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Inquest Into The Lampedusa Migrant Boat Disaster

The tragic boat accident of October 3, 2013, which claimed the lives of 366 young Eritreans off the coast of the Sicilian island of Lampedusa,has been coming for a long time. Warning signs, in the form of human skeleton, have been piling up in the Mediterranean Sea bed for years. Fed up with the prospect of an indefinite and wretched existence in the refugee camps they ended up after fleeing from multi-depriviation in Eritrea, tens of thousands of young Eritreans have been taking the long, perilous, and illegal migrant routes northwards in search of a better future in Northern Europe. The majority have succeeded, but hundreds have died, and still continue to die, turning this sea into the unmarked grave for hundreds of Eritrea’s youth.

On more than a few occasions, we have been witnesses when European leaders expressed- belatedly and awkwardly – their shock, disbelief, and indignation at how such a tragedy could have happened with in European territory, in the Mediterranean Sea, a sea with a sophisticated system of monitoring movements and dealing with boats in trouble.

And, throughout these protracted period, the on-screen visual narrative had remained the same:  gruesome, distressing and depressing images of dead young corpses captured on camera soon after their long journey was rudely and prematurely interrupted by death. But the Lampedusa tragedy was overwhelming, both in terms of the body count and the unsettling graphic images of the dead. It was also the worst boat disaster to have occurred in this sea after the Second World War.

Just four months after this latest tragedy, the different faces of the dead and the memories they evoked are gradually fading and receding from our memory. Now only weak and blurred impressions remain, feebly and unsuccessfully trying to hold on against the unrelenting and ceaseless onslaught of time on our collective memory. (The struggle of man against power, wrote one departed Czech novelist, is the struggle of remembering against forgetting. How true! )

Our collective response throughout these tragic and protracted years had also remained familiar, the same, and predictable: reactive. We wait and then howl when calamity strikes. This is what we have come to do best: wait and then wail. We have become too accustomed to waiting, and then wailing when disaster strikes…plus, of course, that illogical clinging to hope and messianic deliverance.

Our collective instinctual reaction to the series of unfolding tragedies had also followed a predictable and familiar pattern of acting and re-enacting a deeply ingrained cultural routine. Attired in mourning black, assuming a sombre and grave appearance, shedding what are mostly fake and insincere tears of grief, we find it easy to take up- briefly- the roles of actors in a tragic theater. We attempt to outperform and outshine each other, sometimes trying to score political points on the way, while doing what is basically the same thing: unleashing an internalized, automated, and routinized cultural behavior. What we all do best: love and honour the dead. It is a sort of fetishism or celebration of the dead…while, at the same time, forgetting the suffering of the living and dying.

(Please disregard those minority who behaved out of the norm, those who acted in a culturally and morally objectionable manner. So unbecoming of them. I do believe, though, that they too did feel the pain and the sorrow, but have become too fervid and impassionate in their obstinate and misguided ways. This too has become a familiar pattern. A pathological manifestation of the seeds of discord sown in the midst of us.)

The response from the despotic regime had also been predictable. A familiar pattern of denial. This was followed by a belated press release from the official mouth piece which tried, unsuccessfully, to make amends by mourning the losses while at the same time lamenting the senseless death of so many young lives, the sheer size of the loss being compared to that of a war casualty. Yes, the magnitude and scale of the loss was compared to that which can occur only in wars. No wonder, the demented cognitive faculty of the regime can only comprehend such loss of lives in terms of labour camps and wars.

Such an outpouring of grief! A whole month of requiem masses, candle vigils, impassioned sermons, speeches, denunciations, and demonstrations. The virtual space of social media was chaotic with activity. Photos of the deceased were mercilessly thrown in front of our faces, lest we forget their terrible ordeal, their last struggling minutes and seconds before they drowned-slowly- to death.

Who is responsible?

On May 2011, The Guardian revealed that a small rubber boat left Tripoli on 26 March 2011 with 72 young people (50 men, 20 women, and 2 children) on board. It was washed up on the shores of Libya 15 days later with only 11 survivors. Two more died soon after for lack of immediate medical care. In all 63 migrants died from hunger, thirst, and exposure to the elements. A slow, wilting, and painful way to die. The struggle up to death by drowning is by far much faster and better.  Amongst the dead and survivors were Eritreans.

The whole of Europe was shocked and disbelieving when the ordeal of these illegal migrants was reported. An inquiry, launched by the Council of Europe into why a boat in distress- which had been supplied with food and water by a helicopter and photographed by a military aircraft- was left to drift unaided and helpless for over two weeks, implicated many national and international actors, including the United Nations, NATO, Italy, Malta, Libya, and the smugglers. The inquiry established that a collective failure at the human, institutional, and legal levels had contributed to the death of the 63 people.

The author of the report wrote in his conclusion: We need more answers and I will continue to look for them. These people did not need to die and those responsible have to be called to account. If different actors had intervened or had intervened correctly, they would have been rescued on several occasions.

Likewise, the October tragedy could easily have been averted if the findings of the above report were taken seriously and its recommendations enacted. Equally and over again, the same set of proximate and direct factors responsible for the earlier tragedy were to be blamed for the latest one too. And, as before, nobody has been called to account yet. And justly, as before, the 366 young Eritreans who perished near Lampedusa did not need to die either.

This time, at least, the well-meaning bureaucrats at the Council of Europe had the common-sense to spare us (-and their tax-payers) another expensive, lengthy, and useless audit report. The Lampedusa victims were ‘given’ Italian citizenship, in its place. A less expensive way of dealing with the incident in an increasingly thrifty budgetary times in Europe.

Immediately after this latest boat accident, Assenna.com posted an online questionnaire which asked its readers to assign blame for the root cause of the tragedy. Around 10, 000 dutifully responded, and the result showed 83 percent squarely putting full accountability on the Asmara regime’s doorsteps, 9 percent on the West, 5 percent on the Diaspora, and the remaining 3 percent blaming the fleeing refugees themselves.

As already alluded to above, the regime’s instinctual and immediate response had been denial followed by shoving full culpability to the usual perennial regional and international enemies. And the opposition’s reactive finger-predictably- pointed towards Asmara.

The pattern remains thus faithfully the same. The latest tragedy has only succeeded in adding yet many more unanswered questions to what was already a massive list. This is no comfort at all for the families of the departed and it doesn’t in anyway assuage their profound sense of loss and grief. The expeditious way the tragedy had been dealt with by the international and national actors is largely self-serving and self-delusional, and it leaves an uneasy calm hovering over the sea. And this does not portend well for the uninterrupted flow of illegal refugees, and it is only a matter of time before another tragedy strikes again.

A loud thinking is necessitated here among all Eritreans, in general, and our politicians, in particular. What happened near Lampedusa is a powerful warning that the precarious existence of Eritrean refugees and the overall humanitarian situation is beginning to spiral out of control. The recurrence or avoidance of another such catastrophe will to a great extent be determined by the actions that Eritrea’s different national players- political, civic, religious, or whatever- take in the present and near future. But, so far, these actors seem too preoccupied and locked in a vicious cycle of talks and meetings that collapse, restart, and collapse again, a kaleidoscope of shifting alliances, rivalries and mergers; an approach leaving time only enough for post-crisis opportunistic political posturing while largely relegating the colossal humanitarian crisis to the backseat.

What happened near Lampedusa can be compared to the tip of an iceberg, that visible top portion of a hidden and gigantic submerged mountain. Though remote and isolated, the latest tragedy is a potent sign that the deeper, unappreciated, and colossal national malady has severely deteriorated. Logically, a solution to a problem is crucially dependent on the cognitive effort expended to analyze and thoroughly understand it; and the more complex the problem, the more rigorous the effort. The set of proximate and direct factors identified above as the major underlying causes for the disaster are just too weak and too shallow to address and explain the whole dynamics of the problem. The current approach has utterly failed, over and over again, to fully appreciate the magnitude of the problem. It remains deficient, conceptually and analytically, to fully grasp the whole context and dynamism underneath the unfolding series of tragedies.

Comedy writers in ancient Greek invented what they called deux ex machina, a creative artistic tweak designed to give an implausible solution to a complex theatrical plot. An insightful detached observer might have been forgiven for discerning an uncanny resemblance between the former and our current misshapen affairs.

Re-conceptualizing ourApproach 

Who, then, can we hold accountable?

If you look too closely at the tree, goes an old and wise saying, you will lose sight of the forest. The answer for the above question can only be found, I will argue, by using a comprehensive and all inclusive set of lenses with which to peer into, gain insight, and systematically analyze our multi-faceted and intricately interwoven and complex national ailment.

Eritrea’s greatest day arrived one day, on Friday, the 24th of May 1991. Eritrea’s finest day saw also the dawning of another dilemma, a dilemma that faced dozens of new African countries soon after they have unshackled themselves from foreign domination and subjugation. It was a simple and genuine test for dozens of past and present (… and surely future) newly declared Independent states in Africa: delivering to the dispossessed, deprived, and persecuted mass the promises of Independence, which was to bring to an end the system and conditions that created and nurtured injustice, persecution, fear, terror, inequality, arbitrary rule, impunity from law, etc.

The challenges Eritrea faced in 1991 were also the same- undisputedly daunting- challenges of post-colonial Africa and its numerous offspring: The challenges of building new state and civic institutions where none existed before, resurrecting (or building anew) a devastated socio-economic infrastructure, lifting the population out of the pervasive darkness of illiteracy and poverty, while coping with the ever present dangers of neocolonialism and geopolitics.

And contemporary Africa’s bitter irony can be discerned easily in the current scenery which is littered with the carcasses of many dysfunctional and failed nations. For many, the post-colonial reality has been shoddier, a downhill course into an uncharted and dark terrain: an ugly and incestuous relationship between power and politics; blatant and total disregard for the democratic rules of governance, rule of law, and universal human rights; cronyism, corruption and nepotism; misuse of natural resources and an imploding economic system; parochial politics and mismanagement of religious and socio-cultural cleavages. The net effect has been socio-cultural fragmentation of nations across religious and ethnic fault lines, civil war, deteriorating humanitarian condition, colossal refugee crisis and the vast tent camps that dot the African landscape.

What Africa’s post-colonial reality underscores is that the project of nation building can indeed become a dangerous fantasy. The nation is not an objective reality, Eugene Weber had warned, but a work in progress. These words were written in an entirely different context, but remain relevant to this day. And Africa’s experience is a stark and grave reminder that a regressive course and disintegration is not only a theoretical possibility, but a very real and present danger.

