Thursday, August 15, 2013
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 8/15/2013 05:49:00 PM
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 8/15/2013 07:29:00 AM
Posted By: Nomonanoto Sidama | At: 8/15/2013 06:59:00 AM
By United Sidama Parties for Freedom and Justice (USPFJ)
August 15, 2013
The current ‘Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led Ethiopian regime continually denies the basic rights of Sidama nation to exercising their constitutional privileges enshrined in the supreme law of the country since it’s assumed power in June 1991. The regime uses a few dozens of handpicked Sidama cadres who are meticulously selected by the regime for their ability of implementing anti-Sidama policies of the regime in Sidama land whilst the regime expropriates its resources. The Sidama cadres are also selected for their capacity in obliviously torturing, arresting, killing and totally silencing the Sidama nation whenever the regime orders them to do so.
Therefore, the Sidama people and its region remain the most marginalized in the country characterized by high unemployment, abject poverty and severe deprivation despite its lucrative economic contribution to the federal government. Its people are imprisoned, harassed, suppressed, tortured and massacred for demanding their constitutional rights, development and exercising their rights to freedom of celebrating their New Years and others cultural activities symbolizing the Sidama as a nation. The Constitutional rights of the Sidama nation are grossly violated and blatantly denied even in Ethiopian standard simply because the nominal regional self administrations that are granted to others ethnic nationals whose population are very much smaller than that of the Sidama nation.
Unsatisfied with the aforementioned tragic situation orchestrated by this very regime, the tragedy unfolding in Sidamaland; the agents of the regime involving federal, regional, Zone, districts and farmers association have collectively sabotaged Sidama nation’s 2013 New Year known as Fichchee and the following festivity date known as Cambalaalla celebrations that have taken place on the 5th and 6th of August 2013 respectively. The Sidama nation as it has done for centuries was eagerly anticipating to welcome its new year in peaceful and civil manner as others global communities do theirs.
There are numerous customary ceremonial activities, plays, games and blessings- the biggest one is being Qeexalla (popular dance men of all age playing together humming similar rhythmic lyrics in an expressive manner for approval or disapproval of any decisions made by the government, praising the heroes of their nation and wishing the best of lack for the nation and beyond). Fichchee celebration naturally lasts for the entire day of Cambalaalla and the festivities remain in place for further two weeks in districts. These festivities are highly treasured national activities of the Sidama nation since time immemorial. For this particular reason a steady stream of Sidama celebrants grew from tens of thousands to a nearly a million in their capital city from all directions and districts with great enthusiasm to welcoming their New Year in a symbolic Unison.
However, the celebrants of the Sidama nation didn’t at all have clue what the regime’s agents have prepared to sabotage their celebration although the nation knew that the regime and its agents are capable of massacring innocent civilians let alone sabotaging their celebration.
The story is as follows: - the authorities of the regime recruited several thousands of its supporters from each farmer’s associations of the entire Sidama region in a systematic way during the weeks leading to the actual Fichchee celebration. The selected agents from all farmers associations, districts and Zone levels were all provided with the new Sidama costumes, spears and shields to look like ordinary celebrants. Thousands of these groups are advised to intermingle into the crowds of ordinary celebrants who were genuinely prepared to welcome their Fichchee on the actual day of celebration. The recruited ones were also given pre-prepared lyrics for Qeexalla on Fichchee day so that the agents pretend to be the leaders of Qeexala- as can be the case with natural course of Fichchee celebration.
To affect these malicious plans of the regime, with strict order of federal government, regional and Zone agents accurately organized all the necessary logistics for the selected agents from the entire Sidama farmers associations involving transportations and others possible financial incentives that motivates them to do their homework. Some of the recruited agents arrived to Hawassa on Fichchee day, a day before Cambalaalla under the pretext of Sidama language Symposium (which has taken place on the 5th of August 2013 in Hawassa’s Sidama cultural hall) where all agents were given the necessary final touch for their preparation on sabotaging Fichchee celebration.
While a significant numbers of agents arrived to Hawassa on the 5th of August under the aforementioned excuses, the majority of them arrived in the early morning hours of the 6th of August to take up their pre-prepared places at Hawassa Gudumaale (designated place for the Fichchee and others Sidama festival celebrations). These places usually fill up with natural flows of celebrants yet on the 6th the regime mainly filled it up with its agents leaving few places for others.
As strictly advised, the agents started leading Qeexalla pretending to be the supporters of the causes of the Sidama nation mainly stating positive things the regime does for the best of Sidama nation and its region. Others were assigned to praise the newly installed southern regional president known as ‘Dessie Dalkie’ who is another agent of the regime and others were given assignments to praise the current and late Ethiopian PM’s for their being good to Sidama nation.
Meanwhile genuine Sidama celebrants were just arriving to celebrate their Fichchee when they were suddenly told the program is finished before 10:30am local time!! The Sidama celebrants of all walks of life were confused, bewildered, disappointed and angry and were further determined to know the causes for such malicious acts of the regime against their rights to religious and cultural freedoms. Such act of cultural character assassination was unheard of in the history of the Sidama nation even during the repressive Derg and inhumane Hailesilassie’s regime- both regimes that totally enslaved the nation.
The number of highly armed forces assigned by the incumbent regime to monitor the Sidama nation was estimated to be over 10.000 in Hawassa alone and equal numbers of underground security personnel were involved; all harassing, intimidating and causing psychological terror to the peacefully gathering an estimated around 1 million Sidama celebrants. Despite the havoc wrecked by the regime, the Sidama nation defiantly expressed their disgust and disapproval of the regime’s continued criminality and involvement in their cultural affairs with their Qeexalla on their ways back –immediately after they were told the celebration was over. Some Sidama celebrants were seen crushing their spears and shields with rage over what has happened as the nation was leaving its Gudumaale after 10:30 local time.
The United Sidama Parties for Freedom and Justice categorically condemns such criminal acts of the regime against the fundamental rights of the Sidama nation and demand it to stop interfering in Sidama nation’s cultural affairs. We also strongly condemn the Sidama cadres and the recruited agents who have undermined their own cultural identities and others the entire elements who were involved in the actions of planning, executing, and monitoring the sabotage of Fichchee celebration and demand their unreserved and immediate apology. We also demand the Sidama nation to identify groups of pariah’s who were given money and clothes to sell the noble culture of Sidama nation to totally exclude them from the society! We also demand the regime in power to unconditionally stop continually relegating Sidama nation in all aspects of its life involving denying its constitutional rights to regional self determination, systematic and deliberate political and economic marginalization and cultural interferences.
Finally, we demand an international community to take this serious matter as cultural genocide targeting the Sidama nation and demand the Ethiopian regime in power for explanation as to why it is determined to continually dehumanize, depersonalize and denigrate the Sidama nation individually and collectively.
United Sidama Partied for Freedom and Justice (USPFJ)
August 15, 2013