The following is a press release from the Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA, Inc. on the banning of the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association (MTSHA).
The Current Banning of the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association
Continuing the repressive colonial policies of the regimes of Haile-Selassie and Mengistu Haile-Mariam, and violating international and its own laws, the Meles Zenawi government banned the Macha-Tulama Self-Help Association (MTSHA) on October 14, 2011. The parent of almost all Oromo organizations and associations, the MTSHA was formed on January 22, 1963 by prominent Oromo professionals, who were committed to reduce or eliminate some socio-economic ills, such as poverty, ignorance, illiteracy, and diseases by promoting self-reliant social, economic and cultural development of their people and other oppressed peoples in the Ethiopian Empire. Realizing the potential and accepting the motto of this association, more than three million Oromos and others joined the association within four years. Recognizing that the association was attracting millions of members, and hating and opposing the objectives of the association, the racist Haile-Selassie government banned the MTSHA on December 28, 1967, and imprisoned, tortured, and hanged or assassinated its famous leaders. The replacement of the Haile-Selassie government by that of Mengistu Haile-Mariam in 1974 did not allow the Oromo leaders to recreate this civic association.
The efforts of the Oromo national struggle and the overthrow of the Amhara-led military government of Mengistu Haile-Mariam in 1991 by the Oromo, Eritrean and Tigrayan liberation fronts enabled some Oromo civic leaders to initiate the rebirth of the MTSHA in the early 1990s. As the MTSHA reopened its office in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) on August 12, 1993, because of its fame and objectives, it attracted the brightest elements from all sectors of Oromo society and started to articulate the interest of the Oromo and other oppressed peoples. In 2004, the government of Meles Zenawi transferred the capital city of Oromia from Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) to Adama in order to marginalize and increase the invisibility of the Oromo nation and to diminish the sovereignty of the Oromo people in the capital city of Finfinnee. The leaders of the association and its members opposed this unlawful and evil decision. On May 18, 2004, to muzzle the voice of MTSHA, the Zenawi government banned the association. Furthermore, on July 2, 2004, the kangaroo court of Zenawi ruled the confiscation of the property of the association by the security of the Ethiopian regime.
Members of the MTSHA took the cases of the association to the higher court, and after three years the court renewed the license of the association for three years. Consequently, on January 13, 2008, the MTSHA reopened its office and started its work in Finfinnee. Although its leaders were under persistent intimidation of the security agents of the regime until 2011, the association taught some young Oromos about Oromo history, culture, the gada system, and Oromo philosophy. Like its predecessors, the Meles regime considers teaching of Oromo history and culture as a crime that cannot be tolerated. As a result, on October 14, 2011 by letter no. 01/chsA-10, 241, the colonial regime of zenawi banned the association again in order to totally silence the voice of the Oromo nation.
The Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association, USA, Inc. appeals to the US government, European governments, the UN, and the international community to urge the Meles Zenawi government to immediately release recently imprisoned members of the association and to retract the banning of the association.
President of Board of Directors,
Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Cooperative Association, USA, Inc.