Monday, August 30, 2010

Aristotel Gouma: "No one has the right to tell me what I can speak in my own house" (HIMARA)

ASTORIA, N.Y. 11105

Recently in the town of Himara in Southern Albania, on the eve of one the most religious holy days, a son of of Himara was brutally killed after an argument with Albanians, because he was speaking Greek, his mother tongue.
The situation happened when Arisotelis Goumas of Himara, was overheard by a group of Albanians speaking Greek. Upset by this, the Albanians began harassing Mr. Goumas and questioning him why he was speaking Greek. Mr. Goumas replied to them that "no one has the right to tell me what I can speak in my own house" (HIMARA). Later on, this group of Albanians followed Mr. Goumas, who was riding a motor bike and ran him over.
This is not the first time something like this has taken place. In the last 20 years, since the fall of communism, there have been numerous aggressive incidents towards the Greek Minority that lives in Albania.
With Albania getting ready for acceptance into the EU, they still disrespect the rights of the Greek minority. Recently, Sali Bersha, admitted after the incident, that "the people of Albania should know that Himara has been a bilingual community for about 200 years." There is a problem with this statement Mr. Berisha. Greek was the only and chosen language in Himara and in Northern Epirus for over 3000 years. Still today everywhere you go in Northern Epirus it is the language of choice, there mother tounge
We call on the Albanian Government to respect the rights that the Greek minority is entitled to. The right to speak in there mother tongue freely. Also to respect all property and religious rights that are due to them.
We ask all Greek American societies and federations to please send out the following form and statement to the state dept, Embassies here, in Greece and in Albania
Thank you and God Bless
Fotis Galitsis Demetrios Koutoulas
President General Secretary

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