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Questions for Prof. Mesfin Woldemariam

Ethiopian Review will ask the following questions at the July 6 (Sunday) public meeting in Washington DC with UDJ representatives Prof. Mesfin Woldemariam and Ato Asrate Tase.

We encourage the UDJ representatives to study these questions in advance and give us honest answers. We look forward to the discussion the respected human rights activist and his colleague.

1. Is UDJ the old Kinjit with a different name or is it a new organization?

2. If the answer is that it is the old Kinjit

a) what is the status of the Kinjit 8-point proposal?

b) Kinjit does not recognize the Woyanne-dominated election board’s legitimacy. One of the main demands of the Kinjit 8-point proposal is that the election board should be free from Woyanne control. So why are you currently seeking the approval of the illegitimate election board?

c) Why didn’t you keep Kinjit’s name?

If the answer is UDJ is is a new organization, under what authority are you using the funds that were collected for Kinijit to help it carry out its program, including the 8-point proposal which you seem to have abandoned?

3) In more than one occasion you have claimed that ‘peaceful struggle has not started in Ethiopia.’ Following the 2005 elections, 26,000,000 Ethiopians have come out and voted for change, thousands of unarmed pro-democracy protesters have paid the ultimate sacrifice, many more have been detained in Nazi-type concentration camps… So on what basis are you arguing that ‘peaceful struggle has not started’ in Ethiopia?

4) In one of your recent interviews you have labeled some Ethiopians and organizations that are waging armed resistance against Woyanne as “feudal” and “neftegna.” These Ethiopians are defending themselves, protecting their villages, homes, and families. Isn’t self defense a basic human right?

Kinijit Washington DC Metro chapter is hosting a public meeting with Prof. Mesfin Woldemariam, UDJ council member, and Ato Asrate Tase, UDJ secretary general in Washington DC, July 6, 2008.

Place: Washington Marriott
Address: 1221 22nd Street NW, Washington DC
Date/Time: July 6, 2:00 PM
More info: 202 541 0556

22 thoughts on “Questions for Prof. Mesfin Woldemariam

  1. All these questions are legitimate and the good professor needs to answer them adequately. In fact, I would even more bluntly ask whether Birtukan’s pledge about participating in the coming 2010 national election doesn’t contravene with Kinijit’s 8-point demands, for whose sake hundreds died and hundreds of thousands either languished in Woyane concentration camps or fled the country?

  2. Elias; I appreciate your courage and determination, about Ethiopia, and all your efforts to expose the Wayenes. However, when it comes to the situation in Zimbawe try to discover the cause from its roots, I hope you won’t be deceived by the BBC and VOA. They are really offended how a black court can decide, on the ever-privileged whites, like Mugabe did. He is a pride of Africa I don’t have enough time to explain that and I hope you will try to find it out by yourself. Your second baised attitude is about professor Mesfin,Please note that there can never be a living reference about Ethiopian affairs than this living veteran, apart from the limitits he may have due ,to hardishps and old age and misleading reports from people with no know how about Ethipian poliitics since Menilik II upto now. He is the only preferable reference we have.He may not be HERO as Zereay Deress,Abdissa Aga,Belay Zeleke,Asrat Weldeyes…But he is the right and appropriate reference for Ethiopia’s Good and Bad past.Elias so far you are good and will remain so if you base your analysis mostly on reasoning than emotions and haste,though emotion is neccessary at times. Keep up with your usual courage but consider my comments!

  3. Dear all,
    The problem to Ethiopian oppositions is that they always fight each other, instead of fighting the dictatorial regime. They just spend much time blaming each other. Whether you ask the professor those questions or not, it just makes no sense. We have to simply move on with Ginbot 7, period. Ginbot 7 needs to act and show us its practical phase. There by people will join hands and start working with it.

