Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

The Third Way

We have had very good discussions in the U-Turn articles. The majority were genuine exchanges of views raising very legitimate concerns and contributing real value to our understanding of alternative routes. They have been a great input to how we should proceed especially with the need to force our presence by bulldozing our way through. A few acted like the usual suspects or I might have mistaken them for some – but hey, they belong to Awate and they belong to us. It is always “zelilka zelilka nab meriet” and they will eventually get it and lead.

By way of introduction – this is the Third Way. But first let us see what the other two ways look like.

THE FIRST WAY

I would be using this term to refer to the worldview and politics of the PFDJ as a political party currently in charge of guiding and administering government in Eritrea. The term does not refer to the Eritrean government in any form that implies the implementation function of policies or to any persons employed and assigned to bureaucratic functions. Government in this definition is policy-neutral in that it does what politicians tell it to do. In all that this term (First Way) is used, a government (including all military and civil functions) reflecting the true aspirations of the Eritrean people has since independence been serving the nation selflessly and fanatically in pursuit of the realization of “the Eritrean Dream” of heaven on Earth.

The “true aspirations of the Eritrean people” is a cross-section of “the Eritrean dream” at any point in time. Political parties or group of politicians, who end up assuming that function determine what aspects of the Eritrean dream take precedence at any given point in time. Government as a bureaucracy is not responsible for how politicians end up controlling political power and the seat of directing its functions at the level of legislation. Government can only assume (and very legitimately so) that any projects assigned to it by politicians in power at any point in time are a cross-section of the true aspirations of the people.

The “Eritrean Dream” itself must be taken as given and an absolute constant by all reasonable Eritreans who agree on the basic proposition that the Eritrean revolution (the armed struggle) was a true reflection of the aspirations of the Eritrean people. This simple fact, for all practical purposes, is in the truth that all Eritrean constitutions, political programs and all formal documents proposed by any Eritrean organization must share an identical conception of Eritrea as a dream. All departures from this constant conception are illegitimate. The parameters of these constant aspirations include (among others) things such as a sovereign nation, a united people, an independent state, and a strong government capable of maintaining all other parameters on a sustainable (uninterrupted) manner.

As far as this debate goes, the basic function of any political party (group) is to answer one and only one question, which government needs to operationalize the proposed project of building and maintaining the nation: “Will success be measured by the extent to which society served the individual or the other way round?” Once politicians (in their purely philosophical personality) have answered this primary question, the rest is all a matter of technicalities and government bureaucrats (and politicians in bureaucratic personality) should be able to determine all tradeoffs necessary to mobilize the required resources. “Resources” includes human beings (when viewed as means to and end) and within this “allocation” function, bureaucrats should be able to determine, for example the level human rights and individual liberties that the state given the projects and circumstances at hand may be able to afford.

The above is of course a simplification (by abstraction) of what politicians do at the functional level. Some may argue that, in practice, politicians do a lot more. In fact, the primary job of politicians is to hold government accountable. However, functions and institutions of accountability including the whole judiciary (and legal system) is practically redundant in our debate as we try to find out the subject matter of what might be understood as different alternatives. Since the goal of accountability as a function of governance is to ensure that bureaucrats do what politicians tell them to do, the role belongs to politicians in bureaucratic functions. Hence, all those involved in holding bureaucrats accountable may help improve systemic efficiencies and may in the long-run help us accumulate and store experiences thereby expanding the sphere of possibilities for politicians. Lawyers, human rights activists, and those who want to become ministers and generals to run state machinery do not contribute net value to our thinking about alternatives. Just like accountants, the only thing they can tell us is how to do what we had already decided to do in a better way.

In assessing where we stand in comparison to “the First Way”, we should view the PFDJ (ruling political party and source of current legislation) in relation to where it stands on the extent to which individuals should be subservient to society. Taking note of many experiences in history it is reasonable to assume, that the state does not start from having no say on the amount of liberty that individuals should surrender for the common good. It is the individuals, who usually start from a point, where they absolutely have no claim over any part of their personal liberty. The logical journey is from Hobbs to Nozick, not the other way round. The dialectical relationship between these two extremes usually takes the pattern whereby, hand in hand with the gradual achievement of the basic infrastructures of the state, more and more individual liberties tend to become redundant for the needs of state formation and maintenance. Even in situations where the state hardware is mature enough and no substantial components are in need of major expansion, the state does reserve the right to reclaim and confiscate individual liberties in circumstances of war and national emergencies (check with Edward Snowden for specifics).

THE SECOND WAY

I will use this term to refer to the Eritrean opposition as it stands today. The solid grounds that justify the emergence of an Eritrean opposition movement rest on the fact that the potential answer to the primary question (mentioned above) is by no means unique. There are no objective ways of determining the point, where we must allocate supremacy over individual liberties between the state and the individual. Where all citizens and groups are equally legitimate in the eyes of the people, one proven method of ensuring that the actual point selected is in fact the best possible choice, is through a democratic process of letting people vote on alternative points.

Here the ballot box would resolve the allocation (among competing politicians) of the right to pick the balance of individual liberties that government would take as given and use as the starter for the bureaucratic machine (for a given period). This is to say: beyond doubt the Eritrean opposition has a valid justification for its emergence. Given the circumstances of gross violations of basic rights and freedoms in Eritrea, the opposition has a very legitimate cause to fight for and opposition in our current situation is the must-do civic responsibility of every citizen. There is no question as to why we should oppose the situation of governance in Eritrea today and cooperate to search alternatives to make Eritrea better.

However, the right to compete is not absolute. It is a privilege that aspiring individuals and groups must earn by working hard to prove that they deserve to be trusted for having the nation’s interests at heart. The freedom of association (and all other positive political rights) should under no condition imply or be misunderstood as saying that states in the real world must let the free market determine their destiny. No sensible person can argue that the right to run people’s lives (that is what governments do) should be determined in the free market the same way that the prices of iPods are determined. Those who may be trusted to decide for the state, choices requiring the confiscation of more liberties by the state or the relinquishing of more liberties to individuals must enjoy considerable legitimacy among the people.

Someone is probably thinking of applying the same logic and concluding that the PFDJ does not enjoy any legitimacy simply because there are more people against it than for it. Eritrea as a “dream” that substantially departed from previous “dreams” came into existence in 1991 and had to start from somewhere, which happened to be the EPLF. The PFDJ did not come to power in 1991. You can only come to power if you are succeeding someone who was in power. The Eritrean government was set up on revolutionary legitimacy. Naturally, therefore, government started by confiscating all aspects of individual liberties. Similarly, any other organization may reinvent the wheel and acquire revolutionary legitimacy the same way that the PFDJ did.

That brings us to the defining feature of the “Second Way”, which is the exclusive focus on Regime Change in the hope of establishing political power through a Top-Down approach where the goods of political change would then trickle down to the masses. This core characteristic Regime-Change Agenda is the primary justification that lays the ground for alliances with any aliens as long as they share the goal of overthrowing the Eritrean government or weakening the state. The choice of establishing revolutionary legitimacy through alliance with the devil is in fact perfectly legitimate. It was done by the EPLF to drive the ELF out during the armed struggle.

However, such a strategy can only assume legitimacy where (before committing to an agreement) the Eritrean side of this devilish alliance must ensure that it is strong enough to impose its will and control the outcomes of the alliance. This was the case when the EPLF entered the devilish alliance with Weyane to defeat the ELF. It has never been the case with the Eritrean opposition and it is very unlikely that it will ever be the case. In the absence of this critical condition, any such alliance is either an irresponsible act or straight out treason punishable by law.

The Second Way, therefore, is an opposition movement that has a tiny minority organized into Ethiopia-based groups and a silent majority very angry and confused helplessly sitting on the sidelines. This is how “Weyane Tigray” stole the genuine movement of good Eritreans – by mobilizing disgruntled Eritrean opportunists, vested interests, irresponsible power centers and a global conspiracy of regional intelligence organizations. The “Second Way”, therefore, represents Eritrean activists essentially fighting for an opposition movement that is controlled and is guaranteed to serve Ethiopian national security interests.

THE THIRD WAY

This is a proposal to respond to what I consider to be serious popular concerns with both sides of the equation: the Eritrean government’s misgivings on the one hand and the failings of the diaspora-based opposition on the other hand. It is a proposal to bring the opposition described in “the Second Way” above back to track. This proposal is unique in one critical argument and for now a very brief description of the idea is below in both its political and civil society components.

Political Activism

There have been three legitimate (in the sense that they share the Eritrean dream) versions of the “Second Way” opposition that promotes the Regime Change Agenda in a Zero-Sum game environment:

(a)  Opposition (organized and spontaneous) that promotes various armed and peaceful means with the identical objective of effecting regime change in Eritrea. The difference between the armed and peaceful means of struggle in the traditional opposition movement is only a difference in the amount of violence that should be taken as necessary not in the character of the intended outcome of regime change.

(b) Opposition (primarily civil society groupings) that have at various times promoted the idea of negotiating with the PFDJ in order to come up with better government. The “Reform Movement” spearheaded by the G15 and G13 falls within this category. This brand represents the regime change agenda because it is the other side of the coin of overthrowing the government. While one side proposes confrontation, the other side seeks a negotiated exit for the PFDJ. This is explained by the fact that those who were (or claimed to be so) part of the Reform Movement did not have any problem merging with the diaspora opposition when they started to organize.

(c) Opposition (presumed to be active inside the Eritrean military) that promotes the idea of removing the regime through some kind of coup d’état or popular uprising that emulates the Arab Spring. The Forto rebellion and “Robocall activists” promoting similar Regime-Change uprisings are some examples.

I have excluded two legitimate categories of “Regime Change” opposition from consideration here because the proposal for the Third Way is limited to suggesting alternative ideas to entities that share the Eritrean dream as it stood on May 24th, 1991.

The first legitimate exception to the discussion above (and all subsequent discussions), which we must take very seriously is where any individual or organization does not agree on all the parameters (without exception) of the prevailing conception of “the Eritrean Dream”. If this is the case (as is true with the ethnic rights movement in our situation), neither the political party guiding government (PFDJ) nor the government implementing legislation has legitimate authority to negotiate accommodations.

Where the legitimacy of “the Eritrean Dream” is in question, revisions may come from two very legitimate sources: (a) debates that manage to persuade a critical mass of Eritreans to accept adjustments to the composition or structure of the parameters; (b) violent protests that succeed in enforcing de facto adjustments of parameters. The first was what we tried to do in the “land-grabber” debate and many debates before that – the second was what the Eritrean armed struggle did to Ethiopia, and what the armed factions of the ethnic rights movement is trying to do in Eritrea.

The second exception is the emerging movement of the New Unionists because unlike all other opposition variants, the Unionists are categorically against the existence of an Eritrean dream as independent from the Ethiopian dream. These are unquestionable enemies of the state of Eritrea and I am not wasting your time discussing their validity.

The common thread among all legitimate brands of the Second Way is the consensus on Regime Change and the subsequent vulnerability of forming alliances at random, with whoever shares the interest on conspiracy against Eritrea. All these brands have no interest in creating an alternative to the PFDJ as a political constituency. The concept of “alternative” must by definition rest on the assumption of coexistence. In the context of democratic (pluralist) thinking, “alternative” does not in any way imply or refer to something that will wipe out what already exists and sit on its place for good. For any two alternatives to exist, they must coexist in an environment and a formula where each would serve as the alternative to the other. Potentially the two must alternate in succession.

Wherever this is not the case, opposition necessarily becomes about regime change not about creating an alternative. Eritreans must be able to choose between what they already have and what promotes itself as alternative. Regime change relies on destroying this possibility of choice and is therefore by no means “opposition” in the standard conception of the word. It is illegal to advocate Regime Change in any country in the world including North Korea. Why should it be legal in Eritrea? It is illegal because it is a Trojan horse, which can carry very bad things.

The Third Way proposed here resolves the most critical question for what Eritreans should consider as legitimate opposition by removing the very credible possibility of collaboration with foreign enemies of the state. It holds the following four points to be true and beyond contention:

(1) Eritrea is a sovereign state and is entitled to treatment as a sovereign state

(2) The Eritrean government as the of a sovereign state is the only Eritrean entity that is entitled to define the parameters of Eritrea’s national security interests

(3) No Eritrean activism may be considered legitimate unless it is carried out within the limits of the parameters of Eritrea’s national security interests (as defined by the Eritrean government)

(4) Since the Eritrean government has the duty to protect its citizens under emerging international practice, Eritreans maintain the right to debate and create alternative forms of governance within the parameters of Eritrean national security interests

This may sound idealistic and elitist. The first observation that jumps to mind is what many including brother SG mentioned in one of the comments to the previous article: the reason the opposition ended in this tight corner is that the PFDJ closed all doors and possibilities of creating alternatives. It is a dictatorship and it seeks to maintain power at all cost. That is definitely true and I am not one who needs proof of this fact. The bitter truth is that there is no other way for legitimate opposition to emerge.

It is true that every Eritrean should have the right to define what Eritrea’s national security interests are and therefore decide if specific actions violate these interests. The problem is that such a definition and hence the hypothetical right on which it is premised is illegal in all societies across the globe and throughout history. There is only one way to obtain the right to determine a country’s national security interests and that is by first assuming political power. There is no easy way and no shortcuts.

