The Macedonian Tendency: May 2005

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Search the "Macedonian Tendency

Some of you may have noticed that there is a link "Yahoo Search This Blog" with which you can search "The Macedonian Tendency". You can also use "All the Web". For reasons that are only known go Google, google does not index my blog, even though blogger is owned by Google. The box at the top of the blog does not work.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

The Clash of Orthodoxies

Dear Ulrich Buechsenschuetz

Radio Free Europe



This is a very interesting article, however, to my knowledge you have never discussed the status of the followers of the Macedonian Orthodox Church in Greece and the persecution of the Macedonian priest, Father Tsarknias.



Greece's policy with regard to minority rights in general, and the rights of ethnic Macedonians in particular, is a model for every racist, every fascist and every ethnic cleanser in the Balkans. Radio Free Europe's decision to exclude Greece from its coverage is a leftover of cold war politics where there was no criticism of America's anti-communist allies. Continuing to ignore human rights violations in Greece just adds to the current instability in the Balkans.



Ulrich, you ... personally ...are hurting the Balkans.




[ RADIO FREE EUROPE/ RADIO LIBERTY ]: "BACKLASH FOR SERBIAN-MACEDONIAN CHURCH RELATIONS





The Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) has confirmed information that it will recognize only the Orthodox Archbishopric of Ohrid as canonical and that it will issue a decision granting the archbishopric autonomy, the private Kanal 5 TV reported on 25 May. Thus, the Serbian Orthodox Church fully legitimizes the archbishopric, which is headed by Jovan Vraniskovski, a former bishop of the Macedonian Orthodox Church, which is not recognized by other Orthodox churches. The SPC's decision has yet to be confirmed by Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew. When Vraniskovski put his bishopric under the canonical jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church in July 2002, he was excommunicated by the Macedonian Orthodox Church and subsequently indicted by Macedonian authorities for embezzlement and inciting religious hatred. The archbishopric was founded by the Serbian Orthodox Church as a rival church to the Macedonian Orthodox Church (see 'RFE/RL Newsline,' 22 October 2004 and 'RFE/RL Balkan Report,' 23 January and 6 August 2004). UB"

balkanalysis.com - Vreme Grills USIP’s Serwer on Kosovo Independence, Macedonia’s Future Sec

This is an interesting article as far as it goes. Vreme does not put Serwer's feet to the fire regarding Macedonians in Greece. Macedonians should not be put on the defensive about the rights of Albanians in Macedonia without countering with regard to the rights of Macedonians in Greece.

I know that Macedonian journalists have been questioning the US/EU/Nato types on this issue. What we need is Vreme to gather all the quotes from these people and put it in one article. Let them stand up and take "credit" for their position.

balkanalysis.com - Vreme Grills USIP’s Serwer on Kosovo Independence, Macedonia’s Future

by Christopher Deliso

The following is the text of this week's interview in Skopje daily Vreme with Daniel Serwer. Vreme World News Editor Cvetin Chilimanov offers some tough and insightful questions for the USIP’s “Director of Peace and Stability Operations” regarding the so-called “Burns Plan” for the Balkans.

While reading it, one might ask the following: do the powers-that-be have a nuanced view of the situation on the ground – or are they deeply in denial?

You be the judge!

Cvetin Chilimanov: Macedonia wasn't mentioned by name in the testimony of Undersecretary Burns, and I think you mention it once in your testimony. What would be our role in the future negotiations about Kosovo?

Daniel Serwer: Macedonia, as a neighbor of both Kosovo and Serbia, clearly has an interest in peace and stability in the region. Skopje will surely be consulted by any envoys appointed to work on the status issue, and its views will carry some weight in the process.

CC: We are mentioned indirectly as Kosovo's neighbors, whose borders are not to be touched. But, we don't even have a proper border to Kosovo, due to the obstructions from Kosovar Albanian politicians. Even UNMIK has recently indicated that it will wait for the status talks to get busy on this question. Is this situation a serious basis for entering the talks about creating a new country?

DS: This is a difficult situation, but a temporary one. It would certainly not be practical, or in Macedonia's interest, to try to demarcate the border over the objections of the Kosovo Assembly and Provisional Institutions of Self-Government, or to do it in cooperation with Belgrade. The Kosovars object because they won't be allowed to participate in the process, since sovereignty is at issue. Once status is resolved--within the next year--the border issue will be resolved quickly."

Radio Free Europe is the Problem not the Solution

Dear Ulrich Buechsenschuetz

Ethnic conflict in the Balkans is not easy to solve, but the US/EU/Nato policy of favouring one group at the expense of another is the main cause of instability today.

If Macedonians in Greece had the same rights as Gypsies do in Skopje, then this issue of symbols would be a minor irritant. However, Macedonians are subject to active persecution ... to the extent that Greek police monitor and disrupt the singing of Macedonian songs at wedding dances. Therefore the extension of Albanian rights in Macedonia has to be viewed logically as an attack against Macedonian interests.

When Rado Free Europe (funded by the US government) goes at length about the status human rights in Macedonia, but ignores the status of human rights in Greece, it is more than an oversight. It is an active policy to attact the interests of Macedonians . It encourages extremists and discouraging moderates who try to build bridges.

Ulrich, you ... personally ...are hurting the Balkans.

RADIO FREE EUROPE/ RADIO LIBERTY: "MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT DISCUSSES USE OF NATIONAL SYMBOLS

As part of the implementation of the 2001 Ohrid peace accord, the Macedonian government has drafted a law regulating the use of national symbols, the private A1 TV and RFE/RL's Macedonian broadcasters reported. The draft law envisions that ethnic minorities should be allowed to use their national symbols in those municipalities where they make up more than 50 percent of the population.

It is not clear whether the governing ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration will accept the new regulation or whether it will demand that the symbols can be used by those minorities representing more than 20 percent of the respective municipality. The use of national symbols is a controversial issue, since the country's 23-percent ethnic Albanian minority insists on using the Albanian flag.

In former Yugoslavia, the Albanian minority used the Albanian flag with its black double-headed eagle on a red background as a symbol of the Albanian people rather than of the Albanian state. Ethnic Macedonians, however, regard the Albanian flag as a symbol for ethnic Albanian separatism and have thus insisted that it should be banned. In 1997, the mayors of the overwhelmingly Albanian-populated towns of Gostivar and Tetovo were even jailed for flying the Albanian flag from their town halls (see 'RFE/RL Newsline,' 29 November 2001 and 'RFE/RL Balkan Report,' 20 February 2004). UB"

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Let Tito Rest in Peace

Please ... please ... please ... Branko Crvenkovski read this article and cancel plans for the Macedonian government to erect a statue of Tito in Skopje. This is not the time to discuss this issue. Our enemies will use this as a club to beat us at every opportunity. You were obviously misquoted.

I agree with everything that is written by Sasha Uzunov in this article with the following caveat ... had Tito not been leader of the Yugoslav Communist Party during WW2 and there was a Serb leading it, Macedonia would still have had autonomy, but it would have been the provincial kind similar to Kosovo and Vojvodina. Macedonians would have been accepting (but not happy) of the new status because it was better than nothing. However, today we would still be part of Serbia with no country coming to our aid as they have done for the Albanians of Kosovo. Serbian would be the language of school and business with Macedonian relegated to be studied as a foreign language ... if at all.

In Mongolia they are starting a cult of "Ghengis Khan", the Hungarians venerate "Attila the Hun", in the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are on the US currency even though they bought and sold human beings like dogs. In the case of Jefferson, there is evidence he enslaved his own half-African children (enough evidence to get you hanged in Texas).

So a statue of Tito in Skopje, privately funded, would not be out of the question ... just not now.

The Value of Good Public Relations - by Sasha Uzunov

By Sasha Uzunov
(Melbourne, Australia)

May 26, 2005


It has been a bad hair month for Australia's large Macedonian community. The community was unfairly put under the spotlight because of the behaviour a few crazy soccer hooligans a few weeks ago in Melbourne. You might recall that violence broke out at a soccer match between South Melbourne and Preston Lions, which are supported by the Greek and the Macedonian communities respectively.

