President Osmani's speech at the solemn session of the Assembly of Kosovo on the occasion of the 24th anniversary of the KLA Epopee
Highly esteemed uncle Rifat,
Dear Jashari family,
Honourable Speaker of the Assembly, Mr. Konjufca
Honourable Prime Minister of the Republic Mr. Kurti
Members of the government cabinet,
Honourable representatives of central and local institutions of the Republic of Kosovo,
Honourable Speaker of the Assembly of North Macedonia, Speaker Xhaferi,
Ambassadors and representatives of diplomatic missions in our country,
Honourable representatives of the KSF,
KSF Commander, Lieutenant General Bashkim Jashari,
Dear families of martyrs!
War veterans, KLA invalids,
Today we have gathered at this special session to commemorate the sacrifice of the Jashari family, the historical weight of the events of March 5, 6 and 7th 1998, as well as the impact that the sacrifice of this family, but also of all those men and women, of the young men and women who were sacrificed on the altar of freedom, had upon our recent history.
Unfortunately, today, when we are remembering this history, which seems to be repeated, only to other people. Similar goals, similar methods, same ideology. And, the same innocent victims, women, children and the elderly, who are "guilty" only because hegemonies say so.
The Jashari family found itself in this situation 24 years ago. Facing a terrible hegemony of a murderous regime, which left no means of violence unused with the aim of exterminating the Albanians. But as it is known by now, there is no means of violence that defeats the conviction of a people to live free.
Adem Jashari and the Jashari family were aware of this. The people of Kosovo knew this. Therefore, it persevered vehemently and emerged victorious against an ideology of a genocidal regime.
This is the message that we, the representatives of the Free Republic, who have experienced hegemonic violence, must convey today, during these dark days of modern European history, to all freedom-loving nations.
We have been brought here today in this session precisely by pride, the pride for our legendary hero, for the Jashari family, for our heroes, for the resistance of our people. And with it, the pain of the sublime sacrifice of an entire family and an entire nation inevitably holds us together..
Today, 24 years after the attack on the Jashari family and its heroic fall, we are gathered to evoke memories, to renew the reminiscence of our heroes. For our painful history, but also for the pride with which we are wested with. Because we stood standing. We stood standing all until the final victory. Despite the fact that we have faced great injustices, one of which a the historical one, we have suffered unitl the turn of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Generations endured this pain. Therefore, the enlivening of an independent state, whether mentioned in family settings or when it became a maxim of the elites was a permanent goal.
It became immediate, in the late 1980s and early 1990s when Yugoslavia was disintegrating, along with the communist ideology on which it was still formed and still breathing. At this time, Kosovo faced a savage regime, which aimed to exterminate the Albanian people in Kosovo, and it began to resist the regime and articulate demands for freedom and independence.
In addition to the political articulation of legitimate demands, as early as 1991 it started organizing the defense and Adem Jashari was among the first to go to Albania to train with the first volunteers of the Kosovo Liberation Army. The constant threat had become a daily occurrence for him and for Kosovo. Systematic violence had only strengthened the sense of rejection and resistance, as tyrants throughout history have rewritten their own destiny by aggravating the burden of violence. The Jashari family, as well as the whole of Kosovo, were besieged, tortured, killed and imprisoned on a daily basis. The Jashari family was surrounded on December 30th 1991 and January 22nd, 1998, but never surrendered. Not even during the decisive battle of March 5, 6 and 7th, when numerous paramilitary and military forces surrounded the Jasharaj neighbourhood in Prekaz. The family with fellow villagers and comrades resisted for many hours, though many of its members fell from the shells that knocked down the roof of the house and the walls of the tower. Among them are many children under the age of 16, but also Adem Jashari himself, thus becoming a symbol of human sacrifice and a symbol of resistance and laying the strong foundations of our freedom.
In the memory of nations there are events that are considered to have brought about a great turning point in their struggle for freedom. They are engraved in their common calendar and are stored as precious stones in the memory of each member of the nation.
The heroic deed of the KLA commander Adem Jashari, and the sublime sacrifice of the entire Jashari family for freedom, is the most important event, which has laid the foundations of the state and will always remain in the memory of the Albanian nation and will be preserved there for eternity.
