Fetsum: An open letter to the organizers of The Eritrean-Canadians Festival for Unity, Reconciliation and Justice in Toronto, Canada July 1-2 2017.
“MISSION STATEMENT: –To Build an emboldened community of Eritrean-Canadians that is committed to contribute in a unified and sustained manner towards cultural and economic developments of Canada and the noble mission of ending tyranny in Eritrea
“MISSION STATEMENT: –To Build an emboldened community of Eritrean-Canadians that is committed to contribute in a unified and sustained manner towards cultural and economic developments of Canada and the noble mission of ending tyranny in Eritrea and establishing rule of law and democracy. The Festival strives to bring topics, discourses, perspectives based on the long and cherished Eritrean history, and ongoing political realities with a view to underscore the need of unity, identity and reconciliation in the historic struggle against the injustice and tyranny of the Isaias regime. Based on the public panel-discussion, the participants are tasked to produce specific objectives that highlight common goals for future directions:
GOALS: Provide opportunities to cherish unity and advance reconciliation among Eritreans.”
Comment: Simply fantastic and God bless you! Before anything else, GI thanks the event organizers for discussing common matters of concern pertaining their programs at the upcoming Toronto Festival. Based on the understanding established in between, GI will send its representatives to attend the festival and will do its best to effectively communicate with the attendants in the group discussions.
Diffusing my personal opinion on the matter, the issue of unity as we all know has been the main interest of Eritrean peace lovers since the inception of the resistance in 1999. We know we cannot change the challenge and cannot control the country’s situation after the enemy without unity. Unity is a wonderful theory entertained by almost every Eritrean concerned about the situation but our perception has been too obscure to ill-synchronize with our desire to achieve it. What we learned at the end of the day is that thinking about it and even being united alone cannot resolve the problem without solid global leadership on common grounds.
My fellow Eritreans; in this long experience of troublesome resistance, few things have certainly been achieved: the theory of unity and the common enemy are pretty much accepted by the majority of the people. The desire and mindset for unity alone could not, however, unite us without concrete guideline or mechanism that can secure it for the society to use for the final goal of freedom.
Is unity achievable without condition? How should we unite and under what guidelines? Do we have a common principle by which we all should formally unite under? What is the use of unity without concrete strategy to empower the people and democratize the country in the long run? Can we earn unity through infatuation only based on gathering, discussing the problem, musical entertainment and camping in the woods? Don’t you think we must have GLOBALLY ORGANIZED UNITY ENRICHED BY CASE LAWS to reduce it to practice? I believe we need to answer the questions to be more effective, otherwise all our efforts will end up limited to social activities with no value to the struggle for freedom as usual.
You said “the participants are tasked to produce specific objectives that highlight common goals for future directions”. Great plan but I think we have theoretically achieved the concept of unity with the vicious cycle of endlessly waiting for it to change our situation in general? Is not it time now to adapt a definite form of struggle out of all the available forms on the ground? is it really the right time to be neutral and allowing the delayifithi to continue craving unity without a common ground that unifies them under tangible strategy? To my grasp, our problem is not about getting together and exchanging ideas but lack of concentrating on the available strategies that one should be adapted to effectively unite us and democratize the country. Our liberation quest succeeded because the armed struggle was means of achieving it and our unity of the time, the fuel of the process. Likewise, we need a direction by which our current appetite for unity can be satisfied to change the situation but we cannot keep on indefinitely entertaining and looking for it bypassing the already going on strategies in the resistance.
You said “The Festival strives to bring topics, discourses, perspectives based on the long and cherished Eritrean history, and ongoing political realities with a view to underscore the need of unity, identity and reconciliation in the historic struggle against the injustice and tyranny of the Isaias regime.” This is beautiful. Your effort in creating a situation for Eritreans in Canada to spend time together in the areas of introducing each other, discussing the country’s situation at depth, raising cultural awareness of the kids and encouraging our artists to address the problem and importance of unity is simply admirable. But concrete direction or strategy for unity and democratizing the country is still necessary to make it effective. I strongly feel that it would help more focusing on the grassroots movement currently attracting many Eritreans around the globe. Every Eritrean gathering of this magnitude should be fully taken advantage of to change the situation as effective as possible but only if we concentrate on using it to empower the people once and for all. We have to learn a lesson from the Geneva experience where thousands of Eritrean demonstrators against the regime and left without a follow up homework to do. I hope it will be different this time. I hope this golden opportunity will be taken advantage of to either develop a new strategy or adapt one of the current forms of struggle on the ground.
Experience, however, equalizes “we are neutral to all elements of the struggle” to“let the struggle go the way it is” because nothing can be achieved without a solid position on a strategy that you all think will work in favor of the resistance and for the people at this urgent moment where our kids are getting lost in the deserts and seas.We have to check and balance the resistance elements for effectiveness. Not taking a position on the available forms of struggle from the angle of neutrality will not help our situation unless we take every opportunity for developing something at hand or for producing something else to this effect. At the bottom line, we cannot fight the dictatorship without a tangible strategy by which we can unify all freedom loving Eritreans in one philosophical camp. You should, therefore use the occasion for paving the way to achieve the badly needed global leadership as soon as possible.
I hope you acknowledge the current “ongoing political realities with a view to underscore the need of unity” that you mentioned to discuss in your event and consider the GI grassroots movement as something special in the category. To your information, our people in England have successfully elected their national bayto that represents all of them after going through the election of their local baytos. Our people in Germany are also having a big international event in July trying their best to follow the English model that will hopefully expand around Europe as soon as possible. And we are trying to do it in Israel and here in the States. We all have adapted the grassroots movement and working hand in hand towards achieving global leadership of the Diaspora Eritreans capable ofrepresenting us in one voice. I hope you will pay attention to the vibrant developments of the moment in your festival. I believe you can achieve monumental effect if you simultaneously direct the crowd towards adapting a workable strategy be it GI’s or something of your own if you have one considering what is missing today is a strategic venue to global leadership only focused on empowering the people without which they cannot win the fight whether united or not. People should be educated on how to use unity for freedom, under what conditions and circumstances in order for them to strategically do something good about it. We are not saying “our way or no way” but only saying that the movement is the best alternative so far that our people should nurture through practical application of the offered strategy.
To rap it up, thank you for discussing the matter with GI on the things that should be done in the event. We deeply appreciate your willingness to make it part of the group discussions and rest assured we will be there to participate and give you the solidarity you need to continue the effort with confidence. I am leaving you hoping you will work hard discussing the issue of forming Global Leadership at the festival Festival and creating the mechanism that will encourage Eritreans, in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Vancouver, and other localities to form their baitos and elect their local leaders which is the first step towards electing legitimate leaders of Justice-seeking Eritreans in Canada. If you could do so, you will give additional momentum to the process of forming legitimate leaders in the US, in the various countries in Europe, Australia, The Middle East, Africa, etc. This will then lead to holding a world-wide conference where global leaders will be elected for Diaspora Eritreans. Thank you and good luck!