The Macedonian Tendency: April 2007

Monday, April 30, 2007

Ted Kotcheff: Listen Up!

Robert Lantos, Ted Kotcheff, Laifun Chung (Kotcheff's wife) 1980

By David Edenden:

I think that you should make a movie of the
Miss Stone Affair. It would be interesting in today's paranoid anti-Muslim culture since we have "terrorist Christians" battling a lawful Muslim government. Could put the "war on terror" on its head.

Jane Fonda (Dick and Jane remember?) could play Miss Stone. Jane is a "born again Christian" but also an anti-imperialist. Pitch: What right does she, as an American have to convert Orthodox Macedonian Christians to Protestant Christian. Get Antonio Banderas to play Yane Sandaski. He looks like my cousin, therefore, he looks Macedonian!
Christian History Corner: The Day the Ransoming Began
A gripping new book details the first American missionary hostage crisis,
over 100 years ago. By Chris Armstrong | posted 05/23/2003

n September 3, 1901, Macedonian guerillas captured an American missionary named Ellen Stone and her traveling companions and dragged them into the mountains of their Turkish-controlled Balkan province. From the moment during the abduction when the revolutionaries brutally killed a Muslim trader who wandered onto the scene, things looked bad for Miss Stone and her party.
This was the first time America found itself facing the capture and holding for ransom of an American missionary on foreign soil. It was the first time, but—as we are reminded by Martin and Gracia Burnham's tragic story—not the last, that American missionaries would pay the price of citizenship in a superpower. For it was not the gospel she brought but the perceived power and wealth of her nation that made Ellen a target.
We see this, and much else, with greater clarity in the account of the "Miss Stone Affair" recently published by Pulitzer prize-winning author Teresa Carpenter.
Carpenter's book, The Miss Stone Affair: America's First Modern Hostage Crisis (Simon & Schuster, 2003), tells how Stone, a Massachusetts-born descendent of Miles Standish who had dedicated her life to teaching the Bible to young women at schools in the Balkans, found herself caught up on that brisk fall day in 1901 in the region's political unrest.
Like the many other American missionaries who would experience a similar captivity, Stone was victimized by insurgents who believed the injustices they had faced justified using human lives as negotiating chits. And in becoming one of those chits, Stone found that what had before seemed a lonely pursuit of a divine calling had now brought her into the international spotlight.

Joana Popovska Your Going To Kiev!

Actress Joana Popovska wins prestigious award at Kiev festival
Makfax vesnik: "

Bitola /30/04/ 16:56

The actress of the Bitola Theatre, Joana Popovska, won the award for best female actress at the Kiev Theatre Festival 'Storm' for her role in the monodrama 'Chairs'.

Popovska won the prestigious award in competition of 13 top actresses from Moldova, Poland, Armenia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Russia.

Eugene Ionescu's 'Chairs' was staged in June 2006 in the Bitola Theatre by the Serbian director Ljuba Miloshevic.

This is the second international prize Popovska won for the role in Chairs, after winning the best actress award at the festival in Korca, Albania.

'I have provided the funds for the trip to Ukraine by myself with assistance of sponsors, because the Bitola Theatre failed to give me any support, despite the official invitation from Kiev Theatre', said Joana Popovska."

Joana Popovska Your Going To Kiev!

Actress Joana Popovska wins prestigious award at Kiev festival
Makfax vesnik: "

Bitola /30/04/ 16:56

The actress of the Bitola Theatre, Joana Popovska, won the award for best female actress at the Kiev Theatre Festival 'Storm' for her role in the monodrama 'Chairs'.

Popovska won the prestigious award in competition of 13 top actresses from Moldova, Poland, Armenia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Russia.

Eugene Ionescu's 'Chairs' was staged in June 2006 in the Bitola Theatre by the Serbian director Ljuba Miloshevic.

This is the second international prize Popovska won for the role in Chairs, after winning the best actress award at the festival in Korca, Albania.

'I have provided the funds for the trip to Ukraine by myself with assistance of sponsors, because the Bitola Theatre failed to give me any support, despite the official invitation from Kiev Theatre', said Joana Popovska."

This Will Not Protect Greece From Macedonia!

US anti-missile shield might be deployed in Greece too
Makfax vesnik: "

Athens /30/04/ 17:26

The possibility of deployment of parts of the anti-missile defence shield proposed by Washington in Greece is not ruled out, the Greek daily Eleftherotypia cited Foreign Ministry's announcement as saying.

The press release says that 'the general threats and challenges impose the need of covering parts of Greece with the US's anti-missile defence shield'."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

"Cat Ballou" And The Balkans!

My suggestion for US/EU politicians and journalists before they go the Balkans to promote peace, is to rent the movie "Cat Ballou" ( starring Jane Fonda and Lee Marvin.

Cat Ballou (Jane Fonda): Kid Shaleen, your eyes! They are red ... bloodshot ... disgusting!

Kid Shaleen (Lee Marvin): You should see how they look from my side!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Book on the Jewish Community of "Monastir"

It Takes a Village -
Alana Newhouse

I toyed with the idea of writing a book on Monastir myself, but the task seemed daunting: Given the political chaos that has defined the region for the last century, providing the reader with a clear historical context would be a formidable challenge for a journalist; government records were sure to be near-inscrutable, and what individual testimony one could garner would likely come from disparate, far-flung sources. I was deterred but, thankfully, Mark Cohen, a journalist from California with the same idea, was not. His newly-released “Last Century of a Sephardic Community: The Jews of Monastir, 1839-1943,” published by the Foundation for the Advancement of Sephardic Studies and Culture, is an important addition to the study of Sephardic Jews and an essential building block in what I hope is the burgeoning field of Balkan Jewish studies.

The book is focused on the period between 1839 and 1943, the last years of a Jewish community ensconced in the Ottoman village since the Spanish Inquisition. Cohen is at his most evocative in his depiction of Jewish life, and it is in these details that the frequent stiffness of his prose fades away. We learn how the 3,000 Monastirlis in the mid-1800s chose to live in a walled, self-contained residential district called a mahalle, which circled a great courtyard. Since virtually no one had indoor kitchens, the courtyard, which featured communal ovens in which the women would cook, served as “a house extension and host to domestic life.”

Yet this closeness came at a price. “With everyone exposed to the eyes and judgments of their neighbors, people were sure to conform to social norms,” including regular synagogue attendance and holiday observance. The Jewish quarter even had berurei averot, wardens who patrolled the area to suppress religious transgressions.

1943: Macedonians and Albanians Join to Save Jews!

A Night Full Of Maazel -, | Fri. Feb 23, 2007

"Few among the hundreds of guests in the room knew the saga of the Albanian peoples’ rescue not only of their own Jewish neighbors and citizens but also of all the Jews who managed to make it to their country. As Michael Salberg, the ADL’s director of international affairs, reported: “In September 1943, the Orthodox priests of Struga in Macedonia came to Mefail Biçaku asking for his help in saving Jews from the Germans. Seventeen-year-old Njazi was given the family’s old Italian carbine and told not to lose sight of his charges who stayed in the village during the winter.” Salberg described how the Biçakus shared their food with 26 people, and how his wife had washed their clothes…. The whole region knew that Mefail was hiding Jews, but “because of the complex rules of behavior in the mountains,” and the family’s reputation, no one betrayed him nor his charges. By the end of 1944, the Jews returned to Struga, with some making their way to Argentina and most landing in Israel."

Does Macedonia Have A Plan "B" Re: Nato

By David Edenden:

I am a Nato skeptic. What happens if Greece uses its veto and Macedonia is not, and Croatia and Albania, are included in the Nato expansion in April 2008.
I will tell you what will happen! It will embolden Albanian separatists to go for partition of Macedonia since Nato will have shown it's contempt for the Macedonian people and their identity. Does the Macedonian government have a plan "B".

My suggestion: Hire Putin as an adviser. He will be out of a job after the March 2008 Russian Presidential elections and could use the extra cash! It could give Macedonia room to maneuver!

