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Welcome to Asmarino Independent.

News
Written by Hindustan Times Sat - 26 Sep

LTTE were to get 10 aircrafts, Indian media report says

Sept 24, Colombo: Sri Lanka's terrorist outfit, Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) were set to get 10 new aircraft through an Eritrea-based arms smuggling network when the government's military offensive reached its climax, an Indian media report said.

According to a report in Indian newspaper Hindustan Times, the aircraft had been dismantled and were to be shipped to the north-eastern coast of Sri Lanka when the war reached a decisive stage.

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Article
Written by Mogos Tekeste Sat - 26 Sep

The Land Question Revisited

Moreover, it ties the farmer to his village, no incentive to move around and take economic risks. One cannot mortgage the land and open other worthwhile economic activities. That is one cannot borrow capital from banks in order to advance worthwhile economic activities using the land as a collateral, since the village and not the farmer owns the land. In short, there is no credit market to speak of. A prosperous economy cannot function properly without an efficient and well regulated credit market. It does not encourage an entrepreneurial spirit, since capital that is tied to the land is not allowed to move freely to other economic activities. An active, innovative and energetic farmer cannot expand his agricultural enterprises since land is not bought and sold like other commodities in the marketplace. The market is not allowed to freely and efficiently allocate the resources. Hence land degradation and economic inefficiency and rigidity. A lot of latent capital remains hidden, unused and buried in an immovable land. The curse of many third world poor nations. (See: “The Mystery of Capital,” by Hernando De Soto.)

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Article
Written by Milkias Mihretab Yohannes Fri - 25 Sep

Memories of a Dreadful Time

I read and heard the brutal and inhuman death of some of Eritrea’s finest [G-15] with great sorrow and pain. I know some of them personally and professionally. As an independent journalist, I interviewed and spend some time with many of them. I used to be and still am impressed by their courage, zeal, tenacity and selfless love for freedom and liberty. Almost all of them are married with children and extended family. Some are highly educated and learned and quite a lot of them were highly enlightened and amazingly informed of events around the world. As a journalist, me and my colleagues were always impressed by their being prime advocate for reform, elections, rule of law and constitutionality, after a long stint with a fascist organization. We had had an impression, that they, as members of a brutal Maoist-Leninist xenophobic clique, will be totally alien and divergent to liberal democracy and people’s power. We were proven wrong.
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Press Release
Written by EGS Thu - 24 Sep

EGS Letter to UN

Eighteen years after independence from Ethiopia the Eritrean people are forced to flee in droves out of their country from the draconian internal policies of the government. The absence of rudimentary rule of law, wide spread arbitrary arrest and torture has made Eritrea prison nations whereby thousands have been thrown in to containers and underground jails never to be seen or heard from. Add to this massive internal repression and persecution of the people of Eritrea the flagrant interference of the Eritrean government in the affairs of the nations of Horn of Africa and especially in Somalia underscores the fact that for us the external behavior of the government cannot be seen separate from the internal suffering of the people of Eritrea.

In its present and future deliberation we hope the Security Council will be able to make the unavoidable linkage between the suffering of the people of Eritrea and Somalia due to the wanton behavior of the unelected Eritrean government.

 

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News
Written by The Economist Wed - 23 Sep

Big ambitions, big question-marks

And why should an East African federation stop with the club’s existing member countries? If defined by the area in which the lingua franca of the Swahili language is used, the range of lorries heading out of the Kenyan port of Mombasa, and the magnet of Nairobi as a hub, east Africa spreads into Ethiopia and includes a chunk of Somalia, a swathe of east Congo, a strip of northern Mozambique and all of southern Sudan, which could become an independent country in 2011, if its people vote in a promised referendum to secede.

The EAC already has 126m people. If it expands, it could add as many as 120m more to that number, making it more than twice as populous as Africa’s 28 smallest countries combined—enough, its backers argue, to make a bigger EAC very attractive to foreign investors. The EAC says it would negotiate better deals with the rich world than individual African countries can.

