Thursday, February 12, 2009

Skopia (FYROM): On ethnic fault lines

FYROM school segregated over ethnic fights

SKOPJE, FYROM(AP) — A string of clashes between FYROMian and ethnic Albanian schoolchildren prompted education officials to institute segregated classes in a small town on Tuesday.

Education Minister Pero Stojanovski said the introduction of different shifts for schoolchildren of different ethnicities at the high school in Struga was necessary for teenagers' safety.
About a dozen pupils have been hurt in violence at the school over the past few weeks.

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Class Struggle
by Ljubica Grozdanovska
1 October 2007

SKOPJE, FYROM | The Albanian students who attend Zef Ljus Marku High School don’t know the FYROMian students at Nikola Karev High School, even though both groups attend classes in the same building. The roughly 2,000 students go to classes in two shifts separated by an hour: FYROMians in the morning, and the Albanians in the afternoon. The schools’ management decided to split the students into ethnic groups about five years ago to avoid conflicts.

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In 2001, the small country of Skopia suffered a deep internal wound, when the Albanian National Liberation Army, who could be argued as nothing more then the Skopian wing of the KLA (Kosovo Liberation Army), launched a 6 month uprising against the Skopian government. Since then an uneasy calm has set across the country, with both sides preparing for round two. One on going issue that has kept tensions alive is found in the very halls of the institutions that should be healing the nation’s wounds. A policy of ethnic segregation within Skopian schools has only added to the list of fascist tendencies held by the current VMRO regime of Skopia. The ethnic conflict that was played out violently back in 2001 has since changed its surroundings from the battlefield to the class room. Albanian-Skopian clashes have continued to happen across the country forcing many towns to divide students on ethnic lines. As this trend continues one is left wondering how much longer the fascist VMRO regime can continue to suppress the ethnic tensions that are simmering under the radar. If Skopia is to survive and prevent its demise it must find away to bring these two major communities together to form a truly unique identity. The current fascist regime of Skopia with its revisionist nationalistic rhetoric and ridiculous irredentist dreams towards Hellas has no future in a united Europe. How much longer can the citizens of Skopia wait for a better tomorrow? How much longer until then can join the rest of Europe in the halls of the EU and NATO? How much more ethnic violence and economic poverty must they face before they;

A. unite and together remove the VMRO regime

B. end the government's revisionist and irredentist policies towards Hellenic character of Macedonia

C. improve the living conditions of ethnic Hellenic, Albanian and Roma minorities

D. find a national identity unique to their current borders that all ethnic groups can rally behind