Peja, April 16, 2018 – The President of the Republic of Kosovo, Hashim Thaçi, attended the Memorial Academy of the 19th anniversary of the fall of martyrs Shkelzen Haradinaj, Fatmir Nimanaj, Hasim Halilaj and Luan Nimanaj.
President Thaçi said that with the highest institutional honors these four heroically fallen martyrs on April 16, 1999, are being commemorated.
“Freedom has been and remains the most precious value of mankind”, he said, adding that “the fall for freedom is the most supreme sacrifice”.
The Head of State said that in contrast to all the historical periods, in 1998-1999, the efforts for the liberation of Kosovo were a more visible reality than ever before.
He said that not only the prominent commanders had proven themselves for two years in battles and war fronts, but also 20 year-olds like Luan Nimanaj were ready to fight until the last drop of blood.
“The Kosovo Liberation Army, as a military and political organization, had united the most determined boys and girls, men and women to make the dream of many generations – the liberation of Kosovo – reality”, stated President Thaçi.
He said that Shkelzen Haradinaj was one of the early KLA members who with inexcusable energy assisted the movement of KLA soldiers supplying weapons, adding that “Luan Haradinaj had fallen in the war near the border, trying to enter Kosovo as early as May 1997”.
The Head of State said that Shkëlzen, Fatmir, Hasim and Luan had proven their contribution especially during the period of the open KLA war.
“These soldiers, commanders and leaders of the liberation war in the Dukagjini Operational Zone, since the March 24, 1998 battle in Gllogjan up to the resistance of April 16, 1999, wore the KLA uniform with honour”, said President Thaçi.
President Thaçi said that one of the many values of the KLA was without doubt the protection of the civilian population, the care for the injured and the willingness of the soldiers and superiors to be sacrificed for the unarmed population.
“The most typical example is April 16, 1999, the day when martyrs Shkelzen Haradinaj, Fatmir Nimanaj, Hasim Halilaj and Luan Nimanaj fell”, he emphasized.
President Thaçi added that today we are proud to belong to that generation that crowned the century’s long attempts for freedom and independence.
“Today, Kosovo is a free and sovereign state. This Kosovo has been a dream of many generations since the rebellions of Haxhi Zeka to the patriotic and intellectual activity of Jusuf Gërvalla, whose name was carried with honour by brigade 131 of the Dukagjini Operative Zone”, said President Thaçi.
The Head of State has stressed that despite the challenges, Kosovo, over a period of 19 years, has proven great achievement and is increasingly strengthening its state identity, both internally and internationally.
He said that Kosovo for which Shkëlzen, Fatmir, Hasim, Luan and many other martyrs have sacrificed themselves is a successful confession of state-building and peace-building.