Mimi’s ‘lies & damned lies’ on EBC about Feyisa Lelisa’s crossed hands

29 Aug


By Keffyalew Gebremedhin, The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

This past Sunday, I was hit with painful disgust watching a video of the Mimi Sebhatu interview, above, from the supposedly Ethiopian Television – for the Ethiopian mind – albeit a monstrous TPLF lies manufacturer.

That is why I chose to entitle this article Mimi’s ‘lies & damned lies’ on EBC.

Sadly for her, and luckily for the rest of humanity, her words have been badly smudged with monstrous untruthfulness and distortions for the world to fail to sift the grains from her chaff.

I recall that since the 19th century the famous phrase ‘lies and damned lies, and statistics’ had tasked a number of renowned scientists and experts with energetic competition to find its true origin, meaning and applications thereon.

The case may not have been closed however. Recently, I learned from an expert in the mathematics department of the University of York that its meaning is not necessarily restricted to statistics, a parvenu which came into mentioning in a book, I gather, for the first time only in 1787.

The consolation I got from the article hints that the phrase is not necessarily restricted to things statistical. In fact, quoting from St. Swithin’s query, the York University article underlines,

“There are three degrees of falsehood: the first is a fib (a form of lying that is usually forgiven because it is not intended to deceive), the second is a lie, and then come statistics.”?

I looked into the different arguments each of the experts had put forth to defend respective views on ‘Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics”. While I am not happy with those that restrict it to statistics and lies in data, I am heartened that there are also those that think of it in terms of its wider application.

Thinking of Mimi’s Sebhatu’s lies, whether they had their origin in political monstrosity or vanity imbued in pecuniary interests or statistics for ego massage, I took comfort from the wisdom of Baron Courtney of Penwith (1832-1918). The baron says:

“…After all, facts are facts, and although we may quote one to another with a chuckle the words of the Wise Statesman, ‘Lies — damned lies — and statistics,’ still there are some easy figures the simplest must understand, and the astutest cannot wriggle out of.”

Mimi & I know each other very well. I had mentioned this once before in April 2016. The pain she causes me is grave, because of her impudence, becoming a spin doctor specializing in disfiguring the truth and her arrogance-sustained opportunism, at the background of which is the dabbler politics she has been dribbling thus long.

Let me finally state on this, to my personal regret, she has become a person I could never find anything in her that makes her the Tigrean and Amhara (Shoa) extraction by ancestry and a daughter of her great Ethiopian parents she was privileged to have. After all these years, my words would not change; she knows I had always appreciated and respected them, bless their soul.

Broadly speaking, I have known for sometime that her day profession has been a hatchet man’s job in the service of the TPLF. In taking it up, it must have been clear to her, she has made a conscious choice to please the TPLF at the expense of the Ethiopian people… the lies, rumors, spying and all the cheap staff, becoming the propaganda horse to disinform and help the suppression and killings of Ethiopians.

Therefore, she must have extremely pleased the TPLF with this interview in the video. Mimi! Mimi! repeats the voice. “I don’t know Mimi! What Mimi who?” I wish them well, if the TPLF and her words could find an Ethiopian who could believe a word they utter.

Or could this be her payback for the Rio ticket and the entertainment expenses paid in her name from Ethiopian taxpayers for the weeks she had spent in Rio – for reasons Ethiopians don’t know – possibly to spy on everyone, if one of her sins also associates her with the national security system?

Whatever her role at Rio, I recall distinctly, she was never interested in football, as long as I remember. While outgoing and playful and fun-loving, she had never come with us – four or five of her brother’s friends and her suitor(s) when we used to hit the alcohol rounds by night – or in those days when we once were young and used to frequent the Addis Abeba Stadium to watch football games. How could I miss that?

Separating the lies and the real issues

In this interview, she daringly mixes lies, in which she unthinkingly implicates the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in the crime of deterring the effort of an olympian asylum seeker, if one cares to check out the international refugee conventions and their protocols, or the latest generation of human rights laws. She claims Lelisa was stopped from showing his crossed-arms from the podium. Read this carefully: The internationally-respected and bemedalled athlete was threatened by IOC, with warnings of no country giving him asylum, as can be gathered from the video.

I do not believe Rule 50 of the Olympic Charter makes any accommodation to dictators and killers of citizens in such a manner, because of which the IOC should collaborate with murderers. If that is the case, Pierre de Coubertin, founder of the Olympic Movement must curse that evening in 1892, when he announced in Paris the establishment of the Olympic Games.

True the IOC would have legitimate concerns, if at every olympiad athletes are to flee their countries because of human rights problems.

Nonetheless, this is no ground or reason for the IOC to throw the world into the pre-Universal Declaration of Human Rights darker days. Nor should it throw itself into the camp of executioners that violate the true spirit of the Olympics Movement. It is more so, especially if it had entertained any support for the TPLF in Ethiopia, which has already has executed several scores of Ethiopians in one weekend alone, on the 6th and 7th of August 2016!

