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To Joseph E. Stiglitz University Professor Uris Hall
Room 814/Columbia University 3022 Broadway,
New York, NY 10027 Phone: +1 (212) 854-1481
Dear Professor Stiglitz,
It is with a great sense of dismay and incredulity that we learned about the invitation extended to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia as a keynote speaker to launch "The World and Africa" series organized by your Committee on Global Thought (CGE) at Columbia.
By any measure of good governance, Prime Minister Zenawi stands as one of the most vicious dictators and corrupt leaders of the modern era.
As recently as May of this year, he stunned the democratic world by declaring a 99.6% victory in an election that was characterized by fraud, intimidation, deceit and coercion. As documented by all credible human rights groups and other international observers, in the run-up to the elections, which were reminiscent of the dark days of communism and fascism, he utterly incapacitated all potential threats to his monopoly of power and subjected the populace to unimaginable degrees of social and economic suffering and political repression.
Earlier in 2005, he had violently suppressed another popular movement for democracy, massacred over 193 peaceful protesters, incarcerated all opposition leaders, and sent to concentration camps thousands of suspected members of opposition groups. To this day, one of the most popular leaders of the opposition, Birtukan Mideksa, is languishing in prison on trumped-up charges.
As a man of letters, we trust that you are all too familiar with the Prime Minister's appalling records on academic freedom. In Zenawi’s Ethiopia, universities and other institutions of learning are under a state of siege. Absolute loyalty to the ethno-centric regime is a pre-requisite for admission to colleges, and consideration for employment requires card-holding membership to the ruling party. Armed cadres planted among the students openly terrorize those with views that are at variance with the party line, and peaceful protests in campuses are violently crushed, as was the case, for example, on April 18, 2001 when the Special Forces police opened fire on a peaceful protest at Addis Ababa University and killed at least 41 people and wounded 250, or when in January of 1993, hundreds of students were shot and mutilated by Zenawi’s police for peacefully exercising their freedom of expression.
As a respected economist and Nobel Prize laureate, we have no doubt in your appreciation of the spurious growth figures Zenawi fabricates to attract foreign aid, while the country he has governed with an iron fist for two decades ranks at the bottom of the developing world with respect to every index of human development. Despite the billions of dollars in aid that he has amassed and embezzled since he snatched power from another dictator, a recent report placed Ethiopia as the second poorest nation in the world, with 90% of the population living in poverty, and 61.5% deprived of adequate schooling.
We do understand your close partnership with the despot, and your effort to give him legitimacy in the aftermath of his dubious 99.6% victory. The people of Ethiopia still remember the similar effort by your colleague, Jeffrey Sachs, who came to Zenawi’s rescue with the Yara Prize following his crushing defeat in the 2005 elections. Nonetheless, we believe that the motive of giving the dictator a cover for his crimes against humanity through a platform at Columbia University would be inconsistent with the image of the university as a bulwark of human rights, social justice and good governance. We, therefore, ask that you demonstrate your sensitivity to the plights of the millions of Ethiopians who are suffering under the yolk of dictatorship by withdrawing the invitation extended to Zenawi and using the forum instead for a more genuine discourse on the promotion of democracy and good governance in that part of the world.
The world has never forgiven those intellectuals who willfully embraced and promoted Hitler’s atrocious policies that resulted in the extermination of millions of innocent lives. The verdict of history will be equally unkind on the erudite of our time that collude and cuddle with dictators at the expense of the suffering of millions in one of the poorest countries in the world.
Sincerely, Selam Beyene, Ph.D.
Ms Selam Beyene, Ph.D.
I have read your mostly incompetent and intellectually dishonest compliant letter. Though I disagree with almost what you have stated I believe in your entitlement to your opinion and it does count. Now am gonna have to ask you a favor, not just for me but for our mother planet Earth, JUST KILL YOURSELF ALREADY and i assure you that the world is a better place without you!! Regards,
go girl!! you are my hero selam
You must have a bulind eye or deaf ear to ignor the fact written by Selam Beyen Ph.D. She can creat a lot of lies like you but she just put all the realty happning under the goverment of Meles. Please for gad seek open your eyes, if you have some goodies to say about the Zenawy write to the colombian universty. I hope if Meles show up he will reward you for the your comment.
