Today I have bad news, good news and anger, but first, let me begin with the good news.
Good News #1: My friend Adhanom Gebremariam was sick, bedridden for weeks in a hospital where the doctors tried on him all their knives, cutting, his abdomen, sewing it again, only to cut him again. After many operations, they finally succeeded in repairing his Sahel-damaged insides. They found calcified lentils and porridge that they sent to the museum. He is up and recovering. Now, his friends and colleagues who were worried and were questioning his absence for such a long time, know his situation. His health is improving. Yes, he can talk, though his voice seems to be coming from inside a deep dry well in the Eritrean deserts. Luckily for him, he was not in Eritrea when he got sick—thanks to the PFDJ, people are now buying Aspirin from the black market. From people who stand on street corners like a New York drug pusher.
That doesn’t mean you can all call him. Please refrain from calling him, even if you love him so much. The man needs some rest. Give him a few more weeks to fully recover.
Bad News #1: I didn’t attend the National Conference in Addis Ababa and I feel so sorry to have missed the opportunity of meeting many of my friends and acquaintances.
Good News#2: It is comforting that the conference is being held in time and I wish the conference all success. The fact that all the loudmouths were proven wrong is enough success; if they have a grain of honesty, they should cut their tongues, and fingers, in a public ceremony. But since when did they have integrity? Since when did they have honesty?
My friends and allies who like to peel onions, or cabbage, one layer at a time, please go ahead do just that. Those whose fathers were instruments in oppressing our fathers now want to oppress us, and worse, they are grooming their children to oppress our children. Way-way PFDJ!
Well, you may ask, if you areall for the conference in Addis, why didn’t you go? Good question. The answer is that I want to show solidarity with Ngst Anna Gobezie Ze Ethiopia. Her majesty Queen Anna is the reason for my boycotting Ethiopia.
I am herby registering my objection to the terrible violation the EPRDF committed—they denied Ngst Hanna Gobezie her rightly earned crown. Had she been sitting on Ethiopian throne, I would have been there before anyone else.
A few months ago, Ngst Anna was crowned queen of Ethiopia by the Ethiopian Diaspora debteras in Washington, DC. The crowning was in appreciation for the role she played in an attempt to liberate Ethiopians and bestow on them some sort of Portuguese lordship. The debteras were impressed by what the Portuguese could do to their country, they observed the developments and stability of Angola and Mozambique among other lucky countries. To realize the dream of crowning Ngst Hanna, a few years ago the debteras had imitated Mayan priests and called for the sacrifice of scores of Ethiopians who painted the asphalt of Addis Ababa with their favorite color, red, with their blood. “We are a country of eighty-million people, we can afford to sacrifice so many people,” a debtera from the crowning committee stated. But though there were streams of blood, they were not enough running down Arada as the debteras hoped; it seems whatever blood that was sacrificed had appeased their demons. Thanks to such crowning events, Diaspora Ethiopians do not have to dirty their feet playing Ethiopian politics inside Ethiopia. They can do it from elsewhere, from a safe place.
As an Eritrean, I want good relations with the debteras who have good relations with our beloved president Isaias. I am all for the queen appointing him her viceroy in Eritrea (if other dellalas didn’t beat her to that). In the days of Alvarez, even viceroys had crowns, and she can afford to send a small crown to Isaias. Then she could appoint a Negadras for Asseb from among the debteras and begin an era of limitless glory. She would then order the entire region to submit to her authority and appoint Letemariam Von Vacation, the peacemaker from Europe, to replace Isaias and be the viceroy of Eritrea. That should work. If not, she could shut the aid-valve and, believe me, the five-star hotels in the region would be as empty as a beer can on the shores of Brighton. Ngst Hanna also has ammunition to convince the few hard-headed people who might not yield to her aspiration of ruling the region—she could awaken her Mayan demons and go full-fledged loyalty check: spill blood.
Good And Bad News
Until a few decades ago, the title of an Ambassador was highly respected. Ambassadors fully represented their governments and wielded much power. But as travel and communication technology developed, the position of ambassadors became less important, in some cases irrelevant (in the case of Eritrea, they are limited to collecting protection-money from citizens, and embezzlement like a mafia boss). Now, heads of state could meet over the telephone, video, and if need be, they can fly for a few hours and return home for dinner.
