Talk:Haile Selassie/Archive 2

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3

criticism in lead


If you do not agree with the wording suggested, suggest wording that you like. The two sources I provided indicate that the criticism is credible and significant, and it has to be included in the article. If you disagree with the way it's presented, that's fine, but you don't get to excise criticism from this article. - Revolving Bugbear 16:41, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

HIM never overthrew or overturned the COnstitution

Revolving Bugbear has found a source [1], the "Student Britannica" that claims HIM Haile Selassie I "overthrew the constitution" near the end of His Reign. This is incredibly sloppy and the "encyclopedia article" is heavily POV; you will find no reputable source ever claiming that He revoked or overthrew the 1955 C onstitution, because He did no such thing in any way, shape, or form. An extraordinary claim like this would require verification from a more reliable source. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:45, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Then I assume you will have no problem with me re-adding the part about the rebellions? - Revolving Bugbear 16:46, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
OK, "Despite this popularity, his suppressing of rebellions among the rases earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians" -- I suppose would be fair enough (note I have added "some", since obviously not all do). But please don't cite the "Students Britannica" article as if it were a neutrally written source! Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:52, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
I've just re-read your comment. The passing of the 1955 constitution was the "upheaval" I referred to. The 1955 constitution gave the federal government far broader powers than it previously had. - Revolving Bugbear 16:48, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Now that is truly ridiculous, I have never seen anyone describe the 1955 Revised Constitution granted for Ethiopia as an "upheaval" and I doubt you could find such criticism anywhere either! 16:52, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Also, the fact of the matter, which can easily be verified from numerous sources, is that the 1955 Constitution gave the people far broader powers and role in government than He had granted in the 1931 Constitution. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:57, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
The 1955 constitution gave the government far broader powers vis-a-vis the traditional local powers, such as the rases (including in Eritrea). It did not limit the power of the Emperor in any meaningful way. - Revolving Bugbear 17:07, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
"Despite this popularity, his suppressing of rebellions among the rases earned him criticism among some contemporaries and historians" ok, you got it now, but I have to say I find the criticism a little funny. I suppose those who criticise him for this, feel he should have encouraged the rases to rebel against him, rather than suppress them; and I wonder if perhaps the "contemporary" critics who complained are the rebelling rases themselves! But enough of my opinion, at least it is a neutrally worded statement now so I'm satisfied. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:23, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
With all due respect, Til, what you think of the criticism is not what's in question here. It is indeed a fact that there were groups who found Selassie controversial and there continue to be some who see him as such in a historical view (including Human Rights Watch, as noted by the source, which ought to set off a few bells). I think the article does not do a good enough job addressing these, but including this bit is, in my opinion, a start. - Revolving Bugbear 17:32, 17 February 2008 (UTC)
Bells ringing? HRW are hardly a neutral organisation, nor a trustworthy one because of their left wing political stance. Thanks, SqueakBox 17:36, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

The HRW source is interesting, I hadn't noticed that the 200,000 famine deaths figure was untrue until I read that. I agree that it is only interested in criticism and not context, but certainly I found it very useful. What is trustworthy, after all? I've seen plenty of prejudice: not just leftist HRW-type criticism, but sinister Marxist propaganda intended to undermine the state, western condescension, and Rasta hagiography that tries to conceal all blemishes.

I wanted to address the note in the failed GA review, that suggests a legacy section, just so I don't forget. Legacy should also include a note on the Derg, and the famine of the 1980s, to contextualize the Wollo Famine and the revolution. DBaba (talk) 22:57, 17 February 2008 (UTC)


Its need a reference to the affair of photos of him (Haile) feeding his pets (dogs if i remember right) when there's was a famine in Ethiopia; this was quite a notice on his moment and one of (indirect at least) reasons of his fall; sadly this has been forgetting —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:12, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

You need a reliable source for such a claim. Of course were feeding their dogs all over the world at the time and there is no evidence he did not try to prevent the famine (in contrast to Stalin ion 30 who was selling wheat abroad while Soviet Union people were starving. But by all means if it stirred controversy and you can verify it, by all means add it. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:17, 19 February 2008 (UTC)
I read about this in several sources. Dimbleby's film cut scenes of the Emperor feeding his dogs, allegedly from a silver platter, with scenes of people starving in the Wollo Famine. Of course, this was Dimbleby's work, and it has been proven that his statistics were false, and his projections of the scope of the famine were incorrect... (And he has continued to offer incorrect statistics in recent years, which continue to be echoed by the BBC, interestingly!)
This is not something that should be mentioned in the article, in my opinion, because this was just a dramatic effect of the film. In one source, I even read that when the Derg first rounded up the Emperor's family (on September 11) they sat him down and made him watch the Dimbleby film, shocking him, and leading him to suggest that he would happily renounce his throne if it was the best thing for his people.
Some of this I intend to work into the text. Anyway, the thing with the feeding of the dogs, that was really just film editing, more than an actual phenomenon. What's still missing from the article, is that Haile Selassie and many of the people around him claimed to be unaware of the scope of the famine, which was afterall only a fraction as bad as Dimbleby reported it to be (though still a colossal tragedy). I have to get Haile Selassie's autobiography, it's the most important source and yet about the only one I haven't accessed yet. DBaba (talk) 23:26, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

Mobilisation Proclamations

Not so long ago, both of His Majesty's Mobilisation Proclamations at the onset of the Italian War were sourced to My Life and Ethiopia's Progress where they appear verbatim. This is an invaluable resource that gives the clearest possible picture of the circumstances at that time. Why was this simply cut out with no discussion? I think it needs to be restored. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:51, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

There was no source, and I'm trying to source all these fact tags. Do you think it's necessary? I wasn't impressed that it was helpful, but if you think so I'd certainly welcome it back. Maybe you can restore it and source it properly? DBaba (talk) 17:00, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
I strongly urge you and anyone else seriously working on this article to read His Majesty's Autobiography, My Life and Ethiopia's Progress beforehand as required reading. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:09, 21 February 2008 (UTC)
Why must it be so difficult to get my hands on? Four libraries and nothing, and I've had to special order it through Barnes and Noble, which doesn't stock it either. Anyway, I'll be back to work once I'm through it! DBaba (talk) 21:45, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Oh dear... I hope that didn't set you back too much... I ought to have linked it for you, it is reproduced in toto at Ras Ark I's site, here. There is also a Volume Two, but it is a little harder to find... Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:31, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Haha, well, I'd like to own it anyway! $13, not so bad, cheaper than Amazon. But thank you so much for the link, I have been dying to get to read it. DBaba (talk) 22:52, 26 February 2008 (UTC)
Both proclamations are reprinted in chapter 41 of the Autobiography. From the introductory materials that Ullendorff wrote, volume 1 covers the Emperor's life up to 1937; volume 2 up to 1941; one is forced to rely on other sources for his reign after 1941. (Ullendorff claims that Haile Selassie began writing a third volume, but the manuscript has since vanished.) DBaba, you have cited in many articles from vol.2 -- which I did not think was translated into English. Where did you find this? -- llywrch (talk) 21:30, 21 March 2008 (UTC)
I'd made a request for the autobiography from my local Barnes and Noble, without realizing that there were two volumes, and they just special ordered me the second volume. If you just ask them for it and give them some time, they should be able to get you the text without any additional charge. Published in 1999 by Research Associates School Time Publishing & Frontline Distribution International Inc. The footnotes and annotations by Harold Marcus are extremely extensive and helpful, and the translation is by Ezekiel Gebissa. DBaba (talk) 23:42, 22 March 2008 (UTC)
The 2 proclamations were first added to the article in this edit to replace a totally bogus and made-up version that had just added by an anon, back in December '06. They are taken verbatim from the published Autobiography (Vol. 1, chap. 41) and contain valuable and interesting historical information and details about that period, crucial for anyone trying to research the subject. I feel they should not have been deleted, and should be re-added. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 00:17, 23 March 2008 (UTC)
Honestly Til, I guess we really disagree about that. I removed it not just because I was in the midst of adding citations and cutting uncited material, but because I find that to be a pointless and banal quote, particularly by the Emperor's standards. Looks like a generic mobilisation order to me with the usual "die-for-you-country" stuff. Haile Selassie's eloquence and elegance is such that he can order a sandwich with appalling wisdom and grace, and this quote you like seems to be nowhere near what he's capable of, and just takes up an incredible amount of space on the page.
If you get that second volume, the Christmas Day speech to the American people that I've excerpted in the article is really amazing. Also more noteworthy than the mobilisation order is a speech he gives after the war about not taking revenge on the Italians as they flee--so that the first thing he thought of at the end of the war was to start protecting vulnerable Italians who had formerly been his very persecutors! Actually I might try to add that now, as it's tied metaphorically to St. George and the dragon, as per Ethiopian tradition. DBaba (talk) 17:12, 23 March 2008 (UTC)

Years of reign

There were some statements here that were quite incorrect. First & foremost, Haile Selassie did not become Emperor until 1930, either de jure or de facto: Zauditu was Emperor (or Empress) from 1916 until her death in 1930; Haile Selassie's position was that of Regent, which clearly gave him much power, but not only could Zauditu resist his efforts, there were many conservative nobles who opposed him. Foremost was Habte Giyorgis, but others included Balcha Safo (who was loyal to the memory of Menelik II) & Ras Hailu Tekle Haymanot (the descendant of one of the warlords of the Zemene Mesafint, who was loyal to himself). Without the formal title, he had to proceed carefully against them -- as Harold Marcus describes in his book, Haile Sellassie I, the Formative years: 1892 - 1936. Until he became Emperor, no one thought he was the de facto ruler of Ethiopia -- although he clearly had a lot of influence in the government. Far from emphasizing what power he had, the then Ras Tafari actually played up his powerlessness to outside observers, leading many European diplomat to conclude that Ethiopia was at the brink of dissolution! (Marcus, pp. 27ff).

