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Open Letter[To Tampere University

Open Letter

[To Tampere University(Finland)]


04 April 2017


“Education(Intelligence) without character is a dangerous thing”

         Gloria Steinem

“To educate a man in mind and not in morals is to educate a menace to society”

         Theodore Roosevelt


A specter is haunting the international community. An evil spirit that does not like the good of fellow human beings is on the loose from the Pandora’s Box it has been sealed into. Envy and jealousy so intense and deep-rooted as to take a whole country hostage has been residing in the Ethiopian body politic and societal arena since 1889 up until 1991 when it was up-rooted militarily and politically from the land by the gallant sons and daughters of the country. Nevertheless, it was and is yet to be defeated ideologically. The evil spirit, that had been in Ethiopia has forcibly migrated to foreign countries and is now residing abroad, especially in the US.

During its residence in Ethiopia for about 100 years, the evil spirit has divided, isolated and shackled the populace into fear, confusion and poverty. The bad envy and jealousy that had crippled the whole country and led everybody into destructive competition, was of a passive type, i.e. it simply wants to be at the top of the country to rule, demean and trash the society especially those that it assumes are outside its own ethnic group. During its rule of 100 or so years, it intently produced subjects not citizens, famine and poverty but not progress and development for the vast majority of the population. And yet they presume that it is their birthright and are destined to be rulers of the country.

Currently, the evil spirit is unashamedly revealing itself in the international arena. Beware! The sickness of the evil spirit is contagious. Unless the international community becomes aware in time and purges the evil spirit from its mainstream societal life, then it may become too late and the evil spirit overtakes us.

The evil spirit is working day and night to destroy the nationhood and social fabric of the country it had been ruling with iron grip. The country it had been ruling was at the verge of collapse when the incumbent government of EPRDF took over in 1991and laid the basis for a new statehood on a new foundation. There has been significant progress in the country economically, socially and politically since then.

The evil spirit takes in the form of various people. These people have been campaigning against their country, Their actions are purely politically(evil) motivated. They do not mind about the welfare and well-being of the society. One of the vocal people who have deployed themselves in harming the national interests of their country goes by the name of Alemayehu G. Mariam(Professor). He has recently announced (through various media outlets) that he has written a letter to Tampere University (Finland) to oppose the offering of honorary Ph.D. degree to Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. I wonder how this person spends so much time in writing so venomous articles that harm his country and his countrymen.

Prior to this, I have come across several articles written by the individual. All are negative and derogatory. Nothing he proposes or predicts got right or accepted.  During the 2016 US presidential election process, he condemned some of the candidates, right and left, top & down. His condemnation is so exhaustive and intense, he seems to urge the readers to attach zero value to the subjects of his attack (and cancel them from the book of life). He had first attacked candidate Hillary Clinton and urged the Democratic constituency not to elect her to represent the Democratic Party. But despite his urge she got elected. On the Republicans side also he wrote intensely against Donald Trump not to be represented by the Republican Party. And yet he got elected. After both candidates got elected in their respective parties and started campaigning for the presidency, he again started campaigning against Donald Trump with his characteristic venomous articles. However, Donald Trump won the final election result for the presidency of the US.

The person easily manipulates the English language and plays with words at will. Hence, he seems to think that this is sufficient to fool everybody around. However the issue is not about manipulating language and words. It is about truth, justice, progress and life. To such people, when you tell them to speak and stand for truth, they will retort “But what is ‘truth’?”[as Pilate did to our Lord Jesus Christ more than 2000 years ago(John 18:37-38)]

One of the significant national projects our country is undertaking is the construction of Africa’s largest hydro-electric dam on the Nile basin which is lovingly called Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). GERD had mobilized the whole population of Ethiopia for development and created unity of purpose in the society. It has relegated other contradictions to secondary level and in some cases in to insignificance enhancing better harmony in the society. Nevertheless, our ‘educated’ diaspora opposition groups such as Alemayehu G. Mariam (Professor) are vehemently and outspokenly opposing the construction of the GERD which is so important to the Ethiopian society. He has even gone as far as begging Egyptian authorities to destroy the GERD by using military force. How can a person become so mean and lowly?

Now his venomous pen seems to be directed against the honoring of Prime Minister Hailemarian Desalegn by the University he has earned his M.Sc. degree from. There is a saying in Amharic which goes like “The hyena went to a place where nobody knows him (he thinks) and demanded to be treated well like other good guests”. Here the hyena is Alemayehu G. Mariam(Professor) who thinks that nobody knows him and is ranting at the top of his voice to be treated like other good gentlemen.

However it may not be visible to our friend Al Mariam, but Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is already honorable to have been elected to lead a country of 100 million people with ancient tradition, history and civilization. He has got every merit to be awarded the honorary Doctoral degree from Tampere University. Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn:

-          Is shouldering effectively the responsibility of harmonizing and leading a multi-ethnic country to progress and stability

-          Has and is implementing grand projects of huge national significance including GERD

-          Is effectively playing the role of Ethiopian leadership in Africa

-          Is a significant player in political process and evolution of the country

-          Before his political career, he has passed through and effectively carried out academic and leadership positions in a University (Arba Minch University)

-          In the ruling party, he represents the new and upcoming(incoming) generation of politicians

-          Has earned his M.Sc. degree from Tampere University

-          Etc.

Personally, I am one of the millions of citizens of Ethiopia who are enthusiastic and happy with the leadership of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

For Tampere University, it is rightful to honor the person who studied in their University and subsequently rose to the highest office of his country, passing wisely and enduringly through the intricacies of the politics of a multi-ethnic country. I think it is also an honor to Tampere University to honor such honorable person in their University.

Therefore, Tampere University should take easy the ranting of Alemayehu G. Mariam(Professor) and his likes and go ahead with its program of conferring honorary Doctoral degree to (their former student) Prime Minister Hailemariam Deasalegn.

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