August 25, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 25-08-03



Protest march along the main Belgrade streets

Thousands of people pay tribute to Gorazdevac victims

B92, Belgrade
August 25, 2003

BELGRADE -- Monday - Several thousand people assembled last night in central Belgrade to pay last tribute to the two Serb teenagers recently killed in the Kosovo village of Gorazdevac.

People from a number of Serbian cities lit candles for the victims and expressed hope that crimes such as that in Gorazdevac would not be repeated.

Aleksandar Milovanovic, executive director of the Democratic Youth Association of Kosovo that organised the rally, said that the death of teenagers Pantelija Dakic and Ivan Jovovic proves that Kosovo Serbs live and die in fear.

"We are asking for the right to live, because a Serbia in which children get killed cannot be a country with a future”, said Milovanovic.

He said it was time that the international community started applying in Kosovo the same human rights standards that are applied in all other European countries.

The organisers announced peaceful protests in front of embassies if the killers are not caught in the near future.


Commemoration services were held in churches around Serbia

Several hundred expelled Kosovo Serbs protest in Belgrade against terrorist attack in Gorazdevac


August 25, 2003

By Jelena Tasic

Belgrade - At the protest held on Saturday in Republic Square in Belgrade against the terrorist attack in Gorazdevac on August 13 in which two Serb children were killed and four other Serb children seriously wounded, several hundred citizens, primarily expelled Kosovo Serbs, requested from the international community that "the murderers are brought to justice, terrorist leaders and their associates arrested and immediately extradited to the Hague, and Serbs enabled to return to Kosovo and Metohija."

The Serbia and Montenegro government was asked for "more intensive activity in resolving the Kosovo problem as national issue number one, the unity of all relevant political forces, and the ratification of the Declaration on Kosovo and Metohija."

The protest procession passed through the center of the city from Republic Square to the small church of St. Sava in Vracar, where the priests of the church and all priests from Kosovo and Metohija presently serving in Belgrade served a commemoration service(parastos) for Pantelija Dakic and Ivan Jovovic, the murdered boys from Gorazdevac, and Dragan Tonic from Skulenovo. Gorazdevac residents who on Saturday wished to attend the protest in Belgrade, it was said at the gathering, were not permitted by international forces to leave the Metohija village near Pec.

"Bearing the cross has been our fate since Good Friday. But we Christians believe in both Good Friday and in Easter (the Resurrection). We believe in the victory of good over evil. All those who stayed in Gorazdevac, Velika Hoca and other locations in Kosovo and Metohija have chosen the Eternal Kingdom, the Holy Prince Lazar's Kingdom, believing in ultimate divine justice and the triumph of good over evil. May God receive the souls of Ivan, Pantelija, Dragan and all who perished in Kosovo and Metohija, and may He give us the strength to prevail on the path of good," said Fr. Trajan Kojic in his homily following the service.

According to the public statement of the Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the parastos in the small church of St. Sava in Vracar was also attended by Nebojsa Covic, the head of the Joint Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija. Although originally scheduled to be held in St. Sava's Cathedral, the venue was changed to the small church of St. Sava, too small to receive the almost one thousand people who filled the churchyard in the withering Belgrade heat.

"Thaci to The Hague," "Murderers, murderers," "Why are you silent, Serbia?" "Let's go to Kosovo" echoed through the streets of downtown Belgrade as the protest procession made its way to Terazije, where it stopped in front of the Serbian parliament building to leave pictures of Pantelija Dakic and Ivan Jovovic, as well as in front of the Serbian government building and Slavija Square. Carried at the head of the procession were pictures of the murdered boys wrapped in black bands of mourning, and Serbian flags.

The protest gathering in Republic Square began with a minute of silence and the signing of the book of condolences next to the message "It is a sin to remain silent." Among those present was Gojko Savic, a Serb member of the presidency of the provisional Kosovo parliament. Milijanko Portic, a native of Gorazdevac presently living in Belgrade, emphasized that "August 13 is to Gorazdevac what September 11, 2001 is to New York" and asked the international community "How many Serb children must die before the world feels any sense of shame and calls what is happening in Kosovo and Metohija by its rightful name?"

