Friday, December 24, 2010

Peace in our universe based on sustainable security, good governance and progressive prosperity for all

Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc for Peace and Prosperity-

Our Passion is to reach our individual and collective potential for excellence and success-Always!
Wise people learn from the mistakes of others, clever ones from their own and fools continue to repeat the same mistakes, and live in abject poverty and misery.
24 December 2010
This is the time of Christmas, family get together, and the season when the desire to make progress towards peace on earth and the universe at individual and collective level takes a special meaning.

Modern science has made significant understanding of the universe and it appears we are not to-date sure whether the universe has a divergent, convergent or parallel nature; yet we have satellites in space perpetually overlooking the universe with advanced telescopes.  

Even though the universe is some what elliptical, we still continue to look up for the heavens to open and bring a lasting peace and prosperity for all.  We fail to look down, and inside each one of us for answer, since the problems start here or have a lot to do with  us here at individual and collective level first on planet earth, then the solar system and may be the Milky way galaxy.  May be we need to appreciate that the universe is inter-connected regardless of its divergent, convergent or even parallel nature.  

In this unique time of winter, where darkness and cold weather prevails in the Northern Hemisphere and the South continues to be dry and windy across the globe, we need to adjust to the climate and to the demands of nature, including our individual and collective response to it.  Hence, our sense of sustainable security, good governance and progressive prosperity is considered the fundamental pre-condition for lasting peace.

Our planet is part of the aging solar system and its associated changes in climate, creating a series of vulnerabilities to our social, economic, ecological and security challenges.  We are in crisis and it is becoming evident day by day.  Peace, security and prosperity seem to be eluding us.
It is becoming evident by the day, that peace is not the mere absence of war, distress and terror,  but the desire to work towards creating an environment for responding to the challenges and opportunities for sustainable security, good governance and and progressive  prosperity for all 7 billion people alive and 9 billion dead.  

Our understanding of human nature is also fast changing.   The recent Journal of American Public Health devotes its December 2010 issues entirely on understanding our human nature, safety, wellbeing and integrated sense of health.  Our mental wellbeing is considered to be dynamic and we do experience a sense of wellness and distress in the same day, within the same week, month and year depending to our exposure to stressful events and our coping mechanisms and changing responses.  

As such, we are spiritual, emotional, psychological, mental, physical, intellectual and social beings .  We need to address our security, good governance, prosperity and peace both at global, universal and temporal and real life experience level.  We need to appreciate the spiritual presence of  all 16 billion  people including those 9 billion people who passed away as part of our everlasting universal ecosystem. As such, we can all experience peace when our awareness of time, space and relationships is comprehensive, integrated and connected with the past, present and the future.  This is what is referred to our comprehensive and integrated sense of wellbeing.
At the outset, I would like to declare that  I am for sustainable security, good governance, and progressive prosperity for all 16 billion people that have graced our planet earth with their presence as humans.  Those of us members of the 7 Billion people living today, are fortunate as we have access to more interactive information about ourselves and the universe we live in than any other time in history.

So, our wellbeing and security is dependent on what has happened in the past, at present and what is likely to happen in the future.  In fact  most or our current economical crisis stems from speculators of the future economic activities and their respective risk management or mismanagement to be exact has plunged the global economy in a perpetual crisis.  The legacy of the past and the current activities have a significant impact on our future quality of life.
All our activities,  be it at spiritual, emotional, psychological, social, physical and intellectual level, should have the deliberations and  integrity for sustainable security, good governance and progressive prosperity.  That means deliberations and consultations and effective scientific and spiritual decision-making process,  worthy of a  wise people, stable nation  and the oldest civilization on earth.
This integrated, connected and holistic approach to life is critical for our sustainable peace, security and prosperity.  When short cuts or activities emerge that do not match or respect our multicultural, diverse, connected history, our individual and collective potential,  and sense of justice and integrity,  we need to speak up, to educate and to share our enlightened perspective to all.