Now comes the distressing news that the President of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr Branko Crvenkovski, wants to build a monument to former Yugoslav communist dictator Josip Broz Tito in the heart of the capital, Skopje. Many Australian-Macedonians fled their homeland because of communist oppression and lack of economic opportunity.

Furthermore, Macedonia's Foreign Minister, Mrs Ilinka Mitreva, was in Australia last month and met with her counterpart, Alexander Downer, as well as NSW Premier Bob Carr, and Victorian Deputy Premier John Thwaites. She also met with members of the local Macedonian communities in Melbourne and Sydney. Her mission was to lobby the Australian government to recognise Macedonia under its constitutional name of Republic of Macedonia rather than the long winded Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

The United States recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name and it has sent the Greek government into a diplomatic frenzy. The Australian government, which normally follows the United States on foreign affairs issues such as Iraq and the Global War on Terror, has this time bowed to political pressure applied by the powerful Greek lobby.

The Greek government maintains the line that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is but a communist invention by Tito after World War II.?It has been well documented that an indigenous Macedonian resistance movement during the War fought for independence and had nothing to do with Tito. The non-communist resistance leader was Metodija Andonov-Cento, later jailed by the communists during an infamous show-trial.

President Crvenkovski's desire for a tribute to Tito in effect has undermined his Foreign Minister's attempt to persuade the Australian government that Macedonia is not a communist invention. We have Athens pushing the line that it was Tito who 'manufactured Macedonia' and now Presdeint Crvenkovski has unintentionally confirmed that point of view. You could say it was bad timing in the Public Relations stakes.

But what is at the heart of the matter is not so much Tito but a battle over history, Macedonia's controversial communist history. The current Social Democatic Union (SDS) of Macedonia, which is in power and of which President Crvenkovski belongs to, is the inheritor of the old Macedonian Communist Party. Macedonia declared its independence from the Serbian-dominated Yugoslav Federation in 1991.

In 1946, under the direction of Tito and Lazar Kolisevski, the pro-Serbian communist boss of Macedonia, Cento was sentenced to 11 years hard labour for crimes against the people. Two of the judges in the show trial were Kole Casule, who now promotes himself as a writer/ philosopher, and Lazar Mojsov, later to become Yugoslav Foreign minister and now living in retirement in Belgrade, Serbia.

Also in 1946, Kolisevski handed over to Serbia a few Macedonian villages, including the Prohor Pchinski Monastery, where the Macedonian republic was proclaimed on 2 August 1944. Because of Kolisevski's legacy, Macedonia is probably the only country in the world that is forced to celebrate its founding as a nation on technically foreign territory.

In 1990 a Macedonian court overturned Cento's conviction and he was fully rehabilitated. No criminal proceedings were ever launched against Kolisevski, who died in peaceful retirement in 2000, or Casule and Mojsov. In 1993 ex-political prisoners lobbied the Public Prosecutors office to launch an investigation into a number of Macedonia's Communist ruling elite. But intense pressure from then ruling SDS stopped the investigation. Staff from the Prosecutor's office was instructed not to open up a can of historical worms.

Mr Stevce Pavlovski, then Macedonia's Public Prosecutor, said in interview in March 1993, that he would have to put 'fifty per cent of Macedonia's old Communist in jail for treason.' For that reason, no such investigation would take place. When the self-styled nationalist party VMRO-DPMNE came to power in 1998 it also kept quiet about the issue, especially when the son of Kole Casule, Slobodan, became Foreign minister.

Macedonia was used an economic guinea pig; it was the only republic within the Yugoslav Communist federation that had collective farms imposed upon it, which proved a disaster. This is why there are many Macedonians living abroad, especially in Australia, the United States, Canada and Western Europe.

Mr Kiro Gligorov, an old communist and wily first President of Macedonia, has distanced himself from Tito's legacy. Perhaps as the Republic of Macedonia fights for its very survival, current President Branko Crvenkovski, let go of the past, a tarnished past.

(end)

Sasha Uzunov is an Australian journalist who has covered the Balkans for over a decade. sashauzunov@hotmail.com"

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Book Reviews

Below there are a number of book reviews in no particular order that I found on Alt.News.Macedonia. A web site with links to books concerning Macedonia would be a worthwhile project for someone to start. I have no idea on how it should be organized. The idea would be to search the web and solicit reviews from Macedonians. I have not looked too carefully at the reviews. One by Lou Panov may get some people's shorts in a knot but ... what the heck.

My Blog: The Macedonian Tendency
http://david-edenden.blogspot.com/

Macedonians Need a Big Tent

Below are some links to some posts to Alt.News.Macedonia. Macedonianism share some of the faults with Christianity ... Dogmatism and schismatism. some define it so narrowly that unity is hard to achieve. For some, the door to enter "Macedonianism" is small, but the door to exit is big. There's the rub.



Blogs are a Good Way of Saving Family (and Macedonian) History

Below are some links to Alt.News.Macedonia where I have recorded some family history. There is more to tell, but that would incriminate the guilty.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Another Great Article From Reality Macedonia

Calling a politician a hypocrite, is like saying the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. It is part of the fabric of domestic politics and international relations. The analysis below on international law and the Macedonian "name issue" is a very learned and an intelligent analysis of our situation. However, relying on international law is a tricky business. In my opinion, because of its discrimination against its ethnic Macedonian minority, Greece is not elligible to be a member of the EU, but it is a member in good standing and has forced the entire EU to adopt illegal procedures against Macedonia. We have to be wary of putting our eggs in the legal basket. Use the law against the EU and Greece by concentrating on the violations of human rights in Greece. Take that to the International Court





Strategy to Return Macedonia's Constitutional Name in the UN: "Thus a key for solving the name issue of Republic of Macedonia in UN is to bring forth new resolution to General Assembly which would exclude additional conditions imposed on Macedonia in appropriate resolutions during its admission as UN member. Macedonia alone or together with other member countries can initiate the suggestion for such General Assembly resolution if it appraises that result from the vote is positive. If, on the other hand, in spite of a long and intensive political activity and 'lobbying,' absolute conviction in a positive aftermath of such resolution is not acquired, then Macedonia should question the legality of additional conditions in front of International Court of Justice (through appropriate resolution of General Assembly). But the Court in 1948 had already given its interpretation to Article 4 from the Charter, ruling out any expansion of the conditions for admission. Thence its position on the same issue cannot be any different from that of 1948. In UN General Assembly’s practice no case has been noticed when UN General Assembly has not taken into consideration the advisory opinion of International Court of Justice.



Solving the problem of the name of RM in the UN by requesting advisory opinion from International court of justice is the most desirable path for Macedonia to follow since it includes only principles and norms from international law, Court’s authority that once came out for this issue and avoids games of political interests where Macedonian stakes are relatively small. It is only with such approach towards the problem that the sovereign right for choice of name bears its full 'weight.' In that case Greek demands for intervention in foreign name would remain groundless. Only that approach provides politically neutral solution for the problem and enables international interactions, member of which is Greece, to conduct common politics towards Macedonia (including recognition of its constitutional name), referring to political will of world community (expressed in UN). Greece, of course, has sovereign right to call Macedonia whatever it desires."

Was the Macedonian Orthodox Church Excluded?

The story below does not say who attended this meeting. Did the Russians go? Did the Serbs and Bulgarians go?



Orthodox Leaders Prepare for Meeting - Yahoo! News





By BRIAN MURPHY,

AP Religion Writer



ATHENS, Greece - Leaders of Orthodox churches from Russia to the ancient Christian centers in the Middle East prepared Monday for a rare gathering forced by a crisis in their ranks: The refusal of the Holy Land patriarch to step down even as his authority is shattered by rebel clerics, angry followers and the hair-trigger issue of land rights in Jerusalem.

