Monday, March 13, 2006

Please settle Kosovo, please

How many know Mother Teresa was Albanian? In Albania, they even have a holiday on Oct. 19 in Mother's memory. While generally known as peaceful people like the Mother, they have rankled up other ethnic groups in Balkan nations like Macedonia and Serbia.

In the 1990s, when CNN was brand new to India, hearing about new places like Kosovo and Bosnia-Herzegovina was amusing. Kosovo rhymed with Laad-vo, a great fatty Gujju sweet. Herzegovina rhymed with "Kameena" (bast***), and I'd look into the mirror and shout Amitabh Bachchan-style: "You Kamina Herzegovina!" Helped me fine-tune the terrible Hindi skills I was acquiring through Bollywood films.

Kosovo's still in the news and now hurting my ear. The 90% ethnic Albanian population in Kosovo believes their land should be freed; the Serbs disagree. Men being men, the Serbs and Albanians picked up their guns to resolve the feud on the streerts. Pristina, Kosovo's capital, turned into a war zone and the Serbs left a trail of destruction on the Kosovars.

Which led to Clinton's and NATO's ravaging of Yugoslavia in 1999, but Kosovars still weren't happy. Yugoslavia was vanquished, but Kosovo was now a state of the new Serbia-Montenegro -- cool name, but Albanians don't really care about names. So the battle continues, albeit political and diplomatic.

Kosovo's new prime minister, Agim Ceku, supports Kosovo's independence and British foreign minister Jack Straw recently said that Kosovo's road to independence is "almost inevitable," perhaps after a pint or two. It's obvious Tony B and his cronies are for Kosovo's independence from Serbia. The macho Serbia is outright denying Kosovo an independent nation status.

The Macedonians don't like the Albanians and its no secret, according to a friend. Ethnic Albanian refugees spilled into Macedonia during the Kosovo war, and their population grew to an extent where they demanded an independent nation.

That pissed off an already angry Macedonian population, which led to a civil war between both groups in 2001. It was stopped after the UN intervened, but tensions are still high.

We all can't be brave like Evel Knievel, so give Kosovo benefit of the doubt, some countries believe. In a proposal to the UN, Bulgaria is going to suggest independence to Kosovars. They realize the ethnic Albanians are volatile and if the Kosovo conflict continues, it could overflow into their country and resultant, spread the chaos, which Bulgaria doesn't want.

Personal thoughts? I don't care, I want my MTV. For Albanians: please, I'm not degrading you. Indians are violent too. We are self-conniving people who watch soap operas where daughter-in-laws fight mother-in-laws.


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