Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

2011: Year Of Renewed Spirit

Globally, 2011 will be remembered as the Year of Protest. Mainly because there was the Arab Spring, which started, of all places, in Tunisia in December 2010 triggering a chain reaction: Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Palestine in January; Iran, Bahrain, Casablanca and Libya in February; Iraq and Saudi Arabia and Syria in March. There were also the “occupy” protests in many Western cities, mainly in the USA. Some of the protests were brutally suppressed (Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain), some prevailed in overthrowing the hated regimes (Egypt and Libya) and still others are, as of this writing, on a lifeline (Syria and Yemen.) Some were “peaceful” (peaceful apparently means acquiescing to the regime the sole right to murder you but refusing to fight back in anything more efficient than rock-throwing); and some were armed. Historians will attribute many contributing factors to the protests but the two that are glaringly obvious are the role of Wikileaks and the capacity of revolutions to inspire other revolutions.

Though the protests did not spare the Western democracies, the difference is that western democracies have a built-in mechanism to accommodate protests–though some excesses were witnessed including pepper spraying of protesters in New York and beating of some in Oakland. But there are no snipers on rooftops shooting their own citizens in Western democracies. On the other extreme, protests are punishable by death in police states like North Korea and, of course, Eritrea. This did not stop thousands of Eritreans to organize protests in exile, and what makes 2011 different from previous years is the quantitative and qualitative improvements in the protests and demonstrations that were held. A comprehensive (but probably not exhaustive) list of all the protests which were organized in 2011 is provided below.

2011 was also the Year of Dialogue for Eritreans. At least for the segment of Eritrea which believes that the best way forward is for Eritreans who believe in Unity Without Diluting Diversity. This is what the Eritrean National Congress for Democratic Change (ENCDC) that was held in Hawassa recently was all about: bringing together a diverse group of Eritreans who take pride not just in their national identity but also their cultural identity, and providing them the space and time to share their opinions on the best way to govern Eritrea. As always, there appear critics. Some had valid criticism and we believe those will be addressed by the elected council or in subsequent congress; some had invalid criticisms ranging from the wicked (why is it being held in neighboring Ethiopia? Why not hold it in Europe so we can make sure none of these annoying Eritrean refugees stuck in Sudan or Ethiopia show up) to the imperial (why wasn’t my invitation card doused with my favorite aroma) and some of it was just the reflexive reaction of those so used to losing they don’t recognize what winning feels like—including the sour grapes who failed to be elected in their localities.

As with every year, 2011 also saw the loss of two Eritrean giants—from the standpoint of their contribution to history. In April 29, we lost Abdella Idris, the chairman of the Eritrean Liberation Front. After fighting for Eritrean independence since 1965, he was buried in exile, in Kassala, Sudan, together with many heroes who fought for Eritrea but couldn’t secure a burial spot in Isaias’ Eritrea. The website which we not-too-affectionately refer to as wedogeba.net, found a way to give credit to Isaias Afwerki for visiting another Abdella Idris that the website foolishly assumed was the Abdella Idris mentioned above. This is not unusual for wedogeba.net whose embarrassingly pride-free deference that it shows Isaias Afwerki when begging for Eritreans rights (as if they are favors), is only matched by its nasty put-down of opposition groups who believe in Unity Without Diluting Diversity. No surprise, it is in the diluting business itself.

In October 21, we lost Shiekh Mohammed Omer Akito, another Eritrean lion who had been fighting for Eritrean autonomy since 1952. As Gedab News reported, Akito was essentially kidnapped by the PFDJ from Yemen and, in keeping with PFDJ’s psychopathic behavior, he was buried “with honors” at the “Martyr’s Cemetery”—after they made sure that he lived his last days a degraded life.

In 2011, Eritreans were shocked to see multimedia reports of their compatriots who escaped the brutality of the Eritrean regime but unfortunately fell in the hands of criminals. They were kidnapped while on their way to seek refuge in Israel and became victims of human organ traffickers, particularly in the Sinai Desert of Egypt. Many would-be refugees are also languishing in Egyptian prisons after they were caught by border police; some of them were forcefully returned to Eritrea to face a cruel fate.

In the spring of 2011, many Eritreans were caught in the crossfire between Libyan rebels and Gadadfi’s loyalists. They were harassed and beaten because of the special relations that the Eritrean dictator had with the dead Libyan dictator. In May 2011, scores who came to Tunis escaping the fighting in Libya were beaten up and their makeshift shelters  burned by Tunisian brigands.

In April 2011, about 400 Eritreans died in the Mediterranean Sea sailing to Europe to seek refuge after escaping from Libya. The Eritrean Church, Archdiaocese of North America held a service in their memory.

But 2011 was not the year for lamenting. It was the year that, for example, Oakland-CA based Eritrean Youth Council (EYC) initiated a fund-raising campaign to save Eritreans who were suffering in Egyptian jails with threats of deportation.  It collected over $15,000 in a little over a week. The funds were used to purchase airline tickets to transport Eritrean deportees to Ethiopia rather than face the harsh consequences of returning to Eritrea. It was the year that Eritreans, in greater numbers, developed immunity to the only tool PFDJ has: fear. And once people refused to allow themselves to be afraid, the following, which is by no means a comprehensive report, is what happens:

JANUARY 2011

Jan. 7th to 9th: Melbourne started the 9th year of protest against PFDJ festival. The rally always goes on for as long as the festival (3 days). This rally was organized by Melbourne Rally Committee & Eritrean Australians for Justice & Peace.

