February 07, 2004

ERP KiM Newsletter 07-02-04b

Serbs will not participate in working groups

"I got the feeling that the standards are a list of wishes, "train without training schedule, but despite the promise that there will be a better tomorrow, nobody can guaranty the Serbs that the standards are precondition for independence of Kosovo. Maybe there is the answer why there are not Serbian envoys in the working groups for implementation of the standards. Holkeriís document, as Dragisa says, is not predicted who will determine if Kosovo passed the exam of democracy and multiethnicity in 2005".


Provisional self-governing institutions do not want to and UNMIK is not capable of creating conditions for involvement of Serbs in the political life in Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegro Deputy Foreign Minister, Zeljko Perovic stated at the UN Security Council session dedicated to the situation in the Province.

Behavior of German KFOR towards Monastery of Holy Archangels still unchanged

"Perhaps the Lt. Colonel Brinkmann should become aware that the German army in Kosovo has not come to exercise reprisals against the Serbian Orthodox Church and the religious rights of its faithful but to be of assistance particularly to vulnerable communities. 30 of our churches have been destroyed in the area of their military control and for more than four years no one of them has shown a minimum of responsibility and compassion but even want to leave us completely in the hands of Albanian extremists", said Fr. Herman.

ERP KIM Info-service
Gracanica, February 07, 2004

(photo: Abbot Herman - Holy Archangels Monastery)

Information service of the Serbian Orthodox Church for Kosovo and Metohija has been advised by the monks of the Holy Archangels monastery near Prizren that the German KFOR is still refusing to show flexibility towards the basic needs of the monastery. Abbot Herman said to ERP KIM Info-service that the German KFOR decision to discontinue escorts and meet the monastery's needs regarding the generator and the food supplies for the priest in Prizren has already created lots of uneasiness among potential returnees to Prizren area.

"I have received hundreds of telephone calls from many people in Serbia and abroad and all of them expressed outrage with the behavior of Lt. Col Brinkmann and his soldiers who behave more as an occupation force than as peacekeepers. Perhaps Lt. Colonel Brinkmann should become aware that the German army in Kosovo has not come to exercise reprisals against the Serbian Orthodox Church and the religious rights of its faithful but to be of assistance particularly to vulnerable communities. 30 of our churches have been destroyed in the area of their military control and for more than four years no one of them has shown a minimum of responsibility and compassion but even want to leave us completely in the hands of Albanian extremists", said Fr. Herman.

CONTENTS:

Serbs will not participate in working groups
"I got the feeling that the standards are a list of wishes, "train without training schedule, but despite the promise that there will be a better tomorrow, nobody can guaranty the Serbs that the standards are precondition for independence of Kosovo. Maybe there is the answer why there are not Serbian envoys in the working groups for implementation of the standards. Holkeriís document, as Dragisa says, is not predicted who will determine if Kosovo passed the exam of democracy and multiethnicity in 2005".  

Parallel institutions exist out of need
Provisional self-governing institutions do not want to and UNMIK is not capable of creating conditions for involvement of Serbs in the political life in Kosmet, Serbia and Montenegro Deputy Foreign Minister, Zeljko Perovic stated at the UN Security Council session dedicated to the situation in the Province.

No conditions for Serb political integration in Kosovo
A senior federal official told the UN Security Council today that the interim Kosovo institutions had refused to create the conditions for the integration of the Serbian community into Kosovo's political life.

Vitina - fear forces them to flee from their centuries old homes
"We live in fear. The only lucky thing in our misfortune is that the KFOR troops are here near the church. They have a permanent security checkpoint and since we are right next to them we feel a little safer. Otherwise we would have to leave. We don't have the feeling of security that people have who are living normal lives," said Gordana Tajic, who lives in Kosovska Vitina with her husband Dragan and their two sons. Her family owns a lot of land nearby but they still do not dare plant crops as a result of frequent attacks and provocations by their Albanian neighbors.

