"The thing that lies at the foundation of positive change, the way I see it, is service to a fellow human being." - Lech Walesa

Friday, 1 March 2013

A well-known German foundation pissed off, decamps from Ethiopia

By William Davison

Of the many outreach programs run here by Germany’s Heinrich Böll Foundation, one caused special alarm for an official new Ethiopian agency that is starting to block and restrict the promotion of civil society ideas.

The Böll program, “SurVivArt: Art for the Right to a Good Life,” dealt with notions of healthy, intelligent, and successful living, and illustrated differing concepts of home, food, and choice consumer goods – all done through sculpture and video arts.

To a Western-oriented eye, it seemed harmless.

But officials at the “Charities and Societies Agency” fairly flipped when they saw a word implying “rights” in the program title.

"'Why has this got right in it?' they asked," remembers Patrick Berg, the foundation's former Ethiopia director, who just returned to Germany after deciding that the agency and its zealous application of a restrictive new law made meaningful work impossible.

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The Woyanne junta engineered the selection of another fake patriarch

It is reported today that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church elected a new patriarch named Abune Mathias. Such election is illegal because the Church has a legitimate patriarch, the 4th Patriarch of Ethiopia, Abune Merkorios. According to the Church's long-standing rule, a new patriarch cannot be elected while the incumbent patriarch is still alive. The election of Abune Mathias was engineered by the ruling TPLF junta and it is as invalid as the election of late Aba Gebremedhin, the gun-totting Woyanne cadre who died right after his boss Meles Zenawi died in July. The real Ethiopian Orthodox Christians do not accept Abune Mathias as their patriarch. He is an agent of the TPLF junta, not a religious leader.

(AFP) -- The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has elected a new patriarch to replace the previous head who died in August, officials said Thursday.

"Abune Matthias... arch-bishop of Jerusalem (for the Ethiopian church) was elected with a majority," said Daniel Sefermikael, a church official.

He said Matthias got about 500 out of 806 votes cast by members of the church living in Ethiopia and elsewhere.

Ethiopia is among 47 countries that are not free – (Freedom House’s annual report for 2013)

Ethiochange.blogspot.com, February 28th, 2013

Freedom House released its annual report titled “Freedom in the World 2013.” In the report, Ethiopia is included in a list of 47 countries in the world that are identified as not free. Not surprisingly, it is in these 47 countries that poverty run rampant. Therefore, the only way we can lift Ethiopia out of poverty is by getting rid of the brutal dictatorship that is making it impossible for the people of Ethiopia to live and work in their own country freely and in peace. Click here to read the report.

Thursday, 28 February 2013

London Debretsion Church and the Ethiopians

by Yilma Bekele
Watch the YouTube video before reading this article.
London Debretsion Church and the Ethiopians
This is Debretsion Ethiopian Orthodox Church in London England. The picture seems to have been taken on a cold winter day. It is such a beautiful church. Doesn’t it look so serene and peaceful? I am sure it is that most of the time. But according to this video it was nothing but serene a few weeks back. The best way to express the twenty one minute video is it felt like was watching a scene where the mental patients have taken over the asylum.
I agree it is totally depressing to see all classic Ethiopian behavior on display in a controlled environment. The location being a church gives it that special quality of raising the bar to show how low we have sunk. Such a brawl in some obscure hall, how ugly it is, normally is not worth a mention. I guess we get so consumed with the righteousness of our cause that we toss out all civilized behavior out of the window regardless of the place or the time.
The video is not intended to be a work of art. It is not fiction that jumped out of some ones imagination. This play does not have a director, a producer or a lead actor. This video is real unrehearsed presentation of Ethiopians and their social interaction. The setting adds to the drama of the moment. We thank the individual who had the patience to record reality in that hallow ground.


