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Koha Digest # 36 (1994)

EDITORIAL

THE BEST ONE HUNDRED

by VETON SURROI

Two weeks ago, the American magazine TIME published a special report on 100
personalities which will be leaders of the next century's world. Figures from all over the
world, in their twenties, thirties, forties, have a common characteristic for innovations,
organizing abilities, leading capacities... all of them achieve successes, be it in business (some
of them are multi-millionaires), sports (world records), politicians (high political advisors
with pretensions to become presidents), science...

As I was reading the article, there was a blackout, there was no water nor heating and the
town was covered by fog. The things which we considered normal ten years ago (water and
electricity) now are becoming things to think about. A large part of our spiritual and mental
capacity will be consumed in the attempts to find temporary solutions for the water and
electricity (how many cans of water can be stored in the kitchen and balcony, how will the
house be heated and how will the food be prepared). In the darkness, I was thinking of the
best 100 Kosovans.

Ten years ago, this thought would have been valid. The University of Prishtina was the
largest Kosovan producing capacity, and in the quantity of the graduated there were also
brilliant figures, especially of science. Some of these young technologists one can meet now
only outside Kosova, especially in Europe and America. We, the rest, remain in Kosova
preoccupied with the electricity, water, personal safety and financial security.

It is a fact that we survive, and it is also a fact that this psycho-physical exercise is becoming
more difficult as the days go by. And so is the voice of reason which warns that in these
conditions it is hard to project the future. But, it also should be warned that the future can be
projected itself, as a compilation of events, without even asking the actors. Kosova is used to
live in this state for the whole of the century. Since the last days of the Ottoman Empire, the
collective consciousness has concentrated on how should we solve our problems today and
not how should they be solved in the future. The future has always come with even bigger
surprises; since the Serbian occupation and up to the dismantlement of Yugoslavia. In each
such historical moment, same as the street cleaners surprised by the winter snow, Kosova has
always arisen with an expression of surprise on its face.

It is dark, I know. But, wouldn't it be good to have a question to think about: who will be the
most capable 100 which will lead us in the next century. And what will they lead us with?

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
http://koha.estudiosbalcanicos.org.
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KOSOVA/USA

by LINDITA IMAMI / Washington

The President of Kosova, dr.Ibrahim Rugova ended his five days' visit to Washington last
week. During his visit in the capital of USA, Rugova had important meetings with high
ranked officials of the American administration and legislators of both chambers of the
Congress. At the White House, Rugova met with the Advisor for National Security to
President Clinton, Anthony Lake, the Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbot and the US
Ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, at the State Department. "The fact that the US
will not allow a conflict in Kosova is a big political support for us", Rugova declared to the
journalists at the press conference at the National Press Club. Rugova referred to the posture
of the US to defend the Albanian people in Kosova if the Serbs attempt to expand the war to
Kosova, and engagement stressed by the US officials during the meetings. Two American
administrations, President Bush's and President Clinton's have warned the Serbian
government that they will not tolerate war in Kosova. "The warning was emphasized again in
the meetings", said Rugova. He also said that the American officials expressed their concern
about the situation in Kosova and stressed the need to find diplomatic and peaceful measures
to prevent a possible conflict in Kosova.

After describing the difficult situation and the Serbian repression in Kosova as a "classic
occupation and apartheid", Rugova told the journalists that during the meetings he had
stressed the political project for the solutions of Kosova's issue. First of all, the option of an
independent and neutral Kosova, open towards Serbia and Albania, with guarantees for the
Serbian people living in Kosova. Second, Rugova stressed that he is in favor of the
establishment of an international civilian administration which would demilitarize Kosova,
which would normalize the life and would create the condition for dialogue with the Serbs.
Rugova mentioned also the option of confederative links with Albania if such confederative
movements are allowed in the former Yugoslavia, an option which could be taken into
account within the global solution of the Balkans crisis. "Partial solutions would make war go
on", said Rugova.

According to the informations given to journalists, the American officials expressed their
admiration for the peaceful policy of President Rugova and the Albanian people in Kosova.
"Any other way would be tragic for the Albanian people", said Rugova, answering to a
question related to the criticism against his non-violent policy. Rugova told the journalists
that Lake had promised the continuation of the contacts between Kosova and the Clinton
administration and a continuous engagement of the USA in the Kosova issue. "The meetings
were successful and very important", said dr. Rugova.

At the Capitol, Rugova met Congressman Eliot Engel, who stressed once again the need of
conditioning the lifting of the sanctions against Serbia with the solution of Kosova's problem,
the return of the CSCE monitors and the opening of the US Informative Office in Prishtina.

Engel is co-founder of the Albanian issue group and in January he will once again present in
the Chamber a draft-bill which conditions the lifting of the sanctions against Serbia with the
solution of the Kosova issue. "Dr. Rugova's visit has been the most successful so far and his
visit will advance the issue of Kosova and will increase the support of the US to the
Kosovans", said Congressman Engel's port-parole to KOHA.

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Rugova also met Congressman Benjamin Gilman, who will chair the International Affairs'
Commission as of January next. According to a source, present at the meeting, Gilman
promised that he will continue cooperating with dr. Rugova and will center his efforts on the
improvement of the human rights situation in Kosova, and he also expressed his interest for
Rugova's idea about preventive diplomacy. Gilman was sponsor of the 251 draft-bill which
was presented to the Chamber on May, and which appeals to President Clinton to formulate
the paths for the implementation of the international defense of the rights of the Albanian
majority in Kosova. "The purpose of this draft is not to forget Kosova while Clinton's
administration is trying to formulate the American policy towards Bosnia", said this source. It
is expected to have this draft on the agenda again, by January.

At the US Senate, Rugova met Senator Dennis DeConcini. According to the informations, the
senator advocates a bigger role of the US in the Balkans and expressed his support to the
aspirations of the Albanian people in Kosova. At the Senate, Rugova also met the future
leader of the majority, Senator Bob Dole. Senator Dole assured Rugova that Kosova has a big
support of the Republicans and the Democrats in both Chambers of the Congress. He also
expressed his admiration for the peaceful policy of dr. Rugova and added that his colleagues
in the Congress have great respect for Kosova due to this policy.

During his stay in Washington, Rugova met non-governmental organizations and other
American personalities. At the American Enterprise Institute, the Kosovan delegation met
with former US Ambassador at the UN, Jeane Kirckpatrick and other known experts such as
Patrick Glynn, Richard Perle (ex official of Defense) and Joshua Muravick. Glynn evaluated
the meeting as productive declaring: "There is a big interest in the States for Kosova because
of humanitarian and strategic reasons and there is a concern that whatever solution for Bosnia
that will not include Kosova will bring another terror in Kosova". As an expert of the
American political circles, Glynn further said: "In the American policy there is a large scale
of concern for Kosova and a big interest that any agreement which would be made in Bosnia
will affect and eventually create a problem in Kosova". Glynn evaluated Rugova's visit as
fruitful and added that such visits are very important to increase the conscientiousness of the
countries that are being visited.

Albania's Ambassador to Washington, Lublin Dilja also evaluated Rugova's meetings as


important and successful. "Rugova's meetings were important not because of their high level
but also because of the messages that the American officials gave Rugova and the messages
he conveyed to them. The meeting took place in a very important moment of the former
Yugoslav crisis, the world's policy in this region and the situation in Kosova proper", said
Dilja.

Rugova continues his tour in New York, where he will meet the Albanian community. His
visit to New York started with a press conference at the UN on what occasion he once again
stressed the political plan for the solution of Kosova's problem and evaluated his visit to the
US.

