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Uighur Update

The saga of the five Uighur's moved to Albania from Guantanamo rumbles on. The Toronto Star reported on an interview with Argita Totozani, Albania's National Commissioner for Refugees. According to the paper, Totozani said that the Albanian government did not intend to grant asylum to the men.

"Their future is not here," she said. "There is not a Uighur community (here). They don't speak any Albanian ... There is no integration possibility for them here. We realized their future is not in Albania." Totozani also suggested that the men might be resettled in Canada: "I've heard they have relatives in Canada. There is a good community in Canada for Uighurs."

The Albanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied that there was any plan to transfer the men, insisting that the process of granting political asylum was continuing and that the authorities were working to integrate the men into Albanian society.

According to one of the local papers, Gazeta Shqiptare, Totozani has now been sacked. In an interview with the paper she said that she had been misquoted, claiming that it was the lawyers for the five men who wanted to have them resettled in Canada.

Meanwhile, the Chinese are still trying to persuade the Albanians to send the men back to China were they are considered terrorists. According to the local papers a high level delegation from China arrived recently for a three day visit. While the case of the Uighurs was not on the official agenda it was expected to be a key issue under discussion.


Anonymous said…
gjuha e gjate e keqja e te zot'--the big mouth is the drama of the owner
ourmanintirana said…
I'm going to learn how to say this and slip it into a conversation at the earliest possible opportunity. Since I won't know what the conversation is about I won't know whether it is appropriate or not, but it is too good to pass up. Thanks.

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Welcome to Our Man in Tirana. I moved to Tirana, capital of Albania, in October 2005 and left in October 2007. This blog is a mix of photographs, reports, links, impressions and, undoubtedly, prejudices relating to the city and the country.

Since I am no longer in Tirana I am no longer updating this blog. However, there are over 300 posts covering this two year period and I hope that they are still of some interest.

So if you are curious about Albania or if you are planning to visit I hope this blog will be of value.


And now the end is near
and so i face nanananana...

Never did like that crappy song.

But it's true nevertheless.

Tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning we will be heading for the airport for the last time. I suppose it was too much to expect that I could have kept this going while getting ready to leave. So apologies for the lack of postings over the last weeks. This is post number 380 something so I suppose one post every two days is not a bad average.

There were probably 380 more in my head or scribbled down on scraps of paper, but many of them are perhaps best left there.

I suppose I should be penning - or typing - my final thoughts and reflections on two years in Tirana, but right now I don't have any. Maybe in a month or two though I might come back with something.

Thanks to all of you who have read this blog - especially those of you who have become regulars. Thanks also for linking and thanks to all who left comments.

As for the other stars of the blog, Bella now has her own …

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The death of communism in Albania brought a flourishing market economy to life just as it did across Central Europe and Russia. On the streets of Tirana people are buying and selling, trading goods and services in predictable, or sometimes novel, ways. The shops are the most obvious expression of this. The streets are lined with little stores selling almost everything you could want. Freed from the choking grip of state bureaucracy Albanians are now at liberty to buy whatever they can afford. No matter how absurd the demand, someone will create the supply. Hence the preponderance of shoe stores in this city of muddy streets and torn up footpaths. Especially outlandish is the fashion for high heeled white boots - about as impractical a style of footware as could be imagined. Dotted across the city are the market stalls, sometimes just one person selling bananas, elsewhere a whole street lined with sellers of fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, fish and spices. Those who cannot bring thei…