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Serbs will not participate in working groups

"I got the feeling that the standards are a list of wishes, "train without training schedule, but despite the promise that there will be a better tomorrow, nobody can guaranty the Serbs that the standards are precondition for independence of Kosovo. Maybe there is the answer why there are not Serbian envoys in the working groups for implementation of the standards. Holkeriís document, as Dragisa says, is not predicted who will determine if Kosovo passed the exam of democracy and multiethnicity in 2005".

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BK TV, Belgrade
06 February 2004


"Serbs will not participate in the working groups for implementation of the standards, but they will remain in the interim institutions" said for BK chief of the parliamentarian club of "Povratak", Dragisa Krstovic.

"I got the feeling that the standards are a list of wishes, "train without training schedule, but despite the promise that there will be a better tomorrow, nobody can guaranty the Serbs that the standards are precondition for independence of Kosovo. Maybe there is the answer why there are not Serbian envoys in the working groups for implementation of the standards. Holkeriís document, as Dragisa says, is not predicted who will determine if Kosovo passed the exam of democracy and multiethnicity in 2005".

Speaking about the standards he takes up the return of the displaced. "In the standards, the return includes that at one moment there would be institutions established that are going to be occupied with the return, some working bodies, some other subjects, but this document does not say that in 2005, when is expected that the standards are going to be fulfilled, that there would be return 100,000 Serbs or 100% of the ones that want to return to Kosovo and Metohija.

Despite the fact that there is a "lynching" of the Serbs in the Kosovo Parliament and the Albanians as majority break Resolution 1244 and the Constitutional Framework, Dragisa claims that the Serbian community for most of the rights can fight only through the interim institutions.

"The statement of the General Secretary of UN, Kofi Annan, who said that the Kosovo institutions and especially the Kosovo Assembly have showed certain stoppage in the progress and that it is obviously that in the Kosovo Assembly the rights of the minorities are not respected, that the majority is trying to impose its decisions to the minorities, decisions that are not in their interest, and if we were not there we would not have that kind of statement or evaluation. Dragisa Krstovic does not deny that the Coalition "Povratak" presents in Kosovo the politic of official Belgrade and says that he does not understand why the Albanians are complaining because according the resolution 1244 Kosovo is part of Serbia and the capital town is Belgrade, and not Pristina.


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"Parallel Institutions" exist out of need

Provisional self-governing institutions do not want to and UNMIK is not capable of creating conditions for involvement of Serbs in the political life in Kosmet, Serbia and Montenegro Deputy Foreign Minister, Zeljko Perovic stated at the UN Security Council session dedicated to the situation in the Province.

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Radio Serbia-Montenegro
February 6, 2004

Provisional self-governing institutions do not want to and UNMIK is not capable of creating conditions for involvement of Serbs in the political life in Kosmet, Serbia and Montenegro Deputy Foreign Minister, Zeljko Perovic stated at the UN Security Council session dedicated to the situation in the Province.

This also applies to the process of creation of a plan for implementation of standards, which was expected to be presented at the Councilís session, Perovic said. Regarding UNMIK statement on existence of parallel government institutions in Kosmet and Belgrade support to their work, Perovic has pointed out that UNMIK and the local authorities have not offered an efficient alternative to the Serb community in Kosmet. He pointed out that authorities in Belgrade want to renew the work of the High Working Group, determined by the agreement between UNMIK and Serbia and Montenegro, and whose functioning presents an important element in the process of implementation of Resolution 1244.

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No conditions for Serb political integration in Kosovo

A senior federal official told the UN Security Council today that the interim Kosovo institutions had refused to create the conditions for the integration of the Serbian community into Kosovo's political life.

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Beta News Agency, Belgrade
February 6, 2004

NEW YORK -- Friday - A senior federal official told the UN Security Council today that the interim Kosovo institutions had refused to create the conditions for the integration of the Serbian community into Kosovo's political life.

The UN mission in the province had also failed to create such conditions, said Zeljko Perovic, the assistant to Serbia-Montenegro's foreign minister, Goran Svilanovic.

