Thursday, October 30, 2014

Ethiopia advocate Ras Seymour Mclean passes away | The Voice Online

PASSIONATE: Ras Seymour Mclean
RAS SEYMOUR McLean, a well-known advocate for the return of priceless Ethiopian relics and hundreds of books and manuscripts of Ethiopian history, has passed away in London on October 6 after a short illness.
He was also best known an activist for the recognition of land given by Emperor Haile Selassie to Jamaican Rastafari who wished to return to their spiritual home in Shashemane.
Ras Seymour McLean was also a regular campaigner who would attend most public events when Jamaican government ministers were visiting the UK pleading for assistance to the Rastafarians who had set up home in Shashemane but were neglected by the Ethiopian government.
There will be a special African-themed funeral service for Ras Seymour McLean on Thursday (Nov 6) at the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, Phillips Square, Battersea, London SW8 3RT starting at 10am. Interment will be at Putney Vale Cemetary, Stag Lane, London SW15.
Seymour Antony Mclean was born in Jamaica on November 6, 1956 and he grew up in Beckford Kraal, Clarendon. He was the third of four brothers and one sister. He spent his formative years in Jamaica where he attended Mount Liberty Primary School.
At the age nine he left Jamaica for England with his older brother Ronald to be reunited with his mother in Battersea, south London. He attended Wix's Lane primary where the knowledge of his maths times tables positioned him way in front of his peers, he recalls being sent to the back of the class for “knowing to much”. He later attended William Blake Secondary School.
In his teenage years, Seymour studied karate. He went on to represent the UK in the European championships at the semi-final stage.
Seymour followed in his elder bother’s footsteps into electrical engineering and started work as an apprentice at Clarkes Electrical Constructor. He rapidly worked his way up the ranks and he went on to work at Lloyds of London, the prestigious central London-based specialist insurance organisation. He then moved on to work at Sterling Westminster as a Financial Consultant until 1982.
In 1982, Ras Seymour Mclean came to the Ras Tafari House (temple) in Brixton, south London, at the time of the famine in Ethiopia.
After expressing his concerns and reasoning with the elders, he and others were sent to research the best ways to support Ethiopia. A series of fundraising events followed this.
His further research led him to spearheading a campaign calling for the return of priceless relics and hundreds of books and manuscripts of Ethiopian history to Ethiopia, which were stolen from the Ethiopian church during the British invasion of the African nation in 1868.
His struggle was chronicled in a 1991 television movie, The Book Liberator, which was based on his trial after he had recovered several of the manuscripts from the British museum ¬ including the Kebra Nagast (Prayer of the Virgin Mary) from the Pankhursts’ museum – an offence for which he spent nine months in prison.
In June 1990, Ras Seymour McLean joined the Ethiopian World Federation Inc and he devoted most of his life to research and repatriation in the true sense of the words, exploring the ancient Ethiopian royal and cultural history.
He was part of the delegation for the 1992 Centenary Trod to Ethiopia, and in1996 he was part of the delegation for the Centenary of the Adwa Victory celebrations in Addis Ababa. He was well known for his one pound educational documents, which he sold on the streets of London.
Ras Seymour was known globally for the liberation of ancient Ethiopian manuscripts and books looted from Magdala, Ethiopia, in 1868 by the British. His research led him to uncover priceless information about the magdala loot, this has been documented on TV and again Seymour spent significant time campaigning for the stolen relics return.
Through his own business project, Ras Tafari International Consultants, he also retrieved public records detailing the British parliamentary involvement in the looting of Magdala, as well as their interest in, and reports on, the Rastafari Movement in their early days in Jamaica and the Caribbean.
Ras Seymour held the offices of President, Vice-President, Sergeant-at-Arms, and Chaplain in the Ethiopian World Federation, Incorporated. He always strived to create ways and means to administrate and develop the organisation. Whilst serving as President he used his business skills and initiative to generate income for the locals.

In this connection, he hosted Ethiopian clothing exhibitions, and the Empress Menen Accolade was established during his presidency.
Likewise, the “Papa Dyer Flags Project” was established to financially assist Papa Dyer’s family in Shashemane, Ethiopia, giving testimony to his great awareness of humanitarian needs.
Whilst in office, he met with various officials at the Ethiopian and other Afrikan embassies, the Jamaica High Commission, and with the late Patriarch of Ethiopia, Abuna Paulos.
Ras Seymour McLean was a prolific public speaker on topics including ‘Protection of Ras Tafari Movement including Intellectual Property, Music, Arts and Culture’. He shared the stage at the RAS Tafari Global Reasoning 2003 conference held on the Mona Campus, Jamaica, were he was welcomed with several Rastafarians from around the globe.
He is survived by six children, Claudine, Farriea, Pharoah, Negus, Theodore and Janhoy as well as six grandchildren, Theo, Timone, Nkhai, Athaliah, Kirah and Delarno.