  4. Dear Professor.
    When i hear your name i automatically associate it with love for Ethiopia: i don’t want it to change and i’m certain most Ethiopians do. Recently your comments seem to invoke fear by writing the brutality of Meles and indirectly suggesting to bow to his ruling. Didn’t know what to say professor, you mentioned at one writing Meles is scared and paranoid so he will kill any opposition which comes his way. So you decided to join him as fake opposition not to be killed. What about staying at home, professor. Don’t flush your knowledge down with this tainted criminals. You are at last the minute, please pull out, make us proud. We need your moral support.
    Please ER team, do what ever you can to get him on out that group. I don’t know if it is his old age or some thing else, he seem to get played by TPLF, the Sheik(Most probably)

  5. If you are in Ethiopia, a little bit, you have to play by the woyanne rule. That is what the professor and the associates are doing. It is not the perfect strategy , but the only strategy if you are to struggle from inside.
    God bless the professor and Birtukan.

  6. I do not understand onething here.UDJ wanted to participate in 2010 election. Do the party officials still believe Meles can be getrid off by ballot box? you must be crazy. It is only mad people are following you. How can you be a leader if you do not understand this simple logic? These people are a jocker avoid yoursef from them. You go out to elect them in 2010 and then woyane will arrest or deprive all your rights in Ethiopia. UDJ officials will carry on working with woyane like oppositions. they do not care about you.

    This party legaly accepted woyane to rule till 2010.But geniune Ethiopians want to eliminate them before that.Do not be divreted by this party.Do we really want our people to suffer untill 2010.

  7. Dont waste your time folks,all the UDJ party members went wrong when they change their name to the new party when they are told to do so.
    There is no legal means after now on wards to challenge the government on behalf of Kinijit.over.
    The only smart person who has a strong support from Ethiopia people is Hailu Shawel.
    If UDJ has a strong suppoter among the people there was no need of contempalting about Kinijit name back after all they once collect signiture from their supporter and regisetred legally by the election board for the new Party.
    They know it they have no bublic base in Ethiopia.

  8. Prof. Mesfin is no more “our” Mefin we used to know. He advocates for peaceful struggle in the absence of independent court, free media, civic organizations and independent election board: in short, knowingly or unknowingly he is helping the woyane illigitimate government. Mesfin says the peaceful struggle has not yet begun. What a shame! How about those 197 people mercilessly killed by Agazi troops? How about our people languishing in prisons every where? Were they armed? It is better for Prof. Mesfin to die with honour and dignity rather than trying to please the woyane government at the last moment of his life by criticizing and demoralizing those brave Ethiopians fighting the woyanes with arms. The only language woyane understands is gun barrel. Nothing else! Woyane is deliberately starving our people, giving our land to Sudan, and robbing Ethiopia’s resource day and night. Even Ethiopia’s gold deposit was robbed from the National Bank of Ethiopia! What else Mesfin wanted to know? If he is no more interested to fight for Ethiopia, at least he has to keep his mouth shut! He should stop criticizing our heroes! Even his comments on the issue of Ethio-Sudan border are not clear. He is deliberately giving ambigious statements. But now we know all the facts! There is no need for him to confuse our people. The issue is very clear: woyane has given our land to Sudan, and this will cost woyanes dearly. It is a matter of time!

  9. From what I have read so far, I can sense that most of you may not know the real Professor. I am getting mixed feelings about him and his friends’ agenda. I hope I am wrong.

  10. Do not spend your money for talkatives. Ethiopia urgently needs patriotic people that liberate her from economical supression as well as political opression.

    We can not resolve or get rid off our problems only by city-hall meetings. We have to dare to support financially and morally the fighters at the right place.

    Therefore we have to support those who waged armed struggle to wipe out the Woyane mercenaries and its lackeys.
    Enough is enough.

    abajo con Woyanes,
    la lucha continúa!

  11. Prof. Mesfin failed us at the time when we need him most. Instead of blessing each of us who desire fighting Weyane in our own choice, he blames all others but his favorite group.

