Bahir Dar University Conference Arranged by Government Raises Various Issues including Amharas Are Agaws or Vice Versa

According to an anonymous source, the first speaker and chair of the conference was Mr. Alemnew Mokonnen, Organizational Affairs at Regional Government. On October 1-3, Mr. Alemnew, illustrated comparative difference among new liberalism, social liberalism and democratic developmental state. Mr. Alemnew concluded new liberalism is the cause of social crisis in developing countries, like Ethiopia and his government preference to the developmental state was appropriate.
Following Mr. Alemnew’s lecture, on October 1, Endalamaw Aragie Lecturer & Engineer from Civil Engineering Department disclosed his 10-point basic philosophical statement to address political & social issues in Ethiopia and received hand clamping feedback from the audience. Mr. Alemnew Mekonnen who was chairing the conference also welcomed his statement and added some of notions might deserve more refinement. On October 7, during the discussion session, Endalamaw stated that Amharas are Agaws, or vice versa. Mr. Endalamew who described ethnic politics as stupid parts of human behavior, said, “nationality is concerned there is one nation in the region that is namely Amharas whom actually Semitic influenced Agaws.” He stated the definition of Amhara as free people in terms of spiritual liberty, which means baptized people. He made this comment, at Bahir Dar University instructors & management conference, involved more than 1,600 participants. The conference labeled as training was arranged by the central government on government policy and strategy, October 1, through October 10, 2014, which addressed various political and economic issues.
Mr. Agegnew Teshale, former North Gondar Governor and senior official from the regional government who was couching the conference reacted following Endalamaw’s statement. Mr. Agegnew said, there are different views in the definition of Amhara. He mentioned as an example, Professor Mesfin Woldemary’s description that characterizes as religious denomination rather ethnicity. He said, the current definition is designated by the ruling party, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Party (EPRDP) and included in the constitute. He added, “you as intellectuals can conduct research on the issue and determined a proper definition on the basis of historical evidence”, then we can debate on it.
Mr. Agegnew also stated the current constitutional rights given to nations and nationalities to address chronic grievance, cause of war and destruction in the previous political systems. His statement inevitably elicited questions regard to Kemants who have made demands for self-rule. The first person to raise Kemant issue at the conference was Mr. Mullu, Lecturer at IOT. Mr. Agegnew replied that Kemant issue was under study by the federal and regional government and would receive a proper response in line with the constitution. He said, many of questions such as existence of the language has been resolved. The language is on the verge of disappearance and need attention; there are 6,000 people who can speak still the language. He stated the problem we have been facing is geographical adjacency, despite Kemants are dominant, like Chilga and Lay Armacho districts, Amhara and Kemants are mixed up in many areas. Some participants said, the issue of geographical adjacency was addressed in the previous study and proved Kemants’ having of territorial contiguous.
October 6-8, Mr. Agegnew’s lecture was mainly focused on three issues, chauvinism, narrow nationalism & religious extremism. His key message was these three trends are dangerous for the continuity of the existing political system. Despite, most of audience who reacted to his lecture disagreed with his views. They claimed the theories of chauvinism and narrow nationalism are the ruling party’s divide and conquer tactic, to continue hang in the power. In contrary, they said, critical challenges to the system are absence of democracy, corruption and lack of good governance in the country.

Statue of Arussi, Oromia

Another hot, sensational issue created verbal confrontation at the conference was the statue erected in Arussi Zone, Oromia Region, in this year. According to the audience, the statue shows whilst Menelik’s soldier cutting a woman’s breast. The participants were extremely angry on the sculpture. First, they dismissed the reliability of the story. Second, they expressed concerns with the statue’s adverse effects in relationships between the Oromo and Amhara people. Some of speakers associated the statue with anti-Amhara sentiments and acts in Oromia Region in March 2014. The speakers insisted that the statue had been politically motivated in order to sow discord between the two people and recommended for rational review for possible dismantlement.

FDRE’s Constitution, Article-39

October 9, the speaker was Mr. Asefa, the senior advisor at Regional Governor’s office. He spoke on FDRE’s constitution. He emphasized the unique provisions of the constitution, specifically, self-determination up to secession, recognition of group and individual rights and public land ownership. On October 8 & 9, the participants also raised the question, why regional naming is attached to one ethnic group, whilst the region has more than one nationalities? He thought it was not the problem. Then, discussion was shifted to Article-39 and a strong controversy was triggered with the article, particularly on the rights of secession. Following questions and suggestions regard the article in group discussion, Mr. Asefa attempted to justify the need for Article 39, whilst dispute erupted, noise from hand clap to stop the speaker overwhelmed the hall. One person uttered procedure, procedure. Mr. Asefa said, “I do not have the procedural problem, let finish my comment. You can reject my view after I finish.” About five-minutes disruption, Dr. Bayle asked the audience to act democratically as the university instructors giving him a chance to express his side. Then, Mr. Asefa got the opportunity to wind up his argument. Next, Asefa gave the audience to comment on his speech; thus, three persons challenged his opinion. Among them were Engineer Endalamew suggested national reconciliation to resolve to existing national problems. Mr. Asefa replied there was no need for reconciliation when there were no quarrelling parties. Again noise reoccurred in rejection to his reply; about 63-people walked out from the hall, and then Asefa was quick to sum up his rhetoric with thanks.

