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Koha Digest # 54



The residence's garden has been as beautiful as ever. Rumors
are that at the beginning of the century it looked the same. As
if when the mandate of each ambassador expired, the main
obligation of the outgoing was to hand over the garden as it was,
to the incoming. On the veranda, the sun draws the border between
slates and grass. On this side of the sun, in the shade, a group
of Serbian opposers, with some invitees from Kosova and Sandzak,
gathered in a luncheon to the honor of a diplomat coming from his
faraway office at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The diplomat
has two more hours at his disposal before meeting the Serbian
president and is asking for opinions and postures of people who
are paid for representing a different opinion, opposite to the
president's. Once sitting around the table, the diplomat receives
answers stating that the opposition seeks guarantees for Serbs in
Bosnia and in Croatia, the possibilities for their communication
with Serbia through confederacy links, the lifting of the
sanctions... I ask whether these conditions could be guaranteed
to Kosova Albanians? The answer at the table is that this can be
discussed, but that "it must be realistically looked upon what
are the rights of the national minorities". The European diplomat
and his colleague from the UN, revolve their eyes. The second one
asks, more to himself than really expecting an answer: "How is it
possible that you are so eloquent when asking for the rights of
Serbs and dispute the same rights in the case of the Albanians?"

The answer was not eloquent. An isolated civic voice adds: "The
problem is in us. We see nothing beyond Serbia and Serbism". The
diplomat has one more hour to meet Milosevic. The man from the UN
continues the polemic with a simplified thesis: "You say that we,
the aliens, do not understand your problems. But, we have never
heard any explanation from you, which would clarify the
situation". The diplomat has half an hour more until he meets
Milosevic. In confidentiality with himself, he sighs and comforts
himself: "These are precisely the reasons why we are trying to
find a solution with Milosevic". On the garden, the shade and the
sun continue chasing each other.

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


In the next to last issue of the Macedonian pro-governmental
weekly PULS, a "reaction" of a unknown author was published in a
whole page, which was later republished in daily "Nova
Makedonija", to be finally published in Albanian daily "Flaka",
signed by Pande Kolemisevski (an explanation to the reader: P.
Kolemisevski is director of "Nova Makedonija" publishing house),
in which, in the style of the "Chairman of the Commission for
Information of the Central Committee if the Communist League of
Macedonia" starts a polemic with Kim Mehmeti and an article
published in our weekly and Iso Rusi and his analytical text,
published in "Nasa Borba". And not only this, but Kolemisevski,
taking the role of the "red censor", as if forgets that with this
act he sets a very bad example for the colleagues of the house he
manages: KOHA has been and remains open to all, therefore he
could have offered KOHA his polemic with Mehmeti, for it was
there where Kim's article was published, or at least insist the
"disputable" article to be published along with his text in a
Macedonian media. This would be the way to do it. If he would
have done this, then he would not have calumniated KOHA, by
saying that it is published in Prishtina, even more knowing that
the first issue, publication for Macedonia, was printed in "Nova
Makedonija's" print-shop. However, nothing more could be expected
from "the loyal soldier of the party" when he mixes the economic
and political weight of the "great auditor" with that of an
"accountant of an agricultural cooperative": the reader is the
one who must judge who writes what and how: "KOHA" has been and
continues being open for cooperation with all, including
colleagues from the house which has such a director. Authors of
different parts write for KOHA and we are not bothered by their
last names. The topics from Macedonia are covered by people of
that area and who are citizens of Macedonia (Maybe Mr.
Kolemisevski may know this from his "sources"). Finally: is his
article related to the "struggle against Albanian nationalism and
separatism" or the process of privatization of "Nova Makedonija"?



by Y.H. / Prishtina

The all-Serb gathering, pompously announced, to be held under
the auspices of the "Serbian Movement of Resistance" (SMR), seems

to be still uncertain. It was first scheduled on March 8, then on
April 8 and finally at the end of this month. But, the problem
doesn't only rely on dates, but also on the place where it is
supposed to take place. Because of forecasted reasons, the
gathering was planned to have taken place in one of the medieval
churches in Kosova, Gra‡anica and the Patriarchy of Peja being
mentioned. But, recently, the members of the SMR were harshly and
briefly told that the Serbian Orthodox Church doesn't want to get
involved in gatherings of political character. This surprised the
Serbian resistors from Kosova, as Belgrade's NIN states, who
expressed their surprise to the Church, because it's previous
disposition was quite different. Apart from the Church, there is
no other place where this all- Serb gathering could take place,
because the profane locals are not willing to lease their
premises. "Grand Hotel" said NO, as well as "Boro & Ramiz
Center", and many others. It seems that the meeting can take
place only in Moma Trajkovic's cooperative in Gra‡anica! Besides
this, even the participants who were loudly supporting the
initiative are not sure whether they will confirm their
participation. This list includes Dobrica Cosic, who, according
to some commentators, is more interested about Serbs on the other
side of the Drina. SMR's comment is, as usually mentioning myths,
the old Serbian medieval curse: "Who does not come to the Battle
of Kosova..."! It seems that many will be cursed...



