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The Politics of Eritrea’s Independence Day

As it usually does, the Eritrean regime has been preparing for this year’s independence anniversary, which is unusually grand in its scope.

For over a month, the news and pre-celebration programs have been a regular stable on the government-controlled media, including the state-owned television station (Eri-TV) which has been running 24-hour coverage of the activities that are carried out in preparation for May 24 May celebration.

Each hamlet, village, town and city has a sub-committee of the national festival committee tasked to plan and organize the people for the upcoming celebration. The Committee is headed by Issa Ahmed Issa, the former Eritrean ambassador to Sudan.

Civil service offices were ordered to divert all their resources to the preparation and the committee was given full mandate to request support and resources from all government branches. As such, it is now all-too-common to find barely-functioning government offices turning away visitors and informing them that the manager is busy with the celebration committee and they should return after May 24.

Around the world, wherever the ruling party has a base, its supporters’ weekends have been consumed by meetings in preparation for the celebration. These activities are, in turn, covered on national media with identical headings: “Eritrean community members celebrate 23rd Independence Day anniversary with higher patriotic zeal.” The various localities then begin their meetings by discussing the state media coverage of their previous meetings.

Stadiums, streets and public offices are decorated with colorful lights and lamp posts have been adorned by hundreds of flags.

Gedab News talked to a shopkeeper who said, “The entire country is busy or made busy, but it is not as bad as a few years ago when they ordered us to put slogans.” He was referring to an order the government passed a few years ago to commercial entities to paint “Yohanna” on their shop front windows or walls. Yohanna is Tigrinya for congratulations.

Apart from the fact that Eritreans are ordered to be happy by a government fiat, there have been exceptional political activities inside Eritrea and in the Diaspora on the eve of the 23rd independence anniversary. The ruling party has been conducting public seminars and meeting all over the country. In Asmara, it has carried several large seminars where the leaders of the meetings pumped up the attendants (most of whom were ordered to attend) with heavy doses of propaganda telling them the list of things the government will introduce.

The seminars, which were held in Cinema Capitol and Expo, were chaired by Abraha Kassa, Director of National Security; Major General Philipos Weldeyohannes, who was recently promoted to Chief of Staff of the Eritrean Defense Forces (EDF) and Weldenkiel Abraha, Minister of Local Government.

Of note here is that the reclusive Abraha Kassa has been coming out front: when flights were cancelled from Egypt because a Yemenia airplane was blocking the Asmara Airport runway, he was one of two (the other being Yemane Gebreab, the ruling party’s political director), who was stranded in Cairo. Also noteworthy is that the seminars with the EDF were not chaired by the Minister of Defense, General Sebhat Ephrem, but by the Chief of Staff of the armed forces. This has added more cause to those who have speculated that General Sebhat Ephrem is about to be sidelined.

In the Diaspora, the opposition, which had for long celebrated Independence Day with small-scale picnics and had yielded the floor to the ruling party, seems to be poised to have a showdown with the ruling party’s operatives as to who can organize the biggest events and crowds. This is made possible by the fact that an increasing number of Eritrean artists have turned their backs against the ruling party.

//END
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  • Amanuel Hidrat

    Selam Awatistas,

    An angry Eritrean diplomat sent a letter to John Kerry the Head of the State Department. John Kerry sent a congratulatory letter to the Eritrean people (without mentioning the GOE) on the Independence day. So read below in the link how they are bragging because the government wasn’t mentioned in John Kerry’s letter.

    http://www.geeskaafrika.com/eritrea-diplomat-sent-an-open-letter-to-john-kerry/3669/

  • Pappillon

    I hope tomorrow brings the end of the suffering of the Eritrean people under dictatorship.

  • haileTG

    ርግቢት ናጽነት፣ እዋን ወቕቲ ቆጸራ፡

    ብዕስለ ዘምብያ፣ ዛንታና ንገራ፡

    ሓድነት ሰሊምክን ንሰማያት ኤርትራ፡

    ንሰላም፡ ንፍትሒ፡ ብሓባር ዘምራ።

    ካብ ዓይኒ ኣርሒቕና፣ ሕልና ቀበርና፡

    ኣብ ማሙቖም ኣስተርሒና፣ እጃሞም ከሊእና፡

    ለሚስናን፡ ወዲቕናን፣ ፈጺምና ጠሊምና፡

    ነቲ ጥሉል ሓቂ፣ብሓሶት ‘ጀርቢብና፡

    ሲኦሎም ክንርኢ ቀዚዝና ደንዚዝና፡

    ካን የለኹምን ክንብል ምሒልና ጥሒልና፡

    ደጀን’ዚ ውሉድና፡ ሓውና፡ ዓብዩልና ብመትከል፡

    ናጽነት ሰማእት፡ ዓትዒቱ ክከላኸል፡

    ካብ ሺላን፡ ቆሊባን፡ ብሃውሪ ዝሃልል፡

    ሰማያት ዓድና፡ ካብ ኣባይ ዝኽልል።

    በዓል እንታይ ግዶም ብጃህራ ዝህውትቱ፡

    ንደጀን ወሲዶሞ ካብታ ምውቕቲ ቤቱ፡

    እቲ ጉዶም፡ ከይቅላዕ፣ ኣብ ልክዕ ሰዓቱ፡

    ደጀን ከይውዕሎ፡ ሓቁ ጭውነቱ፡

    ንህዝቢ ንዒቆሞ፡ ክብልዎ ብደዉ’ዩ ሞይቱ፡

    ድላዮም ገበሩ፡ ክሳዕ እታ መዓልቱ።

    እነሆ ግርም ኮይኑ፡ ናጽነት ርእይና፡

    ኩሉ ብሩህ ኮይኑ፡ ኣባይና ፈሊጥና፡

    ደሃይ ቢትወድድ፡ ይመስገኖ ዘስምዓና፡

    ደሃይ ናይ ፓፓዮ፡ ይመስገኖ ዘስምዓና፡

    ዮሃና ዮሃና፡ ነዚ ዝረኣና፡

    ሕጂ’ውን ዮሃና ደጊምና ደጋጊምና።

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY ERITREA!!! YOU WILL BE FINE 🙂

