EDITORS of ten leading Ethiopian websites have joined forces to demanded Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom to retract his outlandish, outrageous and blatant lies that he recently told the public using Facebook and state-run media outlets. The editors also unanimously voted to name the Foreign Minister the “Top Ethiopian Pinocchio” after he failed to retract and publicly apologize for an outrageous fabrication he told about a school girl whom he promoted as winner of a nonexistent multimillion-dollar international award.
Editors of Abugida, Addis Voice, ECADForum, Ethioforum, Ethiofreedom, Ethiomedia, Ethiopian Review, Quatero, Satenaw and Zehabesha took the unprecedented step to hold the minister to account to his reckless and harmful propaganda stunt after he told the the public that 14-year old Beritu Jaleta, an Ethiopian-Australian schoolgirl from Melbourne, won 20 million Australian dollars in an international school competition and came back to partner with the regime.
In a joint press conference he held two weeks ago in his office with the teenager, the minister misled the public that she came back to Ethiopia to partner with the government to build a school after winning the jackpot. He called her an exemplary philanthropist among the Ethiopian Diaspora contrary to the reality. The story has been dismissed by the Baden Powell College, which was said to have organized the 8th grade competition, and the alleged funders of the prize, Rotary Foundation and the Government of Australia.
“It is high time the Foreign Minister took full responsibility for his reckless behavior not only to retract it in the same way as he told it but also unreservedly apologize to the people of Ethiopia,” the editors said.
The editors noted that as the fabrications have been totally discredited and exposed as a big lie, the Foreign Minister must take full responsibility for the blatant fabrication instead of blaming it on a teenager who has been paraded TV to promote the propaganda stunt.
Dr. Adhanom blamed the girl indirectly in a Facebook post last Saturday. He said he would rather trust children and make mistakes without offering any responsibility for the scandal. “Because the Foreign Minister tried to tell such an outlandish and blatant lie to the people of Ethiopia, he has earned the honor ‘Top Ethiopian Pinocchio’ in appreciation of his effort,” the editors said.