Andinet celebrated one year anniversary of the party formation
The first anniversary of the founding of the Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJ) was celebrated on 21 of June 2009 at the premises of the Party. Guests of honor included His Excellency Dr. Negasso Gidada former President of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia, His Excellency Ato Seye Abraha former Minster of Defense of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Ato Hadi Mohammed President of the Democratic Movement of Ethiopia Party, Ato Tilahun Endeshaw Representative of the Southern Peoples’ Democratic Movement. In attendance were the Members of the Executive and the Council of the UDJ and the members of the Party and other invited guests. Woizero Almaz Gebre Egziabher, and Hale Mideksa, Bertukan’s mother and daughter respectively, also attended the ceremony for a brief period as Sunday is visiting day for relatives of the prisoners.
The celebration started on Thursday on 18 June 2009 with photo exhibition at the headquarters’ of the Party where photos of different activities, including the public demonstration held to demand the release of the detained Chairperson of the Party Ms.Birtukan Mideksa, the symposium held to sensitize the public of the illegality of our Chairperson incarceration , the various visits made by the different members of the Executive to the different parts of the country to open new Party Offices and strengthen the existing ones and several other activities were on display. No less than a hundred photos were displayed.
Then on Sunday the program started with the Party Song by the youth of the Party followed be a welcoming remark by Dr. Hail Araya Vice Chairperson for Public Relations of the UDJ. This was followed by exhaustive annual report of the activities of the Party by Engineer Gizachew Shifferaw who discussed the various activities undertaken by the Party including the very many diplomatic efforts to secure the Party’s Chairperson Birtukan’s release from imprisonment, the public demonstrations, the press statements given by the Party to make the Ethiopian people aware of the illegality of the Birtukan’s incarceration. Engineer Gizachew said that the Party has left no stone unturned to secure the release of our Chairperson and promised that the Party will do everything within its power to secure the freedom of the Chairperson of the Party. Engineer Gizachew then went on to discuss the activities of the Party at the Medrek and pointed out that the minimum program of Medrek has now been completed and given to each Party for consideration. Some preliminary attempts and telephone contacts have been made to forge some relationships with other opposition Parties. Engineer Gizachew outlined the various harassments suffered by Party Representatives in the different Parts of the country including imprisonment, dismissal from work, closure of businesses and Party Offices and attempts to ostracize Our Party members and activists. Engineer Gizachew mentioned the relentless activities and supports given to the UDJ by Ethiopians residing abroad especially those in Europe, Canada and the United States and thanked them for all round support they have been rendering to the Party.
At the beginning of his report Engineer Gizachew regretted the split within Kinijit for which he apologized on behalf of the members of the UDJ who were members and leadership of the Kinijit before its demise.
Several poems exalting our Chairperson and pointing out the teachers activities of the ruling party were read followed by cutting the birthdays cake of our Party by Dr. Hailu Araya.
The closing remark was delivered by Dr. Yacob Haile-Mariam Vice Chairperson for Foreign Affairs who gave legal analysis of the illegality of Birtukan’s incarceration and demanded her unconditional release. Dr.Yacob outlined the brewing hatred that is developing among the people which is the result of the wrong policy of the ruling party and warned that such hatreds could escalate to something disastrous. As someone who has witnessed first hand the terrible consequences of ethic hatred in Rwanda he warned that such a sentiments should be nipped in the bud by all Ethiopians before it is too late. He then challenged the EPRDF for all round discussions on the basis of equality between the parties including the ruling party, but such discussions, he demanded should be preceded by the release of the UDJ Chairperson Birtukan Mideksa.
The ceremony was attended by about several hundred people from all walks of life and from several parts of the country. At the end of the ceremony several copies of Semonaye and Tsenat were sold to the attendants.