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Oromo Dialogue Forum: A Personal Reflection

The following opinion was received by Gadaa.com’s OPINION DESK on Oct. 15, 2012.

  Views from Readers

By Observer

Given the pitiful state in which the Oromo struggle for liberation finds itself today, I am always eager to listen to anyone who has any idea or suggestion on how we can surmount the complex challenges we are faced with. When I heard that “Waltajjii Marii Oromoo” or “Oromo Dialogue Forum” would be coming to a city near me on 9/22/2012, it was an easy decision for me to drive a few hours and hear what they had to say for two reasons. First, as a firm believer in dialogue among Oromo political actors and public, I wanted to contribute my two cents worth on the challenges we are facing and possible solutions and listen to other compatriots’ ideas and suggestions. Secondly, I was attracted to one of the topics of the forum which was “A new vision to renew the Oromo liberation struggle.” This particular topic brought many questions to my mind: What would this new vision be? Would it be a vision to bring about unity among Oromo political actors and organizations? And many more!

So, having attended the meeting, did I get a chance to contribute my two cents worth? Did I hear a new vision? What follows is my personal reflection.

The “Dialogue” Forum
I may have misunderstood what is meant by the word Dialogue in “Oromo Dialogue Forum.” To my knowledge, a dialogue is a two-way communication between persons who hold differing views on a subject(s), with the purpose of learning more about the subject from the other to try and come to a consensus. The notion is that neither side has a total grasp of the relevant issues, or a monopoly on the truth, pertaining to the subject under discussion. Through dialogue, a two-way communication, each side listens to the views of the other side in search of the truth.

However, the Washington DC ODF “dialogue” forum was hardly a forum for dialogue in the true sense of the word. If the purpose was to have a true dialogue to identify the deeply divisive political and other issues among Oromo political actors, to listen to competing views and to build a more constructive and collaborative relationship among them, then the OFD Washington DC forum has failed miserably.

The format of the “dialogue” forum was no different – in form or in content – from gatherings usually organized and conducted by political organizations such as the OLF, ULFO and others. Not that there is anything wrong with the way OLF & ULFO run their meetings. Unlike a proper dialogue forum where the purpose is to increase mutual understanding and build a more constructive and collaborative relationship by encourage airing of differing views, such gatherings are “convert-making” lectures by the “truth-holders.” They do not lend themselves to entertaining various differing views and therefore cannot be called “dialogue” forums in the true sense of the word. On such meetings, all presenters would have the same views that they present to the audience, one after another, in an effort to garner support for their views from attendees. No pretension is made to present the gathering as anything other than a partisan political proselytizing meeting. No differing views from, or contrary to, that of the organizers are presented from the podium or from the floor. If ever a contrarian view is expressed from the floor, it would be in a form of question which the organizers would attempt to answer in an effort to convert the person who posed the question. But, for organizations like the OLF and ULFO, this is by design and they don’t misrepresent their meetings as “dialogue” forums.

The ODF meeting I attended in Washington DC was no different from the ones conducted by the OLF and other Oromo political organizations except in two regards. The first is that they called their meeting a “dialogue” forum which it was not for reasons provided above. Secondly, they claimed that they have not formed an organization nor do they have any intention to form one. I find these two assertions very misleading which I will address a few paragraphs down.

Unlike facilitators and/or participants in a dialogue forum, the ODF leaders appeared to me as being quite convinced that they have all the truth on the subject of the Oromo struggle and its challenges. The audience was there to receive the ODF “truth.” There was no solicitation of others’ views on the root causes of the challenges of the Oromo struggle or possible solutions which a true dialogue forum is expected to do. All presenters were the “truth-holders” on the subject and the way forward. This was not a dialogue at all, not a two-way communication, but a one-way lecturing which obviously is not meant by the term dialogue. I could not help but wonder if the leaders of ODF have a basic misunderstanding of the term dialogue or deliberately engaged in an opportunistic manipulation of the term and misleading the Oromo public.

On Whether the ODF Is a Political Organization or Not
According to the opening remarks by one of the presenters, the ODF traces its genesis back to “Bu’ureessitoota fi miseensota buleeyyii ABO.” This is a group consisting of a couple of founders and some longtime members of the OLF that was formed in Dec. 2008 purportedly to try and reconcile the various factions of the OLF. Many suspected the true intention of this group at the time. The fear was that they might be using the reconciliation effort as a pretext to form another political organization. This was feared because it is widely believed by Oromos that there are already too many political organizations (basically little fiefdoms) and breeding more would worsen an already bad situation. By limiting or reducing the number of Oromo political organizations, the Oromo hope to reduce their internal squabbles which have consumed their time and energy that should have been expended on fighting the enemy. They are also mindful of the fact that the mushrooming of organizations would be to the detriment of pulling Oromo scarce resources together to give the nation a fighting chance against their colonizer.

When the formation of ODF was announced, Oromo’s worst fear was realized. Regardless of the leaders’ claim that ODF is not another Oromo political organization but a dialogue forum, there is no mistaking that it is one. If the Washington DC “dialogue” was any indication and with its manifesto of democratizing Ethiopia, it is, in fact, one itching to join the fray of Oromo little fiefdoms a.k.a political organizations. This was particularly evident from the speech made by the last speaker via a video conference in which he bitterly complained about being dismissed from the OLF and that they will not take it lying down any more.

It is obvious to all intelligent attendees of their meetings that they are already a political organization to which they have the right. In the Washington DC meeting, they presented their political manifesto; they even distributed survey questionnaires that asked attendees whether they agree with their views or not and whether they would like to become members or just supporters. However, when asked if they already are, or in the process of forming, an organization, they denied that they are or plan to. There was no need to insult their audience’s intelligence. What happened to telling the truth and earn the trust of those they are targeting for recruitment? As it is, trust is in short supply in the Oromo struggle. Why make it worse, if they are really trying to make a difference?

ODF’s “New Vision”
The ODF manifesto presented at the meeting consisted of seven points. The points range from struggling for citizenship rights in the Ethiopian empire to accepting federalism and re-interpreting the Oromo right to self-determination. The current Ethiopian federalism, according to ODF, is one without democracy. In order to realize true federalism, the ODF will struggle for democratic changes in Ethiopia. The way to do that, says ODF, is by re-interpreting the Oromo question of self-determination as a question for citizenship rights thereby closely mirroring the questions of other nations and nationalities in the empire, including that of the Habasha. By so interpreting the Oromo question, ODF hopes to gain sympathy and support for the Oromo struggle from Habasha and other groups. In other words, for ODF, there is no difference between the demand or question of the Oromo nation and, say, that of the Habasha groups.

But this is exactly what Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) and Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) (now merged into Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) have been advocating for many years to no avail. Even, OPC, a proponent of “one-man-one-vote” for close to two decades has gained no sympathy or support from these groups that ODF wants to solicit support from. Having failed to learn from history and current affairs, the General Kemal Gelchu Group – former comrades of the ODF – has been promoting the same ideal since January 2012.

So what is ODF’s new vision? Nothing new, I should say – for someone who has been following OFDM, OPC and the Kemal Gelchu group and leaders of the ODF. If there is no new vision, then what is the purpose of forming another organization to advance the same ideal? Why not join, or merge with, the Kemal Gelchu group or the OFC?

Seeking a Second Chance at Leadership
The organizers and presenters of the ODF in Washington DC were all former leaders of the OLF. In fact, some of them are founders. Each of them held positions of leadership including chairmanship, deputy chairmanship, membership in the central committee and spokesmanship of the organization and heading the foreign affairs department at different times and for extended periods of time. In effect, these are former leaders campaigning for a second chance to lead an Oromo liberation organization. Whether that organization is one to be formed soon or another faction of the OLF to be announced only time will tell.

