Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Serbia Against Kosovo's Independence - Deputy PM

BELGRADE (AP)--Serbia won't accept independence for Kosovo, the country's deputy prime minister said Tuesday, ahead of a top-level meeting to plot Serbia's strategy for the future of the volatile province.

Miroljub Labus said the demands by the majority ethnic Albanians in Kosovo to split from Serbia and form an independent state are "unacceptable."

The province's ethnic Albanians, who fought a war against Yugoslav government troops in 1998-99, insist on full independence, but Serbs see the province as their historic heartland and an integral part of Serbia.

Labus repeated the official Serbian stand that Kosovo can only be granted "more than autonomy but less than independence."

"We don't think that Kosovo's independence, conditional or unconditional, is an acceptable solution for Serbia," Labus told reporters.

But he said that a compromise on Kosovo is possible during future internationally mediated negotiations with ethnic Albanians.

"The solution depends on all participants of the negotiations. Serbia has a maneuvering space in the negotiations, and we have to use it," Labus said without elaborating.

Kosovo formally remains part of Serbia-Montenegro, Yugoslavia's successor state, but has been an international protectorate since the 1999 NATO bombing halted Serbia's crackdown on separatist ethnic Albanians and forced Belgrade to relinquish control over Kosovo to the U.N. and NATO.

The Kosovo peace process suffered a grave setback in March 2004 when bloody rioting by Kosovo Albanians left 19 people dead and destroyed numerous Serbian homes and churches.

Labus was speaking ahead of a meeting later Tuesday by the top Serbian leadership which was to confirm the republic's official stand ahead of a U.N. Security Council debate on Kosovo scheduled for May 27.

Talks to decide the province's future are expected later this year if the U.N. determines that Kosovo has reached internationally set standards for protecting minority rights, democratization and the reform of local governance.


Anonymous said...

Titanic sinks.

Anonymous said...

Titanic sunk somewhere in Croatia or Slovenia...

Anonymous said...

Serbs have messed up tho entire Balkan and they should not have the say on Kosovo's status. Realisticly speaking, Belgrade should not have, any control what so ever, over any territory that consists of non-serb majority. I predict that unfortunately province of Vojvodina will be next Kosovo.

Anonymous said...

You know why Vojvodina won't go as "bad" as Kosova, cause Hungary is right there and Hungary is strong, Hungary would give Serbia a nice challenge. It's easy to fight with unarmed civilians in Bosnia and Kosova, but it takes gutts to fight Hungarians.

Anonymous said...

Well done Labus.

Kosovo Albanians have done more damage to themselves then anyone else could ever do.

Anonymous said...

Well done Labus.

Kosovo Albanians have done more damage to themselves then anyone else could ever do.

Anonymous said...

It's not so relevant what Labus says for Kosovo

Dr. L.S. Schneiderman said...

In regards to the Deputy PM's comments, there are two salient issues. First, it was NATO and specificly US war planes that defeated the Serbs and brought in UN protectorate enforced by NATO. Second, and most important, is that Kosovo and the Kosovo Polje, the Field of Blackbirds, is as sacred to the Serbian people as Mecca is to the world's Muslims. One can not ask Islam to give up Mecca and the free world can not ask the Serbs to give up Kosovo. A fair accomodation must be found. Germany and Italy were not punished for their leaders (Hitler and Mussolini) and Serbia should not be punished for Milosevic.

Anonymous said...

1.Sure they were; wasn't Germany divided?
2. There were plenty of Italian Partizan forces and in the end Duce was killed by the Italians themselves. There was nobody in Serbia fighting against Milosebiatch and the overwehealming majority backed him up including you current prime minister.
3.Imagine Himler and Goebels governing Germany after the war. You have that in Serbia today. Who killed your prime minister?
4. The majority of people in Serbia backs up Sesejl when it comes to Kosova. He was the planner, together with Milosevic, of all the atrocities in the balkans. If u want I can post his plans again here, but I'm sure u know them very well and probably you still back them up.
5. Your prime minister is a prime minister today because of the votes of Milosebiatch's party. Imagine the prime minister of west Germany after the war being held in power by the votes of the NAZI party, or the prime minister of Italy being held in power by the votes of the FASCIST party.

