Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

A Nation Born Out of A Struggle And Arguments Failed To Unite It’s Diversity

INTRODUCTION: In sociology and political studies, the term diversity describes differences by identifying features that includes ethnic classifications, ideological philosophies, religious beliefs, gender identity etc. And are measured by “diversity indexes” – a proportional ratio of accommodation for purposes of peaceful coexistence. In our contemporary life, diversity to some means “bio-diversity” and the existence of many distinct ethnics and cultures, and hence, they demand respect of diversity and equitable justice.  To others, it means the mixing of ethnics and cultures into one, as evidenced in our nation. Building a nation in to one cultural make up is the idea of totalitarian regimes.

Identity Politics also known as “Identitarian politics” is a political position based on the interest of social groups by which people identify themselves, through loosely correlated social organizations. Identitarian politics includes social class, cultures, disability, ethnicity, philosophical ideology, occupation, profession, religion etc. [courtesy Wikipedia]. Formally, identity politics was found in Karl Marx’s statement referring to a class consciousness of itself that has developed a class identity. Class identity was described by Kauffman who traced its origin to civil rights movement of mid 60s in USA [1]. Therefore, to understand the concept of identity politics, I would like to give a brief explanation on the differences of political philosophy and political science and how they relate to each other.

Political Philosophy Vs Political Science

Although “political philosophy” and “political science” are closely linked to each other by sets of different philosophical issues and methods, they can be distinguished distinctively one from the other. Political science predominantly, for the most part, deals with the existing states and governmental affairs; and to the extent it is possible to be amoral in its description, it seeks a positive analysis of social affairs, that includes constitutional issues, voting behavior, the balance of power, the effect of judicial process and so forth [2]. On the other hand, Political philosophy generates visions of common good of social life and begins with a question: what must to be an individual person’s relationship to the society? It seeks the application of ethical concepts to the social sphere that deals with various of forms of government and social existence that people could live in [3]. In so doing, it provides a standard by which to “analyze and judge existing institutions and relationships” for which this author will seek philosophical answers to apply on the circumstances of Eritrean politics and the plight of the Eritrean people.

This author who believes on “ethical deontology” that emphasize “duty, obligations, rights on pragmatic ethics”, will use it as philosophical reasoning to judge institutions and governments, as I proceed my analysis and arguments in this article, whereby to stamp out the arguments that hinders and failed us to unite our diversities.

Diversity Politics And Liberalism

There is this misconception and misunderstanding in Eritrean politics, that diversity politics contradicts to liberal ideas and “group rights” obscure “individual rights”- a distorted view about a liberal state and management of diversity. Diversity management in a liberal states concerns a broad array of issues, religious, ethnics, linguistics, morals and national diversity in the common lot of all countries. Despite there are a general sets of questions that unite them, it doesn’t mean that all these forms of diversities have identical questions [4]. How does a liberal state accommodate differences? How did a liberal state commit itself to accommodate diversities then? How does it maintain the equilibrium of its parts? These are some of the common questions to all forms of diversities to bring a legal order in order to cohabit them in the same sovereign territory peacefully.

As a principle, the liberal state should emerge as a solution to the issue of diversity, based on the principle of neutrality that the state should abstain from favoring or handicapping specific cultures, moral, religious or ethnic groups [5]. The second principle of a liberal state is “tolerance”, a position held by a liberal state since John Locke’s letter concerning toleration, in 1689. In spite of its apparent overlap with neutrality, the principle expresses slightly different idea that institutions should not interfere with the conceptions of the good, even ones that diverge from the conception which is presumed to be endorsed by the majority, and ones that this majority may find abhorrent or in contradictions with some of its fundamental principles [6]. These reasons have been regularly invoked since the first philosophical discussion of political multiculturalism started in the 1990. This author being a proponent of this philosophical take, have the obligation to introduce the concept and bring in to a discussion for purposes of Eritrean multi-cultural context, to address grievances and marginalization.

The opponents of multiculturalism adhere on their description that “the states are de facto culturally biased”, and thus liberalism should serve to the interest of the majority or reinforce domination of some sort – the kind of political environment since post-colonial era. But what the opponent of multicultural politics have failed to understand is, that liberalism could be transformed and refined by the feedback effect of diversity on liberal principles. On the other hand, what the proponents of multicultural politics should know in principles is that, if liberalism has been forged to answer the questions of diversity, then it is quite natural to face a challenge by the views and monolithic liberal characters who are hostile to our diversities.

Monolithic Eritrean liberals oppose and despise the right to organize our “social groups” to fight for their own rights. While they advocate for individual rights, they fail to understand that   individuals have the rights to organize with whom they deem to fight as a group for their common rights, that is well understood and recognized in the principles of liberalism.

Toleration, Pluralism: The Inseparable Liberalist Idea

In the struggle of modern diversified society that affect personal morality and cultural practices, it is always associated with the advance of Liberalism and the need of toleration. It becomes conventional then, that liberalism philosophy is the only qualified justification for diversity that emphasize the virtue of toleration. Trends towards multicultural have seen the spread of moral, religious, and ethnic diversity, perhaps ending forever the idea that a nation are based on a single culture [7]. PFDJ is practicing a single “value system” that affected our diversity advertently and become the precursor of mistrusts and opened the door to the formation of social group (ethnic) organizations.

Interestingly enough, the British historian, a Philosopher, and an inhabitant of the ivory tower, Andrew Heywood, who developed a form of pluralist liberalism, provided us an insight to justify the compatibilities of pluralism and liberalism. Heywood, brought further a new understanding to the conflicts of values and argued, that the “conflicts of values are intrinsic, irremovable elements in human life”. Hence forth, “political arrangement should therefore be aimed to allow the greatest scope of people to pursue their differing ends” [8].

Two of the most pressing dilemmas in the Eritrean political realities are (a) a totalitarian regime that controls the lives of the Eritrean people and the apparatus of oppression and (b) the opposition camp with different views and with no “structural relationships” to exercise their converging views to fight the state machine of PFDJ to emancipate our people. One that appears as the laughing stock from the standing point of PFDJites on the opposition camp, is when some of the oppositions camp attribute the problem of Eritrea to a one-man despot only. Despots can not survive and thrive without a solid parties and their institutions of oppression that serve the members of the parties – formidable parties as such, that controls the lives of their citizens. If they can not understand the role of a leader, the role of an organization as an entity, the “value system” they are fighting for, the role of its members, and the institutions they are protecting for, then for sure, they could not understand as to how the relationship of “multiculturalism” and “pluralist liberalism” entails. Myself, if I could marshal it, I will wage a two fronts fight (a) on identifying and educating about our domestic enemy (b) Eritrea being a multicultural nation, I will launch my argument that “diversity and toleration” can only be justifiable under pluralist liberalism – that the Eritrean diversities can only be entertained their equitable power sharing, through pluralistic liberalism.

Eritrean Constitutional document: Depicts Structural Injustice

In political philosophy, clarity, rigorous argumentation, and knowledge of facts of being sensitive to the connections between facts and theory are quintessential to deal with practical political matters. Great thinkers of the past, like Aristotle, have advocated that politics is based on universal justice and the theory of constitutional democracy should then be based on the theory of justice.

John Rawls, the most important political philosopher in the 20th century, comes to my mind, who embarked on life long project to find a coherent and attractive way of combining “freedom” and “equality” into one conception of political justice. In his book “the theory of Justice,” published in 1971 [9] he had made a legal argument connecting “social justice” and “social contracts” in the institutions of constitutional laws. Since Rawls defended the principle of “justice and fairness,” in Part-two of his theory of justice, he checks the fit between principles of justice as fairness and our concrete considered views about “just institutions,” thereby helping us to the move  towards a “reflective equilibrium.”

My motto in writing this piece is to revitalize the concept of social contract and how should the Eritrean people could get a contract that fits to their reality, and defend the vision of egalitarian liberalism that gives social justice and fairness. Taking Rawls central idea in to account, I will argue that the constitutional document of 1997 depicts structural and institutional injustice as to how our social groups will receive justice and fairness politically and economically. The constitutional document is neither endorsed by our intellectual divide, nor by our religious divide, and nor by our ethnic diversities. What good is good, for a document supported by EPLF supporters only, to be a national covenant? The document will neither bring the “equilibrium” of its parts nor the observance to “equal justice” for all under their “value system” and one party system that rules by sheer force.

All Eritreans must start from a clean slate and fresh starting to bring the needs and desires of our people, on how to live together peacefully by addressing all kinds of grievances, in a nation that is born out of struggle and arguments. If our armed struggle was an argument for justice and self-determination, the current struggle is a continuation for the unfulfilled promise to our people – justice and equality for all citizens and social groups as they deem to fulfill their duty for their nation. Duties and rights go side by side. Duties without rights is enslavement by its nature.

Conclusion

In a nutshell, this article conveys, that certain collective rights of minorities’ cultures and the quest for their inalienable rights, are consistent with the liberal democratic principles, and as such, the standard of liberal objections to the issue of minorities should be challenged as it should be, rigorously. It is therefore, the opinion of this author, that we must be governed by principles of justice that does not presuppose any particular vision of any group – An idea that is denied by the current regime for the nation we gave everything to its birth. As John Rawls argued, “the idea of public reasoning and the law of peoples” for justice should prevail in our nation to address the issue of our diversities.

References
[1] L. A. Kauffman, “The anti-politics of identity”, socialist review, Oakland, California, 1990, pp 67-80.
[2] Internet Encyclopedia of philosophy (IEP), peer reviewed academic resources.
[3] Ibid (Peer reviewed academic resource).
[4] Xavier Landes & Nil Holtug, “diversity and liberal state”, 2011, University of Copenhagen.
[5] Ackerman, Bruce, “Social Justice and the Liberal State”, 1980, Yale University press, New Haven.
[6] John Stuart Mill, “On Liberty”, 1859, chap-4 (the toleration that should be displayed when confronting certain conceptions of the good.
[7] Haywood, Andrew, “Liberalism, toleration, and diversity”, 2004
[8] Farrel, Jason “Isaiah Berlin: Liberalism and pluralism in theory and practice”. Aug 3, 2009, PP 295-315
[9] Rawls J., “the theory of justice”, Oxford University press, 1970.

Pinterest
  • tes

    Dear All,

    It is safe to say that Eritrean languages are 14

    Unlike those who claim that Eritrea has only nine languages, my list goes higher by 5. It is good therefore to list those languages. In general, the languages of Eritreans which can be divided into two categories: Domestic and foreign languages

    A. Domestic Languages

    A. Striving – the chance of extniction is unlikely to happen for the next 100 or more years

    1. Tigrigna
    2. Tigrait
    3. Bilen
    4. Saho
    5. Nara
    6. Kunama
    7. Hidareb
    8. Afar
    9. Arabic

    B. Near or almost Extnicting

    10. Dahlaki – an ancient language still spoken by people who live in the Dahlak Island. This language need to be addressed to UNESCO and other world heritage agencies.
    I know a person who is serious on this issue. he has an institut, Dahlaki Research Institut, in Canada. His center is: Dahlak Cebter for Historical Studies. This person, named Omer Tawakel is doing an amazing job by collecting information and conducting research. I had a very wonderful conversation with him. hopefully he will work hard to let this language, history of the people and cultural heritage to be preserved.

    11. Hausa language – this language is also extinicting. Though it arrived with the immigrants, they still use it. A serious research and conservation policies need to be taken. Thanks to Haile S. And Robel, who shade their information. Hope there will be some serious academic works on this issue.

    C. Foreign Languages

    12. English – came to Eritrean after WWII(1941). Now has a very strong presence among the youth and government wrokers. Unless some domestic language replaces it sooner, Eritreans will take it as their first official language sooner. There is no doubt that more than 80% of youth younger than 30 years old either speak or understand well this language.

    13. Amharic. Though it was introduced after federation(1952), its similarity with Tigrigna language has helped to be spread in a short period of time. It can be said that upto 1991, city dwellers almost adopted this language and hence became a language of necessity for daily life. And with the deportation of Eritreans from Ethiopia (1998-2001), the number of speakers became too high.

    But due to PFDJ aggressive policy on Amharic language use has diminished its expansion. Now that this language is not popular among the youth, it is declining rapidly. However, diaspora Eritreans and those who are now refugees in Ethiopia are becoming lovers of this language. The chance of survival and to be considered as an Eritrean language is therefore very high.

    14. Italian – introduced during the Colonial period(1890-1941), its presence and use was strong till the late 1970s where there were more than 75,000 Italians lived in the cities controlling almost all commercial activities of Eritrea. Now that it use is almost non-existent except among old people, it is very likely to extinict from the list of Eritrean languages. However, there is an International school which delivers its curriculum in Italian. I hope Italians will invest to preserve the presence of this language in Eritrea as their historical legacy.

    Exceptional: Emerging Languages

    Chinese – With the rise of Chinese Kingdom and monopoly of commercial activities all over the world, there is very probability that Chinese can be an emerging language. Since 2013, Eritrea has opened a Confuscius School and each year there are more than two or more dozens of Eritreans graduating from it. If Chinese power grows, there is very high possibility of using this language among officials and business people like many other African countries. Not forgetting that China offers more than 50,000 scholarship to Africans each year and open universities to anyone who wants to study there, I believe that it can be registered as an Eritrean language within the coming 50 to 100 years.

    tes

    • sara

      Dear Tes,
      just you missed one important language -Oromia-
      also should be in this series… there is a reason and
      you know it.

      • tes

        Dear sara,

        I don’t think Oromia can be in the list. I didn’t put the list arbitrarily but on their current and historical existence. Oromia can reach Eritrean only when it becomes the official language of Ethiopia. For this, OLF must control Addis Abbaba and the Federal government. For this to happen, I think it will taken time and I don’t know as I am a follower of Oromai politics.

        But lets not be mislead as there is a radio broadcast from Asmara. This is a different case. I consider it as if VOA Tigrigna is broadcasted to English speaking Americans.

        tes

        • Abi

          Hi Professor Tes
          Very interesting topic. Thanks.
          I think the government of Eritrea should make every effort to make English its official language.
          Amharic and Arabic should come second . Then comes Tigrigna. What do you think?

          • tes

            Selam Abi,

            I would rather prefer Arabic than English. This is my strong stance if we have to decide on the language at an international level.

            tes

          • Abi

            Hi Tes
            Very interesting!
            I don’t know much about Arabic. How often do you read research material published in Arabic? I don’t mean transitions. Original works in science and technology, or in humanities?
            As an Eritrean intellectual of the highest level I like to hear your opinion on this.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Abi,

            While I leave Tes to respond to your question, if I am not mistaken you seem to take the position that we should make English (including for Ethiopia if I am correct) as official language.

            To be honest, I lived in Canada for a long time and we have both English and French as second language. I think may be less than 25% are flaunt in both, and those are mostly from either Quebec and New Brunswick (primary French Canadians).

            In most cases they have advantage with government related jobs and I think, for the government its a way of balancing the power (because the majority are English speaking).

            Long story short, if in they make English as official language and you force the French speaking to adapt I see a huge problem. Not because the research paper or advantage but with the lack of culture that gets developed with a language.

            Those people who actually need to read research papers are less than 1%, not only in poor countries like us but even in the western society..people who go to do graduate and post graduate studies….and if we those kind of people, who actually have the need to read research papers, I think learning English is the least of their problems.

            Do you think those Ethiopians who learn English from grade 1, like San Joseph (If I am not mistaken) are better off than those other Ethiopian who study in Amharic and they get to go to university.

            In case you have not seen it…please google “Ethiopian student meets President B. Obama” and listen to Betsegaw and his valedictorian speech.

            And then tell me what you think…

            Berhe

          • tes

            Selam Berhe,

            Thanks for your kind intervention. Let me confess. When I was finishing my University, I never though that it is possible to do research in Tigrigna or any other local language and publish research materials. Even, now, this is true in Eritrea. The secret is, we never, never do research for Eritreans and we never, never, never publish research materials for Eritrea. Rather, we do research and write articles for International Journals. I can tell you, and I confess I am guilty of continuining doing it, we don’t write for Eritreans. We always think for foreigners.

            It is very rare to find scientific articles written in Tigrigna, or Arabic, or any other local language. Even University of Asmara and now colleges are continuing producing research materials aimed for foreigners.

            I hope Ethiopian case is different. But I don’t think it will be different. If Ethiopians were able to produce scientific papers using Ethiopian languages, I could be very confident to say that Ethiopia could be in a different set of economy.

            We use our language to write reports (and without any proper citation).

            Dear Berhe, even I can tell you that I am disappointed not to find any Eritrean website that produces articles on a well researched scientific papers. They all are just publishing opinions. Even I am somehow disappointed awate/com does not encourage scientific works to be published.

            Th sad experience we are facing is that, we are all opinion givers9subjective articles) not Objective writers. We need to to introduce objective articles based on detailed research for our political discourses. The advantage of Objective writing is that there is responsibility and accountability as it is not just an opinion but based on supporting scientific materials.

            I hope awate team will encourage scientific articles to be published. Thans so far, we have some how Amanuel Hidrat, as an Objective writer, who usually supports his material with references. Yet he is not encouraged to do so as many readers are not hungry on objective analysis.

            Yah, Abi has therefore a reason when he refers no scientitic paper is present in local languages that can be refered.

            tes

            PS: There are well cited religious materials though that are full of references(verses from the Bible).

          • tes

            Selam Abi,

            You asked me on how often do I read research material published in Arabic?

            Well, my short answer is, so far, I don’t write, read, speak or understand Arabic. But this is by default not by my choice.

            Abi, I have very rich experience on how to Master a language and how to do research, no matter what in what language is the publication done. Befofore July 2013, even I had no idea whether French books and research materials were present let alone the language itself. During my entire time, I never heard anyone speaking French language. Now the story is different. I refer, read and do research on materials written on this language.

            Let me expand it further.

            I was in China for one year. I have seen their libraries full of Chinese books. I was amazed to see such huge publications and scientific works. I thought it was all produced and are originated there. I was wrong.

            This is what I came to realize:

            Any material published throughout the world, even the Chinese found it interesting, the publish it in Chinese language within days after the original publication.

            I used to go to their library when I was writing my study case reports. Then in the digital library, I provide the title in English. Then, hundreds of books pops-up within. God, they have lots of books to refer. Then saddenly, I get disappointed. They are all Chinese version.

            Abi, I thought that you are much wiser than this. Sorry I forgot that you are a toddler.*

            tes

            *You asked before how comes now to say you a toddler? You know, last year, you were just aging and your eyes were weakening. You broke your eye-glasses. And the time has come for you to called a Toddler. You know that life journey follows a Normal Curve.

        • sara

          Dear Tes
          i like your idea, in-fact we should have an institute for Eritrean languages that will help develop the exiting and those nearly extinct, like dahalik languages.

  • Berhe Y

    Selam Abraham,

    Yes there is nothing wrong with deadlock parliament but it happens in rare circumstances, at least that I know in most. Italy being the worst in Europe but I hardly heard such extended or repeated such governments.

    In Eritrea, it would be like that every election. That I don’t think is normal. It’s completely and uterally useless and has no benefit or purpose what so ever.

    Why can’t the party with the majority elects its own leader and that leader become the prime minister or the president. And if there is no such party with majority win then they form alliance for their own benefit to get to power.

    Otherwise you have 150 members wanting to be leaders instead of few from their parties.

    I do not agree we do things for sake of doing things. What ever we do it needs to have a reason and a purpose and there no reason to invent the wheel when the majority of world politics proved to be working system.

    Berhe

  • Fanti Ghana

    Hello my distinguished artist Sol.,

    I am still hopeful that Saay and Mr. AH will find a common ground somewhere between Federation and Unitarianism. Some discussions are better understood when the opposite method of concise->detail is used; in this case detail -> concise.

    We have 9 plus or minus 1 “units.”

    Let each Unit right their own constitution and elect 9 representatives.

    This 9 x 9 = 81 representatives will study all the 9 preambles and elect 9 scholars who will drafts a proposal for federal constitution based on the items:

    1. Agreeable by all
    2. Negotiable among some or all units
    and their recommendation on controversial points:
    1. Leave as is to be exercised by the unit/s recommending it
    2. Water it down and add it to the national draft
    3. Condemn it.
    I don’t want to sound contrarian, but I feel like I could pick a few Areza farmers to do this with minimum effort. Too bad, they cannot quote Marx or Mao!

    • GitSAtSE

      Greetings Your Excellency Fanti G.,

      Qn. Are you “KEYSER SOZE”? The Usual suspect in very high places of “Ivory Towers” friend to Bodhisattva Saay7 of the SELF PB CREAM?
      I have had some what of educated guesses but these current events of a brand new fiscal year under a brand new administration coupled with the scheduled 3rd or 4th congress of the “opposition leadership” in an Ethiopia stabilized from and without an immediate “Clear and Present Danger” as well as your emphatic Two Is in your last sentence is pushing from guessing to asking for a “concise” answer from thee Sire.
      1. You said:
      “… I feel like I could pick a few Areza farmers to do this with minimum effort. …”
      2. Saay of the SELF PB crunch said without HIM Jah Haile Selassie Centralized strong arming from the highest of the “Ivory Tower”, the Eritreans of the 1950s would not have formed the representative autonomous government of Federated Eritrea. (I had to paraphrase due to some delay tactics… )
      3. Asshashu PB CREAM fund faction Khalifa, Ismail the First ibn Ibrahim commenced the 2017 Opposition Congress year even and fiscal year budget talks rather optimistically until the Bohdi Saay said “Not so fast there buddy!” some of that or all of that CREAM should be distributed to Individual Liberty and Aspirations by creating numerous Living (The Nebaray) Foundations. Meritocracy Individual success as opposed to this Group Think and Group Rights is the only way.
      4. Ashashu Gobez TelAAly HIDRI Fund leader, Ato EzghMssana Wed Hidrat then followed by opening another frontal attack on Saay7’s SELF PB in order to crunch very early the power grab by the Center rejecting “Ivory Tower” loving falul anti Budha7.
      5. And now, ahead of the announced big shindig later this summer the Jerry’s kids telethon is on full scale.

      Yes I agree, there are concise and real reasons why disagreements occur and temperatures rise. I don’t believe its semantic nor pedantic however.

      All AH was saying was, that under this new Trump Ivory Tower World Leader, The USofA governs the entire world under the system of “Unitary Decentralized Federal World Republic.” Hence the USA and Trump is in fact Unitary system with some odd 187 plus localities. Take the decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Unilaterally disregarding a Seventy year old World Federation ways to the ways of USA’s Unitary and Decentralized world republic’s way rendering the Two State solution DOA.

      Works for me. I and I Pillar X of EmbaTsion Indivisible (H)Abesha Peoples with Black Dimonds, Pearls and Black Gold (o’l) as well as Twenty Four Karat Gold. And the name shall be United Abesha Emirates a Unitary Decentralized Federal Republic.

      Are you “KEYSER SOZE”?

      tSAtSE

      • Fanti Ghana

        Selam tSAtSE,

        KEYSER SOZE, KEYSER SOZE: There is no KEYSER SOZE!!!

        “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he does not exist.”
        I am not afraid of the devil, but KEYSER SOZE scares the euuuuf out of me.

        • GitSAtSE

          Selamat Fanti,

          Are you afraid of me? Maybe I am Keyser Soze and you are Kobuyashi.

          “That’s when the film pulls off a masterful reversal: Kujan looks around his office and discovers that the major details of Verbal’s confession were lifted from flyers and notes on Kujan’s bulletin board as well as other objects around the room. In other words: He’d improvised the whole thing. ”

          Lets make sure Saay7 or Pillar X are Kevin Spacey and in the West Wing, as spacey as those two are they can’t be worst than Don Diddy Donald Duck as PM and President of the United Abesha Emirates.
          tSAtSE

      • Abraham H.

        Selam The Ant, “Unitary Decentralized Federal Republic.” was funny, haha, thanks for the laugh:-)

        • Fanti Ghana

          Hello Abraham,

          You caught that too. I was drinking some unhealthy looking soda when I read that line and I almost choked.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Good morning Fanti Ghana (GMT=3): Are you in the U.S.A.?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selemat Kalihari S.,

            Affirmative! GMT+8.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Hi Fanti Ghana: So if you have high level TPLF connections, as you have said before, and support the Ethiopian Government, then why are you in the USA?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Kalihari S.,

            haha! You didn’t forget.

            Life is not that black and white my brother. Supporting and/or not
            disagreeing with any government is not the only reason why many people of the world live outside their country of birth.

            I don’t believe my claim of “EPRDF is stirring the nation the right
            direction” while I am living outside the country constitutes hypocrisy.

            When it would be hypocrisy is:

            1) if I blame anyone for leaving the country and/or
            2) if I recruit or agitate others to go back because “we have good
            government” while I, myself living in a foreign land.

            Until you catch me doing one or both of these two, you have no case against me councilor.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Good morning Fanti Ghana (GMT+3): Sorry but it is not for individuals to set criteria for hypocritical inclusion or exclusion; this is a common tendency of hypocritical elites such as the TPLF mafia in Ethiopia. Fact is that you live in the U.S.A. and make comments on an Eritrean website which ‘Candy Coat’ the TPLF mafia Government as progressive and you promote an image of everything in Ethiopia being Hunky Dory; somehow being reluctant to acknowledge mass murders, rape and arbitrary imprisonment have been rife in Ethiopia over the past year. Is that not being a bit hypocritical?