The Third Way opposition takes the exclusivist tendency of the PFDJ as given and seeks to create spaces of activism that do not violate the condition of legitimate opposition embedded in the four points above. It proposes four minimum conditions for characterizing rationality in any opposition activism:

(1)  No opposition is legitimate unless it guarantees to promote better ways of defending Eritrea’s national security interests (as defined by the Eritrean government)

(2) No opposition is responsible if it seeks to reinvent the wheel by destroying what Eritreans have already achieved (even if it promises to rebuild from scratch)

(3) No opposition is rational if it seeks to create less choices for the Eritrean people or to recreate the single choice solution through a Regime Change Agenda

(4)  No opposition is legal if it operates outside the prevailing laws of the state of Eritrea or attempts to obstruct their administration by the government of Eritrea, with the exception of situations that might arguably add value towards better governance

To say it bluntly – it is the responsibility of opposition activists to create their own spaces in the context of what is possible given the circumstances. We cannot blame a government described, by the opposition itself, as a dictatorship for not allowing spaces for the emergence of alternatives. It is not the destiny of the Eritrean people to be stomped in political games. Where the only way for an organized opposition movement to emerge is by adopting methods of struggle that place the very existence of the nation at risk, the Eritrean people are better off without such opposition.

The Third Way starts from the belief that there is actually much larger space of opposition within the limits of legitimate activism as defined above than within the highly vulnerable and legitimately questionable Regime change activism. It is a call to kick ourselves up and away from lazy & easy politics and compete of quality of governance not on quality of violence.

Human Rights Activism

The discussion in “the First Way” should lead to the conclusion that the state is the one that practices the charity of relinquishing individual liberties that are redundant for its functioning. “Redundancy” is the keyword. Withholding redundant individual liberties by the state is an extremely costly endeavor that no sensible government can afford. Under the assumption of governments as rational formations, no such government withholds redundant liberties. Where there is substantial unwarranted hoarding of restrictions to individual liberties by the state, there is room for very legitimate and effective activism promoting the expansion of individual liberties without threatening valid national security interests.

The perception that individuals may rise in rebellion and snatch individual liberties that the state had appropriated on objective legitimate grounds that prove their critical importance for its formation and maintenance is a total myth. Where such a rebellion of individuals does succeed in forcing the state to relinquish liberties that are critical (not redundant) for its maintenance, the state must necessarily collapse. Some of the phenomena of failed states, the most notable being Iraq and currently Syria are classic examples. In both cases, as in many other examples, groups of individuals acting as part of global conspiracies have succeeded in bringing the state to its knees by mobilizing supporters around well-documented proofs of state appropriation of individual liberties (without saying why the liberties were appropriated in the first place).

The constants of any legitimate Eritrean civil society and human rights activism must build on the following key consideration:

(a) The state of nature (for our purpose) is an anarchic order resting on the libertarian principle of Non-Aggression. Here individuals are essentially sovereign entities entitled to a full ownership and control over everything that affects their lives and choices. No individual or collective might violate this sovereign personal space except in the case voluntary contractual agreement with the individual in question. The state is such a hypothetical contractual formation premised on the assumption, that the collective must violate some rights if it is to respect most other rights. The very minimum of the rights, which may not be violated by the state (i.e. what is left of the principle of Non-Aggression) is represented in the conception of Constitution (either codified or non-codified – both perfectly legitimate). Laws, legislations and policies enacted by government specify the contents of the basket of rights that are up for grabs (by activists) at any particular point in time and depending on circumstances. The “up for grabs” concept is the same one presented above as “redundant”.

(b) This is the point that every activist must memorize: FOR ANY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE TO BE A RIGHT, IT MUST FIRST BE LEGAL. While every American has the right to become President, it is illegal to become a US President if you are not born in the USA. Therefore, it is not a right as long as that law is in place. Free movement of people is a human right. Free movement to Lampedusa without a proper visa is illegal and therefore not a human right as long as Italian xenophobic laws are in place.

(c) Human Rights violations are those concerns that arise from the state not respecting its own laws and obligations under international law. They are not concerns that arise because of those laws that sovereign states are entitled to enact and enforce. If compulsory national service is the law in Eritrea, even if it ends up destroying every life in the country, evasion of national service or attempts to obstruct its implementation is illegal as long as that law is in place.

Under the circumstances, evasion of or escaping from national service is not a human right in Eritrea and on the contrary, it a felony. Similarly, if Eritrea has a law that requires of Eritreans in the diaspora to pay a 2% tax, it is a felony to evade, encourage people to break the law or obstruct under any justification the smooth administration of the law as long as it is in place. Since Eritrea has a law that requires all citizens sent on official duty to return upon completion of assignment, what I did by not returning, whatever the justification, was felony not an exercise of my human right in an absolute sense. The deadlock in the transnational space of refugee advocacy arises precisely from that fact that while the identical act is (legitimately) a felony in one country it is an internationally protected human right in others.

(d) Fortunately, governments do not have a free hand on their citizens – not any more. There was a time when Nazi Germany could enact laws to exterminate whole populations on primordial specifications. There was a time when Stalin’s communists could declare a socio-economic class unworthy of survival. There was a time when a section of the Rwandan population could just pick machetes and hack the other section out of the map. Things have changed since then and the international community may hold governments accountable for the safety and well-being of their citizens under “the Responsibility (of the international community) to Protect”.

All these atrocities arise because of explicit and implicit laws and policies i.e. the implied concerns happen because of those laws not in spite of them. Since the remedy is to replace those laws and the regimes that practice them (if necessary), they fall within the exclusive domain of politicians and political activism and have very little to do with civil society and human rights activism. The exclusive domain of the latter (human rights activism) is where violations and atrocities take place in spite of the restrictions that prevail in the laws and policies enacted and enforced by the states in question.

Restricting Eritrean human rights activism within this specific domain has three critical advantages:

(i) It steals the human rights agenda from the controversial domain of politics in our highly polarized situation. Since the goal of such activism is to hold the Eritrean government accountable for the spirit and letter of its own laws, proclamations and policies, there is no room for supporters of the PFDJ to excuse themselves from valid concerns by all sensible Eritreans.

(ii) It adds net value towards the government’s efforts to build a strong and better state of Eritrea as it brings to the attention of the public discrepancies that arise at the implementation stage of public policy. It makes government more efficient and eliminates waste due to uncontrolled human factors of enforcement including the corruption of public offices.

(iii) It has the capacity to reach a much larger constituency law-abiding Eritreans, who in spite of their obedient service to the nation are caught up under potentially corrupt situations where government intervention is required. It expands the focus from a tiny minority of those to whom the laws that we are trying to improve do not apply to them anymore because they have already made it out of the country, to those for whom change would make a difference. It makes the opposition camp competitive, because unlike the easy task of following refugee boats in the Mediterranean and human traffickers in the Sinai, this paradigm calls in the whole spectrum of the crisis of governance into the opposition agenda. It is also critical in holding the Eritrean government and its embassies abroad accountable

I have struggled very hard to bleach the article from bad-mouthing and I am tired thanks to Gadi’s warning to restrict my license because he has had enough of it. Can you lobby to lift the sanctions?

Pinterest
  • ghezaehagos

    Eyob bro,
    I think I have explained to you pretty much where your insinuations and conjectures don’t meet the facts when it comes 2% extortion tax in Canada. I told you of the reports of the Isais regime’s acceptance of Canada’s first warning and then violating it. You didn’t even acknowledge all these facts. You didn’t want to mend your erroneous arguments. If you want to continue with ‘tinfer ember te’el iya’ mode, I can’t help you.
    Didn’t you learn anything from 1998 debacle where this regime of ours ineptly exposed the nation in grave danger? how an earth can you trust a possibly a mad man? I truth is simple: you don’t want to see anything that the regime does and or says; only what the reaction of other governments are…Calling Canada lapdog is another example. Generally, a dangerous mix of pure ignorance and arrogance which is a hallmark of you know who…and you talk of character…! Meharena eske!
    Ghezae

  • tes

    Sham, there is no problem with this current generation. The problem is with pfdj.

    by contrast, the current generation is gathering his energy to fight for his rights back. Remember, when there is a fire brake-out, you can not stay within the fire and start blow it off. You leave the place and look from where the fire is coming. The current generation is innocent so far, hope not to repeat the same mistake from now onwards, the mistake done by pfdj.

    Now, the youths are gatherng their energy to fight against the oopressor in Asmara and even the opportunists within themselves, one is for example YPFDJ. It is not long since the youths started to gather and oppose the regime in Asmara, may be less than 4 years and miles of progress is done after youths joined the movement. But before, the Gedli era and factions of pfdj were playing the role, now the course is totally different. And, me I belong to this young generation of movement, to remind you.

  • Hope

    Hello Dr Saba T.,
    I admire your approach.
    To simplify it:
    The best case scenario would be total and radical excison of the Cancer followed by XRT and Chemo-Therapy depending on the Stage of the Cancer,which seems to be Stage 3B in our case—quite too late but possible chance for total remission.
    In your case scenario,total debridement of the abcess along with broad-spectrum antibiotics for a reasonable period of time would be ideal.
    The first 2 steps would be considered as intiation of broad-spectrum antibiotics and iv -fluid resucitation so as to treat it as early sepsis syndrome to avoid multi-organ-dysfunction syndrome.

  • Hope

    Ermi,
    Good summary:I copied the most three to four reasonable and practical approaches(all are interconnected and diverge into one intersecting point).
    Sal,
    – Reform PFDJ after getting rid of IA (forcefully or via his liver failure). Probably the most sound and doable approach. IA will be gone soon, a few years at most. Most of his ministers and officials of all sorts are alienated and are just there as place holders. One would assume that these people have ideas as to how to get us forward once he is gone. I am starting to align myself closer with Sal after doing a lot of reflection on weekends.
    Haile – let’s be quick in toppling this regime and putting a transitional one in place. Again, great idea because we have people leaving the country in droves and being persecuted and humiliated for fun. We are losing a generation very quickly and also having read his post yesterday, if that doesn’t get you to really appreciate the urgency of our situation, then nothing will.
    Ali-S/Saba –
    – not so clear on Ali-S but Saba for sure. Let’s have a clean Eritrean third alternative. An opposition that is not influenced by outside forces. This is intriguing but there are some inevitables as in working with your neighbors to get rid of a regime that has caused distress across the region. At the same time, Eritrean solutions for Eritrean problems seems very appealing if it could be implemented with 100% effectiveness and efficiency.
    Serray:
    – start with implementing the existing constitution. Great idea, that is better than nothing. Look at the US constitution; its 27 amendments, having been ratified by the requisite number of states, are part of the constitution. As you know the first 10 were adopted and ratified simultaneously and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. We can amend our 1997 constitution as needed.
    Courtesy of Ermias the “Investigator”!

  • Hope

    Quote of the Year:Courtesy of Haile the Great and his sources( A similar quote from a similar expression by an Eritrean youth from Tel Aviv—during a meeting by EYC)
    ” መንእሰይ፡ ጉዳይ ኢትዮጵያ ንኢትዮጵያ ይምልከት፡ ኣብ ደምበና ዘሎ መፍለስ ክነልግሶ ናትና ናይ ኤርትራውያን ሓላፍነት ይኸውን፡ ኢትዮጵያ ከም ምኽንያት ኣቕሪቦም ኣፋዊ’ምበር ተግባር ዘይብሎም ንዱያት ሕልና ከየጋግዩኻ ልቦና የድልየካ’ሎ፡ ኣብ ደምበና ዘሎ መፍለስ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይፈጠርዎን፡ ንስኻ መንእሰይ ወለዶ ብሰንኪ ኢትዮጵያ ዓድኻ ገዲፍካ ኣይተሰደድካን፡ ኣብ ጎቦታት ሲናይን ማእከላይ ባሕርን ምድረበዳ ሲናይን ትጸንት ዘለኻ ብሰንኪ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይኮነን፡ ኣብ ዶባት ኤርትራ ብሰንኪ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይተመንጠልካን፡ኣብ ጎዳጉዲ ተኣሲሮም ዘለዉ ኣሽሓት ኤርትራውያን ብሰንኪ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይኮኑን። መንእሰይ ወለዶ፡ ሓሶት ሓቂ ክኸውን ኣይክእልን፡ ድኽመትና ኣባና’ዩ ዘሎ፡ ሽግርና ንሕና ኢና፡ መፍትሒኡ ከኣ ኣብ ኢድና ይርከብ፡ ህግደፋዊ መዝሙር ኣብቂዑ ንመሰልን ሓርነትን ክንቃለስ ጊዝይኡ ሕጂ’ዩ፡ ኣብ ጉዕዞ ቃልስና ኢትዮጵያ ዝብል ሕልኩስ ምኽንያታት ቦታ የብሉን፡ መሰልና ክንመልስ እቲ ሓቂ ክንቅበሎ ኣለና፡መንነትን ክብርታትን ህዝብና ዘጽንት ዘሎ ጉጅለ ህግደፍ’ምበር ኢትዮጵያ ኣይኮነትን።”

  • Abinet

    You are correct . My country had been so dumb for a very long time. The fact that we forced you to live with us was so dumb .the good thing is the current leaders know better. They know you very well to deal with you .
    Ke’abro adegih gar atsaded yilal yagere sew

  • Crocodile Tears

    A streak of Islamophobia has always run through Tigray. Muslims were persecuted in Tigray. It’s only in Eritrea that they found religious tolerance and acceptance.