I wonder where you got your PHD, somewhere in Timbuktu? Just because you don’t like the PM don’t expect every one to hate him too. You guys have written to every leader in the world but to no success. Cause you are full of tribal hate and is clear for every one to see. Next time he will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, then what are you gonna do, kill yourself? I wish, you would render Ethiopia a better service. The standard of PHD has gone down the hill because of you guys.
Ms Selam Beyene Ph.D 100%She Is honest.
That is just a civilized way to fight dictatorship! Good Job!
Shame,shame,shame,and shame on Colombia University!!!
The University is existed chiefly for making profits;this would in fact,lead us to thinking that the adminstration of the University has no knowledge of the dictator’s,that Meles Zinawi cruility and despacable atrocities that he committed on Ethiopians.Probably,the entire adminstrative management Colombia University must build a house in the repressive regime of Meles Zinawi and make partnership to further make worse the conditions of Ethiopians.
What a failure for those careless Combia University adminstrators,what a joke it is to deny the reality,the fact,and everything elese that has been existing for two decades in Ethioopia.
We,Ethiopians are fully disappointed by the Colmbia University adminstration that what has been going in classes has not been about teaching the right things to students;it has rather been on the basis of giving your money,I give you diploma.That is it.
here comes another ignorant “PhD holder who is detached from her surroundings.
Have a great day
Most of the people who critised Ms Beyene are the puppet of meles and we all know u very well,time will come for those who loves their country ethiopia and god will be in our side and for those who chosed to be iliterate and grid anti ethiopian animals,our fate and patriotism will crash u soon
Isn’t she an Eritrean?
What has she to do with Ethiopia?
Butt out woman!! Mind your Eri business.
Your phd knowledge might help your eri people to figure out how to get rid of your musoloni leader isayas.
Your protest does’t worth a penny mr Beyene.I don’t know what satisfaction can give it to you, you are not the one to judge about the good and bad governance,it is the people of Ethiopia.
Mr Beyene may be you can replace his speech by your boss Mengistu Hailemariam or Esayas of Eritrea???
Ms Selam Beyen FaD,
Ms, I called you FaD, because your comments and writings doesn’t match your PhD title, if you want to know what FaD is, it stands for doctor of False. where did u get that PhD you claimed actually? I am so sorry for the university who awarded u this PhD. because you are just a child as he/she born before opening his/her eyes and you need really some more years to be mature. I said all this because you don’t have the capability and ability to see the real Ethiopia at this time. I am not opposing u because you are an opposition to who ever ruling Ethiopia b/c u have the right to do so, but U don’t have the right to discredit the reality happening in Ethiopia. But if you do so, I am sure u will be there lying for your life time but will never get a chance to contribute some sort of things to your mother land. instead you will stay out washing the ass of Nechachiba!
Wish you get matured some time in the future and write the actual conditions in Ethiopia if you are hungry of writing letters or comments.
You chose a good name for yourself. A poliitician known for complete ignorance.
1) Selam is entitled to her views
2( Melles is the tribal chief par excellence! He is the leader of the ONLY organization which assumed power openly declaring “tribal” justifications for doing so. Even the hated “Amhara rulers” never claimed that they are on the throne representing the Amhara.
Nothing new has come out of your letter but only the same rhetoric many of your friends in the diaspora have time and again hollered out. The University has leaders who look at things from a very different perspective than what you do and when one son of Africa is given this kind of recognition, it should make us all proud that our prime minister is bringing Africa to the world forum not as a once upon a time source of slaves or a “dark continent” but a continent to be reckoned with.
Let us all be proud of Afria!
Ethiopia shall prosper!
Selam what are you trying to say? rabbish I wish you could contribute towards something positive instead of trying to implant negativety and lie.
Dear Dr. Selam Do you think Esayas of Eritrea has to go and present speach?
