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
Additional information on our Diocese and the life of the Kosovo Serb Community may be found at: http://www.kosovo.net

2003 Archives in English

 


ERPKIM DECEMBER REPORTS

with short introduction to every article
(full texts of each newsletter are available on the corresponding links)

If you would like to regularly receive our ERP KIM Newsletters please subscribe
to our newslist(s)

Our mailing lists: in English in Serbian


DECEMBER 2003

ERPKIMINFO MAIN PAGE

 

Serb pupils and students in worst situation in Europe
Since the arrival of UNMIK and KFOR in June 1999 (Kosovo) Albanians expelled Serb pupils and teachers from more than 300 schools. At the same time more than 10.000 Serb students were expelled from Pristina University and the high schools in Gnjilane, Urosevac, Pec and Prizren.

Newsletter 24 December, 2003

EDITORIAL BY FR. SAVA JANJIC
Rugova woos to Vatican in order to hide Kosovo's bleak reality

Communique of the Council for Kosovo and Metohija of the Holy Synod of Bishops

The Council for Kosovo and Metohija of the Holy Synod of Bishops of the Serbian Orthodox Church, chaired by His Holiness the Serbian Patriarch Kyr Pavle, met on December 23/10 [according to the Gregorian and Julian calendars, respectively], 2003 in the Serbian Patriarchate in Belgrade, and deliberated the latest conditions in the southern Serbian Province. The Council ascertained that the state of life security, human rights, freedom of movement and work, Serb returns, protection of the Church and people's Holy Shrines and property has remained unchanged, regrettably in the negative sense, during these more than four years that Kosovo and Metohija has been under the administration of the International Community.

Coordination Center on visit of Ibrahim Rugova to the Vatican
"How else can we describe the appeal to the spiritual leader of the largest religious organization in the world, to recognize the independence of Kosovo-Metohija where, in just a few years, were destroyed hundreds of churches and monasteries and killed or went missing thousands of citizens, whose only fault was their Christian faith and different ethnicity," the statement of the Coordination Center said.

Leading Roman Catholic prelate in Serbia and Montenegro agrees that Catholics are endangered in Kosovo
Archbishop Hocevar: "The Catholic Church there is in minority and amidst a very delicate political process. Since the expectations and tendencies of the majority population (Albanian Moslems, ed.) are very different the Catholic community who always wanted to cooperate is under pressure".

UNMIK and Serbian Police resolve a murder case in a joint operation
The investigation led to the arrest of suspect Erol Jahiri, Kosovo/Roma, from Zitkovac, Mitrovica region, who had murdered Slavisa Maksimovic on 05/04/03 in Grabovac, 6 km away from Mitrovica. The motive of the murder is unknown. Erol Jahiri showed UNMIK Police Investigators the place where he had buried Slavisa Maksimovic.

Wanted in Macedonia "Commander Jamie Shea" surrenders
Ex-Albanian rebel commander surrenders to peacekeepers in Kosovo. Xhemail Hiseni, also known by his nome-de-guerre, "Commander Jamie Shea", was sentenced to seven years in prison by the Macedonian judiciary in November for two bombings, one on a vital Belgrade-Skopje railway and the other on the main square of the northern town of Kumanovo.

Covic warns on Kosovo's independence
Any proclamation of independence in Kosovo would lead to Kosovo Serbs declaring their own autonomy, with the support of Belgrade, Nebojsa Covic warned today.


Newsletter 23 December, 2003

Serb pupils and students in worst situation in Europe
Since the arrival of UNMIK and KFOR in June 1999 (Kosovo) Albanians expelled Serb pupils and teachers from more than 300 schools. At the same time more than 10.000 Serb students were expelled from Pristina University and the high schools in Gnjilane, Urosevac, Pec and Prizren.

"Povratak" Coalition Deputies leave Kosovo Parliament Session
On Monday, representatives of the Serbian coalition "Povratak" left the Kosovo parliament session, because during this session it was decided that without any discussion this institution adopts a declaration on not recognizing the elections for Serbian parliament, on the territory of Kosovo and Metohija.

Covic: There will be elections in Kosovo
Nebojsa Covic, the chief of the Coordination center for Kosovo and Metohija, stated that Serbian parliament elections would be conducted in Kosovo, "regardless of decisions reached by some temporary Kosovo parliaments".