  • tes

    Lets quote some from “We and our Objectives”

    Their identity

    “Although we deeply understand the complexity of the reasons which caused us to take our stand, that
    is, to separate, we are fully cognizant of the fact that some of those who look at us with interest or
    concern ask themselves questions such as “Why did the Christian elements separate? How did they
    separate? When did they separate? What is their goal? What do they seek? Are they religiously or
    nationally motivated? Are they revolutionary fighters or Christian crusaders? Are they reactionary or
    progressive? Etc…”. We also know that they may not find satisfactory answers within themselves. On
    the contrary, they may get distorted information and blame or even oppose us”

    And for the their totalitarian sign

    We fully recognize the fact that it is our duty and ours alone to give a satisfactory answer to those
    who seek to know, to discourage those who seek to deceive us, to thank those who praise us, to
    assure those that are bent on bribing us that we do not compromise our aims to accept comradely
    constructive criticism and to remind those who attempt to buy us that we are neither commodities nor
    animals.

    But as people, we, as it was descriped in a title “A Brief Description of Our Country Eritrea and Its People”

    “Oppression does not come from foreigners alone. Neither should it be associated with foreigners
    alone. There is also oppression and struggle within a society. The rich over the poor, the master over
    the slave, the powerful over the weak, the chief over the village, the old over the new …:’etc., are
    types of political and economic oppression found within class societies. But in time, oppression is
    invariably met with resistance.”

    And it continues,

    “The impoverished and the workers rise against the rich, as do the slaves against the masters. The
    village militates against the chief, the weak unite against the powerful and the new erupts over the old.
    This is a historical truth. It is evident that when contradictions in society reach a breaking point, the
    forces of the oppressed rise up to destroy the various forms of oppression.”

    and then

    “Thus, so long as freedom is not equally and universally extended to all members of society, i.e., so
    long as there is oppression, there is struggle.”

    Though taken Marxist-Lenist fundamentals, that is how they stood for their struggle.

    How about now?

    PFDJ totally forgot what Oppression is and of course the fate that will come if anyone who created such environment, the people stands for his FREEDOM.

    Therefore, Eritreans are rising up to destroy the all types of oppression generated from PFDJ. They should read what they write.

  • AMAN

    Be clear and undentified………….
    There are only two CAMPS :
    Either
    I. You are in the POPULAR STRUGGLE CAMP
    …….a) pro ruling party or
    …….b) pro opposition party
    or
    II. You are not part of the POPULAR STRUGGLE CAMP.
    Untill recently there was a I(c) of the silent majority camp
    which I myself was a member of for some years but it is
    no more now as the gap is successfully closed recently
    and the members have joined I(a), I(b) and/or II.

  • house of Stark

    While the people of Kebessa bleed

    IA

    · National security
    · Weyane/Ethiopia
    · Jihadist
    ·Deftest
    · Keep Kebessa loyal

    Ali S. land grab

    · Instigate distrusts in opposition camp
    · Keep the diaspora Kebessa defensive
    · Radicalize low land

    Ali.S U-turn

    · Legitimize PFDJ
    · Blame the victim
    · National security
    · Opposition are stooges of Weyane
    · Weyane/ Ethiopian are evil YG
    · Identity
    · Generation
    · Depopulation of Kebessa
    ·Self-inflicted wound
    · People first
    · Bigger is better

  • AMAN

    One of the problems in habesha culture is fear and unable to make
    your opinion or stand clear and defend it rather choose to take up
    a mediocre stand waiting to see which way the wind blows so as
    to go with the flow.
    This trait has been seen in a more clearer ways the last 20 years
    as many people chose to hide and protect their privacy and identity
    from name callers or smear campaigners who serve the agendas
    of the powerfull against the people. It is so disturbing how they would
    like to abandon the call of justice and freedom by the people against
    woyanes or their associates as long as they remained anonymouse
    and didn’t affect their pursuing of private interests.
    Only few names and personalities floated to the surface in the struggle
    for justice and freedom in the last two deades. 98 percent remained or
    chose to stay unidentified or anonymouse.
    But surprisingly and unfortunately such behaviour is not being part of
    but going against the popular struggle though they might think of otherwise
    of themselves.

  • Crocodile Tears

    Eyob Medhanie:

    (1) Who knew u suffered from Islamophobia. Truth be told, there has always been a streak of anti-Islam bigotry in your native Tigray. Many Muslims in Tigray were expelled during the reign of Atse Yohannes. They later settled in Eritrea and found religious tolerance. Islam and Christianity had always existed in a delicate balance and enjoyed harmonious relations for centuries in Eritrea. (2) Your country is dumb! The one thing we know for sure about your country is that it doesn’t learn from history. Successive Ethiopian Administrations, including the current one (Weyane) have all made the same mistake with respect to Eritrea.

    • Hope

      Golden Truth,indeed.SAAY said it in a little bit different way and tone sometime ago when we were debating on this specific issue.

  • Kokhob Selam

    what ever we want, first let us have a nation with freedom to say it. anything you want can be achieved as far as it doesn’t affect others interest. but “KNBURKUT KEYNUBURKUT AB MAY NBSTAH” do you want to have all languages spoken? no problem that can be. do you want Arabic to be one of the national languages? no problem that can be. do you want to have a system in your mind to be followed? no problem at all. after all that is your nation and what nation,a democratic nation. put on table all your requests and let it be examined in laboratory in front of you and others if it serves the people. but you need first to have a government accountable and transparent. that is what all should work united for.

  • Eyob Medhane

    Ermias,

    Hold it right there. Hold your horses. 🙂

    I want to be clear with you. I NEVER advocated for ‘Andinet’ and I never will. ‘Andinet’ has cost my country dearly. Derg would not have lasted 17 years, if it were not for the war for ‘Andinet’. My country would not have carried the ugly label of ‘the starving nation’, if the war for ‘Andinet’ did not exacerbated the draught and it’s horrible effect, famine, which by the way many Eritreans love to mock us about, as if the bulk of the then Eritrea province population was not also part of it. Thousands of young men would not have been rounded up and shipped to war through ‘Affessa’ (Giffa, as you call it in todays Eritrea) and never heard from, since, if it were not for the war for the ‘Andinet’. So, believe me. My country has suffered much more than many of you think for the ‘Andinet’. Therefore, no thanks. Comparing how Andinet was and how no-andiet, now is a difference of day and night. I do not wish the nightmare we had to go through for andinet, ever again on my people. We would have been far more better than we are now, if it were not for the war for ‘Andinet’ for 30 years 17 of them were much more brutal and deadly. I do not wish to my people for those horrible days to come back.

    Here is my position,

    As part of an Ethiopian habesha, a people that have guarded our identity, language cultural integrity, and of course country and always have to fight tooth and nail to preserve these assets, I see a danger creeping on us coming through Eritrea, but not from Eritreans. I see a creeping Arab cultural imperialism wiping out Eritrean Kebessa to make a way for it’s influence. “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed repeat it” (I don’t know, who said it, and I don’t even know, if I got the quote right) But you get the idea. In horn of Africa, in the past one hundred years, we saw an entire population getting Arabized, abandoning their culture, language and who they really are, like Sudan. We saw non Arab people becoming members of Arab League, and organization that requires all of it’s members to make Arabic a national language, in order to force their culture on them like Djibouti and Somalia. (I guess Eritrea is also an ‘observing’ member now. Because of Isayas’ craziness, their ascension to full membership didn’t materialize. But you and I know that is just a matter of time and it is bound to happen. The whole idea of Arabs’ support of Eritrea becoming an independent state is just that, Making it an Arab nation, Ala Sudan and then to make it a stepping stone to the grand prize, that is Ethiopia. Who is the stumbling block to this plan? Kebessa Eritreans. What is the solution of removing that stumbling block? Drive them out of the country. Of course with full participation of Maoist crazy Isayas Afeworki, the plan is working like a clock work. Today, the demography of Eritrea is almost totally changed. Arabists will have no problem to impose their will post Isayas. The young have left the country and started their lives elsewhere, and those that are in the country are in national service having no chance of starting family, have continuity of their heritage.

    It makes me feel really sad that the Kebessa fail to see this and stuck in the Ghedli era songs and empty bravado. They probably will be the only people, who facilitated their own extinction and suicide in the entire wide world. That is what the my concern was and that is what I have been voicing here at awate.

    I will leave you with a very interesting quote of a comment that I have read on Asmarino.com. A commenter named Ermias Mekonnen (Your first name sake) said the following..

    “…What has been (and is ) happening in Eritrea, and into the near future appears very similar to what had happened to Lebanon. The way Islam took over Lebanon. When the Christians were continuously fleeing their villages, and took refuge anywhere in the west, the muslims remained (were encouraged to ), and few decades later, there is an islam dominated Lebanon. What is halal to the muslim, may not be same to the Christian or to the secularist.Fact 101!

    If one looks at Eritrea’s refuge crisis and the numbers vis a vis religious affiliations, the majority happen to hail from highland Eritrea (the Christians). A continuous outflow of Christians. If you give this few years more or a decade, do you share my fears?

    Consciously or unconsciously, the regime in power is the catalyst into the making of an Eritrean sultanate….”

    I wholly agree with the gentleman.

    It doesn’t stop there. It is a well planed “..spread it..” scheme. You may have read my hundreds of times repeated quotes of Dr. Mohamed Kehir’s article here at awate some time ago, where he suggested that ‘..If he were an education minister of Ethiopia, he would make Arabic mandated to be taught in all schools in ethiopia…” That is a very tell tell signs of the grand plan, in my opinion. That is what my all argument is about not ‘Andinet’.

    With this note, I resign to comment on anything for a while…

    Cheers…

    • Ermias

      Eyob, holy smokes. I added your line just later on for fun. I never read you advocate andinet either but if you take a poll here, I would ‘suspect’ most would tell you that, Ethiopians are all for andinet so I added that for humor playing devils advocate. I only read you first and last sentences as I am busy at the moment but I will go back and reread.

      • Abinet

        Andinet? Never again. That is the last thing we need . If you only know how much we suffered in the name of Andinet . It reminds me of biherawi wtdrina which was a nightmare for the majority of the youth.
        Ermias, as much as I want peace and cooperation based on mutual benefit,I’m totally against for any kind of unity or Andinet .
        Peace for both people!

    • tes

      Eyob Medhane

      Your mind is occupied by FEAR. Oh my God, what these types of minds are playing with?

      Issaias formulated EPLF from the same line and you and alike, YG and so on are of the same family.Be free from such conquered mind.

      • tafla

        Did Issias create EPLF all by himself and Liberated the nation? unbelievable!!!

        • tes

          Tafla, first, Eritrea was liberated by Eritreans not by EPLF.

          Second, if you are pointing to my comments, I did not mention Issaias, rather I said EPLF, (in which Issaias was the member) and even when it was born, it had different name, you better know that.

          take time to take the juice.

          • tafla

            This is what you said, “Issaias formulated EPLF from the same line…” I know exactly what they were before EPLF and what drove them to become that. Do you know what happened at Ila Xaeda? Tahdai-Korokon? hizb al baath? don’t let your hatred of Issias blur your vision. The politics of the horn is cynical and complicated and has deep roots that goes back at least 400 years back in time and the actors have not changed much.

            What I can’t stand is naïve people as yourself who thinks that the problems of our nation being emptied of it’s youth will be fixed by a constitution. Think depper, read history and think further ahead. Good day!

          • tes

            Tafla, yes in deed tafla, if you better be happy with it.

            But, I oppose PFDJ objectively, not from hatred. I lived in Eritrea all my life and I just left in 2012 for higher studies to China. I grew-up under the shabia’s school curriculm, i finished my university and I worked as a college teacher till 2012. Therefore be relaxed now.

            I am not a bold opposer, I am a conscious opposer. When I oppose PFDJ, I oppose their decietful written historical legacy (not their history, hoping that you are understanding my lines, if you have the eyes to read), I oppose their over-all policies, I oppose their politics, I oppose their structure, I oppose their everything. This is not hatred based. This is a conscious opposition. I am not a simple adherent. To be more clear, PFDJ producedd youths to be his opponents, because he teaught them what a lie is. And, this is a true sign why PFDJ failed in all spheres of Eritrean life, be it historical, social, economical, political etc..

            PFDJ did not taught Eritreans to love him, rather to oppose him, to hate hime, a big strategic failure, because he was a layer. And a lie is a lie, the TRUTH is there.

            As for history, I didn’t do history so far, but I read history and still I am reading. May be you stopped reading, that is why you are saying read history, or you stopped making history.

            But remember, I will not live to read history, but I will make history.

          • Sham

            No offense you sound confused. The problem is not with PFDJ, the problem is with this current generation of Eritrean youth who simply won’t sacrifice as their fathers did. It’s a generational issue and quite frankly the most conscious Eritreans are dying off and being replaced with selfish, naive dimwits. Wake up and smell the coffee.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Eyob Medhane,

      What happened to you Eyob? You sound like some crazy individuals who are here only to propagate fears. Don’t forget Ethiopia has a considerable number of Muslim population and the message is at the same time passing to them. So it is not a health message to all Muslim on both sides across the river. Eyob you are better than that.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Aman,
        Being a Muslim and an ‘Arab cultural imperialist’ are totally two different things. Please DO NOT mix the two. Islam is a universal religion. As I said so many times in this forum, Turky or Indonesia are prominent Muslim socities, but you don’t see them imposing their culture and language on others, and rather kept Arab cultural imperialist at bay and kept their heritage and took up only Islam. Iran is also the same way. What Arabs do is wrapping their cultural imperialist ambition with Islam, and forcing it to others. Ethiopian Muslims, as many African muslims are those, who keep their cultural identity, as they worship Allah to the detest of Arabs. Look at the west African nations of Senegal, Benin and Gambia, they are proud Muslim African nations with their prominent culture and heritage unspoiled with Arabists….So Arabism and Islam do not mix. They are different entities……

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Eyobay,
          Still you are better than your comment. You don’t need to aggravate contradictions. There are many ways of saying it and you know it. Your language choices at this time, might be different sometime time in the future, when you will say “if I could say it again now, I would have say it differently.” Don’t forget religion is “culture in itself” so we don’t need to go for hair splitting argument. Both of us we know it, and the only difference is in the way we communicate and choices of our words.

