Under the motto “Ilinden, Our Strength for the Future,” North Macedonia observes Monday Republic Day – the 119th anniversary of the Ilinden Uprising and the 78th anniversary of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM), transmits MIA.
Top state officials are paying their respects as part of several Republic Day observances across the country, including Prime Minister Dimitar Kovachevski addressing a ceremony in Krushevo, Speaker Talat Xhaferi delivering a speech in Pelince, and President Stevo Pendarovski laying flowers at the Memorial Graveyard to Fallen Fighters in the Butel Cemetery as well as the graves of first President Kiro Gligorov, General Mihajlo Apostolski, and President Boris Trajkovski.
Earlier this morning, President Pendarovski also awarded the Order of Merit for the Republic of North Macedonia, the Order of Military Merit and the Medal of Bravery. The recipient of the Order of Merit is Krste Crvenkovski, who was awarded posthumously for his contribution to the development of the Macedonian state and Macedonian society.
The Order of Military Merit was posthumously awarded to Nevena Nikolova Georgieva – Dunja, for her extraordinary courage, sacrifice, and leadership in the anti-fascist fight and for advocating for social justice. The Medal for Bravery was awarded to: Nikola Stojanovski, Jovan Velichkovski, Trajanka Avramovska (posthumously), Ilija Dunovski, Nikola Nikoloski, Cvetko Cvetkoski, Kadrija Xhaferi and Dafinka Bogoeva. Later in the day, President Pendarovski will lead a state and church delegation in a visit to “St. Prohor Pchinjski” monastery, where the first session of the Anti-Fascist Assembly for the People’s Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) was held on Aug. 2, 1944. In addition, delegations from the President’s Office are laying flowers at the ASNOM Memorial, Nikola Karev Memorial, Metodija Andonov Chento Memorial, and Dame Gruev Memorial in Smilevo.
Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi will address an event at the ASNOM Memorial Center in Pelince, where high state officials as well as a VMRO-DPMNE delegation will lay flowers and folk dance ensembles will perform Macedonian and Albanian folk dances.
A delegation led by Prime Minister Kovachevski will join the delegations from the President’s Office and of Parliament in laying flowers at grave of first president of the Republic of Krushevo, Nikola Karev, at the Makedonium monument in Gumenje, at Mechkin Kamen, and at the monument to the fallen fighters in Sliva Hill. Afterward, Prime Minister Kovachevski will address the central Ilinden event at Mechkin Kamen in Krushevo.
A VMRO-DPMNE delegation led by Aleksandar Nikoloski will also lay flowers at Mechkin Kamen. The party’s leader Hristijan Mickoski will address an Ilinden event at the Struga village of Tashmarunishta.
The Ilinden Uprising was announced by church bells in Krushevo on the eve of Ilinden [St. Elijah Day] in 1903. Around 800 insurgents liberated the town. Two days later, Nikola Karev declared himself the president of the Krushevo Republic. The republic was free for ten days before being quelled by Ottoman troops. Pitu Guli, one of the most prominent fighters, was killed during shootouts with the Ottoman army.
It ultimately marked the end of the Krushevo Republic. Forty-one years after the Ilinden Uprising, 115 delegates held the first session of the Antifascist Assembly of the Macedonia’s National Liberation (ASNOM), where the social and legal status of Macedonia was determined as a constituent country as part of the future Yugoslav federation. Members of the ASNOM presidency were elected with Metodija Andonov-Chento as its president.
The first ASNOM session saw the passage of several documents of constitutional importance, including resolution on the introduction of Macedonian language as the country’s official language and the Declaration of the Basic Rights of Men and Citizens of Democratic Macedonia.