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Isaias’ Trade Off: Military Drill As Crops Perish

On the occasion of the year end, yesterday Isaias Afwerki gave a two-hour interview to the government owned Eri-TV.

As usual, he blamed conspirators for wanting to hinder his government’s endeavor in the development of the country. He said, “…for 15 years we didn’t face a military attack only, but also economic, diplomatic, political and defamation, to prevent us from implementing development plans.”

Answering a question regarding the youth who are leaving the country, Isaias said it’s part of the conspiracy against Eritrea, and the youth “will regret it… a lot have made a mistake,” of leaving. One of the solutions he envisioned was that his government’s “media should be revamped.” He seemed unhappy with the quality of propaganda that his Ministry of Information is executing.

Replying to a question concerning the reward [pay] for the youth who are working in the government’s projects, he said, “It’s impossible to speak of promises and rewards.” Yet, he promised a collective reward for the entire nation when “our current development campaigns” will yield rewards.

The Eritrean government is accused of using slave labor extracted from forcefully conscripted youth who are deployed in different government-owned projects for an indefinite period of time.

Isaias also cited the struggle era sacrifices of many who “spent their time and life” for the independence of Eritrea, and noted that, “people should not look for rewards.” He asked in surprise, “who has the right to decide what to give [to anyone] from the government coffers?”

Though the question was obviously about salary for service rendered, Isaias totally ignored the concept of salary and stated that the work of the youth should be a continuation of the struggle era sacrifices, reminding his listeners that, “rewards cannot be attained by being hasty and in a hurry, it is attained as a result of work, and now is not the time for that [rewards].”

It is difficult to know if he was dismissing the fact that the Eritrean youth have been working for almost two decades against their will, without pay, or he had abolished the notion of salary for service rendered.

However, he had a message for the youth who are escaping from Eritrea to other countries: “If they have plans to live under welfare, we will meet after a limited journey… if they are regretful, good… but as for those who are tormenting over rewards, time will reconcile us.”

Replying about the lost productivity of Eritreans due to the conscription of the entire population, Isaias said, “those in the front-lines are not cursed” indicating that arming everybody was a sort of fairness and justice where everybody is made to serve in the military equally.

Though Eritrea enjoyed good rains in 2014, the farmers were unable to reap meaningful crops. The farmers were called In the middle of the harvesting month for training and they were forced to go leaving behind heaps of bundled stalks that they gathered in the middle of the fields to dry. A lot of crops perished, damaged by rain before they were collected and properly stored.

Isaias had clarity on that. He said, “since training is a priority, harvesting can wait, we can afford weeks or months to do that… and one has to make a decision.” And as for the training, “regardless of whatever happens to the harvest, the government opted to have farmers lose their crops instead of missing scheduled training.” He stated, “we made a trade off.”

Concerning the constitution that he promised his supporters six months ago, he said that he has assembled people to prepare the constitution, and that the “old constitution, though we didn’t declare it, is dead.”

More information about the constitution he is planning to give Eritreans, “will come in due time.” Abstaining from giving more details, he stressed that, “we do not want to be goaded into a gathering of bickering” by discussing details of the constitution. He reasoned, “we did not ask for permission, or cooperation, from anyone,” Meaning that he owes no one an explanation or information about the constitution. Not even his followers and supporters.

But he generously assured his followers that “the constitution will be prepared [because] the time for drafting or planning a transitional system has arrived.”

Formally, Isaias has been presiding over a “transitional government”, of one type or another, since 1991.

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  • haileTG

    Selamat Mahmuday and Bayto Awate:-)

    As per your earlier question for me to present a concise view point of the opposition block on the current issue of constitution, let me attempt to interject to the ongoing debate wearing opposition spokesman hat (don’t ask, I stole the hat:)

    A gentle detour is in order. The Eritrean opposition block is essentially composed of ALL persons, entities and organizations (Eritrean) who are opposed to the current unlawful and dictatorial rule of Eritrea by the regime of Isaias Afewerki. This principal opposition block is also connected to entities (non Eritrean) at varied levels that include governments, NGOs, int. organizations, regional organizations, faith associations, and other interested parties and individuals sympathetic to the central cause described above in a deliberate broad category. Geographically, the opposition block spans virtually the whole globe, including neighboring countries and extending to the heart of Eritrea, the capital Asmara itself.

    Before delving into the political configuration of this increasingly expanding political formation that is opposed to the dictatorship in Eritrea, I need to clearly outline the key tactical and strategic parameters that are of paramount importance to the opposition block as a WHOLE in achieving its goal.

    Goal to effect the removal of the regime of Isaias Afewerki and ensure peaceful, legitimate and inclusive transition.

    Guiding tactics/strategy to expand the block as vast as possible till it is sufficiently large to swallow and bury PFDJ.

    Against the above backdrop, it is important that we believe in our diversity of opinions, causes, expectations and so forth. To have such healthy appreciation of our diversity isn’t detrimental in/by itself. However, the manner in which we manage discourses pertaining those diversities could serve for/against the grand tactics/strategy of the opposition block as a whole to expand itself in reaches and bounds.

    Now, what are the various component subgroups of the opposition block?

    a) Eritreans who believe in 97 constitution and the preceding political development (from 93 – 97) and demand that such status quo must be restored. This group also includes many who have paid with their life in demanding so, G-15, the late wed Ali and comrades can be few examples.

    b) Eritreans who believe complete and fundamental system change needs to be effected in order to chart a brand new path. Weed out the PFDJ system in its totality, fully without traces of its ideological footprints. There is a good deal of youth, armed groups and other parallel umbrella groups that are included here.

    c) Eritreans who have ethnic grievances and have elected to organize (and be armed) along their ethnic groupings.

    d) Religious freedoms/influences advocates

    e) Women’s organizations

    f) Silent opposition

    g) Former EPLF veterans who see the ideals and promises of their front had been hijacked and are organized in various forms (Medrek, Mahber tegadelti neber…) to correct the course.

    h) Youth groups (EYs..can also fall in a or b above)

    As you see, such is an expansive list, differing interests and priorities. For example, “a” or “g” may not use Ethiopia as a base for struggle, while “b” and “c” may see it as a viable (and indispensable at this time) to do so. Most of the people in “b”, “c” and “d” might have fundamental misgiving of 97 constitution, where as “a”, “e” and some in “h” might see it as a viable way forward.

    Hence, if any given event is considered, the notion of everyone (a – h) taking identical position is highly unlikely. That is not expected either, nor is it inconsistent or in breach of the Goal/strategy framework stated above. But as I stated above “the manner in which we manage discourses pertaining those diversities could serve for/against the grand tactics/strategy of the opposition block as a whole to expand itself in reaches and bounds.”

    When the expectation is that because “b” or “c” oppose the constitution 97 (which is the bases of struggle for those in some of the other sections), then “b” or “c” see it fit to condone an illegal undertaking by the regime, or because “a” or “g” aversion to struggle in Ethiopia leads them to condone the most barbaric dehumanization of Eritreans by the regime as “sell outs”, or even when others believe one thing and expect that gives them to nullify the justifications of other to be legitimate members of the opposition block as a whole… is where things become detrimental, borderline irresponsible.

    The above problem also directly contradicts and undermines the basic Goals/Strategies of the Eritrean opposition forces as a whole, it disunites the ranks and delays progress.

    We need to be clear as to where we belong in the vast opposition that is proving formidable threat to the existence of PFDJ (more in some areas than others). Yet, we must also understand the local vs global strategy in the play book. One’s own group strategy shouldn’t traverse or undermine the global strategy of the WHOLE opposition.

    In the end, the opposition will result in the overthrow of the regime, and what needs to be instituted in its place is the guarantee of peace and liberty. What people wish to do with it would then be left to their individual or group choice.

    Regards

    • Mahmud Saleh

      HTG
      That was amazing, as great as HTG himself. This coupled with Tzigereda’s conciliatory approach may transition the debate to a more substantive phase.
      Thank you.

    • saay7

      Haile TG:

      While you still have your opposition spokesperson hat, let me ask you a question I had hinted at in my discussion with Emma.

      As you know, the protest against the rule of Isaias Afwerki and the demand for immediate change is on the basis of 1. morality (right vs wrong), 2. legality (lawful vs unlawful) and 3. governance (competent/correct vs incompetent/incorrect.)

      Does the opposition have a strategy to deal with the second leg of that stool or are we going to have a wobbly two-legged stool indefinitely? If it is going to make a legal argument and it ignores the 1997 ratified constitution, isn’t it going to rely on international laws and norms? And if it is going to rely on international law and norms, will it not have to deal with (a) oversized role for foreigners; (b) fickle partners: they could strike a deal with Isaias Afwerki and leave us holding the bag?

      Thank you. Mike free 🙂

      saay

      • haileTG

        Hi saay, I think the hat fits rather well, I suppose they won’t miss it 😉

        I will jump straight to the crux of the matter dear saay. There is a valid point in the legality sphere, as you state it that is. However, such could be a great impetus if we can realistically expect spontaneous and rapid uprisings. However, on the protracted nature of the struggle we are conducting, things tend to unfortunately take complex and delicate route.

        1 – Let us consider the case of our brothers from the RADSO or DMLK, considering that the very defining cause of their movement is their opposition to the set up as proscribed by the 97 constitution. Could it be considered a probable outcome to expect them to trade their very existence for the expediency that you foresee? Mind you, that the Afar peoples did actually had an elaborate workshop on the very topic of constitution (I think it was in Canada and also attended by Dr Bereket whom also presented us some articles about it here).

        2 – We have read the LL group, covenant, other minority groups, and established organizations that have pretty settled charters of their own. What is the incentive for them to enter the trade off? Can we itemize the potential benefit to be had (in discrete and finite terms), and most specifically what that would mean to them organizationally. What does the promise of “legality” offer them in practical terms?

        Now, I ask this without prejudice to the ongoing discussions. I do actually favor it as a transitional set up, but am more concerned on the big picture here from the point of view of maintaining the integrity of the whole opposition.

        Cheers

        • saay7

          Selamat Haile TG:

          What’s in it for them (RSADO and DMLEK) is the ability to expand the size of the Eritrean opposition and getting critical mass for change. It’s not the advocates of the ratified constitution that are taking a rigid take-it-or-leave it approach because we are saying there is a mechanism for amendment and you can amend it but u have to make your case to the people and there will be no backroom deals.

          All the ones that came after RSADO/DMLEK are, unfortunately, a manifestation of the radicalization of Eritrean opposition. Remember, however it’s brilliance or even superiority, nothing they write can be a legal argument simply because it’s not a ratified document. It’s simply a political program and a vision statement which they can use as a roadmap to make their case to the Eritrean people and then to abide by the decision of the people.

          In short, the time for all the current maneuvering was in 1995-1997. That’s when the opposition should have been organized and made their case to the people, even from exile. Now, all the charters and constitutions floating around are simply bargaining chips. They are political documents, moral statements, vision statements but they are not legal documents.

          So what we are really saying is that in our protracted struggle (protracted, in my view, because nobody forcefully has spoken for the ratified constitution) we are going to make moral arguments and maladministration arguments and we are going to cite UN documents and AU charters on human rights but we will not make the case for the Eritrean constitution.

          saay

    • AOsman

      Haile TG,

      Those who support the 1997 Constitution will be squeezed in between, don’t you think pre-empting DIA and coming up with an Amended version that deals with the complaint of most of the opposition will be a good idea. Rather than convincing those who reject it about the benefit of using it as rallying/starting document, a typical amended version should be produced to show that in future it will be amended (confidence building measure). Also while DIA is on course to water it down to his whims, the proponents should take this as opportunity of tightening it, that is if they still believe in it. Time to check mate them, after all you stated they will not come with anything else.

      Amanuel has written his critique in one of his Tebeges articles covering at least the mixing of Parliamentarian vs Presidential system and in the end giving DIA more power, this may be settled by following one model.

      Others may come with their misgivings and the product will be one that could be debated online. Whatever DIA comes up with, we will be better informed to see his game.

      Such undertaking will have the advantage of:
      1. Narrowing the gap among the for and against the document.
      2. Informing the public of constitutional matters, better informed public is better at safeguarding rights.
      3. Making the constitution centre of debate (Mahmud will not feel a loner 🙂
      4. Counter the idea of new Constitution, nib it in the bud (unless DIA is playing us….Isayas wes belle kaykown negeru)
      5. Potentially revive the 1997 constitution

      If there is a will your comment can be upgraded to an article to allow such debate to progress, while you wear the opposition spokesperson hate, you can distribute De Bono’s six thinking hats to others to allow a progressive discussion.

      Regards

      AOsman

      • Saleh Johar

        AOsman, you are absolutely right. Only you forget that there are many attempts to narrowing the gap but if people do not want to see anything except the 97 paper, it is unfortunate.

        In fact the traditional opposition has a roadmap on how to reach a constitution and charters that help reach to constitutionalism. Some of the components of the traditional opposition, as Haile mentioned, RSADo and DMELK and others get absolutely nothing out of the 97 paper, and the conflict will be expanded if this paper is pushed down their throat.

        Three years ago, Mejlis Ibrahim Mukhtar published a draft constitution as an idea, a hybrid of the 1952 constitution and the 1997. It was an attempt at narrowing teh gap. Maximalist proposals lead to maximalist responses. If people would just consider the constitution belongs to everybody else and not only to the power center, we wouldn’t have been debating it.

        Can you imagine I have personally endorsed the 97 constitution in 2002 is an initiative known as CISE, in Amersfoort, Holland? I did. But again, the initiative went no where. The issue is not difficult only if people would recognize its political nature.

        • Mahmud Saleh

          Dear Saleh;
          I would really want to know why you supported the survival/revival of the 1997 in 2002, and why you do support its demise now. May be I could benefit from expanding this farther.
          Can’t a democratically constituted future government address the specific issues/articles those mentioned organizations concern? Is this the view of the majority of the opposition, for instance organizations under the umbrella of ENCDC, and others like EPDP? Could the threat of using a force be a basis for discarding a constitution?

          • Saleh Johar

            Mahmuday, that is why I said the document is political therefore, when a group of people have to take a stand, the haggle, they negotiate and compromise. That is what we did in Holland in 2002. I saw to it that I have to give in.Not because I was convinced, but because we have to move on. The traditional opposition, in fact everyone I know who was not close or influneced by the PFDJ, had rejected the 97 piece since then. The opposition could not make its case in 95-97 as Saay suggests, because if what the PFDJ produced is legal, simply because it has the ability to proclaim, then it has also proclaimed any opposition is sellout, Hamshai Mesrei, Jihad etc. That branding was also legal. At any rate, the euphoria, the monopoly, the intimidation of the nineties didn’t allow for opposing views to make an effect because every non-PFDJ entity was just shunned by the strong network of wufuyat groups. You know how they controlled everything back then. Dealing with social and armed political organization, you can’t simply say accept it without negotiations and compromise, it is a suicide no one would take. Particularly after the long experience we had with the mafia. I will not fall into that trap of 2002 again, never. Future government can address that provided the government is accepted. People have a firm stand on that and will continue until the regime is gone. It disheartens me to see people hammering at the opposition with excuses of narrowing down difference: only the regime has the means to narrow differences but we know it is not up to that. It is the view of the majority (overwhelming) Mahmuday. If you guage it regionally, or otherwise, this thing is a time bomb. No minority accepts it. Not major social group accepts it apart from the PFDJ supporters. I am not taking about the few voices. It is a polarizing thing and as I see it, one can scream unity from the bottom of his lungs but the moment he pushes the Isaias constitution a big chunk is alienated. It is not a good idea at all. No one should be forced to abide by a contract he is not part of. Any legal, diplomatic reason will not work.

        • AOsman

          Saleh Johar,

          Thank you for the feedback and information, I suffer the same short term memory syndrome like many Eritreans :). After your comment I checked the awate/documents section and it seems we are not short of proposals, but they tend to die out. Instead of building on them, new initiatives are started few years later. I can see your irritation with EFND proposal, so much resource is spent repeating what has been said before.

          My suggestion to Haile TG is to allow the debate to move from the superficial and discuss items that are problematic. Even if the ’97 Constitution is discarded, the issues to tackle will remain clearer for the future. It looks like abzi akhiba tebetinu allo (kind off), will see how the debate develops in the new article.

          Regards
          AOsman

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Gud;
    If you cannot see from what I’ve quoted for you, in Tigrigna, that the dictator was indeed speaking of those who drafted and ratified, and the process itself, then I cannot help you. I cannot make you believe or see something that you already’ve decided not to do so.

  • aron

    Thank you nitric

  • Nitricc

    it means consumption.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    bu Noah
    Disclaimer: I have become so relaxed with some of you guys. One of them is my bad friend, the good friend of nitrikay, Ato semere wed Abuye Andom. Semere has a unique tone for those of us who hail from the Tigre society. Tigre as you know is a laid back and relaxed society. They shun loud talking and swearing. And yes, they are also welcoming and really generous. So, this is my w/end dialogue with my own friend Semere. Aman Hidrat and SGJ, I do respect you guys, I just don’t accept your views on this topic.KS thank you buddy, I wish we met on Jebena instead of here, in this political Qoyeqa. Now to semere:
    I read yesterday’s comment of yours ብሻዕብያዊ ኣትኩሮ። It went along the expected lane, so it did not encourage me to reply. But your latest reply to SGJ, although in the same typical Hfoonaay manner, you spiced it up with ጨው በርበረ። Yes, your satiric presentation ወሃ ዘበለ እዩ። I mean what else do you expect them to do Semere Hfoonaay? I think you need to give those veterans who joined Shaebia in drafting the first ever Eritrean constitution. Many fools believe the 1952 constitution was Eritrean. No, it was not. Most of the drafters were foreigners, and even during the Federal Period, most of the judges and counsels were foreigners. Three areas make me feel sad to see the document flushed down the toilet. These are: national zeal and sense of ownership that the process brought, its historicity and the precedence you lay out by staying indifferent when that document is discarded by one sentence.

