By Chombe Teshome
The question why one makes a pledge to the profession he finds himself or herself in is not an easy question to answer, especially if it is self-initiated. Professional pledges are not enforceable or punishable by law. However, pledges of different kinds have been made since time immemorial. Hippocratic pledge (not to be confused with Hypocrite) is an expression of ideal conduct for a physician. Although written in antiquity, its principles are held sacred by doctors to this day. The pledges such as first do no harm ( primum non cocere); attend for the benefit of the sick, remaining free of all intentional injustice, of all mischief; apply your skill, for the benefit of the sick are just some of Hippocrates pledges. Thus a professional pledge is simply a promise to engage only in honorable and upstanding endeavors by an ethical professional person. At the same time setting up a higher standard of conduct for those who will venture to follow the particular profession. Naturally, pledges are measured by none other than their applications. If the practical application of the pledges is in conflict with the actual pledges given, it is safe to conclude that the intended purpose of the pledge may not be in service of the profession, but for self-aggrandizement and deceit. Here is where Tsegaye Ararsa’s “pledges of legal academic “ serves as exhibit A of a Hypocrite of the highest order.
While surfing on internet, I stumbled up on the pledges of a Legal academic, written beautifully in the tone of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, by none other than our own rabble-rouser who we have come to know as Tsegaye Regassa. Obviously, his pledges were written a particular audience in mind; those who he calls “corps of intellectuals” in Melbourne, Australia, and may be far beyond; I guess, the aim of the writing was to present himself as upright ethical man, and in due course, to impress and to garner the acceptance and respect of those he is writing to. After reading those holier-than -thou pledges, one would presume, the “corps of intellectuals”, would be very much impressed by Tsegay Ararsa’s pledge to adhere to Ethical excellence; oblivious, of course, to the less couched and more edgy agitator we have come to know on Ormia Media Network and facebook, where he regularly avails himself to conduct his hate propaganda unabated.
What will be attempted here is not ad hominem attacks, which is his preferred tool of argument, rather to show how far apart Tsegaye stands from promises he made to honor these uplifting, inspirational universal values.
Tsegaye starts his pledge with pretentious meekery by stating how he has been burdened by privileges bestowed up on him, and how he has been humbled by the responsibility he has come to shoulder as legal scholar; thus, mindful of the debt he owe to the society, Tsegaye promises introspectively to legislate softly, persuasively, and lovingly.
Examples abound to show that despite his claim to contrary, Tsegaye Ararssa has failed ignobly to meet the bear minimum of what he proclaims to be his guiding light in his professional life; in opposition to it though, he has made false statements, stereotypes made up anecdotes to deform historical facts, to agitate and to sow further divisions among Ethiopian communities; especially, between Oromo and Amhara Ethiopians. A short detour to Tsegay’s face book uncannily demonstrates how his actions betray his promised stance; With a show of pumping fist meme way high, and pages full of vitriol, his claim to love and persuasion has proved many times over to be hollow. For now, though, let us return to his pledges.
At first glance, these pledges contain lofty virtues and ideals most people would stand behind in heartbeat. Had Tsegaye failed short of the pledge he made while trying, no one would have hold that against him; because, it’s the principle he is advancing and his good intention that should count more than his shortcomings. Furthermore, adherence to ethical engagement in public discourse is exactly what we Ethiopians expect from a man of jurisprudence, not a violent laced political agitation, which threatens the lives of Ethiopians on grand scale.
This might come as surprised to those “ corps of intellectuals” who don’t speak and write Amharic and Oromaffia language, but for us Ethiopians Tsegaye comes across as very vindictive agitator who wants nothing else except to exact revenge for real and perceived historical misdeeds. If the multinational country, Ethiopia, go up in flames while Tsegay pursues his social engineering agenda, he couldn’t care less. Let’s address some of the agitation tactics he uses to arouse emotional frenzy in gullible youth, who commit wanton ethnic targeted mob justice on unsuspected civilians.
