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Politics of Nouns And Topography

I had ruled out Medrekh as another Keremtawai mae’etot until I heard Qeisi’s interview with Amal Ali. I liked what he said; particularly his emphasis that the legacy of the struggle belongs to all Eritreans. His tone was right and proper. There was only one important question that he avoided: the move to revive the EPLF exclusively. Ironically Medrekh’s views on that seemed to contradict his assertion that the legacy of the struggle belongs to all Eritreans and not only to those who were affiliated with the EPLF. In spite of that, I liked his tone and most of what he said. I wish his colleagues were taking notes on how to communicate with the public.

I had also wanted to write about the intensive and orchestrated defamation campaign that was waged against me in the last five-years concerning the “Ali Salim is Saleh Gadi” saga. I would have liked to address it promptly, but a friend has advised of an alternative approach that would put the issue to rest and I owe him the benefit of the doubt. I hope he is right; if not I will come back to address it soon. This edition of Negarit will focus mainly on the hot topic of the month, the so-called “Eritrean Lowlanders League (ELL)” and the controversial debate it has ignited. Those who do not read Arabic might not appreciate the significance and scope of the debate; the few English materials posted on awate merely touched the surface.

The People Behind The Seminar

On March 29, 2014, a group of Eritreans who hail from the “Lowlands” gathered in London and launched a movement they called ELL. Seven founders signed the document; I know them all: Taha Yacob and Saleh Moh’d Omer were my classmates and Mahmoud Aderob was a schoolmate, who lived in my neighborhood, during high-school. Both Aderob and I joined the ELF and today both of us have ended up in the USA. Ustaz Mahmoud Ibrahim, who used to write regularly for awate.com, and Hamid Omer Izaz are people I consider friends. I have known Mohammed IsHaq for the last five or six years through a paltalk room he runs out of Sweden. I have known Ismael Adem since 2000 when I permanently settled in the USA. I am sure many readers know him: he is the young man whom Isaias mocked and scolded in the 1993 Washington, DC public meeting simply because he asked about the status of the Arabic language in Eritrea. I met Gemal twice–once in Germany and again in Awasa. I also know most of the attendees, for example, both Ms. Aisha Gaas and Dr. Mohammed Kher are good friends.

I mention the names above to underscore the strong ties I have with each and every one of them, but more importantly, to state without any equivocation that they are all my allies in the struggle against the unjust PFDJ regime. Naturally, I neither appreciate nor approve the way some people have gone beyond criticizing their agenda and meeting, to question their credentials; it is wrong to doubt their patriotism. Yet, I believe they are wrong on this one. The core issues and grievances they have raised have been the reason of my activism for almost two decades. I just object to the way they decided to go about it.

The above introduction is my way of appealing to everyone to understand the spirit in which I write this article: to disagree with my friends without being disagreeable. Our differing positions should not be allowed to interfere in our personal relations; that is how I addressed the Medrek group in the last edition of Negarit. Incidentally, I consider both movements equally wrong on their approach and not on their issues. I will start with Medrekh. But first, let me share with you a few funny lines I have read lately.

An Abuse of Rights

Writing about “the right of Eritreans to organize and struggle in any way they see fit”, someone wrote: you have the right to jump off the tenth floor, but it doesn’t mean you have to do it!

Some may argue (already a few are) that Eritreans have the right to organize and associate in the manner they see fit! That is true, no argument here. But at the same time it is a laughable argument—it is simply stating the obvious. Forcefully stating that the sky is blue would only summon a chuckle. Everybody knows the sky is blue, just like everybody knows people have rights. So why such a patronizing argument! What is controversial about the right of people to hold a seminar and create an association? Nothing at all.

Loudly stating such universally accepted values doesn’t make a person any wiser or more of a democrat. Rights are sacrosanct; they are, however, not a license to do whatever one wishes. People still have to operate under the dictates of reason, law, religion, tradition and history. One could say that people have the right to go naked on the streets, but we don’t see many people walking stark naked simply because they have the right to do so! I know some people who drink liquor, and stating a boring fact, they have every right to drink or abstain. But a few advocates of absolute, unfettered rights, among the defenders of the ELL, will think ten times before they hold a bottle in public. Rights are not practiced in a vacuum. If practicing the right of someone infringes on the rights of another, even if on the emotional level, by crossing the limits of decency, again stating the obvious, it is a transgression. The transgression weighs more on the value system of human beings; not the selfish who may supposedly exercise their individual rights.

If I recognize the right of the ELL to organize, then, what is my objection?

Three Nouns: Medrekh. Munteda. Forum.

It is a sad reality that Eritrean political culture gives more weight to symbolism of diversity than its meaningful reflection. We can no longer afford to ignore that diversity means all people and all issues are on the national table; nobody and no issue must be excluded. No more empty slogans and gestures. I get irritated when I read “May Allah/God bless you.” Christians and Muslims have one God and as long as one is using English, there is no need to say Allah or Igzabier. It sounds as if we have two creators each competing for a constituency.

Apparently Medrekh has found an opportunity which has unfortunately came to blind them. No doubt they have secured considerable funding (they have been vocal about it), but they have regrettably chosen to continue working on the same path that brought us to our current sorry political reality. Medrekh has decided to reform the PFDJ instead of helping provide a non-partisan and an all-inclusive platform against the unjust regime. The mere use of the Arabic version of Medrekh doesn’t represent inclusiveness. What is disheartening is that their view of Eritrean unity is not much different from that of the PFDJ: nominal representation of affected segments—a failed formula of appeasing constituents by plugging in a few people who belong to certain constituencies.

Another concern is that some of them haven’t come to terms with the issues of refugees (particularly those who have been in Sudanese camps for decades), culture, devolution of power and land rights; they think these are partisan issues belonging to the ELF. I believe this is a recipe for a quick suicide. These kind of injustices are the very reasons that have inspired opposition to the PFDJ regime in independent Eritrea. The realization of justice, dignity and rights should have been a fait accompli in independent Eritrea; Eritreans deserve to enjoy them after a three-decade long arduous struggle. We have learned one important lesson from the merry-go-round of the last 14 years: changing the face of PFDJ is not a solution; it is a lethal continuation of the prevailing injustice. Besides, nobody is buying this all-too-familiar strategy anymore.

Medrekh is an exclusionary movement stuck in the past. What is needed now is politics that narrows the gaps among Eritreans. Instead of capitalizing on the opportunity to heal the wounds of the many hurting compatriots, they chose to continue in a way that deepens the already entrenched suspicions and mistrust. Still, I hope they will come to their senses, revise their practice, scrape away their initial launch rhetoric, discard their arrogant posturing and attitude, and think along a wider national parameters. There is always time for partisan politics, but now is not the time. Once we succeed in establishing the rule of law without the patronizing attitude of the PFDJ, where every Eritrean doesn’t feel ostracized, excluded or marginalized, we will have plenty of time to practice partisan politics. I still hope this will happen; because hope is the most effective tool at our disposal.

Geography without Demography

We still have people who prefer to bury their heads in the sand, just like the proverbial ostrich. We cannot pretend that the scent of spring is blowing all over the place and Eritreans are warm with each other. There are a few of us who have become whistle-blowers, and we pay dearly for that. But no turning back.

Every season, the Eritrean landscape needs a political Kamikaze who pays dearly for exposing some mischief, deceit, or looming danger facing the already sick Eritrean body politic. No Eritrean should be kept in the dark, or be systematically blindfolded by the mischief of ambitious politicians, and deceived by egoists and partisan rivalries.

For almost two decades now, I have been writing about social grievances. I endorsed the plight of the Kunama when it was still not only a taboo, but a blasphemy in Eritrean politics. I have consistently advocated for the right of refugees to return to their ancestral lands and against cultural hegemony when many of those who are raising the issue now were limited to teashop discussions. Of course, there are many other Eritrean issues, grievances related to, for example, the persecution of religious minorities; the Afar Eritreans who have become strangers in their own land; the Kunama and Nara who are watching their lands appropriated by the regime. The plight of the last two are not conventionally accentuated in the Lowland/Highland political discourse.

There are also rights that are rarely mentioned, for example, inhabitants of Sembel, and Megarih, who have lost their land to hard-currency paying diaspora Eritreans; The plains of Shimejana, Aala, Tsellema, Sabur, Mrrara, Solomuna…and many places in the Highlands that were grabbed by the government and turned into army agricultural projects.The lands around major sources of water are now military camps, including tens of camps, bases for different armed opposition groups from the region, mainly Ethiopians, that are installed on land appropriated from villagers in the Eritrean countryside.

Dankalia suffers the most since it is a dry region with a limited number of watering places, now mostly taken over by the army. Still, the army competes with the poor fishermen for the bounties of the sea by deploying modern equipment that the people cannot afford. The fertile areas of Barka which used to be grazing lands for the pastoralists has been turned into huge army camps—Sawa is located on a traditional grazing land. The herders cannot roam around in their traditional grazing lands since the Ethiopia-Eritrean border is insecure. The lands they owned are now turned into mechanized farms owned by the army–the land of Ad Omer is a perfect example among dozens of such injustices befalling the inhabitants of the region.

During their occupation of Eritrea, the Italians had confiscated all the fertile areas in the highlands. When citizens protested against that and rebelled, they were run over by Italian cavalry and killed. The Italians called all the land they confiscated “Terra Domaniale.” In Barka, concessions like Tekreret and Ali Ghidir were established at the expense of the real owners of the land. Today it is worse, every plot of land in Eritrea is taken by force, with no compensation, and owned by the government. The Eritrean government pursued the same colonial policies and confiscated more lands depriving the people of a dignified livelihood. Sadly, the whole of Eritrea is suffering though the history, length, and scope of the suffering in different regions may vary.

These Eritrean issues have always been my issues and will continue to be. Such major national issues should be our top priorities. But since I am addressing the founders of the ELL, I will limit myself to the main grievances that they’ve raised.

At the heart of Eritrean problems is the absence of justice and rule of law. At the heart of the Eritrean segment that inhabits the lowlands and other nationalist Eritreans are four main issues: 1) land 2) refugees 3) culture/language, and 4) power, resources sharing and development. I believe these are real issues that need to be addressed openly. However, I do not see these as exclusively “Lowland” issues; they are the heart and soul of Eritrean politics.

What’s In A Background?

My psychological make-up is that of a typical Kerenite. What makes Eritreans happy makes me happy; and what saddens them saddens me. I grew up feeling proud and admiring the pioneers of the struggle who confronted a giant enemy equipped with an iron will, unwavering resolve, and dedication. Like the overwhelming majority of Eritrean, I revere those who followed the footsteps of Hamid Idris Awate, the Eritrean hero, who declared to the first wave of combatants who joined him: “if there are any among you who came to benefit their region, their clan, or for personal vendetta, you must drop your guns and leave; we are in this for the freedom and unity of Eritrea.

Long before Awate, another icon, the Eritrean hero Ibrahim Sultan, emancipated the serfs of the Eritrean Lowland (known as Tigre) before embarking on the long journey pursuing a vision to establish a free Eritrea. He resisted enticing offers from the powers of the day rejecting the partition of Eritrea. He rejected the cajoling of Haile Sellassie, and instead connected with other heroes, the first Martyr, Abdulkadir Kebire and the visionary Ras Tessema Asberom, and the great writer and politician Weldeab Weldemariam. Those great men established the Independence Block, the precursor to Mohammed Saed Naud’s Haraka that was followed by Awate’s defiant struggle to free Eritreans and to realize an independent Eritrea. In a nutshell, these men laid the landmarks for the Eritrea that we all jealously guard and adore.

Historically, despite some lethal and sad experiences during the formative years of the struggle, in general, politicians from the “Lowlands” have never been myopic, exclusionary, or narrow nationalists. They always had their eyes on the whole of Eritrea and always believed that the fate of all Eritreans was one: inseparable. They recognized the meaning of a true unity. If they didn’t, they wouldn’t have let Christians Highlanders to join them.  The covenant among all Eritreans was that Eritrea is for Eritreans: “one and indivisible with justice and liberty for all.” What ails one segment of Eritrea ails all. The commitment to “One Eritrea” is why so many heroes in our long struggle, from Adal through Nakfa to Asmara, gave up their lives and we have the responsibility, inadvertently or not, to not undermine our national unity and what makes us Eritreans. We have fallen short on our aspirations; but two wrongs don’t make it right.

I believe that the grievances and the demands of ELL are genuine and national in nature. Therefore, they should be addressed and resolved in a national platform. And Eritreans have been struggling to create that national platform denied to them by the illegitimate regime ruling Eritrea. Leaving what Mao, Stalin, Lenin or anyone else said about self-determination aside, all Eritreans bear the responsibility of addressing and resolving the grievances of any component of the society. Ignoring the grievances of others, because it doesn’t hit home, is unpatriotic, irresponsible and is a call for social strife.

Anyone who is not interested in the agonies of his compatriots should stop deafening us with slogans of “national unity”! In this aspect, the chauvinism of a few Kebessa elite and their attitudes, acting like lords who are divinely mandated to control everything, is very annoying. Unfortunately, a large number of Eritreans liberals, be it from Kebessa or the Lowlands, are lost in the noise that the few chauvinists make. But things are improving, the situation now is much better than it used to be. But still a lot of improvement of attitude is required. That is why I don’t welcome any move that even remotely emboldens the latent counter chauvinism from the Lowlands.

