Mittwoch, 30. Juli 2014

30.07. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - PRESS CONFERENCE: 74TH BIRTHDAY


Ladies and Gentlemen of the press,
Today I called this press conference in order, first of all, to convey some of my thoughts about recent happenings and in the second place, to provide you with an opportunity to ask questions on any subject you might desire.
First I would like to say a few words on the recent decision of the International Court of Justice on the legal action that was brought by Ethiopia and Liberia against South Africa concerning South West Africa. As everybody knows by now, all mankind is concerned about the situation in South West Africa, and what the policy of the South African Government implies to the rest of the world.
The International Court at the Hague has discussed the South West African question for several years now. Ethiopia, Liberia and many other African states as well as men of good-will everywhere have done their best to see that justice is rendered in this case so that the people in that unfortunate country are freed from the status of oppression to which they are subjected at the present. Justice is the essence of civilized existence. Unfortunately the decision of the Court has been influenced more by political than by legal considerations.
I know of the great hope that was placed upon the Court when it was established. At the very outset, I know the Court made useful decisions in certain cases but the tendency of the Court, if we take the recent decision as an example of what we may expect in the future, does not inspire confidence, and because of this we feel that there will be a lesser tendency to resort to judicial settlement of disputes.
The plaintiffs before the Court were Ethiopia and Liberia, but in a sense, one can say all peace-loving peoples were somehow concerned about and were anxiously awaiting the result which was expected to be in accordance with the demands of justice. It is quite true that judges are free in their task of decision-making but the decisions must be in accordance with the law. However we must also point out that humanity has the right to require that certain fundamental institutions and thoughts of value which are common to all society and are indispensable to peace be incorporated as part of the principles of international law upon which the International Court of Justice should base itself. The Statute of the Court does make adequate provisions for that.
I must point out that this judgment is contrary to the interests of mankind and more particularly, contrary to the interests of the African peoples. I say the decision was affected more by political than legal considerations. However we are not at the end of the road. I believe we are going to continue to struggle for the removal of the system of apartheid and oppression in South West Africa, and I am confident that this struggle will bring about a satisfactory solution to the problem.

Your Imperial Majesty, Your long life has been one of eventful years of accomplishments of many things. Many events have transpired in the world, too. Which ones does Your Imperial Majesty find the most significant?

Longevity A Divine Gift

I thank God for giving me such a long life. This is a matter which can be only considered as a gift from the Almighty. In my long life I have seen and experienced many things. Ever since I was 18 years old, I saw many things happening both in my own country and abroad. It is difficult to point out the most important events during that long period which comprises many decades. The two events that stand out, and which affected and influenced the course of events throughout the world, have of course been World War I and World War II; the bloodshed during the two world wars, why they were fought, how they were concluded and the aftermath of those wars. In particular, speaking of these world wars, I recollect of the influence leaders exerted on the course of events. The history of World War I, of World War II and the aftermath will always stand out in the annals of history. We know those who were responsible for those wars – the men with evil purpose and evil mind – who took the leadership in certain parts of the world and the events that followed. Anybody who has lived through these two great wars and the bloodshed must recognize the need for effective safeguards to maintain international peace.
I also know that certain institutions in certain states were responsible for the outbreak of the world wars. Since then democratic institutions and procedures have been strengthened throughout the world, and I am confident that as a result of this experience of the last decades we are in a better position to maintain world peace.
Of course, the Second World War had affected Ethiopia. It is a well-known fact that our country fell victim to the aggressive forces of Fascism. I had the privilege of pleading the case before the League of Nations in Geneva but the League's collective security system had not been strengthened and there were no standard procedures to which there was universal adherence for the settlement of international disputes. The system failed. Ethiopia suffered from the failure of that system but the concept of collective security was more firmly established after the war.
I know that men of goodwill everywhere sympathized with Ethiopia. We continued the struggle to free our people from the rule of aliens and finally we were able to overcome the enemy. We returned to our capital city and began extensive programmes for the progress of our country.
Furthermore, we witnessed the emergence of the new independent African states, the laying of the foundation here in Addis Ababa for a greater unity among the African peoples. These are some of the events I recollect and to which I attach great significance.

