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Koha Digest # 51

EDITORIAL

THE SIX YEARS OLD SERBIAN STATE

by VETON SURROI

Then I understood that Shukrie had gone downtown to buy a pair of shoes, and I can imagine
now, six years after, her feeling, the emotion of a sixteen years old girl facing the chance to
buy new shoes.

When the day ended, she did not have shoes nor life, and she was resting in the morgue. She
was accompanied by Ismet who was coming back home from work. Passing by the Llap
Mosque in Prishtina, he entered the tear-gas smoke and didn't come out from it alive. Their
houses were full of mourning which has not passed yet. If you carefully listen to the soil of
Kosova, you will hear the sobbing of hundreds and hundreds of killed children, young people,
women, men, who were guilty of being Albanian. You will also hear the last cry of six years'
old children in Zhur, who instead of playing at their school-yard, ended with Kalashnykov
bullets in their chests.

I know that in the evenings of the end of that March, six years ago, the Serbian regime didn't
fear to demonstrate its terror. In Ferizaj, the police forced young men and women to climb a
bus, had their hands cuffed to the seats and beat them up, with the calmness of an
auto-mechanic who is working on the sheet-iron of a car.

Last week, the Serbian government again reminded us of what we haven't forgotten, the date
they chose to install the direct control of Serbia over Kosova. At the same time, it reminded
us of the symbols it identifies with, and ultimately the totalitarian sarcasm which forced the
owners of shops to close them down. "You are forced to celebrate", the message was. Two
years ago, in Omarska and Manjaca in Bosnia, the Bosniac detainees were forced to sing
while their mates were being beaten by Karadzic's soldiers. And even though it hasn't gone so
far in Kosova, the parallel illustration would be that of the Jews' orchestra in Auschwitz,
which musically accompanied the convicts to the death ovens.

However macabre it might be, maybe it is good that this government celebrates this date. The
history of the Serbian people contains dates like the insurrection against the Ottoman
conqueror, the dates when semi-autonomies, or autonomies were set, or even the day when
liberation from the occupier came. But no, the selected date was that of occupation, that of
violence, that of the killing of children. The weakest foundation of the construction of the
modern society, the foundation of crime, of oppression, was chosen as the celebration day of
Serbia's statehood. Such seeds, it was said in pre-Bible times, will not yield anything good.
And this has been proven so far in the Former Yugoslavia, and will be seen in the future on

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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the real territory of those who celebrated last week.

KOSOVA

AWAITING FOR "SABOR"

by YLBER HYSA & ASTRIT SALIHU / Prishtina

Last week's trumpeted enthusiasm about the celebration of the "meeting of all Serbs" in
Kosova, seems to have lost its tune. Following the last consultative meeting, on March 24, in
Belgrade, where the organizers discussed the chances to organize and define the meeting, they
seem to have reached a dead end. In the previous consultations, the intention was to have the
meeting take place either in the Patriarchy of Peja or Graçanica Monastery on April 8. There
are also many other uncertainties: who will the participants be, what will be the
representation, and finally, what will the character of the convention be. It seems that
definitive answers were not found and rumors are that the SPS Presidency has even opposed
and criticized the celebration of such an event. Some analysts consider this as a manoeuvring
to prolong the event which does not please the Serbian government, and even the general
constellation of the relations between Serbs on both sides of the Drina, dictated by the recent
pressure of the West for the mutual recognition of the former Yugoslav republics.

Anyhow, the impression is that the regime is not satisfied with the celebration of such an
event. It is even said that the President of the Serbian Government, Marijanovic, was not in a
mood to receive the organizers, after the consultative meeting they had, and it is still unclear
what is the Serbian Orthodox Church's posture in this respect, especially having in mind that
the convention must take place in one of the churches in Kosova. If Seselj keeps the promises
made last week, then his followers will meet at the Patriarchy on April 7. Seselj is insisting in
creating an image of a insurgent who does not respect the decision of the others, especially of
the government, and he could do this, if he gets due support.

Asked by KOHA to comment on the recent developments, one of the main organizers of the
Serbian Movement of Resistance, Dusko Ristic, says that there is still no date and that it will
be postponed for at least one more week. In regard to our question whether the meeting was
banned by the authorities, Ristic replied: "...we haven't received any ban", alluding clearly
that as long as the ban is not in writing, it will not count as such and it will not be respected
by the members of the SMR!

Such a manoeuvring of the old Kosova Serb politician suggests clearly that the game will be
played until the courtain goes down. Even more, having in mind that the public statement of
the Serbian government and the ruling party would create a very advanced image of the SMR
and the event proper. Finally, having the ban in writing means that it is much easier to trade
anything and plan new moves.

Differing from his colleague, Momcilo Trajkovic replies directly to our question and says that
their meeting can't be banned by the government, especially knowing that "...this is not a
manifestation, but a consultative meeting". SPS should mind its own business and it can't ban
our meeting. We are aiming at bringing in 100 capable personalities to discuss about Kosova.

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Asked whether the meeting will be postponed, Trajkovic says that the attempts are to
organize it on April 8, "otherwise it can eventually be postponed for another week", adding
that they are manoeuvring with the issue and that postponing or stalling the matter favors
them a lot!

How will the "gathering" or "consultation" of all Serbs look like, remains to be seen next
week. However, even according to the words of the organizers proper, all of this will be
defined in Belgrade, on March 31.

Nevertheless, the tactics of the organizers to keeping the tensions, in times when they aim to
promote a "national consensus on Kosova" and even a "new national program", could have its
logic. But, "mutiny" could also be logical. It could bring a new image which would be
grounded on the non-respect of the eventual decisions of the government they criticize.
Although, even then, the suspicion about the double game of the regime could not be evaded!

MEMORANDUM

NEW SERBIAN MEMORANDUM ON KOSOVA

by GORDANA IGRIC / AIM / Belgrade

The new Serbian memorandum is being prepared. Differing from the very famous one, of the
Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, which offered Milosevic the ideological basis for the
warring and national campaign, the new one is not causing any tensions, while the regime in
Serbia is not even paying attention to it. It refers to a special kind of a "project on Kosova",
which will be elaborated by academician Miodrag Jovicic, historian Rados Ljubicic and law
professor, Kosta Cavoski. The nationalistic opposition bloc gave them the task to offer a
"solution" to the Kosova-Serb issue. If it is accepted by eminent Serbian personalities in
Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia and Bosnia, it is foreseen that a meeting will be celebrated at
Graçanica Monastery on April 8.

