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Kosova Communication 252 / 12-02-96

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

Kosovo News Directory

Kosova Communication 252

Bulletin of the Ministry of Information of the Republic of Kosova

5th year, No 252, 12 January 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] President Rugova Receives Austrian Diplomat and "Caritas" Officials

  • [02] Bukoshi Addresses EU

  • [03] President Rugova Received Albanian Representatives of Eastern Kosova and Montenegro

  • [04] Meksi Demands Increased US Pressure Against Belgrade

  • [05] Serbia Slammed by United Nations for Child Abuse in Kosova

  • [06] Christopher confirms opening of USIA office in Prishtina

  • [07] Belgium will request Asanin's extradition

  • [08] The position of Albanians in Eastern Kosova worsens

  • [09] Can Serbian Image of Kosova Be Boosted by Urban Schemes?

  • [10] Serbian thugs attack Albanian catholic church

  • [11] News in Brief


  • [01] President Rugova Receives Austrian Diplomat and "Caritas" Officials

    Kosova as an independent state reflects the will of the peoples and is an unquestionable right which they will accomplish in a democratic way - President of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova told on 2 February in Prishtina to Mr. Michael Wenninger, Charg d'Affaires of the Austrian Embassy in Belgrade, Dr. Michael Landau, director of the Vienna-based "Caritas" humanitarian organisation, and Dr. Marion Feik, emergency aid manager. Rugova also stated that, in order to solve the issue of Kosova in a democratic way, it is necessary to have a temporary international administration and an equal dialogue between Belgrade and Prishtina.

    The Austrian envoy stressed his country's concern over the situation in Kosova and pledged the support of Austria in assisting to ensure a just settlement to the Kosova issue. The Caritas officials, Mr. Landau and Ms. Feik, said they have come to Kosova to see ways in which they can engage in joint programmes with international and Kosovar organisations to help the people of Kosova.

    [02] Bukoshi Addresses EU

    Kosova Prime Minister, Bujar Bukoshi, in a letter addressed to the President of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, Mrs, Susanna Agnelli, minister for foreign affairs of Italy, expressed his deep concern regarding the announced EU intention for considering recognition of the self-proclaimed Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro). Amongst others, Bukoshi said that while aggression and territorial gains are openly being rewarded and while a Greater Serbia of some kind is being created, there are tendencies that the Albanian question in former Yugoslavia will be totally ignored despite repeated assurances given to legitimate Albanian representatives that their problems will be dealt with.

    Prime Minister Bukoshi further pointed out in his letter that the decision for recognition of the self-proclaimed Yugoslavia (Serbia & Montenegro) would be perceived by the Albanians as an invitation to end their non-violent resistance. Such a decision would make it extremely hard for the present leadership to continue to placate the people of Kosova at a time when violence, use of force and, as a consequence, the establishment of new borders elsewhere, is being rewarded.

    [03] President Rugova Received Albanian Representatives of Eastern Kosova and Montenegro

    Ibrahim Rugova, president of the Republic of Kosova, received yesterday in Prishtina Riza Halimi. president of the Party for Democratic Action, and Mehmet Bardhi, president of the Democratic League in Montenegro. They informed President Rugova about the situation of the Albanians in eastern Kosova, (Presheva, Bujanoc and Medvegja), an Albanian region under Serbian jurisdiction, and of the Albanians in Montenegro. They expressed their dissatisfaction for the level of realisation of national and citizens' rights in these areas, as well as for the lack of adequate representation in the local administration.

    President Rugova appreciated the work of the parties lead by Mr. Halimi and Mr. Bardhi and expressed readiness for closer relationship with Kosova political parties and other institutions.

