Message to Strasbourg
I say Macedonia
My country is the Republic of Macedonia. I am the citizen of the Republic of Macedonia. My culture is Macedonian, as well as the tradition of my country. I work for a Macedonian civic organization. I speak Macedonian, as my ancestors did too. I have a Macedonian nationality, as well my countrymen who self-identificate as such all over the world. And no one can and must not take that from me. "Neither the international law nor the ethics give the right to any organization or any other subject within the international community to decide upon the identity or the origin of a certain nation..."This is part of the protest letter that was recently signed by thousands of citizens. It was directed to Mr. Jan Kleijssen, director of the European Council General Secretary's Office which calls for withdrawing the European Councils' decree from 2 March 2004 for using the reference "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" and for the people who belong to the minority or speak a language of minority out of the country to use for all goals within the European Council.
The degradation goes so far that the direction, which contains the recommendation to call our country "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", states that the quotation marks are part of the name. It means that when you look for Macedonia in the list of the world countries, it will not be under the letter "M" but under quotation marks. What is more, we all know that one put under quotation marks something which is "so called", or words used with irony, meaning something opposite of what they stand for. According to that, ironic or not, our country is "so called", or it does not exist (besides the fact that it is former).
What about our countrymen in the world? Unfortunately, when they declare as Macedonians, they will have to add a footnote explaining that it is a "terminology of self-identification of the person who uses that name".
Doesn't this European institution encroach upon its very principles - respecting the human rights and declarations and conventions of the international law?
Macedonian citizens and many others are convinced in that. They judge these deprecatory acts. Some organizations and institutions, such as the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia, the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights, even the Greek Helsinki Monitor also judge this act. What is most important in this whole game, the civic sector and the civic spirit in Macedonia woke up as well. Carried by the initiative, it mobilized itself and united to send a clear message to the world - we have had enough of the games regarding our name, culture, tradition, nation...We are not former sons of our fathers.