Thursday, April 06, 2006

The Indictment of a People

The Article

April 04, 2006

By Robert Leifels

The politicians and intellectuals have missed the boat regarding the death of former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt and label their Wall Street Opening Bell-like screaming as a rush to judgment. It is quite natural for them to worship at the shrine of the perceived beauty of their own words; a need to sell newspapers and so on. After all, a scorpion can't help himself for being what he is. But the “judgment” they blabber on about was already passed down years ago. I know because I witnessed it while it was happening.Mr. Milosevic, according to Western law, was to be considered innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Yet he was found dead before his case was finished. So one can say that according to the rule of law, when Milosevic died he was innocent.

All the journalists who heralded the trumpet of freedom and democracy in denying this condition have therefore forgotten this basic principle of Western law. And the Hague judges too have most certainly lost their way in their quest for self-glorification. Mr. Milosevic’ corpse wasn't even through rigor mortis yet when the Bench declared he was “probably” going to be found guilty anyway. In America, such a statement made by a sitting judge would be grounds for a mistrial, were the defendant alive.

Respect for the System

Throughout twenty years of service as a New York City police officer, I and my colleagues were constantly under scrutiny. Sometimes oversight verging on the fanatical, we thought, was enforced to ensure that the power of law enforcement entrusted to us and those we served with was not abused. It is well known that power unchecked will lead to abuse, and the truism that “absolute power corrupts absolutely” can apply to anyone in a position of power, not just to high politicians. Most of the time, the feeling of being under a microscope was unpleasant and it was resented. But fundamentally, such oversight was a good thing; there were indeed times when justice did prevail and “the system worked.”

Continued to Article............................................

One killed, four injured in blast in Albania

The Article


VLORA, Albania -- One man was killed and four were injured after a bomb planted in a Mercedes exploded in the southwest Albanian town of Vlora on Saturday (1 April). According to local police, the man who was killed was identified as Astrit Elmazi, 35, while the injured were children aged 13 to 15, who were playing near the parking lot where the explosion happened. The local media reported that the police suspect two motivations for the blast -- revenge or drug trafficking. (Focus - 03/04/06; AP - 02/04/06)

Petersen Requests Serb Authorities To Stop Trial Against Lekaj

Prishtina, 03 Apr 2006 (Radio Kosova) – UNMIK Chief Søren Jessen Petersen requested Serb authorities to stop the trial against an Albanian, Anton Lekaj. In a letter sent to Serb authorities on March 9th, Petersen stated that based on UN Resolution 1244, only UNMIK has the right to initiate legal procedures against acts committed in Kosova. He added that this is the reason that the trail against Lekaj is a violation of Resolution 1244 and it must be stopped immediately.

Time’s Up, 12:44 UNMIK Go Home

03 Apr 2006 (Epoka e Re) – Dozens of Self Determination! Activists on Saturday had an action in Gjilan where they wrote “Time’s up 12:44 UNMIK go home” slogan on the internationals’ vehicles which were parked in the UNMIK parking lot.

According to the movement representatives the action was a success, adding that activists from Prishtina, Mitrovica and Dardana took part in this action.

According to them, their targets were the white UNMIK vehicles, which were parked in the UNMIK parking lot on “Bulevari I Pavarsise” road in Gjilan.

Through a communiqué the Self Determination! Activists reacted to the violent behavior of some international police officers, whom they say were too brutal towards the activists and especially towards, Blerim Zeka, who is from Prishtina.

“Not only that they were violent and brutal but they also insulted and humiliated the Self Determination! Activists” stated the communiqué released by Self Determination! Movement.

Natasha Micic: Kosova's Independence Is Reality

03 Apr 2006 (Epoka e Re) – The head of the Serbian Citizens Alliance (GSS), Natasha Micic, said on Saturday that “Kosova's independence is reality and that Kosova is not a part of Serbia”, Micic is the former Serbian parliament chairman.

She made these statements during a press conference in Uzice, adding that “unfortunately Kosova has been independent since 1999, when Slobodan Milosevic withdrew his last clerks from that territory”.