    [04] Meksi Demands Increased US Pressure Against Belgrade

    Aleksander Meksi, Prime Minister of Albania participated in the Davos meeting (Switzerland) organised by the World Economic Forum. In the debate on the future of the Balkans Prime Minister Meksi, according to Albanian Telegraphic Agency, pointed out that the former Yugoslav crisis must not be equated with the conflict in Bosnia only. He further stated that Albania supports the attempts made to reach a political settlement through dialogue. This must continue, and international organisations,the UNO, the Security Council and OSCE, must play a central role, added Meksi. Regarding the question of Kosova, Meksi pointed out that the Albanian question of Kosova is a constitutive element of the Yugoslav crisis and by ignoring it we may face the risk of allowing it to explode at any time. The Government of Albania, said Meksi, is for a solution through dialogue between the parties, that is between the legitimate Albanian representatives of Kosova and the Serbian Government in the presence of a third party. Dialogue must be preceded by demilitarisation, the return of OSCE observers and the establishment of an international presence in Kosova. Talking to the US Deputy Secretary of State, Timmothy Wirth, who also participated in the Davos meeting, Mr. Meksi said that Albania would continue to give her contribution to peace and stability in the Balkans but requested that the USA increase pressure against Belgrade. Mr. Wirth acknowledged "the stance and contribution of Albania for peace in Balkans" and praised Albanian policies towards the resolution of the issue of Kosova.

    [05] Serbia Slammed by United Nations for Child Abuse in Kosova

    The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child criticised on 6 February Serbia for persecuting Albanian children in Kosova, United Press International reported. The UN committee said children are abused by police and their health and education have suffered because of Belgrade's brutality. The committee said that Serbia had banned the Albanian language from schools and dismissed 18,000 teachers and other education professionals, forcing more than 300,000 school-age children to attend make-shift in-home schools set up by the Kosova government. The report confirmed that Albanian-speaking health personnel had also been sacked, reducing accessibility to health care for children. The Kosova government has established store-front clinics and other facilities to try to provide medical care to the two million Albanians in Kosova. Rump Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) were expelled from the UN in September 1992.

    [06] Christopher confirms opening of USIA office in Prishtina

    USIC Geneva Daily Bulletin reports on 6 February that Secretary of State Warren Christopher has announced that the United States Information Service (USIS) will open a new office in Kosova. Christopher made the announcement during a February4 news conference in Belgrade, at the end of a two-day trip in which conferred with the presidents of Croatia, Bosnia and Serbia. The U.S. Secreatry of State did not specify when the Kosova post would become operational. Immediately, the president of Kosova Dr. Ibrahim Rugova hailed the decision for the opening of the U.S. Information Office in Prishtina, capital of Kosova.

    He stated: "The opening of the U.S. Information Office in Prishtina is a crucial moment in the friendly relations between the USA and Kosova, and a historical event for Kosova". This is proof of the continuing concern of the United States and the international community over Kosova, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova added. Albanian president Berisha also praised the opening of the American office in Prishtina. Other sources report that Mr. Christopher also stated that the future status of Kosova should respect the human and political rights of the Kosova population and that "Yugoslavia will never fully integrate or join international community unless the status of Kosova is resolved.

    [07] Belgium will request Asanin's extradition

    Answering senator's Anne-Marie Lizzin question on extradition of Serbian criminal Darko Asanian, the assassin of Enver Hadri - a leading Albanian activist in Brussels, Eric Derycke, Belgium Foreign Minister, stated that he regrets the decision taken by Greek authorities to extradite him to Belgrade. According to him, Greek authorities, who had arrested Asanin, refused his extradition to Belgium ignoring EU solidarity that derives from the Schengen accord. It is up to Minister of Justice, Mr. DeClerck to request his extradition from Belgrade.

    On the same day, the Belgium branch of the Prishtina based Council for defence of Human Rights and freedoms, at a press conference, where Ms. Lizin was also present, announced that the file on Asanin's extradition will be handed to the International Penal Court in The Hague.

