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Koha Digest # 141

Date: 19 March 1997

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
http://koha.estudiosbalcanicos.org.
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sponsorship will be used in the struggle against communism.
In fact, he used that to build a system and state, whose energies
are concentrated to fight against those that are considered
enemies by the government. Albania's courts, the prosecutors'
offices and the secret police spent more than half of the budget
and their time to accuse, investigate and condemn Berisha's
antagonists.

As a result, after five years of democracy, Albania remained a


weaker state than in times of the previous regime. This
"democratic" state proved to be incapable of opening private
banks or allow private emission of media and at the same time to
be incapable of defending military barracks or to prevent the
attacks against state buildings in the past two months.

Albanians know what is the biggest source of these problems:


their president, who ordered the army to attack the people so he
wouldn't lose the power.

In the past days, the international media wrote a great bit about
the peace proposal of the president. Nevertheless, ordinary
Albanians who have been celebrating their achievements in the
past days, are fully aware that Berisha's change of tone is due
to the imposition made by other regions. The report is that 70%
of the army has deserted and the soldiers have joined the
insurgents.

But, the west is no longer living in illusions: Berisha was


willing to break the revolt with tanks. Only the moment he saw
the Kalashyikovs turn to the North, he was forced to consider the
hand-over of the government that was built with an iron hand.
The price of these presidential games for power was extremely
high. In three months, Albanians lost almost 2 billions of
dollars, almost 200 people were killed and some 200 thousand
others have taken weapons.

The population is armed more than ever in the history of Albania


A new army appeared - that one that has no control whatsoever.
Friends in Vlorë say that ore than ten years will be needed to
disarm the people, and the biggest optimists say it will take
three years. Any government in Albania will have it difficult to
convince the people to hand in the weapons that will represent
a threat to the region.

The only way to hand - in the weapons is to buy them, and if this
is taken into account, then the assistance the West will give to
Albania will have to increase. Especially the assistance meant
for southern Albania where starvation is threatening - in which
the state could swap food for weapons or finally buy the stolen
weapons.

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Any postponement of the beginning of the disarmament of southern
Albania, could allow the appearance of the Albanian version of
Jokhar Dudayev, whose appetite for adventures will be much bigger
that the whole of Albania is.

The local leaders, some of them are former military officers,


have already appeared in Vlorë, Sarandë, Gjiorkastër and have
decided to become part of the political processes. Each day of
delay allows the population of southern Albania to get acquainted
with new weapons and new military strategies.

Right now, people in southern Albania ask only for Berisha's


resignation and maybe his departure from Albania.
This will probably not be an issue in the coming months when the
officers that have successfully led this triumphal revolt, will
join the negotiations. If they get organized, and this seems to
be the case, it will be very hard for the present opposition to
spread its influence down south. The Albanians don't trust the
opposition much, but it needs the support to evade the military
anarchy in order to become a military force.

Sali Berisha didn't keep his promise and he failed to be the


first democrat of the state. Instead, he chose to be its last
dictator. For three millions Albanians in Albania and the West
that fully supported Berisha, this is a huge shame. Communism
came to power in Albania with bloodshed and it seems it will
leave in the same way.

THE MYTH ON THE CLANS

by ARDIAN KLOSI / Germany

At first sight, the conflict in Albania looks like a


confrontation between the North and the South. In fact, many
journalists tend to present it as a conflict between clans. A
more exact scenario would be that one which would present the
citizens of the South fighting along with the regular military
units and members of the secret police that have deserted the
military barracks and have risen against the government.
During centuries, the Albanian clans or tribes have had an
important role in the history full of unrest of this country. All
its leaders depended on the clan's appertaining: Enver Hoxha's
communist regime and his successors depended largely on the
support of the Southern clans. Berisha, who is mainly supported
by the Northern clans, especially those of his place of origin,
the Tropojë mountains.

