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When Eritreans Went To The Polls In 1997

Everybody is going to the polls, let’s go to ours. Well, it is a different kind of poll our is an opinion poll and not voting poll. And it requires a time machine…that takes us 18 years back. And it is not by the millions but by the dozens. But it may give us a clue as why we are not having elections, like our neighbors. Maybe: you decide. With that out of the way… In late 1997, I conducted a 20-question political survey of an Eritrean virtual community which subscribed to a US-based mail list called “Dehai.”, which is still around, was then a member-based list and, at the time I conducted the survey, its membership was reportedly 1,100 individuals. As with all discussion forums, less than 10% were active members; the rest were passive readers. Still, for two months, I harangued readers to participate in the survey and I received 59 responses. (N=1,100; n=59 or 5.36%, which is considered a decent conversion, if one assumes there is no self-selecting bias.) I published the survey in Dehai on January 12, 1998. Four months later (May 12, 1998), the Eritrea-Ethiopia border broke out. I am republishing it at to give our readers our zeitgeist, “the way we were” almost 18 years ago. Who is “we”? Full disclosure: Dehai was then, as it is now, pro-government and pro-Eritreans who use English as their preferred lingua-franca.

Numbers shown in parenthesis are the percentage of respondents who chose the answer from multiple-choice question. If the numbers don’t add up to 100% it means that either some respondents chose multiple options (when it adds up to more than 100%) or skipped it entirely (when the answer adds up to less than 100%.)   Here we go: back to the Wayback Machine. (zemen eni eni…)

1. The economic model Eritrea should pursue is that of:
(a) East Asian “Tigers”: Singapore/Taiwan/China.   (29%)
(b) Scandinavian countries: Sweden/Denmark.  (12%)
(c) USA. (4%)
(d) none of the above. (56%)

2.  Next to peace, the most important factor in the economic development of Eritrea is:
(a) human resources development. (38%)
(b) massive capital infusion. (4%)
(c) development of infrastructure. (37%)
(d) prudent and accountable economic managers. (10%)
(e) stability. (12%)

3. The Eritrean macro-economic policy should be one where the government:
(a) competes directly with the private sector. (16%)
(b) forms partnership with the private sector, offering help where needed. (53%)
(c) sets goals then takes a “hands-off” approach allowing industries to “sink or swim”.(30%)

4. Given limited resources, Eritrea’s goal of building an export-based economy can best be realized by:
(a) creating an environment of cheap labor, generous tax policy and land lease that is inviting to foreign corporations. (35%)
(b) investing heavily in the Eritrean agricultural sector. (33%)
(c) investing heavily in the Eritrean industrial sector. (24%)

5. The biggest foreign threat to Eritrea is:
(a) religious fundamentalism. (9%)
(b) permissive Western culture. (6%)
(c) unstable neighborhood. (72%)
(d) misguided Eritreans who live outside Eritrea. (6%)

6. The biggest internal threat to Eritrea is/will be:
(a) Islamic Jihad group. (19%)
(b) ELF and ELF-offshoot groups. (2%)
(c) ethnic/religious rivalry. (34%)
(d) income inequity. (30%)

7. The most important lesson Eritrea could learn from Africa is that:
(a) one-party governments eventually become dictatorial. (49%)
(b) importing ideas wholesale from the West leads to disaster. (20%)
(c) creation of multi-parties in the name of pluralism leads to chaos. (21%)
(d) whatever you do, don’t listen to the World Bank and the IMF. (5%)

8. A national, secular political party that challenges the PFDJ:
(a) should be established in Eritrea. (83%)
(b) should not be established in Eritrea. (14%)

9. Allowing the establishment of national and secular opposition parties in Eritrea now would:
(a) ensure a quicker transition to full-fledged democracy and should be pursued. (43%)
(b) result in formation of religious/ethnic based parties and should be delayed. (53%)

10. A political party that challenges the PFDJ will be established in Eritrea within:
(a) less than 5 years. (14%)
(b) 5 – 10 years. (44%)
(c) 10 – 20 years. (28%)
(d) More than 20 years. (9%)

11. The Eritrean press (print media) should be:
(a) Independent, Western-style. (43%)

(b) Independent, within government-defined parameters. (46%)
(c) Semi-independent but monitored closed by the appropriate government agency. (28%)
(d) Just like the electronic media: owned by a government agency. (9%)

12. With respect to the 2% of net income tax [Rehabilitation Tax] requirement:
(a) I meet my obligation primarily because it is my duty. (50%)
(b) I meet my obligation primarily because I require services of the government. (14%)
(c) I don’t meet my obligation primarily because I forget. (16%)
(d) I don’t meet my obligation primarily because of my principle.  (9%)

13. To help reach a goal of gender-equity, the Eritrean government should:
(a) always pursue gender-neutral policies. (51%)
(b) take corrective measures to compensate for opportunities denied to women in the past. (29%)
(c) take corrective measures but only for a finite period of time. (21%)

14. This policy of compensating for previous inequity should be extended to other groups if they can demonstrate that opportunities were denied to them because of the group they belong to:
(a) Strongly agree. (18%)
(b) Agree. (31%)
(c) Disagree. (29%)
(d) Strongly disagree. (24%)

