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Minnesota: Eritreans Challenge Loyalists Monopoly Of Public Radio

Eritreans in Minnesota have persuaded the management of KFAI, a public radio station, that the air-time it provides Eritreans has been abused by loyalists to the Eritrean regime.

Thus ends a 15-year monopoly enjoyed by Eritrea’s ruling party, PFDJ, in Minnesota.

The one-hour Tigrinya program was initially given to the Eritrean community but fell under the monopoly of supporters of the regime who used it to disseminate the regime’s views, often sourcing the Eritrean state media.

This is not unique to Minnesota: public radio stations throughout the United States serve the interests of Eritrea’s dictatorship because the management of the radio stations have no knowledge to what extent the Eritrean government has infiltrated and co-opted the “community centers.”

Representatives of the Eritrean National Conference for Democratic Change (ENCDC) along with the Eritrean Forum approached the stations Board of Directors to complain that their station had become a propaganda outlet of the Eritrean regime.

Reached by telephone, Mohammed Idris Mjwaray, an ENCDC representative, told Gedab News: “We will continue our efforts until we either snatch the airtime from their hands or until they abide by the principles of the radio station which strives to allow the presentation of diverse viewpoints.”

The event came to public attention after the Tigrinya host of the KFAI provided radio program refused to air a report about the ENCDC congress that was held in Hawassa, Ethiopia in November of 2011. The program presenter, a PFDJ supporter, refused to read the report stating that the ENCDC aims at overthrowing the Eritrean regime.

On March 17, 2012, Ms Janis Lane Ewart, the executive director of the station, met with representatives of both parties and concluded that the situation cannot continue in that manner and that the presenter had violated the principles of the radio station.

The supporters of the regime defended their position stating that they have the responsibility of protecting their community, which they believed will be exposed to disunity if the opposition to the regime, who they claimed are Ethiopian, are allowed to air their view.

According to our sources, Ms Ewart informed the presenter that he should refrain from expressing a patronizing view to the public and should let the community make its own judgment. She informed the Eritrean regime supporters that if they persist, she will be forced to stop the program. In the meantime, she will ask two members of the community to record and monitor the program for a specific period.

Subsequently, Mr. Mjawray was interviewed by KFAI’s English program where he explained the plight of Eritrean refugees suffering in the borders of neighboring countries and in the Sinai desert of Egypt, news pieces that never air in the Tigrinya program of KFAI, apparently to “protect” the community from “disunity.”

Furthermore, ENCDC members have made significant strides in informing a state senator about the plight of Eritrean refugees in Sinai and solicit his intervention.

//END

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  • Lalimba

    Haha don’t make me laugh. A handful (as in 10-15) of dim witted retards who would sell out their own mothers does not comprise the Eritrean Community. The absolute majority of Eritreans residing in Minnesota support the radio program and the Government BY CHOICE!!! seriously though, lay off the pipe,you people have become delusional. At the end of the day the PFDJ will prevail and it bugs you because you know it. IT BURNS DON’T IT!!!

    • THE COMMUNITY RADIO IS THE VOICE OF THE DICTATOR!!! IT NEVER BEEN THE VOICE OF ERITREANS.

      IF IT WAS THE VOICE OF ERITREAN PEOPLE IT WILL AIR THE SUFFERING OF ERITREAN IN SINAI

      THE REASON YOU GUYS DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT THEIR TORTURE IS YOU THE PFDJ AND YOUR

      DICTATOR GOVERNMENT ARE NOT ERITREANS.

  • observer

    I do not know why Eritreans complain about. The same machinery of lies and hate they admired so much for so long is turning against them. At the height of so called libration struggle. More than weapons what EPLF used was lies and hatred. Very few if any Eritreans opposed that then. Because in their eyes it was directed against Ethiopians. Now come 2012 the offensive turned inward the same beast they fed for years is turning on them. They seem shocked and complain bitterly. There is a saying in Amaharic Demet Menkusa Amelwan Atresa. A cat turned a monk/nun but it still keeping its old habit of catching mice. The same way the hate and lie machine that EPLF was it is to this day. No change in its core nature. This organization is no different than that what it was 30 years ago. How come Eritreans discover how bad it is just now. Amazing collective amnesia.

