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Kosova Communication 239 - 31/10/95

From: kosova@gn.apc.org (Kosova Information Centre)

Kosovo News Directory

Kosova Communication

Bulletin of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Kosova

4th year, No 238 , 30 October 1995


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Writes to UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali

  • [02] Peace Depends on Settlement of Kosova Issue

  • [03] Memorandum of Albanian Intellectuals

  • [04] Political Statement by the Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosova

  • [05] New York Times: Will Kosovo Explode Next?

  • [06] Concerns on Albanian birth rate

  • [07] Latest from FYROM

  • [08] Chronicle of violence


  • [01] President Rugova Writes to UN Secretary General Boutros Ghali

    The President of the Republic of Kosova Dr. Rugova sent a letter on 24th October to the UN Secretary General, Dr. Boutros BoutrosGhali. On behalf of the people of the Republic of Kosova, Dr. Rugova extended his congratulations on the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Organization, "which has for half a century been an international institution of world nations, serving their benefits".

    The of Kosova expressed his deep appreciation for the resolution on Kosova passed by the UN General Assembly late in 1994, which , Dr. Rugova said, "identified the problems the people of Kosova have been facing for several years, urging for the will of the inhabitants of Kosova to be fully respected, as a prerequisite for the settlement of the Kosova issue." In this context, the Kosova President acknowledged the excellent job the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in the former Yugoslavia, Mr. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, had done in documenting the very grave situation in Kosova, voicing hopes that his successor, Mrs Elizabeth Rhen, would commit herself to the position as Mr. Mazowiecki had.

    "As a constitutive unit of the former Yugoslav federation, Kosova was an associated member of the UN, just as other republics [of the former Yugoslavia]", the President of Kosova recalled, noting that countries smaller than Kosova were full members of the UN. "Therefore, we look forward to seeing our country becoming a fully-fledged member of the UN, the world assembly of nations", Dr. Rugova wrote. The President of the Republic of Kosova went on to give a short historical account of Kosova. Kosova was a distinctive administrative and territorial entity since ancient times, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova stated, adding that during the Illyrian kingdom and the Roman age, the then Dardania (present-day Kosova) was a kingdom and a province, respectively. Kosova enjoyed considerable self-governing authority during the Ottoman rule,too, as it made up a large administrative unit, he remarked. Although coercively included in the then newly emerging Yugoslav state in 1918, when Kosova was left out of the Albanian state proper, it constituted a separate and defined administrative entity, the President said, recalling that in the aftermath of World War II, Kosova emerged as a federal entity within the former Yugoslav federal arrangement, with the right to veto and equal representation at federal level.

    "Kosova has its ethnic, historical, political and constitutional identity", Dr Rugova of Kosova emphasized, noting that his country had clearly defined borders and a territory of around 11.000 square kilometers, and a population of 2.2 million, of whom 90 percent are ethnic Albanians. "Kosova abounds in natural resources", Dr. Rugova asserted, pointing out that it produces at least 70 percent of its food needs. The President of of Kosova reminded the UN Secretary General that Kosova was stripped off its constitutional position in the now defunct Yugoslav federation in 1989. "The Kosova government, vehemently opposing the illegal abolition of such a position, has pursued its right to self-determination ", Dr. Ibrahim Rugova said, noting that the Parliament of Kosova adopted in July 1990 a Constitutional Declaration, namely Independence Declaration. It was followed by a popular referendum in September 1991, in which over 87 percent of the people opted for independence and sovereignty, now that the former Yugoslav federation "was falling apart amidst Serbian aggressive policies", he said, adding that on May 1992, the first multiparty parliamentarian and presidential elections were held in the Republic of Kosova. "For over five years now Albanians in Kosova have been enduring an outrageous discrimination and systematic repression waged by the Serbian occupying regime, amounting to sheer apartheid", the President of the Republic of Kosova said, informing the UN chief that Serbia has in the recent couple of months embarked on a stepped up campaign of bringing Serb settlers to Kosova in a bid to change the ethnic structure and colonize Kosova.

