Editor’s Note: After three days of interruption due to undetermined electronic interference, ESAT has resumed its regular broadcasts as of Tuesday. The service providers are continuing their investigations on the sources of interference to take legal measures.
We, the SMNE, would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the visionary leaders who conceived the idea of the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) and implemented this vision through ESAT’s Board of Advisors, producers, editors and the entire team at ESAT, who have been working day and night over the last weeks and months to bring this vision to life; even successfully launching it prior to the recent Ethiopian National Election.
Your accomplishment is a gift to the Ethiopian people who are starving for the kind of information now made available through the development of ESAT. In this struggle for our freedom, many are needed to carry out various critical roles that will contribute to the whole. What ESAT is now tackling, is of great strategic importance and should be supported.
The whole of Ethiopia has been in the dark for many years, but during the last twenty years, as the rest of the world became increasingly inter-connected, the darkness over Ethiopia has only deepened. ESAT can now provide a means to open up the country and its people to the greater world of information; not only outside of Ethiopia, but also within its borders where it is sometimes as difficult to know what is going on in another part of one’s own region as it is to know what is going on across the globe!
Even as ESAT stands for Ethiopian Satellite Television, its name, esat, which means fire in English, ironically is filled with significant symbolic meaning to Ethiopians. In Ethiopia or Africa, it is fire that brings light to areas where no electricity yet exists; illuminating your surroundings so you can see where you are going or what you are doing.
When in the bush or jungle, a fire scares away the predators that might otherwise harm you. A good fire can cook your food or warm you in the cold. It can help clean up garbage and refuse by burning it into ashes. Since ancient times, fire has helped sustain human lives.
Look at the Ethiopia of today where the harsh repression of journalists, reporters, newscasters and their TV, radio, print and Internet media outlets have isolated the entire country from the world. What news Ethiopians receive is not only heavily censored; but is replaced with lies, deception and propaganda. Now, thanks to these visionaries from ESAT who have found a way to set a fire that is already bringing new light to people living in darkness, there are not enough words to thank you.
This fire is not to only warm a few, but is to be shared with the entire family of Ethiopians who have been sitting in the cold for many years or who have been stumbling over each other in the darkness because they could not see where they were going. This fire is a fire for all of us; meant to help Ethiopians catch up with the rest of the world. It can show us the way out of our crisis and where and how to take action. Light will reveal the truth and when you know the truth, it can set you free.
The fire has been ignited by these Ethiopians, which will expose the damage done by dictatorship, violence and ethnic hatred, but it becomes the responsibility of the greater Ethiopian family to keep the fire going until the natural light of dawn cracks over this beautiful land of ours. Until that day, we need to feed the fire with more logs to keep it burning.
The wood needed now is money. This fire is for us so we must help contribute—even on a monthly basis—to support this new and critical coverage that is going into the country via satellite television. It began only 3 weeks ago, but it is already scaring the “predators” to death—those predators of the Ethiopian people who want to keep us in darkness so it is easier to divide, control and rob the people. They are frightened at the thought that people will see the truth, believe it and then join together in rejecting the evil force that has kept Ethiopians in the cold.
As we all know, the election was not really an election, but a selection by Meles. Had the people been able to see what was going on in the country, this election would have had a different outcome. In 2005, they had only a slightly larger window to see from, but the light helped bring nearly two million people out in Addis to show their rejection of this regime. During the election, 26 million people voted, causing Meles to lose nearly all the ministerial posts and all 23 seats in Addis Ababa, but this year, all those same seats and posts went to the EPRDF.
Everyone knows that the only reason Meles and his TPLF achieved this was through forcing the people into greater darkness. So now, let us support the spreading of light, truth, love, faith and wisdom until the rays of light break through the hanging darkness; combining with the gentle showers of freedom, justice, democracy, equality, opportunity and peace and together, they bring forth the diverse flowers(Ethiopian people) in the beautiful garden of Ethiopia.
We and the team of the SMNE encourage our members, friends and other like-minded Ethiopians to contribute to keeping this flame alive.
Once again, kudos to ESAT on this great accomplishment! May God bless your efforts and bring about more than you could ever have imagined. May God bless Ethiopia! He is our true light!
The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia
For more information, please contact
Mr. Obang Metho,
Executive Director of SMNE
At this age of communication, information is powerful if we want to empower our people. That is why I backed the Ethiopian Satellite, ESAT which is known also by its Ethiopian “equivalent” “Fire” meaning “Esat” which launched its program on May 23 this year financed by Ethiopians in the diaspora. However, ESAT has been knocked off air since last week as I have been hearing calls from viewers in the region by their disappointment of the only alternative TV to be knocked off air.
By now Arabsat knows the technical problem that crippled ESAT and should inform the public on its findings. I am pretty sure that this is a rare situation and Arabsat must have a solution for such technical “glitch”. However, if this is an information terror by the Ethiopian regime using the service of China to knock the TV off air they have to come out and tell us their findings without any delay. This should not be a BP oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico which has to continue for months for lacking of an engineering solution.
This is a war on information by Meles Zenawi’s brutal regime which is busy sending its propaganda to Ethiopian diaspora in Washington D.C. at the expense of poor Ethiopians. The Obama Administration knows very well that VOA Amharic service has been jammed for sometimes and are using Arabsat to inform Ethiopians. It is appropriate for Obama to speak out against information terror and take a stand. A regime that is subsidized annually by more than 2 billion foreign aid should not allow to use this same money to deny Ethiopians free flow of information.
Meles Zenawi is now declaring war on information with the help of its foreign master possibly China. The similarity between the two regimes is now clear after the rigged election of May 23 which ashamed the Western backers of the regime that Ethiopia is indeed the China of Horn of Africa and to forget about pluralism . If we find that China is behind this jamming we will take it as declaring war on our people and we will respond in kind. We also ask Obama to come out and condemn the Meles regime who has been escorted as an ally on war on terror since 9/11 to stop jamming of airwaves or face the consequence.