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Old 05-19-2012, 05:04 PM   #21
George S.
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Razer i mentioned it before amongs't a clutter of questions.what is your view on the annexation & occupation of Prin Macedonia.This was a partition of macedonia illegally amongst 4 countries.They tried propaganda assimilation, ethnic cleansing,genocide etc to destroy the macedonian people.Do you think there will ever be a time when the 800,000 or so people will get their freedom as Macedonians??What is your view on all that.

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Old 05-19-2012, 05:08 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Risto the Great View Post
Razer, I'm sure there can be continued dialogue with Bulgarians like you.

Certainly worthy of infinitely more respect than the Borisovs of the world. Denying the Macedonian connection to the Cyrillic alphabet is not appreciated and worthy of continued discussions though.

Tell me, did you enjoy the economic opportunity in SA? My recent business in China has revealed South Africa is actually preferred to Australia in some industries due to reduced bureaucratic burdens. I find it surprising to be honest.

I do enjoy the business minds of many South Africans in the Diaspora.

pozdrav
Hi,

South Africa is good if you need a cheap labour hand. But logistics are expensive. For me, coming back to Bulgaria made more sense since I work in the web industry. Also, life in SA is all about work, work and work...rugby, cricket and again - work, work, work...People do the same everyday and it's like you run in a circle. It's fun, but only for a while.

I noticed a lot of you guys are in Australia. My best mate was there for few years - Alex, but he moved to NZ. How's life down under?

PS. If we - two ordinary blokes can't learn to communicate without any fireworks exploding, how do we expect our two countries to do that? For me, the Cyrillic alphabet is an interesting topic and I wish we could discuss it (and many other) without problems.
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:38 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by George S. View Post
Razer i mentioned it before amongs't a clutter of questions.what is your view on the annexation & occupation of Prin Macedonia.This was a partition of macedonia illegally amongst 4 countries.They tried propaganda assimilation, ethnic cleansing,genocide etc to destroy the macedonian people.Do you think there will ever be a time when the 800,000 or so people will get their freedom as Macedonians??What is your view on all that.
I can assure you that no 800,000 Macedonians are being suppressed anywhere in Bulgaria. This simply can't happen in 21st century Europe and in a country that's a member of EU and NATO. We have a ton of international watchdog organisations here - from Amnesty International to the Red Cross. There is even a pro-Macedonian organisation, called “Ilinden” I think. I saw them on tv few weeks ago.

The whole population of the Blagoevgrad province is 320,000. Of them 561 people listed themselves as ethnic Macedonians in the 2011 census, or 0,2%.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
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Old 05-19-2012, 05:49 PM   #24
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Why do you think Pirin was occupied illegally? As far as I know, that region remained in Ottoman hands until the First Balkan War. Then, thanks mainly to the Bulgarian army, the Ottomans were pushed east, but the Serbs and Greeks signed a secret deal to occupy Macedonia. This lead Bulgaria to open war on both of them, but was attacked in the back by the Turks and on the North by the Romanians. This is the official story I know, in a nutshell of course
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Old 05-19-2012, 06:50 PM   #25
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I'm sure other members well versed with the omo ilinden organization.The bulgarian govt refused to recognize the omo ilinden orgainzation & there were protest's beatings etc denial of human rights.I'll leave that to other our mto members.In a nutshell the bulgarians like you said deny the ethnicity etc.This is in the pirin area they got in 1913.They were all liberating macedonia & taking it to themselves.Did they ask the macedonian people no.The only liberating that should have been done was by the macedonians for the macedonians.The Macedonians in Bulgaria (Pirin Macedonia)

