December 05, 2003

ERP KiM Newsletter 05-12-03

KOSOVO SERBS CONCERNED BY NEW STANDARDS IMPLEMENTATION PLAN

CONTENTS:

Latest draft version of plan for implementation of standards ultimately leads to secession of Kosovo and Metohija

If the latest version of Grossman's plan is compared with the text of Resolution 1244 it becomes completely obvious that this another attempt to carry out a revision and selective implementation of Resolution 1244, which can be revised or repealed only by the UN Security Council, the ERP KIM and the SNC KIM said in a statement.

Return Coalition dissatisfied with proposed vision of standards (BETA)
Objections from the Serb side to the proposed plan for achievement of standards "are related to the lack of sufficient guarantees for the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and Montenegro in Kosovo and Metohija". "The proposed standards are insufficiently clear and impossible to accurately measure. The proposal offers the possibility of different interpretations of achievements of standards," said Oliver Ivanovic on behalf of the Return Coalition.c



Exclusive interview of Fr. Sava Janjic to the Belgrade daily DANAS (Today) - An Introduction to the revision of the UN Security Council Resolution 1244

"Autonomy can exist only in relation to a broader entity, not as an independent whole or an artificial para-state, which is in fact what UNMIK has created in Kosovo and Metohija in the past five years. Accepting the draft plan for implementation of standards without this essential provision of Resolution 1244, as a result of which Slobodan Milosevic agreed to an end of the conflict with NATO, prejudices the final status of the Province, which is contrary to the UN Security Council document. Through the gradual transfer of competencies from UNMIK to provisional Kosovo institutions (PISG) without any ties with appropriate Serbian institutions the survival of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia and Montenegro is becoming an abstraction, and with the increasing passage of time a practical impossibility."

The text in Serbian is available at the DANAS daily site:
 http://www.danas.co.yu/20031205/terazije1.html#0


UNMIK concerned after threats to personnel in Mitrovica
UNMIK conveyed its concern to local authorities in the southern, Albanian-inhabited part of Kosovska Mitrovica today due to the hoisting of the flag of the Republic of Albania on the municipal building, the exclusion of UNMIK officials from local government and threats of physical liquidation of international personnel. Bastagli emphasizes that assembly members, using "extremely strong language directed against an individual member of UNMIK, went so far as to threaten him". "One member of the assembly went so far as to allude to beheading the [UN] official," reported Bastagli.

Comment by the SNC: If the Incident in South Mitrovica happened in Bosnia the entire municipal board would have been dismissed.

Safety Deteriorates in Kosovo, Politika daily
The safety situation in Kosovo and Metohija is deteriorating. Bomb attacks on the Serbs in Cernica near Glina, physical assaults on the Serbs in north part of Mitrovica as well as the yesterday_s bomb planted in the part between the Technical school and the student dormitory in the center of the town, are the best indicators that the terrorism is in Kosovo and Metohija and security deteriorating.

TMK Members Accused Also of White Slavery and Smuggling, Epoka e re (Albanian)
UNMIK administration made it known that the suspension of the 12 TMK members came after an investigations of the events that happened on April near Zvecan. But according to the UNMIK spokesman they are also accused of involvement in trafficking people and illegal trade.

INET: News from Kosovo and Metohija, 3-4 December 2003

More News Available on our:

Kosovo Daily News list (KDN)
KDN Archive

This newsletter is available on our ERP KIM Web-site:
http://www.kosovo.net/erpkiminfo.html


Latest draft version of plan for implementation of standards ultimately leads to secession of Kosovo and Metohija

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, December 5, 2003

ERP KIM and SNC KIM Press Release

The latest draft version of the Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan (KSIP), which was recently brought to Belgrade and Pristina by U.S. Undersecretary of State Mr. Grossman and is scheduled to be approved in its final version by the Contact Group on December 10, despite a series of positive elements whose goal is the improvement of living conditions for all citizens of the Province, especially the Serbs, basically does not include essential provisions foreseen by UN Security Council Resolution 1244 for the resolution of the final status of the Province and leads to the ultimate secession of Kosovo and Metohija from Serbia.

If the latest version of Grossman's plan is compared with the text of Resolution 1244 it becomes completely obvious that this another attempt to carry out a revision and selective implementation of Resolution 1244, which can be revised or repealed only by the UN Security Council.

Resolution 1244 emphasizes in two places that the goal of the UN mission in Kosovo and Metohija is "the establishment of the substantial autonomy of Kosovo within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia" (i.e., Serbia and Montenegro), and the return "of Serbian and Yugoslav personnel" with clear tasks and mandates, as a precondition for any further discussion on the resolution of final status.

