The Nations, Nationalities and People’s and the National Flag Days are contributing to strengthen unity, accommodate diversity and enhance the federal system, according to scholars and officials.
The House of Federation Public Relations and Communication Directorate Director Gebru Gebreslassie told The Ethiopian Herald that during the previous regimes Ethiopia has been known as the prison of nations, nationalities and peoples, for its incapability of accommodating the diversity.
“The previous regimes consider diversity as threat for their existence. That’s why the system they designed has failed to fulfill the equality, liberty and justice, democracy and prosperity to the Ethiopian people. It had not any contribution in enhancing democratization and rule of law,” he said.
He added that the one language, one culture, one identity and one philosophy policy which was adhered during the feudal and military regimes had hugely affected the human and democratic rights of Ethiopians.
Since 1991, Ethiopians who live in every corner of the country have been treated equally. No one is superior or inferior in his/her country, according to him.
“In 1998 E.C, the Federation has decided to commemorate the endorsement of our Constitution to be celebrated every year as the day of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia. When they celebrated the day on their will and consent, they strengthen their unity within diversity.”
Gebru underlined that the celebration of Nations, Nationalities and People’s and Flag Days would have huge significance in building the people to people relations, and create ample opportunities to hold thematic workshops and forums aimed at instilling unity, collaboration, integration and harmony among Ethiopians.
The director further said the trend of celebration the NNPs Day in various state is bringing economic benefits to the hosting state. “The infrastructure developments are benefiting the residents.”
One of the members of the committee which drafted the Constitution was Ambassador Teketel Forsido. He told The Ethiopia Herald that the representatives of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia had openly discussed every article of the constitution before they ratified on December 29, 1992.
The ratification of the Constitution has created new hope, new aspiration and optimism to the Ethiopian People, he said.
“This is the day that our Constitution was ratified. This is the day that declared we Ethiopians are equal before the law. Equality, liberty, fraternity, brotherhood, sisterhood and friendship among Ethiopians were declared in this historical day. That’s why we are celebrating every year,”
The ambassador added that the NNPs day would be an important milestone for strengthening unity and harmonization among Ethiopians.
“Despite our differences, we Ethiopians are one family. That family spirit was proclaimed on the day.
” Despite the conflicting views, we are celebrating these two significant days, the NNPs and Flag Days to renovate our covenant,” he said.
Ambassador Teketel insisted that the national flag is the symbol that represents Ethiopia in the international arena. There is no any other better symbol that represents Ethiopia than the national flag. ” Our national flag is in the United Nations, in embassies and consulate offices as well as in other continental and international organizations.
“Our forefathers have paid immense sacrifice for our flag. The incumbent has done very good job for instituting the national Flag Day,” he said.
For her part, the House of People’s Representatives Member Jembernesh Kinfe said the NNPs and the Flag Days have enormous significance in sustaining the federal system.
“When we celebrate these two important days, we have to remember the federal system, a system which safeguarded our human and democratic rights,” she said, adding, “the Constitution has enabled the people of Ethiopia to use and develop, learn and be judged, by their mother tongue languages.”
She said : ” The MP stated that the emblem which is found at the center of our flag shows all the NNPs are equal before the law and no one could be superior or inferior to any other.”
Civil Service University, Federalism MA student, Mulaw Gebresilassie for his part said the celebration of the NNPs and the National Flag Days are playing pivotal role in respecting the diversity.
He asserted that these two important days have been motivating Ethiopians to stand together to undertake mega projects including the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam to subdue poverty once and for all.
“Ethiopians celebrate the NNPs Day every year together. It is an opportunity to meet and share their experiences, skills, cultures each other. At the same time, it will give them ample opportunity to strengthen their unity. Such national and public events was unthinkable in the previous regimes,” Gebresilassie said.
He insisted that both NNPs and National Flag Days should be included in the curriculum of the country so as to magnify its importance.
Ethiopia is the home of more than 80 million diversified nations, nationalities and peoples. Though they have assortments in language, culture, ethnicity and religion, they have century’s old consolidated unity in the miscellany of identity. That’s why Ethiopians are always come forward for country’s sovereignty.
However, during the former regimes (the feudal and military junta), the human and democratic rights and equality of nations, nationalities and peoples were denied. They were not allowed to develop their language, culture and religion without the good will of the regimes, he said.
Toppling down the dictator military regime in 1991, the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front has opened new door for peace, justice, democracy and prosperity. The Ethiopian nations, nationalities and peoples have ratified the Constitution through their representatives in December 1992.
The NNPs and Flag Days must be used as an opportunity for Ethiopians to renew their commitment to fight poverty, rent seeking, red-tape, corruption and other malpractices. The days need to celebrated in a way for Ethiopians to be envisioned building peaceful, democratic and prosperous Ethiopia.
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