"This also applies to the process of drafting plans for the implementation of standards, which should have been complete by now and presented to the Council," Perovic told today's sitting of the Security Council in New York.

Responding to UNMIK criticism of Belgrade over parallel Serb institutions in the province, Perovic said that the interim institutions and UNMIK had failed to provide an effective alternative for the Serb community.

He emphasised that Belgrade wanted the Joint Document of November 5, 2001, implemented.

"This is an important element in the overall context of implementing Resolution 1244 and must not be marginalised, which is what is happening right now," he added.


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Vitina: Fear forces them to flee from their centuries-old homes

"We live in fear. The only lucky thing in our misfortune is that the KFOR troops are here near the church. They have a permanent security checkpoint and since we are right next to them we feel a little safer. Otherwise we would have to leave. We don't have the feeling of security that people have who are living normal lives," said Gordana Tajic, who lives in Kosovska Vitina with her husband Dragan and their two sons. Her family owns a lot of land nearby but they still do not dare plant crops as a result of frequent attacks and provocations by their Albanian neighbors.

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Vesti, Belgrade
February 3, 2004

"Vesti" reporter visits Serbs in Kosovska Vitina

Only 208 Serbs remain in this small town out of a pre-summer 1999 population of 3,500. They are safest close to the church, the location of the KFOR checkpoint. Albanian physician who treats our illnesses threatened by his compatriots, says teacher Milusa Jokic

Until June 1999 just over 3,500 Serbs lived in Kosovska Vitina, a small town on the fertile Kosovsko Pomoravlje plain. Today only 208 remain. Most of them moved away. Those who stayed in Vitina, where most of them live in the few small streets not far from the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Petka and in so-called Dajic Mahala, cannot really say life is good.

"We live in fear. The only lucky thing in our misfortune is that the KFOR troops are here near the church. They have a permanent security checkpoint and since we are right next to them we feel a little safer. Otherwise we would have to leave. We don't have the feeling of security that people have who are living normal lives," said Gordana Tajic, who lives in Kosovska Vitina with her husband Dragan and their two sons. Her family owns a lot of land nearby but they still do not dare plant crops as a result of frequent attacks and provocations by their Albanian neighbors.

Planting crops a life-threatening danger

"Two years ago my husband tried to plant crops on those fields but he was attacked. They fired four shots at him," said Gordana.

When asked what they are planning for the future, Gordana shrugged her shoulders and replied that "many of our neighbors have sold their houses..."

"Recently an Albanian man who usurped a part of land built a cattle market on it. I sued him, I complained to UNMIK, 70 year-old Milorad S. Rajkovic told us. He said that the most difficult thing for him is that he is forced to live on meager social assistance.

Serb children in Kosovska Vitina attend classes for grades one to eight in the private house of Radovan Dajic. Every day the 40 or so children worry whether their teachers will come to class. The children are not provided with KFOR escorts but luckily, the locals tell us, in the last few months children have not been targeted although the fear is always there while they are on their way to and from the improvised school. In the past four years 60 Serbs have been killed in the Vitina region. One of the victims was a 17 year-old youth from Vitina, Sasa Dodic.

"We don't have a doctor in our small town. Most of the Serbs go to Vrbovac or to other Serb villages. But when someone has a problem and no transportation or opportunity to go to a Serb doctor, then we are sent to an Albanian private physician. Dr. Fetija generally charges us symbolic fees for his services. He is nice, despite the fact that local Albanians threaten him for treating Serbs," Milusa Jokic, a teacher in the Serb school, told us.

Most Serbs in the enclave are without work and waiting for buyers for their houses; meanwhile, their hopes for survival in this small town are quickly fading.

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Combination shop and reading room

The Serbs get together in the shop across the road from the church. The same building houses an area where younger Serbs, and a few not so young, read newspapers and magazines to keep up with events in other parts of Serbia.

"The foreigners say that this is an improvised youth center. Since we don't get the Belgrade press and can watch only Albanian TV, if it was not for the center, we would not even know that we are in Serbia," said 19 year-old Boban.

by B. Krstic


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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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