Hi. I note that you've changed the introduction to the Albania article several times, replacing "Kosovo" with "Serbia" in the list of entities surrounding Albania.
I realize there is a lively and polarized dispute under way regarding whether Kosovo's declaration of independence is legitimate or not. Rather than simply revert text again and again, though, I would like to ask if you could consider joining the discussion taking place on the Albania article's talk page. In particular, I think it would helpful to some other people to know whether or not you would be content to have the Albania article say that Albania is bordered by "the disputed territory of Kosovo" — a phrase mirroring what the Kosovo article itself says right now about the current status of Kosovo. If this phrase is generally acceptable, it could allow people working on the Albania article to focus their attentions on Albania, and discussions about the status of Kosovo could be moved to the talk page of the Kosovo article (where such discussions probably belong). And if you feel this phrase is unacceptable, it would probably help us if you could articulate your reasons for feeling that way, rather than simply have the rest of us note that someone is repeatedly reverting text without talking about it. Richwales (talk) 18:03, 7 May 2008 (UTC)
You currently appear to be engaged in an edit war according to the reverts you have made on Albania. Note that the three-revert rule prohibits making more than three reversions on a single page within a 24 hour period. Additionally, users who perform a large number of reversions in content disputes may be blocked for edit warring, even if they do not technically violate the three-revert rule. If you continue, you may be blocked from editing. Please do not repeatedly revert edits, but use the talk page to work towards wording and content that gains a consensus among editors. If necessary, pursue dispute resolution. Richwales (talk) 02:56, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
- Hi. I understand that you have a strongly held opinion about the (il)legitimacy of Kosovo's claim to independence. However, if you're going to get involved in this issue on a Wikipedia article, you need to be willing to seek a consensus — not simply press your opinion and expect those who disagree with you to be silent. This probably means you'll need to join the discussion on the article's talk page. Sorry, but if you just go in over and over again, changing "Kosovo" to "Serbia", but without showing any willingness to engage in a calm and reasoned discussion, you're very likely to end up being branded an abusive edit-warrior and get yourself banned by the Wikipedia "powers that be"; probably not what you would like to have happen.
- There is also the question here of whether the Kosovo debate really belongs in the Albania article anyway. Especially since all people are trying to do, in this introductory paragraph of the Albania article, is to describe where Albania is geographically, it seems much more logical to use something as short and neutral as possible in the list of entities bordering Albania, and leave the heavy-duty discussions about the status of Kosovo to the Kosovo article itself. I've been proposing the idea of having the Albania page say that Albania is bordered by "the disputed territory of Kosovo" — a phraseology probably equally distasteful to everyone — which would seem (to me) to recognize the fact that a disagreement exists, but without taking any sides, and using appropriate wikilinks that a reader can follow if he/she really wants to read more about the dispute.
- Again, debates over who rightly owns Kosovo do not (in my opinion) belong in the Albania article's introduction (or in each and every other Wikipedia article which might happen to have a reason to mention this piece of land). Would "the disputed territory of Kosovo" be OK with you, solely for the purpose of getting past the introductory verbiage in the Albania article? Hopefully you can go along with this — but if you can't accept it, I would suggest once more that you really do need to be willing to engage in a discussion about the point on the Albania talk page, or else risk being banned by the Wikipedia arbitration committee (which has already declared an interest in keeping a lid on edit-warring activity on the Kosovo page and related pages). Richwales (talk) 20:00, 8 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi again. I'm concerned that you might possibly have misunderstood my position here. I do not have any cultural ties to Albania or to any portion of the former Yugoslavia. I do not consider myself to be a partisan of either side of the Kosovo issue. I am not the person who was arguing for the independence of Kosovo on the grounds that the breakaway government has been recognized by Albania and/or 40-some-odd other countries. All I've been trying to do is to help people reach a consensus as to how to briefly describe the areas bordering Albania, in a sentence that is merely establishing a geographical context for Albania, so that the people working on the Albania article can get back to talking about Albania.
I realize there is going to be a lively debate regarding who rightly owns Kosovo, but that discussion should take place in the talk page of the Kosovo article — not in the Albania article (which, as it turns out, hardly mentions Kosovo at all other than to list it as one of Albania's geographical neighbours). It seemed clear to me that some people simply would not accept just plain "Kosovo" in the list of Albania's neighbours, while other people were going to flatly reject "Serbia"; hence my proposal to say "the disputed territory of Kosovo", along with wikilinks and outside references so that anyone who cares to read more about the history and current status of the dispute can easily find material talking about multiple sides of the issue. That compromise may not be acceptable to everyone, but at least it's probably the least objectionable alternative for the most people.