    1. Sense of ownership: if the public believes a document is so decisive in their lives and lives of generations to come, and if they are given little opportunity to participate in developing it, they feel they own it. Millions felt that way. Of course, there were darker corners, but generally, people participated. That was the first national covenant ever Eritrean felt they truly owned.
    Don’t fool us. There won’t be an-all-satisfying document coming ever. That’s just
    the fact of compromising to live together as a nation. So, why is it fine for
    IA to discard a document that many gave their lives for its implementation? All the political prisoners, the journalists, different episodes of organized risings, all those private citizens, and elders who perished in prisons and some who still languish in those prisons made this document their tool when they made those fateful yet courageous moves which cost them their lives and the livelihood of their families. I know you love to use Eila Ero when it fits your argument, remember, those who are dying off in Eila-Ero are there because they called for the implementation of the constitution. It becomes even harder to understand when you know the man is there to busy the nation in exhausting projects in order to deflect growing momentum. Mind you, I am sure even the clique did not deliberate on this issue. By your
    admission, this is a one-man show, anyway.
    2. Historicity, nations start somewhere. Generations keep building on top of what they have inherited. Eritreans started constitution building in 1994, and finished it in 1997. The smart way would be to use this document as a tool in the fight for justice instead of surrendering to the decision of the unjust ruler. It could develop. Constitutions reflect the realities they have been born in; some may be progressive enough to accommodate foreseeable socio-political surprises. But they will all be gracious enough to let next generations amend them to reflect given realities in the future. But it’s clear that the psychological power constitutions give their citizens is more important than its actual benefits. Here, in one of the “models” of constitutions, for instance, the fact that you have built-in assurances which guarantee the powers of government is more important than the actual protection the constitution brings unto citizens. These guarantees have started somewhere, but developed through generational inputs. Talking about changing certain aspects is talking substance. And that could only be done under a favorable situation. To get to that favorable situation where democratically elected delegates convene, this should have been used as a tool against the ever worsening dictatorial regime.

    3. Precedence: It’s bad to feel indifferent or uprightly happy when a bad precedence takes place. That means any mini dictator will throw away a constitution and cook his own which is more friendlier to his own taste buds. In that case, constitutions will cease to be supreme laws, they will be treated like partisan political platforms. We will then go through African Revolutions- Semere, how many coups or “revolutions” have you witnessed in Sudan? I know constitutions are not hard to produce, but destroying them without a public outcry tells something about the society. Let’s take your favorite EPRDF. We know the current constitution was written under their watch; it basically contains their ideas. I am sure attempts will be made to amend some parts of the constitution once the opposition comes to power. As an observer who believes in democratic principles, what I would wish is for those oppositions to follow the amendment process. If they win then they could amend the parts they want amended, for instance, areas that deal with the structure of GOVERNMENT. They don’t need to discard the constitution even if by miracle they could do it using available democratic means. Now you will say, hey, that’s wayanay constitution; no way of amending it!

    With New year spirit, ወደ ፊት ከ ኣዋቲስታ ጋራ!

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    PFDJites are manic depressives. They live in a world of their wild imaginations and the figments there of. Here is what they wrote recently:

    “ህ.ግ.ደ.ፍ ታሪኽ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ አዩ። ዝኮነ ሓይሊ ንህ.ግ.ደ.ፍ ዝጻባአ ታሪኽ ህዝቢ ኤርትራ ናይ ምድምሳስ ድልየትን ሕልምን ዘሎዎ አዩ። ህላወ ኤርትራ ምስ ህላወ ህ.ግ.ደ.ፍ ዝተኣሳሰረ አዩ። ብታኣማንነት ሉዑላዉነት ኤርትራን ረብሓ ህዝቢ ኤርትራን ክሰርሕን ከዉሕስን ዝኸአል ጥርኑፍ ሓይሊ ህ.ግ.ደ.ፍ ጥራሕ አዩ። “ Read Full Text

    What can we say except gather them around to listen to this song that fits them well for most part of the lyrics 🙂 ክብረት ኣፈትውን እዮም፡ ምቕጥቓጥ’ዩ ፈውሶም!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqEi_7NGYTA

    • Mahmud Saleh

      Ahlan HTG;
      ንበይነይ ድየ ከለውለው ዝብል ዘለኹ ወይስ ክልእ ድምጽታት/ተቓውሞታት ኣሎ?እንታይ ይበሃል ኣሎ? ንምንታይ እዩ ሰበይ ኣጽቂጡ? ቅዋም ይተግበር የበሃል’ንዶ ኣይነበረን? ጽሙቕ ኣቢልካ ኣባ ኣረኣእያ ደምበ ተቓውሞ ኣቕርበልና።

      • haileTG

        Mahmuday, thanks for asking that (ok I was hoping some one does:) because it is the right question about the right subject, i.e. dembe teqawumo as a whole. It will be up soon, hopefully you see it before you go to retire for the night.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Mahmuday, talking about the 1997 constitution I am trying to find a common ground with you,it doesn’t mater if you believe there was and is a sign of democracy tried. but now it let’s agree it is dead killed, burned etc. At that time I ag

  • haileTG

    Dear KS, haven’t we been there, on the “how could they?” indignant puzzlement? It shouldn’t really be a surprise to see them going to such filthy levels, if filth is what they created for a home. Blaise campaore of Burkina Faso was swiftly overrun and sent packing when he tried to change the country’s constitution to enable him to run for another term. IA announced the death of that constitution, to do exactly the same and the reaction is different. Who is different? Campaore to Isaias or the Eritrean people to the Burkinabe people? You may say the constitution was always dead, but think about it. Its supporters believe the regime, and the regime told them it had implemented their constitution. Based on that, it has been ruling them for fools. Now it told them it was born dead, to accept it makes them responsible to the crimes done by the regime. As to the rest of the Eritrean masses, this needn’t have been so painful as it is, all they needed was two days off work and send him packing.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Hi Gud;

    First, it is good to see you grow up and moderate yourself in addressing those who’ve differing opinions than yours.)) To come to your question, what you’ve quoted is my deduction based on what the dictator said regarding the 1997 Constitution. I will quote for you here what made me conclude the way I did. The dictator says, among other nonesenses, in Tigringna:

    አቲ ቅዋም ብግብሪ ኣብ ባይታ ከይተኣወጀ ዝሞተ ሰነድ’ዩ…መን ነዲፉዎ: ከመይ ጌሩ ተነዲፉ: እንታይ’ ዩ እቲ ትሕዝቶ’ ኡ፥ ናበይ ገጹ’ ዩ ዘምርሕ ዝበሃል፥ 15 ዓመታት ብዙሕ ነገር ተማሂርና ኢና…ሕጂ ዘሎና ንቕሓትን ሽዑ ዝነበረና ንቕሓትን ምናልባት ብስምዒት ብድሌት ብዙሕ ነገር ኣርእዩ ክኸውን ይኽእል፥ ሕ ጂ ግን ዝያዳ በሲልና ኢና። ናይ ቀደም ቅዋም….መዓልቱ በሊዑ እዩ። እዚ 15 ዓመታት ዝሓለፍናዮ ከኣ ብዙሕ ነገር ርኢና፥ ብዙሕ ነገር ተማሂርናሉ ስለዘለና ካብ ኡ ዝበለጸ ወይ….

    For a period of 15 years, after the end of the border war, the dictator and his clique were presenting the unresolved border issue, and other foreign threats as reasons for not implementing the Constitution which was drafted and ratified under the leadership of the same dictator. They’ve arrested, killed and incarcerated thausands of our compatriots who sought for the implementation of the Constitution and the building of democratic institutions. Now, or 6 months ago, if you prefer, the dictator has suddenly changed his reasons and is telling us that he has discarded that Constitution because it was dead born, and that it is expired, and that he and his clique are going to give us their version of a better constitution. Such a hypocrisy is beyond compare, the dictator, by discarding a national legal document is addmitting that he has committed a serious crime. The time will come when he would face justice for all his crimes against the Eritrean People.

    ኣብ ዕለተ ፍርዲ ገበነኛ ኢሳያስ የራኽበና.

  • haileTG

    Continuing with our interview, dear awatista, we now bring Sophia Tesfamariam on the issue of Constitution:

    “I am by no means implying that Eritrea should not fully implement the 1997 Constitution, nor do I have doubt that it will. I say fully because most of the articles in the Constitution are being implemented. The one that has the destructors and defectors up in arms is the one that deals with the national elections. Suspending certain Constitutional rights during war is not unique to Eritrea. The fact that national elections have been postponed does not mean that Eritrea is not implementing the other articles in the Constitution. There are articles that call for the defense and security of Eritrea, for equal opportunity for health care and education for all Eritreans, for developing Eritrea’s infrastructures and developing laws and structures in support of the Constitution are ongoing and cannot be achieved overnight etc. etc. all of which are being implemented Conducting elections is not a determinant of a democratic system. We need not go further than Ethiopia to see that an election every 5 years does not produce a democratic state.

    The process of adopting a Constitution is as important as its substance. The process must be legitimate, and in order for it to be legitimate, it must be inclusive.” Sophia T/Mariam

    read her full article here

    • Abinet

      Haile
      That was very long. The last sentence is the most interesting .
      ” The rule of the law must prevail over the rule of the jungle”
      You should say “amen” to that.
      She reminds me of mengistu and his loooong speeches on Meskerem 2 .

    • Kokhob Selam

      ኣታ ሃይላት ሶፊያ ኮ ዘመድ ዘርኣይ ደረስ እያ : ግደፍ እባ!!
      http://shar.es/1He9Wg

    • Hayat Adem

      HaileTG,
      The shepherd moves, the herd follows. Ze Gerahtus, Ze Sophias, Ze Monkeys thought they were defending their master not the constitution. So, the master is looking for another paper, so herd need to be re-positioning their role to defend him. Wherever he goes, they follow. The only difference you see here is, a shepherd herds his sheep from behind. No sheep is foolish enough to follow the herder unless it is forced from behind. A sheep’s reality is in the coordinates of “now” and “here”. If the shepherd is herding them from place A to place B, the movement would be the reality of the sheep for that moment. If they are held for grazing or drinking, or sheltering, that would be the reality of the sheep herd. Isaias’ human sheep are trying hard to predict where he wants them to be and take that as their reality and suffer the consequence of failing to get it right. In this case, they are acting below the sheep’s standard. it is a hard herd life!

  • haileTG

    Selam Awatista,

    Here is another brief take on constutition chopped to 2mins. These people have indeed played with Eritreans life like no other. And, this one makes subtle attempt to EPLF to PFDJ, despite the former had been dismantled in the years before leading to the brutal extermination of G-15.

    http://www.tubechop.com/watch/4425210

    Listen to the guy lying through his teeth.

    • Kokhob Selam

      ሃይላት ሰብ ‘ ሲ ሓቅነቱ ይኹን ቅጥፈቱ ደረጃ ኣለዎ :: ሕጅስ ሞንኪ ይኹን ወዲ ገራህቱን ካለኦትን ተጠሊዖም ዝብልዎ ዝነበሩ ብኤስያስ ክ ውቃዕ እንከሎ ቅሩብ ዓይኒ ሓሰኻ ዘለዎ “ዓገብ” ከይበሎ ክሓልፍ ኣይክእልን እዩ እሞ ጌጋ ይኽለኣለይ እምበር ገለ ካብ’ዞም ሰባት ናይ ጂ 15 ዕድል ከይጎኖፎም ኣይተርፍን እዩ :: እንተተበራቢሮም ድማ ንሱር ነቀል ለውጢ በትሮም ኣትሪሮም ከይሰንደው ኣይክሓልፉን እዮም መቸም በቲ ኮይኑ በቲ ሰበር ዜና ከይሰማዕና ንቅኒ ኣይመስለንን::

      • haileTG

        hi KS and Hayat,

        Hayat, true and funny. I noticed it too, real embarrassing!

        KS: being exposed like that doesn’t propel a criminal to admit guilt but make more word games to get by until their fools wake up. The new word game played in their circle as we speak is to call it “Political Renewal” rather than “sorry we lied” as decent people like you would expect. They are saying that this is a form of political renewal, little do they care for their choice of word though, because it should have been called “seven lives of a cat theory in self-serving politics”.

        regards

    • Hayat Adem

      HaileTG,
      These officials have to lie through their teeth and through their cheeks.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Happy new year all,

    Did PIA announced that the constitution is dead? RIP. but were there constitution in Eritrea anyway? for some of us that was dead before it was born. for some it wasn’t there since the fertilizer wasn’t there. and for some it was dead at the end of G15 Yet still for some it was dead some days back. At last we all agree including DIA (PIA) that is nonexistence . Sure monkey will not say anything (if in case he will, the containers are ready-he can replace Sherifo’s place in Era Ero). and for sure some innocent supporters may wake up now but most will continue to repeat what DIA said ” the old constitution is dead”

    I think, If DIA continue to be on power for next one year it will not be difficult to say our national freedom is old and dead. and sure supporters will say “see that was only the plan of US but DIA is smart to think united horn” etc.

    opposition will continue talking against each other . But change is first within and those real fighters will change surprising PFDJ, toothless opposition (to borrow Netiric description) and the silent mass. I hope they will come with full knowledge of handling centralism by keeping the level of democracy to the limit needed depending the conciseness of people particularly at the beginning. Change? no doubt it is near.

  • Yoty Topy

    You are very perceptive.

  • Nitricc

    I am not going to comment in detailed about this constitution topic but the 97 constitution sounds to me a copy cat of the USA constitution. so, when PIA said we will draft the one fits our need and reflects our value; what is wrong with that? besides you guys are arguing about the old one, can’t you wait and see what the new one is and compare and contras?
    I do believe after PIA is gone; the lowlanders and Muslims will be sorry, so, may be PIA wants to protect them before his end of power. let’s see and wait.

    • Kokhob Selam

      እቲ ቅዋም ክነድፍ ዝቆመ ኣካል መን ዘቆሞ እዩ ;: ከም’ቲ ዝሓለፈ ባዕሉ ዘቆሞ ዶ ኣይኮነን? ስለ’ዚ እዚ ‘ውን ምውት ቅ ዋም እዩ::

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Hi Awatistas;

    As it is Friday evening here in Europe, I’wd like to invite you to this relaxing Amharic music. PS. I don’t understand much of the contents, but I’m one of those who, nevertheless, enjoy to listen to Amahric music.))

    Here it is enjoy:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25-sJUzEYzk&list=PLclAFWVNkWbHzqiRb7ZedBP1xKirvPsUk&index=23

  • saay7

    Thanks Hailat:

    Here’s one example to the testimony of the potency of the 1997 Constitution: there were 11 questions asked and evaded, and we are only talking about one of them.

    The greatest ally to a “justice-seeker” is law. And a “justice-seeker” who ignores a legal document that many of his compatriots labored over in favor of some universal doctrine is making a mistake because the universal doctrine (a) has no enforcement mechanism and (b) also defines “rights” not in their narrow civil liberties perspective but an expansive list (shelter, food, etc) that a dictator can say, well, people have a right to food and shelter and I have prioritized those rights over the rights you are demanding.

    To argue, as some do, that because Isaias has the power to kill the constitution this proves that it was always his creation is to argue that Isaias has the power to impoverish the nation an exile its people and this proves he created Eritrea. I know Isaias believes that (according to Dr. Andeberhan’s book); it is sad to hear it from others.

    Happy New Year!

    saay

  • Haile WM

    selatmat awatistas

    though I find nothing new about iseyas interview, besides the apparent delusional state of mind, one thing took my attention this time, he kept counting 15 years, the war declared to him, according to him, has being going on for 15 years. I am puzzled on what date does he start his rule according to him?
    please help me understand to understand him 🙂

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear friend, don’t be puzzled. It is simple, he will continue to rule without rule till the day comes ( and the day will come) . He don’t have any choice any more unless he is bold enough to kill himself.

      • Nitricc

        KS you people are impossible. Since you have no say and unable to fight the man; take what ever gives you and then, after he is gone, change the freaking constitution to your liking. He is offering us the most safe way out so, just sit back and say nothing. You can not do anything , nothing at all. So why waste your energy?

        • Kokhob Selam

          ኣብ ‘ዛ ሓዳስ ዓመት ካብ ዝወሰድኩወን ተረርቲ መርገጻት ሓንትን ዓባይን ምስ ኩሎም ንሕሉፍ ቅ ዋም ከም ቅ ዋም ዝወስዱዎን: ንመጻኢ ኣብ ትሕቲ ህግደፍ ቅ ዋም ከትግብሩ ዝፍቱኑን ናይ ሓባር ባይታ ከምዘይህልወኒ እያ ::

  • Fnote Selam

    Deal All,

    I can feel this is not going to be a popular comment, but I am going to say it anyway.

    IMO, from a practical point of view (and to certain extent ideological point of view) one of the biggest mistakes Eritrean opposition groups made and continue to make is failure to communicate and appeal to the mass of ex-fighters (tegadelti).

    I know there are plenty of reasons to disdain the ex-fighters, but all of the reasons to disdain them combined wouldn’t make up for the failure to reach out to them as a group.

    Thanks,

    FS.

  • Hayat Adem

    Okay, Guad Gud, whatever you say! Did you say anything? kem zibelkayo ykhunelka meArey. amena aytHreQ!

    • Rahwa T

      Hayat,
      Please ignore these
      bunch little idiots. They are too low to be your match. They don’t desreve your golden time and ink.

