February 07, 2004

ERP KiM Newsletter 07-02-04

Bishop Artemije: Serious human and religious rights violations in Kosovo continue despite UN protectorate

"Albanian leaders are stubbornly continuing to misrepresent the situation in the southern Serbian province to cover up their own lack of willingness to build a truly multiethnic society. Just as Milosevic at one time maintained loyal representatives of national minorities, some of whom he even sent to Rambouillet, so today Albanian leaders have so-called representatives of Kosovo minorities who generally represent only their own interests or that of a small circle of people who enjoy certain privileges from the Albanians. What has happened to the Roma, Gorani and Bosniac communities in Kosovo and Metohija can best be attested to by those who are still banished and unable to return to their burned and robbed homes. Roma and Goranis especially have been persecuted to the point where they are threatened with complete disappearance unless their rights are protected," said Bishop Artemije


Kosovo's non-majority communities still live on the margins of society
more or less deprived of their elementary human rights

CONTENTS:

Bishop Artemije in New York, Cleveland and Chicago
Bishop Artemije: The fact that Roma, Goranis, Bosniacs and other communities, as well as Serbs, are being expelled shows that what is occurring is not revenge after the war, but the continuation of the old Albanian strategy from during the period of autonomy to create an ethnically pure state of Kosovo by expelling the non-Albanians, which will serve as the basis for pan-Albanian territorial unification in the Balkans.

The world knows and is silent
This visit to Washington D.C. one of the most successful. Europe more vocal in protesting the destruction of the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan that the destruction of Christian holy shrines in the heart of Europe

Covic urges KFOR to help monks in Prizren
Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic urged today the KFOR Commanding Officer, German General Holger Kammerhof, to secure protection for a monk brotherhood of the Sveti Arhandjeli monastery near Prizren and enable them to perform their services for the Serbs who have remained in the regions of Prizren and Djakovica.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, February 4-5, 2004

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


Bishop Artemije in New York, Cleveland and Chicago

Bishop Artemije: The fact that Roma, Goranis, Bosniacs and other communities, as well as Serbs, are being expelled shows that what is occurring is not revenge after the war, but the continuation of the old Albanian strategy from during the period of autonomy to create an ethnically pure state of Kosovo by expelling the non-Albanians, which will serve as the basis for pan-Albanian territorial unification in the Balkans.

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 6, 2004

Following a stay of several days in Washington, D.C., Bishop Artemije of Raska and Prizren is scheduled to travel to New York City today where he will meet with representatives of the UN Security Council. He will then visit Cleveland and Chicago where he is scheduled to meet with representatives of the Serbian diaspora in the U.S.

After several important meetings in Washington and participation at yesterday's Prayer Breakfast hosted by U.S. president George Bush, Bishop Artemije told the ERP KIM Info Service that he satisfied with his contacts and hopeful that his first-hand testimony regarding the systematic violation of human rights of the Serb and other non-Albanian population in Kosovo and Metohija will encourage more interest on the part of U.S. officials in events in regional events, and convince them that ethnic cleansing is in fact taking place under the protectorate of the UN Mission and KFOR.

Commenting on yesterday's statement by Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi at the U.S. Institute for Peace that minority communities are not endangered in Kosovo, Bishop Artemije told the ERP KIM Info Service:

"Albanian leaders are stubbornly continuing to misrepresent the situation in the southern Serbian province to cover up their own lack of willingness to build a truly multiethnic society. Just as Milosevic at one time maintained loyal representatives of national minorities, some of whom he even sent to Rambouillet, so today Albanian leaders have so-called representatives of Kosovo minorities who generally represent only their own interests or that of a small circle of people who enjoy certain privileges from the Albanians. What has happened to the Roma, Gorani and Bosniac communities in Kosovo and Metohija can best be attested to by those who are still banished and unable to return to their burned and robbed homes. Roma and Goranis especially have been persecuted to the point where they are threatened with complete disappearance unless their rights are protected.

"In an April 29, 2003 report Amnesty International confirmed that 'more than half the pre-war Slavic Muslim community of 67,000 fled in 1999. Now about 3% of the population, they are mainly concentrated in and around Prizren town.' We can also find evidence of discrimination against other non-Albanian communities in the regular reports of OSCE regarding human rights in Kosovo and Metohija. The fact that Roma, Goranis, Bosniacs and other communities, as well as Serbs, are being expelled shows that what is occurring is not revenge after the war, but the continuation of the old Albanian strategy from during the period of autonomy to create an ethnically pure state of Kosovo by expelling the non-Albanians, which will serve as the basis for pan-Albanian territorial unification in the Balkans."

We are enclosing an interview given yesterday to the permanent correspondent of the Belgrade daily "Vecernje Novosti" after a meeting in the Capitol Hill Club.

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Vecernje Novosti daily, Belgrade
February 5, 2004

Interview with Bishop Artemije on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.

The world knows and is silent

This visit to Washington D.C. one of the most successful. Europe more vocal in protesting the destruction of the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan that the destruction of Christian holy shrines in the heart of Europe

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From our permanent correspondent in WASHINGTON D.C.


"I have been in Washington D.C. some 15 times but this is one of the most successful visits considering the number and level of the people with whom I spoke about Kosovo and Metohija. I was well received and listened to in all the meetings and my collocutors commented with empathy on what they heard. They promised to do everything possible to improve the situation in Kosovo and Metohija. It remains to be seen whether this will be realized."

These are the comments Bishop Artemije of Raska-Prizren and Kosovo-Metohija made for "Novosti" regarding his visit of several days to the U.S. capital during which he met with senior State Department officials and members of the U.S. Congress. Following a public lecture at the Western Policy Center and the Russian Church, Bishop Artemije spoke about Kosovo and Metohija yesterday in the Capitol Hill Club. The even was organized by the Institute for Religion and Public Policy.