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KOSOVA / USA

THE MOTHER, NATO AND AMERICA

by VETON SURROI / Prishtina

The Albanians in the US, in the turning point of 1990, as well as the Albanians in Kosova and
Albania, in a medial flood repeated the old saying of Noli: "Mother, don't worry, your sons
are in America".

When Rugova ended his visit to the US, the Albanians boys in America were not the ones
who received him, as it happened the first time he stepped on American soil in 1989, but a list
of the highest officials of the American administration. Anthony Lake, in charge of national
security, Strob Talbot, officially Deputy Secretary of State (Clinton's close friend from
Oxford, the one who elaborated the US strategy towards the Soviet Union), Madeleine
Albright (US Ambassador at the UN, always present in the speculations as next Secretary of
State)... The public American message (let's put aside the speculations about what has been
said in private) was Nolian like: the armed aggression against Kosova by Serbia will not be
tolerated. Even though this had been said by Bush and later Clinton too, the American
message must always be evaluated according to the context it's being said in.

And, coincidentally, this message came precisely in the moments when the American
administration inside evaluated that the war in Bosnia and its consequences were endangering
the unity of the NATO. Be it because the reliability of the Atlantic Alliance is vanishing, be it
because two allies, France and Britain, by keeping their soldiers in Bosnia were losing their
own credibility and the security of their troops. Maybe in the same time when they were
meeting Rugova, the high ranked American officials were engaged in the difficult process of
taking a key decision of the American administration: to promise that in case of need of
evacuation of the UNPROFOR, the US will leave at the disposal of NATO almost half of its
25 thousand people for quick interventions.

If this decision has trespassed the psychological border inside the American administration to
send the infantry, then the threats to Serbia become more realistic: that there will be reprisals
if Kosova is militarily attacked. Even more knowing that an eventual war in Kosova, in its
Balkan's dimension (going over the border of former Yugoslavia) would have as a direct
consequence the threat of the NATO interests (the Southern-Eastern wing, Greece-Turkey).

Looking at it thus, Rugova's visit to the US is a strong injection of security for Kosova and
this part of the former Yugoslav crisis. But, at the same time, there is another thing which has
not been said in public: since there is strong support against the development of the crisis in
Kosova in a war crisis, there is also space, and even urgency, for political action. In this
direction, maybe new and silenced initiatives should be expected for starting a negotiating
process. And, if it is to trust the American experience so far in the elaboration of negotiating
platforms, then a platform which would aim at the "balance of the opponents" should be
expected, meaning to have Kosova formally under the Serbian jurisdiction and have Serbia as
far a possible from Kosova.

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KOSOVA

LEGALIZED TORTURE

Bajram Kelmendi, attorney, speaks of the last case of massive arrests of the former
policemen, their mistreatment, the legal use of violence against the arrested tolerated by the
courts, the secure sentences they are awaiting...

by ASTRIT SALIHU / Prishtina

KOHA: What could you concretely say about the arrests of the former policemen?

KELMENDI: As the press has stated so far, it is a massive arrest of former Albanian
policemen. The number of the arrested is still not final because not all of them have been sent
to the courts, but it is around 170, as Prishtina's Regional Prosecutor, Miodrag Brkljac has
informed, while myself and my colleagues defending our clients in Prishtina alone, posses the
decisions on investigations for over 30 people. So far there have been only two decisions on
investigations, because one group was arrested earlier and then came the decision on the
inclusion of the others, therefore we can say that the number is increasing. However, the
proceedings are taking place not only at the Court in Prishtina, but also the regional courts of
Prizren, Peja and Gjilan. Thus it comes out that the number has reached about 170 people.

KOHA: Do you think that the number will still increase?

KELMENDI: Yes. It has been announced by the Serbian police and the public prosecutor.

KOHA: What are the grounds of accusation?

KELMENDI: The decision of investigations speaks of crime "Association for Hostile


Activities", Article 136 par, 1 of the Criminal Code of Yugoslavia, in connection to
"Endangering the Territorial Integrity", Article 116 par. 1 of the same Code. This means that
according to the request of the prosecutor, these people are accused of establishing an
association, as they refer to it, because allegedly these people have established the Ministry of
Internal Affairs of Kosova. Meanwhile, the arrested who have given their statements to the
investigating judge and which I am defending, such is the case of Avdi Mehmedovic who is
the first accused in this matter, have categorically denied the establishment of any service at
the level of organs of internal affairs, public or state security, but on the contrary, he has
declared that after he was dismissed in 1990, they had established the branch of the
Independent Trade Unions of ex-policemen within the Union of Independent Trade Unions of
Kosova. They held the establishing assembly, and then the regular one, then they had
elections, they held their meetings in the premises of the UITUK, but since the police had
raided the premises several times and had confiscated their computers as well as other
materials, they decided to keep the documents and meetings in private homes, because the
UITUK premises were not safe any longer. According to his statement, this activity is
centered in gathering information about the repression of the Serbian police, starting from
"informative talks" ex policemen were summoned to, the search of their homes, their offices,
physical mistreatment and up to the violent death of one of their colleagues. All of these, says
Mehmedovic, we have gathered and systemized in the computer and then we have saved them
in disks and we have used them in different meeting we had with foreign delegations that
have come to Kosova, in order to argument the use of force against the Albanian people in

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Kosova, and especially against the former policemen. This is his defense. Otherwise, he
denies the foundation of any service of internal affairs, or that its officials had been
appointed. The data was collected in all centers. According to them, they had planned to
present their cases to the International Court in The Hague, but were prevented, for they were
arrested in the meantime. Thus is the defense of the other accused too.

KOHA: The attorneys have had objections to the procedure the clients are subject to?

KELMENDI: I must say that the procedure is diametrally against the Law on Criminal
Procedure. We as attorneys, since the beginning, have insisted on the respect of all provisions
in regard to the procedure, to the personal integrity of the accused and requested a stop to the
use of force and torture against them. This is the reason why, as soon as we notice these
violations and mistreatment of the arrested, we have sent an appeal to the international
institutions, Council of Europe, the European Parliament, CSCE, Helsinki Watch, Amnesty
International, International Helsinki Federation, etc. Two of those organizations have reacted
immediately, even Helsinki Watch sent its representative to Kosova to take concrete data
from the talks with the arrested and their attorneys and in what way were their human rights
abused. Amnesty International has also reacted.

KOHA: Could you concretely describe the flagrant violations of the procedure or the way the
accused were tortured?

KELMENDI: The largest number of these people, after being arrested by the police, had been
in detention, in the hands of the police for four, five and even six days. Art. 196 par. 3 of the
Law on Criminal Procedure (LCP), which is an imperative provision, states that "an arrested
person by the police can be in detention based on the decision of those organs three days at
the most", and according to this legal provision, the public prosecutor is informed
immediately about the arrest so he can follow on the work of the organs, so they do not go
beyond this legal maximum. In this phase, which the jurists call para-penal, since officially
there is still no penal procedure because it starts with the decision of the investigating judge
on the initiation of the investigating procedure, not only that has this provision been violated
but they have been also mistreated physically by the organs of internal affairs.