      • Hayat Adem

        Don’t worry, Rahwa. people like Guad Gud can never get at me because I deal with them with minimum curiosity and zero expectation. !st, I am immune to them; 2nd. I only respond to them when I feel playful and experimenting. But I feel like running a note about this inf/sup complex in case there are other innocent pfdjites. What the heck, let me give it a shot. I may save one foolish soul or else lose nothing.

        • Kokhob Selam

          እወ ቀጽልዮ ድ ኣ “ተቀዶ – ቀዶ እንተዘይቀዶ ሕንጣጦ” ኣይትሰኣኒ ሓያታ !!

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    To help the ongoing debate on the 97 Constitution (ሮዳብ ዓርከይ፡ ኣነ’ኳ፡ እንተ’ስ ኣላ ድያ የላን፡ ዋላ ኣየትሓዙንን ዘለዉ :-), here is a paper put for debate by saay back in May

    http://awate.com/why-isaias-afwerki-invalidated-the-1997-constitution/comment-page-1/

    In addition, you can also listen to the way Yemane (advisor) explained it in Atlanta @ 16:00 mark below (this video was also shared by saay then in one of his responses to a commenter)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nBPc0PprgI#t=1258

    • saay7

      Selamat HTG:

      ኣብዚኣስ ተድልየና ኣለኻ ሓይላት:)

      I have been waiting, since May 2014, for the Eritrean opposition to take advantage of the opportunity presented by Isaias Afwerki to go public on his lawlessness and discard the 1997 Constitution.

      I have explained this to Emma, I don’t know, 4 times but I will try once again: I could take or leave most of the articles of the 1997 Constitution. What I find compelling about it is that (a) hundreds of thousands of Eritreans have a sense of ownership about it (refer to Wedi Ali’s demand as recently as 2013) and (b) articles 14-19 are a trap for Isaias Afwerki and Isaiasism.

      It is as simple as this: in the US, when the gun lobby wants to protect its interest, it mentions the 2nd amendment. When journalists want to protect their interest, they cite the first amendment. For us, those of us who have been victimized by isaias Afwerki, our rallying cry is Article 14-19.

      Well, it is either that or UN’s “Declaration of Human Rights” which is aspirational and not real. The 1997 Constitution (which was ratified and is the law of the land, whether Isaias Afwerki likes it or not) is OUR main argument.

      So, Ato Haile, abzias, what did we use to say: tewedeb! 🙂

      saay

      • haileTG

        aha.. disqus seems playing again! hey saay my response will come shortly.

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam Saay,

        You believe on Centralized unitary government and I believe on decentralized unitary government. Can we at least agree that we have different philosophical and ideological view on the nature of government we are seeking? You don’t have to repeat again and again. I clearly understood you what you advocate and why you are doing that. Since we start to debate on politics of our nation, I think we know very well each other. Continue to promote a hybrid government and I will continue for decentralized unitary government. Continue to promote the PFDJ value system and I will continue a new value system that gives equitable power for our diversity. As I understand from what view you are coming you should understand me from what view I coming from.
        Regards,
        Amanuel Hidrat

        • saay7

          Selamat Emma:

          Happy new year! You keep on breaking your own record of misunderstanding me. The only thing more marvelous than ur inability to understand me is the vehemence you use to insist that you do. Let’s try it once again:

          Since these two systems you mentioned actually exist (apparently), can you give me an example of “unitary centralized state” and “unitary decentralized state”? I mean actual governments systems of the world?And then give me 1 example that demonstrates my support for the former?

          What’s the PFDJ value system and how do I support it? To my knowledge the most authoritative document that outlines the “PFDJ value system” is its “National Charter” and to my knowledge the only writing on the Internet that approached that document critically was written by me, its alleged promoter. Maybe you are confusing yourself because while I was critical of the document I also said its extremely well written, well thought out and, while not my cup of tea, it reflects the belief system of hundreds of thousands if not millions of honorable men and women.

          So, with respect, the more you write about what I believe the more you show your lack of knowledge. I think you should go for the “some people/gele gele sebat” when you are constructing your straw man arguments.

          saay

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Saay,

            Aha Salehom, by the mere fact of advocating for the implementation of the 1997 that calls for centralized unitary government will make you a believer for that kind of structural of government. Am I right Salehom? Worse than that, the constitution did call for a “hybrid government” and you are telling us continuously to start with it. Now either advocate for different structural of government by denouncing the 1997 constitutional document, or stand by your current argument and accept my argument that we have a different belief. You might have written about it critically. If you did I expect you to continue with that and say something an alternative you believe in. I haven’t seen that but you keep telling us to start with the document of 1997. As to your questions about “CUG and DUG” you have full access to my writing which is at awate website. I don’t need to repeat myself. Again stop your gele gele sebat a kind of ashmur. If you have something to share and enlighten us (not the 1997 document), you could do so without going to the language of ashmur. I know your argument very well and definitely the goals you want to achieve politically.

            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • saay7

            Emma:

            You also heard me say or should have that I could take or leave most of the articles in the constitution and it’s strength is its articles dealing with civil liberties.

            I don’t know what why you keep getting shocked that the victorious party (by overwhelming margins) ensured that’s its value system was reflected in a constitution. The governemnt and leader that you admire south of Mereb did, notwithstanding the process you seem to be so enamored of, did exactly that: draft a constitution that reflects it’s values.

            And I have some bad news for you: however flawless the process you envision is, it will have eritreans who will boycott it reject it. And my guess is that it will be rejected by wider margins than those who rejected the 1997 Ratified constitution simply because there isn’t the level of enthusiasm for Eritrea that existed in 1995 and there is a lot more subcontracting of Eritrean issues to busybodies. Rejection of the 1997 ratified constitution will bake in a level of cynicism in the body politic: the sentiment will be “why work hard for the next one, it’s going to be shelved too.”

            Finally, constitutions are an agreement that define relationships and power balances among citizens and between the citizen and the state. A flawed one that has a mechanism for amendment is much better than a future perfect one that doesn’t appear to be anywhere on the horizon. When the Eritrean armed struggle was waged it was done on moral grounds and legal grounds (violation of the Federal Act.). What is your legal basis for demanding change in Eritrea? Please refer to a specific legal document.

            saay

    • Hayat Adem

      HaileTG,
      There was a friend visiting a long time friend after a gap. After some exchange of niceties,fish was served for a lunch. There was little complication observed. The two fish were not of the same size and the host was not shy to claim the bigger fish to himself. Well, the visitor was not shy shy either to complain about it.
      Visitor: What you did is weird. I am a guest and you a host. If I were you, I would take the smaller one.
      Host: Okay, why complain then, you still got the smaller one.

      Some of us didn’t like the 97Con. Some did support it may be they thought it was an okay document, others may not be as happy but thought it is something that can be worked from. But there one guy who just didn’t bless it 100% but who wrote it literally speaking. So no one among us (Awatistas or Eritreans in general) can like it more than the brain father of the Doc. And the brain father has spoken quietly for the last 17 yrs and unmistakably loudly this week. He said he didn’t like it and he killed it and he told us that clearly. The brain father trashed his own book and the monkey will have to recollect his own vomit. The reformers will have to do the rethinking if they can reform from “nothingness” and those of us who never had any expectation are still there saying nothing was given, nothing was taken.
      HaileTG and RodabTG, it will be silly to think of us cherishing and validating a PFDJ constitution after PFDJ itself wrote it off and PFDJ’s gone. That document was below a minimalist national platform and we can write a much better and broader one that ushers a new era and there is no reason for Eritrea to look for PFDJ political filth and leftovers.
      Monkey has always been shrewd. He thought talking about the 97Cons that way was safe. He felt it was safe to comfort and assure Naizghi’s family. Then, there is DIA who pulls the rug from under him.
      I love going after lies and lairs and their conformists, as usual. Monkey tried to compare the 97ERCons and the US Cons of 1776 without mentioning the late-comer’s advantage the former would have enjoyed due to the fact that it is born, though still, 250+ years younger. The 97ERCons must be compared to other constitutions written in similar times. Another lie, 3/5th Black count was amended and overridden after a decade, not 100 years like what Monkey tried to assert.

      • Kokhob Selam

        Hayata, I don’t know why we have even to discuss about it.When reform is dead it is an assurance of the document’s death. constitution is unthinkable under one sided party in first place leave alone with this type of group. the real constitution can be created and survived after the death of PFDJ.

    • AOsman

      Haile TG,

      When do you think they will remove from here:

      http://www.eritrean-embassy.se/government-agencies/eritrea-constitution/

      He is becoming like Kadaffi, he will present us a constitution prepared by the people. The people will rule as was the case in Jumhuriyya Libya.

      Meskinay DIA kay fetewe qua iyu kof ilu zello, Eirefti tzeliU aykonen :).

      Regards
      AOsman

      • haileTG

        hi AOsman,

        1 – I don’t think they will bother removing it because they have already removed those who can read and analyze from their citizenship list. If we talk simply from the point of good house keeping by clearing old stuff, well the regime people are messy and junk so they won’t bother 🙂

        2 – I agree with your sympathy for his tireless efforts. Look what he built in 2013!

        http://www.madote.com/2013/08/eritrea-to-build-1680-modern.html

        Happy New year brother

  • said

    One can learn from history of many nations like South Korea, fishing village in 60th like small nation Singapore, or the late 80th like Dubai city that become world class distention and one can learn greatly the achievement and transformational journey on which Germany has embarked itself since 1945 Germany is a great lesson and has rebuilt itself, first in the West after Second World War. Today Germany is known for its technical excellence, displays an economic miracle and leadership both within and outside Europe. The country is by far the strongest member of the Eurozone .Germany fostered a culture of intellectual, industrial, educational, artistic and entrepreneurial achievement unequalled by any other countries.

    Today China has transformed itself some clear parallels with the fast changing and emerging new power. A great civilization, rich in culture and intellectual, industrial, educational, artistic and entrepreneurial achievement evident for world stage to see

    The choice is either death or catching up with and overtaking the advanced capitalist countries,” Lenin warned his cohorts. And Stalin, in defending his forced industrialization program, declared: “We are 50 or a 100 years behind the advanced countries. We must run that same distance in 10 years. Either we do it or they crush us.

    Nothing new or news, for when the ERI media started to act in total conformity with the regime policy — and against the interests of the people.is no more news.

    What a press meant is that could speak truth to power and challenge the political establishment and leadership of the day. Starting with justices and human right abuse .Most innocent citizen are thrown to prison everybody knows that. President knows that. It’s completely insane that so many’re still in prison.’ for no aberrant reason and the most basic human need and desires are denied to you in prison. One human destroying the life of another deemed ‘less than human, it is great sense of injustice and travesty. Thousands of innocents denied the most basic and fundamental of all rights–their right to life.

    IA have all the absolute power order to kill, to jail ,to smear as “subversive” or “treasonous” anyone who expressed a remotely not loyal to him. In exercising dictatorial power over people’s lives, The people expectation of the president high office is as an ordinary Eritrean expectation to fulfil modern progressive agenda , with no special power endowing to h , no extra judicial power, privileges or opportunities other than those directly required to allow him to perform the duties associated with the normal presidency. President for life doesn’t deserve to be treated as wiser or socially superior to everyone else. And to hold those in power accountable to the public. In normal state. The regime that kills and brutalize those they are supposed to protect and serve should be held to the same standards of justice as everyone else. The public remain passive and apathetic and obedient, and don’t have a say or interfere with regime privilege or power. The public are controlled by fear of punishment, of being jailed, killed, tortured, or reduced to the mere level of pathetic and mere survival, further marginalizing poor people already struggling for survival economically.

    Eritrean hoped and deserve better than dictatorship. The Lost decades of not delivering the basic goods and not realizing the basic governing system of consensuses, Inclusiveness, equality, justice, Freedom and democracy being fundamental and realizing our liberation and salvation.
    Today and for long-time, we stand clearly in the shadow of what is, in many respects, oppressive and a dark history, and on so many fronts, we are faced with a great challenge and precipice. For many, freedom is totally compromised and denied.
    Our People face fierce repression as they try to make their daily life and organize for their very survival, and many heroic and brave activists face burden and heavy change for defending the natural world we live in. But in the face of great adversity and risk to their lives, those who are activist in advocating for regime change, they live in struggle aren’t merely holding their ground – they are working tirelessly in building forward for Eritrea, the bright of tomorrow. united and collective Eritrean consciousness, to be brave and by overwhelms their fear, oppression and domination becomes as hateful to those who support the regime and practice oppression upon their kin, it as it is to those whom it is practiced upon; change come within and in practicing a model that that can help change the entire system from the bottom up. to find the true courage to think outside ourselves, That we carefully scrutinize ourselves for it before every action that impacts another of our fellow Eritrean and for the coming years when we open our hearts and mind to one another and work toward every person enjoying what we wish for ourselves; when we find a way to respect our differences and cherish one another and this that suffered so much ,an extraordinarily delicate and fragile nation. A small Eritrea and a beautiful nation in a way that preserving its dignity, liberty, freedom ,life and humanity in all our stunning diversity and allows each of us and every human a space to grow, to thrive, as our society, more and more Eritrean are become increasingly conscious of the ways in which all of us are imprisoned inside the country and to some degree abroad.

    Some live in narrow and selfish thinking, in repressive social norms, in violent structures built through two decades of inhuman and harsh law. and an end to the all-encompassing cognitive dissonance that, to lend a hand in support of those in need of us , regardless of who they are ,of distance or dissimilarity, and that it informs and tell us of our sincere respect and every interaction, whether insignificant or deeply profound. If we are not very careful, will be the death bed for all of us.

  • Nitricc

    Aregay; few weeks ago I had clashed with Haile TG when he braged about the Weyane Army over running the Eritrean forces. at that time I told him not to talk something he doesn’t know about. we got in to it, like we do here and there. my point is people have this wrong assumption. the truth is the Weyane arm forces are going down the hill like 10 wheel truck. again when the minority try to control the majority, sooner or latter will catch up to you. Dedebit and dedebitains days are numbered

    • Abinet

      Let’s forget the world famous army for the time being. At this moment there are over 400,000 students in 32 universities in ethiopia. That is what I call army ready to fight poverty and backwardness . FYI , some of these universities are in Adigrat. What do you have to show? SAWA bootcamp?
      Look we don’t need a big army . We only need more friends.
      PS
      Some of these students are the future of eritrea.
      You welcome

    • Rahwa T

      Aregay, Nitrricc…. If you and your government think the air-force is non-existent or non as strong as it used to be, may be this is the right time for your dictator to remove the woyanes. You better advice your government to move its thanks to take ‘its occupied land”.

      • Hayat Adem

        Rahwa,
        Either ways, it works well for me. i was inviting Ethiopia to help me load off the dead weight over my shoulder. But, it might even work better if the invitation was sent by the monster itself. Well, he used to invite “Chifra Weyane” for the fight in the good old days, “why don’t they come? how many seasons are they going to be waiting excusing kramat or so? or are they expecting us to send them buses to come to fight us?” Ahhh, what a change of tone…

        • Abinet

          What is kramat ?

          • Hayat Adem

            “rainy season”

        • Kim Hanna

          Selam Hayat Adem,
          .
          I don’t know how to ask this without crossing the self imposed line. What do you think and what is your take of this debate on the 1997 Eritrean constitution?
          If you have made a decision to not engage on this topic, I will respect that too.
          .
          K.H

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Hayat Adem,
            .
            My mistake, I found it.
            .
            K.H

      • Abinet

        Rahwa, Hayat
        Isaias milas enji senber yelewm . Or mefoker enji mewerwer ayawqm.
        Kemote anbessa likiskis wusha yishalal
        Hayat
        Thanks for the translation.

  • Sami

    Selamat Haile TG,
    On your second point, IA does not have to spend a penny to host wild parties in Diasporas for PFDJ supporters. PFDJ supporters and non supporters btw not only finance the parties but also raise enough money to HIGIDEF coffers. So your theory does not prove whether IA is involved in embezzlement.
    As far as Fozia Hashim, IA is very generous in appointing people for a certain position. The problem is they do not exercise their “power” for fear of MIDSKAL at best or being thrown in jail. But they are very good at showing for photo opps.
    Hawaka,

  • Hayat Adem

    Cleaning the PFDJ house? I have a news for you: it is uncleanable. No amount of detergent will help. And two big falsehoods in one sentence: hostility from the south and neutralization. You can’t hate them while you are running to them and you can’t neutralize them by running to them. I got alternative positive words for your “hostility’ and “neutralization”- fraternity and naturalization.

  • haileTG

    hey Sami’

    Would he give Fozia the role of supervising the preparation of his Green Book? Nop, because if she runs off for one reason or another, that makes her a woyane/CIA and the Green Book would have to be discarded. So, he will write it down himself, and thank goodness for that for it’ll be comical and fun to read 🙂

    Does he embezzle? What else does he do? Look at the amount of oil poured on his face to shine it for the camera or the the cash he pours for YPFDJ wild parties in diaspora! Although by default the very essence of dictatorship is the ability to embezzle with impunity.

    Regards

  • aklilu zere

    Happy New Year Awatistas. May the almighty God furnish your life with Health, Happiness, Hope, Faith, Peace, Love and success in all your dreams and aspirations. And may 2015 be the year that we consciously deny the monster of his existence or significance to what we drearm and aspire.

    • Gud

      You are placing God and denying existence of some one in one sentence

      Simply idiotic.

      You need to revise the rules of praying

      • Hayat Adem

        Well, that you mentioned “someone” is a monster, and what else is a prayer for if it is not to get God’s support in kicking a monster out of your life1? But you would never be able to see this other side, so no need to be bothering yourself. Just stay put, Guad Gud.

