Hundreds of Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans
Stage a Huge Demonstration in front of the White House
By Tsehaye Debalkew
August 06 2010
Hundreds of Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans Stage a Huge Demonstration in front of the White House and the State Department in Washington DC
Tigrai Online-August 06, 2010 - Ethiopians from the entire breadth and width of the United States and as far afield as Canada turned out in droves to declare their unflinching support for the on-going democratization process, economic progress and revitalization and the prevalence of peace in their native country Ethiopia on Thursday August 5,2010.
A record high level of Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans in the Diaspora who traveled from the major cities of America and Canada converged in full bloom in front of the White House and marched in long-lines to the State Department at Pennsylvania Avenue of the Metropolis, chanting pro-democracy, development and peace songs and waving the tri-color Ethiopian flag punctuated by a yellow star comfortably lying on blue background.
In what is a briskly and massive turn-out in the history of the Ethiopian Diaspora, the marching crowd also vehemently condemned the recent terrorist attack in Kampala, Uganda, which targeted innocent civilians, that included over 76 victims among whom were Ethiopian Nationals.
The peaceful demonstrators also carried slogans and placards asserting in no uncertain terms, the right of Ethiopia to peacefully and gainfully utilize the Nile water for the national development and progress underway without adversely affecting countries whose livelihood has been heavily and solely dependent on the Nile water for eternity.
The Ethiopians who were chanting slogans and songs, hoisting the Ethiopian flag called upon the US to continue to be an active partner in Ethiopia's drive to realize democracy, the rule of law, justice, human rights, good governance, peace and development.
The peaceful marchers also hailed the strong bond that is currently prevailing between the US and Ethiopia in their onslaught against international terrorism.
The demonstrators vowed to contribute their share in support of Ethiopia's effort to make poverty, a thing of the past, by further mobilizing their resources, knowledge and networking and by enlisting the support of the people, government and civil society of the host countries. Senior State Department officials met the representatives of the peace marchers and held a lengthy and fruitful discussion.
An Out Of Line Demonstration in Washington DC
I am prompted to write after i read from some social networks about the demonstrations that took place in 05 August 2010 in Washiongton DC. As you might aware, the demonstrations were organized by two opposing groups, pro and against Ethiopia's interests.
However, the demonstration that was organized by Human Rights Activists, their action and the way they demonstrated was out of their line and lacked wisdom and sincerity. To be precise, the burning of the Chinese Flag by the human rights activists to express their agenda was an immorale act. By any yard stick the burning of the Chinese flag by the actvists cannot be justified. Such an opportunistic act made by the so called activists cannot even be welcomed by Americans leave alone by Ethiopians or African brothers.
China is a country that is playing an important role in stablizing the world economy, dedicated in fighting poverty in Africa, although its presence in Africa is given a wrong interpration by some whose interests are affected. Hence, i assume that the burning of the Chinese flag by some extreme human rights activists is unacceptable even by the Tibetan Independence Activists standard.
Whereas, at the other side of the demonstration, it was demonstrated in a descent and sober way to the interest of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. There was no burning nor shredding. It conveyed its message in a peacefull manner: Ethiopia's quest to use the Nile River and its fight against terrorism.
The human rights activists, regardless of the position they promote, they should not drift that much apart from Ethiopia's interest and damage its national interest. Activism for national interest not for self interest.