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Koha Digest # 57

MACEDONIA CONCERNS OF SOROS by SELADIN XHEZAIRI / Shkup With a series of manifestations, Macedonia celebrated the 50th anniversary of the victory of Fascism. President Gligorov assisted in the international solemnities which took place in London, Paris and Moscow, while here, during this historical anniversary, last week was symbolized with the problems which the state founded after World War II was facing. Shkup was visited by the OSCE Commissioner for Minorities, Max Van der Stoel, ICFY representative and the mediator in the conversations between the Macedonian Government and Albanians, Gert Arens. The founder of the Open Society Institute, the famous American businessman of Hungarian origin, George Soros, known as "a proven friend of Macedonia", visited Shkupi for the third time. In the communique issued after the meeting between Gligorov and Soros, it was said that "there was an exchange of opinions which in determined issues were different". It was delineated that there were talks about Macedonian-Greek relationships and the actual development of intern-ethnic relationships in Macedonia. "KOHA's" sources claim that Soros didn't coincide with Premier Crvenkovski and other Macedonian officials either, but the conversations with the "Albanian side" were evaluated by the latter as difficult. George Soros expressed his dissatisfaction with the pace of the development of the "Macedonian coloured" democracy also on independent A1 TV, where, in a conversation with a group of journalists, including KOHA's correspondent, he admitted that he was concerned with the last events in Macedonia, which don't go towards the direction of its definition as a civic state. Participating in a round table organized by the JuridicalSociological Research Institute, held at the Rectorate of the University of Shkupi with the theme: "Possible Alternatives for the Fulfilment of the Educational Needs of the Members of the Albanian Nationality in the Republic of Macedonia", Soros stated that he doesn't support the initiative for the establishment of the University of Tetova, but also stressed that he doesn't believe that it should be dismantled with repressive measures and
The weekly Koha (The Times) was published in Prishtina (Kosovo) between 1994 and 1997. Edited by Veton Surroi, a young Kosovar journalist and one of the pioneers of democratisation in former Yugoslavia, Koha soon became a symbol of quality among the region's media. In 1997 it started to be published daily under the name of Koha Ditorë. W ith the kind permission of Mr. Surroi, Koha digests were originally posted on


police methods. At the end of the three days' long visit to Shkup, he stated that he was willing to financially support the proposition for the foundation of the trilingual educational institution (English, Macedonian and Albanian), if this idea were supported by the International Community. Soros, also, criticized the Macedonian government, as well as the parliament, for not being effectual when it comes to the round-up of the system and legal regulation, while in the above tribune, listening to both sides, which represented "their own universities" he saw how far the stand-points of both sides were about problems which in a civil state would actually be minor!

MACEDONIA SOROS ESTABLISHES ALBANIAN-ENGLISH UNIVERSITY IN MACEDONIA? by Y.H. / Prishtina There were many rumors about it, and now finally it became public that Soros is trying to find a way to establish a University in English and Albanian of the CEU type, already existing in Budapest or Prague, or of the so called American University as in Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria. This issue will seemingly be discussed by Soros and Gligorov in their meeting, as well as in the expected meeting at the "Kiril and Metodij" University, which will take place with the participation of Albanian and Macedonian intellectuals. According to some sources, Soros had explored the possibility of establishing this University in Ohër, but he was told that this was not possible in the place where the cyrillic alphabet was born! Since Albanians use the Latin alphabet it remains to see what would be the possibilities of having this University established in Strumica. Anyhow, Soros who has so far given more assistance to Macedonia than the whole West altogether, will have it hard with Frckovski who, in a recent interview to BBC, declared that even if a foreign University would be established, it would have to function according to the Constitution, in the official language - Macedonian or the foreign language. But not in that of the minorities. Soros or Frckovski? We'll see!


KOSOVA KILLING IN LUBIZHDË! by Y.H. / Prishtina The Serbian press, grounded on unofficial sources, in a very foggy way, referred to a tragic event occurred at the police station in Lubizhdë (Prizren), when two Serbian policemen killed each other. On Monday, at around 8 p.m., policemen Milorad Vucinic (40) and Zoran Nikolic (44), both from Prizren, died in Lubizhdë. Nikolic used to be deputy-commander or this police station and for the time being, it is not clear yet which is the real motive of the killings, and it is still not known how many other people could be involved. What is for the time being supposed is that Nikolic, while showing his gun to Vucinic, allegedly pulled the trigger unintentionally, and killed him! After committing this act, he allegedly killed himself! In fact, Nikolic used to be deputy to policeman Soskic, who was killed a week before by Besim Ndrecaj in Shirokë (Suhareka), as informed by KOHA. Even before, some Kosova Albanian media and political and nonpolitical organizations have claimed that the killings of Serbian policemen which happened in the past years in Kosova, were result of the shooting among themselves, some of them being drunk. It is not sure whether the Lubizhdë case should be linked with these interpretations, nor with the explanations given by the Serbian media. But the tragic killings are strange, taken their manifestation, and the totally unusual interpretation made by the Serbian press!

