The United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) applauds the Albanian Parliament for today’s unanimous decision to return the name Pustec to the village that was previously named Liqenas, in the Mala Prespa region, Albania. The UMD congratulates the native Macedonian minority in Albania for this accomplishment, and hopes that the Albanian authorities will follow suit for the other eight villages in the Mala Prespa region, as well as in the Gora and Golo Brdo regions where Macedonians are a majority.
“The Albanian Parliament’s decision is a step towards granting full minority rights to Macedonians in Albania, however, much remains to be done,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski who visited Pustec in December 2009. “Having ancestry on my father’s side from Korca, near Pustec, I know firsthand what challenges Macedonians in Albania are facing; they live in near or complete poverty with little to no economic opportunities in the area.”
UMD thanks Pustec Mayor Edmond Temelko for his hard work in representing Pustec and his efforts in trying to make Pustec a better place for its residents. Mayor Temelko received the UMD Human Rights Award at the 2nd UMD Global Conference in Toronto in June 2010. This July, UMD will organize a tour of Pustec and the region as part of its 4th UMD Global Conference commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the Treaty of Bucharest.