Osmani responds to the criticism for not saying KLA at Kosare by publishing a compilation of her speeches about the ‘legendary KLA’

The newly elected Kosovo President, Vjosa Osmani is being harshly criticized by some Kosovo political representatives and Pristina media for failing to mention the Kosovo Liberation Army at the commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the Battle of Kosare held on Friday.

„Prekaze, Likosani, Cirezi, Glodjani, Lokve, Lapusnik, Vrucevci, Lapastica, Saljska Bajgora, Kosare, and Pastrik, wherever our Liberation Army fought, are our inspiration, a source of pride and pain for all Kosovo girls we lost in a war for freedom“ – reads Osmani’s answer to what she sees as an orchestrated campaign of lies and propaganda led against her.

“The just fight of the KLA, all martyrs and heroes,“ she added in a Facebook post last night, while also sharing a video compilation of her public appearances, from her recent speech in the Assembly as a newly elected president in which she praises „legendary commander Adem Jashari“, through „great ideals,“ “people’s army“, „historical forces“, „hearts“, „bequests“, „faith“, „righteous dreams“…

Below we publish one of the texts from the Kosovo media in which Osmani was criticized, the reaction of the KLA War Veterans’ Association, as well as what Vjosa Osmani said at Kosare on Friday.

Source: Ekonomia Online (text has been translated from Albanian)

The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani, in commemoration of the 22nd anniversary of the Battle of Kosare, did not mention the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), which triggered many reactions and debates in the country, and analyst Artan Muhaxhiri said in a statement for Telegrafi that the President Osmani needs to start her political transformation from an opposition mentality to a presidential one. According to him, the role of the president implies multi-layered socio-political inclusion.

„It is illogical to discuss her full and objective respect for all ideas and events of the historical significance of our society. The President should appreciate the great phase of the Kosovo Liberation Army in full, in any case and situation – with clear and complete views and formulations, without rhetorical avoidances,“ Muhaxhiri told Telegrafi.

In the meantime, former Kosovo ambassador to the United States, Vlora Citaku, said in a Facebook post that there would be no KSF without the KLA.

In the past, Citaku had also been part of internal political processes related to the transformation of the KLA into the TMK.

„I remember well the negotiations for the demilitarization and transformation of the KLA. The TMK was born there, although this was not provided for in the Rambouillet agreement. Likewise, with much difficulty, the TMK transformed into the KSF. The KSF mandate has been transformed in the same way. I followed this process step by step. I contributed as much as I could here and there. But, I say with full conviction: without the KLA, there would be no KSF,“ she said.

Analyst Imer Mushkolaj also reacted in a Facebook post, saying that only Vjosa Osmani could write about the Battle of Kosare without mentioning the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).

„Only Vjosa Osmani can write about Kosare without mentioning the KLA,“ Mushkolaj said.

A reaction also arrived from the opposition – PDK MP Eliza Hoxha wrote that only Osmani never mentions the KLA.

Even the head of the parliamentary group of the Democratic Party of Kosovo, Memli Krasniqi, in a Facebook post, referred to those who think that the glory of the Kosovo Liberation Army can fade without mentioning its name, even on the anniversaries of the titanic battles of its soldiers, as pathetic.

KoSSev: Osmani was not the only one who came under strong criticism in the past days. Judging by the statements of politicians, officials and media reports, the Kosovo public is outraged by the decision to include Visoki Decani Monastery on the list of the most endangered monuments of European cultural heritage for 2021.

Read more: Harsh reactions in the Kosovo media to Decani Monastery’s inclusion in the 7 Most Endangered 2021

„Those who think that the glory of the Kosovo Liberation Army can fade, without mentioning its name even on the anniversaries of the titanic battles of its soldiers, are pathetic. The KLA does not need us living to elevate it because it was exalted by the sacrifice of those who gave their lives under its emblem. Those who are transient cannot underestimate what history has elevated. But it is a shame for those who, ignoring the KLA, are trying to rewrite the history of our freedom,“ Krasniqi wrote.

Movement for Unification Secretary, Avni Klinaku, also commented on President Osmani’s statements, saying that Osmani does not want to think of anything to do with the war. He added that it should not be surprising that the president did not mention the KLA because she does not want to think about anything that has to do with the war.

„I wonder why there are so many reactions to the president who did not mention the KLA! Whenever she mentions demonstrations in 1981, political prisoners, Adema Demaci from the KLA, or anything related to the war, I get very upset because I know with absolute certainty that she does not want to see these categories! It seems to me this is a very great hypocrisy. It would be like if Albin Kurti mentioned Ibrahim Rugova,“ Klinaku wrote on Facebook.

KoSSev: The Association of KLA War Veterans also reacted late last night to what it interpreted to be Vjosa Osmani’s oversight:

„No one, not even the president, can verbally protect the Kosovo Liberation Army and its members, but they can do so with concrete acts such as the law and its implementation through bylaws. The KLA is facing Serbia at the Kosovo pseudo-tribunal in The Hague, while the heads of state and responsible institutions are ‘observing’ the prosecution and trial for crimes, massacres, and genocide caused by Serbia and Serbs. Instead of cooperating with Albania in all aspects, including the pandemic, such as vaccination, our prime minister is interfering in its internal affairs, campaigning to elect his people there, to use them against the elected government.“

Meanwhile, the chief of staff of the Kosovo President, Blerim Vela, reacted to the debate over the status of President Vjosa Osmani, who did not mention the KLA on the 22nd anniversary of the Battle of Košare.

He tweeted that Osmani always exalts the contribution of the KLA and every fighter.

„With every act and every action, the president raises the ideals of Kosovo warriors and fallen fighters and martyrs of the Kosovo Liberation Army.“

„The contribution and sacrifice of every warrior and fallen fighter are remembered with piety because Kosovo and the KLA are one,“ Vela wrote.

KoSSev: What did Vjosa Osmani say on Friday while laying wreaths at Kosare:

„All those who fell today in the battle of Kosare have their foundations, they built our foundation, that is why this state we enjoy today has such strong foundations because it was built on the blood of all the martyrs we remember today. It is our duty – we owe it to those who made their sublime sacrifice for freedom to strengthen the state today in order to make it into something all the martyrs of the nation dreamed of and what all citizens will be proud of,“ said Osmani.

The President of Kosovo also reacted on Facebook, stating that this event from 22 years ago was – „the freedom bell“.

„Freedom made sense when the heroes of the 138th Brigade finally sealed our freedom, laid a strong foundation for the future, the state and historic memory. From April 9th, 1999 to June 10th, the heroes of this brigade, in this country, like nowhere else, dealt the last blow to the Serb genocidal regime, which marked the capitulation on this day.”
According to Osmani, Kosare also removed the „emotional barrier“ with Albania. „On this day, not only has the boundary stone been removed, but so was the emotional barrier between the brothers and sisters in Kosovo and Albania.“


Read more about how the 22nd anniversary of the Battle of Kosare was commemorated in Serbia and Kosovo:

22nd anniversary of the Battle of Kosare: One battle, two narratives

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