Parallel Lives or not? (Comparable cases or not?)
On February 17, 2008, Kosovo’s leadership –supported by its protectors-declared the area’s independence. All doctrines and axioms fabricated during the last decades by the Greek foreign policy and used to justify its inactive and fatalistic stance, including “the inviolability of the borders” as well as that “we do not claim anything” to even that “Cyprus decides and Greece sides up with” have collapsed and have proven themselves ridiculous.
The thunderous silence of the first days was followed by an evident change in foreign policy fairly enough based upon almost the entire political spectrum’s consensus.
Ninety four years before, exactly on the same date, the North Epirotans declared their autonomy struggle. It was indeed a victorious struggle that resulted in granting N. Epirus broader –geographic and political- autonomy on May 17, 1914, right 3 months upon the Protocol of Corfu’s ratification by the Great Powers as well as by Albania itself.
Thus, this coincidental occurrence very vividly depicts two facts:
First, after such a development in Kosovo’s case, it should be unthinkable that the N. Epirus issue remain in a stalemate. Second and more important, that the N. Epirus issue historically precedes and is essentially better fit to be resolved in terms of autonomy than that of Kosovo.
It is really of no matter that, transient interests intending to form a convenient protectorate along with the Greek side’s inactivity have eventually led to positions and stances such as that of the U.S. policy.
At any rate the truth is that, unlike the Kosovars, the N.Epirotans never claimed any other people’s country and their historical cradle. N. Epirus has been their primeval Greek land and their history is an integral part of Greek history.
The N. Epirotans never depended upon unlawful interests of the powerful ones from the Ottoman occupation and Hitler’s era to this date. Instead it is them who have contravened and suffered untold hardships by all forms of totalitarianism.
The N. Epirotans don’t have to massacre entire villages or to spread dead bodies about mountainsides in order to call for international intervention neither do they gloat over civilians, infrastructure and even a historical European capital being bombed Instead they express sentiments of friendship and love towards the Albanian people with whom the N. Epirotans have to coexist while their motherland, Greece has been sustaining the Albanian people for the last two decades and it guides them in the path of development and that of Europe.
The N. Epirotans were never accused or convicted for crimes of war in the International Courts of Justice. Instead, thousands of them have been unjustly convicted, persecuted, imprisoned, tortured, exiled and killed since King Zogou’s time, by the terrible Hohxa and Alia’s regime to the case of the five heroes of “Omonoia” in 1994 and the five Chimarans in 2003.
Their sole crime was that they were Christians and Greeks.
The N. Epirotans have not torn down neither have they destroyed any worship centers, churches or monasteries marked as monuments of global heritage.
On the contrary, they have witnessed their churches turning forcibly into stables, getting leveled down and even nowadays getting desecrated and looted.
Consequently, indeed N. Epirus doesn’t equal Kosovo.
N. Epirus claims its rights through peaceful means, based upon the International Law’s principles with unity and vigor.
For every unbiased beholder who envisions peace, N. Epirus’ vindication is the only way however with an essential requirement: The awakening of Hellenism in N.Epirus, in free Greece as well as worldwide.