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A Leaked Speech For The First Anniversary Of Lampedusa

Gedab News has received a leaked copy of the speech that has been prepared by the Eritrean regime to be delivered at the planned event to commemorate the first anniversary of the tragedy of October, 3, 2013.

On that day, 366 Eritreans perished at sea a few kilometers off the coast of the island of Lampedusa, Italy.

The speech states, “The issue for which we are gathered today disturbs all Eritreans; our youth and children are deceived by foreign conspiracies, with false hopes that cannot be realized.”

The speech also laments the state of the youth who are, “leaving behind their country that they love, their families, and people behind, trying to get to the Western countries through insecure shortcuts …” It continues, “We are here to advise and call on those who have become the tools of enemies, and are trading with the blood of their Eritrean brethren and transporting them, to desist…”

The regime has been planning to make the upcoming first anniversary of the Lampedusa tragedy an opportunity to rewrite the chronicles of the incident and whitewash its callous role in handling it.

A committee set to organize the commemoration has plans that it hopes would remedy the damage the Eritrean regime sustained because of the way it behaved during the tragedy after which a considerable number of its supporters deserted it. Since then, angry Diaspora Eritreans have been hitting relentlessly at the regime infrastructure in many countries.

Lampedusa has tilted the Diaspora balance of power between the supporters and opposition of the regime that has been trying hard to regain its influence to no avail.

Background:

In the very early hours of October 3rd, a boat en route from Libya to Italy sunk off the shores of the island of Lampedusa, Italy, with almost 520 passengers who were being smuggled to Europe by human traffickers. Only 153 people survived the incident, all male except five females.

Following the tragedy, on October 4th, 2013, Lampedusa was shut down in respect of the dead: shops, schools, and business were closed, the flag was flown at half-mast, and Italian citizens questioned the policies of their government. Officials who came to visit Lampedusa were jeered. In public events—football games, meetings—Europeans observed a minute of silence to honor the dead.

On October 6th, a religious service was held for the dead. Eritreans in the Diaspora initiated a petition to pressure the Eritrean regime to repatriate the dead and on October 9th, European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso disclosed in Lampedusa that the EU will give Italy 40 million Euros to deal with its refugee crisis.

In Eritrea, flags were still flying at full mast and regime supporters, at Paltalk sessions, website comments section, were either implying that the Eritreans are actually Ethiopians, or that they have nobody but themselves to blame for the tragedy. Some were writing entirely irrelevant issues to deflect attention.

As the loved ones of the dead were receiving phone calls from Lampedusa, the Eritrean regime and its media had no words much less words of comfort. But after a long silence, on October 9, 2013, the government-owned television station referred to the Lampedusa tragedy as a case of “illegal African immigrants” who are said to be of “Horn of Africa nationality,” while Diaspora Eritreans were in a state of shock and grief.

After much embarrassment, On October 9th an unsigned statement from the Eritrean embassy in Italy, posted to regime-friendly websites only, acknowledged that the dead are mostly Eritreans, that it was working with authorities to repatriate the dead back to Eritrea, and that it will provide financial support to the survivors. The flag at the Eritrean embassy in Italy was lowered to fly at half mast (five days after a flag that Eritreans have no allegiance to, the Italian flag, had been lowered.)

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  • haileTG

    How would it been if PFDJ had done this?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6g3BMrLMTE

  • haileTG

    Sweden hosts two opposing Eritrean events on the night of Octeber 3rd 2014 the first memorial year of Lampedusa tragedy:

    • haileTG

      and…

  • haileTG

    Hi Awatista

    Here is a short video of today’s meeting between the survivors of the tragic incident off Lampedusa last year and the Pope

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYOOQpIeCYQ

    • haileTG

      “The two Eritrean friends boarded the smuggling boat near Tripoli on October 2, 2013. After 24 hours at sea, they finally saw the lights of Lampedusa at four in the morning. They were close enough to see moving car headlights.”

      Read more about Leteberhan, a survivor’s thoughts, upon returning to the scene of the great Lampedusa disaster:

      Eritrean survivor of Lampedusa tragedy returns to honour the dead
      http://www.unhcr.org/542d0ece5.html

      Regards

  • Yes there is also a good news about Eritrea our dishonest intellectuals chose to ignore.

    http://www.africa.undp.org/content/rba/en/home/presscenter/articles/2014/09/27/un-eritrea-showcase-country-s-health-successes/

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Nitrikay,
      Any good news is good with the caveat that figures that come out of an unaccountable regime need to be read with caution. If it can tell us where the political prisoners are, who is dead and who is alive (save putting them on trial), if the regime was a bit, just a bit open, I might have given it two thumbs up. However, any good news is still better than high seas disasters of migrant citizens. Thanks nitrikay.

