Monday, November 29, 2010

Dr. Camaj: "Albanians in Montenegro denied natural rights..."

ROCHESTER HILLS, MICHIGAN, USA, November 28, 2010 -- On the eve of Albania's 98th birthday, the Albanian-American Community of Greater Detroit celebrated "28 Nentori" at St. Paul's Albanian Catholic Church and Community Center.  The sold out event hosted between 650-700 guests along with distinguished invitees, including keynote speaker, Dr. Palok "Paul" Camaj.

This years' ceremony took a turn from previous programs as the keynote speech primarily focused on contemporary issues plaguing Albanians in Montenegro.  Dr. Camaj, a international legal expert specializing in minority rights and democratization, gave a brief introduction on the events surrounding Albania's declaration of independence in 1912, which included the tragic episode of forced occupation and transfer of Albanian lands to the North, East and South of her territories.

Dr. Camaj went on to outline political developments that endangered Albanians throughout the 20th Century, and as a direct consequence, the eventual declaration of independence of the second Albanian state - KOSOVA.

The focus then turned to contemporary Montenegro, and the dire circumstances plaguing Albanians in Malesia, Ulqini, and Plave & Gusij.  According to Camaj, the sociopolitical status of Albanians is deteriorating at a pace unprecedented by European standards.  The false assumption that Albanians enjoy equal rights has been exacerbated by none other than Albanian "puppet" politicians sympathetic to Milo Gjukanovic and the leading Montenegrin political party, DPS.  The fact that Albanians are left out of the political game is evidenced by their unproportional representation in Parliament, local municipal governments, including academic and state employment sectors.               

Dr. Camaj cited Montenegro's refusal to grant Malesia a municipality as a tool used to disenfranchise Albanians from the political process.  In a Feasibility Study compiled in 2009, Camaj referenced data analysis illustrating the political and economic viability of the "Urban" Municipality of Malesia as it has sustained far greater development than seven (7) other municipalities existing in Montenegro today.  This, according to Camaj, is undisputed evidence that Malesia has achieved the economic ability to compete with any municipal government in Montenegro.

Dr. Camaj concluded with numerous incidents of how Montenegro's government denies Albanians opportunities in the employment, academic, and social development sectors.  The speech earned a standing ovation from a dominant "Malesor" crowd, many of them who emigrated from Montenegro for the very same reasons Dr. Camaj  spoke about this evening.

The evening included special performances by local Albanian youth and traditional music provided by the areas leading entertainers.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Slice of generosity for the needy

Jennifer Chambers / The Detroit News

November 23. 2010
Oak Park -- This Thanksgiving promises to be a better one, not only for the needy and hungry who come to Rrok Dedvukaj's restaurant for a free Thanksgiving-style meal on Wednesday, but also for Dedvukaj himself. Known to family, friends and customers as "Rocky," Dedvukaj took a break from operating his three Metro Detroit restaurants in 2006 and went to visit his homeland of Montenegro. On the eve of a parliamentary election that August, the social activist was among 12 ethnic Albanians arrested and accused of plotting a rebellion to establish an Albanian autonomous region within the Adriatic country.

Dedvukaj, who had lived in America since the age of 9, spent three years in prison, where he was beaten and tortured. The case drew international criticism, and human rights groups demanded that Montenegro deal with the issue.

In September 2009, Dedvukaj returned to the United States after his release. He lost everything during those years, including his three restaurants.

In February, with the help of some friends, he opened the Royal Grill restaurant in Oak Park at 22110 Coolidge Highway, at Nine Mile.

He works there six days a week, taking care of customers alongside two sons and his wife and a small staff of waitresses.

Instead of feeling bitter and angry about his experience, Dedvukaj is slowly returning to his old life before he left — the life that included helping the less fortunate.

As a gift to the community, he is serving free meals starting at 9 a.m. Wednesday and until 4 p.m. or whenever the food runs out.

The meal — turkey or ham and all sides and a drink — is available to those in need who cannot afford to pay. Those who can pay are asked to make donations that will go to Oak Park Youth Assistance.

