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JOUR 623: Media History


Lecturer: Dafina Paca
MA candidate: Faton Raçi
14 September 2009

Demonstrations in Kosovo in 1981


(The short history that preceded demonstrations, the reasons behind, media
coverage and possible organizers)

Essay

Yugoslav President, Josip Broz Tito died in 1980. The following year massive

student demonstrations erupted in Kosovo. Although initially looked as an unaffected

protest against the bad food in student’s cantina of the University of Kosovo, everything

turned into an open political riot, dominated by the demand for “Kosovo Republic”.

Mainly Albanian communist leadership of Kosovo soon after found a “solution”. They

intervened and brought in special federal police units and army tanks. That action caused

many victims, lots of wounded demonstrators, proclamation of the state of emergency

and closure of the university, deteriorating thus the relations between Albanian and

Serbian population. These were probably the first marking signs of what came later: total

blockade of institutional life of Kosovo Albanians, apartheid, and war.

Following the year 1974, when major constitutional changes were made in the

Constitution of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Kosovo’s political and

economical progress was raising for the first time in its history. Thus, the dilemma that
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remains unclear even nowadays is who organized the demonstrations of 1981, Kosovo

Albanians, Serbian Secret Service, or were they planned and organized with the ‘foreign

assistance’? Why was picked the subsequent year of Tito’s death? How were the

demonstrations classified and covered by the local and foreign media?

This essay tend to provide a different views of these and some other issues, by

introducing a brief historic summary of Kosovo’s progression until then, by comparing

different views and conclusions about the demonstrations provided by some of the main

protagonists, local and international analysts, authors and thinkers, and by comparing

domestic and foreign news coverage of the event.

From the Ottoman Empire to Request for ‘Kosovo Republic’

The beginning of the 20th century found Kosovo as an integral part of the Ottoman

Empire. In fact even though the first Albanian national awakening movement, or The

League of Prizren, occurred in 1878 in Prizren, Albania as an independent state has been

announced in 1912. Unfortunately, although part of the same national body many

territories inhabited by the Albanians were left out of it. Kosovo, which also remained

out, was further divided by its neighbor-states, Montenegro and Serbia. This occurrence

was by Kosovo Albanians considered as a turning-point in relations between Serbs and

Albanians. Respectively, while Serbs considered it as their liberation, Kosovo Albanians

perceived it as a conquest.

Thus, after the World War I Kosovo found itself being part of the new Kingdom

of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes. Albanian insurgents hence continued their armed struggle,
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They opposed the incorporation of Kosovo into Serbia. Serbian authorities, apart from

bloodshed suppression of such actions brought the Serbian and Montenegrin settlers to

Kosovo, who have banned the use of the Albanian language in all official or unofficial

occasions. As a result, and according to historical sources, it is estimated that 215,412

Albanians were forcefully expatriated from Kosovo toward Turkey, until the World War

II1.

The World War II brought Kosovo under the occupation of Germany, Italy and

Bulgaria. Such development was initially welcomed by many Kosovo Albanians, as an

opportunity for revenge against the Serbian regime. But, with the triumph of Yugoslav

communist forces (partisans) Kosovo was again annexed by Serbia and it became part of

a newborn state, Yugoslavia. The persecution of many Albanians, who were by new

communist regime considered as collaborators of occupation forces has restarted, and it

stopped only in 1966, after the removal of Aleksandar Rankovic, the Interior Minister of

Yugoslavia. Two years later, in November 1968, Kosovo Albanians held their first

massive demonstrations. This was the first time that Kosovo Albanians publicly

demanded more political rights and chanted the slogan “Kosovo Republic”. On the other

hand, although by the leadership of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia

demonstrations were classified as aggressive and nationalistic, the following year (in

1969) the first university in Albanian language was opened. Kosovo Albanians then

acquired the right to use Albanian flag. Few years later, by the approbation of the new

Yugoslav Constitution in 1974, Kosovo gained the right of self-governance. Whereof,

1
Kosova Information Center, ‘Expulsion of Albanians and Colonization of Kosova’, (The Institute of
History in Prishtina, Prishtina:, 1997, Chapter II, Serbian Occupying Wars and Other Measures for
Expulsion of Albanians 1912-1941) <http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/Kosovo/chap2.htm> [Accessed on 15 July
2009]
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Kosovo’s status became equal to other Yugoslav republics, as Kosovo now had the right

to independently appoint its highest officials, its president and the government, and its

representative for a seat within collective Yugoslav Presidency. Kosovar central bank and

its independent police forces were also established, as well as the right to veto laws

proclaimed by the Serbian Parliament which affected the province. Except this last prefix,

everything seemed smoothly flourishing and going upwards. But just for a couple of

years, until March 1981, when new massive demonstrations rocked Kosovo again and

caused a total distraction of the Yugoslav communist regime.

