By Mebrahtu Asfaha,
The Eritrean traitors will be, as in Dante’s Inferno, companions of those who betray their families or country and are destined for the Nine Circle of Hell, where Judas, Cassius, and Brutes are the traitor’s bunkmates.
I hear an enemy making unsubstantiated accusation against those who have fought to liberate the country and have sacrificed their lives. I hear an enemy calling our martyrs terrorists.
Although their accusation is brutum fulmen i.e. an empty threat, and in a legalistic term, we can characterize it as a judgment at law, which has no practical effect because its legal conceptual framework is, fundamentally, based ab absurdo. This legal concept is paradoxically different from reduction ad absurdum, which is usually a valid logical argument.
What makes this conceptual framework ab absurdo is the fact that you recognize the legal entity of the country (de jure), and yet you deny the entities that have made it possible for that country to be a sovereign nation. The 12th century jurist Gratian of Bologna would have called this absurdity cessante ratione legis cessat ipsa lex i.e. this particular jurisprudence becomes ineffective when the reason for its application is contrary or does not correspond to the reality any more.
However, how can we just sit back and let things happen without responding? The accusations are blatant lies that the accuser looks unintelligent. He is damnant quod non intelligunt as they say to describe ignorant people.
There is universal foundation that all Eritreans agree that Eritrea is a nation built upon the blood of our martyrs. When someone negates this fundamental fact, it follows that there can be no debate with the entity who deny this foundation. In jurisprudence, it is called contra Principia negantem non est disputandum i.e. debate is worthless or fruitless when you do not agree on common rules, facts, and presuppositions. Therefore, since we are not debating with them we will call them traitors.
The foundation in Eritrea is that the nation is built by those from the towns, villages and the cities and from the many highlands and lowlands who come to liberate their community and their family and their country and to make the dreams of success for the future generations. Eritrea is a monument to visions of our martyrs and visions gained and dream yet to be dreamed.
In Eritrea, there is a special regard and respect for those who have paid with their blood and life and who have made things happen. Those persons of indomitable courage have impacted this nation through their impressive sacrifice, their boldness and compassion to the just cause.
Through the devotion and fidelity of such as Martyrs, the flames of a nation are kept alight and have helped rekindle the lifeblood of that marvelous country that is Eritrea.
Their picture is found in the walls of almost every Eritrean home. It is an art that recounts their heroic histories and personal records. It is a profoundly powerful image and profoundly memorial gesture.
In every Eritrean village, and town and city, in every Eritrean steeps and plains there is a Martyrs Cemetery that commemorates the souls of those servants of the nation. Their souls unite the people. The Eritrean martyrs are peacemakers bringing healing tranquility to calm life’s turmoil. They are bearers of light and soothers of souls. Their sacrifice has been able to tread the troubled stage of nation and bring forth moments of calm, moderation, and liberation. Now they are resting and taking an earned and dignified place at the helms of great monuments, the hearts of the Eritrean people.
However, some traitors are trespassing the sanctity of the Martyrs by embarking to call those who have fought and those who have sacrificed fighting as terrorists.
There are many disgraced Eritreans, though the darkness of ignorance may be transmitted more brightly through some than through others. We have seen the disgraced old doctor [Bereket] who wished the unity with Ethiopia before his death. Horace in his Ars poetica would have called him “Aegri somnia” that is sick man’s dream. At other times we have seen other senile UN representative of Eritrean origin [Menkorios] who claims to “have grown up in the west”, and, therefore, “is the product of the west” who is desperately trying to organize the youth and students in Ethiopia to disrupt the harmony of the country. Even before the liberation of Eritrea, we have seen similar desperation by individuals who were disgraced by their community and organization.
Therefore, the latest diatribe is merely an item to be added to the list of nonsensical or silly propositions pronounced by disgraced Eritreans.
All those aforementioned individuals have a common denominator; they are dishonored in the deepest reverence by members of their respected community and organisation. Although we need to know what they have done to affect legally the common good, and what role they have played in the struggle for the liberation of Eritrea, nonetheless, we can afford to be charitable toward those who blindly got lost in the hatred of their fellow men as their accusation is driven by ab irito i.e. by person who is angry, and disgraced. This is a common knowledge in jurisprudence where the accusations, blatant lies, and decisions that negatively affect those to whom it is directed at is based not on reason and rationality, but hatred and desperation.
What is important, however, is the seminar conducted by Mr. Zemhret Yohannes who is a director of Research and Documentation Centre in Eritrea. The soft-spoken Mr. Zemhret Yohannes wrote two books that deals with the challenges that Eritreans faced during the Italian occupation and how they overcome those challenges. In Eritrean parlance, it is called Mekete. It is subtle and sinuous word. Like many Tigrigna vocabularies it plays on words giving an infinite number of meanings.it can mean trail and tribulation. Depending on the context, it can mean challenge and overcoming constraints. It is the most beautiful Tigrigna word, and it is extremely poetic, because it expresses how hard one tries to suppress you and do what they might to silence you, from vilification to sanction, through Mekete they will fail.
Mekete expresses the fact that like the accusations in the past and like the obstacles in the past they will fade, and any obstacle is trivial, and temporary. It says we will overcome their anger by love and we will overcome their evil by good. We will be a protector of the unprotected, we will alleviate the suffering of those who are in pain, and we will feed those who are hungry. It is only when we develop this capacity for harmony with our fellow human beings that we experience the medium through which a true charity is manifested. It is only then that we can say that our Mekete has been successful. Quintessentially, this was the message that Mr. Zemhret Yohannes conveyed to his audience. No words about raising funds for Eritrean Defence Forces, and no funds where raised ever.
How did the people respond?
The response was an overwhelming affirmation by the majority of Eritrean people in Canada, like in many other places in Europe and the United States, to be in harmony with their suffering compatriots. It is an affirmation of truth that shines more brilliantly when it shines from many angles, like the diamond with its many facets. It is an affirmation not to be intimidated, and not to give up helping those who need our help. It is an affirmation of charity based on truth and a fellowship of our brethren in Eritrea.
If we do anything contrary than what we have been doing i.e. helping our brethren in need it will be conta bonos mores,i.e. contrary to the good moral, and contrary to the conscience and to the service of justice. We are, as the 18th century author William Jones wrote in his poem What Constitutes a State, “Men who their duties know / But know their rights, and knowing, dare maintain”.
woe to the desperate and disgraced Eritreans who make blatant lies against their compatriots.
Woe to those who are libeling false accusations.
Woe to those who are calling our martyrs terrorists.
All those are Eritrean traitors who will be, as in Dante’s Inferno, companions of those who betray their families or country and are destined for the Nine Circle of Hell, where Judas, Cassius, and Brutes are the traitor’s bunkmates.