    In spite of harsh conditions prevailing in the country due to Serbian occupation, the Albanians, being committed to a non-violent political resistance to Serbian rule "have created and maintained a civic society and state structures through democratic mechanisms", Dr.Ibrahim Rugova said, remarking that the people of Kosova have been promoting a democratic and pluralistic spirit. "They are awaiting international recognition of the Republic of Kosova, as an independent and neutral state", Kosova President said. Ending his letter to UN Secretary General, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova said the goal of ensuring a peaceful and negotiated solution to the Kosova issue makes an interim international civil administration in Kosova a facilitating step. "This would avert a possible break-out of conflict [in Kosova]", a conflict which would put stability and peace in the entire region at stake.

    [02] Peace Depends on Settlement of Kosova Issue

    On 24 October, addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, in which the world statesmen gathered to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the United Nations Organization, the Albanian President Sali Berisha stated that the Balkan crisis started in Kosova and without a settlement of the Kosova issue, there can be no long-term peace in the former Yugoslavia and stability in Balkans. It is indispensable that the question of putting an end to the violation of human and national rights of the Albanians in Kosova, the restoration of democratic institutions there, the commencment of talks between the Belgrade authorities and the legitimate representatives of Albanians of Kosova in the presence of a third party, including the solution of Kosovas future status in accordance with international agreements, should be included in the packet of negotiations of the Contact Group on the solution of the conflict in the former Yugoslavia. By demanding the implementation of Resolution 49/204 of the General Assembly, adopted last December, which has also included these demands, the United Nations would do a great service to peace and security in our regionand continent.

    [03] Memorandum of Albanian Intellectuals

    The Prishtina-based Forum of Albanian Intellectuals (Forumi i Intelektualve Shqiptar, FISH) has produced an memorandum on the Albanian Question, which is to be presented to the UNO, European Union, NATO and governments of USA, France, Germany, Britain and Russia. The following is a summary of the key points of the Memorandum: FISH considers the Albanian question in the Balkan crisis has not been duly addressed by international forums and policy. Albania's efforts at international integration are being made conditional on accepting a "status quo of the Albanian question", FISH says. Certain international policymakers, while advocating peaceful solutions to inter-ethnic and inter-state problems, seem to be inclined to acknowledge a reality created through the use of force, such as Serbian gains in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, and the situation created in Kosova and the other Albanian ethnic territories, FISH remarks.

    The Albanian national issue has a Balkans and a European dimension and requires adequate treatment, with full historical and political responsibility and full international awareness of the Albanian national position continues FISH. The geographical compactness and historical continuity of Illyrian-Albanians is an undeniable proof of the ethno- historic right of Albanians to their ethnic land." argues FISH. "Kosova has had its historical and ethnic Illyrian- Albanian identity since the ancient Dardania, the Vilayet of Kosova since 1867, one of the four vilayets of Albania in the Ottoman Empire,", FISH says, noting Kosova's liberation from Ottoman rule in 1912 and Fascist occupation in 1944. "Kosova has its geographic, economic, demographic and cultural integrity", and therefore "Kosova cannot be a question of Serbian sovereignty", for it was "annexed by military force in 1912, 1918 and 1945."

    We consider the political and national self-determination of the Albanians in former Yugoslavia to be the only right and long-term settlement of the Albanian question", FISH states, adding that this is their ethnic legitimate, historical and democratic right to national freedom and independence. FISH demands to exercise the right of self- determination through a plebiscite, under international supervision. FISH maintains that a just solution to the Albanian question is conditional on the "displacement of state borders", namely a just and long-term solution of the Albanian question is interrelated with the displacement of the borders between Albania and the neighbouring countries. "A land belt inhabited by Albanians in the absolute majority" separates Albania. Borders are not sacred enoughas not to be touched, FISH concludes.

