Serbia: Another Stone by Kosovo Albanians

Head of the Serbian government media office Milivoje Mihajlovic said Monday that a referendum in northern Kosovo will not help solve problems in Kosovo. Mihajlovic said too much attention...

Head of the Serbian government media office Milivoje Mihajlovic said Monday that a referendum in northern Kosovo will not help solve problems in Kosovo. Mihajlovic said too much attention has been paid to the referendum idea, which is in itself problematic, as far as formulating the referendum question goes.
Belgrade, SERBIA – Monday, January 9, 2012 | The independent NewsweeK
“If you ask a question to which everyone knows the answer, then there is probably another motive or purpose for the referendum. This is problematic to begin with,” Mihajlovic told public broadcaster RTS.

He pointed out the referendum deepens the division between Serbs living north and south of the Ibar River, which is bad for the survival of Serbs in Kosovo and is an attempt by a group of people to remain in Kosovo’s political scene outside of democratic principles and the election process, all of which is motivated by party interests. Mihajlovic said one of the motives of the people who are trying to hold the referendum is fulfilling the task set by their parties from Belgrade to pose obstacles on Serbia’s EU path at all costs.

Asked about the possibility of a ban on the referendum, Mihajlovic said such measures are not characteristic of the Serbian government but that the north Kosovo Serbs will have a clear message at the referendum. The key is for the people in the north to realize they have many more serious and pressing issues to take care of.
Self-Determination activists protesting during Serbian
President Boris Tadic visit in Kosovo.

Asked to comment on the statement of the deputy prime minster of the Kosovo Albanian government in Pristina, who criticized President Boris Tadic for making “political statements” during his visit to the Serbian Orthodox monastery of Decani, Mihajlovic said it served as “an excuse for the incidents which occurred in Decani, when members of the ethnic Albanianradical movement Self-Determination caused incidents:

“It is another stone thrown at the convoy transporting the Serbianpresident and the group of Serbs who went to Monastery of Decani to celebrate a great Serbian and Orthodox Christian holiday – Christmas.”

Looking for excuses for extremism in Kosovo does not contribute to the calming of the situation, he noted.

“I think that with this statement, almost all of the (Kosovo) government sided with the extreme part, and is trying to get closer to Self-Determination and justify the group’s actions,” stated Mihajlovic.

He further appraised that the movement represented “decoration for Hashim Thaci to be presented as a democrat and to send a message to the international community that there are more extreme Albanians”.

Thaci’s deputy Hajredin Kuci was quoted as saying on Sunday that “the government of Kosovo will not allow Boris Tadic to enter Kosovo in the future”, as the Serbian president “failed to honor an agreement to refrain from making political statements and appraisals”.

Kosovo Albania officials in Pristina said ahead of Tadic’s trip to the province that it was “religious in nature”. During his stay at Decani, where he spent Christmas last weekend, Tadic noted that Kosovo is Serb land, that he will never recognize it as independent, and that the authorities had no intention of dismantling Serbian institutions in the Serb-majority north.

Serbia lost control over Kosovo in 1999, when NATO bombed for 78 days to halt the killing and expulsion of ethnic Albanians in a two-year counter-insurgency war under then-President Slobodan Milosevic.
More than 80 countries, including the United States and 22 of the EU’s 27 members, have recognised the state, the last to emerge from the remains of old federal Yugoslavia.

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Vudi Xhymshiti; is an independent journalist, editor and photographer. He is focusing on the issues of the domestic politics of Kosovo, Foreign Policy of the United States, the Russian Federation, the European Union and the Middle East. Xhymshiti is also focused on the issues of the politics of race, gender, identity, migration as well as displacement of people due to climate change and armed conflicts. He has been published in various media including Der Spiegel, NY Times, TIME, Paris Match, Le Monde etc. Xhymshiti is also a print media critic and founder of THE Frontliner.

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