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Kalihari,

            It is unwise to comment on internal Ethiopian affairs, because it obscures the main concern of Eritreans. The main concern for Eritreans, vis a vis Ethiopia, should be its non-compliance with the Border Commission decision.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Good afternoon Simon Kaleab: Yes and No. It seems as though almost everyone, including most commenters here that are now living in Western countries, to include both Eritreans and Ethiopia, wish to dismiss the issue of Badme and Ethiopia’s refusal to abide by the EEBC decision as a trivial and unimportant matter. At the same time and along the lines of most YG parrot heads, they wish to present Ethiopia in a ‘Garden of Eden’ manner and ‘unification’ as Eritrea’s savior from a brutal PIA regime. A large part of the problem with PIA opposition strategies is that they have neither incorporated the matter of Ethiopia’s refusal to adhere to the EEBC border ruling nor on a related line, have they been ready pressure the U.N. Security Council to treat the both the PFDJ and the EPRDF in equal terms for the sins that they commit.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Kalihari Snake,

            I live in the U.S.A. TRUE.

            I comment on an Eritrean website; TRUE.

            TPLF is mafia Government: FALSE.

            I promote an image of everything in Ethiopia being Hunky Dory; FALSE.

            I am reluctant to acknowledge mass murders, rape,
            arbitrary imprisonment that have been rife in Ethiopia over the past year;
            FALSE.

            “Is that not being a bit hypocritical?” Absolutely not.

            A good example of hypocrisy is someone, you for example, a non-Ethiopian, who believes Ethiopian Government TPLF is a rapist, mass murderer, and mafia government, and yet decides to do business in Ethiopia.

            Don’t worry though; I will forgive you for everything you may have to say while still in GMT+3 zone.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Good morning Fanti Ghana: Had I have had business interests in Ethiopia I simply would have been one of several thousands of foreign investors who are willing to take a gamble on investing in high-risk/high potential ROI developing countries in Africa such as Ethiopia. Business is business and an investor does not have to either like or respect a host Government but rather find a way to survive with it and hopefully make a profit in the process. I have been reluctant to invest in Ethiopia, not because of a bad dictatorship Government, but simply a result of the country not allowing international banks to operate. So if the Commercial Bank of Ethiopia goes kaput, one could run a risk of losing everything. Ethiopia is in stark contrast to other countries in Africa which are flush with foreign banks. Are you not an Ethiopia living in the U.S.A. or are you now a bona fide Americano? Either way, you are coming on an Eritrean website and talking up and defending the TPLF controlled dictatorship Government in Ethiopia while you yourself choose to live comfortably in the U.S.A. Now, if you are not a hypocrite, then what does that make you?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Kalihari Snake,

            I just remembered something. I think you have the adjective “hypocrite” in reverse like I had the word ትእውድ/ትእወድ all my life until a few years ago.

            “…you are coming on an Eritrean website…” I don’t see the relevance. I think you are forgetting this is a free for all university.

            “… defending the brutal TPLF controlled dictatorship Government in Ethiopia…” I don’t blindly defend or support it, but instead I support it when it does right and condemn it when it does wrong.

            “…you yourself choose to live comfortably in the U.S.A.”
            It was not a choice, at least not at first, but now it is. However, I still fail to see the relevance on this too.

            The merriam-webster Dictionary gives the following definitions for the word “hypocrite.”

            1. A person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion.
            2. A person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.

            Based on these definitions, have I done or said anything that qualifies me as a hypocrite? To err is human, so if I have, please point it for me so I can correct myself.

            Thanks.

      • Thomas

        Hi Sele,

        I recommend your above note/comment for rap music or tigrigna wata:) Why are u doing this to us, Sele …. why why why? How about writing in plain English??:)) You know making things easy/simple and using simply English vocabulary and grammar? No hard-feeling, I am simply suggesting:)

        • GitSAtSE

          MerHaba Tomas Dermas from Dembelas,

          Or would you rather I call you Tom Honky?

          Well Tommy HillNigga, it is quite simple really. The market is very saturated I believe. There are too many of WE expressing the same frustrations with “easy/simple and using simply English vocabulary and grammar?” And though I would like to leave this same conversation year in year out I have been having since the Summer of 1969, I am unable to avoid it. And rather than join the monotone with the occasional pitch notes due to flareups in some or all the folks prostates in these conversations, I figured I give a shot at creating different drum beats in which I can play my WaTA and Spit some raps.

          Its all comedy of errors dearest Aegeon Tommy Boy

          Merchant of Syracuse, plead no more;
          I am not partial to infringe our laws:
          The enmity and discord which of late
          Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke
          To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,
          Who wanting guilders to redeem their lives
          Have seal’d his rigorous statutes with their bloods,
          Excludes all pity from our threatening looks.
          For, since the mortal and intestine jars
          ‘Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
          It hath in solemn synods been decreed
          Both by the Syracusians and ourselves,
          To admit no traffic to our adverse towns Nay, more,

          Breakfast time… I am experimenting with new matterials and beats
          Regards,
          tSAtSE

          • Thomas

            Hi Sele,

            I guess like others I need to give up on you. I am just wondering why you chose to do your waTA and rap music @ awate.com. I think you might find some audience @ tesfa.net or I don’t know:) You know the tigrigna adage “hatsiruni ente’belkWos Tedebiru Yisi’esie”:) Obviously, the advise I gave you never crossed your mind:)

  • GitSAtSE

    Selamat Awatistas,

    Now that the peaceful transfer of power, consistent with our democratic foundations, of our indivisible Republic one nation under God with justice and liberty for all has officially inaugurated the 45th President Donald Trump, I am briefly going to jot some notes. I did indicate earlier that our effectiveness will not be felt after the first quarter of the first year of President Trump administration. It is however imperative for the opposition to get to work despite all the ball room dancing wegaH tbel leyti envious distractions of this long weekend gatherings of the One Percent ruling class. SaEsiE ‘mo sraHka aytresiE!
    I am taking liberties with my usual non straight tilted talk due to my giving weight to the significant current event’s pull factor that does potentially contribute to the PESSImistic attitudes of Eritreans and Ethiopian’s beliefs of:
    It is impossible to build a just republic in Eritrea or Ethiopia. The “Two State” solution is DOA. The true Utopian society can only be achieved under one Lion of EmbatSion strong leader, the true Pillar of Pan (H)Abesha Union. Group white rights of the majority TRUMPS minority groups as well as individual aspirations. Thats Right! Haven’t you heard “If you are white your have the right, if you are black or brown, you better get back and don’t stick around! respectively.” NOT. ..

    I will present my theory of “EmbaSoira Vs Mt. Rushmore” shortly before or after KndishiH’s Nitric return! “MerHaba ileki Eisran ArbaEten…” you know that natsinet yohana derfi….

    For now I have Kulu Meinti Hager or KulumEint—>>i Kluminati Machiavelli sort of Tupac Shakur Thug life quotes that at least the Freshman’s should give some though too. It will help in seeing Embasoira from a an excellent projectile angle of 45 degrees in the times of our Forty Fifth President Donald Trump. Wish you success Mr. President as USA’s Chief!


    Awatistas, keep the following in mind when you later read EmbaSoira:
    “Machiavelli’s own work is all the more deeply rooted in his own time since he was not in the first instance a writer or theorist but an active participant in the troubled and unstable political life of his native Florence.”
    “All states and dominions which hold or have held sway over mankind are either hereditary in which the rulers have been for many years of the same family, or else they are of recent foundations.”

    From the above, for the moment, please contemplate the importance of and influence of tSionawyan, Tzarawian as you should use your god given parallel processors to tether it to Eritrea for the purposes of Hassab mbzaH.
    Prerequisite for this course ability for teAtsatsafiinet, i.e. malleability in the English language.
    The SELF Peanut Butter CREAM
    tSAtSE

  • GitSAtSE

    Hi Tomas anta Dermas,
    Can you HEAR me now> not texting or Brail….
    tSAtSE

    • Thomas

      Hi Sele,

      I coming with the wind to explode and run through your ears. Don’t make me mad now:)) You know I have seen your video so everything is open:) don’t wet your pants now.

      • GitSAtSE

        MerHaba Dermas,

        Pants? What pants? I do not wear pants nor trousers dude. Did it ever occur to you that I made those videos for you to see. Please “come with the wind” and bring along the wicked which of the east. I will have more videos for your utilization 🙂

        No wetting your pants here! Dear you not ask Y? I drink dry and stay dry butt naked as a true African.
        tSAtSE

  • GitSAtSE

    Hi Tomas anta Dermas,
    GuOiy is my sister and your aunti nephew. You forget your bratty escapades when you climbed up Adi Segdo from Barjima in your drunken escapades with Abi. Always singing Ethiopia tiQdem, Wendbe nashenefale…as you were telling all your cousins how to be a national of the best nationalist republic Ethiopia…
    Oh yera Nitiric is desperate stretching his ears to HEAR all the trees that fall in the Kalahari Desert and Sinai. He will be back on the 24th though I am not sure it could be in four days or four month. The note did not specify After proving that the toothless do in fact feed and can gum one to death and banishment as well as proving that the all the Halengays and Segens trees falling in the Sinai he can hear them falling now. on his verizon cell phone…. Can you hear me now ha ha Tomas Dermas how about now can your HEAR
    tSAtSE

  • GitSAtSE

    Selamat All,

    Speaking of individual liberties Vs. the common good or democracy reminds me of Gattaca the movie with Ethan Hawk and Umma Thurman. (As I give EmbaSoira, Emba Tokhilo or Adal more thought as Mt. Rushmore equivalent to carve out an amphitheater with natural acoustics and sculptures of Wad Amir and Wed Tukul on either side of the stage…..I have to edit the EbaSoira Vs. Mt Rushmore later submission in laymen’s term that leans/tilts more to straight talk )
    In the mean time this Science fiction movie with Ethan Hawk and Uma Thurman, I believe is a nice entertainment piece to complement all the fiber diet. Individual liberty Vs. The common good or democracy.
    here is the:
    Storyline
    “In the not-too-distant future, a less-than-perfect man wants to travel to the stars. Society has categorized Vincent Freeman as less than suitable given his genetic make-up and he has become one of the underclass of humans that are only useful for menial jobs. To move ahead, he assumes the identity of Jerome Morrow, a perfect genetic specimen who is a paraplegic as a result of a car accident. With professional advice, Vincent learns to deceive DNA and urine sample testing. Just when he is finally scheduled for a space mission, his program director is killed and the police begin an investigation, jeopardizing his secret. Written by garykmcd”
    I realize some people rather do enjoy a long visit or holiday stay at the Castle of Butroe Basque country…. Well, who would’t? Borders the Chateaus it is far from the Andalusian plains where the Alchemist crosses into north Africa to build a liberal republic? Go figure.
    tSAtSE

  • Paulos

    Selamat Moderator,

    Don’t mean to annoy you and my apologies if you’re still on the picket line carrying placards. Thing is, my comments keep disappearing into ‘pending’ once they appear.

    • Paulos

      Howdy Moderator,

      Hang in there the rest of Awatistas are with you in solidarity.

  • Ismail AA

    Selamat Aman and all,

    It see I am a late comer to the debate. I could see there have already been some robust exchange of views. Hence, the following quick remarks.

    The broadness of the topic, the sources consulted, and the socio-political conditions (current Eritrea) his conclusions are set to address gave me an impression that made me tend to embark on further reading rather than beginning to jot casual comments in the manner I normally do in this forum.

    First, credit must go to where it is due. It is clear that Amanuel had invested a lot of effort, time and reflection to grace his readers with this quality article. Rich in theory and argumentation. I think it is not an easy feat for one to survey works starting with John Locke and John Stuart Mill down to Isaiah Berlin and John Rawls and device a theoretical construct for our fragile and heterogeneous socio-political set up that has to sustain and thrive within a post-colonial polity.

    In my view, the purpose of Amanuel has more to do with the laying down of a suitable premise for a groundwork that is essential for forging a collective pursuit towards harmonization of the diverse outlooks and interests that polarize the
    social and demographic components of our society. He vigorously argues (I stand to be corrected if I misrepresented his views) that the premise should, by necessity, rest on justice and fairness which are cornerstone ideas on which pluralism
    in its various dimensions (governance and the citizenship) is based on.

    Unless the reality of the Eritrean diversity is recognized and its components are guided in fairness and justice to device their future within the borders of their political entity, there is no way for them to build a common house. A house drawn
    to fit only the needs and ambitions of one the components would not have a space for the rest of them. It will only force them to exist on the margins until the time they let themselves be integrated to think, dance, dress, speak the same way the folks of the house builder and actual owner do.

    Put briefly, thus, his argument is that the status quo is not only wrong, but cannot not sustain to embark on the pursuit of nation building that is supposed to accommodate the harmonious coexistence of the Eritrean diversity. The social
    and demographic fault lines would only keep on widening to collapse at one stage down the road. I tend to agree with him and the way he understands the current state of affairs in our country.

    Regards

    • Kalihari Snake

      Greetings Ismail AA: Call me shallow…but….I often get bored quickly or my mind starts sail boating when generic -and ‘nothing out of the box new’ Political Science discussions ensue. And, I rarely see such discussions generating realistic and practical solutions to complicated real life problems. Is there not a prevalent view within the discipline of Political Science that scholars and researchers should set aside moral values and political concerns in favor of detached enquiry into the mechanics of how real world countries such as Eritrea politically function? And does this not frequently involve borrowing the trappings of the natural sciences in attempts to establish generalizable theories of causation through the testing of hypotheses? Here you guys are lamenting on mundane cornerstone ideas/pillars of justice and fairness, which at least to me, necessarily prompts one to make political and moral judgements which in end distorts research processes. Please excuse me if I am off the mark here as I am certainly no expert in neither Sociology nor Political Science.

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Kalahari Snake,
        Well, that depends on the inclination of the person involved. While someone gets bored with some thing, another one may get spirited. But, it may be good for one to have as much knowledge as possible on various disciplines. Social sciences and natural sciences share the same world; they mutually benefit from one another. Research in natural sciences could be hampered in a world where the ideas and principles of justice and fairness do not obtain. Think about you trying to undertake an important study not liked by officials of an authoritarian system .
        Regards

        • Kalihari Snake

          Greetings Ismail AA: Thanks for the comment that is well taken.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Kalihari,

            Have you by any chance read Physicist Richard Feynman’s ‘Cargo Cult Science’? You will find it in Feynman’s book called ‘Surely you’re joking Mr Feynman’ or on its own on the internet. If you haven’t already read it, try it and tell me what you think. It is a rather short discussion, it will not bore you down.

          • Kalihari Snake

            Good morning Simon Kaleab:I have and you are indeed correct in that his views are really interesting. I have also have had the opportunity to read some of his unpublished work from his early 70s Caltech days.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Kalihari,

            The so called Social Sciences are in the ‘Cargo Cult Science’ category.

            Impressive and Scientific looking in external appearance but voodoo in content.

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Ismail,

      Thank you for your feedback and your input to the debate. Second, you did not misrepresent my view. My purpose as you put it beautifully in the fourth paragraph of your comment, indeed you have it precisely in a nutshell.

      regards

      • GitSAtSE

        Salamat IsmailAA,

        A house drawn
        to fit only the needs and ambitions of one components would not have a space for the rest of them. It will only force them to exist on the margins until the time they let themselves be integrated to think, dance, dress, speak the same way the folks of the house builder and actual owner do.
        tSAtSE

  • saay7

    Hey Emma:

    Clearly, you researched this subject a great deal and anybody who has followed your writing over the years knows that this is all within wheelhouse. I got all excited when you mentioned John Stewart Mill, and I was going to geek out on you and say that the big contrast he created, the struggle of our times, was between liberty and authority. I was going to say that he defined liberty as “protection from the tyranny of the political rulers” who derived their authority from “inheritance or conquest” (hope you are listening Amde) and “who at all events, did not hold it at the please of governed, and whose supremacy men did not venture, perhaps did not desire, to contest,whatever precautions might be taken against its oppressive exercise.” And here’s my favorite line from him then I will stop this nonsense hand to god: “to prevent the weaker members of the community from being preyed upon by the innumerable vultures, it was needful that there should be an animal of prey stronger than the rest, commissioned to keep them down.”

    Whoa.

    But i won’t pursue that argument, for two reasons. One, the owner and publisher of this website absolutely detests esoteric discussions. Two, a few years ago (3, 5, 10, none of your business) I had a PFDJ/GoE insider/reformer who told me that reputation of awate.com is that of “mesafnti”, arguing about things far removed from what the average Yosief/Yusuf Eritrean discusses and he (or she/or it) made me very self-conscious about the importance of coming down from the ivory tower and discussing things using very Eritrean context.

    So now.

    Kbur ato Amanuel. Let’s begin with this. Intellectually, your side has won. That rights don’t just extend to individuals but to people is now enshrined in the African Union and the United Nations. So your views are that of a majority of the African and world elite. What we the…wait, let me scroll up to see what you called us: “Monolithic Eritrean liberals”… ok, I would describe us as those who believe the individual citizen is Supreme (sovereign) and all the rest–ethnic groups, religious groups, regional groups, the State–are tyrannical entities the individual citizen has to fight against. The most compelling evidence I can give you for this is the reluctance of the Eritrean citizen to embrace the Eritrean opposition: s/he considers it as trading one form of tyranny (the State) with another (the ethnic organization, the religous organization, the regional organization.)

    Why?

    Because all are INVOLUNTARY AND RIGID ASSOCIATIONS. All say that where there is a conflict in values, their values win. Examples:

    * A religious organization, like the Islamists, will say that if you belong to their religion, your rights as an individual citizen must be subservient to the rights of Muslims and what Muslims values are, as interpreted by the Islamists. Pass.

    * An ethnic organization, like say, the Saho, Blin, Jeberti organizations, will say that if you belong to their ethnic group, your rights as an individual citizen must be subservient to the the rights of the People of Saho, Blin, Jeberti, etc, and what their values are, as interpreted by them. Pass.

    * A regional organization, like, say, the Federalists organizations, will say that you reside in a certain region, your rights as an individual citizen must be subservient to the rights of the residents of that particular region, in values, interpreted by whoever is the self-declared spokesperson for the region. Pass.

    Now, here is the huge difference with the identity politics of Marx based on class. Class is dynamic–I can move from one class to another–whereas all the ones mentioned above are static.

    Finally, Emma arkey, “tolerance” is a terrible word. I was reading about Senegal and their amazingly harmonious co-existence and they said they hate “tolerance”–which comes from “tolerate”, to put up with something hideous. Instead, they prefer to use the word “solidarity.” Incidentally, that is the word PFDJ is aiming for when it talks about christians and muslims celebrating each other’s holidays. (See how they have done it?:)

    To be continued…

    saay

    • ‘Gheteb

      Howdy Cuz SAAY,

      You are saying that:

      ” I will leave the rest to Gheteb, who may or may not give you 17 examples”.

      I will go here with the “may not” and even opt not to render any “examples” from the EPLF, PFDJ or GoEr side. Instead, I will venture into the annals of the ELF — Jebha — and hopefully tease out something that may help explain what this article, it’s author and recent comments or exchanges have brought to the fore in this very Forum: ESOTERICA

      You can say that this is my feeble attempt of injecting EXOTERICA (of a doctrine or mode of speech intended for or likely to be understood by the general public) into the ongoing exchange and, hopefully, of giving a haircut to some and ‘a close shave’ to the very exemplar of PEDANTICISM — the rebarbative character who identifies himself as “Paulos” — , by applying ‘Gheteb’s razor, with apologies to Occam.

      No one has irrigated ESOTERICA to this Forum like this Paulos character and some may have also joined the parade. He talked about ” Making it to Denmark” completely untethered from the Eritrean realities and utterly failed in making it relevant to the Eritrean experience.

      It would have been more germane and pertinent had the discussion focused on “Making it to Dekemhare ( ደቅምሓረ: ደምበዛን) “, instead of talking about “Making it to Denmark” without attempting of wedding it to the Eritrean reality or experience.

      Call me anything, but I believe that this Paulos character is non other than that ‘political epicene’ Petors Haile of “Tempo Afric Tv” or his doppelgänger as the telltale signs are just innumerably umpteen. However, I won’t belabor this point now. I will only suggest to ‘eagle eyedly’ read or view this character whose sole mission is of bringing back Eritrea to the Ethiopian fold by muddying the Eritrean political landscape through denigration and belittling of the very Eritrean experience that “differentiated” Eritrea from other political entities, be it Ethiopia or other countries.

      Coming back to the article and its author, here is the ELF (Jebha) experience that I hope may shed light at the very emanation of the malady that afflicts the author of this article and those of his ilk.

      In the years 1978-80, the ELF’s central prison was located in Ailet (ዓይለት), Barka, Eritrea, after moving from its previous location in Mogeraib. In the Ailet prison one found the very microcosm of Eritrea where the inmates literally represented Eritrea proper. One found all the Eritrean ethno-linguistic groups; Christians and Muslims in the same compound; all of the Eritrean political pigmentation; ex-Kommandis and ex-EPLF fighters were amongst the inmates of ELF’S Ailet prison.

      More importantly, members of the EDM or ” The Fallul Movement” (ፋሉል) were the most conspicuous members of this microcosm. They hanged out, worked and slept separately from the other inmates. Most of their free time was dedicated to translating Marxist literature into Tigrigna. And, all of their translation efforts was kept within their group as they kept aloof, distant and not comingling with the inmates.

      Those who laid eyes on this translation by the members of Fallul will tell you that it was nothing more than a regurgitations of merely or half-digested Marxist concepts and phraseologies and NOTHING MORE.

      Similarly, this article has precisely replicated what the Fallul members in ELF’s Ailet prison attempted in doing to end up trotting out concepts and terminologies that are left out there without properly being fleshed out and rendered utterly irrelevant since the author abysmally failed in wedding it to the Eritrean reality or experience.

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Gheteb,
        Leaving Amanuel and to respond to yo

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Ismail,

          This guy is not only a rude individual, but also he has the audacity to lie. Look as if he was in ghedli, and as such close to the prisoners, he is telling a story that didn’t happen at all. A spokesperson of PFDJ can not be ashemed of fabricating a story and lying. There was no and there is no a single marxist literature transilated by EDM members who were imprisoned in 1977. It is a white lie. He is not worth of my response nor from your humble demeanur. He is not here to debate but to belittle any well meaning individuals who are fight to change the reality of our people inside our country.

          Regards

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Amanuel Hidrat,

            ልክዕ !

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Aman and Kokhob,
            I got the points.
            I was just curious to check his credibilty because I had engaged him before from which I learned (from him) he was a student of a highly respected activist, educator and historian, the late Michael Gabr, in Kassala. I thought a person who gained knowledge from such educators could also be objective. But, his story seems to be similar to the story of “Seriat Addis” which Isayas and group concocted and sold as factual. This guy could have also been the victim of similar toxic propaganda campaign.
            Regards

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Ismail AA,

            I think you are making an erroneous conclusion here. I expected that you will do you own due diligence. If you are of the inclination of ferreting out the truth, then at least do some research before making an unwarranted conclusion here.

            You are absolutely CLUELESS what my takes are on issues such as the one of “Seryet Addis”. I have a documented evidence that confutes your baseless assertion and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are totally and absolutely WRONG.

            Your flagitious statement, “This guy could have also been the victim of similar toxic propaganda campaign” about me is indicative of the fact that you have succumbed to the urges and itches of groupthink and confirmation bias.

            The ELF’s Ailet prison incidence is as real as it can get and it is not a “concocted story sold as a fact” as the ones who passed through it are still ALIVE with their memories still INTACT, including my friend from Kassala High School.

            You or anyone can dismiss and deny this incidence as a fabrication or a lie manufactured by people like me. That is OK and it’s your prerogative to do so. However, that will never ERASE and wash away the experience of these REAL Eritreans in ELF’s Ailet Prison.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Gheteb,
            Dear Gheteb, though I am very reluctant to get into unnecessary polemics with you in this forum, you are still telling your readers that a friend of yours, or some among “the ones who passed through” the prison you are talking about had told. How can you talk those conversations or perhaps ordinary chats as based for making assertive statements? Here, the argument is not that the prison did not exist; the problem is the events you are alleging to had happened there. Some of the fighters you have mentioned were heroes who gave their precious lives. They deserve not to be evaluated on the base of recollections from casual conversation sessions.

            It would serve me, and for sure many others, if you could come up with “documented evidence” about the curious stories about “Seriat Addis”. Mind you, the issue was not about ten or so individuals. It is a contingent comprising three Fasillas (units) in accordance to the military formation of the ELF at those days. If you provide us just 5 fully identified names from that contingent, I will be satisfied, and openly thank you for giving me a clue that you said I do not have. Those of us who happened to be in Addis during those times, have never seen or heard that many young Eritreans had departed that city (Addis Ababa) to join the ELF. By the way, this is a clue for you information. Now then, if you are not able to come with proof of your case as you claimed, let us not waste the time of one another.
            Thank you,
            Regards

          • ‘Gheteb

            Selam Ismail AA,

            First of all, rest assured that I have neither the desire nor the energy to “get into unnecessary polemics with you”. None whatsoever!

            Second, the events that I wrote about in ELF’s Ailet prison are, of course, based MAINLY on the narration of a friend (trusted and long time friend) whom I lived with as room mate for over 3 years. He was incarcerated for 6 months in this prison and lived and toiled day in and day out the life of that same prison. That is the basis of his EXPERIENCE. Real LIVED life and not mere chitchat, but a verifiable account by a very intelligent person.

