Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Radical racists views circulate from the so called (FYR)Macedonia Encyclopedia.

New incredible provocation contained in the so-called "Macedonians Encyclopedia, which have written, at the behest of the extreme-right Prime Minister Gruevski, the historians of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Skopje and presented himself with all solemnity on 16 September[1] . The two-volume work of 1671 pages, the version of which was financed by public funds of this Multietnnic Balkan new born State, according to Mr. Gruevski is absolutely express “the cultural and political past and our present”, the Skopje government not only tries to rewrite history region at will, but consciously alter key elements of Greek national status.

Specifically, on page 67 of the encyclopaedia and under the word "Greek" states that .......

Monday, September 28, 2009

FYROM academy and Gruevski administration: Greeks are black Africans, Parthenon and Homer are part Slavic!!!!

As revealed yesterday, the "Thema" newspaper, the new incredible provocation contained in the so-called "Macedonians Encyclopedia, which have written, at the behest of the extreme-right Prime Minister Gruevski, the historians of the Academy of Sciences and Arts of Skopje and presented himself with all solemnity on 16 September . The two-volume work of 1671 pages, the version of which was financed by public funds of the neighbouring country, according to Mr. Gruevski is absolutely express “the cultural and political past and our present”, the Skopje government not only tries to rewrite history region at will, but consciously alter key elements of our national Greek status.

Specifically, on page 67 of the encyclopaedia and under the word "Greek" states that "recent research has shown that the Greek nation as having been descended from black African tribes of the Sahara desert!"

The 260 Skopjans historians, bringing out the government arranged the shipment was, they note that the Greeks, coming from the continent, with virtually cultural backgrounds, "settled by the local appropriating Balkan cultures, which were advanced and shown as its own achievements.

The unprecedented provocation of Skopje government reaches in the point to characterize the Greek culture as result of counterfeiting and intercepting other cultures, while not hesitating to seize the historic Parthenon and even the Homeric epics! "Even the epics of Homer and the Parthenon is not the result of Greek culture, but as result of counterfeiting, adoption and even interception of these local indigenous cultures such as ours, the Macedonia!"

The new methodology of Skopje unacceptable, has not been any reaction from the Greek Foreign Ministry, this time not as a result of political unacceptable compliance applied systematically to national issues in recent years, but because apparently not even noticed! At the same time when the particular case has received international dimension with the involvement of the United States, Great Britain, Albania and Bulgaria.

Of course as I said Greek administration is absent in this new provocation from the ultranationalists.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Flawed FYROM encyclopedia sparks row over ethnic past

Ethnic Albanians are seen fleeing the village of Lojane in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), during a standoff between ethnic Albanians and FYROM police back in 2003. A new encyclopedia has fueled controversy in the multiethnic country.

By Kole Casule - Reuters

SKOPJE – The leading academic institution in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) said yesterday it would revise a new encyclopedia after protests by the Balkan country’s ethnic Albanian minority as well as in neighboring Kosovo and Albania.

The row has highlighted the still fragile ethnic balance that led to fighting in FYROM in 2001 and wars during the 1990s elsewhere in the former Yugoslavia.

The encyclopedia sparked outrage by recounting that ethnic Albanians settled the region in 16th century. Albanians say they were present long before Slavic tribes arrived centuries ago.

It also refers to Ali Ahmeti, leader of country’s 2001 ethnic Albanian insurgency, as a war crimes suspect.

Ahmeti now heads the Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, which is a junior partner in the government. The Netherlands-based UN war crimes court has investigated atrocities in the conflict but never implicated Ahmeti.

“While [the encyclopedia] will be partly rewritten, the edition will not be withdrawn,” Georgi Stardelov, head of the editorial committee of FYROM’s Academy of Sciences and Arts, said in a statement.

The book was first promoted last week as a key national document at an event attended by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Albanian media quoted Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha as saying the encyclopedia was “absurd and unacceptable” and said he warned FYROM President Georgi Ivanov that no one can build “identity based on the forgery of history.”

In Kosovo, which has unresolved border issues with FYROM, parliament leader Jakup Krasniqi said that Skopje was “isolating itself and making enemies.” Ethnic Albanians account for a quarter of the population in the country of 2 million which peacefully seceded from Yugoslavia in 1992.

In 2001, ethnic Albanians launched an insurgency which ended after a Western-brokered peace deal disarmed rebels in exchange for broader Albanian rights and their inclusion in the society, something that riles many Slav-Macedonians.

Some academics in FYROM criticized the book as hastily prepared and politically motivated.