The first revision of these provisions was carried out with the adoption of the Constitutional Framework for Kosovo, which initiated the process of transfer of powers from UNMIK to provisional Kosovo institutions without any institutional ties with the Serbian mother state. The introduction of different vehicle registration plates without the agreement of Belgrade, the tolerance of the use of the flag of the Republic of Albania in public places (even in official institutions), the discontinuation of effective control of the borders with the Republic of Albania and FYR Macedonia, as well as the comprehensive process of the Albanization of the southern Serbian province along with the continuation of ethnic terror and persecution are just some of the direct consequences of UNMIK's activities, directed not toward the building of "substantial autonomy of Kosovo within Serbia and Montenegro" but de facto enabling the building of parastate institutions. Just as Serbia was formerly bombed without the approval of the Security Council, once again we see an attempt to circumvent the highest UN body and create a strategy for the secession of Kosovo and Metohija by 2005. In addition, Grossman's plan does not include clear principles for decentralization of Kosovo and Metohija, which was one of the preconditions for Serbian participation in elections for provisional institutions in the Province.

If this fundamentally illegal process continues with the rapid transfer of powers from UNMIK to provisional Kosovo institutions without the institutional integration of Kosovo and Metohija as an autonomous region within Serbia and Montenegro, there will be only one option on the negotiating table - the independence of Kosovo. Viewed in this light, Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan is only one of the steps toward the complete (de facto and de jure) institutional isolation of Kosovo and Metohija from Serbia and Montenegro. As such, if it is not revised prior to its acceptance by the representatives of the Contact Group to include proposals already prepared by the Serbian Government and the Return Coalition, it will represent an essential revision of UNSC Resolution 1244 and prejudice the final status of the Province.

REVIEW: 03.12.03:

After statement of UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri that Belgrade should accept responsibility for crimes committed in Kosovo and Metohija

Bishop Artemije: "No apology while they have a knife at our throat"

In a statement for Radio Deutsche Welle, Bishop Artemije said that Holkeri's idea is cynical. "I think it is a reflection of supreme cynicism when someone has a knife at their throat and is at the same time being asked to apologize to the criminal who is about to kill him," said Bishop Artemije. He emphasized that "this does not mean we are negating there were also crimes during the time of Milosevic; however, he emphasized that there were crimes "long before Milosevic by the Albanians against the Serbs". "After all, those who are responsible for eventual crimes against Albanians are in The Hague, while those who are responsible for crimes being committed today against Serbs, where are they? They are still free in Kosovo and Metohija," concluded Bishop Artemije in his statement for Deutsche Welle. 

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Return Coalition dissatisfied with proposed vision of standards

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BETA, Pristina, December 4, 2003

Representatives of the Return Coalition (Povratak) today conveyed their concern to UNMIK officials that the proposed concepts of the plan for achieving international standards in Kosovo in a sense invalidate UNSC Resolution 1244.

Kosovo parliamentary presidency member Oliver Ivanovic told Beta after a meeting with UNMIK chief special advisor for strategic planning Carney Ross (sp?) that objections from the Serb side to the proposed plan for achievement of standards "are related to the lack of sufficient guarantees for the preservation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Serbia and Montenegro in Kosovo and Metohija".
 
"The proposed standards are insufficiently clear and impossible to accurately measure. The proposal offers the possibility of different interpretations of achievements of standards," said Ivanovic. He added that Carney Ross promised to provide the Return Coalition with a new version of the plan for the achievement of standards in eight areas of institutional and public life in the Province soon.
 
UNMIK has announced that it will soon public the final plan for achievement of standards in Kosovo, which will first be approved by the Contact Group and the United Nations in New York.|
 

http://www.danas.co.yu/20031205/terazije1.html#0

An Introduction to the Revision of Security Council Resolution 1244

Father Sava (Janjic) on the draft plan for implementation of standards in Kosovo and Metohija

 

"Autonomy can exist only in relation to a broader entity, not as an independent whole or an artificial para-state, which is in fact what UNMIK has created in Kosovo and Metohija in the past five years. Accepting the draft plan for implementation of standards without this essential provision of Resolution 1244, as a result of which Slobodan Milosevic agreed to an end of the conflict with NATO, prejudices the final status of the Province, which is contrary to the UN Security Council document. Through the gradual transfer of competencies from UNMIK to provisional Kosovo institutions (PISG) without any ties with appropriate Serbian institutions the survival of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia and Montenegro is becoming an abstraction, and with the increasing passage of time a practical impossibility."

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(Fr.Sava: For Kosovo Albanians the clock stopped in June 1999 or perhaps even earlier, somewhere in the 19th century.)


