Desist Prof., desist!
Prof. Bereket, the way you and many others describe your CV you must see yourself as the quintessential man of all seasons. You served, among others, a feudal emperor, a demented colonel, dubious international institution, a ruthless dictator, and, a couple of struggling US colleges with the same single-mindedness and dedication. Dulcis in fundo, you are today a leader of a party that is positioning itself to take over power in Eritrea after the fall of the present dictator.
In your pursuit of power you are ruthless and brazenly ungrateful for you assume whatever good is done to you is due, and no need to show gratitude to those who proffered it, for that would mean a sign of weakness in your character setup. You are not a technocrat at the service of the highest bidder. You are a man of power. And like all those who wield power you are tough as nails. An ‘insignificant’ reminder to such attitude is the incident in which your life was at stake in the mid seventies, when the ELF siphoned you out of Asmara to safety. You remember how you repaid the ELF? In one of your earlier apologetic books towards the EPLF, you dismissed the ELF as irrelevant in the struggle for independence. Dear Prof., that single instance is enough to define what you are made of. Of course, you would most certainly compile a book to 'explain' those happenings! Just remember that those ELF cadres who saved your life are still well and alive.
In recent years you did spare neither energy nor time to prove in scholarly seminars and articles that you authored one of the most democratic constitutions in the world. In your learned interventions you meticulously omitted that you were neither a member of a constituent assembly nor assigned by one to compile “your” so called constitution. Of course, you also never mentioned that you were handpicked by a dictator to tailor him a constitution that would legitimize his rule, and there was no constituent assembly representing the people at the time.
The erudite jurist that you are, you know perfectly well that the mere fact that you were handpicked by a dictator makes whatever you authored under his patronage is null and void. You also are aware that a similar constitution approved by people under duress of the vigilant guns of pfdj cadres can never be the living pact of a people choosing to live together and build a nation. Of course you would not miss the irony that your highest intellectual delivery was trashed by your patron, the dictator, and never implemented. You also know better than anybody else, because of your vast readings and preparation, that the best worded constitutions, if not owned by the people, are not worth the paper they are written on, and that you can get them for a penny a pound in any bookshop. Nevertheless you continue to defend “your” constitution.
And now you cannot resist the bait thrown at you by meskerem.net. Dear Prof., you did not invent any wheel and there is no wheel to invent. There is no virtue in holding a virtual conference on a virtual constitution. One would say for a virtual Eritrea. Prof. Eritrea is real. Admit it! REAL ERITREA DOES NOT HAVE A CONSTITUTION, period.
The Eritrean constitution will be crafted by the people of Eritrea through a mandate to their elected representatives in a constituent assembly. When that happens, will they take into consideration what you have written? Of course Prof., Eritreans are very generous, they will take it into consideration as an effort by an Eritrean jurist, as they will take into consideration all the laws and traditional conventions that have kept the fabric of our society together. And that constitution will be the living pact when all our people in all their faiths, ethnic backgrounds, shapes and forms accept it as a sacred contract in which they all recognize themselves. That will be the day we will all shout in unison “We have a constitution!”
So please Prof., desist from masquerading as a prima Donna to defend the non-defendable. For the rest, I wish you the best and hope to encounter you in the field of democratic confrontation of ideas and proposals.