PM Hailemariam Desalegn’s Finnish alma mater to confer honorary doctorate on its former student

12 Feb

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

The Tampere University of Technology (TUT) in Finland has decided to award an honorary doctorate degree to Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn in May 2017, according to information on TUT webpage.

The university extended its invitation to possible candidates from both Finland and foreign countries, with emphasis on the degree to be conferred in “recognition of excellence in fields represented at the University and other exceptional scientific, artistic or social merits.”

TUT has listed 11 names of the people on whom it plans to confer the doctoral degree upon, most of them famous names from both Finland and other nations. At least ten of the proposed individuals have great national and international accolades to their names.

TUT is Hailemariam Desalegn’s alma mater. He graduated reportedly as an average student in 1988 with an MSc in sanitation engineering.

In 2014, Hailemariam was proposed to receive an honorary doctorate degree from Azusa Pacific University (APU) in the United States. However, Ethiopians in the United States protested APU’s gesture on grounds of human rights violation by the TPLF regime and Hailemariam’s role as an agent thereof.

In July 24, 2014, after reviewing the issues raised by the protesters, APU through its spokesperson announced cancellation of the honorary degree conferment on Hailemariam Desalegn, citing human rights concerns as laid bare by the US State Department report on Human Rights and on learning that Hailemariam has used Ethiopian laws to stifle any criticism of the TPLF ethnic minority regime slapping them with terrorism charges.

The likelihood is that Ethiopians in Finland and around the world could also object to the TUT gesture toward its former student, especially at a time when Ethiopians are languishing under martial law the prime minister has declared four months ago, because of which several tens of thousands have been injured, imprisoned and killed. In recent days, there are hints of the martial law being extended far longer, as The Guardian put it today, “to keep the lid on Ethiopian anger” against the regime indefintely.

The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)-led ruling coalition won 100 percent of the seats in parliament, which Ethiopians accuse of electoral stealing. The only foreign leader who in July 2015 during state visit in Ethiopia was former US president Barack Obama, who at the Ethiopian National Place said the regime has won the election in democratic manner. It was picking that former TPLF foreign minister Tedros Adhanom was confronted by hitting questions from CNN’s Christian Amanpour, referring to the sarcasm of Obama’s Nations Security Adviser Susan Rice about democratic election in Ethiopia!

The British paper The Guardian today has featured an article which wonders How long can Ethiopia’s state of emergency keep the lid on anger?

The expectation of Ethiopians could be that the authorities at the Tampere University of Technology to be part of the search for answer to the tragic problem Ethiopians are suffering from, instead of the conferment of a degree that does not reflect any excellence in this case!

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