Sunday, 28 September 2008

Greece, don’t forget us: Hellenes in Fyromia



The Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA) describes itself as ‘a grassroots, not-for-profit movement created to support genuine self-determination and human rights for the people of Cyprus’. It is an admirable organisation. I am on their mailing list, and CANA recently sent me an email with the following information regarding the campaign it is initiating to protect the human rights of Greeks in Fyromia:

URGENT: HELLENIC HUMAN RIGHTS! STOP SKOPJE!

NEW YORK: The Cyprus Action Network of America (CANA) has launched the Hellenic Human Rights coalition to Stop Skopje. Please act on the action alert to the US State Department below and send on to family, friends and colleagues.

Hellenic Human Rights is a coalition of grassroots activists in New York City, joining together in the struggle to save Hellenic people living under the Skopje government. Join our Rally To Stop Skopje on Monday, October 27th at the United States Mission to the United Nations.
Visit our campaign blog: http://www.hellenichumanrights.wordpress.com

URGENT: CALL ON THE STATE DEPARTMENT TO PROTEST THE HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AND CULTURAL GENOCIDE OF HELLENIC PEOPLE LIVING IN SKOPJE BY THE SKOPJE GOVERNMENT.

Numerous reports in recent months indicate a rising atmosphere of anti-Hellenic human rights violations and an atmosphere of racist oppression directed toward the Hellenic minority living in the areas controlled by the Skopje government. The Skopje government is guilty of human rights violations, cultural genocide and ethnocide of Hellenic people.

Current status
The historic Hellenic communities living in the Monastiri area, many of whom are now dispersed throughout Skopje, have reportedly been denied the right to declare themselves Hellenic nationals, the Hellenic people in Skopje have also been denied freedom of assembly, and freedom of association by the Skopje government. These are grave human rights violations as outlined in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, mainly the right to a nationality.

According to Article 15 of the the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted and proclaimed by General Assembly resolution 217 A of 10 December 1948.
1. Everyone has the right to a nationality.
2. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality nor denied the right to change his nationality.

The country which the US State Department chooses to recognise as ‘Macedonia’ and known throughout the region as Skopje, with the capital of its government in the Balkan city named Skopje is denying the basic human right to nationality to the 250,000 Hellenic people living within its borders.

The continuing campaign by the Skopje government to deny the Hellenic identity and Hellenic nationality to indigenous people is an act of cultural genocide and should be publicly investigated and condemned by the US State Department

What You Can Do
Contact the State Department's human rights division.

By Mail:
David J. Kramer
Assistant Secretary, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
U.S. Department of State Harry S. Truman Building, 2201 C Street, NW, Room 7802, Washington, DC, 20520

By Tel: (202) 647-1780
By Fax: (202) 647-5283
By Email: kramerdj@state.gov

(Send a note to cana@cyprusactionnetwork.org to tell us what actions you took).

Phone Script for Assistant Secretary Office - (202) 647-1780
(The phone will be answered by a receptionist. As always, be firm, but polite. Hostile comments will only undermine the message you are trying to deliver. Ask to speak to a senior advisor to the Assistant Secretary. If a senior advisor is not available to speak with you, ask to leave a message on their voice mail).

Hello, my name is…
I am calling to ask the State Department to publicly protest the Skopje government's denial of Hellenic nationality for Hellenic people living in Skopje.

Please look into this matter personally and publicly protest any violations of human rights, directly with the Skopje government and in your annual human rights country reports, and please include all findings in the ‘MACEDONIA’ country report due to be released in February 2009.

Thank you for your time. I would appreciate learning of any action your office takes on this matter, and would appreciate an investigation and proper report. I can be contacted at the following address:

Sample Letter to Assistant Secretary (mail, fax or email)

The Honorable David J. Kramer
Assistant Secretary of State for
Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
Harry S. Truman Building, 2201 C Street, NW, Room 7802, Washington, DC, 20520

Dear Assistant Secretary Kramer
I am writing to ask the State Department to publicly protest the Skopje government's human rights violations and cultural genocide of the Hellenic people in ‘Macedonia’.

According to the US State Dept ‘Promoting freedom and democracy and protecting human rights around the world are central to U.S. foreign policy. The values captured in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and in other global and regional commitments are consistent with the values upon which the United States was founded centuries ago.’ (Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor).

The Skopje government has a long legacy of anti-Hellenic cultural genocide, the previous Communist regime forcibly transferred Hellenic nationals, and prior to this the pro-Nazi Skopje government forcibly occupied Hellenic land, forcibly transferred Hellenic people, and targeted Hellenic people for massacres and torture. All governments in Skopje, by use of force together with racist propaganda and official racist discrimination, to this day have deprived the Hellenic people of their integrity as a distinct people, by use of forcible assimilation or integration by the majority Slavophone cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures including terror.

