By Luz Tomaj/ the world needs to know about even the smallest of countries and I hope to be able to help in doing that. With the latest changes, long historical injustices are partially corrected. Serbia does not accept this reality.
Mentality is a unit of the structure of spirituality; it’s a way of thinking and understanding, but also of the social system from generation to generation of the nation. In accordance with the mentality, national traditions are also formed. All of this is understandable. However, if national culture wants to follow and engage in modern culture and civilization, it must revise the tradition of elements that are not accepted by civilization. Serbia has this problem, the element of hate of the other. It has never tried to escape from the tradition. Does that mean they do not adapt with time? The big question is why?
Shortly who are Albanians and who are Serbs
I use existing official names. Albanians are direct descendants of Illyrians. This means that Albanians are the oldest people in Europe. The Illyrians were divided into more tribes. Kosovo Albanians are descendants of the tribe of Dardans. The territory of Dardans was known under the name Dardania. I have seen Dardania acknowledge and define Serbian encyclopedia also. According to the historical definition, Dardania encompassed the territory of today’ Kosovo and parts of Serbia and Macedonia. The largest cities of Dardania were Naissus (Nis), which today is the second largest city of Serbia. Scupi (Skopje), today’s capital of Macedonia and Ulpiana (Liplan) which today is a city in Kosovo. On the other side, Serbs, as a part of the south slavics, came to the Balkan during the sixth and seventh centuries, as one writer details, destroying everything in front of them. They were concentrated around today’s Belgrade. During the Eighth century, Albanians and the Serbs, as other Balkan nations, accepted Roman Catholic Christianity. In the eleventh century, the Serbs followed the Russians and converted to orthodox Christianity.
The first Serbian aggression
Macedonian Czar Samuilo (y. 976-1014) first attacked and occupied Dardania. But, meanwhile, Serbia became stronger and moved on the offensive. Serbia then expelled Czar Samuilo and occupied Dardania and more. Southern Slavs have come to the Balkans as barbarians. The Serbs as a part of the southern Slavs also performed the occupation of Dardania. Besides, they started building orthodox monasteries. Some monasteries and churches existed as Roman Catholic, so they only transformed into orthodox, which even in that time there were no orthodox. Serbia held Dardania under occupation until 14th century, which then the Ottoman empire began to occupy the Balkans. According to history, in the year 1389, Serbia and the Ottoman Empire waged war in Kosovo (Fusha e Kosoves), known as the Kosovo battle, to which Serbia lost the battle. There are two interesting moments here. First, as no one else, Serbia still celebrates the lost battle every year. Secondly, the battle was to defend today’s Serbia and not Kosovo. The place of the battle is far from the Serbian border less than 30 miles. Ottoman Empire stood in the Balkans until the beginning of the 20th century. During the Empire, today’s Albania, Kosovo, parts of Serbia and Macedonia were all together.
Occupation after occupation
Serbia occupies Kosovo for the second time in y.1912
After the war against the empire, in 1912 and beyond that, Serbia was extremely barbaric against Albanians. As a reason it was taken that, most Albanians were converted into Muslims during the Ottoman Empire and, the Christian Albanians was pro-Austrians oriented. But, it is true that, Albanians never were not divided ideologically and never had religious conflicts. I will only present some massacres in November 1912, reported by European media.
-The Daily chronicle reports on November 12th 1912: near Skopje, two thousand were killed as well as five thousand Albanians near Prizren. Several villages were burned during these massacres and people were killed.
-Parisian Humanite reports about the plundering, massacres and destruction of thirty one villages,
-Danish Riget reported that an army leads War of exterminated. According to the statements of officers and soldiers, between Kumanova and Skopje 3.000 Albanians were killed and, near Pristina 5.000 Albanians were killed. Residents were expelled from their houses and promptly murdered,
-Special correspondent of the British Daily telegraph writes that, the passing through Albania, the military general Jankovica, “overthrows all the pervasive world history” by killing old men, women children and even infants. The correspondent continues: “Serbian officers, beaten by victory, use to say that the best way to pacify Albania is to completely exterminate Albanians”.