Representatives of the Contact Group (the Quint) are expected to adopt the final text of the Kosovo implementation plan by December 10. A draft version of this document, which in eight points explains in detail what provisional Kosovo institutions are expected to do in order to "officially affirm the principle of 'standards before status'", was brought to Belgrade and Pristina in mid-November by Mark Grossman, the U.S. Undersecretary of State. Although Grossman's document talks in detail about the rule of law, freedom of movement, sustainable returns and minority rights, economic development, owners' rights, dialogue between Pristina and Belgrade and the Kosovo Protection Corps, Father Sava (Janjic), the deputy abbot of Visoki Decani Monastery, points out in an interview for "Danas" that the proposed plan does not foresee any institutional ties between Kosovo and Metohija, and Serbia and Montenegro, which according to his assessment could represent "a kind of revision of Security Council Resolution 1244" leading to "the secession of the southern Serbian province".

Issue of borders

"The substantial autonomy of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia is not an a priori solution of final status, as some Western diplomats claim, but the basic task of the UN Mission in order to create legitimate conditions for opening the process of resolving the final status. Of course, in accordance with the will of the people but not just in Kosovo and Metohija but throughout Serbia and Montenegro and based on the Helsinki Final Act of 1975, according to which the borders of sovereign states, especially members of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, OSCE and other international organizations, cannot be altered without its consent. Kosovo and Metohija have never in history been an independent state; hence it is impossible to talk about the establishment of some earlier existing country. Unless someone is planning to resurrect the Greater Albania crated in 1941 by Hitler and Mussolini," emphasizes Fr. Sava.
 


"What is immediately obvious in this document is that Belgrade and Serbia in this text are mentioned only in the context of negotiations initiated in Vienna, without any institutional ties with their southern province, which under temporary UN administration.

"Despite a series of positive elements, the implementation of which should ensure a less difficult life for the non-Albanian population. the proposed draft document leads more toward the secession of Kosovo and Metohija than it is based on the essential principles of SC Resolution 1244. Of especial concern is that the draft plan represents a kind of revision of Resolution 1244, even though certain factions in the West supporting the independence of Kosovo and Metohija cannot ultimately change it without the agreement of Moscow and Peking.

"Resolution 1244, the main document regulating the work of the UN Mission in Kosovo and Metohija, clearly states that it '[a]uthorizes the Secretary-General, with the assistance of relevant international organizations, to establish an international civil presence in Kosovo in order to provide an interim administration for Kosovo under which the people of Kosovo can enjoy substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and which will provide transitional administration while establishing and overseeing the development of provisional democratic self-governing institutions to ensure conditions for a peaceful and normal life for all inhabitants of Kosovo'.

"In the Constitutional Framework for provisional self-government in Kosovo, this point of the Resolution is omitted, although it is mentioned and repeated in its second Annex. In both places in Resolution 1244 there is mention of the establishment of substantial autonomy of Kosovo and Metohija within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, that is, Serbia and Montenegro, as the basic and main precondition for the resolution of the Kosovo crisis, and the final status of the Province. This presumes the existence of basic institutional ties between the mother state and its constitutive part, which is presently under the temporary administration of the UN Mission.

"Autonomy can exist only in relation to a broader entity, not as an independent whole or an artificial para-state, which is in fact what UNMIK has created in Kosovo and Metohija in the past five years. Accepting the draft plan for implementation of standards without this essential provision of Resolution 1244, as a result of which Slobodan Milosevic agreed to an end of the conflict with NATO, prejudices the final status of the Province, which is contrary to the UN Security Council document. Through the gradual transfer of competencies from UNMIK to provisional Kosovo institutions (PISG) without any ties with appropriate Serbian institutions the survival of Kosovo and Metohija within Serbia and Montenegro is becoming an abstraction, and with the increasing passage of time a practical impossibility."

Standards without decentralization

"The draft plan for the implementation of standards does not mention the issue of decentralization and Serbian self-government in areas where Serbs and other communities using the Serbian language represent the relative majority. This is a crucial element because the Kosovo Serbs at one time consented to take part in elections only after they were promised that a program of decentralization would be prepared. Kosovo and Metohija can be a substantial autonomy within Serbia but within that autonomy the Serbian community should be given the greatest possible degree of self-government and the possibility of stronger institutional ties with Serbian institutions, especially with respect to health, education and other sectors of vital significance. The decentralization process should also include the most important monasteries, which must be exempted from the jurisdiction of local municipal structures with an appropriate degree of extraterritoriality," believes Fr. Sava.


*In what way could Kosovo and Metohija establish institutional ties with Belgrade and, keeping in mind the present institutional vacuum within Serbia herself, to what degree does this government have authority to negotiate regarding the further fate of the Province?

