Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gëzuar Ditën e Flamurit

Stafi nga FREE-MALESIA ju uron të gjithë bashkëatdhetarëve Ditën e Flamurit, 28 Nëntorin. Gëzuar Ditën e Flamurit kudo që të jeni në botë

Monday, November 14, 2011

Detroit Fundraiser Huge Success "For Malësia"

ROCHESTER HILLS, MI, Sunday November 13, 2011 – The Albanian-American Association “Malësia e Madhe” hosted their annual “For Malësia” fundraising dinner last night at St. Paul’s Albanian Catholic Church and Community Center. The occasion brought together Albanians from across the United States and from different sectors of the business, legal, medical, academic and political communities.

Gjergj Ivezaj, chairman of the Association, thanked everyone for supporting Malësia and the numerous projects over the years, which recently included the construction of a home for an impoverished family whose sons were tortured by Montenegrin authorities in the 2006 “Eagle’s Flight” case. The $60,000 raised for the home is just a fraction of a decade-long list of services directed to building the social, economic and political infrastructure in Malësi. Of the nearly $500,000 raised by the Association, 100% of the monies have gone directly to the Malësia cause.

On this night the Association raised an impressive $26,000, and while all the expenses at St. Paul’s were paid by the church, all of the money will go directed towards future projects aimed at helping the region defend itself from the discriminatory policies levied by the Montenegrin government.

The highlight of the evening came when the chief administrator of St. Paul’s, Father Fran Kola, gave a heart-warming speech on his support for Malësia and dedication towards helping the Association by any means necessary. Fr. Kola emphasized the urgency in aiding Malësia “Now”, and repeatedly called out the unfair treatment of Albanians in Malësia as a policy designed to eradicate an entire ethnic group from their national homeland. The crowd gave Fr. Kola a standing ovation as he concluded his remarks by stressing that, “What we need to understand, and what the international community needs to come to grips with, is that Malësia has only one path towards guaranteed freedom, liberty and justice for Albanians, and that is the road leading to unification with her natural state.“

The evening concluded in a jubilant mood, and those in attendance pledged their continued support for the future of Albanians in Malësia. The buzz throughout the evening centered on the upcoming 10-year anniversary of the Albanian-American Association; preparations were already beginning for a much-anticipated gala that is expected to set a fundraising record for the 2012 “Malësia Project.” Although the details were not made public, the "Project" promises to be the most comprehensive plan to date in dealing with the discrimination fo Albanians in Montenegro.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Rochester Hills Re-elects Mayor Bryan K. Barnett for Second Term

Tuesday November 8, 2011, Rochester Hills, Michigan, USA

Rochester Hills Mayor Bryan Barnett won re-election Tuesday by a landslide over Erik Ambrozaitis, 77%-23%. Barnett collected 8,398 votes to 2,440 for Ambrozaitis.

Barnett thanked all his supporters who joined him at the Concord Inn in Rochester Hills to watch as the final vote counts were officially reported. In attendance were members of the Albanian-American community who have supported Barnett’s contribution to Malësia since Rochester Hills became sister-city with Tuz in 2006.

Members of Shoqata “Malësia e Madhe” were greeted by Barnett and his City Council and recognized for their commitment for strengthening the City of Rochester Hills and several programs aimed at enriching the municipality. Albanians in Rochester Hills have played a paramount role in Barnett’s re-election campaign by hosting numerous fundraising events, promoting his vision for the city and his sister-city alliance with Tuz. Barnett repeated his aspiration to visit Malësia in the near future and encourage development in the areas of infrastructure and local government. Members of Malësia e Madhe promised to assist the Mayor in any initiative for the future of Malësia.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

United To Help Malesia

Event: Annual Fundraising Dinner for Malësia

Venue: St. Paul’s Albanian Community Center, Rochester Hills, Michigan

Date: Sunday, November 13, 2011

Time: 6:30 p.m.

The Albanian-American Association “Malësia e Madhe” invites you to attend their annual fundraising event where 100% of the proceeds go directly to families experiencing hardship in the rural areas of Malësia.

The event will include dinner and entertainment highlighting traditional music and plays reminiscent of customary Albanian folklore.

Since its inception, the annual fundraiser has procured over $500,000 in funds that have been used to better the lives of Albanian families throughout the Malësia region. The most recent project involved the allocating of $60,000 for building a home for an impoverished Berishaj family.

In efforts to realize the many goals and projects set forth for 2012, the Organization seeks your generosity in achieving these objectives by attending this weekend’s event. As Montenegro continues to discriminate against Albanians throughout Montenegro, Malësia has been especially hit hard by the government’s refusal to grant Albanians a distinct municipality that would handle so many basic needs and reverse the poverty plaguing the region.

