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ነዳይ ናይ ልቡ ይሓልም!

Welcome to Asmarino Independent.

Article
Written by Berhane G Negus Wed - 11 Nov

An Eritrean Refugee Marshall Plan

Eritrean Refugees

Dear leaders and members of all Eritrean Civic, Humanitarian, Political Organizations, and brothers and sisters in the Eritrean Diaspora:

It is clear that the painful situation of our refugees and our inability to help them is giving most of us sleepless nights. I appreciate and proudly salute dedicated humanitarians such as Elsa Churum, Tesfaldet Meharena, Dr Bereket H/Selassie and others who are openly doing their best to help Eritrean refugees in their difficult situations. However, and despite these and similar individuals compassionate actions, I believe we as a people have failed our refugees and we should be doing more as individuals, as organizations and as a people.

Therefore, I am appealing to you the leaders and the world wide Eritrean Diaspora to help initiate and organize Urgent Actions to save our Youth from wasting away in desperate refugee camps throughout the world. These youth are pleading with us all to do something for them - today! The appeal from the camps is so urgent and so painful, that tomorrow will literally be too late and, naturally, the day after will be a disaster for the majority of these refugees.

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Press Release
Written by EGS Tue - 10 Nov

Letter to The European External Policy Advisory (EEPA)

We take this opportunity to extend our wish that the EU-US 2009 meeting will be a beginning of an ongoing consultation on the Horn of Africa in general and the deepening Eritrea national crisis and its implication to the people of Eritrea, the region and world peace in particular.

The need for EU and US to hold a badly needed conversation on Eritrea is obvious enough that we are in favor of it but the question should focus on why it took so long to undertake this kind of initiative and what foundation will be formatted to continue the conversation moving forward.

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Interview
Written by Michael Abraha Tue - 10 Nov

Eritrean interests “well represented” at EU Meeting

Abdurahman Sayed, Executive member of Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea (CDRiE) and spokesman for the Eritrean group at the Brussels event.

    European and American officials are joining hands with Diaspora Eritrean politicians and activists aimed at ending relentless human rights abuses under a ruthless dictatorship in Eritrea. The two-day conference underway in Brussels is discussing, among other things, the urgent need to coordinate EU and US policies on Eritrea and the Horn Region. The meeting is being closely watched by many governments and the world media especially because of Eritrea’s alleged involvement in terror and piracy ridden Somalia. Michael Abraha had a phone interview Saturday with Abdurahman Sayed, Executive member of Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea (CDRiE) and spokesman for the Eritrean group at the Brussels event. Michael first asked him what the criteria were to choose panelists for the conference:

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Article
Written by Mogos Tekeste Sun - 08 Nov

The Coup D’état in Eritrea

We know that there is no rule of law in Eritrea, worse; there are no known rules of any kind, only arbitrary edicts and decrees. In fact the very People’s Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) itself does not abide by the rules of its own organization. It is an organization that is gliding haphazardly without political radar even of the socialist kind.

In the organization of the PFDJ, the hierarchy of power is set up in a pyramid fashion. The chain of the formal reporting is as follows: the Chairman reports to the Executive Committee, which in turn reports to the Central Committee, which in turn reports to the general Congress. However, the real and effective power is at the apex of the pyramid, in the hands of the Chairman of the organization. This is a typical power structure of a leftist organization. Such a system inherently is a dictatorship. And one does not expect that such a system will respect the rule of law. This paper does not intend to address the concept of the rule of law. Rather, it simply shows that the leadership, as it stands now, is an illegal one as judged by the very rules and charters of the PFDJ itself. The leadership of the PFDJ is above the laws of the organization it is supposed to lead. And most importantly it is a leadership devoid of any moral and ethical values.

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Article
Written by Michael Abraha Fri - 06 Nov

EU takes on Eritrea by the horn

The Eritrean regime is as famous for its appalling democratic and human rights abuses as it is for its sardonic provocations. While these infringements are a topic for an extensive discussion at an EU-US led conference in Brussels next week (November 9 - 10), Eritrea has refused to participate claiming it is the “most stable and peaceful” among its African neighbors. The gathering is organized by Europe External Policy Advisors (EEPA) and an Eritrean Reference Group

The Eritrean leadership was not expected to embrace an international gathering devoted to exposing and denouncing its roguish and violent policies. This impoverished state maintains over 350-thousand strong-army ready to provoke or attack any neighboring country for the flimsiest possible reason without the permission of the people. The regime is also believed to be training, arming, harboring and financing foreign opposition groups, insurgents and terrorists with the aim of destabilizing and stirring up bloodshed in neighboring countries.

