The following statement is from the Macha-Tulama Cooperative and
Development Association (MTCDA), USA, Inc., a not-for-profit organization registered in the United States. The Macha-Tulama Association’s 50th Anniversary is set to be celebrated on August 1, 2014, in Washington, DC.
Date: January 22, 2014
From: The Board of Directors of Macha-Tulama Cooperative and Development Association (MTCDA), USA, Inc.
To: All Oromo Community Associations and Concerned Oromo Individuals in the Diaspora
The Board of Directors of MTCDA-USA is writing this memo to inform you about the formation of the 50th Anniversary Organizing Team of the Macha-Tulama Association (MTA) in the United States and to request you to fully cooperate with, and provide your moral and material support to the team for facilitating the planning and celebration of this glorious anniversary. For your information, the MTCDA is a legally registered not-for-profit organization in the United States.
As you know, the Macha and Tulama Association was formed in 1963 and banned in 1967. The government of Haile-Selassie (1930-1974) banned the Association so quickly because the leaders of the Association organized huge mass meetings, at which through fierce oratory, dramas, poems and prayers in Afaan Oromo, which was banned during those days, moved the Oromo into tears of anger against the oppressive Ethiopian system. The leaders of the Association not only united and provided the Oromo with central leadership, but also made them conscious of their unity and their dehumanization as second-class subjects, and inspired them to be agents for their freedom and human dignity. In short, the Macha-Tulama Association planted the tree of Oromo political consciousness. The limited gains the Oromo achieved since the 1970s was the fruit from that tree of political consciousness. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front-dominated Ethiopian regime, which is determined to deprive the Oromo of any independent organization, has once again banned the Macha-Tulama Association. As a result, in 2014 the oldest Oromo civic association cannot celebrate its 50th anniversary among our people in Oromia itself.
Those of us who live in freedom beyond the long brutal arms of the Ethiopian state have a sacred mission for celebrating the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Macha-Tulama Association. It will give us a wonderful opportunity for informing the international community that the Oromo, who make the single largest national group in the Horn of Africa and the third largest in Africa, are denied their basic human and democratic rights in their own country. What is greater shame for the Ethiopian government, that beats the drum of democracy, than denying the Oromo the right to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their civic organization? Together, let us celebrate a very successful 50th anniversary, expose the brutality of the Ethiopian regime, and lift up the spirit of our people. Now is the time for the Oromo Diaspora to rise to the challenge of organizing a wonderful 50th anniversary that will make our people proud. Those of us in the Diaspora must prove by our practical actions to our people, friends and foes that nobody can stop us from rebuilding our national institutions, including the Macha-Tulama Association. By uniting our energies and resources, we can brighten the future of our people.
It is our moral, intellectual, spiritual, and national obligation not to allow the destruction of our national institutions by our enemies by standing up for the rights of our people and defending them by rekindling the principles of Oromummaa and liberation, for which huge number of our heroines and heroes have sacrificed their precious lives. Supporting the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the MTA, both morally and materially, is one of the practical manifestations of our nationalist commitment for the cause of our nation. If we are committed to stand with our people at the time when they are not allowed to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their oldest civic organization in their own country, let us joyously celebrate it in the Diaspora and demonstrate to the Ethiopian regime that they will never be able to kill the spirit of freedom and human dignity that the Macha-Tulama Association planted in the heart, mind and soul of the Oromo nation.
Therefore, the Board of Directors MTCDA earnestly requests you to assist the team so that the celebration will successfully take place on August 1, 2014 in Washington, DC. We will be very grateful to all who will accept the challenge and support us with all kinds of imaginative efforts, such raising funds for the 50th anniversary and making the preparation for the event known as widely as possible. In the spirit of what the Macha-Tulama Association stands for, we urge all Oromo nationals, community associations, civic and religious groups, and political organizations to support the preparation for the 50th anniversary celebration. Together, we will make it a memorable event, which may inspire the renaissance of other Oromo organizations.