    [08] The position of Albanians in Eastern Kosova worsens

    The Committee of the Party for Democratic Action (PVD),in its meeting held on 5 February discussed the political situation in Eastern Kosova (Presheva, Bujanoc and Medvegja), which is under Serbian jurisdiction, and in Montenegro. It was concluded that although Albanians living in these regions participate in Serbian institutions and establishments, their position is continuously deteriorating. In Medvegja, the Town Council has been suspended, Albanians have been dismissed from state institutions, local government bodies and economic enterprises. There is a similar situation in Bujanoc as well, although Albanians constitute 65% of the population. Albanians in Presheva who constitute 92% of its population are virtually excluded from state institutions. The PVD has decided to appeal to high Belgrade officials. If the appeal is ignored , the party will call its Central Council and recommend withdrawal of all Albanian deputies from Serbian Parliament and Albanian Councillors from Presheva and Bujanoc Council.

    [09] Can Serbian Image of Kosova Be Boosted by Urban Schemes?

    The Serbian occupying authorities have announced plans to erect a monument to Serbian Prince Lazar in the town centre of Gjilan, in Kosova, Serbian Tanjug news agency reported. Prince Lazar (in Serbian Knez Lazar, also Car Lazar), alias Lazar Hrebeljanovic, is the largely mythical Serbian hero, allegedly born in a village near Gjilan in the 14th century. Prince Lazar's monument in Gjilan is only the most recent Serbian regime's drive to further 'Serbianization' of the very image of the overwhelmingly Albanian Kosova.

    Only last year, on 28 June, a monument dedicated to Milos Obiliq, the disputed Serbian hero of the Battle of Kosova, was inaugurated in the small town of Obiliq, near Prishtina. The Serbian medieval ruler, Car Dusan, had a monument built in his honour last year in Prizren, a historical Albanian town in southern Kosova. The campus of the University of Prishtina, for five years now under Serbian regime's control, has been the venue of sowing Serb monuments: in front of the University rectorate (Dositej Obradovic); the yard of the Faculty of Philology (Vuk Karadzic), the Kosova National and University Library (a big Serbian church building, under construction since December 1992). Erection of new monuments to Nikola Tesla and Njegos by the Serb University have been announced.

    [10] Serbian thugs attack Albanian catholic church

    On 3 February at around 2:00, a Serbian gang surrounded the priest house at the church yard in Bishtazhin near Gjakova. Thugs, masked and armed with fire arms, knifes, steel and rubber batons , initially cut the village telephone cable and broke into the house, which was then thoroughly searched. The priest and a missionary were ill-treated for two hours. They threatened to blind or kill the priest, Don Viktor Sopi. They were then placed in a corner of the room and they fired shots around them. After they took everything that was valuable and drunk all drinks they could find, they withdrew from the church.

    [11] News in Brief

    During January 1996 28 people from the Obilic region were summoned for so called "informative talks".

    Dusan Mihajlovic, The Chair of the Serbian "New Democracy" party at a press conference held in Prishtina declared that he opposes foreign mediation in eventual Albanian-Serb dialogue. "the dialogue is unavoidable, but the problem of mistrust between Albanians and Serbs is best for them to solved without mediation, he concluded.

    The coercive management of the "Ferronikli" company has continued the campaign of dismissing Albanian employees.

    Since the occupation of Kosova in 1991 , from 4,000 employees in the Skenderaj region, 3,000 Albanians were dismissed. Serbian newspaper Jedinstvo admits that now there are less than 1,000 people still working. Many Skenderaj companies have been closed down and their equipment transferred to Serbia.

    Since 1991 , the economy of Kosova, including Trepca Mines, has suffered an estimated loss of 3 billion US$ , writes Shyqri Kelmendi in Bujku, 7 February.

    Ahmet Gjonbalaj and Xhevdet Ulaj were sentenced to 90 days imprisonment for having applied for a job at the primary school "Xh. Nikocevic" in Gusi, Montenegro. Their "offence" was handing in the diplomas issued by the Faculty of Philosophy of the Albanian University of Prishtina. They were charged for "forging official documents" considering illegal the above stated educational institution.

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