Saturday, January 8, 2011

The hidden crimes of Kosovo

By Chuck Sudetic
Saturday, January 8, 2011


Americans should feel betrayed by the contents of the Council of Europe's report on organized crime in mostly Albanian-populated Kosovo, a country that owes its existence to the United States. The report, authored by Swiss prosecutor Dick Marty, includes allegations that Kosovo leaders have committed heinous crimes and allegations that American and European diplomats and U.N. officials in Kosovo overlooked wrongdoing to preserve "political stability."

Kosovo's leaders have waged an ugly media campaign to discredit Marty and his findings and have threatened to launch a witch hunt against Albanians who aided the inquiry. Washington's voice is needed now to stop the incitement in Kosovo and to turn public opinion toward an international criminal investigation and, if necessary, prosecutions.....more see:

The political debate on national television, KLAN "

Menduh Thaci: You, Fatos Lubonja and Andrea Stefani, are become the lawyer of Belgrade, in Tirana, against Kosovo, and KLA "

A political debate as well as nationalist, has been developed on national television "KLAN" Last week, the pair was the dissident and publicist Fatos Lubonja with Albanian politician in Macedonia, Menduh Thaci.

During the debate on Greater Albania, no replies were absent between them, as far as Menduh Thaci addressed Fatos Lubonja throwing accusations public, in the form of nationalist rhetoric. While Fatos Lubonja said that Serbian dissidence appreciate in the battle against Milosevic, who was creating a state in the extreme nationalist, while Menduh Thaci answer was: "When you Fatos Lubonja and Andrea Stefani, comment on problems against nationalist interests of all Albanians, and against the KLA, all media in Belgrade, you consider heroes in Albania. "

Lubonja said he would stay faithful to the ideals of a democratic state, and not as it is moving Albania, Kosovo and some other countries failed, that is to be created fascist nationalist states.

Lubonja, a critic, however, pointed out that there are two visions of Albanians in the Balkans. The first is for a Greater Albania, which is a vision shared by ethnic Albanian Parties in Macedonia who believe Albania would feed the other territories as Serbia fed Kosovo.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Tirana, signed the petition against the report of Dick Marty

TIRANË-Three non-governmental organizations, the KLA, War Veterans, the families of martyrs and war invalids organized in Tirana today the launch of the collection of firms that will be expected to join the petition submitted to the Assembly Parliamentary of Council of Europe.
According to Albanian media, the citizens of the capital have responded positively to the initiative of collecting signatures against Dick Marty's report, which will be taken and in other areas where there are Albanians and then will be sent to the Strasbourg Court.

Among the signatories of this petition was deputy PS, Pandeli Majko, who during the war in Kosovo has been prime minister of Albania.
I`am convinced that Dick Marty report has a major test of intelligence for the Council of Europe itself, but in the first place and for the Albanians who have to prove that we can not simultaneously do two things: fight to freedom and Mafiosi were at the same time.

This is a shock that hits the head of the KLA, KLA, and above all throw mud at those who have fallen for the freedom of their homeland. "Majko said.
While the initiators are convinced that the signing expressed in mass-scale by Albanians will stop approving this report. Closure of this process will be on 15 January, at which time will continue preparation of legal documents sent to tja Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. 30-page report of the Council of Europe rapporteur Dick Marty, casts major doubts for the KLA and its leading figures, about organ trafficking and drugs.

PM Papandreou in Turkey

Erzurum (ANA-MPA/A. Kourkoulas) -- Prime minister George Papandreou will have a working breakfast with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday morning in the Turkish city of Erzurum, ahead of addressing a Turkish ambassadors’ conference in the northeast Anatolia city, following a formal invitation.