    • Gobian Garibaldi

      Brother observer, you says a general truth, namely, why are Eritreans surprized about Shaebia and her master, Isaias. However, this is only true in many Eritreans but not all for the other part of the story of Eritrea’s struggle for Indepedence. This was the Jebha part who had no master. Shaebia was a sickness, a lying and a murdering machine, to Eritreans who did not bow to it and, so, the civil war between Jebha and a combined Weyane plus Shaebia. This brought about the end of Jebha as Jebha Abay, Jebha the great, in 1981 in the planes of Eastern Sudan. I was in the ELA, Eritrean Liberation Army, and I know what was before 1981, after Jebha Abay disintegrated, and I know what happened particularly from 1974, When Eritreans switched from gurrella war fare, Harbe Al-Esabat, to conventional war far, as the Derg. came into being after he deposed Janhoi the terrible.

      Now what you say is not true of yours truly and many others: The other alf of Eritrea! There are three stages: Federation and its abolution, the Eritrean Liberation Struggle for Independence, and the de facto and de jure Indpendence, the creation of an internationally recognized Eritrean State, a defective one. Know, you are speaking of the defective part of Eritrea or those who did come to know that Eritrea was a defective state created by a defective organization called Shaebia lead by a defective man called Isaias. The ther part of Eritrea that was and is there, Jebha and its rebelious daughters of which the biggest and loweliest rebelious daughter is Shaebia. It is all about what went wrong with Jebha Abay that is still a mystery not only to you and others but to some of Jebha Abay’s sons and daughters both in one and in many, individual or organized.

      Myself, I said few years ago that it was about time that all the voices of Eritrea were heard and they did but you have not heard them for a reason only know to you. And we helped Wayane grow as Jebha Abay besides other Ethiopian organizations of the time. Weyane was created in 1974. I was in the politico-military environment before Weyane become born. Every dog has its day if it is a living dog to be its own dog. Times have changed and the revolution pen and not the bullet should do in attempting to have your dog day. I think that is democratic for us friends and neighbors and we should strive to bring about the day when the two peoples of Eritrea and Ethiopia will live as brothers and sisters, friends and neighbors, nations and not free states of military men who only know how to speak when they have gunfire to accompany their fear for all evil is coward.

      Peace!

      I do not know why Eritreans complain about. The same machinery of lies and hate they admired so much for so long is turning against them. At the height of so called libration struggle. More than weapons what EPLF used was lies and hatred. Very few if any Eritreans opposed that then. Because in their eyes it was directed against Ethiopians. Now come 2012 the offensive turned inward the same beast they fed for years is turning on them. They seem shocked and complain bitterly. There is a saying in Amaharic Demet Menkusa Amelwan Atresa. A cat turned a monk/nun but it still keeping its old habit of catching mice. The same way the hate and lie machine that EPLF was it is to this day. No change in its core nature. This organization is no different than that what it was 30 years ago. How come Eritreans discover how bad it is just now. Amazing collective amnesia.

      • observer

        I remember after the defeat of the Derg how euphoric Eritreans were. In addis they embraced TPLF whole heartedly. Any one challenging the undemocractic nature of TPLF they called Amhara neftegna etc. For them what is good for them is right and what is bad for them is wrong. TPLF used them to consolidate its power in Ethiopia. You will not find a better mouth piece for TPLF than Eritreans living in Ethiopia. Of course it iwas an open secret TPLF was another dictatorship masqaurading as democcrat. Come 1998 when the war broke out these same people who were ardent supporters of TPLF turned on a dime and became ardent opponents of TPLF. On May 5,1998 they called me Amhara nefetegna on May 7th 1998 TPLF which was a examplified democracy for the world now became the most brutaul dictatorship on earth. Infact the same people who hated me of opposing TPLF now they hated me for not opposing it enough. This is Eritrean nationalism I saw. Long time Eritrean friends turning on me because I was an Ethiopian. The hate I experienced from these zealots because I was an Ethiopian. People wo always like to play victims. Running away from responsibilities blaming us Ethiopians for the rain not coming for their all misfortunes they experience in life. For the record My father was jailed by the emperror’s regime for advocating justices. I myself was tortured and imprisoned for a long time by the derg. Eritreans branded all of us enemies. I know today there is sugar coating of all this. I was not born yesterday I have seen it all. I told an Eritreab friend of mine in the early 80s what Eritrea will face under EPLF. It was clear to any reasonable person.