FEBRUARY 2011

Feb. 9th Eritreans in Shieffield, UK held a demonstration to publicize the plight of Eritreans and the violation of their human rights under the Eritrean regime  (Youtube link)

MARCH 2011:

March 25th  Eritreans in Switzerland held a demonstration in Geneva.

March 26th  Rage against PFDJ rally, (Eritrean Australians for Justice & Peace).

APRIL 2011

18th Eritreans in Bay Area held a demonstration in San Francisco against the Eritrean regime. As usual, supporters of the regime tried to intimidate the demonstrators by taking their pictures; the operatives of the regime always monitor opposition activities and send pictures of demonstrators to the security department in Eritrea to be included in a blacklist. They would be arrested if they ever travel to Eritrea, their home country.

MAY 2011:

May 24th A three day event was hosted for the commemoration of Eritrea’s 20th year independence.  The event included a demonstration in San Francisco, a symposium with a panel of Eritrean speakers including Daniel G. Micheal, Kiros Yohannes, Fana Golid, Ghezai Zeresenai and Simon Weldehaymanot, and a two day live music performance.

May 24th  Eritrean Youth Movement organized a demonstrations in front of the Eritrean Embassy in Cairo, Egypt: (Youtube link).

May 25th Eritrean demonstrators in Leeds, UK, disrupted the meeting of Ambassador Gerahtu. it was organized by the Leeds youth groups (Youtube link).

May 25th Eritreans carried out a demonstration at the Eritrean Embassy in London Demonstration. It was organized by both the London and Birmingham folks; the slogan was “Enough is Enough of the 20 years of Dictatorship in Eritrea”: (Youtube link).

May 25th Eritreans in Brussless, Belgium demonstrated against the Eritrean dictator. (Youtube link).

May 29th Melbourne Eritrean Solidarity rally against dictatorship, Eritreans led protest in collaboration with Yemenis, Libyans and Syrians.

JUNE 2011:

June 20th A candle light vigil was held to honor and remember the massive suffering of Eritreans all over the world.  Eritrea suffered a significant loss in the spring of 2011 when approximately 400 Eritreans died in the Mediterranean Sea. On June 20th, Martyr’s Day was commemorated with a walk around Lake Merritt in Oakland, CA.

June 4th Eritreans in Switzerland held an anti-PFDJ demonstration in Zurich to disrupt a meeting in which Abdella Jabir, an official of the Eritrean regime, was delivering a speech (Youtube link).

JULY 2011:

July 8th to 10th A team organized by EYC participated in the Eritrean Soccer Federation of North America in Oakland, California.  The participation of the opposition team in the soccer tournament was not well received by PFDJ and its satellite group YPFDJ.

AUGUST 2011:

Aug. 6th “Your neighbor is a dictator” campaign was carried out by the Eritrean Youth Action Network – Australia (EritrYANA) distributed information to residents and shops within the area where the Eritrean consulate office is located to encourage them to reject having the office in the vicinity by sending a protest card to the office.

Aug. 14th EYC joined several Bay Area opposition members to demonstrate against the PFDJ festival where a spokespersons for the Eritrean regime was the guest speaker. The demonstration shook the PFDJ supporters who were attending and they came outside with loud music in an attempt to disrupt the peaceful demonstration against.

SEPTEMBER 2011:

Sep. 16th Eritreans in Sweden held a wide demonstration against the PFDJ activities in Stockholm (Youtube link).

Sep 16th  Eritreans from all over the United States protested in New York city, shocking many PFDJ loyalists who had been organized and bussed in secret to meet with Isaias Afwerki, the dictator of Eritrea (Youtube link).

OCTOBER 2011

Oct. 2nd Eritreans from Germany, Holland and Switzerland held a demonstration in Giessen, Germany in the venue where Isaias Afwerki the Eritrean dictator was supposed to give a speech on his way back from New York—he flew straight back to Eritrea cancelling his engagement in Giessen (Youtube link 1) and (Youtube link 2).

Oct. 8th Eritreans demonstrated against the Eritrean dictator in Uppsala, Sweden (Youtube link).

Oct. 23rd The 2nd and largest Demonstration was carried out on October 23, 2011 at the London Mekhete meeting attended by Zemhert Yohannes and Ambassador Tesfamichael Gerahtu ( Youtube link).

Oct. 31st, EYC and members of other opposition organizations met the Honorable assemblyman Michael Allan (D) representative of District 7th to discuss the status of the PFDJ party in the Bay Area.

NOVEMBER 2011

Nov. 11th (11/11/11) EYC took the message from the streets of New York and Oakland to the streets of Eritrea urging citizens to empty the streets of Asmara. The initiative to ‘empty the streets of Eritrea’ was a novel campaign in an attempt to link Diaspora Eritreans with those living in Eritrea.

Nov. 19th Eritreans in Switzerland held a protest demonstration to publicize the plight of Ertireean refugees in the Sinai Desert.

DECEMBER 2011

Dec. 10th Ethar, a UK based humanitarian organization inaugurated a water well that it commissioned at the Umgergur refugee camp. Though the drinking water of Umgergur camp is alleviated with the drilling of the AlRahma Well, Eritrean in many refugee camps in Eastern Sudan suffer from lack or shortage of drinking water and basic amenities. Forgotten by the Eritrean regime that never helped the almost half a million refugees who have been stranded in the camps, some of them for over forty years, Etahr is soliciting public assistance to drill more wells and build schools.

Dec. 10th Eritreans opposition organizations, religious groups and others demonstrated in front of the Eritrean embassy in London (Youtube link) and in front of the White House in Washington, DC, to protest against human rights violations by the Eritrean regime (Youtube link).

