“The Right to Speak Loudly”

Essays on Law and Human Rights

By W. J. Basil Fernando

July 27, 2012 (Ayyaantuu.com) “We desperately need cross-cultural discussions on the rule of law and human rights. Much of the discourse is dominated by the West, as is the language of justice, which is associated with several centuries of struggle there. As a result, many of the problems faced by people in Asia are beyond the comprehension of those who are used to this discourse. Persons from the Western tradition struggle to understand how a police may so readily resort to torture as his means for routine criminal investigation, or how he may spend more time making a living on the side than dealing with his official duties. They cannot easily accept that a prosecutor may belong to a powerless agency, or that a complete buffoon may sit as Chief Justice and make a mockery of the very institution he represents. An enlightened discourse on the rule of law and human rights will develop only when we break down the language barriers involved to understand the actual daily experiences of people throughout Asia.”

Strengthening Advocacy Work by Training Activists

The Oromo people have a nice saying : “Harreen wal dhiitti malee ilkaan wal hin cabsitu.” Mr. Seye Abraha may still want to replace Meles and continue Revolutionary Democracy. Thanks to the International Crisis Group (ICG) they have broken the language barriers on their popular report of September 4, 2009. Now, the TPLF elites can no more deceive the international community by speaking the jargons of liberal democracy. Revolutionary democracy is clearly designed by the TPLF for Tigrayan hegemony and domination. Can they sustain it any more? It depends on our commitment and dedication to dismantle this brutal fascist regime.

Ethiopia: What Happens If Meles Zenawi Can No Longer Govern?

July 26, 2012 (eurasia review) – Ethiopia does not have a firm leadership succession plan if Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is no longer able to head the government, according to a former defense minister.


Seeye Abraha, who worked with Meles on the ruling party’s executive committee but who is now a member of the political opposition, said Tuesday that uncertainty and anxiety is growing over the nation’s leadership during the prime minister’s so-far unexplained absence. He blamed it on the country’s one-party electoral system and Meles’ one-man-rule style of governing over the past 12 years.

“They don’t have a system” [of leadership succession], Seeye said. “This is a crisis situation and the dust has not settled.”

He said leaders of the ruling Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and larger Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) parties had discussed a succession plan, but postponed any decisions until prior to a scheduled 2015 national election.

Ethiopia ‘Approaching the End Of the One-Party System’

Seeye Abraha said he does not know where the prime minister is or the nature of his illness.

“I have serious political differences with the prime minister and his party,” Seeye said of Meles and the TPLF. But he said that now is the time for Ethiopia’s political and military leaders to work with the nation to plot a peaceful way forward.

“We are approaching the end of the one-party system,” Seeye said.

The former defense minister said he and Meles finally parted ways over continuation of the costly two-year war with Eritrea. Meles expelled Seeye and three others from the TPLF executive committee.

Then, Seeye was thrown in jail for six years on corruption charges he says were bogus. When he got out of prison, Seeye joined the opposition Unity for Democracy and Justice Party along with a former president, Negaso Gidada.

He left Ethiopia for the United States in 2011. Seeye, 59, now lives in Boston where he recently completed graduate studies in public administration at Harvard University.

If Meles Cannot Lead, Who Will?

Opposition leader Seeye also warned of possible trouble, saying, any leadership transition would be difficult without Meles taking part. For the time being, Seeye said he believed a form of collective leadership was acting during Meles’ absence.

Does Meles Rule By Consensus Or By Fiat?

Seeye disagreed, saying that Meles has been consolidating power for years.

“Meles is not just the chief executive officer of the administration, he is the law of the courts,” said Seeye. “He could make his wishes the law of the land in a matter of hours. That’s how he has been working.”

Despite his political differences with Meles, Seeye said he hopes the prime minister will recover soon.

“I don’t celebrate the pain of another human being or the passing of another human being,” Seeye said. “I wish him recovery and I wish that he ends his political exit with a positive and constructive and historic note.”

–eurasia review


We need a coordinated work by responding to the plight of our people without wasting any time,

Kallacha W. Kune