Comment to "Dear Aiga Feed back about Tigrai.."

Dear Aiga,

Warm greetings to you and all your readers. I chanced to read the comment about the situation inTigray and the administration there written by a certain visitor. I really found the comment very short-sighted and shallow. The writer speaks of the change of Tigray and witnesses this by only seeing "...the roads of Mekele covered with brilliantly designed cobblestones." For me what he/she saw and mentioned as an improvement in Tigray is a tip of an iceberg. What about the asphalted roads stretched in the major lines; the efforts underway to boost electricity at nation and region level, what about the airports, the flourishing of investment and business; the efforts made by the region's administration to curb the acute scarcity of houses; the construction of schools, universities and colleges. Why that is the visitor confined him/herself to cobblestoned roads to express his/her delight?

The writer quickly jumped to grossly criticize the region's administration for not handling the public with dignity, and went to his/her hyperbolic statement that the he/she "...never encountered any person who is happy about the situation in Tigray at the moment. Everyone is complaining that no one is giving attention to them." Is this not a hasty generalization and an unsubstantiated conclusion? It for sure is as far as my observation is concerned. The writer also spoke of the absence of freedom of speech in Tigray and tried to substantiate this with the rudeness of a certain official. In the first place, the writer did not mention a single point that characterizes the official's rudeness. He swiftly passed the topic by simply saying the official’s words were rude.

The visitor also does not seem to be happy to see the pictures of Meles posted in offices and private houses. The good thing is Meles did not make a promulgation that his picture should be posted in these places. So what is the problem of this visitor if people who appreciate Meles have his (the latter's) picture posted? It is not unusual for people to have the picture of their leader in their houses/offices. What amazed me most in the comment of this writer is this: "I believe Meles is one of the greatest leaders (if not the best) the country ever seen SO FAR". I wonder why the writer left this statement hanging in a controversial manner. Who are the leaders he/she used to benchmark Meles? Is the writer taking us to the days of Menelik or Theodros or Yohannes or to our much earlier leaders (for his capitalized SO FAR seems to show this) like Ezana, Caleb or Gebremeskel? If a leader is one of the greatest, does it not mean that he is one of the best? I wish I could see the semantic demarcation between the two superlative adjectives: greatest and best.

To my disbelief, one observation the writer dared to share to his readers is the single episode while he/she was at one of the administration’s office to get his TIN (by the way should be clear to readers as Tax Identification Number). The writer told us that some brawl developed between a certain official at the TIN office and the merchants who were there for the same purpose. The writer's ''successful merchant'' took out his mobile and started filming the official. Ehmmm… But the writer should have known that his "successful merchant" was violating the individual right of the official not to be filmed without his consent. To my surprise, the writer ironically said that "the only “crime” he (his/her 'successful merchant') committed is filming the guy while he was speaking". It is so funny indeed to assume that filming someone without his consent is legal, and defending oneself from being involuntarily filmed is a "crime" given the pervasiveness of film/clip abusing in our era of internet.

So on the whole, I found the comment too green and superficial to be constructive, intentionally or unintentionally deemed to negatively impact the flow of compatriot Diaspora investors to Ethiopia and in Tigray in particular. The justification/evidence given is shallow and personal.

Henok GAmlak Sep 18, 2011

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