CALL ME BY MY ADDRESS: Solutions with DEBTERAW, A commentary

Obo Arada Shawl alias Wolde Tewolde – November 1, 2008

What: Intellectual gathering
Where: along the golden gate to the White House in a place called Ethical Society
Why: To celebrate 36 years of ideological and political struggle

There is neither ONE Ethiopia nor Ethical Society as at to date. I am of course, speaking ideologically and politically not intellectually.

When Walleligne Makonnen was writing about nations and nationalities, he was writing ideologically about the oppressed nations and nationalities of Ethiopia that were dominated by the elite TAGS’s political power i.e. Tigrai, Amhara, Godjam and Shewa. In other words, Walleligne was referring to the century old modes of thinking and governance namely of the kings of Yohannes of Tigrai, Tewodros of Gondar, Tekle Haimanot of Godajm and Shewa’s Minilik.

Nations and nationalities of Ethiopia duped by the propaganda of their own so-called liberators were fighting ideologically to become independent from what their liberators call Amhara domination (notice Amhara implies to Gonder). In Marxist terminology, however, it was referred to as the oppression and exploitation of nations and nationalities ጭቆና እና ብዝበዛ. Alternatively, the Eritreans were seeking for Employment, The Oromos were seeking for Opportunity, while the rest of nationalities including all Amharas were seeking for Equality (EOE). These concepts of equality, opportunity and gainful employment had galvanized the so-called nations and nationalities. Walleligne and his party EPRP broke with the ranks of the majority of Ethiopian elites not only ideologically but as well as politically speaking. For Walleligne and DEBTERAW both Amharas could not stand against the plea of all nations, nationalities or internationally for that matter.

And so with a single idea of self-determination including secession as written by Walleligne as and an impeccable Theory of Organization by DEBTERAW led us to the current state of affairs. For their principled stand both individuals were labeled as agents of either of EPLF or foreign countries. Both were agents of their own party, EPRP and conversely EPRP has supported their principled position.

In order to bolster EPRP’s existence and to show solidarity with the outside world, Walleligne had coordinated a group of Revolutionaries to hijack an Ethiopian plane. The objective and history of all the hijackings including that of Walleligne’s group will be known in due course and it is not the purpose of this commentary. The confusion in relation to self-determination, secession and association with Woyanes’ policy of path to separation and Shaebia’s association of struggle has blurred the real EPRP’s belief and path for an Eway Revolution via DEMOCRACIA – the antithesis for all nationalists.

Those who blame Walleligne and his EPRP see things through the prism of mechanical and ideological connections. Take the simple case of importing a bomb and a gun from Asmara! Take the case of the sole survivor from from Adua! Take the name of Tadeletch whoever or wherever she is! Take the case of Emmanuel who is an economist not a student of medicine as claimed by the “so-called know it all”! Take the case of the current Eritrean implementation for self-determination camouflaged in self-reliance! Take the case of Woyane’s policy on secession! These and other claims are all outside the realm of EPRP’s circle. Let us put the blame where it belongs. Call it whatever and however you like; this is an irony, a paradox or an aberration.

I believe it is very essential to tell the whole truth and understand of the origin and destination (O-D) of EPRP by simply reviewing the political history of (TTsW). ጥላሁን፤ ዋለልጝ፤ ፀገየ while focusing on the current EPRP’s struggle for finishing the Marathon of struggle.

Having this in the background let me go back to the meeting of October 25, 2008, which is relevant for all people in the region.

The gathering, first of all, was a well coordinated and ethical at the same time. Coordinated because, there was no lack of attendance despite of the heavy rain. Secondly because many activities have been conducted despite limited time constraint.

·        A clip of film showing the fate of prisoners and the inhuman nature of torture applied

·        A musician, Telela Kebede has motivated the audience with the good side of the era of Monarchy and yet firmly asserting herself in the demise of it for the sake of “Mother Ethiopia”.