ADVERTISEMENT



But the meeting beginning Tuesday in Istanbul, Turkey — the ancient spiritual heart of Orthodoxy — has ripples beyond the fate of Patriarch Irineos I and the explosive allegations that his church leased property to Jewish investors in east Jerusalem, which Palestinians consider their capital.



The clerics must confront a bigger quandary that's been growing for decades: How to balance between Israeli and Palestinian demands and maintain their delicate role as the historical caretakers of Christianity in the Holy Land.



"In this sense, it is an event of significance for the whole Christian world," said Alexander Belopopsky, a spokesman for the Geneva-based World Council of Churches, an inter-religious group that includes the more than a dozen Orthodox churches.



The Orthodox patriarchate in Jerusalem, dominated by Greeks since antiquity, is under pressure from many sides.



There are demands for greater external scrutiny into church finances and its vast land holdings. Israelis worry the church has become too pro-Palestinian. But Orthodox clerics face an undeniable fact: Palestinian Christians are the bulk of their 100,000-member flock and are pressing for more say in church affairs.

New Book on Macedonia

Reality Macedonia : New Book: People of the Storm God



"Source: Amazon.com (Direct link)



New Book: People of the Storm God



Book Description



With this sense of historic complexity in mind, Will Myer traveled to the troubled Balkans in autumn 1994 and the following spring. His aim was to discover the political and human reality of a region beset by conflict and controversy, fought over for centuries by rival powers. In particular, he sought to explore the true nature of Macedonian identity, or rather of a multiple identity.



Traveling in Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria and the newly independent Former Yugoslav [sic!] Republic of Macedonia, Myer encounters a bewildering array of political and cultural opinions-Orthodox Christians and Muslims, communists and nationalists, warlords and modernizers. His investigations take him to Orthodox weddings and Easter parades, political meetings and religious ceremonies. He encounters widows and witches, dervishes and mystics. Throughout, he remains fascinated by the human dimension of Macedonia's deep-seated identity crisis.



More than a simple travelogue, People of the Storm God casts light on the troubled history of Macedonia and its unique melting pot of politics, religion and ethnicity. Compared to the work of Patrick Leigh Fermor, this book evocatively reveals the extraordinary cultural diversity of the Balkans and the weight of history borne by its different peoples.



About the Author



Dr. Will Myer (1968-2002) developed a passion for the Balkans as a teenager in the mid-1980s. His book Islam and Colonialism: Western Perspectives on Soviet Central Asia was published in 2002. At the time of his death he was working on a book entitled Islamic Fundamentalism: Tamerlaine's Revenge.

Product Details





* Paperback: 276 pages

* Publisher: Interlink (April 15, 2005)

* Language: English

* ISBN: 1566565782

* Product Dimensions: 8.0 x 5.5 x 0.7 inches"

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Grandson of the late Pece Atanasoski Martin Vucic at Eurovision



Some information on Macedonia's Eurovision contestant.




OIKOTIMES.COM | WHERE EUROVISION BECOMES PASSION | 2005 Martin Vucic



Martin was born on 7 August 1982 in Skopje, FYR Macedonia. Grandson of the late Pece Atanasoski, one of the world’s most famous bagpipe players, Martin quickly showed that he had inherited the same passion for music. His first contact with music was at the age of three when he started to play the drums. He first performed in front of an audience at a concert by the popular Macedonian group ‘Tavce Gravce’. As a seven-year old he landed a part in a children’s festival for new music called ‘Pletenka’. As a solo artist he won second prize. He continued his education in a primary school for music, graduating with honours. In the meantime he joined the youth theatre playing a role in the show ‘Memories in The Night’ by Bonjo Lungov. At secondary school he was a member of the percussion section. It was during this period that he became a drummer for the group ‘Arija’ – he first began to compose music as part of this group. He went on to enter the Music Academy as an extremely popular percussionist. Martin then started his solo carrier as a vocalist. He received numerous prizes and excellent reviews. Martin is currently a senior at the Music Academy in Skopje, and one of the most popularly rated artistes on the FYR Macedonian and Balkan music scene.

"

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Search the "The Macedonian Tendency"

You can now search my blog, the Macedonian Tendency using Yahoo Search. There is a link on my site, or just enter "The Macedonian Tendency" in the Yahoo Search box.

I have given up trying to make the "Blogger Search" function work.

Keeping UN Envoy Matthew Nimetz's feet to the Fire.

It looks like a good team of people went to meet with Nimetz. I do not expect too much to come of this meeting. I am not sure why the "Name Issue" is on the UN agenda while human rights for Macedonians in Greece is not on the agenda. Is there anyway to put pressue on Nimetz to at least address this issue?

Macedonian Diaspora Leaders Meet With UN Envoy Matthew Nimetz by Metodija A. Koloski

By Metodija A. Koloski

May 20, 2004


Representative leaders from the Macedonian Diaspora in North America Gligor Tashkovich of New York City, Metodija A. Koloski of the United Macedonian Diaspora in Washington, D.C. and Mark Opashinov of the Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada in Toronto met earlier this month with United Nations envoy Ambassador Matthew Nimetz who is responsible for the mediation between the Republic of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the recent proposal of 'Republika Makedonija-Skopje' made by Ambassador Nimetz to be used for bilateral relations between Greece and Macedonia.

The Macedonian Diaspora representatives pointed out to Ambassador Nimetz that in accordance with relevant international norms, the Republic of Macedonia -- as is the case with any other country -- has the right to self-determination, which is enshrined in the United Nations Charter. One of the basic definitions of this right is the right to one's identity and name. The Republic of Macedonia does not hold nor does it claim to hold exclusive rights over the name Macedonia in geographic, cultural, or historic terms. However, Greece does not have any such exclusive rights either. The representatives further explained that the Republic of Macedonia is neither demanding change nor objecting to the use of the name 'Macedonia' to designate Greece's northern province.

Regarding the name proposal made by Ambassador Nimetz, the representatives pointed out that the proposed name is derogatory and adversely affects Macedonians in Greece. The proposed name would open the doors for Greece to refer to ethnic Macedonians - including those that live in Greece - as 'Skopjians,' a term that Macedonians everywhere consider derogatory. The implicit sanction of this term by such a bilateral resolution to the name dispute will have especially harsh consequences for the Macedonians of Greece, as it would legitimize Greece's official policy of non-recognition and persecution of its sizable ethnic Macedonian national minority.

The Macedonian Diaspora representatives reiterated that the discussions between Greece and Macedonia are about bilateral recognition only, and should neither impact nor impede continued international recognition of the Republic of Macedonia under its constitutional name.

The United Macedonian Diaspora is an international organization whose mission is to address the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.

Contact: (202) 294-3400; umdiaspora@gmail.com

The Macedonian Human Rights Movement of Canada (MHRMC) has been active on human rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. Its main objective is to pursue and attain all fundamental human and national rights including the right of freedom of expression and association and to support all democratic principles for all ethnic Macedonians, and other oppressed peoples.

Contact: (416) 850-7125; office@mhrmc.ca"

How long Will the EU Allow Greece to Violate Human Rights of Macedonian in Greece?

What can you say, as I have said many times befores, Greece's values regarding humand rights for its ethnic Macedonian minority are EU values ... "there's the rub".



2005 EBLUL Calls on Greece to Respect ECHR's Decision on the Home of Macedonian Culture:



May 17, 2005



Naoussa (Negush) -- The Greek Member State Committee of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages (EBLUL) witnessed with mixed emotions the Prime Minister of Greece Mr. Kostas Karamanlis addressing the Council of Europe's (CoE) Summit in Warsaw.



Mr. Karamanlis stressed that the main topic of his talks with his European counterparts was -- among other things -- the big challenges of our time, such as the protection of minorities.



While referring to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), he specifically claimed that '..the disrespect and the refusal of certain countries to immediately and unconditionally implement the Court's rulings ... jeopardize not only its reliability but also human rights in Europe.'