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books
Written by CR Fri - 06 Nov

Song Of The Nightingale

Song of the Nightingale is the true story of Helen Berhane, held captive for over two years in appalling conditions in her native Eritrea. Her crime? Sharing her faith in Jesus, and refusing, even though horrendously tortured, to deny him.

A sobering, painful, heart-rending account of true faith in the face of evil, this book makes for uncomfortable and yet inspirational reading. Helen says, ‘I want to give a message to those of you who are Christians and live in the free world: You must not take your freedom for granted. … If I could sing in prison, imagine what you can do for God’s glory with your freedom.’ A real challenge for the church in the West in 2009.

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Article
Written by Milkias Mihretab Yohannes Thu - 05 Nov

When we were C.I.A spies …… Memories of a dreadful time

Almost all the independent news papers were labeled as spies and agents of foreign governments and intelligence organizations outright. I was lucky to get the honorary title of a CIA agent. “Setit” news paper of Aarom Berhane was labled as a Danish agent and “NAY DENMARK” ( can you believe Denmark spying on Eritrea????). Admas news paper of Khaled Abdu and company was marked as a Libyan agent. Khaled used to print large photos of the Libyan Leader in his paper and tried to interview the Libyan ambassador at one time and this was enough evidence to get the title of a Libyan agent (Eritrea’s AL megrahi!). Yusuf Mohammed Ali and his Tsigenay newspaper were Saudi stooges. They used to have a column in their paper during the holy month of Ramadan, a kind of religious question and answer. This plus the editors name were enough to bestow the designation of a Saudi agent! In a land of special courts and scary Gulags, where one can be sentenced at a whim of a military judge and where one can languish indefinitely in prison, in a law less system where there is no recourse of appeal or justice, titles and honorific designation were plenty and some have no choice except to believe in whatever they were told.
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Article
Written by Yosief Ghebrehiwet Tue - 03 Nov

Sealing off Eritrea: Domestic Terrorism

Totalitarian leaders are like scientists in that they are always in search of the perfect controlled laboratory environment, devoid of any interfering variables. And they are unlike scientists in that they never accept the results of their experimentation, given the fact that those results never match the ones they have already made up in their minds. All the horrors that take place in a totalitarian society are the result of endless attempts to close this impossible gap between attained and preferred results. At every such failed attempt, the experimental setting has to be drastically overhauled to meet impossible conditions, always at a horrendous price to the masses – as the Eritrean case amply testifies.

The first thing that a totalitarian leader does to make a perfect laboratory out of his nation (and perfect guinea pigs out of his subjects) is to seal off the nation from the outside world, not only to prevent outside variables that might compromise his experimentation from coming in but also to prevent inside variables essential for the success of his experimentation from escaping out. It is not surprising then that the most crucial question that a totalitarian leader or party asks is: how do I keep out those variables that potentially infringe on my independence to experiment as I simultaneously keep in those variables essential to the success of my experiment? The “independence” mentioned here is that of the leader’s (or the party’s) unfettered independence to do whatever he wants to do within the confines of his laboratory (the nation) to bring about the kind of results he wants to achieve – often, a utopian society made in his or the party’s own image. But since no such satisfactory result is ever achieved, the experimentation ends up being all about weeding out “interfering variables”, a process that ends only with the demise of the totalitarian system itself.

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Alewuna
Written by NY Daily News: Helen Kennedy Sun - 01 Nov

Meb Keflezighi becomes first American man to win New York City Marathon since 1982

As he approached the finish line, Keflezighi pointed to the letters U.S.A. on his chest and the crowd, already cheering, roared.

"The USA gave me all the opportunities there is in education, sports and lifestyle," he said. "To be able to represent the USA is a big thing for me."

Keflezighi, 34, who scored a silver at the 2004 Olympics, was born in Eritrea in Africa but he fled war and became a U.S. citizen in 1998.

His triumph was one of persistance after hardships two years ago that would have sidelined a lesser man: During New York's 2007 Olympic Men's Marathon Trials, he came in eight after suffering calf cramps and a fracture his right hip during the race.

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Article
Written by G. Ande Sun - 01 Nov

How Many Colors Does A Rainbow Have?

This brings us to the main topic of this article. How many colors does a rainbow have? A rainbow is believed to be made up of seven colors - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet by the casual observer. Scientifically, however, the rainbow is a whole continuum of colors from red to violet and even beyond the colors that the eye can see. I am not a mind reader but from what I read, Ahmed Raj seems to see only two colors in a rainbow. The rest of the colors he leaves for sheer speculation. Since his vision seems to be limited to seeing only two colors in a rainbow he also is in the habit of first making his preconceived conclusions and then working down from there to find data to validate them. And what an assortment of tainted and "convenient" data he has!!!!