by YLBER HYSA / Prishtina

The list of many political trials taking place in Kosova, has
recently been enlarged with another group of arrested and accused
by the installed Serbian judiciary organs in Kosova. The police
arrested a group of over 20 people (the majority of them were
subjected to physical brutal police violence), and later came up
with the request to start investigations against 12 detainees,
signed by prosecutor Jovica Jovanovic, while the Investigating
Judge of the Regional Court in Prishtina, Zoran Tabakovic, took
the decision to start the Investigation Procedure (36/95 dt. 19
April 1995) against the legitimate officials of the municipality
of Kaçanik, citizens and the Chairman of the Islamic Union. The
following are all under suspicion of having committed Art. 116
and 136: Hebib Shehu (1938) - Chairman of the LDK branch, Osman
Krasniqi - Chairman of the Municipal Assembly, Qamil Ilazi,
Mitalip Jezerci and Ilaz Loku - the first was official and the
latter former clerks of the People's Defense in Kaçanik, Maksut
Hoxha, President of the Local Government, Ibush Vishi - former
political prisoner and vice-chairman of the LDK branch, Xhevat
Bela - former administrative clerk of the People's Defense in

Kaçanik, Raif Veli Dema - Chairman of the Islamic Union Council,
Naser Kuka - former political prisoner, Idriz Krasniqi -
electrician and Xhavit Metallari. Shehu, Krasniqi, Ilazi and
Jezerci and the others "have acted since 1993 endangering the
constitutional order" of this creature called FR Yugoslavia and
have done through the "headquarters of the territorial defense",
which has elaborated the lists of reserve officers and young men
in order to establish military formations, which has gathered
money to buy arms, has made plans of evacuation and plans of
training young men in Albania, etc...etc. The accusations brought
up in this way, without analysing and following the judicial
procedure as how it came to it, would be only a short chronicle
in the annals of the trials that have been going on against
Albanians since some time. However, the detained were
interrogated on April 14 and 15, 1995 without the presence of the
attorney, while their interrogation by the investigating judge
was not done pursuant to the request of the public prosecutor,
but the criminal charges pressed against them by the State
Security Service, which is contrary to the law. This is how one
of the defending attorneys, Bajram Kelmendi, comments this case:
"This is a flagrant violation of the provisions of the Criminal
Procedure, since the investigations, according to the law, can be
conducted only pursuant to the request of the public prosecutor
for the initiation of the investigations and the arrested person
can be interrogated only if this request exists. Therefore the
function of persecution is of the public prosecutor and not of
the investigating judge or organs of internal affairs. Nemo iudex
sine actore, says the well known juridical sentence, therefore
the detained can't be interrogated by the investigating judge
only based on the criminal charges of the organs of internal
affairs, but only upon the competent prosecutor's request".

Kelmendi continues by qualifying as the worst feature in this
criminal procedure, something that represents the most flagrant
violation of the procedural provisions which guarantee the right
to legal defense for the accused. Thus, after the detained were
interrogated by judge Tabakovic when they defended themselves in
their statements, four days later, on April 19, two other
decisions of the investigating judge were adopted. The first
decision is the authorization the court gives the Ministry of
Internal Affairs of Serbia - State Security Department in Gjilan
to further conduct the investigations: interrogate the detained,
the witnesses, as well as collect proof in relation to the crimes
included in the request for the initiation of the investigation,
while the detained, as it was stated previously, had already been
interrogated by the investigating judge without the prior request
of the prosecutor. Referring to this serious violation, Kelmendi
says: "Thus, after they were interrogated by the investigating
judge and defended themselves, they were handed over to the State
Security organs, because their statements before the

investigating judge were not enough, and did not represent enough
grounds for indictment in this criminal cause. This means that
the detained, based on the decision of the investigating judge, a
decision made after the prosecution addressed him in writing,
they were handed over to the organs of State Security, which will
use physical torture to take out any statement from the accused.

This is the only way to understand Tabakovic's decision and
Jovanovic's proposal... In this way they legalize the use of
physical torture in Criminal procedure, which is in flagrant
collision with the law. The statements which the organs will get
from the detainees, using brutal torture, are known in juridical
science as argumentum bacilinum (beaten argument)!" Apart from
this serious violation, the investigating judge Zoran Tabakovic
adopted another decision, with the same number and date, and with
which he excludes the participation of the defending attorneys in
the procedure until the investigating procedure is over, which
according to the law could last 6 months! And Kelmendi says:
"With a decision which is in direct collision with Art. 73 and
168 of the Code on Criminal Procedure, the defending attorneys
are practically excluded from the criminal procedure during the
whole investigation, not being allowed to participate in
investigating proceedings such is the interrogation of witnesses,
the interrogation of the accused by the State Security organs,
the access to the files en bloc and access to all means that
could serve as proofs!" The example of the arrested from Kaçanik
is shocking as it is, but it is only one of the many on the list
and it doesn't seem that it is the last one. After the massive
arrest of the Albanian ex-policemen, this seems to be the second
step of what the "Serbian Movement of Resistance" called "the
break-down of the Albanian parallel system in Kosova". The
Kaçanik case is an excellent sample of how could it be acted in
all cases against the imagined "municipal headquarters of
defense" in Kosova. Starting from Kaçanik has its symbolic, it
means that the Serbian organs started their first attack on the
pretended statehood foundations of Albanians in Kosova.



by ASTRIT SALIHU / Prishtina

Several days ago, a communique prepared by four members of
the Association of Albanian Teachers of Kosova "Naim Frashëri"
(LASH), stating that Hajrullah Koliqi - vice-chairman, Fetah
Bylykbashi - Secretary, Ruzhdi Kastrati and Halim Hyseni -
members of the Presidency, have resigned from their posts, was

published in "Bujku". The reasons why the resignations inside the
Teachers' Association of Kosova are of great importance, are
found in the fact that these will not be only formal changes and
that they will be reflected in the Albanian education. Even
though we have reached a fragile consolidation of the educational
system where all levels of education, as well as organization
levels up to the ministry function, nevertheless the
circumstances in which they are functioning impose quite some
irregularities, anarchy, career aspirations and confusion of
competencies. Thus, for example, LASH which in a state
educational system does not represent a relevant ring in the
educational chain, had a very "important" role in gathering and
organizing teachers inside one association. But this was not all.

