HERE AND THERE
HERE AND THERE By Fetsum Abraham//3/18/2013 Solidarity Message I humbly transmit my solidarity message to the PLATFORM FOR CIVILIZED DIALOGUE AMONG ERITREANSthat will take place in the Bay Area on March 23. I thank the organizers of this occasion
HERE AND THERE
By Fetsum Abraham//3/18/2013
I humbly transmit my solidarity message to the PLATFORM FOR CIVILIZED DIALOGUE AMONG ERITREANSthat will take place in the Bay Area on March 23. I thank the organizers of this occasion because I believe this is the time for every Eritrean mind to freely participate in the struggle for democracy in Eritrea. I hope this will be a good role modeling to all of us in different parts of the world. I also hope that the exchange of ideas will take place in a free environment minus inhibition and pretension.
Let this be the new culture of our communities to agree to disagree on the basis of tolerance and intellectual involvement like how our Somalian brothers and sisters did it to form one of the best democracies in our continent.
Quote of the moment: There is no unity without diversity and no life without freedom of speech: A transitional government is the only way of unifying different ideas towards democracy; THE REST IS DICTATORSHIP
In response to my last article on solidarity message to the EDPD conference in Addis,
A concerned brother Petros Haile stated;
“This article of yours is full of contradiction and highly judgmental, not to mention shallow (by your own admission. the little I know about the original differences was mainly on the number of representation, and also a major rift on principle issues, such as the methods of struggle. I am not sure why EPDP2 retracted from that position and decided to join the EDA “
Thank you for the response and I respect your opinion fully, needless to state that open academic exchange of ideas as such is what we need at this point in the struggle. As you said, my exposure to the internal politics of the EDPD is shallow, and it had to be so because of lack of information from the party itself. Information monopoly and taking the people for granted have become the modes of struggle for our politicians in the resistance. We have been conditioned to work on the little information that comes out public and nothing else. I claim that I am a victim of ignorance like all other Eritreans because of the parties’ secretive political culture and probable conceptual misunderstanding of democracy as a subject matter.
I suspect that you may also be a victim of the same problem because you “know little about the original differences” and pointed that they differed on “number of representation and principle issues, such as the methods of struggle”.
My brother, that is the same problem I have about the opposition groups in Ethiopia. Yet, let me comment on the points you brought for discussion
1] Number of representations in the EDA:
a) If this was one of the causes of the rift between EDPD1 and EDPD2, I want to know as an individual the complete details on the matter in order to take position as matter of my right as an Eritrean. Minus information, I suspect someone wants to represent us without our mandate. In this regard, I claim that Eritreans were not well represented democratically, because they have been denied their freedom of information from the EDPD. This problem, however, can be corrected by both groups should they claim to be democratic.
b) The EDA should have constitutional rules concerning number of representations per political party and I think a merging party has to be abided by the rules. I cannot think of this issue to drift the two groups to the point of split; nor can I consider the problem that important for them to take such a long time to resolve.
c) Should EDPD as a whole considered itself as one political party, it should then have accepted the allotted reprentation in the EDA as any other independent party in resistance. This party could not have asked for more representation in EDA without prioritizing political power to forming a transitional Government, which is the urgent call of the moment.
2] Principle issues such as methods of struggle:
a) If this was one of the causes of the rift between EDPD1 and EDPD2, I want to know as an individual the complete details on the issues confronted within in order to take a position. What are the so-called principles that contradicted the two groups and why did not they resolve them democratically (by vote)? What were the different methods of struggle that caused the drift and how come they could not solve this issue democratically (by vote)? Minus information, I suspect someone wants to represent the Eritreans without their mandate. In this regard, I claim that Eritreans were not well represented democratically speaking because they have been denied their freedom of information from the EDPDs.
b) I don’t think an independently functioning party should alone decide a method of struggle in our situation. Any method of struggle should be unanimously decided by a united front through equal participation of all the parties within. Such a decision cannot be monopolized by a single party according to democratic principles and will not serve the interest of the people at all.
d) I cannot think of this issue to drift the two groups to the point of split; nor can I consider the problem that important for them to take such a long time to resolve. Let us have a common principle that abides all the parties claiming to represent the society and let the party representatives establish this democratically: anything else to me is unacceptable.
You said that my “simplistic view does not serve justice, specially unjustly trying to discredit EPDP1 and promote EPDP2, just because they extended an invitation to you, in order to buy your sympathy …”
Brother, I do not care for their invitation but I respect it. I have decided never to be dominated by external mind, only to learn from it. My independent mind is my life that I will never compromise for any personal advantage. I am not a member of any party and I like to stay independent in order to transmit my subjective views without hesitation. Therefore, I did not write my opinion because EPDP2 invited me to attend its Addis conference but only to support it because it has joined the united front and to encourage other independent parties to do the same. I am here to sympathize with any party that I think takes a step towards forming a transitional government through United Front. Further, I do not see my sympathy more important than any other sympathy in my community for the party to consider it more important.
You also said; “I don’t think EPDP1 ever claimed to be the only alternative, or vanguard to bring about salvation in Eritrea, if they have said that, please direct me, this way I would not be another uninformed, shallow and judgmental Eritrean in diaspora !!!”
Brother, I cannot show you material evidence (written or said) to this effect because of lack of information from the party but failing to join the united front and keeping the information secret from the people is “claim[ing] to be the only alternative, or vanguard to bring about salvation in Eritrea”, at least in my understanding.
In conclusion, Eritreans do not have time to wait for the political parties to resolve their internal differences but only to move on in the direction of a transitional government that equally represents the political parties encapsulated within. No political party can independently claim to salvage the society from the yoke of dictatorship because this idea is anti-democracy. We need a transitional government immediately and the time to pressurize the parties to unite under one political emblem and for every Eritrean to take this responsibility through active participation has arrived. This is time for ACTION, not for philosophizing politics or nurturing a cult: let this wait until we get rid of the dictatorship in Eritrea. Let democracy dictate the terms of expressing policy differences in post-democratic Eritrea under the transitional government.
Experience has, however, thought me never to worship and blindly follow any party that claims representing the Eritrean people. It has taught me to be careful about individuals who focus on power and to peacefully challenge them using the principles of genuine democracy. I will continue to use my inherent freedom of expression to the fullest of my capacity without any prejudice and fear.
In the mean time I thank you brother Petros for provoking a topic for discussion and I encourage Eritreans to read my solidarity message to the EPDP in order
to relate well to this communication.