      • Abraham Hanibal

        Gud;
        What is wrong with wishing for the disappearance of a monster and a despot? Sooner or later your tyrant would find himself following in the fate of his likes as Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam, and his best friend Gaddafi.

  • Negash

    Isaias is a pathological lier.He thinks people believe him, while he himself knows that he is in delusion.
    I would have prescribed him to have 2 weeks holy water had he been a religious man, or i would have sent him to a phsycatrist had he believed in modern treatment.Not he is only neither of them,but also incarcerated the priest and phsycatrist so no one can attend him. i therefore recommend him to take his own life, before turning himself into vegetative state. I can read from his body language that he is addicted to alcohol and looking for someone to hand him a bottle of melotti areqi.A message to his supporters for those who clap their hands out of fear and smile infront of his evil eyes. He is insane, illegitimate and incapable to answer simple questions or to solve family problems let alone national issues.

  • Nitricc

    The Ethiopian Air Force was one of the country’s pride and it is on the verge of distinction thanks to the dedebitains. last time i told you the defection will contnue but i mad they didn’t go to Eritrea. Merry-X mass to Eritrea and happy new year to kenya

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LY0K22QyIsY

    • Tsoronna

      Nitricc,

      You need to work a little bit on your English. It is very difficult to comprehend what you wrote.

      • Nitricc

        Tsoronna; I agree 100% with you. there is nothing i can do for the next two years but i will try not to rush my post and to edit before i post. I am trying to be involve on the forum with vertually no time and every minute i get i am using to it post and the result what you have correctly stated. no excuse, i suck and i will correct it.
        thanks for pointing out to me.

        • Hayat Adem

          Actually, your thoughts are uglier than your English. i would advise you to reorder your priorities,if you can.

          • Nitricc

            Dedebit, the ugliest thing in life is deception. so, take that. and be proud who ever you are. you don’t have to call your self Hayat Adam and write every ugly thing about Eritrea and every rosy thing about the weyane thugs. so, make a New Year resolution to claim your real identity; drop Hayat adem and go back to the real thing Letekidan GebreAeneia from Adi Grat paid TPLF agent. talk about ugly? you got it.

      • Hope

        Tsorona,
        We are NOT here to graduate in English but to express our opinion,while learning something form this Forum and its members.
        Get the message, but get guess what?This guy is SHARP and to the point,short of his”Americanized English” and his rhetoric against some—ghosts and deki-hidrtina here….
        He might surprise you one day piloting an F-16 or F-35 Stealth Super-Sonic Jet Fighter.
        do you iknow what he is doing rigt now?
        I will let him surprise you but not sure he will do it,for Privacy and Confidentiality reasons.

  • Aregawi

    why do we expect a miracle from Isayas?

    • Hayat Adem

      Miracle!? eh, Michael tirAyelka!

      • abrham

        Michael yirAyelka!

  • Hope

    Ahh,Happy New year to you and to your loved ones,Haile TG..
    -I reacted to the interview legitimately.
    -calling a spade ,a spade,
    – calling a liar when one lies,
    -calling the true teller as such when one tells the truth,
    -protesting against one,who messes up,
    -appreciating and giving a credit to those,who deserve it,
    -challenging those who should be challenged openly when needed/when they deserve it,including the “Haile TG”,the most known Flip-Flopper ever,in this forum per eye-witness accounts
    -Calling hypocrisy when it is HYPOCRISY!
    -Calling Hypocrits when they are so,etc—is BUT a Principled Stand,no matter what you may want to call it.
    -BTW,why would I trust you either,any one for that matter, BUT GOD?
    Aren’t you the same person,who kept warning me NOT to weyanize Eritrean Politics so as to appease your Lords at Mekele,when fully knowing that the same Weyanes have messed up Eritrea and Eritreans?
    So,you are telling me that since SAAY selectively picked up a certain “Ambassador’s Opinion”,to justify his twisted agenda or arguemnet,it means that all other FACTS are null and void?Huh?
    If you have the courage,then why didn’t you challenge the same SAAY,who ignored the other Facts,deliberately?
    Isn’t the same you or the same SAAY,who selectively gave me a ref when he wanted to justify his Hypocritical Arguement about Sanctioning Eritrea and the Poor Eritreans?
    Isn’t that what we call Fallacious Logic or Intellectual,Moral and Political Bancruptsy?
    Kudos to you for acting(mimicking) like more Catholic than the Pope and a better witness than the ORIGINAL ONES!!!!
    As to my stand,position,and opinions,YES INDEED,I do stand firm on them irrespective of your bulloni and bogus allegations,name callings,baptisms,etc…
    As I told you before repeatedly,let us save your allegations,accusations,prosecutions,judgements,etc…for the NEW Eritrea,hoping that there will be ONE,….

    • haileTG

      I don’t agree sir, but Happy New Year ya weled keren xaEda, the same to your family and close one’s too. Best wishes!

      • Hope

        Little correction:
        “weled keren” should read as “Wed” keren,as I am a man,Weled keren=Gual keren.
        FYI: Tigrayit will be a second National Language in Future Eritea along with Tigrinya(oops,besides Arabic–sorry SJG)—so as ,PIA(DIA?)told a young chap complaining about Arabic in Washinton DC (in 1993?),try to learn more to understand your compatriots(No obligation though as you speak Tigrinya)

        • haileTG

          Hi hope,

          Thanks for the correction. In terms of making Tigrayit one of the leading national languages of Eritrea, well you have a huge fan of it in my person. Count my support. May he rest in peace. memhir Musa Aron has done great job in its maintenance. I always wished to have a firm grasp of the language (at least as I do in Amharic), but never seemed to have progressed my desire far. Partly due to lack of resource to do so and partly for not have been fortunate to have had some life experience where it is spoken predominantly. Still, I believe full competence in fluent written and spoken Tigryit must be a mandatory to graduating high school in Eritrea. Meaning, if that is achieved then every high school standard person in Eritrea is conversant with over 80% of the country. Besides, it makes great sense in strengthening national cohesion.

          Understanding our compatriots is a tall order at this time. Remember we are only talking about Tigrayit here where the speakers of which and that of Tigrinya are deeply intermingled. Take Kunama, Afar, Nara… and other peoples. It is easy for IA to tell us we need to know four languages, have three houses, rare seven cats and a dozen elephants each. He is very good at that, except he has no clue he is actually supposed to be guiding policies to attain them. One big impediment to learning is however lack of association with each other across our diversity. Most PFDJ festivals only have few real diversity, don’t be fooled most are highlanders like me whom you see wearing Hidareb attire and wildly jumping to confuse us all. They have the eerily resemblance of Santa before you notice he isn’t real 🙂

          On Tigrayit, I still partly blame out intellectuals from that heritage for lagging behind in popularizing the language and making it accessibly for Eritreans everywhere, including diaspora.

          regards

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Little correction: Welet Keren=Gual Keren.

  • Twenty15

    Isaias is too old, tied, run out of ideas his propaganda for years was blaming USA and UN sanction, now the Issues are domestic, Youth, Crops, Constitution, welfare, he is cornered hopeless man. welcome the year 2015

  • Millennial

    “If they have plans to live under welfare, we will meet after a limited journey… ” <– Is he planning to emigrate soon ? I think he misunderstands our intentions, we plan to go back if he is headed our way. Happy New year Awatistas.

    • Hayat Adem

      Dear Millennial,
      There was one joke I heard from an Addis resident some years ago. Mengistu was driving up by the road that passes by the US embassy in Addis Ababa. On his way, he saw long multiple-tracked lines of people to the Embassy entrance. So, they say, he was tempted to line-up from the last spot at the back. People offered him to the very front. He mistook that as a sign of respect and he moved to the very front, and then as he was proceeding to the window where the consular office was waiting for him, he turned back to thank all the people who allowed him to pass. He couldn’t believe his eyes; all the long lines he left behind were nowhere to be seen. The liners vanished, they were all gone. “Where did all those people go at a light speed leaving their line-up spots?”, he asked the security guy. “Well, I heard them saying if you were leaving the country, they could live in the country”
      Hayat

      • Abinet

        Hayat
        A little correction
        The place was not at the American embassy . It was at the immigration office at abyot adebabay . That long line of thousands of people was just to apply for a passport not to get a visa. You see in those dark days to obtain a passport was a big deal . It was for those well connected . There were people who got scholarship from different universities but couldn’t get a passport .
        Yehabtam lij wede bole
        Yedeha lij wede bale
        Bale = military camp

        • destaa

          Selam Abinet
          Another correction to your correction
          “You see in those dark days to obtain a passport was a big deal”

          Well are you going to call the current period also a dark age because getting passport is difficult? If so, then you must know about the very long lines around Tikur Anbesa. Mainly because of many poor Ethiopians who want to find better opportunities in Arab countries (Well I know your hate to Arabs but your pride can not be food for the poor), getting a passport is still a big deal. I am not defending the past but us being stupid and not able to solve such simple issues and delivery good service to our people always amazes me.

          • Abinet

            Destaa
            Honestly I do not know if there is a long line to get a passport at this moment. Some time ago it took only 3 days to get a passport . That is a big difference . Where did I show pride ? I just showed the reality at those DARK years . I believe it can not get any darker than that . I am also a strong believer that the future is getting more and more BRIGHTER. There is always a speed bump along the way.
            It all depends on how you see the glass . I see half full glass. It is your undisputed right to see a half empty glass.
            Are there problems? Million of them. Unemployment is one of them. But it is not unique to ethiopia.
            Let me tell you a joke from back then
            Abinet–nuro endet new?
            Destaa– kenege yishalal.

  • Nitricc

    Why don’t you express your self rather than few words?
    Lazy.

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista,

    May I wish you a Happy New Year and one where the our harvest is bountiful and worthy of what we sow.

    As regards the dictators interview:

    Constitution: if we were to consider this was some kind of a political salvo (may or may not be), the question is “aimed at whom?” Surely not at the vast opposition because the 97 Constitution is only supported by a narrow segment. It in fact, if intended to do anything to the opposition, would open the door to them knowing that Eritrea no longer has a Constitution and therefore can throw in anything new for consideration by the secret group writing the new one. I doubt it has much to do with the opposition, other than to signal that the regime could undertake any dangerous step unopposed by domestic audience and is only answerable to external quarters (such as SEMG, UNSC, its handlers…). The political spin that can be used by opposition is to say “look he does whatever he pleases”, but he already admitted that few years back when he said nobody gave him a contract. So, the only losers here would be his own cadres who were preaching that the constitution was in fact implemented and few sections were suspended because of no war no peace. But, even there, the damage isn’t too great because the pool of support base they rely on isn’t normal citizens but lunatic and fanatic worshipers. Hence, the official demise of the 97 document may be a relieve to some and cause for consternation to others. The important point is however, constitution is nothing more than a small bundle and stapled papers. The value is on how the public would not only accept it and become the means of legal and national framework in the peoples mind. How the people apply it in relating to one another and the state. Its institutional application and determining predictable course for the nation. When the regime talks about constitution, it lacks the fundamental infrastructural bases to employ it. So it is an empty talk.

    Other issues: on other aspects, the interview content augers rather worrying times ahead for the people and nation. The regime clearly made the point that it lacks fresh ideas to deal with the mounting national disasters. Its desperate attempts amount to the old ways of holding everyone to forced conscription and impoverished existence. Such is responsible to the current crisis and the regime is suggesting more of that, which would not be hard to predict the serious eventful catastrophes waiting to implode. He has put his hands up and said he has no plan what soever, very unfortunate reality indeed.

    Opposition: the opposition need to read the urgency of the time. They need to think Eritrea within and outside of it sort of concept. Their childish heshuKshuK in dealing about regional, global and geo-political matters only betrays their lack of confidence in themselves. They need to boldly talk and discuss ALL issues relating to Eritrea, with integrity and dignity. And please please, get out of silly box mentality. You don’t have to agree with your friend at the cost of truth itself. Own up and shape up. Be fair but firm in what your conscience tells you is right. Falling out with a friend is the smallest price for keeping your principle intact. And the nice surprise at the end is that your friend will respect you more and your friendship become strong and built in solid ground.

    Eritrea is in for a rather tough year ahead, may God/Allah protect and defend its upstanding people how have paid much too in excess of what should be paid by any people for the simple and free gift of normal life.

    Let us renew our zeal and determination for the year ahead to push more, to push harder and do it smarter 🙂

    Happy New Year All!

    Haile

    • Hayat Adem

      Dearest HaileTG,
      The Constitution like you said has nothing do with Eritrea and Eritreans, the opposition included. And it was killed by its own author. If anything, it is a blow on the reformers. And the new one being cooked! Funny funny funny…I never knew or believed a constitution being written in a dark corner will have anything to do with us. A Constitution is not a classified doc. It can’t be because it is about the rule of law and transparency. So why was the shelved constitution declared dead and under what procedure? Who are the members of the new constitution drafting body? what is its mandate? what are its working methods? If you ask me, I don’t even believe there is even a body assigned and working on the draft though it wouldn’t make any difference.
      Isaias has nothing to offer. Even his lies and promises are over recycled. Remember when he was promising to reward government employees and national service returnees in 2009, 2020, 2011. Now he has run out of new promises and the old ones have been over used and masticated. Isaias is now boxed in stagnation and he will stay there until we get ourselves in order. Once we do that, he can’t survive a little push. qonquinu meshmishu eyu seb tesaEinu’mber!
      hayat.

      • Saleh Johar

        The only good thing is that the fools can finally accept its death and hold ceremonies of Kalaay Qebri, thus closure. I know I will have less headache from people who talked about it as if it was a divine scripture.

        • Hayat Adem

          Kalaay Qebri? Nice one. What makes these fools fall for this guy? I mean, he is boring and repetitive even when lying. All of Awatistas here can do better on interviews like that. For example, when he was asked on how envisages Eritrea 3-5 yrs, he was mumbling and mumbling. He said water supply is the key condition and he went on how important it is for the many development projects. Go and ask 5th grader to tell you what uses are covered by a water. Chances are, he will give a neat and bullet-ed list of them. Why is he telling us about why and how water is important? Okay, we heard that general knowledge stuff; but where will we be in terms of water supply 3-5 yrs from now? (Nothing)

          Then he want on in the same way about energy…okay mr president, we know power can be harvested from solar, wind, fossil etc, the question for you is, what is your government hoping to achieve on providing energy 3-5 yrs from now? (Nothing was said.) I remember when he was in NYC, some asked him what he was doing about the houses he promised to deliver for people who paid for them in full yrs back.In stead of sharing his plans (if he had one) or saying his excuses, he went on detouring and rounding: “I always say, as a matter of hoping for the better, every Eritrean should own at least three houses: one along the coast, one in Asmara and another one in the highland towns…blablabla” And the journalist should have asked, ” that is nice of you but what did you about the promised houses for the folks who had paid?” But the journalist’s ego was warmed for nothing on the empty talk of three houses for everything and abandoned to pursue his question.
          I really don’t know what his supporters (the fools) see in the figure of this old man (his brain is older than the rest of him) to be proud of. He is utterly boring and disgusting. He mentions theories, he mentions places, he gives tigrigna substitute for English terms. Uggh!

        • Abraham Hanibal

          Dear Saleh Johar;
          I disagree with you when you brand those who’ve spoken in support of the Eritrean Constitution from 1997 as fools. It is definitely unexpected to hear such a talk comming from an individual who has invested greately in terms of time, resources and energy in the struggle to democratize Eritrea. That Constitution which was initiated just three years after the liberation, and a year after the formal Independence of Eritrea, was a farely participatory and stands as a unique democratic excercise in the history of our country so far.
          I agree, with you that the Constitution by itself is not a divine scripture that can automatically guarantee the development of democratic governance. It is rather a road map that lays the framework for the development of rule of law. But as we Eritreans have tragically experienced, it needs the political will to abide by the spirit of the Constitution, if it is going to serve its goal.
          Also let’s not forget we’ve lost and are in the process of losing thausands of our compatriots, whose only crime was to speak on behalf of the People and in support for the implementation of our Constitution.
          Regards, and a Happy New Year

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Ab Hanibal:
            The drafting process of the still born document of 1997 was anything but participatory. But I still believe that if it was implemented with all its flaws and sometimes sill articles such the delineation of Eritreans citizen and the election of the president, Eritreans would have been in a far better position than the failed state it is now. Freedom would have unleashed the creativity and it would have continued to be refined.
            I think the fools among are not those who believed it is a good start, it is not even those who believed it was useless, rather they were those who believed that IA and his PFDJ would allow it to be implemented. PFDJ used the process to buy time to consolidate its power and give complete control of the nation to one. I think the fools were those who should have known better and still played along with IA for their own glory and lied to themselves and to the rest that IA would lead them and he would magically transform his past violent wave with the stroke of the document.
            The nation was still born and a still born nation can incubate and give birth to a healthy document. Now Eritrea is a worse shape than before PFDJ took over and the urgent task is not to create a democratic country but to create a normal, corrupt, backward and normal country ruled by a dictator. This is how low Eritrea is

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Hi Semere Andom;

            I wonder if you’re an unannounced spoksperson of Mr. Johar and thus trying to give an explanation of what he means when he dismisses those who stood in support of our Constitution as fools. It is upto him to explain what he means by that. It cannot be that he was refering to those you mentioned; because those people NEVER spoke in support of the Constitution, rather they were searching for lame excuses for not implementing it.

            I repeat again the process of drafting and ratifying the document was as transparent and as participatory as it could be taking into account it was initiated a few years after a 30-year destructive war and in an atmosphere where the transitional Eritrean government had to start from scratch to build a nation. I disagree with your claim Eritrea was a dead born nation; as the fact is it is the result of 30-year bitter struggle and sacrifice that culminated in an overwhelming vote for Independence by its People. Again we should not exploit the current unfortunate situation that we find ourselves in to justify our disrespect for the hard won nation.

