Survivor of Greek Genocide against Albanians of Chameria Remembers 76 Years Later

Sali Bollati

Memorandum for the Counter-Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conference 2020 in Vienna

 

Sali Bollati

Dear Excellency of OSCE -Viena Austri
Today is a Special Day for my Childhood Memories; even passed 76 years, but Never Forgotten.
First and foremost I want Salute and Thankfully to You for the Invitation to Counter-Terrorism and Violent Extremism Conference 2020. God Bless You and all participants for this Effective Partnerships.
As I am one of the Survivors of Greek Genocide against Albanians of Chameria (Thesprotia) in 1944; passed 76 years and In Eternal Honor and Dedication to Most Beloved People; massacred more than 2900 innocent people; majority children and elderly(between them 7 people from my family) by Greek chauvinists in 1944 and left without graves; With Grief in the Heart we have nowhere to put a few bunches of flowers.
As General Secretary of the Albanian American Organization Chameria (AAOC), a non-profit organization incorporated and organized in the United States of America with much respect and firm trust in the implementation of international law in your previous actions, turn to you for an issue that especially concerns us, with the belief that only through you we can find a just and suitable solution to our human rights issue.
The Albanian American Organization Chameria (AAOC), is a non profit organization. Its purpose is to achieve an optimal and effective solution to the Cham Albanian human rights issues and the strengthening of friendship ties between the American and the Cham Albanian people. The mission of our organization is to promote and preserve the cultural, historic and ethnic heritage of Albanian Americans from Chameria; who sick justice via the American democratic standards of citizenship for they return and resettlement in Chameria. AAOC is determined to promote social justice, to practice tolerance and achieve resolution for the Cham Issue
The Albanian Region of Chameria or Thesprotia, as is called by Greeks Administration, comprise the Southern part of the Albanian ethnic territories, inhabited by Albanians since the ancient times (Pellasgo-Illyrian times), until today. Historically, the Chams have to struggle to save their unique Albanian ethnic Identity. Even the ancient Greeks historians Straboni and Plutarku, wrote the habitants of Epir-Chameria speak a “barbarian” language, because their mother tongue wasn’t Greek. The Cham dialect is one of the oldest in Albanian language.
The mother of the Great Alexander of Macedonia was Illyrian- Mollos too. The Great leader George Kastrioti Scanderbeg, named himself Prince of Epirus-Albania.
In the S. Muselimi book :”Istoriko Peripato ana tis Thesprotias” published in Ioanina in 1976 and ripublished in 1977 is written: ” Bishop of the Orthodox Church of Chameria, translated in 1877, part of the New Testament to Albanian, as the Cham Christians didn’t understand any word in Greek”! In the same book is underlined that in 1910 all the inhabitants of Chameria-Orthodox and Moslims, spoke only Albanian!
For the creation of the new state of Greece in 1821-1832, the majority of leaders and heroes of the Greek revolution were Albanians. In a letter dated June 26,1821, the top leader of the Greek revolution Demetrios Ypsilantis, wrote to the most prominent and influential men in Chameria:
Most brave, chiefs Pronjo and Chapari, and all the Chams, I salute you!
Now, joining our fights for freedom, you are considered our brothers. We will always look at you as partners and there is no doubt that you are considered our brothers!.
But, unfortunately, the “Megalidea” intention, created by the “Filiqi Eteria” in Rusia, was to create a Christian state without any other nation. The new state was against Albanians, Macedonians, Vllahs, Jews and Turks. So, started to fight against all minorities that lives in their lands and territories for centuries.
In spite of the fact that the International Congress of Berlin (1879), revoked its earlier decision to give the Chameria Region to Greece; in 1913, the London Conference decide for the partitioning the territories of Albania, leaving outside of her borders the regions of Chameria and Kosova. It constitutes the biggest injustice ever done to the Albanian nation!

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