Gumii Paarlaamaa Oromoo (GPO)
Oromo Parliamentarians Council (OPC)
Page 2 home
March 20, 2014
Dear Ato Girma Kassa,
Sorry, it took me long to be able to answer you. I hope that we are slowly coming to the point where we can identify our differences and agreements. I like the discussion. I wish that all recipients of our Ccs. comment. What are the media to whom we make Cc. of our e-mails doing with them?
1. Concerning my joining UDJ and Withdrawal
The views I have now are the views I had before I joined UDJ. If article 3.1.5 of the program of UDJ did not exist, I would not have joined UDJ. This was clear to the UDJ people who pleaded with me to join UDJ. Did the leaders and members of UDJ believe in article 3.1.5 of their program full heartedly then and reconsidered and changed their mind now? This is their right. But if they then did not believe in it and superficially accepted it then to woo me and Ato Seeye to join UDJ then, this is tantamount to treachery. unless they give an explanation on this matter. Why shouldn’t I have joined the UDJ if my stand was then clear, if the leaders and the members agreed, and adopted article 3.1.5 in their program.
I now left UDJ because article 3.1.5 has now been changed which
means that UDJ has made it clear that it does not support the right
of self determination of peoples through referendum in case the
question secession comes up. The leaders of UDJ have made this clear
when they further stated “they will not compromise on the unity of
Yes it is right that I left the party.
2. On Your Criticisms and Your Call for My Resignation
I do remember that you asked me whether UDJ accepts the right of
secession 9 months ago. Yes, I did not then answer you because it
was clearly known that I, UDJ and MEDREK ARE opposed to secession.
(Read the program of MEDREK in Which UDJ is member until its
suspension). Why should I spend time on an issue which was
publically obvious? Yes you did express a strong criticism against
me and called for my resignation. This was after my interview with
Radio Fana. What I then did was to clarify that I oppose secession
but support the right to secession. You expressed opposed view in
your criticism. This is your right. I also have right to have
different view from you. I did not then heed to you call on me to
resign. Why should I heed to you? Your call was a call from a
citizen who has the right to say whatever he/she wants. You are not
member of UDJ. There are procedures of the party through which
questions are dealt with. I did not want to accept your call because
I did not then see why. Even after the “evaluation of MEDREK” by
UDJ, I as chairman of the executive committee did implement what the
national council decided. I wanted to serve the party as long as the
activities were in compliance with the program, the byelaw and as
long as we working in MEDREK. I resigned from UDJ when it was
decided that it is better not to spend time in coalitions and fronts
and when article 3.1.5 was amended.
“I think the party did the right thing in clarifying confusions by cleaning out items in its program that may wrongfully be interpreted or spinned to say something they were not intended to.”
But what I know is that the issue of the right to self determination
or the right to secession was never an issue on the meetings of the
executive committee, the national council and the General Assembly
of UDJ as long as was in UDJ and before Tahisas, 2006. I only
remember that a member of the executive committee who was in the
Thus I do not understand your statement that the party now clarified
confusion. On “items in its program that may wrongfully be
interpreted or spinned to say something they were not intended to.”
Unless there was confusion with you and some others in the
It is interesting to hear from you now that you were “not familiar of this article. First of all we did not know if there was such article; and if there was, how it was added in the UDJ program.”
My question is why and how you could support UDJ if you did not know
what is written in its program in the first place? I thought that
the leaders of UDJ have made the program public after the General
Assembly which was supposed to take place in Imperial Hotel but
instead was held in the compound of the office of UDJ. (The change
of place was because of the disturbance created as the result of the
controversy between the group “zim anniloch/merih yikeber and UDJ
members). I agree and even demand that the then leaders of UDJ,
particularly, Eng. Gizachew, “ought to answer this question” as to
“how it (article 3.1.5) was added in the UDJ program.”
