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

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Ethiopian government quietly disintegrating: Indian Ocean Newsletter

Ethiopian government quietly disintegrating: Indian Ocean NewsletterThe general election looming ahead in 2015 is already casting a shadow over the Ethiopian government, whose sole uniting bond would seem to be its praise for the memory of its late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
His portraits are on all the walls in Addis Ababa, which was not the case when he was alive, and in the Federal Assembly a video projector plays his speeches with the aim of inspiring the new MPs. And yet, since Meles Zenawi died in August 2012, the federal government has been rudderless, lacking a descendent.
His successor as Prime Minister, Haile Mariam Desalegn, has neither the grip nor the political clout and has not managed to impose himself on the other political leaders. He frequently has to be content with merely dealing with everyday business.

Monday, 12 May 2014

Of Elections and Diapers in Ethiopia in 2015

Ethiopia Vote 2015Alemayehu G Mariam-

Whether the people of Ethiopia are better off in 2014 than they were in 2010 or in 2005 is the sole question that should be decided in the 2015 parliamentary “election”. If they are not, the people should vote to change diapers. After all, “politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.” Aarrgh! the thought of poor Ethiopia wearing the same diapers for another 5 years, for a total of 25 years! 
In June 2010, I wrote a commentary lamenting the ludicrous 99.6 percent “electoral victory” of the “EPDRF” (“Ethiopian People’s Democratic Revolutionary Front”) , the late Meles Zenawi’s party. In a self-congratulatory victory speech, Meles declared that preposterous election “recognized the efforts of the EPRDF and unequivocally sent a clear message to the opposition parties in our country.” He was referring to the 79 officially registered opposition political “parties” in Ethiopia which were unable to muster even one-half percent collectively in 2010.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Breaking News: Abebe Gellaw interrupted Obama and Obama agrees with Ethiopia’s call for freedom

Journalist and activist Abebe Gellaw interrupted president ObamaMay 9, 2014

San Jose, California–U.S. President Barack Obama has agreed with journalist Abebe Gellaw’s demand to support freedom in Ethiopia and help free bloggers, journalists and political prisoners jailed by the tyrannical regime.

While Obama was wrapping up his speech last night at a glitzy Democratic National Committee reception in San Jose’s Fairmont Hotel, journalist and activist Abebe Gellaw interrupted the president and called support for freedom in Ethiopia. The event jointly hosted by Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and and Y Combinator CEO Sam Altman was mainly attended by Silicon Valley business and political leaders.
Abebe began his message with a positive note. “Mr. Obama, we Ethiopians love you. We demand freedom for Ethiopia,” he said.