Campus

Live from the Zenawi speech

We're coming at you live from the highly-contested, protested, and counter-protested Zenawi speech in Roone Arledge. Keep checking back for updates.

5:06: Zenawi says he welcomes engagement, and he's glad to see students caring enough to learn about Ethiopia. He says that Ethiopia is making progress, which everyone is invited to come see for themselves. And that's a wrap!

5:03: No more questions. Zenawi will offer some closing remarks.

4:58: Q: What are your thoughts on term limits? A: Ethiopia has a parliamentary system, Zenawi's saying. A parliamentary system is just as democratic as a presidential system. "In case you are wondering whether I will remain in power until kingdom come, i can assure you that this will be my last term in power."

4:55: A questioner is railing against Zenawi, listing alleged crimes against humanity committed by Zenawi's government. The questioner is asking how such crimes could have been committed within a democracy. Zenawi's response: "I can understand how people have had an inadequate chance to consider the facts."

4:53: Q: People call you a dictator. Do you have regrets about your tenure? A: No, he says. He believes he removed a brutal dictatorship and rebuilt Ethiopia. He's very proud.

4:51: Q: What are you doing to improve relations with neighboring countries? A: He says Ethiopia has excellent relations with Sudan, Kenya, and the Somalian government. Just not with Al-Shabaab, an Islamist insurgency group.

4:45: Diouf just told two women in line to ask questions to go to the front of the line. All the people at the front of the line had been men. Explained Diouf: "Privilege of the moderator."

4:39: Q: How is his regime different from the previous one? A: Under the last regime, people were killed without having access to courts. "That type of oppression is dead. Its finished. Its not coming back."

4:37:: Question: Should we take you at your word when free press is restricted? (Applause.) Answer: He believes he's done his fair share to fight oppressive systems.

4:36: Question: What do you think of the "gross national happiness" concept? Answer: Sounds interesting. He hasn't really studied it.

4:34: Next question to Zenawi: What are your views on Iran? Answer: An arms race in the Middle East would be catastrophic. He'd support a dialogue to resolve the problem.

4:33: His answer: It's 99.6% of all seats, not 99.6% of all votes. Ethiopia has a first-past-the-post system, which means you need just a little over 50% of the vote for each seat. His party is popular because he's presided over seven years of growth, he says.

4:31: Mamadou Diouf, the head of Columbia's Institute of African Affairs, is now coming on to conduct a Q&A session. First question: How is his party able to get 99.6% of vote in an election?

4:30: And...he's done! He spoke for less than 20 minutes.

4:27:Africans have the choice now to generate growth themselves, Zenawi says. Africa is an "essential piece of the response" to the global economic crisis—the continent must keep producing and consuming goods to keep the engines of globalization running.

4:24: The room isn't full. Maybe 20 open seats in the back.

4:22: People seem to have given up on Africa's contribution to the global economy, he's saying.

4:21: Here's Zenawi speaking. Apologies for the mediocre quality.

4:16: Zenawi has begun speaking. The past several decades, he's saying, have been bad ones for Africa.

4:11: Steele is now introducing professor Joseph Stiglitz, who will then introduce Zenawi.

4:09: Zenawi's onstage. Provost Claude Steele is introducing him, describing the purpose of universities and the role of uninhibited dialogue. He's emphasizing that Columbia doesn't endorse the leaders it invites to the World Leaders Forum.

Comments

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Kassu Illala posted on

It is sad to read comment like ZekreYesus's. I don't think any person like Zekre has any sense of sane whatsoever. They echo just what they are told. they are adult with seven years old mind set up.

No question about burtality and undemocatic nature of Melese. If there is a democracy (not revolutionary democracy of Woyanne) how on eather Ethiopian people let a narrow minded minority ethnic group that favor only (99%) its ethnic dictoror, give the second, third and four chance to oppers them? Melse is a bucher and murder a wanted criminal at the Huage. the abc of democracy teach that people must elect their own leaders not through intimedation, gun and vote riging.

When Melese and his Tigre ethnic groups murder Oromos and Oganden because they defineded their God given rights to live in their own father land Melse killed them and labled them OLF or ONLF. they didn't go to the dry, rocky and famine face of Tigray and steal their rock but they say Ethiopia particularly Oromia and Ogaden should be for democratically elected Ethiopian or Oromos that represent the majority.

After 2o years in power and countless unfulfilled promise he still keep his supporter as this is a democracy and his ignorat support echo that.
Down Melse and his narrow minded ethnic politics supports.

