The President: The falling of Selman Vojvoda made us stronger in our traversing towards freedom and independence

Prishtina, February 20th 2020 – President of the country Hashim Thaçi participated today at the Memorial Academy in honour of the martyr Selman Vojvoda, who was killed 30 years ago at the protests of the 1990 in the city of Mitrovica.

President Thaçi stated that a year before the killing of Selman Vojvoda, at the helm of national responsibilities and protesting against Serbia , on February 28th 1989, Milosevic’s official Belgrade suppressed the constitution of the 1974, and removed all the attributes of the autonomy from Kosovo.

“This degradation did not pass without strong national resistance in Kosovo. All around the cities of Kosovo strong protests took place. Those who lived at the those times remember the strike of miners, strikes in all companies, strikes and protests of the students all around Kosovo, and massive nationwide solidarity of people all over Kosovo, we can say that the whole nation rose in defence of the rights of the citizens of Kosovo, and for the affirmation of their rights to live free and be independent, as we live today. The protests kept resulting with dead, wounded and arrested people. This repression by Serbia had commenced earlier, and was a systematic one, since the student protests of 1981, supported by everyone, “added President Thaçi.

The head of state said the institutions of Kosovo of the time, responded with arrests of intellectuals, differentiations and daily oppression, which intensified during the 1890 and 1990.

“It was the time when the domination of Belgrade in all republics of former Yugoslavia was continuous, especially with the violence it carried out in Kosovo. But the workers of Kosovo, the student youth of Kosovo as a political movement, the student movement, unified and led the protests in all urban centres of Kosovo. The students of the University of Kosovo, and those who studied elsewhere in Prishtina, Mitrovica, Peja, Gjakova or Prizren, joined in solidarity with the miners of Trepça in various forms, from the most sublime sacrifice, a hunger strike or open protests against the police, the army and Serbian administration,” said the President.

This was a result of indignation, added President Thaçi, but also of raising up to the constraint which Belgrade was undertaking on the innocent and peaceful population of Kosovo.

“Since the end of the second world war, National Movement in Kosovo never agreed to the Belgrade policy. Such is the resistance made by Shaban Polluzha and Mehmet Gradica, resistance which was suppressed with violence, repression and assassinations in Drenica and beyond, continuing with the national movement led by Adem Demaçi, , as the symbol of resistance and inspirer of many generations for the Republic of Kosovo, for a free and sovereign Kosovo. To continue further with the demonstrations of 1968, of 1981, as the repression of Serbia continued with imprisonments, heavy convictions, with deaths caused by torture, searches and assassinations of determined activists of the national movement for liberation and independence of Kosovo,” said President Thaçi.

He also pointed out that among those who showed determination, wisdom and vision was also the student Selman Vojvoda.

“Selman Vojvoda, with his contribution provided the best example on how a young person, irrespective of the place where he was, at the university lecture theatre, libraries or else, left the care for his future aside and leapt out on the street to protest for a free and sovereign Republic of Kosovo. The determination and reaction of student Selman Vojvoda was not circumstantial. This patriotism of his was imbued in him by his family, his closest circle, he was educated in the spirit of love for his homeland, in the spirit of resistance against the Serbian military and police, inspired for freedom and independence, said President Thaçi.

The falling of Selman, according to President Thaçi, has a particular symbolism for Drenica, Mitrovica and for all of Kosovo.

“It carries a special symbolism for Drenica, as this was the clearest message that Serbia was not going to stop, that Serbia will continue to kill the innocent youth, the empty handed students, inspired with ideals of resistance and freedom. The falling of Selman and the ceremony organised during his burial was Kosovo’s message, the message of resistance, the message of unification of people and at the same time the message of agreement on Drenica and all around Kosovo that united we can resist and win against Serbia. Thus, the falling of Selman mobilised us, united us to walk ahead, to crown our efforts with freedom and independence. The symbolism of the falling of Selman for the city of Mitrovica is clear, and it lives on and will live eternally,” said President Thaçi.

President pointed out that Selman fell at the bridge and the bridge was renamed as the blood bridge.

Remembering student Selman Vojvoda today, said the President, we remember with piety, respect and pride all the fallen martyrs of the protests of years 1968, 81 and 90.

“We remember those individuals, those young men and women who fell at the peak of their youth, who sacrificed themselves for freedom. Freedom of Kosovo was their dream, dream which came true today,” said the President.

“Glory to the life and deeds of the hero Selman Vojvoda!” concluded the 61