          • tes

            Very wisely said Amanuel.

            I don’t know Eyob, sorry to say that, but, I am reading from his lines FEAR. He better listen music or Zen music to relax.

            But here, he is just repeating politics of losers and of course still it exist. If Benin, Gambia Ethiopia and others are proud of their religion and so are we as Eritreans. I have posted my theory on the complication of PFDJ politics in which one of your FEAR is included, religionous inclination.

            Under the context of democratic state, put in mind that every possible demand of the people, society or groups should not be oppressed. That is what we are demanding for. None should be suppressed, If there is a demand of Arabism, let it come into the Eritrean people, and vote for it, NO FEAR. If majority wins, why not joining the Arabs.

            Why a group of Juntas have the chance to be observers.

            Let the people demand and if it is in demand, let it be. We are calling for Free choice of the people to live under a democratic constitution.

            It is this perspective that is dragging the Eritrean politics.

            One thing the people did already, They have chosen not to be part of Ethiopia through referendum in 1993. That is what Eritrea makes a sovereign nation. After 1993, Eritrea is a FREE country. Under this context only people can have a choice.

            First, You might be afraid of Arabism, oke, let it be. then democratically, your choice is not to be an Arab member. good.

            Second, Suppose, you were only 5, better to be more. And the three have chosen to be join the Arab countries. And the one abstained.

            Then, what is the final?

            It is sure Arabism. that is what democracy is. But, this is if and only if the Constitution allows. I am saying under the RUle of Law.

            Therefore, if the rule of law wins, let the people exercise the freedom they got from this. And this is what we are voicing for. No FEAR for it.

            First, lets secure the state under the pre-context of 1993 result. And lets work the 1997 constitution to come on the table. Believing that the constitution is accepted by the people too, But I am in boubt for the later.

            Regards
            Tes

            Else, the people did not get a chance to choose.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Tes,

            I can’t agree more on most of your premises. I don’t have fear at all. I have been advocating that “tigrigna and Arabic languages” are the uniting factor in our politics as it was in the 50s. That is was my stand and remains to be now. Speaking Arabic language doesn’t make you Arabist. The same, speaking English doesn’t make us English people which the highlanders do not have any qualms about it except when it comes to Arabic.

            Second, I don’t believe on the “1997 constitutional document” as it depict centralize unitary government of authoritarian regime. I will repeat it again, this document will be the the fertile womb of authoritarian regimes for generations. If they try to implement it, count my words it will be the source of disunity and all the consequences that follows it. There will be no democracy (no dream at all) for a multi-cultural country to be governed by “centralized unitary government” which on top of it that gives excessive power to the executive body and undermines the two pillars of government namely the judiciary and legislative. So we are eye to eye on democracy and probably different on the document.

            Thank you
            Amanuel

          • tes

            Oh Amanuel, I do not mean to you. It is to Eyob, though I replied under ur name.

            And for the constitution, even my lines are clear,

            here it goes, “And lets work the 1997 constitution to come on the table. Believing that
            the constitution is accepted by the people too, But I am in boubt for
            the later.”

            Even myself, I do not believe on this constitution.

            But sorry, the whole thing is to Eyob.

          • tes

            Though not long time to be here, I mostly agree with your analysis. Therefore, not eye to eye, but I came to know that my own interpretation is in line with you. May be it will will take me time to say the tones of awate. I may look odd, but it is just a searcher’s mind.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear tes,
            Why don’t expound in article or essay format your theory, starting from its precept to its full conceptualized form, so we can learn from your view. I sensed that I will enjoy it as our thinking seems in the same wave length. Am I right tes? Could you please. I like your line of argument in its strategic thinking that brings the equilibrium of the contestants.

          • tes

            Thank you bro. Amanuel for your encouraging compliments. Yes I will send it soon. If not an article, an essay. Thank you again.

        • Dear Eyob M.

          I see no flaws in your comment. Ethiopia has never denied the 35% of her children that are proud Muslims. Especially since 1974, when the state and religion were separated, Christianity and Islam are recognized on equal terms, and are the two major religions of the country.

          It is only recently that we see infiltration by radical Islam (Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia, which sees a unified Islamic world ruled by the Sharia law, which of course is the extension of Saudi Arab socio-cultural domination, as seen by the Saudi ruling family and other Muslim religious extremists), that we begun to see conflict between Ethiopian Muslims and Christians. As everyone knows very well, the two lived in the most harmonious way one can imagine over one and half millennia. Extremists on the payroll of Saudi fundamentalists, started killing Christians and burning churches, which did
          not happened since the times of Gragn Ahmed. I should not pass without
          mentioning that, at the same time some Muslims were burning churches, other moderate Muslims, which characterize the great majority of Ethiopian Muslims, were building churches for Christians who had no place of worship. In addition, it should be known that the mass incarceration of Muslim leaders under the bogus anti-terrorism law is undemocratic.

          As you rightfully said, the problem and fear is not about Islam, as a religion, but the exploitation of Islam for the expansion of social and cultural Arabism, shrouded with the Islamic religion. As you mentioned, many Muslim countries have not espoused Arab cultures for very good reasons.

          The pain and misery of Ethiopia has always been attributed to the expansion of extreme Islam, as theorized by different Arab fundamentalists throughout history; from the destructive wars of Gragn Ahmed in the 16th century, the invasion of Egyptians in the 19th century, the facilitation of Gedli, the recent expulsion of more than 160K Ethiopians in an inhuman way from Saudi Arabia, condemned by the whole world, to the warmongering of present day Egypt that blackmails us with war if we dare to use our God-given river. Therefore, Ethiopia has reasons for Arab-phobia. She is not Islamo-phobic in any way, provided of course, nobody tries to turn Ethiopia into an Islamic state. She is a secular state and she will remain as such. She will be the land of equal religions, where nobody will be persecuted for his/her religion.

          Finally, all languages are equal in Ethiopia, and it has been decided by the constitution that Amharic will be the working language. Our Muslims are free to use Arabic in their religious teachings. Suggesting that Arabic should be taught in Ethiopian schools is preposterous to say the least, especially in a country where every ethnic group, despite its religion, is using and developing its vernacular languages and its culture. Ethiopia is therefore fearful of political and extreme Islam, and not from Islam as a religion of peace and peaceful coexistence, which the great majority of Ethiopian Muslims espouse.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Horizon, “Wahhabism of Saudi Arabia, which sees a unified Islamic world ruled by the Sharia law, which of course is the extension of Saudi Arab socio-cultural domination, as seen by the Saudi ruling family and other Muslim religious extremists),” I am afraid that you have got wrong information about Islam. you may have to ask what “wahhabism” is. I know that there was a man whose name is Abdulwehab who just corrected the people who miss understand SUNA. and I know Saudi Arabian people are the first who corrected and followed. yet, that has nothing to do with extremism. in both our Habesha countries there was a bit mistake to be corrected, our people were not aware of it. slowly it is now seen by almost all Muslims. you will find some outsiders who created confusion but that don’t represent Sunis, in Suna, only God and God is worshiped. no single man or no creature is allowed to be worshiped. you don’t have to ask Gibril or Mohammed or Jesus to help you. you don’t go for any Shekh to ask for you forgiveness except advice.

    • Kokhob Selam

      It seems you are in emotion. some time you say things that I never imagine you will say it. we all have bad days but when you think you are not in mode don’t say anything and try to just read what others say. that is what I do. some time I love to listen music to make my mind. why don’t you listen one of Ethiopian or great musicians like the king Tilahun or Eritrean singer also king Yemane barya and others like that lovely Hibst. have a nice time Eyoubay. Hey, you know I miss SAY, I love the way you two discuss things. where is he by the way?

      • Eyob Medhane

        Kokhob,

        I am fine. I did not say anything different than I used to say before….I miss Sal, too..

        • Kokhob Selam

          ok then Eyoub,Ok, “As part of an Ethiopian habesha, a people that have guarded our identity, language
          cultural integrity, and of course country and always have to fight tooth and nail to preserve these assets, I see a danger creeping on us coming through Eritrea,…..” don’t you think you are giving space to those who want to see separated high land and other part? didn’t you notice we Eritreans handling the case carefully those days? You see, when you say things and as Eyoub Medhane it affects a lot. It seems to me you are not aware of the bold and intelligent real fighters are doing a lot of job in this crowed. my advice is please watch how things are handled and how much we are working not to see division in our people. I know you don’t mean it but that is it. Just for today read this ans see what some are saying about Ethiopia. That may change your mode http://www.soderetube.com/article_read.php?a=154

          • Eyob Medhane

            Oh Kokhob,

            You just dug some crazy lady saying crazy stuff, huh?! 🙂 (I am kidding. Anna Rosenberg is a highly regarded economist and not crazy at all! She was in Ethiopia last week, and she probably was having few Tej, when she wrote that article. 🙂 ) Other than her strange opening, I liked the article. But here is the thing, there is something called, ‘the habesha mentality’ (Which include Eritreans) or ‘the Ethiopian mentality, particularly when we deal with foreigners. They don’t get us. They always find us behaving a bit different than many other Africans or Arabs they encounter. That usually makes them analyze our behavior, as they see fit. Which is usually comes out wrong. They don’t get us. It frustrates them that they don’t get into our head. Their formula of how an African should behave doesn’t work on us. It just keeps frustrates them….Thank you, though. It was a good read..

          • Kokhob Selam

            Your lovely climate and nice people put in love every one who visits your county. Ethiopia it’s people are very attractive. and now it is developing fast I hope the original culture will not be lost in this fast development.

    • dine

      what if they want to be Arab, don’t you think that is their right? eritrea is independent country don’t you think it is bad idea to interfere in somebody’s country .

    • tafla

      “You must understand the difference between Islam and Arabism-Something which is difficult for African people to understand. The Arab did to Islam what the European did to Christianity, he subtracted the spirituality, and made it a political instrument to conquer the African. But when it comes to the African, he accepted the spiritual aspect of it, and forget the political.”

      Dr. John Henrik Clarke.

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi Saba,
    Your 4 items are not mutually exclusive, in that doing either of them can mean doing the rest. If you work on HR, you could weaken pfdj, which at last might grow to be the very Achilles’ heel to shorten the life of the regime. HR(1) is about supporting victims (2), too, which both are potentially powerful tools to remove pfdj (3), and once such an experience and knowledge of HR and fighting for the victims up to removing the regime has become a local expertise and capacity, it would never be easy for any dictator to come to power, or abuse you for long. When you want to, try to work and refine on your items a bit.

    You said, “Ali-S has offered [a solution] but it seems that people did not understand it.”
    Did you?
    You also said, “I have asked Serray if he can offer solution and i am waiting for his reply”.
    But he told you already when he said start from implementing the constitution.
    You also said, “people are not offering solutions here”.
    Well they offered varying solutions. For example, Serray says implementing the Constitution can be a good start. Emma says remove pfdj by all means necessary and replace it with a new inclusive and just system. Gashe Saleh says, weedout the beast, put the worst criminals behind a bar; deploy the court or reconciliation process to clear out all past wounds. Sal’s solution starts with removing Isaias by bloody or non-bloody coup and that would change the game for the better. Haile says we don’t have the luxury of discussing to pick the best means of removing pfdj or evaluating and grading the opposition, we have to rush with every might at hand to save the nation and the people. The only person who hasn’t exhausted all these boring u-turns without a solution at the end of the tunnel is Ali-S.
    Hayat

    • Ermias

      Hey Hayat, why didn’t you list my solution? Okay, just kidding, I have no solution but I have a proposal to all Eritreans:

      “People, I just want to say, can’t we all get along? Can’t we all get along?” Courtesy of the later Rodney King.

      • Hayat Adem

        Ermi’s approach to a solution: “don’t mess up with my people and mock on the victims. The rest I can consider every option without getting mad”

        • Ermias

          Hayat, let me highlight the positives all the people you mentioned in their approaches:

          Hidrat – get rid of PFDJ by all means necessary and inclusive government after that. If every available means is used, the effect would be that PFDJ will think twice for any atrocious action and the removal process would be faster. I like the inclusive part of his argument. That could be a great opportunity for national reconciliation.

          Serray – start with implementing the existing constitution. Great idea, that is better than nothing. Look at the US constitution; its 27 amendments, having been ratified by the requisite number of states, are part of the constitution. As you know the first 10 were adopted and ratified simultaneously and are collectively known as the Bill of Rights. We can amend our 1997 constitution as needed.

          Gash Saleh – weed out the PFDJ beast. Well (probably same as Hidrat) but this is the toughest one to carry out as PFDJ has really long roots now. In any case, this would ensure a completely clean start and there would be no one else to blame if the new government cannot deliver. That would put the viability of Eritrea into test (some people hate this statement) but since there are doubters and believers, the issue could be settled once and for all.

          Sal – reform PFDJ after getting rid of IA (forcefully or via his liver failure). Probably the most sound and doable approach. IA will be gone soon, a few years at most. Most of his ministers and officials of all sorts are alienated and are just there as place holders. One would assume that these people have ideas as to how to get us forward once he is gone. I am starting to align myself more closer with Sal after doing a lot of reflection on weekends.

