Mekelle Tigrai 02/04/10, (Aigaforum)-The Tigrai Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) started its armed struggle on Feb 11 1967(EC). The armed struggle ended when the EPRDF a Front made up of TPLF, ANDM, OPDO and SEPDM defeated the Dergue regime 18 years ago. The TPLF's strength comes from its popularity among the Tigrean people. The people have paid untold sacrifices to uphold TPLF's ideals and every Lekatit (February) 11 they celebrate it as national holiday and every five years the celebration is held in a grand scale.
This year's celebration started on Jan 29, 2010 with a torch lightening ceremony at Dedebit where the armed struggle started. The torch will go around the State final destination in Mekelle on Feb 11. The grand ceremony in Mekelle will start with the torch arrival ceremony. Mekelle will have four days of street festival and candle light vigil to remember martyred members of the TPLF and those killed during the 17 years of struggle. There will also be fire works on the eve of the final day ceremony.
Unlike past celebration this year's celebration will focus on the future while reflecting on the past. In preparation to the festival the State will gather over 20,000 farmers in Mekelle to recognize and encourage model farmers. The public will also get a chance to say thank you to those martyred and those long time leaders who will be transitioning to new assignment in the coming five years.
As we all know EPRDF has put a plan in place to replace its leadership with the new upcoming young generation. TPLF as member organization will have many new leaders and faces in the coming five years in top leadership role. Though not yet named for some this grand celebration will be their last in the top leadership role. The celebration is expected to see close to 250, 000 Tigreans and friends descended to the City of Mekelle.
Looking forward right after the celebration is done the people will ready themselves for a historic fourth election. This year's election is set to be more dynamic and more interesting.
The people will have a choice between many different candidates and organizations to elect as their Representatives in both regional and federal level. While many hopes the election will be peaceful there is a sentiment that some of the opposition groups may not be ready for a peaceful ending of the election. According to sources the people of Tembien are irritated by UDJ representative talk about how they will vote who they will vote! Their argument is no one but themselves knows how and to whom they will vote for!
Those competing for regional and federal level seats have been registered and the public has already started talking. Some TPLF high officials we talked to are amazed by some of the reaction the public has towards Siye Abraha’s (UDJ) comment.
The official said the TPLF has seen before key military leaders as well as political leaders betray the organization. Some betrayed the organization and joined the Dergue and came back to fight against during the armed struggle and some left the organization and joined opposition organizations who are hell bent to see the demise of TPLF. Siye is not the first one to betray TPLF ideals said the official.All along we have had disclosed to everyone that TPLF's problem with Siye and Gebru was not because of their personality but because of their backward and anti-development ideas. What is unique this time is the public can now hear from the horse's mouth how backward they are.
We knew that sooner or later Siye and Gebru were to show their true colors and Siye's last statement of equating democracy to a monarchy has indeed shown all of us how he has derailed from the people's cause. Siye bluntly denies the democratic process that has been put in place and shows his ideological paralysis. But February 11th will be a great opportunity for all Ethiopians to once again vow to move forward and make poverty history. Let us all be cognizant of the many lives that were lost to start the path to development and continue to envision an Ethiopia like no other time.
The regional government has also invited Diaspora supporters and friends alike to join the ceremony.