How it Started, Why and What Happened?

On 11 March, 1981, few Albanian students of Kosovo University began their

revolt, caused by poor living conditions and bad diet in student’s dormitory cantina of

student’s centre in Prishtina.

Soon after their slogans changed toward expression of economic and social

concerns of the demonstrators, as the slogan ‘Trepça2 produces, Belgrade is being build’

became the main one. Revolt gradually shifted, until it reached the point when few

thousand Kosovo Albanians occupied the main streets of Prishtina. As a result, the

slogans shifted two, and the new ones emphasized diverse political dimensions of the

protests; such as ‘Liberty, Equality, Democracy’, ‘Kosovo to Kosovars’, ‘Unification of

Albanian lands’, ‘Kosovo Republic’, etc. Further, on 26 March, when Tito’s Relay

arrived in Prishtina demonstrators tried to grab it. Just then it became clear for Kosovar

2
The Trepça Mines was a huge industrial complex near Mitrovica, with around 23,000 employees. It was
considered as one of the biggest companies in socialist Yugoslavia.
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government that students are strongly dedicated to act according to their slogans. Many

years later, in an interview for a Kosovar daily in 2006, Mahmut Bakalli, one of the most

prominent communist leaders in Kosovo at that time, said that such increase in numbers

of demonstrators was encouraged by a leaked information from an emergent meeting held

couple of days before the incident.

"We made a plan how to solve the crises in Prishtina. I proposed that our police

should not care real bullets in their guns,” Bakalli recalled3. According to him, the

information was “accidentally” delivered to an illegal political activist by one of

participants in the meeting. Thus, as Bakalli said: “He then organized the

demonstrations, knowing that policemen’s don’t have the real bullets. They were

encouraged to participate.”4

On the 1 and 2 April new demonstrations erupted throughout Kosovo, this time

with a considerable increase of participants. This was not a ‘game’ anymore, as it seemed

that Kosovo Albanians were strongly determined to continue with their demands for

‘Kosovo Republic’. Subsequently, large police and military forces were brought in to

Kosovo, in order to suppress the demonstrations, although Kosovar politicians claimed

that they didn’t invite the Federal Police or the Army to intervene. In fact, they were

right, as even though Federal Constitution forbid Serbia’s interference of any kind inside

the territory of Kosovo without gaining the permission from its politicians, it seemed that

Serbian authorities found a solution: they managed to convince Federal Forces to

intervene, by insisting that demonstrations in Kosovo represent direct peril for Yugoslav

sovereignty and territorial integrity. They knew that if is the case, the permission from

3
Baton Haxhiu, ‘Last Interview with the Former Yugoslav Leader, Mahmut Bakalli’, Express Newspaper,
(Prishtina: Sunday, 16 April 2006) p. 7
4
Ibid.
6

Kosovar politicians is not needed anymore. Thus, after the scramble that followed, the

official sources claimed nine people killed and few dozens wounded, even though

Albanian sources claimed that the number of those being killed and wounded was several

times higher; often exaggerated up to few hundreds. Actually, exact number of victims

even nowadays remains unclear.

Demonstrations were immediately followed by the introduction of the state of

emergency, curfew, and suspension of schools and faculties. However, those measures

did not prevent Kosovar citizens from demonstrating again, on 30 April and 18 May

1981. But, this time their number was significantly lower. Soon after, Kosovo Albanians

faced mass repression conducted by Federation. About four thousand people are

supposed to have been sentenced up to several years of imprisonment. The fact that state

repression has been rapidly increased following the demonstrations of 1981 was officially

confirmed even by the former head of police in Kosovo, and the last Communist leader of

Kosovo, Rrahman Morina, during the 17th meeting of the Central Committee of the

Communist League of Yugoslavia. Morina then stated that “between 1981 and 1988,

520,000 people were treated by diverse police departments and units.”