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pmyXziT04b4

    • Kokhob Selam

      Dear Haile,

      Although I have taken clear stand on this independent day that
      this independent is uncompleted and I postponed my celebration, I would like
      still congratulate you and all those still celebrating it. Your poem is so
      perfect and to the point, I share the ideas inside but only by giving more strength
      on the hijacked freedom und the hurt touching part:-

      ርግቢት ናጽነት፣ እዋን ወቕቲ ቆጸራ፡

      ብዕስለ ዘምብያ፣ ዛንታና ንገራ፡

      ሓድነት ሰሊምክን ንሰማያት ኤርትራ፡

      ንሰላም፡ ንፍትሒ፡ ብሓባር ዘምራ።

      Good style

      • haileTG

        Thanks KS

        ናጽነት’ኮ ጉድ ረኺባ ብኹሉ ክትጭወይ። ህግደፍ ይጨውያ፡ ደምና ክመጽየላ፣ ደሓር ገሊኡ ደላይ ፍትሒ ይጨውያ፡ ንነብሱ ከተዓባብየላን ልዕሊ ብጾቱ ፈታው ሃገሩ ኮይኑ ክረኣየላ፡ ደሓር ናይ ቀደም ገዛእቲ ይጨውዩዋ፡ ዕደ’ኸ ብዘይካና እናበሉ ከግባዕቡዑላ፡ ደሓር መስተማሰልቲ ይጨውዩዋ፡ ብሰንካ ከምዚ ኾይንና ክብሉ…ንዓ ኮኾብ ዓርከይ፡ ከምቶም ጨወይቲ እይንኹን፡ ኣነን ንስኻን ሰብ ንኹና፡ ናጽነት ስለ ዝኾነ ስማ ድማ፡ ምእንቲ ናጽነት ንዘክራ።

        Happy Independence,

        We are survivors, we shall survive this too 🙂

        • Kokhob Selam

          ክቡር ሃይላት:- I got it. all my respect to you brother. We are survivors, we shall survive this too 🙂 and you can make sure that I am not going to abandon my hard struggle and all the promises I gave to my beloved fighters. being badly injured for this nation you touch my heart. see bellow till the end.

          እዚ እንድዩ ምስ ናጽነት ኣኾርዩኒ ዘሎ :- ዘዝጨወያ ትቅበሎ ናጽነት ድኣ ትርጉማ ስለዘይፈለጠቶ እንታይ ክብላ ? እዋእ!!! ኣንታ ዓርኩ እስከ ሓንሳብ እባ :- ናጽነት መን እያ ? እስከ ንግለጻ :: ናጽነት ጓል ‘ ቶም ንስለኣ ኢሎም ዝወደቁ ‘ ዶ ኣይኮነትን? እሞ ንሳ ድ ኣ ሰላም ራህዋን ዶ ኣይኮነ መግለጺኣ ? ከመይ ግይራ ድ ኣ ብኩናትን ጸገምን ተቀይራ? ሕጋዊት ዶ ኣይኮነትን? ከመይ ድ ኣ ሕጊ ኣልቦ ን ርኹስን ወሪስዋ ? ወረ ንናይሓባር ራእይን ዕላማን ከተጠዓዕም ዝተመዘት ዶ ኣይኮነትይን? ንምታይ ድ ኣ ብድልየት ውሑዳት ትግዛእን ትእዘዝን ? ኣኽባሪት ዝወደቁላን ዝቖሶልላን ዶ ኣይኮነትን? ከመይ
          ከመይ ድ ኣ ኣብ ማእሰርትን ስደትን ኣብ መከራይን ሓሳርን ተንብሮም ? ኣንታ:- ንሳ ድ ኣ ንባህርያዊ ትሕዝቶ ማዕረ ኣመቃሪሓ :- ንትሕተ ቅርጻ ሃገር በገባብ ክት ሃንጽ ዶ ሓደራ ኣይተቀበለትን? እሞ ከመይ ድ ኣ ሃገር መ ጎ ዓዝያ መስመራታ ካብ ዝነበሮ ንላዕሊ ዝዓነወ ኮይኑ ነሪኦ? መርበባት ሓበሬታ በጀካ ንስለያ ዘገልግል ንሱ ‘ ውን ‘ኳ በብዕለቱ ኣብ መስመር ተዋጊኡካ ትንክፍ ኣቢልካዮ ፋሕ ፋህ ዝብል :- ካልእ ምዕቡል ቴክኖሎጂ ዘይብላ ምውቲ ንምንታይ ኮይና ? እንዲዒ ሃይላት ንሳ ዶ ኢልካያ?

          ንሳ እንተኾይና ኡይታና ሰሚዓ ድምጻ ተስምዕ እንተዘይ ኮይና ድማ ምስ ህግደፍ ዕርብ ትበል እምበር ኣነስምስ ‘ዚ ኹሉ ጉድለታታ ነጻነት እያ ክብላ ኣይክእልን እየ :: እቲ ምንታይ ‘ሲ ንሳ ‘ታ ስው ኣት ዝጠፈኡላ ነጻነት ነዚ ኩሉ ገበናት ብሸለል እተሕልፎ ዋዛ ኣይኮነትን ዝብል እምንቶ ኣለኒ::

          ሕጂ ‘ሞ ምዘኖ ኣብ ‘ዛ ዕለት ቲቪ ከፊትካ እንተሪእኻ ነቲ ብዓል ድምቀት ክህቦ ዘይክእል ሓዘን ዝለበሶ ጥበብን ኪነትን ውሑዳት ዝሳተፍዎ ካብ ‘ቶም መራሕቲ ህግደፍ እኳ ኣዝዮም ጎዲሎም ንሶም ‘ውን ሓሙ ስ ገጾም ዝኸዱ ዝመስሉ ኣረግቶት ‘ዶ ኣይኮኑ ተሪፎም ? ንሳ እንተኾይና ናጽነት ዓስያ ተጠቃሊላ እያ ዓርኩ። ዝዓሰወ እንጀራ ድማ ምስ ሽሮ ዕልኽላኽ እዩ ዝብላዕ:: ንሱ ውን ማይ እንተልዩካ እዩ ::