·        A musician, Maritu Legesse has inspired the audience with the Revolutionary music of the Derg’s time albeit with the time of the moment.

·        A youth’s call for a balanced history of the Eway Revolution

·        A powerful and value laden speech was given by Fassika Bellette. Ato Fassika’s thinking transcends beyond 21st century.

Besides, various support letters and poems were read to the audience and groups and organizations such as Representative from Ethiopian woman’s association

·        Representative from mass media

·        Academic and

·        Political parties Were all represented in this eventful event.

The most amazing thing was the Recognition of an Ethiopian woman dubbed as the “mother of EPRP” who joined EPRP leaving her 13 children to pursue the Eway Revolution. What an amazing dedication and belief. It is a role model to be emulated by so many of us who claim that we love our country and people.

While on dedication, the other person many of us should respect and dignify is Ato Fassika Bellette who has been in the ups and downs of the Ethiopian struggle for change. On a personal level, his background would not allow him to aspire for Revolution but he did for the sake of all AEthiopians. Ato Fassika, true to his name, wanted everyone and everybody to have ፍስክ every week if not every day.

Ato Fassika Bellette, one of the Tsinhate Muhuran ጽንሐተ ምሁራን elites of Ethiopia have finally spoke up on political and intellectual terms. It is better to listen or read his speech as posted in He ultimately reached the peak of Ras Dashen having traveled the long march from Mercato-Assimba-Tselemt – Ras Dashen, an arduous journey እልህ አስጨራሽ ጉዞ to bring democracy (the rule of the people, by the people and for the people) by means of DEMOCRACIA – an Ethiopian version.

This person is a dedicated man who kept the party of EPRP intact. He was not an ideological man, he was all throughout an intellectual man and he has kept his intellectual integrity and party ideology intact for 36 years. What an amazing man.

Ato Fassika, however, laments in the following that “the ease with which all Ethiopians are distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle the big problems of Ethiopia”.

His only drawback is that he is ahead of his time for F comes after E i.e. 6 > 5. Besides F has one missing leg F = E i.e. 5 < 6. In addition his father’s name as in B has yet is to be deciphered to be 13. This is part of my entertainment with Latin alphabets and Ge’ez Fidels.

As far as I am concerned, the letter F is ahead of me and the letter B is not my forte unless it is deciphered.

Concluding Remarks

Although I have met individuals who were labor leaders in Ethiopia and ESUNA (Ethiopian students in north America), none of them were represented in the event.

The role of these two organizations before and during the Revolution was highly significant. It is somewhat ironic that the labor union leaders of Ethiopia who actually led to the demise of the ancient regime and Esuna leaders who were at the forefront for the supply and provision for EPRP financial and foreign literature did not have a say in this forum. It is unimaginable that the downfall of the Monarchy, the dictatorship of the Military known as the DERG would collapse without these two giant Organizations.


For the surrender of Woyane or Shaebia’s leadership, these two organizations should be re-established again. For without the working class and the intellectuals, nothing will happen in either Ethiopia or Eritrea.

At this meeting, I have sensed a hunger for new ideas and new kind of politics that favors common sense of ideology, and one that focuses on those values and ideals that hold common as AEthiopians. The common bond between the Red and the Blue state of Ethiopia must be coordinated. It’s time for all of us to learn from the American way of Red and Blue political system of classification.

Lastly, I am very proud on the organizing committee whose courtesy and bond of friendship were easily discernable. Thanks to Ato Ayna Alem of Radio Finote for inviting me and thanks to Ato Bellette Yemane who constantly and relentlessly informs me about all the activities of EPRP around Washington Metropolitan Region.

It is all-important for all of us to cope up with the digital age for an individual person has presented the evils of Pal Talk by a means of a poem. I think the first step for democracy is free speech. Pal Talk discussions is crucial for understanding the nature of democracy. Pal Talk discussions whether online or print largely depends on the moderators like any other low – tech meetings. For this I have an admiration for the Assimba Pal Talk moderators. Truth will prevail

For comments and any critic


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