Article 7 of the United Nations Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (26 August 1994) [4] uses the phrase ‘cultural genocide’. The complete article reads as follows:

Indigenous peoples have the collective and individual right not to be subjected to ethnocide and cultural genocide, including prevention of and redress for:
(a) Any action which has the aim or effect of depriving them of their integrity as distinct peoples, or of their cultural values or ethnic identities;
(b) Any action which has the aim or effect of dispossessing them of their lands, territories or resources;
(c) Any form of population transfer which has the aim or effect of violating or undermining any of their rights;
(d) Any form of assimilation or integration by other cultures or ways of life imposed on them by legislative, administrative or other measures;
(e) Any form of propaganda directed against them.

The Skopje government is guilty of all of the above itemized sub-articles in ‘MACEDONIA’.

Please help save the Hellenic people from cultural genocide by 1) immediately investigating the Skopje government practice of denying Hellenic nationality to Hellenic people; 2) publicly protesting any violations of human rights, and; 3) prominently addressing this matter in the annual ‘Country Reports on Human Rights Practices,’ on ‘MACEDONIA’ due to be released in February 2009.

Thank you for your attention to my concerns.

I look forward to hearing from you or your office in this regard.


Sincerely

(Signature)

(Name)

(Address)

(City, State, Zip)


Background
For more information visit: NorthMacedonians.com/The Greek Community in FYROM.

There are two cases which illustrate the regime's virulent anti-Greek stance – denying even the existence of Greeks in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Makedonija (FYROM).

Case 1: Papouli Family. The Papouli family are Greek-Vlachs in FYROM (SKOPJE) who had their surname forcibly changed to Kostov. They petitioned the Skopjan regime to change their name back to the original Greek, Papouli, which means little-Grandfather in Greek. The regime refused their application on the basis that it would ‘change their personal identity’ and ‘obstruct legal procedures’.

Case 2: Nikos Kostantinidis: An eyewitness video account of a Hellenic person from Monastiri describing the official Skopje government policies of forcible assimilation and denial of the right to Hellenic national identity. See video above.


To be added to CANA's Action Alert e-mail distribution list, or to introduce CANA to a friend or colleague, please forward the pertinent name and e-mail address,with the subject heading ‘Add e-mail to CANA distribution list’, to cana@cyprusactionnetwork.org

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

‘We Greeks are the chosen, the elect’



'We Greeks are the chosen, the elect. Our culture is the best, our civilisation the best, our men the best. All others are barbarians; and it is our moral duty to conquer them, enslave them and, if necessary, destroy them… The Persian way of life has the seed of death and fear in it; the Greek of life and courage' (Aristotle: Alexander the Great).

Here's a clip from Robert Rossen's 1956 film Alexander the Great, in which Alexander's tutor Aristotle explains to the Macedonian prince the nature of Hellenism and its destiny to subjugate the east and all it represents.

In Rossen's film, Alexander is played by Richard Burton in an unconvincing blond wig. The film has its limitations, but aspires to seriousness and is certainly a lot better than most of the other 'sword and sandal' Hollywood epics of the time and surpasses in every way Oliver Stone's disastrous Alexander (2004).

(The best 'sword and sandal' Hollywood epic is probably Anthony Mann's The Fall of the Roman Empire, made in 1964).

This clip is a response to the video doing the rounds at the moment taken from a quiz programme on an obscure British TV station in which the answer to the question ‘What nationality [sic] was Alexander the Great?’ is given as Skopjan.

Fyromians have taken this silly quiz question error as great proof of their claims that Alexander was Bulgarian like them. What a pity that we Greeks – ‘the chosen, the elect’, as Aristotle says in Rossen's film – have been reduced to debating morons and rebutting TV quiz question nonsense.

Cyprus petition against guarantees

SIGN THE PETITION AGAINST FOREIGN GUARANTEES OVER CYPRUS!

'Negotiations are underway in Cyprus between Demetris Christofias and Mehmet Ali Talat towards reaching a solution to the Cyprus Question. The Turkish side wishes to see the continuation of the system of guarantees established by the Treaty of Guarantee of 1960 or even the creation of a new mechanism of guarantees.

'This cannot be acceptable. The Treaty of Guarantee was the alleged justification for Turkey’s use of force against Cyprus in 1974. An EU Member-State cannot be party to any system of third States’ rights over its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Cyprus must not become hostage once again.

'By the said petition we, as the civil society, aim to enhance the resistance to such plans while the negotiations for a solution are underway.'

