Dear Chris Cotter,
It is good of you to respond to my feedback regarding your documentary. You wondered that my comments came before the release of your documentary. Well, didn’t you already put out a trailer that spoke loudly of your intents?
There is an Eritrean saying, “I know the bread that will satisfy my hunger while baking.” Actually, your trailer has said much of its program, so watching it in its entirety means for the un-articulate audience(s).
It is good that you admit your documentary will be one sided, because you didn’t have access to the Eritrean side of the story. Reading that statement, I couldn’t help how Michel Collon (Belgian Documentary/Film Maker), the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), Al Jazeera, Michela Wrong, the Norwegian Journalists and so many others got access to the Eritrean side of the story.
Reading your feedback, it reminded me of two names that came to pass during the high seasons of Psychological Warfare against the State of Eritrea. The first name was Mr. Llyod Axworthy; Canada’s politician, statesman and academic whom at one point was a Foreign Minister. Mr. Axworthy vowed that he would uncork open the Eritreans and push them to some sort of forced diplomacy, Do you know what the Eritreans did? They chuckled, and let Mr. Axworthy huff-puff with all his might. Well, Mr. Axworthy despite his strong skills and aggressive capabilities to uncork open nations, he miserably failed when it came to Eritrea.
The second name is, Ms. Sheila B. Keetharuth, who is appointed as a special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Eritrea. Ms. Keetharuth appeared in front of the UN and presented a very hefty document. When Ms. Keetharuth was challenged though, she admitted the reports were written up on her brief visits to Ethiopia and Djibouti refugee camps. Little did she know the Eritrean Diaspora was ready to challenge her findings in New York. Actually, she shied away from talking to the Eritrean Diaspora (who have a wealth of information to share) and went straight to those who fed her bed time stories.
The reason I mentioned the two names is because the first demonstrated sheer arrogance and the latter demonstrated an orchestrated ignorance and malice. Ms. Keetharuth kept seeking devious ways of visiting Eritrea. Why should the Eritreans take her seriously, when she already wrote a hear-say document based on fallacy and ignorance. Her false document was thrown to the mud when the Norwegian Fact Finding team went to Eritrea and unwound all the falsehood of her reports.
The reason I brought the two examples is that, your documentary is in the nature of that of Ms. Keetharuth’s. So does it matter whether you are granted access to visit Eritrea? You already made your campaign a one way street towards doom.
You asked me about the Human Rights in Eritrea. Let me tell you this in vivid words. Every time any Eritrean hurts, my heart bleeds. I sometimes even can’t find words to how I and many Eritreans feel about the migration of young Eritreans and the dangers, challenges and sad eventuality they face. However, if you had thought about Eritrea’s betterment a little longer in a sober manner you would have been a bit reluctant to point fingers and be part of a solution. Are you aware that Eritrea has been a victim of unwarranted demonetization, sanctions and open wars?
Remember that the Ethiopian declaration of war of May 13, 1998 is not lifted yet. That means Eritrea is under a war declaration aimed to vilify its name, weaken its economy, disperse its youth, subdue its aspiration and finally make it to collapse like many other African nation that say, “Yes, Master!” Do you realize that the UN Security Council bears the responsibility of implementing the rule of law, particularly the occupation of Eritrean sovereign territory by the Ethiopian minority government? Do you realize that an unfair and illegal sanction UN-2023 has been imposed up on Eritrea? Do you realize that president Obama openly stated that his government had worked with many organizations to free women and children from the jaws of the brutal Eritrean government? Now, mind you! “Women and children” is emphasized heavily in president Obama’s speech. Is that a surprise then the youth would flee Eritrea for any reason other than politics up on president Obama’s encouragement? Shouldn’t your documentary start with president Obama and the organizations he praised to encourage the migration of Eritrea’s youth?
Surprisingly, you also side tracked from your zeal for Eritrean refugees and jumped to the Rights of journalist, prison conditions and other unfounded facts which had been applied ad nausea targeting Eritrea and its good stand.
As I suggested in my first article, my strongest recommendation is for you to speak to the Belgian, Hungarian, Norwegian fact-finding teams and journalists and find out what they gathered about the migration issues of Eritreans and the Human Rights conditions in Eritrea.
Mr. Cotter, Eritrea doesn’t have anything to hide. However, what is the point in spending time with someone and/or on something that doesn’t merit Eritrea’s growth? What would your documentary tell the world that BBC, CNN, CBC, Martin Plaut, Matt McClearn, Alex Last, Michela Wrong, Léonard Vincent, Dan Connell and others didn’t say so far?
Or should we expect grand revelations from someone who doesn’t even appreciate to document facts on his door steps? By the way, I am sure you have watched the video going viral about the LAPD (Los Angeles Police Dept) shooting of a homeless person in broad day light two days ago. Did your camera lens attempt to catch that?.
Well, Mr. Cotter I believe you are stretching way out of your league when you speak about Eritrea. Because, in my humble experience since 1998 I have seen politicians and reporters get embarrassed after the facts. Few names to enlighten you are; Herman Cohen, Anthony Lake, Jendai Fraser, Susan Rice, Llyod Axworthy, Michael Bolton, Dan Connell, Martin Plaut, Matt McClearn, Alex Last, Michela Wrong, Léonard Vincent …etc.
Finally, you asked me how I could expect you to believe all atrocities are lies when you have heard them from over 50 refugees in four separate camps in Ethiopia and hundreds of others around the world. Mr. Cotter, the Eritrean population is about 6.1 million. Yet, you have only talked to 50 Eritreans? Wow! This is where I would suggest picking a reading material starting since the 1950s to 1991 to learn about the Eritrea and Eritreans that you dearly agonize and attempting to campaign for.
Again, I appreciate your engagement. Oh, incidentally my sincere apologies for misspelling your name.
“A society is as strong as its background and history. Uncovering history helps to understand a society thoroughly.” … unknown author.
A. G. Ephrem