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‪7 Major‬ Reasons Why Everyone Should Oppose ‪‎TPLF‬ ‪‎Master Plan‬

December 10, 2015

By Geresu Tufa
1. The Master Plan violates core Human_Rights.
It deprives millions of people around Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) of their only means of livelihood – their land.It threatend their right to live-core human right.
Therefore, the #Master_Plan should be opposed by everyone.
2. The Master Plan extends ‪#‎Historical_injustice‬.
Injustice has been in place since 1841, i.e. from the time of ‪#‎Sahilesilassie‬’s expedition to current Finfinnee/Addis. For the last 180 years Oromos at the center of Addis/Finfinne have been subjected to inhuman treatment, massacre, forceful eviction, dispossession and perpetual exploitation.
It is worth mentioning the eyewitness accounts of William Harris, the then British Diplomat to Shawan court of Sahilessilasie, who accompanied Sahilessilasie in several expeditions to the center of Addis Ababa.
(The quotations in this note are taken from Major William Harris’ book “The Highlands of Aethiopia” Vol. II (p. 185-198)”.)
“The luckless inhabitants, taken quite by surprise, had barely time to abandon their property, and fly [flee] for their lives to the fastness of Entotto … The spear of the warrior searched every bush for the hunted foe. Women and girls were torn from their hiding to be hurried into helpless captivity Old men and young were indiscriminately slain and mutilated among the fields and groves; flocks and herds were driven off in triumph, and house after house was sacked and consigned to the flames … Whole groups and families were surrounded and speared within the walled courted yards, which were strewed with the bodies of the slain. [Those] who betook themselves to the open plain were pursued and hunted down like wild beasts; children of three and four years of age, who had been placed in the trees with the hope that they might escape observation, were included in the inexorable massacre, and pitilessly shot among the branches. In the course of two hours the division left the desolated valley laden with spoil, and carrying with them numbers of wailing females and mutilated orphan children, together with the barbarous trophies that had been stripped from the mangled bodies of their murdered victims.”
The same violent incursion continued up until 1886 when Menelik’s total occupation took place. As a result the Oromo population in the area was reduced to 33% in 1900 EC, and further getting down to 18.3% in 1945 EC, according to Prof. Laphiso G. Dellebo. Even though Addis Ababa is surrounded 360 degrees by Oromo, the demographic proportion of Oromo is stack at around 19% over the last 70 years. This clearly shows the historical injustices perpetrated systematically by the successive regimes. In Addis, Oromos have been deprived to use their language to access state institutions, to promote their culture in the city and enjoy dignified treatment in their own ancestral land. The current “Master Plan” is a logical perpetuation of the same historical injustice of eviction, dispossession and ethnic cleansing.
Therefore, the Master Plan should be opposed by everyone.
3. The Master Plan takes away Economic_Opportunity from Oromo farmers in the area.
Land, Capital and Labour are the major input of production in an economy. The Oromo farmers of the area who are the majority contributors in the production of value should have been the major shareholders in any development and investment on their own land. Land is the most expensive factor of production. Paradoxically, under the current TPLF led land grabbing system, Oromo farmers are outrageously deprived of their faire share in the productive investment going on in their land. This is legally a crime and morally despicable.
Therefore, the Master Plan should be opposed by everyone.
4. The Master Plan undermines the principles of ‪#‎Social_Justice‬.
In just and democratic society, the state fairly taxes the haves in order to redistribute income to the have not so as to create equitable and harmonious society. In the Ethiopian case, the TPLF led regime is transferring immense wealth from the have nots to the haves, thereby creating a dire situation. The is contradictory to the principles of social justice. It results in disharmony and discord in the society. It is outright act of dispossessing the have not in order to enrich powerful and wealthy party affiliated thugs.It will create grave social disparity and inquality in the socity.
Therefore, the Master Plan should be opposed by everyone.
5. The Master Plan undermines ‪#‎Oromo_language‬, erases ‪#‎Oromo‬ Culture and Identity.
The Ethiopian state has been engaging in erasing and undermining Oromo identity and culture since its inception. This did not happen through “natural process” of willful acceptance of people as some try to convince us, but through forceful assimilation policy that explicitly intended to undermine and erase Oromo culture and identity. Even though there is ample evidence to attest to this evil policy, Tedla Haile’s (Ethiopian Minister of Education and Art in the 1920s) MA thesis and his successor Sahle Tsedalu’s policy memo epitomizes the case in point. While Sahle Tsedalu vowed to root out all non-Amharic-Ge’ez language, “Pagan language” according to him, his predecessor Tedla Haile outlined policy guidelines by which the process of erasing Oromo culture could be implemented.
Bahru Zewidie wrote: “Tedla goes back to Classical Rome to demonstrate how the army has always been a factor for assimilation, be it through the intermarriage of garrison troops with local women or the recruitment of subjects people into the imperial arm. Likewise, all other facts of government policy- administration, justice, economic organization- should be regulated by the policy of assimilation. Provincial boundaries need to be redrawn to facilitate the policy. Oromo numerical predominance in the southern provinces should be tempered by a policy of Amhara settlement. Tigreans, too should be encouraged to settle in the southern provinces, as they are great assimilator by virtue of their religious fervour and their inherent weakness in learning non-semtic language.” (Bahiru Zewde, “Pioneers of Change”, 2002. pp. 132-133)
The #Master_Plan under discussion is a logical continuation of this old policy with exact same end goal.
Therefore, the Master Plan should be opposed by everyone.
6. The Master Plan undermines the principles of ‪#‎Sustainable_Development‬.
‪#‎Development‬ is not enriching the rich and impoverishing the poor. It doesn’t mean erecting high rise buildings on farm lands or building mansions and bungalows by evicting farmers whose only means of livelihood is their land. According Nobel Winner renowned economist Amartya Sen, development should be human centred that expand their scope of freedom. Development should have been providing electricity, telephone lines, roads, schools and health care centers to surrounding Oromo farmers in order to better off their quality of life. Contradictory to these developmental goals, the current #Master_Plan worsens their living condition and pushes them to the verge of death, evict them from healthy environment and reduce them from poverty to destitution, replace productive land to luxury living mansions for riches and it causes environmental disaster. It is not morally just and economically sustainable.
Therefore, the Master Plan should be opposed by everyone.
7. It undermines Peace and Harmony among communities.
The Master Plan evicts millions and reduces them to a life of destitution.It will create serious and legitimate grievance from the side of the victims in particular and among Oromo people in general. It will undermine social harmony and opportunity of coexistence, leading to perpetual conflict.
Therefore, the Master Plan should be opposed by everyone.

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