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Article
Written by Baltimore Sun : Matthew Hay Brown Sat - 31 Oct

More from Eritrea seek life of peace in Maryland

At first, the police only beat her.

They had come to the two-room stone house where Abeba Hagos Enday lived with her four children to conscript her husband into the Eritrean army. When she told them - truthfully, she says - that she didn't know where he was, they gave her an ultimatum: Find him before we come back, or we will kill you. 

"I had to leave," Enday says through an interpreter.

Enday, 39, is one of about four dozen Eritreans who have arrived in Baltimore since July, the first members of a group that resettlement officials expect to rival the current big three - Iraqis, Bhutanese and Burmese - in admissions during the next year.

"This population is coming," says Robert Warwick, director of the Baltimore office of the International Rescue Committee, which is resettling the Eritreans locally. "For years, resettlement was stagnant, but now the U.S. government has identified numbers, and they're being processed."

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Article
Written by Mogos Tekeste Sat - 31 Oct

The Language Question Revisited

Second, some claim that they use Arabic in their religious schools and religious institution thus Arabic should qualify as one of the working languages of Eritrea. Similarly, the Tewahdos use Geez in their religious schools and churches. They use Geez in such important occasions as religious holidays, prayers, baptism, marriage ceremonies, funereal services and all the attendant ceremonies that follow. Here, I do not see that much difference in the way the Tewahdos use Geez from that our Muslim compatriots use Arabic during comparable occasions. I can attest to the fact that the Tewahdo masses have no clue of the Geez language. I conjecture that may be the case with the Eritrean Muslim masses regarding Arabic. Still no matter how one cuts it, a language does not become a working language of a nation just because a religious institution uses it. To examine this issue in more detail, it becomes important to examine how non Arab Muslims handle the Arabic language. The question is do Muslim nations who are not Arabs accept Arabic as one of their official languages?

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Blood Money
Written by proactiveinvestors.com Fri - 30 Oct

Nevsun completes C$32.775 mln private placement for Bisha gold-copper project, Eritrea

company news image

Nevsun Resources Ltd (TSX/AMEX: NSU) said it has  completed its non-brokered private placement financing of 11.5 million common shares at C$2.85 announced last week, raising C$32.775 million.

The net proceeds from the offering will be used for general working capital purposes, including exploration and development of the Bisha high grade gold, copper and zinc project in Eritrea.

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Update on Famine Situation

 The conditions in Wi’a concentration/training camp in the past 7- 9 months have worsened more than any other time. Food rations were reduced further to 3 pieces of sorghum bread per person per day without any supplements such as sauce except limited ration of tea. The shortage of food is compounded by the closure of the camp for family visits which used to facilitate the supply of food from families and relatives to the prisoners/trainees. 
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Interview
Written by Michael Abraha Thu - 29 Oct

Authoritarian Eritrea President overseeing a troubled nation – Interview with Seyoum Tesfaye, EGS Chairman


The news blackout on the drought/famine situation reportedly afflicting millions of Eritreans has frustrated both emergency aid agencies and press and human rights advocates. This comes as no surprise especially to members of the media since independent reporting is outlawed in Eritrea. The government is known to be the world’s worst violator of press freedom. US based, Seyoum Tesfaye, is Chairman of the Eritrean Global Solidarity and has been following recent Eritrean developments. Here, he discusses the underlying issues behind Eritrea’s troubles.

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News Analysis
Written by Michael Abraha Mon - 26 Oct

ERITREA MEDIA WATCH

Eritrea Media Watch

Eritrea’s Lingering Malnutrition

Awate.com’s Divisive Publications

The only leader who thinks it is o.k. to preside over a nation with the worst record in press freedom is Eritrea’s strongman Isayas Afewerki. He argues there is no such thing as “free press”. Of course there isn’t. But the rest of humanity agrees it is vital to have systems which enable people to freely express ideas and exchange information. “Free press” is not an absolute standard but is meant to serve as a guideline in the establishment of free and united communities. Even Denmark at the top of the list of 175 countries does not have a perfect “free press”. But it is striving towards that goal. And it is never too late for Eritrea to join the civilized world in the fight against darkness. Repression and ruthless censorship create intellectual retardation and hinder progress.

