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Kosova Communication # 257

From: kosova@gn.apc.org (Kosova Information Centre)

Kosovo News Directory

Kosova Communication

Bulletin of the Ministry of Informationof the Republic of Kosova

5th year; No. 257, 28 March 1996


CONTENTS

  • [01] Adem Demai at the European Parliament

  • [02] Pjeter Arbnori: The Albanian government has not renounced its goal to see all Albanians living in a single state

  • [03] Susanna Agnelli: Kosova is an important problem

  • [04] Ethnic Albanians are ready to die for the independence of Kosova

  • [05] NEWS IN BRIEF

  • [06] The interminable torment of an Albanian family


  • [01] Adem Demai at the European Parliament

    Brussels, 21 March - Adem Demai, the President of the Council for the Defense of Human Rights and Liberties in Prishtina, spoke yesterday before the European Parliament. He gave a chronological expose of the situation in Kosova which he described as very grave and very tense. He made a plea to the European Union that it turn a page and launch a new method of action at the base of which would be political prevention and support without hesitation for the legitimate demands of the people of Kosova.

    Mr. Demai also answered questions from European Parliamentarians about the situation in Kosova and particularly on the role of the United States and their preventive policy in the Balkans. In explaining concrete propositions for the resolution of the Kosova question, he said in order for there to be a true dialogue with the Serbs, first all of the usurped institutions of Kosova must be liberated; second, international observers must return to Kosova; and third, the European Union, the UN and the United States must play the role of mediators in the negotiations.

    [02] Pjeter Arbnori: The Albanian government has not renounced its goal to see all Albanians living in a single state

    Stuttgart, March 18 - In an informational meeting of the Albanian community in Germany, Pjeter Arbnori, the president of the Popular Assembly of Albania, spoke about the Kosova question and of Albanias contribution to its just resolution. Albania supports pacific resolution. The resolution of the Kosova question is a process. Albania and the Albanian government, without taking into account the difficulties they face, do not renounce at any time the goal of one day seeing all Albanians living in the same state. declared Pjeter Arbnori.

    [03] Susanna Agnelli: Kosova is an important problem

    Tirana, March 18 - The Albanian Telegraph Agency announced that Mrs. Susanna Agnelli, an Italian minister, was in Tirana today for a day-long visit. She had meetings with the president, the prime minister and the minister of Albanian Affairs. They addressed the question of the situation in the Balkans and, in particular, in Kosova.

    The Albanian president, Sali Berisha, pointed out that the Kosova problem was and remained a major problem of the Balkan crisis, a problem with necessitates an urgent resolution which is why we must press Belgrade to open negotiations with the legal representatives of the Albanians of Kosova in the presence of a third party.

    Mrs. Agnelli said, in her discussion with Albanian Prime Minister Alexander Meksi, that Italy supports the resolution of the problem of the Balkans on the basis of the Dayton accords. We consider the question of Kosova to be an important problem. she declared. Within the European Union, we must ask Karl Bildt, the representative of the international community on Bosnia, to be more actively involved in this question. During her meeting with Foreign Affairs Minister, Alfred Serreqi, Mrs. Agnelli shared the opinion that the situation in Kosova is truly a grave one and that this problem needs a solution. adding that the behavior of the European Union implies that the integration of self-proclaimed Yugoslavia into European structures is dependent upon the normalization of the situation in Kosova.

    [04] Ethnic Albanians are ready to die for the independence of Kosova

    Washington, March 19 (USIA) - Kosovo Albanians overwhelmingly (92%) favor becoming an independent state (89% strongly). Support for independence is so strong that nearly all Albanians believe that achieving independence from Serbia for Kosovo is a cause worth dying for (94%, 80% strongly agree). Becoming part of Albania appeals to a smaller majority (72%). Eight in ten (81%), however, reject the option of autonomous status within Serbia, most likely because autonomy falls short of their broader goal. As might be expected, virtually all Kosovo Serbs oppose independence (99%) or joining Albania (99%) as a solution to the Kosovo question. Three in four Kosovo Serbs (77%) also disavow autonomy.

    Asked specifically about secession from Yugoslavia, most Kosovo Albanians (93%) would support such a move, and many would be willing match their support with action. Eight in ten or more would sign a petition (83%) or participate in a rally (83%) or demonstration(85%). Nearly all Kosovo Serbs (98%) would oppose secession, and sizable majorities would sign a petition (59%) or take part in a rally (60%) or demonstration (77%) to display their opposition.

    Ninety-five percent of Kosovos Albanians favor international mediation to resolve the provinces status, and as many would support interim international control. Albanians look to the West to provide this interim arrangement, with six to ten favoring NATO and a quarter (27%) mentioning the UN. Fewer name the EU (7%) or OSCE (3%). By contrast, Kosovos Serbs firmly believe that the question of Kosovos status is strictly a Yugoslav affair (97%) and that other countries should not be involved. As many also reject the notion of interim international control. (This report was prepared by B. Susan White, based on a just-completed USIA survey in Kosovo. It was published 19 March in a press release entitled Opinion Analysis.)

    [05] NEWS IN BRIEF

    Rahovec, 18 March - Today, two police intervened at the primary school Martin Camaj, in Ratkoc (Rahovec). They confiscated school stamps, documents and 630DM. Then, they took the director, Ibrahim Hoti,and the vice-director, Bedri Morina to the police station where they were questioned and mistreated for around three hours.