        • Gobian Garibaldi

          Similar to what Cohen said, Isaias is a power usureper, a megalomaniac president. Meles is perhaps as authoritarian, even, totalitarian but I also think that he is a chrewed politician how knows how to stand his ground. For me, too, this two gurella army leadrs and former allies turned worst enemies and their organizations, were only about them and their followers. This for me was there from 1982 and I told many of them I mate then. There was always an exuse of some kind for their short-comings. The lies about the tuth, their lies being sold as truth and many falling for it and joing the TPLF-come-EPLF boad. The problem is that their boat was smaill and trivial which will hit the waves and the rocks that have now being made manifest.

          What you say about them above is well and fine for yours truly but you also have to put in into context the Eritreans who mate the fate of the Amharan like you. You don’t speak about this but you speaky plenty about your old defective friends, Shaebia and Weyane, now PFDJ and EPRDF, and their loyal followers who may now wake up to know that the road to hell is paved with beautiful slogans and flowers.

          Peace!

          • observer

            Gobian,

            I like your style. Anyway after my observation of Eritrean and also the narrow nationalism of such organization like TPLF. I completely rejected nationalism. It is unhealthy irrational and selfish. One has to be objective about such issues. Often times issues advanced by nationalists are so illogical and confrontational. Always in search of us and them positions. It is crazy

        • Gobian Garibaldi

          selam observer and all,

          My friend observer, thanks for your nice note. The problem is not nationalism, per se, but nationalists who can’t see far from the edges of their noses and can’t perceive beyond what meets the eye, the lie dressed as truth, the war that is supposed to bring the peace which never comes, the death that never brings life, and the destruction that never brings the constrution. The problem is that people are mislead by semi-intellectuals and/or psuedo-intellectuals, within which is a lot of the criminal element, pretending to be intellectuals, those who know their stuff.

          People of good will for the common good need to sharpen their pens and do their bit to make up for the mess that is created by the screw-ups. Think good, feel good, and act good!

          Peace!

  • VOA Amahirk radio started for Ethiopians 1984 by Solomon Kifle ex EPRP then Tigrigna program by Adanesh Fisahay from Tigria Agame Awraja area Gual Irob 1996.
    All Eritreans and Ethiopians love this program becouse the journalist work hard for the two people (two Tigringa people /Miqrirab :-).Two from Awate team Salih Younos interviewed by journalist Minia Afewerqi and Salih Johar also a give a speach with Tewelde W.Gebriel and I am sure this two persons are not glad bcs of that.I am a tigringa too,kebessa,Habesha and Abisnia did work longer Salih J.
    Eritrea in USA 40.000 and Ethiopians are over 200.000 and how dare you can stop this program,to whom can you cheating for?Halewlew…You have gotten for long this time brother and dont touch the fire bcs the boss is there.

    • please note that there are no such people by the name “Tigrigna”. Tigrigna is a language of the people of Tigray or Tigray-Tigrigni if you like.

      • There are two tigirnga speakers people in Horn and the one is in Eritrea and the other is in Ethiopia side Tigria.
        So Ato Teweldeberhan; Ato Wel-Wel is dead and Ato Meles Zenawis’dream dead also in 06/05/1998.Read the book by Alemesged Abay from London and cheack up to Ato Mesfin Briara articles on Nazreth.com an Ethiopia opposition website.

        • I am not arguing about Tigrigna speakers. My point is Tigrigna is a language full-stop.

          • Tigringa is a biher.Tigre+Tigrigna+Amharika=Gieaz.Jeberti in both said are a tigrigna speakers.Inside Eritrea Jeberti are not live only in Kebessa and in kebessa are not live only in Seraye,but even in Hammassien Anseba,Logo and Kebexchiwa also.I know becouse I have a root ther with them.I hope I get your point!!