Just over two decades after its Independence, Africa’s second youngest nation has also entered the same murky and troubled grounds. Lampedusa and other more significant and credible international indicators (e.g., the 2013 UNHCR and IOM data on Eritrea) show that a critical juncture has been reached and that the national vessel is perilously reaching the tipping point. So far nobody seems to heed; and the collective response remains very much akin to that of the actions of the crew of a sinking ship, who are too busy blaming and fighting against each other to bother plugging the leaks.

The problems that bedevil societies and nations, like the myriad diseases that afflict the human body, are never static. They are dynamic and progressive. And they usually affect and change the perceptions, attitudes, behaviour, and interaction of the very societies in which they have arisen and evolved. The stability, harmony and normal functioning of societal and political systems is very much hinged on how and when these problems are addressed and tackled.

A careful consideration of the above basic factors is important if one is to grapple with the current political predicament and impasse. Our problems have been neglected and allowed to accumulate through an extended period of time, carried over from one historic time to another, with newer-real and perceived-sources of cleavage added to older and historical ones, reinforcing each other, and giving rise to the current hyperpolarized and raucous political atmosphere polluted by mistrust, intolerance, bigotry, cynicism, hostility, frustration and resignation. The current approach leaves no room for empathy, tolerance, reasonableness, prioritizing among issues, and the political arts of give-and-take which are the most essential prerequisites if the accumulated aches and pains of the masses are going to be transformed into a shared vision and collective political action that makes an impact.

The nation has come under the intense focus of an assortment of actors crowding its political spectrum. The multitudes of organizations with their discordant messages are all determined- in their uniquely obsessed and myopic way- on saving the same nation. But their eyes are looking from different ends of dissimilar lenses- either inclusive or exclusive, depending on the peculiarities of the beholder and respective lens. The reasons (real or artificial), historic interpretations (or re-interpretations), and ideals (fragments thereof or mostly regurgitated nonsense) that form the shaky foundations of the different organizations and their actors have evolved and morphed into inflexible fundamental principles, with each coming to view the other not as a potential partner- but as a moral and mortal enemy, to be thrashed and silenced.

The reality out there is sobering: indifference to the ongoing huge humanitarian crisis, total lack of an effective mechanism that can integrate and bring coherence to the competitive agendas of the varied actors, and a bogged down political process that has failed to adapt to newer socio-economic, political, generational and global realities and developments. There is an urgent need for a new architectural structure- a conceptual and analytic framework which situate things within a new context and provide a new set of lenses that can help understand the complex, interwoven, and interdependent reality and how these different parts can interrelate and interact, if our organizing and energy is to be converted into a meaningful political activity that brings about the much needed change that all are striving for.

Messages and Opportunities

The 366 young Eritreans who drowned near Lampedusa left behind a rare chance to break free from our complacency, step back, reflect, and take the time for doing a self and national audit. Their brutally interrupted life’s journey and death bequeathed on us- in a sort of odd way- a dignified road to redemption- to give our life a meaningful existence: by ending our almost audible silence and indifference in the face of the ongoing human suffering, by coming together and stopping our drifting apart, and through taking a collective action to highlight, ameliorate, and bringing to an end the ongoing humanitarian disaster.

Lampedusa and its hundreds of dead also opened a window of opportunity to shrug off and dissipate the pall of political inertia and resignation that hung over the bogged down process for political change. The positive epidemic of citizen activity that followed this latest tragedy was an opportune moment for taking pragmatic and bold initiatives that prioritizes and addresses the current plight of the masses. And the few practical and purposeful steps taken towards the realization of this worthy and compassionate endeavour might have laid down the foundations and initial building blocks for yet further fruitful and practical political engagements.

Finally, this tragedy also provided an opportune moment for a hapless political leadership to redeem its image and demonstrate to a largely disenchanted local audience (at home and in the diaspora), regional and international community that it is a compassionate, credible, and relevant political force of change with an ethos of serving (rather than ruling) the public. There is still ample time to desist from the petty political squabbling and haggling, and to come together for a sensible political action around a shared humanitarian platform that cross-cuts across the confounding multi-cleavages.

Postscript:

In Lampedusa, back in October 2013, it must been another routine-but busy,day at the overcrowded mortuary where the recovered corpses of the refugees have started to arrive. Over the years, that small island town has become so used to such similar accidents and deaths. Likewise, the coroner, who was tasked with filing the death report for each arriving victim, ought to have felt bored and dejected while ‘dismissing’ each corpse with a same post-mortem note: death by accidental drowning. But the arrival of corpse number 288 and 289- Mum and newborn baby linked by an umbilical cord, must have elicited a little pause and consternation. And a final citizen tally of almost 400 Eritreans must surely have roused about enough curiosity to ask and look for the underlying causes of the tragedy in the country of origin of the corpses, in Eritrea.

A nation is sometimes likened to a human body, a sort of social organism or construct; and its afflictions, though dissimilar, can also be likened to the myriad pathogens that are the scourge of the human body. The scientific approach of a pathologist – who is trained to dig deeper and unravel the mystery behind human sickness and death, and his/her sharp knife may also be of great help in our quest to understand the current national sickness too.

Pathologic services represent a complex series of activities that provide a rational and scientific base by which clinical care can be audited, corrected, guided, and kept appropriate. It is an action plan that encompasses the four domains of cognitive, normative, communicative, and medical conduct which involves, among others, the processes of memory, perception, rational argument, rational choice, and consensus among peers.

And- with your usual help and patience (…and, of course, the extra- help of seminal works on the topic), I will write a follow-up article that tries-modestly- to tackle the raised challenges.

Bereket.berhane@gmail.com

About Dr. Bereket Berhane Woldeab

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  • Toney

    Creative writing , I loved the information ! Does anyone know where my company would be able to get access to a blank a form form to type on ?

  • Nitricc

    Holy moly. I did not think I was away for that long, yet, I see the good for nothing’s are up in arms against me. I really don’t know where to start but this few hypocrites are calling me out. That is just fine, lets get it on. I will grow like a fungus on you.
    here I am and why don’t you say what ever you want to say to my face? Cowards.
    I am here.

  • Saba

    i have not read what nitric says. If he uses insulting languages he should
    be moderated. But if he advocates here for DIA or the cyber opposition or the silent majority then he should be allowed to do so like anybody else, isn’t that democracy? Please try to debate without being emotional. New ideas can come from debating the issues. If you support the opposition and want to debate only with the opposition, that will be boring at some point. Anyway awate team can get your IP and full name so be careful and do not insult people:)

  • Rodab

    A call to ban/exclude someone is not only a PFDJ thing but it is selfish, petty and puts unnecessary burden on the moderators. Not that they are not doing a great job, but if I were to make a call on the mods, it would be to even lax further whatever restrictions are in place. I just don’t understand why our tolerance is extremely low. Anyone who has had the chance to read comments on other public forums (Eritrean and non-Eritrea) wouldn’t compalin about what Nitricc or others have to say here. I haven’t seen any comments that justify explusion. None whatso ever! You dont like the comment you are reading? Pass it!

    • Araya

      Dear Rodab.
      I applaud you for your courage and principal you have displayed on this maddens led by the Weyane ambassador AKA Hayat Adem and the other Insignificant two.
      I was expecting the same response and valor from the likes of Amanual; giving the age wisdom. No! No, surprise there; and what can you expect from a people like him who sell their principal and dignity for price of air fair? How do you claim to fight for democracy and freedom yet you turn around and you call for someone to be banned and excluded? And the same props goes to AT for not heeding to those hypocrites.

      Hayat why don’t you answer my question last time I had asked you. You said you met Yassin, who killed General Hayelom in Addis in 1992. And you told us you have a sister who is 7 years old; Which one is the truth?
      If you ask me, liars the once who should be banned not people like nitric who exhibits a real courage by speaking what is in their mind.

      nitric; don’t let up. keep up the good work.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam (Ermias, Hayat, & Thomas)

    There is nothing that could override the Team’s decision as I have observed. Read the Onlooker’s advice and heed it. Engage with the respectful individuals and avoid those who crosses the line.

    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Ermias

    Let it be clear:

    When I wrote that petition, it is not out of personal vendatta because he doesn’t know me and I don’t know him either. So anything said to ‘Ermias’ good or bad is almost irrelevant. My aim is also absolutely not to stir a situation here and hold the website hostage. I am advising the website to rid itself of that. I am fighting for the CAUSE and this website is one of the very few tools we have to fight the repressive regime in Eritrea.

    I am pleading with AT to keep this tool sharp. They know this business more than I do by orders of mangitude higher but here is where my concern is coming from:

    1. If comments are irrelevant to the article on hand, what does it do to our writers? I would argue it is discouraging and they will either acquiesce or go elsewhere. I have done a fair share of that myself and I send my sincere apologies to all writers.
    2. People looking from the outside – I don’t think it is wild to assume that the diplomatic community glances over some of the things we write around here. Gibberish and childish comments puts the opposition’s credibility in question.
    3. The silent majority, as Haile calls them, are here and quietly participating. I am sure they read and learn and use the ideas to educate their compatriots and fight the PFDJ operatives. We can’t let them disappear quietly rather we should encourage them to chime in. I can see some of them saying “kla’e kedemu do gda.”
    4. It is not any exaggeration to say that this webstie sets the bar as far as Eritrean websites are concerened. If we erode it then we are lowering our standards collectively.
    5. It is not in our culture to disrespect anybody let alone people with high social prestige as in most writers and commenters here. Let’s preserve our culture of respect to others.
    6. It is not in our culture to blame the deceased for anything as the saying goes “muwut aywikesin eyu” let alone the young men and women who died in the most heart shattering manner.
    7. “Go beat your wife” – this is absolutely vulgar and should never have a place anywhere whatsoever. AT, please take note, perception is everything. This website need not be perceived as such.
    8. I like to read much more than I like to write but the frequency of good comments has dwindled perhaps partly because of the issues I am raising. We need more Hailes, Hayats, and Amanuels, then a lot of us can read and learn and use the tool to fight PFDJ in our surrounding areas.
    Thank you!

    • Araya

      Ermias: Last time I check you were giving an ultimatum to the Awate-team. You were threatening that you will stop visiting the site. Now, you are crying like a little….. if you going to leave;. Why don’t you just leave?

      Amed, Be-duqate Ysiqal Alu

  • haile

    Selamat Awatista,

    I have a brief question as regards the escalating conflict among awatistas here:

    What do you make of the “Silent Majority” here who are not speaking up either way? Has Silent Majoritism become a culture?