EXILE WILL THE NAME "ARSIM" BE RENEWED? by ASTRIT SALIHU / Prishtina In the past five years, many round tables, tribunes of Albanian political parties within branches and sub-branches, several scientific tribunes, not to mention the media which when referring to it have qualified it as "tragic", "deep wound", "national stain", "treason", etc., have had exile as topic: as a phenomenon among Albanians. This only proves that the sole thought about this problem has been followed more by emotional -3-

tensions and affective reactions than determined analyses and strategies to canalize and supervise this phenomenon. The way it is reacted is best proven with the fact that all our "analyses" are concentrated on the fear from the change of the ethnic structure of Kosova, the decrease of the number of Albanians in Kosova. But none of the analyses has ever touched the change or decrease of the ethnic quality of Albanians in Kosova. The fact that Kosova has been deserted by a large number of school-age children and educated young people with different professional qualifications. In normal societies the phenomenon of losing qualified population is known as brain-drain. Whole families are leaving Kosova today. Then, there are thousands of young people who have no organized life in exile, if we exclude the life of asylum-seekers in refugee camps, which include sports and cultural activities. What are the prospects of these people? Where could they express their predispositions and qualities? Do they get any education abroad? Is the number of those who study, known? If we take the figure of 80 thousand non-inscribed Albanian pupils in the 1994/95 school year, then the question arises: where are these children and where will they get education, even if they are outside Kosova? The same thing counts for high school and university students. Does this mean that out of 300 thousand Albanians, said to have left Kosova, a rather small number of them (not to say minor) starts or continues the education abroad. This is precisely what we mentioned above - not the decrease of the ethnic structure, but of the Albanian ethnic quality in Kosova. Kosova Albanians, whose number of educated has decreased 50%, qualitatively are poorer. The decrease of the number of educated is in correlation with the increase of the number of criminals among them. So far, the Government of Kosova has been more concentrated on collecting the 3% tax from them, rather than establish consultative offices in countries where they have sought asylum. Our political instances and relevant subjects have not prepared any project in relation to the young generation and their education. Attempts for something of kind have been made, but they only remain unaccomplished aims of Albanians. On this occasion we could mention the Foundation for the Education of Young Albanians, directed by Asllan Gjinovci. There is nothing left of it, and since so many years, it is still not known whether any Albanian graduated sponsored by this association of great ambitions and pompousness. -4-

However, it can't be said that young people are not interested about their future. The individual attempts to get education are present, but is a very small number of cases. But, in all these initiatives, there is not institutional background of the educational organization of young Albanians. On the other hand, the loss of professional cadres and the constant brain-drain is a created loss, the same as when compared to the economic material losses of strategic interest for Kosova. The education of a professional costs each society thousands of American Dollars, and if we calculate the losses of thousands of professionals, the numbers of the losses Kosova registers become five of six times bigger. All of these are reflected in the ethnic quality of the Albanians, which implies their cultural, education and political decline. Albanians are the only people that name their children "Arsim" (Education). All of what is linked to this name is slowly disintegrating and dismantling. Even the name will be lost, because since a long time, it is not attractive any more. And at the end, we may find ourselves only with Uncle Arsim.

EXILE THE DARK SIDE by BATON HAXHIU / Prishtina Since two years ago, "Kosova" is mainly mentioned in the Western media only in connection with its asylum-seekers. Several hundreds of thousands of Albanians who fled Kosova, for reasons well known to all of us, have become an attractive topic of sentimental, but also aggressive conversations. In a report of the Government of Kosova, it is said that "taking the situation in Switzerland as a starting point, it could be ascertained without hesitation, that if there was an unexpressed respect towards the Albanian community before the Balkan crisis started, especially taking into consideration the dignifying attitude of the Albanian guest-workers working for decades in Switzerland, then now it doesn't exist any more". In another figure provided by the Government it is said that "the largest number of aliens in Switzerland, in the past 4-5 years, has reached 150 thousand people. Having in mind that circa 25% of the political asylum seekers in Switzerland are Kosova Albanians, then there are around 40 thousand Kosova Albanian asylum seekers".


Without evading all the difficulties which asylum seekers face in Switzerland, including Albanians, the number of crimes committed by aliens has increased. This especially is evident in the case of a number of Albanians, who in the past couple of years have committed many crimes. According to the figures evidenced by the Office of the Government of Kosova in Geneva, however, there are around 2000 cases and this makes only 1% of the total number of Albanians living in Switzerland. This figure, nevertheless, has been used for a strong anti-Albanian propaganda, which borders with hysteria. Because of the rules of action established by the dark side of the Albanian emigration, different political forces, especially "Schweizer Demokraten" have come out with the concrete plan and are leading the "holy war" against the aliens. Recently, this dangerous game was joined by the MPs of the Liberal Party, who are currently collecting signatures for a Referendum in which citizens would vote to have less than 18% of aliens in Switzerland. Because of the created circumstances and the imperilment of the young layer of population in Switzerland, because of the impossibility to control drug trafficking organized and conducted by aliens, the Social Studies Institute "Demoscope", in one of its surveys in regard to their posture towards the aliens and Albanians in particular, comes to very negative results about their influence in Swiss society. The experts of this Institute consider that the largest number of the surveyed show aversion towards aliens with quite racist premises. This report further says that the situation has created an extremely negative image of Albanians as a community among the misinformed locals. We shall not forget that Albanians make up the second largest community, following the Italians. Departing from these premises, says a report of the Government of Kosova, the posture of the local population and Government in Switzerland towards Albanians should not be surprising. Even though the creation of such an opinion toward Albanians in Switzerland is a result of Swiss political games, our total lack of organization, where we ourselves have allowed to become their victims. Similar attitudes are of the other Western Governments. And, the whole effort for the internationalization of the issue of Kosova, says one of Kosova's ministers, has fallen down the drain because of the lack of our proper organization. "We were in no position to stop the people running from Kosova, both ways, because there was a total lack of organization among the ones who fled", says the Government. And, if we say that the sector for emigration within the Government has been established two months ago, this proves our seriousness and how much importance have we given emigration. Presenting the situation and referring to the created atmosphere, -6-

Joachim Lanksch, as he calls himself, the idealist intended in favor of the Albanian cause, determined a several urgent premises of Albanian engagement in the area of emigration. He gave an example of when he met the Albanian workers and told them that they should do something to change their deteriorated image. They would just stare and give the following answers, says Lanksch: a) we are not organized; b) we can't speak the language; c) we are very tired after work. This is a cynicism which needs no comment. On the other hand, the Kosovan politics, concretely the Coordinating Body had announced the three options for Kosova. The situation has imposed a fourth one - Exile. Unfortunately, this option, apart from the heavy burden it has on Kosovan society, has now become a burden for the host countries, due to its dark side.