In a lack of the well-functioning of the system and its
educational instances, as is the Ministry for example, there were
many irregularities. Not so rarely, many communiques issued by
LASH were of the Ministry of Education's competence. The case of
the children's magazine "Pionieri", best illustrates this case,
when the chairman of this association signed the communique which
banned the eventual sale or distribution of other children's
magazines in Albanian schools apart from "Pionieri". The Ministry
didn't know a thing about this case. And it was not only this
communique which proved that LASH was not only accomplishing its
foreseen function as determined by it's statute. The arguments
mentioned above, force us to ask the question about which were
the reasons for the resignation of the vital part of the
presidency of this association. In the press release, it is said
that LASH was established on Dec. 12, 1990 and since then, no
Convention was celebrated, while there have been no meetings of
the Presidency since two years ago. It is very surprising to see
this fact on the release, since LASH has been very active and
present with its communiques in the press. LASH's vice-chairman
Hajrullah Koliqi said that "he didn't see it necessary to remain
in that post, since the Presidency has not gathered since two
years ago and that its mandate expired long ago, for it lasted
only two years and the electoral assembly never took place". The
same reasons were stated by Fetah Bylykbashi, Secretary. However,
Halim Hyseni, member of the Presidency claims that "there have
been not personal but professional discordances between him and
LASH, because of the way it acted". Hyseni is of the opinion that
"this association has acted with euphoria and the competencies
and authorizations have been surpassed. Such a situation
endangers Albanian education more than the obstacles set by the
Serbian regime". If the Presidency of the LASH has not celebrated
a meeting in two years and if since the foundation of LASH there
have been no Conventions, then it is not hard to see that we are
talking about the "history of the ones who are not" when
referring to LASH's history. Trying to get the opinion of the
other side, we approached Rexhep Osmani, asking him to comment on

the resignations of his closest collaborators, but as many times
before, he "didn't have time" and he was busy. Based on what the
former members of the Presidency declared, then it comes out that
in this association, the only one who has functioned and acted
was its Chairman Rexhep Osmani, surely without a verified
mandate. And not only this. He often presents himself as the
Minister of Education, as many people close to him say. This fact
is not unknown to the public, and even to our government. Why did
it come to this? Why can Rexhep Osmani claim he is the Minister?

Why can he elaborate press releases of the competence of the
Ministry of Education? These are only some of the questions the
Ministry of Education must give answers to and clarify the
relations inside our fragile educational system.




Following Kinkel's visit to Shkup, last week another German
minister visited Macedonia's capital: Carl Dieter Spranger,
Minister of Development and Economic Cooperation who is at the
same time German governor in World's Bank. This visit is of great
importance for the Macedonian government. Apart from the
political support it needs, especially now before the start of
the new round of negotiations with Greece, Macedonia is in need
of economic support, at the eve of structural economic
reformations. This visit is important knowing that Germany loaned
20 of the 55 millions dollars loan of the Paris Club to Macedonia
and even more knowing that the German minister is also governor
of World's Bank. It is to be mentioned that WB and IMF promised
an assistance worth 99 million dollars to Macedonia in
instalments, which will depend on the evaluations of the experts
of these two institutions. After meeting with the government
officials, German minister Spranger and Macedonia's minister for
development Beqir Zhuta, held a press conference and spoke about
their conversations. According to Zhuta, the relations between
Macedonia and Germany are increasing. He said that the German
minister has expressed the willingness to assist Macedonia
directly and indirectly. The German minister expressed his
satisfaction about the economic reformations, stating that these
reforms can't take place without the due social repercussions and
sacrifices. And this is precisely the reason why Macedonia should
be assisted, but not only by one state, for it needs the
assistance of other many states and international institutions.

Minister Spranger promised that he would inform the relevant
institutions as objectively as possible about the situation in
Macedonia. On the other hand, the other topic of discussion
between the German minister and his hosts in Macedonia was the
reprogramming of the debt to the Paris Club, and the German
minister also promised the hosts that he would help Macedonia in
this institution too. Even though no concrete agreements were
reached during this visit, it is evaluated as a successful one,
i.e., as a promising one. Two consecutive visits of two German
ministers of this economic giant (although they don't admit
Germany is a giant), speak of the interest of this country, which
is not agreeing to be only an observer in the new division of
spheres of interest. If Germany didn't manage to gain a visible
role in the political sphere, at least it would like to have a
good positioning in the economic sphere. Differing from foreign
affairs which are producing positive results, apart from the
contest with Greece and its wide economic and political
repercussions, the domestic affairs are characterized with
processes which could hardly be called positive. Some time ago,
attorney Mahmut Jusufi from Tetova, appealed before the
Constitutional Court of Macedonia and requested the determination
of the constitutionality of Articles 205 and 206 of the Criminal
Code of Macedonia. According to him, these articles were in
collision with Art. 21 and 51, respectively, of the Constitution
of Macedonia. The Constitutional Court of Macedonia, on its
session celebrated on April 19, concluded that the Constitution
guarantees the right to assembly for calm meetings and protests
and that the Articles quoted by the attorney were not in
contradiction with the Constitution, since they refer to
"non-calm" protests and gatherings. The competence of qualifying
a gathering as calm or non-calm, relies on the state organs, as
determined by the Court. The mentioned articles of the Criminal
Code are the ones applied in the indictment against the
initiators of the University of Tetova who were arrested after
the events in Reçicë e Vogël, on February 17, when as consequence
of the intervention of the police, an Albanian died. Several days
ago, the Criminal Council of the Municipal Court of Tetova,
decided that the trial against Fadil Sulejmani and Milaim Fejziu
will take place on April 26 in Tetova, while the trial against
Nevzat Halili will be celebrated on May 8, in the same town.