I could once again mention the concrete case of my defendant Mehmedovic who after four
days had been sent to the investigating judge in the afternoon, around 16,30 hrs., when the
investigating judge Danica Marinkovic called me and informed me that she was about to
interrogate an arrested who wants me to defend him. There, I found the investigating judge,
the prosecutor and the interpreter, which obviously meant that this had been prepared
beforehand. At the beginning, my client wanted to know whether he had the right to consult
his attorney before he started declaring. He asked me: "Mr. Kelmendi, have I the right,
according to the law, to give my statement tomorrow morning, for I am tired and exhausted
physically and mentally because of the torture I had been subjected to four days in a row,
because of the lack of sleep, since I had to stay awake while the policemen were taking turns.
Also because I have a pain in the stomach, since I haven't eaten regularly these days?" Of
course he had the right, and the Court should have made this possible for him, because he
must give his statement while well concentrated and in good physical conditions. The judge,
however, with an ironic smile addressed the detainee and said: "What we saw before your
attorney came, seemed not to be important injuries". His request was evidenced in the
minutes, but in a brief form. I insisted on the whole statement, because he had been tortured
physically.

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I want to say that all the arrested have been mistreated in the para-penal procedure. According
to informations I have, the others have had even worse experiences.

KOHA: What about the treatment they get in the criminal procedure?

KELMENDI: This is the most drastic of all. When the penal procedure starts ex legis, after
the judge has interrogated them, according to the Law, the organs of Internal Affairs would
have nothing to do with the accused. The next day, they started interrogating them again,
using the force. After the interrogations, I visited my client, and he stated that he had been
interrogated two or three more times by the police and that he had been tortured and that his
body was full of bruises. Another accused, Blerim Olloni declared the same, that not only he
had been beaten in the premises of internal affairs after he had been interrogated by the
investigating judge, but also at home when it was searched, in the presence of his family and
guests, when the police was allegedly searching for the disk and the data on it. The attorneys
have requested from the investigating judge to take the accused to the Institute for Legal
Medicine and determine the wounds and injuries. However, the judge Maksimovic didn't act
pursuant these requests. I believe she did this in order to conceal the facts, because as the time
goes by, the bruises disappear and there are no traces afterwards. The second visit to the
defendants on December 6 made it possible for us to ascertain the fact that the use of physical
violence continues and we have made a new request for medical check-ups of our clients.

Therefore, the criminal procedure in Kosova, for the crimes of this category has legalized
torture. It has become a regular institute even though it is prohibited by all international
provisions and the LCP of Serbia, (Art. 218 p. 8) which states that "The use of physical force
and any other means which influence the personality of the accused when interrogated is
prohibited". This means that even the Serbian law has stipulated the use of force as a crime. I
say that torture has been legalized because it is not being done without the knowledge and the
tolerance of the courts and the prosecutor. After the investigating judge has interrogated the
arrested, she has usually adopted a decision according to which they were all once again
transferred to the police which interrogates them and by the use of force aims at getting
statements from them. This is the way how the self-incriminating accusations are gotten.
Otherwise, what is the need to have a person already interrogated by the investigating judge
to be interrogated by the police again? This is being done when the investigating judge has no
proof. The organs don't have other proofs. It is then that the defendants are subjected to
physical mistreatment and after a long time of torture, they accept to give any statement, as
long as the torture stops. Later, when the trial starts, the court doesn't take into account at all
the statements given before the investigating judge, it ignores their defense and trusts the
statement given to the police which has tortured them until it got those statements. When I
say that violence has been legalized I also have in mind the previous trial against the 19
accused in which the same system was used to come to the statements. I remember that I had
written a complaint to the President of the Court asking the removal of the Investigating
Judge who had asked the police to make new interrogations. His reply was the following:
"Regarding your complaint towards the work of the investigating judge and the organs of
internal affairs, I inform you about the following: when it comes to the actions of the organs
of internal affairs, this court can not influence their work". What does this mean? The Court
is informed about the torture, but has nothing to do in that respect!

Further on, another case. When I visited my client on Dec. 6, I was told by the guardian that I
am not allowed to speak to my client about the crime he is accused of committing. The
guardian got the order from the Investigating Judge. When I came to the Court and asked

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whether she had ordered the guard to tell me so, she replied: "Yes". I asked her to give me the
order in writing, but after she consulted the prosecutor, which informed her that this decision
was absurd, she came back to me saying that "it was a misunderstanding".

KOHA: These arrests are interpreted by the public as anew framed political process. Is there
any resemblance of this case to the one of the alleged foundation of the Ministry of Defense?

KELMENDI: There is. In the case of the "Ministry of Defense" there was never proof that the
Ministry was really established, there was no proof that there were military forces, blocs, nor
soldiers. In the case of the accused for the Ministry of Interior, there are no proofs that this
Ministry has really been established. If there were such proof then they should have been
presented the moment they are interrogated by the Investigating Judge.

Blerim Olloni, one of the accused who used to work in state Security, says: "Collegially we
have discussed among the trade-unionists whether we should organize the State Security, and
all of us have concluded that there are no conditions for such a thing, because there was a lack
of initiative of the Government of the Republic of Kosova, we lacked financial means and
cadres. Therefore, the conclusion was that there were no conditions for that. We have only
exchanged opinions, and that was it."

KOHA: How do you see the development of this massive process?

KELMENDI: From the experience so far, I am sorry to say that in none of the criminal
procedures in which I have participated, has the one arrested by the organs of internal affairs
been released. The Courts are only instruments of daily politics. There might be a case or two,
but those are symbolic. So far, all of them have been sentenced, despite the lack of proof.
Maybe some of them will not be sentenced, but a priori all of them will be judged.

KOSOVA

THE CHRONICLE OF THE NOT SKIPPED BALCONY

This is a story about a night by the end of November which has purposely converted into a
ironizing chronicle of a tragic reality of Kosova, of the reigning of massive and systematic
violence against Albanians, in which the last wave of terror at the beginning of the past
month is "the destruction of the Ministry of Interior of the Republic of Kosovo" for the official
Serbian regime.

Intimately, the Albanians all over haven't given it a name. It is only a continuance...

by DUKAGJIN GORANI / Prishtina

(The names are not real. Let's say that the story isn't real either. Until it is not published fully
one day...)

It could be that the festive Monday of the past month, might have been triumphal for our
majority. It can happen that it might be remembered. For the good, of course.

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Agime D. will for sure never forget it.

The 38 years' old administrator of a shop of the town without water, a widow who lives alone
in one of the apartments of the serial housing blocs, maybe somewhere in the eastern wing,
had gone to visit her sister Fatmire J., at the other side of the town. Fatmire, mother of two
children, who was spending the times of forced solitude at the other side of the town, thus
sharing the mutual fate and anxiety of other one hundred and sixty some persons of the same
appertaining all over this cursed land, and which, through the official TV, understood that
their husbands had been working in the Ministry of Interior of the Banned Republic. Of
course, they did it with conspiracy, "to ruin the untouchable integrity of the Acknowledged
Republic and the security of its citizens".

As it was almost ten in the evening, when Fatmire J., sister of Agime and wife of Agron,
former employee of the Former Police of the Present Republic, arrested in the beginning of
November because of the mentioned reason - picked up the phone which was ringing to listen
to the agony of a man which she wouldn't believe belonged to her husband.

"Mire, it's me...put Gime on the phone...I know she is there! Please...". The woman, who was
captivated by the terror coming from the phone up to her toes, gave up on trying to
understand and offered the phone her sister, which, as soon as she held it in her hands,
swallowed the words she will never forget: "Come immediately, or we will kill Agron!".

The festive town was getting ready to die under the neon lights while Agime, with the speaker
in her hand and a refusal to understand in her mind, was being captivated by the premunition
of terror which was floating on the air.

