May 15, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 15-05-03

CONTENTS:

PARISH HALL NEAR ORAHOVAC BURGLARIZED

ALBANIANS DRIVE TRACTORS THROUGHT SERB CEMETERY IN ORAHOVAC


SHOTS FIRED AT SERB MAN IN VITINA

TWO HOUSES SET ON FIRE AFTER BEING RETURNED TO SERB OWNER|

CROSS SET ON FIRE IN VITINA CEMETERY

KOSOVO-METOHIJA CLAIMANTS TO BE COMPENSATED

SERBIAN OFFICALS PROTEST OVER STEINERS DECREE ON STATE-OWNED PROPERTY IN KOSOVO

EXIBITION - CRUCIFIED KOSOVO - BELGRADE NATIONAL MUSEUM, May 20, 2003

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PARISH HALL NEAR ORAHOVAC BULGLARIZED
Representatives of the Dioces of Raska and Prizren from Orahovac confirmed that after the withdrawal of KFOR protection in November of last year the parish hall in the village of Brnjaci (near Bela Crkva) in Orahovac municipality was broken into and burglarized. As well, after the most recent visit to the Orahovac Orthodox Cemetery, priests saw that Albanians were driving their tractors through the cemetery and using it is a village thoroughfare.

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, May 14, 2003

Frs. Srdjan Milenkovic and Milenko Dragicevic, Serbian Orthodox priests from the Orahovac and Velika Hoca parishes, informed the Diocese of Raska and Prizren Info Service today that while visiting St. Nedelja Church in the village of Brnjaci, near Bela Crkva, Orahovac municipality, they noticed that unknown perpetrators had broken into the parish hall and removed most of the contents left there. St. Nedelja Church and the parish hall, which are located in a region now inhabited exclusively by Kosovo Albanians, was placed under the protection of KFOR troops after June 1999 and remained so until November 2002. Since then the church and the parish hall have been without direct protection, although members of German KFOR promised to protect the property of their church. However, their promise was not kept.

While passing by the church with a KFOR escort, Fr. Milenkovico observed at the end of April that some of the windows on the church and the hall were broken. Representatives of the parish were not able to visit the church an d parish hall before May 4 and at that time they noted signs of the break in and burglary. Arsenije Grkovic, the president of the church council, and Dimitirije Baljosevic prepared a detailed report on the condition they found. In addition to the broken windows and torn out door, three ceiling lamps with fans were also missing, as well as three smaller ceiling lamps. Also missing were curtains and other materials from the building. The fountain in the churchyard was broken and the church fence broken, allowing livestock to wanter into and dirty the churchyard. Fr. Srdjan had asked to remove the entire inventory and sacred vessels during his most recent to the church and parish hall in November 2002 but he was assured by members of KFOR that everything was secure and they did nto allow him to take anything with him except a pair of wooden benches.

Fr. Milenkovic reported the bulgary to representatives of UNMIK and KFOR and an investigation is in progress. St. Nedelja Church is first mentioned in historical records in 1348. In the 16th century the church was completely restored and afterwards it was partially restored several times. The church contains valuable stone reliefs dating back to the 16th century.

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ALBANIANS DRIVE TRACTORS THROUGH SERB CEMETERY IN ORAHOVAC

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, May 14, 2003

According to the Serbian church sources in Orahovac desecration of the local Orthodox cemtetery is continuing.

 On May 10 Fr. Milenko Dragicevic, a priest in Velika Hoca, visited the Serbian Orthodox Cemetery, which is located in the Albanian part of the town and where Serbs have not been able to bury their deceased for four years, accompanied by representatives of UNMIK and Orahovac municipality. The purpose of the visit was to reexamine the possibility of activating the cemetery. The remaining 400 Serbs in Orahovac have been burying their deceased in the relatively small area surrounding the Church of the Assumption of the Most Holy Theodokos in the Serb quarter of Orahovac since June 1999. As early as summer 2002 Serbs visited the cemetery for the first time and found damaged graves and UCK graffiti written in red paint. This time Fr. Dragicevic observed more graves had been damaged and confirmed that in the visited section of the cemetery, almost 90 percent of the tombstones were damaged or completely destroyed. Especially worrisome is the fact that the cemetery fence has been torn down and local Albanians are driving their tractors through the Serb cemetery, using it as an improvised village thoroughfare. Fr. Dragicevic asked UNMIK and KFOR to urgently fence in the cemetery and prevent its further desecration.

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren once again appeals to representatives of the international administration in Kosovo and Metohija and officials of the Republic of Serbia to urgently undertake measures to prevent the further destruction and looting of the property of the Serbian Orthodox Church.


