The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Madam Atifete Jahjaga, participated today at the manifestation of the 100th anniversary of the Albanian school in the region of Deçan, organized by the Association of Kosovo Historians “Ali Hadri”, branch in Deçan. Also present at the manifestation were former President Fatmir Sejdiu, the former President of the Assembly, Mr. Jakup Krasniqi, the Mayor of the Municipality of Deçan, Mr. Rasim Selmanaj, family members of martyrs, representatives of the Institute of History and scholars.
President Jahjaga also held a speech marking the 100th anniversary of the Albanian school in Deçan and also spoke about the survival and the importance of education.
After the ceremony, President Jahjaga visited the primary school “Sylë Alaj” in Drenoc, Deçan and conversed with the students and the educational staff of the school.
During the visit to Deçan, President Jahjaga met also with the Mayor of Deçan, Mr. Rasim Selmanaj, at the municipal building. President Jahjaga was informed by President Selmanaj about the current developments in the municipality and its development projects.
Below, the speech of the President at the manifestation:
I express my gratitude for the invitation, to participate in the manifestation for the centennial of the Albanian education in the municipality of Deçan, respectively for the opening of schools with education in Albanian language in the villages of Drenoc and Irzniq and also I congratulate you for the organization and the remembering of important dates from the past of our people and this region, especially for marking the jubilee of education in the Albanian language.
With this kind of organization you honor all those activists who worked tirelessly for the freedom, for the education and for the progress. Education and the general cultural elevation are the preconditions of every development and are the foundations of the making of the nation and the state.
Let us remember here with reverence Hasan Prishtina and Bajram Curri, Niman Ferizi and Qazim Bakalli, Pashk Llogoreci and Ndue Bytyqi as well as the teachers Ibrahim Fehmiu in Drenoc of Voksh and Latif Shaqiri in Irzniq and many patriots and other education loving people who by opening schools in these areas opened the horizon of knowledge as part of the arousal and national dignity.
Today we proudly remember the Congress of the Alphabet, held in Bitola in 1908, when it was decided for the Albanian language to use the Latin alphabet, as a great success, as a right determination, as an alignment of the Albanian people in the European family.
The Albanian school has a special significance for the people of Kosovo, because with it, it has preserved the identity – not only the language, and because together with it, it has cultivated the feeling for freedom and the feeling of being equal to all other people.
With the school we have also written our history – a painful story but the same time a proud story. The history of a country which the freedom – along sacrifice and unceasing efforts of many generations – has gained also with the unsparing international aid. The history of a country which has built its independence with the will of its people and with the great support of our friends and allies.
Kosovo today is a country built on the principle of citizenship, with freedom for each of its citizens, with equal rights and obligations for each.
The independence of Kosovo is irreversible – as much as the aspiration of the people of Kosovo to be an integral and equal part of NATO, the EU and the UN. With an eternal friendship with the USA.
Therefore Kosovo today is a country which is built on the basis of the rule of law and order, where each person is equal before the law, where the fight against corruption and organized crime is a priority, and where the establishment of justice is the foundation for the building of trust between the citizens.
The heavy, violent past and hegemonism, the consequences of which we are suffering even today, will not return any more. Kosovo is a factor of stability and security, a strong promoter of relations between neighbors and major contributor to peace not only in the region. So today when we are establishing the strong foundations of peace we must think about reconciliation between all people, not forgetting the past but by building the future.
Justice must prevail and the crimes committed must be punished in order not to be repeated ever again.
Kosovo is a country of traditions of understanding and trust, a multicultural place of tolerance and cultivation of national and religious harmony. —- In particular this part of Kosovo, the Dukagjin Plain, has proven for centuries this history of religious tolerance and cooperation. Kosovo has a rich cultural and religious heritage, and one of them is also the Monastery of Deçan, a facility already in protection of UNESCO, organization of which Kosovo will soon become a member country.
This Monastery, which bears the name of your city, an Orthodox religious heritage and cult facility, during the history survived and was preserved by the local residents – mainly Albanian tribes. I believe that this tradition must be cultivated also in the future, because in this manner we preserve the assets and heritage of Kosovo and because in this manner we cultivate the sense of freedom and equality.
I am committed that the relations with the monastery to be developed in the spirit of good cooperation, understanding and trust with those who serve in the Monastery, enabling simultaneously the performance of all duties and responsibilities as municipal power.
We must respect the spirit of the Constitution and the Laws of the Republic of Kosovo and at the same time our obligations obtained with the Ahtisaari Package. Only the rule of law and institutional solutions are sustainable and simultaneously acceptable.
Kosovo, like any other country has its difficulties of transition, which cause pain, impatience, dislike. A period which may last longer, since it requires more work and deep reforms in society, however painful that these reforms are, they are necessary for us, for our society, for our country and will help our society to approximate with the EU.
We are as far but also close to the EU as much as we have completed our tasks. And therefore we must show our maturity and vision for the future that is built jointly for a society of free people with clear and equal opportunities for development and progress. A state of justice, with an advanced and modern system of education.
The best evidence is the marking of this 100th anniversary of the Albanian school in these regions.