            Concerning your reference to the articles of the Constitution regarding the citizenship; I don’t see any contentious issues: according to Article 3, any one born of an Eritrean mother or Eritrean father is Eritrean by birth. Foreigners may be allowed Eritrean citizenship persuant to the Law. Reagarding the election of president; a president would be nominated by at least 20% vote from among members of the National Assembly, and elected by absolute majority to serve a max. two terms, five years per term. What is so wrong with this, Mr. Semere?

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Ab:
            No I am not a spokes person ofor SGJ. I just think there were many fools in believing that IA would implement the document and I interjected and I happen to agree with Saleh G.
            How are you claiming the drafting process was participatory and democratic when other Eritrean organization not were not allowed to participate. If there was a good will and they were allowed, that would have hinted to the intention of PFDJ and am sure you will agree with them that would have enriched the process. So it was buying time for IA an his stooges. But I repeat even that document that was a result of that repulsive process would have served Eritrea better than our current predicament. Saleh can explain who he calls fools, I am just stating albeit interfering in your debate that the fools are those who naively or shrewdly believed that IA was serious about his rendezvous during the drafting process.
            Well, about the citizenship, I was referring to the cut off date that Dr. Bereket had no explanation when asked.
            About the election of the president, come on now Ab this is reminiscent of how they elected their general secretary in secrecy. This will lead to the what a Clinton nominee for the supreme court once called the tyranny of the majority. The national assembly is elected by people’s reps individually with out the adversarial configuration/design this can easily be manipulated. This is a recipe for PFDJ’s melting pot to make Eritrean merely a geographical entity devoid of history, devoid culture and unitary political system It is actually disrespect to our diversity . Then 20% of this corruptly designed assembly will elect our president. It does not reflect the ethnic and political diversity. Then the president will appoint his cabinet that the assembly will rubber stamp

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Hi Semere;

            Considering the situation under which it was initiated, under the reality of a war ravaged country, the process of drafting the Constitution was indeed farely democratic. I can safely say it was participatory because it gave the People both inside and outside the country to debate and give their input regarding its provisions. I know there were some elements of the Eritrean society, esp. members of the former ELF who chose not to participate in that process. We’re now speaking of a situation where there was no multi party system. The process was open for all Eritreans to participate in the educational and debate seminars to have their say.

            Though I don’t understand what you mean by cut off date regarding the citizenship, I believe that Dr. Bereket, just like any other Eritrean, doesn’t have the right to interpret or expand on the provisions of the Constitution. I’ve quoted for you what is written about citizenship, with the addition of a third sub-article that allowed for details of the citizenship to be determined by law.

            Regarding the election of president, remember still we’re speaking of a time when there was no party-formation and election laws. This is natural, as the Constitution is not meant to give a conclusive answer for everything, but rather it would give the guiding principles. Other details would be governed by laws that emanate from and follow the spirit of the constitution. We’re, therefore, speaking of a process that never was allowed to proceed.

            Then you write, “Then 20% of this corruptly designed assembly will elect our president

            “. I don’t know were you got this from, what I quoted was that one would need a 20% vote from the members of the Assembly to be NOMINATED for election of presidency. The president would be elected by an absolute majority vote of the people’s representatives.
            Again I’m not saying that the Constitution was perfect, but it was a good starting point with guiding principles that could’ve contributed profoundly in the building of democracy in our country.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Happy New Year;
            I have not watched the TV interview in its entirety, just with a lot of skipping and skidding.
            I think your political acuity is amazing. You nailed it really deep and strong. I am still in new year mode, but here is what I can say on this topic.
            Why is Issayas’ dismissal of the democratically ratified document a surprise? Democracy is relative, and it was the first document or covenant wherein Eritreans participated, again, with a relatively freer involvement and generous contribution. It was the first document where attempts were made to assemble different social and political sectors of our society. In all the meetings held for its discussions (inside the nation and in diaspora, there was a relative openness; again, the word relative is key), there was no restriction based on political affiliation; the drafters were composed from different parts and affiliations including figures who lead the ELF. Of course, it was done under the watch and leadership of EPLF simply because it was the government. But it was the first Eritrean document which went through available democratic tests of that time.I said at on one of my exchanges with semere, dictators had the liberty of doing or announcing anything, that they have the liberty of twisting and turning, because they are not answerable to constitutional restraints, things like articles restraining their power, or constituencies, or an elected legislature, or an independent judicial system. They can do whatever they want to do. Issayas wanted to kill a document that many Eritrean considered a tool in their fight against unconstitutional government, and he did it. The sad part, many of us are happy that he acted in a manner predictably dictatorial. Those who support the killing of this document, inadvertently, joined hands with the dictator. If it’s OK killing that document, then why was not it OK shelving it away for 17 years? Why is not it OK for him to take his time in drafting another document, and may be shelve it away for another 40 years as he pointed out in the past. By somehow, expressing a relief that the document is killed, the man is given another tool. He’s given another supporting voice of his act. The 1997 constitution, with all its drawback, should be a rallying document. For sure he will come up with a more radical, more dictatorial and divisive document and he will ratify it with a 100% approval through the mechanism he is going to control 100%. I say it’s wrong because it’s tramping upon a document that was ratified through a more democratic means. If you are happy for his act, that means you are bent on shoving your own constitution, a constitution that’s not ‘complete’ if not meeting your criteria down the public’s gut. Another political force also will have to nullify your constitution and replace it with its own liking. If you think killing the 1997 constitution is OK, then Issayas is also right in doing so.
            Semere’s “still born nation” is another tool for Issayas and his supporters. These sorts of expression are damaging. I say it was the most vibrant nation ever born. You and I and millions others made it appear to be failing to thrive. It will re-bounce. We know what it takes for it to re-bounce, let’s not give the dictator another tool for his survival.

          • Saleh Johar

            Wo Mahmuday,
            You calim to be in a “New year mode” but I am afraid you are not even in 2014, but way back in mid-nineties 🙂 Pray I bring you to the new years!
            I do not know what you mean by “democratically ratified document” but I sense it is a moot argument, let’s pass that.
            My biggest problem (it’s huge) is the following claim that you made:
            ” In all the meetings held for its discussions (inside the nation and in diaspora, there was a relative openness; again, the word relative is key), there was no restriction based on political affiliation; the drafters were composed from different parts and affiliations including figures who lead the ELF.”
            As claimed by the PFDJ and those who accepted the document, and now by you, that it was debated openly, relativity in place, let’s agree on those facts:
            1. A document goes to the public for discussion for two years.
            2. The public is supposedly diverse, socially and politically
            3. After the discussion, those leading the discussion go back and report their findings.
            4. Some of the feedback are incorporated in the draft before it is ratified, other inputs are rejected thus reflecting the concern of the public and making the final amendments.
            5. If there was no input or feedback from the public worth considering, then it means one of two thigs: 1) the public agreed to everything and had a zero input, because the PFDJ knows what the people want, and it has taken it on itself to include everything and the public need not worry, 2) the public gave feedback, some very critical and vital for the constitution, but the feedback and input was ignored because it was meant to be ignored in the first place.
            6. After you decide if it is 1) or 2) in item #5, if it you agree with 2) then I rest my case. If you agree with 1) , I will take you to what I commented to Abraham’s note a few minutes ago. Here: There is a widely repeated claim that the people debated the constitution for two years. I challenged many before and I still challenge anyone who would show me what was changed after considering the feedback and input from the public after two years of alleged discussion and debate!
            Dear Mahmuday, in the spirit of the new year which I finally managed to bring you to, I challenge you to show me any input except changing the Oath “on the name of martyrs.” But if you believe the two years of public debate produced just that, then it means one thing only: you Eritreans cannot produce more than that and never gave meaningful feedback and input. But I was there in many meetings and I think I know what the misgivings grievances, and objections were.
            Happy New Year

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Kul Aam wa Enta Taib
            Ya Abu Adal, wa abu nedal, wa abu Qtal wa…wa…Kbur Ato SGJ
            1. So we are OK 1-4
            2. On #5, I take sub#2; and the short answer is:
            In those public debates (I participated in one, and my comment did not end up changing the article I was talking about. I took it as a price to pay if you are engaged in a democratic battleground. Not all comments of individuals end up reshaping the original document. Per the constitutional committee procedures, they would go back to their head quarters and debate the public input, rewrite the final version and put it for vote, then take it to the final phase of debating it in the national council. The point being, Abu Adal, no one would expect an absolutely perfect document, but there are mechanism built into it for the sake of improving it. My point is clear; I am not saying it was perfect. And I don’t expect an absolutely perfect constitution in the future either; but that document was a binding one, one that we can say has been taken away from us; one we can argue, because of the denial of its implementation, we have suffered all manifestations of dictatorship. There won’t be a constitution that satisfies each and everyone of us; that’s just the nature of willing to embark on building constitutionalism, and the consent to be governed by constitution. We should not give the regime supporting indications for the excuses he’s making. That was a people’s document, and with all its deficiencies, it belong to the people.
            Just think, he said he’s learned from the past unconstitutional years. What he’s saying , and I don’t believe you fail to appreciate this, is that he made a mistake in allowing that dim and fledgling democratic move; he’s saying he should not have allowed that in the first place. Because he learned from the repercussions of letting up a space for rudimentary democratic exercise. People are asking for their rights which were codified in that document. It was an instrument in the struggle for justice. It could be revised and improved, but rejoicing of its demise is not in the advantage of forces which advocate for democracy. By all measures and considering the fact that Eritrea was emerging from 30 years of revolution and still lead by revolutionaries, it was the first document Eritreans could claim have participated in. There simply is no document in the history of our nation, in terms of public support and sense of ownership, that’s comparable to the 1997 constitution.
            I am aiming for a great leap which could haul me to the year 2015; and happy new year.

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear Mahmuday, gouita Tebay and a hundred generous titles that go with it, is my gift to you.

            My main issue is just one: disprove the myth that “the public public participated by two years worth of debate and discussion” I want to establish that is not true. The rest of you explanation is, I am afraid, Aachem we sga alebu, sga yebelu wela Aatsmi 🙂

            If two years of public participation didn’t produce any amendment, then the role of the public is a myth and it shouldn’t be repeated as if it had any value at all. If I pray for rain in the middle of the desert and then I didn’t get a drop of water, I don’t expect to get a drop of water where God has created that desert dry. The participation and discussion was theatrics and it should be identified as such. That is my problem, and you seem to agree though you didn’t spell it out clearly. The result, promise me not to say “the public participated” again and I will pray that you have a pleasant years with no PFDJ acrobatics, but it dies just like the death of its constitution. Now HaileTG can judge if I got a Christmas gift or my simply Isaias and his PFDJ goons made my blood boil for the umpteenth time 🙂

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Abu saleh,
            You have said repeatedly to the same ears who support the pfdj’s constitutional document. They don’t care about the marginalized political organizations and their supporters whether they have a say on the process as well as on the product of the process. When we were crying of being dejected by the EPLF/EPFDJ the Abrahams and the Mahmuds have had any consideration about the barred organizations whatsoever. What they fail to understand is that for us denying the process and for them denying their document is the same denial of rights. What also the fail to understand is the a constitutional document is a political document before it becomes a legal document. For any political contractual document it needs the participation of all political organization that exist during the process of the contractul political document. The contractual political agreement must be (a) between the general public and the political organizations and (b) among the existing political organizations that exist at that time. Then after agreeing on the process and coming out with the product of the process it could be ratified by the elected parliamentary body to bear the legality of the document and honored by all citizens and their political organizations/ party.

            So mahmuday and Abraham and others please don’t force people to accept the flawed document to those of us who Were rejected by pfdj and the process. For those who were not part of the process whether he draft new or use the 1997 document will not be considered a legal document in our views. Let us think bout a new document that unite us.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            ክብረት ይሃበልና Emma;
            No name calling please, having said that:
            Suffice to remind you that the constitution you refer to as the model of democracy, yes, I am talking about the American constitution, was the most undemocratic document, but since it was better than other constitutions prevailing at that time, we consider it as an important document. It was drafted by few privileged (property/land owners), the mass was not involved in it; forget about its original spirit and content that legalized slavery, it deprived women from participation,etc..etc. But it evolved through the years to the document we know it now. Even the oldest constitutional document, the magna carta was better than the original USA constitution, at least that one attempted to answer the political challenges of its time, the original American constitution failed even to solve crucial debates of that time, slavery.
            Many of those who felt politically marginalized during the 90s, even some who had boycotted the referendum, participated in the debates of the constitution; the committee was constituted from independent professionals and veterans of both organizations, including Azien Yasin, although he did not fully participate due to personal reasons. If you chose not to participate, it did not mean millions did not participate. It’s an insult to those who wholeheartedly worked to make Eritrea a better nation.Sorry, man.

          • saay7

            Mahmuday:

            In the US, whenever a party is out in the wilderness for a long time (no majority in Congress and no president in the White House), its activists refer to their party as the “stupid party.” In that spirit, I have to call the opposition the stupid party. This doesn’t mean that I am calling those who opposed the 1997 Constitution “stupid”; I am saying that their arguments are maximalist and self-defeating: My gun malfunctions often and I would like a spear.

            Let’s begin with the obvious: If you are not going to argue by having national law on your side (constitution) you can only argue using international law (UN’s “Universal Declaration on Human Rights.”) The latter will get you a lot of sympathy and people nodding their head: that and 2.75 will get you a tall latte at Starbucks. In other words, it is completely worthless.

            Those who dismiss the 1997 constitution like to pretend that they are OH, SO CLOSE to drafting a near-perfect document which is all nice and touching, except that when they were given a chance to experiment in the laboratory of the Diaspora, they came up with one Frankestein after another.

            The 1997 Constitution WAS debated publicly. There is no future constitution, no matter how perfect, that will have the level of participation that the 1997 constitution did: simply because it was discussed during Eritrea’s honeymoon period when enthusiasm for Eritrea was at its apex.

            Not to personalize this, but I attended at least 4 constitutional commission meetings and had long discussions with the commissioners. Not a single one of my idea was accepted WHICH IS FINE because those who discussed it with me were VERY RESPECTFUL of my ideas and had COMPELLING ARGUMENTS against them. In retrospect, I am sure they wish they had entertained my ideas just as I, in retrospect, concede some of the points and accept that they were right and I was wrong.

            If one is not happy that not a single request for change was accepted, that is not an argument to throw away the whole thing; that is an argument to open up the books and demand to see the public comments. That is an argument for an amendment.

            We discussed a documentary on Ghana elections, one of the few vibrant democracies in Africa. Progress was made in that country when those who were on the losing side accepted the constitution (warts and all) and fought for its amendment.

            We cannot continuously hit the reset button on Eritrea. At some point, we have to accept some things as “good enough” and use them as basis.

            One thing I can predict with complete certainty is that any future constitution will NOT have the level of popular participation that the 1997 Constitution did: simply because one can’t have multiple honeymoons.

            So, if the “stupid party” is going to wise up, it has been presented with a fork on the road: it must insist that the 1997 Constitution belongs to the people and Isaias Afwerki has NO authority to kill it. But, my guess is that the stupid party will remain stupid and it will continue to talk about UN Human Rights, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other country reports that are as worthless as the paper they are written on. We Eritreans, as Mahmuday has said, have produced only one document that can be truly said to be owned by the people (relatively, as Mahumday says), certainly a LOT more representative than the Federal Act that people idealize) and I am hopeful that the stupid party will be less stupid but reality tells me that it won’t.

            saay

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan saay
            Kebdka tbred. Pray that the great SGJ opens his vast heart and gives your reasoning a due attention.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            If you consider to complain about exclusive and flawed constition is an insult to enforce your organization’ s document by decree is the insult of insult. Your organization didn’t insult the then existing political organizations they insult the entire Eritrean people. The current situation of Eritrean people is a testinomy in itself. You might tell us it is because of issayas, but then it was issayas and his leadership was liqvuidating for forces of change during the ghedli. It was by the whims of one man that was maniipolated the driving force of the organization back then and now. The constitution was tailored by the direction of Issayas and is discarded by the direction of issayas. Nothing new as to how the organization was working and now is working. Please it is an insult to our intelligence when you want to enforce the document of issayas. If Azien Yassin heed to accept the call of Issayas to come to Eritrea as indvidual and participate in the process designed by Issayas doesn’t represent to those organization and their supporters who where denied to join as political organizations. The denial of the voices of G15 is the same to the denail of the political organiztions to exercise their rights as political organization in the 90s .please do not try to sugar coat how the organization was working. It was one man organization and is now one man organization with heirarchy of pyramidal power structure in dictating his whims over the Eritrean people. Telling the truth is not an insult no matter how ready you are to defend the organiztion

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Emma
            So, what I am saying is you chose not to participate, right? You exercised your right to remain in the fringes, but millions, including supporters of those organizations you volunteer to speak on behalf participated in the process. You know why? They chose to put organizations prides behind, they chose to use whatever opportunity was availed to them smartly even though they did not subscribe to the EPLF. I understand they made a huge psychological sacrifice; they placed the interest of the nation in the fore; they compromised. Kudos to them. They put 70s and 80s grudges aside and participated. You repeated “your organization”, if you mean by that the EPLF, Aman, you are helplessly entrapped in the old mindset. EPLF was done by 1991, it was the transitional government which overlooked the constitution development.
            Again, you seem to drag the debate to old grudges which make the whole debate substandard.
            You brought G-15 to make your point that “my organization” was throwing a one man project into the public’s plate. Well, the G-15 are founding father of EPLF that you disdain. It’s confusing, sometimes they mentioned as champions of changes and at other times they are defamed as bloody murderers.
            Let me be clear: EPLF was a massive popular front which consciously blinded people could not understand. You could defame and belittle the EPLF only if you get me a better organization. EPLF was designed to accomplish the task of kicking out occupying force. It accomplished that. If you are in the business of tenasaH, I am afraid you’ve got a tougher opponent. Let’s stop there.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Mahmuday,

            Let us be sincere on what we do our politics for the sake of the public. The reason why I am saying is that you try to portray the process as if the existing members of the political organization at that time have participated in the process. Albeit you are always wrong about the opposition. Those who have participated are those who quit their membership of their respective organizations and opted to to do so. Myself I have participated in the process to voice my grievances about the process and the content on behalf of the dejected organizations as an individual who hasn’t any affiliated political organization. The grudges was and is still with those who marginalized the sections of our society and their political organizations not with those who were marginalized and were fighting for their own rights and their supporters. (lesson-1 toreminded)

            Second EPLF/PFDJ made our struggle for an “open-end-struggle” to fight dictatorship (despot) as our own Aklilu reminded us that the birth of the despot was in 19976. Eritrea is faced with the most brutal dictator even worse than the well known brutal Derg. (lesson-2 to remind)

            Third, every thing in Eritrea is enacted by proclamation and removed by proclamation – that is the system you built in our nation. The process as the good doctor has told us is based on the value system of EPLF organization not on the value system that includes and reflect the value system of all the Eritrean people and their political organizations. (lesson 3 to be reminded)

            Fourth, the constitution is tailored by Issayas and his clique. The constitution envisioned for Centralized unitary governance of an authoritarian system which allows the presidency to have full power on the legislative and executive to control the political and economic of the country ( lesson-4 to remind). Your argument is only to defend the value system of PFDJ which is understood in politics but unsincere of you to say it openly. We have lived with politics even when EPLF had made an alliance with external forces to liquidate their brothers and sisters and who are still proud of that bloody war and who still say, it was necessary to do it – all for the purpose for what the Eritrean people are facing today (lesson-5 to be reminded).