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justin posted on

No amount of shreiks and LIES from the extremists can stop the truth from emerging. With the great leadeship of PM Meles, Ethiopia is marching forward to her bright destiiny with justice and eaquality for all.

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Kebede posted on

Stiglitz must be removed from Columbia because he is a collaborator of Killers in Ethiopia.

His nobel prize should be thrown in the trashcan.

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Tazabi Ethio Lover posted on

It is so amazing. this is pure double standard at full force! you protest to gain free speech but you are screaming to shut down others( including Meles's) right to freely speak ???

what is with insulting some one for voicing up his/her support - I'm disgusted with some of the comments, how do you call someone "shermuta, hodam etc" and expect to show us you have a sound mind? this is NOT a sign of "sophistication". Displaying intolerance, as a matter of fact,is pure ignorance. This was the exact same problem Ethiopian opposition parties displayed. please, let's be respectful to each other.

If you can't handle a different view of the world, a different opinion, how can I entrust you over my country, my people?

It is about time for Ethiopians to wake up and take responsibility about our own nation, our own problems, our own local disputes. if you feel like SCREAMING AROUND THE STREETS OF THE WEST to bring about solution to the land - you are a fool. but rather, organize with good will, identify what worked in the current government, what didn't work in the government, how can we better the areas that need improvement, what type of policies should the people adapt and influence the government to implement them?

the old my way or the highway approach will never work - not anymore. living in the comfort of the western hemisphere, but screaming arms struggle in Ethiopia is pure hypocrisy and so 19th century.

we/Ethiopia needs a visionary leader that will create a road-map to our nation's departure from an adverse poverty to self-sustaining. yes, it might not happen overnight, remember Rome was not built over night!

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Wolde posted on

Shame on Columbia University Professors ,who fill your pocket by the cost of the poorest people of the world,Ethiopians

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Aster posted on

Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs, these two acadamician are doing bussiness for long time with Meles. Today miss use also this forum. they earn the Money of this poor country. if i have a chance and have three Bullet kill first the two lobbyis for blood sucker.

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Abebe posted on

Abebe, he said he will assure us this will be his last term, I do not belive it at all.
He has said previously that he will hand power after this term, to me this is just a method that makes people less worried about his dictatorial ship, so he can do more damage in addation to what is doing.

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Abebe posted on

Ethiopan`a please let us not be fulish any longer, before this dictator dismantel ethiopia, let us get togather,organise,avoid ethinic division and fight back Meles rigime by any means to overthrough Meles regime.
Thank
you

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Bisrat posted on

I don't live in America or Europe, but everytime I see those people who don't live in Ethiopia who have sold out their identity, changed their citizenship, abundened the country carry the Ethiopian flag and shout nonsense, I FEEL ASHMED OF BEING AN ETHIOPIAN. I AM ASHAMED OF THE ETHIOPIAN DIASPORAS, PLEASE LEAVE US ALONE.

MAFERYE DIASPORA.

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Anonymous posted on

Why do you think Ethiopians are like to change their citizens? Recent world wide survey also indicated Ethiopian living in their country (if they got the chance) wants to immigrate. You shouldn't need to go college for answering this. This is because under Melese and Mengistu administration, Ethiopia become a worst country to live.

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Bisrat posted on

Ethiopian migration have very little to do with politics, I know most are just asylum shoppers abusing the Refugee Convention and the Good will of those countries who provide resettlement. Most Ethiopians are just fabricating a tea cup storm story to get to the west. As far as politics is concerned Diasporas have insatiable political appetite and even if Christ comes down to rule Ethiopia their anarchic and rebellious mentality will not be satisfied, their problem is not political but XENOCENTRISM, but that was not my point, my point is: I FEEL ASHIMED WHEN I SEE THEM USING MY COUNTRY FLAG IN EVERY BIG CITY OF THE WORLD WITH THEIR MAMBO JAMBO SLOGAN. THEY ARE VERY EMBARRASSING AND IRRITATING HOOLIGANS.

By the way there is no big deal in being an escapist and run away to another country to avoid problems, a real victory is penetrating and passing through the problem.

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Abe posted on

Would you like to develop Ethiopia economy like chaina with limited individual freedom or hepocracy like Pakistan?

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Faris posted on

Well done the Columbians. You have given us enough information which we would not have accessed had we been in Ethiopia. That monster should be exposed where ever he goes till he rests in the Hague.

Thank you Columbia Spectators again.

