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Kosovo's Serbs on the march

Mark Mardell | 21:07 UK time, Monday, 18 February 2008

“We will not give up Kosovo,” chant the demonstrators. There are children in the front of the march, followed by tough-looking men with shaved heads, training in their wake teenaged girls made-up to the nines and granddads with lined, weary faces.
Protesters in Mitrovica (picture by Maarten Lernout)

It seems everyone is on the street in Mitrovica. It’s a city divided on ethnic lines: on the south side of the bridge the Albanians, this side, the North, the Serbs.

After spending a weekend watching faces in Pristina lit up with joy because of the declaration of independence, this is the other side of the coin. The sense I get is not so much anger as loss.

A song of mournful beauty blasted from the stage declaring “Kosovo we will return”.

Strong and proud

A priest tells the crowd, estimated by police to number around 8,000, that they must remain strong and proud. To loud applause the next speaker declares “Kosovo is Serbian”.

A man with a woolly hat emblazoned with a Serbian eagle, a Serbian flag wrapped around his shoulders, catches my attention. Does he speak English? He does and dives into his wallet and fishes out a British passport.
Gojko Raicvic

Gojko Raicvic lives in Montenegro at the moment and has come here to support fellow Serbs.

“The message to my compatriots is to tell the government of Great Britain that what they are doing in supporting the USA is shameful,” he tells me.

“So the message is that what you are doing at the moment is discrediting the history of Great Britain, the proud British nation which always used to support law and order and justice.”

What’s happening today, he says, is the law of disorder, the law of injustice.

Why shameful I ask?

“Simply because whoever knows a bit of European history knows that the Serbs in 1389 stopped the Ottoman Empire forcing its way towards Vienna and Europe, so we were the victims of history 500 years ago and we are the victims once again.”

Suffocation

The appeal to history is so familiar in the Balkans that it is refreshing to listen to Tanya Ladarevic and hear her day-to-day concerns. She is not going on the march but is worried about the future.
Protester with cigarette and toothpick (picture by Maarten Lernout)
“I think that international law has been violated as a native of Mitrovica and of Kosovo,” she says. “I am very much afraid for my future, my daughter's future and for Serbs who live in enclaves because I don’t think they can plan their lives to live there. And worst of all, what will happen for sure even if there is no violence, is that there will be administrative suffocation from the new Kosovan institutions.”

She compares the situation to times under Tito when Kosovo Albanians were allowed a fair degree of autonomy.

“When I was a child there was such a huge and strong administrative suffocation so I expect that it will happen again. And Albanians are pretty skilful in that and this really can be hidden from the international community. You can’t hide violence but you can hide administrative suffocation.”

What does she mean by that term?

She gives me an example: the current plans quite clearly say that Serbian schools can use text books from Belgrade.

“At the end of the day, Pristina will use any kind of veto to prevent the import of the books from Belgrade. Here it will use everything prevent it.

“Take birth certificates. It can take days or months to get papers. If you have to go to court, hospitals or shops you know you just feel everywhere that you are a second class citizen.

“Kosovo Albanians for the past eight years haven’t shown great tolerance. There is no tolerance, it’s very bad. How would you feel in the your own country, or anywhere, to be treated like a second class citizen?”

On the march

After stopping to hear the speeches, the marchers carried on down the main street to the bridge which divides their part of town from the ethnic Albanians in the south..

A thinner line of police than I would have expected stopped them from going any further. I overhear an American man in plain clothes and wrap-around shades with a drawl from the deep South speaking into his mobile.

“If they start pushing, I’ll tell you to deploy. You won’t here from me until then.”
Protesters on the march (picture by Maarten Lernout)
Another officer berates his crew pointing at a man doing silly poses for photographers in the middle of the bridge. “Who let the nutter through?”

The demonstrators burned an American flag, lit flares and threw firecrackers but the push never came and our Southern friend didn’t make the crucial call.

Heartfelt dismay

There was no need to unfurl the razor wire or call up the riot squad who waited in vans in the back streets. Serbian dismay is heartfelt but anger has not translated in to either violence or serious political action that would destabilise this new nation.

However, I am hearing reports that three Serbian members of the Kosovo Parliament have resigned because they were not allowed to speak at Sunday’s meeting that endorsed independence.

In Belgrade, a minister has told a colleague that each ministry has a separate plan for dealing with Kosovo and that the Serbian administration will be developed and more investment will go in to make the economy stronger in Serbian areas. These are early days. The reaction of Serbs who live here will be crucial for Kosovo’s future.

Comments   Post your comment

  • 1.
  • At 09:30 PM on 18 Feb 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

I would love to see the day when my country (U.S.A.) stops playing chess with other nations. This will end in bloodshed and I wish my tax money didn't contribute to it.

  • 2.
  • At 09:30 PM on 18 Feb 2008,
  • adnan wrote:

too bad they gave up Kosovo when they started the genocide there

  • 3.
  • At 09:39 PM on 18 Feb 2008,
  • A Guy from Brazil wrote:

“followed by tough-looking men with shaved heads”

These are the same football hooligan-skinheads that support Nikolic’s Serbian Radical Party in Belgrade.

Unless the orthodox church or people in Belgrade try to interfer in the game, the fact is that it’s better to Kosovar Serbians comply with the new national government.

  • 4.
  • At 10:10 PM on 18 Feb 2008,
  • Max Sceptic wrote:

The Serbs will be vindicated as soon as the first calls for 'unification' with Albania are made.

It will end in tears. Alas, it seems that we never learn from our mistakes.

  • 5.
  • At 10:44 PM on 18 Feb 2008,
  • aleksander wrote:

what usa,uk,france,germeny, and the rest are doing to serbians is heartless and i hope with all my heart someday we pay you back twice the fold for all your wrong doings

  • 6.
  • At 11:53 PM on 18 Feb 2008,
  • Xhevdet Hoti wrote:

Administrative Suffocation- that's funny. That's one of the main reasons why Serbs lost Kosovo. After Milosevic came to the Kosovo Valley and promised serbs protection, Serbian police forced every Albanian out of their schools and workplace.
Albanians are commited to peace because we strongly believe on Abraham Lincoln's quote: Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.
Serb have a choice to stay if they want to, it's entirely up to them.

  • 7.
  • At 12:20 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • ed wrote:

THIS IS A VERY BIG MISTAKE BUT THE EU GONA UNDERSTOOD LATER AND GONA BE LATE.

  • 8.
  • At 03:06 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • kosovari wrote:

The biggest problem in Albanian-Serbian relations is the Serbian press and media. They failed and continue to, to tell their people the truth about the crimes that were committed toward nonserbs in their name. However there are Serbs that admit and realize the problem, here is an example from an article in Serbian, and you do not have to understand Serbian to know what is the author talking about. Look on the dates and some names of the cities mentioned here.
"MIT I NALIČJE Kosovo u Srbiji" by Nikola Samardžić 2/18/2008 in a Serbian daily "Danas-online version"
"....premijer nije slučajno prećutao zločine koji su prethodili intervenciji iz 1999 ....nije pomenuo da je proglašenju nezavisnosti Kosova prethodilo nasilje Rankovićeve policije, brutalno gušenje albanskih demonstracija 1968, 1981. i 1989, ali i Vukovar, Dubrovnik, Sarajevo i Srebrenica, zaključno s bestijanjem na samom Kosovu iz 1998. i 1999. koje su uživo prenosile globalne TV stanice."