At the beginning of the UN Mission, while the regime of Slobodan Milosevic was still in power in Belgrade, the provision regarding substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia was considered by Western diplomatic circles to be impossible to implement. Upon the departure of Milosevic UNMIK by inertia continued to address the issue in the same way and, to be quite honest, no one in Belgrade forcefully insisted on it, either. Nevertheless, I think that it is possible to find modalities for the integration of substantial autonomy in Kosovo and Metohija within the institutional framework of the Republic of Serbia. First and foremost, the Serbian Parliament should have places for representatives of her southern province; otherwise, every argument that Kosovo is a part of Serbia would be and remain a rhetorical figure for internal political use. Unfortunately, certain government officials in Belgrade not infrequently give irresponsible statements claiming that Kosovo is already lost and thus creating a false perception that the Serbian people is prepared to renounce a part of its territory. It is necessary to keep in mind that agreeing to the secession of Kosovo and Metohija would automatically initiate the process of the disintegration of Serbia. The Serbian Orthodox Church has expressed firm support for the principles of the Coordinating Center of Serbia and Montenegro, and Serbia for Kosovo and Metohija on the basis of which the Declaration and Resolution in the Serbian, and Serbia and Montenegro Parliaments were passed reaffirming Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part of the state's territory. The negotiating team that will take part in negotiations, regardless of its composition, is bound to act in accordance with the principles affirmed in these documents.

*How to you comment the fact that, with the exception of the standard regarding dialogue with Belgrade and 'the need for cooperation with all neighboring countries', there is no mention made of economic, cultural, communication, transportation or any other ties between Kosovo and Metohija, without which so-called technical and life issues cannot after all be resolved, and that Kosovo is being referred to the European Union, the Council of Europe and the United Nations?

Kosovo and Metohija in Grossman's document is already treated as a separate entity. It is simply inconceivable that economic, cultural and other issues can be resolved without, first of all, institutional ties. Kosovo and Metohija must first function as a substantial autonomy within Serbia in order to be able to resolve other issues. UNMIK should be the facilitator in this process, not the means of support for creating a para-state.

*Most Kosovo Serb political representatives consider the provision regarding the Kosovo Protection Corps to be especially controversial, which they would like to change in some way within the Constitutional Framework. How realistic is the demand for the disbandment of the KPC, which this draft program also refers to as "a peace and security component in Kosovo and in the region", even with a reduced number of members and defined rules of conduct?

UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri has just suspended 12 top members of that organization. If we look at the history of the KPC since its establishment in September 1999 to today, almost the entire leadership has been suspended, blacklisted by U.S. President Bush and the EU or imprisoned. The organization has been compromised and represents nothing but a smokescreen for the former Kosovo Liberation Army, which de facto is continuing its destructive activities. Ties been the KPC and the so-called Albanian National Army have also been established. It is absolutely absurd to expect arsonists to act as firefighters. The KPC, in the opinion of Kosovo Serbs, should be immediately disbanded and the process of demilitarization of the Province continued. The existence of an organization such as the KPC is not mentioned anywhere in Resolution 1244 but it surprisingly does figure in Grossman's plan.

On the other hand, the proposed draft plan for the implementation of standards in Kosovo does not mention the presence of "Yugoslav and Serbian personnel" clearly mentioned in Annex 2 of Resolution 1244, where it is noted that "[a]fter withdrawal, an agreed number of Yugoslav and Serbian personnel will be permitted to return to perform the following functions: Liaison with the international civil mission and the international security presence; Marking/clearing minefields; Maintaining a presence at Serb patrimonial sites; Maintaining a presence at key border crossings." This provision also has been completely ignored because it has been arbitrarily interpreted that "personnel" refers exclusively to military units. It is unrealistic to expect KFOR to permit the deployment of Serbia and Montenegro Army tank brigades and artillery around monasteries and border crossings, which would represent a danger not only to cultural monuments, which would become direct targets for terrorists, but also for the soldiers themselves. However, according to the provisions of Resolution 1244, it is completely legitimate to ask for the official opening of a provincial representative body of the Serbian Government in Pristina, which would be in constant coordination with appropriate structures of the UN Mission, OSCE... Thought could also be given to appointing Serbia and Montenegro Army liaison officers to the KFOR Main headquarters in Pristina, as well as to the command headquarters of the multinational brigades and local KFOR contingents protecting Serbian enclaves and patrimonial sites. Instead of holding "anonymous" meetings at administrative crossings, meetings would take place regularly in Kosovo and Metohija, and through these representatives problems directly relating to the Serbian community, its safety and the protection of cultural monuments of the Serbian people would be resolved. In this manner the activities already being implemented by the Coordinating Center would only expand on the ground and official representatives of our Government and the Serbia and Montenegro Army would be officially deployed in Kosovo and Metohija, a part of their sovereign territory.

*How does this draft guarantee conditions for the protection of the religious and cultural heritage of the Kosovo Serbs?