Together we can make a difference as our unity, open hearts and love of nation cannot be deterred by any aggressor, at home or abroad.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday night.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Montenegro Proclaims, "No Municipality for Malësia"

Earlier today the Montenegrin Parliament adopted the Law on Territorial Organization, but no concessions were made to opposition parties and minority groups who were awaiting the formation of new municipalities in Montenegro.

Proposals of the opposition parties, which included pleas from ethnic Albanians to grant a municipal status to Tuzi, was turned away when it did not receive the necessary majority in the Montenegrin parliament.

The ruling coalition, which ironically includes the DPS and its appointed mayor of Tuzi, Nikollë Gegaj, argued that the initiative for the establishment of new municipalities was “unjustified and irrational at this time.”

The Law on Territorial Organization stipulates that the Government of Montenegro has the final say in the formation of new municipalities.

As one of the main obstacles to the independence of some municipalities, the Montenegrin government insists that those areas seeking independent municipalities must strengthen their economic capacity.

The Government of Montenegro considers that territorial changes cannot jeopardize economic development in a region, or the capacity of the existing municipalities to successfully perform its function.

The news came as a blow to the Albanian community in Malësia and the Diaspora. Back in 2005, then Prime Minister Milo Dukanovic assured a visiting Albanian delegation (who was accompanied by U.S. Congressman Elliot Engel) that “Tuzi would be granted a full and legal municipality in four years.” That would have been 2008.

With a population in steady decline, ethnic Albanians in Malësia are running out of time.

In 2003, the late Congressman from California, Tom Lantos, declared that what was happening to Albanians in Montenegro could be labeled as “quiet ethnic cleansing.” What Lantos might not have known is that this has been progressively happening since 1957, when Malësia was stripped of her legal municipality. And 55 years later, the aftermaths has been horrific.

There are less Albanians in Montenegro today than ever before in history.

When you ask a young adult what his dreams are, he responds, “to leave this place and go to America.”

There are no jobs, no opportunities, and no efforts for integrating Albanians, but instead a policy of assimilation and forced emigration.

What is happening with Albanians in Montenegro?

It should be no surprise why the population in Malësia has been steadily declining; over 55 years without democratic institutions (Municipality) have led to virtually no resources to: (1) identify administrative borders, (2) combat sluggish cultural development, (3) fill libraries that do not have books in the mother tongue, (4) support public fairs/festivals, (5) setting national holidays and/or street names, (6) contest the dissipating infrastructure – no adequate and safe water supply / sewage disposal / waste treatment facilities, no facilities for primary health care, public transportation is nonexistent, and maintenance of parks is absent, (7) reverse weak political participation – that has led to no municipal offices to handle the most basic needs of the local population, election offices /Register of Deeds centered in Podgorica, language barriers hindering development, government is centralized and very intimidating.

What has been the result?

The 2011 Montenegrin National Census reports the lowest Albanian population in the history of the region at 4.9%;

Assimilation & Emigration at unprecedented rates;

Albanians alienated from political process;

Latest election turnout the lowest ever, thus allowing opposition parties to take power;

All decision-making authority rests in the capital city – Podgorica;

More Albanians in Michigan & NY than ever before;

More Albanians in Detroit than in Montenegro;

Diaspora Albanians reluctant to return;

Widening cleavages between ethnic groups in Montenegro;

While 93% of the citizens in Tuz voted in favor of Montenegro’s independence in 2006, today less than 1% of Albanians are employed in the public sphere.

Democracy is an idea in Montenegro, Assimilation is their domestic policy.

The battle from abroad

A call for Municipality was recently forwarded to the U.S. Government by the distribution of a comprehensive Feasibility Study performed by a group of socio-political and economic experts from Montenegro and the U.S.

The study compared the sociopolitical and economic elements in the region of Malësia with those of the other established (21) municipalities. The results were well-defined: Malësia is much richer (via natural resources, business enterprises and investment from abroad) and more economically sustainable than seven existing municipalities in Montenegro today. In other words, one-third of Montenegro’s municipalities are in worse economic shape than Malësia.

And what has been Montenegro’s position on Malesia’s municipal status? There are insufficient financial resources and poor economic capacity to grant her a sovereign commune. The 2009 feasibility study unambiguously proves otherwise.

Decentralization has been a key component in appeasing ethnic minorities in Kosova and Macedonia; minorities now have increased power in areas they occupy as a majority, much like Malësia. The Diaspora has followed these trends closely, and has maintained that, in Malësia, Albanians should be allowed to manage their own affairs at the local level.