            Third, I have corroborated many of the details of my friend’s account from other Eritreans who passed through the same ELF prison in the same time span. These Eritrean Kerenites some of whom were ex-EPLF fighters and others civilians who were arrested by the ELF and denied a passage to the Sudan. I even talked to a an ELF fighter, a relative of mine, in Kassala, after the ELF’s virtual defeat in 1981. He was a prison guard in Ailet.

            Fourth, I have said absolutely nothing bad about those ELF fighter “… were heroes who gave their precious lives”. I have mentioned the names of those who occupied the top leadership position and nothing else. So, I have no clue on what you are basing your assertion here.

            Fifth, regarding the case of “Siryet Addis”, here is what I wrote:

            ” You are absolutely CLUELESS what my takes are on issues such as the one of “Seryet Addis”. I have a documented evidence that confutes your baseless assertion and proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are totally and absolutely WRONG”.

            I don’t think you read me correctly here. What I said was that you have no idea ( you are clueless) about my take ( my viewpoints) regarding this issue. My take vis-a-vis “Siryet Addis” is different than those whom you have described as “VICTIMIS of similar TOXIC PROPAGANDA”. I have written about this issue many years ago and that is what I meant by the documented evidence that I have in my possession. I brought this up to show that you were making an unwarranted conclusion or inference. That was all to it and I have no inclination at this time to revisit this issue at all. I am not the type who falls for “toxic propaganda”, to put it humbly and mildly, so that you know.

            Sixth, regarding the issue of those Falluls ( Anarchists) or Dugual Falluls ( Crypto Anarchists) who were in Ailet prison with my friend and their pursuit of translating Marxist literature into Tigrigna, here is what I want to add. The one who led their translation pursuit or effort is a Kerenite who lives in Canada. Though much older than me, I knew him in Keren and had a brief encounter in Khartoum’s UNHCR office prior to his departure to Canada.

            Finally, my goal in bringing the incidence of Ailet prison is to show my opposition to those who are mightily trying to irrigate Weyanes ethnic politics to the Eritrean political discourse by trotting out and regurgitating half-digested concepts such as “group rights” or “minority rights” or “tolerance” as a veneer for the political wares they are trying to peddle.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismail,

            I do not think he is worth of your reply. But if your conscience dictates you, you must make him accountable to his claim and his lies (a) who is this friend of him who told him this lies, if he told him really (b) Which marxist literature did they translate (c) Ask him to the so called eye witness to come up openly tell the story as told, and I will disprove every distored claim.

            Keep in mind, this stupid run away escapee from national duty, who scared to join his peers of his generation in the revolution, is denigrating to those who bleed and swet in our struggle. To add salt to the injury, I can not believe how his mentors (teachers) in the UNESCO high school of Kessela (who were members of EDM) will feel when they see despising their contributions. This rascal uncultured individual is doing every thing to discredit to the Eritrean patriots who gave everything to the cause of our people, and all behind pen name. This guttless individual, sooner or later will be accountable to his lies.

            regards

        • ‘Gheteb

          Selam Ismail AA,

          Thanks for the feedback. The account about ELF’s Ailet prison is NOT based on my own “eyewitness testimonies or information”. Rather, it was based on the exchanges and conversations with a close friend who had spent close to 6 months as an inmate in the ELF’s prison.

          He was my roommate in Kassala, Sudan, during my high school years. We had numerous conversations about his experience and he meticulously entered whatever he remembered to a dairy.

          Among the main movers and shakers of this prison from the ELF higher ups that I can still reel off from the top of my head ( of course, based on my friends narrations):

          (1) Melake Tekhle as the head of ELF’s Security and what my friend said about him and his “harem”.

          (2) Jaffer, deputy to Melake, a close associate to Abdella Idris

          (3) Senait Lijam, as the political cadre of ELF’s Ailet prison.

          I could go on and on with much details to bring this incidence back to life. The challenge to those who are gainsaying it here is to produce a counter narrative that refutes what I have described in my note.

          • GitSAtSE

            Selamat Gheteb,

            Wedi HatinioU/AmuoU/AkuoU/HawAboU n….

            I am just fishing here… “Teach a man how to fish…” This is sort of A Quirk or Kirk? You said “It does not have the weight of Aboy QeShi’s Sunday sermon.”
            Common dude, you are practically from AdTecklaizan. Claim your full Anseba self and finish the sentence like the good ‘ol days. Thusly
            “It does NOT have the weight of Aboy Qeshi tSeAzega/Hazega’s Sunday sermor.” Triangulating all the nodes!
            Qn: Did you know why ELF’s POWs in EPLF’s prisons called their hosts Medada? In those jails, you would be pressed to find EDM/Falul. Reason, liquidation or MenkaE to preserve the MaEkelinet by annihilating netSanet.
            See Abay Jebha’s Semere Tesfay’s comment below:
            MaEkelinet bzey netSanet Mlki iyu
            netSanet bzey maEkelinet Falulinet iyu.
            The Falul or EDM in the EPLF fared worst than did the MenkaE under the EPLF.
            PEDANTIC haha you crack me up.
            tSAtSE

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Merhaba Saay,

      Let us agree (by necessity btw) that the political discourse of nations is charted by the elites of their populations. The general public could not be the framers of a constitution nor be the designers of any social contracts, but the educated class or the elites are. If we are making a discourse analysis among the educated class in a variety of disciplines to make propositions, relating applicable theories to our realities, then I think it is understandable that we shouldn’t be apprehensive or worried about the public whether they could understand the intricacy of the debate and the subject itself. Once the elites settled the issue, then there is a way to educate the public by translating the settled issue in order to be part of the process and make an informed decisions. The agreement start between the divided elites of our social groups and then extend to their bases. So what we are writing and debating here in this website is to bridge the intellectual divides, and by doing that we are indirectly bridging our social divides. Hopefully, this answers to your concern in the first paragraph of you comment.

      Second, I will agree with SGJ on his detest to esoteric discussions, for it doesn’t bring us to a conclusion of common understanding. However, “esoteric discussed issue” could be brought to a forum for public discussions under the rubric of evaluation tools.

      Third, when I mention the “Monolithic Eritrean Liberals”, saay wasn’t in my mind. Monolithic Liberals are those single issue minded individuals, who see liberalism only from the optic of individual rights, and who think group rights obscure individual rights. After all, individual rights could not be respected without a fight, and that fight could not be fought without regrouping individuals in to a fight. By that it means they as expressed as individuals and as a group, similar to “hade yekonu Kilte yekonu” depending the circumstances. So individual rights and group rights goes side by side as tenets of liberal-democrats.

      Fourth, if individual rights contradicts with group rights as in religion, or social group (ethnic) or any other groupings, then it is up to the individuals either to leave the group and exercise their own rights or compromise with the group how to exercise their rights. Their rights should be respected either as individuals or as groups.

      Fifth, Saay arkey even solidarity demands tolerance. So tolerance is the key to liberal ideas.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • saay7

        Hey Emma

        I will focus on ur last two points.

        “Monolithic Liberals are those single issue minded individuals, who see liberalism only from the optic of individual rights, and who think group rights obscure individual rights”

        Thanks for clarifying and yep I resemble that statement 😂 Liberties extend to inviduals and to the extend the go to groups is is only as an outcome of individuals right to free assembly. I interpret the latter to mean it is a people who voluntarily joined a group, not because they were born into it.

        The reason that I was emphasizing that all our discussions be tethered to Eritrea is so that I can ask you if it is realistic to expect a Muslim woman in, say, Barka which, based on group rights is now run by an Islamist party has the right to “leave”. You do know that there are strains of Islamist who firmly believe that a moslem should be constantly be proselytized to to align his behvavior with some standard (that they set) of piousness and if this Muslim were to say “you know what, I am no longer a Muslim” they consider the appropriate punishment to be that of a deserter: death?

        On tolerance I was merely suggesting that all that gets you is politeness. If you want harmonious coexistence aim for solidarity.

        Saay

        • MS

          Selam Ustaz Saleh
          I get your point that our society is communal oriented and groupthink is the norm. However, your example of the Muslim woman case forgets the fact that we are debating this ideas of liberty/freedom within the belief that we are assuming a secular political system. Since the assumption is a secular political system, the woman will still enjoy basic unalienable individual right under the constitution.

          • saay7

            Hala MS:

            In the conversation I was having with Comrade Emma, and in reply to his article where he emphasizes the primacy of “group rights”, I took it to its logical conclusion in contemporary Eritrea. “Group rights” gave us ethnic, Islamist and regional orgs who are more interested in advancing group rights than individual rights. Group eight to the point of “self determination up to succession” in some cases. Remember? I know u do because u may or may not have written long hatetas about it.

            Fast forward to an Eritrea where group rights take precedence. Then think of Bekhita in Barka. She is doomed.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            A little correction in you comment, that I equally advocate for individual and group rights. There is no emphasis or primacy on my side one from the other in this issue. The reason why I am argueing for group rights as well, is simply b/c there is pure drnial from the those monolithic liberalists to group rights however they organized. I do not know as to why you come to that conclusion as far as I do not argue against individual rights. A simple correction that helps for future engagement.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hi Emma:

            Do you envision a conflict between group rights and individual rights? Are they always complementary? Do you remember what were the arguments of ELF-RC against the EDA charter?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            My position and my argument is, they are complimentary to each other. In liberal democracy both as individuals and as a groups are respected and recognized. It is upto the individuals how they live and practice their own rights.

            Second, I do not want to collied either with EDA or ELF -RC. I had it enough and history will sort it out. My position now is to educate that individual and group rights does not contradict as far as there is constitutional recogntion to those rights. As simple as that.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            I will respect your reluctance to rehash old issues so I will present it as a hypothetical for the rest of the class. I will borrow from our friends at Knocked Up who created “shmorshen” because one of their friends did not want to hear the word “abortion”

            Scenario

            An shumlamist organization wants to excercise its group right and practice its value system which is named shumria. This shumria system, depending on how it is interpreted, and the shumlamist of Eritrea give every indication they want to use its most severe version, would deny equal rights to women of their value system. It would also severely restrict the rights non-believers to practice their value system.

            This was the contradiction between individual rights and group rights.

            What we have in Eritrea right now is a contradiction between group rights and individual rights. The right of PFDJ (as a group) to practice its ideology (which prioritizes group rights over individual rights–the group right to development). They describe it as a form of utilitarianism: the most good for the most number of people. The most good, as they define it is: free education and nearly free healthcare for all, clean water, access to social services. If in the process places like Asmara fall apart, well that is just utilitarianism at work.

            Unless we agree to the supremacy of the individual (the breakthrough of the Enlightenment period) we will trade one group of vultures for another.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Saay,

            Please, Equitable power and economic sharing doesn’t mean trading vultures from one group to another. While you understand well the concept more than anything, I do not understand why you are trying to equate “equitable ” to “trading vultures.” You sound against equitable sharing when you equate it to trading wealth. You can ‘t be against when you are needed most.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Emma:

            Happy Friday and happy peaceful (USA) and semi-peaceful (Gambia) transition day!

            Let’s say we create a perfectly equitable system that grants perfectly equal rights to:

            Highlanders and Lowlanders
            Christians and Muslims
            Regional group 1 and regional group 2 and 3 and …
            Linguistic group 1 and linguistic group 2 and 3 and…

            To get there (definition of equity) there will be a lot of haggling and comprising. And those who will be doing the haggling and compromising are (1) most likely self-appointed and, in the case of the Muslim social groups, (2) most likely the most radicalized.

            Now do you envision a situation where individual liberties will be suservient to group rights? Do you envision a partnership of vultures?

            None of this is to say it’s safer to stay with PFDJ (Hope you are reading Doubting Thomas:) It’s to say that those of us who want a secular country that respects individual rights must push back harder against those who claim to represent us simply because we were born into the group they have asserted “leadership” on. And when we do, it’s not cool to accuse us of being closet hgdef 😍

            saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Saay,

            Since Mr. Amanuel’s position is well known from his previous writings, I don’t think he is missing the countless potential conflicts that can arise from laws meant to address group rights vis-a-vis individual rights as it has been made amply clear by you and many others. This great article assumes, if I am wrong it should, there is a fairly developed and majority ratified constitution (federal law) that will monitor/address those individual, group, and etc… rights.

            Some conflicts will not be avoided, but to reduce their level low enough to have a functioning state how the constitution will be developed and by whom is the paramount task. Naturally then, this discussion is or it should be about how to fashion a constitution that takes into account societal aspirations, traditions and customs, past and present conflicts, ethnic, language, religious, and regional differences, and of course group vs. individual rights among many more concepts.

            Regardless of how carefully a constitution is developed however, its implementation will still demand several compromising schemes in case by case bases. I can’t imagine a more important wisdom for us now than truly understanding who we are as a society and devising a method to govern ourselves based on that understanding. In the last 50+ years our elites have been applying political ideologies, thought in different era, for a different demography, and to solve a substantially different problem than ours with a religious fervor, and the result has been quite devastating to say the least.

            Although I cautiously support individual right above all else, I do believe that ideologies that advocate for the rights of the individual were crafted for and they would be more successful in self-centered societies than our socio-centric one. For that very reason I believe “group right” deserves a serious consideration in our political thought. Once “the people” create their constitution (bottom-up instead of top-down) everything else can be managed without having to annihilate one another with imported ideologies.

            PS:
            before you say Aramba’na Kobo, I meant to post this someplace else, but I am gambling you will understand.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            I think I agree with that individual rights should be the highest form of rights rather than any other group rights. For example, if we our constitutions say the age of marriage to be say 16 years.

            This law should be the highest law and no group religion should have higher.

            And second thing is, if we accept that all people are equal under the law or God, then why do we care who is to give and who is to receive, we all should have equal and same stake.

            I personally think, the three level of government (municipal, provincial and federal) parliamentary system is the best for our country. The municipal are the cities and the provincial should be the 8 provinces that we traditionally have and federal.

            I think breaking in those traditional provinces will bring what we desire to achieve, specially if we are to learn from the ethnic based federalism Ethiopians are experiencing.

            The best way to break up the large ethnic group are (Kebesa into 3 provinces) and Tigre into how ever many they were. We have Tigrinya and Arabic as official language and universal Rights and Freedoms and everyone is happy.

            No sophisticated theory, experimentation, required.

            I am not smart but I ask that people challenge this approach and see if there is any problems that it will not solve.

            The only exception would be, I don’t like the name or I don’t feel good etc. like no fact based hypothetical problems that don’t exist or affect very small number of groups.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Hi Berhe and His Fantiness:

            You make it sound so simple Berhe:) At the risk of repeating myself, statecraft is really hard; if it were not, all of Africa’s elite, who have been thinking this through for longer periods of time than us and are smarter (at least than me) would have come with a formula for a durable state that has equitable power-sharing and peaceful transfers of power.

            Let’s take the case of federalism. All of North American states are federal; none of Central American are; and in Europe although many call themselves only Belgium truly is. And in Africa, although the majority call themselves federal, only 3 can stake claim to the title: Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia. Scholars who studied what they had in common when they introduced their system highlight the following:

            1. A strong dominant party (EPRDF in Ethiopia; ANC in South Africa);
            2. Highly centralized fiscal policy (for the center to whip the peripheries in shape);
            3. A relatively well functioning bureaucracy.

            When all those are upsent, you have what Somalia had between 1990 and 2006: “social group” leaders negotiating forever and never coming to any agreement. (It didn’t help that all the negotiations were done in the expensive Nairobi hotels.)

            Eritreas case has been lost opportunity: the PFDJ wasted a golden opportunity and we in the opposition are no better off (from an organizational standpoint, mutual trust, effectiveness) than we were in 2001.

            His Fantiness:

            I know what Emma is saying because I have been following his reading for a long time. I am trying to tease out from him an answer to the question of “in a decentralized arrangement of governance, what happens when the values of the social group which shares sovereignty with the center run counter to the values of the individual?” Think of Mormons in Utah. Except heavily armed, and surrounded by heavily armed Mormons in Mexico and Canada😀

            saay

          • Amde

            Selam Maestro Saay,

            You said: “Eritreas Federal Act of 1950 would have met same fate where it not for the dominance of Addis Abeba (ducking rocks now.)”

            I have been thinking lately that the true tragedy of the loss of the federation, and the attendant loss of the Eritrean parliament was that it broke the Intra-Eritrean social compact. For a long time I had thought of the worst of it was the loss of Eritrean rights in general. The fact that 25 years after independence the form and content of the social compact is still taken as a controversial, and in some quarters an existential question speaks volumes.

            Secondly, we live in a strange time. No “sovereign” country can remain insular. Some level of engagement with a very intrusive outside world is necessary, even if to access the financial and technical goodies modern governance needs. In a federation then, the unit that has preferential/monopolistic access to these external goodies will have very disproportionate advantages over its competitors. A historical example is the century of Shewan dominance due to the historical coincidence of Shewa attaining the crown and the dawn of the modern government. Prior to that the average period of reign (admittedly gained through the force of arms and the favor of እግዚአብሔር) was about 15 years.

            So with that said, how does the UAE work? Dubai and AbuDhabi are well known units, but one hears nothing about the other units.

            Amde

          • saay7

            Hello Amde the Pillar

            “Emirates” like “cantons” are just the units of federation. And as u correctly guessed, there are strong centers (Dubai and Abu dhabi ) in the UAEs 7 Emirates.

            It’s conventional wisdom that Haile Selasse destroyed Eritreas Federal Act. What I am now suggesting (at Awate University) is that In my view, Eritrean federalism of 1950 could not have happened without the centrifugal force of Haile Selasse. There are many papers that suggest that Haile Selasse killed the federation despite the advise of people like Aklilu Habtewold to keep it alive (source: ye ertra guday), there are people who suggest that Haile Selasse bullied Anze Matienzo (the UN rep) to come with terms most advantageous to Ethiopia (source: my friend and kinda mentor TEKIE Fessahazion). What I am trying to do here is break some taboo and say that given all of Eritreas contradictions (as is now evident in our paralyzed opposition) that the Federal Act would never have happened without the wily heavy handededness of Haile Selasse I.

            I may or may not expound on this, depending on life’s distractions.

            saay

          • Millennium

            Hi Saay:

            I think you forgot you had a class? students are waiting….:)

          • “….given all of Eritrea’s contradictions (as is now evident in our paralyzed opposition) that the 1950 Federal Act would never have happened without the wily heavy handededness of Haile Selasse I.”

            Dear Saay, please educate us by elaborating a little bit more on what you exactly mean with the above statement, using some historical facts. If i have understood you well and if i may ask, which one of these might have been the most probable outcome:

            a) the contradictions, mainly that of the eritrean society, would have led to the dichotomy of eritrea along religious or geographic lines,
            b) the contradictions would not have culminated in an independent eritrea due to distrust between christians and muslims, and as the result there could have been a nasty power struggle.
            c) christians and muslims could have chipped off their differences and formed an independent country.
            d) federation was a solution to HSI intervention and arm twisting, otherwise, federation with ethiopia would never have happened.
            e) eritrea would have united with ethiopia without preconditions if HSI had not intervened,
            f) any other possible outcomes?
            Regards.

          • saay7

            Selam Horizon:

            There is plenty of material (better researched, by more able people than me) on what led to the Federal Act (the UN decision and the roles it envisioned for Addis Abeba and Asmara as outlined in the 1950 resolution) as well as what led to its complete dissolution in 1962 (Ethiopia: because Eritreans freely voted for it. Eritrea: hard to excercise free will when you are being bullied.) That is not something I want to relitigate: I generally ascribe to the view that all parties (Unionists, Independence Bloc, Ethiopians) were doing what they thought was in the best interest of their people, “their people” narrowly defined–let’s call them their constituents.

            My focus was on a much narrower slice of this period: the time between UN Resolution 390-V (December 1950 decision to create a semi autonomous Eritrea) and the ratification of the Federal Act (Sep 1952.) And I was postulating a theory that such a Herculean task (plus, let’s not forget, a constitution) could not have been completed in less than 2 years had there not been a very assertive Center (in this case Addis Abeba and its emperor.) Without his pressuring Matienzo (and ocassionally threatening the UN-elected Bolivian diplomat fired from his gig), it would have taken 3, 5, 7 years. I say all this within the context of arguing that Federations (root word: bond, covenant) doesn’t work without a strong center. I gave the examples of Nigeria, South Africa and Ethiopia of the rare cases where it (kinda) works; and I gave the example of the state of the diffused Eritrean opposition along predictable lines where it doesn’t work. It is no more than a theory

            saay

            As to the list of options you

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Saay,

            Thank you for the picture in the link, that depicts everything that follows after the Federal arrangements and the heavy hand of the emperor to abrogate it.

          • GitSAtSE

            Hey Saay7,

            The S.E.L.F Peanut Butter CRUNCH appointed Captain!
            Oh Captain forget not that Ethan Hawk was a stellar student at Welton .Academy. Don’t mistake the uncouth “new money” Wharton business school graduate for the likes of Bounden, Dartmouth, Haaavad, Cornell and the fictional Welton Academy that gave us Dead Poet’s Society and the fine arts of Shakespeare’s Amid Simmer Nights. Now you know that I know that The East is Da Best! Yo yo Captain Habtezgi Saay7, You “New Money!” homie what was it you said about Leonardo Di Caprio, (Not DaVinci’s Code Tomas’ road to Dembelas Prediition H(o)nky 🙂 (give it a second it will sink in.)

            Now, I have already accumulated and picked up stones that you cannot duck! Starting with I and I’s Parliament. There is no “ducking rocks now” from THIS INTIFADA!!!
            However, the Pillars have suggested that the Oak and Cypress Trees should not serve as “life’s distractions” for Mustofa or is it Mumfasa the Lion of tSion Pillar?
            “As you were.”
            tSAtSE

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Saay,

            I am not smart and certainly not smart than you. I loved most of my life in Canada and I have been thinking about the Canadian constitution and how it would relate to Eritrea for at least for the past 15 years.

            I also think we should not reinvent the wheel when we can learn and adapt a working system that serves well majority of the population.

            What you said the requirement to have a good federal system may work in Africa but there is no such requirement in Canada. But you are right there is really well established beurocratic system.

            In case of Eritrea, on top of Ethiopian interference, I think the flow on our constitution was also the reason our parliament failed. To this day I don’t know how unelected Asfaha Woldemichael became head of the parliament when Tedla Bairu resigned?

            You see Saay, we should not try to make anyone happy or hurt their feelings. If this politicians tell us that they are the best we have, then they have to earn it and prove that they are. I believe any ERITREAN, no matter what his/ her level of education is capable of telling fact from fiction. By this I mean if someone in senAfe is running against another person from SenAfe, we have to beilieve the people of SenAfe know who the best candidate to represent them. Once we make it and break it at individual case and level them we get the best and the brightest from all parts of the county and they will unite / join the parties that they believe and the platform that would make them the best candidate for their selfish and better chance of winning elections.

            That’s how we will get the politicians to unite and stand a chance to form a united party and reduce their numbers, because until they have the majority they will not have a chance.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            “Statecraft” is not really difficult provided the Elites have (a) a compromising spirit for the common good based on justice for all our social make up and (b) provided they are ready to device a government structure that reflect the representation of our social make up. It is only the dominance of political mentality and the desire of economic control that makes it difficult to have a smooth statecraft. Think about it.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            If that’s true, then how do you explain that some really smart (some borderline geniuses) African political leaders have not come up with a solution?

            Saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay and AH,

            I agree that it’s not easy, but I think the difficult lies not in lack of knowledge but will.

            By this I mean, those people who draft the law, their primary objective is instead of serving the public but those in power. So the constitution are drafted to make those in power remain in power. In case of Ethiopia, HS, Derg, EPRDF, in Eritrea PFDJ to be the ultimate leaders of the countries. Same can be said about Uganda, Ruwanda or many African countries.

            Until we have politicians who say I don’t care if I stay in power or not, I don’t care if I am elected or not, I don’t care if I have a job or not, I want to draft absolute best document that serve the people and only the people, then we are left with mediocre constitutions, that make state formation difficult.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            As we all know there is always an intellectual/elites divide in any society. In their fights it is this mentality “the winner takes all” that dictate the political atmosphere of their surrounding. And as a result the winners always build a state (where there is no distinct between the state and the government) to assure their power and protect their interests, at the cost of their subjects. Look not far from our country, that when EPLF came as victorious in 1991, they declared “nay wudubat Hashewye yelen”, and that the state and the government will be run by them only. The winners do not have the “sharing mentality” rather they want to maintain the dictation mentality. If you want to be reminded, even in this home of diversity views awate.com, we were told by Semere Tesfay, that they are the majority (tigrigna social group) and the government belongs to them, and we the minority (according to him) will remain as the subject of their wills.

            So Abu Salah, it is not the lack of knowledge that the African elites have failed to build a statecraft, it is this “everything to me” that run their mentality and obscure any progress to do the right thing, the idea of ” to share and live together peacefully.” Therefore, the task of me and you and the rest who have the stake in peace and equality, is to change this evil insatiable thinking of “only to me” to a sharing mind “to all of us” – to the communities (social groups) we are destined to live together.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Hi Emma:

            So. Your position is that the reason we don’t have functioning republics in Africa is that for more than 50 years, more than 50 African countries were led by greedy (but smart) elite? That accounts for 2,500 of elite-year failures?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            Absolutely yes. But let me add one word to your statement, and that is………”were lead by greedy (but smart and ‘not wise’) elites. In my vocabulary “a smart mind” always attribute to the success of greedy individuals and “a wise mind” attribute to the success of sharing and giving mind in all discipline of knowledge by the way.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Amde

            Selam Saay,

            Late to the party but what neighhh..said the horse.

