Sunday, May 01, 2005

Albanians, Serbs look to Kosovo's fate - The Boston Globe

By Alissa J. Rubin, Los Angeles Times | May 1, 2005

GRACANICA, Kosovo -- This small town perched on rolling hills is just a 20-minute drive from Pristina, Kosovo's capital, but the two might as well be in different countries.
In Pristina, signs are in Albanian written in the Roman alphabet, and the currency is the euro. Here in Gracanica, the signs carry the Cyrillic letters of the Serbian language, and the currency is the Serbian dinar.

These two worlds symbolize the hopes and fears of ethnic Albanians and Serbs in Kosovo, a majority-Albanian province of Serbia that has been under UN control since the 1999 NATO bombing campaign to stop ethnic cleansing by Serbian forces.

The ethnic Albanians want Kosovo to gain independence from Serbia by the end of the year. And international politicians, diplomats, and specialists on the region indicate that is likely, with strings attached.

For Serbian political leaders, who recognize that Kosovo's future is largely out of their hands, the subject is incendiary. Even mentioning the possibility that the province someday might become independent is viewed as political suicide.

Their unwillingness to entertain alternative policies all but ensures that the Serbs will be the losers in Kosovo, exerting little influence over the futures of people who still live in the province and reducing their country's role as a force in the region.

For the Serbs who live in Gracanica and the 240 other isolated enclaves in Kosovo, such an outcome would be a disaster, leaving them as a defenseless minority in a hostile sea of ethnic Albanians.

''We would be absolutely less safe if Kosovo were an independent country," said Dragan Josifovic, 41, a Serb who sells clothing in a makeshift store lighted by bare bulbs and who, like most Gracanica residents, never visits Pristina, let alone considers living there.

''The police, the security would be less for us, the taxes would be higher, there would be even fewer jobs; they would give the jobs to their friends," Josifovic said.

Today, nearly 95 percent of Kosovars are ethnic Albanian. Barely half of the 200,000 Serbs who lived in the province in 1999 are still here; the rest have fled, mostly to neighboring Serbia proper.

Over the past six years, there has been a reversal in Kosovo's power structure. In 1999, it was ethnic Albanians who were fleeing the fertile, mountainous land when Serbian forces under the command of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic forced nearly 800,000 to flee to neighboring Macedonia and Albania.

The fragility in the region was apparent last month when the prime minister of Kosovo voluntarily resigned and surrendered to the war crimes tribunal at The Hague. He pleaded guilty the next week to 37 counts of war crimes against Serbs.

This summer, the United Nations will evaluate the ethnic Albanian government's success in achieving the goals laid out by UN administrators. If the world body deems the province to have made sufficient progress, talks will begin on Kosovo's status.

Kosovars will have the option to become a sovereign country, remain a province of Serbia, or stay under UN control.

A consensus among US and other Western diplomats seems to be emerging around a scenario in which Kosovo would become independent but the international community still would contribute officers to its police force and judges to the judiciary, especially for help in cases involving ethnically motivated crimes.

''The focus is now on the theme of sustainable multi-ethnicity -- this is central for the international community," a senior Western diplomat in Pristina said.

In Kosovo, antipathy between Serbs and ethnic Albanians runs deep. The two communities are separated by language and religious barriers. Serbs are Serbian Orthodox, a branch of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and most of the ethnic Albanians are Muslims.

When President Boris Tadic of Serbia visited Kosovo in February, he thrilled local Serbs by handing out Serbian flags. Whole towns turned out despite bitter, subzero weather and knee-deep snow.

Serbian papers covered the two-day visit with headlines that read ''No Independence" and ''Consolation to the Endangered." The papers showcased pictures of Serbian villages and churches encircled by barbed wire. Captions described them as ''camps" -- playing on older Serbs' memory of World War II, when Yugoslavia was occupied by the Nazis.

Some of the Serbian enclaves are cordoned off and guarded by NATO troops as well as local police because of the risk of violence against the Serbs.

Last March, ethnic Albanians burned and vandalized 4,000 Serbian homes after three Kosovo Albanian boys drowned and a story circulated that Serbs with dogs had chased them into the river. Nineteen people were killed during the riots. International investigators later concluded that there was no evidence Serbs were involved in the boys' death.


Anonymous said...

'''The police, the security would be less for us, the taxes would be higher, there would be even fewer jobs; they would give the jobs to their friends,' Josifovic said."

Security.There is no need for Albanians to defend the Serbs, just allow your sons to join the KPC and the police force and they will do it. Morover, Serb enclaves are still no-go zone for the police so how would you expect protection when you are main enemy of your potential defenders.

Taxes. A great issue to disuss, how much have you paid so far that you fear you will be discrimintet in the future? Nula.

Jobs. Once again, KPC and police have jobs on reserve for you, but you don't apply. How many of you have applied for govermental positions, they are seeking serbs to fulfill the quotas. About a month ago your minister on returns said serbs should give him a call and he would find them jobs in the government. I urge Mr. Josifovic to give him a call.

My question is do you know what you want? So far I doubt it since all you have been doing is screaming and hollering and crying fool and asking for the return of Serb sovereignity, which is impossible. You are either very dumb or high on some enclave-grown grass.