EXILE ONE TRAGEDY OVER THE OTHER Skënder Kastrati, Secretary of the LDK Emigration Sector, a department established after five years, in a conversation with KOHA states that repression is the decisive factor which makes Albanians leave, but there were also alleged tourist agencies which profited on this. by BATON HAXHIU / Prishtina KOHA: The last round of massive emigration of Albanians towards the West started in 1990. What dimension would you give this phenomenon? KASTRATI: The emigration of Albanian started earlier. I believe the problems have been the same since 1878. There is a difference in the trend of the period you mention, because 1992 is the year in which the largest number of Albanians fled. KOHA: Were you taken by surprise and what have you done to eliminate this national evil? KASTRATI: We believed that here will be an emigration of Albanians, but not this massive, We though of prevention, but we lacked the instrument of the state to stop it, to prevent it. It was impossible to have a control on the check points. Nevertheless, our attempts to diminish the numbers of immigrants continue. -7-

KOHA: Have you ever thought of the reasons and how to eliminate them? KASTRATI: The main reason is repression against Albanians. The other question would be: Aren't we all suffering the same? Of course, all of us are endangered. But, we must not forget the cases of extreme repression in which we were unable to help and these people had to leave, by force. The cases of the young people are also serious. There is no way to protect them from being drafted in the Serbian army. And this we can't do because we haven't created protection state mechanisms. The other category is caused with the economic problems the families faced. KOHA: Haven't you declared that no one can starve in Kosova? KASTRATI: Even though our posture was as quoted, many people didn't come to get assistance. They have found it easier to go abroad. Whether this was a reason to leave Kosova, I wouldn't comment it. Another part probably thought that we would win easily, so they left westwards wishing to create a capital for the future. KOHA: How do you comment the emigration of those who had economic basis? KASTRATI: There was no wish on their side to help the situation and the interests have become individual. They left just to evade the situation in Kosova. KOHA: Why hasn't any statal prerogative been used to prevent the emigration and why was it waited until 1995? KASTRATI: We haven't made the state function as a whole. KOHA: Will only Serbs and the massive repression be the ones to blame for the massive emigration of Albanians? KASTRATI: Of course not. Repression is decisive, but here we had different agencies which aimed at profiting as much as possible, racing among each other, which will take more Albanians to the West. The majority of the trips were completely dangerous and there were cases in which people died. All of them have also not counted on the fact that Kosova was being emptied, and that without Albanians, the battle for the independence will be lost. We need time to explain these situations, even though we have an evidence of the abuse of the national tragedy. KOHA: The impression is that, for the first time in these circumstances, intellectuals have not left. Is there any evidence on this? -8-

KASTRATI: I am not completely sure that intellectuals have not emigrated, but we have no specific data. KOHA: There is a problem which in the past two years has not descended from the Western media - Albanians and their criminality in the Europe. Why and how is it possible not to respect the rules of the host country? KASTRATI: This issue is very harmful for Albanians as a nation and the Albanian politics. We must not forget that different categories of people have fled Kosova. And, it is normal that in midst of all those people, there are also delinquents, criminals, etc. The illusion of young people that they will become rich over there disappears in a second and now they are facing a possibility of action with is expressed as criminality. This is also an element of the tragedy within the general Albanian tragedy. KOHA: Foreigners don't understand this. People find shelter against repression and get it easily, however pay this understanding with criminality. It doesn't make sense. KASTRATI: We haven't examined the cases yet. We have some uncertainties and many things are said and speculated hypothetically. Once we have done a thorough study on the reasons of crime of Albanians over there, then we can speak of the (non) criminal attitude of Albanians. KOHA: If there was consciousness about such a massive emigration, why wasn't the sector for emigration established earlier? KASTRATI: Finally we have established it. But, the problem of the emigration of Albanians can't be only a problem of this sector. KOHA: Would you have something to add? KASTRATI: I have reliable information that Serbs will not gain on the returnees. There were rumors that all of them would come back through Belgrade. This option failed and the return of rejected asylum seekers will be done in another, favorable, time. In Free Kosova, I hope.

EXILE STOP ASYLUM-SEEKING "Albanian Refugees in Western Europe" is a document elaborated by the Ministry of Information of the Government of Kosova, in -9-

1994, and it describes the posture of the Western-European governments towards Albanian asylum- seekers and the way to come out from the crisis. It represents a realistic vision about the specific situation of asylum-seekers and offers concrete proposals. II. The number of those who should come back to Kosova According to the incomplete facts, until January 31, 1995, between 2.500 and 3.000 rejected Kosova Albanian asylum-seekers should be repatriated from Switzerland. In all countries of Western Europe, this number reaches 15 thousand people. According to the Head of the Swiss Federal Bureau for Refugees, the intention of this Institution is to process all requests for political asylum in Switzerland by the end of this year, so there would not be any old cases at the beginning of the next year. This in practice means that until May 1995, it should expected that between 30 and 35 thousand Kosova Albanians will be expelled from Switzerland. Naturally, this is only an estimate (plus or minus five thousand), which in the actual moment is not of great importance. Kosova Albanians participate with 5% in the total number of asylum seekers in Switzerland. III. The place of deportation The decision of the Swiss Government to repatriate Kosova Albanians, who were rejected political asylum, is final. The attempts of the Swiss Government to find a more appropriate way to return them back (Macedonia, Rumania, Hungary and finally Bulgaria), have been persistent. The Swiss-Bulgarian agreement, in force since September 1994, will probably be replaced with the direct flights from Switzerland to Belgrade and vice-versa or the ferry Tivar (Bar) - Bari, as soon as the sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro are eased. The Swiss Government, will not change its decision, and this is certain. departing from this, Albanian asylum seekers have two options. first, to go back to where they came from and second, the possibility to find refuge in a third country, a very difficult, painful and very dangerous enterprise. The other "possible" solution, live illegally in Switzerland, is quite unbelievable, and if it is possible for a number of people, then it is not long-living and brings more dangers than the two first options, pursuant to the Aliens' Act. If the International Community has really decided to reward Serbia by easing up the sanctions against Serbia and Montenegro, having the opening of the Belgrade airport as the first step, then there must be serious thoughts about the opening of the - 10 -