"The lives of the boys killed in Gorazdevac are deeds for the Serbs to remain in Kosovo and Metohija but also for us to return there so that their sacrifice is not in vain. Shots fired at our children are shots fired at our return but that return depends on us alone. We will return to our homes. If we give up the Pec Patriarchate, we will cease to exist as a nation," said Vojislav Stijovic of the League of Kosovo and Metohija Associations, who organized the protest in Republic Square. His speech was accompanied by shouts of "Home, home."

Simo Spasic of the Association of Families of Killed, Missing and Kidnapped Persons in Kosovo and Metohija told politicians that "they will have to give an accounting before the people, who will enter the parliament if necessary." He emphasized that Kosovo Serbs "will never recognize a Kosovo government consisting of those who killed soldiers, policemen and innocent civilians."

The Democratic Youth Association of Kosovo and Metohija announced the lighting of candles yesterday afternoon in Republic Square in memory of those killed in Gorazdevac.

Protesters in Belgrade

Commemoration service (Panychida) and protest

Nis - In the churchyard of the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral in the city of Nis a protest meeting of Nis citizens was held yesterday at 11.55 against the most recent events in Kosovo and Metohija. The Rt. Rev Bishop Irinej of Nis served a commemoration service for all Serb victims in Kosovo and Metohija, as well as the murdered boys from Gorazdevac.

At the protest meeting, organized by the Movement to Protect the Rights of the Expelled and Return to Kosovo and Metohija, the international community was asked to ensure security, peace, respect for human rights, the right to life and freedom of movement for the non-Albanian population, too.

"We ask that the victims in Gorazdevac be the last and that those who committed this act of terrorism be brought to justice," said Nada Nikolic, journalist from Pristina and member of the Movement. The protest and commemoration service was also attended by Serbian ministers Dr. Dragan Domazet and Branislav Lecic, and local government officials. Among those who lit candles for the repose of the souls of the murdered boys were Zdravko Sotra, director of the movie "Pljacka Treceg rajha" (The Looting of the Third Reich) and actress Sloboda Micalovic. (Tanjug)



Most of the demonstrators wore yellow, grey and navy shirts with several messages:

 "We are Europe - You are Serbia," "KLA+KPC+LAPBM=Terror," "Thaci+Haradinaj+Cheku+Selimi=Hague," "VJ+MUP=IN, KFOR+UNMIK=OUT." * Protestors also carried signs reading "Children are the joy of the world but ours are targets for terrorists. Why?" "August 13, 2003. Why did they kill them? Gorazdevac" "Who is protecting the terrorists" "Daddy, what is freedom?"

* KLA - Kosovo Liberation Army, KPC - Kosovo Protection Corps, LAPBM - Liberation Army of Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja, VJ - former Yugoslav Army, now Serbia and Montenegro Army, MUP - Serbian police, members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs


Serb children of Gorazdevac who witnessed attack of
Albanian terrorists at Bistrica river live under constant depression


August 25, 2003

Prof. Dr. Novica Petrovic visited Gorazdevac village and interviewed the children who were at the Bistrica river bank when two young Serbs were killed. In his statement for the KIM Radio Dr. Petrovic said that both the children and other villagers are frustrated. They are overwhelmed by anxiety, psychological and physical fatigue which is followed by acute symptoms of depression. Prof. Pertrovic emphasised that the children can have serious traumas in future. They constantly see in fron of their eyes the immage of the carnage and experience a conflict with their consciousness. Which is the worst, the children try to compensate their fear and when asked if they were afraid they unanimously stated that they would not stay to live there. It is a terrible mistake that these children were left to themselves and that there are no rehabilitation programs which might help them to overcome their anxiety. If this continues, Dr. Petrovic fears that the children might loose the feeling of their own value, self-respect and self-assurednes. We need an urgent action, said Dr. Petrovic who has made a special report on this issue for the Coordination Center for Kosovo and Metohija.

Thousands of candles were lit for the children of Gorazdevac
and peace in volatile province of Kosovo-Metohija

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