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Tefera posted on

The reporter should update the report now. The number comparing the two crowds will misinform readers. I have heard from friends at the spot that Ethiopians protesting the butcher Meles Zenawi have now flooded the street.

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ZekreYesus posted on

Who are Zenawi protestors? Are they all in search of DEMOCRACY? 3/4 of them are supporters of SHABIA (who declared Isayas Afeworki is "man of the year" of PLANET EARTH (Elias and Almariam), ONLF, OLF and ALSHABAB and and former Derg people. 1/4 of them have some issues ofcourse but with dangerous crowd.

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Tefera posted on

Ye Meles Shermuta!!! afihin l-----

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The Truth posted on

I could say 99.99% of Melse supporter are supporting this killer because they are narrow. Because he is from their ethnic origin.

We luv u! we luv u! gud job! gud job! For what? For abusing, robbing and killing Ethiopians! Simply nauseating! Disgusting! Totally Moronic!

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ZekreYesus posted on

I would say 3/4th of the protestors are protesting under the cover of democracy. These are editors of Eth.Review who declared Isayas Afeworki is man of the year of PLANET EARTH, ONLF, OLF, ALSHABAB and Derg Junta supporters. 1/4th of them will definitely have some issues ofcourse but with a very dangerous crowd.

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Anonymous posted on

I could say 99.99% of Melse supporter are supporting this killer because they are narrow. Because he is from their ethnic origin.

We luv u! we luv u! gud job! gud job! For what? For abusing, robbing and killing Ethiopians! Simply nauseating! Disgusting! Totally Moronic!

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Foolish West posted on

A university glorifying a man who drinks the blood of university students every year is utterly disturbing. Columbia should have done a little research on this brutal killer to find out how many university students he has killed before promoting him and giving him a stage for propaganda. I almost threw up when I heard Columbia was promoting this killer.

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Baheilu posted on

Shame on Columbia !!
zenawi is one of the world corrupts dictator .

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Azeb Mesfin posted on

The Massive Arrests of October/November 2008
The massive arrests of Oromos, which the EPRDF called ‘the crackdown’, was conducted from early in the morning to the evening of October 30, 2008. The arrests were without court warrants. Hundreds of heavily-armed federal police and anti-terrorist task force personnel were deployed for the mission in every corner of Addis Ababa city. It was a terror day for Addis Ababa city dwellers – a terror carried out by the government forces. The EPRDF terrorist group terrorized and arrested the following Oromo nationals. These are those arrested whose names I remember.

1. Eshetu Kitil … the owner of Hawi Hotel, arrested from his hotel office.
2. Kebede Borena … the Deputy General Manager of Hilton Hotel, arrested from his home.
3. Degen Borena … Kebede Borena’s brother and a businessman, arrested when he went to his brother’s house after hearing his brother had been arrested.
4. Colonel Olani Jebesa … a retired military officer, arrested from his house.
5. Wabe Haji … a legal adviser at the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia, arrested from his office.
6. Degene Daba … the owner of a trucking business, arrested from his house.
7. Roba Gedefa … an employee at the Niyala Insurancy Company, arrested from his office.
8. Aberash Yadeta … an employee at the Oda Share Company, arrested from her office.
9. Lelise Wodajo … an employee at the Ethiopian Television (ETV), arrested from her office.
10. Hailu Delesa … a third-year Haromaya University student majoring in accounting, arrested from the university campus.
11. Bayisa Husen … a student at Ambo High School, arrested from his house.
12. Bekele Negeri … an owner of a small business, arrested from his house.
13. Bogale Mosisa … a shopkeeper, arrested in Paisa area.
14. Kabebo Faye … a retiree (70 years old) and a Board Member of the Mecha-Tulema Development and Welfare Association, arrested from his house; and he later died immediately after his release from Maikelawi.
15. Bekele Jirata … the Secretary General of OFDM, arrested while going to the office (OFDM office).
16. Husein Moga … a day laborer, arrested from his house.
17. Yasin Jarso … a day laborer, arrested from his house.
18. Zeynu Mohamad … a shopkeeper, arrested from his shop.
19. Zerihun Wodajo … a renown Oromo artist, arrested from his house; and he was released from Maikelawi after one and half months detention.
20. Asefa Tefera Dibaba … a well-known writer and a lecturer at Addis Ababa University; he was released from Maikelawi after one and half months of detention.
21. Emiru Gurmesa … who had been released from Kaliti prison after 4 years of imprisonment without trial, and he was arrested and detained again in Maikelawi; he died immediately after his release from Maikelawi.
22. Two women, whose names I have forgotten, were brought from Adama; they were released from Maikelawi after a month and half detention.
23. Another young woman, detained with her 2-year-old baby; and she was released from Maikelawi after a month and half detention.
24. Tolesa Wolde … a well-known lawyer, arrested in November 2008 from his private office.
25. Abera Degefa … a Board Member of the Mecha-Tulema Development and Welfare Association and a Law lecturer at Addis Ababa University, arrested in November 2008.
26. Tsehayi (whose surname I have forgotten) …. the owner of a pharmacy, arrested from his pharmacy; and, he was released from Maikelawi after two months.