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Article
Written by Amanuel Yosief Beyin Wed - 21 Oct

Student Activism: The Powerhouse of Eritrean Liberation Struggle; the Biggest Threat to the PFDJ

I recognize three major phases during when Eritrean Student Activism has taken distinctive forms: early 1940s- early 1960s, mid 1960s-Independence, 2001-present. Student activism in Eritrea traces its origin back to the early 1940s. In 1941 the first generation of anti-colonial Eritreans -Mahber Fikri Hager Eritra (MFHE) formed a coalition demanding Eritrean freedom, mainly from the Italian fascist rule4. The masterminds of the MFHE consisted of young intellectuals and self made individuals notable among them Woldeab Woldemariam, Gebremeskel Woldu and Ibrahim Sultan4. Although limited to clandestine activities, the MFHE was successful in sending a shock wave to the British Administration prior to which organized parties were not allowed in Eritrea. The Italian colonial rule was particularly indifferent to Eritrean identity. After sensing the growing political consciousness of Eritreans, in 1946, the British Administration allowed the formation of political parties to which the subsequent fates of Eritrea owes a lot.

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Time Machine
Written by Dehai Sun - 18 Oct

Nine Years Later, Oct 7, 2001: “The Berlin Manifesto”

Before the G15, there were the G13

“The Berlin Manifesto”

Letter to the President of Eritrea.

Men are respectable only as they respect” Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Mr. President,

Despite these disquieting developments, we remained remarkably silent. The reason for our silence was not due to apathy or lack of interest but rather due to the pervasive phenomenon of self-censorship. This self-censorship was particularly acute during the last two years because we all felt that criticism would give aid and comfort to the enemy who might distort it to suit its purposes. Now it is time to speak and speak plainly. Further silence can only endanger the interest of the country as well as compromise our historic responsibility. We must now say that, in our considered opinion, the government has lagged behind in the development of democratic institutions, including mechanisms for ensuring accountability and transparency. We respectfully submit that this is the most important matter for you to ponder and face squarely in whatever reappraisal of government policy and practice you may be undertaking, as we hope you are.

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Article
Written by J.Peter Pham, PhD Thu - 15 Oct

Eritrea: Spoiler Exacerbates Crisis in the Horn of Africa and Beyond

J.Peter Pham, PhD
To recall, it has been more than two years since I warned in this column space about the danger posed by “the rogue regime in Asmara which, for its own reasons, is fomenting a growing cycle of violence phenomenon that not only threatens the stability of its neighbors, but, because of its support of an al-Qaeda-linked Islamist insurgency, risks opening a broad terrorist front across the entire Horn of Africa.” Earlier this year, after a May emergency summit in Addis Ababa, the Council of Ministers of the subregional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) issued a statement asserting that “the government of Eritrea and its financiers continue to instigate, finance, recruit, train, fund and supply the criminal elements in and/or to Somalia” and calling on the United Nations Security Council to “impose sanctions on the government of Eritrea without any further delay.” The Peace and Security Council of the African Union concurred, issuing a communiqué expressing its “deep concern at the reports regarding the support provided to these armed groups [in Somalia], through training, provision of weapons and ammunitions and funding, by external actors, including Eritrea, in flagrant violation of the United Nations arms embargo” and likewise asking the Security Council to “impose sanctions against all those foreign actors, both within and outside the region, specially Eritrea, providing support to the armed groups engaged in destabilization activities in Somalia, attacks against the TFG, the civilian population and AMISOM, as well as against all the Somali individuals and entities working towards undermining the peace and reconciliation efforts and regional stability.”
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interactive
Written by L'expresso Tue - 13 Oct

The map of terror in Eritrea

Terror Map of Eritrea

This is a list containing prisons in Eritrea where the government keeps prisoners of conscience. It is certainly not an exhaustive list of all the prisons in the country where thousands are kept without formal charges and without visitation rights. Those who die in those prisons are unceremoniously buried by the prison wardens and the government rarely notifies the next of kin.

Source : espresso.repubblica.it

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Article
Written by L’espresso Tue - 13 Oct

THE FRIEND OF ISAIAS

The reference of Berlusconi to the closing of the colonial question "not only with Libya" is the first official indication to the new course. And this is despite the uncomfortable and frequent visits by the men of Isaias Afewerki (the President of Eritrea) who are in search of dollars through commercial corruption of every kind. The US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has accused the Eritrean regime for providing aid to the Islamic extremists with links to Al Qaeda in Somalia. But the connections with Italy are now on a monthly basis. On Friday 18th of September, Franco Frattini, the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs, received his counterpart Osman Saleh and Yemane Ghebreab, the political advisor of the dictator and the craftsman behind the terror. During the talks on border issues, the delegation of Eritrea expressed its appreciation for the rejection of Eritrean exiles back to Libya that was decided by Interior Minister Roberto Maroni. Operations accompanied by the reduction of an action team of paramedics from Italy and Malta: an order that in August contributed to the death of 73 Eritrean fugitives from 78 left adrift on a barge.

