June 16, 2014 – The Sidama Liberation Movement (SLM) and Mederk (Coalition of Opposition Parties in which SLM is a part of) have successfully conducted their anti-TPLF’s government demonstration in Sidama capital Hawassa amid tremendous fear of civilians resulted from a systematic over weeks’ intimidations and terror deliberately created by the regime’s army, Security forces and police personnel of federal and regional as well as Sidama Zone’s TPLF’s messengers, all of whom remained patrolling the entire Hawassa and its outskirt for the past five days leading to the June 14, 2014 demonstration. The ultimate aim of the regime’s agents who were busying themselves with missions of intimidation, harassment, repression and suppression- literally terrorising peoples individually and at family levels going from house by house- was hindering the participants from taking part in the said demonstration although they have only partially succeeded in doing so as the expected number of over 100,000 was cut by over 80%.
From another angle however, symbolically the numbers of participants who have taken part in today’s Hawassa demonstration exceeded the expectations of the organisers as it has happened against odds despite the fact that TPLF’s authoritarian regime has left no stone unturned to obstruct the participants from taking part deploying various means including sending the entire Sidama civil servants (majority of whom could have added several thousand if not tens of 1000s) out of Hawassa city under the pretexts of trainings to various southern regional towns for 3-4 days since June 12, 2014.
Besides, the leadership of both SLM/Medrek have expressed their fair satisfaction with the numbers of participants, which has been estimated to be between 11, 000 and 12,500. Given regime’s heinously planned hard work put into this involving deploying its army to harass and terrorise the civilians for the last few days, the numbers were significant victory to both SLM and Medrek. Additionally, since the 13thof June 2014, the regime has also paid the owners of public transportation vehicles in the entire Sidama districts further ordering them to remain out of work until the demonstration is over to hinder the Sidama civilians from taking part. Regardless these all hurdles, the people of Sidama nation have defiantly travelled hundreds of miles on foot to take part on today’s demonstration. The leadership of SLM and Mederk have expressed their gratitude to the people of gallant Sidama and Oromo nation and others who have taken part in today’s demonstration, inviting all to do similar in the future.
ETV (the only and State owned Ethiopian television) has fully satisfied the expectations of genuine minded peoples of SLM/Medrek supporters by putting the numbers of today’s Hawassa demonstrators at about 200!! No wonder if TPLF’s Media (ETV) has significantly cut the number to under 2% as it always does when it comes to success of the opposition parties such as SLM and Medrek. Thus, expecting the regime that deliberately undermines its constitution to speak the truth will by itself be utter naivety.
The slogans of the demonstrators involved:-
Unconditionally Respect the Rights of Nations and Nationalities!!
Unconditionally Release all political prisoners!!
The rights of peoples individually and collectively must respected as they are constitutionally guaranteed!!
Unconditionally Stop the uprooting of the Oromo peasants from the outskirts of Finfinnee and bring those who have massacred Oromo civilians to an independent justice!
Stop Finfinneee Master Plan! Stop uprooting Sidama from the outskirt of Hawassa!
Bring those security forces and authorities who’ve massacred Sidama civilians on May 24, 2002 in Looqqe village to justice and unconditionally respond to the Sidama national quest to regional self-administration for which the Sidama civilians have sacrificed their lives!
Stop harassing, intimidating and terrorising civilians of the country who have demanded their constitutional rights to be respected!!
Stop displacing peasants under false promises of fake Development!!
Stop selling the lands of nations and nationalities to transnational companies!!
We need Freedom!! We need justice not bullet!! Any numerous others.
The demonstration was peacefully concluded despite the fact that the regime planned to slaughters Sidama civilians soon after the 12th Anniversary of Looqqe massacre.