There were many, whose names I do not remember, who were brought from different parts of the Oromia regional state and also from Amhara regional state’s Oromia zone, Kemise area. Three young Oromos, who were arrested in mid October from Kemise area, were first taken to the Afar regional state’s police station and tortured bitterly; with their hands tied, they were left naked to be bitten by mosquitoes for two weeks before they were brought to Maikelawi. Since then, no one knows their whereabouts.

Those abducted from other countries for torture and death
Tesfahun Chemeda and Mesfin Abebe were abducted from Nairobi, Kenya, in 2007; and they were later detained in an unknown place for over two years without appearing in court until they were brought to Maikelawi and finally headed the charge list of the 16 Oromos of the March 31, 2010 decision.

Four Oromos, who were kidnapped in 2006 from Somaliland (Hargeisa), were also detained in Maikelawi for over two years; they were never taken to court. One of them was an old man of 60 years. No one knows what had happened and their whereabouts since then.

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Azeb Mesfin posted on

shame on you

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Alamerew posted on

Stigliz is an entreprenural scholar making money on the poor

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Abdiibiyyaa1 posted on

The so called Columbia professors in the name of “freedom of speech”, just like wolf in the sheep guise, have invited this child killer under covert operation of personal greed, I say personal greed, Give me break about “freedom of speech” they have relationship with this Kleptcratic ruler.

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Abdiibiyyaa1 posted on

Meles Zenawi, the beast, aka Crime minister of Ethiopia is responsible for death of millions as the result of system starvations, wide spread of systemic epidemic disease and thousands, thousands of them have perished as the result of live ammunition by Meles gangs, political prisoners/prisoners of conscience in infested dark prison cell, disappearance, torture, rape, thousands of flee from his ruthless dictatorial and kleptocratic regime etc.. He is solely responsible for human genocide in Ethiopia in general, in Oromia in particular.
My heart goes out for those families/people who lost their family members, who are voiceless, always live on terror and horror as the result of Dictator Meles Zenawi,.
I was very much disappointed with notion and virtue of inviting ruthless ruler, who ruled country at gun point with his thugs to be invited by university. Where is humanity? Where is morality? I guess, morality and humanity is grinded by personal greed, we are in state if low morality through out the world. Columbia University so called professors are not immune from such that low morality. In their mind, the greed is at it’s highest peak.
What is the point to make, what is the point to teach student, to present with the very enemy of” freedom of speech”, praised, given free ride to speak at university. In My opinion, such prestigious University supposed to be the engine and vanguard of humanity, justice, fairness and that advocate for well being of fellow humans across globe.
I kind of sense that, these whole thing is not driven by “freedom of speech” I think also driven by personal greed who has relation with this dictator regime. Besides low morality in this century, this world is very much troubled by personal greed; it took great toll on humans. The current economic melt down is live witness to that.
One thing I am sure is that, when ever I sent my kids, happen to be @ Columbia university, I will make sure not to listen to hypocrisy of ”freedom of speech” lectured by so called professors that invited this child killer. The hands of Meles is tinted /painted with thousands of innocent children blood. Those below the grave ,if they have one( because their dead body is fed to wild beast like they did to 14yrs old girl at Gara suufii, east Oromia), let their soul cry out for low morality of So called Columbia university Professors from the grave, Shame on low morality and greed of Columbia University Professors.

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Alamerew posted on

Provost Claude Steele said Columbia doesn’t endorse the leaders it invites to the World Leaders Forum.<<<<i like this - sounds honest

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Tefera posted on

We know that J. Sachs and J. Stiglitz are doing bussiness of self-aggrandizment in the name of the prestigeous institution. They are brokering for African blood suckers, merchandising their fame, to the detriment of the African poor. Shame on them!