Your Imperial Majesty, do You see any relationship between the League of Nations' failure to take action on the situation Ethiopia faced in 1935-36 and the failure of the Court to take action on the South West African case in 1966?

Material Difference

There is a material difference between the failure of the League's collective security system in 1935 and 1936 and failure of the International Court of Justice to consider the merits of the South West African case.
The collective security system arrangement that we thought, and everybody thought, was secured under the Covenant of the League of Nations collapsed completely. The failure of the International Court of Justice now to consider the merits of the South West African case means that legal procedures for the settlement of the dispute are no longer open to us and that we are to approach the problem from another angle, perhaps by insisting to invoke the collective security measures under the Charter of the United Nations. So that in the two cases I see this important difference: while the League of Nations collapsed completely, in the case of the International Court of Justice, it was one particular organ of the collective security system that failed to respond to the demands of justice in South West Africa.

Your Imperial Majesty, has the situation in Rhodesia and the struggle that was taken in relation to that question tended to weaken the Organization of African Unity?

Needless to say, all the African peoples were disheartened by events in Rhodesia and by the failure of the efforts of many states and individuals to restore the legitimate rights to the African majority in Southern Rhodesia.
There are of course many ways to solve a problem; there are many methods of peaceful settlement and there is also the question of the use of force, but I believe that before we resort to measures such as the use of force, we must exhaust all reasonable peaceful methods. So far, the African states had jointly taken some action but they had put greater faith on the British Government to crush the illegal regime there. However, we are sad to say that such measures on the part of the British Government have not been successful and they have not been adequate.
The African states in the Organization of African Unity have no difference so far as the Rhodesian question is concerned. Certain differences about the approaches to the problem existed in the past but we are confident that in our future actions we will be more united than ever for a just settlement of the Rhodesian question.
I am sure that when the African heads of state reconvene their regular summit here the Rhodesian question will be prominent on their agenda.

Your Imperial Majesty, You have been the leader of our people for the last 49 years. What are Your Majesty's views concerning the progress that the country has achieved in the last 49 years?

Constitutional Changes

We have witnessed many accomplishments in the last 49 years – and all these achievements have given sustained benefits to the Ethiopian people. If I were to be asked to name just a few, I would say the outstanding achievement has been in the constitutional changes of our country. We have made it possible for the participation of all our people in the work of the government. We have instituted systems by which the rights of our people are protected. In the economic field, we have instituted systems by which the Ethiopian people can help themselves and their government also. We see that the efforts we have invested on the improvement of our national life are at present giving forth good results to our people. Although I will be the first to say that what has been achieved has not been fully satisfactory, the country is moving ahead, progress is being attained by the people and the future is full of hope and promise.

Your Imperial Majesty, General de Gaulle will pay a state visit to Ethiopia in the near future. Do you expect special agreements to be signed between Ethiopia and France as a result of the visit?

We have enjoyed a relation of friendship with France for many years. The economic, cultural and other relations our people maintained with the French people are well-known. When General de Gaulle arrives here we shall have the opportunity to discuss ways and means by which we can strengthen further this good relation between our two countries. I am confident that when General de Gaulle visits Ethiopia we shall have the opportunity to work out concrete agreements of mutual co-operation. I am glad he accepted our invitation to visit Ethiopia. I am sure the result will be satisfactory to both our peoples.

What have been the main achievements by Ethiopia in the last few decades?

The answer to this question can be very long. I have already pointed out the achievements that were attained in the constitutional and economic fields. Now I wish to add the progress we have made and we intend to make in the future in the field of education.
Education is not new in Ethiopia. Although we did not have any modem universities, for centuries we had enjoyed our own system of education – a system that brought great benefit to our people. However, more recently we embarked on a modem system of education and a great deal has been achieved. I am confident that in the future we will work even harder and get even more satisfactory results. It is because I considered education indispensable to the needs of Ethiopia that I personally assumed for a number of years the portfolio of the Minister of Education.

