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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Meles condemns TPLF’s performance

Also in the news: Urgent message to Illinois Ethiopian Americans, FIDH’s findings, review of Dr. berhanu’s book, kidnappings in Ethiopia, Lucy's Baby found in Ethiopia and more of today’s top stories

The 8th organizational conference of the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) which takes place once every three years has started last Monday. Reports indicate security has been extremely tight in the region with cars going into Mekele being subject to rigorous searches. There were also accounts of Pedestrians randomly being asked to show IDs. Witnesses say thousands of fully armed federal police and the regions state police have descended on Mekele. Non government Journalists were barred from attending the meetings including reporters from the VOA and Deutsche Welle German radio.

On his report, president of the Party (TPLF) Meles Zenawi, to the astonishment of the attending crowd acknowledged; the lack of efficiency in completing government projects, lack of democratic culture in the society, the failings of government officials in answering key questions raised by the public and the squandering of money allocated for development purposes.

Despite the fact that he stopped short of taking personal responsibility, his report to the general assembly is seen by most as an admission of guilt concerning the many failings of TPLF’s policies particularly in Tigray, as well as Ethiopia in General.

Urgent message to Ethiopian-Americans in Illinois

By Dr. Alemayehu G. Mariam

"Let me first say that, without any action on your part, Ethiopian-Americans in Illinois and in 14th Illinois Congressional district have been dealt a historic role in determining whether our people in Ethiopia will have freedom, democracy and human rights, or continue to swelter with the heat of injustice and oppression. I am not sure if you would have voluntarily welcomed such a historic responsibility, but I am afraid, being the constituents of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Dennis Hastert, that responsibility has now been thrust upon you. And so, you must now lead the charge to get H.R. 5680 to the floor. But as I ask you to take up the mission of rescuing H.R. 5680 from captivity in the office of your representative from Illinois, and delivering it to the House floor for a free debate and vote, I must share with you my own personal and profound sadness. Your representative, Dennis Hastert, Speaker of the House of Representatives, has abandoned Ethiopia. And forgive me if I offend you, but he has abandoned you as well."(More...)

Review of Dr. Berhanu's New Book (Amharic)



FIDH (The International Federation for Human Rights) strongly condemns the continuing repression of human rights defenders and is also extremely worried about the physical and psychological wellbeing of members. Indeed, since the second crackdown on mass protest, three of EHRCO’s veteran staff have been forced into exile for fear of their lives. Several EHRCO members have been arrested arbitrarily and held in detention for various periods of time. Due to fear of retaliation by government agents, families and friends of victims have been reluctant to come to EHRCO's office and report violations of human rights. Even victims of arbitrary arrest and torture have been unwilling to speak about their sufferings for fear of further retribution. EHRCO is now operating in a very hostile environment.(More...)

The Stephen Colbert Bridge?

The government of Hungary ran an online poll. People were invited to vote for the person who would get his or her name on a new bridge over the Danube. Tuesday night, comic Steven Colbert caught wind of the contest and instructed his viewers to vote for him. Colbert ended up with 30 percent of the vote, far ahead of any other contender. (More...)..also see..'And to your left, the Stephen Colbert Bridge'

Today's Top Stories

-Two Red Cross workers kidnapped in Ethiopia
-"Lucy's Baby" -- World's Oldest Child -- Found by Fossil Hunters
-On Hama Tuma’s 'Of Spade and Ethiopians'
-Decision for Darfur peacekeepers
-Chavez calls Bush 'devil' in U.N. speech
-Thai army chief has king's endorsement
-Indonesian Leaders Accept Pope's Apology
-Israel gets 'sign of life' from captive soldier
-Shouting Match At Saddam Trial
-Massachusetts Voters to Decide Next Governor in Historic Election
-Crocodile Hunter a hard act to follow