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Unblocking the extremists’ block

By Dilwenberu Nega
April. 12 2011

By their huge attendance at GTP consultation meetings in 12 USA cities over this week-end, the so-far silent majority of Ethiopian Diaspora in America has at long last crossed the Rubicon. Through their active participation, not only have they manifested their solidarity with the people’s struggle to rid Ethiopia from extreme poverty, but they managed to inflict mortifying defeat on extremists who left no stone unturned to stop them attend a forum the likes of which has never been organized in America in living memory. In the week leading to the public consultation interest on GTP reached fever pitch with a deluge of requests for invitation cards clogging the switch-board of the Ethiopian Embassy in Washington DC. The visible impact of the GTP blitzkrieg on the Ethiopian expat community throughout America was there for everyone to appreciate: the realization that a major breakthrough has been achieved paving the way for common sense to prevail over nonsense, for veracity to triumph over mendacity, for courage to replace fear and for the personal good to give way to the common good.

While congratulations are in order for the organizers of GTP public consultation forums in all 12 cities, the temptation to rest on their laurels must be vehemently resisted for a lot more work awaits them. Creating an even more enabling condition to welcome with open arms the anticipated influx of ‘refugees’ from the extremists’ camp must now constitute the number one agenda of the Community Affairs Counsellor at our Washington Mission.

The GTP blitzkrieg could not have come at a worse moment to the extremist minority who daydream to export North African-style uprising to Ethiopia. In the words of Aigaforum, extremists were “caught with their pants down.” Prospective exporters of anarchy and mayhem were, instead, engulfed by an Ethiopian revolution the battle cry of which is respect and no subject, love and not hate inclusiveness and not exclusiveness, cooperation and not confrontation.

Make no mistake. In Ethiopia, today, people have no appetite for a BEKA-propelled uprising. Their gargantuan appetite is, instead, for ABEKA-inspired frontal attack on extreme poverty. They have said ABEKA to backwardness, to grinding poverty as well as to unwarranted confrontation. The response they have given to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s Grand Millennium Dam’s speech of 2nd April 2011 is a case in point with long queues at banks of the young and old rushing to buy Treasury Bonds for the Grand Millennium Dam.

Tolerance and Consensus
The complex nature of the Ethiopian society demands a demonstrable willingness and sense of humility from the educated and cultured class so that necessary lessons are learnt from the pitfalls and shortfalls of Ethiopia’s contemporary history. Seldom have we fared better as a nation when tolerance and consensus were the conspicuous absentees of our conflict resolution arsenal. Fortunately, because we succeeded in dealing with the root causes of our cycles of confrontations and violence most effectively over the last two decades, we now bask in an Ethiopia where by and large a relaxation of tensions has become the norm of our political life. That is why Ethiopians in the Diaspora need to fathom that as hate politics is a bane of democracy it has no place in today’s and tomorrow’s Ethiopia. They, therefore, need to garner the courage and undergo a reality check which would lead them to conclude that the road to political power in Ethiopia can only grow out from the ballot box and only from the ballot box. Ethiopia will never surrender to Geemboat diplomacy. Any hesitation or deviation from this incontrovertible truth only leads to committing a political kamikaze. If events over the week-end have turned us into a celebratory mode it’s got to be because we are confident that the hydra of extremism has been reduced into smithereens by the GTP blitzkrieg on 12 cities in the USA. Now the extremists’ block has been unblocked the Ethiopian Diaspora has finally set itself free from the shackles of fear and intimidation.

Thank you Ethiopians in America and Canada: you have made your nation and people proud by standing for Ethiopia in her hour of need.