Your Imperial Majesty, what do you think about the invitation to Your Imperial Majesty by Mr. Podgorny, the President of the Soviet Union to visit the USSR?

Yes, the Soviet Government has extended an invitation to me to pay an official visit to the Soviet Union. I was glad to receive the invitation. When I visit the Soviet Union I hope I will have an opportunity to discuss with the responsible officials of the Soviet Government matters of mutual interest between our two countries and also matters which I hope will help to strengthen peace.
I said I was glad to accept the invitation but the precise date of my visit is still under consideration. There are certain matters to be discussed at a certain level in this connection.

July 30, 1966.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 676 –   

Dienstag, 29. Juli 2014

29.07. - 1 - Speech Of The Day - TO THE WORLD COUNCIL FOR THE BLIND


It is with great pleasure that We have delegated Ato Abebe Kebede, Administrator General of Our Welfare Foundation, and who is also responsible for the welfare and education of the blind in Ethiopia, to attend and participate in the deliberations of the General Assembly of the World Council for the Welfare of the Blind which is to be held in New York from July 30th to August 12th, 1964.
Since the standard of living of the blind people in general is much to be desired yet in the developing countries. We feel that it is your great responsibility to give deep and thoughtful consideration to this problem in the course of your discussions, as well as to study the impact of blindness in the said countries. In doing so, We are confident that you shall be the hope for your brothers and sisters living in darkness at the remote corners of the earth. We also urge the countries who are economically advanced and who have had greater experience in the education of the blind to share their knowledge with others in this field.
We assure you that as long as Our means permit, We shall not fail to support your objectives and closely participate in your activities.
May God bless your work.

July 29, 1964.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 654 –   


Freitag, 25. Juli 2014


On Thursday, July 25, 1957, His Imperial
Majesty Haile Selassie I, opened the new
Technological Building and laid the cornerstone
for the construction of a new building house for
practical mechanical arts, in the compound of
the Imperial Engineering College. At the
ceremony His Imperial Majesty made the
following speech:

"The benefits of technical knowledge in any country,
in the fields of social advancement and the development
of a nation, are indeed tremendous. In opening this
College, in which technology, one of the products of
scientific achievements is to be taught, and in laying
beside it the cornerstone of still another building in
which practical mechanical training will be taught, We
are ever thankful to God for His blessings for those We
have founded previously.
Many are the countries which have benefitted
immensely from the endowments of science in the fields
of human welfare and national development. It is with
the desire that Ethiopia should share in these benefits
that We have established this College.
Ethiopia, with her vast fertile lands, can compete
with those nations which have attained a higher degree
of prosperity through the development of their
Although detailed studies and surveys have not been
fully made, there can be no doubt that Ethiopia possesses
the necessary mineral wealth for her own use. Moreover,
Ethiopia is endowed with considerable water resources
fully suitable for hydro-electric power stations, which
could contribute to the realization of great development
While these are things basically essential for a
nation's industrial development to become strong and
prosperous, there is one thing else which counts
above all others and in which Ethiopia is, in addition,
endowed by God and which many other countries do
not have - that is freedom.
Many countries, while not lacking in natural wealth
and man-power to enable them to reach a higher
degree of development and self-sufficiency, have, however,
been unable fully to benefit from and to enjoy their
natural riches because they do not possess their independence.
Since Ethiopia has been blessed with the Heavenly
Grace of being a fully independent nation, and only the
lack of adequate education has hindered her from profitting
from the circumstances and advantages of this
blessing, We have personally devoted most of Our efforts
towards the development and expansion of education in
Our country, giving it priority over all Our other duties.
We have, therefore, established this Technical
College, from which the present as well as future generations
may profit. Since it is also Our determined aim to
see agricultural education thrive, it is appropriate to
make mention here of the Agricultural College, We have
established at Alem-Maya in Harar.
Knowledge which cannot be used for practical
purposes is like a flower which bears no fruit. We
realize, therefore, that it would be of still greater advantage
if, at this stage, Our educational planning could be
more directed towards technical training, and We shall
not desist from doing all possible and necessary towards
reaching this goal.
We wish that all of you students who will be trained
in this College shall be able to show your knowledge
and achievements by the services you will render from
the higher technical training you will acquire in this
We would like to express Our appreciation to your
teachers who are devoting their time and energy in
sharing their knowledge with you."

