"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, 12 July 2013

Chairman of the Blue Party delivers a speech in Addis Ababa

Eng. Yilkal Getnet, Chairman of the Blue Party delivers a speech July 10, 2013
Eng. Yilkal Getnet, Chairman of the Blue Party delivers a speech at the annual “Partners group” meeting in Addis Ababa American embassy compound, the meeting was organized by the U.S Embassy in Addis Ababa. Diplomats from more than 35 countries attended this year “Partners group” meeting.
Thank you Ambassador Booth for inviting me to speak here today. I am honored to be here at the U.S. Embassy.

I also want to thank all of the distinguished diplomats who are here for this meeting. I appreciate the opportunity to be here with you.
Let me say that it is a distinct honor and a special privilege for me to come before you on behalf of the Blue Party of Ethiopia to introduce our Party and share our values goals and objectives.

The People Have Spoken… “We cannot be bought”

Ethiopian Sport Federation cultural Festival July 2013July 11, 2013

by Meron Ahadu*
I got back yesterday to my hometown Los Angeles after spending an amazing 4 days and having a blast with thousands of my people at the 30th anniversary  of Ethiopian Sport Federation cultural Festival.  This year’s theme was “Celebrating Ethiopian women” and what a celebration it was.
I have to set the record straight right from the beginning.  For almost 10 years I have been a very vocal critic of Ethiopian Sport Federation (ESFNA). I was relentless in my attack of ESFNA.  The reasons for my criticisms were the organization’s lack of accountability and transparency, the organization’s complete disregard and insensitivity to the needs of the community that supports it.  Their dependence on millionaires to finance their yearly soccer tournament etc. etc. the list goes on.

Ethiopian Heritage Society Honors Fighters for Liberty, Free Press, and Religious Tolerance

Honorees of the Third Annual Ethiopian Heritage FestivalJuly 11, 2013

Press Release – July 11, 2013

Honorees of the Third Annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival, July 26-28, 2013

For the third year, the Ethiopian Heritage Society in North America has selected people who deserve recognition for their heart-felt fight for liberty, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. Their honor will be extolled at the Third Annual Ethiopian Heritage Festival to be held in Washington, D.C.
The honored individuals and groups are:
Abune Petros – Contribution to the Advancement of Humanity
Abune Petros became a martyr on the 29th of July, 1936, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, during the struggle against Italian colonialism. The bishop led a crusade against the invading army’s terror and sophisticated killing machinery. He refused to quit and exhorted his

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Ethiopia Intelligence, Security Services Powers Extended

July 4, 2013

The Ethiopian government has announced plans to transform the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) into an autonomous federal government office.
This is expected to strengthen its ability to act on national security issues and ensure it can respond to issues today and in the future.
The National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) was established in 1994/95 as the Security, Immigration and Nationality Affairs Authority. Its name was changed to the NISS in 2006/07.
On Tuesday, the plan to re-establish the NISS was presented to the House of People’s Representatives.
Three reasons were given: To strengthen the NISS to allow it to protect and defend the sovereignty of the country, the constitution and constitutional order; to determine the power, duties and accountability of the NISS to promote peace, development, democracy and good governance; and build a modern and strong NISS, loyal and resilient to the constitution and constitutional order of Ethiopia and conscious of national and international interests 
The aim of the NISS is to protect national security by providing quality intelligence and reliable security services. Under the plans presented, it is accountable to the Prime Minister.
The proclamation preventing the establishment of other intelligence and security institutions has given other powers to the NISS.

Monday, 8 July 2013

Obama came and saw but did he conquer Africa?

Obama came and saw but did he conquer Africa?\July 8, 2013

by Alemayehu G. Mariam
(This week my regular Monday commentary is presented for the second time in the form of a “flash drama” on Obama (a sub-genre of theatrical play sometimes described as a “ten minute one-act play”).  The first “act” of this “flash drama” was presented in my June 23 commentary, “Obama is Coming! Obama is Coming to Africa!!