...And that sacred thing u mention is just bullshit. I haven't seen any muslim leaving mecca and never turning back but i've seen a lot of Serb colons who just don't give a crap and don't wanna return ever again in Kosova. I know also that lots of the Serbs who left were involved in the killings of their next door Albanian neighbors and their children.

Anonymous said...

U still deny that anything happened in Bosnia. You are people that have no moral values.

Anonymous said...

Kosova is sacred to that culture that has grown there since the times of Dardan.

If it was sacred why did your conscripts run, and paramilitary monsters rule, if it was sacred why did the Serbian Church look like a left-over ruin but then when religion proved to be the means to your supremacy goals suddenly its important again?

Serbs are the most atheistic nation in the world, stop staining Christianity, and especialy Orthodox Christianity. If I was Russian I would deny the existence of that nazi Church of yours.

Anonymous said...

The funny and ironic thing is that the Serbs dwell on the past.....not to mention that HISTORY says that SERBS come from RUSSIA ....

Not to mention......serbs came into Dardania to defend against the oncoming Ottomans and got slaughtered.....

Do Americans consider Normandy their land? Do the Australians and British consider Gallipoli their land?

But it sounds childish to get into a historical debate, when, like i said, the Serbs are only in this area of the world for around 800 years, in contrast to the Albanians who are known to be RIGHT HERE for FOREVER....based on facts.

Anonymous said...

I speak an old language, a European language, as old as Basque, Finnish and Gaelic, it's called Albanian.

Anonymous said...

Sali Berisha - a former President of Albania - talks ominously about an "Albanian Federation". The younger, allegedly more urbane Pandeli Majko, the current Prime Minister of Albania, raises the idea (?) of a uniform curriculum for all Albanian pupils and students, wherever they may reside. Albanians in Macedonia make it a point to fly Albanian flags conspicuously and of every occasion. This could have well been a plausible scenario had it not been for two facts. First, that there is no such thing as homogeneous "Albanians" and second that Great Albania is without historical precedent.Albanians are comprised of a few ethnic groups of different creeds. There are catholic Albanians - like Mother Theresa - and Muslim Albanians - Like Hashim Thaci. There are Tosks - southern Albanians who speak a (nasal) dialect of Albanian and there are Gegs - northern Albanians (and Kosovars) who speak another dialect which has little in common with Tosk (at least to my ears). Tosks don't like Gegs and Gegs detest Tosks. In a region where tribal and village loyalties predominate these are pertinent and important facts.The Kosovars are considered by their Albanian "brethren" (especially by the Tosks, but also by Albanian Gegs) to be cold, unpleasant, filthy rich cheats. Albanians - Tosks and Gegs alike - are considered by the Kosovars to be primitive, ill mannered bandits. There is no love lost between all these groups. When the crisis brought on by Operation Allied Force started, the local Albanian population charged the refugees amidst them with exorbitant (not to say extortionate) prices for such necessities as a roof over their head, food and cigarettes. When the UN mandate (read: the KLA mandate) was established, the Albanians rushed to export their brand of crime and banditry to Kosovo and to prey on its local population. No Macedonian - however radical - will dare say about the Albanians what my Kosovar contacts say. They non-chalantly and matter of factly attribute to them the most heinous crimes and uncivilized behaviour. Kosovars had - and are still having - an excruciating experience in Albania during this crisis. The lesson (being learned by Kosovars since Albania opened up to them in 1990) will not be easily forgotten or forgiven. Albanians reciprocate by portraying the Kosovars as cynical, inhuman, money making terminators, emotionless wealthy predators.This is not to say that Albanians on both sides of the border do not share the same national dreams and aspirations. Kosovar intellectuals were watching Albanian TV and reading Albanian papers even throughout the Stalinist period of Enver Hoxha, the long time Albanian dictator. Albanian nationalists never ceased regarding Kosovo as an integral part of an Albanian motherland. Albania was created in 1912 (its borders finally settled in 1913) in response to Austro-Hungarian demands. It never encouraged Kosovo to secede. The Albanian King Zog suppressed the activities of Kosovar irredentist movements in his country in between the two world wars.
In 1878, at the end of May and at the beginning of June (according to the old calendar), over 300 delegates gathered at a great session in Prizren from all parts where Albanians lived. It was decided that independent, ethnically clean Albanian state should be founded. The state should encompass all "Albanian territories". It was planned as a unique body composed of four regions (principalities):