The old activists of the SMR, Solevic, Trajkovic or Bulatovic, know that this time, there will
be no reply to their cries from the old patron, as it was ten years ago. They decided to not visit
the socialists "starting from Milomir Minic to Zoran Andjelkovic", but to instead rely on the
friendly parties, such as the Democratic Party, the Serbian Democratic Party and, of course,
the Radicals. Judged upon the reactions of the different political actors, the memorandum
which being prepared, will serve as grounds for the "bloc fractionizing" within the Serbian
ind.

Representatives of the Democratic, Serbian Democratic and Radical parties attended a


meeting with the members of the SMR in Belgrade on April 17, and thus their postures in
regard to the Memorandum are almost identical. KOHA approached the port-parole of the
Serbian Democratic Party who said: "In the future, we see Serbia as a state of ten regions, of
economic equality, where human rights would be guaranteed according to the world's
criterions. Five years ago, Milosevic offered a lot. He did nothing, but sending the police
there. The economy is destroyed, which does not affect the Albanians who are concentrated
on the program of the Republic of Kosova. If we could gather 100 people to discuss about the
Memorandum, we would be happy, and organize a symbolic meeting Graçanica. The idea is

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not to have a big meeting, because we don't want the Albanians to take this as a
demonstration of Serbs. The project, among others, is an offer for Albanians to think about. It
is a fact that Milosevic does not offer them anything".

The port-parole of the Democratic Party, Slobodan Vuksanovic, talking about the posture of
his party, says that all forces should join to solve the issue of Kosova. "We accept the
invitation of our compatriots from Kosova, who are asking for our help, of forces in power or
opposition, to solve their problem", says Vuksanovic. "The Memorandum, however, must be
a product of different ideas with joint and basic postures: that each state should defend its
integrity, including Serbia, that the equality of all citizens should be assured and that all those
who don't respect the state and law should suffer the consequences.

The ruling party refuses to comment on the events in Kosova, and it has been closing it eyes
before what is happening, even though it got to power thanks to it. This we interpret as
incapability and absurd stalling. We believe that this problem should be solved immediately,
before something eventually happens. If this event takes place, it will be a meeting and not a
demonstration".

The announced Memorandum, is differently experienced by the members of the Serbian


Renewal Movement (SPO). Ivan Kovacevic says that the situation is as the SMR members
present it, but...

- Their connection to the parties which embody the option of war in Serbia, represents
pouring fuel on the fire which has captivated Kosova since long ago - says Kovacevic. "To
them, Kosova is only a spare field of war where warring slogans would be cried-out. In regard
to the situation, Kosova is a divided society and communicates only through blackmail and
corruption. Our party considers that it is necessary to establish a dialogue and thus prevent
Kosova's conversion into a new focus of crisis in the Balkans. The regime is ignoring this
issue, in the same way it is ignoring the other problems which do not belong to only one
party, or do not represent a nostalgia for the past times of the Communists".

Dr. Zarko Korac, from the Civic League of Serbia, sees the elaboration of the Memorandum
as the continuation of the catastrophic policy, which has already been defeated in Bosnia and
Croatia. According to him, now a new energy is trying to be mobilized in Kosova.

"The solution of relations between Serbia and Kosova lies on the modernization of the
socieaty and the respect of human rights and freedoms. No archaic meetings of national
leaders, the self-proclaimed defensors of Serbianism, will bring any good. The misery we are
facing today, will be even worse in the future - says Korac - the Socialists, ie. the state,
ignores their aims right now, sure that they are strongly holding power in Kosova and Serbia.
In regard to the nationalist opposition leaders in Belgrade, some of them are nationalists by
conviction, and some think that endangered Serbianism is a theme which could produce votes
in elections.

Analyzing the political strength of the SMR activists, Korac claims that they are marginalized
as of now, since they don't have the regime backing them up. "It was a marginal political
movement ten years ago, but it got the political strength from the government. If the same
protagonists wouldn't have been supported then, many things would have looked differently
today. It is evident that they are lacking force, and they will not harm the actual regime, even
though this is the basis of their whole activity. It is known that all political parties were

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invited to meet with them. We are happy to know that they have evaluated our political
positions as different to their own, and therefore they didn't send us any invitation", concludes
Korac his analysis.

Even though, according to what Trajkovic declared to "Borba", SMR would be the happiest if
the government would solve Kosova's problem, it was precisely the government that didn't
reply to their invitation. Prime-minister Marijanovic was first invited, and then asked to
receive the delegation, but there was no reply in both cases. Unfortunately, KOHA didn't
manage to get any statements from SPS activists Ivica Dacic, Goran Percevic and Borisav
Jovic about the SPS viewpoint on the announced Memorandum.

INTERVIEW

LORD DAVID OWEN, Co-Chairman of the ICFY

"SECESSION WILL NOT BE ACKNOWLEDGED"

Interviewed by VISAR REKA / Geneva

"Lord Owensky" is how the UE representative at the ICFY, and its co-Chairman, known
nowadays. Some circles of the American State Department call him thus, because of, as
rumoured, his extremely sympathetic attitude towards Serbia and Russia in the attempts to
solve the crises in the Former Yugoslavia. When he was appointed to this post, he was tagged
as anti-Serb by the Serbian circles, because of this "aggressive statements against Serbia" at
the British parliament. Now, when his statements, "Americans stopped the Vance-Owen
agreement, as well as peace in Bosnia and Herzegovina", have caused reactions among the
American circles, in some diplomatic circles he is considered as one of few diplomats who
can drink whisky with Milosevic in Pozarevac.

Still strong in his post, Owen is mentioned as the strong European candidate to replace
NATO Secretary General, Willy Klaes, is case of his withdrawal, due to the scandal of the
purchase of Italian helicopters for Belgium.