          ግን ንሳስ ንሳ እያ ሓቅኻ ኢኻ :: ድምጻ ከስምዕ እንድኣለይ ኮርየ::መሰለይ እዩ ክሕንቅቀላ እሞ ኣይፋልክን ዶ ክብል ::

          I am sure you didn’t read a poem under your name. I found in my record and it seems the subject is similar. And here I am Haile the great once again with the poem it is deep important and golden please make sure you are in good mode in reading this.

          ……..ሓው ሃይለ;…….

          ጎቦታት ሰጊሩ፣ ርሕቀት ከይጸገሞ፣
          ንልበይ ፊሒሩ ፣ዑምቆት ከይኣጎሞ፣
          ስውእ ኣዘኪሩ ፣ ኢደይ ዝጠመሞ፣
          ሕልናይ ኣስሚሩ ፣ንኣዳም ክገርሞ::

          ብዝይ ምጻእ መጺእካኒ፣ እታ ልበይ ፈሊጥካያ፣
          ሕጂስ ዒርካኒ ፣ሕውነትና ሓሊኻያ፣
          ‘ምበር ዘይምኸኣልካኒ ፣ብረስኒ ብጉያ፣
          ሰላም ‘ውን ሂብካኒ፣ ቆቢዕይ ኣውሪደያ::
          ዓርኩ፦
          አዛ ጽጌረዳ ፣ እሾኽ ዝኸበባ፤
          ከፊልናላ ዕዳ፣ ጀጋኑ ጠሊባ፣
          ብዙሕ እያ ወሲዳ፣ መንእሰይ ዕንባባ፣
          መን እዩ ዘገድዳ ፣መን እዩ ኸ ዝቐርባ?

          እቲ ሕቶ፦
          ንሳ እታ ጽጌረዳ ፣ ተሃራፊት ሽታ፣
          እንሀልካ ዕዳ ፣ተታሒዛ ብሽፍታ፣
          ደንዚዛ ከርዲዳ ፣ኣዝያ ትሒታ፣
          ሓፋሽ ኣሰምቢዳ፣ ድሕሪት ተጎቲታ::

          እወ፡
          ብዘይ ሕጊ ዝኸዱ፣ ፍጹም ዝሓንገዱ፣
          ዕግርግር ዝወልዱ ፣ፍጹም ዘይ እበዱ፣
          ደም ዝለመዱ፣ጸገም ዝእንግዱ፣
          ህድኣት ኣልቦ ተሃንድዱ፣ ክንደይ ዘይሓረዱ::

          ነዚ ተገንዘቡ ፣ብዙሓት ተበልጽቲ:
          ናይ ልቦም ረኸቡ፣ ኣዝነቡ መጥቃዕቲ:
          ደፈሮም ቀረቡ ፣ሞገት ጸረ ተጋደልቲ:
          እንሀልካ ተደሪቡ፣ ሓይሊ ተጻባእቲ:

          እምበር፡
          ስለ ዝነበርኩ: ‘ቲ ጀግና ክወድቕ:
          ስለ ዝወዓልኩ፣ ኣብ ጸላም ኣብ ብራቕ፣
          ስለ ትቐብልኩ፣ ሕድሪ ናይቲ ሰንድቕ፣
          ቅድም እየ ዝመሓልኩ፣ ኣብ መትከል ክደርቕ::

          ሓደራ ትብለኒ፣ “ንወርቂ ንጭርቂ”፣
          ገንዘብ ዶ ይዓቢየኒ፣ ኮይኑ ካብቲ ስውእ በርቂ፣
          ህይወት ዝሃበኒ፣ ከይወሰዲ ሲንቂ፣
          ተተርኢሱ እምኒ፣ ራህዋና መራቂ::

          ኣብዚኣ ተጠንጥቀቅ፣ ሰብ እዩ ቀዳምነት፣
          ውሑዳት ክንንጠቅ፣ ዝነበረ እምነት፣
          ብዙሓት ከነስንቅ፣ ኣብ ልዕሊ ‘ዛ መሬት ፣
          ኣይኮነን ከነሕልቅ፣ ህዝብታት ከነጽንት::

          ንሓና ‘ምስ ንሓበር ንተሓባበር፣
          ነቶም ተጋገዩ ‘ምስንንገር ንመከር፣
          ኣብትኸዶ የብላን ‘ዛ ሃገር፣
          ተበቲኑ ዘሎ ምስ ዝሰምር::

          Haylat you send so strong massage, you let me read all our old debates. thank you.

  • yon

    Dear Awates
    On this special day of human freedom and independence from oppressors in our region
    Let me share with you some archaelogical new discoveries I found unique in some southern parts of our country and which will be appeared on the New Archaelogy Magazine edition of coming september 2014.The title of the book is DALLOL political Archaelogy to signify the importance of the closest township to the site.

    And the thing or new discovery is people all over the world play politics. So politics is played well by all people in every part of the world. The only unique exception is politics plays the people in the Dallol area.

  • tes

    Dear Awatistas,

    I can not skip this special day, the day that the Eritreans forced the Ethiopian aggressors to leave Eritrea, and got our sovereignty. It is a day when we said enough against outsiders. It has lots of meaning to us. I honor Eritrean heroes who contribute May 24, 1991 to come. All martyrs, Eritreans from all walks of life who participated in all kinds in making this day to happen need to be remembered.

    Why fought then?,

    We didn’t fight only to be from outsiders. We fought so that to get FULL FREEDOM. Freedom from any kind of oppression and to have a place where our dreams to flourish, to blossom. We fought for complete emancipation.