15. It is my opinion that as long as [Hassan] Al-Turabi [then considered the power behind the curtain in Sudan] is in power, war with Sudan is, sooner or later, inevitable:
(a) strongly agree (10%)
(b) agree (29%)
(d) disagree (53%)
(e) strongly disagree (9%)

16. Of the people I know who visited Eritrea, most report that corruption in Eritrea is:
(a) non-existent (29%)
(b) minimal. (56%)
(c) moderate. (9%)
(d) high. (7%)

17. The Eritrean government has taken steps against Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The government says that this was necessary because right of worship should not override duties of citizenship.  The Jehovah’s Witnesses say that their religion prohibits them from engaging in some of the duties enumerated.  Overall:
(a) I strongly agree with the steps taken by the government. (27%)
(b) I somewhat agree. (38%)
(c) I disagree. (19%)
(d) I strongly disagree with the steps taken by the government. (14%)

18. The Eritrean Justice Department admits that some Eritrean citizens are in jail without due process.  The government says that asking the government to implement a lengthy due process without first developing the infrastructure of justice system is unrealistic. Critics say that the right to due process should not be conditional nor compromised. Overall:
(a) I agree with the decision taken by the government because I recognize it a temporary measure. (29%)
(b) I agree with the decision taken by the government because I have faith in the government’s integrity. (12%)
(c) I disagree with the decision taken by the government because all governments are fallible. (59%)

19. Of the people I know who visited Eritrea, most report that Eritreans who live in Eritrea are:
(a) very happy with the Eritrean government. (17%)
(b) happy with the Eritrean government. (60%)
(c) unhappy with the Eritrean government. (19%)
(d) very unhappy with the Eritrean government. (4%)

20. I agree with the policies and decisions of our government:
(a) always. (0%)
(b) almost always. (60%)
(c) sometimes. (33%)
(d) almost never. (7%)
(e) never. (0%)

End of survey.

About Salyounis

Saleh Younis (SAAY) has been writing about Eritrea since 1994 when he published "Eritrean Exponent", a quarterly print journal. His writing has been published in several media outlets including Dehai, Eritrean Studies Review, Visafric, Asmarino and, of course, Awate where his column has appeared since the launch of the website in 2000. Focusing on political, economic, educational policies, he approaches his writing from the perspective of the individual citizens' civil liberties and how collectivist governments and overbearing organizations trample all over it in pursuit of their interests. SAAY is the president and CEO of a college with a focus in sound arts and video games and his writing often veers to music critique. He has an MBA from Golden Gate University and a BA from St Mary's College.

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  • Ali

    As an official language in Eritrea Tigringa must be changed to Arab or English. Because it a very localized language and it has no enough speakers in Eritrea. Most of the speakers are in Ethiopia.

  • Abraham Hanibal

    Happy Independence Day to all Eritreans, (with a reminder)

    Through unparalleled long and bitter struggle, our martyrs have endowed us with a free (from foreign occupation) and independent Eritrea. Unfortunately, to the dismay of any right minded, and good hearted Eritreans, the aspiarations and dreams of our martyrs, and those of us living, we’ve yet to enjoy the fruits of freedom. When a tiny but evil clique decided to steal our freedom, we didn’t resist as we should have done. And 24 years and counting we’ve yet to demonstrate a meaningful challenge to the evil group that has dashed our dreams, and turned our beloved country into a barren land whose youth would prefer to die fleeing it, instead of building their lives in it.

    This day is a day when we remember the heavy price that was paid to liberate Eritrea from foreign oppression, and plegde to stand against home grown oppression in unison.

  • saay7

    Selamat Michael, TT. Mizaan and all:

    A little insight into how and why the survey was conducted in 1997, and why I decided to re-publish it now.

    The Population (“N”) was founded as a mailing list by an Eritrean (an ELF-veteran for those of you counting beans:) who moved to Eritrea from the US shortly after Eritrean independence. The idea was to give an electronic forum to Eritreans to dissus issues of culture, diaspora life, fundrasing for Eritrea and, of course, politics–mostly the drafting of the Eritrean constitution. It was about establishing an Eritrean community–necessary then because the EPLF had announced that it was dismantling the “Hafash wdbat” (mass organizations.) It attracted anyone who had access to a computer and internet connection and (a) could afford the token annual membership fee ($20) and (b) can get two references from Dehai members. So the fact that it had a reputation for “Eritrean intellectuals” was a simply a function of who had access to a computer and internet connection then. By the time I conducted the survey (Nov-Dec 1997), Dehai boasted a member of 1,100.

    Why The Survey Was Taken

    During the time we were discussing the constitution (95-96), there were critiques of its articles particularly relating to civil liberties, land ownership, press freedom. There were also discussions on the economic policy pursued by the government. Although I don’t think the phrase was used, it was clear to me that the overwhelming majority of Dehaiers were proponents of the “developmental state”: bread now, democracy later. (In fact, there was a posting to that effect–which makes me smile when I hear Abi’s “Dabo now” slogan.) The questions and the multiple choice answers were provided by me as my goal was simply to quantify the belief (and intensity of belief) of Dehaiers faithfully. Although Dehai boasted of 1,100 members, I would say that 90% were “silent Dehaiers” and the contributors were at most, at MOST, 100. (This can be verified by googling Dehai archives.)