On the Lowland side, I know many who hardly pass a day without mentioning the “Habesh” derisively, or accusing the Highlanders of being partners with Isaias. Yet, they hint at similar threats, remembering primordial cross border relations, not to emphasize cooperation and stability, but to scare, or to reciprocate their suspicion of the myth of the “Habesh” project. Obviously one should expect a reaction to the high pitched Habesha-centric noise that we came to notice over the last two years or so. And some are countering the challenge by stating: if some “Habesh” elements openly express their longing for Ethiopia at our expenses, we might as well threaten them with our extension in Eastern Sudan. The chauvinist Highlanders seem to get offended by this; the chauvinist Lowlanders feel vindicated. Both are reckless and they deserve each other. But those in the middle, the overwhelming majority and those who consider themselves liberals, should not miss the prize: the emancipation of all Eritrean from the yoke of the PFDJ or its resemblance.

Join the Political Organizations

The ELL ignored the fact that there are several opposition political organizations, some entirely made up of Lowlanders. There are about five Islamist organizations and many others whose members feel proud for having agreed among themselves on negligible points. That is why most organizations have become a laboratory for testing vertical and horizontal splits. The fact that they are not fighting each other has become their standard for success and achievements.

Given the fact that the opposition has failed to provide collective leadership, people are confused and in disarray. Even the ENCDC which was supposed to be a collective political platform became a jamboree of people who want to massage their egos in their spare time, or when they retire, or when they get a leave from work. The Diaspora has become more delusional, thinking it can run Eritrean politics from the West, on part time basis. They think of Eritreans in Eritrea, or the refugees (the major stakeholders) as mere militia forces waiting to be bossed around. I believe the ELL would be justified in organizing if its goals were framed as strictly national issues, not as regional issues. This is simply because such was always the legacy of the Lowlands. It is the legacy of Hamid Idris Awate and his companions whose last breath was the name Eritrea.

As it is, I feel my friends are selling the legacy and experience of the steadfast people of the Lowland very cheaply. A cause of a people that owns a history, of being the vanguards of the struggle and its abode, should not be packaged piecemeal, and discounted to a regional demand. All of Eritrea is Lowlands in spirit by the virtue of its role in pioneering and nurturing the struggle that led to Eritrea’s independence in 1991. And what is Sahel, by the way? Is it Lowland or Highland? Are the economic interest of Semhar and Barka intertwined outside the parameters of the nation state? How about Senhit? How do you distribute the “nationality” to the people of the Lowlands? Can one define geographical Lowlands without defining demographic Lowlands? The initiative invokes more questions than answers.

For now, I will go by the wisdom of a humorous friend: Keren is neither Highland nor Lowland; it is Midland! What a framing!

Barka is mainly known for its pastoralist lifestyle, the Gash is a combination of pastoral and sedentary economy. While Semhar is a different ballgame. Historically, Semhar mainly depended on its commercial and port-city economy, Massawa–the most liberal, diverse and cosmopolitan Eritrean city. Historically, the Abyssinians have always been the customers of Massawa, Dekheno, and several other smaller ports. Even during the Egyptian period when Munzinger ruled the area that was known as Taka, extending from Kasala to Massawa, Semhar has been the main gateway of the Abyssinians, let alone the Eritrean Highlands. One cannot underestimate or undermine this vital economic tie. Incidentally, the old ELF’s failure to recognize this vital fact resulted in the bloody splits and the creation of the PLF under the patronage of Sabbe. The alliance of Isaias and the Obel group with the forces of Semhar in the early seventies was simply an alliance of convenience, solely a military alliance that immediately collapsed—more so in post-independence Eritrea. It was not meant to last for too long. But the main fault line during the struggle era was the Barka-Semhar one.

For centuries, northwestern Semhar has been a grazing land (and farming) for several groups from Akele Guzai and Hamassen. On the other side of the southwestern escarpment of the Highland, Dembelass, is a lowland, a gulf connected to Barka Laal, across from Kerekon. Yet, politically, it is not considered part of the lowlands. During the formation of Eritrea, there was no distinction between Barka Laal and Seraye. The two were administered as one unit under an Italian governor, Pollera.

In short, the ELL reduced vital national issues to the equivalent of a demand of a minority group. How could people who comprise more than a third of Eritreans act as if they are a helpless minority? How could they short-sell their issues as a regional issue when it deserves to be on top of the national agenda, with distinction? How could people from a region that incubated, hatched and sustained the struggle for decades act so meekly? How could they reduce the issue and put it on the same pedestal as a single farmer demanding the return of his stolen cows? That is the core of my disappointment. But my disappointment with the repercussions of the move, the reactions of some chauvinists who were dormant, are even more. Some are considering the document a license to go wild on their sectarian rhetoric. They feel emboldened.

The initiators of the ELL never indicated their wish to sever the ties between Highland and Lowland Eritrea. But the way it was framed, and the noise that followed their initiative as a political issue, as opposed to an issue of justice, made it appear so.

Finally, I object to framing national issues as regional issues. I object to framing issues of justice for which Eritrean must struggle to rectify, as a tool of political posturing. I hope they reframe their initiative as a national platform that all genuine Eritrean nationalists can address in unison. But since they threw the document to the public, apparently without a thorough study on its repercussions and the potential damage it will inflict on the struggle, I encourage them to join the organizations that represent their aspirations. That way they can inject some vitality in the ailing political organizations.

This has been my observations and unsolicited consultations; patting the initiators on the back is not an advice.

 

About Saleh "Gadi" Johar

Born and raised in Keren, Eritrea, now a US citizen residing in California, Mr. Saleh “Gadi” Johar is founder and publisher of awate.com. Author of Miriam was Here, Of Kings and Bandits, and Simply Echoes. Saleh is acclaimed for his wealth of experience and knowledge in the history and politics of the Horn of Africa. A prominent public speaker and a researcher specializing on the Horn of Africa, he has given many distinguished lectures and participated in numerous seminars and conferences around the world. Activism Awate.com was founded by Saleh “Gadi” Johar and is administered by the Awate Team and a group of volunteers who serve as the website’s advisory committee. The mission of awate.com is to provide Eritreans and friends of Eritrea with information that is hidden by the Eritrean regime and its surrogates; to provide a platform for information dissemination and opinion sharing; to inspire Eritreans, to embolden them into taking action, and finally, to lay the groundwork for reconciliation whose pillars are the truth. Miriam Was Here This book that was launched on August 16, 2013, is based on true stories; in writing it, Saleh has interviewed dozens of victims and eye-witnesses of Human trafficking, Eritrea, human rights, forced labor.and researched hundreds of pages of materials. The novel describes the ordeal of a nation, its youth, women and parents. It focuses on violation of human rights of the citizens and a country whose youth have become victims of slave labor, human trafficking, hostage taking, and human organ harvesting--all a result of bad governance. The main character of the story is Miriam, a young Eritrean woman; her father Zerom Bahta Hadgembes, a veteran of the struggle who resides in America and her childhood friend Senay who wanted to marry her but ended up being conscripted. Kings and Bandits Saleh “Gadi” Johar tells a powerful story that is never told: that many "child warriors" to whom we are asked to offer sympathies befitting helpless victims and hostages are actually premature adults who have made a conscious decision to stand up against brutality and oppression, and actually deserve our admiration. And that many of those whom we instinctively feel sympathetic towards, like the Ethiopian king Emperor Haile Sellassie, were actually world-class tyrants whose transgressions would normally be cases in the World Court. Simply Echoes A collection of romantic, political observations and travel poems; a reflection of the euphoric years that followed Eritrean Independence in 1991.

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  • Kokhob Selam
  • AMAN

    Wow Deqi Erey !
    Was it like that ? And going that way for such a long time ?
    I admitt I missed it big time for quite a while .
    So now you are telling me neither the ruling PFDJ nor the opposition accepted
    and made use of all our (third way) offer and effort for such quite a long time !
    No wonder a third force came easily to the political spot/scene eventhough it
    didn’t mean it to do so. This shows how much big the gap is and how much
    polarized the two parties are to the disliking of the majority of the people and
    – bigger enough
    for anyforce to come through easily and assert itself as a force by itself. I
    didn’t know that…………….neither was it the purpose of our effort either.
    All the purpose and our wish was only to bring rapproachment and change
    the ever widening polarization by changing the polarity to bring a civil political
    dialong to the table rather than support the purity or excellence of either one
    no matter how much sanctity or purity it has in stock.( N’erqi entokoyinus wala
    hasi’ka ereq iyu neyru eti hasabna).
    Now I know I missed the whole talking big time ! But I consider it a miss for
    good. So i will stick and hang on with my third way for a while untill fruitfull
    discussion comes on / out.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    To all; Tigrigna version of ” Politics of Nouns and Topography is ready; I announced publicly that I was going to do it and I feel it’s good to update you. It was not easy, though. I scolded myself for taking a public commitment, forgetting that I am a father of teen boys and was supposed to attend 6 games in the weekend. Waiting a word from Awate; it’s in your webmaster box

    • haile

      Dear Mahmud Saleh

      I just finished reading the Tigrigna version, what a terrifick job you’ve done!! I would imagine that it has taken you some time to prepare the translation to such standard and readability. Thank you again. I know it is easy to dump more work on those who volunteer to do some, but since we now know your expertise in this area of translating to that standard, it would be sad to remind you that many of our fellow people go without reading prolific writers such as SGJ, SAAY, YG, and many more but to list few. Of course people would read and take their own side of the arguments, yet it would contribute a lot to the on going struggle. I know it is a time consuming thing to do, but you may wish to consider having a blog that you update whenever your time permitted and major opposition websites can link your blog (this is specifically to contents that go on AT).

      Regards

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Thanks Haile, and thanks also goes to the writer whose work inspired me; yes, haile u know translation is responsibility; u always pray not to spoil the originality of the author’s work; in this case, translating works of the people u mentioned is scary; these guys own sophisticated mind; and with the absence of references; the task is challenging. Anyway, I did my best and hope I have not disappointed SJG. It was something I did with great pleasure, thanks again to the author, it is also my way of payback to the service AT is providing. The other point u raised is also important. Let’s see how how things go.
        From my HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network

        —– Reply message —–

    • Amanuel Hidrat

      Selam Mahmud Saleh,

      I read the tigrigna version of “politics of Nouns and Topography” twice. I can’t admire more than enough. I don’t know what the author (SGJ) will say, but the readers of both languages surely will admire and will say thank you. You command both languages and you are an asset in our political discourse.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Thanks amanuel, that’s a lot to me. Consider it my way of ” Thank u,” for writers like u and of course, SG.
        From my HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network

        —– Reply message —–

  • Hope

    That is the CORE issue Bro….Cannot agree more.
    Look at the whole ELF-EPLF-TPLF_TLF saga.
    Hunting of the Top ELF/RC Leadrship by both EPLF/TPLF is a simple practical example of your arguement.
    The whole issue of kidnapping,jailing,demoting –etc–of the top EPLF/PFDJ Leadership by the same beast is a simple example—of you said eloquently.
    Look at the EDA Leadership saga,the embarassing and shameful split of the ERL_RC Leadership—a classic power struggle.
    There is NO better way of saying it other than the way you said it.
    If we put Eritrea and Eritrean people first,then case will be closed—-the solution is right there.
    Look at the PFDJ-EPRDF Leadership war saga.,which put us into the worst case scenario Eritrea and Eritreans have been through in our history.
    Case in point,my whole arguement in this debate is as to how to mobilize and unite our people for the best intererst of the same Eritrea and Eritreans.

  • AMAN

    Do you know why it goes wrong for us all the time ?
    It is because of incompetenet, corrupt political org.
    leaders.
    The try to find solutions based on their own personal
    problems than based on the problem of the people.
    Instead of leading by puting the people infront like
    a sheepherd they put themselves at the front to secure
    an economic and political position first and seat.
    So this whole talk is mis prioritized and should have not
    come at this time. The Eritrean struggle of the people is
    only simply used to solve personal misfortunes of long time
    org. and wudib leaders from both ruling and opposition camps.
    Because if one would want reconcile with Ethiopia it should not
    be to solve Issayas and group or Ahmed Nassir and group or
    the others in EDA , ENCDC, et al which they always do not care
    about the people and suffering of the people and want to close the
    gap between them as long as nobody knows their secret.
    But When I say peoples problems come first and if you agree with
    me there are a lot of things that must be done as a precondition first
    than what we are doing or contemplating or urging now.
    DO NOT BLAME IT ON THE PEOPLE…………..! the people has of course
    done a lot to shoulder the sins of pol. org. leaders without let up.
    So if the agenda as we hear now is not about boarder war….badme or
    zalanbessa etc but about other issues of Eritrea-Ethiopia then a whole
    new set of methods and procedures should be applied and put in place
    that secure the people’s interest and not something that protects the interests
    of pol. org. leaders and their immediate subgroups and cadres only.
    NEW SYSTEM…….NEW LEADERSHIP…………NEW METHOD…..FOR
    A NEW PROBLEM PLEASE……………………………………………..!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Saba

    The trap to third wayers!
    Supporters of the cyber opposition will not talk about their SOLUTION to the current problem, on how to remove pfdj. They only want to talk about pfdj and they have the mantra “Nikid tiray even with tplf”.
    Here is a sample of the conversation between third wayers and supporters of cyber oppositon(Haile the Great):

    Hope: We need to find a third way
    Cyber opposition member: There is no rain this year due to pfdj’s hatyat
    Hope: Even though i do noyt support pfdj, pfdj had tried to improve conditions that favor a good rain season like forestation, soil and water conservation
    Cyber opposition member: Hope, do not you understand? You are still pfdj sympathizer, do you know how many innocent people are in jail? Keep praising your “Nsu”
    Hope: but you guys are not “hagerawian”, you are tplf-dependent, you do not have plans. What is your plan?
    Cyber opposition member: you do not understand, here is a video of a former “agelglot”
    Hope: I know similar stories but what is the way forward?
    Cyber opposition member: You are cold and insensitive. Here is another video….
    Saba to Hope: remember about Rehab? So keep working hard to bring them to the third way.

    Happy Easter to all of you!