    But,

    This has been halted by opportunists, by the name of EPLF and then PFDJ (1994). Since then (May 25, 1991), EPLF rejected any welcoming ground for different politically diversified society and tried to merge through deception and deceit (betrayal) for the people who trusted his own people to put them in SLAVERY. Officially, since 1994, PFDJ rejected the PEOPLE and became a totalitarian regime. Not only this, he started the mission of extincting the entire people by all means possible. 1995 war with Sudan was the starting point for his ultra-boundry conflict, then with Yemen and after with Ethiopia. All this ruthless acts kidnapped the dream of peace loving people.

    Hence, today, I have mixed feelings, in fact, now it has being for long time. Mixed feelings of saying “Happy Independence Day” and “Mourning for the FREEDOM LOST” after that special day.

    I don’t know what exactly to say, but, since that day, May 24, has a a lot of meaning to me, for you and for the entire Eritrean people, I will be courageous enough to say, “HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!”

    Saying this, I would like to remind myself first and for all my beloved Awatistas here and the entire visitors and sure all Eritreans where ever they are, “LET’S STAND FOR FREEDOM!” Let’s “WEED-OUT PFDJ”and dismantle the system they are working with.”

    May 24 is against traitors and opportunists!

    Hawkum
    Tes

    • Guest

      Yo!
      You got what you wanted for – Independence, and Ethiopia got rid-of a paracite. Have a wonderful time in Sinai. In the next 23 years all of you will be out of Eritrea, and your so called independent country will populated by locust. Your wish will finally will come true.

  • Kokhob Selam

    national freedom in prison. I don’t celebrate independent day and cheat myself as if Eritrea is free. there is no such thing as freedom of land there is only freedom of people. My slogan still goes – there is no freedom higher than democracy and independent will not have meaning till people leave respected. so remember the struggle goes on till we free our people.http://www.capitaleritrea.com/famous-swedes-release-music-video-for-dawit-isaak-birdsong/

  • haileTG

    Selamat Awatista

    Taken from an article by Aida Kidane, Nov. 15th 2007, it reads:

    “(From 2004)
    At the time of her arrest in November 2003 she was the mother of three beautiful girls, namely Weini, Miriam and Mayna, aged between five and fifteen, who need the motherly care to go through their most sensitive and difficult progression from childhood to being adult. This is the age that needs the utmost attention and sensitivity (intuition) of a MOTHER!

    Among other things the battle was set for the custody of the children and the husband was shouting loud and clear that Senait would loose her children as who make sure for her disappearance (Kiketleki iye! Ketfiaki iye!). In fact all the members of the immediate family were worried about his threats. Papayo had to suffer most from these threats as he was under house arrest and had no venue of thwarting the looming disaster.

    In the end, her husband Beyene Russom did exactly what he meant to do. He made sure that Senait would lose the custody of her children by facilitating her transition to jail.

    This is not the first time that her husband had arranged the intervention of the police in the divorce case. In fact, a couple of weeks before this incident, he on his own private initiative, had illegally persuaded the police to snatch the two eldest daughters from Senait and have them taken to his residence (during the course of the divorce Senait was living with her daughters at her parents’ home with Papayo and other family members). However the two young girls managed to escape on their own and rejoin their mother!

    Ermias spent many of his years as a fighter and the present time should have been a time without struggle for him. He should have been free to see the result of many lives sacrifices. Now he’s neither dead nor alive deprived of the least he should have been given – a free life.”

    Below is a picture of Ermias Debessai sitting in a military hospital.

  • dawit

    I listened to the three sad interviews by coach Amanuel of Assena Radio with the young Eritrean Pilot Dejen. I am unable to describe it if it is a mistake, bad luck or some freak accident But I wondered why a poor country spends $4,000,000+ on this rare bird collection, locks its treasure in a special cage for 15 years? Why? Unfortunately, the young pilot Dejen or his families or the zoo keepers do not know why he was kept in a cage for 15 years?

    As an Investigative journalist I wanted to know the ‘Truth’ so I flew to Asmara with roundabout way of Egypt Airlines. After several days of delays in Cairo, because the Egypt’s Airline workers were busy on their new ‘free and democratic election’ of their New Pharaoh, Army Chief General Abdel Fathah el-Sisi. The delay in Cairo was an opportunity to visit the famous Tahrir Square of “Arab Spring” the belly dancing show center of Egypt’s road to ‘democracy’ which captured everyone around the planet glued to TV for months. After visit Tahrir Square visit, I went to Sphinx to shelter from the hot Egyptian sun, I had the whole monument for myself because the American and European tourist crowed driven away by the heat of Tahrir Square. On my arrival at Asmara Airport I was greeted with ‘Rose Flower” with, Eritrean hospitality of welcome. I have flown to many airports around the globe, but never had such a warm reception. The efficiency of the Agelglot workers was great it only took three hours to clear the immigration, collect my luggage and camera equipment. Too many hands handling my Passport, scanning and rescanning, I think that must be for precaution, in case some any seasonal agricultural worker enters without the proper document to be employed on weeding activity in the extensive
    agricultural projects of food security. My fresh rose flower wilted and few petals started dropping, I took my taxi from the airport, and some petal survived when I reach my hotel, I guess some petal are more sturdy than others, even though they all attached to the same stalk..

    On my extensive interview with ‘Kbur Zmlketo’ as part of 23rd. Eritrea’s Independence. Kbur Zemilketo explained on local, regional and international situation and how they relate to Eritrean reality. On my
    question on why and where Pilot Dejen was imprisoned? Kbur Zemlketo, he knew that my question was provided by CIA even before I asked it. I must admit he was right, but Kbur Zemlketo was also kind to give me straight answers. This is the direct quote ‘I don’t know the young pilot Dejen and if I don’t not know him then how can I know why? Where? he was locked”. I thanked His Excellence Kbur Zemlketo, for sparing the time from his busy schedules of Independence Celebration.

