Friday, September 29, 2006

Teased by bloggers

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, the host google site that was shut down here. It was tens of blogs which couldn't be accessed from here. When 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.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Police clashes with scores of protestors

Scores of young protestors clashed with the police at the Meskel ceremony in Addis today. The security at the Meskel square was the tightest ever. Abuna paulos left the procession in a hurry without making the traditional speech of the patriarch. "Thief, Thief," was chanted when he left the place. The protestors pelted police cars and NOC fuel stations with rocks and shouted a call for the release of CUD leaders. Some were driven to the Haya-Hulet area and others to the Stadium area by police men and soldiers who were in their thousands. Plain-clothed security personnel were also involved in beating up and arresting protestors. In the stadium area, at least twenty were detained.
Eskinder Firew of the VOA had more on the protests on today's Amharic News Magazine.

Breaking News:Thousands of Soldiers swarm the Meskel square as revolutionary spirit engulfs Addis

Posters with the photos of Hailu shawel, Birtukan Mideksa, Birhanu nega and other CUD are posted in some places in Addis. In shola, Aroge kera, some places of Merkato, slogans like "Yenetsanet Goh Siked", "Kinijit rises" etc adorn walls. There is a revolutionary spirit engulfing the city.
All roads leading to the Meskel square are blocked and thousands of soldiers are camping in and around the place. There was a massive stop and search operation throughout Addis Ababa yesterday after 6 pm. The government seems to panic that there will be a demonstration at the square today.

Friday, September 22, 2006

CD Calendar lands Forty in jail

Forty people who were arrested for possessing the civil disobedience calendar were brought before two courts in Addis Ababa by the police. At the Federal First Instance court in Arada, people, young and old, appeared this morning. The police claimed that they were arrested while attempting to incite violence and insurrection and asked for a reman in custody. The court granted the request of remand. Some of the accused were detained for just holding the Calendar which called for civil disobedience to get polityical prisoners released. Not one of the actions called for in the Calendar has a violence element in it.
See EMF for the contents of the calendar

Monday, September 18, 2006

The story of the Civil disobedience Calendar

The English called it super Sunday. It was the day when four of the best English teams had crucial matches against each other. In Addis Ababa, yesterday's games were turned into a public event. Thousands gathered at the Meskel square to see Liverpool lose narrowly to Chelsea and Arsenal beat Manchester United. Y, a piassa boy, traveled to Meskel square with his two friends to cheer on his beloved Arsenal.
At half time, someone passed him a colorful calendar which contained the pictures of imprisoned kinijit leaders and a call for civil disobedience. Before he finished going through the actions of civil disobedience which were called for , the kid who passed him the calendar was slapped by a plain clothed security guy and was dragged to a Toyota car parked nearby. Today five rag-tag kids who were arrested while distributing the calendar at the Meskel square appeared before court with bruised eyes which revealed that they were being tortured at the police station last night. They were remanded in custody for the next seven days.
The civil disobedience calendar was first distributed in thousands on the eve of the new year. It contained 14 actions, including the withdrawal of money from government banks, that protestors were advised to take to get the Kinijit leaders released without harming themselves. The TPLF got overtly crazy about the calendars that in some places where they were highly distributed , it began a stop and search operation. Sources claimed that the calendar was printed and distributed by knijit international leadership and some highly motivated Kinijit supporters in the diaspora. Its effect is quite astonishing. Distributors say that the demand has risen so high that a one birr calendar is being sold for more than 3 birr. More than 200 thousand copies have been already distributed all over the country, say sources.
Y thought that some of the actions called for were so simple that he started executing them right away. This morning he went to the commercial bank of Ethiopia and took away all of the money he deposited there as a saving. Taking out his money, he thought, was the least he could do to the struggle, the imprisoned leaders and the kid who put his life in danger to sell him the calendar.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Political prisoners protest limitation on visitation right

The CUD leaders, social justice advocates and independent journalists who have been in jail for the last ten months have refused to see their spouses and children in protest of the government's retriction of their visitation rights. Since last week friends of the prisoners and family members(excepting spouses and children) have been barred from visiting the prisoners. This new limitation was imposed after the new year message of the political prisoners was published in internet journals and republished in a local newspaper. The prisoners have decided to cut all their contacts with the outside world by refusing to see their spouses and children until the TPLF government which illegally arrested them accepts their demand.

Spy Kids

As promised, here is the list of student spies who are assigned to report protest leaders in high and elementary schools.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

TPLF puts its tentacles into high schools

Secondary and elementary schools are the new targets of the totalitarian TPLF regime. The government has unveiled its new plan of licensing teachers. According to this plan, the teachers who aren't licensed will not be allowed to teach in schools throughout the country. Sources at the Ministry of Education claim that the license is planned to be given to only those who are willing to be members of the EPRDF. The government has already barred non-EPRDF members for teaching civic education; the subject that TPLF thought made school kids rebel against its rule and propaganda. Some 118 students in Addis Ababa high schools and secondary schools have been given intensive training on spying and controlling their fellow students. These students are given the title of "Sinesiriat Tekotatari" (Enforcers of Discipline).
This blogger has received the names of the students and will post it and expose them to fellow students tomorrow.
Since the second day of the New Year teachers have been forced to grueling political propaganda sessions with government cadres under the guise of training. The sessions will continue for ten more days.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Hi-Tech suppression: part two

This blogger reported about the government's plan of hi-tech suppression and the formation of a group of defense engineers and spies trained in Israel to conduct the warfare. Another group is also created under the Information Security Project. The project is headed by:
Tesfaye Birru; Former GM of the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation
Colonel Teklebirhan Woldearegay
Ato Abiy Mohammed
The project has hired three additional software IT experts. Among the tasks of this project is monitoring e-mail exchanges, it was learnt.

