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Focus on Eritrean election Part 7

Focus on election 2001 (Part Seven)
By Tesfamicael Yohannes
May 09, 2001
I recall my article by the same title (Part Six) April 23, 2001 at

Today’s topic is "culture of secrecy and suspicion”

In part six of the series " Focus on election 2001” the debate was concerned on establishing a system of governance in Eritrea instead of basing the administration on trust to a personality of a leader. The debate emphasized that the personality of a leader is seemingly correct and a choice for stability and harmony of a country as long as the personality is alive. But taking in consideration no personality is alive forever, the devastating collapse of nations to chaos after the removal of the personality either because of natural or man made consequences is a lesson at present circumstances.

A leader who is loved, respected and trusted by its people has the right to stay in office long until his retirement or natural death. A wise leader using the chances given to him or her introduces a system and save the country from chaos after his or her personality failure. An egocentric and selfish leader fails to introduce a system and considers all those who advocates for a system as his or her enemies and accuses them for lame excuses by saying they are "jealous on me, they want power” or accuses them as "reactionaries” who want to destabilize his or her administration. The accusations are "long list” and defend for his or her positions are cumbersome. Personality is very self centred and egotistic by nature. It is based on fear to other personality and does all the means to wipe out the contender personality from his or her administration. Personality is ruthless and cruel in suppressing freedoms and believes only on itself and has no trust on others. That is why systems are delivering much better and stable results to societies we know by democratic system of governance.

In Eritrea, fortunately enough we have a leader dedicated to the cause of liberation and freedom of its people. The introduction of the slow but progressive decisions to introduce freedom of press, draft for election and draft for forming political parties are good sign which I say are necessary at this stage but not sufficient to invite us to engagement. I don’t say we failed but I can say we are far away from success to bring reconciliation among the different sectors created due to the long struggle for independence and the complex situation we are now at the moment. There are factors that bring us together as one family and there are other factors that separate us apart. Let us look at the factors which I presume will be of interest to debate.

The independence of Eritrea is not a compromised issue of Eritreans and that brings us together. Our commitment to fight external enemy, except handful reneged, we are one, indivisible and we have solid unity. In this respect we are like one family. On the other hand, the construction of Eritrea, the peaceful coexistence of its people and the progress we want to achieve are the positive factors that bring us together. The aforementioned factors and other basic facts for our existence consolidate our participation and our commitment to our country leaving aside the few egocentric and selfish persons who are boycotters on the excuses of opposition forces and other puny arguments.

It is a duty of every concerned Eritrean to defend the hard won independence, the precious unity of our people and the progress we are looking for. I think we the Eritrean people have to be adamant to accept the present government as the only reliable and whom we can trust to lead us to our final goal of prosperity, tranquillity and the construction of civilized and democratic Eritrea. The appeal to accept the existing government as the only alternative at this particular time can be argued by several reasons. This article does not intend to cite all the factors, but some of them. The first one argument is; Eritrea is a new country it needs enough time at least 15 to 20 years to establish institutions for governance. It is not easy to transform from guerrilla movement in bush to modern administration in towns. What the Eritrean government doing in transforming our society from a colonized mentality to a sovereign people is not a simple task. Still the brutal governance of the colonizers has left a scar of secrecy and suspicion in our mentality. Yet we didn’t managed to completely say that we are free. If we look to the way we debate, the lack of respect to other's free opinion, the character assassination that we learned from our colonizers, the suspicion to the potentially assumed contender and the utmost important diplomatic approach that we were denied to exercise by the colonizers has left us to be suspicious and all the time on defence. I say that the lack of diplomatic approach in our response to other’s free opinion stems from the fact that we are born and grown up in a society that was suppressed not to express its own feeling as an individual person, but as collectively colonized people. The colonization of Eritrea by different colonizers cemented to our mode of life in fear, secrecy and suspicion to others. Above all the colonization made us to be emotionally angry, aggressive and we didn’t see diplomatic approach brings us a solution. We try to solve our problem not diplomatically but by taking aggressive attack and by hit and run tactic. Therefore, taking in consideration that we are new nation and what the Eritrean government doing is to our benefit that is to transform our society from the oppressed and colonized mentality to civilized and free people, we have to lend our support to the Eritrean government to accomplish its task successfully.

The second factor is the most essential to development and to harmonic coexistence the economical factor. To tell you the truth, with out reservation, about the economical status of Eritrea, if it would not have been of the natural factor that the Eritrean people is hard working people by now the country Eritrea would have collapsed. I am going to come back with this sensitive topic some other time in detail, but for the time being I would like to mention what seems me relevant related with our today’s topic is the culture of secrecy and suspicion in our economical policy. Eritrea as a newly independent state all capable bodies were expected to actively engage in the construction of the country. On the Eritrean government side it is doing its best in building health sector, schools, agriculture, construction of buildings, dams and roads. That is to the credit for the government. The participation of the people in Diaspora, particularly in contributing money is difficult to express it in words. With out the heroic participation of the Diaspora I could not imagine if the country Eritrea would have existed by now.

Now let us talk of the sensitive issue that I promised to come in detail some other time but briefly for our today’s related topic. Why is the Eritrean government blocking or hindering the public not to participate significantly or to be precise enough freely in the economic sector of the country? You can tell me that it is new government it lacks experience to let the people participate freely in the economic sector. Or you can come with other different arguments I just let it to be free for you to mention it. I tell you that The Eritrean government is doing a grave mistake and that is going to discredit it in the future by not liberalizing the economic sector. May be the government’s suspects of creating difference in class formation of our society or does it want to establish a controlled economical sector that do balance the nature and development of Eritrea? I my self is confused person on the economy policy of the government. It is said, " we begin by confusion we end up in more confusion”.

I believe that and it is correct to mention about evaluation of the past 10 years events of our country. I had a discussion with my friend here in Oslo about the issue of evaluation and the imperative task in realising to Asses our situation in different sectors. My friend comes up with in lighting idea of creating a ministry that handles the issue of those Eritreans in Diaspora. As long as the Diaspora is playing a crucial and significant contribution of money to the benefit of the country the potentiality could be possibly exploited in far much better way by handling it with ministerial level. We hear there are some grievances especially by the Diaspora. I don’t think that the sympathy of the Diaspora to the Eritrean government will go forever. There is limit to suppressing grievances. Therefore, a ministerial level of handling the issue of the Diaspora will be paramount to recognizing of the right of the Diaspora in the say of the country. I say a fundamental humane right of the Diaspora.

Finally, though it is possible to mention other factors and say this or that I prefer to have a gradual pace so that to stay on the on going discussion for long time. I believe that we need to talk, discuses and not to shortcut it at one time. The debate has to be too much and constantly flowing as a stream. Let everybody say freely, but gently and diplomatically. If we Eritreans believe that we are free people and respect the freedom of every individual person I am sure that in short period of time we are going to transform ourselves from emotional and aggressive character to free, independent and tolerant people. But above all we have to accept first and utmost the freedom of an individual person. We have to respect that every individual has its own meaning and say on the common issue of our country. It is only by respecting the freedom of an individual that we save Eritrea from chaos. I have mentioned in my pervious article that the urgent task of us is to build a system. A system that grants the freedom of every individual and that maintains the stability, unity and development of our beloved country mother Eritrea. By this occasion I would like to express my joy in celebrating the 10th anniversary of independence of Eritrea. It is my sincere wish Eritrea and its people to have peace, freedom, tranquillity and happiness. Congratulation for the hard won independence.

God bless Eritrea

Tesfamicael Yohannes
Oslo, Norway

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