    • haile

      Saba, I can’t remember if it was saay or another brilliant writer by the name “warsay” you used “brown bag” analogy in the late 90’s when they were writing in defense of Eritrea during the border conflict. I am not going to use this analogy for the purpose used then but for the kind arguments we hear from reformists nowadays. As you know the brown bag is used to disguise alcohol consumption in public in many countries. This is like the what we come to see the “brown bag opposition” that is used to disguise regime support. A brown bag opposition would tell you that it opposes the PFDJ and all of the miseries in Eritrea were the work of external conspiracy, PFDJ is full of great qualities, IA is a genius, national service is justified to go on destroying the young life out of our nation, PFDJ propaganda of “the world rotates on a “woyane” orbital around Badme” and hate Tigrayans as much as you can to feel better from the depressing reality of our nation. The brown bag opposition is so sick and tired of the real opposition, well the real opposition isn’t made for the poison the brown bag is meant to hold. To oppose the regime and call for respect for basic rights of Eritreans doesn’t need a rocket science, no need to judge what or how much are others are doing nor has a place to hold the values and interests of the oppressor. Brown bag opposition does that. People can tell brown bag opposition when they see it, hear it or even smell it from a 1000 miles. The act of opposing the regime is not a contracted work to be done for someone else’s agency, but born out of your own grievances that you feel happened to you and wish to change just fully. Let’s not fool ourselves that we are fighting for somebody else, NO it is for us. Everyone else can join you or not depending on common interest, otherwise, no one can claim that they are fighting for someone else nor do they have any right to tell others how to address their own grievances in a brown bag oppositioning. The more the regime hangs on to power by evading rule of law and relying on his opportunistic supporters and brown bag go between, the more the struggle would intensify, the more our nation would hurt and the more Eritreans would continue to pay even heavier price to restore their dignity and basic rights. 15 years ago you may never have dreamt of that Eritreans would be on the move en mass and you probably may not be seeing the new reality of Eritrea short time ahead from now. Play your role for your own sake. Thanks and happy Easter

      • Saba

        Hi Haile, I guess i can say that the conversation i have posted predicted your reply:) and even your future postings. I know you have used brown bag analogy but you are just telling me that i am a pfdj supporter in disguise. If you do not belong to the rank and files of the corrupt cyber opposition, then you just know only how to hate pfdj but you do not know the SOLUTION and you do not know anything about your corrupt cyber opposition. Have you heard of the saying” Bizemen wube zitsememe wubie enda be le yinebir”? Similarly “Bizemen pfdj zitegerefe pfdj enda bele yinebir” You are living by saying pfdj in everything with or without knowing the corruption and incompetency of your cyber opposition. It would be better if you work hard to find a solution instead of leaning to another corrupt organization.

        I will make it clear for you again:
        1. pfdj and DIA are dictators
        2. Your cyber opposition is not different from pfdj/DIA, they are 2 sides of the same coin. If i tell you that your cyber opposition is bad, your reply should not be that pfdj is also bad. You should try to find a better solution. Your cyber opposition leaders are corrupt, with no plan, motivated only by power.
        3. We are looking for a 3rd way that will be embraced by the majority and it will not depend on pfdj or your cyber opposition, well they might join us only after rehab.
        I hope your next posts should be about your cyber opposition, how good they are if you believe that or how bad they are if you really want to open your eyes. And you will explain why the people have rejected your cyber opposition or if you have a better solution for real(not the empty cyber opposition’s solution by dictatorship2.0)
        Some people here get personal but i want to say you all that you are my brothers and sisters, we just disagree on the approach.

        • Hope

          No declaration of solidarity here Sabina,but….hey, cannot agree more.
          As you said it eloquently and in a crystal clear way,let’s avoid the notion and ideaology of ” you are PFDJ supporter;you are Cyber-Opposition supporter” nonesesne and work hard for the best and realistic solution,be it a Third Way or Fourth way.
          There is no perfect solution but a better solution for sure and let’s us work for it.How?
          No one needs to be a Rocket Scientist on this but unfortunately,we have no clue about it as of yet other than rhetoric and ,if I may borrow your word, Cyber-Politics.

    • Ermias

      Ermias: cyber opposition and activism are not the same thing.

      Third wayer (TW): that’s TPLF language. They all depend on TPLF so there is no difference.

      Ermias: what’s hagerawian anyway?

      TW: somebody whose criticism of PFDJ is measured. At least he would recognize PFDJ is protecting the country from TPLF but cyber opposition are trying to hand Eritrea over to TPLF. PFDJ has built hospitals, schools, etc but the cyber opposition has nothing to show…

      TW: what’s the way forward? Cyber opposition hasn’t offered any alternatives to PFDJ rule.

      Ermias: one thing we know for sure is that Eritreans are in dire conditions so we need to get rid of this regime, we can then bring our experts who are countless and do a thorough dahsas of the whole country and provide relief as needed.

      TW: oh so that money will come from TPLF plus all your experts are TPLF affiliated so they will prescribe bad medicine our people.

      • Hope

        Ermi,
        My way of understanding the “Third Way(TW)’, is some sort of a mid-way and inclusive solution where the Security of Eritrea is not at risk and where there is NO external interference is involved.
        Hint: SAAY’s way—?

    • Hope

      Almost close, Sabina.
      But to make it more crystal clear,here is my stand:
      -First Eritrea and her National Security Interest and Safety by any means possible—be it thru PFDJ.Alliance with Egypt,Qatar-the Arab League/the Sudan,Russia,China,Arab Lleague,even the Devil–who cares as long as Eritrtea remains as Eritrea.
      -I only support PFDJ when it deserves it–for now until a better ONE “shows up” since there is no viable option for now and in the situation we are now from practical and reality point of view.
      -I do NOT believe in external interference in any form–except when things are between life and death when the UN can be called to save us from chaos
      -I believe in a mid-way/Third way approach–close to SAAY’s idea,with out going into details-“for security reasons”
      -I do believe in an Inclusive National Reconciliation,which is a matter of URGENCY, provided all the constructive preconditions are met
      -I am a strong believer of mass mobilization in a united way for a clear goal with an open and accountable and responsible approach,with out going into unnecessary details like what Dr Wedi Vacarro has dwelt in un-necessarily–like -issues of Regionalism,National Flag issues,National Languages, etc—All issues that belong to the Jusrisdiction of the National Assembly should be left aside for now.
      -If we clearly and honestly mobilize the Youth/Women’s Associations,The Students(messed up due to YPFDJ’s polarizing tricks,one of my reservations about The YPFDJ),the Religious Groups,etc—with strict avoidance of any covert and overt external interference,I believe we can achieve what we want to achieve.
      What we have now is an irresponible,unaccountable,disorganized,dependent,unreliable and messy Oppositions Groups,Youth Groups–Religious Groups,Regionalists,Sell Outs, the so called Activists,Human Rights Activists/Groups–with some sort of secondary gain and motivation—-and of utmost importance–with-NO organized and strong Leadership what-so-ever,etc—
      If we cannot clean our house from the above mess and solve the above problems,I do not believe we can achieve any thing let alone to fight back the PFDJ.
      This is my stand and my opinon and any thing that I have said and will say are based on this clear stand and idealogy.
      Happy Easter again to all Christians……

      • haile

        ሰላም Hope ፡

        ሓደ እዋን’ሲ ሓደ ፈላሲ፡ ንሓደ ሓዳር ዘይገበረ ጎበዝ ይረኽቡ’ሞ “ኣንታ ወደይ፡ እንታይ ወሪዱካ ዘይትምርዖ? ንምዃኑ ከመይ ዝበለት ጓል ኣንስተይቲ ኢኻ ትደሊ ዘለኻ?” በልዎ። ወዮ ጎበዝ ድማ “ዋእ..እንተተረኺባስ፡ ነዋሕ፡ ስሩዕ ቁመናኣ፡ ነዊሕ ጸጉሪ ርእሳ፡ ፍሩይ ዓይና፡ ጸዳል ነጸብራቕ ፍሽኽታኣ፡ ምእዝዝትን እምንትን ንሰብኣያ፡ ወሓለ ኸሻኒት፡ ደኺመ ዘይትብል፡ ኮታ ምድራዊ ገነት ዝኾነ ህይወት ክትፈጥረለይ እትኽእል፡ ጓል ኣንስተይቲ’ስ ኣይምጸላእኩን ነይረ” በሎም። ወዮ ፈላሲ፡ ገሪምዎም፡ ካብ ኩርሶም ብድድ ኢሎም “ካን! እሞ ከምኡ እንተትህልው ደኣ ኣነ’ኸ እንታይ ጸሊኡልይ ፈላሲ ኮይነ?” በልዎ ይበሃል።

        Moral: you need to reconcile your desire/wish with that of your capacity and objective reality.

        The only obvious thing in your “ideology” is that you’re deeply worried that Ethiopia/Woyane doesn’t have a clear upper hand and nothing else. I would say that fear is not good to base an “ideology” on, lest the first thing to happen would be what you fear the most (laws of attraction – at a higher levels of the subconscious, it doesn’t distinguish your lower emotions of the ideas (thought forms) you hold, it just pulls them towards you. If you keep thinking “woyane” your higher consciousness doesn’t know why you hold thoughts about “woyane” it would just create situations where you’d physically get closer to “woyane 🙂

        ሓደ ዓቢ ሰብኣይ፡ ንወጻኢ መጺኦም፡ ነዞም ሓዳር ዘይገበሩ ኣሕዋትናን፡ ኣሓትናን ረአዩ’ሞ፡ ናብቶም ሰብኡት ከይዶም “ኣንቱም ደቀይ፡ ነዘን ኩለን ጎራዙ ደቂ ዓድኹም’ሲ ዘይትምርዓዉወን?” ክብሉ ተወከሱዎም። እቶም ደቂ ተባዕትዮ ድማ “ዋእ…ኣንቱም ኣቦ፡ ደይ እዚኤን ደኣ ሰቕ ኢለን እየን፡ ዘይጠቕማ! እዘን ናይ ወጻኢ ደቂ ዓድና ዋጋ የብለንን!” ክብሉ መለሱሎም። ወዮ ኣቦ፡ ናብተን ደቂ ኣንስትዮ ከይዶም “ኣንትን ኣሕዋተይ፡ ነዞም ኣጓብዝ ደቂ ዓድኽን ኣብዚ ወጻኢ ዘለዉ’ሲ ዘይትምርዓወኦም?” ክብሉ ሓተትወን። እተን ደቂ ኣንስትዮ ድማ ብ ወገነን ” ዋእ…ኣንቱም ኣቦ፡ ደይ እዚኦም ደኣ ሱቕ ኢሎም እዮም፡ ዘይጠቕሙ! እዞም ናይ ወጻኢ ደቂ ዓድና ዋጋ የብሎምን!” ክብላ መለሳሎም። ሻቡ እቶም ኣቦ ሕስብ ኣቢሎም “እሞ እዞም ደቀይ ብሩኻት፡ ዘይትጠቕሙ ምስ ዘይጠቕማ ነንሕድሕድኩም ዘይትመራዓዉ?” በልዎም ይበሃል።

        Moral: You obviously think the opposition weak and useless for an organization and they most likely think you’re weak and useless for a responsible citizen, hence wouldn’t it make sense you both work together because you share something in common?

        Regards

        • Hope

          Thank you.Any thing else,bro?
          God bless and guide you on your struggle for the best interest of Eritrea and Eritreans.

  • Hope

    Ohh. Thank you Dawit–at least for understanding the truth–bitter truth

  • tes

    Hope, better not to say about YPFDJ. They were not, they are not and they will not be significant to Eritrea.

    This picture shows the movement against communists. I took it today and hope you will figure-out what I want to say. No good minded Eritrean wants communist youths again.

  • Kokhob Selam

    …….ጨብረቕረቕ……………….

    ኣመል ምስ መግነዝ እዩ ሒዝካዮ ዝእቶ:-
    እከይ ምድንጋር መዓስ ገዲፋቶ –
    ግርም ድሓን ትእቶ – ዘንባል ዘንቢላቶ –
    መማልእቲ ይኹና ትኸይድ ሒዛቶ ::

    ንነብሱ ገደዶ ዘልሓጥሓጥ ብሃሊ –
    ጀግና ነቅ ነይብል ኣሎ እዩ ኣትካሊ –
    ቀድምስ ዘይነሱ ሕድሪ ተቀባሊ
    መርገጹ ዘይቅየር ኣብ ነዳድ ኣብ ዛሕሊ ::

    ‘ምበር –
    ገለ ተቃዋሚ ሓቂ ንኸምስል –
    ሕሉፍ ጌጋታቱ ክሽፍን ክኽውል –
    ፖሎቲካዊ ምንዝርና ይረአ ክዕውል –
    ግዜና ይበልዖ ኣብ ኮለል ሾንኮለል ::

    ሰብ ኩሕሊ – ካራባታ ዝበሉ በዘቕዘቕ :-
    ምሕንባስ ዝኣብዩ ዝበሉ ጠብሎቕሎቕ :-
    ዋጋ የብሎምን ገድልና ነይስረቕ –
    ሓፍሽ ነየፍቅድ ሕውስውስ ጨብረቕረቕ ::

    ወገን –
    ሓቂ –ሓጺር እዩ መንገዳ :-
    ምሕረት ምሕታት እዩ ዝነበረ ዕዳ :-
    ተመለስ ተጠወ እልክን ኣይቶኽድዳ :-
    ህግደፍ ‘ውን ነይተርፋ ከይረኸበት ፍርዳ ::

    • Hope

      Absolute truth,Kohob Sela.
      Ed Tsenahit shenahit—
      No ONE will escape the last day of Judgement.

  • sm

    It is official:
    Gen Sibhat Efrem is now the Min of Energy and Mining and as expected,Gen Philipos if the Defense Minister.

