The parliamentary opposition of the United Valley stood up to the discrimination and suppression of Albanians by the so-called New Government in the Serbian Parliament on Monday. “My real name is Shaip Kamberi and I am Albanian from Tërnoci i Madh,” he said. “I have a passport of the Republic of Serbia, and I am a taxpayer of this country and I may speak to you in Serbian” yet, he revealed that even mastering the Serbian language doesn’t matters “if you are not a servant of the President.” Mr. Kamberi’s speech comes in the wake of Belgrade’s Supreme Court refusal to find Minister Aleksandar Vulin guilty of discrimination, offensive and hate speech against Albanians. On a Facebook post, Mr. Kamberi condemned the ruling of the Court as lending legitimacy to the offensive term “šiptari”. Dielli is reprinting the translation with slight editing for clarity.
Dear citizens, Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, People’s Deputy,
Good day – Dobar dan
Today, we are being asked to support the election of the New Government of the Republic. New government with the same prime minister. With the same boss, where the President is both the prime minister, the government and the parliament. Even the state itself. “L’État c’est moi”.
Unlike the prime minister, parliament is new. Special. The only parliamentary opposition is the group of deputies of the United Valley and the SDA-Sandzak. Who would have thought that one day, the parliamentary opposition in Serbia would be represented only by the Albanian deputies of the Presevo Valley and the Bosniaks of the Sandzak? An opposition with 6 deputies of 250. Sad. Slobodan Milosevic did not produce such a parliament either.
Yes, Mr. Vucic and Mr. Dacic have proved more effective than their ideological fathers. This coalition between the so-called center-right and center-left has produced the most totalitarian power in the history of post-socialist Serbia. Of course, through the electoral process, like all authoritarian and totalitarian powers of modern times.
The only truth of the slogan “Serbia as Europe” is “Serbia as Belarus”. Although in Minsk there is opposition on the streets. But of course the years have passed. Reformed radicals care about their image. And who better to represent the “pro-European” image than a woman prime minister, passionately liberal, educated in Western universities and who comes from civil society. A government with 11 women. Even multiethnic here and there, with some obedient members from the ranks of minorities, in the second and third ranks representative and without real executive power. And the icing on the cake, now also with the ministry of human rights, gender equality and social dialogue.
How beautiful it looks. Perfect scenario.
Welcome to the paradise of stability and progress. Serbia more democratic than Sweden and Germany with the neo-Nazi threat, or Spain with its separatists.
There is no more distribution of photos from the mountains around Sarajevo under bombardment. There are no more rumors that we will kill 100 Muslims for every Serb killed, from information ministers and Milosevic spokesmen already in the Washington and Brussels offices for political agreements with former leaders of the Kosovo Liberation Army.
Occasionally there is a photo with his friend Ceda Jovanovic and a rhetorical clash with Vojislav Seselj, which is skillfully used to make threats that there is even worse.
Yesterday’s arsonists have turned into today’s firefighters. They have dressed in the guise of democratic reformers. Why not, when their opponents in Belgrade prove every day that they are incapable of building an alternative to real secession from Ancien Régime.
Right now, Serbia has the power to guarantee regional stability and peace. With “modern” public discourse under the auspices of the world’s capitals, who prefer stability to democracy. Serbia is flourishing.
On the one hand, meetings and amusements with Donald Trump, Angela Merkel, Emanuel Macron, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Vladimir Putin, Bakir Izetbegovic, Andrej Plenkovic, Milo Djukanovic, Joseph Borrell, Hashim Thaci and Edi Rama.
On the other hand, a captured state and a “deep state”. Every day, hate speech, sexist language, denigration, lynching, persecution and blackmail of the opposition in Serbia. “Shiptari”, “Turci”, “Ustaši”, “NATO criminals”, “Hajna”. This is the daily jargon of the propaganda machine of power.
And who better for this task than Mira Markovic’s former spokesman for police minister, the so-called “ratni huškači” (instigator of the war) of the 1990s, who avoided military service and mobilization in time of war, in order to crash in the Seychelles islands and to follow the selection of Miss World in times of sanctions. The so-called radical left’s pseudo-Chegarist shirt that prides itself today on insulting minorities, confirming the saying of Philip David: “Primitivism is contagious. In dark times, the culture of the primitives becomes state culture. “Their idols, idols of the masses.”
Look at the political, socio-economic, cultural, health and educational misery that you self-proclaimed patriots have brought to Serbia. Serbia of Dimitrije Tucovic, Danilo Kish, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Ivan Djuric and Borka Pavicevic are rolling in their graves.
But even this autocracy and kakistocracy have their expiration date. The policy of geopolitical balance tactics as an ugly copy of Tito’s Yugoslavia has not helped you either. It is enough to look at the images of President Vucic in the oval office in Washington on September 4 to understand the reality. Without analyzing the commitments made by the one who in 1999 vowed that “I will never forgive the Americans for the NATO bombing”.
I am aware that you are probably listening to me with prejudiced subjectivism because of my identity. My real name is Shaip Kamberi and I am Albanian from Tërnoci i Madh. It is equally true that I have a passport of the Republic of Serbia, that I am a taxpayer of this country and that I speak to you in Serbian.