    Why I Published The Survey Now:

    Whenever I read about “dismantle PFDJ”, “uproot PFDJ”, I cringe. This is because while those who say this have a clear idea who they are talking about (Isaias Afwerki and his handful enforcers), they seem (to me anyway) reckless with their broad brush. Who are the PFDJ’s grassroots and its intellectual class? I think the survey results paint a profile. The best way I can put it is to say they are proponents of “Participatory Developmental State.” I will explain its features later.

    For now, Happy Independence Day! And Mizaan, come on, go easy: you know what the committee that investigated US intelligence said about why 9/11 happened in the US? The phrase used was “failure of imagination.” No Eritrean, and I would say no Ethiopian, I would even go further, nobody equipped with every intelligence gathering tool, no genius, no think tank, ever envisioned that 5/12 would happen:)


    • Michael

      Hi Saay
      Thanks a lot , that is what I was insisting for, that is, the person [you] only know the background of the survey and the goal you wanted to achieved from.
      Now, I got the whole story-the motivation, the goal, the sort of people whom you carried out the survey, and the conclusion as well which is pretty nice.

  • KeiHksad

    Dear T.T. The adage there are three types of lies comes to mind: lies, damn lies and statistics. T.T. uses a convenient small sample data that was collected in 1997 for fun, and came with all kinds of scientific looking numeracy. To apply Chi-square remotely justified, you have to have a relatively large sample size and the data is not highly correlated. The data collected from the PFDJ leaning website was from a centre known then to be populated by group think tendency; therefore the answers to the survey are heavily correlated as the respondents were swayed one way or the other in their political predilections. We see constantly the misuse of statistics in social sciences, because the users have somewhat a myopic approach to support or reject a preconceived idea and mis-use statistics to cement it. However, thanks for taking the time to do the “analysis” as probably you had fun.

  • Mizaan1

    Asmera, when I said demarcation, I was referring back to shortly after independence as in demarcating concurrently with referendum but there was no farsightedness, If EPLF thought that could trigger unnecessary complications, they could have at least mentioned it back then or scheduled a future date. If the borders were final and binding by both sides from the get go, then that would not have been a pretext for war. But in the current state of affairs, the no war no peace situation is more harmful to Eritreans than the land that has been occupied by Ethiopia. I only brought this up to show that our intellectuals did not have the vision to comment on a looming war and crises.

    • Dear Mizaan1,
      Demarcation is not a panacea, and sometimes it is a problem creator and not a problem solver. Demarcation separates and negatively affects families and friends, people who have lived side by side for centuries, traded and intermarried. That is why many peaceful and democratic nations have loose borders. People in the border area are allowed to move in both directions without any problem. This creates peace and friendship between nations. In our case, fanaticism and shortsightedness was the problem, and not the absence of demarcation.

      • selam

        Dear Horizon
        How about the 80,000 plus Eritreans and thousands of ethiopians who were sent to the7r origin country and on the process they left one member of their family broken apart. How many people do you think are living in Bademe now ?
        For me Badme is not important and i could careless about it. But your understanding is wrong .

        • Dear Selam,
          We were talking of demarcation and the pre-1998 situation, when it was possible to create and sustain a normal situation, before the border area was turned into a barren land. Thousands of soldiers are stationed there now, and people cannot dare live or till their land, because it is littered with mines. The thousands of Eritreans and Ethiopians evicted were victims of an adventurous warmongering politics.

          • selam

            Dear Horizon
            ok, understood , what does it take demarcate now and use all the money spent on military to build schools and clincs ? You know for a fact IA has used the border issue to make Eritreans slaves and lock them in prison cells. What does ethiopia do with the current no war no peace thing. I am one of the people who think EPRDF do like IA than the Eritrean people unless how do they give such chance to one person destroy the whole Eritrea ?

          • Dear Selam,
            Demarcation should not have been at the center of Eritrean politics, because Eritrea could have moved beyond it without any problem. DIA is using demarcation as an excuse to do all the things he does against the Eritrean people. It is in his dictatorial nature. Do you really believe that demarcation will soften the dictator’s heart? He is going to continue the same policy,
            demarcation or not. He was a dictator before and will always be one, as long as he remains in power. On the contrary, giving in to DIA’s demands will embolden
            his narcissistic and egoistic nature. Eritreans should not therefore stand with DIA on the issue of demarcation, because it will be solved when the right time comes.

            Unfortunately, we are in an impasse, and it seems that it does not matter, who is right and who is not. That is the nature of politics. Ethiopia seems to have no problem with the no-peace-no-war situation. Therefore, it is up to
            the Eritrean people to overcome the impasse by denying support and getting rid of DIA, and bringing to power a democratic government that will work with all in the region, including Ethiopia, and make Eritrea a full member of the nations of the horn. Believing that he is everything Eritrea is, and revering him, is a big mistake.