Prishtina Airport (which is meant only for military purposes and no international flights are allowed), for international flights too. This must be done precisely for the return of the Albanian asylum-seekers to Kosova. Regardless of what could be said by all parties, this is the safest way back for them. On the other hand, the opening of Prishtina Airport would be also of great help for our workers employed abroad who are forced to use the airport of Shkup. IV. Providing with travel documents and the posture of the Serbian government in regard to the returnees. A procedure which could postpone the return of the people from all parts of Western Europe, is supplying them with travel documents. A large number of those who have requested asylum, for different reasons, can't make use of their travel documents which they used to enter the Western-European states. Among the asylum seekers, there are also people who didn't have a travel document at all; of those who have used false travel documents; those whose validity has expired; those who have lost travel documents; those who never handed them over, etc. They must have valid travel documents when they are repatriated. The ones who have handed their documents to the organs of the host country and if still valid, going back home is not a problem. However, all those who don't have valid travel documents, the organs of these countries must provide them with travel documents. According to the second secretary of the "FRY" Embassy in Bern, during the conversation with a representative of IOM in Geneva, these documents can't be got hold of easily. This refers to the travel documents (certificates) to be issued to all those who don't have valid passports. This procedure, according to the diplomat, in the best of the cases could last a couple of months, and having in mind that these are thousands of people we are referring to, then efficiency, as required by the Western countries, can't be expected. Still according to the diplomat, this is due to the fact that the identity of these people must be checked, because an invasion of Albanians from Albania on Kosova is allegedly being prepared. The same official has told the IOM representative that one of the reasons why Albanians fled Kosova was the vendetta, a phenomenon which is widely spread in Kosova. Secondly, the propaganda about the preparation of the lists of the emigrated who will be facing trial accused of committing crimes against the state in case they return, the threats of - 11 -

different Serbian political parties, are also obstacles which shouldn't be neglected. Simply, the Serbian state, has not expelled them to let them come back again. V. What should be done in this case Having in mind all what was stated above, we believe that: - The statal organs of the Republic of Kosova must, as soon as possible, start conversations with Western-European governments about the return of these people. During these conversations: a) first of all it must be requested that these people are guaranteed personal safety in Kosova. This means that, it would necessary to request: - UNHCR observers; - EU observers - European Parliament observers; - media representatives; - representatives of embassies of the rejecting states; - observers of NGOs and humanitarian organizations which deal with refugees. This implies their escort to Kosova, from the very first contact with the Serbian authorities. b) To insist on the opening of Prishtina Airport for the return of the rejectees. This would allow these people not to expose themselves to different mistreatment, inevitable during the long journeys through Serbia, from Bulgaria or Belgrade. c) Request the rejecting countries not to conduct expulsions during winter. This because many people have remained abroad for some time, once back, would find it difficult to provide themselves with heating and food. d) Ask the rejecting countries to dedicate part of the funding destined for supporting asylum-seekers as humanitarian assistance to Kosova, for the reconstruction of the infrastructure for the returnees and all those who are actually living there. e) Request these countries not to repatriate the rejectees one by one or in small groups and not to do it secretly. This is dangerous, because they will be treated as criminals, while their recognition of refugees of violence would allow the bigger presence of observers. f) Request these countries to hand over the lists of the expelled, to the organs of the Republic of Kosova, so their further situation could be followed. - 12 -

Once all these measures are undertaken, the statal organs of the Republic of Kosova must come out with a public appeal directed to all of those whose requests were rejected and all of those who are awaiting for the end of the procedure, asking them to come back home to Kosova. These organs must also decide about what categories would not be involved in this general summon (draft-evaders, political activists, the elderly, the ill or the ones who are being treated medically, could be excluded from this list). On the other hand, the statal organs of the Republic of Kosova should undertake measures to contact all those who are potential candidates to go back to Kosova, ie., all those who have received the negative replies. This must be done in order to prepare the people, collect signatures in regard to the presented requests, which will be handed over to the states which want to repatriate the rejected asylum-seekers. The suggested steps, are much more correct than secret conversations, which have been developed in the past several months, between the representatives of the WE countries and the "representatives" of Albanians in Belgrade and elsewhere, in regard to the refugees. Albanians have been "represented" by incapable, incompetent people, who are the least acquainted with the situation in Kosova, and who are even less familiar with what persecution and mistreatment means. There are even cases in which these "representatives" have declared that the majority of Albanians fled Kosova for economic reasons, and that apart from a small number of people, all the others must come back. The public reaction of the organs of the Republic of Kosova would stop this erroneous labor of the "fathers of the nation".

EXILE STREET CHRONICLES by ARTUR ZHEJI / Rome "The small slaves from Milan", are Albanian children comprised between 10 and 17 years of age, who were forced, as real slaves, to wander around Milan's streets and be beggars... The first pages of the Italian newspapers were quoting the conclusions made by Nino D'Amato, head of Milan's police, which to our misfortune, related to something merciless, thrilling and very attractive for sensationalists...