Macedonia likely to get invitation for NATO membership in April 2008
Makfax vesnik:

Berlin/Skopje /27/03/ 15:26

Macedonia, along with Albania and Croatia, is most likely to receive invitation for membership in NATO in April 2008 at the Alliance's Summit in Bucharest.

Radio Deutsche Welle reported this from the informal summit of the NATO Ministers in Oslo.

NATO urged all candidate-countries to push ahead with the internal reforms and pledged for making the decision at the next year's Summit.

Russia's resistance on further enlargement of NATO cannot halt this process, NATO spokesman James Appathurai said after the meeting.

We see the enlargement not only as a process but as a principle, the spokesman said, explaining that all sovereign countries have a right to make decision on their defense."

Pass the Piperka

By David Edenden: This is a great idea. Macedonians supporting Macedonian owned businesses. someone should post this to their Macedonian Facebook sites. Pass it on.

There's more to Pass the Piperka than just the game.
Contact Support-Macedonian Connection

Pass the Piperka is about Macedonians helping Macedonians, any way they can. Whether it's by supporting a florist or a mechanic, donating to a Macedonian charity, or helping coach a Macedonian soccer team, it's about passing it on.

Day after day, year after year, if we continue to Pass the Piperka, our Macedonian traditions and our Macedonian culture will carry on forever. If you feel strongly about your Macedonian roots and heritage, do your part to keep it going!

The next time you're buying flowers, going for a nice dinner, or renovating your home, think of a Macedonian business or service. And if you have some extra money that you can spare, there's always a Macedonian church or group that could put a donation to good use. If you happen to have extra time in your day or on your weekends, try and volunteer some of your time to a Macedonian sports team or dancing group in your area. The churches always need folks to sell coffee on Sundays as well!

Today you're helping out a Macedonian that asks for your support, tomorrow it may be you that needs a hand. Let's all help each other grow and prosper, continue the Macedonian heritage, and always remember to stay CONNECTED!

Pass the Piperka

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Check Out the UMD Site For Project funding!

Macedonians can receive funds to promote Macedonia
United Macedonian Diaspora -
Wednesday, 25 April 2007

The United Macedonian Diaspora informs our members and other Macedonians that Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia and its Diaspora department have invited all Macedonians worldwide to apply for grants from the Macedonian government in realization for any Macedonian related projects. The ministry intends to fund several projects that will promote the Macedonian identity, culture and tradition, in efforts to promote the Republic of Macedonia. At the same time, these projects should help strengthen the tie between the Macedonians outside the Republic of Macedonia and Macedonia.

Eligible for these grants are Macedonians that have immigrated in foreign countries, the Macedonian minorities in the neighboring countries, the Macedonians that are temporary in a foreign country, and any other ethnic Macedonians that may or may not have a Macedonian citizenship. All applications must be received by May 31st 2007, and funds will not be distributed until March 2008. The Ministry intends to use this method for long term collaboration and realize projects in the 2008-2010 timeframe. The list of selected projects will be available in the ministry of foreign affairs at

Several p"

Check Out the UMD Site For Project funding!

Macedonians can receive funds to promote Macedonia
United Macedonian Diaspora -
Wednesday, 25 April 2007

The United Macedonian Diaspora informs our members and other Macedonians that Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia and its Diaspora department have invited all Macedonians worldwide to apply for grants from the Macedonian government in realization for any Macedonian related projects. The ministry intends to fund several projects that will promote the Macedonian identity, culture and tradition, in efforts to promote the Republic of Macedonia. At the same time, these projects should help strengthen the tie between the Macedonians outside the Republic of Macedonia and Macedonia.

Eligible for these grants are Macedonians that have immigrated in foreign countries, the Macedonian minorities in the neighboring countries, the Macedonians that are temporary in a foreign country, and any other ethnic Macedonians that may or may not have a Macedonian citizenship. All applications must be received by May 31st 2007, and funds will not be distributed until March 2008. The Ministry intends to use this method for long term collaboration and realize projects in the 2008-2010 timeframe. The list of selected projects will be available in the ministry of foreign affairs at

Several p"

Rainbow, Omo-Ilinden "Nagosti" in the US

The Voice of America saw fit to report on the visit to the US of the Macedonian political leaders in Greece and Bulgaria. If it is good enough for the VOA why not the RFE, IWPR, ICG, BIRN, SEE Times, and all the other pseudo human rights groups trawling the Balkans. they should be ashamed!

Macedonian parties from Greece and Bulgaria visit US
Makfax vesnik

Washington /26/04/ 11:16

Representatives of political parties of Macedonians in Greece and Bulgaria kicked off a visit to the United States, Voice of America's Macedonian news said.

The visit was organized by the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD). Pavle Vaskopulos, the leader of Rainbow - political party of ethnic Macedonians in Greece, and Stojko Stojkov, the co-president of OMO Ilinden-Pirin from Bulgaria, will discuss with the American interlocutors about the treatment of Macedonians minority in Greece and Bulgaria.

Vaskopulos and Stojkov say they want to update the representatives of the international organizations and governments about the real situation of Macedonian minority in Greece and Bulgaria. They stressed that the US government pledged solidarity with the grievances of the Macedonian minority in these two countries - both members of the European Union.

'As regards the human rights of minority groups, I am ready to say that there is a deficit of democracy in Greece although it is European country. In some way, there is a competition between Macedonians in Greece and in Bulgaria - which of them is in worse situation when it comes to human rights of minorities,' Vaskopulos said.

Stojko Stojkov, the co-president of OMO Ilinden- PIRIN,"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Buy a Bottle of Macedonian Wine

Good exposure for the Macedonian wine industry and Macedonia in general from a leading American business magazine. Someone in Macedonia must be doing a good job in promoting Macedonian business!

Make Mine a Macedonian Wine:
Business Week

"No one will ever mistake Kavardaci for Burgundy. About a 90-minute drive south of the capital city of Skopje, Kavardaci might be the heart of Macedonia's wine country, but it's also the site of a communist-era steel mill, surrounded by inexpensive worker housing and weedy open spaces. Yet Kavardaci should be on the radar of anyone looking for the next big thing in European wine. The town is home to the Tikves winery, the largest in southeastern Europe. Tikves is quickly metamorphosing from a socialist-era workhorse into a major producer of high-end wine."

Two Macedonians to Keep the Peace in Lebanon

Two ARM officers to be deployed in UNIFIL Mission in Lebanon:

Macedonian Government passed a decision Wednesday on the country's participation in the United Nations' mission UNIFIL in Lebanon. 'We decided to send two officers with rank major in the UNIFIL Headquarters in Southern Lebanon', said Defense Minister Lazar Elenovski at a press conference.

This is the fourth mission the country is taking part in, and first under UN mandate. Macedonia has soldiers deployed in NATO-led ISAF Mission in Afghanistan, it is part of coalition forces in mission 'Iraqi Freedom', while army forces are also taking part in EU-led mission ALTHEA in Bosnia&Herzegovina. A total of 205 ARM soldiers and senior officers are deployed, 130 of whom in Afghanistan, 40 in Iraq, and the rest in B&H."

Lise Bissonette and Identity.

By David Edenden -

Lise Bissonette was a former editor of the leading Quebec newspaper Le Devoir. Years ago, I saw an interview while she was promoting her first novel. She was explaining the identify of the French speaking people of Quebec.

She said that her grandparents saw themselves as "Canadienne" while the others (les autres) were "English".

Her parents saw themselves as French "Canadienne" while the others were "English Canadian".

She however only thinks of herself as Quebecois while the others are Canadian. She has little identity as being Canadian.

