Inform, Inspire, Embolden. Reconcile!

Baby Corp!

I look left and right before I post this. For some reason, I tend to receive a hail of unhappy e-mails from people you would least expect would oppose what I say, that somehow manage to send me into another run of hibernation. It was more fun writing as a ghost. I didn’t care what people said because I could tell if the writer was mad at me or mad at some AS. Now people know who they are talking to and many have a good grasp of who you are and know what works to keep your mouth shut. Does that limit the freedom of speech?

OK let me shoot a couple of articles before someone develops new tricks. Baby Corp is the imaginary baby factory in Boss Baby. It produces babies with a mission. They have no mother or father and certainly no ‘social group’ to claim loyalty to. The only thing that makes them babies is the preoccupation with the trivial. It is a kid’s movie. Here on our own baby corp., the drama is no different. There are times when I know their kids are taking over and posting stuff on the forum when the fathers go to work. I would kindly ask admin to please remind ‘abeyti adi’ not to share their pin with minors or to install padlocks on keyboards.

The idea here is to express gratitude for the efforts behind the great articles that grace Awate all the time, especially the more recent ones starting with the beautiful Dawit Mesfin and ending with my favorite Amanuel Hidrat. Raji’s reportage of Asmara and Ismail Al-Mukhtar’s depiction of the good old days as well as Gadi’s frustration at the new bad days offered the context for everything in between. To the slacktivists in the comments section, all I can say is ‘kibret yihabelna’. If one of you kids gets the message please pass to daddy & mommy when they come home.

A few concepts proposed by these esteemed writers attracted my interest and thought to throw my bid in the tender. The first was Dawit’s ‘self-liberation’ where he seems to argue for a rise above the tide to disentangle ourselves from self-interested subjectivity that biases our judgement and allow nature to run its course. The underlying premise in his argument is that once we let go of subjectivity, objectively driven reality should take us to the optimum solution (which by definition is always good) much more efficiently than by hammering and chiseling our way out. Here the difference between the subjective and objective is that the first is made up and a social construction that can be reconstructed at will, while the second is governed by natural laws from the Lord where only the selfless go to heaven.

Excuse me if I confuse between Y. Zerai and H. Zeru, brilliant writers who deserve utmost respect. I guess I am not alone in confusing the names though. This time brother Yohannes Zerai gave the adherents of Dawit’s philosophy the name ‘progressive forces’ and drafted the backbone of their first ‘politikawi miniqiqaH’. He decided that our planet is divided between ‘gesgesti’ who like to march forwards towards Dawit’s optimum solution and ‘adharharti’, essentially ‘Hankolti’ using misplaced sub-national grievances to sabotage the march. The underlying presumption and link with Dawit is that ‘progressive’ is someone who has managed self-liberation and transformed into the fifth dimension of objectivity – ‘wedAwinet’. ‘Regressive’ are those ‘deqi mama’ stuck within a narrow circle of ‘nigdet’ politics socializing.

In this two-dimensional planet, the only axis that determines whether you are ‘gesgasi’ or ‘adHarHari’ is whether you believe the PFDJ is a nationalist organization or a Tigrigna ethnic organization. It does not matter what you know and can prove to be true. I think I said or read this before: the only reason we believe in God is because we are not 100% sure that He exists. You cannot believe on something that you know to be true. That is why we do not believe in tables and chairs and even other humans. If you are a Christian or Muslim who claims that you are a 100% certain God does exist, you are an infidel and you are going to hell no matter what your guru may be telling you. Belief by its very nature can only exist in the margin of error. That is the margin where God examines your commitment as ‘blessed are those who believe in the unseen’. Even in the court system the proof that is usually required is evidence beyond a reasonable doubt. Why would the state waste money on lawyers and judges if the requirement to prove that a crime had been committed was certainty? The police alone would have served justice. In politics, the standard is much lower.

Brother Ismail, another favorite of mine – tip of the hat, came up with a toolbox erecting ‘medeber taElim’ and completed the structure: Marx with the philosophy – Lenin the ideology – and Mao the business plan. Not so fast though! As always whenever an idea starts from imagination and passes through various stages until it makes it to a business plan on the ground, it is inevitable that it loses some of the traction in every stage. Here, there was a little gap that needed to be filled and that is where Brother Amanuel Hidrat comes in. The core claim of ‘self-liberation’ as stated is liberty from the tendency to construct subjective (imagined) realities towards accepting objective facts on the ground as the basis of judgement. The core idea behind progressivism as stated is liberty from objective facts (that fill the opposition arena with negativity) to construct imagined realities (of national unity) for a movement that would change the negative facts on the ground. You would think these are contrarian ideas? Not for these smart guys. Everything always works out somehow.

Emma’s idea is that the so constructed ‘progressive forces’ should at least recognize that the facts on the ground are a bit different than imagined by Dawit et al. The power of his argument lies on the recognition that, where we accept the self-liberated progressives to go it alone, the amount of ignored facts would be too many to bridge for all practical reasons. He reinvents the concept of ‘social groups’ to refer to non-Tigrigna ethnic groups, and calls the latter to have some sympathy towards the former. Why would anyone become an aggressor, if he/she can sympathize with the victim you may say! The American civil rights movement of black people had white people who sympathized with them, his counter example. The white sympathizers took the train-ride and joined the movement ‘AS – IS’ to prove their point and did not ask black people to abandon the civil rights movement and wait for favors from slave owners, which is different from your call for ‘allyship’, my bid.

Pitfalls

I do understand the status quo is difficult to move from partly because it is marked by a few milestones in our recent history. Let me touch on two of them. They might not be directly related to the discussion above but lack of clarity on them certainly is a motivating factor.

One such milestone is the 1997 constitution that many here seem to think is the magic bullet to unite the opposition. The 1997 constitution, by its own admission as you know, is a “means of governing” (replacing the PFDJ Charter), i.e. a means for government to control or govern the people – not a means of people controlling government. It is a constitution premised on the assumption that the living are here to serve the dead and not the other way round, where the dead sacrificed to serve the living. It is by far the dumbest constitution ever written. These guys were on dope when they wrote it. Even if you are a Tigrigna that we tend to assume are part of the conspiracy, you would be the first to dump the constitution unless you wanted your grandkids to continue to be slaves of ‘Hidri sema’etat’. Go read it and prove me wrong if you can.

In our little world here, where instead of consolidating the cause that we should fight for, we are obsessed with consolidating a united opposition that would then hitchhike any direction, things such as the constitution tend to give people false hope that a mobilizing formula can be worked out. That is where the old guard of the opposition is stuck. I am proud that the ELL recently refused to sign a declaration by at international human rights grouping because the statement included a line requesting the implementation of the 1997 constitution as a solution. I call on the rest to catch up. We are through with this rubbish and please do not bring it up again as that tends to make you look a bit compulsive.

The second such milestone is partly the result of nature running its course and partly the result of push and pull factors by all parties. The concept of ‘social groups’ used by Emma and many others is identical to the concept of ‘biherat’ used by the PFDJ and ‘bihereseboch’ by Weyane. It means everything except the dominant group. Pull factors include the work of various organizations to unite the ‘social groups’ to stand up for themselves. The important thing is that the concept of ‘social groups’ recognizes the fact that, what we used to know as ‘ethnic groups’, centered on linguistic boundaries that used to have some economic and political meanings, are gone for good. What is left of the old ethnic groups are social boundaries more to do with what goes on in a wedding than anything having to do with people’s rights.

Don’t call the party on yet! Ethnic groups are not completely gone. They have shape-shifted. From a political stand point, today’s Eritrea has three ethnic groups. The first is the Tigrigna. You may not want me to explain their political significance to the nation as a group. The true scope of the Tigrigna becomes even clearer when viewed as a coalition of ethno-regional highlanders that includes Muslim minorities within the region with shared interest (policy motivation on matters such as state-sanction land grabbing and the defeat of geographic regionalism) vis-à-vis the rest. The second ethno-regional group is the Afar whose definition is beyond debate. They have to-date failed to take advantage of their unique situation primarily due to a weak-timid leadership and the pressures to stay clear of working out cross-border solutions with their Ethiopian counterparts. The third ethno-regional group is the lowlands ethnic coalition with a unique multicultural identity and a clear political agenda. Action on this front is still pending but a steady progress is engulfing the scene. I am not going into the Bejastan thing again for practical reasons but please keep your eyes open and judge for yourself.

None has described the PFDJ’s culture better than the great SAAY. The part I love is when he describes President Isaias when denying the existence of things that everyone seems to take for granted, such as prisons, or Somali links or poverty. Typical line of reasoning includes: ‘men ilukum … abbey r’eekhumo … intay ChiPTi alokum …’ (SAAY please enact one of those shows, just for fun). Of course, this is how he and all loyalists cook the conspiracy theory that Eritrea is under attack. MS (Mahmuday) as you know is my favorite guy and I have all respect for everything he had done. However, his line of questioning imitating the master to imply that the whole grievance thing that is being orchestrated is part of a CIA conspiracy against the nation, only proves his credentials as a loyal and good learner from the past. Pick the phone my dear brother and call any of your relatives and they will have a little more than what you bargained for, I guarantee.

The Tactics

Invoking the word ‘baby’ should not give you impression that I think these guys are naïve. Far from that, because the keyword in the title is ‘corp.’ from the corporation. I am trying to convince you, through this for lack of better ways, that this, in line with my previous positions, is a brilliant strategy, being employed by activists of the highlander ethno-regional coalition in their attempt to abort the mission. You know how things work in Eritrean politics! As soon as you make an argument, readers will google and place you on the map before vetting the sincerity of the argument. That’s why I have a pen name. I tried to double check if this unique Eritrean measuring stick does work. Try it for yourself and you will be surprised how this layman’s tool is a brilliant shortcut to researching and testing motivations behind arguments.

That is partly where the lack of trust and related frustration is coming from. Do you ask yourselves why is it that nine out of ten deniers of the crimes against lowlanders must be a highlander – Christian or Muslim alike? Is this part of the game? How does sympathy with the self-made catastrophes of the Tigrigna and their regime help the cause of lowlanders? I know thousands died in Sinai, Libya and the Mediterranean. We all feel bad and wish we had a better refugee regime in Europe and elsewhere. But how is that related to Eritrean ethnic politics? How does that equate to deliberate targeting of the Tigrigna by the PFDJ? These are migration routes that are open to anyone who can pay and is prepared to take the risks. Does the PFDJ own these boats? How many victims of the PFDJ can afford thousands of dollars to cross deserts and seas to Italy? Does the PFDJ only target Tigrigna for the national service as the motivation for the catastrophe?

I am saying this to motivate all those (especially lowlanders) who have managed to walk away from this mess not to respond to the campaign of shaming by those who should be ashamed for trying to cripple a people’s struggle for emancipation. To hell with their Eritrea!

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  • Saba

    Dear nedefti Quwam in cyber,
    Still with the defunct 97′ constitution? The mere presence of me will unite the toothless immediately. They are united against and not united for something. Besides one is like a physiologist who cares about principles and ideologies and the other is like an ER doctor who cares about what works at the moment. So they need each other, the ER doc relies on the principles of the physiologist. Both of them profess to practice democracy but unfortunately they act like dictators if you challenge them. Please show us your democratic principles starting from your post.
    Is it true that Gedab news is banned from reporting about the status of the opposition?

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Salam Saba,

      You feign to be well polished, civilized, democratic, developed to the extent of rocket science. Congratulation. Don’t forget to fill the barrel water. This is the net outcome of your uncles managing a nation. By the way, did you take your alms for September 2017? Don’t forget to send some macarona to your uncles, your boss likes it very much. I think it the dearest dish to him. Sometimes, he speaks about it in TV. Once, he said, ” Do you want to feed you macarona?” to the crippled tegadelt who were just requesting to bring them lentils.

      Al-Arabi

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Saba,
      No one can ban Gedab News from reporting anything. Unfortunately, throughout the last decade and half, many of the failures of the opposition and the Ethiopian alliy was blamed on Awate.com. Though it was flattering, we reached a decision to let them be and we played deaf and mute to give them time to recuperate. Now time is up–two years is enough freedom from shadows that follow them. Soon the regular programs will resume. 🙂

      • blink

        Dear Saleh Jouhar
        Well ,as always they will blame you and the only difference is , this time will be different from the last one. I hope you play as formidable challenge and check every one to the interest of Eritreans.

        Kenya election canceled by high court more money to lawyers and again a debt to Kenyans.

  • Selamat A-Arabi, Hameed.

    Well, say two monkeys saddled up their camels caravan and headed eastward for _________. Each day, they rested and prepared their meals for sustenance. Swapping, fish, dried meats, snacks, spices fruits and vegetables spices, back and forth from their respective sacks for their 17 day road trip. And of course, they battled the elements, the weather and one another on some of the difficult nights and days of the journey. For example, on the later days of the journey, the last or second to the last stretch towards their destination this LEMON story occurred:
    Each one of the two monkeys was preparing a salad for one’s supper. They discovered only one LEMON was in stock. Each wanted the lemon and the rather simple disclosure of each needing the LEMON escalated to loud, louder shouts and screeching screams of “I MUST HAVE THIS LEMON FOR MY SUPPER.” A tug of war for the THE LEMON, a mad scramble for the FUMBLED LEMON, elbows flying grazing a left and right ear, knees torpedoing on a torso and thighs, heads CLASHED, TESTA, boogna, casoti and their bodies bruised faces lumby, scratched, their eyes bloodied, the Two exhausted monkey parted to catch their breath. The LEMON on the ground equidistant from both of their gazing positions. Famished and tired, they decided to agree bitterly to cut the LEMON in half.

    Each Monkey approached his bowl of salad with half a LEMON grasped.
    First monkey pealed the rind (Qraf) of his half LEMON and garnished his salad.
    Second monkey squeezed the juice (tSimQua) of his LEMON into his bowl of salad.

    Though my given name is Solomon, NO NEED to CUT the LEMON in Half.

    Dialogue, Whole Lemon!

    The whole Enchilada POSSIBLE. And our Constitution is THE WHOLE LEMON.

    AmErigitSAtSE A40 A40 doesn’t have questions in his comments. Rather provides answers. I got you covered.
    tSAtSE

  • Abraham H.

    Dear Awate webmaster, I’ve recently been experiencing my pc getting slowed down, and even sometimes, unresponsive when I access your website. I wonder what is going on, and whether you are aware of this issue. Thanks.

  • Selamat,

    What is your preference? Google maps or Waze.
    Nwaze Waze. Pinning the tail… Ellll Dot dll

    Al-Nahda (Arabic: النهضة‎‎ / ALA-LC: an-Nahḍah; Arabic for “awakening” or “renaissance”) was a cultural renaissance that began in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in Egypt, then later moving to Ottoman-ruled Arabic-speaking regions including Lebanon, Syria and others

    Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‎, translit. ʿīd al-aḍḥā, lit. ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’‎, [ʕiːd ælˈʔɑdˤħæː]), also called the “Sacrifice Feast”, is the second of two Muslim holidays celebrated worldwide each year, and considered the holier of the two. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ishmael, as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before he sacrificed his son God intervened by sending his angel Jibra’il (Gabriel), who then put a sheep in his son’s place. In commemoration of this, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts: the family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.

    tSAtSEism

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Hi all,

    Black, red and white bulls made friendship with a hyena. From day one, the hyena told her friends the white and red bull, I am not happy about the black bull, therefore, let me eat him, the white and red bull agreed. Again when the hyena became hungry, she told the white bull that she will eat the red bull, the white bull agreed. Lastly, came the turn of the white bull and he said his well-known Arabic adage, ” I was eaten the day the black bull was eaten”.

    Let us assume, if the Big Boys of Shabia commenced in 1995 with legal procedure of making a constitution, Etritreans wouldn’t have argued about a constitution in 2017. The first procedure in our case should have been national reconciliation congress, then general election for a constitutional commission. In 1995, the Big Boys of Shabia marginalized the majority of the Eritrean people that led them to come up with a dead constitution that lacks the entire Eritrean people support. This has made Isaias to shelf it and imprison its engineers without any fear from the public. The Big Boys of Shabia and their supporters don’t want to acknowledge as the white bull that they were eaten the day they marginalized the majority of the Eritrean people.

    The people of Eritrea deserve a constitution founded on legal procedure that comprises all Eritreans from day one to the end. Our struggle should be built on correct and legal procedure not on whims and patched works. Today, the people of Eritrea are the victims of past decisions that were taken blindly. I think, enough is enough, they want to start fresh with legal issues, well researched decisions and participation of all without any marginalization.

    Al-Arabi

    • Kokhob Selam

      Selam Hameed Al-Arabi

      Exactly!
      KS,,

    • Selamat Hameed Al-Arabi,

      ente, mskone neiru, wezeterefe… if, but, coulda, shoulda shida shida wedikha kem shinti gemell wezeterefe…
      I too wonder what kind of nation the ELF envisioned. Hrayy ‘ske. QetSilna nwaze waze.
      On the answering machine BM’s song “ilekumm neire AAntebo” was playing. Every Sixty and one Degiga degiga TisheAAte tedmro Hade deQuique nwHa porsmamente nay Exedrin Aspero aspiring fewsi migrain tsemiE ‘mo, kab “ilekum neire AAntebo” BM tdegagem.
      Tebeges.
      zey zey zey is a category of its own. Speaking of allegories that is.
      tSAtSE

  • Nitricc

    Greetings All; speaking of constitution, I have a question for the Ethiopians. There is a finalized plan to break Gonder up to three Killlies, making Qimant its own administration. Doing so, is this breaking up Gonder covered by the Ethiopian constitution, article 39? or do they make amendment. Ethiopia is heading to a very dangerous direction.

    • Kokhob Selam

      Greetings Nitriccay

      What do you mean? Why do you come with constitution of Ethiopian? what about Eritrean- constitution.. is that already dead?

      KS..

      • Nitricc

        Hayak Allah Ustaz Kokhob lol sara told me to practice those things lol. Anyway, kokhob nice to see you around my man. the reason I brought this up is because I was testing the Ethiopians if they have any courage to talk with what is going on in their country. And they failed as usual. I don’t know why but they are never comfortable talking about their countries pressing issues while they can’t stop about Eritrea problems. that is why I brought it. Regarding Eritrean constitution? well, one can’t die where it never lived and existed, so, the Eritrean constitution is yet to come and it will be the real deal.

        • Kokhob Selam

          Hayak Allah Ustaz Nitricc ,

          If Abi the great would be around, you could fly, without feather.

          KS,,

        • Hi Nitricc,

          These days it should be you who should feel uncomfortable talking about the country you seem to know only from far away. Otherwise, the last weeks should have worried you a lot and given you some headache, when you read that there are people who are there to tell you right in your face that what exists is agazianland and bejastan and nothing else. Unfortunately, instead, you keep on harping on your old song, “ethiopia disintegrating”.
          You should have at least given the link, so that we would know what exactly is happening. Nevertheless, from what you are saying, it does not seem important, for one can conclude that it looks like an internal rearrangement within the amhara state. This, of course, has nothing to do with secession (disintegration) as you would have liked to happen.
          Moreover, you seem to have a weird notion about courage.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Horizon, I wouldn’t worry a bit about this nonsense agazianland and bejastan. Last time I check to dream and fantasize is not a crime. so, that is why I don’t even give it a minute of my time. However; what worries me is the giant elephant next door to me. I don’t want the elephant to fall because the shockwave and earth quick that comes from it is going to destroy me. When the weyane government shows you a clip of a new map, on a national TV, a map that showing Tigray extending all the way to Sudan, I wouldn’t call it a simple rearrangement within the state of Gonder. it is the cooking of TPLF to designate Ethiopia once for good. don’t you see what is happening? You have two alternatives, TPLF rules Ethiopia will continue as Ethiopia we know but is TPLF challenged and forced out power, disintegrate. that is their plan. the reason disintegration is preferred is if Ethiopians are divided and fighting each other, the Tigryans are free and unpunished.

          • Peace!

            Hi Nitric,

            You are brutal man,lol! You know Horizon dislikes to talk about any challenge Ethiopia is facing, and the funny things is when people ask him, he panics and goes Eritrea has too many problems too I know you wish too see Ethiopia disintegrated and your PFDJ is dying too….lol

            Seriously though, TPLF is now in desperate situation that it is arming the Somalis and other ethnic minorities to stabilize its devide and conquer strategy and to continue the ongoing annexation; just today twenty-five people have been killed in a serious fight at the Somali and Oromo border. Should we be worried? Of course!

            Peace!

          • Hi Nitricc,

            It has become difficult to know if the news about ethiopia you bring lately is fake news or not. Let me ask you one simple question; is eritrea better today than before? What is the importance of drawing a map on a piece of paper and forming a boundary? Do you expect peace and prosperity will come with it, simply you form a border of one sort or other?

            A country is much more than a border, a myth and a wish. If it were so, eritrea would have been much different than what she is today. The fate of greater tigray, or even agazianland will be worse and no better whatsoever. Ethiopians can exist only together, because separated they are doomed with no exception.

            Speaking about maps, lately i came across the post ethiopian occupation map of the italian territories of east africa. To my surprise the regions of Tigray and Afar were incorporated into eritrea, and this to acknowledge the service delivered by eritrean askaris. Does that mean anything? Of course not, as long as it was not implemented. I still doubt that the map of greater tigray was shown on national tv to intimidate the ethiopian people. That is out of the question.

            Nitricc, you people come with a thousand tricks to put the rest of ethiopians at odds with tigrayans. It is not working. Look at the whole picture of ethiopia and not only the small glitches here and there, and try to draw your conclusions and your forecast about the future political and economic situations in ethiopia. Ethiopia is an anchor state that the world powers want to exist in the area. You cannot compete with her, you can only cooperate. You better know that.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Friend Horizon,

            “Nitricc, you people come with a thousand tricks to put the rest of Ethiopians at odds with Tigrayans. ”

            Isn’t, your above statement generalizing? Can you now correct please! the trick you mention above will never represent me ..

            KS,,

          • Dear K.S.,

            OF COURSE, NOT. How can I speak of you in this way, you the eritrean gojjame, the symbol of ethio-eritrean friendship and similarity, and many other eritreans as well. I was speaking of the toxic regime apologists, and the small minority who hate ethiopia, because she happens to exist. The vast majority of eritreans are brothers and sisters.

            Nevertheless, a drop of poison can make the whole water in a lake undrinkable. Hate is as bad as that.

            Look, dear friend, habeshas can jump up and down as much as they want, nevertheless, they are going to live in the same room or different rooms of the same house, whether they like it or not. We should leave them enjoy their madness until then.
            Regards.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Thank you Horizon:-

            I know what is in your mind ! I know my Friend, those two people will come up with the best solution..

            KS,,

          • Nitricc

            Hey Horizon; we don’t need thousands of tricks to put you at odds with your each other. If can think the truth is the reverse. We are trying to help and wake you up from what is coming. Now, there is a new TPLF trick that is a poison covered with honey a gift for your new year. of course copying from Eritrea, this new year, 2010, TPLF going to make a with big celebration. The idea of the celebration, from outside is to bring the love of the nation and the unity of the people. I know you going to fall for it, but think this, if it is about Ethiopia and unity, why is it Teddy Afro unable to do his concert for the new year? just give you a test what is behind this big drama that is coming to Ethiopia. Also, this new year to celebrate the incredible achievements, I don’t know what the achievements are but I can see, Ethiopia is last in health care, Ethiopia is suffering from drought that affecting millions of lives, Ethiopia education sector is a joke, I know please spare me the 33 universities, I can list you till the cows come home. But what exactly is Ethiopian achievements worth celebrating for a week long? Dedebit is always dedebit.

          • Hi Nitricc,

            Let us say that all the things you listed above about ethiopia are all true. Now, what can you tell us about the achievements of the pfdj regime that overshadows the other countries in the region. Of course, you can tell us about the increase in per capita income due to decreased population as the result of the exodus (remember dia said so), the pfdj has killed millions of mosquitoes (iSem), mini dams, and may be some minor achievements.
            Water has become more expensive than petrol unless asmarinos go to where the water is found, i.e. the rivers (the genius dia said this too, remember). The old women are forced to say that they were not sitting in the dark at night even during the dergi era. In addition, the few industries the italians left behind and the buildings are either closed or crumbling, etc, etc. Come up just with one positive achievement of your regime and we will applaud your success.
            Teddy afro is critical of the tplf/eprdf government, and the ethiopian government is not as democratic as it tries to tell us, and it is scared of criticism. These things happen in african countries, although i am opposed to it. Democracy in ethiopia does not go that far, tolerating criticism in public, nevertheless, unlike the land of the iron curtain, he can travel to ethiopia freely any time he likes.
            Ethiopia is still a third world country and she knows it, but this does not mean that she has not done anything at all over the last 25 yrs. The world community acknowledges that ethiopia has taken steps forward in many fields. The previous day, even you were talking about the achievements of the eal.
            Moreover, elections are coming my friend, and a little propaganda mixed with a show of achievements is not a bad idea. Do not live in denial. Look at the modern electric trains as opposed to your 19th century cucinetta as abi calls it, mega dams compared to mini dams, tens of university when the only university in asmara is closed and your regime has outsourced its obligation of building universities by forcing out young eritreans to go to ethiopian universities which you have the audacity to underestimate, more than 90 state-of-the-art modern airplanes flying towards the four corners of the world and to all directions within the country (eal will connect asmara with the world in the future, do not doubt it), and the list can go on until you get tired.
            Unlike ethiopia, in pfdj’s eritrea, you do not have to win hearts and minds by showing achievements, because your regime own the hearts, minds, and the souls of the people, whether they like it or not.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Horizon; You can’t compare for someone who is having a headache with the one with cancer.
            What you see in Eritrea is nothing to compare with Ethiopia. I know, Eritrea’s headache is exaggerated so much out of proportion, it is natural for you to think Eritrea’s problems are gigantic. The reason for Eritrea’s issues to magnified in a million fold is, the older generation wanted instance gratification. In way, I can understand, after what they have paid for the creation of the nation, it is natural for them to feel betrayed and be disappointed. I.e. their loud voice made Eritrea’s problems to be talk about, scrutinized, flat out beaten to death. So, I can see why you feel Eritrea to have a bigger issue and bigger problems. The truth is, if tomorrow PIA to release the prisoners, to call for election and implements the constitution; 95% Eritrea’s headache is gone and the country is on a right path.Now, flip the coin, what does Ethiopia has to do to cure its element by 95%, so it can be heading to the right path?
            You see, Eritrea’s headache is simple and uncomplicated. And regarding the water, well, I got it from good authority, the reason for scares of water is, sells on bear and soft beverages are plummeting I.e. the state has to come up with a plan to drum up sells revenue and it is working. people in Asmara are consuming beer and soft beverages in a record levels. You don’t know ShaEbia, they know what they are doing.
            people it is a joke! lol

        • blink

          Dear Nitricc
          Why would they talk about Ethiopia governance, Ethiopian people are in a very good condition with their government and among each other. The Amhara and tigrians love each other and the Oromo love the tigrians more than ever. The ethnic federalism is glowing as expected, all the grievances are settled , that is why Mr. Ismael, Amanuel and others crying fool about the so called EPLF made constitution, it is madnesses.

          • Nitricc

            Hey Blink; I am not even paying attention about this EPLF made constitution madness. What is the point? it never existed. I think it will be a good idea to start from scratch a new constitution that serves the people of Eritrea’s well being. Regarding Ethiopia things are heating up, again. TPLF are at a lose, they don’t know what they are doing. They are badly in need of real leader and worst they divided. Ethnic federalism only works when distribution of resources are dispensed justly, other ways it is a recipe for disaster as we are witnessing in Ethiopia.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear blink,
            I think body is “crying fool (sic)” about the things you seem to have in mind. People in this forum voice their views on matters that concern them and others. I think you would be in considerable travail if you were to be challenged to prove when and where the two gentlemen you have named said or written about perscribing “ethnic federalism” for Eritrea.

      • blink

        Dear Kokob
        Welcome Mr.kokob , I hope you are kicking well.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Nitricc,
      .
      You are saying ….”breaking Gonder up” just to please Ali Salim, aren’t you?
      .
      Did you mean “Qimant” “social group” are going to have their own administration of their people, within the Amhara Killil?
      Without having any information about it, I would say that looks fine to me. What is your problem?
      You concluded by saying this……Ethiopia is heading to a very dangerous direction.
      .
      Would you stop salivating, please? It is embarrassing, even to Ali Salim, who was the proponent of it for over a decade. You are the only working foot soldier left for that wishful project. He is having 2nd thought about it, why don’t you give it up.
      .
      Mr. K.H

      • Nitricc

        Hey KIM; can you remotely explain to me why the new map was aired on a national TV? please! don’t be like the Eritreans, when TPLF tells you something believe them. Look what happened to Eritreans with stupid new TPLF’s Tigray map. now, please tell me how and why is the new Tigray map was aired on Ethiopian national TV.

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam Nitricc,
          .
          What new map was aired on Ethiopian National TV? Did that breaking news of Ethiopian national TV emanated from Washington D.C, by any chance.
          .
          TPLF is busy with a lot of things these days. I haven’t heard about the Map, so I will wait for a secondary source, if you don’t mind. A question of track records.
          .
          Mr. K.H

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Nitricc & Mr. K.H,

            Nitricc is almost correct!

            EBC, covering news regarding the recent “Gold Award For Land Rehabilitation” won by Tigray Kilil was showing a map of Ethiopia in the background which happened to be a map pulled from the internet and obviously fabricated by ill wishers.

            That map showed Tigray & Benishangul sharing border with Sudan but not Amhara Kilil (Gonder). EBC have apologized for the blunder since.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Fanti Ghanna,
            .
            Thanks for the investigative reporting. I wish Nitricc won’t go banana ape each time he hears fake news.
            Fanti, can you speculate what Nitricc would say by way of explanation.
            .
            1) Would he apologize for being gullible to consume all negative fake news about Ethiopia?
            2) Would he disappear for a week and behave as if nothing happened?
            3) Can he come up with a unique plausible explanation?
            4) Would he lol it till next time?
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Selam Kim Hanna,

            The unfortunate thing about this story is that there are still some people who entertain the idea of greater tigray and they can smuggle the defunct map of greater tigray into the ethiopian broadcasting system. I believe that such tactics should not only be condemned, but there should be consequences and some heads should role (i mean should be kicked out of the positions they hold), either in the regional government of tigray or the ebc, or both. Simple apology is not enough, especially for people who do not want to acknowledge after a quarter century the internal ethnic borders of federal ethiopia. This is extremely provocative, especially when ethnic federalism is the brainchild of tplf.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Horizon,
            .
            I agree with you, there should be an investigation of how it came about. Those responsible must be brought to court in a public way. These things have trails and a thorough investigation of the mechanics should shed light on this particular instance. Perhaps, the process should educate as to how to protect EBC from future similar attempts.
            .
            The question to ask is ….Who benefits from wilding up the Nitriccs of our time. The answer to that question is important, in my opinion.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Fanti Ghana,
            .
            Just a couple hours ago I read saay responding to Ismail AA on a serious matter. I have no comment on his post, but the first line included that he, saay, an Eritrean activists, nationalist expressed his desire to nominate you to lead Ethiopia for 15 years. My goodness, I object.
            .
            You know how much I love you dearly. First of all, since Woyane support for an Eritrean leader is a disqualifying factor, it seems to me, the reverse is correct as well.
            Second of all, Meles was enough for Ethiopia, don’t you think? I support you for Ambassador to Eritrea.
            I recommend you decline his provacative consideration.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • saay7

            Haha Mr KH:

            Well, first of all nobody should lead anything for 15 years: not even a family grocery store, never mind a machinery as complex as a State.

            But, if we must then the candidates I nominate are (a) people who know the dynamics of their country first hand and not from google; (b) love all their people and not “their people”; (c) are not obsessive about their org and allow for the possibility it makes mistakes; (d) are multicultural and have ventured outside their birthplace and crossed oceans (e) give people the benefit of doubt and are overflowing with kindness and (f) realize that regardless of how democratic and respectful of citizens civil liberties a leader is, he or she also recognizes the need for a Wedi Kassa.

            I have seen a-e traits in both Ismail and Fanti. The two individuals being long term members of organizations, I am assuming they also agree with statement (f) above. And if they don’t, we will just appoint some national security type for them.

            Fanti for ambassador? The debate here is whether he should be PM, President or Emperor.

            saay

          • Nitricc

            Hey SAAY, who is wedi kassa? And you left one major requirement. the leader must be free of religion. I don’t mean atheist but some who views religion as the private business of the citizens. If not you are going to have major problem in the name of religion.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Nitricc,
            .
            Hey, good to see you.
            Don’t you have some responding to do elsewhere on this thread about TV?
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Nitricc

            Hey KIM, I heard you. there rules for links so, you got wait for the weekends. Besides, Fanti told you the same thing I have told you. the only thing I cut out, by design was the “apologizing” yes they did apologized. are you saying mislead you?

          • Nitricc

            Hey Kim, I will give you the news. Ethiopia bought 40 % of Togo’s notional air line last year.
            And new about to buy 50 % share of ARIK, Nigerian airline. You see everything is not doom and gloom. Your country is good at this. At least at one thing.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            .
            I will await for Fanti’s response to all of this.
            The political, diplomatic and other skills required to navigate through it all approaches “Solomonic” proportion.
            Even though I have my doubts he maybe able to come through with flying colors.
            So, his response will determine our response.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Mr. K.M., Saay, Nitricc …,

            Sorry I came in late to this thread, and I am a little delirious.

            I won’t be surprised if Saay mentioned my name next to Ismail AA for any thing, because as they say, love is blind. He sees only the good in me. The truth is however, I would make the worst leader of any village let alone a nation. My temperament may be okay, but I don’t have the sophistication a political leadership demands.

            I am wondering though whether this is one of his tactics to infuriate Abi and force him to come back.

            PS:
            The love is mutual brother K.H.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Fanti Ghana,
            .
            Dear Solomon Fanti Ghana,
            .
            I am satisfied. You are saying in so many words ….a man has got to know his limitations.
            I promise, when the Solomonic Dynasty returns I will act on the Ambassadorship offer. You deserve to be happy.
            .
            I am sure, Ras Abi is having difficulty logging in for technical reasons. I am sure Awate is not party to it. Berhe H, was having difficulty recently with his interaction too as I have in the past. You keep trying creative ways to find your way. I hope he comes back officially as Luel Ras Abi.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            I don’t think I necessary agree with your position that nobody should lead anything more than 15 years. Change is good but it should be done for the sake of change. There are many people who lead their organization well for many, many years. Although they are exception in most chases. (e.g. Warren Buffet , Lee Iacocca ). Looking from investment point of view, one of the advice of Buffet when choosing how successful a company would be is looking at the leader / manager. He says, bet on the jockey and not the horse.

            What’s this business of having “Wedi Kassa”? Really… No we do not need this as a requirement. The county should have a security / intelligence officer who is accountable to someone one/ somebody the national assembly, the courts etc…not Hushuk, Hushuk to the leader. It should be an institution and should work based on a mandate.

            As to experiences, sometime you can learn on the job. Speaking of experiences.. wedi kassa..has never seen/been to Asmara until Eritrea independence:).

            Berhe

  • saay7

    Selamat Semere:

    The upvotes (the only voting Eritreans do) is people co-signing with the sentiment expressed:

    * that those of you in the West who have exempted your kids from National Service are the loudest proponents of Indefinite National Service
    * that those of you who, living in the West, rail against Western violation of your rights (including traffic tickets), are the biggest defenders of lawlessness and impunity in Eritrea;
    * that those of you who have found ways to bribe generals and escort your children via “legal means” (“scholarship”) are the echo chamber of a government which denies its people are leaving in droves

    No, I didn’t see this in SEMG and COI report. I believe the two documents call you people who lives in fear of the government (until you ask for forgiveness and pay your 2%). They understand your plight (you should send them a thank you card: graciousness is very Eritrean.)

    No, it wasn’t to advertise Awasa or Debrezeit (I have never been a part of it and I am very skeptical of Ethiopia-sponsored meetings) but if it soothes your conscience from focusing on the fact that you are arguing that the reason you went to the field and bled and fought for years was to replace an Ethiopian tyranny by an Eritrean tyranny, that your whole focus was to stick a little label that says “Made In Eritrea”, go for it buddy.

    saay

    • Semere Tesfai

      Selam SAAY7

      The PFDJ government can’t have zero support inside Eritrea and run the country for quarter of a century.

      The PFDJ government can’t have zero support inside Eritrea and have thousands of supporters in every corner of the world including in your town

      Did you see the people in Seattle, in Oakland, in the Scandinavian – just last week?

      Saleh: let’s be real, at best we’ve divided community. We’ve to work hard to bring our communities closer. The nobody supports PFDJ is a nonstarter.

      Semere Tesfai

      • saay7

        Selam Semere:

        Where did I say PFDJ government has “zero support”?

        For its 26-year rule, the Gov of IA, relies on the same things that all dictatorshps have relied on:

        1. Use of fear and terror to cow the population into submission
        2. highly powerful propaganda which feeds on people’s fear that while the dictatorship they have is brutal, at least it is “ours” and its replacement is likely to be equally brutal or worse and the next dictator won’t be “ours.”

        You are a fine practitioner of # 2 above and whereas practitioners of # 2 above (he is a devil, but at least he is our devil) occasionally will express their dissatisfaction with # 1 above, you are that rare Eritrean who has justified it as necessary. And stunningly, you are a former freedom fighter.

        saay

        • Semere Tesfai

          Selam SAAY7

          For me it never was, never is, and never will be – “at least it is our devil” thing. My problem is……. I just don’t see the better organization than PFDJ that you’re seeing. Aren’t we suppose to have a better alternative when we get rid of PFDJ. Am I wrong?

          I’m not young. I’ve seen many governments in my life – Haileselassie, Derg, Jebha-Abay, Hukumet-Numeri and here in the USA since Ronald Reagan. That is a lot of years and a lot of governments. And in all of them there is a common theme that comes repeatedly: We have to fight and fight harder.

          Ever since the day I knew about government, all I saw was imperfection of governments and Ghedlis. Haileselasse government was corrupted, Jebha was corrupted, the Sudanese government of JaAffar Al-Numeiri was corrupted. I don’t know ShaEbya ask Mahmuday – may be there was liberalism in its true sense there.

          And what puzzl’s me here at Awate is, when people say our Ghedli is hijacked by Isaias and his cronies.

          Now tell me: if your ideal organization was in power for the past 26 years, how democratic of a country do you think Eritrea would’ve been today? If you don’t mind, could you please tell me which organization would’ve run Eritrea better?

          Semere Tesfai

          • MS

            Ahlan Semere Tesfai
            What scared me most was your conclusion that Eritrea is and will be besieged by superpowers and basically, the curse is on its size- since it is small and since it is wanted by all [I don’t know why] the entertainment of democracy is far off. I believe that was your conclusion. The other point that prodded my curiosity was your assertion that the writing of the Constitution and its democratic aspirations was primarily based on the assumption that Ethiopia would be friendly (forever?) with Eritrea and that Eritrea would marshal its plan without regional and global threats- something to that effect. had your argument been along the idea that “yes, our people deserve to manage and control its affairs (democracy), but…but…but…but the current geopolitical situation is not helping to speed that up, but…but, but, but, the government needs to show it is genuine in tackling those issues; we are new in a hostile region and every gangster is trying to get the best out of us….”, probably you would get some bruised nose but you would be able to defend it the way PFDJ keeps defending that position. I personally don’t accept even this position and for a reason:
            Unless we are to believe that Eritrea has no man to care for it except IA, most of the decorated leaders of EPLF said Eritrea could monitor the situation of the peace agreement and if needed could defend itself while resuming the democratization process. Party formation and election laws were made while Eritrea was still in war or in its immediate aftermath. REmember what triggered all the U_Turn of IA was when the executive committee of PFDJ concluded that it needed to assign a committee that would investigate how the war had been conducted; then came Sherifo’s refusal to halt the election law process (I think the next step for Sherifo was to forward it to the national council for approval), then came Sherifo’s removal from his post, then the snowflake kept its crescendo….What do you read Semere? I read the following: IA realized that for the first time his colleagues had lost confidence in him and that they might throw him out. A man who was a close colleague of IA had once told me that that was not their intention. Their intention was to help him out go through that period….
            On your question to SAAY, “if your ideal organization was in power for the past 26 years, how democratic of a country do you think Eritrea would’ve been today? If you don’t mind, could you please tell me which organization would’ve run Eritrea better?”
            We can’t really tell because the process did not allow us to figure this out. Had the process proceeded as it was meant to, perhaps the organizations we see today would not exist after all. Perhaps we would have had different organizations and different faces of leaders.

          • saay7

            Mahmouday:

            A small update: Sheriffo’s was halted not when he was ready to present his case to the National Council. It was when he booked time on Eri-TV to be interviewed about the process. And the Grand Censor (IA) directed Eri-TV to halt the process because “I have some input on what your committee did” and the rest you know is firing him and repossessing the company car, in the midst of driving it.

            And, yes, you and your source are absolutely right: the committee to investigate the war (its trigger and how it was conducted) scared Isaias to death and he strikes when scared.

            saay

          • saay7

            Selamat Semere:

            My ideal organization would have been made up of the Reformist of the EPLF and the Reformist of the ELF and young nationalists who don’t belong to either organization, are respectful of their contribution to making Eritrea a reality, but are bolder and less commie–more pro-free-enterprise than their fathers and uncles. This would be one foot-on-the-brake-one-foot-on-the-accelerator of steering the Eritrean bus: with the oldies reminding the young ones of the treacherous world and the young reminding the oldies of the way to navigate the new world.

            How democratic would it have been? I really don’t know, Semere. To quote Rumsfeld, there are known unknowns and unknown unknowns. But what I can state with almost certainty is that it would have been as sadistic as the system we have now. I don’t mean to burden you with this, I am not trying to guilt you but I heard this about a prisoner whom I am ashamed to say I have never heard of until I heard he died in prison: Solomon Habtom. He was in jail for 17 years. Wait, it gets worse. Before him, his wife was arrested for six months for “smuggling her son out of the country.” She heard a rumor that he was in a hospital, she rushed to see him, but couldn’t: she saw him from a distance handcuffed. With her husband in prison, she was made destitute; she was sold to sell her house and live in with her parents. And, oh, she was a freedom fighter.

            Every country has a prison. But every country, no matter how poor, has a court system. It may be a corrupt court system, but people get tried, people defend themselves, people get sentenced, people get visited in jail. If they don’t get visitation rights, their families know what is it they are accused of, and when they will get out.

            The part you keep missing is that the “opposition” in Eritrea is mostly about stopping this kind of insanity. The call for democracy is to not for power for most of us amateurs, it is about getting justice for a people so so wronged. And I just don’t understand why and how people are silent in the face of all this. You know the MLK quote, you are well read: it For evil to succeed, all it needs is for good men to do nothing.

            All our noise here is our effort to do something.

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Saay,
            You and MLK are wrong : For evil to succeed, all it needs is for evil people to cheer for injustice.

            I mean, keeping silent would be better than encouraging injustice. I wish the so-called silent would actually be silent.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Semere T,

            What Issayas has to do to call him “our devil’? Really, you can’t see the devilish act of the man? Really, you can’t see sucking all his comrades, all the disappearances of our citizens, and turning Eritrea to a nation of jailers?

            Second to seek an alternative you must see and acknowledge the problem with the current one. You don’t look an alternative for the sake of alternative. Don’t ask us to bring an alternative while you can’t see a problem with the current. First you have to see what we are seeing on the regime in order to talk about alternative. You should not have an alternative in order to see the problem with current. That is what it sound when you ask us to give you an alternative to the current. If you can’t see the problem with the regime, you shouldn’t ask us for alternative to give you.

          • saay7

            Emma:

            You misunderstood Semere T:

            1. I said some support IA because they rationalize to themselves he might be a devil but he is MY devil. This is similar to what LBJ supposedly said about a South American dictator: “he might be an SOB but he is our SOB!”
            2. Semere T said he doesn’t fall into the category of people who support a devil simply because he is their devil.

            The end.

            On a different note:

            The constitution says Eritrea is a unitary state and that the powers of its administrative units shall be determined by law (i.e. It’s leaving it to future democratically elected legislators as to how much autonomy these regions (whose data we have next to zero knowledge about) should have. This from my perspective is wise.

            Even in the super rich United States some states are net takers and some states are net givers due to disportionate distribution of wealth, resources and education. And in one of the greatest plot twists, in the US, the net takers are the one who scream the loudest for their autonomy 😂

            saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Semere Tesfai

            Now, you are right …I experience similar to yours in life… But that doesn’t mean that is the end of the world . You see, What was your front’s principle? Now. what is your stand? That is the question you should always ask not be disappointed with what is the reality (an keep going) ..you must remember your GANTA of ELF that was destroyed when the corrupted EPLF & TPLF were fighting against seemingly more advanced (ELF) than EPLF & TPLF.

            Now, you must be optimistic there will be bright future..in that hard earned Eritrea.That is the only choice you will have.

            KS..

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam saay,

          The majority of Tigrinya speakers do not support the opposition not because of powerful government propaganda or because they believe PFDJ’s rule is theirs. It is because they distrust the opposition more than they distrust the government.

          People know, very well, the history and culture of our region and also what is happening in the rest of world. They are concerned about forcible irreversible changes that will alter their way of life and culture for ever.

          Do you think people are justified in having these concerns?

          • saay7

            Selam Simon:

            Since we have no way of quantifying (scientifically) the support that the IA government enjoys, I would have no way of validating or invalidating your claim that it’s supported by the majority of Tigrinya speakers.

            If you are measuring it by crowd sizes of people waving Isaias pictures, you and I are old enough to remember being marched out of classrooms to wave the Ethiopian flag and greet Haile Selasse at his parades in Eritrea.

            You can’t trust or mistrust what you don’t know: you will have no opinion on some Alaskan eskimos huddled somewhere now. You can mistrust people you don’t know of your govt propaganda gave you relentless images of them being sell outs Jihadists Weyanes CIA quislings toiling night and day to bring civil war, extremism and scary foreigners to your country.

            This propaganda is practiced relentlessly in “public seminars”, “mekhete” and the media that’s entirely owned by the State which also feeds the people heavy doses of election chaos but never peaceful elections. For example, eri TV told its viewers that Yemane Gebreab, Osman Saleh and Hagos Kisha were in Rwanda to convey presidential greetings but didn’t show the actual election. If there was chaos during the election you can bet it would be top news.

            The people inside Eritrea are very sophisticated and know all the PFDJ tricks: but they are prisoners too busy surviving and finding clean water to drink to do anything about it. It’s the Eritreans in Diaspora who, as you said, for many reasons including the frustration of always being the outsider in the host country, engage in what a Zimbabwean frustrate with his Diaspora compatriots described as “long distance amour.”

            saay

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam saay,

            What I said above was: “The majority of Tigrinya speakers do not support the opposition not
            because of powerful government propaganda or because they believe PFDJ’s rule is theirs. It is because they distrust the opposition more than they distrust the government.”

            There is no reference to “the support that the IA government enjoys”.

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam Semere T.,

        There is no reliable method of knowing who genuinely supports the PFDJ. The mass of the population within the country are hostages. Those outside the country support the PFDJ for varying motives.

        The support for the ‘opposition’ is hereditary [it is family tradition based, I am not claiming it is a genetic propensity]. There are also those living outside who ‘support’ both the PFDJ and the ‘opposition’.

  • said

    Greeting

    Eritrean s’ Soft Power in the Service of Reinforcement of Identity & Legitimate democratic Rights

    The Eritrean , despite their abysmal plight as dispossessed and mostly diaspora dispersed people, seem on top of the world with their incredibly honed acumen, resilience, increasing worldliness and disproportionate successes and achievements at the individual level at a Universal Scale.

    In a world that is increasingly valuing and is increasingly reliant on the soft power of knowledge and high professionalism, the Eritreans appear, despite their very small numbers, at the epicenter of a fast-shifting world, excelling and leaving a strong mark that can no more be overlooked and ignored.

    In a world that is fast converging into a Global Village, where open horizons afford ambitious and creative minds recognition and wide acceptance, the Eritreans are disproportionately well-placed to grab the fruits of this fast-changing world.

    Suddenly, Eritrean identity is being most poignantly asserted regionally and worldwide having proven themselves as astute state builders contributing in small way to the development of the new emerging petro states mainly in Saudi Arabia .This is, besides, significantly contributing and positively impacting the socio-economic developments of the kingdom host country ,the Eritrean are indirectly gaining, by default, a sense of a De Facto after independence that would only be a matter of time, the inevitable, for it to translate into a De Jure matter of factuality. Many Eritrean in diaspora dispersed in western countries would be state builders contributing greatly in may field

    Undoubtedly, lumping the positive with the negative in an inadvertent cumulative process, in the days of armed struggle and today diplomacy enhanced world awareness to the Eritrean’ refugee plight and legitimate aspirations. Combined with Eritrean generally exceptional individual achievements, these facts are increasingly gaining them world recognition; increasing world sympathy and, inevitably, unconditional world support.

    Eritrean proven true as the Eritrean are stubbornly, well into the second generation since independence, are assertively, generation after generation, proving to the entire world that they exist and that they are entitled to their legitimate rights of democratic country .

    Ironically, in a fast converging world that we in into a Global Village experiencing unprecedented revolutions in instant communication technologies; where ideas, pictures and texts are instantaneously transmitted across the Globe, Asmara regime , with its increasingly isolationist and dogmatic discriminatory doctrines and governance, is fast-diverging from subscription to the Universal Values and the long-minted ethos of democratic and open liberal societies.

    However, all been said, the Eritrean need to collectively adopt an inclusive liberal stance that would accelerate their connection with the Liberal Democratic World by developing their discourse to resonate with the inclusive universal liberal values. That’s a top priority that need to be addressed boldly and squarely.

  • Haile Zeru

    Hi SAAY,

    Here are some of your points about the ’97 Const in conversation with me:

    But first let me say that all these fanfare of 9/10 BIHERATNA that we see and hear in almost every meeting and TILHIT is just a smoke screen. Nothing significant that reflects them is inserted in this document. Whatever is inserted also seems more paternalistic and whether good or bad by the choice of PFDJ/EPLF rather than the choice of the interested biher. Individuals that represent these biherat are paraded like circus animal in every PFDJ exhibition but to the contrary one can say that the Constitution is a melting pot document rather than the reflection of multicultural nature of Eritrea.

    Now back to your comments in the previous posts:

    (1) “..The follow-up question is based on what we know about the EPLF and PFDJ, did we have any reason to believe that we can have a decentralized unitary state? The answer, again, is absolutely yes. How and why? The document that was produced just before the constitution was the PFDJ National Charter. And what does it say on this subject? It says:…”
    When you are asked to show that an issue of certain importance/magnitude is taken care of in a constitution you are not citing an outline of the issue in the constitution but to documents preceding the Constitution which are not binding. You cannot argue that whatever EPLF said is automatically relevant to the constitution. EPLF went thru so many lies that listing them will be boring to you. (hint.. weren’t they socialists/leftists/progressives etc..? anything but what they really are?).

    (2) “(a) the majority is formed by rules yet to be set: party formation and electoral laws. You can write those in so many ways to ensure the nightmare scenario you are envisioning doesn’t happen. (Even Sherifos committee–an untrustworthy PFDJ by some definitions–came up with a creative solution that would significantly mitigate against a super majority made up of one ethnic group.)…”

    In the first paragraph you jumped for documents written before the constitution. In this paragraph you are jumping ahead, to documents written after the constitution.
    This last paragraph would have been a legal document that would have been put to the legislator and voted discussed to make it law. I am not sure whether it could have made it intact to be law after a parliamentary debate.
    In either way the document (Const.’97) does not have two legs to stand on. That’s why you are using your brilliant intellect to hold it upright. Very educational but you are falling short at least as far as I am concerned

    3) “In short, even if one assumes that the constitution was “dictated” by the PFDJ, there was nothing in the PFDJ charter that would make one doubt that the direction was a unitary but decentralized system…”

    SAAY, first there is no doubt PFDJ/EPLF dictated the Constitution. I am not sure why you think it is only an assumption? As I said above and Adhanom’s writings will tell you, that PFDJ/EPLF was writing something, but what was happening was different if not the opposite. So instead of what PFDJ said or wrote it is better to see the final outcome which points to opposite of the point that you are trying to make. PFDJ is TOTALLY centralized entity. And the few phrases in the constitution that you are trying to give a form of their own are more (MENAURA) deception than real.

    4) “ Quite the opposite. Everything the EPLF/PFDJ talked about during that time envisioned a unitary but decentralized system that would devolved power to localities and individuals (including by privatizing state-owned companies.) The fact that Isaias Afwerki conducted a coup and not only killed the constitution but is also disregarding the principles set out in the national charter should not make the constitution itself suspect.”

    Obviously either the rules or regulation of EPLF/PFDJ are the same as Constitution ’97, malleable tools to characters like Issayas or EPLF/PFDJ were writing to ride the wave of popular wish and then divert it to whatever end they like. SAAY please look their history and their dealings since the ‘70’s. This is not an overnight transformation. One cannot rely on what EPLF/PFDJ says you have to see what was said and what happened and you will draw a conclusion that you cannot rely on anything this organization says.Take it nor leave it, but deal only on the 25 or so pages of the constitution of 1997.

    5)“So, to summarize, to ensure that gold in Bisha and potash in Denkalia benefits marginalized societies, the only solution is not “federalism” and all its attendant risks (there has never been a country that jumped to federalism without first having a civil war, by the way.) It can be done via a decentralized, unitary state with commitment to equality and social justice.”

    SAAY, Canada fought many wars but war to declare Federal system is not one of them. Don’t you think this is scaremongering, or pre-emptive strike? I do not think anyone mentioned Federalism here.At least not yet.

    6) “..There is no contradiction between my and Ghezae’s answers, just different focus area: implicit and explicit.”

    You said this when I pointed out that you and Ghezae pointed out different article of the constitution. Article 29 and article 1.5) to answer the same question..
    Here I was trying to highlight the fact that the constitution is not clear and actually it does not entertain such right -minority group rights. If it was clear both of you could have jumped to the same article. The point to contradiction was not the intent.

    Regards

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hailat (HZ),

      Fantastic argument and excellent in trying to stop the swinging of the pendulum. More importantly my eyes are dropped on the following statement: “In the first paragraph you jumped for documents written before the constitution. In this paragraph you are jumping ahead, to documents written after the constitution.” The reason why saay is going back and forth from the charter to the constitution and from the constitution back to charter, is simply in order to make his baby look good, like trying to make “Ni-habal Zey-habal” which is impossible. The document is really Habal. Hailat, not only that, by comparing the un comparable realities, like invoking the realities of constitutional process of USA to that of our realities was also trying to make it look good is another example.

      Both realities had different factors that dictate them to exist and how they proceed their constitutional struggle however they succeeded or failed. For instance, the American revolution had one revolutionary front, ours had two major fronts, and some minor fronts. Their revolutionary was not a revolutionary made up of diversity, our revolution was made up of diversity and many others. Please keep up ringing the facts and truth on their ears, hoping one day will listen and come up together to erect a reconciled democratic Eritrea with a constitution that unites us.

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

      • saay7

        AU contraire mon amis Emma:

        I showed a continuum:

        1. Document before constitution (Charter)
        2. The constitution
        3. Document after constitution (Committee on Party Formation and Electoral laws chaired by Mahmud Sheriffo and including prominent members of PFDJ Executive Committee)

        All three documents envisioned a unitary but decentralized State and government, all three envision individual liberty, and all three envision political pluralism with the last document envisioning political parties that have to meet one minimum requirement: membership from Eritreas diverse society.

        These 3 documents taken together defang dictatorship and make ethno-politics obsolete. And they guarantee personal liberties with all the rights that are giving our friend Semere T nightmares 🙂

        saay

        • Haile Zeru

          Hi SAAY,
          Yes, yes SAAY, you showed the continuum of three documents, but you left the continuum of the character of the author.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hailat (HZ),

            Saay justified on behave of PFDJ that the continuum of the three document is the continuum of EPLF. They refuse to transfer power to the people, and they will continue to refuse to do so, until the opposition clearly and definitely known what for they are struggling. If the oppositions have different goals in their struggle, none of the different goals will be achieved with these different missions. We are just pulling and pushing each other.

            Regards

        • Hayat Adem

          Selamat Saay:
          Dearest Saay, you really saw these three things in the three documents:
          -unitary but decentralized State and government,
          -individual liberty
          -political pluralism
          ???
          —-
          The foundation of the thoughts for the three documents seems clearly to have come out of the struggle. Contrarily, It never was drawing lessons from the real time culture-social setting in Eritrea nor even was considering the British time or the federation era lessons. It clearly anchored itself in the near past. It starts with EPLF, ends with PFDJ, and farther ends with the last man aka Isayass.
          Saay, Where in the three documents have you noted any essence of decentralization or the other two except in name. All the documents, including Sherifo’s made it a rule that the start and the last place to look up for wisdom from the EPLF. And then, the easiest way to exactly understand the real essence documents is to revisit EPLF’s modus operandi. In the EPLF world: was decentralization part of the practice or even aspiration; Was individual liberty condoned or condemned; was pluralism or even co-existence part of the political thinking???
          ——
          And you, Saay, said this on Sherifo’s document: “..with the last document envisioning political parties that have to meet one minimum requirement: membership from Eritreas diverse society.” What that means is: I am, say Afar. I see political problems in Afar that range from suppressing the culture and economic exploitation, mismanage of Afar resources etc while undermining every priority of the Afar people/region. Noticing this injustice, I want to mobilize the locals to stand for their rights politically in an organized fashion. But I can’t because Sherifo’c doc tells me to convince non-Afar members to come on-board to fight for my cause. Isn’t that funny!
          ——-
          But Sherifo is not at fault, Saay. It is just the very thinking and acting foundation what is at fault. Sherifo is basing his party law on the 1997 doc, which itself bases at the 1994 PFDJ NATIONAL CHARTER, which in turn bases itself in the political programs of EPLF… and all chained to the NihananElamanan and one-head. What happens in Las Vegas… what came out of one man’s head ends up with that very one man who seems, at least for the time being, immune to the last straw effect.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hayat,

            When we asked Saay where does it say “decentralized” in the 1997 constitution. He told us it is in charter. If it is in the charter of the 1994, and since the constitution is drafted based on the charter, he is saying they are inseparable documents. So we have to assume it is in the constitution. I have never seen him as illogic as this one.

          • saay7

            Selamat Hayat:

            Have you noticed that I give references for what I say (actual verbiage from EPLF produced work–(a) 2nd National Congress Programme, (b) Charter, (c) Constitution, (d) Electoral/Party Formation–and my interlocutors, including your, keeps talking about history, character references and background checks? And because you are not relying on facts but reputation, history and background checks, you guys keep making stuff up as you go.

            For example: nowhere in the “Draft Proclamation on the Formation of Political Parties and Organizations” is the EPLF or PFDJ mentioned. The document tries to stay faithful to the document that authorized it–the Constitution.

            On the requirement for a party, it says that at “a) At least 2/3 of them must originate from five nationalities at the minimum; b) At least 1/3 of them must be followers of the Islamic or Christian faiths.” I am sure if they hire a clever consultant like you, what you fear need not happen. The idea was to strengthen bonds among Eritreans over and above cross-border bonds. An admirable goal.

            Excepting for countries that are not made up of pre-existing states with a track record of being viable and self-sustaining (UK, USA), the rest (all of Africa) are bundled-together countries who have shown no record of having autonomous, self-sustaining states. In that case, the most prudent thing to do is to have a unitary state, with decentralization phased in, depending on each province’s viability. That’s what the constitution very wisely does.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi all,

            Could someone verify what Saay is claiming? where in the constitution says “a unitary state with a decentralized phased in”?whether the constitution has very wisely does or not is another thing. I went through the document and couldn’ find any word that could attribute to decentralization except “unitary state”.

            Second, a constitution could either call for “centralized unitary government” or decentralized unitary government “. There is no such phase in from one structure to another structure. If the former is not needed, it could only be amended to the later, through legislative body. Third, “phase in is not constructional vocabulary”. It is only Saay’s choice of word for his argument,

          • Selamat Aya Amanuel, Hyatt, Saay and all,

            Though the mini hibernation is more like cat naps or even more like insomnia, one could rationalize it as some sort of counter offensive, perhaps to save face of respectability. Respect is mutual, recognize that it exists through respecting the facts as opposed to “making stuff up” based on “reputation.”, as Saay7 is stating again.
            Yes Captain, “The more things change the more they state the same thing.” So allow me to give cover, for those who never change, or stay the same, so that they can retreat to a safe distance and put their head together and stop hoodwinking those who they think are non meticulous readers. There is a broader approach I have in mind, which I will either direct myself or nudge Ali Salim to approach it with honesty and integrity in his second of the “couple articles” promised.
            Here I will simply zero in on a couple or several weak arguments made akin to shooting over your shoulders while the pedals are retreating in opposite direction. Yes, I get it, you want to gain support for your positions top opposed the status quo, i.e. the PFDJ, and you are utilizing the adage “all is fair in love and war.” A loosing effort to your cause because you are missing the objective for those you wish and have vowed to empower is to move forward and NOT necessarily to OPPOSE.

            1. “Where in the constitution days “a unitary state withe a decentralized phased in?”
            Really, does it have to state it explicitly. Perhaps, in spite of the ‘1997 constitution being ratified and implemented or not, in the past two decades can we measure the degrees of decentralization and empowerment of the regions &/ “social groupings”. Think of the words “implicitly statements” or constitutional law practitioners searching for “the intent and the spirit of the law” by the framers.

            Side stepping the “Who were the framers, inclusion and exclusion boycotting” counter arguments which seems to be a consensus of sorts as to those points being moot points, as can be demonstrated with contradictory and inconsistent argumentations ample in these discussions, I will jump to the next hoodwinking and bamboozlement attempts.

            2. “…In the EPLF’s modus operandi.—In the EPLF world, was decentralization part of the practice or even aspiration; was individual liberty condoned or condemned. Was pluralism or even co-existence part of the political thinking?”
            Ahh where do I begin and Thirteen hundred ninetynine page volumes would it take to reach my conclusion.
            Yes, The EPLF’s goal was to liberate from the centralized power from the Shoan King Haile Slassie I and later the Dergue to create a Unitary Eritrean State inclusive Dankalia / Afar Land. The to be phased in decentralization, implicitly by those who commissioned the framers in the as well as explicitly in the Docs, were not EPLF veterans who penned “…minimum 2/3 from five nationalities and at least 1/3 of them followers of the Two main Faiths followers”?
            As for individual liberty condoned or condemned in the EPLF, please don’t mix apples and oranges unless yours and only your pallet is craving a fruit salad. In the EPLA or Hzbawi Hylitat Harinet Eritrea, the answer is individual liberty is condemned. Whereas in the EPLF departments, (kiflitat / “Dequi WushaTTe”) individual liberties in innovations in almost all aspect of necessary productions, including the arts, was very much condoned. Priority, being the Liberation Army for the Liberation of the Eritrean Unitary State, even in the front lines inspirational individuality produced numerous heroes and heroins who were looked up with awe by the rank and file. Yet, the motto or engine being “One for all” with an inaudible or muffled “all for one.” What army in any war in this globe or beyond doesn’t adhere to such with STRICT Discipline vis a vis its “modus operandi” assures survival and an inevitable victory.

            There is a Third point I will touch on briefly: I am really inclined these days to believe that Ms. Hyatt A and Aya Amanuel H, HA||AH serial CPUs do not comprehend the concept of Unitary State.