Friday, October 17, 2014

US warns of possible al-Shabaab attack in Ethiopian capital - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan

The US embassy in Ethiopia on has warned of a possible terrorist attack by the Somali militant group al-Shabaab on the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa.
In a statement issued on its website Wednesday, the US State Department said the embassy has received reports of al-Shabaab’s intent to launch attacks in and around Addis Ababa’s Bole district, where the international airport is situated.
While to information was provided on the exact locations of possible targeted attacks, the embassy has urged foreign national to exercise caution.
It warned that restaurants, hotels, places of worship, supermarkets and shopping malls in the Bole area should be avoided until further notice due to “a potential imminent terrorist attack”.
The statement also advised US citizens to avoid going to locations frequented by westerners, warning that such places could be at a higher risk of attack.
Several international organisations are located in Bole, which is also home to many Ethiopian officials and international diplomats.
The al-Qaeda-linked militants have repeatedly warned that it plans to carry out attacks against Ethiopia in retaliation for the country’s military intervention in Somalia.
However, the East African nation, unlike Kenya, has managed to thwart several al-Shabaab attack attempts over the past few years.
In September last year al-Shabaab gunmen carried out a high profile attack on a mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, killing at least 67 people.
Ethiopia is one of several African countries that sent troops to neighbouring Somalia to fight an insurgency led by al-Shabaab Islamists against the government.
As well as Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti and Burundi also deployed forces as part of the part of the UN-mandated African Union mission to Somalia known as AMISOM.
Ethiopia has detained dozens of members of the group, including 25 suspects arrested by security forces in June.
In October last year, Shabaab’s two suicide bombers blew themselves up while preparing their explosive device targeting to kill soccer fans during Ethiopia’s World Cup qualifying match against Nigeria.
Ethiopia authorities continue to express confidence in the capability of its security forces and intelligence agency to defend the country against foreign threats.

Three Ethiopian peacekeepers killed in Darfur attack - Yahoo News


A handout picture taken on July 1, 2014 and released by the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur on July 2, 2014 shows UNAMID troops deployed in Khor Abeche, South Darfur

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A handout picture taken on July 1, 2014 and released by the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur on July 2, 2014 shows UNAMID troops deployed in Khor Abeche, South Darfur (AFP Photo/Albert Gonzalez Farran)
Khartoum (AFP) - Three Ethiopian peacekeepers were killed Thursday in an attack in Sudan's troubled Darfur region, the joint UN-African Union mission said, the latest deaths in increasingly dangerous peace operations in Africa.
They were guarding a well in Karma, North Darfur state, when they were attacked by gunmen, who fled afterwards, the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur said.
Two of them were killed in the attack and the third, gravely wounded, died later.
UNAMID was deployed in late 2007 to help end bloodshed among militias, rebel forces and gangs in Darfur.
In New York, UN chief Ban Ki-moon said "this has been a bloody October for UN peacekeeping.
"In Darfur, Mali and the Central African Republic, we have lost 14 peacekeepers in hostile acts -- nearly one per day."
A wave of attacks in northern Mali has killed 31 peacekeepers since July 2013, while a Pakistani serving in the Central African Republic was killed in an ambush last week.
Ten UN peacekeepers have been injured in Bangui since Friday in attacks on their patrols.
"Blue helmets must be allowed to undertake their life-saving work without interference," Ban told reporters at UN headquarters in New York.
The UN's 130,000 troops, police and civilian staff serving in missions worldwide are being drawn into more complex conflicts while being tasked with enforcing fragile peace deals.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Teachers From the Philippines to Baltimore

One hundred years ago, American teachers established the English-speaking public school system of the Philippines. Now, in a striking turnabout, American schools are recruiting Filipino teachers.
The Learning is the story of two Filipina women who reluctantly leave their families and schools to teach in Baltimore. With their increased salaries, they hope to transform their families' lives back in their impoverished country.
This absorbing, beautifully crafted film follows these teachers as they take their place on the frontline of the No Child Left Behind Act, telling a surprising tale of immigration, globalisation and America's shifting position in the 21st century.
Across the school year's changing seasons, the film chronicles the sacrifices the teachers make as they try to maintain a long-distance relationship with their children and families, and begin a new one with the mostly African-American students whose schooling is now entrusted to them.
Their story is intensely personal - as each woman deals with the implications of her decision to come to the US - and fundamentally public - as they become part of the machinery of American education reform policy.
Filmmaker's view
By Ramona Diaz
In Imelda, I tried to understand how Imelda Marcos was able not to steal power from the Filipino people, but to use their fascination with myth and symbols, their pride, and their deep insecurities to coax power from them.
In Spirits Rising, I tried to understand how the grassroots People Power movement was able to catalyse and sustain an insurrection that ended the 20-year regime of Ferdinand Marcos and sent him into exile.
More than the simple retelling of events, I am drawn to explore the way power is harnessed, and how it may be seized by charismatic individuals in the name of the people, and reclaimed by the people when collectively are able to break the spell.
In The Learning, I want to look at power from another vantage. I conceived this film as a sort of 'reverse angle' response to both Imelda Marcos and to the female insurgents who took part in overthrowing the Marcos government.
Whereas Imelda was charming and ruthless in her pursuit of power, the teachers are women cornered by economic circumstance. Whereas the women of the People Power uprising empowered themselves within the context of a movement to secure the future of the Philippines, the teacher would be a study of disempowerment - a woman acting entirely alone to secure a future for her children.

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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.