- Broad coalition of Kosovo Serb parties announced (KTV)
- MLGA local self-government project risks to open ASMM issue (KTV)
- Vetëvendosje calls for international reaction to attacks against Albanians in Serbia (KTV)
- Vulin: World will be responsible if it closes its eyes before greater Albania project (KTV)
- Repatriated from Syria to be enrolled in schools this year (RTK)
- EduMedia calls on media to verify their reports, on citizens not to trust everything (KTV)
Broad coalition of Kosovo Serb parties announced
On the verge of early parliamentary elections in Kosovo, Albanian political parties are at the stage of making possible pre-election coalitions, but hardly anyone deals with how many Serb parties will take part in the elections, and if they will enter a coalition .
Officials of Serb parties do not tell if they will compete alone or in pre-election coalitions, but former Serb Minister Slavisa Petkovic announces a broad coalition of Serb parties in the early elections in Kosovo, expected to be held at the end of September or beginning of October.
According to RTK2, Srpska Lista has confirmed that it will take part in the parliamentary elections, and its leader Goran Rakic, following a press conference in north Mitrovica/Mitrovicë, called for unity.
The Independent Serb Liberal Party (SLS) also is willing to take part in the upcoming parliamentary elections. This has been confirmed by the SLS leader Slobodan Petrovic, who said that it is unclear whether they will compete alone or in any coalition.
“In both options, we have always received great support by our citizens, which I expect in these elections, too. Regardless of if we will compete alone or in coalition with anybody, we will have a formulation in the upcoming period. We have capacity for both options. In any case, if there will be more political options on our list, they will be obliged to fight for interests of Serb community, for a better and more qualitative life of our people,” Petrovic said.
Another party which will participate in the upcoming parliamentary elections in Kosovo is Progressive Democratic Party (DPS) of Nenad Rasic, who says that he will do his best, and adds that it is still unclear if they will compete alone or in coalition with some other entity.
“We believe that this is an important momentum for participation, because of all the events and the poor representation by Serb political representatives. Because of all the circumstances that have led us to the situation in which Serb people in Kosovo have had the worst living conditions in the last 20 years, because we do not have a good institutional representation, and this is the biggest issue. We will certainly take part in elections, because I know that we can provide quality to the whole process. It is for certain that there will be certain coalitions, be they of political parties, civic initiatives, independent individuals, formal and informal groups, but it is not clear how and when it will happen,” Rasic stated.
Independent politician, former Minister of Return Slavisa Petkovic said that negotiations on a broad coalition are going on.
According to him, on Tuesday it will be announced who the coalition will be composed of.
“More or less, the outline of the coalition will be announced, and it is quite broad. There will be political parties, civic initiatives, and independent candidates. We do nothing secretly. Amongst others, there is Nenad Rasic with his party, Rada Trajkovic with her Movement, Dragisa Miric with his party. More negotiations are going on with people from the north,” Petkovic said.
“The Alliance for Kosovo still has not taken a final decision for participation in the early parliamentary elections. In an informal conversation, the Alliance Coordinator and leader of People’s Party Nenad Radosavljevic said that he would provide specific announcements in the coming days.
MLGA local self-government project risks to open ASMM issue
For quite a long time, the issue of the Association of Serb Majority Municipalities (ASMM) and changing administrative borders has been kept silent. However, this danger still exists. At least, this is what director of the Association of Kosovo Municipalities Sazan Ibrahimi announced.
According to Ibrahimi, the project which has been launched by the Ministry of Local Government Administration (MLGA) will result with organising ethnic-based municipalities.
This is about the feasibility study of local self-government in Kosovo, which has been boycotted by the Association of Kosovo Municipalities, KTV reported.
But MLGA officials have a different view. According to Shkëlqim Jakupi, Director of the Department for EU Integration and Policy Coordination, the project will deal with analysing challenges and needs of all municipalities in Kosovo.
Jakupi says that this study is not related to ASMM.
However, the decisions on establishment of four working groups, which KTV got hold of, do not rule out this possibility. One of them reads that one of the issues to be discussed is organising administrative borders and the right for establishment of associations. The working groups will be also composed of representatives of municipalities. The mayor of Prizren Mytaher Haskuka said he was not informed whether the border issue will be discussed.
This study is supported by the Decentralisation and Municipal Support project (DEMOS). Enisa Kasemi of this Organisation said in a written response to KTV that they would technically support the MLGA project.
“According to our knowledge, this will be a diagnostic study, which aims to present a picture of the current situation in the local self-government (legal work and the functioning). The study results should present an evaluation of the current situation with regard to functioning of the municipalities in Kosovo,” Kasemi’s response says.
The agreement on ASMM was reached between Kosovo and Serbia on 25th August 2015, but a few months later, the Kosovo Constitutional Court found that some of the principles in the agreement on ASMM were not in line with the Kosovo Constitution.