Dec. 10th Members of the Eritrean community demonstrated in the city center of Glasgow to publicize the plight of Eritreans under the oppressive Eritrean regime among Scottish and UK politicians in an attempt to solicit their help to end the trading of human organs in Sinai, Egypt where Eritrean refugees are the victims (Newspaper report).

Dec. 31st  EYC continues to encourage artists to use their talent to speak courageously against injustice in Eritrea and, as such, the New Year Eve of 2012 will see a party where Yonathan Habte (Lula Band, shekortet show) from Germany and several artist from the US will perform. Rezene Habte, the late Yemane Barya’s lead guitarist will perform at an event supporting the voice of the Eritrean people.

This being the pieces of information that we were able to compile, Eritreans are entering 2012 with full force, higher spirit and determination to struggle to end the tyranny of the PFDJ that is ruling Eritrea with impunity.  Eritreans have lost their fear and with that PFDJ loses its power.

awateteam@awate.com

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  • WEY GUD

    Any body care to answer the following

    1.Is the border issue legally determined by an international court of law or not?
    2.Is Woyanie refusing to abide by this binding decision by the international court of law or not? Is woyanie in our land right now or not?
    3.If so, that makes the Eritrean government and the Eritrean people on the right side of justice. Doesn’t it?

    • Truth

      1. yes
      2. yes, yes
      3. yes

      • SBEROM

        01. yes sir
        02.NO,YES
        03.HOW? ERITREA DON’T HAVE GOVERNMENT.

        I have approved to let Badme stay with “WEYANE” i am only saying my personal opinion. I have one Idea also. What do you think if we call ” Weyane” to catch more land and stay with them till PFDJ goes. places like BISHA could have governed better. don’t you think so?

  • WEY GUD

    Part 2:
    Border issue and fools errands
    Truth, thanks for the good analysis you did above. The problem is we are knocking on a rock here. Because, some people here seem to be brain dead. All the same, let me try to reinforce your point again if they get it.
    Fact 1: Eritrea and Ethiopia agreed to be abided by the ruling of the International Border commission UNCONDITIONALY and with out ANY PRECONDITION!
    Fact 2: Woyanie FAILED to abide by this decision of the international court of law
    Fact 3: Woyanie is still holding our “LEGALY DETERMINED” land “DECIDED IN AN INTERNATIONAL COURT OF LAW”
    FACT 4 – The above facts make Woyanie the Enemy of the ERITREAN and ERITREAN PEOPLE. (Note: I did not say ENEMY OF ERITREAN GOVERNMENT here)
    FACT 5: SOME ERITREAN FOOLS, IN A DREAM OF GRASPING POWER BY A SHORT CUT, DEEP BLIND HATRED TOWARDS THE ERITREAN GOVERNMENT, ROOTED DEEP SINCE 1981, AND SICKNESS OF SUBORDINATION – ARE BENDING FOR WOYANIE (THE ENEMY OF ERITREA)
    FACT 6: THE ABOVE FACT 5, MAKES THESE FEW ERITREANS (ASSUMING THEY ARE ERITREANS) THE NUMBER 1 ENEMY OF ERITREA AND THE ERITREAN PEOPLE – ABOVE THE WOYANIE! PERIOD!!!

    • kokhob Selam

      I am waiting for the 3rd part. till then get this “There is no freedom higher than democracy”
      for Kokhob Selam nothing seems meaningful than dignity including the national separation or division of lands. Truth don’t care all this even if the religious preach day and night “there is no religion higher than truth” people ask national question when they don’t get their rights otherwise there is no meaning of bringing PFDJ in place of the king Haileselase and Mengstu.
      Badme or even any land taken by Ethiopia is due to EPLF’s ugly and useless admin. Only making free Eritrea from PFDJ will solve all this.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Mr. Way Gud after reading your post I said also “Wey Gud” and I continue saying and asking “do we have this type of people still?” “anta entay z’amesel Stegem eyu. first and for most the people you are talking about are the people who are suffering in and outsdie the country. I don’t know if we have some other people whom you know enjoying there life in the so call free Eritrea.And it is irony and known fact you can’t solve external problems if you don’t internal first. Badme is not better than the entire Eritrea which is uner PFDJ. and Badme’s case can be solved simply within next day if Eritrea will be free from the corecodile in Asmar. for your information I think Badme is the only free part of Eritrea as for me. Go to Badme and you will feel free. just busy now i will continue …

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Wey Gud,You need to know the concept of freedom itself. Eritrea under Mengstu or Haileselase or under Issays is the same Eritrea. But even worst as it is confusing when it is under Issyas with freedom. There is no meaning of cutting lands if it is not for peace and freedom. Here let me repeat My quotation that I browed and modified it from Theosophists “THERE IS RELIGION HIGHER THAN TRUTH” my version is “there is no freedom higher than democracy.” The biggest mistake in our history is we program the mind of our mass in national separation as freedom and final job. This has caused to let PFDJ play it’s game for long time. our elders including Awate were after national question as they can’t find their rights under Ethiopian government which is correct. but they never thought we will replace it with this type of arrogance group. Now the struggle is between those who work to make a failed state by supporting PFDJ and those who are committed to make our long struggle meaningful and build democratic Eritrea. so if we continue with this group we will also lose Eritrea all not Badme.

