SOLUTIONS WITH DEBTERAW, I: Call me by my name & address

By Obo Arada Shawl

 

November 13, 2008

 

Introduction

13 days ago an ordinary name Obama became not only an historical event but as well as a household word. It is the only name that ends with a vowel “A” in the American Presidential names. Arusi or Arsi, the smallest state of AEthiopia begins with the letter “A”. What’s is in a name? Call me by my name.

 

In AEthiopia ኤትዮጵያ as opposed to  ኢትዮጵያ there are thousands of people with the name of Obama. They live in the borderline of Sidamo, Gemu Gofa, Wollega and elsewhere. The point is what does Obama stand for? For me, it is deciphered in the following: –

 

O = 10

B = 13

A = VVV

M = 13

A = 111

Deciphering OBM will result in 36 years of Struggle by EPRP. Is it a coincidence or Divine? What about the letter “A”? According to the teaching of DEBTERAW the letter “A” as in Latin is deciphered and stands in upside form for Volunteerism-Vote-Victory.

 Who is the Oboma of Ethiopia?

This kind of question has been asked by million of AEthiopians in million times especially at the beginning of the onset of the Eway Revolution. What is interesting and a dumb question at the same time, people like Getachew Garedaw from Germany asks the same question (see www.ethiolion.com). Artist Tesfaye Lemma in his book entitled “Confessions of the DERG (የደርግ ኑዛዜ ) has displayed as a cover book of Haile Sellasie’s picture that was taken just six weeks before his downfall and Mengistu’s clenched left lined up for history. On the cover of the book, there is also a big question mark invoking the unknown next leader for Ethiopia. Many educated AEthiopians were predicting the blood bath after Haile Sellassie’s departure. On the contrary though, nothing has happened. The killings and imprisonment that ensued following the downfall of the Emperor was not for the lack of new leaders but for an idea far greater than free speech, free self-expression and free assembly as put foreword as DEMOCRACIA.

Many people misunderstood the Eway Revolution, a revolution for a political system dubbed as የፖለቲካ ስርዓት

 

On the one hand, after Menghistu, people were worried as to what will happen to Ethiopia as a country as opposed to leadership? The question if and when Menghistu leaves was not about who will replace him, for Menghistu has gone from the minds and hearts of all Ethiopians long time before he was gone. AEthiopians were worried what kind of system of government they will get. For the ordinary people the question of DEMOCRACIA was paramount. All throughout their lives, AEthiopians have been fighting for their liberties and social justice.

 

On the other hand, foreign experts who proposed the London Conference for the transferee of power were sure that nothing bloody will happen if the guerrilla fighters were to take power and if Menghistu leaves peacefully, but on the contrary, two years of bloody war as opposed to revolutionary war were ensued and too many killings and imprisonment is taking place even to this day both in Ethiopia and Eritrea. Why one may ask? The answer lies not in leaders but in leadership, i.e. political party leadership.

 What is Political leadership?

Campaign for election or legislation has more than two sides while a politician’s analysis is the same. And it does not matter whether the issues are local, state or national, they all work the same way. Elected officials are likely to behave given the same vote or money.

 

When the Woyane’s came to power, they pretended as if they were operating in a la DEMOCRACIA by pretending as if people were free. We have seen this with Ginbot election result. The Woyane are still in the mentality of appointment not election. Most opposition groups are doing the same. Such is why EPRP has diagnosed as feudal system of political mentality. Most of our educated and non-educated seem to desire for appointment and not election. I can see why EPRP has failed in promoting the leadership style that is desired. I know many people from EPRP members will complain about this failure. But everyone and everybody should fail once in a while, as not failing will only show that we have not been trying. But EPRP has been in the struggle for many decades.

 

What EPRP wants to differentiate is the part between a politician and a stateman in as much as it has spent 3 decades of differentiating between a Revolutionary and a Nationalist.

 

What is a statesman, anyway? According to Harry Truman a statesman is “A politician that has been dead 10 or 15 years.” How true! AEthiopia had hundreds of statesmen.

 

A statesman is someone who acts to do what is right regardless of the political risk. It’s someone who puts the public good ahead of partisan politics. A statesman is one who makes decisions based on what is right, not on what is popular.