UNMIK gives nod to voting in Kosovo
Eligible Kosovo voters have the right to take part in the Serbian parliamentary elections on December 28, the United Nations mission in Kosovo said today. "It is a customary and internationally recognised practice that voters with voting rights take part in elections regardless of whether they reside in a region administered by the authorities organising the election," said UNMIK in a statement forwarded to media in Serbia.

Meeting between Albanians and UNMIK
On Monday, the return of a group of Kosovo Serbs to Klina should be one of the subjects about which representatives of UNMIK, the municipality officials and the Albanian political party from Klina and the delegations of returnees in Pec will discuss.

Serb bodies returned to families
According to information from the Bureau for Exhumation and Identification, 271 bodies have so far been exhumed in Kosovo of which 72 have been returned to Serbian families.

Leader of insurgency in Macedonia surrenders
A former leader of an ethnic Albanian insurgency in Macedonia has surrendered in Kosovo, a statement from the international peacekeeping force, KFOR, said last night.

Draskovic: Monarchy is key to European integration
Political analysts say Draskovic's party is a possible junior coalition partner to the conservative Democratic Party of Serbia of ex-Yugoslav President Vojislav Kostunica, which is expected to play a key role in the next government.

INET Flash News from Kosovo and Metohija, December 21-22, 2003


Newsletter 20 December, 2003

Many Kosovo Serbs will not be celebrating Christmas in their homes this year either

Serbian Unity Congress (U.S), ERP KiM Info-Service
December 2003

Breaking with the centuries old tradition of celebrating the Nativity of Christ in the cradle of Serbian civilization and the historic seat of the Serbian Orthodox Church, Kosovo Serbs for the fifth consecutive Christmas remain either displaced outside the province and unable to return, or restricted to isolated islands within, lacking basic freedoms fundamental to life such as movement. During this the most joyous of seasons, Kosovo Serbs driven from the province worship far away from their homes hoping desperately for a return, while the few Serbs who remain within will worship fearfully under strict KFOR protection gradually losing hope in any equitable peace.

As you gather to celebrate this holiday season, traveling freely from home to home visiting your loved ones, remember those who cannot. Keep in mind the Kosovo Serbs among them those who have perished, those whose struggle is survival, and those who continue to light the way and gleam hope into the hearts of others.


Newsletter 19 December, 2003, Second edition

Celebration of St. Nicholas Day at Gracanica Monastery

Among the dignitaries who attended St. Nicholas celebration and the luncheon were: Serbian deputy PM and chief of the KCK Dr. Nebojsa Covic with Vladan Begovic, Commander of the US KFOR Brig. General Jerry Beck Jr. with the representatives of the US Office in Pristina, Ambassador Pasquale Salzano, the chief of the Italian Office in Kosovo with Lt. Col. Aurelio Dell'Angelo (Italian KFOR), Col. Per Oeyvind Semb, Political Advisor to the COMKFOR (Gen. Kammerhoff), as well as members of the POVRATAK Coalition Oliver Ivanovic (DA) and Randjel Nojkic (SPO)


Newsletter 19 December, 2003

Bishop Artemije: We do not need "minority rights" in exchange of Serbia's sovereignity in Kosovo and Metohija

The Serb people in this region desire a free and dignified life but cannot accept, in exchange for the land of their fathers, offers of abstract "minority rights" in a society Kosovo Albanians are tailoring exclusively according to their needs and interests. The document "Standards for Kosovo", which does not mention the sovereignty of Serbia and Montenegro and the essential elements of UN Security Council 1244, fundamentally prejudices the secession of the southern Serbian province and as such must be urgently revised in order to be acceptable for the Serbian side, too.

Union of Serb municipalities and settlements in Kosovo and Metohija proposes two-entity solution - St. Nicholas Day Declaration

At today's meeting of representatives of the Union of Serb Municipalities and Settlements in Kosovo and Metohija held in North Mitrovica more than one hundred deputies from all parts of the Province (north and central Kosovo, Novo Brdo, Pomoravlje, Brezovica and Metohija) adopted the St. Nicholas Day Declaration asking for the return of Serbian state institutions and proposing a two entity solution such as that in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which would, best protect the interests of the Serb people in this part of Serbia.

Belgrade concerned with the Kosovo "Standards" document
Serbia-Montenegrin Ambassador to the United Nations Dejan Sahovic told a UN Security Council session on Wednesday that Belgrade is concerned with the Kosovo "standards" document, released by UNMIK head Harri Holkeri last week.

