Monday, May 30, 2011

Blue Nile & Asymmetric Patagonian Death Dams diverge in environmental aspirations

Chile and Ethiopia plays an asymmetric historical similarity in political development since mid 1970’s. The environmentally suppressed Ethiopians are pacified to accept without opposition the "Nile & Gibe Death Dams”. In contrast the democratic civil society of Chile  that vividly revolted the construction of serious of dams in the Andes valley Ethiopia accepted  docilely.  Chile successfully toppled the dictator Augusto Pinochet and reestablished the democratic state of Chile in 1990. One year after the end of No Strings AttachedI Am Number FourChilean dictatorial regime the Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam collapsed with the rest of the ex Soviet satellite sates. He was replaced by an irredentist dictatorial ethnic regime of Melese Zenawie. In Latin American Chile is a country where the basis of democracy and economic development is  well established by successfully replacing the military junta lead by generals who toppled the democratically elected government of Salvador Allende.  It was only 1974, after 3000 years that the people of Ethiopia engaged in a people's revolution that removed the imperial regime of the Negus,  while  Chile was taken over  by a dictatorial regime of Augusto Pinochet. It seems both countries went in different dimension - when Ethiopia goes on the wrong direction Chile seems doing better by going on the right track or vise versa. Now Chile is on the right track while Ethiopia is lamenting in famine and irredentism risking  balkanization.
In sum total Chile seems luckier in her social change than that of Ethiopia.
Thus Chronology of Asymmetric dates between Chile and Ethiopia in social development.
Ethiopian people toppled the imperial regime of the Negus
Gen. Augusto Pinochet declared himself a president
Chile regained its democracy; Pinochet transferred power to a democratically elected president
Ethiopia was taken over by an irredentist dictatorial regime

Thousands of Chileans took to the streets of the capital, Santiago, against the planned construction of a hydroelectric dam in Patagonia.
The Chilean dam e protest was mostly peaceful but ended in clashes with police that left several people arrested.
Hydro Aysén project includes Endesa Chile and Colbún-plans to build five power plants in the Chilean Patagonia. Critics say they have a disastrous effect on the environment and the destruction of 6,000 hectares of forest.
Last Friday held a similar protest which brought 30,000 people. In recent weeks there have been demonstrations against the dam almost daily
The Ethiopian Pinochet Melee Zenawie lunched a Millennium Hydropower plant, the biggest hydropower plant in Africa yet.
The dam, which will be constructed on Nile River some 40Km from the Sudanese boarder, is expected to be completed in four years time. The Grand Millennium Dam will be the largest artificial lake with a capacity of holding 63 billion cubic meter of water, twice the size of the largest natural lake in the country – Lake Tana. By the time the death dam will be filled with water the Nile will not be following to down river basin countries like Sudan and Egypt. Egypt depends solely for her water from the Nile waters. Such drastic move will drain the Lake Tana the artificial lake and dry the Nile definitively.

Chileans Dam Protest

Protest against new hydroelectric dams in Chile

A controversial $3.2 billion hydroelectric project billed as key to satisfying Chile's growing energy needs but potentially an environmental ...
by AFP | 2 weeks ago | 142 views

Protest Against Dam at Chilean Embassy

Chilean People Protest Against the Building of a Dam in Southern Chile.

Ethiopian Dam Support

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Ethiopian 20th anniversary of irredentism, famine and war , Muse Tegegne, Prof.

Ethiopia inaugurates the 20th year of Ethnical irredentism balkanizing of the unitary state as existed for over 3000 years. This dictatorial regime of Melese Zenawie came to power at the demise of the satellite regime of Mengistu Haile Marian two years after the fall the iron curtain in 19191. Melse acessed power by manipulating famine aide to buy arms at the expense of millions starving in the region of Tigre and the rest of Ethiopia.

The recent “day of rage” counter demonstration planned by democracy activists failed to materialize in the model of Arabic Awakenings is due to two principal reasons - first of the absence of a grass root movements to embrace their call since the diasporas has been busy collecting money criticizing one another in pal talks rather than organizing mass under trodden inside Ethiopia , thus end up being a media tiger - and second of the Ethiopian youth is at embryonic stage of social networking highly controlled by the state. If any, they are all those the benefiter of the regime who manipulated the internet not the mass youth like that of Egypt and Tunisia.

Thousands of Ethiopians were forced to turn out in Addis Ababa’s main square to mark Prime Minister Melees Zenawi’s 20th anniversary in power at the risk of losing their job
though at the gunpoint the turnout at Addis Ababa’s Meskel Square was a fraction of the one million predicted by the dictator. The dictator order to cut down the event to its minimum gave further instruction for the office workers to go back to work.

