Ethiopia: Copyrights and CopyCrimes


Alemayehu G. Mariam

Crimes Against the Mind

If a person were to {www:maliciously} burn or {www:vandalize} another’s house, it would be regarded as a serious property crime under the laws of any nation. If one were to walk into a bookstore and steal thousands of books and give them away to any passerby, that would also be a major property crime. How about taking a copyrighted book, scanning it and making it available to anyone in digital form online? Is that a serious criminal act? Is it also an immoral and depraved act?

Is it fair?

When a publisher, author or artist produces a book, a piece of music, a painting or other similar work, s/he is creating intellectual property which is as valuable as any other kind of property recognized by law. Just as doctors, lawyers, engineers and others make a living by practicing their professions, those in the literary, artistic and publishing communities make their living from marketing their intellectual creations. But the total disrespect and contempt shown by some individuals to the intellectual property rights of Ethiopian musicians, artists and authors is downright sickening and maddening.

Today, the music of the legendary Ethiopian artists, including Tilahun Gessesse, Mahmoud Ahmed, Bizunesh Bekele, Alemayehu Eshete, Kiros Alemayehu, Kassa Tessema, Ketema Makonnen, Asnaketch Worku, Mary Armede, Hirut Bekele, Ali Birra, Aster Aweke, Kuku Sebsebie, Muluken Melesse, Teodros “Teddy Afro” Kassahun, Shambel Belayneh and so many others, are illegally and casually stored online and made freely available. The artists receive no payments and their work is distributed without their permission and often to the financial benefit (selling ads on websites, subscriptions, etc.) of the music pirates. The individuals who store  the music illegally and those who download them illegally work together to not only impoverish these great artists but also destroy their creative potential and ability to enrich the culture.

Crimes Against the Press

This contemptible culture of online piracy passed another shameful milestone recently when an entire book was scanned and posted on the internet in clear violation of international and national copyright laws. The book in question was the recently published memoir of former Ethiopian junta leader Mengistu Hailemariam. The website that scanned and posted the book online justified its action as follows:

Mass murderer and brutal dictator Mengsitu Haile Mariam (exiled in Harare, Zimbabwe) has written a 500+ pages book that has been published by Tsehai Publisher of Los Angeles. This mass murderer has not yet atoned or paid for his horrendous crimes and the mass killings of the Red Terror. He now hopes to benefit from the sale of his book of lies. We strongly feel that this criminal should be tried before a court of law and should be hindered from benefitting from his crime. Thus, we have published the book in PDF and we are posting it for free usage of all interested readers.

The website operators defended their illegal copying and posting by claiming that they had a right to do so under American law:

Our action is protected by Son of Sam Law in the USA which prohibits criminals from profiting from their crimes by selling their stories to publishers. Accessories to such actions are also included in the prohibition and in certain cases the law can be extended beyond the criminal to include friends, neighbors and family members of the lawbreaker. Denying the holocaust is a crime in many countries and Mengistu denies firmly the Red Terror and the mass murders. Concerned Ethiopians are studying the possibility of a law suit against Mengistu and his LA based publisher who may also be a target of boycott by all Ethiopians. Assisting and helping mass murderers to profit from their crimes by publishing their book of lies is a crime by itself.

The illegal posting is allegedly motivated by the desire to prevent Mengistu from getting a “benefit from the sale of his book”, despite the fact that posting the digital copy of the book will give wider dissemination of  what they described as a “book of lies”. Ironically, by posting the book online for all to read, the copyright infringers more likely gave great credibility to Mengistu’s claims about them than actually discrediting him. But the real target of the vengeance is the publisher, Tsehai Publishers, and not Mengistu. The copyright violators’ twisted message is simple: If they do not like the message of an author, they will retaliate by scanning and posting the author’s book online and bankrupt the publisher.