            In any case, I figured you and Ato Amanuel would have done better to have defined what you both meant by Federation vs Unitary at the start. But then we would have been robbed of fireworks.

            Saay, I think you really had a number of gems in this thread worth expanding. To start off, you listed these as the features of successful African Federations, namely.
            “1. A strong dominant party (EPRDF in Ethiopia; ANC in South Africa; whatsitsname in Nigeria);
            2. Highly centralized fiscal policy (for the center to whip the peripheries in shape);
            3. A relatively well functioning bureaucracy.”

            The paradox is quite striking: the “successful federations” appear to be the ones that have found ways of skirting the whole concept of implied political autonomy of the smaller units – which is the whole point of a federation – via political hegemony, adminstrative power, and the power of the purse. It suggests that the “idea” of a federation is more attractive than the reality of it. I continue to think that the discussion of federalism or decentralization is irrelevant when the primary role of the state in the developing world is to bring in or at least manage modernization. Modernization can also be read as managing the integration with globalization. That’s it. Everything else is detail. The premise of decentralization and/or federation is the units “..want to be left to their own devices to do as they wish..” I just dont think that is the case in the current era. They don’t want to be left to their devices – they want to find a way to join up and maximize the benefits. In such a scenario therefore it is quite easy to see why a strong (let’s be gracious and say “coordinating” as opposed to a “dominating”) center has a relatively better success.

            The key political feature of these countries is therefore not the federation or unitariness, but the institutions and practices used to form elite consensus within the dominant parties. Remember that political dominance and outright hegemony of the constitutional institutions paradoxically kills those very same institutions as platforms of elite consensus – exhibit A being how EPRDF’s meto-be-meto killed the parliament. I think calling them federation or what have you is ultimately irrelevant.

            To summarize:
            a) the primary role of the “African” state in this era is to manage modernization and integration;
            b) this is a straightforward mission, requiring adminstrative competence and a strong dose of central direction;
            c) which needs some mechanism of forming elite consensus, which can be done informally within a party or coalition; thus
            d) making the type of constitutional / administrative arrangement rather secondary and irrelevant.

            Amde

          • saay7

            Hey Amde:

            Some political scientist whose name I forget defines Feralism systems as “coming together” ( like the US, where the States had to apply to join the Union) or “staying together” (like Ethiopia, Nigeria and South Africa) where the Center had to give incentives to the units to stay in the Union and if that doesn’t work to dispatch its legitimacy: its monopoly on violence.

            I wasn’t saying that admiringly. I was saying it factually: an African state that doesn’t have a dominant party (like EPRDF), a centralized fiscal policy (like EPRDF) and a functioning beauteaxh (like Ethiopia) is likely to be what Somalia was between 1991-2006: satellites without the gravitational pull of a center idling in Nairobi hotels.

            In Eritrea the only entity that could make federalism work is PFDJ and its very (very) uninterested in that.

            I welcome and look forward to being proved wrong by another case study.

            saay

          • GitSAtSE

            Your Excellency Pillar X of EmbatSion of the United Abesha Emirates,

            I ask permission to humbly present my self and take court with you my Lord!

            My good friend Tomas from the Dembelas locality is unappreciative of my WaTTa and Rap. It is a Pity really.

            Sire perhaps through the offices of your servant Kobuyasshi you can give an executive order to build The Wall in order to stop migration from North to South into Ethiopia and have Eritrea pay for that wall. This I believe will expedite the Eritrean youth into taking due action to alleviate their situation of attaining liberty in their lands. The outflow of Eritrean youth under humanitarian or other pretexts in the past decade has prove to worsen the matters and and significantly drag the progress and ROAD to the inevitable mutually agreed formation of an even bigger and more prosperous United Abesha Emiraes. Two scores ahhh,,, Two Sevens Fourteen United Abesha Emirates, twice as big and strong as the the UAE across the street.
            Through Executive Order The Building of The Wall on the Tekeze River must commence immediately. Take que from Don Didy Donald.

            Perhaps you can appreciate the excerpt from Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors.

            Tell the SyracusanEritreans and Say it loud and let it be heard Pillar X of of UAE EmbatSion
            “To admit no traffic to our adverse towns Nay, more”
            And repeat
            “To admit no traffic to our adverse towns Nay, more”
            And repeat
            “To admit no traffic to our adverse towns Nay, more”

            Oh Pillar X BE Like the

            DUKE SOLINUS

            “Merchant of Syracuse, plead no more;
            I am not partial to infringe our laws:
            The enmity and discord which of late
            Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke
            To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,
            Who wanting guilders to redeem their lives
            Have seal’d his rigorous statutes with their bloods,
            Excludes all pity from our threatening looks.
            For, since the mortal and intestine jars
            ‘Twixt thy seditious countrymen and us,
            It hath in solemn synods been decreed
            Both by the Syracusians and ourselves,
            To admit no traffic to our adverse towns Nay, more ”

            tSAtSE the KEYSER SOZE

          • Amde

            Selam Mr. No- more- ex-ጻጸ

            Your humble request hath gained favor in the court. It is wise and pre-scient. I see it cometh from the school of “ተከድኖ ይብሰል” as it is known in Amharic. “Close the pot so it boileth over”

            If “Stay The Course” is unsatisfactory, then the options are Evolution or Revolution. “Stay The Course” is coming in the guise of Evolution with the face of Abraham AfeUnknown.

            Methinks Revolution is needed.

            But, I pray refer thee to His Excellency Berhe of the Ontarian winterwastelands, or perhaps it was His other Excellency Abraham of the Hanibbalites, who said to the effect “…. the reason there is no change in Eritrea is because Eritreans don’t want to spill the blood of other Eritreans, especially of those in the National Servitude….” I second.

            Amde

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Berhe, I think you’ve only considered the governing structures, but how about political parties and on what base they would be formed? Taking into account the social and demographic distribution of our people, two of the most important issues that we need to address are whether or not we are going to have a secular govt, and whether or not Sharia is going to apply fully in the cities, provinces, etc that are dominated by Moslem inhabitants? If i’m not wrong, Sharia ( the civil part of it) is used even today to see some cases between Moslems in Eritrea. But what if some parties in the future wish to apply the Sharia fully (including the one for criminal cases) which happens to be very severe?

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Abraham,

            There is no pre-condition in how parties needs to be formed and organized. As soon as you try to make that condition, then everything will fall apart. One thing we have to avoid is to try to solve a problem that does not exist, and we can’t forum our government based on something that doesn’t exist.

            Personally, I think we need a constitution that grantee the rights of all citizens to do what ever that they wish. We have to believe in the collective wisdom of our people to do the right thing.

            As long as we have a constitution and we have a supreme court that interprets the constitution then all should fall into places.

            If there is a sheria advocating party, we have to believe that there is another party that’s against it and the people will have the choice who they need to chose to represent them.

            As to the parties, they will merge, join, partner so they can have the chance to win for themselves first, that’s how they will form their ideology that gives them the most chance.

            Berhe

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Berhe, i think it is not as easy as you stated above. What you said could be applicable in ideally homogenous society; but to try and apply it to one of the poorest third world countries that is divided in the middle between Christians and Moslems as well as many other ethnic/linguistic rifts with potentially antagonistic interests is unrealistic. One has also to take into consideration the influence of stronger nations in our neighborhood that would be interested in exporting their ideologies to our country.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Abraham,

            This is your opinion and we should not make a decision and future of our government based on people’s opinions but on facts. You see if we try to find a law that will solve all of our people opinions, there is no where we will be able to find such law. I am afraid it’s been our search to find this perfect law that solves problems that doesn’t exist for all our existence.

            You can go 100 years or so, what kind of religious and ethnic conflicts that we have experience that we can speak of, say compared to many countries of our development and region. I think we have a very good record as people who lived may not be in perfect harmony but at least peacefully.

            Even though our country is divided between Islam and Christianity, for all our existence we have managed to live our lives separately but respectfully in our region peacefully.

            So first we need to look at the facts in our country and our people and determine our future based on that.

            Second, If your example is, which i think you are alluding, those Arab countries exporting their influence to our country. I think they will have an influence like they always had for centuries, and their influence had no impact or no harm to the other religion in our country. Be it from Sudan, S. Arabia, Yemen or Egypt.

            Last but not least, even if we look at the Muslim world, I think the countries who practice Sheria as the ultimate rule are far fewer than those who do not. Not in Ethiopia, not in Somalia, Not in Djibouti, not in Egypt, not in Algeria and not in many places and I don’t think it will be any different in Eritrea.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Berhe,

            I agree generally with what you have said. My proposal “the contours of change and the equilibrium of its parts” argued around those lines, except due to the financial dependency of the administrative units on the central government, we can not have a fiscal devolution to the administrative units, which is one of the requirements of Federal states. Federal states require the devolvement of “political, administrative, and fiscal” to the administrative units – the “federal states”. In our scenario we can only devolve “political and administrative” to the periphery from the center, keeping the fiscal to the central government….and hence, I believe “decentralized unitary government” is an appropriate to our reality… leaving open to develop in to federal states upon the administrative units to stand on their own fiscal independence, so as to give them the power of fiscal devolvements. Other than that, we are in the same page. Do not forget that Federalism in itself is “decentralized unitary governance.”

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Berhe:

            I am pretty sure that Emma keeps saying that “federalism is decentralized unitary governance” to slowly drive us insane:) there can be no explanation other than that. This is like saying “a truck is a big bicycle”

            There is literally a website dedicated to teaching us thing people confuse like fraternal twins and identical twins and dwarfs and midgets. And sure enough “federalism” and “unitary governments” are so diametrically different, you can find an entry called “federalism” vs “unitary” governments.

            It’s not that Emma is just wrong about this; it’s that all facts to the contrary he insists he is right and when the error he is making is pointed out, he goes all Eritrean* on you 😂

            http://www.differencebtw.com

            Saay

            * stubborn

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            As a response to your characterization to Amanuel “a person who does not learn from his mistakes” as you said it in our debate, I was forced to came up with an article ” Decentralized Unitary governance: A poison model or a panacea” that took me 4 months to research it, with a chart and a graph, and I thought I have settled our differences. In fact what your comments in the same article didn’t of argue against it, rather you gave me a kind of advice as shown below:

            “[Thanks for this long-promised article. To help us have an inclusive discussion, it is best that we try to stay away from semantics which really do not help to clarify the issue and are actually distractions. You and I had that on whether a “federal state is a unitary state” and, if you remember, nobody joined the discussion. A layman language everybody can understand would be “centralized” vs “decentralized” vs “extremely decentralized.” It would also help if we focus the debate ENTIRELY on Eritrea, and use the examples of other countries only if we think it is relevant to us. That is, it would be best if we can limit the comparisons to nations that are pre-literate, poor, diverse, and with uneven development–although, on the aggregate, still undeveloped.]

            It wasn’t a semantic argument, rather it was a conceptual argument pertinent to modern governments and the distribution of powers. It wasn’t a laymen argument, it was an argument for the average Eritrean to discern and make an educated decision on the future democratic Eritrean governance. It wasn’t a concept created from Amanuel, But it was “a shared view” from the ivory tower and school of academia out there.

            In the same article I emphasize that Concepts are always evolved with time and space, so also their political dichotomy and political frames. For instance, those frames that were “unitary verses federal” are changed to “centralized unitary governance verses decentralized unitary governance.” And to prove that I came with graph of Paul T. Levin from Institute of Turkish study, at Stockholm University to make my point. Now again instead of arguing against it, you revert to your usual personal characterization. Saleh, I do not like it that. What you to do I lay down my argument, and you are expected to do the same thing. You had a year to research and argue against it if you like to do it rather to accuse me of miseducating our people. The right thing to do is I do my argument and you do your argument and let the public to discern an make their own informed judgement. That is fair to me and you. And that is what I believe the rule of engagement. So in short if you do not agree with my argument, make your case by writing an essay, and not by a disparaging comment. Since my article was edited, I will attach the actual paper study and the graph by Paul Levin for my readers. You have all the rights to argue against my argument, but please stop from making it personal. Now I will ask you write an article to argue against my article, as I did to your article “the democratic coup in Eritrea”. When you did, I am glad to come back to rebut it. BTW, do you know that any comment in this forum is considered for teasing or sarcastic talk. Only articles will do with me and you, that will remain in the public domain.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

            http://www.tepav.org.tr/upload/files/haber/1381998105-8.Paul_T._Levin_in_Sunumu.pdf

            To our readers: please go to page-11 to see the samples of “decentralized states that include highest decentralized unitary states to the lowest decentralized states. For Saleh, you do not need to argue with me (though I am proponent to it) argue against Paul Levin an academician at Stockholm University. I am a student of Paul T. Levin.

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            What you said, what you keep saying is:

            Do not forget that Federalism in itself is “decentralized unitary governance.”

            I am sorry but this is incorrect. This, in my view, is the correct way to put it:

            There are two types of governments. Federal and unitary. That is, federalism cannot be a subset of unitary government as it is, by definition, its opposite

            You can have (1) A federal system. And this federal system can be (a) centralized or (b) decentralized. In such a system, there is a constitution that defines what the role of the government is and what the role of the other units (provinces, states, cantons, emirates) are. The key difference between Democrats and Republicans can be pretty much defined as those who want to give more power to the Federal government to emphasize “equality” (Democrats) and those who want to give less power to the Federal government and more to the States to emphasize “liberty” (Republicans.)

            Or you can have a (2) A Unitarity system that is (a) centralized or (b) decentralized. Here, in a unitary system, there is no constitutional arrangement between the center and the local areas limiting each others rights. The center gives and the center taketh.

            Thus the four possible choices are:

            Federal centralized, Federal decentralized; Unitary centralized, unitary decentralized.

            Thus mathematically, logically and for the love of Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha and Mother Earth, “federalism” CANNOT be a form of unitary government.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            That is not a disproving comment to my argument that I gave with a researched paper attached to it. That is the way you think and you want it to be. Can you argue as if “Amanuel Hidrat” hasn’t said it, but as Paul Levin argued in his paper. First, I am not bringing my argument simply from the air. Second before we talk about provinces, states, cantons, emirates, we have to come to the same understanding as to the evolvement of the concept as explained by Paul Levin. One thing you have to be sure about is, that I do not argue without a backing researched papers. Third, it is not by begging and praying to Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha..etc that can make me convinced what you wanted me to believe, but it is by pure empirical argument and studies made on the subject. I think you are from the ivory tower (at least within the Eritrean context) to come up to disprove Paul Levin. Even something drawn on the blackboard as graph you can’t view it. What is the matter with you? Paul Levin is telling you that USA is a “decentralized unitary state”. Can you read it in the graph?

            To conclude this argument I would will leave you with this quotation from Thomas Jeffersons wisdom: “As new discoveries are made, new truths disclosed, and manners and opinions change with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also, and keep pace with the times.” When new discoveries about institutions and new political dichotomies are framed, do not hang with the old ones. Try to move on with new realities. I f you do not want to move on, then argue with a researched paper, as Paul Levin did. I will assure you to dispatch it to all school of academia. I do not want to debate for an issue that of “much important” with sarcasm and teasings, you can do it with others, but not with me. Be serious and come up with your argument in a full blown article.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            If Paul Levin called the US a “unitary state” then he is very wrong. He is an anomaly among political scientists. Tegagiyu agagiyuka the US is NOT a unitary state. It is a Federal republic (read the federalist and anti federalist papers; read the constitution) I am sorry but this is so obvious it is only your contrarianism that is making you argue so much. I can say more but I like u too much.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            First I didn’t say he said “unitary state” rather he said “decentralized unitary state”. Again check the graph. Why do you omit the word “decentralized” by the way? Is that to confuse our readers? Second if you believe he is wrong, please argue to disprove it by writing a piece. You don’t have to say to me, you could say to him. If you can’t, let us stop this adjective calling. Losing an argument can happen to any of us when we are not prepared.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Emma:

            You are an American. Living in the United States. Why for the love of god why why why are u listening to this Levin guy? Why are you not able to find the very nature of the government that presides over you from local sources? From US history? From your local library?

            Do you know the joke “fien wzanek ya Joha?” It is about an Egyptian comedian: he was asked where is your ear and he used his right hand to point to his left ear.

            Imagine this Levin guy didn’t exist. Now go discover (independently) that the US government is NOT repeat NOT repeat NOT a unitary decentralized state. It is a federal state. Always was always will be. Repeat to the power of a gazillion it is NOT a decentralized unitary state. Stop for the love of God and talk to any random pol sci Professor I am begging you. Stop with Levin and talk to any random American polsci professor. America is not not not not a decentralized unitary state. It is a federal republic.

            Uuuuuuf. Dear god almighty. What is most exhausting about this is that it tells us nothing about Eritrea. Nothing.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Saay,

            Now I am afraid that you are going to tell me only to listen to US Scholars. Again scholars and scientist hail to each other from every corners of the world, if you miss it. Why should I listen to you than to the rode scholar? Again your disparaging goes beyond me and extended to rode scholars. I can say only very interesting in a bad way. Listen to these scholars and close your eyes and ears to those scholars is not an argument. I am well aware and well versed about US government and how it functioned, just to know it. Why don’t make your argument than saying read this and read that. The challenge to Paul Levin and mysef is still there for you.

            Uuuuuuf

          • saay7

            Emma

            Hahahahaha. Whenever u want to ask why is the opposition such a mess just follow this entire thread we had😂

            It’s full of people who are convinced they are right, discussing things that have 0.001% relevance to Eritrea.

            Hey, Amde, according to ur job description (Awatista of the year) this is when u step in. You too Abi with ur useless proverbs. Tzigereda, with ur lectures about the imbecility of men in general. Semere T about I don’t know some Agazian stuff. Gheteb some random yzkereni narration from the 1980s. MaHmuday with some Asmelash II. (Please keep it short). TsaTse with some borderline acid trip.

            saay

          • GitSAtSE

            Selamat Saay7,

            “fien yezaneck ya Joha.” Can you HEAR me? Psychedelics you want psychedelics you shall have! As you know the road to Steelers7 is cut short by those darn Bratty rady and the Bunch Patriots.
            uuuff its all pedantic to me! haha you crack me up.

            Oh Bodhisattva of S.E.L.F Peanut Butter faction. One does not go fishing for clams and oysters including the mussels in order to protect the PEARLS. Dear Bodhisattva Saay7, the SELF Peanut Butter CREAM utilizes methods of GATHER for SHELLFISH. Fishing for Fish and Gathering for SHELLFISH.
            The S.E.L.F Peanut Butter CREAM have long understood how SELFISH the AmlakhMsanna Ibni Hidri(at) Alewuna Alewana living leader would be at the head of the INTIFADA in every City and State of our Unitary Decentralized USA government the entire weekend starting on 1/20 and ending on 1/22. We have have done some forecasting that this rigidity and lack of teAtSatSafinet of the non malleable Ashashu Ato EzgiMsana Woldu Hidrat who leads the TelAlu (alekhumna, alekhilna) faction as well as Ashashu Ismail the First ibn Ibrahim the living Khalifa will continue past Ashashu Day of 4/1 and all the way to 4.20 Welcome to Jam Rock Festivities. Jammin ab EbatSion! “I and I will see you through!” And Jah will provide the Philly Cheese state, Philly Cheese CREAM and bread.

            On this 101010 Day of the the first Month, ’17 the Patriots have Jammed the Road to Steelers7. We have reason to believe Tomas from Dembelas has Honked the Turumba as he is one of the Brat Pack with his counterpart Mr. Tom Hanks who attended the same High School with, you guessed it Mr. Deflategate, the Third Tom.

            However, ITS like Luda said mannnnn!!!! “When I move you move! Just like tha.” We have confidence that our own The Crow!!!!! aka Vet “The Best” and ATL will bring home to PEACH Nation the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
            It is to be remembered that Satre’s Road to Perdition is through the Cheese Heads Nation as the Giants frozen Fabre reIsi Fermajo twice in the past. The C(al)ub Bear Rogers refused nkhidiskle by the G men, but ATL and the Falcons gnnn amkikukh abilomo.

            I highly suggest that you take only Half of the Red Pill and share the other half with “The Best” The Crow MaHmuday. Otherwise this KndishiH Nitric Psychadelic trip will have you singing to The Crow, The Falkon and the Lark:
            “YeEwaff nay semai arawit nay mdri
            kemey Halefe nay berekhana Hdri
            DAHDIHIYO LOMIS QelAlem sberi!!!!” nay berkhana Hidrat and Ismail!!!

            tSAtSE

          • Amde

            Allo Saay7,

            A whole ….
            day-ish without
            Awate.com

            And I …
            despaired and I
            … uufffed in solitude

            Amde

          • Hagos Kahsay

            Selam SAAY,

            Let me ask you a question related to Eritrean realities. Do you oppose federalism because of what would happen to Bekhita in Barka if one of the islamist parties would take power in that region? Are you sure that the people of Barka would vote for them? What other kinds of vultures do you see coming to power in the other regions?

            /Hagos

          • saay7

            Selamat Hagos:

            My reading of those calling for Federalism in Eritrea tells me nothing about how they want to administer their section of the state; it’s all focused on the borders of the federated states and why, once this is achieved, it’s nobody’s business how they will come to power or how they will administer “their” state.

            And if we don’t ask now, all we have as guides are histories of organizations, rightist and leftists, who never want to leave power and never want to listen to the people.

            By the way, I am for self-rule, no matter what label self-rule has, and that begins empowering Bekhita to hire and fire gov at all levels.

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay and AH,

            I was wondering what happened to AT, I couldn’t access it since yesterday.

            Thank you for the debate in Unitary and Federal, centralized and decentralized. I am sorry I hope I didn’t get between your friendship but thanks to both of you, I have learned a lot.

            I was wrong in my understanding about Unitary, I thought it meant was one party government, like in China but actually, based on wikipedia most of governments in the world are unitary.

            Anyway, I think the condition should be, Eritrea because of it’s small size, perhaps a federation may not be important, duplicate of governments at all levels and may be a unitary government is suitable.

            But I still think a parliament system is preferred, for the make up of our country.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Berhe,

            The problem with saay is he did not update his info about government and government structures. And the worst thing is when you challenge him using scholarly researched papers that are out there, he try to tell you that they are anamoly political scientist. How can you debate with such attitude. I will try to reply to Fanti G. and hope will address your concern together.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hi Berhe:

            Please don’t worry about me and Emma: we are having one of things:) Have you heard of the word “gaslighting”? Heard if for the first time last year. Many pundits and journalists have been using the word to explain the Trump phenomenon: it refers to a play where a falsehood is told and defended over and over until the listener begins to doubt their sanity.

            Federalism is a form of governmental structure where sovereign power is divided between the central government (Federal government) and the units that make up the State (provinces, states, cantons, Emirates, kilils). A constitution explicitly defines which one (the Center or its units) has the power to compel a citizen to do something. When the balance of power is with the Federal government, that is called a centralized federation. When the units have the balance of power, it’s a decentralized federation. The US started out with the latter (thus the very very long period of slavery where the South argued that the federal gov has no say over it) and the Fed has been using just a few clauses in the constitution (interstate commerce, provide for the general welfare) to centralize.

            A unitary state is one where the constitution guarantees no power to the State and merely defines the power vs the duties/right of a citizen. In its preambles it may say reassuring things that give people that they will be governed for the most part by their own jurisdiction and no the Center but this is not explicitly stated nor negotiated by States.

            Article 1.5 of the Eritrean constitution says “Eritrea is a unitary Stare divided into units of local government. The power and duties of these units shall be determined by law.”

            Using these laws, the State can either make its system decentralized (as was envisioned in the PFDJ charter of 1994 when it said that its objective is a Gov that “operates on the principles of decentralization, political plurality, openness, tolerance and accountability, respect basic rights to political organization and freedom of expression and is a democratic, pluralist and participatory system”)…or centralized (“in the last 15 years, we learned a lot”–IA)

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            Thank you for taking the time to respond. I have not heard the term gaslighting? But it’s funny that you almost losing your sanity :). I am learning a lot in this last couple of days, and I have never taken any political Sci course in my life except during the Derg, what ever was called polica something, never thought the subject as a science, anyway for another time.

            I have also did some reading to AH point and will respond back below.

            Before I go back to the part of your response, I need you to clarify to me, how do you interpret the Eritrean constitution way of electing a president. He / She is elected by the National assembly.

            This to me was the most bizarre part of the Eritrean constitution. I could not come to terms, how are the politically different groups suppose to come to terms and elect a president who they oppose to in the first place. I thought this could only work for a single party system like in China or the PFDJ (for the only party that exist) and everyone belongs to the same party. That’s my confusion about Unitary system and single party.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Hi Berhe:

            “Gaslighting” apparently refers to an old play. Husband was trying to drive his wife crazy so every night he dims the gaslight. She confronts him and he lies, and obfuscates so convincingly she is convinced that she is imagining things and losing her sanity. Might be the educator in me but when people have very wrong information and they spend ungodly amount of energy miseducating people, well…. let’s just say it is a pet peeve of mine:)

            Having the National Assembly elect a present is rare but not unique to Eritrea. I believe France’s system is like that (Tes?) Some of the commissioners I spoke to at the time it was drafted explained that in their international tour of Eritrean Diaspora in Europe and the US, they were struck by how each one expressed a preference for the system of whatever country they were living in. So they came up with that “parliament elects president system.” Just think of the President as Prime Minister and it will all make sense to you. You elect a party, the party (whichever holds the majority or is able to cobble together a majority by striking deals with other prarties) elects the Prime President:)

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            Thanks. I wish I can say that replacing the PM with a president would make it easy for me. I think I understand how this suppose to work, what my concern is how can this work for Eritrea.