            On your last point, if you have an enemy who commits blunders one after the other and weakens himself, do you tell him to stop? Of course, not. That is exactly how Ethiopia sees DIA. Unfortunately, his actions are harmful
            especially to the people, and that is the reason he should have gone yesterday and not tomorrow.

          • selam

            Dear Horizon

            Yes you are completely right , but the Eritrean people have been cheated for so long and they have never mastered on how to catch the cheater except before 1991 ,DIA know that very well. You know Eritreans do not aprove his cruel way of doing things, they are the first victims of his evil decisions . But you know the silent majority have two problem to solve , A divided opposition in the dispora and a system that is so evil . What they have at hand is the country which they bleed on every meter to make it independent from out side forces but they do not have the means to challenge the evil at hand now. So what ever ethiopia does in the border is always played as if the life of Eritrea hangs on PFDJ . An honest neighbor could have played nice with the emotion of the people instead of harboring a divided and crooked opposition. Take a 500,000 refugees to ethiopia and the opposition could have created a very nice environment with the number yet no one on their bank. Eritreans do not believe IA or none , they are looking for honest choice untill now they could not find one. Of course I am putting aside every other issues just to find your honest heart.

    • Michael

      Hi Mizan
      To think somehow democratization process in Eritrea has been hindered by “no war no peace” situation is just an outdated and disgust myth which was invented by your supreme leader to deceive you into believing that the country is in war, hence, any form of dissent must be crushed straight away. There is only war which is known to us and the rest of the world i.e. the war against basic human rights and freedom in the country. The rest is an utterly ridiculous narrative shared only by duffers and benighted folks like you. My question to you is what might be the possible link between a plot of land occupied by Ethiopia and the complete absences of all kind of freedom and human rights in the country?

  • Dear all,

    We think it is time that we made a few points clear. It
    seems some cementers are forgetting a few things,

    1. is a free website that was established to give
    voice to free Eritreans who were/are denied voice by the PFDJ government.

    2. This website is against the PFDJ and it doesn’t apologize
    for that.

    3. It will never allow itself to be another playground for
    PFDJ operatives.

    4. It will never allow itself to be hijacked by PFDJ

    5. It will not allow notorious disrupters to impose a “new
    normal” and fight our principles in our own website–they have enough pro-tyranny
    websites to do so if they wish. Promoting “Valineki Clique” values in
    this website is considered an infiltration.

    6. We do not enjoy babysitting adults who use vulgar and
    disrespectful debating manners, or are on a disrupting mission. As we have indicated
    many times, we are tired of raising red cards to violators hoping they will
    improve their ways. We do not have the needed resources to advice, alert, and warn people repeatedly. We do not have an
    obligation to explain, specially with repeat offenders, particularly the offenders
    who came and left this forum several times for the same reason, in the last
    fifteen years.

    For the rest of the members,

    We feel sorry that we couldn’t protect you from those who
    have taken the liberty to abuse you. We also feel sad they are persistently
    trying to lower the quality of debates of this forum. Obviously they add
    nothing to the debate but only disrupt the civil and educational discourse. We
    hope you understand our frustration and we appeal to you not to give such
    people the fuel they need. Please stay calm. If they do not stop their abuse,
    we have no other choice but to block them for good.

    Thank you for your patience is anti-PFDJ

    • tes

      Deat AT,

      Very great step. With the landing of Gheteb, this website was abused very often. He came here for the only reason to propagate PFDJ ideals. he had no any reason. Gheteb used the opportunity of welcome to advance his thirsty of airing his lines heavily.Oh!

      Thank you for reming such deaf people though they will not hear.




    • Mizaan1

      Dear AT,

      Thank you for stating your stand clearly and boldly. I honestly wanted to hear this because you may remember I accused this website several times for not resembling an opposition website and I was hoping for a clear statement like this. I was afraid the website might have been encouraging those PFDJ stooges to make this their playground but now I know that is not the case. They don’t know civility and good moral behavior and they need to know this is not their playground. This is a leading website informing Eritreans the deep rooted crimes being committed by IA and PFDJ.

      Please let’s not equate supporting or sympathizing with PFDJ (and also having deep negative feelings about Ethiopia) as Eritrean patriotism. Those are mutually exclusive. If anything, these days the PFDJ supporters are driven by identity crisis, business interests (small house in Asmara, etc.), narrow regionalism even in the elite, hate for Ethiopia and its recent successes. These are hardly patriotic causes.

      I like this spirit and this statement. Please do not allow the mission of this website to be reformed no matter how long the struggle to topple PFDJ takes. It is only a matter of time.

      Needless to say, the PFDJ junkies here come with no sacred mission except to stifle the good debates and create havoc. Like I said before, they are coming organized and I have very little doubt that they are being recruited and sent by none other than PFDJ itself, perhaps even Yemane Monkey’s office.

      This statement fits perfectly well with haileTG’s heart and mind analysis. I was afraid this website was drifting into the mind fight only leaving behind the heart fight. This is a great step forward. There is nothing to be afraid. Post PFDJ, people will be measured not but what they said against PFDJ or in favor of TPLF or anything like that. The people of this website will have great honor in Eritrea because they invested heavily in informing Eritreans of the dictatorship that shaped into where we are in front of our eyes.

