Thursday, April 28, 2011
Four months after the release of the controversial Council of Europe report, the EU law mission in Kosovo says it has not received any evidence enabling it to start investigating its grave claims.
Months after a Council of Europe report accused Kosovo's top leaders of trafficking in organs, the EU rule-of-law mission said a preliminary probe was still trying to establish whether enough evidence exists to begin a formal investigation.
The mission says it can only launch an official investigation if enough hard evidence is received, and no specific persons are as yet under the spotlight.
EULEX said that anyone who had evidence to support the grave accusations made in the report, including Marty, needed first to to come forward and submit their findings to EULEX prosecutors.
"We have exchanged letters with Mr Marty. We have not yet received any hard evidence from him," a EULEX spokesperson told Balkan Insight.
"At this stage we have nothing more to add. When we have more to say, we will say it," the spokesperson added.
The report caused a bombshell when it was released in December, as it linked former Kosovo Liberation Army, KLA, fighters, including the current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaci, to organised crime and accused them of harvesting the organs of Serbian prisoners and others in Albania.
But Marty has refused to provide any evidence for his claims to the EU mission in Kosovo, saying the mission was not up to handling the investigation and thus an "ad hoc" judicial structure needed to be set up, which would operate outside Kosovo.
EULEX disputes this. "We have full confidence in our own witness protection unit, which has already shown itself capable of handling high-level and sensitive cases," EULEX said.
Serbia, meanwhile, has sent a proposal to the UN asking the international body to launch an independent investigation into the allegations.
Kosovo's government reacted angrily when the report was made public, accusing Marty of basing his report on rumours and falsehoods.
Today, Kosovo officials refuse to be drawn further on the probe, or on its likely results. "It’s in EULEX's competence," Hajredin Kuci, Kosovo's Deputy Prime Minister, told Balkan Insight, declining to comment further.
The Kosovo government earlier called on Marty to present all his facts and proof to the competent judicial bodies.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 8:45 AM
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Sunday, April 17, 2011
PODGORICA, Montenegro -- The Statistical Office, MONSTAT, will publish results of the population census related to ethnicity, religion and language by July 15th, as agreed during a meeting Wednesday (April 13th) between Prime Minister Igor Luksic and representatives of the opposition New Serbian Democracy party, Andrija Mandic and Predrag Danilovic. The process will be monitored by experts from the EU's statistical office, EUROSTAT. The census started on April 1st and is still under way. Some Serb opposition parties have already speculated about the results, as regards the number of Serbs living in Montenegro. (RTCG, Mina, Pcnen, Radio Free Europe - 13/04/11)
Posted by Conference Organizer at 3:31 PM
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Podgorica, April 14, 2011 -- Montenegro’s Minister for Human and Minority Rights, Ferhat Dinosha will be resigning in the next few months and will submit a formal resignation. According to various sources, he will be seeking a diplomatic assignment if approved by Prime Minister Luksic.
Dinosha will be remembered by the Albanian community is a staunch supporter of Milo Dukanovic and the DPS. When Dinosha served as leader of the Democratic Union of Albanians, he was often criticized for being a puppet of the DPS and for being used as an Albanian voice (with Slavic undertones) to control the Albanian population.
In June 2009, Dinosha delivered a blow to the Albanian community in Malësia by proclaiming, “Tuzi is currently not prepared to elevate to the status of Municipality, given it is not an economically viable area…establishments should not proceed with the creation of new municipalities at any cost, where there may be lack of resources and no basis for a budget…Dinosha recalled that Tuzi currently has the status of Urban Municipality, as part of the capital Podgorica, and added that this status is much more favorable for a future transitional phase where they will eventually become independent municipalities…”
Posted by Conference Organizer at 10:44 AM
Monday, April 11, 2011
No musical performances! No plays dramatizing 1911! No poetic recitals paying tribute to our fallen heroes and heroines! No skits displaying our national cultures and treasures, No show!
April 10, 2011, Rochester Hills, Michigan – The Albanian-American community of Greater Detroit celebrated Kryengritja e Malësise se Madhe Sunday night at St. Paul’s Albanian Catholic Church and Community Center.
The sold out event featured a keynote address by Professor Romeo Gurakuqi, Assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Shkodra “Luigj Gurakuqi” in Shkodra, Albania.
The event will be remembered more for what it was NOT than for anything worth writing home (to Malësia) about. After a long-winded opening speech by the master of ceremonies, Anton Lajcaj, a marathon run of speeches followed suit, all of which overshadowed Dr. Gurakuqi’s succinct analysis of the 1911 Malësia Uprising. In fact, Gurakuqi seemed at times to be annoyed by the rumbling of the crowd who displayed impatience throughout the evening. Gurakuqi in turn hurriedly read through his speech, never connecting with the crowd nor pausing in between sentences to emphasize the shifting paradigms during Malësia’s historical time-periods.
Many in attendance had hoped that Dr. Gurakuqi’s speech would be the last, but leave it to the organizers to turn the evening into one of the dullest on record. Seven more men made a bee-line to the podium and turned what Dr. Gurakuqi laid out flat on its back. If it were not for intermediate dance skits, the crowd was determined to gouge their eyes out with their steak knives. Those seated near the back of the hall were completely disconnected with the organization of the event, the sound never reaching the nearly 120 attendees sitting at the other side.
To add insult to this historic event, distinguished guests, congressmen Sandy Levin and Gary Peters, along with Senator Carl Levin, failed to appear. Thankfully Mayor of Rochester Hills, Bryan K. Barnett, filled this void with a delightful (and yes, short) speech commemorating 1911.
The evening concluded pretty much the same way it started – uninteresting, lethargic, boring, and empty. As the crowd emptied, a look of “can I get my refund” spoke through their half-awake eyes.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 5:09 PM