This group of former leaders agrees on two things: (a) that the OLF has failed to rally the Oromo people to achieve its objective; (b) that they don’t share any blame in OLF’s failure. While their first assertion has some truth – that the OLF has failed in its mission – I find it a turn off that former leaders of their stature blame their organization’s failure on circumstances (the usual old excuses) and their former comrades in arms while exonerating themselves. They have made themselves self-appointed judges, jury and the prosecutors in the OLF failure saga.

It is very well known that failure defines ones character as a leader. When leaders refuse to take responsibility for their organization’s failure under their watch, it shows their lack of character. As Norman Schwarzkopf once said, “leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.” Not without character! Leaders deserve a second chance when they admit failure and have learned during the process of failing. Leaders who hold someone else accountable for their failures and blame the circumstances to deflect criticism for a failed outcome deserve no more chance at leading.

Sitting through over two hours of speeches by leaders of the ODF, I heard not a single admission of mistake on their part much less their role in getting the Oromo struggle to this pitiful point that it finds itself in today.

If they would like to be taken seriously, then they would admit their personal failures, stop scapegoating and blaming others and circumstances, take responsibility as longtime leaders and learn from their mistakes and failures before asking the Oromo public for a second chance.

Failure can be turned into an opportunity to learn and grow. I say it can because it requires a particular mindset to benefit from your failure. Without that mindset, all your failures will go to waste. This is true in politics as it is in personal life for a leader as well as a follower. So what is that mindset?

It is a mindset that is willing and able to reflect on past experience – past actions and their outcomes. It is only through such reflections that one learns one’s strengths, weaknesses and the environment and conditions in which actions were undertaken and what could have been done differently that could have resulted in a positive outcome. It is not enough to admit collective failure. One needs to evaluate one’s role in the failure. This is even more so if one is a leader under whose watch an organization – business or political – failed. Denying (to one self & others) failures and personal accountability and scapegoating or blaming on “globalization, end of cold war, etc.” will not do. Leaders without such a mindset cannot learn from past failures and therefore deserve no second chance.

In Summary
Dialogue among Oromo political actors and organizations is long overdue. The purpose and objective of such a dialogue should not be partisan political proselytizing which the ODF Washington DC “dialogue” forum was, but one that is open to entertaining competing views.

ODF has all the makings of an active political organization vying for Oromo attention. With its manifesto of democratization of Ethiopia, it shall be sharing Oromo political space with OFC, the Kemal Gelchu group and other forces. Don’t insult your audience’s intelligence. Don’t present it as a “dialogue” forum which it is not. Come out and introduce your organization for what it is—a budding political organization.

Your manifesto contains no new vision. Recognize others who presented that vision before you; join and strengthen them. Don’t create another fiefdom. The Oromo struggle for liberation will not benefit from another group of a few individuals claiming to speak on its behalf. Unity is strength.

As former leaders of the OLF, admit personal failure for the organization disintegrated under your watch. Tell us what you have learned from your failures and what you would do differently before asking the Oromo people to follow you again.

Nagaa Oromummaa wajjin,

Observer II


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40 Comments

  1. koster:

    October 16, 2012 @ 12:14 am

    If you really care for your people say no to woyane ethnic fascism and fight for a free and democratic Ethiopia where all live freely and equally. Do not forget that there are some who does not want to have peace in Ethiopia because of their past political history. True Ethiopians should join their brothers and sisters and shorten the suffering of their people under woyane reign of terror.

  2. dhuga:

    October 16, 2012 @ 3:14 am

    Dear Observer,
    Thank you so much for your clear opinion and position. What we oromos need is a real dialog, a real accountability, a real responsibility, a real transparency, a real unity and strength , a real leader and finally a real independence and freedom. Be aware of any oromo organization which can not full fill this criteria. They want us to stay under suppression.
    Find out and support the real oromo struggle and the oromo people.
    Victory for the oromo people!!

  3. Ittisaa:

    October 16, 2012 @ 6:06 am

    Mr Koster the Opinion is about Oromo case not Ethiopia,Don’t try to mix up things to mislead others Let the Oromos do their own case.

  4. falmata:

    October 16, 2012 @ 7:17 am

    “True Ethiopians should join their brothers and sisters” I agree with koster on this.
    You don’t need a separate Oromo organization better yet; you don’t need any new organization if all you need is to fight for Ethiopian citizenship, you can join one of the existing Ethiopian organizations and fight with them.
    I am sure Ethiopian friends will accept you with open arms if they are not behind all this (destroying Oromo independence) in the first place.
    What better way is there than using a convert, a person (especially a leader) who says what I was doing for last 40 years was wrong? It is very effective and I have no doubt that this is a calculated effort by a very resourceful entity.
    These people are entitled to their opinion and it is better that they finally came out instead of confusing the people who trusted them and It is high time for those who seek Oromo independence can now come together and push the struggle forward. FORWARD.

  5. boona:

    October 16, 2012 @ 7:19 am

    The diaspora Oromos have given a life for the likes of Lenco Letta for a long time with out demanding accountability. These people rose to the height of their deception in broad day light. No action was taken by anybody and they were given free ride even after thousands of patriotic Oromos perished in the hands of the enemy. I cannot omagine how they rest in peace having logged the youth into their death camps. All along they had devided purpose and vision, never articulated the ultimate goal, confused and ended up confusing their supporters. It is a sad story that needs stricter scrutinization. Even now they don’t seem to get the anger of the Oromo public and there are some gullible Oromos who would like to lend them ears. The fact of the matter is that they have gotten some fund to travel across the world and have fun and try to soothe the angry Oromo public. No, people should tell them that it is time for them to shut up their mouth or else. They have the blood of many on their hands. The new generation of Oromos should not be fooled again and lend them any ear. Their mission has always been to distract our attention from our enemy.

  6. Tulaa:

    October 16, 2012 @ 7:49 am

    Mr. Observer, thank you for your opinion on ODF.

    like you missed the concept of “dialoge” and the main essence of ODF, I also failed to understand your true intention when you write this article. are you defaming the ODF so that the current momentum the ODF is obtaioning shall be reversed?!. or are you trying to convince the Oromo public, not to come together to dissus on the issues that matters to us?!.
    then WHAT IS YOUR TRUE INTENTIONS?
    why on the earth are we trying to monopolize the political ideology (politics) in an oromo community?! . why is that we dont want to rebel aginst any movment if it is not controlled by OLF?!. is this trying to impoze political monopoly over Oromo mass is healthy?! if we were to construct a democratic prosperous country?!.

    what kind of dialoge are you proposing to take hold among the diffrent factions of OLF or others. we already know where the problem is. It the unwillingness and rigidity amomng the diffrent functions of OLF and others. if these leaders come back to their mind, ther would be no need of dialoge they can easily forge unity as there is no real diffrence aomg them.

    You need to have a dialoge when there is real diffrence in they way you want to do your business or when there is unusual (new) idea within the partcipating organizations.

    You said The idea of OPC and OFC are the same with that of ODF. but you failed to mention that There is a great diffrence too. that is where your partality stands. the OFC is fights pecefully to bring about true federalism in Ethiopia. The ODF is proposing to dimantle the imoire and build new Ethiopia by using any means neccessary (peaceful or othewise).

