The brag and chatter of antagonists in London

By Dilwenberu Nega
March. 13 2011

Five po-faced Ethiopian men and a happy-clappy Russian lady were the only ones who turned out at London’s Parliament Square on Tuesday 8th March to demonstrate against the friendly and productive relations between Ethiopia and Great Britain which is growing by leaps and bounds. Britain’s aid to Ethiopia now amounts to 1.4 billion pounds over four years. The low turn-out of demonstrators is a true reflection of public apathy to nonsensical demos. In fact, the huge police presence at the Square testifies to the fact that the organisers had earlier informed the Metropolitan Police that their estimate of those slated to take part would be 300-500.

To give credit where credit is due the six demonstrators were dwarfed by an array of anti-this-and-anti-that placards and posters – more froth than latte!

While this constitutes the irrefutable truth, an Ethiopian self-styled human rights activist, as usual, was quick to embark on a damage limitation exercise by churning out an omelette of naked lies and deceptions on Ethiomedia. If he thinks that his indulgence in flibbertigibbet is going to reclaim the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian community-at-large, then he is in for a rude awakening. Ethiopians are sick and tired with being sick and tired of the street-smarts’ endless lies about Ethiopia becoming a bon-fire waiting to happen. When, as in last year, those who dread to admit that Ethiopia is blessed by on-going manifold changes managed to trick their way into one of the Committee Rooms of the House of Commons, it was this same ‘human-rights activist’ who exhibited no qualms in putting his case against Ethiopia in cahoots with a notorious former Derg Administrator of Debre Tabor, sentenced in absentia to 17 years in prison.

I am not, nor do I want to oppose, people’s legitimate and democratic right to demonstrate as long as it is for a good and legitimate cause, but to rabble-rousers in every nook and corner of London whenever the culture and the growth of our Motherland as well as the excellent relations between Ethiopia and our host country is celebrated, must surely be a puerile favourite pass time of only the mentally-challenge. By any stretch of the imagination does March 8th provide cause for an anti-Ethiopia demonstration to take place? Who, in his rightful mind opposes an activity that gives a face-lift to our national image? Co-hosted by the incumbent Ambassador of Ethiopia and the Chairman of the British-Ethiopia All Party Group, the “Ethiopian Cultural Evening” has over the years proved to be an ideal venue for celebrating the rise and shine of bilateral ties and for promoting trade between the two countries. As H.E. Ambassador Berhanu Kebede, FRDE’s Ambassador to the Court of St James’ put it succinctly; the occasion is “a hallmark of fraternal relations between the people and government of Ethiopia and Britain.” However, it was Britain’s Under Secretary of State for Africa, The Rt Hon Henry Bellingham MP, who delivered the coup de grace to those who dread to hear positive comments made on Ethiopia “…we have chosen Ethiopia for a number of reasons. Ethiopia is a major regional player, you have made the most phenomenal progress over the past 15 years and you are an absolute aid partner…”

No wonder Shabia-phile Andargachew Tsiege concluded “Downing Street is Weyane Street.” Or is it a case of dogs bark, but the caravan moves on? In any case, lesson must be learnt: while it is wrong to oppose hate-mongers’ democratic right to oppose the EPDRF government, what is inexcusable is for patriots to stand and stare while they oppose the Motherland. The’ silent lamb’ of the Diaspora must come to realise that they have nothing to lose but fear of toothless cyber-tigers. Stand up for Ethiopia, then, and expose their interminable lies!