            3. I am, say Afar. I see political problems in Afar that range from suppressing the culture and economic exploitation, mismanage of Afar resources etc while undermining every priority of the Afar people/region. Noticing this injustice, I want to mobilize the locals to stand for their rights politically in an organized fashion. But I can’t because Sherifo’c doc tells me to convince non-Afar members to come on-board to fight for my cause. Isn’t that funny!

            The Eritrean Afars, and perhaps Ethiopian Afars, played a major and vital role in Eritrea’s Liberation War for the objective of creating a liberated autonomous Unitary Eritrean State. Mengedi ms wedi Adi, (travel the roads with the lands natives/inhabitants) is as natural as the laws of physics. This is to say, The Afar lead and maintained vital arteries for the struggle. It was not for naught that the megaphones blared “Afriqawit Vietnam Dejena” for SaHil and “Afriqawit Yemen Dejena” for Dankalia. Yes, “non-Afar members” were mobilized to come on-board to fight for my cause.” And THEY DID. And NO it “isn’t funny!” Rather, a Triumphant Epic Victory that was very costly and tragic. What is funny! is the futile attempts, of the buyers remorse of sorts, by the CENTRALIZED Ethiopian Elites to wedge the former 14th Killill, i.e. Eritrea including Denkel with Asseb, into 15 killils by repeatedly for nearly a century attempting to split Denkel into Eastern Eritrea Republic.
            Stop making things based on reputation and hearsay… and GET ON BOARD before the ship, baburay baburay and merkebna sails away….
            More elaboration to follow, but finaly to my comrade BejaHzbi, I will request of him to dig up ONE KEY statement Aya Amanuel has stated, evidence of his clear inconsistency and contradictions, and ignite the next sincere GOAL LINE STAND. The ball is i side the Red Zone, Yes, with 20 Yards of the TD. I leave you the honor to exhibit integrity with due respect absent your individual liberty needs to extract flattery with your select flattery… O.w, I will serve my favorite bowl for the most important meal of the day with DUE RESPECT TO ALL. Trix with Camel’s Milk.

            Though Saay7 seems to allude that he is indifferent, yours truly, encourage you to retreat further and huddle to PUNT from the from your 20 yards by snapping it to the kicker positioned at 40. No, a field goal attempt would do your cause no good, though very make able by any average kicker. You the elites on the other hand must have enough wisdom to know you better PUNT the Ball from PUNTLAND> ’97-’17 20 YeArds you have no chance from 40 YeARDs, lest you seriously start considering punting NOW while you are within 20 of the TD.

            Okay… Silly Rabbits TRIX are for Kids!!! A40 A40 Vision20/20 for a spectacular….

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE A40 A40

          • blink

            Dear saay
            Let them say whatever they want , they have no power to change any thing to the document and they have no legs to force their own vision on the next , they will never ever see their view come to light. Their only daily job is to go from corner to corner.
            Decentralized system or ethnic based system of weyane is even dead in Ethiopia. Who knows we could go beyond their narrow corners.

          • saay7

            No now Blink:

            The motto of the Eritrean Justice Front should be “nobody left behind.” All for one and one for all is our one necessity and for that for that? Let me have my favorite author Annie Dillar explain the rest:

            “grasp your one necessity and not let it go, to dangle from it limp wherever it takes you. Then even death, where you’re going no matter how you live, cannot you part. Seize it and let it seize you up aloft even, till your eyes burn out and drop; let your musky flesh fall off in shreds, and let your very bones unhinge and scatter, loosened over fields, over fields and woods, lightly, thoughtless, from any height at all, from as high as eagles.”

            saay

          • Captain,

            The grasp (..)
            . Demeyy ytAHanQokh yEtSimtey wnn yQuetQuet…
            (I forget a certain poetic prose,( with rhythm and rhyme– san sakitism–’79)


            tSAtSE

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            A lot of people said a lot of good things about you . What I admire the most is your optimism and positive attitude about everything.

            And one more, I have never come across an Eritrean with so thick skin that no one is able to irritate you that you would lose your cool, and your sense of humour.

            Berhe

          • sara

            berhe ,la
            saays—saay’ism is becoming a school of thought on its own… by the day.
            grace,elegance eloquence,tolerance and more …asmarino plus.

            berhe, being a tegadalay was/is a virtue in Eritrean thoughts and i think is the same if you are fino wedi asmara like saay.

            deki ere– eid is coming… and i will be away for the eid holidays , and on this occasion i wish happy EID AL ADHA to all of you forumers.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Sara,

            Happy Eid to you as well. I agree to with the way you describe him. Abi coin the term saayTanic but I think saay’ism may be better. But saay being saay, he probably prefers simply saay, he wouldn’t want anything to do with cult like followers…

            I am not sure I understand what you mean in the second part of your sentence. “berhe, being a tegadalay was/is a virtue in Eritrean thoughts and i think is the same if you are fino wedi asmara like saay.”

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Berhe,

            When he lose a debate or irritated, he does not go straight in to insults, he does it by “Ashmur”. Only Kim has noticed about his tactics.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Aman,

            I have been reading saay for almost 20 years now, since 1998 and for the amount of work he has produced, the number of topics he covers, the number of people he interacts with, and the quality, accuracy and the frequency that he does it, is really out of this world. I mean, he does have family to care for and business to run and people to manage. It’s expected that some days will get the worst out of him, like all normal human beings do, but he is always measured and as they say “cool as cucumber”.

            When you say, when he loses a debate or irritated by “Ashumur” which is exactly why I said what I wanted to say. That’s really a quality I think, if that is indeed true and his intention was to make “Ashumur” instead of resorting to insults and irritation.

            Berhe

          • Nitricc

            Hi Berhe, look how you contradicted your self in trying to appease both SAAY and Aman-H.

            “When you say, when he loses a debate or irritated by “Ashumur” which is exactly why I said what I wanted to say.” lol it is okay say what you mean lol.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Berhe,

            Ashmur is making fun about people to desuade people from engaging him. If Ashmur is good with you, it is not good with those of us who want to debate seriously on any subject at hand at a given time. Ashmur not good at all.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Aman,

            You said he does “Ashmur” when he loses “debate” or “irritated”. I said “if it’s that is indeed what he is doing with intention”. Now if you feel that he does “Ashmur” then you are entitled to your opinion and I can’t say you are wrong. But because you think he does “Ashmur” it doesn’t make it a fact that he did.

            If you ask me, I have known him since 2001, and I do not believe he “resorts” to that because he loses a “debate”. Sure I am not and was never in his league to remotely even try to debate him, but on many occasions, there are points that I have not agreed with.

            But in debate it’s really normal practice to “shred” your opponents views and ideas to make a point, and sometime using humor or you call it “Ashmur” works just as good.

            Anyway, when I wrote the praise, I just remembered Dale Carnegie principle “hearty in your approbation and lavish in your praise.” I didn’t think it needs justification.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Berhe,

            You don’t have to repeat yourself again, you told me you are okay with in your previous comment. I told you it isn’t for me. That is all. Shredding argument mocking personalities are not the same. Have fun with his Ashmur.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Aman-H I thought Ashmur was systematic and sarcastic attack, not making fun of people as you said. No?

          • Peace!

            Dear Emma,

            I see no reason for you to get irritated and personal. You defended your position very well, and in case of differences, we should be careful and respectful as building and restoring trust is one if our priorities.

            Peace!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam peace,

            Believe me I defend my position with confidence. I haven’t been disrespectful to him rather I have been giving him more appreciation than I should. That is on record. I am also to sensitive to the issue of trust and I don’t go for poking individuals.

            Regard

          • Nitricc

            Hi peace, I don’t know if you know about Aman-H but from what I have observed of him, he is a very serious person, so serious, I wonder if he smiles. lol, he never gets the jokes that are thrown around now and then. So I can see Aman’s having a beef with out the real beef. So, I don’t think it is personal with SAAY. They will go at it and then they take a break. Then they will go at again. it is all good.

          • Peace!

            Hi Nitric,

            I was pretty much saying a good debate should not end this way. In contrary, it is good to have differences in essence it enriches the debate and ultimately produces better alternatives. When a debate matures, finding a common ground should not be hard to move onto other urgent issues.

            *** I know Emma, he has enormous passion for debating relevant issues.

            Peace!

          • Peaces Peace;)

            I got you covered.

            “When a debate matures, finding a common ground should not be hard to move onto other urgent issues.

            *** I know Emma, he has enormous passion for debating relevant issues.”

            tSAtSE

          • Nitricc

            Hey peace; I know what you saying and I know Aman-H passion for debate but the problem with that extra passion comes to shutting down. When people don’t agree with his take, he gets angrier and he shuts down and avoids people for awhile. The art of debate is, in my book pretend you know about the subject on hand and learn from someone who really knows. if you get too passionate it gets to emotions, once you get to emotions then nothing good happens.

          • Peace!

            Hi Nitric,

            I understand, but the thing is if one happen to born that way, they just can’t help. Mixuwuwar Z’baha Alo Shelel Endabelka, of course that by any stretch does’t mean they have the right to discredit or disrespect others.

            Peace!

          • saay7

            Hey Nitrric:

            Like u said it’s all good. Speaking of subjects that do not interest our friend Emma, did you read the ground-breaking news based on a Canadian study that everything we thought we knew about nutrition is all wrong? You may want to give us your take on it. Yo make sure Emma is reading it, include the words “social groups” and “grievance” in it. *

            Saay

            * this is only a joke. A joke is designed to bring a laughter to the muscles of humanoids.

          • Nitricc

            Hey SAAY, No I haven’t read it yet but I will be glad to share my take after I read it. I have always believed that the public is mislead everything about food. but let me read it and we will talk about it.
            What ever happened to Tes? maybe he is having too much wine -:) opps no wine. lol I hope he is okay and give us his take.

          • saay7

            Nitrric:

            Here’s the spoiler alert of the conclusions from the Canadian study:

            1. Stay away from non-fat and low-fat diet. They will kill you.
            2. Fat, including saturated fat, is better than carbs. Stay away from carbs (yeah I am talking to you qcha, pasta, rice loving folk)

            These two new recommendations are added to two old ones–moderation and excercise.

            Of course none of the above matters if you are unable to deal with your cause of Eritrea–sorry, typo, I mean stress. That one sneaks up on you.

            saay

          • Nitricc

            Hey SAAY, Thanks you saved me time, because I have ready knew about that staff. Personally I am in cyclic Ketogenetic mode. for instance the normal none kito ratio is 1.0 gram carbs 0.1 fat 0.58 protein in grams but for ketogenetic it is the revers. 0.9 fat, 0.4 protein and 0.1 carbs. so, what I do is I alternate the two. when I am excising intensively, I go none keto when I am not I go keto.
            I always wanted to share about this issue but never got around it. it is an amazing thing. to tell you the truth, the fatter the better, let’s say coconut oil, coconut milk, Avocados the least goes on? SAAY, about a year ago My dad was told he has to take pills for high blood pressure and he calls me up and he told me what the doctor had told him. All I say to him was, don’t get the pills, I am coming home. I went home and I cleared out their fridge throw-out everything and went Keto shopping. clean up the basement and set a treadmill. To make the story short, when he went for his next appointment to see the doctor, after the test the doctor goes to say ” I am happy to share with you that the medicine is working miraculously” ” don’t interrupt” mind you he never even got the pills let alone to take one. the moral of the story is that we are misinformed very bad. like have always say “food is medicine”
            I have many story to share about my friends parents with diabetic 2 who no longer take pills.
            I never believed in longevity but I am all in with quality of life, and the right food will grantee you that.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Nitricc,
            .
            You are absolutely right. Like Berhe Y said I have read their debates on many occasion.
            The problem is really simple.
            As you said A.H is a very serious man. I will add a little rigid and stubborn. The debate gets dicey when saay spends time shading light on every angle of the topic say, …This is white and that is black. A.H doesn’t like where it is going, and wants to define what “is ” is in a Clintonesque way. That is when saay threatens to never debate with him. Saay thinks it was done on purpose or problem of comprehension and in either case not acceptable.
            A.H takes exception to that and that becomes the focus of the debate for a while, until they do it again.
            .
            I just read, saay’s response to you below. It is really funny. I laughed, partly because I could visualize A.H pacing back and forth with smoke coming out of his ears.
            You see, I label “social groups” and “grievances” in this type of comments as zingers to A.H and ticklers to the rest of us.
            .
            What grade would you give for the psychoanalysis I provided. I hope it is between an A and F.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Mr. K.H.

            Your psychoanalyst is good, not in a position to grade you though.

            I like the white people end disagreements in meeting, let’s take this off line and move on to next topic.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Berhe;)

            Or “let’s put a pin in it.” Let’s flag* it for later.

            Saay

            * long discussion on “which flag?”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Good Morning Kim,

            I am not rigid on transactional principles. But I am loyal on the transformational principles I stood for. I don’t falter on them. I hope you will not ask me the difference between the two.

            Regards

          • Nitricc

            Hey KIM, very good psychoanalyses with a little correction though. I have never met an Eritrean citizen who isn’t stubborn. Starting from my own parents. I don’t know what it is but I am starting to believe that stubbornness is in Eritreans DNA.

          • Selam Kim Hanna,

            A.H. and Saay, two extremely clever and well-read individuals, who can easily read each other’s minds and understand the meaning behind each other’s words, are difficult to psychoanalyze. As much as eritrean politics is concerned, i have come to understand (could be right or wrong) that both travel in the same direction, but they ride on two parallel ideas, the one to a destination called “the ideal and the right” and the other “the realistic and the practical”.
            The one may speak in an unambiguous way, and the other may sometimes use semina-worq or a philosophical approach, which requires some searching to get at the kernel of the message.
            Both are educators and really enjoyable, and i am sure that almost all forumers read their posts. If their ideas will ever merge into one or not, or the one or the other idea wins, only time will show.

          • blink

            Dear saay
            Well the world is an amazing thing, yet it’s not really that good, “no body left behind ” is in great demand and it is worth of every human being effort. Even after the dictator there will be someone complaining about the way traffic light operates and put politics to it. You have been a sense of hope to a forum full of ..while we are in turmoil once again, you and other handful people in this forum stayed true to your people. Let’s hope these people who argue against you continue to fight on what they believe but I am rooting for their views failures. Eritrea and Eritreans can only afford to dream a country where an individual rights is seen as a core ideals of every citizen and worth fighting for and supreme of group rights . If we could not die and fight for an individual rights , I simply believe we better quit dreaming of any rights ,because group rights is a disease with no medical knowledge to control.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah saay7 and the rest,

            I have one or two questions.

            1. Does the ’97 constitution authorize the party law makers to specify party membership in percentages as explained in paragraph two?; or is it the will and wish of the brother Mahmoud Sherifo’s government?

            2. If the constitution did not rule over the issue, is it not flagrant imposition and political in purpose and intent and is a serious flaw?

            3. If the constitution did authorize the measure as law, didn’t the constitution violate human rights as embodied in international statutes and charter and even worse the right of choice of a citizen a liberal democractic constitution is expected to guarantee?

            4. If the rationale is “… strengthen bonds among Eritreans over and above cross-border bonds.”, does this testiy honesty of the regime when weighted in the light of the way it has been governing composition of the bureacracy on all levels of the system?

          • saay7

            Selamat Ismailom:

            Ya selam aleik to all your questions 🙂

            1. Constitutions can be either very s

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustaz saay?

            You count it on my stupidity for not being specific or accurate. Reckoning with the generalities and modalities of framing constitutions your statements are water tight. No problem there about instances in places such as California or quotas for women and other electorally vulnerable sectors of society.

            But, here are again my questions put in less stupid way;

            1. In regard to our own situation, aren’t we speaking about a constitution that has not seen the light of the day let alone statutes and by-laws that rule on special matters?

            3. Our sitution being so, and when we have not even found grond where to put the pillars on which state building process should stand, can we look for precedents on developed constitutional process elsewhere?

            2. Under such circumstance, thus, didn’t the regime pre-emptively violate the constitution when it arbitrarily imposed specifications on the composition of party members on the basis of religion and ethnic affiliations? Did such imposition amount to violation of invidual choice of citizens and the right of constituencies that may not obtain the mandatory percentages?

            4. If there was no clear clause in the constitution that authorized what Sherifo’s commission did, shouldn’t the regime await legislation of laws or statutes rather than imposing its own will in name of precluding ethnicization, regionalization and confessionilization of parties?

          • saay7

            Selamat Ismailom:

            You are far from stupid so don’t use that to refer to yourself even in jest please.

            I am not sure I am totally understanding your question because I think I answered them (?)

            To begin with the easiest, here’s the sequence:

            * Constitution ratified in May 23, 1997. Constitution outlined political pluralism, right of free assembly, freedom of press etc
            * Central Committee of PFDJ meets in September 2000. Demands that everything that was put on hold by the war be activated.
            Committees for party formation and electoral law established and election date set for December 2001
            * committee on party formation and electoral law finishes its work on December 2000 and gets ready to inform the public in early 2001,
            * the process is interrupted
            * but the PFDJ still insisted elections would take place in 2001.

            Now, was it unconstitutional for the government to pass a law? Nothing in the constitution says it can’t.

            3. No I don’t think so. Constitutions the world over say for example set the age for being enfranchised and yield to law for details. Then law sets restrictions on which 18 or 21 yr olds can form parties and by when and what it costs and how they will lose this right. Avoiding ethnicization Islamization was one of the core values of the armed struggle and thus Eritreanism. ( don’t tell Hayat, thou)

            Finally, why yes, of course neither the constitution nor the laws on party formation and electoral laws have seen the day. But in case you missed my argument, they were written by Eritreans they have been rejected by IA and his flunkies, so let’s adopt them and run on them as tools for positive change.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,
            Thank you for your time. I understanding all of us are trying to sail through uncharted waters as far as constitutionalism its modalities and workings in a practical world are concerned in relation to reading and appraising them in the context of our country and it fortunes in the past more than a quarter of a century. The sure thing though is that we are learning much from one another thanks to this wonderful forum and the brothers and sisters who carry the burden of keeping it lively through moderation and contribution of articles.
            Thanks again, sir.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Ismailo,

            Saay is not making a legal argument. Because it has never been had a legal status. What Saay is doing is a political argument. And we are arguing on the document’s political implication. The document let alone to have a legal binding to citizens, it has not even a political binding. What is funny Saay’s argument is he tries to teach us its the spirit of the document and the unspoken messages of it. Some of them are ridiculous comment to even come from him.

            There are always pillars of constitutional document that everyone of us have to look at it, which depict the nature of government it alludes and explicitly frame them ( a) the system of government whether it will be parliamentary or presidential (b) the pillars of the state (c) the pillars of the government (d) the Power of distribution between three pillars of the government (e) the political relations between three pillars of the state (f) the nature of power distribution to the periphery wether it will be deligated by the center or not. These all are on the constitutional political structures.

            The incremental philosopher Saay told us the phasing from centralized unitary government to decentralized unitary government can be done by statuary laws. He is absolutely wrong on this. There is no phasing between this two qualitatively different structure of government. They can only made constitutional amendment to switch from one to the other. Statuary laws changed by statuary laws and constitutional law are changed by constititional amendment. So Saay can not fool us by using different wording.

            If you see the US constitution as example. It clearl defined the government will Federal government, it delineated clearly the power of the central government and the states. It means the power of the center and the power of the periphery is determined by the constotution and not by the statuary laws. There are many examples of this, but Saay by his cleverness he is playing by new words none political in their essence.

            So my point do not stop from making political argument, as the document is still a political document that has no any legal status.

            Regards

          • Kokhob Selam

            Selam Tegadalay..Amanuel Hidrat.

            You got it. And said it correctly. And that is perfect !! Saay7 never say think before he post views..

            “What is funny Saay’s argument is he tries to teach us the spirit of the document and the unspoken messages of it. Some of them are ridiculous comment to even come from him.”

            KS,,

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Aman,

            Thank you for you in put. I think you might have felt the reason why I resorted to arguing in the form of questions. The violations I have tried to pinpoint hinted at political undertakings on the part of the regime to preempt the constitution before the basic laws therein passed through the foundation (first) elected parliamentary reviews vis-a-vis the special matters such as party law that needed legislating bills and statutes.

            I think framing the document to focus more on generalities at expense of specifics in the name of brevity was deliberate act that gave the government (the real owner) broad leeway to harvest as much political expediencies as it could out of the constitution before an elected parliament (party representation or otherwise) would be empowered by expressed will of the electorate to safeguard the safe application and interpretation of the relevant clauses. The government and its expert advisors would simply argue since the constitution did not rule anything on some politically and socially controversial matter, the authorities are vested by prerogatives to resolve or handle matters on merits of political and social underpinnings and avoidance of conflicts. Here, the government would not be neutral in relation to real or imagined opponents or competitors. It shall use politics and power to ensure its interest. The regime’s role and influence on the commission of Prof. Berekhet was to leave the clauses as broad and short as possible. Even then, Isayas could not trust translation of the document functioning tool of laws of the land.

            That is precisely what Sherifo’s commission did about arbitrarily imposing the composition of parties on the basis of religion and ethic configurations, thereby violating the fundamental right of choice of citizens the constitution had pledged to grant them.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Ismailo,

            The process was done to produce a document that serve them. And they did. Even the produced document let alone to unite Eritrean people, it doesn’t unite them. PFDJites and former EPLFites and their supporters are locking their horn at each other on the document. For those who were excluded on the process and disallowed to participate as organized we don’t lose any love to this flawed document.

            I hope Saay will take note on the last paragraph of your comment that violate and disallow the freedom of citizen to organize in whatever they deem is right. Like HZ had said it, it is all paternalistic.

            Regard

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Ismael,

            Have u ou considered EPLF upper hand on handling the affairs on the ground as it suits them because they can?

            What I mean by that is, they controlled the field for 10 years prior to independence and they had a lot of support after the liberation.

            This could have played in the crafting / dictating their terms / wishes during the drafting the constitution.

            I am not saying that was correct, but from their point of view, they wanted to capitalize their return, as victors.

            If you agree to this fact, how do you think the reformers within the party did, as posing challenges to the regime, looking at the long term smooth transition is concerned.

            Berhe

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Berhe,

            Actually what your saying is exactly the departure point of the debate which we, of course, are doing in retrospect. The question we trying to put in proper perspective when appraising the merits and flaws of the constitution is how much ambition to sustain domination and power contaminated and, therefore, the process and handicapped the writers of the constitution. The fact that having had control as liberation movement and ridding the wave of national liberation euphoria generated, but transient by nature, support does justify manipulation of the constitution making process. Seen in retrospect, all the promises they made in conferences and charters proved dubious.

            In regard your last point in the case of reformers, I think those of us who were forced to remain in exile just because the regime thought alternative ideas as embodied in the pre-1991 programs and conflicts could work to hamper its schemes to consolidate domination, had welcomed them as more assets than liabilities.

            But the problem was that the main actors were slow to make their positions clear on what exactly meant by reforms: just cosmetic touches on the system they were part of or reforms that was pragmatic and broad enough those who were already in the field as opposition. Moreover, they projected different politics. For example what brother Adhanom Gebremariam wrote and said was very much different than what Mesfin Hagos of Abdalla Adem said and wrote.
            As far as this went on the mistrust remained especially when some of them such as, for example our brother Mesfin Hagos, was reluctant for considerable time to work with the opposition. One of reasons was that they thouht they would lose support inside if they worked with organizations hosted by the EPRDF government; they were just chained by the ramifications of the border war.

            The failure to close the gab between the opposition organizations and the so called reformers turn advantageous to the regime because there was chance of drawing common program of action qualified to challenge the regime. Reluctance of the reformers to come out with clear cut program and position vis-a-vis the regime on the one hand, and mistrust on the part of the opposition organizations on the other, dissipated the chance of creating broad and credible national opposition movement. The situation remains as it was before the exit of Mesfin Hagos and Adhanom.

          • Selamat Ayya IsmailAA,

            First the sorting of the time space continuum as an admittance of my flaw or handicap. In order to invoke a simultaneous points of departure and convergence. The only way I can do so is by registering this:
            I do not think “arbitrarily imposing..” is correct.
            Secondly, I do agree with this:
            “we trying to put in proper perspective when appraising the merits and flaws of the constitution is how much ambition to sustain domination and power contaminated the process and, therefore, handicapped the writers of the constitution…”
            Thus, retreat and huddle for the appraising is warranted.
            It is possible I may not have made any sense, but it is not nonsensical.

            tSAtSE

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, you said “Saay is not making a legal argument. Because it has never had a legal status”, this claim of yours that you’ve been repeating again and again is factually wrong. Do you believe the transitional (or was it provisional gov?) of Eritrea established by the EPLF later PFDJ was a legal gov? Do you believe the referendum that was conducted in 1993 by the facilitation of that gov was legal? Do you believe that the gov that existed then was accepted as the legal representative of the Eritrean people at the UN and other international fora? If so, then you’ve also to believe that the Constitution that was legally ratified by the 500+ member Constituent Assembly of Eritrea in 1997 is also the highest law of Eritrea regardless of the illegal actions that have been taken against it by the despot Isayas Afwerki.
            In my opinion the despot has committed the highest crime by first shelving and later on discarding the supreme law of Eritrea; those in the Eritrean opposition groups who condone these illegal actions are also equally breaking the law of the land.

          • Selamat Abraham H,

            Isn’t Saay7 directing us all to make it a legal argument? If Ayya Amanuel decides to lace up and play futtt futttture future ball, as a coach I would be hard pressed to deploy him left most of #2. Certainly not as a striker. 1, 3, 4, 3 formation.

            tSAtSE

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Abraham,

            If you guys make the same argument again and again, so do I. Didn’t I told you we are repeating our positions so let us move. You guys are still preaching us about EPLF political program, the PFDJ political program, and the flawed document. We are not a student only, we are citizens who have a say and a stake on our nation. Do not force us to accept it. It is not a document worth to be accepted.

            If 500 plus members of PFDJ and their sympathizers ratified it, it does not mean it is a binding document for the Eritrean people for all the reasons myself and others gave you. Haw Abraham if you really care the Eritrean people to be united, the document is not one from those that unite us. You come with every possible way to make it look good, but the reality is, it is like you can not make un ugly face beautiful. Ugly in a sense it projects the pain and division to our people. So let us move to another topic that unite us.

            Regards

          • Ayya.

            Abshirrrr!!!! on No. 1.

            Hadinettttttttt

            tSatSE

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            Things are becoming more confusing because you are mixing two important question and you are trying to give an answer for both.

            1) Political Parties in general and multy-party system that avoids a one ethinic based supermajority.

            2)Local administration, Local government, region autonomy, federation etc…

            As you can see these are different things and they are dealt with differently. Either constitutionally or/and politically.

            let me leave #1 for now.

            All you have for #2 is this sub-article on the constitution:

            “Article 1 – The State of Eritrea and its Territory
            …….
            5 Eritrea is a unitary State divided into units of local
            government.The powers and duties of these
            units shall be determined by law. ”

            What I am saying is that this is more of an administrative division. Of course the whole country is not one city that can be administered as one municipality.

            This article does not give any clout, for example for the Afar to claim part or some percentage of their resources. This is valid for all other resources and regions.
            As you are aware many of us are not EPLF/PFDJ members. Bombarding us with the literature of that Org. is fruitless. We do not agree on it because it is exclusionary, paternalistic and I can say imposed. That is why you are having difficult people rising for it.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat (HZ),

            Your points are epic and they are: “Bombarding us with the literature of that Org. is fruitless. We do not agree on it because it is exclusionary, paternalistic and I can say imposed.” I don’t understand why Saay is doing it. But then he supported the exclusionary process and has to defend it.

            Regard

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi all,

            You see what Saay is asking – the political program of ELF. The political program of ELF is a program a party could use in competing with other political parties. The ELF program or EPLF’s political program can not be used as a basis for drafting a constitution. Saay has to know this exactly. If he likes he can support the political program of EPLF during elections by voting to them. All the history of consistency of the organization has nothing to do with the constitution that should govern the parties and the population at large. For what purpose is this all mixing up.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile Z:

            To the extent I am “bombarding” you with EPLF literature it is because I am trying to show consistency between what it said in 1987, 1997 and 2000. In other words, I am trying to show that there is ideological coherence to its worldview; I am not asking you to buy into it.

            The article you quoted in the constitution is not something you have to agree with but it is not something shocking either: it is a very mainstream view and most states in the world are unitary states. It simply means that supreme power is with the center and this center–made up of democratically elected legislators–decides the power the peripheries will have. Of late, in Africa, which is made up of multi-ethnic societies, there has been a movement afoot that this approach (unitary state) doesn’t work and some level of guaranteed decentralization is required. This decentralization is being done either by law or by amending the constitution. The approach the Eritrean constitution uses is by law: the national government will describe “the powers and duties” of these “units” (provinces, subnations, regions, etc.)

            I consider this a very prudent and wise decision given the socio-economic condition of the provinces which have never had a history that shows that they are viable. And if the Eritrean people decide the constitution is dead and buried, I will argue for a replacement that looks exactly like it. You and others don’t agree, and that’s your right. And we can debate the strength and weakness of each approach (both have strength and weaknesses) for as long as you will like. What won’t work with me is the argument that if we one doesn’t agree to specific language on decentralization in the constitution as a guaranteed right of “social groups”, then that person is (fill in whatever adjectives Emma likes to use:)

            saay

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear Saay7

            “by the way, I was trying to find the National Democratic Programme of the ELF but I can’t find it. nharnnet had a summary but it was mostly “and then so and so was elected replacing so and so.” Do you happen to have a copy? I wonder what kind of nation the ELF envisioned.”

            With all knowledge that you (own) have only you remain back- warded with history of ELF. I am sorry to say that but I will remind you one day when the nation will agree in national contract era that is coming very soon.

            KS,,

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7 and Kokhob,
            Please try to log to Togoruba.org and look under the organizations rubric. You can find various versions per organizations but the nearest to the original is the 2001 RC version though ELF-NC 2004 can equally qualify. The program of ELF (current) has also the same value. The 1971 and 1975 versions would be better because there was no much difference except political resolutions of 1975 congess pertaining dialogue with the ELF-PLF of the time. The changes entered later on were minor and did not change the content of the original..

          • Kokhob Selam

            Dear brother Ismail AA,

            Do you think, Saay7 miss this? I know very well he even chose to live in dark , than to say a word about ELF good.

            KS..

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Kokhob, kemey.
            Very have you back with your beautiful poems which add to our wisdom and liveliness of our spirits.
            Saay7 is an honest man who never hides his views. On the ELF and its legacy, as well as the EPLF for that matter, his near conservative democratic liberalism lead him think they were too radical and heavily swayed by leftist ideology and politics. I am relying on my reading of his writings. and if I am misrepresenting his views I am apologizing in advance.

          • saay7

            Selamat Ismailo:

            The reason I asked for the ELF Programme is because I wanted to see if it too envisioned a unitary state for post-independence Eritrea. We forget that at the time the constitution was drafted the only voices for semi-autonomous regions were the Islamic Jihad and tinier de.me.Ha.E and se.de.ge.E orgs. There was no DMLEK nor RSADO then. And the only two lessons of decentralization had tragic consequences and polarization that we haven’t recovered from:

            1. The “ayam almenateq” ELF of 1961 to 1970 which led to fragmentation and
            2. The Dergs cynical “Ras gej”(self rule) offer that led to even more bitterness and revenge.

            Does it surprise you then that the political elite of Eritrea would have these memories fresh on their mind when they called for a unitary state? I participated in many discussions about the constitution including at dehai.org and I don’t remember anyone questioning its appropriateness for Eritrea. When Dr Bereket was interviewed by awate in 2001, he answered questions from readers: not a single question about that.

            saay

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            I agree to disagree with your take on this issue. The Eritrean Ethnic minorities will never benefit from a central government in Asmera. Actually, it will be a burden to them as it is now. Exploiting their resources and snatching their children to send to wars for reasons they know nothing about.
            I am of the opinion that they should have clear constitutional mandate to govern themselves, and negotiate on mutually beneficial terms on all things economic or otherwise.

            Your analysis on this matter is really disheartening. You sound a South African white at the time of Apherteid.
            “I consider this a very prudent and wise decision given the socio-economic condition of the provinces which have never had a history that shows that they are viable”.

            Are they any close to economic viability now after 27 years of your consistent ideology?

          • blink

            Dear Haile.Z
            Is there some thing some where that you can find a backup system in your perspective, I can sense you are running out of reasons now. You can bring the best of the best from the ethnic based power sharing mechanism in Ethiopia and argue with saay. Your loudest cry about grievances and ethnic things is not going to work due its wicked owners.

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile:

            I don’t know how I got equated with a South African white during apartheid as that implies I will benefit from the system I am advocating for. You can move the center from Asmara to Alighidir or Massawa and I will still advocate for a unitary state.

            When was it exactly that this advocacy for unitary state became taboo? Somebody might want to tell ELF-NC: this is what their political programme says:

            We, in the ELF-NC, uphold that:

            1. Eritrea is a unitary state that embraces its ihabitants with their diversity.
            2. The totality, contiguity and integrity of Eritrea’s territorial possessions will not be subject to modification without collectively expressed consent of the people
            3. ….

            I am sure the view of ELF-RC was similar, although I can’t retrieve it now.

            As for viability, never mind the regions, all African states are on the verge of being failed states.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,

            I think you was able to find some of the ELF (and affiliated programs) as I note from your post. But these were updated programs though on the main not much had changed from the 1971 and 1975 programs. The ELF-RC and ELF-CN programs were almost the same save the style of presentation might have varied. This was the case at least up to the time of the former transformation to a political party.

            The point that should be underscored is that prior to 1991 and developments thereafter, spelling out and prouncement of visions on post liberation state governance was not priority to the fronts save general inferences that leftist and anti-imperialist inclinations required. This was, by and large, anchored on hierarchical democratic centralism which could be understood to encompass centralizeed state governance. This means that there was no explicit specification of governance preferences. For instance, the 1960 ELF program had limited its objective (Ilama) to stating attainment of independence, preservation of territorial integrity and establishment of a democratic republic. No governance system was envisaged, which was also the same with later congresses.
            But the situation shifted after 1991 due to the measures the EPLF undertook. The key mover in this was the decrees Isayas had promulgted which pre-empted controversial matter that were hitherto considered constitutional and did not warrant unilateral decisons. The issue of land was one of them. This was reinforced by the way the referendum, and later the constituion making process, had the course. In fact the said constitution had already lost efficacy because the national issues that were supposed to be settled by stipulations in the constitution were preemptively decided by arbitray decrees which it was certain the constitution could not rectify or correct.

            Thus, the organizations had rather correctly surmised the regime was heading towards total dictatorship and domination for indefinite time. Apart from emergence of ethnic and religious-cum-nationalist organizations, even the secluar nationalist organizations began to feel the challenge of articulating their visions on governance. For instance, the ELF-NC stated at its 2004 congress in Khartoum that power should devolve from the centre to the peripheries having appraised the structure of the state organs and distribution of power vis-a-vis the composition of the population. And, when it transformed to the ENSF in 2009 it stated that power should be de-centralized ” to allow the regions to share power on the national level so that the injustices, which the diverse national groups have been subject due to disproportionate development, shall be addressed”.

            So, to make the rejoinder short, it is the EPLF leaderhip behaviour and domination that influenced visions on how the country should be governed. Had the EPLF behaved in other way to open the country to political pluralism and participation, it would have been save to agrue that much of the political polarization we witness today would have been remote if not impossible.

          • saay7

            Selamat Ismailom:

            I have such great respect for your demeanor and class that I am voting for you and Fanti to run Eritrea and Ethiopia for the next 15 years.

            Here’s our point of divergence that has been unnecessarily exaggerated. I think that decentralization is a desirable goal because, like you surmised, I have conservative/libertarian leanings and accept the principle of having people governed by people who are most local to them. For a number of reasons–including lack of capacity of poor nations–I think this should be done within the confines of a unitary state. That is: a unitary but decentralized. That is: the unitary state made up of democratically elected politicians will decide how much to devolve to the regions/provinces. You, I take it, believe that this is so important it shouldn’t be left to future politicians but must be guaranteed in the constitution. The language must be much more explicit.

            You want it done constitutionally. I want it done by law. Each has its advantages and disadvantages.

            These are normal political differences that shouldn’t generate the kind of heat it has generated from Haile Z and Emma. Like I said before, the idea of “group rights” vs “individual rights”, specially in Africa, is a debate that mushroomed after 1997, resulting in some countries amending their constitution or passing laws to meet the demands of marginalized societies. So, while I respect your assertion that the demand for group rights in Eritrea was a reaction to PFDJ’s extreme centralization, I also want you to consider the possibility that is a byproduct of the debate among the political science society. And, I also want you to be open-minded to the possibility that those of us who think individual rights should reign supreme are not doing it because we have ambitions to dominate but because we think a group is a mini-state which will demand conformity from its members–and ostracize them if they don’t conform–and violate their civil liberties.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Dear saay7,

            Your graceful respect and humility is reciprocated with heartfelt regard.

            First, let me return back to a point I should have stressed better in my earlier comments but escaped my attention. The issue of spelling out the nature of governance was considered part of the mandatory constitutional matters we usually referred “hagerawi moqomitat/ sewabit al watania in Arabic”. Reconsiderations later in the congress was due to the reasons I tried to describe hastily as you have correctly understood.

            I can testify at this point in time that as an active cadre who had been involved in one way or the other in formulation of the contents of the ELF, RC, NC and more recently the ENSF, it never occurred in our minds the issue of succession after the exit of the occupiers would change the nature of the state and its governance as endorsed by the 1952 Constitution unless a successor constitution that would properly be sanctioned by the duly expressed will of the people would rule otherwise. Thus, the post 1991 polarization initiated inferences in the programs of the fronts were exigencies caused by the behavior and policies of the regime at least in regard to the so called secular nationalist organizations.

            Thus, in my view the debate about rights on various levels social, economic and political fit in the realm of constitution and the proper process of its making. The core issue how broad would representation and fairness be in such a national undertaking be. If you take part in erecting the house and you know you have a place in it managing the affairs inside it would concern consultation and compromise.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo & Haile Z.,

            First the nature of government and the units of administrations as a political super-structure are determined by constitutional laws and not by statuary laws. I have debated this issue several times within a decade with my friend Saay. Wether our people want “centralized unitary government” or “Decentralized unitary government” or “Federalism ” should be determined by the constitution.

            Second, I listened Saay’s debate with Abdelrahman. Saay was debating for decentralized unitary government as oppose to Federalism by Abdelrahman. I have no clue as to why Saay wanted us to start with centralized unitary government to transform it incrementally to decentralized unitary government by statuary laws. Governmental structures are fundamental and constitutional issues.

            Third, the issue of minorities should be addressed constitutionally how they will get their fair share in the politics and economy of their nation.

            Fourth, individual freedom and group freedom are not contradictory in nature. They are complimentary to each other. We shouldn’t fight one over the other. They can not exist one without the other. Isn’t it the freedom of individuals that gives the existence of group rights b/c it is part of their rights to group or organize as they wish. On the flip side, can individual rights defended without organizing in to groups? Giving both individual and group freedoms is always healthy to our nation. This shouldn’t be issue of our difference.

            Finally, to Ismailo, I think you make your point at least Saay to undetstand your concern. That is great to begin with. I failed to cross his mind all my concerns and you succeed. To come to some kind of undetstanding even after contentious debate is gratifying.

            Regards

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hayak Allah Ustaz Salih,

            The experience of copy and paste didn’t work in Africa. Also, it didn’t bring stability, progress and prosperity. I think, there are ingredients missing in the governance that meet satisfaction and protection of citizens from hungry parties and politicians. A party that would rule a country after a success in a general election should not be looked from a section of the society as a hostile party, judging from its ideology. For example, if an Islamic party succeeded in election; definitely, this party is already seen from some sections of the people as a hostile party, the same goes with Crusader party, Communist party, Socialist party, Secular party, Liberal party, Ethnic party, Regional party and Sectarian party. The moment one of these parties assumes power they will start chasing their opponents and put them in prison from day one to the end of their period. Mostly such parties, they turn to dictators. I think, the problem in Africa lies in the formation of her political parties. Political parties should be free from any ideology and should compete only on the agreed upon service they present to their people. The form of a party should be capable of inviting any citizen without any fear from any components of the society. Hidden illegal parties have brought Eritrea to its present situation.

            Al-Arabi

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam haw Hameed,

            You have said: “political parties should be free from ideology.” Are parties formed without ideology? Aren’t their political program are based on their ideological philosophy? I have never heard that. Can you educate us any history of that sort in the history of mankind since the concept of “party” came to surface in the mechanics of politics. I am really eager to learn. Please give us any historical background about it. Thank you in advance.

            Regards

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Selam haw Amauel Hidrat,

            I have started my previous comment with “Copy and Paste didn’t work in Africa”. All kinds of parties since the conception of “party” came to surface was copied and pasted in Africa, but didn’t work. Now, are we still persisting though there is no encouraging results? Let us now come to the ideology part, which ideology holders are qualified to rule us? Why these guys have gotten priority than others who hold different ideologies? Isn’t this undemocratic practice against other ideologies? my friend, Hidrat, you have either to accept or drop them altogether.

            Al-Arabi

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Okay Hameed,

            I thought you will come to tell us on how parties without ideological philosophy could be formed. Now you will agree with me that there are no parties without ideological philosophy. The nature of parties are defined by the ideology the try to advance. Second, because parties are not effective so far in Africa, we can not avoid the formation of parties, if we want democratic process and democratic government in our country. We have to make it work. There is no democracy without the formation of parties. Parties are part of the political infra-structure of democratic governance. Third, I agree with you that parties should be allowed irrespective their ideological philosophy, to compete in the national politics of governing, as far as we give to our people the power who to elect through their votes.

            Regards

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam Amanuel Hidrat,

            It means you accept even to have ethnic parties, religious parties?

            Al-Arabi

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Hameed,

            As I have state earlier, I do not have a problem, as far as we know the difference of a constitution and political programs, and as far as we don’t use the parties political programs as bssis for drafting a constitution like what EPLF did for the 1997 document.

            Regards

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hababak Hidrat,

            As far as we have strong constitution and well established strong democratic institutions, no matter even if an orange colour man wins the election. That is a full blown democracy.

            Al-Arabi

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Amman, ‘guided democracy’ is better for ethnically, and religiosly diverse and under developed countries like those of ours. Western style full blown liberal democracy doesn’t work in our societies, it is a recipe for disaster. ሳአንኻ ማዕረ እግርኻ። Eritrean election law should not allow a Tigrinya, Tigre, Bilen, or Tewahdo, or Moslem, etc. parties and the State should be secular. The rights of all ethnic groups, and other group rights should be respected within the frame work of ‘unity in diversity’. It is only in this way, our diverse society could co-exist peacefully and thrive.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Haw Abraham,

            Aha! you want a guided democracy. Guided democracy is paternalistic in nature. We have a paternalistic government in Eritrea. May be the kind of government you are looking could be a little lose than the current government. But in essence you have the same principles on how to handle our diversity. Guided democracy is not democracy.

            Sheldon Wolin one of the top contemporary political theorist called “guided democracy” aka as “managed democracy” as inverted totalitarianism. Guided democracy is election without democracy. Do you really want that kind of democracy in Eritrea? I will give you the link below a homework for the week end reading “Election without democracy: The Rise of competitive Authoritarianism” By Steven Levitsky and Lucan A. Way. You have to have a good understanding on the subject before you make a choice to our people.

            /scholar.harvard.edu/levitsky/files/SL_elections.pdf

            Awate Team (moderator): we are few hours away, to be exact five hours the weekend to start. The link is so important on “guided democracy” a governmental concept adopted by authoritarian regimes. So I humbly ask you not to remove the link.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            As you can see the answer to your positions are in your argument to undo the decentralization.

            1) “…Of late, in Africa, which is made up of multi-ethnic societies, there has been a movement afoot that this approach (unitary state) doesn’t work and some level of guaranteed decentralization is required..”

            IF you draw lessons from the other African countries then you have clear indication that a centralized system of governance is not working. Then there is no need to repeat the same route. One option is to decentralize. And that is exactly my argument even if I am coming from different approach. Of course all is based on the will of the Eritrean people.

            2) “As for viability of the provinces, never mind the regions, all African states are on the verge of being failed states.”

            In fact if most African countries are unitary centralized states and they are failing why repeat the same mistake. Why follow the same type of state organization. Try something different that mitigates the shortcomings. A small unit may be managed easily and better than a big State. So, I am saying keep the state but decentralize it. This may be an idea that could be an alternative. Always based on Eritrean peoples wish.

            What you say next is :
            3) “If I am wrong about designing a unitary state, it can always be modified subject to the will of the people; if you are wrong about decentralization, it will be hard to change.”

            My argument is decentralization by law is not good for issues of this magnitude. The law could be changed from season to season or from month to month. And it will be based on the political majority in power. Which implies every time there is a change of government due to election or some sort of coalition, you will find yourself in front of different laws.
            I do not want to go to the rest of your argument because you are not drawing lessons from the past documents but you are using them to repeat what they say or strength your argument. In other words why should I/we be bound by views written 30/40 years ago? Are there any lessons learned during this time?
            The only thing I can say is, I do not have words to convince someone of your caliber that is not disgusted with the consistent ideology of EPLF/PFDJ and how it was enacted in the past 27 years. I cannot also disassociate the letter from its authors and the outcome that we have now.

            Regards,

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Hailat,

            Why are they against equitable sharing? But then they are from the insatible human being who want to control everything? What makes them from PFDJ who controls everything in the current Eritrea? They don’t want to share with their fellow Eritreans. They are really thickening to hear them we will not give them their autonomy.

            Regards

          • MS

            Salam Emma
            I don’t know if I have to say, “Shame on you; just shame on you, period.” How could you go that low my friend? So, SAAY is no different than PFDJ because he challenged your arguments on certain subjects? So, finally you found out he is from the “insatiable human being who want to control everything”? A man who led the argument of opposition intellectuals for the last 17 years, a man who has been the victim of PFDJ sense of impunity, no different than PFDJ!!??? How could you say that? The fact of the matter is that no one of us has the authority of what Eritrean constitution should look like. You have none, SAAY has none, i have none. That is why a commission of experts is needed. That is why the public needs to debate on the draft; that is why it should be ratified by the legislative body….You are not raising any new issues. The issues you think are raising had been raised and debated while you were on voluntary absence. Members of the commission went through the same heated debates that we witness here. The difference is that the commission was run by sets of bylaws that enabled it to hammer out a conclusion. You surely don’t agree with it, and that is fine. On the other hand, here, we don’t have that mechanism; it is an open forum. I may disagree with your takes and with your behavior but I will not equate you with PFDJ. Please temper down your angry bursts. I welcome you if you shift to me all the accusations you threw on SAAY if you have to do it. My friend, it appears you are trying to compensate your lack of substance with angry bursts. That is a sign of weakness. Sorry to see you exhibiting signs of tyranny; I am sad to see you displaying signs of intolerance. I read your inability to make concessions and compromises. I see that you have a tendency of sowing suspicions while you preach us the single most problem the opposition faces is lack of trust!!! You are a person who preaches us that politics is an art of compromise. dear Emma racing to hold on to higher moral ground, after hurting others, is easy. The problem is defending it. And your actions, as evidenced by what you write and how you behave with your friends and foes, don’t support that self-claimed high moral character. I’m very sad to see you degenerating by the hour.
            Regards.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Mahmuday,

            I am not angry. But It is my duty to tell the toxicity of the document. There is no shame telling the toxicity of the document, You can curse me as much as you want. But I will keep telling you that the document is “toxic to society” including to those who are defending it. Have a good one brother and I Still ❤️ love you.

            Regards

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Haile Zeru,

      This is pretty robust appraisal of the shortcomings of the ’97 constitution. It is noticeable that much effort is being exerted to elucidate positions on the document, which I think is not in vain. One is that we are learning a lot of things from one another through making thorough review of matters in the constitution with the aim of elaborating points as you, saay7 as well as many others have done competently. The other crucial reason has to do with the interest Eritreans have in the value of laws enshrined in a constitution to in lay down the bedrock for sustainable unity which is requisite imperative for nation building.

      In my view, the debate is more future oriented than the present even though some in this forum sincerely believe it could be used for tactical purpose in tackling the regime. The end product of all these debates is pinpointing the politics and power calculations that contaminated the process of writing of the constitution that will have to be avoided in future. Within this framework, thus, your contribution, along with others in this forum, are valuable and deserve commendation not only for enriching the debate but also for the time spared that made contribution of such quality rejoinders possible.

      Thank you.

  • Peace!

    Hi all,

    I really enjoyed reading this thread!! Good people, powerful ideas, honest intentions( with exception), productive exchanges, exhaustions ( Emma and Mahmuday,lol), and of course civil and respectful. I read and learned a lot, thank you all and Awate university.

    Peace!

  • Selamat Ali Salim,

    The General Mills Corp, has a cereal Trix. Much like Play Boy Buggs, the marketer Rabbit is informed “Trix are for kids” by all the giggly emphatic “Baby Corp” kiddies gathered on a Saturday Morning Cartoons PJ, for pajamas, party PARTY 😉

    “OK let me shoot a couple of articles before someone develops new tricks. ”

    We better get on with it then, I suppose.
    The Captain nudge or two for contemplations…1. the Returnees trend (The SAINT, calls for the SEMi Trucking ticking with certification, HA “Baby Bear” “mini hibernation” and the like. 2. to the TS liberal Vs conservative Doc (Ahhh Whats up Doc prognosis dead or alive?) Rate of Return five years weighted average Assets Valuation Method of dividends and reinvestments Current Value of Nakfa as compared against Current Liabilities as well as Long Term Liabilities. 3. The 1997 Constitution IPO in this Third Quarter of ’17 discounting factors ar 10% for funding and 7% for Current Liabilities (FASB88*) valuations. Bisha Geisha (geisha as in traveled to Serbia to be frozen) enter Shishini “KONG” on Eri Medrekh… Ahhh these “Baby” Panda “Corp” …
    I suggest this hint for your next MniQuinaQue
    3. Our all favorite MaHmooday “The Best” SaliH foresight of make sure ya ya ya alll, ya Ellll, ya EriTALL pick your stocks, bonds, with bigger shares geared inside.
    The Bourgeois Afaariquee.. Suvuple!

    Looking forward to your next summary. Be diligent LUKE Sky Walker do your due diligence… The Force is with you.

    Check of the ’97… did I tell the time I distributed Two Thousand Copies of it innnnn and whileeee… check ma sleeve next time.
    oye oye la migra la migra compadre
    AmEriGitSAtSE A40 A40

  • blink

    Dear all
    Can we find one person from ex-ELF who support the 1997 constitution in this forum?? I want to know if there is any one ? Raise to the occasion do not get lost with old wounds .

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Blink,

      Aside all its flaws we are highlighting, being Excluded from the process in itself, will not make us in s position to support it. But aren’t all the flaws We brought upfront are enough to invalidate it, dear Blink. What is the problem of correcting it before it is implemented? Isn’t it common sense to say, let us correct the document that has never been implemented before it is enforced?

      Regards

      • Tzigereda

        Dear Emma,
        Don’t you see a difference between ” invalidating” the constitution 97 and ” correcting” it, which, according to my opinion would mean reforming it, as done in many countries of this world?

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Sis Tzigereda,

          You are right you get me. I use two words that contradict each other. Thank you. I stand with “correction”, though we didn’t talk about the nature of the correcting process before it is enforced. Thank you again sis.

          Regards

          • Tzigereda

            Dear Emma,

            You are welcome.
            As for me I see the ongoing discussions as an informal process of how and what needs to be reformed (thanks to the huketenya Ali Salim, a prolific writer, intay emo…). Three years ago we discussed this topic ( yes or no to use the cons as a rally issue, and we had different opinions, me voicing for yes).
            I wish the discussion is focused on factual arguments as done mostly, iti kaleee malee ayedln iyu (for example, no need for blaming MS for ” xegiEnet”)

            Thank you.

      • Saba

        Dear Amanuel,
        Can you give solution to what you are opposing for? If not it seems opposing just for the sake of opposing or chasing the “dream constitution”.
        For example
        1) You said land should not be owned by government and you came up with “public land” and “state land”. Can you explain why you prefer one from the other?
        2) How much participation is acceptable? 100%(never happened yet anywhere), 90%, 70%, 50%, 20%, 10%?
        3) You talk often about the hybrid nature of the constitution. What is your ideal then? And what if the people choose a hybrid one?

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear Saba,

          I believe you are a regular visitor/debater in this website and its forum. Really, you wanted me to go through all my articles and my comments. Saba it is better to ask me to write an article than to answer your questions. But then, to rewrite on the argument I made in my previous articles will be redundant. So my adivice to you is, go to my column “tebeges” file and do deligence to read them to know my positions and my solutions wether you agree or not.

          Regard

          • Saba

            Dear Amanuel,
            I understand the time constraint but at least you could answer “No.1”, which i do not think is in your articles.
            Yeah i come to this website sometimes to send a terminator for possible future dictators:)

          • Thomas

            Hi Saba,
            Any future dictators if there will be far better the evils we have now. Are you trying to discourage the movement to get rid the worst one we already have? It was stupid of you to say, ” I come to this website sometimes to send a terminator for possible future dictators”
            To me, It is obvious you are with the current dictators and I am puzzled to read you talking about the future ones.

      • Abraham H.

        Dear Aman, the benefits of the document in terms of human rights and other myriad of freedoms, justice, rule of law, divisions and limitations of powers with checks and balances, etc, far ourweigh the few flaws vis-à-vis the current hopeless circumstances that our people and country find themselves. Be real, be solution oriented.

        • Ismail AA

          Dear Abraham,

          The value of the provisions you have listed cannot really be disputed under normal circumstances. But what is at issue is that the constitution had missed the cardinal utility it should have served, which is uniting the nation. The core purpose of a constitution is to unite and harmonize society by addressing the concerns of its components.

          Now, I think you will agree with me that the dilemma we have been facing is how to unite the people under one umbrella to unchain themselves from the ruthless dictatorship. The political and social arena has been so dangerously polarized that has become a hard-to-surmount barrier impairing the opposition. In my view, the old pre-1991 divisions could have been abated had the referendum and later the constitution-making process had been used to unite the nation. Those were missed opportunities from which we are now suffering. It is, therefore, seriously questionable this constitution could narrow the divisions it had caused.

          So, a realistic alternative should be focusing on searching an alternative mechanism to come up with an interim national minimum task program that could serve as common platforum around which the opposition forces could rally. If this could be achieved, there won’t be reason why it cannot serve the objective the ’97 constitution would serve on both internal and external national opposition endeavors.

          • Selamat Ayya IsmaelAA,

            Well argued. Baring no ifs and buts, if and only if jargon aside, allow me to retort why can’t the 1
            ’97 constitution be the “So, a realistic alternative should be focusing on searching an alternative mechanism to come up with in the interm..”

            Can it also be framed, going forward what are the cost/benefits analysis as is precisely the initiative post the “gold rush” hijum. Now as for the compromise what measuring tools can Eritreans utilize. The “transient” properties perhaps bkebid bret MSilatt biAimatt napalmat brmrim can invoke the “dmu dmu” influence?
            Did I tell the time of The Lemon Story klte goraHat Hamukhishti snqom juke box… AI Crossover
            ‘9ers is to gold as ‘6ers is to zeyti smsmm teHanit Keren… Dagdaga Degiga:) 96 + 1 = ’97ers, 69 + 1 = SebAAtat…’77, FASB87, FASB88. (I beg your pardon, I tend to get carried away at times. True.)

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE A40

          • Ismail AA

            Selam GitSAtSE Solomon wedi Hawey,
            Welcome back from extended leave of absence.
            ኣንታ ጻጸ ወዲ ሓወይ ሰለሙን፡ ቁሩብ ዘይትድንግጽ ኢካ ምስ ሽማግለታት ክትዛረብ ከለካ። እምበይዶ ሕሹኽ ኢልካስ ዓው ኢልካ እኻ ዘይንሰምዓካ። እስከ ዝበልካኒ ዓው ኢልካ ድገመለይ ክርደኣኒ መታ ቁምነገር ከይሓልፈኒ።

          • Anta Ayya IsmaelAA,

            lbi gobez ab deretu ‘ndyu iti ygba zbehalelu Hgi QuidimQedadmm…iske seAnn TTrazza Turruzia ‘za khula gobezai meAsn bmenn TTebeQa … emo Hushukh ilka AAw ilka mnelikh Wecho keynbla… WuHsinett deA kgebrela iza guddayy..

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE A40 A40 Abu AAsera WXE

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Dear haw Abraham,

          Your are making the same repeated comment and I am making the same repeated comment. What can you understand from that? I told you there is no good on the document other than the bill of rights. I wrote articles to show its flaws (a) in the government it depicts (b) in the distribution of power (c) it depicts the delegation of power from the center to the periphery as a result of CUG system of government (d) it depict hybrid regime from the hybrid of parliamentary and presidential system (e) problematic on the issue of land (f) problematic on the issue language (g) problematic on the minorities rights. Again there is nothing good that unite our people in it. You disagree on my take on the constitution. Then let’s move on. I have said what I have to say and you have said what have to say. If we we don’ t have new argument to make, think we have to move on.

          Regard

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, you said “I told you there is no good on the document other than the bill of rights”, though I don’t agree with you on your claim, the fact that you believe the bill of rights are good is enough for me. Theoretically, all things being left as they are, if the bill of rights, that include rights of freedom of speech, peaceful demo, religion, organization, rights of free movement inside and outside the country, respect of women’s rights, rights of electing and get elected, equality of all persons under the law, illegality of descrimination on various grounds, the right to human dignity, right to life and liberty, right to petition, right to court hearing within 48 hours of arrest, right to appeal, right to know the grounds for arrest, etc, way better than the current situation of our people which could only be described as bondage under the DIA regime.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            Unfortunately, a nation and its p people is not governed by Bill of rights. Otherwise, you don’t need a constitutional political process and a constitution. Bill of rights are universal human right laws that are incorporated in to constitutions to protect citizens from human abuses.

      • blink

        Dear Mr. Amanuel
        As I always said the exclusion was a bad centuries decision and I always blame all big boys of EPLF , that is the truth because they should have been more welcoming even to a very ludicrous position by ex-EPLF , I mean what could possibly ex-ELF do at that time . The wind was all but EPLF .

        What I am asking is based on a fairly common merits of any one from ex-ELF to support the 1997 constitution. Are they ready to burn it because they were excluded?? I mean let’s be honest all ELF fighters were brace men as equal to any one EPLF , that must be scored under any circumstances. What I don’t think is fair is the essence that all ex-ELF OPPOSE the 1997 and play the social grievances card , this social grievances thing is a catalyst to their pre meditate view. It has nothing to do with Bish, or any Asmara mining project. I have hard time to believe that all oppose for the benefit of the oppressed people. I just don’t buy this.

      • Thomas

        Hi Amma,

        I am certain that we all are fighting to dismantle the system and all its creations. The UN and other powerful organizations would like to see the Issayas regime implement the formed constitutions. The Issayas regime has developed an allergy with the available constitutions and already has admitted that it is put in their garbage. So, we have a case to fight back and ask them to implement that as to start to amend or discard it all together. At this point of time, we have nothing to show the world, but we have the 97 constitution that the world is already pushing for its implementations. We must not try to only fight the enemy in the order of 1, 2, 3……………… We must use all tools we have to save the nation and the people. We are way behind on where we aught to be!!

    • Ismail AA

      Dear blink,
      No current or former ELF member opposes the constitution for the sake opposing. And, I do not think it is correct to generalize the issue in the way you have put it. The argument is about whether or not the constitution came out with omissions and flaws that a proper and democratic and participatory process could have avoided. Anyway, it is not only the sectors you have mentioned who are opposing or not agreeing with the constitution. Even its owners (the current government and its leader) and core supporters of the regime have changed their mind and opposed and discarded it. Of course the reasons are different but the result is the same. The constitution has proven to not be suitable tool to resolve the problems it was meant to address at the top of which was national unity, which is now in frightening condition.

      • blink

        Dear Mr. Ismael
        Before you give your reasons in which I partially accept, I wanted you to read Mr. Amanuel reply to MS , that exchange with both men I admired long did not sit well with me. you kind of passed it and most of you passed it except Saay . I am wondering sir if you guys are willing to let us see you in one picture as a formidable force of Eritreans ,instead we are being hooked to a pre perception from both sides. Are you willing to take out the bad once and accept the good once ? Compromise is the art of politics and I wonder if it is simply not so when it comes to Eritreans!! Being able to read all Abraham exchange and saay clarification as well as ghezae in put could have make yourself comfortable to not touch the abuser and abused thing. I am always willing to accept any possibility of a positive attitude even a slight one yet I don’t see it. Haile z question about bis ha was at its worst if not Humberger.

        Again no one from ex-ELF in this forum can raise and say here is the things I am willing to give in, that really matters to all Eritreans.

        • Ismail AA

          Hayak Allah blink,

          “Are you willing to take out the bad once and accept the good once ?”. Dear blink, this is precisely what the debate is all about. Your good question could in fact be made complete by a reverse question: Are you going to give us chance (realistic process) to take out the bad and retain the good?.

          Thus, the whole argument is how wise and objective answers to these questions could calibrate to bring the grand compromise you are asking. I think our survival as a united nation demands us refrain from understanding compromise in half-full-half-empty way of thinking. Compromise needs talking and negotiating in proper framework without requiring us either to take the empty or the full part of the equation as prior condition. Otherwise the alternative will be communicating across trenches without the possibility of coming to the middle of no-man’s land between them.

          Thus, I would humbly suggest to you not read the debate from the vantage point of what two gentlemen said to one another and generalize that to the level of their backgrounds – in this case the so called ELF-EPLF divide.

    • Saba

      Hi Blink,
      They can’t, by principle. The first rule to think freely is to disown the ELF. Semere T did but he is in step2.
      With no ELF and EPLF, you will think freely for perennials

  • saay7

    Selam Semere T:

    So, ok, I said I can destroy these arguments, and I also said I love Semere T. So, the only way to meet both criteria is to reply to Semere T…..in the exact style of Semere T 🙂

    1. The claim that the Eritrean constitution is tooooooooo liberal is not supported by any facts. For something to be too liberal, it has to be willing to be “open to new behavior or opinions and willing to discard traditional values.” All the discussions here have been on how the constitution is too moored to Eritrean Ghedli. So what is “too liberal” about the constitution? Can you give examples, from the constitution itself and not from what you heard about the constitution, that you consider as contradictory to Eritrea’s traditional society?

    Spoiler alert: YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO FIND ANY. Make No Mistake About It… sorry I got carried away in my Semere Tesfaism 🙂

    2. Your second premise follows from the first. And since you haven’t given ANY EVIDENCE AT ALL to support your first (and you won’t be able to), your claim of “we have learned a lot…” is literally a word-for-word repetition of what Isaias says. Without telling us what is it we have learned.

    3. You said:

    The PFDJ regime and most of its supporters, the Eritrean opposition as a whole, the chief author of the constitution, have all opposed the 1997 Eritrean constitution.

    (a) The PFDJ regime and most of its supporters have not opposed the “1997 Eritrean constitution.” In fact, in every meeting the PFDJ held, that was a question that was repeatedly asked for which it had no answers. Please do not confuse Isaiasists with PFDJ.
    (b)The Eritrean opposition… I will get back to it because that is the most audacious claim in the last para
    (c) The chief drafter of the constitution, Dr. Bereket Habteselasse NEVER, EVER, EVER opposed the constitution. Where did you get that? Wait, I know: it is from the hit piece that the Isaiasists drafted? What Dr. Bereket has said consistently is that there are changes that should be made to the constitution and the constitution has a mechanism for doing that.