      Again, supporting PFDJ is very unpatriotic and I am relieved a bold statement has been issued to those who thought they have taken this website over to the wrong column.

      • selam

        Dear mizaan
        Being nationalist doesn’t mean a PFDJ supporter nore does it make sense when people try to dismiss the core values of a nation because they feel it is PFDJ talking points. But One shouldn’t have the power to defame another without a prove ,that should be one rule for any one. Yes some times when emotions are high , well i clearly miss common sense but i have never advocate for more dictatorship. So who is PFDJ then , who is who , my way or the high way is a very bad idea and it will result in zero sum game. Do not you get irritated when some one constantly try to mock you because you did not aprove his Alpha ego. Even if you told him you ignore him , he still try to bite with his Arogant mantra. For example i have been calling Amanuel , semere so many names and i have been getting so many names but that was only one time about the Ethiopian involving thing. Beyond that i have never crossed any negative with semere and Amanuel. You was disappointed about your patriarch , well you was totally wrong to imagine that i know about him , so we get negative on each other. Forget about the other thing, because i am content with Mahmud saleh and Haile TG conversation, so i really could care less if i make comments or not. I will ask them for more if i need.

    • Peace!

      Dear Moderator,

      Well, given almost every Eritrean is a victim of PFDJ, It is safe to say every Eritrean is anti PFDJ except few opportunistic which they don’t deserve your attention. No doubt is a voice for the voiceless Eritreans and home for many brilliant ideas. The awate forum also hosts different people: anti PFDJ, anti-Eritrea, Pro Eritrea, pro Opposition Groups, anti-Opposition Groups, silent majority, and advocators for the Greater Tigray, and as much as the people are diversified, the opinions are also appear diversified: there are people who supports invasion of Eritrea by Weyane, there are people who lost hope on the country and predict darkest ages yet to come, there are people who believe Hamid Idris Awate was a vicious shifta, there are people who think people who romanticize Ghedli and criticize former Ethiopian emperors are bigots, and there are also foreigners deceiving the forum wearing opposition uniforms. Therefore, given the diversity of the forum, the few comments by PFDJ supporters are immaterial given people pour hundreds of pro Ethiopia comments every day. The issue should not be about who is pro PFDJ or against: it should be what is distracting the forum from its mission and triggers unnecessary tensions: the hundreds of pro Ethiopian comments, or few nonsense comment by PFDJista? Other than that defending the state of Eritrea, and criticizing the opposition groups are absolutely good for the website. You have my apologies for any inconvenience that I might have caused.


      • Peace,
        You are absolutely right. Keeping the forum free and at the same time protecting commenters from being abused is I think an important task. Personally, dawit is a diehard pro PFDJ person (sorry dawit, not picking on you, just making a point), he can express anything he likes as long a s he doesn’t abuse other members, insult them, stereotype, or he doesn’t disrespect his hosts more than they could tolerate. The same applies to everyone else, one can make a point without insulting or defaming others without evidence. Also think that populating this forum with PFDJ propaganda links defies the whole point of having this website in the first place–and we all know what is propaganda and what is information. No one should be taken fora ride. But if you just know what a moderator goes through, you will understand the frustration. Keeping the above in mind helps. Thank you.






  • Mahmud Saleh

    Dear ALL
    PAPA Mahmud says Happy Independence Day. Today, I have had some PRODUCTIVE chitchats and “ghedli romanticizing” sessions with some Yekaalo and non yekaalo guys in my favorite Starbucks. To my disappointment, some were very bitter at the idea that people are celebrating while they should mourn.
    Well, my advice was simple. I said, “If you believe the cause of the current political problems is independence itself, then stay at home. But if you believe that independence itself has nothing to do with what followed after, then celebrate it and make a resolution to give May, 24, the honor it deserves back. Use it as an opportunity in order to reflect on how our martyrs would like us to proceed on making Eritrea stand taller. Avoid creating tensions in the parks, talk to each other. And particularly, approach the person you think is a “kebero junk” or an ardent PFDJ supporter and broach the essence of May, 24, with respectful care.
    Happy Independence Day!

    • Peace!

      Dear Mahmuday,

      Like wise, Happy Independence Day. I agreed our independence has nothing to do with human tragedy.


    • tes

      Dear Mahmud Saleh,

      Let me share this with you. Yesterday I visited a place where some followers of PFDJ cult attended heavily under the cover name of Eritrean community. I was there for three reasons.

      1. As I am settler in the city, I wanted to meet Eritreans and get acquqinted.

      2. To have a general observation on how they observe independence day.

      3. TO hear at least what their opinion is.

      No statistical data here.

      Result No. 1: Acquaintance

      a. All these attended the gathering were not more than 30 (minus childrent).

      b. They gathered from different cities.

      c. All these gathered are the PFDJ lead Eritrean community directed centers committe members.

      No diversity.

      d. Some of the attendants I met there also were familiar with me but with different colour (I hope you understand what I mean).

      Result No. 2: Observations

      a. The ceremony started with dancing

      b. No particular message but a call to eat and drink

      c. Third of them were already half-drunk before the ceremony started (guess what will be next).