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After many months of investigations, the Police in Milan arrested two men, accusing them of slavery and also arrested some 35 Albanian children, beggars, at their service. The names of the arrested were not published, but the impression is that a whole organized network of (ab)use of children was discovered. According to the same sources, the children were "lent" to these men by their parents with a small compensation. The users would take on them all "expenses", starting from the illegal travel up to the accomodation in special hiding places... Then, professional abusers, which had scented this filthy business since long ago, would squeeze from each child between 200 and 300 DEM a day. Not wearing shoes and in scrappy clothes, as cute and "Chaplin-like" as possible, they would stretch out on the luxurious cars, say cute things, cry and beg, and thus gain the expected "tip". "All that we can do for the time being" says the head of police, "is escort the children back home, even though they have explained to us that their parents themselves "lend" them to the ones who organize "their job" in Italy". It is not hard to believe that they will come back soon again and start "working" again. On May 10, 28 of them, accompanied by the same number of policemen, who were wearing white gloves for this occasion - as doctors fearing from possible infection - were escorted from Milan to Bari and from there directly to Albania on the "Pulladio" ferry. Maybe they are going to be received with tears in the eyes, or maybe some of them will be even beaten, for not being able to evade being arrested and deported. Who will follow up on the other acts of their dramas?... As usually, no one. Some time ago, their poor and miserable image caused the sigh of solidarity among the Italian public, while now, more and more, they are only ignored... "All this noise and publicity seems as a big game to them, same as begging at the stop lights, but the damage that their psychological development suffers is serious and could be irreversible..." - says a psychologist who visited them. Everything is clear, these children, wearing clothes, especially sawn by professional "tailors", who sleep on cartons, make up the raw material of criminality. A small step is necessary to become part of the crime... And this is the story of journalist Fabrizio Peronaci, about a crime which occurred recently. Albanians against Albanians. A terrible crime against an impossible love...

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Rome - He was in love with Nina, his conational and this is why he was sentenced to death. His name was Shkëlqim Keli, 24 years old, and lived working hard, in construction. She had come to Italy full of hopes, but at the end had found no better solution than to prostitute herself on Eur's (Rome's rich neighborhood) streets. One day they met, they became friends and he became infatuated with her. I have a job and a car - he tells her - we can live together. Nina is attracted by the proposal, but is scared of her "protector's" reaction. And the fear was grounded. Shkëlqim Keli, a worker in love, was found massacred, stabbed several times. According to the investigation of the police in Rome, the murderer was precisely the Nina's "protector", Astrit Kalaveri, 24 years old and Albanian too. Kalaveri, in order not to lose his "asset" which granted him 500 DEM per night, activated his knife. His photograph was well known in Questura's computers. Since the day of the murder, both him and Nina, who was 25 or 26, were not seen around, at least not on Eur's side-walks. What was Nina's fate? Was she taken prisoner by Kalaveri? The killing of the young Albanian occurred in the middle of the day and the bestiality of the murderer had caused quite an impression. Keli was being driven by his relative on a car. At the corner of one street, a car with four people inside had blocked the way. Someone had told Shkëlqim to get out of the car. He did, not expecting to be attacked. But he was. He was stabbed three times in the chest and back. The four of them escaped. The relative's testimony and thorough verifications determined the killer's and Nina's identity. No comments are needed. Especially when such events occur more and more. A serious moral disease, which needs urgent intervention, attention, and finally, also intensive therapy. Will these be the stories we will tell our children in the future? "...Once there was an Albanian, who went abroad, because his father told him: Go and beg, my son... And the son left, he took one sister and a knife with him and arrived to the Kingdom of shining displays and..." What will the children who grow up listening to these stories be like? The least is that no one can say: I don't know a thing! All should share the burden, shame and civil responsibility. A Nation with a deteriorating moral, is the target of enormous threats....

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INTERVIEW Dr. Thanos Veremis, Director of the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy KOSOVA'S PROBLEM IS BEYOND HUMAN RIGHTS Interviewed by DUKAGJIN GORANI / Prishtina KOHA: Could you tell us what is the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy? VEREMIS: Our Foundation is seated in Athens, and it is a NGO directed by its Board of Directors, comprised of professors, intellectuals, retired diplomats, etc. Our work is concentrated within the framework of analyzing the present directions of the foreign policy in the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Middle East and in a certain scope of things, Northern Africa. Our visit in Kosova aimed at the exploration of finding the most optimal way to prevent the possible conflict here, making discussions and gathering necessary material, which will be used by our team, consisted of members of different nationalities: Albanians from Kosova and Albania, Serbs from Belgrade, Hungarians, Turks and French, who will elaborate them and publish a respective publication. KOHA: How would you comment your impressions about the present situation in Kosova? VEREMIS: Of concern, without any doubt. Being in Kosova for the first time, a person may get the impression that everything is all right - if the basis of orientation is what one sees on the street, and which most of the time illustrates a (relatively) normal situation. It is hard to explain the situation which reigns here. We came here with approximative impressions about what is happening, with data we got from books and newspapers, which give a totally different conception. After the meetings and discussions we had with different important political and social personalities, we reached a very unpopular conclusion: this region is going through a very serious crisis which is growing, and which can explode anytime. I believe that the psychosis of explosion would be the closest description of the situation in Kosova... Naturally, we will publish and distribute our studies and analyses on Kosova to NGOs, personalities, conferences, etc. KOHA: You spoke to both sides. Your impression? VEREMIS: The Serbian position is irritating - is the one which insists on understanding Kosova as the center of the (Serbian) - 16 -