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News
Written by FT: Barney Jopson Sat - 19 Sep

Inside the insular and secretive Eritrea

National service may in reality have little to do with Ethiopia. One theory is that external threats are used as a pretext by Isaias for another objective: economic dictatorship. In the past five or so years, the regime has begun to create a command economy where it controls resource allocation, production, distribution and consumption. Shackling a big chunk of the workforce is an essential element. Isaias denies he is pursuing Soviet-style central planning, but says state intervention is justified when it ensures resources are distributed equitably. The country has never been rich. But by withdrawing licences from private businesses, making farmers sell produce to the state at fixed prices, maintaining a monopoly on imports and dictating how the country’s scant dollar reserves are used, the regime is strangling wealth creation. Eritrea suffers from shortages of everything from diesel and tea to batteries and flour. It recently went without domestic beer for eight months because the government would not give the state-owned brewery the dollars it needed to buy malt.

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Article
Written by Kidane Belay Sat - 19 Sep

Two Sides of the Same Neo-Nazi Coin

Ali’s view on democracy is thus identical to that of Issayas, it just happens to be the other side of the same coin. Ali seems to have arrived at this conclusion by confusing a number of issues. The freedom to worship and equality of religions is a democratic right that everyone should respect and fight for. Imposing and peddling obscurantism in the name of freedom of religion is a thoroughly undemocratic project. Ali seems to confuse the two and seems to have flipped from one to the other. Equality of all ethnic groups in Eritrea including their right to their ancestral home is a democratic right that everyone should respect and fight for. Imposition of self‐appointed spokesmen of these groups with the view to a “negotiated solution” among such spokesmen in an environment where democracy is denied is a thoroughly undemocratic practice worthy of the war lords of Somalia and the ELF of the Zebene Kiflitat! Ali seems to confuse the two and has slipped from one to the other.

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News
Written by FT Sat - 19 Sep

Interview with Eritrea’s Isaias Afewerki

Isaias Afewerki led a guerrilla army that helped to overthrow the Ethiopian dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991 and win independence for Eritrea, which the Red Sea country secured after a referendum two years later. As Eritrea’s president, he initially pledged to introduce multiparty democracy and free markets. But a border war with Ethiopia from 1998 to 2000 led to a sharp change in course.

Today, Mr Isaias is accused of being a dictator and Eritrea is one of the most secretive and insular corners of Africa.

At the presidential reception house in Asmara on July 21 2009, he spoke to Barney Jopson, the FT’s East Africa correspondent, about international relations, domestic politics, military service, economic management, and western aid. These are edited excerpts from the interview.

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Article
Written by G. Ande Sat - 19 Sep

Who Delivers the Olive Leaf: the Dove or the Raven? – Part I

Well, there seems to be a big disconnect between liberationist Eritreans and acculturated pundits in the way they see the language issue in Eritrea. For liberationists, the Arabs, Egyptians, The Ottoman Turks, The Italians, the British and later the Ethiopians and their corresponding languages are cruel reminders of how these ominous occupiers imposed their will on the Eritrean people by the barrels of their guns. The whole idea of liberation, as we know it during the 30-year struggle and now, is not limited to ejecting colonial armies from Eritrean territories, but also aims at reinstating Eritrean dignity and identity. It encompasses the grand mission of reviving Eritrean culture, language, norms and national spirit. It aims at freeing the people psychologically from colonial mentality. The injustices inflicted on our people by former colonizers and slave traders are part of our dark historical past and we must recuperate from that tragedy by starting to value our languages and cultures and committing ourselves to develop them.

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Press Release
Written by EU Fri - 18 Sep

Declaration by the Presidency on behalf of the European Union

Eight years ago, on 18 September 2001, a group of eleven prominent members of Parliament and of the People’s Front for Democracy and Justice, the only political party in Eritrea, were arrested. Five days later, on 23 September 2001, ten independent journalists were also arrested. Since then, other individuals have been arrested and detained incommunicado, with their rights to a due process suspended.

