President Jahjaga’s speech held at the marking of the 25th anniversary of the Nationwide Movement for Reconciliation of Blood Feuds

Under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Atifete Jahjaga, an in memoriam academy was held today in Prishtina, in honour of the 25th anniversary of the Nationwide Movement for reconciliation of the Blood Feuds.

At a speech held on this occasion, President Jahjaga said:

Honourable representatives of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,

Honourable Ministers and Deputy Ministers of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo,

Honourable academics and professors,

Honourable leaders of religious communities,

Honourable President Sejdiu,

Honourable members of the Çeta, Cana and Kelmendi families,

Honourable pioneers of the Blood Feuds Reconciliation Movement,

Honourable participants,

This year we mark the 25th anniversary of the Nationwide Movement for Reconciliation of Blood Feuds in Kosovo, and we remember it as a major episode of the bright history of our nation. A very advanced and visionary movement, which started as an appeal of Trepça miners, welcomed and initiated by the youth of Raushiq and of all Kosovo, students, and intellectuals, university professors, scientists and writers. This movement was a sort of bastion of national consciousness for liberty, independence and democracy, a union, reconciliation, a precondition for the organisation and unity ahead of decisive decisions which we had to reach in order to come out victorious in battles with the challenges of the century ahead of us as a society and a nation, which had to do with the fate of our existence.

Let us all first remember Nurije Zeka and Anton Çetta, the two symbols of this movement n the plead of many activists, some of whom have honoured us with their participation here today, Myrvete, Marjan, Riza and many others who, tirelessly went from house to house to heal a centuries old wound  which has caused a lot of pain, which dressed many mothers and sisters in black, which eradicated many families and villages, a centuries old wound which has locked children and men inside their homes, and sealed the lives and progress of families of our nation. I would like to remember and honour also the intellectuals of Kosovo, which gave strength to this movement, Mark Krasniqi, Zekeria Cana, Bajram Kelmendi, Bardhyl Çaushi, Latif Berisha, Agim Hajrizi and many many others. They all stood by and directed this movement with the strength of their soul and their minds.

Honourable participants,

Blood feuds remains a bitter past which has once and for all left behind in history, thus opening the door to the values of European civilization, to harmony, understanding, honour and respect for life, and valorising of the values of our state, Republic of Kosovo, by giving way to rule of law and order, undeniable human rights and freedoms, regardless.

At a turning point of the history of the history of the people of Kosovo, at a time when a new era was beginning for the Balkan region, which would change through suffering and pain, a movement of wise men of the people, clad in highest human virtues, with dedication and bravery mediated in finding of solutions for blood feud reconciliation, by lending the hand of forgiveness and brotherhood.

This noble institution of wise men, these men dedicated to the future of many generations, which whom I am personally related with, as this was also a tradition of my family as well.

Among many old wise men who dedicated their lives to this noble act, to provision of justice, and to finding of solutions which enable the advancement of life and overcoming of ignorance at a time when they had no state and when state was working against the people.

The caravan of reconciliatory men, men of sacrifice and ideal, traversed whole of Kosovo, spreading the word and peace, the word of forgiveness and reconciliation, lending of the hand of understanding and brotherhood, as written by the writer and patriot Adem Demaçi: “No to those who are brave and lift the finger of crime, yes to those who are brave and lend the hand of reconciliation”.

Gatherings in all parts of our country, in all cities and villages were massive, transforming into a symbol of devotion and nationwide resistance, countering the occupation and government repression, through a show of tolerance, understanding and brotherhood with each other, with the dignity and virtue of forgiveness and giving of Besa, in respect of this institution, characteristic for our nation.

Nationwide Movement for Reconciliation of Blood Feuds in Kosovo was not only joined by the students, pupils and intellectuals. Immense contribution to this movement provided also the heads of religious Islamic and Catholic communities, who were as always in line with the people’s freedom seeking aspirations. I would like to especially honour Dom Lush Gjergji and Imam Xhevat Kryeziu.

The Reconciliation Movement, which peaked in May of 1990, witha gathering of over half a million of citizens at Verrat e Llukes, the hand of reconciliation was given, for reconciliation of families in feud, and which opened the way for the fight for building of a new state, a different state, a state of law, founded upon the Constitution and its laws, which treats equally each citizen and guarantees the rights of everyone.

This reconciliation initiative laid the foundations of a general movement which led to the freedom and independence of Kosovo, as a state built with the sacrifice of many generations and with unsparing help of the international community, especially of the United States of America.

Dear Friends,

Based upon my Constitutional and legal prerogatives, I have reached a decision to award the Movement for Reconciliation of Blood Feuds the Presidential Award for Reconciliation “Anton Çetta” for extraordinary merits in building of peace and reconciliation between us.