A Shameless Glorification of a Companion of Terrorists A Shameless Glorification of a Companion of Terrorists

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Tadesse Maru

On the February 2006 issue of ‘Fact’ (a magazine which is anything but) Ato Temesgen Desalegn; who is known for his ‘the government is always wrong’ negative propaganda and a columnist on the magazine, has recently held a phone interview with the self-proclaimed “activist” Ato Tamagn Beyene.

As it’s known a magazine’s cover page story has to be consistent with the full article. However, that’s beside the point as Ato Temesgen is politician as oppose to being a journalist. So, in a way that’s not worthy of a journalistic merit, Ato Temesgen under the flattering title “the indomitable rebel Tamagn Beyene” have made an expose on “his rebel” Ato Tamagn.

Also, in its inner pages, under the title ‘we should exert influence instead of America’, he has talked to political merchant Ato Tamagn through phone from America. I think it’s obvious why Ato Temesgen; a rent-seeker involved in the media, wanted to do an expose on his akin, as his desire (end game) is plainly obvious by now.

As it can be recalled, Ato Tamagn after the blackening and smear campaign he spewed from Addis Ababa; at a time when our country’s nation, nationalities and people were in deep struggle to overthrow the Derg regime to answer their demands of peace, development and democracy, failed, he went running to America.

Some of the people, who used to unknowingly side with him, are now separating themselves from him, after they come to see how the rapid, sustainable and benchmark economic growth and the successful democratic order building is step-by-step answering the questions and demands our people gave their lives for. As far as “the truth comes out late” is concerned, I think the fact that these people understood the path Ato Tamagn and his minions are following is both wrong and shameful, is a red light to the lie propagators.

The ‘Derg’ nostalgic Tamagn is still pre occupied with the memory of the country he had left for America 23 years ago. As he is filled with hate, his thinking is stuck like it was 23 years ago. He is a revisionist who has made a living by glorifying the antique and obsolete ‘Derg’ thinking.

In this day of globalization and new (cable) media many people are becoming privy to many excellent comedy programs even in our country, let alone in America. And this situation has made life difficult for out-dated comedians like Tamagn. So, it should not be surprising that this ‘Derg’ comedian decided to align himself with enemies of our country and extremists, understanding that he can’t survive in America through his outdated and uncreative ‘comedian’ living. Also it should not be surprising that he became financially successful as a result of this political business.

As we have repeatedly heard from various media outlets, Ato Tamagn is deep in his politics business (in his American stay), as he’s the “fund-raiser” of the diasporas money. with this in mind there isn’t a terrorist, extremist and enemy of Ethiopia, who he hadn’t work with to blacken our country’s image and hinder the people’s development effort (at rumor level), all for money’s sake.

This person also give huge support to the ‘Ginbot 7’s ‘ESAT’, a media outlet that’s bent on instigating bloodshed within our people by propagating false rumors like the Rwandan Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) had, and a media outlet that’s amplifying foreign (enemies) propaganda. Believing the 200 thousand dollar budget (for every six months) given by the Eritrean government (it’s believed there’s Egypt’s hand in this) for ‘ESAT’ is not enough, he has been leading the way in collecting money at every American state and foreign countries.

This action of his clearly shows that he won’t back down from fulfilling foreign power’s sinister agenda as long as he got some money at the end of it. For this only mentioning (leaving aside his other business dealings), the fact that he’s the “fund raiser” for ‘ESAT’ is enough. Ato Tamagn who suddenly joined politics to use it for his own personal interest wants to impede Ethiopia’s nation, nationalities and peoples developmental aspiration by following various terrorists and extremists command and agenda.

Here I think it’s important to raise the question, ‘Does the law allow to present and Glorify in the media a person who has a strong relationship with terrorists and is part of their syndicate, and even we had a run in with law?’ I raised this question because a person who works with terrorist, in any country, is put to face the law as their case is seen from the perspective of the countries national security. And our country’s criminal law and the anti-terror law both strictly prohibit any kind of relationship with terrorists.