            In case of France / Sweden or those homogenous countries, it may work but I can’t see how this can work for us. If someone says, I am French or Swedish and there is no body that says, you are not. If some one says, our national langurs should be Swedish or French or we are Christian etc, no body is there to say we are not.

            In our case it’s a big problem to begin with. Instead of the different region, religion political leaders make an alliance (if they don’t have the majority) to compromise and share power (for their selfish) we are assuming that they will support or have a party with majority to elect the president.

            This I think is a call for disaster from the get go, why I don’t see the reason or the advantage what so ever. What was given as a reason, based on diaspora input, does not sound at all legitimate reason.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Selamat Berhe:

            This is why some guy keeps staying statecraft is hard:) We have to remember that all the political terminologies we use–secularism, federalism, nationalism–are all Western constructs and Europe went to hell and back over them. Take the case of Nation State: some German political scientists argued that since God created people with different tongues and different cultures, we have an obligation to preserve them and the best way to do this is to create Nation States, ie, States made up of one nationality. Hitler came along and took this very literally and waged a war that destroyed millions and, in the end, he failed: Austria and Germany are too different countries and there are German-speaking people in many countries of Europe.

            All this in a relatively homogeneous Europe. Take that to Africa, which is exponentially more diverse, and add to it the fact that it didn’t have a chance for its politics to evolve naturally interrupted as it was by the brutality of colonialism (notice how King Leopold is never mentioned as a mass murderer because his victims were all Africans) and you can see how difficult the idea of a nation-state is in multi-national states. Particularly when we don’t have our own Lord Actons who argued (in his seminal work Nationality) that people should evolve from loyalty to their kins to loyalty to institutions and law.

            Even the “Asian Tigers” we keep being told to emulate are very homogenous societies.

            I don’t know the answer for Eritrea except to say that (a) the plan the PFDJ had in its charter was well-intentioned because it defines Nation not of people of common ancestry but common history and because it recognized that even in poor Eritrea, some sections were even poorer and war-devastated; (b) I am skeptical of people who present our solutions as easy and I invited everyone to be skeptical and (c) be even more skeptical of political organizations who say, “this system has not worked anywhere else in the world, but it sure will work in Eritrea.” We wouldn’t accept that from communists, so why would we accept it from Islamists?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hey Saay,

            To lose a debate is normal brother. It will not be this time only, like all of us, you will encounter many. Move on, an insult is not an alt to argument. Come on brother stay sober and respectful. This time we are able to see the other side of saay. Good thing.

            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Sekam Hagos,

            Niether the Eritrean Muslim who are organized as religious group will impose sheria nor the Ethnic organizations will go for secessionism. They are organized in the way they are currently constitute, in order to use it as a tool of leverage, for their grievances and their marginalization. One who knows our society intimately understand them as to why they are organized the way they are. So no worry on Islamism or secessionism as they know their realities very well.

            Regards

          • Hagos Kahsay

            Selam AH,

            I actually believe them more, when they say that they are Islamists, than your condescending interpretation of their feelings. What if you are wrong about this? What will your reply be to those of us you are trying to convinxe? Ooops won’t do. Fear of Islamism in Barka may be one part and another is communism in the highlands (No property rights and unfriendly to the minority merchant class).

            I can understand that if an area in Barka has no schools, clinics or safe drinking water, there
            must be more resources allocated to that area, that area than a village in Seraye for e.g that has all those things, but it doesn’t mean that all beni amer are marginalized, because there are places in Seraye that are desperately poor too.

            I agree with the idea that Individual Liberty should stand above all other. People should be able to convert to any religion/atheism. women and men should marry whomever they choose to no matter their religion or ethnicity, Will this be possible with your group rights formula?

            I personally do not think that the puzzles that make up Eritrea fits and we should not try to put them together by force and break them. We should look for the missing parts elsewhere.

            /Hagos

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            You continue to make a mistake. First you told me tegagyu agagiyuka, and now Paul is not existing. You make me to laugh this morning. Whether Paul is alive or not, his work is there in the University of Stockohlm. Beacsuse scientist leave this world for the obvious reason, their work is not relegated to the dust bin. Stop this weird thing that you will only accept things said by US scholars.

            Second, you told me US is a republic. Of course it is a republic. Republics are states. And states are either “centralized unitary states ” or “decentralized unitary states.” Federalism falls within the decentralized unitary states. So let me give you a simple logic for your understanding. And that is “all federal states are decentralized unitary states but all decetralized unitary states are not federal states.” Btw I am expecting to write a piece to disprove Paul ‘s researched paper and my argument supporting his thesis.

            Regard

          • Berhe Y

            Dear AH,
            This morning I searched about Levin and I found a presentation that says “Sweden: Introduction to a Decentralized Unitary State”, and to my surprise, I think the Sweden model, seems exactly what the Eritrean constitution suppose to copy, with regards to electing the prime minister (president in Eritrea).

            In that the same presentation, he has listed countries that are Decentralized Unitary State and he included, Canada in the list. He has also included countries like Germany, United States and Sweden. Don’t think that I am taking side with Saay, but I don’t think what they have in Sweden is anything like what we have in Canada, at least as far as electing the prime minster goes. Also, I think the power of the federal government in relation to the provinces are clearly defined. For example the federal government have no say in education, has no say in health care (even though it distribute the funds) etc…

            I think that system may work for Sweden, I think they are single ethnic group, may be one language and similar religeion, and have a monarch, but I don’t think this is suitable for Canada or Eritrea for that matter. It’s easy to sway the voters, one way or the other by simply getting into people’s emotions, region, religion, language etc…and I see no value and advantage in having this complicated system for Canada or Eritrea.

            This works only in a small village where all the habitats identify as same religion, same back ground, etc..and they can agree in electing their leader who they all believe will best represent their needs.

            Having said that, I think it would be too much risk to play with this system for Eritrea. In the Sweden example, they say there 80 parties (that may be ok for Sweden) but I don’t think this will be ok for Eritrea. I think we need a system where we can hope to have three parties at the most to be able for people to chose. And we need to make it so that the choice is for people to chose from their own who will be best to represent them, thus eliminate any emotional outbreak that can come.

            Berhe

          • Millennium

            Selam Amanuel:

            I am writing this comment at your invitation. You posted a link titled “Sweden: Introduction to Decentralised Unitary Government” and you invited us, readers, to see it for ourselves. I went through it. As you have suggested, I scrolled down to page 11 and saw that chart that lists a bunch of countries. For sure, that chart is depicted under the sub title: A Decentralised Unitary State.

            First, I would like to know if this is your only source to make the claim that a federal state, as a form of government, is a subset of a decentralised unitary state. If you have no other source and you are pinning your arguments on that single page…page 11 of that paper, I do not think you have much of a source.

            In the chart, the author is showing the proportion of staff managed at the federal or national level of government vs the proportion of staff managed at the sub-national level of government. For all we know, even though he does not say that in the chart, he could be doing that to show us how the decentralized unitary state in Sweden compares with other form of governments in terms of the proportion of staff managed at the different levels of government. If you see at that sub-title, it does not say “Decentralised Unitary states” it says rather “A decentralised Unitary State.” The author’s interest is Sweden and its government. And by that chart, he could be just showing his readers how much power the peripheries in Sweden have when compared with other states no matter what form of government the other states follow.

            If you believe the author is saying all the other states in the chart have the same kind of government like Sweden or they belong to a from of government that is “decentralised unitary state” then you need to come with a more solid evidence. The fact he listed them together does not show that he believes they all have the same sort of government. I do not see the author defining federal state to be part of decentralised unitary state in the evidence you presented.

            Federal state and decentralised unitary states could as well look similar when you are making all these comparisons, but they always have one distinction that sets them apart from one another. While the arrangement and power sharing in federal system is constitutional, it is not so in decentralised unitary states. At one point in time these two states might look identical but the decentralised unitary state can suddenly go centralised unitary state at the whim of the central government while that of the federal arrangement is constitutionally guaranteed and does not change unless the constitution changes.

            The Canadian government website refers to itself as federal state, parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. It does not call itself unitary…. centralised or decentralised.
            Yet, Canada is in the list. The link you posted does not show the author categorically saying that federal states are subsets of decentralised unitary states. You are just inferring and you could be wrong. Most likely wrong. Because traditional knowledge regarding the distinction between Federal state and Decentralised unitary states is against you and the evidence you are presenting is a flimsy one.

            However, your effort to come up with a form of government that is suitable to Eritrea is commendable. The naming part is not of much importance. We can happily call the system anything as long as it works.

            Regards,

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Millennium, it cannot be more clearer than how you put it; this issue of difference between federal vs unitary (whether centralised like France, or decentralised like Sweden) is so elementary that it is strange Amman couldn’t get it. I mean like Saay said, this is simply the Azile of political science. Federal and unitary systems are simply two separate systems. And as you said, the table that Amman is refering to is simply put to show the degree of decentalization between various countries both federal and unitary ones. It is put to show decentalization is an additional qualification and that some unitary states like Sweden could be more decentralized than some federal states.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Mr. Amanuel,

            I have been thinking about your discussion with Saay regarding your “decentralized unitary state” based on Paul Levin’s work in his Swedish Model.

            As veteran politicians and as well read as you two are I am a little puzzled why both of you seem to fail to reach to one another in this very important topic. In my opinion, this topic is too important to leave it at the headlines.

            What Paul Levin showed in his paper was more or less the distribution of power between the central and local governments as it is done in Sweden. What I believe is your interest and proposal can be summarized as “A decentralized government based on an equitable distribution of power and wealth between all stakeholders.” Correct me if I am wrong, but that is what I am assuming your general position is. Before we go and ask Saay what his problem is, let’s break this down a little and identify:

            1) who/what are the “locals?”
            2) what type of power sharing should the locals vs. central use?
            3) Is a constitution needed?
            4) Is the central government elected by popular vote or appointed by the local mini-governments?

            1a) Let’s assume that the traditionally known 9 nations of Eritrea will be our “locals”
            2a) Let’s also assume that power distribution ratio will roughly be 50/50 with regulations that are international in nature handled by the central and local issues by local governments.
            3a) Definitely yes, and it will be the highest law of the land.
            4a) The central government will be either elected by the local governing bodies or by popular vote.

            I think it is safe to drop Paul Levin at this point and use what we learned from his work and apply it to our demography.

            Mr. Amanuel, if I have your support on what I have said so far we can both ask Saay how his preferred form of government differs from what I have outlined above and negotiate until we arrive somewhere we can both accept. If in the other hand, Saay generally agrees with the above scenario but claims “the devil is in the details,” we will then talk about the details.

            What do you think?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Fanti Ghana,

            I hear your questions and are reasonable questions. I will get back to you this evening after work.

            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Fanti & Berhe,

            It sound as if I am advocating for Federalism for Eritrea, when I use Paul Levin’s graph for my argument, but it is not. The purpose of the graph in my argument in previous article was to convince Saay that “Federal states” that include USA are also “Decentralized unitary states”. Federal implies to the arrangement of powers between the “central” and the “locals”. Decentralized implies to the degree of devolvement of certain powers from the center to the periphery (the locals). The locals could include the states, provinces, districts, and Municipalities. Unitary implies to the “central government” as an expression of unity of the the administrative units (whatever the power is appropriated to them) which becomes the sole representative to the sovereign state. Paul identified that Decentralized unitary sates have different of power distributions and hence his “graph sample states” shows from the lowest distribution of power from the center to the highest distribution of power from the center. In short according Paul’s study Federal states are decentralized unitary states. Saay is not convinced, so what he has to do is to make his own study and criticize him. He does need to tell me that he is anomaly political scientist because he doesn’t agree with him. If he is a scholar there are scholar languages applicable for communicating with his colleagues by showing alternative knowledge.

            Now back to your questions:

            (1) As “Eritrea” is our “common” geographic identity, the old provinces are the “specific identities” to the communities inscribed within the old provinces. Hence the power that are needed to be devolved from the center is these provinces (whatever we call them with the new power structure). Sop the answer to your question who/what are the locals is the old provinces.

            (2) To install a Federal state in Eritrea means to devolve (a) political power (b) administrative power (c) fiscal power from the central government of Asmara to the provinces if we agree the administrative unites to be the provinces. In my opinion federalism is unrealistic for a number of reasons. First these administrative units can not be fiscally independent and socio-economically sustainable at least at this stage of economic development. Add to it, that we are small country and small population. So in my view federalism doesn’t fit to our reality. Not that Federalism is bad governance as some Eritrean nationalist hate it, but of the reasons I mentioned above. In fact Federalism is the most accommodative stable system of government. I foresee for Eritrea “Decentralized unitary government” where we can devolve (a) political power (b) administrative power to the periphery, or to the locals, or to the provinces however we name it. Distributing political powers and administrative powers to the periphery is giving power to our people. It also means sharing power between the center and the periphery. The problem is power between the center and the locals does not address the grievances of our minorities social groups. So I foresee a bicameral parliament (legislative body) One chamber by proportional representation and one chamber by equal representative (number has to be decided later). The equal proportional chamber is represented by our all social groups. The proportional chamber representative will be determined by the population of the provinces. Since the executive body is filled by the winners of the parties in an open election and the Judiciary by highly qualified lawyers appointed by the executive, the only place of equitable power sharing of our social groups is at the legislative body.

            (3) Is a constitution needed? absolutely yes. The constitution is our social contract and the arbiterer for any conflict and disagreement. It is the binding document we all to be abided by it as a rule of law. A constitution must be owned by every citizen. If it doesn’t it will not be a binding document.

            (4) The central government refers to the three branches of governments, the executive, the legislative, and the judiciary. I am against any hybrid government as depicted in the 1997 constitutional document. It has to be either presidential or parlamentarian. If the constitutional process determined it to be presidential then the president should elected by popular vote from the parties’s contention. It is decided to be parlamentarian, the the prime minister should be elected from the legislative body the parliament. The legislatives are elected by popular vote from the locals or the electoral districts as determined the proportional number of the population. The Judiciary are selected by the executive body. The numbers 1a, 2a, 3a, and 4a are addressed in 1,2,3, and 4.

            The Issue of Paul Levin came only as a theoretical and conceptual argument to understand the names and structures of government how they relate and differ to each other. I brought it when I was challenged with insults.

            Berhe,

            You asked what type of government depict the current constitution. It depict a hybrid government where a president is elected from the parliament. A new experiment where a president gets the legitimacy of excessive power from the parliament and where those cabinets selected by the president from the parliament could exercise power with in the executive and the legislative body.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Mr. Amanuel,

            Thank you for this detailed and fantastic clarification. I absolutely don’t see any reason why this cannot be used as a starting point. Also, besides the naming of the ideology I can guess that Saay’s proposal may include something that gives more power to the individual citizen, but I cannot see why that can’t be negotiated.

            Brother Saay,

            What part/s of this proposal would you like to change, modify, or add to before you can sit down and consider implementation?

          • saay7

            His Fantiness :

            I know you are trying to broker a deal here but you may be asking the wrong guy. Here’s why: I am indifferent about the stuff that the politicos and activists are passionate about, and I am obsessive about the stuff they are indifferent about.

            I am indifferent over whether the units are the old provinces or the PFDJ constructs. One was made by Italian politicos, the other by Eritreans for their own reasons. I realize a lot of people get all teary-eyed about the old provinces but I am indifferent.

            I am agnostic about Federalism, unitary states. I can see both sides of the argument for centralism (from a developmental and equity sharing/equality standpoint) and decentralization (from a liberty standpoint)

            What I obsess about is not the game but the players. Emma said that he is not worried about ethnic orgs and their “…up to secession..”talk because he sees it as something they don’t intend to follow up and is only a leverage. Well His Fantiness. You are a proud weyanista. Do you concede that Weyanes “…up to secession..” contributed to an image that it doesn’t have the interest of Ethiopia but Tigray among many of your countrymen? In retrospect don’t you wish it had never said that? What the leverage-justifiers never concede is that this poisons the well and contributes to the mistrust. I read recently that a huge percentage of those who make up the new Somali gov are dual citizenship holders (Europe, US). Does that give full assurance to the Somalis that these guys are “all in” or does it indicate that at the first sign of crisis they will bolt?

            The other political players are Islamists. We have 3 of them in the Eritrean opposition. All talking about the importance of civil liberties and democracy. Really. Can you name me a single Islamist party in the world that is fully committed to democracy and civil liberties?

            If you add the Islamists and the ethnic rights advocates in the Eritrean opposition, you have the supermajority of the Eritrean opposition. And if that is the “alternative” we want to present to Eritreans, well, we have a huge problem. Ginormous as the kids say.

            So it’s not the game; it’s the players. The rest, I am indifferent to. I really think if the PFDJ would stop arresting torturing disappearing people and get back to its sense on the insane “national service” which enslaves our youth or forces them to excile, many Eritreans, including me, would leave opposition politics to the Emmas so they can write why they are against federalism but for decentralized unitary system–right after he told us, using no credible source, no peer reviewed paper, that federalism is also unitary system.

            saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selamat Brother Saay,

            When EPRDF used to be the new government, the inhabitants of a small town/village near Sekota (Northern Ethiopia), used to continuously demand for a bulldozer to reroute a waterway that was flooding their farms every winter. After exhausting all their options in their district, they held a peaceful demonstration and demanded to talk to the prime minister. They didn’t actually expect to talk to the prime minister, but their intention was to threaten the local leaders to comply. However, lo and behold, the then Prime Minister MZ and the then Chairman of ANDM, Addisu Legesse, made a surprise visit to discuss the issue with the villagers.

            What went on in that meeting was a lesson worse remembering. One of the demonstration organizers got up to speak and after clearing his throat, he began: “now that we know you can actually hear, that kind of solves most of our problems, but since you are here…” everybody chuckled, and the remaining discussion ended up being a comradery chit-chat, but still, no bulldozer.

            ­My point is that an honest discussion based on mutual respect between the stakeholders will go a long way. No sane person likes to die or kill for fun. If all grievances can be addressed in one’s own backyard without fear, if there is a leadership willing to work with and for the people, even the most radical ideology can be dealt with without having to opt to a zero sum game. Yes, it is easier said than done, but I am super optimist and I haven’t given up on the people’s wisdom.

            When few people discuss their respective positions and/or when they point out the pitfalls of any potential proposal the chances are that there are thousands of others who think along those lines. With that in mind how people deal with one another is a lesson and an example for many. I would imagine that even the most vocal Islamists would prefer to advance their cause without having to die for it. Sharia or no Sharia, Communism or Imperialism, centralized or decentralized, I hope for everyone to make their purpose about the “unity of the people.”

            That said, in a sense, I am worse than you regarding the indifference you mentioned.

            Mr. Amanuel started the “what” (decentralized System).
            You wondered about the “who” (whatever the system, who are the players?)
            I interfered for the “how” (how can one line up majority Eritreans in one camp).

            As they say, it is a matter of “aim small, miss small.” Let’s aim for small victories. The aim of every Eritrean should be to ­find a way to organize majority Eritreans in one camp. Nobody will get everything they want, but if confidence can be established such that what one needs is a sharp mind instead of a sharp spear two key problems could be solved automatically: armed struggle will be discouraged and political migration will be unnecessary. So, what is needed is a pathfinder who can assure all stakeholders to come home and start haggling.

          • Lamek

            Hi Fanti,

            I was just skimming through the comments. The whole argument started because Amanuel Hidrat brought a concept he learned by reading a scholar named Levine, which you seem to know well too but I had never heard of him. But I am an engineer and not a political science student or reader. My background makes me a little biased on this but I am a direct thinker so when we have:

            “Federal states are decentralized unitary states”

            Lets do a simple parallel word exercise.

            Federal and unitary are adjectives. Decentralized is a modifier. States is a noun. Lets now compare apples to apples, the terms federal and unitary.

            I checked several online dictionaries and here is a typical result I found:

            Begin Quote:

            “Main entry: unitary

            Definition: characterized by or constituting a form of government in which power is held by one central authority

            Usage: a unitary as opposed to a federal form of government

            Antonyms: federal

            Definition: characterized by or constituting a form of government in which power is divided between one central and several regional authorities

            Usage: a federal system like that of the United States; federal governments often evolved out of confederations”

            End quote.

            I know the arguments is not about semantics but I sympathize with SAAY here because federal and unitary are opposite of each other and should not be used together when describing any government.

            I suspect this Levine scholar is a libertarian and when he says the US’s form of government is federal and also decentralized unitary. So Levine put in the unitary part because he thinks the feds impose too much into the states by passing regulations and the like. So in practice the US government may have unitary tendencies (by libertarian accounts: re: abolish the dept of education, energy, epa, and the like). But by definition, it is federal which is opposite of unitary. So Levine is using the U word to be contemptuous or sarcastic.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Lamek,
            I will be back later/few hours.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Fanti,

            “That was when I stepped in for “antem tew, antem tew.” that was funny, thank you for the laugh. I hope AH and Saay are laughing too.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Fanti,

            You remember Saay wrote an article titled “Democratic Coup” in his column the alnahda. Democratic Coup was a new concept introduced by Ozan O. Varol a professor at Harvard University. Saay hypocrites didn’t question to the “concept” and didn’t bring any peer review to his thesis, but he prescribed that argument to our nation Eritrea. He did not call him anomaly political scientist. Hmmm. I argued against saay’s prescription without questioning Varol’ s thesis a n d wrote and an article ” Democratic in Eritrea: unrealistic Utopian project”. But instead my argument was, whether varol’s thesis has validity or not there is no reality for democratic coup in Eritrea. If I ask Saay now the same question he will not come up with the peer reviews of Varol’s thesis. Do you know other things will tell you he is a US scholars and not from the other creed of the world. So those who tend to validate saay’s argument and dismiss Paul Levin’s thesis did not question Varol’s rather many appreciated him and welcomed without scrutinized the new concept itself. My advice to anyone in this forum is until and unless you estabish a well researched study to counter argue against the scholar’s new thesis or new conceptual argument (in this case either to Carol or Levin), it is futile to characterize individual scholars anomaly scientist. But then it becomes our behavior to act like that. There are scholarly language to deal with scholars of your league when you disagree. So in the mean time I would ask Saay to substantiate the concept “democratic coup” with the peer review assessment made to evaluate its validity by his peers, though I do believe there should be at Harvard University t h e same for Levine at Stockholum university. Old concept negated by new arrivals is the focus of my argument. New concepts permeate slowly, but surely, simpley because they are the product of new realities. When new concepts arrived there is always resistance from the old guard receptors. It sound and looks the current debate within us.

            Regards

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Mr. Amanuel & Saay,

            I remember “Democratic Coup” very well, mostly because I was swayed by it and I have been thinking that maybe “reform” shouldn’t be ruled out ever since.

            Desperate times call for desperate measures. From Ali Salim’s splitting Eritrea in two to Hayat/Papi’s inviting Ethiopia to do the dirty work, we can fairly claim that “we heard it all.”

            However, if we jump over the words of desperation-produced-suggestions and examine the bottom line of it all, what we have is that caring Eritreans thinking out loud about what they think is the least costly way out of the current quagmire. For my part, I only see your “Decentralized System” and Saay’s “Democratic Coup” as explorations. I hadn’t given much thought to who you quoted to advance your respective suggestions and/or how deeply you may have researched your background articles.

            As seasoned politicians as you two are, I am sure you understand that this is your/everyone’s “what should we do” stage. Naturally, this “what should we do” stage will demand several brain storming moments and some of that brain storming will include some brilliant and not-so-brilliant suggestions, but that shouldn’t stop you from exploring farther.

            At the time when Saay was suggesting a “Democratic Coup” there was a lot of discussion about avoiding civil war and the possibility of inviting Ethiopia to “surgically remove” PFDJ. As a least evil option Saay suggested “a force within” to do the job instead. By the same token when you suggested “Decentralized System,” in a nutshell, your intention must have been:

            1) it ensures Eritrea remain intact as opposed to the consequences of Federalism,
            2) it ensures power sharing there by avoiding dictatorship, and
            3) it encourages “group thinkers” that there is room for them too.

            If we then remove all the inconsequential elements, such as who wrote what and who quoted whom, what we have left is two patriots exploring for ways to solve a national problem.

            “ካብ ኣብኡያ ዝዓቢስ ጠስሚ” ድኣ ኮይናትኒ’ምበር, I have a humble recommendation for both of you:

            Go and fight your brother a good fight, however, make sure that your brother comes out victorious.

          • Amde

            Selam Maestro Saay,

            Luv ya like a brother.. BUT..

            I have to call you out on this: “What I obsess about is not the game but the players. One is the influenza from Ethiopia and the other from across the Red Sea. Ethnicists and Islamists.”

            It sounds too much like externalising to me. In my mind, I can’t square this quote with your still-developing-proto-thesis that the Eritrean Parliament and the attendant Federation may have either never happened ( which you did NOT say), or would have taken many many years (which you DID say) were it not for the nudging/cajoling/browbeating of HaileSellasie and his centralizing bureaucracy.

            I think it is safer to say that these cleavages are pre-existing, but the nature of PFDJ’s regime makes them more extreme and more susceptible to outside influences. To paraphrase Rumsfeld, you can’t deal with the Players you wished you had, you deal with the Players you do have.

            And secondly, even if ethnicists and Islamists constitute a disproportionate share of the number of opposition organization ( which at this point that is all they are – self proclaimed entities) I don’t see how their true weight won’t be sorted out through a series of popular election (not EPRDF style). Right now I suspect the fear and hope are in everybody’s imagination.

            I know I am most likely being naive here – sorry.

