November 03, 2003

ERP KiM Newsletter 03-11-03

CONTENTS:

Bishop Artemije Meets With New Head of U,S. Office in Pristina
"Although the armed conflict ended four years ago," continued Bishop Artemije, "peace in Kosovo and Metohija has come only for the Albanians, while for the Serbs the time of suffering continues. Obilic, Gnjilane, Prizren and Gorazdevac are all witnesses to this fact, as well as 120 destroyed churches and monasteries", said Bishop Artemije

Bishop Artemije Celebrates Name Day on Feast Day of St. Great Martyr Artemius
Book Review - Diary of Un Uncivil War: The Violent Aftermath of the Kosovo Conflict
INET - News from Kosovo and Metohija, 01-02 November 2003

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Bishop Artemije Meets With New Head of U.S. Office in Pristina

"Although the armed conflict ended four years ago," continued Bishop Artemije, "peace in Kosovo and Metohija has come only for the Albanians, while for the Serbs the time of suffering continues. Obilic, Gnjilane, Prizren and Gorazdevac are all witnesses to this fact, as well as 120 destroyed churches and monasteries", said Bishop Artemije

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Head of U.S. mission in Pristina Ms. Marcie Ries meets with Bishop Artemije
in Gracanica Monastery, 02 Nov 2003

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ERP KIM INFO SERVICE
Gracanica, 03 November 2003

Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija met yesterday in Gracanica Monastery with the new head of the U.S. Office in Pristina, Mrs. Marcie Ries, and her associates. Mrs. Reis informed Bishop Artemije that this was her first visit to Kosovo and Metohija, and that she was personally impressed by Serbian spirituality and culture, especially following her recent visits to Visoki Decani Monastery and the Pec Patriarchate.

Bishop Artemije explained to Mrs. Reis that Visoki Decani, the Pec Patriarchate, Gracanica and Bogorodica Ljeviska /the Mother of God of Ljevis/ are not only cultural monuments that are a part of the world cultural heritage but also living spiritual centers. "Monasteries are living cells of the living organism of the /Serbian Orthodox/ Church. They are witnesses of our existence, suffering and celebration of the Name of God," emphasized Bishop Artemije.

"Although the armed conflict ended four years ago," continued Bishop Artemije, "peace in Kosovo and Metohija has come only for the Albanians, while for the Serbs the time of suffering continues. Obilic, Gnjilane, Prizren and Gorazdevac are all witnesses to this fact, as well as 120 destroyed churches and monasteries. Never in recorded history have as many churches been destroyed in a single location, and the paradox is all the greater because this was done since the deployment of the UN mission and NATO forces in Kosovo and Metohija. Serbs find it hard to believe that it is possible to live better and more safely, with elementary human rights, when the perpetrators of even the most serious crimes, the murderers of the Stolic family and the children in Gorazdevac, the destroyers of churches and monasteries, and desecrators of cemeteries, continue to walk freely through Kosovo and Metohija. Therefore, it is essential," said the Bishop, "for the international community to apply the same principles for all crimes, so that Kosovo and Metohija can be multiethnic, so that everyone can have the same chances for progress, so that Serb returns and the restoration of numerous destroyed Serbian houses can begin. How much time will we need to complete Serb returns, asked Bishop Artemije, when in the past five years only about 1,000 Serbs have returned? Accordingly, it is necessary to achieve certain standards prior to resolving the final status of Kosovo and Metohija, first and foremost, to ensure that the cities of Kosovo and Metohija do not remain monoethnic but become multiethnic once more. For example, formerly there were 10,000 Serbs in Prizren and now there are 60. Pristina was inhabited by some 40,000 Serbs, 200 of whom remain," explained Bishop Artemije.

Mrs. Reis emphasized that the murder of the children in Gorazdevac had occurred immediately after her arrival in Kosovo and Metohija. For her, as a mother, the murder of children and the very thought that children could be murdered was inconceivable. She wished to attend the funeral services but did not do so out of respect for the wishes of the parents of the slain children. In order to avoid such tragedies in the future, Ms. Reis informed Bishop Artemije that during the course of the coming week a senior U.S. delegation will be coming to Kosovo to assist the UN Mission as part of the program for OPERATIONALIZATION OF STANDARDS to be based, according to Ms. Reis, on the building of a society with standardized institutions and enabling the return of displaced Serbs. The U.S. government has earmarked approximately 15 million dollars to assist such programs. Mrs. Reis emphasized that Bishop Artemije, the Serbian Orthodox bishop in Kosovo and Metohija, has a very significant and important role for the U.S. government, and that he is expected to provide his valuable contribution and encouragement for the return of the Serbian people during the course of the process of operationalization of standards in Kosovo.