She said that the border with Kosova is one of the safest borders in Europe, and that Kosova's problem comes as a consequence of Milosevic’s policies. Micic said the political forces are using Kosova's citizens for their own benefit.

Suspect Arrested For Bombing Attacks

Pristina, 3 Apr 2006 (B92) - Pristina police have arrested a Kosovo Albanian who is suspected of perpetrating a number of bombing attacks last year.

An unidentified male has been arrested in relation to three separate attacks which took place at nearly the same time.

The attacks were done in June; one was an explosion in the parking lot of the UNMIK building in Pristina in which three vehicles were destroyed. The second attack was made close to the OSCE building, about 100 meters away from the UNMIK building, while the third was an attack on the Government building, which caused minimal damage.

One bomb was uncovered before it exploded, near Radio Television Kosovo’s main building. (FoNet)

Raskovic-Ivic Says Albanians See Chance Through Montenegro

Belgrade, 3 Apr 2006 (BETA) - President of the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija Sanda Raskovic-Ivic said that announcements that Albanians in Montenegro will help Montenegro achieve independence in an upcoming referendum are part of "the strategic concept of a greater Albania."

Former political leader of the Kosovo Liberation Army and president of Kosovo's writers' association Adem Demaci said that Albanian votes would be decisive in Montenegro's referendum on independence.

Raskovic-Ivic told BETA that Demaci’s stances were nothing new, as Demaci had already served time for his Greater Albanian ideas, but that it is worrisome to see him inciting Albanians to vote for Montenegrin independence.

She stressed that "unfortunately, there is a pro-Albanian policy in Montenegro," adding that "backs are being turned on Serbia, the KLA flag is being waved, Podgorica's elite are boasting about its harmonious relations with Pristina's leadership. All-in-all, the Montenegrin political leadership is blinded by its anti-Serb stances," Raskovic-Ivic said.

Halimi: Bad Situation In South Serbia

Presevo, 03 Apr 2006 (B92) – Riza Halimi’s Party for Democratic Action (PDD), the most influential party of Albanians in the municipalities of Presevo, Medvedja, and Bujanovac, evaluated the situation in Presevo valley is very tense. They pointed out this is not just because of the recent protest gatherings of the Albanian in Bujanovac, but because of the general dissatisfaction over the socio-economic and political positions of the Albanians in this region.

“It is clear that the past political processes have not achieved the desired results, above all because of the lack of readiness of the current government in tackling complex problems of Albanian in this region,” states the announcement issues by the PDD.

This political party also evaluates that last year’s reconstruction of the Coordination Center was unsuccessful because the government was not ready to allow the Albanian representatives which were at the same time representatives of local authorities, to be fully involved in the work of this state institution.

This political party estimates that “all factors including government, international community, and Albanian representatives need to intensify their efforts with the goal of fully implementing the government program for resolving the crises in municipalities of Presevo, Medvedja, and Bujanovac. It is also necessary that all governing institutions become more responsible in resolving the positions of the Albanians in this region”. (FoNet)

No Negotiations with Serbia

01 April 2006 (Lajm) – The leaders of Organization for National Unity (OBK) will protest in “Skanderbeg” town squire, on April 3d, against negotiations with Serbia.

Former member of LKÇK General Council, Agron Xhemajli who’s currently member of OBK stated for “Lajm” that with these negotiations Kosova’s destiny is becoming a marketplace.
“The people of Kosova have the right to decide on their destiny. There’s no need to negotiate with Serbia for our own country. The continuation of these negotiations with Serbia is in absolute contradiction with people’s interests and rights”.

He hopes that people will join the protest on April 3d, to give a clear message to politicians that they shouldn’t negotiate on Kosova’s destiny.

Serbian Police Confiscates 15 Kilos Of Marihuana At The Border Crossing With Kosova

April 1, 2006 (Koha Ditore) – Serbian Police confiscated 15 kilos of marihuana in Merdar border crossing, which is the administrative border between Serbia and Kosova.
Marihuana was found during a routine police control check, in the trunk of the bus which travels from Dragash to Belgrade, and escorted by KPS on its way to Kosova.