          Haile – let’s be quick in toppling this regime and putting a transitional one in place. Again, great idea because we have people leaving the country in droves and being persecuted and humiliated for fun. We are losing a generation very quickly and also having read his post yesterday, if that doesn’t get you really appreciate the urgency of our situation, then nothing will.

          Ali-S/Saba – not so clear on Ali-S but Saba for sure. Let’s have a clean Eritrean third alternative. An opposition that is not influenced by outside forces. This is intriguing but there are some inevitables as in working with your neighbors to get rid of a regime that has caused distress across the region. At the same time, Eritrean solutions for Eritrean problems seems very appealing if it could be implemented with 100% effectiveness and efficiency.

          YG/Hayat Adem – let’s shed light on ghedli – why, when, where, how, what, and who? I like this too because every single thing in Eritrea is now being done ‘bmisli ghedli.’ So if it is a part of everything the government is doing at the present, we should flash the light on it and understand it and scrutinize it. We are where we are because of Ghedli. Was it really needed? Could it have been done better? What should be our relationship with Ethiopia now? Can we work out a solution that would stop the bloodshed, specially of the kebessa people? Revisit the Bevin-Sforza plan.

          Nitricc – let IA run his course.

    • Jo

      Hello Hayat,

      ” Ngus tere-aKhu Traę Traę yimetseni ” kemzbehal. I just want to tell you that, Horizon was bad mouthing your EPRDF. You turn your back for a couple of days and people let their mouths (fingers) loose.;-) I have been itching to see you back, to snap his loose fingers back in their place. He was going on and on about EPRDF (election, arrest etc…) and I was wondering if he can verify it.

      • Hayat Adem

        Not that I took liberty to defend EPRDF from anyone let alone Horizon as he is entitled to criticize them, vote them in or out, boycott them… but out of curiosity, how did Horizon badmouth EPRDF? What did he say?

        • Jo

          Selam Hayat,

          He said, “e.g. the use of a bogus anti-terrorism law to incarcerate journalists, harassment of the opposition during elections etc.” If we hadn’t pushed him away he was going to go on and on.:-) I have no idea where he got all this stuff from. I don’t know!! he may have been hanging out with nitric. Or do you think there is some merit to what he is saying? After all he is Ethiopian, as you alleged.

          • Jo

            just to make it clear, “…I have criticized it for past crimes and its present day excesses and shortcomings, and especially for the absence of full-fledged democracy, (e.g. the use of a bogus anti-terrorism law to incarcerate journalists, harassment of the opposition during elections etc)…”

  • Kokhob Selam

    again you fail Aman, you are talking about people. the matured man don’t say anything bad about people. “Ethiopiawian min yemayilut Ale” it is easy to see how much you hate Ethiopians. that is what PFDJ programmed on your mind. for your information we Eritrean people and Ethiopian people are very much similar not only by color, face but culture and beliefs. our sayings are the same. “Semum Werqum proverbum” as you have called it is the same. you should love people.

  • haile

    Selamat Awatista,

    Here is something that caught my attention today. It was a post by an activist “Miriam September” who took part in an interview held with some the recent arrivals of Eritrean refugees to Europe. She shares few sample testimonies from given by the refugees so that we get a glimpse of the suffering that our people are exposed to:

    “One thing I really want the world to know is that the regime imprisons children. And many of them. When I was at prison near Seregeka, I was shocked how many youngsters there were in the prison. 10, 12, 13 year old children. I have witnessed some of them laying in their own vomit some of them urinated and sat in it. I cannot forget them, they would not even know what they have done. They are children….

    ….Another story happened when I was taken out and moved from a prison near Halhale somewhere else. They woke us up, we were all chained to each other, and we were ordered to sit on the top of a truck. It was completely overloaded, there were so many of us. If that was not enough they brought staples of wood and ordered us to sit on top of it. It was a bad journey.

    The guy next to me was very young, and he suffered badly from hemorrhoids and maybe other stomach problem. During the rough ride he was in bad pain sitting on the wood and then we witnessed how his trousers soaked in blood, I don’t know where it all came from it just came out of his body. This is one of the worst images I ever have seen, he was like a little brother, and I could not do anything to help him. I will never forget that, I am not sure if he survived.’

    Medhanie looks to the ground, he finds it difficult to talk. ‘We have seen more…much more than this.’ He says…and stops talking.”

    The above is the tip of the iceberg, many have no way to tell their story. The regime is supported by opportunists who are willing to go along with no accountability what so ever. I wonder how long the supporters are going to keep passing the bill to “woyane”. Here is another observation in Tigrigna by one great writer in social media:

    ” መንእሰይ፡ ጉዳይ ኢትዮጵያ ንኢትዮጵያ ይምልከት፡ ኣብ ደምበና ዘሎ መፍለስ ክነልግሶ ናትና ናይ ኤርትራውያን ሓላፍነት ይኸውን፡ ኢትዮጵያ ከም ምኽንያት ኣቕሪቦም ኣፋዊ’ምበር ተግባር ዘይብሎም ንዱያት ሕልና ከየጋግዩኻ ልቦና የድልየካ’ሎ፡ ኣብ ደምበና ዘሎ መፍለስ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይፈጠርዎን፡ ንስኻ መንእሰይ ወለዶ ብሰንኪ ኢትዮጵያ ዓድኻ ገዲፍካ ኣይተሰደድካን፡ ኣብ ጎቦታት ሲናይን ማእከላይ ባሕርን ምድረበዳ ሲናይን ትጸንት ዘለኻ ብሰንኪ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይኮነን፡ ኣብ ዶባት ኤርትራ ብሰንኪ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይተመንጠልካን፡ኣብ ጎዳጉዲ ተኣሲሮም ዘለዉ ኣሽሓት ኤርትራውያን ብሰንኪ ኢትዮጵያ ኣይኮኑን። መንእሰይ ወለዶ፡ ሓሶት ሓቂ ክኸውን ኣይክእልን፡ ድኽመትና ኣባና’ዩ ዘሎ፡ ሽግርና ንሕና ኢና፡ መፍትሒኡ ከኣ ኣብ ኢድና ይርከብ፡ ህግደፋዊ መዝሙር ኣብቂዑ ንመሰልን ሓርነትን ክንቃለስ ጊዝይኡ ሕጂ’ዩ፡ ኣብ ጉዕዞ ቃልስና ኢትዮጵያ ዝብል ሕልኩስ ምኽንያታት ቦታ የብሉን፡ መሰልና ክንመልስ እቲ ሓቂ ክንቅበሎ ኣለና፡መንነትን ክብርታትን ህዝብና ዘጽንት ዘሎ ጉጅለ ህግደፍ’ምበር ኢትዮጵያ ኣይኮነትን።”

    Regards

    NB* Te above is citation of entry by other people in other places.

    • Abinet

      Haile
      Thank you for sharing this extremely sad story. It made me cry . I have children of that age . I feel sorry for their parents , siblings ,friends.
      Let God be with them

    • Kokhob Selam

      This is the truth and almost all stories are similar. you can’t help and solve problems of individuals at that very moment as you are even in trouble. the way out is joining all hands and throw the main criminal group in Asmara. we don’t have to blame others when the problem is in our home. sometime I even say we don’t have to blame PFDJ when we are not willing to change. But “kabakha zeyhalf gasha atbiq’ka se’amo” we will not have choice except to pay what we should as nothing worst will come more that the current situation in removing PFDJ. we are kind people and don’t afraid thinking we might be like others who are killing each other during changing the regime besides the regime is not supported by people except the coward opportunist who is living in democratic countries with his children. The fastest the better. every single minute is taking the life of precocious soul of the innocent and actions has to be taken.

    • Hope

      I feel sad but I might not buy the age “thing” as…I never heard any underage Teen below 16yrs(not sure Ali Abdu’s daughter was under 16 when she was detained) to be held in prison.These are the ones mostly who are caught crossing the border and most or all of them get released soon.You can quote me on that –as I have family memebrs working in that field.

    • Hope

      Hailat,
      Why are you afraid of citing the source of info?I have seen some rediculous readings from Tigray online,asmarino.com–etc.and hope these are not your sources.

      • Hope

        Sorry Hailat–
        My previous inquiry was related to the “age” thing,not to the “perfectly said” quote that I reposted your post as “The Quote of the Year”.
        My message was that we do NOT need to exaggerate few things as we have more than enough evidence—-

    • TheTruth

      How do we even know what was stated is accurate? Why were they arrested? Are they objective and unbiased? Is she unbiased? We need to question everything and not simply take what a so called activists says as truth.

  • Ermias

    Saba, the only thing I cannot tolerate is when someone blames innocent people, like the Lampedusa victims and also insulting and degrading the entire Eritrean population. Everything else is tolerable for me.

    I don’t agree with Ali-S but I respect him for the mere fact that he went into lengths to write complex articles. We are debating abstract ideas here, we are not on a beauty contest so machetes and chain saws etc. have no place. Converesly, I likewise respect YG no matter how prepostrous anyone thinks his ideas are.

    You and I defer on the definition of cyber opposition. Here is my definition of cyber opposition:
    any movement, political or social, that is based on the internet where supporters of the movement are not obligated for any fees, dues, sworn statements but they have at least one goal in common; no registration or id cards are required, no regular meetings, just exchange of ideas to help the movement come closer to the common goal.

    You see, the only thing I have in common with most people here is my despise of PFDJ and IA. My views of weyane, the opposition organizations, etc. are irrelevant. I do not have any incentive to criticize the opposition groups. My people are suffering at the hands of PFDJ and not the opposition groups. Even a well organized opposition with a huge diaspora support cannot topple the PFDJ regime. It has to be done from inside Eritrea. Then hopefully we can have a transitional goverment and people can form political parties and have competing ideas and see who wins out.

    You said towards the end that “Me and Ali-S, we may have difference in the details but we have chosen the third party. We have rejected the pfdj and the cyber opposition.” In his U-Turn articles, he has not explicitly rejected the PFDJ as far as I can comprehend. That is why his is not a U-Turn, it is rather an L-Turn.

    • Saba

      I guess i should open math & logic section in awate.com:) But lets go to an easy topic that everybody can understand. Let say a patient has an abscess and this abscess is throwing all kinds of stuff that is causing the patient to have kidney failure, heart failure etc. Now you have 4 possibilities or stages of reaction to help this patient:
      1) Scream and Spread the news that the patient is having kidney failure from an abscess
      2) Support the patient’s kidney with dialysis
      3) Remove the abscess and give antibiotics
      4) make sure that this patient will not get another abscess(Remove the bugs residing outside his body because if they get inside they will cause an abscess)

      Let’s translate this into our current political scene. Pfdj is the abscess. There are 4 ways that you can do to help your people from the beast(the abscess in the above).

      1) You spread the HR abuses to the world
      2) You support the victims

      3) you remove pfdj and setup a democratic system
      4) prevent future dictators(the current cyber opposition are like the dangerous bugs waiting outside the patient’s body)

      If you do just no 1&2 and wait 3&4 to occur by chance, then you are doing too little. It is possible that pfdj fall due to internal factors but if you are not ready another pfdj2.0 will come.

      In this forum i do not see people offering SOLUTIONS. I have asked Serray if he can offer solution and i am waiting for his reply. Ali-S has offered one but it seems that people did not understand it.

  • Abudi

    How about making a U turn from Ethiopia to Sudan! Just kidding!

  • AMAN

    I am a positive person and the out look and advocacy of my politics is always
    on the positive side. But I sometimes see the kind of play or spying by some
    readers like the our old days at AbayTigrai online which I would say was a
    zero sum game. The reason I said that is because I see some people to say
    what we have already said for over 10 years again and again like new.
    Where were or have these people been when we have been saying all that
    has been said at Eritrean and/or Ethiopian websites on their behalf.
    Or do they mean we have to start saying it again after 10 or so years.
    Am I missing something here or is that they were some where apart from us ?
    Or are they just arriving at the 1 mile mark right before the U-turn sign ?????????/

  • Ermias

    Saba,

    All along I thought you and Ali-S were on the same U-Turn boat but from reading one of your posts here (which I can’t locate now) you two are on the same sea but in different boats. Ali-S’s U-Turn is away from the opposition towards PFDJ waiting for embracing hands, pretty straigh forward U-Turn and the reason is also simple – scared of weyane.

    Your U-Turn is more complex and it can be elaborated as follows:

    Opposition and PFDJ are going in the same direction (destruction of Eritrea) but not on the same line. They are going in parallel lines. Weyane is in between those two lines (closer to the opposition) yet going in the same direction (destruction of Eritrea). You were at the midpoint of those two lines, at a standstill ((silent majority) but facing the same direction. Now you are making a U-Turn (from 0 MPH) but the problem is when you make a U-Turn, you will have to go across one of the lines (PFDJ line or opposition line) because you only have a front-wheel vehicle which only makes wide turns, specially starting from 0 MPH. Your fear is if you cross one of the lines, you might be hijacked by the people in the line. Now you need to pick your poison to complete your U-Turn.
    Dawit, please sketch upon your convenience.

    • Saba

      Wow that is amazing! Unlike most people here in the forum, you put aside your walta and gurade(i.e. bashing everybody who is not in the opposition as pfdj) and you have tried to give a fresh look at my reasoning even though you came into a wrong conclusion. I still give credit to your investigative skills.