    I think we need to be wise enogh to give time to such emerging movements as long as they are not the enemy of the Oromo people. juming in to defame and trying to extend the political social monopoly over the Oromos and nurchuring the partisianship (gartumma) within the Oromo is very troubling. it amounts to distruction and weakening of the QBO

    thanks

  7. orrrshatoday@gmail.com:

    October 16, 2012 @ 8:10 am

    Shame on all individuals giving their ideas about others but I do not see any group or individual comeup with new ideas to unite Oromo people for freedom of Oromia. Please try your chance to bring all religious,regionalists, all extereme right, extreme left and extrem center are the most dangerous group & enemies of today for Orommuummaa and Oromo nation. Foreget about Ethiopianist Oromo group but what is your vission, short & long term objectives & your goal for freedom of Oromia Just start your opinion with out talking about other organizations.We all know that self determination can not be on sale point final.All Amaras dependent people who lost their identities. Oromo organization or individuals are they must foreget Oromo liberation with Habashaas. we have no common point. If they can understand the Oromo freedom never come back Oromo self detemination & the Ethiopianst are parallel lines.
    I thank you to start Dialogue with real Orommuummaa and who are really interested in unity. When we are united we are stronger but if we are not united we are weaker.

  8. Dhugabasi Lammi:

    October 16, 2012 @ 8:33 am

    Observer I totally agree with your analysis. As you indicated if there will be blame against OLF some of the ODF leaders particularly Leenccoo Lataa & Dima are the first to be charged with their misleading the Oromo struggle. One thing should be cleared among our people (Oromo) these individuals did not come into existence because they were concerned about the fate of Oromo struggle rather they formed because they were expelled from the OLF due to their ideological difference. Members of ODF particularly Leenccoo Lata has been championing for Ethiopianisim not for Oromo self-determination in the last 20 years. Forgot about other leaders of the so called ODF if you think what Leenccoo Lataa & Dima has been doing in the last 20 years while other hero’s has been scarifying their life. Lennccoo dismissed the request for Kora Saba of 1998 held in Somalia and same thing is true with Dima. These individual has been building their own career and now tried to say we were expelled from the struggle we have been lived the entire of our life, the truth is no one expelled them they all choose not struggle for true Oromo quest, rather they have been trying to fulfill their ego centric ideology. Over all the steps they have been taking from the early start they have working on destabilizing Mora Qbaso Oromo lead by OLF. Actually this is what Lenccoo Lata has promised for the ex-prime minster of Ethiopia, dismantling Oromo’s arm struggle, when he flow to Finifnee (DDIS Ababa) to release Obbo Ibsaa Gutama and has been working since then.

  9. Gadaa Gilindee:

    October 16, 2012 @ 10:58 am

    I concur with what Obsever II had to say. The ODF leaders must level with the Oromo people. There is nothing wrong with the strategy of liberating the Oromo people through the democratization of Ethiopia. It is just a strategy and as long as the proponents of the strategy think it would work to attain the goal of liberation, they have every right to promot it among the Oromo people. But the problem is there are others with the same idea crowding out the field already. Forming different fiefdoms with basically the same goals and strategies will not help the cause. It will weaken us further. The last thing Oromos need today is forming another faction under any disguise. Pooling the resources together is what is needed. What I would suggest to ODF is to close ranks with other factions of the same goals and strategies and join forces instead of using disguises.

  10. Aboma:

    October 16, 2012 @ 11:23 am

    Mr Observer,

    let us not be bogged down (be stuck) by using political jargon, such as “Ethiopian Democratization.” Let us break it down and ask “What’s IN IT for the Oromo nation?” Mind you, my job is to find out what the Oromo nation gains from any power arrangement – along the lines of autonomy, sovereignty, and perhaps Union.

    Therefore, let us ask ourselves – what’s in the political concept termed as the “Ethiopian Democratization” for the Oromo nation?

    1) Does “Ethiopian Democratization” entail going back to the Xeqilaygizat colonial arrangement for the Oromo nation? – Then, NO, the Oromo nation will not be served by “Ethiopian Democratization.”

    2) Does “Ethiopian Democratization” entail keeping the status quo of political slavery (colonization) for the Oromo nation? – Then, NO, the Oromo nation will not be served by “Ethiopian Democratization.”

    3) Does “Ethiopian Democratization” entail moving Oromia into an autonomous status? – Then, YES – despite the struggle being the total liberation of the Oromo nation and Oromia, getting to an intermediary step of “autonomy” should not be opposed just like the 1975 land reform was not opposed by Oromo nationalists, and just like the 1991 realization of Oromia, Qubee and Afaan Oromo as the official language of Oromia is taken as a step in the right direction.

    So, let’s not scare ourselves by “Ethiopian Democratization” unless it means the first two options I listed above. And, keep in mind about the Oromo liberation movement is capable of doing stepwise struggle (going from status quo to autonomy to sovereignty, then perhaps Union), and at the same time, driving the home run to sovereignty. The ‘paradigm shift’ I want to see is the Oromo liberation movement waging the struggle at the stepwise level as well as the ‘home run’ level. Actually, both of them MUST work hand in glove for the Oromo nation to be free.

    The ‘paradigm shift’ I want to see is for us to stop confusing ourselves and others by using political jargon like “Ethiopian Democratization” — never, never look at the situation from nowhere, but Oromo’s perspective. Otherwise, it will confuse all of us.

    I’m not saying let’s stop challenging those advocating the stepwise approach – actually, they need to be challenged since, the stepwise advocates are gradualists – they take some excruciating time to get to the next level on the way to the mountain top – so, the “big bang” group needs to constantly keep a check on the gradualists. So, again, the ‘paradigm shift’ I’m looking for is for the Oromo nationalists to work hand in glove, in a ’squeeze and grab’ fashion. That means, as we squeeze the enemy, someone should be able to grab the achievement right there and then.

    Why?

    The Oromo liberation movement, as we and everyone know it, is not militarily strong. Had it been a militarily strong movement, then it will launch a military campaign to seize a town in Oromia, then once it seizes that town, it slowly, but surely, advances to the next town, then again to the next town, and so on. Military campaigns are not launched to overrun the enemy overnight – they are done step by step, town by town. Unfortunately, over the last 20 years, no town is liberated from the enemy.

    What can be done, then? Just like the military campaign, which the Oromo liberation movement is not particularly excellent at (by design or unforeseen circumstances), we need to think the “political campaigns” the Oromo liberation movement launches as stepwise – inch by inch – from status quo to autonomy to sovereignty, etc. If the “political campaign” can overrun the enemy overnight (”big bang” – revolution kind) to get us to the ’sovereignty’ step, then fine! – But, just like a military campaign is about seizing a town (not the entire Oromia overnight), we also need to launch the “political campaign” to get to the mountain top stepwise. This is a more realistic approach. Over the last 20 years, students rose up in uproar to change the status quo, but no “political town” was seized from those campaigns since, last I checked, OPDO slaves are still in charge in Oromia.

  11. Looshanii:

    October 16, 2012 @ 11:40 am

    Dear observer, I enjoyed reading your article. Even though I disagree with some of your points, it’s informative. You raised valuable points but why didn’t you put your name on your article? So that you get the credit you deserve. Next time please do so. Unless you’re hiding something there is no reason you hide behind observer. Yes, I attended the ODF meeting as well. There were an opportunity for questions and answers. Why didn’t you bring these valuable points to their attention? Don’t attack people for their failure because you failed too. My friend, only cowards won’t come right out and say what they think…instead, they’d be open to attack and ridicule. You’re accusing ODF leaders for not learning from their failures. I’m sure you’re not familiar with this people or you didn’t attend most of their meetings. To the best of my knowledge they did make clear of their mistakes during they took part in the transitional government. Ok my question for you is these ODF leaders were not leading the OLF since 1992, why it took their successors twenty plus years to revive the struggle? Are they failures as well? Don’t get me wrong I am not doubter nor pessimist, I still love ABO just like you do, I have faith on their leaders as well just like everyone has. But facts are facts…we’re not moving. That’s why the ODF founders call every Oromo and Oromo organizations to come together and discuss for solution.
    Thank you,
    Looshanii

  12. jootee:

    October 16, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    What a meticulous, genuine, honest and substantive article?
    My praise and respect to the writer. The quality of these days upcoming articles
    Is a telling signal for a rebirth of interest for Oromo politics among the sharp
    Minded intellectuals.
    Keep on man!!!!! OF A HIGHER PROFILE PERSON LIKE YOU NEED TO TELL US
    HIS TRUE IDENTITY!