The recent proposal for forgiveness and reconciliation by the faith leaders in Addis Ababa about the genocide and crime against humanity committed by the Military Dictratorship for over seventeen years between 1973-1991 is causing a series of distress among Ethiopians, Friends of Ethiopia and the global Diaspora communities.  Fortunately, the 29 Dec 2010 or 21 Tahisas 2003 declaration of forgiveness, reconciliation, potential pardon and declaration of Renaissance by the new year has been postponed to the relief of the majority who felt appropriate preparations, deliberations and consultations have not taken place when it was declared just two weeks ago for its implementation by end of December 2010.

The issue is about the integrity of the process of dialogue, the agenda, the mechanism for seeking the truth, facts and the proportional response be it remorse, penance, reparations, forgiveness and eventual reconciliation, etc.

All our activities need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic and Time Sensitive)
Remember: We had forty years so far, what is the rush for now?
I  believe the global security, health and well-being is not just  the mere absence of sickness , crime or disease, spiritual and temporal chaos,  but the positive deliberative promotion of our spiritual, psychological, social and physical wellbeing at individual and collective level.  Any short cut, that gains us temporary emotional relief that does not produce long term sustainable solution is just an illusion. 
The recent call for action in Ethiopia,  or rather campaign for the forgiveness of the Derg (Military Junta Criminals) that had generated genocide, crime against humanity and destroyed the peace and security of the Horn for over 17 years between 1973-19991, has created a series of distress, concern and frustrations among the global community and especially people of Ethiopian/African descent  at home and Diaspora.
There appears to some deliberations for about 2 years in secret, and the recent pronouncement that in a weeks time, some 500 victims of the Military Junta will represent some 500,000 people who perished during the Junta crime wave that lasted some 17 years is causing a lot of anger, frustration and dismay by the global community.  Most are asking why deliberate in secret for two years and now rush for a 30 days marathon of forgiveness and new assumed renaissance?
The overwhelming opinion is that all people concerned need to be deliberative, consultative in studying the past, analyzing the present and chartering a better future.  The most critical issue is that the constitution, the law that relates to such crimes need to be adhered to and the faith community should not interfere in the legal system of governance.  Even if there is a pardon, it needs to follow the rule of law and most importantly the immediate, short and long term implications need to be explored as the history of military dictatorships in Nigeria and the like should never be allowed to be the future norm any where in the world.
It is critical to appreciate that we are all spiritual, emotional, psychological, social and   physical beings who need to have a holistic and integrated approach to all our activities and decisions.  Especially after some forty years of chaos and terror.  Why the hurry now, and why not explore a more integrated approach where the Truth Commission should precede the process of pardon, forgiveness, especially since all the criminals have denied responsibilities for their crimes in the court for the past 20 years!
Wise people forgive but do not forget, yes, they remember to trust but ensure to verify similar errors will not be repeated again in the future too! At the end of the day, it is balance of trust, security and verification of the due process is in place so that similar errors do not recur.
Some of us will be fast to forgive, others deliberative looking for assurances of integrity, honesty and most of all planned positive outcomes.  Trust but verify is most appropriate here.  We need to trust the confessions, but they need to be verified for their change in their respective actions. Especially, when the real perpetrator Colonel Mengistu is sitting in Harare Zimbabwe and does not share their confessions and in fact makes new allegations that he and his team did not make a mistake in all the crime they committed as the recent publications of his memoirs testifies.  So, when the real criminal is not seeking pardon, why would we consider the people who were mere accomplices to the crime.  What about the justice process?
It is critical that we need to gather, We need to take every one together and not be judgmental in our deliberations! We need to respect those who question motives and process!
The recent spiritual call, social campaign and declarations of renaissance based on forgiving the military junta that killed a generations is worth examining carefully regardless of its good intentions its ramifications and potential short and long term implications.
We just managed to show the world, that we are capable of recovering from such genocide by holding the fifth conference on the forum of federalism based on the unique balance of multi-multiculturalism, devolution of power to states and respecting the diversity in unity of our people. We did not ask for the permission of the perpetrators of the most heinous crime to succeed and why should they demand our immediate forgiveness for their assumed renaissance they could not bring when they were in power.
Our religious leaders need to verify that they will not abandon their responsibilities as they did for the past almost 40 years of chaos!
There was no religious leader to be found to stand up to these same  criminals and now how did they get the courage is my question!  Is this part of the same role they played for the past 17 years acceding to all the demands of the revolutionaries when they cut of the conscious of the nation or a serious attempt to catch up with the fever of renaissance that is being unleashed on  our nation by our gallant sons and daughters!
Are they responding to the Derg (perpetrators) request alone or there are serious request from the victims save the pronouncements of my dear friend Mulugeta Asrate Kassa whose opinion I respect !  Yes, let us forget, but let us get some atonement, penance, reparation and commitment that the past will not be repeated in the future too!
Just imagine if the new set of lieutenants plan another set of genocide like the Generals of Guinbot 7; tried just a year ago.  Nigeria is the best example of a series of military coup d’├ętats that paralyzed the moral and civil consciousness of the people for decades.
Where are the transparency and accountability and responsiveness to the needs of the victims first?
The legal process of justice for the past 20 years and all the documentation my research has shown does not reveal any has remorse from the criminals!
In fact, the Diaspora Communist y Party operatives masquerading as human right campaigners and their outlets like Ethiomedia, Ethiopian Review have been hosting Mengistu’s memoires and upcoming book that shows no remorse at all.  Forget the then Serto-Ader editors and modern VoA and Netsanet spokespersons of the Derg (Communist Military Junta)  who continue to sing the old revolutionary songs none stop for the past 20 years in Diaspora.  It is a shame those very people who cursed the USA as Imprialist pig for 17 years are today, US Congress and Senate's  best friends as human right campaigners.  The real issue is due deligence  from all concerned.