Local and International Media Coverage of the events

Even if student’s riots started on 11 March, they were not covered at all by the

Kosovar media. Instead, the initial incident was ‘camouflaged’, and was reported as a

fun’s cheering following the football match Prishtina-Partizan. Moreover, even when the

second student demonstrations occurred, on 26 March, the leading article of the front-
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page of the only daily newspaper in Albanian, Rilindja, covered Tito’s relay5 in Kosovo,

respectively its arrival and festivities organized by the Youth of Communist League of

Kosovo6. According to Rilindja, nothing unusual occurred day before that, as its leading

article consisted of numerous quotations from the speech of Sanije Hyseni, the President

of the Youth of Communist League of Kosovo held on this occasion. Same article

continued into the second page, which was as well completely dedicated to her speech.

But, while reading the article one gets the impression that her speech was written much

earlier, or that she intentionally neglects the demonstrations of the previous day, as she

doesn’t mention the incident at all, even indirectly. Surprisingly, the same front-page had

enough space for even covering the so called ‘second hand events’, as is it the article

placed on the bottom of the page7, which is dealing with the meeting held at the

Parliament of the Socialist Autonomous Province of Kosovo about the preparations for

spring sowings. On the next issue of Rilindja, on 28 March, the leading article covers the

same event, although now through quite small article the newspaper for the first time

mention a meeting held on 27 March of the Presidency of the Committee of the

Communist League of Kosovo, concerning the improvement of social self-defense. (It’s

in fact the same meeting that Mahmut Bakalli mentions in 2006, in his interview for the

daily newspaper Express.) The only sentence of the article that indirectly show concerns

expressed by Kosovar leaders is “the necessity for the establishment of concrete acting

5
These kinds of festivities were common in former Yugoslav Federation. The purpose of the relay was to
mark the birthday of Yugoslav President Josip Broz Tito, as well as the Day of Yugoslav Youth, both
officially celebrated on 25 May. Thus, relay toured all around Yugoslavia as a symbolic sign of fraternity
and union of all Yugoslav nations. On May 25 the relay was delivered to the President at the stadium of the
Yugoslav People Army, in Belgrade. 1981 was the first year that this ceremony was held without Tito. He
died on previous year.
6
‘Tito’s Work Kosovar Youth Founds as a Confident Way for Realization of its Progressive Aims’,
Rilindja, (Prishtina: Friday, 27 March 1981), p.1
7
‘Preparations Are Being Intensified’, Ibid.
8

plans in each location, aiming further extension of the capacities of all subjects for

general national defense and social self-defense.”8

Ironically, even the issue of Rilindja published on 2 April doesn’t have a single

word about the demonstrations on its first page. It seems that decrease of the furniture

prices by 20 per cent9 is more relevant then demonstrations of the previous day, which

obviously evinced the tendency towards further escalation. This article is published at the

bottom of the front page, but even the rest of the articles are dealing with the issues which

are, obviously, not occupying the attention of the readers. The main article treats the visit

of the President of The Joint Yugoslav Presidency, Cvijetin Mijatovic, in Zambia and

Tanzania.10 The second and the third are dealing with the issue of the ‘Extraordinary

Attention Needed for Industrial Plants’, respectively with the ‘Good Vicinity, as a Base

for Security’11. The only sign that, however, something indeed happened on 1 April, the

reader can find on the second page of the newspaper, in a miniature article placed within

a box, at the upper part of it. The article is named ‘An Intention for the Disturbance of the

Public Order in Prishtina’.12 “The hostile elements have again today tried to imperil

public order and calm in Prishtina, by chanting nationalist Albanian and other hostile

slogans”, emphasizes the article without authorship, a typical occurrence in Rilindja. The

article then shortly states that political organizations, as well as those in charge for the

security have undertook all the measures for blocking their hostile intentions.

However, the front-page of Rilindja, published on 3 April unexpectedly appeared

with the first official response against the demonstrations. Its main article carried out an
8
‘The Socialization of the Resource Policy has Been Discussed’, Rilindja, (Prishtina: Saturday, 28 March),
p.1
9
‘The Products – 20 Percent Cheaper’, Rilindja, (Prishtina: Thursday, 2 April, 1981), p.1
10
Ibid.
11
Ibid.
12
Ibid. p.2
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official address of the President of the Presidency of the Socialist Autonomous Province

of Kosovo, Xhavit Nimani, to Kosovars.13 Although, it looks like Mr. Nimani indirectly

addresses his speech to the organizers of the demonstrations, as he is expressing the

readiness of the institutions to respond accordingly. What leads to this conclusion is that

he points out that Kosovo is facing difficulties, as a result of “the attacks of diverse forces

and activities of the forces from abroad, which are organized to act against Kosovo and in

