Denial of the translation into the Serbian language during the assembly session represents a serious violation of the Constitution and the Law on the Use of Languages in Kosovo, while at the same time is affecting the work of the media and the public information, it was concluded at a panel discussion held today in Pristina organized by NGO Aktiv, reports KIM radio.
Member of the Self-Determination and member of the Legislative Committee Sami Kurteshi thinks that this is a political problem.
Although the Serbian language is one of the two official languages in Kosovo, its use is very limited, and often during the sessions of the Assembly of Kosovo, translation is missing, especially when the Serbian deputies are not present in the room, reports KIM radio.
Andjelka Cup, the editor of the Gracanica online portal and a reporter from the parliament, says that despite indicating to this problem, the reactions of the authorities have so far been absent. But what’s next?
“We will definitely continue to report, and the next risky move will be to request a translation from the terraces where we are being held, at the expense that the security throws us out. Absolutely we do not care who is present and who is not, if there is a quorum and some decisions are made, we want to inform our reader, that is, the audience who is watching us, about what is going on, ” says Cup.
Representatives of the Office of the Commissioner for the Language also pointed to the problem of the lack of translation in the Assembly.
“We have communicated with the Assembly and issued recommendations, and we think that the Rule book should be adapted to the official documents, the Constitution and the Law on Languages,” said Arta Pllana.
Member of the Commission for Legislation and Member of Self-Determination, Sami Kurteshi refers to the existing Rules of Procedure of the Assembly, and its Article 78 foresees “to provide translation as necessary”. At the same time, he thinks that the translation into Serbian is the political issue.
“The problem is political. Such constellations are set up. You go home and see how you educate your children about the Albanian language and the Albanian people, and it is then transferred to the streets and institutions. If you ask me personally, I will not do it because I am a man who suffered a lot from Serbia, I spent eight years in prison in Belgrade and Pozarevac, and I still speak Serbian. But so far, you have never heard me say one single word against the Serbian people. I do not think that the Serbian people were guilty, the guilty one is the chauvinist regime in Belgrade that still exists today with the Serbian list in Kosovo. They are all chauvinists and do not recognize this Republic of Kosovo,” Kurteshi said.
Cup points out that equal responsibility is on all Members, regardless of which communities or political parties they come from.
“A message is sent to minority communities that they have ten MPs, and that they do not have more MPs. I do not understand why the presence of the Serbian List is so much emphasized. And what if they did not enter the Assembly at all, or that they simply do not exist? “, asked a journalist and adds that all elected deputies are representatives of people in Kosovo, no matter which party they belong to.
“The factor that determines the physical presence of MPs who speak Serbian is the wrong interpretation. If read as a whole, this provision explains that only other languages are available as an option, and that Albanian and Serbian are mandatory. This is more about the negligence of the Secretariat of the Assembly, and I think it should be intervened,” says Rion Beka from National Democratic Institute.
Kurteshi, however, says that there is no longer the possibility of investing amendments by the deputies, but that the Office of the Commissioner must now react.
One of the problems in the work of the Assembly is the insufficient number of translators, but also the quality of the translation.
“I personally think that in the Assembly there are not enough translators, in addition to the inappropriate planning. Thank God, four or five years ago, it was decided that there was no longer any need for an Albanian-Serbian translator to have a diploma of Serbian or Albanian language, but now it is necessary to prove it on the test,” said Bruno Neziraj, the president of the Translators and Interpreters Association Polyglot.
Although the language is a question of the rights of citizens of Serbian nationality, it is set as a political one, which is proven by today’s ardent polemics among the present.
The participants, however, agreed that responsibility was also on Serbian MPs, who did not respond to the call of the organizer on this occasion.
Panel discussion on translation in the Assembly of Kosovo was organized by NGO Aktiv within the project “Creating a bilingual Kosovo”.