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Aung San Suu Kyi & Ethiopia's Birtukan Mideksa’s release brings smile on faces

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11/14/10

  10:41:48 pm, by admin, 1499 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Genet Mersha

Aung San Suu Kyi & Ethiopia's Birtukan Mideksa’s release brings smile on faces

Aung San Suu Kyi enjoys freedom after seven years of house arrest. Photo: AP

Aung San Suu Kyi & Birtukan Mideksa’s release brings smile on faces and hearts of people—but no one falls for the dupery despots have in mind in so doing

By Genet Mersha, 14 November 2010

On November 7, Myanmar held national election, after twenty years of military rule. Quoting a senior party official, Reuters reported that the Union for Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) has taken as many as 80 percent of the available seats for parliament. News sources report that the USDP is a party stacked with recently retired generals and closely aligned with General Than Shwe, the military leader. Therefore, the electoral ‘competition’ behind it and bombarded by the torrent of rejections from around the world, a week later the junta released the 65-year old Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, the most revered figure in that unfortunate country and an international icon.
This is seen as an attempt to seek international acceptance and lifting of the biting sanctions by giving a semblance of possible transition to democracy. Nonetheless, the election has already been rejected by all democratic countries and peoples around the world. There are two main reasons for that. Firstly, the junta’s disbanded the largest pro-democracy party, Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD). Secondly, in its election laws the junta decreed that pro-democracy figures would be banned because of convictions linked to her political activities. This resulted in the exclusion of the experienced NLD leadership from participation in the election. The party was given the option to take part in the election only if it expelled Suu Kyi from the party, which it refused on grounds of principle.

It seems that the military junta calculated this would create division within the NLD. They anticipated that a fragmented party would be incapable of any opposition activities. Most of the NLD members listened to their leader and decided not to take part in the election. For its refusal on both counts, the junta forcibly disbanded the NLD. A faction in the NLD, mostly consisting of the young, was convinced it would make a difference for democracy’s future in Myanmar by taking part in the election and getting parliamentary representation.

Certainly, their move was based on wrong assumptions. Under Myanmar’s new constitution, 25 percent of seats in all chambers are reserved for the military. According to news sources, the USDP is led by former junta officials who have only in recent weeks given up their military rank to run as civilians. The National Unity Party (NUP) is led by a former deputy leader of the armed forces. Such an arrangement, it is reported, would give the junta a parliamentary majority of more than 75 percent. In addition, three key ministerial posts - interior, defense and border affairs would be held by the generals running Myanmar. It has also become evident to opposition parties that participated in the election that they have been duped. They have already “accused the military junta of fraud and said many state workers had been forced to support the army-backed Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) in advance balloting ahead of Sunday” (MSNBC).

In the circumstances, the best hope for Myanmar still rests with Aung San Suu Kyi, although the environment she would be operating is more difficult than before. Notwithstanding that she told the thousands that thronged during the night cheering her release and tearing with joy: "I'm very happy to see you all again." To the junta, she told them what they dread most: "They have treated me well on a personal basis. But they have not acted in accordance with the rule [of law]. And that I shall always fight against…The people cannot have security unless there is rule of law. And I believe my treatment and that of all prisoners is not within the norms of justice, but that does not mean that I have been ill treated personally" (CNN).

Regarding the election, she said, "I don't think any country can survive as a prosperous and dignified nation unless there is rule of law." Moreover, Suu Kyi is reported to have said the "basis of democratic freedom is freedom of speech" and urged supporters to "stand up for what is right." She said "I'm not fearful, not in the sense that I think to myself that I won't do this or I won't do that because they'll put me under arrest again. That I don't have in mind" (BBC). In a BBC telephone interview she also said she did not fear re-arrest if she continued to call for democracy, though she knew it remained a possibility.

To the credit of the generals, the junta did not try to humiliate her either by announcing any fabricated apologies or setting terms and conditions for her release, as Ethiopia did in the case of the respected opposition UDJ party president Judge Birtukan Mideksa. Aung San Suu Kyi’s lawyer Nyan Win told journalists "This is an unconditional release. No restrictions are placed on her" (MSNBC).