The Communist Military Junta Operatives living in the West under false pretext of persecution and  continued misrepresentation of their crimes and attempt to portray themselves as modern day alleged human right campaigners,  and fooling the US congress into almost passing HR2003 with fabricated allegations against the people of Ethiopia, and demanding sanctions supported by  international organizations such as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International continues to be a new source of crime against the Ethiopian people.

It is in this perverted environment of injustice that the former criminals who butchered Millions is being advanced without appropriate Truth Commission and Justice and Reparations for all the victims dispersed all over the world.  it sounded almost criminal to consider to forgive without justice.  What a shame and short sided sense of good will without appropriate communication with all interested parties.  Now, they have understood the scale of their mistakes, may be there might be a chance to correct this heinous crime against humanity in the Horn once for all.
We have these groups demanding sanction on Ethiopia, and HR2003 is still pending in the Senate and their new recruits of Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, Shamsudin Megalomattis of American Chronicle and now the new buffoon Thomas Mountain of Iranian Press Review are at it all the time!  The worst thing is the US human right campaigners fall for these operatives without any questions or due diligence? Where is transparency, accountability and responsiveness to stake holders, the foundation of democratic governance?  The truth is the basis of all our connections and that is missing grossly.
It is in  this environment that this Pardon, cum Forgiveness without Justice, Remorse, and atonement is coming our way with 30 days deadline!  Whose program and design is this?  Is this the deliberate will of our people or that of the old military junta leaders who failed in their appeals and court hearings!
I want pardon and forgiveness based on penance and remorse!  Where is the remorse, the truth and acceptance of guilt? Why it took so long and why is it so  secretive and urgent  now?
Let us reason and discourse and dialogue with honesty and integrity with all sectors of the community, as the crime was so gross and so painful to so many at home and in the Diaspora !  
The issue at hand is our ability to differentiate between justice, pardon, mercy , atonement, reparation, penance, and forgiveness and reconciliation.  Each of these words describe a series of events and sequences attached to them.
The most critical issue is who is initiating them, under what conditions and who are involved and who are the active participants and eventual stakeholders.
The plan, process, outcome and result need to be owned by all of us!
The military junta in the person of Mengistu Haile Mariam, unilaterally, without any deliberation and consultation with the stakeholders,  suspended our individual and collective consciousness and took a series of heinous criminal activities for over seventeen years without consulting the legal and moral authorities of our civilization.  Now,  we should not repeat the same mistake again.
The current set of proposal seem to be responding to the criminals demand for rehabilitation, rather than the deliberate will of the individual ad collective social, moral and legal authorities of the nation, both at home and in Diaspora.
The process as published in the recent declaration is highly flowed, as few people were deliberating it for over two years and these so called leaders did not consult their constituencies in a transparent and accountable and responsive manner for over two years.  It caught every one by surprises, except few people in the know.  The problem is not only in the content of the message which is a mixture of pleas and campaign and even some form of spiritual and messianic order of things to come.
Every body or the selected few  have barely one month to respond to this and any ways, there are 500 people selected to represent the 500,000 who perished and the reconciliation will go ahead with the declaration of renaissance any way by the end of December 2010.
We have taken almost forty years to come to this why are we in a hurry now?
The process sucks to say the least.  No consultation, preparation and no responsiveness to the feelings of all concerned.  It is not SMART (Specific, Measurable, Appropriate, Realistic and Time Sensitive).