    Skenderaj, 18 March - Today, Serb police arrested Xhevdet Lani in his home in Llaushe (Skenderaj) and took him immediately to the prison of Smrekovnice to serve a 5-month sentence handed down against him during his absence, four years ago, because he had not responded to his drafting into the Serb army.

    Kline, 19 March - The Serb police intervened today at the Klina market and stole large quantities of merchandise from Albanian merchants. The Serb authorities of the city also raided the studios of Albanian artisans.

    Vushtrri, 19 March - Today, in the village of Lum i Madh (Vushtrri), the Serb authorities surrounded the Migjeni primary school courtyard with a barbed-wire fence to place it under the ownership of the Serb Orthodox Church.

    Prishtina, 21 March - Beginning a week ago, the Serb police has undertaken the confiscation of video cassettes of the film A Coat for My Father in Prison. The author of the film, Adem Mikullovci, declared that the Serb police threatened the owners of video clubs to close their establishments if they displayed the film. The police also threatened Ekran and Ergun Doberani, who did the editing, as well as the operator, Jusuf Rizvanolli. Mr. Mikullovci declared again that the police asked for information concerning the distributors of the film in countries of the West.

    Dean, 22 March - In recent days, Serb military authorities sent summons to 450 young Albanians of the commune of Dean who should go to serve in the Serb army.

    [06] The interminable torment of an Albanian family

    Prishtina, 9 March (Zeri) - The Albanian family Zabelaj stood in front of the bulldozer to prevent the Serb authorities from arbitrarily tearing down its home. Until 1985, the Zabelaj family lived in Guncat, an inaccessible mountain village without roads nor running water in the commune of Suhareke. That year, the Zabelaj were displaced to the village of Batuse, at the time in the commune of Prishtina but today part of the commune of Fusha-Kosova after arbitrary administrative changes. Coming to this village, primarily inhabited by Serbs and Montenegrins, to have so-called better living conditions, they met only with absolute poverty and also hostility from their neighbors. In Batusha, they bought 1.5214 hectares of exploitable land from Velibor Mirkovic, as well as three houses and their adjacent constructions. They also bought land (totaling 3.2361 hectares) in villages near Radeva and Lepina. But, only a few days after the arrival of the Zabelaj family members in Batusa, an intimidation campaign was undertaken against them and pressure was exerted which reverberated all over Yugoslavia. Television and political structures from the Federation down to the commune joined in this pressure whose goal was the departure of the Zabelaj. On 7th October 1986, as a temporary measure on the basis of a decision of the tribunal of the district of Prishtina, the family of Haxhi Zabelaj was asked to liberate the land and premises at Batusha and to move out. The Zabelaj refused to leave as promised conditions had not been kept. In effect, Haxhi Zabelaj had been obliged beforehand to accept to leave; he had been promised among other things four hectares of land that were to be measured by Danillo Shquepanovic in the presence of Iliaz Berisha, the Director of Legal and Property Affairs. However in fact, in the document that Haxhi Zabelaj had signed 18 June 1986, there was no mention of the slightest piece of land. It was a contract with the agricultural cooperative Perparimi (Progress) for the construction of three houses and nothing else. Although they understoond not long after that they had been swindled, the Zabelaj family members were still moved by force.

    On 6 November 1986, the police surrounded the home of the Zabelaj. They took all of the men of the family for so-called informative talks to the police station in Fusha-Kosova. During that time, the women and children were forced to get inside trucks with all of their belongings and were taken to live near the great Sllatina on the land of the Perparimi cooperative. According to the contract, the Zabelaj family should have received as much land as they had in Batusa and in the surrounding villages and were to have constructed for them three houses with annexes as in Batusha.

    Not one of these promises was held. They tell their story. When they brought us by force to this hole, all we found were three shacks that were supposed to replace our homes, not to mention the adjacent constructions. They had told us that the land was better here, but in fact it is third rate. They told us that they would find work for us, but it never happened. The most important is that they had assured us that there was water in the great Sllatina and that in the case that there might not be, the Perparimi cooperative would supply us on the basis of the contract signed 18 June 1986. On 13 May 1987, Haxhi Zabelaj was declared usurper by the Serb authorities. The decision stipulated that the land should be vacated immediately by the arbitrary usurper. This marked the beginnings of a legal pursuit which lasted until 15 February 1991. On this date, the communal tribunal of Prishtina handed down a decision which lifted all of the accusations against him 13 May 1987. In 1995, the Serb authorities of Fusha-Kosova gave 1.1 hectares of land to Serb V. Vucetic exactly at the spot where Hysen Zabelajs home is standing. On 19 January 1996, Zabelaj received the decision of the inspector of Construction and Urbanization of the commune of Fushe-Kosova which ordered the destruction of the house built without a permit and to have the costs charged to the investor (the Zabelaj). In the case of refusal, the order was to tear it down by force. Numerous complaints filed by the Zabelaj family were not even heard by the Serb authorities who released a new decision announcing the day and time of the destruction of the house: 26 February 1996 at 11 oclock. That day, to impede the demolition, the 45 members of the Zabelaj family gathered in front of the bulldozer. The Serb authorities gave them a deadline of 10 days. Their agony continues.

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