"Agime, it is me, Agron. Go to the apartment. They want it...Come soon!..."

Now, the phone is picked by someone speaking "our language", in his laconic attempt to
decrease the tension of purposed anxiety: "Don't be afraid. Come upstairs, we need you...WE
ARE IN YOUR APARTMENT!"

Agime D. wouldn't know whether it was ten or fifteen minutes since the phone call from hell
and the solitary race through the endemic fog of the Town, when she saw herself standing
before the demolished door of the one-room apartment, whose interior resonated the anxious
cries of the tortured man.

The terrified neighbors of the floor, ordinary families of the apartments, always with the
tendency to live such dramas "with their hearts" remained in the silenced half-darkness
behind the doors, well aware of WHAT, but not knowing WHY, was this thing happening,
something that will suffocate Agime's soul once she enters the 38 squared meters of her only
apartment.

Five civilian creatures lead by a man in a dark blue jacket and with full armament around the
waist, has wildly searched and turned around the small apartment allegedly asking for the
incriminating thing, necessary by all means to condemn the exhausted Agron, and by all
means valuable to explain the irrational torture on him and many of his ex-colleagues all over
the Republic.

"Two of them", reminds Agime all those who want to forget, "were standing beside me,

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seriously offending me, threatening me that they would kill me immediately, if I do not do
what I am ordered. Agron, beaten, brought in from prison, had been taken to the other room
which is improvised by what we call "accordion", which, allegedly, was opened
spontaneously by the hands of the brave giving orders to kill, just to terrify me as much as
possible every time I would see what was happening inside".

Three civilian agents were beating Agron uninterruptedly, and he was trying to stop yelling
and crying, so he wouldn't be heard on the other side, where his wife's sister was.

"Full of loud offenses and swearing", continued the voice of her anxiety, "they were hitting,
kicking and with a rubber stick hitting again the face of a man covered with blood".

They let him there, they were hoping that such an image would bring the end to it, a job they
almost achieved - and afterwards he would admit "all of it", and think that the beating would
achieve - if he only knew what it was all about.

"What was I suppose to admit? I don't know a thing", he was crying.

Logical? The incriminating act and thing? The reason?

I don't doubt in the memory of the readers who know very well that the ones that stage these
anxieties, do not deal with such minor things.

The established terror of the talk/admit game of the victim on the Belgrade desks is a black
and white excuse for more violence.

"They took me to the balcony", continued Agime D. "I was barefoot. The gunman in the blue
jacket, close to his fifties, stuck his fingernails in my throat. `You either tell me all, or I kill
you with these hands!'. My refusal and claims that `I really have no idea...' what was all this
thing about, didn't achieve anything apart from the increasing pressure against my throat".

In the meantime, two more come to the balcony. As one was holding her, the two others were
agreeing upon a new method which would convince Agime to finally subjugate to the orders.

"CLIMB UP HERE!", said the dark-bluejacket man showing towards the bars of the balcony
on the third floor. The feeling of what was being prepared froze Agime D., who was repeating
to herself: An intelligent move. I have only to jump from the balcony, kill myself and at the
same time give these people a strong alibi for the `lack of any possibilities to stop a voluntary
act, so often among Albanians' - that of suicide for (always) unknown reasons. Wasn't that the
end of the tragic fate of late Ismail Raka from Kaçanik and his "suicide" from the fourth floor
of the Ferizaj prison where he was being kept tortured for the same reasons.

"When you imagine death once, you see it in your mind, later it is all the same", she kept on.
"Convinced that I will not survive, I refused to climb the bars, a refused further conversation,
and said to hell with it. All of it! I even stopped crying. "I DON'T WANT TO", I said to them,
and let them do whatever they wanted".

They got her inside the room and threw her on the floor. They told her they would come back,
which finally meant, that they had decided to leave. She knew nothing about Agron's state.
Was he alive or did they kill him? Some time had passed since a voice was heard from the

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room behind the "accordion". One of them, "the peaceful" who spoke Albanian, threw Agime
D. to a corner of the apartment in order to prevent her from seeing how they were taking her
tortured brother in law out. Then, he left too, threatening her not to leave the apartment,
because on the contrary... At the door, he reminded her that she should take Agron some
winter clothes, because it was cold where he was being taken to. She said that it had been
some time since his wife had taken the clothes to him, almost a week, but that you haven't
given them to him on purpose.

A white "Golf" with Belgrade registration plates, followed by a "Yugo", headed towards the
town.

It was almost midnight.

KOSOVA

THE ATTORNEY THAT CAN DEFEND THE LEGACY

Hasan Hoti, defending attorney in the trial against the former policemen, also speaks of the
irregularities and violations of the criminal procedure. His defendants haven't been spared
from torture and physical mistreatment. KOHA publishes the authentic statement regarding
one of the most illustrative cases of the Serbian police brutality.

The most drastic example is that of one of the detainees from Malisheva, Gjilan municipality.
After being interrogated by the Investigating Judge of the Prishtina Regional Court, Danica
Marinkovic, on November 28, 1994, at the Prishtina Jail premises, on which occasion I
insisted to have all the injuries that could be seen, be ascertained in writing and have him sent
to be medically checked-up, this mistreatment was only a overture - only the initiation of
what this detainee suffered later. On December 5, in a letter, this accused asked me to come
and visit him. On December 6, immediately after I got the letter, I visited him and instead of
seeing him for five minutes, the visit lasted 2-3 minutes, enough for him to, exhausted from
the incessant torture, tell me: "Hasan, they have killed me, It's over with me, since the night I
was interrogated by the investigating judge they are taking me to State Security day and night,
and they tie my hands and feet and they beat me until I faint, and then repeat it. It seems as
my legs were paralysed and I can't move my neck or hands any more. They have most
probably decided to kill me, and I have just called you to tell my family to bury me in
Malisheva". Convinced by his words and the way he looked, like a exhausted and lost man, of
slow movements of eyes, I couldn't even show the minimum of my professional ability to
give him some courage, telling him that all this madness will be over with, I just managed to
promise him that I will inform all the organs of this regime about his case. Thus I acted. I
informed, in details, the ministers of Justice of Serbia and Yugoslavia, as well as the
President of the Supreme Court of Serbia, proposing each one of them, individually or
altogether, to form a commission to ascertain these claims at the spot and stop the torture
before it is not too late.

It was a miserable and cynical act, with an increased doses of hatred towards the detained to
see the Investigating Judge reply to all this: "It is not my business to ascertain the wounds"
which were evident and gave a terrible image of the detained, a statement accompanied by a
cynical laughter and uncontrolled satisfaction for what had happened to my defendant by

- 11 -
saying "I am not a doctor" and finally "They should have thought it better".

INTERVIEW

SHKËLZEN MALIQI, Journalist

KOSOVA'S ISSUE WILL BE SOLVED IN 1996!

Interviewed by BATON HAXHIU / Prishtina

KOHA: For years you have been preoccupied with Albanian themes. You have recently
compiled them in your new book "Albanians and Europe". Taking into account that the theme
is delicate, it often seems that there is no solution to it, your book has opened many issues
which had been only questions so far. You differ from the others because you are not
sentimental, but are critical towards the problem. How did you overcome the influence of the
scripts and legends elaborated by historians and others about our greatness?