I agree with you that there is a danger here of falling down a "slippery slope" and opening up Wikipedia to the aspirants of zillions of breakaway regions. But that's probably happened already — given that Wikipedia already has pages talking about regions such as Transnistria, South Ossetia, Northern Cyprus, and the Republic of China (Taiwan). An encyclopedia's purpose is supposed to be to inform; this isn't easy when people on different sides simply can't agree to draw a line between supplying information about multiple sides of a controversial topic and taking a partisan stance on the topic, but we need to keep trying. Richwales (talk) 21:29, 9 May 2008 (UTC)
- Hi. If I understood you correctly, you asked if I could give you some links to places on Wikipedia where you could participate in the discussions about the status of Kosovo. You should probably take a good look at Talk:Kosovo and Talk:Political status of Kosovo.
- I must warn you, however, that talk pages in Wikipedia are not supposed to be discussion forums for general remarks (or arguments) about a given topic. Rather, the purpose of a talk page is to allow people to discuss the content of the article and try to come to agreements regarding what the article should contain, or should not contain, and how it should be worded.
- Also, before contributing anything of your own to these talk pages, you should definitely read them very thoroughly (including any archived material) and understand what has already been said. Chances are very high that the points you might want to make have in fact already been made, many times, by other people, and so it might be considered unnecessary (or even obnoxious) for a new person like you to bring up the same points all over again.
- Remember, too, that Wikipedia's goal is not to come up with the one correct position or interpretation of an issue; read the Wikipedia policy on the neutral point of view very carefully. For example, if you (or someone else) were to try editing the opening sentence of the Kosovo article (which currently says Kosovo is "a disputed territory on the Balkan peninsula") and make it say something like "Kosovo is a province of Serbia which is currently attempting an illegal secession", you will likely get slapped down very quickly and forcefully — just as would happen if someone else were to try to edit the text to say something like "Kosovo is a sovereign state which recently seceded from Serbia following decades of oppression" (!!). The "NPOV" philosophy often requires us to take a few steps back and force ourselves to view a topic with a degree of dispassionate impartiality which we may find uncomfortable. I'm sure plenty of people on both sides of the Kosovo question had to hold their noses when they decided to leave the "disputed territory" description alone. In extreme cases — such as if an editor holds a particular view with overwhelming passion and simply cannot sit still while others articulate different positions — NPOV might require a would-be editor to step aside and refrain entirely from touching the article.
- If you need some more perspective on how to handle a controversial political topic similar to the Kosovo issue, you might want to read the articles about other disputed breakaway regions, such as Northern Cyprus or Transnistria, and see how those subjects — probably just as touchy to the people involved as the Kosovo issue is to you — are being handled in Wikipedia. I hope this helps some; please don't give up trying to make positive, constructive contributions to Wikipedia. Richwales (talk) 00:09, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
Hi again. Could I make a request here that you and Taulant23 might move your conversation (currently taking place on my talk page) onto your talk page and/or his talk page? My understanding of Wikipedia policy is that my talk page is supposed to be used for communications directly involving me — which this particular discussion / dialogue / argument really is not. Thanks.
Also, you've made a reasonable point about the Ukraine page not mentioning Transnistria in the list of entities bordering it. I'll see if I can bring this up with the people working on the Ukraine, Transnistria, and/or Moldova pages and see what sort of consensus can be reached amongst those editors on this question. Richwales (talk) 15:47, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
- Talking about war crimes,don't forget to say that Serbs killed all of their Jews during WWII. I actually own some stamps from Grand Anti-Masonic Exhibition Antimasonska izložba . Beside,who started WWI and the wars in Croatia, Kosovo, Bosnia? Albanians did not invade any country nor did they fight other people to take their land. I am sure that if Serbs killed my family I would do the same thing to them. Serbs are know through history to be nationalist and have started the wars in Balkan and Europe. It does not mean they are bad people nor do I thing that all of them are criminals. It’s your politicians and nationalist groups, which instead of getting Serbia close to Europe are isolating the country like Enver Hoxha did to Albania .I visited Serbia 3 years ago, and honestly I did not see any difference between us. The family I stayed in was very friendly. One of the old ladies reminded me of my grandma. Same tradition “Balkan right” beautiful churches, (you can see that the Ottomans and the Communists did not destroy you guys that bad) but the people wore poor from the wars. I believe in a strong Serbia if she is willing to let Kosovo to be free, and show her true face by getting rid of their nationalist people. Will it happen? Maybe, or in ten years we will see another war in Balkans.--Taulant23 (talk) 19:37, 10 May 2008 (UTC)
p.s.Most of the Albanians I know,felt really bad what happened to your churches.
Well I do agree in most of what you said, I am sure Albanian Kosovars killed Serbs too. No one is innocent in a war .But, when it comes to the math though; Serbian police, army and the chetniks killed a lot of innocent people in Kosovo. They organized massive ethnic cleansing by killing in thousands. Serbs are known to be crazy nationalist (it’s not a bad thing) and the best in basketball. I don’t get it, when they say that the heart of Serbia is Kosovo, when the real heart of Serbia is Belgrade. Kosovo is gone, forget Kosovo, why you need Kosovo anyways? In my opinion, Serbs need to focus on their future now.--Taulant23 (talk) 23:35, 13 May 2008 (UTC)
As far as religion, first I am Albanian and second I am an Albanian Orthodox.
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