These were just some of the details I have had arguments about. Otherwise, there have been many other massacres. According to today’s international and war law, genocide and war crimes were enough. We know that, every occupant has its own goals and interests. The goal of each occupier is to expand its territory. In addition, if the goal of the Ottoman Empire was to expand Islamism, the goal of Serbia was to expand its territory and to eliminate Albanians, to make them to leave the country or to kill them.
After WWI, Serbia started the process of colonization of the Albanian territory with the intent to bring Serbs and Montenegrins in order to let Albanians leave their country and change the demographic structure. Serbia’s constitution (called progressive constitution), did not affect the territories where Albanians lived. The constitution and law for Albanians was the police. The police had unlimited powers to deal with Albanians. The task of the police was to force the Albanians to leave the country. There is one case I’d like to touch up on. In 1927, the leader of district Zvecan was fired. Against the decision, he went on to say that he had made 32,000 Albanians to leave the country and to move to Asia. Understandably, he was immediately brought back to duty. The Serb who makes more Albanians to leave the country was the best Serb.
In 1937, the Serbian government, in Belgrade, organized a “Scientific debate on resolving the Albanian issue”. At that debate, the most aggressive was Vasa Cubrilovic. Imagine, he was a academician, a member of the Serbian and also Russian academy of sciences. Among other things, he criticized the government for doing nothing to make Albanians leaving Kosovo. If Germany can expel tens of thousands of Jews, if Russia transfers millions of people from one to another part of the continent, there will be no world war due to several hundred thousand displaced Albanians he said. After this debate, at the initiative of Serbia, a convention with Turkey was signed and also was fixed the amount of money Serbia needed to pay Turkey for each family of Albanians accepted by Turkey. Who knows how many Albanians families have been transferred to Turkey. The transfer was stopped in the beginning of WWII. In WWII, Italy occupied the entire Albanian territory. Under this occupation, after an extended period of time, all Albanian territories, from Albania to Kosovo, as well as Albanian territories in Serbia, Macedonia and Greece were united. Unfortunately, under occupation, but for the first time, Albanians felt happy. The reason for this was that Italy allowed schools to open in Albanian language and the administration of the government introduced Italian and Albanian language.
After WWII, in the first government of Yugosllavia, Cubrilovic was appointed minister of agriculture. From that position, he initiated much agrarian reform with the intent to bring more Serbs and Montenegrins to Kosovo. Except Cubrilovic, the biggest extremists in the history against Albanians were Aleksandar Rankovic and Slobodan Milosevic.
Aleksandar Rankovic was a veteran in WWII. He was among the five most trusted associates for Dictator Tito. Over time, he was tasked with running the country security service, which factually was the country secret service. Through this service, he has been monitoring what was happening in all federal units. He was especially concerned about Kosovo and Croatia. In 1956, the population structure of Kosovo was 64.1% Albanians, 23.5% Serbs, 3.9% Montenegrins and the rest of the population was composed of other minorities. The structure of the country security service was the following: 58.3% Serbs, 28.3% Montenegrins and only 13.3% Albanians. This service also supervised the police service itself. During the 1950’s, this service and the police, brutally maltreated Albanians. I will present what I have seen. In 1955 and 1956 I was a student and during my tenure in the 7th and 8th grades. There was only small railway station between the school and the police station. Every day I saw dozens of people lying on the back of the police station wall. One day, I saw my mother’s cousin. It was winter and about -10 degrees Celsius. I insisted to my father to explain to me what was going on. He told me that, the police were calling people over and asking them to bring the weapons. I found out that, first they would bring the people into the basement; put them in water up to their knees then back outside to freeze. Afterwards, they would call in everyone, present and had them lie on a table. The cop would then tie them, close their mouths with a towel and dropped water in their nose. It is understood that, afterwards, the police beat everyone with rubber pads. Factually, this was not a weapon gathering action but pressure by enforcement to migrate people out, mostly in Turkey. I had a school friend who had disappeared from school. Later I learned that, his family, due to police pressure, moved to Turkey.