    [04] Political Statement by the Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosova

    On 22 October 1995 in Prishtina, the Convention of the Albanian Christian Democratic Party of Kosova approved a political declaration pledging themselves to: sovereignty of Kosova as Independent and neutral state, as the first step towards a just solution of Albanian issue; institutionalisation of Kosova statehood in accordance with demands and determination of the people of Kosova; prevention of a conflict and massive genocide , thus demilitarisation and placement of Kosova under International protection, as temporary measure until an international civil administration is established; respect and strict execution of the resolutions of the referendum for Kosova as an independent and neutral state in any future negotiation, which would only be valid if international deciding bodies intermediate..

    [05] New York Times: Will Kosovo Explode Next?

    On 21 October The New York Times published an article on Kosova by Julie Mertus, titled Will Kosovo Explode Next. The article says: In putting pragmatism ahead of justice, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Holbrooke has overlooked one cruical ingredient in solving the Balkan problem: the ethnic Albanians of Kosovo who have long been controlled by the ethnic Serb minority. Further, the article says : Mr Milosevic has refused to discuss Kosovo in International meetings, calling it an internal matter. He has kept the United Nations from giving any recognition to Ibrahim Rugova, who was elected President of Kosovo in1991 elections that were not recognised by Serbian authorities.

    Should Mr. Milosevics support in Serbia falter because of the peace agreement in Bosnia and military setbacks at the hands of Croatians, he may well seek to resolidify his hold by provoking conflict in Kosovo. Fighting there would undoubtedly spread to Albania and could draw in Macedonia (of which 23 percent of population is ethnic Albanian), Greece and Bulgaria. To Avoid this scenario, Kosovo must be present at the international bargainig table.

    In addition, there is a precedent for negotiating with leaders who do not preside over an internationally recognized state Mr. Holbrooke has been dealing with Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic, the Bosnian Serb leaders, who have been indicted for war crimes. The article concludes that to try and reach peace in the Balkans without addresing the Kosovo issue is to try putting out a fire, whileleaving the coals burning.

    [06] Concerns on Albanian birth rate

    According to the Belgrade based daily Politika Ekspres the Serbian nation is facing a crisis - in recent times the number of people that have died is greater than the number of births. If this decreasing rate of natality continues, Serbian demographers predict that in 21st century in Serbia old people will outnumber the young. They also expressed concern with the large increase of Albanian population, who, according to them, in only one century have increased their population by 6.5 times, whereas at the same time Serbia population managed only to treble. The Serbian experts have calculated that in less than a half of century Kosova will double its present Albanian population, reaching 4.2 million.

    [07] Latest from FYROM

    Destination of Nordic states aid altered: On 25 October, in Skopje, Gyner Ismail, speaker for the FYROM government, stated that aid of 1 m DM granted by Denmark and Sweden and dedicated for the improvement of radio-television programmes for ethnic nationalities, will actually be used for Macedonian Radio Television .

    The rights of Independent media to be curbed: On the same day in Skopje a new Bill on Radio-diffusion was announced. The bill anticipates the establishment of public companies and trading associations at Republican and local level. Local radio and TV programmes should last less than eight and four hours respectively. Local and independent radio-television stations should provide their own finances.

    Albanians in FYROM administration are not represented adequately : From 23,456 civil servants. 8.56 percent of them are Macedonians, 4.39 percent are Albanians, and the rest members of FYROMs ethnic minorities. It should be noted that Albanians consist 40% of this countrys inhabitants.

    [08] Chronicle of violence

    During mid-October, in Kacanik, 23 Albanians were issued Army draft orders. They were told to report to Military drafting offices and in December to join Serbian Army.

    On 21 October, a squad of Serbian police, surrounded the village of Gerdoc near Podujeva, raiding, ill-treating and arresting many of its inhabitants. During the raid they fired their weapons. This action continued all night.

    On 23 October, about 120 members of Serbian fiscal police started a massive campaign to control Albanian owned shops and businesses in Prizren.

    On 23 October, Serbian authorities forced Riza Greicefci, a Rilindja correspondent from Gllogoc, to leave his office.

    On 24 October, in Devet Jugoviq near Prishtina, Serbian authorities started building a settlement for colonists. The number of Serbian colonists who sought refuge in this village is 60 . This village was settled by colonists in 1921 as well. Lately, colonists are provoking Albanians by firing weapons and singing chetnik songs.

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