Prime Minister Thaçi: We are gradually achieving the dream of Rexhep and all martyrs who died for freedom
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The following is the full speech given by Prime Minister Hashim Thaçi
Honorable President of the Republic of Kosovo, Ms. Jahjaga
Honorable Mayor of Ferizaj, Mr. Agim Aliu
Honorable Bislimi family
Ministers and deputy ministers
Honorable relatives of the war martyrs
Honorable and dear citizens of Ferizaj,
Today, we are much honored, first as co-fighters with Commander Rexhep Bislimi, that the countrys President Atifete Jahjaga has decorated the freedom fighter, Commander Rexhep Bislimi with the Order Hero of Kosovo.
So, allow me in my personal name and on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Kosovo to congratulate the Bislimi family and all citizens of Ferizaj, of Kosovo and all Albanians.
Today is a special day for the town of Ferizaj, for all Kosovo and all Albanians because Rexhepi always thought and worked not just for Ferizaj, but for Kosovo.
He thought and worked for all Albanians.
Today, uncovering the statue of the hero Rexhep Bislimi, here in this square which is named after the legendary commander, Adem Jashari, gives meaning and majesty to the historic success we observed these days, the conclusion of the supervision of Kosovos independence, and so I congratulate all of you once again.
Thank you for your trust and support.
It is a well-known fact that in Kosovos modern history, Ferizaj and its surroundings have always produced committed activists in our national movement for freedom, liberation and national unification.
Here, I see today activists who organized demonstrations in 68, in the years 81-82 and onwards, demanding a Kosovo Republic, as well as fighters who confronted Serbia in the trenches of war.
So, this is a uniting of generations around our goal, objective and vision for Kosovos freedom and for a state of Kosovo, and in another phase, for Albanians to live united in an area without borders.
Therefore, today, I am glad to officially honor the hero Rexhep Bislimi, and to honor him as he deserves.
I would like to emphasize that Rexhep Bislimi is an example of youth mobilization, as a member of the clandestine patriotic movement of the time, which opposed Yugoslav rule and later that of Serbia, in Kosovo.
A personality known for his bravery, courage, skill and unbending determination, Rexhep Bislimi expanded guerrilla units in the Kosovo Liberation Army, and coordinated with its senior directors, such as Nait Hasani, who is here today.
Rexhep Bislimi was the first guerrilla organizer and commander in the town of Ferizaj.
Unfortunately, the imprisonment of Rexhep Bislimi in 1998 was a strike for the Ferizaj guerrillas and the movement in general, because Rexhepi still had much to do in the war against Serb military and police rule of Kosovo.
Rexhep Bislimi resisted imprisonment with unparalleled stoicism, enduring the torture and brutality he suffered in Ferizaj prison and in Gjilan.
Rexhep Bislimi is an activist who was harshly punished by the Serb security sector for his unbreakable resistance, and was killed under torture.
The unyielding resistance and death of Commander Rexhep Bislimi transformed into a moral strength for his friends and activists.
Today, when this square is decorated with the statue of the heroic commander of Albanians, Rexhep Bislimi, we pay the highest state and institutional honor to his name, work and life.
Today, 14 years after his death, on his 46th birthday, when this statue is majestically raised, Kosovo is an independent and sovereign state recognized by over 90 countries, with a secure Euro-Atlantic future, and will join NATO and the European Union. Therefore, we are gradually achieving the dream of Rexhep and of all martyrs who died for freedom.
Today, Kosovo is a sovereign state. Today, Kosovo is being honored and respected by the entire democratic world. Just two days ago, we had in Kosovo the entire decision-making world about Kosovo, about its independence, its peace, and stability and European integration.
We had the message of President Ahtisaari; we had the message of the American President for Kosovos consolidation and empowerment.
Therefore, I call on you to unite behind those messages of trust, optimism and hope for a secure future for the state of Kosovo and Kosovos citizens.
I assure you and guarantee you that the state of Kosovo will be a model state like all other countries of the European Union.
Today, this majestic statue of Rexhep Bislimi and Kosovos independence add greatness to the 100th anniversary of Albanias declaration of independence.
Without the life and work of Rexhep Bislimi and commanders of other wars, Kosovo would not be free and it would not be independent.
Without Kosovos independence, the centennial of Albanias independence would be maimed and halved.
So, accept my congratulations and success to you all.
Eternal glory to the life and work of Commander Rexhep Bislimi!
Glory to the martyrs of freedom!