For the past 20 years, by way of the Parliament of Montenegro, Albanian deputies have continuously brought forth and legislated for the realization of Albanian rights in Montenegro, however these pleas have been ignored by the central powers of the state. As a symbol of this protest, the Democratic Forum for Integration (DFI) vehemently demands the resignation of all Albanian deputies of the Parliament of Montenegro until the realization of our basic human rights as protected by the Constitution of Montenegro, as well as by international conventions.
We are not demanding anything that is illegal; instead we are seeking fundamental human rights that are guarantees of any democratic state. Refusal to respect such assurances demonstrates the exercise of a tyrannical state.
We will not allow Albanians in Montenegro to be used as slaves!
The “Urban Municipality of Tuzi” is living proof of the ignorance, ingratitude, abuse, and humiliation perpetuated by the ruling party's policies against the Albanians in this region.
The Demographic changes that have occurred in our territories over the past decade is a plan designed by the state and its secret cabinet meetings in efforts to assimilate Malësia and the Albanians in Montenegro. They forgot however, that our votes gave birth to this state. This country is a compilation of all the citizens of Montenegro, whether Montenegrin, Serbian, Albanian, Croatian, Bosnian, Roma, etc., and in no way unique state Montenegrin nationality, without addressing the historical aspect.
The Law of November 2nd of this year concerning the territorial organization of the state of Montenegro foresees Malësia without Municipality status. This law was adopted by the Parliament of Montenegro and clearly shows hatred toward Albanians in Montenegro, which in no way can be justified.
The bill prohibits the use of national symbols and strictly prohibits the legal use of the Albanian flag! I want Montenegrin lawmakers to answer one question: “In what other European country do minorities not have the right to identify themselves using their national symbols?” The flag is a sacred symbol of a nation. People who do not have the right to preserve their identity are threatened to become extinct without a trace of history.
The pillaging of Albanian lands by Montenegrins began 100 years ago and continues today. However, in the last decade the element of assimilation, orchestrated by Montenegrin secret agents, has angered Albanians and has led them to publically declare the following: “We will defend the land and our rights by any means possible.” Their statement illustrates the gravity of the situation, which is more serious than ever before. European lawyers understand the importance of property inheritances and rights, and have given special credence to such issues. They have also declared property to be a sacred and inviolable right as it is stated in Article 1 of Protocol 1 of ECHR (KEDNJ).
I would like to mention some events surrounding 2006, without mentioning the promises that were made before and after that year. In 2006, Malësia was promised full municipality by the administrative capital, Podgorica. The Albanian political parties, united in one single coalition force, were supported by the majority of residents of Malësia and thus gained local power. They pledged that they would not settle for an urban municipality, but instead would continue to fight for full and deserved “Municipality of Malësia.” Nonetheless, Montenegro has refused to grant Malësia full municipal status, whereafter no local Albanian politicians resigned to protest this bigotry and demonstrate loyalty to the constituents that elected them. And at the end, the Montenegrin authorities gave us “Eagle’s Flight.”
A few years ago, local Albanian politicians projected a political referendum by which the local government wanted to achieve a full municipality status for Malësia. Unfortunately, certain individuals abolished this initiative. Today, the current local government of Tuz insists that a referendum needs to be held for the municipality. But today, we must say NO to such a referendum because Malësia has suffered a demographic shift in its population. This is our first justification. If you legally analyze this situation, a referendum is a constitutional right and international law which is used for certain purposes such as the separation of the union or states, the adoption of particular laws and international agreements, but in no way can a referendum be used to resolves the fate of national minorities. In particular, it cannot be used to resolve the fate of the autochthonous Albanian population in Montenegro.
The FDI does not support the referendum in any way or form. The FDI rejects any call for a referendum for a Municipality of Tuz because we are aware of the danger and uncertainty it brings to our region and to our citizens.
No municipality in Montenegro was ever established by a referendum. And so the question arises: “Why should the residents of Malësia participate in a referendum for local government?!” Holding a referendum for Malësia is absolutely intolerable and it should be universally abolished! Holding a referendum for the Municipality of Malësia is in complete contradiction to international law. In 2006, the majority of citizens declared its desire for a full Malësia Municipality!
Because of these aforementioned injustices, which are being carried out by the Capital City, the ill-suited “urban municipalities” do not have created the competency to develop and sustain economic resources, social welfare, and/or social security; wherefore, the DFI strongly demands the following:
- The resignation of all consultants and employees of the “Tuzi Urban Municipality”, that only a full and self-sufficient Municipality be supported and nothing else;
- A call for early elections, where citizens can decide their own fate and in no way to impose policies aimed at eradicating Malësia, such that Malësia will only remain in the pages of history!
- The immediate dissolution of the “Urban Municipality of Tuzi” and the instantaneous formation of the MUNICIPALITY OF MALËSIA;
- The return of property to the citizens of Malësia, including, but not limited to: “Vuksanlekaj”, “Milesh”, “Shipshanik”, and “Dheun e Zi”;
- Petitioning the Constitutional Court to review the autocratic laws passed under the Law on Territorial Organization and the more recent law on national symbols. Given the complexity of these laws, Montenegro cannot postulate to be that democratic state seeking integration with the EU because, if adopted, these laws are nothing short of chauvinist and intended solely to ethnically cleanse (in a non-violent way) national minorities and, particularly, native Albanians.
These problems are not unique to regions primarily inhabited by Albanians, but also found in the districts of Ulcinj, Plav and Gucia, Bar, Rozaje, etc. In Ulcinj issues surrounding property rights and ownership, particularly are concerning the return of the Valdanos lands and marine goods. The remaining districts are so stagnant in their development that they are almost completely assimilated.
We want to help this country, but in order to do so we seek to be equal partners in its democratic transition and not mere servants! Montenegro will be integrated into the EU only when it is prepared to respect the rights all citizens of Montenegro, including the indigenous Albanian population. The integration of Montenegro into the EU means respecting human life and the significance of Chapter XXIV, which is a prerequisite for integration into the EU as it relates to the representation of minorities in public life and observation of state laws on discrimination – such as Montenegro’s outrages law banning the Albanian flag.
We thoroughly understand the EU requirements; therefore we raise our voices to remind Montenegro that their current path towards EU integration is not acceptable.
From this stage today, I appeal to Europe and the United States, declaring that we are citizens of the same world, we are together in this, and we need your assistance to resolve this issue, so we can share with you the benefits of a civilized society. We have reasonable aspirations to guide ourselves towards the right path and remove the obstacles of injustice, which oppresses us, diminishes our existence, and stops any progress that would make us equal. This is the belief of the Albanian youth.
― Anton Lulgjuraj