Despite repeated appeals by the international community, including the EU, and severalgovernmental and non-governmental human rights bodies, these prisoners remain in detention. None of them has ever been formally charged in court, as required by Eritrean law, and the fate of the prisoners remains unknown. Families, legal representatives and medical doctors have been denied access to the prisoners.

This conduct is in clear violation of obligations established in the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified by Eritrea, such as the prohibition against arbitrary detention and the right of anyone deprived of his or her liberty to be treated with humanity and dignity.

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News
Written by EHAHRDP Fri - 18 Sep

Report of the Roundtable on Human Rights in Eritrea

Panellists highlighted that the human rights situation in Eritrea is dire: freedom of speech and press are inexistent; freedom of association regularly and violently clampdown on and freedoms of movement, religion and opinion harshly restricted. Given this sad reality the role of the international community and particularly the European Union (EU), as one of the top donors to Eritrea, in trying to improve the human rights crisis has been very little. During the comments and questions session, one of the most debated issues was the role of the EU in improving the human rights situation in Eritrea.
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Press Release
Written by AEJE Fri - 18 Sep

Eritrean Journalists commemorate September 18.

Eight years ago, on September 18, 2001, the Eritrean government closed the private newspapers and started to hunt down the journalists. It arrested most of them and few fled the country. Though we have no up to date figures, five of them have been confirmed died in jail. Eritrean government is currently known as the biggest jailor of journalists in the world with more than 25 journalists languishing in jails for years.

On this day, the Association of Eritrean journalists in Exile (AEJE) would like to introduce itself to the Eritrean public and to the world. This Association boasts membership of more than 30 Eritrean journalists. The exiled journalists may have worked in the private press or governmental papers. Some were contributors, and some are still working in opposition websites and Radios.

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News
Written by Mission Network News Thu - 17 Sep

More Christians die in Eritrea's camps

By the time the government relocated the prisoners and staff to Mitire Military Concentration Camp, at least one of them, Mesfin Gebrekristos, was among those who succumbed to both weakened health and the illness. Mesfin was a believer who spent the last year imprisoned for his faith.

He died on September 3 and leaves behind a wife and two children. He is the tenth reported Christian to have died while being incarcerated for his worship outside of the state-approved Lutheran, Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Open Doors also reports that two weeks ago, the Eritrean government called on all its citizens to inform the police of any illegal gatherings of Christians in their neighborhoods.

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News
Written by RSF Thu - 17 Sep

Eritrea: World’s biggest prison for journalists eight years after September 2001 round-ups

Reporters Without Borders has confirmed that four journalists arrested in September 2001 did not survive the appalling prison conditions.

The journalist with Swedish and Eritrean dual nationality is Dawit Isaac, the founder of the now banned weekly Setit, who was arrested on 23 September 2001. He was taken to the airforce hospital in Asmara for treatment earlier this year but he is now in Embatkala prison in Ghinda, 35 km northeast of the capital on the Massawa road.

The Eritrean authorities are keeping the state of his health a secret despite the international campaigns for his release. In response to a question about Dawit during an interview for Swedish journalist Donald Boström at the end of May, President Issaias said that he did not care where Dawit was held, that he would never be tried and that the government would never negotiate his release with Sweden. See the interview with Issaias (http://tv4play.se/aktualitet/nyhetsmorgon?videoId=1.1014115&renderingdepartment=2.34562)

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Writers Corner
Written by Selam Kidane Thu - 17 Sep

May I live this moment for you?

Can I borrow your voice for a moment?
And tell the world what the promise was…
That which nineteen-year-old boys grew old holding on to
May I grab hold of a compatriot’s shoulders with your hands?
And shake it until they wake up and remember…what the dream was

May I pat the shoulders of that comrade you left behind?
And encourage him that it is not over yet…? 
May I call him by the nicknames you came up with?
May I resuscitate his jovial smile?
And make this valley echo with laughter… once more

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Article
Written by Petros Tesfagiorgis Thu - 17 Sep

No Time Like the Present

The legacy of Italian colonialism was perpetuated by the divide and rule policy of the British and Ethiopia and is deemed to be secondary contradiction that is going to be solved by both Christians and Moslems. Unless people are able to differentiate between the oppressors and the oppressed they can not rise up and stand up in unison to the challenges presented to them by PFDJ. The fight against injustice and all forms of human rights violations is fought by people who shared the same values of justice and humanity. Eritreans who opted to rise to the challenge PFDJ have to change themselves first by internalizing the value of justice and democracy. That would be a common denominator for all people who are divided along the lines of religion, ethnicity or region. They can be able to translate this principle into action with passion and commitments and love for each other. In the final analysis principle without action is useless.

