Earth to earth, Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust: If the president permits it.

By Seyoum Tesfaye- Atlanta, Georgia “The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistics” Quotation attributed to Stalin by US Ambassador to Soviet Union William Averill Harriman I write in defense of the

By Seyoum Tesfaye-

Atlanta, Georgia

“The death of one man is a tragedy. The death of millions is a statistics”

Quotation attributed to Stalin by US Ambassador to Soviet Union William Averill Harriman

I write in defense of the legitimate right of the late Mr. NaizghiKiflu to be buried in his homeland. It is his universal right.

As an aspiring human right advocate and activist I lend my modest voice to his family and the Eritreans who are demanding that the he be buried in Eritrea with the proper respect that is due to ALL human beings. It is his birth right. This fundamental right cannot be abridged or trampled upon because he held a diametrically opposed political perspective from the opposition or because his former colleagues in power have undeclared vendetta for whatever reason.

I defer my opinion and objection about his historical role as a member of a cruel and sadistic political organ that has brought misery and suffering to millions of Eritrean to future national discourse. The unavoidable future national introspection and dialogue will create the opportunity and the proper legal framework for allof us to delve in detail into the dark secrets of the Isaias’sorganizations and the role each critical actor played in a structured way.

Legitimate human right activism includes the responsibility of defending the right of those who failed to defend and even of those who abused the rights of thousands. Carless disregard for this fundamental principle in order to garner a political advantage will only prove self-defeating and myopic. Defending their right is not defending the character or actions of the individual. That right belongs to the court of law.

Like the celebrated Hubble telescope which made it possible for us to see beyond the limitations of our earthly eyes and opened the vast universe to us, the death of Mr. NaizghiKiflu has given Eritreans a wider window as to the type of cannibalistic political culture that is practiced by the minuscule ruling clique in Eritrea. This unfolding Greek tragedy will drive home the fact that Eritrea has become the property and domain of one sadistic tyrant. If Isaias can ill-treat his right hand man in such a disgraceful way who amongst his handpicked puppets are safe and secure? Not a single one for they are all disposable. The disposable napkin manufacturer has no respect for any kind of paper.

Culture, religion and law, the fabrics that make society durable, have been trashed so much so even the right to be buried in Eritrea has now become a political decision. Those who want to deal with this issue from a perspective of protocol do not have a clue about the bigger picture behind this controversy or are intentionally narrowing the focus of the discussion. This is not a time for straddling the fence and having it both ways it is a time to grow up and connect the bitter fruit to the tree.

The mad man of Russia, Stalin,at least had an iota of senseto consider the death of one man a tragedy for whatever it is worth. The top leader of the Eritrean government considers all death a statistic- a mere number. What was the statement made by the Eritrean president, after the BadmeWar, about the 17,000 youth that perished due to the senseless war he ignited? What was his remark about the youth that were exiting the country and perishing in the Sahara Desert and Mediterranean Sea due to his tyranny?  This regime is devoid of humanity and compassion. It is a truly evil regime.  The death of Mr. NaizghiKiflu and the unforgivable behavior of the Eritrean leader have to be seen in wider context and as a further affirmation of what the civic society and political opposition has been saying about the brutality and inhumanity of the regime for a long time.

Those who keep recycling a long list of crimes supposedly perpetrated by the late Mr. NaizghiKiflu, while he was a member of the ruling party,with the hope of augmenting their political cache had all the opportunity to collect all relevant evidences and assist the brave Human Right activist ElasChyrum in her determined effort to bring him to court while he was living and capable of defending or explaining his role. It would have been precedent setting had this happened. It did not and we have to live with it hoping when Eritrea, under the rule of law, emerges, we can look into the accusation and substantiate them in front of legitimately constituted courts and address the issue legally. The present anecdotes and righteous indignation can keep us busy but they cannot be a substitute for judicial review.

The burden of being a Human Right activist and advocate comes with the responsibility ofdefending and advancing legal rights that belong to ALL citizens irrespective of the political season, perspective or balance of forces at a given time. The central issue with the death of Mr.NaizghiKiflu is simple and straight forward: does an Eritrean have a right to be buried in Eritrea without any political criteria: whether he was a proponent or opponent of the régime in power, whether he paid the so-called 2% illegal tax or not, whether he attended the government approved church or not etc. This is the core issue that should not muddled by nauseating rhetoric by the government parrots and the extremists within the Diaspora opposition who have no sense of nuances.

With his life he might have served both Eritrea and the brutal regime yet with his passing he has exposed the nature of the regime he helped build and sustain by assuming various official capacities in the government of IsaiasAfewriki and the ruling party. This is an irony of immense proportion and profound implication to those who want to think beyond the art of political maneuvering and obsession with political power at all cost. A lot of individuals will reassess their relation with the regime and hopefully realign their politics by demanding change.

Our sympathy and respect must be forwarded to the entire family unconditionally for it is the right thing to do. We hope the husband and father Mr. NaizgiKiflu will find a resting place in his ancestral homeland. May he rest in Peace. The political NaizgiKiflu belongs to the big historical debate that will ensue once the brutal regime is removed. For everything there is a time and season. Let life affirm itself. It has been it will always be earth to earth, ashes to ashes, dust to dust neither king nor a narcissistic tyrant should be allowed to disrupt this process. Death does not play favoritism.

To us the death of one man or millions is tragedy. To the mad tyrants it is a play with number and manipulation of the people’s mind. All injustice starts by failing to defend every single victim without equivocating or testing the direction of the wind. Let the dead rest.

Those who see the universal Eritrean tragedy in this particular narrative have to take a firm stand against the source of all this tragedy: the lawless regime in Eritrea under a brutal heartless tyrant called IsaiasAfewoki.

Those who are failing to see the direct connection while their media has become an extension of the brutal regime disinformation branch by default; they are only shedding crocodile tears for much sinister ulterior motive. What that is time will tell.

Disclaimer: the perspective expressed in this article reflects my point of view and only my point of view.

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  • gerimuna March 2, 2012

    What a confusion and double Standard!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Don’t you think Mr suim Tesfaye, you creating a wedge in the opposition and encourage the blind supporters of the regime. As Mr. T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!