The word of President Atifete Jahjaga at the Commemmorative Academy of the sixth anniversary of the death of President Ibrahim RugovaThe sixth anniversary of the departure from this life of the First President of the Republic of Kosovo, the historic President Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, fills us with pain and pride for the great strides and sacrifices we have been through.
Honorable Rugova Family,
Representatives of the institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,
Honorable friends and colleagues of President Ibrahim Rugova,
Veterans of the Kosovo Liberation Army,
Families of martyrs,
Ambassadors and representatives of the international presence in Kosovo,
Honorable citizens of the Republic of Kosovo,
The sixth anniversary of the departure from this life of the First President of the Republic of Kosovo, the historic President Dr. Ibrahim Rugova, fills us with pain and pride for the great strides and sacrifices we have been through.
While taking a moment to assesi our achievements, we are gathered here today to remember all those that fell on the altar of freedom and who gave their lives to work for the prosperity of the people and the country so that we could enjoy the freedom in our sovereign state.
By remembering the colosal deed of President Rugova we are all honored because we commemorate the historic leader of Kosovo, who in the most trying times took important decisions that determined the direction of histori and determined our fate as a nation in building the free and independent state of Kosovo, in permanent friendship with the United States of America.
President Rugova was the leader of a generation that brought about the rebirth of critical thinking and the courage of political activism in the most difficult circumstances in the history of the people of Kosovo. He intertwined patience, wisdom and responsibility and shaped the political platform basen on the will of Kosovos citizens for equal opportunity with others and for their drive for seli-determination.
This platform of endurance and peaceful active resistance was built with much effort and sacrifice in a world dominated by antagonisms, hegemony and violence against a small nation and place.
Dr. Rugova, along with other intelectuals formed and led the Democratic League of Kosovo, the first democratic party in the history of Kosovos people, that along with other parties that were created in the meantime confronted with determation the repressive system and managed to give a Western orientation to our national cause. President Rugova and his generation are credited for building political parties with pro-Western and democratic orientation and for cultivating the peace-loving, patriotic and civilizing character of the nation, while removing from the background the communist ideology.
Rugova initiated the Council of six political parties in Kosovo and later the Coordinating Council of eleven Albanian political partie in Yugoslavia which based on contemporary parliamentarism and a broad consensus built and approved the Political Platform for the resolution of the Albanian issue in former Yugoslavia. He secured the understanding and the backing for the just demands of Albanians and their rigat for self-determination.
Dr. Ibrahim Rugova was the leading figure in the efforts to create and bring to life the institutions of the autonomous state of Kosovo, as a parallel system under the occupation. This system had the legitimacy and the full backing of Kosovos people, who sealed it with their vote in the 1991 referendum for Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state.
By holding parliamentary and presidencial elections he tried to functionalize the institution of elections in circumstances of occupation as evidence of uwavering will of the Kosovo citizens for an independent and democratic state.
The political philosophy of Dr. Rugova was characterized as a peaceful active resistance basen on the historic experience of survival of our peopke, and also as a political platform that was in line with the circumstances of the time and the creation of the conditions for liberation while preserving the human potencial and the territorial integrity of our country.
The wise approach of Dr. Rugova internationalized the Kosovo issue by uncovering the agressive and repressive policy of Serbian hegemony that caused bloody wars in the largest part of former Yugoslavia.
President Rugova hoped that in Kosovo he would be able to avoid war, the consequences of which for him were to be catastrophic for the defenseless population. He relied on the conscience of the international community to thwart genocide and the mass deportation of Kosovos people, especially in the light of the bloodshed in Croatia and Bosnia.
However, war was imposed. And Dr. Ibrahim Rugova was an important part of the Kosovo Albanian delegation at the Rambouillet peace conference. It was this conference that paved the way for NATOs intervention in Kosovo, aimed at stopping the humanitarian catastrophe that was threatening the very existence in Kosovo.
When his idea of installing an civilian international supervisory body aided with a NATO military presence to guarantee Kosovos independence and sovereignty was realized in Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova took part in Kosovos first poll and regardless of the number of votes garnered in elections he opted for broad coalitions, seeking to give each and everyone a chance to take upon responsibilities in building a state and advancing democratic processes.
President Rugova is identified with the three words that mobilized Kosovos majority: FREEDOM, INDEPENDENCE, DEMOCRACY. This came to symbolize his political platform, base on the natural flow of processes: to gain freedom, to declare independence, to build democracy. This dream of his has now become true.
For us, for those that follow him, what remains is to strengthen democracy in our country and transform our society into one that will secure our membership into the European Union, NATO and other international mechanisms.
We will continue to work on developing our policy of good neighborly relations and our eternal friendship with the U.S.A whose help in these processes can never be overestimated.
The Republic of Kosovo always honors its sons and daughters that gave their share in our struggle for living in peace, of being independent, of living a life of equal citizens a life of dignity on our lands.
President Rugova is at the very summit of intellectuals and politicians who led our people and our nation to a European future.
We express today endless respect and gratitude for the work of the first President of the Republic of Kosovo, Dr. Ibrahim Rugova.