By Belayneh Abate
It is inhumane to applaud the hugs and smiles of the wicked rulers of the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) forgetting the tens of millions of innocents slaughtered, displaced and starved during their fight for chairs. Any rational being should consider these hugs and smiles as the cuddling and dances of happy scavengers after devouring carcasses in the outskirts of streets and fields.
As God knows and history has documented, the EPRDF leaders fractured the ancient country into killils, placed ethnic tags on people’s heads, fabricated hateful histories, induced ethnic wars, massacred people on streets and communities, committed ethnic cleansing and genocides. And yet, the EPRDF-1 and EPRDF-2 leaders are applauded for declaring phony peace and expressing happiness standing on the graves of the innocents they massacred for more than 30 years and during the war they waged for power for the last two years.
The Fallacy of Defining Peace as the Absence of War
Many people blindly understand peace as the opposite of war and intemperate it as the absence of physical war. As a result of this misinterpretation, they consider cessation of physical war as the sign of peace arrival.
As Johan Galtung eloquently stated, peace encompasses cooperative, tranquil, and harmonious relations and the broader concerns of human flourishing and integration. For more than 30 years, Ethiopians have never experienced internal or intercommunal peace. As the Ethiopian people know and live it, EPRDF has been severely disrupting the tranquility, integration and harmonious relationship of Ethiopian society.
The EPRDF rulers fabricated hateful histories, built the unholy killis, segregated the people with language and religious walls, and spread all sorts of evil propagandas to instigate ethnic cleansings and genocides. Under these circumstances, let alone the people ruled by these evils, the evil rulers themselves do not have a shred of internal peace.
These evils do not even trust their own shadows and guards, and they live in uncontrollable fears and nightmares. Peace is unthinkable when a country is ruled by evils who have problems with their own shadows and live in non-stop fears. Peace is nowhere to be found when tranquility, harmony, and integration are absent in the communities.
Expressing Happiness in Smiles in the Absence of Peace and Justice
One should not have to be a seasoned anthropologist to observe the instinct behaviors of irrational and irrational creatures. A sheep cries a continuous “ba ba baaaa” when one of its communal members is pooled for a slaughter. Similarly, cattle get disturbed when they smell the blood or the stomach rumen of a dead cattle. However, the EPRDF rulers and their cadre’s shamelessly smile and hug standing on the covens of the massacred innocents.
Like peace, historically happiness has been defined in different ways. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle claimed happiness is acquisition of knowledge or living with reason. [1-2] Later, the Christian thinker Thomas Aquinas stated that happiness is living with virtue and the grace of faith.  The founder of the utilitarian view, Jeremy Bentham, tied happiness with maximizing utilities. [2-4] Recently, there has been abundant interest in the pursuits of happiness and many intellectuals are suggesting happiness should be the measure of national development instead of the misleading Growth Domestic Product (GDP).
Professor Dereke Bok, the former Harvard President, has been one of the proponents of happiness as a measure of national development. In his book, the Politics of Happiness, he identified six important factors as the sources of people’s wellbeing or happiness. These factors include marriage, social relationships, employment, perceived health, religion, and quality of the government. 
When it comes to Ethiopia, these six important wellbeing factors have been decimated since the Tigre People Liberation Front (TPLF) and its trojan horse EPRDF mount to power on the shoulder of the West and the regional powers.
EPRDF has been disrupting marriages using the knives of ethnicity, religion, or political differences. EPRDF has been destroying the three-thousand years social relationships using the evil killis as segregation weapons. Although the people resisted, EPRDF tried to instigate wars among the three pillars of monolithic regions Ethiopia practiced for thousands of years.
When it comes to governance, EPRDF rooted out the religion of truth and planted the culture of lies, demolished the thrones of justice and dug the quagmires of injustice, replaced the culture of hard work with the ethos of theft and corruption. As the majority of the public experiences it, employment and perceived health, of course, are at the bottom of the world records while the rulers amass wealth in the Western banks and take charter planes to abroad to treat their common colds and heart burns.
Neither peace nor happiness are attainable in the absence of the foundation of peace and justice no matter how many times you see handshakes, hugs, and fake smiles standing on piles of cadavers they slaughtered to maintain power for the last 30 years. What we are observing is not a declaration of peace, but the hugs, handshakes and smiles of butchers who act like scavengers that dance and express happiness after devouring carcasses.
- Violence, Peace, and Peace Research – Johan Galtung, 1969 (sagepub.com)
- Will Durant, The History of Philosophy 1953 edition
- Will Buckingham, Aristotle on Happiness, Happiness page 62-72
- Michael Sandel, Higher Pleasures Justice What is the Right Thing to Do? Page 52-54
- Derek Bok, The Politics of Happiness, Derek Bok, page 17
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