The House of Independence – a luminous epicenter of ideals of freedom

The President of Republic of Kosovo, Dr. Fatmir Sejdiu, participated today in activities that were organized by the Democratic League of Kosovo (LDK), on the occasion of marking the 20th anniversary of its establishment.

During the day, President Sejdiu visited the House of Independence, the place where the LDK was established, participated in the LDK Main Office cornerstone laying ceremony and held a speech at a solemn gathering celebrating the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the LDK, held at the Sports Hall.

“This house was a luminous epicenter of and for our ideals for freedom and, at the same time, served to promote and reveal the major values of our people to the world and to voice a great project that was being led by President Rugova” – President Sejdiu pointed out during his visit to the House of Independence, the place where the Democratic League of Kosovo was established.

In his address to a wide audience, President Sejdiu said:

In attendance to this gathering today we have many people who have carried a heavy burden during important processes and evolutions in Kosovo. The idea for establishing the LDK emerged from a group if intellectuals on 20 years ago today, on the 23rd of December, the Establishment Committee meeting took place. I would like to express my profound appreciation for all those people who have made a courageous step and decided to establish a political party that was not to serve as an opposition merely, but also to carry out an extremely important project that involved development, movement, resistance and war during those difficult times in Kosovo, that resulted in the freedom and independence of our country and that added to the value of the party itself, which as Platoon used to say, was the first among others.

There were many of those who have assumed great responsibilities within their political parties and institutions, but the special role that was played by the historic President of Kosovo, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, stands out.

On the 23rd, in precarious and difficult circumstances, this house served as the first shelter and as the main office of the Democratic League of Kosovo, and, though it offered little space, it operated around the clock, incessantly. This house was a luminous epicenter of and for our ideals for freedom and, at the same time, served to promote and reveal the major values of our people to the world and to voice a great project that was being led by President Rugova.

It operated 7/24 throughout a year and during all these years. Today, we miss many of those who where ubiquitous in their engagements in these areas and all around Kosovo.

In addition to this, the LDK leadership has taken the most important decisions of the 90s: the declaration of Kosovo as a sovereign and independent country; the Constitutional Declaration that was formerly announced by the Assembly; decisions on preparations to be made for the referendum on Kosovo’s independence and other decisions on a political pluralism in Kosovo, including the organization of parliamentary and presidential elections and the adoption of many declarations of a historic significance.

Many delegations from around the world have visited this house. The main credit for this well-earned by President Rugova, who knew how to present and unveil our vision to world’s democracies and to the most influential people of the world. At the same time, besides receiving visits from many delegations, he managed to be present in the houses of many renowned personalities, such as President Clinton, President Chirac and all other figures that could exert an influence in the international arena.

This house, with this narrow space, which has now turned into a museum, represents only a small and symbolic reflection of the great work that he has done. It is also a place when we can see pictures of people who are not among the living now and who have sacrificed themselves for the freedom of our country.

This is a very touching moment to all of us, but the historic significance of this date, of this day, is ineffaceable and predestined to represent an important date in the history of Albanians and in the history of Kosovo and to be written in golden letters.

This is because this date marked the beginning of a major turning point, which relied heavily on an important movement and resistance that aimed at the freedom of our country, a resistance during which many generations in Kosovo have sacrificed themselves.

This was and remains a great project that was sublimated with three major formulas of the time: freedom, independence and democracy. This is the concept, this is spirit of a great project, of a great movement that has stood its ground over the course of time and I believe that these ideals for Kosovo and its development will remain alive, especially in terms of our efforts to provide for a rule of law, to foster democracy and to maintain a permanent friendship with Kosovo’s allies – the United States of America and the countries of the European Union – and a partnership with them in what we have come to consider an overriding objective – Kosovo’s integration into the European Union and NATO. This were the major objectives and the will left by the a great colossus and man of Kosovo, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, whom the Democratic League of Kosovo was fortunate to have as a leader during major processes in Kosovo.