Both the anti-terror law and especially the freedom of the Mass Media and Access to Information act clearly stipulates that any media report which harms or put the country’s national security to danger are responsible to the law. And knowing this, not only Ato Temesgen interviewed the godfather of hateful and extreme politics, he has also glorified him by calling him, “the indomitable rebel Tamagn Beyene.

So, if we are to ask why Ato Temesgen still went ahead and put it out in the cover page of his magazine (putting aside his contempt for country’s law or his thinking that he won’t be accused twice as in double jeopardy) we will find one reality. That is Ato Temesgen and his magazine is knowingly doing what the law prohibits as their interwoven by mutual interest. This act justifies the recent accusation; that they evoke terrorism, made on the magazine and its likes. All in all, by leaving this issue to the concerned body, let me take you Ato Tamagn’s hate-mongering interview in which his personality was exposed for what it is.

His talk (in the interview) clearly showed that his thinking is still stuck like it was 23 years ago - a time when ‘Derg’ was in its death bed to be exact. I am sure Ato Tamagn knows that his beloved ‘Derg’ was overthrown not by the prayer of the people of Ethiopia, but through their (arm) struggle. EPRDF don’t kill in public those who protest against it, like ‘Derg’ used to have.

It was Ato Tamagn’s beloved ‘Derg’ that used to force parents to buy their children’s dead body. And this fact is known by everyone let alone a person who was a major player in the circle of the regime. If it isn’t a case of ‘accusing the innocent‘, I would like to assure him that EPRDF have never been a dictatorial regime.

I would like to mention one thing here Ato Tamagn has told us that he has overtly protested (opposed) EPRDF before and after it controlled the capital city (Addis Ababa). And this is a good thing. Because as a democratic government doesn’t stifle its opposition, he unintentionally gave his testimony that EPRDF didn’t throw him in jail for overtly protesting.

I think we have now come to understand from the 1997 historical mistake that our country’s opposition politics is stricken with “you have to support me” rhetoric. And this had bad innuendo was heavily displayed on Ato Tamagn’s interview. The way he labeled the Diasporas who supported him as ‘real Ethiopians’, and those who didn’t as naïve and stupid, really have put him in the court of the public’s judgment. I think his remark, “… the Diaspora is trying to create a democratic and peaceful base to let the people back home enjoy this freedom and right.

Unfortunately, the fact that the supporters of the government think it’s alright that Ethiopia is lead by racists and dictators, while living in this country (America), is not only confusing, but its disappointing”, really shows his arrogance and stupidity. If (in his words) any person who live in a “civilized” and “democratic” country (such as America) oppose his thinking is considered to be uncivilized, then the real dictatorship (undemocratic leaning) is there and not here in Ethiopia.

The other (incredible) thing is the fact that Ato Tamagn boldly said that the Ethiopian people destiny will he decided by the Diaspora. Of course the Diaspora, those of who are not extremists like him, loves their country. They are patriot; they don’t have a personality to back-stab their own country and are not lackey of foreign powers.

Ato Tamagn would do well to know that at a time when the whole Ethiopian nation, nationalities and people are administrating themselves by exercising their right to self–administer, they don’t want some very few ‘for sale’ extremist diasporas to bring them “democracy” through remote control sitting afar in America.

Ato Tamagn’s arrogance is border–line extreme, and his antics clearly show that he’s nostalgic for the olden days. His racist comment ‘‘opposing the government as opposing Tigray…” really amplifies this fact. Also the fact that he said “… when we say the regime is victimizing us as, as a regime, they condemn us as being anti-Tigrayan”, clearly shows his hidden racist personality.

Nevertheless, it’s not a new thing to see him try to start a fight between people. Twenty two years ago, not only he tried to paint the all Ethiopian people struggle as only Tigray people’s, but also we recall him trying to make them shade blood with its Ethiopian brothers. Mind you, it was the dictator Col. Mengistu Hailemariam that said the Tigrayan people have waged war on the other Ethiopian people, not that it got any attention. So, the fact that Tamagn repeated this today show the hate he has for people.

