February 08, 2004

ERP KiM Newsletter 08-02-04

Serbs from Brezovica and Sredacka Zupa embittered by behavior of German KFOR toward brotherhood of Holy Archangels near Prizren

"This development involving the monastery is just further proof that the international community lacks the courage to confront reality in Kosovo and Metohija, which is that the Albanian majority does not want Serbs living next to it. The main problem is that such behavior is tolerated. And if the international community continues to keep its eyes shut to this reality, it will not be able to escape responsibility for having participated in the expulsion of the Serb people from Kosovo," stated Strpce mayor Sladjan Ilic during a visit to Holy Archangels.


View of Sredacka Zupa - Holy Archangels Monastery lies in the distance,
 nestled between the hills rising above the Prizren Bistrica River Valley

 

CONTENTS:

German KFOR still depriving Serbs of their basic religious rights
"This development involving the monastery is just further proof that the international community lacks the courage to confront reality in Kosovo and Metohija, which is that the Albanian majority does not want Serbs living next to it. The main problem is that such behavior is tolerated. And if the international community continues to keep its eyes shut to this reality, it will not be able to escape responsibility for having participated in the expulsion of the Serb people from Kosovo," stated Strpce mayor Sladjan Ilic during a visit to Holy Archangels.

CNS: Atrocities continue against Serbs in Kosovo, Orthodox Bishop Says,
"When a Serb goes beyond the enclave, he runs the risk of being killed or being kidnapped," the bishop said in a speech at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington. The Feb. 4 event was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.

Holkeri calls for Belgrade - Pristina dialogue to resolve fate of the missing
Real progress this year calls for further improvement in safety conditions and the freedom of movement in the province, said Holkeri, adding that progress will also depend on how much effort Kosovo people and leaders are willing to put into supporting a sustainable return. At the same time, the process also calls for a constructive position of Belgrade authorities and continuing engagement of the international community, he noted.


Cleric asks for U.S., international action to stop violence
In the nearly five years since the war in Kosovo ended, many hospitals, streets and mosques have been rebuilt in the U.N.- run province. But the benefits have flowed to ethnic Albanians, while minority Serbs have been the victims of ethnic cleansing by Albanian extremists, according to the Serbian Orthodox bishop of Kosovo.

Macedonia: Bowing down to UCK is our "ticket" home
"Unknown persons, usually wearing a mask, force us to bow before memorials and Albanians flags. To go into the villages of Matejche we must pass through Opae, Orizare, Lipkovo and Otlja, which are inhabited only by Albanians, because there's no other way. In Orizare, there is a memorial for Ismet Jashari, a member of UCK who was killed in Kosovo. In Otlja, a museum has been made for dead members of UCK. Only with the accompaniment of the OSCE can I see my own home. If going alone, a person stops us on the road to 'check our papers.'"

Growing Islamic fundamentalism in Raska region (Sandzak) of Serbia
Islam as their religion, Bosniac nationality as their national choice, and Sandzak as their homeland. Such positions by the Islamic community of Sandzak are supported by the Muslim active youth, the Wahabist movement, some humanitarian organizations from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Generous financial assistance is being provided through Islamic NGOs from Western countries, and they also have close connections with some Arab countries where fundamentalist Islamic ideology predominates. On the ground, the coordinator of all activities is the Islamic religious community in Sandzak, whose leadership also includes a number of "instructors" from Arab countries.

News from Kosovo and Metohija, February 6-7, 2004

More News Available on our:

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KDN Archive

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



Abbot Herman at the door of his chapel in the Holy Archangels Monastery
"Behavior of German KFOR directly discourages Serb returns and normalization
 of life in the Prizren area"

German KFOR still depriving Serbs of their basic religious rights

"This development involving the monastery is just further proof that the international community lacks the courage to confront reality in Kosovo and Metohija, which is that the Albanian majority does not want Serbs living next to it. The main problem is that such behavior is tolerated. And if the international community continues to keep its eyes shut to this reality, it will not be able to escape responsibility for having participated in the expulsion of the Serb people from Kosovo," stated Strpce mayor Sladjan Ilic during a visit to Holy Archangels.