  • 9.
  • At 05:06 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Dan Mattei wrote:

Mark, I had no clue all the Serbs were ugly, unshaved and had no teeth??? Also, those Albanians are so young and beautiful. Just like their new puppet state.

BBC's selection of photos is suggestive and pathetic. Your hypocrisy disgusts me.

Dan, Toronto

  • 10.
  • At 07:10 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

What was this about? Would not be easier
to give the Kosovars broad autonomy, within Serbia and admit both into EU.
The borders would not matter anymore.
The stupidity of this move is incomprehensible. Threatening the existence of the UN. Only the arrogant and bloody-minded Americans can think of
something like this.

  • 11.
  • At 08:47 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Amuro wrote:

Last time I checked the Turks won the Battle of Kosovo and it pretty much ended the Serbs regional influence.

Ah well who am I to reveal the truth.

  • 12.
  • At 10:39 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Dea wrote:

Serbs in Kosovo are worried about being second-class citizens in the new state, yet that is precisely how they treated Albanians in the past century. Anyone knows about the apartheid state, with hospitals being divided amongs Serbs and Albanains, with the later' s conditions being lamentable? Anyone remembers that Albanians were denied studying in their mother tongue in the 90's, or most state jobs? anyone remembers Albanians not being able to feed their fmilies and emigrating to the West as they had no hope? Anyone remembers the genocidial massacres, mass rapes and expulsions of Albanians by these neighbor Serbs just a decade ago?

Yet, the new state of Kosovo is offering Serbs way more rights and kindness than Serbia could ever dream of offering Albanians. Albanians are settling the differences aside (though not forgetting the past) and willing to work together with you for a prosperous future. Why don't you offer peace a chance, for all of us?

  • 13.
  • At 10:47 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Dragi Markovic wrote:

What do Ottomans (Turks), Bulgarians, Hungarians, Germans, Austrians, Italians, Albanians and now US and UK have in common? At some point in time they all came to Serbia to kill and expel Serbians. After so many centuries of doing those brave acts alone or in small groups they are finally having a reunion in Kosovo, "brothers in arms". They might spare few Serbs to emulate "multiethnic society" in EU "progress reports", and to show a good will they left few churches unburned to keep Serbians in their "natural inhabitat".

This time this happy crowd doesn't fear international law, they made a pact to ignore them. Just before bombing Serbia few years ago they made sure to suspend their UN membership, and later in the court dismissed all charges as "Serbia didn't exist as it was not an UN member", and something that doesn't exist cannot put you on trial. Now when UN and law is in Serbia favor make them a "unique case", not protected by any laws, and you don't get to be responsible for anything, again!

You think this is a fiction? No, go check every single statement I put here and sit in shock. Nice demonstration of core EU values they are trying to sell to the world.

I wonder if they'll make Iran or any other country give up their plans to build something atomic for their protection in exchange for a UN resolution or some other law. See, the law can be there, but you can always be so unique that it doesn't apply to you.

  • 14.
  • At 10:55 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Jaime wrote:

There is something that I simply do not understand. Northern Kosovo is inhabited mostly by Serbs, isn't it? And now, against their will they are seceding their country.

My question is, Shouldn't Serbian parts of Kosovo remain part of Serbia?

  • 15.
  • At 11:40 AM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Fatmir loshi wrote:

at list they have the right to protest even the know the truth,serbs never had kosova but ocupied kosova,after turkish ocupation left,we been ocupied for to long,now we are free and we wont take it forgranted because we know what does it mean to be represed at killed by serbian regimes,they are all the same,we kosovars did not have any right to protest,even to bury our dead killed by serbian police because there was more and more killing by them until one day NATO actet as one body and stop this killngs from brutal regime.
I can say later one was a better regime for serbia,ZORAN jinjic he knew the truth,he was smart he did not want to be like his predeceurs and what happened,their own people killed him because he wanted to bring justice in region.
so LONG LIVE REPUBLIC OF KOSOVA!

  • 16.
  • At 12:05 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • fatos wrote:

To the much deluded people of serbia, this is what they've been doing ever since things have not gone their way. credit to them fooling the west on trying to look as they are the victims of the ex-Yugoslav federation, but they are finding it a bt difficult to crack America. anyway for me what i am seeing here is normal because these people are deluded and dreaming (of greater serbia)

One thing for sure things in the Republic of Kosova things will improve, what PM promised are to be delivered then we should be fine.

  • 17.
  • At 12:27 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Ana wrote:

It is very interesting how Serbs "know" step by step what (they think)is going to happen with them! Experience?! Must be as that is exactly what they did to Albanians for over 100 years! You illustrated in this report what is happening for a century now, Serbs come from all over Balkan and claim Kosova to be their land, just like the one from Montenegro with British passport. How many of his kind(from Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia) are now in Kosova? I would have asked him was he so against independence of Montenegro?! Serbs stopped Ottoman Empire?! They lost that war! Anyone heard about Scanderbeg? Read about him! Another thing, if all monasteries in Kosova belong to Serbs, and we know that Albanians took Muslim religion during Ottoman Empire, WHERE DID ALBANIANS WORSHIP THEIR GOD IN 11,12,13,14 CENTURIES?I want to tell Serbs not to be afraid because nothing will happen to them; Albanians are not into revenge and crime! I wish Albanians in other parts of EX Yugoslav (Serbia, Montenegro,Macedonia) countries have the same rights guaranteed as Serbs in Kosova!

  • 18.
  • At 12:28 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • branko wrote:

Mark,

It's great you are on the ground, so you will be able to confirm the following piece of news:

86 year old Serbian woman Jelica Arsic from Gornji Livoc, near Gnjilane was beaten up by three attackers early this morning. She is currently receiving medical attention in Koretiste. I understand KPS has already started investigating.

This seems a very interesting story, as it may help us better understand what is life really like over there.

Who beat her up? Why was she beaten up? Will anyone ever find the attackers? Is this an isolated case?

  • 19.
  • At 01:22 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Nemo the Fish, Netherlands wrote:

The best solution for Kosovo and Serbia would be a confederation. Poorly, the Serb government rejected the idea in between 1990-1999. Independent Kosovo is just a fact. Serbs have to accept that. The West favours an independent Kosovo because of it's natural recourses: Coal and cobalt. The last one is very rare ans very expensive. To give the Serbs some hope: round 2015 both Serbia and Kosovo will be part of the European Union and Schengen. This means Kosovo and Serbia will be (prakticaly) one country again.

  • 20.
  • At 01:29 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • cong feng Li wrote:


Being a chinese, at the moment, I am standing the same side with people from Serbia. I will not foget that NATO killed three chinese journalists in chinese embaasy of Serbia during the Kosovo war ten years ago. Kosovois is not an independent state, it is a place belong s to Serbia.