Lord Owen accepted to be interviewed by KOHA in exclusive, after many unfulfilled


promises.

KOHA: It seems that the Balkans crisis is reaching a critical point. How do you evaluate the
actual moment?

OWEN: So far we have had four wars: the Serb-Croat, from 1991, then the war between the
Bosnian government, comprised of the referendum coalition between Muslims and Croats
against Serbs, from spring 1992 up to early spring 1993. Then came the third war, between
Croats and Muslims, which ended in spring 1994, when the present war between Serbs and
Muslims in Bosnia which has all chances to unite the Croats and Muslims in a joint war
against Serbs. All these wars take place inside the former Yugoslavia and, with the exemption
of Bihac, inside the borders of the former Yugoslav republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Therefore, the Balkans war was prevented, in the same way the preventive forces were sent to
FYROM, which has influenced pretty much the restraint of war. However, political problems

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in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosova, and partially in Shkup are not solved yet.

KOHA: What do you think, which is the fundamental problem, the solution of which would
positively change all the rest?

OWEN: The main thing is that minorities which are inside the states, i.e., Serbs in Croatia
and Bosnia and Albanians in Serbia and FYROM, should accept that they can't secede and
that should accept the autonomy.

The political autonomy for minorities inside the states is a conflictive issue. We in Britain,
have still not solved the issues of Scotland and Northern Ireland. There are similar problems
in the world. Let's take, for example, the problem of Checehnya, which is trying to secede
from Russia. No one can claim that these are simple problems to solve. The biggest problem
is how to assure the legitimate right for autonomies and at the same time not to have this
autonomy incite appetites for secession. I believe that the first step is dialogue between the
ones who wish to secede and the ones who deny it, and this exactly means that we are missing
dialogue in Kosova. We had a short dialogue, when Primer-minister Panic, myself and Vance
were in Kosova. However, as you know, Stoltenberg and myself have attempted to organize a
meeting between Albanian leaders, i.e., Rugova and Serbia's President Milosevic.
Unfortunately, we didn't succeed, and I understand why it couldn't be. Anyhow, I am
convinced that these issues can't be solved from a distance and that a face-to-face dialogue is
the best way to try and find a solution.

KOHA: Were there any concrete steps towards the organization of the meeting between
Rugova and Milosevic? As far as it is known, Milosevic accepts to meet with Rugova, but
under his conditions...

OWEN: It is inevitable to have a dialogue take place in the way acceptable for both sides. I
don't wish to speak about details, but we have made may attempts within ICFY to make this
meeting take place. I don't think this is the moment to say why it did not happen so far, but I
believe that the leaders must meet - an not confront each other, they must listen to
one-another, but this must happen in a favorable moment and time. The truth is, Milosevic is
not against dialogue, on the contrary he doesn't spare time every time it is necessary to talk. In
this aspect, I can't complain. What I should stress and which I consider an essential political
dilemma is that the secessionists want that kind of an autonomy which will by all means lead
towards secession, while the unionists offer that little autonomy, which will guarantee its
permanence within the state.

KOHA: In your opinion, how could compromise solutions be found in Kosova, if both parties
have diametrally opposite postures?

OWEN: The international community is clear when claiming that secession is not acceptable.
The secession of the "Republic of Serbian Krajina" from Croatia, will not be acknowledged,
nor will the secession of the "Republika Srpska" from Bosnia be acknowledged and finally
Kosova's secession from Serbia and the Albanians' from FYROM, will not be acknowledged.

KOHA: Once FYROM mentioned, three years of conversations there didn't give any results,
and this situation is often used as proof that conversations in the Balkans can't bring much...

OWEN: This ascertainment is not that correct. FYROM had a census organized, there were

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free elections and Gligorov, even though he was not forced, because he won the absolute
majority, accepted a determined number of Albanians in the coalition government. There are
still problems in FYROM with the use of language and education in one's mother tongue,
which are legitimate rights of Albanians. For example, I speak Welsh and in Britain this
language is one of the languages of studies from elementary to superior education. I believe
that FYROM should find an acceptable solution. We tried to solve the problem of education
in Kosova too, and unfortunately we didn't achieve a thing. For the time being, there are not
favorable conditions to resume the talks about education in Kosova.

KOHA: You often speak of the need to have a global solution. Wouldn't Kosova be a suitable
issue to be treated along with all the rest, because Albanians fear that after the solution of the
issues of Croatia and Bosnia, Kosova will be given to Milosevic as a reward for his
cooperation in regard to Bosnia and Croatia?

OWEN: I very well understand the disappointment and scepticism of the Kosovans, because
the world right now is centered in keeping UN forces in Croatia, where the main purpose is to
evade the renewal of the conflict between Serbia and Croatia. Following this issue, it is a
priority to extend the truce in Bosnia-Herzegovina. I would have understood Rugova, if he
were here today telling me that the world has forgotten you. Right now, I am preoccupied
with issues of priority, however ICFY is conscious of the obligations which it has taken in the
Former Yugoslavia. I also hope that rhetoric in Prishtina will be more practical and that there
will be an attempt to have the problems solved one by one, education being one of them.
ICFY is, according to the London Conference principles, obliged, and Kosova is one of the
problems it must solve. Kosova is part of Serbia and in this way it is its internal problem,
however, Kosova's problem is at the same time an international problem. Some states of the
world will not normalize the relations with Serbia even after the problems in Croatia and
Bosnia are solved, and they have made this clear. ICFY is becoming more active and trying to
help the processes in Serbia and FYROM. Our doors are always opened to dialogue with
Rugova.

KOHA: The Albanians' historic experience from international conferences is bitter, because
they have come out from all the previous ones as the harmed party, not being able to achieve
their aspirations?

OWEN: This is the dilemma that Serbs in Croatia are facing. The dilemma is whether they
are willing to talk about autonomy and not secession. They must make up their mind about
either. The Scottish nationalists and Sinn Fein are facing the same dilemma. I can't stop
anyone's aspirations, they are in the hearts and they can't be just stopped. However, in
practical politics, Albanians should decide whether they are willing to live in Serbia.
Naturally, the context and the way of life in Serbia are things to be discussed.

