26 July, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 26-07-03

FINLAND'S HARRI HOLKERY NAMED UN GOVERNOR IN KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

CONTENTS:

FINLAND'S HARRI HOLKERY NAMED UN GOVERNOR IN KOSOVO
UN POLICE HOLD TWO SUSPECTS IN DEADLY KOSOVO BLAST
RADA TRAJKOVIC: SNC MOST RELEVANT FORCE AMONG KOSOVO SERBS
SERB FROM KOSOVO POLJE BEATEN BY K/ALBANIAN POLICE OFFICERS
MACEDONIA: BOMB EXPLOSION OUTSIDE THE HOUSE IN DOBROSTE, TETOVO
SERBIAN MINISTRY OF RELIGIONS PROTESTS TO MACEDONIAN EMBASSY


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PHOTO: Harri Holkery, new SRSG


FINLAND'S HARRI HOLKERY NAMED UN GOVERNOR IN KOSOVO

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REUTERS
Fri July 25, 2003 02:38 PM ET


NEW YORK -- Friday – The UN has announced that Harri Holkeri, former Finnish Prime Minister and one-time president of the UN General Assembly, has today been appointed as the new chief of UNMIK.

The decision to appoint Holkeri, who has no experience in the Balkans, was made by UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan after interviewing around a dozen candidates amid squabbles between the United States and the European Union, which finances most of the operation.

Holkeri is to replace German Michael Steiner as the head of UNMIK after Steiner resigned on 8 July after 18 months in the job. Steiner is now his country's ambassador to the United Nations in Geneva.

Annan, after writing of his choice to the UN Security Council, said he expected Holkeri to be in Kosovo within a month.

"The operations and our activities there have reached a critical stage and to have a man of this experience, his calibre and his judgment in Kosovo are going to be a great asset to this organisation and to the international community," Annan told Reuters.

As the new governor of Kosovo, Holkeri faces the sensitive task of supervising the commencement of negotiations between Pristina and Belgrade on the final status of the province.

The European Union had put forth several names, beginning with Sweden's UN ambassador, Pierre Schori, and Italy's roving ambassador, Antonio Armellini. The United States campaigned against Schori because he criticized the invasion of Iraq and the United Nations rejected Armellini as lacking political weight.

Holkeri, who participated in the Northern Ireland peace process, was president of the 191-nation General Assembly in 2000-2001, presiding over its Millennium session.

He and retired Canadian Gen. John de Chastelain joined former US Senator George Mitchell to help resolve problems in the Northern Ireland peace process from 1995 to 1998.

Holkeri served from 1978 to 1997 on the board of the Bank of Finland and has been a board member of a number of other companies and organizations, including Finland's national airline Finnair.

He is president of the Finnish National Commission for the UN's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO. Holkeri is a married father of two and the grandfather of six.

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HARRI HOLKERI - SKILLED MEDIATOR AND CONCENSUS BUILDER

PHOTO: Harri Holkery, new SRSG

Harri Holkeri (25726 bytes)Mr. Harri Holkeri, the former President of the fifty-fifth session of the United Nations General Assembly —the Millennium Assembly 2000-2001, brings to the post of Special Representative of the UN Secretary General a wealth of political experience, as well as a reputation as a skilled mediator and consensus builder. He was Finland's Prime Minister from 1987 to 1991, and for over four decades has served his country and the international community in several political and economic posts.

The most renowned and prestigious conservative political figure in Finland over the last few decades, he served as Secretary of the National Coalition Party from 1965 to 1971 and as Party Leader from 1971 to 1979. From 1970 to 1978, he was a Member of the Parliament. He also served as a Member of the Board of Governors of the Bank of Finland (central bank) from 1978 to 1997. As Prime Minister, he headed a coalition formed by his party and the Social Democrats.

Mr. Holkeri played a key role in developing the social consensus that led to the creation of the coalition government in power from 1987 to 1991, and of which he was Prime Minister. That government was based on cooperation between the Conservative and the Social Democratic parties—a cooperation that extended to international affairs as well. His political philosophy—"You cannot make easy decisions unless you first commit yourself to hard solutions"—has guided his political life.

His skills as a mediator and coalition builder have played an important role in Finland's foreign relations. After the Second World War, Finland, situated on the border between the East and the West, needed a workable and trustful relationship with both the West and its eastern neighbours and the former Soviet Union. The country's decision to pursue a policy of military non-alignment and cooperation needed internal popular support, as well as international acceptance. But the difficulties faced in normalizing relations with the East were compounded by distrust of the Finnish Right, both inside and outside the country. During Mr. Holkeri's term as the Party Leader in the 1970s, Finnish Conservatives explicitly pledged to support the national consensus foreign policy. This contributed to the restoration of national harmony, helped to form broadly based governmental coalitions and led to expanding international cooperation.

