The broadcast is yet another indication of "the slow hand of justice" of Macedonian institutions. The Broadcasting Council, the institution that is supposed to monitor broadcasting standards, managed to come to the conclusion that the reports incited ethnic and religious hatred and violated the territorial integrity of the country only a month later, better late than never. The council at least reacted. Unlike them, no one at the MTV reacted. One cannot but get the impression that at the MTV no one actually knows what the editorial policy of the Albanian language program is, nor do they know what journalists and editors working for the Albanian language program are doing. Although the Broadcasting Council, in accordance with its limited authority, advised the MTV to take appropriate measures, someone in the public broadcasting company should be held responsible for the act that, by the way, also violated the framework agreement.
Also, one cannot but wonder what was it that Albanians in Slupcane celebrated, after the signing of the framework agreement? Did they celebrate a change of the constitution, human rights, inter-ethnic tolerance and coexistence, right to education in mother tongue or whatever is described by the following poems: "I know that Slupcane will be liberated/ even though I am not a prophet/ I know that one day Albanians will live in one country/ even infidels know that/ I have no peace, I cannot sleep? I only dream of horror and blood...", "to liberate Macedonia/ we need independent Kosovo/ we must not forget Mitrovica and Presevo/ our flag will fly in Skopje...".
The management of the MTV should explain to its viewers, whose taxes finance the public broadcaster, who is responsible and what measures will be taken against the culprit. If they do not do that, we shall have the full fight to believe that the management of the national public broadcaster supports celebrants in Slupcane.
All distinguished commanders of the former UCK attended the commemoration, and the former representative in the parliament Hisni Shaqiri, and Fazli Veliu, infamous bomber from Kicevo, were seated in the front row.
The commemoration opened with the anthem of the Republic of Albania. Militaristic speeches by the so-called commander Malisheva and Veliu followed.
"When they thought that with terror against civilian population and with assistance of the Bulgarian, Serb and Ukrainian mercenaries they would destroy the Albanian people, extremist Slav-Macedonians encountered the brave UCK fighters. When in the village of Vaksince the enemy killed commander Tiger, they thought that the spirit of the UCK was broken. But they were wrong! When Ljube Boskovski lied to the public that he would enter Aracinovo and that he would drink coffee in the center of the village, he forgot that the UCK was in the village," Veliu shouted in front of gathered citizens, who greeted his words with an ovation.
German soldiers and NATO representatives, members of the "Amber Fox" mission, attended the function.
Citizens and security guards were surprised to see ethnic Macedonian journalists. With exception of few aggressive provocations, the attitude towards journalists from Dnevnik was correct. The so-called commander Hoxha gave the permission for Dnevnik to attend the commemoration, and ordered two security guards to protect the journalists.
"While in Albania we have the Albanian Army, and in Kosovo the Kosovo Protection Corps, there is no need for the activities of the Albanian National Army in those territories," Valdet Vardari stated for the today's issue of Pristina daily Epoka e re.
"In Macedonia so far we have no information about establishment of a unified command or links between different armed groups," Mirjana Kontevska, Police advisor for public relations, stated.
According to Vardari, conditions for "the start of a new war in Albanian territories" are ripe since in the last three wars the Albanians achieved only what they already had before 1990.
"We shall fight against Serb-Montenegrin conquerors who are occupying, enslaving, and colonizing the Albanian land in Kosovo and ethnic Albania," Vardari stated. He claims that the main headquarters of the AKSh and its Skenderbeg division are in Macedonia, and the seat of the front is in Albania, while it has branches in Pristina, Skopje, Presevo, Ulcinj [in Montenegro], and Preveza [in Greece]. According to him, activities of the AKSh focus on territories inhabited by Albanians, outside Kosovo and Albania.
Administration in Tirana does not support any extremist groups hiding behind the name of the Albanian National Army, Albanian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Illir Meta stated after meeting the chief of diplomacy of Serbia-Montenegro, Goran Svilanovic, in Tirana, Makfax reports.
"the time of violence is over and now it's time for regional cooperation," Meta stated for journalist after meeting Svilanovic.
Meta and Svilanovic focused on the situation in the region, and especially in the south of Serbia proper and in Kosovo.
After the meeting, Svilanovic stated that danger for the countries in the region comes from organized crime and urged that struggle against weapons and people trafficking, as well as crime, be "joint and swift".
