July 24, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 24-07-03

FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE "HARVEST MASSACRE"

Funeral in Gracko
On July 23, 1999, 14 Serb farmers were massacred by Kosovo  Albanian
extremists while harvesting in Staro Gracko village (Lipljan). The crime occurred
after the arrival of KFOR and UN Mission and despite police efforts perpertrators
 of this crime were never identified (archive photo from the funeral)

CONTENTS:

FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE "HARVEST MASSACRE" - MEMORIAL SERVICE HELD
DECANI MONKS DISTRIBUTED DONATIONS FROM U.S.TO STARO GRACKO  CHILDREN
RADA TRAJKOVIC - NO CONDITIONS FOR NEGOTIATIONS
PRISTINA UNIVERSITY REFUSED TO ACCEPT TWO SERB STUDENTS FOR SUMMER CAMP
KFOR - ATTACKS ON COURTS AND POLICE AIMED AT US

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FOURTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE "HARVEST MASSACRE" - MEMORIAL SERVICE HELD
On July 23, 1999, 14 Serb farmers, among which one boy, were killed while harvesting their fields. The the perpertrators of this crime were never discovered because no Albanians wanted to witness or pass any information to the police.

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ERPKIM INFO-SERVICE
Lipljan 23 July, 2003


Memorial service was served today in Staro Gracko village near Lipljan in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the "harverst massacre" in which 14 Serb farmers were killed in the field by Kosovo Albanian extremists. The service was attended by several hundreds of Serbs from Central and North Kosovo. The representatives of the Serbian coalition POVRATAK Dr. Rada Trajkovic, Oliver Ivanovic and Dragan Velic were also present.

"We have had many victims and we cannot forget them" said the member of the Presidency of Kosovo Parliament Oliver Ivanovic addressing the gathering.

He also said that those who remained in their homes despite pressures deserved special recognition.

"This keeps our optimism alive and strengthens our hopes that Serbs will stay in Kosovo and Metohija. This is an opportunity to say that our state will not and must not forget us because it is hard to be a Serb in Kosovo and Metohija today", he said

Ivanovic added that the difficult situation for Kosovo Serbs will probably continue for some time, but Serbs will stay in Kosovo and Metohija as well as Kosovo and Metohija will stay in Serbia.

"The Serbian state in Kosovo and Metohija is present as long as Serbs live here. No one can trade with Kosovo nor use it for political purposes. Kosovo and Metohija is the issue on which all Serbs must agree", said Ivanovic.

On July 23, 1999, 14 Serb farmers, among which one boy, were killed while harvesting their fields.

After the funeral the chief of UNMIK, Dr. Bernard Kouchner, in the presence of the Church digniaries promised to make all efforts to bring to justice perpertrators of this crime. However, the perpertrators of this crime were never discovered because no Albanians wanted to witness or pass any information to the police.

Even today, despite the presence of KFOR and KOsovo POlice, a group of four local Albanians hurled abuses and vulgar words at the mourners while they were on their way to the cemetery. KFOR and UNMIK police did not react to this provocation.


Oliver Ivanovic


One of the mourners

TERROR VICTIMS
Gracko massacre victims, 23 July 99
(Caution, photos of very disturbing contents)

Serbian Orthodox Church: Report from Gracko Village, July 24, 99
Times, UK, Harvest Massacre Blamed on Kosovo Guerillas, July 26-99
Guardian, UK: This is What Will Happen To Us All, (Gracko Massacre) July 29-99

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Fr. Makarije distributes the money to the children
in the presence of their teacher

DECANI MONKS DISTRIBUTED DONATIONS FROM THE U.S. TO THE CHILDREN FROM STARO GRACKO

The money which the children from Staro Gracko received will be used for buying clothes and school books for the next school year. Several children who received donations are orphans because they lost their fathers on July 23, 1999 when 14 Serb farmers were massacred by Albanian extremists while harvesting their fields.

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ERP KIM Info-service
Decani 20. july 2003

Abbot Teodosije and Decani monks distributed donations to 35 children from Staro Gracko on occasion of their visit to Visoki Decani Monastery. Each child received 100 US Dollars as a token of brotherly love of Christians from the United States and other countries. The money for the children of Staro Gracko was gathered through the Decani Monastery Relief Fund, headed by Archmandrite Nektarios Serfes (Greek Orth. Archdiocese, Boise ID) and brother Veljko Sikirica, Bethesda, MA.

Decani Monastery Relief Fund has been gathering donations for the suffering people in Kosovo and Metohija since 1998 and thanks to the efforts of many God loving Christians from United States and other western countries Visoki Decani monks were able to help many of those who needed help in the time of suffering. During 1998 and 1999 funds were also distributed to Kosovo Albanians for which Decani monks cared during the war and sheltered them in the monastery.

