TPLF verses Family history of Ethiopian intellectuals trying to teach Tigraians how to be good Ethiopians
By Desta Girmay
Tigrai Online, February. 19, 2017
Here is the history of the people behind TPLF but what is the family history of the western based Ethiopian intellectuals who have been tutoring Tigraians how to be good Ethiopians?
Tigraistepped into the 20thcentury with a conclusion of two devastating wars which were known as the battle of Adwa in 1896 and Italian second aggression against Ethiopia in 1935.The battle of Adwa captured the interest of many newspapers and historians. Unfortunately, European, and Ethiopian historians were never interested on the life of the Tigraian population, who were the immediate victims of these two devastating wars.Yes of course we Tigraians, shared the problem of illiteracy, poverty, poor infrastructure with the rest of Ethiopia, however devastating wars on an entire population was generally a Tigraian misfortune.This is since Tigrai is closer to the Red sea. Most Ethiopian enemies have come from overseas.The Ottoman Empire, Egypt, and finally Italy all knocked at the doors of Ethiopia through Tigrai.Therefore, to conquer and humiliate Ethiopia, all Ethiopian enemies had to first tame the Tigraian population. Therefore, major wars in Tigrai started in the 19thcentury. However, the most devastating wars on Tigrai were the Italian aggression.
1896 battle of Adwa a famous African victory, and For Tigrai it meant 40 years of starvation and hunger waiting to be destroyed for the second time.
The first Ethiopian and Italian war was fought right in the highlands, mountains, and cliffs of Tigrai. In this war, every sector of Tigrai was mobilized.The women of Tigrai were expected to cook and feed the national army.Young Tigraian men and women carried war needs such as food, shelter, to the battle front. Tigraian homes were the temporary shelter of the Ethiopian army. Tigrai men were also ready to replenish the Ethiopian army. Tigrai successfully carried the first Ethiopian and Italian encounter on its back.Although Ethiopia won the war, Tigrai lost a lot during the war. The war meant more devastation to its environment, and a lot of its young men killed.
How did king Menelik and King Haile Selassie show their gratitude for Tigrai? Between 1896 to 1935 nothing of significant was done for Tigrai.The people of Tigrai who were defeated by a major war, did not have any construction plan. There was no Marshall plan, or Menelik Plan.Maneli went to his Palace in Addis, and completely forgot about Tigrai.Haile Selassie, continued Menelik ‘s policy of none interference between Tigrai and poverty.One can easily argue that even though Tigrai paid disproportional price to defend the independence of Ethiopia, Tigraians were left without a leader, and a nation to help them recover from the tragedies that were caused by war.
1935 another war with Italy, and more tragedy and nightmare for Tigrai.
Manelik cowardly assassinated Ethiopian victory, by handing Italy an official certificate to colonize Eritrea. That selfish and unwise act was also another permission for Italy to punish and destroy Tigrai for the second round.In 1935 that is exactly what Italy did.Armed with over seven hundred thousand soldiers, wanted to pay revenge for losing the battle of Adwa. In the mind of Italian generals, Tigrai was going to be their target for shock and awe type of military confrontation.With all the modern artillery, and gas, Italy poured all its might on Tigrai, crippling, killing, and destroying everything that was to be found in Tigrai.The Ethiopian army that was ill prepared was no match for the Italians.Instead, the Ethiopian army was another burden for Tigrai, since they needed Tigrai for shelter food, and manpower replacement.Within forty years Tigrai was devastated by two major wars. Its inhabitants killed, crops burnt, and its inhabitants terrified and terrorized.After the Italians were evicted from Ethiopia, King Haile Selassie, never paid attention to the badly injured Tigrai. He pretended as nothing took place in Tigrai. Therefore, many Tigraians don’t have any respect for King Haile Selassie.
Tigrai’s other enemy was natural disaster.
Between 1535- 1983, 28 tragic famines occurred in Tigrai.In 1958 a famine in Tigrai killed 100, 000 people . We all remember what happened in Tigrai during the famine of the 1980s. During that time Tigraians died because they could not find food to eat. Tigraians were also not given properburial because they could not find enough grave for the flood of death that occurred. This was the pain and the history Tigra.Every Tigraian was affected by the famine of 1983. Some of us lost our parents, others lost sister, and there were many who lost their precious children.As always Tigrai was alone in solving its tragedies.In 1983, our misfortune inspiredMichael Jackson to sing “We are the Word “.At that time Mengistu was in power, and he never had to sing “we are the world “about Tigrai suffering, King Menelik, King Haile Selassie, and dictator Mengistu sang “we don’t care about Tigrai people forever”.This was the cruel reality of Tigrai people since 1896.