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Article
Written by Milkias Mihretab Yohannes Wed - 16 Sep

Memories of a dreadful time.

One of the most important factors in the flourishing of my paper and the other independent newspapers is the Eritrean people’s desire and aspiration for free, democratic Eritrea and freedom of speech and thought. After a long year and era of colonization after colonization, Eritreans all over were eager to talk, write and think without fear of being arrested or killed for the first time in their life or in living memory. Independent newspapers were in high demand and readership was large all over Eritrea. From The small town of ElaBerid To the village of Marreba in the highlands, you can see people reading voraciously the weekly or biweekly papers. There were times when we have to print two or three times a single copy just to satisfy the high demand in Asmara and the surrounding areas only. We were totally unprepared for this kind of attention and responsibility in tiny Eritrea where almost every one knows every one else. In one of the world’s strangest and forbidding political system, where there is no resemblance of even a 17th century kingdom, people start looking at us as the only outlet of their desire, aspiration and frustration at the system. In the chilling nightmare called Eritrea where a Muslim shop owner was taken away from his family for just praying and growing his beard and parents were told to dance and be happy for the death of their beloved ones, we naively began a newspaper. In the land of Halewasewra (gulag) and countless butchery and debauchery, we started newspapers, one of the greatest anti-tyranny and anti-totalitarian tools ever to exist. We were young, idealist, naïve and like many Eritreans, unsuspecting!
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Blood Money
Written by FT Tue - 15 Sep

Eritrea readies first goldmine

Blood Money

"Its dictatorial ruling regime, which is in urgent need of dollars from mining, has also awarded exploration licences to eight new foreign companies eager to prospect close to Africa’s Red Sea coast."

War and government economic controls have limited the Eritrean private sector’s ability to generate foreign currency income and the country is one of the last unexplored frontiers in African mining.

In a break from its credo of self-reliance, the regime of President Isaias Afewerki has turned to foreign companies for capital and ex­pertise to develop its gold, zinc and copper deposits.

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Article
Written by Tedros Abraham (Babu), Norway Fri - 11 Sep

A Refugee At last

Reporter for Setit in Senafe front line in August 2000 with a Turkish journalist

I made four failed attempts to cross the border, three times to Ethiopia and once to the Sudan. But I never gave up and succeeded with the fifth one. After six days of exhausting walk, I managed to get in to the Sudan on the 17th of November 2007 via Sawa military training camp, along two other colleagues. It was very risky and at times life threatening journey. Had it not been for one Sudanese nomad to rescue our life, we could all have vanished without trace in the deserts of eastern Sudan. The nomad named Mr. Hamid told us that just two week before our arrival, they had buried the body of two young Warsay Ykealo school students, who were presumably died as a result of water thirsty. Our fate could have not been different either, but we were so lucky to escape from that imminent danger.

Once we reached Sudan no one of us ever expected to face with such kind of agonising danger, but the nomad, who was in his mid eighties became our hero. He had to walk along with his two camels with us, in an effort to save our life. He was on foot while three of us turn by turn had to ride on the back of the camel. And it took us three days to reach a village called Girgir, 20km north from the city of Kessela. With all the difficulties of Arabic language I had at that time, but one of Mr. Hamids breathtaking expression was something that I hardly forget ‘’ Esaias ke’ab’’ meaning Esaias is a trouble maker. He also asked ‘’what have the Eritrean people done to deserve all these misery.’’ Frankly I never expected those sympathetic words to come out from such an old nomad who happens to witness the tragedy and suffering of Eritreans first hand on a daily bases.

