President Thaçi’s speech at the Commemorative Academy for Shotë Galica

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The year 2017 marks the 90th anniversary of the passing away of one of the brightest figures of our national history, Qerime Halili, known as Shotë Galica.

Today, with this Academy, we make the highest state and institutional honors to Shotë Galica, the Heroine of the People officially proclaimed in the Republic of Albania, the Heroine of Kosovo, proclaimed in our Republic.

We pay homage to Shotë Galica, who beyond the formal decree has turned into a metaphor of the Heroine of the Nation, into a symbol of endurance and bravery.

On the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the passing away, based on the legal and constitutional powers I have constituted the decoration “THE ORDER SHOTË GALICA”, with which the distinguished figures of the nation for sacrifice and freedom will be decorated.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Albanians as a nation had entered the twentieth century, tired and overwhelmed by the long slavery.

The historical context of Kosovo left outside of Independent Albania in 1912 was quite complex and tragic.

In the Balkan wars period, Kosovo had become a place where foreign armies entered and left, leaving traces of material and human destruction.

The place where even a yard of the Albanian house was dividend into borders of two temporary states.

Therefore, it remains to the Albanian historiography to record and systematize the painful history of the violence that was exerted by the wild invasions during the Balkan wars and during World War I when the Serbian kingdom was violently putting to life the power for the rule of Kosovo.

The burning of houses, murder of unarmed people, the deportations of the members of insurgent families in Serbian prisons, displacements outside Kosovo, recruitments for foreign armies, land acquisition for colonization are only part of anti-Albanian actions implemented by the Serbian army and gendarmerie between two world wars

These violent and systematic actions, made the Albanian people of Kosova to draw warriors and insurgents from their midst, who disagreed with the division of ethnic lands, with the denationalization, assimilation, displacement and denial of basic human rights.

Under such circumstances, armed groups, despite the not equal potentials with the invader, did not agree to be subjected to enemies with high state organization.

The Albanian insurgents were not simply rebels or Kaçaks, but were fighters aware for the realization of natural rights for life, for free life, for national and political rights.

Kosovo’s insurgent groups were linked to the Kosovo National Protection Committee based in Shkodra, which consisted of ideologues and ideators of Albania’s Independence, of prominent figures such as Hasan Prishtina, Luigj Gurakuqi, Bajram Curri, Hoxhë Kadri Prishtina, Bedri Pejani etc., who never agreed with the Serbian rule of Kosovo and its separation from Albania.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In a nearly ten year period, the pillar of the uprising against the deployment of the Serbian military and police power was the armed group of Azem Bejta and Shotë Galica.

The high consideration of the ideator of Albania’s Independence, Hasan Prishtina, for the commander of the insurgent groups of the time, Azem Bejta, was not a coincidence.
 
Azem Bejta was distinguished by the born talent of a warrior, with the intuition of the commander and combat strategist, as well as for the rare bravery, proven in every battle.

Let me emphasize two features of the rebellious war of that time.

One: Despite the fact that the Albanian population was in a poor economic state, despite the fact that it suffered material and human damages from the combat operations of the insurgents, the insurgents found full support from the civilian population.

Two: Even though unprecedented terror was exercised on the Albanian population, the insurgents remained loyal to the military code and the ethics of war customs.

They never took revenge on unarmed Serb civilians, never massacred bodies, and never ruined and burned Orthodox religious temples.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The co-fighters of Azem Bejta were not few in number, being part in severe conditions in coordinated battles and uprisings as the one of 1919.

But above all the profile of the famous warrior Qerime Halili - Shotë Galica is a unique phenomenon, wife and co-fighter of the great leader, Azem Galica.

Shotë Galica did not leave the combating formation for a single day.

She faced the entourages, participated in attacks, helped the weak population to retreat, helped the wounded comrades, drove the orphaned children to Albania, returned to Kosovo from the north of Albania as often as the continuation of the uprisings was necessary.

Even after the murder of Commander Azem Bejta in July 1924, Shotë Galica for three more years did not stop her insurgent activity with her fellow fighters until resistance became impossible.

Shotë Galica died in severe health conditions in Albania without institutional care.

That was the state of the Albanian state of that time, which had numerous problems both in the national and international level.

Shota Galica’s death is defined by the fate of the tragic hero, a non-rare end of great figures, who, despite the massive size, end their life unjustly in social and economic misery, without their fault.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Despite the tragic end, Shotë Galica turned into a symbol of a loyal woman to the homeland, the heroine fighting for freedom, the warrior ready for sacrifice.

Shotë Galica became a symbol of the contribution of the silent heroines of the nation, of mothers, daughters, girls and women who in every historical period faced the good and the bad besides the family and the nation.

Shotë Galica is a symbol of the pride and dignity of the Albanian woman.

She is a symbol of the mothers, women and sisters who cooked, nourished, cleaned, and healed the Liberation Army fighters everywhere in Kosovo and beyond.

Shotë Galica is a symbol of the Albanian mother, of the mother who gave birth to Shotë Galica, Azem Bejta, Shaban Polluzha, Adem Demaçin, Jusuf Gërvalla, Adem Jashari, Zahir Pajaziti, Xheva Lladrovci and many warriors and heroes who fell for the freedom and independence of Kosovo.

Glory to the name and deeds of the heroin Shotë Galica!

Glory to all the fallen for freedom!

Thank You!