    • tes

      It is not a surprise as DIA will always bring the best puppet in his spotlight, and Gen. Sibhat is perfect now when they see their own system collapsing. Who else can serve DIA in eroding the hard-currency from which PFDJ is generating? As we all are observing, for them, it is a high time of exporting the only coming currency to safe banks for their probable exile. Hence, Gen. Sibhat is perfect choice at this time.

      • Siwur Ghembar

        BTW,
        Mr Sibhat Efrem-has been “frozen ” though for yrs as well know,so it is ok for him to have a peaceful and respectful life.
        The issue of Gen Philipos should be closely scrutinized by the EDF and the Public–as this man,despite his patriotism and contribution,has been blamed(rumored) for lots of conspiracies—since late 1980s–since wedi Afa’s mysterious death and others including the death of a young Jigna,who lost his life in Asosa,S E Ethiopia on a day light.Not to mention the recent tragedy of the Two Generals and their driver,who were said to be serious suspects as challengers of DIA and Gen Philipos.

  • Hope

    Edited
    Hailat:
    The Message is: Reconciliation and we should work hard for it.We amy not succed with PFDJ but among ourselves so that we can be ONE people and then challenge PFDJ
    for reconciliation or for Surrender.
    Please,try to compromise and to be flexible—
    Thank you for the timely message,Jo.
    Amen….Lord, forgive us as we forgive/forgave those who trespass against us.I.e.,unless we forgive, we will never be forgiven,lol.
    Praise the Lord of the lords—Christ has risen!!!
    BTW, I ask forgiveness and apologize to those I might have offended.Hailat and
    Aite Vet Habte included as well for my unintentional “difret” and over-reaction.—and others including the AT,for violating the rules at times–May be Ermi for my over-reaction to his comments.

    • Ermias

      Hope, this is a very timely day to seek forgiveness from all the people whom we may have wronged. I accept your apologies although you never did anything inappropriate as far as I am concerned. I ask likewise for forgiveness from anyone I may have offended at any point in time in this forum.

      Happy Easter everyone!

  • Rodab

    Hailat,

    If you think I don’t do follow-ups, what else could the reason be other than to avoid the risk of redudancy, and to please Disqus engineers who designed the forum to a certain depth. That is their way of reminding ppl to start new threads/new topics.

    Back to our favorite man, Wedi Vacaro. I hope this doesn’t disappoint you Hailat but WV’s field project is about to wind up. And sadly so. He has said he is not confident of his security to hold public meetings in Africa since the PFDJ is after him; He also said his wife is not too happy and wants him to rest. So, the writing is on the wall: there won’t be second round meetings in America and there won’t be follow-ups on the concluded meeting resolutions. With that, his field project is about to be filed away to the history cabinet. This is not to say his efforts haven’t paid off in some ways. His messages of unity and the willingness for individuals to admit past mistakes will leave their marks on public perceptions for a long time to come. But the other stuff he said (including your list) are doomed to fall on deaf ears. Which brings me to this question: why did ALL of our attractive-looking projects fail without accomplishing anything attractive?? They certainly sounded popular demands. The G-13’s implement the constitution, G-15’s introduce institutionalization, EDP’s release the G-15 and address their calls, Wedi Vacaro’s unite the people and admit past mistakes, Medrekh’s reform the system….all these resonate with public sentiments. Where are the leaders if these initiatives falling short? Perhaps somewhere behind the curtain?

    A Happy and blessed Easter to all!

    • haile

      Gotcha ya Rodab..happy Easter to you too.

      Well, thanks for the update on WV. I hope what he’s started would contribute in some way to the momentum of change and then a road on responsible nation building and the healing of our country. He ought to be proud of what he’d accomplished at his age and health situation, the Eri people should also feel proud for the warm and respectful treatment that they afforded him as per our culture and tradition. The Eritrean struggle for justice is well underway and the all out war on HGDEF wouldn’t show any lessening or let up because of the personal decision of the good Dr WV. However, we salute him and bid him fare well with firm confidence that his and that of the vast majority of Eritreans wish to see a free and democratic Eritrea will be materialized. A 21 Gun Salute to Dr Cavalier Tegadalay Tewelde Tesfamariam – Wedi Vacaro!! 🙂

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lyZIXYUOCB8

      • haile

        ሰላማት ሮዳብ፡ ንምኽዋኑ አዛ ወዲ ቫካሮ ገዲፍዎ ትብል ኣብዚ ፈነወ ገዳብ ዲኻ ሰሚዕካዮ፡ ዋላ’ስ ናይ ደገ’ዩ? ማለተይ’ሲ ወዲ ቫካሮ ኣብ ኣሰና ሓድሽ መልእኽቲ ገይሩ’ሎ፡ በዚ ድማ ጥፋእ ዝበሎ ካርቱሽ (ህግደፍ ከይነጓየሉ) ይዕዘረና’ሎ…መን ዝነገረካ’ዩ ሮዳብ ገዲፍዎ ትብል ዘሎኻ ፡-)

        • Rodab

          ኣሃሃሃ ሃይላት፣
          ኖ፣ ገዳብ ኣይወጻንን ከይተባእሰኒ። ኣብ ኣሰና ቪዲዮኡ ድሕሪ ምርኣይ ዝወሰድክዎ ናይ ባዕለይ ገምጋምዩ። ዝኾነኾይኑ ቀስ ኢልና ንሪኦ እምበር መልእኽቱስ ኣብታ መወዳእታ ዓንቀጽ ተጠቒሳ ከም ዘላ፣ ደጊም ኣነ ኣኼባታተይ ወዲአየ እስኹም ግን ከከም ሽጣራኹም ጌርኩም ቀጽልዎ ኢዩ ዘስምዕ።

          • Saleh Johar

            Rodab, you are guilty, you are the first one I see referring to the last ones with a G. Maybe it is meant for Group of… though they take it for Great… 🙂

    • Hope

      FYI,
      That is where PFDJ excels on—pesrsistence,perseverance–follow ups—keep psuhing,—

      • dawit

        That is why the majority trust and follow PFDJ. They are with the people in bad and good times. The opposition gather, shout and clap when ever there a disaster hit Eritrea. Sad!

  • haile

    Hello Awatistas,

    Blessed Easter to all of you.

    …a question though: did it have to be bananas??? It isn’t like you’re dealing with a zoo full of monkeys 🙂

    Any ways, here is a song treat for all deki erey by Abebe Araya HarbeNa tegadalay Hizbawi Woyane Harnet Tigray – Enjoy….

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8Nsv-zONcQ

    Regards

    • Jo

      Selamat Haile,

      Do you know what the meaning of Easter is? I guess, probably, you don’t even know the prayer, “Our father who art in heaven…..and forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us;…” It is time for reflection, as it is the day God sacrificed his only son to deliver us from our sins. And it is a day Jesus rose from the dead having defeated sin. At least you could have spared us the “Blessed Easter…” message, since you have compromised the very spirit of it by the second line in your message, or you could have held back the insults just for a day. I guess the temptation was so great you couldn’t help yourself – huh? “….and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.”

      Just a friendly reminder, because I find your message rather ironic. 🙂

      Blessed Easter to you too!!

      • haile

        haha Jo…the same, but I wasn’t blessing you in that way sorry. I was blessing us to have enough strength to kick the monkey blue n black till he leaves our country for good. There is no holiday in fighting HGDEF. No Sundays, no day off, no home time…keep fighting all the time, with whatever you have, big or small, in all places and at all times. HGDEF wala qieshi koynu eyu zmexeka…hanti aynika qwaH abilka deqs nebsi 🙂

        • Hope

          Hailat,
          The message is:
          Believe in Reconcilaition—-and try for it.
          We amy NOT succeed with PFDJ but among ourselves—-so taht we can be ONE people and then—challenge PFDJ either for reconciliation or for Surrender.
          Please,try to compromise and to be flexible—
          Thank you for the timely message,Jo.
          Amen….Lord, forgive us as we forgive/forgave those who trespass against us.I.e.,unless we forgive, we will never be forgiven,lol.
          Praise the Lord of the lords—Christ has risen!!!
          BTW, I ask forgiveness and apoligize to those I might have offended–Hailat included—
          Aite Vet Habte included as well for my unintentional “difret” and over-reaction.—and others including the AT,for violating the rules at times–May be Ermi .
          .

    • Ali-S

      Haile,

      Thank you for the great picture. Smart observation. I agree with you on the banana choice. I am surprised they did not choose Akat.

      it is probably a clue for those might want to guess key figures in the pic. I would love to see if banana is common in such instances or is it exclusive to this occasion. The lady carrying the banana seems to be smiling and may have the answer to the prank. (:-)

  • Kim Hanna

    Mr. Saleh Johar,
    On many occasions I have expressed my opinion on this forum. Most often I have disagreed with the points of view expressed by you and others. There were times I was testy and I am sorry about that.
    When I first saw you had written an article on Politics of Nouns and Topography, my thought was “here he goes again”. My prejudgment was very wrong. After reading and rereading your article, I must commend you on your heartfelt insights and the wise guidance you have offered.
    You took a clear and unambiguous stand on a crucial and very volatile issue. It may well be seen in retrospect as a watershed in political thought that not only provided a sound basis for improving the quality of life in Eritrea, but was a cornerstone for people throughout the region to live in peace and prosperity.
    It takes intestinal fortitude and great courage to publicly disagree with your life long friends and acquaintances. It is admirable of you to stand on your principle and conviction, even though you do so at a great personal cost.
    My hope is that in time, not only your friends, but others with a similar perspective will change their approach and support a national platform to address their grievances.
    Sir, you are a courageous man, thank you.
    K.H

    • sm

      Welcome back Kim.
      I love your respectful and cool approach.
      Quite but a very good observer.
      Real Habesha?
      Yes indeed ,sexy nick/ name and quality.
      May be Saleh Johar is making an honest U-Turn,which in turn,might influence ,positively, lots of people.

    • Fanti Ghana

      Kim Hanna
      The day my friends believed that I was a grown man was the
      day I went to see a group of friends to apologize and admit a mistake about a point
      I was defending tooth and nail the night before. I was 17 years old. I arrived
      prepared for all sorts of ridicule and humiliation, but upon accepting my
      apology and hearing my reason why I thought I was wrong, to my amazement, they
      were extremely supportive and friendlier than ever. Later on, I discovered that
      they were embarrassed much more than I was that day, because in their two
      years of heated political discussions and arguments-sometimes lasting all
      night- none of them ever admitted being wrong about anything. It is mature of you to share this with us, and I know Saleh will be humbled by your comment above. In fact, at a risk of risking my palm reading carrier, I will predict what he will exactly say: “That is why we are here!”

    • hope

      I admire and appreciate your civilty,respectful and constructive comments.
      Are really Habesha?May West-grown one.
      Keep it up Shikorina.
      Saleh Johar might be making a better and honest U-Turn as well,eventhough that is his nature from the beginning–stubborn,firm to his principles, truthful and bold,albeit,misunderstood/misperceived badly.
      His stubborn stand and at times,his”Undiplomatic” expression of the Truth have made some people feel uncomfortable.

  • AMAN

    @Dawit’s cartoon below
    YES IT DOES
    So is there anyone who won through other
    physical or military fighting since june 2000.?
    Or was there any other fighting since 2000.?
    Except by words and minds.
    Come one let’s not bellitle others works !

  • Dawit

    Can curse words destroy your enemy?

    • Hope

      David vs Goliath should be considered as well.

      • Dawit

        Hope,

        I “hope” the irony is not lost on you. Ethiopia is armed to the teeth thanks to her large amount of money spend on defense. Eritrea is left holding to its useless propaganda, weyane this , weyane that as though words could only right wrongs. PFDJ does not know the art of negotiation such as forming alliances, treaties, and agreements. The hermit kingdom thus is left behind with “dimxi hafash” only. It’s lack of diplomacy along with its toothless propaganda (some times attacking the superpowers) has worked against it. .

        • Hope

          Dawit,
          Please be fair–unless you are the student of Hailat.
          I do not believe that DIA has been the only factor—I mean ,please just read what has been written.
          Do U need an Eritrean history classes?.
          As a politician and dictator,PIA might have made tactical and strategic mistakes but to ignore the history of 60yrs of conspiracies,evil acts of all kinds against Eritrea to this minute,so as to achieve the current status,if not,even to decimate this Nation,is but Naivety,if not absurd.
          Let use common sense,not just hatred.
          BTW,the David vs Goliath thing was true in its true sense and the only purpose of all these unchecked and unresrved help of all kinds to the Ethiopian Regimes is to reverse that David Vs Goliath story.
          I am not denying the foolish and dumb mistakes of DIA but reminding you the bigger picture as well,which you cannot deny by any means,as it is a well documented FACT.

  • tes

    Check-Point in Swiss

    The end of PFDJ hope

    • Dawit

      Are these kids supposed to be the future of PFDJ. These kids are detached from Eritrean languages, culture, custom and history by thousands of miles even though PFDJ seems to be preparing them to take over the future. PFDJ is also unable to teach these kids military science such as marching, bayonet drill, grenade throwing, trench digging, and rifle shooting and therefore they are unlikely to defend Eritrean foreign enemies.

      Such kind of attention given by PFDJ to the youth is in fact misplaced. It’s the young people inside Eritrea that really need attention, and need to be heard not the young people in a foreign land. The future belongs to the young men and women who are living inside Eritrea.

      • Ermias

        Dawit, very well said. I would modify your last sentence though. I know what you meant – Eritreas future terekebti hager really are the kids in Eritrea but the kids abroad also have a responsibility to provide support as in technical, material, diplomatic etc. We do have great future dancers in YPFDJ, at least that’s covered.