Bahir Dar University Issues

On October 9 & 10, higher education institutes & Bahir Dar University’s governance was main topic. Dr. Bayle Damtie, University’s President talked about the university’s situations when he came to the office 3-years ago. What has been done in the past 3-years and what has not been yet materialized. He presented the summary of the performance report. A major achievement illustrated was the development of student information management systems (SIMS) produced by Institute of Technology staff members, Mr. Asefa & Molla. The application has been in operation for the last 3-years, and it was also sold for other universities 4-million birr per institute. The university is earns 10% of the revenue related to the software. He also reported increment in faculty publications, referring 272 publications appeared in the past year. Prior to Dr. Bayle his Vice President, Dr. Mitku gave a speech on education quality that could be revealed through inputs, processes & outputs.
Dr. Bayle also mentioned support staff, employee grievance related to a new organizational structure and placement. He said, the process is revised by Civil Service, approved by the University Board and competency appraisal was carried out by the university senate members. He stated, the complaint should be primarily related to new positions. He said, nothing was wrong since everybody cannot be assigned in director positions. However, employees in anonymity told a wlka informant that placement was done in violation of white & black written Civil Service directives, and they would appeal to Ministry of Civil Service in Addis Ababa. The employees thought that performance evaluation by the university senate was trickery and it had no authority to evaluate individual performance on behalf of immediate respective supervisors.

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3 Responses to Bahir Dar University Conference Arranged by Government Raises Various Issues including Amharas Are Agaws or Vice Versa

  1. Endalamaw A says:

    Please there some error detected in the comment and below (full) may be taken as edited version…..)

    Dear writer & blogger,
    Here commented with please is to forward my correct speech attempt during the training or so. Of what i said and written here mistakenly is: “……As far as nationality is concerned in this region, [based on the current due understanding of the concept by the ruling party], we have only one people who can be categorized by a single nation. And there is no so called Amhara nation, as the identity ‘Amhara’ virtually is a religious identity having an initial meaning of “free society’ in spiritual context and literally later on taken as baptized society. —— I hope all what we can say is: we, the regional people, are at most Semiticaly influenced Cushitic societies but not Semitic societies. But yet !… readers, please make sure that the statement “if so why different ethnic categorization we do have actually in the region while most christian societies of the region are by now baptized” is the other big deal and the ironic paradox resulted from the christiano-amharazation process via the lumped dirty blunder of Pseudo-Semitism identity perception as well as the panic myth stupid consequence. ****** lot to say…..**** hence, please have it like this as of my forwarded view*** ! /// Any ways i believe that we intellectuals are not there to fear the future rather we are there to shape it. ///

    with best regards,

  2. When one cross a road by lie it would be difficult to cross back again.The basic and popular lie is the fact that many Amhare elite have long chosen what their mother or father should look like or where they should descend from. As a result of this they chosen for centuries to be the Descendants Of The Conquering Lion of Judah.This legend or call it what ever,or the chronicle of the kings or Famous chieftains became the popular history that was fed to the people.Trying to become the descendants of some one of the chosen people of the scriptural of the earth was one of their dream and they succeeded in getting what they want.They got it,they confused the world that way,take for example how they confused the Ras Tafarian. Practically.Practically they have confused all the gullible on the earth who do not read and they have succeeded in popularizing the HISTORY OF THE PEOPLE IN CONTRAST TO THE HISTORY OF THE ELITE AS WE ARE ON THE DEBATE.IT IS HAUNTING THEM BACK AS A LIE OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS WOULD NOT BE EASY TO UNLEARN.

    I have an absolute love for human race,culture,diversity and its beauty.But we should be who we say we are.Is the choosing of ethnicity not what the Amhara elite have chosen for than being and they should search who they are honestly.The search of identity is not a crime or a taboo unless you have the poisonous desire of domination or to hurt others.the trouble of centuries is coming home to roost.Who are Amharas .Are they jew????.Are they yemeni ???.Are they Semetically influenced renegade Agaws????,If semetically influenced how and why,when and for what purpose.This is the question any Amhara should not avoid.Blaming the identity of others or buring the head not to see the ethnic politics does not help or be an answer.We search where we come from,we want to know who we are,when,why.If not, We should straighten the lie,to inherit the lie to the generation to suffer the consequence of past mistake is unpatriotic.All the politics in the world revolves around identity.Just look!! The UK,USA,Canada,Australia,New zeal-and all vote unanimously on major global issues that affect them.It is the Issue of Anglo-Saxon descendants,they are the descendants of the Northern barbarians who down fell the Roman empire.They are Germanic tribe and they still share a lot in the name of western civilization.Those who hide their identity have a hidden agenda.Above all the search for our identity should not hurt others and it should not have a negative connotation.Let us have diversity within unity and love despite difference.

  3. I am uncomfortable to see Amara people wearing too tight shirts and shorts when singing and Dancing cultural Eskista and zefen. What are you trying to tell the new generation? That Amharas are kulies or Shqai. the Tigrai and Amhara dresses and clothings used to be very similar, now the Amharas seem to be condemned to wear cloths that were never their traditional clothes It is demoralizing to the Amhara youth to wear extremely tight shorts/cloths that show the shape of their genitals,. Take mekuanint Melese, when he sings “i I miss my village” in Agewoogna. Bring back our long EJETEBAB AND LONG WONCERE. When I watch Oromigna or Tigrigna cultural songs on YouTube they wear clean and decent clothes. Why are Amaras condemned to wear rus and unsightly cloths. The cameras they use to vedio the songs is old cameras that have no fillter.

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