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Article
Written by Yosief Ghebrehiwet Thu - 08 Oct

(I) Eritrea’s Pragmatic Terrorism: the Relevance Factor

The only good thing about Isaias is that he has never been a nationalist, but armed with his super-size ego this quality turns into a disaster for its ambition recognizes no borders. The problem with Isaias is that once he put himself in the nationalist straight jacket called “Eritrea”, he never managed to disentangle himself from it. He (and ghedli) needed to instill ultra-nationalism in his followers to be where he is now. Once he reached the goal of independence, that very ultra-nationalism became a hindrance to his insatiable ambition to be the most relevant leader in the neighborhood. There was no way that his army would be willing to march to Addis-Ababa and put him on the Abyssinian throne. Instead, he had to look enviously as Melles’ army did exactly what he wanted to do. At that particular moment, he must have cursed the “narrow nationalism” of the Eritrean people for denying him what he considered was within his reach.

But that doesn’t mean that Isaias totally gave up on his ambition. In fact, the trauma the young nation has been undergoing can be explained as a result of seismic efforts of its leader to come out of the nationalist straight jacket that his people have put him in. First, he was flirting with the idea of confederation with the belief that that would give him a noncontroversial and “peaceful” means to escape this straightjacket. And then there was that wild hope that TPLF won’t ever make it in Ethiopia without his support, a condition that he thought he could exploit permanently. After the border war, all such hopes were dashed. Since then, his various misadventures in the neighborhood can be explained as a desperate attempt to get out of that straightjacket. So it goes both ways: not only do his people think that they are victimized by him, he also thinks that he is victimized by them. Both created their own monsters: Isaias (and ghedli) created one of the most nationalist people on earth, and the people created a monster too big to be tethered within the confines of the nation.

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Writers Corner
Written by Selam Kidane Thu - 08 Oct

GO Home!

Home?

I have no home…

…I am like the river that trudges through…

With no place to call my own

…I bumble on

To stop where life wills…

They take what they want…

And dump what they will…

…On I lumber…

Changing names along the way

…Recruit…

…Deserter…

…Objector…

…Asylum seeker…

Illegal immigrant…

…Homeless…

 

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Article
Written by Dr. Haben Wed - 07 Oct

Who is the enemy?

Who is the enemy? The enemies of Eritrea are those who came up with a system that enslaves Eritreans instead of assuring freedom in their own country. The enemies of Eritrea are those who have created a discouraging environment, where Eritreans long to flee their own country and become refugees of other countries, instead of encouraging and creating and environment where Diaspora Eritreans would want to go back and help build their own country. The enemies are those few Eritrean leaders who have rebelled from their own people and are ruling using their military might. The enemies of Eritrea are those traitors who reside in Diaspora (many live in a civilized democratic countries), and have the audacity, to advocate and justify for an atrocious totalitarian military government of Eritrea. In Eritrea we have two classes of people, the totalitarian dictatorship and followers (minority), and the masses who live under constant harassment (majority).

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Interview
Written by Michael Abraha Wed - 07 Oct

Q + A: Religion and Politics in Eritrea.

Moslems and Christians have lived in peace and harmony for centuries in Eritrea. However, over the past decades the two sides have been victims of the wrong judgment of their elites, says Omar Jabir, Eritrean thinker, politician and democracy advocate based in Sydney, Australia. Omar says the Christian elite misled the grass-roots and mobilized them against the slogan of independence. “Now the Islamist elite are using and abusing religion to recruit supporters claiming that the regime is sectarian” says Omar, adding that they are connected - some of them - with foreign powers and scholars.

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Page 51 of 61

Articles

Article
Written by Selam Kidane Sat - 26 Jul

Bankrupting the merchants of fear

Bankrupting the merchants of fear

…Kainotophobia Is an extreme fear of change. Almost everybody in this world has some level of this phobia or fear of change... the problem for us though, is the fact that change is precisely what we are advocating for… then again since change is something that happens anyway, we are not merely advocating ANY change but a certain and specific kind of change… an Eritrea that looks so different not just from yesterday’s Eritrea but even from today’s Eritrea.

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Article
Written by Petros Tesfagherghis Fri - 25 Jul

The Bologna Drama: The Voice for Democratic Change vs. the Sound of Oppression

The Bologna Drama:  The Voice for Democratic Change vs. the Sound of Oppression

The festival of yesteryears Bologna was the get together of people bonded together in search of freedom and peace and to draw plans of how to support the struggle at home and evaluate achievements and shortcomings but also to celebrate the struggle.  ...

Today the 40th Anniversary of Bologna festival is turned into a propaganda ploy. PFDJ is isolated internationally and is under pressure. ...