One of the problems is that this document speaks very little about the protection of our cultural heritage, which is practically placed under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture in the provisional Kosovo Government. For the Church, as the biggest owner of cultural property, this is unacceptable. We believe that thought should be given to the forming of protective zones at least around priority objects, as well as to more precise regulation of issues of protection and jurisdiction over our monuments. The Kosovo minister of culture Mr. Brajshori has never entered any of our churches. Placing our cultural heritage under the guardianship of UNMIK for a year or two means that it will end up under the jurisdiction of the Kosovo Ministry of Culture where there is not a single Serb and which lacks the credibility and professional expertise to concern itself with the issue of Serbian cultural heritage. A new Kosovo law on cultural property is currently being prepared without consultations with the Serbian Orthodox Church, which is unacceptable. Two versions of a draft of that law have been prepared and written exclusively by the Kosovo Albanians. Representatives of the Council of Europe who are overseeing the process have rejected both drafts and proposed a European concept that is now being debated. In any case, regardless of the final solution of the status of the Province, the Serbian cultural heritage must remain exclusively under the jurisdiction of appropriate Serbian institutions, first and foremost, of the Serbian Orthodox Church as the largest owner of cultural property and the Serbian Ministry of Culture. Otherwise, within a short period an Albanization of the Serbian cultural heritage will be carried out and our most important monasteries, most beautiful frescoes and icons will be presented to the world as some sort of "Kosovar" heritage that has nothing to do with Serbia and the Serbian people, who managed to preserve this heritage with great sacrifice during the course of five hundred years of Ottoman rule.

* How do the Kosovo Albanians reacts to the proposed document?

Reactions have been primarily negative because Albanian leaders want to impose the opposite principle of "status before standards", explaining that without full power and control in Kosovo and Metohija as an independent country they are unable to achieve the stated requests. This idea looks like an attempt to build a house from the roof down without walls and firm foundations and for now the international community is not accepting it. A second danger is that of a series of propaganda-symbolic activities creating the impression that standards are being met. Recently Mr. Rexhepi distributed keys to Serb returnees to the Istok region before RTK cameras, while at the same time pressure continues on the remaining Serbs and refugees are being prevented from returning to other parts of the Province, as we saw recently in Musutiste village near Suva Reka (when a bus with Serb returnees was stoned). This is more political marketing than honest intent because the essential goal of Kosovo Albanian leaders remains an independent Albanian Kosovo that would serve as a unifying nucleus for all the so-called Albanian territories in the Balkans.

*What do you think of UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri's call on Serbian officials to publicly apologize for what happened in Kosovo and Metohija in order to reduce tensions on the ground?

No one can deny that a sincere apology represents a universal moral act. However, the broader context of the situation in Serbia and her southern province poses the completely legitimate question whether the leaders of the Kosovo Albanians and the UNMIK leadership owe an apology to the Kosovo Serbs, Roma, Goranis, Bosniacs and others who have been suffering for more than four years under the administration of the UN Mission. Words must be supported by concrete acts. Atonement (metanoia) in Greek means a change in the manner of thinking and acting, not theatrical sorrow for a mistake that has been made. The current representatives of the Belgrade government, especially the highest representatives of the Serbian Orthodox Church, have on numerous occasions expressed their sincere regret for the suffering of innocent civilians in Kosovo and Metohija regardless of their nationality, and the monks and priests assisted the suffering of all nationalities. The opposition confirmed its disagreement with the policies of Slobodan Milosevic through action by bring about a change in the government and the building of a new democracy in Serbia, which is today the most multiethnic state in the Balkans.

While the war chiefs of the KLA, now the leading politicians in Pristina, organized or tolerated the murder and kidnapping of hundreds of Serbs, the destruction of churches and cemeteries, representatives of the opposition in Serbia, who are now in power, frantically fought to change the undemocratic regime and redirect the course of Serbia toward a brighter future. Some of them have been assassinated, imprisoned and beaten in the streets of Belgrade and other Serbian cities by Milosevic's police. No one can demand that they accept the political and moral responsibility for what they themselves did not do and to initiate a one-sides process of reconciliation with the former leaders of the KLA, who are still conducting an anti-Serb campaign in Kosovo and Metohija and are not prepared to admit any of their mistakes. Such a one-sided act would not only jeopardize the political position of the Belgrade government but would justify the continuation of ethnic terror in Kosovo and Metohija. Despite her problems, Serbia has entered the 21st century different than before, while in Kosovo and Metohija the clock stopped in June 1999 or perhaps even earlier, somewhere in the 19th century.