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ERP KIM Info Service
Gracanica, February 8, 2004

The punitive measures introduced by lieutenant colonel Kai Brinkmann, the commander of German KFOR in Prizren, against the brotherhood of Holy Archangels have caused a stormy reaction among Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija, throughout the country, and abroad.

In order to acquaint himself first-hand with the situation in which the monastery brotherhood has found itself, Strpce mayor Sladjan Ilic visited Holy Archangels on Saturday to speak with the monks and to convey the solidarity of the Serb people from Brezovica. The ERP KIM Info Service recorded the following statement by Mr. Ilic:

"I came to Holy Archangels Monastery today to acquaint myself first-hand with the situation after the unfortunate decision of German KFOR. Since we are the first majority Serb municipality next to the monastery, I came to offer every possible assistance so they can more easily survive this irrational blockade in which the monastery has found itself after publishing the truth regarding the incident in Djakovica, which German KFOR attempted to cover up.

"I also came to convey our solidarity and to encourage them to persist in their just cause because they are the spiritual pillar of the Serb people of the Prizren area, without whom the remaining Serbs in this region would have nothing left to seek here.

"This development involving the monastery is just further proof that the international community lacks the courage to confront reality in Kosovo and Metohija, which is that the Albanian majority does not want Serbs living next to it. The main problem is that such behavior is tolerated. And if the international community continues to keep its eyes shut to this reality, it will not be able to escape responsibility for having participated in the expulsion of the Serb people from Kosovo."

Concern of Serbs from Sredacka Zupa

Residents of nearby Sredacka Zupa also commented regarding the current situation in Holy Archangels Monastery and the Bishop's residence in Prizren, expressing horror at the behavior of German officers Brinkmann and Stiehler. Local residents of Sredska Zupa welcomed the monks with concern and tears when they went, at great risk, to inform them that in the future a priest would not be able to visit them due to discontinued escorts and other punitive measures introduced by German KFOR upon orders of lieutenant colonel Brinkmann against the monks and clergy in Prizren, all as a result of having published the truth regarding the incident in Djakovica on January 21, 2004. (We provide only initials out of concern for the safety of persons making these statements.)

"It is incredible how much the hate of one individual can impact the security situation in the whole region," said T.T. of Sredacka Zupa. He added: "It is unfathomable to us to bury someone without a requiem mass. If escorts for the priests have been discontinued, I am afraid that our own survival here has been brought into question."

''When we decided to return to Sredska we were told that everything would be fine. But everything is not fine here and apparently someone is bothered by the fact that there Serbs in Kosovo and Metohija. Unfortunately, this time it is members of German KFOR who have taken on the role of persecutors," said S.G., a returnee to Sredacka Zupa.

"I could not have imagined that those who are supposed to protect us would turn out to be so hostile toward our clergy, and through them, toward us. I appeal to everyone who can help to do so in order to bring a stop to the inhuman punishment of the monks of Holy Archangels, who as we speak here are sitting in the dark, freezing and hungry," said S.J., a returnee to Sredacka Zupa.

KFOR's behavior toward monastery still remains unchanged

In the meanwhile, the ERP KIM Info Services has learned that the behavior of German KFOR toward the monks still remains unchanged, despite a series of public appeals and communiqués.

The Diocese of Raska and Prizren remains hopeful that numerous appeals and public reactions to the behavior of German KFOR toward the monks of Holy Archangels will finally yield results, and that the commanding offers in KFOR headquarters will realize that the reduction of peacekeeping forces cannot continue to the detriment of the remaining Serb enclaves, monasteries and patrimonial sites.


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Catholic News Service: Atrocities continue against Serbs in Kosovo, Orthodox bishop says

"When a Serb goes beyond the enclave, he runs the risk of being killed or being kidnapped," the bishop said in a speech at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington. The Feb. 4 event was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.

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By Stephen Steele
Catholic News Service
February 5, 2004

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- Atrocities have continued against Serbs in Kosovo nearly five years after the NATO-led war was supposed to have returned peace to the region, said a Serbian Orthodox bishop.