  • 21.
  • At 02:06 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • said muminovic wrote:

In the case of Kosovo The World can see the best how serbian mind function.
What they try to do in Croatia and fortunately failed, what they managed to do evel things to Bosniaks in Bosnia and Herzegovina without being panished for that, now they are afraid that somebody else could do that to them.
They forgot that they Serbs closed down universities and schools for Albaninas in Kosovo in 1980-ties. They forgot that they kiked out Albaninas from factories, they forgot what Serbian police did in Kosovo.
Now serbs have to get use to be minority in another country to follow the rules of law. That will be hard for tham as they still think they can manage everything by force.
After Kosovo independency Serbia have to think about giving equal status to Bosniak"s region Sandzakwithin Serbia, equal to the status of Republica Srpska in Bosnia and Hercegovina or to think about exchange of population...Bosniaks from Serbia to go to Bosnia and Serbs from Bosnia to go to Serbia. That would be the best formula for stability on the teritories of former Yugoslavia.

  • 22.
  • At 02:37 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • aerofrancoa wrote:

Just imagine Mark…
Mark, as I have said earlier, I was trying to convince myself that the Kosovo independence was for good to us, Balkan states and to Europe as a whole… but I failed…
You see Mark, there are things in our subconscious that are not so easy to be removed with declarations such as ‘Kosovo deserves its independence in the name of justice, freedom, human rights, etc….’
Just imagine Mark a massif gathering of Her Majesty subjects (of third generation, whose ancestors came from the far end of the British Empire) requiring the political independence of Yorkshire with the ‘good’ intention of establishing there an insignificant and democratic Muslim state… I am quite curious Mark how you shall approve of (with all the respect I have for you) the mere fact that such thing may be feasible with the help of some mighty, overseas, closest friend & ally, to the said minority group… It’s difficult to you even to dream of it, I understand…
But, however, let’s not forget Mark how dangerous this precedent may be for the cradle of our civilization, Christian Europe… and just try to see that and other similar virtual pictures before going back to ‘good old England’ which is not so far away from Kosovo… and, say, from… Belfast… You are European citizen Mark, aren’t you?
Vladimir Bozhinoff, Sofia, Bulgaria

  • 23.
  • At 02:54 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Tony Robinson wrote:

Free Tibet from China!

Free the South Tirol from Italy!

Free Britain from the "EU"!

More referenda!

  • 24.
  • At 03:01 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Zbyszek wrote:

“So the message is that what you are doing at the moment is discrediting the history of Great Britain, the proud British nation which always used to support law and order and justice.”

Mark, are you sure about it? Does your government ratify The Helsinki Final Act?

This is the Helsinki Final Act from 1 August 1975, upon which resolution 1244 calls: In III Inviolability of frontiers: "The participating States regard as inviolable all one another's frontiers as well as the frontiers of ALL STATES IN EUROPE and therefore they will REFRAIN now and in the future from ASSAULTING these frontiers. Accordingly, they will also refrain from any demand for, or act of, seizure and usurpation of part or all of the territory of any participating State."

Mark, what about Yalta Conference?

Churchill and Roosevelt sold all Eastern Europe to Stalin. It was shameful specially in respect to Poland, that its Government in Exile in London administrated a huge Polish Army that help to defend England and defeat Nazi Germany

  • 25.
  • At 03:34 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Milosh Copic wrote:

ALL: let's face it, the US-EU-UN are nothing more than puppets of the rising Muslim tide spanning the globe. Money is power, and money dictates. Anyone who doesn't see this is naive. I hope to live to see the day when the US-EU and the like are split apart by these same muslims that they are supporting. The US-EU have no shame in what they are doing. Americans are too stupid to realize. They obviously didn't learn there lesson with 9-11. Living in the US I see how dumb and un educated these people really are. That will be their undoing. Hopefully in the same manner.

Branko: Mark will not be allowed to verify what you are asking him to verify and even of he does the media censors in the west will not allow it to be posted

  • 26.
  • At 03:58 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Nemo the Fish, Netherlands wrote:

Albanians and Serbians lived together since the 8th century. Many Albanians have Serbian ancesters and many Serbians have Albanian ancesters. Kosovo belongs to them both. That's why I favour a confederation.

The USA and the EU are interested in the natural resources of Kosovo. The Balkan, and Europe, have a long and complex history. Don't dig to deep. The last time we did we ended up with WW1 and WW2.

  • 27.
  • At 06:46 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Ronald Grünebaum wrote:

Mark, you sure do meet interesting people. This Gojko Raicvic seriously claimed that Serbs stopped the Turks in 1389?

Firstly, I would think that today's Serbs and those of 1389 must have been quite different people.

Secondly, the good man missed that the Turks actually won the battle in 1389 and happily marched on.

Thirdly, at least I learned in school about Jan Sobieski and Prince Eugen who stopped the Turks' advance in 1683 and 1697, respectively.

And, frankly, why the heck would this matter? This Gojko clown should read some books and certainly never leave his medicine at home again.

  • 28.
  • At 06:55 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • mm wrote:

Instead of unifying the Europe, US is managing to split it, and the recipe is old and is working well:"divide and conquer"...Instead of peace they are pushing the world into conflicts deeper.
In addition I noticed that memory of Kosovo either starts in 1990s or goes back prior to written history to Dardania( for Albanians) or Kosovo battle (for Serbs). However, I remember years before 1990s when Kosovo was bilingual, when Serbs (then considered majority) had to learn and speak Albanian in schools, when Albanian kids were allowed to learn from books in Albanian language imported from Albania.
Times when Marshal Tito was a godfather to every 9th child in Albanian families. However, I grew up with stories about Albanian tribal laws that are severe, about "blood revenge", besa-a word of honor that was remembered more as a threat than promise of good deeds to come,threats to serbian families, the atmosphere of fear because Albanians would come and tell them to leave or their children would be murdered. Also stories were abound that Albanians would refuse to work, albanian students would refuse to come to lectures if they were in serbian language. All that was tolerated until Miloshevic came and did what he did. 10 years after that tragedy, 10 years without Serbs in power and 2 billions of euros and Kosovo is an entity with 60% of unemployed and 50% of population under 25 known only for contemporary sex slavery, drug mafia and national intolerance. I hope US will pour more money it doesn't have to help the poorest and the most undeveloped nation in Europe.

  • 29.
  • At 07:42 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Eugene wrote:

The greatest problem with Serbs is that they are less convenient for EU at the moment in comparison with Kosovars. But times change and one day EU would conclude that Serbs become more convenient than Kosovars and - hoopla! - they would be allowed to get Northern Kosova and maybe something else. This should be the serbian agenda for future. I advise Kosovars not to forget about that. Long live international law in EU interpretation!

  • 30.
  • At 07:57 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Linda Adami wrote:

After reading comments from my fellow BBC readers, one of the main arguments against Kosovo's independece is that it violates international law. This argument comes not only from Serbs, but also many people in the west who think that the creation of a new state with the aid of the west is a farce. I think that United States led wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have left a sour taste in our mouths. When we think of nation building led by the west, especially the United States, we think that there must have some sort of hidden agenda.

