GTP Consultation Meeting Conducted Successfully in Denver, Colorado
April. 12 2011
A high level Ethiopian delegation conducted a four-hour long successful consultation meeting with Ethiopians and Ethiopian Americans residing in the Denver Metropolitan area on Sunday, April 10, 2011. The delegation was comprised of H.E. Ato Berhan Hailu (Minister of Justice), H.E. Ato Desse Dalike (Minister of Science and Technology), Ato Daniel Assefa (Head of the Finance Bureau of the Tigray National Regional State), and Ato Ababu Dibabu (a representative of the Association of the Ethiopian Diaspora returnees based in Addis Ababa). The consultation meeting was attended by more than 700 people of Ethiopian origin. The organizers of the conference should be congratulated for a wonderful job well done. They were successful in creating conducive atmosphere for the meeting to be held as scheduled despite relentless attempts by few fogey vocal diaspora along with enemies of Ethiopia to disrupt it.
The consultation meeting started at 2:30 pm with a fairly detailed overview of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) supported by a Power Point projection. This was followed by extensive question and answer session. Over a dozen people were given the opportunity to give comments and ask questions and they did so with civility. Members of the high level delegation addressed all the comments and questions raised competently. The construction of the Millennium Dam took center stage in the Q & A session along with many other issues of national importance. When the issue of the Millennium Dam was raised both in the briefing and the Q & A session, the hall was filled with incessant applause and it stirred the patriotic feeling of the participants of the conference. No matter how polarized their political differences might be, attendees have amazingly exhibited their patriotic resolve to support the GTP in general and the construction of the Millennium Dam in particular. The Millennium Dam has truly become an axis of national consensus for country loving Ethiopians espousing diverse political orientations.
About fifty people including ten-year old children exercised their right to stage a demonstration opposing the meeting in front of the hotel in which the consultation meeting was held. Most of these demonstrators were not Ethiopians – they were from neighboring Somalia. They were joined by some chagrined factions of the ONLF, the OLF and other disgruntled Ethiopians. They were all silenced by the smooth running of the meeting and disgracefully left the scene shortly afterwards. Two minor attempts were made to disrupt the consultation meeting but the culprits were immediately evicted from the conference hall by security officers without causing any interruption. The silent majority has at last spoken loudly and clearly to the dismay of the hate and diehard politicians. The Denver experience, as in all other consultation meetings throughout the US, has shown that hate politics along with its promoters has been irrevocably defeated.
Finally an eight-point resolution focusing on the readiness of the participants of the consultation meeting to support the GTP was read out by the chair of the coordinating committee. The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm by singing the National Anthem of our country. It was most likely the first time for most Ethiopians in the hall to sing the national anthem of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia at a formal occasion, which was both thrilling and inspiring.
Many thanks to the high level delegation; congratulations to Ethiopians and Ethiopian Americans living in the Denver Metro area who made it to the consultation meeting despite serious misinformation; and most of all congratulations to all members of the coordinating committee for hosting such a wonderful and matchless event.