Thursday, November 10, 2005

Burns is right, say Kosovans (Koha Ditore)

Koha Ditore reports on reactions from Kosovo after the statement to the US Senate by Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns that independence has to be deserved.

The paper quotes local politicians and analysts as saying that Kosovan leaders must put in more serious work and show their muscles not to each other, but to the other side so that independence can be guaranteed.


armera said...

If USA, NATO and EU are really interested in some future for the region, it is very simple to find a solution for Kosova and peace in Balkans.

In my opinion Kosova has to become some sort of buffer zone like Switzerland, meaning everybody has to be able to live free there, and be able to decide its own future. Switzerland is exactly like that.

Realistically, Kosova must become independent, however it needs an interim period of supervision by USA/EU/NATO. I would say probably for the next 5 to 10 years depending on how things evolve. In the meanwhile EU needs to invest in Kosova as well as surrounding countries. Once ready to join EU Kosova should get full independence.

Because of history and sufferings, it is difficult for even Serbs to agree with each other respectively for Albanians with each other, yet international community is expecting from them to agree with each other?! That is simply not going to happen.

Serbs are used to see Albanians as second degree citizens, and Albanians can not possibly trust Serbs, as it has proven fatal for them.

International community has to stop playing games and simply lead all parties to the solution they know it has to come one day. I mean things have to be put in fast track, as normal citizens are sick and tired of the current status quo/stall mode.

People need jobs, and improvement on standard of living, they have enough of Thaqi, Surroi, Kostunica, Tadiq. I excluded Rugova with a reason, as it has proven that he is the only guy in Balkans with vision. Time will prove he was one of the greatest personalities that Balkans has ever given.

Let peace prevail; let us start understanding respecting and listening to each other problems. It is not hard to find a solution.

If Serbs really love Kosova and really consider it as the cradle of their civilization they should start treating Kosova as their own home. We Albanians do consider Kosova/ancient Dardagnia to be cradle of our civilization therefore consider it our own home (most of us don’t want a union with Albania). I am convinced that if you join our parliament and fight with us to create an independent state, build a modern transparent democracy, and help us join the European Union ahead of everyone else in the region, GUARANTEED no Albanian will lay hand on you and the hatred will fade away.

It is easier to love then to hate, as it is more pleasant feeling for a human. Let us give each other a chance. Let us build a country that will serve as a good example, and guarantee the stability in the region. In the end all of us will benefit out of it, and all of us can be proud Kosovar citizens.

dave said...

that was one of the best comments i have ever seen on this blog. well said.
i like the swiss-kosovo comparison.
i do wish that more people would listen to surroi though, as i truly do believe that he also has vision and an excellent understanding of how kosovo can prosper in the international community.
- a concerned american

arianit said...

I have to agree with Dave, Surroi is the smartest diplomat Kosova has. I wish more people would recognize that. Rambush is the guy you go to get things done. Rugova is just a strongheaded lucky bastard.

fauna said...

Too bad Kosovar voters don't realize that. They ask for change and yet again vote for the same people who deliver nothing!

Chris Blaku said...

I agree with the basic permise underlying the above comment, however the vague comparisons are shakey at best. Kosova has little in common with Switzerland, and one can easily argue that every nation in the world has to be able to provide its citizens with the opportunity to live free.

It is premature to consider Kosovars unable to adapt to independence and suggesting that its government requires the supervision of the USA/EU/NATO. It is precisely the mismanaged international intervention that has withheld Kosova's progress economically, politically and socially over the past half decade, and it will be exactly that intervention that will halt its expansion into a self sufficient, independent nation going forward. It is outrageous to suggest that Kosova should become independent when it has reached the economic and social prosperity consistent with EU member nations, an outcome which is decades away at the least. Kosova should be given independence because of the remarkable restraint its citizens have shown in the face of stubborn international delays. In a region where 70% of the population is under the age of 30, and unemployment hovers in the neighborhood of 50%, political strife, violence and rebellion are commonplace, however rare among the optimistic Kosovars, who have displayed every notion of peace. The fact that in March 2004, in the face of a never ending limbo, there was rioting that was comparable to France's in recent weeks is not indicative of the rationale of the Kosovar citizens, who were driven to riot by lack of hope rather than racism.