All in all, I believe Ato Tamagn is condemned for being Anti-Ethiopian people, not for being Anti Tigray. This is because demeaning one nation, nationality or people are the same as demeaning all Ethiopian people. Anyway, as this kind of shameful (degraded) thinking failed even in the days of the ‘Derg’, let alone in the new Ethiopia where human and democratic rights are respected, I don’t think it will be profitable for him.

Maybe in Ato Tamagn’s futile mind, he may have though that following a racist option might lead him to success. However he should know in this new Ethiopia, where for the last 22 years its people have established a common home they live in harmony and love by breaking away from hate, his kind of approach is not feasible (viable) any more.

In this interview, Ato Tamagn did not hide that he’s his politics considering it like any other item. And his answer he gave to the question of his absence from the art scene was “It’s by using my art skills that I am able to express my thoughts comfortably” confirms this fact. What he’s saying is he’s continuing doing his art (now in the name of politics) and using as an item, as working as a stage announcer which used to be his livelihood for years has now dried up. I would like to use this moment to applaud him, for this great entrepreneurship idea.

Ato Tamagn’s propaganda did not stop with this. He has shown his contempt for others by stating “…since I am involved in politics which others fear like a fire…” presenting others outside of himself as scared and live in fear. Basically, this comment shows how much this person can’t be a politician. It’s a shame to see a person who claims to be a “politician” think any bold person makes a good politician or vice versa. It’s futile to make understand this person that politics has been and will away be part of any man’s life, it’s not about being bold or not.

The other thing we saw from the interview is Tamagn trying to be something that he’s not. For this his quote in which he labeled his professional collogues as fearful and scared can be taken as an instance. This quote for one depicts his ‘nobody knows other has me’ arrogance and secondly a fake ‘I am the only one concerned for the people’ persona.

Our country’s opposition has never been one for respecting democracy and equality, and doing good for its country; except for instigating bloody fight between people. And like these opposition parties, this person’s outlook confirms this sad truth.

As its known there are a lot of opposition parties that oppose EPRDF. And they may have some supporters. The fact that Ato Tamagn did not give respect and recognition to the peaceful struggle their supporters are involved in, while knowing they’re from different social and professional background including artists, clearly shows the intent behind this.

Its part of his propaganda to condemn those people who did not participate on his desired riot and havoc or band with his minions, as unpatriotic and who sell his/her country. However, the fact that these artists did not want stand with Ato Tamagn and his anti–people position shows their maturity; it’s by no means a selfish act and he should understand this by getting down from his self righteous high horse.

Instead what qualifies as a selfish and self–centered act is selling own country’s national interest to foreign sides and working to instigate fights between people to quiche the thirst of his/her own pocket. So, the selfish and greedy is he, not those artists who are concerned about the country’s well being and development, and who don’t want to do anything with his ways.

Let me substantiate this with evidence out of the questions Ato Temesgen Desalegn asked Tamagn on ‘Fact’ magazine, there were some that related to the GERD construction. His view with regards to the dam confirmed how much he and his fellow extremist Diasporas are enemies of Ethiopia. His answer (with regards to the dam) was, “…this kind of project should have been built within a people that has a strong unity’. This shows that Ato Tamagn does not want for the dam to be built. And it’s obvious that saying the GERD should not be build is like saying our people’s efforts to break free from poverty and backwardness is not right.

And obviously this is the outlook and thinking of forces who don’t want to see our country and people develop. Of course this outlook of Tamagn and his likes is not new. We recall that the self proclaimed ‘Ginboit 7’ the Dr. Berhanu Nega led terror squad, have put out a position that echoed this sentiment the second the momentous occasion of the commencement of the Dam’s project was done.

And this is also the position of the selfish and self-centered Egyptian ruling elites (just like Tamagn). So, when a person who opposes a project that is the hope of the entire nation, nationalities and people of Ethiopia, claim that he is standing for the good of the people, then that person can’t be taken seriously. Even this kind position which seeks for his people not to develop by using its own natural resource, alone can clearly show that it’s Tamagn that’s greedy and selfish, not our artists.

