Berisha and Rama united by Alia
It is hardly thinkable that the former last communist leader as well as the first president of pluralism in Albania, Ramiz Alia, would unite Berisha and Rama in one common attitude. The official ceremony held for Alia's funeral clearly showed that neither Berisha, nor Rama acknowledged his role in the Albanian reality, either before, or after 1990.
The day of the funeral of his predecessor in the country's presidency, Berisha wasn't in Tirana. The official alibi was the inauguration of a road somewhere in Korça. While Rama didn't care about having an alibi, he just chose to avoid the official ceremony in the former Central Military House in Tirana. The two most powerful men in Albania actually, or maybe since 1990, were united in the same attitude toward him whom many considered to be the Albanian Gorbatchov or the creator of the Albanian Perestroika.
The approach of these two important political characters toward Ramiz Alia were somehow different. Berisha had personal and even confidential relationships with Alia at the beginning of 1990. They both accepted the role of the former cardiologist in the December Movements, and in some cases there was speculation on Berisha a "missionary" of Alia among the protesting students. History, however, showed, even by the mouth of the two witnesses Berisha-Alia, that is wasn't a built up scene to put Berisha as the leader of the post-communist country. The strongest evidence was Alia's imprisonment by the Albanian tribunal during Berisha's presidency, succeeding Alia. At the time and later on, many considered the condemnation as "protecting the former president's life", as wild reactions could occur in the name of revenge against communism. Actually, Berisha was very harsh toward Alia and his role before and after 1990, while a parliamentary investigation started on Tivar's havoc, where Alia was considered as directly involved in. This last one was always reserved in his pronunciations about Berisha, which hardly might change as Alia covered everything with eternal silence, after his death.
Though the son of a non-less important exponent during the communist regime before 1990, Rama was since the beginning a harsh radical against the dictatorial system. This was his line, while he also stated that the former high communist leaders, Alia amongst them, should be hanging publicly. During the political life of after '90s, there wouldn't seem to be any communication or sympathy between Rama and Alia. Rama was always a radical, while Alia has time after time appreciated the role of the Mayor Rama changing Tirana, and sometimes even for the spirit he was trying to bring to the SP during his first commission. With a difference of almost 40 years of age, Rama didn't even seem to try to have any political benefit from Alia and his ideas' supporters. The last case was that of May 8th elections, when Rama could still be Mayor of Tirana with the votes of Hysni Milloshi and the Communist Party. Nevertheless, there's a little detail to be considered during Alia's funeral. Important and historical characters of the SP were present in the ceremony of the former First Secretary of the PLA. If the former President of the Parliament, Servet Pellumbi took a personal initiative to honor Alia, it couldn't be the same for Namik Dokle, former President of the Parliament and Alia's formal rival during their run for President in 1991, and especially for Gramoz Ruçi, former Minister in Alia's period as well as the actual nr.2 of the SP, as chairman of the Socialist Parliamentary Group and Assembly. It all might be a personal choice of these exponents, but they could hardly do it without informing Rama on their actions. It might be a first wise step to draw that part of electors who, for Alia's sake, didn't vote the SP, but the communists of Miloshi, Asllani or others.
The Democratic Party, preannounced its' radical approach even the day of Alia's death, through its newspaper "RD", considering almost a feast the death of the pluralism former first President. It however didn't deny the right of an official funeral, as contemplated the State's Protocol. The SMI of Meta, a vital alley of the DP, highly honored Alia by the presence of its leader during the ceremony. The same line was that of the historical leader of the socialists, Alia's heir at the leadership of the PLA, changing its name in SPA in June 1991. Fatos Nano didn't avoid being present, maybe coming on purpose from Austria, his residency after 2005.
Either with its presence or absence, appreciation or despise, public grieve or hiding joy, the Albanian political class turned the official funeral of Ramiz Alia in an important day. Berisha and Rama had the same attitude, while Nano and Meta separated from them, as well as Pellumbi, Dokle and Ruçi. The day of Alia's death might probably be the beginning of a new political landscape in Albania's life. The "Godfather" of the Albanian politics of after 1990, as called by the foreign Media, won't have any more a strong influence in the political chessboard, it won't be able to keep in hostage or guide either in the backstage or publicly our political leaders. Perhaps, now every politician will have the chance to be himself, to walk on his own and also fall down on his own. The history often showed that the death of a country's important politician might become the birth of a new age, in every sense.
The property conflict, a concerning problem of society
Though over 20 years passed since the new trade regime was established in Albania, property conflicts are not solved yet. The 45 years of communist dictatorship buried the private property turning everything in socialism's property. The years following the political pluralism in our country in 1990, couldn't solve this problem amongst Albanians. Property conflicts have become the main source of conflicts between individuals or even families, this especially in Malesi e Madhe, a very well-known area for the sanguine character of its inhabitants. The property problems worsened because of the Law Nr. 7501, still available. In some cases there's double ownership on the same property. Even when the Albanian court deliberates, it's not just overlooked but it might also be acted against. The last case was that of the judge of Vlora, Skerdilajd Konomi, killed right for property questions. While he won the case on his property while still alive, the court might revoke that deliberation, what is considered a second murder for the judge of Vlora.
A typical case of property conflict was reported in Zagore of Bajza, in Malesi e Madhe, where Vilson Deli Mehmetaj and his family are in serious danger. It all begun with the "conflictual" Law Nr. 7501. The Mehmetaj family had a conflict with the family of Metush Ramadan Mulaj, as a consequence of this law. The land in question was inherited through generations by the family Mehmetaj, today by Deli and Xhemile Mehmetaj and their son Vilson. Yet it was taken by an absurd law, giving it as a legal property to the family Mulaj. The question of this property has created deep problems between the two families, while the family Mulaj threatened the family Mehmetaj. This last one had the right to have its' inherited property, while the other family pretended to have it in the name of the Law Nr. 7501. Pressure and threats by the family Mulaj increased during 16 years, forcing the family Mehmetaj: Deli, Xhemile and Vilson, even his fiancée Saida Ramadan Memçaj, to close in fearing the revenge of the family Mulaj, right at a place in Shkodra, known as the "Blood-feud district", in Kiras. From pressure and threats, the family Mulaj passed on concrete actions against the family Mehmetaj. It was January 16th 2008, at about 22.30, when Vilson Mehmetaj was shot near the "Migjeni" Theater, while the bullets terrorized the people passing by. The shooters were supposed to be from the Mulaj family. There was an attempt to kill him even in these last days. On October 7th 2011, the old Metush Mulaj, with other people's help had beaten Vilson Mehmetaj in a little street of the "Kiras" district in Shkoder. As a consequence of this, Vilson Mehmetaj lost consciousness. The aggressors left Vilson, considering him dead. Vilson survived the attack while his family and fiancée were terrorized, as no structure of the State was making any attempt to interfere in property conflicts. Vilson limited his movements for many years, knowing he was a target of revenge. After that beastly attack that almost cost him his life, Vilson is living totally hidden, along with his family. The fear for his life has become a true nightmare for Vilson and his family, as their life is hanging on a wire. If only Vilson goes out of his hiding place, even for family problems, his life is seriously exposed to danger. Vilson Mehmetaj and his family would just be another case, one more crime for property conflicts in Albania.
Opposionist Newspaper victims of the state Violence
Albania from different years, is in the black list as much as it relates the freedom of the media and of the journalist. The annual classification of the global organisms, evaluates our country in a low level of the freedom of expression and by the journalists themselves. For the year 2010 Albania is sort out in the 80-th place, left behind even from Kenya, Lebanon, Mongolia and Moldavia (according the <<Reporters with no limits>>. While it have been published tenth of cases of the media and journalist who work in Tirana, the situation is grave in the Albanian province.
The 24 years old Senad Nikshiqi, as many other young guys, fall in love withy the <<word freedom>> since he was young for this he was devoted the education in journalism in Shkoder University, where he performed the 3-year cycle in the year 2009. Parallel, he was engaged in the local medias since the year 2006 as a journalist in the TV1 Channel. His passion was the precise and fair report, which was his motive during all his professional carrier. After an experience in TV1 Channel and Rozafa TV, Nikshiqi continued his profession in the Television Antena Nord, which is known for his critical character toward the power in govern. Postured as a journalist of the politics and of the social themes, he attached many times the structures of the local power in center and in its base. Not rarely, his reports, as in the case related to the Head of the PDK M.Madhe Aleks Keka or for the biblical flooding in Shkodra, have resuscitated the reaction of the structures of the power. Many times, Senad was threatened, even with anonymous phone call or even with Montenegrin mobile numbers, by increasing the unsafely in his profession as a journalist. The engagement of the journalist Nikshiqi continues without any interruption and with a professional determination and in the elections of 8 may 2011, where he reflected by a close distance the campaign of the candidates for the Mayor of the Communes and Municipalities of the opposite fort Shkoder District.
As a consequence of this public engagement in Antena Nord Television known as opposionist and that for these reasons is in the vigil of bankruptcy, Senad was faced even with the physical violation. Some days before exactly on 12 October 2011, round the 22.30, while he was coming back form the work to go in his home after a tiresome and charged day, Senad Nikshiqi was hit by two unknown persons in the darkness of a alley in the quarter <<Rus>> of Shkoder. A she was falling down unconsciously by the hits of the aggressors, Senad heard the various offensive words related to his profession as a journalist. After some minutes, Senad become conscious and with many difficulties reached home that fortunately was near the place where he was hit. Tremendously frightened by this violence, the journalist Nikshiqi has no courage to go the hospital to be examined or to take the necessary aid. Privately he was visited in secrecy in his home, by a doctor in secrecy friend of the family and took the necessary medications to pas the physic and spiritual trauma. From that night the family of Senad, his brother Admir and the parent live horrified, and they avert the coming out from their houses as much as it is possible. In a full illegality, threatened with the life, is Senad who stays indoors, and also his brother Admir, who if he goes out in the street, will be a victim of the revenge for the profession of his brother. Not rarely near their home, in the hours of the night, are parked cars with dark glass and with foreign plates which are not identified who threatened the life of Senad and the one of his family.
To be a journalist in Albania, is a very difficult enterprise, but to be criticaster toward the central or local power in the Shkodra Region, your live depend on a thread. Even, your familiars are in risk because as reason of the journalist who lives with them. The appeals of the different Albanian and international associations, were not heard. Now it is clear that event he state structures as the police, are in service of the criminal circuit who tend to close with every cost the voice of the opposionist journalists. The insecurity for the opposionist government newspaper in Albania, has reached catastrophic levels and no one may meliorate the situation.
Beaten by her father as she dated a Muslim guy
Right in the middle of Shkodra, at the "2 Prilli" Square, near the "Luigj Gurakuqi" University's Rectorate, a father beats his daughter. The happening shocked the many people around. The immediate intervention of the police prevented a worsening of the situation. The police arrested the author, Pjeter Ndue Leka, from Laç, stopping everything at once.
Yesterday the citizen P.L. left Laç, his town, toward Shkodra. At about 11.00 he was near the Rectorate of the University where he beat his daughter I.L. right in the presence of everyone. He punched and kicked her, dropping her down shocked. The police arrived immediately at the place stopping the author, preventing a possible victim. The girl was sent at the Regional Hospital of Shkodra, because of the wounds. Ina Leka is the only daughter of P. Leka and R. Hasi. Misfortune followed this poor girl since early, while her mother died at the Lezha's Hospital, because of a hard disease in October 1995. The little Ina was grown under the authority of her father, since she was 4. As she grew up, she attended school where she got great results. She was distinguished amongst her friends in many activities. She was an organizer and member of the students' committee, and she wrote at the school's newspaper. Ina Leka is now a student of Social Work at the "Luigj Gurakuqi" University of Shkodra. She began her studies in the 2009-2010 academic year. On April 30th 2010 she was elected vice-President of the Students' Council of the University. On January 25th 2011 she became a member of the Academic Senate of this University. Docents and students knew her as a very good girl, quiet and perseverant on achieving good results.
Police sources inform that the 20 years old student I.L. was dating a guy from Shkodra since one year ago. The guy was Redan Bushati, chairman of the Students' Council, known by the academic and political environment of this town. Their relationship was very good and his parents knew this. Their relationship was the kind of an engagement or a "secret" marriage, as they lived in a house they rent in Shkodra, and time after time at Redan's house in the "Ndoc Mazi" district. The girl didn't make this known to her father, as she thought her father wouldn't allow a relationship with a Muslim and she feared the consequences. "I couldn't tell my father, as he would kill me with his own hands. He has always been an extreme fanatic and he never considered his daughter would have a relationship with a Muslim. He tried to arrange my marriage since I was 16, but this didn't happen as I attended university. I love Redan and we're like married, though we didn't announce it, as we feared my father's and relatives' reaction", the violated girl said. Their relationship worked until the day her father knew it, though the guy wasn't in Albania since a few months.
