On Sunday, February 21st the president of Eritrea and senior officials hosted various ambassadors in order to formally accept their diplomatic accreditation. The formal diplomatic process was a standard yearly state affair but it was to my surprise and delight to find Eritrea has accredited ambassador of the Philippines named Leslie J. Baja as I was hoping for this specific diplomatic scenario to take place few months ago when I was in Manila.
Due to being pre-occupied over the last couple of months with events surrounding #OromoProtest and also Burundi that I, unfortunately, forgot to blog on my trip to the Philippines.In November of 2015, I had the great pleasure of being invited as an observer to the ILPS 5th assembly located in the capital city Manila. At the assembly, I gave a talk and explained to the international audience how US is directly responsible for the occupation of Eritrea via Ethiopian regime and illegal UN sanctions.During my time there I was able to engage & connect with many political activists from Latin America, Mid-East & Asia.
What is the ILPS? “The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) is an anti-imperialist and democratic formation. It promotes, supports and develops the anti-imperialist and democratic struggles of the peoples of the world against imperialism and all reaction.”
Why the Philippines? The Phillippines unique historical placement of being an Asian nation that overcame both Spanish and US colonialism can offer insight on imperial configuration and its effect to this day. In fact, the people of the Philippines are currently in a struggle with bourgeois-landlord owning elites and facing contemporary feudalistic oppression.Additionally, the region of the southeast Asia will continue to grab news headlines as its the center of US aggressive military pivot against China. The US aggressive posturing in the region has strained the Philippine-Chinese relations and its with my hope that China will start to become sensitive to the nationalist concern of the Filipino people.As an Eritrean, I feel as a matter of principle the importance of cultivating people to people warm solidarity within the global south as we all share a common experience in our struggle against US imperialism. Although I will forever cling on to Eritrean nationalism I recognize the global south has to begin to evolve beyond the confine of nationalism and colonial boundaries in order to plant the seed of harmonious internationalism. Above all third world, nationalism has its justifiable advantages in uniting peoples of the global south in defense of their state against external aggression directed by the west.However third world nationalism potency can serve the masses better with inclusive internationalism to solidify a united resistance of the global south.
Throughout my stay in Manila, I was warmly welcomed by the very hospitable Filipino people. Below I will summarize the trip and give my reflection with each picture.