Thursday, May 24, 2007

Thinking of Symbols...

It's funny that I decided to write about the Kosovo government's work on new state symbols because today I heard about how some Albanians in Kosovo are working on erecting a statue of Bill Clinton in Pristina.  Seen as a "savior of Kosovo" Kosovo-Albanians plan to put up a 10-foot statue of the former US president on the boulevard that bears his name.  Podujevo scupltor Izeir Mustafa will complete the bronze statue within the next week and Pristina authorities expect to install the statue sometime this summer.  Mustafa has also been commissioned to create a statue of British PM Tony Blair...the street bearing his name is some obscure little alley in Pristina.

Going further into the debate about the national symbols of Kosovo, BIRN discusses the attitudes over the national identity of Kosovar.  One would think that Albanians would be happy with the creation of their own state, Kosovo, but that is not the case...some are vehemently against the creation of a national flag as the only flag for them is the Albanian one (never mind that little fact that it actually belongs to another country!)  So if the Albanians are against the creation of the Kosovar national identity, where does it put the people residing in the soon-to-be newest country in Europe???

Again in BIRN, Balkan author Tim Judah takes a look at Kosovo Diplomacy in Suspended Animation.  Judah looks at the Russian position and explores some of the possible solutions that may come about.
Time features an article on the possible Russia veto of the Security Council resolution based on Ahtisaari's plan.  There are also a series of articles about Indonesia and the difficulties they are facing in making a decision.  As the largest Muslim country in the world, a great deal of the population of Indonesia want the country to support the Muslim Albanian's bid for independence but at the same time the government faces a dilemma as there are two provinces that have been trying to break away, Aceh and Papua.  It is expected that a vote will happen in the next several weeks on the US-EU resolution and that the resolution does not actually contain the word "independence" (like the Ahtisaari proposal) but instead it leads down a path towards independence.

Channel 4 News from the UK reports in their Kosovo: State of Denial about that while the fighting has stopped, the communities in Kosovo still remain far apart.  Going to Mala Krusha and N. Mitrovica, the report takes a look at how both communities have suffered the ravages of war and just how difficult it is to get the groups to not just live next to each other but live together.