One can disagree deeply with Mengistu and the facts or lies contained in his memoir. Having read the book, I am critical of the accuracy and selective recollection of many of his “facts”; and disagree with his attempt to avoid personal and regime accountability for his gross violations of human rights. But that is the way of all dictators. They always try to tell their stories in heroic terms and attempt to justify their crimes as patriotic acts.

Although I disagree with Mengistu on numerous “facts” and unreservedly condemn his human rights record, I will be the first one to stand up and defend his right to write a book and publish it, even if it is all lies. To be sure, I defend Mengistu’s right to express himself just as vigorously as I defended the free speech rights of his successor Meles Zenawi when he spoke at Columbia University in September 2010. Why shouldn’t these two dictators be allowed to express themselves? Who is afraid of their “facts”, “lies”, ideas or opinions?  Don’t the people have the right to hear these dictators and make their own judgment?

Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides: “Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.” “Everyone” includes dictators and human rights violators. It is the moral duty of those of us who are committed to freedom, democracy and human rights to expose the lies, fabrications and brutality of dictators at every opportunity. By suppressing the views of the dictators, we not only undermine our own moral legitimacy against their lies but also prove to the world that we are indeed their clones. “If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all.”

Those who posted Mengistu’s book online are absolutely wrong on the law. The so-called “Son of Sam Law” they tout as authority for posting the book online was adopted in the State of New York in 1983 to prevent convicted criminals from selling their stories to publishers and profiting from the notoriety of their crimes. That law was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1991. New York adopted a narrowly tailored law in 2001 requiring, among other things, victim notification whenever  a person convicted of a crime receives a certain amount of money. A similar law in California was struck down by that state’s highest court in 2002. Under federal law (18 U.S.C. § 3681 (2000) [Special Forfeiture of Collateral Profits of Crime]), the U.S. attorney may seek a federal court order authorizing “forfeiture of all or any part of proceeds from a contract relating to a depiction of such crime in a movie, book, newspaper, magazine, radio or television production…” There is no law in the United States that gives private parties the right to become “Special Prosecutors” to catch “mass murderers” who “profit from their crimes by publishing their book of lies” online, or violate the copyright of publishers in the name of preventing “mass murderers” from profiting. As a matter of law, no state or federal court has personal jurisdiction over Mengistu to deprive him of  any “profits” he may get from the sale of the book. Even if such jurisdiction could be had, Mengistu would still be entitled to full due process of law before any court orders denial of proceeds from the sale of his book. Yes, dictators are also entitled to full due process before they are deprived of life, liberty and property.

Crimes Against Copyright Laws

The illegal posting of Mengistu’s memoir is not about lies, truths or criminals profiting from their crimes. It is about criminal infringement of copyrights. Since 1886, the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works “Berne Convention”, see Art. 2) has been in place to protect literary and artistic works. Under 17 U.S.C. §506 (a )(1 )(B), “Any person who willfully infringes a copyright shall be punished as provided under section 2319 of title 18, if the infringement was committed… (B) by the reproduction or distribution, including by electronic means, during any 180–day period, of 1 or more copies or phonorecords of 1 or more copyrighted works, which have a total retail value of more than $1,000.”

The whole idea in copyright law is to give the creator of an original work exclusive intellectual property rights  for a specified amount of time, which in the U.S. is the lifetime of the author plus 70 years.  During this period, the owner of a copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce, distribute, perform, display, license, and prepare derivative works based on the copyrighted work. Under the “fair use” rule, others may make limited use of the material for critical reviews of a work or for news reporting, teaching, scholarship, or research.

Crimes Against Culture

I suspect there may be some who are not familiar with Tsehai Publishers and the young man who has toiled so hard for so many years to create a publishing outlet to Ethiopian, African and other academics dedicated to scholarship on Ethiopia and the continent in general. Elias Wondimu started Tsehai Publishers in 1998. His aim was to create an institution that will “provide a venue for writers whose works may otherwise go unpublished.” Through these efforts, Elias hopes to achieve our goals of fostering intercultural dialogue and social justice.