In the case of Birtukan Mideksa, she was released from prison on 6 October 2010, after serving over two years of her life sentence. The government went extra length to make her release as if initiated with her apology. It announced her release from prison about five months after Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s TPLF-led EPRDF won 99.6 percent of parliamentary seats. She was coerced into signing a letter of apology to the prime minister that in part states “I apologize for deceiving the Ethiopian people and government. I will not involve myself in such deceptive acts in the future” (Reuters). On 22 September 2010, a government official told the media of her release saying, “There was no bargaining. This is purely a magnanimous act by the government” (Eskinder Nega, www.andinet.com).

Nevertheless, to the extent I can understand her legal and political mind, I would be hard pressed to believe she would write of her own free will in her apology letter the following sentences. The language is typically Meles’s that he had employed from time to time in his press conferences, accusing her of such things. Here is that part:

When I was on duty abroad, I falsely told my supporters that government released me the first time around without me asking any apology, which on my part was false information. Because of that, when the authorities asked me to correct that mistaken information, instead I committed another mistake of not responding to that request appropriately. The reason for that is my mistaken belief that the government would not dare arrest me for fear of foreign pressure; or even if it did it would free me without delay (unofficial translation).

In this connection, recall that Reuters on its blog of 16 June 2009 wrote “Now, a year into her detention, Meles seems reluctant even to speak her name, preferring to call her “the lady” or “that woman”. When he finally did say the word Birtukan last week at a news conference, he couldn’t have been clearer about her future. There will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.” Recall also that the prime minister had told a press conference, “there is zero chance that opposition leader Birtukan Mideksa will be released from prison in time to compete in the elections scheduled for next May [2010]. He also said Birtukan’s jailing is not a pretext to eliminate political opposition” (Bloomberg, 22 June).

Recently Eskinder Nega wrote (after the election), Prime Minister Meles Zenawi “spoke about her harshly, but noticeably absent the typical ardor: “This (her release) is a purely legal issue, and it is between her and the law. No one can come between the two. Not opposition parties, not our friends abroad.”

Interestingly, like Mynamar’s the May 2010 election was rejected by election observers, outlining a list of several failures. In its conclusion the EU Election Observer Mission report states, “The electoral process fell short of international commitments for elections regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties.” In its damning report, Human Rights Watch wrote, “Although the ruling party introduced multiparty elections soon after it came to power in 1991, opposition political parties have faced serious obstruction to their efforts to establish offices, organize, and campaign in national and local elections.”

Certainly, the fate of Judge Birtukan is already sealed. Meles must be clear in his mind that he would only bid his time for another round of imprisonment. In his response to a question about her fate at his recent visit to Columbia University, before her release he said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if she were to ask for a pardon. And I wouldn’t be surprised if the government was to grant it to her.” Is it that not troubling how much power a single man wields in our country, with the law having no powers to protect citizens or restrain an angry, moody, mercurial personality in power?

God save Ethiopia!

24 comments

Comment from: Bekele [Visitor]
Bekele

The politics of Birtukan much exaggerated beyond its limite. Now when there is a political thermoil some where those with different agenda are trying to associate it as swift as light. the poor politicians are trying to make a bridge b/n milk and acid.

Honestly speaking Birtukan was a yes lady of the Dr. Birhanu. That is all. she hate Tigray. that is evident. She was not stand neither for Democracy nor for her professional ethics. The case with Ato siye was the expression of her position anti the system, though I did not want to give any suggetion about Siye at the moment.

She was a lawyer graguated from AAU and turn her self to another field- politics. politics is good if you are wise and dangerous if could not play it with its rules. So she began to play the game as simple instrument of Dr. Birhanu and she loose the card and the law land her in jail. Again this is true.
I feel shame about those who know better than her about her thinking. They always barking as a trined dog when some thing happens some where else. I read the article carefully to see the relationship b/n the two females, but I could not find any sort of similarity except their sex. Please do not cray day and night for power do good and tangible which is better than the EPRDF and the society will give you its vote otherwise the Ethiopian societ is by now conscious enough to give a judgment not by words but by deed.

11/14/10 @ 23:33
Comment from: justin [Visitor]
justin

Genet, worry about your boss Issayas Afewerki, not Ethiopia or Meles.

ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር

11/14/10 @ 23:55
Comment from: Ye Chaltu Lij [Visitor]
Ye Chaltu Lij

Aung San Suu Kyi => She didn’t say SORRY!!…that is a true character of Jegna. A true freedom fighter!!

Birtukan Mideksa => Twice she said SORRY & we are expecting another one in 2015……that is called a true Doma lawyer wanabe!

Ato Genet Mersha (must be he!),

I forgive you for comparing the two.

“Goat is here, the stick is over there". “Apple and orange". “Gomen ena…. I don’t know, give me something".

11/15/10 @ 00:48
Comment from: Gebeyaw [Visitor]
Gebeyaw

I think the person who pretends himself as an Ethiopian name, Bekele, above is not a true Ethiopian and also his comment is not a funny one.
Because the comment doesn’t seem that it comes from Ethiopia but, may be from Eritrea. Just wait for a moment and see Eritrea’s future!!!! That is my message for him!!!!!!!

He looks an Asmara ass..,.

11/15/10 @ 00:52
Comment from: keffa bonga [Visitor]
keffa bonga

she just do what given by god her freedom not by blood sucker meles she will be fine one day i have a dream just like saddam hussine meles will be in the rope that day will come u cant stay in power for ever

11/15/10 @ 01:01
Comment from: MAHLAT [Visitor]
MAHLAT

i love this lady she is very strong women but dirty woyane Hoooooo i’m so tired

11/15/10 @ 02:27
Comment from: Kena Keb [Visitor]
Kena Keb

Now that Birtukan Mideksa is released from prison, after she openly admitted that she had lied to the Ethiopian people, those who had hoped that the Ethiopian government would give in to the pressure from the anti-Ethiopia forces, are now twisting the story and outrageously claim that she was coerced to sign the letter of apology! Repeated efforts to compare any political “dissident” in Ethiopia with M Ghandi, Martin Luther King,Nelson Mandela, and Aung San Suu Kyi is like mixing apples and oranges, so futile of a low calibre.

Ethiopia shall prosper!!

11/15/10 @ 03:01
Comment from: tezebt [Visitor]
tezebt

If you look in the past Ms gent comment and comparisons they are very similar. She is looking out side the content. Always comparing oaring and apple. Don’t be mistaken we love Ms Bertukan because of her courage but we still not compare her with any out side or in side person jest to get attention or give weight for Ms gent writing. We want to admirer Ms Medeksa as she is. Not as she look’s others. What Ms genet mess like always she doesn’t look from with in. she looks approval from out side. I can give a lot of example for instants one time she was mention how to learn governance from Brazil. And so on. Because you pot sentences doesn’t make one intellectual rather it look nonsense. And lack of maturity jest a shallow knowledge.

11/15/10 @ 03:23
Comment from: Rainman [Visitor]
Rainman

Genet Mersha,

Yenatish be tractor yitares ena how could you possibly compare ye gash Mideksan lij to Suu kyi ??? maferia if only i could just slap you once !!!

11/15/10 @ 07:25
Comment from: ankober [Visitor]
ankober

genet
please give me something to digest your garbage. San suu kyi is a hero who defied the brutAL DICTATORS OF MYNAMR WHILE BIRTUKAN IS A SHALLOW SPINELESS LADY WHO WANTS TO BRING DICTATORSHIP TO ETHIOPIA.tHE FORMER IS BASED ON PRINCIPLE WHILE THE LATER BY EGO

11/15/10 @ 09:09
Comment from: Seleme [Visitor]
Seleme

. . .both of them they were released after election. . .election that rigged by military junta (Burma) and election that manipulated by one party dictatorial regime (Ethiopia). . .

. . .UNDEMOCRATIC FORM OF GOVERNMENT. . .EVILS!!!!!!!


11/15/10 @ 12:29
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

A great news ,TOTALITARISM ,TYRANT ,DESPOT regimes like Birma’s Military
Juntas or TPLF bandits regimes are more than ever under control .Angh San Suu kyi and Birtukan Mideksa represent the bright future of the freedom for every opressed and miss treated peoples in the whole world .
VIVA AUNGH SAN SUU KYI AND BIRTUKAN MIDEKSA !!!!!!!
FREEDOM FOR THE WHOLE OPRESSED PEOPLES !!!!
DEATH TO DESPOTS AND TYRANTS !!!!