      • WEY GUD

        Kokob Selam
        What I find so interesting is, the fear you day-dreamers have, or the unwillingness you (good for nothing day dreamers, if I might add) portray to address the border issue. What does our legally determined border issue, and Woyanies aggression has to do with democracy or other nonsense you guys are fond of mentioning? Why can’t you simply answer these questions?
        1.Is the border issue legally determined by an international court of law or not?
        2.Is Woyanie refusing to abide by this binding decision by the international court of law or not?
        3.If so, that makes the Eritrean government and the Eritrean people on the right side of justice. Doesn’t it?
        You fools should stop, think and answer all the above before you start to lecture us about this text-book junk about Democracy.

      • WEY GUD

        Kokob Selam,

        Oh, one more thing. You said “the border issue can be solved the next day if Eritrean government is removed” please do tell! How is that going to happen? you already have a deal with Woyanie? You are woyanie yourself and the decission is yours? PLEASE DO TELL- WE ARE ALL EARS

      • WEY GUD

        And you can drop the “Dear Wey Gud” staff. We already know you guys are mother bitters, country sellers, and shameless losers. No need of fake niceties here.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Dearest brother Wey Gud, (this is what I learn from Weyane, respecting people is their culture .. not contaminated by colonialsits and PFDJ)
          We don’t have boarder problem any more. Legaly Badme is an Eritrean land. What we don’t have is legal government. my friend what you don’t understand is there is no leadership to talk with. show me now if you have one. there is a group of crazy men and women who can’t manage even a small company. so don’t talk of Badme when you don’t have leadership. Smerrrrrr and challange the enemy within you. so,brother don’t call me fool, just call healthy people to read mine and yours and ask them who is fool. may be not you also but let the reality say it. Don’t ever say Weyane thousand times. today I am cheaper than them for being your brother. I want you to see things with open mind so Eritrea will have national government.

          where is Eritrea to talk about Badme? do you know that if “Weyane” will just jump on Eritrea the world will accept Eritrea will be Ethiopian part just there is no legal adminstration?

    • Truth

      FACT 5: SOME ERITREAN FOOLS, IN A DREAM OF GRASPING POWER BY A SHORT CUT, DEEP BLIND HATRED TOWARDS THE ERITREAN GOVERNMENT, ROOTED DEEP SINCE 1981, AND SICKNESS OF SUBORDINATION – ARE BENDING FOR WOYANIE (THE ENEMY OF ERITREA)

      This is probably the most important fact to understand! True to the fullest. This is the main reason of the Eritrean opposition. I fully respect those eritreans who dislike the govt but will side with them and eritrea against our enemies (ethiopia). but to those who are pro ethi and anti eritrea….well this fact describes you to the tee! This problem indeed is from the 80′s when the ELF were kicked out of the country. And instead of embracing the EPLF for bringin the country to freedom, they slander them at every cost. Out of jealousy and anger that they were not the ones who finished the job. Even though their contributions are fully recognized and appreciated, they remain butt-hurt. Have your disagreements but you should kno when its time to stop and defend your country and know who your enemy is, instead of siding with them. And to add, those traitor eritreans are just like the weyane in their disregard for eritreas sovereignty regarding the border issue. In any of their discussions, or meetings or website, there is never any mention of the illegal occupation by ethiopia on eritrean soil. That just shows how much you care about eritrea and just shows that it’s your personal agenda (bringing it back to Fact #5) and not Eritrea’s best interest that you care about. Shame!

      • Kokhob Selam

        There were people who said we should defend against external enemy in 1998 war. they lost the game. the reason is because actually there was no enemy at that time. the enemy was PFDJ. PFDJ has managed to convince some people that we have enemies just to delay the everything that leads to democracy.So when they have any problem the just blame Weyane.

        • Truth

          Kokhob Selam,
          Sorry to say (not really) but you are as hard headed as they come. Look at all the lies they make about Eritrea. Every single one of them has been proven wrong through evidence and fact. But you are blinded by hate that you choose to look through the eyes of the aggressors. You just proved my point…you dont care about Eritrean sovereignty. No external enemy? What part of “THEY ARE ON OUR LAND” dont you understand? If someone who has been trying to bully you for years forced his way into your house and occupied your bedroom….are you just going to ignore it and say “oh well who cares about that, let me go and argue with my dad…the same dad that is the reason why I have this house to call home” ??? That is what you are doing. Instead of fighting along side your dad (love him or hate him) against the intruder, you disregard the intruder in your own home and participate in a pointless smear campaign on your father because you have “differences”. Get outta here with that bullshit. Go to your stupid conference in Ethiopia. Go live there. Go and be ethiopian. We dont need you in Eritrea. Just remember….in a couple of years when the Ethiopians rob you and kick you out with nothing but the shirts on your backs (again), don’t try to comeback to Eritrea.

          • WEY GUD

            Truth,
            I think “Hard Headed” would be a big complement for this “Kokhob Selam” guy/girl. “Brain Dead” would fit him better.
            The problem with this guy and his likes is: They don’t have the interest of Eritrea and the Eritrean people at heart. They never have. Because of that we frequently see them stumbling and tripping on their own logics and terminologies. And always shoot their own foot. Sure, they love to mention big words, like democracy, rule of law etc. without actually understanding what they are saying. To their disadvantage, nobody is arguing with them about these things. They always fail to see (Intentionally) and consider, practical way of achieving them, they have no clue about priorities; they are always confused what comes first-“Egg or chicken” thing.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Truth, Why you are doing to so? actually Truth and Kokhob for peace are suppose to be friends. you are telling me that I should not come back if Ethiopians kick me out I should not come back. Why? by the way I am personally more near than you to your camp. haaaa
            why take it personal Keep the idea alive and post. PFDJ for me is enemy number one in the world. and I am committed to die for my freedom. border issue is nothing for me. to make it short me and my comrades have promised to clean Shaebia not in Awasa and in 2011 but since 1970′s. it may take some more time and the film is over. Don’t think I am among those who start to talk when they suffer. no long before I am against this dirty group. What did Issays said “AMa KTAHQEQ EYA” this is my version to ward shaebai. I don’t have father or mother or any beloved one who support shaeba that I will respect.do you got it? Shaebia has killed me and I have killed what I can. today? people will kill the daughter of Shaebia (pfdj).