Jesus said…lead us not into temptation and deliver us from evil, just after he said, forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.   I am for forgiveness but I am concerned about what follows, the temptation to repeat the same mistakes and the lack of delivery from the evil one!......
So, what about sustainable Security, Good Governance and Progressive Prosperity!
These issues need to be addressed at individual, collective level as well as at state and social governance level.  Good governance is about transparency, accountability and responsiveness to the stakeholders.
The church, mosque, synagogues, eretchas, abadirs, etetes, etc  need to be deliberative and consultative in all its dealings when it tries to breach the issue of church and state.  The constitution is very clear about the respective role of religion and governance.
The church, mosque and synagogues of Ethiopia have first to apologize themselves as they failed in their spiritual leadership for over 40 years both during the Derg and EPRDF years by not standing up for the truth and for justice.
Now after almost 40 years lapse of leadership they want to exercise their moral and spiritual  authority, and they miss the larger part of consulting with God and their constituencies.
What do the Scriptures say about Pardon, Mercy, atonement, forgiveness and reconciliation.
The most critical ingredient is truth, penance and the insurance or security that our society will never repeat the madness that was initiated by the Derg criminals.
Yes, I want to inherit both the earth and heavens but not in a short cut or via flowed assumptions, but through deliberations, dialogue and reasoning that honors the very God who asks us to forgive so that we are forgiven!
Please do not insult our intelligence that is part of our individual and collective spirituality, morality, and consciousness that demands for transparency, accountability and responsiveness to all our stakeholders.
Spiritual leaders have to be transparent and accountable as well as responsive to their consciousness and faith.
Remember:  Jesus said, Our father who are in heaven, hollowed be thy name, thy kingdom come, thy will be done, forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who tress pass against, lead us not into temptation, deliver us from evil….
I am concerned that we should not be led into the temptation and will loose the ability to be delivered from evil, if he do not deliberate, reason and most of all seek the will of our people, friends and our Divine Universal Connection.
We  have to study the past, understand the present to charter a better future for us all.  That process starts with deliberations, reasoning and collective decision making that takes the interests and future of us all!
Remember: It is worth consulting and deliberating all our citizens, especially those victims who continue to suffer dearly!
In the end, forgiveness, pardon and salvation is a personal thing and individual issue, yet it has the ability to bless us all collectively, if done in a way that is transparent, accountable and responsive to our common sense of justice and fairness.
The Peace on earth or in the universe that the Christmas season proclaims  can only be achieved when there is a common understanding of our common shared heritage of the universe.  Our special place in it,  is dependent on our respect for each other, and the universe we live in.  That respect demands dialogue and appreciations of each other’s contribution in it.  The current ecological, economic and security crisis, can only be redeemed or improved, if we dedicate ourselves for sustainable security, good governance and progressive prosperity here on earth and the larger universe.

We need to be SMART, strategic and most importantly progressive in all our approaches as we try to address the fundamental ecological, economical and security crisis of our time. 
I look forward to learn from your alternative perspective and perceptions.
Thank you
Belai Habte-Jesus , MD, MPH
Global Strategic Enterprises, Inc
703.933.8737; 571.225.5736; efx:202.3188277
The comments from this author is worth considering in perspective, that is the crime is not just with a group of families but to the consciousness of humanity in general with a focus on the people of the Horn.
We must live for the future, and not for the past or in the past.