culture and identity, which claims that the ethnic structure of Kosova was changed through the pressure of Albanians during the autonomy, etc. Serbs try to present the Kosova problem as an allSerbian problem, which has nothing to do with Kosova in the sense of the province, because it is an indivisible part of the territory of Serbia. What we were made aware while in Belgrade, among others, of the refusal and the discouragement of the international engagement in the case Kosova and their evident dissatisfaction with the purpose of this mission. On the other hand, I believe that the Albanian side is developing a quite peculiar social life. I take this as the direct consequence of the forcible close-down of the important institutions for Albanians. I believe that here, Serbs can't claim that Albanians have isolated themselves voluntarily, which is an often explanation they offer. The explanation of the Albanian side that the recognition of the Serb state would be the legitimization of violence and the violation of human rights, is an undeniable reality. Naturally, it is a big question how far and deep should the improvement of the situation by the Serbian side be, to have the Albanians participate in the Serbian state. Taking into account the present situation, it is very hard to speak of this interest, by both sides. Therefore I believe that two parallel states that function in Kosova, will continue living until a right approach to overcome the crisis is offered. KOHA: You spoke with President Rugova... VEREMIS: Mr. Rugova believes that independence of Kosova is not an utopia, that it is possible and that it would be also useful for the Serbs, if something of the kind would be accepted. Honestly, from what I could notice from the actual situation in the relations between Belgrade and Prishtina, I see no way this could be accomplished. However, maybe Rugova has a clearer vision than I, and it is possible for him to have a deeper foresight of the political future. It is feasible. Nevertheless, I believe that the situation as is the present one, that of a total polarization, could last much longer. The evident straits in Kosova could explode in a very violent crisis, if not today, then in the coming years, if nothing is undertaken. On the other hand, my impression is that the international public is totally disheartened in this aspect. KOHA: Serbs tend to consider the Greeks as natural and historical allies. They have even suggested the creation of a Serb-Greek Confederation... VEREMIS: Maybe Mr. Milosevic has his reasons to suggest this, without any doubt... Personally, I believe that such a thing is far from reality in the world of these inter-state relations. The - 17 -

truth is that a state as isolated as Serbia, needs an extracultivation of good relations with neighboring countries. And, in the case of Greece it is true that it never fought against Serbia in its history, which can't be said for Bulgaria and Turkey. It even was Serbia's ally during four wars: the Balkans wars and World wars as well. Even though it can't be denied that there were tense periods between these two countries, especially after war and the installation of Yugoslav Communism. The idea that Greece and Serbia represent historical allies has no strong support in facts. Thus, the Communist regime caused great frictions between Greece and Serbia, ie., then Yugoslavia, which reached their culmination with the creation of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia in 1944 - because of the irredentist requests within the Constitution of Macedonia (ASNOM documents - 1944), whose preamble states clearly that the newly created state is not satisfied with its size, and that it also aspired Greek and Bulgarian territories. If to this we add the problems Greece had during civil (anti-Communist) war, as well as the annexation of the Greek Macedonia by Bulgaria, applied under the "unification of the Macedonian" principle (an invention of the Comintern during 1923, more precisely of Koplarov, the Secretary General of the Communist party of Bulgaria) under the tutorship of Bulgaria - then I believe that the Greek posture towards Macedonia, as a permanent territorial threat, should be comprehended to a certain extent. The GreekMacedonian problem, or rather Greek-Yugoslav problem which started with the end of World war II had its tides, depending on the relationships between Belgrade and Moscow. KOHA: However, the fall of the Communist bloc doesn't seem to have changed much the Greek postures towards the Northern neighbors? VEREMIS: True. The xenophobic attitude that Greece kept after the ruin of Yugoslavia is a political mistake, because we have a totally different situation now. Nevertheless, it can't be said that inside FYROM there are no political groups which openly aspire towards the Greek northern territories. But, I believe that despite the fact that VMRO's and Georgijevski's dreams could be irredentist; and even if there were plans for the unification of the three Macedonias - it is a waste of time to think that something of the kind is feasible. FYROM has no real possibilities for that, it is a small state and lacks force. This is the reality, but it is nevertheless threatening and destabilizing. There is no doubt that the "patriotic" politics of Samaras has negatively influenced the situation. It seems as if in the case of Macedonia, he has found the space to promote himself as a politician and patriot, which was a dangerous game, because the sufferings and painful memories of war are still - 18 -

fresh in the minds of the Greeks. I don't believe that Greece is not to blame for the increase of nationalism on both sides, but the truth is that Gligorov's government continues propagating FYROM as the continuance of the ancient Macedonia of Alexander the Great, and this doesn't give much hope. Greece understands this tendency only as a continuation of the irredentist tendencies of Shkup's actual political circles. I don't know why Gligorov does this. All of this makes no sense to me. Such postures must be declined as soon as possible. KOHA: Do you think that the existence of such a state is in Greece's interest? VEREMIS: Absolutely. Greece is deeply concerned about the stability of FYROM. Greece wants this state to exist, because the disintegration of this state would cause new difficulties, by all means. I believe that Athens would encourage the existence of a state on the territory of FYROM. And, if really its population believes they are Macedonians, then there is nothing wrong about it - even though it would be necessary to determine what kind of Macedonians they refer to. Because, if it is claimed that the population in FYROM represents the state of the "only Macedonians in the world", then this would automatically gain irredentist attributes and territorial aspirations towards the territories called "Macedonia" in Greece and Bulgaria. If consensus is reached about the name of FYROM with the necessary suffix: Macedonia of Shkup (Skopje), Vardar Macedonia - then we would approach a logical solution. Greeks don't take the name "Macedonians" as an ethnicity, but only a geographical term. The Bulgarians share this opinion. Apart from the Slavic-Macedonians who insist on their principle that "Macedonia" implies an ethnic group. Finally, according to Gligorov, Macedonia is an ethnic state of Macedonians, which automatically excludes the existence of the Albanian minority-majority, of Vlahs, Turks, etc. KOHA: Which would be the Greek minimum to recognize FYROM? VEREMIS: Giving up on irredentist aspirations. Even though such a state would be too weak to harm Greece, nevertheless the "nomination" insisted on by Shkup represents a threat in the future. KOHA: Shkup says the same thing, that Greece represents a constant threat to the territorial integrity of FYROM? VEREMIS: Great foolishness. There are no political parties nor institutions in Greece that would insist on such a thing. On the contrary, what is actual today in the Greek political scene in relation to FYROM is the engagement in rationally overcoming the created situation. The confusion in the minds of people in Shkupi - 19 -