The political changes after the capitulation of fascist Bulgaria and the coup d'etat of September 9, 1944 positively influenced the historical status of the Macedonians from the Pirin part of Macedonia. The Communist Party of Bulgaria, under the leadership of Geogi Dimitrov on August 9, 1946 officially recognized the Macedonian nation and the right of the Pirin part of Macedonia to be attached to the People’s Republic of Macedonia. The Macedonians in Bulgaria exist as separate nationality on all Bulgarian censuses after the end of World War II. The demography data from 1946 revealed that the majority of the population in the Pirin part of Macedonia declared itself as Macedonian in a free census. A period of cultural autonomy and affirmation of the Macedonian national and cultural values had begun. The Macedonian literary language and the national history have been introduced into the educational process. Almost 32,000 pupils were included into the teaching of Macedonian. In 1947 in Gorna Djumaja (Blagoevgrad nowadays) the first Macedonian bookstore and reading room were opened, as well as the Regional Macedonian National Theater. The newspapers in Macedonian such as "Pirinsko delo", "Nova Makedonija", "Mlad borec" etc. were also published. Literary circles and cultural and artistic associations were founded contributing to the spreading of the Macedonian culture. In the Bulgarian census of 1956, 63,7% of the population in Pirin declared itself as Macedonian. However, since 1956 Bulgaria has altered her attitude, negating again the existence of the Macedonian nation and forbidding the expression of Macedonian nationality and language. The idea for enforced and as result, in the census of 1965, the number of Macedonians dropped to only 8,750 and in the district of Blagoevgrad which previously had the highest percentage of Macedonians, it was less than 1%. But the fact that the Macedonians exist in Bulgaria can not be denied. The Times Atlas of World History acknowledges in its map that Pirin Macedonia is entirely populated by Macedonians. The recent archeological discovery in Aegean Macedonia in Greece confirmed that the Bulgarians had engaged in falsification of the history of Macedonia ever since the 19th century. And finally, the Macedonians in Bulgaria began organizing themselves. In 1989 the United Macedonian Organization - Ilinden (OMO Ilinden) was formed, demanding cultural and national autonomy for the Macedonians in Pirin.
There you go Razer what do you think of all that.

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Old 05-19-2012, 06:54 PM   #26
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Omo ilinden i think represents the whole of pirin & the macedonians.They couldn't even be allowed to get together & i don't think they got political representation.In a nutshell the whole 3 countries serbia,greece bulgaria. were saying they are liberating macedonia from the ottomans.Also do you know your map prior to 1913 under the ottomans macedonia was a whole countryAfter 1913 it was partitioned that is divided amongst the 3 respective countries.What are macedonian in pirin to do when they aren't even allowed to hold meetings etc.Neither of the 3 countries were happy with their share bulgaria wanted the whole of macedonia,greece wanted more.

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Old 05-19-2012, 07:52 PM   #27
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I'm sure other members well versed with the omo ilinden organization.The bulgarian govt refused to recognize the omo ilinden orgainzation & there were protest's beatings etc denial of human rights.
That is just because the Bulgarian Constitution (not the government) doesn't allow political parties to be formed on ethnic base. Otherwise tomorrow we'll also have the Albanians here, and who knows else...Nobody is denying anyone's human rights tho, come and see it yourself.

The Turkish party DPS is a perfect example why such ethnic-driven political organisations are a bad idea. Today, they are spreading Islam and pro-Turkish propaganda in south-eastern Bulgaria, causing lots of problems. Few weeks ago they hosted a conferee, claiming that there is a Pomak minority in Bulgaria of Turkish origin, and that they need to have their own schools, mosques, etc...Thank God few Bulgarian historians were there to straighten them up.
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Old 05-19-2012, 07:59 PM   #28
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The political changes after the capitulation of fascist Bulgaria and the coup d'etat of September 9, 1944 positively influenced the historical status of the Macedonians from the Pirin part of Macedonia. The Communist Party of Bulgaria, under the leadership of Geogi Dimitrov on August 9, 1946 officially recognized the Macedonian nation and the right of the Pirin part of Macedonia to be attached to the People’s Republic of Macedonia. The Macedonians in Bulgaria exist as separate nationality on all Bulgarian censuses after the end of World War II. The demography data from 1946 revealed that the majority of the population in the Pirin part of Macedonia declared itself as Macedonian in a free census. A period of cultural autonomy and affirmation of the Macedonian national and cultural values had begun. The Macedonian literary language and the national history have been introduced into the educational process. Almost 32,000 pupils were included into the teaching of Macedonian. In 1947 in Gorna Djumaja (Blagoevgrad nowadays) the first Macedonian bookstore and reading room were opened, as well as the Regional Macedonian National Theater. The newspapers in Macedonian such as "Pirinsko delo", "Nova Makedonija", "Mlad borec" etc. were also published. Literary circles and cultural and artistic associations were founded contributing to the spreading of the Macedonian culture. In the Bulgarian census of 1956, 63,7% of the population in Pirin declared itself as Macedonian. However, since 1956 Bulgaria has altered her attitude, negating again the existence of the Macedonian nation and forbidding the expression of Macedonian nationality and language. The idea for enforced and as result, in the census of 1965, the number of Macedonians dropped to only 8,750 and in the district of Blagoevgrad which previously had the highest percentage of Macedonians, it was less than 1%. But the fact that the Macedonians exist in Bulgaria can not be denied. The Times Atlas of World History acknowledges in its map that Pirin Macedonia is entirely populated by Macedonians. The recent archeological discovery in Aegean Macedonia in Greece confirmed that the Bulgarians had engaged in falsification of the history of Macedonia ever since the 19th century. And finally, the Macedonians in Bulgaria began organizing themselves. In 1989 the United Macedonian Organization - Ilinden (OMO Ilinden) was formed, demanding cultural and national autonomy for the Macedonians in Pirin.
There you go Razer what do you think of all that.
Interesting! Thanks for posting it. May I ask what was the source of that material?
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Old 05-19-2012, 08:51 PM   #29
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Nevermind, I found it

