Environment and sustainable development an Ethiopian perspective

America-Ethiopia-Court and Law of Reason

Posted by 4kilo on April 6, 2007

Below is a paper presented by professor Mesfin Woldemariam as part of a series of discussions, Vision 2020, organized by Ethiopian Economic Association held November 2003.Remember ,this script is written way before May 2005 election and before the existence of CUD! .Part of it is read as follows

”…….The principles that enjoyed universal respect in the preceding century(Gregorian calendar) are now being violated.The sovereignty of states has now become something contingent upon the consent of superpowers.We are all familiar with what happened in Yugoslavia,Afghanistan and Iraq in this regard.The threats directed to North Korea and Iran as well as against Syria by America and the consequent climate of uncertainty are an indication of superpower dominance.The American demand to replace an elected leader is now followed by Al Qa’ida.Looking at the state of affairs today,mass slaughter of human beings and the destruction of property and development of infrastructures have become the standard practice and a matter of right not only for the powerful but also for the weak.Moral rectitude has reached the bottom in the realm of the spiritual,let alone in the secular sphere.The time is such that people are ready and willing to sell not only their bodies but also their souls.Human dignity and honor have no longer any value.This is how the world we live in today appears to me.And it is in such a world that we[Ethiopians]live in utter destitution and helplessness.

Although the general climate in the world we live in appears to be unfavorable to oppressive regimes,the superpowers,nevertheless,show tendency to use oppressive regimes as instruments of their interest and policy.As far as terrorism is concerned the principal problem of the Western powers is their failure to comprehend that terrorism is a consequence of western relations with oppressive regimes.As long as oppressive regimes continue to exist and peaceful political struggles are suppressed,there will always be rebellion and terrorism.It is,consequently,inevitable that the target of rebellion and terrorism will be the destruction not only the oppressive regimes but also the powers behind them.I do not believe there is any other reason than this for America to be targeted as an enemy by terrorists.In spite of the fact that the American ideals of freedom,democracy ,justice and property rights are of great benefit to all humanity,the American government has not demonstrated unshakable faith in them and made them instruments of its foreign policy.On the contrary,the American government,for various reasons,becomes the supporter and defender of oppressive regimes.I think that is the problem.

”………….If we were guided in our efforts by the law of reason,we would not have found it difficult to understand that the empowerment of the people,or what we call democracy,is crucial to any kind of growth and development.The stifled physical,mental and spiritual potential will be released only when the people are liberated and become a sovereign power with confidence in themselves and in the law;it is only then that they can become true agents of their own lives.The repressive and stifling influences on the Confederation of Ethiopian Labour Union,The Ethiopian Teacher Association,The Ethiopian Free Journalist Association,and on the urban dwellers associations and peasant associations will not help the development of democracy in Ethiopia.Democracy can be established and cherished only by citizens who have confidence in themselves and in the law,and where all the struggle for power will be peaceful and in accordance with law,without intimidation.In addition the benefit of democracy is that each citizen and the people as a whole will assume responsibility for their own lives and for the progress of the country.People in a state of subjugation have neither freedom nor responsibility.


I think there are people who believe that the issue of the people’s sovereignty and that of the supremacy of the law,which will save coming generations from poverty,famine,war and self-annihilation,will be favorably resolved in the coming election(2005).I align myself with such people,whether in terms of wishes or aspirations.However.I still have my doubts. Twelve years earlier,i had ,when i think of it now,rather naively said something:if the weyyane group were to run in the elections then and were to win legitimately,I would have had no problem;if,however,it did not win,then it would have at least opened a new chapter for a democratic Ethiopia and give itself another chance at the next round of elections.But this wish of mine,on second thought,reminds me of the proverbial peasant who went looking for the dung where no cattle were supposed to go grazing.”

I will invite you to read the rest of this paper.


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