But in today’s Serbia, državljanstvo and građanstvo no longer have meaning. Not even mastering the Serbian language, if you are not a servant of the President. And where državljastvo and građanstvo have no meaning, how can freedom and equality be expected?
Serbia is a problem today, first and foremost for the Serbs themselves. A Serbia that was not democratized even with the fall of monism, when Ivan Stambolic was overthrown and later killed by exponents of state security structures. Not even with the fall of Milosevic on October 5, 2000, which preceded the assassination of Zoran Djindjic, where the perpetrators of this assassination live free today, because they are silently considered heroes.
From the idea of the Serbization of Yugoslavia we have reached the Vucictizing of Serbia. Serbia is no longer thought of as a Republic of Serbs alone. But as a Republic of one man. A man who increases his power at the expense of a Serbia that shrinks its potential. First of all demographic. Get away from the war yesterday, get away from authoritarian power today. Misery yesterday, misery today. But, it is important that Serbia already has its own ‘Gospodar’ on whom everyone’s fate depends. Even the fate of this government, which is declared temporary by the ‘gazda’, has not yet been established.
What to expect from a government that is unable to identify even its anti-fascist movements and figures? From a Serbia that unites the Chetniks and the partisans. From a Serbia that does not know the limits of sovereignty and territorial integrity, how can it be expected to give up hegemonic policies? From a Serbia that does not even appreciate Zoran Djindjic postmortem, how can I be expected to evaluate minorities? From a Serbia that does not voluntarily solve the murder of Slavko Çuruvija, how can it be expected to solve the murder of the Bytyqi brothers? From a Serbia that considers itself a historical victim, how to expect an apology to other peoples? From a Serbia where Ratko Mladic is exalted, how to expect official recognition of the Srebrenica genocide? From a Serbia where the state protects Ljubisa Dikovic and Bozidar Delic, how to expect the recognition of war crimes against civilians in Recak, Meja, Korenica, Cuska, etc.?
But today we are told that a progressive government is being formed. The most democratic in the history of Serbia. As such, invite the head of this government, Ms. Bernabic, for a joint visit.
Since I did not see her in the day before yesterday in the exhibition of photographs of war crimes in Kosovo, only a few hundred meters from this room, I invite Mrs. Bernabic to visit Batajnica tomorrow, where in mass graves there are civilian victims that you still consider to be your citizens. At least distinguish yourself from your bosses. Order Mrs. Bernabic. See with your own eyes Batajanica, Peruca, Petrovo Selon, Rudnica. Staro Sajmishta and Jasenoci can inspire you.
Listen with your ears the surnames Berisha, Duriqi, Bogujevci, Jashari etc.
Imagine children, women, and the elderly who simply had different names, languages, and cultures, were brutally murdered, and their bodies were secretly dumped in mass graves of 400 km away by state structures that had a duty to ensure their safety and well-being.
These crimes against humanity have been ordered, organized and committed by state structures, by officials of the Republic of Serbia, whose Prime Minister you are re-electing today.
You have the opportunity to at least prove the collective conscience of Serbia. At least enable mothers not to die without burying their children with dignity. For children to know how their fathers, uncles, grandfathers and relatives were killed. That raped women do not feel ashamed because there are still those who think it was their fault for what happened to you.
You owe this to your people first and foremost. Take courage and responsibility. If not for the Albanians, for the Serbia you say you love. There is no peace and no future without dealing with the past for any society.
That for the Albanians living in Serbia, you proved during the last mandate that you are not interested in integrating them and treating them as equal citizens. The only change in your governance is in the methods of repression and discrimination.
The Bernabic government did not take any action or decision to implement the three agreements signed by the Serbian governments with the Valley elected officials.
You did not unlock the dialogue launched between the government and Valley officials. You did not initiate any significant legal change, let alone constitutional, that improves the position and rights of minorities in general and Albanians in particular.
Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja are today an exemplary region of discrimination. The past methods of discrimination have been replaced by contemporary “invisible” forms of oppression. The region remains under a “legitimate” military-police siege, with deep under-representation in state institutions and a “justified” lack of investment.
We can also refer to statistics.
On this occasion, I invite you, when you can, to present to this assembly, the data of the ethnic structure of the employees of the hospital of Vranje, which is also a hospital of Presevo and Bujanovac. That would suffice as a start.
Minorities, especially Albanians and Bosniaks, may even be the “blacks, Tatars, Uighurs and Algerians” of today’s Serbia. But they are not the only oppressed.
The situation of the citizens of Southern Serbia is the best reflection of how your neoliberal and kleptocratic policies are deepening day by day not only ethnic divisions, but also social inequalities between the regions of Serbia.
Zoran, Slavica, Gorani and Vesna from Vranje, Surdulica, Bosilegrad and Targovishta are as poor and unemployed as Hasan, Vjollca, Arma and Iliri from Bujanovac, Tutin, Presevo and Sjenica.
Therefore, the sooner this government falls and this assembly dissolves, the more there is hope for freedom, equality and democracy. Without you and your political Siamese.