Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Only two other persons have national holidays in the United States honoring them: George Washington and Christopher Columbus. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a giant in American history; he dedicated his life to fighting discrimination and racism in American society. During the less than 13 years of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s leadership of the modern American Civil Rights Movement, from December, 1955 until April 4, 1968, African Americans achieved more genuine progress toward racial equality than the previous 350 years had produced. Dr. King is widely regarded as America’s pre-eminent advocate of nonviolence and one of the greatest nonviolent leaders in world history. Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and ‘60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States.
The $120 million memorial is the first in Washington DC to honor a man of hope, peace and color. The Memorial was built on a four-acre plot on the north east corner of the Tidal Basin near the Jefferson Memorial and the FDR Memorial. The 30 foot sculpture of Dr. King depicts him gazing into the horizon and concentrating on the future and his hope for humanity.
Ironically, in Malësia, a memorial was erected "honoring" Ded Gjo'Luli, an Albanian war hero who, for similar reasons, fought against discrimination and brutality against Albanians at the hands of Turks and Slavs. Unlike the King Memorial, however, Deda stands about 6 feet tall, sits on a gated area away from public access (in case the gates are open from time to time) , and thrown behind a church and banquet center (roughly a total area of 10 square feet has been dedicated to this man). Beside Deda flies the Montenegrin flag, a slap in the face for a hero that dedicated his life, and those of his army, to fight the same enemy. Imagine a flag of the Third Reich flying beside King. The King memorial was dedicated by the President of the United States and is located in the capital; the Ded Gjo' Luli memorial was never formally dedicated, never broadcast on (national) TV, nor even attended by more than a handful of people. In fact, the statue cannot even be erected in the center of Albanian-domintaed Tuz!
Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech is among the most revered orations and writings in the English language. Below is a modified version of what Dr. King might have said if her were Albanian and faced with the contemporary issues facing the Albanian nation today:
"I am not unmindful that some of you have come to Malësia out of great trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells in Spuz. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by the storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of Slavic brutality. You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Come back to Albania, come back to Tetova, come back to Presheva, come back to Malësia, come back to Chameria, come back to the slums and ghettos of your homeland villages, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my Albanians, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the Albanian dream.
I have a dream that one day a “Greater Nation” will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed--we hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the black mountains of Plav & Gusine the sons of Scanderbeg and the sons of Jashari will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood and remember the blood spilled in honor of country!
I have a dream that one day even the region of Malësia, a district sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom, justice, and self-determination.
I have a dream that our little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the choice of religion, language, culture, traditions, and symbols but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Chameria, with its vicious racists, with the Greeks having their lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right down in Chameria little Cham boys and Cham girls will be able to join hands with little Kosovar boys and Kosovar girls as sisters and brothers with no borders separating them.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day every valley of ancient Illyria shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all Albanians shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the Tirana with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our Greater Nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning, "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the Albanian’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!" And if Albania is to be a Great Nation, this must become true.
And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of Tuz.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of Rugova.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Shkodra.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped mountains of Gusine.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of Vlora.
But not only that.
Let freedom ring from the raging seas of Ulqin.
Let freedom ring from valleys of Presheve.
Let freedom ring from every mountain top of Ethnic Albania, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every village and every municipality, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's Albanians, Malesor, Kosovar, Shkoltare and Katunar, Muslims and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Illyrian spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
Posted by Conference Organizer at 11:38 AM
Monday, October 24, 2011
Komisioni Evropian (KE) rekomandoi në raportin e tij të përparimit të mërkurën (12 tetor) që Mali i Zi të fillojë bisedimet për anëtarësimin në BE, duke thënë se vendi arriti përparim të kënaqshëm në reformat politike dhe institucionale.
KE vuri në dukje përparim në të gjitha fushat, duke bërë që Komisioneri i Zgjerimit të BE-së Stefan Fyle të njoftojë se asnjë vend anëtar i BE-së nuk do t'i shmangej miratimit të fillimit të bisedimeve me Malin e Zi.
Qeveria e Malit të Zi dhe e gjithë opozita përshëndetën rekomandimin e KE-së.
"Ky është një hap i madh drejt nxitjes kolektive dhe të unifikuar të mjedisit për reformat. U krijua së pari nga strukturat në pushtet për të forcuar pushtetin e tyre ndaj një opozite konservatore e nacionaliste, por është bërë një mjet kryesor për demokratizimin e mëtejshëm dhe luftën kundër krimit të organizuar e korrupsionit," tha Presidenti i Lëvizjes Evropiane Momçillo Raduloviç.
Vendimi i KE-së do të jetë përfundimtar nëse konfirmohet nga udhëheqësit e 27 vendeve anëtare të BE-së në dhjetor.
