Thursday, February 15, 2007

Ethiopian Millennium: Will you have any part in it?

For those who are not aware, the Ethiopian empire uses the Julian calendar which divides the year in to twelve months of thirty days each and a thirteenth month of 5 or 6 days (in leap year) in length. On September 11 or 12 (I am not sure which one) of this year, true to its nature, the Ethiopian empire will enter the third millennium years after the western world and with the indisputable distinction of being the last vestige of colonial empires. Dubbed “a prison of nations,” the Ethiopian state as we know it today came into existence towards the end of 19th century as a result of colonial conquest by emperor Minilik of Abyssinia, later renamed Ethiopia in mid 1920s.

This last vestige of colonial empires is in the middle of preparations to celebrate its millennium with much pomp and ceremonies unparalleled in the empire’s history.

First, A look back in time...



In 1972, Haile Sellassie’s 80th birthday was celebrated amidst much pomp and ceremonies. While his entourage and cronies were busy congratulating him, unbeknownst to the world and even to the other parts of the empire, a large famine was devouring Wollo. Had it not been for Jonathan Dimbleby, the world would not have known the scope of the famine and the loss of life it caused. While Haile Sellasie’s subjects were starving, Haile Sellassie, his family and their cronies were busy lining up their pockets and stashing away millions of dollars in foreign banks. As a conquered indigenous nation, the Oromo were people without land relegated to serfdom for the conquistadors. Conquered and humiliated, their language, culture, music, art and every thing Oromo was ridiculed and languished under harsh suppression. This was the state of the Oromo nation and the empire when Haile Sellasie’s 80th birthday celebration came around.



Fast forward to 1984. Twelve years later, when the tyrant before this one - Mengistu Haile Mariam - celebrated his 10th anniversary of coming to power, with no less ostentatious display, another famine was ravaging the empire. Liberation struggles were raging in the east, west and north of the empire. Unconcerned and oblivious to the suffering of the people, just like their predecessors, Mengistu and his officials were busy enjoying life and accumulating wealth. Not much had changed for the Oromo people. Still a conquered and humiliated nation, they continued to toil the land but only this time for a different land lord – the DERG. “Disappearance,” incarceration, murder and torture visited those who dared to speak up in defense of their people’s rights. This was the state of the empire and the Oromo people when the DERG celebrated its 10th anniversary with a great deal of fanfare.

Fast forward to the Wayyanee era …



Today, another exercise in pomp and cermonies is in the making with no change in the Oromo situation.

Preparation is underway for a year long celebration of the Ethiopian millennium.

A millennium festival council, whose Members are hand picked TPLF cronies reporting directly to Meles Zenawi or Seyoum Mesfin, has been put together to oversee the preparation. The TPLF propaganda machine is hard at work round-the-clock trying to entice the habasha diaspora to join in the celebrations. International organizations, foreign governments, NGOs and wealthy individuals are urged to fund this extravagant celebration. As in the preceding two cases, today, the empire is awash with political conflicts. Grinding poverty has not loosened its grip on the people. Oblivious to the suffering around them, just like their counterparts in the previous regimes, TPLF officials are lining up their pockets and stashing away millions in foreign banks. They do so through EFFORT (Endowment Fund For Rehabilitation of Tigray), the vast business conglomerate, only second to Sheik Al-Amudi’s MIDROC (Mohammed International Development Research and Organization Companies) in the empire.

What of the Oromo situation?

The Oromo situation is no different today than it was under the previous two tyrants. Our people continue to “disappear”, be murdered and incarcerated for prolonged period of time for political reasons. Don't take my words for it; visit Oromia Support Group and other respected Human Rights advocates. Oromo children continue to grow up without fathers while their fathers are either murdered and buried 6 feet under or languishing in TPLF dungeons. Oromo resources continue to be taken advantage of to develop other regions – Tigray in this case.

Will the empire ever learn from history? You think? As an Oromo national would you have any part in this millennium celebration? Would you step over the bodies of our fallen heroes and heroines for a one night high?

Have your say!

19 comments:

Anonymous said...

You know Habashas refer to it as Ethiopian calendar as if they invented it. They like to claim anything they can put their hands on, they have no shame. It just shows how backward they are, I with rest of the world celebrated millennium 7 years ago. For me their Millennium is just meaning less just as Chinese calendar.

Anonymous said...

Haile Silase and Mangistu had wasted so much money to oranize the event, but, Meles, in contrary be using the celebration as a fund raising event. Ofcourse, part of the fund will be going to a "war torn Tigray". Part will be deposited or invested by Meles & Co.
The rest will be offered a milenum version Meles brand Democracy.

Kufnee Kaana

Anonymous said...

It's Oromos resource they are spending irresponsibly. All most all foreign currency the Ethiopian empire earns from trade comes from Oromo land. Be it Haile Silase, Mengistu or Meles use Oromo's resource to dominate Oromos themselves. I don't think they care much for the expenditure since it does not belong to them. I guess they just want to use in a lavish expenditure such as this before they are ousted by the real owners of the resource.

Anonymous said...

The Oromo have nothing to do with the Ethiopian Calendar. Of course, with the exception of the Ethiopianized Oromo. Foe example, visit the Shanee Qinijjit's website and clic AFD. You then can read their New Year 1999 message. How bizzar? The only confusion is they write in Afaan Oromoo. Were you surprised when their leader kibur Ato Dawud Ibsa kept quite on the New Year Eve 2006?

We, the Oromo, have created our own calendar long time ago. Let us research about our own heritage. Leave what is others to others.

God bless Oromia!

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