    Regards

    • Ermias

      Selamat Haile, I am afraid ‘Silent Majoritism’ may have become a culture. BTW, you get the credit for coining that term. In any case, if you read Amanuel Eyasu’s piece a few days ago with respect to Medrekh, he makes a brief but good mention of it. He alluded to the ghedli culture where you do not question anything because it is not the right time for it now. That seems to have continued vigorously. During ghedli, the saying was ‘dihri natsnet nerkibelu ena.’ Now, eza border emo titehantsets koynu. But I am with you on this one. We need to develop a culture of openness. Bring it out right there and then, fix the problem, and move on. I respect SGJ a lot but I had to respectfully disagree with his last article for not being more stronger against Medrekh because we now see how they are trying to hijack the opposition’s progress. It is subject of interpretation but I felt that way and I said it right there and then and I moved on. The vast majority of Eritreans could be classified within the ‘silent majority’ – it does exist but I believe it starts at the individual level. Criticizing is not in our culture somehow and we don’t take criticism too well. I find myself saying ‘why didn’t you tell me then if you saw me I was doing it wrong.’ The answer is generally ‘oh I thought I must have been wrong plus I was afraid not to upset you.’

      • Dawit

        According to Wikipedia “The silent majority is an unspecified large majority of people in a country or group who do not express their opinions publicly.[1] The term was first coined by Haile the Great of Awate. ” 😉

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_majority

        • Ermias

          Dawit, thank you for the info. However, I was giving Haile credit for something really specific. If you look at Americans, as an example, they really know nothing about the rest of the world and they say nothing, hence silent majority but I would say by virtue of their limited knowledge. If you look at Eritreans, on the other hand, I can safely say that nearly every single Eritrean knows exactly what is going on in their country. They have varying perspectives but they do follow their coutry’s affairs closely. However, they choose to remain silent knowing full well what is going on. Hence that is a direct and conscious act and that is why Haile correctly phrased it as “Silent Majoritism.”

          • haile

            Selam Ermias and Dawit,

            Ermias is spot on on this one, the term “Silent Majoritism” has never been coined before. In fact, Ermias did well to explain it with a powerful illustration. When he said “I can safely say that nearly every single Eritrean knows exactly what is going on in their country. They have varying perspectives but they do follow their country’s affairs closely.” That is some serious indictment, very hard to say I didn’t know. Rather, it can only be said “I knew what was happening to may people, but CHOSE to say or do NOTHING!” That is when Silent Majoritism becomes a culture, a way of doing things, turning one’s back, “I knew you were dying, just found it pointless to save you, even if I could have, even if you were supposed to be my only people in the world. I just choose to let you go.” Very shameful indeed, a culture of Silent Majoritism. Dawit, an image is attached just for you 🙂

          • Dawit

            Haile,
            You seem to have a problem uploading an image. Let me help you out. A picture is worth a thousand words. As you can see , even Americans (the majority of them) are silent majority (not silenced Majority as in Eritrea)

          • haile

            hahaha…nice one…

          • saay7

            Haile (the great):

            In the book “I didn’t do it for you”, Michela Wrong (the author) asks Dawit Mesfin (of G-13 fame) to help her understand Eritrean culture. He uses the word “quietism”, a form of stoicism, to describe us. Your “silent majority” descriptive is consistent with that. I would add one qualifier: in post-Isaias Eritrea, it will be the exact opposite, I think: we will be as chatty and loud-mouthed as the Italians (and probably just as ill-tempered:)

            So, now that you have given us a Tigrinya phrase for “op-ed”, how would you translate “silent majority” into Tigrinya? Otherwise, you know Rodab is going to come up with a Tinglish and ruin our day:)

            saay

          • Saba

            Just trying for “silent majority”: selhamat or sahmamat from selham or sahmam. i heard them used rarely.

          • haile

            Merhab Saay,

            I would say that this phenomenon deserves a more thorough analysis, so that people may learn how the issue of “Silent Majority” or ዕጉስ-ብዙሃን is slowly creeping into normal way of life of the Eritrean. I hope Rodab would grace us with an article that gives this concept the review it deserves. 🙂

          • Robel Yosef Kahsay

            Haile,
            Add a leg to the second character in your first Geez word and it will be “Ubus-bzuHan’ 🙂

            ዕቡስ-ብዙሓን

  • Thomas

    Well, SAAY. Since this website is not ready to protect it’s readers from some using offensive language, I will no longer visit this website to do anything. Thank you for so far having me to comment.

    • Hayat Adem

      Sal, this is not about “do it or else” ganging up. It is a real issue. The problem of abusive language in this website is not too many to handle like you tried to liken it to a situation of so many crazy speeders in a
      highway. Most Eritreans are respectful as a matter of culture. Most participants here respect the rules of the website. Most are responsive to hurt of feelings and when convinced they did something, they are
      ready to say”sorry”. The cases of abusive concern are really not so frequent and they usually come from few individuals. This petition for example is about one person and I wouldn’t believe you believe the petition is groundless. A better solution can easily come from Nitricc himself like I suggested or else it is not unreasonable to count you as our last line of defense for protection. The last of last is actions by our own, such as the one above from Thomas. That will be double punitive on the innocent. I wish you find a better way of addressing the problem in a manner that discourages such abusive language not in a manner that frustrates the entire Awatistas.

      • saay7

        Hayat:

        I don’t know if you are understanding me because I am not being explicit. Some of those who have accused Nitricc of being abusive (regretfully, you included) have used abusive language when addressing him. So that leaves us with three options: suspend/ban everyone who is abusive; selectively suspend/ban only those with whom we have a political disagreement; or, tolerate it in the hopes that it is a temporary cabin fever that will go away.

        We have opted for the latter because most of the awatistas in question (you, Ermias, Nitricc included) are long-time fans/readers of awate.com and they don’t always behave the way they have been lately. Also, you should know that while you consider Nitricc’s analysis of Lampedusa as extremely offensive; your praise of the Ethiopian regime is extremely offensive to those who think they are a bloody government. These are different perspectives which the posting guidelines accommodate.

        By the way, I sometimes lose my cool (particularly with that annoying dude Eyob Medhane:) and when I do, when he does, we have this unspoken rule that we will have a cooling off period. Then we send each other gifts (usually youtube music videos) and we reconcile. You may consider a cooling off period–instead of an ultimatum (the equivalent of: “I am cancelling my subscription!” letters that editors get from their readers.)

        saay

        PS: Eyob, speaking of gifts, here are Ethiopian skiiers: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/15/us-olympics-alpineskiing-ethiopia-idUSBREA1E06T20140215

        • Hayat Adem

          Sal, several factual errors and an issue:
          1) I never used abusive language except words of strong reaction to his abusive language like “professional butt kisser” of the Awate Team. Your evidence please?
          2) Not that I don’t consider them many times better than the PFDJ but I never praised the Ethiopian government or defended them in my comments here.
          3) And since when has praising a government become very offensive editorially speaking? I am saying I never expressed my support to the Ethiopian government, but Nitricc has been praising PFDJ all the way and his opinion regarding the government has never been source of any resentment here. Having a positive opinion on any government must not be offensive to any one. Are you, Sal, offended by anyone who supports the Ethiopian government? Then who is?
          4) And this is most important all- I am surprised to read “Nitricc’s analysis of Lampedusa”- forget the dead, the dead did it on themselves etc, and- I didn’t but lets say I did- [my] praise-of the Ethiopian regime” are both equally rated here as “extremely offensive”

          • Dawit

            Those who make guidelines run the risk of doing harm to others. Unintended consequences occur from attempts to regulate others’ behaviors.

        • smichael

          Sal,
          Ermias called Nitric an ANIMAL and I reacted positively to him and to you to moderate his language as wwell that of Ermias.
          But you opted or chose to be silent but now you are bursting and responding.Why now?
          What is the justification for discrimination here?
          Please explain.

        • Saba

          very good decision and advice.

  • OnLooker

    I am tired not of Nitricc’s comments but people who read his comment and reply to him. No need to plead with Awate Team , all you have to do is “don’t read his comments”. Ignore him. That’s a good way of getting rid of a commenter. Nitrick seems to indulge in the undue attention given by Hayat, Thomas, Ermias, and others.

  • Thomas

    I support Ermias’s petition and Hayat’s endorsement to that of Ermias’s petition. Nitricc has gone to far to insult the lampadusa victims. His comments about the lampadusa dead is very hurtful by all standard. The scene of lampadusa tragedy is imprinted into our minds and to add injury to our safariing, here Nitricc’s comment on the subjects extrimely hurtful and is the worst insult to the victim’s relatives alive. Freedom of speech has its limits even the democratic western countries. AT team has to respect its own policies on article & comment postings.

  • Ermias

    Dear Members of Awate Team:

    I am writing this letter in order to petition for the immediate suspension of Mr. Nitricc for making any comments on this website based on the following grounds:

    1. Mr. Nitricc uses vulgar and offensive language frequently which is unbefitting of this great website.

    2. He shows unprecedented contempt to victims of the Eritrean regime. This hurts me personally because my people are suffering under the hands of this junta and there is nothing worse than blaming the victims themselves for their hardships and loss of life.

    3. He frequently sabotages great conversations and turns them into childish name calling games.

    4. I have shown repeatedly that he is playing the devil’s advocate here in this website because I have material evidence that he is not who he claims he is.

    5. I have also proven that he uses multiple nicknames (at least two) which is against website policy. (Disclaimer: I used to have a different nickname but I have completely abandoned that and never went back to it).

    My petition will make references to supporting documents available upon request.

    I would appreciate your approval of my petition and I can confidently assure you that the flow of information and debates here will improve greatly.

    I would suggest for the retrieval of Mr. Nitricc based on proven improved behavior.

    Thank you for your kind attention to this matter.

    Yours Truly,

    Ermias

    • Hayat Adem

      I endorse the petition in the sense that either Nitricc should apologize and promise to respect the awate community or else face suspension.

    • smichael

      Ermias,
      It is not your business to do so.
      And who R U after all to do so?

    • dawit

      Ermias he new immigrant from Ethiopianreview,com Forum and Hayat from Asmarino.com trying to dictate their wishes on Awate.com to change its motto of Inform, Inspire Embolden and Reconcile Eritreans by isolating and banning any one they disagree with. Well this is not AU or IGAD, this is Awate.com an Eritrean Web site. It is easy for you go back where you came from and leave Eritreans to discuss and argue about affair.