“Any encyclopedia cannot be written under the influence of politicians,” said Milan Gjurcinov, an Academy of Arts and Sciences member. “It is a book teeming with politics and that’s not good.”

Gjurcinov warned that a similar dispute between Serb and Croat academics in the 1980s contributed to the rise in nationalism that led to the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Taliban targets descendants of Alexander the Great

For centuries, the blond-haired, blue-eyed people of the Kalash tribes of North West Pakistan have lived a libertine lifestyle.

By Dean Nelson in New Delhi and Emal Khan in Peshawar
Published: 6:48PM BST 21 Sep 2009

The group, believed to be descendants of Alexander the Great's invading army, were shielded from conservative Islam by the steep slopes of their remote valleys.
While Sikhs, Hindus, and Christians were slowly driven out of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province by Muslim militants, the Kalash were free to drink their own distilled spirits and smoke cannabis.

But the militant maulanas of the Taliban have finally caught up with them and declared war on their culture and heritage by kidnapping their most devoted supporter.

Taliban commanders have taken Professor Athanasion Larounis, a Greek aid worker who has generated £2.5 million in donations to build schools, clinics, clean water projects and a museum.
They are now demanding £1.25 million and the release of three militant leaders in exchange for his safe return.

According to local police, it was Professor Larounis's dedication to preserving Kalasha culture that Taliban commanders in Nuristan, on the Afghan side of the border that made him a target.
Confirmation of the Taliban's role in his kidnapping came as their leader Mullah Omar urged American and Nato leaders to learn from the history of Alexander the Great's invasion of Afghanistan and his defeat by Pushtun tribesmen in the 4BC.

He was kidnapped on Sep 8, when five masked Taliban broke into the three storey museum where he was living, killed a policeman guarding the building, tied a teacher to a post and grabbed the professor from his bed.

Ajmeer Kalash, a Kalash teacher who witnessed the incident, said he had saved his own life by pretending to be a Muslim.

"I did not understand their language and they did not understand mine. I tried to make them understand in Urdu language that I'm a teacher at the school."

He said the men asked for his religion and "I told them that I'm a Muslim by reciting Kalma, though I'm a Kalash."

"They brought out the Greek national and they opened fire at his police guard. The policeman died on the spot. They took me and the Greek citizen to the forest. There they tied my hands to a tree and left me there and went away," he said.

Locals said the professor had been visiting the area since 1994 when he first came as a tourist and fell in love with the area's unique culture and its people's links to his own in Greece and Macedonia.

Today there are an estimated 3,000 Kalasha left in three remote and steep valleys in Chitral in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. The children wear their hair in orthodox Jewish-style ringlets and sport bright coloured topi hats. The women occasionally have tattooed faces, wear long black robes with coloured embroidery.

The Kalash are known as 'Black Kafirs' to local Muslims who regard them, and their women in particular, as immoral. They are scornful of their festivals and rituals, which include a rite of passage in which a prepubescent boy is fattened in the mountains over a summer and then when he returns is allowed to have sex with any woman he chooses.
Married Kalash women are able to elope with other men if the object of their desire accepts a written proposal and agrees to may double her dowry to the abandoned husband – often in cows.

Professor Larounis, who is believed to have been living in the Kalash Valleys with his wife, had generated around two and a half million pounds in aid for 20 projects in the Kalash Valleys, including clean water schemes, and the museum in Broon village in Bumburet.
Since his kidnapping Kalash women have demonstrated for his release, while elders have travelled to Nuristan to try to negotiate with his kidnappers.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Let’s stop discrimination and torture against people with Bulgarian self-consciousness in FYROM

Peaceful Citizen’s Protest in Support of Spaska Mitrova
The Citizens' Initiative Committee “Spaska Mitrova” is organising a peaceful, non-partisan, civil protest in support of Ms. Spaska Mitrova (an academic graduate who holds both
Bulgarian and Macedonian citizenships), jailed behind the bars of the infamous communist prison “Idrizovo”, near Skopje, because of her Bulgarian self-consciousness. This protest is born of the dismay of free Bulgarians and Europeans from both the Republic of Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). The draconian middle-age sentence of the 23 year-old mother of a little child brings back horrible old-gone times and methods, which the democratic World endeavours to forget. We insist for Spaska’s immediate release as well as for public apologies and compensations on behalf of the Macedonian authorities for their ill-minded reading of the Law and the politically motivated repression over a seriously ailing young mother with a sick baby girl. We are deeply concerned whether the EU could recommend starting accession negotiations with a country holding political prisoners (thereby breaching the Copenhagen political criteria for EU membership) and whether the Republic of Bulgaria could support the accession attempts of such a country?