In many part of country the regime deliberated its 2th anniversary the day before to circumvent the mass uprising.

The dictator Melese Zenawi’s address bit the record of minimum speech of 5 minutes to commemorate his coming to power 20 years ago, he used to make a long brain storming at the model of totalitarian regimes. Rather he tried even to drawn it in the Nile by calling for support of construction of a massive dam. This I unprecedented challenge for downstream riparian by constructing a megalomaniac death dam which eventually will drain and dry the flow of the Nile river by stopping the annual flooding., while Ethiopia endowed with plenty of thermal energy accessible with a less cost to human and environment consequences in a country over 3 million starveling.

The last two decades of Melse’s regime took the starving Ethiopians for three major wars_ two Eritrea and one with Somalia. He dumped the election of 2005 which he lost in a day light. In 2010 he rugged the election by assuring his 3 decades of power in a dictatorial regime he created.

Today the regime is confronting a war in Somali region, in Kenyan border, and in the West of the country a conflict not yet accessible to the international media.

When it comes to liberation movements they have not yet found their Ethiopianist identity struggling inside the country. Many seems to follow the rhythm imposed by the belligerent regime of Eritrea, or those movements  that are fighting to create an independent Ethnic region in the model of Southern Sudan or Somaliland.

If the country could not find an avantgardist alternative to bring it to a democracy and consolidate the national state hood it will catch the syndrome of Somali and that of Yugoslavia leading to eventual of balkanization based on the Ethnical constitution and its article 39 which permits self determination up to independence. This the only constitution having such article in the world.

Article 39 the Right of Nations, Nationalities and Peoples

1. Every nation, nationality or people in Ethiopia shall have the unrestricted right to self determination up to secession.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Indian PM visits Ethiopia to expand Africa tradeBBC News

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is visiting Africa in a bid to expand India's trade with the continent.

Mr Singh is in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for the second India-Africa summit, which begins shortly.

India's commerce with Africa is worth $40bn (£25bn) a year, but it is dwarfed by China, which does roughly three times as much business with Africa.

Discussion at the summit is also likely to focus on piracy off the coast of Somalia, which is hindering trade.

In Africa there are plenty of Indian products on offer - from relatively cheap cars and motorbikes to life-saving drugs.

As African heads of state meet Mr Singh, the talk is expected to be about how to boost the trade between two parts of the world that have shown a fair bit of resistance in the face of the global downturn.

The graphs show that the economy in Africa is growing at more than 5% a year - although most people will say they are not feeling it.

Whilst India's economy expanded by more than 8%, India's business links in Africa are also growing - one example being Bharti Airtel spending $10bn (£6.2bn) last year to take over the mobile phone operations across Africa from the Kuwaiti firm, Zain.

The challenge for African leaders is how to boost the trade and move away from an over-reliance on single commodities - the continent's raw materials.

The issue of piracy is also likely to come up during the discussion.

It is estimated that more than 10% of all the sailors kidnapped by the Somali pirates are Indian.

In what sounded like a "you help us and we'll help you" scenario, the Indian prime minister recently said Africa should have a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

India itself has for some years been pushing for its own seat.

So everyone will be keen to keep diplomatic ties strong.

'No scramble for Africa between India & China' - The Times of India

'No scramble for Africa between India & China' - The Times of India

ADDIS ABABA (ETHIOPIA): While the West continues to project and pit India against China in Africa, India has rejected reports that it is competing with China. It has also ruled out any sort of scramble for Africa ahead of the second India-Africa Summit, which begins here on Tuesday. "Africa is a growth pole for the future. It has got its act together.

Africa has tremendous economic potential. It is a continent on the move. For us, it is an opportunity and, for the rest of the world also, it is an opportunity," said Indian officials travelling with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Ethiopia andTanzania.

There is a space for India and China, and it must not be seen as a scramble for Africa, official sources added. India blames the West for projecting India versus China in Africa, as western influence has diminished in the continent which it always considered its backyard. China's trade with Africa was $2billion in 1999, but it has since soared to $110 billion annually, putting it ahead of any western trading partner.

Ethiopia's human rights record scrutinized

Ethiopia's human rights record scrutinized
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NAIROBI, Kenya — It has proven notoriously tricky for Africa’s rebel armies to transform themselves into democratic governments and Ethiopia offers perhaps the clearest case study on the continent of how and why this transition so rarely happens.
Ethiopia, under rebel fighter turned political leader Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, attracts huge donor support for its aid programs and no-holds-barred criticism for its human rights record.
In May 2010 the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition won all but two of the seats in the 547-member national parliament, a 99.6 percent landslide.
European Union election observers were among the few foreign monitors permitted into the country at the time and judged the election to have fallen short of international standards.
Ethiopia meles zenawi 2011 5 16
Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi speaks to the press during a stop over in Sudan on his way to the UN General Assembly in New York, at Khartoum International airport on September 19, 2010. (Ashraf

European Union election observers were among the few foreign monitors permitted into the country at the time and judged the election to have fallen short of international standards.

