As contractual deadlines loom their heads and force us to make unavoidable pragmatic decisions we have tried to weight all factors and put our options in perspective. It is a hard decision but one that cannot be avoided.
The financial contribution made by Eritreans and friends of Eritrea in order to salvage Asmarino and Voice of Meselna Delina has been very encouraging and extremely appreciated. But it has fallen way short of the intended target. We owe tremendous gratitude for those who made all effort to keep these two nascent institutions afloat. We hope now and in the future their material and moral support will be with us as we struggle to balance the ever-growing need for democratic media outlet and meager resources-financial and material. A decade of experience has proven to us that needs and resources are rarely in prefect balance. Our immediate challenge, once again, underscores this experience- anchored valid observation.
As we approach the end of March 2007 we are faced with making a rational compromise. We came to the conclusion that Radio Voice of Meselna Delina must stay on the air at all cost and continue broadcasting to the people of Eritrea. All the funds contributed, if it is the wish of the contributors, can be channeled to this end. The people of Eritrea need the alternative information source. The shortwave broadcast must take precedence over the Diaspora need. We hope most of you agree with this underlining reason for the decision to continue Voice of Meselna Delina and give us your approval to deploy your contribution to this end. We can and will keep working on how to revive Asmarino in the immediate future.
For us building a free and independent media outlet is fundamentally part and parcel of the struggle to build a democratic society and culture in Eritrea. In the strategic sense the immediate crisis we are facing is an avoidable aspect of the overall growth process. No worthy institution, dedicated to the role of being the watch dog of the people, can surmount this kind of challenges without an infusion of grass-root support. Building this indispensable institution is primarily and fundamentally the duty and responsibility of the people starved for democracy. When we build it we take ownership and assure its authenticity. The pride and glory that comes with building the organs of free press will belong to us the direct victims of the authoritarian regime.
We are doing everything humanly possible to find long term solution to the challenges we are facing. We are still hopeful that in the next five to seven days you will rally around Asmarino and Voice of Meselna Delina and help save both media outlets. We hope and pray that will happen and we can continue to expand the democratic space.
We will keep you informed.
Tesfa Delina Foundtion, Inc