"My customers come in and keep me in business, right? It's a way of saying thank you to them and giving the needy a chance to eat in a restaurant. I know how it feels to have an empty stomach," he said.

Before his three years of imprisonment in Montenegro, Dedvukaj fed the needy at his three restaurants in Pontiac, Detroit and Warren, offering free holiday meals to the poor and collecting donations for a Sept. 11 firefighters fund.

He raised $15,000 over three years.

He knows he returned a changed man. Dedvukaj said it took him several months to adjust to life again at home in Troy.

"I had a hard time in prison. I needed a few months to see where I am and where I belong. Those three years took a lot out of me," he said.

Waitress Sally Sylvester, who alerted the media to Dedvukaj's generosity, said the 52-year-old had inspired her with his dedication to the community and the ideal of helping others in need. Police officers and court officials, who are frequent diners at Royal Grill, are volunteering Wednesday to act as servers for the day.

"It is costing him so much to do this, but that is who Rocky is," said Sylvester, a waitress there since July. "He works to make a difference for people — not just political but personal, too."

Friday, November 19, 2010

Overwhelming Support for "Greater Albania" Grows Among Albanians

(AKI) – An an overwhelming majority of Kosovo Albanians - 81 percent - favour unification with neighbouring Albania, according to an international survey published on Thursday.

A total of 48.8 per cent of Albanians in Kosovo and 41.8 in Macedonia believe unification could take place soon.

In Albania, support for unification has fallen to 62.8 pe cent from 68 percent last year.

The survey findings came less than three years after Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority declared independence from Serbia.

The survey, conducted by Gallup Balkan Monitor, also showed that 51.9 percent of ethnic Albanians in Macedonia favoured unification within a so-called “Greater Albania” that would also contain Kosovo and Albania.

Ethnic Albanians make 25 percent of Macedonia’s two million population and enjoy considerable autonomy in the western part of the country, bordering Albania.

Kosovo's approximately two million Albanians make up 90 percent of the population, which comprises just 100,000 remaining Serbs.

Majority Albanians declared independence in February 2008, with the support of western powers, on the condition that Kosovo can’t form a union with any other country.

Serbia opposes Kosovo independence and 71.2 percent of Serbs would rather forsake European Union membership than renounce Kosovo, according to the survey.


The majorities of the ethnic Albanians living in Kosovo, Albania, and Macedonia in favor of forming a "Greater Albania," a poll shows.

80% of the Albanians in Kosovo, 62% of those in Albania, and 51% of the Albanian minority in Macedonia back the idea for forming a Greater Albania, according to a poll of Gallup carried out in cooperation with the European Fund for the Balkans, cited by Macedonian TV Kanal 5.

An alliance between Albania and Kosovo has smaller support – 33.7% in Albania and 29.2% in Kosovo, according to the report of the Serbian media B92.

According to Albanian nationalists, a hypothetical "Greater Albania" would feature the entire territories of Albania and Kosovo, about half of Macedonia, and parts of Southern Serbia, Montenegro and Greece.

Fears that a scenario for creating a Greater Albania were on the way emerged after the Kosovo War in 1999 and the subsequent insurgency in Macedonia, which was settled through a constitutional compromise, the Ohrid Accord, in 2001.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

EU: Executive okays Montenegro as official candidate

Brussels, 9 Nov. (AKI) – The European Commission on Tuesday recommended Montenegro become an official candidate for European Union membership. That would put the tiny Balkan state in the same queue as Croatia, Macedonia, Turkey and Iceland.

In an enlargement strategy paper, the European Commission gave a significant boost to Montenegro's bid to join the EU, saying its reform efforts had qualified it for candidate status.

But for formal accession talks to open, the former Yugoslav republic "needs to intensify its efforts to consolidate rule of law, in particular in the fight against corruption and organised crime, which remain serious problems," the Commission said.

Croatia is on course to become the 28th EU member state. Talks are entering the final phase, the Commission says.

