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Isaias in South Africa: The Q & A Session With Eritrean Students
By Reported By “Harnet Seb” Translated By Awate Team
Jul 8, 2002, 13:14 PST

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Meeting On July 8, 2002 

First Question 

Student:  Regarding those in prison, when will they be presented to a court of law? 
Isaias:   Who was jailed?  When?
Student:  My father.
Isaias:  How do you know? 
Student: We have no news of him.  He is missing. 
Isaias: What is his name? 
Student: Dr. (Muslim name)
Isaias:  If there is no news, then he is in jail. Perhaps he had contact with traitors, Talibans or Jihad.

Student:  So, when will he be presented to a court of law?

Isaias:  When we feel like it.  In a closed session of the Special Court.  Do you know Guantanemo, in Cuba?  That is where America is holding Taliban prisoners of war.  Just like that.  They are a national security risk.  (Disruption continues)

Second question: 

Student:  Why did you close the churches?
Isaias:  Because they have foreign influence…From what little I know, [he continued about the introduction of religions in Eritrea…it was tiresome].

Third question:

Student:  What will come of the people whose land, water and woodland has been taken over (He was taken aback by this question)
Isaias:  People whose land has been taken over…
Student:  I mean, the border issue.
Isaias:  It seems to me, mankind is more precious than land or woodland…there is a little land that has been taken in the Tsorona area; it is not much.   We will relocate the people in a land of their choice.   The government will also provide assistance.   As for me, mankind is above all else.

Fourth Question 

Student:  What measures will be taken to encourage the people here to participate in the Warsai Yeka’alo Initiative?  If it is, as it were, work for 150 Nakfa, isn’t it preferable to choose to stay here?
Isaias:  I had anticipated this question.  When I was leaving Asmara to come here, they told me, lest you vanish, to meet with you and advise you to come back home.  I told them, “let them try!”  Globalization is Equalizer.   If there is money, there is no problem.  You can import people.  In the past, we looked for and couldn’t find laborers and construction workers.  We imported them from Sri Lanka, the Philippines and India.  Yesterday, we were looking for five architects and we brought them from the Philippines.   If we cannot find a professor, we go to India and import him.  So, if one says “I want to go to America,” let him try it.

There were no more questions.  They announced,  “Time is over” and we stopped


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