As for whether he remained Emperor in fact or in name during his exile, from my reading of Ethiopian history there was no such concept as a "former Emperor" -- once made Negusta Negus, a person remained Negusta Negus until his death. During the Zemen Masafint, when Emperors were made & unmade on a regular basis, there are many examples of the deposed emperors being referred to as simply "emperor", even if the reign was for a few months many years ago, & the person was a penniless beggar owning nothing but he rags on his back & the title. I could cite some other examples, but talking about de facto & de jure only needlessly complicates the situation. -- llywrch (talk) 22:12, 21 March 2008 (UTC)


Selassie is divinity in a serious well established religion and to deliberately remove the good work done re that to push a POV is not acceptable. To insert templates asserting a consensus that is not here is further evidence of POV warriors affecting this article, and a completely unacceptable intimidation of new users. So I have edited for NPOV and tagged. Who cares whether Selassie is God or not? None of us should, I don't but believe that those removing the material care deeply about this issue, but we are an encyclopedia not a soap box. The article is also generally looking much worse than before, I have slapped a few fact tags on unsourced material and fear that if conflicts continue I will be doing a lot more of this. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:11, 27 March 2008 (UTC)

Squeak, are you doing this to tick me off or what? Why the heck would you remove those lovely pictures, what are they hurting? DBaba (talk) 01:17, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Also, what are you disputing? Why the tag? And why did you remove that note about the consensus, I thought that was reached with your participation--and I haven't been editing that section. DBaba (talk) 01:19, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
No I am doing it because there is a content dispute, mostly concerning how we present the Rastafari in the opening. Bulbous also removed my fact tags and while his edit may have been trolling (based on the edit summary he gave) he was disputing the version I was giving as I dispute the version that Bulbous reverted top. If you want to remove the tag but keep teh current version that is fine. I am also happy to discuss the appropriateness of the 3 family pics (father, Empress and son) and of the inclusion or not of unsourced material and material concerning Rasta in the opening. I am certainly not in any sense against you, DBaba. Its not that anyone is against these lovely pics, it is that i question there relevance in this article. Thanks, SqueakBox 01:27, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
SqueakBox, it is inappropriate to remove comments from the talk page. Let's set the comments aside for now, but I will restate my point - I strongly suspect you of editing [refactor]. Can you please otherwise explain the overwhelming nonsense you post late at night? The rest of the time you are reasonable. How can you defend edits with summaries such as:
  • "templatye that states a lie and restoere an older version avoiding antii Rasta POV pushers"
  • "rechnical pronlems"
  • "mp copnsensus DBaba and Bulbous is not a consensus to remove anything that idoesnt disrespect rasta that is nopt NPOV pleae"
  • "tyagginf or NPIOV as I cannot believe those who edited re rasta have any NPOV in their end prodict and unless they dont dispute there is a serious disopute"
Seriously, man, what gives? What makes you think any of these edits can stand, when they all make just about that much sense? Also, why have you edited the Rastafarians section that you, Til and I hammered out after mediation? There is an instruction there not to edit the section without consensus, which you just unilaterally removed.
Can you explain yourself? Bulbous (talk) 01:39, 31 March 2008 (UTC)
Hey, Squeak... we're still waiting for an explanation. Was it really "rechnical pronlems", or was it vandalism? Bulbous (talk) 21:03, 22 July 2008 (UTC)
I am not willing to deal with you until you change your childish attitude. Making accusations that other editors engage in criminal activities based entirely on your own silliness is completely unacceptable. IMO for this you should be indef blocked but meantime do not expect me to engage with you until I see a thorough change in your attitude. Thanks, SqueakBox
Yes, we're well aware of your attitude - anyone who opposes your edits is a troll and should be reverted. Anyone who disagrees with you should be blocked or banned indefinitely. I could care less whether you intend to "engage with me" or not. But you specifically need to defend the absolutely incoherent and illegible edits you made to THIS specific article in March of this year. I think I know the reason... but I'd like to hear it from you. If you won't care to defend what looks like prima facie *vandalism*, why should be tolerate you having anything to do with this article again? Bulbous (talk) 15:25, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Just passing through. But I've reviewed the March edits. While they point to an obvious dispute over content (which I won't comment upon), they do not appear in any way, shape or form to be "prima facie vandalism", "incoherent", or "illegible". If the spelling and grammar in the edit summaries are all you can point to, I think you should refrain from making unsupported statements such as these. Please, take a step back and consider for a moment before hitting the "Send" button. All the best, Steve TC 15:43, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
A little background would probably help. The user who made the incoherent edits (as summarized above, that they are incoherent is inidisputable) had just participated in a lengthy mediation process in which one of the sections of the article was hammered out between multiple parties. It was tagged by an administrator. This user then removed the tag and unilaterally restored the old contested version. The reason provided via the edit summary was incoherent. Without an explanation, (which I am still seeking, four months later), this can not be considered anything but blatant vandalism. Bulbous (talk) 16:00, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Why don't you get another hobby as you are clearly incapable of collaborating on wikipedia. The incoherent edits are those by Bulbous whose classic defence is to accuse others of breaking the law based entirely on his own wanting to hurt other people. This is totally inappropriate for wikipedia and I for one will not engage with someone whose only purpose here is to troll. I suggest you refactor your vandalism accusation if you wish to stay here, you are far too experienced to deliberately make vandalism claims against those you disagree with as you are far too experienced to accuse others of criminality without a shred of evidence. We do have a right to edit here without someone being nasty so please go away before Ir eport your accusations that I break the law to AN/I. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:27, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
SqueakBox: Please save the threats. You have a well-established pattern of trying to resort to administrative redress any time you don't get your way. Trying to figure out what happened here does not require a "Crime Scene Investigator".
1. You participated in mediation regarding this article. 2. Mediation did not go "your way". 3. Late one night, you reverted the mediated edit (which you signed off on) and your explanation was completely incoherent - "mp copnsensus DBaba and Bulbous is not a consensus to remove anything that idoesnt disrespect rasta that is nopt NPOV pleae" (followed by other similarly incomprehensible edits and reversions).
Normally, your edits are at least understandable. I don't know specifically what happened here, but you were not editing as per normal. As I see it, one possibility is that you were in an altered state for some reason (not yourself). Another possibility is that you were not actually yourself. Either way, an explanation would be nice, as what technially happened was that this article was vandalized with your account. Bulbous (talk) 00:33, 24 July 2008 (UTC)

Unilateral Annex vs. Voluntary Parlimentary Union?

I'm fairly new to Wikipedia, and know nothing about Eritrean history, but I've found some contradictory information in different articles. The 2007-07-17 version of this article claimed, without a source, that:

"In 1962, the Eritrean parliament, then completely dominated by Unionists, placed Eritrea directly under the Ethiopian Constitution, dissolving the Federation and making Eritrea a province of Ethiopia. "

The next day that text was removed anonymously, without a reason given. The article on History of Eritrea still says something similar:

"Finally, in 1962 Haile Selassie pressured the Eritrean Assembly to abolish the Federation and join the Imperial Ethiopian fold, much to the dismay of those in Eritrea who favored a more liberal political order."

Yet the articles Eritrea and Eritrean War of Independence both say that the Emperor unilaterally dissolved the Eritrean parliment and annexed Eritrea. Those seem to me like two very different and contradictory sets of facts. Can someone who knows more about Eritrean history than me track down a reliable source, and make all these articles say approximately the same thing about this event?

SirValentine (talk) 01:10, 27 May 2008 (UTC)

The 2007-07-17 edit is correct. The Ethiopian army basically gave the members of the parliament a choice between voting for union or getting shot. Jmclean —Preceding undated comment was added at 17:56, 4 September 2008 (UTC)


Shouldn't be a mention to Ryszard Kapuściński's book "The Emperor"? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:47, 28 May 2008 (UTC)

Can you please be more specific regarding Haile Selassie/ Bob Marley undo

Hello SqueakBox. You said that my edit to the Haile Selassie article was reverted due to "poor edit summary". Would you please explain in what way the explanation of my edit was "poor"? It seemed quite concise to me. Can you explain to me in what ways Bob Marley has more to do with Selassie than say with the bands Culture or Israel Vibrations, among others, who also sing specifically about Selassie? It really seems that an image of Bob Marley on this page is gratitiduous. Thank you.Wowbobwow12 (talk) 23:38, 29 May 2008 (UTC)

Bob Marley is far more notable than any other Rastafarian. Most people have never heard of Israel Vibration or Culture. This seems so obvious to me I wonder why you are asking. The article also suffers notoriously from born again Christians whop want to underplay the importance of Rastafari re His Majesty so including a picture of His most prominent worshipper seems entirely appropriate to me. Thanks, SqueakBox 23:40, 29 May 2008 (UTC)
Could you please cite a source that says Bob Marley is "His most prominent worshipper" and also explain in full detail why it matters who His most prominent worshipper was? Clearly you have an interest in introducing Bob Marley into the article, when proper form would suggest that the article should focus on King Selassie I, not famous people who worshipped him. I do not believe in getting into edit wars, so if you wish to go ahead with your agenda, I will not resist. Nevertheless, no one can deny that this article regards King Selassie I, and that mention of ANY specific reggae singers within the article, much less photographs of them, constitutes a divergent "factoid" inappropriate for a serious encyclopedia article. Wowbobwow12 (talk) 01:00, 30 May 2008 (UTC)
These bits of info you ask for are unnecessary, he was very prominenent and I think there is no need to explain the notability of this fact. Baffled? Yes. Thanks, SqueakBox 13:20, 23 July 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm... that doesn't really make sense... Keep up your precise and unambiguous editing! Wowbobwow12 (talk) 17:08, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

World's Greatest Emperor of Ethiopia

Can you provide a citation for that? What is up with the artistic license being taken on here? (talk) 03:40, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Good catch. Bulbous (talk) 13:57, 6 August 2008 (UTC)

Bot report : Found duplicate references !

In the last revision I edited, I found duplicate named references, i.e. references sharing the same name, but not having the same content. Please check them, as I am not able to fix them automatically :)

  • "Dread" :
    • Dread, The Rastafarians of Jamaica, by [[Joseph Owens (Jesuit)|Joseph Owens]] ISBN 0-435-98650-3
    • Dread, The Rastafarians of Jamaica, by Joseph Owens ISBN 0-435-98650-3

DumZiBoT (talk) 09:34, 8 August 2008 (UTC)

Restructuring of lead section

Congratulations to the editor who has reworded the introduction to reduce the emphasis on Haile Selassie's status as a religious symbol for the Rastafarian faith. The Emperor was a figure of major significance in both an Ethiopian and an African context. The previous wording made both appear almost incidental and undermined his historical importance. (talk) 20:44, 13 September 2008 (UTC)