          • Truth

            Kokhob Selam,

            Shaebia is the reason Eritrea got it’s independance. They defeated the Jebha (which had internal issues, no clear goal, no leadership because the leaders fled a long time before) and defeated Ethiopian forces which had the assistance of the Soviet Union, Cuba, Israel, the US. Shaebia had no foreign assistance. They did it on their own. Dont you forget it! The Jebha helped but ever since the late 70s early 80s, they were not there. They were not there when we had to temporarily retreat when we were so close to independence in the 80s because of Soviet intervention. They were not their during the battle of Massawa (fenkil operation) they were not their to declare victory and independence. Shaebia did that. No one else! Respect that! Now dont get me wrong I have the utmost respect for those who served in the war and their accomplishments, but thats as far as it goes. Some people did the job and some just helped at first and fled the next. And those are the same people that still hold a grude towards the Shaebia. Instead of saying thank you for liberating Eritrea from Ethiopia, and celebrating you just continue your bashing with your hurt egos. I never said you started to talk when people started to “suffer”. I dont think you did. Your hate started back before independence, like I said. But your damaged ego and stubborn attitude kept your grudge intact. Instead of being glad that Eritrea was independent, you focus on the fact that you weren’t there to do it. WHO CARES WHO DID IT THO?? that doesnt matter. all that matters is that it was done. But not to you. Say what you want about Isaias and the PFDJ…but they are the reason we call Eritrea home, they are the reason we have a flag raised at the UN. They are the reason Eritrea is independent!

            p.s. the reason i said dont come back is that we dont need your slave mentality in Eritrea. We dont need to have ethiopian minds in eritrea. Go to ethiopia where ethiopian minds are accepted. You cant expect to leave your family, get adopted by your family’s neighbor (who also is your family’s enemy), fight with your adopted family against your former family, and then come back home to your original family. If you abandon Eritrea, Eritrea dont want you back.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Truth, how do you get this name? You are too far from truth. I don’t have to reply you for all rubbish words. Just few questions to ask you, who told you I am in Ethiopia? What if I am right in the stomach of your party? who authorize you to decide for me to go to Ethiopia? And don’t you see you are going personal instead of challenging the Idea? Why blame Ethiopia for every problem in Eritrea?

          • Truth

            kokhob selam,
            I never said you were in ethiopia. I just said they way you think you should go there because you think like them and belong you there. I blame ethiopia because they are the ones causing the problems, and people like you are the ones fueling them. I dont care where you go or what you do. I never authorized anything. I only start to get personal when dealing with hard-headed fools like yourself. As you can see my earlier messages were more politically correct. but thats over with now. I can tell you have discussiions with many Eritreans, both for and against the govt. But non of them are like you. They dont speak from hate. They dont speak from revenge. They are clear headed, educated people who have constructive conversations for ERITREA. they dont support ethiopia, They dont go to eritrea and bash Eritrea. They acknowledge Isaias’ mistakes and his achievements. But people like you and the writer of this article are retarded to say the least. For you to say that the opposition acheived a lot this year are gaining ground is insulting to everyones intelligence. The opposition made ZERO acheivements. You fight amongst eachother more than you do to the PFDJ/ You guys dont agree on anything. Your conference in ethiopia had 500 people. You call that success?? 500 people?? The protests you had in New York against Isaias’ presence (which this article mentioned), you call that success? Around 50 people protested and you call that success? 50 people?? That is hilarious!!! I’ve had more people in my business class! the article forgot to mention that right across the street to these 50 “successful” people, 5,000-6,000 Eritreans were cheering in support for their president. Now that is what i call success. Not to mention the fact that they only had about 4 days to prepare for this conference, as opposed to the one in ethiopia where they had a year to prepare and only 500 people showed up. That is success.Eritrea doesnt want people like you period. That is my opinion but most importantly it is the opinion of the people. Eritrea doesnt take to kindly to deserters and traitors like yourself. Eritrea for eritrea. How about the protest of the bullshit sanctions on Eritrea? Those were successful. Tens of thousands came out to show there support in san francisco, switzerland, washington dc, and australia. The 4 corneres of the world. You guys should take some notes. Maybe you can learn a thing a or two.. But then again you dont care about Eritrea, you ust care about your grudge. Please tell me what do you do for your country? You obviously dont pay your 2% to help build the country, you obviously dont go there and help with projects and volunteer to do labor or help out at the orphanages, you obviously dont go to functions and parties and festivals where the proceeds go to the country. So tell me what do you do for Eritrea? NOTHING!!! THATS WHY IT DOESNT NEED YOU! POINT BLANK! calling the opposition a success is a joke… One last thing, i welcome suggestions with open arms. I’d love to have a constructive conversation with everyone with or against the govt. But the intentions matter. I dont care for stupid intentions like yours. You need to understand eritrea is more that isaias, so stop making it all about him. I wanna talk about the country, i wanna talk about accomplishments, i wanna talk about where eritrea can improve, i wanna talk about the future. I dont wanna talk about bullshit. I dont wanna have pointless conversations with peopel that are making no difference and are trying to throw rocks 100 mile away. I dotn have time for that. I dont wanna have conversations with people that are siding with the enemy and functioning through hate and jealousy. It people like you that make the rest of us more patriotic and a more tight knit community. so with that i say thank you

        • Kokhob Selam

          Easy my friend, why are you burning that much. I hope you don’t have high blood pressure. Look, I am among the people who work day and night against PFDJ. and if I will tell all you that will not good for you. so relax, be happy and watch what will happen. I know you will see all becouse you are hiden somewhere far. but take care of your health as we may need you in the future in democratic Eritrea. forget about the truth that is not for you. truth is for true people.