RFE - Kosovo: UN officials cites poor records on minorities
The UN's undersecretary-general for peacekeeping, Jean-Marie Guehenno, told the UN Security Council in a briefing today that Serbs are under-represented and poorly integrated. He said less than 10,000 Serbs have returned to Kosovo from a pre-1999 population of about 250,000.

Forum 18 (Norway) - Hand grenade attack on Orthodox church
Orthodox officials are skeptical anyone will ever be arrested for the latest attack. "There has been no further information on this incident," Deacon Srdjan, diocesan secretary, told Forum 18. "What we have to say we have said hundreds of times so far. We do not expect any more news." Since 1999, no-one has been prosecuted for attacks on Serbian Orthodox sites.

Former rebel leader charged in Kosovo - Sefket Musliu under indectment
An international prosecutor in Kosovo has issued an indictment against the former leader of an ethnic Albanian rebel group responsible for the 2001 insurgency in southern Serbia, UN officials in the province said today.

UNMIK stops transport for 15 Serbian children (in Svinjare village)
UNMIK administration has stopped the transport of 15 Serbian children from the village of Svinjare to a school in Kosovska Mitrovica. Confirmation of this action came from Predrag Stojcetovic, the head of the Education department in Kosovska Mitrovica. Transport was stopped on Wednesday morning, and after an intervention they send a bus in the afternoon, to take the kids back to Svinjare.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, December 17 - 18, 2003


Newsletter 18 December, 2003

Nebojsa Covic calls for Serb national consensus on Kosovo and Metohija

"In my opinion it is necessary at this very time to express the full and active national unity of all political parties in Serbia in defense of Kosovo and Metohija from the threat of Albanian annexation. Towards this goal, I wish to propose to the leaderships of all political parties participating in Serbian parliamentary elections to sign the Resolution on the Protection of Kosovo and Metohija, and accept responsibility before the citizens of Serbia for its realization, " - Dr. Nebojsa Covic

Coordinating Center calls for consensus on Serbian national interests in Kosovo
All political parties participating in the Serbian parliamentary elections called upon to sign the Resolution on the Protection of Serbian National Interests and Rights of the Republic of Serbia in Kosovo and Metohija - text of the Resolution follows after the Press statement by the Coordinating Center.

Only 2.5 out of 36.5 million euro budget spent on Serb returnees this year
Bishop Artemije and Mr. Nenad Radosavljevic, the special advisor on returns to the UNMIK chief, strongly criticized UNMIK's return policy. Most of the money allocated for returnees goes to international NGOs, their salaries and expensive jeeps while more than two-thirds of the pre-conflict Kosovo Serb population still cannot return to their homes.

Oliver Ivanovic on Kosovo and Metohija: Lives and rights in jeopardy
According to Oliver Ivanovic, another scandalous decision in the Kosovo Parliament was the adoption of the census law. According to procedure, namely, Serb deputies submitted five amendments to the text of the draft law. The arbitration, which is called a panel, consisting of five members decided to adopt all five amendments. The Kosovo parliament presidency followed suit. However, the deputies, more precisely, the ethnic Albanian majority, adopted the census law without the Serb amendments! By doing so, said Ivanovic, the rights of Serbs in Kosovo and Metohjia, as well as of their representatives in the Kosovo parliament, have been jeopardized.

Serb ministers in Kosovo Government boycott Standards Plan drafting
Serb ministers in the Kosovo government Milorad Todorovic and Goran Bogdanovic announced today that they will not be participating in task groups for working on a plan for the implementation of the document "Standards for Kosovo". Describing the term "minorities" and unacceptable to the Serb community, Todorovic said he would not consider being seen as a minority until UN Security Council Resolution 1244 is implemented in the province. "To make it more ironic, invitations and documents were sent to us in Albanian," he added.

UN Envoy urges Kosovo to aim for standards of "normal society"
Mr Holkeri said the 10-page standards document, launched last week with local leaders, outlines "a place where people are free to travel, use their own languages and work anywhere in Kosovo. A place where your ethnic identity - whether Albanian, Serb, Turk, Bosniak, Roma, Gorani, Ashkali, Egyptian or Croatian - has no effect on the way you are treated at work, in the street or in a court of law."