Nevertheless, Albania has never succumbed to an open conflict

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between the clans in the North and the South, despite the huge
differences between the lands of the Gegë up North and the Toskë
down South. With the exemption of Shkodër, the North remains
mainly underdeveloped compared to the South that is economically
more vital and more prosperous. A loss for the North was also the
'72 law that declared the Toskë dialect the only and the official
dialect of Albania.

The Ottoman occupation in the 14th century and the division of


the country in administrative units, Vilayets and Pashaluks that
has stressed the difference between the North and the South.
Despite this situation up to the 19th century, the Gegë-Toskë
divisions were interlinked with the increasing culture of the
towns such as Shkodër, Shkup, Elbasan, Berat and Yanina, and this
is why a considerable autonomy was granted to the mountainous
tribes in the North. The regions down South, as Himara, had a
kind of independence. Even the conflicts between the Albanian
military leaders at the beginning of the 19th century were not
related to the Gegë-Toskë relations. The Southers pashas, such
as Kara Mahmut Pasha or Ali Pashë Tepelena attacked their weaker
neighbors aiming at expanding their territories and never
hesitated to use Gegë mercenaries to suppress the Christian
insurrections in Himarë.

The possible North-South conflict became evident in times of


Enver Hoxha's communist regime, when he together with his
followers, mainly from the South, destroyed systematically the
North's culture, especially the urban center in Shkodër - the
capital of the region.

They also tried to eliminate the Catholic community, historically


centered up North. After oppressing brutally the resistance,
Hoxha presented the "proletariat of the people" as a pan-Albanian
phenomenon and gradually appointed some picked Northerners in his
government. His successor, whom he had appointed personally, was
from Shkodër.

During the five years in power, Berisha followed the same tactics
as his communist predecessor. Anyhow, he failed in his attempts
to win the support of the South or to bring in leaders from the
South in his government. On the contrary, his supporters from
Tropojë and other parts of the North were appointed leaders in
the Southern localities. Their governments were corrupted: the
South's indifference became hatred towards Berisha and all his
work. The ruin of the pyramidal schemes in which they had
invested incited their anger and turned into open rebellion - and
this was the reason why the largest part of the army joined the
Southerners against the chief commander of the army and the
state, president Berisha.

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It has been said that Berisha could mobilize the young in the
North to resist the "Southern rebels" because "they wish to take
over Tirana and go as far as the North". It seems that his
propaganda, for the first time in Albania, will be successful in
transforming the conflict between the people and the government
in a civil war between the North and the South.

(Ardian Klosi lives in Germany and is commentator for "KOHA


JONË")

SO CLOSE, SO FAR

by EDI RAMA / Tirana

I was born to two atheist parents and Catholic grandmother,


daughter of a Venetian woman and an Albanian man from the
Catholic community from Norther Albania. In Shkodër. She taught
me Italian and helped me during the long nights of the present
dictatorship in Albania to read Dante, Shakespeare, Dostoevsky,
Proust, Shoppenhauer and Nietzsche in old Italian editions
published in times of World War II. These old thinkers and
champions of free speech, secretly talked to me in Italian in
times when dictatorship was about to die. Albanians turned
towards Italy by connecting their receivers and catch Italian
signals.

Then Italian TV was the only mirror of the free world that we
had. Our dreams of freedom would get different magic forms as we
watched their TV. The TV circle among us was made of seven
hangers connected to one pole and two spoons connected to the
cable's hanger. Such inventions were banned and this is why they
were placed behind the closets or under the beds, meanwhile under
the splendor of the warm Albanian sun the huge statues of Enver
Hoxha and other heroes of real-socialism would spread the shadow
over the people.

The journey in another planet imagined by Albanians during that


half century really started in 1990 with the enormous exodus of
Albanians to the west. We found ourselves closed in the football
stadiums in Brindisi and Bari; Afterwards, following the brutal
beating we were promised to be taken to the rich North. Instead,
we were taken back East, in the prison in which we were born and
in which we will probably die. We came back to Albania but this
time under the leadership of the democratic former Stalinist:
Sali Berisha.

"This land is not a prison, but is a free land which is headed


strongly towards democracy", said the wise man from the North.