In Erzurum, Papandreou will be accompanied by Erdogan, who will address the meeting of Turkey's top diplomatic corps. (ANA-MPA)

The third annual Turkish ambassadors’ conference, entitled "Visionary Diplomacy: Global and Regional Order from Turkey’s Perspective", is chaired by Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and attended by Turkish diplomats serving abroad and at the country's foreign ministry. The week-long session opened in Ankara on Monday and will continue in Erzurum. (ANA-MPA)

Earlier, at the working breakfast, Papandreou and Erdogan are expected to discuss matters of concern to the two countries, as well as international regional issues, with emphasis on the discussion on illegal migration and the measures Greece intends to take to fortify its borders. (ANA-MPA)

Later, Papandreou is slated to address the meeting of Turkish ambassadors, which is attended by 180 envoys. The purpose of the conference is coordination of the ambassadors representing Turkey abroad, as well as an exchange of views between technocrats and the political authority. (ANA-MPA)

Papandreou's presence is considered of particular significance, according to Turkish commentators. (ANA-MPA)

The invitation to Papandreou is in reciprocation to the Greek premier's invitation two months earlier to Erdogan to an international ecological meeting in Athens. (ANA-MPA)

The two prime ministers will also inaugurate the International University Winter Games, with the participation of university athletic teams from 75 countries. (ANA-MPA)

Imported Trash Recycling Plan Alarms Albania NGOs

NGOs say government pledges to monitor trash imports may help certain businesses but won't do much to safeguard the environment.

Besar Likmeta

Xhemal Mato, head of Ekolëvizja, an umbrella group of environmental NGOs, told Balkan Insight that although every consignment of imported waste from abroad would require the Prime Minister’s signature, that did not make it safe.

Mato said certain businesses might benefit from the lucrative trade but it could prove disastrous for Albania’s environment.

In mid-October, Albania's Council of Ministers approved a decision to allow items of garbage on the so-called “green list” to be imported for recycling.

The "green list" is based on the 1992 Basel Convention on the movement and disposal of hazardous waste. It includes 55 types of rubbish, from agricultural discharge to metal, glass, leather and plastics.

The government says the move to import waste will support the country’s nascent recycling industry.

Defending the decision in a cabinet meeting in October, the Prime Minister, Sali Berisha, said that every shipment of waste would need a specific permit. “The import of any of these 55 products will require a specific government approval, based on the requirements of the recycling industry," he said.

A similar plan to import several million tons of Italian garbage for processing and incineration in 2004 sparked protests by a coalition of civil society groups and business owners.

The agreement with the Italian company and the plans for the incinerator were eventually dropped. However, the current government's decision is using the same legal framework approved in 2003 by the then Socialist Prime Minister Fatos Nano to control the shipments of waste.

Berisha’s Democratic Party at the time lashed out at Nano, accusing him of aiming to build the incinerator for personal profit. Now, the centre-right party maintains that imported waste will benefit Albania, and it has lashed out at those claiming otherwise.

Th protesters were "the anti-globalists, anarchists and Marxist-Leninists of today and they don’t represent the future,” Berisha said in cabinet of those protesting against his garbage plans. “They are the most dangerous enemies of the environment,” he added.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Dangerous provocation against Greece from Albanian guerrillas

Although Greek troops are in Kosovo in the KFOR mission, the inexplicable attitude of official Tirana, as member of NATO at the same time Army to liberate the occupied territories



The Army for the Liberation of occupied territories Albania (AÇTOSH) is formed for the liberation of all occupied Albanian territories, situated under the Serbian, Slav-Macedonian, Montenegrin and Greek: the north of Kosovo, Eastern Kosovo (Presevo, Medvedja, Bujanovac) , Vardar Valley, the territories under Montenegro (Ulcinj, Bar, Plav, Guci etc..) Chameria, Kostur - Konica - Florina.
For the Albanian people, the current situation is very serious for all Albanian lands that are administrative abroad In particular, Kosovo is threatened by the formation of a "Republika Srpska" new on the Albanian territory, with the "decentralization" - the formation of Serb majority municipalities, related to the horizontal line (between them) and vertical (in Belgrade) . Kosovo is neither independent nor sovereign. With the blessing of EULEX official Pristina Not only were interested in what happens in the north of Kosovo, but encourages its behavior, the partition of Kosovo. It allows members of the colonial regime in Kosovo Serb to penetrate in Kosovo lands. We declare that we will take to protect the north of Kosovo, not tolerated on the Serbian paramilitary criminal gangs, police MUP and the Serbian secret service agents in the territory kreshnik. The Slavo-Greeks and Europe, was definitely doing so suggests that per-at the expense of Albanians have been completed.