      Result No.3: opinions

      Talk no. 1:

      At the gate: They welcomed me to the place/community they call pure Eritreans center.(ROLF, as I know some of them who they are).

      Gentleman x-freedom fighter:

      He told me that he there for the sole reason that May 24 for him is May 24, 1991, the date where Eritrea became free from Ethiopian invasion. I started to explain what it mean as per today’s meaning taking May 24, 1991 as a bench mark. He figuratively told me that this kind of analysis should be left to the politicians. According to him, everything happening and happened within 1991-2015 is ignored at this particular date and people should drop questioning where they are but remember where they were?

      Gentleman chief cadre of the community organizing committee:

      For information, I knew this person before and I had 2 full nights fierce debate. Again I met him and asked him on diversity. He literally told me, “we are one people, one heart. Those who are not here, the heart has pumped them-out as a dirty blood.”

      I took documents that I need and I left their satanic gathering.

      This is what May 24 is for PFDJ.

      Else, Eritrea deserved independence and got it first militarily in1991 by eradicating external occupation. and became a fully soverign nation recognized by world community in 1993. People were so happy and never hesitated to say, “HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY3”. All walks of Eritrean people, to repeat ALL, danced and chanted for the outcome of their bitter struggle against all odds. It was a wonderful time that deserves all time celebration and happiness.

      Now, I am afraid to say that very straight without explaining what I am really meant for it.

      Dear Mahmuday, if I am saying Happy Independence Day, please remember I am just meant for the independence we got against external occupation and this makes it half. The other half is not complete, the INTERNAL OCCUPATION, the dictatorial system we are living into.

      Soon, just after one year, in 1994, Eritrea was hijacked by home grown gangs called PFDJ juntas. These juntas are now in full control of Eritrea. And these home grown Eritrean enemies need to be weeded-out. Only then we will have complete FREEDOM where we can say, Happy Independence with a 100% confidence.

      On this occasion therefore, I call all Eritrean justice seekers to come out united against PFDJ. Enough is ENOUGH. We as Eritrean people deserve Freedom more than anybody on this world.*

      Happy Independence Day!**


      *I mentioned the world imagining that if freedom has a quota.
      ** I stated what I mean when I say it.

      • Mahmud Saleh

        Dear tes
        I understand the point you are making. I have similar observations. I am trying to make convey a simple message. Let’s respect choices, particularly on this date. Let people celebrate it the way they see fit. It would be a plus if we use it as an occasion for reflection. Yes, since PFDJ controls the communities, they will exploit the occasion. I am watching ERI-TV, and everything is on high drive. If you are streaming on Eastafro, On the same frame, there is a dramatic rescue operation of a group of more than 200 persons caught by CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour in the Mediterranean Sea. Most of them are reported(?)and appear to be Eritreans. There is an Eritrean who says to the reporter that he had known the Mediterranean Sea could be his graveyard. When asked then why did he choose to undertake the perilous journey, he said the alternative of staying in his country was worse! Eritrea was not supposed to celebrate its 24th Independence Day in this light. It is puzzling. Now, the easy part of the puzzle is we seem to know why we are where we are; we also have an idea what it should take for the nation to overcome the challenges it faces, to reverse course from the mad drive of ንኺድ ጥራይ. The hard and stubborn part of the puzzle has been building consensus on how to help the nation get onto the right track. I think HTG message has been spot on, we should nurture a culture of disagreeing respectfully, because confrontations serve PFDJ thugs. As you can see, they are exploiting our legacy, that is your legacy, mine, and everyone else’s. In such an occasion, do you let them own your history or you use that occasion as a moment of reflection. When conducted in a respectful manner, it’s doable. I tried it with officials and Ambassadors, it works. Everyone I discussed with will in private admit there is a problem and will go at length to tell you what’s missing. They will all tell you that there is no alternative, the alternative is to pursue a gradual incremental changes. Of course, for reasons they only know, they are not willing to create an alternative. So, dear tes, we are way to go in order to really influence, let alone control, events. We need to be honest about this and work among ourselves to make ourselves relevant and effective. As I see it the message of the opposition has been scattered, while the message of PFDJ is united. Therefore, the first order would be to build a consensus among ourselves. That’s the discussion I am trying to have with Haile. So, stay calm, it takes time and soft approaches, calm discussions…in order to win the communities. Once you win the communities, then you can control your agenda. Until then, celebrate the day in your own way.

        • tes

          Dear Mahmud Saleh,

          Thank you foor such generous comments. I really appreciates it. If you read my lines, all I am is for a live, energetic, humanistic and full of hope bounded discussions and debates. When I do this, it is because I believe struggle is not a one day achievement but a gradual process. I will be even get disappointed if it will demand us another 100 years*.

          Another important important to mention is, I am trying to be open and honest to myself. I believe that openness, trust, institutional thinking, full minddness and progressive ideals* are the the means to the final destination.