By J. Tasic

English translation by S. Ivanisevic

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UNMIK Concerned After Threates to Personnel in Mitrovica

UNMIK conveyed its concern to local authorities in the southern, Albanian-inhabited part of Kosovska Mitrovica today due to the hoisting of the flag of the Republic of Albania on the municipal building, the exclusion of UNMIK officials from local government and threats of physical liquidation of international personnel. Bastagli emphasizes that assembly members, using "extremely strong language directed against an individual member of UNMIK, went so far as to threaten him". "One member of the assembly went so far as to allude to beheading the [UN] official," reported Bastagli.

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Beta News Agency, Belgrade
December 4, 2003

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA - UNMIK conveyed its concern to local authorities in the southern, Albanian-inhabited part of Kosovska Mitrovica today due to the hoisting of the flag of the Republic of Albania on the municipal building, the exclusion of UNMIK officials from local government and threats of physical liquidation of international personnel.

In a letter addressed to local officials in southern Mitrovica Mursel Ibrahimi and Faruk Spahiju, UNMIK deputy chief Francesco Bastagli states that it is unacceptable to fly the Albanian flag on the municipal assembly building and that, in accordance with its powers, UNMIK has therefore decided to remove the flag, raised on November 28.

"The UN flag is the only flag that may be hoisted in the building or outside it. For the political viewpoint, the use of a symbol excluding non-Albanian communities is particularly damaging in a city like Mitrovica," says Bastagli in the letter. He adds that UNMIK expects Mitrovica officials to avoid activities that represent "a step backwards".

"UNMIK is particularly concerned" because one of its employees has been proclaimed "persona non grata" by the Mitrovica municipal assembly.

"It is not within the power of the municipal assembly to undertake such a measure nor is it acceptable for the assembly to incite [acts] against a UN official in a manner that compromises his personal safety," Bastagli goes on to state in the letter, a copy of which was also provided to Beta News Agency.

Bastagli emphasizes that assembly members, using "extremely strong language directed against an individual member of UNMIK, went so far as to threaten him".

"One member of the assembly went so far as to allude to beheading the [UN] official," reported Bastagli. He informed local officials in southern Mitrovica that "freedom of speech does not include hate speech and is especially unacceptable in a public forum such as a municipal assembly session."

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commentary

SNC KIM: If the incident in South Mitrovica happened in Bosnia the entire municipal board would be immediately dismissed

Serb National Concil openly protests against usage of the flag of Republic of Albania on the territory of Kosovo. If Serbs flag is not allowed to be displayed on public places, although Kosovo officialy remains part of Serbia and Montenegro, UNMIK must not tolerate hoisting of a flag of one other state on the territory which is under its administration. A red flag with black double eagle reflects traditions of only one ethnic group and is incompatible with the idea of multiethnic Kosovo and mutual tolerance of ethnic communities.

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ERPKIM Info-Service
Gracanica, December 04, 2003

Seriban National Council is shocked by the latest developments in the southern (Albanian) part of Mitrovica. After hoisting the flag of Republic of Albania on the Municipal building UNMIK officials immediately requested from the Municipality board to remove the flag. This request created a serious incident in which and the local Albanian municipal leadership requested the exclusion of UNMIK officials from local government and even threatened with physical liquidation and decapitation of international personnel.

If this scandalous incident happened in Bosnia the entire municipal board with its president would have been fired immediately. However tolerating whims of ethnic Albanian municipal leaders throughout Kosovo, who pursue the process of intensive Albanization, quite logically will bring to even worse incidents and open threats to the UN personnel.

In order to protect themselves from possible Muslim extremist actions UN HQ in Pristina has already been encircled by a concrete wall. US Office and other Western offices in Pristina already look like citadels. OSCE and UNMIK personnel daily receive warnings to avoid areas where Kosovo Albanians organize their public manifestations. In short, it becomes quite evident that the UN Mission and other diplomatic missions in Kosovo have more and more reasons to worry for their own security from Kosovo Albanians and extremist groups which freely cross Albanian border.

Serb National Concil openly protests against usage of the flag of Republic of Albania on the territory of Kosovo. If Serbs flag is not allowed to be displayed on public places, although Kosovo officialy remains part of Serbia and Montenegro, UNMIK must not tolerate hoisting of a flag of one other state on the territory which is under its administration. A red flag with black double eagle reflects traditions of only one ethnic group and is incompatible with the idea of multiethnic Kosovo and mutual tolerance of ethnic communities.

This incident in Mitrovica is one message more to North Mitrovica Serbs that any kind of unified municipality is impossible because the Southern Mitrovica lives already in a virtual Albanian ethnic state in which there is no place for other ethnicities. As long as Kosovo Albanian institutions remain dominated by the extremists and nationalists any kind of normal integration of Serbs and other groups will remain practically impossible. Kosovo Serbs are ready to accept the reality clearly defined by the UNSC 1244 but not a ethnically clean Albanian state which gradually appears before UNMIK's eyes.