Moreover, Principle 4 of the Olympic Charter stands on Lelisa’s side. That principle reads: “The practice of sport is a human right.” Of course, in stating this I am not being oblivious to the outstanding charges against the current IOC leadership and how it has scuttled the reforms the world has hoped for last year.

Unlike the plaudits Mimi has proffered on IOC experts, I recall from September 2015, the IOC was subjected to the most severe criticisms for their “shocking omission” of human rights issues in the IOC reform, otherwise known as Olympic Agenda 2020. Please refer to The Guardian‘s IOC attacked by human rights groups over Olympics host city contract.

If it matters to the present IOC leadership, which has been bolstered by huge cash flows from the olympics Movement, it seems it needs to be reminded that the United Nations, including the Office of the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights – in keeping with international law – have stood on the side of the victims of mass massacres in Ethiopia.

As skeptical as I am, however, I would be hard put to believe the IOC is in particular irked, as Mimi alleges, by the crossed-arms Lelisa has displayed at the Marathon Race course to bring to the attention of the international community the plight of those being massacred in Ethiopia on a daily basis.

If what this TPLF agent is saying is true, what is the IOC truth? Tell it, the world needs to hear about it! What role does it have on the granting of asylum, when in reality it is the prerogative of states?

Where does the IOC stand on the credibility of this serious charge? Has the IOC threatened the heroic athlete, telling him that it would induce member states to shun him away and consequently deny him asylum? On the basis of what authority and legal basis can the IOC traverse such a frightening and illegal distance?

I come back again on this, because I have my doubts the committee would do this for three reasons.

Firstly, the IOC people have stack of experiences and make adequate preparations on the basis of envisioned and possible scenarios and in keeping with its charter, national and international laws. They are not like the TPLF thugs moving like a horny bull with their aroused feelings and eventually act with their weapons, as a matter of innate and habitual proclivity, of course, to murder all those that register their complaints about the need for respect of their human rights.

Secondly, there is no doubt that the IOC would not like any fresh precedents that challenge Rule 50 (2) of the charter, which states: “No kind of demonstration or political, religious or racial propaganda is permitted in any Olympic sites, venues or other areas.”

But I do not believe the IOC has anything authorizing it in its regulations to go to the extent of using threats and having the liberty that are beyond their jurisdictions, meaning state competence, especially using them as bullets against a desperate young man who has so much on his head and in his life. Where would that put the IOC humanity?

Thirdly, Mimi says the TPLF did not want the athlete to be stripped off his title. This discussion gets broken, because her interviewer with his slow mind was litigating the propaganda aspect of the issue, bent on leveraging some political mileage; the two must know each other so well, he was ecstatically happy with what his Mimi has brought him home.

Of course she said that was because the title and the medal belongs to Ethiopia, the man with the slow mind both interrupting and concurring with what she said. The slow-minded interviewer, with hardly at ease with language, chose to elaborate his point of view – I should say, using the wrong example. He talked about the flag, to relate to his listeners, what his TPLF had done in 1991 in showing the national color the honors until it was changed.

It seems some facts have escaped his mind. Was it not the TPLF through the agency of the dictator Meles Zenawi, which dismissed the Ethiopian flag just as a piece of cloth? Did I hear after that in Tigray the TPLF again dressed donkey with it – whatever its message. It is not surprising that their favorite insult to other Ethiopians is ‘hadgi’, I think for donkey.

Ethiopians do not need to lower themselves to the gutter such individuals are. After all, we are the same people and we have to live together as equals, if the TPLF people would find comfort with and in the notion of Ethiopia becoming a nation of equal and free citizens!

I would also remind both Mimi and her interviewer friend that the decision by the TPLF to swallow its Rio shame is simply because its action would anger the Ethiopian people, in a country where popular power is deepening by the day from north to south, the hinterland to the eastern region and in the west in unison in self-defense acting to see the regime’s back. In Amhara, the matured and innovative popular resistance now has reached the phase of selecting in some districts the Gobez Aleqa (protectors and administrators) as the transitional leaders to replace those they fired because of anti-ordinary-people acts on in place of those that have already ran away.

Let no one be lulled into thinking that today Ethiopia is a stable country. That heavily exploited TPLF line, merely a fable was not, is not and no longer is the reality. While the wisdom, patience and sense of camaraderie of our people is admirable, let it be known that, with the TPLF around, it is no indication there would be no bloodshed.

I hate to be negative, but after yesterday’s statement by the ruling party, the world must open its eyes and see what these crooked mafia disciples would do to turn Ethiopia into a bloodbath that may dwarf the Rwanda genocide of 1994.