  13. Observer II:

    October 16, 2012 @ 12:37 pm

    I would like to thank each and every one of you for taking the time to read my reflection and providing me with feedback. No one is perfect and can see things from every possible angle. I am one of those fallible human beings who is willing to engage in a true dialogue and to learn. Here are my responses to some of my readers with different perspectives from that of mine on the issue under discussion. Let us keep the discussion going.

    Obbo Koster,

    BTW, I am not Ethiopian much less a “true Ethiopian.” I am Oromo. If what you call “Ethnic fascism” is the rights of nations to self-determination, than we are totally on different pages and I don’t know where to start my response. One can say “no to Wayyaanee” and at the same time say no to ODF if they don’t feel they benefit Oromo interest. I am not asking you to say “no” to ODF. I am only sharing my personal reflection with you which you have every right to ignore. Another person may have come out of their meeting with a different opinion.

    Obbo muka-gogabade,
    Please re-read (if you have already read it) my reflection closely to understand what my points are. It seems to me that you commented from a pre-conceived stand on the issue of ODF. I am not disputing their right to convene a meeting to convince and recruit members. What I am disputing is whether that the meeting was a dialogue forum for different ideas and solutions. BTW, I did go to the meeting but the audience was given very little time to ask questions much less present their ideas.

    Obbo Tulaa,
    You accuse of defaming ODF to arrest their progress. You could not be farther from the truth. All I am doing is critically analyzing their one activity of which I was a part. If they are running away from critical analysis, they should not invite people who can think for themselves. In fact, if they are serious or have Oromo interest at heart, they are well advised to consider the points I raised in my reflection and rip the benefit of my constructive criticism. I ask you to refrain from stifling civilized discussion by misnaming it defamation.

    You say the differences between ODF and OFC are (a) Unlike OFC, ODF would like to dismantle the empire; (b) OFC utilizes peaceful struggle only while ODF uses any means necessary. Bear in mind that both OFC and ODF have said they accept federalism. There is no difference between them on this point. Also, bear in mind that they both agree that there is not democracy in the empire. No difference here either. Both OFC and ODF claim to struggle for citizenship rights in the empire. Leaving the question of means and methods (peaceful vs. armed struggle vs. any means necessary) aside for now, if you say ODF is working to dismantle the empire, then you should also agree that OFC is working for the same end game. I see no difference between them. They are both working to dismantle the empire by democratizing it. Whether that is possible or not it another issue which I would rather not get into in this comment. As for ODF using “any means necessary” please tell me if “any means” includes armed struggle. I am willing to be educated on that one.

    Observer II

  14. falmata:

    October 16, 2012 @ 12:39 pm

    Tula is saying “we already know where the problem is. It the unwillingness and rigidity amomng the diffrent functions of OLF and others”. If you already determined the problem then why call it a dialogue? That is what the obeserver is talking about.

    The line is clear “Democratizing Ethiopia” or creating “Independent state of Oromia” . Instead of wasting time hiding behind dialog, self determination,…Just take a concrete position and try and rally behind one of these two ideas. All those for Oromia on one side and all those for Ethiopia on the other.

  15. Formula1:

    October 16, 2012 @ 1:02 pm

    Mr. Observer, thank you for the excellent piece. We must shy away from discussing or exposing opportunists in our midst who are thorns in a mud. I agree with your assessment of ODF’s lack of new vision.

    Question #1: If Ethiopia could ever be democratized, why did Meison and other fail to do so?
    Question #2: Do northern elites understand the language of democracy or a different can methodology–armed struggle? The latter I should say. We must speak to them in a language they understand.
    Question #3: If Ethiopia could be democratized why did OPDO, OFC and oppositions fail to democratize it?
    Question #4: Have we ever seen a matching interest from Habesha in even when Oromos are interested in democratization?
    Question #5: Do you think that Abyssinians will give their power and monopoly over Oromia’s resources just because you say that you want to democratize Ethiopia?
    Question #6: Why is it becoming cool among some of our youth and the the likes of Leco and Dima to identify first as an Ethiopian, then as a Horn of African, and only if pressed hard or and only when they call public meetings as “Oromos”?

    Conclusion: Ethiopia will never be democratized. Staying a bad marriage results in more violence against our people. What Oromos in every liberation organization must do to give the nation the last chance at fight for independence. As married couples who try to destroy each other’s lives have the right to divorce, Oromos have a right to divorce from the Ethiopian state. No one is morally and legally allowed to keep us in subjugation unless it is inferiority complex as displayed by ODF.

  16. Qanquree:

    October 16, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

    The Obsever, you just put in writting and good manner what almost all Oromos have in mind. Those losers are hidding behind, Jijjiramaa, Ehiopian democratization, and now ODF. Mr Leencoo was doing his business with the name of Oromoo and getting money from westerners and dispora budget allocated by woyanne. Since 1995 he has been working on project ” conflict of Horn” funded by Norwegian Church Aid and his main concern is how to get budget to the project not how to solve oromoo problem. If this wrong, let any of you bring your proof how they fund their operation? The main reason Lencoo can not and would not go to Eirtrea is Isayas knows Lencoo is western agent and Lencoo know that he is known by Isayas.

  17. Illlu:

    October 17, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    An Observer who did not attend the meeting! How objective!?

    Seems you already wrote your stuff before they conducted the meeting. If i were there, would believe what you wrote, and even agree about the analysis. Because the formulation is so professional that a mature mind could never reject. My fear is, from the essence it smells mighthy like a letter from Shanee.

    Sorry you try to be modest as possible, that could also be the approach to mislead others. No body is so fool to come to a “dialogue forum” and listen to an introduction of a new Political party with some old and known veterans. For me it is an undesrestimating of their political intellectualism. Here, me and ” perhaps you” get lost for sure.

    Many thanks
    Freedom is Our Right and not a Donation from any body.

  18. Ittimaa,:

    October 17, 2012 @ 11:45 am

    Illu,
    I had difficult to understand your message. As much as I tried to understand you, I sensed the following in short.
    You don’t understand people could write their minds and present it to their readers just in a reasonable period of time if need be, using a communication medium of their choices, unless they take seasons or perpared ahead of time, considering your own ability maybe when you tried to post this low leveled comment before me. I don’t think your destructive opinion and that of the writer of the article are totally matching each other; nor so do the content of his message, and your understanding of him ! In the first place, even I have a great doubt if you have read him all through, because you look pre-biased about his message, if you did, still I doubt you understood even a minimum part of what he discussed, than what you already have in your mind, your reason for that mindset being whatever it may!
    You have many problems in your approach, for which I want to sympathize with you, that you want to discuss a big idea, but you have personal barrier to do so, your language is not clear, or you didn’t want addressing us with the language we all understand most. I didn’t either because I wanted to follow the pattern you or others started.
    When coming back to your comment, you want to criticize the writer because his approach looks professional, and plausible to accept, but you didn’t bring up the part that you say wasn’t true. Even you said, he could be informant or messenger of one of the OLF factions as what he says is familiar with the comments from that OLF faction. You even dared to say that this analytical piece was prepared before the meeting day, and even without the wiriter’s physical attendance of the meeting himself!! I just say this is reduclous and sorry for your mind for thinking in such a way about people! With big apology I should say that you look a very negative person ever!
    Please would you make your comments a little bit more sensible, understandable, and objective for future, so that we enjoy what you say and benefit from spending time reading your products?

  19. falmata:

    October 17, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

    Dear observer, thank you for a meticulous piese. I appriciate the fact that you chose to delivier the idea more than claiming the credit and used a pen name. By doing so you avoided distructions and noises. For most of us what matters is the idea not personality. Keep up the good work.