  • haileTG

    Hi Awatistas,

    The full content of the above document has been posted at dehai:

    http://www.dehai.org/archives/dehai_news_archive/2014/sep/0409.html

    regards

    • Semere Andom

      Thanks HTG:
      First PFDJ is good at celebration and memorials and really good at shedding crocodile tears. They blew the opportunity when they refused to bring the deceased home, they lost long time ago, but Oct 3 sealed their fate for ever in the dustbins of Eritrean history.
      So for those who are gloating over the new releases to remember the dead, it is not even an official government release , it is Eritrean community in Italy. PFDJ is good at monetizing the suffering of others by selling their emotions and making the people pay it. Ihope the people have smartened up to buy these cheap appeasement by PFDJ satellite. I remember when the terrorist bombed American embassy in Africa then president Bill Clinton chocked when reading the names of the handful Americans who were killed. In Eritrea 300 dead or 20, 000 killed to defend Eritrea only induces the word “astat” (about), Eritreans have been reduced to mere numbers. And that is what happens when
      PFDJ is left with imbeciles and common criminals and it is not surprising, it was designed for them and by them.
      I am of the opinion that we should be bracing for more turmoil as PFDJ withers away and the unorganized oppossions lurches the country to its darkest era as we sift through the debris to salvage what is left. This sifting should be done now, but no, we are wire to wage protracted struggles that protracts our suffering. Instead of constructively critizing current change fighters we want to make them vilians without any context.
      The bed time story my mom told me when I was a child comes to mind: a snake begged a man to carry him to cross the creek the good sammaritan agreed and when they crossed ther the snake refused to get off and they went to see the witty fox to render judgment, the fox told both they to need to stand in front of her so she can read the verdict. The snake descended and then the fox told the man, “tem abthiteka, betri ab idka entay frdi delika” and then man got the clue and killed the snake. We have been in the man’s situation for a long time
      Sem

  • Tesfabirhan WR

    Eritrean Community, an artificial institution that is trying to create a PFDJ presence by the name of civic societies.

    Lets have a comaprison between reality and artifical delegations.

    Reality: http://assenna.com/asmara-summer-2014-in-pictures/

    Artificail: http://www.madote.com/2014/09/eritrea-from-trenches-and-caves-to.html

    people are going, especially our grandmothers and fathers as well as families without fathers to churches and mosques to ask for help, a cry and PFDJ delegates, oh, lecturing the world about climate change and trying to held a side event to teach the world on its success.

    By the way, there is no power plants operating using crude oil and cars on the stree and hence Asmara is safe (nmergem zitehasbe eko yibehal yu). Is that?

    Let’s think this way: There is no fuel and there is no gaz for cooking food. ATt least, one person needs 0.5 kg of wood to cook his food and a total of 5 million people will need 2.5 million kg of wood, 2 500 000 kg = 2,500 tons per day of wood demand.

    Just imagine this!

    Hawkum
    tes

  • Every story has three sides; his side, your side and the Truth!
    “……According to plea documents, from at least June 2007 until approximately January 2008, Fessahazion was the Guatemalan link of an alien smuggling network that spans East Africa, Central and South America. Specifically, according to the court documents, Fessahazion illegally entered the United States at McAllen, Texas, on March 20, 2008. He applied for asylum on Sept. 30, 2008, claiming in his application that he was traveling across Africa in 2007 and 2008, fleeing persecution in Eritrea. However, according to court documents, Fessahazion was actually in Guatemala during that period facilitating the smuggling of East African aliens to the United States. Fessahazion was granted asylum by the United States on Nov. 13, 2008. ……”
    http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/eritrean-man-pleads-guilty-alien-smuggling

  • haileTG

    Selamat awatista,

    Here are 7 wonder-ful questions to those planing to participate;

    1 – Is it COMPASSIONATE that despite knowing the hardship that the youth are fleeing from, you assist their oppressor.

    2 – Is it COURAGEOUS that while you face no danger to confront the regime representatives, you bow your head like ignorant and listen to its propaganda.

    3 – Is it HONEST that you assist the victims to escape the misery and then pretend you know no misery and outsiders are to blame.

    4 – Is it HUMBLE that you refuse to listen to the victims narrative that their condition in Eritrea was made unbearable, and you tell them your version, which is sourced from the regime with no first hand experience on your part.

    5 – Is it PEACEFUL that you wish to maintain your personal advantages by looking the other side while your fellow Eritreans are left to die.

    6 – Is it TRUTHFUL to shed tears for the victims in a manner that would help their oppressor and not help alleviate their sufferings.

    7 – Is it LOVING of your brethren to see them in such incredible suffering and can’t mutter a word of challenge to come to their rescue?

    If you have none of the above qualities, it means that you have surrendered you honor and dignity in a manner that would haunt you for long time to come.

  • senay

    The government of Eritrea “Modus Operandi” is simple and it goes like this “Admit no mistake, show no remorse, give deaf ears, blame others, and down play the event. When coerced, issue correction silently when no one is looking” In that way, it remains infallible. And the happy-go followers say “mengistina giega aywetso, giega aygebir”. And what ever the regime plans to do to commemorate the Lampedusa tragedy, its actions will be within the “Modus operandi” confinement.

  • sarah Ogbay

    The decaying gvt stops at nothing to put the blame on someone else. I hope someone chases them from the event to kingdom come.

  • Kokhob Selam

    “illegal African immigrants” our serving the truth Eritrean TV said it then. Today PFDJ is talking as if he care about our people. Did he think we forgot the dance of wedigrahtu and his flowers. And what change did he make inside the country from that time till today? aren’t our people still leaving the country and facing the same fate?

    What did My Jebena say about it? Just one among the poems to remember open Jebena.