In three generations the French speaking people went from "Canadienne" to "Quebecois"

That is why, when Greek politicians and intellectuals try to slander the ethnic Macedonian identity, I am not too perturbed.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Let's Everyone in the Balkans Sing Kumbya

Another great article on the "Joint History Project in The Balkans". These guys are on the side of the Angels, bringing all the people of the Balkans together to work on a project to dispel myths and misunderstandings. However, the members of the Greek Issues Caucus are agents of the devil, enablers of racist stereotypes against ethnic Macedonians. See Kumbaya

To avoid 'us vs. them' in Balkans, rewrite history | "

Ask a Greek student of history, and you'll likely hear of the event as the tragic fall of a great Christian city. Ask a Turk, and you'll probably hear of the glorious conquest for a rising Muslim empire.

In this still-fragile region, history is often served up as a nationalistic tale that highlights the wrongs perpetrated by others. Now a group of historians from across the region is trying to change the way the past is taught in southeast Europe – from Croatia to Turkey – in an effort to encourage reconciliation rather than division.

'History plays an important role in shaping national identity,' said Christina Koulouri, the editor of a series of new history textbooks and a professor of history at the University of the Peloponnese in Greece. 'We want to change history teaching because we are concerned about the joint future of the Balkans and we think mutual understanding can be promoted through better history teaching.'

More than 60 scholars and teachers from around the Balkans have joined to create a new series of history books that tackle some of the most controversial periods in the region. The books, which are being translated into 10 regional languages, present history from various perspectives and excerpt historical documents to challenge interpretations of key events like the Ottoman conquest"

New Google Custom Search Function

Google, God bless their heart, has developed a custom search function which allows you to search a select number of sites for better results. Below are a list of the sites I have chosen. For Macedonian sites, my aim is to encourage similar sites to join together to make one big site so that English language journalists can easily find information. For mainstream sites, the search function allows you to search for a sertain phrase, in this case ... "Macedonia". If you would like a site put on, don't be a stranger!*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*Macedonia*Macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia*macedonia

Film Preservation in Macedonia

Office in Skopje, Macedonia | The Carrera-Linn Cultural Exchange (CLCX):

An organization dedicated to music and film preservation from obscure places, and member of the Shore Management Service Group.

My humble apologies for being so quiet these days. Things are moving quickly, and hopefully, we should have our Skopje office ready and raring to go before Summer. Trips to Serbia and Bulgaria are being scheduled for early Summer, and if all works out, we may make it as far as Tbilisi, Georgia, in order to search out talent to sign for the company. More on that later."

Again! Message for the Queen

More reviews on the song for the Movie "the 300". If the "message for the queen" sounds Macedonian, what about Troy or Titus?

Music On Film Reviews - 300:
Reviewed by Justin Bielawa
February 27, 2007

Tyler Bates has made a name for himself within the horror score circle. His fine (unreleased) score to the retread/remake of Dawn Of The Dead was followed by his lackluster score to The Devil's Rejects. He seems to be stuck in a sort of genre rut and someone needs to save him because 300 is exactly what film score fans dislike about Hollywood.

Borrowing to such a degree that Zimmer's pending lawsuit over Gladiator looks frivolous, Bates lifts music from Gabriel Yared's rejected score to Troy and even more directly from Elliot Goldenthal's Titus. So note for note, that Bates doesn't even bother changing instruments at times - 'Come And Get Them' features the same metal clanging that accompanied the entrance of soldiers in the opening of Titus and the phonetic choral in 'Returns A King' is not unlike hearing the crunch of a plastic bottle inside the recycling machines at your local grocery store.

There are moments where Bates is given to write his own music (!) and he creates an interesting musical tapestry that while nothing new is at least his own. The synth-n-sample Randy Edelman approach pays off in a couple of tracks like 'A God King Bleeds', where a steady beat builds before descending to an unsettling near-silence.

Macedonia and Greece by John Shea 1997

Best book on the Macedonian Greek conflict.

Excellent analysis of the Macedonian-Greek conflict:

"In this book I will examine the Greek claims as fully as possible and present the views of historians, linguists, and other experts who will paint a different picture for us. While there are histories and anthropological analyses of the Greek and Macedonian positions emerging at the present time, to my knowledge there has been no significant presentation of the other side of the argument outlined above, nor any analysis of how it fits into broader Balkan politics centered on Macedonia at the present time. Macedonian interest groups in various parts of the world have taken to the streets themselves, indicating their distress at what they say is a one-sided airing of the Macedonian question in the media. Like the Greeks, the Macedonians express a strong emotional commitment to their interpretation of the situation.

I do not claim to be unbiased, though in my examination of the evidence available to me I have tried to be as objective as possible. When I began my own inquiry about the topic, I wanted to know the truth. I began the process of discovery from a state of quite profound ignorance. I had talked with elderly Macedonian people about their lives, and about stories they remembered from the old days in Macedonia, and the things they told me often conflicted with the arguments of modern-day Greeks. I knew that these Macedonians, at least, thought"

Great PHD Thesis on Macedonian Emigre's

I have just discovered this PHD Thesis (328 pages) by Gregory Michaelidis, American-born to a Macedonian father from Greek Macedonia. I skimmed it and it has new material regarding the pro-Macedonian left in the US and Canada. Must read for students of Macedonian history in the US, Canada and Australia.

Gregory Michaelidis, Doctor of Philosophy, 2005

Extension of the Macedonian Orthodox Church to the Diaspora

There was immediate demand for Macedonian Orthodox Church parishes in the diaspora. The process of forming a new parish often began with several dozen men and women who felt the need for creating a central space for nashi, or countrymen, to gather, worship, and celebrate religious and cultural events. The church or social hall, once built, would replace the informal networks of coffee shops, saloons, and private homes where loose groups of the migrants previously had been meeting. The first step was the establishment of a building fund, followed by an appeal to the congress of Macedonian bishops in Skopje to send a priest to North America. It was the responsibility of a Metropolitan, or bishop, to balance the needs of the community with the considerable cost and time associated with training and ordaining a new Orthodox priest and then housing him abroad.

In tandem with the development of an autocephalous Macedonian Orthodox Church, diaspora communities pushed to establish parishes that conformed to their political and cultural outlook. The first effort toward building a Macedonian Church in the diaspora was not in North America but in Melbourne, Australia, and preceded even the declaration of the reconstituted Ohrid Archbishopric in 1957. A group of Macedonian immigrants rallied there on May 14, 1956, and declared, “The Macedonian immigration in Melbourne, led by the ideas of the glorious Illinden fighters for national and church liberation . . . are forced to build our own church due to the numerous difficulties we are experiencing with foreign churches.” When the Church opened as St. George’s a few years later it became the first Macedonian Church in the diaspora to repudiate connections to existing Orthodox synods. In that same month the first new Macedonian Church in North America, Sts. Peter and Paul, opened in Gary, Indiana. Macedonians in Columbus, Ohio, formed a council in June 1963 to explore forming a church there as well.

The United Macedonians also played a key role in promoting the Macedonian Orthodox Church in North America. In Toronto, for instance, those who pushed for a new parish were leading figures during the formation of the United Macedonians as well. Leaders of the Macedonian Orthodox church took political considerations into account when deciding on new parishes in the diaspora, and even indicated so in their reports from the field.90 The new Macedonian identity unapologetically mixed religion and politics. From the outset, groups like the UM understood the need to display its patriotism toward Canada and the U.S. and its nationalism for Macedonia. It relentlessly courted city, provincial, and national leaders to appear at the annual Illinden picnics.

Interview with Greek Helsinki Monitor

Panayote Dimitras is the spokesperson for the Greek Helsinki Monitor. He is very brave to stand up to the pressure of the Greek government and Greek people to advocate for minority rights. He is a good man. He the type of Greek that Macedonians can negotiate in good faith to come to a compromise on a difficult (for the Greeks) issue. The EU by backing racist rants of the extreme right in Greece make compromise between moderates in the Balkans impossible. The Serbs of Srpska Republika should look to the plight of the Macedonians in Greece for EU and NATO values at work. Pathetic! (note: the translation needs to be improved!)