      As you said, my reasoning can be complex and one of the earliest victims is Amanuel Hidrat. Others start to ask and try to understand but then quickly finish their effort by bashing me as a pfdj supporter or as one of “pfdj temesaselti”(i think it is Haile who have said that there are pfdj temesaselti, kind of swur ginbar2.0 but online. May be they exist, who knows)
      I was EPLF supporter and i still believe that eplf was necessary for gaining independence, that is it, and after 3-4 years they should have set up election. So by default i was pfdj supporter(stage 0), my awakening started in 1996(stage 1), based on DIA’s answers to citizens questions and how the pfdj was handling anyone who had political question. My support ended at the end of 2000(stage 2). Then i was in stage 3 for a while. Then I was back to stage 0 with some opposition groups. They did not have any agenda or plan, other than “nikid tiray”. So i quickly passed from stage 0 to stage 3 again. My stage 3 for the second time was very long. But now here i am in stage 4, setting up the stage for a responsible leader in a new party(not pfdj, not the cyber opposition). So to give you a clear answer, I will never pick the cyber opposition or the pfdj. I am in the third party. The U-turn is to go away from pfdj and the cyber opposition, toward a a new third party. It is very clear in my sketch, the blue street. Here is my question to you, why you want to stay in the cyber opposition(one of the the red streets) and why you do not you want a third party with a plan? Are you satisfied with the cyber opposition empty plan? Is that because the U-turn’s marciapedi is very rough? Of course in the U-turn’s marciapiedi, there will be pfdj supporters and cyber opposition supporters who wants you back. So are you up for the challege or you wanna stay in your cozy cyber opposition?

      You see, the people in the “silent majority” are waiting for a responsible leader with a plan. Unless they change, those cyber opposition will go nowhere that’s why they can not rally the silent majority to reach a critical mass.
      Me and Ali-S, we may have difference in the details but we have chosen the third party. We have rejected the pfdj and the cyber opposition.

      I wish i can give you more details about myself:) Well with your investigative skills, i gave you enough data:)
      I hope you will give me an answer with your gurade aside:)

  • AMAN

    So my question now is
    Why did woyane get frustrated to engage the Eritrean people in the positive way
    and resorted to his predessors policy of war in the hope of accepting Eritreans
    and their issues in a reduced form ( dream of subjugation ?) instead of pursuing
    a positive win win diplomacy or policy. ?
    Was Ethiopia in the right form and transformed when it was doing that to Eritrea
    which was in the better,right path and right direction for the whole of Ethiopia and the
    African Horn region ? Or was it a policy of let us fail together than ERITREA leads
    the way ATFITO METIFAT EVIL POLICY OF WOYANE?

  • AMAN

    No Eritrean has ever said Ethiopians are our enemies. This phrase is only a
    misplaced and abused phrase that gets pulled evry now and then to frame the
    Eritrean people in order to create a pretext for hidden and evil intentions against
    him.
    But it is true that the regimes that has come to rule Ethiopia are the enemies of
    the Eritrean people. But not only the Eritrean people they are also the enemies
    of the Ethiopia people. Eritrean and Ethiopian peoples have never had enemity
    between them . It is only the creation of the ruling regimes either to consolidate
    their hold to power and extend their survival and stay or some other ulterior hidden
    motives that always try to instigate enemity between them and against eachother
    but always fail. In the case of woyane it revived his predecessors policy in a different
    or indirect way than the use of direct agression and war like HSI and MENGISTU.
    And woyane’s choice is not only reviving cracks and gaps in the Eritrean society
    but also widening and enlarging it using subtle other kind of war.
    Thus all in all the GOAL of the three regimes is the same but only a change of
    methodology and operation in the last regime.

    • Kokhob Selam

      We have been trying to inform you that our case is to be solved by us in first place and that is what Ethiopians said. if you fail in organizing yourself and challenge the enemy , it is not their problem. Talk about our case and our case only first. Ethiopians are very much matured and they know what they are doing. If there is any problem internally, it is just their homework and they working hard as you can see. By the way Ethiopians are working even the world don’t support them for brighter future within their own resources as you can see Blue Nile. Chauvinism has gone except few who fail to attract the mass. Now, there might be somewhere advanced moment to replace Ethiopian government, but sure Ethiopia will never come back even if there will be change. So leave them alone and think about your case. Why do you want me to be under such group, a group who kills even his own members leaves alone those who want democratic nation since ever? Please think about it, the jealous mafia group is talking about Ethiopians, and is trying to make you busy as usual to prolong the already shortened life of its group.

      Bad for you, to come down to this level at this time at the time almost all supporters are leaving
      the regime. Ethiopians have a saying “ጅራቷ ሲቀራት ሲጥ ኣለች “ it is for rat by the way, not for lion.

      • Eyob Medhane

        Kokhob,

        Damn it! You’re good. 🙂

        • AMAN

          Untill I come to your points
          Let me take the opportunity to say this about the saying “………..”.
          Ethiopiawian min yemayilut Ale
          Semum Werqum proverbum
          but unfortunately, the sayings apply to themselves and their situatuations
          more and very much than to somebody else.
          Isn’t that an IRONY……? Or may be a sheer hypocrisy !

      • Aman

        Reply below was meant to you by the way.

  • Haile Zeru

    From Just e quick look at the sketch I see that a ll roads end up in a cul-de sac. Do you mean no political organization has any future? Are you that pessimist?

    • Saba

      Lol, that was may be a Rorschach test for you:) The blue street is my street and the optimistic one. All the streets have a destination(your cul-de sac), the red ones to hell, the blue one to heaven, isn’t that optimistic? The current cyber opposition is in the red street and has no future, i hope you are not in that red street.

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam Haw Eyob,
    First of all, welcome to Awate Forum, if it is your first time.
    Since you mentioned 2% extortion tax in Canada, please allow me to say few words. I would skip your insults and please don’t underestimate people. It ain’t cool. What you think enlightening revelations (about the ways of payment could be switched to Asmara) were long discussed, argued over, ‘wushtun–wushatueen…’

    The problem is everyone starts from his knowledge and reaches conclusion over that and then begins insulting others instead of READING THE UPDATED REPORTS ON THE ISSUES.
    The 2% issue (at least in Canada) is not about taxation that could be analogized to that of US and it’s not about service fee and it is not about mandatory obligation of dual-citizens. It is not also the activists and their campaign that expelled the consul. The activists had no power or mandate to execute that draconian measure. Please be informed that it is the Canadian government laws that were violated and it is the Canadian government that took an issue with it and made the decision. In light of this, anything that has got to do with 2% issue is an issue for the Canadian government, not the activists or the media or others.
    All the best,
    Ghezae Hagos

    • Serray

      Eyob,

      Gezae’s answer is too narrow to your broad and fundamentally flawed grasp of reality. Let’s start with your lies. You began your comment with, “Let me first state that I detest the current regime in power for many reasons” and then you went on to lobby us to pay 2 percent of our income to the object of your detestation. Nobody hates someone and then lashes out at those who refuse to pay it.

      Your second lie: while countries are limiting tax to source (where the income is generated), you claim the trend is the other way round. The US is more of an exception than a rule. The EU, for example, has basically eliminated double taxation between member countries and have tax treaties in place with nonmember states. Check this link, http://ec.europa.eu/taxation_customs/taxation/gen_info/index_en.htm). Other countries use tax treaties to limit tax only to source. The reason for this trend is fairness and efficiency. Fairness in the sense that an expatriate is subjected to a double taxation by the home country and the resident country and that puts him at a disadvantage.

      If you were not a pfdj mouthpiece, this is easy to grasp. While Eritreans are disadvantaged in many countries they live due to the relative low income jobs they are relegated to, subjecting their meager income to extortion by a giant sucking testicle called shaebia regime is beyond unfair. Efficiency refers to the fundamental reason why governments tax in the first place. A government reaching out to tax citizens who didn’t use its services is a bloated government that is not functioning within its limits. The US is the most bloated government on earth. One of the two major parties in the US makes its living by pointing out how bloated it is. But you guy make an example of this sickness to hammer your extortion point. It is wrong for any government to tax citizens who don’t use its services, period. If you are dumber than I thought, you are thinking, “but eritrea is an exception”. Yes, eritrea is an exception; it is a country run by a regime that owns its young, its land, its natural resources and practically every major company. It is country run by such corrupt regime its senior officials sell its children to savage arab tribes.

      But here is what makes the extortion fees that you guys call tax wrong: No taxation without representation. Isaias’s regime is illegal. Every effort must be made to weaken it and change it. If you really detest it as you claim, you should engage in this fight and not prop it. Whatever your beef is with the opposition, the solution can never be supporting the object of your detestation. But you are in very good company given the article under discussion.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Serray,

        You made a good home run on the extortion fees. Taxation which in turn don’t give you service to yourself is not taxation, it is “extortion fees”. And yes there is no taxation without representation. I found an issue which I completely agree with you this time. I count on you on this issue.

      • Eyob

        Flawed grasp of reality? Haha, I guess the truth hurts. As for your comment, let’s dissest the many lies that you’ve told.

        1) I’m not lobbying for anyone to pay anything if they choose not to. That’s a choice for each and every Eritrean to make. However, if you seek services from the Eritrean government then you should pay for it. Seems fair enough especially given the sacrifice of our people back home. The fact we’re even debating a mere 2% is repulsive. Do people really think you can get something for nothing?

        2) There are elaborate tax scheme discussions ongoing throughout the world, which may not necessarily be on earned income but will still impact expats. One example is the UK’s recent legislation surrounding taxes on home sells that will directly impact expats. Governments around the world are finding interesting ways to garner as much tax revenue as possible. Expect more.

        3) How is it extortion if you’re seeking a service? If you feel this is a burden, you can 1) renounce your citizenship or 2) not seek services. Why is this so hard to comprehend? I agree it is wrong for a government to tax citizens who don’t use its services. That is the case with the US but with Eritrea, as I’ve alluded to in earlier comments, those paying are either doing so because they want to contribute to their nation’s growth or are in need of services such as a busines license, land purchase, official documentation, property related, etc.

        4) As for your last statement related to the Isaisls is illegal. To some he may be but to the UN and foreign governments, he still is. So government legislation stands whether we like it or not.

        • haile

          Eyob

          The 2% was one of the many noble Eritrean ideas. Well, thanks to the beast, it has become an all round liability.

          Your #1 is incorrect. 2% is not linked to requiring a service. As it stands, 2% determines if you’re Eritrean or not for practical purposes. If you don’t pay, you forfeit any and all citizen rights, including whoever signs your body to be transported for burial’s 2% standing would seal the case as far as where you’ll be buried and if your family would have you body there.

          If you require service and it turns out that you haven’t been paying this mandatory 2%, you would be required to settle it by going back to 1994. Hence, the “service requirement” is used as “credit collection” rather than “reason for payment”. If I don’t need a service, I am still required to pay, if I don’t, that means I am accumulating debt. The regime can’t enforce debt collector on you to recover the bill so instead would wait until you need some thing and would bring up the outstanding debt then. It has nothing to do with the service. Because, there is already service fee for anything that you ask. For example, power of attorney costs something around $70 US (or a little less), ID card costs something like $50 for each year after independence AND you turned 18 years old. So, if you were 18 at independence and need an ID in 2012 (20 years later) that would be charged around $800, other certificates, legal and other services have their set charges, which is service fee that you need to pay if you require service. 2% is not related to your service requirement and starts accumulating from 1994. Looking an embassy service is only an opportune time to do credit collections, otherwise if you haven’t paid (as many don’t) don’t make the mistake that you don’t have to because you are not request a service. Nothing to do with it.

          One thing I disagree with the way some people fight it is that (I know Ghezae doesn’t say this) by claiming that relatives get arrested for non-payment. I haven’t come across a case like that personally.

          The provision of Eritrean ID is not dependent on 2%. The ID is a powerful security instrument. The regime wouldn’t issue you a visa to Eritrea (more than once) if you are Eritrean by birth yet don’t wish to have its ID card and wish to visit as a citizen of your adopted country. The ID gives the regime a cover to disappear you if needed and claim that you are an Eritrean with an Eritrean ID. Not only the case of Dawit Isaak is argued like that but recently I posted a case of another pro-regime woman from the Bay Area, CA who went to Eritrea on 2012 independence day. Many rumors circulate about the reasons for here disappearance but her family never heard of here in the last 2 years. The US embassy considers the matter “complex” because the woman was also a dual citizen. This was made possible because she had the regime issued ID card. The regime ‘s ID is useless for any other purpose than just a visa waiver n the absence of the 2%.

          So, 2%=Citizenship and ID card = Security

          Regards

        • Serray

          Eyob,

          In my experience, there are three kinds of people who push for the extortion fees: those who work for the regime, those who are forced to pay it (share our misery) and the schmucks who pay it for no good reason and it is in their nature to rationalize every stupid thing they did by forcing others to do it. Guess where I put you?

          Eyob, you seem like a conflicted person. How is paying 2 percent of your hard earned income to vultures “fair enough especially given the sacrifice of our people back home”? You are not paying it to the people, you are paying it to a corrupt, unaccountable and immensely brutal regime that owns everything in the country and then some. Tell me, since the value of money is its utility, what is it that makes you support this extortion? The regime gobbles the value of the free labor of our youth, 100 percent of the mining revenue, all taxes imposed domestically, whatever profit the regime owned companies generate and so on…what is that you think the regime will do with 2 percent extortion fee that makes you support it enough to lash out at those who chose not to pay it?

