On 16 January 2019 the Republic of Chameria president Festim Lato attended a political event in Amsterdam, the Netherlands where candidates for the upcoming European Parliament elections presented themselves.
Over a dozen candidates explained their political and societal views and what their main personal motivation was to candidate themselves for the upcoming elections. In the following question and answer sessions they were also tested on what they see as the main challenges and how they view the role of the EU in the individual countries and on the global stage. The majority of candidates were young and/or new and brought with them the enthusiasm and the fresh look on the challenges ahead that can be expected from people who believe they can contribute to making the world a better place.
President Festim Lato participated in the event and was able to discuss the situation of the Cham community and their struggle with many of the candidates. The young, bright minds who believe in themselves and in the progress of humanity were very open to discussing the Cham issue and even provided president Festim Lato with several hints and avenues to pursue actions that previously had not been considered. Several candidates already work or have (had) internships at the European Commission and other European institutions and were able to offer more concrete advice regarding activities in support of the struggle for the rights of the Cham community.
Among the candidates was Mr. Felix Klos who president Festim Lato met at a previous political event in 2018 when Mr. Klos was running for the leadership of the Liberal Party for the upcoming European elections. Now he is high on the list to be elected for the Liberal Party at the upcoming elections in May 2019. With extensive media coverage and well known views and opinions about the direction of the EU, Mr. Klos will almost certainly be one of the main policy makers of the future who will have an impact on the lives of his, and other, generations in Europe. President Festim Lato has explained Mr. Klos the situation of Chameria on multiple occasions and is very pleased with the positive reactions regarding the views on the rights of the Cham and the future implementation of the European values in the EU and its neighbourhood.
The political event in the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam, was a fruitful and inspiring evening where the new generation of political leaders were able to present themselves to the public and where president Festim Lato was able to raise the issue of Chameria again and hopefully find political support for the freedom of the Cham community in the near future.
Similarly, president Festim Lato, although himself still relatively young for a political leader, is actively promoting the education and involvement of the new generation of Cham activists in order to prepare the young potentials to join the political struggle for freedom of Chameria.
The Cham have been a People for many centuries and have a strong connection to the land and to their culture. The atrocities committed against them in the first half of the twentieth century and the subsequent silence by the world community about this historical injustice has caused the Cham great suffering, but not defeat.
The Republic of Chameria president Festim Lato is one of many historical leaders like Skanderbeg, Ali Pasja and others who defy the odds and fight for the self-determination of the Cham-Albanian People. It is a continuing struggle that is handed over to new leaders every generation and the president considers himself honoured to be able to present the Cham People and fight for their rights.