all towns are one, all men our kin.
|Home||Whats New||Trans State Nation||One World||Unfolding Consciousness||Comments||Search|
Home > Tamils - A Trans State Nation > Nations & Nationalism > The Strength of an Idea > Self Determination > Nations & Nationalism > Fourth World - Nations without States - Stateless Nations > The Manifesto of the Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE! - Kosovo Movement for Self-Determination
THE FOURTH WORLD - NATIONS WITHOUT A STATE
The Manifesto of the Lëvizja VETËVENDOSJE!
Freedom is not given. It is an unmediated right and a bare necessity. Freedom is not negotiable; it is the unhindered development of one’s possibilities. A people is this possibility. Freedom is the development of the self - the free choice of the path for building a collective future. Self-determination of peoples is the freedom of the individual. The opposite is the denial of the essence of the human being as a social being. The absence of freedom is alienation.
For centuries our country has not been free. The Ottoman occupation was followed by the Serb occupation. The latter was not a conflict between people as much as it was a creation of Serbia’s intellectual and political elites. The history of this elite in relation to Kosova consists of a series of projects aiming to expel Albanians from the lands where they lived and to exterminate them. From the project of ‘Nacertanja’ of Garashanin in 1844 to the memorandum of the Academy of Sciences of Serbia in the year 1986, Serbia has maintained the same objective. Only one thing has changed during this time: the methods used to implement these hegemonic plans. They have become more sinister.
Each government of Serbia has been nationalist and chauvinist because Serbia always controlled occupied lands and oppressed the people who lived there. In addition, they have always believed that Serbia is too small and must become greater. This has been the paradigm of Serbia’s politics and its mission. It was particularly the Albanians who were in their sights. Twenty-four different programs were drafted and implemented to expel Albanians, to assimilate and colonize their territories that were then populated with Serbs. This expulsion was silent in times of peace, when it was accomplished through discrimination, persecution and repression, whereas in times of war, it was massive and fast, accomplished through ethnic cleansing, massacres and terror. The most infamous programs were:
Starting from Nikola Pasic, Petar and Aleksandar Karadjordjevic, Milan Stojadinovic, Dragoljub-Draza Mihajlovic, Aleksandar Rankovic, through to Slobodan Milosevic- they all implemented these projects and programs.
When it was sure that World War II would be won by the anti-fascist alliance, the Serb-Yugoslav leaders violated the Resolution of Bujan (Bunjaj) of December 31st 1943 - 2nd January 1944. This Resolution had been unanimously agreed upon with the participation of Albanians, Serbs and Montenegrins, and was drafted by the Anti-Fascist National Liberation Council of Kosova and Plain of Dukagjin. The resolution stated that after the conclusion of the War, the right to self-determination including secession would be granted to the Albanians of Kosova occupied by Serbia since the year 1912. After World War II, the people of Kosova were unjustly denied the free expression of their will. This ‘will’ was falsified as the desire of the people of Kosova to be attached to the Yugoslav federation. Within the federation, our country had an unequal status with the six other federal units. Kosova had the least freedom. As a result, Kosova was the least developed. Because what else does it mean to be a people, if not the free exercise of the possibility to develop politically, economically and culturally?
The current borders of Kosova were specified in the year 1947. Three decades later, the constitution of 1974 guaranteed some sort of half-freedom. Following the end of Word War II, this was the moment when our people were furthest from the influence of the Belgrade regime. Therefore co-habitation between Albanians and Serbs during this period was better, because there was less repression. But anything less than freedom, is not freedom. Furthermore, our country’s constitutional position was advanced through offering it half-freedom in the form of autonomy in order to transform it from a classic colony to an internal colony.
This period was brief: after the death of the dictator Tito, the balance of power within the Federation was destabilized. The domination of Serbia began. As Serb influence increased within the Federation, the oppression of Kosova increased. The termination of our half-freedom occurred after Milosevic’s rise to power; the autonomy of Kosova was revoked in 1989. This is the moment when Kosova was closest to Serbia’s rule. Not surprisingly, during the next ten years, the repression escalated to war between the Serbian military and police apparatus and Kosova’s people.
The Serbian State, during the last war in Kosova, killed more than 12.000 people. Over 95% of them were unprotected civilians- mostly children, women and the elderly. More than 3,000 kidnapped are still unaccounted for. Most of them were sent to Serbia. There were around 20,000 raped women, 740.000 people deported by force, 120.000 houses destroyed by the Serb military, and the economy destroyed.
All this bitter chronology is due to the lack of the right of a people to self-determination.