 

DEBTERAW’s contribution to election

First of all politics involve money and votes. In AEthiopia, we do have neither of these two factors. Secondly, we do not know whether we were politicking locally (at woreda level), statewide (at awraja level) or nationally (Kifle Hager). Let us remember that Ethiopia was divided into ጠቅላይ ግዛቶች፤ አስተዳደሮች፤  እና ክፍለ ሀገሮች

This was a step forward in thinking of changes – colonizing-administering-regionalizing had to mean something for aspirant people.

 

But the TPLF came with a different mode of thinking, backward thinking. Without understanding the nature/use of money and the tools for democracy, the EPRDF embarked on the road of capitalism. There are many mysteries of Capital none of them easy to grasp for the EPRDF parliamentarians. The hour of capitalism’s greatest triumph is in its hour of crisis. The fall of the Berlin Wall and the present financial crisis are good examples for the triumph of Capitalism. The fall of the DERG was an opportune time for the triumph of political system in Ethiopia. The TPLF and the EPLF blew it. In actual fact, the TPLF has doubled their crime by attempting to destroy DEBTERAW and his EPRP. That was not an opportunity for triumph but a crisis for their downfall. Ethiopia cannot be a Capitalist nation without the tools of Capitalism.

 

EPRP, on the other hand, unlike TPLF and EPLF, has followed the right path from voluntarism – vote – victory. DEBTERAW is leading us to voting system and then declare victory. The victory of EPLF, TPLF and the Kinjit is short-lived because victory is only meant for them. It is the reverse in the case of EPRP. 

 

In my earlier article, (See www.debteraw.com call me by my address, III) I have indicated that the federal state of Sidamo will be a state for diplomatic mission whereby the crisis around the Horn of Africa will be resolved diplomatically. The Boranas, who are the true source of democratic culture and Oromifa language with no bias for any type of religion and class, will be a source of diplomatic relations for what the so-called Abyssinians are lacking for. Let EPRP search and appoint capable and honest Sidamonians to join the Mission, Vision and value of EPRP. By definition, the Sidamas, the Wolaytas, the Gurages, the Gurjis, the Derassas the Oromos, the Amharas the S’me T’ru Hamasien and even the Ras Tefferians are settlers in the state of Sidamo.

Obama vs. Debteraw: lessons to be learned

History is made in two ways. By dramatic occurrences often surprising such as the fall of Berlin Wall in 1989 and by slow accretion of small changes over long periods. These are harder to notice while they are happening but often more significant than the isolated, surprising events such as the coming to power by the DERG, the assumption of power by EPRDF and the election of Ginbot. These two are usually are interrelated only in geographically and politically stable societies such as the USA.

 

Obama made history in the way DEBTERAW has embarked to make history. Power concedes without a fight or demand. In the case of DEBTERAW, it is a fight but in the case of Obama it is a case of demand. We all have collective memories but one moment is the American experience. Notice the crying of Jackson and of Oprah. Both cried for different reasons. EPRP members and supporters are crying for Debteraw as why is still … ተስወረ

 

Notwithstanding the above memories, comparing DEBTERAW and OBAMA

Both men are educated

Both men are humble

Both men are articulate

Both men are likeable and

Both individuals have a lot of heart and are very passionate about issues facing their respective countries. They both saw the problems and the possibilities and did not bother for confrontation and a list of grievances.

 

Above all both men campaign for change except DEBTERAW call his አብዮት (አበየ) Revolution. And the commonality is change via education. It is to be recalled that DEBTERAW became more radicalized after the ‘Educational Sector Review for Ethiopia’. In fact, education (not of East or West) but have AEthiopian became the core value for EPRP’s struggle.

 

For Obama it is change + transformation = Hope

For DEBTERAW it is revolution + hope = social justice

 

Why did the change of Obama worked and not for DEBTERAW’s EPRP? Is it because of the word change instead of revolution? Would it make a difference had AEthiopians use change instead of revolution?

 

Absolutely not. A revolution should have to take place in Ethiopia just like in America or elsewhere before election to take place. The Ethiopian Revolution was correct to have taken place. The only problem that people cannot see up to the present time is that the true Revolution that was envisaged by DEBTERAW’s EPRP has been hijacked by the DERG, sabotaged by the EPLF and aborted by the TPLF.

 

Veteran EPRP members and associate members recount battles both past and ongoing. Thanks to DEBTERAW’s existence, EPRP continues to survive and thrive. As many opponents seem to charge DEBTERAW and his EPRP as “concealed communist”, it was not true as his party affiliation and political position was clear and untainted.

 

If you want to understand the Eway Revolution, Obama is for pop culture and DEBTERAW was not. (See call me by my address: A commentary on Marathon and Sprint that was posted at www.debteraw.com on August 23, 2008.