  20. Gadaa Gilindee:

    October 17, 2012 @ 1:28 pm

    I like the discussions raised above. We need to have these kinds of discussions in order to move our freedom cause forward. But we have to be careful not to mix up issues. Our discussions must be issue by issue. Otherwise it would be in vain and we would not be able to learn from each other and advance our cause. The issue raised by Observer II is about ODF being who they are. They have to take off their “dialogue” camouflage and stand on their feet for what they believe in and want to advance. They have to straighten with the Oromo people. That is the issue here raised by Observer II. The issue here is not discussing the merits of their vision, goal and strategy. Once they come forth and level with the Oromo people without any disguise, we can discuss the merits of their vision.

  21. YD:

    October 17, 2012 @ 5:54 pm

    Observer II keep on observing (coaching), let other do their best. As to ODF, they are doing their best instead of sitting for opportunity, and as to the principle of the dialogue, there were opportunity for dialogue at community center (I hope u weren’t there) even though oromo’s prinicple of dialogue is so fresh. Because most people like you will hide themselves under the bench just to blame thereafter. So u were one who killed there principle, they brought their own case forward, u should have reflected on it. The least I would say to you Mr observe for the second time, backbiting is in your (our) culture like it or not!!!!

  22. Caalaa Hordofaa:

    October 18, 2012 @ 4:54 am

    Leencoo Lataa, Diimaa Nagoo and Bayyan Asoobaa are traitors who should be summoned before martial law for their treason. They have been lord of impunity in Oromo liberation struggle, anarchist, above law, chauvinist who do not have confidence on Oromo people, breakers of office of oath the took in OLF and therefore trust them at you peril. As majority of conscious Oromo nationalist, these are reactionary Oromo individuals against whom Oromo independence struggle must also be directed.

  23. Caalaa Hordofaa:

    October 18, 2012 @ 4:55 am

    eencoo Lataa, Diimaa Nagoo and Bayyan Asoobaa are traitors who should be summoned before martial law for their treason. They have been lord of impunity in Oromo liberation struggle, anarchist, above law, chauvinist who do not have confidence on Oromo people, breakers of office of oath the took in OLF and therefore trust them at you peril. As for majority of conscious Oromo nationalist, these are reactionary Oromo individuals against whom Oromo independence struggle must also be directed.

  24. Hawwinee Barii:

    October 18, 2012 @ 4:59 am

    Did you guys hear the news that Mallas Zanaawi’s wife refused to vacate palace for the new prime minister of Ethiopian empire? While this is an additional evidence of the impossibility of peace full power transfer in Ethiopian empire, peaceful struggle in Ethiopia has only remained fantasy of people like : Leencoo Lataa, and his cohorts.

  25. Hawwinee Barii:

    October 18, 2012 @ 5:00 am

    eencoo Lataa, Diimaa Nagoo and Bayyan Asoobaa are traitors who should be summoned before martial law for their treason. They have been lord of impunity in Oromo liberation struggle, anarchist, above law, chauvinist who do not have confidence on Oromo people, breakers of office of oath the took in OLF and therefore trust them at you peril. As for majority of conscious Oromo nationalist, these are reactionary Oromo individuals against whom Oromo independence struggle must also be directed.

  26. Gadaa Gilindee:

    October 18, 2012 @ 9:41 am

    Scotland is going to hold a referendum in autumn 2014. An agreement has already been signed between the Scottish National Party (SNP) and the U.K. government on how to proceed with the referendum. The Scots will answer a simple yes or no question: Do you want to be independent from Great Britain? They have come a long way to be able to decide on their future. The U.K. came into existence 305 years ago in 1707 through a voluntary union between England and Scotland. Now the Scots want to go on their own because they feel that the union is no more in their interest. The Oromo people should follow the developments in this regard very closely because we can learn more from them and apply relevant experiences to our situation. For more information visit Inside Storey on aljazeera.com.

  27. Observer II:

    October 18, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

    Obbo Aboma,

    You completely missed my point, sir. My reflection was not about “scare ourselves by Ethiopian Democratization.” I am not sure where you read that in my reflection. One of the questions I am posing is: What is in ODF’s forming another organization (without a new vision) for the Oromo nation? If there is any benefit for the Oromo nation in democratizing Ethiopia as you claim (regardless of whether I support or reject that claim) would it not be better to join and work with those who are already laboring for the same outcome – instead of creating another fiefdom? As a proponent of a “stepwise” struggle (whatever that means), would you not support, even insist, that ODF join OFC or the Kemal Gelchu group so that they may pull their resources together?

    Speaking of “stepwise” struggle, I would very much like to learn more about that model: the concept, its principles, its characteristics, its means and methods … whatever you can educate me about it. Better yet, I suggest you write an article in support of “stepwise” struggle and I promise to carefully read it and provide you with my feedback.

    Nagaan.

  28. Yaya Gobaya:

    October 19, 2012 @ 6:11 am

    Oops…Scotland is to vote on whether to remain part of or secede from Great Britain? That probably means they have not seen the globalization our Oromo ‘Lions’ have been talking about. Or perhaps it is because the Scottish people do not have ‘Lions’ in their midst. I wish they would take both of our ‘Lions’ for free?

  29. Illu:

    October 19, 2012 @ 7:23 am

    @ Ittimaa

    Dear Borther, i understand you re not happy with my comment. First of all it is my peorsonal view and does not aim to reject the writer completely. A professional analysis does not and never mean bias free! if i am mistaken you can correct me.
    I personally did not attend the meeting, and if am not wrong the “Observer ” too. Perhaps he may be well informed / right. Though i appreciate the openness , my question is how could you call your self an Observer with out being there?

    my respected brother, I am neither a Politician nor a Pol. analyst “very lucky about it” how ever a “disappointed” nationalist. So take me as ammateur and keep your ranking at home, you may need it later.
    I am convinced that we Oromos need each other, let us be honest to one another discuss the problem in a cultivated manner sooner or later we find a way out of the crisis.

  30. Observer II:

    October 19, 2012 @ 2:41 pm

    Obbo/Aadde IIIu,

    I call myself an observer because I was there in the meeting.

    You started your first comment by saying “An Observer who did not attend the meeting! How objective!?” Why do you say that when I am telling you I drove a few hours to be there? I doubt you would have made that mistake had you read my reflection because, at the outset, I clearly informed my readers that I was there.

    You also accuse me that I “already wrote your stuff before they conducted the meeting.” To my knowledge, that was the first public meeting on which the ODF presented its manifesto. I could not have written my reflection before that meeting. Believe it or not, I decided “to come to a “dialogue forum” and listen to an introduction of a new Political party with some old and known veterans.” And you know what? You are correct and I agree with you – ODF is not a dialogue forum but a new political organization. One of the points I tried to make in my reflection is that the leaders of ODF are making a big mistake by mis-representing their meeting as a dialogue forum because it was not. This is a mistake because they will lose the trust of the audience because no one likes to be fooled.

    May I suggest that you re-read (if you have read it already) the text of my reflection?

    Nagaa waaqayyoon!

