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Denying the Facts: The Latest from Extreme Neo-Liberalists

By Zelalem Bayu
Tigrai Onlne - May 03, 2014

As it can be recalled, neo-liberal extremist forces and their local “puppets” have presented bogus reports on our country on various times, in a repeated and recycled manner. Especially our own ‘sellout’ oppositions and extremists, who never wishes to see our country developed, have tried their hardest to present incorrect information to the international community - although their effort was to no avail once the truth was know. I (also happen to) think that it’s possible to expose their bogus accusation through presenting tangible evidences.

Out of the baseless rumor spewed by these forces on various times, the statements (campaign) aimed at making it appear as if human and democratic rights are being violated in Ethiopia, is one - citing local ‘puppets’ as their corroborator.

Here, I think it’s important to raise the question ‘Are the realities on the ground as what they make it out to be’. The answer to this will expose the talks of the anti-Ethiopian forces, which are propagating as if there is a flood of bad things happening to the people, without knowing our country’s realities.

There can’t be anyone who knows about us more than us; as anyone can’t blabber on something he knows nothing about of course I understand that any neoliberal extremist institutions does not have the right to meddle in our country’s internal affair.

But, as the saying ‘when lies are repeated they seem the truth’ goes, I believe we should defend the truth. Thus, it’s only appropriate to see things through the ones who are seeing the human and democratic (right) situation by living in Ethiopia, not through institutions like ‘Human Rights Watch’, ‘Article 19’ ‘CPJ’ etc… who speak sitting from afar in America.

Let us first start with the neo-liberal extremist force and their local ‘Pooches” repeated story of “The manifestation of the human and democratic rights violation in Ethiopia are freedoms of speech and expression, and political rights”.

They say that freedom of expression is in danger (of being scratched off) in Ethiopia, and that they are very much worried about it. This got be a joke; them being worried about us. But, is the situation really as it what they make it out to be? – Let us see…

As its known, human rights are natural rights that are bestowed up on humans for being created as humans. These rights are not rights that the Ethiopian government can either give or take as its wishes, like what the ideology extremists are suggesting.

This is because the reason for the long civil war that ravaged the country was the issue of human and democratic rights being respected; and this question has now been answered. So, I think it would be better if the extremists know that this answer (to the question of human and democratic rights) is clearly stated in the constitution, and is now being executed.

If the mask of those neo-liberal extremist forces, masquerading as a democratic right advocacy was to be unveiled, we’ll see them for their political business. So they can’t be concerned about the situation enough for them to call upon the local extremists.

This is because for human rights watch to be concerned about the outside, before they cleaned their own, will be hypocrisy. Let me mention one instance - The controversial case concerning America and the ‘Wiki leaks’ founder William Assange. When the American–based ‘Human Rights Watch’ & ‘CPJ’ claim that ‘Ethiopia is violating human and democratic rights by sending journalists to jail’, I think they should also consider America’s violation of Mr. William Assange’s democratic and human rights.

Here, I want it to be clear that I’m not saying ‘Since America is violating the human and democratic rights of Mr. William Assange and his colleagues; Ethiopia should do the same too. I raise the issue to highlight the fact that international law should be the same for all and also to point out that these institutions are not neutral.

All in all, let us now move to the so-called violated rights. As far as I know, there is no person jailed for writing or expressing his views. Those who are put under arrest are those who crossed the law under the guise of journalism or suspected individuals. And a criminal in any country whether he’s a journalist, or a politician, a priest or a soldier, will be put to face the law.

Of course it would have been better had these ideology demagogues came here and saw that there are many medias that operate and expresses their views freely by respecting the country’s media provision and other (similar) laws, instead of blabbering through hearsay. Had they done this, they’ would have the opportunity to see everyone expressing their views through medias at any given time and place.

If these extremist forces keep on insisting that people are imprisoned for expressing their views, it would have been better if they had done it with evidence. However, as there are no people who are arrested for expressing their views freely, they can’t possibly corroborate their story with evidence.

I think this is the reason why they wanted to call up on anti-Ethiopian forces to corroborate their story; saying that, I also happen to think that the neo-liberal extremist forces wishes and objectives are plainly obvious for everyone to see.

Nevertheless, widening the scope of their lies these forces also claimed that the activities of political parties are being hampered. However, they should know that today there are many opposition parties operating exercising their right to organize, which is bestowed upon them by the constitution. There are no governmental organs that interfere or hinder the activities of these opposition parties.

The parties give statements and reflect their position on national issues. The call on demonstration anytime they want. It’s common to see them widening their accessibility to the public by using government media and private press. It can be safely said that there are no jailed person or closed down parties for expressing their views.

In addition to this, the fact that political debate between the ruling party and the opposition camp is becoming more rampant goes out to show how the country’s human and democratic rights handling is becoming strengthened.

Its obvious why the extremist forces wants to disregard the truth, when the truth is this. It has to do with their arrogance not to hear others except for theirs.