  • doodu

    nice step by ENCDC members to ward PFDJ loyalist in USA

  • Gobian Garibaldi

    In the old days we married virgin man to virgin woman. Then came the the ‘boyfriend’ and ‘girlfriend’. I was one but then quite to be a religious. I am still not religious but I am a Christian. I see now that my religious man lived a way of life, was a Churchian, before he became agnostic and a pagan. Now, my Christian man got in trouble when he told some of the people of ‘girlfriend and ‘boyfriend’ that they should stop insulting hookers. They both have no strings attached except the satsfaction of their carnal appatites. One brings flowers the other man brings cash. The woman gets to spleep for the flower or the cash with the cash-man or flower-man, both on demand. Perhaps, one day, both the one and the other may join in holy matrimony and stop being hookrs, girlfriends, and boydfriends. I was a happi myself back in the days and has nothing against any human being, be they friends or hookers. This was when I was an agnostic and a pagan. Now, I am on the straight and narrow and got me my rose and I hope all get their roses instead of hookers, girlfriends, and boyfriends.

    Man and woman need a covenat that joins them inot one before God and their kind. Communities need covenants that governs their well bieng in relation with others. The, whatever the Erospara communities do, they need to understand that if they cannot do it for themselfves and their sons and daughters, doing it for PFDJ or its counterparts will not serve them or their nears and dears.

    Peace!

  • Walta Hager

    It is so sad, but it is not hard a rational person to understand the tricks and the cheap tactics they have used to control, dominant and purposely disrupt our communities all over the world. Unless they are legally confronted with dedication and determination, they will always find “attack dogs” who try to intimidate and disrupt our meaningful organizational activities. That is why our communities are still suffering from the same remotely prescribed wrong medicine of the bad a doctor. We should not forget that their robotic acts won’t stop until their programming is reversed once and for all, i.e. know our rights and fight for our rights legally up until our opponent learns his/her lesson the hard away.

  • Zeray

    I think I know the problem to this issue of monopolizing of the program by PFDJ supporters. Most people in the Diaspora refuse to participate in community matters except the PFDJ followers. They are active and control the seats and the votes. And when things go out of hand and it is too late the “well intentioned” come to complain. The question is where were you in the community? Did you participate in the day to day activities? Or are you coming to complain?

    Communities should be non-political and non-religious and should exist to help their neighbors. This means every body from all walks of life should participate and voice their opinions. Unfortunately, from what we see, the active ones are the ones with a mission of promoting PFDJ agendas and they are good at it.

    Passiveness is the source of our suffering both in diaspora and inside the country.

    • sara

      they do not want to contribute or work for the community….. you are right they just want to be there to disrupt what is already established by the support of pfdj………….
      do you know there was an Arab community called Al Jaliya Alarabia… in asmara before independence, and they used to have their own school and center and network of business built through community support.according my source there was never a conflict reported like what we hear about Eritrean communities in Europe and america… Australia. i am also glad to report here there are strong Eritrean communities in the Arab world…. for example in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait… Al Emaraat etc…and all this communities are supported by Eritreans only, unlike what we know of the others … get a lot of financial support from the governments and other entities. could this be also a reason of the continual bickering?

