Eritreans residing in the Washington, DC metropolitan area hold 3rd successful Mekhete meeting

Washington, DC 2 May 2010: Today Eritreans in the Washington, DC metropolitan area held a meeting as part of the ongoing nationwide campaign to have the illegal, unjust and unfair US/UN Resolution 1907 (2009) imposed against the people of Eritrea, to be annulled and repealed.

The event opened with a moment of silence in memory of Eritrea’s fallen heroes and was followed with Eritrean National Anthem. Mr. Mekonnen G/Mariam, Chair, Young People’s Front for Democracy and Justice-DC (Y-PFDJ-DC) opened the meeting with a brief welcoming remarks and invited Mrs. Freweini Tekeste, Chair, Mekhete Task Force Committee, to the podium who then updated the attendees on the various activities that have been conducted since the last meeting which was held on the eve of the successful & historic 22 February 2010 worldwide demonstrations that brought tens of thousands of Eritrean together in protest of UN/US Resolution 1907 (2009). Another major event “Action Day” took place on 23 March 2010 where tens of thousands of Eritrean-Americans spent the day writing and calling their respective representatives and elected officials including President Barack Obama.

These two events uplifted Eritrean people both at home and in the Diaspora and shattered the dreams of Eritrea’s ill wishers and over 2 months later, the reverberations are still being felt. Ms. Freweini gave a detailed update on the letter writing and fundraising campaigns and other activities that took place since the 21 February meeting. Following Ms. Freweini’s presentation, Mr. Simone Marioti, member, YPFDJ-DC provided a report on the “Action Day” event in which letters, postcards, emails and faxes were sent to President Barack Obama, members of the Senate and House Foreign relations committees and other congressional representatives of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

An interesting mix of speakers kept the audience entertained and informed during the 4 hour Hizbawi Mekete in which H. E. Ambassador Ghirmai Geberemariam, Eritrea’s Ambassador to the United States, was invited to join. H. E. Ghirmai Ghebremariam gave a brief update on the political and diplomatic developments. He indicated that the world-wide awareness campaigns by Eritreans in conjunction with their government’s diplomatic endeavors are rendering the sanctions ineffective by raising the knowledge and consciousness of the world community.

Dr. Kiflai Ghebremedhin, professor of Agricultural Engineering, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York presented a colorful presentation on his recent travel to Eritrea. His tour took him to the Bisha gold mines, the three large dams and the various historic and archeological sites around the country. Dr. Kiflai talked about the various colleges and vocational schools that have been established all over the country. In addition to the education and human resource development sectors, Dr. Kiflai gave a detailed account of Eritrea’s agricultural, mining and tourism sectors and their potentials.

Dr. Kiflai noted that tourists in Eritrea enjoy personal safety, clean beaches, unpolluted air, a mosaic of a welcoming population, a spectacular variety of birds and marine life. He said, for the underwater adventurers, Eritrea's undisturbed coral reef is predicted to be the "global marine future". Dr. Kiflai said Massawa’s deep water port and Assab's strategic location at the gateway to the Indian Ocean, makes them ideal for refueling, servicing, and rest areas for big as well as small ships and are economic potentials of Eritrea’s strategic ports.

Mr. Berhane Gebrehiwot presentation on “Psychological Warfare” covered the many challenges faced by the Eritrean people, including the defamation and vilification campaigns orchestrated by the regime in Ethiopia and its handlers. Mr. Berhane share examples of the many campaigns by the Ethiopian regime, in concert with the western media and mercenary groups using “human rights” and “democracy” as pre-texts, a sustained psychological warfare against the Government and people of Eritrea were illustrated.

In addition to the presentations, there was a video presentation of the historical injustices perpetrated against the Eritrean people and how they gallantly overcame each challenge, always maintaining their unity and steadfastness, reflective that, Aya Kiflemariam read a patriotic and heartwarming poem.

During the question and answer session, the attends shared their ideas and comments on how to further organize and continue the campaign to Annulled and Repealed this UNjust sanctions imposed against the Eritrean people. The meeting concluded with a moment of silence in memory of Eritrea’s beloved martyrs.

Report by Hizbawi Mekete Media Team
Washington, DC