Sophia Tesfamariam’s Failed and Flawed Seminar in Vancouver on March 3, 2013
It’s very ironic how Ms. Sophia Tesfamariam has titled her lecture “Development and Human Rights” without ever mentioning the dire current human rights situation in Eritrea. Instead she spent a great deal of her time lecturing attendees about America and the homeless people in the streets of Washington D.C., about Al-Shabaab and the outright denial of Eritrean regime’s involvement in Somalian affairs…etc. The stat she presented during her first part of her presentation would make the uninformed person believe that Eritrea is now almost one inch below heaven. “Lots of roads are being built and who knows the gold may flow through these roads”, she jokingly said with a big grin on her face, almost sarcastically. Unfortunately her statistics were deliberately cooked and cherry picked with the intent of deceiving her attendees. Alas, her stats were refuted right on the spot, thanks to the quick thinking of one of the attendees who Googled online. I must give her credit though as she was so quick to admit that her graphic representation might have had some flaws. There was one picture in particular that she showed us that caught my attention. It is about a 3/4 storey building construction in Massawa, owned by Mussa Ali’s Construction Company, of course according to her. She boastfully confirmed that the builders were, indeed, national service conscripts who were happily doing their jobs. She further continued to say “when I mentioned to one of the builders that their ‘warsay yike’alos’ work is seen as wefri barnet ‘campaign of slavery’ by those in the Diaspora”, the worker replied to her “tell those who say that come to visit to the country and witness for themselves how our lives are being transformed from ex-farmers to electricians and brick layers…etc.” I was wondering how many conscripts it would take to build a 3/4 storey building as there are about 300,000 soldiers in Eritrea as per Wikipedia. What Ms. Sophia T. deliberately ignored is the fact that tens of
thousands of Eritrean youth are wasting their golden years in trenches under no-war-no-peace situation. Sadly, instead of cultivating their minds with science and technology, there they are being held hostages serving some selfish generals. Though her entire presentation was full of lies, one cannot help it but feel sorry for her when she said that Eritrea is producing lots of teachers, nurses and engineers. I wasn’t sure if that was just a wishful thinking or she truly believes in what she was claiming. Ms. Sophia had the audacity to claim that the school system in Sawa is gaining popularity as compared to other African countries such as Rwanda, Uganda and as far away as South Africa, as it was confirmed from the government sponsored trip of nationals from the above noted countries. Sophia also mentioned that the HIV rate in Eritrea is decreasing and in one occasion she quoted Salih Meki, the late Minster of Health, who was asked about the secret behind Eritrea’s success in this front. He responded, according to her, “the reason for our success is that in lieu of bibles we give out condoms in all our hotels.” Ms. Sophia was alleging that the new Eritrean Youth for Change ‘Smer’ movement was created by the US State Department and as such they are funded by the US government. What a pathetic allegation! It’s an open secret that anyone who stands against DIA is given so many names by the regime and it’s accessories such as Sophia T. as they don’t have the guts to face the truth. Alas the fierce wind of truth is catching them up by surprise. A part of me was feeling terribly sorry for Sophia as it was so self-evident throughout her speech the kind of deep self-contradiction she got herself into. To be specific, she confessed on a number of times how a practicing Christian she is and yet she was approving vehemently the closure of all churches in the country on the allegation that every...
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