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Writers Corner
Written by Seyoum Tesfaye Thu - 10 Sep

The New Berlin Wall

Now you dare to snatch 
My sisters and brothers
Hannibal’s distant cousins
Desert defying voyagers
Unyielding Eritreans 
Sworn enemies of tyranny
Beacons of liberty
Not easy to digest
Break or Silence
You stole their body
Not their spirit or soul 
As they rise to the heavens
They spit on you
Mediterranean Sea
Europe’s New Berlin Wall

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Writers Corner
Written by Selam Kidane Thu - 10 Sep

The other others

We looked in, in horror for a moment…
And for a brief moment we all seemed fully human…
Not half beast as we seem to be the rest of the time
…Seventy-five dead, five near dead… thousands waiting to die
... And no one was mourning…
In the stark light of the brief limelight…
The dead were like a magnet that held us all there…
…All together for once…

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News
Written by EHAHRDP Wed - 09 Sep

Roundtable on the Human Rights Situation in Eritrea

The East and Horn of Africa Human Rights Defenders Project (EHAHRDP), along with Human Rights Concern Eritrea (HRC-Eritrea), and Human Rights Watch (HRW) will mark the anniversary of the 2001 clampdown by organising a roundtable on Eritrea to speak out against the on-going human rights crisis in the country and to highlight the need for the EU, as one of the main donors, to place human rights at the top of its agenda in Eritrea.

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Article
Written by Amanuel Muhzun Tue - 08 Sep

How would Eritrea exchange proper relations with her neighbours?

In today’s international network, countries of the world have increasingly grown dependent on one another. The influences of geographical, economic, military and social relations are increasing across the globe more than ever. They are much more engaged in cross-border trading. More exporting of resources is in place to acquire the established hard currencies or other international valuable exchanges, which is quite unattainable for many countries. Reciprocity matters to maintain mutual interest. Therefore, most foreign policies are designed to suit international economic situations, ideologies and various strategic factors in order to gain interest from many sources.

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Article
Written by AMARE GEBREMARIAM GEBRE Tue - 08 Sep

MULTI-LINGUALISM AND THE OFFICAL LANGUAGE IN ERITREA

In Eritrea Geez lost its medium of communication across the Habeshas (Semitic origin) and Tigrigna plays the role of Geez in most highland Eritrea. In lowland Eritrea Arabic plays the role as a medium of communication across cultures. Irrespective of how Arabic prevailed in the Eritrean reality, whether it is through religion or through previous invaders, it does solve the problem of medium of communication across our lowland area diverse cultures. A language does not have to be a native tongue or mother language to be recognized as a medium of communication. It has to win the acceptance of the people and the cross-cultural ability to solve the communication problem of one’s country or a nation. English is not a native language of some West African and some Asian countries, but still is the language of medium of communication and so does French. The point here is not of matter of pride or being degraded, but better communication, which leads to better understanding and development.

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Article
Written by Mogos Tekeste Sat - 05 Sep

A Modest Proposal for a Way Out

Needles to state, English is the language of the Internet and the business world. It is the language of learning. Its prominence is even going to be more pronounced in the future with the rapid advancement of the Internet. All the libraries of the great universities of the world will be (or are) available in the Internet. Making English the working language of Eritrea will equalize all Eritrean nationalities on the language question. This should not be taken as a national pride issue. Nor should one be accused of possessing a colonized mind for suggesting a foreign language to be the working language of Eritrea. We need to weigh all its costs and benefits before we close our mind. Many proud nations such as Scotland (home of the birth of the Scottish enlightenment that was the foundation for the ideas of the American revolution and American constitution and thinkers like: Adam Smith, David Hume, James Maxwell, and etc.), Ireland, Singapore and I hope I am not mistaken India, use English as their working language. English has given these nations a tremendous advantage in the world economy over others who do not use English.