    Observer II

  31. Abbasirroo:

    October 19, 2012 @ 5:59 pm

    Having conversation on important issues of national significance as such should always be appreciatetd. I think the debate over the tactics of the Oromo national libration has now entered a new era of enclusive solution. But we don’t seem to have prepared to accommodate diverse opinions on the subject mater being discussed. We now have the supporters of inclusive solution (ODF and Galchu group) and the supporters of indepedace ( QC). Anyone who wants to engage the Oromo people in the debate should look at these five points
    1 discussing both sides of the argument
    2 show the angle from which he/she speaks
    3 indicate which side he/she is on
    4 tell the Oromo people why he/she holds that view
    5 explain why the Oromo people should accept his/her argument. however’ the obeserver showed none of these basic principles in his/her piece and it is therefore nothing more than demonstration of highly fantacized academic skills in total disconnection with the realiy. Please bring fairness’ bring balance and tell the Oromo people what you think right.
    Thank you

  32. Waqjiraa Gudataa:

    October 20, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    Dear Observer,
    Thank you so much for your very timely article as an Oromummaa reflection on “ODF’s” hidden agenda against the Oromo national interest. A Free Downfall of an arrogance a bully “ODF” and its new doubts over its Sense of Oromummaa is becoming clear for the Oromo nation more than ever. We are a nation who swallows every thing in order to not expose our internal wounds to the outsiders, but when our enough is enough No a single tolerance be tolerated when it comes to our national interest. The rummers about Leencoo-Dimaa axis over Oromyiaan destiny were overdue since from 1993 when they secretly surrendered the Oromo Strggle for liberty in exchange for power of sharing with the Habasha what went ignored by the TPLF. Our observer has exposed such hidden agenda how even by the name of Manguddumaa they blocked our Tokkummaa in having such greedy project- divided the Oromo society along democratisation of the empire VS Oromiyaan independency.
    With the prospect of an ODF sabotage debate instigated by true Oromo society on the of such polarising move, further damage of ODF is beyond damage by their greedy approach. The Oromo nation is raising further doubts about Leencoo- Dr.Dimaa axis as the sense of lack Oromummaa let alone standing for the Oromo nation.What is beyond doubt is that ODF on aggressive offer to sell Oromiyaa to our enemies what they will never ever success as far as one Oromo exists on earth. What this group never sufficiently aware of was the resentment among the Oromo Qubee generation that never tolerate such move against the our national destiny can cause among others. We thank our observer in closing the chapter of rumers in our society. Take ODF as the dead end!!.
    What is the most scandal is that “Fayiss Oromia” /Aboma/ who used to be the Voice of our nation belongs to this group whom we suspected him for a long time ago based on his position who loves that bloody empire to keep alive by the Oromiyaan expenses with his motto “Union of nations” to mislead the Oromo nationalists. As his move clearly shows he is a peaceful activist while advocating for abandoning the armed struggle which the Oromo Liberation Army never ever surrendere like his Leencoo. I invite all Oromos to distance ourselves and fight against such internal gridlock to unlock for the cause of our national destiny.
    Nagan, Galatoomi !!

  33. Dhugaasaa Himaa,:

    October 21, 2012 @ 11:09 pm

    Waaqjiraa Gudataa,
    I think I’m one of the admirers of your often short and sharp comments written on different topics at different times, that affect our people’s contemporary and lasting affairs.
    This time you didn’t do less, rather your comment is deeper in its context, wider in its coverage,and more direct and open in its approach.
    However, I should mention to you that, this time I observed something unusual, in your work, concerning editing errors which could contribute to negatively affect the content of your message, whereas I can imagine you could have easily avoided it from happening had you made simple proof reading before posting it. As you could see from your comment, we see couple of grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.
    I know this hasn’t been your work before, and hope it wouldn’t be one for the future, so that we continue enjoying your important work!

    I apologize for that much openness,

  34. Wakjiraa Gudataa:

    October 22, 2012 @ 7:43 am

    Dear obbo Dhugaasaa Hima,
    Thank you for your comment and advice which I accepted heartily . Thanks! Indeed. Some time I do have problems to control my emotion as I am not interested in family conflict while we crying for true Tokkummaa by Oromummaa. My daily communication via Francophone also has a negative effect on my Anglo Saxon where my heart always cries for Lingua madre- Afaan Oromoo.
    Galatoomi

  35. Dhugaasaa Himaa,:

    October 22, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

    Dear Waqjiraa Gudataa,

    What a wonderful unity of conflict of cultural and presumably academic background, existing in one and the same person, to give you a high profile and powerful personality as a result, the quality I was talking about in my last message, even before I knew nothing about you! The good thing about this background is that it’s highly supported by love and passion for your people, and equally, if not more, the never fading wish and highly achievable hope and dtermination of attaining its rights of self-determination and independence; the standing in which some of our intellectuals nowadays are having challenging situations in pushing forward and end it up with a sounding national victory, after this long years of struggles, and that much paid sacrifices!
    Thank you for your civility in conducting criticisms and admitting mistakes and your readiness to correct them, and of all things for your courage to elevate the standard of your people’s struggle and willingness to sacrifice for it!
    As always I apprciate your response and look forward for your further teaching articles and comments!

  36. Biraanuu Yaadasaa:

    October 23, 2012 @ 6:20 pm

    I did attend the Washington, DC meeting from its beginning to end. I have never seen such a forum where presenters have openly and honestly answered all the questions raised by participants. In my opinion, the presentations made under different topics as well as the answers given to participants’ questions more or less revealed the major causes that made the Oromo people’s struggle for freedom and democracy get stacked instead of moving forward and producing the desired results. Thus, in my opinion, all the presenters deserve thanks and appreciation from Oromos attended that meeting for their open and very honest approaches to challenging issues. If all our senior politicians become courageous enough to be frank and face issues as the presenters at the ODF’s Washington, DC public meeting did, we Oromos may ones again be able to come together and look for ways that help us move our all-round struggle in the right direction. Apart from that, trying to irrationally criticize prominent leaders that are trying their level best to contribute something to their people will not help our common cause.

    One of the ways through which we might be able to move out of the current confusing and disappointing situation is by coming together as Oromos and openly discussing our major problems. I do believe that what few Oromo leaders have started doing under ODF a way forward even if their movement has to pass through a number of challenges, such as unnecessary name callings, back biting and irrational criticisms. I have no doubt that all of them have wonderful qualities of ignoring all kinds of unnecessary barking and focus on the promising movement that they have officially started.

    If any one of them may get a chance to read this comment, I would like to express my heartfelt thanks to all of them for the excellent things they have done, are doing and will do for the Oromo people.

    Galatoomaa,

    Biraanuu Yaadasaa

  37. Ittimaa,:

    October 25, 2012 @ 8:16 am

    Biraanu Yaadasaa,
    I would say you’re well-come to express your appreciation for what you observed from your part, based on your ability, your test, your interest, your personality, and your reaction to things favorable or unfavorable to your people and your ownself!
    But I think we judge that meeting mainly based on the quesition of principle this Observor tried to analyze. That is; 1) Is ” ODF ” a dialogue or political organization? 2) Does it have a new vision to bring remedy to our so long problem, and if that is so, what is it?
    3) Do the leaders take responsibilities for the last failures and ask apology for that, and try the second chance, or they try to clear themselves from whatever went wrong in the process of the struggle, and tell us they didn’t do anythiing concerning that mistake?
    The writer as you well see refutes that, it is not a dialogue, it doesn’t have any new vision, and the leaders are not free from the past mistakes done by the OLF, and therefore are not worthy of be given a second chance to try to bring us solution before they are willing to take responsibilities of their past deeds!
    For me these are very important points to judge who and what the ODF and its leaders are, whether to encourage or discourage them in their efforts and claims of bringing solution to our probem. What is your response to this?Your personal flattering of the meeting isn’t enough and doesn’t help us to see the reality behind that meeting and its aim! By giving us your second opinion, you help us know who you are really is, I hope.

  38. Observer II:

    October 25, 2012 @ 3:04 pm

    Obbo Biraanuu Yaadasaa,

    I thank you for your comment. You are entitled to your opinion just as I am to mine.

    In regards to the points I raised, and you conveniently ignored, I have nothing to add to obbo/aaddee Ittimaa’s succinctly put comment.