It wasn't always so. After WW2 the United States helped rebuild Germany and Japan and both of these countries today boast some of the most prosperous and productive economies in the world.

It is really easy to get caught up in nationalistic feelings especially if you come from the Balkans where people are taught from childhood to side along ethnic lines. Serbia considers Kosovo the cradle of its civilization and to prove it, it cites a 12th century battle with the Ottoman Empire. I don't remember that battle, but what I do remember is watching the news and seeing hundreds of thousands of displaced Kosovars pouring into Albania and Macedonia. I never hear the Serbian government publicly apologise for its role in ethnically cleansing Kosovo. After the Nazis were defeated, there was a collective feeling of guilt in Germany for enabling the regime to exist and operate successfully. Serbian citizens refuse to even acknowledge that something was done wrong.

The Serbian Orthodox Church tells its followers to boycott elections in Kosovo and the Serbian government gives pensions to Serb Kosovars. How can Kosovo belong to Serbia when it actively alienated 95% of its inhabitants?

  • 31.
  • At 08:20 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • ED wrote:

“Kosovo Albanians for the past eight years haven’t shown great tolerance. There is no tolerance, it’s very bad. How would you feel in the your own country, or anywhere, to be treated like a second class citizen?”

This quote sums up the state of denial the Serbs are in and have been for a long time.Administrative suffocation is a term coined by those same Serbs complaining preemptively about it now.Serbia applied Administartive suffocation harshly toward the Kosovo Albanians starting from schools and all the way to health institutions during the '90ties.Albanian kids had to teach in basements with no heating and perform surgeries in garages while schools and hospitals sat empty because Serbia decided to punish the disobedience in such a "democratic" way and teach Albanians a lesson.
You cant expect to treat 30% of "your" population like scum without consequences.Thats why Albanians were determined to never go back under Serbia again.
Kosovo is already making sure that Serbs have equal rights with everyone else,regardless that Serbs seem to want to sabotage their own destiny.They are shooting their own foot.

  • 32.
  • At 08:42 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • j.a.jaeger wrote:

On the website you can support the petition "No Independence for Kosovo"

  • 33.
  • At 08:59 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • nnzeka wrote:

well if the Serbs feel insecure and second class citizen now, how do you think Albanians have been feeling for past 100 years as tortured, masacred generation after generations. Open your eyes and see and see what you have become.

  • 34.
  • At 10:18 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Ana wrote:

1. Kosova had borders even in ex Yugoslavia! If Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro can be independent, so can Kosova!
2.I hear so much of "what if Pakistani people want be independent in UK,or Africans in France" ALBANINAS IN KOSOVA DID NOT COME FROM ASIA OR AFRICA!NO one could pass the border to and from Albania during Hoxha regime. Albanians are not asking independence in UK,USA,Germany,Turkey...ETHNIC Albanians, anyone knows what it mean? Serbs came from Russia in 6-7 century!
3. Religion, anyone know that there are muslim, catholic and orthodox Albanians?! If they hate one religion then they hate part of their own nation! Gjergj Kastrioti Scanderbeg is one of the greatest generals ever - wrote the famous historian Ludvig Holberg in 1739. The Ottoman Empire's expansion was ground to a halt during the timeframe in which Skanderbeg and his Albanian forces resisted. He has been credited with being the main reason for delaying Ottoman expansion into Western Europe, giving Vienna time to better prepare for the Ottoman arrival. Profoundly shaken by the fall of Constantinople in 1453, Pius II tried to organize a new crusade against the Ottoman Turks, and to that end he did his best to come to Skanderbeg's aid, as his predecessors Pope Nicholas V and Pope Calixtus III had done before him. The latter named him captain general of the Holy See. This policy was continued by his successor, Pope Paul II. They gave him the title Athleta Christi, or Champion of Christ. Voltaire starts his chapter "The Taking of Constantinople" with the phrase” Had the Greek Emperors acted like Scanderbeg, the empire of the East might still have been preserved”
4. All of our tax money will go to the countries because of our past mistakes, when our gvts. decided to give away Albanian lands to Yugoslavia and Greece! Do you know that Albania is the ONLY country in the word bordering with Albanians?! Why do we cry for “poor Serbs” now and forgot to cry for over a million Albanians when “poor Serbs” forced them out of Kosova only few years ago? When we forgot the pictures of massacred “terrorist” Albanian babies?
5. How come Albanians were on the side of Nazist during WWII when Jewish people from all Europe fled to Albania? Most of the Jewish are from “civilized” Spain!
6. I do understand fears of Serbian people because it is their way of thinking: what if they (Albanians) do to us what we did to them! Must be frightening!
6. The world should now recognize the new state Republic of Serbia. Congratulations!

Dear Serbians, your propaganda WAS one of the best ones in the world.We do not bite that anymore!

  • 35.
  • At 10:53 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Dragan Djurdjanovic wrote:

For the sake of accuracy instead of mythology (which is often what you get in the Balkans and interestingly enough served as a large portion of the basis for western actions lately), Albanians were not kicked out of work by automatism because they were Albanian. Albanians refused to sign allegiance to the new country that emerged as Croatia, Slovenia and later Bosnia seceded (many Yugoslav patriots in Croatia lost jobs because they did not sign similar documents in Croatia). They hence had a very real chance to stay at work, but would rather walk out than sign allegiance to Serbia.

As for schools for Albanian kids, they were empty because they did not want to learn from Albanian books made in Belgrade and approved by Belgrade, but rather from Albanian books (where the history book clearly said "my country is Albania" – that was the book used in early 1980s, when Milosevic was still just a happy little banker and nothing more).

As for "administrative suffocation" I can describe it in details from my family's experience in 1983 (5 years before Milosevic showed up), when we went to Brezovica mountain for skiing. In the "Narcis" hotel in the middle of Strpce village, every waiter was Albanian and only one agreed to speak Serbian to us (we were not from Kosovo so we did not speak Albanian – we were a bit unhappy, but understanding since hey – it’s their language). Then, to our amazement, we realized that the Strpce village itself was 100% Serbian (and still is) - they just could not get jobs by some "magic" and were selling property to leave into Serbia, where they would be treated as normal citizens (we als learnt that the “village” used to be a town and municipality with self-rule). Instead - waiters were brought from Urosevac (Ferizaj - Albabnian name) because the "autonomous government" dominated by Albanians decided to merge Strpce municipality with Urosevac and make this predominantly Serbian community part of a predominantly Albanian community of Urosevac - in time, the Serbs started leaving for jobs. Now take a wild guess how Kosovo (with Serbian oppression) gained 4 times more Albanians over 50 years since WW2, and how in 1991 it got to half the number of Serbs after WW2 (some oppression)! This story was repeated thousands and thousands of times across the province created by a Croatian communist.

That, my fellow discutants is what that lady from Kosovo called "administrative oppression" and our blogger did not explain to us (guess he was too busy getting a pic of that old man with a cigarette – I applaud you for finding that guy, it’s quite ammusing).