The first region should be composed of southern Albania and Epir (Janjina);

The second region should be composed of northern and central Albania (Skadar, Tirana and Elbasa);

The third region should be composed of parts of Macedonia (Skopje, Debar, Gostivar, Prilep, Veles, Bitolj and Ohrid);

The fourth region should be composed of Kosovo with parts of southern Serbia and Macedonia (Pec, Djakovica, Prizren, Novi Pazar, Mitrovica, Sjenica, Pristina, Gnjilane, Presevo and Kumanovo).

This is the essence of the concept of "Great Albania" which means trespass of Slavic and Greek territories where Albanians are national minority. They settled those territories and persecuted local people in most cases due to a special status in the Turkish Empire.
The concept of a greater Albanian state did not appear as an authentic expression of the Albanian national movement. Until the beginning of the Great Eastern Crisis (1875-1878), Albanians, unlike other Balkan nations – Serbs, Greeks, Bulgarians, Rumanians – did not attempt to create a national state through modern political organization. A regional and religious identity was dominant among the Albanians.
The main power of the expansionist Albanian movement came from Muslim Albanians. With the exception of isolated examples of cultural efforts among the Albanians, mostly those in Diaspora (Istanbul, Egypt, South Italy), Albanian Muslims were the iron fist of the Ottoman Empire in its efforts to suppress the Christian movement in South Eastern Europe. With their patriarchal-oriental society of Asian type, they constituted the main obstacle to Europeanization of this part of Europe in the 19th and 20th century. Exceptions to this were an insignificant catholic minority in the north of Albania, mainly in the region of Skadar, and the more numerous orthodox community in the south of Albania, which was strongly influenced by the Greek cultural orbit.
All attempts by Balkan Christians to win over the Albanians to the common struggle against the Ottoman Empire and for the aim of national liberation and modernization of their societies were fruitless. At the beginning of the Great Eastern Crisis Albanians were at the forefront of the Turkish regular, and particularly irregular troops (bashibozuk) and committed numerous atrocities in battles against the Christian rebels. During the crisis the Albanians did not join the liberation movements of the Balkan Christians in any way.
It is completely clear that the birth of the Albanian league in 1878 and its political program were not an expression of Albanian original liberation efforts, which anyhow were late in coming compared to other peoples. The league was an instrument, primarily in Turkish hands, and later in the hands of other powers, for the preservation of the Ottoman Empire. The Albanian central revolutionary committee (Abdul Frasheri, Pashko Vaso, Sami Frasheri, Zija Prishtina, Jani Vreto and others) was founded in April 1878 in Istanbul and its was to organize Albanian popular resistance to the liberation actions in Montenegro, Serbia and Greece.
The Greater Albanian political concept in its original and authentic program was totally imbued with the spirit of pan-Islamism and radical political Islam. Only from time to time did the Albanian political elite try to hide the distinctive Islamic feature of the foundations of their ideology, usually prompted by a desire to secure the support of some Western power. A militant from of Islam prevailed in Old Serbia, primarily in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as in the regions of today’s Western Macedonia, brought by the Albanian population from the mountainous parts of North Albania who forcefully descended into the gentle and fertile parts of this region. The forceful intrusions followed by centuries-long Muslim violence against the local Christians are today insistently presented as alleged repression of Albanians by local Christians.
In the European literature it is well known that the regions of today’s Middle Albania constitute the original centers of Albanian population. A distinguished German Albanologist, Georg Stadtmuller points out that the original regions of Albanian settlement encompass the valley of the river Shkumba, both sides of the river Mat, Kroja and some other neighboring parts4. The history of the Albanians and the Albanian society is far more complex than is usually presented today. This is true not only of the region of today’s Albania but also of the neighboring countries in which Albanians live as national minorities. Their religious heterogeneity and a distinctive tribal identity have always been a permanent source of internal conflict which result in the chronic instability of this country. This “unstable” condition of the young state threatens primarily non-Albanian people in Albania itself, but also in the neighborhood. We must not overlook the fact that in the territory of today’s Albania large Slav settlements have existed for centuries and that Slav toponymisc have been largely preserved up to the present day. In recent time, from the creation of the first Albanian state in 1912, and especially during the rule of the Albanian communist dictator Enver Hoja, a large part of non-Albanian, particularly Slav population, excluding Greeks, were assimilated by the most brutal means of state repression.