Driving from Rinas airport to Tirana downtown and looking

around into a very bad environment where instead of green areas
there is only dust and when you see carriages pulled by donkeys
or horses on the pavement, the first thought is that you have
come down to another world, another time... Nevertheless, what
becomes evident a couple of days after the return, is the
physiognomy of the people. One is shocked in front of faces full
of aggressiveness and hatred which, passing one beside the other,
as if want to show that they are ready to attack anytime. You ask
yourself: "Is it they have something against me or is it the way
the normally look?" Several days afterwards, you will find out
that they have nothing against you, but this is the way Albanians
usually look. Anyhow, longing for your people and land will
suppress these negative impressions and thoughts. Along with this
longing comes the feeling that something needs to be done, to
change, as soon as possible, this image which is your own. This
natural thought is developed in the idea of political engagement.

Whoever tries to approach Albanian politics with ideas and ideals
about political engagement, very rapidly sees himself as a naive
wearing civilian clothes and approaching with his hands in his
pockets and his head looking up the sky, a zone where people,
dressed militarily, are armed fully with weapons, knives and iron
gloves, where there is constant shelling and when you are
constantly fearing from stepping on a mine. After the
developments in the past three years, whoever wants to see, has
become convinced that Albania is resembling a creature who has
turned it's head towards Europe but its body is still in Asia and
is suffering from the contradiction between the wish to overcome
this gap immediately and the real impossibility to do this. What
is the essence of the Eastern and Western thought? It is a very
complicated theme to be elaborated and it needs a deep knowledge
of Eastern and Western history both. At the East there has always
been a system of values, around and at whose service have other
values functioned. Take Russia for example. The Tzar has always
been omnipotent, Lenin and later Stalin have been nothing else
but a repetition of the archetype of the Tsars. Islam, in the
example of Muhammad, who at the same time represented the
spiritual and laic rule, continued totalitarianism under the rule
of the sultans, kings and sheiks. We Albanians belong to this
world in general, and a negative characteristic of the Eastern
thought, which makes it even more negative, I would say, emerges
from the fact that we are a small state. If Russian
totalitarianism is characterized by the idea of the great nation
which has decided about the destiny of the world, we are
characterized with the need to have a father or a big brother.

During history, we have always sought for and found it and this
has developed, among us, the mentality of the one that ask for
strong support from the outside to oppress and rule the ones
inside, which is so wild inside and so servile to the big one

outside. This has made the Albanian people feel twice a slave in
the totalitarian systems in which it has lived: in relation to
the Albanian ruler and the foreign patron. Someone would say that
Albania has many examples of tolerance, that the three
confessions, e.g., could be considered as three systems of values
which have coexisted in Albania to the perfection. I don't think
it is quite like this. According to me, three confessions have
coexisted relatively in peace, not because they have never been
as strong in the spirit of the Albanians, but because they were
weak as opposed to the rule on earth. This is a question which is
often asked. What does the new class of Albanian politicians
represent today. If you listen to the former political prisoners,
then they will say that the part of the former Communist clan is
ruling, and their descendants who have activated some
ex-persecutees who have betrayed the strata they belong to. If
you listen to the Communists they say that the Ballists and the
American diaspora are deciding about politics and are dictating
Albanian politics in cooperation with some ex- Communists, which
are the worst of the kind. A part of ordinary people claim that
power is in the hands of the "servants of the Communists". Trying
to make a categorization of the new political class is very hard,
because you risk to fall to old or new passions, anachronism,
schematism, and often, trying to evade these, become absurd. If
we try to find parallelism in the events after the war and those
of the '90s, we will notice that the democratic movement arose in
Tirana and the most developed towns of Albania, at the most
civilized layer, in the one which was more conscious than ever of
the fact that things must change. The new leading team contains
both former Communists and former prisoners. But, which would be
the characteristic that would bring them together? If we look
deeper into this, then we will see that the essence of the
Albanian way of ruling is the tendency to have the state in the
hands of a clan of absolute power, which eliminates the other
clans and exclusively decides about the fate of the people,
enjoying at the same time, all the privileges that political
power gives. Only this explains the paradox which surprises all:
the combination of the former Communists and former prisoners
with former secret policemen in a sole party in power. We have
all followed the evolution of Berisha's political thought. His
political posture has changed and evolved during these three
years converting from moderation to radicalism; from the support
of national reconciliation to a balancing that leads towards
splitting, from the liberal airs to the airs of a ruler of
despotic characteristics. What has forced him to act thus? Which
is the real Berisha? It seems as if Berisha weren't anything else
but a compass needle with North as power, and who in order to
keep it, must respect the "magnetic fields" which take him
towards the North and whose change forces him to change his
position. This tendency towards absolute power makes any party
established in Albania to think of itself not as a small party,