No, it is amazing that you say that I do not know the constitution of Oromia and this is an insulting statement from you. I was there when the founding Council of Oomia Stste met at Sidist Kiilo and I know well the contents of the constitution.
I think the problem is that you and I have difficulty to understand
each other because we have difference in understanding Ethiopian
history, because we have different picture of
If one accepts and respects the right to self determination one can understand, respect and accept the constitution of Oromia including is article 33. How can one serve the Oromo people if one does not know the Oromo language? Or should we go back to the old days when we were forced to be administrated, to appear in court and get sentenced in a language we did not understand, to be forced to learn in a foreign language, and to listen radio in a foreign language and read books and news papers and proclamations in a foreign language? No, No, that time is gone. We should not even dream of it that it should come back. When I recently hear that some people in the Diaspora attacking the “Qube Generation” it makes me sick.
To demand from people to learn Oromo language and that they must
know the language if they want to work in
It is again insulting to trying to explain to me how many and where
non-Oromo speakers live in Oromia. I recommend that you come back to
You claim that more than 75% of people in Oromia could speak Amharic as their second language. What is your evidence for that?
And you say that I assert that “one cannot campaign in Oromia, because people do not understand other language other than afan oromo” and that this does not hold water.
But for the record the following is what I wrote you last time and I would like to request you to stop misquoting me: “It is true that large number of non Oromo people live in the towns of Oromia and some qebeles of some woredas in some zones of Oromia region. Minority rights, (political, economic, and social) must be fully respected for these minorities in Oromia. This right includes the right of representation at the different levels of councils/parliaments. I do not think that people who cannot speak Afaan Oromo are prohibited from candidacy in these constituencies during elections. But what one should realize is the fact that the working language in Oromia is Afaan Oromo and that it would be much better for non-Oromo speakers to know the language to effectively participate in the different structures of the region. Besides, how can a non-Oromo speaker campaign in a village where the people do not understand non-Oromo language? Such questions of respecting rights and technical procedures of administration, serving justice and schooling must be taken into account.”
Your assertion that the practice in Oromia is racist leads me to ask you if it was RACIST when the NAFXAGNA (my definition is the musket bearer and not Amhara) under the leadership of Emperor Menelik II carried out atrocious war in Oromia in the name of “unification” and “civilization” (maaknaat), when the NAFXAGNA FEUDAL ADMINSTARATION AND EXPLOITATION was imposed on the Oromo, when Oromo self administration was forcefully discontinued, and when Amharic language was forcefully imposed. All these happened not too long ago to be forgotten easily. One must read Atsme Giorgis at least to refresh one’s memory. I myself do not support Amharanization, or Oromization. I do not also support that neither the Amhara nor any other ethnic group dominates the Oromo, nor do I want to see that the Oromo dominate others. I want to see that all Ethiopians are equal and that their rights should equally be respected.
I do not agree with your following suggestion:“I think Amharic must be the working language of Oromia as well. Whether as first language or as second language many people speak Amharic.”
Why should Amharic be the working language of Oromia? Do you support that Oromo becomes the working language in Amhara federal state? What do you think the reaction of the Amhara would be, if this happens? Would the administration there employ a non Amharic speaking Ethiopian in its institutions? What do you think the reaction of the Amhara would be if this happens?
But my view is that the right of all regions should be respected to choose their working languages. But at the federal level Amharic, Oromo and any other Ethiopian language which is spoken by large number of the Ethiopian population should be adopted as working language of the federal government. I also think that the alphabet which better fits a language should be used for writing in hat language. As for Oromo language, I personally prefer Latin, not because I do not like Geez, but because it does not fit for the Oromo language. By the way I am glad to know that you support that Afaan Oromo be adopted at the federal level. I also agree that the constitution be amended and the amended constitution be approved by the people through referendum.
