“Culture, Tourism, and Mass Media standing committee” in the parliament is speaking out on behalf of Government communication office, reported Tigst Zerihun from Sheger FM.
The committee thinks that the parliament should support government communication office against what it says is character assassination on the minister, Dr Negeri Lencho, by people who are promoting discrimination and ethnic-parochialism from within the umbrella of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) party.
The issue was raised when the committee was discussing Government communication Affairs yearly plan. “Since the parliament is a seat of people’s representative”, says the committee, “it should support government communication affairs office”
The committee added “it should be known that government communication Ministry position and information from the office represents that of government’s position.
Government communication minister Dr. Negeri Lencho thanked the standing committee for standing up against character assassination on himself and his office. He also remarked that concerned government bodies need to look into it and take corrective measures.
It is to be recalled that there was controversy between Dr. Negeri Lencho, who criticized some media outlets in the country for accentuating conflict during the Buno Bedelle zone violence a few weeks ago, and Ato Zeray Asgedom, director of Ethiopian Broadcasting authority, who was asserting that the minister’s remark, regarding media outlets that appeared to be in the business of aggravating ethnic conflict, according to the ministry, does not represent government position but rather a personal opinion.
The minister’s remark came following Buno Bedelle conflict coverage by Zami FM and Ethiopian News Network, they are both believed to be, in the opposition quarter, affiliated with and supported by Tigray People’s Liberation Front party which is the dominant party in the ruling coalition.