Sunday evening, Ethiopians were told the outcome of the four-day ruling party’s deliberations by its general assembly. The clear indication of the future conflict is the TPLF’s declaration of war on the Ethiopian people, about which I twitted in English my understanding of it, as follows:


Hereunder is the Amharic summation of my understanding of the decision, I twitted as follows:




Lastly, note that after the decision was released on the national media Sunday evening, the TPLF has summoned Tigreans in Addis Abeba to a meeting. I have twitted the message, using the example of the one sent to Lafto, district 9 resident Tigreans only meeting.


Rio Olympic closing moments

Mimi is heard in this interview nonsensically claiming that Lelisa had not raised his arms at the podium. She could have seen that first hand live from Rio, if she were not either drunk, or on a trip to Proxima b, the newly-discovered possibly habitable planet.

Her argument, as explained above, is that the IOC had stopped him from doing so. The IOC was terrified because the world over, according to Mimi, the arm-crossing has been known as ‘the symbol of terrorists and is in use by extremists.” I never thought she too would have an anti-terrorism law that labels anyone that is not in agreement with the TPLF.

She continued ginning her thread of lies stating that for the IOC it was sufficient reason to warn Lelisa not to show it again at the closing ceremony from the podium!

If the IOC leadership and experts are as nincompoop as she portrays them to be, I would join any national and international movement, whatever his or her rationale, to have them booted out.

I was watching the final hours of the 31st Olympiad at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At the same time, I was tweeting from bed. Here is what I wrote at 3:30 A.M. my time Monday morning:

It is possible that I had a momentary shuteye. I thought I had seen him lifting his hands from the podium. Apparently, I went into self-doubt; I thought I had missed him raising his defiant arm-crossing to reject the TPLF administration of Ethiopia. But I had an image of it from half asleep brain.

Now I am certain that things are not as what Mimi is saying. Let me direct her attention to The Syndey Morning Herald. It uses an AP photo of Lelisa, wherein the caption reads: “Silver medallist Feyisa Lilesa repeated his protest on the podium. Photo: AP”

There is also The Guardian. Under the picture the caption reads: “Lilesa crossed his arms as he finished the marathon and on the podium in a symbolic protest against the repressive Ethiopian regime. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters”

 Lilesa crossed his arms as he finished the marathon and on the podium in a symbolic protest against the repressive Ethiopian regime. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters via The Guardian

Lilesa crossed his arms as he finished the marathon and on the podium in a symbolic protest against the repressive Ethiopian regime. Photograph: Lucy Nicholson/Reuters via The Guardian

Ethiopians use this symbol in their struggle against the TPLF regime’s tyranny. In Oromia it is everyone’s symbol for freedom and democracy. In Amhara region, it has become a poplar symbol for their united struggle with the Oromos against the regime. The population of the two regions comprise over 60 percent of the nation’s total strength, according to the Ethiopian Central Statistical Agency (CSA).

Is Mimi, the TPLF spin doctor suggesting that in a country of hundred million people, the combined Amhara and Oromo people – lands of the current open rebellion against the TPLF regime that want to kick it out of power – have all become terrorists?

Where in the hell did this spin doctor get that information and heartlessness from?

The South Carolina paper, The Herald reported Lelisa’s story in words as well as pictures. There again the caption read:

    “Silver medal Ethiopia’s Feyisa Lilesa, crosses his arms as he celebrates on the podium after the men’s marathon at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016. Luca Bruno AP Photo”

Are these papers all conspiring against Mimi and her killer regime she has been supporting? I am not yet persuaded by the masses of such references I visited. Therefore, I would give her some more.

For instance, in a 27 August 2016 article the Truth Digger reported the following:

“A member of the Oromo tribe of Ethiopia, Lilesa made headlines on the final day of the Rio Olympics when he raised his crossed arms in a gesture of solidarity with the Oromo people as he reached the finish line of the men’s marathon. He repeated the pose later during an Olympic ceremony. According to Human Rights Watch, more than 400 people have been killed and tens of thousands arrested since Nov. 2015, when the Ethiopian government began to forcibly displace Oromo and other people during an effort to develop land around the capital, Addis Ababa.”


I know that by now it is a little on the overdose side to her. And since she asked for it, I would still give her the last one: Sports Illustrated‘s last paragraph to expose her cockeyed lies:

    “Outside of the stadium, a few spectators (some with media credentials around their neck) snapped photos with Lilesa as he crossed his arms. They imitated the pose possibly not knowing of the significance. One even asked about it. When Lilesa steps on the podium at the closing ceremony at the Maracana on Sunday night, he will cross his arms in the “X” again and the meaning will again be questioned.

    “Have you always been this brave?” one reporter asked Lilesa.

    His English is fairly good, yet he could not comprehend the word “brave.” For now, he embodies it.”


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