Elias has an extraordinary and unrivalled record in seeking to enhance Ethiopian culture. He came to the U.S. in September 1994 to participate in the 12th International Ethiopian Studies Conference held at Michigan State University. Shortly thereafter, he began service as an editor for Ethiopian Review magazine, which appeared in print form until 2000. After closing out the print version of the magazine, he dedicated his time towards the  establishing Tsehai Publishers, which is named in memory of his mother who died in Ethiopia in 1997. Over the past decade, Tsehai publishers, now based at Loyola Marymount University in California, has made available nearly 60 scholarly and literary works on a variety of topics, the vast majority of them concerned with Ethiopian and African affairs. The publications cover the entire political cross-section without partisanship and censorship.

Among the dozens of original scholarship and reprints of some classic works on Ethiopian and African history, politics, anthropology, sociology, economics, religion and culture include: Tradition & Change in Ethiopia (2010), Feudalism and Modernization in Ethiopia (2006), Wit and Wisdom of Ethiopia (1999), Enough with Famines in Ethiopia (2006), The Survival of Ethiopian Independence (2004), A Political History of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (2010), A History of the Beta Israel (Falasha) (2010), Protestant & Catholic Missions in Orthodox Ethiopia (2007), Life and Culture in the Townships of Cape Town (2007), AIDS Orphans and their Grandparents (2006), Wax and Gold (2005), Civil Wars and Revolution in the Sudan (2005), Ethiopia in Wartime (2004).  A complete list is available here.

In 2004, Tsehai Publishers established The International Journal of Ethiopian Studies (IJES), currently available on JSTOR, the international online system for archiving academic journals.  A number of Ethiopian academics and scholars including myself and professors Maimire Mennasemay, Worku Negash and Alula Pankhurst have served as senior editors. IJES is an interdisciplinary, refereed journal which is published twice a year and dedicated to scholarly research relevant to or informed by the Ethiopian experience. IJES publishes articles in English and Amharic. The Journal’s mission statement explains that

IJES will, for the first time, provide Ethiopian scholars with an Ethiopian venue for reflecting seriously on Ethiopian issues from a scholarly perspective… One  of the deepest obstacles to African (including Ethiopian) progress towards democracy and economic prosperity is the peculiar situation of Africans being reduced to an object of knowledge by contemporary social science. The absence of Africans, including Ethiopians, as self-examining, self-evaluating, self-defining, and self-propelling subjects of history [has resulted in our] total dependence on external (European and American) definitions, interpretations, explanations, evaluations of who we are and what our problems and their solutions are.”

Tsehai Publishers has also organized a number of number of national conferences covering a wide range of issues and topics and sponsored a film festival for young filmmakers. The list of Elias’ contributions to the intellectual life of the Ethiopian, African and international communities is significant and much appreciated.

Those of us who take great pride in what Elias has accomplished could be faulted for speaking very highly of him. Perhaps others who have looked at his efforts could offer a more objective assessment. Prof. Wendy Belcher of Princeton University writes:

Elias is doing something unusual and important. There are very few publishers from the African continent, and, in the U.S., there are [only] a handful which are run by Africans and are publishing African texts. For an Ethiopian to have a press is more appropriate than almost any other nationality. They’ve had a written language going back 3,000 years and have long been in the business of printing and preserving the written word. He’s in a long, honorable line.

Such is the contribution of Elias and Tsehai Publishers to the preservation, conservation and glorification of Ethiopian and African history and culture. Those who illegally copied and posted the book are not attacking the author of the book, but Elias and Tsehai Publishers. Their crimes are against the very essence of Ethiopian and African culture and those scholars and authors who spend years researching their works. All Ethiopians and Africans are victims of this cowardly crime.