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Page 51 of 59

Articles

Article
Written by Tewelde Stephanos Sun - 20 Apr

Unfiltered Notes: Justice Seeker’s Pledge – ‘be nice to other justice seekers’

Unfiltered Notes: Justice Seeker’s Pledge – ‘be nice to other justice seekers’

Such opposite views are prevalent in today’s Eritrea. For those focusing on negatives (camp A), partial truths are exaggerated to conclude Eritrea’s independence was a mistake. For camp A Eritrea was dead on arrival. It is a helpless (I can’t do anything) and hopeless (it can’t be done) mindset that simply stands by waiting for an “I told you so” moment.

The things camp A lists to reach its pessimistic conclusions may well be true. But it is definitely not the whole truth because Eritrea is more than its highland component. Ignoring Eritrea is more than its Muslim component, there is also camp A’s other half that wants to Arabize Eritrea. Fortunately, these two faces of camp A, although very vocal, are not representative of their respective communities. And that is why I still believe there is hope for Eritrea.

Article
Written by Asihel Betsuamlak Thu - 10 Apr

People Centered Bottom-Up Approach of Uniting: Eritrean Democratic and Civic Resistance

People Centered Bottom-Up Approach of Uniting:  Eritrean Democratic and Civic Resistance

Top-down attempts of unity and alliances were undergoing for the last decade and half with little or no results. Politico-military culture, fragmentation and top-down approaches have been hindering the resistance from achieving the desired unity for democratic change.   Using people centered, citizen owned and civic driven effective bottom-up approach of uniting and organizing Eritrean democratic and civic resistance is urgently needed. The bottom-up approach with its civic and democratic tenets and practices will help transform the outdated politico-military culture into civic and democratic culture by building civic capacity of Eritrean citizens and their institutions.

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Article
Written by Petros Tesfagherghis Wed - 09 Apr

Voices of Justice: Part 2

Voices of Justice: Part 2

Dr Sarah has explained the difficulties of researching in Eritrea. She said the University lacked an academic environment where research can be done freely.   She summarised her presentation as follows,   “Western writers and scholars failed to see the undemocratic culture of the Fronts. Eritrean Elites were blinded by nationalism and did not consider what post EPLF Eritrea will be.  Research is highly controlled by the Government especially if it is policy related to development and welfare.  Data is inaccessible in most cases.  Some scholars who support the Government externalize Eritrean problems and claim Ethiopia poses existential threat. ....

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Article
Written by Bereket Alazar Mon - 07 Apr

Emptying of a Nation

Emptying of a Nation

A nation is being literally killed without bullets fired - mass execution of the third kind. I am not being an alarmist: the facts at hand clearly are cataclysmic. When a nation with one of the smallest populations in Africa ends generating more boat people in the Mediterranean than a war ravaged and totally destroyed Syria with a much larger population, then one needs to sit down and ask the question, “What gives?” ... So you tell me my Eritrean folk, shouldn't we be all alarmed? Are we all Ok while watching Eritrea’s “painless” death? Or am I just fear mongering.

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Article
Written by Zekre Lebona Fri - 04 Apr

Asmara Expo 69: the Lost Age of Industrialization in Eritrea

Asmara Expo 69: the Lost Age of Industrialization in Eritrea

The Eritrean armed struggle squandered the chance for economic take-off that Walter Rostow wrote so much about in the middle of the last century – an opportunity for industrialization that other nations such as South Korea, Singapore and Thailand used. Having missed the industrialization period during its ghedli sojourn, leaving itself with obsolete technology and uncompetitive products, it had to force itself into Ethiopia’s economy using the means of pressure and contraband, forgetting that they were fiercely opposed to the symbiotic relationship with the same entity in the past.

(Picture: Barattelo double-decked buses transporting workers in Asmara)

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Article
Written by Dr. Tadios Tesfu Wed - 02 Apr

A prelude of a quantum leap in Eritrean politics

A prelude of a quantum leap in Eritrean politics

By now, maybe you are expecting to read an April fool. Not at all, the Eritrean politics and quantum mechanics have common denominator. In both cases, the problems to be treated are very small but the frameworks of their solutions are sophisticated mathematics, due to their incompatible property concerning the classical natural law. Sometimes they function, but for sure, nobody understands why and how they function. The last but not the least, they function by chance. ...