          • Truth

            hahah what you gunna do? have 100 people protest??? haha funny man! if you working day and night, then I suggest you either switch up your strategy or find a new job because you have nothing to show for it! I would call you a loser but a loser actually has to be in the game…and you are not in the game. Come to think of it, if you actually do have 100 people in a protest, I give you my word that I will congratulate you on that. That is real success (if you compare it to your previous efforts)!!!! You are a sad man. You dont even have the balls to admit the truths in my last post or any of the other ones. The least you can say is ” We havent been doing a good job. And i promise to do better this year and maybe we can be relevant”. But instead you lie to others and yourself and say its been great for you and you had a successful year with successful outcomes. Maybe if you told the truth and had a grip on reality, you might have more supporters….just maybe. damn i would hate to be you! having to look at a man that does ZERO for his country every time i look in the mirror? you musta done something bad in your previous life and this is the hell you are paying for it. all i can say to you is go to church! pray to god that he make you relevant. pray to him that he rids you of your blindness and makes you see. long live Eritrea! Awet n’Hafash!

          • Kokhob Selam

            As I said you are too far and I can see that you don’t know much of Eritrea. My advice is that you should ask more and learn more till you know the truth. Leave the rest to the people who are near to your boss and who are suffering and struggling for truth. Take care of your health and be away of politics as that is not for you. Don’t pay you life for something you don’t know.
            I am not looking for you, I am looking for those who commit crime or for those who don’t like to accept the reality. Things are not the way you have been told by the mafia group.

          • Truth

            I am in Eritrea almost 7 months of every year! That is my main home. I am not far from anything. I am as close as can be. Im around eritreans everyday. I know how they live. Whatever situation you think eritrea is in, you are wrong. I see it everyday. I live it! I am around people who dont like the govt and those who do both inside and outside Eritrea . and the fundamental difference is that the ones inside will never side with ethiopia no matter how much they hate Isaias. I am extremely close to my camp believe me. really close. and i also am with the other side. Much closer than you think. I did my homework. I work on the ground. Im not 678987 miles away spreading hate. I am close to the action on both sides. You seem to think you are a super cop who is looking for criminals so you can fight crime which is delusional to say the least. go look in the mirror. the man in it isnt accepting reality so maybe you can perform you super cop duties on him…just a suggestion

  • WEY GUD

    Rout to Economic prosperity and democracy
    Most African countries have western designed, EXPORTED democratic systems. They do elections and what not. But, they are the poorest countries in the world economically. Power transfer after election has never been smooth and peaceful. China on the other hand, never exported western democracy, chose to develop economically by following and adhering to strict rules. No election in a western sense. But Chinas economy is booming. Actually China would be the next candidate for super -power-dome. China realized, it would never develop economically and catches up with the West if it simply exports Western ideology. Remember, the west has the luxury to experiment and rectify their democratic systems for long years, with no or minimum outside interference. Under the greedy watchful eyes of the west, the developing countries have no such luxury . The only way to catch up with the West is not to strictly fallow “Western Designed Democracy in its totality”. China realized that and used military and strict rules when it comes to its Economy, and on the political side, concentrated more on “Accountability”, “Fighting Corruption”, and “Human rights – which do not violate its general principles. My question to you all: Is it easier for China to change Western democracy now and fit comfortably in the world, or for African nations (who have exported Western democracy), to grow economically and fit? To me African way is not good for us

    • Kokhob Selam

      Wey Gud,
      While it is good to discuss about which type of system to follow but first is to free the people to whom you want them to follow the system. So while debating the above subject let’s unite in fighting against the group who don’t want to have any type of system.
      otherwise “Mer’awi keyhaza Arki Hiza” the correct Eritrean saying. I agree with you we should have system but we may differ on the type. PFDJ don’t want any system.

      • WEY GUD

        Kokob Selam,

        I can see you, none of the messeges are getting through to you. Get this: I am saying the current Eritrean government way is the best way for Eritrea! You want elections? Go to Ethiopia and do all the fake elections, exercise fake democracy, and may be get rich. Who cares if the whole country is poor, right.

        So the above analysis- about China and Africa is to tell you: Hands off Eritrea! We are in a good truck- it may take us some time but we will get there. May be after you fools can come and exercise whatever democracy you are dreaming of, get this, in an economically stable Eritrea!

        • Kokhob Selam

          What? When? my friend you are exporting people instead of materials. you containers are prison sites. When do you want to go for democracy? after the death of all our people? and tell me what do you build so far? just by reading words of Mao you can’t build a country. are you trying to be pholsepher by reading that Hadas (Aregit) Eritrea( pfdj book)? stop all this and talk the truth.

          stand with the mass.Smerrrrrr

  • Alula

    Truth, your support for this cruel person, indicates that you are blind, dumb and deaf person. Bezemn Wobe ze-tzememe Wobe kebel yeneber.

