Thursday, February 01, 2007

Prayers and Protests: Albanians Demand and get Attention in Washington


WASHINGTON, DC, February 1, 2007 – As guests to this years’ National Prayer Breakfast filed out of the Hilton Hotel and towards their motorcades, they were greeted with the stars and stripes flying alongside double-headed eagles representing the Albanian spirit, their cause and their steadfast mission to update the international community on the apartheid-like political system operating in Montenegro.

As dignitaries from around the globe bowed their heads in prayer this morning, approximately 500-600 Albanian-Americans throughout the Midwest and eastern seaboard traveled throughout the night – from places like Detroit, Chicago, New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts – and congregated on Connecticut Avenue to request those inside to say a prayer for all the Albanians in Montenegro that are being victimized, brutalized and terrorized in their own homeland by a government that has been officially singled out as corruptive, fraudulent and violent to its minorities.

This morning’s demonstration, led by the Albanian-American Association “Malësia e Madhe” of Detroit, centered on the same theme as last year: basic human rights for Albanians in Montenegro, in the realm of social, economic, political and civic privileges, which have been denied by the majority Slavic government. This years’ rally also included appeals for the international community to be responsive of the injustices and corruptive nature of Montenegro’s judicial and police system that is brutalizing and torturing Albanian political prisoners for superfluous charges of “terrorism.”

The cries successfully caught the attention of numerous public figures, most notably the U.S. Senator from Illinois, Barack Obama, who acknowledged the efforts of the demonstrators by giving a thumbs up and exclaiming, “keep up the good work.” A representative from the U.S. Department of State made his way to the rally, made several inquiries and carefully took notes that he promised would be prioritized and presented to State Department personnel handling Easter-European affairs. Other representatives, like the Congressman from Kentucky, leisurely walked over and listened to people in the crowd, asking questions here and there, and reading the Press Release that was distributed to everyone who filed out of the hotel.

As the rally came to a close, and hundreds of voices became hoarse, the spirit and the strength of Albanians swelled to the thought that perhaps, for at least a brief moment today, there were people who listened to the cries of mothers and fathers, brothers, sisters and friends of those unfortunate souls in Montenegro who have been deserted by a government that is supposed to protect their lives, liberties, and pursuits of happiness – elements that founded this nation and has laid the blueprint for others to follow. Unfortunately, Montenegro’s plans do not coincide with this blueprint; they have ignored these elements just as they ignored the invitation to attend this exclusive gathering. Montenegro’s long road ahead will be beleaguered with speed bumps along the way, reminding them to slow down and not run over the spirit and lives of Albanians and their ancient homeland.

18 comments:

Tina Kalaj said...

This event should be a supplement to the final status of Kosova assigned for tomorrow.

The "Albanian Question" surfaces in the face of the international community once again, along two fronts (at least today). It does not cease with the indepenece of Kosova (regardless of its conditionalities), whereupon it begs to be addressed in Montenegro as well.

1878 is the starting point for discussions and disseminations ... the conclusion is what we are all anticipating.

What do my colleagues have to add??

Anonymous said...

Beautiful words! This is a heart-felt moment for all Albanians, especially in a time where we all anticipate Kosova's future.

Anonymous said...

You can read the press release that was handed out at the rally if you copy and paste this:

http://malesiaemadhe.org/documents/feburary%20demo.pdf

Anonymous said...

CONGRATULATIONS ALBANIANS!!!!!

Alban Pushka said...

Albanian Americans Demonstrate In Washington D.C. Against Montenegro And Its Continued Oppression Towards Albanians

http://www.malesiaemadhe.org/documents/02.01%20press.pdf

FREE MALESIA!

Nik Gjurashaj said...

The climate is ripe -- tomorrow we will find out what the future holds for Kosova, and along with it the future of Albanians in the entire penninsula.

Malesia's cause runs parallel to Kosovas' -- self-determination and self-rule.

When the Montengrin state refused to treat Albanians equally at the level of the rest of its (slavic) citizens, then it lost all power it holds on those mistreated, and those citizens that are not equally protected and afforded equal protection under the law (domestic or international), international law provides a remedy -- self-determintaion.

Let's not forget Malesia, the struggle will never go away as long as there are Albanians that call this region their home.

Highlander said...

Dear Nik -- your comemnts are admirable, but alas... it's hard to make the ame noise for 12,000 people as opposed to 2 million.

I agree the cause does run parallel, but there is another "Achilles heel" in Tuz -- "unity."

I think we've exhausted what I mean by this term in previous posts so I won't go into detail here.

I wish that the international community was as sympathetic for Malesors as they were for Kosovars, but as they say here in Boston -- FAT CHANCE.

Do let me know if there is anything I can do.

Altin said...