    Now, for the last part and your Trumpian quote:

    The opposition is made up of political organizations and civil society. All the political organizations that were opposed to the constitution remain opposed. (ELF, the Islamists, the Federalists, the ethnic-rights orgs. All of them.) Nobody has changed his/her mind. The civil society was split: some supported it (from the time they were founded: these would be the advocacy groups for journalists, writers association, EYSC) and some opposed it (from the time they were founded.) In short, your claim that the opposition having given up on themselves are now in a desperate effort supporting the 1997 constitution is utter, total, complete, undiluted bunk. It is the sort of crowd-pleasing statements you make (the crowd being the tesfanews, madote, meskerem crowd) that is completely divorced from reality. You have assigned yourself the role of the PFDJ-Interpreter-Of-The-Opposition for people who wouldn’t admit to reading awate and you continue to delight them by misinforming them.

    I now await patiently for the evidence you will present to support your case that the constitution is “too liberal”, that the world has changed so dramatically since 1997 we “learned a lot” (unless “we” is just the slow learners) and finally your claim that “the opposition” is all clamoring to support the constitution.

    saay

    * I still love you. But let’s agree we all know what your role here is: as the awatista whose role is to feed PFDJ more oppo caricature.

  • Haile Zeru

    Hi All,
    Whomever followed my conversation below with SAAY, Ghezae, Ismael and Aman.
    Based on the 1997 constitution Ghezae Hogos came with the article below (article 29) as best fit for the rights of Group, Ethnic minorities etc…
    Please read the article attached here, for convenience, and tell me if you come up with the same conclusion. I, for one, do not come with same conclusion. This article (29), as far as I can tell is for cases like assisted dying, unborn child’s right, the maximum it could go is LGBT right’s which are individual (citizen’s ) rights, I think. I am not claiming any experise on the matter. It is just personal reflection.
    It is also telling that both SAAY and Ghezae did not point to the same article. Which hints that may be it is not clear and they do not come to the same conclusion.
    “Article 29 – Residual Rights The rights enumerated in this Chapter shall not preclude other rights which ensue from the spirit of this Constitution and the principles of a society based on social justice, democracy and the rule of law.”

    SAAY pointed to the
    Article 1 – The State of Eritrea and its Territory
    …..5. Eritrea is a unitary State divided into units of local government. The powers and duties of these units shall be determined by law.

    This looks like more reasonable. The problem is though the rights of minorities belong to the Constitution., at least in their broad outline. Ones you pass that (the Constitution writing) democracy rules, limited only by what the constitution says. IF the Constitution does not hinder the majority we are headed for the tyranny of the majority. And the minorities have no tools to stop it.
    They do not have legal tools because the laws are made by the majority. They cannot stop by changing the Constitution because ones the 1997 constitution is enacted you need 75 % to amend it. So those who say the constitution is dynamic and it will evolve, remember that it will evolve if the majority wishes.
    Pls read
    “Article 59 – Amendment of the Constitution 1:…
    a. where the National Assembly by a three-quarters majority vote of all its members proposes the amendment with reference to a specific Article of the Constitution tabled to be amended; …
    As you can see a 2% or even 10% minority is condemned to whatever fait the majority condemns it.
    So I reiterate my previous assertion that the Eritrean Ethnic groups gain nothing to uphold the 1997 Constitution.
    Now back to the present. As you can see the way the Bisha gold and Dankalia Potash is being extracted is basically colonial in nature, where the local inhabitants (indigenous) are driven away or watching helpless and the bigwigs in Asmara are enriching themselves.
    I am sure this will hit some nerves. But just think about it. I am not putting it to provoke but to force someone to think in a different ways, alternative mental exercise.
    ..and I do not think the 1997 Constitution as is will change any of that

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Hailat (HZ),

      Very valid question. I still advice you to continue to probe the intent and spirit of the document.

      Second, our brothers Saay and Ghezae can give us their interpretation on the clauses. But remember we will have “orginalist” in the Supreme Court of Eritrea like the well known associate justice Antonio Scalia who is textualist and originalist in the Supreme Court of US. We should be careful about this document.

      Look Hailat our brothers are telling us about a document that has never implemented and has immense flaws, to go through constitutional amendment that requires 75% votes of MPs instead of going through correction process before it is implemented. Those who oppose it have the duty to expose all its flaws and thus it won’t be a uniting document whatsoever. Keep digging, otherwise tyranny of majority is inevitable in Eritrea.

      Regards

    • saay7

      Haile, selamat:

      There is no contradiction My and Ghezae answer. Ghezae is citing article in the constitution that gives people residual rights. What are those? Those are rights above and beyond what are enumerated in the constitution. The US constitution had to deal with this precise challenge: how do we make sure that some rights are explicitly stated without making it sound that if they are listed they don’t exist? They came up with their Article 29 (which was Amendement X): “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

      On the tyranny of the majority, you and Amanuel keep forgetting to mention that:

      (a) the majority is formed by rules yet to be set: party formation and electoral laws. You can writ those in so many ways to ensure the nightmare scenario you are not envisioning doesn’t happen. (Even Sherifos committee–an untrustworthy PFDJ by some definitions–came up with one that would significantly mitigate against a super majority made up of one ethnic group.)

      2. You guys keep forgetting that a dictatorship of th majority is a huge huge huge improvement over 1 man rule. Everything you guys talk about is in comparison to an ideal that doesn’t exist.

      saay

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Dear Saay,

        But don’t forget for the minorities, whether it is dictatorship of the majority or dictatorship of one man, it is all the same devilish to them. Instead preaching against all kind of dictatorship, you are making a choice to us one from the other.

        Second, let us find a conclusion on the constitution at least in this forum, before we go to the flaws of the election laws that was drafted by the committee chaired by Sherifo. A flawed constitution breeds a flawed election laws. Let us keep it aside for now.

        Regards

        • Ismail AA

          Ahlen Aman,

          One could add to what you wrote that the flawed process delivered flawed constitution and this in turn would reflect on by- and subsidiary laws. The departure point should be appraising how democratic and participatory the process had been in the context of the given political and social condition. The core value of a constitution rests on how far the process open space to take account of the concerns and needs of the constituencies what ever their nature and formation might have been.

          Thus, politically speaking the ’97 constitution was conceived, crafted and composed with focus on the needs and ambitions of one component that was the EPLF and its political future. And, this had not been hidden either. It was claimed that the front had liberated (!) the country, and that its leadership and domination could not be disputed. The fact that the document came up with liberal provisions and stipulations cannot satisfactorily substitute or vindicate the disadvantages the excluded sectors of the population had suffered, and are suffering from the consequences. Arguing to use the constitution as tactical and public relations tool irrespective of future ramifications is one thing, and rationalizing the damaging flaws with pinning hope to the workings of a number of liberal clauses in it is quite another.

        • saay7

          Emma:

          The “majority” and “minority” definitions that you have in mind apply only if people are organized purely on the basis of their ethnicity into political orgs and advocacy groups. That’s one way of running politics. The one envisioned in the Charter, and in the electoral/party formation law of Sherifos committee completely bypasses that static vision of Eritrea.

          In future Eritrea, a “minority” may not be a Kunama or Afar but a Tigrinya-speaker who is a member of a losing political party.

          As MaHmuday keeps telling you (and as you keeping refusing to accept) the proof for this is that no Eritrean organization that is organized on the basis of ethnicity or religion or region has any vibrancy or life. To give yourself a name that includes the name of your social group doesn’t mean you are accepted as a spokesperson for the social group. For example, I have 3 groups that claim to speak for my “social group”: not only do I not belong to them, I don’t know anyone in my “social group” who does. I bet you my story is far more reperesentative than its opposite.

          saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            The more we debate the more the discourse takes to personalities argument. I will withdraw from engaging you.

          • saay7

            Selam Emma:

            What is so “personal” about saying that your configuration of “majority-minority” in Eritrea assumes that politics will always be based on ethnicity and that there is an alternative view which says politics can be based on ideology that transcends ethnic identity?

            saay

          • Selamat Saay7,

            i.e. in Political Party organization Doc based on the 1997 Constitution right Doc?

            tSAtSE

          • saay7

            Tsatse:

            The more things change, the more they state the same. And thus:
            I have always failed and cotinue to fail to understand your message. Where is Amde the Pillar? He was good at converting your poetry to prose I could understand

            saay

          • Captain,

            It is a keeping it simple exercise of connect four ATCQ… no no no, Saay7. Read the acronym twice. Furthermore, is it: “The economy stupid?” or “Keep it simple stupid?” I await for SK and memhrey Mez to engage mathematically. Atlantic Council Vs A Tribe Called Quest would not be a hard connect. would it now? WYSIWYG 😉
            Yom Barika.

            Eisirit is twice a tenth…’77 = ’97ers.

            And yes, ask the Missile Aztek and MS, YOU ARE A YOUNGSTER! Ask Blink 😉 Number One right SETE!

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE A40 A40

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Tsatse,

            WaHaTiyo ente belkuwas Tigosmo, endo gerkayo. HaSiruni ente belkus tedebiru yisEsE.

            Saay didn’t understand what you are asking and you even make really hard to understand. What happen to keep it simple.

            To answer your question,

            “Political Party organization Doc based on the 1997 Constitution right Doc?”, which I think you asked based on Saay comment

            “The one envisioned in the Charter, and in the electoral/party formation law of Sherifos committee completely bypasses that static vision of Eritrea.”.

            I don’t think it’s based on 97 constitution or not. It’s a draft law that was proposed how political party can be formed. In other words it’s a complement to the constitution (which says political party formation should be determined by law or something).

            Berhe

          • Antum Hawna Berhe,

            In the preceding Saay’s comment, do notice his “even Sherifo’s PFDJ committee..” maneuvering. I did not base my comment on the preceding, if in fact it was that. As the trial lawyer, I point you to exhibit berhe wayy: notice the language of my comment “Party Organization Doc..” Vs. “Party formation, election laws, chaired by Sherifo….”
            Lets refocus on Article 29 or Article 7… EndiEii..n Edaga Hamus Quicha AATer shambuqo ShiH Walakha temelket… tdabadobu ikhu beti Toyota Kubri doA VanKuber Winapeg Manitobo…

            Iti grhinetkas bele AAnsebetay…
            MniQuinaQue kalaytii kfall Wedi BaHri Kober JamiAAt Al Khartuum Kubri UK Wildcat enda tetSEbiena

            Kemey zbll lebam Semiaie ‘mo Kemey ille melise zeyHateka. Entay ‘lkayo: Kmbww bele mber dildl segirka, WeHaTTiyo keyweHaTTeTo gesemeto… zlella zlela deA sgera… ’97ers 07ers ’17ers

            Wunchufn, Handay meliEka Tanika… wesidat beliAAto thankito tegesumo nay Sanday guday ayayy iyuu

            Ehi ;ta Arku Kemey ile bile bile lbona doU tblo?

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE A40 A40 WXE

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Tsatse,

            Sorry I have lost you, i an not going to attemp to read.

            If you are going to type that much in, I think it’s best if you do it in geez.

            All I got was wedi Edga shamus and wedi a Winnipeg. I am assuming you are referring to my friend Ghezae.

            Berhe

          • Hray Berhe Y,

            The takeaway from the above Amberber, (nayy SaHil nayna) Temberber nbelo is as follows:
            97ers to 17ers …hence A40. Echo la la domani tutti regatzo y regatza o regatzi.. Avanti
            Dicasete remorkio da vienti, 2017 RigetSE ’97ers.

            twaze tewzwez…. I believe Roman Alphabets idea was iSEM’s… semAAkani MSilo?

            tSAtSE

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Tsatse,

            I too will wait for Amde’s return.

            Saay,
            Post the link when you can. Tsatse can get some laugh :).

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Berhe:

            Here’s the video of an Eritrean comedian doing an impression of what Kiros Alemayehu would sound like if he was doing a cover of Wardis classic “seberta.”

            It should come with a warning: if you are a snowflake looking for a reason to be offended please skip the video. Notice also based on what they called the video (no name of the comedian no name of the song) you can only stumble upon it and not search and find. Unless you are the person who found it for us: thanks unmentionable!

            https://youtu.be/LIofebyjVzk

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Thank you Saay.

            Now I see why you said he is Eritrean, I couldn’t tell last time. He is really good.

            And for some reason, he looks like blind. When he was singing Lambada he reminded me a blind guy who was in my high school, he was the ladies man because of his humour and talented jokes. He made everyone around him laugh.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Berhe:

            It might be the same guy from your high school: he is blind.

            saay

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            .
            M.S and you seem to have unlimited resources at your finger tips for Eritrean cultural expressions of new and old.
            .
            I am wondering if you two can boldly retrieve the old musical master pieces of the bygone era. The angel voiced singer’s name escapes me but the Tigrinya song/s presumed to contain the following words.
            .
            A. “Birds of the sky sing and dance, declare that Shewa and Asmara are at piece.”
            B. “tezewari mekina tezawarye: Shewan Asmaran koun mezawaray ”
            .
            Selam Hayat Adem,
            .
            I also heard you have passion for Eritrean artists and their music. If you have access to the above mentioned music pieces of the early 60s, it would be appreciated not just by me but others who value history.
            If any one of you have them I would like to dedicate the songs to Ras Abi and my good friend Amde.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • MS

            Selam KH
            Haha…so you think SAAY and Mahmuday don’t have the balls to retrieve beautiful songs? By the way, I have already told you guys that there is no problem with both peoples living in peace. It’s all about the elites. So here are the answers to your questions
            A: a recent song, I like it, it pretty much sings for peaceful neighborliness and the return of normalcy to the region. It is a rendition of the old “tezaweri mekina” song (B).
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CxLRpldVbI
            B: The old song, “tezaweri mekina tezaweri’ye//shawa Asmara koynu mezaweriye” was a repeating one-liner melodic song. And I’m told it was sung mostly by drivers who were crisscrossing Asmara-dese-Addis-Assab…..I don’t think it exists in albums nor do I think any one can claim a copyright on it. The melody was folkloric and they just laid the one-liner lyric on it.
            The twist: Later it became, “tezaweri mikina tezaweri’ye Sahel Asmara koynu mezaweri’ye”. This is in late 76 or early 77 when many trucks were captured and Sahel was crisscrossed with roads…Might as well be that ELFite artists were singing “Barka Asnara koynu mezaweriye”… just negeru le tzta naw gashye…
            There are many artists who are singing for peace. God know if IA and PMHD are listening. I heard some Eritrean artists complaining that their works have been stolen; that our Ethiopian artists are using them, and worse changing the lyrics to reflect their political point of view…I leave that to you.
            This song was originally sung by Dawit Shillan, and now this young man has made changes in the lyrics- listen at the end of the song.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNa55rCrUQY
            BTW: I love people who discuss arts. Remember, Jimi Hendrix was “discovered” in the UK and returned back to his country as a super artist. Music and arts have the power to make changes possible.
            Regards.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam M.S,
            .
            I was excited at the prospect of listening to that old song. I said Oh! my God, Mahmuday?.
            I debated whether to read your post 1st or later, but contained myself and finished reading first.
            .
            I appreciate the history of that song and just like our “tezeta” song a lot of artists try out their versions with some variations. I presume that is the case here. The song I was looking for was playing on Eth. radio 1960–67 era around September. (that is about 60 years ago) It might be the case that it was being used for propaganda purposes. As a young boy whenever the song came on the radio, it was a treat. Even though, I didn’t know what it said, it was said beautifully.
            .
            I appreciate your effort. Both these songs are great, specially the Gebregiorgis one. However that original song I am searching for might be gone for good. Perhaps one day when least expected it will show up. Thanks for your generosity.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Kim & Mahmuday

            The first link “song of peace” is almost the same with the that of the 60s. Its message is more important than its lyrics. I wish Kokhobay or some one good in translating tigrigna to Amharic could help us on that. It radiat a hope for peace, normalcy, and good neighborliness . Mahmuday, thank you for the songs, good for a change.

            Regards

          • MS

            Ahlan SAAY
            Let’s have the legendary Kiros Alemayehu have his say. This is my favorite song, “Hawa”. Can we say Kiros modernized Tigray’s music? From my limited knowledge, I think he is the first to play with a modern band. I may be wrong, and Fanti is welcome to intervene. By any chance, any one who knows the guitar player in that album?
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h9YFUNU0s6g

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam saay,
            .
            I always thought the funniest video could be the English Westminster Dog Competition Show.
            A good low voice, preferably with a little accent dubbing the Amharic version of the audio, the exact translation of the program can become the funniest thing you have ever heard of.
            After the copy rights issue is resolved I am sure it must be funny in most other languages.
            .
            Do you know if Arabic was used to broadcast the whole Westminster Dog Show?
            With the right amount of emphasis and flexion of the voice without changing anything materially can be hilarious.
            .
            Mr. K.H

  • sara

    Dear awetians
    where is the Gheteb this days? hibernating like ali salim or on sabbatical leave like sem A
    how about our legendary poet Kokob selam? any update…. kokob hope/wish you will come to that
    place visited this time of the year…. Inshaalah.

  • Dis Donc

    Dear Semere Tesfai,

    First of all let me commend you for your clean fight on most of your arguments. Most PFDJs and those opposition who side with them, on many things, have a tendency to use bad languages and ugly remarks. I must admit that yours have always been clean. But your willingness to hand out a blank check to PDFJ makes me question your hyper-nationalism which always baffles me. Hence my first ever communication with you!

    When you say you oppose the 1997 const, because it was very liberal, I am assuming the fear of Kunama, Afar, Agazian, etc wanting to cede and join Ethiopia. However, consider Afars in Eritrea. If you let them manage their resources and benefit from it wouldn’t they feel superior to their kins, on the other side of the border? Weren’t the Kebessa always felt better than the Tigrayans because of the economic benefit that the Italian colonization bestowed to them? Wouldn’t it be better to have a central gov’t with strong military (to ensure its borders and territorial integrity), security apparatchik (to sure the safety and security of its citizenry from delinquency), educational system, tax collection system, etc? Mr. Muzika, I know you want to tell me that it easier said than done. But let me say this; all of us, meaning mankind, came out of the bush dancing at one point or another. If you think that, we and middle eastern countries need an iron fist because we are ungovernable by our nature, I say you are wrong. Because our time has come and and gone long time ago. It is the iron fist that must go!!!!

    IA and PFDJ had all these possibilities, for 27+ years and they squandered it. In stead, they decided to have everyone to have to live in penury by taking what little they had. This later gave rise to what you now see the threat of territorial integrity to the country. The Kunama Afar, Aggazians, Islamists, etc.

    • Ismail AA

      Dear Dis Donc,

      The left outs and the ignored ” decided …. to live in penury by taking what little they had’, and to resort to whatever options available to them to ensure their survival as communities, which turned out to be “… threat of territorial integrity to the country.” This superbly sum up the mess we are in.

      While the fans of the regime entrust everything (right or wrong) to wisdom(!) of those in power; those of us who are counted in the opposition camp are divided between those who see the danger as real than apparent and shout as loudly as can, and those who optimistically hope that Isayas and few henchmen less system would rectify the situation. I agree the way out shall depend on whether or not we would agree to dedicate ourselves to “democratic constitution making process” the process that produced the 1997 constitution had tragically ignored.

      Thanks for your interesting in puts.

      Regards

    • Semere Tesfai

      Selam Dis Donc

      Thank you for engaging and thank you for all the respect. Now let me address your questions:

      ” Your willingness to hand out a blank check to PDFJ makes me question your hyper-nationalism which always baffles me. If you think that, we Eritreans and Middle Eastern countries need an iron fist because we are ungovernable by our nature, I say you are wrong. Because our time has come and and gone long time ago. It is the iron fist that must go!!!!”

      I think you got it all wrong. The idea that he PFDJ government and governments in our region are repressive because they believe their people are “ungovernable by their nature” is a baseless accusation, because you can’t prove your claim – you’re just saying it. And if you were to be in their position tomorrow morning, I’m sure you wouldn’t have done any different. Anyway………

      To me, it is not about defending PFDJ. It is not about defending the philosophy of iron-fist in Eritrea and beyond. It is all about defending the truth, it is about being pragmatic, it is about telling it as it is, it is about opposing Utopian idealistic feelgood hopes and promises that don’t exist anywhere in this planet – yes including in the West. It is about ዓቕምካ ምምናይን: ትኽእሎን ትገብሮን ምምብጻዕን. As an opposition, why would you accuse the PFDJ regime for not doing something you couldn’t do it yourself? Why would you promise to the Eritrean people something you couldn’t deliver at all? What is the point of winning and ascending to the helm if you can’t deliver your promises to the very people that trusted you and brought you to power?

      Let me very blunt here: Constitutional liberal democracy is not for us Eritreans. What infuriates me the most is: when the Eritrean opposition brainiacs preach liberalism and accuse the PFDJ regime for not delivering constitutional liberal democracy to the Eritrean people. Let me be a little more specific:

      1. – Constitutional liberal democracy as preached by the West, for a small poor weak nations – it is impractical, it is a task impossible to achieve for any government of a small poor nation, it is impossible to lead a peaceful united nation, it leads only to chaos and anarchy…… or simply small poor weak nations can’t survive as nations if they try to run their governments – liberalism as their guiding principle. The problem: interference of bigger and powerful global powers in the internal affairs of poor small weak nations. And what are the sweet, attractive, tempting…… catchphrases and slogans that are advanced by the West to do harm to small poor weak nations? Constitutional Liberal Democracy. Meaning, standing against their government demanding and chanting………..

      We want government off our backs, we want our inalienable irrevocable and absolutely perpetual rights and freedoms of individuals and groups secured, we want weak (limited) government and limited rule of law in order to secure our rights and freedoms for life liberty and pursuit of happiness. We want free press, free speech, freedom of association……….

      And what is wrong if any given nation’s citizens enjoyed these rights and freedoms without a limit? Nothing, nothing really – if poor small weak nations were, free to mind their governing business and free to solve their internal problems the way they see it fit. Unfortunately, these catchphrases are used by global powers to divide, to punish, to bully, to make weak poor small nations kneel to submission or make them suffer as failed states for as long as they want them to. Now, before explaining the how and the why, let me direct you to our 1997 constitution:

      Article 19 – Freedom of Conscience, Religion, Expression of Opinion, Movement, Assembly and Organisation

      1. Every Eritrean shall have the right to freedom of thought,
      conscience and belief.
      2. Every Eritrean shall have the freedom of speech and
      expression, including freedom of the press and other media.
      3. Every Eritrean shall have the right of access to government information.
      4. Every Eritrean shall have the freedom to practice any religion
      and to manifest such practice.
      5. All Eritreans shall have the right to assemble and to
      demonstrate peaceably together with others.
      6. Every Eritrean shall have the right to form organisations for
      political, social, economic and cultural ends.
      9. Every Eritrean shall have the right to leave and return to Eritrea
      and to be provided with passport or any other travel
      documents.

      All these rights and freedoms are fine and dandy. But, but, but, but rights and freedoms are not without bounds, rights and freedoms are not without a limits, rights and freedoms are not without obligations duties accountability and responsibility. Yes, as a citizen of a of a nation, you’ve every right to demand your rights and freedoms but, but, but it is all while fulfilling your duties and obligations as a citizen. Yes, we say we’re all for freedom of this and freedom of that, yes we all put them on our constitutions and bill of rights – all to be on the good side of the West. But these are not absolute rights and freedoms, theses are relative rights and freedoms.

      And speaking of pressure, besides pledges of rights and freedoms of everything under the sun, small poor weak nations are also pressured by Western powers to (a) borrow money their nation couldn’t afford to pay back (b) have an ill-equipped very small army (c) have competing multiple political parties preferably based on ethnic, region, faith aspiring to rule the nation (d) sign international treaties and obligations that limits their neutrality rights and freedoms as sovereign nations (e) allow unfettered access to Western embassy staffs and their support – journalists, NGOs, doctors, surveyors, army/police/security trainers, charity workers, teachers, priests………..

      All to make the possibility of regime change easier if need be. Remember: when regime change is needed, all the local pro democracy activists, all the local human rights activists, all the local civil rights activists, all the local leaders of the demonstrations, all the leaders of the agitations, all the anti-government rallies….. are trained, funded, directed, coached, propagated by these Westerners guests without any fear from the government they are working to topple.

      Now, to understand the daily challenges of governments of poor nations, let’s imagine two nations – one tiny and poor, and one huge and rich facing the same fate – both having the exact same Constitutional Liberal Democracy with a very liberal constitution. Let’s call them: Nation-Grande and Tiny-Nation. And let’s say

      Nation-Grande has – three billion people, ten times the land size of Russia, 100 million heavily armed men and women in uniforms, 10,000 Generals, hundred trillion dollar economy, ten thousand different ethnics and languages, and two hundred political parties. And…..

      Tiny-Nation has half million people, 100 million dollar economy, 5000 very lightly armed men and women in uniforms, three generals (army, police, and navy – no airforce), takes less than an hour to cross the country from east to west and from north to south.

      Now how much time, money, agitation, coordination, propaganda, bribing, intimidation, bombing…… would it take to destabilize or topple the government of Nation-Grande? Trillions and Trillions of dollars and years and years of time if possible to even topple the government. And how much time, money, agitation, coordination, propaganda, bribing, intimidation, bombing…………. would it take to topple Tiny-Nation? Probably less than one million USD and less than one day. Yes, one corrupted General connected to the West, leading less than five hundred men, from a place less than half an hour driving distance, can get to the presidential palace and topple the government.

      The point: no matter who is at the helm (PFDJ or not PFDJ), the reason small poor weak nations act the way they do is not because they are stupid, ignorant, incompetent, sadistic, sociopaths, don’t care about their people….. but because it is the only way to make it to the next day. Because the that is the only way they can create a relative state of normalcy and stability in their nation.

      I don’t have any problem if the Eritrean opposition, oppose the PFDJ regime every single day – and there are million justifiable reasons to do so, but not bringing constitutional liberal democracy to the life of Eritreans shouldn’t be one of them.

      Semere Tesfai

      • Dis Donc

        Dear Sem Tes,

        States are created to serve its people, if not, what the purpose? That is where we (Eritreans and Ethiopians, even though they are getting it late) differ from the rest of the world. We simply would not want to come out of our shells and see that states should serve its people and not the other way around. But I am afraid you and I are dancing on different orbits. Thanks….

      • Berhe Y

        Dear Semere T.

        You wrote :

        “Let me very blunt here: Constitutional liberal democracy is not for us Eritreans. “.

        Do also say the same thing about science, medicin, technology advance, education etc. Do you say it’s NOT for us?

        If you are a parent do you tell your kid “political science is not for you because you are ERITREAN, or you can’t be a doctor, or a lawyer, or a politician ?”

        Why on earth then we fought for independence and freedom.

        Berhe

        • Semere Tesfai

          Selam Berhe Y

          “Do you also say the same thing about science, medicin, technology advance, education etc. Do you say it’s NOT for us?”

          I love school. I studied science, I studied math….. I enjoyed studying them. That is not the point.

          The point is: with all the interference from big powers (regional and global), small nations don’t have the liberty and the independence to run a government anchored on constitutional liberal democracy – but sure they can write it and shelve it to collect dust.

          Just imagine – Eritrea with absolute freedom of press, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, freedom to demonstrate……….. for jihadists, for unionists, for AgAzians, for Islamists, for ethnic separatists……. all to enjoy democracy. How would that work for you?

          Semere Tesfai

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Semere T.

            You know the golden rule, right, “do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. No matter what religion, no matter what ethnicity, no matter what back ground, where you live, as long as you call your self a human being, not an animal but a human thing who is able to reason, and think you can’t argue about.

            As to the people travelling to Meqele, Afganisthan or Lybia, so what. That’s the job of the security operations of the country, suppose to be and should be.

            I know exactly what you are thinking and what you are saying. You are saying “Eritrean Muslims will travel to those countries with Eritrean passports and they will be trained as terrorists and they will come back to Eritrea and blow every Eritrean in the streets of Asmara.”

            Do you think you, Semere T., knows what’s best for the country and the people of Eritrea and ONLY you know what’s best for their sons and daughters of Eritrea. Aren’t you getting a little ahead of your selves?

            Really shame Semere…

            Berhe

          • Nitricc

            Hi Berhe, so you are demanding and expecting for absolute freedom, freedom with out any restriction, right? if so, why do we even need a government let alone a constitution? if everyone gets to do what ever they want, then why have a government? you are not making sense.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Nitricc,

            First I didn’t say what you are saying I said. Yes, should be free to do what ever that they want to do.

            But with that comes responsibility ( a thinking and walking human knows), that they can’t break the law. If they do break the law then they will be charged and face the consequences..it’s that simple. Why are you complicating things…people figured that out 5000 years ago….are we that retarded..a person and government like IA to tell and care for us.

            So what if someone goes to Afganisthan or Turkey or S. Arabia for business, for medical care, for education..why should the government have any reason to say this or that….

            Off course, for the security of the country and the public they should do their work,…but that doesn’t mean they can tell us what to do and where to go..

            Even if that’s the case, really, what experiences do we really have (as country as people who lived side by side) we need to worry about this problems, even compared to most countries in Africa.

            Are we the Zionist state of Israel all the sudden? Is there something we don’t know.

            Berhe

          • Thomas

            Hi Berhe,

            This Nitricc guy will never get it. Per his admission, it has been more than 10 years since he has been visiting and revising this website. Do you think he has captured anything about Eritrea (economy, governing, business, resources, regional/international competitions and so forth) and Eritreans (history, way of living, social/ethic/religion/region ways and culture)

          • Nitricc

            Hi Thomas, sorry but you are too you know, to even grasp the idea that is discussed here. In away, I can understand, what can we expect from the attendee University of Asmara. lol dumb.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Berhe, you didn’t answer what I have asked you and you choose to go off hook. You are asking for a system that allows for people to do whatever they want, right or wrong? You must live in some kind of bobble.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Nitric,

            I know where you are getting with this. Free to kill other people, no. That’s illegal and breaking the law.

            Just to make it simple for you, how about free as in Universal Decleration of Human Rights.

            Berhe

          • Nitricc

            Hi Berhe, you see, you are missing what to be human. Human’s need and wants are the sources of all evil in this world. Our greed and our indifference to the idea of all human beings deserve respect and just, makes necessary to form for strong government, a government that protects the minority, the poor and the weak. And of course the government have the authority over the people and the people should have revered constitution to protect them from the government. that is the only way the way out.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Nitric,

            I don’t disagree with you about human greed and selfishness. But you forget the government is made up of the sane selfish and greedy people. So who is to protect from whom?

            It’s nice you throw in the poor, the minority and the weak, that need protection from “strong government”. In case of Eritrea, what you says is all joke.

            Why don’t you ask the Kunama, the afar, the people of metahit, the people of kebesa who are linguishing in the refugee camps, dying in the deserts and high sea, if they are being protected by the “strong government. A fine logic you have.

            A simple test, if the “strong government” that protects sans care its citizens, allows all its people to travel free and leave the country, what percentage do you think they stay behind.

            Now compare that to the “toothless African countries”.

            And how many of those greedy and sellfish people in diaspora, would move and take their kids to be served and protected by the “strong government” who will care and protect them.

            Berhe

          • Nitricc

            Hi Berhe; I thought we were talking about the future. How are going to ask me such a question when Eritrea has neither elected government nor functioning constitution. We are talking about when everything settles and then. Regarding your Africa comment, I know you are too Canadian and white but the future is in Africa. The trend will be reverse and people will flee to Africa. I have no doubt it. I know you can’t see it but the writings are all over in front of your face.

          • Thomas

            Hi Nitricc,

            Look who is talking, you seem to have given unlimited support to the regime/click who is preparing the nation for the bleak future; and with the crap writing again whom do you think you are fooling? Having ever considered doing the opposite of what you are doing with your life now? I suggest you try that and I am sure you will find the solutions to all the problems you are currently facing. Try this, my gut feeling is telling me that people will start showing respect towards you.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Nitric,

            I don’t think you got my comments on Africa. What I am saying is, compare Eritrea to the rest of Africa, how many Eritreans do you expect to stay / remain in the country.

            Anyway it’s really Minia Kolel arguing with you. You know what that means right?

            Berhe

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Berhe,

            It is disheartening to read some of our compatriots like our brother Semere T have settled for the grand idea that the current dictatorship and all it does are rational because a ruthless, oppressive and exclusionist regime in place is guarantee to secure the small and poor country from the dangers democracy and liberalism would invite and nurture. Just for that reason the Eritrean people have to endure what they suffering and their sons and daughter who have been perishing in seas and deserts are the lesser evils they have to pay.

            Such people deliberately refuse to tell the flipside of the equation that it is in fact the very existence of such a regime and lack of minimum freedom that would eventually provide fertile ground for the dangers they say liberal democracy would bread. They just do not realize that at some stage down the road the dictatorship and tools it has would not be able to seal the country off from dangers cited. No sane minded observer would miss thinking the regimes in Syria and Libya for example had less tools of oppression and policies of exclusion that the current Eritrean regime. Despotic regimes and their systems have life span and a little spark could ignite a conflagration that could consume them but the sad thing in the process is that the people would carry the burden twice. This what at event at Sidi Abu Zaid in Tunisia taught us.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Ismailo,

            I have not seen openly in a direct explicit way, citizen of any country to prescribe a dictatorship government to their own people. Usually dictators and their surrogates did not admit that their system Is an authoritarian system. A small country can not afford “liberal democracy” is bizarre unheard argument. Liberalism is not determined by the size of nations, rather it is determined on the enlightened consciousness of a given society. Let alone a nation like ours, tested and experienced for a brief period way back in the 50s, smaller countries than ours, like singapore are enjoying political pluralism and economic development from the philosophy of democratic liberalism. Do you know Ismailo, we should get a sponsorship for his PHD thesis on the subject to see how the peer review will go in the institution of knowledge. I always baffled by Semere’s argument. And Watch out this is a prelude to what is coming from the central government of Eritrea.

            Regards

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selasm Amanuel Hidrat

            “Let alone a nation like ours, tested and experienced for a brief period way back in the 50s, smaller countries than ours, like singapore are enjoying political pluralism and economic development from the philosophy of democratic liberalism. Do you know guys, we should get a sponsorship from a higher institute of knowledge, for his PHD thesis on the subject, in order to see how he will face the challenge from his peer review team and defend his thesis. ”

            Aman: I don’t have much time, but let me say few words. Every bloodshed, every war, every misery, every economic miracle, every peaceful prosperous nation…….. you see on this planet has a very simple explanation for it: power, control of resources and strategic locations, and a well thought-out strategy to chock a competitor by Western Powers – to choke China or Russia to be exact.

            Have you heard about the economic miracle of the Asian Tigers (Dragons) – Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea, and Taiwan? I’m sure you’ve. What do these countries and City states have in common? They are all Chinese pressure points, they all have bases for NATO forces, they all are hosting NATO’s big guns that are pointed at Russia and Chine, they are all front-line bases for the control of the South China Sea.

            Now you do your homework for your peer review.

            Semere Tesfai

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Haw Semere,

            The war of geopolitics had been there for generations, and will continue to exist in different forms and shapes. Nothing new, to make you to come with this bizarre idea against “liberal democracy.” Nations are there to influence and be influenced; and leaders have to make choices for their interest and make ideological alliances to benefit their people. If Eritrea has to have Liberal Democracy then Eritrean leaders have to make alliance with the west. If Eritrean leaders will have like your bizarre idea, they will make alliance with the repressive regimes of North Korea or China. Nothing new. But haw Semere you comment sounds a “prelude explanation” to what is coming from GoE regarding the upcoming constitutional document from the regime.

            regard

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat

            “If Eritrea has to have Liberal Democracy then Eritrean leaders have to make alliance with the west.”

            Aman: ሃብታም ክትምርዖ ዘይትደሊ ሰበይቲ ‘ኮ የላን – ንሃብታም I love you ምባል ካኣ ከቢድ ነገር ኣይመስለንን:: But when she couldn’t find one, she marrys Semere Tesfai and suffers from chronic heartburn for the rest of her life – for nothing. I think we both agree on this one. Right?

            Aman: Thank you for engaging and thank you for all the respect. See you on our next discussion.

            ሰናይ ለይቲ ንኹልና
            ሰመረ ተስፋይ

          • MS

            Ahlan Semere Tesfai
            With all due respect, I think you have gone dmu-dmu (a reference to the strong drink during Sahel days)- just a joke. Liberal democracy, or democracy, is about a conviction that the state should nopt enslave its citizens, that there should not be dictators for life who ravage the lives of citizens at will; that there should be checks and balances in order to ensure that there won’t be abuses of power; that basic universal human rights are enshrined in the constitution in a way they are not violated for any excuses except by law (eg. during state of emergency)…these are fundamental principles that any human being deserves. It does not matter if they are born to big or small; rich or poor; north or south…Those fundamental principles are tailored to the unique situation of the country under consideration, in this case, Eritrea. Although the principles the same, one would not expect Eritrea’s democratic constitution or political vibe to look like the Scandinavians, or the USA. It will be tailored to reflect Eritrea’s realities.
            To push this further, a constitution is a body of concepts and principles, you can’t take few articles and discuss them separately. You have to read them within the general spirit of the constitution. They are all interconnected. Now the question would be:
            1. Is the intent of the constitution anarchism, as you seem to imply the constitution would allow (you mentioned jihadists, agazians, regionalists… etc.). The answer is absolutely not. And there will be laws which will reflect this fundamental aspect. The details will be in the laws, those laws are nonexistent because the constitution was not implemented.
            From the preamble, which tells the intent of the constitution:
            – Aware that it is the sacred duty of all citizens to build a strong
            and advanced Eritrea on the bases of freedom, unity, peace,
            stability and security achieved through the long struggle of all
            Eritreans, which tradition we must cherish, preserve and develop;
            – …it is
            necessary that the unity, equality, love for truth and justice, selfreliance,
            and hard work, …
            -Convinced that the establishment of a democratic order,
            through the participation of and in response to the needs and
            interests of citizens, which guarantees the recognition and
            protection of the rights of citizens, human dignity, equality,
            balanced development and the satisfaction of the material and
            spiritual needs of citizens, is the foundation of economic growth,
            social harmony and progress;
            2. Would the constitution allow the encroachment of powerful countries in the affair of Eritrea? Absolutely not. The intent is not there, and there would be laws on party formation, press, etc. Article I makes it clear that Eritrea is a sovereign nation…and the laws would farther detail what would make treasonous acts…
            So, I think you should tell us then what fits Eritrea. According to you, it appears we are condemned to live under perpetual dictatorship because the geopolitical interests you mentioned won’t go away. All small and big nations know this fact and they try to mitigate it by pursuing a balanced foreign policy, one that is not isolationist or capitulating. And part of it is having good relationship with regional and global powers. I think Eritrea is situated in a very strategic part of the world. If it could find smart leadership, she can actually use this important factor to its advantage. So, Haw semere, again, with all due respect, what is our fate then? What political system do you envision for Eritrea apart from a perpetual dictatorship? Sorry, but according to your statements, the future looks bleak. I would like to know what political system you have for us in mind.
            Thanks.

          • Semere Tesfai

            Selam Mahmud The Great

            I don’t want go into details and specifics, but this is my take:

            1. – I believe the Eritrean constitution was written these assumptions in mind (a) Ethiopia is and will always remain, Eritrea-friendly country that wouldn’t do us any harm (b) As long Eritrea Ethiopia and Israel remain friendly countries to each other, the West won’t be hostile to Eritrea (c) therefore, very liberal constitution could only work to our advantage when seeking close relation with the West.

            Well, our relation with Ethiopian and Western Powers, didn’t turnout to be the way we hoped it to be. And I believe, had we known then what we know today, we would’ve written our constitution differently. And that begs the question: even if our relation didn’t go the way we wanted it to be, why limit/deny our people the liberal constitution/government they deserve? And the answer is very simple: without Western insurance protection, it is impossible small poor Eritrea to implement a liberal constitution. In the absence of Western cooperation, if we try to implement it, it will lead to anarchy lawlessness and instability of the whole nation, if we don’t implement it, it will be used against us. That’s why?

            2. “Is the fear of the 1997 constitution is anarchism, as you seem to imply the constitution would allow (you mentioned jihadists, agazians, regionalists… etc.). The answer is absolutely not, there will be laws which will reflect this fundamental aspect. The details will be in the laws, those laws are nonexistent because the constitution was not implemented.”

            First I don’t believe the authors of the 1997 constitution would have written the constitution they authored, had they known then what we know now. But that is not even the nagging question: the nagging question is, why would you have a toooooooo liberal of a constitution, if you’re intending to govern with a very restrictive and limiting laws? Doesn’t make sense, does it?

            3. – About Isias Afewerki president for life: I don’t like Isaias Afewerki staying in power for that long, I would want him to step down now. But let’s face it: in order successful peaceful transfer of power to take place, you’ve to have a civilized opposition or successor who could grant him, his family, and his close friends and associates, an iron clad immunity from any prosecution or persecution with the West on board. In the absence of immunity, if the whole idea is, after he gave-up power, to die Qaddafi or Saddam style humiliating death, why should he?

            You can disagree with me, but when it comes handing power (peaceful transfer of power), the successors of Isaias Afewerki (opposition or from PFDJ) are as responsible as he is. We all should demand for him to pass the button, but, but, but only with dignity respect and with all the assurances for his safety and security. And the same to those who follow him.

            Semere Tesfai

          • MS

            selam Semere Tesfai
            Thanks for the effort, appreciated. I appreciate your relaxed manner. Other than that, too many niceties won’t do the trick so let me dive into the details.
            I think I know your concern. But as you love to say Semere, but…but…but…the concern you have will not go away. So, what do we do? That was my question. You are extremely intelligent to know that the kind of geopolitical interferences will continue to exist as long as there is the political map of the world we know exists. Nations will advance their interests. There are smaller countries in this world which have a certain degree of the rule of law. And all we are asking for is the respect of basic human rights and the observance of the rule of law. If you thought that the size of Eritrea would be the determinant factor for it to have democracy or dictatorship, I don’t believe that you would fight for a smaller Eritrea. I will think you fought for a grander objective that included the peace, security, dignity of Eritreans. I will try to combine my reply and here it goes:
            Your argument that the EPLF allowed the writing of the constitution because it believed Ethiopia would [eternal] friend is weak for the following reasons
            – Retrace the trajectory of the political path of the EPLF: it went from a rigid Maoist organization (1977 program) to national democratic front that would recognize political pluralism and private ownership (1987), to a front that welcomed the core values of liberal democracy in Eritrean context. Therefore, the trend had been taking shape way before 1991, and it had taken time to mature. Let me give you some example:
            1. There was an internal magazine called “tegadalay” edited by Andebrehan W/Giorghis and Zemhret Yowhans, which discussed multiple theoretical subjects about emerging ideas in the organization such as the nature of future government. The magazine was later slowly killed because some of the discussions became personal and some discourses outpaced the realities of those years (active war, as you know soldiers’ focus is important in winning battles).
            2. You can refer to IA interview of 1990 (SAghem, special edition) where IA appears more liberal Democrat than Emma or SAAY is today, and many interviews and press releases, commentaries, seminars…of that time.
            3. Refer to interviews, articles, books… by Mesfun Hagos, Andebrehan W.G; Adhanom G/M; Ahmed AlQaysi where it is evident in their discussions that senior members of the organizations were grappling on how to retire the EPLF. They were ready to embark on a new era of plural politics; there were plans to audit EPLF assets so that it could be handled by a trust to help families of martyrs, etc.
            4. Finally, check out the founding charter of PFDJ…that was more liberal considering an emerging nation.
            5. Even after a bitter war with Ethiopia, senior members and many cadres called for the implementation of the Constitution. You could argue that a small clique was dancing to the tune of the day to buy time, but believe me, most members of the EPLF, including most members of the National Council, were not feigning. They meant it. They thought they struggled for a society where its citizens live in dignity, where they have a say in their affairs, etc.
            Also, I don’t think the leadership of EPLF thought Ethiopia would be a friend forever; I can assure you that based on the internal memos circulated and seminars conducted for the members. The EPLF, as I knew it, expected there would be hiccups in Ethio-Eritrean relations, and also in its relationship with the Sudan; and it was clear that it decided early on that Eritrea needed a defense policy that depended on its resources. That was part of why we had National Service. Therefore, your argument that the document of 1997 envisioned a quiet neighborhood, I’m afraid, is not valid. Constitutions don’t depend on contemporary nature of relations between nations because relationships could change from government to government. Moreover, a constitution is not a defense doctrine. Contrary to your view, I believe sovereign citizens who feel they have inputs in the way their government works are more motivated to defend their country because they have a lot to lose from the invasion of their sovereignty. Oppressed people, on the other hand, have little motivation to fight back invasions. Because as the Tigrigna saying goes, “teKormiKa mot’ye, asafiHka mot’ye”, oppression is oppression, be it by a foreigner or by a homegrown repressive regime.
            Conclusion: The majority of EPLF members understood that the trajectory was towards some democracy. The key point here is that democracy should be Eritreanized, not the other way round. Many developing countries fail to grasp this fact. Instead of internalizing democracy to fit their reality, they imitate it. They Europnize themselves, and you have the problems you listed. As I tried it out in my previous reply, the term Liberal DEmocracy is elastic. Countries adapt it to their realities. Take free speech. Even in the west, there are limits to it. The limits placed on it differ from country to country. The Constitution sets the tempo, and the laws detail the nitty-gritty parts that gives that tempo life. A constitution without compatible laws is basically another book on the shelf. So, having laws that emanate from the Constitution that set the limits of powers of authorities, rights and duties of citizens (constitutional laws, administrative laws, civil…) don’t necessarily contradict with democracy. If ever they appear to contradict, then it will be the job of the court to sort it out.
            I’m running out of time, and I happen to be in a place where I’m going on and off the line. I might not have replied to your satisfaction. I apologize in advance.

          • saay7

            MaHmuday:

            The claim that the EPLF/PFDJ was relying on permanent friendship with TPLF and based all its policies on it is belied by their history as narrated by Asmelash after the Badme War. Here is the narration as recorded by Aida Kidane:

            https://www.facebook.com/aida.kidane.73/posts/10155664675768839

            saay

          • MS

            Ahlan Saleh
            Thank you for the link. That summarizes it all. The next time they meet was after the EPLF had dismantled the Nadew Command, that’s when the TPLF extended its hand for cooperation.
            There were elements within the TPLF leadership who never wanted to see a good relationship between Eritreans and Tigreans, between members of the EPLF and TPLF. THat was true before 1991, and it was true after 1991. Their main complaint was that the EPLF did not support the struggle of Tigray for independence. The EPLF acknowledged the justness of the struggle of the Tigray people, but it always maintained that it could be solved within democratic Ethiopia. This disagreement continued even after 1991 when EPLF expressed its objection to ethnic federalism.
            So, I hope Haw Semere Tesfai revises his premises. The great he is, I’m sure he will chime on Asmelash Abreha Hateta, and the pointers we have illustrated in this rejoinder and past ones.

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam saay,

            Unfortunately, they are “weak tea”.

            Alternatively, I call them a whole series of poorly thought out and thinly stretched assertions.

          • saay7

            Selam Simon:

            EPLF and TPLF may have different narratives about what happened but both agree on what happened. The Asmelash editorial perfectly aligns with Meles Zenawis * book “ Qalsi hzbi Ertra: kabey nabey ” That is: their areas of deep division were:

            1. Military stratrgies (no small thing when one affects the other)
            2. Self determination up to secession ( for all just for Eritrea but all Ethiopian provinces? )
            3. Democratic centralism (does it have room for democracy)
            4. The nature of Soviet Socialism (is it imperialism and if so should it be condemned?)

            These were not some habes qedes as the EPLF editorial describes them: they were actual and sharp differences with consequences that resulted in two fronts with mutual defense agreements break their relationship in the middle of war. Twice. A TPLF member who was a member of this forum, T Kifle, told us that for TPLF the relationship with EPLF was never strategic but tactical due to their huge differences.

            Now, Semere T is telling us that when EPLF was drafting its constitution of 1995-1997, one of the things that influenced it heavily and made it unique for its era was that the EPLF was counting on being the ally of TPLF-led Ethiopia, US and Israel indefinitely. This assertion cannot be supported by any chapter of the EPLF-TPLF history, ignores the National Charter, ignores the 1987 Second Congress resolution (commitment to pluralistic society) cannot be supported by the tons of speeches interviews IA gave wherein he lectured that multi-party system is not something we will do to please the west but for our own national security and national unity, etc etc etc.

            And if this tea is not weak–that EPLF drafted a constitution on the. basis of heavy miscalculation–it’s one more reason to disqualify its chairman, IA, from leading the party and the country and not rewarding him with the title of president for life.

            saay

            * assume to be Meles Zenawi because he was the party’s chief ideologue not because his name appears in the byline of the book. The book also asserts that the TPLF had nothing to do with the collapse of the ELF, a front for whom he has some choice words. Always remember that line when ex-ELFites praised him.

          • Kokhob Selam

            Selam Kerenetay Saay7

            How are you ?

            I read it carefully…

            “The book also asserts that the TPLF had nothing to do with the collapse of the ELF, a front for whom he had some choice words. Always remember that line when ex-ELFites praised him as Kokhob Selam, bless his soul, did just yesterday. ”

            I found my self , inside PMZ..but also he found himself on me ..

            If I know during war that PMZ will stand how recently, I could had managed differently but at that time he was in wrong side like PIA today ..

            KS..

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam saay,

            I do not believe that the “EPLF drafted a constitution on the basis of heavy miscalculation”. They are too clever to do that.

            Most of the mistakes occur due to elaborate calculation, which I call over-calculation.

          • saay7

            Simon:

            So, in 1987, when the EPLF held its Second Congress and included in its program that independent Eritrea will “protect the democratic rights of freedom of speech, the press,
            assembly, worship and peaceful demonstration as well as the right of nationalist political parties and nationalist associations of workers, peasants, women, students, youth and professionals” it had “overcalculated”?

            MaHmuday can correct us but I think the TPLF boycotted the Second Congress because they were going through one of their legendary breakups. If so, that is the case, that is one heck of an over-calculation.

            saay

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam saay,

            I have no idea why the EPLF/PFDJ decided to draft a constitution at that particular time. But, what I am saying is that most of their mistakes occur due to their habit of elaborate calculations, which I call over-calculation.

          • saay7

            Selamat Simon:

            Ok, that’s one theory: “over-calculation”, which is the exact opposite of one that is popular lately: “Sactism*“, which argues that there is no rhyme nor reason to what PFDJ does. It is, “Sakt”: no reason at all.

            saay

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam saay,

            I commented on what Semere T. wrote because of its flawed nature, not because I am privy to the EPLF’s reasons.

            It is well known that the EPLF over-calculate and micromanage. This approach has its advantages as well as its pitfalls.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            1) About: Meles Zenawis * book ” Qalsi hzbi Ertra: kabey nabey ”

            I read most of your posts, that is why these days I am commenting on some of them.The following is not a response to the subject you are dealing with. But the coincidence of words and names drove the comments below in mind.
            I hate to say anything good about Nitricc, because he is a constant reminder of my stupid self that I once was.(OK, I got it, I know what Nitricc is going to say…).
            He, Nitricc, was saying about the TPLF plagiarizing (or something of that sort) of EPLF literature. This title is a copy of a pamphlet Shaabya wrote long ago in the ‘70s, ” Qalsi Jebha: kabey nabey “. Of course the narrations are completely different and the choice of the title ‘accidental coincidence’???
            2) “A TPLF deep thinker who was a member of this forum, T Kifle, told us that for TPLF, the relationship with EPLF was never strategic but tactical due to their huge differences.”
            Do you know you lost your bet with T.Kifle? Sorry to break you the bad news. TPLF, in their said book, do not say we (EPLF and TPLF) drove Jebha together out of the field (Eritrea) with a concerted military campagn. I think your assertion was something of this sort.
            What they said is actually, we fought Jebha for reasons completely different, completely unrelated with the reason EPLF fought them. The military campaign happened at the same time, not because it was planned and agreed with EPLF. But just by ‘accidental coincidence’, or something to that effect, but never coordinated effort (military campagn).
            Basically they were implying they never knew EPLF was about to attack Jebha at the time they initiated their military campaign. The book was also an exposure to show how independent they were from EPLF in thought and in action.
            Whether that is true or false is up to the reader and the people who have been thru it all. One could also add that the Derg attack at about the same time on Jebha was ‘accidental coincidence’.
            You have nice words for T. Kfle. For me he is just a lost soul. He was totally oblivious to mention any mistake TPLF leadership committed during the struggle when I and others specifically asked him. At about the same time he did not hesitate to assign the blame of 100 000 Tigreans dying of starvation trying to cross to Sudan to EPLF’s blockade, exculpating, his organization miscalculation or total failure to provide for its own people. What kind of deep thinker is that???

            On the Issue at hand Semere Tesfai is impersonating DIA and trying to talk from his perspective.
            I doubt he possessed DIA yet. Like a devil possession.

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile Z:

            I am glad you are reading my posts (that’s the whole point), and responding but I wish you would read what I am saying more carefully because, in this case, you didn’t get me. And I don’t know what bet I lost with T. Kifle because I didn’t even know I had a bet.

            In Qalsi hzbi ertra kabey nabey (and, of course, Nitrric is right on TPLF’s obsession of copying everything EPLF did), what TPLF said was that the ELF’s collapse was due to “internal contradiction” and the claim that it was part of a co-ordinated attack on the ELF was false. That the ELF was a feudal org that preferred to ally with feudal Ethiopian orgs (TLF, EDU…), that its claim of coordinated attack was false, that it lay claims to Tigrayan territories. In short, the TPLF narrative is very different from the one told by ELF.

            T. Kifle, to me, was an authoritative TPLF authority whose presence I enjoyed. After the TPLF 40th anniversary shindig, I don’t think I read a single post from him and I have my own conclusions as to what happened.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustaz MS,
            I don’t think Semere T misses the points you discussed. I tend to get convinced that he seems to be handicapped more by domestic considerations than international relations and geopolitical impacts related worries. He appears to understand liberal constitutionalism in the light of how the status quo in place now and power and resources relations in Eritrea would fare in case a liberal constitution gets chance to function.
            Regards

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Ismael,

            It’s a weekend so I hope you don’t mind for this question.

            I don’t know Tigre, but I learned in this website the actual language is called Tigrayit. I use to hear occasionally the Tigre radio program before Tigrina in Asmara during the Derg time. May be I missed it but don’t think I heard Tigrayit.

            Other words that you use that I. M not familiar with is :
            Hayak.

            I can’t say I have heard it before or used by anyone except you. If you don’t mind can you please tell what it means and from what language.

            Thanks
            Berhe

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Berhe (haya Allah you, too.)

            Regarding your first question I am not probably the right person to put that language in its linguistic perspective. I would recommend Mahmoud Saleh, Al Arabi and the versatile Saleh Johar to teach us on the issue. But since I speak the language not as mother tongue speaker but as one who happened to had lived for a while in Agordat. Tigrayit emerged to the spot light when the “ethnicization” wave had invaded the politics in our country. In the past, I used to hear the term casually and was used interchangeably with Tigre which carried demographic notion (people who speak Tigre). It is just the same as the term Tigrigna (language) was stretched to encompass the people who speak it. In the past, we in highlands never understood the term to also mean the people. Now, as you can see the two terms are exchangeable. Anyway, I anticipate the gentlemen I mentioned would come up with better take than what I tried to jot here.

            Now, as to your second question, which I think was the main trigger of your curiosity, it is an Arabic word that is conventionally used to address friends or people in general. It means ፈጣሪ ዕድመን ጥዕናን ይሃብካ. Here also the brothers who are proficient in Arabic may want to throw a word or two to make it more clearer. May be you would provoked to spare some time to learn Arabic.

          • sara

            Dear Ustaz
            Hayak allah ….and yahaalla are frequently used by some, greeting commentators instead of the simple selamat etc… but i never saw any one responding…Allah y” yhayeek etc,
            why?
            btw, this type of greetings are mostly heard in the Gulf countries.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Sara, very funny, the more I see that kind words the more I wondered what it means. Obviously, it is a form of greetings and politeness. now, what does exactly mean?

          • sara

            Hello nitticc
            Means…if you notice well..
            We are heading towards joining the GCC.
            You better get to start to catch up learn more of those greetings

          • Ismail AA

            Dear sara,
            You are correct; it is mostly popular in the Arabian Peninsula excluding Yemen. The response you mentioned is also correct. Nowadays Ahl al-Sham (Syria and the nearby countries) do also use though less frequently.

          • Berhe Y

            Thank you Ismael for the elaborated reply and haha Allah to you as well.

            The first was in passing comment and I think MS has covered it before.

            I wasn’t familiar with the words and that’s why I asked. And thank you Sara for clarifying as well.

            Berhe

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Semere T, your out of this world contemt to the Eritrean people’s dignity leaves me wondering, as a combatant who joined the ELF in your young age, and was willing to give your life in the process of struggle; what was your vision for Eritrea and its people, what vision were you imagining in your personal life, when you struggled?

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Semere T.,

            Please, do not take Berhe Y seriously, he is one confused and lost soul.

            What has democracy got to do with Science and Technology?

          • Berhe Y

            Dear SK,

            Let me clarify, because you seem to confused yourself.

            “What has democracy got to do with Science and Technology?”.

            Very simple, because modern science and technology, for the most part (at least 90%) is the creation of western societies.

            Do you reject the western creation like science and technology as well.

            Berhe

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Berhe,

            You may not be aware, but what used to be known as the Soviet Bloc had a massive output in Science and Technology, leading the West in some areas of Mathematics such as Probability Theory, Abstract Algebra, Topology, Differential Equations, to name but few. For example Markov, Chebyshev, Kolmogorov, Israel Gelfand, Leonid Levin, Vladimir Arnold, Yakov Sinai are either from Tsarist or Soviet Russia era, who are held in awe in the West. This is all without even mentioning output from Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania and Yugoslavia during the Communist era.

            You need to abandon you silly and simplistic ideas. What has democracy got to do with Science and Technology? Nothing.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear SK,

            Why is that you always seem to resort to insults. Ok I have simple idea, so what. You the sophisticated bunch the best you can come up with is that, we are not fit as people to be a democratic. Ez diyu makes people like you sophisticated. The beuty is in simplicity, ask Einestine and he will tell you to apply KISS.

            As to the eastern block countries, you just prove exactly my points. Given the chance the people chose to adapt western liberal democracies. That is my point, people, no matter where they are from would choose democracy over any other type of system.

            Berhe

          • Selamat Berhe Y,

            As an African, and yes Everyone is an African, Harambe, Uhuru, and more importantly UJIMA!

            my dear the KISS principle as applied by Einstein himself is: KISS my BLACK meAk-kor = seAAmo surr korbarya… ahh a bit of a stretch. Please SMILE while your AndeHiQuo is aching… smile smile.

            I rather enjoyed, as always, all of your topical and non tropical AArkobkobay engagements of late.

            tSAtSE

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Berhe Y,

            My issue with your original post is your claim of associating Scientific progress with democracy.

            On a different question:

            As to the chance of democracy coming to Eritrea [or Ethiopia], it will not happen. It will only be a matter of choosing one dictator over another. This is not because I have a preference for dictatorship. I am just telling you what is and what will be. I am against some of the excesses of the government. I support free enterprise, private investment and less government interference in the economy and a fixed term, not indefinite, National Service, and a toning down of government rhetoric against foreign powers. I advocate quietly releasing political prisoners and a benevolent approach to governance.

            But, the stark reality is that, Eritrea [or Ethiopia] have many fault lines that are accompanied by competing and contradictory narratives. If the aim is to keep such a country intact and in one piece, and not divided along regional, ethnic and religious lines, then democracy, as practised in the West, will not achieve that.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear KS,

            Well that’s better. I was responding to Semere T., utter insults of the ERITREAN people and his example what will happen if they were given a choice.

            Well your approach how to move forward sound finding apeasing to IA and may be practical. I can tell you, I will not have a problem with that, as long as there is a process and that will eventually lead to the promised land.

            But I am 100%, what ever IA does is for his own selfish self and no body else.

            I think it’s wrong to assume, Eritreans [Ethiopian] would know what to do with democracy if they were given a chance. Well we don’t know, we were never given that chance. But knowing our people, our elders, how our people lived in peace for such a long time is an indication that they would have no problem.

            Berhe

        • saay7

          Berhe:

          Based on dystopian world Semere T has created, a world where dictators are justified to be dictators and people who clamor for freedoms are tools of forces they don’t understand, no other conclusion is possible except Eritreas struggle for independence was a mistake because everything is about SIZE: the bigger you are the less the chances of being destabilized by the big bad west.

          Have you noticed that nobody who lives in Eritrea calls for dictatorship, nobody who lives in Eritrea calls for indefinite national service, nobody who lives in Eritrea rails against the West. It’s always (always always) Eritreans who live in the West with their kids in perfect safety, careers advanced by western institutions, and enjoying every freedom the West can provide that do it.

          saay

          • Selamat [“Oh Captain” Nuestro Capitan] Saay7,

            I second Sara’s call for mi hombre Gheteb. Due Diligence second to none. ihi ‘ta SelaliAA Adi Shum?

            dys·to·pi·an
            disˈtōpēən/Submit
            adjective
            1.
            relating to or denoting an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad, typically a totalitarian or environmentally degraded one.
            “the dystopian future of a society bereft of reason”
            noun
            1.
            a person who advocates or describes an imagined place or state in which everything is unpleasant or bad.
            “a lot of things those dystopians feared did not come true”

            I am inclined to weigh in on TS Eliot’s “The Waste Land” though ST Conservative leanings. Well, lets call it TS||ST reflexive property PA..ELL;)

            tSAtSE

  • Dis Donc

    Dear proponents of the 1997… (only to those please!)

    – Constitution writing is an arduous and exhaustive, but inclusive of all exiting parties, individual citizens, and non-political civic groups. “Constitution is a contract between the government and the people……..this constitution through representatives we have duly elected for this purpose as an instrument that binds us in a mutual commitment to fulfill the objectives and the principles…” So where were the duly elected representatives? Suppose you and your members had started the war, paid dearly for it, gotten kicked out of the field, and finally you didn’t even get invited to the constitutional making process. How would that make you feel? Dialogue, debate and consultation!

    – Doesn’t the constitutional making process gets preceded by the making-up and composition of the system? Meaning federal, unitary, or auto-nominal regional? Isn’t the involving of all exiting parties for them to have a say and hammer out all these preceding conditions? Accountability, balance, and legitimacy!

    – There is another more dangerous and scary to all that 1997 process; it is the fear for the repeat of the same or even more dangerous pattern constitutional making process of the country in the early 21st century. Wouldn’t you at least agree with the opponents of the 1997 constitution on this one? Empowerment!

    Commitment to democratization must begin with a democratic constitution making process itself. The approach to the making of a new constitution for Eritrea must be build on the past and at the same time should not be constrained by it. It must be, transparent, accessible, participatory and be guided by dialogue, debate, consultation and participation within an agreed legally structured and independent legal framework. Additionally, it should be guided by representation in terms of national diversity, inclusive to political parties, gender balance, autonomy, accountability and legitimacy. The process must be empowering to civil society.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Dis Donc,
      .
      I am not sure if I qualify as a proponent but in the absence of good knowledge I went along with something is better than nothing approach. Specially after I read somewhere that there is a mechanism to amend and change the constitution.
      After all, some intelligent, good and patriotic people who want what is best for their country spent several years to come up with it. If it makes us feel any better, some Ferenjis were consulted. AND, AND, President IA threw it out that is a good sign.
      .
      Question 1,
      Did the founding fathers of the U.S constitution go through the democratic process to get to their constitution, I wonder? I don’t know.
      .
      Question 2,
      Do you think if opened up as advocated by some to get consensus from every corner of Eritrea, there will be an agreed upon constitution in 3 or 4 years?
      (Islamists, regionalists, Arabists and Agazians…can sit down and agree on something)
      .
      Question 3,
      Do you think it is possible to get saay, Y.G, Amanuel Hidrat and M.S jointly to write one article ( I am talking about one freaking article) for Awate Forum about Eritrean condition over their signatures?
      .
      You see I have this nagging feeling that we are reaching to achieve something that is not achievable. This is not a University exercise where you can pile up good points to get applause. I look forward to your response.
      .
      Mr. K.H

      • blink

        Dear k.m
        I think you nailed it to a point where no one can tweake it but as we all know , here the islamists are not after justice or represent the wounded people, nor do the Agazians or Habesha bamboo jampo, we have lost time to pick the dictator yet we have people debating about the things that they have no control .Thanks for arranging the bad actors of Eritrean political views.