Sunday, September 10, 2006


Happy New Year. May 1999 be a year when democracy and freedom triumph in our beloved nation.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Conditions worsen for jailed Kinijit leaders as the spirit of freedom revives

The Paranoid TPLF government has ordered prison officials to restrict the visitation rights of the CUD leaders, Civil society members and journalists who have been in jail for the last ten months. Today hundreds of friends and family members of the prisoners who went to visit them were turned back at the gate of the Kaliti jail if they didn't prove that they were either the spouses or the children of the prisoners. Some spouses were asked to show marriage certificates to enter the compound. The prisoners returned back to their cells in protest after they learnt that their families and friends were not allowed to visit them.
Top TPLF members were said to be very angry after a local newspaper, Addis Admas, published the story of the prisoner's new year message, according to sources. Addis Ababa is a city under seige. The three thousand newly recruited policemen and hundreds of soldiers roam around the city. Random Car stop and check searches are being conducted in some places. There is a sense of anticipation amongst the populace as the the Kinijit movement is slowly reviving and gaining momentum.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Breaking News: Defections, defections, defections

Inquiry commission decides that the government used excessive force against demonstrators
Two commission members leave to Germany with the report
Woldemichael Meshesha, the Vice president of the Federal First Instance Court was one of the most loyal servants of the TPLF regime. In May last year, he made a decision in favor of Meles Zenawi in case of Kinijit v. Meles Zenawi where CUD represented by Birtukan Midekisa and Yeneneh Mulat contended that the PM's ban of demonstrations was contrary to the constitution. A month latter, he sentenced a pro-CUD lawyer to jail for criticizing that decision. But even for a loyal judge like Woldemichael, what Meles did in June and November when he ordered the killing of scores of demonstrators was an assault to conscience.
At the end of November last year the Parliament established the commission of inquiry which was entrusted with the investigation of the June 8 and November 1 killings. It was thought that the investigation would be a white wash. The commission was carefully constituted with members who were supposed to be loyal to the Meles Zenawi government. Woldemichael was was one of the ten members of the commission. Three months into the the investigation, five members resigned from the commission citing conditions of their health. They were immediately replaced and the commission went on with its work. In May, it finalized the investigation. The result was shocking to the government. Eight of the commission members including Woldemichael decided that the government had used excessive force to quell the June and November demonstrations. Meles Zenawi personally asked the commission to reconsider its decision. The members refused. One member of the commission said he better die than play with the blood of innocent victims.Wolde's passport was confiscated. He was also watched very closely by the government.
In Mid August Wolde left Ethiopia to a neighbor country and then to Germany with the help of active Kinijit International Members, carrying the report of the commission in his hands, where he joined another of the commission members, Firehiwot Samuel, the president of the Supreme Court of SNNP. Firhewot's story is as epic as Wolde's. Although ever willing to work in the system, Firhewot was known for his compassion and morality as a judge. Midway into the investigation, he got three scholarships from three different universities in Europe. After the decision of the commission where Firehiwot sided with the majority, the government disrupted his plan for study. Newly married to a beautiful fresh graduate from Awassa University, Firehiwot's stable life was turning upside down. The government assigned him a driver who he thought was spying on him. His movements were carefully scrutinized. He decided he had to leave the country quickly. With utmost secrecy, Firehiwot arranged his travel and left to Germany in July. He was soon to be followed by his wife.
The result of the investigation was supposed to be presented to the Parliament and published before its summer recession but the PM prohibited the commission from publishing it. It was feared that it would never see daylight unless Meles Zenawi lost power. Yet the defections of two of the commission's most important members have given hope that the world will see the truth through the report.
Coming soon....
-The full report of the commission
-Crisis in the Justice system, resignation of Judges

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Bereket suffers a second stroke

Bereket Simon, the PM's advisor, had a second stroke in the Israeli hospital he was being threated. Family and friend fear the worst for the man who was one of the leaders who tried to thwart Ethiopia's democratic revolution which was sparked by the events of last year's election. Almost all of his famil and some top TPLF members are at his bed side in Israel.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Meles back after visiting Bereket in hospital

Meles Zenawi visited Bereket Simon in Israel yesterday and returned back this noon. His advisor is still in a very critical condition, with serious speech impairment. Sources said that Meles visit confirmed the fear in TPLF circles that he may die.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Update on Berket Simon's health

Bereket Simon's brother flew to Israel today to attend to the prime minister's advisor who is bed stricken. According to sources, Bereket is still in critical condition. His wife who returned back from Israel on Wednesday was sobbing when she told friends about his condition. Bereket was rushed to hospital last week.