Pasi Kroacia të përfundojë bisedimet e saj me BE, Mali i Zi do të jetë vendi i vetëm ballkanik në fazën përfundimtare megjithatë më kërkues, të pranimit në BE.
Sipas analistëve, një status i tillë do të mbështesë reformat në vend, duke detyruar qeverinë që të trajtojë çështje në të cilat përndryshe mund të ngurrojë.
Ngurrimi veçanërisht shtrihet në shtetin e së drejtës, pavarësinë e gjyqësorit dhe luftën kundër korrupsionit e krimit të organizuar.
Ndërsa reformat e ndërmarra forcojnë arritjet në këto fusha, Mali i Zi duhet të bëjë përparim të mëtejshëm, duke përfshirë forcimin e kapacitetit të administratës e kontrollit të shtetit, si dhe lidhur me lirinë e medias.
KE i kërkoi parlamentit që të mbikqyrë më mirë punën e qeverisë, veçanërisht nëpërmjet marrjes së shpeshtë në pyetje të ministrave për të lejuar opozitën që të fillojë seanca.
Raduloviçi shpjegoi se procesi i bisedimeve i BE-së lejon gjithashtu më shumë vend për ndërhyrje nga jashtë për të trajtuar parregullsitë e sistemeve të pushtetit të Malit të Zi.
"Kjo do të hapë hapësirë shtesë për presionin demokratik e të reformave si nga institucionet e BE-së, ashtu edhe nga vendet anëtare të BE mbi strukturat dhe institucionet në pushtet në Malin e Zi për të vazhduar me përpjekje shtesë," tha Raduloviçi për SETimes.
Ai argumenton se ata që ndërpresin këtë proces të konsolidimit institucional e demokratik do të përballen me presionin e fortë vendas nga publiku i përgjithshëm dhe ekspertët, si dhe nga faktorë të ndryshëm të BE-së dhe të tjerë ndërkombëtarë.
Fyle shpjegoi se BE do të nisë një metodë të re në bisedimet e tij me Malin e Zi.
Ai do të jetë i pari që do të diskutojë mbi Kapitullin 23, që i referohet shtetit të së drejtës, pavarësisë së gjyqësorit, lirisë së shprehjes dhe rezultateve të dukshme në luftën kundër krimit e korrupsionit. Kapitulli do të jetë i pari në rendin e ditës dhe do të mbyllet i fundit.
"Rekomandimi i KE-së për Malin e Zi për datën e bisedimeve është shumë mbështetës për procesin e mëtejshëm të demokratizimit e evropianizimit të vendit," tha për SETimes përfaqësuesja e Qendrës për Edukimin Qytetar Daliborka Uljareviç.
Uljareviçi shpjegoi se metoda e Brukselit për bisedimet -- e kushtëzuar nga përparimi dhe rezultatat konkrete -- është shumë i dobishëm.
"E gjithë kjo do të bëjë komunikim intensiv me Brukselin, por do të pakësojë gjithashtu manipulimin. ... BE do të mbikqyrë nga afër qeverinë tonë, e cila do të jetë e detyruar të ndërmarrë më shumë rezultate të dukëshme e konkrete, sepse presioni i brendshëm për reformat do të mbështetetet me presionin e BE-së."
Por jo gjithkush e përqafoi raportin e KE-së. Anëtari i Këshillit Kombëtar për Integrimin Evropian Boris Raoniç tha se rekomandimi nuk është ndonjë arsye për eufori.
"Forcimi i aftësive administrative nuk do të jetë i lehtë," tha Raoniçi për SETimes.
Nga Nedjeljko Rudoviç për Southeast European Times në Podgoricë -- 14/10/11
Kjo përmbajtje është autorizuar nga SETimes.com.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 11:31 PM
Friday, October 21, 2011
Albania’s government has ratified an agreement which unifies consular services and practices with Kosovo and halves costs for both countries.
Besar Likmeta, Tirana
“Albanians should feel the same in Tirana and Pristina,” Prime Minister Sali Berisha during a cabinet meeting yesterday.
He added that similar practices should be followed in other areas like customs, culture and education in order to cut down on bureaucracy and bring the two sister countries closer together.
“It’s necessary to consolidate the trend of cooperation with [a] common legal framework and common legal practices, alleviating the bureaucratic hurdles for the citizens of Albania and Kosovo,” he said.
Since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in February 2008, the two governments in Tirana and Pristina have worked closely to strengthen business and cultural ties.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 3:57 PM
Friday, October 14, 2011
Representative Eliot L. Engel (D-NY), Co-Chairman, Congressional Albanian Issues Caucus will be visiting the Albanian-American Community at Saint Paul's Albanian Community Center on Tuesday, October 18, 2011, at 7:00 p.m.
This event will invite supporters to engage in dialogue related to varuous issues affecting Albanian-Americans at home and abroad, most notably the absence of a Commune in the Albanian region in Malesia.