The Chief of General Staff,
Kushtrim Mitrovica

According to this communication, it is inexplicable, the attitude of Tirana, which as a member of NATO, has never stated that should inquire about such extreme statements, but rather supports the Albanian opinion, the creation of Greater Albania. Meanwhile, Greece has about 600 troops of mission KFOR, in Kosovo, which makes it more complicated, the issue between NATO members, Greece and Albania concerning the borders.

Berisha: Albania is open to investigation

07. January 2011

Source: Alsat

the Albanian authorities officially invited the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and EULEX to find the truth about everything that is related to crimes against human beings.

During a meeting with Agim Ceku, Prime Minister Sali Berisha again called Dick Marty’s report defamation made in Belgrade by Milosevic, without any fact or evidence.

Nevertheless, Head of the Albanian government confirmed that Albania welcomes and is opened for every kind of investigation by the international institutions.

In this context, the Albanian authorities officially invited the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and EULEX to find the truth about everything that is related to crimes against human beings.

Part of the discussions between Ceku and Berisha were even the parliamentary elections in Kosovo.

Albania Muslims Attack 'Discriminatory' Veil Ban

Union of imams is up in arms over an article in the new education bill banning the use of religious symbols in state schools.

Besar Likmeta

Albania's union of imams, LHSH, is calling for the new education bill to be amended, arguing that the veil is not a mere symbol for Muslims but is central to their religious identity.

“Every law that is human must respect the standards of the community, Justinian Topulli, a theologian from the LHSH, told Balkan Insight.

The new education bill should be "amended and adapted in order not to infringe on the expression of religious faith in public spaces,” he added.

“The veil to us is more than a symbol, it’s a religious obligation and not a matter of choice,” he continued.

Ministry of education officials recently clarified that wearing the hijab, or Muslim veil, will not be allowed in state schools under the new bill, which is still under consultation with interest groups until the end of January.

The Albanian Islamic Community, KSHM, the official organization representing Muslims in Albania, had earlier backed the bill, arguing that following consultations with the ministry, their understanding was that the hijab would not be banned.

Following an interview in mid-December with the Minister of Education, Myqerem Tafaj, in which he explained that the ban on religious symbols included the veil, the KSHM pulled its statement of support from its website.

Several human rights organization have also contested the proposed ban on the veil in schools and are currently drafting amendments in the hope that they will introduced before a vote in parliament.

“Fascist occupation of Kosovo continues”

6 January 2011 Source: Tanjug
BELGRADE -- Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral has stated that fascist occupation of the southern Serbian province continues to this day.

Metropolitan Amfilohije (FoNet, file)
Metropolitan Amfilohije (FoNet, file)

He said that current situation in Kosovo "is actually the continuation of the Nazi-Fascist occupation from the WWII, and which is even more tragic, with longer-term consequences."

“The church in Kosovo is facing many challenges, the first and foremost of which is Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence,” he told Belgrade-based daily Politika.

According to him, the consequences of this violent act are torn down temples, stolen church and national property, hundreds of Orthodox Serbs exiled from their centuries-old homes, no conditions for their return, increasing poverty and existential threats to the remaining Serbs and all of other Kosovo inhabitants.

Metropolitan Amfilohije reiterated that a new bishop had been appointed to the Raška-Prizren Eparchy, adding that the Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church (SPC) was obliged to relieve of duty previous Bishop Artemije in order to preserve the unity of the church.

