Allow me to express my genuine appreciation to you and your team at Addis Standard magazine. Having said so, your obituary on the late PM Meles Zenawi (Obituary – the late PM Meles Zenawi Sep. 2012) deserves the most appreciation for its professional, easy to read and well balanced assessment of the life of the late PM Meles Zenawi. However, I was deeply disappointed to see the article lacks backing its argument with some statistics, particularly economic statistics, of the achievements and/or failures of the late PM since he took power in 1991. I hope your next assessment of his legacy will include some of the hard to avoid economic evidence registered during the reign of the late PM.
Haile Arefe Begeta
Your compromised lead story deserves further explanation (Obituary – the late PM Meles Zenawi Sep. 2012). You claimed “currently his government’s initial free economy mantra that turns into a policy of a developmental state looks like a somehow disfigured Chinese style economic model that uses a mixture of a vibrant private economy with an imposing presence of party affiliated businesses and a heavy state investment that held a tight grip on key enterprises” and yet your article presented no shred of evidence on its claim and fall short of explaining what exactly a developmental state policy is both in China’s and in Ethiopia’s context. You claimed that the late PM Meles Zenawi propagated “a disfigured Chinese style economic model” and yet presented no shred of evidence on how week or strong the private industry is in this country is. You claimed the country lacks behind in its record of human rights and press freedom. No wonder why.
I read your obituary of the late PM Meles Zenawi with a great interest (Obituary – the late PM Meles Zenawi Sep. 2012). Since his untimely death has been announced on the 21st of August, all that we have been subjected to read, hear and view on his legacy were either for him or against him. I salute your courageous assessment of the late PM. However, you asserted that “the country produced the largest number of journalists in exile.” I assume this is because of the draconian press law that is claimed to have constrained independent journalists in the country. And yet your magazine made a bold, if factual, assessment without fear of retribution, I hope. I wonder how other journalists couldn’t survive the regime of the late PM Meles Zenawi.
As Ethiopian tradition has it, it is morally unacceptable to speak ill of a dead person and we have seen that in the past month following the death of the late PM Meles Zenawi. That is why I have decided to write to you upon reading your lead story of this month (Obituary – the late PM Meles Zenawi Sep. 2012). Whether we like him or not, we must have the truth told to our children who know no head of government but the late Meles in their lives. I will save a copy of your magazine to give reference about the only person my children knew in their elementary to high school lives so far. Well done on your accomplishments and I remain your dedicated reader.
Bale, Meda Wolabu University
The U.S election
Allow me to express my appreciation to your U.S. correspondent Tomas Mega. I have been following his series of articles on the upcoming U.S election for the past few months and have enjoyed reading his short, but up to the point analysis of the campaign on both sides. However, his article of this month (It’s all about size, Sep. 2012) claims Paul Ryan “possesses those affable and marketable qualities of a Sarah Palin – with brains.” In my view, and this is my personal view, Paul Ryan possesses those affable and marketable qualities of a Sarah Palin – with no fancy eye glasses.
Dr. Belayneh Amare
I read the article written by Taye Negussie (PhD) on corrupt politicians who work hard to “bring a certain identity to prominence” (The delusion of ‘radical’ identity politics, Sep. 2012). As we all know, Ethiopia has embraced the concept of rights for its diversified nations and nationalities since the coming of the ruling EPRDF into power in 1991. Many of us owe it to the late PM Meles Zenawi for his relentless effort to guarantee that the Ethiopia he was building should be home to its diverse society and not a certain identity. However, a certain identity is exactly what came to the moving and shaking position of the Ethiopia of the last 21 years. The writer may deliberately omit the glaring reality in this country but what we see is a certain ethnic group, particularly those belonging to the ethnic group of the late PM, controlling key areas from security to business to the civil service. Whether we like it or not, Ethiopia is a victim of the resurgence of a ‘radical’ identity politics orchestrated by none other than its political elites of the past 21 years.