Vetëvendosje calls for international reaction to attacks against Albanians in Serbia
A barbarian and anti-Albanian action, this is what Vetëvendosje qualified the attack against the bus with Kosovo passengers, which occurred on Saturday evening in Serbia.
“Another barbarian and anti-Albanian act in Serbia. This time, the chauvinist cowardliness was expressed in the attack with stones and hard objects against a bus with passengers from Kosovo, who were travelling towards the EU countries,” Vetëvendosje said in its reaction following the attack.
Vetëvendosje said that an international effort is needed to free the Serbian policy from fascism and to halt the chauvinist hatred and rhetoric.
“It is the official rhetoric of the state and power in Serbia, reproduced by the Church, school, and the media, which fills citizens of Serbia with hatred against Albanians. This ideology caused cleansing, murders, and raping in the past, and it still can do so if it is not changed. It takes a coordinated, international effort to free the Serbian policy from fascism, and to halt the chauvinist hatred and rhetoric,” Vetëvendosje’s reaction highlighted.
In addition, Vetëvendosje criticised Kosovo institution for lack of seriousness. It said that the institutions should put the appropriate pressure on Serbia, and to address the issue at the international level.
“On the other hand, there is also the lack of seriousness by our state in relation to this obviously anti-Albanian Serbia. With disgraceful statements, Kosovo’s diplomats and government officials make efforts to cover dozens of agreements that they have signed with Serbia, never conditioning it. So many statements have been made that free movement was being provided, but the situation remains the same: Kosovo citizens move in fear, and occasionally they are attacked. Besides that our diaspora is punished by waiting for many hours at the border as they enter and exit the country, they also carry the fear from attacks that they might suffer. Vetëvendosje Movement strongly condemns the attack, and we call upon institutions in the country to put the appropriate pressure on Serbia and to address this issue at the international level, in order to ensure freedom of movement for every citizen of the Republic of Kosovo, so that no one’s life is threatened, and that perpetrators of this vandal act are punished. Like any discriminatory policy, anti-Albanianism is unacceptable as well, particularly to us Albanians,” the reaction added.
Vulin: World will be responsible if it closes its eyes before greater Albania project
Serbian Defence Minister Aleksandar Vulin on Sunday spoke about greater Albania, warning the world that if they close their eyes, they will be responsible for the evil which will happen.
“Unfortunately, we have witnessed mentioning of the projects of a greater Albania, that the great evil is being repeated. I am telling the entire world that if they close their eyes and keep silent, they must be aware about their responsibility for the evil which will emerge from this project,” Vulin said.
He said that everybody should know that what is allowed to Albanians, cannot be prohibited to Serbs, since the Albanian national issue cannot be resolved without resolving the Serb national issue, KosovaPress reported.
Repatriated from Syria to be enrolled in schools this year
Few days are left to September, when also the repatriated children from Syria to Kosovo will start attending schools.
But Ministry of Education, in cooperation with other authorities, has decided to provide special treatment for those children, providing them transport to schools and teaching them in segregated classes.
However, the Kosovo Education Centre is against their segregation, saying that it will only contribute to further marginalisation of those children.
Out of 74 repatriated children, 10 belong to the age of kindergarten level, five to pre-school, 25 to primary school, and 34 to the lower secondary and higher secondary school level.
But so far, only some of them have been enrolled in schools.
Whilst it is not known whether training of their teachers has started yet, a children’s psychiatrist says that the training is necessary to understand repatriated children, given that they have returned from war zones, and some of them have even lost their parents.
In the midnight of 19th April, Kosovo became one of the first countries to repatriate its citizens from war zones in Syria. Through this operation 110 persons were returned, including 32 women, four fighters, and 74 children.
Some more citizens are expected to be returned.
EduMedia calls on media to verify their reports, on citizens not to trust everything
EduMedia Institute has warned against publication of misinformation on social networks and on the media, which, according to the Institute, is increasing everywhere and causing confusion and angriness to the public.
“Such was distribution of a misinformation against the University of Prishtina, for allegedly having hired an assistant professor who does not know the orthography rules. What is concerning is the fact that the misinformation was trusted and spread by a large number of persons, bursting into serious accusations against the most important higher education institute in our country,” the statement to the media says.
According to the Institute, it was not only some young people that fell prey to this propaganda, as it is usually thought, but even many persons with a high academic qualification, which indicates that not only that social cohesion has been seriously damaged, but also the ability of many people to distinguish the truth from untruth.
“Particularly concerning was reporting of some of the media on this case, by presenting the information to the public without taking even the first step of professional and ethical journalism, namely verifying the information from sources,” the reaction adds.
Therefore, EduMedia Institute calls on citizens to be careful about what they read on social networks and on the media and to bear in mind that misinformation can be posted there also.
“Critical judgment to such contents is necessary for everybody,” EduMedia stated.
EduMedia has called on the Kosovo education institutions to introduce a Media Literacy subject in the curriculum, which would help children and young people to receive an appropriate education about the media, and to increase critical judgment. EduMedia is willing to provide its expertise in this respect.