KOHA: In the three years you have spent in the ICFY, it has been many times said, that
Krajina's model would be applicable in Kosova.

OWEN: I don't believe such parallelism exists. One of the reasons why Former Yugoslavia
fell apart is that the interests of its peoples were so different, and Albanians were not a
constituent people of the former SFRY, Albanians had an autonomy and I believe that there
must be talks, in Serbia, about the political autonomy of Albanians.

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KOSOVA

THE (COUNTER) ARGUMENT OF WAR

by B.H. / Prishtina

So far camouflaged and said euphemistically, the new Serbian solution for Kosova, finally
became open. Declaring that without war, Albanians can't win freedom, self-determination
and independence, proves that the Serbs have accepted the fact that Albanians have the right
to independence, self-determination and secession from Serbia. This fact is not denied by
Serbian leaders, on the contrary, it is openly declared and suggested that "freedom" is reached
only on the battle-front and with military means, and asking why shouldn't this be applicable
in the case of Albanians who wish to secede from Serbia. This ascertainment was read three
times in the Albanian media, on three different occasions, and in three statements of
representatives of three Serbian political parties. First, it was Djindjic from the opposition
who said it, then it was Markovic, ideologue of the ruling SPS and finally Trajkovic, from the
"Serbian Movement of Resistance". All of them say that "Kosova Republic - is a warring
option" or "if you wish to achieve what you have declared yourself in favor of, then start an
insurrection", or "self-determination can't be achieved without force", etc.!

As if there were no doubts that Kosova must be freed, but they suggest the political means
where they are superior - war.

For Albanians, according to ordinary comments, this is a faraway option, for two reasons: our
determination to reach freedom peacefully and the lack of possibilities to fight a Serbian army
which is well armed and trained. They don't have the argument of the dialogue, but the
argument of force...

The Serbian disclosure of the key of war, of the revisited ascertainment that - war and force
are omnipotent arguments, strengthens the Albanian conviction that no understanding should
be expected from Serbs, because they are deeply convinced of what Cosic once said: "Serbs
lose in peace, and win in war". Since we won't have a war (we can't or don't want to have
it???) with weapons, then maybe we must change our political activities and organizations we
have had so far, for some consider them to be concentrated on illusions and false hopes about
massive support from abroad, and while according to others, represent the only path (in lack
of power): "it is longer, but safe"!

Has this helped us become inert, immune to repression, to colonization of Kosova, getting
used to this life... to feel disappointed or maybe even hope?

Them, one party will claim: this could destroy us much more easily, even without the formal
declaration of war by Serbia. The other side will, nevertheless, say: for the time being, Serbia
can do whatever it wants, but it will not win...

It seems as if the same arguments are valid for the Serbian side too. One part of it thinks that
they will never lose Kosova, because Albanians can't fight, the other side claims that
Albanian adapt easily and take advantage of any pore and space for survival.

Despite the dilemmas, the arguments of both sides remain on their own balanced rails...

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It is not an original discovery. War and Peace are also dilemmas of the literary masters, aren't
they?

KOSOVA - USA

"FREE KOSOVA"

by LINDITA IMAMI / Washington

"Free Kosova and recognize Kosova - U.S.A." were the most often heard slogans of the
participants of the demonstrations organized by the Albanian community in the US and
Canada last week in Washington. The purpose of the demonstration, according to the
organizers, was to request the recognition of Kosova as an independent and neutral state and
exert more pressure on the American officials to undertake steps to solve the problems in the
Former Yugoslavia.

The manifestation, with an estimate of 6 thousand participants from New York, Boston,
Detroit and other towns, started at 11 o'clock at Lafayette Park, in front of the White House.
"This demonstration, first of all, proves the unity of the Albanian diaspora in the USA", said
Mustafë Demalija, one of the organizers. All Albanian political subjects participated in the
organization of the demonstration, and this was one of the biggest successes of the organizers.

After singing the Albanian and American anthems, the participants were addressed by
Rrustem Ibraj, Chairman of the LDK-New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, by Anton
Kqira from Saint Paul's Albanian Catholic Church in Detroit and Imam Isa Hoxha from the
New York mosque. The topics were the escalated repression in Kosova and the need to
include Kosova in all discussions and solution of the conflicts in the Former Yugoslavia.
"Our parents were forced our from their towns inhabited by Albanians for thousands of years,
the beauty and their lands and come to the USA", read a letter of the Albanian youth of the
USA, reminding the majority of the participants of their roots.

Rugova's letter to the participants was also read in the manifestation. In it, he thanked the
American Congress and several senators and congressmen for the support they have given
Kosova since 1986. Rugova also greeted President Clinton and his administration for the
efforts to prevent the eventual conflict in Kosova. "I am fully convinced that with your help
and the peaceful resistance full of sacrifice of the people of Kosova, we will more rapidly
reach independence, freedom and democracy of Kosova", concludes his letter Dr. Rugova.

Another letter was read on that occasion. Hafiz Gagica, Chairman of the collegium of the
LDK branches in the diaspora said: "The contribution of Albanians in the USA for the
Albanian question, especially Kosova, which has become a symbol of national resistance, was
great. The fact that you have gathered today in Washington and are asking the USA and the
international community to recognize the Republic of Kosova, shows that in the future too,
you will be a strong column of our national issue". Mentioning the success of the
demonstrations in different parts of Europe, Gagica finalized his letter by saying: "We, the
ones abroad, will be a strong column of our people".

In the first part of the gathering in front of the White House, letters of representatives Engel

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and Molinari, co-founders of the Congress Group on Kosova were distributed. It was a call
directed to other colleagues in the Congress to participate in the demonstrations and support
the requests of Albanians and their peaceful policy. "This gathering expresses our solidarity
with the Kosovans and the attempts of that people to reinstall the basic human rights. USA
should not stand passive while the quiet ethnic cleansing of Kosova continues", says Engel in
his letter.

Afterwards, the participants started marching from the White House towards the Capitol.
According to passers-by, Pennsylvania Ave. had never experienced such a huge
demonstration. Some of the participants were yelling, some of them were holding posters,
mainly in English, while the others just walked down quietly.