      • tes

        Dawit, it is a lost strategy that tried to corrupt the youths only. Youth movements can be ok, but by killing inside youth organizations and a fabricated shabia indentity cultivation is nothing but a corrupted initiative. And here is what the picture all it says. Even they can not believe their own youths and this is what the PFDJ mind-set.

        No matter how they try, YPFDJ is a brainwashed and cult worship movement and by no means can function.

        • Hope

          tes,
          Do not rush into conclusions and premature judgements—-Despite its weakneses and deficiencies, the YPFDJ project will succeed for GOOD,mark my word.
          Our role is to provide constructive criticism and challenge positively directly the YPFDJ and its organizers.If you do NOT believe in that ,then it is your home work to organzie a BETTER YOUTH by any means possible,rather than gossiping and belittling.
          Do NOT forget that the real Spirit of the EPLF is still alive,albeit,hijacked by the Beast of the day.
          Despite its slavery style,Warsay Yikaalo project has achieved tremendous success stories—at least when it comes to building basic infra-structure,albeit again,with its negative impact on the Youth.
          There is NO perfect system and if the USA and the Germans have to go through HELL to be where they are now by applying similar major Marshal Plans,then why is slavery in Eritrea’s case.
          I am against lots of technical and procedural issues with the Warsay yikaalo and YPFDJ projects but at the same time, I do NOT expect things to be perfect either.our major role is to fight for the improvemnet and betterment of the projects—by alll means possible in an organized and united way.
          If we believe that it is slavery,then as Nationals, we have an obligation to compensate our Warsay Yikaalo Stake holders,rather than being unconstructive. Let’s get real, man!
          We are still bluffing against the minimum 2% rehab tax (where only 28% of Eritrean have paid and only partially and until few yrs ago only),besides joining the worst and bloodiest enemies of Eritrea in destroying Eritrea one way or another,jsut simply we hate the PFDJ.
          Case in point,the devastaing role of the sanctions that most people here,the AT included,petitioned, supported, rallied behind,etc—On the same token,blaming and blaming PFDJ without thinking twice is unconstructive at best,destructive at worst.
          Now tell me : We have succeeded in subjugating the PFDJ by all means–economically,miltarily,diplomatically,then what next?
          Invite the Weyanes to take over for free?Then what next?
          Lose Eritrea once and for all?
          Mission accomplished!!!
          Congratulations!!!

          • tes

            Hope, I would like to thank you first.

            What I feel is SHAME, still people like you are not able to realize the reality. I am sorry to say, but, you can not tell me or try to lecture me on the claimed accomplishments of PFDJ. By chance or curse, I participated in major engineering projects, to mention, Asmara-Serejaka-Filfil-Metkel-Abiet road (with RODABB construction company in 2001-2002, as land surveyor), Shieb-Ein-Afabet (Zula construction company in 2003, as project engineer), gerset-dam and Fanco dam project (Segen -construction, 2004), many small micro-dams, Higher education (2006-2012) and also have first hand information from friends (engineers) who participated in many, many projects, such as Demhina roda, Ali-gidir dam, many diversion channels projects, micro-dams, soil and water conservation projects, Massawa airport construction, OMG, let me stop listing all the first hand information that I have.

            I listed this because I want to keep quite if you don’t know the reality. No success, from engineering point of view, economical point of view, human rights point of view. Above all, remember all is done by keeping Eritrean Youths as SLAVES. Is that a success???

            And you said, “we have succeeded in subjugating PFDJ.”, here I can see you are given-up! My answer, NO! we didn’t subjugate, but we are working on it. But, a BIG PROGRESS has been done, thanks to our brothers and sisters who worked relentlessely for more than two decades. They did this because they know what was heading next.

            You raised sanctions. Oh my brother, come-on. International sanctions on Eritrea did almost nothing to the people, the people were sanctioned more than a decade years ago. And for the PFDJ juntas, do not worry almost all have dual citizenship. Just PFDJ is trying to fool honest minded citizens like you. PFDJ is a revolutionary, never a government and hence sanction to a guarilla is nothing, they don’t follow rules and regulations. remember, DIA went to Lybia, when no country was allowed to have a flight. DIA hosted Al-Bashir when he is wanted by internation courts and every country is demanded to hand him.

            2% – Eritreans did supply all their time for the struggle and now are doing by sending remiitance to family. 2% is for PFDJ not for the country but for funding opposition groups and I strongly condemn such taxes collected by the name of nation building.

            You said, there is no PERFECT system. Oh, hope, we are just asking for RULE of LAW and Justice and Eritrea to have a LEGITIMATE government. No one asked for perfection. Perfection is far from demand now.

            You said, the real spirit of EPLF is alive. I will ask you very simple question; “Is there any history, in EPLF, that checked Eritreans when they come for meeting in the DIASPORA, fetash tegeru yifelit mesleka ab tarik hizbawi ginbar or ELF? But the picture here shows is and that is just ALIVe testimony on how much the EPLF spirit is eroded. EPLF, though always a junta, but he managed to call the majority Eritrean diaspora to sit together, play and discuss Eritrean matters. Therefore, EPLF spirit does not exist, forget the many other counter proofs for your belittle justification.

            You said, “do not rush into conclusions.” What to conclude, there is no conclusion, there is only exposure and conclusion is done when something exist, but, now PFDJ does not exist, his image and illusion exists. ANd that is what we are afraid off.

            Oh, you said, Mission accomplished, to give Eritrea to Woyanes. OMG, Eritrea is a sovereign country, this is enough for now. But, if you are afraid, go and kick the 15,000 demhit soldiers who are residing inside the Eritrean territory.

            Just don’t ask me about me. I just left Eritrea for higher studies to China, where, I spent one year with nothing, jsut sleeping in my bed. I said this because, PFDJ is sending Eritreans to China not for study, but, for diplomacy.

            Therefore, I call you to wake-up!

          • Hope

            Sir,
            I appreciate your contribution.You know and I know that, be it by slavery or by choice,some basic infra-structure is done and it is contributing something.Do NOT regret for doing the good job.
            I understand and sympthize with you for not get the best out of what you did.
            I am not giving up as a Citizen .But yes, I gave up about 10 yrs ago as a nominal PFDJ member after observing what you have observed,albeit,belatedly.
            Let’s stop this nonesense of supporting and not supporting PFDJ saga.
            I am trying to balance things based on facts.
            As to going to China,well, you have had NO obligatioon to go to China.Be it for diplomacy or PR gimmick,the GoE spent some money and sent you to China,which helped you to escape and you have to appreciate the GoE for giving you the chance to run away.
            Look at the students who were sent to S Africa en masse by the same GoE you/they are cursing,who ended up running away to the West—Ali Salim included,simply for a better life!
            To me, you are just as confused as Ali Salim and you guys are just expressing serious guilty feeling.
            As to ” Slavery” issue, I already told you my stand…It is slavery in a sense that the youth is not getting basic compensation but at the same time,you are shying away/the diaspora in general, from NOT helping and compensating the Slaves of the day ,who are doing a fantastic job,be it slavery or human rights abuse.
            We are not debating about the sins of PFDJ but as to how to reverse the atrocities of the PFDJ, and the way we are doing is NOT ,not only enough, but it is also inapproriate,at least in my opinion.
            As much as the GoE and the people of Eritrtea trusted you and sent you for a Higher Education to better serve Eritrea and her people,which you conveniently belittled,you should have trusted them and try to give them back what they were expecting from you;and no matter what,you should have decided to fight within while serving the people..
            Welcome to the club of the biters of their Moms’ breasts ,which fed and nurtured it/ them.
            Again,do NOT jump into conlcusions and judgements,albeit, we know all the verdict is at hand.
            My point is:
            We have to build a basic Foundation before destroying the existing weak Foundation that we have.
            I am rather ashamed about /of you for being ashamed for what you have done for Eritrea and her people.
            Remember about those who sacrified their lives for the sake of others…..those elites from China,Middle East,Russia,Europe and the USA,etc—?
            They have endured the worst conditions in the world–for 20-30 yrs and it is only a matter fo few yrs,God willing,to reclaim what belonghs to us.
            Do NOT try to be more Catholic than the Pope.
            Do NOT judge us based on your perceptions,assumptions,speculations—-as some of us could tell you more stories about ourselves—albeit,nothing comapred to those who sacrified their lives.
            As to YPFDJ,time will tell us, and again,stop making conclusions and judgements on “Their behalf”.
            My point is:
            Let us do better than what PFDJ and its “Puppet” YPFDJ, have been doing,if we can,if NOT,then shut up and have fun in the comfort zone,where your dreams have come true!
            From tactical and strategic point of view—,PIA and PFDJ have the right and obligation to do what they have felt deemed necessary for the National Security and Interest of Eritrea.
            Every strategic and tactical decisions that politicians and Nations make, have risks and secondary damages.
            If he did not make friends like Libya and the Sudan–well, then, not only our strategic interest but our existence could have beeen in jeopardy–in my opinion,taking into consideration the “firm” and the 60 yrs old stand/policy of the West aganist Eritrea,NOT to mention the destructive roles of the successive Ethiopian Regimes—the Weyanes included.
            If we have no choice, we will be-friended with the Devil as well.
            Again,do NOT try to tell me that all these are due to DIA’s/PFDJ’s mistakes.
            Good luck with your comfort in the West and congratulations for achieving that,albeit with the help of the same PFDJ you are cursing.

          • tes

            Hope,

            Thank you for coming me.

            your words are full of zig-zag and have no destiny for the change that you are drawing by applauding in single handly.

            Are you asking for a change?

            Sure there will be a change, a change by uprooting the established mind-set. To remove dictatorship is not easy, it costs. But the costs are of what type? I will leave it for you.

            You want REFORM, the MEDREK group, good from what you think. But, for the Eritreans, NO Medrek kind of Reform. We need a fundamental change.

            I am not fun of woyane’s escape-goat claim, beetter not to go further.

            Others, I will not consume your sentences, and thanks that you spent paragraphs in twisting words.

          • Hope

            Bro,
            My apology if I offended you but your remarks deserve attention and response and I said what I said—as an opinion.
            Do NOT try to put the cart before the hors as,now, you are belittling the MEDREKH–with out even knowing their details,unless you a special Psthic.Mind you, this group has only issued a Press Release and a Preliminary Agenda .
            Good luck that you can live in dreams.
            Define Fundamental Change— how,when,what,under what condition—-etc..

          • Amanuel

            Hope
            You seem to have short memory. Are you forgetting that the students in S. Africa were told to go to hell, thanks to globalisation by the head of the regime you are defending simply for asking for their rights (one of them was, will they get be paid enough to sustain a decent life). Now it is their fault, they were told unambiguously, they are not wanted.
            As usual you reaping the west this the west that, Yes the west policies haven’t been in out favour, however the regime’s action was also equally disastrous in negating this disadvantage.

      • hope

        Dawitom,
        PFDJ is doing its business, but are we?Let’s stop the Politics of Gossip and try to organzie and develop a better Youth.
        You are repeating the same mistake the EPDP leadership said at one time by labelling the YPFDJ as the Nazi Youth style, rather than trying to organize a better and concious Youth which is a big sign of weakness and a major sign of lack of CONFIDENCE of the Opposition..
        As to the YPFDJ’s role for future Eritrea,I guarantee you that this group will be a big asset.
        One of the major purposes is to familiarize the group to its roots–socio-culturally and politically.
        Step by step,some members of the YFPDJ have contributed a lot—by volunteering to teach in High Schools,Colleges,and by taking part in the on-going- Warsay-Yikaalo-Campaign,albeit its slavery style of doing business….
        Yes, I agree with your last statement that PFDJ should give more attention to the Youth at home—and that is where we are debating and pushing for,albeit,chaotically….
        The future belongs to all of us–both at home and diaspora;andIf the situation at home becomes conducive, WATCH bro,the diaspora will flood to Eritrea and turn Eritrea into more than Singapore or Qatar.
        I will be the FIRST one to rush into Eritrea to contribute in developing one of the “Perfect Health Care Systems” in the world,without any exaggeration.
        -Talk about the best Tourism;talk about the Best Education System;talk about the best Sports;talk about the best Businesses,etc—-as Eritreans have proven that they could achieve all the above and beyond if they get a chance.Case in point,their role in developing Ethiopia and its infra-structure—from simple shops to high Tech Engineering—Telecomm,–Airlines–Hotels—you name it.
        Ahhh,yes, as Haile the Great said it,DIA destroyed this beautiful Nation called Eritrea;yes DIA high-jacked Eritrea and Eritreans for the WORST!!
        As SAAY said it at one time, Eritreans are the easiet people to govern as they are self-governing and dicipilined people if they are left alone and they are given an opportunity.
        The notorius Menghistu Hailemariam of teh Dergue admired Eritreans and even predicted that Eritreans can build an Atomic Bomb in the Mountains of Sahel!!!!
        No empty drumming,here,Eritreans are the CAN DO PEOPLE—-history has proven it.
        Let this high-jacker BEAST be gone for GO O O O D–so that Eritrea and Eritreans can achive all the above and beyond.

      • Hope

        Dawitom,
        Let me try one more as my message was either deleted or am being banned–God forbid.
        -One of the purposes of building YPFDJ is to make them aware of their roots–besides preping them to be the future “PFDJ”–oooh sorry Hailat–but reformed one—hope SAAY will be ok
        -This Group will definitely be a great asset for the future Eritrea
        -Some of them already have served the country and the people at home–by teaching in th eHigh Schools, Colleges and have contributed to the on-going –Warsay development Campaign,though said to be slavery.
        PFDJ is doing its business and rather than gossiping,let’s try to develop and organize a better and stronger Youth.
        I agree with you that more attention should be given to the home based youth,which we are debating for,albeit,chaotically….