          Dear Mahmuday, I met and discussed with diehard PFDJ supporters several times here in my area. After long discussions, they all tell me that they are supporting PFDj for the reason you mentioned above, “as an organization with a unified message of the day.” Most care less about the future as they say, “mengistina kelil aykonen kulu bebgizu kigebro eyu”. When you reach at this point and call them to create an alternative, democratic but againt the regime organization, they suddenly speak loud and say, “I have no time to start from scratch”, purely an outcome of LAZY thinking. Even the diplomats you mentioned are of not free from lazy thinking. Of course they are in ok position and may be they need the comfort zone they live in.

          There is another high level of discussions that I want to pursue and put my input with that of haile TG’s, Heart and Mind case. Nevertheless, I want to think about the conspiracy theory and go beyond the curtails.

          Just some questions as an introduction part.

          1. What is conspiracy theory?
          2. Who are those conspired?
          3. Is it useful to create a group to be conspired?

          If we go very deeply into this discussion, it will not be hard to establish a strong nation. I am going deep into this subject matter recently and what I am finding is the missing part of having a country called “Eritrea”.

          Just for contemplation.


          • Mahmud Saleh

            Hey tes,
            see my answer under the thread HTG and I have been advancing.

          • tes

            Dear Mahmuday,

            I am reading Mahmuday, just continue to bless us. haile TG is a wonderful man. If you discuss with him, you get blessed by his wisdom, if you read his lines, you get inspired, if you argue with him, you learn how to do it positively.

            The thing that I am learning from you is how to reconcile unto thyself and go beyond to reach others for the same reason and way to the set vision.


  • T..T.

    Hi Michael,

    So long there is no false or distorted facts about the data to analyzed, believe me there is always a way to make assumption and re-assumption if one has reasonable or good knowledge of the data presented for analysis. Yes, despite limitations of any data to be statistically analyzed, conversant statisticians can perform statistical analysis using the most appropriate statistical method to obtain interpretable outcomes.

  • Mizaan1

    Dehai comprised primarily of highly educated or intellectual people, at least by Eritrean standards. Now go back and look at the answers. What does that tell us? There is no farsightedness in Eritrean intellectuals. You only need to look at number 20 if you don’t want to revisit the whole survey. The war with Ethiopia was inevitable given PFDJ’s rogue techniques in Ethiopia and TPLF was only waiting for an opportune time. How come none of these people nor saay had any vision of demarcating the border? Saay barely gets to this on question 5 but it shouldn’t have been too hard to foresee that economic policies, specially monetary needed to be addressed before the war broke out.

    And also demarcating the border should have been the first order of business. Analogy here: two siblings are splitting their father’s property. They both knew what the other always wanted. Do they simply assume for one to take items 1 through 5 and the other 6 through 10 or they come to the table and confirm who should take what and how and why?

  • T..T.

    Hi all,

    Just a quick Chi-square analysis to find out whether the pooled participants are associated and had a good knowledge of what was going on in Eritrea. As Chi-square tests actual numbers and not percentage, the percentage of the following data were converted to numbers by only omitting the percentage sign.

    19. Of the people I know who visited Eritrea, most report that Eritreans who live in Eritrea are:

    (a) very happy with the Eritrean government. (17%)

    (b) happy with the Eritrean government. (60%)

    (c) unhappy with the Eritrean government. (19%)

    (d) very unhappy with the Eritrean government. (4%)

    20. I agree with the policies and decisions of our government:

    (a) always. (0%)

    (b) almost always. (60%)

    (c) sometimes. (33%)

    (d) almost never. (7%)

    (e) never. (0%)

    Assuming the pooled information was from conscious Eritreans who were aware of the then prevailing political conditions or the reality on the ground and had good knowledge of the reality to predict the future or the expected, it is hypothesized that:

    H0: Variable A and Variable B are independent in that the participants are not samo samo people.

    Ha: Variable A and Variable B are related – indeed, they are samo samo people.

    Putting the numeric data into a Chi-square tables, the outcomes of Chi analysis using excel are as under:

    Observed value (first table):

    Visitors perception Perception on Isu govt. total Generated percentage

    Lovers 17 0 17 0.080952381

    Less Loving 60 60 120 0.571428571

    Relucants 19 33 52 0.247619048

    Haters 4 17 21 0.1

    total 100 110 210

    Expected value (second table):

    Lovers 8.0952381 8.9047619 17

    Less Loving 57.1428571 62.8571429 120

    Relucants 24.7619048 27.2380952 52

    Haters 10 11 21

    100 110 210

    Computations (third table):

    Lovers 9.7952381 8.9047619

    Less Loving 0.14285714 0.12987013

    Relucants 1.34075092 1.21886447

    Haters 3.6 3.27272727

    14.8788462 13.5262238 – the total equals to Chi-value: 28.40507

    Degree of freedom 3

    ChiTest = 2.9861E-06

    Chi-critical value = 9.488 < 28.40507

    Also p-value = Chitest = 2.98613E-06 (0.000002986) is much lower than the cutoff point of 0.05 p-value, which is usual in chi-square analysis. Therefore, the analysis rejects the null hypothesis that the participants are independent in that one group is conscious and well aware, while the other group was not. Thus, the participants were related and as well conscious of then and what to expect.