The explosion followed the arrest of Dilaver Bojku-Leku, a well-known pimp from the village of Velesta, who, according to military intelligence sources, is one of the chief financial supporters of the UCK and Albanian extremists.
"On February 15, early in the morning, the special forces unit of the Skenderbeg division, under the command of Drin Drini, carried out a military assault. In order to maintain their positions, the colonial Slav-Macedonian authorities are encroaching on the property of the Albanian people and unjustly arresting Albanians," the press release signed by "colonel Illir Duraku" states. "Prisons of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia are full of Albanians who are maltreated in order to be silenced and forced to give up their claims on the part of Western Macedonia that actually belongs to Albanians".
"We chose the court in Struga because it is the major center of persecution of Albanians, the place from where many Albanians were sent to prison. Consequently, the AKSh carried out this military-political action. The unit Skenderbeu threw a grenade inside the court house in an attempt to scare judges, so that they stop unjustly prosecuting Albanians. We warn that we aimed to carry out this action without victims or major damage, and in that we were successful," the AKSh announced.
The lower court in Struga and the building of the City Health Fund were damaged in the explosion of a device planted on the first floor of the court just before midnight on Friday. No one was hurt in a strong explosion, which followed the arrest of Dilaver Bojku-Leku from Velesta, indicted by the authorities for incitement of prostitution, and other suspected pimps from Velesta.
A powerful explosive device detonated on the first floor of the lower court in Struga on Friday around 11:15 p.m. The bomb was placed on one of the pillars of the building. The explosion damaged objects in the radius of 150 meters from the spot where the bomb was placed, and residents of Struga claim that the explosion could be heard as far as 5 kilometers from the town. The police stated that the explosion damaged a wall and several offices in the court house. The detonation also damaged several shops in the area and the building of the regional office of the Health Fund, which stands across the street from the court house, the post office, the Public Retirement Fund offices and the offices of the hydro-electric plant "Globocica".
Police teams and a team from the anti-terrorism sector immediately arrived on the scene of the explosion.
The round table discussion "Role of the media during the war in Macedonia", which was conducted exclusively in the Albanian language, included presentations of media representatives. They talked about their views, prejudices, and stereotypes in connection with the independence of media during the crisis.
According to Vebi Bexheti, director of the Information Agency, media, especially media in the Macedonian language, misinformed their audience.
"Many media did not play their role. Some of them were engaged in politics, and some of them served politicians. Macedonian language media proved that they were unable to pass this test. Media should assume greater responsibility for implementation of the Ohrid Agreement, which is being implemented with difficulty," Bexheti said.
Alush Kamberi from the Macedonian TV said that Albanians, while exposed to discrimination, took up arms because it was finally time to win their rights. According to him, the Macedonian government, assisted by all the media, does not respect Albanians.
"Macedonian language media did not have the courage to state Albanian rights. The politics of [ethnic] Macedonian journalists is inciting new conflicts. [Ethnic] Macedonian journalists manipulate their readers, since they always use only one source, but ignore the other side," Kamberi said.
Representatives of other Albanian [language] media were unanimous in their assertion that Macedonian language media always supported the authorities and reported lies that revealed their hatred of Albanians.
Branko Geroski, editor-in-chief of Dnevnik, said that it is ridiculous to condemn the work of journalists during the war as unprofessional. The war in Macedonia was waged by real people with real weapons. "It is ridiculous to blame media for the war. Journalists are not responsible for this nor for any other war. Journalism has no other mission but to inform and to enable politicians to reach decisions. Media cannot be responsible for the implementation or lack of implementation of the Ohrid Agreement. The implementation is a responsibility of politicians, not of journalists. Macedonian and Albanian language media passed the test and demonstrated mature reporting during the crisis," Geroski emphasized.
|Demolished churches in the villages of Setole and Otunje were again desecrated this weekend. Locals found this Sunday that sacred objects were strewn about the churches. Residents of Setole were additionally shocked to find out that two houses in the village had been broken into. In one of them, doors and windows donated by German humanitarian organization ADRA had been destroyed.
Residents of Setole are these days getting ready to celebrate the holiday of the Holy Resurrection of the Mother of God, and are preparing the church dedicated to the Mother of God. Since there is nothing left to be stolen from the church, they are convinced that the desecration is yet another mode of pressure exerted just before the local religious holiday. Something similar happened in the village of Jedoarce a few days before the local religious holiday there.