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Safety Deteriorates in Kosovo

The safety situation in Kosovo and Metohija is deteriorating. Bomb attacks on the Serbs in Cernica near Glina, physical assaults on the Serbs in north part of Mitrovica as well as the yesterday_s bomb planted in the part between the Technical school and the student dormitory in the center of the town, are the best indicators that the terrorism is in Kosovo and Metohija and security deteriorating.

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Politika daily, Belgrade
03 December 2003


Kosovska Mitrovica _ The safety situation in Kosovo and Metohija is deteriorating. Bomb attacks on the Serbs in Cernica near Glina, physical assaults on the Serbs in north part of Mitrovica as well as the yesterday_s bomb planted in the part between the Technical school and the student dormitory in the center of the town, are the best indicators that the terrorism is in Kosovo and Metohija and security deteriorating.

This is a conclusion from the joint conference of the Serbian National Council for north Kosovo and Kosovo and Metohija in which presided Milan Ivanovic, president of SNV for north Kosovo, and Rada Trajkovic, member of the Executive Board of SNV for Kosovo and Metohija.
UNMIK builds walls. These are not China or Berlin walls, but UNMIK walls. Beside everything, they do not want to admit that the Albanians exert pressures not only on the Serbs but also on the representatives of the international community. Everything tells that the evaluation about improvement of the safety situation and the need of reducing of the forces of the international mission, which is sent to Security Council is false, said Milan Ivanovic, reminding on the NATO session in which was concluded that "there is not need to reduce the KFOR forces in Kosovo in conditions of escalation of extremism and terrorism".

On Wednesday, both, Milan Ivanovic and Rada Trajkovic agreed and conveyed the stance of the both SNV that Holkeri's appeal that the Serbs need to apologize to the Albanians, at the moment when the Albanians still kill Serbian citizens, sounds cynical.

"Holkeri's appeal to the Serbs that we need to apologize sounds tendentious and absurd. The Serbian population still is terrorized and Kosovo presents the biggest ethnically, open, concentration camp for the Serbs, said Ivanovic.

At the today's press for the journalists the joint stance has been declared that SNV for north Kosovo and Kosovo and Metohija will not participate in the upcoming parliamentarian "Match". As it was heard today, it would not be done because of their above party's character and also because SNV does not want to separate people because the unification of the Serbian people would be needed in the future when the status of the province would be discussed".

However, Milan Ivanovic said that SNV calls Serbian people to vote of their own free will, in accordance with the program, which the party has in regards with the territory of the southern Serbian province. Anyway, there have been opinions expressed that the people need to choose a political option which sees Kosovo within the constitutional system of Serbia and Montenegro, an option that devotes for full implementation of the resolution 1244 of the Security Council and implementation of its regulation, to choose a program orientation that stimulus return of the displaced, full freedom of movement and improvement of the safety.

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"Kosovo Protection Corps" Members Accused Also of White Slavery and Smuggling

UNMIK administration made it known that the suspension of the 12 TMK members came after an investigations of the events that happened on April near Zvecan. But according to the UNMIK spokesman they are also accused of involvement in trafficking people and illegal trade.

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Epoka e Re, Kosovo daily in Albanian
Pristina, December 04, 2003


 UNMIK administration made it known that the suspension of the 12 TMK members came after an investigations of the events that happened on April near Zvecan. But according to the UNMIK spokesman they are also accused of involvement in trafficking people and illegal trade.

UNMIK_s information official, told "Kosova Live" on Wednesday that 12 TMK officers except that they are involved in the attack of the bridge in Lozice, they are suspended for other illegal actions as well. She added that the police will start with the investigation of the cases as soon as they receive the suspension letters from the chief-administrator Holkeri.
In a joint communication released by UNMIK with KFOR and the Quint state representatives in Kosovo, it pointed out that Harry Holkeri has informed TMK Commander, lieutenant general Agim Ceku, that as a result of the joint investigation between UNMIK and KFOR he decided that the findings against the 12 TMK officers related to the illegal activities justifies police investigations.

Without prejudging the results of these investigations or without presupposing their guilt, he decided that the conclusions were very serious and that deserves and justifies the suspension of 12 TMK officers, with pay and for a period of six months, while awaiting the results of the investigations. UNMIK makes known that the investigations are still ongoing.
The spokesman said that the chief-administrator evaluated that the TMK members with some "exceptions" act professionally and according to standards, as it is expected from them. "It is important to make sure that the results of the investigations followed to protect the image of TMK", said Holkeri.