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but as a consequent one, which will represent a determined ideal
or a determined societal layer. There is a moment which makes you
reflection about what happened in Albania in times of Communists,
and about the actual situation in Albania, and ask yourself: is
it a causality, that since the Albanian state has been
established, the fate of the people was decided by the ones who
knew how to impose themselves by force (regardless of the
difference of impositions). Is it a causality that Albania's most
tragic fate was in the camp of birth? Is it only the distorted
will of some to consider any opposition today as hostile and that
the tension is so big that no one is sure that after two years
there will be free and democratic elections, or that there will
be manipulated elections, or maybe that there will be no
elections at all. Is it a causality that almost all Eastern
states had their anticipated elections, while we fear from the
elections, not only the rulers, but ordinary citizens, because we
don't know what may happen. Is it a causality that for the third
time in a row in the history of Albania, the same phenomenon
occurs, that of the concentration of the power in only one hand,
which is more and more disrespecting the will of the others?

Three times in the history of the independent state there were
new political forces which aimed at the reconstruction of this
state, at the beginning of the '20s, at the beginning of the '40s
and at the beginning of the '90s. On the three occasions the
movement has started by a number of personalities which were
eliminated from the political life of the state and were replaced
by one person: Zogu eliminated Noli, Konica, Gurakuqi, etc. Enver
Hoxha first eliminated the people who represented the opposition
in his party and then he eliminated all personalities inside the
Communist movement. The same thing, on a psychological level, is
happening with Berisha, who seems to have eliminated all
personalities who could decide about the fate of the people and
has started gathering around him people who paraphrase his
political thought. It can again be said that Albania is not so
rotten nor poor in personalities and again the question may
arise: is it Berisha's fault that he is not inspired by the love
of the creation and elevation of the Albanian people or is it the
fault of our Eastern tendency to leave the power in the hands of
only one person, the one who proves to be the most capable in the
struggle for power. I believe that Albania and the Albanians
can't give an answer to this question. In the fourth year of
transition, it can't be said that Albania has no pluralism, but
this is more a pluralism of clans than a programmatic pluralism
and the risk is that the strongest clan will oust the rest of the
clans from the political scene and become a mafia holding power.

When using the term "clan" - we refer to a group of people much
more closed than the parties, which concepts the relations with
the others in terms of conflict and not dialogue, which requests

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strong emotional investment from its members, which doesn't
respect the law, but loyalty and service and from what is stated
above, develops nepotism. Berisha's attempt to use nationalism in
this sense, have failed because of the lack of a strong national
feeling among Albanians tired of a difficult life in this
country. Also, Berisha's opening towards pluralism of ideas and
human rights' cult, which exists in European countries, without
whose assistance Albania could not have survived, don't allow him
to disrespect the will of the other fully, as it used to be
before. All of this, as well as the economic situation which is
not part of these reflections, makes us believe that we will
continue living in a threatened freedom, in the fourth year of
transition too.



The most recent book by Mehmet Kraja, one of the witnesses of
the processes of the dramatic changes in Kosova at the beginning
of the nineties and the founder of the most massive political
organization among us, the LDK, has caused different reactions.
All thoughts and expressions are of the author and are not linked
to any position of the Editorial Board of "KOHA", which will be
publishing a series of interesting fragments with the permission
of the author.

Regardless of the fact, that taken as a whole, the events
which were taking place in these times were the preamble of a
tragic "happy-end" and regardless of the fact that Kosova, on the
Yugoslav political scene was being destroyed in the most brutal
way, they will create the climate, the space and atmosphere for
Kosova to recreate its political identity, in new circumstances
now and with a totally different political background. These
events, especially the "Trepça" miners' strike at the beginning
of 1989, will affirm Kosova in broader dimensions, including the
international. The real reasons of this affirmation in the
European media, must be found in the clear pre-sign - the
dismantlement of the Former Yugoslavia, which had started
resembling a balloon ready to explode anytime. Apart from this,
the manifestations in November, the hunger strike of the "Trepça"
miners and the events to follow, finally broke the Serbian
propaganda on Kosova and Albanians among the domestic public,
especially the North-Western. The truth was that Slovenia and
Croatia had already started making plans to secede and they saw
Kosova as a good example to advance in their secessionist policy.
In the future period, the posture towards Kosova in these two ex-
Yugoslav republics, will depend exclusively on their internal

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situation and the level of the exploitation of Kosova's issue for
their interest. This is why their posture towards Kosova suffered
great variations and it will start with a huge open sympathy,
manifested in public, and it will end with an open lack of
interest, in the moment when it becomes obvious that Kosova can't
produce any gains any more (in the case of Slovenia) or when it
becomes obvious that it can't be used as an ally in the war
against Serbia (in the case of Croatia). However it may be and
regardless of the political background, with the end of the
"Trepça" miners' hunger-strike, the Slovenian political
leadership makes a civilizing gesture of support to Kosova, in a
political and public meeting held in "Cankarjev Dom" in
Ljubljana. Even though it was planned as "a meeting for internal
use", its sole celebration in times of a striking aggressive
Serbian propaganda on the whole territory of the former
Yugoslavia, gets a special dimension. Even more, when this
happens in times of lack of support, in times of loneliness, in
times when, apart from Albania, as much as it could and as much
as the external circumstances allowed it, Kosova was not
receiving any moral support from anywhere. In the internal plan,
the massive gatherings and the miners' strike will cause
important effects. Apart from the homogenization, which now
becomes dominating an undisputable, including even the
"moderates", and the small servants of the government, even the
opponents, these events create a clear demarcation line between
the public political requests of the Albanians and Serbia's idea
to get over Kosova with political means. These events totally
revealed the new political clan in Kosova, which, compared to all
previous clans, being servile towards Serbia, wouldn't stop.