There is some new damage in the church in Otunje. According to the Police, the church of Holy Salvation in the village of Palciste was significantly damaged.
Police and NATO "foxes" carried out the crime scene investigation in all damaged churches.
by Ivan BLAZEVSKI
Arben Xhaferi, leader of the DPSh, believes that arrests in Kosovo are a result of Serb pressure on the international community.
"Serbs want to spread out the blame for the Kosovo crisis," Xhaferi says.
According to him, Nevzat Halili was indicted even though he is innocent. Xhaferi does not expect that militaristic Albanians will move from Kosovo into Macedonia. He does not expect that the international community prosecute Ali Ahmeti.
"The current situation in Kosovo may have repercussions on Macedonia, since these are two neighboring countries. If Haradinaj brothers and commander Remi did commit war crimes, they will have to be prosecuted by the Hague Tribunal. The international community cannot be obstructed in its attempts to democratize the region," DPSh spokesperson Manduh Thaci stated.
Except for the DPSh all other political parties representing ethnic Albanians in Macedonia condemned the arrests of "living legends of the UCK struggle" on the eve of the elections in Macedonia and Kosovo.
The National-Democratic Party expressed concern regarding recent developments in the southern province of Serbia.
"These arrests are foolish acts of UNMiK and KFOR. If accusations did exist, something should have been done earlier, rather than now on the eve of the elections in Macedonia and in Kosovo. They have increased tensions in Kosovo, and that will be reflected in Macedonia as well, due to relations of the local Albanians with Kosovo.
"Former commanders, both here and in Kosovo, are living heroes and when they are arrested like common criminals that reduces the standing of the international structures. As a consequence, the population may start to mistrust them," Xhevat Ademi, secretary general of the PDP, says.
Ali Ahmeti's party also condemned the arrests of the former UCK officials, but they believe that tensions in Kosovo will not spill over into Macedonia. Agron Buxhaku, spokesperson of the Democratic Union for Integration says:
"It's wrong to arrest those who actively participated in the struggle against dictator Milosevic at the time when there are numerous unsolved political and other problems in Kosovo. Their arrests do not contribute to the building of a positive political atmosphere, which would allow that these problems be dealt with".
Zahir Bekteshi, NDP spokesperson, says that his political party supports the official stand of the Kosovo authorities.
"We support legitimate institutions in Kosovo and the steps they are taking. Kosovo politicians have already spoken in connection with that issue," Bekteshi stated.
The government of Kosovo yesterday assessed that arrests of the former UCK members by the UNMiK police and KFOR were "harmful for political processes and democracy" in the southern province of Serbia and that their goal was "to criminalize liberation struggle of the people of Kosovo and UCK".
The provincial government in its declaration assessed that arrests violated UN SC resolution 1244 because arrests based on indictments for crimes committed in 1998 and 1999 are within jurisdiction of the Tribunal in the Hague, rather than under jurisdiction of UNMiK. Because of that, the government of Kosovo assessed that the arrested UCK members were "political prisoners and hostages of the political process in Kosovo".
The civilian administration in Kosovo yesterday confirmed that the arrests were in accordance with the UN Resolution 1244 and expectations of the people of Kosovo in connections with the rule of law.
"We express regret regarding the statement made after yesterday's session of the government in Kosovo, which implies political motivation for the recent arrests," UNMiK press release stated.
Kosovo minister ofr public services and secretary general of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Jakup Krasniqi, sent a letter to the UNMiK chief Michael Steiner, in which he warned that "arrests of UCK members may endanger positive atmosphere created in the province during the last three years".
Yesterday in Pristina, commander of the Kosovo Protection Corps Agim Ceku met with KFOR commander Marcel Valentine, with UNMiK deputy chief Charles Brayshaw, and chief of UN judiciary in Kosovo, Jacques Christian Cadie. After the meeting Ceku stated that he had demanded that UNMiK and KFOR stop the arrest campaign and publicly declare that the international community and UCK had fought together in a "liberation war".
"The recent arrests have gravely struck the KPC and all that UCK fought for. Their goal is to criminalize the struggle of Albanians and to distribute the blame," Ceku said.