  • 36.
  • At 11:29 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • David wrote:

There is no 'real' solution to the situation in Kosovo or in many other parts of the world where circumstances and events have developed in such a way as to establish a culture of hate between neighboring communities. Many people may wish that a nuumber of countires whether it be US interest in the Americas and the Middle East or Franch interests in North-west Africa or Australian interests in the South Pacific or Morocco's in the former Spanish Sahara however we have seen time and time again that these situations generaly escalate if left alone - Darfur is a good case in point where more pressure is needed to ensure that peace gets a chance. Frankly relations between people only heal over time and gradual but consistent communication where neither side feels ata disadvantage and that is very difficult to achieve when your talking about a population numbering in the milions as opposed to a disagreement between two individuals as there's a far greater depth and understanding of events over a large poulace compared to smaller one.

  • 37.
  • At 11:35 PM on 19 Feb 2008,
  • Ajdemi Popusi wrote:

What US, UK, France, Germany (and others) recognized lately, started with boycott of Serbian state laws by its Albanian minority only to grow into open attacks on police and military. So Serbs, learn a lesson and do the same, boycott all the Kosovo state structures and then start attacking police and military and you will get another Serbian state. That is the language everybody understands (it seems).

  • 38.
  • At 12:37 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Petar V wrote:

I am disgusted by some of the comments i have read. Accusing all Serbs of genocide and war crimes is stereotypical and ignorant. Were all Germans responsible for the holocaust? No, only the Nazi regime was responsible. The ordinary citizen ahd no power to do anything. Serbia was exonerated of genocide by the International counrt of justice. So instead of opening old wounds to justify an illegal act of independence, Kosovo should have accepted wide autonomy. Wide autonomy was the best solution. Kosovo could "piggyback" with Serbia into the EU in a few years. Now as an independent state, unemployment at 50%, and an economy in shambles it will be many many years before it is even considered for EU integration. Bush says independence was a peacfull solution and within 72 hours of independence, 2 checkpoints have been attacked, Riots have developed, a bomb threat was called on a Northern Kosovo school, and this is what Bush considers peace? The Western world leaders should stop playing games in the Balkans and let us all be.

  • 39.
  • At 01:49 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Alex Bevan wrote:

The UK and US base their whole legal and political system on the westminster concept of "precedent". and yet are claiming that this should be seen as a one-off. This is ridiculous. This could cause a domino effect with Albanians in Macedonia to claim independence as well. Perhaps now is the time for the Republic of Srpska to announce its independence from Bosnia as well. Perhaps all the Kurds in Turkey should now rise against the Turkish State. Basque separatists and other similar movements will be heartened by this move. It is crazy and will set alight the fuse for unrest that will last for decades. I hope Russia continues to use its power to ensure some balance. Soon most of Europe will be reliant on Russian energy including Kosovo and Albania. How is the UK and the US going to keep the population warm during the winter? Maybe they can use the "union jack" and the "star spangled banner" that they have been waving in the streets of Pristina as blankets.

  • 40.
  • At 02:33 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Goran wrote:

Somebody mentioned what Serbs tried to do in Croatia and Bosnia. I am a Serb from Bosnia. My father lost his job when Muslim got the power. Then, he was forced to dig and do physical work for the army. My best school mate was killed by Bosnian read Muslim army. He was a Croatian.

Serbs did not want to get the same destiny like those during WW2, when lots of Jews, Serbs and Gypsies were killed just because they did not accept Nazis with flowers like Slovenians, Croatians and Muslims.
I left Bosnia, because it got so much support from Arabic countries. You don't know how non-Muslim people feel when those from extreme Muslims go around and hassle everybody that is not like them, a mujahedin.

  • 41.
  • At 04:14 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Kosta wrote:

It is sad to see how the Serbian people naively believe truth will win out in the end. The reality of the world has changed this. Hollywood is America and this is what the news has become. A big show. Most people are too lazy to do their own research, though it is at their finger tips. "The non-Serbian population of Kosovo didn't exceed 2% until the end of the 14th century." Please look up its history. The Serbs have always fought and died for their freedom. They have repeatedly chosen death over slavery. Those Serbian enclaves in Croatia were formed to protect the Hapsburg empire. They have been there since the Ottomans threatened Europe. 1 million Serbians in Croatia before WWII. There is 200,000 today. What happened to them? Those intelligent enough can figure out the rest. Go to youtube.com and see how the Greek police deal with Albanians. Read about Macedonia's problems. I apologize for being so wordy but I wanted to point out a few things.

  • 42.
  • At 04:14 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Jupiter Adrian wrote:

If Serbians did ethnic cleansing why there (in Kosovo) so much Albanians and so few Serbs?

There is about 500.000 people not just Sebs but Croats, Bulgarians and others non Albanians who fled from Kosovo. Because of Albanians and theirs mental and physical torture. Of anyone who is not Albanian or muslim.

Take a note that many Christian churches was burned and completely destroyed from hand of Muslims in Kosovo. Pictures of angels 500 years old and on them Albanian flag.

Sadly Albanian people don`t see that they and theirs leaders are just puppets in hand of US.


  • 43.
  • At 07:53 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Peter wrote:

Serbia I am sure will not want to join an organisation that has treated them like dirt (but other East European countries are treated this way and still joined the EU).

How secure the EU when they get closer ties with their "motherland" Russia who then stations troops in Serbia and builds economic growth in further support.
The west should be ashamed at it's double standards

  • 44.
  • At 09:15 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Robert Texas wrote:

How would USA feel if all 52 states split into new democratig countires? Ofcourse it would not be allowed just ask puppet Bush. What a waste of American tax money.... nor

  • 45.
  • At 11:21 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Mihajlo wrote:

first of all the albanians in ksovo in the 80's WERE DISCRIMINATING SERBS its a FACT! serbs were 2nd class citizens!, its serbian land and always will be USA and EU steal serbian state, which everybody knows has ties with jihad, please kosovo is serbian land! and christian! never independence!

  • 46.
  • At 11:49 AM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Aleksandar wrote:

Mauro - you are right - Turks won the Kosovo battle. Problem is there is history after that event too. Turks lost it few centuries later mate and Serbs got it back. Serbs lost Kosovo i Metohija in 1914 as well just to get it back. And then they lost it in 1941 again. And it was back to Serbia in 1944.
We know how to liberate our land. When are people in western Europe going to learn how to liberate themselves? You have been occupied by foreign forces since 1945. Very long period of occupation and slavery.
Oh, just not to forget - remember British and French selling out Czechoslovakia to Hitler in 1938 (accepting reality on the ground they called it then)? What happened after that? Remember? When WWII started we fought back and together with Soviet Union were the only serious resistance to Germans. French were hiding in their basements and making stories of some resistance. And in 1944/45 you got new occupiers. German troops were just replaced with American. Oh, American troops are nicer occupiers though - they brought chocolates with them - McDonalds came some years later.
So, I have no doubts that Kosovo i Metohija will rejoin mother Serbia one day in the future. And after latest events I have no doubts that Serbs finally learned who is friend and who is enemy. And gain for Serbs is already there - no joining occupied Europe called EU. Thanks but no thanks.

