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Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) , 97-03-28
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From: The Albanian Telegraphic Agency (ATA) Home Page at <http://www.telpress.it/ata>
Albanian Telegraphic Agency
 TRAGIC EVENT IN LEVAN OF FIERTIRANE, MARCH 27 (ATA) - Today in the evening, a group of 16 armed people went to the small town of Levan, 10 km from Fier (Central Albania) and killed the chairman of the Council of the Elders of that town. Local people, now armed as many other people in Albania, and indignant at the killing of the chairman of the Council of the Elders, surrounded the group and killed them all.
This is the event with the heaviest toll during the past two months in Albania. /xh/
 SEVERAL PEOPLE KILLED BY FIRE WEAPONS IN DISTRICT OF KURBINLAa, MARCH 28 (ATA) - By Zef Pergega: Ndue Froku, 54, from Mali i Bardhe of the district of Kurbin, Northern Albania, was killed Thursday at 14:00 by fire weapons.
The victim, after coming out of a bar together with his daughter and a friend, was shot dead from a persons, who had been following him with a car of the type "Opel" without number plate.
On Wednesday evening Met Seli, 15, from Gjorm village of Kurbini district, was accidentally killed by his brother. On the same day Luiza Dyzeni, 12, from Lac died in unconfirmed circumstances by fire weapons./a.ke/kei/mt/sh/
 SITUATION IN BERAT STILL TENSEBERAT, MARCH 28 (ATA) By I. Manka: The situation in the town of Berat is still tense. The gunshots become often mainly after 18:00.
The citizens, in order to defend themselves from possible attacks of plunderers, have organized self-defence as flats or quarters. In several quarters where they have attempted to rob families, the counter-reply by weapons have forced them to go back.
The district council reported Thursday that the fuel enterprise in Ura Vajgurore was completely robbed. More than 100 000 litres of fuel were stolen. Groups of people are organized to protect the wealth of this enterprise, property of Albpetrol.
The local government is working intensively to provide the population with main food articles, as well as with water and energy.
From the uncontrolled use of weapons, 6 people have been injured in the last two days, who are out of danger now.
The banks are closed due to the tense situation, causing financial difficulties for the families. /s.sh/kled/mt/k
 MINISTERS OF EDUCATION MEET WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF TRADE UNIONSTIRANA, MARCH 28 (ATA) - By P. Shuteriqi: The Albanian Minister of Education and Sports, Luan Skuqi and Minister of High Education and Scientific Researches, Myqerem Tafaj, held separate talks with the Chairman of the Trade Union Federation of Education and Science, Xhaferr Dobrushi.
Both parties expressed the readiness to coordinate operations for applying the goals of both ministries in the context of the National Reconciliation Government to return the normal life in schools and universities. They also discussed in the meeting about the intensification of the efforts to restart the teaching process in schools and faculties as soon as possible. /kled/mt/k
 STATEMENT OF NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF MAYORSTIRANA, MARCH 28 (ATA) - After the meeting held Thursday with Mayors and government representatives, the National Association of the Albanian Mayors issued a statement, underlining that both levels were engaged to fulfill the tasks envisaged by the Legislation and drafted by the institutions of the rule of law.
In the meeting, it was pointed out that the cooperation between the National Reconciliation Government and the bodies of local government should be focused in three directions: First, restoration of law, by organizing the police commissariats and strengthening their activity with the whole force of law; secondly, the administration of the existing arm depots and putting under control the collected weapons, by encouraging both forms of disarming - volunteer and obligatory; and thirdly, it is asked by the National Reconciliation Government the urgent approval of the state budget for the first six months of 1997. /s.sh/kled/mt/k
 ALBANIAN PARLIAMENT APPROVES LAW ON WIDE AMNESTYTIRANA, MARCH 28 (ATA) By Atlant Frasheri: Albanian Parliament approved Thursday a wide amnesty, which pardons more than half of the prisoners.
According to the Minister of Justice, Spartak Ngjela, from all the 1309 prisoners, some 600 of them profit for sure.
During the Thursday's session, a lot of debates were held about this amnesty, and many questions were addressed to Ngjela, which aimed at clarifying the categories of crimes committed by the prisoners, who will profit from the amnesty.
This amnesty, according to the report of the government, is decreed with the aim "to deepen the process of national reconciliation and the people's unity."
Minister Ngjela said, in response to the questions of the deputies, that "I think this amnesty will lessen the social effects."
From this amnesty do not profit those persons who have committed crime considered by the Penal Code as grave, such as murders, robbery, sexual violence, genocide, state corruption, the organized prostitution, etc.
According to an article of the law "On Amnesty," 1/3 of the punishment is pardoned to those persons who are under penal procedure or sentenced for grave crimes and who return to jail within April 5, 1997. /s.sh/kei/mt/k
 TRAGIC EVENT IN LEVAN OF FIERTIRANE, MARCH 27 (ATA) - On Thursday evening, a group of 16 armed people went to the small town of Levan, 10 km from Fier (Central Albania) and killed the chairman of the Council of the Elders of that town. Local people, now armed as many other people in Albania, and indignant at the killing of the chairman of the Council of the Elders, surrounded the group and killed them all.