          Your number 2 is false and gross. Globalization has given individuals and companies abilities to escape income from taxation. In the US, companies keep over 2 trillion in cash overseas because repatriation subjects their income to tax. Practically every industrial country is working in eliminating the tax rate differential advantage (including the US…Tim Cook of Apple came before congress and hammered this point last year). In addition to eliminating rate differentials, almost all industrialized countries limit taxation to water’s edge. But what really amazes me about you guys is, you seem clueless about the nature of the beast you are pushing others to pay when you bring up democratic countries right to tax citizens on their worldwide income. This is like saying your uncle is an rapist, a murderer and a thief but somehow he deserves the respect of a nobel prize winner because he is your uncle.

          You and joe somehow think rejecting the 2 percent extortion fees demeans the human rights issue; this is the most dishonest statement ever made by any human being. Forcing people to pay 2 percent of their income from 1994 to the dat they requested a service, a service that cost a few dollars anywhere else on earth, is a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE! What makes arguing with you people futile is, you believe blindly in the cause of ghedli, but you have no problem turning Eritrea into a whore that one needs to pay to touch it. Every citizen have earned, be it through his own sweat and blood or his loved ones, to get licenses, visas or passports at cost. The least an eritrean should expect after thirty years of bloodbath is a regime that parades his country like a street whore that needs to be paid to be touched.

          You keep saying the extortion fee is voluntary and that nobody is forced to pay it. I can tell you live in the west where papers need not to be renewed every year by paying the hyenas. How about those who live in many countries where papers need to renewed every year or two? Make no mistake, the extortion fee is mandatory. If hyenas block the only road to your home, your way home is no more safe. Do you even understand the gravity of the “choice” the regime and you offer, renounce you citizenship or don’t need anything from your country? This makes the extortion fees voluntary for you?

          Your number is funny; the UN and most foreign government considers the regime borderline terrorist. That is why they made the extortion fees illegal. If these entities give legitimacy to the regime of vultures, shouldn’t you factor in their view on the extortion fees?

        • Serray

          Eyob,

          In my experience, there are three kinds of people who push for the extortion fees: those who work for the regime, those who are forced to pay it (share our misery) and the schmucks who pay it for no good reason and it is in their nature to rationalize every stupid thing they did by forcing others to do it. Guess where I put you?

          Eyob, you seem like a conflicted person. How is paying 2 percent of your hard earned income to vultures “fair enough especially given the sacrifice of our people back home”? You are not paying it to the people, you are paying it to a corrupt, unaccountable and immensely brutal regime that owns everything in the country and then some. Tell me, since the value of money is its utility, what is it that makes you support this extortion? The regime gobbles the value of the free labor of our youth, 100 percent of the mining revenue, all taxes imposed domestically, whatever profit the regime owned companies generate and so on…what is that you think the regime will do with 2 percent extortion fee that makes you support it enough to lash out at those who chose not to pay it?

          Your number 2 is false and gross. Globalization has given individuals and companies abilities to escape income from taxation. In the US, companies keep over 2 trillion in cash overseas because repatriation subjects their income to tax. Practically every industrial country is working in eliminating the tax rate differential advantage (including the US…Tim Cook of Apple came before congress and hammered this point last year). In addition to eliminating rate differentials, almost all industrialized countries limit taxation to water’s edge. But what really amazes me about you guys is, you seem clueless about the nature of the beast you are pushing others to pay when you bring up democratic countries right to tax citizens on their worldwide income. This is like saying your uncle is an rapist, a murderer and a thief but somehow he deserves the respect of a nobel prize winner because he is your uncle.

          You and joe somehow think rejecting the 2 percent extortion fees demeans the human rights issue; this is the most dishonest statement ever made by any human being. Forcing people to pay 2 percent of their income from 1994 to the dat they requested a service, a service that cost a few dollars anywhere else on earth, is a HUMAN RIGHTS ISSUE! What makes arguing with you people futile is, you believe blindly in the cause of ghedli, but you have no problem turning Eritrea into a whore that one needs to pay to touch it. Every citizen have earned, be it through his own sweat and blood or his loved ones, to get licenses, visas or passports at cost. The least an eritrean should expect after thirty years of bloodbath is a regime that parades his country like a street whore that needs to be paid to be touched.

          You keep saying the extortion fee is voluntary and that nobody is forced to pay it. I can tell you live in the west where papers need not to be renewed every year by paying the hyenas. How about those who live in many countries where papers need to renewed every year or two? Make no mistake, the extortion fee is mandatory. If hyenas block the only road to your home, your way home is no more safe. Do you even understand the gravity of the “choice” the regime and you offer, renounce you citizenship or don’t need anything from your country? This makes the extortion fees voluntary for you?

          Your number is funny; the UN and most foreign government considers the regime borderline terrorist. That is why they made the extortion fees illegal. If these entities give legitimacy to the regime of vultures, shouldn’t you factor in their view on the extortion fees?

    • Eyob

      Do you know how many opposition members and quite frankly just Eritreans in general I’ve come across that have become delusional with the so-called activists who engage in these cheap antics? The truth is no one knocks on our doors, forces us to pay or extorts as many of our so called activists claim. You may peddle these lies to non-Eritreans but do not insult the intelligent of Eritreans. We want our campaign to be based on the truth and nothing but the truth. Do you how many opposition members do not pay the 2% tax and still travel to Eritrea, myself included? As for your claim that activists did not play a part, let’s be honest with ourselves. The lies generated by them and peddled in the media was the catalyst for pushing the consul out, mind you without validating the accusations made. I’m not really surprised though given Canada has never really been a nation of reasoning given they labeled Mandela a “terrorist” long after his release and also considered the gallant freedom fighter of the ELF and EPLF as terrorists as well. Ghezae have you forgot what you told the media:

      Ghezae Hagos, spokesman for the Eritrean-Canadians Human Rights Group of Manitoba, also doubted Eritrea would change its behaviour. He said as long as the consulate remained in business it would squeeze Eritreans in Canada.

      “Therefore, the only way for Canada to protect its citizens and its national interests … is to expel the diplomat Mr. Semere Ghebremariam and close the consulate in Toronto,” said Mr. Hagos.

      Or what Aaron stated:

      “I don’t think the Canadian government realizes how crooked the Eritrea regime is,” said Aaron Berhane, who fled Eritrea after the state shut down his newspaper in 2001. “So the only way to stop the 2% extortion tax is by shutting up the Eritrean consulate for good.”

      Once again do not insult the intelligent of the Eritrean people by peddling cheap lies. We deserve better.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hey Eyob,

        I thought you threw in your towel for the Eritrean citizenship from your earlier hot debate with sal and others (this is long ago). No matter how I differ on the issue of taxation and others, I am proud when you erect your head and start to argue as “we deserve better”. Eyob, this is my political formula “any thing that starves the beast” go for it. There is no need of reasoning with the beast. So as far as we starve our beast including with stopping the 2% extortion fee, we will do it. I think we agree we have the worst beast at the helm of power in Eritrea. So try to argue on anything that diminishes his power.

        regard,
        Amanuel

        • Eyob Medhane

          Aman,

          You’re thinking of a different Eyob. This is EYOB MEDHANE. If you were thinking of me, let me clear it very well for you again. I NEVER had Eritrean citizenship, never wanted to have one and will never entertain to obtain one, either. I have never been to your country, but I hope to visit it, should a better day comes in the future…

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Sorry Eyob M.,

            I thought you are, and jumped to comment. I will still think your blood will not give away like that. Damn who is this Eyob then? I think he should be new to the this forum. Thank you again for your correction.

          • Abinet

            I love to meet everybody in this forum in masawa . I have heard so many good things. When things become normal I will be the first one to visit .

        • JO

          Hello Amanuel,

          “any thing that starves the beast” does that mean even if you have to lie?

          What makes you different then, than the beast you are trying to starve?

          Is it because you think that there is no enough reasons, to get rid of the beast, without having to submit to include things that are not true?

          What does that say about a character of a certain society that would be involved in such acts?

          If we have to let ourselves to be rotten to fight a rotten system how do we recover later after we achieved what we wanted?

          If you think we will be able to recover from rot, what makes you think the EG is beyond recovery, or is there a threshold of recovery vs no recovery; if there is, what is it?

          Luwam zelewo meAlti!!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Brother Jo,
            You don’t reason with the beast that eats you day in and day out.. You try to remove it by all means. We reason with sane people like you not with that beast that devours our nation.and its people. When he becomes an enemy of the people you fight him like an enemy with all your resources and employ any tactics that paralyze him. That is the rule with the enemy.

      • ghezaehagos

        Ato Eyob,

        First of all, don’t be too mad. After all we are talking about funding a regime you detest. Why on earth would you want to pay a regime you detest or others to pay him? Serray covered that..only well.

        “Do you how many opposition members do not pay the 2% tax and still travel to Eritrea, myself included?”

        I think your knowledge of 2% saga is very, very limited. You don’t seem to know how the government collects the taxes. Just because those who want to visit don’t pay (they used to btw) doesn’t mean it is not forced in most cases. I can’t tell you enough the stories of victimization some people have been subjected to. And those are the ones our studies show..God knows how many are silently suffering as we consider our fate.

        For further cases, please refer to Haile’s detailed report….Haile covered that..only well.

        And if you want to argue there could be exceptional cases that could be taken as a mistakes; Issues arise when laws in violation not observance of laws.

        Again you are very wrong, kubur Haw on 2% issue in Canada. Were you following all reports? Do you think a government of laws and system would just be hoodwinked by ‘few activists’ who lied and also made notable media outlets to sell lies? What do you think we are? or what do you THINK the Canadian media and government are?

        I told you it aint cool to underestimate people; but it is worse to disparage a government as democratic as Canada. Do you know how many times the Canadian government warned the regime to stop it? In 2011, and Sept. 2012? FYI:- The Issue was dragged from Nov. 2011 to May 2013, and you have the gumption to say the accusations were not validated. Did you even read the regime’s response in September 2012 to stop it then continuing it…why should it agree to stop it if it didn’t accept the accusations?

        Some people have some nerve…and you call yourself you detest the Issais regime! Please again have a little respect and blame the stubbornness of the Issais regime, not Canada which was very patient and in fact reluctant to go that route.

        “…We have made our position on this matter to the Eritreans clear, and we expect that to be respected. The government of Eritrea should not test our resolve on this matter.” This was September 2012—9 months before the decision to expel…Now whose fault is that?
        Regards,
        Ghezae Hagos
        (Btw: would you like the opposition of Ethiopian regime or other regimes to pay to the regimes they fled from or persecuted by? I think you would call them nuts if they do…so what gives when it comes to Eritrea?)

        • Eyob

          No one is mad just a bit irritated that some do more damage to our cause with their lies than they could imagine. You may not believe so sitting in the comforts of Canada, the lapdog of the US, but for many the lies are too much to bare. If this is the campaign you want to fight for, that’s fine but rest assured it speaks a lot about your character.

    • Jo

      Hello Gezae,

      How important do you think, the 2% tax, is compared to the human rights case?

      Don’t you think we are trivializing the crucial human rights isuess by soiling them with trivial cases (2% tax)? As we all know, no body forces you to pay it unless you need a service from the government (legit or not).

      Don’t you think people will question the honesty and validity of the core case (human rights) if the premiss of the case are false? Or, as a lawyer, can you please shade some light on if someone committed a certain crime, would it be fair to accuse him of any other crime he didn’t commit so that you can get a conviction?

      I believe there is enough human rights violation one can accuse the EG of, what is the need to paste unnecessary and controversial side issues to an otherwise solid case?

      I have read some ppl saying with what ever means necessary. How does that fit in the human rights case? Does that mean everything and anything is a fair game even if it is not true?

      Do we have to reduce our selves to the level of those we are accusing, to achieve what we consider moral and ethical; how ethical is that?

      What does that say about our integrity and principle?

      What do you think will be the implications of such cases in the future of Eritrea?

      Please excuse my naiveté. Thanx!!

      • ghezaehagos

        Jo,
        First Selamta tekebel.
        I basically have to rephrase and quote what I said to Eyob but before that I would like to ask you to elaborate? dehan nay ‘integrity and principle’ emo yxenhalena…entay geberu werkawyan qalat!
        It never cease to amaze me Isaias regime supporters or those who support it on issues in your case 2% issue to talk of integrity and principle. ‘Irony’ is ashamed to be used in such context.
        You are telling us we are lied about 2% issue. What was the lies? brother!
        I will await your answer.
        Regards,
        Ghezae Hagos

        • Jo

          Selamat Gezae,

          First of all i don’t know how you came to the conclusion that I am a supporter of “Isaias regime” on issues or otherwise. All I did was ask some simple questions, how that renders me a supporter or an opposition is beyond me.

          I didn’t say anything about whether the 2% tax is right or wrong, all I was asking was, since I never seen or heard any EG representative either calling, intimidating or forcing people to pay taxes, is it a lie to allege that the EG is forcing people to pay a 2% tax?

          If it is, I am asking about whether the mechanism is right or not, but not campaigning against the 2% tax for whatever reason. And how important of an issue is the 2% tax, to link it to the human rights case, however verifiable, having in mind its controversial nature? I believe, there are enough reasons of human rights violations to accuse the EG and maintain the integrity of those groups who are fighting for this noble cause anyway. I am not accusing you of lying, If it is not a lie then I am all ears.

          I was not using integrity and principle in the context of 2% tax, but in the context of lying to achieve anything, even if, it is a noble cause.

          Luwam zelewo meAlti!!