The Greater Albania project is directly connected with the consequences of the Turkish conquests in South Eastern Europe, and especially with the wars of European Christian powers against Turkey towards the end of the 17th century. It has remained, in a sense, as a long reaching hand of the Ottoman spirit in Europe, as a vehicle of that kind of life, customs and mentalities which were characteristic for the territory of the South Eastern Europe at the time of Ottoman rule. The Christian population of the European Turkey, primarily of Old Serbia and the northern part of Macedonia, joined the struggle of the European powers after the siege of Vienna en-mass (1683) to oust the Turks from Europe. After the defeat of the Europeans (1690) as a reprisal this population was subjected to massive atrocities and, in essence, the first major ethnic cleansing. Turkish destructive military campaigns allowed the overflow of Albanian people from their original regions into the countries of their neighbors, both Slavs and Greeks. It was not before the 18th century that masses of Albanian stock breeders from the hilly regions of their country started descending into the fertile lands of Kosovo and Metohija populated by orthodox Serbs in overwhelming majority, as well as into the regions of today’s western Macedonia, form Skoplje to Bitolj populated by undoubtedly Serbian and Macedonian Slav population.
Besides the massive and almost regular atrocities which characterized this conquest of Old Serbia, there were also numerous other ways in which the compact Serbian ethnic body was broken up (forced Islamisization, different forms of robbery, plunder, destruction of religious sites, and many other forms of terror). This is testified to by many travel writers, and particularly Roman missionaries and visitors. These processes were convincingly described in, among numerous other Vatican sources, the report of the archbishop of Skoplje Matija Masarek in 1764. The archbishop reports on fresh colonies of Arbanas who had left their hills and settled in the gentle region of Metohija, in the vicinity of Djakovica. These Arbanas, new comers in Serbia, wrote archbishop Masarek, did not obey the orders of Christ’s Apostles, but quickly converted to Islam pushing out the orthodox and catholic population from their villages and taking over their lands (“maledetti Albanesi, I quali per forya si soo impadroniti di quasi tutti li terreni scismatici e cattolici serviani”)
A similar process went on in the Albanian-Greek boundary regions. Albanian migration under the Turks went towards Greek lands, particularly Epir. With the strengthening of the Greek liberation movement Turkey used Muslim Albanians to secure the rule over the largest possible parts of Epir and Thesalia. The Greater Albania ideology explained it thus: “From the banks of the river Bojana up to Janjina lives a unified and homogenous people. From Janjina to the gulf of Ambracia is the terrain which Greek religious and other propaganda denies to the Albanians who prevail there, if not in number, then in strength and power to resist”.
That Kosovo and Metohija, of which Albanian authors often speak as “Albanian land” were irrefutably the central regions of Serbian settlement, is testified to by the fact that the most important monuments of Serbian architecture and Serbian spirituality were erected there. In Kosovo and Metohija alone 1,400 monasteries, churches and other Serbian monuments were built. The most famous among them are the Patriarchy church in Pec, monasteries Banjska, Gracanica, Decani, St. Archangel near Prizren, Bogorodica Ljeviska in Prizren etc. A logical question can be asked: why would Serbs erect their central church, the Patriarchy in Pec, in the region where they were not in majority and which was not the central point of their people’s homeland?