11/15/10 @ 12:40
Comment from: Tulu Proud ET [Visitor]
Tulu Proud ET

Great women of the century. I pay high respect for these women.

The men have to men up like our great grand fathers. Stand up against tyranny and the modern slave Meles.

11/15/10 @ 13:34
Comment from: Arsi [Visitor]
Arsi

For God sake… this absurd to compare Aung San Suu Kyi to Birtukan Mideksa. I am happy that W/rt Birtukan is free. But she is even remotely close Suu Kyi. Birtukan got her 2 minutes fame for releasing Ato Siye from prison. Timing of the events brought her into the opposition. They brought her in to get more political points than substance. She’s got neither charisma or leadership qualities. It’s time that Ethiopian opposition mature up to find quality leaders to help more the country. Otherwise, they will be stack in the hole, if their goal is always to score political points using people like Birtukan in the future.

11/15/10 @ 13:44
Comment from: Kebede [Visitor]
Kebede

Please do not put Birtukans Name with Aung San Suu Kyi. Because all of our oppostions are too much selfish. They do want sacrify for the freedom or democracy. They just involve in politics without their knowledge and then you will see them begging the government for pardon.They do not have any tolorance like this lady and Mr Mandela. All the kingit leaders should have stayed in in prison at least until 2010 election if they are real fighters for Democracy. Eventhough Birtukan is better than other oppostion leaders, all of them are fake politician. You can not bring a change without you need to strugle like this lady or Mandela.

11/15/10 @ 14:44
Comment from: selam [Visitor]
selam

how dare you compare the two of them. Birtukan is starving for power not fighting for the freedom of the poor

11/15/10 @ 17:21
Comment from: Gojo [Visitor]
Gojo

Birtukan is made a hero from zero. what the heck is with the people. she is simply the weapon for the empty diaspora. In Ethiopia, the average person doesn’t talk about her because they don’t think that she is anything. please let’s rally around who can make a difference in our country.

11/15/10 @ 18:31
Comment from: the real fighter [Visitor]
the real fighter

what kinda hootchiekootchie about those women…let’s be realistic.ppl. under arrest/in exile haven’t the smallest chance to change ANYTHING.under arrest,you are surrounded by spies/watchguards.in exile,not much better,cause you aren’t at the battlefield.f.ex. what can birtukan do?nothing but greaning.herewego…

11/15/10 @ 19:41
Comment from: Suliman [Visitor]
Suliman

You are comparing apple and oranges.

11/15/10 @ 20:46
Comment from: Bekele [Visitor]
Bekele

I have read the commont wrote by Ato Gebeyaw concerning to my citizenship in a very SMART fun. You know the most ugliest agenda of minds that produce non-sense ideas is labeling and trying to demoralizing others in different ways. This is the very indicator of unproductive and blind mind. I am not an Eritrean but I do not have any hatrage with Eritreans but I my have a different understanding from them and you on the way of problem resolution. I belive on peaceful conflict resolution but some ERITREANS WHO ARE SUPPORTING Issayas and some Ethiopians people like ATO GEBEYAW wants to resolve conflict in forceful actions. That is the difference.

I am not mixing white and black ideas. I always try to support ideas what I feel they seems good for me not from extrem hatrage. I always try to be reasonal on my feelings and understandings and I appreciet differences. I hate homoginity that kills critical thinking. And I opposed such ideas from some people.

As to my nationality don’t Worry and it doesn’t matter to give innocent ideas.
Plrase we need not to read or to listen such discriminatory ideas. The time is not a time for extremists come and land with the time.