MARTYR said...

Can I just ask you shqiptars one thing? what do you have to say about that video when that albanian mob destroys that serbian church and Break off both crosses? Whoever that was that broke it off, I hope he goes to hell quickly and my heart snaps in half when I see you fascist albanians destroying serbian churches when you know serbs arent cold hearted monsters like you guys....I hope oe day you guys will look back and see you guys are worse than the monsters hitler created...As much as you guys have taught me to hate, I would never touch a Mosque nor would I insult anyone because of a religion, But I would spit on your flag because you guys are filthy people going no wher ebut hell

Anonymous said...

To the biatch that wrote the previous comment, you sorry excuse from a human, after all the killing that you blood-thursty, despicapble nation did in KOSOVA and after all the destruction you committed you have the gull to critizice us Albanians for burning a church or two!

Apperently, you taught us to hate more because if left up to me I would burn anything that wreaked of that nasty shkavell smell to the ground and then I'd piss on it you filthy pig.

I sincerely pray that one day I'll get the chance to peronally make you a martyr and send you the hell out of this world, you sorry-ass maget.

Anonymous said...

Martyr are you crasy??? Or stupid maybe! Or you dont have idea want happened here during the war? Im not saying that destroying of churches was a good thing but can you tell me one mosque which serbians didnt destroy durin the war? No you cant because you cant find everything was destroyed

Anonymous said...

Dont associate ALL albanians with Islam. Us christian albanians despise muslim kosovar albanians as much as serbs do.

MARTYR said...

I had an albanian orthodox girlfriend and she hated you monsters more than I did. She told me that her uncle was killed by KLA officials because he refused to fire one of his workers because he's Serbian. SHe moved to here in Canada because she was being persecuted for being Christian.
1or 2 churches? my god I hope you burn in hell because its over 1000 churches. You monsters are all going to hell and Ill be there because you guys have made me into a person who hates. But you know what? you can say anything I dont care because kosovO will never become independent, i wont even discuss it because im right and deep down inside you Mujahedeen terrorists know it.




Anonymous said...

Where do u live u dumb fvck. This christian Albanian will break your sorry a$$ into pieces just for the comment u made above. Fvcking faggot.
Te qifsha robt, pederast muti.

All Albanians are our brothers, no matter their religion or where in the balkans they live.

MARTYR said...

by the way i prefer u call it kosovo because Kosovo Polje has a meaning and kosova doesnt;

Kosovo Polje: Kos (black bird) ovo (belonging to) polje (feild)


kosova : kos (yogurt)....umm FEILD OF THE YOGURT? okkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

Anonymous said...

I had a Serb girlfriend and she hated the Serbs from Kosova more than I. She said they were traitors and didn't do anything to help Belgrade against the Albanians. She gave good head though.

Lick my Albanian balls, and then u can claim all day that Kosova is part of Serbia. That's what my Serb girlfriend used to do.

Shkerdhat muti. Serb bythqire pederast.

Anonymous said...

Dardania- ancient Albanian tribe.

MARTYR said...

so call it dardania...and no im not a serbian peder...your the Al Qaeda Bin Laden supporters that dont fit anywhere in this world...Oh and ya..maybe in Turkey, the government in beograd right now are traitors..shes right and so are you, but Seselj and Nikolic of the Serbian Radikal Party are gonna have majority (they already do), then you'll wish you stayed in Asia where your threat or anything, just giving you a prediction I wouldnt ignore If i was you, because Serbs are not a nation that gives up its religion and heritage Like the 70% of you albanians did to turks, have fun :)

Anonymous said...

U're nothing but another brainwashed dickhead.Who cares about religion as long as we're all Albanians; meanwhile u dumbfvucks masacre your own kind, slavs from Croatia and Bosnia.

An avar is trying to teach an Aryan history lessons. Go back to your caves in the urals. The radicals u mention and people like them had the power and what happened? The USA and the rest of the world bombed your sorry a$$es. I hope they win so I can see Belgrade being bombed again. We'll be able to watch simultaneous bombing of Belgrade and Bagdad.

The Serbs bent over to the Turks meanwhile they couldn't take over our land for decades. Go visit the national Museum in Viena and learn about the people who realy did the fighting. Gjergj Kastrioti Scanderbeg

MARTY said...

Im not even 100% Serb, I call myself Yugoslavian. And never will they bomb Beograd again because they now admit you brainwashed and manipulated them...Even General Lewis Mackenzie said that.


Yes. We are the ones who converted to Muslim. We are the ones who give our kids Turkish names. Yes we are the ones who have STRONG ECONOMICAL, POLITICAL, AND NATIONAL connections to them.

Im an Avar? a mongolion. Too bad I have Blonde hair and Blue eyes. But thats ok...if im avar...Ive still been in Kosovo before you guys. my god are you a cool kid...lemme search: serbs asian connections ???
As much as what happend with the Yugoslavian war...we are sitll very much connected. I have bosnian, croatian slovenian and maceodnian friends


MARTYR said...

yea i heard about skandenberg or w/e, A backstabber who didnt even suceed agaisnt the Turks. And now your gonna say Milos Obilic is Albanian. was Jesus Christ...his rela name was Jesulian Kristiqli