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SHOTS FIRED AT SERB MAN IN VITINA

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KIM RADIO
May 14, 2003

Last night at approximately 19,15 hours unknown persons fired three gunshots from a moving vehicle at 50 year-old Tomislav Simic from Vitina. The attack occurred as Simic was going to Vitina to visit the abandoned home of a friend. No one was injured in the incident.

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TWO HOUSES SET ON FIRE AFTER BEING RETURNED TO SERB OWNER
Two houses owned by Milan Sotic, a Serb from Kosovska Vitina, were set aflame after UNMIK and Habitat for Humanity implemented the decision displacing the Albanian family who illegally occuppied them since 1999

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, May 14, 2003

According to ERP KIM Info Service sources in Kosovska Vitina unknown perpetrators set two houses belonging to Milan Sotic, a Serb, on fire. The Sotic family fled from its home after the war and found sanctuary in the nearby village of Letnica. They houses were illegally occuppied by an Albanian family, which continued to use the Sotic home until May of this year, when the houses were returned to their rightful owner by decision of UNMIK and the NGO Habitat for Humanity. However, before the Sotices could return to their home, unknown attackers set fire to the new house on May 5 and, three days later, on May 8, to the old house located on the same land parcel. Both houses were set aflame despite their immediate proximity to a KFOR checkpoint and the Vitina police station.

Both attacks were reported to the police; however, the perpetrators have not yet been found despite suspicions that the Albanians who were recently living in the house and were then forced to vacate it were involved in the attack.


CROSS SET ON FIRE IN VITINA CEMETERY
Unprecedented act of barbarism

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, May 14, 2003

Sources from the Serbian Orthodox parish in Kosovska Vitina have confirmed that during the night of May 4th unknown attackers set fire to a wooden cross in the Orthodox cemetery marking the grave of a Serb man buried the preceding day, Sunday, May 4. Members of the deceased's family who came to visit his grave the day after the funeral found the charred and broken remains of the cross.


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KOSOVO-METOHIJA CLAIMANTS TO BE COMPENSATED
http://www.serbia.sr.gov.yu/news/2003-05/12/329106.html

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SERBIAN GOVERNMENT

May 12, 2003

Belgrade, May 12, 2003 - The Bureau for Property and Legal Issues of the Department for the Judiciary and Human Rights of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija has prepared a proposal for the local population asking for compensation starting from June 11, 1999, the date of the deployment of international peacekeeping forces in the province. The request will be sent to UNMIK shortly, said Bureau chief Svetlana Scepanovic.

Scepanovic also said that Serbia has no effective power in Kosovo-Metohija, and thus cannot be held responsible for the compensation. As UNMIK and KFOR are in charge of safety and protection of property under UN Security Council Resolution 1244, the international community should be the one to provide this reimbursement, Scepanovic said.

The proposal demands that Serbs and other non-Albanians be granted compensation for damaged and looted property, torture, illegal arrests and kidnappings, injuries and murders.

The request should first be discussed by the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija, after which Nebojsa Covic, the head of the Coordinating Centre, will present it before the UN Security Council.


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SERBIAN OFFICIALS PROTEST OVER STEINER'S DECREE ON STATE-OWNED PROPERTY IN KOSOVO
http://www.serbia.sr.gov.yu/news/2003-05/13/329118.html

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SERBIAN GOVERNMENT
May 13, 2003

Belgrade, May 12, 2003 - Head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic said on Tuesday that a decree by UNMIK chief Michael Steiner, allowing for the privatisation of state-owned property in the province, is one-sided and represents yet another provocation directed towards the Belgrade authorities, which had not been consulted before it was issued.

Steiner has issued a decree replacing the right to use the land of state-owned firms in Kosovo with a 99-year lease, which can also be used as a guarantee for insurance credits.

Covic said that this decree which enables the snatching of Serbia's property against all international regulations was drafted without Belgrade's consent. He called on the international community to prevent such one-sided moves that may destabilise the situation in the province.

Serbian Minister of Economy and Privatisation Aleksandar Vlahovic said that there are still a number of issues to be resolved before embarking on a privatisation process in Kosovo-Metohija, as no transition country has sold its enterprises without regard to its creditors.

"Since this decree, issued without the Serbian government's consent, creates additional confusion regarding the approach to Kosovo privatisation, Deputy Prime Minister Covic and I will intensify our communication with UNMIK in order to resolve this issue," the Beta news agency quoted Vlahovic as saying.


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ARTICLE ERP KIM INFO SERVICEE

THE SERBIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH AND
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CRUCIFIED KOSOVO
DESTRUCTION AND DESECRATION
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ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
Our Information Service is distributing news on Kosovo related issues. The main focus of the Info-Service is the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM Info Service works in cooperation with www.serbian-translation.com as well as the Kosovo Daily News (KDN) News List

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