He pointed out that the election and the enthronement of new SPC Patriarch Irinej was also a contribution to the SPC unity in both internal and external affairs.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Himara Community calls extraordinary meeting

On the focus the land registration, census and administrative local elections

In this case, expected in April to assist in this process, a high representation of personalities of the Greek American lobby with Himara origin.

Within the month of January, will call an extraordinary session of the Himara Community in Tirana, to discussions registration process of property and land, census popullation ans the next administrative local elections throughout the length of the Ionian coast.

The announcement also made for all other associations as "The Coastal Association", "The Intellectuals of Himara" of "Tourism Himara Association", "The Association of Himara Business" etc..

According to the report, the year 2011 is crucial in terms of some historical processes such as the land registry, the census, local administrative elections, the problems of Tourism and regional perspective, etc..

Himara Community Presidency, in collaboration with Coast Association "will be watching closely and will engage directly with the representative of OSCE in Tirana, and the Spanish Company of registration of land" Terace "for successful completion of all process land registration with the principle of "heir property belongs to the owner. "

On the agenda of activities of "The Himara Community" for this purpose include, meetings with politicians and senior diplomats in Albania, the approach to assistance for the Municipality of Himara, and in particular, close interactions with the "Community Himara" of the United States of America "The Himara Union" as well as in Greece.

Meanwhile, "The Himara Community", invited to cooperate closely, all U.S. citizens originating from Himara, as well as those living in Europe, especially in the land registration process, considering the process as a very important mission to future, of Himara Region.

In this case, expected in April to assist in this process, a high representation of personalities of the Greek American lobby with Himara origin.

U.S.-Albanian Relations

After a break of 52 years, ties between the U.S. and Albania have continued to grow and prosper.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto

"Albania plays a crucial and proactive role advancing regional integration and stability."

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, recently welcomed Albanian Foreign Minister Edmond Haxhinasto to the U.S. Department of State in Washington, D.C. when she declared that Albania is a partner and a friend that the United States values greatly. Indeed, since diplomatic relations between the two countries were re-established on March 15th, 1991, after a break of 52 years, ties have continued to grow and prosper. Albania is now one of America’s staunchest allies, particularly in the global fight against terrorism.

The U.S.-Albanian relationship dates back to the early years of the 20th century, when President Woodrow Wilson extended American support for the young Albanian state. At the 1991 historic signing ceremony of the Memorandum of Understanding re-establishing diplomatic relations between Albania and the United States, then Assistant Secretary of State for European and Canadian Affairs Raymond Seitz said: "The relationship was never forgotten by the many thousands of Americans of Albanian origin . . . who kept contact with their homeland over all these years."

The United States Embassy in Tirana was opened on October 1st, 1991. U.S. Ambassador to Albania, Alexander Arvizu, who arrived in Tirana recently, said: "I find it especially heartwarming . . . that everyone I have spoken with has said that the Albanian people have a special affinity for the United States and the American people. And, for the newly arriving American Ambassador, there could be no greater feeling than that."

Since rejoining the international community, Albania has made many valuable contributions to promote international peace and security. Secretary Clinton, in a statement congratulating the people of Albania on their Independence Day, November 28, 2010, said: "As a North Atlantic Treaty Organization [ally] . . . Albania plays a crucial and proactive role advancing regional integration and stability. The United States also honors Albania’s commitment to the International Security Assistance Force mission in Afghanistan, and its dedication to protecting peace around the world. Our support for Albania’s entrance to the European Union remains firm. . . I look forward to continuing our partnership with Albania on issues of regional and global importance as we work together toward a democratic, secure, and prosperous future for both our people."