  • wed. garza

    Well done Awate Team.
    The waves of active volcanic eruption throughout our zone is there, NOT to stop short of Eritrea but to overwhelm her and subdue her into the conditons and enviroment prevailing around her. Isayas has felt the heat long back in time and has no immunity left. The pattern is clear that’s, for every ten years there is a big momentum of change and no exception this year too, 2011. (momentum of change year’s 1941, 1951, 1961, 1971, 1981, 1991 and 2011) repectively. Thus the base for Isayas is shakey, swaying in panic and therefore, 2012 will seem to doom him for gott.

  • Truth

    what a one-side article. let’s be honest here. the so-called “opposition” didn’t accomplish anything. The so called protest that was conducted in new york in september was a joke. there were only about 40-50 people there as opposed to the 5,000-6,000 supporters. That is success! And there is one thing you guys need to remember…holding a conference with the support of the enemy, on enemy territory (the same enemy that suppressed, fought, and killed our people in 2 wars) will not get you any real support. That just makes you a traitor. now there are eritreans that are against the gov’t and that is fine. but they dont side with the enemy and support eritrea’s enemies. You guys are. That is why there is much conflict between the non-supporters. there are over 20 opposition groups which is laughable for a country of 6 million. you guys dont have clear goal, no real objective, no support. either come correct or leave it alone cuz you are not goinh anywhere the way you guys are doing things. there are hundreds of other countries you can have your pathetic and counter-productive meetings, but you do it in ethiopia….no idea what you think you can achieve with that…..

    • wed. garza

      We count those with free spirit and who enjoy and value freedom, and not those who are remote controlled and blind lead.The difference is ; how many millions supported Saddam Husein and Muammar Khadaffi in their last years! No wonders, the quality and dedication lies in small numbers, don’t you agree…
      Besides the opposition choses its base be it in Ethiopia or elsewhere. You know how many Eritreans are coming there everyday? Thus, Ethiopia is not Eritrea’s enemy instead our common Enemy is Isayas and his govt.
      God has given you eyes, ears and above all brain, pleasse use it properly. It’s a gift to analyse, understand and extract a lesson for you.

      • Truth

        both saddam and ghadafi are both victims of US hostilities towards nations who do good for their countries without the help of the US. Both of them took their countries from nothing to to great heights. yes saddam did bad thigns also but it is nothing compared to the good hes done. and for your information…the US were his friends for many years. but they used 9/11 as a reason to get rid of him even though it’s been said by bush himself that they had no weapons of mass distruction and had no ties to 9/11. Infact saddam hated bin laden and terrorists and fought against them. As for gaddafi… it would be retarded of anyone to actually believe that he was killing his people. Check the facts, the non biased facts, about him and his accomplishments and equal treatment of his people. Under gadafi literacy rose from 20% to 88%, free health care, free education, free monthly allowance for every individual (money from the oil), no homeless folks, giving africa its first and only satellite, the list goes on and on. The US would profit if he were dead, so (even though they were only supossed to impose a no fly zone) they bomber the country. destroying the cities and infrastructures and civilians, so that they can profit from the rebuilding process and claim they helped the country even though they are the ones who destroyed it. it’s all part of their destabilize to stabilize foreign policy. Ghadafi was getting closer to institutions and services and unions that would take africa out of its poor condition, and that isnt “good for business’ for the US and the west. just know this. half of the rebels in libya were not even libyans, and many many many of them are terrorists from al-qaida. and the US kno that. its been in the news. but al-qaida are profitable for the US and all america sees is green, so what do the western countries (france) do in this case (even though its against a UN sanction that neither side will be helped with weapons)….they drop weapons for the rebels to use. enough about those countries though, this is about Eritrea. Ethiopia is our enemy. It is very clear. I dont understand how you can say they are not! those are the same people that killed our people. their sister and brothers and fathers have killed our sisters and brothers and sons and daughters and fathers. It is very stupid and counter productive for them to have the enemy base as its base. That makes them the enemy. and by them i dont mean all eritreans against the govt but those stupid traitor NON ERITREANS!! I know many eritreans that are against the govt but they are clear headed and smart. they are strongly against those people who took part in that conference. these eritreans i know conduct their meetings for eritreans with eritreans to serve their own (eritrea’s) interest in their views. they dont go to the enemy’s house and have a meeting with them including their interests and plotting against their own country (yes it is against their country for example pushing for sanctions) people need to understand the isaias isnt a pushover. he is a real man and a great leader. he dont do what ever the US or any country tells him to do in exchange for money or anything else (unlike the ethiopian govt) YES YES YES he makes mistakes and can do better on things that he has done but nobody is perfect. his vision is for eritrea. he wants eritrea to build eritrea. eritrea to feed eritrea. he is not against foreign help but he is against foreign help when its not needed. to be honest perhaps the opposition would be making strides by now if it wasnt for the many idiots who have no clear goal and if some of these idiots didnt join the enemy camp, then you could possibly have more supporters. there is too much turmoil and bickering with the opposition because the clear headed ones that are for eritrea and want to do it the eritrean way are taken a few steps back each time by the ones who make stupid moves and agree to whatever the ethiopian govt says because they dislike Isaias. My philosophy is, that everybody need to calm down and take it one step at a time. And that first step begins with ethiopia getting off Eritrean land. thats all we want. its the law, its simple to do and it can be done quickly. could you imagine what would happen if either the republicans or democrats held a conference in iran or russia denouncing the US govt???? thats what is happening here….

