Page 823 - Kosovo Metohija Heritage
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terrible conditions so as to collect, dinar by dinar, the mon- ey to buy a piece of land. and the land must be near that of the rest of the family. For that they will pay almost any price.”
Land prices in Kosovo, despite its poverty, are five times those in Serbia and typically range around $35,000 for an acre of good farm land, abrashi said. Newspapers have re- ported sales of farms for over $1 million. as a result, Serbs, who unlike the albanians have attractive alternatives out- side the province, have had a powerful economic incentive to sell their land to albanians.
For the Serbs who have remained, frustrated albanian youth have kept up a steady harassment ranging from the painting of hostile slogans on Serbian homes and vandal- ism of Serbian graveyards to beatings and rapes.
“One cannot speak of these developments as being only the deeds of individual [albanian] groups anymore,” said Serbia’s interior minister Svetomir Lalović in a recent speech. “at issue are seriously disturbed inter-ethnic relations.”
Few killings have been recorded since the 1981 riots. But in the three months of july, august and September, authorities recorded 34 assaults by albanians on Serbians. Two instances of rape provoked outraged demonstrations near Priština and motivated the last, angry delegation that marched on the federal parliament in Belgrade.
Yugoslav officials predict that it will take many years to resolve the tensions in Kosovo, and dissidents are even less sanguine.
“We did not deal with the emigration for a long time, and now that it has reached this stage it is very difficult to break the chain of events,” said jokanović.
Closed Hearing
on Serb-Albanian Relations in Yugoslaia before the U.S. House of Representaties Foreign Affairs, 1988
Mr. Chairman, Honorable Members of the Congress, Ladies and Gentlemen:
americans of Serb descent stand before you today, to- gether with Serbs from Yugoslavia, united, as many times before in american history, in the defense of both the american and Serb democracy, independence, and way of life. The american Serbian Heritage Foundation has been set up in 1980, to promote the same values that have brought our forefathers to america, and inspired them to fight for this country.
in 1917, our grandparents enlisted in the U.S. armed Forces, fought with the allied Serbian army, or joined the allied expeditionary Force in Salonika, in a world war that unhappily ended as a cause for another, ever fiercer ho- locaust.
in 1941, our fathers fought again, under the same flags, for even more depressing results. Our country was turned over to the Communists, and the Soviets occupied those parts of europe that had ostensibly been denied to the Nazis.
Our Old Country homeland is unfree, and our amer- ican homeland is threatened, by the same enemy. in Ma- nagua, Daniel Ortega is doing today what josip Broz Tito did in Belgrade, in 1946.
in Yugoslavia too, totalitarians made promises they would democratize, “given a chance.” after all the chanc- es of the last 40 years, and all the billions of dollars of an- nual american aid, they are still promising. Two genera- tions of postwar Serbs are immigrants in america and Western europe today because of these blandishments.
During their 150 years in america, close to two mil- lion americans of Serb origin have given this country not- ed scientists, academics, publishers, writers, soldiers, busi- nessmen, and hard and diligent workers. Serbs are a free- dom-loving people, and one of the few in the Balkans who have no record of genocide against their neighbors.
The country of our origin, Serbia, has had the most fa- vored nation status with the United States for over 100 years.
The reason, ladies and gentlemen, i am mentioning all this is to add perspective to why we have all gathered here, today. For, events are happening in Serbia, in its province of Kosovo, that may, if unchecked, lead again to our sons going Over There to pull the chestnuts out of another Old World fire—perhaps with even less lasting success than before.
The chestnuts, ladies and gentlemen, will be ameri- can national security, and american national interest, as much as Serb national survival; the fire will be a Balkan War, with probable Soviet involvement. and, for all their remoteness and un-newsworthiness, the historical and ethnic borders of Serbia, albania, Greece, and Bulgaria— all meeting in or around Kosovo—are not the same as the contested areas in afghanistan, ethiopia, or angola. Lo- cal european wars are hard to conceive of, in this day and age.
in 1389, ladies and gentlemen, the Christian Kingdom of Serbia fought the oncoming Ottoman Turks, and lost. in a great battle on the Serbian Plain of the Blackbird— called Kosovo in Serbian—the Serbs fought for their na- tional, religious, and biological existence, and their euro- pean heritage.
Though this happened almost exactly 600 years ago, the war of the east against the West is yet to become his- tory. Participants have changed, but the Plain of the Black-
a Chronicle of the Contemporary Suffering of Kosovo-Metohian Serbs

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