    After the interview I flew to South Africa to shop some ‘Hope’, before I returned to my base in Langley, Virginia. I wondering how the young pilot was able to discover the secret combination numbers to open the cage and fly to safety. I am sure there will be a lot of conspiracy theorist to emerge involving this case for years to come. You still have plenty of time ahead of you, just be careful not to be a ‘political football’. You do not have the time to play that game in the ocean of Eritrean Diaspora politics, practical advice from Eritrean singer, you have paid more than your share for Eritrea, just think for yourself and follow your parents wisdom “ነቲ ምሉእ ሂወትና ዝተቓለስናሉን ዝኣመንናሉን ውድብ ሎሚ ምስጸበበና ሕቖና ክንህቦ ኣይኮንናን!’ Mom Knows ‘zbereke tshaina znegese negusna’. Do not spend your time visiting ‘Shrinks’, stay with your education from ‘bet tmhrti sowra, you have the foundation to beat any odd, and you have already proved that! Happy True independence Dejen, you deserve it!

    • Semere Andom

      Hi dawit: You forgot the following
      And for my incursions and penetrating question during this festivities of May 24 I was detained in the airport before making it to the USA and I am still in jail waiting for heaven to reveal to me the key combinations so I can escape. I am praying to Gods including Sheik Zaid, who I met while he was carrying a gun patrolling Keren.
      But unlike Dejen when I am released I will not be interviewed by Assenana, I will be interviewed by dmtsi hafash where I will repent my crimes to be a lesson to other because unlike Dejen my burger and French fries fed body does not have the stamina to escape even if Sheik Zaid whispers the key to me;-)
      Sem

      • dawit

        O-Boy! My friend SEM I did not know you were also detained. Had I known about your detention I would have also inquired about you too, as a bakshish question to Kubur Zemelketo.But I doubt if he knows you.. Hope you will not be forgotten for the next fifteen years! Poor Sem, in the mean time pray hard for the Holly Ghost intervention!

        • Guest

          dawit ! Are you kidding ! yes I was in detention hoping one day I will see the light out of detention and beating it by showing brave face and by writing too much so that my spirit will not feel down. Oh boy…!

          But it is true that the facility I was in was much much better than almost all or most were in. And I better access to resources exercises than almost every detainee.

          peace to our country and people!
          AMEN

    • Peace!

      Dear Dawit,

      While there is no excuse for imprisoning any citizen without charge, why pilot hasnt said anything he may have done wrong? You cant throw someone in prison for 15 years for no reason, unless for collateral. I mean just because he was not charged, it doesnt mean he is innocent. On a seperate note, Amanuel Iyassu is a terrible interviewer; he gets too emotional and that distract him from asking logical questions.

      Regards

      • haileTG

        Wow…Wow… Peace!

        Recently I was discussing the very issue with a guy that I know to be HGDEF “Jasus”. I know him but he doesn’t, so I usually play dumb and interview him with reverse psychology techniques. After exploring all aspects and also sharing some incidents of injustice that he witnessed, he then turned the discussion and offered exactly what you said. Basically he asked me “Could there have been anything that he said might explain why he was there? that even if he wasn’t told about it, could he have thought of something?” And I was attentive to his body language as he said that and could see him breathing a sigh of relief and letting his tightened chest relax. Sorry to say this but I doubt if the evil in our nation can be washed off with anything short of blood. We definitely have evil among us and it is hard to hope for the better.

        • Peace!

          Dear Haile TG,

          What a coincidence!! I had similar discussion with Ex PFDJites who wants Issayas to go so bad regardless. I kept telling him yes, Issayas is bad, brutal, evil, sick,….but you are defying logic. He is smart guy, but I don’t take Ex PFDJites’ judgment as credible.

          regards

          • haileTG

            Hi Peace,

            The PFDJ supporters are only those who do so religiously. When you do something religiously, it means you do it regardless of any consideration to unfolding situation as a result of your actions. That is the basic definition of doing something religiously. Hence PFDJ supporters do so and no amount of disaster can change the hard core supporters short of physically pushing them out. Incidentally, for those who do religious things, the most none-credible people are scientists. Despite scientists arguing with evidence and their ideologues only churning out unsubstantiated rhetoric, they still consider scientists less credible. Again, this is because they do things religiously. So, your feeling towards ex-PFDJ or opposition in general is more to do with your mind set than the facts that should have shaken your soul.

          • Peace!

            Haile TG,

            Again Ex PFDJites are not credible, sorry. And if that kind of story shakes your soul, wait till you hear the soon to be Ex PFDJites, Yemane Gebreab, Philipos, and Sebhat on assena.com. Don’t forget to hold your soul tight 🙂

        • Saba

          Dear Haile,
          Sorry no more “the great” title since you are not behaving as the great.
          You seem delighted of the confusion of some people while politicizing the suffering of some VIP Ex-PFDJites. Why are you selective? You can not relate to the suffering of ordinary people under PFDJ? Only VIP’s are important? Those guys like Dejen were considered by PFDJ as “emunat zegatat” and they got all the privileges including better employment, while civilians were considered “gebar denbar”. Why you wash the sins of those makers of PFDJ’s ‘merzi” once they become anti-PFDJ ? I can imagine that you will be willing to shake hands with Sebhat ephraim or philipos if he decides tomorrow to be anti-PFDJ. Having double standards will fuel the fire. Please try to have a holistic approach to our problem instead of snippets and I hope you will forget this “miliman” TPLF, instead seek for equal partnership if they are willing to. Actually TPLFites do not like that much the new “I heart TPLF” Eritreans.

          • Peace!

            Well said! We can’t even question the credibility of Ex PFDJites’ story, amazing!

