Page 820 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
P. 820

The number of signatories of this petition is of a sym- bolic character. We believe that a larger number is not nec- essary, and the conditions in which this petition has come into being, and with which you are familiar, pose a risk to our safety. We expect reprisals against us and our families because of this petition.
if this time once again the positive socialist forces in the Republic and Federation are vanquished by ill-intentioned forces, we hereby serve warning that we are no longer will- ing to suffer unprotected the fascist genocide against us and our families.
The tragic consequences will not burden our conscience because they have been necessitated by the actual situa- tion, because we are defending our lives and our father- land.
The state of jeopardy in which the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are living is tantamount to an absolute state of jeopardy for the Serbian people in general.
Sent to:
assembly of the SFRY Presidency of the SFRY execu- tive Council of the SFRY Central Committee of the LCY assembly of SR Serbia Presidency of SR Serbia executive Council of SR Serbia; Central Committee of the League of Communists of Serbia; Federation of War Veterans’ as- sociations of Yugoslavia; Socialist alliance of Working Peo- ple of Yugoslavia; Socialist alliance of Working People of Serbia; Serbian academy of arts and Sciences; Svetozar Vukmanović Tempo; Batrić jovanović; Todor Slavinski; Za- rija Martinović; Writers Union of Serbia.
[Književne novine, Belgrade, 15 December, 1985] The New York Times, Monday, july 12, 1982
exodus of Serbians Stirs Province in Yugoslavia
“Serbs... have... been harassed by albanians and have packed up and left the region”.
“The [albanian] nationalists have a two-point plat- form, ...first to establish what they call an ethnically clean albanian republic and then the merger with albania to form a greater albania.”
“Some 57,000 Serbs have left Kosovo in the last de- cade... The exodus of Serbs is admittedly one of the main problems... in Kosovo...”
in Yugoslavia, Rising ethnic Strife Brings Fears of Worse Civil Conflict
by DaViD BiNDeR, Special to the New York Times
The New York Times, November 1, 1987
Portions of southern Yugoslavia have reached such a
state of ethnic friction that Yugoslavs have begun to talk of the horrifying possibility of “civil war” in a land that lost one-tenth of its population, or 1.7 million people, in World War ii.
The current hostilities pit separatist-minded ethnic al- banians against the various Slavic populations of Yugosla- via and occur at all levels of society, from the highest offi- cials to the humblest peasants. a young army conscript of ethnic albanian origin shot up his barracks, killing four sleeping Slavic bunkmates and wounding six others. The army says it has uncovered hundreds of subversive ethnic albanian cells in its ranks. Some arsenals have been raided.
Vicious Insults
ethnic albanians in the Government have manipulated public funds and regulations to take over land belonging to Serbs. and politicians have exchanged vicious insults.
Slavic [i.e. Serbian Christian] Orthodox churches have been attacked, and flags have been torn down. Wells have been poisoned and crops burned. Slavic boys have been knifed, and some young ethnic albanians have been told by their elders to rape Serbian girls. ethnic albanians com- prise the fastest growing nationality in Yugoslavia and are expected soon to become its third largest, after the Serbs and Croats.
Radicals’ Goals
The goal of the radical nationalists among them, one said in an interview, is an “ethnic albania that includes west- ern Macedonia, southern Montenegro, part of southern Serbia, Kosovo and albania itself.” That includes large chunks of the republics that make up the southern half of Yugosla- via. Other ethnic albanian separatists admit to a vision of a greater albania governed from Pristina in southern Yu- goslavia rather than Tirana, the capital of neighboring al- bania. There is no evidence that the hard-line Communist Government in Tirana is giving them material assistance.
The principal battleground is the region called Kosovo, a high plateau ringed by mountains that is somewhat small- er than New jersey. ethnic albanians there make up 85 percent of the population of 1,7 million. The rest are Serbi- ans and Montenegrins.
Worst Strife in Years
as Slavs flee the protracted violence, Kosovo is becom- ing what ethnic albanian nationalists have been demanding for years, and especially strongly since the bloody rioting by ethnic albanians in Pristina in 1981 - an “ethnically pure” albanian region, a “Republic of Kosovo” in all but name.
The violence, a journalist in Kosovo said, is escalating to “the worst in the last seven years”
Many Yugoslavs blame the troubles on the ethnic alba- nians, but the matter is more complex in a country with as many nationalities and religions as Yugoslavia’s and involves economic development, law, politics, families and flags. as recently as 20 years ago, the Slavic majority treated ethnic albanians as inferiors to be employed as hewers of wood and carriers of heating coal. The ethnic albanians, who

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