A generation of three destructive major wars, and countless famines
In the past 96 years, not enough books, or stories have been written the tragedy of Tigraians that occurred during the Italian wars. Therefore, it was justified, and inevitable that Tigrai was going to search for a party that represented her, fought for her, and stood for her.This why TPLF was born.Therefore, Tigrai was ready for TPLF.Tigrai needed people who can clearly understood her and articulate the problems that were hidden in her heart, mind, and soil.Many of TPLF leaders, fighters directly and or indirectly felt the pain and the tragedies that had befallen Tigrai.
It was this environment that gave birth to the first Woyanne uprising and it was this environment that resurrected woaynne in 1975.In my understanding of history and TPLF, Tigrai did not start a violent revolution because it was unsatisfied with the ideology of the government. For Tigrai, it did not matter whether the central government was democracy, communist, or monarchy.The problem for Tigrai was it was tired of mass starvation.With this background, Tigrai had nothing to lose by joining TPLF.In 1975 TPLF was planted successfully in the hearts and minds of Tigran’s.TPLF was planted in the mind and in the hearts, because its messages were ideas of hope.
TPLF arsenal for war, was not modern made tanks, or cruise missile, rather it was the Tigraian culture of defiance, hope, and resilience.
Personal sacrifice for the common good, honor and attachment to the land were part day to day vocabulary of the Tigraian society.There is one Tigraian vocabulary that was taboo in the Tigraian culture for centuries, and that was SEDET, which means immigration.In the Tigraian culture Sedet, was considered ugly, and taboo.When our elders mention somebody went to immigrate, or sedet, it meant the end of him or her. Sedet was a sad occasion in the Tigrigna language.Therefore, in the Tigraian physic doing anything and everything to avoid sedet was the preferred option.That means death, is chosen over sedet.Therefore, when TPLF was created, the Tigraian people followed it, even if it meant death. They figured they were already dying, so it was better to die right into their soil. At least if they die in their land, they will be part of the soil of their land. This is the concept and world view of the Tigraian in 1975.In fact, in many parts of Tigraian, Tigraians are not identify by their village names.The importance of the village in the Tigran concept and understanding of the world is very strong.For better or worst Tigraian likes to keep tight to his village.To keep maintain the survival of his village first, he needs to find means to survive, peace, and stability.Therefore, TPLF was not born to defy Amhara rule, it was created to defy injustice, misery, death, and destruction.
The civil war killed thousands of people.Many Tigraian families were separated.The famine of 1983, which was unspoken tragedy caused unrepairable tragedy. There are still thousands of Tigraian people who lost a member of their family in the famine 1983. There are still sad mothers who have buried 3 or four 4 children in Sudan.There are still children who have now grown up to be men and women who lost their mothers and fathers to the famine of 1983.To this day, there are lot of sad Tigraian hearts because of the famine of 1983.This means that from 1896-1975, Tigrai was devastated by two major wars with Italy, by countless famine, and two ignorant kings who never paid attention to the peculiar history and need of Tigrai.From 1975-1991 Tigrai paid a heavy price during the civil war.Tigrai went through 96 years of uninterrupted life of hell.This means every Tigraian has been directly impacted by our history of hell and misery.But who knows this part of our history?How did the leading Ethiopian intellectuals treat our history of death, poverty, and tragic wars?
Injustice for Tigran’s was not only committed by the federal government but also by the Ethiopian intellectual elites.
In the past 120 years, there have been many history books that were written about Ethiopia.Ironically none of the Ethiopian elites ever ventured to discover the history of the Ethiopian gate keepers, Tigrai.The so-called Ethiopians, scholars only focus on the life, and accomplishment of the Ethiopian superman. The Ethiopian superman, for these Ethiopians scholars were the, ancient Rases, Kings, and their contribution to Ethiopia.Ethiopians scholars never paid attention to the history and the life of the Ethiopian peasants who paid a great role in defending Ethiopia. All Ethiopian historical glories have been crowned to the Rases and the Kings of the past.Now, the same Ethiopians historians that neglected narrating the hellish life of Tigraians are tutoring Tigraians how to be a good Ethiopians.
