ይገርመናሎ፦ ኣብ ደገ ዝቕመጡ ኤርትራውያን ይግረሙ::

ፕረዚደንት ኢሳይያስ አፈወርቂ ብዛዕባ ምሕደራ ኤርትራ አመልኪቱ ብዝሃቦ ርእይቶ ብዙሓት ግዱሳት ኤርትራውያን ይግረሙ፦ “ዴሞክራሲ ዘይ-ዴሞክራሲ: ብዙሕነት ናይ ሰልፍታት:… ከምኡታት ዝበሃል ምህውታት አብዛ ሃገር ክመጽእ’ዩ ኢሉ ዝሓስብ እንተልዩ አብ ካልእ ዓለም: ወይ ድማ [ከም ኣማራጺ] አብ ወርሒ ሰፊሩ ክሓስብ አለዎ:”
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እዚ ከምዚ ዝበለ ርእይቶ፣ ኣተሓሳስባ ናይቲ ዘብረዮ ዘይብሉ ን ልዕሊ 23 ዓመታት ኣብ ስልጣን ዘሎ ፕረዚደንት ምዃኑ ሃንደበት ዝኾኖም ዜጋታት ብዙሕ ይግረሙ:: “አብዚ ሃገር ካልእ ሰልፍታት ክህልዉ አይነፍቅድን ዘስምዕ ዘረባ ተዛሪቡ ምስ በሉኒ: መጀመርያ ሓሶት’ዩ መሲሉኒ:” ይብል ሓደ ካብቶም ዝተገረሙ ዜጋታት: “ሕጂ ውን ‘ተኾነ… ከቢድ’ዩ::” ንምግራሙ መግለጺ ዝኾኖ ቃላት ስለ ዝሰኣነ: ናይ ዓቅሊጽበት: ርእሱ የማነ ጸጋም እንዳበለ::

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“ዴሞክራሲ ዘይ-ዴሞክራሲ: ብዙሕነት ናይ ሰልፍታት:… ከምኡታት ዝበሃል ምህውታት አብዛ ሃገር ክመጽእ’ዩ ኢሉ ዝሓስብ እንተልዩ አብ ካልእ ዓለም: ወይ ድማ አብ ወርሒ ኮይኑ ክሓስብ አለዎ::”

“I’m surprised!” ትብል ካብቶም ዘዘራረብናዮም ሓንቲ ቅድሚ ሽዱሽተ ወርሒ ብትምህርቲ ናብ ካናዳ ዝመጸት ኤርትራዊት መንእሰይ፣ ብምቕጻል: “I’m surprised! ካብ ኣፉ ክሳዕ ዝሰምዖ: ናይ መንግስቲ ኤርትራ መርገጺ ከምዚ ምኳኑ … you know… wow..” ብምባል ምግራማ ገሊጻ::

ሓደ ካብቶም ንመንግስቲ ኤርትራ ብትሪ ዝቃወሙ መንእሰይ ብወገኑ: “Now we have the proof!” ኢሉና: ገጹ ብታሕጓስ ብርህ እሉ:: የማናይ ኢዱ አብቲ ጣውላ አሞርኪሱ: ነቲ ጣውላ ብአመልካቲቶ አጻብዕቱ ደጋጊሙ ከም ደርሆ ትኹብ ትኹብ እናበለ: “ኣብ ኤርትራ ዴሞክራሲ ከምዘየለ: መንግስቲ ጨቋኒ ምኳኑ: ሕጂ ኣሉ ዘይትበሃላ መርትዖ ረኺብና::” ነቲ ጣውላ ምምርኳስ ገዲፉ: አብ ሰድይኡ እንደገና ንድሕሪት ቅንዕ እንዳበለ: “now we have proof!” ኢሉ ብታሕጓስ::

ብ፦ ብኹላቶም ዝተገረመ ተዓዛቢ

“Concentration camps of Israel” – Eritrean President

Explaining the undesirable nature of becoming an immigrant, President Isaias Afewerki mentioned Israel to emphasize the objectionable life Eritrean refugees experience.

He said Eritreans are languishing in Israel’s refugee camps, which he quickly paraphrased “Concentration camps”, to quote the President’s exact words: “When you consider the life of those in camps, concentration camps, of Israel you can’t even say there is anything worst or more horrific than that.”

Regarding other Eritrean refugee destinations he said. “even in other cities, European cities, you can’t say [Eritreans] are having any life that has much meaning”

The President said that the country has suffered absolutely no set backs due to citizens leaving the country. The only damage, he explained, is to these individuals themselves. He repeatedly pleaded Eritreans to return, “for your own sake, please return to your country.”

In an effort to discourage those planning to flee the country, the President challenged youth not to be shortsighted and instead to, “think in-terms of where you’ll be in five or six years time”. “The things you are loosing today” he remarked, “you can’t gain back tomorrow.”

He advised the youth not to succumb to trivial thinking such as, “I don’t have enough salary, or I don’t have any salary; I don’t have this and that; my family are going through this or that; my mother is suffering because of this or that, … and I’ll go abroad and send her money.”

The interview was conducted by the State media (the only media in the country) on the occasion of “Fenkil” military victory commemoration (February 10, 1990).

“When you consider the life of those in camps, concentration camps, of Israel you can’t even say there is anything worst or more horrific than that.” ~Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki, February 2014

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{This post quoted at The Jerusalem Post and Haaretz Newspapers}

They too have their story–Desiderata

Political discussions in countries ruled by oppressive governments are marked by arrogance and noisiness—persons the poem Desiderata advises us to “Avoid” in its first stanza. Such arrogance is even extreme when the government is a totalitarian one.

In Eritrea, where I am from, we have a saying which I translate as “It is better they do evil deeds to you, than they imprint on you to do evil” (ካብ ክፉእ ዝገብሩኻስ ክፉእ ዝምህሩኻ).

Sadly the legacy of oppressive governments is not only in the deeds they do to their citizens but the evil they imprint on the political culture of the country. Many African countries, and my country in particular, are case in point.

The arrogance, the intolerance and noisiness of the government is mirrored in those change-seeking groups (all in exile or in Eritrean prisons, by the way). Once learned, it is difficult to un-learn something (and we all thought learning was hard). The damage of such a political culture becomes more painful when you see such arrogance become the cause of weakening whatever few pro-justice or pro-human rights groups these countries have; there by prolonging the life of the evil oppressors.

Before advising that we avoid loud and aggressive persons (vexations to the spirit, indeed!), the poem advises us to listen to others, and even to the dull and ignorant (I am thinking government sympathizers); they too have their story.

This timeless piece by Max Ehrmann has a lot to teach us. May God give us the wisdom and the strength to un-learn the arrogance and to speak our truths quietly and clearly.

Desiderata first stanza (click to be directed to the entire poem)

Desiderata first stanza (click to be directed to the entire poem)