This article concerns a PERSON. Anything that does not directly pertain to this person does not belong in the lead section, no matter how well sourced. While the Rastafari movement does bear mentioning, specific details about the movement do NOT bear mentioning in the lead section. The fact that the movement started in Jamaica has NOTHING to do with Haile Selassie I. The fact that Bob Marley popularized the movement also has NOTHING to do with Haile Selassie I. Please see WP:LEAD for more information and guidance on writing a lead section. In addition, information presented in the lead section has to be given the same weight given in the body of the article. The Rastafari movement takes up roughly 1/4 of the lead section, while it only comprises rougly 10% of the article body. As such, that much coverage in the lead is out of proportion. Finally, please refer to any other central religious figure to see if the "religion" is given that much detail in the lead. You won't find one. Remember, this article is about Haile Selassie I, not the Rastafari movement. Bulbous (talk) 00:04, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I'm actually kind of shocked that this material is being retained without discussion. First of all, none of the lead sections on other spiritual figures include the number of followers in the lead section. Go ahead and check Confucius, Muhammed, Jesus and Buddha for examples. In fact, even the article on the Rastafari movement does not mention the number of adherents in the lead. Also, the figure is uncited and incorrect. The reference was probably taken from "Chanting Down Babylon", Page 1, but this was a 1997 figure, not a 2000 figure. Today's Rastafari population numbers at 600,000. Secondly, the reference to Bob Marley does not belong in the lead. Bob Marley may have been a prominent Rastafari, but he is not a significant figure in the life of Haile Selassie I. In fact, Bob Marley is not mentioned in the lead papagraph at Rastafari movement, either. Can someone explain why this info rates mention in the lead section? These continued blind reversions without discussion are showing bad faith. Bulbous (talk) 14:47, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Well actually we are discussing it. I fully support Til's edits in this case, Selassie is both a historical figure and a religious figure and equal weight should be given to both. Rastafari is a significant feature in how Selassie is percieved, and he is far more widely known in 2008 as the Rasta God. Thanks, SqueakBox 15:20, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
So, you think the incorrect information should be kept intact as well? Bulbous (talk) 15:34, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
What incorrect information? If you have a ref for the number of adherents i suggest you add it rather than just deleting the information. Thanks, SqueakBox 19:20, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I have several and they can all be found within Wikipedia. Check Rastafari movement or Major World Religions, for example. The information given does not match either the current figures, or the reference in the Rastafari movement article. I have no wish to add it, because it doesn't belong - as per all of the other citations. You can add L. Ron Hubbard to that list, as well. Since none of the other spiritual figures have this information, why should Selassie I? You haven't provided any suggestions as to why this article should be different from all the rest. That's all I'm looking for; some logical explanation of why it should stay. Bulbous (talk) 19:29, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Well that's not very helpful but if you do not wish to add a ref to the article you could at least bring it here, otherwise you have no evidence the figures are incorrect and you are the only editor who currently opposes the inclusion of this material. By going over 3RR you have stymied your argument somewhat, as you recognize. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:13, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
You know that is not how Wikipedia works - we don't assume things are correct until disproven. Uncited material can be boldly removed. I'll give it a bit more time for someone to provide a logical argument why it should remain, which is still lacking at this time, and then we'll see what happens. Bulbous (talk) 20:44, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
Just stop policy-lawyering, if you have a ref bring it here and if you don't then stop edit warring. Thanks, SqueakBox 20:56, 14 September 2008 (UTC)
I just gave you two references, and they pretty much clearly indicate that the statement in the article is incorrect. But why are you dodging the question in the first place? Why should that statement be in this article but none of the others? What makes this article different? The only explanation so far is that someone is pushing an agenda. Bulbous (talk) 21:12, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

Verifying ip edit

Can a trusted editor confiorm if this anon edit is correct or not. I have no idea and the ref is unverifiable but we need to get this write or just put in December 1960. Thanks, SqueakBox 22:48, 14 September 2008 (UTC)

It took me about 1 second on google to establish that 13 Dec was correct. (my search terms: haile brazil december 1960). In general, whenever an anonymous account mucks with figures without explanation like this, it's safe to auto-revert to the status quo ante. If there really is compelling reason for the change, we'll hear about it! Cheers, Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:46, 16 September 2008 (UTC)

October 2008

Hereby calling for friendly discussion of recent edits and revisions by Til Eulenspiegel. Not convinced that reporting of HIM's words is always NPOV when his words conflict with other cited sources, such as UN Resolutions. Til Eulenspiegel might be misusing NPOV and POV accusations to shield HIM from criticism. Once again, hereby calling for friendly discussion on merits of pro-Selassie point of view in encyclopedic history article. I encourage others (besides Til and myself) to review Til's revisions to this article and very pointed comments thereon in the History page.

Doomsdayer520 (talk) 17:08, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

This is what is known as an "unjustified accusation", since I am doing no such thing. This is the article on His Majesty, His Majesty speaking ofr himself is entirely reliable as he has noted "Some people have written the story of my life representing as truth what in fact derives from ignorance, error or envy; but they cannot shake the truth from its place, even if they attempt to make others believe it." (see quotations section"), this is very important not to misrepresent his words by the many sources that misreport him, but to let his words speak for his words. The words I restored that were being misrepresented, refer to his famous war mobilisation proclamation of 1935, and have NO conflict with any UN resolutions (!). If you are calling for "friendly" discussion, it seems at the same time from the above accusations that you still have some way to go, and also to clear things in your own mind. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:21, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
The bolded text above represents Haile Selassie I refuting the Rastafari belief in his divinity. But I really don't see what that has to do with this discussion. Can you provide specific examples of what edits you find problematic? Bulbous (talk) 17:01, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
There is no source anywhere interpreting that quote (written in 1938) the way you have just interpreted it, nor is there any unambiguous refutation to be found in any quote of his (only repeated refusals to do so). Once again, Bulblous, please find something more constructive to do than incessantly push your original and inflammatory, bigoted (anti-Rasta) point-of-view. Thank you. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:29, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I never said there was any source interpreting it the way that I have characterized it. Even if it did originate in 1938, it still stands today as a pretty clear statement to those who persist in believing in his divinity. In any case, it has absolutely nothing to do with this discussion, and I didn't bring it up - you did. Don't just sign on here and spout out off-topic drivel and then complain when it is challenged. Bulbous (talk) 04:43, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm with Bulbous on this one. Til has referred to Bulbous as "inflammatory. bigoted" and claims that I "still have some way to go, and also to clear things in your own mind." What I did was raise a question about neutrality, while Til has resorted to name-calling. Well this shows Til's opinion on Haile Selassie loud and clear. When I called for a friendly discussion, I was talking about the editing pattern for this article, which shows that historically, Til has rapidly reacted to just about any edit with re-edits that display a belief in Selassie's divinity. Arguments and evidence about that charged sub-topic can be found elsewhere. Here the article is supposed to be historical. If I "still have a long way to go" on understanding this subject, thanks Til for pointing out my hopeless ignorance. You're right because I am not convinced of Selassie's divinity and infallibility, regardless of who's calling whom non-neutral.
I would also like to point out that calling others non-neutral does not prove one's neutrality by default. Also, I still think it's useful to analyze this article's History page, before this here discussion gets any nastier. Thank you. Doomsdayer520 (talk) 15:22, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
This is anything but a friendly conversation. I must warn Bulbous that his persistent bigoted comments and personal ad hominem attacks are cruising full speed toward an RFC. Bulbous is the first person in recorded history who has ever interpreted his 1938 comment above as a repudiation of Divinity. I interpret it as a warning to those who persist in falsely put words in his mouth. This discussion isn't about any serious changes to the article, it is merely affording an opportunity for you to get your licks in with some more general grumbling. I have been editing the article with facts in an area where I have researched immense amounts of primary and secondary sources, not trying to "convince" anyone of Haile Selassie's divinity. But at the same time, Bulbous is just not going to convince me with every lie and trick in the book, that His Majesty ever repudiated the Rastafari movement. Can we please get back to constructively editing the article? It is a known and documented fact that His Majesty gladly received firstfruits in his Jubilee Palace from the leaders of the Rastafari community he sponsored to repatriate to Ethiopia, right up until the Marxist Derg took over, and that he never repudiated them; that he visited them personally on numerous occasions in the 60s and 70s and that he never repudiated them; that the British government first tried unsuccessfully in the 1950s to approach him about officially repudiating the Rastafari movement but had to give up on the idea; that the Jamaican government continued to press him to repudiate the Rastafari community and he refused, responding "Who am I to disturb their beliefs?"; that he instead sent them an Orthodox Archbishop, Laike Mandefro, who also pointedly refused to repudiate their beliefs while His Majesty was alive, and baptised several of them; etc. etc. etc. These are all documented facts. The Anti-Rasta bigots unable to get the repudiation they were looking for, were continually trying to put false words in His Majesty's mouth during this whole time, solely to attack the movement, and they have not yet given up: the most convincing material Bulbous has come up with are vague, uninformed, second-hand, no date-specific allegations in the BBC, Time, and Washington Post. Those are seem by Rastafarians as "the Big Three" mouthpieces of Babylon, so guess how convincing he is being to Rastafarians by pointing to those sources?! Bulbous, this talkpage is not a place for you to continue your efforts of bigotry and ad hominems, which have NOTHING to do with actual changes to the article and are merely the same gratuitous attacks that predictably rear their head every time there is any activity or discussion here, and it is getting really, really old. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 11:29, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Til, I would like to repeat that it was YOU who brought up the "ignorance, error or envy" quote. I never mentioned this quote, nor attempted to include it or anything related to it into the article. Your mention of it was completely off-topic and irrelevant and my comments were only made to illustrate that (and your avoidance of the original challenge). The fact that you are focusing on myself instead of the very legitimate challenge to the neutrality of your edits speaks volumes. And the fact that you think that 600,000 people consider the three publishers which I have happened to cite sources from to be the scourges of their movement is beyond laughable; more like "seek help". Bulbous (talk) 01:45, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
My bringing up the 1938 quote is perfectly appropriate in reference to the importance of his not being misquoted. It is you who are out of line by coming in with off topic drivel about how his 1938 quote is supposedly a repudiation of divinity (a perfect example of putting words in His Majesty's mouth). The Rasta attitude toward "Babylon news" is also well known and easily documentable, and once again your bigotry and ignorance is showing as you derail this conversation farther and farther from the subject of constructive edits, into a complete ad hominem against me. You are now telling me to seek help; I am indeed going to seek help and pursue remedial action, to get you to stop baiting me with these unconstructive and off topic attacks, motivated only by your hatred of my personal faith in Rastafari, which you see as illegitimate. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 01:59, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I have absolutely no such objection to anyone's personal faith; that is absolute nonsense. What I have is an aversion to is articles being written in a dogmatic fashion in order to promote the editors personal beliefs. As evidence of good faith and your interest in neutrality, I would like to invite you to actually comment on the talk page section entitled "Restructuring of lead section" (above). The fact that you mindlessly reverted proper and well-defended improvements to the lead section without talk page comments seems to serve as a demonstration of POV and bad faith; this is indicative of a dogmatic agenda. Bulbous (talk) 02:07, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
The article is a collaborative effort, and it is constantly evolving. If you have any problems whatsoever with the current status quo wording, why don't you mention what they are specifically, instead of turning every discussion into a heated, off-topic, lengthy debate about the legitimacy of the Rastafari Movement. The record above proves that it is you who keeps raising that subject first. We are here to discuss concrete changes in wording on this page, not militate vaguely against selected world religions at every opportunity. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:06, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually, you are not here to discuss "changes in wording". I have invited you to do so, above, and you have deliberately refused to participate. Defending (without discussion) an edit that was implemented and went unnoticed for some time "status quo", and therefore implying consensus, is completely unreasonable. Are you advocating stealth edits? Are you suggesting that we sneak wording into the article so that it might go unnoticed and therefore unchallenged? The original point of this section was about Doomsdayer520 questioning the neutrality of your edits. He was right to do so - you've become completely biased. Bulbous (talk) 16:36, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I will be more than happy to discuss any changes in the wording that you might suggest. I will no longer stoop to the level of your trolling, off topic comments about the Rastafari Movement that you gratuitously add to every discussion. The topics we had been discussing here, before you changed the subject into yet another attack on the Rastafari Movement, were Haile Selassie's policies toward Eritrea and Mussolini. If you are not happy with how the article reads in any way, please confine use of this page to proposing what specific wording you feel would be preferable, and let's lay off of the constant, gratuitous invective comments about Rastafari that seem to crop up at every turn, and really have nothing to do with editing the article. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 18:06, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I would like to ask you, for the third time, to please comment on the discussion above re: "Restructuring of lead section". This is not a difficult request, yet you seem to be unable to fulfill it without name-calling and accusations of persecution. You were the principal editor involved in reverting any edits to the lead section, yet you have refused to make proper commentary on your reversions. Bulbous (talk) 20:15, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
And I am asking you, for the third or fourth time, to tell me specifically what in the present article you wish to change. If I could tell what your specific complaint is, from reading that section above, I wouldn't be asking. What is it about the article as it reads now that you specifically object to, or that you wish to discuss? (Please be specific.) Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 20:24, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Why must you persist in being difficult? You engaged in an edit war with me over the following [2]. This was widely discussed in the section above - in which you were requested to participate but did not. Now, you seem to be acting like you have no idea what I am referring to. My specific questions relate to that diff: Why did you continue to revert a factually incorrect figure? Why did you revert information specific to the Rastafari movement that has no place in the lead section of an article about Haile Selassie I? I came to the table well-prepared to discuss, source and defend my edit. All I was looking for was for you to demonstrate good faith and do the same. I am still looking for this. Bulbous (talk) 20:37, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I still don't see any constructive discussion of the article as it reads now; only discussion about a previous version that exists only in the article history from before a month ago. What is the use of discussing a past version? What would it accomplish? Is there nothing at all in the present version you wish to discuss? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 20:51, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
You have used this page to level accusations against me. What I am trying to demonstrate is that the above dispute (contrary to your recent claims) is evidence of me proceeding in good faith by sourcing my edits, citing precedent, and discussing on the talk page. You were the main editor involved in reverting my edits, and you did so without any talk page discussion (despite being requested to participate). What this illustrates, in my opinion, is that your accusations against me are meritless. And your insistance in discussing the article as it reads now seems to serve that you now no longer support the version which you formerly so vigorously defended. Bulbous (talk) 21:23, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Discussing the article "as it reads now" is supposed to be exactly what this page is for. I will be more than glad to do so at any time you are ready. Until then, I have no further comments or response. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:02, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
I guess that is as close to an apology as I am likely to get. Accepted. 03:44, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Picture switch