In Kosovo, about 70% of the populations were Albanians. But, the leaders were Serbs and the government administration was exclusively in the Serbian language. It was the same in 1964 when I first started work in the office for the court administration. At that time, one judge was an Albanian and five others were Serbs
Later it was found out that, Rankovic, secretly worked with Russia to liquidate Yugoslavian dictator Tito. In 1967, the intention of Rankovic was revealed. He was freed of all functions and kept under house arrest. Afterwards, changes began in Yugoslavia and especially in Kosovo. According to the 1974 constitution, Kosovo, for the first time in history becomes a federal unit.
Slobodan Milosevic, Balkan Butcher
The next person I’ll speak on is Slobodan Milossevic, also known as the Balkan Butcher. During the proceedings before the International court of justice in The Hague, he died. After the death of Tito, his idea was to turn Yugoslavia into a Great Serbia. During the 1980s, began the dirty action against Kosovo. In 1990s he started aggression against Bosnia and Croatia and also continued his genocidal ways in Kosovo. He began with mistreatment and arrest of many Albanians. The next step, in short, was the closure of the university and schools in the Albanian language. Newspapers in the Albanian language were also banned, while on radio and TV the programs were only in the Serbian language. At the end of the 1980’s, Kosovo leader Ibrahim Rugova, began peace activity and tried to inform the world about everything that was happening in Kosovo as well what Kosovo was asking. The USA as well as the Western Europe supported him, but, on the other side, Russia, the historic ally of Serbia, supported Milosevic.
In 1998, Serbia had invaded Kosovo. The army, the police and the paramilitary attacked the Albanians. Over one million people had to leave the house and move to Albania, Macedonia or Montenegro. Among those forced to move were the family of my brother and sister. At the time I was in the USA and monitored the situation through the media as well as seeing the reaction of the UN, the USA and the international community. I remember when President Clinton, in agreement with the allies, decided to intervene with NATO. The intervention lasted for 72 days. After that, the UN administration took of control of Kosovo. It was estimated that, during the Serbian invasion 12,000 Albanians were killed.
Thanks to the intervention of NATO, USA and the international community, Kosovo declared its independence in 2008. So far, the independence of Kosovo has been recognized by about 120 countries. Basically, countries allied to Serbia and Russia did not recognize Kosovo’s independence. By its constitution, Serbia still treats Kosovo as a part of Serbia. About 90% of the Kosovo population is Albanians. The other 10% are Serbs and other minorities. Unfortunately, in northern part of Kosovo are concentrated Serbs. They isolate themselves from Kosovo and cooperate only with Serbia. In that part, Kosovo has no sovereignty. The Serbian representatives in the Kosovo government are generally in line with instructions they receive from Belgrade. They do not recognize the constitution or flag of Kosovo. Kosovo Serbs and Serbia insist on forming a special association of municipalities where Serbs live with special political rights. I am sure that, the goal of the association is to unite Kosovo Serbs with Serbia. Serbia is only worried about Kosovo Serbs, although Albanians do not commit any crime against Serbs. The question is what does do for Albanians in Serbia. While, Serbs in Kosovo have special rights, Albanians in Serbia do not even have school books, in Albanian language, without approval of the Serbian government.
Serbia’s extreme nationalism is not surprising. Serbian leaders are trying to transform themselves into modern politicians. However, the people say that the wolf can change its hair but that does not change their nature. I was reading that, the current president of Serbia, during the war in Bosnia, stated “if one Serb dies, we will kill a 100 Bosnians”. On the other hand, the current foreign minister was the spokesman and the right hand of war criminal Milosevic. Now, the question is whether the international community knows who they are talking to.