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Article
Written by Ararat Iyob Wed - 23 Jul

Of Dreams and Death

Of Dreams and Death

... Martyrdom is part of religions such as Christianity at its inception. It is said that Christianity was the cause for the fall of the Roman Empire. Reason given, because there was life after death, there was no reason to behave normally for an actual life under a pragmatic Roman rule. Is there a lesson here? Didn’t thousands die because “martyrdom” was acceptable? In this day and age, normal soldiers do not go to war to die. They go to defend their country, its ideals, and mainly to win. Death is only a condition of the status quo and not a “choice”.

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Article
Written by Yosief Ghebrehiwet Wed - 16 Jul

Dejen’s Syndrome: the Contradictions of the Eritrean Mind

Dejen’s Syndrome: the Contradictions of the Eritrean Mind

Eritreans are first and foremost prisoners of their minds. ... We can, in fact, say that Dejen was actually locked up in multiple prisons, the one inserted into the other like a Russian doll. It took him four years to conduct an escape from the prison in his head, the one that held him hostage to the system. Only when he escaped from this mind-prison, as he gave up on the system, was he able to entertain an escape from the physical prison. And all of this was to flee from the nation, as hundreds of thousands of Eritreans have already been doing, however less spectacular their escapes might be. To fight back against the system requires an altogether different state of mind: he has to free himself from being a hostage of the revolutionary past that has made him deny agency to his oppressors. ...

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Article
Written by Seyoum Tesfaye Sat - 12 Jul

Decolonizing the mind: A shift in thinking

Decolonizing the mind: A shift in thinking

I believe the noble endeavor to collect and document the history of ELF and its gallant fighters is one of the most constructive undertakings in present day Eritrean Diaspora. I intend to present my observation of the process and its implication in the near future. I have been lucky enough to attend the second and third reunion held in Atlanta since it was open for the public. I felt I was in an open university with an insight into the nature of the liberation front that had the capability to transform former Eritrean commandos at the service of the Ethiopian government into liberation fighters. This achievement and other thousands of heroic deeds have to be recorded in detail and made a part of the true National History Archive.

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Article
Written by Ararat Iyob Sat - 05 Jul

“Holy Prison” Mariam Gembi before the Blue Terror there was……….

“Holy Prison” Mariam Gembi before the Blue Terror there was……….

Two of them took me to a part of the building that used to be a 'mogogo' (a separate room for making injera).  There they made me put my hands, tied, under my feet and inserted a wooden pole through my legs. They hoisted me up and put me upside down making my bare feet 'at arm’s length. The investigator started looking for a stick. One of them took what I think was a hard stick with plastic rope around it and asked if I had anything more to say. “No”. Then he started beating the soles of my feet. I started to scream but they put a piece of cloth on my mouth. I started to choke. ...

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Article
Written by Petros Tesfagherghis Sat - 28 Jun

The Vaccaro momentum: building an organisation and developing a strategy and plan of action

The Vaccaro momentum: building an organisation and developing a strategy and plan of action

What is amazing about Tewolde Tesfamariam (Wedi Vaccaro) is that he was able to attract large number of listeners to come to listen to him. It is fundamentally important to acknowledge that, it is because people have related to him, to what he was saying, his approach, his simplicity, commitment and selflessness.  They shared his dreams for unity, justice and democratic Eritrea. And also of his genuine concern that the opposition is too fragmented to put up united and effective resistance to repression, even though the objective condition for change is ripe.

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Article
Written by Yosief Ghebrehiwet Wed - 25 Jun

Catholic Bishops Sounding the “Extinction” Alarm in Eritrea

Catholic Bishops Sounding the “Extinction” Alarm in Eritrea

It seems to me that the problem of Eritrea has long ago stopped being political or even humanitarian; it has become a subject matter for “pure mathematics” to handle. Provide any fourth-grader who knows his addition with the figures of all those who are fleeing the nation in mass exodus per month/year and the years it takes in Eritrean minds to realize they are heading towards extinction, he would figure it out in few minutes when the cataclysmic end would be arriving. For lack of a fourth-grader head, uncluttered with revolutionary and nationalistic rhetoric, a nation is being lost. ...

With no such revolutionary or nationalistic malaise clouding their eyes, the Bishops are telling us in no unclear terms that such extinction is in fact in the making. What makes the Pastoral Letter unique is that it is the first time any Eritrean organization, be it religious or secular, to have focused on the existential predicament of the nation with such intensity. ...

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Article
Written by Resoum Kidane Mon - 23 Jun

Commemorating June 20th Martyrs' Day

Commemorating June 20th Martyrs' Day

The 20th of June is a day of commemoration for all those who sacrificed their lives for the Eritrean struggle for independence, and for those who lost their lives in the 1998-2000 border conflict with Ethiopia. It is also a commemoration day for all those political prisoners who lost their life in prison or were executed by the Ethiopian regime during the liberation struggle.