Regarding my preference for the kennedy image: I prefer that one because it's just an amazing picture. Kennedy was gunned down in a vehicle just like that one, just one month after the picture! For historical context I prefer it, but I understand if you like the cropped one better. Just wanted to make my case! Cheers, DBaba (talk) 17:14, 11 November 2008 (UTC)

Death and...After

My mom and her mom are Ethiopian, and they're here. She said that everybody in Ethiopia knows that Haile Selassie was killed by Mengistu Haile Mariam and that it's obvious. They're not sure how exactly, but they know he did it. She said "he built his office on top of him!" because he was scared that he was somehow actually alive or had some sort of power, like he was an angel of something (so out of extreme paranoia - he wasn't dead enough). Also, after his death, Mengistu-HM surrounded and killed the 62 ministers and that if Haile Selassie had died naturally then their would have been some sort of funeral. Instead..there was a revoultion. The whole finding the body thing or burial was filmed on Ethiopian TV, and my mom saw it in America. Haile Selassie did good things and bad things, so that's why he got that sort of burial.And she said some city people blame the Wollo people because they don't work hard enough and that for some reason that place always had famine, so that's what triggered communism and all the problems. So, that's some perspective from Ethiopians who had been there and stuff. Shouldn't there POV be somehow here? It's sort of a little biased and says that it's unlikely he had been killed, but as far as Ethiopians are concerned it's obivious as to what had happened. (LadyCakeage (talk) 19:20, 10 April 2009 (UTC))

This is the first time I've seen the Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia article, and the whole thing looks like a ridiculous POV "puff piece", written by his Rastafarian thralls. As anyone who was an adult in the early 1970s will remember, he lived in luxury and splendor while his people lived largely in squalor and need. It seems clear that certain editors have removed and probably continue to remove any objective, NPOV information from the article. What a joke! This guy was not the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. He was just a self-serving little despot, the kind the Earth has seen by the hundreds since the beginning of recorded history. The article needs to be bolstered with some NPOV facts that paints a more balanced picture of the man. (Posted anonymously because I don't need the aggravation of becoming flame bait for the True Believers.) (talk) 19:13, 11 April 2009 (UTC)
This article requires editors who are unbiased and impartial, and is the fruit of collaboration of many editors who are capable of being impartial and unbiased. When you come wading right in with blatantly derogatory language aimed at trashing another pov you don't like, it shows you are anything but impartial or unbiased; on the contrary, it shows that you are partial, and that you do have a very definite and discernible "bias". Instead of generic grumbling and complaining about "the way things are" in general along with your personal opinion, what would be much more helpful to the editors here, is if you came up with specific sentences that you feel may be improper, so that editors can take a look at them. (talk) 22:54, 12 April 2009 (UTC)

The article states his speech to the UN was in 1968 but a quick Google search indicates 1963. (talk) 06:59, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

Ethiopic in lead

I have no problem with Ethiopic being in the lead of this article, but there are several problems as it now stands:

1. Ethiopic is not mentioned, but Ge'ez. Until I did further research, I was left wondering what "Ge'ez" means: is it Ethiopic for "Haile"? is it Ethiopic for "Selassie"? is it Haile Selassie's title? There is nothing to indicate that Ge'ez is a language; if we could just change the word to "Ethiopic" I think it might eliminate a lot of confusion.

2. I was told that this decision was arrived at by consensus. If that's the case, where is the discussion by which this consensus was reached?

3. There is no reference cited. Is this transcription Original Research?

4. Why is providing the definition of Haile Selassie's name in the lead important? It makes things look garbled. I don't see "farmer" provided as definition for the name George in the lead for George Washington, or the fact that Marcus is reference to the Roman god of war in the lead for Marcus Garvey.

5. I've separated the dates of birth and death for clarity, based on what I've seen in other articles.

Webbbbbbber (talk) 21:44, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

This is all covered at WP:ETHM; we aren't about to change all references to "Ge'ez" encyclopedia-wide, just to spoonfeed people who don't know that Ge'ez means the same thing as Ethiopic. All they have to do is click the link, if they don't know what Ge'ez means. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:10, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
Thanks for the link! This clears up all my questions and concerns, except for the fact that no reference is provided for the transcription of Haile Selassie into "Ge'ez". I'll add a fact tag for that. BTW, what would you think of changing "Ge'ez" to "Ethiopic" just in the introductory sentence? I think it would go a long way to increasing understanding, and getting people to actually notice the beautiful Ethiopic script, rather than just skipping over it. After that, I agree that it's probably better to use the word "Ge'ez". Webbbbbbber (talk) 22:53, 23 August 2009 (UTC)
There are NO other articles that require references for how a person's name is spelled in another script of another language. Example: Laozi. Note that the transcription 老子 is provided there, but we don't need a reference "proving" that this is the right transcription. Of course it would be ridiculously easy for an intelligent person to find abundant references proving that both 老子 and ኃይለ፡ ሥላሴ are the correct transliterations, but it's one of those things that we take on good faith from editors who can read the other languages, and the fact tag is inappropriate, so I'm removing it. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 23:04, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

Date of Grounation Day

I'm no expert, and so have avoided doing the edit myself, but I'm wondering why Grounation day is listed in this article as April 20, 1966, when it's listed on Grounation Day and elsewhere as April 21, 1966. (talk) 05:40, 5 February 2010 (UTC)


The "categories" box at the end of this article is absolutely over the top. It's maybe five times longer than the comperable sections of the Wikipedia articles on Jesus and Queen Victoria, and maybe three or four times the size of those on George Washington and Adolf Hitler. I quite seriously think that all four of those combined would only approximate the length of the one for Mr. Selassie. This article really needs to be brought under the supervision of someone who is not a devotee of Selassie or who can at least exercise NPOV.PurpleChez (talk) 03:11, 12 September 2010 (UTC)

I started by removing all the redlink categories. All the other "recipients of ..." cats should probably also go, given that the complete list of honors is present in the article. EAE (Holla!) 09:39, 6 October 2010 (UTC)
That's an excellent start. It's still about twice the size of the comparable portion of the George Washington article. That might not be the best means of comparison but I think it does suggest that the article as it stands lacks NPOV. Do we really need a listing of every award, badge, medal, pin, certificate, and perfect attendance sticker the man received?PurpleChez (talk) 00:10, 13 January 2011 (UTC)
Looks like a lot more work was done and it's a huge improvement. A tip o' the hat to whoever has worked to bring this article under control.PurpleChez (talk) 22:16, 26 January 2011 (UTC)

Criticism of Haile Selassie

I think this article is a little bit too apologetic of Haile Selassie, if you compare it with the works of an historian as Martin Meredith (The State of Africa, around pages 210's).