The police were informed on this event by the inhabitants of the village, but when they arrived there everything was over.
The killers of the chairman of the Council of the Elders in Levan, who killed later the inhabitants of Levan, were from Vlore, Fier and Tepelena.
According to the so far evidence, some of them had committed crimes even before and were involved in the world of crime. According to the testimony, the group of armed people had stormed the village to take the weapons that the peasants had in their houses.
This is the event with the heaviest toll during the past two months in Albania. /kei/pas/xh/mt/k
 STATEMENT BY U.S AMBASSADOR MARISA LINOTIRANA, MARCH 27, 1997 - As all the Albanians know, there is a long tradition of U.S. - Albanian friendship. It is a special relationship built on common ideals and goals, a common thirst for freedom and democracy. Perhaps the best known instance of the U.S. attitude are the actions of President Woodrow Wilson. But there are many others who have contributed positively to the cause of U.S. - Albanian relation. People like Harry Fultz, founder of the Fultz School. More recently, we had more than eighty Peace Corps Volunteers working side by side with Albanians in small towns and villages. Our U.S. Aid Program has touched Albanian lives from Gjirokastra to Shkodra, from Pogradec to Vlora, and all the places in between. We have worked with students, with farmers, with lawyers, with people who want to start small businesses, with judges, with teachers and with many other persons from all walks of life.
As I have said very recently in a statement on the Voice of America, our goals and objectives in Albania have always been and continue to be crystal clear. We support the sovereignty and integrity of this country. We want to help the development of democracy and a free market economy. These goals are simple and straightforward and easy to understand. Even babies in their cradles understand the difference between the ability to vote for a representative in a free and fair election and anarchy and terror and rule by the gun.
When we have criticized the government of Albania in the past, we have done so openly. The Albanian government has made its positions known as well. We have worked together always in a constructive way, with suggestions for repairing what damage had been done to the democratic institutions. Some choose to interpret this criticism as a hidden agenda aimed at destroying the country. They are wrong - and I think that ordinary Albanians who have been in touch with Americans and American Programs here have a much clearer understanding of what the United States is doing in Albania than some irresponsible politicians who want to inflame the situation for their own purposes.
i will continue to call for a stop to violence. The U.S. government will continue to support the Governemnt of National Reconciliation as the way for the major political forces. /mt/
 MINISTER OF HEALTH MEETS CHARGE D'AFFAIRES OF CZECH EMBASSYTIRANA, MARCH 28 (ATA) - Albanian Minister of Health and Environment, Astrit Kalenja, met Friday the charge d' affaires of the Czech Embassy in Tirana, spokesman of this ministry, Elda Kongoli, reports.
They talked in the meeting on the urgent needs of health in these moments.
The charge d'affaires of the Czech Embassy expressed the readiness to help in the sector of health on the basis of the urgent needs which were presented by minister Kalenja. He said that within possibilities and within a short time he will respond to the immediate needs of the Ministry of Health. /a.ke/kled/mt/k
 CALM SITUATION IN SHKODERSHKODER, MARCH 28 (ATA) - By Myfit Malja: The situation in the town of Shkoder, Northwestern Albania, is calm. The bodies of local government are working intensively to normalize the life in this district.
Along with the trade units which were opened several days ago, a series of constructing firms restarted the work on Friday.
Last night was the calmest in the town. Only sporadic gunshots have been heard. Sources of the hospital report that a stray bullet injured the policeman who was on duty in the branch of the Agrarian Bank of the town. /a.ke/kled/mt/k
 STATEMENT OF AlBANIAN PD PRESIDENCYTIRANA, MARCH 28 (ATA)-The Democratic Party of Albania (PDSH), yesterday, examined the situation in Albania and the latest international developments regarding Albania and decided to make a deep analysis of the situation in a short time, beginning with the pyramid schemes crisis, the armed rebellion down to the current situation, according to a statement of the PDSH presidency.
Afterwards this analysis will be debated by the National Council.
The PDSH presidency reiterated the support for the national reconciliation platform, proposed by the President of the Republic, for the March 9 agreement reached between the political parties and the president as well as for the National Reconciliation Government emerging from this agreement.
The presidency especially encouraged the government performance in restoring the constitutional and public order, activate the local government as well as the efforts to obtain support from foreign countries and international institutions.
Referring to ex-Defence Minister Safet Zhulali's fleeing Albania, the statement says that:"The PDSH presidency condemns the non accomplishment of the governmental duty by Safet Zhulali as well as his shameful departure from Albania at a critical moment for the country. The presidency asks the Prosecutor General's office to inquire into the legal responsibility of Safet Zhulali, in conformity with the laws in force.
The presidency condemned the efforts of Bashkim Kopliku to avoid and replace the presidency of the PD branch in Durres, as acts running counter to the PDSH status.
"The PDSH presidency reminds that every elected deputy is a member of the PD presidency in the district where he is elected," the statement says. a/ke/pas/lm/e
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