Actually the PM has to rethink about our popular opposition leaders like W/t Birtukan Mideksa and Dr. Birhanu who are indeed important to our people and nation.Our government leaders has to see and repect the people behind them. We can manage and forgive each other but extremists please leave us
Colombia University Have the right to invite any world leader based on their requirement. Dr. Selam has the right to give her/his opinion based on the truth and the fact. We have the obligation to give our opinion with respect to others. Watch your English and choice of word before you open your big mouth. We can give our opinion in a civilized way than insulting someone with your ignorant mind. You have no right to question from which you University He/She graduated. Think about it we live in a free world, and we have a constitutional right to speak our mind, to write our opinion with respect, and we have our duty to fight for the truth and democracy. If you have to oppose her/his writing give your feedback in a civilized way if you care about your home country-Ethiopia.
benatish atakatri! Mood yelewem, although your arguments are good, you exaggerated too much. As much as the current ethiopian government is a long way from being perfect, they are the best alternative we have now. If you are clamming the opposition leaders in 2005 were any good, i am sure an intelligent lady like you would not find it had to see (in hindsight) that they were no good. All of the opposition leaders were biting each other throat, and they are still doing it. I urge you to make your argument more appealing by incorporating things this government is doing right, it would give you a lot of credibility in my book.
I don’t understand why the diaspora hate anything positive news about ethiopia or development. meles speech in colombia univesity is not about meles it is about ethiopia, because meles represents ethiopia. Oposing meles speech is oposing ethiopias positive image. please think before you open your big ignorant mouth.
Eritreans in many websites and also directely to Colombia university are experessing their anger.
By the way a PhD is not a blessing to all, to same like Selam is a curse.
Are you crazy ? Dr whatever her name is, was not invited, and that’s what’s bugging her- I guess her democracy will like to silence free speech not to open up dialogue and tolerance- good you showed your true colors- U think the Prof. is a fool- duh, he’s got a Nobel Prize- what prize can you show for ?
Sara Palin–I asked to attend the forum and this is what the University replied back. Why is that Columibia Unviersity don’t want the public to attend. Very suspicious indeed.
Thank you for your interest in the World Leaders Forum.
The World Leaders Forum, heads of state programs are only open to
Columbia University, Barnard College, and Teachers College students,
faculty and staff however during the year some events are open to the
public. Our events are video recorded and archived on our website. Event
videos will be posted soon after the completion of an event. If you have
additional questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
World Leaders Forum
You live here and no one deprives your right to write or speak. But, you didn’t state who you represent for since you write “we”. One thing I would like to ask you, what did you execute to your people to overcome their poverty? Of course, these guys were fighting for freedom, while you were working on your Ph.D. If you really love your people why you don’t go to the university and ask him your concerns or suggestions what they need to do to help our people?
Think Positive for sake of our people. Each of us is accountable to do something for our people instead of waiting that someone will do for us.
this is one way of expressing resistance to the regim in ethiopia. not clear why some ppl don’t like the letter. it helps to force meles correct or reconsider his policies or whatever, at least.
HI Selam! you seems jelous or upseted by the welcoming of the university to our PM,Meles Zenawi. I know you have the right of choising the hate politics, but the whole world including Columbia University are very clear about Meles Zenawi, the way how he is important person in our world growing Democracy in contrary to the history of your fathers and grand fathers who buried democracy in my Country Ethiopia. How could say Meles is Dictator, by any means you have no a single moral value to talk about him when I compare with your dead and live fathers and grand fathers. However, you are practicing your writing or trying to get some recognition from the university. Meles is one of the few Ethiopian leaders who has a big dream about his people and his country. Even though, if there is a problem of practicing our democracy in Ethiopia, that is because of your fellow blind politicians, probably you are the daughter of one of them or one night wife.
think better, think positive, there is a chance to heal your hate sickness, you are Ethiopian not our Enemy.