23 April 2007

Greece: Dimitras interview to Macedonian daily “Dnevnik” on human rights in Greece

Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM) disseminates the interview of its Spokesperson Panayote Dimitras to the Macedonian daily newspaper “Dnevnik” published on 17 April 2007. He gave answers to several questions of journalist Zana P. Bozinovska. The full text follows in English. The journalist was given the usual editorial freedom to edit the interview as long as the spirit was respected. As the comparison of the two texts below indicates, the Macedonian newspaper handled the interview in a very professional way, fully reflecting its content. As GHM does not have the resources to disseminate an exact translation of the published interview, the two similar texts follow.

Panayote Dimitras interview to Zana P. Bozinovska of “Dnevnik” Daily

Granted on 15 April 2007

Bozinovska: What is your estimation of the current situation regarding the respect of human rights in Greece? What is the biggest problem in this field? What is the situation with Roma and Albanians, refugees, migrants?

Dimitras: Greece is internationally acknowledged as one of the EU member countries with major human rights problems. They are reflected in long lists of concerns or other reports of UN and Council of Europe human rights expert bodies. The biggest problem is that Greek authorities practice “denial”: they are the only one in the EU if not in the OSCE that do not admit that this country, like all others, do face human rights problems. Instead, Greek authorities try to cover up problems as much as possible so as to deny their existence and since 2004 they are even attacking UN and Council of Europe human rights institutions which based on non-governmental sources, and primarily GHM, issue their reports on Greece. Roma and Albanian and other migrants are a very good example. No country exists where Roma are not facing extreme racism and/or the integration of migrants is totally smooth: Greece wants all to believe that indeed it is the exception, even though it has been the first European country to be convicted by the Council of Europe for the violation of the housing rights of the Roma, while the Eurobarometer shows year after year that Greece has the highest percentage of people with xenophobic views.

Bozinovska: The Greek government insists that there is just one minority in the country, Muslims. Do you share this opinion and why? Why authorities in Athens fear recognizing Macedonians as a minority? What is your comment on official politics? What is the connection between the name issue and non-recognizing of Macedonian minority?

Dimitras: The whole world including UN and Council of Europe human rights institutions and all international non-governmental organizations insist too that Greece must officially acknowledge all groups that seek national minority status, namely Macedonians and Turks, including recognizing their associations. This is the only way the international principle of self-identification, which Greece supports for Greek minorities in the Balkans, can be respected. Greece turns a deaf ear to these calls and considers, even in court decisions, Macedonian and Turkish minority associations to be agents of their kin countries. Internationally, Greek foreign policy officials recently argue that there is no minority as there are too few people speaking the “Slavic idiom:” they pretend to ignore that there is no threshold for a minority to exist and to forget that in fact the Greek minority in Turkey’s size is less than 2,000 persons while Vinozito gets anywhere from 3,500 – 7,000 votes in elections. Greece appears afraid to recognize national minorities fearing –wrongly so- that this may weaken if not endanger Greek identity. Former Prime Minister Constantinos Mitsotakis said in the early 1990s that the main reason for not recognizing the Republic of Macedonia with its constitutional name was that this would soon after force Greece to recognize a Macedonian minority this side of the border. Most Greeks however believe that the name of Macedonia belongs exclusively to Greece. This has also created an extremely difficult situation in resolving the “name issue” as any name with a Macedonian component let alone the country’s name internationally recognized more and more as Republic of Macedonia can lead to a strong backlash of Greek public opinion, that was promised by all parties ten years ago that no “Macedonian” name will ever be recognized.

Bozinovska: What is your comment about the Greek citizens who declare themselves as Macedonians, as well as about their political party?

Dimitras: They have the right to do so. Vinozito, as well as the Home of Macedonian Culture, have the right to advocate it. They all pay a considerable price for insisting on these rights. On the other hand, the Macedonian community has not empowered their organizations with enough support to have a more consistent and efficient advocacy.

Bozinovska: Do you think that Greek authorities respect their rights, taking in account the reports of international organizations and State Department? What is your opinion about these reports, are they realistic?

Dimitras: The State Department reports, especially when they are devoid of political considerations of the US government’s bilateral relations, are comprehensive and useful. But it is the reports of human rights expert bodies of the UN and the Council of Europe that have to be respected, as this is a constitutional obligation of Greece as well as of all countries that have ratified the corresponding treaties. These reports are very accurate but Greek authorities make every effort to hide them from Greek public opinion or to present them in distorted ways so as to give the impression that they are favorable to Greece. That means that they are not implementing them and hence warning “yellow cards” have been included in the recent reports by exasperated expert bodies.

Bozinovska: Does Greek Helsinki Monitor as a NGO have any influence on official politics in the country?

Dimitras: Regrettably, most of the influence from GHM’s advocacy comes through the international organizations’ adoption of GHM-held positions and Greece’s obligation to satisfy at least some of the demands of the UN and the Council of Europe. Alternatively it is the result of denunciatory advocacy domestically. In an old democracy like Greece, things should have been different with the state seeking regularly NGO advice and frequently acceding to their reasonable demands. However, most NGOs are not advocacy oriented since they depend on state funding and are afraid of losing it if they are very critical. This is why two months ago the Greek government once again publicly slandered GHM and also called it –regrettably correctly- the only NGO that holds the critical views espoused by UN bodies (in this instance CEDAW).

Bozinovska: What is your opinion about the official politics of Macedonian authorities regarding this matter? Should they do more for Macedonians in Northern Greece or help them in some way?

Dimitras: Macedonian authorities should respect the strategy of the Macedonian minority in Greece to advocate within Greece and at the EU and Council of Europe level for their rights, without any Macedonian state role in that, unlike say the –yet legitimate- role that Greece plays in advocating Greek minority rights in Albania and Turkey and Turkey in advocating Turkish minority rights in Greece. Also Aegean Macedonian organizations outside Greece should not make statements that do not serve the advocacy of Macedonian minority rights, and it is true that most do not.

Bozinovska:Do you have cooperation with Macedonian Helsinki Committee and about what?

Dimitras: Our cooperation with the Macedonian Helsinki Committee depends on the regional projects of both. In the past there were many and we had a close cooperation. Now we are both concentrated in the very demanding domestic human rights scenes and have little time for trans-border initiatives. The same is true with GHM’s cooperation with several other NGOs in Macedonia, which, in the framework of recent regional projects of Minority Rights Group International, was intensive.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Carla Del Ponte is Not a Friend of Macedonia

Carla Del Ponte is not a stupid person and may even at time do some good things, but the idea that Macedonians are a "slavic majority" rather than an "ethnic Macedonian majority" is an intentional slur against the Macedonian people designed to find favor with the Greek government which takes the position that Macedonians have no culture or language or identity. Basically she knowingly called us the "N" word. Also take a look at this, and marvel that Macedonia is trying to join the EU, whose politicians hold the Macedonian identity in contempt.

Macedonia readies to send protest note to Carla Del Ponte
Makfax vesnik:

Skopje /18/04/ 12:56

Macedonia will hand over a note of protest if The Hague Tribunal's prosecution, led by chief prosecutor Carla Del Ponte, used the term 'Macedonian speaking Slavic majority', government's spokesman said.

At today's press conference in Skopje, government's spokesman Ivica Bocevski commented the reports that the insulting term had been allegedly used at the launch of the trial of Ljube Boskoski and Johan Tarculovski in The Hague Tribunal.

Bocevski said the Macedonian foreign ministry took all necessary activities to check the transcript of the opening statement by tribunal's prosecution.

If we establish authenticity of the term used 'Macedonian speaking Slavic Majority', Macedonian embassy in The Hague will hand over a note of protest to tribunal's prosecution, Bocevski said.

He added that the Macedonian government won't comment the indictment against two Macedonian citizens Ljube Boskoski and Johan Tarculovski, which was read out last Monday"

Putin, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night

Dear President Putin

Potential NRA recruit

I understand that soon you will be looking for a new job. I have one suggestion that I hope you will seriously consider, but first, before you leave office, consider the following actions as part of your legacy for the Russian people.

