KLA guilty of ethnic cleansing

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 29 May, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 29 May, 1999, 12:00am

The letter by Sayed Gouda headlined, 'Wrong to term Kosovo fighters 'terrorists' ', which appeared in the South China Morning Post, on May 4, demands a response.

The Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) has been engaged in terrorist activities to ethnically cleanse Kosovo of its Serbian population for more than 15 years, as witnessed by the large numbers of Serbs who have been forced to leave the province over that time. Also there have been press reports, including those in the Post, of the KLA's attacks on civilians and the civilian police force of Kosovo.

The KLA has also been suspected by European and US police and drug enforcement agencies of funding its violent campaign for the secession of Kosovo by using money from its organised drugs rings which transport heroin from Turkey to Europe and the US and sell it.

In this respect, the KLA is similar to the terrorist IRA.

Of course I deplore the plight of the Kosovo refugees and all those who have suffered from this conflict.

Of course I recognise that there are some criminal Serbian elements operating in Kosovo just as the criminal KLA has been operating there for more than 15 years.

Mr Gouda, though, might ask how many of the Kosovo refugees have been forced to flee because they can no longer live in Kosovo because of the bombing, or do not want to be forcibly conscripted into the KLA, rather than being forced out by the Yugoslav Army. The Illyrian lands once included the whole of the eastern seaboard of the Adriatic Sea and extended as far as the Danube.

Is Mr Gouda suggesting that, because of this, the Albanians (or, if Mr Gouda prefers, the Illyrians) should take over Slovenia, Croatia, Hungary, Montenegro, Serbia and Macedonia as well as Kosovo? In recent times the Albanians have had a country and continue to occupy it. It is known as Albania.

The ethnic Albanians of Kosovo live in a province of Serbia which has been occupied by the Serbs since 500AD and recognised as Serbian by the international community for centuries, and certainly before the battle of Kosovo against the Turkish invaders in 1389.

I do not suggest that any but a small minority of the Kosovar refugees are KLA members and hence not all are terrorists.

The terrorist KLA and its fellow travellers, however, may wish to consider how much blame they bear, together with the US, Nato, and Slobodan Milosevic, for precipitating the humanitarian disaster in the Balkans. But whoever is to blame, nothing is served by the continued bombing of innocent Serbs and ethnic Albanians in the Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija (the official name of the province known as Kosovo) as well as the rest of Yugoslavia.