Mr. Holkeri has been a friend of three Presidents of Finland—Mr. Urho Kekkonen, Mr. Mauno Koivisto and Mr. Martti Ahtisaari—all of whom used him as their contact person in their relations with the political right. He was a presidential candidate twice, in 1982 and 1988. Both times he ran against Dr. Koivisto, with whom he had worked at the Bank of Finland and with whom he had a close and personal relationship. In 1987, President Koivisto appointed Mr. Holkeri Prime Minister.

Mr. Holkeri has also been active at the international level. He was a member of the Finnish delegation to the United Nations General Assembly from 1963 to 1965. During his career as a Member of Parliament he held various international positions, including as a member of the Nordic Council from 1975 to 1978, Vice-President of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) Parliamentarians from 1974 to 1975, and their President in 1976.

From 1995 to 1998, Mr. Holkeri was a member of The International Body—a group set up by the Governments of the United Kingdom and Ireland—on the issue of the decommissioning of illegal weapons in Northern Ireland. He was one of the three independent chairmen of the multi-party peace negotiations, where his skills as a consensus builder contributed greatly to furthering the peace process.

In 1999, Mr. Holkeri received an honorary British knighthood, Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire, for his achievements in the Northern Ireland peace process. A year earlier, President Ahtisaari had accorded him a Finnish honorary title, valtioneuvos, for his national and international merits.

Mr. Holkeri was Chair of the Helsinki City Council from 1981 to 1987. He is currently the Chairman of the Board of Finnair, Finland's national airline, and sits on the boards of various Finnish industries and organizations.

Mr. Holkeri was born on 6 January 1937. His upbringing in the small rural city of Toijala, where his father was a police officer, formed the basis of his personal values, which are centred on the family, love of one's neighbour and love for and loyalty to one's own country. He has a Master of Political Science degree from the University of Helsinki. His military rank is major in the reserve.

He is very interested in sports, particularly long-distance cross-country skiing and running. He has taken part in several marathons, including the New York City Marathon. Golf has lately become one of his favourite sports.

Mr. Holkeri is married, and has two children and six grandchildren.


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UN POLICE HOLD TWO SUSPECTS IN DEADLY KOSOVO BLAST

U.N. police stepped up security after violence in the provincial capital, Pristina, last weekend, in which a rocket-propelled grenade slammed into a courthouse and a blast damaged a police car in near simultaneous attacks. Local media speculated that that attack was linked to the first war crimes conviction of former Kosovo Albanian rebels.

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REUTERS ALERTNET

25 Jul 2003 14:23:28 GMT


KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Serbia and Montenegro, July 25 (Reuters) - United Nations police in Kosovo said on Friday they had arrested two suspects in connection with a grenade attack that killed one civilian and injured five others near their headquarters in the flashpoint town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

But they said the target for the attack on Thursday evening, in which two hand grenades were thrown in front of the building in a busy area, was probably not the U.N. police station, as officials initially indicated.

Locals said the man who died was a 32-year-old out walking with his wife and children, apparently hit by accident. Of those hurt, two were seriously injured and remained in hospital.

Kosovo was placed under U.N.-led administration in June 1999 after NATO's bombing campaign to end Serbian repression of Kosovo's Albanian majority. International officials are struggling to establish the rule of law in the province.

Regional police chief Barry Pollin said the assailants had been targeting an individual who escaped unhurt, but he did not identify the person. He described it as a criminal attack.

"This individual wasn't a police officer," he told reporters in the ethnically divided town, which has seen some of Kosovo's worst violence since the United Nations took control of the province four years ago.

Four U.N. police vehicles were damaged in the blasts, which occurred in Mitrovica's predominantly Albanian southern part.

"The preliminary investigation indicates that the UNMIK (U.N. Mission in
Kosovo) police HQ building was not the target," Pollin said.

U.N. police stepped up security after violence in the provincial capital, Pristina, last weekend, in which a rocket-propelled grenade slammed into a courthouse and a blast damaged a police car in near simultaneous attacks.

Local media speculated that that attack was linked to the first war crimes conviction of former Kosovo Albanian rebels.


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RADA TRAJKOVIC: SERB NATIONAL COUNCIL MOST RELEVANT FORCE AMONG KOSOVO SERBS

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KIM RADIO
July 24, 2003

24 Jul (KIM Radio) – On Wednesday, envoy of coalition Povratak, Rada Trajkovic was a guest on radio KIM and she talked about clashes within the Serbian coalition. Answering the question did the political coalition turn from its principals which were expressed with oath in Pec Patriarch, Trajkovic said that Serbian National Council is the most relevant force of the Serbian people in Kosovo and Metohija."

