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First thoughts on the Veterans Discussion about TPLF

Lema L.
Jan. 11 2012

First many thanks for sharing their thoughts and I would like to encourage those who organized the forum to do more on this vital issue. I am sure there are many senior TPLF guys who would like to share their thoughts and we hope those who organized this forum will keep on this great idea. Let us hear those untold stories.

My impressions about the book (Finote Gedil). The author Ato Bisrat Amare could have benefited more from serious editorial assistance as well as by making it reader friendly book (font size). Some critical sources (references) are missing and we hope the author will take care of such minor points in the future.

For those of us who are following the history of the TPLF Ato Amare’s book is a great addition both in style and rigor. I found the last thirty pages (chapter eighteen) of the book as the cream of the book. In academic jargon that chapter his main thesis which he could develop it into a phd dissertation at later stage. His critical observation on the nature of internal democracy of the TPLF, on the rule of law and the judiciary, and the culture of collective decision making particularly during the early phase of the TPLF and its fast dwindling thereafter is remarkable. No member or former member has ever dared to explain those vital issues. TPLF’s future among other things will depend on the organizations ability to handle these critical remarks.

A very difficult issue though is which story of Ato Bisrat’s Amare is to be trusted: the story as written in the book or as written in previous works by the same author? Some websites have published his previous works and those publications contain very serious allegations which contradict with what is written in the book. Ato Bisrat has to explain himself and it is a pity that this was not raised in the forum. Ato Bisrat needs to be consistent and the positions articulated in the above cited documents are not.

On Eritrean issue: whether we like it or not the Eritrean issue has been and is still one of the divisive issues in the history of the TPLF. The problem still lingers and it is one of the unfinished jobs of the TPLF/EPRDF. All documents that we know of written before 1983 E.C. articulate the Eritrean issue as a ‘colonial issue’ as articulated by EPLF and Prof Bereket Haile Selassie’s numerous publications. Nearly all those who attended the forum seem to have a revised position as if TPLF’s position on the issue is a question of right to self determination just like the ‘nationality question’ of the other Ethiopian nationalities. Interestingly, the PM in his last call for the 2010 election presented it the same way citing the books (ye Eritrea guday, forgot the author now and Bealu Girma’s key kokeb). Eritrea’s issue as articulated by the EPLF and the TPLF at least until 1983 was presented as a ‘colonial thesis.’ Whether Eritreans deserve a right to self determination or not is not the same as the ‘colonial issue’ and this is not an academic issue as presented by Ato Bisrat Amare. Among other things, it is about writing the true history which this forum is trying to do and not merely an academic one. Let’s not rewrite history under the pretext of writing the correct history. If any one doubts TPLF’s position on Eritrea as a ‘colonial question’ please read all documents of the TPLF that are available in the Makelle Museum or in the hands of the some seniors members.

Finally I would like to thank all those who shared their experience passionately. We want to hear more of this while the senior members are alive. We will regret if we fail to record this unbelievable and miraculous history of the TPLF.