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News Archive 1998
Kosova: Background; student demo March 13

From: LasiewiczN@aol.com
Newsgroups: yugo.antiwar
Subject: Young People Concerned: Risk of War in Kosovo
Date: 26 Feb 1998 12:16:07

I received this appeal from Shin Yasui in Sarajevo and would like to bring it
to your attention:

If you have any comments for me on this post, please write to me at:

Or, join the ExJugoList@aol.com and there we can have more in-depth discussion
on this and other current topics from the region.  Peace!

Nalini Lasiewicz
Dear all:

This is Shin Yasui writing from Sarajevo.

Bad things started from Kosovo in the former Yugoslavia. Several Balkan
experts resort the beginning of the end of Yugoslavia to the crisis in
Kosovo in 1981. Serbian strongman Slobodan Milosevic stripped away
Kosovo's autonomy (and also Vojvodina) and placed it under Serbia's direct
rule with iron hands. Albanians' education rights have been infringed, and
police repression has not ceased but rather increased. There has been also
an attempt of the Serbian regime to change the demography since about 90%
of the Kosovo population consists of the Albanians.

The Kosovo "President" Ibrahim Rugova has been pursuing non-violent, non-
provocation policy. However, long years of neglect from the international
community and increasing pressure from Serbia may marginalize those who
adovocate peaceful solutions with dialogues (since the Serb side refuses
to do so). The most notable example is the emergence of the shadowy Kosovo
Liberation Army that has allegedly claimed at least 17 killings of Serbs
and Albanians who were 'colloborating' with the Serbian authorities.

According to individuals who have been recently in Kosovo, there seem to
be rumours of imminent war everywhere. Arkan has been seen... The Army
from Vojvodina has been deployed somewhere in Kosovo. As for Serbs, it is
very difficult to find any objective views even among what's considered to
be most-openminded people. It seems that Kosovo is either a taboo or
something which can be considered "holy land". This upcoming non-violent
demonstration may be the last opportunity for peaceful solutions of the
Kosovo crisis. Organizers of the demonstration are concerned about
possible devastating effect if this demonstration fails.

This is not an "internal" affairs of Serbia anymore. First of all, Serbia
took away Kosovo's autonomy in illegitimate way. Repression of the police
state radicalizes the population. Serbia has proved that they cannot solve
the crisis on their own. The Education Agreement which was signed by
Milosevic and Rugova in September, 1996, has never been implemented. The
fulfillment of the Kosovo Students' demands is the first step. The follow-
up process of dialogue and confidence-building between Albanians and Serbs
must be mediated by the international community (both GOs and NGOs).

Several individuals from SHL and I intend to go to Pristina to observe the
students' demonstration since it is necessary to have the visible
international presence. Helsinki Citizens' Assembly is organizing its own
delegation to be sent there (I have talked with one of them). See the
followed information/application for observing the demonstration on March

If you cannot come to Pristina (most likely you can't), there are other
ways to raise attentions (for students and non-students respectively).

1. Write petitions and support messages for the non-violent, peaceful
protests of the students of University of Pristina (UP) in achieving their
fundamental right of education.

2. Write letters/faxes of protest to the Yugoslav president Slobodan
Milosevic, the Serbian president Milan Milutinovic and prime minister
Mirko Marjanovic.

3. Write letters to your government explaining the situation in Kosovo
(including UP) and appeal them to facilitate dialogues between respective
ethnic groups in Kosovo.

4. Send books and other professional materials (university textbooks) in
English to the UP students.

5. Send different books for non-violent movements around the world since
there is a lack of this kind of material in UP.

6. Organize protests in areas where you live and work as well as seminars,
discussions and lectures about Kosovo.

7. Write to your local papers about the situation in Kosovo to raise
awareness and ask media and student delegations to monitor the protests
and situation in Kosovo (including UP).

8. Give access to UP's system operators to your educational FTP, WWW
sites, FAQs, Hypertext PDF and Postscript books and literature, technical
and all other ways of exchanging electronic data.

Contact numbers of UP (e-mail and telephone):

Fatban Bunjaku
**381 38 25449

Milot Cakaj
**381 38 31624

The following is an appeal from the Students Independent Union at UP.


Shin Yasui

UNIVERSITY OF PRISHTINA STUDENTS INDEPENDENT UNION Tel&Fax: ++381 38 33 843 e-mail: upsup@albanian.com Prishtina, February 13, 1998 Dear Madam / Sir, We are pleased to inform You that the Students Independent Union of the Albanian University of Prishtina, again on 13 March 1998 is going to organize peaceful, nonviolent, students' protests with the intention to release with no conditions premises and university room-space for delivering instructions in the Albanian language, as they have been occupied by Serbian regime since 1991. As you already know, Students Independent Union on 1 and 29 October 1997, and also on 30 December 1997, organized peaceful students' protests and without any provocation by students, Serbian police attacked with no prior warning in the most brutal way to disperse the quiet protests during which the participators were arrested and injured. As You may know, in 1991, about 1,000 Albanian professors and assistants and 200 administrative workers, adding to them more than 27,000 Albanian students, were expelled by Serbian police forces from their university buildings, after 21 years of successful work of the University, only due to the fact that they were Albanians and studied in their mother tongue - Albanian. However, the students and teachers, aided by the Albanian population, have resisted this occupation and violence by continuing their classes in extremely difficult conditions in private houses. This is the seventh academic year that the University of Prishtina has worked outside is official buildings. Therefore, the protests have the intention to have the official buildings released, as they are the property of the University. The peaceful protests will be organized and kept under full control by the Students Union, which is a non-political organization and the sole students organization at the University of Prishtina. The Students Union has made the required preparations for the protests. It will not allow involving of some political force or tendency in the protests with any requests that are outside of our own ones. The Students Union is determined to avoid the use of force, causing of conflict or any physical excess. Accordingly, we ask You, dear Sir, to send some representatives of Yours to observe our peaceful protests, so that they may inform You appropriately about our noble intention, to protect and to realize peacefully our fundamental human and national rights for studying freely in our mother tongue, that is guaranteed by international covenants. We shall do our utmost to take care of your representatives in these conditions. We feel free to ask You to forward this information to the ones You find it convenient to make their contribution to this action of ours. Your observation on our peaceful protests would contribute much to avoid any escalation for the situation otherwise tense in Kosova. Extending my great thanks to You in advance for Your understanding, I remain. Sincerely Yours, President Bujar Dugolli ----------------------------------------------------------------- SIUUP - STUDENTS INDEPENDENT UNION OF THE UNIVERSITY OF PRISHTINA e-mail: upsup@albanian.com Tel&Fax: ++381 38 33 843 *************************************************************** * Students' Protests in Kosova: http://www.alb-net.com * * University of Prishtina page: http://www.uni-pr.edu * ***************************************************************

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