Justice after four years: Serb man acquitted in Kosovo murder case
An international trial chamber in Kosovo has acquitted a Serb man of the murder of an ethnic Albanian in 1999. Nikolic had originally been sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment by a panel of ethnic Albanian judges in Gnjiljane.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, December 15-16, 2003


Newsletter 16 December, 2003, Second edition

L'Espresso (Italy) In Kosovo the Orthodox Church is under siege in Kosovo today,

The Orthodox Serbs are a besieged and endangered minority. Of the roughly 250,000 who fled following NATO's military intervention, only a few thousand have returned. Together with the 130,000 who remained, they are herded in restricted zones and kept under constant threat. Power rests in the hands of the Muslim Kosovar Albanians. The future status of the region is uncertain.

Fr. Miron: We respond to Albanian grenades with prayer
The Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija "responded" to the bomb attack two days ago on the Church of St. Uros in Urosevac with Holy Liturgy served today, on the patron saint's day of the Holy Emperor Uros, in the church.

Devic Monastery celebrates the patron saint's day of St. Joanikije in the heart of Drenica
The monastery patron saint's day of St. Joanikije of Devic the Miracle Worker was celebrated today in the monastery of Devic near Srbica. After the Holy Liturgy, which was served by Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro and the Littoral and Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren and clergy and the cutting of the slava cake, Metropolitan Amfilohije addressed the numerous believers who arrived at the monastery, in the heart of Drenica, with a KFOR escort to celebrate the Lord and his great chosen servant, Joanikije (Janicije) of Devic.

Letter: Why as a Christian I can't tolerate seeing Serbs suffer, Rev. Geoffrey Wyatt
The BBC's opinion notwithstanding, the Serbs of Kosovo were not invaders or interlopers or occupiers of land not their own. On the contrary, they had at least as historic a right to a presence in that province as any other ethnic group in that place, their churches and gravestones bearing more than adequate testimony to that fact.


Newsletter 16 December, 2003

Serb National Council of Kosovo and Metohija requests urgent reaction from Belgrade
Despite a series of clearly positive elements with respect to universal human and civil rights, from the legal perspective "Standards for Kosovo" is yet another political decoy supposed to enable the unobstructed continuation of the formation of an Albanian parastate on the sovereign territory of the Republic of Serbia and the state union of Serbia and Montenegro.

Serbia-Montenegro dissatisfied with drafting of "Standards for Kosovo"
Serbian Prime Minister Zivkovic reiterated that the document "Standards for Kosovo-Metohija" was unacceptable for the Serbian government as it clearly indicates the way the standards would be applied and by its structure seems more like a text defining the future Kosovo status rather than standards. Serbia-Montenegrin Minister of Foreign Affairs Goran Svilanovic and Head of the Serbian Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic also expressed discontent with the way in which the document "Standards for Kosovo" was drafted as well as with the Presidential Statement by which the UN Security Council endorsed the document on December 12.

Covic urges Holkeri to stop privatization in Kosovo and Metohija
The Head of the Coordinating Centre warned the UNMIK chief that these decisions do not have legal basis as per UNMIK's legislation and that the KTA Managing Board is not authorised to transform public companies, but to restructure them, and that it is also not authorised to transfer property to interim institutions and local self-governments.

Serbia-Montenegro: Changing face of the Serbian armed forces
This improved situation has to do with two things: one, Serbia's offer to send troops anywhere the US likes, and two, increased Western distaste for Albanian intimidation of UNMIK forces in Kosovo. While they aren't planning to send Serbian troops back into a province which at least nominally belongs to the country, they have become more sympathetic to Serbian concerns over the lawlessness, violence and believed terrorist links of the Kosovo "Protection" Corps.


Newsletter 15 December, 2003

"Povratak" Coalition sends (protest) letter to Kofi Anan
The Serb political representatives in Kosovo sent the letter to Annan yesterday in which they stated that they are concerned by the practice of "the imposition of the content of the document on 'Standards for Kosovo' as the culmination of the misuse of provisional institutions of self-government by Albanian political representatives in the parliament and government of Kosovo and Metohija".

Serb woman attacked in segregated Kosovo town
Hospital spokesman Marko Jaksic told media that the attack followed the beating of two Serb teenagers in the same area less than a month ago. He said the Kosovo police were obviously unable to protect Serbs in the area and that UN police and KFOR troops no longer patrolled the border between the Serb and Albanian occupied parts of the town.