Bishop Artemije stressed that he would like to encourage his people to return to their centuries-old homes but that it is necessary for support and encouragement to also come, first and foremost, from the international community. This implies the creation of necessary security conditions as well as elementary prerequisites for safe returns. We must not allow people to be attacked for no reason on city streets, like yesterday when a Serb was attacked from the back in Gnjilane and had to be transferred to the hospital in Vranje because of the severity of his injuries. "In the future before us, international representatives must be objective and unbiased toward all sides. This is the very reason why more frequent exchanges of opinion, such as this meeting, and discussion of all burning issues concerning the problems of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, are so necessary," concluded Bishop Artemije.

After the meeting, Ms. Reis and her associates toured the church of Gracanica and learned more about the history of this centuries-old spiritual center of the Serbian people. Bidding farewell to her hosts, the head of the U.S. Office in Pristina stated that she was impressed by the beauty of Gracanica Monastery.

Biography of Marcie Ries
http://www.usofficepristina.usia.co.at/mr/bio.htm


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Bishop Artemije Celebrates Name Day on Feast of Holy Great Martyr Artemije

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Cutting of Slava cake after Holy Liturgy

ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, 03 November 2003

Yesterday Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija celebrated his name day, the feast of the Holy Great Martyr Artemije, in Gracanica Monastery. With the prayerful assistance of his numerous spiritual children, the abbots, hieromonks, monks and nuns of the Diocese of Raska and Prizren, Bishop Artemije served Holy Liturgy and then presented gifts to the children in attendance. Father Teodosije Sibalic, Abbott of Decani Monastery, cut the Slava cake for his spiritual father and pastoral leader prior to delivering a homily to the congregation, emphasizing that Bishop Artemije, like his patron saint and protector before him, is travelling down the path of martyrdom and thorns, and that the path of suffering and endurance is the only path that guides us to true service of Christ the Lord.

Numerous guests and representatives of international diplomatic missions, including the head of the U.S. Office, Ms. Marcie Reis, attended a formal luncheon prepared in honor of Bishop Artemije by Mother Efrosinija, the Abbess of Gracanica Monastery, and her sisterhood. Father Simeon Vilovski, the Abbott of the newly restored Banjska Monastery, delivered a welcoming homily, stressing the spiritual role of Bishop Artemije and his selfless efforts for the restoration of spiritual life despite difficult war time and post-war times in Kosovo and Metohija.

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Diary of Uncivil War: The Violent Aftermath of the Kosovo Conflict

The best example, perhaps, is Taylor's visit to the mountain village of Sipkovica, where he speaks with Albanian commanders who gladly point to the material assistance of the US. (This was in direct contrast to American policy, and confirmed angry Macedonian charges of hypocrisy and deception).

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http://www.balkanalysis.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=178

BALKANALYSIS

Book Review

Diary of an Uncivil War: the Violent Aftermath of the Kosovo Conflict

Posted on Monday, November 03 @ 02:00:00 EST by CDeliso

By Scott Taylor (Esprit de Corps Books, 2002)
208 pp.

Reviewed by Christopher Deliso

Although Macedonia's 2001 mini-war attracted great attention from the international media, real independent reporting was rare. Most the Western journalists were informed by other Western officials, spent a disproportionate amount of time at Skopje's luxurious Alexandar Palace Hotel, or mysteriously turned up in various rebel-held villages. Before the war even began, in fact, British reporters were filing stories from border villages where uniformed Albanians were gathering- at a time when they allegedly had no uniforms or clear leadership.

And then there was Scott Taylor. Ever dropping in unannounced, deadpanning his way through security checkpoints, hotel lobbies, armed insurrectionists and officials who don't speak English, Taylor draws on his military background and fearlessness to get a good view of some of the most interesting places of the war- most of them otherwise unreported.

Diary of an Uncivil War is thus not only a good read- brisk, straight-up and comic in places- but also a real contribution to the primary source material on the Macedonian War, and as such it will become only more valuable with the passage of time for historians interested in researching the events of 2001. For those interested in the subject of Islamic terrorism in the Balkans, Taylor also provides an extremely detailed epilogue of sorts, chronicling terrorist presences in Macedonia, Bosnia, Kosovo and Albania.

The book has a few flaws, of course. Primarily, the reader is occasionally frustrated to not hear more details when it seems that the author could provide them. Also, there are certain factual errors- for example, when Taylor says there are no internet cafés in Kumanovo (there are at least 5). These seem to be due to the whirlwind nature of Taylor's trips, stopping only briefly wherever he goes in the search for war mayhem. One also gets the impression that his initial briefing and contacts supplied from Canada were insufficient for getting a truly comprehensive view of the situation (however, this same criticism goes for most journalists).