No one could really disagree with the above. However, for yet again, a Greek state official of the highest level has made a selective remark to the so- called 'Loizidou Case'. In other words, indirectly but at the same time plainly accusing Turkey for putting in a 2-year reprieve of its conviction on the above case from the ECHR.



Mr. Karamanlis must have forgotten or ignored that for almost 7 years now Greece remains stubbornly incompliant to a similar ECHR ruling that obligates the Greek state to register a purely cultural organization (Home of Macedonian Culture/Dom Na Makedonskata Kultura).



Isn't this attitude of 'disrespect' and 'refusal' regarding the immediate implementation of an ECHR decision far more glaring than the 'Loizidou Case'? Doesn't it not also jeopardize the reliability of the Court and violate human rights?



The Greek Member State Committee of the European Bureau for Lesser Used Languages calls on Mr. Karamanlis to simply carry into effect what he categorically stated. To immediately and unconditionally respect ECHR's decisions regarding Greece, contributing at the same time to the enhancement of its role that he aims too.



EBLUL additionally urges Mr. Karamanlis to encourage the ratification and implementation of CoE's Framework Conventions that Greece signed a long time ago, if he truly wants what he expressed before the Summit in the most articulate way: the protection of minorities, human rights and democratic principles.



Athanasios Parisis

President of GMSC of EBLUL"

EU Values at Work in Greece

A recent US State Department initiative would impose quasi independence for Kosovo as long as human rights are respected for the Serbs. ... "Tell it to the Marines" ... See EU and Nato human rights values at work in Greece. Good work by Rainbow- Vinozhito.

2005 Greece Denies Ethnic Macedonian Entry to Attend Father's Funeral - George Mishalis

May 12, 2005

The Greek government continues to denaturalize members of its Macedonian minority who as economic immigrants reside mainly in transoceanic countries. This discriminatory practice has been taking place for the last several decades.

Greek Authorities selectively implement law 3370, article 20 par. 1G (Greek law of Citizenship), targeting ethnic Macedonians (economic immigrants) who are active as members of Macedonian associations abroad and who dare express their Macedonian cultural, linguistic and national identity. Something they are not permitted to do in Greece.

Ethnic Macedonians from Greece are informed about their denaturalization only when they try to enter Greece temporarily or for repatriation. Denaturalized individuals are at the same time declared undesirable in Greece (persona non grata) and no entrance to the country of their birth is allowed, even for humanitarian reasons.

Recently (May 7th, 2005) Mr. George Mishalis tried to enter Greece in order to attend his father's funeral in his native village Meliti (Voshtarani) in Florina (Lerin). For the last several years, Mr Mishalis has been living and working in Melbourne, Australia.

Greek border authorities prohibited his entry, according to the above-mentioned decision.

It is truly unfortunate that in the year 2005 and in a so-called modern European country like Greece an ethnic Macedonian born in Greece still cannot attend a relative's funeral unless they falsify their identity and declare themselves as 'Greeks by birth'.

EFA-Rainbow was also recently informed about the denaturalization of another Macedonian. Mr. Chris Gagatsis was declared 'undesirable' in Greece according to the same law (3370 article 20 par. 1G). Mr. Gagatsis' place of birth is the village of Akrita (Bouf) in the Florina (Lerin) region.

Over the past several decades successive Greek Governments have refused to give any data on the number of denaturalized Macedonians. The victims of this policy are simply notified about it upon their arrival at the Greek border, exactly as it happened in the two cases mentioned above.

This is an inhuman and racially discriminatory policy against George Mishalis and Chris Gagatsis and all other Macedonian economic immigrants. This same policy is also applied to the thousands of Macedonian political refugees who fled their villages as children during the Greek Civil War (1946-1949**).

Greece's continuous refusal to acknowledge its Macedonian minority and its systemic discrimination in terms of their ethnic, cultural and linguistic rights again highlight the serious democratic deficit in Greece.

According to Greek authorities there is no such thing as an ethnic Macedonian minority in the country. If this is the case then we can only wonder who the target of these racist measures is?

EFA-Rainbow denounces Greece's continuous racist and inhuman mistreatment of its ethnic Macedonian minority and intends to make the above incidents known to the international organizations involved in the protection of Human Rights.

EFA-Rainbow also calls upon all Greek democrats to support our efforts to establish a truly democratic and European Greece.

The Political Secretariat"

Facts about Orthodox Church destruction in Kosovo

It is interesting to note that even an strong Christian like George Bush is trying to bend over backwards to appease Muslims while ignoring Muslim attacks on Christians. Good article, relies on facts rather than emotion.



Is Koran flushing worse desecration than blowing up Christian churches?: "s Koran flushing worse desecration than blowing up Christian churches?



Mary Mostert

May 18, 2005





The stupidity and senseless violence that caused a number of deaths in reaction to a Newsweek article which claimed Americans had 'desecrated the Islamic holy book' needs to be examined from a couple of angles. According to Newsweek American military interrogators had placed the Koran on the lavatory inside inmates' cells at the detention center in Guantanamo Bay and had 'in at least one case, flushed a holy book down the toilet.'



The article supposedly so enraged Muslims that anti-American riots resulted in several countries. The radical Arab newspaper Al Jazeera reported 'Protests in Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan and Indonesia followed demonstrations across much of Afghanistan in the past few days in which 14 people were killed and dozens injured after clashes with police. Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Syria have registered displeasure at the alleged desecration.'

...



Second, assuming you could overcome that technical difficulty and actually flush a Koran down a toilet, why is that somehow worse than burning down or blowing up Christian Churches, some of them hundreds of years old, as Muslims have done in Kosovo? There were 30 churches and monasteries destroyed, 19 people killed and 250 non-Muslim homes looted and burned in Muslim riots in Kosovo from March 17-19, 2004.



If killing people and rioting is an acceptable way to express one's concern over one's religion being desecrated, what is an acceptable way for Christians to react to hundreds of Christian Churches being desecrated or blown up? There seems to have been nothing much done in recent years following the destruction of Serbian Orthodox Churches by anti-Christian Muslim extremists. In fact, the world community is even still talking about allowing those very same Muslims to completely take over Kosovo and ethnically cleanse it of Serbs, where Serbs have lived for and built churches for hundreds of years.



The Christian Churches blown up by Muslims in Kosovo last year included:



1. Orthodox Cathedral of the Most Holy Mother of God of Ljevis, 14th century (Prizren)



2. Church of Holy Salvation, 14th century (Prizren)



3. Orthodox Cathedral of the Holy Great Martyr George, 20th century (Prizren)



4. Holy Archangels Monastery, 14th century (Prizren)



5. Church of St. George Runovic, 15th century (Prizren, courtyard of the Episcopate)



6. Church of St. John the Fore-runner and Baptist (Pec) with parish home



7. Church of the Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple (Belo Polje near Pec)



8. Church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God (Djakovica) with parish home



9. Church of the Holy King Uros (Urosevac)



10. Church of St. Nicholas (Kosovo Polje)



11. Church of St. Catharine (Bresje near Kosovo Polje)



12. Church of St. Nicholas (Pristina)



13. Church of St. Nicholas (Gnjilane)



14. Church of St. Sava (Kosovska Mitrovica)



15. Church in Vitina (Vitina near Gnjilane)



16. Devic Monastery, 14th century (Srbica)



17. Church in Donja Slapasnica (Kosovska Kamenica)



18. Church in Brnjak near Bela Crkva (Orahovac)



19. Church of St. John the Fore-runner and Baptist (Pecka Banja)



20. Church of St. Elijah, 19th century (Vucitrn)



21. Church of St. Michael (Stimlje)



22. Church in Obilic (Obilic)



23. Church of St. Lazarus in Piskoti (Djakovica), damaged in 1999, now burned



24. Sts. Cyril and Methodius Seminary building (Prizren)



25. Episcopate — seat of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren (Prizren)



It was also reported that the Albanian Muslims are removing the ruins of the Church of the Holy Trinity (Djakovica), one of the more than 100 churches blown up in 1999.