At the UN, veto independence for Kosovo. Stand firm, stand tall. Ask Solzhenitsyn to visit Kosovo Pole next week as a gesture of solidarity with the Serbs, and then Ohrid as a gesture of solidarity with the Macedonians. Consider recognizing the Turkish Cyprus as punishment for Greece’s mistreatment of its ethnic Macedonian minority.

Nato is a stake aimed at the heart of Russia, put a stake in Nato’s heart … it’s a vampire. Like hockey, you only win by playing offense, not defense! Tell President Bush, his poodle Blair, and especially Senator McCain, that you will put a moratorium on further co-operation between Russia and the US/EU with regard to Iran, North Korea and further gas oil exports to the US and EU. Don’t wait until next month, do it now, you won’t get a better chance. The moratorium would be lifted when Nato is retired, as a cold war relic, and replaced by a reformed and revitalized OSCE where Russia can wield its deserved influence. The US can then withdraw its troops from Europe and send them to Iraq! Have specific detailed plans for this reform and publicize it widely to the US/EU public. For example, all members of the OSCE would be considered associate members of the EU if they so wish. All peoples of the OSCE can work in the EU with an easily obtained work visa.

In the Russian parliament, form a special committee called the “Un-Russian Activities Committee” which would monitor the activities of foreign NGOs in Russia. Put them under oath and jail the perjurers! All committee members should be fluent in English and be evenly split between Russian patriots and those who are pro-American. When interviewing NGOs, question them in English. The purpose of this committee is to expose anti-Russian activities of the NGOs to their pro-American followers (useful idiots), to the Russian people and to the American people. Average Americans really do not want their country to destabilize Russia for the sole purpose of having hegemony over the world. A litmus test for these NGOs is to ask them about their activities regarding human rights for the Macedonians of Greece and Kurds of Turkey (both Nato members … hint … there are none).

Register these NGOs along with foreign newspaper owners under the “Agents of a Foreign Power Act. Have them print it prominently on their publications.

And finally, form an organization called the “Russian Council” using the “British Council” as a model. When you retire as president of Russia, be its first president. The Russian Council would promote Russian interests around the world. Start with the Orthodox Balkans and help them to resolve the schisms of their respective churches (Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro). Try to heal the split between the Orthodox and Catholic Slavs. Promote more unity between all the Slavic languages.

Don’t be like Gorbachev, playing with himself in retirement and selling his influence to the highest bidder. You still have the ability to do something good for Russia and all Slavic-speaking peoples. Do it now!

Finally,Europeans to Discuss Macedonians in Greece!

This has been a long time coming but the politicians of the EU are finally getting around to discussing Greece's treatment of ethnic Macedonians in Greece. This can be used as an example to the US Greek Issues Caucus that maybe they should change their position. We will see how the debate goes.

Plight of the ethnic Macedonian national minority of northern Greece Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly: "
Doc. 11249, 17 April 2007

Motion for a resolution, presented by Mr Jurgens and others

This motion has not been discussed in the Assembly and commits only the members who have signed it

1. The undersigned are deeply concerned about the high number of sustained human rights violations against the Macedonian ethnic and linguistic minority of northern Greece.

2. The Greek state refuses to recognise the existence of a Macedonian ethnic or linguistic minority within its borders. Government authorities have and continue to systematically exclude ethnic Macedonians from the political process, refusing even to acknowledge correspondence from the political representatives of the minority.

3. Despite the existence of a Macedonian speaking population in northern Greece the Macedonian language is not recognised by the Greek state and thus members the Macedonian speaking minority do not enjoy the right to learn the Macedonian language within the framework of the Greek education system.

4. In 1990, a group of citizens decided to form a non-profit-making association called the “Home of Macedonian Culture” in the town of Florina/Lerin. However Greek courts rejected the application. After exhausting all domestic remedies, the case was appealed to the European Court of Human Rights. In 1998, the court ruled on the matter and unanimously found that there was a violation of Article 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights (see Sidiropoulos and Others vs. Greece, ECtHR, 57/1997/841/8107). Deplorably however, almost ten years following this decision the “Home of Macedonian Culture” remains unregistered. Subsequent applications to register the association have been also been rejected by Greek courts.

5. During the Civil War in Greece (1946-1949) thousands of Greek citizens fled the country. Following the end of the war, all those who left Greece during this period were stripped of their Greek citizenship and property. In 1982 and 1985, the Greek government passed laws which restores citizenship and property rights to such individuals provided that they are “Greeks by genus”. Thus ethnic Macedonians and others were deliberately excluded. These laws are still in force today.

6. We suggest that the Legal Committee is required to make a Report of the cases of human rights violations against the Macedonian ethnic and linguistic minority of northern Greece during which the opportunity is provided for a number of representatives of this minority to bear witness in a hearing.

7. Greece has refused to ratify the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Minority Languages. However the undersigned note the obligations of Greece are not only those in the various conventions of the Council of Europe to which it is a party, but also include various Conventions and Covenants of the United Nations and a number of legally binding texts of the OSCE.

Signed 1:

  • JURGENS Erik, Netherlands, SOC
  • ALMÁSSY Kornél, Hungary, EPP/CD
  • BOUSAKLA Mimount, Belgium, SOC
  • CILEVIČS Boriss, Latvia, SOC
  • ÉKES József, Hungary, EPP/CD
  • GROSS Andreas, Switzerland, SOC
  • HAJIYEV Sabir, Azerbaijan, SOC
  • KELEMEN András, Hungary, EPP/CD
  • KOZMA József, Hungary, SOC
  • LAMBERT, Geert, Belgium, SOC
  • LINDBLAD, Göran, Sweden, EPP/CD
  • Lord RUSSELL-JOHNSTON, United Kingdom, ALDE
  • POPESCU, Ivan, Ukraine, SOC
  • SZABÓ, Zoltán, Hungary, SOC
  • Van den BRANDE Luc, Belgium, EPP/CD

1 SOC: Socialist Group
EPP/CD: Group of the European People’s Party
ALDE: Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe
EDG: European Democratic Group
UEL: Group of the Unified European Left
NR: not registered in a group

Dimce Stojanovski: Macedonian-Austrailian Artist

Dimce Stojanovski

Dimce Stojanovski is a contemporary Australian artist of Macedonian descent, who divides his time between Mullumbimby (on the northern NSW coast), Sydney and Macedonia. Spiritual perceptions of the human experience are the driving force behind his work. A poet guides us through an oeuvre beginning with illustration, flowering through drawing and printmaking and culminating in oil painting.

Dimce (pronounced Dim-che) says, "At the heart of the mystery of creation is truth, and the artist is its lightning rod. Should he be willing to surrender to its firm but gentle grasp, he may be led to beauty profound. Here, the only narratives are those etched upon the heart".

Dimce's early work may best be understood when seen through the prism of DaVinci and the Master's study of gesture and tone. Later, Matisse was instrumental in freeing him up from the tyranny of form. Now, it is the great Spanish Master, Velasquez who provides inspiration. "Solid grounding in the painters craft and years of experience are enabling me to employ the fearless spirit of inquiry necessary to fulfill my commission", he says. "I seek to create a living art, which when viewed, elicits the cry, I am That!"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Milososki: Macedonia to the EU

Our Antonio did us proud by having this article published in the EU Observer, an online European news magazine. It nice for a change to have Macedonia's position stated without some journalist stepping all over our toes!

Balkan enlargement is EU birthday test
By Antonio Milososki, Foreign Minister of Macedonia

26.03.2007 - 09:31 |

Fifty years ago European visionaries signed the Treaty of Rome setting the foundations for a modern day Europe. Today Europe has 27 members, almost 560 million citizens and it is the biggest market in the world. The economic indicators are convincing. EU average unemployment is down to 7 percent and its cumulative economic growth is at 3 percent.