            So Mahmuday what you are playing is partisian politics with sugar coated languages.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Amanuel Hidrat;
            There is no doubt that the processes that led to the ratification of the Constitution were farely inclusive considering the historic perspective under which they took place; and the possibility they gave to members of the general public to engage and have their say. The transitional government at that time didn’t allow the participation of political organizations, simply because there was no a system of multi-party politics; I would say one of the objectives of designing the constitution was to pave the way for political pluralism through the passing of party-formation and election laws. The process was based on consultations with the general public, though the governing body had a contribution in the process through some of its members.
            The Constitution is not a hard and fast document, it could be modified according to its Article 59, which allows amendment through due democratic procedures.
            I disagree with your claim that the document was tailored by Isayas. If the ations of the dictator over the years after the ratification are to be our witnesses, the document was anything other than his liking. In his latest interview he has told us that he has doubts about the credibility of those who contributed in its drafting ( a Constitution Commission comprising of People from the PFDJ Central Committee, some members of the Eritrean Assembly, and other Eritreans with expertise) and ratification. Mind you the ratification was done after a serious deleberations by the Constitutional Assembly which comprised of the whole of Eritrean National Assembly, and other representatives drawn from the general public both from within and outside Eritrea.
            In the end, let’s come out of our historical disagreements, instead let’s focus on issues that could unite us and awaken the silent majority into action so that, together, we could save our disintegrating People and nation.
            Regards

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dear Abraham
            If I get my raw rumbling I may get fumbled. The fact of the matter is the 1997 constitution was the first sort of covenant Eritreans showed the spirit of compromise and aisle crossing. The committee was formed from independent scholars and veteran liberation politicians from both sides. It went through drafting, public debates in which millions participated, proceeding to the national council for approval, and finally put to a constituency assembly for ratification. If it was a product tailored by Issayas, he would have used it years ago, and certainly, he wouldn’t discard it now unceremoniously. Another fact, those who claim to be fighting for justice and yet rejoice at the brazen killing of justice share one trait in common with the dictator: imposing their own deluded ideas upon the public, mocking millions as having been doped by a dictator, as having those millions not known what they were doing. Amanuel told us he participated and expressed his grievance, but since his opinion did not end up changing the document, he’s been indignant all along about it. It seems nothing will satisfy these folks unless they are the gatekeepers and the tallying persennel. The. For a document to be valid it should bear their seal. There are two-level mistakes in this thinking. Amanuel may dismiss the process as a one-man-show, but he’s yet to produce or co-produce a document that could even hold together the opposition, save the public. It was, by all accounts, the most debated, it was a process that has surpassed referendum in terms of popular interest, for the referendum, unlike the constitution, was an easy and foregone conclusion
            1. They are giving the dictator a reticent approval for his stroke to discard the constitution. They are agreeing with him that constitution was somehow deformed and he had a reason not to let it implemented. That logic falls within the government versions of rebuffs. They have been entertaining the idea that the nation was under threat; the opposition was challenging the government that the threats were of the government’s making. Now, Issayas boldly said the constitution was maligning to the nation and he’s got voices from an unlikely places to augment his reasoning. He has got two birds with one stone: he has got an excuse to elongate his unconstitutional stay in power through the gimmicks of constitution while snatching one more weapon from the forces for justice.
            2. Giving a tacit support for such an act, combined with loud congratulatory calls that a constitution would not be a legitimate one unless it bore the seal of their views, those who campaign for constitutionalism are making a darn mistake. They are dispelling dictatorial tendencies before they become dictators. Because, expressing your rejoice at the killing of a document that has gone through a democratic process Eritreans could remember is akin to stumping the will of the people.
            The other and really boring and monotonous is the cycle of recurring old grudges. Some folks are just chronically impaired to see reality as it existed 40 years ago and as it exists now. They want to judge everything through the prison of old organizational rivalry. When I participated in discussions of the constitution, I was not conscious of my organizational affiliation. I did not have an organization anyway. But not with these folks. Many including the founding of ELF participated in it. They can not be more ELF than those veterans. Of course, they were not the seal stampers.And for that they did not trust it. We all know everything greater than 50% is a simple majority. I know there were irregularities in some communities, and I know it was a document that should have evolved through generational inputs. But you can discard it by the whims of individuals. Worse, you can not be trusted of representing democratic ideals when you rejoice at the demise of the only democratically produced document ever.

          • Saleh Johar

            Mahmuday, Saay and HaileTG, Abraham,
            It seems I am finding myself awestruck by the arguments you all are making. As much as I wanted to avoid this debate, I find myslef goaded into it.

            1. Please, please, please, stop claiming that people discussed and debated it for two years. It was theatrics. If after two years of debate, nothing as changed, amended, then there the people’s paricipation is just an empty claim to give legitimacy to a stillborn document. If the people didn’t have anything as an input into it, (in fact there were many but just ignored because they were not meant to be honored to begin with, don’t bring it as a support for your argument. All the public goodwill and feedback should have amounted to something, unless you believe the people were impotent and couldn’t add or change anything to a tailor made document. The document went to the public, recommendations and feedback was allegedly considered, and discarded because the document came back in its original content except for the oath that I mentioned. If you cannot meet this challenge to show the input, please hold your peace.

            2. You are all focusing on the legitimacy and “promotional” aspects of the document. It was not. It was a political document and should be weighed in a political scale. And it failed miserably.

            3. I do not understand how you accept representation by appointment (political, partisan appointment) where the represented had no say in it. Here, principles should be remembered.

            4. If the document had any support as some of you are claiming, we didn’t see it over the last 17 years when it was shelved. It didn’t have any significant support. On the contrary, the 1952 constitution ignited the 1961 revolution. THose who supported it did so because of partisan consideration, never saw the benefit and loss on national level but as a partisan legacy. Why is it all the ex PFDJ only who supported it? Even the bonafide PFDJ didn’t make much noise about it. They seem to say, “it belongs to our boss and he can do anything he likes with it.”

            5. All the Viva Constitutions is just a reaction. He stopped it, an uproar for a short time and then forgotten. He declared it was dead, another narrow uproar. A shy uproar because it doesn’t affect them as they claim it does. It was raised as an issue by the EDP and the noise died with it.

            6. I read a comment that accused the opposition of not being so smart to use the constitution argument. What I know is that the traditional opposition don’t even give it any weight to discuss it or be worked up by whatever happens to it. To them (and to me) it disnt exist and now it didn’t exist officialy. Little change.

            7 Some of you make it appear a task equal to building the great wall of China. It is not. It is a boilerplate constitution and all the meetings, and process was ceremonial. We can have a ceremony and produce another one with full public participation in a month. An elected body can do it is a matter of months. Not one that is a copy of any imposed proclamation. Would you accept proclamations? I don’t.

            8. Politically, this is playing to Isaias’ whims. And then there is a criticism of the traditional opposition because “they don’t play it smart.” I don’t consider crying over something you don’t own to begin with, playing it smart.

            9. I am afraid we will see the same reaction to the constitution that Isaias is planing to proclaim. To me, that will have to be added to the “weed it out” list.

            Wedahankum.

            2.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Salam abu Adal the great/AbusalaH;
            Why do you make a long list to say: “I did not welcome/bless its birth and I don’t mourn its death/ ኣብ ምላዱ ኣይመረቕኩዎን ኣብ ሞቱ እውን ኣይሓዝነሉን።”

          • Saleh Johar

            Hi Mahmuday the Greatest,

            I would have loved to if you remembered that I did state, “I dind not welcome/bless its birth and I don’t mourn its death…” I stated that many, many time. If that was the case, we would have saved ourselves a lot of heartburn. But you know my interjection was to challenge the outrageous claims that I read, “the constitution was debated by millions of people for two years.” I am challenging that claim. In fact you agree with me it is not true when you chose #2 of the choices I presented to understand your position. Now, as the days go, you are adding more allegation and that is why I thought I needed to explain more. The challenges remain as is and I would love you proved if the people had input but theirs was rejected/not entertained/ruled out, or they were impotent and had nothing to add. That is the issue here.

            To a lesser extent, I do not consider the support for the despicable document genuine because the uproar has always been reactive to what the PFDJ states, not a cry screamed froma real owner. Real owners and stakeholders do not sleep silently when the papare is shelved for 17 years and surprisingly arise when the father of the illegitimate paper formally announces its death. He birthed it alone, weaned it to death alone, and announced its death alone. Mourn? Why would one mourn a stillborn paper?

            That is why the long list was needed 🙂

            But Semere Andom showed me my mistakes (and that of my abused peers) who are not even given the recognition of stakeholders. True, principles are clouded when it comes to the black sheep of Eritrea, the bathroom towel that anyone cleans his hands on.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Abu Ndal (aka abu Adal)
            Rest assured, my comments are topic focused and not personal. I have a legitimate claim to that document as I see it was legitimate. You said you participated in the process. I would be willing to congratulate you had you abstained from the process in the first place. But you participated in it and tried your best to affect it. I did not affect it either. Whatever IA had in his mind doesn’t alter the fact that people debated it passionately. I have a long reply to semere the bad boy, which could summarize my take on this topic. But rest assured, I have no right to exclude you as a stakeholder. Whatever I say on this topic, is restricted only to our difference on this topic. I see the need to reduce or if possible eliminate internal sourness which could easily slip into abusing each other without knowing one is abusing his/her company in our search for justice. As awatista the greatista, here is my olive branch:
            Starting today, let the saay group address the Emma group properly, as Eritreans minus wayane, and let the Emma group address the SAAY group as Eritreans minus PFDJ-2. Supervising the application of this ruling will be the great SGJ. Writing the united Eritrean awatista community’s charter (aka ንሕናን ዕላማናን-2) will be the not-so-great MaHmuday.
            Adopted, on this day of Jan 3, 2015.
            Awet nHafash.

          • Saleh Johar

            Mahmud, why an olive branch when I still have one olive tree from the two I had. The other tree I had sent to you a long time ago. You mean only a branch is left out of the whole tree:-)

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Abusalah
            I (we) didn’t water it, it dried up. NeQixa (yebset). I am left with struggling branches. Better to take my offer; it’s on first come first served basis.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi SGJ:
            Maybe the ELFites could have gone one by one individually to PFDJ bowed your head asked for forgiveness and be part of that historic, first time legal document Eritrea ever produced.. MaHmuday cannot do anything about it when you and Emma used your democratic rights vested on you and refused to join that vibrant drafting process that included diaspora Eritrea, Moslems, Christians, High landers, Lowlanders Mid landers. You see you barked and the caravan left and MaHmuday cannot help on your choice, a democratic choice at that. Now leave the fools, those who are grieving during this “second funeral” of that sacred document. And PFDJ is giving you a second chance to join the second drafting process, you see you should change things you do not like from within instead of splintering and creating division. After all that is how EPLF solved the cleavage of the 1970 when it repaired the divions from within without opting to split. Some thing to heed uztaz Saleh 🙂

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam SGJ,
            Saay, Mahmuday, Abraham, and others are neither talking about the process nor about the content, nor even whether it was a contractual document or not, they are strictly saying who on the earth will throw our document. They are not talking about fairness, peace, group rights. For them it is about power, dictation because they know those who have political power will monopolize also the economic of the nation. The only thing that puts them in the basket of the opposition is Issayas is not even merciful to his own. For them when issayas had said there is no Hashewye widubut, they were clabbing. Look when they saay Issayas is the only problem………that yells you what their politic is.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Abinet

            Ato Saleh
            If you don’t mind I like to summarize your thought.
            ” binor ayTeqim, bimot aygoda”
            Seriously though, one of the orchestrators of the derg constitution was Dr Fasil Nahom. He was among others, like Dr Yayehyirad KiTaw, was on Et. TV, every night preaching us how the new constitution is going to be democratic , progressive,inclusive, (choose your adjective ) . What is sad is , if you remember, Dr Fasil was , again, one of the orchestrators of the EFRDF
            constitution. I remember him saying in one of his tv appearances, how undemocratic the derg constitution was and how democratic ( again choose your adjective ) the new constitution is going to be .
            My point is these people are just for a show. I call them tultulawoch. Everything has been written either at 4 kilo or at meda.
            What else is new ?

          • Eyob Medhane

            Abi,

            Wow…I never knew that Fasil Nahom was one of the drafters of Derg’s constitution… You know that guy worked for Emperor Haileselassie, Mengistu Hailemariam, Meles Zenawi and now working for Hailemariam Desalegn pretty much in the same position as “special advisor” I just can’t imagine how one can “specially advice” four leaders with totally different ideologies and personalities…Amazing…Thank you for the piece of information…

          • Abinet

            Eyobe
            He was also at law school at AAU before that
            He is like the other Dr. Yep, Dr bereket.
            Eyobe, that tv program was just before the start of the World Cup games . So we were forced to watch it . It was painful to say the least.
            These people can serve many masters at ease.
            “Bezih alem andu yelelaw meselal new. Ena elay lemedres yemichlut liyu TefeTro endinorachew yasfelgal….. Tintim endih nebere , ahunim TefeTiro higuwan alqeyerechim” (beAlu Gima. KeAdmas bashager, 1961 EC)

          • guist

            The same thing with Dr.Bereket Habte-Selassie. He served Haile Selassie, The derg, the EPLF/PFDJ Government, and now he is trying to serve the EPRDF government.

          • Saleh Johar

            Abinet,
            Constitutions are political documents and if done by skilled people, the better. That is why I believe Dr. Bereket is more than capable of leading a constitution commission. And he can do it again if need be. The problem is that he didn’t have a political authority except what the PFDJ allowed him to have. He was an able driver of a bus commandeered by the PFDJ.

            So, I don’t have any problem on who looks over the technicalities, after all constitutions are made from some sort of boilerplate documents. It should be judged by the level and scope of participation, and the principles under which it was drafted.

            Also, I never said “binor ayTeqm…” because it never was…but just a phantom, an illusion created by a skilled Three-card Monte expert. And some fell for it 🙂

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Abinet,
            .
            Nothing new indeed. By the way, somebody needs to keep an eye on this Dr. Fasil. I am sure he has heard that President Issayas is going to write a new constitution. He might try to outdo Dr. Bereket.
            .
            Thanks Abinet for the info. and paraphrasing Mr. Johar’s post. He might use it next time.
            .
            K.H

          • Abinet

            Selam Kim
            The only thing that outdo Dr Bereket is the devil himself .

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Saleh Johar
            I don’t know how you can speak on behalf of all the People that took part in the discussions and seminars. It is only those who were members of the Constitution Commission that can enlighten us as to how the internal workings of organizing the articles and the handling of the peoples’ contribution was proceeding. You’re claiming the document failed miserably, but when was it given a chance at all, or are you just echoing the dictator’s shameless comments of a stillborn document? And how can you possibly conclude that it was only ex-EPLF or ex-PFDJ that supported the 97 Constitution? Also, isn’t it better to focus on the contents of the document, instead of who or how it was made?
            As far as we know that Constitution was endorsed and ratified by a Constitutional Assembly that represented the great majority of the Eritrean People. And, hence,any future post-PFDJ system of government would have to seriously consider this document as a reference as it belongs to the People.

          • Saleh Johar

            Dear AH,
            I do not speak on behalf of anything, but on behalf of universal meaning of principles, because my argument is not based on partisan concerns. Indeed, I feel I can present an assessment of the process because I have been following it diligently, not coming when the capo says something about. Indeed, I participated because I like to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone, I and many others were let down, the concern of the people were ignored, their feedback not even addressed. If you are waiting for the commission members to explain further, you are late, they did. All you need to do is go back and research it. If you missed it, it doesn’t mean other did.