      • Dis Donc

        Dear Hanna,

        Question 1. The US and all ancient countries got their constitution by having participative representatives. The US’ was written by Alexander Hamilton (of the New York representative), James Madison (a federalist), John Adams (from Massachusets but a Bostonian), Samuel Adams (an organizer of continental congress), Thomas Jefferson (Virginian), and etc; although the process was overseen by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Thomas Paine, and John Adams – George Washington. Hence the writing was a communal effort by delegating representatives. Having said that let me mention to you successful countries who wrote their constitution recently. Chile, west indies countries like Barbados, St. Maraan, St. Martins, Belize, S. Africa, Botswana, etc. These formed their constitution by a democratic representative.

        Question 2. The biggest problem as I see it is that the constitution was written without an agreed upon considering the make up of the country. The first process should have been how to divide and make the country governable. Federal, regional, autonomous, etc. It is important to note that I have never seen a country who wrote its constitution before it was divided into its make-up. In fact the rise of these remnant radical groups are as result of oppression by the mistakes of the current admin.

        Question 3. It is important to note these individuals may or may not represent political groups. What is important to note is that they are not representatives of a segment of the Eritrean society. Not as yet, anyways. But they would, definitely, have sat and negotiated in 1991, if the then winner had the willingness to oversee the making up of the country and survival. What you are seeing is the 27+ years of bitterness of not having given the chance to sit down and negotiate.

        Sorry, I was travelling through the southern part of Africa since July 2nd and just came back last night so forgive, if my thoughts aren’t put together.

        • saay7

          Selam Dis Donc:

          One argument advanced is this: the reason that Madison made so much progress in writing the constitution was that two individuals who would have dragged the process indefinitely because they were very infatuated with themselves–Jefferson and Adams (the 2nd and 3rd presidents of the US)–were in Europe and the father of the constitution could draft it in near seclusion.

          In any event, the worlds most successful constitution was (a) written by its elite and (b) had to be immediately amended very shortly after it was ratified. Now, hundreds of years later, it has survived a civil war and has more amendments than the original articles.

          Eritrea had and has very recognizable units of administration–provinces. In fact, the first few years, even the EPLF-PFDJ recognized them and had governors for them using their traditional names. So when the constitution was being drafted the provinces existed and their customary laws were used as reference (mentioned in the preamble.)

          saay

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Salih,

            Argument 1: As I wrote earlier there were folks who oversaw the process and there were who wrote it. Jeff and Adams were diplomats and were mostly in Europe, that is true! However, we are arguing to the fact that the constitution was a communal effort; not the elite or individual efforts. Representative participation; at that.

            Argument 2: At the time of independence in 1993 Eritrea was arranged into ten provinces. These provinces were similar to the (8+1) nine provinces operating during the colonial period. But the great question was not whether the very existence of the provinces or administrative units. Rather, were these agreed upon units? Were there elections in these provinces that was open and democratic? That is the argument!

            Salih, I had seen you arguing very well your points and you make your arguments very clear and perceptible to all but this one isn’t your high-noon! As Mr. Hanna mentioned putting saay, Y.G, Amanuel Hidrat and M.S would be difficult. I say the total opposite. It is important to mention that the latter three were sold to the EPLF project, in 1991. If you three had invited Amman, we would not have been in this mess. As 91 dragged itself into the 21st century, you three were taken apart one by one. What I am saying is that the lack of opportunity, to discuss matter in public discourse, led all of you four to walk different routes with bitterness!!!

          • saay7

            Dis Donc:

            A few years back, the chief drafter of our constitution, Dr Bereket Habteselasse, was being honored by his university and I was invited as a guest and asked to give a speech. My speech was entitled “Constitutions As Door Stops” and my main thesis was: because the Eritrean constitution was not drafted by multiple political parties and activists, when it was being killed, nobody mourned for it despite a clause which says it is the responsibility of every citizen to protect it.

            Dr. Bereket, who knew what my address was about, took it in stride.

            So, I agree with all your points. But here’s the part some are missing: just as, given a choice, it would have been better if the constitution had been a negotiated settlement between political parties (the way South Africa’s was with ANC of course having the loudest voice), now that we have a choice between no constitution and a flawed constitution, it’s better to have a flawed one.

            Evolution is not as romantic as Revolution but it’s far less costly and risky.

            Saay

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Salih,

            On many occasions, here in this site, I wrote that the Eritrea’s quest for national struggle is justified because our freedom, our little democracy we had, and our liberty were taken away from us. It is this spirit of our covenant that were a missing ingredient ever since. I wish I would disagree with you on the evolution being less costly and risky, but then again wrong evolution has its own unwanted consequences, as well. We have many excuses and high crimes for wanting to get rid of the brutal set-up. A constitution that has been shelved by its own maker should not be our only salvation.

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustaz saay7,

            In the context of the USA and experience what you are saying is, in my view, fair. Abandoning the constitution in favor of new one would have been awkward and in fact needed not to obtain at all. The excluded and the new arrivals were dealing with an established and functioning constitutional system.

            But in the case of Eritrea, the scenario is very much different. The previous constitutional experience of post 1952 experience had become redundant by virtue of the events that made it irrelevant. Just for the sake of argument, if Eritreans (EPLF government) had readopted the ’52 and proposed its re-writing on the basis of the liberal clauses it contained in the framework of a representative and inclusive process, demanding its abandonment would have been awkward, too.

            In the case of ’97 constitution, we are talking about a constitution that had never seen the light of the day as functioning law of the land. Moreover, the very decision to write was a unilateral decision of a government that was lacking legitimacy by duly sanctioned representative will of the people. It depended on self accorded revolutionary legitimacy bolstered by military power, which for democratically inclined authority should have been transient. Thus, the regime was determined to perpetuate indefinitely the status its revolutionary background had accorded it. It follows, hence, that the constitution making process had to suffere lack of representative consultation, and the commission to depend on close stewardship of the authorities that made it. This had exposed the commission to the obligation of closely working with the functionaries that ensured the interest of the government. Besides, this was an impairing handicap to its chairman and his team because they knew before hand what the authorities expected, and had not to face flagrant interference, which the commission chairman has later acknowledged.

            Thus, the scenario that governed the making of the ’97 constitution may not be fit for comparison with the US experience, and the demand of an alternative to a constitution that did not get chance to function in the first place, and worse yet killed by its sponsor and trustee to implement it, would not sound that much outlandish. Haven’t we heard Isayas boasting he would come with a new constitution? What would oblige others not to pursue search for uniting constitutional process that would do away with disappointments and bitterness the previous process had caused?

          • saay7

            Selamat Ismailom:

            Actually, I WISH the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea (CCE) that was drafting the 1997 Constitution had begun by using the 1952 constitution as its beginning point. I am not a strong fan of re-inventing the wheel. I am not a believer of proportionality of pain to gain: That was the main point of my 2007 speech* “Constitution As A Door Stop” whose concluding statement, and the parable it draws from, “The Doctor & The Salesman” I will reproduce below:

            What I say in 2007 about the 1997 constitution is exactly what I said in 1995 to the Constitutional Commission about the 1952 constitution: respect the effort of the people, even when you believe the people were duped or their participation was a hoax. Adopt the orphans. Take the best of 1952: the spirit of negotiation and compromise among politicians who truly represent the aspirations of their constituencies, and apply it to the 1997 constitution (which can boast, among other things, the credit that it was the first one drafted in an independent Eritrea without the disturbances of the Brits, Italians, Ethiopians) and adopt two orphans.

            The Doctor & The Salesman

            A man suffers from excruciating cluster headaches. That is the first clue: unless you remember that his headaches are excruciating and debilitating the parable will make no sense. After trying every medicine, he goes to a specialist. The doctor tells him that he has some good news and bad news: he can cure his headache but it will cost him a lot.
            “I will do anything,” says the patient, “what is it?”
            The doctor responds, “You see, your spinal cord is so twisted it is applying severe pressure on your genitals. I can make the headache go away, but I have to castrate you.”

            The patient is stunned, says I will think about it, goes home, and has the worst headache he has ever had. He comes back the next day and the deed is done. But now the patient is depressed. He tells himself, “my wife always goes shopping when she is depressed, so let me try that.” He goes to clothing store and he is immediately greeted by a salesman.

            It is quickly apparent that the salesman knows his stuff. “Let me see, your coat size is 41 long?” Right. “And you will want a shirt; you are 15 ½ neck size and 36 sleeves?” Right again. “Shoes, I’d say 9 ½ wide.” He gets everything right and our castrated subject is impressed. The salesman figures out the guys taste in neckties, socks, watch, everything. Finally, he asks him if he’d like to buy underwears. Why not, says the man. The salesman eyes him and says, “I’d say you wear a medium, size 36.” Guy says, “You had to be wrong and you are. I wear size 31 and have been that size since high school.”

            “Oh, no,” says the salesman, “that can’t be right. That would be too small for you, so small that it would twist your spinal cord and give you the most excruciating headaches…”

            Sometimes, the “no pain, no gain” prescription is not the right one. Sometimes, the painless solutions are the correction solutions.

            Thank you.

            saay

            * speech made at the African & Afro-American Studies Department of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill which hosted a conference entitled Islam, Politics and Law in Africa on April 12-14. The event was in honor of Dr. Bereket Habteselasse and I was one of several speakers.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Ustaz saay7,

            Thank you for reposting relevant parts of that important speech. I say important because some of us who still had vested interest in doing our bit in post war rehabilitation (on various levels I mean) of our country but were denied even to set foot on our own land short of submitting to the harsh and impossible conditions of the EPLF leaders, had wanted to come with ideas and proposals one of which was the very thing you have called for.

            I had some how missed that speech because I am one of those who try to follow what some of our keen and smart compatriots say and write. Perhaps it might have been due to the fact that 2007 was my worst year in life that scared me of becoming my last year in this sweet world.

            Thanks again, sir.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            All it means you will live to see a reconciled democratic Eritrea. Long live Ismailo.

          • Selamat Ayya IsmaelAA,

            You will agree the comparison by Saay7 is not necessarily a direct or 1:1 ration reflection. I read it as a loose correlation or even multiple mutually exclusive or numerous events. The legal validity, basis or bridge to stage NEXT should be emphasised over, dare I say, perhaps dragging forces.
            I shall call it my loose point of departure by way of priming.

            AmEritrean GitSAtSE A40A40

          • MS

            Ahlan SAAY
            [addressing you and Hafash hzbi ertra from a fairyland]
            The United States Constitution contributed few discernible contributions to the constitutional thought, chief among them are checks and balance, by creating a government consisting of the three branches and the separation of church and state. These two concepts i believe helped it survive the storms of changing political climate- from a slavery-friendly one to one that has become faithful to its calling that all men were born equal. Thus, it was able to evolve with time to the one we know now- a total of twenty-seven amendments.
            By contrast, the 1997 Eritrean constitution appeared to have taken a lesson from history including from the amended provisions of the USA. BY far, it was more advanced. Sad to see our educated elites love to quote 240-years old American Literature while trashing their own simply because they felt they should not participate.
            The challenge is that they should first produce a national political charter that could serve as a road map which could unite the scattered opposition forces before they claim the high ground for authoring the IDEAL constitution. If there were Eritreans who boycotted the first-ever Eritrean constitution, there would be Eritreans who would boycott the second one. It’s all about politics. And reading past experience of our friends, it seems the “Kuda Areza” has become their comfort zone. And the night will keep sprawling…with no dawn in sight…..May the young generation have the courage to say enough is enough!
            Please republish your speech.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear MS,

            Please let’s acknowledge that those who reject the whole constitution making and participation have a very good reason.

            Let’s see the example how Romedan was forced to be thrown out from the party he helped lead, right after independence by IA. Let’s also learn, how people like DurE have successfully being realist and creative to give him some grace and dignity.

            What
            I am convinced that Dr. Bereket would have made a lot more better constitution with his knowledge and expertise. I have not compared but I think he was part of Nigeria .

            The way I like to see it, we can’t deny there is shortcoming in the content and in the process. ELF-RC were fully committed to make peace and be part of the political process (that Haile DuruE) and others negotiated but YA refused at last minute.

            The way I like to understand is, there were very good elements in EPLF who wanted to things right like Haile. But UA had always bad intentions and he had significant power and influence in the whole thing.

            They. Tried in their ability to steer the party in the right direction, fix past mistakes and move forward. But him and his evil group won and we are were we are.
            It’s like comparing with China. Chairman Mao was very bad to China overall democratic institutions and those in his part have to wait until he dies before they can implement (Deng) thruway ideas.

            Berhe

          • MS

            Ahlan BerheY
            You said, “let’s acknowledge that those who reject the whole constitution making and participation have a very good reason.” I agree. The same also goes that those who reject the constitution should entertain the idea that those who defend it do have their own reservation about the constitution but would be willing to see a process to have started knowing that there won’t be a constitution that satisfies every individual. When we have the reasonable composure you have, we can then have sensible discussions. Instead, people are resorting to labeling each other. Please also note my reply to Dis Donc and the link I provided which will tell you that I do have reservations in many areas of the constitution. But that will not send me to celebrate its official burial .
            Regards.

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Mahmud,

            The US constitution thing came by way of a question not an introduction. If its makes you feel good, I don’t even think that the US constitution is a good and successful one because I have seen so many others that I admired. It is the “their own” that is in question. I do not consider myself neither an elite nor an Eritrean, for that matter. For a better or worse you have your own so called Eritrean elites on your side that are refusing to give an inch. As I mentioned to Salih, I don’t give out legal opinions on constitution. It is professionally unethical. I only had disagreement with the way how the “their own” thing came about.

            Regarding the young generation, I am afraid that they only want to come to the comfort zone, that you had mentioned and shout at a key board. They have neither the desire nor the will (economic or otherwise) to want to go to school and do better. Take it from me, as I was let down many times! However, I would like to point out one glaring fact though, you and I are preaching to the wrong crowd. Thanks and good luck.

          • MS

            Selam Dis Donc
            I have nothing but admiration for your collected disposition. I should tell you that you were not in my radar screen when I threw that “elite” thing. I know you are from the elite but you are not targeted in my mentioning of that thing. I enjoy your inputs, thanks for the reportages that you bring in every now and then. I see you as a pragmatic person. And as BerheY mentioned, there is nothing with disagreeing with 1997 constitution. I have many points that I would like tweaked or totally changed, and mind you, I may be wrong. I’m not proficient in law. But were some of my observations more than two years ago. I’m sure I would have made some changes. It was a reply to a fast-paced debate. What I don’t find acceptable is the putdowns and the insults that people who defend that constitution must be doing it because of ulterior motive. As I said before, there were Eritreans who boycotted the constitution making process that had led to the constitution of 1997, and there will be Eritreans who will boycott any coming project. There is no ideal and final constitution in the world. Constitutions evolve adapting to emerging challenges either through the interpretations of courts or through amending mechanisms built in them.
            Thanks again.
            goo.gl/kJ6FV4

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam Dis Donc,
          .
          Thanks for your response. Welcome back and hope to see a little more of you.
          .
          Mr. K.H

          • Dis Donc

            Dear Mr. Hanna,

            I went to Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe, S. Africa (Zuid Afrika as officially known), Swazi, Lesotho, and Mozambique to perform with the La Serena youth orchestra. It is a cinematic orchestra, meaning we display local history in screen, while playing live classical orchestra. Let me mention some:

            Chobe, Botswana: Here we played Greensleeves, Pastoral, Four seasons, The Hungarian dance, and the Irish tone. While screening local videos of treasured animals, sites, peoples and ethnicity. The whole thing lasted about 3.5 hours with sold out seats. Repeated calls for repeats.

            South Africa: played, In The Steps of Central Asia, Eroica, Tannhauser, Ivan, and New world. While screening the evolution and demise of apartheid, the release of Madiba, and current realities. Lasted for 4.25 hours sold out seats and standing. Johannesburg, Capetown, Durban, and Bloemfontein.

            After performing in all (except Swazi, Lesotho, and Mozambique) extreme exhaustion to a toll. The process took, visiting libraries, taking videos and pictures, working with local authorities. It was very successful not just for us but also for the local gov’ts. As I get old passing out from extreme exhaustion became prevalent. Hence with doctor’s advice that became the last trip. I leave the youth orchestra in good financial and human standing.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Dis Donc,
            .
            That was a tiring but wonderful journey. So glad to hear it.
            On occasion I look at the Ethiopian and Eritrean diaspora individual lives with all the zig zag it took to the now. I think it qualifies for a , believe it or not, movie.
            .
            Mr. K.H

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Dis Donc,

      I like this central idea of yours: “Commitment to democratization must begin with a democratic constitution making process itself….it should be guided by representation in terms of national diversity, inclusive to political parties, gender balance, autonomy, accountability and legitimacy….the process must be empowering to civil society.” Do you think the good doctor and his commission could miss this idea? I don’t think so. The answer is, they don’t want to be inclusive and participatory. They want it to be “the winner takes all”. They want it to reflect their political program, the “charter.”

      regards
      Amanuel Hidrat

  • Abraham H.

    Selam All, Eritrean Constitution from 1997:

    Article 16 – Right to Human Dignity
    1. The dignity of all persons shall be inviolable.
    2. No person shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or
    degrading treatment or punishment.
    3. No person shall be held in slavery or servitude nor shall any
    person be required to perform forced labour not authorised by
    law.

    Fight for your dignity. This article deals with some fundamental basic rights our people are lacking right now in Eritrea as we speak.

    • blink

      Dear Abraham
      These who oppose the constitution will end up doing the same as the 1997 but who will do that , complaining about everything will take them no where ? Thanks for pin pointing.

      • Abraham H.

        Dear blink, thanks, I think we in the opposition whether we are in the organized political organizations/parties, or in civic organizations, or simply as individuals, we need to do an important reality check as to where we are and what we want to achieve with our struggle. Above everything else we have to think how we could win the hearts and minds of our people who are not yet convinced about the urgency and necessity of removing the despotic regime. And as you said, we cannot rally our people against the DIA regime through whining and complaining, and certainly not by fanning the illegal actions of the regime in discarding the supreme law of the land that guaranteed a whole lot of rights that have been denied to our people by the regime.

        • blink

          Dear Abraham
          I have read every comment you posted about the constitution, I mean ,I sometimes compare the articles you mentioned from the constitution with the e-copy I have. And I wonder why they keep dragging ghezae, saay , MS, and you to attachment of the social grievances that they have been selling for years . I just like us all to at least question their fundamental beliefs and principles of justice in this modern era . What exactly is their own purpose of this peeling by nails? I believe Issaias is the luckiest dictator ever to have such kind of opposing views. He is lucky while we all Eritreans are not. Still we have time if we can move above the pitying behavior of old wounds. I hope always hopeful that some day some how we will breath fresh air.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Blink,
            I am disappointed that you jumped into the bandwagon of framing the debate based on old struggle era rivalry. I sensed it at the beginning and warned those who did so (they know who they are)

            Please note that this is not a National Assembly and trying to delineate it in this or that trend is too partisan

            If you accuse all who reject the pamphlet because they were in the elf, that will follow that all who support it were eplf. You can’t brand one and leave the other. But that is not the case. Everyone makes a comment that represent them. There are no groups that you can gather in one fence haphazardly.

            As for the compromise, for example, I accepted the constitution in such a setting 17 years ago. If you don’t know how this developed, it doesn’t mean there were none. You just do not have all the information which requires researching or asking.

            I agree that this partisan accusation flies around every now and then, to me the elf in its historical form crazed to exist in 1982. Talking about it as a living party is living in the past. So, please take comments as they are without trying to stick it to this or that history.

  • Thomas

    Hi Semere,

    I presume you are a grown up I suggest ንፋጥ’ka ketetsiri

    • Simon Kaleab

      Selam Thomas,

      Rather than acting like a good for nothing cartoon character, make an effort to refute Semere T.’s assertions.

      • Thomas

        Selam Simon Kaleab,

        A suck–up to the dictatorship? I am not a puppet as you are, so I won’t dignify your puppet character with a logical response. You are only trying to rationalize the evil deeds of the criminals! Not to worry, the Eritrean people will catch up with your kinds.

        • Simon Kaleab

          Selam Thomas,

          Stay on topic. Make an effort to refute Semere T.’s assertions.

          May be you don’t understand English well?

          • Thomas

            Selam Simon Kaleab,

            Congratulations!! Now, you know not only to click on up-voting posts you like, but you can write a sentence or two to express your views. That is really a good step forward:) Happy?

        • saay7

          Hey Thomas:

          If you hold my Hajia Barda for me, I can jump in and destroy every single assertion Semere T made:) Semere has that unique talent of someone who is not even accidentally right about something 😅 You know there is a game in Reno/Nevada called “Keno” where you win a lot of money from the casino for picking ALL the wrong numbers. If Eritrean political analysis was a keno game, Semere would be a billionaire.

          (You know I love you Semere T)

          saay

          • KBT

            selam saay
            just accept it the way it is he win

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen saay7,
            The Sudanese will be mad at you. Which one of them should Thomas hold: the haja or hajia barda. The haja could be cold and refreshing but the hajia? You guess.

          • saay7

            Ismailom:

            Autocorrect 😂

            I like my haja barda when the weather is 120 and my hajjia sukhna
            It was supposed to be an effort to localize an American expression “hold my beer” said by people when they are ready to fight

            Point is Thomas was offered and he didn’t take it

            saay

          • Thomas

            Selam Saay,

            Sorry for the misunderstanding, by up voting you I meant to take the offer:) With the way you use the facts, I can bet you can easily expose Semere T’s weak argument. I have seen you doing that to him time and again but that guy never learns:) He cannot handle the truth!!

          • Thomas

            Selam Saay,

            We have a deal:) “gn felitu zetsememe e’u zemesl” If you have ever watched the American Idol, there was this Asian guy who became very famous for being the worst singer:) “Ab enda HIGDEF Ci hade ainu yinegis”

        • KBT

          selam Thomas
          you have no logical response you dummy
          show some argument if you have or shut up and go where you from
          stop pretending to be eritrean

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi KBT,

            You are very infatuated in distributing the Eritrean nationality. Is there anything in you? I think, you are not an Eritrea. The Eritrean nationality that Isaias has distributed should be revised in the future.

            Al-Arabi

          • Thomas

            Hi KBT,

            Hahaha. Isn’t it enough for you that me and you agree that you are K(e)BT? DEAL: you act like an Eritrean K(e)BT and I act like an Eritrean citizen:) It is really sad that our Eritrea has so many “B’eRai or K(e)BT)” like you. Don’t hate me for agreeing with that you are “B’erai”!! hahaha

  • Lamek

    Hi. I am surprised you guys are still kicking. I thought the Agaizians had made you obsolete. I admire your resilience. Keep it up.

    • Thomas

      Hi Lamek,

      Zeite’bahle ember zeite negre yelen:)

      • Ismail AA

        Selam Thomas,
        You have hit the nail right where it should, as ordinary folks say. The 1997 constitution was very much underpinned by heavy-handed political expediencies that ensured consolidation and unimpeded extension of power first under the pretension hof so called revolutionary legitimacy followed by mechanisms that tailored constitution provided. However, his insatiable ego for power did let him settle down and we saw him discarding the constitution and removing potential critics from the scene.

        • Thomas

          Hi Ismail,

          I agree the designers of the constitution were under the impression of the winner gets all. One thing I would like to ask is now we are where we are and as the supporters of the consituition are not supporting it for its materials but as in tigrigna “menti-mogogo tihalif anchiwa”. As they have pointed out we cannot afford to confuse the international community or COIE as they are all calling for the implementation of the constitution and the mafias are resisting this. So we might need to support this call not because that the constitution is perfect but to make a call to ratify it afterwords. To me, our focus now must be the removal of the murderers of our people and the nation under discussion. We must have a nation so as to discuss on how to govern it constitutionally. Can we all pretend we like the constitutions so as to use to remove the issayas regime?

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Thomas,
            The logic of what you are saying would be viable in situations where chances of feasibility for success exceed possibilities of failure. Here, we are dealing with a ruthless despot at helm of a regime that has entrenched itself by all the tools that a matured totalitarian police state could provide.
            On the other hand, we have polarized opposition that nearly lost direction suffering from malady called deplitating mistrust. Thus, hope is pinned to sympathy international public opinion and contributions of human rights organs to shake the conscience of powerfull nations to apply pressure on the despot to implement the constitution against himself. We remember that he had already discarded it after realizing it could undermine his chances to remain dictator for life. Thus, the maximum pressure that path could generate is cornering the despot and forcing him to accept implementation of the constitution on his own terms that would ensure him of sustainance of the status in tact. If this would be the endgame, what benefit would such a scenario procure to at least minimally address the grievances of those who oppose the constitution for all the known reasons when at the end of the day when the situation would remain in place or even benefit from the legitimacy the implementation of the constitution would bring with it.
            External pressure in conjunction with a nation suffering from polarized attitudes and unfulfilled aspirations would not be substitute to the search of mechanisms that would help to restore trust among the opposition on the basis of a realistic interim national task program that could serve the same purpose the call for implementation of the 1997 constitution is projected to serve.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Dear Thomas,

            The Tigrinia idiom (ምእንቲ፥ መጎጎ፥ ትሕለፍ፥ እንጭዋ) you have written above remind me when Jebha was excusing her inaction against the clear transgressions of Shabia. Though, at that moment of time Jebha had more power than Shabia. My friend, sometimes when the RAT has a dangerous contagious disease the MOGOGO should be broken. I think, you agree with me on this, from what we have seen what the Rat has made with Eritrea.

            Al-Arabi

  • Abraham H.

    Dear Berhe Y, when we are quoting or referring to the ’97 Constituiton, it is advisable we base our claims based on the fact, which is readily available to all of us, instead of wild generalization or disinformation. Here is what the Constitution says about the tenure of the judges of the Supreme Court and the lower courts: it doesn’t mention any particular time frame/term; it only says their tenure, organization, functions, etc would be determined by law.
    Regarding the Justice Service Commision, the Const. doesn’t say they take their orders from the President, rather it says “The organisation, powers and duties of the Judicial Service Commission shall be determined by law”.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Hi Mahmuday,
    A constitution should govern the living. Isn’t it true? Our martyrs could be remembered and memorized in the history of the people and the nation, they will live in the psychic and national songs of our people, and will be memorized by their actual monuments of their actions to the birth of the nation not by the objects they wear – the shidas, and the animals around them – the tortoises. Am I right Mahmuday.

  • Ismail AA

    Ahlen Ustaz Mahmoud,
    Since dealing with the few things you have raised intermittently in the last two paragraphs have become so routine and redundant, I would love to ask if you ever pondered on why in 1992 Ato Isayas Afeworki cancelled a visit (call it return) of the ELF-RC delegation he himself had invited? Do you think this had to do with power calculations after receiving spy reports how the people inside were seen reacting to the event?
    Regards

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Salam Awates,

    As far as Isaias is implementing some articles of the constitution that serves his project, and this by its turn satisfies his intolerant supporters. I think, they will defend their master and the 1997 constitution, until their master prepares for them a new constitution, may be in 2018. Next year, definitely we will have some supporters will shift to the new constitution that their master promised to issue. The beneficiaries, who don’t believe in co-existence, will continue to defend those two constitutions.

    I wonder about the ቡሩኻት (blessed) who neither participated in drafting or referendum to defend a constitution that Isaias picked up some of its articles, off course, that suits him and his supporters. The articles, that Isaias is implementing, are against them and those they say they belong to them.

    I have read someone telling us that a constitution is a contract between the people and a government. May be this in the world of PDFJ. My friend, a constitution is a contract among the peoples of a nation. After its ratification through referendum It becomes at the TOP OF ALL whether be it a citizen, groups, parties or government. If it is not at the top of all what is its use then?

    Al-Arabi

  • Nitricc

    Greetings: I see that all of you are going at it for Eritrea, it is good but how about the current events that is going on where you work and live? if you live in the US. I mean do you care at all? even the talk of race? I am assuming at least it will affect your children.The US is on fire. Do you think the monuments should come down from every US cites? President Trump said, they shouldn’t.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam Nitricc,
      .
      My emphasis and take is different from yours. Let me tell you, by way of an example, what I think by quoting Congresswoman Maxine Waters of California. This interview aired several months ago on either MSNBC or CNN.
      I am writing it from memory, but was said in the way I am depicting it.
      ————————————————————————————-
      .
      MSNBC/CNN : Congresswoman, you said that President Trump should not have fired Director Comey, the head of the FBI.
      .
      Congresswoman Maxine Waters: No, he should not have fired Comey, I support Congress to initiate the impeachment of Donald Trump.
      .
      MSNBC/CNN : But you also said that, in the recent past, if Hillary Clinton got elected, she should fire Director Comey immediately.
      .
      Congresswoman Maxine Waters: Yes I did.
      .
      MSNBC/CNN : I am confused, both your statements….
      .
      Congresswoman Maxine Waters: No you are not confused.
      .
      ———————————————————————————–
      So when our leaders speak and act this way at that level showing us their core, I am very pessimistic. Their numbers is on the increase and the level of Governmental authority they hold is becoming serious.
      Forget historical statues and fringe groups.
      National leaders of this type, with sufficient numbers, will one day soon cross the line of no return. They are showing up from all political parties and outside. I worry about that more.
      .
      Mr. K.H

      • Nitricc

        Hey; Kim: You are right, at this moment things are very scary. someone party line is becoming more important that the well of the people and the country. I really believe comey’s intervention in October did it to Clinton. If Comey didn’t intervene; I think Hilary would have won. So, the Democrats have grudges with Comey and they have been calling for his removal while the Republicans telling him how good job is doing. But once the Russia things came down and Comey was on digging, the Democrats liked what Comey was doing while the republicans hate it so much Trump fired comey right out. So, I agree with you that there are many contradictions and hypocrisy, no question about it. What is more scary is, in past when KKK or any the hate groups coma out public, they used to cover their face. Now, they are out in open for everyone to see. if that is not scary enough, no you have the president defending them. This country is going backward.

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi All,
    I just wanted to throw a thought or two regarding the on-going discourse under this thread about the 1997 document. It is the only subject that I come to agree with Isayass: it was dead on arrival…
    But it was not dead because of the prolonged shelving. It was never born alive from the very beginning. There were so many too partisan, too guarded, too lifeless intonations and substances in it. If constitutions were creatures, this one was a robot. It is more about the dead than the living. It is more about history than the future. It is more about social architecture than authentic culture.
    I like and respect Prof. Berkhet but this document was out of another world. It is as if he was writing a contract for a client. A constitution is not a contract. In the preamble, there is a wording that says: “Desirous that the Constitution we are adopting will be a covenant between us and the government, which we will be forming by our free-will, to serve as a means for governing in harmony this and future generations and for bringing about justice and peace, founded on democracy, national unity and the rule of law;”
    A constitution is NOT a contract between government and the people. It is not. A “government” can’t be a party to a contract that creates it. Parties to contracts have to pre-exist those contracts.

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Salam Hayat Adem,

      You said, “Parties to contracts have to pre-exist those contracts”. This is the fundamental requirement of any constitution. Prof. Berekhet has to come out of his silence and declare the 1997 constitution conceived illegally and born dead. The majority of Eritreans know it is an illegal constitution full of dangerous articles that shoved to serve the Big Boys of PFDJ. Isaias has chosen the land proclamation and all languages are equal to play his catastrophic game of dividing the people of Eritrea.

      Al-Arabi

    • MS

      Selam Hayat,
      That it appeared to you as if the constitution was alien is hardly a surprise. For the millions of Eritreans who debated it, it was an authentic document, relevant to their history. Have party with IA, and don’t forget the Blue Label.
      Why all this theorizing and hairsplitting? How did constitutions origin, and what are their purpose? The main purpose of constitutions is to curb the powers of the executive. You selected one pointer from the preamble, there are other pointers in the preamble that raise the importance of social harmony, the preservation of progressive traditional customs; it talks about women’s role, about social justice, fraternity, equality, material and spiritual needs of citizens…,etc. You said it’s about the dead than the living!! Does the above wording appear to be intended for the dead? Never, mind. If it is about downplaying or dismissing the ideals of our fallen heroes, I am confident most Eritreans will disagree with you. Eritrea’s constitution could not be expected to resemble Ethiopia’s because each of them have their own unique historical background. Sad to see folks who walked along those heroes up voting you.

      • Hayat Adem

        Hi Mahmuday,
        1) “. For the millions of Eritreans who debated it, it was an authentic document, relevant to their history.”
        Why do you usually speak for millions? Why are you assuming power of attorney to yourself on behalf of millions?
        2) “The main purpose of constitutions is to curb the powers of the executive.”
        Wrong. Constitutions are written before executives are put to power. They have a defined power. So, it is for the executives to honor it or violate it. When they violate it, either they or the constitution prevails. When executives prevail instead of the law, you get systems like the one we have now in Eritrea.
        3) “If it is about downplaying or dismissing the ideals of our fallen heroes, I am confident most Eritreans will disagree with you”
        Most Eritreans should despise betrayers of their heroes. The 1997 document does that. The current rulers do that.
        4) “Eritrea’s constitution could not be expected to resemble Ethiopia’s because each of them have their own unique historical background.”
        I agree. I will also add, there is no need to pain to make the Eritrean constitution different from that of Ethiopia. Unless in trying to learn form their experience, as trying to make it similar makes no sense, trying to make it different just for the sake of it makes no sense as well. Just make a good workable and inclusive Eritrean constitution regardless of the Ethiopian constitution.
        How did we start mentioning Ethiopia again?
        5) “Sad to see folks who walked along those heroes up voting you.”
        Really? Up-vote bothers you that much!
        Those heroes betrayed when IA made a national constitution written in his image. And then it was not good enough even for Him. It is like the poor 1997 Doc was outpaced and caught up by a fast growing body of totalitarianism.
        IA wanted it to be a perfect cloth for Himself, something exceptionally and meticulously measured for total fitness. When the cloth was shipped and arrived at the door expediently, no body thought things would change that fast. IA tried them for a test, his body has already added more weight. “Nope, ship them back!” And now, there is no a cloth-making process fast enough to catch up with his majesty’s body growth. He needs one that fits everyday, and then every half day. Now a days, the morning moods are different from the afternoon moods. Soon, mood swinging will be on hourly basis. The poor nation is doomed to go roller-coaster with the fluctuating moods.
        Mahmuday keeps on being sad with some people up-voting Hayat!

        • MS

          Selam Hayat
          1. Read reviews about the process, and you will have a feel of the participation. Of course, everything is being politicized to fit each individual’s whims. Readers, those who of you who participated in the process have an estimation, those of you who have boycotted Eritrean independence, referendum, and then the constitution-making process, hung in there until abajgo makes it easier for you. Ba’Elu yeQlilo. In other words, dear Hayat, we are not talking about zemene Wube. Then, yes, then…if you find my use of the word “millions” and makes you accuse me of acting as an AG speaking on behalf of them, then what makes you feel that you need to play the role of a spokesperson of those millions telling me not to speak on their behalf? You see how contradicted you are?
          2. No, you are wrong and thanks to gezaehagos, you have been provided with a solid explanation broken in his multiple entries. This was my first time to see gezahagos playing his role-educating us. Thanks Gezae. Just to add to what I initially said, even the origin of the so-called social contract (Rousseau) was the result of the evolution of political and philosophical thoughts of the Enlightenment era, which as underscored by SAAY and gezahagos, goes back to the era of ancient Greek thinkers)- and its main objective was to hit a balance between the governing and the governed, a response to the tyranny of the church/kings. Much has been said by both great men in this regard and I don’t want to repeat it. This is just to say that my initial statement that the contract is primarily between the governing bodies and the governed stands.
          3. Hayat you can only dismiss and downplay. Betrayal is used for those who used to believe in the ideals of the fallen heroes but then reversed course. You never believed in their cause, in the first place; that’s why, in your case, I’m using “downplaying and dismissal” because you can never betray a cause you have never believed in….
          4. This is a universally accepted truth. Each country’s constitution reflects its unique historical journey. Of course, you could argue why Eritrea shouldn’t have a copied Ethiopian constitution. That goes along your thought line. I don’t, and most Eritreans don’t as attested by their choice to have an independent nation. You just have to deal with it.
          5. This is a generous act of getting us some chew berbere, brought here for flavoring effect. Dear hayat, a wolf is a wolf no matter how tame it is. Its wolf instincts are buried deep in its DNA. No matter how much it acts sheepishly, one day he will eat the sheep. And an Eritrean-basher is an Eritrean-basher no matter how much she tries to weave semantics. soon than later, the smoke screen will dissipate and the true color will show up. For now, enjoy the company.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday,
            I will make it easy for you. You are just saying that I am a wolf; and you are a sheep. And we are trying to have a political conversation. How funnier can it get than that?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Hayata,

            I think Mahmuday is subliminally admitting defeat. He sounded sheepish indeed!

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Mahmuday,

        Wow!! Should I be concerned by those who up vote for you on issue I disagree with you? Really Mahmuday? Aren’t we debating on ideas Mahmuday, no matter from whom it comes? Should I be bothered if you take positions on certain issue supporting the regime? Isn’t it your right even to support the evil man at the helm as sometime you are doing it? Mahmuday, you are degressing buddy.

        Regards
        Amanuel Hidrat

    • Ismail AA

      Selam Hayat,

      Good to have you back from Ali Salem kind of mini-hibernation seaon. I get envious when I read a text that exhibits its writer’s amazing skill to enslave language to serve expression of his/her ideas. In this regard, I put your Highness in the top few who grace us with such postings.

      The reason I jumped to catch the bait now is this: “A constitution is not a contract.”. I just wanted to added that a constitution can become a contract when it’s firmly embedded on a covenant (in the sense the term pledge expresses) that bind citizens of a nation to one another before becomes a tool to tame the power of their rulers. In order to assume such a status it has to be crafted and written by a body sponsored by the people through their duly elected representatives and not by a government that has installed itself in one way or the other.

      I think this was the deplitating flaw the process and Prof. Berekhet had suffered. In spite of his expertise and experience he could not have acted in any different way than what you have opined in your rejoinder. As long a constitution making process gets afflicted by such a flaw no among of debate, recommendations and representation can render it any other than bein a tool in the hand of the authority that ordered its making. The contract could be broken or kept in accordance to the interest of the owning authority. That is exact what Ato Isayas did. He launched it when it served his interest (funds and more time to consolidate) and killed it when he found out it would not serve his interest.

      • Hayat Adem

        Hi Ismail the Wise,
        There is no comparison. My mini hibernations come and go unnoticed. Ali’s hibernation is more quieter and longer until it ends up with his hurricane-like reappearance and ambiance (well, maybe, noise, for some few)
        Thanks, yourself being one great and all-rounded forumer here, I am always humbled by your complements.
        Definitely, Constitution can become a consensual and an agreed contract among all individual citizens and among all group citizens. But that is the closest it can get. I will add this: A constitution is more than a contract as it represents a legal field/space within which and whereby all contracts are created and supposedly honored. Definitely, it is not a contract between the government and the people. There is no equivalence between the creator and the created.
        “a tool to tame the power of their rulers” is the right concept. But I will add this: It should not be understood like the rulers have too much power in their possession first and the necessity of limiting it was required through a Constitution. Their power is not their own; it is from given. It is already tamed at the very gate. Governments are only an entrusted party. There is no any other source of power other than the people (as individuals and groups).
        But I guess I am telling the obvious.

        • Ismail AA

          Hi Hayat,

          We are agreed that a constitution belongs to whoever own it. If a self-made government makes it on its own terms, it would belong to it, and the ruled (people) would only own it to extend the real owner would allow. The laws in the constitution would be at the disposal of the authority that makes it because any of the clauses that rules to tame power holders could be amended or revoked by force, decree or machinations.

          Thus, the making of a constitution built on collective will citizens should precede the installation of the government that will have subscribe to the laws that legitimize its existence. The ruled will then empowered by force of the constitution they own to safeguard their rights. Rebellion against violation would be perfeclty within the prerogatives of the people.

    • ghezaehagos

      Selam Hayat,

      “A constitution is NOT a contract between government and the people. It is not….”

      1. I actually was taught in two constitutional law courses and some advanced courses related to the topic, at some known western university, the polar opposite of your asinine statement: that a constitution IS a contract between government and the people. It IS. It is a social contract.

      Shall I believe you or the professors?

      Before you reply, I suggest you google this: constitution is a contract between the government and the people…

      AstewiELna Nixhaf!

      2. On ‘it is more about the dead than the living. It is more about history than the future.”
      Don’t you remember that “…fully cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying historically unjust relationships …”

      And again back on Contract “….this constitution through representatives we have duly elected for this purpose as an instrument that binds us in a mutual commitment to fulfil the objectives and the principles…”
      Thanks,
      Ghezae Hagos

      • saay7

        Selam Ghezae:

        I think there are two constitutions floating about: the one it’s supporters describe and the one its opponents describe. When Ali Salim said it’s more about the dead than the living I thought it was classic Ali Salim hyperbole (via Godena Yosief Ghebrehiwet) but now that Hayat (who is usually a very attentive reader) said it, we may have two of them.

        The preamble has 9 short paragraphs. How many are paying tribute to the martyrs and how many are about why the living, men and women, deserve a life of freedom, equality, and social harmony?

        On the articles, how many deal with power: who should have it, which branch of government, and for how long and its limits?

        And regarding the catch-22 Hayat envisions about the covenant, isn’t that why Eritrea designed two temporary governments: a Transitional Government and a Provisional Government and wasn’t May 23, 1997, the day the constitution was ratified supposed to be the beginning of a Regular govt?

        From May 23, 1997, Isaias had the following maximum time to govern:

        Time it takes to create party-formation and electoral law (call it 2 years)
        Followed by two 5-year terms.

        A maximum of 12 years. He had two choices to extend power beyond that:

        1. Amend the constitution as his fellow Big Men of Africa have done (Rwanda, Uganda)
        2. Or kill the whole process before the clock starts ticking.

        He chose the latter. And because we live in a unique country called Eritrea, the opposition is very happy about that because this validates their claim that the constitution is flawed

        sad.

        Saay

        • ghezaehagos

          Hi Sal,

          1. The 1997 constitution has 59 articles. Bulk of them dealing with bill of rights and governmental powers. Almost 45 of them out the 59.

          CHAPTER III: FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, FREEDOMS AND DUTIES; 16 articles

          CHAPTER IV: THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY: 9 Articles

          CHAPTER V: THE EXECUTIVE; 8 Articles

          CHAPTER VI: THE ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE; 7 Articles

          CHAPTER VII: MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS; 5 Articles

          2. Hayat is being merely Hayat; anything that attacks Eritrean nationhood by definition is good by her. Otherwise, there is no preamble of any modern written constitution that doesn’t refer to the past. Moreover, there is no constitution that doesn’t mention the agreement/contract between the people and the government.

          For Example:

          “…We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,..” US constitution

          “…Today, 23 May 1997, on this historic date, after active popular participation, approve and solemnly ratify, through the Constituent Assembly, this Constitution as the fundamental law..” Eritrea 1997 Constitution.

          The one I quoted in the previous entry: “….this constitution through representatives we have duly elected for this purpose as an instrument that binds us in a mutual commitment to fulfil the objectives and the principles…” is Ethiopian 1994 one.

          Thanks,

          Ghezae

          PS:- And…”fully cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying HISTORICALLY unjust relationships …” IS also from the preamble of the Woyane-led constitution of 1994. Something about…”..more about history than the future..” 🙂

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam haw Ghezae,

            Let us go to the basics. Is a constitution a political document before it becomes a legal document? If yes we will continue from it. If no we will argue whether it is or not. It says here this and it there this does not explain the spirit of the document.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Hey Ghezae:

            More grist to the mill: this was the preamble to the 1952 constitution:

            In the name of Almighty God

            Trusting that He may grant Eritrea peace, concord and prosperity,

            And that the Federation of Eritrea and Ethiopia may be harmonious and fruitful,

            We, the Eritrean Assembly, acting on behalf of the Eritrean people,

            Grateful to the United Nations for recommending that Eritrea shall constitute an autonomous unit federated with Ethiopia under the sovereignty of the Ethiopian Crown and
            that its Constitution be based on the principles of democratic government,

            Desirous of satisfying the wishes and ensuring the welfare of the inhabitants of Eritrea by close and economic association with Ethiopia and by respecting the rights and safeguarding the institutions, traditions, religions and languages of all the elements of the
            population.

            Resolved to prevent any discrimination and to ensure under a regime of freedom and equality, the brotherly collaboration of the various races and religions in Eritrea, and to
            promote economic and social progress.

            Trusting fully in God, the Master of the Universe.

            Do hereby adopt this Constitution as the Constitution of Eritrea.

            The only reference to the past is to thank the UN:)

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay, Ghezae, Ismael, MS and all,

            There are a couple of articles that I don’t agree with the Eritrean constitutions, along the other points raised by many able people.

            1) I think the constitution / assembly implemented as is, will create a problem in power sharing / taking. Because the constituion expects to have the majority of the assembly to elect the president.

            Say for example, our assembly composed of people like Saay, Saleh Gadi, Ghezae, AH, Hayat, Ismael, MS, Ali Salim, etc..

            Say for example, Saay and AH are running for the president of the country and they are expected to be elected by the national assembly. Assuming we know the position of the with regards to the constitutions, Saay in support, and AH oppose, how do we expect that we should have the majority people agree to elect any one of them. This to me is creating a problem that shouldn’t exist in the first place. Instead, Saay should solicit support from people who agree with his thinking and AH should do the same and if Saay end up wining the election (his party) then he should be allowed to government regardless if AH or those who feel the same support or NOT.

            Second Point: Re: the independence of the supreme court.

            I think the president have too much power in controlling the independence of the supreme court. The fact that they are appointed by a commission which he / she controls and that they have a TERM limit, and they can be sidelined if they are being investigated for corruption, seems to me is just a recipe for disaster. This is too much control the president have over the judiciary.

            Having said that, I think we are all in this together, I mean those who oppose the president. Let me , you a joke, which was provoked by what SGJ said to Ghezae..you “WIN”.

            You know asmarino’s like to make fun of people from other parts, in this case some from somewhere in Tigray. So this guy goes to Asmara stadium to watch a soccer match between Hamasien and Tele I think. He didn’t know and he ended up getting a seat with the Hama group. And when after certain times, Tele scores a goal and he starts to shout…

            አይዞይኹም ናይና (አጆኹም ናትና)

            A Hama supporters comes and grabs him with fist in his hand to punch him, and asks,

            * አየኖት እዮም እቶም ናትካ

            The guy terrified and says….

            ኩሎም ናይና፡ (ኩሎም ናትና)

            I believe there are two parts in this fight..the PFDJ side and everyone else.. everyone else have different ideas, believes, political parties etc..but the PFDJ (our common enemy is one).

            Now if the constitution gives us the ability and arm our selves to fight the PFDJ, I think it should be welcome by everyone (it doesn’t have to be that specific constitution) but a constitution that doesn’t exist. By the same token, if it’s justice worrier / seeker…then that’s a good thing as well.

            But I am afraid we are bogged down in endless debate without making headway as to fighting the PFDJ system….the trick I think is, how do we go from here to action…

            If we all agree that the PFDJ is a monster and to kill the monster we should all aim and shoot at with what ever means and tools we have, then with time and momentum we should be able to bring him down….

            With regards,
            Berhe

            * Note: Dear people of Tigray, I did mean the joke in offensive way, just telling it as I have heard it.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Berhe,
            Let me try to explain the debate in a practical way:

            1 most Muslims are silenced by the fact that they should always refer to “Ahlan alEl m” people of knowledge, scholars. So, someone appointed by a regime controls me, and how I should practice my faith. But since I live that faith, I might seek knowledge but at some stage I learn what I need to learn and start to act independently and what I do or not do is between me and my creator.

            Now replace “Ahl alElm” with the PFDJ. They know what we want and we should remain obedient to whatever they decide

            2 we debate here based on our knowledge, beliefs and views. If we have no knowledge about something we shouldn’t say something just because we can. Running to google to support an argument make one feel he is debating with all the scholars who reside in google, not a given forum member. It also shows the idea is winning an argument not debating to learn and teach.

            3. Principles come first, I think. We cannot be all about expediency and pragmatism and relegate principles to irrelevancy. If it was about expediency and pragmatism, not martyr would have sacrificed his life for a freedom he might not enjoy. They died for principles and I believe the case of the Isaias constitution should be see from a standpoint of principles.

            4. When you decide to get married, it’s you who choose your bride or husband. It shouldn’t be someone chose by someone else that you are forced to marry–we talk of that as a retarded ancient culture, don’t we! We should have a constitution but not one tailored for us by Isaias –without going into its flaws

            5 the population of Eritrea was not more than 3 million in 1997. Those who attended meetings to discuss that paper are not even a fraction. And even they didn’t attend full heartedly. Where I lived, there were about 600 Eritreans. Only 35 attended. So, millions debated it is hyperbolic

            6. We hear the constitution was debated for two year or so. I am challenging anyone to show me what are the changes or additions and deletions as a result of the much talked about debate! Nothing rxcept the oath. Sga suwuat was omitted for the choice if individuals to invoke whatever they wished.

            7 instead of trying to convince the powers to implement the constitution, it would be easier to remove the entire goddamned edifice called pfdj. And that is not pragmatic, I know. It’s principle. And the principles are neither idiots nor foolish.

          • ghezaehagos

            SGJ,

            Having repeatedly said ‘I-am-outta-here’, I can only picture you talking back to the remaining congregants hoping that would be your last word; all along, standing up, holding the doorknob.

            It is all in jest:)
            G.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam ghezaehagos,

            Continue to jest, congratulation.

            Al-Arabi

          • Saleh Johar

            Ghezae,

            Gual-neger! I would like to ignore that. but please realize some chremrem is pulling me back.
            This is also in jest 🙂

          • ghezaehagos

            Berhe nebsi kemey kenika,

            This caught my attention. You said, “…The fact that they are appointed by a commission which he / she controls and that they have a TERM limit, and they can be sidelined if they are being investigated for corruption, seems to me is just a recipe for disaster. This is too much control the president have over the judiciary…” I checked the provision germane to that.

            Art. 53 – The Judicial Service Commission
            1. There shall be established a Judicial Service Commission, which shall be responsible for submitting recommendations for the recruitment of judges and the terms and conditions of
            their services.
            2. The organisation, powers and duties of the Judicial Service Commission shall be determined by law.
            And in Art. 49, (4). The tenure and number of justices of the Supreme Court shall be determined by law.
            It doesn’t say much about the powers of the president in this section and their tenure etc. You can also read Art. 52 on removal of judges which gives power to the Commission than the President.
            Thanks,
            Ghezae

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Ghezae and Abreham,

            I read the constitution again with regards to the “Judicial Service Commission”, appointment and removal of judges.

            On Appointment:
            Article 42 – Powers and Duties of the President
            8. appoint justices of the Supreme Court upon proposal of the
            Judicial Service Commission and approval of the National
            Assembly;
            9. appoint judges of the lower courts upon proposal of the
            Judicial Service Commission;

            Article 49 – The Supreme Court
            4. The tenure and number of justices of the Supreme Court shall
            be determined by law.

            Article 52 – Removal of Judges from Office
            1. A judge may be removed from office before the expiry of his
            tenure of office by the President only , acting on the
            recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission,
            pursuant to the provisions of Sub-Article 2 of this Article for
            physical or mental incapacity, violation of the law or breach
            of judicial code of conduct.

            2. The Judicial Service Commission shall investigate whether or
            not a judge should be removed from office on grounds of
            those enumerated in Sub-Article 1 of this Article. In the
            event that the Judicial Service Commission decides that a
            judge be removed from office, it shall present its
            recommendation to the President. .

            Article 53 – The Judicial Service Commission
            1. There shall be established a Judicial Service Commission,
            which shall be responsible for submitting recommendations
            for the recruitment of judges and the terms and conditions of
            their services.

            2. The organisation, powers and duties of the Judicial Service
            Commission shall be determined by law.
            3. The President may, on the recommendation of the Judicial
            Service Commission, suspend from office a judge who is
            under investigation
            .

            First you were correct, the constitution doesn’t say the “Judicial Service Commission is under the president”. Having said that, I see a contradiction and room for corruption for the independence of the “supreme court” .

            The problem that I see is that, the President and this “Judicial commission” have a lot of power in determining the faith of a “chief justice”. The National assembly have no say what so ever, except the “commission” and the “president”.

            Suppose there is a judge in the supreme court that the president does not like. The president office makes a call to the “commission” and asks that this particular judge be investigated for “code of conduct”. Then the commission decided to investigate, and while he is being investigated, it recommends that the judge be suspended. Then what happens next?….

            Can the constitution grantee the independence of the justice system?

            Having a commission to make recommendation is one thing, but to investigate, recommend to suspend, I think that should be left to the elected representatives and the court system (the Attorney General office) and the ministry of justice.

            I don’t think the faith of the chief justice be determined by back door commission, who are not elected. It should be at least

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Funny Berhe Y:

            I knew the punchline but not the joke behind ayzokhum nayna (or is it layna?)

            Here was another limerick from that era:

            Americano sey sey
            Kilo shikor n’afey

            And the very redundant

            adey weyzero
            Adey weyzero
            Hamma seEra duo-a-zero

            Hammaye abliEyom choma astiyiyom maye, keb bqdemaye…

            Where were we? Elections? Dear god: next time please use another example for a candidate. The thought of begging people to give me a thanksless job is already giving me a headache 🙂

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            My friend the Eritrean politics now is for the middle age generation, and I believe you are from that generation. My generation had headaches for a long period. We had more headaches than you think of. We are done and we are counting down our exit from this damn world.

            But back to seriousness, and that is to Berhe’s point. I am completely convinced that the 1997 constitution is tailored for single party. But let as assume it could serve for a multi-party. Berhe’s point spot on. If the assembly is constituted from multi-parties, however the numbers are and the ratio of the winning parties is, imagine how difficult it will be to elect the president from the body of hybrid system. Imagine…imagine the chaos and the instabilities the will ensue from this structural system. Eritrea needs simple parliamentary system or presidential system. Ask yourself why hybrid system? Give it a thought please.

            Regard

          • saay7

            Hey Emma:

            What is this talk about middle age, gelemele. Do you know that according to the people who came up with the classification for generations, people who are born between 1946 and 1964 are of the same generation? They are just some arbitrary numbers people came up with and you shouldn’t pay it any attention.

            For the rest, from now on, I am just going to copy/paste the five points that Fanti created for us 🙂

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            “The secret of success is for a man to be ready for his opportunity when it comes” [Benjamin Disraeli]. Listen to the calls and heed for the opportunity. The only demand from the public is to be fair, judicious, and good listener the cry of the aggrieved.

          • saay7

            Haha Emma:

            Benjamin Disraeli quotes are like Tigrinya proverbs: there is one for every occasion. Consider:

            The world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes.

            This coming from a former Prime Minister makes all his other quotables about truth and justice moot points doesn’t it?

            and why do you wish that life on me? I thought we were friends. Let’s all be a bit patient and wait for MaHmuday to reveal our next gen leaders.

            saay

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Berhe Y,

            As the sole Tigraway within a shouting distance…

            I have heard that joke almost all my life, believe it or not including from other Tigrians, and I was never offended and I never met anyone who was offended by it. It is totally harmless.

            In fact, I was just laughing because it reminded me of an incident near Sembel when I shouted “haika Embasoyra” and I was chased away by stone throwing, a dozen or so, Hamasien fans.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Fanti,
            .
            It is o.k for you to say whatever, but I am offended. only because Berhe Y said he meant it in an offensive way. What is the joke?
            .
            I was once in Army section in front row as a kid watching the game of Army (Metchal) vs Body Guard (Mekuria) teams. I hid my emotions carefully well until it betrayed me.
            Those soldiers didn’t waste time before they flung me out with a lot of “kurkum” for good measure. It is funny now.
            .
            BTW: The Hamasein and Akale Guzay teams were forced to change their names. I think Hamassien became Asmara when they played the Addis teams.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Mr. K.H.

            I am very sure Berhe meant to say “I did [not] mean the joke in offensive way.” I had noticed he often skips a few words in his writing. Even in that same post he says “…regardless if AH or those who feel the same support or NOT.” Notice the missing “him” in support [him] or NOT.

            Oh yes, I remember those changes I believe they were made to discourage aurajawinet.

            By the way, the 1997 constitution is giving me a headache.

            President Isaias didn’t like it, the notorious Ali Salim didn’t like it, the ever calculating Queen Hayat didn’t like it, and the straight arrow Mr. Amanuel didn’t like it. As if that is not enough mystery, SGJ won’t even dignify it with “I hate it.”

            Then there is the ever clever Saay!

            1. There is an opportunity in it to hang the president with
            2. Something is better than nothing
            3. It will take forever until enough of us are united and create another one
            4. There will never be good enough constitution we all will accept
            5. Otherwise, what laws has this government broken?

            Should we just stay away and continue to save our brain cells?

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Fanti,
            .
            I was making an attempt at a joke, being offended without understanding it.
            .
            I know I have missed a lot of back and forth on the subject. What I surmised from earlier times was nobody is asking them to love the constitution. They themselves might be holding their noses.
            I think what the proponents are asking is cooperation to use the, shredding of the constitution, as a crime that many in and outside the country might buy into. (REMEMBER THE FEDERATION) That is an attempt to cause a chink in the armor of PIA. It may or may not work.
            To quote Donald Trump, what in hell do you have to lose?
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Selam Fanti Ghana,
            What I fail to understand is for whom is the 1997 constitution meant to be. Which eritrean government is going to implement it; the regime who has buried it and does not want to talk about it, or the opposition which will come to power the year .….(you can put any number), or the homegrown post-IA eritrean government (the most likely case scenario) that will not survive unless it keeps the dia/pfdj legacy, whatever lipstick it puts on to show that it is different?
            Yes, the eritrean people, like any other people, want to be ruled by a constitution that will guarantee their rights and freedom, and at the same time control the government from dictatorial tendencies, at least theoretically, nevertheless, which eritrean government is going to implement it that there is so much fuss about constitution, unless there is something we ordinary people do not know? Forgive me for my simplistic question.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Horizon,

            I think one of the intriguing questions is whether it can be used to compile a set of grievances enough to either convict the government of a crime or to at least force it to reform enough to have semblance of normalcy. It is far from easy, but with all due respect to all those who rejected it, mostly for good reason, it is hard to see a viable alternative.

            As long as there is a practical and majority acceptable mechanism to add what is missing and clarify what is ambiguous, I think it is better to keep it alive and build on it.

            So, to answer your question, I believe the idea is to force the government to implement it, and whether it does or not it get in trouble.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hello Fanti Ghana,

            With all respect to what you have said, but the 1997 constitution has come through an illegal procedure and it has a lot of flaws that leads the country to unrest. Secondly, how can be swallowed and consider it theirs by those who didn’t participate in its drafting and ratification. Moreover, they were severely hurt by the articles that Isaias is implementing at the moment we are debating here. The 1997 constitution is the PFDJ constitution, a part of our society not the whole Eritrean society.

            Al-Arabi

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Hameed and Mr. Amanuel,

            Besides its many flows and ambiguity there is no doubt that the whole process was lopsided. The real dilemma is however whether accepting it now would produce change quicker verses whatever the alternatives are.

            Ironically, I was one of the first few among my peers to reject it at first. I thought that Chapter I, #3: “In the State of Eritrea, sovereign power is vested in
            the people, and…” amounted to an insult because, at the time, I was thinking of the more than a quarter million Eritrean refugees in the Sudan who were systematically prevented from coming home.

          • sara

            Daear fanti…
            Some thing for both….very you
            (Smart) but…but ala trump

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Fanti, you said “Ironically, I was one of the first few among my peers to reject it at first.”, but , who are you, aren’t you Ethiopian? This thing doesn’t belong to you, hence, you cannot accept or reject it, the same way I, an Eritrean, cannot accept or reject the Ethiopian Constituion, it is not upto me.
            You also said “I thought that Chapter I, #3: “In the State of Eritrea, sovereign power is vested in the people, and…” amounted to an insult because, at the time, I was thinking of the more than a quarter million Eritrean refugees in the Sudan who were systematically prevented from coming home.”, So what did you want the document to say? “In the State of Eritrea, sovereign power is vented only in those Eritreans within the country? Isn’t the Constitution talking about a democratic govt to be established on its basis, and, hopefully, create a system that could address most, if not all the injustices that existed in the society prior to its implementation?

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Abraham H.,

            You are correct. It is not my place to accept or reject something that was not offered to me. I was simply making a value judgement. However, had you known how Eritrean heavy my life has been, you would forgive my occasional forgetfulness of my place of birth.

            The reason I picked on #3 stems from my belief of the government having a role in the constitution’s creation, and I had made up my mind by then that it was not a government for the people. So, it is the hypocrisy not the statement I was addressing.

          • Nitricc

            Dear Fanti, i remember engaging you from day one. i inquired you about your bike aviator, i questioned your arbitration about using Ghana and then there was a story you shared about Africa. i was taken by your humanity and the moral clarity. i remember when Haile TG was telling about a woman who was taken a ride about her money some one who send her from the states and you demanded the address of the woman who lost the money. you shared about the brief stay in a jail when you were a teen. You shared about the young Fanti who armed with a big knife harassing people, lol. i can go on, for ever about Fanti who shaped my humanity. Yes, Fanti, i can tell you what you installed in me. you are the very finest person in my book. let me put it this way, if you have to run for Eritrean presidency, i am the first one to not only to vote for you but to run your election hands down. Sir, Fanti, you are the definition of humanity. I have the out most respect for you than any one, because you stand for what is right. it pains me when you i see some no body trying to bring you to their level. you are Fanti, you are the best, ignore the ignorants. i will always stand with you and learn from your humanity. I have nothing but respect for you, that is for ever and ever. Fanti, thanks for your humanity.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Nitricc,

            Wow, I feel like I just crossed over to another dimension.

            I will definitely frame this post! Not that I deserve even a fraction of it, but to remind myself how important it is to always strive to be better because we are all shaping one another in every thing we say and do.

            I can’t thank you enough not only for the extremely generous praise but also for the lesson in it.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Fanti, it might not have been a trully representativ govt back then but it initiated and allowed the process of constitution making, which was largely inclusive in my opinion, though it could have been done better. And the spirit and message of that Constitution stands in stark contrast to what Eritreans have witnessed under the increasingly inhuman regime ever since the ratification of the ’97 Constitution and its eventual shelving. After a disatrous 30 year war, we had to start somewhere; and the Constitution would have allowed us to build a better society than we have today had it been implemented in good faith.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Abraham H.,

            As you and many more Awatistas have repeatedly and eloquently explained, there are several qualities and advantages to warrant its acceptance, and in time, using legitimate mechanisms, it can be amended to semi-perfection. That is my general position at the moment, but I will disclose why I shouldn’t be taken seriously.

            If some Eritrean political body would declare that they will use the Bible or the Quran as their constitution, let alone the semi-decent 1997 constitution, I would probably say go ahead. That is how on a hurry I am to see a peaceful and stable Eritrea. Although your reasons are more practical than mine, they are similar in spirit. That is “enough chaos, let’s have peace for a change.”