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Later they closed the eyes to the first signs of the
authoritarian regime and then to the irregularities in the May
elections. When a group of opposers went out to the street to
protests, the "democratic" opposition in Tirana attacked them as
if they were refugees in an Italian football stadium. "The
bloodshed caused by the Albanian police is nothing compared to
the bloodshed in Paris and London in 1960", said the Italian
ambassador wishing to stress that violence is primary in
democratic states.

In 1993, the leader of the opposition Fatos Nano was arrested and
condemned. Europe's silence helped the confirmation of the
sentence and the former communist opposition to be cursed,
responsible for the crimes committed in the past, regardless of
the fact that Berisha has been member of Enver Hoxha's communist
party for 25 years. Supported by Europe, Berisha led Albania into
a corrupt and vulgar circle. The state property became private
so it could turn Berisha's supporters richer, meanwhile
journalists and the militants of the opposition were being
arrested. The police used force to interrupt the hunger strike
of the former political prisoners who were asking for full
rehabilitation in the post-communist society. Berisha took over
the radio and TV using it to irritate the opposition. He also
made impossible the existence of other channels. The professors
who wouldn't prove loyal enough were dismissed. Writers and
artists that dared to protest against the obstacles to democracy
were attacked with metal tubes. Indifferent to the brutality in
Albania, Europe saluted the strong man from Tirana.

Europe thought that Berisha was the only one who could guarantee
stability in the Balkans. His duty was to prevent the centring
of the attention on the violation of human rights in Kosova and
Macedonia. In the meantime, the shadow of the old dictatorship
started showing again. Many appeals came form the opposition and
the intelligentsia in Washington, but none from Europe. The
ambassadors of Italy and Germany pressured the OSCE to validate
the May elections' results. Europe denied all principles
democracy is based on and now it is shocked with Berisha, the man
that created the illusion of the post-communist economy of
Albania.

This illusion was partially contoured by the pyramidal schemes,


whereas its essence was the traffic of arms and drugs in
cooperation with the Mafia and the Government. Albania has also
provided fuel to Serbia during the war in Bosnia, by scandalously
breaching the embargo. "Albania is an example of the respect of
the embargo", had said Europe's delegate-observer on TVSH after
meeting with President Berisha.

A couple of days ago, an opposition journal published two

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photographs: one of Maksude Kademi, the inventor of the pyramidal
schemes and the other of Lenny Fischer, chairman of the European
Council Assembly and at the same time Berisha's strong supporter.
The title of the article was: "The two most famous women of
Albania". After being decorated by Berisha, Fischer had declared:
"Albania is rapidly advancing towards democracy". The world knows
what happened.

Albania is just a step away from civil war.

Several days ago, an Italian official said that "Berisha is a


modern leader", on the TV we had relied our forces. On 2 March,
the offices of the only independent Albanian daily "KOHA JON·"
were burned down by the police and all what remains now is a
graffiti on the wall: "European friends, help us find our state".

(Edi Rama is a painter from Tirana)

THE PRICE OF FREEDOM OF SPEECH

by NIKOLLË LESI / Tirana

KOHA JONË is the first independent newspaper in Albania, with the


first number published on 11 May 1991. Initially, with a
circulation of 1,300 copies, it was weekly published in Lezhë,
some 70 kilometers north of Tirana. In the first days of
political pluralism in Albania, it strongly supported Berisha's
Democratic Party which was then opposition to the Socialist Party
in power.
In 1992, as a fortnightly, KOHA JONË started criticizing the DP
also. After coming to power in the elections on 22 March 1992,
the government of the Democratic Party started pressuring KOHA
JONË and it was then that we suffered the first arrests of our
journalists and publishers. On 20 April 1990, the government of
premier Meksi banned the publication of the magazine for three
weeks. The publisher was arrested, but later released, thanks to
the pressure of the public. On 17 March 1993, the editor in chief
of the magazine KOHA JONË, Aleksandër Frangaj was arrested by
order of Defense Minister Safet Zhulali. He was sentenced to one
month in prison. On 3 January 1994, KOHA JONË becomes a daily
newspaper and its circulation was the second largest, after the
Socialist ZËRI I POPULLIT. On 31 January 1994, editor in chief
Aleksandër Frangaj and his deputy Martin Leka were rearrested
facing Zhulali's accusations. After a month in detention without
any indictment, Frangaj was released, while Leka ends up with a
18 months long sentence. On 19 March 1994, KOHA JONË becomes the
daily with the highest circulation, 30,000 copies a day - a
respected number in a place that counts only three million