Thirteen hours to travel from Chicago to Washington. "I am here to ask for a free Kosova, for
the rights of Albanians anywhere they are", says Drita Kelmendi, who travelled with her
whole family for five hours to reach Washington from New York. "I came here to ask for
freedom of my brothers and sisters who are inhumanly treated by Serbs in Kosova", says
Fatmire Sulejmani while marching towards the Capitol. The family was born in Detroit, yet
everybody speaks Albanian because of the father. When asked about the effects of the
demonstration, she said: "The Congress today knows more about Kosova than it used to".

However, the demonstration became a "real spectacle in front of the Capitol", as Sinan
Kamberaj, Editor in Chief of Illyria would say. The participants were addressed by Sue Kelly,
Susan Molinari, Benjamin Gilman, Tom Lantos and Eliot Engel. "In the past 6 years Kosova
has lived through a terrible violence, bloodshed and economic discrimination", said Kelly, the
representative who beat Joe DioGuardi in the recent elections. Mentioning the children, as the
main victims of repression in Kosova, she said: "135 children were killed in Kosova and 60
thousand others were expelled from schooling just because of the national appertaining. The
USA, as the only super-power should make efforts to solve Kosova's problem, before it
becomes a more serious Balkans crisis". Kelly promised that she will sign the Bill on Kosova
and will cooperate with the Albanian leaders, so the Albanian people could achieve its rights
and have a better and secure future.

"Mirëdita", was the way in which Ben Gilman started his speech. Expressing his respect for
the Kosova leaders and their efforts to realize the rights of their people, Gilman said: "Once
deprived of all rights as an ethnic group, Albanians joined under the leadership of Dr.
Rugova, who is determined to achieve the aspiration of his people through a peaceful
resistance and we are here to show our support". Gilman expressed his preoccupation about
the situation in Kosova and the possibility of the escalation of tensions. "International
economic sanctions against Serbia should continue as long as Serbia does not fulfil the
legitimate aspirations of the Albanians, the rights they had before Yugoslavia fell apart".
Gilman also stressed the importance of the return of the OSCE mission to Kosova and
promised that he will continue to support the rights and dignity of the Kosova Albanians.

At 16,00 hrs., the majority referred to this moment as the "culmination" of the
demonstrations, the mass gathered was addressed by Rep. Susan Molinari. Moved by the way
she was received, Molinari evaluated the manifestations as a very important act. "It is very
important that we are gathered here today to remind the cradle of democracy, to wake up the
Congress, White House and State Department, ironically enough, on the sixth anniversary of
the start of Serbian violence in Kosova. Unfortunately, these six years of violence passed by
six years of silence of Washington. This administration does not understand that the price the

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Albanians are paying to safeguard the democratic infrastructure is too high. Now, it is time to
act", said Molinari. She also stressed that the actual administration will not be allowed to lift
the sanctions against Serbia without having solved Kosova's problem and without reinstalling
human rights in Kosova. "Thank you for allowing me to be part of your efforts for
democracy", concluded Molinari.

The participants were also addressed by Congressman Tom Lantos. "We will support a free
and independent Kosova", reminding them of the fact that the Albanian people had many
supporters at the Congress. He promised that he will fight for the civil and political rights and
freedoms of Albanians.

Eliot Engel, on the other hand, informed the participants that he had just presented the Bill
called The Act on Human Rights and Democracy in Kosova, where lifting the sanctions
against Serbia is conditioned with four elements: to have Kosova as a separate entity where
the Kosovans will have the right to self-determination or the creation of an international
trusteeship, then the improvement of the human rights situation, the return of the OSCE
mission and finally have Kosova's government function and fulfil its legitimate mandate in
Kosova. Joking, he said: "When the Republic of Kosova will be recognized finally, I will be
its first Ambassador. While my Bronx electorate came from Kosova, I will go from Bronx to
Kosova". At the end, he read Bujar Bukoshi's letter meant for the participants. Bukoshi said
that 6 years of suffering of the Albanian people have only found the silence of the
international organizations and the West. "It is time to act. The demonstrations are only an
expression of frustration towards inactivity. These not only express a protest against the
violations of human rights in Kosova by the Serbian regime, but also an expression of support
of the right to self-determination, for a free people of Kosova in its own state, the
independent, neutral and democratic Republic of Kosova".

Not having the possibility to attend the meeting personally, Senators Bob Dole and Alfonse
D'Amato sent a letter each. Mentioning that only the equal rights of Albanians in Macedonia
and the successful developments in Albania should be taken into account, Dole further says:
"Your thoughts and prayers are with the two million Albanians, who live under oppression
since the past six years. We shall not allow their suffering to be forgotten. Your presence her
today reminds that 2 million Albanians in Kosova deserve to be freed from repression".
Stressing the need to have Albanian involved in all international negotiations for the solution
of the crisis in the former Yugoslavia and the conditioning of lifting the embargo against
Serbia with the situation in Kosova, he added: "I support you aims. USA should support
freedom".

Senator D'Amato describes the suffering and sacrifice of Kosova Albanians in his letter, and
requests from the American administration to make it clear to the Serbian regime that it will
not tolerate the Serbian occupation of Kosova.

Musa Daka, Chairman of the Organizing Council of the demonstrations, evaluated them thus:
"It is the first time that independence of Kosova and its secession from Serbia is requested.
Before, there were only requests for the respect of human rights". On the other hand, Rrustem
Ibraj declared to KOHA: "The demonstrations were successful and we organized them at the
right time. We were treated as we should have by the American officials and media. The most
important thing is that we were unique. This proves our new organizing maturity, and we
should be happy and proud of it".

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MACEDONIA

ARENS IN SHKUP AGAIN

by SELADIN XHEZAIRI / Shkup

As it was announced, the ICFY representative in charge of (inter)ethnic issues, Gert Arens,
made the representatives of the Macedonian government and the Albanian political parties sit
together around a negotiating table. On Thursday, at the MPs' Club, the conversations lasted
over five hours; they were held behind closed doors; and at the end, on behalf of everybody,
Arens spoke to the journalists about the "excellent atmosphere" which characterized the
three-party convention. In fact, he said, three issues were supposed to be on the agenda:
education, the use of languages and the system of local self-administration, however, the
absence of ministers of determined sectors, centered the attention on educational problems.
According to Arens, the "differences between the parties have decreased", but he has no
further explanation to give in this regard, leaving this for April, when the continuation of the
conversations is expected.