The money which the children from Staro Gracko received will be used for buying clothes and school books for the next school year. Several children who received donations are orphans because they lost their fathers on July 23, 1999 when 14 Serb farmers were massacred by Albanian extremists while harvesting their fields.

Abbot Teodosije and his brethren would like to thank to all donors who helped them  to make the lives of Staro Gracko children more joyfull.

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RADA TRAJKOVIC: NO CONDITIONS FOR NEGOTIATIONS
it is very difficult to bring together Leader of the Democratic party of Kosovo (DPK) Hashim Thaci and the Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova, and "obviously without either of them any agreement (with Belgrade) will not have relevance for Kosovo Albanians.

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BETA NEWS AGENCY
Jagodina, July 22, 2003

Vice-president of the Demochristian party and the deputy in the Kosovo Parliament Dr. Rada Trajkovic thinks that thre will be no right solution for the future of Kosovo if it is imposed.

Trajkovic said for Jagodina TV "Palma Plus" that "it is clear to the international community that there will be no right solution if it is imposed and therefore it is logical that negotiations between Belgrade and Pristina should begin in autumn"

Stating that Kosovo Albanians have not formed their delegation for negotiations, Trajkovic explained that it is very difficult to bring together Leader of the Democratic party of Kosovo (DPK) Hashim Thaci and the Kosovo President Ibrahim Rugova, and "obviously without either of them any agreement (with Belgrade) will not have relevance for Kosovo Albanians.

Rada Trajkovic said that incidents which have happened in Pritina in the last years are in fact consequence of the conflict between followers of Rugova and Thaci.

Conflicts are also "caused by the verdict to the former KLA leader for Podujevo Rrustem Mustafa and his group because witnesses in the court were Rugova's followers", said trajkovic

Conflict between supporters of Rugova and Thaci, said Rada Trajkovic, has been going on for a long time in Kosovo.

In the last two years hundereds of Albanians were killed and it is the high time for the international community to realize that even Albanians are not safe in this area, not to mention Serbs. That is why it is a great question whether a quarter of milion of displaced Serbs would be able to return to Kosovo and Metohija, added Rada Trajkovic.

She also said that the Serb delegation should make ready a declaration on Kosovo and Metohija, ratified by the Serbian Parliament, so that it would be able to represent state interests in the negotiations.


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PRISTINA UNIVERSITY REFUSED TO ACCEPT TWO SERB STUDENTS FOR A SUMMER CAMP - HUMAN RIGHTS COMMITTEE PROTESTS

On Wednesday, the kosovo.netmittee for human rights and freedoms has condemned the decision of the Pristina University to refuse the acceptance of two students of Serbian nationality from the Kosovska Mitrovica University in the Pristina University summer camp.

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BORBA daily, Belgrade
Pristina, February 8, 2003

On Wednesday, the kosovo.netmittee for human rights and freedoms has condemned the decision of the Prishtina University to refuse the acceptance of two students of Serbian nationality from the Kosovska Mitrovica University in the Prishtina University summer camp.
"Not going into the criteria for acceptance of students and with out any intentions of diminishing the work and the efforts of the Prishtina University, we believe that the summer camp in Prishtina should have accepted the two Serbian students from Kosovska Mitrovica, because this would be in the interest of the university and the students," stated that announcement of the committee.

The announcement also expresses concern for the discrimination towards the Serbian students and calls Kosovo institutions to get involved in implementing respect for the education rights of the minorities and their integration in to the Kosovo education system, as well as in preserving their national, cultural, and religious identity.

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ERP KIM Remark: Pristina University is still largely a monoethnic, Albanian institution. Out of 19.000 Serb students who studied at this University before the war there is not a single Serb student now. That was the reason why Kosovo Serb students and their professors requested opening of the Univerisity in Mitrovica where Serbs and other minority students would be able to continue their studies


KFOR: ATTACKS ON COURTS AND POLICE AIMED AGAINST US
KFOR spokesman Gary Bannister Green said on Tuesday that KFOR severely condemned the latest incidents in Prishtina. Each attack against the judiciary and police is aimed against the KFOR and international community.

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Radio Kosova, Pristina
July 22, 2003

Radio Kosova reports that the KFOR spokesman Gary Bannister Green said on Tuesday that KFOR severely condemned the latest incidents in Prishtina. Each attack against the judiciary and police is aimed against the KFOR and international community, assessed Gary Bannister Green. He expressed the decisiveness of the KFOR, together with the UNMIK police (CIVPOL) and Kosovo Police Service (KPC) , to continue the struggle against the criminal and extremist elements which, as he says, live in the past and want to hinder the progress made in Kosovo so far.

According to Gary Bannister Green, thanks to the activities of the international forces in Kosovo in the past four years, a lot of progress has been made in the sphere of security, but there are still people in the Kosovo society who do not want either progress or democracy or justice in the country. The KFOR is determined to eliminate those groups and appeals to the people of Kosovo to oppose those wrongdoers, said Gary Bannister Green.

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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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