Macedonian Human Rights Movement International condemns the passing of the Law on Languages in the Macedonian Parliament on 11 January 2018. This law is not only unconstitutional in that it has granted official status to the Albanian language without the necessary two-thirds majority in Parliament, but seriously discriminates against speakers of the hitherto sole official language, Macedonian, and speakers of smaller minority languages such as Turkish, Aromanian, Serbian and Romani. Moreover, it contains punitive provisions which include huge fines for officials and other persons who ostensibly violate it. No such punitive provisions are contained in the law on the use of the Macedonian language. This law is not designed to defend the rights of Albanians in Macedonia, as its backers falsely claim, but to advance a federalist, separatist and extreme nationalist agenda, whose goal is to redefine and eventually divide Macedonia.
MHRMI condemns the Tirana Platform, which produced the Law on Languages, and its acceptance by gutless Macedonian politicians, given that this platform is the product of negotiations in a foreign capital, Tirana, Albania and seeks to promote the idea that Macedonia should be a bi-national, bi-lingual, federal state in which the ethnic Albanian minority, whose size does not exceed around 12-15% of the population, is designated as a “constituent nation”. The adoption of such a platform has serious implications for the survival of the Macedonian state, as the Tirana Platform specifically calls for the denationalization of Macedonia and a change to our name, identity, flag, anthem and coat of arms.
The vote of the ruling Social Democratic Union of Macedonia Party (SDSM) for this law in Parliament is nothing more than a shameless capitulation in its quest to remain in power and will further erode Macedonian identity and culture, not only in the Republic of Macedonia, but throughout the Balkans where Macedonian minorities are denied even the most basic of human rights.
In meetings with the US State Department, Global Affairs Canada, and others, MHRMI questioned whether the same promotion of “bilingualism” would be applied to the Macedonian minority in Greece and the Turkish minority in Bulgaria – at the expense of the Greek and Bulgarian characters of those nations, respectively.
The acceptance of the Tirana Platform, under the guise of “human rights”, by Western enablers of Albanian extremists is an affront to everything that the United States, European Union and United Nations claim to stand for. Democracy and the rule of law have been trampled on only to grant the small Albanian minority "superhuman rights" at the expense of not only the majority population, but every non-Albanian minority in the country. Stripping self-determination away from the majority Macedonian population - in the Republic of Macedonia, no less - only illustrates the West's anti-Macedonian bias and will lead to the ultimate destruction of an entire country.
MHRMI calls on the membership of all Macedonian political parties to vehemently oppose the adoption of this law by all available democratic and legal means. We call on President Gjorge Ivanov to use his veto power and not sign it into law given its blatantly unconstitutional nature. We call on the Macedonian people and those Macedonian citizens belonging to smaller minority groups such as the Turks, Roma, Serbs, Vlachs and Bosnians to peacefully employ all legal means at their disposal to prevent the adoption of Albanian as a second official language. And we call on the Macedonian people to employ their right to freedom of expression and unite in defence of Macedonia, gather en masse, and protest this treasonous, unconstitutional and anti-Macedonian act and to demand politicians that will stand up for our country and its most basic of human rights.
Appropriately, a politician that does stand up for his country, Canada's Trade Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne, said today in reference to Canada's relations with the United States - "When people see that you're firm, you get respect". This is the same message that MHRMI has been telling Macedonian politicians since independence in 1991. Demand respect for Macedonia and our Macedonian identity, and the world will help us. Join MHRMI's Our Name Is Macedonia campaign and end the racist, degrading, anti-Macedonian name negotiations - which is the overarching issue that is wreaking havoc on all aspects of life in Macedonia and which led to the Law on Languages - and the world will support us. Take advantage of Macedonians who live abroad, who vehemently defend Macedonia and who know how the West thinks - defend yourself and the world will defend you.
Macedonian Human Rights Movement International (MHRMI) has been active on human and national rights issues for Macedonians and other oppressed peoples since 1986. For more information: 1-416-850-7125, email@example.com, www.mhrmi.org, twitter.com/mhrmi, facebook.com/mhrmi, mhrmi.org/OurNameIsMacedonia.