Asked briefly by KOHA whether the University of Tetova was on the agenda, ICFY's
representative replied: "You know, I asked the Minister of Education, Emilija Simoska, to tell
us about her plans about superior education. She told us her opinion and presented the plan
about the Pedagogical Faculty. This was more or less all of it. We did not speak of Tetova
concretely. One of the Albanians asked what will happen with the students attending that
University, but we didn't discuss this matter. And I will tell you, that the Group that I am
leading did not deal with this issue. Albanians did not approach us before, during nor after the
foundation of the University. I said this in public. I read in the newspapers that I had met
Fadil Sulejmani, however I never did. Then, I had a chance to see him for five minutes.
Again, I read in the newspaper that I had promised the Albanians a University in Albanian!
This is a pure invention!

When reminded that the problem exists, that people are in prison and that the issue remains
open, Arens replied: "I hope that the announced path to be followed by the Minister of
Education will soften a bit the problem. In regard to prison, we did not discuss it and as far as
I know, the issue is now in the hands of justice...", concluded Arens.

ICFY's representative tried to clarify some of his previous statements which were evaluated
by the public, as well as local politicians as contradictory, but it seems that the same
impression remained even afterwards: at the beginning he said that his group proposed the
change of some articles of the constitution, and when asked which would the articles be, he
answered "I haven't asked the change of the Constitution". It is also his opinion that the
federalization of Macedonia, the creation of an autonomy within the state, its development as
a bi-national state, would be very dangerous: Macedonia, he said, must be a civilian state
where everybody will be equal and where nobody will be discriminated. However, Arens
again stated that the multi-national composition of the state is not an extreme issue.

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MACEDONIA

THE FOREIGN OFFICE OPEN ITS DOORS TO ALITI

by GËZIM GURI / London

The Chairman of the PPD, Abdurrahman Aliti, was invited by the Foreign Office to visit
London last week. This was Aliti's first visit to the British Foreign Office and Great Britain,
historically one of the European great powers, the role of which, remains indisputable in the
solution or complication of regional conflicts.

The British foreign policy is know traditionally by its pragmatism. Many political
commentators think that the best solution for London is the one that causes less problems, in
which aspirations or hopes of third parties might be sacrificed, and whose role is never
respected in the preservation of the balance of forces. Usually, the British diplomacy has
always supported morally those personalities, forces or political groupings which don't see
violence as a way to realize their aspirations, but instead insist on dialogue with the party or
parties which in other situations would have talked to "with the language of weapons".

London kept the same posture in the case of the Republic of Macedonia, too, where the
inter-ethnic conflicts are potentially as explosive as in other parts of the Former Yugoslavia.
If the conflict didn't explode because of internal reasons, since its obligatory importation by
any political force can't be prevented, this forced, above all, the moderate attitude of the
political leaders of nationalities which comprise this multi-ethnic state, i.e., the Albanian
political subject in Macedonia.

London considers Abdurrahman Aliti to be the "director" of the moderate posture of


Albanians in FYROM, and this is why he was personally invited to visit one of the main
capitals of Europe, and this is seen as a sign of high evaluation of his peaceful policy and a
guarantee of the Albanian side, at least his followers, that Albanians will follow this path.

This was the axis of almost all meetings he had last week and which culminated with the
meetings with Deputy Foreign Minister, Richardson, and Secretary of State, Hogg.

In the meeting with Hogg, which lasted almost one hour, Aliti informed the high British
official about the recent developments in Macedonia, and especially after the opening of the
University of Tetova in Albanian, as well as the main requests of the Albanian political
subject in this republic, as are the official use of the Albanian language and script and the
possibility to have superior studies in Albanian. Hogg supported the moderate posture of the
PPD and the path it chose to solve these requests.

"We are interested to find solutions to the yet not solved problems, including superior studies
in Albanian", Hogg was quoted saying. He expressed his unreserved support to Van Der
Stohl's proposal to create an open University where lecturing would not only be in Albanian,
but also in English and Macedonian, a suggestion which Aliti and his followers have accepted
as a compromise solution, acceptable for the Albanian subjects and the Macedonian
authorities.

"Great Britain, has several times, warned the Macedonian authorities to respect the human
rights of the minorities which live in this republic, including Albanians, and it will be even

- 13 -
more energetic in the future", Hogg said to his Albanian friend from Macedonia, assuring him
that their full integration in the political, administrative and statal life is one of the priorities
of the British foreign policy in the region.

The Albanian leadership in Macedonia came back home with these new international
guarantees, which could be interpreted by the extremist Albanian circles as following blindly
the counsels of the West to achieve peace in the region and not fulfil one own's requests.

However, Aliti is calm when replying that he doesn't pay attention to those voices, but he is
determined to find a solution by having a dialogue with official Shkup, because of the great
responsibility his party, the largest representing Albanians, has in FYROM. Without dialogue,
there is not step forward.

Anyhow, keeping extremist elements in the Macedonian political movement, but also the
Albanian movement, under control, remains a priority, said Aliti, who is treated by Western
circles as a politician who trusts and can be trusted. At least this is the impression he gave
while in London.

MACEDONIA

BABY DEMOCRACY

by RIFAT BUZUKU / Vienna

After the Vice-Rector of the University of Tetova briefed the Rector of the University of
Vienna Dr. Alfred Ebenbauer about what had happened in Tetova, the latter astonishingly
replied: "...The University and Ministry of Internal Affairs don't match", and not only
promised the formal recognition of the University of Tetova, but also moral and material
support. The Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Rrahmi Tuda, and Secretary General of the
People's Democratic Party, Bedredin Ibrahimi, saw themselves involved in the conversations
informing the host about the development of Albanian-Macedonian relations after the
dismantlement of Yugoslavia, about the need Albanians had to produce teaching staff, about
the arrogance the government in Shkup always reacts to any attempts of the Albanians for
development, stressing the pretension of the Slavic Macedonians to eliminate the Albanian
factor by insisting on Albanians' illiteracy.