The United States Congress has agrees with this position.

In 2003, a Congressional Hearing on the “Repression of Albanians in Montenegro”, chaired by Rep Tom Lantos, discussed that the solution to the continued discrimination against Albanians was the creation of a municipality.

In 2005, Lantos petitioned (on several occasions) former Montenegrin PM Dukanovic to establish a municipality for Malësia.

In 2006, members of “Citizens Initiative” from Tuz joined the Albanian-American Association “Malësia e Madhe” from Detroit and appealed to the State Department, and Senator Carl Levin’s office in Washington, on the growing ethnic bigotry in Malësia. In turn, Levin petitioned the State Department to pay close attention to these issues abroad.

The Albanian-American community has also been restless.

In 2008, Students for Tolerance and Albanian Rights (S.T.A.R.) petitioned Congressman Engel at the campus of Oakland University for the recognition of a Malësia Municipality.

Since early 2005, eight demonstrations from Detroit to Washington to NY have taken place to object to the ill-treatment of Albanians in Montenegro

In 2010, the Albanian-American Diaspora (four Albanian NGOs) joined together to petition the State Department, Albanian Embassy, Kosova Embassy, and Montenegrin Embassy.

In a letter forwarded to Secretary Hillary Clinton, Senator Levin and congressmen Peters and Sandy Levin firmly requested that the State Department: “ensure the equitable treatment of Albanians in Montenegro,” while at the same time expressing support in “granting a full municipality status of the Tuzi district of Podgorica,” which would alleviate the continuing problems associated with “the rights of Albanians who are subject to discrimination in their native lands…”

And in 2011, from Tuz, the desk officer of the “Commission for Human Rights and the Protection of National Minorities” requested a meeting with Members of Congress to discuss the threats to the entire Albanian ethnic minority in Montenegro.

So many pleas, petitions, and demands, but yet so little productivity.

What will it take?

What will it take for Montenegro to realize that it is violating international laws, treaties, charters, statutes, and its very own constitution by holding back an entire ethnic minority? What will it take for the European Union to realize that membership into the EU bloc requires respect, recognition and protection of your national minorities first, and thereafter Montenegro can scramble to fix her criminal empire called “Parliament”? What will it take for the United States to realize that continued aid and support to Montenegro should be contingent upon its observance of equal rights and defense of its Albanian minorities? And what will it take for Albanians in Montenegro to realize that they are becoming extinct, and for those that will somehow survive, what will it take for them to realize they are turning into Slavs?

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Shqiperia Etnike? Marrëveshja Shqipëri-Kosovë rindez dyshimet e vjetra

Një marrëveshje për të bashkuar shërbimet konsullore jashtë vendeve, që do të pasohet nga veprime të ngjashme në të gjitha sektorët e tjerë, është një shqetësim për disa rreth agresionit të mundshëm territorial shqiptar.

Një marrëveshje për të shkrirë shërbimet shqiptare e kosovare konsullore jashtë vendeve ka ndezur shqetësime në pjesë të Ballkanit se marrëveshja është një hap drejt realizimit të "Shqipërisë së Madhe".

Marrëveshja u miratua nga qeveria e Kryeministrit shqiptar Sali Berisha më 20 tetor. Kjo do të përgjysmojë kostot konsullore të të dy vendeve, tha qeveria.

"Shqiptarët duhet të ndjehen njëlloj në Tiranë dhe në Prishtinë," tha Berisha, duke bërë thirrje gjithashtu për marrëveshje të ngjashme në fushat e doganave e taksave si dhe në sektorët arsimorë, shoqërorë, kulturorë e mjedisorë "dhe gjithshka tjetër".

"Duhet të forcojmë bashkëpunimin brenda të njëjtiti kuadër e praktikave ligjore, me qëllim që të zvogëojmë pengesat burokratike mes shtetasve të Shqipërisë e të Kosovës," tha ai.

Analisti kosovar Seb Bytyçi që drejton Institutin e Politikës Ballkanike me qendër në Prishtinë, u bëri jehonë argumenteve të Tiranës.

"Kosova dhe Shqipëria janë vende të vogla pa burime për të patur konsullata gjithandej," tha ai për SETimes. "Kjo marrëveshje na lejon të sigurojmë shërbime më të mira për shtetasit tanë. Marrëveshje të ngjashme janë të zakonshme edhe mes vendeve të pasura që ende ndjejnë nevojën për të shkurtuar kostot."