Since 1999 Muslims have destroyed 140 Christian Churches in Kosovo. And, exactly what has been the official Muslim response from Muslims in Palestine, Egypt, Sudan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, the Gaza Strip, Afghanistan, etc to that desecration of Christian churches and artifacts? Dead silence.

"

Not Macedonia's Finest Hour

This whole episode regarding the killing of the Pakistanis smells. The actual killings do no seem to be justified, but the trial seems to be just as bad. The Hague is also a joke!



The article is good article.




Transitions Online: Crimes and Misdemeanors: "Crimes and Misdemeanors

by Biljana Stavrova and Robert Alagjozovski

20 May 2005



A spectacular acquittal may have implications for ongoing war-crimes prosecutions in Macedonia and The Hague.



SKOPJE, Macedonia | The case of former Macedonian Interior Minister Ljube Boskovski, on trial at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague (ICTY), continues to affect the country’s politics. Now, with an aid concert planned for June, it promises to become a pop-culture event as well.



Boskovski and police officer Johan Tarculovski, who was a member of the late president Boris Trajkovski's security detail, have been charged with atrocities during an operation in the mainly ethnic-Albanian village of Ljuboten in August 2001, at the height of a brief armed conflict between an ethnic-Albanian guerilla and state security forces.



Boskovski was extradited to The Hague from Croatia in 2004. He holds dual Croatian-Macedonian citizenship and had sought refuge in Croatia, fearing prosecution in Macedonia.



Now, Ace Angelovski, owner of the record label Ace Senator Records, specializing in Macedonian turbo-folk, has announced a big concert to collect money to pay for the defense of Tarculovski and Boskovski. Angelovski has said the most famous Macedonian folk and pop singers will take part, as will some prominent names from other Balkan countries. "

Friday, May 20, 2005

New Pope meets Macedonian Ambassador

Is thePope Catholic? Who cares ... he just met with the Macedonian Ambassador.

It is not a good idea to teach religion in the schools. It causes nothing but trouble when some dogmatic nut case (Christian or Muslim cleric) says something stupid and all hell breaks loose.

Keep religion in the churches and mosques and out of the schools!

Pope asks Macedonia to allow religion classes in elementary schools:

"VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Pope Benedict XVI asked the government of Macedonia to keep its promise to allow religion to be taught in public elementary schools.

'Knowledge enlightened by faith, far from dividing communities, binds peoples together in the common search for truth, which defines every human as one who lives by belief,' the pope said May 19 during a ceremony welcoming Macedonia's new ambassador to the Vatican.
"

Human Rights in the Republic on Macedonia

Just a small point of interest. It seems that Macedonian Helsinki Committee publishes its findings on a monthly basis. Here is their English web site.

SEE Portal - Homepage / News / News:Macedonia - April Report on Human Rights in Macedonia

20 May 2005


Yesterday, May 19, the Macedonian Helsinki Committee published its monthly Report on Human Rights in Macedonia, covering April 2005.

The Report accuses the Government of Macedonia of discrimination of citizens in terms of realization of their basic human rights and freedoms, and creates an atmosphere of mistrust in the institutions and the rule of Law.

As most serious cases of discrimination, the Committee points out the cases of Albanian women who were prevented from voting in the Local Elections 2005, and the discriminatory action of the Government that decided to provide financial assistance only for the spouses of the Hague Suspects, Ljube Boskovski and Johan Tarculovski and completely forgot about the other suspects that are tried in domestic courts for similar offences.

The Committee also emphasizes the failure by the state to adopt appropriate solution for the problem of the internally displaced persons in the conflict of 2001, and the fact that the Government didn’t prepare standards and criteria for compensation of the citizens that lost real estate and other property in the conflict.

You can find the Macedonian version of the Report HERE.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

United We Stand, Divided We Fall

Good article about the name issue from Christopher Deliso. Nimetz seems to have seen the light and has back-peddled on his "Republica Makedonija - Skopje" fiasco.

balkanalysis.com - Macedonia Looks For Support on Name Issue, as Top Leaders Spar

Most recently, Nimetz arrived in Skopje earlier today for consultations with the government- but was quick to state that he is bringing no new proposal for solving the name problem. MakFax quotes the American as saying, “…the main objective of my visit is to exchange opinions with the authorities, and to see if any progress could be achieved.”

Alluding to his disastrous first suggestion, Nimetz stated simply that "…I have no proposal whatsoever, and you are all familiar with some of my ideas that I have laid out in the past, and which caused reactions.” Finally, the negotiator “…refused to give any details on the negotiating process, saying that ‘it would not be of anyone's benefit.’

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

A consensus of Serbian positions on Kosovo

I have reproduced the entire article. It is an excellent discussion of Serbian positions on Kosovo from autonomy to partition. I think that all of the arguments presented here are beside the point since the US/ES will do what is in its own self-interest. It has been announced that the US State Department will release its definitive position on Kosovo in the near future. My guess is that it will fall short of independence but will include substantial autonomy. This will be good for Macedonia.

An independent Kosovo will cause ripples from Macedonia and Bosnia to the Crimea and Georgia. If they endorse independence for Kosovo, watch for all hell to break loose and look forward to pressure from Washington for the partition of Russia via the route of liberation of ethnic groups starting with the Chechens, the Tartars etc.

Remember, "just because you are paranoid, does not mean that people aren't following you."


Institute for War and Peace Reporting:

"Serbia Hones Negotiating Position"

Politicians in Serbia are straining to persuade the world not to grant the Kosovo Albanians statehood.

By Vesna Bjekic in Belgrade (BCR No 556, 18-May-05)

While the leadership of Serbia and Montenegro prepares its platform for negotiations on Kosovo's future status, it is clear now that Belgrade is ready to accept any solution that does not involve international recognition of Kosovo's independence.

A meeting of the leaders of Serbia and Montenegro on developing a strategy on Kosovo, scheduled to take place behind closed doors in Belgrade on May 18, will be the fifth such meeting in two months.

However, details about Serbia's strategy will not be made public until the autumn, when the negotiations are expected to begin.

After several years in which the various political blocs have proposed a number of different options, the leadership now stands united around the platform that Kosovo's independence would contravene international norms on the inviolability of state borders.

They also maintain it would provoke instability in the region as well as in Serbia.

While that constitutes the official position, officials privately admit they will accept almost any solution except independence as that would constitute political suicide for the leadership as well as radicalising the public and distancing Serbia permanently from Europe.

Although Serbia is not willing to take up arms over the territory and has no interest in refusing cooperation with the international community, that does not mean it will ever voluntarily endorse recognition of Kosovo. As a result, such a solution can be enforced only from outside.

CLOSING RANKS IN PREPARATION FOR TALKS

Until March this year, official Belgrade repeatedly released dissonant messages on Kosovo, both to the Kosovo Serbs and to the international community. One bloc urged the Serbs to vote in last autumn's parliamentary elections in Kosovo, for example, while another urged the opposite.

Such disputes were abandoned this March, after the announcement that negotiations on the final status of Kosovo might begin as early as the second half of this year.

The first meeting of the state leadership on Kosovo took place on March 14 behind closed doors. The public announcement that followed stated an agreement had emerged on the formula "more than autonomy, less than independence". Before the March meeting, Serbia's deputy premier Miroljub Labus commented, "It is good that Belgrade finally managed to speak out with one voice."

The leadership has held regular meetings since then, bringing together Svetozar Marovic, President of the State Union, Boris Tadic, President of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica, Prime Minister of Serbia, Vuk Draskovic, state union foreign minister and Nebojsa Covic, president of the government's Coordination Center for Kosovo and Metohija.

Covic revealed some details of the March meeting to a press conference of his Social Democratic Party, when he said they had agreed a team of consultants should come up with "a draft document, containing tactical moves by the government" by the end of March.

Covic added that this draft document would be based on the principles of UN Security Council Resolution 1244 on Kosovo and on the government of Serbia's own recent Plan for Kosovo, among others. Covic said this coordinated approach would mean the end of individual actions and personal initiatives.