            Having said that, let’s consider why and what the complainers are complaining about.

            Assuming we agree that a constitution ought to be a set of rules crafted by the people by which they would like to administer themselves, the 1997 constitution fails in that regard. From inception to birth it was crafted and delivered by groups with similar political outlook. That is outright undemocratic.

            The second and may be more devastating reason is that those who created it also shelved it without consulting the people. There can’t be a better proof than that to show it never belonged to the people in the first place.

            For lack of a better articulation, I will use a ridiculous example to illustrate why I am finding it difficult to make up my mind. The 1997 constitution is like a child of a rape victim. There is a criminal, there is a victim, and then there is the child. What do we do?

          • Selam Fanti Ghana,

            Again, I have to direct my comment to you, because not only that I am not in the position to discuss the topic (the eritrean constitution), but also I do not have the right to tell eritreans what to do with their constitution. I apologize in advance for trespassing.
            If as an outsider I am allowed to say a thing or two, it will be this, right or wrong. Gedli is the train that brought eritreans from one beginning to a certain destination, and that destination is called ‘independence’. It was meant to go as far as that, and not beyond (at least the elites knew very well about this), and if you force it to go beyond this point, the only thing it can do is to take you to dictatorship (as it did) or take you back to the beginning (the flight of the new generation).
            If eritreans want to travel the remaining of the way, which is towards ‘democracy, equality and freedom’, it is my opinion that they must take another train. They can not continue their journey on the same old train of ‘gedli’. Whatever they want to do beyond independence including ‘the constitution’, it should not be defined by gedli anymore.
            I think that is why that the constitution, as a long as it remains a promise for how the political situation should be in the future, and nobody really knows if it will ever be as is put on paper (from african experiences), at least it should start with a full promise that it would tackle the needs and grievances of every individual and every social group (a full promise of democracy, equality, and freedom) at least on paper. Nobody will commit him/herself to a future that does not include him/her.
            That is why one would be forced to ask, is it possible to say that all eritreans are wanted on equal terms on the eritrean band wagon? Is it possible to say that the centrifugal forces we are witnessing lately are the result of exclusions and the fact that eritrean politics can only be similar to a one-way and one-lane road, and some are always at the driver’s seat and others are always at the passenger’s seat, with no chance of changing position.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Horizon,

            Your first paragraph brings up several hard questions all of us Ethiopian Awatistas should ponder and answer in good conscious. Why are we here? When is it interfering verses sharing? Are we learning from old mistakes or creating new ones? Are we a friend, a kin, a neighbor, or an enemy at war?

            If we can master clear answers to these and similar questions and share our vision with positive intent most Awatistas would, and many already do, understand and even appreciate our presence here. Of course we will stumble here and there, but ultimately our true intent and purpose, whatever it is, will manifest itself and we will be judged accordingly.

            It is important to remember that we are possibly a constant reminder of the pain subsequent Ethiopian governments afflicted on Eritreans or we are a glimpse of hope or a window to better relations in the future. The line in between is a thin one.

            That is the philosopher in me talking, but what I am trying to say is that as long as we have good intentions and our purpose is to try to contribute something positive, being “an outsider” most probably will be overlooked. Let alone as close as Eritrea and Ethiopia, people of the region, the continent, even the whole world, we are all in it together. So, my friend, feel free to discus the constitution with whomever, that is, if you dare!

          • Selam Fanti Ghana,

            It does not take much to discover when somebody is around at awate.com for sinister reasons, because his words will easily betray him/her. Most of us do not remember how we found ourselves in the awate family, and therefore nobody is really on a mission of one sort or other. I am sure that most ethiopians are here because they enjoy being here.

            Nevertheless, (if I can talk about myself), whenever an ethio-eritrean politics is the topic of discussion, it is natural that as an ethiopian I would defend ethiopia’s national interest, and this is an an automatic reaction beyond my control. National interest is the guiding force for eritreans too, for everybody for that matter.

            We do not agree on many issues that concern ethiopia and eritrea, and we have opposing opinions, nevertheless, we are not at war, and this website is not the battleground. Moreover, opposing opinions on an issue does not mean animosity, or agreeing on some issues sometimes does not mean that we will agree all the time, or we are here too please each other.

            We can have compassion and empathy for eritrea and eritreans, but we cannot stand in their shoes, or understand equally their pain and sufferings and aspirations, or come up with a solution, because we (I am) are outsiders. Our opinions on eritrean politics, good or bad, are simply opinions, nothing more and nothing less, and they do not affect the final outcome in any way.

            The wounds of the thirty years war would have healed by now had it not been for the dictatorship. In addition, the relationship of both countries would have been on normal grounds and prospering, if the dictator had not destroyed everything.

            Our true intent and purpose is therefore the future rapprochement of the two people, which I hope should be founded on truth, mutual interest and peace. Nothing precludes us from entering into a discussion; simply I am making my position clear that there will be ups and downs, and I as a foreigner I will defend ethiopia’s national interests, which do not coincide with that of eritrea’s, and I cannot come up with a better solution for eritrea’s problems than eritreans themselves.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hmaq maalti w’ilka Fanti,

            You cannot shred or throw away a baby, but you can do that and more with useless papers : let’s not compare real babies with paper babies 🙂

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hayaka Allah Al-Ustaz Johar,

            Those on the wrong side of history compare human beings with papers. Really, this is farce, blood and flesh, walking on the stage.

            Al-Arabi

          • Fanti Ghana

            Hello Memhir & Hameed,

            I know it is pathetic example, but while I am still in the maternity ward, let me add “የጨነቀው
            እርጉዝ ያገባል፤”

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Fanti Ghana,

            A constitution needs an inclusive process by all parties and the population at large. How do you expect an alternative in our current realities? If they attempt to have an alternative in our current divided society, they will face the same rejection. So to have an alternative, we have to create an environment for inclusive process where it gives us a product all of us to own it.

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Fanti,

            I just want to acknowledge you have such a fine spirit.

            I am sure a lot of Awatistas of every aisle recognize that.

            May your boundless spirit of goodwill and generosity reach all of us.

            Thanks,
            Ghezae. ( I am actually enjoying the discussion in this thread. A bit too much. I initially got in as a surrogate for the prodigal son, Sem Andom:-) The way I see it, this kid will stay in the picture, provided that iSem doesn’t claim his rightful place.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Ghezae,

            I had to look up what prodigal son mean :), nay bHaqi avocato.

            Just in the sprit of praising Fanti and bringing back my fried iSem, I thought we would ask Saay to give us the link where the talented tigraway singing Wordi.

            It was classic, I couldn’t find it.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Hey Berhe:

            Where is iSem by the way? I hope he hasn’t joined the Agazian: xigiE xigiE ybl neru*

            The video was not by a Tigraway. It was by an Asmarino, impersonating a Tigraway, impersonating Wardi. It is very difficult to find because Eritreans suck at tagging videos. Just search “new Eritrean music” and you will find a song that was new when they posted it in 2007.

            saay

            * not really.

          • Berhe Y

            Hi Saay,

            I wish I could watch it again. I had no idea he was Eritrean. I was hoping the guy was Fanti.

            iSem is good last time we met. He is probably studying for some sort of certification.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Berhe:

            You are in luck. A very silent awatista who follows the discussions but doesn’t post, sent it to me. Will post tomorrow.

            And yes I would never have found it due to Eritreans terrible video tagging habits

            Saay

          • saay7

            His Fantiness:

            If I were indeed “ever-clever”, it wouldn’t take me 2,000 words to say what you just did in 5 bullet points. You are a very gifted man, Fanti. Not bad for Raya-Azebo*

            If you remember PIAs interview re the status of the 1997 constitution, he said, “I don’t want to get into whether it’s dead, is it alive or not..” because he is clearly stuck and when he is stuck he stalks and waits for the subject to change or for his old friend to show up: people’s frail memories.

            saay

            * said lovingly in memory of your self-reference as a member of a community who rebel with no cause and the image of a guy with a dagger and Sudanese kilt.

          • Fanti Ghana

            Selam Saay,

            I have mother and daughter family friends who stayed with me for a while a few years back, and one day, I saw the daughter in the kitchen which looked like she was cooking. Moments later, she served the food and I said “wow, you make the best shiro I ever had.” She, quickly pointing toward her mother, says “ኣነ ኣሕቢረዮ’ምበር ባዕላ’ያ ሰሪሓቶ፤ (it is her cooking; I only stirred.)”

            I only stirred my friend.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Fanti,
            She did half the job; were she to leave static it would have burnt and you wouldn’t have found it so tasty, would you? Selection of the reciple is an expertise; and knowing how to combine them (stirring in this case) is also art in its own right.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hayaka Allah Ustaz Saleh,

            Is the 1997 constitution the only tool you have to present to the UN and international community in your fighting against the dictator? If Isaias comes next year with the same constitution without any changes in its articles, but divided the PFDJ into three parties, make fake elections and forced the people inside Eritrea to participate in the election. Are you going to take to the UN the 1997 constitution to tell them the dictator is not implementing it? Mind you, the same marginalization and the same practices will continue. Ustaz Saleh, try to defend legal things or you will pull yourself to grave mistakes. I am sure, some guys will come later and tell us millions participated in the election, therefore, it is legal.

            Ustaz Saleh, the UN and international community know very well about the abuses inflicted upon the people of Eritrea by the dictator and his party. No need to confer them with illegal constitution. Many dictators in our world have constitutions, but they remain dictators whatever attire they dress themselves with.

            The purpose of a constitution is to bring our people to one social contract; this can only be done by the participation of all without any marginalization. A constitution is not just about articles concerning the executive body, but it includes articles about the state and the constituents of the people.

            Al-Arabi

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Al-Arabi,

            There is different path to the destination we want to reach. In the example you gave, IA split the PFDJ and hold fake election and implement the constitution.
            If the constitution is implemented then, the G15, the journalists and many others will be brought to justice.

            If that happens I think it would be a BIG progress. It means the system is cracking and sooner or later it will change. It means IA is putting a rope to hsng himself, and Saay is saying, it may not be the strongest rope, but let’s not deny him the rope.

            A very good similar example is what happened in Burma.

            Berhe

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam Berhe Y,

            If the G15 and journalists are not freed but brought to fake courts with fake accusation, then what will be your stance? Are you going to walk away or will continue to defend the 1997 constitution?

            Al-Arabi

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Al-Arabi,

            That is possible, but that’s one step forward if that happened. Two advantages:

            1) You give to the victims some hope that their loved one are alive.
            2) You can count on some of the judges, lawyers (how ever small number) to have concise and not directly fulfill the wishes of the dictator. It’s just human nature, we have to believe there are some good people within the regime.

            If IA was dragged in the street of Asmara and someone put a bullet in head, like what happened to Gadaffi, I don’t think any of the people who are advocating for the constitution would shed any tears.

            The problem is, IA is not himself personally doing the arrests and the killings. He is supported by a system that is taking order from him directly. Now that system, the PFDJ is made up of shaky ground, there is no certain people or group that see their survival tied with the PFDJ so they will not defend it to death. It’s like the Derg regime, it has members who were doing the arrests and taking orders but it didn’t have a core group of people, ethnic or otherwise that were and willing to die to protect it.

            This is the inherently weakness of the PFDJ, and if we all attack this system on the weakness it has, then it will crumble. The fight and call for the implementation of the constitution is, at the international stage (giving it ZERO chance to repair it’s diplomatic ties, bi-lateral aid etc) and to some degree to gain those people inside the country who are supporting the system to back off their support (to turn them on the side of the oppressed) and help crumble the system.

            The problem we have is, we are NOT drawing on a plan when we say we should remove the system. We have been saying that, and everyone agree with that. But the question is HOW?

            Now for a minute, I would like to hear from you, what would you propose in how to remove the system?

            Berhe

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam Berhe Y,

            ርኢኻ፥ ነብሲ, the PFDJiets are not kids to be cheated easily. Secondly, they are dancing on the stage of power that encourages them never to relinquish the benefits they have gotten from the mafia system. Let me suppose you succeed in persuading them that you have embraced their constitution and will implement it; suddenly, you come to change articles which are the source of their benefits. Do you think they will allow you to do that? Certainly, they will bring you back to zero point.

            My friend, try to persuade people through realities, justice, human rights, co-existence with their patriots and the peace they will get. I think, Isaias and the PFDJiets are more smarter; Asmara street boys polys will not pass through them.

            Al-Arabi

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Hameed,

            I hope you spend some time to give it thought how we would remove the system.

            Suppose Sherifo and company had succeeded in holding the election back in 2001, with the constitution and some sort of typical African style government is in place.

            And suppose wedi Ali and company had succeed in the coup and implement the constitution, as that’s what they called for and impunity.

            Do you consider these two group of people as typical PFDJiets, when they were part of the system?

            Had they succeeded, would you see that as some sort progress?

            Right now the PFDJ is devising a way to give themselves some legitimacy. And not only that, they are planning how to transfer power, from IA to his son and cooking up some constitution.

            IA was in power for 50 years, and his son will take over for another how ever long.

            That’s what happened in North Korea, and in Syria, and it would be the same in Iraq or Lybia.

            I am sure the people of North Korea, Iraq or Lybia are as principled as Eritreans are. But all depends the type of enemy (leader) they have. And we have to work with what we have, it’s just a matter of priorities.

            Berhe

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam Berhe Y,

            We are debating about the alphabets of a constitution not about a rocket science. The alphabets and revolving around the mission of “Nihnan Alamanan”, I think by now, can be understood by our lamb in Chaadakhurakh.

            Al-Arabi

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Fanti,

            Thank you for the correction. I should proof read my posts again carefully.

            What I meant in the joke was, kulom nayna, all who oppose it (including me to some parts of the constitution) are on the same team (kulom nayna) on our team, the team that oppose the regime.

            In my opinion IA was exposed to the world because of the arrest of the G15 and the journalists. Their call was the implantation of the constitution and rule of law.

            If those people, like most other government officials went in exile (individually) and with time they would have forgotten and disappear from relevance.

            The reason why the US department, the UN, EU and others keep their relation ship at arms length with regime is because they would not erase them from memory. The constitution grantee people to be brought to court, it’s the reason IA would not implement it.

            The G15 and the journalist life is not important than the rest but they are the most visible group of people.

            And when wedi Ali went to forto his demands was the implementation of the constitution and bring people who are arrested to court.

            Berhe

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Berhe Y, About the supreme court you wrote “I think the president have too much power in controlling the independence of the supreme court. The fact that they are appointed by a commission which he / she controls and that they have a TERM limit, and they can be sidelined if they are being investigated for corruption, seems to me is just a recipe for disaster. This is too much control the president have over the judiciary.”, which I found to be gross misrepresentation of what the Constitution says about this issue.
            According to the ’97 Constitution the Chief Justice and all justices of the Supreme Court are to be appointed by the President [upon recommendations by the Judicial Service Commission], but could only take office after the approval by the National Assembly.
            Remember the Constitution has provisions that limit the powers of the President and the National Assembly, could accuse and impeach him/her and remove him/her from office for violations of the law among other issues.

          • Desbele

            Hi Gezae,

            is this really you?? “Hayat is being merely Hayat; anything that attacks Eritrean nationhood by definition is good by her”
            I am worried about a deliberate concerted effort to derogate the likes of
            of Hayat, and YG often not by challenging their ideas but in a gross misrepresentation of their views and misquoting them.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Desbele,
            This was my first time I noticed Ghezaee carelessly throwing accusations against the person of me. This is my 2nd observation seeing Ghezaee short changing principles for peers.

          • Nitricc

            Hi Hayat, don’t be surprise if people starting to tell you the truth. Everyone knows what you stand for, people are just trying to be respectful to you. You are well know anti Eritrean element.

          • Desbele

            Hi Nitricc,

            Hayat stands for the truth and with the Eritrean People. You stand with Eritrea – ofcourse with the land probably exchanged with bond. No matter how large a flag you use, no matter how loud you shout the national anthem it would not cover the crimes your Sahel “heroes” are committing on the PEOPLE.
            Remember ,for us the question is not ኤርትራ ኣበይ ኣላ፧ it is ሓውኻ ኣበይ ኣሎ ?!

          • Nitricc

            Hi Desbele: i have always wondered how generational order functions. For example, the old people are the once declare a war but it the young once who fights the war out and die for it. It seems unfair but that how it works because the youth is the heart-beat of any nation while the old has done its time and it gets to order people around, compline and criticize. Especially in Eritreans situation, after all what the older generation has gone through, paid for and sacrificed, I get it! And I can understand it! I respect it.
            What I don’t understand what I don’t get , what depressing is when people like you, the young once who equally compiling, hoofing and puffing as the old one. It is depressing. Remember , you are the youth and the responsibility of the youth is not to ask where is my brother but where is my country. You need to grow some character you seem to lack.

            “True education does not consist merely in the acquiring of a few facts of science, history, literature, or art, but in the development of character.”

          • ghezaehagos

            Hayat,

            If I was throwing accusation against the person of you, I would probably have referred you as ‘him’ not ‘her’:-)

            But I exactly know what you are doing. You perfectly know (very smart not to know that) and know well the 1997 Constitution is like many others of its ilk in terms of its preamble, contents, bill of rights, powers of government, even right to its miscellaneous pages.

            But you lambasted it as ‘was out of another world..’ It is more about the dead than the living.
            It is more about history than the future.” It is a constitution that has flaws. Many compatriots have shown us and we acknowledge them.

            Let me ask two questions in respect to Ethiopian 1994 constitution just for sake of testing your own standards against it.

            1. You wrote a “government” can’t be a party to a contract that creates it. Was the transitional government of Ethiopia ‘an entrusted party’ or a third party vis-à-vis the constitution? How influential were the EPRDF politicians in Kifle Wedjao’s commission? Heck, who set-up the Commission in the first place? How did the Woyane’s core beliefs of ethnic federalism and right to self-determination (principles of the first Transitional Charter) find their way in the Constitution?

            2. You also criticised the 1997 Eritrean one for its preamble. Now ” …cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying HISTORICALLY unjust relationships …” IS also from the preamble of the Woyane-led constitution of 1994. Just because it refers explicitly it wants to redress past wrongs wouldn’t you call it ‘..it is about the past; not the future”?
            Let us test your principles here. Peers are welcome too.
            Ghezae Hagos

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Ghezaee,
            Would you explain to me as to why I am being put to test? Have I ever brought the Ethiopian constitution as my knowledge departure about constitutions?

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Hayat,

            You are not. Your standards are. ( a. Government can’t be party to constitution and b. Preambles should be about future; not past.)

            You are not. Your principles are. (Applying these standards objectively to other constitutions…say for example the 1994 Ethiopian one.)

            Thanks,

            Ghezae

          • Hayat Adem

            Ghezaee,
            My principles? I thought I was questioning yours. I looked up to the Ethiopian constitution’s preamble. Preambles are important as the entire intent, purpose and tone is set forth there. I remembered reading the Ethiopian constitution several times but it was with a particular interest to certain provisions than in entirety. I never was interested in the preamble part of their constitution. So, it now forced by you I had to read that part.

            The Ethiopian preamble carries 6 lines. Of the 6, none refers to past sacrifices and struggles and battles or heroism; and zero about the contract or covenant nature of the document. The 1997 doc ran 8 lines in its preamble, 4 of them speak of the past struggle and sacrifice and one speaks of the covenant-like contract between the government and the people through the 1997 document. And keep in mind, Ethiopia has so much more to speak of history, independence and patriotism.

            I am not that informed about the process that gave birth to the Ethiopian constitution and I could relate to some of what you said as the heavy hands the current ruling party may have played in the process. But certainly, the preamble appears so clean and forward looking to me.

            The 1997 doc’s preamble is so clumsy. And it appears suffering from a burdened loyalty and allegiance to current bosses. It is so redundant and stuck with the past, and promotes the government to the status of equivalence with the people in a language of contracting parties. That is not an easy matter. It is a definitive pointer up on what functional and philosophical principles the document was basing its foundation.

          • ghezaehagos

            Hayat,

            I gave you, actually, three times that the quote of the Ethio-constitution that it HAS also explicit words the aim of that constitution is ALSO about repressing past historical injustices but for you it is still so clear and forward looking. I leave the judgment to others.

            If Eri-constitution mentions Ghedli in 1997, is that surprising? Read: Eritrean opposition parties, movements,civic

          • blink

            Dear Mr. Ghezae
            Can we avoide any thing that has to do with Ghedli in the next constitution? Even if we voided the 1997 , is it possible that we will not mention the revolution? if we avoid it all at once what else do Eritrea has ?

          • Abraham H.

            Dear blink, whether we like it or not, Independent Eritrea that we see and know today is the direct consequence of the Great Eritrean Revolution, aka Ghedli. If it were not for that Revolution, we would not be taling today about such an independent entity.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Ghezaee,
            I will tell you how i would see the Ethiopian constitutional making process from a point of principle as I don’t have an actual account of witness. To the extent the EPRDF was facilitating or enabling the process of the constitution making without dictating it or acting as a cosigner, they were okay, to the extent they deviated from that role, they were not okay.

            Don’t forget that you are the one asking me to compare and contrast the two documents and I’m only doing that. It is important you to remember that. I was not criticizing the 1997 document based on others’ experiences. I was criticizing it fully for and about itself. It is you who wanted me to check with the Ethiopian. That means, you are not supposed to justify the differences every time I mention differences (as in If Eri-constitution mentions Ghedli in 1997, is that surprising?) and as in (also the opposition have it). Because the only reason you are asking me to check both is to see and prove the damning similarity that would get me say (Oh, Nothing odd in the 1997 doc; everyone else has done it). And, when I brought a damning contrast instead of your claimed likeness, don’t come around and justify why.

            The part that says “Fully cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying historically unjust relationships and by further promoting our shared interests;” in the Ethiopian constitution preamble is the only thing you could come to say Ethiopia does as well go to the past. Guess what, this is not about the past. This is about “rectification to promote shared interests.” This is perfectly not about guarding the past and dying for it. It is about aspiring to correct it for a better. You don’t correct the past by re-living it. The Eritrean case is different. It is like, we fought hard, lets fight harder; we died and killed in the past, lets do more of that; we sacrificed high; we need to keep doing that….

            It is so burdened by the past and not by the entire past history of all Eritrean people of all generations, all cultures and all times but by “the short period near past” in a narrowly doctored narrative that fits few groups and actors. Here are quotes from the 1997 doc preamble:
            “With Eternal Gratitude to the scores of thousands of our martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the causes of our rights and independence, during the long and heroic revolutionary struggle for liberation, and to the courage and steadfastness of our Eritrean patriots; and standing on the solid ground of unity and justice bequeathed by our martyrs and combatants;” … “Aware that it is the sacred duty of all citizens to build a strong and advanced Eritrea on the bases of freedom, unity, peace, stability and security achieved through the long struggle of all Eritreans, which tradition we must cherish, preserve and develop” … “Realizing that in order to build an advanced country, it is necessary that the unity, equality, love for truth and justice, self-reliance, and hard work, which we nurtured during our revolutionary struggle for independence and which helped us to triumph, must become the core of our national values” … “Noting the fact that the Eritrean women’s heroic participation in the struggle for independence, human rights and solidarity, based on equality and mutual respect, generated by such struggle will serve as an unshakable foundation for our commitment to create a society in which women and men shall interact on the bases of mutual respect, solidarity and equality,” … “Desirous that the Constitution we are adopting will be a covenant between us and the government, which we will be forming by our free will, to serve as a means for governing in harmony this and future generations and for bringing about justice and peace, founded on democracy, national unity and the rule of law”

            You have 70% of the wording about it. I am not saying ghedli should not be mentioned at all. But the Eritrean people, the Eritrean cultures, the Eritrean histories, aspirations preexisted ghedli into the distant past. They were there. The Eritrean people have the best and the greatest time ahead of them, into the deep future. We are a people made of IA’s shoes size. We are larger than his sandal. But my bigger point is the future should not be defined in terms of the past; and more so, not in terms of a small a piece of the past. The past needs to be validated in terms of its contribution to the future.

          • ghezaehagos

            Oh Hayat,

            In my opinion, in this thread, you simply goofed. It would be better if you had admitted you overreached just a little. It is ok; it happens to the best of us sometimes.

            My central arguement deriving from your impossible expectations of modern constitutions (don’t look into the past in the preamble and worse government is not party to constitution) do NOT dovetail with reality. How much of a past should be there doesn’t cut it legally; it can only be goid or bad writing/language. Period. We would be just haggling over the prices.. Wured/Deyb. At the end the item is the same.
            Again more importantly, all modern constitutions are guided by the authorities in power; Don’t feign ignorance when it comes to EPRDF. It set up the commission. Its politicians guided it with its charter as main reference. They made sure its central core ethnic federalism and self-determination up to cessation, it’s raison d’etre for 17 years of struggle became the salient feature of current Ethiopian polity.

            Point: governments, especially that came from revolutionary movements, do lead and are party to the constitutional making process. You just expect :

            A. To include other stake-holders to enrich inclusiveness.

            B. Faithfully implement and honor it.

            WediE aleku.

            Thanks
            Ghezae

          • Hayat Adem

            Ghezae,
            If I goofed, it won’t be the first time or the last time. But I didn’t think I did. I didn’t say governments are not part of the making process. Hear me now and don’t misrepresent my point on this: a constitution is not a contract between a government and the governed. It is a negotiated social contract among individual and group citizens. The nature of the contract is totally horizontal, can or should never be vertical. It doesn’t work that way. Unlearn what you got from your idiot professors and enroll yourself in my class for free:) Governments are not or should not be party to that contract they are assigned to guard. They are entrusted parties to govern for a limited period and go. Parties to the contract always outlive the contract. A party to a contract cannot be allowed the power of ruling. The contract itself binds it to stand down. Besides, governments are formed based on the social contract itself. Otherwise, political parties and all other stakeholders are or should part of the process representing their constituencies.
            nisikhan mahmudaynssi.. tekhekh abilkumna!

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear All,

            This is the quote of the day: “Governments are not part of the contract, governments are formed based on the social contract.” This statement nailed it down all the arguments. I will see what argument will counter to this fundamental concept between the governments, the governed, and the document (the constitution) that governs them. This is creme de la creme argument, and it makes it my day.

            Regard

          • Thomas

            Hey Amma,

            I told you that this lady Hayat is the smartest we can use for upcoming change:)

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Aman,

            Honestly I really do not understand what this means. Is it really worth the efforts (would it make any difference) in trying to understand and define what constitution means. Beside the content of the constitution, do we really care that much what the constitution means, almost all countries on earth have it. WHY not us, be is a contract or social contract etc..

            For example, do we really go over the moon to understand the meaning of paper money, that Eritrea made one for itself when it become an independent country. Do we really need to define what money is, other than a means for financial transaction. Without knowing too much about the definition, to me it’s the same thing. It’s a document that guild the rights and responsibilities of a society and those who are in power. Conflict comes that challenges the constitution and the courts are there to interpret it and in some cases amend / change as needed by the people who are entrusted to do so.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Berhe,

            I vehemently disagree. You are telling by whom ever a constitution is drafted take it as gift. No No Berhe. Are you happy to be decided the money of Eritrea by PFDJ party instead by the legislative body? Are you happy to be decided the flag of Eritrea by the party instead by the legislative body? Are you happy to be decided the administrative units by the party instead by the legislative? Are you happy a constitution to be drafted by the dictation of one party and excluding other parties? You might be happy with it, but I am not. These and the brutal ruling are my complains, and I will fight to right them.

            Regard

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Amanuel,

            Ok, I defiantly misunderstood you. You are talking about the process of the constitutional making and other points you raised, who are unilaterally decided by the PFDJ government. No I have no argument to make, and I am in agreements with you in all what you raised.

            What I was responding was, you wrote quoting Hayat “Governments are not part of the contract, but “governments are formed based on the social contract.”.

            We can argue in terms of it’s validity of the “constitution making process”. But I remember Dr. Bereket said in an interview after the constitution was ratified that “The president or his government had NEVER intervened in the constitution making process” and they were “independent” through out the the whole time.

            Personally I don’t think there was any problem for the government of Eritrea to setup the commission, off course, like you I disagree in the process and the participation of all citizens. But EPLF did drove Ethiopians out of the country and took over the power structure of the country.

            Any way you look at it, it was the practical way to transition forward.

            Berhe

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Berhe,

            Really, it is Dr Bereket’s idea to use the charter as base for drafting the constitution. Remember the “charter” is the political program of PFDJ. The good doctor, a revered constitutional lawyer really decided to use the charter? It is either he submit to the power or dictate by the power that brought him to lead the commission. Constitutional process is a national political process to produce a national covenant. If the commission was free from any pressure, they wouldn’t use the charter of a party to launch the process.

            Regard

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Amanuel,

            I am in agreement with you. The constitution was made to serve the PFDJ, and IA as president, I said that many years ago. The problem IA has with the constitution was the term limit they put.

            They should probably have no term limit and save as the pain all together and time would have taken its course.

            Berhe

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Berhe, really, The constitution was made to serve the PFDJ, and IA as president”? Does the DIA regime respect all the human and basic rights enlisted in the document? Does it allow the freedom of expression, freedom of organization , freedom of religion, respect of privtate property, rule of the law, equality of all Eritreans under the law, economic, social, and cultural freedoms, the right to freely demonstrate, the rights of women, a just administrative redress, the right of petitioning, transparency and acountability of govt and other institutions, the right of Eritreans to elect their leaders and get elected, a free and independent justice system, independent auditor general, distinct legislative, and executive bodies with clearly defined powers, and checks and balances, a free and independent electoral commission, etc?

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abraham,
            You seem bewildered on how the Isaias regime could believe in all the ideal articles in the constitution. The natural conclusion would be that the rrgime didn’t believe in the constitution. But it’s the regime that created the document which can be copied from any boiler-plate document. If fact there is no dictatorial regime that writes any document stating it will imprion the people or oppress them. Many documents are not worth the paper they are written on. Any dictator can freeze it or discard it at will. Throughout the armed struggle era, all orgs had superb charters and principles. But experience teaches us if any entity will follow its promises through. How many constitution that have term limits has been violated in the world in the last decade alone ? The constitutions were lame papers that could not prevent that. So. Constitutionalism is a legitimate and natural demand but in the presence of a despotic regime, no document can protect the interest of the people. In short, the constitution was a routine task that isais had to accomplish and the wording is very standard–nothing surprising or worthy of llegiance from a sector of a people who reject the regime. Yes, the constitution is a natural continuation of the eplf charter but tetsgbenni kicha ab moqloaa ‘kola ‘felta. Don’t be surprised that any constitution doesn’t have anti-people articles but mischievous and deceiving ones.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear SGJ, in short, what I’m saying is to claim the ’97 Constituion is something that serves the interests of the ruling DIA regime is a mockery. The DIA regime is the antithesis of the spirit and content of the ’97 Constituion. Had that superb document (in my opinion) been faithfully implemented, we would not have something like the mosters we have in Eritrea today.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Abraham,

            The 1997 constitutional document by its hybrid nature is a fertile womb of authoritarian regime. I wouldn’t wish the document to survive, I wouldn’t wish authoritarian after authoritarian to my people.

          • Saleh Johar

            Yes Abraham, I agree. But it’s difficult for me to entertain the idea that the regime would change its behavior be cause if a paper it authored, itself. It’s like a victim weaving the rope and giving it as a gift to the executioner. It’s illogical. The boilerplate document was just a PR paper meant to be discarded. Buying timeand deceiving the people by giving them half backed constitution. I said before and I repeat now: my objection is visceral not intellectual. Practical not hypothetical. You can give the PFDJ Snow White wings but their fangs will still show. Don’t count on them being a normal government, they don’t have it in their nature. Equip yourself with the tools of a principled struggle, seek justice, and you wouldn’t need any other tool. The essence of the struggle, at least to people like me, is the pursuit of justice. It’s the best tool ever. If anyone needs a lifer cry than the cry for justice you should consider them. I think that’s what the average Eritrean needs. Not appeasing tools. But obviously there are a few who think I am wrong. I can live with that.

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saleh and Abraham,

            Saleh sorry I didn’t get back from the other day.

            I just want to bring a couple of examples.

            I was on a plane with one member of the G15 and we sat together and had long conversation. At some point I told him, you guys wasted your life for nothing, you may as well spend it in diaspora like others, instead of bringing us these regime. Suq illukum iKum tegadilkum, Kem sebkum tesedidkum entetKonu ms Hashekum kab nezi stAat Hizkum tAtwu.

            He said, don’t say it like that. We are probably one of the first country in short time (10 years) to challenge a dictator peacefully, and e said don’t lose hope, change will come.

            Even when we were in Meda, Isayas acted in dictatorial manner but those in power close to him, like DurE, Petros, sherifo, challenge him and are able to stir (kTewiwo) yKelu nerom.

            The second example is, the speech Haile DurE gave in Germany, with regards to constitution . I paraphrase “we want to implement not because the western are asking for it, but because it’s time has come and it’s the right thing to do” or something like that.

            What the G15 told me seems to be inline with what DurE said.

            So I think there were elements in the regime (and I believe there still are) that wanted to have a democratic country with constitution and rights and privileges.

            Abraham, if Isayas had no influence in the constitution making, I am sure people like DurE would have drafted a much, much better constitution and I can even suspect it would have been much more inclusive. The reason I said it was made for PFDJ and IA was, they thought it would be acceptable to IA with all the limitation they have put from his wishlist.

            I think they were willing to get the process started and with time things would have gotten better.

            The party formation Sherifo, DurE drafted really reflected that. Because they were already broke the ties with IA sort of after the Sept 2000 meeting, and they were nominated by the NA to draft the party formation, they had independence to do and I think they produced a good document.

            But he killed it as well before it was suppose to be tabled to the public for discussions.

            Berhe

          • MS

            Selam Emma
            Sometimes you come up with surprises. Governments could be constitutional and non-constitutional. for instance, the EPLF served as a provisional government and then as a transitional government. there was no “social contract” or a constitution that established the basis and nature of those governments vis-avis the rights of the governed, although there were periodic proclamations. Circumstances placed it to serve as such. If the 1997 constitution had been implemented, all future governments would be bound by the articles of that constitution.
            Your confusion: you seem to take the phrase “between the governing and the governed” to mean between the people and individual governments. However, that definition denotes the relationship between the governing/ruling INSTITUTION and citizens. It is about the institution and not about a particular government. It is a contract between citizens and whoever assumes that institution. It does not matter if it is a progressive, liberal, conservative, hagerawi or tehtehagerawi, or democrasiawi wudub Emma….all of them need to abide by the letter and spirit of the constitution once they assume power. Governments vary in their policies and their area of focus, but they should abide by the fundamental principles of the constitution. So, the contract is between the governed (citizens) and the institution of power to which they are relinquishing some of their right for the purpose of a collective good, which is done by the government. So, nothing contradicting in saying constitution is primarily a contract between the governing and the governed. We are not talking about a particular administration or government.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            please ditto to my reply I gave to Ghezae Hagos. You are just defending because it was drafted to serve PFDJ.

          • MS

            Selam Emma
            Sorry man, I’m engaging you in good faith. ” You are just defending because it was drafted to serve PFDJ” has nothing to do with my reply to your challenge. Remember you challenged us. You locked out your account and there is no way for me retracing your engagements but I found one reply of yours to gezaehagos and it has nothing to do with the challenge you posed to us. Bottomline: it’s your choice to stick to your favorite escape mechanism of “tnfer ember Tiel eya”, translation: even if it flies it is still a goat.
            Have a wonderful evening.

          • saay7

            Aygdn Emma:

            How is it you spend half your time bemoaning the mistrust among Eritreans and the other half contributing to and fanning the mistrust?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            I don’t know how people resist grievances and tells them, it is okay you could live with grievances. Could this and other things be an answer to your question. I love your intrigue question that makes me joyful to engage you with focused eyes and attentive mind. By the way do you notice DUG is one of our silent conceding point with each other. Silent because you relegated it to statuary laws while myself to constitutional. Just your response to Abraham reminds me now. Hint.,,,hint from the many,

            Regards

          • saay7

            Emma:

            I don’t know what you just said about DUG and it doesn’t matter. My point is that it was uncool to accuse Mahmuday, as you do often, of being a Trojan horse for PFDJ. And then you wonder why there is so much mistrust among Eritreans. Try to give people the benefit of the doubt, instead of accusing everyone who disagrees with your approach as being insensitive to people with grievances. You know the PFDJ does that too: if you don’t agree with them, you are not a patriot. And if you don’t agree with Emma, you don’t understand people’s grievances.

            See what you did now? 😏

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            What is wrong to individuals despite they are in the opposition camp, support certain policy of the regime, and you call them supporters of PFDJ? I do not see any problem if they show positions of that kind.

            Second my point on DUG, I think you said the issue of decentralization can be legislated through statutory laws by the legislative body (correct me if I am wrong). And I am arguing, since the nature of government and the distribution of power are fundamental of governing philosophy, they should be determined by the supreme law of the land – and that is the constitution, the same depiction as you have quoted and alluded in their charter. So my messege was we agreed on the nature of government but we differ how should it be legislated.

            Regards

          • MS

            Ahlan ustaz Emma
            I accept your jabs holding my head high. I have tried you from different angles to see if you are really aware of your legalese jargon and the “know it all” posturing and assertions. Your replies have become so routine and expected. Instead of engaging those who disagree with you faithfully, you go for accusations and labeling, for dismissing and banal remarks; you accuse them of supporting PFDJ. For instance, in the current discussion, my position is similar to those of SAAY, gezaehagos, AbrahamH and others. Judging from your statement, you seem to have no difficulty in labeling SAAY, gezaehagos and AbrahamH as supporters of PFDJ. There is no “ifs or buts”. It is all there in your statement. Hisebelu Emma. This is not how discussions among friends should be conducted. You need to know that you are a speck in the camp of opposition. You have to appreciate the diversity of elements in the opposition. Unless you appreciate how diverse the opposition is, and unless you stop imagining the opposition in you own image, you will not leave a meaningful mark. On the contrary, inadvertently, your effort will create more wages between the diverse elements of the opposition. Instead of narrowing the existing fault lines, you are widening them. Fighting for the right of some should not result in causing others to feel burdened by crimes they are not part of. I’m a bit busy and out of town, but I will have a lot to say about this; may be in a different format.
            Regards.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Mahmuday,

            I am only debating politics as oppose to any other subjects. I have no problem if you accuse me on politics, because I have lived almost my entire life in the politics of our nation. I stood on the political philosophy of equitable power sharing. I do not even share my view in economics and business related issue, when forumers raise such issue, because my knowledge on those subject is limited. I debate on constitution because it is political document. You have to get that buddy. I am not from “know it all” if there are any at all. I do not believe there are. It is only hyperbolic accusation that comes from opposites. If you accuse me by that it doesn’t bother me as far as I know where to debate. I am fair enough in my comment. If you do not feel that way, I could only say sorry. You can not limit me in debating politics, because everything we are debating is of political nature. Do not forget, that you are also politicking. I do not accuse Ghezae, Saay, and Abraham, you could do yourself if you want. The rest of your comment, I will leave it as is, b/c it is your politics how ever its . It does not bother me.

            Lastly, on my side, no matter we differ in opinions we love each other as brothers. That is how I see it.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Now now Emma:

            What you told MaHmuday was “You are just defending because it was drafted to serve the PFDJ.” I know English is not our mother tongue and we all make mistakes and misunderstand each other. But can that sentence be interpreted in any way other than MaHmud is supporting a policy not because it’s good for the people but because it will serve the PFDJ? And isn’t this a malicious statement to make to a guy who has expressed his disdain of the organization and what it stands for a dozen times?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            I can not be more clearer than what I have said. My statement is straight forward, and I really mean it until I am proved wrong. Check my response to him posted few minutes ago if it helps. If one support the exclusive document, and does not mind the echo of grievances, I can’t help it, but to say it as it sound the spirit of the approach. Sorry if it irritates you and sometime it has to be said point blank.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Emma:

            You can’t even listen to the “grievance” of a person corresponding with you on offensive things you say… how are you supposed to be an advocate for listening to grievance of others?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Aya AdiU,

            We can not debate on Mahmuday, we can only debate on issues. You have offered your advice and thanks for that. I know what he is doing as he knows what I am doing. Our responses are mutual to each other. You could leave it for us.

            Regards

          • saay7

            Emma Arkey:

            Not frustrated at all. I am just being helpful to you because you lament the lack of trust in the Eritrean opposition as its Achilles heels and I am giving you an example of how you are contributing to that which you complain of, and you are saying this is me I won’t change, take it or leave it.

            So by your own definition you have become the avatar for all that ails the opposition.

            Saay

          • ghezaehagos

            Hayat,

            Your lessons are so useless to me;-)

            Instead of unnecessary ‘Kolel-Melel’, why don’t you
            just give us an example of your kind of constitution from experience of constitution
            where governments are “not or
            should not be party to that contract they are assigned to guard” while at the
            same time admitting they can be part of the constitutional making process? Just
            give us some archetypes from modern constitutions, and put this debate to rest!
            France? Sudanese? Iraq? Indian?
            Ethiopian?

            It is cute to say this
            or that; but without giving us practical examples, it remains wishful thinking,
            hallow ( ‘halowlow’) and to repeat useless.

            Emma Hidrat:- Really,
            this makes sense to you! Even in future Eritrea, don’t think the care-taker,
            transitional government that we hope to replace the Isaias regime would play a
            significant role in shaping the constitution, in terms of setting up the
            commission, its mandate, its charter and core principles..? I am talking the practical application of the social contract in modern political systems; with EXAMPLES please

            Thanks,

            Ghezae

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ghezae,

            First, with all my respect to you, allow me disagree. Let’s agree to disagree where ever our conscience dictates us to do so. The issue is the constitution of 1997. You are debating on its legality. I am debating on the premises that it is still a “political document” that hasn’t found a practical legal status. If you don’t agree with it, we can debate, and I have no problem to so.

            second, once the transitional government is formed, it is a government of the people, and has certain mandates, to represent the the new nation in the international communities, to form transitional institutions to function as state for the transitional period, to form a commission to draft a national constitution and others. The commission should be formed from the existing political organizations, independent political experts, legal experts, economic experts, historians, enlightened religious scholars to reflect the heterogeneity of our culture. Now the transitional government once represented by its party one of the many parties, they will be limited and consigned to other transitional institutions and governmental duties and takes the neutral mode. In such scenario the government as “institutional body” is not part of the constitutional process though it is delegated by its party. The commission as independent body, will draft a constitutional document that will be a covenant or “social contract” between the political parties, between the people and the political parties. The document will take its legitimacy (a) by the participation of the populace in the national debate to add and to subtract if possible (b) by the process of ratification through legitimate elected assembly or parliament. From that onward, the government is created and formed through competitive elections based on the election laws and constitutional clauses pertinent to it. The 1997 constitutional document wasn’t born through that process.

            Contrary to the above process, the constitutional process was done to serve PFDJ and its boss, and was ratified by 150 so called MP or assembly made up of 75 members of the central committee and 75 hand picked party affiliated individuals as oppose by representatives of our people. Ghezae, are you telling me this is a legal process by which a social contract are made? Pls, since a constitution is a political document, before it becomes a social contract. Lawyers can have upper hand only when it becomes a political social contract, ratified by representatives of our people, and became the supreme law of the lad. In its process (since the constitutional process is a political process) we all are equal to debate politically. After the document is not a unifying agent to the Eritrean people.

            regards

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Emma,

            Of course, my respect for you and your unfailing support for me is something I always cherish.

            That is why I don’t want to debate with you head on 🙂

            Anyways, the constitutional making process you mentioned is so ideal; so pristine and it is ‘out of this world’ to use Hayat’s words.

            Whenever you and Sal debate on ‘democratic coup’ etc, I always scratch what is these guys talk about. I enjoy scholarly debates; but somehow, I bartered rhetoric for activism. Practicality weighs heavy for me.

            Point: I would like to see any constitutions that the government is not party to? I am talking about practical examples. If you ask me, I hardly think that is possible. Transitional governments always will be part of it to varying degree. The landmark principles will still be central to the process; be it federalism/ decentralized unitary; parliamentary vs. presidential. The unchanging ones are the bill of rights. It is the nature of the beast! The only thing one can say is to hope to have enlightened leadership that views the constitution as the most honored document and to have an engaged citizenry willing to protect the constitution with its life and limbs.

            Thanks,
            Ghezae

          • Abraham H.

            Hi Hayat, “A party to a contract cannot be allowed the power of ruling. The contract itself binds it to stand down. Besides, governments are formed based on the social contract itself.”. I wonder what you’re trying to say with these confused and mutually contasting statements. Allow me to call you ‘m’niya kolel’.
            -A govt is INDEED a party to a social contract-the Constituion and is bound to respect the trust bestowed upon it by the people
            -“A party to a contract cannot be allowed the power of ruling.”. Of course, it is allowed to rule, as far as it is elected legally and has got the mandate to rule by the people.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Abraham,
            With all due respect, there is any kolel from side. If you remember, some comments earlier I tried to tell you my favored descriptions of a democratic constitution. Even-though we agreed to call it a social contract because of its horizontal nature, it is not a transactional contract. It is rather more of a framework for all other transactional contracts. It is an enabling law, sort of a mother space within which all social, political and legal transactions are governed. Governments get their power only from a vote transaction which has a start and expiration time.
            Sorry for the late rejoinder..

          • MS

            Selam Hayat
            Let me make it easier for you. Modern Ethiopia has at least had many constitutions. The guiding principle of the last one was ethnic federalism. Therefore, the preamble would focus on peaceful co-existence, social (ethnic) harmony, self-determination…”…which our struggles and sacrifices have brought about..”
            Eritrea was born out of a long war..and it was supposed to be the founding constitution. It’s only natural to refer to why Eritrea was declaring an independent path and a constitution that would serve as the basis of the laws governing the new nation. It’s a commonly practiced template. Read any preamble and it will say something unique about the history of that nation, why the constitution was needed and what the fundamental principles were…
            Now, it may be awkward for you but believe me most Eritrean opposition organizations don’t cross this line, and I can confidently predict that a similar preamble will appear in any constitution that may come in the future if it is written by Eritreans.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday,
            I understand differences coming from different realities and histories. It is to be expected. I never even claimed the Ethiopian constitution is the best they can get for them. I am not advocating on Eritrea to copy from Ethiopia. I AM NOT SAYING ANYTHING ABOUT THE ETHIOPIAN CONSTITUTION! YOU ARE. GEZHAEE IS.
            Eek!

          • MS

            Dear Hayat
            If it is clear to you that constitutions different in their driving motives and in the futuristic ideals they inspire to achieve, why does that fact escapes you when it comes to ERITREA? EEEEEEKKK Hayat the greatista.
            Pls: Well, the Ethiopian constitution comes handy to make it easy for you to understand where we are coming from.

          • Hayat Adem

            Mahmuday,
            It never escaped me. That is why I am saying what I am saying. My central point is the 1997 doc doesn’t represent the Eritrean history, reality or aspiration. It only fits IA and his coalition of the willing. I am arguing, it is useless of and about itself. If you want to compare it with the Ethiopian constitutional making or any other one you know close enough, it is fine. But don’t ask me first about the standard similarity, then about the justifiable differences. Then I can can come in and add my impressions. But what you are doing is funny… you say like “what about the Ethiopian constitution?” and then “Ethiopia and Eritrea have different realities and experiences” The only thing I would ask you is, do you believe Ethiopia has a good working constitution? And yes or now will do it.

          • Graviton

            Peace new?

            They preach for objectivity and free flow of thought. At the same time, you will be advised that there are lines that can’t be crossed. Lines mark the end to something, or the beginning of another, or perhaps, the intersection of the two. Hayat flirts with these lines, much to their irritation to the point that they gang-up on her. I have seen how some folks (notable in this forum) get tactical just to get rid her of this place.

            YG is on a different dimension. His level of abstraction and logical discourse while maintaining consistency is thought provoking. You can call his articles “theoretical frameworks” to the melodrama entangling Eritrea today. But all he got was the sell out treatment, typical of ghedli zombies.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Graviton,

            We all know the eloquence of YG, but eloquence is not necessarily loaded with substances. Critics is the easiest, one can venture to do it. But the uphill journey on searching solution is more commendable than sharing critics. YG is more of critics than realistic solution researcher. Even some of his critics are baseless and unfounded. What Eritrea needs is not something that divides us but that unite us. Tell me a single issue brought by YG that unite us? YG’ s argument is more divisive than solution.

            Regards

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Aya AdiU (Saay),

          Your last paragraph sounds like the comment of president Trump.Trump morally equated the nazi, the kkk, and the white supremacist’s demonstraters with those who oppose them. And you now, are equating with the criminal regime with the oppositiod.This is uncharacteristic of you. How on earth my friend? There any moral equivalence my dear.

          Regards

      • Ismail AA

        Dear ghezaehagos,

        I am not a lawyer by training but have rudimentary reading about constitutions in the context of my history classes in school, besides reading critique of the constitution in question by some Eritrean professors trained in law, and who found the process of its making fundamentally flawed.

        Now, here is my sincere question: At what point does a constitution assume the status of a contract between a government and the people? What is the difference between a constitution done by the undisputable will of an already installed government that selects members of the body that draft it and empowered to implement it, on the one hand; and on the other, one that is done by a body commissioned and financed by a people’s elected constituent assembly with power to oversee the process, endorse the draft and presents it to people’s plebiscite? Thus, irrespective of the contents and spirit of the clauses which saay7 has cited in his rejoinder to your comments, which answer of these two questions fits the 1997 constitution?

        With many thanks.

      • Hayat Adem

        Hi Ghezaee,
        I am aware such expressions do exist in many text books of the old constitutional schools. It is a total misconception though. Some of it is drawn from the covenant concept where God or Allah wrote His own rule for the people that governs the relationship of the two. The modern man’s notion has evolved a lot. Yes, the constitution can be referred as a social contract in so far as to say as a binding law among citizens and groups. But the government is not a social entity. It is an assigned entity. Parties to the social contract continue to live while governments change.
        I am saying all these despite suspecting that you are a trained lawyer.

        • saay7

          Hey Hayat:

          Interesting observation about the origin of covenants. The preeminent source of the definitions of constitutions is Aristotle and he doesn’t define constitution as a covenant (because he hadn’t heard of the Old Testament:) but a structure on governance. That is: a framework within which all future legislation must fit.

          Constitutions (for States and organizations), bylaws, charters are supposed to be the supreme law. And a law is that which defines and set limits on what all parties–including the government and all its branches–are allowed to do and prevented from doing.

          In practical terms, most of the articles of a constitution are really something that are intra-government and government-organization dialogues. The only one that truly matters for the average individual (particularly in pre-literal societies like Eritrea) is the equivalent of the Bill of Rights.

          saay

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Hayat, Ismail, Paulos, Abraham, AH and others.

            I may not be able to address all or even few of the issues you raised. I hope to touch upon some.

            1. There are varying schools of thought on constitutions; but for the purposes of our discussion, how about we use the classic or text-book definitions of constitutions? The history of constitution, the relationship between the governed and the governing polity, dates back from the Greek city states. In Modern systems, well-functioning constitutions are considered the main features of democracies. Written constitution basically confer and limit powers to the governing authority while at the same guarantee the bill of rights and freedoms for the citizenry.

            2. When we say constitution is a social contract between the governing and the governed, we mean of any future governments and both are bound by the provisions and terms of the constitution. The governing authority will govern according to the constitution and honor the rights of the citizens and will hold elections according the terms set in the document. Constitution is a politico-legal document (AH). All laws of the land derive their mandate from the constitution as it is the highest law in the land. Matters arising from it are seen by the supreme court which has the sole jurisdiction of interpreting the constitution.

            3. Now, that is the ideal; but in reality, unless the governing authority is truly democratic, constitution can’t save a nation; it may amount to nothing. Heck, Stalin has a constitution; Mengistu had another one 1987 along with sham election effectively changing from Dergue to HDRIE.

            4. But one thing at a time; in our case, the leader doesn’t even want to implement the one that he agreed too. Without political will, there is little we can do. Only point out to the fact that as per the agreement, he should have implemented it and abide by it. If he did, we would then also talk of its violations, by raising specific provisions to hold him accountable. Since he threw it away, we use it against him and as one of the myriad reasons to justify our struggle saying we don’t even have a governing constitution for more than 20 years.

            Thanks,
            Ghezae Hagos.
            NB:- Hayat, I studied law but I am not a practicing lawyer.

          • Saleh Johar

            Sorry Ghezae, I had to come back

            I am sure the following (from your comment) was not in jest,. I agree with it fully and that should be one of the guiding points about the “thingy”.

            “3. Now, that is the ideal; but in reality, unless the governing authority is truly democratic, constitution can’t save a nation; it may amount to nothing. Heck, Stalin has a constitution; Mengistu had another one 1987 along with sham election effectively changing from Dergue to HDRIE.”

            That is enough for me, from you,…. THANKS

          • saay7

            Hey Ghezae:

            So building on your two points that (a) a constituency is a politico-legal document and (b) Isaias Afwerki, who spends half his time lecturing the world on the rule of law (rule of international law, that is), is not abiding by the terms he agreed on. So what is the politico-legal strategy to pursue?

            It seems to me it is to say that it is not up to Isaias Afwerki to unilaterally abrogate a constitution. But to do that, we have to create a wedge between Isaias Afwerki and those who believed in the constitution at some point. This includes the members of the constituent assembly, the National Assembly, those who were part of the constitutional drafting process in any capacity, those who leaned it in workshops, those who call on its implementation every time they issue a report (UN, US state dept, UN, and all those who use its articles to call for civil liberties: CPJ, RSF, AI….)

            Think of it: a lot of our arguments are based on UN Universal Declaration of human rights. Did we write it? No. Do we even like many of the people who wrote it? No. Do we all agree with the very expansive list of rights enumerated there? Not at all. Still we call for it. But we have this huge psychological barrier that prevents us from using a ready-made tool because of who made the tool.

            saay

          • ghezaehagos

            Sal,

            Pitch perfect!

            The young and disillusioned to borrow your term, is so incensed by every thing PFDJ, dicards everything associated with it. Ghedli, 24 May, 20 June, flag etc. Shocking pour vous, Ghedli songs:-) It is a disturbing narrative and to some degree as PFDJ victim, I was like that. But we are going to be honest, we handily took this habit from our own established opposition. The young just took it back further to Ghedli.

            I think we need sessions of therapy to help us make peace with our selves and differentiate what of PFDJ can we use and what we need to relegate to history.

            Yours,

            Ghezae

          • MS

            Dear gezaehagos
            Thank you for the great comments. I have benefited from your educational comments.

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam MS,
            I basically repeated what Sal was writing. He is the educational one. I am a faithful pupil.
            With due respect and admiration to many colleagues, the two mentors for MOI are Saleh Younis and Amanuel Eyasu. Flaws and missteps aside, I find their inputs so precise and mainstream.
            Thanks,
            Ghezae

          • MS

            Ahlan Saleh
            “Still we call for it. But we have this huge psychological barrier that prevents us from using a ready-made tool because of who made the tool.”
            Great point. You know what that psychological barrier is and as long as the political theater is monopolized by the cadres who are afflicted by that psychological barrier (PFDJ and the opposition) there is no meaningful progress. THat’s why I have put my hope on the young generation, particularly those who are relatively free of the divisive politics of the past. Jump in it before it is too late. It is Ye agher Tri.

          • saay7

            MaHmuday:

            Ha! Ya agher Tri? Aysemam belat 🙂

            I believe there is a contradiction in you placing your hope on the young generation and simultaneously inviting me (an old man by young generation definition) to jump in. Unless you meant limp in.

            Oh my back, on my neck, goney kulitey…

            saay

          • blink

            Dear saay
            You are still young , I saw you running and you look as you are cheating the aging process by not paying your due according to your age. Pls Write an article that revokes all these YG and AS madnesses.

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Mahmoud Pasha,
            I was just wondering, what are the description of a “cadre” in the current struggle? Would you say they have any different qualification than many people in different platforms? If you compared the qualifiers for one to be considered a cadre, what would make , say, Emma or you, or anyone else different than the cadre you have in mind? Would you by any chance have some residual psychological barriers or it is others only who are inflicted by it?

            I think I have read a few such comments from you and I would like to understand it a little more. At least that gets us away from Isas’ wrapping paper 🙂

          • MS

            Ahlan AbusalaH AlmuHtaram
            I thank you for asking before bombing me with your “ahsaghre”; Ashaghre was named after the Ethiopian diplomat, Ashagre Yigletu, who was negotiating with the EPLF in the late eighties of the last century. It was a BM24 multiple rocket launcher (240mm). They used a lot of it as the battle approached Asmara and many tegadelti would have their skull open because of the pressure it created upon exploding. Please take the above as a softening Hikya….nothing bad intended.
            Ya Abu saleh btamen batamen (Amharic), I have great respect for veterans of Eritrea. I respect you guys, believe it or not.
            Cadre: you know the general definition of cadre, and I don’t want to google it because you have forbidden us from googling…hahaha… [The reason why google has become the search engine it is because it has been googled by billions]. Anyway, that’s a diufferent take. Cadre…there was a song in the field, and went something like this” m’n eyu kadr //nhafash zegelgl//…There are cadres in all fields, agriculture, medicine, politics… but I’m talking about the political elite of the opposition and PFDJ…those skilled dancers of Hashewye…..who are negotisating…making decisions on our behalf…..
            My intention was those elite few who are at the helm of decision-making, those few who are more likely to advance their organizational interests more than the common good. They could leaders of the organization and the government, and individuals who are closely associated with them for narrow partisan gains….The cadre I’m talking about have EPLF and ELF background, and there are also folks who have neither of the organizations’ background, but they are NOW at the decision making rung.
            You, Amanuel, IsmailAA, kOkebay…are crying helplessly for a solution. Great Eritreans like SAAy and all those who don’t consider themselves as “veterans” are also crying for a breakthrough. I’m crying for a solution too. We are together in this regard. Therefore, I don’t mean it to include you and the folks I interact with. Abusalah, if I have a bad feeling about you, I will talk to you about it. I will do the same with the rest. Saleh Younis brought the psychological barrier, and I believe he the suspicions prevailing among the leaders which some times take a historical turn such as those suspicions born out of our ghedli-era experience (EPLF/ELF), sometimes, they take regional orientations; and at other times religious and ethnic forms. These are perceptions that are hindering the leaders and their cadres from coming together. And my observation is such that as long as these lingering bad feelings keep creeping up in the decision-making process of those leaders, we won’t be able to reach a conclusion that the majority of us consider a success. That’s why I’m more than ever inclined to believe that the young generation should shoulder its responsibility because if the past is any guide, it’s unlikely that the leaders of the opposition will hit the perfect note that will galvanize Eritreans.
            Ustaz Saleh and the rest, let me be an example. I’m as biased as anyone could be. OK. I think it is helpful that we be aware that to some degree we are all influenced by our past experience. Nothing wrong with it. What is wrong is when we deny this fact and behave as if we are unbiased.
            I know it’s a semi-Hateta, and my double shot espresso has ended, have a nice night and don’t read too much in Mahmuday’s blabbers.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            While we are debating on the flaw of its process and its provisions straight forward, what has to do with our psychological make up? There is no worth debating than debating on the merits and demerits of a document that decides the fate of our population? Could it be our psychological barrier that made us to be exclusive and govern by decree?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Gezae,

            At least you answered my question. You have said, it is a “politico-legal document.” Okay then. Your answer still invites for more questions. Is there at any specific stage that we call it a political document before it becomes a binding contract of politico-legal document? Why is a constitution a political and a legal document? Is the constitutional process a political process? When you answer those questions we will evaluate the 1997 constitutional process and the document itself. By now you should have a hint why I am asking those questions.

            Thank you ahead
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Saay,
            Yes to all, yes to your last para as well. Also, don’t forget the group entities whose constitutional demand goes beyond the Bill of Rights.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi Hayat,

            “…Also, don’t forget the group entities whose constitutional demand goes beyond the Bill of Rights”

            This time (at least for me) you are right. The supporters of the 1997 Constitution (especially SAAY and Ghezae) are emphasizing the good things it carries while ignoring the vital things it omits.

            The opposition that do not like the constitution have already discarded it but they never forbid (they are not in a position to do so) the opposition that supports it, to use it against Issayas and show some degree of success.
            They (supporter of the 1997 constitution) are simply using it to score points against the other opposition from which they get ZERO benefit.

            Regards,

          • saay7

            Selam Haile Zeru:

            It’s true: the opposition that doesn’t support the 1997 constitution hasn’t forbidden those who do from supporting it. They have only accused them of being uncaring, insensitive and unprincipled. Noticed the special pride Ali Salim felt when his org, ELL, rejected the offer by human rights groups to lend its name to it.

            Broadly speaking, a part of the opposition considers the ruling party illegitimate and, therefore, nothing it produced is worthy of recognition. The other party recognizes the government as legitimate but illegal. In a world full of dictators, kings and Emirs, and in the part of our world dominated by rulers who assumed power by shooting their way there, arguments about legitimacy are I’ll fall on deaf ears. But arguments about the law: it is a lose-lose for the PFDJ: it loses if it refuses to implement and it refuses if it agrees to implement.

            I hear your arguments that the constitution doesn’t recognize group rights. But if it recognizes freedom of assembly, and people can assemble into their favorite groups, how is it not recognizing them?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Saay, Saay, Saay,

            Sorry to follow you after every comments you penned them down. You know why? Now, the more I read the constitution, the more it worries me it’s spirit than it’s content. If the sponsoring org for the constitution and its commission were really for freedom to assemble, why didn’t they allow in the process for those who are already assembled groups?

            Second, you know all parties are organizations, but all organizations are not parties. The document gives citizen the right to organize. But if the sponsoring org barred from participating in the process to the already organized groups, not only the spirit of the documents is exclusive, but also the document hints, if it allowed of any sort of semblance, they will be a controlled entities by the dominant org that had full control of the process and the outcome of the process. Have you ever checked the spirit of the document by reading the clauses and articles?

          • saay7

            Emma:

            Really? The spirit?

            So I called up the captain:
            “Please bring me my wine!”
            He said:
            “We haven’t had that spirit,
            Since 1969!”
            – “Hotel California” by The Eagles

            To complicate things, wine is not a spirit. And why Hotel California and not California Hotel?

            My point? I don’t like the spirit of your questions 🙂 I am a simple man, ask Ghezae. He got you to concede something you wouldn’t to me: parts of the constitution, it’s bill of rights, are tactically wise to cite in our struggle to defeat Isaiasism. Or don’t you remember?

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Speaking on conceding: May be you didn’t notice them but there are many silent elements we concede each other. On the constitution, Ghezea came with a valid argument on the Bill of rights as a tool in fighting on the international stage; and I concede only for that purpose as a tactic , as long as he did not push his argument to make the document social contract to start with in the foreseeable future.

            Saay, I really love to debate with you in an article or essay format like we did on a “democratic coup,” because your argument always generates contrarian views that are good for debate. For instance three of my articles are generated either from your comments in this form or from your regular column “Alnahda.” I Value your thoughts not only on their merits but also as a force of knowledge that creates contrarian view of the opposites. And you know the law of opposites and it’s resultant vector.