The cradle of Serbian civilization is not in Kosova, but northwest of there in Rascia, where the Nemandji Serbian Dynasty founded the Rascian state, which would eventually become the Serbian state. Ancient references to a Serbian presence in Kosova are vague at best, and the notion that Serbia somehow discovered itself in the province is proposterous. The ancient Dardanians, the tribe of Illyrians that occupied the Kosova region, hold the claim to the earliest inhabitants of the region, and their transformation into modern Albanians has been documented by all respectable non-biased historians.

The writer is correct however, on peace prevailing. The Albanians have shown determination, particularly with the sensitive issue of the Serbian minority in Kosova (where else in the world are a people representing 5% of the population treated with such significance?). Tadic and Kostunica are transformed radicals (there are photos circulating of Kostunica in army gear firing his weapon in Kosova), and they cater to their radical voting circles, who have seen fit to allow the extreme Serbian Nationalists to form the largest group in Parliament. It should also be noted that Milosevic is allied with the largest group in "New Serbia."

People in Kosova need jobs, hope and a future to look forward to. They require independence to help them progress forward in these ambitions, and most of all, they require the ability to govern themselves, not to be babysat by the international community.

Prince of Albania said...

I hear so much about this idea of “Conditional Independence” as the most likely outcome of the “negotiations” about to take place. But this is so contradictive to today’s circumstances.

The very idea of Conditional Independence for a Balkan country today is an oxymoron!

Any country that wants to join NATO and the EU is in a state of Conditional Independence. None of these countries are "sovereign" with the full meaning of the word. Because they aspire to join these world bodies and as a result they have to meet their requirements, they surrender their sovereignty, A.K.A. Independence and are hence Conditionally Independent.
There by they are told what the penal code should reflect, how the borders of their countries are to be guarded, what kind of minority rights they have to secure, how to manage their economies, how to structure and streamline their armed forces etc. Once they adhere to these rules and regulations and meet the standards set to them by the institutions they wish to join then they are accepted into these bodies.

So if Kosovo is granted full independence and is recognized as a sovereign country, Kosovo too will have to meet the "conditions" set by the EU an NATO for it to join these institutions, thereby getting Conditional Independence by default like Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia now enjoy.

What I think we need is a sovereign Kosovo, guarded by NATO for the foreseeable future, with the EU having an advisory and consulting role.
The new state would have to enter into an SSA agreement with the EU and Partnership for Peace programe with NATO and fulfill all the conditions set on to them to join these institutions.
Kosovo should not in any way be Canonized or divided into Autonomous Zones but rather decentralized on the municipality level and have a strong central authority in Prishtina.
Kosovo should also have an army. Since the funds of the state will be modest this army could not and would not pose a threat to any of their neighbors. It would join them on the quest to join NATO and serve under one military structure. Macedonia, Albania and Serbia are allowed to have an army, why not Kosovo?
Kosovo should respect the rights and privileges of all her citizens. There should be no discrimination on any level on the basis of race, religion, ethniticity or otherwise. All the citizens of Kosovo should be allowed to cultivate their cultural heritage and Kosovo as a state should promote inter ethnic, inter religious communication and understanding.
Not just Serbs, but also the Roma should enjoy the same rights enjoyed by Albanians, Turks, Gorans, Croats and others in Kosovo. Full integration of all of Kosovo’s communities should be the goal, not separation. Only then can you really achieve the goal of a multi-ethnic Kosovo. This is the most crucial part of the future!
And finally, the newly recognized state of the western Balkans should embark on a foreign policy initiative to reconcile the countries of the region. I think an annual meeting of the heads of state of Serbia, Albania, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Kosovo and Macedonia would be a good start. Deeper cooperation on the lower levels, both military and economic would advance the chances of all these countries one day joining NATO and the EU.

So in closing Kosovo and it’s people are asking for the most basic human right, the Right to Self-determination.

Anything less and we would be turning our backs to justice and freedom.

Peace, Prince of Albania.

Kosovar2006 said...

Yet again Prince of Albania strikes with an excellent comment. I just wated to reply to the comment made by fauna. Yeah British wanted change to but voters voted for Blair for the third time 50 percent of Americans didnt want Bush yet again he won.

Ask yourself is this a flaw in Democracy

armera said...

Hey Chris,

I respect your opinion (as I went through some of you past posts), and by no means I want this to turn into some kind of argument (even though constructive arguments are good). I also want to assure you that our final views on Kosova are the same, one day I want to see Kosova even better that Switzerland.