MALIQI: I have never been under the influence of national ideologies, therefore I have not
the "overcome" experience. I have spent the years of the revival of the Albanian national
romanticism (1966-1981) outside Kosova. Intellectually I developed in a part of the
internationalist and cosmopolitan environment, and what is even more important,
anti-Stalinist, of Belgrade in the sixties and seventies. Today, Belgrade is flooded by
Greater-Serbs, while then it had been more a capital of a complex federation, which gathered
the intellectuals, artists and students from all parts of the Former Yugoslavia. The main
problem of my generation was finding the forms of socialism "of a human image". At that
time, socialism resembled a process of planetary dimensions which could be corrected from
serious deviations, while the main motto of the leftist opposition, which I belonged to, was
"to criticize everything mercilessly", borrowed from Marx's early works. I also shared the
illusion of that opposition that the national issue had been overcome. However, later I
understood that we had been living on top of a silenced volcano. Tito's death and the eruption
of the Kosova crisis in 1981 reactivated the Serbian nationalism, whilst Belgrade's
internationalism, cosmopolitanism and liberalism disappeared instantly. One day I felt a
stranger there. The anti-Albanian history reminded me of my origin. I couldn't conceal the
fact that I was Albanian. At that time I was working in the Albanian Language Department of
the University of Belgrade and day by day I was watching poor Halit Tërnavci becoming a
"super-honest Albanian". I was feeling the increase of a sickening pressure around me to
declare oneself and subjugate to the nationalist pressure. I decided to leave Belgrade. I came
back to Kosova in order to share the fate of my people, with the idea that all nationalisms
should be fought, especially the hypocritical aspiration of the Serbian nationalism, which was
using Kosova to revitalize the Serbian hegemonism and militarism.

The political and social developments in the eighties and especially those in the nineties,
actualised again even more harshly the Albanian issue. This I have reflected in many of my
essays and some of them I have compiled in this book. Why is there no sentimentality in my
work and why am I so critical, it is a matter of personal axioms. I have asked myself about
some issues that I though were important for the auto-reflection of the Albanians, and I have
tried to give the answers, as far as I have been capable to do that.

- 12 -
KOHA: In the first part of the book you ask several questions: What do we want? What can
we achieve? Where are we?...According to you, where do the mistakes rely, for having the
Albanian problem reduced to these initial questions?

MALIQI: Any larger crisis imposes radical questions. For one century, the Albanians
attempted to create a stable state and national institutions, but they were unsuccessful. Zog's
and Enver's era in Albania, as well as Titoism and Marxism-Leninism in Kosova did not only
prove the wandering in the fog of a divided and unprepared people for "historical changes",
but also left behind many serious consequences, a situation which needs a new start of
everything. Only the exact diagnosis of the situation allows the establishment of new
foundations, which will not be only for one use, in favor of this or that dictatorship or
personal power.

KOHA: Others say that you are very critical when you say that "The statement that Albanians
are an ancient people makes no sense and has no explanatory force, as long as we always
have to remain an infant in the cradle". Thus you dimension the Albanians and their actions in
a static and stereotypical project.

MALIQI: It is not at all important what were we like two thousand years ago. The only
important thing is where we are today, what do we aim at and what can we actually do, to
have a better and stable future for our children. The ones who rely on history, from the
Illyrians up to the Albanian renaissance, in order to motivate the resistance of the present
generation, have often no diagnoses for the sensibility and the real interest of the present
generations. They are like Don Quixote, who fought the fictions. The ones who deal with
history, the ones who claim that the Albanian people has had a long and glorious history, I
would ask only one thing: Why is it that this glorious people has such a miserable situation
today? Why wasn't it as glorious in the 20th century as in times of the Illyrians? The Illyrians
are a myth. The ancient Illyrian culture is a lie. For one thousand and five hundred years, the
Illyrians resisted literacy. What kind of a culture (in the non-anthropological sense) is that
which doesn't acknowledge the foundation of civilization: the scripts? But, when we depart
from the contemporary premises, Albanians are something different: a civilized people, with
large strata of educated people, the political, economic and cultural elite which could create a
stable state and all necessary democratic institutions. Our history is ancient, but it proves
more our incapacity than our capacity to be a sovereign state. I believe that today we have all
the capacities, or we are working on it, to achieve full independence.

KOHA: For the first time, one of our authors smoothens also the myth about violent
Albanians. Why now, and why do you believe that the Albanians have suffocated their
violence with non-violence. Where is the essence of this change?

MALIQI: Differing from the previous centuries, when they were always rebelling or were
participating in different wars mobilized by the occupier, in the largest part of the 20th
century, the Albanians were not involved in big wars. Three or four generations don't know
what war and armed resistance is. There is the memory of courage, of the Albanian as a harsh,
but honest and just warrior, there are the songs and the cult of possession of weapons, but the
real experience of the warriors is not alive.

The present Albanians differ from their great-grandparents. They have calmed the flow of
blood and highly evaluate knowledge. In the 20th century, the cult of knowledge has won
over the cult of the weapon. The same way, non-violence found support in the whole big

- 13 -
transforming process of the Albanians, even though it had not been noticed in the national
ideology and it still used the old examples of the self-identification of the Albanians as a
warring and violent people. The attitude of the people, especially in Kosova, were thus taken
as a surprise. But, non-violence should not be understood as a supreme value. I also explain it
as another means to reach another purpose: independence and sovereignty. The present
Albanian political elite prefers the political means to the violent, to achieve the main goal. If
this would prove unsuccessful, then it should not excluded to have the Albanians turn to the
violent means. All those who think that the former heroes have turned "cowards" are wrong.
The Albanian patience is not endless.

KOHA: In all Albanian problems we deal with the collective illness of one people.
Realistically, the Kosova Albanians are facing the Serbian collective illness. Do you think
that the Albanian non-violent reaction is a result of the intuition of the people or what...?

MALIQI: Exaggerated generalizations shouldn't be done. The nations have complex


structures. The disposition of one people often depends on the postures of the elite which
leads it in determined historical moment. Even the illnesses of the nation (mainly treatable?)
often appear, before all, as exaggerations of the illnesses of determined elites, which
manipulates with the dominating disposition of the people. Nazism and fascism were not
genetic diseases of the German or Italian people, because after they were beaten they were
healed, while this diseases appear in different forms among the other people too. Today it is
more expressed among the Serbs. Albanians had long term negative experiences with the
Serbs, they took the threats of Milosevic's regime seriously and were very careful not to fall in
the traps of war provocations. The Albanians knew that they were facing genocide and chose
the best way to defend themselves. The other example could be the Bosnians, who were
unprepared to face the wildness of Serbian nationalism (at the beginning they believed the
Serbian propaganda about the alleged violent actions of Albanians against the Serbs), they
were strongly convinced that there would be no war in Bosnia and because of this innocence
they suffered a real genocide.

KOHA: Lately, it could be noticed from your articles and conversations, your optimism
regarding Kosova's issue has increased. Why?

MALIQI: I have the impression that my optimism and pessimism appear in amplitudes,
depending on the developments and disappointments which occur in the Balkans' front, as
well as the inadequate and late treatment of Kosova's issue. Nevertheless, I might be more
optimistic because, according to my analyses, but also those of the other analysts, the chances
to overcome this phase of the Kosova crisis without war have increased. If it is a fact that
there is a space of at least two years (until the end on 1996) to politically solve Kosova's
issue, this revives the hopes for the definitive elimination of war.

KOHA: Does this mean that you believe in the solution of Kosova's issue by agreement?