        • Melake

          Hi Truth
          Which Ethiopia are you taking about?
          a. Ethiopia that was existed before 1991
          b. Ethiopia after 1991 (which was the best friend of Eritrea or current government of Eritrea)
          c. Ethiopia after 1998 (The enemy of…. I don’t know how you put it?)
          d. Ethiopia that will exist there forever in the future (by changing its rulership or its policies)?
          e. the Land of Ethiopia?

          Don’t you think Dictators can create state of war to stay longer in power?
          Do you think our problem will be solved by solving our problem with Ethiopia and do we have any future guarantee?
          What is the problem respecting your own people in whatever situation?

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003405399587 Alexander

            Kokob Selam,I can see you, none of the messeges are getting through to you. Get this: I am saying the current Eritrean government way is the best way for Eritrea! You want elections? Go to Ethiopia and do all the fake elections, exercise fake democracy, and may be get rich. Who cares if the whole country is poor, right. So the above analysis- about China and Africa is to tell you: Hands off Eritrea! We are in a good truck- it may take us some time but we will get there. May be after you fools can come and exercise whatever democracy you are dreaming of, get this, in an economically stable Eritrea!

        • Kokhob Selam

          Both Libyan and Iraq people were victims of their leaders. and a lot of people were killed under their adminstration. so it was only a mater of time to see them like garbages.
          Libya was the 5th rich country but there were people who couldn’t manage their day to day bread. and some who got more benefit were without diginity. What is money with out respect? even If Eritrean PFDJ will make the asphalt of the road gold plated, so what? “KAB FTFITU FITU” but then thanks to dictators they don’t have FIT and FITFIT both.

        • WEY GUD

          The problem is, these so called Tequamerti, never had Eritrean Interest at heart. NEVER!! All of them possess selfish, individual, twisted interests. And all of them possess deep subordination complex. They can never talk about Eritrea, or do any useful thing for Eritrea, with out associating it with Ethiopia. Do these fools realize it took us 30+ years, a historical referendum and bloody border war to fend off these aggressors from the south?

          • Kokhob Selam

            To Wey Gud,
            It is not only 30 years… earlier even we have people who face the Ethiopian occupation while there were People supporting Haileselase before armed strugle. My uncle was one of them. They cut his ear inside the village by the hand of Eritreans who supported Haileslase . Don’t let us bring back that dirty story. And even after armed struggle, we know all the story of those few politicians who were playing the game. That “YEMANAWI,STEGAMAWI,” story to cover the hidden agenda is all recorded.Now if someone tells me today he is against US it is because he doesn’t know that I have the record on hand how he was spying and working for US. A LOT OF PEOPLE WERE KILLED BY THE HAND OF TODAYS PFDJ leaders even in Sudan and other countries leave alone inside the country. But at end to this bloody group was rejected by his bosses (imperialism). So please don’t let me say all as there are people who were cheated who are aware today….. I don’t want to lose them.
            Today who cares my friend about the old story all? We have furnished a common ground for all and Eritrea will be free of all narrow minded people. So who cares more than those who work for democracy? Who cares more than those who feel the death and sufferings of our young generation on sea and desert? Who care more than those who fight for the right of the mass?
            We have done it and we are on the way to victory. We have been working slowly till the world knows what this PFDJ is before taking action. And to let all our people know what the truth is, it has taken time. Honey moon of those ugly men and women was over. And death of such useless groups will come soon. Celebrate with your people and Smerrrrrrrrrrrrr.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Even if there are 1000 parties there is no problem at all. I prefer 1000 democratic parties Let everyone have his principle respected. The mass wants freedom so please don’t take us back of one party style. HADE LIBY HADE HZBI has failed long time back. DON’T “TELL ME HAD LIB” While you are not hearing what I am saying. We are different people who want to live in one country with on target (democratic Eritrea). We don’t want one party who don’t have accountability rule of law.

      Eritrean enemy is one and one the group call PFDJ.SMER ENDO GIDA….Smerrrrrr

  • Kokhob Selam

    Wishing you happy new year all,
    Yes, it was last year already all the above developments that have taken place.
    The year 2011 was over with great developments and has shown us people can challenge dictators. If Awate.com has saved the files of 2010 end and 2011 beginning we could have seen what we have said about the New Year. Most of awate forum member were optimistic of change. The year for us as Eritreans was the year of successes but was not free of grief either. Yet, all the sorrow moments were used as a wakeup call and we have gained a lot of supports. The death of our sisters and brothers in Meditranian Sea was painful but God has given us a lot of lost supporters. Supporters who shocked with incident ware awaken from deep sleep. That is not only the benefit but even there were people silent and who don’t care for all those years that start shouting against the mafia group. God didn’t lose anything as those innocent men and women who left us in the sea and desert are in full care of the almighty. God has decided to take them while giving us strength. If you notice it is like a fighting war, sacrificing beloved once and get near to your democratic and free Eritrea.
    How about this year? 2012 sure will continue to be a revolutionary year ending the already started wave and new storms will flow. Libyan case was very much connected to our case, and we have got a lot of lessons and benefits.
    Although we are not sure we will end the PFDJ era this year but the possibilities are high. But the surest development is the unity of our people and political parties which have already witnessed will be bigger. Even some of us think we may see EPDP comes under the umbrella. We may witness some new parties even for our advantage. We have got the real meaning of unity and we will not have if we see new once.
    PFDJ will come down with different proposals to gain time and to gain some supporters but will not come out of crises and may go for final from the root.
    the voice of our people will be heard more than before this year.
    Happy new year

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