The Last Time We Heard It Was TPLF Tea Time At VOA & Now Investigation?

30 Aug

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom and VOA journalist Henok Semaegzer (Credit: ECADF)

Meron Admasu wrote on August 19, 2014 about a VOA journalist Henok Semaegzer’s recent effort to subvert the truth regarding the cancellation of the honor to be bestowed by Azusa Pacific University (APU) on TPLF assigned prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn. She accused the journalist of crafting “outstanding lies to protect of the current TPLF regime in Ethiopia and at the same time show how much he is undermining the intelligence of millions of Ethiopians and put dust on our eyes.”

For a while, the VOA hid itself behind the claim that it is always committed to the truth, without showing any interest in taking action.

Meron had in her article the foreign minister of Ethiopia and the VOA journalist, with his identity card displayed posing for picture to show the world where his heart is. In addition to the falsified story, this infuriated Ethiopians who believe in their country and rose in anger against the journalist and nd spoke in unison and strong voice against the VOA.

The controversy is around the “honor” Azusa Pacific University (APU) was to bestow on Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, which the university upon learning about the human rights violations he has presided on, and withdrew.

The charge against VOA now is that its employee had falsified the record of events, i.e. the APU had officially withdrawn the honor. Instead VOA journalist Henok Semaegzer reported that the prime minister had communicated to the university he would not be available for the event.

Investigation at the VOA of distortion allegations

By Dawit Ashenafi

(Addis Voice) The Voice of America says it has begun a thorough investigation into allegations of deliberate distortions at VOA Amharic Service. Kevin Lynch, acting director of public relations at VOA, confirmed that the allegations are being probed in earnest.

The director of VOA, David Esor, also noted in a statement he gave to VOA Horn of Africa that he would do everything in his power to address the complaints.

The director was quoted by VOA Tigrigna as saying: “When complaints are made that VOA has made errors, we investigate the report, and if an error has been made, we correct the error, and apologize for it.”

Scores of Ethiopian-Americans staged a protest rally on Monday in Washington D.C. at the State Department. The protesters demanded, among other things, that VOA should stop the deliberate distortions at VOA by the sympathizers of the tyrannical regime in Ethiopia. The protest followed a recent VOA Amharic report by Henok Semaegzer Fente that allegedly misrepresented and deliberately distorted facts related to the revocation of an honor bestowed on Hailemariam Desalegn by Azusa Pacific University.

David Ensor, who worked for NPR, ABC News and CNN in his long spanning journalism career, sworn in as the 28th Director of the Voice of America on June 16, 2011, it was learned.
The following was originally reported by VOA Tigrigna on August 25th, as summarized and translated Ethiomedia.

VOA Director David Ensor has responded to the protest held at the State Department. He said there were resentments being heard from every direction, and he would work to his full capacity to address the issues.
The director said VOA should feel whether it is content with the coverage of the Ethiopian Diaspora protest rally in front of the State Department.

We respect the complaints one of which is how VOA Horn of Africa section covers events with fairness. All VOA Language Services work hard to make their reports as fair as possible. VOA occasionally sees the fairness of its reports and services vis-a-vis its reputation.

On some occasions, VOA has drawn critical complaints from several sources who complain that the VOA reporting lacks honesty and balance.

While the [Ethiopian] government accuses us of “broadcasting extremely harsh news reports,” the Ethiopian Diaspora on their part accuse us of broadcasting reports not critical enough on the government [in Ethiopia].
No matter from where the complaint comes, the director said, VOA should work diligently and attentively. When complaints are made that we have made errors, we investigate the report, and if an error has been made, we correct the error, and apologize for it.

We thank all those who stand by our side during our broadcasting services of news and information, David Ensor said.

The protesting members of the [Ethiopian] Diaspora at State Department complained VOA, instead of serving the people, broadcasts reports that kill the hopes of the people, and this has been felt since some individuals joined VOA.

Governance by lies and liars

Minister of State Ambassador Berhane Gebre Christos (Photo courtesy Ethiopian Foreign Ministry)

Minister of State Ambassador Berhane Gebre Christos ( Photo courtesy Ethiopian Foreign Ministry)

How could the Ethiopian people managed this far, with their foreign ministry as a hideout for intriguers and liars. Recall what Ato Berhane Gebre Christos told the Ethiopian News Agency after returning from Geneva, leading Ethiopian delegation to the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) that the United Nations acknowledged Ethiopia’s human rights records!

This blog reacted to it in July a two piece article entitled: Are official lies becoming TPLF ‘s preferred ways of running Ethiopia? Part I and TPLF claims ‘UN accords its human rights accomplishments highest regard & acknowledgement’, Part II. A third and concluding part would follow shortly.

As far as Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom is concerned, I was inclined into believing him when he said the TPLF would not create ethnic conflict, especially the deportation of Amharas from Benishangul. The reality was different.

During his presence in the US in August, the foreign minister spoke to an Amharic radio station linking Ethiopian Muslims in prison to Guantanamo Islamic extremists under US custody. Days later he tried to deny it, although he has found it impossible. He only lowered himself in the eyes of Ethiopians from the pedestal people had put him!

2 Responses to “The Last Time We Heard It Was TPLF Tea Time At VOA & Now Investigation?”

  1. Abe September 5, 2014 at 21:52 #

    Where can I find the Amharic interview Adhanom gave in August? Please provide links whenever such critical info is mentioned. Thanks


    • THE ETHIOPIA OBSERVATORY September 5, 2014 at 21:59 #

      I do not have the link readily. However, I know for a fact that it was transmitted on the TPLF-financed ሃገር ፍቅር ራዲዮ in the United States.

      BR, The Editor: The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)


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