Gallucci: Quint must have known about Marty's allegations

05. January 2011. | 06:02

Source: Tanjug

The Quint countries - the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy, must have known about the allegations made in the recent report by Council of Europe (CoE) Rapporteur Dick Marty on Kosovo, as they had access to information, resources and a long history of work with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), former U.S. diplomat and UN Regional Representative for northern Kosovo Gerard Gallucci has stated.

The Quint countries - the U.S., Great Britain, Germany, France and Italy, must have known about the allegations made in the recent report by Council of Europe (CoE) Rapporteur Dick Marty on Kosovo, as they had access to information, resources and a long history of work with the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), former U.S. diplomat and UN Regional Representative for northern Kosovo Gerard Gallucci has stated.

Regardless of the claims about organ trafficking, everyone knows about the involvement of some of the top Kosovo leaders in transnational crime and corruption. International officials ignored these problems so as not to provoke the ethnic Albanians and prevent them from creating even bigger problems, Gallucci stated for the Tuesday issue of the Belgrade-based daily Politika.

It is also common knowledge that, with their desire to create a greater Albania, the Kosovo Albanians have often been a threat to regional stability, Gallucci said. As far as political influence is concerned, many have rightfully noticed that Marty's report sheds a very bad light on Kosovo and its leadership, he added.

I do not expect any improvement in the suspended process of Kosovo's recognition, and I believe that Belgrade's political position in any kind of dialogue with Pristina will be strengthened, Gallucci assessed.

According to him, the Quint countries, particularly the U.S., put all their trust in Hasim Taci and they do not have any acceptable alternative for him. For some reason, perhaps because he is harder to control, they did nothing to help Ramus Haradinaj (former prime minister and KLA leader), who is an authentic leader of Kosovo Albanians, smarter and more pragmatic than most others.

But some believe that the Americans are behind the efforts to keep him out of Kosovo, Gallucci underscored. That is why I believe that Taci will 'survive' as prime minister, which will prevent disorder. But what Marty's allegations can do is make the western Europeans finally confront the American hardline towards the Serbs.

It is possible that they, excluding the British, will be more ready for a compromise with Belgrade, which implies the possibility of granting a special status to northern Kosovo, Gallucci pointed out.

The threat of isolation in Kosovo
January 4, 2011.

There is a high risk of increasing political isolation of Kosovo, says Tim Juneau, a political analyst and journalist in the Western Balkans.

Albanian analyst suggested that while Kosovo is tightly tied to the states around it, they may begin to destabilize, if the new government that will emerge will be located amid accusations of theft of votes in elections and categories that Hashim Thaci was involved in trafficking in human organs. This whole set could lead to unpredictable consequences.

Juneau said the Belgrade-Pristina talks will be one of the main events of 2011, but will not offer anything of substance to bring the two parties.

"A kind of talks, a level achieved, anyway, because both sides pressed for them. Maybe not enough just the start of talks. It also creates problems the will of the Brussels talks to start from less important issues and then go to serious political issues, "said analyst Albanian news agency 'Srna'.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Serbian patriarch accuses ex-UN and NATO officials in Kosovo of organ trafficking cover up

BELGRADE, Serbia - The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church accused former U.N. and NATO administrators of Kosovo on Wednesday of covering up reports of an alleged illegal human organs trade in the former Serbian province.

Patriarch Irinej said in his Orthodox Christmas address that the international officials "certainly knew what was happening on the field" when they ran Kosovo after the war for secession ended in 1999.

Serbs like many other Orthodox Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7.

"The terrible crime against the innocent Serbian victims of organ trafficking took place with calm and in many cases complicit silence of the international community," Irinej said. "But, the truth and God's justice always have the last say."

Swiss Senator Dick Marty, a Council of Europe investigator, last month released a report alleging that kidneys and other organs were removed from Serbs and other non-Albanians in detention facilities run by rebel Kosovo Albanians in neighbouring Albania in 1999.

Albanian officials in Kosovo and Albania have vehemently denied the accusations.