Of course fearing his quote ‘the dam shouldn’t have been built’ will create backlash from the Ethiopian people, he has added, “If solutions are founded for those who are jailed in the name of Ethiopia, there is no reason why we can’t agree on the Nile Issue. What’s baffling here is the fact that Ato Tamagn has the guts to put personal interests ahead of the country. I am sure Ato Tamagn won’t deny that the GERD is the wealth (resource) for all Ethiopians.

This is because the whole Ethiopian people have helped the project get up to 30% completion by giving its money, experience and labor wholeheartedly, unlike the ‘Derg’ days where things were done forcefully. It’s with shame when I tell to this foreign lackey that the bond for the project is not only bought by Ethiopians only, but our neighboring countries are buying it as well.

All in all, I think Ato Tamagn and his appalling mind only knows how it’s right to coil more than 80 million Ethiopians in poverty in the name of handful criminals and suspected criminals who are brought to justice, as part of upholding the rule of law. But, Ato Tamagn should know that dirty politics won’t work in the country like it had during yesteryears.

He also should understand that those who clap their hands; for the words he spewed at every possible opportunity he got, are a bunch of traitors like him; not people who love their country and aspire peace, development and democracy for their country. (In fact it’s angering them). So, the claps (admiration) don’t have any other significance other than reflecting the interest of our country’s enemies. I think it would be behoove of Ato Tamagn to learn from the Derg’s history with regards to full of people in meeting halls and clapping their hands.

As the hatred is so strong with this person, he even tried to falsify what we all know about the former Prime Minister Ato Meles Zenawi by saying, “I have not met anybody who has hatred on people like Ato Meles”. The way he tried to degradingly depict a leader; who we owe a lot to, clearly shows the man’s hateful personality.

Basically, this remark did not show a hateful leader as he had hoped, but an extremist by the name of Tamagn Beyene. If there is an Ethiopian who hadn’t cried or felt sad at Ato Meles Zenawi’s unfortunate passing, it’s Ato Tamagn and his minions. And the people that commend such kind nation-wide and popular respect are a very few handful heroes of the country. The fact that many people showed up at that fateful date to receive his body at such a dark hour and at such rainy condition, clearly shows the public’s love to Ato Meles Zenawi.

If (our hero) Ato Meles zenawi had a hatred to the people, then why would the public gave him such kind of respect? Maybe the people who were out to receive the body of the late PM were in the words of Ato Tamagn, are only the people of Tigray?

If it’s not said that Tigrayan people are Ethiopian, people basically respects and loves a leader that respect it. How can it be forgotten that Ato Meles is the epitome of this. The fact that Ato Tamagn repeated his hateful small talk in a magazine (thinking a repeated lie becomes a truth) is very shameful. Of course Ato Tamagn hateful outlook knows no bound. And hate and truth never go side-by-side.

The fact that he tried to present Ato Meles as Amhara hating person is very appalling. But we all show that the Amhara people has never cross their minds that Ato Meles hates Amhara, let alone say anything about it. The fact is the Ethiopian people are becoming successful under the leadership of EPRDF, who is guaranteeing equality and equal benefit among the entire Ethiopian nation, nationalities and people.

When the truth is this, from which membership did Ato Meles Zenawi hated the Amhara people? Is this what being a sack of lies means? ... Nevertheless as my countrymen know this ‘for sale’ merchant has the capacity to lie more than this, I don’t think the people would take him seriously.

I would like to finish this article on how Ato Tamagn was angered by the question, ‘what did you gain from all this?’ The reason for his anger comes from the repeated comments made by many media outlets that he’s a business man who’s after filling his own sack, and he’s not a man concerned for his people. Also the fact that the self-proclaimed “activist” title doesn’t match with what he exactly what he does. All in all, the fact that a magazine that claims to work in a lawful framework decided to put out and glorify a terrorist whose part of a terror syndicate needs to be addressed.


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