          • haileTG

            Here is my ultimatum, either you hand me back my title (the great) or I will register with the TPLF grassroots office to work for them full time. ደሓር ክትከፍኣክን’ያ! Mind you, we insist that we love most Eritreans and have no ill feeling towards our beloved people or nation. It is the system that we wish to change. If Gen. Sebhat has case to answer, I am sorry there is nothing I could do (even if his family enda aboy Grazmach efrem were good to me, his younger sister (Brikti/titi) tutored me tirelessly in my Kindergarten years as a little boy). Justice must be served, but we are not strangers to each other..Isaias, Petros, Efrem, Papayo, China, Ali Abdu, Hagos Dmu (ginbar Asseb) we’ll Eritreans and equal in the eyes of the law. This isn’t personal, the land and everything on it belongs to the people. Dejen is our normal child who did normal things and reached normal career that should be applauded and encouraged. Now you guys are on Dejen because you’re sensing how he is touching the public mind. Dear Saba, truth be told we love you too, even if we know what you’re upto. We are big people, with big muscle, hang on there we’ll rescue you soon 🙂

          • Nitricc

            Hahahah Haile I thought you are almost there; with TPLF grassroots.
            I say this brogues I aknowldged your greatness and at the same time I am disappointed how you went out of your way to apease the Tigryan elites. They are all over you becouse they think you are advancing their case. How about ours Haile?
            Becouse they got a big mouth it does not mean they are victims. We are the once got scrwed.
            You started with the noble coase; the border and now not only the border is none existsce for you but you crossed over to be the defender of the Dishonest Tigryan elites.
            Let me ask you Haile why is it we admit everything but they admit nothing? Why is that Haile?
            You don’t think everything is Eritrea foult? I disagree.
            Like yesterday; Ali Salim stated his opinion that fragmented Ethiopia is good for Eritrea; personally I disagree but the way you handle it is not right. Instead of asking Ali Salim to defend his remarks your where on the attack in support of the disgraced elits.
            I say this becouse I expect more from you and I respect you.
            If you find it offensive with what I have to say; well sorry you feel that way but that what I felt saying.
            Respect.

      • dawit

        Dear Peace,
        Yes you are right there is no excuse for imprisoning any citizen without a charge. But at this moment I am not passing judgments on any one. Simply there is no sufficient information that came from the interview. I could even doubt the authenticity of the story, if it is real or fiction or a creative writing by someone or groups engaged in power struggle between IA and PFDJ one hand the bunch of opposition groups in Eritrea on the other hand. What I am unable to comprehend so far why a country spends so much to train its citizen and lock him/her for decades? Equally why an individual citizen who is offered so much privileges revolt against the states that offered him/he such opportunity? That is the riddle or mystery to me.
        Regards

  • Sam

    Twitter world is ablaze with descriptions of Eritrea’s Independence Week festivities. Lots of cheers and patriotism on display on the streets of Asmara and various municipalities across Eritrea with street performances, parades, concerts and traditional ceremonies along with fireworks and lots of spirit. Cars, balconies and lampposts were decorated with Eritrean flags. The carnival was really long and more elaborate this year. Cultural troupes from South Africa and Uganda added color to the festivities this year. The main event is tomorrow at Asmara Stadium.

    https://twitter.com/SamWediAsmara/status/469820698350067712/photo/1

  • sara

    its time (may 24) to rejoice our independence day, and i would like to see/read all eritreans to here
    to comment about the heroic struggle for independence the eritrean people have taken for 30 years.
    happy independence day… to all eritreans!!!!!!!

  • dawit

    May 24th. in Eritrean History
    “From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration. Nevertheless, the strategic interests of the United States in the Red Sea Basin and considerations of security and world peace make it necessary that the country [Eritrea] be linked with our ally, Ethiopia”.
    —John Foster Dulles, 1952, Died May 24, 1959. Eritrea Liberation Day May 24, 1991 Eritrean May 24, 1993..

    • haileTG

      Thanks dawit,

      For now though the following would be timely:

      “”From the point of view of justice, the opinions of the Eritrean people must receive consideration.” John Foster Dulles, 1952

      …not just that of PFDJ or IA.

      Regards

      • dawit

        Hi Haile TG,
        I always considered John Foster Dulles as an ‘honest person’ he did what was best for his country, even if it destroys a weak nation in the process. He did not cover his intention like Suzan Rice, which put sanction on Eritrea to ‘help Eritrean Children’
        Regards

  • feven1

    May I wish my dear northern neighbor many many more “independence parties”…whatever keeps you busy…..Amen….

    • suleman

      You are indeed very sarcastic! Can’t you have a grain of concern for the Eritrean people who have been held hostages of the most cunning PFDJ leaders who are bent to keep their subjects being oblivious of the bare facts that they are heading into extinction sooner or later, by forcing them to only look at other side using some distracting methods like observing the psuedo “independence parties” and other similar parties year in and year out. PLease have compassion!!

    • AMEN

      My dear southern neighbor at least you already know of yourself
      that you do not have freedom and independence at all and
      but know how to behave and act taken for granted and live
      with it.
      AMEN
      your
      Northern Neighbor

  • Pappillon

    Eritrea is a horror-country in Steven King’s novel. Do not go far to prove me right. All you have to do is listen to the interview of Dejen Hishel. In his latest interview, he gives a detailed ordeal where he roamed around in darkness where he said, for seven years he hadn’t seen a single soul and saw the sun for the first time in two years. When his parents found out that he was held in prison, they came to see him and his mother collapsed when she saw him and his father sobbed drenched in tears. Later on that day before she left the prison, his mother said, ነቲ ምሉእ ሂወትና ዝተቓለስናሉን ዝኣመንናሉን ውድብ ሎሚ ምስጸበበና ሕቖና ክንህቦ ኣይኮንናን! that is the colour of ጽኑዕ መትከል and a defiance to a tyrant who set out to break their spirit. As he put it, the sole purpose of keeping citizens in prison is to reduce them into nobodies where they die while they are still alive. It is just remarkable that, the ululation to celebrate independence is in full swing while as he put it, in every night, wailing of prisoners is heard in the background as they plea and supplicate with the torturers before dawn breaks out. And in another day ululation begins……….