  • 47.
  • At 01:06 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Jelena wrote:

The purpose of the UN mission on Kosovo was to bring peace and tolerance, to introduce certain standards before solving the status. I am not sure if they succeeded....What do you think?
If Serbs put pressures on Albanians in the past, which I am not denying, now is reversed. Moreover, with Kosovo independence EU and USA are sending the message that people of different nations, religion and culture can not leave together, that dialogue is impossible and borders should be drawn between them. All EU countries together with USA have power to make politicians from Kosovo and Serbia come up with common solutions for the sake of people who live there, if of course the purpose of their involvement is better future for citizens of Serbia and Kosovo. I am afraid that this is not a case and that big powerful countries defend their own interests. Victims are again common people, Serbs and Albanians.
And we are helping them because we don’t know facts about our history and history of our neighbors. We don’t want to learn about each other. Like our friend Fatmir Loshi. He doesn’t know that Djindjic advocated for Kosovo to be part of the Serbia again on 2003. You can refer to B92 site for more information on this. And Ana, if you want to know more about Christianity on Balkan you can visit official web site of Serbian Orthodox church or any other web site on religion and history, not only Kosovo tourist guide

  • 48.
  • At 01:33 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • chrisboote wrote:

In post #24 Zbyszek said
"Churchill and Roosevelt sold all Eastern Europe to Stalin. It was shameful specially in respect to Poland, that its Government in Exile in London administrated a huge Polish Army that help to defend England and defeat Nazi Germany"

It was Churchll & Roosevelt who tried to resist Stalin. Atlee & Truman sold Eastern Europe down the river.

  • 49.
  • At 01:55 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Laert Dogjani wrote:

The amount of propaganda in here is astounding. I strongly doubt all people with "non-serb" names posting here are actually non-serb.

"Albanians sided with the Germans in WWII", "Albanians ethnically cleansing Kosova", "Indians carving out a part of London for themselves", "Albanians from Kosova should go to Albania"

You are either totally uninformed or stupid.

  • 50.
  • At 02:43 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • chrisboote wrote:

In post #24 Zbyszek said
"Churchill and Roosevelt sold all Eastern Europe to Stalin. It was shameful specially in respect to Poland, that its Government in Exile in London administrated a huge Polish Army that help to defend England and defeat Nazi Germany"

It was Churchll & Roosevelt who tried to resist Stalin. Atlee & Truman sold Eastern Europe down the river.

  • 51.
  • At 03:45 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Independent Kosovar wrote:

I have a question for those comparing Kosovo with Yorkshire, Tirol and similar regions: Have those regions experienced: closure of schools, hospitals, massive expulsion of populations with trains and buses (personal documents destroyed at the border so they cant comeback), ruthless war and mass killings of CIVILIANS by the Police and Army of their respective states? The answer is NO. What moral ground has Serbia to ask us to become once again the citizens of a State that tried to eradicate us from Kosovo? Serb President in UN said Milosevic is dead therefore he expects us to run back to Serbia's arms once again. The sad and ugly truth is that Serbian people havnt distanced themselves from the deeds of Milosevic. To this date there is no apology for the crimes comitted by THEIR STATE in THEIR NAME. So...thaks, but no thanks, with Serbia NEVER AGAIN

  • 52.
  • At 04:34 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Ana, Slovakia wrote:

Dear Mark,
It is with disappointment that the UK has come to support the US move and recognize Kosovo as independent state so quickly. It is also with disappointment that you have so little respect for the Serbs as a nation. We in Slovakia (as a part of former Czechoslovakia) have a history of being decided about - without us. Remember Munich. Since Serbs are a sovereign nation, they ought to decide (or at least participate on deciding) on the future of their territory. Whether you like it or not, Serbs are Europeans, they share our history and culture and certainly do not deserve to be treated like this. It is not only Albanians who have suffered in the Balkan conflict.

  • 53.
  • At 05:10 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Arban Mata wrote:

To all the serbs out there, you lost your chance ages ago, good luck on your own, stop interfering

  • 54.
  • At 05:37 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Thomas Patricio wrote:

Ah Mark,
How tempting it really must be to censor all the ignorance and idiocy that comes across your blog...
I find all this discussion over who wronged who the most, what belongs to who and who's conspiring against whom so small, so petty and so tiresome. In a previous posting I stated that NATO and the EU would have to stay in Kosovo for two or three generations until Serbians and Kosovars grew up and learned how to behave like normal civilized nations. Going through many other postings since then, I now realize I was being rather optimistic...

Thomas Patricio
Toronto, Canada

  • 55.
  • At 06:32 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • AW wrote:

Kosovo independence will lead to a chain reaction of negative events. This is Serbia's birthplace culture and religion and the Albanians already have one country and they have also autonomy in Kosovo.

  • 56.
  • At 08:53 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • bacterius wrote:

This labeling of Albanians as you see fit is anoying. I am Albanian and I am a Christian, and so is my entire clan and most of my city. Albanians have not been Muslims since the last Ottomans pulled out of Albania. Even that 5-10% that actually goes to a mosque is more peacefull than most orthodox Serbs I have seen. Enough labeling us with some data gathered from 1930, simply to scare the Islamo-fobic population. Albania has been in the forefront of the war against islamic terrorism, with freezing of all assets of Islamic organization, troop support in Afghanistan and Iraq and gathering and deportation of all potentially dangerous foreign Muslims. I would say that is more than any of the countries around us have done.

  • 57.
  • At 09:16 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Bardhyli wrote:

Dear Mark/Dear All,

These should be very happy days for all nationalities in Kosovo, Serb, Albanian and others! When has and Prime Minister or President of a sovereign country addressed a minority (5%) in their own language during a parliament session to assure them that their rightful place and country is Kosovo? This has certainly never happened in the Serbian parliament up to date and doubt if it ever will? There has never been a Serb official who has addressed their now ex country men, the Kosovar Albanians in their language and assured them that they will not be ethically cleansed, in fact the opposite can be said. By the way, this is still true for the regions of Presheve and Bujanovc (part of Serbia) which are populated by Albanians. They have the same worries as the Serbs of Kosovo.

I urge the Serbs to remain in their homes and live together with us the rest of Kosovars such that we can really make something beautiful out of the tragedy-ies that have until now has surrounded our nations. Kosovo according to Serbs is their soul, but, we can also say that it is the soul of the Albanians the Turks (500 years) the Roma, the Bonsnians and the rest of the people that live there, so why not really try and make it the soul of the Kosovar people once and for all and stop the wars the ethnic cleansing and start the hard work of building a proud country.

Maybe this is our chance, if Kosovar Serbs except, to really and truly make a beacon for the rest of the Balkans and the world and show the EU the UN that we can live together and respect each others traditions religions and cultural values whilst maybe developing a unique Kosovar signature one day!

