Emergency rule imposed by ruling EPRDF coalition following prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn’s decision to resign
Ethiopia has announced a state of emergency after prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn on Thursday announced his intention to step down amid a political crisis in the country.
The ruling EPRDF coalition’s council met on Friday and decided to impose emergency rule for an unspecified period, the state-run Ethiopian Broadcasting Corporation said. The council “came to the conclusion that imposing emergency rule would be vital to safeguarding the constitutional order of our country”. Further details are expected to be given by the defence minister on Saturday morning.
Secrets, missing pieces and shocking opinions: writing a family’s story is never simple. Can a biographer tell the truth without rewriting the past?
In his mid 30s Michael Ondaatje, who grew up in Sri Lanka but was by then living in Canada, realised he had “slipped past a childhood I had ignored and not understood”. So he returned, determined to talk to his relations and “touch them into words”, which is a kind of comprehension. Those words became Running in the Family, which conjures up a vivid world of rackety, racy, disappearing privilege, of overgrown garden and monsoon, of generous, eccentric people given to amateur dramatics and a kind of wild, untethered, grief-laced chasing of fun. So vivid, in fact, that a note in the acknowledgements comes as a slight shock: “I must confess that the book is not a history but a portrait or ‘gesture’. And if those listed disapprove of the fictional air I apologise and can only say that in Sri Lanka a well-told lie is worth a thousand facts.” Which feels like a bit of a last-minute rearguard self-defence – but also a serious acceptance that writing about family is a complicated thing, and not always for obvious reasons.
Late in Running in the Family, too late in some ways, as the book is nearly done, Ondaatje’s brother Christopher, who has been helping with the research, voices a warning. “‘You must get this book right,’ my brother tells me. ‘You can only write it once’” – which is true both for Michael, and perhaps for his whole family.