    It is puzzling to me to see him attacking some groups with past references. “Balamaras”, “fitwarari” etc …were the tiles under which people scarified for Ethiopian sovereignty. It is the reflection of our past. Our enemies used those terms as insult to shake our foundation. Why Prof., rich in vocabularies, needs to borrow our enemies’ word to express his disapproval of certain groups? Gud Ena Jirat Kewdhuala New…

  12. **Ethiopian sons and doughters who liftthe arms to fight the eveil meles and his weyane army are not fuedals*******

    The problem with the so called veteran Ethiopian opposition figures such as Prof. Mesfin and others, they are not result oriented. For them, gathering people to talk about injustices and receive applauds would that they have carried out their national duty. However, the truth of the matter is that Ethiopians are tired of theories and wishful thinking and they want someone to relieve them from the jaws of this brutal beast called Meles Zenawi and his Weayna army. Prof. Mesfin will repeat the same speech he gave 16 years ago and nothing will change! Time has come the younger generation to see the situation objectively and plan a result oriented strategy and fight the beast in the language it understands.
    I am sure the professor will try to ridicule the Gonbet 7 movement and its leader Dr. Berhanu Nega; however the professor will not offer any other alternative except turning the Ethiopian opposition movement into a sitting duck which is under the mercy of the brutal beast. Personally, I don’t oppose the UDJ per se, under the circumstances, it is trying to re-establish itself and work as a party. That is fine as long as it doesn’t turn itself into Ledetu type party. So my brotherly advice to Eliase is that we shouldn’t be harsh on UDJ, at the same time UDJ should refrain from demeaning or ridiculing the heroic Ethiopian sons and daughters that life the klashkove to fight the evil weyane regime in the language it understands! The EPRP is involved in a heated campaign to weaken any armed opposition in Ethiopia citing the fact that Eritrea is their main supplier! What we should all concentrate is on EPRP’s unwarranted attack on anything which is viable armed Ethiopian opposition movements!! It ahs this mentality that EPRP failed in the armed struggle then any Ethiopian armed struggle must also not start or make sure fails!! SO EPRP is more lethal to Ethiopian opposition than any other party.
    So Eliase please instruct you associates that will attend the professors Seminar to ask him refrain from ridiculing the armed struggle. He has the right to conduct his struggle from the warmth his villa in Addis served by few maids and enjoy afternoon tea in Addis’ fine outlets but he has no right to demean Ethiopia’s kurt ken lejoch! Enough is enough, the times banking on reputation (zena) s over what Emama Ethiopia needs one who could be sacrificial lamb to her cause and lead the struggle! Lets face it, Professor Mesfin who receives medical treatment from top notch Boston medical institutes and live in sprawling villa in Addis with a staff that includes –door man, cook, maid and so on to call the heroic sons and daughters of Ethiopia who are spilling their blood to relieve her from the jaws of this beast called Meles and his Tigrayan elites as feudal is shame to say the least!! So the man better watch his words!!

  13. i am just curious that when do we stop being a victim of our own passion and make law the utmost force of our far as i am concerned the people who rule our society are the primery problems for ethiopian progress by refusing to accept law as a norm to regulate our question to prof is this,what shall be done to form a government and rule society not by individuals ,but law?

  14. Professor Mesfin W/Mariam has had contributed imensely and deligently in almost everything since he assumed accountability and responsibility throughout his life.

    For sure and farankly, he is irreplacable from among the best and the brightest. We should thank our motherland for having given us such a gentleman; and of course, Ethiopia is not short of producing unique Ethiopians in the future and again, Ethiopia had given Ethiopians a lot and we must pay back the motherland by doing things smartly and wisely.

    Ethiopia is proud of professor Mesfin W/Mariam and has she never been failed by him nor left unprotected. Professor Mesfin has benn and is an excellent thinker and a wise man,too.

    one day, if our genunine wish comes true through our collaborative effort, our wish will be that Professor Mesfin W/ Mariam leading Ethiopians victory and freedom because he is more than 100% outstanding an Ethiopian.