They are bunch of liars who don’t even want to cite the research of Atlantic Council’s African center director Peter Pham. Dr Pham at this testimony claimed “Although the Ethiopian politics in a state of change, it’s hard for those who don’t follow those changes closely to understand the result.

Dr. Peter Pham who said “One does not have to agree with all or even any of the specific policy choices made by the Ethiopian government during his tenure to nonetheless acknowledge the historic achievements of Meles Zenawi.”, went on to say, “(he) presided over the introduction of legally recognized linguistic pluralism and ethnic federalism in 1994 and the first multiparty elections in the millennial history of the Ethiopian state in 1995”.

This research not only confirms the country is achieving positive political results, but it suggests to the extremist that they should see the realities by coming to the country instead of blabbering unfounded rumors sitting from afar.

The Dr. Pham testimony did not stop with this. By probing Ethiopia’s importance on the political process of the region he stated “to say nothing of those who view them through ideological blinders — I do think it is incumbent upon us to recall the enormous importance of Ethiopia, both in its own right and relative to the national interests of the United States of America in Africa in general and in the geopolitically sensitive Horn of Africa in particular.”

What we can understand from Dr. Peter Pham’s testimony is that concluding by basing on testimonies given by forces that don’t want to see the best of Ethiopia, will lead to wrong conclusions.

In addition to this, it implied that the democratic building process taken by Ethiopia will have a huge role in strengthening democracy in neighboring countries, and this process will only be clear to those who see it closely and neutrally.

So, I think the extremist neo-liberal forces should listen to this testimony and not to the local sell-out opposition who themselves created with their own spit image; and a terrorist group who won’t back down from selling its own country.

In addition to this, Dr. Pham with regards to Ethiopia’s commitment to securing continental peace “In terms of regional security, the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) has played key roles both in Somalia, where Ethiopian troops recently were able to turn over several towns in the Bay region to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) peacekeeper”

The Ethiopian government has shown its commitment to bring peace, which plays a major role in the democracy building process, not only in Ethiopia but in neighboring countries as well. As its known, democratic order cannot be build in a situation where there is no peace and development.

In another side, even though our country’s government main job is to guarantee the country’s peace and security, since it understands the implications our neighbors not having peace has on our country’s democracy building process, its operating on this issue with due consideration and commitment.

And this act of the government denotes its democratic attitude and outlook, as its not a mark of undemocratic behavior; as what terrorists and local extremist oppositions along with their masters (extremist neo-liberal forces) are spewing.

Although the ideology extremist wanted to claim that human and democratic rights violation are taking place in the country, however the Dr Pham testimony shows the neo-liberal demagogues; who masquerade under the guise of democratic right advocacy, comment is far from the truth.

The fact that their country’s President Barak Hussein Obama called our great leader Ato Meles Zenawi “a leader who contributed a lot to Ethiopia’s development all his life” can be used to attest that fact.

Of course we know that our people’s demand for human and democratic rights, which spanned generations, met its answer with the bitter the struggle of the ruling party. This bitter struggle has also led us to the FDRE constitution, which guaranteed all the nation, nationalities and people’s of Ethiopia to live together in consent.

And it should be noted that citizen’s ongoing right to speak, learn, be judged with their respective languages, is the result of this constitution. So, when the truth with regards to guaranteeing human and democratic rights is like this, why the need to blacken the country? Is the issue really in a dismal state like they are claiming? If this is true, then why President Obama did gave the aforementioned praise?

All in all as anybody with fair judgment knows, the rapid and sustainable growth and long lasting peace we are seeing in our country, along with the success of the democratic order building process, is an indication of the success of the political process.

This is because it’s impossible to think about development and democracy in a situation they claim the country is in. So, I don’t know how our people; who are the owners of the development that’s attested by the world, and who are able to record an economic growth that’s taken as a benchmark, can do all this while their human and democratic rights are being violated.

Only the extremist politicians and their hidden ‘objective’ know. I believe reaching to a conclusion by basing on a testament given sitting from afar, while being engulfed with hatred, is not only wrong, but it should be corrected.

Out of the so-called human and democratic rights violation seen taking place in Ethiopia (by extremist neoliberal force) is the increase in number of jailed politicians is one. However, as we the ones living in the country knows very well, there are no jailed politicians.

And the ones who are under arrest, are criminals who are found crossing the country’s law, and suspected criminals; they are not politicians. Of course these ideology demagogues can’t present evidence of a politician jailed for his profession in Ethiopia.

Thus, as their weak argument won’t amount to anything, unless they’re saying more than ‘if a person is a politician, he/she should not be jailed whether he/she committed a crime’, I don’t think it’s worth the time to discuss it. A government has the responsibility and duty to uphold ‘rule of law’.