Kosovo — which declared independence from Serbia in 2008 — came under U.N. and NATO administration after a 1999 NATO-led air war halted former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic's crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatists there. The U.N. handed over the administration of Kosovo to the European Union in 2008.

The influential Serbian Orthodox Church considers Kosovo the cradle of the Serbian state and religion, and has its headquarters in Kosovo where ethnic Albanians comprise about 90 per cent of population.

Fla. arms dealer gets 4 years in Pentagon fraud

The Associated Press
Monday, January 3, 2011; 7:45 PM

MIAMI -- A youthful arms dealer whose company once boasted a $300 million Pentagon munitions contract was sentenced Monday to four years in federal prison for trying to ship millions of rounds of prohibited Chinese-made ammunition to Afghan forces fighting alongside U.S. troops.

U.S. District Judge Joan Lenard imposed the sentence on 25-year-old Efraim Diveroli, who faced a maximum of five years behind bars after pleading guilty in 2009 to a fraud conspiracy charge. Three other executives in Diveroli's AEY Inc. are awaiting sentencing.

Lenard gave Diveroli credit for accepting responsibility for the crime but said he deserved a serious stint in prison because his scheme could have endangered U.S. military personnel and their Afghan allies. Much of the ammunition was decades old and could have been faulty.

"To participate in such a fraud when people are putting their lives on the line, that makes it so much sadder. For money," Lenard told a courtroom crowded with Diveroli family members and supporters from Miami Beach's tight-knit Jewish community, including two rabbis.... see more:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Greece to build wall on EU-Turkey border

The fence may become a symbol of EU antipathy towards Turkey (Photo: Pulpolux)


EUOBSERVER / BRUSSELS - The Greek government plans to build a wall along its 206-km-long land border with Turkey to help keep out unwanted migrants on the model of the US' border with Mexico.

Greek junior minister for citizen protection, Christos Papoutsis, a former EU commissioner for energy, made the announcement in an interview with the Athens News Agency on Friday (31 December), saying: "Co-operation with other EU states is going well. Now we plan to construct a fence to deal with illegal migration."

"The Greek society has reached its limits in taking in illegal immigrants ... We are absolutely determined on this issue. Additionally, we want to provide a decisive blow against the migrant smuggling rings that trade in people and their hopes for a better life," he added.

Mr Papoutsis compared the planned construction to the 1,050-km-long fence running through sections of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas on the Mexico-US border.

Built at a cost of €1.8 billion over the past five years and backed-up by cameras, radar surveillance, jeep-mounted patrols and predator drones, the 4.5-metre-high metal wall initially raised howls of protest on humanitarian and environmental grounds, but has since gained widespread public support in the US.

The EU and Turkey have not reacted to the Greek plan, even though it has the potential to cause upset.

The Union frequently voices complaints against Israel's anti-Palestinian wall, while slow progress in EU-Turkey accession talks and historic Greek-Turkish tensions could see the new barrier become a symbol of EU antipathy toward its southern neighbour.

For its part, the European Commission in mid-December said it will extend until 2 March 2011 its Rabit (Rapid Intervention Border Teams) mission and spend €9.8 million over the next six months on easing conditions in Greek migrant detention camps and on sending asylum and migration consultants to Athens.

The Rabit mission consists of 175 armed guards sent from 25 EU member states under the command of the Union's Warsaw-based Frontex border control agency.

Greece is the main entry-point into the EU for irregular migrants from Africa and Asia. Noting the impact of the Rabit intervention, Brussels said that 7,586 people were intercepted on the Greek border in October prior to its deployment, compared to 4,270 in November after it was put in place.

EU home affairs commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom in a statement on 15 December called on Athens to improve conditions in its detention centres, which were described as "inhuman" and "degrading" by the UN and by Amnesty International late last year.

"The Greek authorities are benefiting from European solidarity through a package of financial and practical assistance and I urge them to put all necessary measures in place to assist the persons in need," she said.