SIGN THE PETITION NOW AT: www.isxys.org/no-guarantees

Friday, 19 September 2008

Surprise, surprise

Surprise, surprise. A constant companion of Gay MacDougall's, the so-called UN human rights expert, on her recent trip to Greece in search of 'Turk' and 'Macedonian' minorities was Panayiotis Dimitras, the self-appointed president of Greek Helsinki Monitor; the self-declared anarchist – 'Proudhon version'; self-publicist, darling of Fyromian nationalists, who cannot resist any opportunity to give interviews to the Fyromian press denouncing Greece and providing succour to Fyromian nationalism and its absurd discourse against Greece; whose whole life is dedicated to attacking the Greek state, claiming it is 'authoritarian' to uphold the law, yet using every opportunity to pursue through the Greek courts – claiming defamation – anyone who criticises his advocacy of the Turkish nationalist position in Thrace or the Fyromian nationalist discourse concerning Macedonia. A sanctimonious hypocrite if ever there was one, a professional malcontent, an intolerant, conceited sociopath – his father Ilias Dimitras was a minister in the government of the Greek junta – and a useful tool of anti-Greek foreign powers, whether he likes it or not.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

National security, not human rights

This report reveals that the situation with illegal immigrants is now so bad in the Dodecanese that islanders are threatening to block ports to prevent any more arrivals. In fact, on Patmos and Agathonisi, the illegals now outnumber the locals, who are overwhelmed and complaining that their livelihoods are in jeopardy.

Patmos hoteliers are so concerned by the situation that they have written to the Interior Ministry arguing that their island 'cannot be promoted as a destination for high-end tourism on the one hand and permit hundreds of illegal immigrants to wander around hungry and dirty, begging and stealing from tourists.'

Now, these illegals obviously are wretches and victims of sorts; but to dwell on their status and condition is to miss the point; which is that we all know who is behind the dumping of these people on Greek shores and the reasons why they are doing it.

It is the Turkish government that is aiding and abetting the people-smugglers in an effort to destabilise and embarrass Greece, particularly in relation to the islands off the Turkish coast, where Turkey disputes Greek sovereignty.

Clearly, then – as with the Muslims in Thrace and the Slavophones in Macedonia – what we are dealing with here is not a human rights issue, but a matter of national security. In fact, anyone who pretends that the question of the Muslims in Thrace, the tiny Slavophone population in Macedonia or the illegal migrants arriving from Turkey, is anything other than one of Greek national security is either ignorant or malicious.

Monday, 15 September 2008

Delusions of grandeur – big time

Watching again the Fyromian government's propaganda video (see post below Macedonia name mistake), in which (a Bulgarian-speaking!) Alexander the Great prior to the Battle of Gaugamela is shown to state to skeptical officers worried that their cause is hopeless before such a formidable opponent:

'Fortunately, those who think like you are in a minority. I started out to liberate the world, not to teach waverers the meaning of courage and responsibility. I believe in myself, in my decisions and I believe in my people. Forward to victory!'

it struck me that the man behind the production of this video, the man sponsoring all this Fyromian nationalist hysteria, i.e. Fyrom's Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, is actually comparing himself to Alexander the Great, and believes, in fact, that the 'battles' he (Gruevski) is waging with Greece over Fyromia's name are the equivalent of those Alexander waged against the Persians and others.

I ask myself: are there no men in white coats in Fyromia to take this Gruevski away?

Sunday, 14 September 2008

Macedonia name mistake





Many thanks to an anonymous commenter on my post Turks and Fyromians get it on, concerning the way Turkey and Fyromia are coming together in an alliance aimed at Greece.

Anonymous draws our attention to Fryomian propaganda videos, two of which I’m making available above. The first one is an expensive piece of Fyromian state propaganda that uses the metaphor of Alexander the Great rallying his troops before the battle of Gaugamela to urge Fyromians to continue their ‘struggle’ against Greece. It is indeed offensive to have the Fyromians portray Alexander as a Bulgarian-speaking Slav. The second video depicts a bizarre Fyromian version of world history, in which Fyromia plays the leading role, and seems to be saying that everyone from Achilles and Odysseus, to Philip the Great and Alexander the Great and Lenin and Stalin are Fyromians, or owe their ‘greatness’ to Fyromia.

Of course, Fyromian versions of history are ludicrous; but the stupidity of the Fyromians is in many ways not the point. The point is that whatever the outcome of the name dispute negotiations with Greece, the Fyromian attempt to usurp Greek history, deny Greek identity and claim Greek territory, will continue.

In these circumstances, Greece’s decision to permit the Fyromians the use of a compound name that includes Macedonia – as in Upper or Northern Macedonia – was a grave mistake. This so-called ‘compromise’ is in fact a defeat for Greece and will only encourage the Fyromians to persist believing the absurd fabrications they have been raised with. It would have been better – for Greece and the Fyromians – if Greece had insisted the Fyromians adopt a name with no association to Macedonia, such as Vardaska, which would allow the Vardaskans to free themselves from their delusions.

