May 31 - June 01, 2003

ERP KIM Newsletter 31-05-2003

INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO LEADS TO MONOETHNIC SOCIETY AND FURTHER CONFLICTS IN THE BALKANS WARNS SERB NATIONAL COUNCIL

CONTENTS:

SERBIA'S SUPPORT ESSENTIAL FOR SURVIVAL IN KOSOVO - SNC

SNC DIRECTIVES REGARDING THE FINAL STATUS OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

SNC STRONGLY PROTESTS INCLUDING NAMES OF SERB LEADERS ON THE BLACK LIST

POVRATAK COALITION DISAPPOINTED WITH SLOW RETURNS


Leadership of the Serb National Council at press conference in Belgrade Media Center, May 30, 2003
(from left to right: Dr. Marko Jaksic, Dr.  Rada Trajkovic, Bishop Artemije, Dr. Milan Ivanovic)

Beta News Agency, Belgrade
May 30, 2003

SERBIA'S SUPPORT ESSENTIAL FOR SURVIVAL IN KOSOVO

BELGRADE, May 30, 2003 (Beta) - Representatives of the Serb National Councils (SNC) of Kosovo and Metohija and of Northern Kosovo asked for support from the Serbian state for survival in the Province and urged Belgrade officials to act against Kosovo's slipping into independence.

Rada Trajkovic, an SNC officer and deputy in the Kosovo parliament, said at a press conference in Belgrade that Serbs must have the same rights as Albanians in the building of the future of the Province.

"In the event that the formation of an ethnically based state is allowed, the Serbs will demand the right to correct the borders everywhere according to the ethnic principle," said Trajkovic.

In her opinion, if the Albanians have the right to decide on the future of Kosovo by referendum, the Serbs in the federal union must also have the right to decide what kind of Kosovo they want by voting.

"A country and its leaders who readily renounce their own territory to achieve short-term integrational and economic goals have no credibility and are automatically reduced to semi-colonial status," said Trajkovic.

By way of analogy, she said that a ship can reach its destination more quickly by throwing all the passengers and luggage overboard.

Trajkovic warned that disintegrational processes may have consequences in other parts of Serbia and Montenegro as well, marginalizing the country regionally and globally.

"It would be inaccurate to say that such a Serbia and Montenegro could not join Europe but it would be more in the capacity of a semi-dependent region than of a real, independent state," emphasized Trajkovic.

At the same meeting, Milan Ivanovic, the president of the Serb National Council of Northern Kosovo, criticized the Belgrade government for UNMIK's intention to include one Albanian and one Bosniac on the advisory body for northern Mitrovica, in addition to six Serbs.

"Our officials from Belgrade have made an agreement that the Albanian and the Bosniac are not immediately included, but that they join the body, appointed by UNMIK chief Michael Steiner yesterday, at a later date.

"This is a tactic of verbal cosmetics. It is a rash tactic, in addition to which there is also an attempt to disqualify Serbs who think differently. This has happened too often to be a coincidence and generally appears when we are in disfavor with someone in the Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija," said Ivanovic.

He said that he had the impression that the Belgrade government was indoctrinating certain Serb political representatives from Kosovo in order to attack those with different opinions without specifically naming any politicians.

"We will name names in the near future," emphasized Ivanovic.

Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija told reporters that the persecution against Serbs and violence are continuing in Kosovo undiminished.

"It's as if we were returning to 1999 when the exodus of the Serbs occurred," said Bishop Artemije. He emphasized that attacks on Kosovo Serbs are especially apparent in Vitina area villages in Kosovsko Pomoravlje.

"The Serb people are astounded," said Bishop Artemije and called on Belgrade authorities to initiate processes in the international community to stop terror, warning that "Kosovo and Metohija soon may be monoethnic and lost."

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The text of the SNC directives distributed to the press at the press conference in Media Center, Belgrade

SNC DIRECTIVES REGARDING THE FINAL STATUS OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

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ERP KIM INFO-SERVICE
May 30, 2003


BASIC DIRECTIVES OF THE SERB NATIONAL COUNCIL OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA REGARDING THE FINAL STATUS OF KOSOVO AND METOHIJA

1. We support the multiethnic and democratic solution opposing the formation of an ethnically pure Albanian state of Kosovo and Metohija. In the event that the formation of such an ethnically based state is permitted, we demand the recognition of the right of all Serbs everywhere to alter borders according to ethnic principles.

2. The Albanians are seeking an ethnic and undemocratic solution based on the concept of ethnic cleansing and domination. This concept is inconsistent with the idea of European integration and the transcendence of ethnic problems within the framework of existing borders. Therefore, we suggest A CHANGE IN THE WAY OF THINKING, NOT A CHANGE OF BORDERS. This is the philosophy of the 21st century, whereas the prevalent Albanian philosophy belongs to the 19th century.