 

Concluding remarks

DEBTERAW lived and operated in a society of WE whereas Obama lived and operated in a society of ME. Given the present time, what lessons do we have to learn about the shift from ME to WE?

 

DEBTERAW is still with us, not alone. He fought for social justice and for his personal freedom and yet he is denied his personal freedom let alone social justice.

 

Le us fight to free him as he is considered as the “father of AEthiopia” or at least, let us witness his death in the manner the “mother of Africa”, Miriam Makeba who died this week while doing her passion on stage. She was the voice for liberation when she staged at the Haile Sellassie I university in 1963. DEBTERAW  is our voice.

 

To be an obstructionist or confrontational to EPRP’s vision, mission and values is futile and unnecessary once we have found the truth about DEBTERAW who is sacrificing his life to the betterment of all AEthiopians. Let us build on the accomplishments of DEBTERAW’S voluntarism, vote and victory. That is how Obama did it.

 

Thanks for Barack Obama for showing to all AEthiopians who could not see the ideal and the method of struggle by DEBTERAW and his EPRP. Literate AEthiopians in Latin Alphabet have to start with the letter of ‘A’ as in ARUSI which includes ‘5’.

Literate AEthiopians in GE’EZ have to start with the letter of  = U which is equivalent to UNITY, ETHIOPIAN UNITY through STRUGGLE OR CAMPAIGN.

 

TRUTH WILL PREVAIL

 

For questions and comments:  woldetewolde@yahoo.com

 

 

 

 

Published in: on November 13, 2008 at 9:30 am  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dear Obo Arada Shawl,

    The Election of Barrack Obama to be the 44 president of USA has rekindled yet again the Hope of many people including Ethiopians at home and abroad. It seems,among other things, the result of the domineering and agressive policies of the Bush Adiminstration. The jubliation and long awaited success of a black man to be elected as chief exective of the most powerful Nation in the world is historic in its own terms. For African-Amercans especially, has a historcal signficance in a country which they have been for long denied equal access to political power.

    The most interesting phnomena yet to be discvered is so many diverse groups regardless of color,creed and National orgin all rooted for OBAMA FOR CHANGE. That CHANGE mean differnent thing to diverse groups or is it the same thing? That is the question President-elect Obama has to conteed with. One thing for sure, from REALIST point of view, many people will be be disappointed. Some or many, depending on the ensuing foreign policy action of the new adminstration,will cry foul and go back to thier cynical cocoon. In our case- the diaspora Ethiopian community,it will be deja vous all over again- a case in point eupohric moment of may’97 election followed by recrimination and praying for divine intervention. This is not to damp a cold water on the present frenzy of HOPE amongest us. It is just to be A REALIST.
    Why Ethiopians even Ethio-Amercans cult-like HERO WORSHIP reached to such proportion is a reflection of a deep desire and longing for some one or something to deliver them to the proverbial promise land. The genius of Barrack Obama as so many commentators and political analyst conclude is his innate ability and intelectual prowese to tap these reservior of deep longging for CHANGE. He did not run a conventional campaign, he run as an ORGANIZER AND LEADER OF A MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE. HIS MESSAGE WAS NOT SPECFIC AND DETAILED. IT WAS TO BE THE PEOPLES MOVEMENT FROM THE GROUND UP.ALL HE PROVIDED WAS HOPE AND REHTORIC SKILL TO MAKE PEOPLE BELEIVE THAT THEY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD IF THEY WORK IN UNITY.
    To bring that unity he focused like a laser beam on the fudemental issue of the day-who is the cause of our problems? He defined the policy of the Bush Adiminstration as the main cause and stayed on message despite many attempts to dsitract him and the public to make him the mainISSUE OF THE CAMPAIGN.

  2. Dear Obo Arada Shawl,

    The Election of Barack Obama to be the 44 president of USA has rekindled yet again the HOPE of many people including Ethiopians at home and abroad. It seems Obamas popularity,among other things, the result of the domineering and agreassive policies of the Bush Adiminstration last eight years. The jubliation and long awaited success of a black man to be elected as chief exective of the most powerful Nation in the world is historic in its own terms. For African-Amercans especially,it has a historcal signficance in a country which they have been for long time denied equal access to political power.