Ato Ambassador Tsegaye
I thing thise women must be eritrea ro the regime of mengistu because thise kind invitation i COLOMBIA UNIVERSITY to PR. MINISTER MELLES IS NOT ONLY FOR HIM IT REPRESENTS IN ETHIOPIA IN THE WORLD EYES so what is the problem witrh ethiopia ofcours he have done many good things and some bad things even what ever he done we must to try to solve our proble by ethiopians not by others so ms. selam you have idiot idea i don`t have respect to your phd baslees please try to make some thing than all the time commonts atleaset melles with EPRDF DONE FOR THE LIGHT OFF ETHIOPIAN FITURUTY SO WE ETHIOPIANS MUST FOLLOW THE RULES OF ETHIOPIA TO SUCCESFULL ETHIOPIAN POLETICS AND ECONOMY NOT ONLY THE GOVERMENT I THING THE PROBLEM CAN SOLVE EVRY THING WITH ECONOMY FOR THISE REASEN THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERMENT I BELIVE IT HIS PLAN ESPECIALY AT THISE TIME ANYWAY ETHIOPIANS MUST STAND TOGETHER FOR THE BRIGHT OF ETHIOPIA .GOD BLEES ETHIOPIA AND THEIR LEADERS.
It is always a bad idea to speak your mind without taking the time “to think before you speak.” Remember, once the words come out of your mouth, there is no way to put them back in. If you say something which hurts someone, you may try to repair the damage by apologizing, but depending on the circumstances, the damage may be done.
Therefore, the best way to speak your mind effectively is to think carefully about what you say. You can become a master of getting your point across to others without being rude in the process.
Many Ethiopians are not assertive because they are too aggressive. They are quick to insult others, and some even resort to using foul language in order to make sure they get their point across. Behaving in this manner will almost always drive people away. Think Hate does not solve anything. Love makes the world a much better place.
and John Sachs are the two famous economists at Columbia University sponsoring this event. Both were coached by Roubini who is a turkish born Jewish. Stiglitz is also a jewish from Indiana, USA.
Now clearly wht do you expect jewishian macr economics??
Ethiopia is increasingly influenced by jewish sabotagers and I think Meles should not put his hands into that.
selam aye Selam kkk
Selam beyene besim tekseshal
smishen beplastic surgery now ende
I don’t understand our so called elite,why they can’t see what is happing on the ground. Ethiopia is growing and ethiopians are growing togther all this is happing not 50 years peacefull monarchy or 17 years derg adminstration only happing with with the goverment we have in place yes some of you don’t have patient you like to see the kind of develpoment and democrase whereever in exile they are living ,but this countries has goen througth all such process so stop critizing our leader in every chance you get if it is joulsy becausse it is not you who is invited to make this spech just get over it
Ethiopia will grow and grow in the caming five years with the five year plane the goverment draugthed and will be ratifed later this month
peace for Ethiopia and for her people and god bless our leaders
Selam unlike your name you just spread Havoc. We already sent the following letter to the president of the University. Your letter is just one of the junk emails. Use your knowledge to benefit your country rather than your unfounded accusation. You are sounding just like the last 3 letters of your name.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT - LEE C. BOLLINGER CONCERNING HIS EXCELLENCY PRIME MINISTER MELES ZENAWI’S ADDRESS TO COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY CONCERNING “THE CURRENT GLOBAL ECONOMY AND ITS IMPACT”
Dear Honorable Dr. Bollinger:
We, Ethiopian-Americans and Ethiopians in the USA and Canada, would like to express our sincere appreciation to the Committee on Global Thought of Colombia University who respectfully invited his Excellency Prime Minister Meles Zenawi to address registered audience on the issue of “The Current Global Economy and Its Impact”. Our organization is familiar with the ongoing project “Preventing Malaria in the Millennium Villages” by The Center for Global Health and Economic Development (CGHED). We are aware that CGHED is based at the Earth Institute at Columbia University.
In our era of globalization, there are some international institutions that are colorfully fashioned with attractive names who pass judgments on individuals, groups and governments mainly about developing countries like ours based solely upon their own hypothesis often not substantiated by a verifiable data nor proven by scientific research.
Some fringe minority elements based in comfortable places in North America and Europe very far away from Ethiopia would like to micro manage the country by remote control and they point their baseless poor judgment. These self-authorized and self-crowned individuals often act as prosecutors, defense, the jury and the judge; and they create, release and distribute false reports on individuals, groups, community, governmental and non governmental institutions etc. by the power invested upon them by non-other but themselves and themselves only. You can see an example at http://ecadforum.com/articles/ where they labeled you as “careless” by posting your picture instead of appreciating the good works Colombia University is doing along with CGHED.
