My brave sister Serkalem Fasil

By Yilma Bekele

So the saying used to go ‘the sun never sets on the British empire’ that was yesterday. It should be replaced by ‘the sun always shines on Serkalem.’ The Global Forum of Freedom of Expression has honored Serkalem again. (see the video below)

What a deserving recognition of a brave lady in the relentless service of her people for freedom and democracy. We thank the Forum for directing the beam of light on Serkalem to expose the nature of the ethnic junta in power. Serkalem is the symbol of eighty million Ethiopians languishing under the apartheid rule of the minority ethnic based mafia.

Serkalem was jailed because the opposition won the 2005 election. Serkalem and her husband Eskinder used to publish two independent newspapers, Menelik and Satenaw before the general election. Their crime is doing their job ethically and professionally. They wronged the mafia clique because they told the truth. So Meles and our Tigrean cosa nostra group thought they can silence the press by jailing the publishers. Old and tired solution debunked a long time ago. But our peasant warriors are stuck on chapter one. They can not differenciate between their illegal deeds and the story being told. The rational action will be to refrain from illegal act. Unfortunately they would rather punish the messanger hoping the message will not see the light of day.

When will they learn? Unfortunately they are perfectly aware of their actions. They kill, torture, exile and insult because that is what they know best. They are not capable of change. They figure why change something that has worked for forty years. Ato Meles has been practicing his craft since the early 70’s. In his book ‘Democratization and Unity’ one of the founders of TPLF Kahsey Berhe, tells of an incident perfectly revealing the mind-set of Ato Meles and his group. The group suspected one of their friend to be an agent of the Derge whereby without an iota of evidence they went ahead to ‘beat him up and burn him with hot sickles’ till he was dead. The rank and file did not view this act favorably. The new leadership composed of Sebhat Nega, Meles Zenawi, and Abbay Tesehaye solved this dilemma by forming their own secretive security team within the organization. This arrangement of creation of a militia personally responsible to a few in the leadership has become the trademark of Ato Meles and company.

In today’s Ethiopia there is a government within a government. The TPLF clique has its own security force, its own private jail, its own private army and its own private law. Ato Meles is the ‘capo di tutti’ (boss of bosses) of this infamous criminal enterprise masquerading as a party. Why some think that they can reform the mafia is very bewildering. The fact that a few think a bully will relent due to some moral constraint is a wishful thinking that has become very costly to individuals and our country.

The narrow ethnic group in power is relentless in its pursuit of its perceived enemies. It is compounding the problem hourly and daily. It knows no shame. It thinks it is reinventing itself by doing the same thing again and again. So now they drafted a new so called ‘terrorist law’ by the Council of Ministers and submitted it to the ‘House of Representatives’. I know both are oxymoron. One-man rule and a fake council or parliament and unelected representative are contradiction at its best. The word terrorism is so passé no one bothered to inform the cadres. My dear Meles you have traded that currency, it is over. The new key word today is ‘Democracy and transparency’ please make a note.

The new law being drafted is an attempt to codify what the regime has been doing for the last eighteen years. Why they bother to even draft such a law is very strange? They have been killing with impunity, jailing without due process torturing at will so what is the idea of such a law in present day Ethiopia? Guess who is brought out to discuss and explain the nature of the new law. It is no other than our good old friend Shimelis kemal, the mentally challenged and borderline schizophrenic prosecutor of Kinijit.

As a reward for being humiliated in the eyes of the Ethiopian people the junior cadre has been promoted to the mis-communication outfit run by the mentally unstable Berket Semeone. Ato Shimelis and a brand new sidekick named Ermias Legesse are being mentored by Ato Bereket. Lord have mercy! According to duo as reported by the Daily nation ‘most of the core provisions of the draft anti-terrorism law have been drawn from the anti-terror laws of the UK, Canada, Australia, the US, Uganda and South Africa.’ There you have it. They dig deep into the Constitution of these developed countries and all they could come up with is a lesson to fight ‘terrorism’. My dear Shimelis and Ermias next time could you please pay special attention to the Magna Carta and Bill of Rights in those important documents.

There is more. I told you our mafia have no shame. They have a bill pending in their Parliament regarding retirement benefits for the ruling class. Yes retirement benefit, that is what I said. So they own all land, own all property, own all industry and the national bank and they still want lifetime pay from poor Ethiopia. To sweeten the deal they also included the so-called parliament members and ministers too. See what I mean, they are relentless. The word enough is not in TPLF’s vocabulary. The word shame is alien to them. By the way this retirement document is also based on US laws for former head of state. No need to comment on this farce.

So what is with the table through out this article? These are the names of a few of our fellow Ethiopians massacred by Ato Meles’s army on June 8, 2005 in Addis Abeba. Our dear friend Serkalem Facil and opposition leaders, fellow journalists, civic organization leaders and ordinary Ethiopians were jailed by the regime in the aftermath of this government sanctioned killing of its own citizens. Thanks to Judge Wolde Michael Meshesha we have the report of the inquiry commission intact to remind us of the ultimate sacrifice paid by some so the rest of us can continue the struggle for freedom. Ato Meles has been vainly trying to shift responsibility for the massacre on to others. Our leader Judge Bertukan Mideksa is in jail (one hundred sixty two days, nineteen hours, fifty two minutes, as of this writing) because Ato Meles still thinks he can find a scapegoat for his crimes. Ato Meles declared ‘state of emergency’, Ato Meles took control of the military, and Ato Meles gave the order to use bullets on fellow citizens so he can stay in power illegally. No amount of backtracking will change that.

The only thing that can change this state of affairs is the resolve of all Ethiopians to honor the sacrifice paid by our fellow citizens. They have done what they have to do. It is now our turn to do what is right and honorable. It is the responsibility of each one of us to do what is within our power to oppose tyranny, ethnic politics and to say no to TPLF bullies. Freedom is earned. Freedom cannot be outsourced. The U.S, President Obama, the European Union or any other party is not going to bring freedom and democracy to our land. Foreigners can only complement our struggle. It is up to us to show the world that a few cannot defeat the many. It is up to us to stop this dysfunctional behavior of tearing each other down and build on the positive aspect of our glorious history. It is up to us to support those who are working hard to stand up to the ethnic mafias so we can all live free in our own homeland. There are a lot of Ethiopians doing just that. The question is what have you done to contribute positively to enhance the struggle and bring those that killed our people to face up for their crimes?

What can you do? A lot my friend. You have the choice to contribute labor and money to the organization that best fit your philosophy. You can publicize the plight of your people in the many different forums, peaceful marches, candle light vigils held all over the world. You can get involved in letter writing campaigns to your representatives and international organization working on Human Right issues. You can starve the ethnic based regime of foreign currency by boycotting a trip back home. You can refuse to invest in Ethiopia until the mafia clique is removed from power and authority. You can urge the IMF and World Bank not to grant loan to the illegal regime. There are ways.

We congratulate our dear sister Serkalem for a well-deserved recognition by her peers. She makes all of us proud to be an Ethiopian. We remember the victims of June 8, 2005. We will continue the struggle they gave their lives for. Quitting is never an option.

(The writer can be reached at [email protected])