The same day is also an honour and a day of commemoration for all civilians, who were killed in Asmara during the demonstrations in 1958 and for all civilians who became the victims of the Ethiopian government atrocities between 1962-1991.

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Article
Written by Ghirmay Yebio Fri - 20 Jun

A few words on the "Pastoral Letter" by the Catholic Bishops of Eritrea

A few words on the

The pastoral letter by the four Catholic Bishops of Eritrea, can be called more of a "letter of Lamentation" which describes the situation in which the nation finds itself. ...

While commendable in being the first of its kind to come out of one of the established churches of Eritrea,  nonetheless it remains still a letter of Lamentation only and does not propose a solution to the problem.  It appears to emphasizes on collective blame rather than finger-pointing at the Asmara regime which is the solely responsible of the social and political crisis in the nation. It blames no one in particular and everyone in General.

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Article
Written by Zeineb Ali Fri - 20 Jun

The Catholic Bishops’ statement: How is it going down in the annals of history?

The Catholic Bishops’ statement: How is it going down in the annals of history?

Some might argue that the bishops represent the Catholic Church only. I do not believe this is the case. They are the voice of the voiceless. They represent all highlanders and lowlanders, Muslims and Christian, and men and women. They are echoing the views of the young and the old. They are reiterating the sentiments of the majority – both inside Eritrea and the diaspora. They are ready to pay dearly for speaking the truth and for leading the people on the right path to salvation.

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Article
Written by Tewelde Stephanos Sun - 15 Jun

Unfiltered Notes: Are we losing the deeper message of Eritrea’s courageous Catholic Bishops?

Unfiltered Notes: Are we losing the deeper message of Eritrea’s courageous Catholic Bishops?

That is not the whole story, however. Could a one-man empire last this long if we had heeded the Bishops’ deeper lesson? Did we honestly stick with the spirit of their question - “where is my brother”? What was our response when the disabled veterans were mercilessly mowed down or when so many people were herded to prison, some never to be heard from again? Except for very few brave souls, like our Catholic Bishops, we have all failed to do the right thing and that is why the regime has thrived this long.

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Article
Written by Zekre Lebona Fri - 13 Jun

The Eritrean Revolution’s Rule of Conduct: Ask Not About Your Brother

The Eritrean Revolution’s Rule of Conduct: Ask Not About Your Brother

 

... True, the communities in Eritrea had throughout their long history the “Fear of God”, and to an admirable degree, the respect for traditional laws. However, these attributes were abruptly and violently made to wither over the long period of ghedli hegemony. All the “social capital” the traditional communities had was degraded and trampled down by the ghedli operatives. The period was, in other words, “a dejen of error” [1] and anticipated the current social malaise.

...His comrades, among many, such as Petros Solomon, who was his prison inmate in Somalia, did not whisper,“Where Is My Brother”, until his turn to be a victim in September, 2001. The experience of others who joined the organization later is not different ...

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Article
Written by Daniel Teclegiorgis Fri - 06 Jun

(II) Fear to Phobia in the ambiguity of Eritrean image!

(II) Fear to Phobia in the ambiguity of Eritrean image!

No wonder fact of the matter is even though the dictator deserves a huge shame and blame, it is the reigning secretive world view too absorbed in promoting ideas of independence and self-reliance (ፈኸራን ጥረራን እንዳ ዝናን ባህታን) that bears accountability for all the mess. Accordingly it is not another battle type of Badme or slaying a dictator but a sort of creative battle of ideas that can evolve and improve the way out of the secretive world view in order to envision a better way for the management of relationships.

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Article
Written by Selam Kidane Thu - 05 Jun

Sophia Tesfamariam adds Insult to Eritrea’s Injury

Sophia Tesfamariam adds Insult to Eritrea’s Injury

But Sophia’s role – her only role seems to be whitewashing the gross violations perpetrated in Eritrea…just like the G15 are in EraEro, incommunicado for over a decade,  because the benevolent pfdj felt  they should be protected from the Eritrean masses and like the journalist were only denied the rights to live and work freely because the Eritrean public demanded so… the young people who perished in Lampedusa ended up in a sinking furnace because their rich, pompous families decided they’d send them on a lavish expedition out of the paradise called Eritrea!

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Writers Corner
Written by Ararat Iyob Mon - 28 Jul

What Wrong got Right

What Wrong got Right

Dear readers, please note that while I compiled the quotations below in order to show that the whole book was not only about the effect of foreign nations, and intervention, but that buried inside the book are hints, explanations, insights about Eritreans that one may miss due to the title and the main focus of the book.  I felt that concentrating she did on the effects of outside powers, she also took a good look at the local style, stories, effects, and innuendos, and those seem to be overwhelmed by the main story.