Zlata Djurovic's condition presently stable but uncertain
The second attack in a row on Serbs in the mixed part of North Mitrovica has caused unrest among them, and they have asked KFOR officials to either ensure their peace and security or to return their confiscated weapons. UNMIK police commander in North Mitrovica John Napolitano (sp?) said that the attack on the two elderly Serb women was "a horrible act". He informed the frightened Serbs that "there is evidence regarding the perpetrator of the attack and that all suspects will be questioned during the course of the day". The municipal board of the Democratic Alternative in North Mitrovica condemned the attack on Zlata Djurovic, emphasizing that "this is the last reminder to members of KFOR and UNMIK police in the region to reinforce security measures and protect the representatives of the Serbian community".

Policeman attacked in Western Kosovo
A Kosovo Police officer was seriously injured in an armed attack on a police patrol near Pec on Saturday evening. The attack appears to be linked to the Kosovo Police investigation into drug smuggling and prostitution in the west of the province.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, 13-14 December 2003


Newsletter 14 December, 2003

Explosion in the yard of St. Uros Serbian Orthodox church in Urosevac
Diocese of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija most strongly condemns Friday night's attack on the St. Uros church in Urosevac. The Diocese concludes with regret that attacks by Albanian extremists on holy shrines in Kosovo and Metohija are continuing. Since the summer of 1999 to the present day there have already been several similar attacks on this holy shrine. If the Church of St. Uros had not been under the constant protection of KFOR it is likely that it would have been destroyed like the other Serbian Orthodox churches in the Urosevac and Nerodimlje region.

Serbian Orthodox Church fights to protect its holy shrines in Kosovo
Unfortunately, despite the presence of international peacekeeping forces, the destruction of Serbian Orthodox holy shrines and the looting of church property continues. It is incomprehensible that our Church and general public is finding out about instances of looting and reselling of our icons and books from the foreign press. In the past four years the Church has not received a single official report from UNMIK regarding the destruction and looting of its patrimonial treasure. The Church itself does not have the resources to conduct a detailed investigation of these incidents, prepare documentation and verify whether any church artifacts remain intact under the ruins of churches

UN Security Council supports "Standards for Kosovo"
Under the "standards before status" policy, designed for Kosovo (Serbia and Montenegro) and endorsed by the Council in application of its resolution 1244 (1999), Provisional Institutions for Self-Government have to achieve certain standards before final status of Kosovo can be addressed. The eight standards under the policy are: functioning democratic institutions; rule of law; freedom of movement; returns and reintegration; economy; property rights; dialogue with Belgrade; and the Kosovo Protection Corps.

No progress in return of displaced without personal safety and freedom of movement
Covic called on the international community to take a more resolute stand to help eliminate problems hampering the return of displaced persons. According to him, there will not be any progress in the process unless perpetrators of crimes and incidents in the province are brought to justice and as long as property of non-Albanians is being destroyed and international community officials continue saying that safety cannot be guaranteed.

Ibrahim Rugova changes "Kosovo flag" - black eagle on a blue background
It's not the color of the Kosovo sky, as Rugova says, but the color Albanians want to use to woo the powerful European countries, says Dr. Rados Ljusic

INET, News from Kosovo and Metohija, December 12, 2003


Newsletter 12 December, 2003

Serbian Orthodox Church - Holekeri tries to con the Serbs
This is a document representing a collection of abstract concepts without any clearly defined mechanisms for measuring implementation of standards. The Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija are defined as a national minority in the para-state that has been built on the territory of Serbia-Montenegro for the past four years contrary to UN Security Council Resolution 1244.

Serb refugees from Klina still waiting - "We still want to return to our homes"
The returnees are still in shock following yesterday's incident and stoning but they remain firmly determined not to give up in their battle for their basic human rights. "This our joint decision and we have no intention of giving up our desire to return to our homes and live in peace with our Albanian neighbors," said Petko Pesic.

Covic informed the Patriarch about deficiencies of the "Kosovo Standards" plan
Mr. Covic informed the Holy Synod of Bishops regarding the latest course of events with regard to the presentation of the final version of a UNMIK document called the Standards for Kosovo, which fails to take into account any key objection or suggestion of the Serbian Government and does not create a framework for "substantial autonomy" as foreseen by United Nations 1244.

Hari Holkeri's speech at inauguration of the "Standards for Kosovo"
Our task, together, is to prepare Kosovo for final status. There is now a date for a decision, but there is nothing inevitable about that decision. That decision depends on what is said and done here in Kosovo, because there s only one route to final status. And that is through progress on standards.