            Regards

          • Haile Zeru

            Your frustration or anger against ELL is misdirected.
            Just take few seconds of silence and riflect on it. I am sure you will realize whatever ELL says or does at the moment will not move you an inch back or forward.
            I will put my riflections on the rest of your message later. Just time constraint.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            You listed lots of rights that the Constitution of 1997 recognizes. Is that all? Are there other rights that are not recognized?
            And how did the members of the commission came about listing all those rights? Did they consult the Eritrean people and set the Constitutional priorities accordingly?
            Or they conformed the Constitution as those of other nations and that should satisfy Eritreans too?
            To add further questions pretty soon the PFDJ is going to sell potash from Dankalia. Is there in the Constitutione any article that gives the Afar some benefit from the bounty of their land? Same question for Bisha. Did the natives of the area get anything? Is there any article that helps them get something out of the gold that is being taken from their land?
            I am sure you got my point.
            But please do not tell me money that goes to the pocket of individuals. I am asking about communities.
            And the questions go on…
            One more clarification I am Citing things that developed later, after the Constitution was drafted. But these things were forseeable.
            The above questions are valid for all resources. Food, minerals, livestock etc…
            I am sure you are better at generalizing and finding all encompassing statement that could be included in the Constitutione that gives some benefit to the Eritrean communities.
            This 1997 Constitutione is set in a way that serves dictators. So that they plunder the wealth of a nation, enrich these lives and make wars. Now it is Issayas tomorrow someone else. He (I doubt it could be a she) has the tools in this Constitution.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Haile Zeru,

            I can learn from your in puts how deep your grasp about a constitution is and what its spirit and constent ought to address in the life of a nation and its citizens. The calls in this forum for the endorsement and implemention of the constiturion in question seems to rest on its tactical value as an expediency as rallying tool for the opposition and appeal to international audiences. There seems to be less attention to what the long term effect the omissions and flaws would have on the interest of the left outs and marginalized, as you have rightly cited as examples.

            All considered, thus, the fate of the disadvantaged would have to await what the future will have in store for them, depending on the authority that will take over control after this constitution would succeeded to serve the purpose.

            The million dollar question would then be: Shall the current ruling party be left to implement this constitution with all the known and intrinsic flaws or shall a new governing authority will be entrusted to decide the fate of the constitution. The disadvantaged would consider whether it would be cheaper to take the risk and accept this constitution or search an alternative mechanisms that would unite the nation against the regime and open opportunity to the nation to come up with a new government and constitution that would not repeat the flaws and omission in the current one.

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi Ismael

            Thank you Ismail for the nice words. It is actually me, who is doing the learning from you. Your inquisitive mind, education (History) and expertise in Eritrean struggle are valuable assets that Eritrea would benefit if the reality permits.
            I am old enough to know many things but am not a constitutional expert or legal expert. I am simply an engineer.

          • saay7

            Selam Haile Zeru:

            After the time out you gave me I was expecting something with more substance to it…your turn to pause and think. And I will come up with my reply that will address this and your former post.

            saay

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Al-Ustaz Saleh,

            What is the most important to the Eritrean People at present? Is it uniting them the most important or presenting the illegal constitution to UN and the West?

            Do you know, Al-Ustaz Saleh, what made the Eritrean people struggle together in the past? It is some of the articles written down in the 1952 constitution.

            At present the Eritrean people are failed to struggle together. Do you know the reason, Ustaz Saleh?

            It is the 1997 constitution. This constitution has no articles that unite the people of Eritrea to fight together against the dictator. There are entities in the opposition who are beneficiaries from PFDJ constitution; therefore, they defend it with all their might. For the pro-PFDJ constitution and Isaias the others are not shareholders; they are mere followers. They have just to obey and respect what the Big Boys, the power holders, prescribe. The 1997 constitution is a constitution that divides the people of Eritrea.

            Al-Arabi

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi SAAY,

            Sorry for disappointing you. I thought that was a one billion dollar question. All the potash for the next 30/40 years that GOE will gain with the Afar in refugee camps in Ethiopia!!!. That should make you jump to look the details of the constitution and point straight to my noise the article that could stop PFDJ right in its tracks..

            Regards,

            P.S. OK I will pause and think. No need to be vindictive though…. just kidding.

          • saay7

            Selamat Haile:

            What you mentioned goes to the core of the constitution, and its something we have discussed ad nauseum here and it’s in reference to Article 1.5:

            Eritrea is a unitary State divided into units of local government. The powers and duties of these units shall be determined by law.

            When you have a small country, with diverse population, people can have honest disagreements on whether Eritrea should be a unitary state or a federated state. I really would be curious to know how many of those who boycotted the discussions when the constitution was drafted and discussed, or those who participated and raised questions actually spent any time discussing this issue.

            The question is, in the absence of a federal system, can you have a unitary system that would provide the local governments maximum autonomy in laws it drafts subsequent to the constitution? The answer is: Absolutely. The follow-up question is based on what we know about the EPLF and PFDJ, did we have any reason to believe that we can have a decentralized unitary state? The answer, again, is absolutely yes. How and why?

            The document that was produced just before the constitution was the PFDJ National Charter. And what does it say on this subject? It says:

            To ensure that the political system is founded on people, guarantees the participation of people in decisions on local and national affairs, is
            built from the grass-roots, operates on the principles of decentralization, political plurality, openness, tolerance and accountability, respects basic rights to political organization and freedom of expression and is a democratic, pluralist and participatory system.

            In short, even if one assumes that the constitution was “dictated” by the PFDJ, there was nothing in the PFDJ charter that would make one doubt that the direction was a unitary but decentralized system. Quite the opposite. The fact that Isaias Afwerki conducted a coup and not only killed the constitution but is also disregarding the principles set out in the national charter should not make the constitution itself suspect.

            As for individual rights vs group rights, these are concepts that were entertained MUCH LATER by most African countries…and there isn’t a consensus that emphasis on “group rights” should be part of a constitution as opposed to laws. For example, let’s say there is a wide disparity between the social services provided in Semhar and Denkalia vs Hamassien and Seraye. At the constitutional level, what is required is commitment to equality and social justice. The corrective measures that should be taken to ensure that more resources are devoted to Denkalia and Semhar can be at an administrative (statute) level.

            So, to summarize, to ensure that gold in Bisha and potash in Denkalia benefits marginzalized societies, the solution is not only “federalism”. It can be a decentralized, unitary state with commitment to equality and social justice.

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            BTW, have you read the latest how Nevsun is saying bye bye to bisha by 2021 (in four years). All Nevsun did was, agreed to 60 / 40 part ownership of the mine company….asked the Eritrean government to pay millions of dollars for the share company and the Eritrean government didn’t have money so, it agreed to forfiet it’s share of revenue and pay Bisha instead…. Now this make sense if the operation is for ever, but not with limited amount of Gold in the groud. So Bisha exagrated the mine life time (gold in first 3 years, copper for 10 years, and Zinc for another 15 years), something like over 20 years life span. If it closes operation by 2021, it’s less than 10 years..

            With the money it collected on Bisha (the only operation the company had), it paid millions and bought another operation in Serbia.

            Why? Because the Eritrean government are stupid…

            Instead of buying the ownership / shares of Nevsun, grantee them regardless what happened in Bisha, they will be holding a bag of “Bisha share company” while Nevsun took all gold.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Hi Berhe Y:

            Yeah, I tweeted about it. You should follow me @saayounis.

            To quote Serray for the umpteenth time: the PFDJ has the reverse Midas-touch: everything PFDJ touches turns to ashes

            Nevsun:

            * Declared, oops: the Bisha Mine reserve will run out in 2021 and not 2025; (this is their second “oops”: their first, a subject to a class action suit, was their “miscalculation” ie overestimation of the gold reserves)
            * recorded massive losses for the quarter that just ended
            * their dictator-praising CEO took his golden parachute and stuck some fenj regach in his position

            It’s the curse of the conscripted Eritrean laborer.

            Basically, if you bought their share in 2011* when they began extracting minerals, you would have lost half your investment.

            Saay

            * by the way have you noticed that none of the self-praising “patriots” ever put their money where their mouth is?

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            How can I keep up with you. Once in a while I see you have another world of your own on FB, discussing lots of things.

            I limit myself to AT / and AT forum..that’s enough for me.

            As far as the share holders, I think most of them done well. Because the company had good dividend payout for the past 5 or so years..so most of them probably collected their money. You know the executives real incentive to making money is the number of shares they were given as bonus so that’s how they were paying themselves from the loot.

            Nevsun got a whole new operation out of the money it made on Bisha. When it owned only Bisha the company was in debt, it had no more than 20 million dollars cash, everything was borrowed to build the mine. It paid all debt and with the cash it accumulated it purchased another mine.

            I think the share holders did quite well in my opinion and they will continue to do well when the other operation become live.

            How much money did the Eritrean government got out of Bisha?

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Hey Berhe:

            Dividends? I think it was paying 2 to 3 cents per share so unless you are a big time institutional investor you were getting a check for 150 dollars every quarter. And if you bought the share at its peak when Nevsun was giving rosy forecasts ($5 per share) and it is now in the $2.10 per share territory, the dividends barely made up for your loss. What am I getting wrong.

            Your analysis on how Nevsun leveraged a single discovery (Bisha) to generate enough cash for other mines is a good one. But what where the options the PFDJ had?

            * what it chose to be: a partner in Bisha on the assumption that will yield cash for decades;
            * just be a rent-seeker: get a cut without providing any investment (except of course cheap labor with no transfer of technology;
            * be a partner in Nevsun not a partner in Bisha.

            In a twist of irony PFDJ may join the Eritrean laborers and the shareholders in suing Nevsun.

            saay

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            You are right on the math of dividend. The exec of the company were being given thousands off shares and the stock is mostly owned by institution, and they were the first to get it so they made good money on the dividend and on the rise of the shares. Remember during the economic crisis the stock hit bottom close to 50 cents. Yes you are right to those who bought when it’s high.

            I think the pfdj made a huge mistake trying to be partner on something that has finite value (they should have bought shares of Nevsun ) instead of creating the secondary Bisha share company. Without Bisha, Nevsum means nothing so Nevsun have nothing to lose by giving 40 shares to the ERITREAN government. Basically they were collecting 90 of the revenue at the end of the day.

            The other option the ERITREAN government had was, to buy the shares of nevsun in the open market when it was low. For example they borrowed 60 million from Chinese and gave 30 million to nevsun when they signed the deal towards the building of the mine. They share was less than low at the time may be around a dollar and that would have giving them a lot of shares.

            Off course it’s easy to do this in retrospective, and I am sure they had advisors who gave their advice on this. I suspect, Isayas being Isayas, he wouldn’t want any transaction be on paper and known to the public, so instead he would chose behind the closed door company.

            When he told them to half their operations without any reason for months, they lost a lot of money and it’s about time they played him next time.

            What goes around comes around. I doubt they didn’t know what they were doing with misleading information.

            Berhe

          • saay7

            Selam Berhe:

            I agree with everything you said except the cashing out portion. Nevsun peaked on December 1, 2010 when it was trading at 7-something and it’s been sliding down since then closing today at 2 something. So when where the executives supposed to cash out particularly since most companies place a taboo on executive selling company stock?

            Incidentally, have you noticed that Nevsun describes Bisha Mines as an “indirect subsidiary” in the court filings on the suit filed by the Eritreans. They probably created a holding company just to own (co-own) 60% of Bisha Mines?

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Selam saay7 and Berhe Y.,
            Quite refreshing discussion. Consider me as kindergarden level student of economics and the stuff you have discussed, and allow me to ask a question: Should I understand that the infamous Gisha gold mine has now become as good as an abandoned African Kraal (cattle enclosure)?

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Saay,

            No I didn’t notice that. I don’t know how the legality play out but if they have another company that owned Bisha, then they can just declare buncrapcy to that other company. These guys are really professional robers, what is funny is how the PFDJ brag about, “Shabia shitara”.

            How can not negotiate at least to have a seat in the board of directors, when the entire Nevsun existence depended on Bisha?

            Then they would know what exactly discussed in the board and know very well what the company plan is. In normal country they would have higher able Eritrean Canadians, start a company, higher experts to take them to market and become public company higher expert in the field and operate.

            That’s what the Chinese and others do when they allow others to come to their countries, so does everyone else.

            Nevsun would have gone bunkrupt if it wasn’t for Bisha, now they are a billion dollar company and their share price (down side) because of bad news but probably a good buying opportunity for the professional robbers (investors).

            Berhe

          • Desbele

            Hi Berhe,

            Interesting discussion….and it is good for it mainly is economics/finance. I wish to know more. If you are able please share information that would explain the whole issue …or you may write an analysis. thanks

          • Berhe Y

            Dear Desbele,

            I really do not have much information than what’s publicly available. I read an article titled “Bye Bye Bisha? and that’s what prompted this discussion.

            I was hoping Abrehet Yosief to comment as she has a lot of knowledge in the industry.

            Berhe

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Haile zeru,

            Allow me to address you.

            In spite of dear Ismail’s statement about your knowledge of the Eri-constitution of 1997, I think your points about group rights are flawed. I even doubt if you ever read it in its entirety. I will explain.

            1. Some constitutions are bulky and some are brief. Longest Indian, I think. Or Mexican. Eritrean one is not. In terms of Bill of Rights, it is quite detailed and even it included Art. 29 in case. I will leave for now for you and haw Ismail to read and make your opinion about that provision.

            Point: make what you want of it, but eri-97 one has covered the rights issue. I strongly aver group rights can make strong case under it if 29 is insufficient. If not, as valid constitutional issue, supreme court can entertain them.

            2. You also said rights of communities and groups to minerals should be explicitly included in the constitution. I am not sure what comparative literature can be of help here and please show us if any. I am not so sure if clear language is needed in that respect in the constitution itself. But I am very supportive of the idea of the right of local disadvantaged communities to benefit from resources of their land. I am not sure agaib a constitution or regulations are the right venues. The plight of Eritrean minority groups is too dear to me. My favorite definition of democracy is that it is not rule of majority but protection of minority.

            3. You previously mentioned the supporters of the constitution is merely to score points against the opponents. You couldn’t be wrong. For us, we repeatdely argued in spite of its flaws, it can still be employed as potent weapon to point out the lawlessness of the regime in our advocacy campaigns. It gains more special weight in our diplomatic efforts as in the West a constitution is a well known feature of governments.

            Thanks
            GHEZAE.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear ghezaehagos,

            Your in puts (as man trained on the field) are worthy of attention on my part as a layman on constitutional law as I have aknowledged in one of my rejoinders earlier. My know-how on this field is amateurish and gained from requirement readings that history students are adviced to do.

            But, as citizens worried about the fate of a wounded nation, persons like me do have the burden of striving to be informed about matters that help them understand the causes of the malaise. My understanding of this constitution falls within that premise.

            To slide back to the main issue, my compliment to our dear brother Haile was not meant to exceed the points he had mentioned. Thus, it could not be appraised to a level of testimony of an expert acknowledging Haile’s credentials.

            On the stipulations of Article 29, it could have been designed to deal with (cover) “residual rights” which could be interpreted to address myriad rights that have been cited as “other rights”. It is not clear whether this should also cover group or community rights in the sense Haile has indicated. A layman would conclude that the central addressee in this constitution is the individual (citizen). It can hardly occur in mind there is reference to group or communal rights.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            This document is still a political document in all its essence, it is not transformed in to a legal binding document. So do not stop from making political arguments.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            To fair-minded Eritreans (the enlightened especially), who venture to appraise post 1991 politics in our country, it is obvious that political affiliation was the standard measure for recognition as citizen entitlement to to rights. Access to these was predicated on whether on could show EPLF issued identification card. Not possessing it was unforgivable hersey during those euphoria years. Those who requested to identify themselves to vote in the referandum for example were not only denied but even abused to the level of social ostracization. Acknowledging revocation of previous political identity continued through all phases including the constitution making process. Thus, it is fair to assert that the legal status of the constitution was very much undermined by the political heavy-handeness the authorities had exercised.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Ismailo,

            Who in his right mind, for An organization that asked us to dissolve our organizational identity and told us to come as individual citizen, will ever think that EPLF was/is for political pluralism? How does a constitutional process and a constitutional document could be fair and democratic in its content and its spirits ,when the sponsoring organization does not believe on political pluralism? Now for those who will come in defend to the nature of the organization, please don’t come with the articles of their charter or their constitution, judge them by their political practice on the ground.

            Second Ismailo, a document that does not unite the organization itself can not unite the Eritrean people. In fact this document is one of the seeds of mistrust in the opposition camp. In crises only straight talk can give us exit from the Eritrean political chaos. Talk as is, and as it happened, without excuse and ambivalence is way out to our realities.

            Regard
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi Ghezae,

            I am not a constitutional expert or legal expert for that matter. But that does not forbid me from voicing my opinion on the Constitution.

            I will just jump to the main things.

            Here is article 29:
            “Article 29 – Residual Rights The rights enumerated in this Chapter shall not preclude other rights which ensue from the spirit of this Constitution and the principles of a society based on social justice, democracy and the rule of law.”

            This is what it says. Extracting from this the rights (to fair share) of the Kunama, Afar etc.. to their natural resources will be a job for lawyers. Which will be pitted against other lawyers. This is your promise. It seems they are not convinced of that. Check with them if you will, Pls.
            If something can be clarified now why leave it for the Supreme court?

            Look also article 23

            “Article 23 – Right to Property
            3. All land and all natural resources below and above the surface of the territory of Eritrea belongs to the State. The interests citizens shall have in land shall be determined by law.”

            Needless to say your article 29 is sitting against article 23 as far as the rights of communities, ethnic groups etc.. are concerned.

            Your point number 2 is irrelevant to me now.

            Your point number 3. Please put yourself in the shoes of those organization ELL for one. Would you feel comfortable jumping in your Constitutional band wagon? For few years later to say No actually we did not support it?
            If the Constitution is a potent weapon against PFDJ in the eyes of the Western world why can’t you apply it. Without excuses of “they did not come with us”. If you are making a humanitarian case the joining of political organizations should not hinder your effort.

            Sorry that is all I can say for now…. maybe later

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Hailat (HZ),

            Please continue your probing Questions. If there would have been inclusive atmosphere there would have been many political issues that could shape and make it better and satisfactory to all if not the best. Even know questioning on the flaws of it irritates to many because they don’t wanted it inclusive in its nature.(pls Ghezae I am not pointing to you, I am pointing to those who made the charters as a base for drafting the document.)

            Regards

          • Haile WM

            Hi MoqHsi,

            the constitution says a president can be in power for five years, for a 2 terms at most. How is that serves to dictators ?

            P.S. If i find an oil field in my garden back in asmara is it authomatically my oil field ? or it belongs to Ghezawitina ? or the entire eritrean people ?

            some things cannot be dealt in a constitution i believe -:)

          • Haile Zeru

            Hi MoKsi,
            Sorry for responding so late.
            The Constitution put to much power at the hand of the president. And despite SAAY assurance detailed in his post below, the indication is that it is more a description of a power at the center.
            All in all individuals like Issayas (character wise) can easily derail it.

            2) The answer to your second question is simply NO.
            You do not own the resources under “your” pavement. Because the pavement is not yours. You are a user but not the owner. Please read article 23 of the Constitution.

            Regards

        • Abraham H.

          Dear Hayat, the changing governments draw their powers by way of the Constitution, and together with the people, they ensure the articles of the covenant are followed through, but a Constitution cannot survive without the presence of governments. Chaos and anarchy entails in that case.

          • Ismail AA

            Selam Abreham,
            IT’S

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Ismail, thanks for the reply; I think the term government could sometimes be confusing, but when I said govt, I was refering to all its branches. That is to say, the Constitution remains not to be more worthy than the paper it is written on, unless the society could form a govt. and institutions that could ensure its implementation.

          • Hayat Adem

            Hi Abraham,
            Sorry for responding late. I agree with what you said here. Governments are necessary. But they should act like an employee – people being the employer. Ideally, the job of the government is to maintain the common good such as security. That is why there is a full consensus to allow the government to monopolize security to protect citizens, defend the constitution, prevent chaos and anarchy.
            When you have the wrong guys in power, they are the very agents of chaos and anarchy. Under such predator governments, no constitution is defended nor citizens are protected. They are the problem.
            Personally, I would never believe even a minimally workable constitutional document can in anyway be written under IA or PFDJ. Their very nature would never allow that. I should be able to say that even without reading the substance of constitution itself. But again, even following the writing process of the 1997 doc or reading the contents it carried inside only confirm that fact.
            There should not be any love lost in a document authored by IA, shelved by IA and discarded by IA. That would imply an assumption as if IA is capable of producing an acceptable constitution and enabling a constitutional system. Is he? If yes, then allowing him some more time to improve on his 1997 doc might as well make some sense. Let’s wait then until he comes up with his promised 2nd attempt, and see what he tables for us. If not, why not!

      • Paulos

        Selamat Ghezae,

        I would say it would help us understand the genius of Constitution if we place it in a historical context as to why was it imperative to “invent” it in the first place when classical thinkers debated about the human nature if the animal instinct should be tamed by Leviathan or should be left unfettered but checked by giving up certain rights for the Common Good (read: Social Contract).

      • Nitricc

        Hi Ghezae; Long time. I have always thought that since governments are oppressive by their very nature and I thought any ” Constitution is not neutral”. “It was designed to take the government off the backs of people. I guess what I am asking is that to be a contract, does it have to be a neutral?

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Niricc,

          Good question. Sometimes you surprise me. Constitution as “Social contract” and by virtue of the agreements of the parties in to a contract, it takes the neutral mode.

        • Paulos

          Nitrikay,

          That sure is interesting point to ponder. The proponents of Free Will or Innate Freedom had to deal with the contradictions of recognizing the role of the State as the latter imposes its power on the freedom of the individual. For instance, in a bid to resolve the contradiction, this is what Immanuel Kant had to say, “Every rational being had both an innate right to freedom and a duty to enter into civil condition governed by a social contract in order to realize and preserve that freedom.” You can clearly see Kant still had to struggle with the contradiction between Freedom and the need to curtail the freedom for the Common Good as the State is mandated to uphold the latter. We discussed about this at Awate U. a while back where the most successful nations are the ones who are able to balance the two where Denmark comes to mind.

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Ghezae Hagos,
        .
        In your response to Hayat, you asked a very good question, a question that deserves a good answer.
        .
        Your question was “Shall I believe you or the professors?”
        .
        In my humble opinion, you should believe Hayat.
        The only professors exempt from this sure bet is if the professors are professors of Natural Sciences. Even then I will do it cautiously.
        .
        Mr. K.H

        • Hayat Adem

          Hi Kim,
          That is so generous of you to say that. I wanted to say too heavy to shoulder it for me but then I thought it is all about the level of confidence not the substance itself. That coming from you is a real treasure of trust I should always be be careful about keeping and living such level of confidence from no nonsense people like you.

  • blink

    Dear
    The word compromise in the Eritreans context doesn’t exist and that ,it has been like that for a long period of time, I mean people are ready to die for their principles rather than to cross one inch to meet their future colleagues? Where do we have such cultural heritage, well not long ago ELF and EPLF sorted out their differences by killing honest Eritreans for their own purpose. Do we have such people in the opposition yes by 1000ds , Even some of them are ready to snatch their opponents throats, the difference is they don’t own guns as it was in the 1970th.
    It is a taboo to give in ,infact some people feel better to even make their own stories and run with it just in order to meet their beliefs. Sad but true, this has been going on for years.
    We’ve added a lot of new vocabulary to the cultural lexicon for what boils down to this: Our leaders in the opposition routinely and repeatedly fail to work together and compromise to solve problems for which they are simply not listening to the people.

    Not only do we have to watch our people die and reputation of our people’s decency suffer the consequences of the continuing stalemate, we also have to listen to a bipartisan litany of excuses from our caring elders . Sad but true.

    And leaderships intransigent ways aren’t winning them any popularity contests. The Eritreans people’s confidence in ablity of compromise in particular and regard for beltway politics in general is at a record low, that is why we have Agazians , bejatians …. the list goes on to unbelievable level. On top of this our people are suffering a public cancerous leadership at home .
    To the surprise of such people, the resounding negative imagery of a deeply-polarized political views of such Lowlands and highlanders of Eritreans is highly questionable. I mean who are these people representing?? They have been hammering a linearly oriented organizations for years .

  • Haile WM

    Selamat Mr Ali,

    I sometimes wonder about you and your articles… from the Bejastan to this… you say:

    ” Do you ask yourselves why is it that nine out of ten deniers of the
    crimes against lowlanders must be a highlander – Christian or Muslim
    alike? Is this part of the game? How does sympathy with the self-made
    catastrophes of the Tigrigna and their regime help the cause of
    lowlanders?”

    ok let me try to read it once again ( as done for the entire article)… hmmm

    now equations at hand highlanders made, pardon, self-made the catastrophes, this implies the tigrigna (read the above) both the Christians and Muslims. are the jeberti (who happen to be tigrigna and highlanders) the sahos part of the highland inclusion ?
    I am really puzzeled… how do you define Higlanders ? in highschool we used to classify Qola dega and weynadega as to different segment of the land altitude… now i wonder the affiliation of the weynadega (as land in between highland and lowland) lies somewhere half, are they are part of the regime or are the victims too? one might argue (using your logics) depending who is accusing them… from up high of the highlands they are the subjects to be victimized and from down of lowlands they are the abusers… wiredi imo kitiwaredi iki iya timesil za guday 🙂

    but but there is another part of your article which is even more astounding…

    “I know thousands died in Sinai, Libya and the Mediterranean. We all feel
    bad and wish we had a better refugee regime in Europe and elsewhere.
    But how is that related to Eritrean ethnic politics? How does that
    equate to deliberate targeting of the Tigrigna by the PFDJ?”

    this one is the real masterpiece. Do you really think it’s only the tigrigna who are crossing the desert ? i can give you details of how many tigre bilen and even Nara made their way up to scandinavia the last 3-4 years (their numers might surprise you) … PFDJ does not target Tigrgna it targets everyone but hey… they don’t own the boats as you put it… the tigrigna are looking only for IPads and better money while the lowlanders… that’s all isn’t it ? nice try

    I will wait eagerly for your next master piece… Bejastan was more intriguing than this one.

    • Yosief Tewolde

      I couldn’t say it better.

    • KBT

      Selamat
      You can switching the way you want my friend ,it s the same evil thinking that cry democracy
      But if it succeed god forbid this is the kind of people that Eritrean have to deal with
      They have no evidence for their claims it keep pointing the finger ,their wish is to see a fail state Eritrea divided between Muslim and Christian or Highlander and lowlander as they say it anyway they fail miserably the people of Eritrea rejected them like a trash
      They knocked all western door ,begging their help by all mean even to use force if needed nada
      So the only think left is to try act like good educated smart so they write about their miserable and failed life of course the fault ISSAYS AFEWORQI MAY GOD BLESS HIS NAME our good father ,funny as he called them HASHAWIEEE ( fithi deleyti suree itequ mejemrta )

      • Hameed Al-Arabi

        Salam KBT,

        I think we have taught you the meaning of freedom and how to buckle your trousers. You seem to have forgotten that. If you don’t know that consult you master, Isaias.

        Al-Arabi

      • Haile WM

        Selam KBT,

        the fact that Ali is trying to devide between higlanders and lowlanders etc… is the result of the evil regime created by your master Iseyas. many in the opposition have no idea what they are opposing, many other others have hidden agendas, but that doesn’t absolve iseyas of his greater role in dismantling the eritrean dream. But the journey to democracy and justice is a long one…

        • KBT

          selam Haile
          how is that issayas is responsible for their stupidity ?
          eritrea one day will have its election but it s a long process
          western country took them hundreds of years to comme up with democracy and election
          why then pushing young eritrea while undermining it sovereignty in one hand
          why eritrea can not have peace and settle it border dispute why harassing eritrea by all those western tools human right ,amnisty or whatever and how come people who leave in welfare and hand out in western countries can feet to rule eritrea than the one who fought and brought independance and defended eritrea against the very evil regime that kill thousands of it people in day light ( gud tirah u zibehal )
          you need to have peace with your conscience and apologize to eritrea for what you have done
          none of you have the morality to speech about democracy or the wheel being of our people all of you that worked and lobbied so hard with our ennemies economic sanction and total isolation should refrain to speech about our country
          all of you that gambled by politicising the eritrean migration , lying on day light in all social media
          and yet again failed miserably to destroy our people
          we laugh when we see the hyena speecking and debating on the constitution
          remember hyena constitution or not you are not part of it at all .eritrea still standing by it s heros not traitors and runaway

          • Haile WM

            Selam KBT,

            go tell that to the G15 and many other tegadeti languishing and disappeared in the prisons created by your master Iseyas. Is he responsible of their fate ? have they had the moral ground by your judgements ?
            You really think the opposition is pushing the young out from Eritrea ? but can you tell me why is that even the sons of PFDJ generals and Ministers are running out from eritrea ? were they also pushed out by the opposition? does the opposition have more moral authority than their parents over them?

            you are just a simpleton who’s parroting what your master have being blabbering for more than a decade. Next time if you want to engage in discussion bring along your mental capabilities, if you don’t have any borrow some.

          • KBT

            selam haile
            well no one is above the law G15 or whoever
            they gambled ,they choose submission to an invader ,put our country at risk
            then you know the rest country come first
            you don t care for them you just like to use them for your political prostitution same for the constutition case you people try to asfixy the entire eritrea by begging sanction and isolation your handlers the west and you tell me you care for some criminal individual elite and that is a very shameful
            well why I am suprised like it said HASHAWIYEE the name feet you

          • Haile WM

            KBT,

            I know the only subject you understand is prostitution. You are infatuated by Iseyas and i guess you have some personal interests… dehan Ajoka, baba iseyas tekede i am sure you will find some one to replace him

  • Yosief Tewolde

    Under the title “Baby Corp” on Awae (a media that refused to advertise my book for views I have expressed?) (You may google my name)-
    Ali Salim, blurts out his confession, if he knows what the word confession means. He may downgrade it as a Christian associated word.

    He claims and with out bounds, calls the Tigrayans as the COUSINS of the Tigrigna speaking populace of a newish country called Eritrea. And such views in 2017.

    The Dictatorial ruling entities in Eritrea today, predominantly Tigrigna speaking, I feel have reached to that conscience, that NEGATIVE perceptions and views that elements like Ali Salim espouse would influence the future rule in Eritrea negativelly. Hence, negative system of rule we experiance.

  • ghezaehagos

    Selam Younis Hossein and all,
    Nice to see you back! I think it is proper to throw niceties before everything and anything else.
    It amazes with distinct feeling of resignation that I got nothing (ABSOLUTELY NOTHING) in common with Haw Younis (AS) apart from being citizens of Eritrea, a fact he repeatedly and proudly told us (in his inimitable words) he can do away with. This clarity is actually liberating than saddening..”haDiu Zeflete!”
    On 1997 constitution; on what ails the opposition; the nation; the proposed remedies. Divergent views from the get go. I guess Sal Younis has voiced most of my disagreements.
    Well, now that we got nothing much as fellow Eritreans; (apart from our love and worry for the people IN Eritrea), at least let see if we can find something as fellow Canucks.
    So are you a Montreal Canadiens fan? what do you say of them Raptors? flames? 22 minutes? Carbon tax? Margaret Atwood? Ondaatje? Rawi Hage? any really!?…
    In search of commonalities…
    Yours,
    Ghezae Hagos

    • AliSalim

      Hey Gezae,

      Good to see you! One other thing that links us together other than 22 Minutes! Let me think. I still have a lot of spies in Winnipeg who keep track and report every helping hand that you stretch to reach an Eritrean in distress anywhere, if that qualifies. I speak a little better Tigrigna than you do, if that is OK. And I think your heart is too good to accept the truth, if I have to be frank. Deep respect and a tip of the hat for the Maestro!

      What puzzles me most is why a legal expert and a good man like your highness would not be able to differentiate between you and yourself. Some kind of the great Dawit’s self-liberation to liberate the you from the self. For a moment close your eyes. Please try it. Now imagine that you are a doctor. While you are in that deep state of relaxation a patient walks to you and complains of “qirtset kebdi”. Would you give him “maHgoma”?

      To be honest with you, I would go with the “maHgoma” if I get the faintest feeling that he might be playing games. As solution to the subject matter, you might say as many are saying in a democracy, the majority decide on what game the nation may play. There are three versions of what we mean by ‘majority’:

      (1) In politics majority is pure count of votes and 50+1 are entitled to run the show.

      (2) In economics I would think what matters is whoever can impose the game on the ground is the king. That’s where the idea of weighted majority would apply. In this case the preference is weighted by the ability to pay. That is why the top 20% are entitled to own the bottom 80%.

      (3) In law I would think the intensity of how strongly you are entitled to feel (from a moral point of view) about an issue would be the weight multiplier of the votes. This I think is the reason why the concept of justice exclusively applies to the weak and disadvantaged.

      As a Canadian “bitsay” let’s just leave Eritrea alone and discuss hypothetics here.

      • ghezaehagos

        Selam the North-est,

        I didn’t think harder. There is another commonality. “GauL Ad’na WesidKa!” emo seBay GuaL dma kubur iyu…you can add more on this as your Tigirgna is certainly better than mine:) Yes, some friends from Winnipeg do remember you; the Jemals and the Selemawis.

        Just a fortnight ago, we were having some long chat with some friends and one of them semi-facetiously put the blame on ‘elites’ like ‘Ghezae Wedi Hagos’ for staying the masses. Sort of YG’s had it not for urbanites, especially Asmarinos, the ‘AQuays’ of kebesa were happily plowing their fields with ‘chelay’ and migrating to Addis to be a ‘fino’ mechanics.

        A victim actually. That is how I see myself and every Eritrean except few victimizers. Hence I replied so to my friend. Nay mintay elite’ but I am victim of Isaias regime.

        What puzzles me most is how in spite of every passing year and every new ‘sense of urgency to save the nation’, our views are still unevolved and expectations remain unrealistic, despite almost decades of experiences. For example, it is frankly beyond silly to hold the Isaias regime is a ‘Tigrigna regime.’ Didn’t the spectacular debacle of Bayto’s overreaching definition teach us anything? I mean after 6-7 years. In the meantime, we have some people hailing mostly from the ‘Tigrigna’ who believe they were targeted because of their region. They BELIEVE though their region paid more than anyone, has been systematically marginalized since 1973 as regionalists. The younger generation of that pool are vocal; in paltalks, social medias, probably giving more airtime to Tesfatsions and ‘bandera’ burners.

        Point: we got too much anger; too much desperation that blinded us from fighting the regime in smart way.
        The worst thing in life they say is betrayal. That has happened to us in many ways. Our opposition is increasingly becoming venting out machine for victimized, betrayed and abused citizens. It is ok at first; but staying there for decades is not very good. In such state, everyone is talking what he feels right; not what is right for the nation. Once you said the Eritrean project is dead. I don’t mind having iconoclasts, mavericks, marchers to different drummers, rebels. They are the ones who make life, society and arts rich and richer. I would love to hang out with them more than with anyone. But I don’t want them to be the leaders and yes elites of this revolution against the Isaias regime.

        Sadly, what is ailing the opposition is we have way more of them. Like you buddy! When people are painfully piecing together mutual trust torn asunder from 50 plus years of bad blood, people like you tell us parochialism is the way, let us do away with this whole project called “Eritrea–Tilyan ZerQEA!”.
        I believe in Eritrea. I believe in Eritrean statehood and nationalism. Both for sui generis and as foundation of our struggle against the tyranny of Isaias. I think our problem is lack of rule of law; and too much rule of Isaias. It is simple; boring; and true. Like Canada:)
        Over to you,
        Ghezae Hagos from Portage Place.

        • Thomas

          Hi Ghezae,

          You probably need to rethink about talking on this sensitive stuff here, “In the meantime, we have some people hailing mostly from the ‘Tigrigna’ who believe they were targeted because of their region. They BELIEVE though their region paid more than anyone, has been systematically
          marginalized since 1973 as regionalists. The younger generation of that pool are vocal; in paltalks, social medias, probably giving more airtime to Tesfatsions and ‘bandera’ burners.” I am saying this because you alluded that these people from a certain region probably giving more airtime to the Tesfasions and the “bandera” burners, “The younger generation of that pool are vocal; in paltalks, social medias, probably giving more airtime to Tesfatsions and ‘bandera’ burners.”. I never expected people of your caliber would come up with such strong accusation without having whatsoever any evidence. I know the region you are accusing and I know time and again people of that region (you are stating has been attacked) and used to score some political gains. Please stop bringing such a lame accusations to score points here. It is stupid to say the list. I don’t want to go any further than this.

          • saay7

            Selam Thomas:

            I don’t think you get the gist of Ghezae argument. He is telling you that there are people who do not agree with the Dominant-Marginalized categorization of Eritreans based on their native tongue. That there are subsets within the set of a language group: and some see themselves as victims and that their victimizes are people who speak their language.

            He didn’t say they are right. He didn’t tell you their size. He is merely describing the diversity of people’s opinion which cannot and will never fit into some neat highland-lowland, social group label. He was also trying to tell us that if you think that people are insensitive to your pain, it’s not because they are callous but because they are in too much pain to be aware of the pain of others.

            saay

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Thomas and Saay,
            Saay got my points to a tee.
            Thomas, I was trying to counter the Tigrigna regime definition of Haw Ali Salim. This definition was so controversial in the Bayto-Commission days and it backfired. It is puzzling to see it again when in the last few years we have seen members of the Tigrigna that they say were targeted on their region.
            Thanks,
            Ghezae

          • Thomas

            Hi Ghezae,
            My deep apology for completely losing you. Trust me, deep inside while I was writing my reply to you I never believed you could go that wrong. Now I’m very happy I was wrong. Please keep up the fight against the Mafias. I like the way you are exposing these mafias.

          • Thomas

            Thanks for the help, Saay. I never knew Gezae was responding to Ali’s grouping of our nation into 3 groups/regions. Yes, we have the Sahos/asawrtas/Belenetais & jebertis vs tigrigna vs Saho etc. Everything would have been acceptable to all if we had the awraja way of administrating the nation. I can tell you, that is the only way to satisfy all. No one can object that. It felt like a computer language with a lot of coddings and everything me C++😀😀

            Thanks again. Tsidife eye tsenihe😀😀

  • said

    Selam Blink and like ,

    YOUR QUTATION about Ali Salim is out of place ,you are projecting your islamophobia on him ,you often bring out of context Islam as a religion . Ali Salim doesn’t represent Islam or Muslim Eritrean nor lowlanders and many disagree with him. in your quoting far-fetched (His dream of caliphate with sheria all over , stoning , chopping off heads and taxing the other believers to live in their own home is going to die with him ) you seem to hate and dreaded Islam. My assumption could be totally wrong.

    in my experience, Yes you meet Eritrean individuals from every walk of live in proper Eritrea , I would guess the vast majority of Eritrean in diaspora they live by universal value, despite their religious, langue and cultural differences, had common traits—a profound commitment to the justices, to humanity and the truth, incorruptibility, dignified. Courageous, a distrust of corrupt power of Isaias and his regime , a hatred of dictatorship, oppression and violence and a deep empathy that was extended to people who were different from them, they form Eritrean dominant Reich culture, they support human rights, social democracy, peace and justices

    In our short history the recent past has always been a battleground. Some Eritrean living in diaspora, they have the chance of being blessed of living in a democracy is that researchers, students, journalists ,can all access the past without having to subject themselves to any form of censoring control.
    George Orwell’s 1984 contains a well-known phrase about history and its importance: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”.
    all kind fanaticism alters not only the perception of past or current political realities it also adjusts the past to suit one set of beliefs.

    To give an example historically. As report by Historians That Heraclius the Roman Emperor of Armenian descent, fought hard to defend the Christian faith ,did not leave it at this; he organized a swift counter-attack, making an alliance with the Türks. After crushing a large Persian army, the Persian leadership cracked under the pressure. Heraclius led a ceremonial entry into Jerusalem. Jews in the city were forcibly baptized; Eastern Christians, whose doctrinal positions did not match those of the Orthodox Church, were forced into conforming.

    In the meantime, a new religion was born and is not a threat to both Romans and Persians was rising up from the ocean and vast sahara, neglected poor south for century .

    It was in this Hejaz KSA eastern region, as war raged to the very north, that prophet Muhamad (PUH), a member of the respected Banū Hāshim clan of the ruling class of Quraysh tribe, in month of ramadan retreated to a cave not far from the city of Mecca to contemplate deeply about God.

    Those who followed his teachings were promised eternal paradise, and receipt of the lord’s mercy and forgiveness; those who did not would face doom, disaster and damnation .it similar to Christianity and Judaism . Christian doctrines (monotheism, the immortality of the soul, final judgment) and Islam rejecting others, basically (original sin, the Incarnation and divinity of Christ, the sacraments).
    Islam is a simple religion, easily understood by very ordinary people. Its commandments are simple and rigorous but very few in number no more than your hand figure . When it spread , the people often felt more liberated than enslaved, because it often replaced burdensome old bureaucratic governments with relatively undemanding regimes — and As long as its authority was respected, Islamic rule was comparatively liberal, human ,even you can claaed libertarian. It offered millions relief from their traditional oppression; for example, every one is free to chose his Faith No compulsion ,Muslim no Muslim could be a slave.of course what people practice and do is different thing .
    Islam spread it did, with incredible varicosity and rapidity. because of the simplicity of its creed .The Muslim world has never had crises of faith like the Reformation and the Enlightenment.
    Islam promote peace among nation and people to live in peace ,one good example in Intense negotiations with the leaders of the paganist Quraysh tribe of Mecca resulted in the treaty of peace and no war called al-Ḥudaybiya, providing for a ten year truce. More people embraced Islam in this period than other time previously.
    paganist Quraysh tribe and other major clan waged war on the new followers would suffer defeat terribly . in the teaching of Islam Prisoner of war were not to be executed or crucified but treated humanely ,the Quraysh tribe the enemies of Muḥammad (PUH), were the enemies of God; but after they waged so many battle truly they would suffer an awful fate of surrender and were fully pardoned and let go free and not forced nor pressured to empress islam . The number of followers swelled following these successes; after their defeat senior Quraysh tribe officials pledged allegiance to prophet Muhamad(PUH), .
    The leading Quraysh tribe elite met this new monotheism teaching with ferocious opposition and declared war on Islam ; prophet Muhamad (PUH), Was forced to flee to Yathrib (later renamed Medina); this year, the year 622, became the year zero in the Muslim calendar. In time prophet Muhamad sought to bring the many tribes together. Unity was a core tenet, and a major reason for Islam’s imminent success. Its simple, rational creed had a powerful appeal to pagan Quraysh tribe and other clan, Arabs who had known only the arbitrary gods of grim pagan religions. It swept the Hegaz world, then more accepted converted — and far beyond Arabia.

    According to the report by Historians of all stripes – Arabic, Armenian, Syriac, Greek and Hebrew – note that prophet Muhamad (PUH), and his followers went to great lengths to assuage the fears of Christians and Jews. Islam was seen by the Jews as having much in common with the Old Testament; further, , Jesus prophet Jesus Christ (PUH), was seen by prophet Muhamad (PUH), not as God’s son, but one of the greatest prophet .

    Just to give you an example recently In an interview with The Washington Post, Jeffress Jeffress told The Post, “God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil.
    Following President Trump’s initial threats of “fire and fury” toward North Korea on Aug. 8, Robert Jeffress, the evangelical pastor of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, and a presidential adviser, released a statement claiming that God had given the president authority to “take out” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Jeffress was the president’s selected preacher at the traditional pre-
    inauguration liturgy at St. John’s Episcopal Church and claims to speak with Mr. Trump “on a variety of issues.”Jeffress offers in support of a first strike against the North Korean leader and is doubtless contributing to the growing number of Americans in favor of war. a corrupted theology that could supply a false, misinterpreted and misguided moral thrust to the president’s potential course of action.

    • blink

      Dear Mr. Said
      I think you have wrong assumption about me , I was born from a modest Eritrean Muslim family , When i say modest i mean, modest if you know what i mean in the” Eritrean context.” You have been commenting here only about the right wing american Christians while the articles were about Eritrea , Your comments are more than 1000 words full of hearsay , I have no idea why you do that but you have been doing it for ages , i commented below your comments many times and i wondered why you do that and why i replied to you . Any way , I can tell you i will defend Ali salim to believe on what ever he wants but i could not accept a guy on his statues to wash the lowlanders with white lies about the Highlanders , He accused them like no other , he called them names and many things and that is not all , he made his own imaginary state called Beja kingdom , campaigned of ELL in which they do not sign the basic humanly points , now are you suggesting to not even pin point his illusion about Eritrea. He already is not interested in justice or democracy , what he care is burn eritrea as soon as possible more than the sadist man is doing , of course this is my understanding about ali salim. Islamphobia ?? what islamophobia is that ?

      The other things about christian thing does not consern me and these who know well about it can reply to you.
      But here is my short take about christian or Islam or any kind of that , i mean to make it too short for you ,

      If we do not use reason to distinguish which faith is the true one, how can we pick the right religion? There are myriads of faiths that are all irrational yet all say that their faith is above reason! Even otherwise rational people are willing to accept the irrationality of their religion. They give preference to revelation wherever their faith and their reason collide. They maintain that revelation is the ultimate source of the Truth. This is basically the thesis of all religious people. If that were so, which revelation is the true one? Why do they differ? How can one be certain that her religion is right and others are not? If faith should be irrational, why should our irrationality be preferred over others? That and only that is enough for now.Only through reason would we know which way is the right one. And when we test the religions with reason you find many of religious teachings do not conform. It requires a leap of faith and a great degree of mental gymnastic to believe in them Limitations of Reason.However, reason is not the only means of learning. Intuition and inspiration can take us where reason cannot. Some claim that through sudden flashes of inspiration, gates of knowledge are flung open in front of them and they can peep into a mystical world where they learn things they have not dreamed of. But this is very much different with the claims of the prophets who claim to have received revelations and demand that their utterly irrational and fictitious concoction of fantasies be accepted as the ultimate and undisputed truth. SO where do you put me and Ali salim ?

      • Thomas

        Selam Blink,

        Good one, “If we do not use reason to distinguish which faith is the true one, how can we pick the right religion?” When it comes to religious thing, I am one of the silent majority. I will never understand it because it is not what you see what you will get thing:) It is not like science that people can demo and judge for themselves. There is never point A to B and other connections to demonstrate it exists. To me, it feels like the Santa thing:) Everything was done when no one was awake.

        • blink

          Dear Thomas
          “Every thing was done when no one was awake” you nailed it , the santa thing is hilariously epic . I am thinking about santa , I mean can he be from Africa with big nose and his hair….

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam blink,

        You said: “There are myriads of faiths that are all irrational yet all say that their faith is above reason! Even otherwise rational people are willing to accept the irrationality of their religion”

        It all boils down to: My Fairy/Horror story is better than yours and my Paradise/Hell Hole is superior to yours.

        Human beings are deeply scared of being finite, and of death. They need comforting/scaring bedtime tales- you may also call them crutches of the mind.

    • Kim Hanna

      Selam said,
      .
      I don’t know the purpose of your long “hateta” about everything including the Roman Empire, Orthodox Church and Trump.
      You mentioned George Orwell ( that was interesting) and dozens of topics and personalities to conclude with nothing but confusion.
      .
      Perhaps you might be a clergy who is looking for a cushy job, using the affirmative action boulevard to get to your mission and mansion. That is not a bad idea, but then say so, we are all in the family.
      .
      Mr. K.H

      • said

        Selam K H

        If you read history you will understand , distraction, Illusion, but our illusion and has now become delusional. This delusion is leading to stupidity as evidenced above you think so . keep our eyes on the prize , you need to pay attention ,the point is to stop the death, destruction, and hatred of all the living beings . as a new pastor. I will preach I do not deny climate change is happening, and I hope to change people who think the earth is only 6000 years old. how old the earth is, the earth isn’t flat. We can’t even agree that climate change is happening, and how old the earth is do you have an idea . The message… “we must keep our eyes on the prize what prize. No more analysis required. I am doing this to distract you, I hope you get The message… but is there real message in between the line and next time around i will more to the point and The message will clear .but it there it start with the point is

  • Hayat Adem

    Hi Again,
    It is one of these: The Eritrean social and political cohesion 1) is there to be protected and defended; 2) is not there and to be created and newly constructed; or 3) is there minimally as skeletal basis of work in progress and therefor needs to be developed and enhanced.
    I don’t think; or don’t expect anyone to think it can be #1. I don’t believe or expect anyone to believe that it is a zero start either (#2). So, it has to be #3, which in itself is a range of possibilities that host varying opinions from “strong but needs more work” to “too weak waiting for much work” for reasonable consolidation.
    If so, it should be fine to talk about all issues and ills. There must not be taboos designated too bad or too big to talk about: history, foundational narratives, identities, religion, region, ethnicity, inequality.. etc.
    People make all of those values, not the other way. Once there, narratives and national psyches must always be constantly questioned and should not be granted an overriding seat within which every thinking and wish has to fit in or risk an outright dismissal. Only dead things flow down the stream with the flow. Only living things can swim upstream. And great positive social histories are born out of such uphill streaming consciousnesses.
    Can a terribly abusing father justify a responsibility of defending his daughter from evil doers? Can he? Should a terribly abused daughter fear of risking anything worse to call it a day with her abusing father? What can go worse than developing the endurance of tolerating a home abuser? Some of the things Ali wrote above and many of the comments under it resonate well but I want us broaden the thoughts of our solving framework and horizon. Eritrean problem, at the meta level, can be solved without having to solve or address many of the existing multiple social ills separately or at individual level.
    Hayat

  • Hameed Al-Arabi

    Hi blink,

    We have heard this record so many times. It is really boring. ጸማም፥ ሓደ፥ ደርፉ

    Al-Arabi

  • sara

    Dear awetians
    Its astonishing to have such article
    At this time when the world is fixsated
    With what happened in virginia on the weekend and its ramifications to all those Blacks,jews,muslims,others.

    • said

      Selam Sara,

      Charlottesville revealed once more, hatred and racism . Violent hate groups are literally on the march. Today and for short period Charlottesville will override was yet another important event that was rightly and justifiably reported into a massive Cable Spectacle. Racism, exposed once more in the terror visited on Charlottesville, Amid the thick fog of rhetorical war between Washington and Pyongyang, Who would have thought the red hot war of words between young untested Kim Jong-un and the president Donald Trump could be wiped right off the cable gab-a-break of thons in just in less than one week. A case can be made that President Trump is using North Korea to kick the 24/7 Russia-gate narrative out of the US news cycle. It’s certainly working. But the Charlottesville riots did exactly that, thereby delivering still another cautionary tale about the unhinged times now upon us. Heather Heyer, joined a peaceful demonstration against the neo-Nazis, standing with African Americans and people of conscience .The heroic and martyr Heather Heyer, the neo-Nazi assault revealed her passion for equality and justice. She died standing for what she believed in, and her sacrifice helps some how redeem an America woman that is far better than the haters. As Heyer’s mother stated, “Heather’s life was about — passionately about — fairness and equality and caring, and that’s what we want people to take away from this.As reported widely Donald Trump’s reaction to Charlottesville will be etched in infamy. He refused to condemn the neo-Nazis and white nationalists, choosing only to decry the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.

      Dr. Martin Luther King always warned against being satisfied with words: “Loose and easy language about equality, resonant resolutions about brotherhood fall pleasantly on the ear, but for the Negro, there is a credibility gap he cannot overlook. He remembers that with each modest advance the white population promptly raises the argument that the Negro has come far enough. Each step forward accents an ever-present tendency to backlash.
      The fact is Donald Trump, who played on the biblically-based biases of white evangelical Christians especially to win the White House. His candidacy was not about bringing people together, but dividing them. He called Mexicans rapists, drug dealers and criminals, promised to deport undocumented immigrants and build a wall to keep others out. He pledged to ban Muslims from entering the country, He vowed to be a real “law and order president” and keep people of color in their place. Trump’s campaign was about making America great and white and Christian white again – and many poor an educated voters were ready and ripe for his racist candidacy after eight years of an illegitimate president Obama in their White House. Trump’s divisive appeals worked: as reported 81% “eight-in-ten self-identified white born-again evangelical Christians voted for Trump,” and “white Catholics also supported Trump over Clinton by a wide, 23-point margin (60% to 37%).” , Pew ResearchCenter, Nov. 9, 2016. Eventually the blind and deef evangelical Christians will discover that they, and those other Trump voters, got far more divisiveness than they bargained for. Charlottesville is just one to many.

  • Nitricc

    Greetings Ali Salim: Long time, I hope all is good. Reading all your articles and judging from what you had to say, I am guessing your next article will be demanding that Eritrea and Ethiopia must be reunite. I am not kidding, but I will wait till such time. Ali, I have no idea a person in your caliber could come up with such preposterous take. One thing if you have to give it to PIA, that will be he didn’t create one chosen ethnic over the other. What ever he does or did was equality applicable. Honestly, you can’t tell me that this ethnic group is favored under the rule of PIA. While you are on that tired, be carful what you wish. Go ahead give them the fuel they need for Agazians. In my opinion, I didn’t find your article to be helpful for the current predicament Eritrea is in. As far as I can judge, no amount unity of minority can liberate form the oppression of the majority with out the majority standing up for the minority. And I believe, giving the Eritrean history and our common and collective oppression under every colonizer, we have no other choice but the majority to defend the minority. No other choice.

  • Mez

    Dear Ali,

    1) Do you really beleive that the political discourse in Eritrea is comparable to the civil rights movement of the 1960’ies?
    If so what could be the key points to look into.

    2) it could be said that the 1997 drafted Eritrean constitution is the most important document ever produced in the nation’s history. Why you believe this document is irrelevant and un-ammendable all together? Does the problem lie in the framework or in the detailed components?

    3) As the saying goes, there is no winner or looser in a religious doctrine reflections and thoughts. Either you believe in it or you don’t; and that is more or less a private personal decision.

    4) when I see a young at the same time old man impersonated in one; I just miss the time in between–probably as a lost time or opportunity.

    Self-Trust & respect, love, and the will to live may be important milestones in any human activity and interaction. These values, and probably more, are embedded in the universal human right declaration which shall be the a common bench mark for everyone.

    Thanks

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Mez,

      Since your questions are also important to us, I will give you my answer to your questions in the order you put them, until Younis get back to you.

      1 – civil rights issue are not necessarily the same, but are related to each other in the context of the abuser and abused. Because there is no slavery to a particular race or “social group” in Eritrea does not mean there are no civil right issue in Eritrea. Marginalization is civil rights issue, that we have to fight against the evils of marginalization.

      2- The 1997 constitutional document is a flaw in its process and its content (a) since a constitution is a political document before it becomes a legal document, the process did not allow to participate all the political entities that exist at that particular time. The document is a predetermined by the winners of the day and was drafted based on the political program of the organization – their charter of 1993 (b) It is flaw in its content because the document depicts “centralized unitary government” that is not good for multi-cultural society (c) the issue of land and language is not resolved in the interest of the public at large (d) the structure of the government as dipicted allows excessive power to the executive. If all the above points are going to be amended, the original document is left with the bill of rights. So the amendment process in itself will be long because it needs fundamental change on the document.

      3 – You are right if we frame our politics on religion we are all losers, and there will be no losers and winners. So religion should not interfere in our politics and vise versa.

      4 – your last point is your point of view

      • Haile WM

        Selamat Emma,
        when i read your comments about the ’97 constitution,i always recall a cartoon where there is a woman listening to Dimtsi Hafash that says “what we need in eritrea is bread and not democracy…” and the woman promptly comments “imoke dea, Hiji Bani yele democracy yele..”

        at present we have not even a bad constitution to amend in the case it didn’t work out. A bad constitution is much better than the rule of the jungle we have today. Criticizing the 97 constitution at this stage is a pure mental exercise. It’ like the imagined world of Ali Selim of a tigrigna regime…

        • Amanuel Hidrat

          Selam Haile WM,

          Hailat, I understand your concern. But after all these mistrusts caused by the evil regime and the predicament our people are going through, there is no way other than to start from clean slate and open heart to each other. We shouldn’t carry on the vestiges of the regime and its system.

          Regards

          • Haile WM

            Selam Amanuel,

            i don’t think we have the luxury to draft a new one in short time of period we the participation of all the eritrean peoples given the current state of the people and nation.
            the 97 constitution can be a framework from which we can start rebuild the political/legal/institutional apparatus. Constitutions are never perfect and time for amending is plenty given a properly functioning institutional apparatus.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Haile WM,

            Actually, there is no luxury to experiment this flawed document. Second this constitution does not unite us. If it does not unite us why do we need it. Third, half of our population is against it. You might ask me who is this half population? You are smart not to know who they are. Fourth, this document is generally only supported by the tigrigna speaking social group, and that is for obvious reason – it preserve their interest. If we want to keep the social fabric of our society, we have to have a healthy thinking on something that brings us together.

            Regards

          • blink

            Dear Mr. Amanuel

            I think the assumption that 50% of Eritreans opposes the 1997 constitution needs to be seen , do you have any statistical data ? Where do you find that , I hope you provide something tangible data . Who are these opposing it , like Ali salim, how do you know they are 50%?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Blink,

            Let me make you happy. The document is supported 100% by all Eritreans and our society has a healthy relationship. I was wrong brother. Have a nice sleep.

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            Despite below your standard reply , I don’t believe it is supported by 100%, but the short and best reply to me supposed to be “WHATEVER. ”

            When your views on such issues are 100% agreed by Ali salim, no need to ask.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Blink,

            As you are not always wrong on your take, Ali Salim is the same is not always wrong on his take. When you are wrong on the value of the document, he has a right stand on it. I have many to oppose Ali , but not on this one.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Blink,

            You have been active in this thread and I enjoyed (and learned) much of what you posted. Now let me offer an advise hoping you will think about it if you do not accept it.

            Like most of us here, you make many points that I completely agree with and some that I do not agree with–I am sure you have similar positions regarding my views. Therfore, not all who disagree with you on certain points are supporting the dictator and not all who agree with you do so without reservation. Regarding the constitution, as you know, myself and Saay go a long way and we agree on a;most everything. When it comes to the constitution, we are worlds apart. And I will just laugh if anyone would consider him an enabler of the PFDJ because he advocates for the constitution. I will just say, he is wrong on that one.

            For others, there are individuals who are so partisan they are still living in the EPLF mindset and they consider the constitution a seal for the EPLF struggle (I hold the struggle era doesn’t need a lopsided, corrupt constitution tailored to fit Isaias and his gang).

            My position on the constitution has been elaborated by Saay in his response to Simon, as follows:

            “…The Eritrean government is striving to abolish OLD modes of thought but only to entrench its Stalinist-Maoist mode of thought. This is where loyalty to an organization and its boss supersedes and voids all other loyalties be it religious, cultural or traditional. This is not engineered for the betterment of the lives of the people but for creating a one party state where one party lords over the people for generations. That’s why we have a dictatorship not because of any other reason.”

            My solution is to burn the damn thing and watch it turn to ashes. But we have debated this many, many times and I though we settled for “keynesamamaE tesemamiEna” but it keeps coming up again and again by the same people who advise us to focus on Isaias and forget everything else! Should we go all crazy and raise the many issues that are buried simply to allow us to focus on Isaias?

            I do not agree with Ali Salim’s diagnosis of our situation, neither do I agree with most of the views opposing him. He is just into pointing to the wounds without caring much on how they should be healed. He seems to say, let the wounds fester and I will tell you once every other season that the wounds are festering and I would have done my hagerawi gub’ou. But on the constitution, I will be on the front seat to watch the bonfire when he burns the constitution.

            Having said that, please accept my advise and show some tolerance to differing views. Express your objection by all means but please do not cross to the “Tekfeeri” borders incriminating anyone who opposes your views and branding them in many colorful names.

            Saleh

          • blink

            Dear Mr. Saleh
            This is a forum where some once personality is seen beyond the weight of our people . I mean i need my own entry to this forum and that is to say my perception ,it is not like white and black , perceptions do matter sir.I have no doubt that people are sincere in their search for Truth. No one chooses to be misled willingly. It is foolish to assume that Ali salim instinctively know the truth and choose to rebel because he has pride in himself. As absurd as this thought may be, this is what Ali salim believe of those who do not believe in his vision or views. Ali salim is convinced that people are either ignorant of the highlaners and so do about the 1997 book . What a foolish thought! To what extent of irrationality this guy is willing to go to beguile himslef and keep his irrational faith alive is beyond me because he was not in hibernation but just ruminating. The fact is that people everywhere, sincerely and honestly, take wrong paths and clash with each other,but in our case very few people are willing to sacrifice their own lives for it (except for Ali salim who prefer to sacrifice the lives of others first) because he does believe that they will find the Truth about the highlanders through his vision. Then one may ask: “If he is sincere why doesn’t he follow the same path?” It is because his understanding is different. Since he is human and his logic, just like yours and mine, is defective, he choose wrong paths about Muslims especially about Eritrean Muslims in the lowlands, they did not follow a wrong guru like him up to now and they will not in the forseable future, and they will not follow to wrong view of such . If every one else is prone to such mistakes why should you or I be exempt? This is an important question. This humbling realization that the Truth is much greater to be understood by an imperfect human being like me makes me accepting of other people, listen to what they have to say, be less arrogant and more aware i tried this but i could not find the way to do it to people who assume ERITREANS are in their pocket to play. But to be honest I was shocked to find you commenting, on top of that it was specifically to me , well you are right , i may overreact and this can be true ,because i do not keep my views due to worries of others equally to Ali salim, the difference is sir i do not accuse one society or any of them to that matter. I always believe there will be always a sick guy from any social group .

            I personally do not care about what kind of constitution will we have after the dictator : if it is the 1997 with some twicks i am for it because it is far better than one man state, if it is new one i am definitely sure it will not be worse than the 1997 , i mean it is a live document and it can be amended from time to time , who could possibly know the future , who knows we may have a modern living book to guide us all to a stable and make us economic power house in our region. But what i will not give Up is that my determination to say what i believe for “individual right” to be the pillar of our constitution . Group rights seems to me that it will lose its prime angle when we have sensible people on the leadership to make sure some one in Meshalit will get equal apportunity as saay’s grand grand son in the highland.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Blink…
            Could it be that your views have more weight in my scale? I am aiming at convincing you that a little tweaking could go a long way–and I meant it in an honest and caring way. I hope you understand that.

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Saleh,

            Why “burn the damn thing and watch it turn into ashes” and “I will be on the front seat to watch the bonfire when he burns the damn thing.”
            Shouldn’t you just shelve it and be part of ‘once-upon-a-time’, if you don’t agree with it. I believe we have enough people burning what they don’t like; flags, currency, certificate of martyrs etc..
            Thanks,
            Ghezae

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Ghezae,
            Nice play…but you well know what you brought is “gual megedi” and I do not have my shoes on to walk along. Why do you wish to deny me the imaginary joy of watching it burn? Please leave it at that 🙂

          • MS

            Dear Emma
            I know we debated this subject sometime in the past and I was not going to comment on it. But a couple of statements you made lured me to say something.
            1. There is no such thing as final, perfect and everlasting constitution. Constitutions are live documents; they get improved along the way. generations change them to fit their reality. This is something you know well. Just to state it as an anchoring point.
            2. During any constitutional process there is an assumption that there is an authority in the land that runs the process. If EPLF was the authority in the 1990s, somebody will be the authority during the drafting and ratifying process of the next constitution you envision should start “from a clean slate”. If you complain of the vestiges of EPLF vis-a-vis the 1997 constitution, someone will complain of the vestiges of the powers that would run the constitutional process of the “ideal constitution” you are talking about. In short, if the opposition were to assume that responsibility, there would exist Eritreans who would complain of the vestiges of the opposition on the process. Habayb? The thing is: there is no such thing called clean slate. The American constitution is the pinnacle of tags of war between colonists who wanted to free themselves from the tyranny of the king, they were inspired by their unique experience (religious persecution, that’s why they fled to the new world), and by past constitutional literature and experiences in their home of origin (starting with magna carta, and the era of enlightenment in Europe, etc.). The 1997 constitution attempted to reflect Eritrea’s unique experience (a nation born out of a long struggle, and the values it had picked along the journey).
            3. All Eritreans regardless of their political affiliation were invited to discuss it. Eritreans who were affiliated with EPLF did not discuss that document as members of that organization. They discussed it as Eritreans. There were Eritreans from other organizations who participated in the process as Eritreans only. There were heated debates by EPLF members opposing some of its parts, others requesting they needed to be improved to reflect their opinions, etc. Some boycotted it altogether. That is expected. Even when your “clean slate” start comes, there will be some Eritreans who will boycott it.
            4. If we had the 1997 constitution in place, you would be able to use it to fight for the rights of our “social groups”; you would be able to use it to limit excesses of power; for the reign of rule of law, thus, curbing impunity; you would use it for bolstering free speech, peaceful assembly, for the rights of minorities, religion…for overseeing policies of the government in all aspects….AND- you would be able to use it in amending the parts you want to amend. Now, it is dead. IA is happy it is dead, and you guys are happy it is dead. If you remember, we congratulated you guys a couple of years ago.
            5. Any future constitution, unless it is a prepackaged one, will have to include customery laws and history of Eritrean societies, Eritrean colonial experience, Experiences and documents of Eritrean revolution, the 1952 constitution and the 1997 constitution. And guess what, there won’t be much changes in its substance. the only difference will be the vestiges of the power be that is running the show. And you bet, there will be many Eritreans who will feel left out.
            6. Lastly, when people cry about the 1997 constitution it is mostly because a process has been halted. The process of constitutional thinking which carries changes in behavior of citizens and their rulers has halted. that is the biggest loss. Today we would be talking about constitutional rights, our attitudes would have been different.
            Regards.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Mahmuday,

            Your comment needs a reply of a long hateta, though a long hateta always lead us to unnecessary diversions and arguments on words rather on substances. I am busy now, I will try after work to correct some of your assumptions.

