Tuesday, November 14
One Year Has Passed...
One year has passed since the mass arrests that announced the boundless vengence of a declining regime:
Ethnic and religious conflicts are on the rise, and both here and abroad the mounting calls for civil violence grow louder still. Free press in this country has been all but slain and official intimidation and harassment have reached unprecedented levels. Though one year has passed, the economy remains lethargic and the social sectors are in lamentable disarray. Preventable humanitarian crises continue to wreak havoc throughout the land, and the international community appears to have abdicated their most worthy responsibilities--successfully duped, distracted and dazzled by the charisma of one of history’s most brutal dictators.
One year has passed, and I awake to find myself living in a society where the words “mass imprisonment”, “torture” and “murder” sprinkle casual conversation, and the sight of camoflauged soldiers--armed with AK-47s and walking four and five abreast--no longer chills the blood.
It is because one year has passed, that I fear the exemplary resilience so often required of people here will slowly allow adaptation, even to such horrors. Are we not all , to varying degress, already learning to gather and refashion our lives from the remmnants of former freedoms—continually surrendering to the endless concessions of our most basic human rights? Are we not all already speaking less…trusting less…hoping less?
I fear, if we have become resigned and disillusioned after only one year, what then should it matter if another passes? And another…?
It is for this reason that now, more than ever, we must each find ways to keep the names and stories of those who have sacrificed so much for Ethiopian life and liberty, alive—on the lips of politicians and members of the international press, in the minds of those in academic circles and lobbyist groups, and in the hearts of concerned citizens all over the globe.
The time for the release of all political prisoners is NOW! View the opposition party as you must, but a single fact remains: This country, in the hands of the EPRDF, is racing towards destruction with a suicidal frenzy. The responsibility, therefore, can no longer be passed back and forth--discussed and debated abroad only to be subsequently returned. Democratic dialogue and leadership must be immediately resumed within this society, if there is to be any hope of survival, development and growth!