Some 250,000 Serbs have fled Kosovo since the end of the 1999 conflict, while about 1,300 Serbs have been killed and another 1,300 kidnapped, said Bishop Artemije Radosaljevic of Raska and Prizren, Serbia-Montenegro.

Bishop Artemije said the United Nations, which administers Kosovo, promotes the province as a model multiethnic democracy, but civil rights have not been extended to Serbs and other ethnic and religious minorities.

Serbs reside in "enclaves or ghettos" under protection of armed U.N. soldiers, he said.

"When a Serb goes beyond the enclave, he runs the risk of being killed or being kidnapped," the bishop said in a speech at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington. The Feb. 4 event was sponsored by the Institute on Religion and Public Policy.

The majority of Kosovars are ethnic Albanians and Muslims. The bishop said the apparent goal of the Albanians is to "ethnically cleanse" Kosovo of its remaining Serb population.

"I, personally, and my people wish to remain in our homes in Kosovo," the bishop said. "But we are in a situation where we can be cleansed and all of our religious and cultural sites will be destroyed."

He said more than 115 Serbian Orthodox churches and monasteries in the province have been destroyed or severely damaged since the 1999 arrival of the international peacekeeping forces.

Bishop Artemije said he was in the United States to seek support for the return of the 250,000 Serb refugees -- two-thirds of the pre-war Serb population in Kosovo -- and for the protection of human rights of Serbs and other ethnic minorities.

He said Serbs are struggling to protect the same values as the United States in its fight against terrorism. "To not join us is our fight would be a betrayal of those values," he said.

Kosovo had a high degree of autonomy within the former Yugoslavia until 1989, when former Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic altered the status of the region, removing its autonomy and bringing it under the direct control of Belgrade, the Serbian capital. The Kosovar Albanians strenuously opposed the move.

In 1998, an open conflict led to the deaths of about 1,500-2,000 Kosovar Albanians and forced 400,000 from their homes. The conflict flared again in 1999, resulting in air strikes by NATO forces, which led to the eventual withdrawal of Serbian troops.



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Holkeri calls for Belgrade-Pristina dialogue to resolve fate of missing, kidnapped

Real progress this year calls for further improvement in safety conditions and the freedom of movement in the province, said Holkeri, adding that progress will also depend on how much effort Kosovo people and leaders are willing to put into supporting a sustainable return. At the same time, the process also calls for a constructive position of Belgrade authorities and continuing engagement of the international community, he noted.

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Serbian Government

New York, Feb 6, 2004 - Belgrade and Pristina must have direct dialogue in order to make any progress soon in resolving the fate of missing and kidnapped Serbs and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo, UNMIK head Harri Holkeri said addressing a United Nations Security Council meeting on Kosovo in New York on Friday.

Although noting that situation in Kosovo is still fragile, Holkeri said that the return of displaced persons and refugees in the province is likely to show progress this year following a gradual progress in 2003, an essential improvement in the political climate and the operational framework for return.

Real progress this year calls for further improvement in safety conditions and the freedom of movement in the province, said Holkeri, adding that progress will also depend on how much effort Kosovo people and leaders are willing to put into supporting a sustainable return. At the same time, the process also calls for a constructive position of Belgrade authorities and continuing engagement of the international community, he noted.

Holkeri went on to say that the implementation of Kosovo standards in a key political project for UNMIK and called for urgent preparation of a plan that will describe measures and steps required for reaching the standards.

Working groups for missing persons and energy may meet in Pristina in February, four months after Serbia and Kosovo opened dialogue in Vienna, he said, adding that the remaining two groups, charged with return and transport and communications, could also meet in the near future.

Serbian Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Centre for Kosovo-Metohija head Nebojsa Covic said he is pleased that the UNMIK head has approved Belgrade's position on the problem of missing and kidnapped persons, adding that "Belgrade has made great progress" at the Council's meeting on Kosovo.

Stressing that standards implementation working groups must be multiethnic, Covic said that the ethnic Albanian community in Kosovo and interim provincial institutions have persistently been refusing to agree on this.