MALIQI: Yes, this is possible. It seems as if the war in Bosnia has ended with the victory of
the Serbs, and this victory of the new arrangement of the borders according to ethnic
cleansing is not in favor of the Serbian aspirations to keep Kosova. The Serbs have so many
problems and so many new borders to take care of, that they might even think themselves to
give up on Kosova. Keeping Kosova by force could cost Serbia very much. Even the
international community, which is announcing its withdrawal from Bosnia, will not allow to
be humiliated again in the case of Kosova, as a focus of potential war, much more dangerous

- 14 -
than Bosnia.

KOHA: You were an active participant in the elaboration of Kosova's politics. You have been
among those who have signed the three options in 1990. Since that time, the political
problems have headed in deferent directions. From this perspective, what has been done
wrong and what can be done to overcome the mistakes.

MALIQI: In respect to the relations with Serbia, I believe that there have not been big
mistakes. The politics of Kosova had been defensive and careful by force. Finally, this
politics have allowed the installation of a parallel system of institutions which is tolerated by
the Serbian aggressive regime because it too, however savage it might be, depended on the
balance of fear. Serbia was forced to treat Kosova as an occupied territory.

The mistakes made in the internal plan of the Albanian movement: the inadequate
organization, the monopolization of the movement by the LDK, the partition of the diaspora
and obstruction of the activities of the Albanian Lobby in the USA, the lack of ideas about the
role of the parliament of Kosova (the autonomous "Communist" one which has, nevertheless,
proclaimed the Republic, and the Republican one which was never constituted), in keeping a
divided and incomplete government, the inadequate establishment of the Presidential cabinet,
the inadequate organization of the foreign policy and informative system, the lack of
coordination of politics with Albania and political parties in Macedonia, etc.

KOHA: Many consider our politics as futile, lacking invention and divided, while you say
that the Albanians are a real political force who will gain independence while the Serbs are a
worn-out force.

MALIQI: The most famous Serbian analysts claim that Serbia got itself involved in an
adventure which costs too much and that today it is much more weaker than before. The
Serbs may have won territories, but have a bad position in regard to the world, they have
created animosity towards all their neighbors, they are spending the main resources and the
armament which made them superior, and what is more important, they are suffering from the
sanctions which have created a disorder in economy, which has delayed the transition towards
capitalism, the definition of property, the transformations of huge systems as "Zastava" or the
Steel Mill in Smederevo, the Electronic Industry in Nis, etc., all these delays must be paid one
day. On the other hand, the Albanians are the youngest people in Europe and this is a very
important resource.

Also, the Albanians are for the time being the most dynamic population in Europe, deep
inside the market system and liberal values. However, when I gave the evaluation which you
have quoted, I had, before all, in mind the fact of the birth of the Albanian liberation
movement in Kosova. I am convinced that this movement is so deep that it can't be stopped
until liberation is not achieved. The Kosova Albanians will not allow to come to the position
they had in 1912 and 1945 when their fate was being established regardless of this will. This
shall not be repeated again, because their will to have an independent Kosova is known. It is a
matter of form and time and how will independence be achieved.

KOHA: It has been said that you deserted politics because you couldn't have any influence
with your political ideas and actions. However, lately you have been praising Rugova's
politics and criticizing the lack of creativity in the LDK and Rugova's opponents, especially
professor Qosja...

- 15 -
MALIQI: I left politics because I was unsuccessful, because I didn't have sufficient political
ambitions. Nowadays I make analyses and publish my works, because I am more successful
in this area, although not as much as I should be, if I would really deal with them at the
maximum of my capacities. I dream of writing only professional works, artistic criticism and
essays on social and intellectual problems which preoccupy me. For example, since you
mentioned Qosja, it has been a long time since I have started drafting a book about him. Not
only in the Albanian politics, but also culture, Qosja represents an intellect which I consider
anachronic and closed, and I would like to, by opposing his opus which is very influential, to
affirm a different system of values and a model of open culture... But it is not easy to let go
on the other part of my work which has been evaluated by the others as successful and have
increased my obligations...

Regarding your statement that I have been praising Rugova and criticising his opponents
inside and outside the party, maybe it is true, but don't forget that I have been among the first
to criticize Rugova, especially the creation of his cult, between 1990 and 1992. Today I would
say: yes, Rugova has his deficiencies, he has not created a strong team of counsellors around
him, it seems as if he were improvising very often and he is undetermined, however, the
constellation of the created relations, which is the relatively quite rigid reality which can't be
changed overnight, Rugova has become an irreplaceable figure. In the discussions I have with
his opponents I often say: "Are you against Rugova? Please, tell me who could replace him in
the work he is doing today? Why don't you allow Rugova to finish the mission he has started?
If he fails, he can be replaced easily, and so can the leader and the political course."

KOHA: How do you evaluate the contradiction: on one side - the forecast of independence,
and on the other hand - the statements of the great Powers that Kosova will remain under
Serbia?

MALIQI: It is not a contradiction. Kosova could remain inside a Serb/Yugoslav constellation


as a transitory phase towards independence. The autonomy of Palestine is inside Israel, but all
the forecasts and concrete developments lead towards the direction of independence or a
Confederation with Jordan. It is not causal why Rugova always repeats the trusteeship
formula.

KOHA: Why has the war option in Kosova worn-out? If it has, which could be the next
Serbian move?

MALIQI: The war option is not dead yet, but only one of its varieties is dead, that of
continuing the war in Bosnia, which gave the destruction of Yugoslavia as a result. While the
Serbs were fighting for their western ethnic borders and for a way out to the sea, it was very
dangerous for them to have another front in Kosova, which could expand to a general
Balkan's war. However, it seems as if Milosevic had its doubts about this in 1993, when he
had declared to the delegation of the Serbs of Kosova, as we were informed recently, that
there were plans for a quick and radical solution of the Kosova issue (probably the method of
ethnic cleansing). Further on, even though realistically we evaluate that this option is
worn-out, unexpected changes should not be excluded. This will depend on the events to take
place in Serbia, ie. how will the conflict between the "pacifists" and militarists end.

KOHA: As if you were making a prophecy by saying that the solution of the Albanian
problem. Why do you think the Albanian issue will be solved in 1996?

- 16 -
MALIQI: It is not a unfounded forecast, but the evaluation is grounded on the analyses of
exhaustion from war and the consumption of potentials. Even the negotiating processes could
end by then. Concretely, I based this analyses on the forecast of the CIA, which claims that
Kosova's problem could be maybe solved in 1996. This might seem impossible if the stalling
so far, is taken into account, but even the political and military crises have sometimes their
culminating point which accelerate the events and achieve agreements which had been
postponed for months and years. But this prophecy is conditioned.

KOHA: What do you think about the activities of the Kosovans during the last referendum in
Albania?

MALIQI: In the period of the ruin of the totalitarian system, the assistance of the Kosovans
was welcome. However, in this case, taking sides was counter-productive, even though
understandable. The Kosovans thought that the Constitution would lead towards the
stabilization of Albania. But this is a lesson too. We should't take sides for issues that the
Albanian electorate decides about. What if the opposition comes to power tomorrow? The
opposition parties complain that Rugova has not been meeting with them when he comes to
Albania. It is hard to understand why.

KOHA: Albania's official policy, the anti-Kosovanism and the future of the country?

MALIQI: There are no concrete analyses and surveys of the disposition of the Albanians
towards the Kosova Albanians. I don't worry about these "frictions" inside one people at the
level of prejudice, because they are present anywhere at the regional level and the asymmetric
development of one people. For example, there is such as "hatred" between the Prussians and
the Bavarians in Germany, but this doesn't prevent Germany from being a stable country. And
this is, at the same time, also an argument against all those who claim that the unification of
the Albanians is not possible, as long as there are great differences in the level of
development and prejudice on regional basis.