An MP is a member of a government, higher in rank than an ambassador, and wields legitimacy that comes from being elected. A few decades earlier, if a member of parliament flagrantly meddled in the affairs of a country, it would have been considered a declaration of war and armies would roll to attack. But now, diplomatic relation is so privatized that the line between a government, an NGO, free-lancers and agitators-in-suits, has been blurred so much that diplomacy has lost its meaning. Some MPs act more like high school activists than diplomats. Worse, any rascal with some taxpayers money at his disposal tries to blackmail any poor country, and poor people. It has become a racket, a dirty racket. I think there has to be a more respectable, dignified and clear parameter that defines the relations between the subcontractor-tribes and sovereign governments. What is going on is just establishing fiefdoms by those who have sources of funding in an attempt to shape countries according to their whims. I understand that some would consider my view naïve: “who would help you with no strings attached!” All right, then let those who help state their intentions clearly instead of wrapping them with altruistic motives. If you think all of that is nonsense, that is what writers do—write a hundred nonsense stuff hoping one would make a dent.
Good News # 3
On the 15th of July, my friend Tesfalidet Meharenna and Helen Berhane got married in Copenhagen. Just like I couldn’t make it to the National Conference, I was not able to make it to the wedding in Denmark. No. No one was crowned in Denmark, I just heard that in Denmark, they serve milk for all three meals. I also heard that they serve cheese at weddings. Now think with me, why would I travel to be bloated with milk and cheese? That is one reason I didn’t attend the wedding. The second reason is more serious. Tes owes me a million dollars that the Weyane gave him to share with awate.com; and until now, I have not received a single cent. Tes, all those government supporters could not be wrong!
To my surprise, I have been following Tes’ moves on the respectable and intelligently managed website, fitna.net, that the groom and his bride are also gracing the conference. Good job, at least they get a break from the Danish dairy. But since Tes is there to collect the sacks of money from the Weyane on my behalf, there is no need for me to go. Here is my bank account: Commercial Bank of Eritrea Acct #: 2514 2514.
As for the party I missed, I am eager to attend the American version of the wedding. Bet MAL WE EYAL
Expected Good News
The National Conference will end after a few days. Those who expect miracles, don’t. There is a long way to go and we all need to tighten our belts. But as many of you who have followed conferences and congress know, such meetings have their own dynamics. For one thing, the number of indifferent people and bystanders could be minimized. Those who boycotted the conference on genuine grounds, would either change their minds or maybe some of their reservations would be attended to. But the conference could result in more alliances and narrowing down of the number of organizations into manageable figures. The five-person organizations could be forced either to die a natural death or join others. As more people are involved in the struggle, accountability could get more attention. Leaders would have more support base and in turn they would be expected to perform better and deliver results. They would be emboldened if they take advantage of such a great assembly of well-meaning Eritrean force and a committed ally in the neighboring countries, particularly Ethiopia under the EPRDF. All the attendees would be energized and their productivity would increase. As that happens, the confrontation with Fitna forces would intensify, a decisive battle of conscience would be waged to limit the damages of the self-appointed guardians, those who employ stalling tactics in every step—the bigots and hypocrites. Importantly, the cheap “National sovereignty” auction market should be trashed. Its screamers exposed to the bone.
But I have a major misgiving (and it means a lot to me). The way information is handled by many of the leaders, I am afraid to say, doesn’t bode well for Eritrea, if not changed immediately. I see it no different than the PFDJ’s control of information flow. For the betterment of our political health, I wish they change their attitudes regarding the flow of information. For some of us, it is difficult to fight the information control imposed by the PFDJ and settle for a similar control by those whom we consider part of us. I wish the conference attendants would tackle this issue, tell everyone concerned that they cannot be news control freaks and at the same time scream democracy. For my colleagues in the media who are attending the conference, well done. They have managed to break the information control and I am glad. But I would like to suggest an immediate action: Would the secretariat of the conference issue a brief daily statement on what was covered by the end of each day?
Concluding good news:
Did you know that some elements are campaigning to discourage people from ordering my book? Now they have taken a break from their campaign—they are busy attacking the conference. They are failing on both fronts. Hreeeeer dea belu’ember, the conference is going well so far and the book is being ordered in quantities that are more than I expected.
I would like to express my gratitude to all those who ordered ‘Of Kings And Bandits.’ I have discovered that, contrary to the conventional belief, people have taken to the Internet: 80% of the orders are online. Another finding: the number of women who ordered the book is something I never imagined. I will have a second edition very soon. The book has been on amazon.com for about two-weeks and since last week-end, Of Kings And Bandits is also available on Kindle to cater to readers who prefer to read e-books. I thank all my readers who have ordered the book and I thank those who indicated they will do so.
Last word: I cannot conclude this edition of Negarit without recognizing the great job that the members of the NCDC Preparatory Committee have accomplished. We should recognize that they played an important role in convening the colorful conference by their sacrifices and dedication. Moving forward would require a similar dedication and commitment from all those who are attending.