Council members stressed yesterday that standards implementation will not raise the question of Kosovo's future status.

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Cleric asks for U.S., international action to stop violence

In the nearly five years since the war in Kosovo ended, many hospitals, streets and mosques have been rebuilt in the U.N.- run province. But the benefits have flowed to ethnic Albanians, while minority Serbs have been the victims of ethnic cleansing by Albanian extremists, according to the Serbian Orthodox bishop of Kosovo.

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The Cleveland Plain Dealer (Ohio, USA)

02/08/04

Sandra Livingston
Plain Dealer Reporter

In the nearly five years since the war in Kosovo ended, many hospitals, streets and mosques have been rebuilt in the U.N.- run province. But the benefits have flowed to ethnic Albanians, while minority Serbs have been the victims of ethnic cleansing by Albanian extremists, according to the Serbian Orthodox bishop of Kosovo.

Bishop Artemije Radosavljevic said Saturday that Serbs cannot see a doctor at the repaired hospitals nor travel freely without fear of violence. More than 100 of their churches and monasteries have been destroyed and none rebuilt, he said.

"The international community is visible, but only for the Albanians," Bishop Artemije said.

A new United Nations report cites some progress in Kosovo but says the record of achievements is mixed.

The bishop is in the United States to seek a peaceful solution in Kosovo and to tell Washington officials that the violence and discrimination have continued despite the presence of U.N. and NATO peacekeepers.

During a weekend visit to Cleveland, he spoke at a luncheon at The Plain Dealer that was hosted by President and Publisher Alex Machaskee and included Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich.

Voinovich later said he would seek hearings on the issue.

Voinovich said he has been to Kosovo three times - most recently in 2002 - and will work to persuade colleagues focused on other international hot spots like Iraq and Afghanistan to pay attention to still-fragile Kosovo.

An advocate for democratic reform, Bishop Artemije denounced Serbian extremism against ethnic Albanians when strongman Slobodan Milosevic was in power.

NATO cited Milosevic's repression of Kosovo Albanians when it launched its war against Yugoslavia in 1999.

Since the war, the bishop has continued to speak out, now against extremist Albanians waging violence.

Speaking through a translator during his Cleveland visit, the bishop said that since the war officially ended, two-thirds of the Serbs - about 250,000 peo ple - have been expelled. He said 1,300 Serbs have been killed, tens of thousands of Serbian homes destroyed and hundreds of villages razed. He said remaining Serbs have been denied basic rights.

He wants the United States and the international community to help achieve specific aims that include the return of the expelled to their homes, freedom of movement, restoration of religious buildings, and the rights to work, medical help and better education.

He said the first step is to stop violent acts against Serbs and bring criminals to justice. The fact that "criminals continue to enjoy free life in Kosovo" even with U.N. and NATO peacekeepers present creates a negative feeling on the side of the Serbian people "that all these crimes were somehow allowed or tolerated by the international community," he said.



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Macedonian refugees from Kumanovo warn: Bowing down to UCK is our "Ticket" home

"Unknown persons, usually wearing a mask, force us to bow before memorials and Albanians flags. To go into the villages of Matejche we must pass through Opae, Orizare, Lipkovo and Otlja, which are inhabited only by Albanians, because there's no other way. In Orizare, there is a memorial for Ismet Jashari, a member of UCK who was killed in Kosovo. In Otlja, a museum has been made for dead members of UCK. Only with the accompaniment of the OSCE can I see my own home. If going alone, a person stops us on the road to 'check our papers.'"

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Reality Macedonia
http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/news_page.asp?nid=2939


Web posted February 08, 2004
Source: Dnevnik, 2373, 7 February 2004

Lipkovo Mayor Says it's Necessary to Respect the New History of the Land

One of the places where Macedonians get "visas" to visit their
homes: monument to dead NLA members in Slupchane



By Mitko Jovanov

(Is this the new reality the Orthodox Macedonians must accept? The 14th century fresco of Apostle Peter damaged by obscene scrawlings left by Albanian extremists in Matejce monastery near Kumanovo)

Masked men are forcing Macedonian and Serbian refugees from Matejche [Matejce] to bow before a memorial to dead solders of the former NLA, only after that allowing them to enter the village, said representatives of the refugees in the parliament's Survey Committee.