Significantly, the establishment of this joint position was first disclosed by Labus and Covic, who have advocated very different positions on Kosovo in the past. Last November, Labus suggested Belgrade should request the organisation of an international conference on Kosovo's status, to be held this November.

He said Serbia should put forward a plan for an autonomous status for Kosovo and that if Albanians then rejected it, Kosovo should be divided.

Covic, on the other hand, last December published a book, On a Difficult Road, that was forwarded by the well-known nationalist writer, Dobrica Cosic. In it, he proposed a united Kosovo, comprising two entities.

WHAT SERBIA CAN OFFER

Over the last month, the Serbian leadership has clarified that it is open to all options as long as they do not include independence.

In an interview with the daily Vecernje Novosti on May 7, for example, Draskovic suggested the “South Tyrol model” might be applied to Kosovo, referring to the autonomy enjoyed by this German-speaking region in northern Italy. This model, he said, embodied "the principle of virtual sovereignty… with an obligation of positive discrimination towards the Italian minority….Such solution could be applied in Kosmet".

Draskovic said Serbian-Albanian talks would only yield results if "an agreement is achieved from the Serbian side to restrain from using the word 'sovereignty' and from the Albanian side on use of the word 'independence'. Future status must be unconventional and extraordinary because we have here an extraordinary situation".

The foreign minister added, "We seek no sovereignty over the territories in Kosovo inhabited by Albanians…We just want to protect our people and cultural and historical monuments. What is the exact word for this solution? It is open for discussion. What we want is full protection of the Serbian people and protection of the present borders with Macedonia and Albania."

Draskovic denied that the international community was ready to give Kosovo independence, adding that such independence could not be implemented easily.

"The UN Charter does not allow for the establishment of sovereign states through the application of force," he said. "Without the consent of Serbia, a declaration of independence for Kosovo would constitute an act of violence."

Serbia's prime minister, Vojislav Kostunica, has also suggested that unconventional, atypical solutions are possible for Kosovo, such as the solution provided for Bosnia and Hercegovina, where separate entities have been established. Another example he mentioned was Macedonia, where the conflict between Albanians and Macedonians in 2001 ended with the Ohrid Agreement, granting decentralisation and broader rights to the Albanian minority.

At a meeting of his Democratic Party of Serbia held on May 14, Kostunica said Serbia would oppose both conditional and unconditional independence for Kosovo and would strive instead for a solution based on broad autonomy in Serbia, guaranteed by the international community.

Serbian president Boris Tadic, emphasising that the legitimate rights of both Kosovo Albanians and Serbs must be accommodated, also warned against the idea that independence was the simple solution for Kosovo.

"An independent Kosovo with a separate seat at the UN or its own army could cause instability and such a solution is not possible," he said. "But it is also not possible to go back to the old times of [Slobodan] Milosevic. We must find a realistic and peaceful solution between these two extremes."

Some of the solutions put forward in recent years by Serbian intellectuals have also entered the arena of public discussion.

To recall two on them, in 1996, Aleksandar Despic, then president of the influential Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, SANU, suggested drawing a dividing line between Serbs and Albanians in Kosovo, with extra-territorial provisions for Serbian monasteries along the lines of the autonomy enjoyed by the monasteries of Mouth Athos in Greece.

In 1998, before the armed conflict erupted in Kosovo, Dusan Batakovic, now ambassador in Greece and counsellor to President Boris TadiƧ, suggested the establishment of cantons, so both peoples could have their own administrations.

KEY ARGUMENTS AGAINST INDEPENDENCE

One of the main arguments that Serbia's leaders put forward when opposing independence for Kosovo is that Serbian sovereignty over Kosovo is internationally recognised, regulated by UN Resolution 1244,and that there is, therefore, no reason to surrender this territory.

As Misa Djurkovic, an adviser to Kostunica, told IWPR, "It must be clear that no state will give up a part of its own territory just like that. Citizens want their state to observe international law."

He added, "Independence for Kosovo would constitute not only a violation of the UN Charter, but of international order. In addition, Kosovo is not party to the Badinter criteria [drawn up during the conflict in former Yugoslavia to regulate the conditions by which the former republics might obtain international recognition] and it is clear Kosovo was not an independent entity in the former federal Yugoslavia and cannot claim independence on these grounds."

Serbia's next argument against independence is that it would provoke instability both in the region and in Serbia itself.

"Any violent or forced modification of internationally recognised borders might endanger the stability we have achieved," said Djurkovic on May 14, at the Democratic Party of Serbia meeting presided over by Kostunica.

At a press conference on May 12, after a meeting with the Contact Group, Nebojsa Covic, president of the Coordination Centre for Kosovo and Metohija, put the same case even more forcefully.

"An independent Kosovo … will be a constant source of possible conflicts," he said. "We will not accept any forced solution for the status of Kosovo. We do not want to preclude a possibility of Kosovo being returned to Serbia some day, through our efforts or the efforts of some other party."

Other Serbian officials warn of a so-called domino effect, in which Kosovo's independence would endanger the security of other neighbouring states such as Macedonia, which has a large Albanian community. They also mention its potential impact on Bosnia, where the Serb entity, Republika Srpska, could demand the same treatment as the Albanians in Kosovo and request independence.

As Cedomir Antic, adviser to Miroljub Labus, put it, "If Kosovo becomes independent, and that is what I personally wish for, why cannot Republika Srpska be independent also?"

Finally, Serbian officials point to the added danger of radicalising the political situation in Serbia itself.

Misa Djurkovic, Kostunica's counsellor, told IWPR that a decision to grant Kosovo its independence would radicalise the Serbian political scene to a degree that would be difficult to control.

"Double standards, resulting in different interpretations of the same problems, and the lack of a clear strategy and principles on which the solutions are based, all provide grounds for radical forces to say 'the world is still against us'," he said.

"And when Albanian frustration is cited as an argument for independence of Kosovo, I want to reply that there is a lot of frustration among people in Serbia as well."

The hard-line nationalist Serbian Radical Party is, indeed, already scenting an opportunity to capitalise on public fears over Kosovo's future. Aleksandar Vucic, the party's general secretary, on May 5 said the Kosovo situation was "growing more difficult and more unfavourable for the Serbian people and government bodies are doing nothing about it.

"The government must not play around with Kosovo and Metohija. This is state territory. They must insist on this fact and not negotiate behind closed doors on how to facilitate the creation of an independent Kosovo."

According to Djurkovic, western analysts are mistaken in anticipating any significant shift among either the Serbian public or their parties over Kosovo.

"The expectations of Western lobbyists that a shift of consciousness in Serbia will lead to a position that Kosovo should be given up are delusions," he said. "Those who reckon Serbia should enter negotiations and accept a trade-off, such as 'If you give up on this one, you will be rewarded with this or that', are making a mistake. We will not play this game. This government has no mandate from the people to do so."

FEARS OF POLITICAL SUICIDE

Apart from their publicly stated principles for rejecting Kosovo's independence, another factor is that the leadership knows it would mean their own political suicide.

In an interview with the daily Blic, for the April 30 – May 2 edition, President Tadic admitted this, "If the province becomes independent, all the government bodies, including the President of the Republic, will have to reconsider their functions."

This view is confirmed by research published on May 11 by the Belgrade Centre for Marketing Research. Asked whether government officials should be allowed to call for the separation of Kosovo, 90.2 per cent of respondents said "no" and only 1.2 per cent "yes".

Cedomir Antic, Labus's adviser, says Serbia's political parties have little room for manoeuvre on the subject of Kosovo. "On the one hand, the international community wants full independence for Kosovo and is aware that the return of the province to Serbia is not possible," he told IWPR.

"On the other, we have the public, which in 2003 [in a survey] answered with 62 per cent saying Kosovo and Metohija was lost for good, while 70 per cent said this fact should never be acknowledged.”

Antic added, "This is typical of societies in transition - a willingness to accept virtual reality. Unfortunately, for certain reasons major forces and political elites support this virtual reality for their own benefit."