A similar talk was repeated in a meeting with the Vice-Chairman of the Viennese Council of
Education...

On the same day, the three Albanians from Tetova were received by three employees
(ambassadors) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The diplomats were told by Ibrahimi that
"...the authorities have been rejecting every Albanian request for more freedom - mainly
repeating one sentence; `There is still no suitable political climate'. We got the same reply for
the University, which has nothing to do with political motives, as the government tends to
present it".

The empty promises and the fact that the requests are being ignored constantly, have made the
people lose their faith in their political leaders and parties, and as a consequence, radical

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circles are getting more support from the people. "This is a serious threat and a tendency to
convert the dissatisfaction of the Albanian people in this republic in a conflict of
unpredictable consequences", he said.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry officials stated that Austria has initiated before the UE a more
serious approach towards the problems in FYROM. "The next school year will be much more
favorable for Albanians", they promised.

So Ibrahimi started talking again: "...People are looking at the example of Krajina and Knin,
and how the international community is rewarding Milosevic and the Serbian people, by
recognizing him the right to keep the prey of war".

"A very bad example", said one of the diplomats. You must be patient by all means. Please
have in mind that it is baby democracy that you have in Macedonia, and it needs time to grow
up. Whoever seeks war, will by all means lose, and patience will pay back, and sooner or
later, it will bring results. You need to communicate much more with the world and create
different lobbies, which would defend and represent your interests".

The three Albanians from Tetova got the most important message in an unofficial meeting
with a diplomat of an international institution. The diplomat, who didn't want his name
revealed, assured the guests from Tetova that Macedonia will fulfil, without any doubt, the
requests of Albanians for education in their mother tongue. He said that the requests of the
Albanians were in accordance to the Copenhagen Documents about the rights of minorities,
that the Macedonian government has it very clear that without the presence of the
UNPROFOR and other missions of international mechanisms, it can not persist easily and
that the integrity of the state is imperiled. "Therefore, I advise you to be patient and do not
become victims of the not moderate and unacceptable acts for the international community",
was the advise of the diplomat.

MACEDONIA

DIRECT TRANSMISSIONS

by ISO RUSI / Shkup

In the past ten days, Macedonia, practically lived for two events: the Academy Awards for the
best foreign language film and the strike/rebellion in the central Macedonian prison. In the
first case, Milco Mancevski's "Before the Rain", was one of the nominees for the golden
statue. The other example is more "real" - it was the strike or rebellion of the prisoners in
Idrizova, near Shkup. Mancevski's film, a professional product and result of director's gift,
despite all difficulties he faced while making it, became the center of the attention of world's
cinematography. The Macedonian public, which is not informed about what the cultural
Macedonian establishment had done to him "personally and individually" at the beginning of
his career, was enthusiastic about the success Mancevski achieved and there was no media
that didn't mention the Oscar nomination as the most important event, even forecasting his
victory. In the case of this prisoners in Idrizova, the issue at first sight is different - some
criminals produce negative publicity about our democracy in relation to the "environment"
and foreign public opinion. And, naturally, all of this was followed carefully by the local

- 15 -
media. Despite all of this, what was surprising, was the undeniable fact that both events got
the same attention - both in transmissions and published articles.

"Before the Rain" was the pride of the Macedonian official and other public -the affirmation
of creativeness in its space, of the new state, democracy, etc. Idrizova, nevertheless, is
something different. What's more, the events were matching the first international meeting
Macedonia was hosting: the ministerial summit of some states under the auspices of the
Central-European initiative. On the first days of the strike or rebellion, it makes no difference,
the media were allowed to transmit and picture whatever they wanted. The convicts first said
that it was a strike and not a rebellion, and asked different questions to different political
parties (they were clever enough not to separate on national grounds). One day before the
strike/rebellion ended, the journalists were denied access, even though a press conference was
organized previously and the Ministry of Justice declared its strong course - still continuing
conversations with the convicts but also setting them a deadline to end the protest. But, the
Conference too, ended it's labors! And the solution was practically bloody! And to have the
surprise still big: in the presence of the media! The TV crews could directly follow the
operation of the climb-down of the 400 convicts from the roofs of Idrizova. The police was
"great", as usual, and this meant that a lot of blood could be seen and many cries could be
heard. The newspapers didn't conceal the basic facts - Nova Makedonija published on its
front page a colored picture, in which a convict is seen walking with his head down and hands
behind the back, while the police was pushing him and holding him strong by his hair. His
clothes were stained with blood. And there were no differences between the media - the
private and state owned. All, "on both sides", were offered the same chance - to be on the
spot. And all of it depended on them.

At first sight, it seemed as if the police violence demonstrated in public was a mistake. It
seemed as if the police were proud of its violence. It is undisputable that, as in any other part
of the world, the obligation to bring things back to normal stands, even with the use of force.
However, the impression is that the police were "playing it hard" and didn't hesitate to show it
to the public. If it is analyzed deeply, then it could happen that the police brutality was shown
on purpose. It could also be understood as a preventive action, telling all the others that the
government is not joking and that it will act within its authorizations, and this message was
conveyed to some parties, Trade-Unions and associations which could express their
dissatisfaction.

The story about the Oscars was different. A series of correspondents were informing about
any details concerning the ceremony. All of them forecasted the undeniable victory of
Mancevski and thus made the nominations sound a formality. A real affair was created about
the use of the term FYROM instead of Republic of Macedonia, under the influence of the
Greek lobby and Mancevski's statement in this respect. Even a direct transmission was
assured (at 4 o'clock in the morning) which was followed by a wide audience. The state TV
even organized a special night program to make it easier for the audience to await for the
moment. The irony was that it showed Forman's "Amadeus". This, because there might be
much parallelism between many local Salieris, followers of the "Emperor" and Mozart, in this
case Mancevski. While the first ones allowed themselves to spend a lot of money in doing
bad movies and live normally, Mancevski spent at least one year waiting to get money for his
debut ten years ago. When he saw that he was being manipulated, he fled Macedonia, and
whatever he achieved, was a result of his talent and work. He had a foreign producer and
insisted on having Macedonian one too. The then Minister of Culture was reluctant to give
Mancevski 6% of the total budget of the film, and what is paradoxical is that more money

- 16 -
was spent by journalists making a lot of noise about his movie in Venice and Hollywood than
by the Ministry of Culture when the movie was made! The government was sorry he didn't
succeed. All governments know that people need "bread and circus games".

