August 14th 2010 02:06:33 PM
Tension prevails in Himara after the assassination of Aristotelis Goumas, 37, member of the Greek minority in Albania. The incident happened Thursday night in the village Campi in Castro of Himara in South Albania.
The incident started when three Albanians asked Goumas to stop speaking Greek in his shop. The dispute led to beating of the Greek, who managed to escape and complain to his friends.
Later at night the three Albanians detected the Greek again on a land road and caused an accident in which Goumas lost his life.
Greek MEGA TV reported that the Albanians told the police, that the Greek was blocking the road with his motorcycle and that they hit him and had their car crash on the motorcycle because he spoke to them in Greek.
Greek Foreign Ministry spokesman, Grigoris Delavekouras, condemned the death of Aristotelis Goumas saying that “Unacceptable criminal acts like that aim to arouse ethnic tension with unpredictable consequences and undermine the bilateral relations between Greece and Albania. It must be condemned by the entire Albanian society and its political representatives.” [Good luck with that.]
As Greek minority members are not part of any demographic census in Albania there are not exact numbers. In a 1995 ethnological study, the number of ethnic Greeks in the Northern Epirus alone, are estimated at 40,000. […]
Southern Epirus is the next target of Albanian irredentists, with KLA-like paramilitaries forming and making threats since 2007 and calling the sought-after region (”Tsamouria”) Chameria. Much like Kosovo=>Kosova.
Relatedly, note that travelers to Kosovo get advisories about speaking Slavic tongues there. Who can forget the multilingual Bulgarian UN aid worker — wearing a jacket reading “New York, United States” and learning Albanian “to get close to the local people” — who was shot by young Albanians when they asked him the time in Serbian and he responded in kind. As the website run by Jared Israel, Srpska-Mreza, commented: “It was Mr. Krumov’s first day on the job and he did not know that it was deadly to know a Slavic language in NATO occupied Kosovo.” In memoriam:
U.N. Official Killed in Kosovo
By George Jahn
Associated Press Writer
Tuesday, Oct. 12, 1999
PRISTINA — A staffer working for the U.N. civilian mission in Kosovo was shot and killed after his first day on the job, apparently when he angered ethnic Albanians by speaking what sounded like Serbian, an international police official said today.
Valentin S. Krumov, 38, was shot Monday evening on the main street of the capital, Pristina, on his way to dinner after arriving for duty earlier in the day. Lt. Col. Dmitry Kapotsev said he was attacked by a mob.
“It seems like he was speaking Serbian, maybe Bulgarian,” Kapotsev said of Krumov, a Bulgarian national.
“A crowd of local citizens assaulted him,” Kapotsev said. “He was taken by a mob … and shot dead.”
The victim was believed to be the first U.N. staffer killed since the United Nations began running Kosovo in June. He was shot just two days before U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan arrives Wednesday for his first visit to the province.
The chief U.N. administrator in Kosovo, Bernard Kouchner, expressed outrage over the attack.
“Our staffers here, under trying circumstances, are devoting their lives to establish peace and rebuild Kosovo,” he said in a prepared statement. “This innocent man who came here to help Kosovo to achieve a democratic way of life [sic!] was instead stopped by a crowd of thugs and an assassin’s bullet.”
Neither the peacekeepers nor international police who arrived in August have been able to quell sporadic ethnic violence - much of it directed against the dwindling Serb minority by ethnic Albanians…
Serbian, a Slavic language, could sound similar to other Slavic languages to those unfamiliar with it. A Polish police officer who asked to remain unidentified said he never speaks his own language because of concerns he could be targeted by ethnic Albanians mistaking it for Serbian. Ethnic Albanians themselves have reported receiving threats when speaking Serbo-Croatian with visiting friends from Croatia or Bosnia.
Kapotsev said that with emotions running high and gun possession widespread among the Kosovo Albanian population, incidents like the shooting could be repeated “anywhere, anytime.”
Krumov had arrived in Pristina on Monday from New York, U. N. officials said. He was shot near the Grand Hotel, where many employees of international organizations stay while working in Kosovo. Preliminary reports indicated that Krumov was attacked after someone in the crowd had asked him in Serbian for the time.
A suspect escaped on foot, apparently helped by other local residents crowding the street, police said.
U.N. officials said Krumov had a job in the civilian part of the U.N. mission in Kosovo - not in any military or police operation. He was in civilian clothes at the time of the shooting.