Kosovo.”14 Mr. Nimani thus delivers clear accusations towards a undefined enemy,

situated somewhere outside Kosovo. Otherwise, the front-paged speech of Mr. Nimani is

accompanied by his picture and is surrounded by couple of other ‘news’ without any

pictures associated, most of which are telegrams sent in the name of the workers from

diverse working collectives, opposing the demonstrations and declaring the readiness of

particular senders to fight the joint enemy who organized hostile demonstrations. Even

though in the front-page there is no report on bloody street demonstrations whatsoever, or

anywhere else within the newspaper, in a small box on the bottom left of the front-page

Rilindja announced that the Secretary of the Internal Affairs of the Province has ordered

the prohibition of any group marching or gathering in the public places until current

security situation improves. There is also a short report about the support expressed to all

Kosovo institutions and the Kosovars, a conclusion from a joint meeting of the

Presidency of the Communist League of Serbia and the Serbian Republican Presidency,15

published on the page 5 of the newspaper. The integral text of Xhavit Nimani’s

addressing to Kosovars, although with different title16 and coupled with supporting letter

13
‘We Will Undertake all Pertinent Measures Against Hostile Activities’, Rilindja, (Prishtina: Friday, 3
April), p.1
14
Ibid.
15
Ibid, p.5
16
‘Union is our Greatest Power in Combating any Enemy’, Jedinstvo, (Prishtina: Friday, 2 April 1981), p.1
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from two highest Serbian institutions is also published in the front-page of the newspaper

Jedinstvo, the daily newspaper in Serbian language published in Kosovo. Jedinstvo

doesn’t have any support letters in its front-page; instead it have the order of the

Province’s Secretary of Internal Affairs through which he, in fact, declares the state of

emergency in Kosovo.17

In the forthcoming days Rilindja, in the issues of 5, 6 and 7 April, as well as in

all other newspapers published in Kosovo (in Serbian daily Jedinstvo and in Tan, a

newspaper published in Turkish language) juts the official side of the story is reported.

For Rilindja, as well as for two other newspapers, priority is not an fair reporting of the

events, but the publication of all political speeches of main political players and letters of

support sent by majority of political organizations, workers and educational institutions

from Kosovo and from other similar senders of Yugoslav Federation. The only news

worth mentioning from this period is the exempt of Mahmut Bakalli, President of the

Communist League of Kosovo, from all political posts, and his replacement with Veli

Deva, published in the front-page of the Rilindja, 6 May 1981.18 Ironically, Bakalli’s

political carrier began in 1969 when he replaced Mr. Deva, who was then Secretary of the

Internal Affairs for Kosovo. Although his replacement was unexpected for vast majority

of Kosovars, it was a clear signal that political cleansing and the political new era have

already started for Kosovo.

Other Views of the Same Events

17
‘The Order of the Province’s Secretary for Internal Affairs’, Jedinstvo, (Prishtina: Friday, 2 April 1981),
p.1
18
‘The Struggle Against any Nationalism Demands an Compact Action and an Ideological Struggle of all
Communists”, Rilindja, (Prishtina: Wednesday, 6 May 1981), p.1
11

In order to get more balanced view concerning this period, it’s necessary to

browse through some external sources, regardless of their date of publication.

In fact, one of the reasons why foreign media was more ‘informed’ is that

majority of politicians, regardless of them being from Kosovo or from the other parts of

Yugoslavia, were more than willing to give statements for international media, as they try

to convince the world that Yugoslav society have nothing to hide on this matter.

The U.S. newspaper The New York Times (NYT) has, for instance, published 13

articles on Kosovo in 1981. These articles provide the atmosphere in Kosovo those days,

as much as other information concerning diverse details, developments or conclusions

that proceeded and were unreachable for the majority of Kosovars. For instance, Martin

Howe describes that:

“People of Albanian ancestry questioned by reporters were

reluctant to talk about the rioting … Most of those questioned said they

did not want to talk about the rioting, were not around at the time or

simply did not know what it was all about.” 19

The reason for fear seems to be logical since, as Howe points out, according to

official sources, at least nine people are dead and 59 seriously injured.20 “Nearly a month

after the rioting”, begins another Howe’s article written a week latter, “it is still unclear

what the troubles were all about.”21 He in fact explains general confusion among

Yugoslav political elite, for whom the events represented a totally unexpected

19
Marvin Howe, ‘Roots of Yugoslav Riots: Vague 'Enemy' Blamed’, The New York Times, (New York:
Monday, 20 April 1981, Foreign Desk, Section A) p. 2, Web-source: <http://emperors-
clothes.com/a/13.htm> [Accessed on 21 July 2009]
20
Ibid.
21
Marvin Howe, ‘Yugoslavs, Shaken By Riots, Fear Plot’, The New York Times, (New York: Monday, 27
April 1981, Foreign Desk, Section A) p. 3, Web-source: <http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm>
[Accessed on 21 July 2009]
12

experience. They were convinced that after 1974 Kosovo’s position within Yugoslav

Federation advanced in all possible dimensions. Nevertheless, Howe further explains that

in Yugoslavia (on 19 April 1981) exists a considerable believe in ‘conspirational forces’

behind the demonstrations in Kosovo.

“Mr. Dolanc, the Government Spokesman, accused “certain nationalistic groups

linked to emigrants abroad” that he described as being either pro-fascist or pro-Moscow,”

article emphasizes.22 His claim is quite similar with the one of Mr. Nimani, cited above.

When Rilindja published the article about ousting Mahmut Bakalli,23 it was clear that he

will not be the only senior politician to be replaced. “Purges of Government and

Communist Party ranks since the riots have included the ousting of the Kosovo party

chief, Mahmut Bakalli, and the provincial president, Xhavit Nimani,” emphasizes the

Reuters report, dated 18 October 1981.24 Report also clarifies that around 300 Albanians

since then have faced harsh sentences, up 15 years of imprisonment, for organizing the

riots and for being members of diverse clandestine organizations sympathizing with

Albania. “We have dealt with the organizers of the riots, but nationalism is a state of

mind that requires a long-lasting struggle,” new member of the new Kosovo leadership,

Azem Vllasi, explained the purpose of these measures.25

Conclusion

22
Ibid.
23
Rilindja, 6 May 1981
24
Reuters, ‘Rioting by Albanian Nationalists has Left Scars in Yugoslav Region’, The New York Times,
(New York: Monday, 19 October 1981, Foreign Desk, Section A), p.4 Web-Source: <http://emperors-
clothes.com/a/13.htm> [Accessed on 21 July 2009]
25
Ibid.
13

Robert Goro, a Correspondent for BBC from Athens and the Editor in Chief of

the Tribuna Shqiptare26, has for a long time collected and studied diverse pronouncements

linked to demonstrations. According to him, on the 11 March 1981, all started when

during a lunchtime in university cantina a student found a roach in his soap. “He and his

colleagues got outraged, and began to shout various slogans against the conditions in

students’ dormitory. Spontaneously, the protests moved out to the streets of Prishtina”27,

where around 4,000 citizens who were then getting out from the city stadium, after the

football match between Prishtina and Partizan Belgrade, joined the students. Mr. Goro

argues that, what started that Sunday afternoon was rough casted for decades and just

raised during the recent years, when anti-Albanian policy of official Serbia begun to ‘play

its real game’28. Manifesto of this policy was the "Blue Book", a publication prepared by

the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, aimed to abrogate Kosovo’s right as

constitutional element of Yugoslav Federation and all its competencies29. Thus, what Mr.

Goro points out is that it is very possible that students’ demonstrations could have been

planned and indirectly initiated by Serbian secret police.

On the other hand, a totally different explanation provides Abdullah Prapashtica,

Executive Secretary of Communist Marxist Leninist Party of the Albanians in Yugoslavia

(PKLMSHJ) in 1981, who was by the Yugoslav regime convicted with 11 years of

imprisonment as one of the organizers of student’s demonstrations. In the article

26
Tribuna Shqiptare is a weekly magazine in Albanian language, published in Athens, Greece.
27
Robert Goro, ‘Kosovo, a Delayed Birth’, Tribuna Shqiptare, (Athens: Monday, 23 February 2009),
<http://www.tribuna-news.com/mat.php?idm=1905> [Accessed on 25 July 2009]
28
Ibid
29
The book, which came into circulation in 1977, argued the destruction of all rights that Kosovo and
Kosovar Albanians gained by the Federal Constitution of 1974.
14

published on 27th anniversary of the demonstrations, Prapashtica30 claims that Tito’s

dictatorial regime had its own version of classifying those events. According to him, they

knew that demonstrations will happen sooner or later, as the Communist Marxist Leninist

Party of the Albanians in Yugoslavia warned them that demonstrations will occur if

Yugoslavia will not fulfill request for the advancement of Kosovo’s current status into

Republic. Hence, as Prapashtica says, “The demonstrations of 1981 were not

spontaneous, and were not a surprise for the Titoist regime.”