Savre Bojkovic, a refugee from the Lipkovo region, testified before the Committee:

"Unknown persons, usually wearing a mask, force us to bow before memorials and Albanians flags. To go into the villages of Matejche we must pass through Opae, Orizare, Lipkovo and Otlja, which are inhabited only by Albanians, because there's no other way. In Orizare, there is a memorial for Ismet Jashari, a member of UCK who was killed in Kosovo. In Otlja, a museum has been made for dead members of UCK. Only with the accompaniment of the OSCE can I see my own home. If going alone, a person stops us on the road to 'check our papers.'"

Major of Lipkovo Husamedin Halili says that this is the new reality for Macedonia:

"It is true that memorials for the dead members of UCK exist. Those who share the feeling of those who died for a cause should bow before them. This is part of the new history of Macedonia, which every citizen should respect," Halili says.

He said that the refugees' problems are the result of their non-signing of the tripartite agreement, and now because of that, the reconstruction of their houses is going slowly.

The refugees, however, said that the reality is something completely different: "If some house is reconstructed, a basic thing for our return, that house is very quickly demolished. Proof of this was the destruction [by Albanians] of the 9 rebuilt houses of Serbians and Macedonians from Matejce one week ago," said Bojkovic.

The members of the Committee agreed that very soon they will visit all places where refugees are temporarily being housed.

-----

"Official" term for the dead NLA members in the current Albanian discourse is "martyrs." Check out the archive of Lobi/Press Online

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Growing Islamic fundamentalism in Raska district (so called Sandzak)

Islam as their religion, Bosniac nationality as their national choice, and Sandzak as their homeland. Such positions by the Islamic community of Sandzak are supported by the Muslim active youth, the Wahabist movement, some humanitarian organizations from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Generous financial assistance is being provided through Islamic NGOs from Western countries, and they also have close connections with some Arab countries where fundamentalist Islamic ideology predominates. On the ground, the coordinator of all activities is the Islamic religious community in Sandzak, whose leadership also includes a number of "instructors" from Arab countries.

*Raska (Rash-kah) is the traditional tame of the Serbian Province from the 12th century. Sandzak (pronounced as Sanjak) dates back from the Ottoman rule and denotes a "province".

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Apis Group, Belgrade
February 1, 2004

(mulla Muhamer Zukorlic, from Novi Pazar)

During the Muslim month of Ramadan, and especially at the beginning of the religious holiday Kurban Bajram, a wave of Islamic fundamentalism could be felt in Raska district, especially in Novi Pazar, that sounded very threatening to all residents of the district belonging to other confessions.

Sandzak mufti Muamer Zukorlic extended holiday greetings to believers and wishes that for a pleasant holiday; however, he also drew attention to "certain manifestations" which, in his opinion, represent a threat to Islam in Sandzak. He especially emphasized the point that he sees the events accompanying St. Sava's Day and other similar programs as an attempt to assimilate his people. That is why, he emphasized, he chooses not to accept the invitations of the Serbian Orthodox Church and the Government of Serbia to be a guest at these and similar celebrations. He considers it unacceptable that kindergarten age children on the occasion of Kurban Bajram (and only on that occasion) learn the occasional ilahia and kasida (Muslim songs with a religious content). Because of the manner in which St. Sava, the Serbian Orthodox patron saint of schools, is celebrated in Sandzak, the Islamic religious community in Sandzak has lodged a protest with the Government of Serbia and the ambassadors of many countries in Belgrade, as well as with some international institutions. At the same time, all imams have received instructions to warn Muslims in their mosques after prayers of the unacceptability of such manifestations in schools, leaving it up to the parents whether they will allow their children to participate in these celebrations.

At a press conference held on the occasion of Kurban Bajram, mufti Zukorlic announced that during its ten years of existence, the Islamic community of Sandzak has achieved and preserved autonomy, that relations with the state frequently depended on personal solutions, and that there as still many issues to be resolved in order to further consolidate and expand autonomy.