      • SMichael

        Bingo Dawitom.You hit to the point or U even nailed both Wanna – be Progressive Eritreans.
        Keep the balance well

        S Michael

    • saay7

      Selamat Ermias:

      Thank you for bringing the issue to our attention. As you will agree with us, fairness dictates that we use the posting guidelines in effect until such time that the Awatista community agrees that the guidelines should be changed. Now let’s refer to it here, http://awate.com/posting-guidelines/ and let’s include relevant excerpts here:

      25. Posting Guidelines

      General: The purpose of the comments section is to provide feedback to the author and to facilitate discussion on issues raised by the author of the article. Try to stay on topic. All comments are moderated. If there is a delay in posting your comment, it is either on cue to be moderated and/or it is in violation of one of the posting guidelines and has been sent to the trash bin.

      25.1 Register your user name and email address in the comments section following the articles. (Your email address will not be shown.)
      25.2 Use one user name. Don’t register multiple times. Attempts to tip the balance–giving your arguments the deceptive sense that they are shared by many others when it is just you writing under different user names–will result in warning and then suspension.(Easy for the moderator to find out by checking your ip address.)
      25.3 Use proper posting protocol: address your audience by name. Do not use abusive language.
      25.4 Use appropriate, family-friendly language. Foul language is not allowed.
      25.5 It is ok to criticize a political ideology but it is not ok to attack a collective identity (race, ethnicity, tribe, region, religion, etc). Doing so will result in immediate suspension/ban.

      As moderators, our challenge is making decisions on how to selectively enforce guidelines that are routinely violated (abusive language, for example; not addressing your audience by name, is another) by many, in the heat of the moment. It is similar to a traffic cop giving citations to drivers on a freeway when everyone is driving above the speed limit. What we try to do is go only after those who are in excess even by excessively tolerant standards.

      As moderators, the only way we can fairly enforce the guideline against use of multiple user names is by checking ip addresses–and only when we have probable cause to do that; we don’t do it routinely. If somebody chooses to have multiple user names and is disciplined in allocating a unique IP address per user, we really have no fair way of enforcing it–then it becomes subjective. Part of our awatista community delights in baiting the awate team, and we have THEORIES as to who they are, but if they are not violating the posting guidelines, we have to be fair and tolerate them.

      Please also note that having your (our) feelings hurt is not a violation of posting guidelines. Part of the debate culture we are trying to foster is to acknowledge viewpoints that may appear EMPIRICALLY FALSE to us but are EMPIRICALLY TRUE to our debate opponent.

      The posting guielines are a protocol–they are the minimum requirement because we can’t possibly list them all. We hope awatistas go above and beyond them the posting guidelines and take into considerations things like good taste, cultural norms because this is, after all, a website dedicated to Eritrean issues.

      saay
      (for AT)

  • Hayat Adem

    Summary part 2* on Yg’s essay:
    Well highlighted in the conclusion is the force of contradiction inbuilt into Eritrea’s standing: it desperately seeks larger space; it desperately runs away from the larger space at the same time. If we are worried about the land fragmentation, it has already happened with the separation from Ethiopia. When we see the continued fragmentation of the already fragmented Somalia, we hold a justified fear that too might be coming. What makes it Eritrea’s problem different is not just that it is big and complicated but it sounds almost unsolvable. Think of a one person trying to go east and west at the same time. Eritrea runs away from the larger space it constantly seeks it by running away from it. To stop further fragmentation, the need for larger space needs to be addressed. And in that, the human aspect of it must supersede the land aspect. You can’t reverse the order as it must be clear at this point that it is not the land, it is the human that is flying in search of a larger space.
    ——————–
    *In part 1 summary, I might have sinned by over squeezing or/and even mispresenting Yg’s eloquent and ground shaking analysis into a single paragraph. Here in part 2, I almost went to the same length with the length of his
    conclusion, running a risk of supplying un-summary or/and possibly a deviation. Nonetheless, I’ve to admit that reading Yg is always an irresistible fun that directs you to seriously dialogue with yourself about all of us.

    • smichael

      AT and Hayat,
      Where is YG’s Article?
      If in “Asmarino.com,go to “Asmarino” and express your Pro – Unity business.I guess people R exposing themselves on a broad day light.
      Every th I ng YG SAYS is fallacious logic per Logic 101.
      Eritrea is Independent and a Sovereign Nation not just by all standards but in a unique way by all standard.
      The fact that there is misgovernancever does imply that the Ghedeli and Independence is null and void.
      Why would such a person allowed to write all these insults in apparently an Eritrean Website?
      AT,why are U silent about the Hayat thing?
      What is the motivation of Hayat Adam bringing YG hete?
      Are U joining the club?
      I wonder why you delete appropriate comments challenging you and some Ethiopians in the Forum.

    • dude

      Some observations…

      Uno. Eritrea is presented as a revolutionary society which fought for a righteous cause against seemingly insurmountable odds. Amidst them comes YG with a new set of revolutionary ideas, given the above characterization of Eritrea one would think….

      Dos. The majority of his detractors exhibit a reflexive knee jerk opposition to his ideas. Some, like SY & SJ, have made very good effort but reason and logic betrays them when it counts the most. Unfortunately, they have to resort to appealing to “Eritrean dignity” and patriotism to whip public opinion into line, inadvertently painting themselves into a corner. It’s the good old habesha “ashaferegn bayenet”, it’s cute. YG’s bluntness is akin to Meles telling Ethiopians that they are actually dirt poor shit beggars, it’s cool, I like it.

      Tres. Common sense dictates that any future economically viable Eritrean state will be heavily integrated into the regional:) economy. Such integration means a good amount of its politics will mirror that of the region:) as well. Once this integration happens, there is no going back to PFDJ type of experimentation because that would be batshit crazy and would be met with regional intervention. So why is this intervention out of the question now if we are all destined to the same promised land. I would think whatever Eritrea loses by outside intervention now, it loses many-folds over by staying longer with the current government. It is my belief that intervention has more benefit to Eritrea and I don’t think the Ethiopian government would go for it.

      Cuatro. Intervention offers the complete removal of PFDJ and the installment of an entity with similar ideals to EPRDF, i.e significant decentralization, economic growth, group rights, etc where as internal change brings about PFDJ 2.0 and I cannot name a single virtue of this party.

      Cinco. The fact that there are people who would rather let the regime continue destroying people’s lives and take the nation to the brink than to let those conniving Ethiopians come to the rescue says a lot. I wonder if there is a level of effedupness threshold the country has to cross before stances become fluid.

      More empathy and less pride would do us all some good

      • Hayat Adem

        What! Awe-inspiring! Where have you been?!

        • dude

          I have always been around, I’ve just recently started getting jealous of Gash Eyob becoming the “Token” of Awate. As you can see, I am a huge South Park fan, partly why I enjoyed YG’s “menkesakesi vs mewesawesi” satire so much. If South Park were to do an episode on Eritrean geo-politics, that would have been it.

      • smichael

        Sei:
        Bingo and we’ll said

  • Hayat Adem

    Part 1* summary of YG’s thoughts**: (for the convenience of lazy readers such as Nitricc)
    Yg says the regime, though totalitarian by nature, has never grown beyond few initial steps. “Fluid Totalitarianism” is a name he coined for it. A totalitarian regime needs two conditions to sustain: 1) a strong fence to guard off the outside world and to impose a state of union (army and law enforcement and security), and 2) abundant resources to stand on itself during the social experimentation. Both are weak or absent in the Eritrean statehood landscape and therefore the disintegration (somalization) is already happening from within. The reason why it is not loud and visible is because there were no strong state structures we can notice cracking and falling and collapsing, and there was no solid national unity from which we can visibly see parts falling off. Hard state structures were never built so the fluid state is just melting away without much noise.
    Yg identifies two important stakeholders in saving Eritrea are not playing their part. One is the Eritrean people inside Eritrea. The only solution they figure out for themselves is not taking back the nation but running away from it. The other stakeholder is, nations in the neighborhood, more specifically Ethiopia. Ethiopia gets it wrong in trying to deal with the runaway diaspora instead of directly helping Eritreans within.
    ——-
    *Part 1 summary looks into his analysis, next part 2 summary of the same article will summarize his conclusions and future pointers.
    ** I’m responsible for any misrepresentation and this should not be considered as a direct talk from YG but as Hayat’s take in his thoughts.

    • dawit

      “Special Ambassador Hayat” representing YG from asmarino.com at AT. You have not misrepresented your idol, you are doing just fine wishing to ignite a civil war inside Eritrea and if that does not happen then beg Ethiopia to invade Eritrea and hand over to a puppet régime composed of Eritrean sellout group and bring about ‘Somalization of Eritrea” Any new message? Oh yes a new insult coined ‘Fluid dictatorship’ as opposed to solid one. This crazy idol of yours has been writing ‘hateftef’ all his life ever blaming Ghedli and Eritrean independence to disappear from the face of the earth. Guess what? Eritrea under PIA leadership is standing on its two feet and marching forward despite the conspiracies and hurdle put on its path, invasion sanctions isolation etc. If few misguided youth abandoned their responsibilities and run away and in the process hurt themselves, that is not the end of Eritrea, great majority of Eritrean youth is at home ready to defend and reconstruct Eritrea.

      • smichael

        Thanks Dawit.I was ready to say it loud but the AT would not allow me.
        Good job.

    • Onlooker

      I did not know that YG had an advocate in chief. Unlike Salih Younus who says that change comes from within, YG believes that change only comes from outside. Both have opposit views on a subject associated with “Sur BeteK” change.

  • haile

    smicjael (Is this S Michael?)

    I will start with your expression of distaste at what you call “politicization” of the issue.

    In the same year 7500 Eritreans and 7500 Syrians entered Lampedusa. I am of the view that the Syrian case is “political” and the Eritrean is not! Again, IA and his gangs sang the “underground evil acts” ever since 2000, to date NOT A SINGLE EVIDENCE WAS FURNISHED TO SUPPORT THEIR CLAIMS. There was never any. They are the only “evil actors”, that is why. “wudub SherHi” is a political term coined after the shameless regime made a U-turn and acknowledged the deaths following mass diaspora uproar, a whole week later after the events. You are defending the criminals to “politicize” it to cover their crimes but denying the victims to “politicize” in an honest account of expressing their grief. That is pity indeed.

