PODGORICA, Montenegro, June 4, 2007 -- Ombudsman Sefko Crnovrsanin presented his annual report on human rights Monday (June 4th), which concluded that the record remained unsatisfactory last year. He found that despite gains since 2005, violations were registered at all levels, in nearly all areas of society. Crnovrsanin found persistent weaknesses in the work of the state administration in 2006, poorly applied regulations, as well instances of civil servants mistreating members of the public. According to the report, 495 complaints were submitted to the Ombudsman's office in 2006.
This poses a serious threat to Montenegro's process towards European integration and will not go unnoticed by the Council of Europe. The issues surrounding the Albanian detainees has also marred Montenegro's human rights record in 2007 and has destabilized relations with their largest minority.
Point well received! There were 356 complaints filed in Kosova last year, most coming from Mitrovica and the southern parts.
So what happens now? This report was not printed because it is alarming to Montenegrins, it was printed because under conditions that Montenegro complies with European institutions, it must report human rights claims and make them public. Unless minorities take the lead and use this information to internationalize what is happening to them, the ombudsman will pigeonhole this document.
Someone call NAAC and ask that they use their political influence in DC to push the issue forward.
They have politicians in their pockets. They also have direct access to the State Depatment.
The email I received regarding this posting was even better than the article itself. It is true, yet funny -- read it below:
"There are some of you on this email recipient list that have a distinct (economic) interest in the development of Montenegro and its successful rise, where you anxiously foresee her attracting foreign direct investments thus catapulting the country into a financial Mecca were your pockets and egos will desperately swell. For these same Albanian "investors", it is a torn in their side when they hear Albanian dissidents resisting the oppression and discrimination taking place every day in Malësia and other nearby places. To these Albanians, every demonstration taken to voice human rights violations is money out of their pockets. Our message to them: May you all reek of poverty!"
"The article below is just a snapshot of the growing and continuing problems with Montenegro’s human rights policies. It is an annual report prepared by the Montenegrin ombudsman. It is an annual report were 495 complaints were filed by citizens who were ethnically and/or religiously discriminated against. We never thought the day would come where more minority complaints would come out of Montenegro than Kosova in a calendar year."
and corruption continues...
Montenegro Faces Government Crisis
Podgorica, Montenegro_The world's newest nation could face a government crisis if Montenegro's two ruling parties don't overcome differences over the privatisation of the country's biggest thermal plant and coal mine to the Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, a government source said on Wednesday.
The ruling Democratic Party of Socialists, led by the powerful former prime minister, Milo Djukanovic, started facing problems when its junior coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party, joined the opposition's pressure on the government to abandon plans for selling the power station.
"We will have a government crisis if the leaders don't reach a compromise," a government source told BIRN, speaking on condition of anonymity. "No one can say what the result of the negotiations next Tuesday will be, when Parliament is set to vote."
The opponents of this privatisation consider it a "harmful job" for both the
citizens and the national economy, of which 40 per cent could fall into the hands of the Russian tycoon's N Plus Group, the owner of the country's biggest aluminium producer, KAP, and the bauxite mine.
"If Montenegro sells the thermal plant and the coal mine, we will become a colony of Oleg Deripaska," said the opposition leader from Movement for Change, Nebojsa Medojevic, during the Parliament session in Podgorica. "Montenegro can successfully manage energy sources and production by itself."
Medojevic alluded that selling these energy resources could cause an increase in foreign economic and political influence in Montenegro, since Russians and other foreigners have already bought a large portion of its coast.
"Since we organised the referendum for independence from Serbia last year, we can now organise one to vote for or against the union with N Plus Group, as a possible co-owner of Montenegro," he said.
Ex Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic, who insists on liberal privatisation of the country's energy resources, recently explained "the country couldn't run energy plants as successfully as a private owner."
Meanwhile, Parliament postponed the vote against this privatisation until next Tuesday, leaving enough time for the Montenegrin leaders to make a decision on the issue that threatens to jeopardise 17-year-old domination of Djukanovic's party.
Although the Parliament's conclusion doesn't oblige the government, it is expected that it could shake the ruling coalition, or partly change the country's privatisation plan.
PODGORICA, Montenegro -- The head of the EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) for the Western Balkans, Maryse Daviet, said Montenegro is advancing well on the road to Euro-Atlantic integration. During a visit to Podgorica on Wednesday (June 6th), Daviet met with both Prime Minister Zeljko Sturanovic and Foreign Minister Milan Rocen. She told them the EUMM office in Podgorica would close down later this month, in a further signal that Montenegro is stable and EU-oriented. A European Commission (EC) Delegation will open next.
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