SNV is the most relevant force of the Serbian people in this area regarding the special moment of our unification with SNV from north Kosovo and Metohija. Reasons for the clashes is because coalition "Povratak" had people who protected principals of SNV, but I don't see reasons why we had to be against something that is politic and strategy of the National Council, said Rada Trajkovic. Trajkovic also stated that someone from Belgrade could to negotiate for Kosovo and Metohija if there are three items achieved.

"First, that Belgrade comes to a wide consensus regarding what Belgrade wants in Kosovo and Metohija. Second, it is very important the person elected in Belgrade has to have good contacts with the Serbs and also with the Serbian leaders from Kosovo and Metohija, and third Rugova needs to have political power regarding forces that he has between majority Albanian community, and on the other side is Thaci who has a power that comes from control of extreme, paramilitary, militant, terrorist groups which are connected with him", said at the and Rada Trajkovic.

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SERB FROM KOSOVO POLJE BEATEN BY ALBANIAN POLICE OFFICERS
ERP KIM info service subarticle

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KIM RADIO
Kosovo Polje, July 23, 2003

On Wednesday, 24 year old Nenad Obradovic was brutally beaten by Albanian KPS (Kosovo Police Service) in front of his house in Kosovo Polje.|

"While pulling out his car onto the street Nenad noticed that some Kosovo police officers were running thru our yard while chasing after two unidentified persons. He then stopped the car in order to see what is going on. When he got out of the car he was attacked by Albanian police officers that first tied him and then started kicking him in the head," stated Zorica Obradovic, the sister of Nenad Obradovic. Nenad's mother and some neighbors also witnessed the incident. Nenad received a concussion, and was moved to the Kosovo Polje hospital where he is recuperating from the injuries sustained.

KPS headquarters in Prishtina told KIM radio that they have not been informed of this incident.


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MACEDONIA: BOMB EXPLOSION OUTSIDE HOUSE IN DOBROSTE NEAR TETOVO

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MAKFAX

Skopje 7/24/03 12:22:03 PM

Bomb went off late Wednesday just outside the house owned by Kotevski family, in Tetovo's nearby village of Dobroste.

No injuries or material damage have been reported as the bomb went off in the garden behind the house.

Police sources say five members of Kotevski's family were inside the house at the time of explosion. Based on initial findings of the investigation, the explosive device was deliberately hurled by unidentified assailant.

Blagoja Kotevski said his family had good relations with the local residents both of Macedonian and Albanian nationality. He had no idea why the bomb was hurled in his garden and who might be the perpetrator.
Kotevski added that automatic weapons fire was heard before the explosion.

The village of Dobroste is populated with Macedonian and Albanian nationals. The 2001 conflict in Macedonia had neither affected the peaceful coexistence among Dobroste residents nor mounted inter-ethnic tensions in this village. /end/

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SERBIAN MINISTRY OF RELIGIONS PROTEST TO MACEDONIAN EMBASSY IN BELGRADE
 

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Republic of Serbia
Ministry of Religions

July 25, 2003


Public communiqué


The Ministry of Religions of the Republic of Serbia sent a note to the Embassy of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in Belgrade expressing its sharpest protest against the unfounded detention and prevention of all contact with His Eminence the Metropolitan of Veles and Povardarje Kyr Jovan, the Exarch of the Serbian Patriarch for the Archdiocese of Ohrid.

The protest also pertains to barring entry into Macedonia of clerics and monastics, including several bishops, of the Serbian Orthodox Church, or alternately, demanding that they remove clerical robes and other characteristic insignia, despite the fact that these persons are in possession of valid documents and meet all requirements for unobstructed continuation of their travels across Macedonian territory.

His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan has done nothing to warrant any sort of sanctions against him. Furthermore, the actions of Macedonian state officials represent a continuation of the persecution churches and religious communities were subjected to under Communism.

Such actions on the part of Macedonian state officials, which have lasted for several years and intensified in the last few weeks, represent acts of discrimination and deep humiliation and endangerment of the integrity of the Bishop, priests and congregations. It reflects the general stance of the Macedonian state lending support to the canonically unrecognized "Macedonian Orthodox Church." Such support is contrary to generally accepted standards in international relations prohibiting the intervention of states in religious and organizational issues of churches and religious communities. As well, support is being carried out in a manner that violates the basic human rights of members of a specific church organization, in this case, the Serbian Orthodox Church. Taking into account the historical role of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the preservation of the statehood of the Republic of Serbia, as well as the fact that it represents the majority of the citizens of Serbia, the above actions are inconducive to cooperation, as well as to friendly and good-neighborly relations of the two countries.

The Ministry of Religions has asked the Macedonian Government to immediately stop all discriminatory acts toward church dignitaries, clerics and monastics, and believers of the Serbian Orthodox Church; to order an investigation into the discriminatory acts perpetrated so far and determine the responsibility of persons who carried out those acts; and to immediately provide for the immediate release of His Eminence Metropolitan Jovan from custody.

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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.
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