It is important to know that Elias has brought great honor and pride to all Ethiopians. In 2007, he was named  Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation and the Interreligious and International Federation for  World Peace to help establish lines of dialogue between African scholars, poets, historians, academics,  aesthetes, journalists and scholars. In 2008, he was profiled in the inaugural edition of Who’s Who in Black Los Angeles along with such distinguished individuals as Steve Wonder, Tavis Smiley, Kobe Bryant, Isaiah Washington and Dr. Maulana Karenga. He was also profiled in a special edition of the LA Weekly as one the leading independent presses in Los Angeles. He has been interviewed on the Voice of America, National Public Radio, Deutsche Welle Radio, SBS Australia and other media on various cultural topics.

Let’s Right a CopyWrong: A Special Plea to All Ethiopians and Others Who Value a Free Press

This past week, the U.S. Congress considered two laws aimed at the type of copyright crime committed against Tsehai Publishers. The Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act (“PIPA”) would have allowed the U.S. Attorney General to require domain name registries to “suspend operation of, and lock, the domain name” of a website “dedicated to infringing activity.” The Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) would have expanded the ability of U.S. law enforcement to fight online trafficking in copyrighted intellectual property. While lawmakers wrestle with the issues, we can all do our part to support, protect and preserve a unique and irreplaceable institution in the Ethiopian/African Diaspora. Above all, we should defend the right to press freedom and free speech against not only dictators who shutter newspapers and close down publishing houses but also those who use copyright blackmail and the threat of financial bankruptcy against publishers.

Let us do the right thing!

Those who have downloaded the book in digital or print form aware or unaware of the criminality of the act should delete it permanently from your computers and discard the printed version.

Those who have read the book online should have the courage of their convictions to contact Tsehai Publishers  pay what is justly due at the link here.

Most importantly, we all need to show moral outrage by speaking out against such copyright criminality and moral courage by doing our part to support Tsehai Publishers for it is a treasure we cannot afford to lose.

Let us make our donations in any amount we can by pressing on this link.

On a personal note, I ask those who have followed my weekly commentaries and essays over the past six years to help me help Tsehai Publishers. I believe in Tsehai Publishers and fully support the efforts of Elias Wondimu and his associates who have toiled for years to make a gift of light (Tsehai) to all of us. It is a simple choice we face: We can do nothing and let darkness overwhelm our history, culture and future. Or we can do something and keep the sun shining brightly on Ethiopia, Africa and beyond!

Would you please help me help Tsehai Publishers?  Please donate by pressing here.  Any amount will do. THANKS….

Previous commentaries by the author are available at: www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/ and http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/


24 thoughts on “Ethiopia: Copyrights and CopyCrimes

  1. Adane on

    Thank you Professor for explaining to us the rights and duties of Tsehai publishers, Mengistu, and those persons that put Mengistu’s work online. Thank you also for defending Tsehai publishers.

    I have some questions for EPRP: what is the difference between your action and the action of Bereket Simon or “Woyane,”that uses various methods to suppress expression which they do not like? After what you have done regarding Mengistu’s book, do you think you will have a moral authority to criticize “Woyane” regarding freedom of expression? Was or is this (suppressing freedom of expression) your vision for Ethiopia?

    The real aim of EPRP seems to discourage Tsehai publishers from publishing the remaining volume 2 and 3 of Mengistu’s work by sabotaging its financial incentives. This is immoral. This is a crime against the interest of the Ethiopian people. I think concerned parties should rise in unison to overcome this sabotage.

    There are always two sides to every story or issue. Mengistu is telling us his side. Instead of trying to suppress his effort, EPRP should rather tell us its side. I believe Tsehai publisher will make their side of the story see the light of the day. And the readers will judge who is telling the truth.

    I have another question. This one is for Professor Alemayehu: does Tsehai publishers have the right to go after the website on which Mengistu’s work is posted?

  2. Thanks to the people who distributed Mengistu Hailemariam’s book, and for shifting the attention of the losser Diaspora politicians to a copy right law. If they know, they are telling us to respect law which the government of Ethiopia is also telling us day in and day out.

