Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Let us give them a break!

These couple of days is something which will be told as Ethiopian history to generations. For better or worse, nobody except those directly involved have the exact story which will be written in that Ethiopian history. Having said that, I would like to make a point that some of us are being involved in being part of the ugly part of the story which will be told to our grand grand children. I do not want to make any speculation or anything in what is happening regarding the fate of our beloved leaders.

It was exactly a week ago things started to spin around, after the small sentence on and a brief paragraph on the Washington Post and then after, as usual, a detailed and actual detail on our favorite blog, Ethio-Zagol on what was happening on the “final” stage of mediation.

This happened before any of our beloved leaders signed anything on the mentioned “agreement” but were giving the document a real thought as something they might be able to sign. Don’t get me wrong. These people know what they do. They have been tested in what I cannot explain as a test for a human being. They have been tested beyond one can bear in his life time. We are talking about academics, respected society members, historians, world class lawyers, judges, energetic elders and young people. One can imagine what such kind of collection is capable of doing let alone decide on a single document. When some accepted the prepared document as a final shot to take, some were taking their time to make sure it is what it seems on the paper and its consequence. But still, as our Aiga and Reporter friends are telling us, the agreement was never signed in a batch. Those who agreed on the terms of the paper still waited till their colleagues who did not yet were convinced signing the document was a last go go. By Friday afternoon, it was only Brtukan, Eng. Hailu Shawel and Dr. Hailu Araya who have not said “yes, we will sign”. After a thorough discussion (all the prisoners together), late at Friday afternoon, all agreed to sign (let us leave the detail and wait till our leaders someday tell us – hopefully very soon). It was only then everyone and all of them signed the document. In the evening, we got the good news printed on Ethio-Zagol, Agreed! It was then the Aiga people started making themselves busy spinning the news and destroy the good news for Ethiopian history. On Saturday morning, the weekly local newspaper, Addisadmas came up with the news as headline. Everybody got excited by the very mention of our leaders release possibility. Families, friends and journalists marched to qaliti earlier than the weekend visitation hour. Everybody got in the prison compound with a surprise to find the leaders still in prison. After the greetings, visitors started asking the prisoners about the “rumor” of their release. The wise leaders’ response was asking how the people’s reaction to the news was. None of them talked about the content or anything of the “signed agreement”. Instead “we are going out and see you next week outside” was all what they said. Aiga people try to tell us their fiction version of the story in their “updates”. I never thought one could be so hatred to make bere-welede (white lie) stories to make such a great news, “agreement between the leaders and the government”, get undone and go backward. The not-so-interesting-anymore, The Reporter made a sale on its Sunday issue out of the story by making it headline but still very insincere in its content. While I can feel the excitement and the news coming from pro-democracy websites, I wish that could just be it. As days go by, the already not good news anymore, started to spin around with some, I must say, stories to make Zenawi have a second thought. Had thing gone according to plan, our leaders could have appeared in court today and may be, just may be, could have been with us right now. Again, do not get me wrong. I am not saying there has been any intentional damage done by the cyber media, excluding Aigaforum.

I wish we could have known Zenawi better. I wish it did not spin the way it is now. There is nothing preventing Zenawi do what he likes to do right now. The card is on his hand. I feel we are letting him use it and prolong the game instead of finishing it with a win-win situation. As an EPRDF sympathizer, Ben of ethiopiafirst could have got the news from Zenawi & co. to spin around but thanks to Ben, he only said things were in good condition and that an agreement might be reached between our leaders and the government regarding their release, which we all hope and pray to see it happen. Setting things aside, I would like to thank Ben for the love he got for his country. That is what we miss in those blind EPRDF sympathizers. Then comes the Washington Post news with more or less same story. This does not mean nobody from our leaders’ side got the news beforehand. We can see Ethio-Zagol’s post that it already got the detail even before it was broke by the Washington Post. I do believe it was only kept for the sake of the mediation to go smooth. Who knows, may be Zenawi/Simone Bereket wanted to have the news spin around and wanted to see what is happening right now happen and help him to think if he has to change his mind. Wouldn’t you agree with me with this one or explain to me how on earth, out of the blue, the Washington Post came up with the story from Tanzania!

This is just to throw my five cent coin and beg all concerned Ethiopians to stay calm and follow things go according to plan without making any intentional or unintentional destruction on the Ethiopian history. We can document any information we get and use it when we have to. But can we just please give them a break? Give the mediators a break. Give our leaders a break. And definitely give Zenaw a break! This is, what, the first time ever an agreement has been reached between our leaders and Zenawi in nineteen months! Let us not let go of our little chance we have that our leaders might be set free, rather, our little chance we have that our leaders might be out of prison. What follows can be dealt with accordance once they are out of that dreadful corrugated iron sheet of their cell with this very harsh cold weather at the moment in Addis.

A personal opinion.

Just so you know, I am putting a hold on my new anti-millennium celebration campaign if our leaders are not freed with a motto “NO FREE OUR LEADERS, NO MILLENNIUM!”
It was supposed to be on last week. I am hoping I won’t have to start the campaign at all.