            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            Let me answer your questions in the order you put it for simplicity of our readers:

            1 – There is no anyone who said a constitutional document is everlasting document. That is why Jefferson’s words reminds us as follows: “I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and Constitutions. But laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times.” But, when constitutional laws are not enacted for whatever reasons, and while it is on hold, if new truths are discovered to meet the circumstances and address the grievances of our societies, however they are organized, we must recognize them and act on them. The current government in Eritrea is a “centralized unitary government” with a complete control of our society from the center. All centralized unitary governments, however their institutions are built, they are the same in forms and in the way they behave on their subjects. The current constitution even it is not implemented, it depict ” a hybrid regime” that gives an excessive power to the executive. So Mahmuday, if we have seen many flaws before it is implemented, and if the social relations of our societies are changed as new realities, it does not call for “amendments”, rather it calls for “fundamental reformation” on it before it is enacted as supreme law of the nation. Amendment requires “recognition of the document” and follows the “laws of amendments” that requires stiff parliamentary procedures. Imagine to amend a constitution with all the mistrust we have, it will only leads to chaos. The alternative is to constitute a transitional government of national unity to lead the an agreed period of transition. During that period a constitutional review committee can be formed from the intellectual elites of our diversity to overhaul the document in order to keep the equilibrium of the parties. Second, a constitutional process is a broad engagement process that include the political parties and the entire population at large to determine how they govern their nation. The opposition can not draft a constitution alone. We rejected it during ENCDC congress as we did to the 1997 document. A constitution should be owned by the people to be a living constitution.

            2 – Yes during the process there should an authority to lead the transition, but EPLF failed to bring us together in the so called transitional period. The process should call not only as individual citizens, but also should call to organized political organizations as they were the future for building political parties with those of EPLF. But the commission used the EPLF political platform as base for drafting the document. The question is not about the authority, but it is how the authority use its power in controlling the process and the fate of the outcome. Second, clean slate means to start on equal terms in the process in order the document to be owned by the entire population.

            3 – Since a constitutional process is a political process to produce a political document that governs us as a nation, the political organizations are barred to participate as political organization in the process. Suppose Mahmuday had a political organization other that EPLF, would go to participate as individual citizen leaving your organization outside Eritrea? I don’t think so. Nay wudubat hashewie yelen malet eco, there will not be multi-parties in Eritrea. As EPLF had transformed into PFDJ as a party, the other organizations should have given the same right to transform their political organizations in to parties in the transitional period. So Mahmuday be honest to yourself in order to be honest to us – those who are rejected by EPLF – the nationalists who contribute to the birth of the nation. We can’t allow ourselves, Issayas and his colleagues to tell us how to participate in our nation in whatever we want to participate be it as individual or as organized. We can not allow to separate “our body and our thoughts” in order to participate in the process.

            4 – If the constitution is drafted for single party as we know it by now, and if the constitution does not have any structure that recognize the minorities to have a fare share in the politics and economy of the nation, why should they recognize the document as their document? And how could they fight when their fate is determined by the ruling organization EPLF/PFDJ with no say to their own fate? Mahmuday, our social groups have no any alternative except to organize the way they are organized now, and fight the system by forming alliances with each other to assure their rights.

            5 – Of course, there will be change in substance. If we change the structure of the government, say
            for instances, from CUG to DUG, if we resolve the issue of land from state ownership to private ownership, if we resolve the issue of language like that of the 1952 constitution, if we keep the bill of rights of the 1997 document, if we create a bicameral chamber to resolve the grievances of our minorities, if we give an autonomy (self-administration without the interference of the central) to the administrative units (however we agree in the numbers), it is a fundamental change in substance.

            6 – The Eritrean people who cry about the 1997 document are those who wrongly believe the document will protect their rights, and those who invested their energy to have it b/c it is tailored to serve their interest. The process of constitutional thinking is not halted, rather the current realities of our societies did in fact make us to think better than we were in early 90s. I will continue to object the 1997 document as a fertile womb for despots.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman and all,

            This “Hateta”, as you and MS call it, encapsulates (epitomizes) in points the volumes of material, including authoritative experts on law and political science, have produced on the 1997 document (constitution) ranging from the formation of the commission to its final drafting process and its merits to its end up in drawer of the despot. Read jaxtaposed to the equally long “Hateta” of MS, the debate makes one (like me) feel as though the issue has been presented afresh to become a topical matter. Of course, here lies the power of Ali Salem’s contributions that breath life to debate-fatigued issues as the one at hand.

            With due respect to the time and effort brothers and sister invest in discussing this constitution, each for reasons specific to him or her, the case has long been closed by the whim of the despot who had approved its writing and dumped it when his whim had called for it. For those who opposed it from inception to writing, this could be taken kind of blessing in disguise for the left outs and the marginalized. The rationale in this rests on the argument that the implementation of the constitutions by the despot had precluded the consolidation of the many disadvantaging flaws rife in the document, which Amanuel has summarized.This would have bee the case due to the near impossibility the requirements of enacting amendments as stipulated in the constitution itself. Thus, for sake of fairness one could say that the only point that may appeal to reason is the argument those who defend the constitutions make in favor of using it as rallying tool for uniting the opposition in absence of alternatives.

            But, the counter argument could be why not the debate shift to the pursuit of finding a new rallying alternative instead of getting obssesed by a document that already had had fair share of study and debate and could not reconcile views in its favor. I think some of us here in this forum have been talking with an anchor in the recent contributions about possibilities of redefining the opposition formations onterms of vitality and viability (alluding to Johannes Zerais’ stipulation on progressives within the opposition) and thinking about a social-political equilbrium built on an interim opposition national task program. At this point, I would even risk my brother Ali Salem’s wrath that my reading of his Baby Boss article between the lines has lead me to believe that he would not rule out to be party to the seach of such equibrium. I am considering here Ali’s view on ” mov[ing] to things that we can negotiate such as land ownership, return of refugees and dismantling of settlements” (courtsy to his response to Robel Cali) may be approximated to reshape-shift his shape-shifted categories into constituents in the equibrium based formation of the national task program negotiating process.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ismailo,

            We are tired people bringing on and off this divisive document. And I have no clue how to make them understand how our society is divided and how the implementation of it will tear the social fabric of our society. How difficult is to understand our realities as we speak? The pain I have as an Eritrean is how poor to communicate each other we are. We don’t listen each other’s grievance and we do not want to address even those who understood it. How one could tell them they are not aggrieved when they tell you they are aggrieved. It is an abject of defiance to the truth of our realities. Very sad and it looks endless social problem.

            Regards

          • MS

            Selam Emma
            Let me first get this out of the way: you said to IsmailAA, “We are tired people bringing on and off this divisive document.” The implication is clear. To set the record straight: Ali Salim brought it, and you placed comments applauding him. You did not tell him that “people were tired of it.” I commented only once in reply to one of your comments. IsmailAA was also among the first who jumped to grab Ali Salim’s bait. Ali salim is now watching the fray from afar, may be our exchanges here is stirring his muse, may be chuckling….
            The point is that we should avoid such tactics that are meant to undercut counterarguments.
            Secondly: I’m not an expert in constitution making, but I read. If you remember, I identified many areas that I would like some tweaking made on them. One of my comment was picked by one Somali Land website under the title “Eritreans discuss their constitution”. Those observations that I made then had also been made to the commission, but like others, I did not see them making it to the final version. I was fine with it because no process can satisfy every individual’s query, or every pocket of a society. None. The constitution commission was comprised of citizens and foreigners- I think about 14 foreign members of advisory board. There were 21/50 women. Very impressive. It included all nine ethnic groups; it had a board of experts on customary laws and traditions from all ethnic groups and both religions; it included individuals with ELF background, some of them very…very prominent. I would not expect those members were pliable to organizational pressures. The only binding characteristics was that most of them were revolutionaries at heart and that is something one could expect given the time in which the constitution was made. The constitution went through phases: from collecting material to drafting, to public education about constitution and its essence, to presenting a draft to the national Assembly, back to public debates and finally to a Constituent assembly for ratification. The debates raged inside and in the diaspora and I can tell you, all the concerns you have were raised. The commission actually made some of them, such as language and the type and structure of the government, central to their constitution-making task. They debated them and finally came up with arrangement that they thought most suited Eritrean reality (courtesy of Dr. Bereket’s book: Constitution making in Eritrea). Do I agree with it, in its totality? No. But that is part of any negotiated work. Mind you, i am not trying to convince you. At the end the document has been dealt with long before you can come up with an alternative. SalehG does not need to secure keren’s firewood market with its Mizans because the constitution was burnt years ago. No need for bone fire. All in all, the show is nothing more than expressions of grudges left over from the past. Regarding the political opposition (just a soft jab), if the past and the current is an indication, believe me, the trend is not promising. Those who complain of the constitution of 1997 should first show us that they could sit together without the watchful eyes of an Ethiopian general. Let us see them putting the nation ahead of their individual and parochial interests. Let us see them producing an enticing document that motivate Eritreans and democratic practices that Eritreans would want to emulate…
            Finally, you said ” The Eritrean people who cry about the 1997 document are those who wrongly believe the document will protect their rights, and those who invested their energy to have it b/c it was tailored to serve their interest.”
            This type of attitude is not going to take us any farther because this could be reversed to say, “Those who oppose the constitution of 1997 are those who wrongly believe the document will not protect their rights…”
            You don’t like Kuda Areza. Do you? This kind of attitude leads us no where but to kuda areza. So, I think we need to be able to discuss things without demonizing each other, or without implying that people who don’t agree with us do necessarily suffer from guilty conscience.
            NB: my reply was to say that there is no such thing as a “clean slate”, if the 1997 constitution was done under the vestige of EPLF, the next constitution will also be made under the vestige of certain political body. If there are Eritreans who opposed the 1997, there will also be Eritreans who will oppose the next constitution.
            Regards.

          • Ismail AA

            Ahlen Ustaz Mahmoud,
            My weekend is just at the door. I usually reserve the long “Hatetas” for the weekend because I cannot get the benefit the details contain, which time constraint imposed birds eye view reading won’t provide. This time also I will have to read this expanded rejoinder during the weekend.

            But let me quickly throw a point or two. One is that reads jump for the bait of authors for the quality of their products irrespective you agree with them or not. You just like their style and skill to write and the power to present their views, which add flavor to the taste of the reader. Ali Salem is one of them. If my memory helps me, I think you had expressed the same view about Johannes’ last article and how people like myself harried to catch his bait.

            The next point I would like to mentions is on the commission the regime had selected (not elected) to draft the constitution of 1997. What mattered was not who and how many sat on the commission; what mattered was who called the shots – the dictator in this case. It is a kind the employer-employee relationship. You may be correct there were people from the sectors you have mentioned, including experienced and educated members of the ELF. But can you with very calm conscience testify that they had an impact? Do you really believe the tate Azien Yassin or Osman Galladeos had not made their views known about, for instance, the language issue?. Do you believe those honorable men had not reported back their frustrations to constituencies they thought they represented?. Do you believe the chairman of the commission himself had the benefits of liberty and know-how to veto the desires and dictations of the Ato Isayas Afeworki?

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Ismael and Mahmouday,

            Apologies for Emma, the bait is being thrown to our face and we have to bite:-)

            The claim that the commission and the process of the forgery called constitution was inclusive is an argument I heard from day one. And I have been asking a question for which I didn’t get satisfactory answer.

            1. When any draft (a constitution at that) is floated for a public discussion, you would expect that the many discussions that took a long time would yield many feedback and recommendations (forget the rejection). And when the commission looks at the feedback, you would expect some changes, some additions, and some deletions. However, the final copy was the draft itself. The meetings were smoke screen and the many discussions didn’t amount to anything. The only thing that was changed is the Oath: instead of “b’sim sewuat,” they left it to the individual to invoke a dirty or anything else. Therefore the draft was the final and the final was the draft. Teeti, Teeti, Zey ma Ruhti, Jeeti. Oh Teeti, you returned the way you left– a popular saying. Please no headache of ” the people discussed it”. They were cheated.

            2. Because of the wide rejection of the Thingy, the late professor Tekle once wrote something to the effect, those who support it should go it alone. To which I remember writing a scathing criticism telling him he might as well talk to the mirror.

            3 I was in a meeting where Mussa Naiv (part of the commission) stated that There is no need for KhuzaAbelat, Arabic was introduced the British–meaning it was not an issue. I asked him what was the cultural, intellectual, commercial, and political language his ancestors the Naibs of the Red Sea used? He didn’t have an answer so he ignored my question.

            4 . In 2001 we had a promising meeting in Amersfoort (Holland) and I did accept under pressure and in a negotiation , the constitution as a rallying tool. Even Herui was optimistic and he had planned to run for election in Eritrea. It was laughable, the whole embarrassing drama.

            To me, discussing the PFDJ constitution is like discussing whether the earth is flat–useless exercise. I wish it is treated for what it is: a partisan document to help thePFDJ entrench, legally.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam SGJ,

            This issue is the battle of my life, because there is nothing important than a constitution. The struggle will continue and the inevitable will happen. I never thought to see independent Eritrea, but I joined the struggle knowing someone will pick the journey, if I die. This struggle is exactly like that. Our struggle will be picked by someone, if we pass before we see a constitutional democratic Eritrea. Thumbs up for the fight.

            Regards

          • MS

            Dear Emma, SAleH Gadi, IsmailAA
            Keep up the fight, whether we like it or not, the 1997 constitution was dead based on technicality. Even if wanted, PFDJ would not use it twenty years later without procedural problems. It would open a Pandora box, among them, why was it shelved away? Anyway, thanks.

          • saay7

            MaHmuday:

            I see that Emma Arkna is still pulling his impression of Tekle Tesfazghi ksab gzie motey: gena iyu Edley . It’s a focus on “doing the right thing” without any consideration for winning. Just do the right thing even if it takes generations and eventually you will win.

            The problem is States are not responsive to moral arguments. International organizations are not responsive to moral arguments. Unless. Unless these moral arguments can be made into legal arguments. Eritrean opposition has decided to unilat rally disarm and say we will not use the most potent we have—the governments failure to comply with the constitution- because r just don’t like the constitution. Imagine refusing to use an Ak-47 because you weren’t at the factory where it was made 🙂

            saay

          • ghezaehagos

            Selam Sal, MS, AH and others,
            Wonderful argument Sal.
            The problem is everyone starts from their experience, try to broaden a bit or accommodate some, and then recoil to their safe original positions. We are informed by our own experiences but we are HERE to fight the Isaias regime. As such, we should find the best tools to fight from a-far.
            20 years after the suspension of ratified constitution, what is the best legal tool do we have in both international and domestic scope? Domestically, where the tyranny is at and where we aim to change things, no one can deny the most consistent charge against Isaias is the non-implementation of the constitution. From G-15 to Forto, it was widely accepted. Every debate with a PFDJ supporter runs across this and they usually admit ..”NeSus HaqiKa!”
            Internationally; Have we read the reports of Amnesty, HR watch, COI-E that we hail so much in the opposition? In most of their recommendations, apart from their call for release of prisoners etc, they call upon implementation of the constitution.
            Isaias would never implement it anyways. So why fear of it as a means legitimizing a despot?
            You have to study your populace and honestly acknowledge, relatively speaking, that the most accepted document at the minimum in post-independence Eritrea: It is arguably 1997 Constitution. We at the opposition doesn’t have to remotely like it; but it is for our own BENEFIT to use it as weapon against the regime.
            Yours,
            Ghezae H.

          • saay7

            Selam Ghezae:

            Excellent points. But wait there is more as the late night infomercial guy said:

            All pro-independence Eritreans of the 1950s knew that the Federal Act was an imperfect document; that Matienzo was browbeat by Haile Selasse into drafting a document lopsidedly in favor of Ethiopia. But when it was violated, they sure used it as a rallying cry to show that Haile Selasse was not only morally flawed but also had no respect for the law.

            And when attempting to get support for the revolution, the arguments used were not moral (Ona, Beskdira) but legal: the right to self determination.

            I blame you doctors for not educating the people 🙂

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Hello Ghezae,

            Did it occur to you that your reference populace might not be representative of the Eritrean populace?

            Also, I have seen so many reports by the organizations you mentioned, but I do not remember them “recommending” the adaptation of the constitution (the specific PFDJ one)” If they did, maybe in passing, a few times and not a consistent , repeated recommendation. But then, I do not think their view if more important than the “Eritrean populace”.

            Finally, why do you think the constitution tool was not used in the last 20 year? If it was, I might have missed the party.

            At any rate, I think by now that tool is so rusted it may cause Tetanus to whoever touches it 🙂

          • blink

            Dear Gezae
            Thanks sir , really , But before any one reads this i am apologizing in advance for my intent mistake, what we know is what we saw or heard and that document is the only thing the people heard or saw. But i wanted you all to dream or think one “if ” scenario and that if is about labor party of ELF or their secret party , could they possibly make such document ????
            I am asking myself , what could possibly the labor party central committee of ELF produce in the constitution of 1997 “if they have the chance to do so ?” , what you have to question in this situation is also that the labor party central committee in 1978 and up to 1980 was looking to Afro -Asia solidarity ? down from there looking at the CV of possible committee from the labur party, we can simply under stand the deep uneasy thing. Dismissing the only tool we Eritreans supposed to use against the dictator and on top of that brewing the ethnically bad view of politics of grievances . I would use that to look in to my debaters face, Use that even if it is an imaginary face or scenario.

            The party was giving more attention to foreign relationship than to the Eritrean peoples feelings , at that time they did not trust the Eritrean people more than their external relationships . I am not surprised at this time also more weight is given to external forces for help than to the Eritreans .

            What they keep telling us is that “the Eritrean people does not trust each other, the constitution is not representative of Eritreans assuming all Eritreans are going to meeting with southern Generals” this line is toxic and it has heredity back to the 1970th.What i am confident is a common Eritrean guy from Highland as they call them has no bad intention to a Nomad in the lowland that i am 60% sure because i want to give the 40% as memlesi geza .

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ghezea,

            Good to see you back in to our political fraying pan. Pls make it frequent your visit. But, talking about our “populace”, which populace are you talking about? Really the entire Eritrean rainbow? I submit to you to make a worthy study about our populace. In Eritrean political parlance our “populace” means our specific community from the many communities, because our interaction is always are limited to such. Sorry, if I poked you for a man I admire in many thing.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • ghezaehagos

            Dear EMMA and SJ,

            1.How many demonstrations have we all been to and one the recurrent slogans
            is “Quwam Yitegber!” ?

            2. By “populace”, I meant to denote to the post-1991 generation that
            consists the largest section of the current Eritrea. We have to acknowledge
            these initiated under ELF-EPLF history are fewer and the younger generation
            that knows only Isaias Eritrea is getting larger. This is evident in our
            communities and newcomers and demonstrations. Do these people know the
            constitution of 1997 or say the Bayto covenant or any other Eritrean-produced
            documents?

            3. Please let us not be hampered by our experiences and opinions and let us
            learn how to fight to WIN to repeat Saay.

            4. If in doubt, let us ask what would Isaias do? Isaias hates the
            constitution of 1997 and his opponents called him out on that repeatedly. We
            are his opponents and let us help them by calling him out on that.

            5, This is for SJ.

            COI-E report’s First ever recommendation to boot.

            B. Recommendations
            (Page 83.) on June 2016.

            347. The
            recommendations made by the Commission in its first report remain valid. The
            Commission highlights below those recommendations that are specifically
            relevant to its new mandate, and makes new ones.

            1. Government of
            Eritrea

            (a) General
            recommendations

            348. The
            Commission of Inquiry recommends that the Government of Eritrea:

            Eritrea:

            A/HRC/32/CRP.1 84 (a) Implement
            fully and without delay the Constitution of 1997; any amendments thereto should
            be made in a transparent and participatory manner, and take into account the
            State’s international human rights obligations;

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Ghezae,

            Okay. You win. Now please continue to use the constitution tool the way your side has been using it to get us closer to victory. If the last 20 years are an indication, the tool has been very effective.

            NB: If you ever get the time, please think if (maybe) the cry for justice would be louder that the cry for the constitution.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Ghezae & SGJ,

            Ghezae, I will reitrate Saleh’s words to remind you again, that “the cry (voice) if justice is launder than the voice for constitution.” The demise of Issayas will not bring justice unless we fight for the system. You could use as a tool to fight in the international stage, but for the domestic, that constitution is and will be the source of our division. If it is used for domestic public consumption by those who have interest on it, it is a dangerous ploy to the struggle of justice – and a callous betryal to the victims of injustice.

            Regards

          • ghezaehagos

            Emma and SJ,

            1.Emma, you definitely remember the name Aklilu
            Habtewold. You remember his influence in the 1952 constitution. It was very
            flawed document that of 1952; but for the independence block (75%) it was a
            compromise than unconditional union that Ethiopia and Unionists wanted to.
            Idris Mohamed Adem was bayto president and a unionist, Mr. Tedla was chief
            executive. More importantly, the 1952 constitution was used as powerful legal
            foundation for the justification of our armed struggle.

            2. Now, none of the independence leaders were happy with
            federal act because truly we deserved our outright independence; but that didn’t
            stop them from understanding its powerful resonance as a legal tool and fail to
            use it. If it not entirely, the principle is the same here. By now, we at the
            deleyti-fithi understand fully the gaps of 1997 Constitution; it is seriously
            flawed in language, flag, land tenure, and other issues. Thanks to many of you,
            most of us want these issues addressed satisfactorily in any Eritrean future
            constitution or legal documents. That is done and done. Now; the greatest
            appeal of the 1997 constitution is its bill of rights. And how is that useful?

            Arguably the biggest beef we Eritreans, heck the whole UN
            and the world has with the Isaias regime is its human rights record; now
            officially crimes against humanity. The 1997 constitution has provisions that
            would address these issues and that would be a good thing. It would end
            impunity and bring elections issue to the fore. Now as justice-seekers, isn’t
            that a better than say than what we see now?

            So please, whenever we think of 1997 constitution, it may
            be bad; but think of its useful bill of rights.

            Yes, Emma justice is for all; there is no sense just for
            this group or that; that train has passed long ago. I am talking of the utility
            of the 1997 constitution as a tool FOR TODAY’S STRUGGLE against the tyranny of
            Isaias.

            3. Finally, we vowed we will fight Isaias regime anywhere
            and any legal manner we can? Right? Why not with the 1997 constitution? After all,
            the cardinal principle is by all means? Right: J

            Have a great weekend,

            Ghezae

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Ghezae,
            I think I mentioned “in passing” in my comment. And what you mentioned is a good example of “in passing” and doesn’t warrant a a general statement like the one you you mad about the recommendation. But we know who is pushing such agenda and that doesn’t make it “unpartisan”.

            At any rate, good luck using the rusty tool and if you happen to see a bonfire, please let me know. I would like to attend–any bonfire that burns the stains and symbols of the PFDJ.

            Stay good and please note this is my last comment on the topic. Meanwhile, this will be my tool: the PFDJ is ruling the country without a constitution , as AlArabi stated, and not shed tears for a useless paper.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            I have everything to live comfortably. “Edeley” is good. What I am fighting for is, for the Eritrean people who lost everything from basic needs to basic human right. I fight for full justice. You don’t fight for small % of justice. If you will be happy by the alms of justice of PFDJ, however small it might be, I won’t. Justice and humanity is demanded fully. So the song of Tekle Tesfazghi you alluded to me is irrelevant to my fight,

            Regards

          • saay7

            Alrighty Emma Arkey:

            Except that, the history of the world–particularly in your field, medicine–and including civil rights movement (justice) is the history of incrementalism.

            Even the alleged opposite of incrementalism, the moon shot, is incrementalism.

            So outside the world of university halls and the minds of revolutionaries, all is incrementalism. And the most effective weapon we have in incrementalism is that fine masterpiece known as the 1997 constitution.

            Abey emo 😉

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            If that is your dream, I can only say to you “Hilmka Aygehad” or Hilmi Derho Koynu ytref. Dream that satisfy your society.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Salah (Saay),

            Once more, on the issue of “incrementalism”: We fought in the armed struggle against that philosophy, and we use to call them those who goes for small ” ሒደት ረዓሚ”. My friend Bashay had this song regarding to those who had in mind less than “independence” and here are some few verses of the song:

            “ሰንኮፍ ተምበርካኺ ሒደት ረዓሚ
            ማይ ጨባ ዶ ይሓይሽ ካብ ጠስሚ”

            “ጽሙድ ናውቲ ዝበታትኑ
            መሰና ዝብሉ ሃገር ክትዓኑ
            ዓዲ ምስ ኣቶ ሓፋሽ ብጻዕሩ
            ስኣን ቀላሳይ ዓውዲ በዂሩ”

            Let our demand be for full justice and human rights. Let us not be “Hidet ReAmti.”

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah saay7 and all,
            Fair enough. But both are still at the zero point on the curve of the action graph, aren’t they? Neither those who want to keep it were able to load to become a shooting weapon nor the opponents could find an alternative weapon. “Fil al hawa sawa” as the Arabs say. The realistic way is both to join hands to get suitable weapon that can shoot.

          • saay7

            Hala Ismail:

            You know this better than me: politics is about organization and numbers. What triggered the whole revisit of the 1997 article is Ali Salim expressing his pride that his organization, the Eritrean Lowland League (ELL) turned down a request by Eritrean organizations (he has a demeaning collective name for them, of course) to demand the enforcement of the constitution.

            So now, in practical terms, we have two coalitions in Eritrea:

            1. The pro-1997 opposition aligned with the PFDJ reformers
            2. The anti-1997 opposition agreeing with the Isaias Afwerki wing of PFDJ.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Hala saay7,

            You bet; who would refute that “politics is about organization and numbers” on condition that feasibility and prioritized expediencies are in place?

            In regard to the two coalitions mentioned as classified on terms of stances on the constitution, which I think can only be tallied in our minds, the first one is as dispersed and in disarray as the second. It has not taken any shape to satisfy the requirements of organization and numbers. The folks within it had better chances to challenge the despot had they closed ranks and been organized. If this had happened and the our side (!) stood on the way, the blame for “agreeing with Isaias Afwerki” would have been justified, and hard to defend.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Ahlan Al-Ustaz Saleh,

            I think a government ruling a country without constitution, parliament, press freedom and political parties are enough legal issues to present to the international community without fighting hard to impose an illegal constitution of 1997. We have to understand, Isaias ordered preparation of 1997 constitution to distract people for some years until he becomes firmly settled. It was just a public consume for about three years. After the constitution preparation ploy was expired, he ignited the border war with Ethiopia. That war has given him a good reason to continue ruling the country. Again, he visited the constitution preparation when he felt the border issue as his supporters consume nearly expired.

            A constitution is a document for all the people. All political entities should participate in its preparation and at last should pass through referendum so as to call a legal document. Ustazi Saleh, argue about 1952 constitution which has legality and rationality in it.

            Al-Arabi

          • Saleh Johar

            Ahlan Al Arabi.

            On this one I agree with you fully.

          • saay7

            Hala Al-Arabi:

            I will reference the Federal Act if and when we are discussing federation with Ethiopia 😂

            But seriously: you don’t accept the 1997 constitution because Isaias had too much influence but you are ok with the 1952 constitution where Haile Selasse had too much influence?

            Can you tell me what’s so good about the *outcome* of the 1952 constitution that is superior to the 1997 constitution ? But you have to cite articles of the constitution.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            What kind of Influence HS had done on the 1952 constitution? It was drafted by the UN, debated by the Eritrean parliament and unanimously approved it. If the constitution was drafted under the influence of HS, why did the emperor abrogate the agreement? It does not make sense. HS had played in influencing years later on the Eritrean MP to annex Eritrea with Ethiopia. I don’t think and I don’t beleive had any influence in the outcome of the product – the constitution. Instead comparing it we can use both document as base and come with a document that unite us.

            Regard

          • saay7

            Selam Emma:

            I was looking for some clue to show me you are joking but I didn’t find anything. If this is a joke, you got me. If you are serious, please research the subject ( a good article appeared in Eritrean Studies Review in the 1990s) and the articles of the constitution itself which give the balance of power to the Imperial Govt.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Saay,

            Aya AdiU, I don’t joke and you know me by now very well. Always serious. Please help me on that document. I will not ask you whether the document was peer-reviewed document or not, as you did for me. I swear. If I said it, I mean it brother.

          • saay7

            Selamat Emma:

            You may want to ask for back issue from Red Sea Press because I don’t think Eritrean Studies Review is available, but the article I was referencing was: “A Brief Encounter with Democracy: From Acquiescence to Resistance during Eritrea’s Early Federation Years” by Tekie Fessehatzion. (1998)

            The abstract of his paper is:

            On December 2, 1950, the UN General Assembly passed Resolution 390 (V) A, stating that ‘Eritrea shall constitute an autonomous unit under the sovereignty of the Ethiopian crown’, specifying the powers of the Eritrean and federal governments, and stating that the Government of Eritrea ‘would be based on democratic principles’. The Resolution mandated the appointment of a UN Commissioner to prepare a draft constitition of Eritrea. He was expected to consider both the wishes and welfare of the inhabitants of Eritrea and the rights and claims of Ethiopia. The purpose of this paper is to show how the Imperial Ethiopian Government undermined the two cornerstones of the UN decision: democracy and internal autonomy.

            Meanwhile, in Eritrea and Ethiopia: The Federal Experience Tekeste Negash argues that the fault was not Ethiopias but the Federal Act itself which had a built-in contradiction.

            Both agree that the Federal Act created an Eritrean constitution which then instituted executive and legislative arms that were entirely subservient to the Emperor. I think the reason people romanticize that body is because it had a perfectly proportional number of the Christian/Muslim, Highland/Lowland all seated in their fine attires, but powerless to do anything that Endarkachew didn’t approve.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay & Gezae,

            Saay : Actually, I agree with Tekeste Negash that “the fault was not with Ethiopia but with the Federal act.” Think about it: Putting Ethiopia a “Feudal state with a Feudal institutions” and Eritrea with “a democratic institutions on democratic principles” under one yoke, and expecting them to pull together in one direction to make a progress was unrealistic. But then, since we were divided between unionist and independence block, for Eritreans the Federal Act was a uniting factor. At that time unity matters than anything. For Prime minister Aklilu and his elks, they welcomed the Federal act , in the hope the Federal act of Eritrea to influence and transform Ethiopia to a democratic state with democratic institutions. All dreams and wishes of both sides evaporated in the air when the emperor abolish the legal federal act, annexed Eritrea, and made it as one Ethiopian province. I think we agree on this.

            Second, the Eritrean constitution of 1952 wasn’t flaw for the Eritrean people at that specific time and specific circumstance. it is we, the next generation we are saying in hindsight that it was a flaw. Nothing wrong to evaluate in hindsight and find its flaws.The time and the circumstances have changed, and our manners has to change to cope with realities. With change of circumstance and time, we have learned and educated more about governmental structures and constitutions that advance democracy and justice, specially for multi-cultural societies. keep in mind, we are also challenging the 1997 constitutional document with the same spirit and desire for change. Nothing else.

            Ghezae: I understand your concern, I got it. Other than the “bill of rights” the document is problematic in the power structure, power distributions, on the issue of land, on the issue of language… etc, as set forth in the articles of the document. If your argument is let us use the bill of rights in the document as a tool for fighting in the international stage, I have no problem of that. What I don’t support is, when things are set and done, don’t tell us to use as a transitional document, b/c we can not run the state of Eritrea with the bill of rights only, if we agree it has a major problem as I stated. The document demand a major changes.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hayaka Allah Ustazi,

            I think the discussion is about legality of the two constitutions, that is, the 1952 and 1997.

            Ustazi, let me ask you a naive question. Isaias pledged to make a new constitution; may appear in 2018. Off course, illegal as the previous constitution that is cut to the size of Isaias. Now, my humble question is: Which illegal constitution you will choose, the 1997 or 2018? Don’t forget, the editor is the same guy, Isaias.

            Al-Arabi

          • saay7

            Halla Hameed:

            Ok. “Legality”

            1952: the legality was established by the United Nations (the Big Boys in charge.). Eritreans directly elected their reps in Asmara and Massawa (Woldeab Woldemariam lost badly in Asmara); elsewhere in Eritrea, every tribal and village chief hand-selected their representatives to the constituent assembly. The process was so flawed the loudest complaints were coming from Ibrahim Sultan’s Party, the Eritrean Democratic Front. Until their members won, then it was all silent:)

            1997: the legality was established by the EPLF (the Big Boys in charge) via a proclamation. The EPLF hand-selected what it considered representative group of Eritreans which were as representative (by ethncity, religion) as Eritrea is. Of course both the 1997 and 1952 constitutions underrepresented women. Actually, in the 1952 constitution, women could not vote. That is an actual article in the constitution (Good luck trying to get women to rally for that one.)

            Your question is not naieve at all, Ya’bu Hmeid. Let me give you a parallel you will understand. Do you think the Isaias of May 1998 (tanks in Badme) was the same Isaias of December 2001 (handshaking Meles in Algiers)? Same guy, different person. Similarly, the 1997 constitution was the product of an era when Isaias was at his weakest with a G-15 at the apex of their power and with neo-liberalism the single ideology of the world. It would be very different from a 2018 constitution. Same guy, different person.

            saay

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hayak Allah Ustazi,

            I think the weakest were the G-15 who were imploring Isaias to call them for a meeting. The guy of power had written a warning to the G-15 in scrap of paper telling them to make “ኣደብ፥ ግበሩ”. He was stopping their cars in the middle of streets and order to come down and hand their keys and walk on their feet. Later, he sent them one by one to prison. Can you tell me now that Isaias was weak? I think, your reason will not get a buyer in the market. It is better to look for something that makes sense and can support your argument. The 1997 constitution will remain illegal whatever kind of attire you attempt to dress it. It is a constitution tailored to the size of those who are in power. I am unable to conceive how a person of your caliber endeavors to justify for something illegal from day one to the end.

            Al-Arabi

          • saay7

            Hi Hameed:

            Baw! You are confusing 1994-1997 with 2000-2001.

            The 1997 refers to the year it was ratified not the year it was written. Here’s the timeline of the Eritrean Constitution.

            Proclamation: 1994
            Nominations by: Central Committee of PFDJ and Dr. Berkhet Habteselasse (think of them as the tribal chiefs)
            Number of Commissioners: 47. Ten were part of the Executive Council of the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea (CCE); 37 were just members.
            Drafted in 1995. Discussed 1995-1997. Ratified in May 1997.

            So, yes, in 1991-1997, Isaias was not the dictator he is now. There were power centers outside the president’s office.

            Here’s who wrote the constitution:

            Executive Council Members:

            1. Dr. Bereket Habteselasse, Chairman
            2. Azein Yassin, Vice Chair
            3. Zemehret Yohannes, Secretary
            4. Dr. Amare Tekle
            5 Idris Gelawdios,
            6. Dr. Seyoum Haregot,
            7. Amna Naib,
            8. Ms. Zahra Jaber,
            9. Paulos Tesfagiorgis
            10. Musa Naib,

            All highly qualified in terms of their knowledge of law, customs, culture, economics, representing Eritrea’s diversity.

            You can say the same thing about the ordinary members of the CCE including the late Taha Mohamed Nur, and Jafer Abubaker

            Twenty three of the 47 members were women.

            Now, do tell me about the Executive Committee that surrounded Anze Matienzo when he was drafting the 1952 constitution. Would you like to know? It was Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Aklilu Habtewold and…yeah, that’s it. Ethiopia had veto power over every language. And the evidence was in the articles of the constitution and in how the parliament functioned.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Just for the sake of correction: Azien Yasin (RIP) stayed only few months with the commission. However, I doubt if he stayed to the end, to influence Issayas and his colleagues in order to correct the flawed “process” and the flawed “product.”

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            I think you are correct the late Azien Yassin persevered to the end. But the issue is whether those who sat in the Executive or outside it had any impact on the final word of the constitution. The ELF guy as well a couple of non-EPLF members were below second opinion participants and mostly on technical matters and not the spirit and content of the clauses in the law. Those EPLF members, including the Chairman, knew like the texture on their own palms what was expected of them. Do not forget President had special cell to follow and communicate with commission on every word and grammar of the draft.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hayaka Allah Al-Ustaz Saleh,

            Ustaz Saleh, a commission of a constitution is not appointed by a single man or one party. The 1997 constitution commission appointed by PFDJ party which is a big flaw in itself before we go deep into the details of the constitution.

            You said, “1997: the legality was established by the EPLF (the Big Boys in charge) via a proclamation. The EPLF hand-selected what it considered representative group of Eritreans which were as representative”. This means, the Big Boys imposed their whims on the people of Eritrea.

            It is amazing to endeavor to make the PFDJ party hand-selected commission constitution, a national constitution.

            Ustaz Saleh, the tribal representatives of 1952 were not hand-picked by Anze Matienzo or Ethiopia’s Foreign Minister Aklilu Habtewold as the PFDJ has done. I don’t say it is a flawless constitution, but at least it is better than the 1997 constitution.

            Ustaz Saleh, do you want to tell us that the 1997 constitution is not Isaias constitution, but the EPLF, PFDJ and G-15 constitution? If that is the case, no blame for Isaias for not implementing that constitution. How do you want Isaias to implement a constitution prepared by one party members? Bravo, Ustaz Saleh, you have given Isaias a big excuse for not implementing the 1997 constitution.

            Al-Arabi

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah Ustaz saay7,
            Sincerely apologizing for repeatedly knocking at your door on worn out issues, I would love read your comments on a point that recurs ubiquitously when the issue of the 1952 constitution pops up. It is about women’s representation be it in its making or application. The question: can this, in all fairness and reason, be taken as presentable flaw when we known the social and spiritual set up of the society? Moreover, aren’t we speaking about an entity that had not yet been sure of its survival and where illiteracy was very much the rule of the than a rarity? How long did universal suffrage take among the liberal democracy veteran nation-states?

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hayka Allah Al-Ustaz,

            Moreover to what you have said about women representation in 1952 constitution, I think Ustaz Saleh should not forget that the 1952 constitution was sponsored by the United Nations and the UN herself was not caring about women representation at that period of time. Furthermore, even western countries were not this much caring about women at that decade of time. No comparison of periods between 1952 and 1997 concerning women representation. I hope Ustaz Saleh should look for other excuses for his arguments. I think waving with the women representation flag will not work.

            Al-Arabi

          • Ismail AA

            Hayak Allah ustaz Hameed,

            Those were the points I had suggested saay7 to consider. Women’s struggle for social status and political rights was slow and cumbersome even among the societies that the world considers were the birth places and development of liberal democracy. In this country where I had taken refuge and staying, the debate is still well and alive. It is still argued of whether salaries and share of state and social posts should be equally distributed.
            Ismail

          • saay7

            Hala Ismailom:

            I add “…and only men were allowed to vote per 1952 constitution” to emphasize the point to those who want to use that document as an inspiration. It was

            * written under heavy duress of Haile Selassie’s representative (who were negotiating and threatening when necessary with Matienzo):
            * it ended up with language that presented Ethiopia as the supreme power of the executive and legislative branches despite the UN resolution to grant Eritrea an autonomy under the Ethiopian crown

            And despite all its flaws (i.e. it was a document that recognized the supremacy of the Ethiopian crown), people used its violation as a reason to fight. Meanwhile, a vastly superior document in content (the 1997 constitution) provides us the tools to fight the Isaias regime and we reject it because the tool was made by Isaias. Very odd.

            saay

          • Ismail AA

            Hala Saleh,

            In addition to the matters I jotted by way of questions, I think the protagonists in the ring at that time included: politicians of an entity that was struggling to survive and emerge out colonial occupation in tact; and an array of powers – the USA and allies, an empire-state seen as crucial ally in the region and significant chunk of politicians and clergymen determined to act as proxies. Under those circumstances that circumscribed movements of the patriots to a kind of save what could be saved options, it’s hard to argue issues such as women, the importance notwithstanding, should have had constituted as foundation cornerstone agenda in the making of 1952 under the auspices of the UN.

            The point here is not whether or not it was an ideal edifice that was crafted to serve as source of inspiration to following generations though it had actually served as legitimizing instrument to the national liberation movement. It’s about the the timing and conditions: divided and colonial residues riddled political and social status quo produced 1952 document cannot in all fairness be compared to an all-Eritrean status quo under a national government sponsored 1997 document. It would have been an eternal surprising had the latter not come out superior to the former in content and spirit. But the contentions is about whether that superiority had served the unity of those it was supposed to serve or not. “The proof of the pudding is in eating” as is popularly said.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu Salah (saay)

            You always surprise me how you interpret “time” and “circumstances” in an effort to convince your readers. Your creativities to win a debate is commendable. Debates are engagements to win public opinion whether you are right or wrong. Am I right Aya AdiU? But ….but, be sincere Saleh. Really, Issayas was at his weakest position during the constitutional process (1994-1997) and G-15 that never exist until 2001, was at the apex of their power? Come on buddy. Issayas has never been at his weakest power even after losing the war with Ethiopia. He was the commander-in-chief at every turning point of our history. Facts are facts even if it is hard to swallow it. Issayas was in full command in the process of drafting the constitution, and in the war of destruction.

            Saleh, you remember the 3rd organizational congress of EPLF that transform EPLF to PFDJ. Issayas was in full command on the congress, to the extend who to be elected and who shouldn’t. Remember the case of Romedan and how Derue advised him to make a graceful exit when Issayas took him out from the list that was circulating, in the election of the central committee. Issayas had the upper hand in drafting the “charter”- you could say it, it is his document like that of “nihnan Alemanan”. Also remember when Dr. Bereket was asked on what bases they drafted the constitution. His reply was (a) on the experiences of our struggle (b) on the advices they got from the parties of France. According Dr. Bereket, when he said based on our struggle, which I have learned recently, was based on the “charter” of the PFDJ. Now tell me in unambiguous term that Issayas had no control on the process of drafting the constitutional document, in this historical context. The best argument for you is better to argue on the “value of the document” whether is was dictated by Issayas or not, then we can debate intellectually on the merits and demerits of the document. That way it will be educative, and we can make sensible argument that unite us, as people destined to live and coexist together. That is our fate whether we like it or not.

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Emma:

            I can’t debate obvious facts, my friend. Before Isaias became a full fledged dictactor he was an authoritarian guy and a handful of people had their own power centers. Ask what happened in the September 2000 central committee meeting. The point is that a future Isaias constitution will be significantly worse than the 1997 constitution for the reasons I already gave.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            This is what I could tell you: Worse or not, I will fight against it as far as I am alive. We are better than that and the Eritrean people deserve better than the 1997 document and the future issaias’s constitution which is without the participation of the Eritrean people.

            regards

          • saay7

            Oh Emma:

            Nobody is asking you to stop fighting. I don’t understand why you treat every idea you don’t agree as someone asking you to stop fighting. Fight away buddy. All I am asking you is to consider the tools you are using in the fight. Haven’t you seen enough cowboy movies where the Native Americans, in all their heroic glory and with truth on their side, charge with spears and arrows and they are mowed down by the cowboys? Choose your tools carefully. Assuming the goal is to win and not just to fighting for fighting sake.

            saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Saay,

            Let us make our points only. For good or bad the Eritrean people will collectively decide their fate and the fate of the nation at one point. One hopes something that unite us. There is no ill intent in our debate, it is all for the good of our prople.

          • Yossef Kesete

            Dear Emma

            I have been a silent reader of your input in this forum for a very long time. I may not agree on all issues with you but I really admire your knack for feeling the pain of others. Such gift is in short supply in the Eritrean political landscape and we will DEFINITELY need people like you in the post-IA period in healing the nation.

            I have a question for you:

            Is there any clause or article in the 1997 constitution that hinders/prevents your ability to publicize the grievances/oppression/grudges of any group of Eritreans like you are doing in this forum? If so, can you please be more specific?

            Thank you

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Yosief K.,

            Thank you for attempting to engage with me and thank you for the nice words. Don’t see it as game of politics, but I would frame your question in different way: Does the current constitution address the grievances of our society, including the rights of the minorities to have a fair share in running the affairs of their nation? My answers are no. If you believe otherwise, please let me know which clause in the document protect the rights of the minorities?

            Second, as you have noticed in my arguments, I have pinpointed the demerits of the document, not only on the issue of minorities, but also on the nature of the “political power”, nature of the “power distribution”, on the issue of “land ownership”, and on the issue of “official language”. If you notice the nature of the constitution, it is a “hybrid constitution” and a hybrid constitution gives you a “hybrid regime.” If you are aware with those concepts, should we be entangled with such kind governmental structure? I will leave it for you to contemplate about it? If it could help you, below is my article on hybrid regimes. Thank you for engaging.

            http://awate.com/eritreas-prospect-joining-the-league-of-hybrid-regimes/

            Regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Yossef Kesete

            selam Emma

            Good points really! So in your opinion, what is the best strategy to unite the forces for change and shorten the suffering of the Eritrean people whilst at the same time lay a strong foundation for the future?

            Thanks

          • blink

            Dear Yosief
            Federalists In the Eritrean Context are looking for ethnic based power sharing, like for example if there is no jeberti ethnic group, my grandfather will be opposing any government and if the kunama couldn’t administer Barentu they will continue to be in the bushes, if all the remnants of ELF ,like the people in this forum did not get a sit in the drafting committee ,they will call it the Highlanders draft , the demands of such people is not justice but deep need of the power to pay back as a revenge for their lose . This is the truth. There is no reason for any young Eritreans to think about ethnic grievances while they are at the mercy of Doomed situation. Some people sleep in the labor party of ELF while the young are being held on their old Grievances and so much thing they complain is simply insulting to the honest people looking for justice. Unless they stop this evil idea of pushing people to corners by fabricating this ethnic grievances and shortage of trust , we will be here for a long period of time.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Blink,

            Please, please “Zeytebahle Ayte-Elel”. At least we are not debating on Federalism in the current debate. We are debating on the merits and demerits of the 1997 constitutional document. You are not debating, you are accusing, and it is a baseless accusation. If you have a red meat for a debate you are welcome. Otherwise go back and reread your comments, they All heaps of accusations. Even if you want to support the constitition you could debate on its merits if it has at all. If not watch and learn from the debate. We don’t have grudges we have only grievances. Opposing for something is not grudges.

            Regards

          • blink

            Dear Mr.Amanuel
            I am not debating and I don’t want to debate , but I have the right to say my own understanding and you have your own , I can learn but not from this one sorry sir. You have debated this and federalism too but what is the thing you got ? Now it is known you believe the Eritreans don’t trust each other and I disagree because of the political of these who do not trust each other did not represent the majority of Eritreans. Now am right that you , saleh ,Ismael are ex ELF ??

            Point two is , you all think you guys are much smarter than these who participated in the process of drafting unless how could you guys spend ages on this and other things that has nothing to contribute to the unity of the justice camp , Walah ,

            Zeytebahile aybelkun , tsemike tray eye negire .

            The truth from my side about this issue doesn’t have your influence. Nothing to learn except how to make the Eritreans distance apart. That is the thing I will not be lectured by any one.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Blink,

            Again “zeytebhle aytizareb”.
            We didn’t say we are smarter than them, in fact what we are saying is they have cheated us and the public to come with this document that divided us. Nothing else. After all knowledge of any sort is a matter of training and self-educating, and therefore, documents such as “constitution” are not legal document only , but also political document, and hence our challenge.

            Regards

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Yossef Kessete, I’ve studied the Eritrean Constitution from 1997, and there is no article whatsoever that bans any Eritrean from expressing their greivances. On the contrary, the Contitution is full of provisions that allow and promote the rights of Eritreans’ participation in all aspects of the society, be it political, economic, social, or cultural issues. It is really sad to witness some commenters here like Amanuel Hidrat when they try to disinform people about the language issue, when the fact is that the only article that deals with language, Article 4, sub-Article 3 states:
            3. The equality of all Eritrean languages is guaranteed.
            Which is, in my opinion, fair enough.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            I didn’t say that there is no clause or article in the constitution related to the languages. What I said is, the constitution did not determine the official language(s) of the state. Am I not right? At least accuse me on what I have said whether it is valid or not. Keep in mind we are reading and rereading for purposes of our argument. We have the document at hand long before we start to debate on it.

            Regards

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Amanuel Hidrat, you’ve tried to put the ’97 Constitution in bad light when it came to languages, when the fact is the Article that I quoted for you. The Constitution doesn’t deal with each and every detail, it is mostly general provvisions, and guiding principles. And as a matter of principle, the Constitution recognizes and guarantees the equality of all languages, soemthing which is the very important. The question of official or working languages is something that comes in addition to the basic principle, and that could easily be dealt with through promulgation just like numerous other issues which are not specifically dealt with in the Constitution.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Abraham,

            In my humble view, managing practical omissions through by-laws and promulgations, as you put it, is one thing, while justifying flaws under the pretension of universal principles in a legal instrument is totally another. For instance, what does “equality of languages” mean in the context of the practical conditions and realities of the country? Has the draft constitution enumerated which languages are equal to one another? Actually, why resort to Orwellian to all are equal but implicitly one among them is more equal type of logic?

            Nations prescribe to precedents when they serve the needs of the society’s unity and shared will. I think we know the home of Magna Carta (Britain) still follow the tradition of precedents and has not yet written constitution. Why should the regime ignore the precedent (1952) of specifying official languages when it was very much aware of the implication to unity of the people, and fate of its own constitution and attempted to take shelter in deceptive but obvious “all languages are equal” pretension.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Ismail AA, well, the 97′ Constitution doesn’t enumerate which languages are equal to each other, and I don’t think that was important, either. The principle is, all Eritrean languages, whether they are nine, ten, or other number, are equal. This principle might be very difficult to put in practice, so I share your concern on that. At some point, the representative body would have to decide on the issue of official or working languages, not only for the sake of expediency when communicating with the people, but also to address the needs of the sections of our society.

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Abraham,

            I always bow with humility when compatriots like you stand firm on what they believe but become gracefully amenable to justice and fairness, as I read in your words that “not only for the sake of expediency when communicating with the people, but also to address the needs of the sections of our society”.

            The sense the words “expediency” and “need” convey is the core issue the writers and sponsors of the constitution had not cared to taken good care of. The way they they formulated languages issue served the expediency of some but hurt the needs of others. That was why a seed of controversy was sown into the body of the document. In fact, if their rationale was that language was mere working tool, I could not understand why at least they were not considerate enough to the interest of a large part of the population and put the two previous official languages as working languages if they were had anathema to the term “official”.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            Do you have an idea why Aba-Are was thrown to a jail by Issayas? It was related to the language issue. Whether the issue of official language is decided by a constitutional or statutory laws, we can debate on it, but I am not wrong when I say the official language was not determined by the constitution. And remember pinpointing to the defect of the document is not not bad light or good light. Again debate on its merits I will debate on its demerits without any accusation.

            Regards

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, but you’ve not akcknowledged the recognition and guarantee of the equality of all Eritrean languages provided for in the 97′ Constitution, which, according to my opinion, carries a heavier weight than the issue of what languages to use as official or working ones.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Abraham,

            No Abraham, I do know that, and even I challenge Dr Bereket during the process when he was touring, I believe in 1995, that they should determine the official languages of the land rather putting in that ambiguous phraseology. I made it clear to him my disagreement. In fact the good doctor admitted later that they made a mistake on land and language issues and other things. You could disagree to my argument, but don’t believe that I did not read it.
            Regards

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, I would not say ambiguous, but rather too ambitious and way difficult to guarantee the equality of all Eritrean languages in practical terms of state matters. So I really do not get it why the Commission chose the very difficult issue of guaranteeing the equality of all languages than the much easier specification of certain official or working languages.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Dear Abraham,

            When we debate calmly without accusation, we can agree on something if not in all. Here the right thing they should have done is, exactly like your last statement in the comment (though you put it as probable), and I will paraphrase it ” they should determine the official languages while allowing every linguistic group to exercise their own language to serve their own culture.” These position will satisfy all our diversity. Correct, me if I am wrong in restructuring your comment. If that is the case we agree. Bingo.

            Regards

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, I put it as probable, because the intention of the Constitution for allowing a more difficult to fulfill ‘guarantee equality of all languages’, while not specifying the relatively easier issue official languages is not clear. Was that deferred for later promulagation? Well, only the Commission has answer to this question. And, yes, I don’t have any problem with your reformulation of my opinion, I don’t see any problem or inconvenience in not including a clause in the Constitution about official languages. The reason for my criticism of you in my first comment was because I understood your comments as if you were saying the ’97 Constitution totally ignores the issue of languages, which it doesn’t.

          • saay7

            Selamat Abraham:

            Because, Abe, it is a universal right enshrined in the UN.

            Saay

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Saay, I’m not minimizing the need of respect of Eritreans to use their respective rights as they wish, but how could a State guarantee the equaliity of all the languages, esp. where there are many languages like ours, in its dealing with the people? I think there is serious practical, resource, and man-power issues related to the fulfillment of such a guarantee, esp. for poor countries like ours. So while recognizing the rights of all citizens to use their own languages, shouldn’t the Constitution have specified the official languages through which the State deals with all the citizens?
            While we are at it, why do you think the Constitution Commission didn’t include a clause about official or working languages in the document, which is much simpler to fulfill than guaranteeing the euallity of all languages? Before the ratification of the ’97 Constitution, I remember hearing about heated debates and deliberations on certain matters of the document during the final review by the Constituent Assembly; do you know whether the issue of official languages was an agenda in that debate?

          • saay7

            Selam Abaraham:

            There wasn’t a huge ideological difference between socialists ELF and EPLF but if there was absolutely predictable thing about their vision of Eritrea:

            ELF = Tigrinya + Arabic as official language
            EPLF = equality of languages

            I mean nobody can say that an EPLF-controlled Eritrea setting the national agenda would ever agree to a policy of official languages. On the polarization of their views on this specific issue, Redie Bereketeab wrote a decent paper (well researched) ACHI he appeared in the African-Studies Review that I highly recommend.*

            When the constitution was being drafted, this issue was extensively debated all over the world, as Dr Bereket Habteselasse disclosed in his interview with awate way back in 2001. Unfortunately, because the Commission he chaired never provided a paper on the drafting of the constitution, we do not know what the public sentiments were (pro or con.) Redie Bereketeab explains that on this issue, more than ethnicity or religion the most reliable predictor on where one stands is: which liberation front one identified with. (I disagree with him on that as the Ramadan Mohammed Nur faction of the EPLF was for Tigrinya-Arabic and many (most?) members of the so-called “Falul” movement within ELF were against having Arabic as co-official language.

            Anyway, when the UN went all in on mother-tongue education, the EPLF position, no matter its motivation when it originated, was given a “social justice” garb.

            saay

            * http://www.joycerain.com/uploads/2/3/2/0/23207256/th_e_politics_of_language_in_eritrea.pdf

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Thank you for the attachement on “the politics of language” by Dr Redie Bereketeab. Second a little correction on implying the Falul as if they were against Tigrigna and Arabic to be official language or working language on the ELF org. The issue of language was not part of their agenda. Falul was known for their resistance against the policy of ELF leadership on calling the two splinters of Hizbawi Hailetat for unity with ELF. They only support the unity of ELF with the splinter of Hizbawi Hailetat of Issayas group and opposing the Sabe group, that lead a military action by the leadership against them. The only organized resistance against Arabic language as working language in ELF was at the office of social affairs in the department of Education where I was part of it. I think we debated about it few years back on this forum. Our position was purely from lack of knowledge of history and lack of knowledge to the needs and demanded by sections of our society. In short it was from lack of experience on the intricate Eritrean politics. I have confessed about that in one of my articles. What I see the resistance on Arabic language now, is not different than the path we went through back then before we start to recognize the need of our people on the ground.

            Note: When I hear the word Falul to the social movenments inside ELF, it always cringes me. It was not anarchism, it was grievances on the policy of ELF leadership. Once the leadership baptized them with this political term to blackmail them, unfortunately it sticks with the public conscience.

            Regards

          • Ismail AA

            Dear Aman,
            Thank you for your elaboration on the question of the so called Falul and frictions trigger matters during those days. Through sincere acknowledgement in paragraph two you have elaborated the point I tried to make in my rejoinder to brother Abraham earlier today. As you have rightly put, the Falul did not have a separate program and were in fact loyal to the NDP of the 2nd congress in1975. Their grievances were by and large based on the debate about the mechanisms, speed and policies unifying the two fronts in the field and closing the sad chapter of internal clashes in Hamassien. As we know the group had close link with Herui Bairu who cannot in anyway be suspected as opponent of Arabic as an official language. The key thinkers among the group included the late Georgis Habte with whom I had briefly worked very much respected for his patriotism and awareness on national matters.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Ismailo,

            If you don’t mind Ismailo, let me put that particular history in perspective. I was EDM member starting from its inception in 1975 until its split in 1978. It wasn’t against ELF’s political program. In fact the political program was an instrumental to our struggle to shape the direction of the ELF organization in particular and the Eritrean politics in general. That must be clear. While at it, there was misunderstanding as to the relationship between EDM and the spontaneous movements ( as they call it Falul) of the army on the issue of unity and the policy of ELF leadership at that time. The leadership was believing that the movements of the army was manipulated by EDM, until the 4th regular meeting of the revolutionary meeting, I believe in early 1978. There wasn’t any coordination nor direct relationship between EDM and the spontaneous reaction of the army. Finally, ELF leadership found it that there was none at all, as reported to the regular meeting of the council. ELF’s leadership made a historical error that was “detrimental to the organization” when they took a military action against them. It was a sad history to even remember it.

            regards
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • blink

            Dear Abraham
            Is not it possible also the constitution can be amended?? I used to know constitution is a living document, many great nations amend their governing book , why is it seen that the Eritrean political views of this book seen as toxic?? Grievances in 2017 !! Who are they speaking ? To the highlanders, oh they can try but the answer is NEDEKA MAI WUREDELA .

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Blink,
            You are going crazy with your speculations and accusations. The fact that some people reject the constitution can be for many different reasons. I reject it fully. But that is not because of “Highland-Lowland” as you are trying to make it sound. I believe it was done with everlasting control of the affairs of the region by a single party and allows the emergence (and sustenance) of despotism. Citizens can agree or disagree on many issues, but if we continue on the path of vilification, and unfounded accusations, then both sides have enough subjective, and emotional, accusations that cannot be proven and are counter-productive for the well-being of the nation. I urge you to recognize the right of citizens to reject or accept any regime proposal. This jumla branding is the weapon of the weak who cannot argue their point without insulting people and transgressing on the rights of citizens to air their views. Nations cannot be kept in tact by bullying but by convincing.

            If you think I am not making sense, please ignore my comment and don’t make it worse. So far you have insulted us all without reservation just because some of us reject the Isaias paper.

          • blink

            Dear Mr saleh
            This constitution thing doesn’t interest me at all but the issue raised here is only due to Ali salim and the people who wanted to drive this , I mean it is like this “We got involved with casino gambling, and there was never any accusation of doing anything wrong.” you see how I look at this is not because you don’t agree or support the 1997 constitution, it is just I like to read the CV of these in this casino.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi blink,

            Eritreans are proud to serve their mothers, “NEDEKA MAI WUREDELA”; but for you and your likes is an insult which is a vivid prove of your substance, background.

            Al-Arabi

          • blink

            Dear Hamid
            You can ask other people about that ? you are not fluent in Tigrinya may be , it is an idiom not an insult to mothers.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi blink,

            Slang language doesn’t qualify you to interpret Tigrinia idioms. Ask any person who understands Tigrinia well to explain to you the meaning of the idiom you have written and the context in which you have applied.

            Al-Arabi

          • blink

            Dear
            Hamid
            I am sure about what I wrote and it’s meaning,if you want to give your own brand meaning go for it , it doesn’t bother me at all.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi blink,

            Isaias has as warm friendship with Lucifer since a longtime ago. As a result of this close friendship, Isaias requested from Lucifer to build for him a bridge from Adi-Hallo to the White House. Lucifer replied, Mr. President this is very difficult request; it requires tons of concrete and iron. Don’t forget the bridge will cross the ocean. If you have any other request, please tell me. Isaias asked him to mend for him the PFDJs and his supporters minds. Lucifer replied, Mr. President, do you want the bridge one way or double way?

            Al-Arabi

          • blink

            Dear Hamid
            I didn’t know you have a love lost for the Christians but you surprised me . Lucifire was cast from heaven for rebelling against so called god , while I know the origins of the word , I simply believe this was a hoax like all religious beliefs. Non of it is a surprising reason for me to see you use it. After all an imam is a prime suspect of the Spain terror attack , could this cast angel from heaven was talking to him .

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Hi blink,

            Terrorism has no special color. The mafia in Asmara are terrorizing innocent Eritrean, the same as the guy who terrorized the Spanish. There is no difference between the two terrorists group.

            Al-Arabi

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Salam Abraham H.,

            My friend, Eritrea precisely turned to a country where if you don’t know Tigrina you will face the question of: አርትራዊ፥ ኣይኮንኻንድካ?

            Al-Arabi

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Al-Arabi, the ’97 Constitution was never put into practice, so it is very unfair to claim the current predicament of Eritreans is the result of that document. May be you need to revisit the document to understand its real content? It is very unfair of you to conclude all the ills of our society that have worsened during the last 17 years of the Isayas tyranny are due to the Constitution which itself was the victim the dictator’s illegal actions.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Dear Abraham H.

            Isaias has taken from the 1997 constitution what he requires for his mission at the present, and the rest of the constitution has put it on his shelf. Can you tell me, my friend, from where did Isaias bring the land proclamation that he is implementing? Ask any Eritrean: to whom belongs the land of Eritrea? He will reply you without hesitation to the government. In Eritrea you have no right to build, paint your house, plant a tree or chop its branches from a tree inside your compound. Isaias has the right to confiscate or demolish your house at any time without any compensation. The reason, all Eritrea is the property of Isaias. Tell me Mr. Abraham: where can we find this article of land proclamation? Isn’t this article in the 1997 constitution?