A dispute with Cyprus continues to delay Turkey's progress towards the EU, which it is not expected to join before 2015.

Montenegro's Balkan neighbours Albania, Bosnia-Hercegovina and Serbia are further behind it in the queue to join the EU.

But on Monday, the 27 EU governments agreed that citizens of Albania and Bosnia-Hercegovina would enjoy visa-free travel to most EU countries, possibly as soon as by mid-December.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Ndihema per Malёsi

Albanian-American Association 
“Malesia e Madhe"

08 Nёntor 2010, Rochester Hills, Michigan ShBA

Lajmrojme Komunitetin Shqiptar te Detroitit me rrethe se Shoqata Atdhetare "Malesia e Madhe" me daten 14 Nentor 2010, dite e Diel, ne ora 7:00 te mbremjes ne sallen "Gjergj Kastrioti" pran Kishes se "Shen Palit” ne qytetin Rochester Hills do te shtroj nje darke, tash tradicionale per te grumbullue mjete financiare per ndihma te Malesise.

Kjo Shoqate, mision dhe qellim te vete ka (1) te ndihmoje dhe te ndikoje ne permisimin dhe avancimin ekonomik, politik dhe social ne Malesi, (2) te ndihmoj skamnoret, te semurit, studentet si dhe raste tjera ne nevoje.

Me ndihmen tuaj gjeneroze, per keto vite te funksionimit shoqata jone ka ndihmue Malesin me afro $440,000.00.

Te dashur bashkatdhetar,



Prandaj, apelojme te te gjithe Ju njerzit bemirs dhe Ju kerkojme ndihme, qe se bashku te ndihmojme Malesine dhe njerzit e saje ne nevoje.

"Shoqata Atdhetare Malesia e Madhe"

Gjergj Ivezaj

Tel: (586) 524-3487


Friday, November 05, 2010

Plans for "Greater Albania" by 2015

Balkan Insight

"We [Albanians from south Serbia] are preparing to realise the idea of a greater Albania to be formed by 2013 or 2015 at the latest," Rexhepi, the vice president of the Presevo assembly, said on Tuesday.

Talks on such a project were held over the weekend in Tirana, where the List for Natural Albania was presented for the first time.  Rexhepi attended the meeting along with the mayor of Presevo, Ragmi Mustafa, and the leader of the Movement of Democratic Progress, Jonuz Musliu.

"I was in Tirana over the weekend to support the project and announce that my party [Albanian National Movement] will become part of the List [For Natural Albania] and take part in the next elections in Pre
sevo," Rexhepi said.

The List for Natural Albania includes the groups and individuals who support the idea of a "natural", or "greater" Albania of one state for all ethnic Albanians in the Balkans, which would include parts of the territories of Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, and Serbia.

According to the project, Albanians in these countries would hold a referendum to plead for the establishment of the state.

Presevo valley, a largely ethnic Albanian region in south Serbia, would become part of a "greater Albania" according to the plan, Rexhepi said, explaining that the area has been part of Albanian territories in the past.

Tomo Zoric, spokesperson for the Serbian prosecutor's office, said that his office would check what ethnic Albanian leaders who hold official positions said at the meeting in Tirana.

"If we detect that there were elements of their speeches which violated the law, the prosecutor's office will initiate proceedings," Zoric told Balkan Insight.

In an unofficial referendum held in 1992, a majority of ethnic Albanians in the Presevo Valley expressed their desire to join Kosova.


2013-A year of natural Albania: at last, Koco Danaj speaks of future events on the Balkans.

By:  Bekri Ajdini

Gruevski's politics estimated as nationalistic caused ethnic Albanians to seek for alternative solutions.  Ethnic Albanian political scientist, Koco Danaj told Lajm that ethnic Albanians move towards forming of a natural Albania that will include all the places where they live.

"The year of 2010 is the year when the establishment of natural Albania will begin.  Don't be surprised if the movement which today is being called self-determination grows into a political party in the future which would include all ethnic Albanians that want to remain Albanians within their progressive mentality," said Danaj.