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BRUCK posted on

PLZ UPDATE THE INFO ON THE NUMBER OF PROTESTERS.

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Ethiopia posted on

I think Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs they let the Democratic PM Meles have the forum as a key note speaker of Colombia University as a favor.

Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs your snub of the crimes of the Democratic PM Meles is amazing. I wonder how much he will pay you for your favors when that day comes and you become his consultants to help him keep cooking his economic data?

Dear Columbia University students take a look at http://www.ethiopiantragedy.com and figure out what you would learn from the Democratic PM Meles credentials and experience those that qualified him as a favorite of Professor Joseph Stiglitz and Jefrey Sacs.

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Tefera posted on

We know that he is a consummate liar. He unflichinly tells white lie. He is as canny as a prostitute. Ethiopians are fed up of his white lies for the past 25 years. He promised that all Ethiopians will eat twice a day 15 years ago. After 20 years 10 millions Ethiopians are suffering from recurrent drought and famine. Of course, this doesn't include his tribal village.

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BRUCK posted on

can imagine the audience asking these questions:

Mr. Zenawi, what is the special magical spell you used to win the May 2010 election by 99.6 percent? Answer: “Say ‘abracadabra’ ten times while holding a rabbit’s foot in the left hand at the crack of dawn.”
When will you stop trashing the human rights of Ethiopian citizens? Answer: “As soon as you tell me when they started having human rights.”

Why do you lie about double-digit economic growth by using cooked up numbers from your Central Statistics office?[1] Answer: “There are ‘lies and plausible lies’. Our statistics are of the latter variety.”

Why did you shut down all distance education programs in the country? Answer: “Because education is overrated.”

Why did you wipe out the private independent media in the country? Answer: “They don’t like me.”

Do you really believe the Voice of America is the same as Rwanda’s genocide Radio Mille Collines? Answer: “VOA, VOI (Voice of Interhamwe). It all sounds the same to me.”

What do you think of your critics in the U.S.? Answer: “They are all friggin extremists in the Diaspora. I can’t stand them. Why? Oh! Why don’t they like me?!?”

Do you believe in the rule of law? Answer: “Yep! I am it.”

When will you release Birtukan Midekssa, the only woman political party leader in Ethiopian history, from prison? Answer: “‘There will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.’”

“If there are no more questions, I am outta here!”

Just at that moment, I can imagine President Bollinger leaping to his feet with index finger wagging in righteous indignation and proclaiming: “Mr. Prime Minister, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator.”

Aratkilo • September 22, 2010 at 3:24 pm • Reply

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king alexander posted on

It is amazing Meles Zenawi who killed Ethiopian University students again and again respectfully invited to the great Colombia University. WHAT A SHAME

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arsema-mariam posted on

meles killer,,,,.........killer....hodammmmm

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sam posted on

meles is our hero and you must be one of the Eritrian loser

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arsema-mariam posted on

ante hodam banda ....lekuskus

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Meheret posted on

Under direct order of Zenawi, his snipers killed innocent children and women as well as teenegers. The man you see infront of you is Ethiopias Hitler! No matter how sweet or smart he sounds. That doesn't mean he is innocent. Be wise and read your own state depart report!!

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getye belay posted on

Soon Ethiopia shall prevail

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abebeShem posted on

Melese is known to be a pathological liar, I do not know what is there to learn from him , he should be given a therapy by Dr. Phil. Shame on you columbia

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Abera posted on

meles should be arrested for crime against humanity, not speaking invention from Columbia.

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hanna3-1 posted on

Dead fish melse child killers shame on you

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Mesafint A posted on

Those of you who invites this dictator are as dictator as him shame on you

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meles dauter posted on

may father is bucher he is killer he lerne me haw to kill ethiopians shame on my father

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Zeregna Yitfa posted on

I wonder if Hitler will be aforded the freedom of speech at the Columbia University stage ?

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yonas posted on

Meles is a killer...he should not welcomed here.

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Clueless posted on

Shame on you Columbia U for hosting such a a so called leader thanks to his handlers.

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Anonymous posted on

its a shame that the colombian university has invited the genocide killer meles zenawi to make a speech.

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Goytom posted on

Meles Zenawi is genawu so wie Hitler.

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Zelalm posted on

Please foreginers, hand off from endorsing our dictator leader Meles Zenawi, we have better what best for us......

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selam walachiw posted on

i am shamed columbia universty becouse of they invited dictator killer primeminster meles zenawy,he is one of killer

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