Press Release: Report on the Public Meeting in Toronto

The September 18, 2010 Public Meeting started with the remembrance of our national martyrs, the most recent of whom was the late Mohammed Saeed Naud, a veteran and founder of Eritrean liberation movement (haraka-mahber 7) in the late 1950s. The occasion was also the 49th commemoration of the starting of the Eritrean Revaluation, whose founder Hamid Edris Awate would have been 100 years old this year (born 1910, at Gerset) if he were alive.  September 18 was also remembered, with dismay and anger, as the black day on which Eritrean journalists and parliamentarians and other reformers, both languishing and died in prison, were imprisoned by Eritrea`s tyrant regime.

The event was followed the presentation of the report of the Toronto Preparatory Committee for the National Conference activities since its formation by the public meeting of June 6, 2010. This report included the following major activities: the printing of t-shirts, sending 10 delegates to the National Conference, writing the message to the Conference, other fundraising and awareness building activities. 

The committee also compiled a pictorial report of the historical National Conference in the form of DVD and prepared special edition newsletter that included the official declaration of the Conference in both Tigrigna and Arabic languages. 

The delegation to the National Conference presented its enlightening and inspiring report to the public meeting which highly valued the role of the Toronto Delegation, the deliberations and the great success of the National Conference, showing unprecedented excitement to work for the implementation of the resolutions of the conference with full commitment, enthusiasm and creativity. 

After hearing the reports from the delegation, discussions took the form of question and answer session. The long discussions and the in-depth treatment of the issues reflected and consolidated common perceptions, vision and understanding that could be summed up as follows:

  • that the National Conference succeeded, in exceptional manner, in enhancing and strengthening the trust among Eritreans of different cultural, regional and religious backgrounds as well as political affiliations, while the informal meetings and discussions  tremendously helped in consolidating the spirit of brotherhood, mutual respect and trust, precipitating a very healthy ground and foundation for common understanding and common denominators that will shape a shared future for all Eritrean citizens.
  • that the hostile attacks and smear campaigns directed against the National Conference created a strong feeling of responsibility, objectivity, keenness and realistic vision among the participants, leading to focus on major and critical issues, avoiding the secondary and trivial ones.
  • that the National Conference left the door open for more discussions and dialogue among the different Eritrean groups, preparing the ground for a peaceful co-existence of future Eritrea.
  • that the Eritrean unity, as people and country with its defined borders, was the most fundamental principle that cannot be compromised with and that the assumed tendencies contradicting with those principles were obviously and understandably the result of the harshness and extremities of the oppression, injustice and inequality some have to go through, though only meant to exert pressure to guarantee their rights as equal citizens of a united Eritrea.

The last agenda in the public meeting was the briefing by Commissioner Kibrom Debru, followed by some fruitful discussions and finally by the election of a new committee in line with the structure of the Commission. The new committee replaced the Toronto Preparatory Committee which automatically dissolved announcing the completion of its mission.  

In a nutshell, the public made it clear that the National Conference put the cause of the oppressed Eritrean people into the right track, showing our people the light of hope at the end of the tunnel. The public also urged that the Eritrean groups and fellow citizens who did not participate in the National Conference to join the waves of change and ensure that their contributions to make a real difference. Furthermore, the public strongly hoped that the upcoming Congress will be more inclusive, decisive, better planned, better organized and better executed, constituting the real springboard that will enable the people, not only unseat but devastatingly smash and uproot the brutal dictatorship, and establish on its place a genuine rule of the people by the people to the effect that the desired  radical and democratic transformation  restores pride, human dignity and confidence in all citizens, and the country becomes a model to be emulated by other oppressed peoples of Africa and the world at large . Again, YES WE CAN.

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