Mekiyaa Abdullahitiin/Binta Dirree | Caamsaa 21, 2012
May 21, 2012 (Reporter) – Ali Birra is a man of great talent. For many Ethiopians the video that is shown on ETV was the closest presence they could ever get. Watching his songs on ETV, many people have sung along even if they do not understand the language. The saying “music is a universal language” seems to work perfectly in his case. He captivated many people who do not even speak Oromiffa.
This composer and poet is also renowned in giving life to traditional sounds that have existed for generations.
With a unique and powerful storytelling technique, he was able to raise issues that many feared to dare. That is why people consider him as a freedom-fighter advocating liberty for the oppressed people. He fought for the recognition of one’s own language, identity, and existence for the Oromo people and his music became the voice of the voiceless.
With renowned songs like “Asabalee” his music-transcended language, time, and served as an echo connecting voices. Born in Dire Dawa, his musical journey started when he was a teenager and paid a sacrifice when he was persecuted but was very persistent in standing for what he believes in. His only weapon was music and he started spreading his messages with powerful words. Through the years he gave everlasting songs like Hin Yaadin, Ammalelee, Gamachu that took people to different experiences. He talked to Tibebeselassie Tigabu of The Reporter about his upcoming album and his experiences. Excerpts: Read more…
To: His Excellency Mr Ban Ki – Moon
Secretary-General, United Nations
Office of the Secretary General
885 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10017.
Fax – 212 – 963 – 7055
Re. “Crime Against Humanity.”
Dear Mr Ban KI-Moon,
We, the Oromo communities around Melbourne, Australia would like to bring to your close attention our grave concern regarding the atrocity that has been inflicted upon the Oromo people by the current Ethiopian Regime.
Even, before formation of the country Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa, people lived in harmony sharing and respecting their religion and human dignity for centuries. Before that our ancestors believed in one God and lived together in peace and harmony for years. After adapting the modern religions Christianity and Islam, did not caused any problem the past years. But currently the Oromo’s killed, tortured, arrested and disappeared, at large by the current TPLF/EPDRF regime creating reasons and conflicts among Nations and Nationalities. Read more…
May 20, 2012 – Genzebe Dibaba stormed to an Ethiopian record in the women’s 1500m. She took comfortable wins on a rainy evening at the Samsung Diamond League meeting in Shanghai, China on Saturday.
An impressive Dibaba totally dominated the race from the moment the pacemaker dropped out with a composed surge to the line, clocking 3:57.77, a national record, a meeting record and the fastest in the world for two seasons.
With the world indoor title already in her pocket, this youngest of the Ethiopian Dibaba sisters is destined for great things.
Dibaba’s compatriot, Abeba Aregawi was second in a personal best time of 3:59.23, with Moroccan Ibtissam Lakhouad third in 4:01.69 and Kenyan Helen Obiri fourth in 4:03.15. Read more…
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Mekiyaa Abdullahitiin/Binta Dirree | Caamsaa 20, 2012
Falmadhu kaa yaa abbaa biyyaa
Gabroomurra du’a wayyaa!
Saba ifiitiif onnachuudhaa
Mirga ifiitiif falmachuudhaa
Itti fuufi qabsoo mirgaa
Haqa qabdaa dubbii dhugaa
Nyphaa diinaa jalaa baasii
May 20, 2012 | Aljazeera
Washington, DC — Friday the G-8 leaders will begin a summit at Camp David, MD, with discussions focusing on the global economic recovery and food security in the developing world, with President Obama having invited the leaders of Benin, Ethiopia, Ghana and Tanzania to discuss food security, but the presence of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is causing growing concern because of the land grab issue in his country and unaddressed human rights abuses there.
“Several years ago, I introduced legislation to sanction the Ethiopian government for the killing of peaceful protesters in 2005 and its broader violations of human rights,” said Congressman Chris Smith (NJ-04), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health and Human Rights. “Not only do human rights violations continue in Ethiopia, but the government has now added the element of displacing their own people in favor of foreign interests farming Ethiopian land instead of their own citizens. Having Ethiopia at the table to discuss food security is counter-productive based on their land policies.
“The only way the inclusion of Ethiopia at the G-8 summit makes sense is if this forum provides an occasion to have a serious discussion with Meles about his unacceptable treatment of Ethiopian citizens, including policies that have made more of his people’s food insecure,” Smith said. Read more…
May 20, 2012 THURMONT, Maryland (VOA News) – As U.S. President Barack Obama finished meetings with leaders from the Group of Eight leading industrialized nations and African heads of state at the Camp David retreat in Maryland, demonstrations erupted in nearby towns. The protesters involved regulars of the Occupy movement as well as anti-government Ethiopian activists.
Several hundred Ethiopian activists came from across the United States to protest meetings involving Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who has been in power since 1991. The United States is a major aid contributor to Ethiopia, whose leader has been accused of restricting freedoms, including those of the media.
Discussions with African leaders have focused on boosting outside agricultural investment, but one protester, Mohamed Abdo, warned against pouring any outside money into Ethiopia. Read more…
Vast swaths of Africa are being bought up by oligarchs, sheikhs and agribusiness corporations. But, as this extract from The Land Grabbers explains, centuries of history are being destroyed.
May 20, 2012 (The Guardian) – Omot Ochan was sitting in a remnant of forest on an old waterbuck skin and eating maize from a calabash gourd. He was lean and tall, wearing only a pair of combat pants. Behind him was a straw hut, where bare-breasted women and barefoot children cooked fish on an open fire. A little way off were other huts, the remains of what was once a sizable village. Omot said he and his family were from the Anuak tribe. They had lived in the forest for 10 generations. “This land belonged to our father. All round here is ours. For two days’ walk.” He described the distant tree that marked the boundary with the next village. “When my father died, he said don’t leave the land. We made a promise. We can’t give it to the foreigners.”
Our conversation was punctuated by the rumble of trucks passing on a dirt road just 20 metres away. The dust clouds they created wafted into the clearing and rained down on the leaves on the trees. Beyond the road huge earth-diggers were excavating a canal. Omot watched them: “Two years ago, the company began chopping down the forest and the bees went away. The bees need thick forest. We used to sell honey. We used to hunt with dogs too. But after the farm came, the animals here disappeared. Now we only have fish to sell.” And with the company draining the wetland, the fish will probably be gone soon, too. Read more…