    Ethiopians,let’s us not rush to criticize the abled-gentleman and arrive at a wrong conclusion. If we want Ethiopia to be loved and cared, we must care about her irreplacable son, the greatest man, Professor Mesfin W/Mariam. Amen and thanks.

  15. Prof.’s daughter, at the congressional hearing, portrayed her Dad as a fighter for people in all three regimes. What was her rational behind? Was she begging the Tigrean war lords to release her dad for his rebellious nature? Or was she softening the Tigray war-lords’ crimes as the norm in Ethiopia?

    To my surprise, her Dad repeats the same analogy of the border sell -out to Sudan by Melese as the “norm”, when he answered “Haleslase also did the same thing”. Why does he need to dilute the genuine public concern/outrage with the twisted historical facts?

    I come to believe, Prof like his daughter is in soul searching mode where to stand.

  16. I have one more question to Professor Mesfin recently I heard you saying I quote ” we the older generation have a problem of attitude even if he has Ph D or lived over 30 years in America”. I personally share your idea and believed it has been happening in our country quiet a long time. And also our enamies( Woyanes) knows that weakness and play games using that.

    So the question is: If you admit that problem what is your strategy to overcome this problem personally as well as in your party. Creating awearness among young ethiopians or handovering responsibility to the youth, hope that doesn’t have atleast as many problem as their elderly fathers.

    Professor you may agree with me it is major problem we are watching atleast half a century. If we are not willing to avoid this problem in Ethiopia:
    1. The oppositions will never be succesful
    2. Ethiopians will not get democratic leadership even in the future.

    Ethiopia is our country for all of us equally; nobody is king nobody is slave irrespective of what religion beliefs and ethinic back ground he/she came from.

    Finally even if it suppose to be understood and admitted long time ago, I would like to apperciate professor Mesfin for admitting their mistakes officially. That is what Ethiopians want to hear and come to cncences before even starting struggle.

  17. I urge young generation to be very prudent and pragmatic. Be very practical and careful. Let Wisdom and knowledge be your heavenly stars to guide you to correct and decisive directions and accurate moves and results. Be careful, be diligent, be observant. Get rid of your emotions; avoid traps; always watch for hidden and useable problems.
    Learn from the past; read history thoroughly and sieve it and use it to take and think of correct actions. Learn from local and international popular movements and read about human and mass movements as much as you could if you have a capacity to do so. If not start preparing your own selves to learn more and then open up your minds.
    Emotions and uncritical ness bring in more devastating results different from what you may wanted to get to or achieve or even accomplish. Therefore be careful when you try to challenge the wisdom of the learned and the wise people of the country or for that matter of our world. Even try to learn from your enemies.
    One of the most expensive and difficult work in modern politics is researching and spying an enemy;
    That you could see how much was spent by supper powers during the Cold War era between the East and the West. Let alone from a friend you try hard to learn from your enemies. Am I correct? I think so.
    I want the new generation to learn from our blunders in the past decades and want them not to repeat the same mistakes. Social contradictions are very temporary and they may not last longer than an age of a single leader but a leader could make a county regress or progress. That you could learn from Megistu’s era or the oppositions during the last five decades. I am not saying do not fight but fight careful and see things in a long run not in terms of very limited time. As time is limitless and boundless you have even to think for not glory of a generation but many generations to come. Solidify your leadership, strength the commitments of the popular mass and build strong organizations. Be inclusive and do not yearn to cristize rather be fast and yield to learn from the knowledgeable and the idiots both have a lot to give you and make you wiser every moment you meet them.
    If you try to devotedly correct your ignorance and accumulate knowledge from all its sources you may be able to correct social problems otherwise you might find all your efforts to be a dream. Dreams do not result in correct solutions to problems but diligently analyising situations and coming to correct conclusions may open many venues to better understandings of social problems. Listen, listen, ad listen. Good followers and good leaders tend to listen and understand.
    What I am seeing from some people in our own famous institutions has been trying to teach our young generation to come to understanding of the whole universe and there by the Ethiopian Empire. The clever and the intelligent ones understood it fast and wanted to get quick solutions to our social problems but they became victims themselves; therefore I want the new generation to learn from our past struggles and get to new ways of solutions. Do not break up things things in the universe are always unified in whatever form you look at them. Try to find a middle ground where you may come up to last long solutions. Our problems could not be solved overnight at a meeting or even a few decades efforts but we must come up with a long lasting solutions that enable other new generations to continuous working on it.
    Melese chose to see things in the long terms and chose to be patient when he was just 22 years and stayed in the jungle for 17 years and that allowed him to gain power for another additional 17 years. The ones who opted for quick solutions perished on the streets of Addis but the ones who were patient remained alive and fought Mengistu until they kick him out of his throne in 1991. Some professors kept teaching people about the wisdom of the past and fought successive governments but the ones who opted for quick solution never lasted long.