Today, the proud Tigran Ethiopian people that I described above are been attacked by an army of pen, social media, blogs, and even church sermons, because they played a major role in destroying a government that did not care for its people.Every Tigraian is demonized, because they feel that Tigraians are having it made in what we call todays Ethiopia.I don’t know about 100 years from now, but for Tigraians, life as an Ethiopian has been hell.For Tigraian life as an Ethiopian has been war. Life as an Ethiopian has been poverty, illiteracy, and hopelessness.
Now we have Ethiopians who wants to teach a Tigraian how to be a good Ethiopian because they know how to log on Facebook page. And now we have Ethiopians who want to tutor Tigraians how to be a good Ethiopian because they have a YouTube account?Now we have Ethiopians who want to tutor Tigraians how to be a good Ethiopian because they are lawyers?They are asking us to renounce our fight against slavery and injustice to be defined by their Ethiowenet script.Am I dreaming or this is true?Ignorance is a bliss. They are ignorant of our history, and they never cared to know us closely. They will rather tutor us on how to be a good Ethiopian from distant.I hope that such ignorant intellectuals do not litter Ethiopia.I do hope there are many wise Ethiopian women and men, who understand that been a Tigran in the past 96 years has been a life of hell.No threats, or propaganda will ever make a Tigraian renounce his struggle for equality.
Thank you TPLF leaders, and the Tigraian peasants who gave all you had to make victory possible.I am very proud for your stubbornness to fight arrogance and hopelessness. We must stand strong to accomplish great things along our wise and kind Ethiopians. Facebook, ESAT, YouTube, blogging, has been used to inspire a passion for hate.A genuine and solution oriented human being never allows hate to occupy his mind and heart.Let us use our mind and our heart for a good purpose.We can easily defeat cyber bullies in court of law. They write literature of hate assuming the world is ignorant and powerless in taking proper lawful action.
Any human being who is affected by a disease called hate is a defeated soul. A defeated soul can never defeat a healthy strong soul.I have been following ESAT carefully and all their actions and reactions has been filled with hate. I have followed the writing of well-known Ethiopian historians all their writing is covered with hate.Hate filled people are victims of their own ignorance.At the meantime, I suggest the ESAT crew and their fan club to use their time wisely. Tigraians don’t need any tutors on how to be Ethiopians. The feeling of Ethiopian among Tigrai and Tigraians, was not instilled by America based Ethiopian intellectuals, and nor can these egotistical intellectuals can take away the Ethiopians that is printed in the hearts of Tigraians.Tigraian feeling of Ethopianism, were constructed in their heart by the bones their ancestors paid to safe guard the independence of Ethiopia.Contrary to these dishonest intellectuals, TPLF never taught anyone to hate Ethiopia and Ethopianism. TPLF did teach every Tigraian to stand up to justice and hate poverty and illiteracy.
Therefore, the history of the people who were behind TPLF, is the history of bravery, the history of sacrifice for been an Ethiopian. TPLF was born to save Tigrai, out of a tunnel that the first and second Italian war dug for her.King Menelik and King Haile Selassie did not show up to save Tigrai.Even the dishonest few educated elite did not safe Tigrai by narrating it history of sacrifice for maintaining an independent Ethiopia.
I take this opportunity to say thank you my Tigraian people for standing up for the injustice. Thank you TPLF for helping Tigrai to try to recover from the war of 1896 and 1935. Thank you TPLF, for trying your best to create a stable and a fair Ethiopia.I also want to assure my Tigraian brothers that except for the extreme Ethiopian intellectuals based in the west, many Ethiopian brothers and sisters understand the dreams, and desire of a Tigraian. A Tigraian who has lived through unimaginable tragedies spanning three generations wants peace and prosperity for all Ethiopians. There is no Tigraian on the face of this earth that wants more than his brothers and sisters. A Tigraian knows and understands how it feels to live in misery, and despair.I wonder if western Ethiopian intellectuals ever encountered misery and despair. I feel that most Ethiopian intellectuals never were in touch with the Ethiopian reality at first-hand experience. I could be wrong?I wish people like professor Almariam , and the other Ethiopian intellectuals can enlighten us about their personal history?