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inhabitants.
During 1994 and 1995, the newspaper improved the structure and
enriched the contents with new columns and materials. Its profile
always tended to be close to the Western newspapers. At the same
time, KOHA JONË remains critical towards the government and the
DP, publishing information of the trafficking of weapons and
drugs as well as the corruption of the government. Journalists
of KOHA JONË regularly paid a high price for their freedom of
speech - they were often beaten by the secret police.
On 15 January 1996, the deputy minister of interior, Agim Shehu,
reacted to an article that revealed the corruption within this
ministry, and confiscated all distribution vehicles that we had.
We were forced to rent other cars, at a considerable high price.
Our cars remained blocked in the police stations for over 65
days, two of them even 7 months without any explanation.
On 25 February 1996, after the explosion that happened in the
center of Tirana in front of the VEFA Supermarket, armed
policemen broke into our premises and arrested 33 journalists who
were interrogated till the next day. In May 1996, journalists
Altin Hazizaj was arrested for an article on the police
activities in Tirana's suburbs. After three days of arrest, he
was fined 500 dollars. With the beginning of the pyramidal
schemes' crisis, the pressure on KOHA JONË increases. In December
1996, the journalists are beaten by the police. On 17 January
1997, our correspondent from Korçë was held in detention and
beaten for 11 days. In the first months of January our
circulation reached the incredible 65 thousand copies, while the
second-highest circulation was of the pro-government daily
"Albania" with 14 thousand copies. Our circulation was even
limited because the printers controlled by the government would
refuse to print more copies.
In the early hours of 2 March 1997, with the proclamation of the

KOHA digest 141.txt


Date: Mon, 24 Mar 1997 09:46:47 +0200

state of emergency, a group of 20 people, which are believed to


be members of the secret police, entered in our premises and
after beating the guard, burned down our building, computers and
all equipment we had. The material damage is worth 225 thousand
US$. Our journalist Zamir Dule who had sleep in the office, was
arrested and interrogated in the police station.
On March 3, journalist Alfred Peza was arrested and kept in
detention a whole day. He was also beaten a couple of times and
interrogated about the ownership of the journal.
For the time being, because of the lack of computers and offices,
KOHA JONË can't be published. It's voice has been stopped. It
calls for help and solidarity.

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(Nikollë Lesi is publisher and director of KOHA JONË)

ALBANIA

FROM CHAOS IN K(A)OS-OVA

by FISNIK ABRASHI / Prishtinë

In 1991, we witnessed the first Albanian exodus after World War


II. People, after the fall of communism in Albania, chose no
means to reach the shores of Italy. The arrival of what was
announced as democracy, found many Albanians in camps for the
clandestine or the streets of Western towns.

Now, six years later, Albania is again facing a situation which


some identify as civil war, while others as anarchy, chaos, etc.
Many things are still unclear, for those who stay and those who
flee. The most important thing is to save your head - seems to
be the motto that explains everything.

Many Kosovars temporarily living in Albania, wished to escape as


soon as the crisis burst. Some of them told us their stories
about the shock they have suffered and which they seem have not
come out from...

Valbona, mother of three children from Prishtinë

The rebels holding three fingers up asked us: "Why are you
leaving Albania?" - whereas the Montenegrin policemen provoked
us: "Which is your fatherland?"