For instance, he stereotypically portrays Amharas and Ethiopist (the name he uses interchangeably) as evil incarnate; in one of the anecdotes he repeatedly attempts to prove the devilish nature of Amharas on Oromo Media Network, by telling the story of, how the Benishangul people leave the market place whenever they notice Amharas are entering the market area: He emphatically underlines the significance of that to those who were participating on the panel discussion. What he was trying to insinuate was that the coming of Amharas into the market was considered as a sign of omen, so Benishangle leave the market to avoid the evil that would befall them had they stayed. To hear this kind of negative stereotype spread on Oromo Media network by supposedly the man of jurisprudence is very disconcerting. And for sure, this kind of propaganda stimulates hatred toward the stereotyped community, and it has deadly consequences for many Amharas and other nationalities who living in Benishangul or in other part of Ethiopia. In the recent past many Amharas have been killed or uprooted because of inflammatory ethnic propaganda Tsegaye and his supporters spread on internet and other mass media outlets unabated. For example, in August of this year in rally that was held in Shashemene to welcome Jawar Mohammed, the young man who was falsely accused of being a security threat to Mr Jawar was hanged upside down on utility pole and was beaten to death by a mob.
The other propaganda piece Tsegay actively engages in is portraying Addis Ababa residents as others. Although the Ethiopian living in Addis Ababa are from all parts of Ethiopia,and most consider the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa to be the melting pot of Ethiopian nationalities, this is not true of Tsegay. For him they are Minilik settlers (invaders, blood letters) insinuating that Ethiopians from other part of Ethiopia are aliens and enemies of Oromo Ethiopians. Thus presenting theme as targets to be aimed at. Tsegay and Co even coined a new name for Ethiopians living in Addis Ababa, “homeless”. He continues to actively involve in labeling them making them a target; what he is preparing the ground for obviously is for a violent retribution against this population. Mind you 40% of Addis Ababa resident are Oromos, even according to Tsegaye,which is the proportional population share of Ethiopian-oromos, that is without counting Oromo-Ethiopians with mixed heritage, which Tsegay is one.
Althouigh Tsegay swears by to legislate softly, persuasively, and lovingly. He has no desire to even engage in healthy debate with Ethiopians. His aversion is aptly captured with what he posted on his facebook recently. Tsegay wrote “ It’s an unfortunate fact of post-colonial reality that one is locked into using the name Ethiopia even in entering the debate”
So if Tsegay is so offended to even engage in discussion with Ethiopians; it begs the question what is Tsegay really up to? Tsegaye’s agenda is not justice, not democracy or equality,but the destruction of Ethiopia. Whenever he uses catchy words, such as justice, democracy etc, his intention is to camouflage his latent desire to dismantle Ethiopia. Tsegaye wearing his Oromo nationalist clad, with his scorch earth approach, anything Ethiopian has to be assailed; neither facts he doesn’t like nor groups he considers inimical has to be discredited using all the sophistry he could muster. Those who argue with him on substance, he labels them either as Oromo- phobic or dimwits. Since he wears the Oromo nationalist hat, he plays a victim and a defender at the same time in order to silence the Ethiopian nationalist he abhors to engage with.
Tsegaye presents himself as a legal scholar in Ethiopian ethicized constitutional order, and he is a true believer in the full implementation of it. Although he is quite aware the so called constitution has served only the minority TPLF government to overlord the Ethiopian people by pitting one group against the other, Tsegay insists that all cures to what ails Ethiopia can be found only in TPLF’s constitution. Truth to be told, Tsegaye never shy about putting forward his service credential in service of the TPLF government. He was the person TPLF leaders, such as Abay Tehay, turned to for legal advice when crises arises, He was a teacher in Civil Service College, the institution that TPLF established to train its cadres. Thus he is not opposing TPLF’s policies for its divisiveness and the mayhem it brought in the life of the Ethiopian people, but his beef with TPLF is that the sought after destruction of Ethiopia didn’t materialize in TPLF watch, from which he hoped his utopian Oromia supposedly to sprang out. To accomplish this goal Tsegay knows he can not employ persuasion, surly he knows as well that unity and mutual accommodation also are not going to serve him as well. So he has made a calculated plan to wedge mistrust and hatred among the Ethiopian people so that in the long run the end result will be what he always wanted, the destruction of Ethiopia, which he loathes without reservation.