Considering circumstances, as well as numerous sources available, I came to

conclusion that, despite the fact that most senior Yugoslav politicians claim that

demonstrations were carefully prepared and planned outside Yugoslavia, while indirectly

pointing towards Albania as a potential planner of the demonstrations, they were planed

in Kosovo. I will hereinafter try to argument why that is.

Considering the fact that President Tito died in 1980, Albanian population in

Kosovo suddenly felt left without a clear perspective, as he was by Kosovo Albanians

considered as a guarantor of Albanian rights in Yugoslavia. Thus I agree with more or

less same assertion provided by Robert Goro.31 Otherwise, if Yugoslav Government had

any kind of evidence pointing toward direct or indirect involvement of Albania, they

would certainly not hesitate to bring concrete evidences instead of making dusky

accusations that imputed the fault from the outside.

On the other side, if we carefully read the discussion of Professor Ukshin Hoti,

held in 1981 in the Philosophic Faculty in Prishtina, which also on 26 June 1987 sent to

30
Abdullah Prapashtica, ‘The Last Letter Addressed to Fadil Hoxha, on the Eve of Demonstration in 1981’,
Dervina, (Prishtina: Monday, 10 March 2008, 09:25:37) <http://lajme.dervina.com/archive/6536-
2295:770/NE-PERVJETORIN-E-DEMONSTRATAVE-TE-1981(I).htm> [Accessed on 15 July 2009]
31
See Robert Goro
15

the Central Committee of the Communist League of Yugoslavia, 32 it becomes even more

obvious that this clam stands. Professor Hoti is providing the example of independence of

India from the United Kingdom, through which he shows the effect that this event had in

increasing the percentage of Scotsmen’s favoring the independence of Scotland from the

U.K; from 28% in 1945 to 40 % in the 1970s.

“It is confirmed that decrease or increase of national requests of

the non-English populations was in correlation with the expansion, with

the contraction or with the disappearance of this Empire,” Hoti

concludes33.

Hence, I found it logical that Kosovo Albanians faced the same feelings and

dilemmas in 1981. Moreover, even a CIA report compiled during that period is pointing

out a numerous reasons disavowing any outside engagement in these events.34 Under the

subtitle ‘With Moscow and Tirana’, CIA report concludes that:

“Belgrade is concerned about the long-term prospects for political

stability in Albania, and will avoid doing anything which might condition

those who will form the new leadership there to favor closer relations with

Moscow. In this connection, both Belgrade and Tirana know that their own

national independence depends to a large degree upon stability in the other

country.”

32
Ukshin Hoti, ‘The Request for Republic is a Request for an Increased Development’, part of the
discussion, Philosophic Faculty in Prishtina,1981, (Prishtina: 25 June 1987)
33
Ibid.
34
CIA, ‘USSR AND EASTERN EUROPE REVIEW - Kosovar Demonstrations’, CIA Documents, (CIA:
Released period 7 June 1981 – 4 November 1981) Web- source:
<http://www.faqs.org/cia/docs/36/0000371968/USSR-AND-EASTERN-EUROPE-REVIEW.html>
[Accessed on 21 July 2009]
16

In other words, it means that possibilities of Albanian involvement were almost

zero, but Yugoslavia needed to somehow identify a foreign engagement for its internal

purposes.

What then remains as real possibility?

I think two totally opponent players: the illegal Marxist-Leninist political parties

in Kosovo, and the Socialist Republic of Serbia.

The reasons behind this claim are that illegal Marxist-Leninist parties were not

satisfied by the improvement of Kosovo’s position in Yugoslavia, because Kosovo

Albanians would become uninterested to accept their aspiration - the integration of

Kosovo with Albania. On the other side, Serbia’s constant tendency was to ruin current

constitutional status of Kosovo and to bring it back under its dominance. The best

illustration of such thinking is the period which came after the demonstrations of 1981,

and the implications that they had in political, economical and in any other aspect

concerning Kosovo. The period after 1981 hence served just as an overture for the

apartheid that Serbian regime established in Kosovo during the 1990s.