            Amde

          • saay7

            Amde Da Pilla:

            Ah externalizing. Well allow me to retort. The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he, who in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious fury…. sorry I got carried away

            There is this little broom shaped country trying to navigate its way around the world. Never mind for now that it has the most inept folks navigating not because they are dumb but because they are ideological.

            Now now Pillar Man. Let me tell you a story and then you tell me if I am externalizing. When harbeyna (arbegnaw) weyane cameup with its ethnic federalism, there were only two Eritrean groups tiny tiny ones from the Eritrean highlands going by the name of se.de.ga.e. and de.me.Ha.e who drank the kool Aid. The latter should be familiar to you because Isaias was trying to groom out of vengeance and fury it’s tigrayan version called De.m.Ha.t the only difference being one was liberating Eritrea using the Tigrayan model of tunic federalism and the other was going to liberate Ethiopian using the Eritrean model. We know how de m H t ended up (Molla) and we know how de m H t ended up. Well we don’t.

            Meanwhile Eritrea has 3 Islamist orgs. Three. One two three. Because don’t you Eritrean Muslims are so diverse and soooo mired in discussions about Islamic brotherhood and Selefists. Am I externalizing still when I say these are nothing but the results of 90s politicking. Am I still eternalizing?

            You should be able (because you are scary smart) to figure this out. If you don’t the badly missed YG said it moons ago. Eritrean Highlander’s are very influenced by Ethiopia whether it’s pushing Haile Selasse royalty and his values or feudalism or ethnicism. And Eritrean Muslims are heavily influenced by whatever is happening in the Arab hood whether it is Nasserite Revolution or Ba’ath party Arabism. Between the two you can count on the fingers of your skinny habesha hands the number who are driven by liberal values.

            On Haile Selasse, well I admire that man for playing the long game. He wanted a port for his country tried Somalia was rebuffed by the Brits and then worked methodically diplomatically, patiently to make it happen. From 1942 to 1962: twenty years of methodical planning.

            What did I say and what didn’t I say? I thought I said if Haile Selasse was playing a three dimensional chess–matienzo, tewahdo church, anti-communism (he was one of the first Africans to realized after World War II the US was the lord and master) while we Eritreans were playing checkers. Didn’t I? If I didn’t I meant to. But that was before the 60s. Then we outsmarted him. For a while.

            Ere be Selasse and I don’t mean Haile. Pillar Man: do you really think Islamists believe in one man one vote? They are one man (and they mean) one vote–but only once. 😂 The ethnicists “…upti and including secession…” agenda would sound like an empty bluff if they were not saying it in Amharic.

            saay

          • GitSAtSE

            oops ha ha sory..

            Thats Hizikael dude.. a lil pulp in your OJ

          • Amde

            Oh Saay,

            If I could figure out what I say to get you to quote from movies I absolutely love…. Cause they are magnificent.

            Aha then.

            The bible is full of cautionary tales about what happens to a people that are relatively small in number and find themselves living on heavily trafficed real estate. Also, see Balkans. I was also going to say the Malacca Straits, but Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia surprisingly came through all right after the bloodletting of the 60s. ( By the way, have you ever seen “The Act of Killing”? It is stunning. Basically, imagine if the Red Terror killers were considered heroes, and they openly boast about how many they killed and in what manner. The State honors them and they have political clout and subsequent muscle in the form of unofficial paramilitary gangs. AND THEN, thirty years later, one of them decides to make a movie about the “romantic” escapades of his killer and torturer youth. The guy looks like Obama and his friends jokingly refer to him as the Ethiopian. It is stunning. Should be in Netflix I think.)

            But I digress. In any case, that is basically my view of Eritrea’s primary challenge. It cannot escape being manipulated by its neighbors. That is baked into its geography and demographics. Period. The PFDJ delusion – and it really is a delusion – is to think it can be one of the manipulators with the demographics and economy of Eritrea. Hunter hunted.

            I understand where you are coming from. Despite Mahmuday’s and all ex EPLFite protestation about Eritrean commitment to Ethiopian unity, we tend to see EPLF’s choices about which organizations to support and which to repress. The scale was tilted to the liberation fronts, and not the marxists or liberals. But now, 25 years later, I believe there is consensus that while the size of their constituencies are unknown, it is generally accepted their views represent some section of the population.

            So there will always be a segment of the population that has some sympathies with its cross border ethnic or religious brethren. And this feeling will eventually find itself expressed in some organization or other. Sometimes as a faction or component of a party or coalition, but often as a stand alone institution. How do you then deal with a populace that has those sentiments? Shun? Accommodate? Expel? Repress?

            It is not a conundrum, but it is definitely in the doldrums.

            Amde

          • GitSAtSE

            Dear Amde,

            oops for interjecting again in both of you Bohdi’s dialogue. I do feel some bridging by way of Sophia Coppola directing Bill Murray in Lost in Translation perhaps. This is to say, though I concur with the empathy and familiarity reaching out by the Red Terror suffering Ethiopians experience as well as the biblical cautionary tales of the “Heavily traficed..

          • Amde

            Selam Sele the gem crafter

            Your cautionary note is noted. The thing is, as far as I can see, Saay7 and my views are almost pretty much identical (ok .. very close) on many many issues, the main difference being he chose to be Eritrean and I am Ethiopian (but nobody is perfect). There isnt a day I dont regret we lost him.

            I agree on his X times invocation of how hard statecraft is. Shoot, I couldn’t believe it myself, but in these very pages I did write once that “The older I get the more I appreciate the bureaucrats” – and technocrats and other rats burrowed deep in institutions and making the lights come on, and the water flow, and teachers get paid, etc …. The discussions and sometimes heated debates we have here assume these very things as a given.

            I agree also that in this day and age, a bed rock commitment to liberal citizen right values will be the basis for resolving other fundamental issues. I think Ethiopia took the whole “group rights” things way out of balance into dangerous territory.

            Perhaps, the “individual rights” thing is more of an urban phenomenon, tied to the anonymity and relative freedom from social restrictions that cities by their very nature offer. I suspect that may be the case. They are definitely my values, and more importantly, as urbanization grows, they are the inevitable values of the future. But, I think it is important to recognize that just because they are my values that they are not universal. That is one of my main reasons for visiting this website, basically to escape the tyranny of my own prejudices.

            In any case, as I get older I feel the urge to defend or be defensive about Ethiopia become less important to me. I find it a lot more interesting to see where within the range of human experiences our experiences fit. Or at least to say.. one of these things is most like the other.

            Which brings me then to this very latest exchange. It is a little puzzling to me why he is so concerned about the Players as he put it. To me, three Islamist parties means the Islamist vote is going to split three ways. Sucks for them. The ethnic vote? Well, if the concern is they will split and become independent, I suspect the world’s appetite for new states is rather full right now thank you very much. If the concern is aggrieved minorities colluding with hated neighbors, well the solution is normalization with these same neighbors. I am sorry if my note about being in well travelled neighborhoods was offensive, but the point stands. Some may read it as a “you can’t”, but I hope it is read as more of “Yes you can make that choice but it has x y z consequences”

            There is for sure a vast chasm between an absolutist Center and absolute anarchy. If you sit in Addis and see north, you see the former, and south shows you the latter. Personally, I have a pet theory that these are less due to ineptitude of individuals than the differences between sedentary and nomadic cultures. If you need the land to be able to survive, you stayed put and obeyed znegese ngusna. If you did not need the land to survive, you told the erstwhile znegese to shove it and you shoved off. Saay’s excellent point about what lies at the heart of successful African federations was very interesting to me. But, is it possible to have an EPRDF in Mogadishu? I suspect not, but maybe I will be pleasantly surprised. The PFDJ is popularly understood (rightly or wrongly) to have its core from the traditionally-stay-put-on-the -land cultures, which hew to bowing to authority. It tries to be the EPRDF on steroids. But Eritrea is not just that. Even I have heard once or twice about the sometimes nine sometimes ten nationalities (a e i o u and sometimes y), and I would imagine some kind of mechanism for elite consensus is necessary.

            The ተከድኖ ይብሰል thing is intellectually feasible, but I find it morally unacceptable. Bring me your masses of frightened and tired gebar, yearning to be free and to set up a small business in Gonder or Addis or Dessie while waiting for the papers to whisk them to Gothenburg or Adelaide or Dallas. Now that el Presidente Trump has said he is stopping refugees from Sudan, so maybe one half of the ተከድኖ ይብሰል may be in effect. I don’t see how Ethiopia will ever stop accepting refugees, but I never thought I’d see the day a Republican is put into the White House by the Russians and he tells the CIA they are liars to their face. So who knows.

            You got me rambling.. Onward chessists..

            Amde

          • GitSAtSE

            Dear Amde,

            “baElikha TiHishelu.” I am but a mere tSAtSE “foraging” for crumbs at TripleA Café privy to GiAnts/GiTsaTse Pillars, the likes of IshmaelAA, Kokhob Selam, Amanuel Hidrat, Millennium, Amde, MaHmuday “The Best”, …Abi Abi Abinet, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice…., and LAST but not least the GitSAtSE of all of you Saay7.
            My Lord Pillar X, I beg your pardon as I am grateful to take Court with thee my Lord to state NOT in disagreement but to give further clarity to the “Lost in Translation” “Long game” of our collective end goal which is to enlighten/give liberty/awaken each and every unconscious tSAtSE.
            My Lord Pillar X, I am no “gem crafter.” Rather, I am but a tsEtSERR in size and WEIGHT in accordance with the International Standards of Weights and Measures by ABesha’s finest, the always precise and noble Knights Core of Engineers who engineered the Rooks in ARD AL HABESHA for the inevitable realization of Your Kingdom, the United (H)Abesha Emirates. I your humble servant am in fact A SUBJECT (not a citizen) of a Unitary deCENTRALIZED State (“burrowed deep in institutions” of the earth waiting for the Millennium Dam and GERD for “the lights (to) come on,”) that Queen tSE of Nsa&Nsu who lords over us all the tSA “technocrats” where each tSA is equal and deserving of the unalienable netSanet to serve, design–arguably the finest ARCHITECTURE any terrestrial capacity, and build her micro dams, fortress and palace as we forage for the scraps and crumbs. Our lifetime servitude under the banner of “Kulu MeInti Hager” discriminates not negatively or favors any individual or subgroupings of tSA. It is our irrevocable and unequivocal “sacred and undeniable truth” we hold.
            However, In Nsa Majesty’s Kingdom, a Unitary highly (De)centralized Federal Republic, we are a lot like Sweden Citizenry in pursuit of “Life, Liberty, Happiness and Justice for all.” And your servant the Duke of Western AfriKa Ghana lands, Fanti Kobuyashi, with his counterproductive brain child of open earth pores of our burrowed deep institution has been done you an utter disservice to our inevitable and much better OPEN BORDERS of a United Abesha Emirates of Fourteen/Fifteen. The STATECRAFT he has been implementing since 010101, has only given rise to tSaRATS/bureaucRATS, who after sneaking through the “underground railroad” tunnels seem to have sealed the very holes they went through in pursuit of individual liberty and have forgotten their brothers the tSA as they have come very accustomed to take annual holiday conventions at the Sheraton in Addiss Abeba or Nairobi that has caused disenfranchisement, disillusions, helplessness and hopelessness on all tSA buried deep in NsaHager.
            My Lord, you have rambled NOT. It is I that will keep rambling on to counter the likes of Tomas Dembelas, despite changing to the name to Thomas Jefferson, like the BEEs are loud only in their annoying repetitive monotone buzzing only. And unlike the bees have now become accustomed to devouring and nourishing their bodies with BEE EXCREMENT much like the biblical Israelites of Yester-Millennia who suffered as servants in the avenue café’s of Parris, Millan and few like Merchant LEVIN of Venice peddling excruciating “bzzzz” noise in high decibels betwixt Stockholm and Addis Abeba.
            I will therefore, repeat and repeat my TripleAwateAwateAwate* inaudible tSAtSE ramblings to remind Tomas and the like again and again that they are the same tSAtSE from nsa Kingdom with potential to at least PRODUCE FROM THEIR OWN BODIES WASTE that is as sweet nectar as a BEE’s excrement. Deep in our burrowed NsaHager and Hagerawi Wefri institutions, I am passing this message from MaHmuday “the Best” of the installations in every hamlet of Ard Ariterya, portable latrines we are naming “BEE Depository” for Tomas and likes usefulness to PUT UP their WED or DRY products for consumption without “wetting themselves”, keyteTalaQeyu.
            My Lord Pillar X, As I am loyal to humbly service under your Wisdom and just rule of Kingdom EmbatSion, the United Abesha Emirates (all 14 or 15 of them), I will implement hence forth the “Kdeno Bsel” or “Cover it and let it boil school” per your suggestion. Only allow me this last time to urge you as a long game service to give serious consideration to giving the Executive Order to BUILD THE WALL and “The Best” I will assure you Eritrea will PAY great dividends for your BUILDING OF THE WALL.
            Let my ramblings for Tomas Dermas (above) and the past (below) for Kobuyashi Fanti be behind us.
            “The enmity and discord which of late
            Sprung from the rancorous outrage of your duke
            To merchants, our well-dealing countrymen,
            Who wanting guilders to redeem their lives
            Have seal’d his rigorous statutes with their bloods,

            *TripleA Café’ – A Five Star and Fine luxurious Café located Deep in the Burrows and Down Under. Established in the days circa Awate2,3,4… Young Saay2,3,4… frequented and sipped a tall Chai Latte Ala Asmara!!!
            …………

            Dear Made,

            I will now give my Point SEVEN of the long game plan you have initiated with the creation of S.E.L.F PB CREAM Revolution-Evolution, by riding some of the “Lost in Translation” of your last address to yours truly.

            7) “ I agree on his X times invocation of how hard statecraft is. Shoot, I couldn’t believe it myself, but in these very pages I did write once that “The older I get the more I appreciate the bureaucrats” – and technocrats and other rats burrowed deep in institutions and making the lights come on, and the water flow, and teachers get paid, etc …. The discussions and sometimes heated debates we have here assume these very things as a given.” Pillar X

            Do you know that the Bodhisattvas have no concern for “old age”. They will reach enlightenment or Buddha after all beings have attained Individual Liberty, the First and Foremost. “In my old age” and the candle light is dimming are erroneous or more bravely excuses by you two Bodhisattvas from attaining NIRVANA. Fear of “my old age” and misleading even the RATS through “I appreciate the bureaucrats” and “difficulty of statecraft” will only doom the Bodhisattvas and the Rats to reincarnate and repeat the insanity in 2018 (with a the same mantra “This IS IT! IT is the YEAR OF THE RAT.” Warning: you are doomed to repeat the same life as many times as the number of the Rats and their influenced constituents. Liberate every RAT individually by funding the building of the wall and transferring the C.R.E.A.M to Meritocracy of the individual SELF to the Living (Nebaray) Foundation. I am afraid, Saay7 is right. Yes, Ethiopia is to BLAME and it’s post final and binding of 010101 Statecraft is LOST IN TRANSLATION in understanding Eritreans and Ethiopian languages. Build the WALL in order to “Mr. Gorbeitna of the (ussr errr) EPRDF/TPLF, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL.”.

            7) “Which brings me then to this very latest exchange. It is a little puzzling to me why he is so concerned about the Players as he put it. To me, three Islamist parties means the Islamist vote is going to split three way” Piller X

            For the Umpteenth X’s time you are only puzzled because you are “Lost in Translation.” The S.E.L.F. PB Bohdi’s are not selfish. They are for individual liberty. The Players consisting of Eritrea’s neighbor’s, Three Islamists organizations each of their own Khalifa Ismails the First ibn Ibrahims PB CREAM and Three Highlander awrajawian group with the desire to be the Nsu Emir of their locality all lead with Three of their own EzghiMsana Wed Hidri to trade ONE Unitary Decentralized Federalism for Eight or Nine duplicates of oppressive group think emirates that demand OBLIGATION TO GROUP over SELF. Saay7 is right in his frustration with these players in particular, though they purport to REJECT YG, they have in fact accepted him by their CREPT through osmosis ailment of them being PRODUCTS OF GHEDLI. Saay7 is RIGHT—Eritrea is a stated DEFINED BY GHEDLI. It is stupidity or very cocooned individual SHELFISHNESS to believe and preach uproot and discard EPLF/PFDJ. Unfortunately, those players are not only “Lost in Translation” of Marxism or Levinism ism –skisms, I believe they too are lost in translating Ghedli and Eritrea that defined their very essence. No duplication of 8/9 Group Rights of suppressing will do it. The solution is to gather the Shellfish and build the wall by HARPOONing THE WHALES of Group Think Rights for the only way to awake is through being an AMDE first and foremost for Individual Eritrean Rights, both in words and deed.

            7) “ but I never thought I’d see the day a Republican is put into the White House by the Russians and he tells the CIA they are liars to their face. So who knows” Pillar X

            I had and have in mind 7 or 77 more Point 7 translations of Saay7 Eritrean Liberation Front for Saay7 Ethiopian Liberation Front Peanut Butter CREAM… but I commend you if infact you have read this long Hateta thus far (just blame “The Best” MaHmuday The Crow and Falcon by product defined by Ghedli EPLFite…) and will spare you by CUTTING SHORT  it this long “taaaarikh haaagerrr newiH sefiH” and equally long long end game towards the attainment and purpose of staying the course on the road to EmbatSion the United Abesha Emirates and NOT get of the “Road to Perdition.”
            I will tell you “So who knows”… In close contact with Preibus, Don Didy Donald’s Chief of Staff, discussing the Sanctuary City to Shellfish Addis Abeba and the gains of building the wall and assuring Eritrea will pay for it,
            The future chief of staff to Saay7 knows! That’s your answer to “So who knows:
            tSAtSE

            Ps: Like MJ “Just Do It” Pillar X. Sing “Just Beat It, Beat It” And sing yet another song to the Gangstas: “Living of The WALL.”

            7) Ere bSlassie or ere bsEbaTu… REPEAT and REPEAT… It not only becomes the truth it is THE TRUTH. The Power of Selasie I and I…..
            7)”AND THEN, thirty years later, one of them decides to make a movie about the “romantic” escapades of his killer and torturer youth. ” I take strong exception to this statement. I am off to onto a mission of diplomacy….
            7)

          • saay7

            Amde da pilla:

            This Act of Killing sounds like one of those terrifying things that show the banality of evil. As I age, I am trying to protect my soul from crushing visuals…so can I just go with your book report?

            Since you and I agree that small but diverse Eritrea will always be influenced by its larger neighbors, why kind sir, would it be externalizing our problems to say that the miserable state of our big neighbors is partly to blame for our mess?

            Here’s something to contrast it with. When Gambias Yahya was having some second thoughts about packing and leaving, ECOWAS–a grouping of mostly democratic states–said, no, you are embarrassing us: leave or we will make you leave at the point of a gun. They got UN authorization for that. And off he went to dictators heaven, leaving his fancy cars behind.

            Now on the other side of the continent, with regional organization would have the moral authority to do what ECOWAS did when it’s one authoritarian after another? So yeah you are partly to blame 😁

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Saay,

            One of the “many things” that makes me to stick with this wonderful awate.com is to keep you in check. You are very smart and your skill of communication is so good, that you could mislead your readers by twist and turn, in and out from the issue at hand, acting sometime as political ideologue and other times as an agnostic of politics and activism, sometime as humanitarian and at other time as intimidator political activist, sometime as skunnis of Asmara and at other time as hospitable individual who calls antagonist to a round table chat..e tal.

            So … you have said “……….would leave opposition politics to the Emmas so they can write why they are against federalism but for decentralized unitary system–right after he told us, using no credible source, no peer reviewed paper, that federalism is also unitary system. It won’t. It can’t. He won’t. He can’t. ” Haw Saay, let me try once more, if I could find at least a semipermeable membrane in your brain, that allows to take place an osmosis of new ideas to your left section of your brain, where analytical thoughts, logics, science, rationality, objectivity for new ideas are addressed. Salehom Aya Ad’U, if you act as some one who does not want to reread my article ” Decentralized governance a poison Model or a panacea,” let me quote from my article the words of two US scholars (b/c you don’t believe other scholars from other creed) that support indirectly paul Levin’s argument to the concept you and me became at odd each other. Here are as follows:

            (a) Equally though, Work (2002: 11) summed up in his discussion and provided us an interesting conclusion about the correlation between federal or unitary state with the degree of decentralization as follows: “There is no broad generalization that can be made about the correlation of Federal/Unitary states and decentralization. Some federal states are highly centralized – such as Malaysia, while some unitary states have high degree of decentralization – such as China.” (Work 2002)

            (b) Indeed, that is why Buchanan has named the equilibrium point between unitary and federal state as the “competitive federalism.” Therefore, political systems and structures is a never ending process, always evolving to find an ideal form of governmental system that fits to every reality (Buchanan)

            Lastly, Paul Levin’s thesis was reviewed by his peers at the university of Stockohlm. By the way, why an Eritrean erudite try to dismiss scholars of other countries is mind boggling. And when it is from Saay it invites to bump your head against the wall.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • GitSAtSE

            Dear Aya Amanuel Hidrat,

            With all due respect Sir, I would like to register the strongest of objections to your post describing Saay7. I take strong exception, specifically to the these lines. I take even stronger exception to your interpretation of Saay7’s stellar all around stellar skills mastery you have aptly gave excerpts of as well as well as his First class intelect . An even more stronger exception I am registering is the tone and spirit that resonated. I do understand that you were responding to the “So … you have said “… which caused your state of mind to respond in such manner as it is withing every one’s right to defend not only one’s point of view but also defend your self when you miss perceived and offence by another.

            ” that you could mislead your readers by twist and turn, in and out from the issue at hand, acting sometime as political ideologue and other times as an agnostic of politics and activism, sometime as humanitarian and individual right activist at other time as intimidator political activist, sometimes as skunnis from the Asmara streets, at other time as gentle hospitable individual who calls antagonist to a round table chat..e tal.

            For decades I believed that the Late Yemane “Barya” Gebremichael is Forever Quintisential First Son of Eritrea. I submit to you now Aya Amanuel the Scholar, Officer and Gentleman Living Legend First Son of Eritrea SaliH Younis.

            Well Sir. I agree with your words in the above paragraph. Your tip of the iceberg description of the cerebral SaliH Yournis. And I submit to you that SaliH’s mind is one that will skillfully, artfully and intellectually will solve this Eritrean enigma and find that lasting peace solution for Eritrea and hand the in dire need every individual Eritrean deserves. I am confident and a believer that in the very near future, the Professor will be receiving the Nobel Prize for Peace and Governance for his achievements on his subject matter Eritrea.

            His seemingly throwing up of his hands and indication of frustrations manifested in this thread is telling of lot more than the mere justification one or two scholar thesis. I strongly suggest that you re-read other contributors teachers/students of your caliber (you can skip over my WaTa and Rap) and use the momentum of what these dialogues have brought to encourage Saay7 who is ever so close to solving the equation as well as encourage your self and others to significantly contribute in finding the solution.
            I am betting on him. And I will say now, that I too have some criticism, hope fully of the constructive kind, and decrease significantly some of the weight this genius has been carrying for a long long time. Push and pressure to stay the course will be there, Trust.

            Sincerely,
            tSAtSE

            Ps: The Deconstruction of Saay7 begins. Oh Captain my Captain, read Pillar X last message! Pillar Luvs ya! And he is right dude! Also, the current pragmatic strategy you are trending I endorse it and will not lampoon/acid trip openly over it. However, I have some reservations and would like to reach you with it, perhaps the “Different Drum Beat —Coded “lingo” you have been tuning your Sixth string too. You are very very close. Aya Amanuel has not read Millenniums inputs… Aya Amanuel is wrong.. You can find the Swede Levin in the hollywood action movie “Smoking Aces” … yeah splurge on this action movie a lil.. unwind and let some steam off. Look for this line “Mama had got your back!!!” If you do, I hoping you will, just take the role of Buddy Israel. That how this thread and the past few decades made you feel. Trust! The Crow–“The Best” and “Mama got yo back” BREN.
            tSAtSE

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Seleye,

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba abu Salah,

            The argument I am reading is simply to adovocate individual rights at the cost of our minorities’s rights or our social groups, and it is purely the game of elitism. Perpetual tyranny of the majority will surely lead to the extinction og our minorities. To save their rights and to protect from extinction, they do not have any choice except to solidify their solidarity. I am sure they understand their realities and will do what is better for them.

            Your questions will only lead us to political polemics. It is not solution oriented to our minority social groups.

            Regards

          • Millennium

            HI Amanuel:

            You have always argued for group rights. You say this, correct me if I am wrong, because group rights will enable the individuals in the group to have their individual rights better protected. You argue for group rights because you believe the individuals in the smaller social group will fare better if their group right is protected. But what happens if the group you are advocating for does not intend to protect natural rights of the individuals in it and the individuals can not leave the group. Does this mean the constitution should allow group rights to take precedence over individual rights even if the group, by its own nature, tramples on individual rights. In the whole discussion, the assumption is that we are are talking about natural rights ( rights to life, liberty and property). We are not talking about the whole gamut of human rights.

            I believe the constitution should make sure individual rights, as in the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are protected. In a nut shell, the constitution should make sure individual rights take precedence.

            We are talking about principles. There should be a mechanism where by each person’s natural rights are protected. These individual rights being self evident, we can envision the groups’ function to be so that it protect the rights of its individual members from the tyranny of the majority. It is true, a group will be better positioned to protect the natural or even human rights of its individual members than an individual doing so on their own.