    The regime created the conditions for the tragedy, and attempted cheap “politics” of “underground evil acts” to cover its trails. No luck. Wedi Tikabo, Wedi Vacaro, the whole of north America movements of justice seekers, Fthr. Musye Zerai, Dr. Alganesh, many artists, musicians…have all reacted and formed their activities around this tragic event…so, you know that haile is not the only guy who thinks the source of this is political and economic repression by unelected and unaccountable band of criminals.

    event A : the victims found it difficult to live under the political climate of Eritrea and fled

    event B : the life in refugee camps and prisons proved unbearable and they tried their luck

    event C : the tragedy occurred

    Now, A caused B and B caused C – by the transitive rule of deductive reasoning A is the cause of C.
    Suppose we forget about their reasons for ending up like that, who is to benefit? Can you find a reason to be on the side of your people (if Eritrean) or their existence means nothing to PFDJ supporter? It is POLITICS.

    Regards

  • Rodab

    Thanks for the reprimand.
    Speaking of shamlessness, Lampadusa didn’t make it to PIA’s interview last week. This despite the fact that his interview was the very first one after the fatefull incident. Apparently it was too insignificant to even mention it. The other major topics that were deemed too insignifiant include: the bankruptcy of AEL and its future; Bisha and the confidentiality of its revenue; the hotly controverial issue of the 2% tax and its legality; national service and the heavy toll it is taking on Eritrea etc….But he did make one intresting statement and I give him credit for that. He said Eritreans in Israel are going through terrible concentration camp life. That statement found its way to the Israeli public through Jerusalem Post. Hopefully it will have a positive impact.

  • Nitricc

    “If AT wouldn’t do anything to put him in line, I will stop visiting this website. Yes, that is a threat.”
    Ermias, are you serious? Lol
    My man, take it easy. I can tell you as a witness; this web-site has seen everything you can imagine. If it was up to the people who has threaten just like you, bullied and intimidated then this web-site has no business to be where it is now. So, my friend easy and know who you talking with. They have been their; they seen it all, I am the witness. I won’t tell you to watch the door doesn’t kick you in the azz but who am I to tell you that. but judging from the past. i have a good idea an answer from Awate-team to you.
    but my personal guess is, no one even notice you are gone. The choice is yours; grow up you can debate me, point to point and hold my feet on fire or you can cry complain and talk crap like a sisy. I am saying is for your own good. Do what ever you want except don’t try to intimidate the AT. It does not work. I have seen it.

    • Hayat Adem

      I don’t own this website, but if it comes to choosing between you and Ermias by the weight of your contribution so far and expected contributions of the future, I wouldn’t even blink to write you off. But better than that is for you to be respectfully playing by the rules towards civility. Look how you are hurting the quality flow of intellectual discussions at awate. That will hurt the website eventually and turn it into bidiho type.

  • Nitricc

    Haile, emotional oration and rhetoric aside; I will you ask you this and you answer me truthfully. If the system is as bad as you have to believe; the victims of Lampedusa were young militarily trained why did not fight the system instead of fleeing?
    I know you are going to answer me as the fellowing so, let help you save your time.
    You are going to say; oh the government is so repressive there is no conducive situation to fight so they left.
    And I will say to you Okay; there are tens of thousand young trained Eritreans in Ethiopia refugee comps and they are relentlessly been recruited by your toothless opposition and greatly pressured by the Weyane to peak an arm and fight and none of them are welling to carry arms. Why is that Haile? You are telling us how this government is evil to the core, yet no one is peaking up arms?
    Why?
    Yes, Haile you can say what ever you want but logic is not beside of you. You can write and say things to please few weyane agents; but how about facts? How about the reality in the ground?
    Now, if you a shred of logic left on you then answer my question. Sir!
    I rest my case!

    • haile

      Hello Nitricc

      You’re that it was supposed to be an emotional observation of the situation, but ok let’s put emotions aside and talk logic.

      Is bearing arms and engaging in a civil war the yardstick of support or opposition to the regime? Again, if you compare the situation in (say for example) 2002 and 2014, which year is more ripe to the eruption of civil war? Things follow a process and the level of atrocity they endure would ultimately regulate the type and goal of their means of resistance. When you talk of armed conflict, it has its own trajectory and if some conditions give rise to its ignition, the outcome is not always predictable. The most preferred means appears to be non-violent means, but there are those also who think otherwise and are working on it. When king Solomon made the wise decision of telling the women in front of his court to cut the baby in half, the true mother hesitated and agreed to forgo her child for his live’s sake. The false would be mother eagerly agreed to chop off the baby into two and take the dead half. Well, the king observed and was able to return the baby to the true mother.

      As Eritreans, we have demonstrated our capacity to fight atrocious war and prevail, that is no brainier to figure out. For me and most other Eritreans, regardless of their final decision, it is a great puzzle to have to demolish the system of these few coward criminals without having to shoot my fellow Eritrean that the regime wouldn’t hesitate to push into the conflict. The regime’s Ambassador in Israel called for war twice, just for staying in power illegally.

      Second logic, that let’s assume the current standing army numbers 250000 (just assume), now logically, you would need at least 25000 manpower to fight from a fixed position (not hit and run). If you need to launch major combat offensives, double that number to 50000. Now, if you would to be assured of beating the whole strength of the armed forces 75000 would be a minimal manpower strength, superior planing and good supply of armaments. So, Nitricc, the Eritrean people are not so stupid to be denied of their rights, kicked out of the country, called traitors and thieves and then used as examples of support of the regime for not mobilizing for this morally and logistically daunting operation. After all, when IA and his few henchmen are arrested and/or killed, the rest of the population doesn’t have any problem with each other. We will live happily ever after.

      So, the reason we don’t carry arms is because it is illogical for many people to do so rather than a justification against those well founded claims of atrocities by the regime.

      Regards

    • Guest

      “When the youth are stampeding out of the nation in their hundreds of thousands, they are not simply reflecting the failed state of the nation state, but they are also affirming with their feet that this is a nation not worth fighting for.” –YG (source/link can’t be provided)

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear friends,
    In the next moments, I’ll be hungrily feasting on the thoughts of a great Eritrean thinker who never fail to deliver good food for thoughts. Who else is that other than YG? Imagine what a difference will that be from reading babyish comments coming from the likes of Nitricc!
    hayat

    • Zegeremo

      Why no-one is taking you seriously, except Nitric? Do you think it is because your comment stinks since you are here 24/7?

      Hawiki Zegeremo

  • haile

    Selamat Awatistas,

    Thank you Dottore for a timely reflection.

    The Lampedusa tragedy is probably ‘the’ watershed point in the politics of our country. Never had Eritreans been exposed to such graphic narration of the reality of their country and people. It was a harsh wake up call of a kind. The boat sank with over 500 Eritreans, many expectant mothers, children and youngsters, killing 366 of them. We saw it live on camera as they put up the last fight, the agonizing process of recovering the bodies from the sea bed, the disturbing discovery of a mother with still born baby boy still joined by the umbilical cord, the Eritreans corps trapped in the sunken boat crammed and in standing position, PFDJ chapter in Atlanta and Boston setting up all night dance events, as the bodies emerged one by one. Many pro-PFDJ commenting with utter inhumanity blaming the victims.The mass outpouring of grief by the Eritrean people and festival frenzy by PFDJ. In Eritrea, after a brief window of mourning by family, people were told to end the process.

    I can’t recall of an event that has so clearly demonstrated the nature of the regime and its supporters. The level they will go to in order to continue their wanton looting of our country. Today, it is as clear as day light to see who PFDJ supporter is, nothing new there, there are also Eritreans who sold their brothers in Sinai for money, no difference with the PFDJ supporter. There can be nothing worse that can befall the Eritrean people to make these elements change their ways. Lampedusa have given a final verdict.

    An Eritrean who can’t stand up against a system that has reduced his/her people to seek this kind of exist, an Eritrean who believes an Eritrea without its people has something for them to gain from, an Eritrean that sees nothing wrong with a mother sinking to death with here toddlers or give birth at sea, an Eritrean that believes a ruler who refuses to acknowledge the dead but say that they were “THIEVES” while the world accorded the victims the dignity that must be offered to the dead is NOT AN ERITREAN BY ANY STRETCH OF IMAGINATION.

    Lampedusa has marked the watershed point in the Eritrean politics, and its verdict has been clear as the daylight.

    Regards

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=psuImmV1RSE

    • Ermias

      Haile, that is an excellent reflection of Lampedusa. I was depressed for days. I contructed a picture of the mother and her unborn baby and all 366 victims in my mind so that I never forget that day. A part of me drowned with them that day and I can feel them all with my spirit. I read and saw everything your posted with respect to this tragedy and more often than not I had uncontrollable tears in my eyes. If for nothing else, I will fight these criminal IA and PFDJ for those 366 Eritreans. Like Hayat said, they all have a story, a family, someone deeply hurt. I can picture a young woman back in Eritrea whose only son is lost, a father whose favorite and sweet daughter gone, young children with dads and moms never came back home. Oh this just kills me. There is no comparison to this in the history of Eritrea. Gerhatu compared such casualties only to wars, no please no. A war is a war but this is a different level of tragedy. There are dozens of things in that tragedy that had happened for the first time in the history of human kind.

      Please read what that moron Nitricc and his other self S Michael is saying today with respect to Lampedusa. You all seem to think of the guy as some young confused Eritrean, but he is here to wound and hurt us. He has a mission of adding insult to our injury that is why I hate him with passion. He is no innocent dilusional person, he is evil. He knows nothing about Eritrea and Eritreans yet he says deeply hurtful things and conludes with ‘lol’ like a teenage girl. If AT wouldn’t do anything to put him in line, I will stop visiting this website. Yes, that is a threat.

      • Kim Hanna

        Ermias,
        I have unsolicited advice. Don’t read delinquent juvenile’s comments. I look at the comment section as buffet set up. If something gives me a head ach once I won’t go back to it. There is also a wise saying that goes … don’t go down and wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, tired and unhappy and the pig likes it.
        respectfully,
        KH

      • dawit

        There is an excellent saying in Amharic for your kind of threat Hayat ‘Bakela tefa . fes kelele’. If you blind hate for the Eritrean Government and its leader or shading river of crocodile tears for the victims of the boat accident cannot qualify you to be an Eritrean. Semere Tesfai in his brilliant article wrote that only foreigners advocate for a régime change people like yourself. Why don’t you go to asmarino.com and cry with your YG, that is where you belong not at Awate.com where Eritreans discuss their issues. Just a friendly advice and it is free, no charge.

    • smicjael

      Haile,
      People are not as blind as and as deaf as you think.