    Love to learn from good and bad teachers and follow their leads to see the truth for yourselves; Jesus had only 12 disciples 2000 years ago and they were good students and listeners and they spread the message and able to cover Asia Minor and the Europe with their messages and their ideas have been moving the world since then. Aristotle and other philosophers did the same thing before Jesus and they were very successful. Mohamed the Prophet did the same thing and he has more than 300,000, 000 followers today. That took place within the mere 1400 years. Buddha did the same thing and he has billions of followers. Add you own thinkers and leaders and the may augment what I am trying to tell you.
    I am not supporting or saying Professors are correct but I say they might have some good truth that they know about the Ethiopian people and Empire and learn from them as much as you can and they may help you to come to some better solutions to our problems. They had spent many years researching and writing about the Empire since their college years. Do not shipwrecked by your emotions. Lean and learn to think correctly.

    A good student asks questions to learn more and more!

    Sabataa Dubbii

  18. Yes we are praud of proffesor mesfin and all his dedications.However,if he try to undermine ginbot 7 movment using his referent power that would be a problem.He doesnt need to think that it is only his way that make sense.If he want to tell us ginbot 7 is not a good option we need him to give us one best options.Otherwise it is very easy to undermine others efforts without presenting another good options.

  19. Professor Mesfin W/Mariam is known for one and only one thing in his entire life: He speaks his mind. He is not afraid to tell people of what he beleives in.

    He has fought 3 dictatorial governemnts in his own way and he for sure will continue to do so until his last breath. He doesn’t bark from a distance running away from his country like me or other people. He fights right there on Ethiopia soil. He has paid a price for that at his old age. So all of us,including the “Akaki Zeraf!” people from “Bahirmado”, please let us show respect for this national hero in our political discorse with him.

    We may disagree with his ideas but let us disagree respectfully.

  20. What did Prof bring for us through his struggle in the last three regimes?

    Was not the same Prof who was the architect for Kinijit creation? He was the first to run away from it when the infant organization starts to stumble. Now, he becomes the first person to blame others for kinjit ills.

    He would have been understood, as respected father figure, if he had preached harmony, patience and resilience in the struggle against Weyane. But what was heard from him was quite on the contrary; he made himself a “clean man” by attacking others.

    Separatist movements are getting stronger every day while others are paralyzed by “peaceful struggle” mantra. Why is peaceful struggle any way? To save lives? Thousands Ethiopians in Somalia and throughout Ethiopia are dying every day; hundred thousands lives already lost in Badme under a mercenary leadership. We wouldn’t have lost so many people and pride if we would have taken our destiny in our own hands long time ago.

  21. Elias
    It is good to raise challenging questions like this.I am exited to hear what their answer will be because it shows how deep they know their cause,and how commited they are or not to the direction they chose.

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