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News from Kosovo and Metohija, 3-4 Dec

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www.inet.co.yu

I*Net News, Belgrade


Thursday 04 December 2003

23:40 The Kosovo parliament ratified a law on medicines today according to which all drug imports are prohibited. Serbian deputies did not vote.

23:20 The "For National Unity - Borislav Pelevic - Marjan Risticevic"
coalition will strive for a consensus on the minimum of Serbian national interests among both government and opposition parties after the elections, announced coalition leader Borislav Pelevic. A consensus would define Kosovo and Metohija as an integral part of Serbia and contribute to a pacification of the situation in the Raska region, in the south of central Serbia and in Vojvodina, said Pelevic at a press conference. He emphasized that these issues should be subjects of dispute among future parliamentary parties.

19:20 Serbian deputy prime minister Nebojsa Covic ruled out the possibility that Montenegro may become "the hostage of the unresolved issue of the status of Kosovo" at the end of the three-year period defined by the Constitutional Charter as the initial period for maintaining the state union of Serbia and Montenegro. "This danger does not exist in any form," Covic said today for the Podgorica weekly "Monitor".

16:00 The decision of UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri to suspend 12 officers of the Kosovo Protection Corps is the consequence of the suspicion that they were involved in terrorist activities and operations of the so-called Albanian National Army, electronic media reported today.

09:40 Serbia and Montenegro human and minority rights minister Rasim Ljajic stated that the head of the UN mission in Kosovo Harri Holkeri "is definitely having a hard time in a tough job".


Wednesday 03 December 2003

21:00 Democratic Party of Kosovo president and one of the leaders of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army Hashim Thaci stated that he is not afraid of the Hague tribunal because he is innocent. He added that Albanians are reluctant to testify in investigations against suspected criminals because of their mentality, not because they are protecting their compatriots.

20:40 Coordinating Committee for Kosovo and Metohija Bureau for Missing and Kidnapped Persons director Gvozden Gagic advised that the remains of 40 to 45 Albanians will be turned over to UNMIK representatives tomorrow at the administrative border crossing of Merdare.

20:20 Serbian deputy prime minister and Coordinating Committee for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic said today that the concept of "substantial autonomy" in Kosovo is clearly defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1244 and that no one has the mandate to change it.

20:00 Kosovo Protection Corps commander and former commander in chief of the disbanded Kosovo Liberation Army Agim Cheku protested today against the decision of UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri to suspend 12 KPC members who are suspected of taking part in terrorist operations.

19:40 The UN police in Kosovo has suspended 12 officer of the Kosovo Protection Corps for a period of six months, advised one of the UN police commanders today after a meeting with the UN administrator.

16:40 On today's date in 1915 the Serbian Army, accompanied by large numbers of refugees, began its unprecedented withdrawal through Montenegro and Albania, losing more than 240,000 people to hunger and illness along the way. Of the 135,000 soldiers who arrived at Corfu, 12,000 continued to Bizerte where the Serbian Army was reformed and returned in 1918 to liberate the occupied country.

16:36 UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri said today in Pristina that seven million euros have been earmarked for the return of refugees and displaced persons in Kosovo and Metohija.

14:00 UN civil administrator in Kosovo Harri Holkeri has requested the immediate suspension of 12 Kosovo Protection Corps officers who are suspected of violating the code of ethics of that organization until the conclusion of an investigation. Holkeri's request was decisively opposed by KPC commander Agim Cheku. Cheku has met twice with Holkeri in the past 24 hours regarding his request for the suspension of the KPC officers. No decision of the implementation of the UNMIK chief's request has yet been made. UNMIK has refused to reveal the names of the KPC officers to be suspended, as well as all details regarding their investigation.

10:40 The Serbian National Council of Northern and Central Kosovo and Metohija will not participate in parliamentary elections in Serbia either independently or as part of any coalition, announced the heads of the two councils, Rada Trajkovic and Milan Ivanovic, at a joint press conference in Kosovska Mitrovica.

09:20 Speaking at the minister's meeting of the OSCE at Maastricht yesterday, Serbia and Montenegro foreign minister Goran Svilanovic assessed that under the present circumstances in Kosovo and Metohija "it is impossible to even think about" the final status of the Province.
"Serbs and other non-Albanians in the province are not safe; their basic human rights are in jeopardy; and only a small number of the 230,000 displaced persons have returned to their homes," pointed out Svilanovic in his address to representatives of the 55 member states of OSCE, including 40 foreign ministers.

THE STATEMENT OF THE WEEK

"Albanization can be seen in thousand examples in Kosovo. The only what one can find in Cyrillic letters in Pristina today is the Russian edition of "Playboy"!!

Francesco Battistini
"Kosovo, tragedy without proofs (Kosovo, la strage rimasta senza prove", Friday, Nov 28, 2003, Corriere della sera


 
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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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