By Berhane Alazar,
As a regular tuner to NPR, on May 2, 2013 I heard a “report” on Eritrea by a certain Gregory Warner and I found his unsubstantiated report highly offensive and downright stupid. This also shows how low the NPR network has gone down in any integrity scale if it ever had one!
Notwithstanding his unconfirmed and highly exaggerated “Report” that NPR sadly found it to be newsworthy to broadcast Gregory Warner who has no clue of what Eritrea is all about. He clearly was spewing out a regurgitated long discarded stories that certain misguided elements have tried and failed to hoodwink public opinions against Eritrea.
Fairness in elementary broadcast dictates to give an equal opportunity for differing views before engaging in what amounts to uninformed stories. But to let a Gregory, who apparently does not know anything about Eritrea, demonize the government and people of Eritrea are nothing short of racist and irresponsible yellow journalism.
Unless Gregory has some ulterior motives and want to know what exactly is going on in Eritrea, he may have just burnt the only bridge he may have had.
How can Gregory expect or why would the Eritrean government allow you to waste their time when you are approaching them with your mind already adulterated by falsehood?
To start with, do you honestly believe that any useful or impartial “Facts” can be forthcoming by contacting individuals who may be fugitive from the law in the first place? People who have some axe to grind against the Eritrean government are unlikely to tell you that they were economic refugees – for they know “Political repression”, would be a better ticket to gain them acceptance by certain gullible governments abroad.
Nevertheless, notwithstanding any baggage of hearsays and innuendos concocted against Eritrea by certain quarters, then you would have found out for yourself that Eritrea has been hard at work to improve the lot of its people in spite of all the hurdles thrown at her.
Giving priority where priority is due, Eritrea continues to build basic infrastructures including transportation and communication systems, schools and medical facilities. The government has given a priority of priorities to the attainment of food security. To that effect, extensive agricultural plots have been prepared that are being fed by modern irrigation and water catchment schemes – including building some large dams and water reservoirs throughout the country. In an attempt to alleviate the hardship the long abused people of Eritrea suffered under various Ethiopian regimes, potable water supply and electrification projects have been underway throughout the country including some renewable wind and solar energies in the remote areas of the country.
Eritrea is one of handful developing countries that are expected to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals of 2015 before 2015!
Eritrea, not only believes in, but puts in practice the universal women suffrage by placing women on par with their male counterparts in every aspect of Eritrean life. It is not uncommon to see women in high government positions including cabinet ministries and state governorships. Eritrea is also on the record for making Female Genital Mutilation illegal irrespective of one’s cultural belief. Eritrea is a country where Christians and Moslems live side by side in harmony respecting and honoring each other’s faiths!
Are there problems in Eritrea? Of course there are. But in spite of the unjustified declared and undeclared sanctions that have been placed against her, she is on the economic launch pad. I am not saying this for the sake of saying. This is the facts on the ground that anyone can see for him/herself if genuinely interested. But that is neither here or there. The point is NPR loses any credibility it may have had by airing unverifiable one sided story. That is a sure bet of losing friends and supporters.