Excellent initiatives

By Aaron Berhane July 30, 2009 Many Eritreans find they cannot enter Canada because they were involved in the Eritrean armed struggle. And those who h...

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By Aaron Berhane
July 30, 2009

Many Eritreans find they cannot enter Canada because they were involved in the Eritrean armed struggle. And those who have managed to get into Canada are unable to gain permanent residence status although they’ve been here for a decade. They are suspected as terrorists for collaborating in the Eritrean struggle for independence. And their cases drag on year after year. Meanwhile, they live in limbo. To change this crippling Canadian government policy that punishes several innocent Eritreans, Yosief Araya and other law scholars, with the cooperation of the Canadian Council for Refugees (CCR), are starting a new initiative.

This is a remarkable project and it will feed hope to our community. It is additional evidence that our scholars have risen to the challenge of helping the community. Previously, Raphael Arefaine, a certified accountant, disclosed the fraudulent financial report of the board of the Eritrean Canadian Association of Ontario. He was able to increase the knowledge of the community about financial reports. Dr. Abdulahi Berih and other medical doctors played a great role in increasing our awareness of health issues. Robiel Kidane taught us to explore ourselves and sharpen our mental attitudes so as to cultivate a positive spirit. Everyone has tried to increase the consciousness of our community.

The initiative of Yosief and his collaborators has more to it. It is aimed at changing government policy and convince the government not to penalize Eritreans because they participated in the struggle for independence.

As soon as this is accomplished, victims will surely lead a normal life. However, for these individuals’ initiatives to bear fruit, we must cooperate openly with them. Therefore, victims should share their experiences without reservation and the rest of us should knock relentlessly at the offices of our members of parliament to facilitate the cases of our countrymen.

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