The greatest changes in ethnic structure of the population of this part of Old Serbia occurred from the middle of the 18th up to the middle of the 19th century, and from the Berlin congress in 1878 up to the liberation of these regions from Turkish rule in 1912. They were basically a consequence of the conflict between the Islamic Ottoman-feudal concept on the one hand, and the European Christian concept of society on the other hand. Samuel Huntington is quite right when he defines similar processes today as “conflicts of civilization”. Kosovo and Metohija may be the most convincing example of such a conflict today, bearing in mind that the radical Islamic features of the Albanian secessionist movement are quite skillfully masked by European phraseology and European symbols.
Numerous foreign authors testify to the ethnic, political and religious circumstances in these regions. These are the works of Ami Bue, Joseph Muller, Johan Georg von Han, Ivan Stepanovich Jastrebov, Aleksandar Giljferding, Viktor Berar, Gaston Gravier and others. For example, Joseph Muller reports the data from 1838 about the religious and linguistic structure of the population in Metohija – in Pec, Prizren and Djakovica; in Pec, orthodox and Muslim Serbs were in a majority (92.09%) in relation to the catholic and Muslim Albanians (4.17%). In Prizren the percentage of Serbs, Muslim and Christian, from the total population (24.950) amounted to 73.68, whereas the percentage of Albanians, Muslim and catholic, amounted to 16.63%. Only Djakovica had a clear Albanian majority – the percentage of the Albanians, Muslim and catholic, amounted to 80.76%, whereas the percentage of Serbs, Christian and Muslim, amounted to 18.05%
The facts that Prizren, a town in Old Serbia, and on the outskirts of the Albanian ethnic region was chosen as the place for the session of the Albanian league in 1878 testifies to the extremely expansionist nature of Albanian aims. That is exactly were it was necessary to create a strong obstacle to further strengthening of the Serbian liberation movement in Old Serbia. And it was not a coincidence that the session of the Albanian League was not held in Albania, say in Drac, Valona, Tirana or some other town. From the time of the Great Eastern Crisis (1875-1878) the neighboring regions of Albania such as Kosovo, Metohija, today’s western Slav Macedonia and northern Epir, were Albanians had massively settled, mainly in the 18th and 19th century, started being referred to as “Albanian lands”. So the Albanian league, created on the eve of the Berlin Congress, took it upon itself to prevent the liberation of the “Albanian lands” from the neighboring peoples. The Leagues`s documents reveal the essence of the movement. The sessions were held in a Prizren mosque, and the special feature of the Statute (Kararname) was Islam. Albania and Albanians were not explicitly mentioned in any of the 16 articles of the Statute, but instead they speak in general terms of “nation and motherland”, “country”, “our land”, “Balkan country”, “in the Balkans” and similar. The political subjects of the Union (League) are simply Muslims; the article 7 talks of the need for the Union with “our long-suffering fellow countrymen and members of the same faith in the Balkans”, and the last 16th article qualifies the abandonment of the Union as the abandonment “of Islam”.7 It is also telling that Muslim land owners from Raska, and even Bosnia and Herzegovina were present at this meeting.
Basically the same ideas served as a foundation program for the so called Pec league in 1899 and so called second Prizren league in 1943. After the Turks were ousted from Europe in 1912, and after the formation of an independent Albanian state, the programme`s aims were clearly adapted somewhat to the new political circumstances and new protecting powers. The insistence on a totally pure ethnic Albanian state is typical for the conceptual program of Greater Albania, as is the rejection of any multi-ethnic concept. In accordance with such a program, the organized ethnic cleansing of non-Albanian population from the regions which were proclaimed as “Albanian lands” started right after the Berlin congress. During the period from 1876 to 1912 around 150,000 orthodox Serbs were forced to leave Old Serbia, that is the then Kosovo vilajet.8 We find similar ideas in Ismail Kemal Bey Vlora, the president of the first Albanian interim government. As the government president he demanded that the great powers cleanse “Albanian lend” of Slavs and Greeks.9 He also praised Albanians for having ousted “Christian Slavs”with their guns and violence.


Anonymous said...

samo se vi nadajte, kosovo i metohija cu uvek biti srpsko,

a za sva sranja jebali ste majke, kad se ponovo zarati, nece vam biti
ni tirane, siptarcine jedne,

ajd sad cistite klozet solje vasim anglo saxonskim prijateljima!