Our organization is deeply saddened by this post and provides its unqualified apology to Colombia University and its generous committee such as CGHED and Committee on Global Thought.
Economy is a timely issue around the globe and researchers, politicians, economists, and many institutions are working on it around the clock to overcome any downfalls that are arising from economic crisis. The current global economic crisis has a direct and/or indirect impact on the economic road map on both the developed as well as developing nations; however, the impact is more pronounced on those countries that have direct financial linkages with the most influential financial institutions of the highly developed nations. The highly developed nations are the most affected by the global economic slow-down because they have dominated the global economy (85%). Few countries like Ethiopia that have their own economic road map independent from the dominant economic policy of the developed nations have been partially relieved from the current economic upheaval because there was less or no influence from the crisis of the grand economic power houses upon their respective economic policy. For example, Ethiopia has scored a double digit economic growth within the last six years consecutively because it has articulated, designed and implemented its own economic road-map: agriculture lead industrialization policy. Obviously, this policy must have worked very well otherwise there wouldn’t have been a consecutive double digit economic growth for the last six years
We understand and support the activities of Colombia University, its community, and his Excellency Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
We have received information that there may be Ethiopian peace and development opponents who are planning a demonstration around the University to create havoc if possible and are recruiting students who are able to participate in the discussion to ask unrelated distractive issues missing the main objective of the discussion. Although, in a very short notice, we are not able to organize a big group and come out to support such a blessed discussion, we are standing behind Colombia University and would like to ask for some seats if possible.
Once again, we would like to express our utmost appreciation through your good office.
God Bless and Long live USA and Ethiopia Friendship and partnership.
Shabia buchilcoh tenchachu. Selam Beyene is farting as usual.
I oppose EPRDF or TPLF 100%. But I do not believe in toytoying in European cities, knocking the white house or writing letters to whomever will solve Ethiopian problems. I get pissed off when I come across this type of letters begging people to do what we would like them to do. This is a complete shallowness. A business will do his business the way he can make profit. He will not listen to anyone who ask him to sell at no profit.
Europeans, Americans,… care about their business, not about Ethiopians. Ethiopians who believe and who beg foreigners to give them freedom are worse than Meles. Meles at least has the power to sell everything he want either the people or the land, everything is on his land. But we diasporas believe a certain Prof. from this and that will save our country? this is very sad for me as Ethiopian.
The world is very complicate. The world is not run the way most of us think of.
In 1984 when Ethiopians were dying of famine, no Europeans or North American government cared about the news fo dying people. No govenment has given any aid at worst time of our history.
Ordinary citizens organized LIVE AID to rescue the dying people all over Europe and North America spear-headed by BoB Geldof.
Even after 200,000,000 dollar was raised and when the Live AID EXECUTIVES wanted to transfer the money right to the people. American government and Europeans government opposed for the money to be delivered to the dying people.
BOB Geldof has to move up and down to get that money in anyway and that actually contributed for the money to fall in the hands of TPLF most of it.
What I want to say, Europeans and the American government and even their institutitions are work in the interest of their country’s. They do not care whether Meles did that or this.
You can protest 1000 times in their cities, they will not change their policy that is against their interest. The very meaning of democracy is not true.
If you wana get freedom, do it yourself, do not beg beg, beg food, beg money, beg freedom, beg hatred or beg opposition.
I am ashamed now. Ethiopians have been toytoying in Europeans cities for the past 20 years. The Europeans has never changed their policies. Meles has never changed anything. The Ethiopians who protest in foreign countries cities has never changed their way of struggle.
First of all, the struggle must be based on reasons instead of on hatred. No one is going buy hatred. Europeans or North American govenments leave alone to take spend time on hatred , they have no time to address even genuine concern.
My motto is freedom from home, not from anyone outside.
Some of you say Tigreans, woyanes, bla bla, … you have been saying or singing this song for the past 20 years, you do not even get tired of singing this song.
My people, if you have ear, you need to liberate yourselves from ethnic politics before trying to liberate others. Take out the Tigreans from your hate politics. I am damn angry to hear the name Tigre, Tigre, Tigre, Woyane, Woyane, I am tired guys. Stop this non sense song.
Tigreans will never bow to your hatred even if even to the last person.