In this context, the strike/rebellion in Idrizova is a valuable point for the actual Macedonian
government. It proved that it can keep things under control, that it can prove that the juridical
state works according to Europe's example, and it can convey messages to its population that
it is not joking.

However, in all this noise, no one among the public appeared with a different viewpoint about
the living conditions in prison - allowing the possibility of saying that they are bad and
unbearable. Let's remember the last strike in Idrizova, several years ago, when the convicts
almost lynched Vasil Tupurkovski, member of the then Presidency of Yugoslavia, who went
to talk to them. What could it be said about the actual situation in which hospitals and homes
for elderly people are in terrible shape. In these blurry times, in times when everything is
possible and accomplishable through different forms and methods, some, nevertheless, might
be more equal than the others. The rumors are that one the reason for the strike was that many
prisoners were forgotten when it came to amnesty signed by President Gligorov, and that in
this sense "connections and bounds" function. Further on, it is stated that there are great
difficulties to determine the regime of serving time - open, half-open or closed in cells, which
makes a substantial difference in this sense. For example the prisoners stated that last year, a
son of an influential MP of the coalition, was allowed to escape to Turkey, once his regime
was changed. He is still in Turkey, and there is no request for extradition, even though he was
condemned for drugs dealing.

And at the end, hoping it is a causal coincidence.

"Before the Rain" is a good example of "catastrophic" prognoses. The end of the film takes
the viewer back to the beginning, despite the "manipulation" of the director, who was
convincing the same audience that these are three unconnected stories. And the message is
clear and pessimistic - the evil brings one back to the beginning. The government and the
media didn't analyze what is good or bad, but to them it was important what will the success
of the film be, and in case it would have won, it would have then be used for purposes of
daily politics. The strike/insurrection in Idrizova could also be seen from the angle of daily
politics and evaluated how can things be used for its needs. And thus the same party shows an
incredible arrogance. Short memory undergoes the element of time - the traces remain. Even
if it weren't thus, there are people in this environment who, nevertheless, see and notice
things.

KOSOVA

PARLIAMENTARIANS WITHOUT A PARLIAMENT

by ILAZ THAÇI / Prishtina

At almost three years since the celebration of the elections in Kosova, the Parliament of the
Republic of Kosova has not been constituted yet. Some of the attempts were prevented by the
police, while the hope of finding another solution, remains unaccomplished. Lately, there

- 17 -
were seemingly some initiatives in this respect, that this thing could have taken place
alternatively with the creation of groups and parliamentarian commissions which would
function instead of the Parliament. However, the Parliament didn't start functioning, neither in
it full or alternative composition, but the Parliamentarian Party of Kosova saw it necessary to
replace some of its MPs, and send this list to the Republican Electoral Commission.
Journalist Halil Matoshi, previously withdrew from this party, also withdrew his MP
mandate. MP Ramadan Musliu, "Rilindja's" journalist abroad, was also removed from the list
and that was the case of Maksut Hoxha, who left the party together with the whole branch of
Kaçanik and Vitia, in times when changes took place in this party. Nevertheless, Hoxha didn't
give up on his mandate.

But, if even the absence of any of the MPs could explain this move, then in the case of
Hoxha, this explanation is not valid, except if he did not agree to the new course of the
Parliamentarian Party - as some of its ex members comment it. It seems that this is an internal
problem of the Parliamentarian Party of Kosova, however it suggests that there might be
preparations for the constitution of the Parliament, and these are the new flows and
developments.

New MPs are Osman Dumoshi, organizer of the '68 demonstrations and Jonuz Salihu, teacher
and a PPK activist. In the changes, this party also gave a mandate to the representative of the
Albanian National-Democratic (party), Shemsi Perani. The disputable issue of Shkëlzen
Maliqi's seat, which according to some rumors, was planned to be removed from the list,
became more complicated. First, the parties which won over 3% of votes, necessary for
participation in the Parliament had incomplete percentages of votes for one more seat (and the
PPK had some advantage), and these opposition parties decided by consensus, that this seat
would be given to the then chairman of the Social-Democratic Party, Shkëlzen Maliqi.

This seems is the reason why this mandate remains unchanged - as some PPK members
claim.

We asked for clarifications from the responsible, however, PPK's chairman Bajram Kosumi
declared that they will not make any statement in this regard! On the other hand, the
Chairman of the Republican Electoral Commission, Tadej Rodiqi, who is at the same time
Vice-Chairman of the Albanian Christian-Democratic Party, replied in writing: "On May 24,
1992 the LDK won the absolute majority of votes, and other three parties participated in the
elections, the Parliamentarian, Peasants' and Christian-Democratic parties and surpassed the
3% census and, according to the proportional principle foreseen by the electoral law, they had
the right to participate in the parliament. Thus, PPK had 12 MPs, Peasants' Party had 7 and
Albanian Christian-Democratic Party had 7. The three parties had also the percentage to
select another MP jointly. The agreement reached between the three parties was to give the
seat to the Social-Democrats. In the meantime PPK has made some changes in its list,
because some of the members left the country and the others quit the party. This is why the
presidency of this party, in one of its meetings, decided to replace old MPs, as authorized by
law. The new list of PPK MPs was verified by the Republican Electoral Commission".

On the other hand, according to sources near to the largest political party who which to
remain anonymous, the change of the PPK list was made public only in the media, even
though the President of the Commission does not say that in his written statement. These
actions resemble very much a normal parliamentarian life in normal circumstances of work,
and not the life we are living.

- 18 -
Anyhow, it is not sure whether this act can be interpreted as an alternative beginning of the
work of the parliament, because the changes of lists should at least prove the work of a
commission which deals with mandate issues, but it seems that the bets are on!

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