(but also in the West) started with the Greek saying that "Macedonia is part of Greece", which made the Greeks take for granted the historical and cultural rights on the name and the existence of the Macedonian region within Greece. I believe that FYROM has no right to use this term and thus name their own state. Greeks don't consider FYROM's territory to be what they know as Macedonia, therefore, they have no aspirations on it. KOHA: Improvements on the Greek-Albanian horizon? VEREMIS: In the case of Albania, the situation is quite different, at least in the aspect of the mutual existence of national minorities. It can't be denied that Greeks showed certain aspirations for a part of Albanian territory they called Northern Epirus. In the past years too, similar ultranationalist tirades of the kind could be heard by "super-patriots" of Samaras' type. In respect to the Greek minority in Albania, I must say that the largest part has fled Albania and is now living in Greece. I can't deny that the past years represented a difficult period, which I hope is experiencing its end right now, thanks to the improvement of Athens' postures. The deterioration of the relations of Athens with Tirana and Shkup respectively, threatened to isolate Greece. I believe that our Foundation has had an important role in the evident improvement of the relations between Greece and Albania. We often travelled to Albania, we held many meetings and we managed to establish the Center for International Affairs in Tirana, which was a combined effort of our Foundation, the Albanians and Italians. KOHA: It seems that Papulias has started a new period of diplomatic activity of Greece. We witnessed his visit to Teheran, Belgrade... VEREMIS: I believe that Papulias took the right step towards the improvement of the Greek image today. I consider him a successful person, differing from Samaras who was a real diplomatic catastrophe. Originating from a Greek family from Albania Papulias has great consideration for the Greek-Albanian relations. His posture that any deterioration of relations in this area would first harm the Greeks in Albania, was completely right. I believe that we are witnessing a valuable improvement of our relations with Albanians. KOHA: How do you see Kosova at the end of this visit? VEREMIS: I have to say that I leave Kosova with less optimism than the one I had before coming. Here, we are not only referring to the preservation and cultivation of human rights. I believe - 20 -

it is a much more serious problem. And not only in Kosova, but also for Albanians in FYROM. Before coming to Kosova I tended to believe that a more careful attitude of Belgrade authorities would change the situation positively. I am not very optimistic about this any more. After talking to both sides, the impression I got is that not many things can be done. I believe that the question of Kosova has entered a dead-end. On the other hand, Belgrade insists on restricted autonomy, while Albanians, as far as I was told, claim that autonomy is something that belongs to the past... I can't give any prognosis or proposal about Kosova. I only hope that the tension between the government and the Albanians will not get tragic dimensions.

MACEDONIA ALBANIANS ON THE BALANCE by IBRAHIM MEHMETI / Shkup Within only two weeks, the two most important Macedonian parties, which along with the Albanian ones comprise the colors of the political spectre in Macedonia, held their congresses in Shkup and Kërçovë respectively. The results of these congresses prove that this spectre will not change ostensibly in the next four years. The second Congress of the Social-Democratic League of Macedonia, the party holding 50% of Parliament seats (60 out of 120) and half of ministerial positions, was celebrated as expected - without any major problems, excluding small fractions which, for the time being, don't endanger the unity of the party. The chairmanship of the party was again confided to Branko Crvenkovski, who is at the same time Premier of Macedonia. The truth is that he was the only candidate, but he was elected in unison. The only problem appeared when three vice-chairmen were being elected of possible four candidates. Two vice-chairmen were elected easily, while the third one, to be decided between MP Mitreva and the Editor in Chief of the Party's organ, "Demokratija", Erol Hajretin, became a serious problem whose solution was postponed. If this problem is excluded, then it can be said that the SDLM, after the electoral triumph, assisted by the opposition itself, can be satisfied with the gathered "capital". Differing from this congress, the second congress of the biggest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE suffered many stressing moments. This fact is illustrated by the close-down of the congress room for journalists when the Statute and Program Resolution were discussed. - 21 -

In his report about the activities of the party between two congresses, Lupco Georgijevski stated that none of the political parties in Macedonia has managed to accomplish its aims as much as VMRO has (mentioning the Army and the currency), and at the same time he praised the activity of his MPs in the old parliament. But, he didn't forget the mistakes and errors, which, according to him, were very serious. The main mistake in his opinion is letting go the chances to takeover the power, first in 1990 (winner of the first parliamentarian elections), and secondly, in 1992 after the resignation of the experts' government. For the first time, the leader of this party admitted that his party can't gain power on its own. On this occasion he also proclaimed the pre-electoral campaign, expressing the wish for anticipated elections, which according to him, will be the aim of his party in the period to come. This is why VMRO will create a coalition with other opposition parties, so the errors of the last elections are not repeated. Georgijevski hopes that the anticipated elections will take place after the local elections, in which, it is known, this and the other opposition parties, especially Gosev's Democratic Party, have great hopes in victory. This is why the Chairman of VMRO promoted the new strategy which is comprised of learning from the committed mistakes, as well as "political pragmatism to get the power". He was not specific about his "pragmatism", however, referring to the lost chance to gain power, he says: "We created the image of the party which doesn't want to get mixed with the former Communists and Albanian extremist parties, and we lost the feeling for pragmatism and the chance to appoint the government". Even though it may seem absurd to have a unexpected change in the political mosaic created after the elections, nevertheless, last year there were rumors about the possible coalition between VMRO and the Liberals. Apart from this, these two parties are partners in the Shkupi's town parliament, which, as it is known, comprises one third of the total population of Macedonia. It is interesting that VMRO's Chairman, who is without any doubt the head of this party, shows special attention towards the "minorities" and for the first time accepts their importance in the division of power, i.e., accepts the importance of their votes as a significant factor. Both Georgijevski and his party are preparing to take over the government, and this is proven with the way the chairman was elected. Since Georgijevski was the only candidate, there was a suggestion to elect him by acclamation, which he refused, thus proving that VMRO is "maturing". The secret voting proved that Georgijevski was the undisputable leader of his party, getting 195 out 207 votes, 10 voting against and one abstention. The next months will prove which of the leaders will be luckier - 22 -