            I am merely repeating what Saay is saying in a less clear way…:)

            Regards,
            Michael

          • MS

            Selam Millennium, SAAY, Emma
            I think we need to define:
            a/ what do we mean by group in Eritrean context
            b/ under what type of constitutional parameters/limits we are discussing the topic.
            My understanding: Emma can correct me, but what Amanuel is referring to as group/social group is what most of us refer to as ethnic/linguistic group. Therefore, in Emma analysis it’s the group’s ethnic identity that outstands, and it is the interests that the group may entail or raise by virtue of belonging to that particular ethnic group that unifies it. On the second, part, Amanuel is envisioning a secular and somewhat decentralized governance.
            If we agree on these two points, then the issue of basic individual right is guaranteed by the constitution throughout the nation; no group right can supersede the right to freely express your opinion, to assemble, to petition your government peacefully, to have a due process when the government arrests you, not to be harassed by authorities without search warrants, not be forced to incriminate yourself….these could expand and shrink depending on the history and culture of each society, but they will clearly stated there for everyone to see. And any group or sub-administrative unit can’t have a constitution that violates the national constitution. Therefore, with regard to the universal individual rights, including the right of citizens move across administrative boundaries (awrajas/killils) providing they follow the local laws which should not contradict the constitution. So, this should tackle the danger that group interests could jeopardize individual interests. Another point to look at it is that individual rights are constitutional (wherever they may live and to whichever group they may belong) while group rights are mainly political. The reason, I believe, is because the individual is the indivisible unit of a society while group is divisible. For instance one may argue all Tigre speaking communities should group together to fight for their right (ethnic line), another may say “Hey my interest is closely related to the farmers, or pastoralists of other ethnic groups in my region, etc., (geography/socioeconomic interests). If you take Marya QeyaH, Blin around HalHal, and other communities of Tigre around /Habero/MesHalit, they may have more related demands and challenges than each of them may have with their ethnic groups at large; Tigrigna communities living in the Gash Barka may have more in common with the Kunamas of that area than the Tigrigna of Xerona…that’s when policies related to regional economy become the hottest issue. Fishers, regardless of their ethnic background, would join hands in advancing their common interests, teachers, health workers…this leads to grouping along unionizations, etc. I’m not trying to bore you but I wanted to concretize the topic, to make it as relevant as possible to Eritrean case. The point I’m trying to make is that it’s difficult to arrive at a common understanding unless we define under what conditions we are discussing the subjects.
            If we are to be honest and try to relate this discussion to the current programs of the opposition, SAAY’s question is valid. We find some programs that opposition member organizations run on to be religious platforms, which means organizations that advocate for a secular system and organizations that advocate to the contrary are sitting together for the time being. We also know that individual freedoms are incompatible with religious programs. There are also organizations that are running on ethnic programs, against the backdrop of organizations that advocate for a strong unitary government, and so on. So, it seems what’s holding them together is miracle. Can anyone enlighten me how these issues have been reconciled? Emma, IsmailAA? I would really appreciate that.

          • Millennium

            Selam MS:

            As long as there is a provision in the constitution that stipulates that individual rights always take precedence over group rights, it is all good. Because that individual right within it will naturally include the right for free association. That association can be based on natural ethnic/linguistic bases.

            The problem that I envision is that such groups some times have a value system that clashes with a constitution based on the principle of individual rights. But if there is a way to circumnavigate that challenge, it is all good; it means we are all on the same page.

            The big question is however how do you circumnavigate that challenge? how do you avoid that imminent clash? How can one formulate a social contract that satisfies the demands of what is stipulated in individual rights as well as those demands that naturally are expected of groups that are static in nature.

            If it so happens that the demands (of the individual and the group) are antagonistic and it is clearly communicated that under such circumstances individual rights takes precedence then, like I said earlier, we are all on the same page.

            Millennium

          • MS

            MarHaba Millennium
            I agree. And as you may know, there are varying opinions in this regard. Some believe it’s better to first write a constitution and then derive laws; others choose the bottom-up way- first laws that reflect the values of different groups in the society, and then have the constitution as a grand reference…As you pointed out, individual or basic human rights are universal, and they are recognized by the UN and other regional organizations, and most constitutions make it clear that they are not to be trampled upon under any circumstance.
            One way to avoid the conflict of group values and the universal human values is to make sure that all groups are involved in the making of the constitution. In some cases, individuals are given the choice either to follow the venues guaranteed to them by the constitution or laws that may be unique to their group values, such as civil cases where one has the choice of either going to the civil court or settling it following Sharia law. In either case the individual is still free to make the choice. Of course, there will be peer and group pressure, but I think time and education solves the problem.

        • Paulos

          Hey Saay,

          I wonder if the debate you’re having with Emma is a graduate course at Awate U.

          • saay7

            Hey Paulos

            Awate University is Open Enrollment, 💯 admission rate and doesn’t take attendance or charge tuition. All classes are credit no credit. Since it started using Disqus for its discussion forum all credits are transferable.

            saay

          • Paulos

            Hey Saay,

            I say, its time to start Awate-Academy as in Khan Academy. I personally have learned great deal reading the articles of course including yours and the discussions in the forum as well. Never took any political science or philosophy courses and I am more than ever convinced that real knowledge is found with in the boundaries of the humanities or liberal arts as opposed to the rather rigid hard sciences and my conviction again has a lot to do with the cool stuff on Awate.

          • Thomas

            Hi Paulos,

            I agree the forum could have benefited a lot from offering online graduate classes. You know in most cases these online classes offered are kind of a scam and college institutions are there to rip off students money paid as tuition fees. I don’t know if video conferencing/lectures via Skype or other companies is to help now. Anyways, this is just my thought:)

          • Paulos

            Selamat Thomas,

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Saay is the only person PFDJ is afraid of but of course they still find a comfort zone as he respectfully addresses PFDJ “The Government of Eritrea.”

          • Thomas

            Dear Paulos,

            I am glad I am not the only person to see his way of interaction or objections against the regime. Trust me, the regime can gain many supporters by simply making very basic changes. That is what I am afraid of ….

          • Paulos

            Selam Thomas,

            The drift of time more often than not can be detrimental where people can be drawn into historical amnesia as not only the victims can be forgotten but the crimes of the abusers can remain fuzzy as well. The strange thing of the whole situation is that PFDJ takes the compromising as in meet-you-halfway spirit of the people for a weakness and the same cycle goes on unabated.

          • GitSAtSE

            Selamat Paulos,

            Would you then please tether us towards the road of metSalu(Come Together Right nowin History) DekemHare oh great one. You are on track,.Bring us closer you Fukuyama you.
            tSAtSE

          • MS

            Selam Thomas
            “Not long a go, he kind of had a soft spot for the mafias/PFDJs’ or guerrillas back home. In short, he had similar stand with the MS/Mahmudai of nowadays […[ I have to tell you, I am very disappointed about what they did to saay plus my entire people. I would be standing in front of saay or beside him demonstrating or taking the shoots coming from the killers. Seriously, I decided to fight PFDJ because I saw innocent people put in prison by the mafias”
            These are your words taken from two comments you have made. Respecting your right to believe what you believe about me, would you tell me:
            a/ why you would talk down to SAAY, or anything you are doing more than what SAAY is doing in opposing PFDJ? I’m just curious, there may exist better venues we are not aware of and underdog citizens who we should applaud.
            b/ You tell us you would stand and take the shots for him [if SAAY would stand up]. But then you concluded by saying ” I decided to fight PFDJ because I saw innocent people put in prison by the mafias.” What logically follows is what happened to the gut of standing between the innocent victims and the Mafias? And what happened to it today despite the calls for it? I mean, people are looking for brave individuals like you, please step forward, lead us, and don’t ever question your sanity for standing up between the innocent and the abuser. Go for it and give us a peace please.
            Dear friend, the incoherence comes from your wanting to be seen someone you are not and between your character which does not meet how you want to be seen- a case of incompatibility between content and aspiration. Yes, I have also heard of individuals who fled the theater of real fight and then trying to appear as if they are real fighters, sometimes picking fights on soft targets such as Mahmudai. Never mind. That’s why I always believe the real agents are our proud people inside the country who are dealing with the crises in a real-time fashion.

          • Thomas

            Selem Mahmudai,

            Please do not display your “hateta” card near my face because Asmelash of Eri-TV is doing just that already. I though I am in “seriously ignored list of your note book”:) Now to answer your questions:

            a) I tried the devils advocate on say because I wanted to learn from him. He is the smart guy and I knew he could see me being provocative and still answer my questions humbly. I am sorry he is actually the opposite of you, he takes notes and answers the posed questions appropriately.

            2)we have been extremely cautious in the fight with the your former associations because we now know how they attack. You know the technique of “stab on our back”, “don’t ask don’t tell among and outside of the click”, the “Zeban Siwa’at” , the reminder of “salasa/30 years of our lives”, “the gabar genbar discorn” and so on so forth. Thinking ahead of the game is the means to eradicate and break the vicious circle. We most certainly learned from the fate of “Wedi Ali”, “The G15”, “Asmara University students demonstration” and more. All attempts to disrupt the regime failed because of the back stabbers the regime planted. Will continue to engage ………………..

          • MS

            Selam Thomas
            Ha…ha… why all these rubbish my friend. Be humble and talk your size. I don’t blame you for not acting on your aspirations, because that’s the reality of diaspora. We wish we did better but we can’t simply because we are far away from the real theater. So what do great men and women do? They just say what they can practically do. They don’t try to shift blames; they don’t try to display a showy attitude. That’s all. You don’t have to go through all the blabbering you have just put. You are a fine man, you want something good for your people, and you are doing what you could do. Don’t stretch it more than that. Otherwise, the saying goes, ” He who steps up for action does not brag about it to his mom /Zgebrs nede’u neynegr” I think both of us had a conversation about this issue sometime in the past. The point is: don’t try to appear as someone other than your character. Don’t try to lecture/insult us on something you would not do. I never say I’m going to liberate Eritrea, I never say I would stand between the victims and the abuser to take the shots off the abuses. Because people are going to say ” Hey, that the type of guy we are looking for, come on please.” and I know I’m not up to the job. I’m busy raising a family. That’s the truth my friend, Everyone is busy in life, but we have the right and moral obligation to do whatever little we can do in a way that brings lasting peace. So, dear, Thomas, yes, continue engaging, but please be yourself.
            Regards.

          • Thomas

            Dear Mahmudai,

            Could please count the number of “do” and “don’t” in your writing above?:) I can see there is a little PFDJ in you, still? You need to liberate yourself from using those kind of offensive words, my humble brother:) “Kem’umo aserarihana aikonen, we don’t do those kinds of things: we don’t do or make promises”. If you refusing taking orders and don’t do national services/such as sawa like the EPLF bleed for the nation for 30 years, we don’t only ask you but will kill you. Do follow orders because that is what the EPLF regular fighters did for 30 years, our “Sw’aat never died in vain”. Ezi kulu zereba enda tezarebkas roma’e absiltanka:)

          • saay7

            Hey Thomas:
            Slight correction :

            I was all in for the new government of Eritrea because it had earned it.

            I tend to limit my criticism on the basis of this:

            1. Governing a poor, diverse country with few resources is hard
            2. Given that threshold, where is the gov failing?

            And where it is failing is in refusing to listen to the people. It can’t hear their voices over its lectures. Mostly it is its disrespect for the human rights of Eritreans.

            And I call it a government because whenever I am reading any article that is critical of any government in the world (Ethiopia, Israel, US, Syria, Libya) and calls it a “regime”, the writer is telling me to disregard a lot of the writing. Just personal preference. It’s a government but it’s a horrific one.

            saay

          • Paulos

            Hey Saay,

            It sounds like a shift in mindset as in when we are disgusted with someone, we (read: in our culture) don’t give the courtesy of calling him or her by her or his given name. Hope PFDJ appreciates your courteous manner as opposed to taking it for a weakness.

          • Thomas

            Hi Saay,
            I know it was kind of rude of me for trying to talk behind your back:) Thank you for stating your stand. I respectfully differ on your take on when the regime in Eritrea ceased from governing and turned to jailing/detaining/disciplining institution one. They were given a chance to transition the country until a new government is chosen (a government chosen by the people for the people). We, the Eritrean people, were never told what the future of our government is going to be. First thing done was to pull anyone over 18 age out of the house and choose PFDJ as the one and only one party in the country. The PFDJ party then started selling goods and services and taking over all the small businesses. The direction the country was going was never clear even to the top government officials (former EPLF officials, example the G15).

            “Governing a poor, diverse country with few resources is hard”, this part of your comment just reminded me years 1991-1994. You ask them about the future of the country, they were quick to tell us we are starting from zero and then went to say, zero is good because we have not borrowed money like the other African countries The year is 2016, we are below zero now, but do we still have a government or are they even on the path of becoming a government? For God’s seek, how about if the people are left to do the farming and the trading themselves, wouldn’t you think our people could have outperformed? How about advising the regime to do the opposite of what they are doing now (like the George character in the “Seinfeld” show)?

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Thomas; yes the signs of what was to come were already there to see for the observant ones amongst us. When the very few of us who were not intoxicated by the euphoria of beating black Africa’s strongest army expressed their concerns in public seminars, they were laughed off and belittled by the roaring public. Our warning lights must have blinked red when we were told ናይ ፖለቲካ ሓሸውየ ኣይነፍቅድን ኢና, while at the same time people were made to register as members of PFDJ in their hundreds of thousands.

          • saay7

            Selamat Thomas:

            When you say

            How about advising the regime to do the opposite of what they are doing now (like the George character in the “Seinfeld” show)? Just stop from becoming controlling freak, that will cut the entire issue

            you are making several assumptions; namely:

            1. That I am in a position to give advice and they are in a state of mind to listen;
            2. That statecraft is binary choice, and the right choice when wrong is the opposite choice,
            3. That it all worked out for George (Seinfeld) when he decided not to be himself and decided to go against his always-wrong instinct.

            Saay

          • GitSAtSE

            Selamat Tomas,,

            You were and are rebelling against an authoritarian rejim Regime (big government) that will in the long run relax after creating a bigger middle class. Don’t forget to take the important take away from Saay7’s online course.
            That you are by inheritance from the neUs brJuwa according to nSa nSu, nSu nSa was expected by HIM IAfom from all the TebeletSti. Tomas dmtSi Hafash hzbikha gedifkas nay Hatinekha Voce Tia filio Thomas choose kemtigebr kab ruuuHuuuQu tekeshifu neiru. NiUs burjiwa nay bar jima…
            Who was that lady from Bar Jima again?
            tSAtSE

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Saay, communism is an already tried and failed ideology; the strange thing is that we have leaders in Eritrea who expect to get different result from already bankrupt ideology. If only they remembered one of the wisdoms of our elders: መምሃሪ ኣይግበርካ፥ መምሃሪ ግን ኣይኽላአካ

          • saay7

            Abe:

            Don’t think they are going for communism but the “developmental state.” Decades of authoritarian state micro-planning development results in creation of middle class, then relax authoritarianism slowly and liberalize politics and economy. Model used by many countries: some successful, some not.

            Again, these are all things Eritreans (their elite) can calmly discuss and debate if they would just take a break from enslaving, torturing, imprisoning and subjecting them to slow solitary agonizing death.

            saay

          • Paulos

            Selamat Abraham,

            As the adage has it, if you’re not a communist at the age of twenty you don’t have a heart and if you’re not a capitalist at the age of forty you don’t have the brains. When this pretty much seems to be the rite of passage of most notable figures in history, Isaias is an exception to the rule where he is not only stuck in communism, he got it morphed into Saktism where either Britannica Encyclopedia or Oxford Dictionary will still have to add it into the litany of “isms.”

          • GitSAtSE

            Hey Saay77-2017,

            A Regime with Rejim gurade or beTamm TaliQ ShamoT/whip. Never mind Cracker boy Thomas, Halengui MaHmuday “the Best” SaliH keterkbelu iya!!! Weylukhaaaa nanta khedaE weyliKha adHarHari…
            Remix: “Every time I hear the crack of the whip, my blood runs cold.” BMW
            “And I remember ‘member all night long Oh lord” Phil Collins
            “And it All Again the Odds” Phil Collins..

            “As you were” Pillar

            tSAtSE

  • Kalihari Snake

    Good morning (Asmara time) to all: Sociology and Political Science are really non-science and however good they are for historic reflection, they are rather useless cannon fodder in terms of coming up with possible solutions for Eritrea’s current predicament.

    • Burhan Ali

      People who think that science is THE source of certainty, and that its word is the absolute and the definite truth are only dazed and thunderstruck affected only by the gadgets they see around them. They live, accordingly, with jaws dropped like children in a dazzling show of light and sound . So, empiricist wannabes would do better service to themselves before blabbering about the political science or sociology uselessness. Science has no certainty surpassing the certainty of statistics. Have Mr. empiricist wannabe heard about Heisenberg’s principle of uncertainty or the quantum theory?.
      This is not to say that science is useless, No it is important and has its uses, exactly like sociology and political sceince have their uses in their respective spheres. Both physics and sociology and the entire human, knowledge, for that matter, have their limits.

      • Kalihari Snake

        Hi Burnam Ali: I actually tend to favor Einstein’s slit position in regards to uncertainty. I did my undergraduate degree in physics and admittedly hated behavioral science classes that I had to take.

    • Paulos

      Selamat Kalihari,

      Knowledge is seamless where it can not be compartmentalized. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend a brilliant book by Edward O. Wilson “Consilience.”

      • Kalihari Snake

        Hi Paulos (GMT+3): Thanks for the recommendation!

  • Paulos

    Selam Moderator,

    I just posted a response to Emma and it says waiting to be approved by Awate. I am not sure what it means?

    • MS

      Ahlen Paulossay
      It happens, it will get released. Just FYI.

      • Paulos

        Thanks Muhamuday. Good to know.

  • MS

    Selam Emma
    Thanks for the hard work. You touched many heavy concepts to make the point that liberalism does not contradict group interests. Liberalism is fuzzy in itself, and can hardly be defined outside the contemporary ideas of democracy and constitutionalism. In practice, I think liberalism is similar to the propositions and theories of contemporary western democracy, which developed as an answer to monarchies and theological viewpoints of government, and the relationship between it and the citizens. Liberalism does have its splinter philosophical movements such as the libertarians (the far end of liberalism). Also, when you compare and contrast libertarians and conservatives, they do have commonality, mainly the restraining of government role in the life of citizens (economic, social and political) although they are at the opposite ends. Since we are living in free society, we identify groups by what they lecture, publish and campaign on. So, my question is: Do we really have a well formulated and developed liberal political stripe that could be defined outside the general demand that the alternative to PFDJ must be a democratic system of governance which should contain the ideals of moderate liberalism, such as constitutional rights that includes free speech, free and fair electoral system, representative political processes…and so on, which are liberal hallmarks that define contemporary democratic political systems? Do we really have a well developed and identifiable liberal movement that denies the right of Eritreans to organize for political competition basing on the constitution? Or you are saying the appropriate way to organize is around group identity? I’m asking these questions because, I believe the current struggle is against totalitarianism and by its very nature holds the principles of liberal democracy. The first question is more important to me. Thank you for your time.

    • Paulos

      Selamat Muhamuday*,

      Democracy and Liberalism are antagonists toward each other where the former is a majority rule mandated to the state and the latter is freedom of the individual including from an intrusive state as well. The challenge of every nation which subscribes to liberal-democracy rests on its ability to reconcile both.

      The unsettling relationship between democracy and liberalism perhaps traces its genesis in classical political readings when the nature of ‘Man’ was examined. To be more precise, ‘Man’ finds himself in a constant contradiction to exist in a hostile state of nature including among his fellow men with an equal selfish interests. As such a Social-Contract was needed to compromise or tame the selfishness of Man when he had to give up certain of his rights for the common good. Again when the custodian of social-contract as in the state is mandated to maintain harmony with in the society, how much is the individual citizen expected to give up his or her rights or to put it differently, how can the individual citizen keep his natural rights from an intrusive state when the latter imposes its power to enforce law and order. That is precisely when political institutions—rule-of-law and transparency come into play to check an ‘abrasive’ state. As much as the interplay between the said political institutions as in rule-of-law, transparency and accountable-state remains in a constant flux, the interplay between democracy and liberalism as well.

      As you have pointed it out, with in the world of ‘isms’ what we have in Eritrea is a chimera of totalitarianism as in Sakitism where political institutions remain an affront to say the least. The daunting question still remains: how do we get out of the quagmire and chart out a political system that respects majority rule without stifling the rights of the individual?

      *I rather call you Muhamuday as oppose to MS for the obvious reasons.

      • MS

        Selam Paulossay
        That was a great contribution, thanks. It feels as if Mt. Embassoyra is riding my head, I have the bug and my thinking is not right. Anyway, I agree with your take. I was alluding to the fact that when we speak of democracy we are taking it for granted that the main themes of plural liberalism are imbedded in our assumption. The classical theories we refer to developed as a response to the state quo of that time to challenge the prevailing dogmas based on theology. In today’s liberal world, yes, man wants to enjoy unencumbered individual liberty, but he also, understands that for his individual liberty to endure he will need to accept some intrusions from the government: he will have to pay taxes that support the institutions that guarantee his liberty (in its relative degree), serve in jury, serve in the army…etc. There is an implied understanding that one has to give up some individual liberties in order guarantee the much more important ones….I think it’s helpful if we read each classical theory within its space and time. For instance most Western Europe countries seem to have adopted the strand-social democracy, where more emphasis is put on community, common good, and social insurances for citizens…etc. In the USA we do see a tag of war between different strands (conservatives have their own plurality, and the democrats have theirs). Add: race, religion, regions with distinct socioeconomic features, the pressure that growing minority communities apply on the political discourse. Some developing countries have designed hybrid systems convenient to their countries.
        Let’s see Eritrea’s situation:
        -no modern state institutions that could stand by themselves, on their feet, without the undue intrusions of the ruling bosses (police, courts, mass media, ministries even colleges…)
        – no culture of running state apparatus based on law
        -Socio culturally, a diverse society that has recently been glued by the effects of colonialism and revolutionary war
        – High rate of illiteracy, almost zero exposure to modern ideas of statehood (the role of government and its boundaries), rights and duties of citizens…
        -A primitive socioeconomic status (it’s important to remember that economic drives and political processes are intimately related. The era of enlightenment and industrial revolution could not be narrated separately. Economic forces and inventions triggered bold theses and discussions (Adam Smith…David Ricardo…) that shook the cultural basis of conservative aristocrats…
        -An opposition that has failed to present a coherent alternative political agenda
        – Generally, disgruntled and traumatized nation…
        The gist of my thrust is that the immediate objective should be a coalition base that aims at national salvation, with a minimum program of respecting elementary democratic group and individual rights. I believe, at this stage, fighting on and for purities diminishes the cohesiveness of the coalition. A notable Awatista once said- paraphrasing, ” I just want to go home, enjoy shahi leben under the sprawling Meem trees, and be left alone to enjoy the rest of my days as a free man in my homeland.” I think that’s a realistic expectation. The point is: what we are looking at today is a an opportunity where nation building starts on solid ground through the consultation of citizens, a semblance of normalcy, economic policies that kickstart some activities that encourage the youth to stay at home.
        With that as a background, could you comment on the questions I presented to Emma? Do we have a distinct liberal political strand that impedes the interests of the social groups? We can’t take the 1997 constitution as a reference because it was not put in practice and it has now been discarded. We can’t take PFDJ political charter as a reference. So, what is our reference when we criticize liberals [That’s if they are existent as evidenced by their established schools of thoughts and/or practices…]?.

        • GitSAtSE

          Selamat MS and Paulos*,

          I am editing a sort of EmbaSoira Vs. Mt Rushmore compare and contrast in laymen’s lingo for Eritrean laymen such as myself. I am rather looking over both of your class notes due not having the textbooks readily available to me. Both of you are on track, in my humble opinion, with a slight yet significant blind spots that increases contributes more to “Hasab WeHade.” I better “tilt towards straight talk” and hence I cut my thoughts short and pasted onto MS* word document to post later.
          (My intent was to interject and keep the resourceful Paul’s mind busy, and then I noticed MS response appear..)
          For now, I will leave you just a couple of lines from Al MusTofa’s take on Laws. (I am pressed by time…sorry.)

          “You delight in laying down laws, yet you delight more in breaking them. Like children playing by the ocean who build sand-towers with constancy and then destroy them with laughter. But while you build your sand towers the ocean brings more sand towers to the shore.” Khalid Gibran The Prophet.

          tSAtSE

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Gash Solomon,
            May Gibran live in memory for ever. That was the argument our Aman is driving home. The fate of houses built on injustice and unfairness will perfectly fit the message of these lines.
            Regards.

        • Paulos

          Selam Muhamuday,

          Well put! I couldn’t agree more. As you have aptly said it, nations are products of their own Zeigiest where it has become problematic to prescribe a universal elixir if you will to rectify prevailing political, social and economic a specific nation invariably faces. As you also pointed out, The Age of Reason was taken as an ultimate panacea when the world was hitherto “inflicted” with dogmas and superstitions. That said however, the whole is greater than the summation of its parts where Realism or Rationality comes with its limitations including in political realities as well. Traditions, sprituality, cultures, values and norms are the compounding variables when one prescribes Western liberal-democracy to other nations where it has bent the trajectory of history when the legacy of colonialism is a testament to that effect.