Here is an excerpt from Reuters on Kosova:

"A summary of Ahtisaari's plan seen by Reuters confirms that Ahtisaari will avoid recommending independence by name, and will not refer to Serbian sovereignty, which Belgrade insists the United Nations cannot violate by amputating Kosovo..."

"It will, however, make clear that Kosovo will not return to Serbian rule and will obtain legal status that permits other countries to eventually recognize it as an independent state."


"Passage of a (U.N.) resolution would create a platform for Kosovo to declare independence and those countries minded to do so would recognize that," said a Western diplomat.

"The Serbs would have to accept the loss of Kosovo, the Kosovars would have to accept a continued international presence, significant limitations on their sovereignty and a very generous package of rights for the Kosovo Serbs..."

Adem Thaci said...

Altin, here is what BBC is reporting ...

"Kosovo will be allowed to separate from Serbia and use its own national symbols under proposals to end its limbo status drawn up by the UN's special envoy."

"Martti Ahtisaari's plan does not mention the word "independence", but that is virtually what is on offer, Western diplomats told the BBC."

"Mr Ahtisaari's plan, however, amounts to "independence, subject to international supervision", said one Western diplomat, who wished to remain unnamed."

"Kosovo would be allowed its own national symbols, including a flag and anthem, and to apply for membership of international organisations like the United Nations."

AND THIS ONE I LAUGHED AT:

"Kosovo could not be partitioned between Serbian and ethnic Albanian areas, nor would Kosovo be allowed to join any other state - implicitly ruling out the creation of a "greater Albania".

Anonymous said...

Altin, YES Reuters has indeed acquired a copy of Ahtisaari's plan and it does read exactly the way you provided.

The proposal means this -- Although he doesn't coin the term "independence," (for obvious reasons), Kosova is in fact an independent entity with all powers to enter into international agreements, and will eventually become (legally) independent as expected.

GEZUAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

What will Kosova's FLAG look like? I know that's a dumb question but will Kosova and Albania be the only two states in the world that share the exact same flag??????

OK, now on the count of three everyone scream ... "ETHNIC ALBANIA!"

Anonymous said...

KEY PROPOSAL POINTS on KOSOVA:

1. Contains no reference to Serbian sovereignty or independence for Kosovo
2. Blocks Kosovo from joining Albania, or having its Serb areas split off and join Serbia
3. Kosovo can use national symbols
4. Kosovo can join international organisations
5. Creates international envoy mandated by UN and EU with power to intervene in government
6. Retains Nato and EU forces in military and policing roles
7. Protects non-Albanian minority with guaranteed roles in government, police and civil service
8. Protects Serbian Orthodox Church sites and Serbian language



http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/6324673.stm

http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=worldNews&storyID=2007-02-02T150558Z_01_L0132482_RTRUKOC_0_US-SERBIA-KOSOVO.xml&WTmodLoc=IntNewsHome_C1_%5bFeed%5d-10

Free Malësia said...

Those KEY PROPOSAL POINTS ON KOSOVA are very interesting.

How can we protect Albanians in Montenegro along those same lines?

The international community should not have a double-standard; the protection they call for Serbs in Kosova need to be addressed for Albanians in Montenegro.

KEY PROPOSAL POINTS on KOSOVA:

1. Contains no reference to Serbian sovereignty or independence for Kosovo
2. Blocks Kosovo from joining Albania, or having its Serb areas split off and join Serbia
3. Kosovo can use national symbols
4. Kosovo can join international organisations
5. Creates international envoy mandated by UN and EU with power to intervene in government
6. Retains Nato and EU forces in military and policing roles
7. Protects non-Albanian minority with guaranteed roles in government, police and civil service
8. Protects Serbian Orthodox Church sites and Serbian language

Anonymous said...

Good question. I think the flag will be similar but different. The obvious is the Albanian eagle, then prob something added to it so it will differentiate with Albania's.

Anonymous said...

Kosova and malesia will hopefully connect to join a 'greater albania'but until then we need to make sure the Malesors are free, and by doing that, having larger groups coming to these demonstrations and showing America that we care for people back in Malesia and we won't give up until Malesia is freed.

Free Malesia!

Anonymous said...

I think the roads Albania and Kosova are taking are opposites, Kosova will be better off without ever joining Albania. As foir Malesia, who cares, certainly not Albania or they would speak out against the suppression taking place there. And Kosova will be too busy builing their new state. And what about Ulqin, Plav/Gusia, Kraj...?

Besides, the new Settlement agreement forbids Kosova from joining any state.

Anonymous said...

The flag has to be "multi-ethnic" in nature, representing both Albanians and Serbs, so it will entail more than just the Albanian eagle, it will most likely contain Serbian natinal colors -- whether we like it or not.

Sabrina said...

Well said.