Speeches delivered by His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie Ist Emperor of Ethiopia on various occasions - page 8 -

Mittwoch, 23. Juli 2014

23.07. - 4 - Speech Of The Day - THE REVISED AMHARIC BIBLE


Ethiopia, an island of Christianity, is recorded in history as having received first the Old Testament, and then the New Testament earlier than most of the countries of the world. When, in Old Testament times, she received the Law, and when, in New Testament times, she received the Gospel, she ensured that the Scriptures were translated into the ancient language of Ge'ez. From those times to this, various books both of spiritual and material profit have periodically been compiled and written in Ge'ez. We remember with deep gratitude those fathers of old who, as time and opportunity allowed, worked with much care and labour and have left us books for the preservation of the Faith and for the increase of learning and knowledge.
In former ages, Ge'ez was the language of the country and so, even without an interpreter, the people had no difficulty in examining and understanding the books; but just as one age succeeds another, so Amharic, which sprang from Ge'ez, gradually grew until it became the common speech of the people, taking the place of Ge'ez. At that time, Ge'ez was understood by the learned people of the Church, but was not readily understood by the ordinary people. Arising from this, the scholars in their preaching and work have for centuries been forced in their teaching to interpret from Ge'ez into Amharic. And these conditions prevailed until Our own times.
Since the time when, by God's goodness, We were chosen to ascend the Throne of Ethiopia and while We have been leading Our people to progress in learning and knowledge, We have laboured in every way possible with an eye to their growth in spiritual and material learning and knowledge. In order to reach this goal, and realizing that the first necessity was to have the Scriptures translated into Amharic and printed in bulk, in 1918 when We were still Heir to the Throne and Regent, We chose from amongst the scholars some to translate the Scriptures and to produce the translation alongside the Ge'ez. After this, too, at Our private expense We had a printing machine brought from Europe, established a Printing Press, and began to have books printed. Some of the books which We caused to be printed in Ge'ez and Amharic at that time, read in churches and homes, have been found profitable to the establishment of faith and to spiritual strengthening. After that, noting that the mind of the people continued to grow in understanding, We arranged for a word-for-word translation into Amharic of the books of the Old and New Testaments. Our scholars completed the translation and presented it to Us in 1931, and We ordered its printing. While the book was still in the Press, however, enemy aggression in 1935 halted the work. Even so, when in exile in London, We gave permission for this same Bible to be printed by photo-offset, and it was duly issued. By this Book, Our Ethiopian subjects in exile in many countries held fast to their faith and presented their petitions to Almighty God as they awaited the restoration of Ethiopia.
When, all honour and praise be to God, We had brought about the liberation of Ethiopia and had entered Our Empire, realizing that there ought to be a revision from the original Hebrew and Greek of the existing translation of the Bible, We chose scholars qualified for the work of Biblical training and on March 6th, 1947 set up a Bible Committee in Our Palace. The Committee worked with diligence for some five years, and on April 19th, 1952 presented the translation to Us. We give heartfelt thanks to all who helped Us in this work.
All the ancient Scriptures were written for Our instruction, in order that through the encouragement they give Us, we may maintain Our hope with fortitude. Because We desire that the light which comes from the Scriptures may shine to all, this Bible by Our command and will has been revised and printed in the Thirty-First year of Our reign.