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Writers Corner
Written by Gabriel Guangul Tue - 01 Jul

Textless Reign of Silence

Textless Reign of Silence

in a country called Eritrea

where nobody knows where

mobile phones find themselves

locked in prison cells

 

immobilized by security codes; button less

hacked to death; more or less

freedom itself is left speechless

unable to text; textless

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Writers Corner
Written by Gabriel Guangul Thu - 05 Jun

Of Loose and Silent Tongues

Of Loose and Silent Tongues

security codes lie in wait

right beside the gate

holding the tongue hostage

blocking the air passage

 

stuck in the tunnels

inside rusty pipes and faulty valves

some words joined forces

just to make phrases

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Writers Corner
Written by Gabriel Guangul Wed - 23 Apr

Eritrea - there you are

Eritrea - there you are

We are standing still; on our own

and there you are; so close

yet; so far away

farewell; to a journey in the unknown

 

The time has come

as it always does; for no one

but for us to join; in peace

in loving memory

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Writers Corner
Written by Ararat Iyob Thu - 17 Apr

Serious People - II

Serious People - II

Well, He seems to

have decided to let hurricanes blow

new winds to penetrate

new routes, new waves

hailstorms hit pavements

the seas grow hot

and volcanoes boil

their sweat is carried

to the Red Sea home.

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Writers Corner
Written by Selam Kidane Wed - 02 Apr

Ode to Yohanna’s Baby

Ode to Yohanna’s Baby

In

The small cramped quarters

A lone light bulb dangling above

A baby was born

Her bright intelligent eyes wide open

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Writers Corner
Written by Gabriel Guangul Sun - 16 Mar

Figure Out

Figure Out

So self-righteous she was
She put everything right; in the wrong way

So obsessed with truth; he was
He had nothing left to say

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Writers Corner
Written by Ararat Iyob Wed - 12 Mar

Serious People - I

Serious People - I

Along the river Nile, I met the Flame Tree

its long limbs stretching to the sky

the blue hues along with clouds

became the canvas for its drawing

 

Its red-hot flames poked out from the greens

yellow flicker of burning sunshine

telling me that fire burns otherwise

soft petals glowing with color

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Writers Corner
Written by Gabriel Guangul Mon - 10 Mar

Shadow

Shadow

broadcasting so heavy a shadow

a shield standing in front

light outcast

in the wild

 

a hunter

in the dark

light years away

a body mass of no weight

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Writers Corner
Written by Gabriel Guangul Tue - 04 Feb

Passage

Passage

 

she hands her child

to a woman sitting beside

raise her as your own; she begs

soon after she saw the men; hands-on machetes

 

she became a statistic; number game ...

a faceless victim; a dead torch among many

... a warning

for a genocide in the making

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Writers Corner
Written by Selam Kidane Sat - 01 Feb

Now You See Me

Now You See Me

 

That September we both left Eritrea

Seventeen hours later you were here

I was shot at on the border

Was sold, bought and resold

The map of that trip is scored on my back

Do you want to see? No I didn’t think you would

My best friend was maimed

The other one died in a cell

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Writers Corner
Written by Gabriel Guangul Mon - 13 Jan

Twilight

Twilight

Gravitating to unregistered awareness
In fractured identities
In sleeping sickness
In morbid madness

Rising with eyes frozen; dead blank
Lifeless; zombie-like
Despite all signs of life; yet unborn
Just swimming; in the womb of the twilight zone

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Writers Corner
Written by Selam Kidane Wed - 08 Jan

Refugee Go Home

Refugee Go Home

Like the River that passes through
I have no place to call my own
I stop where life wills ...
To let them take what they want ...
And dump what they willl ...
... Then on I will linger ...
Changing names along the way

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Writers Corner
Written by Samuel NA Thu - 19 Dec

The Ten Commandments, PFDJ Style

The Ten Commandments, PFDJ Style

V. Honor your appointed officials, that your days may be peaceful in the land.

VI. You shall not murder. Aim shots below the knee.

VII. You shall not commit adultery. Lest you compete with your colonels and officials.

VIII. You shall not steal. The land and its fruits are consecrated to government.

IX. You shall not bear false witness. Why prolong your torture.

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Writers Corner
Written by Walta Kiflezghi Tue - 17 Dec

Despair

Despair

Full circle once again

it's a depletion of life sources

Dead wrapped in seaweed

instead of a casket with roses

Abandoned in the desert sand

ripped of dignity and organs

Do you hear the cries

of the motherless children?

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