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Gabcast! Gotoota Oromo Haa Yaadannu. #17 - Wallee.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

A note to CUD leadership and the neo-chauvinists from a concerned Oromo. Part V

By the way, the so called "Orange" and "Rose" Revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia you frequently refer to, seem not to be that successful. Today both Yushenko and Sakahashivili are very much hated by the very people who facilitated their access to power. Both presidents seem to fail to meet the expectations of their constituencies and are now facing severe criticism.

It is easy to be in an opposition but it appears to be quite a different matter to run a country. Just to tell you how difficult it is to be on the top after capitalizing on popular support, let me tell you one recent anecdote from Ukraine. Yushenko apparently asked God for guidance right after deciding to run for presidency. God answered to his payer and gave him three sealed envelopes. In the middle of the campaign when bombarded with series of questions related to un-employment, low salary scale and pension fund, Yushenko asked God what to do. God told him to open the first envelope and he did. It reads - promise to the people that you will improve everything! He promised everything to his people and won the election. After being in power now for almost two years as a president, the socio-economic situation in the country went from bad to worse and he rightly began panicking. He asked God for guidance and the reply from haven was "open the second envelope and act" and he did. It reads, put all the blames on the previous regime! Yushenko did so but soon he realized that new opposition groups were created and were intensifying their election campaign to unseat him. As usual, he pleaded to God for help. The Almighty God told him to open the third envelop which he did. It read "start the whole exercise all over again". Yushenko returned to a campaign trail once again promising his fellow Ukrainians everything under the sky, and of course blaming the previous regime for his failure.

Your Political Agenda as seen by the Oromos. You can not win the support of the Oromos unless you properly address the national question. It seems to me that you are ill-advised by the likes of obbo Andargachew who are denying the existence of nations /nationalities in Ethiopia in the first place. He argues that in Ethiopia, there is no single group which "developed" to the level of nation/nationality. Subsequently, he said that there is no reason to invoke the principle of the Right of Nations to Self-Determination. You can call us "gossa" "nation or nationalities" but regardless of the name you are attaching to us, we the Oromos put on a table a demand which should be dealt with if you are genuinely seeking unity of Ethiopians and the prevalence of peace. Whether you call us gossa, ethnic group, nationality or nations there is an underlying and indisputable fact that your fathers and grandfathers grossly violated our fundamental human rights. What actually matters is not the nametag but the fact that violation of human rights took place against us because of our ethnicity. Rape remains a crime whether it is perpetrated against a teen-age girl or a grown up woman. Whether we were at the stage of "gossa", "nation" or "nationality" the crimes committed by your fathers against the Oromos remain a crime and there is an indisputable national question placed on the table. And if you are not ready to solve these problems today I don't think you will succeed in achieving your goal of maintaining the "unity of Ethiopia". You don't seem to include this issue in your political agenda which in our opinion should have been given a priority. Don't forget that political agenda is like consumer goods to be sold at an open and free market. An agenda which is qualitative and effective is very likely to be easily sold whereas those which are of less quality are difficult to be liquidated. For us the Oromos and no matter what, the political agenda of most of the Oromo organizations are more palatable than yours and easy to liquidate at the current market.

That is why we the Oromos are not with you. Your agenda is not meeting our demands to say the least. We Oromos strongly believe that today Ethiopia is more united than ever. If at all there is a danger in her disintegration, it is only because of you, your chauvinistic and arrogance attitude which is the root cause of all our problems when it comes to the unity of Ethiopia. For you the starting point is the assumption that we were so united and it was only the EPRDF who came and disturbed that secured unity. But I am telling you that underneath that perceived pre-EPRDF unity, there was always a hidden dissatisfaction of nations and nationalities of the non-Amharas. If you remember, the word gossa existed during Haile Selassie and it was only abolished in early 70s. I remember when the then flamboyant MP, Mr. Zewde Bedada waged an impressive campaign for the removal of this word "gossa" from official forms, and I believe he succeeded. What I am trying to say is that the gossa thing existed all the way through our history but what EPRDF brought in to our life is the recognition, albeit defunct of the notion of the right of nations to self determination based on which it "divided" the "united Ethiopia" according to regions. When it comes to the issue of Ethiopian unity, nobody wants the maintenance of that unity more than the Oromos but you are making it difficult for us to achieve that dream. Every time we make an attempt and take extra step towards that direction, you are pulling us back simply to remind us of your fathers ruling system's ugly past. We came long way to somehow "forgive" you for what your fathers have done to us but you are disappointing us by telling us that the crimes were never committed in the first place. You are also revealing that you are not actually recognizing the fact that we have the right to exercise our fundamental human rights to self-determination and you want to rule us once again. No offence, but your behavior seem to defy all human genealogy that it is almost impossible for you to be different from your fathers and grandfathers. You were supposed to be ashamed of the crimes your fathers and grandfathers had committed against us and come extra mile to meet us. That is what the Germans did after Hitler's demise. Although I am not equating your fathers crimes to that of Hitler's, we the Oromos would have loved to see you recognizing that fact and work on bridging the gap.