            Let’s not mystify the issue: there is a different between a political document and divine scripture. In the case of the Bible and Quraan, you go to the place of worship, the preacher explains the scripture, basically preaches it, and you go home not expecting to change anything in the scripture. After thousands of years, people still listen to the scripture being explained and explained without any input. That is how scriptures are meant to be.

            If you argue that people were meeting, debating the constitution without expecting any change, then I have no further argument. But none knew they were hearing partisan preachings of Isaias’ scripture and hope to influence some of the destructive methods. It was meant to be that way.

            In the days of Haile Sellasie and Derg, they had assemblies and people were involved, but no one can argue that we should have kept the documents because “we can always amend it.” Nope, it doesn’t work that way.

            The biggest farce is that you keep repeating “constitutional assembly”. Simply because it was named so, it doesn’t make it representative. PFDJ having Justice and Democracy in its name doesn’t make it just and democratic. It was a sham hand picked assembly and it doesn’t represent a big chunk of Eritrea (I am tempted to dare say all Eritreans) How would you ask me a decision reached by a body that doesn’t represent me?

            If you insist that we have to use the Isaias paper as a reference, I have no problem with that, just remember it is a boilerplate, not unique. Therefore, I would also ask you to consider using the 1952 constitution (we can amend parts we do not accept) and come up with a real contractual document.

            I say it is a failed document because it didn’t meet the basic aspiration of our struggle. By the way, all this is happening because in reality, what is going on in the struggle has the spirit of revolution, though not stated. In revolution, you don’t amend, you uproot stuff. That gives you clarity and focus, instead of what is going on–triviality, mediocrity and too much partisan considerations. Let’s declare it a REVOLUTION 🙂

            expounds and you

          • Tesfabirhan WR

            Dear Abraham,

            Here at awate forum, we are guided by pre-set guidelines and every comment or document posted here passes though the given principles. Can we then ignore the posting guidelines and just focus on the produced document? We are here at awate.com and we follow the house principle.

            If the said above is true, the 1997 constitution was produced by the guiding priciples of PFDJ (PFDJ was established in 1994) and hence all lines reflect the values of PFDJ. We can refer Dr. Bereket’s testimonial words on how DIA personally intervened during the process (as a general consulatant) and how Yemane Gebreab used his organizational power to change some points.

            There were individuals who came from ELF or individuals who participated during the drafting process. But all were orphaned and had no political power backed by their organization (just like that of PFDJ) and hence were easily drfited by any coming power. I call such participants as “slaves”, just a braindrain. Those individuals (50% hand-picked, including Dr. Bereket), were exploited because of their ability, braindrained.

            Hence, we can not claim that the process was participatory.

            The 1952 Eritrean constitution was much more stronger. Its stregth was because it was able to lead the country for 10 years (1952-1962) until Haile Silasie officially dismissed it. The 1997 supposed constitution was aborted from its very birth, technically calleed, “Sterilization.” and hence is unproductive.

            hawka
            tes

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Mahumuday,
            Are you kidding? If there were not any political share holders in the process how in heaven will the document will a democratically produced document? I told you those ELF veterans you mentioned, they gave up to their organizations and joined ELF, as Hiruy did in 1989 until he found the house of PFDJ isn’t warm enough to include diverse ideas. I don’t condemn them for joining EPLF individual that is their prerogatives and their rights whatever they feel to exercise, to exercise it. But please the ELF organizations didn’t participate as a stake holder in the politics of our nation. Just to remind you, that one of the great leaders of ELF has once said in regard to the constitution: ” they tailored it according their size.” You know what that means.

          • Tzigereda

            Dear Emma and Saleh Gadi,
            As a former tegadalit and long time member of ELF let me put my two cents in the topic of the constitution of 1997.
            Right after independence only few ELF veterans visited home for many reasons, some due to fear that they would not be welcomed and some because they persisted on the idea that EPLF should first recognise all other eritrean political organisations and build an inclusive participatory governance. Many who left home years back couldnt see their beloved family members. Some of my best comrades and friends were sent home unfortunately only after their death for burial. For me this is one of the most painfull experience non-EPLFties have been going through, long before visiting home became a great risk for the majority who oppose the PFDJ. In the early 90ies as the condition was comaratively better but still visiting home was regarded as a betrayal” by some ELF combatants, my Motto was ” Eritrea is not a private property Hizaiiti of EPLF”, it is my own beloved country,too! I remember very well how all non-EPLFties were labeled as at that time -hamshay mesriEE- . No mention of the contribution of ELF towards the struggle! On the other hand some members of HafAsh wudubat in the diaspora had registered themselves and acquired an ID as ” ” wufuyat ” equating tegadalay though they have never been in mieda Ertra as fighters.
            The procedure of the constitution was not inclusive in a sense that no other political organization participated in its making ( We never existed for IA). Some former ELF’s like Zemhret Yohannes ( whose slogan has always been “ELF and its history should not be trashed in a museum” as he was a member of Sagem, before he joined the EPLF) were part of it -not as ELF members- they were already part of EPLF in 1987. And still, should the ratified constitution of 1997 be declared as dead just because we were not, on principle, ” part of its making”. I was among those who, on principle, opposed the exclusionary procedure at that time! We should not permit the exclusion that hit us be repeated on the whole people and Nation of Eritrea. Not only our histor and contribution has been ” “annulled” but we have also been defacto denied participation in all aspects of the nation building. This being the truth, we should nonetheless promote everything which can help salvage Eritrea. Since constitutions have actually international standards, and are meant to be corrected and changed everytime there is a need for it, I would prefer you debate and discuss paragraphs that need amendments or cancellation. Discarding the consitution of 1997 categorically as non inclusive and calling for new drafting from the scratch would only delay the procedures. Shouldnt we better tell IA, that neither Eritrea nor the consititution is his property? Gelbetbet aybezihendo?Shouldnt we make it clear that we dont accept any new ” drafting” which will be set up managed and supervised by a hand picked “clique”, which is loyal to dependent on his lawless governace, a group which accept the detention of more than ten thousands and deny his responsibility for the mass exodus? Where is the ” hadgitat” we former ELF ‘s want to show for the sake of our people? What is the use of ” principles” when this doesnt help US arriving home alive to have the much need influence as soon as possible? This illegal act of dismissal of the constitution has beyond doubt inacceptable.

          • Semere Andom

            Hi Tegadalit Tzigereda:

            You are too modest! If this is your two cents then what will your million dollar be 🙂

            As a later comer young nation we had at our disposal the trials and errors and experiences of the nations before and as such we could have done better job at the process of drafting that constitution. I think between your comment and that of Gadi the debate has crystalized for the two extremes: that of Mahmud, Sal’s and Ab’s who think that it wide input and that of Emma reinventing the wheel. All the debates were a show and the most ridiculous of all was that of its drafter, Dr. Berket when he told Sem Habtemariam that he made sure that eh women were comfortable during the debates, while we know that the women he was talking about had no idea what the EPLF Tigrinay was saying. To me, the “higri lege chiwa” higi shewAte anseba” and several other village constitution were fat better than this one. But I still wanted to see it implemented instead of trashing it. The founding fathers like Ben Frankin hated the USA constitution yet they voted for it and Ben F gave a timeless speech on the occasion. Others like, I think Madison he got himself elected and stared his amendments in earnest and the first amendment took place after a few months. Mahmud is quick to note this fact to suit his willful blindness about the unwillingness and gimmickry of EPLF and he ignores the stark difference, the founding fathers of USA were like Washington were serious about their “flawed” cons, our destructive “un-founding” fathers like DIA were not.

            Let me paraphrase Sal: a document that is implemented and had provisions for amendments is better than one that is yet to be drafted. We better count our chickens that are hatched. We can amended the living hell of IA’s cons.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Abu Noah
            I applaud you, but when you mention me, please emphasize my repetitive use of the word “relative.” Semere, you could only judge events relative to their background. For a young and traumatized nation with no prior experience of constitutional culture and participatory politics, it was the first event of national scale Eritreans got involved in.

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Selam Abraham,
            The assembley are made up of ELF all central committe of EPLF (50% of the assbley body) and the rest 50 % are hand picked by Issayas (by that it means they were selected not elected). That is democracy of EPLF/PFDJ at that time and now. Check my questions on the other thread if you want really political debate. Let us not drive our politics by “toblahta.” Because it is not fair and judicious if we are driven by that. So far the nature of our debate shows that.
            Regards,
            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Rodab

            MaHmuday,

            Sure PIA MIGHT contemplate (big IF) to introduce a new ‘constitutional’ document or working paper through his seminar attendants (aka cabinet ministers) but he won’t travel much further. Constitution is not a job vacancy announcement where you wake up one day and post it on Gazetta Hadas Ertra. It takes years and tons of efforts to process it A-Z. I happen to believe Isaias hasn’t gotten years to rule. And once he is out of the way, whatever he started (IF he does) will be discarded in less words than his “the 97 constitution is dead before it got declared” announcement. Then the current constitution will be brought off of the shelf and put into effect at which point it will be the law of the land in its entire current form. After practicing it for years, amendments can be made if there are enough voices demanding it.

            But again, the president has not much time left to start all over and go all the way to ratification. Even that is assuming he will infact start it, as he seemed to suggest. My feeling is if he were to still be a president in 2020, we wouldn’t hear a thing about constitution. I can confidently forecast that the word constitution won’t make it to his future speeches and interviews, how many ever he has left. I put my money on that.

            The bottom line is the 97 constitution is there to stay. No matter how long it takes and contrary to a reckless dictator and his circles’ delusions, it will one day be put into effect. A much weaker nation simply doesn’t have the will and draining energy to embark on yet another arduous constitution drafting process. Erispora might have the luxury to discuss new constitution vis-a-vis the existing, and that is encouraging, but people inside the country whose lives have been put upside down have much more burning priorities they need to attend to. They need to put their lives in order first.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Ahlan Rodab
            I really think Abu Adal gave Issayas a fat lamb gift for new year. I have followed SGJ views on the constitution, but I think his Immediate reaction to the announcement is a mistake on many levels. The most obvious would be giving Issayas’ rationale of killing the document a tacit approval. If we follow Abu Adal opinion, Issayas has got us disarmed without a fight; he has made one tool/argument against his rule useless. Issayas made it seem justified in not implementation the constitution because he said the nation has been under a situation of emergency; that if he had announced a state of emergency it would have been fitting.

          • saay7

            Thank you Rodab….

            How shall I tell you how much I appreciate this? I know: Here is an interview with Wedi Sheik and Wedi Shaws about a subject very dear to our hearts: royalty payment to artists.

            Wei Sheik has a special blessing for you in Tigrayit.

            Look at how awesome the quality of the video is:

            saay

            http://youtu.be/NbyxHFpAmQI

          • Kim Hanna

            Selam Rodab,
            .
            It is such an interesting debate. I just wanted to sneak in to say something.
            .
            I think all constitutions should have one overriding amendment worldwide.
            All politicians must be Engineers first before they prance into politics. Don’t you think that eliminates the patently insane and illogical people from leading us to the cliff.
            On the 2nd thought, no need for an answer, it was a rhetorical question.
            .
            K.H

          • Semere Andom

            Hi MaHmuday:
            Let me repeat that document if it was implemented we would be in far better position and we could have made miracles in raising the still born nation by chanting in the name of EPLF.
            There cannot be honesty in saying that Eritrea was a vibrant nation ever born.
            I agree with “fools” that regardless of the repulsive nature of the document and its drafting process, it is equally silly to reject it , kab tseba zeyterkbes kab my tseba. The point that you are missing is that the foolishness of believing/trusing that EPLF/PFDJ was serious about the constitution. And you toped that vibrant nation ever by saying that EPLF was done in 1991. How so, when the same one person is calling the shots by only switching alliances.
            You are also mixing up and I think deliberately the seemingly contradictory remarks or as per Sal’s boxing day remarks: “kizihleka bmanka….”
            It is all in what context we are talking the G-15 and Haile D:
            Haile Derue and many of the G-15 were one of the top echelons of EPLF and PFDJ. Heinous crimes were under their watch, and as far as we know they said nothing about it, this makes them the alliance of you know what. Then they had, let us call it an epiphany and they took the risk and challenged him and paid for it dearly and before the crimes they allowed and before this epiphany they at embarked on the journey to fight for free Eritrea at an early age, both this make them heroes.
            And the writing of constitution is not quantum physics, it has been done before many time over, the problem with ours was there was no will to implement it and all the stuff the fools are gloating over was a show, an act, rehearsed and perfected. Let us admit that we were fooled again with the so called drafting. Whether the process was flawed or perfection is useless debate, we have nothing now and will have nothing under the grip of PFDJ.

          • Saleh Johar

            Hello Abraham,

            Let’s start by the “Eritrean” that you have bestowed on the constitution. To me, even Isaias is Eritrea but it doesn’t mean he is accepted. The same with the constitution which I believe is Isaias’ document.

            I do not know when you started to support the constitution or how deeply you debated it, but I have debated it when it was launched in the sham public discussion with Mussa Naib and others in public and private meetings. I have also written extensively about it since the days of Dehai in starting in the mid-nineties. Going back to the same argument is a pain I am not willing to go through anymore.

            But since this the last time I am writing about the document that its father admitted is a bastard, and he had committed infanticide on it, I will say a few things.

            1. If one chooses to live in Alaska, one cannot choose to reshape the topography and climate of Alaska to his liking. If one wants to govern Eritreans, he has to fit to the will of the people. In the constitution’s case, it was tailor made to fist the size of Isaias, including his ego and his character. It was made to fist the statuesque of the PFDJ central committee and its leader. That makes it a poison.

            2. There is a widely repeated claim that the people debated the constitution for two years. I challenged many before and I still challenge anyone who would show me what was changed after considering the feedback and input from the public after two years of alleged discussion and debate! Nothing with one exception, the Oath: when elected officials are sworn in, instead of “on the name of the martyrs…” they can say whatever they wish to say, maybe “in the name of my leather wallet” or “in the name of the sandwich I ate for breakfast.”

            3. Symbols are important and they affect the psyche of a nation. The seal, the anthem and the flag, etc are followed by a disclaimer, “will be approved by the assembly” (not word for word) except the flag which is imposed as a final and binding.

            4. Democracy, fairness, equality and justice are not simply slogans that we say to look good. Unless we practice them, they mean nothing. The stillborn constitution, its making process and its content, do not have a shred of what it is supposed to represent: justice, unity, inclusiveness, fairness and all the political problems that we have. What good is a roof if it cannot protect you from the elements?

            5. A constitution is a contract among the people, therefore, it has to be done in a legitimate representative manner by duly elected representatives. It is not a stadium ticket that one can gift you with. I reject anything given to Isaias, not as of today, I have rejected him since a long time ago–and I do not accept anything from him or his clique.

            6. I rejected the constitution because some naively made it a bone of contention among the ranks of the opposition and let the opposition into disarray and fragmentation. I call those fools who unknowingly were asking us to submit to the will of Isaias and his henchmen through the . despicable document. Worse, mostly those who promoted the constitution are the kind that comes to the opposition camp once in a blue moon, confuse the camp with slogans of “constitution cries” and disappear to return after a year with the same slogan. It was very frustrating.

            7. This is a question but I do not want an answer for it. I am just hoping it will help you reflect.

            Isaias offered his 97 constitution and some championed it as if it was their own! He withdrew it. Playing the role of god, he said,”I gave, I took.” Now he promised to offer another one. What if some “fools” accepted that (I am sure we have suckers who would do that) and started to champion it with “zeal” as they did with the previous one? To me, they will be “fools version 2” By the way, fools is not an insult, it is just the opposite of smart 🙂

            Cheers

          • haileTG

            SGJ…now you look me straight and tell me your worst enemy gave you the most prized gift this Christmas 🙂

          • Saleh Johar

            No HaileTG, it was not pleasant at all. That is because it was not a surprise to me as it was for a few suckers. Long ago that it needs Kaalay Qebri, and aqabruna is actually not pleasant–particularly when the remains are of something you despise. 🙂

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Dear Saleh Johar;
            No one has said the Constitution was perfect; but given the time and political situation under which it was initiated, it was farely representative and participatory. And looking into its content, it is a document that could have laid the framework upon which a democratic Eritrea would be built. Look what we’ve now, in contrast to the Constitution you’ve dismissed as despicable. I think it is much better to speak out of the contents of the document, instead of who made it. I disagree with your claim the Constitution was Isayas’; it was the result of deliberations and discourse among the Eritrean People. Comming to your list:
            1) Could you give some examples that support this claim?
            2) The process of drafting the Constitution was a continuous deliberation, that depended on views of the Constitution Commisssion and the input and feedback that was generated under the process of drafting. I think those who were involved in its drafting would give a more detailed explanation as to how the process was proceeding.
            3) The Constitution is not expected to give all the details; and the fact that it deferred the nature of the seal and anthem to the legislative body that would be democratically elected, is not a big issue.
            4) I personally find the contents of the Contstitution as contradicting to your claims here.
            5) Who were the members of the Constitution Commission? Well, some were members of the PFDJ Central Committee, some were members of the Eritrean National Assembly, and some were people with expertise on the matter. And how was it debated and ratified at the end? It was debated and ratified by representatives of the People from both inside and outside Eritrea known as the Constitutional Assembly and totalling more than 500 individuals.
            6) Why would some in the opposition make the Contitution as a bone of contention? I guess you’re refering here mostly to those who were from outside the ELF; people who belonged to the governing system but later changed their mind after finding out what was in the making. This reflects only the persistent inability of Eritreans today of not putting their historical differences aside and gather their efforts for a common cause.
            Regards

          • Amanuel Hidrat

            Haw Abraham,
            Can you tell me what kind of government the constitution envisioned? Is it CUG or DUG? What kind of government do our diversity demand? Does Eritrea need a Hybrid-government? When you answer these questions then we can talk on the merits of the document and why PFDJ drfated this document? The good doctor who was the chairman of the commission to draft the document was that allows “guided democracy” with increased autocracy. That in itself tells you the commission were not free. The good doctor and his colleagues will in no way will draft a hybrid document that allows a president (executive) to be also a member of the legislative. Think about the nature of the document before we even debate on it.