July 23, 1961.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 616 –   

QHS monogram in the middle of the Bible



Every structure must be built on a solid foundation, for those constructed otherwise would soon collapse. The proclamation by which We made land grants to the entire Ethiopian people is the foundation of this scheme. Recipients of land grants as well as those who had previously owned their own holdings do not by the mere owning of such land satisfy the requirements. They must make proper use of the land not only for their own benefit but as well to that of the people -- We shall not permit any land to be fallow.
It gives Us great pleasure today to lay the cornerstone of the first Community Development Centre at Awassa, a project in which We have long evinced the keenest interest and entertained the highest hopes.
This project possesses a potential of the highest order and contains within it the seeds for a growth extending far beyond what anyone could have envisaged. The trainees who will come to this centre will receive instruction in methods and techniques which, if well and properly applied, can have the greatest impact upon the future development of Our Empire. Community development is, fundamentally, the assisting of people whose economic, social and administrative life is still in a relatively undeveloped state, to organize and focus their energies upon the solution of common problems. For a man to remain isolated and separated from his neighbours and to have no access to the sources of knowledge and education is to remain prey to the ills and plague which afflict mankind in its primitive state. The joining together in a unified effort to overcome the perils of nature and the dangers which beset man on all sides is the very basis of society and the way in which humanity, since the dawn of history, has assured its survival. As self-help is so basic to the free development of the life of a people, so assistance and aid in the technique of self-help must inevitably contribute to a more highly developed society.
Education is the means by which Our people can make the most efficient use of the human, natural and material resources which are already at hand for the amelioration of their problems and the betterment of their way of life.
It is fitting that this centre should be located on this area, for nearby is the site of one of the first agricultural co-operatives which are being developed by Our Government. The interaction between this training centre and the co-operative farm will provide the centre with a laboratory at first hand where those who are receiving instruction here may observe in action the procedures and techniques in which they are being instructed. Similarly, the co-operative farm cannot but benefit from the close physical proximity of this centre which will stand ready at all times to render advice and assistance on the multifold problems which are posed for any group of people who embark together on a new way of life.
Through man’s quest for knowledge, which has resulted in securing the benefits of science and technology, We have found ways to overcome what only a few generations ago had looked insurmountable. That is to search, to know and to apply, the knowledge that has been acquired.
In many parts of the world some people who had never swerved from reaching their objectives through education have exploited the wealth of their land through mechanised farming and the building of industries and have not only developed a high standard of living, but have also come to the aid of the underdeveloped countries of the world.
All this has been possible through the constant desire for development and devotion to the search for knowledge as the key to economic, social and cultural betterment. The Almighty through His benevolence has blessed us with fertile lands which hold great wealth, but because it has not been developed according to modern methods, the raising of the standard of living of Our people could not be accelerated according to Our wish and desire.
As a result, the economic condition of the people lacked the desired co-ordination. A close observer of the problems and needs of Our people, We have ordered many studies to be conducted for the establishment of several schools and training centres founded from time to time.
Even though Our wish and desire for attaining the highest objectives is considerable, Our people, for whose benefit We strive relentlessly, must realize the purpose of the various institutions We establish. To assist with all their efforts and to be spiritually prepared for the tasks lying ahead We also declared to Our people on Our return from foreign visits: “It is no use to say that one has land; land and money under certain unforeseen circumstances could avail nothing”.
As We lay here the foundation stone of a Community Development Centre today We have great hopes in the students who will be therein and in other centres. They will become a stimulus to others not only to pay lip service to the needs of the country but to show it in practice.
During Our visit to Europe, the Far East and America within the past few years, We have found how the peoples of the world through a definite planning and co-operative system have overcome the problems posed by economic and social development and attained a high standard of living. We realized that Our country also encounters the same problems of development, and to reach Our avowed goal it behoves Us to remove any detrimental traditional obstacles on Our way and fulfil Our duties in conformity with the exigencies of modern times as well as within the framework of international requirements.
Our forefathers had fought to preserve the independence of Our country so that we may be able to exploit its rich resources, thereby enriching ourselves but not so that it may lay barren as to excite the envy of others and invite again the usurper. Therefore, in order to escape from such a catastrophe which become a lazy leader and lazy followers, it is Our duty to teach Our people to labour unceasingly for the development of our country and to struggle for the attainment of a decent standard of living. For, there is no need of education to the wise nor doctors for the healthy.
Our continued efforts in giving money to Our deserving subjects so that they may be able to develop their plots of land thereby enabling them to be self-sufficient have not so far produced the desired results.
In particular We have observed that Our Hammassen people who are by nature good fighters could not make good use of the land We had granted them because they lagged behind in agricultural techniques. We are not encouraged by the realization of Our wishes so far. For this reason We have Ourselves organized the initial project; have made preparations and provided technicians in order that assistance may be made available under the direct supervision of Our Minister of National Community Development so that when land is developed to give continued benefit, Our subjects will take over and be in a position to support themselves and their families.
Our loyal subjects – those present and those coming – We remember the services which you have rendered in the military field. If you work with diligence utilizing the aid from the projects which We have established for your assistance, We believe that it will help to enrich our country and encourage Our people who are lagging behind in modern techniques.
We have realized that today being the age of science and technology, to reach our high objective all our efforts must be directed in such a way that education, which is the fundamental basis for development, reaches all Our people. Firm in the belief that through education Our people could improve their standard of living and improve their future lot, We have unceasingly devoted all Our efforts in building more and more schools. It is gratifying to see Our people brace themselves up for the task facing them by constant devotion to Our ideals and by taking advantages of the institutions established. We express Our deep gratitude to the United States Government which has granted financial aid for the Community Development Centre whose foundation stone we lay today.
July 23, 1960.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 487 –   