Antic said such an approach in the long run was "highly damaging for Serbia, because Kosovo and Metohija already resembles a state, rather more than Serbia does."

Antic concluded by criticising both Kostunica and Tadic for what he called their weakness and unwillingness to develop realistic, long-term policies on Kosovo.

Dusan Janjic, director of the Forum for Interethnic Relations in Belgrade, agreed that Serbs tend to accept a "virtual reality" when it comes to Kosovo. "All three perceptions [of Serbs and Albanians and international community] are virtual," he said. "Although they know the reality, they do not know what to do with it, except to keep running round in circles."

AVOIDING CONFRONTATION WITH THE WORLD

Although Serbia cannot afford to surrender Kosovo, the leadership is not devoid of political realism when it comes to appreciating the international environment. According to Djurkovic, Serbia knows the Serbs have been almost expelled from Kosovo.

"This is a fact but we still do not want to accept a fait accompli," he said. "We want to recall to attention that Europe and the western world are based on strict observation of norms and international agreements."

Asked what would happen if Kosovo's independence was declared against Belgrade's will, or the admission of Serbia and Montenegro to the European Union was made conditional on acceptance of independence for Kosovo, Djurkovic answered, "If they apply force, which is contrary to their basic principles, they can do so. Serbia is in no position to prevent the independence of Kosovo; it cannot send in troops, nor is willing to do so."

But he added, "Serbia will not accept such an act and will insist on its rights through diplomatic channels. We do not want confrontation with the international community. All we can do is appeal to the international community to observe its own principles."

Some government advisers, such Djurkovic, and several in Tadic's cabinet, believe Brussels will not make Kosovo's independence a condition for admission to the EU anyway. One source from Tadic's office said, "Negotiations [over Kosovo] will not unfold under the pressure of blackmail. The process pertaining to Kosovo is complex and the international community wants a consensus among the parties.Blackmail could only damage the European idea in Serbia."

Djurkovic also believes Europe is not united on Kosovo. "In talks with officials behind closed doors, I get the impression nobody really wants independence for Kosovo," he said.

"Wherever the borders are drawn, huge problems will remain, such as economic backwardness, demographic expansion, criminality...and these problems flow across borders…The European future of this region is forcing us to cooperate. The borders will be a minor issue."

Covic says he also has an impression that members of the Contact Group do not have a united front on Kosovo and "display evident differences".

Antic agrees. "Serbia has just enough of international support to prevent Kosovo and Metohija from ever gaining formal independence," he said. Antic says Russia will not vote for it in the UN Security Council because of its own problems in Chechnya, while China will also oppose it.

As the negotiations loom ahead, Serbia's politicians are aware that there can never be a return to the past. But they still hope they can avoid international recognition of Kosovo's independence.

This is the line that they cannot and will not cross.

Vesna Bjekic is an IWPR contributor and BIRN Serbia associate editor. BIRN is a localised IWPR Balkans project

Talk is cheap, because supply esceeds demand!

This is a great letter to a Democrat Congressman, John Conyers which can be usedas a model to write your representative. I think that it is important for them to know the truth while they are betraying the values that they hold dear. When it comes time "for the last to be first and the first to be last," then these politicians will need information to justify their switch of allegiance.

I have heard Conyers discuss the need to address reparations for slavery for Aftrican Americans. I do not doubt that he is a sincere person, but there are more Greek votes in his district that Macedonian votes.

We know the motto of all politicians ... "money talks ... bullshit walks."


Letter to Congressman John Conyers by Dr. Michael Seraphinoff

Macedonian people in northern Greece today still suffer from harsh racist treatment at the hands of their Greek neighbors. Groups such as Human Rights Watch have documented the suppression of their language, culture and identity there. Institutionalized racism has denied Macedonians the public use of their language and even the right to identify themselves with their traditional name going back many hundreds of years. The Greek government has also denied the right of return of the thousands of Macedonians forced into exile during past wars, a process which continues today due to on-going suppression of their language, culture and identity in Greece. I am certain that your staff will have no trouble finding the documentation of this gathered by human rights groups over the years in even the most cursory of internet web searches.

Scott Taylor on Macedonian -Albanian Conflict - Interview Oct 2003

This is an old interview, but a must read!

balkanalysis.com - The Security Situation: Interview with Scott Taylor

CD: On the other side, what can you tell us about the capabilities of the Macedonian military, police and intelligence-gathering units since the government was changed a year ago? Have you witnessed any changes, for better or for worse?

ST: There is no question that the Macedonian police force in particular has undergone quite a transformation, from a lot of well-intentioned but ill disciplined "volunteers" to a much more professional structure, but there is still a lot of room for improvement.

Counter insurgency ops are the most daunting for any security force, and the key to success has to be good intelligence networks. In this area, I think that the Macedonians remain seriously hampered. There is little formal cooperation with the Serbs, even though they share a mutual threat, and internally there remains a lot of mistrust as to the loyalty of several senior ranking Albanian officials within the intelligence branch. This is not a healthy situation given the current level of instability.

Scott Taylor on Macedonian - Albanian Conflict

I have not read this book, but Scott Taylor is an excellent writer and a keen observer of propaganda. You can search inside this book at Amazon.com to give you am insight of what it is about. Very detailed.

Amazon.com: Books: Diary of an Uncivil War: The Violent Aftermath of the Kosovo Conflict

SEE Portal - Homepage / News / News:Macedonia - Round-Table Discussion on Differences Between Macedonia and Greece

"One World Net" is one of the many US/EU sponsored organisations in Eastern Europe to promote their values. IWPR is also one of these pseudo-human rights groups that promotes US/EU interests. It disturbs me that Macedonian politicians appear to jump when these posers snap their fingers. One of these days, I will put together a list. However, having said all that, Macedonians seem to standing firm..

SEE Portal - Homepage / News / News:Macedonia - Round-Table Discussion on Differences Between Macedonia and Greece

Elena Simonoska
18 May 2005

The Institute for War and Peace Reporting and the Balkan Research Net organized a round-table discussion yesterday in Skopje, to discuss the difference on the name of the country between Macedonia and Greece.

How far has Macedonia gone in the dispute on the name? Will it have to concede some ground? What would be the impact of this issue on the European integration of the country? Why aren’t the details on the dispute presented to the public? These were the key issues discussed at yesterday discussions.

Emil Kirjaz, State Secretary with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Aleksandar Dimitrov, former Minister of Foreign Affairs; Saso Klekovski from the Macedonia Centre for International Cooperation; Borjan Jovanovski, a reporter; and Iso Rusi, Editor-in-Chief of “Loby” weekly, participated in the discussion.

Aleksandar Dimitrov, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, emphasized that the Government’s approach and policies on the name issue is both sterile and frigid, having in mind that it sticks to the two-names formula which has been outdated. He added that the way out is in a completely open non-partisan discussion of the essential issues related to Macedonia.

According to Borjan Jovanovski, the latest Greek initiative endangers the Macedonian position on the name. The very fact that EU so much as discussed the name-dispute is a victory for Greece and reiterate the passivity of Macedonian diplomacy.

Saso Klekovski believes that the goal of the propaganda surrounding this dispute is to convince the citizens of Macedonia that the final outcome does not depend on their wishes, which couldn’t be farther removed from the truth. He concluded that no other issue has as large a support (70 percent in the latest polls) as the name issue, especially compared to the ratings of leading political figures, which don’t exceed eight percent support.

UN in Kosovo Produces Problems Not Solutions


Below is a nonsense statement from the UN administration in Kosovo which states that "the demarcation of the border with Macedonia need not wait until Kosova's final status is resolved" but "that UNMIK does not have a mandate to decide on demarcation lines.

They have said just enough to get all sides upset, but no suggestion on how to solve the problem. Pathetic!