We feel obliged to stress that the “Spaska” case is not at all unique and forms integral part of a centrally planned, permanent and ubiquitous anti-Bulgarian campaign in FYROM and beyond, which is totally incompatible with the country’s aspirations to join a democratic, law-ruled and tolerant Europe. We want to alert that anyone, who dares to declare Bulgarian self-consciousness in FYROM, is subject to brutal repressions – sacking from work, jailing after absurd convictions, severe economic and moral deprivation, malicious ridiculing by authorities and media and even physical tortures. Europe and the democratic world cannot just observe and tolerate such a policy.

Spaska does not conceal her Bulgarian self-consciousness originating from her predeces-sors. She is among the key founders of the non-government association “Radko”, which brings together FYROM's citizens of Bulgarian nationality. Spaska Mirova has the basic human right to freely raise and educate her child in the tradition of her Bulgarian predecessors from Macedonia, who remained outside the modern Bulgaria's borders and spent their life as Ottoman, Serbian and Yugoslav citizens. But we have today another Europe !

Everyone is welcome to the protest. It will be a peaceful, non-political and mass event of free European citizens for defending principal human rights in FYROM. Please forget your political affiliations and join us to raise our common voice and to express prominently our solidarity in a civilized way – by singing and dancing, without threats and demonstration of power. Let us show that we love and cherish Vardar Macedonia, since not very long time ago (just before 1944) to be a Macedonian from the Vardar region simply meant to be a decent Bulgarian.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

EU enlargement, revisionism and nationalism

Dr. George Voskopoulos in American Chronicle
August 04, 2009

In international affairs scholars have long scrutinized the issue of conflict and cooperation among state actors. These directly or indirectly refer to the issue of war and peace. Revisionist states are unsatisfied with the territorial status quo and use all means available to pursue what they see as valued ends.

In south-eastern Europe this has been the main feature of the framework of local interaction among states lacking a developed political culture and an operationally democratic demos. Whether they are "reformed" communists, remnants of the old communist regime, descendants of Nazi collaborators or militarists, they have identi-cal aims pursued under the pretext of ideologically or politically oriented goals.

The end of the Cold War did not bring about the end of history in south-eastern Europe but assisted the reemergence of the long supported irredentist policies of those political vampires who have been in a dormant state waiting for the right moment to become once again a threat to the rest. The means used may be shortly categorized in military and non-military. Eventually the selection of those means relates to what is at hand, to the power available, the determination to use it, the inadequacy of international law and ignorance.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Turkey have taken parallel routes in becoming in-system and out of system destabilizers in the region. Their means are not similar but their nominal aim identical. Actually this has provided them with the most powerful motive in bilateral cooperation in terms of policies, multi-level support, mutual funding and establishment of NGOs operating on a clearly geo-political framework. It has led to a relationship typically described through the patron and client state framework.

On the one hand the re-invention of history has been the selected terrain of action. The dispute is not a question of survival and grandeur but an issue of challenging territorial stability. This has led to the extreme position of discarding Slav origin and la-beling it as a "derogatory term", an "insult". It is indeed dangerous not to cut ties with the Slav past because this brings the country closer to Bulgaria. At the same time it is convenient to baptize Bulgarian national heroes "Macedonians", to deny the Bulgarian origin of the language spoken, to usurp Greek history and to suppress Bulgarophilia and Grecophilia within the country. A visit to Vergina, Pella and tens of archaeological sites in Greece would be enough to ridicule those who suggest that ancient Macedonians spoke Greek because it was a fashionable thing to do. In effect what some suggest here is that ancient Macedonians did not speak their mother tongue but a "foreign language".

The aim of this historical conundrum and the elimination of historical facts take place under the pretext of the freedom to chose an identity at will. Yet, identities have long been associated with control of territories and eventually this brings to the surface their aim, namely to challenge the territorial status quo. Some suggest that legal action could be a useful tool to materialize their irredentist dreams, yet, they forget that territorial changes in the region have taken place only after wars.

For long, inaction, ideologically-stemmed utopia and politically correct behaviour have sidelined the real danger of supporting revisionist states. These are the kind of states that do not belong to the EU, a nuleus of parochial states representing the worst side of Balkan history and its Hobbesian microcosm. This is the mentality Bulgaria, Greece and Romania have long discarded and a major hurdle in building a pan-European zone of stability, security, development and prosperity.