We departed from the Skënderbej square. The fear was huge. We


didn't know whether we could go back home at all. Everyone had
tearing eyes and all were begging the bus driver for the ride.
In a bus with 43 seats, there were 58 of us. People were
standing. We left a large number of Kosovars back there. My
husband and his friends remained there...they can't come back.
The situation in Tirana looked quite normal. People were going
ahead with life as if nothing were happening. The shops were open
and there was more traffic than usual. People in Tirana thought
that nothing was happening down south. Our neighbors were
surprised to see us leave. They told us that we were Kosovars and
as such we should be fearless. We departed at 14,05 and the town
seemed calm. Everything seemed normal up to Fushë Krujë. As soon
as we passed Fushë Krujë, we approached the northern villages.

We reached Laç, and saw many people running as crazy. Immediately


afterwards we heard shooting. There was a group of people right
beside a hill, holding three fingers up and, of course, with

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rifles in their hands. Some of the women in the bus started
panicking. As we saw the three fingers in the air, we didn't know
whether this was Albania or Serbia, whether they would spare us
or kill us. A child wanted to urinate, but the bus driver said
that at no price would he stop. After we passed Laç we came to
the area that I believe was the most dangerous, as regards the
number of weapons in the hands of the people. As we entered
Lezhë, two people with an endelss number of weapons on them,
stopped the bus. One of them entered. He asked whether there was
something for them. He repeated the question three times. He
finally got the reply from the driver: "these are all Kosovars".
He asked why were we leaving. Then he told us that we were lucky.
Half an hour ago Fushë Krujë and Laç went under fire.

After we passed the "checkpoint", while a lot of shooting was


heard, children started crying. I begged them to lie on the
floor, so a flying bullet wouldn't hit them. We escaped. We
reached the border and the Montenegrins took us over. They didn't
make any problems to those whose three months' residence permit
had expired. But, we waited from 20,10 to 21,15. They started
provoking us, asking us which one was our fatherland. We remained
silent. The fear was that they'd return us. A police patrol car
escorted us to Podgorica. When we arrived there, the bus had to
be parked in the police station's parking lot. The driver and
owner of the bus were taken inside. First they took our
passports. Then came the investigating judge together with some
police inspectors. After four hours, the driver came back and we
finally departed to Kosova.

Iliriana, mother from Prishtinë

At Qafëthanë, the rebels let us go with, while the Macedonian


border policemen received us with a crazy smile on their faces.

During the journey we saw armed people who as if saluted us who


were in the bus, by shooting in the air. We didn't notice that
there was any shooting against people or cars that were moving.
The only pressure we had was the noise the shooting caused.
Amongst the armed people, there were too many children, masked
and it seemed as if they pereceived everything as a children's
game.

We had no problems along the road, no one mistreated us. The most
interesting detail was the absence of the Albanian border
policemen, for the cross-point was now controlled by the
"rebels". They let us go without any problems. When we reached
the Macedonian side. The reception was accompanied by their
ironic smiles. It was the first time, though, that we crossed the
border without any rigorous check-up.

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MACEDONIA

THE ETHNIC DEVIL IN MACEDONIA TOO

by SELADIN XHEZAIRI / Shkup

As this issue of KOHA is closing, the Macedonian parliament has


started a debate on inter-ethnic relations which (as tense as
they are) are threatening the stability of the state. The troika
of the European Union (Greece, France and Great Britain)
delivered premier Crvenkovski a declaration that contains the
concern because of the students' protests which "produced anti-
ethnic slogans in Shkup and Tetovë" (the last town is mentioned
in the context of the slogans heard in the meetings that
celebrated the victory of the PPDSH in the local elections in
it).

"The stability and the prosperity of the town is of essential


importance not only for the population in Macedonia, but also for
the security of the region", says the EU Declaration.