UNMIK CORRECTS POSITION ON DEMARCATION OF KOSOVAR-MACEDONIAN BORDER

The UN civilian administration in Kosova (UNMIK) said on 16 May that the demarcation of the border with Macedonia need not wait until Kosova's final status is resolved, RFE/RL's Macedonian subunit reported. He added, however, that UNMIK does not have a mandate to decide on demarcation lines, which is the prerogative of states. The spokesman's remarks were aimed at correcting a recent statement by one of his colleagues, who said that the border cannot be demarcated before Kosova's final status is decided because neither UNMIK nor the current Kosovar institutions have a mandate to deal with demarcation (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 2 February and 13 and 16 May 2005). UB

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

"Hellenism Is Racism" - a good first draft

I googled "Hellenism is Racism" and found one link, see below. This is a good first draft and I hope that after we are through, the Internet will be ful of such examples?

Hellenism and its Intended Objectives

Hellenism as a national policy of the Greek state, aimed at strengthening the socio- cultural ethnogenesis among the Greeks, is an acceptable form of unifying theme. As a rallying point for Greek culture, its basic premise rests on the assumption that Greeks share the same language, same religion and same traditions. Greek religion, Greek language and Greek nationality are the three fundamental fluid components whose constructs are inextricably interwoven into a single entity - the Greek ethnos. This "unifying" thought is highly promoted by the Greek government, widely practised by the clergy, and supposedly, readily accepted by the masses.

Based on Greek government's assertions that in Greece there are no ethnic minorities, one ought to ask the following question:

Assuming that Greece is homogeneous country, one populated by Greeks only, may we inquire as to how was this apparent "purity" achieved? Was this "purity" accomplished through the national policy of Hellenization? And lastly, was this process of Hellenization voluntary one, or was it painfully forceful one. Did Greeks ever asked the Macedonian population if they wanted to forgo their own traditions? To stop using their mother's tongue? Or to change their Macedonian church services with an alien Greek one? Did they ever consider if these Macedonians wanted to remain at their own cities and villages?

The truth is that the process of Hellenization practised in Aegean Macedonia, was a national Greek policy aimed at forcefully changing the Macedonian population into Greeks. It was a policy aimed at eradicating anything Macedonian. It was a policy based on racism then, and it is a policy based on racism today. Hellenism is racism, pure and simple.

To what extent has Hellenism being carried out in Macedonia and what implications did it have on Macedonian political/religious awakening? Please read the following passage lifted from Ferdinand Scevill's book "History of the Balkans", p.303- 304.

"....Another charge commonly flung at the clergy concerns the policy of Hellenization. The patriarch and the members of his immediate circles were Greeks, passionately Greek, and did not scruple to use their immense power to further the Greek national cause at the expense of their Slavic and Romanian fellow-rayahs.

Not only were the prelacies reserved exclusively for Greeks, but systematic warfare was made upon all languages other than Greek in the hope of suppressing their use within the organisation. Not content with gradually eliminating the Slav languages from the religious service, the Greek rulers persecuted Slav seminaries and libraries by closing the former and scattering and even ruthlessly applying the torch to the later."

"Hellenism Is Racism" - Pathetic Whine From Greek American Lobby



It is important to read the full scope of the "Greek position" on Macedonia and Macedonians. When I have time, I would like to produce a point by point rebuttal for those American politicians who would like some "amo" to resist "Hellenic racism", because, lets face it , as practiced in modern times, "Hellenism Is Racism"




Hellenic News of America



The State Department’s reversal of policy on November 4, 2004 by the recognition of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as the "Republic of Macedonia" was an act of disgraceful proportions as it relates to our staunch ally and supporter in the Balkans, Greece. This act is harmful to U.S. interests in the Balkans.



We call on President Bush to reconsider this misinformed and ill-advised policy and to tell the State Department to withdraw recognition of FYROM as Macedonia as in the best interests of the United States.



We call on President Bush to inform FYROM to continue in good faith its diplomatic dialogue with Greece on the name issue under UN auspices.



The State Department stated that this decision was made with the purpose of providing "stability" in "Macedonia," regarding the November 7, 2004 referendum in FYROM on the law giving the ethnic Albanian minority greater local autonomy. We disagree strongly with State’s position. On the contrary, recognition does not help to facilitate stability in the region.



Consideration needed to be given to the sensitivities by this decision and how it would potentially impact all of FYROM’s neighbors, especially Greece.



Yet, State Department Spokesman, Richard Boucher, during his press briefing on November 5, 2004 stated that he wasn’t aware of any consultations by the U.S. with FYROM’s neighbors prior to recognition.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Opend Letter to Carl Bildt

Dear Mr. Bildt,

By definition, since Greece is a member of both Nato and the European Union, Greece's values regarding minority rights in general, and the rights of ethnic Macedonians in particular, are Nato and EU values.

By definition, if any former communist country adopted the Greek position on the rights of minorities, they would have no problem being admitted into Nato and the EU.

I am sure you will agree with me. Thank you.

Bildt Comments: Macedonia Moving

Saturday, March 12, 2005
Macedonia Moving

It might not be the biggest global story at the moment, but the first round of the local elections in Macedonia this Sunday are not without interest.

... After heavy political intervention by the EU and the US, a political deal was brokered in Ohrid, and the country set on a new path with greater rights for its Albanian minority, consisting of somewhat more than a fifth of the total population.

... But much more needs to be done, and that was the subject of the meeting. And at the centre of the discussions were the prospect for closer relations to, eventually leading to membership of, the European Union. That is seen as the safest way to both peace and prosperity for the region.

The silent success of the Ohrid Agreement has showed the peace possibilities - and the economic integration will over time show the prosperity potential.

Federal Union of European Nationalities

Rainbow-Vinozhito is one of the most important organisations promoting the Macedonian cause. Its membership in FUEN and the European Free Alliance (EFA) in the European Parliament is making it impossible for the Greek government to deny the existence of minorities in Greece.

CONTACT INFORMATION

RAINBOW - VINOZHITO

STEPHANOU DRAGOUMI 11
PO BOX 51
53100 FLORINA
GREECE

Tel - Fax: ++ 23850 46548
Tel: ++ 23850 46548

E-mail: vinozito@otenet.gr or rainbow@florina.org

Website: www.florina.org

Account Number for Donations:

ALPHA BANK FLORINA BRANCH (855)
ACC/ NO 855002310009316
SWIFT CODE: CRBAGRAAXXX


FUEN GENERAL ENGLISH

Objective

According to its statutes, the Federal Union of European Nationalities serves the ethnic groups in Europe and pursues the goal of preserving their national identity, their language, culture and the history of national minorities.

This objective is pursued only by peaceful means. It decisively takes a stand against separatism and the violent moving of national borders, and works towards a neighbourly, peaceful coexistence of majority and minority in one state or region. FUEN has now been convinced since 1949 that a minority can only find a harmonious relationship with the majority population on the basis of free democratic and constitutional principles in peaceful and constructive dialogue through the negotiation of political solutions.

This is why the FUEN supports all state activities aimed at peaceful re-conciliation of interests and democratic minority policy. In its work, it attempts to convince European parliaments and governments that part of the peaceful development of Europe involves taking account of the interests national minorities and ethnic groups are entitled to in preserving their original identity and helping them to preserve their traditional culture. This includes the international standards of minority protection. FUEN first presented the main principles for European minority rights in 1967 which were revised and supplemented in 1985.

From 1991, FUEN developed these principles further into a draft for a convention on the basic rights of European ethnic groups, and submitted its proposals to the international endeavours of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), the UN, the Council of Europe and the European Parliament. Of course, FUEN supports all endeavours of the Council of Europe in this respect. It places great hope in the new mechanisms taking effect this year, in the European Charter on Regional and Minority Languages and in the Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, and hopes that these will be accordingly ratified by all member states of the Council of Europe and implemented in the sense the documents lay down.

Consultative status

In recognition of its efforts towards attaining protection for European minorities, the FUEN obtained consultative status to the Council of Europe in 1989 and a consultative status to the United Nations (UN) in 1995. It is also represented atOSCE (the former CSCE) conferences concerning national minorities and ethnic groups.