Mr. Adhanom Ghebremariam In Toronto

Seminar concluded successfully

August 31, 2002

The seminar opened with introductory remarks from the co-chairs of EriForum that sponsored this historical seminar. The introduction was made in Arabic and Tigrigna mainly highlighting the principles and objectives of EriForum.

EriForum Toronto has encouraged such civil forums to continue mushrooming all over the world wherever Eritreans are, in order to entertain our divergent political outlooks pertinent to Eritrean societal mosaic that calls for peace, democracy, justice and harmony.

Next was an introduction of Mr. Adhanom Ghebremariam by the co-chair of EriForum.

Mr. Adhanom begun his speech by appreciating the efforts made by EriForum for facilitating the seminar. At the outset he stressed on avoiding prejudgments, he said; “Do not judge between two conflicting parties before hearing to their respective evidences.” He also commented “at the beginning truth is seen by the few, but at the end it is revealed to all”.

Even though myriad of issues of national importance are prevailing in today’s Eritrea due to time limit Mr. Adhanom focused on the so-called Warsai/Yekaalo project that the incumbent regime in Eritrea is tenaciously attempting to implement. He also made it clear in unequivocal terms that this project is an enslavement of youth depleting the nation of its productive force, simply discouraging internal and external private sector investments. He also emphasized on the nature of the project as being a collective marshal plan of the elite, contrary to a competitive and free market economy.

He confirmed, a nation could not be built and made economically viable by implementing such policies and forcing its citizens to free-labour exploitation.

The implications of this so-called Warsai-Yekaalo project is of tremendous set back to the nation’s economic and social life. He mentioned housing, education, health-care, infrastructure etc… such institutions can only be planned and administered de-centrally for national development and growth.

He testified the fact that all Eritreans lavishly donated towards the building of the nation but in return the PFDJ regime has failed to mitigate the hardship and abject poverty into which Eritrean people are thrown.

Regarding, the recent war with Ethiopia, he said, it should have been avoided. He also stated that the conflict could have been resolved politically and peacefully.

The PFDJ regime deflected from this peaceful path, instead, it resorted into smear campaign by bullying any thoughtful Eritrean who does not conform to its flawed policies as “Woyanes” and “Fifth Columnists”. How Ironic!! The PFDJ regime must have been in a state of oblivion of the prolonged honeymoon that it had of romanticized-relationship with the Woyane. This is a laughing-stock merely concocted for domestic consumption.

In his elaboration he referred the EPLF’s background as a left-oriented organization that has eventually evolved into a centralized dictatorial entity similar to that of Cambodia, China, Soviet Union and Cuba. From such ideological background individual liberty was violated immensely during the period of the armed struggle and subsequently continued with its traces to post independence.

He stressed, power should be transffered to the new generation as a natural right and national obligation. He further commended that issues must be resolved through a democratic dialog by including every concerned citizen. 

After an hour and twenty minutes of speech by Mr. Adhanom the floor was open for question and answer session.

A two-hour question and answer discourse ensued and Mr. Adhanom has answered all questions. He ended his final statement by saying “Awet N’hafash”.

EriForum co-chair concluded the seminar by extending his gratitude to Mr. Adhanom and announcing the planned demonstration against the PFDJ festival of next day and encouraged everyone to participate.

EriForum will continue similar activities in the future until democratic and free Eritrea is realized.

This seminar was one of a kind in Toronto where it attracted the interest of members from divergent political persuasions including those who support the current regime of PFDJ.

EriForum Toronto, Media relations

August 31, 2002

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