However, having made the mistake of granting the Fyromians a connection to Macedonia, all is not lost. Greece should feel under no pressure to come to an early agreement with the Fyromians and in fact Greece’s best option is not to agree anything with them, keep vetoing Fyromia when it comes to NATO and the EU, and in this way wait and watch as Fyromia comes apart, a victim of its own stupidity and internal contradictions.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Turks and Fyromians get it on

The Fyromians are a bunch of stupid morons with a comical grasp of history and reality. Anyone interested in a good laugh is advised to read from time to time the outpourings on this site. Nevertheless, behind the comedy is this fact: the Fyromians can only be at peace with themselves if Greece is no longer there to challenge and undermine their ridiculous and fabricated identity. Another country that would prefer it if Greeks were no longer around to expose and contradict their national mythology is Turkey. Not surprisingly, then, the Fyromians and the Turks are smitten with each other at the moment, with the Turks as erastes and the Fyromians as eromenos, as this collaboration between the Turk and Fyromian lobbies in America reveals.

Russia’s Turkey gambit

The Americans, with the assistance of the British, have long wanted to anchor Turkey to 'the West' by manoeuvring it into the EU. This is a forlorn enterprise, not only because Turkey's entry would pervert the European project and will never be accepted by France, Germany and others; but also because Turkey is incapable in the foreseeable future of abandoning its authoritarian hyper-nationalist quasi-fascistic political system and the ideology that underpins it and embrace the kind of liberal democracy that characterises every other EU country.

With Turkey's EU desires unfulfilled, the Anglo-American fear has been that the Turks will turn to Iran, Pakistan and Syria for economic and political alliance and add to the instability in a variety of regions; but perhaps more likely is that proving itself unfit to join the EU, Turkey will turn to Russia and the economic union it is trying to create with a number of former Soviet Union countries.

Certainly, if the speech given earlier this week in Constantinople to a Turkish think tank by Sergei Markov, an advisor to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, is anything to go by, Russia would like nothing more than to provide Turkey with an alternative political and economic future.

Here are excerpts from Markov's speech as reported in Zaman:

'Markov warned that Turkey should not rely on the EU because it will not accept Turkey as a full member. He said Turkey could still have relations with the EU and continue to have its NATO role.'

'The Russian and Turkish economies are compatible and their “political cultures have similarities.” He said Turkey and Russia would complement each other in many areas. “We have energy for Turkey’s needs. We have many construction opportunities for Turkish firms. We need labor, and Turkey can provide it,” he commented.'

'He also said that Turkey’s Caucasus initiative has a chance of success if it includes Russia and excludes the United States. “The United States is a dangerous power. The neocons in Washington are the main threat to international stability.”'

Read the whole thing here.

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Fyromia targets Greek citizens

Greece's response to Fyromia's ceaseless hostility and propaganda war against it has been to buy up the Fyromian economy. Not that the Fyromians are impressed by Greek economic prowess and are ready to come to their senses. On the contrary, as a report in today's Ta Nea makes clear, the Turko-American backed Fyromians seem to have decided that the best way for them to achieve their objectives is to increase tension and animosity with Greece.

‘Η διένεξη Αθήνας- Σκοπίων για την υπόθεση της ονομασίας της FΥRΟΜ κλιμακώνεται πλέον σε ανοικτή κρίση στις διμερείς σχέσεις των δύο χωρών, κάτι που μπορεί να έχει απρόβλεπτες συνέπειες τόσο για τη σταθερότητα στην περιοχή όσο και για την οικονομική ανάπτυξη.

‘Με ευθύνη της εθνικιστικής κυβέρνησης του Νίκολα Γκρούεφσκι, τα Σκόπια όχι μόνο θέτουν θέμα μακεδονικής μειονότητας στην Ελλάδα και επιστροφής περιουσιών στους λεγόμενους Αιγαιάτες που εκδιώχθηκαν με τον Εμφύλιο, αλλά προχωρούν πλέον σε καθαρά εχθρικές ενέργειες εναντίον Ελλήνων πολιτών…’

Read the whole thing here.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Cyprus settlement talks start

The task of Cyprus' president since 1974 has been to prevent the partition of the island and through settlement negotiations to reverse the worst effects of the Turkish occupation – establishing the right of return for the refugees (with as many as possible living under Greek administration), the departure of the Turkish settlers and the Turkish occupation army, i.e. to create a state of affairs that will allow the Greeks, over time, osmotically, through their economic power and prowess, sheer force of numbers and the indelibly Greek culture and history of Cyprus, to reestablish their hegemony over the whole island, making bicommunality, bizonality and federation irrelevant, and eventually, having done this, to fulfil the destiny of Cyprus, which is to unite with the rest of Greece.