A second country that wishes to join he EU is Turkey. Yet, a number of defining features of its national value system, operational mode of democracy and legitimacy of its international behaviour should be dealt with in an efficient and radical way. For long it has been a militaristic regime, a less mature democracy, a country that constitutes an actual military threat to an EU member. On top of the indicative only failures of its constitutional and behavioural record the country illegally occupies a part of Cyprus refusing to apply the European acquis. Greek air space violations and overflying Greek islands in the Aegean are a daily routine leading to dogfights. These are not signs of modernity but remnants of an empire mentality alien to European values. These facts distance Turkey politically from the EU and turn it into the odd man out.

Nationalisms and irredentism in the region have been suppressed or "legitimized" whenever this has served an intrusive power´s purpose, a policy that has turned the Balkans into a cost-effective battleground for big power practices. Yet, not all dis-putes should be analysed under the rubric of nationalism. There are different forms of nationalism which is or can be a powerful, emancipating political force. As under-pinned, "nationalism…conceals within itself extreme opposites and contradictions. It can mean emancipation…Nationalism, it seems, is a repository of dangers as well as opportunities. It has so many different forms and "national" variations in space and time that is often argued whether they can all be accommodated under one roof".

On the other hand militarism glorifies the use of military means in "resolving" any differences. It is by far a distant practice within the European regulatory system and values. Any future compromise on the issue is bound to have two simultaneous ef-fects. First, it will jeopardise the sustainability of the European edifice since flexibility leads to the application of double standards and second it will certainly lead to veto situations in defence of national interests.

The newly-elected President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek estimated that the Western Balkans present an "interesting and promising situation…

Countries queuing up to join is a symbol of our success". Yet, success is measured at every single step the EU is taking. Success should be defined in terms of imposing norms of international behavior in an uncompromising way. Eradicating irredentism and politically isolate those who have turned it into a national ideology should be the first step in ensuring the homogeneity of value application. Also, demilitarizing the political system of a candidate country should be a guarantee for future success of the enlargement endeavor.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Vasilije Gligorijevic

After the latest events that are not known in the wide public, this blog it deletes all the threads that concern Vasilije Gligorijevic.
Each one decides alone the path that wants to choose it.

Polish newspaper promotes FYROM extreme nationalism , known as Slavmacedonism!!!!!!

On a Gazetta Pozan article we read with big letters "Macedonia, powerful as the King Alexander". This article speaks for the FYROM basketball team and hosts comments from Slavmacedonians that speak for theirs "ancient" great past. Is obvious that promotes the Slav-Macedonism, a political idea that prevailing in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) which utilises historical revisionism to establish links between an ethnic group that formed in the 20th century - ethnic 'Macedonians' - and historical events and figures of the 19th century and Middle Ages. For example, Bulgarian Tsar Samuil, despite the overwhelming evidence, is portrayed as a "Macedonian" king. Further attempts are made to deny the Hellenic nature of the ancient kingdom of Macedon and to seek connections between present day ethnic Macedonians and the Ancient Macedonians.

Polish newspaper with such as articles and headlines promotes the extreme nationalism of this Slav new-born nation, a nation that born under communist era, a era that seems the editors forget it. Unfortunately the editor and the writer , history bears witness to the fact that in the early 1940s the Bulgarian inhabitants of Vardar Macedonia were transformed into "Macedonians" for political reasons by communist dictators (Tito, Stalin, and Dimitrov) and infamous communist organizations (Comintern and the Balkan Communist Federation ).

The editor and the writer are so many biased and erroneous statements in this article that one fails to comprehend how a journalist who writes for an esteemed newspaper could write something like this. This come to conclusion that either you have been duped by FYROM's propaganda, or you have deliberately written a propaganda piece. A little more professionalism on your part would have avoided this unfortunate circumstance. History and human morality demand this of journalists.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Resolving the FYROM name dispute

A supporter of FYROM wears an ancient Greek helmet during a 2009 Eurobasket preliminary round game against Greece in Poznan on Monday.
By Aristotle Tziampiris (1)

The states of the Western Balkans are confronting a multiplicity of challenges and problems within the context of an acute international economic crisis. Bosnia faces significant internal challenges and is far from functioning as an effective unitary state. Kosovo remains unrecognized by most states, including several European Union members and is in a perilous economic situation. Montenegro is being hit hard by the global crisis, as is Serbia, which is still ostracized by some in the international community. Croatia’s border dispute with Slovenia threatens its EU future, while Albania seems to lack an adequate administrative capacity and remains poor overall.

Within this worrisome context, the ongoing Macedonian name dispute, centering on what the new republic in the Western Balkans should be called, has the potential to further destabilize the region.

Because of Greek concerns and objections first to the use and currently to the monopolization of the term Macedonia by their neighbors (as well as various cases of irredentist propaganda), “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (FYROM) remains the country’s provisional, international United Nations name, though many states (including the United States, Russia and China) have extended recognition for bilateral purposes under its constitutional name, “Republic of Macedonia.”