These events made everyone conscious that Albanians are finally
facing Serbia directly and that, when the moment comes, they will
draw a division line. Despite all, despite the fact that Serbia
is ruling Kosova classically, directly or through Federal organs,
Serbia still does not hurry to take "independent steps" in Kosova
and still is trying to pacify Kosova with political means.
Yugoslavia still exists and the advantages it creates must be
still enjoyed (...). Even though whatever starts ends with
constitutional changes and with all the fact that the political
backgrounds disappear and appear on the surface released from all
tendencies and aims of Serbia, it can't be said that Albanians,
all in an organized way, did what they could do in these
circumstances. Many Albanian individuals, bearers of the
political and executive power, who even in these times calculate,
think of profiting as much as possible in these circumstances and
a number of them, members of the so called political active of
Kosova, start working in the old Communist style trying to
convince the masses that these changes can't cause evil to
Kosova, and that it will even gain something from the changes,
etc. This happened especially in the first phase. I still

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remember the names of the individuals who were going from one
meeting to the other, some of them even "specialists" of
Constitutions and professors of the University, would go on TV
and explain things in the worst way possible, lacking of moral.
Finally, wasn't the Assembly of Kosova (Parliament), comprised of
Albanian majority, with or without pressure, willingly or not,
threatened or convinced, well, wasn't this Assembly the one which
voted with a majority of votes the so called "Constitution of
tanks". If the adoption was really violent, if there were really
irregularities, as it was claimed later, why those delegates
(MPs), individually or as a group, all or maybe several of them,
didn't come out a explain to the public what happened that day in
the Assembly? This was their political and moral obligation and
this obligation still remains on their heads, at least towards
those who got killed on the streets of Kosova, while they,
solemnly dressed, raised their fingers in favor of a shameful
"yes", washing in blood their own lie, their treason. Treason in
fact, because treason will always happen to Albanians in the
decisive moments, it will be a "vis maior" which will reign in
their conscience even in the biggest changes (...). In this phase
and in this period, two political acts of the Kosovan
intelligence, which first gains the trust of the people and
second, takes over its backs the responsibility for the future of
Kosova, the national issue. Naturally, now it is late to talk
about whether the intelligence should have taken on itself this
responsibility, because the situation n Kosova is extremely
serious, with a very few chances to be solved and, on the other
hand, political clans, state bureaucracy, coming one after the
other, especially in the last years, had lost Kosova all the
power and had destroyed fully its autonomous subjectivity. What
could anyone do in these circumstances? Dissatisfaction because
of the situation could be expressed, disagreement could be
expressed, but that was it. However, this dissatisfaction and
disagreement expressed by the intelligence will be backed up by
all the people which remained defenceless, supportless and
without any vision. Naturally, the Kosovan intelligence then, was
not conscious of the burden it was taking on its back and, being
without political experience, a bit confused by snobbism, a bit
by the idea of the national ideals could not be reasoned by it,
acts justly, constructively but in a very dangerous and
unbearable way for its own political potential, which Kosova
could not overcome. To be clear: the intelligence does not do
this for political career, reputation, even though these should
not be excluded, but it is trapped by the moral obligation, it
can't escape any more, at least, not without taking part of its
own responsibility. In those moments, Kosova was in a fog and
someone must have taken the burden of creating "the political
identity through rejections and rebellion". Things were unsolved,
the atmosphere was full of cries of protests and disappointment,
the political nomenclature had lost all the trust. Only one

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political gesture of the intelligence and, in general, the
interest of the public turned that way. The first one was the so
called "Appeal 215". This was a letter- appeal signed by 215
people, mainly intellectuals, which was directed to the organs of
government, on all levels, against the constitutional changes.

The letter was not written in the best way, it contained no
political analysis, but clearly articulated the disagreement with
the restriction of the autonomy of Kosova. The signatories of the
appeal were not selected according to any criterions, but since
the majority belonged to institutions gathering intellectuals,
this was enough to call it "Appeal of the 215 Albanian
intellectuals". The number of the people who signed it was
casual. The organizers of the letter, don't seem to have done
this in order to achieve a practical task, but more to articulate
a political opinion, because the appeal was signed only three or
four days before the meeting, and it was clear that neither the
letter, nor the plebiscitary opinion of the people, would bring a
positive conclusion. Nevertheless, as a structure, the ones who
signed the Appeal were the journalists of "Rilindja" and the
doctors of the Faculty of Medicine. Here and there a name from
other institutions could be found, but the concentration was in
these two institutions. After its publication, this Appeal
started a wild campaign of differentiation among the
intelligence, which practically suffered no pain, but on the
contrary, differentiated it clearly from the political
nomenclature and converted it into the open defender of the
national interests. This sole act, the appeal and the noise which
was made about it in Party meetings, the Albanian intelligence
gained big trust of the people who were defenceless, and had no
one who could articulate political requests on its behalf. The
situation was not easy at all, when this trust was won. But,
surely, there were very few that could imagine that even more
difficult situations would come, situations which should be
overcome with the burden of preservation and verification of the
quickly gained trust. Truly, it could be an infatuation and
exaltation, pride or maybe all of them altogether, but there was
no feeling of responsibility. And this because in those moments,
as well as later during a relatively long time, there was no need
for responsibility, because everything was at the verbal level.