I agree that you can't bluntly compare things; however I lived in Switzerland for 5 years and know that there are actually astounding similarities between Kosova and Switzerland.
The difference I guess is that Switzerland didn’t have a war for some 700 years, and they are one of the oldest still functioning democracies in the world, in fact Swiss is a bottom-up (people) democracy. Their political system is very complex and balanced, it is widely known as a Swiss magic formula. I have discussed Kosova even with a friend who is “Nazionalrat” (National Adviser) whose role in Switzerland is very important and in terms of Kosova he agreed that they are very similar. Furthermore mentality of people is also quite close in terms of traditionalism and perseverance of their culture and independent thinking.

In Switzerland you have the German speaking majority, and then French Italian and Romanche, all official languages of the country. They do have a very strong central government in Bern that decides over National matters, however all important aspects of life are regulated through Cantons/Cities. It is pretty much a city with its regional municipalities or the region around these Cities if you want to call it that way. The sizes vary from City Cantons ( very small) to bigger less developed regions like Canton Jura (big French speaking Canton) that even today want to separate from Switzerland and join France.

I didn’t say conditional independence for Kosova, I said supervised independence. What I meant is an Independent Sovereign Country where the rights of minorities would be guaranteed by USA/EU/NATO, please note here that I excluded UN. My own opinion is that UN is responsible for the current situation in Kosova, therefore they have lost their credibility. I know as well as many Kosovars that these UN officials took bribes in Kosovo. For most of the grants they gave in Kosova they took anywhere from 10 to 30% in Cash upfront, who knows one day they may be held accountable for their deeds. Of course I think that Kosova needs to be led by Kosovars as we have to take the future in our hands.

I personally think that Rugova was not lucky; however anyone here is entitled to have an opinion on that. Time will show us all I guess. I also don’t think that we should rely on either person/leader, rather I would like to see a political system that ensures transparency and that no one including the President/Prime minister is indispensable. That is what we have to try and achieve.

We also need help to achieve these goals, be it financially, advisory, supervisory with the final goal of becoming a full EU member. I also believe that it is us Albanians that have to lead the way; it is us that have to try and reach to the other sides now and show them what we stand for. I am not interested on creating another Balkan state that walks over its minorities and their rights. I would like to see MY country developing into a symbol of Balkans future. Greece as the most prosperous Balkan state today has failed to do that with Albanians and its other minorities, this is our historical chance so lets use it.

I plan to return in Prishtina from Canada and live there one day. I have not given up the future of my kids yet. Call me crazy but I am deeply convinced that one day Kosova will be just that. The symbol of peace and stability.

May peace and understanding prevail.

Chris Blaku said...

Prince of Albania, you struck a very positive chord with your comments and suggestions. However, the problem presented by the arrogance of the Serbian minority in Kosova is a strong hurdle to overcome, particularly without independence. Their virtual dependence on Serbia and Serbian politics ensures that they will strive to destruct the progression of Kosova as an independent state, and will always seek to return it to Serbian control.

Armera, I stand corrected. I initially thought you were thinking about Switzerland's lifestyle and neutrality, rather than their form of government and cultural diversity. I don't think you're crazy for envisioning Kosova to be a symbol of peace and stability in the future, as it is a goal that is realistic in every sense. Furthermore, due to Kosova's mineral wealth, it may very well become an economic powerhouse, or as you would say, the Switzerland of the Balkans.

Prince of Albania said...

Chris I think you missunderstood me.
My suggestion is that Kosovo becomes fully independent because as I mentioned above all the Balkan countries are placed under conditions, so automatically we will be conditionally independent.
So by Kosovo being fully independent and sovreign it would still have to meet the benchmarks set by the EU and NATO if it wishes to join these institutions.
As far as the Serbian minority, if there is no territorian division of Kosovo along ethnic lines, that is if the Serbs don't get territorial autonomy within Kosovo then they will have to integrate if they wish to lead normal lives!
The best way is a decentralisation plan like the one of the Albanians in Macedonia. If the Serbs of Kosovo as a 5% minority get more then the 35% Albanian minority in Macedonia might have to rethink their position and a bad precedent would be set for many world countries. Almost every country in the world has a 5% minority of another nation. Does that mean they all deserve territorial autonomy?
Peace, Prince of Albania.

Anonymous said...

the only way for kosovo to get independens is to wage an allout war aginst the serbs with the albanians acording to this pepols history all they've ever known is war and have proven they usuley get what they want this should be no diffrent this people are dying to kill serbs kosovans and albanians alike because in the end they consider themselfs one in the the same from what i've gatherd.