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethnic_...ns_in_Bulgaria
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Old 05-19-2012, 09:15 PM   #30
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I can assure you that no 800,000 Macedonians are being suppressed anywhere in Bulgaria. This simply can't happen in 21st century Europe and in a country that's a member of EU and NATO. We have a ton of international watchdog organisations here - from Amnesty International to the Red Cross. There is even a pro-Macedonian organisation, called “Ilinden” I think. I saw them on tv few weeks ago.

The whole population of the Blagoevgrad province is 320,000. Of them 561 people listed themselves as ethnic Macedonians in the 2011 census, or 0,2%.

Let me know if you have any other questions.
We do not accept the figure 561 nor do we accept the census as legitimate. The reasons are contained in an article by Stojkov, co-President of OMO "Ilinden" Pirin, written for the AMHRC Review no.6, which can be downloaded from our website: http://www.macedonianhr.org.au/wip/i...=107&Itemid=99

Here is the article, I suggest you read it, as it demonstrates that Macedonians in Bulgaria are indeed oppressed, whatever their actual number may be:

THIRD CENSUS IN BULGARIA FOLLOWING THE FALL OF COMMUNISM

Stojko Stojkov, OMO “Ilinden” PIRIN

DREAMS

It seems ironic to me that the day I have sat down to write about the census in Bulgaria, is March 3. Just two days have passed since the end of the census. Today is a national holiday in Bulgaria. March 3 – the day when the preliminary (it never entered into force) Treaty of San Stefano was signed. It is a treaty without legal and real meaning; however it carries huge mythical weight. It is a burden from which the Bulgarian state cannot free itself. The dream of Macedonia; a dream in which there is no place for Macedonians, much like in the census itself.
It has always been difficult for those who have wanted to spoil this dream. This is because such people consider themselves to be Macedonians and because they recognise that such persons do exist. Their protest is like a screech in the dream; a screech that nobody wants to hear. But I will return now to reality.

It is a well-known fact that in the censuses of the last seven decades in Bulgaria, the Macedonian minority is present. The exception to this was the last census of the Zivkov era in which no minorities existed, as the totalitarian dream had been achieved having established a single Bulgarian socialist nation. However in the other censuses, Macedonians existed. The numbers varied from 5,000 to 187,000 depending on how dangerous it was to declare oneself a Macedonian. That which is not widely known is that despite this fact, a separate Macedonian category has never been allowed in any census in Bulgaria. However even without a separate category and without permission, in opposition to the threats and bans, and in the face of the dissatisfaction of the authorities, the Macedonians have somehow succeeded in fighting for their place in the various censuses. This is a fact which does not trouble Bulgaria as it continues to negate our existence.

MEASURES
The advent of democracy in Bulgaria 20 or so years ago gave birth to many hopes among us Macedonians too. There was an especially high hope during the time of the first post-communist census in 1992. However our hopes were dashed. I remember an atmosphere of panic and threats was present in the local media at the time of that census. There were alarming reports in the media that in some villages in Pirin Macedonia (the village of Ilindentsi was cited, but there were others too), up to 80% of the inhabitants declared themselves Macedonians. Furthermore, in cities such as Sandanski and Petrich, the number of persons declaring themselves Macedonians was between 20-30%. These figures were reported like there was an outbreak of some kind of epidemic and thus the authorities were called upon to take measures. And what were they asked to take measures against? Against the right to free self-identification. Evidently measures were indeed taken. In place of preliminary results which were expected to show at least 50,000 Macedonians, in the end officially only 10,807 persons declared themselves Macedonian. Years later the emblematic anti-Macedonian figure and recent government minister, Bozhidar Dimitrov, having been asked in an accusatory manner by an observer, about how it is possible that there were even 10,000 Macedonians included in the census results, said that had measures not been taken, the figure would have been 45,000. The Macedonians in Bulgaria know all too well the different types of measures that were taken by the authorities in this regard.

Later in 2001, the measures taken were even more successful. There was even a staged public and media investigation against the political party, OMO “Ilinden” PIRIN for disseminating informational flyers during the census period. With that, a climate of fear was created, unfavourable for free expression. The 2001 measures were repeated and expanded.

And this is what they entailed:

1. Creating an atmosphere of fear and uncertainty before and during the census.
2. Sending out public signals that Macedonian self-identification is considered an anti-Bulgarian and anti-state act.
3. Manipulation during the census, including:
- Recording a person’s ethnicity as “Bulgarian” without asking them.
- Not recording a person’s ethnicity at all.
- Using a pencil to record answers.
- Persuading census officials that there cannot be or there should not be declarations of Macedonians recorded.
- Administrative recordings made in absence of a person.
- Pressuring state employees to change their census questionnaires and in place of Macedonian, declare their ethnicity to be Bulgarian.
Emblematic of the last point was the example of the mayor of the village of Kromidovo, Petrich County, Borislav Filatov, who was compelled to change Macedonian to Bulgarian on the census form in order to maintain his position as mayor.

DEJA VU
This somewhat long introduction is required to understand what exactly is going on in this third “democratic” census because the same tactics are being employed as in the past.

It all began during the trial census conducted in September 2010. The experts from the National Statistical Institute (NSI) applied the principle of self-identification of the citizens at the previous censuses and in accordance with European standards, included a separate “Macedonian” category in the possible answers for the ethnicity question on the electronic questionnaire.

The reaction: a vicious media campaign, the tendering of the resignation of the Director of the NSI (the resignation was not accepted), the dismissal by the Prime Minister of five senior public servants (three with the rank of assistants) from the NSI, as well as the public appearance of the government Minister, Bozhidar Dimitrov on the national television station, BTV, where he openly rejected free self-identification, insisting that it should be limited and in accordance with “scientific criteria”. Therefore a most unfavourable atmosphere was created in which the government sent a very clear message that self-identification as a Macedonian is unacceptable and is punishable; a message which put not only citizens in a very difficult situation, but also the census officials who, through the dismissal of some of their colleagues from the NSI, received a clear warning.

This forced Macedonian organisations in Bulgaria to issue a categorical declaration in which some essential conditions would have to be met in order for them to recognise the census results:

1. To include a separate “Macedonian” category in the questions on ethnicity and language.

2. The government to condemn the statements of Minister Dimitrov and publically guarantee free self-identification in the census.

3. To reinstate the five dismissed NSI officials.
In addition to these conditions other arguments were presented to the authorities including irregularities in past censuses and how they can be avoided on this occasion. There was not a single response to the letters sent to the various Bulgarian authorities (including most importantly to the Prime Minister and the NSI), nor were any of the conditions fulfilled. As a result the number of organisations supporting the aforementioned declaration increased. The final list included: the United Macedonian Organisation “Ilinden” PIRIN, the Society of Repressed Macedonians in Bulgaria, TMO VMRO – Independent, the Macedonian Christian Brotherhood “St Elijah”, the Cultural Society “Nikola Vapsarov”, the Cultural Society “Ilinden”, the Cultural Society “Tsar Samoil”, the newspaper “Narodna Volja” and the publication “Makedonski Glas”.

In the immediate period prior to the start of the census, Macedonian organisations disseminated 25,000 informational flyers calling upon people who felt Macedonian to freely and without fear, self-identify as such in the census. In opposition, there emerged the nationalist political party VMRO who via the local media, threatened to take the authors of the flyer before the Public Prosecutor, while the informational campaign itself was characterised as a provocation and an offence. This news was reported on the front pages of newspapers and so the unfavourable atmosphere to freely self-identify was “refreshed” once again, just prior to the census.

Adding to this was another incident. On 31 January 2011, the day before the start of the census period, the Macedonian publication “Makedonski Glas” with a circulation of 2,500 copies was confiscated at a printing house. To date, no reason has been given for this scandalous act and violation of the freedom of the press. The confiscation itself was conducted in an illegal manner by persons who refused to produce an official written order, refused to identify themselves and did not issue a document noting the confiscation. Instead, they decided to arrest employees in the publishing house and held them for questioning for a whole day in the local office of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Blagoevgrad.

NOBODY IS ALLOWED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY

To date there has been no response in relation to the official complaints lodged with the authorities. The Ministry of Internal Affairs denies any involvement in the incident. The Public Prosecutor is still to give an answer. The only thing that is known at this stage from the oral statements of the confiscators is that they are members of Bulgarian State Agency for National Security.

Having in mind that this edition of the publication was dedicated to the census and that it was confiscated just a day prior to the start of the census period, the reason for the confiscation is clearly evident. The method is well known to us – in 2009 the Bulgarian authorities did the same thing to the election campaign material of the Macedonian political party in Greece, Rainbow (Vinozito). Having had the material printed in Bulgaria, the party’s campaign material was confiscated on the Bulgarian side of the Bulgarian/Greek border. The material was never returned. Evidently we are talking about a pre-existing criminal practice in which the Bulgarian authorities literally steal advocacy materials from Macedonian organisations.

This was yet another clear signal of what the position of the state is in relation to the rights and efforts of Macedonians to express themselves as they feel. This official position was once again confirmed with the activation of the national television station which broadcasted a five hour program on 7 January 2011, just a week before the start of the census data collection from domiciles (the electronic census lasted until 9 February 2011), in which it was “proven” the Macedonians do not exist; everyone is Bulgarian.

Even with the confiscation (perhaps ‘robbery’ would be a more accurate word) of the publication, the abnormal conditions that had been created by the state meant that it was always going to be difficult for the Macedonian organisations to recognise the results of this census. However the manner in which it was conducted, the large number of manipulations and irregularities recorded during the census period once again confirmed the basis for not recognising the census results.

A CENSUS THE BULGARIAN WAY
A more detailed report on this is currently being prepared. However enough material already exists to draw the following conclusions:

1. The census was held in an atmosphere where the official and publically expressed position of the state that the Macedonian minority (as well as the Macedonian nation, Macedonian language, history, etc) does not exist.

2. The census was held in a decades long established atmosphere in society which views self-identification as a Macedonian as national treason, disloyalty, an anti-Bulgarian and anti-state act.

3. The census was conducted with the Bulgarian government publically expressing a negative position in relation to identification as a Macedonian and rejecting the right to self-identification.

4. The census was conducted in an atmosphere where fear and mistrust prevailed among the Macedonians and uncertainty among the census officials in the field.

5. The contents of the census questionnaires, each having a unique serial number, including data such as personal identification number, address, place of work etc creates a basis for citizens to seriously doubt the guarantees of anonymity, as well as fearing an eventual misuse of the data.

6. There is no transparency in the way in which the census results are processed, nor is there any control over the process in which the final results are collated etc.

7. A number of irregularities were noted during the census period, including:

- The refusal of census officials to record persons as Macedonians. There was even a case where the census officials threatened to come back with the police and issue a fine to the citizen who “refused” to take part in the census.
- Filling in the census questionnaire with a pencil.
- Attempts to manipulate citizens by telling them that there was no place to record them as Macedonians because there was no separate “Macedonian” category.
- Attempts to skip over questions relating to ethnicity and language. These questions are voluntary and if there are not filled in it is assumed that the citizen did not wish to identify.
- The administrative collection of data in the absence of the person in question (especially in villages).

And so, what kind of results are we to expect from such a census? One thing is certain – they will be unrealistic and minimal with respect to the Macedonians. Bulgaria has missed an opportunity to face the truth and to free itself from a burden of lies. Instead it wishes to continue the San Stefano dream.

Stojko Stojkov

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