Often seen sporting a flatcap and glasses, Meles cuts a slight figure and looks more like a 1960s intellectual of the sort that might be found smoking Gauloises and discussing Foucault outside a Parisian cafe than a ruthless guerrilla fighter and military tactician.
Now aged 56, Meles seized power 20 years ago at the end of a long armed struggle to overthrow Mengistu Haile Mariam, who led the notoriously bloodthirsty "Derg" regime.
Before his 20th birthday Meles gave up medical studies to join the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) which was part of the EPRDF anti-Mengistu alliance which rules the country today.
Meles set about rebuilding his country under a system he called “ethnic federalism” which would devolve power from the center and prevent domination and oppression by any single ethnic group.
Like Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Meles argues that with economic growth Ethiopians will eventually become rich enough that tribe no longer matters.
The Ethiopian economy has grown impressively, at about 5 to 7 percent a year recently, albeit from a very low base. Helping Ethiopia along Meles's path are international donors who see in Meles someone they can do business with and who talks their language.
The United States is one of Ethiopia’s biggest backers giving close to a billion dollars in aid in 2008 and in 2009, a figure that was expected to fall to between $500 to $600 million in 2010 and 2011 as food aid was reduced dramatically.
The aim of the aid is to improve the livelihoods of Ethiopia’s 82 million people by funding boreholes (deepwater wells), schools, hospitals, seed and fertilizer particularly in the rural areas where the specter of famine — such as the one that hit Ethiopia and Western television screens in 1984 — is never far away.
But late last year Human Rights Watch, a New York-based pressure group, criticized the delivery of hundreds of millions of dollars of foreign aid. It alleged that the Meles's EPRDF party uses the aid as a political tool, selectively disbursing foreign-funded support to party members or using the threat of withholding aid to coerce people to join the party.
“Assistance to Ethiopia's government has increased while its human rights record has deteriorated," said Rona Peligal of Human Rights Watch. "Donors are contradicting their own principles on human rights and good governance by increasing funding without adequate safeguards."
Peligal accused the government of manipulating aid and warned that donors may be contributing to human rights violations
The U.S. State Department’s own assessment of Ethiopia’s respect for human rights and progress toward democracy is scathing.
“Human rights abuses reported during the year included unlawful killings, torture, beating, and abuse and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces, especially special police and local militias, which took aggressive or violent action with evident impunity in numerous instances,” said the most recent report, published last month by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor.
Human rights groups say there are 300 political prisoners held in Ethiopian prisons and in the run-up to last year’s elections Voice of America’s Amharic service was jammed as were broadcasts by Germany’s Deutsche Welle radio.
Meles, like other ex-rebel leaders on the continent such as Rwanda’s Paul Kagame, Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni, Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe or Eritrea’s Isaias Afwerke, does not like his authority questioned.
Freedom House, a New York-based think tank, rated Ethiopia 168 out of 191 countries worldwide for its freedom of the press in a report published this month to coincide with World Press Freedom Day.
As if to underscore the point, an event to mark the day in Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa was reportedly “hijacked” by government officials. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, independent speakers were replaced by pro-government reporters causing many of the journalists to walk out.
The respected annual survey, "Freedom in the World," also published by Freedom House this year ranked Ethiopia as “not free” for the first time since it began including the country in 2002.
The downgrading from “partly free” was attributed to, “national elections that were thoroughly tainted by intimidation of opposition supporters and candidates as well as a clampdown on independent media and nongovernmental organizations.”
One of the government’s most effective tools in curbing dissent is its monopoly hold over the entire telecommunications industry, and as a result Ethiopia has one of the lowest rates on the continent of internet and mobile phone penetration.
In most African countries it is the simplest thing in the world, upon arrival, to buy a sim card for a few dollars and some airtime on a scratchcard and start making calls. Equally, keeping up with events online is straightforward.
In Ethiopia getting a simcard requires paying-off a local to apply for one at great expense and on your behalf, and news websites are regularly blocked. Local journalists suspect their phone calls and text messages are tapped and their emails are hacked.
Such draconian control may well pay-off. In North Africa the rising costs of living sparked discontent with oppressive and corrupt governments which was then facilitated by social media websites.
Ethiopia maybe oppressive but a Facebook revolution is not about to happen on Meles’ watch even as year-on-year inflation creeps ever higher, reaching almost 30 percent last month.

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Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.