    • Rodab

      Pappi sis,
      Thanks for the info.
      Could you be kind enough to also summarize Bekhita’s (Wedi Ali’s wife) interview?
      I tried to listen to it but I had audio problems….
      Brukh meAlti.

      • Pappillon

        Dear Rodab,

        I haven’t listened to her interview yet but I will when I do.

        Haft’kha.

        • Rodab

          Dear Pappi,
          I actually listened to her – finally. She sounds a great woman.
          Thanks though.

  • Saba

    Dear Haile T G,
    You accused me of prioritizing PFDJ interests but i am prioritizing eritrean interests. Do you think Eritreans who died due to TPLF crimes 16 years ago are less eritrean than those who die today due to PFDJ crimes?
    In your last post you go in extensive detail about Tigrean victims of eritrean pilots but you quickly sidelined the eritrean victims. Do you believe that there are eritrean victims due to TPLF crimes? Can you please mention even one case? T.Kifle and others failed to mention even one case. How about you?
    At this point i am not sure you care about Eritrean victims even under PFDJ. Do you care more about TPLF interests?
    Why is that you can not make a distinction between “opposing PFDJ” and “supporting TPLF”?
    Saba

    • haileTG

      Nice Try! Saba,

      Please, let me usher you towards 1500+ long, fully analyzed, maximum impact comments penned by my self here in awate.com then come back and try again 🙂

      Once you finish you assignment of finding out where I left cases of Eritrean sufferings from the Ethiopian/EPRDF side please come and shame me. After that, please give me SINGLE COMMENT proactively written by SABA to highlight the current suffering of Eritreans. NONE, I am certain. You are doing what you are doing now simply to bait Eritreans so that they would relax/distracted from their legitimate demand for justice. THE PEOPLE DON’T NEED A PLAN TO REGAIN THEIR LOST DIGNITY, THEY SHALL TAKE IT BY ALL MEANS NECESSARY.

      Regards

      • Hope

        Anta Sebaaay tegalistka echa–Do NOT try be more Catholic than the Pope.We know each other now very well.
        I have never ever seen you as of yet to blame the TPLF gang and its crimes against humanity but you have gotten the gut to blame the PFDJ or the GoE–for every thing.I am not sure what the criteria was used by the AT to give you that title of the Haile the “Great “other than posting some doctored clips or “facts”—and ,of course, besides hating your common enemy,the PFDJ.
        And who the heck are you to tell us what to say and what not to say?I care less as to who you are or what your motivation is.
        Tell us as to why you are keeping quite about the TPLF crimes against Eritreans.
        I wonder why the AT has given you a green light to say this and that and NOT challenging you about your biased comments and stand.
        Irrespective of who are now and /or WHO YOU WERE IN THE PAST–BE IT A Minister / high level PFDJ Official,we know what you know and we have been more victims of the PFDJ than you were or your family,
        Stop bluffing and judging people .We are looking for a common ground solution in a balanced way,.Do NOT try to be a prosecutor and the Judge at same time.

        • haileTG

          Hope

          There is a difference between an Eritrean and a PFDJ lackey. PFDJ the most bestial, animalistic, sadistic, disgusting, low of the lowest, shame to humanity, utterly unspeakable, wretched and hated entity in Eritrea of the worst proportions. Dream on to see me to be used by that good for nothing, tragic entity, despised by the world over, quarantined like a disease entity to insult others.

          I have spoken and continue to speak for Eritreans with the right issue at the right time.

          The whorish, prostitute, user, national shame, disturbed, murderer, rapist, torturer, terrorist associate, human trafficker, illegal arms dealer, disgusting mule of transnational crime syndicates, that dishonored Eritrea by bringing wanted terrorists to reside, bringing foreign armed groups to sleep with wives of young Eritrean men in agelglot, its dungeons or refugee camps and these wives get pregnant and cross to Ethiopia to avoid shame, an entity that jails and tortures old women…would be lucky to even think to of having me to use for their sadistic, user, sh!t head attempt to get at TPLF that has shamed them, got them to sit in silence while slapping them blue while the world watched them with utter disgust. You can figure out how you can do your useless balanced solution with them. I don’t need any of that. They better hand over the country or they will be made to. Count my word.

  • AMAN

    Whether I do have plan or not
    surrendering my freedom is still not considered an option
    Man ones he reach the point to understand what freedom
    is he dies with it. If any man surrenders his freedom after
    he knew it and what it means he must only have to be
    non human ( out of the human order).
    Man either always lives with or dies fighting searching for
    freedom.
    Thus first thing is surrendering FREEDOM is a non option.
    Not an option at all !
    Second is to have plan and how to deal with Ethiopians.
    To do these UNITY of all affected parties is required.
    I am not so sure though about Tigrians if they can be a
    party to this because they seem ok with presented status
    quo or seem not affected (they act that way at least).
    And to achieve unity these parochial antagonist parties
    should be trimmed to norma from their extremist ways.
    AMEN

  • Independence for whom? Freedom for what? Yes, are you free to think, act, accept, reject, choose, worship, nomiante and be nomianted??? Freedom that holds no water nor any essence or glimps of that is not valued as Freedom.
    The capital city soaked in darkness, the Independence street in Asmara annoyed by excessive generator sounds hardly entertainable as city, sour unimployment, free and oppen border south and east and all capable youths with energy and potential wealth quits the land in all directions, in short a nation falling apart! Is this independence? Can you really celebrate with moral courage having in mind the martyrs sacrifies and the nation’s Independence? Or is a raped Independence, born dead and never sow light! Darkness and Lost Generations Dependence!
    Words of no value but merely exploited, mis-used, to subjugate its subjects are: martyrs, independence, celebrations, and unity. Nice words but ….
    Are we going to go past this 23 Mai as dark as proceeded dancing days or a day of reflection, nostalgic events, historic moments and heroic deeds that seperates the shuffs from the grain and the worlves from the sheep.
    you People, the snake is so weak and you own all the means in your hand; what you miss is merely a strong desire and a decisive action just for your own self. We in diaspora, thanks God we live very good life, you inside if you live a good life we celebrate with you. Other wise we urge you to take your own responsibility and clean the weeds so that you may really celebrate the true Independence Day with us in peace and real freedom

  • Aman

    Now I know what you have come with and are you upto
    And that is why I was happy to all what was happening
    to you and others like you in our country regarding rights
    of speech .
    Thankyou

  • SA

    For those people against the regime, the best reason to celebrate Independence Day seems to be this:

    “In the Diaspora, the opposition, which had for long celebrated Independence Day with small-scale picnics and had yielded the floor to the ruling party seems to be poised to have a showdown with the ruling party’s operatives as to who can organized the biggest events and crowds.’