11/15/10 @ 21:54
Comment from: ISUZU_FSR [Visitor]
ISUZU_FSR

to-ye chaltu lig, i always like your
coments good job!

to-Keffa bonga- you make me thraw up man! when are you going to put a rope on Meles’s neck? why no now my hero?what is the real reason for not now?just say it"the answer is:we are loosers,we are defeated,we do not have the programme that is in working condition for winning the minds of Ethiopians,and most importantly we do not have the gut to accept our defeat exept spreading hates around;and also……we may be from the families of hate groups by our natures i mean( timkhitegna neftegnas or the otheway: tebab olf) so we call it meles,tplf or eprdf opdo they do not work for us we get nevous when we hear about them.In general,you know we are sorry asses of the 21st century,how can i explain more!”

11/16/10 @ 02:14
Comment from: Bir-Hanu-Tukan [Visitor]
Bir-Hanu-Tukan

Ayy Genet!
Genetsh yitfana… How in the world do you compare the two completely different personalities as a heroin??? Bertukan is the product of Berhanu Nega, whose intention was just to use her as an instrument to toss out Lidetu, dismantle KINIJIT or as a ladder for his ambition,and so on. She never been KINIJIT member during the 2005 election. How she become a VP of KINIJIT without being a member of that coalition was a drama of Berhanu Nega. The story of Bertukan began when KINIJIT leadership announced to hire a lawyer to pursue a lawsuit against woyane for the stolen election. Many very well experienced lawyers showed up for the position,but none of them got the job! How about Woizero bertukan?? Her resume’, as was presented to be hired as a “lawyer of kinijit” in 1998 (EC), was good enough for Berhanu’s future evil plan. He gave her a ride and the next day she became one of the 12 representatives of “KESTEDEMENA” (Berhanus party)to be elected for the top position of KINIJIT. She was never been Kestedamena member either!! That is just like Andargachew,who proudly stated that he became a member by Berhanus acclamation! The drama goes on..To make the story short Berhanu start recruiting some members from the kinijit prisoners to become his stooges. The criteria was simply they have to be none Amharas. While they were in prison, Berhanu secretly send his messangers abroad to make a crack within KINIJIT supporters, bought almost all media including websites, radios… After he assumed everything was ready, they got out of prison and he assigned BERTUYE to lead the gangsters to AMERICA while he flew to England and US via Dubai to check on the work of his people abroad!
To mention one BERhanuTUKAN was the one who said
“There are only 100 political prisoners in Ethiopia at the US congress hearing".to the amusement of the hearing conductors.
His people in media were busy to promote her as lady Mandela. When asked what her talent or quality of leadership they have no clue. Most even don’t know if she was kinijit or kestedamena or 6 month lawer court judge. They simply want to mention that she was a judge. For how long, where, and what did she do they don’t know! “Seyen fetach” Why did she do that? Did she examine the case carefully? They don’t know. Even it takes a close look of a case of a pickpocket. Let alone Seyes high profile case. Thanks to her X- BOYFRIEND, the father of her daughter, Seye’s cousin,Seyen fetach!because he, as an attorney general, assigned her to be a center judge to try Seye! The full story will come out soon as a history.

11/16/10 @ 02:47
Comment from: Seleme [Visitor]
Seleme

ankober,

. . .idiot! how come that Birtukan want DICTATOSHIP without leading the government? . . .

. . .the poisonous venum circulated in your empty skull exposed to us once again!. . .

. . .puppet, it is very clear that your evil godfather has empty balls same as those military junta in Burma who doesnt want to move forward those PRO-DEMOCRACY movements. . .they are the real DICTATORS who gripped us with their IRON FIST of DICTATORSHIP!!!!


11/17/10 @ 00:52
Comment from: Afarman [Visitor]
Afarman

Ihope the author of the article genet Masresha will learn a lesson from all the comments.
Genet plz wake up and smell the coffee, don compare the umcomparble, I think you just googled and found out about Aung Sun suki, there is no slightest resemblance btween te two politicians other than their gender. Birtukan is a lady who got driven by ego and she doesnt seem to have a solid stand, she flipflops here and there. she is undecisive and she expected the government to be soft on her as she is a woman. What the heck, she messed with the law and here she is messed right to left, her career as a politician is destroyed, I don xpect her to come and face the public after asking pardon not once but twice, se is like a kind of repeated offender. let her go and join Dr brihanu her spiritual mentor

11/20/10 @ 06:14

rebtel

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