tried to show/teach many of us not only direct politically but
    also with spiritual historical facts. A very talented man in every
    direction. A true leadership/management basement is religion no matter
    the Bible or the Quran. Let God help Birtukan Mideqssa to be freed
    from prison and enjoy with her baby for Easter Celabration as a
    mother. Let freedom come to Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

  10. tewbel
    | #10

    How deos he author know if Birtukan will bew released ?

    Beside the long lithany about Fassika.

  11. Ethiopia
    | #11

    hough I wish her all the best, it is surprising me when people are worshiping Britucan as she is the first political prisnor or the first truthful person in Ethiopian potical history.
    Calm down guys…Struggle to change the system and to make all political prinsors not just her. All poltical prisiors are worthed of freedom, family, love….

    It is irrtating to see people worship one woman….

  12. Baheru Denberu
    | #12

    W/T Birtukan is paying a lot of sacrifice for democracy, freedom and justice. She is sacrificing for all of us and we should take up the fight for her liberty and safety. Each day she spends and suffers in the harsh jails of the racist weyannes is painful and we can not afford her absence from the just struggle for the redemption of our country. The weyanne leader Meles Zenawi is an ethno-fascist who is ready and willing to commit any atrocity to keep his power. Ethiopians should act and depose him to secure the release of the heroine, W/T Birtukan Mideksa and thousands of others suffering in the inhumanely prisons of the ethno-fascists. This is the serious issue for all Ethiopians and should not be left to the UDJP alone. The final solution to the continuing heinous crimes Meles Zenawi is committing lies in getting rid of him. As an ethno-fascist, Meles Zenawi is a destructive and anti-Ethiopian element who should be removed from our country at any cost and by any means possible.
    Release the democratic heroine W/T Birtukan and all other prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia.

    | #13

    Birtukan is our Hero. Long live Birtukans. down with tplf.

  14. Tiblets
    | #14

    long live birtuke!
    f**k off woyane!

  15. አስመላሽ
    | #15

    ለ “ትእግስት ” እነዚያ ከላይ የዘረዘርሻቸው በሙሉ ተደምረው የመለስን (አንድ መቶኛ)ልሆኑ አይችሉም :: በሙሉ ሌቦች : ገዳዮች : ግራ የገባቸው ልቅምቃሚዎች ናቸው :: ሽፍቶችን እንደንጉስ የሚናመልክበት ዘመን በአባቶቻችን ጊዜ አልፎአል :: እነሱ በተለያየ ጊዜያት ባይነሱ ኖሮ ኢትዮጵያ የአገር ጭራ ሆና አትቀርም ነበር :: ማፈሪያዎችሽ እነ ቴዎድሮስ:ሚኒልክ :ጣይቱ ተፈሪ …ወዘተ ኢትዮጵያን የገደሉና የሰው ደም ከእጃቸው ላይ የሚጮህ ነፍሰ-ገዳዮች ናቸው :: እዚያው “ሲኦል” ስትሄጂ ታገኛቸዋለሽና እዚያው አምልኪያቸው :: እኛ አንፈልጋቸውም ::

  16. BAD BOY me
    | #16

    Yes she is a Hero !!! I Blame Ethiopian`s who live in Sweden Doing
    not much for the freedom of Birtukan, because the question and answer
    was held in stockholm. Shame on you, you all ” Ye Madbet ” politicians
    in stockholm.
    Birtukan will be free one day and be the first ethiopia Women Leader
    Keep up lady !! God bless you and our country

    BAD BOY ( Ethiopians Music Club ) paltalk

  17. ይህን-በለው
    | #17

    አስመላሽ :
    ለ “ትእግስት ” እነዚያ ከላይ የዘረዘርሻቸው በሙሉ ተደምረው የመለስን (አንድ መቶኛ)ልሆኑ አይችሉም :: በሙሉ ሌቦች : ገዳዮች : ግራ የገባቸው ልቅምቃሚዎች ናቸው :: ሽፍቶችን እንደንጉስ የሚናመልክበት ዘመን በአባቶቻችን ጊዜ አልፎአል :: እነሱ በተለያየ ጊዜያት ባይነሱ ኖሮ ኢትዮጵያ የአገር ጭራ ሆና አትቀርም ነበር :: ማፈሪያዎችሽ እነ ቴዎድሮስ:ሚኒልክ :ጣይቱ ተፈሪ …ወዘተ ኢትዮጵያን የገደሉና የሰው ደም ከእጃቸው ላይ የሚጮህ ነፍሰ-ገዳዮች ናቸው :: እዚያው “ሲኦል” ስትሄጂ ታገኛቸዋለሽና እዚያው አምልኪያቸው :: እኛ አንፈልጋቸውም ::

    “ምን አስመላሽ ብቻ አስታወክ(አቀረሽህ)ደደብ” የወጣህ ከደደቢት ፋንዲያሀን ትለቅማለህ
    አንዱ ቤት ተረግዘህ ሌላው ቤት አድገህ ወይ ባህል ወይ ወኔ የሌለህ በታሪክ መች ታምናለህ
    እንደ አንተ አራሙቻ ሴት ጸሐፊ ተቺ የመንደር አምታቺ እበላ ባይ ውዳቂ ነህ
    ቦታ የለንም ለጥራጊ ወይ ተመለስ አለዚያ ትጠረጋለህ በረት ነው ቦታህ :: ከምስጋና ጋር !

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