Thank You , Donald Payne and Chris Smith

By Aie Zi Guo / Oct 09, 2007

Open Letter

To Africa Subcommittee Chair, Donald Payne (D-NJ) and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ)

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph.” Haile Selassie-I

Dear, Congressmen Donald Payne and Christopher Smith

Ethiopians are two weeks old in their third millennium. There is nothing gratifying than starting a new year and a new millennium with an unprecedented gift of HR 2003, the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007 approved by the US House of Representatives today. Just two days ago Ethiopians lit the skies to celebrate the day of the finding of the true cross. Today that holy light has also helped Ethiopians find the true cross of democracy, good governance and respect of human rights in the people’s house of the land of the free.

Dear friends of Ethiopia,

We know that on behalf of Ethiopians you have traveled an arduous journey coupled by enormous challenges to get BILL HR2003 pass in the House. Among the many challenges were the senseless and greedy lobby firms hired by Meles Zenawai to kill the BILL. Pro Meles media outlets in and outside Ethiopia attempted to discourage your effort by attacking your integrity and insulting your conscience. Nevertheless, you remained resolute in your mission and steadfast in your resolution to stand behind Ethiopians and democracy. Congratulations for winning the battle that made truth and justice prevail over evil.

Dear friends of Ethiopia,

The passage of HR 2003 is historic because the decision of the House of Representative came two years after Meles Zenwai’s army gunned down 193 people, injured over 700, arrested all opposition leaders, sent thousands to concentration camps and filed genocide and treason charges. Thousands of opposition supporters were arrested in mass and taken to unknown destinations. God, EPRDF and the families of the victims are the only ones who know how many. Pressured by your BILL of rights, the Ethiopian Government granted amnesty to opposition leaders and released 18, 000 prisoners two weeks ago. The number of released political prisoners is reminiscent of the number of prisoners held behind bars by Meles’ regime.

Dear friends of Ethiopia,

No doubt this mundane act of savagery should have been stopped yesterday. However, we also recognize the international community‘s desire to give Mr. Zenawi ample time to redress his wrongdoing and protect the wishes of Ethiopians. Typical of a tyrant, Meles continued to deify the int’l community and his people. Now there comes HR 2003 with full force to guard the people of Ethiopia.

Dear friends of Ethiopia,

Through the passage of HR 2003 you have become the bacon of hope for 77 million Ethiopians who are gagged by a repressive regime for over 15 years. Millions in Ethiopia and around the world are joyous of the historic decision you have taken today. We applaud you for standing behind truth and moreover behind the core values of American democracy. Today’s decision will make US America proud, respected, trusted and supported by freedom loving people around the world. This is a milestone towards the universalization of democracy and human rights.

Dear friends of Ethiopia,

Please allow me to paraphrase Emperor Haile Selassie-I speech at the League of Nations in 1936 above: For many years the inaction of the United States and western nations who could have acted; the indifference of western powers who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice at the United Nations when it mattered most has made it possible for evil to triumph in Ethiopia and Africa at large. Today you have demonstrated to Ethiopia and the rest of Africa that the American government and people will no more be indifferent, will no more be silent to let evil triumph in Ethiopia and Africa. Bill HR 2003 has laid the corner stone of democracy at the heartland of the African Union. It is vital for the establishment of a democratic system of governance in Ethiopia. If done correctly, Ethiopia will serve as a model for the rest of Africa.

In closing let me leave you with another quote of Haile Selassie “Outside the kingdom of the Lord thee is no nation which is greater than any other. God and history will remember your judgment.” Ethiopians who already owe you a great deal will remember your judgment and decision on HR 2003 for millennia. You two the most just men of the Africa Subcommittee and the rest of the House of Representatives will remain dear to Ethiopians forever. Congratulations.

Thank you and God bless you all,

Aie Zi Guo, Canada