Dialogue for building a genuine partnership

By Fesseha Nair

The word dialogue is a Latin word meaning to let flow ideas. Practicing dialogue enables the true meaning its significance. Through dialogue our natural intelligence is able to reveal itself. Our humanity is afforded the possibility recognizing itself. Dialogue offers different interests an opportunity to interact in a non-adversarial way, when opposing issues are at stake.

Dialogue and debate are two different methods of flowing ideas. In debate one suppresses the other to get his ideas support while in dialogue the diversity of thinking and opinions are not suppressed but encouraged. What I have been observing among Eritrean political organizations and its supporters is difficult to differentiate them if they are dialogue or debate.

The Eritrean National Conference was a dialogue because it facilitated the progressive emergence of mutual understanding of the problems and the search for their solutions. During the conference all participants practiced dialogue because there was an agreement that one persons concepts or beliefs were not taken as precondition at the cost of others. The Eritrean national conference was a dialogue conference because it was used as problem solving. All participants have the same information which is the premise of any dialogue. It was a process of not condemning each other but a process of listening for a deeper awareness and understanding of what is taking place in Eritrea. The result of the Eritrean National Conference for democratic change has laid the foundations for dialogue in the Eritrean politics.

The Eritrean National Commission for democratic change commissioned to further develop this process is working more openly and inclusive, allowing for genuine participation of all forces with good will to engage in the struggle against the dictatorship and transition to democracy. This process of dialogue is open and has no end because it is the method of democratization. If it is conducted properly it will further give significant developments in the opposition camp.

The commission must make clear that a partnership built by genuine dialogue should be based on the values of the Eritrean people. The essential elements of the values are peace, democracy, human rights respect and the rule of law that are absent today in Eritrea. The first challenge of the partnership is the removal of all obstacles/dictatorship that are against these values.

The struggle against the dictatorship and democracy building are interdependent thus while struggling the dictatorship one should also practice democracy internally. The forces for democratic change after the national conference have revisited the traditional approaches and realized that they are not of utility but failure because the traditional approaches were not solving the problems but creating problems. One of the issue that was mostly discussed was, “National Unity”  after two days workshop the conference concluded that national unity cannot be enforced but convinced or be voluntary. National unity can be achieved through dialogue. The conference held in Addis provided a modality that is likely to prove fruitful and this is what we are witnessing by the public meetings and the flow of people towards the congress.

The Eritrean national conference for democratic change was the process that has delivered a partnership. It is this partnership that has now awakened the population to join the struggle against the dictatorship and work for democratic change in Eritrea. The process of dialogue and conferences are the platforms where all forces for change come together and plan short and long term plans and work for changes.

The process of national dialogue results in a comprehensive evaluation of the struggle against the dictatorship and building democratic institutions and capacities for democratic change for long term. The concrete task of the commission is to ensure ownership of the coming congress and make it successful.  Those who are suspecting that the host country is interfering in the Eritrean case must come with their evidences. The door for dialogue is open for all who have the good political will. Put aside your personal grudges and come without no precondition because dialogue should be preceded without condition.

This is not the time for pronouncing judgements but time for national dialogue to save our people from the holocaust under the dictatorship. Political organizations claiming themselves as mother organizations must have the motherly passion and embrace the other political organizations as their own partners not enemies. What the Eritrean people demand is partnership that can face the dictatorship and build democratic Eritrea where all can live in peace and human dignity.

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Posted by on Jan 7 2011 Filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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