3. Serbia is the most multiethnic state in the Balkans, and the Serbian people removed Milosevic and his associates from power by their own will. The fact that Serbia preserved its multiethnicity even during the time of Milosevic suggests that today it has even greater credibility in ensuring that various ethnic communities can find a secure future within her borders.

4. If the Albanians demand a referendum on independence, we will demand a REFERENDUM to keep Kosovo and Metohija in Serbia-Montenegro, to be held throughout the territory of the state. This is our democratic right because Serbia and the Serbian people have legitimate interests here, and Kosovo and Metohija has never been an independent state.

5. A referendum where Kosovo Albanians would vote in favor of independence through sheer force of numbers is not and cannot be a just solution. Although modern European legislation recognizes the right to self-determination, it also recognizes the right to the territorial integrity of sovereign states. In the twentieth century there have been numerous examples of clashes between these two principles, although they are not necessarily contradictory nor mutually exclusive.

6. The right to self-determination does not necessarily mean secession. A national group does not have to be independent and in its own nation-state to control its own fate. If this was the case, Europe would look very different than it does today and there would be constant armed conflicts in one senseless and misguided attempt after another to create ethnically pure nation-states.

7. A country which readily and cheaply renounce a part of their territory to achieve short-term political and economic goals loses its credibility as a state and is automatically reduced to the level of a semi-colonial territory, which as such will never become a full-fledged member of the European Union. This concept can be likened to the logic according to which a passenger ship will reach its destination more quickly if the passengers and their baggage are promptly tossed into the ocean. Once the selling of land where Serbs have centuries-old historical rights and their most important cultural monuments begins, the disintegration process will gain momentum in other parts of the country, too, as everyone begins to grab as much as they can take or pay for. There is no need to mention that such a Serbia will disappear more easily into the proverbial melting pot and be marginalized, finally, as a political power in the Balkans. It would be inaccurate to say that such a Serbia and Montenegro could not join Europe but it would be more in the capacity of a semi-dependent region than of a real, independent state.

8. The position of Serbia should be KOSOVO CAN ONLY BE FORCEFULLY TAKEN FROM US BUT WE WILL NEVER GIVE IT UP. As long as Serbia has not officially renounced Kosovo and Metohija, there is always the hope that it will be restored to its formal constitutional and legal position. If it should be surrendered, God forbid, and renounced in writing, Serbia and the Serbian people will lose their moral and historical rights to this land for all time. PROPERTY DEEDS SHOULD BE KEPT BECAUSE HISTORY CHANGES.

9. We should not naively accept stories that anyone will guarantee the rights of Serbs if there are no Serb authorities here. Is the considerable presence of KFOR and UNMIK police not the best indicator of this? Every guarantee for Serbs in any agreement transferring Kosovo to the Albanians is not worth the paper on which it is printed.

AN INDEPENDENT KOSOVO MEANS AN ETHNICALLY PURE KOSOVO

10.The goal of the Albanians is not only the independence of Kosovo and Metohija and the creation of a little banana-republic but the affirmation of an independent Kosovo as the bastion of pan-Albanian national interests. IT IS NOT A GREATER ALBANIA THEY WANT TO CREATE BUT A GREATER KOSOVO WITH CAPITALS IN PRISTINA AND TETOVO.

11. An independent Kosovo means THE END OF MACEDONIA. If the Albanians in Kosovo and Metohija are granted the right to the ethnic definition of borders, sooner or later the same model will be applied in other so-called Albanian territories, in Macedonia and Montenegro, and perhaps even in Greece.

THE INDEPENDENCE OF KOSOVO IS THE ETHNIC SOLUTION OF THE PROBLEM AND COMPLETELY INCONSISTENT WITH CONCEPTS OF EUROPEAN INTEGRATION AND DEMOCRACY.

OUR GOAL IS PEACE AND THEREFORE WE EMPHASIZE: AN UNJUST SOLUTION IS CAUSE FOR FUTURE WARS.


Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija
May 30, 2003


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SNC STRONGLY PROTESTS INCLUDING NAMES OF DR. MARKO JAKSIC AND DR. MILAN IVANOVIC ON THE BLACK LIST OF PRESIDENT BUSH
This is nothing but a pressure against democratic will of the Serbian people and an attempt to silence alternative political voices in the Province - SNC

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Serbian National Council of Kosovo and Metohija
May 31, 2003

On May 28, 2003, President George W. Bush signed an Executive Order on the Balkans. The Order supersedes previous executive orders passed on in 1992, 1998, and 2001 and revises the list of names included on those orders.