by Msmaku Asrat
March 1st 1896 is the 117th anniversary of the Battle of Adwa.
March 1st 1896 is the 117th anniversary of the Battle of Adwa. The decisive victory at Adwa is a tale to be told every year on this day of its commemoration because it worms the heart and lifts the spirit of every black person in the world. Few places evoke stronger memories than places of triumphant victory or places of devastating defeat. Napoleon Bonaparte achieved his greatest fame at the battle of Austerlitz (now in Czech Republic) in 1805 where he decisively defeated the combined armies of the kings of Europe.  Few defeats are as well registered as the defeat (by then Emperor) Napoleon, at the battle of Waterloo (now in Belgium, near Brussels) ten years later in 1815, where the Emperor after his army was defeated declared “flee those who can” and fled from the battlefield on horseback. Adwa, a dusty little village in Tigre, was put on the map of the world by the mighty and valiant Emperor Menelik who decidedly defeated the Italian army there by a brilliant strategy not unlike that of Napoleon at the battle of Austerlitz. So by that singular victory at ADWA ,

Monday, 25 February 2013

Ethiopia: Another False Prophet from the North?

Abune Samuel of Tigray, still the main TPLF candidate as the 6th patriarch?

The Horn Times opinion 23 February 2013

by Getahune Bekele, South Africa

Is it Abune Matias or Abune Samuel?

“The church is Noah’s ark and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood overwhelms all…”
(The Cappadocia fathers, 376 AD)
One of the first Christian nations with more than 60 references in the bible, a refined and purified church made up of
Abune Samuel of Tigray, still the main 
TPLF candidate as the 6th patriarch?
people united to their priest and the flock that cleaves to its shepherd; with unique theology, traditions and customs in the land of Prester John- Ethiopia, where priestly dignity transcends  royal or political powers.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido church is no ordinary church but those which the apostles themselves established and governed from the ancient imperial city of Alexandria.

Ethiopia: Suppressing Protest during Electoral Crises

Georgetown University

School of Foreign Service

Tuesday, February 26, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:30pm
Mortara Building Mortara Center Conference Room

Suppressing Protest during Electoral Crises: The Geographic Logic of Mass Arrests in Ethiopia
by Leonardo Arriola, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, UC Berkeley

How do authoritarian governments respond to the threat of opposition protest after disputed election results? Governments often use coercion to suppress protests that threaten the political status quo, but it remains unclear whether they seek to maximize the impact of repression by imposing sanctions indiscriminately, stoking general terror to induce acquiescence, or by targeting sanctions against those most likely to mobilize against the regime in power. This paper contributes to the study of electoral authoritarianism by showing how governments use the urban geography of their capitals to target repression during electoral crises. The argument is illustrated with evidence from the Ethiopian government’s response to opposition protests in the national capital after disputed election results in 2005. Based on an analysis of nearly 15,000 protest-related arrests, the paper shows that the Ethiopian government pursued a strategy of geographic targeting, preemptively detaining young men mainly residing near the executive office, in order to forestall further anti-regime mobilization. Distance from the executive office alone is shown to explain nearly a third of the variation in neighborhood arrest rates, while factors such as protest history, the intensity of protest, the location of opposition leader arrests, and the location of police stations are found to have no impact on neighborhood arrest rates.

Ethiopia: The Prototype African Police State

The sights and sounds of an African police state
by Alemayehu G. Mariam
The sights and sounds of an African police state
When Erin Burnett of CNN visited Ethiopia in July 2012, she came face-to-face with the ugly face of an African police state:
We saw what an African police state looked like when I was in Ethiopia last month… At the airport, it took an hour to clear customs – not because of lines, but because of checks and questioning. Officials tried multiple times to take us to government cars so they’d know where we went. They only relented after forcing us to leave hundreds of thousands of dollars of TV gear in the airport…
Last week, reporter Solomon Kifle of the Voice of America (VOA-Amharic) heard the terrifying voice of an  African police state from thousands of miles away.  The veteran reporter was investigating widespread allegations of targeted night time warrantless searches of homes belonging to Ethiopian Muslims in the capital Addis Ababa. Solomon interviewed victims  who effectively alleged home invasion robberies by “federal police” who illegally searched their homes and took away cash, gold jewelry, cell phones, laptops, religious books and other items of personal property.