During almost two decades, several international diplomatic efforts have come up with various proposals, all of which proved unsuccessful. In April 2008, Greece effectively blocked FYROM from acceding to NATO due to the name dispute and other bilateral matters (the Alliance’s decision was unanimous). In July, the UN’s special mediator Matthew Nimetz suggested that a deal “could be done in a period of months.” However, the issue’s past history only allows for (at best) guarded optimism.

Following a series of interviews and discussions with decision-makers dealing directly with this issue, this author sees three possible scenarios. They could be labeled “best,” “worst” and “interim.”

The “best” scenario (from the viewpoint of the international community and not necessarily historically just), consists of a final and comprehensive agreement between Greece and FYROM. Such an outcome would almost certainly involve a compromise compound name with a geographical connotation (e.g. “Northern Macedonia”). If an agreement among these lines is achieved, FYROM would automatically join NATO under the new name, its accession path toward the EU would accelerate and the concerns of the country’s Albanian population (about a quarter of the total) assuaged in a manner that would be conducive to regional stability (65 percent of FYROM’s Albanians support a compromise on the name issue to facilitate NATO and EU membership, though 95 percent of Slav-Macedonians are opposed). It should be stressed that any such agreement would also have to address a series of legitimate Greek concerns (including the recent manifestations of Slav-Macedonian nationalism that have included the renaming of airports and highways, commissioning of giant statues as well as other actions often connected to a fixation with Alexander the Great). Solving outright the Macedonian name dispute would undoubtedly represent a major diplomatic accomplishment.

The most likely scenario, however, probably remains the “worst” and involves the issue’s non-resolution despite continuous diplomatic meetings and negotiations. As a top Slav-Macedonian politician, striking a note of realistic pessimism, recently told this author: “Almost every conceivable settlement has already been proposed at some time or another but rejected by one of the two sides.”

If this scenario prevails, FYROM’s ruling party will probably continue the campaign to link Slav-Macedonian identity and history to antiquity. Furthermore, NATO and EU accession prospects will remain stalled. The country’s Albanians would be particularly disappointed by such an outcome and it is not alarmist to imagine that the Ohrid framework agreements (that ended the republic’s 2001 ethnic strife) could be challenged. As State Department officials warn, this could produce perilous regional implications. (FYROM neighbors Kosovo and during periods of crisis the influx of refugees, armed Albanian guerilla fighting and illicit activities have linked the two places).

At the same time, it should be kept in mind that the political “space” for a compromise in Athens is decreasing, given the government’s slim parliamentary majority, early elections and continuous majority popular disapproval of a compound name. In addition, FYROM’s Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski appears to many in Greece as untrustworthy because of his intense nationalism and continuous provocations and there is understandably little enthusiasm to reach an agreement with him in particular.

A third scenario can be labeled “interim.” It is based on the realization that the only substantial agreement reached between FYROM and Greece was the 1995 New York Interim Accord that normalized bilateral relations but (significantly) did not resolve the name dispute. (However, Athens did recognize the young republic and Skopje changed the country’s flag which had featured the ancient Macedonian “Star of Vergina” symbol).

According to this “interim” scenario, FYROM would enter NATO under its provisional UN name, after having addressed all the recent actions deemed provocative by Greece (renaming airports and highways anew, dropping the case against Greece at the International Court of Justice at the Hague etc.), thus proving in practice good neighborly relations. The signing of a Treaty of Friendship could further codify the types of actions that would be unacceptable in the future.

Nevertheless, since there can be no firm guarantee against Skopje returning to nationalist or other provocations (whereas NATO membership, once achieved, is effectively irreversible), Athens could publicly link any new nationalistic turn to a democratic referendum on the neighboring republic’s EU accession, with rather predictable results. (It should be kept in mind that for FYROM, EU membership is ultimately even more significant than NATO membership). Negotiations on the resolution of the name dispute would, of course, continue to be conducted, possibly within an improved bilateral climate.

If this scenario is actualized, regional stability might be enhanced. However, the resolution of the name dispute will be pushed even further into the future, while Athens will have lost an important source of diplomatic leverage.

At this point, it is not clear which scenario might prevail. What is certain is that considerable statesmanship and diplomatic skills will have to be exhibited in order to resolve an urgent and important diplomatic problem that influences domestic politics in both Greece and FYROM and has very real consequences for the Western Balkans.

(1) Aristotle Tziampiris is assistant professor of International Relations at the University of Piraeus and visiting scholar at Columbia University (The Harriman Institute). His views are personal.