    The most intersting phenomena yet to be discovered is, so many diverse groups regardless of color,creed and National orgin all rooted for OBAMA FOR CHANGE. That CHANGE mean differnent thing to diverse groups or is it the same thing? That is the question President-elect Obama has to conted with. One thing for sure, from REALIST point of view, many people will be disappointed. Some or many, depend on the out come of ensuing foreign policy action of the new adminstration.At least not very few, will cry foul and go back to thier cynical cocoon. In our case- the diaspora Ethiopian community,it will be deja vous all over again- a case in point eupohric moment of may’97 election followed by recrimination and praying for divine intervention or who knows, let us hope for the better. This is not to throw a cold water on the present frenzy of HOPE amongest us all. It is just to be A REALIST. TRUTH IS A STUBBORN THING!

    Why Ethiopians even Ethio-Amercans cult-like HERO WORSHIP reached to such proportion is a reflection of a deep desire and longing for some one or something to deliver US to the proverbial promise land.

    The genius of Barrack Obama as so many commentators and political analysts conclude is, his innate nature and intellectual prowese to tap in to these reservior of deep longging for CHANGE. He did not run a conventional campaign. He run as an ORGANIZER AND LEADER OF A MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE. HIS MESSAGE WAS NOT SPECFIC AND DETAILED. IT WAS TO BE THE PEOPLE’S MOVEMENT FROM THE GROUND UP.ALL HE PROVIDED WAS HOPE AND REHTORICAL SKILL TO MAKE PEOPLE BELEIVE THAT THEY CAN CHANGE THE WORLD IF THEY WORK IN UNITY.

    To bring that unity he focused like a laser beam on the fundemental issue of the day-who is the cause of our problems? He defined the policy of the Bush Adiminstration as the main cause and stayed on message despite many attempts to detract him and the public to make him/his person, the main ISSUE OF THE CAMPAIGN.

    WHAT LESSON CAN WE WE LEARN FROM THIS IS UP TO EACH ONE OF US. AT LEAST FOR ME, WHILE APPLAUDING THE VICTORY OF OBAMA ,I SAW AND MET MANY OBAMAS IN THE THE LAST 36 YEARS OF THE STRUGGLE E ONE OF THEM IS DEBTERAW FOR SURE.THE STRUGGLE CONTINUES,AND HISTORY WILL ATTEST IN ITS OWN TIME AND PLACE THE TRUE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF ETHIOPIA WILL BE CELEBRATED AS TAHT OF TWEDROS,MENILIK,BELYE ZELKE,SAMUEL ALEMAYHUE,TESFAYE DEBSAY ETC.

    ETHIOPIA AND THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE SHALL PREVAIL!!

  3. to implement the revolutionary concept of Debtraw, revolutionary meaning democratic revolution, EPRP need to fully embrace, the peacefull struggle initiated by http://www.ethiopiawint.net. Boycott and peaceful protest at vaious embassies in the world are the effective means for peacefull struggle for the territorial integrity, freedom, sovereinighty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

    The persistent struggle of EPRP to make the government accountable to people through a democratic process of fair and free election with party leadership rather than aristoratic leadership is immenly commendable. But that never been taken well by many Ethiopians, I believe, by TPLF or even dergue supporters. This and other factors may have hindered to create a common front against the TPLF regime.

  4. Mr. Aha!
    You wrote the following:

    “The persistent struggle of EPRP to make the government accountable to people through a democratic process of fair and free election with party leadership rather than aristoratic leadership is immenly commendable. But that never been taken well by many Ethiopians, I believe, by TPLF or even dergue supporters. This and other factors may have hindered to create a common front against the TPLF regime.”

    What do you mean when you say ” that never been taken well by many Ethiopians, ” including the TPLF and the DERG supporters?

    Mr. Aha, let us start from the beginning. The DERG and its supporters believe that they were toppled from power by the clandestine works of EPRP and want revenge. The TPLF with its supporters know that they have done irreparable damages to EPRP and still are haunted by their evil doings to EPRP. That means they
    do now wish to see EPRP to survive. In fact they may die fighting EPRP.

    As to the reference you gave me about Ethiopiawinetnt.
    I do not think EPRP will reject the sanction against the TPLF’s style of governance. Mr. Aha! You should not doubt for a moment about the contribution of EPRP FOR DEMOCRACIA.EVERY ETHIOPIAN GROUP OR PARTY HAS GAINED FROM EPRP’S STRUGGLE. THAT MEANS THERE IS A SUPPORT A HIDDEN ONE – JUST LIKE YOU ARE HIDING BEHIND YOUR NAME. THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENT.


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