  3. Kassa on

    EPRP thrives, like an evil being, on destruction rather than construction. It operates on darkness rather than day light.

    This force of evil hates America. But its leaders live in the US. This force of destruction hates property. But it owns gas stations in the US. This force of darkness wants to abrogate the civil and political rights of Ethiopians, like freedom of speech and expression. But its members avail themselves of the civil and political rights of the West.

    I think this is a great opportunity to give a final blow to this hypocrite party. A legal fund should be constituted to give the kiss of death to it. Democracy in Ethiopia will not be established and consolidated unless we get rid of this force of evil once and for all.

  4. Anteneh on

    The hands of both Mengistu and Eyasu are drenched with the blood of so many innocent Ethiopians. But if Eyasu writes a book I will read it to find out his state of mind when he led teenage boys and girls to assassinate any one who was thought to be collaborating with the Derg. Red Terror was a backlash from EPRP’s bloody assassination campaign against the Derg and MEISON that claimed the lives of so many innocent Ethiopians, not just Derg officials.

  5. Asegid on

    It is time that EPRP account for their past and ongoing crime against Ethiopia and Ethiopians for the last fourty years.

    It is a continuation and latest manifestation of EPRP’s destructive, arbitrary, anarchist, adventurist and despicable role for anything Ethiopian. It is also a tribute to EPRP’s leadership and lumpen killer squad who are equally responsible as Colonel Mengistu for the crime against Ethiopians and primarily for the killings of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians youth and elites on the streets of urban centers in Ethiopia.

    It is about time that the EPRP leadership account for the crimes they also commited and the continuation of their criminal behaviour. Needless to say they have continued in the divisive politics of the opposition to the Woyane rule. It should also be noted that most former EPRP cadres are currently colluding with TPLF/Woyane in the looting of the wealth and resources of Ethiopia. So we should help Tsehai Publisher to file complaint in the courts against the EPRP leaderships for this unlawful act.

  6. Banda Geday on

    Prof. U got flat wrong. As they say BeSew QuiSil … u are arguing in vain with no substance at all. For example I lost 2 older brothers at mengistu’s hand with no formal court appearance sadley u never say a word in defence of them but u are eager to defend the murderer and a publisher his solely motive is to make a profit out of the pain of millions…yigermal

    Mengistue is wanted for deserting at war front leaving behind thousand ethiopian soldegers behind and fled with his families in exile

    Mengistue betryed the country by entering secret agreement through cia intermedery with tplf and shabia and hand over the country to them

    what story is he gona tell us? did mengistu realy know and believe the ethiopian history? His denkoro wife wubyelesh bishaw: where were u when your coward husband murder million of innocent people? wubanchi: u were bringing your relatives and people from your region to be appointed by your murder husband in his government herby to protect him: Now u helped him to write somthing to hide his super crime? Yegermal. Kasa Kebede? what soul? still mengistu call hime “member of workers party? realy. Kasa kebede telling mengistu about wrting a book regarding what? Endaw yasaznal. Tesai publisher: are your motive only publish the true side story of mengistu? really? Good lack..

    for eprp: u have to grow up and try to work with other opposition even as a jounior partener.

    • Anonymous on

      WOW! It seems like you have other issues with Mengistu’s wife than Red terror and losing your brothers. Besides why can’t you see the difference between the person and the book being a reference of what has occered in Ethiopia history??? Regardless you agreed/support the regime it is part of History, which the PUBLISHER helped us capture. PLEASE use you brain once and see the difference. Let us appreciate what is happening in stead of blinding our eyes. I am sure you are living here in US or Canada, take advantage of this opportunity to grow you perception and try to learn somthing positive. Just because ur brothers are killed, your kids won’t have future? Don’t they deserve DECENT book to read about their country????

      • Anonymous on

        “Don’t they deserve DECENT book to read about their country????”