      • zegeremo

        Hi Sara,

        ….and your point is? ^_^

        • sara

          merhaba!! zegeremo,

          thank you….<>

  • ጎበዝ አንበሳ ተምቤን ,ኣሜሪካን ኤውሮጳን ከማን መጺኡ የጻሕጽሓና ። ዓባየስ መፈጠራ ዓድዋ ፣ ምስ ድምበዛናይ ኣብሓጎይ ዝተመርዓወት፣……..” ብዘበን ኢኒ ኢኒ ሕምባሻ ከሎ እምኒ፣ ዝጠምዩ ሰባት ኔሮም፣ ዓመት ብፈትሊ ዝተኣስሩ ልሕኩሳት “´ውን ኢላ ተዕልለኒ ኔራ……። ብዛዕባና ትትንበ ከም ዝነበረት ሎሚ ተረዲኡኒ። ካብኡ ገጾም ዝመጹ ነብያት ኢዮም ዶ ክንብል ፧ ንሳ ውን ነብዪት “ዘውዲ ጓንጕል” ክንብላ ። ንሳ ጥራይ ከይትኸውን ሒዛቶ መጺኣ ንኮማንደር ድሙ ድሙ ? ንሳ ግን ካብቶም ሓወቦታተይ ድንበዛናውያን ንላዕሊ ገርሂ እያ ኔራ። ራስ ኣሉላ ኣባ ነጋ ፣ እግሪ መገዱ drop ዝገበራ፣ ኤርትራዊ ጽልኢ ዘለዋ ጓል ኣርብዓ ኣይነበረትን ። ከምታ ትምኒታ “sexy ዝኾነ ሓማሸናይ (ኣብሓጎይ) ተመርዕያ፣ ካብ “Dmbezan wereda immigration agency ) ዓዲ ተካሌዛን ከይዳ green card ን citzenship ን ብሓንሳእ ተዋሂብዋ ትቕመጥ ዝነበረት ካብ ኤርትራዊ ንላዕሊ ኤርትራዊት ፣ ምኽንያቱ ብትውልዳ ዘይኮነስ መሪጻ ናይ ድምበዛን መንነት ዝሓዘት ስለ ዝነበረት። ካብ Geshnashim culinary college ሰርቲፊኬት ረኺባ “ብሓምሊ ኣድግን ብሽልጆን ጌራ ትሰርሖ ዝነበረት VEGETARIAN – LASAGNA” ትዝ ይብለኒ። ጀብሃ ዓድና ከይወረዱ መይታ እምበር ብእንቋቝሖ ´ውን ብዙሕ ነገር ትሰርሕ ኔራ ። ድምበዛን ጻዕዱ, ሓውና ሓፍትና ምስ በሉ፣ ካበይ ፈሊስካ ኣበይ ተወሊድካ ኢሎም ኣይሓቱን እዮም። ስለዚ ክኣ እዩ ፣ ነዚ ቁራጽ ሰይጣን ዝኾነ ናህና ናይ ሓማሴን´ዩ ዝዓይነቱ ክሰምዕ ከለኹ ፣ ርእስኻ ምስ መንደቕ ኣናጕዓዮ ዝመጸኒ። ናይ ደቀ ኣርብዓ ኣታሓሳስባ ዘይበትከሎም, ሕነ ጽልኣት መንነቶም ኣይተጋሩ ፣ ኣይ “ህዝበ ትግርኛ” ፣ ተኣኪቦም ዝገብርዎ ርስሓት ንድምበዛን ክጽጋዕ ውን ዘይደልዮ። ግን ክሳዕ ሕጂ የጻሕጽሑና ኣለዉ ። ኣብ ደምበላስ ዝገብርዎ ዘለዉ እናጕሃየናስ Dallas መጺኦም ክኣ ከንፈጥፍጡናስ። ። ። ። በጣልያን ጊዜ ኣቢሲንያዊው እንዳለው “ኣልሞትኩም ብየ ኣልዋሽም ” !!!!
    In respect of my deceased ,pure hearted ,Adwo-Dimbezanian ,Eritrean ,Grandmma ,Zewdi Guangul “

    • “Al motkum bye Alwashim”by Ras Btweded Mokonon Endalkachow.I have that book with other short novel.He was a tall,gentel ,and strong man with good heart politicain.His wife was the doughter of Dej Yilma the borther of King Hailesillasie.Good day….

  • Yemane Johar

    VOA, tigrigna program is another pfdj sypathyzer that must be targeted in a similar manner! This is the kind of measurable action that the ressistance movments must strive to achiev! Way to go…!

    • Saleh Gadi

      Yemane,
      Indeed, VoA is an American information outlet and a joint “serving the truth.” Think about it Yemane, they are just helping all of us by helping our beloved government. Thank them for being true loyalists as the PFDJ would want them to be. I heard the VoA will introduce slogans at the end of each Tigrinya segment: Long live PFDJ.Down with its opposition. See! They are very loyal to the PFDJ; I envy their dormant conscience.

      • danny

        VOA’s attitude towards covering the truth about Eritrea is “No one has given us a contract!”

      • shetet aynibel

        Dear big SG,
        You dont belong to such cheap things. I understand that his name urged you to react. But I still think he is not the one who deserves your reaction.