Ethiopian New Year Message
Ethiopian National Transitional Council
With the coming of a New Year people hope for a new vision, send well wishes, let go of past bad experiences and in general wish for a better future. The passing of years does not make one mature. It is what we learn from past experiences and our subsequent better performance in the future that makes us wise. Albert Einstein’s famous quote says “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Therefore, it is wise to evaluate our performance of last year, determine our weaknesses and strengths and choose a better path for improved results.
When we look back at the conditions of our country during the past year, we see several sad, astounding and dumbfounding conditions. The high inflation and loss of purchasing power has forced Ethiopians to live in bitter, mere survival conditions. Inside Ethiopia, millions are still facing famine and are dependent on foreign food aid. The narrowing of political space and criminalization of dissent has become blatant. The politically motivated acts of ethnic division have gotten worse. Repression and intimidation of the free press and civil society has reached new heights, with journalists, politicians and civic society leaders that stood for their rights and freedom being thrown to jail. Those who resisted the blatant interference in the affairs of religious institutions have been beaten, thrown to jail and killed in broad daylight. Consequently, a lot of Ethiopians chose to flee their country and become refugees, rather than suffer this bitter life. Moreover, a majority of these refugees were forced to live in slave like conditions and tragically, many have lost their lives in the process. The country’s resources are being looted by corrupt officials and the crony businessmen around them. In general, the TPLF/EPRDF regime has in the past year sunk the people and the country to more misery that would be difficult to climb out from.
To make matters worse, the longtime EPRDF strongman, Meles Zenawi has passed away leaving the country without a leader. Ethiopians are faced with an uncertain future and are concerned about the resulting danger to the country. People are anxious to know what the future holds. Ethiopians therefore need to get a decisive leadership that would show a better and stable future for the country.
The Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) believes that past struggle efforts have not brought about the desired result. The council also believes that trying the same thing again and again is not only insane but a sign of hubris. Therefore, ENTC strongly holds the view that our country and people deserve a new direction, vision, path and leadership. The council has been advocating these positions for the last few months. We present to our people the following clear and detailed positions on what must be done, the type of struggle and the path to change in our country
1. ENTC believes that the TPLF/EPRDF policies and governing methods have not worked and must be changed immediately. Our clear and firm position is that a new all-inclusive transitional government should be established in the year 2005. Henceforth, ENTC will pursue all its activities based solely on this position.
2. ENTC proposes an all-inclusive consultative conference to be organized within one month to discuss the transition process and to lay the foundation for the formation of a transitional government. ENTC is prepared to make the ultimate effort for the realization of this goal.
3. We will bring up the idea of forming a transitional government and the vision for the process on all joint platforms that we participate in. We will strive to get this idea accepted and implemented.
4. We will strive to shore up and galvanize support around this idea by mobilizing political and civic organizations as well as individuals both inside and outside of Ethiopia that support the idea of forming a transitional government.
5. Hence, we use this opportunity to call on all Ethiopians to coalesce around and lend their support to the idea of forming a transitional government and help us make it successful.
The Transitional Council recognizes that the Ethiopian people need a clear direction and leadership for the struggle. The idea of forming a transitional process and government has been discussed for several years. Right now, we should all be bold and decisive enough to immediately replace the dying TPLF/EPRDF regime with an all-inclusive transitional government. We should unite around the transitional government and conduct a multi-pronged struggle to liberate our country from this brutal regime and make it the country of its people.
The Transitional Council’s New Year resolution is to bring all Ethiopians to its side and make the transitional government a reality. We have made this position clear to all Ethiopians. We make a new year’s call to all of our people to unite under this idea. In this New Year; we pass our wish for the eradication of a regime that is repressive, ethnically divisive, and corrupt. A regime that forces its citizens into exile, and that is the source of famine, inflation, extra judicial jailing and harassment must go. Instead, it is our fervent wish that a free, just, equal, and democratic Ethiopia with good government would emerge in the coming Ethiopian New Year.
Happy New Year
Victory to the Ethiopian People
Ethiopian National Transitional Council