I apologise for these rather emotional words that I have written but as many other Kosovars who have had to flee their country as young men and women during the late 80s and 90s thinking that we will never return, last week has truly been an emotional one.

To all Serbs I can truly say, please remain in your home Kosovo to those that have fled please return, it will be difficult but together we will do it!

Sure it will take some time and lost of help and supervision but, we are a young country and it normal to need some help.

Regards
Bardhyli

  • 58.
  • At 09:55 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • Mark wrote:

adnan wrote:
"too bad they gave up Kosovo when they started the genocide there".

The problem is, there next to none proves of genocide exist out there. Only biased claims. Most previous claims about genocide were dismissed in courts. Do simple search in Goggle and see yourself that when it comes to actual proves there isn't anything out there.

I also remember news about a million refugees from Kosovo, a number that later shrinked to only 80,000.

And even if genocide did take place, results kind of strange - as of result of "genocide" 90% of population are Albanians, while Serbs are gone.

  • 59.
  • At 11:52 PM on 20 Feb 2008,
  • gaz wrote:

Serb Demonstrators chant: we will not give up Kosovo

Excatly the same was the attitude of the Serbian Government hiding under the Yugoslavian state.

First it was Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo.
They Serbian government masterminded the plan to achieve the goal called The Greater Serbia.

They allowed Politician such as Seselj,Milosevic,Mladic, Karadzic Arkan and many others,to lead the serbian people the only Politician who disagreed with the serb politics at that time was the Democrat Zoran Djindjic who was assasinated by the Milosevic's orders.

We all saw it then, how Serb goverment ordered the massacre of 8000 people in Srebrenica, we all saw it on TV how the World almost relieved the Holocaust as Milosevic tried to ethnicaly cleanse Kosovo.

An now we are still dealing with a Serb Government that wont hand over Radovan Karadzic and Ratko Mladic.

In all the principled debate about abstractions and their consequences for Kosovo and the world -the small quiet voice of wisom is easilly overlooked.

"You can’t hide violence but you can hide administrative suffocation.”

Indeed, and you can apparently hide "pork barrel" politics easilly too. In fact, from personal experience, I rather suspect that these two "tools" of the political trade are the real motors behind the daily events everywhere on our planet. So forget "democratic debate" over abstractions and first look to see how the system actually works in practice. Who benifits from all the money pumped in by foreign investors -and generous foreign donors?

At present the Philippines is being torn apart by yet another political scandal -with accusations of government corruptuption flying everywhere. Search for ZTE, Neri, Lozada, Arroyo + Philippines and you will no doubt find..... and yet the BBC seems silent on such issues. Why?

Could it be that the commercial deals with various American media and social networking companies is already undermining the BBC's trusted independance?

Kososvo independant" I suspect not -for niether are we any more..... The big companies already own our souls.

  • 61.
  • At 02:17 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Vladimir wrote:

I respect BBC, you are giving us "the freedom of speach"!!!HA,ha,ha...i wrote several coments bot none was posted.
Kosovo is an european problem now, and i am glad is like that. Try stopping the international terrorism now.
Also well done for the americans who love to watch TV. I will finish with one quote from the movie i love:
"Good night and good luck".

  • 62.
  • At 02:40 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • AB wrote:

Yes Mark you right, the gravest sorrow is main mood of Serbs these days. There is so much power against us. There is nothing we can do, especially after so many demoralizing events over last twenty years. Just sorrow …

But humiliation is a great source of motivation for future.

  • 63.
  • At 07:35 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Srdjan wrote:

Independence for Texas and Arizona, Independence for North Ireland and Scotland, Independence for Basque and Catalonia, Independence for Corsica, Independence for Sicily and Sardinia, Independence for Istra, etc, etc, etc. Kosovo is not a precedent, we will see that in the future!!!

  • 64.
  • At 08:32 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • Velja wrote:

US and their sidekicks will choke on their filth someday. I believe that the only terrorist in the world is the US itself. The US killed Afro-Americans, started various wars and then blamed people of those countries for starting a "civil strife"... People are not to blame, politicians are. SERBIA DOESN'T WANT TO JOIN NATO, EU OR ANY OTHER US-PUPPET ORGANIZATION. I think we made our point at this rally. Stay away from Serbia, Americans. Republika Srpska and Republika Srpska Krajina will join us soon. We will not forget 1991-95 and 1999. Kosovo is Serbian!

  • 65.
  • At 08:52 PM on 21 Feb 2008,
  • NYStateofMind wrote:

Dear Mark,

1. I don't know how you can stand to read some of these ridicilous blogs.

2. Unless these people, the serbs and the kosovars, take some serious initiative in trying to put their differences aside and bring their people to a state of mind free of all this dispicable centuries old hatered, unfortunately sadly to say, there will never be peace in the BALKANS.

3. If they are so concerned and hate the west so very much, for their future and the future of the whole region, perhaps they should come together and form some sort of common dialogue on how to keep them out and for once, work on building stronger restabilization methods, so very much needed in the BALKANS, and try to unite for the sake of a healthier future.

4. As I was about half way in reading some of these stupid and ignorant comments, I just couldn't help but realize how everyone preaches about their sufferings, their dire need of freedom, their persecutions, their religious histories and future religious endeavours. Can't you, the people of this once great beauty called YUGOSLAVIA, get over your damn selves and your damns stupid, irelevant issues and just say:
ok, it happened, i shouldn't forget it, but in order to live a more promising life, i'm willing to do what it takes to LIVE IT!!!!!!??????

5. Until there persists a popullation of people who continue to live in the shadows of their past, there can never be hope of a new future filled with more promising and richer experiences.

Thoughts from a former YUGOSLAV and now a new yorker!

  • 66.
  • At 11:16 AM on 22 Feb 2008,
  • Kamille wrote:

It seems to me patriotism is blinding most Serbs, I admit I find it amusing that they're claiming Kosovo as a cultural heritage.

Shouldn't you be claiming Poland? You came from that country anyway.

  • 67.
  • At 01:38 PM on 22 Feb 2008,
  • Mirek Kondracki wrote:

"The US killed Afro-Americans, started various wars..."

Reminds me of an old joke about first Soviet mainframe computer.

"Comrade Brezhev, you can ask this machine any question at all, and it'll answer it in no time" -boasts its chief designer.

So Brezhnew thinks long and hard and finally asks:

"How many pairs of shoes are manufactured in USSR in a year per one Soviet citizen?"

The computer started to wail and moan, all lights began to blink hectically, and finally, to a side (not to a front) drawer a small piece of paper with an answer slipped out hesitantly.

It read:

"But in United States they persecute blacks!!!".