But in order to compete on the global market, Europe may have to further intensify economic reforms, liberalize its markets and complete the enlargement process. "

More things Change, The More ...

This is a good "meat and potatoes" type of article on the changing Macedonian political scene. SE Times has its constraints (being funded by the Pentagon and all ...) but it is good at what it does. Good job Marina (mlada nevesta)!

Macedonia political landscape continues to shift ( "

Macedonia political landscape continues to shift


Almost all of the political parties in Macedonia have held congresses and elected new leaderships, while several smaller political groupings have been forced off the map -- in part due to a new law setting a higher membership threshold. Southeast European Times correspondent Marina Stojanovska surveys the changes.

By Marina Stojanovska for Southeast European Times in Skopje – 16/04/07"

Ohrid Again

This is a very nice article from 1990 that I found for free on the Times website which is paid for by advertising. It would be interesting for Francine to return to Ohrid to see what changes have come to pass.


Published: March 4, 1990

On the hill above the old city of Ohrid, in southern Yugoslavia, is an overgrown park, half reclaimed by forest and crowned by the monumental, ruined fortress of Tsar Samuil, who during the 10th century created a Macedonian empire extending from the Danube to the Adriatic. The park is full of ruins: crumbling walls, rusted swing sets, the roofless Sveti Pantelejmon, which, like so many Yugoslav churches, served as a mosque for much of its life."

Islamistic Terrorist in Kosovo?

This is very scary stuff. Christopher Deliso has a track record of knowing what he is talking. about.

Slovenian Intelligence Confirms Kosovo Link to Sandzak Arrests:

A Slovenian intelligence source has confirmed for a claim made recently in the Serbian media- that the Wahhabis arrested at a training camp broken up near Novi Pazar on St. Patrick’s Day had connections with Kosovo militants, the final status process there and potential violence again Serbs in the North Mitrovica enclaves.

The March 17, 2007 Serbian police operation against a suspected Islamic extremist mountain training camp near Novi Pazar, which yielded weapons, ammunition and assorted paraphernalia, has inspired unprecedented interest in the phenomenon of Wahhabi extremism in this forgotten area of western Serbia in the international media.

What is perhaps most interesting about the recent foreign media coverage, however, is that no one has cast doubt upon the Serbian government’s version of events. For the first time in a long time, a Serbian counter-terrorism operation has gotten the “benefit of the doubt.” Whether this means that the international media feels the Serbs are trustworthy, or that the former would just like a compelling story, is not clear. However, it is significant."

Emigres Take Battle Over Macedonia’s Name to America

As articles on the Greek- Macedonian dispute go, I've seen worse. It was done by a university student and reprinted by BIRN, a pseudo-human rights group, which would never have published it had it contained references to Macedonians in Greece. Hard to break through this vast conspiracy.

Emigres Take Battle Over Macedonia’s Name to America

18 04 2007 When it comes to taking up a hard-line position, no one equals the Greek Americans or their Macedonian counterparts.

By Amanda Rivkin in New York (Balkan Insight, 18 April 07)

UN gift shop: FYR Macedonia key chains (OUCH!) - photo: Amanda Rivkin

Details matter in diplomacy, as His Excellency Igor Dzundev, Macedonian Ambassador to the United Nations, should know. His office at 866 UN Plaza, a non-descript building in Manhattan is the one place at the UN where the sign on the door reads Republic of Macedonia, as opposed to the UN-approved acronym, FYROM, short for Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

His office is a rare “safe haven” from this cumbersome-sounding term, because the UN inserts the two words Former Yugoslav before the name Republic of Macedonia for all official purposes. This two-word distinction is at the heart of a 14-year long dispute between Ambassador Dzundev’s country and its more powerful neighbor, Greece.

“Each delegation has its name plate on the desk and ours is the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or FYROM,” said Dzundev of his plaque at the General Assembly. “We feel discriminated against because we are not allowed to be a member state there using our constitutional name,” he said, referring to the fact that the country calls itself the Republic of Macedonia in its constitution.

Looting of Macedonian History

A depressing article about the looting of ancient artifacts in Macedonia. Note the standard quote of Greek concerns about he name issue with no rebuttal quote from Macedonians. Just a way for the Associated Press to keep its Greek clients happy.

Rogue diggers helping themselves to Macedonia's ancient treasure -
International Herald Tribune: "

Irena Kolistrkoska, head of Macedonia's archaeologists' association, warned each year that scores of local and foreign diggers uncover priceless remnants from the Iron Age, as well as Greek, Thracian, Roman and Byzantine artifacts.

'There are two main reasons Macedonia is failing to seriously protect its cultural treasure: A lack of a strategy at a national level and the absence of credible experts in the field,' Kolistrkoska said.

Pasko Kuzman, director of the National Directorate for Protection of the Cultural Heritage, said Iron Age archaeological sites in southeastern Macedonia have been extensively looted.

Police, he said, are already overstretched fighting organized crime, adding that fees offered by corrupt art collectors only encourage illegal excavations.

Macedonia, a landlocked nation in southeastern Europe, has a rich and storied past.

The country is part of the broader Macedonia region that includes parts of Greece and Bulgaria that became a major power in the ancient world under Phillip II of Macedon, and his son Alexander the Great. Alexander was one of the most successful military commanders in history, who built a vast empire that stretched to India before his death in 323 B.C.

Modern Macedonia's claim to the region's ancient heritage"

"Forbidden Zones: Greek and "Slavophone"

Nicholas Gage is a Greek author whose memoir of his mother, Eleni, was made into a movie by Nick Vanoff, a Macedonian- American TV and movie producer. Our friend Niko, was a New York Times reporter, stationed in Athens, but has never, to my knowledge, written about the treatment of ethnic Macedonians in Greece.

What really interested me was the comment that his home town was in a 'forbidden zone'' - so close to Albania that a special pass was needed to enter". I had always assumed that these zones were exclusive to those areas inhabited by ethnic Macedonians as a way of controlling an "untrustworthy slavophone population". Now I know better. However, my paranoia is not totally removed since the "forbidden zones" in Kastoria (Kostur) Florina (Lerin) and Edessa (Voden) are pr0bably much larger than those that inhabitted by mainly Greeks. Anyone having information about these zones, please share!

Nicholas Gage Returns to His Home Town
New York Times: "

I went back to Lia 14 years later and have gone nearly every year since, although until 1974, Lia was still in a ''forbidden zone'' - so close to Albania that a special pass was needed to enter. Almost half of the Epirus that Byron visited is still inaccessible because it fell inside Albania when the boundary with Greece was arbitrarily set by a commission in 1923. The current rulers of Albania won't let anyone in or out."

Is It Time to Take Greec to the UN?

According to Kathimerini , a Greek newspaper, "A total of 114 countries, including the USA, China and Russia, have recognized FYROM as ”Macedonia” to date." Is it now time to take this name issue to the UN. I would like to see the EU go before the UN to defend Greece at the same time as they assuring the Serbs in Kosovo that their rights will be respected.

Maybe those paragons of human rights - Radio Free Europe, International Crisis Group and International War and Peace Reporting and BIRN can weigh in on the side of the Greeks. Pathetic.

British nod to FYROM irks Athens:

A decision by the British embassy in Skopje to refer to the “Republic of Macedonia” in official invitations for an embassy function taking place today in the resort of Ohrid has displeased Athens, sources told Kathimerini yesterday.

According to the sources, Britain’s Foreign Office has decided to refer to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as the “Republic of Macedonia” despite Greek objections.

Britain is just one of several European Union states to have adopted this tactic recently. A few days ago, Luxembourg signed a contract for the protection of its investments with the “Republic of Macedonia.” Poland’s parliament has officially recognized the Balkan state by the latter name. As too have Bulgarian and Romanian authorities. A total of 114 countries, including the USA, China and Russia, have recognized FYROM as ”Macedonia” to date.

Greece has strenuously opposed FYROM’s insistence on being known as “Macedonia” as there is a northern Greek province of that name and Athens fears the move could set a precedent for territorial claims.