For example, - The wollo famine was worsened by Selassie's unwillingness to get help from international organisations (for fear of damaging his image) - his ego impeded him from organising his succession. The coup d'etat by the Derg was helped a lot by the fact that he gradually slipped into dementia and was unable at the end of his reign to govern (loss of memory, of attention span) - the rastafari movement wasn't that spontaneous, it was a conscious effort from Haile Selassie's part, in accordance to his system of personal rule...

those are only a few examples... —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:32, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Who is Martin Meredith? Sounds like a lunatic POV conspiracy theory to me. The Rastafari movement was a conscious effort on Haile Selassie's part, eh? Riiiight.... Next? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:40, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
The original comment was not at all sarcastic. Why so much sarcasm in the response? The tone suggests a significant lack of NPOV. PurpleChez (talk) 22:18, 26 January 2011 (UTC)
I agree. The response from Til Eulenspiegel is bizarre (and a little childish). The issue on the famine (which is quite well known) is a notable omission. Not quite sure why he thinks there is a 'conspiracy theory' in what the original poster said. His post was a resonable observation that deserves a proper response. DeCausa (talk) 18:07, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
So we have one published author who thinks "the rastafari movement wasn't that spontaneous, it was a conscious effort from Haile Selassie's part, in accordance to his system of personal rule"... Uh-huh, sure it was... That doesn't seem to be a consensus viewpoint in most sources, now does it? More like borderline fringe from this author. Nearly everyone else who has addressed the subject has stressed how certain it is that the Rastafari Movement was anything but the Emperor's "conscious effort", and they have looked in vain for any trace of his direct visible hand in starting this movement in Jamaica. Now it appears that we have this bit of revisionism suggesting that even while no sign of "conscious" action to create the movement was ever found on his part, they're going to just accuse him anyway, of deliberately starting religious movements in foreign countries to promote his "system of personal rule", in other words, a conspiracy theory, since it theorizes that Haile Selassie I personally engaged in a conspiracy to start a new religion. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 18:55, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
And the other points raised? DeCausa (talk) 22:51, 31 January 2011 (UTC)
That author seems to have a point-of-view that is "unfavorable" to the article subject. Per NPOV policy, notable povs from unfavorable sources can be used, provided they are properly attributed, ie worded to make clear whose POV it is, rather than outright endorsed. (On a subject this prominent, there are always going to be a vast spectrum of both positive and negative povs on practically every detail and aspect.) This particular source seems rather questionable if he is out to demonstrate that the Rastafari movement in Jamaica was really a plot hatched by the Imperial Ethiopian government, however. Are there any peer-reviewed sources for the other "points" of his thesis? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 02:16, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Martin Meredith is a well known and respected British historian and journalist. He has written a number of books on the history of modern Africa. He was the African foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times and Observer newspapers, before becoming a research fellow at St Antony's College in Oxford. To describe his writings as a "lunatic POV conspiracy" and "borderline fringe" is rather strange. (talk) 08:00, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
It seems some editors do not even want to address the absurdity and baselessness of his POV claim that Haile Selassie I somehow personally plotted the Rastafarian movement in colonial Jamaica. They would rather blindly accept the absurd baseless claim without question as if gospel truth, based solely on the supposed "prestige" of the person making the claim. I don't care how much prestige you accord Mr. Meredith; his claim is still without merit, and as a source on Haile Selassie I he must be treated as far from neutral. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:15, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Your strange approach to this and your intemperate language suggests you are the one with a POV to push. "I don't care how much prestige you accord Mr. Meredith; his claim is still without merit". Who do you think you are? Not an Oxford fellow, I suspect.I note that you have no answer as to why his conduct over the Wollo famine should not be covered in the article. DeCausa (talk) 14:03, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I've already explained our NPOV policy once, so what else can I say? Here it is again, since you apparently "didn't hear it". That author seems to have a point-of-view that is "unfavorable" to the article subject. Per NPOV policy, notable povs from unfavorable sources can be used, provided they are properly attributed, ie worded to make clear whose POV it is, rather than outright endorsed. (On a subject this prominent, there are always going to be a vast spectrum of both positive and negative povs on practically every detail and aspect.) This particular source seems rather questionable if he is out to demonstrate that the Rastafari movement in Jamaica was really a plot hatched by the Imperial Ethiopian government, however. Are there any peer-reviewed sources for the other "points" of his thesis? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 14:18, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I've already explained my point, here it is again since you apparently "didn't understand it" as you didn't reply to it. Your strange approach to this and your intemperate language suggests you are the one with a POV to push. "I don't care how much prestige you accord Mr. Meredith; his claim is still without merit". Who do you think you are? Not an Oxford fellow, I suspect.I note that you have no answer as to why his conduct over the Wollo famine should not be covered in the article. DeCausa (talk) 16:14, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
At this point, I don't understand what else it is you want from me. I've already explained what our NPOV policy is to you. The policy on unfavorable pov sources remains the same, regardless of how much you try to make this about me personally, or what you perceive my POV to be, etc. You may have an unfavorable POV source, but you can't just springboard it off of my back into the article as a "neutral" source to be endorsed as if gospel truth, because wp policy is still wp policy, whether I explain it to you, or someone else does. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:07, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
As for the Wollo famine, what this means is we should certainly be able to mention that Martin Meredith feels Haile Selassie worsened the situation, of course it is well known that there is a major debate among many authors with regards to what he knew or was told of the Wollo famine, and when. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 17:19, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Look, I don't "have an unfavorable POV source" and I haven't "springboarded" "anything off your back" (I don't even know what that's supposed to mean. ) I didn't raise this book. I haven't even read it. I'm completely neutral on this. What I objected to is your slightly hysterical and over the top reaction to the original post - which, as one other editor noted above, didn't warrant that type of response. It was a perfectly legitimate post, which should be discussed properly - which you seem to be edging towards doing in your last post. (By the way I couldn't care less one way or another about Haile Selassie or rastafarianism. As I say, I'm completely neutral) So yes, this is about you and your (unprovoked) uncivil behaviour. DeCausa (talk) 18:02, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
I've just realised what the "spring-boarded off your back" comment means. You think your "endorsement" is wanted! What planet are you on? DeCausa (talk) 18:53, 1 February 2011 (UTC)
Sorry, but this talkpage is only for discussing improvements to the article, and violations of this rule can and often are removed. I've now commented on mentioning Meredith's views on the Wollo famine in the article. If there was some other matter you felt necessary to discuss, please bring it up on the correct page. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 19:09, 1 February 2011 (UTC)

Rastafari Messiah

The verse Psalm 68:32 was incorrectly quoted at the beginning of the "Rastafari Messiah" section. The actual wording of the verse is: "Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth; O sing praises unto the Lord; Selah." -Psalm 68:32. Jerdub93 (talk) 02:17, 10 April 2011 (UTC)

Actually, the verse that the quotation is referring to is the second half of Psalm 68:31. Russianfriend742 (talk) 06:42, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Divine or non-divine

I have taken the liberty of rewriting the section on Selassie's attitude towards his divinity. Please do not revert simply based on a "consensus" that was reached 2-3 years ago between exactly two editors. IMO, the previous version attempted to interpret the actual sources in a direction that gave more credence to claims of his divinity than the sources themselves asserted. As a result I have replaced those claims with the actual quotes from the sources themselves. This way, we do exactly what we are supposed to do, which is let readers decide for themselves, rather than making misleading statements like (in the former version):

Haile Selassie I was the titular head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church and, until his visit to Jamaica in 1966, he had never confirmed nor denied that he was divine. During his visit he specifically declined to refute the Rastafari belief that he was God.

I should note that the quoted source does not say "Until his visit, he never confirmed or denied ...". It says "he never confirmed or denied", period. Although in some sense, the second source does assert that he declined to refute his divinity, the actual quote presents a very different nuance from what the above wording implies. The old wording essentially claims that there is good evidence that Selassie did believe he was divine; the author of that wording, User:Til Eulenspiegel, explicitly claimed as much in his statement on the mediation page. IMO, the sources actually indicate that Selassie was simply an opportunist who was happy to go along with a belief that would help his cause; but rather than try and insert this POV, I am content to let the sources speak for themselves. Benwing (talk) 06:25, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Benwing, I approve of your changes. However, please do not put words into my mouth. I do not believe I ever "explicitly stated" any such thing. If Selassie truly believed he was divine, he did not share that belief with the world media. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 11:37, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


Jah one love Rasta! I and I be escaping Babylon! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:34, 13 May 2011 (UTC)

"Haile Selassie Charity Experience"

The edits made at 15:58, 24 May 2011 by report that he offered aid to Britain during the 1947 floods. I can't find a source for this, and the supposed source given isn't an "in-line citation". The entry is also poorly written, so would anyone be willing to clean it up and find an accurate citation for it? I wouldn't know where to start, i just came across this section while reading the article. Cheers -Evaristé93 (talk) 14:51, 16 June 2011 (UTC)

'Tafari' does not mean "Awe" !!!

I understand Amharic fluently, and "Awe" is not a good translation for the name "Tafari". Whatever source says it is, would be inaccurate or sloppy. The root is the verb Fera, to fear. To this is prefixed the passive prefix Te- making it a passive verb Tefera, to be feared (or revered, respected). The participial or gerundive form of Tefera (to be feared) is Teferi, or as some linguists write it, Täfäri, so it gets transliterated 'Tafari' with a literal meaning 'One who is feared, revered or respected'. It cannot be translated with the English word 'Awe', although 'awesome' might be slightly more accurate. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 16:43, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

Information should be cited

The post on Haile Selassie needs to be cited where information is posted especially pertaining to name and such related information.... Do not change cited information and replace it with opinions and misinformation. Facts must be presented according with subject regardless of personal feelings, opinions, emotions, religious fervor or desires. However, it must not be slanted either but must be fair based on the facts and not to offend anyones religion either. So both the religious person and the one who might'nt be a part of it should be fair in the facts and do not try to alter the facts or cited material. Next define "AWE" now is this mere a play of words. Don't take a word out of context, I am Ethiopian and "FARA" (TIY-FARA; Tafara) "Tafar" means Awe, Horror, Fear yes "FEAR" can be translated as "REVERE" and then "REVERE" perverted into "RESPECT" but that's pushing it. To due such is like translated the American (English) term "HORROR MOVIE" into "Respect Movie" or someone saying I was in "fear" to I was in "respect" R.Duverna (talk) 18:04, 20 June 2011 (UTC) R.Duverna (talk) 18:06, 20 June 2011 (UTC)R.Duverna (talk) 19:48, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

TAFAR (FARA) does literally mean FEAR (AWE)

TAFAR (FARA) does literally mean FEAR (AWE) ( using "awe" only in the context of fear) and nothing else not "English" but Amharic meaning of the word

The word Tafar (FARA) "Ta'Far'i ተፈሪ means awe and in what context? You wrote "FEAR" at its root, and then wrote respect after i.e. merely figurative usage. Yes awe and fear stand at its root. But, the point that I will give you is FEAR is more of a literal translation. As well be thoroughly explained here. And the post on Selassie will bear the facts hereafter.

And yes point taking. That TAFAR (FARA) literally means "FEAR". And to state that Tafari means "AWE" is really so that the word fear is not used, it is to be mild on the name attributed the Haile Selassie, but you are right that FARA means fear. Awe I guess was not as blunt. Awe is less blunt. It is like saying “handicapped” vs. “special”, it is speaking truth while not being bluntly-offensive. And yes as you “stated” FEAR is an exact translation. And hence it will be used.

Your manner of trying to make “FARA” (“FEAR”) into the word respect seems rather strange. However it is 100% wrong. Neither the word TAFAR nor FARA in the Amharic nor Ge’ez (nor any Ethiopic language as whole) mean RESPECT nor REVERE (in anyone shape or form). You cannot do to Amharic, nor most Afro-Asiatic (Semitic, Ethiopic etc.,) languages what you can do to most Anglo dialects and western languages. Most eastern languages are more literal and sometimes even hard to translate. But the proper transliteration is FEAR, (awe only in the context of fear), and nothing less. It literally means FEAR.