  • 68.
  • At 03:18 PM on 23 Feb 2008,
  • tara wrote:

These are all politics,things being decided years,if not decades earlier and unfortunatelly we can't do anything about it.Still I'm really sorry reading these days things like "serbian PEOPLE demolished embassies"or"albanians lived like slaves under serbian government"because every medal has another side.So I would just like you to ask:If there were really genocide over the albanians in Kosovo and if they really lived like slaves,how is that they "triplicated"on this teritory(I would not give birth to 7children if they should be convicted to live like a slaves)oh!and slaves do not make part of parlament or have right of democratical elections!
Second,I would like you to understand that on demostrations in Belgrade there were 200.000people demonstrating peacefully and couple of hundreds of "ultras"huligans which after attacking embassies started demolishing the city and stilling things from the stores,so its obvies they have no brain and no interest fighting for the true cause.A 99% of belgrade citizens are ashamed of them and their acts.
So please,before judgeing someone,use your own head and think that nothing in this world is just black or white.Thank you!

  • 69.
  • At 08:08 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Amir wrote:

Serbia has alot of smart and bright people. However what we are seeing now is Radicals trying to take over just like they did in the 90's, and Russia is streaching their muscles.
Whatever we are seeing now has nothing to do with Kosovo but more Serbia standing firm against EU, against Democracy, against USA who has given Serbia milions of $$$ in help.
I think Tadic supporters need to wake up and stand up to the radicals. Move on. Check out what their sister Montenegro is doing in only 2 years of their indenpendence!
Serbia used to say Montenegro can't survive without Serbia!

  • 70.
  • At 08:59 PM on 25 Feb 2008,
  • Unknown wrote:

The statement below posted by one of the readers is disturbing. You make it sound like the whole world is against Serbs. One should not take what does not belong to them by aggression, and for that Serbs surly are very well known. I guess if many seem to disagree with Serbs, then perhaps they are the ones doing the wrong. Serbia belongs to you, the rest of the Europe you should leave to those that it belongs to.

"what usa,uk,france,germeny, and the rest are doing to serbians is heartless and i hope with all my heart someday we pay you back twice the fold for all your wrong doings"

  • 71.
  • At 08:46 AM on 26 Feb 2008,
  • Vedran wrote:

Now, I guess, since remorse is so much in vogue, we are all eagerly anticipating an expression of British remorse for slavery and colonialism; not to mention the countless genocidal campaigns that have marred your country's not-that-distant history.

But hey, I'm not going to hold my breath on this one. ;)

  • 72.
  • At 01:05 AM on 27 Feb 2008,
  • Pat wrote:

“Simply because whoever knows a bit of European history knows that the Serbs in 1389 stopped the Ottoman Empire forcing its way towards Vienna and Europe, so we were the victims of history 500 years ago and we are the victims once again.”

Sadly, these type of ignorance is daily used for the past four hundred years to justify blind nationalistic ideas. The truth is that due to internal strife the Serbs were defeated by advancing Turks. It would be very helpfull if Serbs would explain their role in post Kosovo battle when members of the Royal court became members of Bayazit family and the Serbian princes activelly took part on the Turkish side against the European join forces of the day. Even cry for the Pecka Patrijarsija is in vein since Mehmed Pasa Sokolovic appointed his relative as patriarh and choose ex-Catholic church for the Orthodox Serbian Church Headquarter in Pec.

  • 73.
  • At 03:25 AM on 29 Feb 2008,
  • Tyco-on wrote:

I remember when my dad was protesting and ended in Jail for nothing only for protesting for his right to live in Kosovo, my family had to flee the country only because my dad worked in high class work and was education Albanians to stand for their rights i look back on them days and thank god that totally destroyed Serbia, from now on i have a story to tell to my children and without being through the story like my family did, when am seeing Serbs on TV protesting am thinks back the days they have every right to live in Kosovo but they trying to reach the impossible we fight'd 500 years for freedom of Kosovo and finally have it am only saying to Serbs you have to fight for another 5000 years for a chance to invade Kosovo again.

  • 74.
  • At 03:07 AM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Dina wrote:

Here's a simple and accurate analogy : The Albanians declaring an independent Kosovo is like Cubans declaring the state of Florida independent. "Nonsense!", you say? EXACTLY.

What makes it even more unjustified is that Kosovo wasn't even a republic, but only a province. For arguments sake, even a Cuban Florida would have more legitimacy, being that Florida is beyond the status of a "province."

Here are some other facts: The Albanians entered then Yugoslavia (most went to the province of Kosovo, though Montenegro was a close second) thanks to Tito who opened the borders to those fleeing Enver Hoxha's regime in Albania. Tito allowed the Albanians to build Albanian schools, businesses and the like. They never bothered to even learn Serbo-Croatian, instead sending their kids off to private schools where they studied ALBANIAN history from ALBANIAN textbooks... in the country of Yugoslavia. Not only that, but elders recall when Tito passed, how the Albanians marched the streets kicking and spitting at pictures of Tito.

If you travel to Montenegro today, you will see exactly what is described above. Completely seperate Albanian communities in complete disregard of local law.

This is the old case of "biting the hand that feeds." Perhaps Tito should have closed those borders and let the Albanians kick at pictures of Enver Hoxha back in Tirana.

As for the Serbs, the GOOD Serbs that is, well... if there is/was any one conflict over the past 20 years that justifies Serb anger, it would most definitely be Kosovo. But thanks to Milosevic and his cohorts, the good Serbs have lost their reputations as well as their land. There's nothing else to do but move on.

Lastly, to the Serbs here who are bent out of shape claiming/writing how the Bosnian Muslims and the Albanian Muslims have committed atrocities against them: you forget many things. 1-Remember the genocide your fellow Serbs were responsible for in Bosnia? 2-Remember when the war in Kosovo began, how the Albanians killed even Montenegrin Muslims that lived in Kosovo, just because they were Montenegrin and not Albanian Muslims?

Perhaps the Serbs' loss of Kosovo is the result of what they sowed. Anyway, they can thank thier good friends Milosevic, Karadzic and Mladic for whatever they're angry about.

  • 75.
  • At 08:42 PM on 03 Mar 2008,
  • Mirek Kondracki wrote:

People who claim that a massive influx of Albanians occurred in the post WWII period obviously have never seen fortifications, fences and mine fields on borders of Enver Hoxha's Stalinist Albania, which could be compared only with North Korean ones in the DMZ.

  • 76.
  • At 04:44 AM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Albano wrote:

I lived in Albania for 25 year and rarely someone escaped Albania and when they did they used Yugoslavia to jump to USA Canada or somewhere else. During that time Yugoslavian TV would produce propaganda programs when the escapees will have interviews in which they will tell how bad life was in Albania was SO PLEASE TELL TO SOMEONE ELSE THIS NONSENSE. The only time that I know when the Albanian emigrated to Kosova is because the blood feud they had with someone but this goes for both sides of the Border. In the Albanian’s cities like Lushnja, Fier, Elbasan amd Kukes you will find entire villages with Kosovars who emigrated because of the Serbian repression right after the second War II and during Rankovic’s (Serbian interior minister extremely brutal against Albanians) time
I just have a friendly advice for Serbs
GROW UP. LIVE AND LET LIVE

  • 77.
  • At 12:04 PM on 05 Mar 2008,
  • Lev in Russia wrote:

"Whatever we are seeing now has nothing to do with Kosovo but more Serbia standing firm against EU, against Democracy, against USA who has given Serbia milions of $$$ in help."

The Same USA that bombed them?

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