B92: Kosovo law repeal legally "not sustainable
Unless Holkeri returns to the standards for Kosovo as defined by UN Security Council Resolution 1244, said Covic, Belgrade would have no argument for demanding any kind of constructive behavior from the province's Serb population. _There are laws which should have been repealed by our parliament by now; these are simply anachronistic and outdated laws. But this is not about the legislation, it is about an attitude to the sovereignty of Serbia-Montenegro which, according to 1244, still applies on this territory," said Kostunica.

Local and international extremist groups operate in Kosovo (says KFOR general)
Local as well as international extremist groups operate in Kosovo. I am sorry I cannot offer you more detailed information, but extremist group that want destabilization of Kosovo will not reach their objective, I can guarantee you," added MNB-C Commander.

BBC: Albania soldiers in rape scandal
Human trafficking and the forced prostitution of women continue to plague post-communist Albania. Attempts by the authorities to address the problems, in an effort to join eventually join Nato and the European Union, have so far been in vain. Criminal gangs take advantage of police corruption, a weak judicial system and lax border controls to exploit young women.

Agim Ceku wants to resurrect former KLA as a new Kosovo Army
"We're not questioning UNMIK's authority, which defines the KPC as a civil organisation, but the KPC will become an army", Agim Ceku told BBC Radio. "We're capable of it, we have a right to do it, and no one should fear this".

INET News from Kosovo and Metohija, December 11, 2003


Newsletter 11 December, 2003

Serb returnees barely escape lynching in attempt to return to their homes in Kosovo

According to Petko Pesic, one of the Serbs evacuated by KFOR from Klina, the Albanians laid a real siege to his home. "There were a few hundred of them and they were exceptionally aggressive," said Pesic. Seeing that the unprotected civilians were about to be lynched, KFOR responded quickly. According to eyewitnesses, KFOR and Kosovo police officers showed up on the scene to secure the evacuation of the house. As the Serbs were leaving the house the Albanians began to stone the Serbs and the KFOR vehicles. Under the shower of rocks one Serb man, Miodrag Mazic, sustained minor injuries. While the convoy of KFOR vehicles was leaving Klina they were also stoned on several locations but there were no injured.

Serb returnees barely escape lynching in attempt to return to their homes in Kosovo
Klina Albanians marked International Human Rights Day by expelling 11 Serb returnees who arrived into an empty Serb-owned house with the intent of returning to their native town and reclaiming their usurped property

National Post (Canada): Crime, terror flourish in "liberated" Kosovo - Ethnic cleansing, smuggling rampant under UN aegis

The violence continues despite an 18,000-strong NATO-led peacekeeping force and an international police force of more than 4,000. Serbs, who now make up 5% of the population of Kosovo, down from 10% before the NATO campaign, are the main targets of the paramilitary groups. "The whole process of rebuilding Kosovo-Metohija as a democratic, multi-ethnic society failed due to both the inability of the UN mission and [NATO] forces to protect Serbs and other non-Albanians from large-scale ethnic cleansing, this time primarily against Serbs," said Dusan Batakovic, a Serb diplomat and leading expert on Kosovo.

Human Rights Watch Report: End cruel limbo for Kosovo Roma refugees
The Human Rights Watch briefing paper argues that conditions are inappropriate for the return of most Kosovo Roma, because their property in Kosovo was destroyed when they were expelled and their security cannot be guaranteed there.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, December 8 INET


Newsletter 10 December, 2003

Human Rights Day - Annual theatrical performance in Pristina
December 10 is International Human Rights Day. Paradoxically, this day will also be celebrated with footbal matches and music performances in Kosovo, a province known for the past slightly more than four years as the "black hole" of human rights and a territory rife with ethnic discrimination and brutal persecution against all non-Albanians.

Group of Serb Returnees still awaiting UNMIK's permission to return to their homes
Humanitarian assistance needed: heart and blood pressure medication, antibiotics, winter clothing (wool socks, winter footwear, boots, sweaters), as well as duvets, blankets and mattresses.

Powerful explosion rocks southern Pristina
A loud explosion was reported in southern Pristina just after 10.00 last night. The explosion occurred in front the building in which 15 out of the last 200 Serbs in Pristina live. There were no casualties but windows on the building were broken in a blast.