          This certainly may come as a surprise when I say, I wouldn’t have had a hangup so to speak if Isaias was to stay in power till he expires. The reason being, given the history of Eritrea, the priorities in nation building was not democracy as we know it in text book, rather a strong state with limited intrusion of civil liberties where about once a developmental state establishes the necessary institutions, then interest groups and stakeholders can compete for political power. To be more precise, Isaias turned the free ride confered on him into his personal power base where we are left with a classic failed state. To recap, I am of the opinion that, what is needed in Eritrea is a strong state a’la the Tiger nations in the late 70s or early 80s till they relaxed the political space so that economic liberalism and democracy can set in.

        • Millennium

          Selamat MS and Paulos:

          I agree with Paulos in that the terms LIBERALISM AND DEMOCRACY speak to two different concepts: they are, when distilled to their basics, the conflict between the rule of the majority and the rule of law.

          Democracy, to my understanding, and to repeat what you have already said, is about the procedures of creating a government; about elections and the rule of the majority. Liberty is how ever about individual, and group rights codified in a rule of law.

          There are provisions in the constitution—the rule of law—that protect those rights from being trampled on by the rule of the majority but the balance can shift either way depending on many factors.

          The threat is not one directional however. It is always assumed that too much power on the part of the state threatens individual liberty, however recent experiences in Europe and North America show that libertarian policies ( Laissez Faire capitalism) might encourage tendencies that can undermine democracy. Property rights coupled with the idea of small government which are hall marks of a liberal environment can contribute to the emergence of powerful individuals or groups that can potentially undermine the principles of Democracy. The danger is that such powerful entities, themselves beneficiaries of the ideas of liberty and democracy, might grow all too powerful to create what they call an oligarchic or plutocratic society. This is especially so in the era of TV ads where votes are like any other commodity ready to be sold to the highest bidder. The tension therefore is evident.

          Regards,
          Millennium

          • MS

            Selam Millennium
            Great addition. Thanks.

        • Ismail AA

          Hayak Allah Ustaz Mahmoud,
          This is sober and enyoyable discussion. I agree that the burning issue facing the opposition forces, whatever their attitudes and inclinations may be, is drawing a consensus based platform (task program) that should serve as reference for a kind of rainnblow coalition you are talking about. The one million dollar question facing us is where and how can we find the forum from where the search to that platform would begin?
          It is not that no attempt has been made. But, all the attempts so far have not succeeded. The charters the umbrella organizations during the past years have proposed did make sense, in my opinion, considering the concrete realities the opposition environment exhibits.
          I mean under the existing realities the reference we are talking about should either come from the regime or the opposition side. As we know, the former is simply ruled out because we know it has not been comfortable even with the “constitution” whose making it over had overseen and sponsored.
          I would like to suggest to you to look at Togoruba.org and contemplate on the contents of, for example, the Charter the ENA had agreed up in 2002. Can that way of looking at our situation help us to find a departure point towards a unifying national task program?
          Regards

          • MS

            Ahlen IsmailAA
            Thanks and sorry for the belated answer. In order to continue the thread and engage in an energy level I believe you deserve, I have to wait at least for three more days; I’m resting and drinking a lot of fluid. You know what I mean. I have looked at Togoruba, I read your beautiful article reflecting on the life of the late Dr. Habte. Apart from that, I can’t make a rigorous reading at this time. I started the provocation because I believed these are the ideas that could unite us, and it did. Regardless of our past background, we are debating on and suggesting things that could help us move forward. I’m glad the article is getting the attention it deserves. I consider myself a student in the area you raised, but will keep reading.

          • Ismail AA

            Ustaz Mahmoud,
            Salamatak; alf salama. Take as much time as you need, and wish you speedy recovery. Actually, I read that you have been afflicted by bug. I intended to throw good wish line at the end but forgot. You know the pressure I have been passing through; this past few weeks have not been clement on me.
            Thanks .
            Regards.

      • Abraham H.

        Selam Paulos, you say “Democracy and Liberalism are antagonists toward each other…”. In my view these two concepts are actually not contradictory as you put it, rather democracy is a subset of liberalism or liberal ideas. It is the various liberties in a society both at individual and group levels that eventually lead to democratic governnance. On the other side we need democratic rule as a guarantor of our various rights, while at the same time setting responsibilities on us to end up with propery functioning society.

        • MS

          Selam Abraham
          An interesting discussion. I think what Paulossay is emphasizing is the push-pull force between individual freedom (as in liberalism) and the inherent nature of societies to live in social groups. I don’t think he is rejecting their interconnectedness but at basic level they seem to be antagonists, where liberalism emphasizes individual freedom and democracy tends to serve as a bargaining glue between individuals’ and group interests through the rule of majority. Man by nature is a social animal, and therefore, he will need some sort of mechanism that reconcile some of the competing interests in order to live in communities. Democracy was the solution to these two apparently antagonist natures. Man, as an individual or as in a distinct group, wants to promote his special/individual interest yet he will have to make compromise in order to live in a wider community that could give him more protection and opportunities. Ancient Greece invented the system when living in cities became necessary. So, in their essence they may be seen as antagonists but when it comes to practice, man rationalize, and hence, opts for democracy where individual and group interests are modulated. So, I see democracy as a mechanism of compromise where individual freedom from any intrusions of government or community is weighed against the benefits one gets by making compromise on his free will while not losing the essentials of freedom. I don’t know if it helps.

          • Paulos

            Hey Muhamuday,

            I couldn’t have put it any better. Thank you.

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Mahmuday, thanks for the explanation, though i still have a layman’s view that libralism is one of the important aspects of the Western democracies as we see them today. You may find the following article from the media organization Foreign Affairs regarding the relationship between these two diverse but interrelated concepts interesting: It is titled: “Liberalism and Democracy: Can’t have one without the other”;
            https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/1998-03-01/liberalism-and-democracy-cant-have-one-without-other

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selamat Mahmuday & Paulos,

      Thank you both for your engagements and feed backs. It is such kind of engagements and political discourse that bring us to some kind of common understanding for charting new course to our nation and our beloved people.

      Dear Mahmuday,

      To answer your questions, let me give a short historical intro:

      Our revolution had a “National democratic program”. National because it was fighting for self-determination. Democratic because it has a democratic political program, lying down the fundamental democratic infra-structures (however rudimentary it was) such as the school of cadres to mobilize and educate the general public in the areas we control, the office of social affairs to eradicate illiteracy and some basic formal educations, and other institutions to exercise basic democratic practices. After independence our leaders (EPLF leaders) betrayed us to bring us together as nation, denied our people to establish political pluralism and democratic institutions. Now the current struggle has dual purposes (a) to defeat and dismantle the totalitarian institutions (b) to educate our people how to build democratic institutions that brings justice and equality, to educate what kind of constitution could bridge our intellectual divides, our religious divides, and our social (groups) divides, in order to bring equitable power sharing.

      Q. Do we really have a well formulated and developed liberal political stripe that could be defined outside the general demand? No. Since liberalism is a wide philosophy that comprise constitutionalism, democracy, individual rights, group rights, pluralism, religious rights. ..etc, we need to educate our people the core tenets of liberalism. And that is why we are debating to come up with a well developed liberal ideas that works with the reality of our people. If we want liberal ideas, then as a rule we have to build institutions that flourish all the branches of liberal ideas. Actually you have it exactly as to what the liberal hallmarks are (constitutionalism, free speech/press, fair electoral system, representative political process, and may add equitable power sharing). Look Mahmuday, the kind of representation in the diversified developed nations and the kind of representations in the diversified developing nation realistically will not be the same. Hence in our reality the kind of representations should be that address the existing grievances.

      Q. Do we really have a well developed and identifiable liberal movement that denies the right of Eritreans to organize for political competition basing on the constitution? This question is not clear to me. But as a principle a liberal movement can not deny the right of Eritreans to organize for political competition.

      Q. can we really debate about these ideas before we even convene for a national constitution? The reason we are debating about the constitution is because our “tigrigna social group” advocates for implementing the 1997 constitutional document and hence the public should be aware that, this “specific document” is not a “uniting document” to all our divides (intellectual, religious, and social).

      Q. are you saying the appropriate way to organize is around group identity? I am not saying the only appropriate way to organize by group identity. Our social groups are organized as group identity to address their grievances not as a political entity for purposes of power sharing. In order to avoid social group organizations, their grievances for equitable sharing must be addressed structurally and constitutionally. My article “the contours of change and the equilibrium of its parts” tries to address those grievances.

      Dear Paulos,

      Democracy and Liberalism are not antagonist rather they are interdependent for the same philosophical ideology. There is no liberalism without democracy as there is no democracy without liberal idea. However, you are right democracy focus on governing, election, election laws, and rule of law, while liberalism focuses, on individual rights, group rights, religious rights..all the rights. In short they have philosophical symbiosis.

      Regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Semere Tesfai

        Selam Amanuel Hidrat

        Speaking of Gedli – I don’t really know if the political terms are the same – but let me take you back to your Ghedli years and your Ghedli politics – where we had heated debates day-in and day-out for every conceivable issue under the sun. And this was how it was summarized back then:

        ማእከልነት: ብዘይ ነጻነት – ምልኪ እዩ ……….Centralism (rule of law?) without freedom is tyranny, and
        ነጻነት: ብዘይ ማእከልነት – ፋሉልነት እዩ………Freedom (liberalism?) without centralism is anarchy.

        Liberalism is not always good because it antagonizes rule of law, culture, faith, customs…. even sometimes “normal” decency. Case in point: interfaith and inter-ethnic marriage may be ok for liberals but not for conservatives. Abortion may be ok for liberals but may not be ok for the religious and the faithful. Enforcing strong dress-code may not be ok for liberals but may be ok for conservatives. And same goes to arranged marriage, sexual orientation rights, ethnic rights, ethnic autonomy, individual rights, community rights, FGM……..

        Therefore, it is all about finding happy medium. It is all about negotiating and trusting your negotiating partner. It is all about tailoring custom laws that work for all of us under a constitution that we all trust.

        Speaking of constitution, I’m told, the 1997 Eritrean constitution is one of the most liberal constitutions – of course it is above my pay-grade to say for sure.

        Semere Tesfai

        • Millennium

          HI Semere Tesfai:

          I think the dichotomous nature of this is not between Liberalism and rule of law. The thesis in here is that rule of law is stipulated to safe guard human liberties, the antithesis being that rule of the majority or democracy will, by its own nature, try to promote policies that are in the best interest of the majority trampling on the liberties of minorities. In its philosophical context, liberty speaks to the freedom you have to chart out your political path the way you see fit….including the freedom you have to be a conservative. That is:you may be at liberty to be a liberal or a conservative.

          Liberty, as discussed above, is about the overarching freedom man needs to have by virtue of being human. I can not imagine a scenario where the rule of law, that is predicated on the principles of liberty ( as is the case in all liberal democracy), having an antagonistic relationship with the rule of law. Conservatism, on the other hand, is about maintaining the culture, tradition and social make up of the majority. One can imagine this having a possible clash with the rule of law….a law whose main thrust is thought to be about treating each individual equally.

          The difficulty I see with liberty as a principle is in its economic dimension. When man is left to organise his economic affairs on the principles of liberty, that is; when there is little economic intervention by the state in the economic affairs of man, we saw that has lead to the type of unsustainable and unfair inequality that we see today. This in turn is threatening the principles on which democracy is supposed to work; potential candidates being able to be chosen based on merit not on how much money they have spent on TV advertisement.

          The other aspects of liberal ideas that you said are antagonistic to rule of law should actually be the very rights that rule of law need to protect.

          Regards,
          Michael

          • Paulos

            Millennium,

            Simply brilliant! Thank you!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Millennium,

            Excellent input. Who can said it better than the way you put it. Thanks.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Millennium:

            To bring the issue down to us, isn’t this the debate:

            We: liberty is lacking in Eritrea. And without liberty, you can’t have anything else: enduring peace, development, economic prosperity, peace of mind.

            They: you can’t have liberty without security. You can’t have security without uncomprimised sovereignty. Sovereignty first, security second and, time permitting and after emergence of middle class, you may have liberty.

            We: then if we don’t have liberty we will choose flight or fight. Mostly flight.

            They: that’s too bad; we would have preferred to enlist you in the fight for sovereignty and in safeguarding security but if you are going to be selfish and short-sighted, it’s your choice.

            This is really the fight between authoritarianism and individual liberty all over Africa. Today the cabinet of Gambia approved a 90-day “state of emergency” to extend rule of Yahya, overturning the will of the people. Senegal is saying it has regional authority to attack The Gambia. And the debate will be: sovereignty vs liberty.

            saay

          • Millennium

            HI Saay:

            I think the challenge is that there is a stark difference between Norther hemisphere and Southern hemisphere in terms of the maturity of democracy and those states capacity to allow for wider sets of liberties. This makes it a real challenge for those states ( developing ones) to exercise policies that by necessity will be required to curb much of the human liberties that one enjoys in the North. I think state craft is obviously more challenging now that it could have been at any time in the past.

            This becomes even more daunting when those developed countries make use of international institutions (like UN)to maintain their head start, some times, by deliberately insisting developing countries put more focus on civil liberties as opposed to liberties that have more to do with development.

            I assume you must have a sort of formula that you think can help us navigate through such treacherous waters

            Regards,
            Millennium

          • saay7

            Hey Millenium:

            I was agreeing with everything you said–until the last paragraph:)

            I am not unsympathetic to the Gov of Eritreas lament that the West insists that it recognize some rights that the West just got around to recognizing for its own citizens relatively yesterday. The problem is that when the government uses “our culture” to reject a proposal, its talking about “EPLF/PFDJ” culture and not Eritrean culture. Here’s a simple example:

            As part of the GoE accepting the universal “Right of the Child”, it has defined age of marriage as 18. A worthy goal. But does this run counter to traditional definition of age of marriage? And what about all its militarization policy that are making underage marriage even more pronounced now?

            My compromise: there are some rights recognized as “natural rights” since the 18th century. Let’s start with those. Stop torturing people, stop disappearing people, stop denying people the right to self defense. Let’s start with those; we will work on the rest.

            saay

          • GitSAtSE

            Hey Saay7.

            I pledge sympathy to the flag of the Liberal Democratic Republic and for which it stands.
            This is just a reminder to Don Diddy Donald Duck the Trump to memorize his pledge of allegiance for the 4/20, Hitlers birthday.
            Do we have flagging issue?
            tSAtSE

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Millennium

            1. – “Liberty, as discussed above, is about the overarching freedom man needs to have by virtue of being human”

            In life, there is no such thing as “overarching (comprehensive) freedom man needs to have by virtue of being human”. I don’t know where you got that Idea.

            Constitutions and laws are written by people in power (elite) to put limitations on what citizens of a nation can and can’t do under the law. In order to have wider latitude and wider interpretations, constitutions and laws are written vaguely by design.

            Now, let me leave you with this idea, an idea that was written by Ridgway K. Foley, Jr. – an attorney associ­ated with the firm of Souther, Spaulding, Kin­sey, Williamson & Schwabe and practices law in Portland, Oregon.

            “If law is defined as restraint on hu­man action and liberty as the absence of restraint, the concepts are inimical and conciliation impos­sible.” And his article “scrutinize individual freedom and the rule of law, to determine if the working definitions are accu­rate, and to decide if overgeneral­ization has obscured the whole truth of partially valid tenets.”

            Individual Liberty and the Rule of Law
            https://fee.org/articles/individual-liberty-and-the-rule-of-law/

            Semere Tesfai

          • Millennium

            Selam Semere:

            There are rights that are inalienable. Those rights that you have by virtue of the fact that you are created human. Those rights are not meant to be taken away from you by any other agent. I am talking about those rights when I said what I said above. The constitution is meant to protect the individual or the group that is the minority in the society from the tyranny of the majority—which means democracy.

            If I have understood you correctly, you are broadening the function of the rule of law in its ability to protect the majority from the possible tyranny of the minority or an individual ( the smallest possible minority). The reason we did not raise this is because we assumed it is obvious. It is obvious that a constitution serves as a tool to protect a society from the rule of a minority. The discussion, I think, is rather about the challenge of creating orderly and just society through democratic process…which looks simple at first glance but is challenging nonetheless

            Regards,
            Millennium

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Haw Semere Tesfay,

          As far as you defend the despot and his institutions, we are at different opposite political spectrum. You can not defend liberal ideas and despotism at the same time.

          regards

        • Tzigereda

          Selam Semere,
          Can you help me understand how it looks like ” finding a happy medium” regarding FGM, abortion, sexual orientation rights, arranged marriage ( you probably mean also underage marriage)?

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Tzigereda

            FINDING HAPPY MEDIUM is the center pillar of liberal democracy. And what is a liberal democracy? Liberal democracy is basically Western democracy. You (Tzigereda) are living in the West, therefore whether you’re feeling like – you’re living in heaven or living in hell, that is basically liberal democracy. How does liberal democracy work?

            Well, the people of the country elects their representatives, and through their elected representatives, their government (country) is governed. But as you can imagine, the elected representatives and the people of the country themselves, belong to different ethnics, faiths, regions, ideological persuasions….. Therefore, in order to govern their country, and lead their people towards peace, stability, and prosperity –

            THEY HAVE TO AGREE ON EVERY CONCEIVABLE ISSUE THAT IS ON THEIR PLATE

            And how do they reach into consensus? First, through their elite, after long discussions and give and take compromises, they draft a constitution. What is the purpose of having a constitution? To limit the authority (power) of their government.

            Then moderated (guided by) by the constitution they adapted – again through their elite, the state (country) draft’s rule of law. Again, what is the purpose of having rule of law? To limit the power of their elected representatives from making arbitrary arrest and punishment to their individual citizens – or simply to guarantee the rights and freedoms of every individual citizen from people in authority.

            As you can see there is a heated debate at this forum, about individual rights and group rights. Personally, I believe focusing at protecting individual right is better than protecting group rights. Because groups (regions, faiths, ethnics….) have already voiced their grievances and have secured their right (contract) at the constitution, but the individual citizen even if his/her right is guaranteed under the constitution, still he/she my be victimized people in authority. Because it is a lot easier to mistreat a poor individual citizen than a whole region, ethnic…. Because, in theory, if every individual right is protected, the group is also protected under the law.

            I’m willing to be corrected, but here in my adapted country (USA), whenever there is a perception of mistreatment of an individual citizen from a minority group, I can say with confidence, that the individual, will trust the federal law (authority) to defend him/her, as oppose to state or local authorities. I believe, federal laws are more friendly to individual minority citizens than the state and local authorities.

            There is no one size fits all liberal democracy in the West. All Western liberal democracies – the conservatives governments, the Christian governments, the socialist governments….. are all unique (different) from each other – as every country’s social makeup is different from the other.

            The only thing that make liberal democracies alike is (a) their governments are run by elected representatives (b) their elected representatives are guided by the rule of law – a law that limit the power of their elected representatives (c) their rule of law is moderated by the constitution – a constitution that limit the power of the federal/state/local governments (d) their constitution is –

            A LESS THAN PERFECT HAPPY MEDIUM CONTRACT AGREED UPON BY ALL STAKEHOLDERS.

            I hope, I answered your question. Thank you.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Tzigereda

            Selam Semere,
            The reason I asked you for clarification was because you put FGM & underage marriage with many other things where ” a happy medium” should be found. FGM and underage marriage lead to irreversible physical and mental damage so that by no means it can be tolerated or compromised, what ever and where ever the custom law allows or forbids.
            The mantra of ” protecting awaldna” has been about controlling and never about respecting the rights of women. If belonging to a nation,to a group means, that my rights as a woman is under constant evaluation if it fits to the attitude, tradition of them, then we have huge problem, yitrefena.
            BTW, women do not belong to minorities.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Tzigereda

            1. – “The reason I asked you for clarification was because you put FGM & underage marriage with many other things where ” a happy medium” should be found.”

            I put FGM with the rest because it is one of them. To be precise, FGM was and still is one of the contentious cultural issues in building and governing a nation (any nation). Don’t get me wrong: when it comes to FGM, I know as much as you do, what is right and what is wrong. I know what is good and what is bad for Eritrean girls as I’m a father myself. But it is not that simple – knowing is not enough. Because to liberate young girls from FGM, to liberate Eritrean girls from underage marriage, you’ve to change the ‘Virginity Valued’ culture of a “good woman” in our society. To liberate Eritrean women from male domination, you’ve to change the way Eritrean society thinks and operates. And that is a daunting task.

            To change the male dominated power structure of the Eritrean society or any society for that matter – in order to liberate women – you’ve to educate the public for generations, and you’ve to empower women economically, politically, educationally and socially. And the fight to change society (cultural fight), in order to liberate Eritrean women starts from your and my immediate families, to your place of worship and mine, to your close families and friends and mine, to your children’s school and mine………

            Therefore, since liberating of the Eritrean women is going to require fundamental cultural change of the whole Eritrean society, and since liberating of the Eritrean woman is going to require economic, political, educational and social empowerment of the Eritrean women, this is by no means going to be, a task you could accomplish overnight, or by one or two generations for that matter.

            Because in this fight, you’re not just fighting hardheaded men in the Eritrean society, but also faiths, cultures, social values, social norms, economic status (class), educational value and opportunity for females, job opportunity, equal pay for equal work….. and on top of that, don’t forget to factor-in the impediment motherhood creates on the success of every woman.

            Therefore, every society on this planet has to find a happy medium to move foreword – hoping making continuous piecemeal improvements and reforms would one day get women where they ought to be. You know as much as I do, the first step to liberate a women is, each and every one of us to believe on our daughters and to help excel our daughters in every way. if each and everyone of us succeed in empowering our daughters in every way – changing (amending) laws and constitutions is just piece of cake.

            2. – “FGM and underage marriage lead to irreversible physical and mental damage so that by no means it can be tolerated or compromised, what ever and where ever the custom law allows or forbids.”

            I wouldn’t doubt “FGM and underage marriage leading to irreversible physical and mental damage”. But it was the reality of every woman in our region and beyond, for thousands of years, and probably it still is to a lesser extent today – I don’t know much.

            But make no mistake: fighting for gender equality is not a women’s responsibility, it is the responsibility of every levelheaded fair minded person. I love my daughters as much as any parent in this planet (father, mother…). I want my daughters to excel in life as much as I do for my son. And I believe that is true with most fathers.

            3.- “BTW women do not belong to minorities.”

            I don’t remember putting it that way. In fact women are the majority in almost all societies unless there is human tampering involved. Anyway, I stand corrected if I said or implied that.

            Thank you for engaging and thank you for your respect.

            Semere Tesfai

  • Kokhob Selam

    ሰላም ክቡር ብጻይ:-

    ሰናይ ንባብ እዩ ነይሩ ::

  • Simon Kaleab

    Selam Amanuel H.,

    a typo …

    It should be: “its diversity”, not “it’s diversity”.

    • Paulos

      Dude, really? There is no need to be pedantic to say the least!

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Paulos.

        Small errors will distract from the main topic.

        What are editors for?

        • Paulos

          Selam Simon,

          What you pointed out is hardly editing for it doesn’t alter the message Emma is trying to convey unless otherwise one is freaking annoying.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Paulos,

            You still miss the point.

        • Paulos

          Dear Editors,

          I feel you and remain in solidarity with your rightful demand. Your comparison with PFDJ agelglot is a bit of a stretch though for the good Ayay Saleh Johar to the very least gives you an audience to hear your grieviences.

  • GitSAtSE

    Selamat Aya Amanuel Hidrat,

    Some of us are suffering from a long hiatus due to the holidays reason for a long semester break. Barley registered to all of our classes and purchased the text books, it is doubtful before any of us will be effective before January 20th, 2017 and not to mention the big home coming game in February where The Steel Curtain, i,e. The Steelers will be going for #7, yes 7 Rings that no other has reached! after beating the Patriots.

    Speaking of Patriots and Nationalism, your current Diversity topic will hopefully capture the CREAM of the CROP to give it ample attention from all angles without the distractions of all the glitter of 1/20 and Pittsburgh’s 7th run on February circa Two times SEVEN day of LOVE on the Second Month.

    As for my self, I fully intent to attack the enemy from this Alkalies heel comparison statement of yours I will quote below. (Shortly after my bookstore and beer run of course)
    you said
    (a) a totalitarian regime that controls the lives of the Eritrean people and the apparatus of oppression and (b) the opposition camp with different views and with no “structural relationships” to exercise their converging views to fight the state machine of PFDJ to emancipate our people.

    Allow me to only state now my agreement by stating that controlling the lives is indeed oppression. but in your (b) There is significant pull and push factors arising from The Liberals Vs Conservatives tripping one another. I don’t see why Saay7 for example did not find it humorous when an Eritrean from the “I am opposition” started his address to the Atlantic Council with “I am from the opposition and I love Dictatorship.” This is just the tip of the ice burg so to speak.

    As I await for the class to arrive I do ask your pardon for this incomplete commencement but allow me to leave you with a statement from Al Mustofa addressing the people of Orphalese (meteAbitikha IsmaelAA will be my mentor this semester.)

    Al Mustofa the Chosen One to the People of Orphalese
    “At the city gate and by your fireside I have seen you prostate and worship your own freedom, Even as slaves humble themselves before a tyrant and praise him though he slays them, Ay, in the grove of the temple and in the shadow of the citadel I have seen the freest among you wear their freedom yoke and a handcuff, And my heart bled within me; for you can only be free when even the desire of seeking freedom becomes a harness to you, and when you cease to speak of freedom as a goal and a fulfillment.” The Prophet Khalil Gibran

    tSAtSE

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Selye,

      Liberalism is only philosophical concept that defend individual freedom. I will not cease to speak of freedom as far as I argue for liberal democracy. Good choice, Ismael AA is the best mentor intellectually and humanely.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

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