WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United Macedonian Diaspora views the recent suggestion by Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski to concelebrate St. Elias’s Day (Ilinden) holiday with the Republic of Bulgaria with profound indignation. Ilinden is a Macedonian national holiday; and according to Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski, “[The Ilinden uprising] is one of the pillars of our existence, national identity, and foundation of the modern Macedonian state.”
United Macedonian Diaspora believes that the Republic of Macedonia can show hospitality toward all who wish to visit Macedonia and participate in the festivities when celebrating Ilinden, however, activities by a foreign country such as recommended by the Macedonian Prime Minister, are nothing less than a provocation and serious insult to the Macedonian identity.
Ðžur organization believes in moving forward and building good-neighborly relationships. However, Bulgaria’s past actions, such as the Vatasa Massacre as part of Bulgaria’s Second World War fascistic occupation of Macedonia, and the more recent provocative measures taken by Bulgarian extremists (and the lack of any police intervention to protect these insults) against the Macedonian minority who wished to mark their heritage at Jane Sandanski’s tomb, reminds us that the Macedonian-Bulgarian relationship is still a sensitive one.
United Macedonian Diaspora hopes that the Prime Minister will clarify his remarks and assure the Macedonian nation that the celebration of the Macedonian heritage will remain a Macedonian activity. On the other hand, United Macedonian Diaspora would ask the Prime Minister to direct the Macedonian diplomatic energies in demanding full atonement and reparations for atrocities committed by the Bulgarian state on Macedonian soil, including the deportation and genocide of over 90% of Macedonia’s native Jewish population as well as obtaining basic human rights for the Macedonian minority that in this day and age can not claim its basic right of identity in Bulgaria.
In a time of dire importance to the Macedonian nationhood, when the Macedonians worldwide are forced to defend their Macedonian history and identity against Bulgarian, Greek, and Serbian propaganda on a daily basis, the United Macedonian Diaspora would like to urge the Macedonian Government to take more appropriate measures instead of suggesting such irresponsible and insensitive proposals.
Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is an international membership organization based in Washington, D.C. addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.
For more information about United Macedonian Diaspora the public is invited to contact the D.C. office at (202) 294-3400, or e-mail at [email protected]