As an Amharic speaker I could take offense to your apparent attempt to misuse words. To alter facts; the Amharic word for RESPECT is not “FARA” nor TEFEARA or TAFAR/I.

The literal word for RESPECT is the Amharic root word “Kabar” ክብር and the literal Amharic word for “One who is respected” is “makbär” ማክበር which involves M(a) one who is and Kabar respect/ed. So, it is clear that you are trying to change words. IT seems as if you have a covert agenda on the issue? IF YOU DO THAT’S WRONG! Because it is clear you are trying to change words. And add that Haile Selassie is his “BAPTISED” name, than what was Tafari then? Which one is his “CHRISTIAN” name? The facts state that his birth name was Tafari and his coronation name was Haile (Selassie) don’t try to mislead nor pervert information. Let’s deal with the facts.

Now there is another Ethiopian (Amarinyaa/Amharic) words used for RESPECT which is the noun እንኳ “ənkwa”.

This is the only other word (respectfully) used in Amharic for the word respect along with a plethora of words from the root word Kabar but nowhere in the Amharic language or conversation nor ever is the word FARA or TAFARA/I used for respect or revere....

Though there are a few words exclusive used in Amharic for RESPECT and REVERE (however, they all come from the same root word KABAR) and not TAFAR nor FARA. Below is the literal word in Amharic for “REVERE” and “ONE WHO IS REVERED” along with a few other words from the same root (KABAR), just like Makabar; and the literal Amharic word(s) for revere and reverence (taking from the Amharic root word Kabar) is the: አከበረ Akäbärä Revere, to Revere, Reverence (verb-perf), and the word used for "One who is revered" is "makbär” (verb-informal)

However, the word FEAR (FARA) is FEAR period. And awe (FARA) was just a mild or respectful form of the word. But from hence on the literal word for FEAR and Amharic will be used with all correct and respectful efforts for the facts, truths and citations. But, before I finish, lets correct your next error, the word FARA can never be used for the word AWESOME, because the literal Amharic word for AWESOME is በጣም አሪፍ BäT'am arif - awesome (adjective.) and depending on usage በጣም ትልቅ BäT'am tlq - awesome (adjective.) R.Duverna (talk) 19:51, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

ውድ አቶ ዱቬርና፣ የትክክለኛ አማርኛ ዕውቀት ካለዎት፣ ይህንም እንዲያውቁ ይገባል፣ ግድፋቱ የኔ አይደለም። የቋንቋና የስዋሰው ሊቅ የአምሳሉ አክሊሊ ስመ ጥሩ መዝገበ ቃላት ቢያመልከቱ፣ በግሡ «ፈራ» ሥር እንዲህ አለ፦

  • ተፈራ - täfärra v.i. was feared, respected, honoured
  • ተፈሪ - täfäri adj./n. (one) who is feared, resepectful, honourable
  • (Amsalu Aklilu, Amharic English Dictionary, p. 334)

የእንግሊዝኛውን ትርጉም ያስተካከልኩት በዚሁ መሠረት ነው እንጂ ምንም አጄንዳ አይለም። እግዜር ይስጥልኝ፣ Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 20:07, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

That is not correct, and if you know anything about Amharic or Afro-Semitic languages unlike most western languages it deals with the literal (though there are at times “figurative meanings”) and as you know, and adhered to yourself, the fact that FEAR is the literal of FARA (TAFAR/TEFERA) and now using your own words it would be considered "sloppy" to translate ተፈሪ FARA/TAFAR (Täfärra/Täfäri) in verb, noun, adjective form etc., as HONOUR/HONOR/ed/able or RESPECTED when that is not is literal meaning. When there is a literal word in Amharic for honour/ed/able and respect/able/ful/ed.

The word respect is already handled (above) but here is the literal and/or actual Amharic word for HONOUR and it is not "TAFARA" (tsfarra): The Amharic word ክብር Kabar is key word for respect or honor and serves as an Amharic root for Respect, Honor and Revere and fear has nothing to do with it. The liter Amharic word for Honor/Honour/able/ed is አከበረ Akäbärä honor (verb-perf) and just like in the case of respect and reverence you have a plethora of words from the root word Kabar to designate the word honor and here they are below: አክብሮት Akbrot - honored (noun), ከበሬታ käbäreta - honorable (noun).

And the only other words literally used in the entire Amharic language for HONOUR/HONOR are the words below: ቅድሚያ Qdmiya - honor (noun), በለጸገ BäläTS'ägä - honor (verb-perf) or በለጠገ bäläT'ägä - honor (verb-perf).

And then you have such words or terms as “maid of honor” and “matron of honor” which are; የሴት ሚዜ Yäset mize - maid of honor (noun), የሴት ሚዜ Yäset mize - matron of honor (noun), and then you have words the negate honor e.g. መልከስከስ Mälkäskäs - be without honor (verb-inf) or ተልከሰከሰ Tälkäsäkäsä - be without honor (verb-perf). R.Duverna (talk) 21:01, 20 June 2011 (UTC)

So you're saying that you are right, but Amsalu Aklilu, one of the foremost authorities on the Amharic language, is in error? Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:16, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
I'm checking some other competent authorities/ Wolf Leslau's "Concise Amharic-English Dictionary", p. 245, gives:
  • ተፈራ täfärra - be feared, be respected... Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:27, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Now note, here is what the standard Amharic to Amharic dictionary has for that verb:
  • ተፈራ - ግ. - 1. የሚያሰጋ፣ የማይደፈር ሆነ። 2. ተጠረጠረ፣ አስጊ ይሆናል ተብሎ ተገመተ። 3. ታፈረ፣ ተከበረ። Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 21:38, 20 June 2011 (UTC)
Dear Mr Duverna, I have now provided three references to the foremost expert Amharic-English dictionaries and Amharic dictionary demonstrating that the verb Teferra does indeed connote "was respected" in Amharic as well as "was feared". If there is any question about what these sources are saying, I'm sure other Amharic-fluent editors can help explain it to you. Please refrain from changing the definition based on a website without consensus, and engage in discussion to find mutually acceptable resolution. Regards, Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 00:26, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Third Opinion

Searchtool-80%.png Response to third opinion request:
I don't know Amharic, but I think the version favored by Til[3] reads best in English, and the sources provided above ought to be cited in the article to support it. If you really want to mention "awe", R., it might be worked into the text in a way acceptable to Til, will you be willing to compromise on the wording somewhat to that end?—WikiDao 17:40, 22 June 2011 (UTC)

Attempt to reach compromise

I think compromise can be reached. Several of the baby name website sources Mr. Duverna last tried to add, assert that Tafari can mean "One who inspires awe". This is an acceptable translation of Tafari alongside "one who is respected / honoured / revered / feared". However, the word "Awe" by itself in English represents an abstract concept and does not grammatically correspond with "Tafari", which is a gerundive form of a verb. Amharic words corresponding to the abstract word "awe" might be "Girmawinet" or "Frihat". The difference between "Frihat" and "Tafari" should be obvious to an Amharic speaker, and that is the same difference in English between "Awe" and "One who inspires awe / awe-inspiring".

Secondly, I am uncertain why you take issue with presenting the information that Haile Selassie was his Orthodox Baptismal Name. I don't know if you are Orthodox, but all Orthodox receive a Christian baptismal name as infants, that is not the same as their regular familiar given name which in his case is Tafari. Googling any number of reliable printed sources averring that this is the case seems to be no problem, but your repeated accusations of a "religious agenda" here and on the 3-O appeal page have served only to muddy the issue. There is no religion agenda here on my part, unless my being a stickler for verifiable accuracy and neutrality is "religious"; but note the facts of his baptismal name will remain verifiable facts, notwithstanding whatever else you or I may choose to believe personally and privately. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 13:12, 23 June 2011 (UTC)


Entry mentions that Haile in "Ge'ez" means power but this is incorrect as Ge'ez is the Ethiopic script not the language. The entry should say that in Amharic Haile means power. Jah!--Sevenislucky (talk) 15:02, 2 October 2011 (UTC)

No, the reference is to the Ge'ez language, not the Ge'ez script. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 15:23, 2 October 2011 (UTC)
Well if that's the reference then I demand to see some proof that Haile means power in Ge'ez language as opposed to power in Aramaic. Or, for that matter, power in Amharic. The use of 'Ge'ez language' suggests that Haile has a subtle etymological distinction from Amharic, and from Aramaic. 'Africana' encyclopedia reference noted but citation still needed--Sevenislucky (talk) 00:53, 15 October 2011 (UTC)(UTC)--Sevenislucky (talk) 00:53, 15 October 2011 (UTC)
Some knowledge of Ge'ez language would be a desirable thing to have before contesting this reference. 'Power' in Amharic is Hayl as it is also in Ge'ez. Aramaic has nothing to do with this as it is not an Ethiopian language. In Ge'ez, but not in Amharic, the genitive case can be marked with a suffix -e, corresponding to the English word "of". Thus the form Haile, with an -e at the end, means 'Power of', only in Ge'ez. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 01:09, 15 October 2011 (UTC)


It should be mentioned in "biography" something about his education, especially that he had a foreign teacher: a French named Marie-Élie Jarosseau: I can translate it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Jheronimus (talkcontribs) 12:36, 4 July 2012 (UTC)

Empty rhetoric

"Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history."

Could anybody tell me what this sentence actually means? Thank you. AuntFlo (talk) 10:09, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Sounds kinda POV-ish. He's certainly an important figure (Or he wouldn't have a WP page for starters :P) but I agree that, without scholarly sources to back that sentence up and give it proper meaning and context it's pretty empty. --Τασουλα (talk) 12:38, 7 July 2012 (UTC)

Questioning divinity

The section on his opinions of his own divinity seem to suggest that he never denied it, or at least only ever addressed the issue obliquely. However, the quotation section includes a quote that very expressly denies his divinity...

