BBC Monitoring International Reports - October 9, 2008 Thursday

Text of report by Pristina-based weekly Vetevendosje website, on 6 October

[Commentary by Basri Kodra: "Prime Minister's History"]

I do not want to deal with Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha. Not because he is a prime minister or because he has more power than most of us, but primarily because, regardless of the strength of the arguments against his views, it is impossible to have any influence on him or his supporters of all kinds. They are immune to criticism even from those who know much better their shortcomings and the evils that they have brought upon our people. I do not want to deal with him, but I cannot help it in this case because the way in which he has been dealing with all of us has consequences for our present and our future.

While browsing the internet, I stumbled upon a news report about a statement that the prime minister had made for TV Klan. The poster of this report said that Berisha had made these comments only a few days after Serbian President Boris Tadic had spoken about the possibility of the partition of Kosovo. I regret that I could not see Berisha's comments directly on television. Who knows what they have left out of his comments, I thought. It is not that it was a good comment to hear and even less that I wanted to see the face of the person who had made them, but my opinion would have been more complete if I had seen the prime minister saying what he said. "Albanians do not want to unite in a single state," he said. This is because, according to him, "the desire for unification has received a negative response in Kosovo and in Albania." According to him, the Kosovo Albanians fought for independence, not for unification, and, as early as in 1992, their politicians demanded independence and not unification with Albania!

These words, however untrue, unjust, and inhumane, do not surprise me because I know who has uttered them, but I am surprised by another fact. What motivates the prime minister to make such statements? He appears to fear a possible unification. But, why should Sali Berisha be afraid of his unified nation? Is it possible that he does not know that his life, not only as prime minister but also as a human being, it too short compared to the eternal life of the Albanian people and its fatherland? Only in light of all this is it possible to see how deep the majority of our politicians, blinded by the luxury that power brings, have sunk. Is it possible that Sali Berisha is not aware that even a schoolboy can disprove such statements? By what criterion did Sali Berisha measure the willingness of the Albanian people to live in a single country? Have all Albanians ever been allowed to express their will in a referendum? He himself answers this question by saying that "the desire for unification has received a negative response in Kosovo as well as in Albania!" We should ask the prime minister: with the exception of the referendum of September 1991 in Kosovo, when have the Albanian citizens ever voted in a referendum on this issue?

But, he did not stop at this because he wanted to go further. He said, "The Kosovars [Kosovo Albanians] fought for independence, not for unification. As early as 1992, they demanded independence, not unification with Albania!" In order to prove what the Kosovars fought for, one has only to read the oath of the UCK [Kosovo Liberation Army] soldiers (See text below). As for the politicians, not only they would have never demanded independence but their demands would have never gone as far as the autonomy of 1974.

Those who do not know our prime minister will be genuinely surprised by his narrow-mindedness. Can the demand of a group of blackmailed politicians be generalized as the demand of the Albanian people? Worse still, can it be said that the struggle of the Albanian people, even if only for independence, began in 1992? No. We have said hundreds of times and we will repeat it again: the struggle of the Albanian people outside Albania for unification began when it became necessary, that is, in 1921/1913 and this struggle continues to this day. The period between 1912 until 2008 is considerably longer than the period from 1992 to 2008. Obviously, the former period includes the latter, too, because the latter does not exist in the sense of any change to the primary objective, as claimed by some, including Berisha in this case.

[Text of UCK oath: I pledge that, as a member of the Kosova Liberation Army, I shall fight for the liberation of all occupied Albanian territory and their unification; that I shall always be a reliable soldier, a worthy freedom fighter, cautious, courageous, disciplined and always ready to fight to defend all the interests of the fatherland, even without regard to my life. If I violate this oath, I am ready to be subjected to the harshest laws of war, and if I betray it, may by blood be forfeit.]

Source: Vetevendosje website, Pristina, in Albanian 6 Oct 08, p2
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