            Al-Arabi

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Al-Arabi, again, you’re repeating the same tactic: use the current policies of the dictator to trash the ’97 Constitution, very unfair. Though the Constitution claims all land to be the property of the State, it doesn’t deny the citizens ownership of their own property, nor does it allow the confiscation or appropriation of private property by the State without compensation and due process of law.
            In fact States owning land and all resources above and below the land is not unique to the Eritrean Constitution, it is rather a common practice around the world. Here is a quote from one study I read about this issue: “the state in the world system of nation-states is almost everywhere the major formal owner of natural resources. Nations claim ownership of vast territories, including the land and water within their borders, the oceans bordering their land base upto 200 miles offshore, vast ocean bed mineral and fuel resources, wildlife and fish that inhabit these lands and waters,,and the air space immediately above their land base”.

          • Hameed Al-Arabi

            Dear Abraham H.,

            What you have quoted is the territory of every nation in the world. This concerns every nation around the glob. It is an international law that specifies the boundaries and properties of nations, peoples. Don’t mingle the meaning of a nation with a government of a nation. Make more researches, my friend.

            “the state in the world system of nation-states is almost everywhere the major formal owner of natural resources. Nations claim ownership of vast territories, including the land and water within their borders, the oceans bordering their land base upto 200 miles offshore, vast ocean bed mineral and fuel resources, wildlife and fish that inhabit these lands and waters,,and the air space immediately above their land base”.

            Al-Arabi

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            On issue of land: “public ownership” and “state ownership” are two different policy of ideological principles. You have to have a clear position on it. If the priciple in the constitution declares that land must be the “property of the state” it means there is no private property”. It is owned by the state and can be given and taken by the state. If it can be given and taken at the whims of the state, then we can not call them “private property.” You see brother, you could stand with that ideological principle as stated in the document and defend it, but don’t try to mix the concept between “private ownership” and state ownership” as they are opposite to each other. This is one of the ideological differences we are debating on the issue of “LAND” and the constitution itself. Just to make it clear the debates of the opposites.

            Regard

          • Abraham H.

            Selam Aman, I think, first we need to agree that the Constitution is not an inflexible document, and that it cannot give answers or detailed solutions to each and every aspect of our daily lives. As Blink said in one of his replies to me, the Constitution is a living document that would evolve and change in tandem with the development and progress of our society. Having said this, I don’t like to engage in semantics, but would rather quote the articles in the ’97 Constitution that deals with the rights to property:
            Article 23 – Right to Property
            1. Subject to the provisions of Sub-Article 2 of this Article, any citizen shall have the right, any where in Eritrea, to acquire and dispose property, individually or in association with others, and to bequeath the same to his heirs or legatees.
            2. All land and all natural resources below and above the surface of the territory of Eritrea belongs to the State. The interests citizens shall have in land shall be determined by law.
            3. The State may, in the national or public interest, take property, subject to the payment of just compensation and in accordance with due process of law.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Abraham,

            It is not even semantic, it is clear ideological policy. Quoting is not enough. We have to know on what ideological spirit was written, and what it entails if it is practiced. At least I am not naive to know the ideological spirit of the document in terms the content of the article. Second we are saying that it has to be changed with the development and progress we are in, before it is enacted. You can not talk about amendment for a document that has never been implemented. If we knew its flaws before it is implemented, let us do something about it, But don’t tell us to be implemented as is.

          • Abraham H.

            Dear Aman, I’ve never said it has to be implemented as is; there is not even the possibility of doing so when the regime has decided to discard it and when the opposition is in no position to come and discuss together let alone talk about implementing a Constitution. But I believe that Constitution from ’97 could have been used as a good nation-building tool, far better from our current sorry state we find ourselves in. You said, ” You can not talk about amendment for a document that has never been implemented”, I don’t think there is any rule that says so. Let’s say the current regime is removed, and all political actors come together to determine the law of the land-the Constitution; are you saying they cannot take the ’97 Constitution as starting document and amend or reach on compromise agreement as regards some of its articles, irrespective of whether it has been implemented or not?

          • MS

            Ahlan Emma and Abraham
            I chose to stay away lest the debate take an EPLF/ELF orientation. And I think you guys are having a great debate. Now, that my fingers are itching me, here are some points I want to make:
            1. It would be more indicative of seriousness if the side that opposed the first ever Eritrean constitution to first come up with a charter of opposition that rallies a percentage of the Eritreans who participated in the making of the constitution. Twenty years and counting and they could not even produce a national charter that the opposition agrees upon, never mind about writing a better constitution…It is all hyperventilating politics….and make no mistake the past is haunting us…This is why I have put my hope on the new generation- I’m ready to take a couple of lashes on this.
            2. The issue of the use of land is linked to the issue of the rights of citizens. Laws detail how equitable land and resources are distributed among citizens, and active citizens watch the distribution and use of their resources. If they see it mismanaged, they use the articles of the constitution and applicable laws to hold the government and its officials accountable.
            3. The issue of the return of Eritrean refugees is also linked with the rights of citizens. Once the constitution is enforced, citizens and their civic networks could pressure the government using the articles of the constitution.
            4. Dear Emma, what is the difference between “public owned and state owned” when it applies to national assets? To me they are synonymous. For instance there are state and federal government owned assets in the USA. Those assets are public, meaning a government that represents the public manages it; it determines its use and how to distribute the returns to the public. We call them public owned because the government or state acts as an agent on behalf of each individual of citizens who delegated it with running their affairs. Some call it public owned, some call it state owned, some call it nationalized…depending on the ideological lexicon of the state.
            5. The other point is language. As an education medium, any educator will tell you that it is preferable that children be taught in their mother’s tongue. And there is a clause that says every citizen/child has the right to use any language of choice. Localities can deal with it when power devolves to them. So, in its instructional sense there is no problem. We have made it. Tigrayet is not less capable of educating its children than Tigrigna. However, wen it comes to politics, of course, things fall apart. When there is a feeling that certain group is dominating politics, their language becomes equally dominant to the eyes of the aggrieved. Otherwise, everything taken equal, having a unifying language should be taken as a blessing. If Tigrigna assumes that place peacefully, then be it. However, I’m not opposed to the other proposal either, but it is not a making or breaking factor as far as I’m concerned. Even if we make them co-official, there is no guarantee that both will have equal chance of circulating. It all depends on whose cadre is running public machinery, how strong the institution are to settle constant frictions and lawsuits coming from citizens and groups who feel the government has tramped over their rights in this area… and the overall feel of citizens, i.e, do the two blocks (Arab speaking &Tigrigna speaking) feel their rights are upheld by the state, etc.
            For now that is it, and have fun with the debates.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Merhaba Mahmuday,

            This is not a debate between EPLF and ELF. This is a debate between two citizens on issues that matters to all Eritreans. Period. The Era of ELF and EPLF is relegated to history books. Can you catch up with the realities. Please do not frame our debate on past history while we are talking with the present and the future. Thank you in anticipation.

            Regards

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi all,
            I agree that the era of the struggle organization has concluded in 1991. Whether we like it or not, we have ownership of all tha history as a nation. The elf in its struggle era form has wrapped up abou three decades ago. Framing current issues with old partisan rivalries is a disservice to the now and the future. Many including me are discouraged to continue debating once they sense an attempt to frame it on an old mould. I appeal to all to recognize the old struggle is over and we have been in phase two of the struggle since a long time ago. I wish we can focus on the post 91 era and leave the history.

          • MS

            Selam Emma &SalehG
            Ygberelna. May the magical forces of the world unite in order to make your latest words permanent.
            Dear Emma the central line of your argument has been that the process was heavily influenced by EPLF, or to use your words, its “vestige”. Because of that vestige, you are discarding the millions who participated in it. May be that is the definition of democracy in a parallel universe. But ygberelna, or may God make your words hold up!! Amen. As far as catching up is concerned, it is all about position and direction of motion. God knows who should reverse direction and catch up. Thanks.

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam MS,
            .
            MS, I read the whole thing!
            On some occasion you are coherent,….. to the point,….. precise and down right sensible as exhibited in this response.
            In my personal measurement book, it merits 98%.
            I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I do admire “fireT yale ewnet” when I see one.
            .
            The difference between you and saay when engaging in similar discourse with Amanuel Hidrat is that saay loses his temper and adds those one or two words zingers at the end of his clarifying sentence or paragraph. That changes the whole thing and opens the door for A. H to engage in o..outa for help from the bystanders.
            You didn’t do that. I would have considered it 100% perfect response to the points he raised.
            But then, you couldn’t help yourself,… that tick,… you have to bring in that Ethiopian General in the discussion of an Eritrean constitution.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Hi Kim,

            Absolutely, I do not need any help whatsoever. I have my own principles, I fought for them and I die for them. Just to know it, if you don’t.

            Regards

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat,
            .
            I know…I know, that is the problem.
            Let me start by saying this. You, M.S and saay, all want what is best for Eritrea and Eritreans. That is a basic tenet you have to accept. If you have a different opinion of them then you have to declare it.
            .
            Here, all I am pointing to, perhaps I am the wrong messenger, is for you to calmly consider their points. I don’t think they are proposing perfect solutions.
            .
            Few years ago I made a statement, perhaps to you or someone else who was advancing a remote and impractical solution to what was happening on the ground. I forget the exact context.
            I remember saying that the Eritrea he/she were talking about never exited, does not exist now and most likely will not exist in the future.
            It drew quick rebuke and insults probably deserved but nonetheless.
            All I was trying to say and I am saying now is idealism belongs to University students. Good students who are trying out their wings. In the real world sometimes you have to choose between the lesser of bad choices.
            At the moment when you are facing dire existential threats not just to 2% or 5% of the population but 100%, the calculus have to change. Aspiring for a Scandinavian type of Democracy and conflict resolution templates from an American university tantamount to surrendering what you fought for and gained for your people so far.
            .
            Taking the best realistic approach to get to somewhat better than you are in now, is not a weakness, but wisdom.
            Learn from Gabon or Senegal or someplace similar templates to advance forward with your MS and saay by your side.
            Once you are all in Asmara, you can discuss the next future journey over coffee. From what I know of the three of you, I guarantee that there will be a heated argument again. But then perhaps people at that time will not be gasping for air.
            .
            Mr K.H

          • MS

            Selam mr.K.H
            Ha…ha….K.H may be what you see on those “some occasions” may not be incoherence. May be just I’m criticizing WAyane on some issue and you read it as incoherence.
            Here is a coherent one for you and Horizon, after all, you guys love me so much and you deserve some pleasant news coming from me.
            An Ethiopian friend who loves IA and detests Wayane goes to visit Ethiopia, Awasa, to be exact. He came back a changed man. He was awestruck by the business boom and public works so much so that he said he was willing to give Wayane another 25 years to rule Ethiopia. It’s up to Ethiopians to agree or disagree with him, but this was a man I was telling that it would be better for Ethiopians to avoid armed resistance against wayane, that it would be more efficient to use the constitution to keep challenging the government. Now, he agrees with me. See, friend all I want is for your government to make an end to the border issue and we will be fine. Regarding the Ethiopian general, it is not incorrect. Even Emma won’t deny it. Now, imagine yourself in my place. would you accept an Ethiopian opposition that was overseen by a Kenyan general, let alone Eritrean?

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            I don’t know how young you were and how knowledgeable was about the peace process between ELF and EPLF in Khartoum in 1977 and 1979. I do not recall the General now, but it was moderated by a general from the ministry of interior to come with a draft of agreement before it was signed by the parties before President Numeiri. Was that wrong in principles to be moderated by a general? I do not think so. What is the fuss when it comes to thr oppositions and Ethiopia? At least in the days I was there there were not interferences. It is our failures, we can not overcome our mistrust to each other.

          • MS

            MarHaba Abi Seb
            Emma, from where I sit, i see some difference between the role of the Sudanese General you mention and General amare of Ethiopia.
            1. Sudan was not in a state of “no war, no peace” with Eritrea or its revolution. Ethiopia is in a state of “no war, no peace” with Eritrea, and it has an unfinished business, no need to explain.
            2. The government of Sudan of that time was a military government and it would be expected that most of its officials were military men.
            3. Eritrean revolution of that time (and at any time of its existence) had a popular base inside Eritrea; it had controlled territories, and therefore, had a high capability of mitigating foreign interference. And look at this: Eritrean revolution of 1977-79 would have been of the same age to the opposition in 2017!! Compare them. You know the ins and outs of both (Eritrean revolution of 1977 and Eritrean opposition of 2017).
            4. Emma, there is no question that it is our failure, otherwise, there would not be the need of an Ethiopian official managing the presence of a myriad of Eritrean organizations (and let’s call him official because it does not make any difference). He must be so patient. I don’t know the extent of Ethiopia’s role but some individuals who know the inner-working of the opposition disagree with you.
            I think that’s enough for now.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Ahlen Mahmuday,

            For God’s sake, it is all the same.Both were handled by the security apparatus of the governments, and that is for obvious reason. It is upto you to whom to trust, if you heard otherwise on the opposition/Ethiopia relationship. But I hope no to try to convince me from second hand info for one who knows first hand the issue.

            On the issue of our relation with Sudan and Ethiopia, you are making simply like our adage “kitbeleA zideleka Abagumbah Zegra tibla.”

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam MS,
            .
            Not so fast, what do you mean your friend agrees with you?
            Your friend after a visit to Awasa is giving the WEYANES 25 more years to rule. I was giving them only 20 years. You didn’t give them any.
            Thanks for a little bit of actual good news. Result does matter.
            Abi, Amanuel’s good friend, reduced our situation to a simple short “Dabo” philosophy. If it is good for “Dabo” it must be supported, if not must be fought. I miss that guy.
            .
            Mr. K.H

          • Selam MS,
            C’mon MS, I do not think that our discussions in the visual world of the Internet provokes a love – hate sentiment in us. May be a sort of satisfaction or frustration, and nothing more. We might not like the viewpoint, but hating the person, especially a person we do not know and have never met or will ever meet, is a serious matter that has no rationality. I am sure it was all meant for the fun of it. We cannot agree unless we disagree first.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            WaE, Mahmuday since when grievances became grudges? But, then in your books to accuse the victim with grudges is common. What is the difference your accusation with that of PFDJ? Just you make me surprised. Does it has to do with the culture? Anyway, this is not a debate, it is a note to Mahmuday the great.

      • Mez

        Dear Amanuel,

        Thank you for your reflection and engagement; Regarding #1) your thought is well placed and I agree, since inherently absence of constitution or those un-respected civil right issues are at the end culminating as human right issues. But one may have to take the historical developments, including the civil war in america some 200 years ago, and the Eritrean civil war which was mainly convoluted in the war of liberation against the largely foreign imposed political order on the country. I wouldn’t overstate the challenge of under-representation of the minority communities across the country–at equal footage of slavery in the new continent; i would say they are two different animals and our national challenge is persistent across countries and nations.

        regarding #2) the 1997 draft constitution is born and it is there, since over 15 years. Some times I am thinking the opposition may want, some how, come together and draft a new one to challenge it for the better. Until that day come, the 1997 document is the best document at hand–even if it means rewriting of 90% or more of its content. Every one who died in the war of liberation shall be a hero of this country–irrespective of the political grouping or orientation.

        Federal vs. Unitary arrangement is a big challenge by itself, and needs more deliberation. If you go federal, the two important consequences would be a) power devolution, b) rapid economic growth in Afar and Kunama areas, than any where else; including Asmara. I have no idea, if the society could easily absorb this kind of shock or not.

        thanks.

    • Abraham H.

      Dear Mez, “it could be said that the 1997 drafted Eritrean constitution is the most important document ever produced in the nation’s history”. Very well said, bro; Kudos to the respectable professor Berekhet Habte Sillasie, the Contitution Commission, and all Eritreans who toiled to produce that document whose implementation could certainly have paved the way to a just, democratic, and prosperous Eritrea.
      History would be brutal in its judgement of the Eritrean despot DIA who illegally shelved the Eritrean Contitution for 17 years after its ratification in 1997, only to announce its death in 2014. History would also not spare in its harsh judgement of those in the Eritrean opposition groups, including many prominent participants in this forum, for complementing the despots actions towards the legal Eritrean document.

      • Saleh Johar

        Hi Abraham,
        Word play, huh!

        There is a world of difference between “complementing the despots actions towards the legal Eritrean document” and rejecting the Memo from the despot. In all honesty, it is just plain aggression to accuse “some in this forum” for complementing the despot, in any shape or form. It’s just not true.

        Here is one thing to ponder: while those of us who reject the damn thing have been so dumb in rejecting the very democratic document for years with no result, those who support it have been doing so for twenty-something years since its inception. Guess what? The opposers failed to achieve anything but the supporters did. What they achieved in there to see and I don’t think I need to elaborate it.

        When someone dies, people usually say, God giveth life and God takes it.” The despot displayed a show of a Thingy and then killed it. But some of us knew it was a stillborn and didn’t hope anything will come out of it. And a small branch of Tahses, or Heddar qulEee will do the job of burning it, for ceremonial purposes. I will campaign to save the Keren firewood to burn something bigger: memories of the PFDJ crimes and oppression. Allah Yerham al destoor, RIP 🙂

        • Abraham H.

          Selam SGJ, ok, let’s say the Constitution was a “Memo from the despot”; here is what I believe: its gradual impementation (gradual, because implementation of a Constitution’s provisions is not a one time process, but some thing that develops over time), then our situation would have been a thousand times better than today.

          • Saleh Johar

            Selam Abraham

            It is your view, but I was not commenting on that. I specifically criticized you for your, “..complementing the despot’s actions…” which you are glossing over. No problem

            You hold our situation would have been better if we accepted the constitution. I hold a different view. No one can prove what would have happened today. 1-1.

            Now let me explain to you our situation today and how I lived them:
            Ar any junction of the current struggle, we had to deal with issues that I know have confirmed were partisan.

            1. Peaceful struggle Vs armed
            2 Should we go to Addis Ababa or not, and are those already there Eritreans who should be supported?
            3 Shoule we have a round-table dialogue or something else
            4. Should we support the constitution or not
            5. And many more…

            I understand that such topics are important, but I suspect they were not floated for their importance, but from a partisan perspective. They crippled and evolving and already divided opposition. Looking back, what do you see? The Addis Ababa taboo is no more. The constitution is dead. The armed or peaceful struggle? Neither was followed diligently. As in any such debate, many other issues were raised as a reaction and in frustration.

            Apologies, but I am already bored with this topic, let’s meet when we torch it. Coffee on me 🙂

          • Abraham H.

            Selam SGJ, well if rejecting the Eritrean Constitution from 1997, thereby lauding and echoing the illegal actions by the dictator is not complementing, then I don’t know what to call it.
            And no, I’m not really saying our situation would have been better if we [I think you mean the opposition by ‘we’ here] accepted the constitution; what I’m saying is the situation of our country and all Eritreans would been far far better than its currently disastrous status, had the legally ratified Eritrean Constitution from 1997 been implemented in good faith. All the basic human rights and bill of rights and much more are enshrined into that great document.
            I note the four points you mentioned were important issues the opposition had to hammer out in its efforts to forge a united front against the pfdj regime, though it surprises me why you think those issues were of partisan nature.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abraham,

            As I said before, the topic is boring (and annoying). But your insults are more annoying. Do you really understand what you are saying? I reject the constitution and the PFDJ, in its entirety. So, am I, according to you, complementing the despot?

            Do you believe that I am complimenting the despot?

          • Abraham H.

            Dear SGJ, the topic of the Eritrean Contitution might be annoyinf to you, but, please know that it is something that I hold dare, so we are at the opposite ends when it comes to this issue. And when it comes to the fate of the illegally discarded Constitution, I believe those who support that action, including you, are lauding the actions of the dictator.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,

            Still you can’t get it the message. He is telling you not to insult him as if you are doing better struggle than him against the despot. Fighting for the constitution and fighting against the despot is different thing. You can fight the despot with whatever tool at your disposal. Others will fight with their own tools and means like you. If the constitution does not unite you on the fight, let everyone fight with whatever means. Saleh has a well recognized record in the fight against the regime may be before even you join the struggle. So, don’t insult people because they disagree with you on how to fight the despot, as ydon’t agree with him on the way he fights. Everyone has to do his/her own share in the fight – as Adhanom G/Mariam tells us “tse-tse-tserna niderbi”, let us do that.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Abraham,
            I do not have a stain of the PFDJ and you to line me with the despot says a lot about and nothing about me. Your stubborn posture in refusing to correct your position is typical. But it is novel that someone has the nerve to accuse me of supporting the despot. Let’s end it here because I do not like to talk about the cesspool.

  • Robel Cali

    Hi Ali Salim,

    Around 2008-9, I used to be young and naive. I Used to defend Islam and Muslims online and attened their protests with my Muslim friends at college campuses. Then I read some of your articles on Awate and I was horrified. I couldn’t believe what I read. All the name calling and threats against Tigrinya people opened my eyes to a toxic world I had no idea existed. Before you, I thought Eritreans had an unbreakable decency about them. After you, I figured out Eritreans are not exceptional people. That’s when I began to study Eritrean history and religion. I was already on the borderline of leaving my faith but your toxic, hate-filled venom made me do it quicker. If you are a god fearing person then I want nothing to do with your ilk was my thinking. So thank you for contributing to ending my nationalism, my faith and my respect for people of religion, especially Muslims.

    Hate speech is a life long crime. Never forget that!

    • AliSalim

      Hey Robel

      Thanks for sharing. My impression is that instead of reading and reaching your own conclusions you are letting others do it for you in a bandwagon effect.

      My proposal is that we dump the religious classification and move to things that we can negotiate such as land ownership, return of refugees and dismantling of settlements.

      What does that have to do with Muslim-Christian stuff?

    • Hameed Al-Arabi

      Hi Robel Cali,

      Well established principles do not change by an article or an individual person opinion. I don’t think you had Muslim friends, faith respect or nationalism. Nationalism is not a commodity for sale or exchange.

      Al-Arabi

  • Kim Hanna

    Selam Ali Salim,
    .
    Oh! my favorite Ali, I love to hate. Long time no see.
    .
    BTW: Kudos to the incredible Awate graphics artists for coming up with an appropriate, freakish, befitting and descriptive picture of Ali Salim ‘s article.
    .
    Ever since your clear and unambiguous statement of your wish and desire for the disintegration of Ethiopia, I have categorized you as a satanic (CHira qeresh sew) and evil person, period. After that date, no matter what you said, I just couldn’t go past it. Sorry.
    .
    However, I have to admit with some apprehension that you might be unique. I suspect, Perhaps, MAYBE you are capable of seeing gravel moving floating, in the air while the rest of us see only dust. Perhaps, maybe again you might be viewing mountain ridges and liquid storms when the rest of us see just stars.
    They say bats have a radar system when they fly at night, who knows.
    .
    I try to see very hard what you are saying and at the end become ever more grateful to God that you are not an Ethiopian. (kerasu gar yeteTala sew, in our midst) I am sure that doesn’t hurt your feelings.
    I want you to know that, even though I dislike what you are about, whatever it is, I still have a healthy curiosity and wish to read more of your observations in the future.
    .
    Mr. K.H

    • AliSalim

      Hi Kim,

      I think there is some misunderstanding here. I never wished for Ethiopia to breakdown but I think that is what will happen if we continue on the path of unfounded hate. Weyane’s foreign policy towards Eritrea can only be explained by our stereotypes about Tigrean vindictiveness.

      The only way that can give this vindictive foreign policy a moral cover is the blind consensus of our misguided opposition that Eritrea deserves this and the PFDJ is to blame.

      Otherwise I’m happy to see that Tgreans have expanded Mengistu’s “wefchobeit” into factories and dams and borders with neighboring countries other than Eritrea.

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Ali Salim,
        .
        I don’t think I misunderstood, but that was then and this is now.
        “…..can only be explained by our stereotypes about Tigrean vindictiveness.” Sad to see you go to the same old well some other vindictive Awatistas go to explain away your problems. It used to be Amharas that were singled out for that special insults and demonization.
        .
        Thanks at least for the acknowledgement of the “wefchobet” expansion. It is appreciated even as back handed compliment.
        In general, thanks for that special treatment of our Tigrai “social group” , it provides the invisible glue. The more you go after them, the more we defend and tightly embrace them.
        .
        Mr. K.H

        • AliSalim

          Hey Kim,

          I must admit that when it comes to Tigrai, it is a problem that we Eritreans always have to give ourselves the license to be insensitive. I sincerely believe you owe me an apology for the repeated bad wording. By means of sharing the way I formulate the wording if it does not run the risk of diminishing the sincerity of the apology above:

          I used the word stereotype to say that the lack of reason (in my opinion) in Ethiopia’s foreign policy (for some reason presumed to be dominated by the cultural outlook of the dominant group – currently the Weyane) reinforces the deep rooted stereotypical presumptions. Of course this might be pure coincidence that a rationally justifiable foreign policy ended up looking like the mythical Tigraian generally stereotyped as vindictive in Eritrean mythology.

          As you know I did not invent these stereotypes. We have roads in Eritrea that are named after such stereotypes – “libi-Tigray” being one of them. By the way, why didn’t the late Meles Zenawi (may he rest in peace) protest and have the name of the highway changed when he was in good terms with the cousins. I actually believe (no sarcasm here) Ethiopia (especially Tigrai) would have been more justified if it had gone to war because of such demonizing attitudes and names than on a border town where the won the war and lost the cause.

          Just for your information it wasn’t a lowlander or a Muslim for that matter that blessed/cursed that highway with the colorful name. I will text you his address if you still want to embrace him (:-)

          Honest apology with a bow of the head to you and to any Tigrayan who might have been offended.

          • Selam Ali Salim,

            The irony is that the woyanes are accused of vindictiveness by eritreans, while at the same time ethiopians accuse them for showing a soft spot in their hearts for eritreans.
            Before they decided to give their pint of blood and pound of flesh for the eplf and the eritrean cause, the name you mentioned above was there. When they reached addis and ascended to power, they did their best to serve the interests of eritrea. Unfortunately, there was a limit to what they could do, and finally they found out that they could not continue to satisfy the voracious appetite of those who ruled eritrea, those who through proxy wanted to rule ethiopia as well.
            The world community would have laughed if ethiopia started a war because of a derogatory name given to a portion of its people. I do not think that this could justify a war as would crossing a country’s border with a mechanized brigade, occupying a border village and refusing to vacate.
            The woyane never had a vindictive sentiment towards eritrea. If there was one it was against its own people, the amharas, which of course goes deep in the history of both ethnic groups, having to do with who should be in power in ethiopia (abyssinia).

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Horizon,
            First, let me say that the racist hate is condoned by the PFDJ lots. The rest of Eritreans have no such racism, if they have, they were inflicted by the PFDJ bug at one time or another. However, like all human history, we all share such primordial attitudes based on the socioeconomic, military and other influence of tribal and primitive nature Just like the Ethiopians belittled Eritreans , we did the same and exchanged unpleasant remarks against each other.

            In modern history, let me share this anecdote.
            In the ighties when I came to Kuwait, a friend took me to the “community center ” that was run very partisan individuals. In the evening, one of the leaders announced that all non-EPLF individuals should leave the center because they will have a joint meeting with “our brothers from Weyane Tigray”. Now you can imagine how awful that sounds to an Eritrean like me!

            That close association turned sour on the nineties and as when close friends fight, they become merciless and cruel to each other. That is what is displayed by the racist remarks.

            What I am saying is, as I always say to many people, please use fine brushes–there are many Eritreans who are embarrassed when they see their compatriots indulge in bigotry and racism. But neither of them are angles.

  • Brhan

    Hello Ali Salim,
    I read your article as I read the previous ones and find them that they indicate one unique character and that , you are humors writer. May be that is your style or the type you enjoy a lot in a way it encourages you write more.
    Secondly, in all of your writing you show consistency in your key message. That is good. It show a writer’s strategy to deliver a message. Al Tkrar Youalimu Al Shutar ( Al Humar). The garbing of lands. That was and is your agenda. I wish you continue write on this subject to update us but with statistics. Statistics is about pattern which could reveal to policies. For example in this article , you are talking about your point to correct the assumption of some of Eritrean from the lowlands that the PF(JD) targets the Tigrinya and that they have become the victims in their effort to reach Europe and that the route is open to all. If you know the techniques that the regime uses to locate

  • Simon Kaleab

    In the current frustrating climate of Eritrean politics, there are three visible categories:

    1) Those who rant individually [for psychological consolation], in the form of articles and posts,

    2) Those who do group rants in the form of seminars and conferences [aka the ‘opposition’],

    3) The EPLF/PFDJ, whatever we think of them, who are the ACTION men.

    There is also a fourth category, which is less visible, i.e. the silent Tigrinya speaking majority, who are watching and listening, but are capable of deciding the fate of Eritrea as they have done in the past. It is very tempting to mistake the silence of this group for weakness in resolve and blind support for the current government. The truth is that, this group is silent because it hates the Stone Age Loony system that may engulf Eritrea more than it hates the present system.

    • saay7

      Hey Simon:

      You are so humble you forgot your category:

      5. Those who dismiss everyone and make ominous threats and, although clearly expressing mideval values and living midieval times like to think of themselves as civilized simply because they share a religion with the civilized west.

      saay

      • Kebessa

        Selam SAAY,
        There is another group of Eritreans, the weirdos. This group doesn’t accept the 1991 referendum as legit, but supports the PFDJ regime. Yeah!😄

      • Ismail AA

        Hi saay7,
        You might allow me to add that they can’t imagine anything beyond the PFDJ world, and believe what a dictator has erected is fated to endure eternally. Such mental attitude has nothing do with what some christen as silent majority; it applies to a few who have been amorously afflicted by a sydrome called majoritarian, a kind of malaise that makes its victim one-dimentional and can only look inward.

        • Robel Cali

          Hi Ismail

          Isn’t majoritarian the foundation of democracy?

          • Ismail AA

            Alhen Robel Cali,
            You are right; but when it’s properly exercised within constitutionally established laws and institutions. Noting in passing that majoritarian as concept differs from rule by legally instituted majority in level field elections amongst legally operating parties, my comment hinted at the law and institution less conditions in our country, which, I am sure, you are aware of and might not condone.

          • Selamat Aya IsmailAA,

            He is wrong. Weighted average khe..kilte siso! Two houses. The minority whip.
            Chugraff.. cHumarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!
            tSAtSE

      • Simon Kaleab

        Selam saay,

        In Eritrea, are some sections of the population unable to keep religion out of politics [there being a considerable overlap between religion and ethnicity in the Eritrean context]?

        Can everyone, in Eritrea, abide by the pledge that there will never be a parallel religious legal system side by side with a secular constitution? Can there be safeguards to guarantee secularism?

        What went wrong with Eritrea? What are the ROOT CAUSES? Are Isaias, the EPLF/PFDJ and Tigrinya speakers the only culprits?

        Is the situation in Eritrea as it is because Isaias was born to be bad or is there something more complex?

        • Thomas

          Simon Kaleab,

          Your questions are justifications for you like to see a STRONG leader/man ruling Eritrea? Issayas though a dictator is your only option to lead the nation because of the reasons you stated above? The people of Eritrea are ungovernable so Issayas is the best fit according to your crazy mind? Listen body, what/where/when/who/why/how are logical questions you need to discuss with yourself first before reaching your stupid conclusions and block your mind from seeing the bright side & right solutions!!

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam Thomas,

            You are still replying cartoon character style.

            When are you packing you bags and going back to Eritrea to lead a movement to overthrow the current government?

            As I said before, I am willing to organise a whip round to raise money for your one-way ticket.

        • saay7

          Selam Simon:

          Sorry for the belated reply

          1. In Eritrea, there are Eritreans who want to have government less intrusion in the religious life of a citizen. There are also a “section” of Eritreans who apply a religious test on government: no Muslim should be Eritreas ruler. Ever.

          2. The Eritrea that I know had a “parallel” legal system during the Italian, British, Haile Selasse, Derg and PFDJ era. Even now today as you read this, there are “Muslim courts” in Eritrea under the PFDJ rule. Shocking but true. And there will always be.

          3. The root causes of Eritreas current problem are a combination of two things: a people that has never experienced self-rule and a government that is unreformed Afro-socialist.

          The Eritrean government acts exactly the way every Maoist every Stalinist government in the world has. It would be a shock if it didn’t act the way it did. And the people, conditioned for decades of not centuries to live under brutal regimes, have long accepted it as the norm.

          saay

          • Simon Kaleab

            Selam saay,

            I appreciate your frank response. In return, I have also to respond frankly, trying hard not to be a hypocrite by skirting around taboo issues.

            My observations:

            – In every country where Muslims are in a MINORITY they are concerned with democratic ‘rule of law’ and minority rights.

            – In every country where Muslims are in the MAJORITY there is neither democratic ‘rule of law’ nor minority rights.

            My conjunctures are:

            – The above are the reasons why the Eritrean government is striving to abolish all OLD mods of thought [such as religion, culture, tradition, identity …] and replace them with a new one based on the GHEDLI tradition only.

            – Because of the above, there will be nothing other than DICTATORSHIP in Eritrea [as in Ethiopia].

            – Because of the above, there will never be an effective opposition. There can not be an organic and viable opposition when the majority of the population [Tigrinya speakers] dislike and distrust the opposition more than they dislike and distrust the government. [This is not the same as liking the government more, but disliking and distrusting the opposition more.]

            On religious courts, the issue is not about arbitration in run-of-the-mill religious courts, but full blown religious courts [as in Islamic paradise countries such as Saudi Arabia, the Sudan and Afghanistan…] whose rulings have validity even when they contradict secular law.

          • Thomas

            Hi Simon Kaleab,

            You seem to talk like Issayas/DIA. In many interviews by the western journalists, Issayas said he knows the people (The Eritreans) and their needs. That the foreigners should leave him alone and focus on their own businesses.

            Geddafi when being interviewed by the CNN journalist said my people love me. This was when the people he was talking about were out a quarter of a mile away from his office/house chanting death to Geddafi. I am advising you to never try to talk on behalf of the Eritrean people because you have no clue… You need to understand that there is no government, the Eritrean people and the opposition characterization. The Eritrean people are opposing the oppressors/the mafias and they are doing this by either joining the political parties or as activist or as a civil society or you name them. So, it is the people against the mafia regime. I am replying to you because of the dummy comment below:

            “There can not be an organic and viable opposition when the majority of the population [Tigrinya speakers] dislike and distrust the opposition more than they dislike and distrust the government. [This is not the same as liking the government more, but disliking and distrusting the opposition more.]”

          • Simon Kaleab

            Thomas,

            Cartoon character as usual. Get your thick skull examined.

          • saay7

            Selam Simon:

            Sorry to say but your perception of Muslim-majority and muslim-minority countries appears to be largely shaped by Breitbart and Hannity where Islam = Arab = Islam.

            In Europe, Albania and Bosnia-Herzegovina qualify as Muslim majority countries. They are democracies.

            In Africa, Senegal and Gambia are Muslim majority countries which are (by African standards) democratic and who treat their minorities about as well as the Christian majority African countries treat their minorities. In fact, although Senegal is 96% Muslim and 4% Roman Catholic, its first president was a Roman Catholic. Since we are no longer skirting taboo issues, can you imagine that in highland Eritrea?

            The other “Muslim majority” African countries are as about as basket-case as the “Christian majority” African countries. Can you tell the difference between, say, Guinea (a Muslim majority African country) and, say, Ethiopia, (a Christian majority African country) in their democratization, rule of law and treatment of minorities?

            Since your premise is very wrong, it stands to reason that your conjecture is also wrong. The Eritrean government is not striving to abolish OLD modes of thought but entrench Stalinist-Maoist mode of thought. This is where loyalty to an organization and its boss supersedes and voids all other loyalties be it religious, cultural or traditional not for the betterment of the lives of the people but for creating a one party state where one party lords over the people for generations. That’s why we have a dictatorship not because of any other reason.

            We don’t have an effective opposition because they are as serious about taking power as PFDJ is about holding it. I mean we are talking about an organization that shut down a festival in Turkey because it poses a threat to it.

            saay

          • blink

            Dear saay
            Can you also expand your list to Egypt , Malessia , I am sure you will not be that much proud of most Muslim majority states ? Most Arab countries lost their Jews society because of their intolerant system to others . Almost 90% of Jews society are no more in the Arab controlled states , Pakistan lost its minority due to Islamic system. I think you are over playing these few countries in your example. The best modern state turkey is going on dawn hill due to the conservatives in the Erdwan party .

            You are simply the best ever to advance the individual right than defending the majority Muslim countries. But the best argument against Simon is that our Muslim societies are not like other Muslim societies. These who are not ready to accept a kunama or Afar president in Eritrea are not ready to governed by democratic system.The problem with your friend Ali salim is that he doesn’t believe in democracy, if the dictator allowed all his demands like refugee, land and language, he is ready to dance with the dictator and crush us just for saying democracy.

          • saay7

            Blink:

            Outside Europe and North America, most “Christian majority” countries are also train wrecks.

            I deliberately chose European Muslim countries (to show that it’s not the religion but culture) and I deliberately chose sub-Saharan Africa Muslim countries (again: to show that is not the religion but the culture.)

            Nobody blames Ethiopias backwardness to its embrace of Christianity, although it embraced Christianity much longer than Europe. Why would you blame–as Simon was trying to do–Islam for the backwardness of Middle Eastern Muslim countries?

            Eritrean Muslims should be compared with sub-Saharan African Muslims just like Eritrean Christians should be compared with sun-Saharan African countries.

            Culture is destiny. And the biggest challenge is to overcome a culture.

            saay

          • blink

            Dear Saay
            Thanks sir , this is a lesson for me , i some how carried away with the way simone tried to frame every Muslim and the way you replied sounds as if the religion thing was in the middle . Again thanks and sorry for my blind shoot, what i want to say was that We Eritreans have our own culture and life style too. Thanks for giving me different window.

          • Robel Cali

            HI SAAY

            How can you allude that Christians are against a Muslim president in Eritrea when it’s the Quran that has numerous verses in which it alludes to its followers to not follow the authority of non-Muslims?

            Why is it only Eritrean Muslims who want their religious book as a constitution and not their Christian counterparts? Are Muslims being unfair? Sounds like it. Are they demanding things that would cause a civil war? Sounds like it. So who is really at fault? Muslims? Nah. Let’s blame Isaias.

          • saay7

            Selam Robel:

            You are going to have to stop speed-reading because you continue to misread people. Simon asked a question about a “section” of Eritrea and I gave my answer about all sections including those who demand that the Quran be the constitution and those who will never accept a Muslim as head of state.

            I didn’t say christians this and Muslims that because the issue is not binary: Muslims beliefs on how to run a state are on a continuum as are Christians beliefs on how to run the state.

            On Isaias, we are far past the hypothetical of judging people on what they believe but how they govern. He has had a 26 year record of bringing uninterrupted ruin to Eritrea. Some people console themselves by saying that it would have been even worse with the opposition or that he had no choice but to be a dictator. I disagree.

            saay

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Robel,
            And you think all Muslims and all Christians can be painted by a wide brush? Blame individuals or groups but do not generalize because that is when you get closer to bigotry. I believe you do not mean it in a bigoted way, but that is how it comes to the reader. Use fine brushes if you can, I can send you some if you want 🙂

  • saay7

    Hala Ali Salim:

    In between looking left and right, in trepidation of the inevitable emails from unlikely sources, and wishing that their Eritrea go to hell, you have told your readers who the us and them is. I think “them” refers to:

    * people who insist on calling the PFDJ a nationalist organization instead of a Tigrinya organization;
    * people who take the 1997 Eritrean constitution seriously;
    * people who have redefined what objective and subjective mean;
    * people who define social groups using PFDJ and Weyane nomenclature;
    * people who don’t agree that ethnic groups in Eritrea have shape-shifted into 3: highland, lowland and Afar
    * people who claim that PFDJ is an equal-opportunity oppressor.

    Now, I am going to engage you. But please don’t go on a long sabbatical just because you find me disagreeing with you: it is one fragile “people’s struggle for emancipation” if it runs away when its ideas are challenged. I am going to take them in the order of their interest to me and based on my subjective (ha!) assessment of the strength of your argument.

    The Shape-Shifting Ethnic Groups

    People who read me are probably bored by my “statecraft is hard” and what makes it specially hard in Africa is because, unlike European countries–which are nation states mostly made up of one ethno-linguist group–African nations are multi-nation-states. So, to the extent that anybody can simplify the 9 language groups into smaller numbers, I am all for it. That’s why I was intrigued by Prez IA’s economic grouping–Red Sea, Highlands (North to South) and Western. Your Bejastan prioritizes cultural cohesion over economic organization and groups Eritrea into a different 3: you draw a T: everything north of the __ line is Beja; left of the | line is highlands and right of the | line is Afar land. (It is not a proportional T.)

    As with other forms of consolidation, what this doesn’t address is the pluralism or divided loyalties within the consolidated groups. I wish you would say more about that. What I noticed on this iteration of Ali Salim is that the Muslims of the Eritrean highlands–Jeberti, Saho–share the same values as their Christian brethren. In Eritrea, does ethnic value trump religious value? If so, has it always been so? Please say more about this subject and do what you can to save us from the utter boredom of 9-biherat.

    Did Eritrea Produce The Dumbest Constitution?

    Not just the dumbest by “far the dumbest constitution ever written”? Why? Because it assumes that “the living are here to serve the dead.” And also the document is a means for the government to govern (control) and not for the people to control the government.

    I see shades of YG here, Ali S. I think you may be confusing the preamble for the articles of the constitution. And a preamble paying tribute to those who paid the ultimate price to make it happen is standard language in any constitution. The constitution is such a standard undifferentiated liberal-democracy constitution that we can make a few changes and apply it to South Sudan or Malawi. As for the claim that it is only a tool for the government to control the people, this conclusion can only be drawn if one hasn’t read Article 15 which puts limits on what the government can do.

    Speaking for myself, I support the constitution because it is very generic and with the exception of the preamble and language with zero mechanism for implementation whatever constitution will be drafted in the future won’t be any different–it will just waste more years of Eritreas many wasted years.

    Is PFDJ An Equal-Opportunity Oppressor? What Is the Nature of Eritrea’s Ruling Class?

    Was Stalin a brutish dictator because he was a Georgian or because of other factors? Was Hitler awful because he was an Austrian in Germany or because of other factors? What is the commonality that Eritrea’s ruling class has that we can point to? Is one of them that it is predominantly from the Tigrinya-speaking ethno-linguistic group? What are these values that are different from, say, the second largest ethno-linguistic group, the Tigre-speakers?

    In other words, have you considered the possibility that they are predominantly-men is more defining of their behavior than that they are predeominantly-Tigrinya speakers? That they have an urban-background is more telling? That they are marinated in the dogma of communism is more predictive than that they speak Tigrinya?

    Have you also considered the possibility that sometimes people abandon a train of thought because in 9 out of 10 times it will be misunderstood. For example, Ahmed Raji wrote a series of papers showing that 95% of the PFDJ power infrastructure is staffed by Tigrinya speakers. People heard this to mean 95% of Tigrinya-speakers support the PFDJ. If I say 50% of cats are male; people here 50% of males are cats. At some point, when you are building a coalition AND when you don’t think the information is particularly useful, you just say never mind.

    The objective-subjective para you wrote is hilarious–which is what makes you an addictive writer. But I think you are a victim of the same thing you ridicule others for. To show that a specific group of people are targeted by PFDJ, you have to discount the cause-and-effect of Tigrinya-speakers victimized by an allegedly Tigrinya government. In this case, it is the exodus-related tragedies which you attribute to the policies of the Pull States (Europe, North America). In addition to what every Eritrean encounters, what exactly is the Push State (Eritrea) doing that specifically targets the Tigrinya? Here are some examples:

    1. Psychological: They are denied from having to associate with a cross-border group that shares a common culture with them, something that any lowlander can do;
    2. Religious: They are denied from choosing any denomination of Christianity except for the 3 that are State-approved. They are denied burial rights in their own country, a punishment that is more severe to Christians than Muslims (for cultural and religious reasons.)
    3. Legacy: it is besmirching their good name and reputation by using their own language, their own traditions to be one of the world’s worst governments. See also: Geza’at Turki as opposed to Geza’at whoever was the Turkish administer of Eritrea back in the day.

    These are the confirmed ones. There are others I can’t fully confirm because there is no data in Eritrea primarily this: that the “Tigrinya government” has largely left alone females of other ethnic groups for military recruitment but it is still heavily recruiting them.

    Anyway, welcome back Ali Salim and thanks for the laughs.

    saay

    • AliSalim

      Hello All,

      I know I should be considerate and respond to each comment separately. Each of the inputs by all those who commented stands on its own and raised valid concerns and in each case I read I had to go ‘oops!’ For I had nothing to add or no idea what to say.

      Those who said nice things: thank you. Those who took what we say here seriously and expressed worries: the feeling is mutual. The reason you get worried may be that you the time for one of our scenarios (I believe my scenarios) to walk and talk is approaching much faster than you think.

      I will pick one issue (not one person at a time to give my feedback). This time is constitution:

      SAAY proposed that the 1997 constitution is especially useful because it is generic (copy-paste of the standard in all nations). I agree. But if your argument is true then the only thing that makes the 1997 Constitution, Eritrean must be the Preamble. Therefore the constitution (any constitution) by definition is a preamble. If you define the preamble as the context of experience and aspirations that will guide the implementation of the constitution in any specific case, you are guaranteed that even where the preamble is not explicitly written on top the authors have decided to hide it in the articles.

      I am not being argumentative here. But in order explain how I see things and where my approach fits in, I think it gives a better picture if we divide the concerns about the 1997 constitution into two segments:

      Segment A:

      Concerns about concepts and assumptions embodied in the Preamble are issues every Eritrean should examine carefully and we should all take a unanimous decision in rejecting it. My conception is that the preamble contains the core cause of the nationalist opposition (i.e. excluding all those rallying around sub-national issues – including myself). “Nationalist” is only used to make people feel good but it is the opposition that is primarily concerned about the managerial failures of the state.

      To sum up, the preamble of the 1997 constitutions has these components:

      (1) a universal constant that will be the input in every stage of the process of its implementation = Hidri-semaetat (since ‘semaetat’ are not alive to run the show, the constitution implicitly legitimizes their proxies or near-misses of the armed struggle). It actually explicitly establishes that our “unity and justice” had been “bequeathed by” a combination of “martyrs and combatants”.

      (2) three constants that are presumed as outputs of the armed struggle that must be maintained at all times
      = (a) national values (‘tegadaly’ values – explicitly specified as “nurtured during our revolutionary struggle”), (b) citizens whose job (actually “sacred duty”) is to build the nation (‘nedaQo’), and (c) women’s equality (in the duty
      to serve). In other words the system is expected to regenerate these constants over and over to forever.

      (3) two dynamic inputs (i.e. tools of governance) that will be allowed to evolve with time because you never
      know what the future holds = (a) order (i.e. intensity of police action) will respond to the ‘needs and interests’ of the time, (b) the constitution itself as a means of governing will respond to the needs of the day

      (4) two dynamic outputs (i.e. universal goals) = (a) development (presumes a backward society that needs development implicitly to the level tegadalai), (b) independence (this is in addition to sovereignty and implicitly recommends direction for policy)

      Segment B:

      concern with this segment is conditioned on the acceptance of the preamble for if you reject the preamble there is no point in talking about the articles. Concern with the articles is the exclusive business of the sub-national rights movement. The argument I attempted in set of U-Turn articles were meant to say that the cause of the so called nationalist opposition is qualitatively different from those of the sub-national rights movement.

      For us the ‘sub-nationalists’ – we have no problem with the preamble at all (at least not our priority). We are not here to fix management issues for the dictatorship or against it. We don’t care if Isaias is replaced by Kim Jong Un. Our concern is with the substance (not the context) of the constitution (details in the articles). That’s why I think if the PFDJ offers to resolve the core issues of land, settlements and refugees or create some mechanism where lowlanders control their destiny within a united Eritrea, we should jump for it.

      Of course any other combination is also possible. Feel free to develop different scenarios of what the authors originally had in mind other than accommodating the presidents concerns that the constitution may one day become an obstacle for an organization whose sole strength is flexibility and myths.

      Thanks

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Younis,

        At least I found one to agree with you, Younis. I totally agree on the flaws of the document. It was a flaw in its process and a flaw in its substances. It is not a uniting document, rather it is dividing document. It should be overhauled or start from scratch to heal the nation.

        Regards

        • AliSalim

          Hello again

          Thanks Emma. I of course agree with you on all your comments but promise to revisit and feedback on specifics.

          Here you are absolutely right. To take it further, if you support the 1997 constitution you have no idea what you are opposing. Yemane monkey, a brilliant guy by all accounts once tried to convince people the constitution has actually been implemented stealthily. He was right.

      • saay7

        Selamat Ali Salim:

        I will be brief as discussions of the 1997 Constitution tend to bore some (many? most?) of our readers.

        1. On the Preamble: Have you read the preamble of the Chinese Constitution? (“After waging hard, protracted and tortuous struggles, armed and otherwise, the Chinese people of all nationalities led by the Communist Party of China with Chairman Mao Zedong…”) Or India which envisioned itself as forever and ever a socialist state (since removed.)? Or Ireland which considers itself a secular state but whose constitution’s preamble says that it is written “In the name of the Most Holy Trinity, from Whom is all authority and to Whom, as our final end, all actions both of men and States must be referred, Humbly acknowledging all our obligations to our Divine Lord, Jesus Christ, Who sustained our fathers through centuries of trial, Gratefully remembering their heroic and unremitting struggle to regain the rightful independence of our Nation…” I mean, come one, a preamble is just whatever its writers were feeling at the time it was written–and there was a huge veneration to our martyrs in the mid-1990s–and it has no enforcement mechanism. Nobody in Ireland, an athetist, is going to be accused of violating the constitution.

        So if you tell me people want to change the preamble–words with no enforcement mechanism so they can feel like it belongs to them, I consider that an indulgence given Eritrea’s priorities.

        The Articles of The Consitution

        You say that only the “subnationalists” argue about the articles of the constitution. By subnationalists I think you mean people interested in group rights. But those of us who were asking questions were approaching the issue from the standpoint of individual rights. A constitution, all constitutions, are contracts between the citizen and the State (rights and duties of each) and on the areas we felt the power was lopsidedly in favor of the State, we engaged the members of the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea (CCE) and , to my knowledge, none of our input affected the end result. This is not to say that there weren’t many others who disagreed with us or there was no merit to their idea that there was a fair balance between the rights of the State and the individual. (Unlike the Referendum Commission of Eritrea, the Constitutional Commission of Eritrea did not provide a final report quantifying the people’s input.)

        I think the biggest sticking point, as I see it, is that the Constitution recognizes the sovereignty of the citizen and others (you included?) think that there should have been a recognition of group rights as well. This is what I meant yesterday when I said many of the changes being requested in the articles of the constitution were insertion of language without any enforcement mechanism. A constitution can be make an individual or a group sovereign otherwise it will have a built-in crisis-trigger when the individual runs afoul of the group s/he belongs to.

        In the 1950s, when Eritreans formed the Eritrean Liberation Movement, their rationale was that Ethiopia’s imperial government had violated the Federal Act: they cited chapter and verse. So was the case when Eritreans were rationalizing the armed struggle: Ethiopia violated the Federal Act (lowered the flag, imposed Amharic as official language, annexed Eritrea as a province.) The PFDJ’s refusal to implement the constitution was the strongest tool we had to justify our rebellion. Instead, we trashed the document and now we are referencing the African Charter and the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights to explain why we are fighting. To which, the PFDJ responds: name me a single country that doesn’t.

        No, sir, in the long list of mistakes our side made, topping the list has to be our decision to yield on the 1997 Constitution. And, no, Yemane Gebreab did not say that the constitution was implemented, he said it was barring some articles. And those articles were the ones dealing with civil liberties.

        saay

        • AliSalim

          Hello Helloo,

          SAAY, SAAY and SAAY – to borrow the format that you had borrowed. What does “metkeKh” mean? Did anyone tell you about “ye’areza neger medakemya?”

          OK on a serious note: your points are well taken. But no argumentation here just to advance our understanding through tit-for-tat. How about considering the no brainer that the articles of the constitution are irrelevant and just words until the day the constitution is implemented. They do not even constitute an agreement if Eritrea had already signed (I don’t know) the universal declaration of human rights. Until such date, it is the degree of consensus on the preconditions that (in our case) were placed in the preamble that determine whether such a date will ever come.

          In our case again, you can practically fit all the PFDJ’s excuses (and the moral justifications of their supporters) for non-implementation in the perceived lack of consensus on the image painted by the preamble. I am not saying the preamble caused the PFDJ not to implement, but that we had already implicitly accepted the legitimacy of the PFDJ’s claim.

          You did not say if my depiction of the preamble was reasonable. If that is the case, how does all the talk about democracy, justice and individual liberty that the is presumably fighting for reconcile with such a horrible framework of ruling ghosts. You will eventually arrive at the conclusion that it is understandable why the opposition (excepting what you correctly termed as group rights movement) have no legitimate cause in the eyes of logical Eritreans.

          With special permission from Nitric, I would like to officially adopt his invention “toothless” to mean an opposition without a cause.

          Going back to what matters: thank you for being in the middle of every threat in the debates. Your presence gives the forum direction and intersections for connecting. I always appreciate your comments and even when we do not agree the spices you add have a flavor of their own.

          • saay7

            Hala Ali Salim:

            I think to understand metkhek you have to watch American cartoons (I recommend Warner Bros Loony Tunes) where a character gets so mad there is steam coming out of his ears. Who ever is the cause of the tki is metkekh

            But seriously: on the preamble, my point was that it doesn’t matter at all. The choice is not accurate or inaccurate; it is important or unimportant. It is a sentimental document that means a lot to its writers and virtually nothing as a term in a contract. (See also all the preambles in UN resolutions: no country has ever gotten in trouble for violating it.)

            On wherher group right or individual rights advocates are a real opposition, the PFDJ can address all the group rights advocates demands right now and not fear for its hold on power. All it has to do is make a list

            1. Nahda party: you want to be the tenth ethnic group. Done.
            2. ELL: you want us to pledge return of refugees, land reform, self rule? Done.
            3. Afar and Kunama: you want right to self rule up to and including secession? Done.

            All of these are words on a document that it can say it’s working on. There is no country that has successfully implemented self rule up to secession without a civil war so done…

            Where it will lose its power is if it implements individual civil liberties, due process, independent courts, right to assembly, freedom of information and press–all the stuff we toothless people demand including end to impunity. That’s why group rights advocates are easy to mollify and in a post-Isaias PFDJ I expect them to. And then the PFDJ and the newly happy group rightists can gang up on us 🙂

            saay

        • Selamat SAAY,

          Hade sgumti ndeHtrit ShewAAte nQuidmit mesiluommm aykonen…. Give me your huddled masses. Rhetorical: How many preambles have you read again. NaHnu al naass…

          tSAtSE

  • blink

    Dear forumers of awate.
    Ali salim lives in a very particular world and he ruminate about his own mindgame thinking like ” I hope my teacher will take into account the fact that I was ill just before the exams when she marks my paper.” That is Ali salim world.
    In September 3 ,2009 his article was full of nonsense and cave minded things, i think he is changed now , oh no , he will not change . He has built endless tunnels to his beja kingdom and he loved the way things are going. Almost 9 years later ,he is the same guy just a lipstick on his ear. Some people ,well many people , it depends who you ask were blaming the gracious SG , they thought ali salim is SG, for that i thank SG for defeating his narrow minded opponents especially these who are ok with the dictator and these who thought SG is a threat for their own personal benefits , they worked hard to identify Ali salim as SG .

    The word hibernation does not fit here , i know Ismael and Saay are greats but hibernation,,? it must be a mistake. Bears and rattle snakkes do hibernate but not Ali salim , he only ruminate thinking like a good architect that takes into account the building’s surroundings. The only difference is people use third degree to know the extent of his cave based ideas , in 2009 he was so happy and some times he jumped out of joy due to the Kunama and Afar personalities , many were not shocked , people who knew him will not be shocked even if he print beja kingdom , he has many things in his store , he is just ruminating not hibernating.The problem for people like me is not only with such guys , we have also YG . The beja kingdom and the Unionist or the Agazians will rotte in a very bad way , lets hope they did not stop writing because they are the cause for their fall.

    • Yossef Kesete

      selam Blink

      Yes and let’s hope the madness of YG, AS, Agazians, Bejastans etc…. is over so that we can start healing the nation. They may not realize it but they have been indirectly helping IA for a long time while claiming to oppose him. They have done this by keeping the bloc for change in endless accusations and counter-accusations.

      Thanks

      • blink

        Dear josi
        Yes , let’s hope they disappear as their grandfather fathers , you know in the 1940-1960 many of their grandfathers were trashed by the sheer determination of the Eritrean people from all corners. I am confident such people will be out of gasse sooner, it is just a matter of time. Ali salim and YG are the enablers of the dictator.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Younis Hossien (Ali Salim),

    Welcome back after a year from your hideout. I envy your critical and creative mind that reads between lines on the intrigues of Eritrean politics. I wish your creative political mind was used for realistic solutions. Younis, l believe by now, you already knew my position. I am against framing the Eritrean politics on religious bases, if and only if, we are going to build a secular government that gives “individual” and “group rights”, where religion will fall within the group rights.

    Second, our social groups do not need regrouping into three. Our social groups by virtue of their historical make up, they are who they are, and we respect the way they are made up. Framing Eritrean politics and its solution is more realistic and proper by the actual grievances of our social groups. It is only through that approach that we can address their grievances and the nature of government that hold them together equitably.

    Younis, on your next article, I want you to come with realistic approach and solutions – a formula that keeps the equilibrium of the parts – our social groups. Welcome again, no need hideout.

    Regards

    • tes

      Selam Amanuel Hidrat,

      After carefully crafting my politics, I am all for “Individual rights “. I am because I see the potential conflicts in group rights.

      @Ali Salim – welcome back. You might still remember I oppose your politics.

      tes

    • AliSalim

      Hey Emma,

      I get what you are saying and I think we are on the same wave. The starting point for me is the (I believe informed not arbitrary) assumption that what I used to call Noe-Nazis that many Eritreans are just being introduced to with the advent of Agazian tubes had long taken over Eritrea. Many of us (people who share my vision) understand that what we see on youtube is only the kindergarten of a school that had planted itself firm in our politics.

      It is my belief that there is no way we can get around a complex, determined gang of ethnic supremacists unless we beat them in their own game. Many of the good-hearted compatriots in this form I regret to tell you are naive to say the least. They think by writing a few articles and playing Asmarino on the masses they can talk the supremacists out of their agenda.

      You know better than I do that our history is full much smarter and powerful nationalists who tried (not talk but) force these gangs out of what they were determined to do. What makes some internet apologist succeed in what those men found to be hopeless?

      I love the keywords that you introduce and in this case “equilibrium”. The concept by definition I think refers to a state of stability resulting from a balance of forces. Let us think about how to create balance of forces of the ground something that makes each one act as “the nuclear deterrent” of the other. Of course we will then be faced with the possibility of mutual destruction where the balance shift for some reason.

  • MS

    Asennay eb dehanka mexa’ka Ustaz Younis Hossein
    I know many will pile up the niceties, so I will have to focus on the dirty portion of the task that few will commit themselves to. I enjoyed your satire-serious hybrid article. The obvious thing is that we have a smart guy who does not care how to use his smartness. The reader goes through peaks and troughs of your articles, sometimes passing through nightmarish tunnels only to arrive to the starting point. In EPLF’s experience, this would have been akin to the stories of Golagul Semaetat or the plains of martyrs. Those coastal plains were named so because during the early to mid-seventies where there were no maps and compasses…So, in a vast desert where there were no physical reference, the poor guides who were entrusted with the new recruits would drudge through the sand dunes all night only to arrive to the starting point, or somewhere near it. They would know it because when the day broke they could see the traces of their trek.
    Dear Ustaz younis, it appears you have lost some reference points regarding Eritrea and its people. That’s why you are shooting blindly; that is why we find you coming to the same premise after every U-Turn. It seems you are in continuous run of U-turns. I will explain.
    Since your famous U-Turn (post Ali Salim era), you have been coming with bombastic articles. The Ali Salim era is known for its destructive effect. Ali Salim did not emancipate those he advocated for; he did not cause a halt on the “land grabbing” agenda; he did not contribute positively into the conversation of Eritreans in order to solidify their efforts in confronting PFDJ. It actually affected all of the above negatively. The one thing Ali Salim accomplished was diverting Eritrean discourse towards negativity. Instead of defining PFDJ as a regime that has hurt all of us, and the fight ought to be directed towards PFDJ, he defined the regime as a Tigrigna regime, and called all other ethnic groups to rise against Tigrigna, the “land grabbers” in his own words. Well, that strategy did nothing to arose Eritreans against each other-thanks God- the strength of the bond holding our society became stronger than the destructive pull-force wrapped inside Ali Salim’s articles.
    Then after years of hibernation, a new-born Ali Salim, and frankly a baptized one (Younis Hossein) came up with new ideas bulldozing the opposition, and ushered a new dawn, he called it The Third Way. He concluded that PFDJ and the opposition were two faces of the same coin; he made a stern warning against those who call for regime change which he said was akin to calling for civil war; and he proposed that we focused on the recruits inside the country in order enable them to fight for their rights. So far so good. Actually, we dimmed the light of the theater and watched “Younis Hossein’s” sequel which comprised several articles. We clapped and wished him well now that he was coming to his senses. For the time being he appeared to have washed his hands off the dirt by apologizing to all those who were hurt by his articles. and everything seemed to be heading towards a promising future.
    To the dismay of the good-wishers of Ali Salim/Younis Hossein, the honeymoon did not last that long. He had to do his U-Turn. This time he was back to the same Ali Salim only to be more potent aiming at the existence of Eritrea as we know it. He produced maps after maps culminating in his Bejastan State, and called upon all “oppressed minorities” to join hands against Tigrigna, of course, with some flavors inserted here and there. may be some Beja tunes, rababah…..wo seif dib mnkbu…I suspect his interim genteel persona of standing against civil war and demanding that the government and the opposition change did not stir so much controversy. Ali Salim, the guy he is, can’t thrive without stirring controversy. That’s why he had to migrate to the ELL, then to the celebration party of the state of Bejastan….Back to square one: All should unite against Tigrigna…and the honor guard saluting him, followed by the marching band…It is a fantasy. Isn’t it? But for a smart man who gets a kick out of his misadventures, well, the U-Turns continue. By now, studying his movement by retracing his courses, we can positively identify where his next stop will be.
    Dear Younis Hossein (AS),
    1. how do you define the current regime?
    a/ An Eritrean (national)regime that is hurting Eritreans
    b/An Eritrean regime that is hurting certain Eritrean groups
    c/ a tigrigna regime hurting all Eritreans
    d/ A Tigrigna regime hurting certain Eritrean groups
    I’m just asking in case you made some U-Turns in your characterization. I know what your latest definition was.
    As far as MS is concerned, there are core issues i will not barter for any offer. Among them is not to play with fire. Eritrean society is among the fragile societies in the world. It has not developed mechanism by which it could absorb shocks propagated by vitriolic nonsense that pit people against each other. It is easy to start a fire. All you need is a match. But it takes time to put it off. In between the time that one strikes the match and the time the fire is put off, many lives would be consumed. In addition of immeasurable damage to property, the surviving ones will have to live next to their “enemies”; societies could easily be torn apart. All this for the satisfaction of egos of some eccentric intellectuals firing off articles of discords from their comfortably air-conditioned offices.

    • Robel Cali

      Hi MS

      You are a great mind. I wish to be as level headed as you one day.

      • blink

        Dear Robel
        I wish you a good journey to be like MS , the first step is to lose some of the bad feelings about Eritrean Muslims , I mean they are not all like Ali salim .

      • MS

        Selam Robel
        Sorry for the delay. We all have our ups and downs and I’m not an exception. I rea