"Expectations from the international community have not been met. Progress and security has been achieved but only for one side, the Albanians... Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija have been persecuted in the presence of 40,000 international troops. They have been stripped of all rights, even the very right to life," testified Bishop Artemije. He explained that since 1999 two thirds of the Serb population living in Kosovo and Metohija was expelled, 1,300 were murdered and an equal number has disappeared, and that tens [sic] of Serb houses and more than one hundred Orthodox churches have been destroyed.

Unless civil values are protected in Kosovo and Metohija, he warned, "this will become a precedent that will destabilize not only the Balkans but Europe, too." Answering the question whether there was genocide against the Albanian population and how many were killed on both sides during the NATO bombing, Bishop Artemije responded that once the war ended, it turned there were no hundreds of thousands death, that two to three thousand people were found buried in mass graves, and that there were victims on both sides.

"What is happening since the war is not revenge, for the Albanians are killing the innocent, women, children, the elderly. It is inexplicable that after the war, despite the KFOR presence, not a single perpetrator of a crime has been found or brought to justice," he emphasized.

When asked whether the Albanians are expelling all minorities, Bishop Artemije answered in the affirmative, adding that "talk about multiethnicity serves no purpose without the return of all expelled persons and guarantees of their rights."

Answering a question regarding the European reaction to the crimes, destruction, violation of human rights on its own territory, he said: "The European governments are aware of what is happening but they are pretending that they don't know because adopting a position is not conducive to their global policies. It is a tragic fact that Europe was more vocal in protesting the destruction of the statues of Buddha in Afghanistan that the destruction of Christian holy shrines in the heart of Europe," stressed Bishop Artemije.

Commenting on the issue of a referendum, the Bishop explained that according to international standards such a referendum can only be held throughout the territory of Serbia, of which Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part.

In response to a question on the reactions of states in the region of the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Bishop Artemije observed that Slovenia, Croatia and the Bosnia-Herzegovina Federation are supporting the Albanian position, unlike the Republic of Serbia and Macedonia, which is also threatened by Albanian extremists.

by D. Savic

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Covic urges KFOR to help monks in Prizren

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic urged today the KFOR Commanding Officer, German General Holger Kammerhof, to secure protection for a monk brotherhood of the Sveti Arhandjeli monastery near Prizren and enable them to perform their services for the Serbs who have remained in the regions of Prizren and Djakovica.

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http://www.serbia.sr.gov.yu/news/2004-02/05/333050.html

Serbian Government

Belgrade, Feb 5, 2004 - Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and head of the Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija Nebojsa Covic urged today the KFOR Commanding Officer, German General Holger Kammerhof, to secure protection for a monk brotherhood of the Sveti Arhandjeli monastery near Prizren and enable them to perform their services for the Serbs who have remained in the regions of Prizren and Djakovica.

In a letter to Kammerhorf, Covic reminded the general that German peacekeepers in Kosovo-Metohija changed their attitude towards the monks of this monastery after the Jan 21 incident in Djakovica, when the Orthodox monks and a crew of the German ARD TV station were attacked by a group of ethnic Albanians while they were recording the demolished church. They managed to escape with the help of KFOR soldiers, and a prior of the Sveti Arhandjeli monastery informed the media about the incident and appealed to international forces to conduct an investigation.

Covic said that the German KFOR headquarters wanted to hush up the incident, so the unit's spokesman denied that the attack took place, although a number of TV stations had broadcast the event.

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Kosovo and Metohija news, 4-5 Feb

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Kosovo and Metohija News, INET

Thursday 05 February 2004

23:40 On Friday the UN Security Council will discuss the most recent report on the situation in Kosovo and Metohija.

21:40 Officials of the Union of Serb Municipalities and Settlements in Kosovo and Metohija emphasized that the survival of Serbs in the Province is only possible if it is divided Serb and Albanian entities.

18:40 Nicholas Lambsdorf, the head of the UNMIK Dept. for the Economy, accused Kosovo members of the Kosovo Trust Agency board of blocking the privatization process.

17:00 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic has asked UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri to urgently provide Serbian authorities with information regarding the results to date in the investigation against the group lead by Shefket Musliu.

16:00 Presevo mayor Riza Halimi stated that any approach other than the continuation of the work of the Coordinating Body for Southern Serbia would make the situation in Presevo, Bujanovac and Medvedja municipalities more dfficult.

14:40 Elections in Kosovo will be held in this fall with the exact date that they are to take place to be determined by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri, said OSCE mission spokesman in Kosovo Sven Lindholm. "The date still has not been set. What is clear is that the mandate of the present Parliament lasts three years, which means that elections need to be held in the fall," explained Lindholm. An election task group will make its recommendation to the UNMIK chief within a few days, after which UNMIK will publish the regulations according to which this years elections will take place, he added.

Wednesday 04 February 2004

12:30 USAID director Dale Pfeifer stated that 100 million euros worth of electrical power was stolen last year in Kosovo and Metohija, reported the Pristina Albanian-language daily "Kosova Sot". Pfeifer said in an interview that electricity consumers in Kosovo are complaining a lot about the Kosovo power supply and distribution company (KEK) but few of them are paying for electricity they use. Only 20 percent of the population is paying its electricity bills.


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ERP KIM Info-Service is the official Information Service of the Serbian Orthodox Diocese of Raska and Prizren and works with the blessing of His Grace Bishop Artemije.
Our Information Service is distributing news on Kosovo related issues. The main focus of the Info-Service is the life of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Serbian community in the Province of Kosovo and Metohija. ERP KIM Info Service works in cooperation with www.serbian-translation.com as well as the Kosovo Daily News (KDN) News List

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