It is significant that the Islamic community of Sandzak has established three mandatory principles for all Muslims belonging to that community:

Islam as their religion, Bosniac nationality as their national choice, and Sandzak as their homeland. Such positions by the Islamic community of Sandzak are supported by the Muslim active youth, the Wahabist movement, some humanitarian organizations from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Generous financial assistance is being provided through Islamic NGOs from Western countries, and they also have close connections with some Arab countries where fundamentalist Islamic ideology predominates. On the ground, the coordinator of all activities is the Islamic religious community in Sandzak, whose leadership also includes a number of "instructors" from Arab countries.

Some renowned members of the Islamic religious community in Sandzak claim they have support for their activities among members of the Government of Serbia and the Council of Ministers of the state union of Serbia-Montenegro. They mention the name of [Serbia-Montenegro minister for national minorities and human rights] Rasim Ljajic who, following the death of [former Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina president] Alija Izetbegovic, openly published his condolences to the family in the Sarajevo press upon the death of "my president". Ruzica Djindjic, the wife of the assassinated Serbian prime minister, is also suspected of maintaining ties with the religious leadership of Wahabia in Dubai, where she spends almost all her vacations and holidays, and it is a well-known fact that she is a member of the council of the Muslim university in Novi Pazar and one of its sponsors.

According to the words of mufti Zukorlic, the activities of the Islamic community of Sandzak do not mean that it is interfering in political decisions, despite the fact that the territory implied by the name Sandzak has territorial-political dimensions. It is interesting that after the December elections for the Serbian parliament, not one political party of Muslim orientation entered the parliament while, at the same time, two deputies from the political party of Suleiman Ugljanin, a extremist-oriented Muslim leader from Novi Pazar, found themselves among the ranks of the Democratic Party. (Suleiman Ugljanin is by origin an Albanian from Kosovo, and at the beginning of the developing Yugoslav crisis, was sentenced to a lengthy prison term by the courts. He avoided serving the term by fleeing to Turkey, returning following the entrance of his political party into the Serbian parliament in 1997.)

It is significant that there are no more units of the Serbia-Montenegro Army stationed on the territory of Sandzak. The garrison in Novi Pazar has been disbanded and the barracks used by the army emptied. It now houses several Islamic humanitarian organizations. Thus there is no army presence remaining in the entire region between Serbia and Montenegro, despite the fact that Sandzak partially rests against the border with Bosnia-Herzegovina, whose Islamist oriented circles do not hide their territorial pretensions to this part of Serbia-Montenegro's territory.

According to the opinion of some local non-Muslim sources, Sandzak is "unbearably racing" toward secession, which would result in the creation of a new Islamic entity in the Balkans physically separating the republics of Serbia and Montenegro and representing the "missing link" in the formation of a continuous chain of Islamic states and territories along the boundaries of the so-called "green transversal" stretching from Kabul to Velika Kladusha, corresponding to the concept of imam Khomeini when he assumed power in Iran and began to "export" Islamic revolution into the world. It should not be forgotten that during the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a large group of Islamic "holy warriors"
grouped into battalions and brigades were active on the war-engulfed territory (including the notorious El Mujahedin brigade), while in Kosovo and Metohija the ranks of the Kosovo Liberation Army included members of Wahabia and al Qaida who remained in the Balkan region after the end of the war under false names and with false local travel documents.

In a report published in "Defense and Foreign Affairs", the US organization Global Information Services (GIS) cites intelligence sources to back up its claim that Hasan Chengich, a theologian and senior Party of Democratic Action (SDA) official, has again reactivated an illegal channel for providing weapons to Islamist extremists in Raska district and Kosovo and Metohija. The GIS does not give the historical background for this channel; however, according to available information, it was opened in 1998 after contacts between the SDA leadership and the Bosnian Muslim army with Ahmet Krasnichi, the defense minister in the so-called "Republic of Kosovo government" headed by Bujar Bukoshi, the long-time ward of the German BND intelligence service.