New Graphic Novel on Macedonia

This is a yet to be published graphic novel, Macedonia. I have not read it yet so I will not pass judgment, but according to the review below, it does not look good. When reviewing the novel, it will be interesting to see what goes in and what stays out. Below are more links to reviews.

Macedonia - Graphic Novel
Harvey Pekar and Heather Roberson

In reading this book it becomes apparent that war may have been avoided, but peace is a long way off. There is no love or trust between the Macedonians and the country’s largest minority, the Albanians. So far, I have to admit, I got the feeling that she was overly sympathetic to the Albanians. No where is the European model of nation-state – a political nation built around an ethnic nation – addressed. Or course, this isn’t a completed work, so that may change. (I am reviewing a preview copy of the first eighty per cent of the book. I haven’t a problem with that. Most comic reviews are of monthlies – chapter by chapter reviews of a larger story.) Of course the Macedonians are being unrealistic. Their situation isn’t going to allow them a prosperous or happy future on their terms. And Robeson notes this. Things wouldn’t be as miserable there as there are, if everyone co-operated in making a bigger pie instead of fighting over the little pieces they have now.

Macedonia is literally new terrain for American Splendor author Harvey Pekar.


Discovering Macedonia

Macedonian Star

An interview with Ed Piskor, artist on Macedonia

Macedonia (Amazon - Paperback)

Macedonia - Reviewed by Andy

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Andov Grits his Teeth and Smiles at the Bulgaria's

Stojan Andov is a good man. Unfortunately, because of the EU, he is forced to prostate himself, and by implication the Macedonian people, in front a group of people who oppress our fellow countrymen and deny our very identity. Nice! I don't really blame the Bulgarians, I blame the EU because they created the conditions whereby this was possible for Macedonian in the EU to have no minority rights. The EU is not our friend.

Get on the phone to Putin right now and ask him over "na gosti". Break out the roasted red peppers, feta cheese and Kalamata (yikes!) olives and lets talk.

Andov 'highly appreciates Bulgaria's gestures toward Macedonia
Makfax vesnik

Sofia /18/04/ 14:46

Macedonian lawmaker Stojan Andov said he 'highly appreciates Bulgaria's gestures toward Macedonia.'

Andov made the statement during his visit to Sofia, where he leads a Macedonian parliamentary delegation visiting the Bulgarian parliament, Makfax news agency said.

'I highly praise the gestures of Bulgaria, the first country that had recognized Macedonia under its constitutional name. The two countries have showed mutual understanding on relevant inter-state issues. I highly appreciate Bulgaria's position to unconditionally support Macedonia's EU integration and NATO membership,' Andov said.

The statement from Liberal Party (LP) leader Stojan Andov comes on the same day when Bulgarian authorities banned the activists and supporters of OMO Ilinden PIRIN to pay respect to Macedonian hero Jane Sandanski at Rozen monastery next Sunday"

Monday, April 16, 2007

Kosovo Parody Song

I can't tell who shot this video but the editing, lyrics and singing are excellent, just like the Beach Boys: Kokomo style. These guys should get a medal, however, if it becomes the "scandal of the minute" on CNN, then these guys may get into some trouble. See You Tube: Kosovo Parody Song!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

George Danevski: One of a Kind!

By David Edenden: If anyone is visiting the Toronto area, then a visit to St. Dimitrija Solunski Macedonian Orthodox Church in Markham or St. Clement of Ohrid Macedonian Orthodox Church in Toronto is a must see. Danevski is a real treasure.
With all the angels and saints

Georgi Danevski poses in front of his mural-in-progress, part of which depicts Christ's Resurrection, at St. Dimitrija Solunski Macedonian Orthodox Church in Markham.
Apr 06, 2007 04:30 AM
Christian Cotroneo staff reporter

Every day, Georgi Danevski adds an angel to the architecture.

Sometimes, it's an entire chorus. Or a saint, a child, a scene. Little by little, he's filling St. Dimitrija Solunski Macedonian Orthodox Church in Markham with his own creation.

And by the time Danevski's mural is done, at 600 square metres, it could be the largest of its kind in North America.

"I make it with love for God, with love for my people and with love for every human," he says, his thick accent betraying Macedonian roots.

So far, it has taken the artist two years to deck these walls and ceilings with some 500 icons of Christian history. There's John the Baptist, Mother Mary and Jesus among scores of saints from the Orthodox tradition – all surrounded in gleaming 24-carat gold leaf.

With about 500 more to go.

Indeed, the mural may not even be ready by next Easter. But the congregation that helped pay for the massive one-man undertaking revels in a little more of his divine design every time they come to worship.

And while Danevski paints his poetry, Shelley Richardson is drawing inspiration. "I come here to meditate," says the local author, sitting alone in the pews. "The energy is just phenomenal coming from this artist."

In fact, Richardson was inspired to begin a work about the artist's life, tentatively titled Danevski, Master of Canvas, Murals and Life.

"I feel so blessed, in my lifetime, to see the process. That is what's so phenomenal to me."

It's a process as painstaking as it is consuming. Danevski spends six days a week here, commuting from his Toronto home to work long hours. Once home, his head is still whirring with sketches and images, often keeping him awake until 4 a.m.

By 6:30 a.m., his pilgrimage begins again.

The artist's work may be better known in Europe, where he has made much of his mark, but Danevski is coming into his own here with venues like the National Art Gallery in Ottawa planning exhibits of his work.

Danevski, who recently sold one of his paintings for $27,000, gets a little busier around Easter, with churches as far as Montreal vying for his services. He has also painted a vivid mural at St. Clement of Ohrid Orthodox Cathedral in East York.

In the flesh, the painter is as magnetic as the masterpiece that looms above him, rhyming off the lives of saints, pointing an paint-stained finger at scenes and drawing attention to the minutest details.

But there's much work to do. After all, there are white walls, 10 metres tall, still clamouring for colour. To reach every nook, Danevski relies on scaffolding – and help from a local man who volunteers his time to watch over the artist when he gets into precarious positions.

"He's a bionic man," Danevski says. "He has an aorta from Texas. Everything, he gives to community and church."

And while Danevski won't divulge the details, he has repaid his selfless assistant in paint.

You see, somewhere in that sea of saints, there's an image of another kind of angel.

A guardian angel.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

US "Bailed Out" Indicted War Criminal!

The US/EU are playing a dirty game in the Balkans as a wrote last year. How dirty it was, I did not realize until I read this article. In the same way that the US could deal with Milosevic in Dayton and they can deal with Haradinaj (a indicted war criminal) in Kosovo. Read it and weep for the Balkans.

Kosovo War-Crimes Trial Splits West and Prosecutors
Published: April 8, 2007

New York Times

PRISTINA, Kosovo — Ramush Haradinaj, a stocky ethnic Albanian former guerrilla commander and, briefly, Kosovo’s prime minister, is either one of the most impressive leaders to emerge in the Balkans in recent years or a vicious war criminal. Or perhaps both.

Mr. Haradinaj and two other men began to stand trial at the United Nations tribunal in The Hague in March, charged with killing 40 people in 1998, during the conflict between the Kosovo Liberation Army guerrilla group and Serbian-dominated security forces.

But the prosecution’s leading witness, Tahir Zemaj, and his son and nephew were shot dead during the investigation. Another witness, Kjutim Berisha, died two weeks before the trial when he was hit by a car in Podgorica, the Montenegrin capital.

More than a third of those giving evidence for the prosecution are allowed to conceal their identities, more than in any other case at the tribunal, according to the prosecution.

The case has created a stark divide between prosecutors at the tribunal and in Kosovo and diplomats from the United Nations and Western governments. Mr. Haradinaj was a crucial partner in Western efforts to bring peace to the province, so much so that they tried to prevent the case from going to trial, according to a former head of the United Nations mission in Kosovo and the court’s chief prosecutor.

