President Jahjaga’s speech at the marking of the 27th anniversary of the Trepça miners’ strike

I have the pleasure to be among you today to remember one of the historic turns of our long journey, which started right here, at the horizons of Trepça, 27 years ago, at those difficult times, of sufferings and great migrations, of uncertainty and of many unknowns. Of decisive developments for Kosovo.

Honourable miners of the 1989
Ladies and Gentlemen
 
I have the pleasure to be among you today to remember one of the historic turns of our long journey, which started right here, at the horizons of Trepça, 27 years ago, at those difficult times, of sufferings and great migrations, of uncertainty and of many unknowns. Of decisive developments for Kosovo.
 
Deep underground of this town, by commencing the longest strike that history of those times has known, you 180 Trepça miners raised powerfully the voice against nationalism which threatened to undo the very little freedom which Kosovo enjoyed. Against the constitutional changes of those times, which in a violent manner were revoking the autonomy of Kosovo, and which forecasted dark days for the Albanians of Kosovo and for the people of former Yugoslavia. 27 years ago you contributed to the awareness raising of the citizens and of the international community on the repression which was on the rise in Kosovo.
 
With your strike a new era commenced. Big and small joined together in solidarity with the protest and with your requests, which you had voice fully articulated from bellow Kosovo’s grounds. The warning cause for terrible days which were coming- which you were already carrying upon your shoulders- was being learnt by everyone, our neighbours and those far away from Balkans, who would in this eight day long strike see the beginnings of a resistance to the occupation, to repression, and inhuman treatment which would follow. Sufferings did not end here. They became bigger and included the whole of Kosovo. We got together to make Kosovo a state, to give to the coming generations the opportunity to become masters of their own fate.
 
Honourable participants,

Today, when we have just marked the eighth anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kosovo, when we are reflection upon this journey of three decades, we see how deep and wide this sacrifice was for every one of us.
 
Responsibility to make Kosovo a state, to enliven centuries long dream fell upon us, after collective endeavours of many generations to realize this ideal for peace and liberty, for independence and democracy. For many people this was a lifelong sacrifice, to the point of self sacrifice.
 
Thanking this sacrifice and values which lead us and which aligned on our side the democratic countries of the world, this dream has come true and Kosovo’s independence is irreversible.

Today we are facing another challenge- one of strengthening of our statehood and of the subjectivity of the Republic of Kosovo. Now we require mobilization, as insistent and durable, to strengthen our brittle democracy and our institutions must protect and advance this democracy each and every day. This is our forthcoming battle, the battle of the future, which depends upon us and which we must win by all means. Because we owe it to you and to the generations which will come after us.

We need a new platform on how to move forward, an internal dialogue on the future of Kosovo and the direction which we, as a state and as a society, will take. We must remain loyal to our pro-western orientation – membership in EU and NATO- in spirit and in act.

We must continually renew the values which we have put into the foundations of our statehood. Wish persistence and courage, we must undertake the reform of our economy, in order to guarantee that places like Stantërg and its dedicated residents regain the glory and pride it once enjoyed We have no other alternative but to build a state of law.
 
I deeply believe that these aims are not unachievable, but we must also be aware that they require much more engagement and work.

Dear miners,
Dear friends,
Thank you for your contribution; for providing this inspiring episode of our new history through your courage. The strike commenced 27 years ago is a part of the great historic turn which brought Kosovo where it is today: independent and sovereign state, unshaken towards realization of its Euro-Atlantic future.
Thank you.