Ministritë e jashtme të Maqedonisë -- që nënshkruan një marrëveshje për përfaqësim të përbashkët konsullor me Slloveninë -- dhe të Malit të Zi thanë për SETimes se respektojnë të drejtën e çdo vendi për të kryer çështjet e brendshme e të jashtme të tij.

"Mirëpresim çdo nismë që synon përmirësimin e bashkëpunimit rajonal," tha ministria e jashtme maqedonase, por shtoi se "nuk do të komentojë mbi deklaratat e marrëdhëniet mes Kosovës e Shqipërisë".

"Nuk shoh se pse duhet t'a shqetësojë kjo Malin e Zi," tha për SETimes Zëvendës/Ministri i Jashtëm Ivan Miliç.

Ekpserti maqedonas i diplomacisë Lazar Lazarov këshilloi se ka më shumë në këtë lloj marrëveshjesh sesa bie në sy.

"Në fazën e parë keni afrimin, doganat e ekonominë e përbashkët, por faza e dytë në këtë prosces është zakonisht unifikimi," tha Lazarovi për SETimes. "Do të jetë e vështirë për Kosovën që të mbajë shtetin e saj në këto rrethana. Si Shqipëria, ashtu edhe Kosova duket se punojnë mbi projektin e 'Shqipërisë së Madhe,' të përmendur së pari më 1878."

Lazarovi iu referua planit të nxitur nga organizata politike shqiptare Lidhja e Prizrenit, që kishte për qëllim të unifikonte në një shtet shqiptarët e përhapur anembanë Kosovës, Serbisë, Malit të Zi, Maqedeonisë e Greqisë në shekullin e 19-të.

Kosova u zotua në deklaratën e saj të pavarësisë më 2008 për respekt të plotë për integritetin territorial të fqinjëve të saj dhe për kufijtë e caktuar në planin e Marti Ahtisaarit për një zgjidhje të çështjes së statusit të Kosovës, të miratuar nga OKB.

Jan Bankroft, bashkë-themelues i TransConflict me qendër në Beograd, argumenton se Plani Ahtisaari pohon qartë se Kosova nuk mund të kërkojë të bashkohet me ndonjë shtet tjetër, kështu që synimi i Berishës duhet të trajtohet me mjaft shqetësim.

"Nëse qeveria në Prishtinë nuk i përmbahet këtij elementi të rëndësishëm të Planit Ahtisaari, atëhere është vështirë të presësh se do të mbajë kushtet e tjera mbrojtëse të siguruara, që do të ushqejnë më tej mosbesimin mes serbëve të Kosovës e popullsive të tjera jo-shqiptare. Prandaj BE, në veçanti, duhet të jetë më e hapur në kritikën e saj ndaj hapave të tillë," tha Bankroft për SETimes.

Ai shtoi se marrëveshja i shtohet shqetësimeve ekzistuese anembanë rajonit lidhur me pohimin e identitetit etno-kombëtar shqiptar. "[Ajo] ka shtyrë, pjesërisht, bojkotin e rregjistrimit në Serbinë jugore, braktisjen e rregjistrimit të Maqedonisë e tensionet brenda Shqipërisë lidhur me pakicat etnike, që mund të provokojë mosbesim të mëtejshëm në vendet fqinjë si Mali i Zi e Greqia."

Duke këmbëngulur se Kosova është ende një protektorat i OKB-së, zëdhënësi i qeverisë serbe Milivoje Mihajloviç tha në komentet për SETimes se Beogradi nuk mund të mbështeste asnjë nismë që nuk është në përputhje me Rezolutën 1244 të Këshillit të Sigurimit të OKB-së.

Sipas Bytyçit, marrëveshja konsullore mund t'i frynte "paranojës rreth 'Shqipërisë së Madhe'", veçanërisht mes politikanëve ekstremë në vendet fqinje me Shqipërinë e Kosovën".

"Lidhur me hollësitë e tjera, mund të presim më shumë integrim si një rezultat i rritjes në bashkëpunimin tregtar e ekonomik," tha ai, duke shtuar se rruga ndaj bashkëpunimit më të fortë mes Kosovës e Shqipërisë ka të ngjarë që të jetë e vështirë.

"Në të njëjtën kohë, për shkak të mungesës së përparimit në integrimin në BE, presioni politik e shoqëror për më shumë integrim mes të dy vendeve, si dhe të tjerëve si Maqedonia e Mali i Zi, do të rritet," tha Bytyçi.

Në këtë artikull kontribuan Biljana Lajmanovska në Shkup, Nedjeljko Rudoviç në Podgoricë, Igor Jovaniçeviç në Beograd dhe Muhamet Brajshori në Prishtinë.