Edi on Tue, 22 Jun 1999 09:20:11 +0100

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Syndicate: from edi for the syndicate lis

      hi everybody, from edi in tirana.   my telephone was broken and i
couldn't read the post, but  today it is fixed and i have been reading
throuhg the posting about "moral  responsibility".  it is not the first
time i read posting of this nature in the  list, but i didn't want to
really join in, because very easy and very soon the  discussion might
become emotional, between albanian and serb point of view. but  this time,
when the conflict seems to be over, and when more evidence on what  has
really happened there, is being shown i found interesting the current
discussion, and decided to write something.   there's is a lot of argument
on NATO air campaign against  Serbia. i know that everyone has its own
opinions and the right to express them  in condemning or supporting this
action. i myself don't want to take any part in  this argument, but being
albanian, knowing that out there is a defensless  population being
slaughtered and even burned (as if slaughtering wasn't enough),  i gave my
support to NATO intervention, even though i repeat i get involved
emotionally here. in some of the posting i read it is said that there could
have  been done more for a peacful solution, starting from Dayton, and
supporting the  peacful movement in Kosova. maybe this is right, but this
suggestion comes in a  moment when Kosova is a burned land, full of mass
graves and most of its  population walking for several months now. while
regarding the support to the  peacful movement in Kosova, the outcome was
that about 10 years ago, Kosova lost  even the scrumbles of the autonomy it
had during Tito time. it is true that  before NATO bombing started in
Kosova there weren't 1.000.000 people living in  camps, but there were
already a quarter of that amount displaced internally with  their homes
burning, and i didn't hear any calls to stop it; there were already  40.000
serb troops in Kosova that for sure didn't go in vacation there;
furthermore, a peacful effort, Rambouillet (i don't know how realistic it
was),  took place only after masacres had already started, months before
NATO start  bombing (it was Jannuary already when Racak occurred).  i don't
konw why, but i have a feeling that people that now is  condemning NATO's
intervention, if that didn't happen would condemn NATO for  allowing the
so-called "repetition of Bosnia". i know what it means to live under a
autocratic regime, in  which alternative ideas might cost one's life, since
we have had that for long  in albania. but i can not accept the fact that
during all these years and during  all the months of the explosion of
Kosova matter, i didn't hear any single word  >from any serbian
intellectual that at least expressed disagreement for  atrocities commited
against inocent albanian population. and i am not speaking  for the period
of three months ago, because the first masacre where children and  women
were killed, occurred more than one year ago. well i feared i would become
emotional if i entered the argument, and so i did.  but there is one thing
i would really look for to have a  profoundly sincere answer (as much as
possible), from my serbian friends (the  ones i know personally and others
i don't). have you ever really considered  albanians living in Kosova as
equal to you, deign to live the same life, to have  the same rights,
exercise the same freedom? please take a moment to reflect  before you
answer. this is a question that maybe has to do the moral  responsibility
and that is rooted deep in the centuries. some years ago, i never  was able
to understand what kosovar friends told me about their relationship  with
the serbs and of what they went through in their daily life, and i never
took it seriously. it is only now that i saw what happened (without never
getting "why") that i can scarcely get what i have heard from them  before.
therefore the above question is really important to me.  it is important
because i want to normally talk to my serbain  colleagues, invite serbian
artists to tirana, i want serbian artists to have  shows in prishtina and i
don't want to fear for their security. it is important  because we must
find a common language, because serbs must not flee Kosova (even  though
there are many cases in which it was serbian neighbours that killed the
next door people, as there are some cases that serbian neighbours garded
empty  houses of their albanian ones).  this is not a solution. this is the
hardest matter on which we should focus now, start thinking practically how
to  make the two live together without problems. of course big deal is on
the  albanian side, and i can understand if one goes back and find only the
ashes and  some bones of his kids, you would hardly like to pretend that
nothing happened.  but the serbs too have to change a lot as well, and this
change and the desire  to live together with albanians of kosova can start
only if they change the way  they have always considered them; and i
believe that this is a collective as  well as individual moral
responsibility.    best to all, edi.

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