    • Dawit

      tes,

      It’s disturbing to realize that the psychopath party (PFDJ) destroys any association at home including those who gather to worship their God , and conduct bible studies(i.e. Pentecostal church groups) and in its place wants to form a youth movement outside of Eritrea in its own image.

      Ermiass,

      Yes, those who grew up in the west can become forces of change, Their skills can be channeled to good use (removing the regime and replacing it by a democratically elected body)

  • berhe

    Hi Saleh,

    Perhaps you are responding to what I wrote or someone one of a similar opinion with regards to the “people’s rights where you dedicate a few paragraphs describing peoples rights.

    For the record that’s what I wrote, and I had used some example to qualify it.

    “People (individuals or groups) have their right to form an opinion or organize as they see fit. We should not jump as if their statement or actions means the decision of the Unites States Supreme court like that of “Brown v. Board of Eduction”. It’s just their statement and their opinion, and they don’t have any supreme power to rule over our faith.”

    So for example, back in 2000 Asmarino.com was a popular website as it’s today. When I read SY tiwgahimo articles it was on Asmarino. You founded awate.com in 2000. Would it fair if someone asks you, why are you starting awate.com when we have asmarino.com that’s serving all Eritreans? We always say with my good friend, if it was not for aware and asmarino, I think Isayas would have won by now? I don’t have to tell you the creation of aware to the Eritrean peoples democratic aspirations. Some certain doctor (a PFDJ sympathizer at the time) predicted awate will be another tabloid website and soon it will disappear. How wrong he was.

    The question that I have is, who are we to judge what’s right and what’s wrong? The sky being blue is the not the same thing, you are stating universal fact. What ever opinion you have about ELL, Medrik or what ever other group that will pop up in the near future is just your opinion, and I hope you don’t believe it to be as a universal truth.

    I don’t know the founders of ELL, but from what you described them, I believe they are individuals who have the interest of the Eritrean people at heart. Their ideas, opinions, needs to be criticized and scrutinized as you are doing but what I don’t agree here is that, you wanted to act as being someone with supreme power by telling people who should do what? Is there a place in Eritrea called lowlands? YES. Are there people who hail from the lowlands? and the answer is a definite YES. So what’s the problem if people wanted to organize as such? Again, criticize them all you want for being “narrow minded” etc..etc all you want, but I don’t think you can tell them if they should organize like that or NOT. Same goes for Medrik, criticize them for the way they wanted to organize and reform the PFDJ but you can’t tell them or stopping them from doing so.

    That all depends in how they are perceived by the people they want to convince and influence. You can only question if their actions are good or bad, if they tamper on the rights of others, commit crimes etc., until this point I don’t we can claim they have done anything of that sort. We can’t just hold people accountable for something they haven’t done, could we.

    Let’s say if Medrick organized within Eritrea and they help escape one of the G15 (for example Petros Solomon), and he leaves Eritrea and goes to Sudan and he goes on the Internet/Radio and give an amazing speech that will help rise those within the PFDJ to abandon him etc..and the force the Isayas regime to collapse. And then the PFDJ forms a transitional government and allow all political leaders to come inside the country create a committee from all walks of Eritrean life and draft/modify the constitution and held election within specific time farme and hold elections, and have reconciliation etc..etc… and move on. On the other hand, let’s say Isayas drops dead and the country goes on a civil war and that all the warring parties fight each other and kill each other and there is no transitional government that can take power and end up killing each other.

    From the comments of the people, it looks like the majority are agreeing with you, which I think I can interpret, we don’t need to divide Eritrea along some region and we don’t want to reform the PFDJ etc.

    It’s really hard to quantify what percentage of the population believes the same way, if it’s the majority as was the case during the dehai days who believed in PFDJ, I think we are doomed. If those suppose to be “free and critical thinking” Eritreans can NOT tolerate such mundane association of people, who no body knows their ideas and opinions could mean anything, how are we expect to tolerate anyone different opinion?

    • Saleh Johar

      Hi Berhe,

      1. No. I am not responding to you. If I were, I would mention your name.
      2. No. I am not a supreme court, I am doing what I did for years. I think you know that I write my viewpoints. I suggest, advice and criticize. What else can I do beside that? If you consider that a court order, I am flattered.
      3. Mundane is your word, mine was meek.
      4. If I didn’t know you I would think you are not tolerating my views and you want me to stop critiquing any move. Berhe, when something happens people have different choices on how to engage if they want to. I chose to criticize the moves. Now you are criticizing me for criticizing them. Isn’t that excellent 🙂
      take care

  • Lorde Agaame

    The Islamic league ( wanna be Arabs ) in Eritrea Ethiopia and all of east Africa are agitating for the creation of heir Islamic califate.((recent Islamic riots in Addis) and the cyber hatewqetew of Awate as of late…….Keep dreaming.And Tigre are Habesha.If not what are you? Arab? Lol.Even the Sudanese are not Arab . I know you gonna go and philisophy on what an Arab means bla bla akhwan muslimin gini qulquwal…yadayadayada….Weyane is using you temporarily but we know you are worse than the fascistic Higdef.Amma was evil racist and anti Christian .You were killing Tegaru in Shire/Badme ,kidnapping Tigray youth,robbing the farmers and killing civilians randomly.Thats why Weyanne eradicated you.

  • Michael Araya

    Finally, Ahmed Qeisi, the guru of eloquence , is speaking ! Would love to hear what he’s got up his sleeves , after all these years of silence. Anyone got the weblink to the interview, please?

  • Rahaya Abay

    salam,

    The dispute is between the Highlanders and lowlanders, those in the middle has to choose, either with oppressor or the oppressed. I know it is wrong to put everything under one roof. Since there are many many Highlanders against this wrong doing, but majority of them are supporter of the oppressor or silent, I kow Lowlands means much more as discribed by saleh compared to this newly started Lowlands movement. But the aim of this movement is to organize themselves to expose the oppression of the regim particularly in the region and the whole country. Thus the respect of any movement against the unjust manner is necessary.

  • AMAN

    Fundamental change is a general term.
    what are the things fundamentaly to be changed…………?
    not clear.??????????
    Or may be CART BEFORE THE HORSE AGAIN !
    So not legitimate option untill the things that need to fundamentally changed
    are SPECIFIED.
    It is like the undecided and mediocre stance of the
    with or without peacefull struggle. (hidding inside).

  • Ermias

    SGJ,

    I enjoyed reading this article. Unlike many recent articles where I had to read every line multiple times, yours flows purely and your stand is as clear as ‘may nigho.’ I like the fact that you didn’t leave anything subject for interpretation. I am not sure if I have anything new to add on the substance except now re-iterate my stand about the ELL and Medrekh, which I commented on the respective articles on this website. Here is what I had said partially:

    “I have no idea what to make of this. It is really hard to read, that is my only complaint. Other than that, no need for anyone to get alarmed here. Until I am proven wrong, I will never worry about the disintegration of highland and lowland….a large number of us (yours truly included) have no first hand knowledge to speak of when it comes to the lowlands of Eritrea and its people…it would be wise to use this as an opportunity to look beyond our comfort zones and try to understand the issues of lowland Eritreans not in this context but in comparative terms. Are their issues the same as the ones in highland Eritrea?”

    Medrekh to me is just a simple extension of PFDJ. I had said before (commenting on your article about Medrekh) that if given the opportunity, they would do the same thing that PFDJ is doing right now. They were and still are PFDJ but their shelf life expired for IA and they were expunged. Hence, their reform is equivalent to ‘we want to be back in power so we can subject Eritreans to the same atrocities.’

    • Hope

      Ermi,
      Please be fair about Medrekh., as you have no clue about them and their details–it is just a new group trying to find solutions.
      Use your brain,not that of the others.Why don’t you give them a chance?

      • Ermias

        Hope, yes I have to admit I don’t know much about medrekh but that’s the point. They are being too secretive.

  • Saleh Johar

    Thanks Samuel,
    I am not wiser than anyone, just a kamikaze who says what needs to be said.

  • Rodab

    SaleH,
    Good article as usual. Geographically speaking (and traditionally and culturally by extension), as a Midlander Kerenite you are ideally situated in the middle to reconcile the differences of Kebessa and MetaHit Eritrea. Your article does its job in that regard. One thing I would have liked you to reconsider is to entertain the plausibility of a reformed PFDJ as one of the top, if not THE top best option Eritrea faces today, moving forward. This is not to underestimate the crimes committed and being committed by the brutal regime but comparing to other available alternatives, if there are any viable ones.
    Selam wo senay

    Haqi,
    My theory is Ali Salim hasn’t abandoned his bigotory against Kebesa Eritrea. He just put it on hold. At the moment, the noises of Neo-Andnet and Ethiophiles has become a greater source of his discomfort, thus throwing his original grievances to the back seat. Once he feels his current target is at a controllable level, he will go back and proceed with butchering the upper half of Eritrea.

    • Saleh Johar

      Rodab, what have we done to you? If reforming the PFDJ is possible, I may thing of exhuming the remains of my father–there is a chance he might come alive 🙂

      • haile

        Sal, I think so too. The price tag for reforming the PFDJ far to high, to the point of wishful thinking. Suppose one starts to “Reform” the PFDJ, where do they start? Bringing offenders to justice? Serving victims justice? Limiting the term time of IA? Taking away power from corrupt generals? Allowing refugees to go back in? Letting cooperation with UN mandated committees of investigation to dig up all of PFDJ dirty linen… It is impossible. I don’t know why people wish only the things in the menu that far beyond their means. Overthrowing PFDJ for good is the only option, I don’t think PFDJ would even survive the ordeal of reforming without a heart attack.

        • Saleh Johar

          Haile, of course you know that most garages in poor countries make their living by fixing and painting damaged car panels (panel beating, patti-lamera (?)). It is much cheaper to discard the damaged part than to fix it. No garage can repair the damaged PFDJ; it is better thrown away or buried to prevent Eritreans from any eyesore sight 🙂

          • Hope

            But we are talking about reality and practicality though.Which one do you guys believe then “easier” and achievable –from practical point of view and urgency of the matter point of view?
            I hope there is a mid-way–like SAAY’s suggestion–cutting the head/safer coup–Wedi Ali 2.0?

          • haile

            Hope and Rodab (lol..it seems Rodab doesn’t like long exchanges on issues like me an Hope are doing 🙂

            I think the Wedi Vacaro formula would have been the VERY BEST solution for Eritrea, but I doubt it very much the can muster the courage and common sense (other than leave en mass), to do it.

            – Mass uprising – sheburo throughout cities towns and villages of Eritrea

            – The EDF takes the side of the PEOPLE and stands guard to defend the nation and the PEOPLE

            – Capture IA in person and hold all senior regime members.

            – popular committees, mass organizations and diaspora civil and opposition groups converge in Asmara

            – Let the talks begin

            – For the time being an EDF task force would oversee the basic running of vital services in the country.

            – All PFDJ crimes would be publicized to the nation through the mass media and the YPFDJ and PFDJ would be invited to lobby the Eritrean people for more years by reforming themselves, no protection would be afforded to them they would be responsible for their own safety.

            The birth of the Democratic Republic of Eritrea starts there.

          • Hope

            Hmmmmm,
            It is past due,Hailat.
            DIA knows all the possible tricks and he, accordingly,sets up pre-emptive measures so as to avoid all the steps you listed and others—
            Case in point-the “Restructuring of all the Government Institutions” after kidnapping,killing,demoting–etc–all the potential people.
            It is not easy as DIA’s Organizational Security Apparatus is sophisticated beyond the Third World/African Standard as the US ex-Amb to Eritrea stated it.
            Wedi Ali’s intiative was supposed to be the way you stated it as Assenna tried to hypothesize but the other leaders betrayed him—-so easy to get it.
            There is a simple way but still a complicated one,which I wound not say publically—hinted by SAAY.

    • tes

      Data retrieved from assena.com. Rodab, the majority are demanding a fundamental change not a reform.

      Though limited in its voters, (only 13,509 voters (online and in fact it is a big sampling), if the Eritrean people got the same chance, even the percentage could be higher. therefore, Rodab, we need a fundamental change.

      Thanks to assena.

      • Amanuel

        Tes
        Are you assuming that this survey is small representative of the Eritrean people? If that is the case you are mistaken. Because the sampling is not randomly selected (not scientific). It is just people who visited assenna and it is not far from the truth to assume that most visitors of Assenna hate the regime in Asmara.

        • tes

          Hi Amanuel, I was safe to say that we can deduce a big deal from this survey and I thanked assena. But, scientifically speaking yes it is small to have a concise conclusion. But, one thing that I am sure, if the people of Eritrea are given a chance to vote, definitely the percentage could be higher. that is what I said.

          what makes it smaller then to be a representative?

          13, 509 people voted and the limitation is, only people who access assena voted for it. And if we have a total Eritrean population according to 2013 estimates 6,233,682, then, only 0.217% voted for it. This is what it makes the sampling very small and in the other hand, it did not include Eritreans who are outside assena.

          But, since it is some tanigble statistical data, we can deduce a lot.

          I am speaking from scietifical point of view.

          Thanks.

          • Amanuel

            Hi Tes
            I am not saying 13, 503 is small number. I am questioning the way it was collected. It was not randomly selected. For example it you run the same survey on Alenalki what would be the result? I am confident it would be the opposite. So, one can claim that the majority don’t want change.What I am saying is, it is the opinion of the same group. There for not scientific.

          • tes

            hope each eritrean web-site will conduct such a survey and then we can make concrete conclusions. But for obvious reasons, PFDJ and their supporters will not do as such.

            And concerning Eritreans or not, we can accept to some degree, but it is very insiginficant.