    I take your word when you say you attended that meeting. Would you be kind enough to give us a few examples of the questions asked and answers given at that meeting so that our readers can judge for themselves? I will start with some that were posed but got no answers and hope that you will follow suite.

    Q: Each of you on the stage making speeches today was a leader and an officer of the OLF for many years. Even when the organization was united and strong and had more resources, you failed to provide leadership and as a result the OLF disintegrated under your watch. What makes you think you can do better today? Why should the public trust you can do better this time around?

    A: No answer was given.

    Q: You have said you would like to democratize the federal republic of Ethiopia. How would you go about that? Would you utilize peaceful methods only or you would consider armed struggle?

    A: It is no use advocating armed struggle from Europe and USA. Blah, blah, …. (this from individuals who, just a couple of years ago, had been crisscrossing Europe and the USA with videos of Oromo Liberation Army to collect funds … the epitome of hypocrisy … this is no answer by any standard)

    Q: From your manifesto I see no difference between your political views and that of other ‘legal’ oppositions in the country or the J. Kemal Gelchu group. Why don’t you merge and work with them?

    A: We don’t want to say anything on this issue. We will release our manifesto soon and let readers judge for themselves. (No manifesto has been released to date.)

    Let us be honest even when we support a group. Blind support will help no one – least of all the group we blindly support.

    Observer II

  39. Biraanuu Yaadasaa:

    October 29, 2012 @ 9:17 pm

    Dear Obboo Ittimaa and Observer II,

    Many thanks for your responses on my personal comment about the meeting organized by ODF and held in DC on September 22, 2012. I also appreciate your questions.

    As both of you have clearly indicated, I fully agree that we are entitled to our opinion about a given issue.

    All things considered, it is my personal belief that that particular meeting was open to all kinds of discussions and fellow Oromos did get the chance to raise different questions without any reservation. The presenters have also answered each and every question in very clear and understandable ways. True, there was limitation of time to extend the meeting beyond the evening hours as the meeting hall was rented/reserved for limited period of time. It was clear that many participants of the meeting were trying to ask more questions or give different ideas towards the end of the meeting. As the organizers of the meeting look like eager to continue the discussion on a number of issues beyond the normal meeting time of the day, the coordinator of the DC ODF public meeting organizing committee has announced that all interested participants my go to the Oromo Community Center and ask their questions and forward their ideas after the organizers were requested to leave the hall. I would like to underline that I was one of the participants that went to the Oromo Community Center located on the 3rd St., NW Washington, DC and witnessed significant number of participants were gathered at the basement hall of the Center. Almost all the people went to the Washington, DC Oromo Community Center after the day’s meeting was concluded did get opportunities to ask a number of questions, including some very sensitive look questions, in my opinion. All the questions raised, however, were answered in very open and honest ways that one may not expect from politicians that led a very challenging struggle under difficult situations. On my part, that personal observation was what made me express my heartfelt thanks and sincere appreciation for all the presenters. It is not based on my”personal flattering of the meeting” as Obboo Ittima has tried to label my comment.

    Regarding Observer II’s question on whether ODF is a ‘dialogue forum’ or not, we could have different views, just like we already have different views and opinions on other issues. For me, yes it is a dialogue forum. I do believe that it is a dialogue forum that leads open/honest dialogues with fellow Oromos in different parts of the world in order to get answer that may help move the currently dormant struggle a bit forward. An online reference source located at dictionary.reference.com defines the term “dialogue” as “an exchange of ideas or opinions on a particular issue, especially a political or religious issue, with a view to reaching an amicable agreement or settlement.” Having this definition in mind, I do not question the correctness of the inclusion of this particular term in the name of a movement that has started by well-known Oromo politicians in order to discuss various issues related to the Oromo people’s political struggle with fellow Oromos in order to arrive at some kind of common understanding and seek rational solution for the problems.

    As to the questions raised on the meeting and answers given, Observe II has listed part of the questions raised by translating them into English. In my understanding, most of the questions Observer II has listed were raised by one participant. However, I am not really sure if the answers given to few of the questions were what Observer II has said in his comment of 10/25. Any way, I had to refer to my personal notes in order to recollect the issues raised and discussed. As I went to the meeting to learn something about the Oromo issue that became really frustrating , I did try to take my own short notes from the points raised in presentations, questions as well as answers in Afaan Oromoo. I would like to list the questions as well as brief summary of most of the answers given to each question based on my note. Please note, my quickly taken handwritten note did not include very sensitive questions that have been raised during the evening hours at the Oromo Community Center. In other words, my note includes only the major questions raised in the meeting hall during the day. I do hope that both Obboo Ittimaa and Observer II as well as other readers can read and understand Afaan Oromoo may be better than I do. If I amy miss some points or misrepresent what the speakers have said, it could be due to my fault or my weakness to record points accurately.

    Gaaffiiwwan Walgayii WMO Washngton, DCtti adeemsifame irratti dhiyaatan fi deebiiwwan kennaman:

    Gaaffii duraa::- “Yaada keessan akka isin dhiyeessitan kanatti sabni biyya sanaa otoo fudhatee gaarii ture. Garuu ennaan isaan gaaffii Oromoo fudhatan hinmuldhanne. Yaada amma isin dhiyeessitan kan warri taayitaarra jiranis ta’ee warrii Amaaraa ni fudhatuu?”
    Deebii:- Yaada haaraa amma qabannee kaane kana akka fudhatan qabsoo keenyaan taasisuu danda’uu qabna. Want guddaan Oromoo humneessuudha; Oromoon humna ta’uu danda’uudha. Oromoon humna yoo ta’e yaada kana akka fudhatamu taasisun rakkooguddaa hin ta’u.

    Gaaffii Lammataa: – Araara dhaabota gara garaa jidduutti fiduun dadhabamnaan gara marii kanatti ceene jettaniittu. Dhaabonni araara didan isaan kam kam (Shanee, Qaama Ce’umsaa, Jijjiirama) akka ta’aniif sababa maaliitiif akka didan uummata Oromootti himameeraa? Qabsoo haaraa calqabamu kana otoo isa duraa hin jabeessiin attamitti fiixaan baasuun (bakkaan gawuun) danda’ama?

    Deebii:- Waggoota sadiif edda yaallee waayeen araaraa fudhatama dhabeen booda ifaaf ifatti waan nu quunnamee fi waan irra geenye saba Oromootti himneerra. Amma manguddummaa (jaarsummaa) sana adeemsisaa turretti gargaarsi miseensotaa fi deeggartoota gareewwan hundaaayyuu nubiraa hafee hin beeku.

    Yaaliin godhamaa ture qaamota walitti araarsuu duwwaa otoo hinta’iin qabsichas attamitti haaromsina? yaada jedhu of keessaa qaba ture. Yaanni walii galtee uumuudhaaf manguddoota Oromootiin godhame edda bu’aa buusuu dadhabeen booda gara Waltajjii Mariitti ce’uun dirqama ta’e.

    Gaaffiiwwani fi yaanni kanaa gaditti hyphenated ta’anii tarreffaman kuni walitti aananiitu dhiyaatan. Deebiiwwan kennaman garuu haala orgnized ta’een qabachuu/barreessuu hindandeenye.

    – Dr. Diimaan ‘hiree isaa kan murteeffatu uummata’ jedhan. Edda hiree ofii kan murteeffatu uummata ta’ee warri qabsoo Oromoo gaggeessu tokko ta’uu attamitti dadhabe? Maaliif wliin deemuu dadhabdan?

    – Yaanno keessan qasoo Oromoo haaressuudha. Qabsoo Oromoo keessatti “paradigm shift” akkasii taasisuun barbaachisaadha. Haala walfakkaatu keessa kan darbe gaaffi Tibet fi deebii inni argate akka fakkeenyaatti ilaaluun ni danda’ama. Isin garuu amma dhaaba biraa dhaabuudhaaf deemtumoo pressure guddaa wayii uumtanii saba faca’e kana walitti fiduuf deemtu? Otoo waa tokkollee nu hndhoksiin nutti himuu dandeessuu?