So any one, whether if he’s a government authority or in the opposition camp, as long as he’s suspected of a criminal act, he/she will put under arrest. With regards to this, it would be behoove of the extremist neo-liberal forces to know the commitment of our country’s government to uphold the law by looking at the measure it took on corrupted officials.

As any reader of this article knows, one of the democratic rights the FDRE constitution bestowed upon the citizens is individual and group rights. Out of these rights freedom of opinion, assembly and holding mass demonstration are the main ones.

Nevertheless, it’s without an iota of shame when these forces claim that these rights are being violated. Is the truth as what they make it out to be? ... The answer to this question will not be presented by me, the writer of this article. I will once again quote Dr. Peter Pham’s testimony once again. It says, “the country’s political evolution — and there has indeed been a shift, even if, at times, the changes have been so subtle as to be imperceptible to those who do not track developments closely”.

Notwithstanding the objective behind the mass demonstration held by the parties, the fact that these demonstration are carried out when they wanted without any problems implicates one thing. That is the strong commitment of the FDRE government to guarantee democratic rights.

It showed that any group and individual political rights are executed without any interference and a heavy (huge) protection from the police force – although the neo-liberal extremist forces don’t want to hear/see these facts/truths.

As we, those who live in the country, are very well aware of, during the mass demonstrations held by ‘Semayawi Party’ or other oppositions; chants that incites riot (through religious fundamentalist), and insults that degrades (violates) other peoples’ right and were  heard.

All in all, there isn’t any force that violated the demonstrator’s right to freely express their views and exercise their right to oppose. And I don’t think there will be one in the future, as the democracy of our country gives priority to tolerance.

Thus, I would like to ask the politicians slash human and democratic rights merchants: Is this an act of a democratic or anti-democratic entity? – I will leave the answer to them.

One of the cheap talks spewed by the ideology extremists is the one done to make it appear as if there are problems with regards to freedom of religion. On various times they have levied condemnation or accusation (it’s not clear) by stating ‘the Ethiopian government has violated its citizen’s right by interfering in religious matters’.

As we all know, the FDRE constitution has clearly stipulated the separation of religion and state. As per this article, until now, there isn’t an instance seen where the government has said ‘do this and do that’ by entering in any of the religions’ internal affair. We haven’t also seen it appointing and dismissing any religious leaders.

So, when the truth is this, the objective behind the smear campaign waged to make it appear as if the government is violating religious freedom is not clear to anyone except for the neo-liberal extremists and their local (domestic) lackeys.

And if what they talk about is condemning terror acts done under the guise of religions, protecting citizen’s security and bringing criminals to justice; then I think it would be behoove of them to understand that these acts has nothing to do with freedom of religion.

Anyway it will be helpful to mention the cable sent by the former US ambassador to Ethiopia Donald Yamamato to his country’s state department about the issue.

This (confidential cable of the ambassador, which was made official through ‘wiki leaks’, stated that Islamic fundamentalism has grown so widespread in the region; through giving young men scholarship and sponsorship, that it has become a threat to the US, and the fact they must threat the issue accordingly.

This is what the ideology extremists want to disregard with regards to religious fundamentalism inclinations in our country. If the extremists have the ears to listen this – they should know that there’s an inclination to fundamentalism being brewed and that it’s bearing politicians who operate under the guise of religion.

And to borrow the Ambassador’s quote, they should get that through their heads if they are claiming to fight for the cause of neo-liberalism. As far as I can understand, the order (establishment) these neo-liberal extremists operate does not support religious fundamentalists and terrorists.

Thus, the fact that they wage a smear campaign on a country based a narrow–minded outlook (perspective) of ‘If a country is moving through its own politico-economic philosophy (path), its our enemy’ or ‘Ethiopia is country where we’ll make our living off’ will not only put them to contradict with their own ideology, but it will put them to shame. So, this should be amended.

Considering there are research papers that draws the accurate image of our country’s political path, like the one made by Dr. Peter Pham, I don’t think it’s that hard to guess why these forces bombard heaps of reports on our country, either separately or all together.

Here, its helpful to recall the aforementioned Dr. Pham remark taken from his research which goes out like ‘Although the Ethiopian political sphere is under change, it will be hard to grasp the process for those who don’t closely watch this change that’s seen in the country’.   

It’s very difficult to understand or to paint the accurate image about Ethiopia, while they are sitting in America. All in all, it should be understood that the Ethiopian government is not respecting and upholding its citizen’s human and democratic right to appease or fulfill the foreign forces wishes.

In addition to this, it should also be known that there can’ be no human and democratic rights that are driven by outside forces. These rights are respected (upheld) firstly, they are the result of the bitter struggle waged by the nation, nationalities and people of Ethiopia and secondly, the government strictly believes that it’s an existential issue for the country. So it should be known that Ethiopia is a country where human and democratic rights are taking root and the people are exercising their rights.

As it can be recalled, neo-liberal extremist forces and their local “puppets” have presented bogus reports on our country on various times, in a repeated and recycled manner.

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