        So now, Mengistu’s book ia a decent book? What a promotion. The former dictator has plenty of time in his hands. He has been advised by his cadres and followers not only to write a book that saves him from prosecution by a future Ethiopian government but he is also painting the revolution as one that is holy and its killers as fighters of socialism who stood firm in the struggle against feudalism, ingnorance and inequality and any crime they committed is supposed to be ignored. In my view, I believe Mengistu has the right to write a book but also those of you who are the supporters, the publisher and every one else need to be aware that these is probably one of the most controversial issue of out time and expect the unexpected, like the dissemination of the book free. Mengistu, his cronies, members of EPRP who committed murder, members of TPLF who committed murder and any one that is involved in the murder of innocent Ethiopian should be harassed. When time permits, should be prosecuted. I feel sorry for Tsehai publishers. Looks like they were lobbied by supporters of Mengistu. Had they said no, probably their name would have been tarnished by the loyalists of Mengistu. Looks like they had no choice. Life some times stinks.

        • Anonymous on

          Few questions for you:
          1. what makes you think “We” are Mengistu’s supporters?
          2. do you really think Mengistu need support?
          3. The book is about what has happend not what is going to happen so what support and promotion are you referring to?
          4. weather me and you agree or disagree the Derg time has passed, so we can’t make any change, so what is the point of bringing up what Mengistu has done?
          5. why you feel sorry for Tsehai Publisher? they have established HUGE amount of recognition and acknowledgement from the higher Publishing Firms and won many awards here in US, feel sorry for us (Ethiopians) who suffer from ignorance and hate!
          6. Rest asure the Publisher (Tsehai Publisher) reputation/name won’t be tarnished by few ignorant, uneducated and moronic people exist in this world by chance.
          7. Don’t fire your last bullet please it is not that bad yet!

          Hope you will learn a thing or two from this!

          Have a blessed day!!!

  7. Yigermal on

    Thank you Profesor Alemayehu for explaining the legal conscience of stealing intellectual right. I don’t like the Colonel my self but I have a choic of not buying the book or buy the book ,read it and be the judge. What I don’t understand is those EPRP tugs who are good for nothing copying and distributing some one’s property. For God,s sake we live in a civilized society, not in the third world country (ETHIOPIA ) for you. I will contribute to help Tsehai publisher Elias, I do have the at most respect for him.By the way Profesor Alemayehu please wright one paragraph in Amharic to those criminals so that they understand what you are talking about.

  8. Hassen on

    The legacy of EPRP is no different from Colonel Mengistu. EPRP is equally responsible for the killings of hundreds and thousands of Ethiopians that includes students, teachers and elites. The likes of Eyasu Alemayehu of EPRP are responsible for what the country finds itself in – the TPLF/Woyane tyranny. The likes of Bereket Simon & Addisu Legesse are currently organizing former EPRP cadres to help the continuation of the Woyane dictatorial rule over Ethiopia. The leaders of EPRP were and continue to be obssesed with power by any means – including outlaw actions such as the unlawful acts of Copyright!

  9. Ittu Aba Farda on

    Obo Al Mariam:

    I am glad to see that you are also in league with me about the right of the public to buy and read any book that is published with full provisions of copyrights. That dictator whose hands are drenched with the blood of thousands of innocents individuals also retains the same right to write about any subject he likes as long he is alive and if his writings are not intended to incite terrorism. For one reason or another he has escaped justice and he may not have his day in court at all. His victims and their surviving loved ones may not see him face judges for the crimes he committed at all either. That said, he is free to say anything he wants and can write books as he pleases. In this case, I think the publisher made one critical mistake(Innocent mistake). He should forewarn the public a year or two in advance that a book is in the offing written by the former dictator himself. And he should have been prepared for such vile action as copyrights infringement. In this internet age, nothing is off-limits to these offensive miscreants. If the publisher has any affinity with this ruthless dictator, that is also his inalienable right to do so. But I am not sure about that and it does not matter to me at all. The publisher should set the price not on a get-rich-quick scheme but at the price which sell the book fast with lower profit margin. I assume the book is a two-color print except may be the cover on a low opacity uncoated paper. I just saw it on Tsehai website it looks to have a hard cover. But the price it selling for is too high when it sells the much more valuable and scholarly book as International Journal of Ethiopian Studies for $25.00. That price range opens itself wide open for pirating. It should also try to diversify its catalog by including more books written by Ethiopian authors present and past. That said, this publisher should come out and say something about this book in lights of this piracy and tell us if he needs any assistance. From I am reading on its website, this ‘literacy terrorist’ is trying to convince families of the victims of Mengistu to go to court. The publisher should be prepared for that also. We are living in a sue-happy environment and litigation ‘gendarmes’. I am willing and ready to help but I want to hear it from the publisher himself.

  10. Silly Kebede on

    There is a trace substance of ingenuity in EPRP’s latest ressurction from the dead. It is similar in cleverness to those who demonstrated with Cindy Sheehan at George W. Bush’s ranch several X-Mases ago. Because EPRP and its current leader stepped on the wrong shoe, they are getting slapped by who’s who of scholarly class with no chance of winning against some of the big names in defense of free speech. EPRP has always been a loser. First, it was (probably) created by and certainly ran by Shabians, it then got bludgoned by counter-terror from Derque and Kebele. Woeyane, too, has had the better of EPRP, routing it and cutting its limbs in a territory unfamilar to EPRP. Central to EPRP dark background: the faces (too many) and numbers (generation lost) of those killed during the Dergue: they were the best of their generation; it is evident therefore that Shabia was indeed behind EPRP’s ill-fated inception and demise. EPRP must have been listening to Bob Dylan’s The Times They Are A-Changin’ tune where the lyric goes:

    Come writers and critics
    Who prophesize with your pen
    And keep your eyes wide
    The chance won’t come again
    And don’t speak too soon
    For the wheel’s still in spin
    And there’s no tellin’ who
    That it’s namin’
    For the loser now
    Will be later to win

    For the times they are a-changin’.

  11. Stoned Peter on

    I really think this must be the last chance of EPRP we have to say to EPRP it is enough now. It was EPRP that brought our problem for the last 40 years it brought TPLF, OLF, Shabia, Meison etc. They started the so called white terror and then Derg followed with red terror. I personally know a friend who lost his father by EPRP assassins or killers one morning in front of his house the man was killed while going to work this man left a young wife with a small boy and the mother had struggled to raise a small fatherless child. I have also heard few years ago a very sad story I was told by one person from part of Gonder the story was how a farmer woman was killed by 2 EPRP members. This woman was a wife of a farmer and there were to EPRP members signed for each farmer’s house and two EPRP members were allocated for this farmers house to feed them one day the 2 EPRP members were late in to the night, so the farmer and his wife were unable to eat dinner because those 2 members of EPRP were late so the wife was mad and she said to her husband let us have our dinner, she said then the husband said well let us wait for the two individuals to come he said then the wife said back to her husband this people must know we have to go early to our farm it is a farming season so let us have our dinner, if they come I will boil them chick-peas or Nifiro she said. Then the husband agrees and the couple began to have their dinner with in a few minutes the 2 EPRP members knocked the farmer’s door. Then the farmer opened the door and told the 2 EPRP members to come near and eat dinner with them just they began having dinner and the husband said they thought they were not coming to night, but both EPRP individuals said they do not want Enjera today they said they just need Nifro so asked the wife of the farmer to prepare Nifro and told to boil water with a large pot, and she did as they told her to do and when she tried to add the chick-peas in to the boiling water they told her to wait from adding the chick-peas in to the pot until they told her to do it. Then the two EPRP members lifted the pot full of boiling water from the fire and poured the boiling water over the head of that poor woman and she died in front of her husband. I personally I was not old enough to be a member of any party I was a small child I have also lost by the Derg 3 family members and I do know my family hates the Derg however the Derg killed our parents but EPRP, TPLF and Shabia have killed Ethiopia.