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Article
Written by A Tesfamariam Mon - 31 Mar

Counting Eritrea’s Losses and the Immediate Challenges

Counting Eritrea’s Losses and the Immediate Challenges

The primary challenge that is faced by the Eritrean people is how to bring about the required regime change. While the actual change will come by the popular uprising from inside there is need for input from Eritreans in Diaspora. There is need for organized grass roots movement in communities in Diaspora. The UNITY of all the opposition forces outside the country is very essential to effectively support the forces of change inside the country. The outside force has the resources and the higher magnitude of communication skills that is required by the forces inside country. It has also the higher ability of mobilizing support from the International community. ...

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Article
Written by Yosief Ghebrehiwet Mon - 24 Mar

The Eritrean Oblomov: Loving Asmara the Superfluous Way

The Eritrean Oblomov: Loving Asmara the Superfluous Way

Here is a fact that the nationalists would undoubtedly have a hard time to swallow: the Golden Age of Asmara happens to be neither in the Italian era nor in the Independence era; those golden years happen to fall exactly on the reign of Haile Selassie, starting to build up in the 50s to reach its apex in the 60s, only to abruptly end in the early 70s when ghedli showed up at the doorsteps of Asmara in full force. What then explains this riddle, since it doesn’t fit at all with the narrative that the nationalists have been telling the masses? This question has special relevance because the ghedli generation’s concept of modernity was entirely shaped from the impressions that this colonial city had left on them. In fact, it was with the saving of “Asmara civilization” in their mind that they went through hell for 50 years. ...

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Article
Written by Selam Kidane Wed - 19 Mar

R is for reform and R is for reality too…

R is for reform and R is for reality too…

Is positive change from within still possible in Eritrea?

…Yes it is and it might be the only viable way forward in Eritrea… there are one or two pragmatic up there in the inner circle…in Eritrea – people who do recognise that Eritrea is better off without the dictator, but they also know opposing the dictator can prove to be too costly (they have seen far too many purges)  and are hence looking for a way out… an easy way out to get rid of the dictator… if anyone can bring about any viable reform that would provide us some form of a launching pad to make things in Eritrea right again it can only be under the auspices of some pragmatic official… whether we like it or otherwise (and I am very much otherwise!)… such is the trouble with reality…

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Article
Written by Tariku Debrtesion Sat - 15 Mar

The Ethiopia Eritrea No War No Peace Situation has to End

The Ethiopia Eritrea No War No Peace Situation has to End

The Horn of Africa is the most conflict ridden region in the world. The people and the land are devastated by endless wars. The de facto no war no peace policy that has persisted between Ethiopia and Eritrea for the last 13 years affects the lives of millions in both countries and the stability of the whole region. Bringing this conflict to a peaceful resolution is of paramount importance.

The devastating 1998 - 2000 war between Ethiopia and Eritrea cost billions of dollars in infrastructure damage, missed investment opportunities and lost aid, claimed about 100,000 lives, and dislocated millions  of people. Instead of the end of the war bringing peace, for the last fourteen years the policy of both countries has been “no war no peace.”  As bad as open war is, an endless no war no peace situation is insufferable.

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Article
Written by Samuel N. Fri - 14 Mar

Globalization, Imitation and Eritrean Refugees

Globalization, Imitation and Eritrean Refugees

My overall impression of this paper is that I am disappointed. Almost every significant statement is followed by a sentence that ‘moderate’ it to a point that the statement loses its punch-line. The paper then takes off without notice of the challenge it has just presented to its statement.

In fact, after reading the first half of the paper, I had a strong suspicion that the manuscript has been edited to barely meet the requirement of the reviewers. If my suspicion is right then the first half of the paper is a battle ground between the author and the reviewers, where the author dodges the reviewers’ assault left and right.

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Article
Written by Petros Tesfagherghis Wed - 12 Mar

Voices of Justice

Voices of Justice

I would like to express my thanks to the organisers Justice Africa, African Studies and the University of London for organising “Talking Eritrea”.  A series of events at the University of London- School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).

