When you bump into an Eritrean who claims he/she is independent of any political movement, beware of that person. These are the kind of individuals whose bias you may see one day explode unveiling their true colors. Case in point is about an article I read on awate website on April 29,2010 under the title “BOYCOTTING THE ERITREAN DREAM: FOR WHAT PURPOSE?” By Amanuel Hidrat. Was I surprised or saddened by his open mischaracterization of EPDP’s decision not to attend the up coming Conference? Not in the least because I never had high expectations from him anyway. But at the same time I had no clue he would plunge so deep in order to take a hostile political stand against a party that often tries to right the wrongs.
What is disturbing straight forward thinking people is how some fellow Eritreans easily buy into some kakameni belief that whatever EPDP does or say must be understood on its flip side. In other words, when the party calls for unity of the opposition, it means calling for disunity or for power grab; if the party foresees a democratic system of governance in future Eritrea, that is construed as a dictatorship. EPDP’s principle of equal justice for all is translated as a biased principle against Muslims. Essentially the expectation is for the party to have two sets of justice, one for Muslims and the other for the rest. Is that practical? Any fair - minded Muslim would find this notion as a twisted demand from a party in the Diaspora. Worse, they even wish power sharing with the PFDJ! Is this insanity or what? You can’t ask fairness from a system you want to throw out.
Back to boycotting: in his article Mr. Hidrat blatantly lambastes the party by saying “EPDP officially announced that they will not participate in the anticipated National Conference because they could not get three seats in the preparatory committee.” Before this guy posted his nasty and sour piece wouldn’t it be the right thing for him to separate facts from fiction? Where in the world does he get his facts to attack the party? He may be interested in checking his facts however, who gives him the right to besmirch others with unfounded information? If this is his way of confirming his loyalty to some EDA leaders then he should be on notice that his opinion is less desirable and hardly respected by anyone. His low opinion about this party always curtails his ability to distinguish between reality and perception. One is at loss where his disagreement with EPDP emanates from.
The fact of the matter is our party never asked to be represented by three or two people in the preparatory committee. Perhaps our friend has his own sources that told him EPDP demanded three seats in the conference or he might have easily manufactured it himself. When it comes to painting this party with derogatory names, Amanuel never hesitates to be the first one in the pack. It is true our party requested to be represented in the executive committee by three individuals and in the process of selecting a preparatory committee for the national conference not three seats in the conference itself as our friend fabricated it. By the way this party did not ask EDA to bend the rules in its favor. It deserves to be represented by three until the unity process is completed. There was a similar precedent that took place in the past. The task of the Frankfurt Conference of last year was to unify the leadership and the program. Organizing the bases in one party is currently underway. After that the unification congress will be held some time next year. Therefore, the request for three was not far out of the party’s right unless someone is like Hidrat who often puts his ear to the ground to find any fault on EPDP and blow it out of proportion. This being the case, for the first time in the history of EDA, the leadership calls an emergency meeting of the central committee for the sole purpose of denying the request of EPDP’s representation. Lo and behold, the committee sits for half hour and decides that the ( EPDP ) party can have two seats.
Here is another jaw dropping statement taken from Ali Salim’s book. Mr. Hidrat bends backward to tell the world what members the EPDP is comprised of as if that has to do anything with the national conference. He says the party represents the three Highland provinces only. That is: EPP = Seraye, EDP = Hamasien, and EPM = Akeleguzay. He says with a bald face that EPDP members are all Highlanders. In that case let me use his own logic and ask him a straightforward question. If the three Highland provinces were shut out from the selection of the preparatory committee, not to mention the everyday hurdles put on its way by EDA, why is he accusing the party for speaking up for the rights of “kebesa” so to speak? I want him to have the nerve and declare that kebesans have no rights. Evidently, this is his way of labeling EPDP as a Christian party just to conform to the prevalent campaign of the day. Even though he tends to form his own facts, our party never declared leniency towards one religion or region. Why we are being attacked right and left is not a secret to the reader. It is because we are A National Democratic Secular Party composed of members of all regions and religions. We know the intentions. And we know how much this party threatens the EDA leadership. Come what may, this party will not bend to the propaganda of the zealots who wish us ill. In a similar manner another guy who is blinded by his emotions posted an article on assenna on April 27, 2010 welcoming the withdrawal of EPDP from EDA. This was a complete creation of his wishful thinking. In reality, that never happened. When once life is dominated by hate there is no objectivity.
Selam Kidane is one of the rare breed of Eritrean writers who earned her respect by many. In her writings one detects her gentle spiritedness and decency. She is not abrasive as her attackers. She calmly and clearly passes her message across. I happen to be a big fan of her. Unfortunately, even Selam is being blamed by Emma and his ilk for telling the truth about EDA - the den of the power hungry gang. ( Last phrase, emphasis mine.) Selam needs no defenders. She can speak for herself. I just felt it would be inappropriate for me to pass without making a mention about the aggressors. Interestingly enough to some, EDA is like what PFDJ is to its blind supporters. No matter what the two may do or not do, their conduct is not questioned. And yet everybody including the EDA derawish wonder why the hgdefites can’t see the system’s wrong headed policies. For quite a while PFDJ has been out of the radar screen of the EDA leadership. Their concern continued to be how to suppress the progressive views of EPDP. They never considered this party as one of the organizations under the umbrella. They see it as a counter part of EDA. In all likelihood this is why the eleven groups don’t want to unite because they will lose their majority votes they enjoy using against EPDP. No constructive ideas, proposals or complaints by this party have been seriously considered and discussed by the umbrella leadership. They are either handily rejected or kept in the drawers collecting dust. As usual nothing matters.
In all of this what does EPDP want to achieve? The bottom line is the EDA leadership has failed time and again to lead the umbrella organization. Under normal circumstances its duty would be promoting progress of EDA in general and positive relations among its members in particular. From time to time we have witnessed organizations feuding against one another. Instead of playing its role as a neutral body and calm down any frictions between individual organizations, by openly taking sides the leadership itself has became part of the problem. One can say with certainty that it has no respect for the charter of the Alliance. For example a couple of leaders can sit and take a decision that may affect member parties. You would think they care about the quorum and the legality of their decisions. No, they don’t. Over the years EPP and now EPDP has been targeted by the same leaders. The reason is simple. They despise this party because it refuses to look the other way while they use the Alliance to their individual interest. EPDP will continue demanding effectiveness and fairness from the EDA leadership. There is no sacred cow here. If they heed the call well and good, if not people will call them out.
Finally, I read a piece today at assenna posted on May 1, 2010 by Salih Ebrahim Anjaba. I just wanted to congratulate him for his balanced approach to the stalemate between EDA and EPDP regarding the waela. These are the kind of cool - headed Eritreans who can always come with untainted solutions. Hey, I like that creative last name! Keep up the good work.