Like the Greeks Goddess of virtue, Arete, Tsegay’s claim to excellence in virtues is limitless. He pledges to all of us that he will approach public texts with the ethics of reverence to restore hermeneutical sanity , interpretive integrity.
Having made this lofty, whiter than cloud, pledge, he turns around to make a travesty of historical proportion by disfiguring historical facts, by taking statements out of context to further his antiEthiopan political agenda when he attempted to enlighten us that Minilk’s refusal not to be categorize as a negro was a declaration to be recognize as a Caucasian. If we follow Tsegay’s logic of reductio ad absurdum, Minilik must have declared I am white (እኔ ፈረንጅ ነኝ), cause Minilke might not be privy to the Carleton S. Coon’s race classification, which Caucasian is just one of five. The reason Tsegaye makes this kind of outlandish assertion is simple–to dislodge Minilik from the high pedestal the black people of the world sat him on for his anticolonial victory in Adwa, and for upending the stigma of inferior race categorization by utterly vanquishing a white colonial power on its own soil, Ethiopia.
Tsegaya’s glittering pledges are really sights to be hold: He pledges that he has the duty to imagine, and help society imagine a better world, a different world, a new heaven and a new earth” and he takes this as his prophetic duty; to be a custodian of love, hope and future, to fight hatred, despair and cynicism.
This would have been a pledge Mother Teresa would make, rather than the hate spewing, know it all megalomaniac, Tsegay Ararrsa . To be fair though let us look at whether his actions withstand the slightest scrutiny of his own declared pledge.
The majority of Ethiopians had been rightly concerned that if and when TPLF collapses of its own weight, this ethnically fractured nation would sink into a civil war from which it would be incapable of recovering. The Ethiopian youth from Oromo, Amhara, and other nationalities, determined to bring democracy have made a great sacrifice and put a tremendous pressure to get rid the government. The Young Oromo-Ethiopian leaders lead by Lema Megersa and Abey Mohamed took a decisive action in the nick of time to save the country from civil war and complete disintegration. With the concerted effort with Gedu, and Demeke, the country veered away from a national catastrophe. These reformist leaders got unwavering support from all corners of Ethiopia. The actions taken and the changes these leaders brought to Ethiopia don’t need to be enumerated here; However, for Tsegay Ararssa and his radical followers both Lema and Abey are the epitome of sellouts.
Tsegay’s vicious attack against Dr Abey Mohamed and Lema Megersa emanates from his veisiral hatred toward anything Ethiopian. He harangues Abay as the savior of Ethiopia from Oromo, as if Oromo and Ethiopia are mutually exclusive entities. Tsegays haughtiness doesn’t seem to know bound; he tells for all to hear with chest-thumping triumphalism that Abey is in the position he is because of him, i.e. the king maker. He is remorseful that Abey and Lema had been able to pull Ethiopia from the edge of fragmentation. Tsegay caricature’s Abey by saying “Putting an Oromo in a Menelikan palace won’t do, especially when that Oromo is a Menelik in an Oromo body. That is the hate monger Tsegay’s way to derogate Abey as the Ethiopian version of uncle tom.
This is the most hateful statement one can make against another human being let alone on a national leader who is trying to do his best to save a country of more than one hundred million people from going off the cliff. Despite the well-orchestrated attempt that was made to snuff out Abey Mhamed’s life by radical Oromo fringe groups in cahoots with TPLF honchos, the Prime Minster and his reformist colleagues are forging ahead to establish a country where individual and group rights are supplementary, but never contradictory. After all these harangues, hatemongering, Tsegay still wants to be called the up right man who is a custodian of love and hope and a person who stands against hatred. As Jawaharial Nehru put it “ the person who talks most of his own virtue is often the least virtuous”
What Ethiopians need to avoid is to overlook or to underestimate the threat the likes of Tsegay Ararssa poses to our national existence. There is a direct relation between the recent spate of violence in Oromoia and many other parts of the country and the active agitation that has been going on by Tsegay Ararrsa’s and Co on OMN and facebook. Given how close we have come to a national disaster; we don’t have the luxury of letting our guard down or letting this rare opportunity to establish a true democratic governance slip through our fingers. We no longer afford to be the proverbial “ostrich with its head in sand”.
hypocrite. 1 : a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion.