Debates between Albania and Kosovo for the burying of National Hero Isa Buletini

Debates between Albania and Kosovo for the burying of National Hero Isa Buletini

Tirana, 15 May 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Edison Kurani

In Albania and Kosovo, the news that the remains of patriot Isa Buletini will rest near the father of Independence, Ismail Qemali, in Vlora, had a positive echo for a few hours only.

Immediately after this, polemics and objections came from Kosovo. Kosovo refuses for Boletini’s remains to rest in Vlora, reminding the fact that his remains will rest Boletin, in the north of Mitrovica.

Many people see this change of location for Boletini’s burial, as a quiet acceptance by the governments of both countries for the control of Mitrovica by the Serbs. Therefore, they insist that Boletini’s remains must be placed where it has been planned for a while.

Government of Albania and Kosovo announce the decision

From June 10, Isa Boletini will rest alongside Ismail Qemali in Vlora. To talk about the process of exhumation and the burial of remains of the patriot Isa Moletini in the cemetery of martyrs in Vlora, the Albanian PM, Edi Rama had an official meeting yesterday in his office in Tirana with the deputy PM of Kosovo, Hashim Thaci.

After the talk and the meeting with the family members of the national hero, Isa Boletini and his fellow fighters, Mr. Rama spoke for the media. He said that the family and government of Kosovo have welcomed the proposal of the government of Albania to place Isa Boletini near Ismail Qemali in Vlora. Rama said that this will be done on June 10, “through a much deserved ceremony which has not been able for so many ears, through cooperation between the two governments”.

Rama said that the remains will travel through all the lands of Kosovo and Albania, until the ceremony is finalized in the Independence square and Isa Boletini to rest near his brother, friend and fellow fighter, Ismail Qemali.

Deputy PM Thaci said that the decision for “the reburial of the national hero Isa Boletini to take place in Vlora, in the city of the Independence of Albania” was welcomed.

“On June 10 we will be together, Albania, Kosovo, Albanians of Macedonia, Presevo, Ulcinj, Montenegro, in Vlora, because Ismail Qemali, Isa Boletini have united once and for all the Albanian nation with their message”, Thaci said.

Mitrovica, everyone against the reburial of Isa outside of Boletin

The mayor of Mitrovica, Agim Bahtiri and other relatives of the national hero, Isa Boletini, are against the reburial in Vlora.

To object to this, yesterday they held an extraordinary meeting at the municipality. Present in the meeting were historians, intellectuals, representatives of organizations, miners and the hero’s relatives. A fact which was mentioned relates to the fact that only one family member had given the approval for the governments, while the others were against.

Bahtiri and family members warned that they will not allow for the remains of the hero to be sent to Vlora.

Mayor Bahtiri said that Isa Boletini was born and fought in Boletin, therefore he added, he will be reburied there.

“We’re determined not to allow for general Isa Boletini to be sent to Vlora”, Bahtiri said. This engagement was supported unanimously.

Family member, Riza Peci, expresses his indignation for the news that the burial location has been changed. He says that he speaks on behalf of the family and the entire area of Shala, promising that “the burial of Isa Boletini outside of Mitrovica and Boletin will not be allowed”.

On behalf of the war associations, he said that “the remains of Isa Boletini will only be buried in Boletin”, adding that: “We support the citizens of Mitrovica that Isa doesn’t deserve not to be buried in his birth of place, at the family tower”.

In Mitrovica, many people say that Boletini’s last wish was to rest in his birth place. The historical president of Kosovo, Ibrahim Rugova, had promised several years before he died, that Boletini’s remains would be brought to Mitrovica for a dignitary burial.

Publicist Asllan Murati, recalls these facts and adds: “Isa’s last wish was to be buried in Boletin, and we, the people of Mitrovica will fulfill it”.

Meanwhile, Prof. Asllan Istrefi, said that “we will not allow a new treason against Isa”.

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Enis Kelmendi, from the League of Historians of Mitrovica, says that “we have nothing against Vlora, but Isa must rest where he was born, raised and defended the Albanian cause”.

“Mitrovica is the place of events and big historical turns, from the time of the League of Prizren, uprisings and the declaration of independence, up to the strike of miners and the protection of Kosovo in Mitrovica”, he said.

Analyst Nexhmedin Spahiu says that Boletini must be buried in Boletin and not be moved 500 km away of his place of birth.

“Mitrovica cannot allow such humiliation, therefore with the civil pride and courage, we must openly articulate our objection, because if the remains are sent to Vlora, they will be a humiliation for Mitrovica. In the political aspect, the failure to hold the burial in Boletin means withdrawal from the north of Kosovo, therefore I appeal to family members not to sell Isa’s remains, but support the stand of the mayor for the burial to take place in Boletin on June 10”, says the prominent publicist, Spahiu.

Mulaj: Why are they taking Isa away from Mitrovica?!

Intellectuals and publicists in Albania, also consider the decision for Boletini to rest in Vlora as aunacceptable.

Journalist Esmeralda Mulaj says that the decision for the remains of Isa Boletini to rest in Vlora is not only absurd, but it also damages the national cause. “What is the plan that they have done for Mitrovica these gentlemen who decided for Isa Boletini not to rest at his tower in Boletin, which is located in the northern part of Mitrovica?”, Mulaj asks.

He also raises other concerns: “Why are they denying the Albanians of Kosovo the possibility to honor their son and national hero Isa Boletini? Why should Albanians of Kosovo travel to Vlora and place wreaths there, when they commemorate the uprisings of Pristina and Prizren and the bloody battle of Carraleva?”

Mulaj says that “Isa Boletini belongs to all Albanians, but above all, he belongs to Kosovo and his body must rest in Kosovo, for which he fought and lost his life”.

Haradinaj: Nowhere else but Boletin

Head of AAK, Ramush Haradinaj is against the reburial of the remains of Isa Boletini in Vlora. “The tower of Isa Boletini in Boletin, Mitrovica, has endured all difficult storms that the nation has gone through. That is not only one tower. The tower of Boletin is a symbol of our war against the invasion of our lands. The remains of Isa Boletini are an important part of the testament that this tower has held throughout generations and that is the place where he must be reburied. It would be a mistake if he is buried anywhere else but Boletin”, Haradinaj says.

Incentive for Kosovo: Rama-Thaci are killing Isa Boletini once again

Party for the Incentive of Kosovo of former speaker of parliament, Jakup Krasniqi and former minister of Transport, Fatmir Lamaj considers the decision as a second killing being done to Boletini. According to this party, this displacement is taking place because Boletini’s burial will not be allowed to take place in an area controlled by Serbs”, Incentive for Kosovo says.

“Bearing in mind the fact that this issue has been negotiated with the Serb List and as a result, with Serbia, then it’s clear that Vlora has not been chosen as the place to honor the hero of Albanian uprisings for freedom and independence”, says this party.

“By not reburying him where it was planned, we see this tactical withdrawal as a second murder of our hero, but now, with the blessing of the two Albanian governments, which are trying to sell this defeat as a patriotic decision”, says Incentive for Kosovo. /ibna/

Isa Boletini