This sort of color is undoubtedly good for piquing the interest of general readers, but it's somewhat superfluous for serious investigators. The author clearly did not have the time to see all that was to be seen or talk with everyone of importance, and these drawbacks were not helped by the inclusion of many terse journalistic reports of his adventures.

However, merely by virtue of his unorthodox method, Taylor stumbles across some very revealing tidbits. The Canadian is at his best when describing, in a very cut-and-dried way, extraordinary events that in themselves are highly indicative of another "truth" than the one presented by the mass media, which generally toed the line of the Albanian lobby (that they were the poor victims of a repressive "Slav" state).

The best example, perhaps, is Taylor's visit to the mountain village of Sipkovica, where he speaks with Albanian commanders who gladly point to the material assistance of the US. (This was in direct contrast to American policy, and confirmed angry Macedonian charges of hypocrisy and deception).

Then we have the now famous story where Taylor evades the police during a highly dangerous operation, scrambles through woods that were probably heavily mined, and rushes by bicycle to an Albanian village where he is lavished with praise and assistance- just for being Canadian. Not only is he then given a mobile phone to make the (very) long distance call to his editor back home, Taylor also gets to dine on a "tough old bird," a rooster from the garden supplied by his hosts. Then, he is treated to a ceremonial washing of the feet and presented with the pitiful sight of simulated tears from the assembled womenfolk of the house- who claim the Macedonian government bombing campaign has forced them to hide in the cellar.

The comic moments paint an unforgettable picture of the characters involved. Take this report from Tetovo, about tough-talking US monitor Carl Underwood (p. 144):

".Around 2:00 p.m., Carl Underwood and his team of OSCE monitors arrived at the Electra for a midday meal. They were the only patrons in the restaurant and I gladly accepted their offer to join them. With classical music playing on the sound system and the heavy thud of artillery fire nearby, lunch seemed surreal.

Underwood boasted that, as an ex-U.S. Special Forces soldier, he had no intention of evacuating Tetovo. He had heard that the UCK was about to launch a big push to capture the city before the peace deal was signed. "I have no doubt in my mind who's going to win this fight," said Underwood. "That's why I rented an apartment in the Albanian sector of town."

His bravado was short-lived. When a heavy machinegun opened fire erupted just a few blocks away he rose from the table and said to his colleagues, "That's it boys. Let's get the hell out of here. From here on in, we can report from the German camp." As their white jeep pulled out of the parking lot, I suddenly realized I was the last foreigner left in Tetovo."

In conclusion, while it has certain minor flaws and is not a comprehensive history, Diary of an Uncivil War is sufficiently entertaining and provocative to be an exciting read, as well as an important supplement to the complete body of literature on the Macedonian conflict of 2001.


Buy this book now!

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INET - News From Kosovo and Metohija, 01-02 Nov.

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www.inet.co.yu

I*Net News, Belgrade

KOSOVO AND METOHIJA NEWS

Sunday 02 November 2003

23:40 Serbian deputy prime minister and Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic said that the fate of Kosovo and Metohija impacts the entire region because the proclamation of independence of the province would result in a change of borders and this would have a "domino effect".

23:00 Serbia and Montenegro parliament speaker and head of the Serbia and Montenegro delegation to the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly Dragoljub Micunovic has called a consultative meeting for tomorrow with representatives of the Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, Return Coalition (Povratak) MPs, municipal coordinators and other Serbian community activists in the southern province. The purpose of the meeting is the establishment of more direct cooperation between the Serbia and Montenegro parliament with Serb representatives in Kosovo and Metohija, especially in light of the activities of the Serbia and Montenegro delegation in the Council of Europe's Parliamentary Assembly.

18:00 Macedonian defense minister Vlado Buckovski assessed that the risk of new incidents by Albanian terrorist formations in this part of the Balkans, are possible, especially as a result of efforts to block the process of negotiations on the status of the southern Serbian province of Kosovo and Metohija.

Saturday 01 November 2003

20:20 The UNMIK chief's repatriation advisor Nenad Radosavljevic stated that almost none of the programs for the return of displaced persons to Kosovo has been realized and accused ethnic Albanian leaders and Kosovo institution officials of being responsible.

20:00 After meeting today with Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi, former OSCE ambassador to Kosovo and Metohija William Walker stated that it is time to open the question of the final status of Kosovo.

19:40 Serbian deputy prime minister and Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic rejected an appeal by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri to dismiss interim institutions in Kosovo, emphasizing that Belgrade will not cave in to pressures and accept compromises.

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