    Observations: Taking into account recent data from other websites, the participants of the analyzed data from awate-com might have been processing their thoughts on the eve of the independence day expecting bright future. However, based on recent data and seeing the youth taking the worst pain on earth to end the pains caused by the regime signifies that every Eritrean is celebrating the eve of the country’s independence day and is lamenting the independence day over the lost promises of the Great Eritrean Revolution.

    • T..T.

      Hello all,

      Omission noted, sorry:

      Degree of freedom should read 9 ((4-1) x (4-1), i.e. 3 x 3 instead of 3.

      Chi-critical value = 16.919 < 28.40507

      • T..T.

        Hi Michael,

        I purposely put wrong correction to test you. Why didn’t catch it (I gave you more than enough time)?

  • selam

    Dear readers
    There is a philosophical differences between wink and blink but there is the eye that do both of them when ever necessary. The Eritrean people have done every thing to get to may 24, yet they did nothing with it except the one idea of having your own country. We are new country but old. We have experienced every thing that colonization can offer , yet we demanded our own suffering by waiting for fighters to lead us in building a nation , that never works . Fighters knows nothing except to fight and also say we have done this and what have you done , well do i blame my heroes on the way , no i did not.
    All Eritrean elite educated , rich people gave 100% of their support for IA to do what ever he likes with his child Eritrea. All of them said tax us 2% even some said 10%, they were all emotional because they never expected a free Eritrea at their time.
    Some one can say this and that and even can give so much excuses but how long do you people give and accept excuses ? How much time do you need to listen to PFDJ ex members to accept them and say , well they have said sorry, you people need a deep soul searching . Ask you self how much time do you think your children need to master your bravery if they are using their time listening to lady gaga music ? This day , yes this day is a blink not a wink at all. A divided oposition in diaspora and a very cruel leader at home, what’s the best way to put it ? There can never be a time to wip and cry loudly in dark with rain hitting on your head than this day may 24. Happy independence day .And gracefully thanks to our heroes who have fallen for us , well note that they have done their share because they did not know seferti harich and matakaeeti will sit on the throne.

  • Kokhob Selam

    Dear Say7,

    believe me when I said you own the most advanced test equipment in your head, I was right. now, this type of survey or any type is to prepare for future plan and action. but was the time supportive? were there any way to let the more advanced once participate? does the participating quantity represents equally all view holders (all political parties of those days)? only then it helps to make plans …. but the answer of participant was not totally good to make plan at all.

    since then thing has gone in different direction. Few knew where we are heading and are not surprised. and what about now? you can go on one more time to make survey if reforming this lost group can help us. you may most probably find majority still think we can reform. but you know, there is a big difference between what you want to happen and to where the reality leads.

  • selam

    Dear Readers
    I heard IA and his PFDJ cronies are dreaming about pre 1997 time . What possibility does the Eritrean people have to come out from this mess with out bleeding each other ? Can some one like semere , amanuel hidrat say something?

    • Amanuel Hidrat


      I am writing about what “low bargain” people in this forum expect from PFDJ. If that trend is going to happen, I will tell you what kind of “state and regime” should you expect exactly from that happening. Not that I like it (of course I will fight to the end) but it will be a great disappointment to justice seekers.

      Amanuel Hidrat

      • Kokhob Selam

        Dear Amanuel,
        that was important question. I am very much interested to read.

      • selam

        Dear Amnuel
        You see we can not afford to lose sight but you know it and i know it we are in a very narrow space. We could have been narrowed our differences long time ago but yet we found ourselves waiting to the dance addict cronies to tell us this and that. I remember in 2008 Adhanom Ghebremariam was just at our home to talk about things that can happen if we are ableto moblize the Eritrean diaspora , one person asked him , how on earth will a man able to go to two invitation at the same time using one invitation card . I never lost the eexpression of adhanom on his face. Whether you like my opinion or not you have to make space at your wuray , unless there is some one who will invite me . Money talksand i am afraid there will not be money to do any thing before convincing the Slinet majority . We need them Ema ,

  • tes

    Dear Saay7,

    I wish you conducted the same survey now and put the values in parallel. it could be much helpful. Even now you could but it will be biased.


    • Pass the salt

      SAAY burned all bridges with his old Dehai-era buddies. He can’t redo the survey.
      So, be happy with what you have.

  • S.Tesfa

    Selam to all,
    Based on the questionnaires conducted almost 19 and 1/2 years, the respondents to the political survey of questioner #19 ( 77% report that Eritreans who live at home were very happy and/or happy) and questioner #20( 60% almost always and 33% sometimes AND we can say 93% had a positive opinion about policies and decisions that were made by the then government. This can give us a glimpse of the past and a hint how the PFDJ of that time had all the support it can imagine at its disposal.
    If SAAY send out the above questions again to the same respondents of that time, I’d guess the result would be the reverse.
    And, that show us how PFDJ already failed the expectation of Eritrean people and it will never gain the trust and support it enjoyed in the past even in millions years again.

    • Khedijah Ali

      Selam all, Bearing in mind that Dehai was pro- ‘government’ (PFDJ), the responses wouldn’t surprise me to reflect that at that Zemen enni enni…. What I find contradictory responses are the responses to questions number 2, 5 and 6 about peace stability and internal threats. It appears we have’t moved on much from that zemen eni eni.