Such a pronouncement was preceded by an unexpected visit of


OSCE's High Commissioner for Minorities, Max Van der Stoel, who
met the Macedonian authorities and the Albanian political parties
and whose topic of discussion was mainly the anti-Albanian
demonstrations in Shkup and some other towns in Macedonia, but
also PPDSH's announcements that if the Albanian requests are not
taken into account and if the central government will block the
activities of the municipalities in which this party won the
local elections, then it will make a call for civil disobedience.
In the meeting between Gligorov and Stoel, the Macedonian
president admitted that the protests of the Macedonian students
as well as the developments in the municipalities of Gostivar and
Tetovë could cause the political instability of the country: "To
be honest, I was terrified with the slogans in the first days of
the demonstrations. Some of them were so aggressive that they can
only harm the inter-ethnic relations in this country", declared
Van der Stoel, and in order to establish a balance he continued:
"...as far as I understand, in the manifestations in Tetovë there
were also slogans that don't show much tolerance towards
Macedonians". I believe, he finished, that it is in the interest
of the different ethnic groups to build up this state together,
and instead of offending one-another, they should establish a
dialogue: all parties should respect the laws in force, but also
the rights and obligations that derive from the signed
international documents, including those of human rights...

Initially, it seems that the protests of students were organized


by the ruling party, however in the past days the opposition
parties, especially VMRO-DPMNE openly supported them, although

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Ljupco Georgijevski tried to assure that his party considers that
"all inter-ethnic relations are matter of the governmental
coalition personified in two parties, SDLM and PPD".

The Constitutional Court, by refusing to stop the application of


the Law on the Pedagogical Faculty, has just announced that the
deliberation on the constitutionality and legality of this law
will take place on March 27.

The hunger-strikers at the town's park, in front of the


parliament building are "fed" and protected by the opposition
which is faithful in imposing anticipated elections...

The situation in Albania is followed with great attention by the


Macedonian leadership: last Wednesday, for the second time, the
Ministry of Defense said to have increased the military
preparedness of the armed forces along the border with Albania.
Minister Blagoj Handzinski declared that he had no information
on whether Albanian volunteers from Macedonia had joined the
Albanian state troops. Local Albanian forces besides the initial
support to the political measures undertaken by Berisha, have
made no pronouncement at all.

In the meantime, Minister of Justice, Vlado Popovski, announced


the adoption of the Law on the use of the national symbols of the
nationalities which, according to him, should be different from
their "Mother" countries. Three Albanians in Tetovë (from the
PPDSH) will face charges for flying the Albanian national flag.
Competent organs have said nothing so far about the flag with the
Vergina star that has been flying since some time in Shkup. This
flag was replaced by the actual national flag of Macedonia.
Albanians say that in these cases, the government is mother to
ones and step-mother to others...

KOSOVA

INTERVIEW,

Mahmut BAKALLI, former communist leader of Kosova

"THE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVA AS AN INDEPENDENT STATE AND - FULL STOP"

prepared by ARLINDA DESKU & BEDRI GASHI / Prishtinë

Last Tuesday, by chance it was 11 March - the anniversary of the


'81 demonstrations, which Kosova completely forgot this time. The
guest of the "Faik Konica" School of Journalism was Mahmut
Bakalli, and this was the conversation that took place.

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FK: You claim to the dissatisfied with the actual politics in
Kosova. You share this feeling with many other people in Kosova.
Is national reconciliation necessary in Kosova too, before
something bad happens?

BAKALLI: I know I am not the only dissatisfied with the actual


politics in Kosova in the sense of activities. Politics also
implies acting, it is not only philosophy. I don't believe that
we should proclaim national reconciliation in Kosova, but I
believe that Rugova should call all political parties and
coordinate the work with them. The LDK needs to discuss the
question of coordination with other political forces, including
people outside political parties that could help. But, how should
we convince Rugova to gather all political forces? I don't
believe we should ignore him, on the contrary we should fully
support him. But this is hard to do when he is closed inside. It
is not a matter of national reconciliation, but coordination of
activities of all political forces in Kosova.

FK: Where do you find the guilty for the tragedy Albania is
living?