To the contrary, you continue to be proud of the "heroic" acts of your fathers and expect us to come on all our fours to be "friends" with you. Instead of filling the gap and working on a healing process, you continue adding salt to the wounds to the extent that you are aspiring to return to power by disregarding us. Do you really expect us to be accomplice to this crime in the making? I told obbo Andargachew, once bitten, twice shy! We learned it the hard way and there is no way you can take us for a free ride anymore. Your political agenda has to be crystal clear to us before we even contemplate supporting you. Here is your homework - just few questions to test your sincerity. And please take your time and give us a genuine answer even if the answer may fall short of contributing to our efforts to understand you and your political agenda. a) Whether you like it or not today, part of Ethiopia is demarcated and named as Oromiya region. This is a fact. Although the constitutional guarantees as stipulated in Article 39 regarding self-administration is not fully implemented, the fact that Oromiya appeared on the political map of Ethiopia means a lot for all Oromos. Judging from the speeches and writings of many of your supporters, and your ad hoc statements, as well as Part -3(1) of your Manifesto, it is crystal clear that you don't feel comfortable with this arrangement and hence you are suggesting its change/amendment. Assume you come to power now, what will you exactly do with this Article 39 which stipulates regional administrative divisions granting the Oromos the appearance of their mother-land - Oromiya on the map of Ethiopia? Are you going to strengthen the Article and ensure that the constitutional guarantees granted to the Oromos based on which they could continue to effectively administer their region OR you will go back to the imperial type arrangement of provinces thus delete Oromiya from the political map of Ethiopia? b)Unlike in the bad old days where your fathers imposed on us the mandatory use of Amharic language as the only official language of the nation, today, thanks to the efforts of the selfless Oromos who sacrificed their lives while fighting for its implementation, afaan Oromo has effectively replaced Amharic in the entire Oromiya region. The Geez alphabet is also replaced by Qubee.

Tell me now what are you going to do with it? Are you going to effectively and honestly contribute to the works of the Oromo intellectuals to further develop afaan Oromo and Qubee OR you will revive your father's style and impose on us the use of Amharic at all levels and de-legalize afaan Oromo? c)Compared to the Geez which despite its hundreds of years of existence could not be developed to its full capacity, afaan Oromo proved to be one of the fastest developing languages of Ethiopia. Will you help us in legalizing the use of afaan Oromo as one of the official languages of Ethiopia and as one of the languages at the Ethiopian parliament? OR? d)The current set-up is that Finfinne is recognized as the seat of Oromiya. When Meles decided to move the seat to Adama thousands of Oromos protested against and so many were arrested. Assume you come to power, will you recognize that Finfinne continues to be the seat of Oromiya or? For some reasons, my dear CUDs, I find it more and more difficult to trust you because it appears to me that it is an innate that you only consider yourself as the only legitimate entity in Ethiopia to administer the nation. A Turkish friend of mine once told me an anecdote from his country. It goes like this: one beautiful morning a frog and a scorpion decided to go for a picnic in the nearby forest just across the river. After having fun the whole day and when they were returning home, they found the river over-flooded. Apparently the scorpion did not know how to swim and the frog of course did not want to leave her friend behind. But knowing the nature and character of the scorpion - that he is deadly poisonous she hesitated to offer any kind of help. The Scorpion pleaded for help asking the frog to carry him across the river but the frog remained hesitant because of the poisonous nature of the scorpion. The scorpion swore in the name of all possible gods of the jungles that he will not sting her during the transfer if only she agreed to carry him across the river. At last the frog agreed and the scorpion jumped on the back of the frog and the journey began. Half way in the middle of the river, the scorpion stung and inflicted severe pain upon the frog. The frog not knowing what to do, asked the scorpion "why the hell are you doing this to me? You know that I am poisoned and my muscles are not functioning anymore and subsequently we both are going to drown and die". The scorpion replied - "I am sorry, it is in our nature and I can not change it". The frog could not swim anymore and they both perished. You got it! To compliment this anecdote with an Amharic saying, Ke jib jimat yettesera kirar, kiqnitu iniblaw- iniblaw naw. For us Oromos, you are just like that. You are proving yourself to us and the world that Ethiopia can only be governed by you and every time we make an attempt to ensure the equality of the Ethiopian nations/nationalities through the recognition of their right to self-determination you cry foul by saying that the nations unity is in danger. Because you are made of that jib jimat, you think of yourself as the only "a ruler" and "superior" to all other ethnic groups.

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