There can never be Ethiopia that does not include Tigrean. Tigray you like it or not is the annal of Ethiopian history. The Ethiopian history Radiates from it.
When we try to think big and out of the box, you push us back into the small box.
I have never lived my life in a Tigray box. I believe in an Ethiopia that treats every Ethiopian with equality and dignity. However I get pissed off when I come across hatred of Tigreans this and that.
By the way, TPLF was not created out of the blue. TPLF, OLF, ONFL,EPLF,… were created by the injustice of the previous systems.
If you really have good intention, you really need to stop your garbage of spewing hatred against any group of people.
you do not realize it but you are unpaid soldiers of Meles Zenawi. If Ethiopia did not have people like those of you who preach hatred against Tigreans, Meles would not have ruled Ethiopia for 20 years with an Iron. The more you push Tigreans away, the more Meles stays long.
If you really care about all Ethiopians, please emanucipate yourself from hatred and stop beggign other countries to give you either freedom or anything.
Shame on us, shame on us.
If we were good, Meles would not control 86 million people for 20 years. We are useless generation. I would say we are garbage generation compared to our ancestors. Shame on us.
Even now if you wana help your people, stop moaning, stop spewing hatred. Unite and stand together and oppose what you must oppose with no fear. Stand for your country with courage without targeting any group of people. You can never bring peace to Ethiopia by killing others or by hating anyh group. If you wana a prosperous Ethiopia. You need to love every Ethiopian from Massawa to Degahabur.
Otherwise, it is just waste of generations talking hatred.
Meles is not invited because he is good for Ethiopian or bad. He is invited because he is the best sales man for the grand project Jeffrey Sachs. American Universities are geared to achieve that American dream and that is well documened. Meles invitation has nothing to do with his work in Ethiopia. It is about American business of free Market neoliberal democracy implementation. The American Universities and American multinational CEOS are called Electronic herds. Thus Meles is there because of the Electronic Herd Agenda, not about what he did or what he has not done about Ethiopia.
Who cares whether Meles killed an Ethiopian or Meles put an Ethiopians in prison? That is bullshit not having no clue how the world runs.
God bless my county. God will my country even if its lost generation begs everything.
If there is democracy? why the Americans in Iraq? why? why? if Americans care about Ethiopia? why harbor rebels ? if UK is for Ethiopia, why they have rebels against Ethiopia?
Divine freedom, Divine Justice to my beautiful country and to my people.
I do not expect or think to get freedom on a silver plate from anyone.
another attention seeker by apposing the develepment of ethipia, well lets ask you phd what have you contributed to the develepment of ethiopia except critziaing it i think that is dictetor.
Many thanks to Selam, your name tell your real nature. Shame on you Columbia University!! Meles is killer, blood sucker of his own people. He will give no lesson to your student or university as a whole.
Those who support him are either TPLF member or they are under Meles payroll (i.e. Ethiopian Embassy around the world) they are told to do their job!!!
Enough is enough stop the blood sucker!!!
I trully appreciate the renouned Colombia University administrators for inviting His Excellency, the Prime Minister of my BELOVED country ETHIOPIA.
On the other hand, it is absulute shame that a lady who claims to have a PhD, writes such garbage about the hardest working, FULL BLOODED ETHIOPIAN our country ever had. Selam, having your own view is one thing, writing a lie or a fabrication is another. It would have been better for you to sit and watch how our country is progressing and at what speed. If you cannot do anything good for your country, you should keep your mouth shut. You can never do what Meles has done for his country. I sugest you crole under the rock you came out and hide, never to come out.
It is ok for Ph.D holders to make fun of other Ph.D holders. I found it so ridiculous however, when people who have no clue about the hardship of Ph.D education make condescending remarks about Ph.D holders. After all it is not uncommon to get such naive remarks form an ignorant person.
To Gezaee H.
You are absolutely right my fiend. All what you had to say is true about all of us who are losing the value of being the agent of changes to our country.Just everyone of us are too quick to insult, demonize and label each other “you are this ethnic and that ethnic” instead arguing in a constructive and civilized manner. It’s so shame and sad to see this nonsensical thoughtless people happen to be Ethiopian.
Wow!! Great comment!!
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