Tear gas released in Kosovo's parliament, again

PRISTINA, Kosovo -- Opposition lawmakers released tear gas Monday in Kosovo's parliament as they once again tried to pressure the government into renouncing deals with Serbia and Montenegro.

See Full Article

Clouds of smoke from two tear gas canisters forced lawmakers out of the debating chamber.

The parliamentary session restarted later in another room with most opposition lawmakers barred from entering. It had to be temporarily suspended again when another tear gas canister was opened there too, after four opposition lawmakers were let in.

An opposition political party, the Alliance for Kosovo's Future, said one of its lawmakers, Pal Lekaj, was arrested, allegedly for using tear gas.

Meanwhile, police dispersed dozens of opposition supporters throwing stones and paint outside parliament. Windows were broken and some were covered in red paint. There were no reports of any injuries.

Clashes continued in other streets in the capital where at least one protester was arrested by police.

Over the past three months, the opposition has blocked Kosovo's parliament with tear gas, pepper spray, whistles and water bottles to protest the deals and their supporters have held violent protests in Pristina.

One of the deals gives more powers to ethnic Serbs in Kosovo while the other demarcates the border with Montenegro.

Kosovo declared independence from Serbia in 2008, an act that Serbia still rejects. The two countries have been holding European Union-mediated talks to overcome their differences.

Glauk Konjufca of the Self-Determination Movement told reporters the opposition would continue different forms of pressure on the government "to make it understand that the Aug. 25 deals ... cannot pass in Kosovo and that the opposition is determined to use all the methods so these two deals damaging Kosovo's statehood are not applied."

U.S. Ambassador Greg Delawie, who was at parliament, criticized Monday's incident.

He repeated the warning from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who visited two weeks ago, that parliament is "where meaningful debates on public policy are conducted, where people can listen to each other peacefully."

If the government refuses to halt the deals, the opposition wants a referendum on the issues or a new election. The government, the president and the international community have called for dialogue.

The deal on Serb minority rights is suspended until Kosovo's constitutional court rules on its legality. The government, which accuses the opposition of trying to seize power by force, has said it will ask international experts to decide on the border demarcation with Montenegro.

Gresa Kraja in Pristina, and Llazar Semini in Tirana, Albania, contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • 'You're celebrating colonization': 4 Indigenous people share why they won't be singing O Canada on July 1

    Canada News CBC News
    For Shane Henry, it used to be about donning the red and white to celebrate Canada on July 1, but this year — on Canada's 150th anniversary of Confederation — he's not feeling so patriotic. "Putting a bunch of flags on my skin and jumping in praise saying, 'Oh, look at our great country and look at all that we've accomplished' — that part of it isn't so comfortable with me anymore," explained the University of Saskatchewan PhD student and researcher with the Saskatoon Tribal Council. Source
  • Cholera cases in Yemen now more 200,000

    World News CBC News
    The UN health agency says there are now more than 200,000 suspected cases of cholera in an outbreak in war-torn Yemen, many of them children.State of emergency in Yemen after cholera outbreakCholera cases in Yemen pass 100,000: WHOUNICEF director Anthony Lake and World Health Organization chief Margaret Chan said in a statement Saturday, "we are now facing the worst cholera outbreak in the world," with an average of 5,000 new cases every day. Source
  • Overturned oil tanker explodes in Pakistan, killing 148

    World News CBC News
    An overturned oil tanker burst into flames in Pakistan on Sunday, killing 148 people who had rushed to the scene of the highway accident to gather leaking fuel, an official said. Dozens more were wounded, including about 40 in critical condition, said Mohammad Baqar, an official with local rescue services, adding that the toll was expected to rise. Source
  • Not-so-new Canadian: How welcoming is N.L. for immigrants?

    Canada News CBC News
    On a mid-April Sunday, 18 years ago, I looked down upon St. John's from Signal Hill and wondered to myself, "What have I done?" The snow covering was gone and the landscape was grey, brown, slushy and mucky. Source
  • 'Your son is alive'; California father buries wrong man after coroner’s mistake

    World News Toronto Sun
    SANTA ANA, Calif. — Eleven days after laying his son to rest, Frank J. Kerrigan got a call from a friend. “Your son is alive,” he said. “Bill (Shinker) put my son on the phone,” Kerrigan said. Source
  • Al Capone's song, pocket watch fetch over $100K at auction

    World News Toronto Sun
    BOSTON — Artifacts connected to some of the nation’s most notorious gangsters sold for more than $100,000 at auction Saturday. A diamond pocket watch that belonged to Al Capone and was produced in Chicago in the 1920s, along with a handwritten musical composition he wrote in Alcatraz in the 1930s, were among the items that sold at the “Gangsters, Outlaws and Lawmen” auction. Source
  • Venezuelan protesters, security forces clash at air base

    World News CTV News
    CARACAS, Venezuela -- Young protesters broke down a metal fence guarding an air base in Caracas on Saturday before being repelled by security forces firing tear gas in another day of anti-government protests in Venezuela's capital. Source
  • Venezuelan president's opponents lay siege to air base

    World News CBC News
    Young protesters broke down a metal fence guarding an air base in Caracas on Saturday before being repelled by security forces firing tear gas in another day of anti-government protests in Venezuela's capital. Demonstrators threw stones, and some protesters were injured. Source
  • Lots to be proud of on Canada's 150th

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    So this great country of ours Canada is about to turn 150. Well, happy sesquicentennial to us. Although, it was a lot easier to pronounce “centennial” 50 years ago. And what a great year that was. Bobby Gimby sang, “Canada – now we are 20 million. Source
  • Race was a factor in St. Louis black officer mistakenly shot by white cop: lawyer

    World News CTV News
    An off-duty black St. Louis police officer's race factored into him being mistakenly shot by a white officer who didn't recognize him after a shootout with black suspects this week, the wounded officer's lawyer contends. Source