Still, everything was said and nothing was being done. And no one
should think that there was wisdom in what was said, that this
was high-ranked politics. The opponent was identified, its
positions were clear and one had only to oppose it with a bit of
history, a bit of national euphoria, a bit of civilizing codes, a
bit of national-Communist terminology and a bit of Yugoslav
Socialist self-management terminology. This is how the layering
of the ideas in the majority of the texts written from the Appeal
and on came about, with the slight difference that depending on

- 15 -
the time when they were written, the level of harshness against
the opponent, as well as the message which wanted to be conveyed
determined the codes to be applied. There is another circumstance
which will influence the intensification of the communication of
the intelligence in Kosova with the politicized masses: the act
of the destruction of the Communist League (CL). It is hard to
find such as an example as Kosova, where the CL was destroyed so
rapidly. The Communist League in Kosova, similar to the rest of
Yugoslavia, had already lost the force of action, because the
disintegrating processes had shaken first of all "the ideological
unity" and it, the CL, as an instrument of the unitary
government, instead of creating the ideological basis for
cohesion, had become a ring of disagreements and contradictions.

In Kosova, the CL had always served as an instrument of the
central government and, in new circumstances of open hostility of
that rule with the people, it could not achieve any other task,
different from the one it had so far, with the slight difference
that the posture had become totally opposite. In the case of the
constitutional changes, the Communist League had to lead, it had
to do the preparatory activities, it had to create the political
platform and, with the method of compulsory conviction, had to
produce the expected results. The CL in Kosova had to turn into a
degraded political instrument, whose supposed force would be used
by Serbia to achieve the needed conclusions - adopt the
constitutional amendments. At the beginning this was done, but
not so easily. To be sure of the results and advance even more in
the direction of the ruin of the autonomy, after the last
autonomists were ousted, Serbia appoints its own people in
political party and state posts of Kosova, 100 proof, long-time
collaborators of the secret police and the military intelligence
service - KOS, (whose names I won't mention for purely hygienic
reasons). In this continuance, as the miners' strike was ending,
the new political leadership of Kosova, especially the then
President of the Provincial Committee, not only didn't leave his
post, which was one of the miners' requests, but became a
sickening bastard. And he, naturally, continued to talk and act
politically on behalf of the membership, who paid him well for
that. And not only him, but the whole herd following him. The
anger and deception caused with this act could not be paid off
otherwise but the massive desertion of the CL by its members.

Everything started in "Rilindja" and happened very quickly. Some
journalists of the culture department were talking about what had
happened the previous night - the way the miners were deceived,
because the President of the Party hadn't resigned even though
this was the last of the miners' request. It was intolerable to
still be considered members of the party after all what had
happened (the vast majority of the journalists of "Rilindja" were
members of the CL, and its Basic Organization was considered as

- 16 -
one of the strongest in Kosova). We quickly elaborated a list of
names who were giving up on their membership. On the top, we
wrote a sentence explaining this as a moral act, because of the
irresponsibility of the CL for all what was happening in Kosova.
End. The signatures started coming in one by one, three, five,
seven... For our colleagues' sake, we had to inform them too and
especially the ones of the domestic rubric, who were numerically
the largest. In half an hour, there were already forty
signatures. An old journalist who didn't even remember when he
had become member of the Party, and who had written thousands of
anthems for the Party, Socialism and Tito, signed without any
hesitation and said: "Finally I got rid of this...!". Those were
moments of catharsis. In the afternoon, the list was taken over
by the journalists of the domestic rubric. The number of
signatories increases, while there are some who evade to sign the
list. They will never have a chance to do it again, because the
Party was destroyed even before they came to their senses. The
journalists of domestic politics wrote an extremely harsh and
accusing text which they sent to TV Prishtina. At that time, TV
Prishtina had a much more liberal editing policy than "Rilindja".
The text was read in the main news broadcast that evening. This
was enough to make the majority of the basic organizations of the
CL in Kosova fall apart in the following days, with an incredible
speed. In this matter too, the logic of the masses reigned:
whoever is not with us - is with them! This fact was mentioned in
order to stress the second relevant argument, which made the
people trust the intelligence, get closer to it and support its
actions (...). Maybe in order to fill this gap, mainly under the
influence if some intellectual and political circles in Zagreb,
the branch of UJDI (Association for Yugoslav Democratic
Initiative) was established in Prishtina. It aimed at the
restructuring of Yugoslavia on the bases of political pluralism
and pluralism of interests. The later events proved that this
initiative was a much more positive option, than the
dismantlement of Yugoslavia by war, but the matter of secession
and dismantlement had gone so far, that this "unitary Yugoslav
initiative" was impossible, it was in vane. In each republic, the
nationalist disintegrating forces were much more stronger and
organized, so UJDI, since its foundation, was meant to fail.

There were few national forces, which thought of the future of
their own people within the Yugoslav state framework, regardless
of whether it will live as a minimal consensus or as a sum of
mutual interests of all people that comprise it. Even less in
Kosova where the things were differentiated clearly and where be
it with euphoria or the "front of refusal", the struggle for the
determination of the demarcation line with whatever is Yugoslav,
was being fought. Veton Surroi was heading this initiative and
elected chairman. A small number of the so called moderate
individuals of different national appertaining, who had to set "a

- 17 -
personal example" of how to overcome conflictive situations and
intolerance between people, became its members. There was nothing
new for Kosova, and very little was acceptable, because the
tolerance of the Albanians, be it forced and imposed, was
destroyed systematically by Serbian chauvinism, which has now
become institutionalized on all levels of government. Albanians
were not controlling any longer the tolerance and understanding.