Among over 150 names of persons and organizations indicted by the ICTY, material supporters of those indictees, persons promoting extra-legal institutions that obstruct the peace process in the Balkans, or persons providing material support to violence and obstructionism in the region are placed the names of two leaders of the Serbian National Council from North Mitrovica: Dr. Marko Jaksic and Dr. Milan Ivanovic.

Serb National Council strongly protests against this completely unjust decision because these two respectable Serb political leaders and physicians do not deserve to be treated as criminals and obstructionists. For the Serbian people of Kosovo and Metohija this decision is nothing but a pressure against democratic will of the Serbian people and an attempt to silence alternative political voices in the Province. The only sin of Marko Jaksic and Milan Ivanovic seems to be that they have constantly pointed out that it is UNMIK (under open support of some Governments) who systematically obstructs implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244 and not the Serbian side. After four years UNMIK has failed to implement basic provisions of the UNSC Resolution. The most important provisions which have not been fulfilled are the following:

1. Return of all refugees is not allowed. More than 200.000 Serbs remain in exile because UNMIK and Albanian leaders do not want them back. Return process has become a farce.
2. Kosovo Serbs are systematically denied basic human rights and are exposed to discrimination on all levels. Ethnic violence continues which makes Serbs continually leave the Province under terror of extremists and terrorists, which is more or less tolerated by UNMIK and KFOR.
3. Although Kosovo Province officially remains a part of Yugoslavia (now Serbia-Montenegro), Belgrade is not allowed to retain a single element of sovereignty on the territory of the Province.
4. Serb security personnel which according to the 1244 Resolution was supposed to be deployed around cultural sites and on the border passes is not welcome by UNMIK in Kosovo and Metohija. A legitimate right of Serbian police and army to be allowed deployment on the part of its sovereign territory,  at least in Serb areas, is denied. Serbs who insist on realization of this provision are branded as nationalists and extremists.
5. Instead of building multiethnic society UNMIK is creating a monoethnic Albanian state, monoethnic institutions, monoethnic army and standards tailored only for ethnic Albanians. UNMIK's policy of so called multiethnicity and institutional building is nothing but a smoke screen behind which is the bleak reality of oppressive society without rule of law and order.

Without any doubt the decision of the US Government to punish Serb leaders from North Kosovo just for speaking truth was taken on the suggestion of UNMIK and some Western diplomats in Pristina, which actively work on marginalization of the Serb National Council only because its agenda does not fit into their plans to force Kosovo Serbs live in an independent ethnic Albanian state of Kosovo.

At the same time on the Black Lists are not the names of major Kosovo Albanian criminals who occupy the leading political positions in the Province despite substantial proofs of their criminal behavior during and after the war. For the SNC this is nothing but an open support of Albanian extremism and their encouragement to pursue the policy of ethnic cleansing and violence. Why are two Serbian physicians who have not hurt anyone more dangerous for the U.S.  from KLA murderers who are proclaimed overnight "democratic political leaders"?

Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija strongly appeals on the US Government to revise the so called Black List and allow normal expression of democratic will to the Serb people of Kosovo and Metohija. Pressures of this kind will not make Serb people more cooperative but will only radicalize them more.

Serb National Council remains fully committed to the implementation of the UN SC Resolution 1244 and will continue with strong opposition to obstructionist policy of Michael Steiner and some international offices in Pristina which openly support establishment of a monoethnic Albanian state in Kosovo, systematically denying legitimate rights of Serb population.

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OLIVER IVANOVIC: POVRATAK COALITION DISAPPOINTED BY SLOW RETURNS

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BETA
Belgrade
, May 30,  2003

Representatives of the Serb Coalition POVRATAK in the Kosovo Parliament said on Friday to the chiefs of US, British, German, French and Italian offices in Pristina that they are deeply disappointed with the present dynamics of the return of displaced and expelled Serbs. "We said to the diplomats of the Quint that the pompously announced action of returns in this year has not given expected results. We have expressed our concern that there would be probably no return at all", said to BETA the member of the Kosovo Parliament Presidency Oliver Ivanovic.

He said that POVRATAK Coalition requested from the foreign diplomats stronger support of the Serb returns and asked them to relate Serb concerns to the Governments of their countries. Ivanovic said to BETA that from his personal experience he knows "that frequent changes of heads of Commissions and Working Groups for the returns are a good trick, because with every new officials in duty we always start from the beginning".

"We have also asked the chiefs of the offices to warn Kosovo Albanian community and their leaders that with their present position towards returns they cannot build multiethnic society and that instead of verbal statements they should speak more openly and take steps against all those who obstruct the process of returns", said Ivanovic.

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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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