On January 19, 2006, Andrew Heavens wrote Calm down, it's Timket. The whole report was about how the holiday was so joyous. He was at the Timket scene and he didn't see any protest and violence. The same day, it was reported by the other web media that at least two were killed (Addis Ferenj put the number higher) and dozens injured. When some in the comment section of his blog made him aware of what happened, he tried to resist. After the Sub-Saharan informer published the story, Andrew wrote "It looks as though things weren't quite so joyful and peaceful outside the epicentre of the Timket celebrations in Jan Meda where I was happily taking photos. Today's Sub-Saharan Informer has the full report. "
Fast forward Meskel. Andrew Heavens thought my "Breaking News:Thousands of Soldiers swarm the Meskel square as revolutionary spirit engulfs Addis" was exaggerated. That news was written before the celebrations. A day before the celebration at 8 pm Meskel square was sealed off and thousands of soldiers were training on how to disrupt protest... and hundreds of people were watching the drama. In the morning (the day of celebration), all the five roads leading to Meskel square were closed. Andrew obviously didn't see the obvious. More astounding was his report of how all he "was able to detect from the people I spoke to was a general desire to keep their heads down and celebrate Meskel." In fact the rumor about a Meskel protest was rampant throughout Addis before and on the day of celebration. People came as far from Nazret to see what would happen. In a place I was standing, the people behind me were talking nothing but the expected protest. There was not a single person whom I know who was not either excited or scared about an impending protest. Andrew obviously didn't care to listen to enough people or he was happily taking photos. If I were in Andrew's country and missed this, I would have been told to "learn English".
On another note, Urael, a blogger I consider more seriously than Andrew Heavens because he certainly understands what people behind him talk about, got suspicious of me since "my blog" was unblocked here; and now with the appearance of Bereket Simon at Bahir Dar. First, it wasn't my blog which was blocked. It was blogspot.com, the host google site that was shut down here. It was tens of blogs which couldn't be accessed from here. When blogspot.com was unblocked, so were all. My blog wasn't an exception.
As to the Bereket story, without revealing my sources, I can confirm to Urael and others who doubted it that indeed Bereket left to Israel after a stroke, had an intensive treatment, come back home and stayed for two days at the army hospital and was taken to Bahir Dar and, then, Mekele for two conferences. In Bahir Dar, he appeared in the conference briefly and left after TV pictures were taken. Unusually for him, he wasn't an active participant in both conferences. Urael could have done justice to his criticism of my story if he would have done more research at the Bole airport where Bereket was openly viewed by a lot of staff members when he was being taken by a wheel chair. I am, however, ready to eat my words, if there is a credible contrary account to my Bereket story.
- ► 2007 (230)
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- ▼ September (15)