Without any intention to minimize the importance of the demonstrations of 1981,

or the victims, I deeply think that the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent

fall of the Eastern Communist block, which caused a total change on the World’s

constellation of forces, caused the loss of importance of geo-political position of

Yugoslavia, and, as a result, the interest of the West to support all anti-communist groups

there. Meanwhile, the majority of illegal members of Marxist-Leninist Albanian parties

has changed their focus, and gradually became to be deeply engaged in the preparation of

the arm struggle with Serbia. We all know the rest of the story.
17

References:

- Abdullah Prapashtica, ‘The Last Letter Addressed to Fadil Hoxha, on the Eve of
Demonstrations in 1981’, Dervina, (Prishtina: Monday, 10 March 2008, 09:25:37)
18

<http://lajme.dervina.com/archive/6536-2295:770/NE-PERVJETORIN-E-
DEMONSTRATAVE-TE-1981(I).htm> [Accessed on 15 July 2009]

- Baton Haxhiu, ‘Last Interview with the Former Yugoslav Leader, Mahmut Bakalli’,
Express Newspaper, (Prishtina: Sunday, 16 April 2006) p. 7

- CIA, ‘USSR AND EASTERN EUROPE REVIEW - Kosovar Demonstrations’, CIA


Documents, (CIA: Released period 7 June 1981 – 4 November 1981) Web- source:
<http://www.faqs.org/cia/docs/36/0000371968/USSR-AND-EASTERN-EUROPE-
REVIEW.html> [Accessed on 21 July 2009]

- Kosova Information Center, ‘Expulsion of Albanians and Colonization of Kosova’, (The


Institute of History in Prishtina, Prishtina: 1997, Chapter II, Serbian Occupying Wars and
Other Measures for Expulsion of Albanians 1912-1941)
<http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/Kosovo/chap2.htm> [Accessed on 15 July 2009]

- Marvin Howe, ‘Roots of Yugoslav Riots: Vague 'Enemy' Blamed’, The New York
Times, (New York: Monday, 20 April 1981, Foreign Desk, Section A) p. 2, Web-source:
<http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm> [Accessed on 21 July 2009]

- Marvin Howe, ‘Yugoslavs, Shaken By Riots, Fear Plot’, The New York Times, (New
York: Monday, 27 April 1981, Foreign Desk, Section A) p. 3, Web-source:
<http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm> [Accessed on 21 July 2009]

- ‘Preparations Are Being Intensified’, Rilindja, (Prishtina: Friday, 27 March 1981), p.1

- Reuters, ‘Rioting by Albanian Nationalists has Left Scars in Yugoslav Region’, The
New York Times, (New York: Monday, 19 October 1981, Foreign Desk, Section A), p.4
<http://emperors-clothes.com/a/13.htm> [Accessed on 21 July 2009]

- Robert Goro, ‘Kosovo, a Delayed Birth’, Tribuna Shqiptare, (Athens: Monday, 23


February 2009), <http://www.tribuna-news.com/mat.php?idm=1905> [Accessed on 25
July 2009]

- ‘Tito’s Work Kosovar Youth Founds as a Confident Way for Realization of its
Progressive Aims’, Rilindja, (Prishtina: Friday, 27 March 1981), p.1

- ‘The Socialization of the Resource Policy has Been Discussed’, Rilindja, (Prishtina:
Saturday, 28 March), p.1

- ‘The Products – 20 Percent Cheaper’, Rilindja, (Prishtina: Thursday, 2 April, 1981), p.1

- ‘The Order of the Province’s Secretary for Internal Affairs’, Jedinstvo, (Prishtina:
Friday, 2 April 1981), p.1
19

- ‘The Struggle Against any Nationalism Demands an Compact Action and an Ideological
Struggle of all Communists”, Rilindja, (Prishtina: Wednesday, 6 May 1981), p.1

- Ukshin Hoti, ‘The Request for Republic is a Request for an Increased Development’,
part of the discussion, Philosophic Faculty in Prishtina, 1981, (Prishtina: 25 June 1987)

- ‘Union is our Greatest Power in Combating any Enemy’, Jedinstvo, (Prishtina: Friday, 2
April 1981), p.1

- ‘We Will Undertake all Pertinent Measures Against Hostile Activities’, Rilindja,
(Prishtina: Friday, 3 April), p.1