Mulugeta Aserate Kassa
15th December 2010

The news that former Derg officials – those who are currently serving life in prison and those in death row - have requested leaders of Ethiopia’s main religions to act as intermediaries in their quest to say sorry to the people of Ethiopia, has been greeted with mixed feelings in Europe and America where thousands of victims of Derg’s nightmarish rule reside, ironically, side by side with those former Derg henchmen who had hunted and hounded Ethiopians. 

Accordingly, Tehasas 16th (Gregorian Christmas Day) has been pencilled in for the Group of Religious Leaders to make a nation-wide appeal with the hope of securing a consensual agreement to forgive perpetrators of unprecedented heinous crimes. 

It takes a wise Derg to say sorry, and even a wiser Ethiopian to forgive
As a people, seldom have we been confronted with such an emotive issue as this one; primarily because it demands from us a willingness to let go our pent-up feelings of hate, anger and resentment, consent to let bygones be bygones and, most crucially, to give in to a national consensus where the common good is best served. 
The whole world would be watching how we handle this sensitive issue: are we going to act like responsible citizens of a nation which is at peace with itself and out-South-Africa-South-Africa by forgiving those who committed untold acts of criminality? Or are we going to condemn our nation and people to wallow in an endless cycle of bouts of revenge? 
Allow me, if you will, therefore, to share you my own experience in forgiveness, so that those who may be shilly-shallying on whether or not to forgive the former Derg members will at least be able to err on the side of caution. I had followed the fate of the former Derg members with rapt attention, and had been present at their major court hearings. 
I did so because I had filial obligation to witness the outcome of those who had ordered the summary execution of my dear father. Not only that, my mother, myself, my two brothers and two sisters were also made victims of Derg’s misrule as we were imprisoned for 15 years and 9 years respectively. 
It was during the course of my incarceration, then, that I came to realise the need to forgive – however trying an experience it may be – those who robbed me of a wonderful dad and my invaluable freedom. Forgiveness must be apolitical, as it is not expected to be found in party political manifestoes. It is one of the pillars of one’s faith. 

And it was through my Christian faith that I discovered that my reconciliation with my creator and redeemer was entirely dependent on my willingness to forgive others. It is true that when the former Derg members were sentenced to only life in prison in 2007, I did tell Radio Fana, “This sentence is a mockery of justice and called for the death penalty.” 
I was not stupefied by a longing for a vendetta when I said what I said at the time, but rather was expressing my desire to see the former Derg members receive the maximum penalty available in Ethiopia’s Penal Code. Besides, I never lost sight of the fact, then, that the mere fact that a death sentence was passed did not necessarily mean that they would be killed, as the President has the prerogative to commute the death sentence. 
It is also true that I have had run-ins with former ‘kakitocrats’ in London in 2004/2005. This, as I have repeatedly stated at the time, had nothing to do with harbouring grudge, but had everything to do with refusing to kow-tow to the exiled Derg. 

Blessed are the peace makers, for the shall be called the children of God
In July 2007, I had the good fortune and ‘honour’ of being consulted on this particular issue by H.H. Abune Paulos I, Patriarch of Ethiopia. 
I humbly told His Holiness that firstly I can only speak for myself as I don’t represent anyone else, and secondly I echoed the answer I gave to the BBC’s Addis Ababa correspondent minutes after the life in prison sentence was passed in 2007: “As a Christian I forgive, but as an Ethiopian I don’t forget.” To some – who know not that a gulf exists between to forgive and to forget – this statement of mine may appear conflicting; but the truth remains that it is not an oxymoron. 
Basically, what our respective religious leaders are asking us now is not – and can not be – to forget our trials and tribulations, as well as to forget our “blood, sweat and tears,” but to forgive for the sake of the common good, for peace and reconciliation. We owe it to Ethiopians who are rearing up to secure growth and transformation. 

Do it, too, for Ethiopia and proclaim to the world “We did it our way!” God Bless Ethiopia


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