Dear Ato Girma, the whole point revolves around the question of self determination, acceptance of the federal system and acceptance the right of the federal states to determine on the language of the states and how to internally administer their states without violating minority rights. We may have differences on these issues. These differences could be solved through amendments on the federal and federal states constitutions and which should be accepted or rejected through referendums for which we need an atmosphere of democracy.
On what you wrote about “The idea which some individuals propagate
saying “Oromia is only for the Oromos. Somali region is for the
Somali only” is wrong and unacceptable. It is, I think wrong to give
a general judgment basing oneself on what some individuals express
in pal talk rooms, interviews or articles.” You wrote. Again you
wrote this without referring to the constitutions of the Oromia and
Somali regions. Please refer to the link I posted above.” I think
that I have said enough above expressing my attitudes and I stick to
what I said earlier. I know the constitutions of Oromia and Somali.
This is how they have decided to assert their right to self
determination and short of secession. Respecting their right in what
they have decided is the best way to keep
You say that I had high respect for Jawar Mohamed. Good, if that is the case. Unfortunately I do not know Jawar Mohamed much enough to be able to say I had high respect for him or not. In fact, I know you better than I know Jawar. I have high respect for you for your forwardness and for frankness. But again, I request you not to conclude about me based on what you hear from others. How do people you hear from know that I have high respect for Jawar or not. I hate politics which is based on hear-says. I have been recently reading articles about him in local news papers and magazines (for that matter, I also read your articles in Lomi) but have not taken them seriously. Now that you speak about Jawar, I will seriously try to find out what he wrote and said to make my own judgment on his ideas.
On your question who the Oromos are, the answer is they are one of
the peoples (nation, nationality or whatever) in
We have to learn from the experiences of
Yes, I know that the OLF participated in the July 1991 “Peace Conference”. There is also evidence that a task force including Bereket Habte Sellasie was established by Isayas, Meles and Lencho to draft the Charter and agreed upon between Meles and Lencho at Tesenai/Eritrea.
This was after the
Whatever the case I like the charter. Part one speaks of democratic
rights including the right to self determination (Article two) and
conditions when the question of independence/secession may come up.
Article 13 of Part four speaks about the program of
decentralization. The Constitution of FDRE was guided by the
Charter, yes, and I do not see any harm in this. As I said above,
for me this decision was wise one so as to avoid the disintegration
Yes, I hope that the OFC would publicly say something on its
relation and attitude towards ODF. On the other hand it is not wise
to take rumors seriously. The recent widely disseminated media
coverage that Lencho was in
1. The current picture of opposition party’s constellations looks as follows:
2. a) MEDREK, B) TIBIBIR, C) BLUE PARTY, D) UDJ, E) AEUP
3. The position of UDJ in MEDREK and TIBIBIR is not clear. It is suspended for the time being from MEDREK and seems to go its own way. The same is true of AEUP in TIBIBIR. AEUP signed the agreement with 8 other parties (mostly ethnically based) to establish a coalition, but it acts as if it is working separately.
4. MEDREK does exist with four member parties and has announced that it is going to hold a public meeting in Awasa on Megabit 20.
5. Negotiations between Arena, ESDP-SEPUP and UDJ did not work because the two told to first complete the negotiations UDJ began with AEUP.
6. The negotiation for merger of Arena and ESDP-SEPUP is dragging on. If they merge, the merger party, OFC and SLM will continue in MEDREK. This is not the same as the former UEDF.
7. The negotiation for merger of UDJ and AEUP has so far failed because of differences on the question of chairmanship and because of the number of representation on the merger general assembly.
8. It is an illusion to think about the unity between UDJ, AEUP, Blue Party and EDP and re-establish the dead Kinijit.
For all reasons, it would have been good that parties with similar ideologies and programs unite. If impossible they could work together in fronts or coalitions. If not possible, they could at least form a broad coalition for common interest: The CREATION OF AN ATMOSPHERE FOR a FREE, DEMOCRATIC AND FAIR ELECTION.
This is all I want to say for the time being. I wish you good health
and greeting to all friends.
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