As Chairman of the Albanian Issues Caucus, Engel strives to champion several causes that are very important to both him and the rich Albanian communities of New York and Detroit. The caucus works to promote the welfare and progress in Albanian regions of the Balkans and US-Albanian relations in many profound ways.
Firstly, the Caucus promotes the bolstering of democratic institutions in Albania, Kosova, FYR Macedonia, Montenegro and other Albanian populated Balkans territories because a free and stable Balkans benefits everyone. Engel also strives to prevent human suffering of refugees and other troubled peoples in the aforementioned areas through the resurrection of human rights protections.
As chairman, Engel is also overjoyed to be part of the effort to advance the cultural evolution and social development in those territories. So, too, does the Caucus support the establishment of free-market economies and the preservation of good relations between Albanian Americans and their ancestral homeland. The Caucus works diligently to ensure that the Balkan regions with ethnic Albanian populations progress swiftly into the future with a strong partnership with the United States.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 1:32 PM
Wednesday, October 05, 2011
“Generation X” is all grown up in Malësia. Who, you ask? Simply put, if you ask this post-communist cohort of young intellectuals who Tito was, you may get a reply straight from a textbook. That is because most of these youth only know about the former Yugoslavia and her bloody wars and venomous demagogues through history books, YouTube, and Wikipedia. In other words, a new generation has emerged, and with it, a new taste for change. In the highlands of Malësia e Madhe a new group has organized under the label "Democratic Forum for Integration" (DFI). They believe that the current political representatives of Albanians work more for their personal interests than to improve the political, economic and social lives of their brethren.
As the newly appointed leader of this civic association, Anton Lulgjuraj offers the same warning that organizations preceding FDI have argued: the citizens of the predominant Albanian region of Malësia are dissatisfied with the general situation their social, economic and political lives.
The fault lies primarily on the political representatives of Albanians, who for the most part serve their own self-interests instead of the constituents they represent. Lulgjuraj cites the absence of a local municipality in Tuz/Malësia as the main culprit for this stalemate, and coupled with skyrocketing unemployment and unbalanced budget revenues have crippled the region.
The head of the Mission Club of Albanian parties in the Montenegrin Assembly, Vasel Sinishtaj, however, expressed skepticism in the objectives of the FDI.
Sinishtaj envisions an organization that will harvest all Albanian political parties into one unit and collectively engage the Montenegrin government for greater socio-political rights in Malësia and elsewhere. However, "yet another association is conceived without any real policy position or platform on real political issues." Sinishtaj is skeptical as to whether their goal is to unite Albanians or create cleavages between an already united front.
On the other hand, Political analyst Dritan Abazović supports the formation of the FDI. He asserts that any group organization that seeks alternative means of articulating their legitimate demands are rightly justified, especially if the status quo has not ushered in any change through the failure of their elected representatives.
Abazović maintains that, "It is especially important to raise awareness about the importance of participation in the social processes. Malësia has a legitimate reason to be dissatisfied and has regressed politically and economically. The political elites have failed to fulfill their requirements as elected representatives and articulate the demands of the citizens of Malësia. Therefore, it is quite logical that such an organization would take birth; it is definitely a welcoming sign, especially if the FDI is founded on democratic principles with the desire to achieve prosperity for all citizens."
Although the names of the members are being kept under tight wraps, it is expected that a press conference will soon identify the rest of the group and their roles thereafter. All we know now is that “a new group of young intellectuals will be seeking change for Albanians in the Malësia region.” A very common declaration that has been undertaken by previous groups, but with little success.
Immediate reaction to the FDI have been mixed. Some are criticizing it as an attempt to alienate the Albanian political parties and their deputies in Parliament. Others have claimed that the group is a collection of college students and young professionals that reside outside Malësia and are "out of touch" with the political process. On the other hand, the FDI is being welcomed as a potential new beginning for the future of Malësia. Many of the members are not tainted by communist-era propaganda and politics, such that have corrupted the current group serving in Parliament and in the Urban Municipality in Tuz. Numerous citizens argue that the self-serving interests of Malesia’s current and former politicians led to the embarrassing defeat of Albanian parties in 2010 that allowed the Slavic-run DPS to usher in their own puppet-masters to govern Malësia.
The FDI seeks to bring legitimacy to the political process and strengthen democratic principles while exploiting the self-serving interests of political elites. Although popularly elected, Malësia’s quasi-government is controlled by the ruling DPS in Podgorica, a strategy put in place by the Dukanovic regime in efforts to stymie any unified front from developing and politicizing. The battle is now two-fold: on one hand you have the DPS levying their political influence to maintain control in a region predominantly Albanian, and on the other hand you have corrupt Albanian officials regulating their egoism first and then the needs of their constituents second.
Posted by Conference Organizer at 11:50 AM