Maybe some reference to the interview containing that quote should be made in the "divinity" section as well... (talk) 21:47, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

The user is speaking of this quote:

"I have heard of that idea [i.e., of Haile Selassie being the reincarnation of Jesus Christ]. I also met certain Rastafarians. I told them clearly that I am a man, that I am mortal, and that I would be replaced by the oncoming generation, and that they should never make a mistake in assuming or pretending that the human being is emanated from a deity." — Interview with Bill McNeil

--The Emperor's New Spy (talk) 21:52, 3 September 2012 (UTC)
According to Rastafari tenets, the Emperor did not expressly deny divinity with this quote. The question asked was not if he were divine, but literally if he were the reincarnation of Jesus Christ. He dodged the question by stating his own humanity, but according to Ethiopian belief Jesus Christ is indeed fully human as well as fully divine in a united (Tewahedo) nature. Actually this same question already been through arbitration. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:17, 3 September 2012 (UTC)

Regnal number

I dispute the implicit assumption that Haile Selassie used a regnal number as "Haile Selassie I". This is a purely modern European habit for the first of any name to call himself "I", and Miss Manners will tell you that it should not be done. It would be very surprising if an African monarch did so. (talk) 08:08, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Prepare to be surprised then. Ethiopian monarchs have always used regnal numbers. For example, the regnal term in Ethiopic for "first" is Qedamawi, the term for "second" is Dagmawi. Haile Selassie I thus styled himself Qedamawi Haile Selassie which can be rendered as Haile Selassie the First, or Haile Selassie I. Another famous Emperor was Menelik II or Menelik the Second, translated from "Dagmawi Menelik". Now this is how it is always properly translated in formal diplomatic documents, and what the Ethiopian Emperors have always included in their own title, but it's real cute to see Miss Manners being appealed to now as if she were a higher authority on it than the Emperor of Ethiopia! Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 12:29, 23 September 2012 (UTC)


The "categories" section at the end of this article is ridiculous. It is several times larger than the corresponding lists for George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein, and it is roughly six times larger than that for Jesus of Nazareth. This issue has been addressed in the past but it apparently needs to be revisited. PurpleChez (talk) 14:44, 28 September 2012 (UTC)


Could someone please add IPA for both the Amharic and Anglicized pronunciations? Thank you. -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) (talk) 12:35, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

I went ahead and added the IPA for English. Thank you Til Eulenspiegel for adding the Amharic pronunciation, but I, like most readers, am unfamiliar with the details of the romanization scheme for Amharic, could you add the IPA for the sounds this spelling is supposed to represent? Thank you! -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) (talk) 05:07, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
Til Eulenspiegel, thank you for adding the Amharic IPA, but your exclusion of the English /səˈlæsi/ pronunciation is unwarranted as it is by far more common in English than the prescriptive /səˈlɑsi/ you placed in the article. Listen to this if you have doubts. The English pronunciation is supposed to represent how people actually say it within the limitations of English phonology and interpretation of spelling, not how people should say it. Please restore it, unless you have an explanation for why it should be excluded. -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) (talk) 10:01, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
You've got to be kidding, a computerized voice programmed from The correct pronunciation is prescriptive because, out of these two main pronunciations likely to be heard in English, one is correct and the other is less informed; I have mostly heard /səˈlæsi/ from newscasters, who were just as likely to say /ˈheɪli/ as /ˈhaɪli/. In fact if you are going to include the old "newsreel" pronunciations as valid, at least /ˈheɪli səˈlæsi/ would be more consistent. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:57, 24 December 2012 (UTC)
I am going to try to arbitrate this if there are no objections. First of all, you are both correct. Til Eulenspiegel, you are right the Amharic pronunciation is the most informed and should be the only one included in the body of the article. However, like -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) said, a reader is likely to encounter alternate English pronunciation of the name and therefore warrant inclusion if nothing else than to prevent later editing by the less informed. Til Eulenspiegel, I disagree that one less informed and incorrect pronunciation is more valid than the next. Even if one is more historically prevalent, others are still in use in the Rastafarian community. Therefore, I suggest that you place a ref group="note" next to the IPA and list all known variations there so that the opening sentence is not cluttered beyond readability. Agreed? አቤል ዳዊት (Janweh) (talk) 01:39, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
I'm not sure how that suggestion would look, but it sounds worth a try. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 02:06, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
I copied the first as an example. You can add any more pronunciations into the note. I am not proficient in IPA. But I believe both the Amharic and English pronunciations require citations. I also moved the literal translation into a note. I think the first line looks much better this way. It was getting a little out of control. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Janweh64 (talkcontribs) 02:49, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Regardless of weather the voice is computerized or not, the link was intended to reflect that the correct pronunciation which can be referenced by a reputable dictionary is /səˈlæsi/ while user Til Eulenspiegel has included material which cannot be referenced and is subject to personal bias. You need to form an argument besides "you must be kidding" and rehashing unexamined prejudices. You need to define how a pronunciation can be "informed" which you will not find in a linguistics dictionary.

I agree that /səˈlɑsi/ is more reflective of the original Amharic pronunciation, but this is irrelevant to how English is actually pronounced. No one can dictate what others actually say, it can only be described. The use of /səˈlɑsi/ is mostly based on subjective aesthetic prejudices, affectation, and popular mythology about proper language not an informed understanding of language. It is more a product of ignorance of English phonology and simplistic understanding of linguistics, especially descriptive linguistics than of being somehow more "informed." If pronunciation can be ignorant or less informed, than /səˈlɑsi/ wins. It sets a precedent which would reverberate throughout the language and cause systemic change. If you accept that /səˈlɑsi/ is the correct pronunciation, then you must also change how you say Vladimir, Manischewitz, Panzer, Pakistan, and dozens of other names which have all acquired legitimately English forms. You as an individual could not possess the necessary knowledge of all the original languages to be able to pronounce all words of foreign origin adequately. Their pronunciation is left to the native rules of English to deal with.

In spite of the specious notions held by the semi-educated, English is its own language with its own rules of pronunciation and /səˈlɑsi/ is in violation of those rules. I don't think anyone would call Henry Kissinger ignorant or uninformed because he pronounces his surname wrong when speaking English, but someone going around calling Germany "Ghermany" to attain some more proper pronunciation would very quickly be labelled an ignoramus. There are countless names of foreign origin and they are all naturalized into English in mostly the same way. To accept /səˈlɑsi/ as the standard pronunciation would unleash a wave of change that goes beyond this one man's name. It is furthermore simply not based on the available, referenceable material as it stands, but on individual users' beliefs which do not belong on wikipedia.

You can find the pronunciation /səˈlæsi/ used by most Rastafarian reggae artists. I can cite at least two songs with this pronunciation: The Mission by Stephen Marley or Praise Ye Jah by Sizzla.

This clearly lists /səˈlæsi/ as more common with /səˈlɑsi/ second and is likely only included to please prescriptivists.

I have provided four sources now, and I've only found this one for /səˈlɑsi/. All information that can be found, and indeed the information presented about newsreels, points to /səˈlæsi/. If either of you still believe this is incorrect, then the burden is on you to find an adequate amount of evidence to disprove my claim and demonstrate how /səˈlɑsi/ meets wikipedia guidelines. Wikipedia is only a medium for describing information as it stands presently in its current form, it is not a forum for expressing one's views about the way the information should stand which is left to third party experts to deal with.

Also, the sound /ɑ/ is not present in Amharic. /ɑ/ is a back vowel (as in English father), the vowel in Amharic is a central vowel (like Chinese 'a') and transcription as /a/ is the more correct transcription and the norm in Amharic transcriptions in IPA. It should not have been changed to /ɑ/. -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) (talk) 16:32, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

I thought you were someone who came here not long ago asking for the IPA because you were curious about how the name is pronounced in Amharic, but already it seems you have opened up a can of worms here, now suddenly you are an expert on Amharic vowels and complaining of prescriptivism, to try to force what አቤል ዳዊት and I agreed is an incorrect and uninformed (if not ignorant) pronunciation of SELASSIE found in some English sources, as the norm. And any source being used to claim /səˈlæsi/ is somehow authoritatively correct, including the Merriam Webster computer voice, is about as authoritative as a 1950s Junior World Book when it comes to "facts" as far as I'm concerned. I speak English and I am so used to hearing /səˈlɑsi/ as the norm, that whenever someone says /səˈlæsi/ it really jars the ears and stands out, as if that person has some kind of problem with saying his name correctly. No doubt you will stand on your insistence that I look for and produce "proof" of how people really do pronounce it and claim I'm lying otherwise. This is a living demonstration of the extreme lengths I have often seen people go to for producing a disturbance over the slightest details when it comes to His Majesty. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:56, 25 December 2012 (UTC)
I mean no disrespect, this has nothing to do with the subject, and I'm not trying to produce a disturbance. This is only a question of language and wikipedia policy. An individual's own experience and subjective evaluation of the pronunciation cannot be cited on wikipedia. You need to provide a source and find a flaw in the above argument. If you believe the sources are wrong, then write an article demonstrating how, get it published, and cite it. There are lots of resources at your disposal which can be used as evidence to back your claim. You need to go find some, but you will probably find that /səˈlæsi/ is more common whether you want it to be or not. And, I don't claim to be an expert on Amharic, all you need to do is read the bit about phonology in Amharic language to verify what the proper transcription is. It's just fact-checking. -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) (talk) 19:07, 25 December 2012 (UTC)

Janweh64 and Til Eulenspiegel,

I don't have a problem with people changing my edits, but I do take issue when the change is detrimental to the quality of content and consistency of formatting on Wikipedia. Nothing I have done is controversial or out of the ordinary. Adding the pronunciation here was just a routine task of mine which I've done plenty of times on other pages with no issue whatsoever.

"Common English pronunciation" is horribly vague and imprecise, and you will not find it on other Wikipedia pages. "English pronunciation" would be better than "Common English pronunciation." It is also longer than "Anglicized as..." Please give a rationale for why you believe this is an improvement.

It was never agreed, only proposed, that the pronunciation be placed in a tag#ref. It is highly irregular, as every Wikipedia page with pronunciation on it places it plainly in the open. Many people only visit pages to look up the pronunciation, and concealing it this way would be unnecessarily confusing for them. They would assume it hasn't been added, since this is out of keeping with common practice. Would you please explain why this page should be an exception to the Wikipedia norm?

Also, as explained earlier [ɑ] doesn't exist in Amharic. All I did was change [ɑ] to [a] in keeping with the IPA norm on the Amharic language page, which lists [ɑ] nowhere, not even as an allophone. Why was this error placed back in the transcription?

The Amharic pronunciation is now listed between two forward slashes inside [] brackets, which is not standard. // in the IPA means it is the phonemic representation of the language. If you want to represent the allophonic pronunciation, which I think should be the norm, you need to place it between [] brackets and remove //, and you need to be sure you know what you're doing. Your previous edits and this new revision (and the ludicrous diphthongized [e]) all clearly demonstrate that you are looking at Amharic in terms of what you know in English. Your edits demonstrate a poor understanding of Amharic pronunciation and a lack of familiarity with IPA transcription. You are not treating Amharic on its own terms and you are using the IPA inappropriately. It's better to have no Amharic pronunciation than a wrong one which is copied and pasted a million times over by other sites. -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) (talk) 20:51, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

There is enough dispute here about transcribing Amharic words that it may be time to create Help:IPA for Amharic to provide a centralized place for discussions about the issue. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 21:56, 11 January 2013 (UTC)

I am a native speaker and reader of Amharic, born and raised. I guarantee you that my Amharic is not the problem. Although, I will admit I am new to IPA and I did not notice the distinction between [ɑ] and [a]. I am however absolutely certain of how this name is supposed to be pronounced. As for the english pronunciation, the problem with saying "English pronunciation" is that it gives the impression that when speaking English it should be pronounced this way instead of recording the fact that english speakers usually mispronounce the name as such.