MACEDONIA

POLITICAL HARD ROCK

by ISO RUSI / Shkup

Only a couple of days before the deadline for the announcement of the new government
expires, there are no news from old/new premier Branko Crvenkovski. December 15 will
probably bring the answer to the question what will the new government of Macedonia be
like. The bid about the participation of Albanian parties in the government, according to
unverified rumors, ended with a compromise. Allegedly, Albanians will have one seat less,
four members of the cabinet, one of them being vice-premier, which should not be
underestimated. At the beginning it seemed as if the increasing tensions between the two
largest populations would be the main obstacle to form the new government, but time proved
that there was something going on within the League for Macedonia. The problems about the
premier started the quarrels between the Social-Democratic League of Macedonia, the Liberal
Party and the Socialist Party. After the victory in the elections, in which the League won the
absolute majority in the parliament, the Liberal Party insisted on getting the posts of the

- 17 -
ministers of foreign affairs and finance, which practically blocked the formation of the new
government. And this because Crvenkovski wouldn't accept to have the present vice-premier
lead the finance ministry, because of his typical biography of a politician who came out of the
rows of the former youth organization. On the other hand, the Liberals warn that if their
requests are not approved they will not participate in the government and will become
opposition in the Parliament, which would practically mean that the Speaker of the
Parliament, Stojan Andov, who is Chairman of the Liberals, would have to resign by all
means. The dismantlement of the League, as well as non participation of the Albanians in the
government, doesn't suit in any way President Gligorov, because then his party colors would
potentiate, and an ethnically clean government would endanger his international image.

The incidents in the two largest disco-clubs in Shkup, "Hard Rock" and "Sileks", were used
by the Liberals to pressure hard on the coalition partners. Only a couple of hours before the
opening season at the "Hard Rock" discotheque, a group of 15 youngsters entered the
premises and demolished the assets in only ten minutes. The reason was that the owner
wouldn't agree to pay the racketeering commission. At the other discotheque, one young girl
became victim of a stampede of youngsters trying to get out of the room. The discotheque is
property of "Sileks", a large company lead by Lubisav Ivanov, one of the most important
leaders of the Socialist Party. There have been many rumors about the organized crime and
the disrespect of the law in Macedonia for some time now. One of the officials of the
Ministry of Internal Affairs upset the opinion with his statements, some months ago, about
organized crime, while on the other hand, Gligorov saw it necessary to speak about the war
against organized crime in his inauguration speech at the Parliament. Thus, on one hand, the
attempt to impose the racket and the punishment of the owners for not accepting it, wasn't a
big surprise.

What is politically weird is the fact that the racketeers had been engaged by the League for
Macedonia to avail them security during the electoral campaign. Now it is clear that the
Liberals were against their engagement but that an influential Social-Democrat managed to do
it. During the electoral campaign, these persons had close encounters of the third kind with
the followers of VMRO-DPMNE and came out victors. Afterwards, there was no more
incidents that they might have caused. On the other hand, it seems that the Liberals, since
long ago, have much to complain about the present and most probably future Minister of
Internal Affairs, Frckovski, and therefore used these two incidents as a means to fight him
and his party. Anyhow, much sooner than it could be expected, the quarrels inside the League
have started, and this is not a very good sign for its future.

If there is something good about the situation, then it is the fact that the "conflict in the left"
has pushed aside the problems in the relations between the two biggest populations. The
conversations about the participation of the Albanians in the Government, the parliamentarian
sessions, the quarrel of the media, the (non) opening of the University in Albanian in
Tetova... increased the inter-ethnic tensions at a very dangerous level. Even though it is clear
that the prolongation of finding acceptable solutions is not a wise political move,
nevertheless, this time-out is very welcome. Other two things could have been a reason for
further deterioration of the situation. A TV series broadcasted by TV-A1 and the rules and
regulations of the parliament. The humour series called "The Crazy House" by Sasko Nasev,
tries to deal with every day life of Macedonia, and in harmony with this, there are also some
Albanian characters in it. In the most primitive way the Albanian has been called Izmet Fekali
(excuse the expression: Shit Shit). The series itself is disputable, but the "joke" of having a
whole population denominated thus, is shocking. Of course, the whole case has caused the

- 18 -
reaction of the public, and not only the Albanian one. There was a exchange of opinions in
"Puls", even "Nova Makedonija" reacted, as well as the Helsinki Committee. According to
some, the reaction of the Macedonians is a good sign.

The Parliament discussed about its Rules and Regulations which explicitly stresses that the
official language of the Parliament is Macedonian. It must be said that the old legislature, the
Socialist one, allowed the use of other languages to. It is even stranger knowing that in the
first version, this provision was not foreseen. Now, this text has been submitted to the
Council of Europe for recension and it has been adopted as such! After long discussions and
very unpleasant remarks towards the Albanian MPs, the latter have decided to send the new
version of the Rules and Regulations to the same address.

It is almost sure that Gligorov, who was at the CSCE summit while the large disputes
appeared, will take everything under control again and calm down the "annoyed opponents".
He will also have to finally declare himself about the level and the broadness of what,
according to him, the nationalities should enjoy in Macedonia. It is also clear that he
personally, the same way he was the locomotive engine in the elections, will have to pull the
strings up front, to impose compromises and calm down the passions. And this will not be
easy, because everything depends on him, which means that the responsibility will be his.
Thus, the thesis according to which democratization, peace, stability and reforms could rely
only on the intelligent and authoritative politician who won the elections, is at stake.

MACEDONIA

WHICH UNIFORM WILL GET INTO THE UNIVERSITY

by IBRAHIM MEHMETI / Shkup

There are several days left until the opening of the University in Albanian seated in Tetova.
What was qualified as a bluff of the Albanian political factor several months ago and was
treated as a part of the mechanism of pressure against the government, as the time goes by, is
getting the contours of an inevitable reality.

December 17, the day the opening of the University is scheduled to take place, has been
marked in the calendars of the Macedonian officials, and not only them. This day has been
marked as D-Day.

As it has become a habit in Macedonia, when it comes to requests or events of national


character, the public is totally divided. The Albanians are totally in favor of the University.
On the other hand, the Macedonians, almost without any exemption, are against the
University, regardless of the decision of the Government. For the time being, there is no signs
of possible compromise in the horizon. When it even comes to compromise about this issue,
it could be said that there was a chance to reach it, and the chance was immediately lost, in
the first occasion the issue was presented. It is regarding the initiative of the Union of
Albanian Intellectuals in Macedonia for the (re) opening of the Pedagogical Academy in
Albanian, which should provide cadres for education in Albanian high schools. However, the
Macedonian party treated this issue as a good opportunity to manipulate with the political
balance of the country with the logic: We give you the Academy, and what will you give

- 19 -
us...?

If there were even chance for eventual compromise, there is no more time for it. The
Government of Macedonia, even though there are only several days more until the
establishment of the University, has not yet taken a decision in this respect, and has not gone
public with it. However, from sources which are directly linked to the Government, it seems
as if the Government evaluates this initiative as anti-constitutional and illegal. The truth is
that the Macedonian political forces, at least the ones in power, do not deny the fact that the
situation of the Albanian education in Macedonia is bad but, according to them, the opening
of the University is not aiming towards the improvement of this situation, but rather at
something else.

