Dictionary of East European History since 1945

By Joseph Held | Go to book overview
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On September 7, 1990, they met secretly at Kacanik and approved a separate constitution for the Kosovo province. In September 1991, Albanians voted overwhelmingly in favor of the Kacanik constitution, despite an all-out effort made by the Serbian government to stop the "illegal" election. On October 19, the underground legislature declared Kosovo an independent republic. Albania promptly recognized the new state, but other European states did not follow suit.

Currently, several political parties exist in the Kosovo province, and the Serb secret police does not seem to be able to keep them underground. The Democratic Alliance, headed, by Ibrahim Rugova, has the largest membership. Next in size is the Parliamentary party, led by Veton Surroi. The third largest party is that of the Social Democrats led by Shkelzin Maliqi. All these parties are dedicated to the restoration of civil rights to the Albanian population, but they have not had much success so far. It is, however, only a matter of time until outside pressures will force the Serbian government, whether it is headed by Milosevic or someone else, to grant basic human rights to the large Albanian majority in the province of Kosovo. If that dos not happen soon, Serbia might have to face war over Kosovo which, in turn, could lead to another general conflagration in the Balkans.


Bibliography

Artisien Patrick F. R., "A Note on Kosovo and the Future of Yugoslav-Albanian Relations: A Balkan Perspective," Soviet Studies, 36.2 ( April, 1984), pp. 267-276; Biberaj Elez, Albania ( Boulder, CO, 1990); Kosta Nicholas, "Kosovo: a Tragedy in the Making," East European Quarterly, 21.1 ( March, 1987), pp. 87-97; Moore Patrick, "The 'Albanian Question' in the Former Yugoslavia," Radio Free Europe Research Reports 1.14 ( April 3, 1992), p. 7-15; Pipa Arshi, Albanian Stalinism: Ideo-Political Aspects ( Boulder, CO, 1990); Skendi Stavro, Albania ( New York, 1956).

League of Albanian Writers and Artists. Established as the Albanian Party of Labor's (Communist) intellectual arm, the league was intended to provide guidance to intellectuals and artists and keep them within the confines of party ideology. In 1957, the Writers League was joined to the League of Artists in one organization. The president of the new institution was Dhimiter Shuteriqi, a devoted communist party apparatchik. This step was taken in response to Khrushchev's denunciation of Stalin's crimes which inspired fear in the extremist Albanian communist leaders of the possible aftereffects of a trend toward relaxation of controls over the intellectuals. Some efforts had already been made by moderate intellectuals to mitigate the harsh terror exercised over personal expressions. They resented the stifling effects of conformism imposed on writers and artists. But the party leaders would have none of it. The combined league started out by continuing to impose the required uniformity of "socialist realism" on writers and artists, and it remained a tool of oppression of individual thought during the entire communist period.

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