According to Danaj, contrary to Gruevski's megalomania, "the ethnic Albanian politicians from Eastern Albania who occasionally are in Macedonia have no need to express themselves with a shady terminology, but they should openly speak in front of the people which they represent."

He evaluated Rafiz Aliti's statement as insufficient.

"Ethnic Albanian politicians need to overcome the handicap.  They are faced with Gruevski's nationalism that gains support of the EU pro-Slavic lobby against pro-USA ethnic Albanians.

They should recognize themselves and tell where the places they live in belong--in Western Macedonia or Eastern Albania," said Danaj.

He explained that ethnic Albanians are going to enter the EU, but not in the same way that Gruevski chooses and advised BDI that "the new name of the Republic of Macedonia should be Northern Republic of Macedonia and Eastern Albania."

Albanian politicians in Montenegro refute the thought of "Greater Albania"

Montenegro's Minister of Minority Rights, Ferhat Dinosha and leader of Tuzi's urban municipality, Nikolle Gegaj, immediately responded to the news that a "Natural Albania" is being sought after the meetings in Tirana.

Dinosha and Gegaj rebuffed the thought of a "Greater Albania" claiming that Albanians in Montenegro have all the rights that could be afforded to minorities.  Dinosha went on to say that Montenegro and Albania have very close diplomatic ties that would not be jeopardized by territorial advances.

It is worth noting that both Dinosha and Gegaj are members and advocates for the DPS and adherents to Milo Djukanovic's master plan to suppress Albanians into political, social, and economic submission.   

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

EU readies mixed message for Montenegro

Published: 28 October 2010

Updated: 02 November 2010

FREE MALESIA NOTE:  (questionable statistic that Albanians only represent 3% of the total population in Montenegro)

The European Union is likely to grant Montenegro candidate status in November but defer opening entry talks with the ex-Yugoslav state as a result of corruption and slow democratic reform, an EU official revealed yesterday (27 October).


In May 2006 a referendum decided that the small Adriatic country would become independent from Serbia (55.5% voted for separation; 44.5% to remain with Serbia). The Montenegrin parliament formally declared Montenergo's independence the following month.

For a couple of years before the split, the EU tried unsuccessfully to discourage the separation of Montenegro from Serbia. Up to now, the prevalent opinion in Brussels has remained that the former Yugoslavia should not disintegrate any further.

One of the reasons for Montenegro's push for independence was that the small country, which has no big obstacles on its way to accession as Serbia has with Kosovo, would like to join the EU sooner.

The major ethnic groups in the country are Montenegrins (43%), Serbs (32%), Bosniaks (8%), Muslims (5%) and Albanians (3%).

On 8 October, Prime Minister of Montenegro Milo Djukanovic said his country expected to gain European Union candidate status in November and to start accession talks "soon".

The country is often cited as a haven for trafficking and money laundering.

The recommendation will come in annual progress reports, which the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, will publish on 9 November on all the Western Balkan countries, Turkey and Iceland.

The Commission is also expected to deny candidate status for now to Albania. The report will not change the status of Serbia, which will face Commission scrutiny over the next year after submitting its application less than a year ago.

"It's the most likely scenario," said the official. "It's too early for Albania. And Montenegro will likely get candidate status but is not ready to start talks [...] because of concerns over corruption."

Winning candidate status is the last step before a country aspiring to join the EU starts accession negotiations, a long process aiming to align its laws with EU rules and standards.

Hopefuls need to prove their economic reforms are well advanced on the path to becoming functioning market economies and demonstrate substantial efforts to overcome crime and introduce the rule of law.

Montenegro, with a population of 700,000, and Albania are both struggling with rampant corruption.

The EU, a 27-nation bloc of half of a billion people, is already holding membership talks with Croatia, Iceland and Turkey, while all the countries of the Western Balkans want to join one day.

Macedonia is also a candidate but a spat with EU member Greece over its name is blocking the start of talks.

(EurActiv with Reuters.)