Once he was indicted, the mission supported his provisional release, which has lasted almost two years; he is the only indicted person that the court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, has released in order to return to active politics.

“He moved this process forward in a way that nobody else has,” said Soren Jessen-Petersen, who was the head of the mission in Kosovo at the time of Mr. Haradinaj’s indictment, in March 2005, just four months after he became prime minister.

Prosecutors in Kosovo and The Hague say the United Nations and Western governments bent over backward to prevent his prosecution.

The tribunal’s top prosecutor, Carla Del Ponte, has referred to the trial in The Hague as “a prosecution that some did not want to see brought, and that few supported by their cooperation at both the international and local level.”

In Kosovo, the former guerrilla commander is seen as one of the most charismatic leaders to emerge from the fighting, from 1997 to 1999. While the Serbian government vilified him as a terrorist, senior United Nations officials said he was instrumental in promoting reconciliation.

“He clearly understood that Serbs could and should be part of the society,” said Mr. Jessen-Petersen, who led the mission in Kosovo from June 2004 to June 2006. “And he had the credentials. Because of his background nobody could accuse him of betraying Kosovo.”

In March 2004, during rioting across Kosovo, he was credited with preventing hundreds of rioters from attacking Kosovo’s best-known Serbian Orthodox monastery. United Nations officials say he also helped ensure that a January 2005 visit by Serbia’s president, Boris Tadic, passed without incident.

International officials have tried to shield him in the name of stability. For instance, the United Nations administration in Kosovo repeatedly blocked the prosecution of Mr. Haradinaj on charges that he had attacked a group of former fighters of the Kosovo Liberation Army.

The effect of the relationship between the United Nations and Mr. Haradinaj, according to the prosecution, was to create a sense of impunity around him, and to scare away witnesses.

“There was a general atmosphere of intimidation; they did nothing to change this atmosphere,” said Jean-Daniel Ruche, political adviser to the chief prosecutor in The Hague.

He said that senior United Nations officials had met with Mr. Haradinaj before his departure to the Netherlands at the time of his indictment in 2005 and when he returned there to stand trial. “This has had a chilling impact on our witnesses,” he said in a telephone interview.

The mission denies any detrimental effect on the tribunal.

“In decision after decision,” wrote a United Nations spokeswoman, Myriam Dessables, in an e-mail message, the tribunal’s judges have “made it clear that the United Nations mission in Kosovo is in the best position to determine what is in the interest of promoting peace and reconciliation in Kosovo.”

The indictment contains details that are among the most gruesome brought before the tribunal: of prisoners being seized by men under Mr. Haradinaj’s command, bound in barbed wire and dragged behind vehicles, and of women raped repeatedly.

Mr. Haradinaj’s supporters say that there is no evidence linking him directly to the crimes and suggest that the court charged him simply to appear evenhanded.

As Mr. Haradinaj’s indictment loomed in early 2005, Mr. Jessen-Petersen said he was aware that Western diplomats were trying to block the case. But he emphasized the mission in Kosovo had made no approaches to the court.

The mission, however, stopped at least one prosecution of Mr. Haradinaj within Kosovo, according to two former members of the Kosovo Justice Department.

On July 7, 2000, Mr. Haradinaj led a group of men to a rival family’s house in the village of Strelc in western Kosovo. A battle broke out, according to police investigators, and Mr. Haradinaj was wounded by a grenade. He was evacuated by American personnel operating out of the main United States Army base in Kosovo, and they removed evidence of the shootout from the walls, according to Frederick Pascoe, a former American police officer serving with the United Nations who investigated the shooting.

Kamudoni Nyasulu, an international prosecutor in Pec, in northwestern Kosovo, said that between 2001 and 2004 he repeatedly tried to bring the case to court.

“What I had was sufficient for a case,” said Mr. Nyasulu said, but he said he was rebuffed by senior United Nations officials because the case was “politically sensitive.”

Stand Tall, Don't You Fall ...

Bit of nonsense wherein the Greek Lobby managed to bully half of the US Congress to walk across the street to spit on Macedonia's name during the passing of the "NATO Consolidation Act of 2007". These are Congressional Democratic values at work! Good for Bush by standing firm!

US State Department
Daily Press Briefing -- April 11:

QUESTION: I have a NATO question. The day before yesterday, the President signed the NATO Consolidation Act of 2007. In this text there is a reference to the Republic of Macedonia. There is a parenthesis close to the name with the indication FYROM. Since you recognized this country with its constitutional name in 2004, can we take from this that there is some kind of change of policy, second thoughts? What we can read in this? You still recognize the country with its constitutional name? What's the name of the parenthesis there and the signing by the President of this text?

MR. MCCORMACK: Right. Well, no, I have something here for you. It says that the U.S. policy on Macedonia's name has not changed. Since 2004 we have recognized Macedonia by its constitutional name, Republic of Macedonia, in our bilateral relations, as you noted, and we continue to strongly support ongoing UN-led talks between Greece and Macedonia in finding a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue.

QUESTION: Your answer I can't understand that the remaining of the parenthesis there with the FYROM mentioned. Is there any pressure exercised towards the Macedonians to accept any solution or to get more serious in the process of an agreement with Greece on that issue?

MR. MCCORMACK: Well, we would encourage them to come to some agreement with the Greek Government on the issue. You know, clearly it's a sensitive, emotional issue on both sides of the border. When the Secretary last met with Foreign Minister Bakoyannis, she encouraged efforts that were underway by the Greek Government to resolve the issue.

QUESTION: So it's --

QUESTION: FYROM is the name that NATO uses? While it may not be the name the United States uses, Macedonia is still referred to as FYROM within NATO, and particularly because of the sensitivity of the issue involving the Greeks?

MR. MCCORMACK: I don't understand your point, Matt.

QUESTION: Well, I'm saying I think that's a quicker answer.

MR. MCCORMACK: Thanks. Next time I'll let you come up here.

QUESTION: So, it's meaningless, the parenthesis there, as far as policy concerns?

MR. MCCORMACK: There's no change in policy.


Saturday, April 07, 2007

Meanwhile, in Montenegro...

"A Fist full of Euros" is a great "group blog" and a model for the "Macedonian Tendency". In a week or so I will be contacting individuals who will be able to add their perspective to issues facing Macedonia.

Below is one of the best short analysis of the EU road for the Balkans that I have read. Not great news for Macedonia, but at least we are ahead of Albania. Like I have said before, I am not thrilled by the EU/Nato option, but given the weakness of Russia, Macedonia has little choice.

Meanwhile, in Montenegro | afoe | A Fistful of Euros | European Opinion: "

2) Macedonia. Macedonia is an EU candidate, but it’s several steps behind Croatia. Membership is not likely before 2012 at the earliest.

Macedonia some problems. Here’s the dumbest one. A couple of years ago, France adopted an asinine constitutional amendment requiring a referendum on all new EU members. This was, of course, aimed at the Turks. (I know, I know… a thinly disguised appeal to xenophobia dressed up as a piece of populism. In the reign of Jacques Chirac! Who would have thought it?) But the Macedonians will probably be the first to be affected by it. Yah, that’s right — unless France amends its constitution back, France (population ~60 million) will have to hold a referendum on admitting Macedonia (population ~2.5 million). And then additional referendums for Albania, Montenegro, and every other country on this list.

Another problem: both the Greeks and the Bulgarians have muttered under their breath about blocking Macedonia’s membership. In the case of Bulgaria, this is probably just posturing. In the case of Greece, it’s hard to be sure — the Greeks have shown an impressive capacity for stupid behavior where Macedonia is concerned."

Find Your Ancestors

There used to be a Macedonian Genealogy site run by Jill Jugloff that now seems to be defunct. It possible that Jill sailed into the treacherous waters of Macedonian identity and drown in despair. I don't know. Jill may want to share some of her experiences with us. Anyway, this is a poor substitute. Not very active, but then again, not many people know of it. It is for all Macedonians, not just those from the Republic.

Macedonian Republic Genealogy Forum