The scene in the second act is a neighborhood tearoom somewhere in Africa. The two young African college friends two weeks later have a chance meeting. Their conversation shifts from the critical health condition of President Nelson Mandela to President Obama’s departure from Africa after he completed his “Africa Visit”.  (I have opted to use “flash drama” to add creative range to my commentaries and expand my reach to the younger generation of Ethiopians and other African youth. The names of the characters have special meaning.) 
Act II:

Sunday, 7 July 2013

The Role of Development Aid in fuelling Corruption and Undermining Governance By Prof. Seid Hassan

The Role of Development Aid in fuelling Corruption and Undermining Governance By Prof. Seid Hassan
Seid Hassan- Murray State University-USA
My own research as well as the research of othe
r scholars show that the control of donor resources allowed the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), not only to consolidate political power that it seized in 1991, but also virtually penetrate the Ethiopian society at the grassroots level and expand its repressive and predatory tentacles.
This paper also makes use of my ongoing studies regarding corruption in Ethiopia. The concluding part of the paper ties the corruptive practices of the TPLF/EPRDF when it was a liberation front (that is, the humanitarian aid-corruption nexus) with its current and similar activities (that is, the capture and misuse of development aid.) The paper exclusively focuses on the development aid -corruption nexus.
The paper uses theme-based cases (heavily donor-funded projects) in order to illustrate the captured nature of development aid and extent of corruption in the country. The theme-based cases used as examples of capture include corruption within the so-called Productive Safety Net Programs, privatization of state owned enterprises,

Dawit Kebede: From Hero to Zero

U.S. Ambassador Donald Booth told Dawit Kebede a "secret"July 5, 2013

by Selam Tesfay
When Dawit Kebede received a CPJ award, as a ‘hero’ of press freedom in 2010, Ethiopians in the Diaspora fired fireworks. So many people were proud of him. His story was compelling. Unfortunately, it didn’t take Dawit too long to ruin his good records unleash a self-destructive war that has harmed himself more than anyone else.
Dawit was one of the journalists who were locked up after the 2005 election turmoil. He was then editor and publisher of a little known paper called Hadar. Then he was released along with Kinijit leaders in late 2007. Unlike other journalists, such as Eskinder Nega and Sisay Agena, he was able to secured an operating license and launched Awramba Times. His courage was admired. The paper became popular even among the Diaspora as he distributed the soft copy online. This was indeed very commendable that made Dawit a darling among Ethiopians all over the world. But today Dawit Kebede has chosen to play a destructive role, much like Aigaforum that leaves no stone unturned to divide activists and dissidents opposed to the Tigryan dictators in power.
Coming to America

Amnesty International in Canada launched petition campaign to the release of Eskinder Nega

Amnesty International for the release of Eskinder Nega

July 6, 2013

Eskinder Nega: Journalist unjustly jailed in Ethiopia

Please add your name to Amnesty International’s petition to the Ethiopian authorities to release Eskinder Nega immediately.

Eskinder’s story

Eskinder Nega is an Ethiopian journalist and human rights activist.
Eskinder has been subjected to outrageous injustices. He was sentenced to 18 years in jail for writing articles calling for freedom of expression and an end to torture in Ethiopia.
Sadly, this is not the first time that Eskinder has been jailed for his activism. Eskinder and his wife, Serkalem, a newspaper publisher, were previously jailed for speaking out against the government in 2005 and released in 2007 after continued campaigning by Amnesty International.

Egyptians, manipulated to revolt?

Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood came genuinely from EgyptiansJuly 4, 2013

by Kiflu Hussain
If the detest for Mohamed Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood came genuinely from Egyptians, I would welcome it since I detest ideologies constructed around ethnicity and religiosity.

However, I simply can’t buy the economy as an excuse to sack Morsi.Even angels can’t sort out a shambolic economy botched up by a half century military dictatorship within a decade let alone in a year. Of course, I heard the narrative that Egyptians got irritated with Morsi because he was busy propagating his Islamic ideology within Egypt and beyond instead of focusing on the economy that creates jobs and put food on the table.