“ABYSSINIA KING TOILS ON ROADS WITH SUBJECTS
“This statue was erected by the Indian Community in Ethiopia in commemoration of the Silver Jubilee of the Coronation of Haile Selassie I Emperor of Ethiopia, November 1955.”
Poetical Work of Sri Aurobindo, important Indian mystic, inspirator of “Auroville”. Probably written during the Italo-Ethiopian War.
“HAILE SELASSIE – PROPHET
It was a lovely night, the skies were blue and the moon shone with rare brilliance. I had the unique honour of listening to the Emperor Haile Selassie in his modestly furnished reception room in the ancient city of Bath.
How prophetic of the Black Emperor that he should choose Bath for his residence in Britain – a city made famous by the Romans for their baths.
It was in June of the last year, before Benito Mussolini, the destroyer of Abyssinia’s freedom, declared war on Britain.
The world knew nothing about the plans and intentions of the Emperor when he told me that:
‘The hour of my country’s liberation is coming and you will see me soon leaving this country.
Don’t think that I was wasting my time here pushing my bicycle on the streets of Bath all these days. My faithful rasses all over the country were carefully knitting a net of revolutionary activity, keeping the people informed about my doings here and their duty to their motherland.
I have received definitive news from Ras Kassa that my people are awaiting my arrival in the country with expectancy.
I will not rest until the last Italian is driven away from my country. I live and I die for the liberation of Ethiopia. I am confident that in less than a year I will ride on my snow-white charger at the head of my people and enter Addis Ababa.’ “
Interview with Enzo Biagi, taken from “1935 e dintorni”, E.Biagi, Mondadori 1982.
“I feel a great admiration for the negus, a real man without doubts, and the abyssinians were very lovable people, they had never been our enemies, even during the conflict, everywhere we were welcomed with feasts“. (…)
“I remember Haile Selassie as a man full of dignity, I knew him when I returned there: suspicious, smart, very shrewd, surely a head fitting for his country, that never accepted our offers. As you know, we wanted to give him a huge appanage, to make him king of Rhodes or one island in the Aegean Sea, that was surely easier than going to London in exile, poor, for he didn’t own exported money. Instead, he was able to keep his rank, his style, and above all he had this high merit: once returned in Addis Abeba, he started to protect the Italian people, he never felt any rancour.“