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Constructive Dialogue With Dr. Bereket Habte Selassie (Second in Series).
By Tesfamicael Yohannes - February 26, 2002

I read the article "GRAMMAR OF ERITREAN POLITICS: Time For a United Opposition (Second in a series). By Bereket Habte Selassie February 20, 2002", in

For today, just assume me, as a journalist reporting from mass media war field. The warring factions are the lone, revolutionary Dr. Berket Habteselassie against the strong, highly fortified, and furious fighters PFDJ sympathizers like Sophia Tesfamariam and Dr. Michael Fessehaye (Asgedetai).

Dr. Berekt Habtselassie attacks PFDJ sympathizers by saying, "... PFDJ's media war. Many of us have been at the receiving end of PFDJ smear campaigns, which continue unabated and with increasing ugliness" How ugly the smear campaign is, let us look, to what the PJDJ sympathizers attack, look like, to their opponent.

Dr. Michael Fessehaye (Asgedetai) said "But &. Bur never, ever did I expected Dr. Bereket to blackmail Eritrea in paying his US home mortgage above and beyond his salary. Such act did offend me because he did it at a time when "Tegadalia" was still living in "Meqnen"."

Sophia Tesfamariam asks, "What about the mortgage payments from the GoE?"

After reading the accusation of Dr. Berket Habteselassie to PFDJ sympathizers and the counter attack by some PFDJ sympathizers, I sensed, the bogus and shallowness in the way we recriminate to each other. And here follows my comment.

My comment: I live in Norway. I contribute little to the Norwegian Society. As an individual, human being, I enjoy the support I deserve. One of the support is, the Norwegian government helped me some time to pay my mortgage. In light of the situation and living standard, being in Europe or USA, the expenses are not seizable. Even for one month or two, for that matter, leaving from our resident places, abroad, costs us a lot. Therefore, it is understandable to ask extra expenses if somebody is supposed to lend his service outside its resident place. Otherwise the debts and the living conditions will be hell upon returning to the permanent resident place. So, please stop such kind of accusation, to the honorable man, who contributed monumental work to the Eritrean constitution. I beg you, never accuse him for what he deserves to get. We have to be proud that, unlike other third world countries, which their constitution written, by the dictation of foreigners, we Eritreans managed to produce, very profound constitution, thanks to the contribution of Dr. Berket Habteselasie and others, distinguished personalities, who worked with him. Saying so, I have a point to remind to Dr. Berket Habteselassie as well. And that is, attack and counter attack on personality will serve only on down grading our moral. Therefore, I ask you to be positive and try to win the hearts and minds of all by using inclusion method.

Again report from the media war field. Dr. Berket Habteselassie attacks using tanks and missiles, he said "As an Asghedetai myself, it grieves to learn that one of my blood relations is being used-or did he volunteer for material reward-in such a tawdry affair" A reply to this, look, what the other Dr. to say.

Dr. Michael Fessehaye (Asgedetai) counter attacks using mortars and rocket launchers, he said "One short note and food for thought for Dr. Bereket is the "Asgedetai" and his family never ever did change bed mates every decade like Dr. Bereket. The "Asgedetai" and family have been Shaebia since 1971 and he should expect them to be Shaebia tomorrow".

My comment: While Eritrea expects to much from its educated citizens, while the Eritrean people expects to learn good from educated people, highly educated people to swamp in a very outdated and backward blood relationship is very saddening moment. Think now, if educated people are still in this type of quarrel what do you expect from those who lacks the basic education?

I am still reporting from the media war field and this time we are going to look the attack and counter attack between Dr. Berket Habtselassie and Sophia Tesfamariam.

Dr. Berket Habteselasie attacks and he said, " The other motivation that drives some people is crass materialism, or other intangible trinkets such as the false glory of being associated with the holders of power, or both. Let each hireling choose which one of these selfish motivations drives him or her. [Poor Sophia may be classed with the latter. To her, no one can criticize His Excellency, the President!]".

Sophia counterattacks and she said, "Sir, I have been blessed with enough wealth and happiness. I enjoyed a privileged childhood and was afforded everything my little heart desired, I am by no means a deprived individual seeking anything from anyone. I am comfortable with myself; consider myself very blessed, and very proud in my own skin"

My comment: The media war could continue unabated and in its ugly form. But, people don't forget that we Eritreans have unfinished homework. The homework of reconstruction of our beloved country. The yet to be begin democratization process and the securing of safety and human rights of every citizen of Eritrea. The smear campaign takes us nowhere except to delay us from fulfilling and conducting our performance in a civilized manner. Therefore, I would like to say, let us stop the self-destruction media war and let us concentrate to make use of the good value of media. And that is exchange of valuable information and debating of different opinions. I would like to stop the media war here and I have some comments on some subjects of the same article by Dr. Berket Habteslassie.

One most important point that I grasped from Dr. Berket Habteselasie article was about the definition of political parties. Though, now seems out of scene the case of political parties, but I believe that, sooner or later we are going to have the debate of forming political parties in Eritrea. Therefore, it is good to have deep knowledge about it.

Let me begin from the definition given by Dr. Berekt Habtesleassie. He said, "So, on what criteria should a party be judged? Well, let us begin with a definition; political parties are defined roughly as groups organized seeking to attain political power to implement a program conceived to be in the interest of the group or the nation". Saying so, the difficulty is in understanding the difference between political party and political organization. I am going to try to elaborate the difference and give, at least, for the time being, a clear distinction between political party and political organization.

Assume political organization as an equation and political party as a function. So what is a definition of a function? Simply it is said no vertical line can intersect the graph of a function in more than one point. But for an equation it can intercept more than one point. Therefore, all functions are equations. But not all equations are functions. Taking the assimilation of the definition of a function and equation, one can draw parallel definitions to political parties and political organizations. That is all political parties are political organizations but not all political organizations are political parties.

Understanding the above definitions, clearly leads us, to define which is which in our situation. In Eritrea, this time, there could not be political parties but political organizations. Therefore, the declaration of EPLF-DP is simply lack of knowledge or a wishful idea. This time, in Eritrea situation, only political organizations could be declared.

Conclusion, Dr. Berket have mentioned about silence of some outspoken personalities. Sometimes, he praises them and welcomes their silence at other time he accuses them for their silence. Other point he mentioned was about penetration to some computers by breaking passwords accessed after interrogations or torture as he mentioned it. One thing that I would like to mention regarding secrets or that sort of uncomforted when it comes information or privacy, you name it, it has to be known by this time that every mail or information we exchange where ever it is or in every corner of this world all the time a copy is documented in central data base in USA. For this you have to be aware this time in case you did not know abou it.

God bless Eritrea
Tesfamicael Yohannes
Oslo, Norway

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