The people of Eritrea are honoured by these extraordinary and well organised events.  Having a Government that has subjected the people of Eritrea to gross human rights violations and is mobilising some Diaspora supporters to defend its inhuman actions and intimidate all those who advocate for justice I thought our African brothers in the United Kingdom particularly Justice Africa have abandoned the people of Eritrea.

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Article
Written by Araya Debessay Mon - 10 Mar

The Role of Eritrean Scholars: the Duty to be Unbiased

The Role of Eritrean Scholars: the Duty to be Unbiased

I believe the Eritrean people expect Eritrean scholars to objectively and critically assess the ills of the nation and offer bold and constructive suggestions for the good of their country and the Eritrean people.  Eritrean scholars should assume this responsibility as their national duty and indeed as their obligation.

I also believe Eritrean scholars should not give a deaf ear and a blind eye to the suffering of their people. They should have the moral courage and intellectual integrity to speak on behalf of the voiceless and the oppressed.

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Article
Written by Zekre Lebona Sat - 08 Mar

An Eritrean Story: A Late Apology to a Spinster Sister

An Eritrean Story: A Late Apology to a Spinster Sister

Imagine a canvass of a family gathered together in the typical small rooms in Asmera or other small towns soon after the independence of Eritrea. The family and the neighbors are serenading the surviving male fighters and the occasional guerrilla sister, both completely indifferent to their sister who “chose” to remain a spinster throughout the ghedli era. ...

In the crowd, almost everybody remembers and talks about the “martyrs” who fell in the war, but none of her prodigal siblings offer an apology for her sacrificed womb, which she has keened for untold years. None of her prodigal siblings offered their appreciation for the long and difficult years of care she bestowed on their already dead or aging parents with little means of the war economy. ...

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Article
Written by Olivia Woldemikael Wed - 05 Mar

Perceptions of Heroism: A Comparison of Women’s Roles within the National Liberation Struggles of Eritrea and Zimbabwe

Perceptions of Heroism: A Comparison of Women’s Roles within the National Liberation Struggles of Eritrea and Zimbabwe

... In all of these conceptions of the nation, the guarantee of citizenship relies on participation within the space of a family, a community, or an institution. Within the liberation struggles of Eritrea and Zimbabwe, the interaction of these three spaces redefined the gender roles of women in the guerrilla camps and in post-war society. To explore the various ways in which gender was constructed and reconstructed in these societies, this paper primarily draws on interviews with women fighters, images, film, primary literature, as well as journal articles and longer works of research.

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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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Writers Corner
Written by Julie Wed - 11 Dec

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony for Aster

Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony for Aster

I send my angels to comfort Aster and my prayers for her freedom. I wear a bracelet that I made in her honor. As I take it off at night, and put it back on each morning, I send her my love. I know that one day we will again sit together on a beautiful outdoor patio and share our hearts over a cup of coffee. And when we get to the third round, the blessing round, we will pause and be grateful for the blessing of true friendship.

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Writers Corner
Written by Gabriel Guangul Tue - 29 Oct

Gravity Unloaded

Gravity Unloaded

Stepping on thorns of sand
Breathless; for songs yet unsung
Ballads of untold sorrow; so bad
For that cursed land

Crippled memories rose; burning
For lives still floating
For the drowned and the freezing
With hearts broken; still bleeding

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Writers Corner
Written by Selam Kidane Wed - 16 Oct

The Return Flight

The Return Flight

The Return Flight

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Writers Corner
Written by Mike AG Fri - 11 Oct

How long can this pain go on?

How long can this pain go on?

Uncle first and now dad’s gone

How much could you really take

Please don’t cry for father’s sake

You know he had no other choice

He always wanted to have a voice

His body, they say, was recovered from sea

Their boat caught fire and he tried to flee

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Asmarino

16.04.2014 المنتدى

ድምጺ መድረኽ - 15.04.2014

ድምጺ መድረኽ - 13 04 2014 (corrected)

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