Junik, May 23rd 2022 – Under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani Sadriu, a manifestation was held in honour of the marking of the 110th anniversary of the Assembly of Junik, attended by the President of Kosovo Vjosa Osmani Sadriu, the President of Albania Ilir Meta, the mayor of Junik Ruzhdi Shehu and many personalities of political and cultural life in the country.
Following is the President Osmani's full address:
Honourable President of the Republic of Albania, our great friend Mr. Ilir Meta!
Honourable mayor of Junik, Mr. Shehu!
Distinguished representatives of the families of martyrs, heroes, war invalids of our Liberation Army,
Honourable deputies, ministers,
Dear citizens of Junik, Kosovo and Albania
It is a great pleasure to be able to return to your beautiful city within two years, to mark together with you one of the most important events in our national history, the Junik Assembly. This pleasure becomes even greater because this year we come here to mark an important jubilee of this assembly, its 110th anniversary. Moreover, we are marking this anniversary as in the time of the Assembly, with representatives coming from all Albanian lands, from Albania, Northern Macedonia, Montenegro, the Presheva Valley and of course from the Republic of Kosovo.
Dear citizens of Junik!
In the history of the ancient people, just like ours, whose existence is measured by millennia, 110 years of history is not that much. But, in the millennial histories of the nations there are some events that always carry an inspiring message because they manage to connect the pieces of history in the arc of their ambitions. The Assembly of Junik, held on May 21st -25th 1912, at the time of great upheavals and endless efforts of the Albanian people for freedom and independence and the predatory intentions of the neighbours marks not only an important historical event, but also an example of clear articulation political demands of our people for freedom, articulating them on a pure national platform, which included three important dimensions: national, political and military.
Therefore, today, when we are jointly marking the 110th anniversary of this assembly, it is time to remember with piety its participants and to bow to them for their patriotic vision, depth of thought and wisdom of action, to thank them for pure national orientation and the political platform they created. It was a weighty stone in the struggle for the independence of Albanian lands.
The Junik Assembly was held at a crucial moment in the history of the Albanian people and supported their efforts for self-determination. Therefore, it does enter the course of important national events, as it provided a clear platform for freedom. Astoundingly, on May 21st to 25th of the year of independence, representatives of different Albanian territories, of the then vilayets, gathered together, in this place of historical resistance, which is symbolized today by the stone towers, so beautiful, which you are carefully preserving, to design the first national platform for independent Albania.
Led by the ideologist of the Albanian cause, Hasan Prishtina, and supported by more than 250 delegates from Albanian territories, representatives of Albanian vilayets and sanjaks such as Shkodra and Elbasan, the Assembly of Junik presents a strong political, military and cultural platform for the implementation of the independent Albanian state. He gave tremendous impetus to the efforts for national liberation. The Assembly strengthened these efforts in several dimensions:
First, the assembly played an extraordinary role in coordinating the efforts of the Albanian people to organize a military uprising on a national scale. The call made to the Albanian people to unite under the leadership of a single national committee was crucial to centralize and unite the efforts for freedom. He set up a single committee, which would then lead the fight. The Assembly itself managed to make it clear that national consciousness had been raised to a high level and that any attempt to undermine the determination of Albanians for freedom would only further homogenize it.
However, the Junik Assembly did not only unite military figures. He also joined the efforts for prudent and determined political action. In addition to clearly articulating the determination of the Albanians to continue at all costs of the war and the struggle for freedom, the Assembly approved the political program for the recognition of autonomy, as a first step towards the independence of the Albanian vilayets and decided to raise the national flag everywhere. Albanian lands. The Assembly further transcended the boundaries of an assembly at the core of which is the effort to consolidate the struggle for freedom, and provided a clear cultural as well as a political platform. He loudly reaffirmed the western orientation of the Albanian people, insisting that the official language in the Albanian territories be the Albanian language and reaffirming the attitude of the people of knowledge and culture, that we should use the Albanian alphabet in Latin letters in our country. Thus, the Assembly marked a clear pro-Western orientation, an orientation which Albanians have demonstrated over the centuries at crucial points in their history.
Dear citizens of Junik,
The Junik Assembly marks not only a historic date but also a date of remembrance. It marks a turning point for political and cultural activities and for the realization of our national goals. It also served as a narrative for many girls and boys who gave their lives for the homeland, including the girls and boys of the Kosovo Liberation Army who fought for our freedom and independence. The wisdom, dedication and bravery of the participants of the Junik Assembly and especially their political and cultural foresight in those gloomy times for us are a constant point of reference to which we must constantly return and from which each of us must learn. As institutions, as people involved in politics but also as people of knowledge and culture we must take care that the political heritage of this Assembly, the prudence and determination of its leaders constantly echo and serve as a guide for our political action and cultural behaviour. As President of the country, I will take great care that the pillars of statehood are strengthened, that the historical memory is preserved and cultivated and that events such as the Junik Assembly are cultivated, that they receive the appropriate scientific and cultural treatment. Only by remembering and re-remembering, refreshing our past can we build our confident future.