Chappel (UNMIK Police): PM Rexhepi must inform police of his itinerary
Commenting on the incident in Kosovska Mitrovica, UN police spokesman Derek Chappell said today that UNMIK and the Kosovo Police Service were not informed of the visit of Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi to the city. Chappell said Rexhepi has the right to travel throughout the territory of Kosovo but that he needs to inform police of his itinerary, especially when traveling into an area of risk.

Serbs near Pristina without power for three days
Serbian maintenance workers on the power system state that the reason for the power outages is increased demand by old distribution stations to which many newly built private buildings owned by Albanians have been hooked up.

Independent (UK): Hard lessons that keep Kosovo children safe
Thousands, mainly women and girls from Moldova, Ukraine or neighbouring Albania, have been trafficked by criminal gangs, either bound for Western Europe or forced to work in the burgeoning local sex industry. The capital (Pristina) boasts at least 130 brothels, which flourished in the cash-rich chaos that accompanied the end of the war in 1999 and the huge influx of international organisations that followed.

HRH Crown Prince Alexander - It is time for unity
The right time is every day for stability, unity and continuity. The aim is to do everything to make the democratic process work. The King reigns, the government rules the country.

The Crown as a reconciliator
Interview with Prof. Pavle Nikolic, member of the Crown Council, Belgrade


Newsletter 09 December, 2003

Serbian Orthodox Church expresses regret for the Mitrovica incident

Serbian Government: Kosovo Standards Implementation Plan Unacceptable

"The draft document is essentially at a level lower than UN Security Council Resolution 1244. Keeping this in mind, this document, without changes and additions proposed by the Republic of Serbia Government, is not acceptable as a framework for further resolution of the crisis in the autonomous province of Kosovo and Metohija and the implementation of Resolution 1244," it was advised after the meeting of the Government in Belgrade today.

COVIC: We do not want minority standards in exchange of sovreignity - Kosovo is generator of organized crime in the region
Covic repeated that "the most important thing is that the standards must be in complete accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, and Article 10 and Annex 2(5) of the Resolution clearly state that "the status of Kosovo and Metohija is substantial autonomy within the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia", that is, of Serbia and Montenegro". "We can talk about anything within this context. We do not want minority standards in exchange for sovereignty, thank you very much.

What does the plan for implementation of standards in Kosovo entail?
Criticisms of the latest document, which obviously blazes a path toward an independent Kosovo, are numerous. What is certain is that the document, that is, the plan for the implementation of standards in Kosovo and Metohija, threatens to completely invalidate UN Security Council Resolution 1244 from June 1999. Because it is immediately obvious that in this document Belgrade and Serbia are mentioned only in the context of negotiations begun in Vienna but without any institutional ties with the southern Serbian province, which is presently under a UN protectorate.

Solana: Resolution 1244 remains the basis
"We will approach the resolution of final status in an appropriate manner, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 1244, and this process will include both the Belgrade government and the elected leaders of Kosovo institutions, as well as political representatives in Pristina," said Javier Solana.

EXCLUSIVE REPORT:
Kosovo and the Aid Paradox

The international response in terms of rebuilding destroyed and damaged homes and infrastructure was timely and right but there is another side to this `coin_. The conflict was waged in the name of _stopping Milosevic_s ethnic cleansing_ and of _restoring the rights of the people_ in Kosovo. It is a bitter irony then, that the new Kosovo established under KFOR and the UN has become a no-go area for Serbs and other _minorities_.

Copley: Monarchy solves political crisis
_This is very important, for it could provide continuity of the state, like in many countries in the world, such as Australia, Malaysia, Canada etc, since the constitutional parliamentary monarchy would protect the state structure and the constitution through its mediating and symbolic role, while the parties would go on with their normal political activities_ _ believes Mr. Copley.

Reuters: Maceodnia's headcount clarifies ethnic picture
The State Statistical Office published results showing Macedonians account for 64.18 percent and Albanians form the second largest ethnic group with 25.17 percent, out of total population of 2,022,547 in Macedonia.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, INET, Dec 06-07, 2003


Newsletter 07 December, 2003

Astonishing research of Sunday Mirror reporters:

Sunday Mirror : We buy bag of Semtext from [Kosovo] terrorists
"Posing as members of the Real IRA, we were also offered three shoulder-held missile launchers, an anti-aircraft gun, and enough machine guns, hand grenades and landmines to equip a small army. We made our deal in Kosovo, a breeding ground for fanatics with al-Qaeda links. Our contact was the deputy commander of the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) Niam Behljulji, known as Hulji. The group were trained by Bin Laden's men. Astonishingly, we met him under the noses of the British Army and UN forces - who remain as peacekeepers following Kosovo's bloody war with Serbia. Hulji, is said to supply terrorists across Europe and has been accused of massacring Serbian women and children during the war".