  12. Stoned Peter on

    By the way the 2 EPRP members were hiding behind the farmers house listening or spying the farmer and his wife what the couple would say in there absence as a result they heard who said what.

  13. Stoned Peter on

    I forgot few things so here is Additional information to my previous posting will be the 2 EPRP members knew who said what because they were hiding to spy behind the farmers house to listen what the farmer and his wife would say about them in their absence and heard the wife urging her husband to have their dinner that is why they picked to kill her. People think to have a dinner in your own house can be a reason for life or death your life in EPRP’s communist world.

  14. Banda meles is laughing on

    Weta wetana worede ende shembeko tenkebalele ende mukech! Defending the right to share his views? whose? hitler/mengistu’s? Was it not enough 17 years. Do we realy need to recall the crimes he committed? against the families of every home in Ethiopia? It is just so upsetting especially coming from you. The man I had so much respect for specially for the untiring fights you demonstrated to have our heroine sister, leader Birtukan Mideksa. A business man is a business man, his actions for profits are always at risk. Weather you sell injera or sell books. If the publisher lost Tough luck!! no body buys any marketing product to make the merchant rich. It is for consumption purposes only. Prof. Al.are you defending mengistu’s right? or the loss of the publisher? By your notes it seems you are defending both. I am not a member of EPRP at this time, However, I support their struggle against the banda meles. But in this particular actions they took, I congratulate them for their bold actions. But what makes me uncomfortable is that banda,”chat addicted” blood thirsty meles is laughing; with his no effort he got a free attention shifter on the struggle against him.

    EPRP, On this issue, you have millions of Ethiopian victim broken families by fascist megistu and true anti fascist and humanitarian activists behind you.
    On a last note, Let us see you in ESAT television. What are you up to?

    Professor, You are a lawyer and well informed resourceful person. Ethiopia needs more people like you. WE have so many ethiopian business people who went in business and lost their life savings for wrong business decisions. who felt sorry for them? And what makes this publishing business man any better loser? If doing business with mengistu and fail,qualifys him for a bail out. AH, AH! It makes me puke! pardon for the language.

    Blood sekaram meles if you or your buchilas read these comments in the last few days,don’t be happy this controversy we have is a family hash, hash. You are our main focus and we haven’t lost truck.

    • Anonymous on

      Banda Meles,

      I stongly suggest you use Ameharic, not only what you are saying doesn’t make sense but the english makes it worse. it shows you are against everything existing so hey either ck yourself in to Rehab or stop drinking that Tej!!!
      What do you mean tough luck to the publisher? when is the last time you publish book or evern READ book? Please stay away from this article and leave it to some who have sense!

      Good day!

  15. Anonymous on

    Anonymous,

    Your respond to Banda Melese says this.

    “I stongly suggest you use Ameharic, not only what you are saying doesn’t make sense but the english makes it worse. it shows you are against everything existing so hey either ck yourself in to Rehab or stop drinking that Tej!!!
    What do you mean tough luck to the publisher? when is the last time you publish book or evern READ book? Please stay away from this article and leave it to some who have sense!”

    You are the one whos point make no sense! It is a know fact wicked men,and men of ignoble run to defend their alikes.ITHE CYBER SPACE

  16. Mizan on

    20Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

    21Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!

    22Woe unto them that are mighty to drink wine, and men of strength to mingle strong drink:

    23Which justify the wicked for reward, and take away the righteousness of the righteous from him!

    24Therefore as the fire devoureth the stubble, and the flame consumeth the chaff, so their root shall be as rottenness, and their blossom shall go up as dust: because they have cast away the law of the LORD of hosts, and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

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