Sources from the hospital say the girl is under their care and there's no serious danger to her health. She got some heavy wounds, but she's being followed by a group of specialists. She also got a light psychological shock. The Police of Shkodra informed that the 53 years old Pjeter Leka didn't show any sign of regret during the interrogation, saying that as soon as he'll get out, he'd kill his daughter if she doesn't stop her relationship with the guy of another religion. Her cousins too are trying to kill her. They sent threatening messages on her cell. The poor girl under the fear of death reported this to the police. She doesn't know how this all is going to end. The investigators are gathering other evidence by people who witnessed the happening. The question will get to the Prosecution of Shkodra, where the author will face the sentence of the Court of Shkodra.
These happenings in the midst of the city show again the numerous problems our country faces. This is surely a result of the cultural backwardness and lack of education, very expanded in our country. A girl beaten by her father for her relationship with a guy of another religion, a girl raped or used for trafficking etc., makes the situation in our country very miserable, leaving it far behind the European standards. Crime is increasing while there are many other girls, like this, in our country. The question is: "When shall we treat people like human beings and not like beasts?!"
Difficult to be a journalist in Albania
Being a journalist in these days becomes more difficult, in front of this reality In Albania. Keeping this name, important as well, also called the fourth power is much more easier for the journalists pro-government, or those who decide to be "the spokeman" of their acts. It's quite different for other journalists, who dare to investigate that the true comes out, even for tragic stories of our everyday. These jounalists are the target of pressures, of physical violence, and the only falt of this category is that they choose not to give a price to their mission by cash or an employment.
Taulant Koplikaj is one of these journalists, who decided much more to be investigative, and helps the true to come out for sensational stories in North Albania. When others dare not to investigate for a "hot" and controversial topic like the smuggling during the international embargo in Montenegro, Koplikaj on 2006 realised a documentary which denounced exactly the oil smuggling by Shkodra Lake with Former Jugoslavia. This documentary is published and well known. It contains direct charges for the Prime Minister, at that time President Sali Berisha, whom according to the journalist supply regulary the war machine of Serbia during '90.
Another breaking investigation was the murdering of the Director of Police in Shkodra Region, Arben Zylyftari which is considered as "the century murder". In 2010 Koplikaj will realize another investigative documentary, wich highlights to the murder mystery of Zylyftari, who by this journalist was killed by his dependents.
The last flagrant case, the earlier one, was the some day investigation of the tragedy of Kristian Marku, a 12 years old child who died in a ruined garages not far away from his house. This garages was destroyed by the Building Inspectorate of Shkodra Municipality on 9 September 2011.
After threatening phone calls, people wich will be mentioned on Koplikaj's article, hit and violence physically him the evening of 15 September in an alley nearby his house. According to the statement of our colleague Koplikaj, everything connected with the public denounce made by him to the Mayor and the Urbanistic chief in Shkodra Municipallity. Both of them were considered responsible for the wrong implementation of the decision by Adjustment of the Territory Counsil, that caused the death of a minoren in the ruined garages. Scared much more for his family members, the journalist Koplikaj refused to do the denunciation to the police, because they are a tool of the Mayor Lorenc Luka. After several day effort, the journalist Taulant Koplikaj provides incontrovertible documents that proves the illegal activity of the Urbanistic Chief Aida Shllaku and the Mayor Luka, who signed the destroyment of the garages, which in fact was an unfinished action and caused the death of a innocent life the12 years old Kristian Marku.
As a well known investigative journalist, Taulant Koplikaj several time was target of politician threats and exponents of crime close to politics. Also on newspapers he was critical to high level of politicians, especially from the region of Shkodra, where he lives.
According to the grave situation witch is developed the journalism as a profession in Albania, Taulant Koplikaj and a closed group of journalists in North Albania established to the UGPV Albania - Union of Professional Journalists of the North Albania (www.ugpv.org) as a possibility to give much power to their voice. According to his qualities, from the founding till now, Koplikaj covers the post of General Secretary of the Union. In these conditions of pressure the Union has an impossible mission to protect the journalists. We simply published and denounced several cases, but a lot of them remained just some articles in internet, without being investigated by other local medias. These local medias oftenly has not the courage to be positioned against politicians and in the side of journalists. As a victim of violence the journalist taulant Koplikaj and his family are distressed, without a life safety. It seems like this journalist has passed the limit on his showdown with politics crime, and being exposed on their revenge. We, his colleagues cannot do much more that denouncing this case, on the only tribune we have, wich we sincerely thanks as always.
Union of Professional Journalists of the North - UGPV Albania