UN: UN bus damaged during disturbance in Kosovo
One person suffered minor injuries and a number of vehicles were damaged today when a public disturbance flared up in Kosovo, the UN Mission in the province reported.

Serbian PM says: Kosovo a haven for terrorists
Addressing a conference in Belgrade on fighting organised crime, Zoran Zivkovic claimed that terrorists were being protected in Kosovo.

AFP: Serb refugees - Out of sight, out of mind
Dragana Vitosevic, a nine-year-old Serb girl from Kosovo, has spent almost half her life in a refugee centre in Pancevo, a grim industrial town near the Serbian capital Belgrade. She is just one of around 700,000 Serbs, those who fled or were driven from their homes during the wars in Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo in the 1990s. Now they make up about 10 percent of Serbia's population.

For Morality and Truth
A leading Serbian academician and poet Matija Beckovic supports restauration of Parliamentary Monarchy in Serbia - There are many reasons to reestablish monarchy and only one not do so. That one being the wish to preserve the continuity of communism and lawlessness. That is why there is no more obvious change nor more striking evidence that we have broken up with communism and its heritage than the reestablishment of monarchy. What it will look like, perhaps can be best seen by looking at today's European Kingdoms, and by looking at any of the constitution of the twelve Kingdoms, the EU members.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, Dec 5, 2003


Newsletter 05 December, 2003

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


Newsletter 03 December, 2003

Answer to letter of Mr. Hashim Thaci in The Christian Science Monitor
Mr. Thaci, the president of the Kosovo Democratic Party and the former leader of KLA, sent a letter to the The Christian Science Monitor, which was published on November 17. ERP KIM Info-Service editor Fr. Sava has sent an answer to Mr. Thaci's letter.

UN chief demands suspension of KPC members
The UN's chief diplomat in Kosovo, Harri Holkeri, has requested the immediate suspension of 12 members of the province's "Protection Corps" until an investigation into alleged misconduct is completed, Beta news agency reports.

Belgrade to enter NATO programme in May 2004
Serbia-Montenegro should be admitted to NATO's Partnership for Peace in May next year, Alliance defence ministers agreed today.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, December 01, 2003


Newsletter 02 December, 2003

Reconciliation must be mutual and sincere -rhetoric without acts means nothing

A commentary on the yesterday's statement of the UNMK's chief Hari Holkeri in Belgrade.

The statement of UNMIK's chief Mr. Hari Holkeri in Belgrade yesterday in which he called Belgrade officials to apologize for what happened in Kosovo and thus ease the tensions in the Province has created lots of confusion among Kosovo Serbs, not because a sincere apology has universal and human meaning which no one can deny, but because of the present political and security context both in Kosovo and in Belgrade. We may try to believe that Mr. Holkeri just wanted to give a good piece of advice, but his words quite legitimately bring forward the following question: Is it also not Kosovo Albanian leaders and UNMIK leadership who should apologize to Kosovo Serbs, Roma, Gorani and Bosniaks for their suffering in Kosovo which continues after more than four years of "the internationally granted peace"?


Newsletter 01 December, 2003

Commentary on the interview of Mr. Ibrahim Rugova to Corriere della Sera

Deceiving the world community - Ibrahim Rugova for Corriere della Sera

Despite his four months of specialization at the Sorbonne and the photograph of the Pope in his salon, Mr. Ibrahim Rugova has very little understanding of the authentic values of Christianity in the region where he has been elected as president. Moreover, he does not even mention the existence of the Serbian Orthodox Christian monuments that comprise more than 90 percent of the entire cultural and historical wealth of Kosovo and Metohija. He does not even mention the more than 100 Serbian churches and monasteries destroyed by Albanian extremists after the end of the armed conflict in 1999 (not in the time of war), which, by the way, he has never publicly condemned. More sensitive questions of the Corriere journalist Mr. Rugova gently evaded hiding behind Pope JP II.

Commentary in Italian: /erpkiminfo_dec03/erpkiminfo01dec03.html

NOVEMBER NEWSLETTERS


Larger selection of Kosovo related news you may find on our
KOSOVO DAILY NEWS

Tragic reality of Kosovo Today