    – Oromoon maali rra jira? Diinni keenya eenyu? Firri keenyawoo? Itoophiyaa ennaa jettan “a lot is in the name”. Abyssinian Ethiopia jechuu keessnimoo Cushitic Ethiopia jechuu keessani? Tokkummaa Itoophyaa ennaa jettan umbrellaa Oromoo jalattimoo umbrellaa Habashaa jalatti? Sochiin Oromoo “isolationist” illee fakkata. Jechun Oromoon dhimma saba biratiif fedhii waan hinqabne fakkaata. Kana ttamitti ilaaltu?

    – Qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo ennaa gaggeessinu namatu nu bittimsa ture. Bittimsa kanammoo namatu heeraa fi seera ABOtiin ala gaggeessa ture. Warri bittimsa sana gaggeessaa ture amma ifa bahee mul’ateera. Kan nubittimsaa ture warra amma yaada haaraa qabannee kaane kettan kanaadha. “This is a wishful movement”. Itti milkaawaan isiniin jedha.

    – Dhaaba haaraa haaraa biraa dhaabuuf sagantaa qopheessaa jirtu fakkaata. Waanti Obboo Leencoon barreessee Dr. Bayyaan dubbise kana fakkaata. Warri amma marii kana gaggeessitan hundi hooggana ABO turtan. Badii dalagameef eenyutu gaafatama? Ennaa gurmuu baay’ee fi deeggarsa guddaa qabdan kan fiixa hinbaane amma attamitti bakka yaanne geenya jettu? Dhaabota biraa (Shaneef Jijjiirama) wajjin garaa grummaan keessan mali? Qabsoo hidhannoo irratti ilaacha attamii qabdu?

    The following explanations were given by presenters for the above listed questions. However, the explanations were not in the order in which the questions were asked and written in my note in the order each respondent tried to answer the questions.

    Maaliif waliin deemuu dadhabdan isa jedhuuf otoo deebii qabna ta’ee mariin kuni barbaachsaa hin turre. Kadhaa fi gaaffii baay’eedhaan booda gara marii kanaatti seenne.

    Akeekni marii kanaa dhiibbaa (pressure) uumuudhaan Oromoo walitti fiduu miti. Kan yaalamaa jiru qabsaawota haalli amma jiru isaan yaaddessee “attamitti gara fuunduraatti deemna?” jedhaniif Oromoota biraas walitti fiduudhaan daandii fuunduratti nudeemsisu barbaaduudha.

    Gaaffiin (dubbiin) walii galtee dhabuu kuni heeraa fi seera ABO kabajuu fi kabajuu diduurraan kan ka’e miti. Fakkenyaaf, Shaneen Gumii a kka seeraa fi heera dhaabichaatti gadaa ishii fixxeetti. Garuu warri Shanee Gumii heeraa fi seera kana kabajaa hin jiran.

    Ammas rakkoon gara marii kanatti nu geesse rakkoo/gaaffii heeraa fi seeraa miti. Rakkoo yaadota qabsicha fuunduratti deemsisuu danda’u jedhaamanii dhiyaatan yookii murteewan qabsicha fuunduratti tarkaanfachiisuu danda’u jedhamanii murtaawan haalaan hojjaa irra oolchuu dadhabuudha. Fakkeenyaaf, Yaanni haaraan sagalee guddaadhaan darbe tokko dhiyaaeetu hojjaa irra oolchuun dadhabame. Yaadichis qaama Paarlaamaa fakkaatu wayii dhaabnee Oromoonni beekumsaa fi muuxannoo gahaa ta’e qaban walitti dhufanii yaad haaraa kan qabsoo kana gara funduratti deemsisuu nu dandeessisu akka burqisiisan haa yaalamu kan jedhu ture. Garuu otoo hojjaa irra hin’ooliin hafe.

    Maaltu walii galuu isin dhoowwe gaaffii jedhuuf debii gara garaa kennuun ni danda;ama. Fakkeenyaaf, yaalii Shanee fi Qama Ce’umsaa walitti fiduudhaf godhame Shaneetu dide.

    Warra Jijjiiramaa wajjin walii galteen kan dadhabameef waayee heeraa fi seeraa irratti miti. Qabxii waldhabdee kan ture , Conference walii galteedhaan booda gaggeeffamu irratti nama meeqatu argama? isa jedhu ture.

    Badii darbeef eenyutu itti gaafatama? gaaffii jedhuuf deebiin keenya qaama badii dalagetu itti gafatama kan jedhuudha.

    Dhaaba ta’uudhaaf deemtuu? gaaffii jedhuuf deebiin keenya lakkii, ammaaf mari’achaadha jirraa kan jedhuu dha. Marii baldhaadhaan booda filannaan dhiyaatu dhaaba biraa ijaaruu qofa yoo ta’ee garuu “we will not rule it out”. Itti amanna taanaan dhaaba bira dhaabun mirga keenya.

    Dhaabota Oromoo hunda waliin mari’achuudhaaf karaa keenya fedhii guutuu qabna. Nuti akka miseensota Waltajjii Marii Oromootti jarmiyoonni Oromoo hundi sabboonummaa qabu jenneetu amanna. Oromummaan eenyumti keenyayyuu wal hincaallu.

    Waayee qasoo hdhannoo ilaalchisee bifa qabsoo (form of struggle) kana duwwaa hordofna amantii jedhu hin qabnu. Daandii nudeemsisuu danda’u hundatti gargaaramuu yaanna. Waan haalli keessa jirru nu hojjachiise hunda hojjachuu irraa duubatti hin jennu. Akkaataa nuti ittiin qabsoofnu (our form of struggle) haala keessa jirrutu murteessa.

    Akka hubatamu kan barbaannu kaayyoon marii adeemsifamaa jirru kanaa Oromoo jidduutti wal hubannoo uumuudha. Ennaa marii kana calqabnu dhaaba haaraa dhaabna/ijaarra jennee miti. Kaayyoon keenya gudaan Oromoo wl hubachiifnee akka humna ta’u(empower) gochuudha. Adeemsa keessa dhaaba haaraa ijaaruutu kaayyoo kana fiixaan baasuuf nugargaara yoo ta’e garuu waanti itti hindeemneef hinjiru.

    Dear Observer II and Obboo Ittimaa:- the above listed points are what I have taken from my personal note in the sequence that each point was written in my quick handwriting. I do admit that I might have missed some points in the questions as well as the answers given by presenters, but the basic things were what I have tired to write down as my response to your comments/questions.

    As Obboo Ittima has said my appreciation for the presenters on that particular ODF meeting has a lot to do with “[my]ability, [my] test, [my] interest, [my] personality, and [my] reaction to things favorable or unfavorable to [my] people and [my] ownself!”. However, what I have said in my comment of October 23, 2012 has nothing to do with my “personal flattering of the meeting”, but the issues raised and explanations given.

    By the way, I did like the way both of you have presented your questions and gave your ideas on my comment even if I am not happy to the issue of “flattering …” . We Oromos, irrespective of our different outlooks on various issues, should be able to discuss issues in civilized and respectful ways.

    My sincere apologies for taking your time by writing very long comment that may look unusual for this kind of forum.

    Nagaa Orommummaa/Obbolummaa wajjin.

    Biraanuu Yaadasaa

  40. Aanolee:

    November 13, 2012 @ 9:11 pm

    I would like to say only a few words

    Too much Observers, chaters enjoying themselves on cyber spaces but doing nothing for there people. You all go to hell. Oromoon Waaqa qaba. Kan hojjatu dhabne malee kan nyaatu dachee guutee jira.