      • Rodab

        Tes,
        Nice graph. Yes I saw the poll. And it doesn’t matter how it was conducted, the result will still be that the majority voting for fundamental change. But frankly no one knows what fundamental change ushers. Fundamental change as I understand it is to completely get rid off the current system with all its personalities. I haven’t heard a satisfying answer as to what next. How or where would one start?? If you think about it, it is extremely complex. Way complexer than the ‘yes for fundamental change’ voters have in mind.

        • tes

          Rodab, only when we say it, it becomes complex.

          Of course nothing is simple. But when we work on it, sure it gonna be easy. Just simple things to avoid, let’s be courageous enough for the radical change. And, lets build a ship that can carry all the evils of Eritreans without discirimination.

          I remember such discussions I did when I was in France with one fellow Eritrean on the possible solution to reach the expected destiny. All we need is an engineered transition period. Here, in awate, I have read a very good solution for that and that is a transition that resembles that of Tunisia. that is the best solution we have. But, to build that ship, we need to organize able Eritreans.

          the question is, how safe it can be?

          It is safe as my belief. A well engineered transition period requires a sacrifice and I think we can build it through many ways. Just lets avoid FEAR of the FUTURE.

        • haile

          Rodab,

          The real choice is Keep PFDJ (NKid Tiray) or discard it. It is not only impossible to reform it but extremely dangerous to attempt to do so. Economically it is beyond reach (try to reform a system that relies on total black market and alleged trafficking in persons and weapons), socially it is beyond reach (try to reform a society that has so broken up at the core of its social fabric and a nation unable to compensate anyone), politically it is beyond reach (try to reform a system that has no constitutional rule, parliamentary assembly or any form of decision making outside the president’s office). I think the easiest and safe thing to do is to completely start new and hope that people would try to forget the past and work for a better tomorrow. Let’s not kid ourselves that we can reform a non-existent system to begin with.

          • Rodab

            Hey Hailat,
            I agree with you that all the deficiency you listed are indeed in place. But I don’t necessarily agree once the few bad apples are reigned in, the PFDJ can’t be reformed. I believe the President and the handful individuals surrounding him are what’s on the way for calling back the National Assembly to sessions, for lifting the ban on the entire national press, for declaring the implementation if the constitution, for releasing political prisoners, for restoring the national service’s true goals, and so on. I believe PFDJ without those very few bad guys is capable of doing all the mentioned reforms. But again, the black horse (‘new’ system where the PFDJ is not part of) is what’s worrisome for we have no clue as to what’s in store for us.

          • Saleh Johar

            Rodab, you see! You lost me in the first goal: “calling the National Assembly to session.” Do you really believe a selected assembly, half its appointed members dead, jailed or disappeared, a dead body that didn’t move a feather since it was fabricated by Isaias, a body that was absent throughout the last turbulent decade and half, to be an entity that would be entrusted with our legislation?

            The rest of the topics you raised can be agreed upon and implemented by a transitional entity that Eritreans freely form or elect. Then, Hlmi feirihka key-deqeska ayHddern, as they say. We don’t know what the future hold with or without PFDJ–it is all the same. But giving the PFDJ more lease on life is more damaging and riskier to the well-being of Eritreans.

          • haile

            Hey Rodab,

            As you said “President and the handful individuals surrounding him” is somewhat tricky. OK we know the President, how about the “handful individuals surrounding him”? Who will rule in and rule out these “handful” people? How many “handful” from the civilian, business, army, security, intelligence are you talking about? Again, wouldn’t you end up with the same power (decision making) vacum when these “handful are taken out”? How are the “new handful” to be selected? Power struggle? Let’s be careful Rodab, sometimes it is better to amputate in order stop spread of cancer 🙂

          • Ermias

            Rodab is a borderline PFDJ sympathizer. He even calls the dictator PIA. Give me a break. You can try to take the high road and be a wise man but not when it’s in front of your eyes to see that it’s either PFDJ or no PFDJ. On paper (specially when SAAY puts it) it seems like the best way out but it’s the best way to PFDJ II rather than real reform.

      • Dawit

        I don’t think the statistics represents the demand of all Eritreans. Besides, if you have noticed, any one was able to cast his/her vote multiple times. Plus, the sample does not include those who don’t frequent the website. The website attracts a certain segment of the population-those with frequent internet access, and those who choose Assenna over other websites. The writers at the site have also a political leaning that caters to those who demand radical change.
        Essentially, the readers and writers reinforce one another’s beliefs. Regardless, however, I have a hunch that the majority need a radical change.

        • tes

          Thank you Dawit, for raising the short comings of the survey. Always, it pops-up again and again and one can press as many as he can to increase the number. Hope such online survey will be done more precisely and with great reliablity.

          But with all shortcomings, assuming that every voter has voted once, being honest to the survey, it is a big initiative.

          In statistical survey, assumptions are acceptable with certain probability. Thank you though for your critical questioning.

      • Jo

        Tes,

        How many of those who voted are Eritreans, Or are you assuming they are eritreans because it is called an eritrean website? pasting such data to push a certain preconceived idea is, at best, misleading and corrupt.

        • haile

          Jo
          Is Eritrea the ONLY nation on earth where its citizen’s identity is consistently questioned and doubted DEAD (would be refugees) or ALIVE (opposition to the injustice)? Especially from the regime and its tedenagexti side? Logic would have it that unless one is unfortunate to be Eritrean of this generation, they wouldn’t waste half the time talking about it. Look at the Ethiopians, mostly only comment when there is some link to Ethiopia! do.mber ertrawyan ena 🙂

          • Jo

            Selamat haile,

            I was not trying to question anybody’s identity, but to show how statistical data could be misleading. If any survey can not pass a simple test, wether the sample population is the right one or not, is it worth considering? In this case, wouldn’t you think the first question one ought to ask would be wether the population is Eritrean or not, since it is an Eritrean case?

            Let us not let our emotions fog-up our judgment. 🙂

            Luwam zelewo mushet!!

      • Hope

        Tes,
        We do not know the details of the statistics though—the population size,the quality included.
        But we are looking for a practical solution and change though,not just emotional and wishfull one,the ONE that will not compromise our security and safety–unity–etc–
        Assena is knwon for making up and exaggerations things–sorry-it is a fact.
        Dawit said it well.

    • Haqi

      SELAM rodab
      the nerve of Ali to accuse others as bigots is Pathetic and sad. He is responsible for setting the opposition back with his satanic articles; who is he now to suggest how oppositions should fight the devil sadist in Eritrea. Miskinay hizbi mexaweti beal Ali koinu

      As for reforming pfdj, entay gebernKa

    • Hope

      Rodab,
      Thank you and hope Johar listens to you as SAAY might also try to convince him to do so ,so that we all will be on the same page.
      By the very virtue of their intrinsic nature,Kerenites,without any bluff and/or exaggeration,are the classic identity and expression of Eritrea and Eritreans by all standard and criteria;and if I may add, if you give them a chance,all Eritrea’s problems would be solved…Sorry for my bluntness–but that is the historical FACT.
      SAAY,can you upload Al-amin’s song saying” keren—keren,keren ad meshakinta we ad——all the sweetest adjectives included—and at the end he says”islemayu we kistenayu—misil nebir—

  • Dawit

    No matter how you slice it the result is a disaster.

    • Ali-S

      Dawit – thanks for taking the time to put on the summary of all there is to it in all the articles. It is scary like you put it on this picture. Your thorough understanding of the debate is reflected in your effort to show that none has a clean hand without a knife: whoever opens his/her mouth on Eritrean issues is doing so to take a bite from the other.

      • Dawit

        Thanks Ali-S. I enjoy reading many of the articles , but still try to make sense of them by using caricatures.

  • Haqi

    Gadi
    Great article as always but my question is why did write the same article when our resident evil aka Ali was writing countless articles insulting our highlanders as land grabbers, shifta gebre, facist etc etc. I was hurt by the resident bigot than the ell group.

    Ali

    Do you think we forgot your satanic, barbaric articles? how fast did you make a u turn with out an apology. You owe us an apology other wise your articles and messages are dead on arrival as far as I am concerned

    • Ali-S

      Haqi,

      Feel free to draft the apology and I will sign it

    • Saleh Johar

      C’mon Haqi. I was Ali Salim if you remember. How can I argue against myself? I don’t want people to say I was talking to myself.

      • Haqi

        Gadi
        Yes but majority of us knew it wasn’t you hence you should’ve ignored the liars and challenge Ali . You give to much credit to the liars who were accusing of being Ali.

  • Hayat Adem

    One sentence that caught my eyes in the latest Chatham House report regarding the relationship between Ethiopia and Eritrea is this: “Eventually there will be a return to the question of the border, but it must be addressed in a way that avoids the EEBC ruling remaining the impasse that it has become during the past decade.”

    • Rodab

      Bad idea. It WAS logical to address the claims in amicable way BEFORE the two nations took the issue to EEBC. But they didn’t do that. Now re-opening the verdict for negotiation is a bad idea because it brings shenkolel and distrust. For me, it would be just go by the damn verdict, settle all outstanding issues and move on with your life. We’re talking about grazing pieces of land that do not have economic importance.

    • Rodab

      Bad idea. It WAS logical to address the claims in amicable way BEFORE the two nations took the issue to EEBC. But they didn’t do that. Now re-opening the verdict for negotiation is a bad idea because it brings shenkolel and distrust. For me, it would be just go by the damn verdict, settle all outstanding issues and move on with your life. We’re talking about grazing pieces of land that do not have economic importance.

      • tafla

        Rodab,

        They don’t want peace, they want submission. Look at points 2 and 5. They have nothing to with the border.

        “The House of Peoples’ Representatives of the FDRE having discussed in detail
        the five-point peace proposal submitted to it by H.E. Prime Minister Meles Zenawi;
        Realizing that the desire for sustainable peace of the peoples of Ethiopia and
        Eritrea can only be achieved when the present no war no peace situation is replaced
        with a lasting and durable peace between the two countries;
        Cognizant that the resolution of all disputes between neighboring countries by
        peaceful means only and through negotiation is the only guarantee for lasting peace
        and for promoting mutual interests;
        Reiterating Ethiopia’s conviction which remains unchanged that the decision
        of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission was flawed, but nonetheless realizing
        that nothing is more important than the achievement of lasting peace between the
        two countries; and
        Convinced that the establishment of a lasting peace between the two countries
        will make significant contribution for making the Horn of Africa a peaceful region;
        Has hereby adopted the following five-point peace proposal.

        1. Resolve the dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea only and only
        through peaceful means.

        2. Resolve the root causes of the conflict through dialogue with the view
        to normalizing relations between the two countries.

        3. Ethiopia accepts, in principle, the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary
        Commission decision.

        4. Ethiopia agrees to pay its dues to the Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary
        Commission and to appoint field liaison officers.

        5. Start dialogue immediately with the view to implementing the
        Ethiopia-Eritrea Boundary Commission’s decision in a manner
        consistent with the promotion of sustainable peace and brotherly tiesbetween the two peoples.”

        • hope

          Thanks Tafla but some people do NOT get it,albeit,deliberately.Almost all the puppuet Opposition Groups endorsed these, understandably.

  • Samuel Negash

    Dear SG
    I have read ur article I found it very interesting and clear I really appreciate you thank you again we need more wise men like you

  • Hayat Adem

    Dear Saleh Johar Gadi,
    Your interventions feels great and positive and reasonably corrective. Nobody would and could have said it better.

    • Saleh Johar

      Hayat, thanks for the compliment.

  • tes

    Haw SG,
    I appreciate you for the pinpoints. My concern is in line with your analysis and deduction.

    In the translated document posted here in Awate, I appreciated the initiators under a pre-condition; and that is if there is no question of a separatism agenda or of its limited approach of regionalism issue. But, their approach is of not far from being bigoted. And for this, it is unacceptable and of low level in its political quality. A similar kind of “Woddegeba.”

    This initiative is not different from cultivating a dogma of chauvinism.

    ELL is not different in its intitiative than that of the other failed and failing groups that we have observed for the last 20-30 years and in a more updated version of 2010-14. These updated versions came-up with old slogans and romantizings.

    My point is:

    First, if a genuine group believe that 1961 is an important date for bringing back the lost independent country like any other colonized countries, and through all ups and downs, 1991 marked an independent Eritrea, then, We have two legitimate things. One, Eritreans did right in 1961 and got their right in 1991. Hence, we have a free and independent Eritrea. Everything outside this hatch is just a nutter.

    Then what is the question?

    The question is, the question of “JUSTICE.” Justice that every individual has lost, justice that every family has lost, justice that every society has lost, justice that the nation at large has lost under the brutal leadership of all time. For what ever reason it can be, the question of ELL is question of national policies, such as land policy, educational policy, justice policy, security policy, economic policy and above all failure of the expected FREEDOM.

    then how to tackle this?

    Is it by being a GEEK? or just being “TRUE to the main QUESTION?”

    I have read from a comment posted by Taazabi here, of being in the first category, “being a GEEK”, he started by saying, “God and Allah are NOT the same.” OMG, Taazabi is really a bored human being and may be he is tired of being an observer and wants to say, “hi, I am still observing what you say.” poor man!

    The same is true to ELL, their approach is not different from that of Taazabi. After losing hope on all the opposition groups, and having observed some bancraputed dissidents to unite by the name of Awraja, tegadelti neber, reformers, religious, unionists, Ertra nErtrawyan, Medrek, the Afar, Saho, Bilen, former Asmara University students, the list goes to infinity, they came-up with “deki metahit” really shame and a “really GEEK.”

    Lets be TRue to the QUESTION.

    If it is a separatist agenda, ok, it is a political issue, but, you will not have a market for this, this market place was destroyed in the 1940’s and if you are romantizing the deki metahit jeganu, this is an Eritrean slogan, deki Ertra jeganu, enough for romantizers.