Translation by www.serbian-translation.com  (February 7, 2004)

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News from Kosovo and Metohija, Feb 6-7

INET News

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Saturday 07 February 2004

23:20 On Friday evening following the session of the UN Security Council UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri announced that a plan for the implementation of standards in Kosovo and Metohija may be completed by the end of February, and that the implementation of the standards has already begun.

21:20 The Albanian police fired shots in the air to disperse opposition demonstrators demanding the resignation of premier Fatos Nano who tried to forcibly enter the Albanian government building in Tirana.

21:00 Commenting on UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri's speech before the UN Security Council, Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic announced that the problem of Kosovo and Metohija still lies in Pristina.

20:40 The regional coordinating center of Gracanica appealed to representatives of the international community in Kosovo and Metohija to prevent and punish "the frequent pressure against the Serbian community"
with the aim of "frightening and expelling" the Serbs from the southern Province.

20:20 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic announced the possibility of the withdrawal of Serb representatives from all provisional Kosovo institutions in the event that a two-thirds majority in the Kosovo parliament is given the right to modify the Constitutional Framework.

20:00 Kosovo premier Bajram Rexhepi indirectly admitted that for Pristina the democratic standards set by the international community as a precondition for considering the final status of the southern Serbian province are practically unattainable.

19:40 Agriculture minister Goran Bogdanovic, the sole Serb minister in the Kosovo government, stated that he is dissatisfied with the report submitted by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri to the UN Security Council because it fails to mention the real reasons for the absence of Serbs from the task groups for implementation of standards in Kosovo.


Friday 06 February 2004

22:20 Radoje Prica, the head of the Serbia-Montenegro parliamentary delegation in the Council of Europe, stated that Belgrade officials will take part in the Council of Europe seminar examining the application of the European Convention on Human Rights in Kosovo and Metohija.

20:40 I am convinced that the Kosovo Protection Corps will fulfill the standards set for it this year, announced KPC commander Agim Cheku.

20:20 State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in Washington that the U.S. will continue to support the efforts of the UN in Kosovo and Metohija in establishing a multiethnic and democratic society in the Province.

20:00 Speaking at a UN Security Council session, UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri said that it is necessary to solve the problem of missing and kidnapped Serbs and Albanians as soon as possible, and that one of the ways of doing this is through dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina.

19:40 Coordinating Center for Kosovo and Metohija head Nebojsa Covic stated that the Constitutional Framework of Kosovo and Metohija cannot be changed by the Kosovo parliament.

14:20 The U.S. delegation to Organization for European Security and Co-operation criticized the Macedonian government for the arrest of Bishop Jovan (Vranishevski) of the Serbian Orthodox Church [sic].

13:00 The Washington Administration remains opposed to the rushed proclamation of the independence of Kosovo, pointing out that it is most important to consolidate democracy in the Province. Washington supports the program presented in December by UNMIK chief Harri Holkeri.

12:40 The Kosovo provisional parliament will not adopt key changes to the Constitutional Framework or a new constitution because such documents will not be approved by the UNMIK chief, announced Ramush Tahiri, political advisor to Kosovo parliamentary speaker Nexhat Daci.

12:20 Kosovo president Ibrahim Rugova stated on Thursday that all European officials with whom he spoke in Belgium, including Belgian foreign affairs minister Louis Michel, expressed support for the right to self-determination of the people of Kosovo for independence.

12:00 The official position of the U.S. with regard to the initiative of Albanian NGOs for the regionalization of Montenegro in areas where Albanians are in the majority is that it does not support the proposal that would create a border or any other kind of division within Montenegro along ethnic lines, advised the spokesman of the U.S.
consulate in Podgorica, Sasa Brajovic.

11:40 UN secretary general Kofi Annan announced the possibility of the UNMIK chief upholding certain changes in the Kosovo Constitutional Framework if they are supported by a two-thirds majority of Kosovo MPs and if they are in keeping with Resolution 1244.


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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

Disclaimer:
The views expressed by the authors of newspaper articles or other texts which are not official communiqués or news reports by the Diocese are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Serbian Orthodox Church

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