      People saw and heard what you saw and heard.
      Again,stop politicizing and talking about PFDJ and its supporters and its enemies Do NOT try to create divisions based on your emotions and short sighted Visions and ambitions.
      No body in his/her mind denied the weaknesses and misgovernancever of the PFDJ.
      My point is:
      – As much as you believe that PFDJ has contributed to this sad incident,for the sake of fairness,you are expected to do so that the external factors ,real and perceived threats,and all the official and underground evil acts against the State of Eritrea and it’s people(will say not PFDJ).
      We know U R using this incident as a political tool,understandably,but I have found it unproductive and unpersuasive to the Silent Majority

  • Hayat Adem

    Awatistas,

    I want to thank this writer for reorienting us to this issue. We wake up alarmed when we are reminded; we tend to forget and dive into our routines when we are not. Lampedusa is a symbol of our recent sin and shame as a nation in which we lost 366 innocent lives in the worst tragic way. These lives had names, faces, dreams and stories.
    I challenge us and our dedicated activists on pulling out the following project: dedicating each single night of the year to tell a story of one victim in all Eritrean media outlets. Collecting the stories might take time, so it can be started with the ones their story is known. After one full year of posting and airing them one by one, these stories can be compiled and published with photos of the victims into one book. A year has 365/6 days which is exactly their number; we can make it a year of remembering them and their stories. Releasing the stories nightly would symbolize how truly dark scandal and tragedy it was. Each story should be appended with the cruel response and reactions given by the government and its accessories to shame them on the one hand, and with great humanitarian heroism exhibited by individuals (like our own Aba and Sister, the pope and the Italian mayor) to praise them for what they did on the other hand, as the Lampedusa tragedy unfolded. Does this seem important and doable? Kindly, please reflect.

    • Rodab

      Hayat,
      Nice message. On your suggestion though:
      – Is it important? Absolutely. Is it doable? Yes! Can/will it be done? Not so much. Why? Two reasons: first, as you noted colleting accurate stories is a challenge and secondly, as hardworking as our websites are, I can not remember a single issue where they synchronized their efforts to a given purpose. They just can’t do that – they don’t have communication between them and their attitude is more of a priavtely than togetherness. So it is climbing mount Everest to get them to do something in unison. Let it be known I am not critizing our websites, no. Infact I believe they are doing heck of a job [with what little they have] in bridging the info gap created by PIA/GoE.

      • Guest

        Its more of who knows whose story or can compile so and so’s story not necessarily a platform issue . there is the tragic story of Samson Hailu. One can tell the individual stories of countless missing & dead. At the very least they deserve to have there individual stories live and cease being just a number . In this we are all to blame in expect others to tell us their stories when we can seeks it out ourselves instead of thinking there are others who can or should do it . Anywho I wonder if they will ever get a monument ?

    • Nitricc

      Hayat: I have heard many dumb ideas but this is the dumbest one. Why would waste all that time and effort for the dead once? Is not productive to use the time and energy in avoiding such tragedy from happening again? What story do you wanna tell anyways? There is no story; they were fleeing their country for a better life and on the way the bout they were riding capsized and they drown to death. The best thing to do, worthy your time and effort is, to think and act a way this from happening again. Tell your people to stay home, tell people to do their schooling. Tell people you don’t live in a heaven and tell the truth you are a slave in the west. Tell them the truth and that is the best you can do. Telling story? What story?

      • Hayat Adem

        Nitricc,
        You are wrong- this is not about the dead,; it is mostly about the living and the future generation. Remembering innocent victims have a huge healing impact on the living. It is also a source of positive energy to do good. We want to make it a real lesson that something like that would never happen. One way to avoid such tragedies is to continuously remember our victims. That is why victims and martyrs are remembered.That is why we have so many memorial parks and museums in the world. That is why we have 9/11 and Holocaust museums.
        You said you don’t want to care about the dead. If we treat our innocent victims with such a contempt, then we don’t deserve to call ourselves good people and good nation. PFDJ has destroyed our values. That is what I call the invisible destruction! Look at how they brainwashed you and make you totally insensitive and heartless about your own brothers and sisters. Look at yourself on how you talk about the victims. I wouldn’t be bothered if you were a rare animal. There are plenty of you around thanks to PFDJ machine which has been busy for long molding robot-heartened people like you.

        • Nitricc

          Hayat you can waste all your time making a saint out of your self but there is nothing to do with my heart. Do you want this to avoid from happening again? Then get up and do something. Feeling sorry and having victimized mentality will get you nowhere. The main reason for Africa’s failed continent is this same mentality; the victimized mentality. Every African shortcoming is blamed on the white man and colonization. Yes, life goes on. We get up; dust off our self and strive for a better future. don’t pretend like you are hurting and you are having sleepless nights. you just want to play mother Thresa. none of you care about the dead once; you just wanted to blame and figer point. what has happend is a tragedy and in a tragedy……
          “Some of us think holding on makes us strong; but sometimes it is letting go.”
          Hermann Hesse

          • Hayat Adem

            A society that forgets its dead is dead. What better strategy do we have other than remembering and respecting our victims, and removing the mother-source of all the problems we have: the rotten regime and the foot soldiers he use as fool fulcrums?

    • SMichael

      Hayat Hitna or Huna,
      Telling stories or blaming this and that is not productive but ACTING.
      We know why this happened but we have to know and ACT how to prevent it from happening further.
      Setting out proper strategies and their implementations are of paramount imporrance.
      But I am not here to tell you how to do so as it looks like we know that too.
      The problem seems to be the inability to choose the right way .
      Nitricc,please DO NOT try to be blunt.The over all situation may not be allowing the Youth to stay.
      That is the core issue.PIA surprisingly admitted to Wed Abbe during the previous interview that the main reason is that “We did not provide them wirh enough opportunity”.
      That should be the core issue.The internal or domestic factor might be playing a greater role besides the external factor

  • Rodab

    For the __th time (fill in the blank), the Eritrean Airlines (EAL) is out of business again. Per Radio Erena news, Sudan Airways is now working as a replacement. This only after few months ago when EriTV announced the commencement of the reorganized and improved EAL which was supposed to provide services to several countries. By the way, EriTV won’t annouce the closure of EAL, people will have to find out when they get to the ticket purchasing sites or the airport. That’s what “serving the truth” is all about.
    As you can see on the clip below, then it was said “..to make Eritrea Africa’s gateway and Asmara the hub of regional flights….”Man! Man! What a pathatic system is reigning in our sweet nation!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KtZvacXdK9E

    • Guest

      Is this really necessary on a topic like the tragic death of 366 Eritrean? Shameless!

  • SMichael

    AT
    Would you be so kind to edit and post back my edited comment?
    There was a reason as to why I edited and posted it back besides some grammar issues.
    Just delete few words and phrases you are not happy with and post it back.
    I want to learn and correct myself as well if there was any offensive wording for future ref.
    Kindly
    SMichael

  • Thomas

    Announcement to all Eritreans living in Ohio. Wedi Tikabo is coming to Columbus, Ohio. Please see the attached flyer and join us. This event is for all Eritreans – united we can remove the cancerous regime.

    • Nitricc

      Thomas wenna be white man
      Last time you said wedi-Ali way is the only way to remove the Eritrean government; which means we all should commit suicide lol you talk about dumb idea and now; we should go to Ohio for wed-Tikabo concert that is the only way we can remove the cancerous government of Eritrea. What the… why can you just please come out show your support for wedi-Tikabo?

      • Thomas

        Nitricc – the guass/goat herder –
        At least I am not a chicken as you are. I am not hiding myself behind a nickname. Either way, your master the dictator/the cancer will be removed from the surface of our country.

        • Nitricc

          Okay Thomas; I get that; you are a promoter. I see your name and your phone number. okay it is your real name and i stand corrected.
          All I am saying stop saying dumb things. Don’t politicize the event. It is a toothless concert that changes nothing regarding the government of Eritrea. My advice to you is you better charge hefty so you can support wedi-tikabo. I feel bad for him. The worst possible choice he had ever made. I like the guy if I was around Ohio; I don’t know why people live in Ohio, but I would have attended his concert. It is sad with caliber of wedi-tikabo he will sing in front of ten to fifteen thomases. That is travesty.
          So, Thomas enjoy the show lol

          • Thomas

            I don’t expect less from a bone head guassa. Isn’t your mother Sofia around you? I told you before, it is NOT you and it is her and them. I must tell to refrain insulting the Lampudusa victims!! We are all mourning. No one including foreigners can forget those victims of ours. Stop or we will hunt you down!

  • Amanuel Hidratr

    Hey Dawit,
    The culprit of the exodus of our young generation is strictly the regime of Asmara. We debated it for months, more than enough. You have different take and your argument rested on how to defend the regime at all cost. The Eritreans who seek refugee are the culprit in your book and that ends the story. You know you position and keep it, if you are not fighting against your real self.
    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Nitricc

    The truth will set you free, but first it will piss you off.”

    Doc, let me save you a great deal of time and the agony goes with it.
    Who is responsible?
    1) Go to list of the dead Eritreans and find out who faineances their death. By law human trafficking is illegal i.e. who ever paid the smugglers; should be brought to the court of law and punish everyone who financed and send minimum 10 years in prison.
    2) The dead themselves must be held responsible. Don’t give that bull crap democracy; free press and the usual excuse. There are young trained solders. If there is a problem in the country; you got the gun, you get the energy and you got the time.
    3) The opposition. In a bid to make the government of Eritrea as evil they encouraged the youth to flee from their country. At one point members of the opposition were witnessing in exchange of cash. Yep, they witness for you that you are anti the government of Eritrea and you get your asylum.
    4) The International community. Why is it every Somali, Sudani and Ethiopian claim that they are Eritreans? Huh, it is easy to get an asylum if you claimed from Eritrea. Why is that?
    5) The Government of Eritrea. Still I can not understand why the Government failed to conduct town hall gatherings; using mass communication, radio, Tv, news papers; why not educate and inform the danger of fleeing your country.
    6) Activists: you think the likes of Elsa are helping people; they are doing the opposite.
    7) The Diaspora is the main problem to this madness. They show too much flashy and they talk too different story; far from their life reality and conditions; they tell lies to people inside Eritrea; the people inside wanted the piece of the action

    The solutions.
    1) People have stop sending money that to be paid to human trafficking criminals.
    2) Encourage people to stay home and to well in school.
    3) The Diaspora must stop telling people inside Eritrea that they live in heaven. Tell the truth and tell them you are the slave to whites. Tell the truth.
    4) The government of Eritrea must come up with a better idea communicating with the youth. Use social media, Tv and Radio to inform the danger of feeling the country. Blaming the USA and the west is not going to solve the problem. Have town hall meetings, have parents conference; talk about it openly and honestly.
    5) Activists must stop getting rich at expense and misery of Eritreans. You are responsible for what you are doing.
    6) The people who made it through all the tragedy must speak up so their little brother or sister does not have to go through hell again.
    7) And last and the best is they Youth themselves. Running away is not the solution. It is your country; it is where you belong, it is where you were born, it is it, it you.
    You don’t like the system; change it. You don’t like what you see; fight it. It is you, you are the engine, you are the brine; you are the future. Why are you running away? To tell you the truth; you are the problem and fortunately you are the solution.
    The choice is yours; stay home built your country with pride and dignity or die a horrible death trying to flee.
    “He who is brave is free”
    Seneca

    • SMichael

      Good job Nitricc.Lucky U that your comment is posted unlike mine- was trying to do similar one like U did but I failed the test I guess.