BAKALLI: It is not time to give evaluations on the blame. It is


time to calm down the situation. This is primary. Intimately I
believe that Berisha and the ruling party are to blame. Not
because they are democrats, but because they have brought the
situation up to here with two things: the snatch of votes and
money. Where these two things occur, there is no democracy. These
two things have occurred during the rule of the DP. I wouldn't
go publicly saying that it is Berisha's fault, because he has an
important role to play in the coming days. All who are doing
something in favor of the stabilization of the country should be
supported.

FK: What is your evaluation of Sali Berisha's reelection?

BAKALLI: Very bad. Why did he have to reelect himself in the most
tragic times in a parliament which is almost of one party, i.e.,
as if it were a central committee? The election could have
waited.

FK: How do you comment the three fingers sign in Albania?

BAKALLI: It is irrational. It could be a misunderstanding,


ignorance, even the direct influence of Greece and Serbia, which
is possible with the images shown on TV - that three fingers mean
protest.

FK: You said: coordination of political activities in Kosova is


necessary, which means that things are not as they should be?

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Then how are you going to go to America? Second, in 1992 there
was an initiative for national reconciliation. Berisha has done
it, without including us. What is your opinion?

BAKALLI: You are right about the question regarding America, for
practically there is no agreement between political forces. There
will be 5-6 of us as individuals or as representatives of
political parties. We must coordinate things before going there.
Regarding you second question. National reconciliation as a
notion, as an idea, as an aspiration is something different from
what Berisha's program foresees. I don't agree with the name the
agreement in Albania has. National reconciliation is a matter of
the people in a historical process which should involve all
societal, political and intellectual forces. National
reconciliation can't be done with the decision of a political
organ. Another term should have been found.

In our case in Kosova, I believe that several steps should be


taken before. I am referring to political consensus. When I say
Rugova should gather the forces and coordinate them, I don't say
that he should do national reconciliation, because that is not
in his hands. National reconciliation is a process and it is in
the hands of the people. However, I also believe that political
consensus is an important step towards national reconciliation.

FK: You said that conditions for friendly relations with the
neighboring countries should be created, How much has your
generation worked in this direction in favor of our generation?

BAKALLI: We have always worked on this, but unfortunately, it was


covered with a wafer called "brotherhood and unity",
ideologically burdened. The truth is that our whole generation
was in favor of good understanding between people. We have
invested a lot on understanding. How come it fell apart so fast?
Because of the ideology, the Serbian hegemony. This is why the
coming generations should make efforts to affirm understanding
between people, but not burdened with violence, threats and
pressure. The only happy people is the one that is not burdened
with hatred and xenophobia.

FK: On 11 March 1981, the students of the University of Kosova


asked for the Republic of Kosova. Why didn't the leadership of
Kosova then support the students, but rather tortured and
offended them?

BAKALLI: I didn't support them. I still think as I did then


although history could prove me wrong. I am not slave to history
nor am I its author. I am a creator of history and as such I must
take the good and bad things. I believe that the 11 March
demonstrations had no determined political formulation. Political

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requests came later. I still believe that the '81 demonstrations
were not welcome, because they deteriorated the position, not of
the leadership, but of Kosova as a constituent of the federation.
I believe that the demonstrations could have waited, but I also
believe that the demonstrators shouldn't have been beaten either.
This is why I demanded in the Provincial Committee the creation
of a state commission that would punish those who used the force.
The leadership didn't support the demonstrators because they
believed that they were doing no good to our people. I didn't
agree with the demonstrations, but neither with the draconic
measures of Serbia and Yugoslavia against the Albanian people.
This is why I resigned from all political functions I had.

FK: How much will the tragic events in Albania influence the
national question in Kosova?

BAKALLI: It weakens Kosova's position even more, but I don't


believe that the methods of unrest will be reflected here. We
must ourselves choose the methods that would help us accelerate
the solution of our question. It is not good that our methods of
struggle are represented by someone else on TVSH, be it Ismail
Kadare, because this is a matter of the political parties in
Kosova. The place of political action must have visions, because
politics without vision is bad politics. But also only visions
without the support of political reality can only turn into
illusions.

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