Remember we are not talking about a place or thing which can just as likely have an English name. We are talking about a PERSON who while FLUENT in French and ENGLISH refused to address the United Nations in any language but Amharic.

While it maybe common to have the English pronunciation of articles like Ethiopia, which is understandable as an English name for a country is just as valid as an Ethiopian or Chinese name for a country. But the same argument can not be made for a person. Especially a person who is known to pronounce his name a certain way (remember your argument about Kissinger).

It is however very common to have peoples names only presented in IPA for the native language of the person. Examples I have found just in Russia:

In case you believe this only happens in Russia... here are some examples from France which is closer to England:

Actually, I have yet to find a single article that gives an English pronunciation of a non-English speaker, except for Nikita Khrushchev which is given in a footnote. I am of course not referring to biographies of people from antiquity like Gengis Khan.

I am willing to go over the pronunciation in Amharic sound by sound. I am even willing to record my own voice for you. But please stop this ignorant pursuit to add an incorrect pronunciation to the first line of a very important article.

this video has native pronunciation of the name at about 00:45. Notice though the speaker at times slows the sounds down too much and therefore puts too much emphasis on the ይ .

Here is another video showing all the letters of the Ge'ez alphabet and how they are pronounced in Amharic language. ኃይለ ሥላሴ (Haile Selassie) would break down like this:

  1. ኃ (found at 04:02) ha
  2. ይ (found at 06:55) yɨ
  3. ለ (found at 00:47) lɜ
  4. ሥ (found at 1:50) sɨ
  5. ላ (found at 00:55) la
  6. ሴ (found at 2:22) say or in IPA sei

But when pronounced certain letters mix together to form another sound. As in #1 and #2, which together you get Hai as in the english word HI! Notice every letter has a distinct and specific sound so that with some familiarity with emphasis and sound combinations you can pronounce any word exactly from just the letters. Even if you have never heard the word before or have no idea what it means. For example my name, which is in my signature, is pronounced in Amharic pronunciation: [əˈbɛəl da'wiːt]. Not the way an English speaker would pronounce it as /ˈeɪ bəl/. Notice the second letter in my name is similar to the last letter in ኃይለ ሥላሴ. That is because they are two different consonants with the same vowel sound. Only mine appears in the middle giving a slight variation. አቤል ዳዊት (Janweh) (talk) 07:34, 12 January 2013 (UTC)

I don't think there is explicit consensus to omit the English pronunciation of the names of non-English speakers. On the face of it, given the difficulties in establishing a system at Help:IPA for English that doesn't untowardly burden readers unfamiliar with IPA, it would make sense to allow the inclusion of a pronunciation for people who want to know how English-speakers normally pronounce the names. We try to have one pronunciation, but when dictionaries list two or three pronunciations, I don't see a general reason not to do so as well. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 15:53, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
I am not against its inclusion as it is pertinent but not on the first line. You would be hard pressed to find a single article that does list an English pronunciation. I have found hundreds that only include the native pronunciation. I don't know a better definition of consensus: that is reaching consensus through editing. If you can find some examples please list them. I am going to give you more examples for my point. Some GA and FA examples:
  • Rambhadracharya - this again uses a footnote and gives no english pronunciation. = Not available
  • Che Guevara = Spanish pronunciation: [ˈtʃe ɣeˈβaɾa]; = /gəˈvɑr ə; Spanish gɛˈvɑ rɑ/ - a great example with no english pronunciation in article. An article that has gone through 11,102 edits.
  • Galileo Galilei = Italian pronunciation: [ɡaliˈlɛːo ɡaliˈlɛi]; = /ˌgæl əˈleɪ oʊ, -ˈli oʊ; for 1 also Italian ˌgɑ liˈlɛ ɔ/- I am not even going to say anything... if this doesn't convince you then you have an agenda.
  • Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi - = /ˈgɑn di, ˈgæn-/. Number of edits = 10,758
  • Sun Tzu = pronounced [swə́n tsɨ̀]
Anyone looking for how English speakers pronounce it would be specifically looking for an English IPA. They would easily notice the nb 1 attached and be pointed in the right place to find it.አቤል ዳዊት (Janweh) (talk) 23:58, 12 January 2013 (UTC)
There are counter examples, though fewer and less prominent (David Oistrakh, David Pujadas), but I'm fine with the current note format. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:36, 13 January 2013 (UTC)
I apologize for not responding earlier. There have been some significant upgrades to the Great Firewall lately. Janweh's argument is more or less that we should not follow Wikipedia guidelines because others don't, which is a poor argument. It basically says that whenever editors enforce the guidelines, we should stop them to keep it like the other haphazard pages where they haven't been followed. There are many editors like myself who look for these articles to keep them in line with WP:MOS on foreign pronunciation because it is so neglected and because they are so often removed by people who are in denial of the existence of the English language. Interfering with our work is only exacerbating the problem. I don't have a problem with it being placed in a bubble if all linguistic information were placed in it, as is the case for the Gorbachev article. This is usually done for matters of space. The only reason why I find it an issue is that a whole two users want it in the bubble for matters of distaste with the reality of the pronunciation and are willfully flouting the established guidelines which we all must agree to follow as Wikipedians. Wikipedia is a shameless mess of a thing because of users who choose to ignore the formatting guidelines. You had no legitimate reason or justification for it that was not founded on personal prejudice, and you only formed an argument for it ex post facto.
If you insist on examples. These are pages where editors besides myself have added Anglicized pronunciations for people who, to my knowledge, have never lived in an English-speaking country. The need for consistent enforcement should be made particularly clear by the sliphod nature of how pronunciations are included.
In a footnote to an Amharic pronunciation I would expect information on dialectal variants or other Amharic-specific information, not the English pronunciation. You still should verify that the pronunciation is a diphthong [eɪ], because my assumption would be that it's just [e] like in French café [kaˈfe] which is different from English café [kæˈfeɪ] which I tried pointing out early.
Also, I recommend you make a recording and add it to the article. It's really quite simple and would clear up a lot of confusion about the Amharic IPA. I would encourage you to do that on all significant people from and places in Ethiopia pages as well. Adding audio to the Ge'ez alphabet article would also make WPLinguistics very pleased. -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) (talk) 09:19, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I believe you are misrepresenting my point. My contention is not that we do not follow the WP:PRONOUNCE MOS because others have chosen to not follow it. I am saying this MOS is out of date and no longer relevant. My argument is that the WP:MOS should be changed to reflect the new consensus that has been reached through editing.
Add the English pronunciation before the native pronunciation in all of the following peer-reviewed and laboriously edited FA and GA articles:
I will be watching these articles. If there is not fire and brimstone brought down upon you from the watchers of those articles, then I will concede that my argument has failed and agree to end this dispute in your favor. According to you, these articles do not follow the proper MOS, there should be no problem in correcting them and this is something you do routinely.
Most likely though they are going to try to bite your head off. This is because they understand, you are violating the spirit and intent of the MOS. When they do, please direct them to this talk page so we can have a discussion in one place and agree to change this outdated and ignorant Pronunciation MOS. Wikipedia is intended to inform and educate. Listing the English bastardized pronunciation—of sometimes living—people's names is stupid and only serves to misinform.
As to recording the pronunciations, I will begin immediately. I did not realize there was such a need until this discussion began.አቤል ዳዊት (Janweh) (talk) 11:54, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
That experiment sounds fun, but it might be construed as WP:POINTy disruption. If MOS really is "out of date", it might be best to go to WT:Manual of Style/Pronunciation and bring up the issue there. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:22, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
We have long had and continue to have our own MOS for Ethiopian names - which needs to address the unique relevant conditions of pronunciations; instead of singling this article out for some tightest possible global standards that are rarely applied elsewhere. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:31, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
WP:ETH doesn't say anything about how to use the IPA. Again, WT:Manual of Style/Pronunciation would be the place to bring this up. Members of WikiProject Ethiopia would certainly be welcome to any discussion there. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 16:57, 15 January 2013 (UTC)
I know WP:ETH doesn't address pronunciation, that's why I said it "needs to" for the reason I just gave. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 17:07, 15 January 2013 (UTC)

I understood your point completely, but I don't think your argument is valid. It's not that editors have chosen not to follow them, it's that they don't know they exist, and for most editors if they know the IPA exists, they don't know to use it. They already know how to pronounce the name in English at a subconscious level, so they leave the information implicit. They are taking this knowledge for granted however, and non-native speakers of English and people who've only seen the name in print need to know. When you explicate that knowledge, it is something they have never confronted before, and they don't have the necessary education to understand it. It's like Copernicus telling people the earth revolves around the sun. The real issue is mass ignorance. Linguists have been trying to battle widely held misconceptions and grammar school indoctrination about language for a long time, and no matter how reasonable an argument we form, people refuse to abandon their prejudiced beliefs about it.

I also understand your point about the spirit of the MOS, and I also don't follow it strictly. I usually don't put the English pronunciation first but after the native pronunciation because the native pronunciation takes precedence in my opinion, and it also appears to be the editing consensus except in special cases.

Not only could the challenge be perceived as WP:POINT (grounds for my removal), you may very well be astroturfing to prove your point. This is not a double-blind experiment. -Devin Ronis (d.s.ronis) (talk) 05:52, 16 January 2013 (UTC)

Whom exactly are the above inflammatory remarks directed against? Devin Ronis, you assured me above that your purpose here was not to be disruptive. We have at least two fluent Amharic speakers here in Abel Dawit and myself. Do you speak any Amharic at all? I don't know but it seems you do want to quarrel endlessly about the pettiest matters while declaring that your own unilateral interpretations of wikipedia procedure allow you to go removing whatever you like. I'm not saying that is arrogant behaviour, but... maybe it is time for you to find something else to do. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 16:35, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
A discussion has begun at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Pronunciation#Propose: Where multiple pronunciation of a name exist.... Editors are welcome to participate. — Ƶ§œš¹ [ãːɱ ˈfɹ̠ˤʷɪ̃ə̃nlɪ] 13:30, 16 January 2013 (UTC)
Sorry, I completely abandon my "Experiment" as it is clearly WP:POINTy. We also seem to agree on a lot of things. I apologize if I have been to forceful to prove my point. I would like to point out for people who might read this later, that I have not actually participated in POINTy behavior as I have not made any edits which I do not agree with. But my suggestion that you make edits that I disagree with can definitely be considered as POINTy. Let us continue this discussion at Wikipedia talk:Manual of Style/Pronunciation#Propose: Where multiple pronunciation of a name exist..., where I think it will be the most beneficial. አቤል ዳዊት (Janweh) (talk) 16:26, 16 January 2013 (UTC)