"Just as a farm that is not taken care of cannot be free of weeds, so is also the development of a society."

23.07. - 2 - Speech Of The Day - SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS


….. It is these tender feelings of deep and silent admiration evoked from our hearts by the beauties of creation that should find adequate expression in the fine arts …..

The ancient paintings that are still to be seen in the great monasteries and churches of Ethiopia, and the carvings in wood and stone which have come down to us in the ruins of the ancient palaces, bear witness to the fact that the fine arts had attained a comparatively high degree of development even in very early times. Although the major portion of these works of art was destroyed in the wars that broke out from time to time, those that still remain in Lalibela, Gondar, Shoa, Gojjam and elsewhere fill the competent observer with a sense of wonder and admiration. Since these works of art are also closely related to the history of Ethiopia, the young artists of Our country who pursue these fine arts on modern lines can find occasion therein for legitimate pride.
We have established this institution because We consider it a matter of great importance to revise and develop the fine arts in Our country in a manner which will enable Our artists to combine the historical and traditional art of Ethiopia with the advantages of modern technical developments in the field.
If Ethiopian paintings and other works of art attain such a standard that they can be sent out of the country and can hold their own amidst exhibits from other countries, they can certainly help in the efforts to make Ethiopia known more widely as a nation fully participating in the spirit and the substance of modern civilization.
Our customary support shall always be forthcoming to similar efforts in the fields of music and literature as well.
A purely materialistic art would be like a tree which is expected to bear fruit without flowering, and to sacrifice grace and beauty for mere utility. Those who learn here should from the beginning, assidulously avoid this spirit of utilitarianism. Our admiration for the Creator’s handiwork should not be limited to those things He has provided us with for our daily needs, but should include all that is good and beautiful. It is these tender feelings of deep and silent admiration evoked from our hearts by the beauties of creation that should find adequate expression in the fine arts.
As We have stated time and again, it is easy to begin but hard to finish, and We express on this occasion both Our happiness at what We see here today, as well as Our strong hope to see this work which is now begun bearing fruit in the near future.

July 23, 1958.

Selected Speeches of His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie – page 50 –     

Tselot Ande - Muluken Tekle

 Teklemariam Zewde, Shibsheba

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Abebe Zelelew

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Eskender Maffi

Eskender Maffi - Homepage

Afewerk Tekle - “The Total Liberation of Africa,”  -  Africa Hall

Defender-of-his-Country-Afar-1977-Ethiopia - Afework Tekle

"Coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie I" by Maître Afewerk Tekle

This painting by The Most Honourable World Laureate Maître Artiste Afewerk Tekle (b. 1932) hangs in St. George's Cathedral in Addis Ababa. It is enormous, measuring 3m x 2.5m.

Painted in 1960, the piece depicts the coronation of Emperor Haile Selassie in the Cathedral on November 2, 1930. His wife, Empress Menen Asfaw, is on the left in a blue cape.

The Emperor's full title was "His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, King of Kings of Ethiopia and Elect of God."

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