            Amanuel Hidrat

          • Abraham Hanibal

            Selam Amanuel Hidrat;

            I’ve to admit that I’m far from being someone that possesses the expertise on these issues. However, after studying the 97-Constitution, I’wd say that it envisions more of a CUG type of governance with certain degree of local governance. Its Article1, sub-article5 states: “Eritrea is a unitary State divided into units of local government. The powers and duties of these units shall be determined by law.” According to this article, we don’t yet know as to the powers and nature of the local government units, as this would be determined later on by the democratically elected National Assembly.
            Regarding the diversity, yes I believe that the Eritrean society is diverse when it comes to religion and ethnicity. I believe also that every country has to devise its political system in a way that reflects its historical and present-day realities. When it comes to Eritrea, all the religions and all the ethnic groups have lived, side by side, in respect with each other for centuries. They have faced foreign aggressors in unity, and have brought about an independent nation in unity. In my view, the political system should be designed in such a way that it reflects and strives to further develop and strengthen this positive historical relationship. The alternative to this system is to base the political system on grounds of religion and ethnicity, which, in my view, is an invitation for disunity, disharmony and enmity in the society.The 97 Constitution has numerous articles that deal with individual and collective civil rights and freedoms. This means the rights of all religions and ethnic groups are also guaranteed by the Constitution. If we add to this that the Constitution would evolve with the development of the society, it is a good document to start with.
            Regarding the sharing of power, according to the Contitution, power would be shared between the executive body ( the President and his Cabinet) and the National Assembly (the legislative body). It gives detailed descriptions of the powers and control-mechanisms of these bodies. The executive body will propose laws, which would be law by the approval of the National Assembly.

          • saay7

            Selamat Abraham:

            You are doing well. All the questions raised about every article in the constitution was explained again and again by Dr. Bereket Habteselasse. It is ok for people to say I don’t agree; it is not ok to pretend that people didn’t think through and discuss all the issues they are raising.

            In one of his articles, Dr. Bereket says that the Eritrean ratified constitution was necessarily using the PFDJ’s National Charter as a reference point. And what does the National Charter say with respect to the type of government the PFDJ envisioned?

            “….Thus, for democracy to be true and guaranteed, it is essential to plan the process by which it can properly develop. It is primarily necessary to have people-based institutions – political parties, various grass-roots associations, mass media and decentralized governmental agencies. Governmental and non- governmental institutions must exist to ensure public participation from the grass-roots to the national level. The -national government must abide by a constitution, be accountable to the people, coordinate and balance its legislative, executive and judicial bodies, and have diffused and decentralized power.”

            http://ecss-online.com/data/pdfs/PFDJ-national-charter.pdf

            saay

      • haileTG

        Dear Hayat, Happy New Year and many Happy blessings to you!

        As you know this is a critical time in the history of Eritrea and the current regime, in its current form and situation, is not in a position to either implement the old constitution or draft a new one that can withstand the test of time eminent changes and upheavals. In real sense, the regime’s capacity is dangerously depleted and political legitimacy none existent where it matters most (inside the country). The fact that the journalist himself (presumed to be politically astute to be selected for interviewing the head of state) had no clue that the 97 document had died, and saying that “…given that there is a constitution ratified in 97” tells us that IA was just telling porkies about the so called drafting committee and work being in progregress … Part of the trick for hooking people up to his interviews is that he plays into shock factor that would leave people talking about it. The same also allows for his interview attracting media headline outside the country. Can you remember an interview he made that went by without such huha factor? I don’t. But how many of those huha meant anything after a while? None or very few. Most of the real policies that his regime implements (that result in oppression and violations) never get presented via interview, and the political mileage (number of people talking about it) isn’t bad for a “dead document”:-)

        On the change aspect of your point however, I would like to add one little (or big for some) observation. I am of the view that the key change driver for Eritrea will be the magnitude of cost to be paid rather than people’s political or factual awareness. So far, all the political turbulence occurred due to events that exacted hefty price than due to some raised consciousness of the oppression and its long term ramifications. This means that change will be spontaneous, messy and nasty. Consider for example the issue of the harvest and trainings that he spent long time explaining. When the farmers in southern region were asked to go to training and had no way they could collect their harvest, they resisted. An altercation broke out and and shots were fired. The regime arrested wives of some farmers who run away and later released them. However, if it wasn’t for that imminent crisis (loss of harvest) they wouldn’t have done similar protest to demand change despite most of their villages being emptied out to nearby Ethiopian refugee camps. G-15, Forto, Lampedusa, Sinai, the three tegadelti kids and 13 campany… it is all cost driven push back and never well developed sense of direction and national vision. In between those times, there are no guiding or unifying causes. For some it is Ethiopia, for some it is region/religion, still for some it is domestic issues alone and for other partisan politicking.

        The above marks cursory outline of how the grand finale will play out. It could be Refugees in the Sudan being massacred in their thousands by angry rioters, it could be major disaster inside the country or big accident in the high seas… At that point, you will have all disparate disfranchised acting independently and in tandem and central state control collapsing. All, regime supporters would melt away instantly (such as those who marched in 1 million strong for Gadaffi but more turned up to see his body strewn on meat container in Libya). Those that show up will have little to agree on and intractable situation unfolds. All these is really few corners away and the lead signs are everywhere.

        So, there are people opposing, but it is hard to find a common ground for them to agree on, and that is really bad news all around.

        Regards

  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Awitistas,

    Happy New year to all of you. May the year of 2015 bring us together to redeem our people from the current predicament and may wisdom prevail to guide us in our uncertain chaotic politics. Happy New year and many more to come.

    Amanuel Hidrat

  • Mehari

    Breaking News !

    To bring peace and stability between Eritrea and Ethiopia in particular and the Greater
    Horn region in general the US Department of State has issued a new US policy ratified
    by Congress that adoptes the legality of the boarder agreed by Italy and Menelik at Wuchale
    before they got nto dispute with its Abyssinian and Italian interpretations.
    According to these new issue of policy of the US government concerning Ethiopia, that means
    Tigray will be annexed to be one kifle-Hager of the Northern State of Eritrea with its borders at
    wuchale in the eastern and at Lake Tsana in the western section.
    The new US report also declared and confirmed that the wuchale treaty itself and its abrogation by
    whichever party was a hastly arranged dysfunctional and illegal document from the get go that didn’t
    take the fact that Tigray was an integral and inseparable part of the Eritrean state.
    Further adding that : ” Thus the US government sees no legality of the wuchale agreement between
    Menelik and Italy to separate Tigray from its motherland Eritrea ” except for its use as working document
    for reginal or territorial planning and zoning functions.
    In the end the report commended and admired the wisdom,resilence and dedication of the Eritrean people
    and their leaders for not pursuing war agenda; like what Ethiopian dictators of three regimes tried and failed;
    trying to claim and bring their lost territories of Tigray and others but followed a civilized political and diplomatic
    course in line with the international law and norm of a peacefull and stable new world enshrined in the UN charter.

    • Abinet

      Now it all make sense . Is this how you make “Abay Tigray ?”
      Why did you stop at lake Tana? Please go a little further to include wollo shoa harar wolega ……. You know what ? Why don’t you take the whole ethiopia? I’m with you on that . Endeqedmoachin .
      Mehari amlak mihiret yawrdilh.

  • T..T.

    From the content of his speech, Isayas this time clearly declared
    that he brought the independence of the country
    and that no one can stop him from killing it
    either through fast process or slowly and surely through emptying the country from its youth.

    Unlike Nitriic’s view, the world believes that empty promises are better than no promises because the empty promises promote one to work harder to meet her/his promise. However, Nitriic is right in that Isayas never promised in the past nor will in the future because he has nothing to deliver. ALWAYS BIG-ZERO.

    Isayas by his message created a condolence council (on the shelved constitution of 1997, which he declared it dead) for those who are conciliatory with him and call for reform instead of removal. The condolence council will force the Lenga-Lenga group of Meskerem.net to move to the adversaries’ side.

    And, like Hayat Adem explained that in times of loss deal with the loss by playing/listening to relaxing music that rejuvenates your will and courage to continue the fight until democracy prevails over Isayas’s tyranny and barbaric treatment of the youth.

    Here’s my treat for
    new year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CkL5m84FaA

  • Tzigereda

    Happy New Year AT & all Awatista!

  • Nitricc

    It is amazing how to things can be in the opposite direction. You hear and read you will get the assumption that PIA is in his last leg and things are out of hand and then you listen to the interview and observe his body language; you will say WTF. The guy is not only in total control, determined, resolve but relaxed, clam and collective. Most leaders when they have the chance to address their people, they promise them the sky. PIA; he promised nothing to no one. “ we all died for this country, we all going to work and we all going get rewarded. The best part of his take and music to my eras is when he talked about Social justice! No one particular ethnic is better than the other! The end of the story! true, like the Ethiopians, he could have built high rise building and flashy strictures so just people could see in youtube and say see the development? Like my good friend SAAY pointed to me a youtube of Adi-Grat; what SAAY did not factor is what about driving two kilo meters out in any direction of Adi Grat ? then and then tell me the quality of life of the people.
    The idea is to change the living situation of the people inside out; bottom-up but if flashy building is your answer; bless your heart. I do understand where PIA wants to take the country but with holding on to the youth; with out due process to citizens and with out major reorganizing; is it possible? He is not taking where you want to go but he is forcing you to go where ought to be. He is factoring in what the people has paid to get the country and he is not settling for any less; what ever the cost is. I agree with him if you going to be anther beggar African country then why pay the price that was paid? My problem is, “do the little thing” you can not just throw people in prison for ever. Take care the youth. In the mean time, My Advice! Put your sit belt on.
    .

    • Shum

      Happy New Year, Nitricc. If I have this right, seeing videos of high rise buildings and flashy structures are not impressive to you. But hearing PIA make statements with no substance is? I haven’t seen this latest video. But in the past, what I have observed is not his body language, it’s his words. In a nutshell, he’s delusional and he lies. He claims we have a better system than Sweden. From the the list of things you admired about him, I take it you’re enthralled with his authoritative demeanor and disposition. So much so that you have a different set of standards for him in terms of performance and what a president of a country is supposed to be. My Advice! Take your seat belt off and get out of the car, brother.

      • Nitricc

        Shum, whenever i comment about anything; i give it great consideration about what i am commenting and i put myself in the center of the situation i am talking about. first, you lose your credibility when you take out PIA’s accomplishments and the impressive second to none crisis management skills. I do believe with out PIA’s leadership, organization skills, right or wrong decisive actions, the Eritrean independence will never come reality. it would become similar to OLF types of struggle. say what you will he founded and lead on of the the most impressive struggle to its conclusion. when you take that away from him and calling him a lier, i am forced to ask, what did Shum accomplished in his life? be partial, fair and honest. give the man his due and hold him accountable for his short comings.
        the opposition groups and some toothless individuals accuse PIA for wasting 23 years. lets be honest here; Eritrea experienced four years peace. the truth. from 1993 to 1997. since then if you don’t believe the TPLF war came to revers the independence, then check your credibility! if you don’t believe ever since the end of the war 2000; Eritrea was not in a war footing and facing one sabotage after another then i doubt your sincerity and your realness so, when i say i observed his body language and i am encouraged by what i heard and see. PIA seem to come interims with him self. He seem to understand and to know that, it is time.
        you have to understand, when you dedicate your life and your everything toward one thing, in this case the PIA over 40 years, it is hard just to walk away. however; PIA seems to understand he is running out of time.
        I will admit him for what good things he did and i will forgive him for his short comings. the world we are in is saved from a total distraction because of forgiveness. with out forgiveness; just eye an eye will not work.
        we paid dearly and no more.
        PIA going to do what he wants to do and that is why i said, put your sit belt on.

        • Shum

          Hello Nitricc,

          Apologies for not replying sooner. You seem to have applied my posting to his whole life. It was not a critique of his whole life. I give him credit for his leadership during our struggle. Search my history on this forum, I’ve given you no reason to question any of that nor the struggle itself. I am talking about his leadership post-independence. He has failed at crisis management and is personally responsible for some of the crisis.

          Looks like you and I share some common values when you say “i will forgive him for his short comings. the world we are in is saved from a total distraction because of forgiveness. with out forgiveness; just eye an eye will not work.” That’s a good value to have as an individual and as a leader. But he doesn’t share your values. You give him too much leeway when you excuse him saying it is hard to walk away after 40 years when he’s had comrades struggling just as long, if not longer, who were jailed with a lot of them dead due to negligence. I don’t recall hearing you bemoaning them when that happened. So I’ll ask, do you think they are traitors and Woyane collaborators like he says they are?

          Nitricc, do you really believe that he has come to terms with the reality that he’s overstayed his welcome? I honestly have no reason to believe that. Why would a despot, surrounded by sychophants, ever come to terms with reality. Any of his colleagues who have a held a mirror to his face have been liquidated.

          As for Woyane, I don’t believe they are trying to reverse our independence as a country. I do believe that they want an obedient stooge government in Eritrea that is malleable to their interests. But that’s exactly why our nation needs to stand as a strong country and united with a common purpose. He has weakened our hand to deal with any crisis and resolve our issues. Please challenge me if you disagree.

  • Guest

    That is probably the most brilliant commentary of 2014. No wonder you are TG!

  • EriLove

    Eritrea has come a laboratory for Isaias’s polotics and for endless period!

  • Witness

    well said Hope,even though it takes you 23 years to understand this..

  • passer_by

    Happy New Year to you all,
    For those who never believed that Issaias thinks Eritrea is as his sole property I hope yesterday’s interview made it clear. He outmaneuvered, out smarted, used and abused every segment of the Eritrean people to reach where he is now – the indisputable “King of Kings”. He is the KING whether one doubts or not.

    Dear Hope,
    The role of DEMHIT is to protect and solidify his Empire and squash “any uprise” by the Eritreans against His dominion. He liquidated, marginalized and weakened the Eritrean Forces that could “probably” be a threat to his power. He nurtured, developed, financed DEMHIT from the huge amount of money He is getting from the Bisha Mining. DEMHIT is now an Army of well trained, well disciplined with unquestionable loyalty to Him and is totally under His control. There is no power in Eritrea to challenge this kind Army. He killed a few of the DEMHIT leaders that could have potential disagreement or could have potentially resisted his power. The DEMHIT that we have today is the exact copy of the EPRP within EPLF of yesterday, but stronger and deadlier. (EPRP is misTrawit selfi within the EPLF).
    When was the last time we’ve heard DEMHIT clashing with the Ethiopian Troops inside the Ethiopian Territory – none. In the beginning, when he was relatively weak His News out let Eri-Tv showed unverifiable footage of activities of DEMHIT inside Ethiopia to cheat the Eritrean people, check it out now DEMHIT’s activities are DEEP in Eritrea. He has the money to finance them from the Bisha mining and the Colluli Potash Production is on the way to help facilitate to pass the THRONE from the King of Kings Issaias to his SON the Prince Abraham.

    • Goytom

      ouch! don’t hit us over the too hard.

      • Hope

        Truth hurts.
        Shame on US,Eritreans!
        “I know that you call me “Agame” behind my back,but`I will do as much as I did to liberate Eritrea to destroy Eritrea and Eritreans”
        PIA DUI.
        Courtesy of Dr Andeberhan W.(Ph.D)

    • HappyNewYear

      exactly demhit never ever try to clash with ethiopian troops, and i guess these demhit are only for show and gouard isayas nothing else, they have no determination to fight against ethiopia.

  • haileTG

    Hope, Eritreans are none of that you say. Only the PFDJ supporters and those who parrot tesfanews and madote are like that.

    • Hope

      –huhuhuh,the worst are those Cyber Politicians and Cyber Activists,who keep parroting non-stop but/and doing nothing…
      But what else could be other than what I said for one Dictator to do whatever he wants to do–including kidnapping,killing,etc—while the so called Eritreans are watching and,worse,running away on a day light ?
      You are even worse than those of the TefaNews and the Madotes,coz they are doing their job as “Supporters” but you are doing NOTHING,other than hiding behind the computer in a comfort zone and crying empty.

      • Kim Hanna

        Selam Hope,
        .
        Hey cousin Hope, you are losing control again. Don’t write when anger and hopelessness dominate your thought. You know there are a lot of folks who bring up all this after the new year and seek to account. So stop writing for a couple of days and concentrate on other things.
        .
        I was going to joke with you about how you sound like a Woyane, but I will not.
        I hope you have a good new year.
        K.H

        • Hiope

          Selam We Senay Cousin/Uncle Kim Hanna(you advised me that you might be older than me).
          Thank you for the advice.
          Well appreciated and seriously endorsed.
          Peace be with you and i wish you and your loved ones the BEST of 2015.

      • Peace!

        Dear Hope,

        If you have heard the interview, was he referring to the opposition groups when he said, after long brutal suffering and injustice, African Americans got to church constantly as if justice can be achieved through Mehlela?

        regards

        • Hope

          Peace,
          You said it correctly.
          Peace be unto you!
          Wish you a Happy Holiday Season and a peaceful and prosperous 2015!

  • Hope

    The ATL
    A minor issue:
    The AT:
    “Persih” probably should read as ” Perish”…