The heroism and sacrifice of the Jashari family marked this important turning point in the new history of Kosovo, but also influenced the recognition of the sad reality in Kosovo, and consequently the mobilization of the international community for the cause of Kosovo. The images of children, women and the elderly falling on the doorsteps of their homes, defending the threshold of the whole of Kosovo quickly turned into a call for the protection of human values everywhere in the world. But, more than that, they touch the consciousness of the civilized world, which was supposed to protect an oppressed people, and by protecting it, to defend the values of its own civilization.
In the Europe of the late twentieth century, the fiercest attack of a totalitarian and genocidal regime on a family and a nation was taking place, which all it asked for and wanted was the freedom of its own nation, a life in freedom, without the oppression and deprivation of freedom. But, this family, the Jashari family was all over Kosovo. It became the sacrifice of her struggle for freedom. Therefore, its resistance, its sublime sacrifice, created extraordinary solidarity among Albanians.
The Battle of Jasharajs was a turning point in our effort for armed movement. It became an inspiration for thousands of young people to join the KLA and sacrifice everything in themselves to realize our dream of freedom. The echo of the events of Prekaz touched the heart of every Albanian, so they flocked from all over the world to become the bearers of the ideal of Adem and of the Jashari family. They took ownership of their land, the land of their ancestors, and, taking ownership of it, repaid the sacrifice of this family, from Baca Shaban to little Blerina, as well as all generations of warriors, who had spared nothing for freedom. of their country.
Today, Commander Adem Jashari rests peacefully on the meadow of graves in Prekaz, because his blood did not go in vain. Therefore, we thank him for his heroism and the whole Jashari family, the sublime sacrifice they made for the freedom of their country. We thank each and every one of us, and every martyr who fell for our freedom. And, by forgiving them, we are mobilized to take their legacy forward, we pledge to work with honour to make Kosovo, for which they sacrificed, a dignified place to live; for the living to feel proud of their country and to admit every day to themselves how much freedom's weighs and how beautiful the homeland is when it is loved it wholeheartedly.
Our history in general, but also that of the Jashari family in particular, teaches us that, as Ismail Qemali said, the fates of small peoples pass through the gates of great tragedies. Each of us has our own story about the war. Everyone has stepped through the gate of the tragedy that enveloped our country and our people at the end of the last century. But, each one keeps alive the story of freedom, the memory of the hell we went through, but also of the light which then enveloped us, because of our effort, our sacrifice and our commitment to achieve it, and above all for due to the heroism of the Jashari family.
The story of each member of the Jashari family is the story of our Republic, a piece of the picture in the painful, but also proud view of the birth of the state of Kosovo. Therefore, we must speak and testify of their sacrifice for the whole of Kosovo. History must be written and remembered, remembered every day, so that cruel fate does not push us towards its repetition.
Adem Jashari and the Jashari family were attacked in their home. Therefore, they defended it, just as they defended the whole of Kosovo. The roof of this house collapsed, but the falling of the roof never meant falling. On the contrary. From its walls a whole movement arose, a whole people arose, which rebuilt our common home, Kosovo.
Therefore, his choice proves what has long been known in our Albanian culture and tradition: that the protection of land, home and country, in addition to being a sacred duty, is also the foundation of our tradition. And part of this tradition is resisting evil, rejecting it at all costs, fighting it at all costs. The resistance of the Jashari family is a result of this early tradition of resistance, but also of an awareness that the price of freedom is the most expensive, but also the most precious.
Dear Members of the Assembly!
Dear citizens of our country!
Allow me, at the end, to invite all our citizens who, as in the years of great resistance of the '90s, as in the time of great solidarity with the sacrifice of the Jashari family and all those who took up the rifle to protect the country, the memory of them, turn it into an impetus for joint action for the good of our country, the Republic of Kosovo. Let's face the challenges, which are numerous at this time. That of security is the greatest. And these challenges make Kosovo's membership in NATO and the EU even more imperative. To unite alongside our allies and work hard to make our country even more secure and prosperous; to make the world safer, and better.
God bless the Jashari family!
God bless all those who fell for freedom!
May the memory of them be eternal!