Dobroslav Paraga: "Yugoslavia's Tank-Socialism".






3rd of March 1989.


As with the economic and material decay which despite even the best of political wills can not be arrested without enormous assistance from the international community of Western governments and states, the Yugoslav state and Party leadership has shown itself to be incapable to find independently a way out of the many years long Kosovo ethnic crisis which is escalating to the point of signalIing a bloody civil war for all citizens of this country.

On the 27th of February this year, the Yugoslav Presidency proclaimed a state of emergency (special protection measures) in Kosovo, which was preceded by a dramatic eight-day hunger strike by Trepca miners held underground. Among the so-called special protection measures are the dispatching of army troops, and special units in armored personnel carriers, restrictions on personal movement and the outlawing of gathering, demonstrations and protests, prevention of foreign citizens from entering Kosovo - a citizen of the United States of America accompanying the French journalist Helen Despic accredited in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia on 2.3..1989 were ordered to leave Kosovo within 24 hours - restriction on reporting, outlawing of real estate acquisitions, police curfew etc,...

The leadership of the country was not able to find a political but rather an administrative solution to the Kosovo question which has culminated recently in the strike of Kossovars and the resignations of regional officials. The several times repeated demands for a state of free individuals, universal suffrage and the conduct of a referendum on the status of Kosovo were silenced with tank-socialism which is opposed to the basic wished and democratic achievements of contemporary Europe.

We can not remain passive before the Libanonization of Yugoslavia, before the possibility of bloody clashes erupting, similar to those on the Baltic or in NagornoKarabakh, the one party system which has been ruling the country for forty-five years bears the greatest part of the responsibility for this state of affairs.

We express our profound concern with this evolution of events in Kosovo and our solidarity with all those whose civic and national rights are roughly trampled in Kosovo.

It is an incontestable fact that at the beginning of the eighties erupted a very difficult problem for the Yugoslav State, it consisted of the dilemma of how to quieten the increasingly unhappy Albanians in Kosovo and (prevent) the eventual up-rising. Instead of seeking rational and democratic solutions, the official ideology has labeled the Kosovo syndrome as irredentist, separatist and seeking union with Albania, in a manner which left no options. In the last several years tensions and the general dissatisfaction with the ruling system and ideology in Serbia have been skilfully diverted to another nation which became the 'official guilty party' for the purpose of outpourings of negative emotions and destructiveness, in order to preserve the ruling system untouched.

The continual creation of the feeling of being endangered by Albanians is intended to increase cohesion of Government and to close ranks. Projecting itself as the protector of Serbs and Montenegrins from the Albanian onslaught, the State wishes to obtain their sympathies instead of the present dissatisfaction.

There is an attempt to turn in this way against the Albanian the increased dissatisfaction with the State and ideology of the Serbs as the largest nation in Yugoslavia.

Following the motto 'divide et impera' there is an attempt to isolate the Albanian 'virus' and therefore isolate the Albanian people of whom almost ten thousand were condemned to jail sentences in the last eight years and almost five hundred thousand Albanians were processed by the police in the same period.

Such unprincipled manipulations with the national problems of Kosovo are extremely detrimental and dangerous for all nations and citizens of this country with consequences which are difficult to understand as anything but leading into bloody conflict between nations. This is facile toying with vital interests of our nations and with their futures.

A problem, so extremely complex and difficult, can not be solved without eliminating the cause of the crisis which are present throughout the whole territory of the state and not only in Kosovo. Kosovo is actually the catalyst of the crisis marked by the nonexistence of a legitimate state. The fate of Kosovo is tied to the non-legitimate government supervised by the Party, tied to the avoidance of radical political reforms and democracy in order to preserve the social status quo.

The solution to the crisis is to be found in rejecting the Oriental, Eastern-European social order which has grown out of Asiatic despotism, it is to be found in the development of parliamentary democracy with free elections, in the respect of human rights, etc,...

Sadly all these ideal parameters for escape from the abyss become Utopia in the fearfully ugly reality of armed formations movements and the sounding of caterpillars of heavy armored vehicles resounding through the land.

However, of the three possible solutions presented by State and Party authorities up to now, to wit: firstly, abolition of autonomy, secondly, preservation of Kosovo autonomy and thirdly, recognition of equal status in the Federation of the Kosovo population by declaring Kosovo a republic, not one is the right solution, just the postponement of the explosion of civil war.

It was the very Constitution of 1974, which endured Kosovo autonomy which brought many problems, repression and poverty to the people of Kosovo, which resulted in the Albanian up-rising of 1981. Abolition of autonomy would mean that the Albanian people who number almost two million are to be forcefully kept under tutelage as second class citizens, which would be a blatant violation of Article 7 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights which forbids every form of discrimination between people notwithstanding their race, color of skin, creed, political or other opinion, national or social status etc,...

To declare Kosovo a republic would be unacceptable to the majority Serbian nation which considers Kosovo its historic cradle and would experience the act of declaration (of a Kosovo Republic) as an expropriation of its territory and a Serbian national defeat.

Concerned with the fate of the nations and citizens of this country, in our peaceful attempt to avoid a bloody civil war or violent acts and spilling of innocent blood which could in the situation of inter-Block rivalry threaten to engulf the whole region into the incendiary of war, we are trying to enlist the peaceful intercedence of the international community in the process to resolve the tragic Serbo-Albanian conflict, to the same extent and with the same intensity with which that same community is assisting Yugoslavia in the repayment of the huge international debts.

We believe that the Region of Kosovo should become a protectorate of the Organization of the United Nations as an ex-territorial area between Yugoslavia and Albania for the period of one year.

Then it would be necessary to organize under the auspices of the Peace Council of the United Nations free election and a referendum on the continued status of Kosovo. Yugoslavia could not feel defeated nor could Albania feel victorious as the vast majority of Kosovo Albanians would not want, no matter. what the threat, to live in today's National Socialist Republic of Albania, which they perceive as a prison-State despite the existence of understandable sub-conscious partialities towards the land of historic origin.

We ask you to do your utmost within the realm of your authority and competence for a just solution to the for-Yugoslavia-insolvable Kosovo crisis, which is made even deeper by the state of emergency, for the introduction, duration and cessation of which Yugoslavia was obliged to notify the United Nations under Article 4, Section 3 of the International Convention on Civic and Political Rights.

The public within the country has not been informed on the duration of the state of emergency despite five hundred thousand signatures collected against its introduction in Kosovo.

All the citizens of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia are endangered by the Kosovo crisis not just the Albanians, the Serbs and the Montenegrins. For this reason we ask the General Assembly of the United Nations and the European Parliament in particular to put this dangerous crisis which could become international on the diplomatic agenda as soon as possible.

On behalf of the Croatian Democratic League for the protection of the discriminated and unjustly persecuted in Yugoslavia.

Dobroslav Paraga m.s. Ljubljana.

Dobroslav Paraga

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