    • Zegeremo

      “The dead themselves must be held responsible” Are you serious?

  • Ermias

    Proof that S Michael = Nitricc. Below is just one example. For all interested, I can provide more.

    S Michael said earlier today that Hailat has proved to me (Ermias) who Nitricc is. This ‘Hailat proof’ happened when a fella named African Soul came out of no where and made a ground breaking revelation about 23 days ago about who Nitricc is and that was just absolutely hilarious yet true. At that time S Michael never existed here in this forum, correct me if I am wrong.

    Here is what Haile said after he read ‘African Soul’s’ comment:

    “Hey Nitricc, now you get a taste of your med. 🙂 how does it feel to do that to others (like deny their identity and say they are Tigrayans…) well, boomerang, what goes around comes around.

    Anyway, African Soul, you got the wrong guy here. Nitricc is Eritrean, YPFDJ and delusional. If you need a co-signer for him, count me in.”

    Now, please follow me. How does a character named S Michael, who didn’t exist 23 days ago, vividly remember Haile’s defense on behalf of Nitricc? If you want to believe ‘oh maybe he was passively reading’, go ahead that’s your choice.

    Until Nitricc learns to be respectful to all of us here, I will embarass him and strip him naked for all to see.

    I have no problem whatsoever about your belief system Nitricc aka S Michael. We can’t all be against PFDJ, it is impractical. But just simply make your points and try to convince us just like Amanuel, Hayat, Haile, Beyan, SAAY do around here myself included, Saba too. If you stop calling people stupid things as in ‘go play with your kids’, ‘go beat your wife’, ‘have some dignity (to Hayat)’, and countless other things, then I will stop haunting you like a nightmare.

  • Nitricc

    S Michael Lol, Oh-my. Now I am you. Lol
    What a life. If I have to live Ermias’s worthless life, I will make it really quick. I will take cyanide with a glass of beer and get it over with. What a life?
    I really felt bad for the guy I supposed to be by the name of “Revolution” Out of curiosity I check the guy out and I felt sorry that bright guy; has to be compared to me. If that is not enough now, SMichael is Nitricc . I am sorry you have to be insulted. Lol
    I don’t get it? What is to Ermias if I am Revolution; SMichael whatever. What is even absolutely freighting is he is a parent. He should have spent valuable time with his kids than wasting time trying to figure out who Nitricc is?
    The good news is I am honored to be associated with two great people.
    Revolution and SMichael. I wonder who I may be next ……

  • Ermias

    When did Hailat prove as to who Nitricc is? In response to ‘African Soul ?’ I vaguely remember that but I don’t remember any other time.

  • Ermias

    Doctor Bereket,

    Thank you for your contribution to bring about basic human rights, justice, and democracy in Eritrea.

    I am glad you refreshed our memories (albeit incredibly sad) of Lampedusa. One of the darkest days in Eritrea, certainly post independence.

    With all due respect, I think you were slightly shy of prescribing a solution to the current problem of mass exodus of our youth because of the repressive and unjust regime. I was hoping you would conclude by saying this regime has failed our people and our country miserably and thus they need to step aside lest we see unnecessary bloodshed should there be a Forto 2.0, which seems a necessary condition at this point for any change to come about.

  • said.

    Not too long ago many Eritrean full heartedly supported the DIA regime knowingly of it end goals was fascist and exclusive regime , we are only ourselves to blame ,we are “part and parcel” of a regime in Eritrea that brutally kills its citizens for no apparent reason . We “can’t have it
    both ways,” we supported the regime financially and morally, we know that some
    of us we were partner, a real partner to regime, many fully engaged public intellectual who thrived on collaboration with DIA regime goals , and former supporters are opposition of the regime today and new opposition are always emerging.

    from day one of independence, No wonder they were not preoccupied by the downside of exclusive regime, eventually and surly the great mass of Eritrean in transit begun , in refugee camps,dispossessed continues, many did not care , fully grasp the circumstances in
    which they live in. from the 1960 and till today hundreds of thousands of Eritrean fleeing their country, we are as much guilty and we should bear responsibility and acknowledge . Eritrean infighting, the letting of Eritrea blood flow, then, was it a “Big Taboo,” a Red Line that
    could never be crossed have being crossed ; that could never be tolerated ,being tolerated or accepted under any excuse and circumstance,both morally and patriotically, by Eritrean leaders of all stripes and factions. the sanctity of “Eritrea Unity,” the “Eritrean blood,” and the
    upholding of the “Taboo” of “All-Taboos” of infighting among Eritreans and the wastage of innocent Eritreans lives. It was a “Big Taboo” or was it a big taboo that could never be tolerated under any circumstance. , unparalleled in the annals of all civil wars, loss of innocent lives continued under different pretext. Million displaced refugees, Eritrean remain scattered all over the Earth. a testimony to Eritrea Decadence, sell-out, servitude and ineffective secondary, third, fourth and tertiary role, as people, as an Eritrea nation, as a polity completely lacking in independence, the political will and the relevance to influence political outcomes in a world that’s increasingly succumbing to the will of the powerful. What a loss! And what a calamity! All
    the tears in the Eritrea world and all the sorrow of Job would never make any substitute. Shameful and disgraceful is the sin worse than the treason of JUDAS.

  • dawit

    Dear Dr. Bereket a nice article I enjoy reading it and look forward to your follow-up article. I have few criticisms and observation which I like to share to all.
    “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. Romans 3:23,

    This is not an attempt to inject religion into political discussion at Awate forum, but it will not hurt to draw a lesson from Great Books of religions that many of us learn and try to guide our lives, while we live here on Earth.
    “Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.” – Buddha; “Be tolerant to be tolerated.” Mohamed “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God”. Jesus

    The good doctor has written a very good paper analyzing the the “A pathological manifestation of the seeds of discord sown in the midst of us”, using his medical training background. He has put our predicament under microscope using Lampedusa Migrant Boat accident as a case study to reflect the larger Eritrean problem as a society. However, he keep changing his lenses and sometimes his observation. “the demented cognitive faculty of the regime can only comprehend such loss of lives in terms of labour camps and wars”. He has coined another lexicon to already crowded derogatory languages some of the opposition uses to describe the Eritrean government. He also try use statistics from Assenna.com survey to finger point to the cause of the accident as the Eritrean Government. That is a cheap shot for a scientist who has to report results from a representative sample. Those numbers could have been reversed if he had taken from Dehai.com followers. “the regime’s instinctual and immediate response had been denial followed by shoving full culpability to the usual perennial regional and international enemies”. Does this mean Eritrea does not have any outside enemies? I wonder why Eritreans like to go to war for 30 years to get their independence and two years of border war after winning its independence. Should Eritrea disband its army, since it is surrounded by nice friends?

    “The set of proximate and direct factors identified above as the major underlying causes for the disaster are just too weak and too shallow to address and explain the whole dynamics of the problem. The current approach has utterly failed, over and over again, to fully appreciate the magnitude of the problem. It remains deficient, conceptually and analytically, to fully grasp the whole context and dynamism underneath the unfolding series of tragedies”. I agree

    “The 2013 UNHCR and IOM data on Eritrea) show that a critical juncture has been reached and that the national
    vessel is perilously reaching the tipping point” Personally I don’t trust those reports, those UN institutions are part of the problems, their existence depend on the flow of refugees that boost their budget and job security to the international bureaucrats, Often their reports are politically motivated, and the Human traffickers operate in the camps that were supposed to help and protect the refugees.

    “So far nobody seems to heed; and the collective response remains very much akin to that of the actions of the crew of a sinking ship, who are too busy blaming and fighting against each other to bother plugging the leaks.” That analogy is a little mild in my opinion. There are many crew members who actively bore holes to accelerate the sinking of the boat. They actively lobby and work to sanction the country internationally and advocate and pay smugglers to create more cracks to sink the Eritrean boat.

    There is an urgent need for a new architectural structure- a conceptual and analytic framework which situate things within a new context and provide a new set of lenses that can help understand the complex, interwoven, and interdependent reality and how these different parts can interrelate and interact, if our organizing and energy is
    to be converted into a meaningful political activity that brings about the much needed change that all are striving for. I agree, but that structure has to be inclusive of all stakeholders.
    If I was asked to grade the article, I would rate it as B+ an equivalent grade to Semere Tesfai article B+ http://awate.com/badme-an-erit…which appeared on Awate.com few weeks ago but seems to disappear
    quickly from the front page of the Web site crowded out by important articles relevant to Eritrea.