Their nationalism, their "intolerance", their political
convictions and all were captivated by a vis maior, called
Serbia. The only alternative to the "front of refusal" was the
unconditional subjugation, which, regardless of the fact that it
could have given the results that we have today in Kosova, would
be missing one essential thing: the political identity of
Albanians and the national identity of Kosova. Regardless that
UJDI was a "premeditated failure", it was important for Kosova,
as an attempt to seek new initiatives in search of a new
political identity. On the federal level, there were already some
preconditions for political pluralism. UJDI was a test of what
could be done in this direction in Kosova too. Nothing
spectacular, nothing historical. The later developments will give
it dimensions which objectively the foundation of any civic party
in a pluralist system should have, burdening it with a great
responsibility, which realistically can't be held by any
political party, apart form the Communist parties in totalitarian
systems. It was autumn of 1989. The political confusion in Kosova
was bigger than in other parts of Yugoslavia, where the national
forces had started consolidating. There was a "front of refusal"
which comprised almost the whole people. On the other side of the
"barricade" was the government, with the new political
nomenclature, which a bit drawn by inertia and a bit by its
convictions, had subjugated totally to Serbia's blackmail,
threats and impositions. It couldn't be expected that this
nomenclature could politically articulate the requests of
Albanians. On the other hand, the requests of Albanians were
undefined, and there was no vision which could foresee a way our
from this situation. Intellectuals, even academicians, University
professors, writers and journalists, would here-there in domestic
and foreign media say something that had no political weight,
because they would rather articulate a personal opinion and were
not backed up by an organized force. They were also mainly
rejecting anything coming from Serbia. This was precisely what
made the idea to do something, to articulate the requests of
Albanians through an organized force, a political subject,
finally a group of people, appear. There were three "Rilindja's"
journalists of culture, who were discussing this matter: Xhemajl
Mustafa, Ibrahim Berisha and myself. I would never have mentioned
this moment if it weren't for some confusion created in the
public... The idea was for Kosova to have a clear articulation of
its political requests, precisely through a subject, an

- 18 -
organization, which would gather more people and which would mean
something in an atmosphere of total confusion. There was the
Writers' Association headed by Rugova, who had become famous due
to his statements given mainly to foreign journalists who were
massively coming to Kosova then. However, he was leading an
association with over 100 people. There was Rexhep Qosja,
academician, a person of great authority, who was openly talking
and writing about what was happening in Kosova. There were also
other intellectuals who were giving useful statements, as Surroi,
Maliqi and maybe some other, but they were individuals and didn't
represent an organized subject. Surroi's UJDI, which had the late
Yugoslav integralism as a foundation, was not attractive to
people. Kosova needed something else, something clearer
politically, something more Albanian, more national... We didn't
talk about the idea with many people. We told Jusuf Buxhovi our
colleague, Ali Aliu, University professor and literary critic,
and two doctors, also University professors, Zenel Kelmendi and
Bujar Bukoshi, which we met with very often. Actually we started
meeting with them after the Appeal and the differentiation
campaign, when they, at the Surgical Clinic, had taught the
"differentiation group" from the Municipal Committee a lesson...

All of them approved the idea, and Buxhovi was the most energetic
and capable in communication and crystallization of the idea.
What would it be: an association of intellectuals, club or more -
a political party? Political party! But, how, and under what
name, with what program? It was not easy to articulate the
political requests of the Albanians, even in a political program.
We, who were discussing the matter, were mainly people dealing
with culture and did not know much of politics. Then, it had to
be a political organization which would have to fulfil some
formal conditions (it had to be registered at the Federal
Secretariat of Jurisprudence), not to be directly opposed to the
government (the Foundation Assembly had to be authorized by the
police) etc. The program, on the other hand, had to give answers
to the political requests of Albanians. Then the name. It had to
have the prefix "Democratic" and it had to be "of Kosova". I
can't remember whose idea was the "League", ours or Buxhovi's
consultants, but none of us liked it, because it associated so
much to the CL. Anyhow, as we had agreed, a couple of days before
the Assembly, Buxhovi brought the program and statute. From the
first sentence I knew that it was not written by Buxhovi, nor a
"team", but by an "anonymous" person, who , from the back-front
is still making political moves in Kosova. The program was full
of political phrases, long and confusing sentences, lacking
Albanian syntax and clear political thought. Nevertheless, the
political subjectivity of Kosova was there, some very important
political interests of Albanians were included. It was a poor
program, and it is maybe good that it was adopted by the Assembly
in that form, because on the contrary, the police would not have

- 19 -
allowed our gathering, nor would it been registered by the
Secretariat. The LDK wouldn't have been established at all or it
would have remained an illegal party, at least in the times when
not everything was out of the system. But, the party's program
was poor, extremely poor, surely the poorest political program of
any political party established in Yugoslavia and Kosova. Because
the party was registered with this program, no one paid any
attention to it later. Since it was as it was, LDK's program, as
far as I remember, was never published as a whole, and later we
elaborated an extract for distribution, which was also translated
into foreign languages. This is all about the program. The
statute was a short text, which described the organization of the
party and the right of any citizen of Yugoslavia to become member
of the LDK (...).

- 20 -

J A V O R E / Albanian weekly

P.O. BOX 202

Issued by the KOHA Editorial Board

English Edition: KOHA

Contact Person: Filloreta Bytyqi

Phone & Fax: +381 38 31 031
+381 38 31 036
Modem: +381 38 31 276


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