Thus, the Secretary General of the largest political party in Macedonia according to the seats
in the Parliament, the Social-Democratic League of Macedonia, which has gained the
mandate to form the new coalition government, declared that the aim of the opening of the
University is the solution of the status of some Albanian intellectuals, which gained their
professional titles in other parts of the Former Yugoslavia (alluding at the University of
Prishtina), as well as the creation of the parallel system of education outside the state
institutions. This issue, is being treated with great nervousness by the media in Macedonian.
According to the most influential newspaper in Macedonia, "Nova Makedonija", the purpose
of this initiative is not the education of Albanians but, as it states, "the intimidation of
Macedonians and thus force the small number of remaining Macedonians to flee Western
Macedonia", and "the realization of the main goal - Illyrida". What is even harder to
understand is that the arguments used to oppose the idea are old cliches, which are used every
time that there is an event involving inter-ethnic relations, regardless of their nature: "What if
the other nationalities ask for the same thing?". However absurd it might be, this cliche has
proven to be excellent for external use, because in this way the fact that the Albanians make
up (at least) one fourth of the total population of Macedonia is relativized in the eyes of the
international public. At the same time, another fact is ignored, and that is, according to
Albanian sources, that there is a need for 800 teachers with University degrees in Macedonia,
and that in the next 15 years, this number will be 4 thousand!

Apart from this, recently, MP Hysen Ramadani reminded the public that the statement of the
government about the "illegality" of this University according to the Constitutional principles,
can't stand. If there is good will, the Constitution doesn't represent an obstacle, says
Ramadani. He arguments this with the fact that by the end of the seventies, one of the former
governments of the Socialist Republic of Macedonia was seriously thinking of opening
Albanian departments within the Faculties of Economy and Law, within the framework of the
"Ciril and Metodij" University. A question arises itself: Why can't the same thing occur today,
twenty years later?

However, the Albanians have no dilemmas in this respect. On december 17, the University in
Tetova will start functioning. According to the data provided by the University, there are
already 570 inscribed students (390 regular and 180 part time). The Rectorate of the
University has already sent the invitations to the solemn inauguration to all foreign
representatives, and one of the invitations was also sent to the President of the Republic, Kiro
Gligorov.

Will the President assist the solemnity, or, as it is rumoured, it will be Frckovski's "blue
boys", it remains to be seen. If the second one happens, then we could say that on Saturday,

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there will be a clash between two opposite aims. On one side there will be the Albanians who
will defend the University, and on the other hand there will be the government (the
Macedonians) who, under the pretext of defending legality, will in reality defend the status
quo.

ALBANIA

THE CONSUMPTION OF THE MINISTERS, THE LAST CHANCE FOR INTERNAL


CONSUMPTION

by MERO BAZE / Tirana

No one can identify the color of Meksi's cabinet any longer. Berisha's decree ended the
awaited process of the changes in the Government. The clash between the Democratic Party
(DP) and the Government which at the beginning seemed to have ended with the Party's
victory, completely sunk after the decree. The Law on the Restructuring of the Government,
which was the legal make-up of these changes, created a new structure of Government by
unifying seven ministries into four, and allows the creation of posts of Secretaries of State
and one more vice-premier. The ones to leave were the vice-premier, and the ministers of
Justice, Finance, Construction and Urbanization, Transports, Tourism, of the ex-Political
Prisoners as well as the minister of Local Administration.

The two main figures of Meksi's cabinet, Serreçi and Zhulali (Foreign Affairs and Defense)
were not touched, while the Minister of Energetics, Adbul Xhaja broke all the records of
resistance in his post as minister, overcoming all political changes in Albania as of Nano's
time and until now. Xhaja, at times a "Social-Democrat", and at times a "Democrat", has now
become a "Professional in his post" and creates a new position in Albanian politics, while his
ministry, and especially the situation of the mines and the energetic sector is going through its
most serious crisis. The mines have been abandoned while the geological services have
stopped because of the lack of funds. The fuel has no security in the hands of the Albanian
experts while the hydro-energetic situation is still pending, as the labors in the restructuring of
the networks have not ended yet.

Keeping Xhaja in his post has only increased the rumors about his involvement in
fuel-smuggling. Serreçi and Zhulali passed because of the new undisputable image of the
foreign policy and restructuring of the Albanian army.

The new events in the Government seem to prove that this a one-party rule. The four new
names added to the new government are politically not determinable, apart from Teodor
Laço, the new Minister of Culture who belonged to the right wing of the Social-Democrats
and the only one who really supported Berisha during the Referendum. The "no" to the
Constitution has strengthened Gjinushi's position, which means that Laço has to find himself
a new party. What is definitely certain is that the Social-Democrats don't consider this to be
their post, and they consider themselves to be out of the coalition, which was anyways ruined
before the referendum.

The same is the fate with the coalition with the Republicans, once their only minister (that of
transports) was discharged. The Republicans were the only ones to really support the

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Democrats during the Referendum.

The Democratic Party, exhausted from the clashes with its political opponents but also with
the divisions inside, decided to take over the government until new elections. This, without
doubt, eases the struggle of its opponents but, on the other hand, finally tests the political
potential of this party in the Albanian political scene.

The internal struggle of the Democrats has ended but no one seems to distinguish the winners.
The discharge of Kopliku from the post of vice-premier, in charge of the economic reform,
and especially the suppression of this post, strengthens the position of Meksi, who so far has
indirectly blamed Kopliku for the slow rhythms of the reform and especially the privatization.

The accusations about the corruption in the privatization activity and the unjustified delay of
the transformation of many main enterprises is calculated to have cost the poor Albanian
economy over 5 billion dollars, which would be used as investments in the sector of housing
and infrastructure.

Another issue is that of Public Order, which is accused by the people of supporting
smuggling. But Musaraj won by large margins at the Parliamentarian group of the DP. It was
evaluated that he was more linked politically to the DP, than Zhulali or Serreçi, who were
sacrificed in the voting inside the Party. Keeping Zhulali and Serreçi, as well as merging the
Ministries of Public Order and Internal Affairs in one, seems to be a compromise solution.

On the other hand, the evolution of Dylber Vrioni from Governor of the National Bank to
Minister of Finances and vice-premier is one of the hottest issues which creates debate inside
and outside the DP. Engineer of mechanics by profession, never outstanding in politics,
Vrioni caused polemics in times he was elected Governor of the Bank. Vrioni was also
engaged in the deteriorating relations between the DP and PPD, which largely influenced the
future of this Albanian party in Macedonia. His new post is surprising taking into account his
personal biography and convincing taking into account his political biography.

To take the obligation of ruling the country alone, at the eve of new elections and when the
chances for internal changes have been totally consumed, means that the final results of then
next elections have been calculated. No one can prejudge the calculation made by Berisha and
the DP with the new changes in the cabinet, apart from the fact that now the opposition can
claim that everything can be blamed on the DP. Berisha has publicly dispersed any possibility
of large coalitions, including the Socialists, by arguing that such coalitions block the political
life. This means that DP calculated to have a clean race with the opposition parties. In this
struggle, Berisha will test the real force of the DP and maybe in this way stop the internal
disagreements. This means that all of them in the DP have to turn towards those who
endanger them from the outside. The attempt to make SDP a compact party is a process
which seems to the most important in the Albanian political life. The political parties that aim
to stay in politics should prepare themselves for long political battles. Thus was how the
Albanian Socialists acted in their first Congress. They accepted to leave power, which they
had only for three months, in order to prepare themselves for this political situation and the
electorate they have today.

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