    What we have is a question of dictatorship, totalitariansim, JUSTICE, absence of legitimate government and human exodus. Lets fight for this. Land issue is under JUSTICE and sure you will get the answer if you as the “RIGHT QUESTION.”

    • Saleh Johar

      tes, if someone begins to argue that the Christian God and Muslim God are different, the best thing is to say: to each his own god and stop there. I don’t think it is fair to elevate that argument to the level of a Geek argument. It is not fair to the GEEKS.

  • Yodita

    Saleh Johar Gadi

    When personages like you take such a crystal clear and a
    highly inclusive and uniting stand over the last two (one ‘divisive’ and
    another ‘ambiguous’) coming outs, it is a quantum leap in the right
    direction. I dare say, it is like
    sprinkling salt over PFDJ’s wound. Saleh
    Johar Gadi, through your position in this regard, you are following the
    footsteps of the fathers of the country that you write about gloriously in your
    article. May your vision, in this respect, SHINE!

    • Saleh Johar

      Thank you Yodita.
      The footsteps of the fathers of our cause are too large to fill, the best we can do is imitate their walking style.

  • Mahmud Saleh

    Ustaz Saleh Johar:
    I have been waiting for the Negarit beat and here it is; (BOOM…BOOM….KALOW..KALOW..), very loud this time…you have not disappointed me. I think this is a historic piece of work which I should thank you for, again… and … and again.., as always, a sharp edged sword…enas wed enas. I am a metaht boy (well, a grown man, now), SJ as a kerenite and then as tegadelay, you know what deqi metaht went through, villages which had a shot at being mendefera or Adi Qeyh..size are now forgotten, our property and live stocks were slaughtered just for the fun of it; our water wells poisoned, our moms breasts and pregnant bellies became…..you know it. That was the 60th and half of seventies; then our Kebessa people were also massacred in many villages, and the qeyshbr…..Ethiopians were after subjugating Eritreans; whether they were more aggressive on one sector or not…whether they wanted this or that was made irrelevant when both religions and regions (Kebessa/Metaht) bled and died for one Eritrea, You put its historical prospective beautifully… So, this guys would have been within their limited mandate had they tried to push these demands to be among the priorities of the opposition; I know there are many in the opposition who don’t know the burden Metaht people endured, or choose to downplay them. Very few of us appreciate the economical and environmental(ecological) devastation or pressures which were caused by the policies of Hailesellasie and Ghedli which affected lowland pastoral mode of living adversely, without mentioning the human cost. Just imagine 30 yrs of war and waves of new population settlements (enemy and ghedli settlements, no-man lands which were off the limit of native use because of frontlines and land mines, the fact that almost all water sources and arable plots were also taken away from them and made camps ( for both enemy ad ghedli)… for 30 yrs!!!!! So, yes, they have not only the right but also the duty to amplify this within the national agenda.. and to educate our opposition politicians about it so that fairness reigns when it comes to issues like land laws and distribution of resources it,; but to make this as a bargain chip, and worse, to use it as a threat targeting the fear of decent Eritreans, to the degree of implying “either this or…), I think is not helpful. Actually, it plays well at the hands of PFDJ fear mongering policies. Like you said, if it is just because they have the right to call each other…have luncheon and discuss ….far away from Barka, Sahel..Samhar and Sanhit…(how many thousand kilometers?),well yes, they can do it. However, when they come out and announce an initiation on our behalf, it is appropriate to tell them it is time they called for inclusion. An Afar’s concern is not only that of the Afar; it is my concern too….it is every Eritrean concern. When some some where feels pain we pain too. So, esteemed initiators, my suggestion is: either drop that ELL and limit it to yourselves (those signatories and participants or re-frame it in away that ensures the participation of the other geographic areas, for any decent Kebessa Eritrean would be glad to listen and accommodate legitimate concerns; it is about confidence building and reaching each other, please.

    • Saleh Johar

      Ya Mahmud, BOOM KALOW! That is funny, the real sound of a real Negarit 🙂
      You raised a very important topic which I overlooked: ecological disaster. Cowherds are now competing with goats and sheep because the grazing areas is becoming smaller and smaller and the goat and sheep pasture is now being shared. Forget about the areas around the military camps, they have become bald, the few trees are gone. Ten years ago, they used to walk to collect firewood, now they use cars to go to remote areas to collect firewood. It is an ecological disaster.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        I am translating it in to Tigrigna, expect it on the week end; where to post it will depend on your mood!! You will have a say but per Awate.com policy I believe I have an overriding say on where to post it, or not? Any way, I will let you know ahead.

        • Dawit

          With all due respect, don’t you have to ask permission before attempting to translate.? Is copyright limited to only the distribution of the author’s work?

          • Saleh Johar

            Dawit, awate.com has declared its approval of translation services provided the translation is properly sourced and credited. The gentleman has volunteered to translate an article and we are thankful to anyone who is willing to help. Maybe you can translate it into, any other language 🙂

          • Dawit

            Thanks for the clarification Saleh Johar, I can’t wait to read Mahmoud’s translation 🙂 Hopefully, the original message won’t be lost in translation. Let me see how his translation goes before I also do the same 🙂

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Dawit; I will recheck awate’s posting guidelines; believe me, I don’t want to be sued. If I’m in breach of their guidelines I will bow low, ground level, and beg for mercy. Thank DaWit.
            From my HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network

            —– Reply message —–

          • Saleh Johar

            Mahmoud, I explained awate.com’s policy. On top of that, the article in question is mine. Please don’t check anything. Not only you have the permission, I encourage you to more of that. Thank you in advance.

          • Mahmud Saleh

            Thank you SGJ.

            From my HTC Sensation 4G on T-Mobile. The first nationwide 4G network

            —– Reply message —–

  • ALHAGIGA

    Dear Saleh,I read your article with great interest,it concerns me immensely that at every difficult and challenging times we resort to solutions that does not solve the roots of our problems,if every one wants to solve his problems individually,that means we will end up like Lebanon ,that every religious groups,and every ethnic groups will fight for it’s interest even at the expense of our national interest,I have no doubt there is injustices since independance,and for this reason many organizations refused to join the regime and kept fighting as much as they could despite the small and neglegible support they get from Eritreans and host country,in my humble view the problem of lowlands is not to do with lack of organizations or expressing their concerns and grievances,there are organizations and the ENCDC has discussed and put it as an issue of concern which has to be resolved, especially the land issue,there is nothing new in this document except the way they have divided the country,wishes and emotons alone are not enough,commitment and hard work is required,same thing of challange that many lowland organizations faced the last twenty years due to lack of support.

    • Saleh Johar

      Indeed AlHagiga, national issues should be resolved on a national platform, anything less, devalues it. But don’t you think there are many re-groupings and politicking that emanated from the Awassa debacle? Why not? It takes the formation of a five-man group to be admitted to the front seat row.

  • Fanti Ghana

    Thank you, Saleh, for giving me a desperately needed nudge
    toward my long held conviction regarding God/Allah. I always thought that it
    was unnecessary to only end up writing God/Allah myself recently. I guess I was
    influenced by the “politically correct” crowd, but let me assure you that its
    fate is sealed from here on as far I am concerned.

    Regarding your main topic, I am delighted to know that your
    position is the position I hope all Eritreans will adapt. It is extremely
    important for Eritreans to be alert for any concept and/or action that divide them
    farther along geographic/spiritual lines. It is understandable that in
    desperate times desperate ideas will pop up, but to dwell in High/Low lands
    concept now in a nation already with the dashed lines in place according to
    language/religion/tribe is too unpredictable to say the least. Avoid at almost any cost.

    • Saleh Johar

      Fanti, I am glad you are relieved of the redundancy. You can also use “Jaar” in reference to the creator. It is Blin for God, Allah, Igzabher, etc.

  • Hope

    Thank you, Johar The Great , for your honest opinion.You are mesmerizing me again and again.
    God bless you.
    BTW,what kind of books/literature do you read besides your,gifted talent?

  • Zula

    Dear Saleh

    From your prospective, is ELL the outcome of the ENCDC failure as to my understanding Dr. Mohammed Kher

    and others were strong advocate of ENCDC and the youth movement at one point. Is it correct to say that they gave up on that & want to work on a smaller project closer to home in order to see the fruit of their labor ?
    Thank you

    • Saleh Johar

      Zula, I am not sure what their main motive is. abut the document id political of in nature. So far, I believe the Eritrean political experience failed in developing neutral non-partisan civic association..

      • Hope

        Here we go,again Saleh!Brutal honesty.
        Then the big question is: How can we develop a neutral and non-partisan civic association?.Do NOT try to be perfectionist as–you willl fail, as there will never be a perfect ONE,Johar!
        We just have to try to “narrowen” our differences and come closer to an intersection point–by compromising.

      • Ali-S

        SG,

        Excellent and very polite approach and you said it all. In my opinion, none of the two newborn babies have come with anything different in substance. They all fit into one category of the part of the opposition that is calling for regime change. The call to reform the PFDJ or to negotiate is nothing but another way of calling for saying the same.

        It is the same totalitarian thinking based on the idea that Eritrea can only have one political party and the options are: (1) merge with the PFDJ, (2) overthrow the PFDJ, (3) Reform the PFDJ, (4) negotiate in such as way that you may merge. That is for Medrekh as nothing but another of the same bankruptcy.

        For the LLT, of course needless to say just like you said, the cause is well justified. Where I disagree with you is that you believe the cause should belong to the nationalist agenda because it is everybody’s pain. I believe they are well justified to go it alone i.e. as separate from the nationalist agenda. The reason is that some issues arise because a section of society (a sub-national) needs to negotiate the terms with the collective.

        Say if GM has 1000 employees and five of the employees are disabled and need special accommodation, they should be allowed to organize and negotiate special treatment from the collective. Everybody in GM sympathizes with the cause of accommodating disability. But that cannot be the basis for the call that the disabled who are feeling special pain should merge and hope that their issues will be adopted and promoted by all without distinction. I think these special interest groups complement the collective and add to its perfection as expressions of diversity. Because if the collective would adopt special interests of sub-nationals just naturally, we would never have the problem of sub-nationalism in the first place.

        My problem with this particular grouping and some of their predecessors is: why should they have separate routes when there are already functioning sub-national organizations. The ethnic organizations even had something called the movement of nationalities. The answer is of course because these are elitist groups. These guys think the ethnic organizations are uneducated and geberye movements that would not understand what these intellectuals have to say. It is just a tendency to look down on those who have their hands on the dirt.

        SG – I think me and Hope are trying to sell our eggs in your shop. I was laughing reading Hope trying to shyly convince you that the way to go is to “narrow our differences”. Good job my friend. I think what we should do is walk into random shops and sell our own “embetito” (a word I heard again today in more than 10 years.

        • Saleh Johar

          Ali-S, thanks for the note.
          In that case the disabled GM employees (your example), the disabled will have to elect their representatives. Otherwise, some people cannot install themselves to represent the GM workers who have no idea of the new shumegnatat 🙂

  • Taazabi

    God and Allah are NOT the same. Please DO NOT confuse people as if the two are one and the same. It is NOT a translation issue it is an issue of essence. Hence, my friend, don’t get angry when people see two different things as two different things.

    • Saleh Johar

      Taazabi, if you are into splitting hair (maybe in theological dissection describing divinity) you could have a small wiggle room to get away with that. But if you met me somewhere and wanted to say ??? bless you to me. Would you say Allah bless you, or God Bless you, or God and Allah bless you, or God, Allah, Igzabiher bless you? If you go to Iran, thier word for God is Khuda, which I suspect is the origin of God by the way. The idea here is not hair splitting, but dauy to day communication, greeting, wishing people good, etc, on social level. Think of someone you don’t know, what would you use? Forget for a moment you are from our region (which acts as if there a Muslim God and Christian God) I understand Allah to be the creator of all things, and that is a definition of God in English and Igzaabhier as known in our region) Please educate me on what the essence of God is and the essence of Allah. Please explain the attributes of each, what each of them can do and cannot do. Save me from blaspheming one more time.

    • dine

      as far as i know most Islamic scholars don’t translate ALLAH to GOD but in Arabic god means ALLAH.

    • Hope

      I think it is unfair and unethical to bash like that.
      Keep to yourself such nonesesne,man.
      Johar–please ignore this nonesense—

    • Jo

      Taazabi,

      Seriously??? Do you, really, think there are people who are going to be confused about God or Allah? So, can you tell us the difference between Rebuni, Jehovah, God, Allah, The Holy Gost, Jessus etc.. if there is any? I think it is suffice to say, some people have to say things so that they don’t feel left out. Talk about splitting hairs!!! It seems to me you have stopped reading after that point, huh? Please grow up – mentally.

      Luwam zelewo leiti!!

    • tafla

      Taazabi,

      there might be a difference in how the creator is described by respective scriptures. If I’m not misstaken the word Allah comes from Al-Illah which means the “the God”. nay kuluna feTari ente belnayo gn bzuh zesekif aymeslenin.

  • Salah Ejail

    Eritrean politics require political correctness than any time else. “Eritrean low landers league ” really! What makes it bitter is the participation of renowned or distinguished characters! Most of the participants I know are from Senhit(keren and it’s environs).By the way there are tens of thousands of martyrs from highlands who fell in Barentu,Tessenay,Agordat,Sahil,Senhit….to set its land and people free. In Eritrea, any political organisation is prematurely dead if it dwells on Religion,region,ethnicity,language ……. The notion that “they have the right to do so” is a sarcastic answer to cover the poison with honey. The unionists had the right to claim Eritrea as part of Ethiopian yet that right didn’t save them from being traitors and always remembered as evils in Eritreans history.I wonder what is going to happen next though?

  • Dawit

    Buyer’s remorse

    • Hope

      Dawit,
      What evidence do you have to say so—other than to appease Johar?