    • S Michael

      Selamat Dawit,
      I was drafting a similar response to our Good Doctor but you even said it far better than I though and I discarded my draft to avoid duplicate comment.but thank you for hitting it to the point.
      Dr Bereket,I believe,wrote an article few weeks ago about a similar but different tragedy of our poor people,whom he personally “witnessed” while he was “serving “the needy people around Senafe area giving an example of dying neonate he was trying to help.
      In the same mannaer that he tried to point his finger at the GoE about the lampadusa Tragedy”, he did his best to point his finger at the same GoE for the tragedy a neonate and his Mom
      went through but only to ran away to his favorite place from those dying Moms and babies due to lack of better Maternal and Child Health,rather than working hard to improve teh situation of those needy people.This is despite that he knew that the same GoE that he has been blaming has been trying its best to improve the condition of the dying Moms and babies,which now, has proven(the same of GoE) to the world that he GoE ,in FACT, is well beyond achieving the MCH(Mother and Child Health),the same sick Mom and baby that the Good docotor abandoned to seek for a better life.
      Guilty feeling or what?Or he was ordered to blame the GoE, by the same Weyane,who should have been blamed by the same Good Doctor for contributing to the misery of our mothers and babies.
      I know he CANNOT complain about his masters as he will be dumped but he should have shut up and for the sake of Fairness and Ethics,at least in my opinion.
      To me, this is ,beyond comprehension and Intellectual Bankruptsy.and the basics of Ethics and Common Sense should be applied here as well,in my opinio gain.
      isn’t Dr bereket sitting and chatting with the same people who delcared ” No Peace, No war Status’ on Eritrea as a Principal Policy to make Eritrea and its people to suffer to DEATH?
      Isn’ Dr Brket an Eye Witness of those victims of Lampudusa were the prime victims of the weyanes?
      Until Haile(not sure which one as there seem to be too many of them),labelled me as a “Traitor”,I thought I was clear and firm on my stand about what is the BEST for Eritrea at this tempting time.
      Haile clearly knows as to who are the real Traitors.And to mention few of them and to remind Haile and SAAY as to what Tesfay Fihira gas been singing for.
      -Those who left and ran away whiile they were witnessing the suffering of our needy people and left
      -Those who are taking orders from the deadly and bloody enemies of Eritrea and Eritreans
      -Those who have been petitioning,and rallying for the sanction of the POOR PEOPLE of Eritrea and who wished the kids of eritrea to be like the kids of Iraq to perish for nothing
      -Those who are for the disintegration of Eritrea into pieces to fullfil the agenda of the weyanes.This is not to sympathize with the governance of the current regime,which equally might have contributed to the misery of our people and to the Lampadusa incident,which could have happened ,by the way while those victims were flying in a Plane.
      My point is that, we should not politicize such things,rather,we should work hard to come together and unify our people and struggle for peaceful change.The most disgusting and embarassing thing is to side and sympathize with the most deadly enemy,who almost is exclusively a major playing factor.
      i cannot and will never understand this.
      S Michael

      • Saba

        Great S Michael. Me and you are rare species here. Here many people are conditioned to the dichotomy DIA&cyber opposition. Classic Pavlovian conditioning: Eritrean politics–>DIA&cyber opposition. It is DEconditioning time.

        • Ermias

          Saba, good to see you being active and expressing your views.

          I have a bad news for you. S Michael = Nitricc. I did my research and I was able to deduce this using my special skills to follow trends. My analysis of Eritrean politics is pedestrian but my deductive skills could be compared with that of Sherlock Holmes. Trust me I am not bragging. There is a certain ‘selam’ here but in reality that is sophia tesfamariam. I challenged her twice in this forum but she disappears for months on end.

          You are by no means in the same league as Nitricc. You acknowledge DIA is bad for Eritrea but he defends him blindly.

          • S Michaek

            Ermias,
            Please,can U stop this nonsense and be part of this constructive Forum?
            I am a real SMICHAEL and the AT can prove to U but the Team has no time for this and I would not allow them to do so.
            Hailat proved to you as to who Nitric is.
            Again,the identity of the people in the forum should not concern you.
            But I proved that your speculations and assumptions and weird tricks and formulas are wrong.
            Good luck with your nonsensical researches.

          • Saba

            Hi Ermias, i know you are evidence-based guy, Sherlock Holmes of awatistas:) Well i guess awate.com is infested with higdefawian:) But try to debate them, not censure them, if not what makes you different from DIA? Do you remember the quote from Voltaire?

  • Amanuel

    Hi Saba
    I think you joined this form recently and you don’t seem a fun of cyber opposition. Could you please explain what is wrong with it and your way of opposition if you have one.
    Amanuel

  • Alellah

    Nice one but long by any stretch.

    Well, well,,, the opposition group can not claim the sole ownership of democracy. They have to find away to deal and beat the pro PFDJ group with out violence. They need to have convincing and open strategy to win the heart of tthe Majority Eritreans. Any thing less is utter failure ala the last two decades (deja vu, Hashewye). Again the opposition group have to deal with the contents of “http://awate.com/badme-an-eritrean-opposition-deathbed/” Nothing short of this will bear failure after failure again.

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Dr. Bereket,

    Welcome back. Excellent piece. We are failed as society to protect such kind of tragedies. We still don’t have a clue how to work collectively.

    • SMichael

      Aman,
      With due respect,why R U afraid to challenge him for not mentioning the role of the Opposition Groups and the Ethiopian Government in this Tragedy and the ongoing suffering of our refugees?
      We have to be able to call a Spade, a Spade and we should be able to balance things.
      I know you are playing politics but sometimes the TRUTH also should be disclosed to have an acceptance by the Public.
      Just talking about PFDJ and DIA/PIA is not going to solve the problem.

      • dawit

        Thank you SMichael for your positive response on my comment and thanks for revealing the character of the ‘good doctor’. There are a lot of omissions of facts in his article, trying to use the Lampsuda victims as political tools for the opposition and many others. There are many unanswered questions before, during and after the accident on the actions taken by various actors, Only time will tale . I think Amanuel and his colleagues are not interested in real substances about Eritrea.

  • bambour

    Dr., you missed this one big time! “The Lampedusa victims were ‘given’ Italian citizenship, in its place”, not true, sorry. The issue of granting the Lampedusa victims Italian citizenship posthumously has been only a suggestion. ty

  • bambour

    Dr., you missed this one! “The Lampedusa victims were ‘given’ Italian citizenship, in its place”, not true! The issue of granting the Lampedusa victims posthumously Italian citizenship has been only a suggestion. ty

  • said

    Thank
    you Dr Bereket . The Lost and Misery of Eritrean Livers will continue.

    Lampdusa is wakeup call and reminder and one of many great sad tragedy
    and misery facing our people and unabated , October the 3rd we all watched
    Lampdusa with wrenched emotions. As every Eritreans, It bled my heart seeing
    and listening to the surviving youth , just imagining their situation,
    putting myself in their place – as I could never relate fully to his agony and
    despair no matter how hard I tried – being the poorest of the poor, the
    meekest and the most helpless of the civilians left behind lacking the means,
    even the physical strength and mental acumen to exit to relatively less
    dangerous spots of the very few patches of territories that remain in any of
    the environs within the vicinity of the populated areas .

    What really broke my heart, diminished me, dehumanized me as a remote observer, that
    despite the plight and wretched, most inhuman conditions of fleeing refugees
    and displaced civilians making it to relative safety, this wonderfully youth my
    brother inhumanity and country fellow, typical of many caught up in hope and
    fear of unknown, was so helpless that the just awaited, helplessly, and back
    home family, waiting to hear the inevitable of senseless death.

    I shouted loud in my heart and mind: Hell with them All, DIA and crony,politicians of all ranks and kind feeding into and prolonging the destruction of innocent lives, culprits, the Dictator Staying Put not letting go, and ruthless,blood-thirsty marauders, The Opposition holding the banner of democratic in the name, and of possibly God’s a religion meant for the goodness of man, humanity,

    What a lasting Stigma to be witnessing as contemporaries of these moments, of all
    walks, be it ethic religion races and nationalities it did not matter ,the issue at hand is much bigger , watching glued to our TV sets, as mere helpless spectators with this melodrama of the worst proportions of human annals unfold before our very eyes.

    My greatest fear is that History will not spare us as accomplices by mere complacency, helpless as we are; by the sole mere truth of being Contemporaries of these saddest moments. In all cases, we all are diminished, dehumanized as a desensitized lot incapable of influencing reality.
    For most diaspora they are not feeling the pain of the refugee flows, they are not feeling the pain of the Eritreans s themselves, they are not feeling and comprehending any of the direct consequences right away.

  • said

    Thank you Dr Bereket . The Lost and Misery of Eritrean Livers will continue.

    Lampdusa is wakeup call and reminder and one of many great sad tragedy and misery facing our people and unabated ,October the 3rd we all watched Lampdusa with wrenched emotions. As every Eritreans, It bled my heart seeing and listening to the surviving youth , just
    imagining their situation, putting myself in their place – as I could never relate fully to his agony and despair no matter how hard I tried – being the poorest of the poor, the meekest and the most helpless of the civilians left behind lacking the means, even the physical strength and mental
    acumen to exit to relatively less dangerous spots of the very few patches of territories that remain in any of the environs within the vicinity of the populated areas .

    What really broke my heart, diminished me, dehumanized me as a remote observer, that despite the plight and wretched, most inhuman conditions of fleeing refugees and displaced civilians making it to relative safety, this wonderfully youth my brother inhumanity and country fellow, typical of many caught up in hope and fear of unknown, was so helpless that the just awaited,
    helplessly, and back home family, waiting to hear the inevitable of senseless death.

    I shouted loud in my heart and mind: Hell with them All, DIA and crony, politicians of all ranks and kind feeding into and prolonging the destruction of innocent lives, culprits, the Dictator Staying Put not letting go, and ruthless, blood-thirsty marauders, The Opposition holding the banner of democratic in the name, and of possibly God’s a religion meant for the
    goodness of man, humanity, What a lasting Stigma to be witnessing as contemporaries of these
    moments, of all walks, be it ethic religion races and nationalities it did not matter ,the issue at hand is much bigger , watching glued to our TV sets, as mere helpless spectators with this melodrama of the worst proportions of human annals unfold before our very eyes.

    My greatest fear is that History will not spare us as accomplices by mere complacency, helpless as we are; by the sole mere truth of being Contemporaries of these saddest moments. In all cases, we all are diminished, dehumanized as a desensitized lot incapable of influencing reality.
    For most diaspora they are not feeling the pain of the refugee flows, they are not feeling the pain of the Eritreans s themselves, they are not feeling and comprehending any of the direct consequences right away. As for the regime,creating never ending problem .The French call this “la fuite en avant,” or the forward flight. Fleeing forward is what DIA regime is doing when he plunge from one issue to the next, constantly creating new emergencies in order to avoid
    confronting a more serious and intractable problem. It is what the government Eritrea is
    being doing for more than 23 years when it averts its eyes from the possibility of resolving dire issue. Plunging the country from one problem to another continuously?

  • Saba

    Nice article. It is very sad event. We Eritreans are proud of ourselves but this tragedy puts in question our value. 99.9% of the blame goes to DIA&PFDJ, The deception from blichlich and fesahsah nay diaspora ab Eritrea may have contributed to some extent. The fundamental solution could be forto2.0 but not the cyber opposition that will lead to another tragedy from “m-finchihchah”.of the country.