          • ghezaehagos

            Selamat Jo,

            “.. all I was asking was, since I never seen or heard any EG representative either calling, intimidating or forcing people to pay taxes, is it a lie to allege that the EG is forcing people to pay a 2% tax? ”

            Don’t you think that is unfair? Just because it didn’t happen to you or heard it happening to others, it did not happen; therefore we lied; therefore where is the integrity in fighting the regime and therefore what makes any better to claim moral highground if we lie and compromise integrity the same way like the regime we accuse; therefore….

            I can kindly suggest you to do unbiased study on cases of 2% tax. A good start would be Haile’s response in this thread. Also read the proclamation and guage whether the implementation has been the way it was intended.

            If it is my turn to ask, “I didn’t say anything about whether the 2% tax is right or wrong.” Can you weigh in whether it is right or wrong?
            Bruk Leyti…
            Ghezae Hagos

          • Jo

            Selamat Gezae,

            If the 2% tax is for its initial intended purpose, for the rehabilitation of the nation, then it is right. However, if in any way or form that intended purpose or the mechanism of it is compromised, then it is wrong. I hope my answer was clear and to your satisfaction.

            Gezae, my questions were not hinged on the 2% tax, but in the other pressing issues of human rights. I was asking how important the 2% tax issue is compared to the case of the people who are imprisoned. When I said, I didn’t hear or see any one forcing or intimidating people to pay the tax, I was not implying that it does not happen at all, I am not that naive. But, If it happens here and there and you have to dig for it, is it an issue that deserves the attention or urgency it has acquired? I believe, there is enough issues of human rights abuses that we can press the EG on, without having to clip trivial issues on the relatively more serious cases and get bogged down on them. Why not stream line the cases according to their urgency and magnitude, and deal with them accordingly. The 2% tax would have been the last one on my list.

            I asked you about integrity, principle, moral, and ethics, hoping that, since you are a lawyer, to enlighten us how important they are in the current Eritrean political dynamics and its implications in the future soberly (as all you see now is the emotional outbursts of people), but not in the context of 2% tax.

            Have a pleasant day!!

          • ghezaehagos

            Hello Jo,

            ” I believe, there is enough issues of human rights abuses that we can press the EG on, without having to clip trivial issues on the relatively more serious cases and get bogged down on them. Why not stream line the cases according to their urgency and magnitude, and deal with them accordingly. The 2% tax would have been the last one on my list.”
            As limited resource (manpower, money, time) allow, we have been part of numerous campaigns and activities to highlight HR issues, Nevsun issues, lobbying for sanctions, Eritrean regime fundraisers under pseudo-festivals and Eritrea refugee plight and protection. Like many sister groups, we organized seminars around HR violations; some big, some small. 2% issue gained some sort notoriety because it was violation of Canadian law by Eritrean regime and Canada was willing to take action on it; not because it was our campaign.

            So, to answer your question (or try to), we are keen on continuing alerting HR urgency because that remains our main objective. If you want to lend hand, you are most welcome. Or if you are doing it your way, it is good to learn from your experience, and compare notes.
            Blessed Palm Sunday-Hosanna be’ Aryam!

  • Dawit

    Except for a few Eritreans, every one must have started from stage 0. Ali Salim for instance started at zero and went all the way to stage 4 then 1 before he made known to the public that he would make a U-turn and make his way to Stage 0 (PFDJ). From many of his comments, one is tempted to identify him with PFDJ.

    • Ermias

      Dawita, I have always been in Stage 0 but I have been promoted to Stage 1 by none other than the doctor himself. He has prescribed ማሕጎማ for some people to speed up the process and Saba will administer. She is doing her residency right now. He is feeling lonely there with Saba. Do you have any depiction for ማሕጎማ? ንገሊኦም እሞ ሽንቲ ጤል: ቆርበት ዝብኢ፤ ሽንፋእ ከይተረፈ እዩ ዝጽበዮም ዘሎ፤

      • Abinet

        Ermias
        Forget everything , talk about Chelsea .
        Congratulations!

        • Ermias

          Abi, that’s insane. I had given up. I was following it on my phone but after 80 minutes I stopped because I was so nervous. We will see how far they go. Sorry I think sports discussions are discouraged here.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ermias, why do you say sports discussion are not allowed? That is your assumption. Surely you wouldn’t want it this forum to turn into a sports Bar, but our audience is certainly interested in sports… here is the awate.com’s audience age breakdown. Now tell me if we will disappoint the biggest portion of our audience 🙂

          • Ermias

            Saleh, I feel good now because for once I am in the majority.

            But I am ‘almost’ certain that I had read SAAY warning someone about de minimus use of sports. But as you know I have been wrong before.

            Just in case you didn’t know, my soccer team Chelsea made it to the final four club championship in Europe. They will likely face either Real Madrid or Barcelona. That’s how good my team is. Arsenal on the other hand (which is very popular among Africans) has long been eliminated from that competition.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ermias, sorry to disappoint you but I get an instant headache when I watch any inflated rubber or leather thing which I am sure you call something-ball. You might as well talk to a wall than to me when it comes to sports 🙂 But there are many like me, please use sports sparingly here, have mercy.

          • Dawit

            lol Saleh,

            Running after a piece of leather is insane for me too. Why do people run around chasing a leather. 😉

          • Saleh Johar

            Get this Dawit. In one of his moods, Gaddafi decided it’s neither fair nor revolutionary enough for 22 people to have fun while the masses sit idly to watch them having fun. He declared everyone should be a member of a team–like a hundred teams per Qebelle and no more idle bourgeois entertainment, but real sport for the masses 🙂

          • Eyob Medhane

            Ermias,

            We the ‘gooners’ have flair and steel 🙂 Honestly, Arsenal is the only thing I am happy with which gulf Arabs are involved in 🙂 (Wait for it now, Gash Saleh is going to call me a bigot for this) We’ll surprise you climbing in in no time… Congratulations!!! 🙂

          • Rodab

            SaleH,
            Just curious, how does a website figure out the age ranges of its visitors?

          • Dawit

            Rodab,
            The smiley-face at the end of the comment offers a not-so-serious tone of Saleh Gadi’s comment. I think the majority of the commenters fall between 35 and 75. Don’t ask me how I came to tthat range 😉 It’s just a guesstimate.

          • Saleh Johar

            Sorry to disappoint you Dawit. I snapped the image from awate.com google analytics page. To satisfy your contrarian mood, I am doing it again–this time I snapped the entire page. If you have more curiosity to satisfy, I am here for you Dawit… now you can go all inspector Clousou on it 🙂

          • Rodab

            Dawit,
            I incline to believe you. I don’t see why the 20% of the visitors (teenagers, that is) would hang around here when there is so much partying to do out there.

          • Saleh Johar

            Rodab, wela-tenfer? 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            Some servers have statistical software that provide tons of data. We mainly depend on googleAnalytics. It is a powerful tool that helps us find out what is really happening. This might help explains how they do it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Analytics

          • Saba

            I use sometimes tor browser to escape that but it is slow so i comeback to google. Anyway please keep our data away from pfdj or the future dictators.

          • Abinet

            Sorry you missed the most exciting part.
            Btw , yezarew wardya tolo yemiqotut sewye nachew. Tigre sayhonu ayqerim lol.

      • Dawit

        Ermias,
        you can’t be on both sides of the blue line at the same time, 🙂 If you think about it , Saba’s masterpiece describes the political positions of many of you including me (myself). I think I am close to stage 3 at the end of the spectrum (on the side of the Cyber opposition)

        • Ermias

          This theory makes a few wrong assumptions:

          1. Legitimizes PFDJ
          2. Human rights issues do not have anything to do with pfdj’s isolation.
          3. To go from stage 0 to stage 1, you will have to declare woyane is behind all the opposition movements.
          4. Cyber opposition is the same as all the organized opposition.
          5. Wrongfully demands from opposition to put down proposals for solutions to all problems in Eritrea yet doesn’t acknowledge that Eritreans can’t even be buried in their homeland. All we know is its bad there and we need to break into the burning house.
          6. Doesn’t clearly specify if previous beliefs by the author are still held or abandoned.
          7. Equates all oppositions forces with neo andinet.
          8. Equates refusal of slavery with felony same thing with illegal 2% tax.

          That’s it for now, my patience betrays me when I talk politics.

    • Saba

      Ali-S told me in one post clearly that he has rejected the first way(pfdj, stage 0) and the second way(the opposition, stage 0) and he is in the third way(stage 4). So why do not you bring points that put him in the pfdj group and challenge him on that?

      Personally, right now i do not belong to the first and the second way. I just want to see a democratic and peaceful nation where i can live in.

      You are right, most of us have started in stage 0, the first way(pfdj). Some have started in the second way(the opposition), may be starting after the fall of ELF. Stage 0 includes both pfdj and the opposition but in a different group, and in the text version it also includes the”silent majority”. My sketch allows to do a U-turn from both groups of stage 0 into the third way. But my sketch does not allow to switch from pfdj to the second way(the empty opposition) and viceversa because it was not easy to sketch it with my poor motor skills:)

      Right, the red lines are dangerous. The blue line is the third way, with alternative plans to the pfdj plan.

      Here is the text version of the the “5 Stages of U Turn”:
      a. Stage 0: you are a hardline supporter of “the first way”=pfdj, or “the second way”=cyber opposition or you belong to the “silent majority”. For the definitions of each category, look at Ali salim’s articles and also my previous posts:)
      b. Stage 1: you are unhappy about what is going on, the tragedies and the human
      right abuses but you are still soft supporter of “the first way” or “the second way”. You focus on the tragedies but you do not know the solution.

      c. Stage2: You become self centered, you care about your family, your neighbors, sik ilka iyu adey adey.
      d. Stage3:You are confused and withdrawn from politics
      e. Stage4: You recover and comeback with the “third way”. The details of the “third way” are open for discussion:)

      It is possible that you stay in the same stage permanently or regress to lower stages. Some people can also jump stages. The amount of time it takes in each stage for an individual depends on many factors.

  • ALI-S

    Wenam Saba,

    Absolutely brilliant the way you frame your arguments and very responsible. I hope Ermias is taking his pills on time. I am glad to see more and more people signing up for the Clinic. Please add maHgoma to your menu of prescriptions. It helps

    • Saba

      Thanks! Ane wenam? Tihisho:) I was laughing about mahgoma.I saw a real mahgoma, the technique is dramatic with real placebo effect. So it might work here too:)

      I think the first reaction to a hard pill to swallow is denial sometimes. So many people are in the denial phase even though they understand what the 3rd way means. You have explained a lot about the third way in many posts so may be recollect them and write an article only about the third way, about the alternative plan to pfdj. People in the second way are hanging to it because 1) they want a quick fix, via weyane or whatever 2) they do not see that they are repeating the SAME things over and over again to get a DIFFERENT result(what do you call that?) 3) they do not know or have an alternative plan. So guide them, they might not appreciate you but they will take your ideas. Keep shedding light in the third way, the only way where you can see light at the end of the tunnel. People in the “silent majority” are waiting for guidance, as you can see wedi vacaro is rallying many people with few to nonexistent ideas.

  • ALI-S

    Memhr Aman,

    Ambessa! Please give them more.

    • Kokhob Selam

      ALI-S, is really Aman Ambesa? is really our problem with outsiders? hey, some one has to go to toilet when he need to go and if because of his laziness he has done it, no single creature in this world should be blamed. are you feeling what I am saying? do you know that Derg Era is better than the mess we Eritreans are in? Ethiopians are not our enemies by the way since ever. We all created it and pay for it. and what freedom are you talking about you guys? my friend Eritrean is not free at all as there is no freedom without democracy. and aren’t you guys not shame of being under such garbage collection of people who even don’t know rule or system? how comes you are from legally marred parents and you bow to illegal group?

      • haile

        Hello KS,

        Ali-S spend the last decade arguing strange case of “land grab” and wasted his time. He turned up now and is claiming “woyane made us waste the last decade”! When I called him out on that he challenged my Eritreaness, leave aside his suspect Sudanese background. Now, when you said “some one has to go to toilet when he need to go…” I thought, well we now know what the “S” really stands in Ali-S for 🙂

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Hey KS,
        Once Younis abandoned his mission, the one who was rational, now became irrational and fall in to the trap of PFDJ. If he called the regime a legitimate regime and start to sing the song of the regime ( the border issue as the reason what makes the regime evil as it is), that is the end of his decency. Younis absolutely understand that the oppositions don’t have any kind of leverage. He knows very well that the oppositions which are in exile haven’t any kind of “legitimacy power” to represent the nation and its people. Whether it is legitimate or illegitimate, the one which is running the country is responsible to solve the border issue. But, since the regime is illegitimate regime to the Eritrean people, the Ethiopian government, as it stood now, in my opinion will not deal with it. Can Younis miss this reality? I don’t think so. If it is doable why don’t those who support the regime make any kind of international influence to make pressure in demarcating the border? Younis as a student of international relation you know the rule of engagement and that is “government with the government”.

        Second I will repeat it as always I did several times, that the Ethiopian government will not go to the destructive war of our liberation era. They found peace in themselves better when Eritrea becomes independent. They are fully focused in their economic development to fight poverty and ignorance. Ethiopia at this time is not the enemy of our people. We can’t throw everything to Ethiopia when we are failed to govern ourselves. The border issue is used by the regime and its supporters to camouflage the domestic political crises. This is just a “political Halki.”

        • Saba

          Can you answer this Q:No matter how bad is pfdj, why is that your opposition did not rally a critical mass?

  • Rodab

    Ali-S,
    Since no one is getting your multi-turns circus, how about you give us a short paragraph of belief statement?

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