After the NATO bombardment ended and the de-facto sovereignty of Serbia over Kosova was suspended, the installment of the administration of the Interim International Mission of the United Nations (UNMIK) took place.
The UNMIK administration of Kosova is a non-democratic regime. What else can happen with a system when the essence of its mission is the denial of people’s will? The indeterminate duration of UNMIK’s rule has become unbearable. Its presence is the antithesis of our self-determination. That’s why we do not have freedom today.
The Provisional Self-Governing Institutions are, at best, an integral part of legitimizing this manner of governance. By becoming a cog in UNMIK’s machine, they are not rightful representatives of the people’s interest, because the fundamental interest of the people is the realization of its will. The fulfillment of self-determination would mean the UNMIK administration leaving Kosova. The international presence in our country (except for the Diplomatic Offices) should be reduced to a few necessary mechanisms for the protection and monitoring of minority rights. Self-determination is the foundation of a citizen’s status. But Resolution 1244 treats every individual as an inhabitant or as a resident- a status that can also be held by a refugee. Self-determination includes, as such, the self-proclamation of the citizen. There is no substitution for self-determination. It secures the roots of the individual within the socio-political process. Only freedom makes it possible for us to transform from a community characterized by ethnicity to a political one. We want to be able to decide on our identities as citizens and not be separated and categorized collectively by the government.
For our country, internal self-determination is invalid if it is not accompanied by external self-determination. We do not need pseudo-institutions because they mean we have no right to decide for ourselves. Depriving people of being the source of sovereignty will result in an increase of rebellion, the regeneration of crises, and new wars.
Kosova has been denied its freedom. Its tragedies have had negative implications for the region, and are obvious consequences of a people deprived of its freedom. This has always happened when others, not Kosova, have decided on Kosova’s behalf. Since Kosova’s problem has not been solved in this manner, our lack of freedom has mean that Serbia has always had hegemonic and chauvinist regimes.
The 1974 Constitution was not a solution because it left Kosova weak and always exposed to the risk of oppression. That is why the oppression by Serb regimes, which culminated with the extermination of thousands of Albanians, was not a coincidence. The same thing applies to the other wars in Slovenia, Croatia and Bosnia. Starting from the premis that evil may occur if the path is left open to it, freedom will only come to life when this possibility is closed. Despite the fall of Milosevic, governmental reforms in Serbia have been mainly cosmetic. The self-determination of Kosova opens the way for the democratization of the government in Belgrade. This can be achieved only through self-determination for Kosova. The government in Serbia can be democratic only when the Kosova problem is not left to the conscience of the rulers there. Kosova’s independence from Serbia will also cause Serbia’s emancipation from Kosova because it undermines the chauvinist projects, colonial thinking and aggressive Serb nationalism. Self-determination as definitive secession is also altruism. It will normalize century-old antagonisms between neighbors. It would stabilize the region. This is important regarding the inclusion of Kosova within the EU, because the European Union can only include democratized countries where its people decide on their fate.
Kosova’s problem cannot be resolved by investing on the democratization of the Government in Belgrade. The problem will be solved not when the internal opinion in Serbia is changed about Kosova, but when Kosova ceases to be the object of this opinion. Projects that see the solution as part of changing the Serb political elite in Belgrade are destined to fail. When the former opposition criticized Milosevic for his policies towards Kosova, violation of basic human rights was not the problem, but the bad management of the war. This former opposition is in power today. Why should we wait from them to be fair and just towards our country? Therefore, the solution has a name: Self-Determination.
Collective freedom is a fundamental condition for individual freedom. When there is no collective freedom, individual freedom is only an accidental occurrence. Individual freedom can only be realized through total societal freedom. It is because of the lack of collective freedom that the standard of living of our people is falling. There are 300,000 people hungry in Kosova. When there is no freedom, equality or justice, the lack of food is inevitable. Without freedom, economic and social regression is guaranteed. Bringing to life the right for self-determination is not a guarantee for success – but it creates the conditions for free development; and taking responsibility results in a strong motivation to succeed, and the ability to improve from mistakes. Self-determination, because this is the minimum moral compensation for centuries of injustice, repression of identity, hundreds of thousands maltreated, tens of thousands killed, and widespread destruction.
Self-determination, because freedom of the people should not be constrained; every nation has a right to be free from colonization, to absolutely determine its own manner of development. Every nation should control its own economic and natural resources, and should be able to determine freely its identity and its authentic cultural spirit.
Self-determination, because it is something natural; it makes sense that we can make decisions about our own future much more effectively than anyone and everyone else who wants to decide on our behalf.
Self-determination! Unconditionally! Until the final separation. Until the complete liberation of our country.