    SA

    • Ermias

      SA, it is great to see that you are picking up your pace here on this forum. I always, you had it in you and I am glad you are actively fighting for your people now at least on the cyber space.

      As to the Independence Day (I.D.) celebrations, it has become increasingly unbearable for me to see those PFDJ operatives dancing their lungs out – FOR NO REASON.

      We have come a long way though because most people these days go to the PFDJ organized picnics/parties to just simply observe and take note as to what is going on rather than to actually celebrate.

      • SA

        Thanks Ermi for the encouragement. Let me tell what happened last year during Independence Day. I participated in a demonstration in front of the Eritrean Embassy, and the regime supporters were already there by the time we got there dancing their lungs out. We were waving placards of Sinai victims from the other side but that did not deter them from dancing like crazy. Their amplifiers for the music were loud, so as you can imagine we had to scream out our lungs to make our chants heard. I have been to a number of these demonstrations, but I knew that day things had indeed changed against the regime. First, we easily outnumbered them around 2 to1 that day, and you can feel that the momentum has shifted against the regime. Second, I saw 2 people among the regime supporters’ crowd: one was an acquaintance of one day and the other was some one I knew very well. The acquaintance was dancing like crazy, but then when he saw me and we locked each other’s eyes, he almost stopped dancing. This guy knows me only for one day, and he was embarrassed to dance in front of me. The other guy who knows me very well was not dancing and it was obvious that he was so embarrassed to see me. When we met some days later, I can not tell you how apologetic he was and he had to explain to me why he was there and that he did not know we were going to demonstrate and so forth.
        So yes, we have come a long way but we still have some way to go before the regime loses its credibility in the diaspora. Of course, the change that matters has to come from inside Eritrea, but we in the diaspora can do our parts in dismantling the power of the regime in the diaspora. And it is my hope that we will do it with reason and without hatred.
        SA

        • Ermias

          Selamat SA, that is a great account of your experience. I also do believe that talking to people one person at a time can go a long way. At least we can make them hesitate and start asking simple questions to which the regime or its operatives have no answers except to say that the US is fighting us.

          As you know, the regime has tried to control the diaspora organizations from day one. It has come to my understanding via a PFDJ insider that Yemane Monkey wants one church, one youth organization, one women’s organization, and one community center for wherever Eritreans are. That way, the money can be channelled to the regime embassies easily but they failed pretty much all over the place. Even if we had a perfect government, why would the diaspora people report to the PFDJ regime? When the members of shimagle baalat fight when they have power struggles, they personally call the embassy to complain. I have witnessed this and the drama they go through for organizing the independence day celebrations and parties is incredible because of the money – it all goes to the embassy.

          • SA

            Selamat Ermi,
            I completely agree with you that “talking to people one person at a time can go a long way.” And I am not surprised about what you described were Yemane Monkey’s plans. If it is possible, they would like to control everything. Sometimes, I even wonder if there is a thing that they do not want to control. But as you said, they have failed all over the place, and I hope they quickly lose whatever credibility and support they are left with.

            Luwam Mishet,
            SA

  • Saba

    Still Happy independence day! That is the first milestone and we have to protect it, we have seen during 1998-2000 what it means when you do not protect it. The next step is getting our Freedom.

    • SA

      Dear Saba,
      We celebrate it because it ended Ethiopian occupation, but apart from that, it brought us tremendous suffering and a barbaric regime.
      SA

      • Saba

        Dear SA,
        Yes unfortunately. Do you have any specific plans to solve it?

        • SA

          Dear Saba:
          I was simply expressing my mixed feelings about celebrating Independence Day. Better people than me have been discussing their proposals in this venerable website, and you can read their proposals if you are interested.
          SA

          • Saba

            Dear SA,
            Thanks for the honest reply. I am trying to remind people that everybody can contribute to solve the suffering of our people, if they can.
            My view is that we should continue to fight for freedom but we should acknowledge what we have already achieved and we should not be demoralized and shocked or throw everything, as i see it in some forum commentators. One day will come that we will be living in a democratic state, free and just.
            Saba

          • SA

            Dear Saba,
            Amen to your last wish, and I pray that that day comes sooner rather than later.
            SA

      • Amanuel Hidrat

        Selam SA,

        You said it well. They day will still give us a “paradox feeling”, at least for those who are on continuous struggle to bring justice. I still long to celebrate independence day in a judicious Eritrea.

        • SA

          Amen to that Mr. Amanuel!

  • AMAN

    I have already been the first to comment but your site is still saying be the first to comment
    and there is no comment ( none at all) so far. can you explain Awates Admin.)

  • AMAN

    Boy
    What an irony and inverted understanding of truth,
    freedom and justice does the PFDJ and TPLFs have !
    They were leading and teaching us to accept slavery
    and ignorance as true and just ?
    May be they were only hallucinating and talking to
    their shadow or image in the mirror ?
    God have mercy on the innocent or the confused !
    Boy oh boy !! accepting slavery and being ignorant
    scares me deep down to my nerves……………….!!
    Awet N Hafash all the time !
    Buster of the Odds !!