after the congresses: Crvenkovski, who must just preserve what he already won or Georgijevski who is determined to have new elections in Macedonia. But, their (non) success will depend on others, too. It will not be surprise if the Albanians, again, determine the side the balance will incline.

MONTENEGRO TOPONYMY AND POLITICS by NAIL DRAGA / Ulqin As in other parts of the Albanian ethnic-cultural space, toponyms suffered stressed deformations in Montenegro too. It would be a real miracle to have had these areas excluded. It is well known historically, that after the occupation of the determined territories, colonizers have influenced the change of the onomastic vocabulary of the area. It is also known that the change of toponyms was done in different ways: through adaptation, translation and even their total change. In many cases there were doublets, which, even though totally unnecessary, now prove a determined period. The ethnic Albanians space has many concrete cases, from the ancient times and up to now. With the sole fact that the Albanian people, during different epochs, faced different cultures, the opinion that they have also left a trace on the toponyms is very much grounded. There are enough proofs which prove that the influence of the Slavs in the toponymy was much bigger than that of the others. They also had the habit of deforming or modify the toponyms according to their lingual structure. Even though such a phenomenon appeared in Medieval time, it became dominant in 19th century and continues even today. Even toponyms started being used for political purposes. In Montenegro too, after the annexation of territories, the Montenegrin administration made the censuses of population and localities. Acting pursuant to the Serb model, they did it in a very organized way, especially after 1912/13, when Montenegro expanded its territory. Thus starting from the registers offices, the cadastre, toponyms and microtoponyms were evidenced and written only in the Slavic variety. This was a premeditated action, using the toponyms, to accomplish hegemony and aiming at assimilation. Thus, after 1912, Albanian areas which remained outside the political borders of Albania, started changing their physiognomy. The sole fact that the Albanian language has never been treated as an official language, - 23 -

is a strong argument to understand why toponyms were never written correctly, in their original way. There is no extensive study which would describe the situation with Albanian toponyms, however, on this occasion, we will present only some of the toponyms which prove the violence of the statal administration. Two typical example are Nokshiq and Katërkollë. Nokshiq, as a location in Plavë municipality, is known under that name by the Albanian population. However, the Serbian administration took care of changing its physiognomy by making a small modification: it replaced letter "k" with letter "v", and Montenegrins started calling it Novsice. In this concrete case Noka became Nova! This act, not only changed the toponym by force, but at the same time lost the national identity of the person who established the place. It is well known that the founder of the village was Noka, who belonged to the Kelmend tribe. Only the ones who belong to this area know the original name of the place. Even though Nokshiq today, due to emigration, has no more Albanians living in it (the last one died in 1989), it will serve as the typical example if the modification of an Albanian toponym by the state administration. On the other hand, Katërkollë was also changed, but not according to the same methodology. The state administration named Katërkollë totally differently, and called it Vladimir. For a long time, the original term was totally ignored. Recently, the Albanian version started being used, but this issue is not yet solved with the statute of the municipality. It is now an artificial doublet and it has to be used as such: KatërkollëVladimir. The influence of the state administration, was evident at a larger scale especially in micro-toponymy, because there are very few cases in which they are written in their original form. Authentic proof are the cadaster and topographic maps. For example in Malësia e Plavës and in Guci: Bjeshka e Keqe is Beskeca, Lugu i Kuq is Lubo Kuc, Kukaj is Kukice, Hakaj is Hakanje/Akanje, Pepaj is Pepice. In Rozhajë (Rozaje): Peshkaj is Peskovice, Dacaj - Dacice, Plunca is Pljunce. In Malësi e Madhe: Narhelm is Podhum, Trijesh is Zatrijebacka, Spi is Spinje, Këshevë is Krsevo. In Krajë: Bobosht is Boboviste, Lijara is Livar, Gjuraç is Djuravce, Kështenja is Kostanica, Skje is Ckla, Vau i Fikut is Smokvica. In Ana e Malit and Ulqin: Milla is Mide, Dragina is Draginje, Hija e Korbit is Vranje Gnezdo, Mali i Shasit - Saska Planina, Shëngjergji is Sveti Djordje, Suka e madhe is Suka mala, etc. These were only some examples from the long list of toponyms in - 24 -

Albanian areas in Montenegro, which directly prove the arbitrary application of Serbian names. The examples showed that some of the names were modified, adapted, changed or translated. We still find them in practice. We will be able to speak of qualitative changes only when Albanian becomes an official language in Albanian areas in Montenegro, without impositions and dictates from above.

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J A V O R E / Albanian weekly

P.O. BOX 202 38000 PRISHTINA

Issued by the KOHA Editorial Board English Edition: KOHA Contact Person: Filloreta Bytyqi Phone & Fax: Modem: +381 38 31 031 +381 38 31 036 +381 38 31 276


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