The bus, where the narcotics were found, is the property of “Adio Trans” from Vladiqin Hani. A source of the newspaper in the police station emphasizes that these Serbian convoys are controlled by no one during and on their way to Kosova.

“They get in and out, just like in Hani i Dilit, nobody controls them. It is possible that everything can be transported”, emphasizes the source.

Meanwhile, official sources from police were not ready to say whether the Serbian convoys that transport Serbians in Kosova, are controlled or not.

“For this issue you will get an answer on Monday”, said the information officer from KPS, Sabrie Kamberi.

Eight People Arrested During An Operational Plan In Ferizaj

April 1 06 (Koha Ditore) – The regional KPS (Kosova Police Service) Spokesman, Agim Demiri, reported on Friday about some police actions, which resulted on arrests of criminals. He said that the Regional Command implemented an operations plan on Thursday evening, for the purpose of investigation, detecting and stopping the crime.

During the implementation of the operation 4 people have been arrested, 3 of them Albanians from Bujanovc and one Kosovar, who possessed fake money, in an amount of 1,200 American dollars.

Also, a wanted person from the police has been arrested, who is known as the robber of some taxi drivers. During the search in his house a pistol, type TT 7.62 mm, was found. Demiri announced that the police also arrested a person who was wanted from the Court of Kacanik, and who was sentenced to 6 months imprisonment.

It is also report that in all of this police action, two persons were shackled because they broke public law and order. According to spokesman, Demiri, all the arrested persons have been sent in the detention center in Gjilan.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Four killed in Turkey amid continuing Kurdish riots

The Article


ISTANBUL, Turkey -- Four people died Sunday (2 April) in separate incidents in Turkey. According to media reports, a group of 15 masked men -- believed to be Kurds -- attacked a bus in Istanbul's Bagcilar district, breaking its windows and throwing Molotov cocktails inside. Three people died and two were seriously injured. Elsewhere in Istanbul, a group of about 200 protesters torched a truck and scuffled with police and local residents.

In the southeastern town of Kizilteppe, meanwhile, a 22-year-old Kurdish man was killed by gunfire. The violence took place amid continued clashes between supporters of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party and Turkish security forces across the country. The riots have claimed nine lives to date. (Reuters, AFP, Focus - 03/04/06; AP, CNN, NTV - 02/03/06)

One killed, four injured in blast in Albania

The Article


VLORA, Albania -- One man was killed and four were injured after a bomb planted in a Mercedes exploded in the southwest Albanian town of Vlora on Saturday (1 April). According to local police, the man who was killed was identified as Astrit Elmazi, 35, while the injured were children aged 13 to 15, who were playing near the parking lot where the explosion happened. The local media reported that the police suspect two motivations for the blast -- revenge or drug trafficking.

(Focus - 03/04/06; AP - 02/04/06)

EC expected to recommend 2007 accession for Bulgaria, Romania

The Article


BRUSSELS, Belgium -- The European Commission (EC) is expected to recommend the admission of Bulgaria and Romania into the EU on 1 January 2007, international media reported Monday (3 April). However, the EC will demand further reforms from both countries. If the EU leaders agree to the recommendation, Bulgaria and Romania will join the Union on schedule, but risk being cut off financially if they fail to meet the recommended reforms -- most notably in the judiciary and the fight against crime and corruption.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, meanwhile, was due to brief the European Parliament Monday evening. Rehn has said that 2006 "is the worst possible time for the EU to go wobbly on its commitment to future enlargement", as the Balkans have started to emerge from a period of nationalism and war, and are ready to join the European family of nations.

(Reuters, - 03/04/06)

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Settlement concerning Kosovo independence soon: UN

The Article

Sarajevo, Mar 31: Deputy UN Special Envoy to Kosovo Albert Rohan expected a settlement soon that would instate the independence of the province, calling on minority Serbs to respect the decisions of Kosovo's majority.

Rohan told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) from Kosovo that it was not possible to divide the province by setting up separate entities or to deal out part of the land to Serbia as requested by some Serbian nationalist parties. Rohan, who has been touring the region to urge concerned parties to accept a settlement, said that 95 per cent of Kosovo's population wanted independence and sovereignty and that should be respected.......(Continued)..........